Thousands flock to Ukrainian president's once-secret residence
NOVI PETRIVTSI, Ukraine (AP) -- The opulent residence of President Viktor Yanukovych has always been a closely guarded secret -- and a symbol of the alleged corruption at Ukraine's highest levels. On Saturday, after he fled the capital and its gates were thrown open, thousands streamed into the compound to get a first-hand look.
Inside the walled compound known as Mezhyhirya, posh mansions stood amid manicured lawns. There were parks dotted with statues, ponds with fountains and wild ducks, a tennis court, a golf course and a colonnaded pavilion.
As throngs of ordinary Ukrainians got their first look at Yanukovich's luxurious estate, many expressed disgust. Some brought their children -- one even brought his dog. They considered the tour a victory for anti-government demonstrators who fought street battles with police this week in which dozens were killed.
Associated Press correspondent Maria Danilova has covered President Viktor Yanukovych for years, from his defeat in the Orange Revolution to his rise to Ukraine's highest office. When the opposition took over the capital of Kiev and the gates to his once-secret residence were opened, Danilova joined thousands of Ukrainians who got their first look at the grandeur of the presidential compound.
Freed Ukrainian opposition leader Tymoshenko rallies crowds; Yanukovych vows to stay in power
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- In a stunning reversal of fortune, Ukrainian opposition icon Yulia Tymoshenko left imprisonment Saturday and spoke to a massive, adoring crowd, while her arch-foe President Viktor Yanukovych decamped to eastern Ukraine and vowed he would remain in power.
Protesters took control of the presidential administration building and thousands of curious and contemptuous Ukrainians roamed the suddenly open grounds of the lavish compound outside Kiev where Yanukovych was believed to live. Parliament, which he controlled as recently as a day earlier but is now emboldened against him, on Saturday called for his removal and for elections on May 25. But Yanukovych said he regards the parliament as now illegitimate and he won't respect its decisions.
The political crisis in the nation of 46 million, strategically important for Europe, Russia and the United States, has changed with blinding speed repeatedly in the past week. First there were signs that tensions were easing, followed by horrifying violence and then a deal signed under Western pressure that aimed to resolve the conflict but left the unity of the country in question.
Tymoshenko, whose diadem of blond peasant braids and stirring rhetoric attracted world attention in the 2004 Orange Revolution, was both sad and excited as she spoke to a crowd of about 50,000 on Kiev's Independence Square, where a sprawling protest tent camp was set up in December. Sitting in a wheelchair because of a back problem aggravated during imprisonment, her voice cracked and her face was careworn.
But her words were vivid, praising the protesters who were killed this week in clashes with police that included sniper fire and entreating the living to keep the camp going.
Upheaval in Ukraine: What's happening and what it means
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- From the moment protesters claimed to control Ukraine's capital until the triumphant release of their blond-braided political heroine from jail, Saturday was a momentous day for this country.
President Viktor Yanukovych's fate is in the balance, along with the direction of his nation.
Each development has been more dramatic or more confusing than the last. Here's a guide to what brought things to this point and what's happening now:
As the crisis has deepened, concerns have grown that it could split the country in two.
Mexico captures top drug lord 'Chapo' Guzman in massive operation
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexican authorities captured the world's most powerful drug lord in a resort city Saturday after a massive search through the home state of the legendary capo whose global organization is the leading supplier of cocaine to the United States.
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, 56, looked pudgy, bowed and much like his wanted photos when he arrived in Mexico City from Mazatlan in Sinaloa state. He was marched by masked marines across the airport tarmac to a helicopter waiting to whisk him to jail.
Marines arrested Guzman at 6:40 a.m. in a high-rise condominium fronting the Pacific without firing a single shot. Mexican officials late Saturday said he was apprehended with a man identified as Carlos Manuel Hoo Ramirez, contradicting earlier reports that he was arrested with a woman.
An American official said that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Marshals Service were "heavily involved" in the capture.
Another federal law enforcement official said intelligence from a Homeland Security Department investigation also helped lead U.S. and Mexican authorities to his whereabouts.
Hospital: 1 dead, 9 others treated after being overcome by carbon monoxide at New York mall
HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. (AP) -- A hospital spokeswoman says a man has died after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a New York mall.
Huntington Hospital spokeswoman Julie Robinson-Tingue says the man was one of 10 people brought in after the carbon monoxide incident Saturday at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island. The hospital did not immediately release any information about the man.
Suffolk County police earlier said three officers were among those overcome by carbon monoxide at the mall, which is about 35 miles east of New York City. They responded to a call shortly after 6 p.m.
Robinson-Tingue said three people were being treated at the hospital and the others have been discharged.
Several restaurants at the mall were evacuated as a precaution.
Biographical information on Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- NAME -- Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera
AGE -- 56; Born April 4, 1957
HOME -- Since slipping out of prison in 2001 in a laundry truck, he was rumored to live everywhere from Argentina to Guatemala to almost every corner of Mexico, especially its "Golden Triangle," a mountainous, marijuana-growing region straddling the northern states of Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua. He was reported to move around frequently, using private aircraft, bulletproof SUVs and even all-terrain vehicles.
OCCUPATION -- Reputed head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, which controls much of the lucrative trafficking routes along the U.S. border. Was believed to be the world's richest and most powerful drug trafficker. Over the years, his fortune grew to more than $1 billion, according to Forbes magazine, which listed him among the "World's Most Powerful People."
EARLY CAREER -- Guzman grew up poor and was drawn to the money made by the flow of illegal drugs through his home state of Sinaloa. He joined the Guadalajara cartel run by Miguel Angel Gallardo and rose quickly through the ranks. After Gallardo was arrested in 1989, the gang split, and Guzman took control of Sinaloa's operations. Gunmen linked to the Tijuana-based Arrellano Felix cartel attempted to assassinate Guzman at the Guadalajara airport in 1993 but instead killed Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo.
Maria von Trapp, last surviving member of family made famous in 'Sound of Music,' dies in Vt.
STOWE, Vt. (AP) -- Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member and second-eldest daughter of the musical family whose escape from Nazi-occupied Austria was the basis for "The Sound of Music," has died. She was 99.
Von Trapp died at her home in Vermont on Tuesday, according to her brother Johannes von Trapp.
"She was a lovely woman who was one of the few truly good people," he said. "There wasn't a mean or miserable bone in her body. I think everyone who knew her would agree with that."
Maria von Trapp was the last surviving member of the seven original Trapp Family Singers made famous in "The Sound of Music." She was portrayed as Louisa in the 1959 Broadway musical and a 1965 film, which won the Oscar for best picture.
She was the third child and second-oldest daughter of Austrian Naval Capt. Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agathe Whitehead von Trapp. Their seven children were the basis for the singing family in the musical and film.
UN Security Council unanimously demands that Syria allow humanitarian aid into all areas
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. Security Council united for the first time on a resolution on Syria's humanitarian crisis Saturday, demanding that President Bashar Assad's government and the opposition provide immediate access everywhere in the country to deliver aid to millions of people in desperate need.
The fate of the Western and Arab-backed resolution rested with Russia, Syria's closest ally, and China, another supporter.
After two weeks of negotiations and a watering-down of the original text, they decided to join the rest of the 15-member council in sending a strong message, especially to the Assad government, that food, medicine and other essentials must not be blocked to civilians caught in the three-year conflict.
"Today the council has finally shown that whatever its political differences over Syria, it was not entirely indifferent to the devastating humanitarian crisis," Britain's U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said after the vote.
According to the United Nations, 9.3 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance and 6.8 million have fled their homes but remain in the country.
Norwegian women sweep cross-country race; Dutch add 2 more speedskating golds to record haul
SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- The Norwegian women revived their cross country skiing dominance at the Sochi Olympics on Saturday and the Dutch added two more speedskating gold medals to their record haul.
Marit Bjoergen won her sixth career gold medal by leading a Norwegian sweep in the women's 30-kilometer cross-country race. A week ago, Norway's heavily favored women's relay team finished a disappointing fifth, touching off a mini-crisis in the ski-crazed Scandinavian country.
The Netherlands won both men's and women's team pursuit races in speedskating, giving the Dutch eight gold medals out of 12 events, and 23 total in the sport. That's two more golds than the Soviet Union won in speedskating in 1960, the previous record, and 10 more than East Germany's 1988 total medals mark.
In hockey, six-time Olympian Teemu Selanne scored two goals to help Finland rout the U.S. 5-0 in the game for bronze. Finland has won four medals in the last five Olympics, more than any other nation in the NHL era.
Elsewhere, Russia won the 4x7.5-kilometer men's biathlon relay to take its games-leading 11th gold medal; Mario Matt of Austria won gold in the men's slalom; Vic Wild of Russia captured his second gold by winning the Olympic debut of men's parallel slalom snowboarding; and Julia Dujmovits of Austria won the women's snowboarding race.
Latvian hockey player Pavlovs and Ukrainian cross-country skier Lisogor fail doping tests
SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- A Latvian hockey player and a Ukrainian cross-country skier failed drug tests at the Sochi Olympics, bringing to four the number of doping cases at the games.
The International Olympic Committee said early Sunday that Vitalijs Pavlovs and Marina Lisogor were both expelled from the games.
Pavlovs tested positive for the stimulant methylhexanamine following Latvia's loss to Canada in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The 30-year-old Lisogor tested positive for trimetazidine on Tuesday after the women's team sprint.
The latest positive tests follow those of German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Italian bobsledder William Frullani.
All four cases involve stimulants that can be found in food supplements. They are all classified as a "specified stimulant" on the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list. Specified substances are considered more susceptible to inadvertent use and can carry reduced penalties.