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Ukrainian unity on display with peaceful rallies
MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) - Thousands gathered for peaceful demonstrations Thursday in at least four eastern cities to denounce Russia for its perceived meddling in Ukrainian affairs, a day after the most lethal clash so far killed three pro-Russian activists. Political developments in eastern Ukraine have for weeks been dominated by a small, vocal and armed opposition to the interim government in Kiev. Thursday's rallies, by contrast, drew crowds who listened to speeches condemning Russia and resisting the pro-Russian movement that is pushing for autonomy for eastern Ukraine.


Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions _ for now
GENEVA (AP) - In a surprise accord, Ukraine and Russia agreed Thursday on tentative steps to halt violence and calm tensions along their shared border after more than a month of Cold War-style military posturing triggered by Moscow's annexation of Crimea. Russia's pledge to refrain from further provocative actions drew support but also a measure of skepticism from President Barack Obama, who said at a news conference at the White House that the United States and its allies were prepared to ratchet up sanctions if Moscow doesn't fulfill its commitments.


Confused, chaotic scene described on sinking ferry
MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - There was chaos and confusion on the bridge of a sinking ferry, with the captain first trying to stabilize the listing vessel before ordering its evacuation, a crewman said Thursday. By the time the order came, however, he said it had become impossible to help many of the passengers - although the captain and a dozen crew members survived.


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Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
MEXICO CITY (AP) - Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez crafted intoxicating fiction from the fatalism, fantasy, cruelty and heroics of the world that set his mind churning as a child growing up on Colombia's Caribbean coast. One of the most revered and influential writers of his generation, he brought Latin America's charm and maddening contradictions to life in the minds of millions and became the best-known practitioner of "magical realism," a blending of fantastic elements into portrayals of daily life that made the extraordinary seem almost routine.


World reacts to death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Reaction to death of writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez: ---


Jury convicts husband in Iraqi woman's death
EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) - An Iraqi immigrant was convicted Thursday of bludgeoning his wife to death in a case that initially was considered a hate crime because a note found next to her body said: "This is my country, go back to yours, you terrorist." Kassim Alhimidi, 49, shook his head from side to side and wagged a finger as jurors were polled, then chaos erupted in the courtroom when his oldest son stood and shouted obscenities. The son proclaimed his father's innocence before several deputies wrestled him out of the courtroom.


Guitarists still making memorable music with Strat
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Jimi Hendrix made it shriek. Buddy Holly made it swing. Stevie Ray Vaughn made it snarl. Some of the most legendary guitarists in music history have elicited unforgettable sounds from the Fender Stratocaster, the distinctive double-cutaway guitar born in a small Fullerton, Calif., workshop 60 years ago this month.


Boston Marathon makes room for more runners
BOSTON (AP) - More than 5,000 runners were still on the Boston Marathon course when the bombs went off on Boylston Street. Race organizers were eager to invite them back - to let them finish what they started - and aware of the message that would send.


Dirty creek, old purse solve four-decade mystery
ELK POINT, S.D. (AP) - Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson had planned to celebrate the end of the 1971 school year by gathering with classmates at a quarry along a gravel road. But the 17-year-old girls weren't known for frequenting parties, so when they didn't show up, other teens just assumed they had changed plans, perhaps to avoid any underage drinking or pot smoking.


Man said to be homesick for prison gets 3 1/2 years
CHICAGO (AP) - An ex-con who spent most of his adult life behind bars on Thursday got what he said he wanted for robbing a suburban Chicago bank. The 74-year-old gets to go back to the place he called home - prison. Telling Walter Unbehaun he frightened a teller by showing her a revolver tucked in his waistband during the 2013 heist, a federal judge imposed a 3 1/2 year prison sentence, citing a rap sheet that includes crimes from home invasion to kidnapping.