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Retailer Michaels Stores confirms payment card data breach

A Michaels arts and crafts store is seen in San Diego, California(Reuters) - Michaels Stores Inc, the biggest U.S. arts and crafts retailer, on Friday confirmed that there was a breach of certain systems that process payment cards at its U.S. stores and that of its unit, Aaron Brothers. The company said in January that it was working with federal law enforcement officials to investigate a possible data breach. While the affected systems contained certain payment card information, there was no evidence that those data were at risk, the company said in a statement on Friday. Michaels said it was working with law enforcement authorities, banks and payment processors, and that the malware no longer presents a threat.


Google still a top pick for Wall Street, despite mobile ad challenges

A Google logo is seen at the entrance to the company's offices in TorontoGoogle Inc's disappointing first-quarter results left Wall Street unfazed about the internet giant's ability to come to grips with the shift to the fast-growing mobile advertising market. Google shares were down about 3 percent in early trading on Thursday, and at least 12 brokerages cut their target price on the stock. "Despite an expectations-miss quarter, Google remains one of the best-positioned stocks for many of the secular growth drivers in the Internet space," RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney, who kept his "outperform" rating on the stock, said in a note to clients. Of the 46 analysts covering Google, 35 have a "buy" or equivalent rating on the stock.


Twitter broadens advertising reach through app-install ads

A portrait of the Twitter logo in VenturaBy Gerry Shih SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc took a significant step Thursday towards broaden its advertising business by offering mobile ads urging people to install apps on its social network as well as through MoPub, the mobile-advertising network it acquired last year. As the mobile app economy grows, app developers have been willing to pay increasing amounts to advertise on major sites like Facebook to boost their app downloads. Twitter said Thursday it could reach 1 billion unique mobile devices through its MoPub network, which places ads inside of hundreds of apps. Twitter, which acquired MoPub last year for roughly $350 million, reaches a more limited audience of 240 million users through its own Twitter.com Web site and mobile apps.


SEC's information technology at risk of hacking: report
By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has failed to protect its data network against possible breaches, to encrypt highly sensitive information, or to use strong enough passwords, the Government Accountability Office said on Thursday. In addition to the cybersecurity failings, even the physical security in place to protect SEC data and equipment from being accessed or stolen is lax, a 25-page GAO report said, with workstations located in an area open to all agency staff. The report comes just two days after the SEC issued a nine-page blueprint that put Wall Street firms on notice that they should brace themselves for some tough questions from agency examiners about their cybersecurity policies and practices. "Information security control weaknesses in a key financial system's production environment may jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information residing in and processed by the system," the GAO wrote.
Rockwell Collins looks to join global aircraft tracking task force
(Reuters) - Rockwell Collins Inc, maker of a key communications system for jets, is interested in joining a task force on improving global airline tracking to prevent further disappearances of planes like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, its chief executive said on Thursday. Chief Executive Officer Kelly Ortberg said the avionics supplier had "a lot of value to add" to the task force planned by the International Air Transport Association that will look at ways to track airplanes and make recommendations. The Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared from radar screens on March 8 with 239 people on board. Last year, Rockwell acquired ARINC, a provider of aviation connectivity services including flight planning and high-speed data.
U.S. regulator reasserts goal to restrict AT&T, Verizon in auction

Wheeler and Pai testify before a Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing on the FY2015 budget justification for the FCC, on Capitol Hill in WashingtonFederal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, in a letter to Representative John Barrow, reaffirmed his plans to restrict how much spectrum the biggest U.S. carriers, Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc, could buy in the auction scheduled for mid-2015. Wheeler's letter comes a day after AT&T, the No. 2 wireless provider, threatened to sit out the auction altogether over the regulator's proposed restrictions. The plan is expected to be formally circulated at the FCC later this month and voted on at the May 15 public meeting. The rules would benefit the No. 3 and No. 4 nation-wide carriers Sprint Corp and T-Mobile USA as they would largely restrict Verizon and AT&T, which Wheeler said control some two-thirds of those frequencies across the country.


Record labels sue Pandora over older songs
NEW YORK (AP) — Major record labels are suing Internet radio giant Pandora for copyright infringement for using songs recorded before 1972 without paying license fees.
Aereo CEO speaks on future of company, industry
NEW YORK (AP) — The future of Aereo, an online service that provides over-the-air TV channels, hinges on a battle with broadcasters that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court next week.
Why the Future Belongs to Google -- Part II

Why the Future Belongs to Google -- Part IIAt the moment, Google is hard at work to make our lives easier, more connected and rather enjoyable. This has always been a company with a proclivity towards the human touch to keep its customers smiling.


Amazon Fire TV's voice search expands to cover Hulu Plus and Showtime, but not Netflix

Amazon Fire TV's voice search expands to cover Hulu Plus and Showtime, but not NetflixFire TV came out of the gate with an impressive initial effort, however one of its rough edges is that the voice search is actually quite limited. At launch it could only provide results from Amazon's own movie and TV selections or music videos from Vevo, but the company is already adding new services to the mix. Hulu Plus, Showtime Anytime and Crackle are first up, which is a good list, but it's still missing Netflix.


Time Warner Cable launches Hotspot 2.0: Log in once, then never again

Time Warner Cable launches Hotspot 2.0: Log in once, then never againIt looks like Time Warner Cable just simplified the Wi-Fi hotspot once and for all. Gigaom reports that Time Warner enabled Hotspot 2.0 capabilities across its public Wi-Fi network this week, allowing customers to log in a single time and then remain connected any time their devices pick up a signal in the future. The upgraded software has been available to broadband customers since March, but this marks the first large-scale implementation of the software. The goal is to give Time Warner customers access to the Internet anywhere they go. Not only will customers be able to avoid those pesky login screens, but the connection will be encrypted using WPA2 security. “This was a good opportunity to get a secure connection to our customers,” said VP


Amazon to expand Fire TV's voice search with support for Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime

Amazon to expand Fire TV's voice search with support for Hulu Plus, Crackle, and ShowtimeAmazon announced today that the voice search functionality in its Fire TV media streaming box would soon be expanded to include information from Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime Anytime. Currently, Fire TV's voice search only supports Amazon's own content and music videos from Vevo. The Fire TV's voice search functionality is very impressive — we found it to be faster and more accurate than any other voice recognition service we've used.


This Hack Gives Siri Awesome New Powers

This Hack Gives Siri Awesome New PowersApple's Siri is handy for checking weather and making appointments with voice commands, but what if she was smart enough to turn the lights on or unlock your car? That's what the folks behind GoogolPlex had in mind, as they've developed a unique Siri hack that makes the voice assistant compatible with third-party apps and connected home devices. Devised by a group of University of Pennsylvania freshmen called The Four Loop, GoogolPlex cleverly "spoofs" both Siri and Google into working with other apps on your iPhone.


Facebook rolls out location-sharing feature

This product image provided by Facebook shows the “Nearby Friends" tool. Using your smartphone’s GPS system, it will tell your Facebook friends _ provided they have the feature turned on _ that you are nearby. Rather than share your exact location, though, it will only show that you are in close proximity, say within half a mile. Then, if you want, you can manually share your exact location with a friend you’d like to meet up with, so they can see where you are located in a particular park, airport or city block. (AP Photo/Facebook)NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook users in the U.S. will soon be able to see which of their friends are nearby using a new feature the company is launching on Thursday.


Dropbox bolsters Carousel, eyes collaborative docs with startup purchases

Dropbox bolsters Carousel, eyes collaborative docs with startup purchasesDropbox just debuted its Carousel photo management app last week, and it's already making strides to boost the software's storage chops. Today, the cloud-minded outfit acquired Loom: a photo storage service that became a popular alternative to Everpix and Apple's iCloud Photo Stream. The snapshot organizer provides users with the ability to automatically upload images from multiple sources (or folders) to a single repository, accessible from both mobile devices and a desktop browser.


Disruption of Privacy: Ladar Levison and Lavabit

Disruption of Privacy: Ladar Levison and LavabitIf you haven't heard of Lavabit or Levison, then you've certainly heard of Lavabit's most famous user -- Edward Snowden. America's notorious whistleblower used Lavabit to invite reporters to Moscow, which caught the attention of the Feds.


Twitter Pegs the 'Awesome Meter' -- Site Changes You'll Love and What They Mean

Twitter Pegs the 'Awesome Meter' -- Site Changes You'll Love and What They MeanThese changes will affect not only the aesthetics of the platform, which make it look strangely Facebook-esque, but will also offer some pretty cool added functionalities.


Try on Dummy Google Glass for $50

Try on Dummy Google Glass for $50So why wouldn't you want to try on a pair of Google Glass before spending your hard-earned money on it? Google's making it possible to do just that by offering people who've previously expressed interest in its heads-up display the chance to try out non-functional Glasses. You'll have 10 days to try out dummy Google Glass before having to return the kit to get back your $50 deposit.


Inside Tencent: the Chinese tech giant that's trying to go global

Inside Tencent: the Chinese tech giant that's trying to go globalThe Chinese web giant Tencent is one of the biggest companies in tech thanks to its popular messaging and gaming services, and yet you'd hardly know it outside of China. But that may not be for long: Tencent recently began expanding into new countries, and it's even made some investments in American companies to start making a dent in the US. "Will Tencent join the likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter?" one startup founder backed by Tencent reportedly tells Fast Co. "They already are in that league.


'Frontline: United States of Secrets' promises 'definitive history' of domestic surveillance

'Frontline: United States of Secrets' promises 'definitive history' of domestic surveillanceOver the past two weeks, the Pulitzer and Polk awards have recognized the work of Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and other journalists responsible for bringing Edward Snowden's leaked documents to print. But one of the most high-profile TV reports on US surveillance was an uncritically supportive look from CBS and 60 Minutes. Today, PBS announced plans for a two-part Frontline special called United States of Secrets, which promises the "definitive history" of domestic surveillance since the September 11th attacks. The first part of the series, airing May 13th, is reported by Michael Kirk, who was recently awarded a Polk award for NFL concussion exposé League of Denial.


Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find

In this Feb. 20, 2014 photo, a man walks through a hall at Secret Service offices in Washington. Secret Service investigators say it could take years to identify the hackers who breached Target’s computer systems in December _and even longer to bring them to justice. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)WASHINGTON (AP) — Secret Service investigators say they are close to gaining a full understanding of the methods hackers used to breach Target's computer systems last December.


New poll shows Google’s Glass, robots and self-driving cars are tough sells

New poll shows Google’s Glass, robots and self-driving cars are tough sellsAccording to a recent survey, Americans are excited for futuristic technology that you might see in a sci-fi novel, but are anxious about how we’ll get there. That’s the conclusion from a report from a Pew Research Center released today which asked 1,000 Americans what they thought of various technological advancements. “The American public anticipates that the coming half-century will be a period of profound scientific change, as inventions that were once confined to the realm of science fiction come into common usage,” according to the report. For inventions that are not expected soon, but in the next 50 years, respondents were generally optimistic. 59% said they think technology will improve life in the next half-century, and 81% said they think people who need organ transplants


Yes, Netflix And Hulu Are Starting To Kill Cable

Yes, Netflix And Hulu Are Starting To Kill CableCable companies, you've been put on notice. Cord cutting -- ditching your steep monthly cable or satellite bill and instead watching video online -- is on the rise, according to a new report from Experian Marketing Services. In fact, some young adults may never even pay for cable TV in their lifetimes. The percentage of cord-cutters, which Experian considers people with high-speed Internet who've either never subscribed to or stopped subscribing to cable or satellite, has risen by 44 percent in just three years. In 2013, 6.5 percent of households in the U.S. ...


Scientists are now 3D printing tumors to help them fight cancer

Scientists are now 3D printing tumors to help them fight cancerThe idea of 3D printing living cells offers a veritable launchpad of miracle treatments: we could grow new organs or create new skin for burn victims. There's one idea you may not have considered, however -- printing tumors. Researchers are developing a new process for researching cancer treatments that uses 3D printers to create a better in-lab cervical tumor model.


Researcher finds flaw in Samsung fingerprint check
BERLIN (AP) — A Berlin-based researcher says he has managed to fool the fingerprint-based security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone using wood glue and a picture of the original print.
Facebook Will Now Tell Your 'Friends' When You Are Nearby

Facebook Will Now Tell Your 'Friends' When You Are NearbyFacebook has always been creepy. But now it's allowing you to be creepy, too! The site started rolling out an "optional" new mobile feature Thursday called Nearby Friends, which alerts you when your friends are nearby (and vice versa.) But if you fear weirdos, don't worry: The feature will only load if you opt-in and turn it on. Facebook also lets you decide which of your friends can view your location, and those friends can only do so if they allow you to view them too.


TDK: Built to Record Every Lifestyle

TDK: Built to Record Every LifestyleI recently sat down to chat with TDK Corp executive director, Toshihide ("Toshi") Hokari about the evolution of this blast from the past company. TDK Corp started in Japan as TDK Electronics in 1935 as a manufacturer of cassette tapes and later videotapes, CD-R's, and an extensive collection of recording products. TDK became the largest shareholder in the audio and recording industry. Over the last couple decades while cassettes have disappeared from the market, TDK took a break. ...


Watch a tiny, magnetically powered robot construction crew go to work

Watch a tiny, magnetically powered robot construction crew go to workA robot doesn't have to big, powerful and terrifying to be worthwhile, and many people are working on miniature machines that are just as cool. Some of these endeavors show promise in medicine, but there are plenty of potential uses for microbots, especially when you can persuade a swarm of them to work together. Research outfit SRI reckons tiny automatons have a bright future in manufacturing, thanks to its new method for precisely controlling individuals within a larger group.


Longtime iPhone devotee heaps praise on the Galaxy S5′s camera

Longtime iPhone devotee heaps praise on the Galaxy S5′s cameraiPhone fans are fanatically loyal to their favorite device but they can also give credit where it’s due. iMore writer Allyson Kazmucha, who writes obsessively about how to get the most out of your iPhone and iPad, has conducted a very thorough camera shootout involving the iPhone 5s, the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8). While Kazmucha typically found that the One (M8)’s new camera lagged behind the iPhone 5s’s camera in terms of quality, she couldn’t say the same thing about the Galaxy S5′s camera, which she said was in some ways superior to the iPhone 5s’s. Before we get to her conclusions, we should note that she tested these cameras for a number of different picture scenarios, including low-light


This GIF Will Make You Never Text While Driving Again

This GIF Will Make You Never Text While Driving AgainCan't wait to get home to your loved one so you can give him or her a squeeze? If you're the one behind the wheel, this is yet another reminder: Do. Not. Text. While. Driving. Unlike other poignant distracted driving ads, this PSA that Honda put out on YouTube shows no bloodied victims or totaled cars. Instead, this simple, flirtatious exchange is a conversation anyone can relate to. The message is perhaps most effective in GIF-form: GIF made by Imgur user EndiSky. Honda's ad rolled out in April as part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, an effort by the National


Smartphone Thefts Doubled Last Year While Industry, Cops Bickered

Smartphone Thefts Doubled Last Year While Industry, Cops BickeredThe number of smartphone thefts nearly doubled last year, according to a new survey that suggests the crime is rapidly spreading while industry and law-enforcement officials bicker over a solution.


It's not just you: Terms of Service agreements really are confusing, study finds

It's not just you: Terms of Service agreements really are confusing, study findsYou know that page with a check box you haphazardly agree to on the way to signing up for various online services? The one with the hundreds (or thousands) of words of legal mumbo jumbo? Yeah, we do the same thing -- it's okay. It's because those pages, the Terms of Service, are boring, lengthy, and probably meaningless. Right? Right?!


NASA's Kepler program discovers the most Earth-like planet yet

NASA's Kepler program discovers the most Earth-like planet yetThe search for planets that closely resemble Earth has yielded perhaps the closest match yet — according to a new report from NASA, the newly-discovered Kepler 186f planet (seen above in an artist's concept) is nearly identical to our planet in some key ways. The planet is one of the closest in size to Earth that has been discovered, and it is also the right distance from its sun to be in the "habitable zone" — a distance that makes it possible for liquid water to pool on the surface of the planet. While other Earth-like planets have been found, they've either been too hot or significantly larger than our planet — but Kepler 186f is only 10 percent bigger than Earth. And its 130-day orbit around its M dwarf sun (a star significantly smaller than our G Dwarf sun) suggests that it'll be in the right range to potentially support liquid water.


Video: Orange is the New Black returns to Netflix with even angrier cellmates

Video: Orange is the New Black returns to Netflix with even angrier cellmatesOne of the biggest surprises of 2013 was Orange is the New Black, a Netflix original series that lacked the star power of House of Cards, but made up for it with incredible writing, performances and an ending that left viewers speechless. After an 11 month hiatus, the prison drama will return to Netflix on June 6th with 13 new episodes, and as usual, all the episodes will be released simultaneously. Netflix debuted the first trailer for season 2 on Thursday, welcoming back a vast majority of the cast from the first season, along with a few new faces. Watch the premiere trailer for the second season of Orange is the New Black below.


Entrepreneurship and Women: How We Can and Should Make "Female" an Unnecessary Adjective
Every business publication I pick up these days seems to feature stories about discrimination against women in the technology world. I have even been on the receiving end of this high profile press with a recent female entrepreneur spotlight piece in the the New York Times. The article was overwhelmingly positive. However, the intense scrutiny and attention paid to female entrepreneurs started making me feel uncomfortable and got me thinking -- you never see a male entrepreneur spotlight. ...
Tor's anonymity network may have to shrink to fight the Heartbleed bug

Tor's anonymity network may have to shrink to fight the Heartbleed bugBad news if you're relying on the Tor network to evade surveillance or otherwise remain anonymous: you're not immune from the Heartbleed bug, either. Key developer Roger Dingledine warns that some Tor nodes are running encryption software that's vulnerable ...



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Obama on health law: 'This thing is working'

President Barack Obama speaks about health care, Thursday, April 17, 2014, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. The president said eight million have signed up for health insurance under Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)New enrollment figures beat expectations, boost Democrats defending law ahead of midterms.


Judge in gay marriage case asks pointed questions

Plaintiffs challenging Oklahoma's gay marriage ban arrive in court following a hearing at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Thursday, April 17, 2014. They are, left to right, Dr. Gay Phillips, her partner Sue Barton, Sharon Baldwin and her partner Mary Bishop. The court is to decide whether to overturn a federal judge's decision to strike down. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)DENVER (AP) — A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.


On Politics: Democrats hark back to the politics of race

Rep. Steve IsraelSo now it's out there. After five years of studied reticence, Democratic leaders in Washington finally went public last week with what they really think is motivating Republican opposition to Barack Obama. As Steve Israel, one of the top Democrats in Congress said the Republican base, "to a significant extent," is "animated by racism."


Space first: NASA finds 'Earth cousin' that may sustain life

Found! First Earth-Size Planet That Could Support LifeFor the first time, scientists have discovered an Earth-sized alien planet in the habitable zone of its host star, an "Earth cousin" that just might have liquid water and the right conditions for life. The newfound planet, called Kepler-186f, was first spotted by NASA's Kepler space telescope and circles a dim red dwarf star about 490 light-years from Earth. "One of the things we've been looking for is maybe an Earth twin, which is an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a sunlike star," Tom Barclay, Kepler scientist and co-author of the new exoplanet research, told Space.com.


Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

File photo of Garcia Marquez standing outside his house on his 87th birthday in Mexico CityMEXICO CITY (AP) — A person close to the family has confirmed reports that that Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died. He was 87.


Two reasons why Iran is moving fast to comply with nuclear deal

Journalists pose and take pictures with a smartphone on the podium of a news conference room in ViennaWith little fanfare, Iran has taken faster steps than required to comply with an interim nuclear deal that substantially limits its capacity to make a nuclear weapon. Today, the United Nations nuclear watchdog reported that Iran has significantly reduced its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium – the material that is a few technical steps from bomb-grade – and is ahead of schedule to completely dispose of remaining stocks by mid-July. Iran has two incentives to move quickly on the terms of the deal, which took force on Jan. 20. It is eager to show it can abide by all its nuclear commitments, as Iran and world powers begin drafting a comprehensive nuclear deal after three rounds of talks, with a fourth due to begin on May 13.


Tiny antenna, big debate: Tech firm takes fight to the Supreme Court

Aereo founder Chet Kanojia tells his company's story to Yahoo News anchor Katie Couric.


Comfort dogs return to Boston for marathon weekend

Comfort dogs return to BostonThe golden retrievers, which gained attention after the Newtown massacre, are headed to Boston to distract those still coping with memories of the 2013 marathon bombings.


Kerry on Ukraine talks: 'Good days work'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for a bilateral meeting to discuss the ongoing situation in Ukraine as diplomats from the U.S., Ukraine, Russia and the European Union gather for discussions in Geneva Thursday, April 17, 2014. Ukraine is hoping to placate Russia and calm hostilities with its neighbor even as the U.S. prepares a new round of sanctions to punish Moscow for what it regards as fomenting unrest. (AP Photo/Jim Bourg, Pool)Diplomats from Russia, U.S., EU and Ukraine agree to steps aimed at de-escalating violence.


Evacuation came too late for many on sinking ferry

Relatives of a passenger aboard a sunken ferry weep as they wait for news on the rescue operation, at a port in Jindo, South Korea, Thursday, April 17, 2014. Strong currents, rain and bad visibility hampered an increasingly anxious search Thursday for more than 280 passengers still missing a day after their ferry flipped onto its side and sank in cold waters off the southern coast of South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)Crew member says responders focused on stabilizing the vessel, delaying passenger evacuation.


Salsa great Cheo Feliciano dies in car crash

File picture shows Puerto Rican salsa singer Jose "Cheo" Feliciano performing in San JuanSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rican salsa legend Cheo Feliciano died in a car accident early Thursday, prompting the governor of the U.S. territory to declare three days of mourning.


Diplomats eye joint statement on Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia for a bilateral meeting to discuss the ongoing situation in Ukraine as diplomats from the United States, Ukraine, Russia and the European Union gather for discussions in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, April 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Jim Bourg, Pool)Obama administration says talks aren’t expected to stifle new U.S. penalties for Russia.


Deal reached to calm Ukraine tensions

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for a bilateral meeting to discuss the ongoing situation in Ukraine as diplomats from the U.S., Ukraine, Russia and the European Union gather for discussions in Geneva Thursday, April 17, 2014. Ukraine is hoping to placate Russia and calm hostilities with its neighbor even as the U.S. prepares a new round of sanctions to punish Moscow for what it regards as fomenting unrest. (AP Photo/Jim Bourg, Pool)The U.S., European Union, Ukraine and Russia will work to ensure that people's rights are protected.


Man's tweets gave world front-row view of Boston Marathon firefight

Andrew Kitzenberg (Essdras M Suarez/Getty)It wasn’t until an explosion occurred a few minutes into the firefight that Andrew Kitzenberg realized he was witnessing the beginning of the end in the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.


Four-way talks call for end to Ukraine violence

Pro-Russian protester seats at barricades at the police headquarters in SlavianskBy Arshad Mohammed and Alexei Anishchuk GENEVA/MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union called after crisis talks on Thursday for an immediate halt to violence in Ukraine, where Western powers believe Russia is fomenting a pro-Russian separatist movement. President Barack Obama said the meeting in Geneva between Russia and western powers was promising but that the United States and its allies were prepared to impose more sanctions on Russia if the situation fails to improve. Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking in Moscow, accused Ukraine's leaders of committing a "grave crime" by using the army to try to quell unrest in the east of the country, and did not rule out sending in Russian troops.


Hundreds still missing in Korea ferry accident

Rescue boats sail around the South Korean passenger ship "Sewol" which sank, during their rescue operation in the sea off JindoRescuers fought rising winds and strong waves as they searched for 287 missing passengers.


Blast on site of explosives plants kills 1

This frame grab from video provided by WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tenn., shows some of the area of an explosion and fire, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at a property where several ammunition and explosives plants are based, in McEwen, Tenn. At least one person has died, and at least three people have been injured. (AP Photo/WSMV-TV)NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An explosion and fire at a Tennessee plant where several ammunition and explosives businesses are based killed one person and left three others injured.


Firetruck rams California eatery; 15 injured

Firefighters and other officials work the scene of an accident where two firetrucks answering a call collided en route to a fire Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in Monterrey Park, Calif. The collision sent one firetruck careening into a restaurant, leaving 14 people, including several firefighters, injured. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) — Two firetrucks heading to a burning home collided Wednesday in a Los Angeles suburb, sending one careening into a restaurant and injuring 15 people, including six firefighters.


Chelsea Clinton expecting 1st child

File of Chelsea Clinton arriving with husband Marc Mezvinsky at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit in New YorkWASHINGTON (AP) — Call it the year of the baby: Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, are expecting their first child later this year.


Ukrainian unity on display with peaceful rallies

A Ukrainian soldier is seen in a tank of the Ukrainian Army, as they are blocked by people on their way to the town of Kramatorsk on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Pro-Russian insurgents commandeered six Ukrainian armored vehicles along with their crews and hoisted Russian flags over them Wednesday, dampening the central government's hopes of re-establishing control over restive eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian unity was on display Thursday night as peaceful demonstrations were held in at least four eastern cities condemning Russia for its perceived meddling in Ukrainian affairs.


Confused, chaotic scene described on sinking ferry

South Korean rescue team members prepare to search for passengers of a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast, in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, April 17, 2014. Fears rose Thursday for the fate of more than 280 passengers still missing more than 24 hours after their ferry flipped onto its side and filled with water off the southern coast of South Korea. (AP Photo/Yonhap) KOREA OUTMOKPO, 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.


Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87

FILE - In this March 3, 2000 file photo, Cuba's leader Fidel Castro, left, and Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez speak during a dinner at the annual cigar festival in Havana, Cuba. Marquez died on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at his home in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Jose Goitia, File)MEXICO CITY (AP) — Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel laureate whose novels and short stories exposed tens of millions of readers to Latin America's passion, superstition, violence and inequality, died at home in Mexico City around midday Thursday, according to people close to his family. He was 87.


Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

This artist's rendering provided by NASA on Thursday, April 17, 2014 shows an Earth-sized planet dubbed Kepler-186f orbiting a star 500 light-years from Earth. Astronomers say the planet may hold water on its surface and is the best candidate yet of a habitable planet in the ongoing search for an Earth twin. (AP Photo/NASA Ames, SETI Institute, JPL-Caltech, T. Pyle)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected — a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.


Pope washes feet of elderly, disabled in rite

Pope Francis kneels to wash the foot of a man at the Don Gnocchi Foundation Center in Rome, Thursday, April 17, 2014. The Pontiff has washed the feet of 12 elderly and disabled people — women and non-Catholics among them — in a pre-Easter ritual designed to show his willingness to serve like a "slave." Francis' decision in 2013 to perform the Holy Thursday ritual on women and Muslim inmates at a juvenile detention center just two weeks after his election helped define his rule-breaking papacy. It riled traditionalist Catholics, who pointed to the Vatican's own regulations that the ritual be performed only on men since Jesus' 12 apostles were men. The 2014 edition brought Francis to a center for the elderly and disabled Thursday. Francis kneeled down, washed, dried and kissed the feet of a dozen people, some in wheelchairs. He said the ritual is a gesture of "a slave's service." (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)ROME (AP) — Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 disabled and elderly people Thursday — women and non-Catholics among them — in a pre-Easter ritual designed to show his willingness to serve others like a "slave."


Iranian woman forgives son's killer at the gallows

This picture provided by ISNA, a semi-official news agency, taken on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 shows Samereh Alinejad, right, and her husband Abdolghani, left, removing the noose from the neck of blindfolded Bilal who was convicted of murdering their son Abdollah in the northern city of Nour, Iran. Bilal who was convicted of killing Abdollah Hosseinzadeh, was pardoned by the victim's family moments before being executed. (AP Photo/ISNA, Arash Khamoushi)The execution of an Iranian convicted of murder was halted at the very last minute in a dramatic scene this week when the mother of his victim forgave him as he stood on the gallows with the noose around his neck, according to Iranian media.


Dirty creek, old purse solve four-decade mystery

In this September 2013 photo provided by the South Dakota Attorney Generals Office a 1960 Studebaker lies upside-down where it was found by a fisherman in Brule Creek near Alcester, S.D. On April 15, 2014 authorities said the remains of Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson had been found in the car near a gravel pit the girls had been headed to in 1971 to celebrate the end of the school year with classmates. (AP Photo/South Dakota Attorney Generals Office)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.


Facebook rolls out location-sharing feature

This product image provided by Facebook shows the “Nearby Friends" tool. Using your smartphone’s GPS system, it will tell your Facebook friends _ provided they have the feature turned on _ that you are nearby. Rather than share your exact location, though, it will only show that you are in close proximity, say within half a mile. Then, if you want, you can manually share your exact location with a friend you’d like to meet up with, so they can see where you are located in a particular park, airport or city block. (AP Photo/Facebook)NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook users in the U.S. will soon be able to see which of their friends are nearby using a new feature the company is launching on Thursday.


President defending health law good for some Dems

President Barack Obama speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 17, 2014. The president spoke about health care overhaul and the situation in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's full-throated defense of his health care overhaul seems perfectly timed for Democrats who want their party to embrace the law more enthusiastically.


Ex-official leaves huge debt for California city

Robert Rizzo, left, leaves court after being sentenced, Wednesday April 16, 2014 in Los Angeles. Rizzo, the former city manager of Bell, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison and ordered to make restitution of $8.8 million in a corruption scheme that nearly bankrupted the small, blue-collar city. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former city official who became a symbol of municipal greed was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison — less than half the time it will take the nearly bankrupt Los Angeles suburb of Bell to dig itself out of the estimated $150 million in debt he left behind.


Students trapped in sinking ferry send heartbreaking texts

A rescued passenger from a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast, is carried by police and rescue teams on his arrival at Jindo port in Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Dozens of rescue boats and helicopters are scrambling to save more than 470 people, including many high school students, caught on a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast, officials said. There are no immediate reports of causalities. (AP Photo/Park Chul-heung, Yonhap) KOREA OUTMessages to parents offer glimpse into desperate situation aboard sinking S. Korean ferry.


Experts say video doesn't show Earhart wreckage

FILE - In this undated file photo, Amelia Earhart stands next to a Lockheed Electra 10E, before her last flight in 1937 from Oakland, Calif., bound for Honolulu on the first leg of her record-setting attempt to circumnavigate the world westward along the Equator. American aviator Earhart’s disappearance in 1937 is among aviation’s most enduring mysteries. Earhart, the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean, vanished over the Pacific with Fred Noonan during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Seven decades later, people are still transfixed with the mystery. Theories range from her simply running out of fuel and crashing to her staging her own disappearance and secretly returning to the U.S. to live under another identity. (AP Photo/File)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.


Orange and black ribbon holds clue to eastern Ukraine's chaos

A ribbon of St. George is seen on a pram as people queue to apply for Russian passports at a passport office in the Crimean port of SevastopolAs pro-Russia protests spread in eastern Ukraine, a strip of striped orange-and-black fabric has become as ubiquitous as the armed men in unmarked military fatigues. Its name is the Ribbon of Saint George. Imbued with history, it’s a powerful symbol in the ongoing information battle over Ukraine. For Russians it's a mark of allegiance to the state – both the fearsome, expansionist Russian state of old and its modern successor under President Vladimir Putin.


Lab loses vials containing SARS virus, raising security concerns

French Lab Loses SARS VialsVials Containing SARS Fragments Not Dangerous, But Hint at Vulnerability


Nigerian military: Most of more than 100 abducted schoolgirls freed

Women and children cram into a car's trunk as villagers flee the village of Jakana, outside Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria, on March 6, 2014Still searching for eight students abducted by anti-education Islamist militants.


What's on the new 'real world' SAT?

New SAT Questions Coming in 2016Sample questions from the redesigned college entrance exam released.


Chelsea Clinton: I might run for office someday

Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation Chelsea Clinton speaks during a student conference for the Clinton Global Initiative University, Saturday, March 22, 2014, at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. More than 1,000 college students are gathered at Arizona State University this weekend as part of the Clinton Global Initiative University's efforts to advance solutions to pressing world challenges. (AP Photo/Matt York)NEW YORK (AP) — Chelsea Clinton says she's happy right now with her elected representatives — but might come for their jobs if that changes.


Separatists take armor from Ukraine forces

An armed man stands guard in SlavianskPro-Russian separatists humiliated a Kiev government operation to recapture eastern towns.


Families face agonizing wait after South Korea ferry disaster

Family members of missing passengers who were on the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank in the sea off Jindo wait for a rescue team's arrival at a port where family members of missing passengers gathered in JindoBy Narae Kim JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - For the parents of the many teenagers still missing after the Sewol ferry capsized off the coast of South Korea, the wait for news - good or bad - is almost unbearable. Park Seong-ho, father of a 17-year-old boy on board the ferry, but who had not been in contact, said: "I have to go now.


Lawyer: Family issues key in Boston suspect's defense

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, suspect #2 in the Boston Marathon explosion is pictured in this undated FBI handout photoBOSTON (AP) — Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said Wednesday that understanding Tsarnaev's family is key to their case, offering a glimpse of the defense strategy as they prepare to defend him against charges that carry the possibility of the death penalty.


Protector of Congo gorillas and endangered animals seriously wounded

Emmanuel de Merode, Virunga National Park director and chief wardenDAKAR, Senegal (AP) — A Belgian royal who, as director of a vast national park in eastern Congo has defended endangered mountain gorillas and other animals from poachers and the forests from illegal logging, was shot and seriously wounded as he drove through the park, officials said Wednesday.



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