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Suspected extremists kidnap 100 girls in Nigeria
Written by HARUNA UMAR, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 14:22

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Suspected Islamic extremists abducted about 100 female students from a school in northeast Nigeria before dawn Tuesday, but some of the teens managed to escape from the back of an open truck, officials said.

The girls were abducted after midnight from a school in Chibok, on the edge of the Sambisa Forest that is an insurgent hideout, said Borno state police commissioner Tanko Lawan.

Gunmen killed a soldier and police officer guarding the school, then took off with at least 100 students, a State Security Service official said.

A local government official said he did not know how many of the girls have escaped but that "many" have walked through the bushes and back to Chibok. The girls were piled into the back of an open truck and, as it was traveling, some grabbed at low-hanging branches to swing off while others jumped off the slow-moving vehicle, he said. The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to give information to reporters.

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(Updated) Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing
Written by DENISE LAVOIE, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 13:19

 

BOSTON (AP) — Survivors, first responders and family members of those killed came together Tuesday to mark the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing with solemn ceremonies.

"This day will always be hard, but this place will always be strong," former Mayor Thomas Menino told an invitation-only audience of about 2,500 people gathered at the Hynes Convention Center, not far from the marathon finish line where three people died and more than 260 others were injured a year ago.

In Washington, President Barack Obama planned to observe the anniversary with a private moment of silence at the White House.

"Today, we recognize the incredible courage and leadership of so many Bostonians in the wake of unspeakable tragedy," Obama said in a statement. "And we offer our deepest gratitude to the courageous firefighters, police officers, medical professionals, runners and spectators who, in an instant, displayed the spirit Boston was built on — perseverance, freedom and love."

Obama said this year's race, scheduled for Monday, will "show the world the meaning of Boston Strong as a city chooses to run again."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 14:21
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Insurgents dig in; Ukraine tanks reported on move
Written by YURAS KARMANAU   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 06:53

HORLIVKA, Ukraine (AP) — Pro-Russian insurgents who have seized government buildings across eastern Ukraine dug in on Tuesday, fortifying their positions and erecting fresh barricades as Ukrainian tanks were seen within 70 kms of one city controlled by pro-Moscow gunmen.

Roads into Slovyansk, a city some 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of Russia that has come under ever more secure control of the gunmen since Saturday, were dotted with checkpoints. One at the entrance into town was waving a Russian flag. Another bore a sign reading "If we don't do it, nobody will."

Despite mounting fears of an imminent assault by Ukrainian government troops, the town appeared calm at midday.

In Kiev, Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, announced an "anti-terrorist operation" to root out the "separatists," but it was unclear how that measure differed from the one announced Monday, which resulted in no visible action.

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Malaysia jet search area too deep for submarine
Written by MARGIE MASON, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 06:55

PERTH, Australia (AP) — A robotic submarine hunting for the missing Malaysian jet aborted its first mission after only six hours, surfacing with no new clues when it exceeded its maximum depth along the floor of the Indian Ocean, officials said Tuesday.

Search crews sent the U.S. Navy's Bluefin 21 into the depths Monday to begin scouring the seabed for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 after failing for six days to detect any new signals believed to be coming from its black boxes.

But the 16-hour mission was cut short when the unmanned sub, which is programmed to hover 30 meters (100 feet) above the seabed, entered a patch that was deeper than its maximum depth of 4,500 meters (15,000 feet), the search coordination center and the U.S. Navy said.

A built-in safety feature returned the Bluefin to the surface and it was not damaged, they said.

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Study: Snack might help avoid fight with spouse
Written by SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 06:43

WASHINGTON (AP) — A quick candy bar may stave off more than hunger. It could prevent major fights between husbands and wives, at least if a new study that used voodoo dolls is right.

That's because low blood sugar can make spouses touchy, researchers propose.

In fact, it can make them "hangry," a combination of hungry and angry, said Ohio State University psychology researcher Brad Bushman.

"We need glucose for self-control," said Bushman, lead author of the study, which was released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Anger is the emotion that most people have difficulty controlling."

The researchers studied 107 married couples for three weeks. Each night, they measured their levels of the blood sugar glucose and asked each participant to stick pins in a voodoo doll representing his or her spouse. That indicated levels of aggressive feelings.

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