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AP Top International News At 1:48 a.m. EDT

South Korea ferry disaster may cloud Obama visit
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- President Barack Obama stepped into the familiar role of chief consoler Friday as he arrived for meetings in South Korea, a key U.S. ally that is reeling from a deadly ferry disaster....

Gunman kills 3 Americans at Kabul hospital
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Three Americans - a pediatrician and a father and son - were killed by an Afghan government security officer at a hospital Thursday, the latest in a series of attacks on foreign civilians that has rattled aid workers, contractors and journalists....

US, Japan say Pacific trade talks make headway
TOKYO (AP) -- Closing two days of around the clock negotiations, U.S. officials said Friday that they reached a breakthrough with Japan to move forward a stalled regional trade pact even though gaps remain that could still upend a final agreement....

Ukraine moves against insurgents in the east
SLOVYANSK, Ukraine (AP) -- Russia announced new military exercises Thursday involving ground and air forces near its border with Ukraine, swiftly responding to a Ukrainian operation to drive pro-Russia insurgents out of occupied buildings in the country's tumultuous east....

APNewsBreak: Ecuador expels US military group
QUITO, Ecuador (AP) -- Ecuador has ordered all 20 Defense Department employees in the U.S. Embassy's military group to leave the country by month's end, The Associated Press has learned....

Study: US manufacturers gaining competitiveness
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. manufacturers have grown more competitive over the past decade compared with factories in China, Brazil and most of the world's other major economies....

Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel broke off Mideast peace talks and brought the U.S.-brokered process to the brink of collapse Thursday, protesting a reconciliation agreement between the Western-backed Palestinian Authority and the militant group Hamas, the Jewish state's sworn enemy....

Jamaican police increasingly facing murder charges
MAY PEN, Jamaica (AP) -- It's been nearly a year since Sevina Giderisingh's 20-year-old son died in a confrontation with a police officer on the dusty outskirts of this struggling Jamaican city where jobs are scarce and crime is frequent....

Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- The seabed search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet is set to widen as a sonar scan of the most likely crash site deep beneath the Indian Ocean nears completion without yielding a single clue, authorities said Friday....

Tiny Pacific nation sues 9 nuclear-armed powers
NEW YORK (AP) -- The tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands is taking on the United States and the world's eight other nuclear-armed nations with an unprecedented lawsuit demanding that they meet their obligations toward disarmament and accusing them of "flagrant violations" of international law....

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World Video
Up to the Minute
Africa
Explosion targets journalist's car in Cameroon

Asia
NKorea denies drones were sent to South

Europe
Ukraine moves against insurgents in the east

Latin America/Caribbean
APNewsBreak: Ecuador expels US military group

Middle East
Iran cuts portion of gasoline subsidies