Estimated read time: 5-6 minutes
The world at 3 a.m. Times are EST.
At the Nerve Center, Barbara Whitaker can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Mike Musielski, ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-836-9477.
SPRING FORWARD — Longer days, shorter nights: Spring forward 1 hour early Sunday for daylight saving time. SENT: 130 words, photo, graphic.
— CONSERVATIVES — Gingrich speaks at 12:45 p.m., photos.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Search and rescue crews across Southeast Asia scramble to find a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that disappeared from air-traffic-control screens over the South China Sea early Saturday morning, leaving the fate of the 239 people aboard in doubt. By Eileen Ng. SENT: 945 words, photos, video, interactive. UPCOMING: Developing.
— AIR DISASTERS-GLANCE — A look at world's deadliest air disasters. SENT: 540 words.
— BOEING 777-PROFILE — The long-range jumbo jet is one of the safest and most popular with airlines. SENT: 650 words, photo.
SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine — Heavily armed Russian-speaking soldiers wearing unmarked uniforms crash a military truck through the gates of a Ukrainian air force unit base in a three-hour standoff with Ukrainian soldiers. The incident appears to be the first time that soldiers allied with Russia have sought to penetrate a Ukrainian base on the Crimean Peninsula, where tensions have soared ahead of a referendum on seecession from Ukraine. By Dalton Bennett and Yuras Karmanau. UPCOMING: 500 words by 5 a.m., photos.
— UKRAINE-SNIPER MYSTERY — Russia and Ukraine give different versions of sniper tragedy that drove ousted President Viktor Yanukovych from power. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.
WASHINGTON — Democrats could get walloped in the November elections. The party gets sleepy and distracted in nonpresidential year voting and supporters simply may not show up to vote. Those aren't hopeful predictions from Republicans. They're the dire warnings of President Barack Obama. By Nedra Pickler. SENT: 1,000 words, photo.
— OBAMA — Obama, in weekly address, says he's hearing from business owners who are paying more than minimum wage. UPCOMING: 130 words by 6:30 a.m.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Thirteen years after the fall of the Taliban, billions of dollars have been spent to advance women's rights in Afghanistan, and there have been countless words of support from the West and from the Afghan government. Yet, the gains remain limited and vulnerable, women's activists say. Ultimately, women still have nowhere to turn when their battle for equal rights puts them on the firing line. By Kathy Gannon. SENT: 1,100 words, photos, video.
ARMY GENERAL-SEX CHARGES
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Defense lawyers for an Amy general facing sexual assault charges say his accuser's testimony gave them plenty to challenge as they prepare to cross-examine her Monday. The Army captain at the center of the closely watched case testified Friday that Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair twice forced her to perform oral sex on him during their three-year, illicit affair. The woman said the assaults took place in Afghanistan in late 2011 as she grew increasingly despondent over their adulterous relationship. By Michael Biesecker. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 5 a.m.
FLA OCEAN RESCUE
ORLANDO, Fla. — Authorities say a pregnant South Carolina woman pointed to the ocean, locked the doors and rolled up the windows, telling her three children she was "trying to take them to a better place" as she drove her minivan into the surf. Ebony Wilkerson, 32, is charged with three counts of attempted murder and three counts child abuse causing great bodily harm. She is scheduled to make a court appearance Saturday. By Michael Schneider. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 5 a.m.
OXON HILL, Md. — The nation's largest annual gathering of conservative activists is coming to a finish, but not before a final group of Republican all-stars takes the stage. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin headline the final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference, which brings thousands of activists, opinion leaders and Republican officials to suburban Washington. By Steve Peoples. SENT: 320 words. UPCOMING: 650 words by 3 p.m. to update with Gingrich speech at 12:45 p.m., photos.
TOKYO — There is something surprising in the radioactive wreck that is the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant: opportunity. To clean it up, Japan will have to develop technology and expertise that any nation with a nuclear reactor will one day need. Eyeing dozens of aging reactors at home and hundreds of others worldwide that eventually need to be retired, Japanese industry sees a profitable market for decommissioning expertise. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 870 words, photos.
JERUSALEM — While standing in long lines, walking through scanners and removing belts and shoes are a fact of post-Sept. 11 travel worldwide, Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport seems to stand alone with its security techniques, often leaving travelers dumbfounded. Though Israel denies profiling travelers, business executives, journalists and especially Arabs and visitors to Palestinian areas seem especially prone to being targeted with aggressive questioning, long luggage examinations and even strip searches. The tough security is not new, but it is stirring debate. By Josef Federman. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
NEW YORK — Newsweek staked its return to print on a splashy reveal of the man they claim is "the face behind Bitcoin." Trouble is, the man himself denies any involvement with the digital currency. Newsweek stands by its story, but it remains to be seen whether the media attention will help or hurt its credibility. By Dave Bauder. SENT: 910 words, photos.
— OBIT-SHEILA MACRAE — Sheila MacRae, best known for playing Alice Kramden to Jackie Gleason's Ralph in the 1960s re-creation of "The Honeymooners," has died at 92. SENT: 460 words, photos.
— CHILD CARE-SEX ABUSE — Child sex abuse suspect dies at Boston hospital after apparent suicide attempt in jail cell. SENT: 370 words.
— SEXUAL ASSAULT-ARMY-FORT HOOD — Fort Hood soldier accused of setting up prostitution ring involving cash-strapped female soldiers is charged with 21 criminal counts. SENT: 450 words.
— TV-MILES O'BRIEN — Three weeks after losing his arm, PBS' Miles O'Brien tells 'NewsHour' audience "I'll be OK." SENT: 480 words, photos.
— 10 Things to Know The Week — A lookback over the week's top stories. SENT: 800 words.