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Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout

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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.


Probe could complicate Rick Perry's prospects

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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.


Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche

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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.


Embassy construction fuels protests amid Senegal property boom

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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.

Abdullah leads in Afghan presidential vote

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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.


Ferrari's Alonso: 'We're still in the fight'

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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.


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

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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.


Syria's Assad visits recaptured Christian village

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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.


Transcript of SKorea ship sinking: 'We can't move'

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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.


Ukraine forces accuse Russia of staging shooting

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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.

Church of England still invested in payday lender

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Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby speaks during a news conference at Lambeth Palace in LondonThe Archbishop of Canterbury said the Church of England still held an indirect investment in short-term loan company Wonga, even though he branded its activities "morally wrong" nine months ago. Archbishop Justin Welby, leader of the world's 80 million Anglicans, said last year he had been embarrassed to learn that the church's pension fund had invested a relatively small sum in a U.S. venture capital firm that led Wonga's 2009 fundraising. Shortly before that investment came to light, Welby had pledged to drive such lenders out of business by backing rival credit unions as he made a scathing attack on so-called "payday" lenders such as Wonga, which charge high interest rates on loans that are typically repaid when borrowers receive their next paychecks. But on Sunday in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph newspaper, Welby said he had been unable to force the church's investment arm, the Church Commissioners, to exit the investment.


Gunmen kill police captain, conscript near Cairo

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In this late Saturday, April 19, 2014 photo, Coptic Pope Tawadros II, center, greets a delegation from the Egyptian army at St. Mark's Cathedral during Easter Eve service, in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's former military chief, retired Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, and presumed presidential front-runner visited the Coptic pope earlier on Saturday ahead of Orthodox Easter, making his first public appearance since he formally made his bid for the presidency. (AP Photo/Ahmed Abdel Fattah, El Shorouk) EGYPT OUTCAIRO (AP) — Gunmen killed a police captain and a conscript in a firefight on a desert road outside Cairo on Sunday, the Interior Ministry said, in the second such attack in three days to target Egypt's security services.


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