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MOKPO, South Korea — Strong currents, rain and bad visibility hamper rescuers in the search for 287 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. Nine people, including three students and two teachers, are confirmed dead, but many expect a sharp jump in that number because the missing have now spent more than a day either trapped in the ferry or in the cold seawater. By Youkyung Lee and Foster Klug. SENT: 1,050 words, photos, video, audio.

— AP PHOTO NY201 — Rescue helicopters fly over the sinking ferry.

— AP VIDEO FERRY — Rescue teams worked frantically to save passengers trapped aboard ferry (ax_wrap).


PERTH, Australia — A robotic submarine has completed its first full 16-hour mission scanning the floor of the Indian Ocean for wreckage of the missing Malaysian airliner after two previous missions were cut short by technical problems and deep water. By Margie Mason. SENT: 700 words, photos.

— CANADA-MALAYSIA PLANE SIMULATOR — uFly fires flight simulator who appeared on CNN, citing tardiness and teenage dress style. SENT: 140 words.


RAJNANDGAON, India — Voters are casting ballots in India's general election despite threats of violence in some areas by extreme leftist insurgents, who say the country's democracy has failed its marginalized and its poor. By Katy Dagle. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 0700 GMT.


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Veteran Malaysian opposition lawmaker and lawyer Karpal Singh, a tireless defender of human rights activists and death row prisoners who was himself detained without trial for more than a year under a security law, died early Thursday in a road accident. He was 73. SENT: 480 words, photos.


SYDNEY — Britain's Prince William and his wife, Kate, have visited a town ravaged by wildfires in the mountains west of Sydney as they continue their tour of Australia. SENT: 130 words, photos.


LONDON — North Korea has made a diplomatic appeal to the British government to get a London salon out of its hair. By Jill Lawless. SENT: 260 words, photos.



HONG KONG — Asian stock markets are mostly lower, with Japan's Nikkei leading the retreat as investors locked in profits after a strong rally. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 325 words.



SLOVYANSK, Ukraine — In a chaotic day, pro-Russian insurgents seize Ukrainian armored vehicles and roll into two eastern towns to heroes' welcomes. NATO strengthens its military footprint along its eastern border as Russia warns that Ukraine is on the verge of a civil war. By Yuras Karmanau. SENT: 800 words, photos. UPCOMING: 900 words by 7 p.m.

— UKRAINE-GENEVA TALKS-GLANCE — Top diplomats of Ukraine, Russia, the U.S. and the EU may find their positions on Ukraine so far apart at Thursday's talks in Geneva that compromise is impossible. SENT: 750 words, photo.

— UNITED STATES-UKRAINE — US readies sanctions on Russia, aid for Ukraine's military as it seeks to gain control in east. SENT: 780 words.


BOSTON — The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line leads police to step up patrols, while organizers seek to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week. The actions of the man, whose mother says he has a mental disorder, rattles nerves as Boston prepares for the annual race, but authorities say they do not consider it a security breach. Says the main race organizer: "I believe this will be the safest place on the planet on April 21." By Bob Salsberg. SENT: 700 words, photos, video.

— BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING-SUSPECT — Defense says Boston Marathon bombing suspect's family is key to understanding what happened. SENT: 510 words, photos.


ST. LOUIS — Convicted of armed robbery in 2000, Cornealious Anderson was sentenced to 13 years behind bars and told to await instructions on how to report to prison. But no one ever contacted him. So the Missouri man went about his life: getting married, having children, filing taxes and starting a business. Then the state prison system noticed its mistake and showed up at Anderson's door. Now he's fighting for release, saying authorities missed their chance to incarcerate him. By Jim Salter. SENT: 730 words, photo.


NEW YORK — In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting. The decline is attributed mainly to improvements in screening and treatment. By Medical Writer Mike Stobbe. SENT: 600 words.


NEW YORK — The move by New York City's new police commissioner to disband a unit that spied on the everyday activities of Muslims could be just the first step in a dismantling of some of the huge post-9/11 intelligence-gathering machinery built by his predecessor. Among other anti-terror programs that are getting a hard look is a controversial unit that puts NYPD officers in foreign posts such as London, Paris, Tel Aviv and Jordan. New Yorkers are split over whether a rollback is a good idea. By Tom Hays. SENT: 700 words, photos.

— GAY MARRIAGE-OHIO — Judge puts on hold for all but four couples a ruling that ordered Ohio to recognize out-of-state gay marriages. SENT: 590 words, photos.


SEJKOVACA, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Denisa Hegic pulled her scarf around her nose to guard against the stench, and drew back the plastic shroud. Shaking, she reached down to touch her mother's skull, and caressed it. Hegic's experience is being repeated this week by many survivors of Bosnia's 1992-1995 war, as experts begin allowing families to view the remains of corpses meticulously pulled from mass graves and identified through DNA analysis. By Aida Cerkez. SENT: 640 words, photos.


PRETORIA, South Africa — Oscar Pistorius' lawyers tried to roll back the prosecution's momentum at his murder trial following the star athlete's shaky testimony, presenting a forensic expert who quickly found his own credentials and findings sharply questioned. The judge later adjourned the trial for more than two weeks. By Gerald Imray. SENT: 820 words, photos.


ALGIERS, Algeria — The college students playing pick-up soccer say they won't be voting in Thursday's presidential elections. They want jobs and housing when they graduate and lack loyalty to a political system run by a 77-year-old man too frail to show up for a single campaign event. Boycotting is the main form of protest against an election the incumbent is expected to win because powerful state institutions are wedded to Algeria's status quo. By Paul Schemm. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.



NEW YORK — The one thing that Daniel Radcliffe always has to adjust to whenever he's onstage in America is how happy Americans are to see Daniel Radcliffe onstage. The former "Harry Potter" star is greeted by a burst of applause whenever he appears on Broadway. He's bracing for more this fall. By Drama Writer Mark Kennedy. SENT: 830 words, photos.


— STRETCHING WINTER-PHOTO ESSAY — Adventurous climbers take to New Hampshire's White Mountains to keep winter going. SENT: 520 words, photos.


— EVOLUTION DEBATE-NYE — TV's 'Science Guy' Bill Nye says he underestimated the impact of a February debate in Kentucky on evolution and creationism that drew a massive online audience. SENT: 450 words.

— ARGENTINA-TIGER TRIPLETS — White tiger triplets recently born at the Buenos Aires Zoo have their coming-out party. SENT: 130 words, photos.

— CLAW MACHINE-TODDLER — Toddler unharmed after getting stuck inside claw crane machine at Nebraska bowling alley. SENT: 130 words, photo.

— PEOPLE-MILEY CYRUS — Miley Cyrus still hospitalized due to allergic reaction to antibiotics, cancels 2nd concert. SENT: 110 words, photos.




YOUR QUERIES: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is Scott McDonald. Questions and story requests are welcome. The news desk can be reached at (66) 2632-6911 or by email at

The Asia Photo Desk can be reached at (81-3) 6215-8941 or by fax at (81-3) 3574-8850.

Between 1600 GMT and 0000 GMT, please refer queries to the North America Desk in New York at (1) 212-621-1650.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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