Slavyansk (Ukraine) (AFP) - US Vice President Joe Biden will begin a two-day visit to Ukraine on Monday, hours after a fragile Easter truce was shattered and pro-Kremlin rebels in the country's east appealed for help from Russian "peacekeepers". Biden's arrival in Kiev comes after a deadly gunfight gunfight killed at least two pro-Russian militants, an incident which sparked "outrage" in Moscow. But the Western-backed authorities in Kiev claimed the violence was a set-up by Russia to create a pretext for it to send in troops. The attack, near the flashpoint town of Slavyansk, undermined an accord worked out in Geneva between Russia, Ukraine and Western powers on Thursday under which "illegal armed groups" were to surrender their weapons.
NEW YORK (AP) ? Joss Whedon is releasing a film he wrote as a $5 digital download, bypassing the normal channels of independent film distribution.
CHICAGO (AP) ? Nene started thinking about how it would all unfold in the middle of the night. No way could he have scripted it any better than this.
MOKPO, South Korea (AP) ? A South Korean prosecutor says four more crewmembers from a sunken ferry have been detained on allegations of failing to protect passengers.
DENVER (AP) ? Tens of thousands of revelers raised joints, pipes and vaporizer devices to the sky Sunday at a central Denver park in a defiant toast to the April 20 pot holiday, a once-underground celebration that stepped into the mainstream in the first state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana.
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The House Republican campaign committee raised almost $10 million in March and has $31.2 million banked to defend the party's majority, according to financial reports filed Sunday.
BOSTON (AP) ? Dustin Pedroia scored from third on left fielder David Lough's throwing error with two outs in the ninth inning, lifting the Boston Red Sox to a 6-5 comback win over Baltimore Orioles on Sunday night.
Jindo (South Korea) (AFP) - Anger flared in South Korea on Monday over fresh indications that the evacuation of a capsized ferry was delayed by panic and indecision, as the death toll from the disaster pushed past 60 with hundreds still missing. "Precious minutes just wasted," ran the front page headline in the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper, in response to a communications transcript released Sunday revealing the confusion as the crew and marine traffic control debated evacuating the sinking vessel.
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) ? With little to celebrate, Nigerians marked Easter Sunday with heightened security against a spreading Islamic uprising, mourning the deaths of at least 75 bomb blast victims and fearful of the fate of 85 abducted schoolgirls.
JINDO, South Korea (AP) ? There are no names listed as relatives huddle around signboards to identify bodies from a sunken ferry. Just the slimmest of clues about mostly young lives now lost. Many favored hoodies and track pants. One girl painted her fingernails red and toenails black. Another had braces on her teeth.
By Ju-min Park JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - The captain of a ferry that sank off South Korea's southwestern tip with hundreds feared dead said in a promotional video four years ago that the journey was safe - as long as passengers followed the instructions of the crew. Captain Lee Joon-seok, 69, and other crew members have been arrested. Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers on a high school outing. Lee made a promotional video in 2010 in which he highlighted the safety of the journey from the port city of Incheon to the holiday island of Jeju.
PERTH, Australia (AP) ? As the search continued off the coast of Australia for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, the airline announced another plane bound for India was forced to make an emergency landing early Monday after one of its tires burst on takeoff.
World number one Rafael Nadal targets a ninth Barcelona Open title this week desperate to prove his shock Monte Carlo Masters quarter-final exit is not a sign of decline. The 13-time Grand Slam champion failed to reach the final of the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time since he was 16 as he was defeated in straight sets by fellow Spaniard David Ferrer. It was his earliest loss in the principality since 2003 and came 12 months after his eight-year winning streak at the event was ended in the final by Novak Djokovic. "I just have to keep working to try to find the solutions in Barcelona.
NEW YORK (AP) ? The Discovery Network is canceling a daredevil's planned jump off the summit of Mount Everest in a wing suit next month following the avalanche that killed at least 13 people on Friday.
By Firas Makdesi MAALOULA, Syria (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday visited an ancient Christian town recaptured from rebels last week, state media said, as he seeks to persuade minorities that the government is their best protection against hardline Islamists. Assad's Easter visit to Maaloula - a rare appearance outside central Damascus - also highlighted growing government confidence in recent gains against insurgents around the capital and along the Lebanese border. Islamist fighters, including some from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, had taken over part of Maaloula in December and held several nuns captive until releasing them in March in a prisoner-exchange deal.
TOKYO (AP) ? Japan's trade deficit surged nearly 70 percent to a record 13.75 trillion yen ($134 billion) in the last fiscal year, the third straight year of deficit, as exports failed to keep pace with surging energy costs.
JINDO, South Korea (AP) ? Divers continued the grim work of recovering bodies from inside a sunken South Korean ferry Monday, securing a new entryway into the wreck, as a newly released transcript showed the ship was crippled by confusion and indecision well after it began listing. The transcript suggests that the chaos may have added to a death toll that could eventually exceed 300.
By Sophie Knight TOKYO (Reuters) - In June 2011, when customers of now-bankrupt bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox agitated for proof that the Tokyo-based firm was still solvent after a hacking attack, CEO Mark Karpeles turned to the comedy science fiction novel "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy". During an online chat, Karpeles moved the equivalent of $170 million in bitcoin at today's market rates - the virtual equivalent of a bank manager flashing a wad of cash in a wallet to establish credit. The gesture - with a sly wink to the "geek" culture Karpeles believed he shared with many of his 50,000 customers at the time, including an interest in coding, Japanese manga comics and science fiction - succeeded. By moving 424,242 bitcoins, Karpeles, then 26, evoked the random number, 42, described as the "meaning of life" in Douglas Adams' sci-fi novel.
By Lionel Laurent PARIS (Reuters) - Mark Karpeles, CEO of failed bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, was a bright child, but a poor student, a lousy communicator and "too conciliatory", allowing others to take advantage of him, his mother Anne said in a telephone interview. Speaking from her home in Switzerland last week, Anne, 57, said Karpeles was a "terrible" student, but was admitted to Mensa, a global society of those with a high IQ, as a teenager. Mt. Gox, at one point last year the world's biggest exchange for the bitcoin digital currency, filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan in late February, blaming hacking of its computer system for the loss of bitcoins worth more than $450 million at today's rates. Recalling Karpeles' early days in Dijon in the Burgundy region of France, his mother said: "Difficult, never.
JINDO, South Korea (AP) ? Divers continued the grim work of recovering bodies from inside a sunken South Korean ferry Monday, as a newly released transcript showed the ship was crippled by confusion and indecision well after it began listing. The transcript suggests that the chaos may have added to a death toll that could eventually exceed 300.
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter never surrendered hope of regaining his freedom, not even after he was convicted of a triple murder, then convicted again and abandoned by many prominent supporters.
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday:
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will meet with Ukraine's acting president, Oleksander Turchinov, and Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk during a visit to Kiev on Tuesday, the White House said on Sunday. Biden arrives in Kiev on Monday afternoon local time. He will meet with members of Ukraine's Rada parliament from different political parties and regions as well as representatives from non-governmental organizations during his two-day stay, the White House said in a statement.
PITTSBURGH (AP) ? Ryan Braun homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.
MIAMI (AP) ? Each of the last two Miami championship runs has been highlighted by moments where a sharpshooter enters a game and immediately provides a surprise spark.
DULUTH, Ga. (AP) ? Miguel Angel Jimenez quickly shifted his focus back to the Ryder Cup after winning his first Champions Tour event.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 50 points on Sunday to lead two-time defending NBA champions Miami to a 99-88 victory over Charlotte in their post-season opener. James made four of the Heat's 11 three-pointers and finished with 27 points and nine rebounds as the Heat seized the advantage in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series. Wade added 23 points and five assists for the Heat, who are trying to become the first club to win three straight NBA titles since the Los Angeles Lakers did it 2000, 2001 and 2002.
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Two members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee called Sunday for beefing up western sanctions against Russia to include its petrochemical and banking industries and warned that Moscow thus far has ignored United States and European efforts to persuade it to back off its confrontation with Ukraine.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) ? Matt Kuchar saw his well-struck 5-iron on the 18th hole at the RBC Heritage come up way short of the target and settle in a front bunker.
Manchester United manager David Moyes maintains that there are positives for the club's fans to cling to despite them being out of contention for the Champions League. Last season's champions suffered an 11th Premier League defeat of the season when they lost 2-0 at Everton on Sunday. United were already guaranteed their worst points tally since the start of the Premier League era in 1992 and the result at Goodison Park means that it is no longer possible for them to finish in the top four. "At Everton there were things that were not that good, but there were things that were good.
NEW YORK (AP) ? Kraft Foods is recalling 96,000 pounds of its Oscar Mayer wieners because they may mistakenly contain cheese.
PALMDALE, Calif. (AP) ? Officials say a 16-year-old Southern California girl asleep in her bed has died after a driver accused of being drunk crashed his SUV into her home.
FAIR OAKS, Calif. (AP) ? Kevin Sharp, a country music singer who recorded multiple chart-topping songs and survived a well-publicized battle with cancer, has died. He was 43.
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the prizefighter whose racially tinged wrongful murder conviction made him a symbol of injustice and a pop culture cause, died on Sunday at the age of 76. Carter, who was convicted twice and imprisoned for 19 years before he was exonerated in 1985, died on Sunday at his home in Toronto, the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC) confirmed. From 1993 to 2005, Carter served as the executive director of the Canadian organization, which said it was "deeply saddened" by the death of "a truly courageous man who fought tirelessly to free others who had suffered the same fate."
BOSTON (AP) ? In many ways, it felt like any other pre-marathon Sunday in Boston.
NEW YORK (AP) ? Some wore their Sunday best in New York's annual Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue, but others simply spruced up their St. Patrick's Day or Halloween outfits.
By Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - Masked youths battled police, protesters burned and hung from lamp-posts effigies of President Nicolas Maduro and marchers demanded the "resurrection" of democracy on a volatile Easter Sunday in Venezuela. Though millions of Venezuelans have headed for Caribbean beaches and family gatherings over the Easter period, student demonstrators have sought to keep a nearly three-month protest movement going with religious-themed demonstrations. "We're staying in the street until we get our country back," student leader Djamil Jassir, 22, told Reuters in a square where protesters displayed dozens of used gas canisters and bullets as symbols of repression. "This is the time to stand firm." Later, several hundred hooded protesters, many wearing Guy Fawkes masks, set up barricades in the eastern Chacao district of Caracas that has been a near-daily battleground during recent unrest in Venezuela since mid-February.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) ? Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says he looks forward to sideline reporter Craig Sager's return and "I promise I'll be nice."
DENVER (AP) ? Once the province of activists and stoners, the traditional pot holiday of April 20 has gone mainstream in the first state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana.
The San Antonio Spurs, led by Tim Duncan's 27 points, rallied for a 90-85 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday to open their NBA playoff series. The Spurs, trying to get back to the NBA finals after falling to the Miami Heat in last year's championship series, trailed 81-71 with 7:45 left to play, but closed the game on a 19-4 scoring run to secure the win. They host game two of the best-of-seven Western Conference set on Wednesday. Duncan added seven rebounds for the Spurs, whose All-Star point guard Tony Parker added 21 points, six assists and four rebounds as San Antonio notched their 10th straight victory over their intra-state rivals.