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Miss America: Rethink suspension over prom query

FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, file photo, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri attends the NCAA college basketball game between Syracuse and North Carolina State in Syracuse, N.Y. A Pennsylvania high school student is in hot water for asking Davuluri to prom during a question and answer session at school. Eighteen-year-old Patrick Farves said he received three days of in-school suspension Thursday, April 17, 2014, because he asked Davuluri to prom. School officials heard about Farves' plan in advance and warned him not to do it. He has apologized for disrupting the event. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi, File)YORK, Pa. (AP) — Miss America is asking a Pennsylvania school district to reconsider the punishment of a high school senior who asked her to prom during the question-and-answer portion of an assembly.



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Deadly gun attack in eastern Ukraine shakes fragile Geneva accord

Pro-Russian militant walks near a checkpoint which was the scene of a gunfight overnight near the city of SlavianskBy Aleksandar Vasovic SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – At least three people were killed in a gunfight in the early hours of Sunday near a Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russian separatists, shaking an already fragile international accord that was designed to avert a wider conflict. The incident triggered a war of words between Moscow and Ukraine's western-backed government with each questioning the other's compliance with the agreement, brokered last week in Geneva, to end a crisis that has made Russia's ties with the West more fraught than at any time since the Cold War. The separatists said armed men from Ukraine's Right Sector nationalist group had attacked them. Failure of the Geneva agreement could bring more bloodshed in eastern Ukraine, but may also prompt the United States early next week to impose tougher sanctions on the Kremlin – with far-reaching potential consequences for many economies and for importers of Russian energy.



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Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Marking Christianity’s most hopeful day, Pope Francis made an Easter Sunday plea for peace and dialogue in Ukraine and Syria, for an end to terrorist attacks against Christians in Nigeria and for more attention to the hungry and neediest close to home.
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Families of Iran prisoners stage protest outside parliament

Families of Iranian prisoners charged with political offences demonstrated outside parliament in Tehran on Sunday to protest at what they said was violent treatment of their relatives at the Evin prison, the Iranian Students’ News Agency reported. Family members holding pictures of the prisoners said more than 20 of their relatives were hurt in clashes with security guards on April 17, according to Kaleme, a website linked to opposition leaders Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi. It is unusual for families to gather outside parliament to complain about alleged abuses of their relatives, although such protests have been held outside Evin itself in the past. The prisoners are among hundreds rounded up during mass demonstrations by reformists protesting against the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in presidential elections in 2009, in the worst unrest since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
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Bankrupt British loans official resigns, embarrassing PM Cameron

By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) – The head of a British government agency that hands out billions of pounds of loans to local authorities has resigned after failing to reveal he was bankrupt, Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said on Sunday. Cameron appointed Tony Caplin, a former senior official in his ruling Conservative party, to head the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB) last year. The PWLB is in charge of distributing infrastructure loans to local authorities across Britain and controls a loans portfolio of up to 60 billion pounds ($100.85 billion).
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GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

Brand ambassador Taiwanese actor Kai Ko, left and Amber Kuo step into a Chevrolet Trax urban SUV during the China launch of the car ahead of Auto China 2014 in Beijing, China, Saturday, April 19, 2014. The Trax will go on sale in China starting at RMB 119,900 or $19,300. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)BEIJING (AP) — The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million.



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Lawmakers call for tighter sanctions on Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are calling Sunday for stronger sanctions against Russia
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Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout

Local residents inspect burnt out cars after a night fight at the check point which was under the control of pro-Russian activists in the village of Bulbasika near Slovyansk, Ukraine, Sunday, April 20, 2014. At least one person was killed in the clash. Pro-Russian insurgents defiantly refused to surrender their weapons or give up government buildings in eastern Ukraine, despite a diplomatic accord reached in Geneva and overtures from the government in Kiev. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)BYLBASIVKA, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine and Russia traded blame Sunday for a shootout at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine that left at least three people dead and others with gunshot wounds.



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4 French journalists home after long Syrian ordeal

French President Francois Hollande, third from left, speaks with released French hostages, from left, Didier Francois, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres, at the Villacoublay military airbase, outside Paris, Sunday, April 20, 2014. The four French journalists kidnapped and held for 10 months in Syria returned home on Sunday to joyful families awaiting them. The four were freed by their captives a day earlier at the Turkish border. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)PARIS (AP) — Four French journalists kidnapped and held for 10 months in Syria returned home Sunday to joyful families, a presidential welcome and questions about how France managed to obtain their freedom from Islamic extremists.



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Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects

FILE - In this March 7, 2014 file photo Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md. Perry has spent a record 14 years in office, but with eight months left he is now the focus of a grand jury investigation over a veto last summer. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry has spent a record 14 years in office vanquishing nearly all who dared confront him: political rivals, moms against mandatory vaccines for sixth graders, a coyote in the wrong place at the wrong time.



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Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche

A Buddhist monk performs rituals next to a casket containing the dead body of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, offer prayers at the Sherpa Monastery in Katmandu, Nepal, Sunday, April 20, 2014. Rescuers were searching through piles of snow and ice on the slopes of Mount Everest on Saturday for four Sherpa guides who were buried by an avalanche that killed 12 other Nepalese guides in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak. The Sherpa people are one of the main ethnic groups in Nepal's alpine region, and many make their living as climbing guides on Everest and other Himalayan peaks. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Survivors of Mount Everest's deadliest avalanche recalled scenes of panic and chaos, describing Sunday how they dug through snow with their hands and ice axes in hopes of finding their friends alive.



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Easter morning delivery for space station

This frame grabbed image from NASA-TV Sunday April 20, 2014 shows the SpaceX Dragon resupply capsule approaching the International Space Station. It is expected to be captured by the Canadarm2, left, from the International Space Station later this morning. The pair at the time of this frame grab are traveling over the southern Atlantic Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies.



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Embassy construction fuels protests amid Senegal property boom

By Alec Saelens Protests over the construction of a new Turkish embassy in the Senegalese capital Dakar have highlighted anger in the West African nation over a property boom that is swallowing the coastline and squeezing ordinary people’s budgets. Riot police teargased protesters and arrested 23 people at a demonstration last week alongside a breeze-block wall constructed to house the embassy compound on a picturesque stretch of Dakar’s coast, where luxury villas, hotels and shopping centres have sprung up in recent years. Built on a peninsula reaching into the Atlantic Ocean, the city of three million is growing at breakneck speed, fuelled by migrants from rural Senegal and neighbouring countries. Hemmed in by water on three sides, Dakar’s population is on track to hit five million by 2025, experts say.
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Abdullah’s lead grows in new Afghan vote results

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — New partial results in Afghanistan’s presidential election released Sunday show candidate Abdullah Abdullah is still the front-runner, though a runoff election looks likely.
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Abdullah leads in Afghan presidential vote

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah speaks during an interview in KabulBy Jeremy Laurence KABUL (Reuters) – Former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah has opened a lead in the Afghan presidential race, the latest official tally of votes released on Sunday showed, although half of the votes have yet to be counted. Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission said initial results based on almost 50 percent of the vote out of 34 provinces showed Abdullah in the lead with 44.4 percent, followed by ex-world bank official Ashraf Ghani with 33.2 percent of the votes it said were not fraudulent. "These statistics that we shared with you are partial and are changeable," Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani, chairman of the election commission, told a news conference on Sunday. Final results are due on May 14, and a run-off, if needed will take place in late May. A run-off is seen as a risky proposition in Afghanistan, given high security concerns, the prospect of a low turnout and the cost – the bill for the first round was put at more than $100 million.



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Report: Next Iran nuclear talks to be in New York

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2011 file photo, Iran's heavy water nuclear facility is backdropped by mountains near the central city of Arak, Iran. Iranian state television reported on Saturday, April, 19, 2014 that Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi has said a dispute between world powers and the country over its heavy water reactor at Arak has been “virtually resolved.” Iran and world powers are negotiating the terms of a permanent deal over its contested nuclear program. (AP Photo/ISNA, Hamid Foroutan, File)TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's state news agency is reporting that the next round of expert-level talks over its contested nuclear program will be held in New York.



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Abdullah still ahead in new Afghan vote results

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — New partial results in Afghanistan’s presidential election released Sunday show candidate Abdullah Abdullah is still the front-runner, though a runoff election looks likely.
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Liverpool edge Norwich to close on title

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez (L) celebrates scoring a goal against Norwich City at Carrow Road in Norwich on April 20, 2014Liverpool took another step towards a first league title since 1990 after winning 3-2 at Norwich City on Sunday to pull five points clear in the Premier League. Quick-fire early goals from Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez put the visitors in control at Carrow Road, before Gary Hooper replied for fourth-bottom Norwich in the 54th minute. Sterling appeared to have made the points safe with a deflected shot minutes later, but a late Robert Snodgrass header obliged Liverpool to endure a nervy last 10 minutes. It was Liverpool's 11th consecutive league victory and means that they are guaranteed to qualify for next season's Champions League, but Brendan Rodgers's side now have a bigger prize in their sights.



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Dad of Massachusetts boy found dead plans funeral

Massachusetts State Police stand along Interstate 190 where police said a child's body was found Friday, April 18, 2014, near Sterling, Mass. Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr., said the body has not been positively identified as Jeremiah Oliver, of Fitchburg, but that the height and weight of the body was consistent with Oliver's size. Jeremiah Oliver was last seen by relatives in September 2013 but wasn't reported missing until December. His mother Elsa Oliver and her boyfriend Alberto Sierra are both charged in the case. (AP Photo/Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Tom Rettig)BOSTON (AP) — The father of a missing boy whose body was found off a Massachusetts highway says he was crushed to hear that his 5-year-old son's remains had been identified but is planning his funeral.



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Ferrari’s Alonso: ‘We’re still in the fight’

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain celebrates after finishing the third place at the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, Sunday, April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)SHANGHAI (AP) — Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso said his struggling team is "still in the fight" after he finally got on the podium for the first time this season, finishing third at the Chinese Grand Prix.



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Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation

A local resident closes her eyes during a prayer to wish for safe return of passengers of the sunken ferry Sewol during an annual Easter service in Jindo, South Korea, Sunday, April 20, 2014. After more than three days of frustration and failure, divers on Sunday finally found a way into the submerged ferry off South Korea's southern shore, discovering more than a dozen bodies inside the ship and pushing the confirmed death toll to over four dozen, officials said. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)JINDO, South Korea (AP) — A transcript released Sunday shows the South Korean ferry that sank was crippled with confusion and indecision well after it began listing dangerously, possibly adding to a death toll that is officially at 58 but could eventually exceed 300.



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Search ends for missing on Everest, some Sherpas call for shutdown

Doctor expecting the arrival of the victims of a Mount Everest avalanche standbys near the helipad at Grandi International Hospital in KathmanduBy Gopal Sharma KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Rescuers have given up searching for three sherpa guides missing two days after the deadliest ever accident on Nepal's Mount Everest killed at least 13 and shocked the mountaineering world. It not possible to find the three missing persons, dead or alive," said Lakpa Sherpa, of the Himalayan Rescue Operation, speaking from base camp, the starting point for Everest expeditions. The helicopters used in the search and to ferry bodies from the mountain have been called back to Kathmandu, an army spokesman said. Rescuers brought six bodies from the base camp to Kathmandu at the weekend and have kept them at a sherpa Buddhist monastery in accordance with tradition.



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4-year-old half siblings die in overnight NYC fire

NEW YORK (AP) — Police say 4-year-old half siblings have died in an overnight fire at a home in New York City, and the twin of one of the children has survived.
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Malaysia, Flight 370 relatives talk financial help

In this Thursday, April 17, 2014 photo provided by the Australian Defense Force, the Phoenix International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Artemis is launched from the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield in to the southern Indian Ocean in the search of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Up to 11 aircraft and 12 ships continue to scan the ocean surface for debris from the Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. (AP Photo/Australian Defense Force, Bradley Darvill) EDITORIAL USE ONLYPERTH, Australia (AP) — A Malaysian official met Sunday with relatives of passengers who were aboard the missing jetliner and discussed ways of providing them with financial assistance, as an unmanned submarine continued to search for any signs of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.



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Dealer wanted in US for art fraud nabbed in Spain

MADRID (AP) — A Spanish businessman suspected of having dealt in millions of dollars of fake art has been arrested during Easter festivities in southern Spain, officials said Sunday.
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Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian village

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, center, tours the Christian village of Maaloula, near Damascus, Syria, Sunday April, 20, 2014. Assad visited a historic Christian village his forces recently captured from rebels, state media said, as the country's Greek Orthodox Patriarch vowed that Christians in the war-ravaged country "will not submit and yield" to extremists. The rebels, including fighters from the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front, took Maaloula several times late last year. (AP Photo/SANA)BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's president marked Easter with a tour Sunday of an ancient Christian village recently recaptured by his forces, state media said, as the country's Greek Orthodox Patriarch vowed that country's Christians "will not submit and yield" to extremists.



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Transcript of SKorea ship sinking: ‘We can’t move’

South Korean Coast Guard police officers on a boat check the bodies of passengers believed to have been trapped in the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, April 20, 2014. After more than three days of frustration and failure, divers on Sunday finally found a way into the submerged ferry off South Korea's southern shore, discovering more than a dozen bodies inside the ship and pushing the confirmed death toll to over four dozen, officials said. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)JINDO, South Korea (AP) — The following is a portion of the transcript released Sunday by the South Korean coast guard of the conversation between the ferry that sank Wednesday and the Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center (VTS) on Jindo island. The ferry Sewol issued its distress call to another VTS center before these communications began. The Associated Press translated the transcript from Korean. The names of other ships included in the transcript are omitted at the request of South Korean authorities.



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Ukraine forces accuse Russia of staging shooting

Ukraine’s police and intelligence service accused Russia of staging a fatal shooting incident on Sunday in which pro-Moscow separatists were killed in the east of the country. “Armed lawbreakers and saboteurs who are terrorizing the local population around Slaviansk … have turned to cynical provocation,” the SBU security service said in a statement, describing the incident as a “staged attack”. No group was present “other than the saboteurs and crime figures, supported and armed by officers of Russia’s GRU” military intelligence, the SBU added. The Ukrainian nationalist group Right Sector, blamed by separatists for the shooting, denied involvement and also accused Russian special forces.
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