World News: Easter; 'Miracle'; Korean Ferry; Sub Search; Ukraine News

By: ap
By: ap

VATICAN-EASTER
VATICAN CITY (AP) --In a few hours, Pope Francis will celebrate an Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square and deliver his twice-yearly "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) blessing and message.
Francis presided over an Easter Vigil in St. Peter's Basilica on Saturday night. He baptized 10 people and urged them to bring their faith "to the ends of the Earth."
The vigil is among the Vatican's most solemn services. Francis entered the darkened basilica with a lone candle, which he then shared with others to slowly illuminate the church. The symbolic service commemorates the darkness of the faithful over the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday and their joy and light at his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Francis also urged the priests, bishops, cardinals and ordinary Catholics gathered for the late night service to remember when they first found their faith. As he put it, "Do I remember it? Have I forgotten it? Look for it. You'll find it. The Lord is waiting."
It was the second late night for the 77-year-old pontiff. He led the long Good Friday Way of the Cross procession at Rome's Colosseum.

TRES RIOS, Costa Rica (AP) -- On a warm spring day, Floribeth Mora was in her bed, waiting to die from a seemingly inoperable brain aneurysm. Her gaze fell upon a newspaper photograph of Pope John Paul II.
She recalls the image instructing her to "stand up" and telling her not to be afraid.
Mora, her doctors and the Catholic Church say her aneurysm disappeared that day. It's a miracle that cleared the way for the late pope to be declared a saint this month.
The church-certified miracle was only the start of Mora's metamorphosis from an ill and desperate woman into a symbol of faith for many Costa Ricans and Catholics around the world.
Mora has suspended her late-in-life law studies and now goes to Mass as often as four times a day.

SKOREA-SHIP SINKING
MOKPO, South Korea (AP) -- Officials say divers have recovered 13 bodies from inside the ferry that sank off South Korea and three other bodies were found floating outside.
The confirmed death toll is now 49.
Officials say divers broke a window in the submerged ferry and retrieved three bodies late Saturday. These apparently were the first bodies recovered from inside the ferry since it capsized and sank on Wednesday. Later Sunday, government officials announced that 10 more bodies had been found inside the ferry. Officials say more than 250 people are still missing, most of them high school students on a holiday trip. There are only 174 known survivors.
The captain of the ferry has been arrested on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need. Two other crew members have also been taken into custody, including a rookie third mate who a prosecutor said was steering in challenging waters unfamiliar to her when the accident occurred.

MALAYSIA-PLANE
PERTH, Australia (AP) -- A robotic submarine looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet is expected to finish searching a patch of the Indian Ocean seabed within a week after so far coming up empty. Officials say the search area may be expanded after that.
A new day of searching has begun.
The U.S. Navy's Bluefin 21 unmanned sub is on its eighth trip into the depths off the coast of western Australia. It's already covered around 51 square miles since it began diving into the depths on Monday. The latest data are being analyzed, but nothing has yet been identified.
Malaysia's defense minister says the weekend search is crucial.
Up to 11 aircraft and 12 ships continue to scan the ocean surface for debris from the Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Not until the final minutes of more than seven hours of negotiating was an agreement struck in Geneva this week to calm boiling tensions along the shared border between Russia and Ukraine.
But the deal won't be sealed until its terms are met, and patience is wearing thin as time runs out.
Skepticism that it might work deepened as pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine continued to occupy government buildings in defiance of the accord. They showed no inclination to abide by its call to give up their weapons.
The U.S. and European Union say they will slap Moscow with a new round of sanctions against oligarchs and advisers to President Vladimir Putin if the separatists do not disarm and surrender the buildings by midweek.

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says he sees no obstacles to improving relations with the West, which are fraught with tension over the Ukraine crisis.
In an interview on state television shown Saturday, Putin was asked whether relations with the West would improve by the end of the year.
"This doesn't depend on us, or not only on us. It depends on our partners," Putin said, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.
"I consider that there is nothing that would impede normalization and normal cooperation," he said.
The United States and the European Union have accused Russia of encouraging recent unrest in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia insurgents are occupying government buildings and police stations.

Report: Iran VP says row over reactor resolved
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iranian state television is reporting that the Islamic Republic's vice president is saying a dispute between world powers and the country over its heavy water reactor at Arak has been "virtually resolved."
A state television report Saturday quoted Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi as saying the country proposed to redesign the Arak reactor to produce one-fifth of the plutonium initially planned for it. The report quoted Salehi as saying that will end concerns the West has that Iran could use the plutonium produced at Arak to build a nuclear weapon.
Iran and world powers are negotiating the terms of a permanent deal over its contested nuclear program. Under a temporary deal, Iran agreed to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit its nuclear facilities, including Arak.

Attacks kill 16 across Iraq
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Attacks across Iraq have killed at least 16 people today.
The deadliest attacks struck Baghdad's predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Dora. Police say two bombs exploded on busy commercial streets this morning, killing four people. At night, three more bomb blasts in the same area killed five people and wounded 10.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blasts, though Shiite militants have retaliated in the past for killings by Sunni insurgent groups. The Sunni-led violence is part of a series of stepped-up attacks since last year aimed at undermining Iraq's Shiite-led government ahead of a crucial vote later this month.
Outside of Baghdad, police say a suicide bomber killed five soldiers and wounded eight at a checkpoint north of the capital. A roadside bomb killed two soldiers on patrol and wounded five people in another town north of Baghdad.
Health officials confirmed the casualty figures.
Iraq holds a crucial parliamentary election on April 30, its first since the 2011 U.S. troop pullout.

Al-Qaida chief blesses attacks on Egypt security
CAIRO (AP) -- Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri has given his blessing to attacks of Egyptian jihadis on the police and army, but said they should avoid harming civilians.
In an audio interview with al-Qaida media arm as-Sahab posted early Saturday on a militant website, al-Zawahri advised jihadis that any armed confrontation should be popularly supported and that victory cannot be achieved without this support.
Al-Zawahri said the jihadis should choose their targets very carefully and explain the aims of each operation to the people.
He also harshly criticized Egypt's ultraconservative Islamist al-Nour Party, accusing it of deceit and deception by supporting the military backed interim government and secular constitution, which he considers void.

Islamic militants claim this week's Nigerian blast
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- Nigeria's Islamic extremists are claiming responsibility for the massive explosion at a busy bus station that killed at least 75 people in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, this week.
It comes in a new video received Saturday. The leader of the Boko Haram network threatens more attacks saying "We are in your city, but you don't know where we are."
Abubakar Shekau makes no mention of the abductions of more than 100 girls and young women from a remote northeastern school. Officials say dozens of the girls have managed to escape but 85 remain unaccounted for.
Parents and townspeople have joined security forces and vigilantes searching the dangerous Sambisa Forest for the kidnapped girls.
Boko Haram says Western education and influence have corrupted Africans and only Islamic law can save Nigeria.

Syria Civil War continues
Beirut (AP) - Violence continued Saturday in Syria, as rebel car bombings killed at least 10 people, officials and activists said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said one car bomb killed at least four people in the city of Homs, in an area dominated by Alawites -- the same sect as President Bashar Assad. State-run television also reported the bombing but did not immediately have a death toll.
Earlier in the day, another car bomber blew himself up at a checkpoint near the government-controlled town of Salamiya, killing at least six soldiers, activists said. A Syrian government official confirmed the bombing but said four people were killed and nine were wounded. Conflicting death tolls are routine after such attacks. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to journalists.


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