AP Top News at 12:38 a.m. EDT

Fears rise for missing in SKorea ferry sinking
MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - Strong currents, rain and bad visibility hampered an increasingly anxious search Thursday for 287 passengers still missing a day after their ferry flipped onto its side and filled with water off the southern coast of South Korea. Nine people, including three students and two teachers, were confirmed dead, but many expect a sharp jump in that number because of the long period of time the missing have now spent either trapped in the ferry or in the cold seawater. There was also fury among families waiting for word of passengers who were mostly high school students.


Pro-Russian gunmen make inroads in eastern Ukraine
SLOVYANSK, Ukraine (AP) - The well-armed, Moscow-backed insurgency sowing chaos in eastern Ukraine scored a new victory Wednesday, seizing armored vehicles and weapons from underequipped government forces, then rolling through two cities to a hero's welcome. Responding to what it sees as Russia's aggression, NATO announced it was increasing its military presence along its eastern border, closest to Russia and Ukraine. And the Obama administration moved to ratchet up its response, preparing new sanctions on Russia and boosted assistance for the struggling Ukrainian military.


Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race
BOSTON (AP) - The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week. The actions of the man, whose mother said he had a mental disorder, rattled nerves as Boston prepared for the annual race, but authorities said they did not consider it a security breach. Officials also expressed confidence in heightened security measures for Monday's event while acknowledging the challenge of protecting an estimated 1 million spectators and 36,000 runners across 26.2 miles and eight Massachusetts communities.


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Defend 'Obamacare' unabashedly, some Democrats say
WASHINGTON (AP) - The outlook for the president's health care overhaul suddenly appears brighter, and some Democrats are saying it's time for the party to openly embrace the law that Republicans consider their best campaign weapon. Activists in one Senate race are doing just that. Other Democratic candidates, however, remain wary, unsure that a modest dose of good news will be enough to offset countless TV ads denouncing "Obamacare."


uFly fires flight instructor who appeared on CNN
TORONTO (AP) - A Canadian flight simulator business fired an instructor who figured prominently in CNN's coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, saying he showed up late to his regular job and "shamed Canadians" by dressing like a teenager. uFly company owner Claudio Teixeira said he fired Mitchell Casado on Wednesday in part for refusing to dress professionally and making Canadians "look very bad all over the world."


Study: Diabetic heart attacks and strokes falling
NEW YORK (AP) - In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting. Over the last two decades, the rates of heart attacks and strokes among diabetics fell by more than 60 percent, a new federal study shows. The research also confirms earlier reports of drastic declines in diabetes-related kidney failure and amputations.


Jets sign former Titans RB Chris Johnson
NEW YORK (AP) - Always fast on the field, Chris Johnson is looking to quickly prove his critics wrong. The New York Jets signed the former Titans running back Wednesday, a little over a week after he was officially released by Tennessee.


Armed robber was never told to report to prison
ST. LOUIS (AP) - After he was convicted of armed robbery in 2000, Cornealious Anderson was sentenced to 13 years behind bars and told to await instructions on when and where to report to prison. But those instructions never came. So Anderson didn't report. He spent the next 13 years turning his life around - getting married, raising three kids, learning a trade. He made no effort to conceal his identity or whereabouts. Anderson paid taxes and traffic tickets, renewed his driver's license and registered his businesses.


Experts say video doesn't show Earhart wreckage
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Experts retained by an aircraft preservation group say underwater video shot in the South Pacific yields no evidence of the wreckage of the missing plane piloted by aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic in 1932. She was trying to become the first female to circle the globe when she and her navigator disappeared somewhere in the South Pacific in 1937.


Hopes high Negro Leagues stadium makes comeback
PATERSON, N.J. (AP) - The light touch of a paint roller is enough to dislodge a chunk of plaster from the crumbling walls of Hinchliffe Stadium. Though silent for decades, the former home of several Negro Leagues teams is getting another chance at bat as baseball's first National Historic Landmark.

 
 

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