AP Top News at 8:08 a.m. EDT

SKorea ferry toll hits 150 as search gets tougher
JINDO, South Korea (AP) - The grim work of recovering bodies from the submerged South Korea ferry proceeded rapidly Wednesday, with the official death toll reaching 150, though a government official said divers must now rip through cabin walls to retrieve more victims. The victims are overwhelmingly students of a single high school in Ansan, near Seoul. More than three-quarters of the 323 students are dead or missing, while nearly two-thirds of the other 153 people on board the ferry Sewol when it sank one week ago survived.


Captain who left doomed ferry had 40 years at sea
MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - A colleague calls Capt. Lee Joon-seok the nicest person on the ship. With more than 40 years' experience at sea, Lee could speak with eloquence about the romance and danger of a life spent on ships. But his reputation now hinges on the moments last week when he delayed an evacuation and apparently abandoned the ferry Sewol as it went down, leaving more than 300 people missing or dead, most of them teenagers.


Pro-Russian insurgents hold journalist captive
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) - Pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Ukraine admitted on Wednesday that they are holding an American journalist who has not been seen since early Tuesday. Simon Ostrovsky, a journalist for Vice News, has been covering the crisis in Ukraine for weeks and was reporting about groups of masked gunmen seizing government buildings in one eastern Ukrainian city after another.


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Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. SUPREME COURT DEALS BLOW TO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION


Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - Unidentified material that washed ashore in southwestern Australia and is being examined for any link to the lost Malaysian plane is unlikely to have come from the jet, an official said Wednesday. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau was scrutinizing photos of the object, which washed ashore 10 kilometers (6 miles) east of Augusta in Western Australia state. But Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the safety bureau, said an initial analysis of the material - which appeared to be sheet metal with rivets - suggested it was not from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.


Obama opens Japan trip at famous sushi restaurant
TOKYO (AP) - President Barack Obama is getting a lesson in the art of sushi making at a famous Tokyo restaurant with hard-to-come-by reservations. But Obama and his dining partner, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay), didn't appear to have trouble scoring seats at Sukiyabashi Jiro. The 10-seat restaurant is run by 87-year-old Jiro Ono, who was featured in the 2011 documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi."


APNewsBreak: Gacy case helps solve unrelated death
CHICAGO (AP) - Four decades after John Wayne Gacy lured more than 30 young men and boys to his Chicago-area home and strangled them, his case has helped authorities solve another killing - one he didn't commit. Investigators have identified the remains of a man who in 1978 never returned to his home just a few miles from Gacy's house. They also say they know the identity of his now-deceased killer. The Cook County Sheriff's Office is scheduled to announce the findings Wednesday - the result of an ongoing effort to name several unidentified victims of Gacy, who was executed in 1994.


Bomb, shooting in Egypt kills 2 police officers
CAIRO (AP) - A senior Egyptian police officer was killed after an explosive device placed under his car went off in a western Cairo suburb on Wednesday while another officer died in a raid on a militant hideout in the country's second-largest city, officials said. The deaths came amid stepped-up attacks against Egyptian police and military as militant groups wage an increasingly violent campaign following the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.


9 indicted in kidnapping of NC prosecutor's father
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - As the kidnappers pulled into a quiet, upscale golf course community, they thought they were about to abduct an assistant district attorney who sent a high-ranking gang member to prison for life, authorities said. But they had the wrong address and when the prosecutor's father answered the door, they took him instead.


Michigan man among 1st in US to get 'bionic eye'
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision. Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a teenager, Pontz has been almost completely blind for years. Now, thanks to a high-tech procedure that involved the surgical implantation of a "bionic eye," he's regained enough of his eyesight to catch small glimpses of his wife, grandson and cat.