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Obama opens Japan trip at famous sushi restaurant

President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands before having dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro sushi restaurant in Tokyo, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Opening a four-country swing through the Asia-Pacific region, Obama is aiming to promote the U.S. as a committed economic, military and political partner, but the West's dispute with Russia over Ukraine threatens to cast a shadow over the president's sales mission. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) TOKYO (AP) — President Barack Obama on Wednesday opened a four-country Asia tour aimed at reassuring allies in the region that the U.S. remains a committed economic, military and political partner that can serve as a counterweight to China's growing influence.


Memorial for S. Korea ferry victims opens in Ansan

A mourner weeps as he pays tribute to the victims of the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast at a gymnasium, in Ansan, South Korea, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. 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. (AP Photo/Korea Pool) KOREA OUT The city south of Seoul has taken the brunt of the pain from the ferry sinking last week that left 302 people dead or missing.


Pro-Russian insurgents hold U.S. journalist captive

In this photo taken on Sunday, April 13, 2014, a reporter Simon Ostrovsky, right, stands next to a Pro-Russian gunman at a seized police station in the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk. Pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Ukraine say they are holding an American journalist captive. Ostrovsky, a journalist for Vice News, has not been seen since early Tuesday. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) Gunmen say Simon Ostrovsky, a journalist for Vice News, was suspected of unspecified "bad activities."


Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt

In this map provided on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, by the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, details are presented in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the southern Indian Ocean. The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet will likely soon deploy more powerful sonar equipment that can delve deeper as the current search of the most likely crash site in the Indian Ocean has failed to yield any clues, Australia's defense minister said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Joint Agency Coordination Centre) EDITORIAL USE ONLY Unidentified material is being examined for any link to the lost Malaysian plane.


Russia threatens response if interests attacked in Ukraine

A pro-Russian armed man stands guard near the state security service building in Slaviansk Slavyansk (Ukraine) (AFP) - Russia issued a blunt warning Wednesday it would respond if its interests are attacked in Ukraine, as pro-Kremlin rebels in the restive east of the country braced for a new military offensive by Kiev. The threat by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, recalling the 2008 war with Georgia over South Ossetia, came as US troops were headed to region in a show of force after Washington again warned Moscow of new sanctions over the escalating crisis.


Judge to mull Chelsea Manning name change request

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning outside a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md. Serving a 35-year sentence for passing classified U.S. government information, Chelsea Manning's petition to legally change her name from Bradley will be considered.


Dead Ukraine politician faced hostile mob, video shows

Photos of the day - February 21, 2014 The Ukrainian town councilor whose apparent torture and murder helped to prompt a new government offensive in the east was mobbed by a hostile, pro-Russian crowd before he disappeared, a video of the incident shows. The footage from Thursday on local news site gorlovka.ua shows angry scenes outside the town hall of Horlivka, between the separatist flashpoint cities of Donetsk and Slaviansk, as councilor Volodymyr Rybak is manhandled by several men, among them a masked man in camouflage, while other people hurl abuse. Ukraine's Interior Ministry said he was seen being bundled into a car by masked men in camouflage later that day. His body was found on Saturday near Slaviansk.


Michigan man among 1st in US to get 'bionic eye'

Dr. Thiran Jayasundera, left, looks at Roger Pontz’s left eye ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision.


Gacy case helps solve unrelated death

FILE - This 1978 file photo shows serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The case of John Wayne Gacy has helped authorities solve another slaying, one that he didn’t commit. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is scheduled to announce Wednesday, April 23, 2014, they have identified the remains found in a forest preserve in 2008 as those of 22-year-old Edward Beaudion of Chicago. Beaudion was identified after his relatives came forward to submit DNA samples as part of the effort to identify several of Gacy’s 1970s victims. Authorities believe Missouri resident Jerry Jackson killed Beaudion in 1978. But without a body at the time, they never charged him. Jackson died last year at age 62. (AP Photo/File) Four decades later, the killer's case is helping authorities solve another murder — one he didn't commit.


Justin Bieber apologizes for Japan war shrine trip

FILE - In this March 19, 2013 file photo, Justin Bieber performs during a concert at Bercy Arena in Paris. Bieber has apologized to those he offended by visiting Japan's Yasukuni war shrine the week of April 20, 2014, saying he was misled to see it as only a place of prayer. The Shinto shrine in Tokyo honors 2.5 million war dead, including 14 convicted war criminals. China and South Korea in particular see Yasukuni as a symbol of Japan's past militarism and see visits to it as a lack of understanding or remorse over wartime history. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File) TOKYO (AP) — Justin Bieber apologized Wednesday to those he offended by visiting Japan's Yasukuni war shrine this week, saying he was misled to see it as only a place of prayer.


Obama opens 4-country, Asia-Pacific trip in Tokyo

Obama's journey East tests delicate Asian alliances TOKYO (AP) — Opening a four-country swing through the Asia-Pacific region, President Barack Obama is aiming to promote the U.S. as a committed economic, military and political partner, but the West's dispute with Russia over Ukraine threatens to cast a shadow over the president's sales mission.


S. Korea ferry turned further than ordered, professor says

Divers look for people believed to have been trapped in the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The grim work of recovering bodies from the submerged South Korea ferry proceeded rapidly Wednesday, with the official death toll reaching over 140, though a government official said divers must now rip through cabin walls to retrieve more victims. (AP Photo/Yonhap) KOREA OUT A maritime professor who spoke with the third mate who was steering the South Korean ferry before it sank said Wednesday that he suspects there was a problem with the steering gear.


9 indicted in kidnapping of NC prosecutor's father

FILE - In this undated file photo provided by Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification, Kelvin Melton is shown. A North Carolina prosecutor was the intended target of an elaborate kidnapping plot, but the kidnappers looked up the wrong address on the Internet and abducted the prosecutor's father instead, according to an indictment released Tuesday, April 22, 2014. Authorities have said the kidnapping was retaliation for Colleen Janssen's prosecution of Melton for his involvement in a 2011 shooting. Melton, a high-ranking member of the Bloods gang, orchestrated the abduction from behind bars using a cellphone, the indictment said. (AP Photo/Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification, File) 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.


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.

Pujols 1st to hit HRs No. 499, 500 in same game

Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols (5) steps out of the visitors' dugout to acknowledge the applause from the crowd after hitting his career 500th home run, off Washington Nationals' Taylor Jordan in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Washington, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) WASHINGTON (AP) — Albert Pujols smiled as he explained why he felt the need to apologize to his wife for hitting homer No. 500 so quickly after No. 499.


Oregon police: Man stalked women with 'moveable dungeon'

In this combo made from photos taken Jan. 21, 2014, left, and Nov. 6, 2013, and supplied by the Clackamas County Sheriff's office shows Kelly Vern Swodoba. A grand jury transcript released Monday, April 21, 2014, reveals that Swodoba, killed last month in a gunfight with Portland police, had stalked over a dozen girls, rating them by number, and prepared his van as a "moveable dungeon'' or "torture chamber'' with chains mounted to the floor, ropes, zip ties, a box of latex gloves, and teen pornography. (AP Photo/Clackamas County Sheriff) PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say a man fatally shot by a Portland officer last month had been stalking young women in a van that he converted into a "moveable dungeon" with chains and handcuffs after one of his victims managed to escape from it in January.


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.

Teen stowaway undetected for hours before departure

A plane takes off at Mineta San Jose International Airport, Monday, April 21, 2014, in San Jose, Calif. A 15-year-old boy scrambled over a fence at the airport, crossed a tarmac and climbed into a jetliner's wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii, Sunday. FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu said the teen did not remember the flight from San Jose. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) The boy went unnoticed for seven hours in a highly secure area, officials say.


Brazilian Congress passes Internet bill of rights

Rousseff speaks during an inauguration ceremony for new ministers at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia By Anthony Boadle BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's Senate unanimously approved groundbreaking legislation on Tuesday that guarantees equal access to the Internet and protects the privacy of Brazilian users in the wake of U.S. spying revelations. President Dilma Rousseff, who was the target of U.S. espionage according to documents leaked by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden, plans to sign the bill into law. The legislation, dubbed Brazil's "Internet Constitution," has been hailed by experts, such as the British physicist and World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, for balancing the rights and duties of users, governments and corporations while ensuring the Internet continues to be an open and decentralized network. To guarantee passage of the bill, Rousseff´s government had to drop a contentious provision that would have forced global Internet companies to store data on their Brazilian users on data center servers inside the country.


NYPD's Twitter PR campaign backfires badly

People walk by a New York City police officer in Times Square, on August 12, 2013 New York police Tuesday were eating extra helpings of humble pie after asking people to post images of themselves and NYPD officers on Twitter -- only to face a deluge of pictures of alleged police brutality. "Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? It may be featured on our Facebook," the department posted on its NYPD News Twitter feed, hoping to fuel a feel-good, low-cost public relations campaign.


Sotomayor: Justices 'fundamentally misunderstand' racial bias

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor First Hispanic Supreme Court judge issues sharp dissent in affirmative action case.


JetBlue pilots overwhelmingly vote 'yes' to join union

File photo of a passenger walking past a JetBlue advertisement at Logan International Airport in Boston (Reuters) - JetBlue Airways Corp pilots voted by a wide margin on Tuesday to join the Air Line Pilots Association union, sending the budget carrier's stock price down on concerns the move would raise the airline's costs. About 71 percent of the pilots eligible to vote in the month-long election backed ALPA. JetBlue has about 2,600 pilots and 96 percent were eligible to vote. The vote marked the first successful union drive by a group of workers at JetBlue.


Obama takes in mudslide's brutal aftermath

Marine One helicopter, carrying President Barack Obama, takes an aerial tour of Oso, Wash., Tuesday, April 22, 2014, above the site of the deadly mudslide that struck the community in March. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) President meets grieving families and workers still searching site where dozens died.


Justices appear conflicted over Aereo TV copyright fight

Aereo antenna array WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices appeared unsure on Tuesday whether to rule against online TV startup Aereo Inc in a major copyright case, with several raising concerns about how a ruling in favor of broadcast networks could affect increasingly popular cloud computing services. Aereo, backed by media mogul Barry Diller, could be forced to shut down if the high court rules for the four major television broadcasters, who say the service violates copyright law. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)


IRS workers who owe back taxes awarded $1 million in bonuses

A general view of the Internal Revenue Service Building in Washington WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service has paid more than $2.8 million in bonuses to employees with recent disciplinary problems, including $1 million to workers who owed back taxes, a government investigator said Tuesday.


Brazil conference will plot Internet's future post NSA spying

NSA data gathering facility in Bluffdale, south of Salt Lake City, Utah By Esteban Israel and Anthony Boadle SAO PAULO/BRASILIA (Reuters) - A global conference in Brazil on the future of the Internet in the wake of U.S. spying revelations might be much less anti-American than first thought after Washington said it was willing to loosen its control over the Web. Bowing to the demands of Brazil and other nations following revelations last year of its massive electronic surveillance of Internet users, the United States has agreed to relinquish oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned of Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit group based in California that assigns Internet domain names or addresses. "The focus has changed from a political reaction to the NSA allegations to one of more constructive criticism and talk about the future of the Internet," said William Beer, a cyber security expert based in Sao Paulo.


Family has unpublished Gabriel Garcia Marquez manuscript

Residents walk next to a poster of Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, before a symbolic public funeral held for Garcia Marquez, in Aracataca MEXICO CITY (AP) — Novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez left behind an unpublished manuscript that he chose not to print while he was alive, an editor told The Associated Press on Tuesday as the writer's compatriots held a musical tribute to him in his native Colombia.


Kerry: Cold War diplomacy was ‘easier’

Secretary of State John Kerry, accompanied by Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, announces the launch of second Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review during a speech at the State Department in Washington, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Secretary of State feels "bipolar world" made American diplomacy a less high-wire affair.


Opposition: South Africa's ruling ANC giving away mattresses for votes

A man waves an ANC flag as supporters of the ruling party take part in a protest on March 26, 2014, in Cape Town South Africa's government corruption watchdog is looking into an allegation that the ruling ANC party handed out state-paid mattresses in election campaigns ahead of general polls on May 7, a spokesman said Tuesday. Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is planning a meeting with the country's social security agency after a complaint from new opposition party AgangSA. "AgangSA complained that mattresses were distributed in Valhalla in Cape Town allegedly as part of the ruling party's election campaign," her spokesman Oupa Segalwe told AFP.


Life in solitary: The prison within the prison

'Solitary Nation' Filmmaker Dan Edge takes a look inside the brutal isolation unit at Maine State Prison for PBS' "Frontline."


High court upholds Mich. affirmative action ban

FILE - In this June 27, 2012 file photo, an American flag flies in front of the Supreme Court in Washington. DNA may be the building blocks of life, but can something taken from it be the building blocks of a multimillion-dollar medical monopoly? The Supreme Court will grapple with that question Monday, April 15, 2013, as it delves into an issue that could reshape medical research in the United States, in the fight against diseases like breast and ovarian cancer, and the billion-dollar medical and biotechnology business: Can human genes be patented? The court's decision could have a wide-ranging effect. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Michigan's ban on using race as a factor in college admissions.


Violent death of Ukraine politician tests accord

Masked pro-Russia protesters burn campaign material of Yulia Tymoshenko outside a regional government building in Donetsk Ukraine's acting president calls for an anti-terrorist operation to be relaunched in the east of the country.


AT&T partners with Chernin Group in online video venture

An At&T logo is seen atop a store in Beverly Hills, California By Marina Lopes NEW YORK (Reuters) - AT&T Inc said Tuesday it would partner with The Chernin Group media holding company to invest $500 million in a joint venture for web-based video services, making it the latest company aiming to tap the growing consumer demand for online video. The move follows announcements by Verizon Communications, Disney and Dish Network Corp which have plans to roll out video products outside a traditional TV subscription. Chernin Group, former News Corp president Peter Chernin's holding company, produces films and TV shows, and has a stake in Crunchyroll, a subscription and video-on-demand service. "AT&T's massive reach on those platforms across mobile and broadband and their commitment to the online video space make them the perfect fit for this venture with us," Chernin said.


Five things you (probably) don't know about Earth Day

NASA handout image shows the distant blue Earth above the Moon's limb Earth Day turns 44 on Tuesday, and it's more popular than ever. One might suspect the holiday was created by eco-warriors in tie-dyed shirts and leather-fringe vests. Not so. Read on for a collection of facts you (probably) didn't know about Earth Day.


Netflix hints at plans to launch in more European markets

Netflix is planning its launch in more Europe countries. After several months of rumors and reports of setbacks due to local regulations, plans to launch in France and Germany were indirectly confirmed by a Netflix executive. On an investor's call regarding Netflix's quarterly financial results, the company's Chief Content Officer and Vice President Ted Sarandos was questioned by JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth on whether Netflix would consider launching in new markets, "for example, France and Germany," if the company did not have the rights to all of its original content there. "And we will also have shows that we are premiering in France and Germany and other markets around Europe that we won't necessarily have in the United States." Rumors suggest that Netflix could arrive in the two countries as soon as this fall.


Netflix price hikes seen boosting global expansion

A Netflix App icon is shown on an ipad in Encinitas (Reuters) - Netflix Inc's planned price hikes will allow it to spend more to produce more original content that will help it attract more customers globally, analysts said, as many of them raised their price targets on the stock. Netflix's shares rose more than 9 percent in early trading on Tuesday after the company unveiled plans to increase prices and reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. At least seven brokerages raised their price targets on the stock. Raymond James and Cantor Fitzgerald upgraded the stock to their equivalent of a "buy" rating, citing strong growth prospects from international markets.


The face of hemp in Washington

Yahoo News spends a day with Ben Droz, Capitol Hill's hemp lobbyist.

Insight: At Mt. Gox bitcoin hub, 'geek' CEO sought both control and escape

Mark Karpeles, chief executive of Mt. Gox, attends a news conference at the Tokyo District Court in Tokyo (This story changes Mandalah description in the 30th paragraph, company name in the 31st paragraph) 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.


Espionage hacking grows, with more from east Europe: Verizon study

A Verizon logo is seen during the International CTIA WIRELESS Conference & Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hacking for espionage purposes is sharply increasing, with groups or national governments from Eastern Europe playing a growing role, according to one of the most comprehensive annual studies of computer intrusions. Spying intrusions traced back to any country in 2013 were blamed on residents of China and other East Asian nations 49 percent of the time, but Eastern European countries, especially Russian-speaking nations, were the suspected launching site for 21 percent of breaches, Verizon Communications Inc's said in its annual Data Breach Investigations Report. Though the overall number of spying incidents studied tripled to 511 from total in the 2013 Verizon report, most of that increase is due to the addition of new data sources. Even looking at just the same contributors as before, however, espionage cases grew, said Verizon investigator Bryan Sartin.


Netflix plans to raise prices as U.S. streaming subscribers grow

The Netflix logo is is shown on an ipad in Encinitas, California By Lisa Richwine LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Video streaming service Netflix Inc said it intends to raise the monthly subscription price for new customers by $1 or $2 a month to help the company buy more movies and TV shows and improve service for its 48 million global subscribers. Investors welcomed the announcement by Netflix, which had suffered from a consumer exodus and stock plunge after it announced an unpopular price increase in July 2011. Chief Executive Reed Hastings said Netflix had improved its selection of TV shows and movies and added original series like critically acclaimed Kevin Spacey thriller "House of Cards." With added revenue from higher prices, "we will be able to license much more content and deliver it in very high quality video," Hastings said on a webcast. Netflix has "room to raise prices," FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi said, because "they're still seeing a lot of demand" for the service.


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