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World News: Venezuelans Protests; Malaysian Plane, Korean Ferry, Ukraine Updates; Pope Prepares Sainthoods

By: ap
By: ap
Scores of Venezuelans march against government... Robot sub to extend search area for missing Malaysian plane... SKorea Prime Minister offers to resign his mainly ceremonial post over ferry... Kerry presses Russia to help free observer team in Ukraine... Pope Benedict to join Pope Francis in double sainthood ceremony... 5 British NATO troops killed in crash of British helicopter crash...

Sainthood preparations for Pope John Paul II (left) and Pope John XXIII.

VENEZUELA-UNREST
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Scores of opponents of President Nicolas Maduro are marching in Caracas, vowing to remain on the streets in defiance of a high court ruling limiting protests.
Student organizers at the last minute decided against marching downtown to avoid a confrontation with security forces in the government-controlled district. Instead they concentrated in the wealthier, eastern neighborhoods that have been the hotbed of unrest since February.
Demonstrators carried signs on Saturday blasting a Supreme Court ruling this week that gives police the right to disperse protests that don't have a permit.
Opponents say the ruling is the latest attempt by the socialist government to muzzle dissent amid widespread discontent with runaway inflation and record shortages.
The government says that more than 40 people have been killed across Venezuela in protest-related incidents.

MALAYSIA-PLANE
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Authorities say a robotic submarine scanning the Indian Ocean floor for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet is expected to complete its search of the most likely crash site. With no clue yet found of the missing Boeing 777, the search area will then be extended.
The U.S. Navy's Bluefin 21 has been creating a three-dimensional sonar map of the ocean floor near where signals consistent with airplane black boxes were heard on April 8.
The search area is a circle with a 10-kilometer (6-mile) radius, 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) deep off the Australian coast.
The search coordination center says in a statement the Bluefin 21 is expected to complete the focused underwater search area and continue examining adjacent areas during a mission starting Sunday.

SKOREA-SHIP SINKING-RESIGNATION
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's prime minister is offering to resign over the government's handling of a deadly ferry sinking, blaming "deep-rooted evils" and societal irregularities for a tragedy that has left more than 300 people dead or missing and led to widespread shame, fury and finger-pointing.
Prime Minister Chung Hong-won's offer comes as the government faces increasing anger from relatives of victims that it didn't do enough to rescue or protect their loved ones.
Chung was heckled by relatives when he visited a shelter on an island near the site of the sinking a week ago.
South Korean executive power is concentrated in the president, Park Geun-hye, so the offer appears to be largely symbolic.
Divers have recovered 187 bodies and 115 people are believed to be missing.
Prosecutors have arrested all 15 people involved in navigating the ferry that sank April 16.

UNITED STATES-UKRAINE
(AP) -- Secretary of State John Kerry is urging Russia to support efforts to free military observers being held by pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.
The German-led, eight-member team was traveling under the auspices of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe when they were detained Friday.
Kerry also told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (SEHR'-gay LAHV'-rahf) in a call Saturday that the United States is concerned that Moscow's actions are "undermining stability, security and unity" in Ukraine.
The State Department says Kerry cited Russia's "provocative" troop movements along the border, Moscow's support for separatists and Russia's "inflammatory rhetoric."
Kerry also wants Russia to support -- and not "denigrate" -- Ukraine's effort to stabilize the country.
The U.S. and the world's other leading industrial powers say they're planning more economic penalties against Russia because of Moscow's actions in Ukraine.

VATICAN-POPES-SAINTS
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Tourists and pilgrims are already filling the streets around Vatican City for Sunday's canonization of two popes.
Hundreds of thousands are expected to be there for the sainthood ceremony for John Paul II and John XXIII.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi says retired pontiff Benedict XVI will be in St. Peter's Square for the canonization of John and John Paul. He says Benedict and many cardinals will "concelebrate" the Mass with Francis.
It will be an unprecedented occurrence of two living popes canonizing two of their predecessors.
Benedict resigned from the papacy a year ago, and since has largely dedicated himself to prayer in a monastery on the Vatican grounds. Sunday's appearance will be his highest-profile one since he retired. Francis, who lives elsewhere in Vatican City, in a guesthouse, has been quite welcoming to his predecessor, occasionally paying a call on Benedict. It was Francis who sought to include Benedict in the canonization ceremony.

AFGHANISTAN
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- NATO is investigating what led to the crash of a British helicopter in southern Afghanistan on Saturday that killed five coalition troops.
It was the single deadliest day this year for foreign forces as they prepare to withdraw from the country.
The British defense ministry has confirmed that all five of the dead were British. Maj. Gen. Richard Felton, commander of the Joint Helicopter Command, says the crash appears to be "a tragic accident."
A Taliban spokesman claimed that insurgents shot down the helicopter. But NATO says it has no reports of enemy activity in the area.
Saturday's deaths bring to seven the number of international troops killed this month. So far this year, 23 have been killed, according to an Associated Press count.
Also today, an official identified the two Americans who were killed along with Chicago pediatrician Jerry Umanos (yoo-MAH'-nohs) at a Kabul hospital on Thursday. A Kabul University vice chancellor says John Gabel and his visiting father were shot to death by a security guard. Gabel worked for the U.S.-based charity Morning Star Development and ran a health clinic at Kabul university.


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