Monday, April 21, 2014

Published:

US, Russia trade warnings on Ukraine; Russia told it has 'days, not weeks' to abide by accord

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Russia has "days, not weeks" to abide by an international accord aimed at stemming the crisis in Ukraine, the top U.S. diplomat in Kiev warned Monday as Vice President Joe Biden launched a high-profile show of support for the pro-Western Ukrainian government. Russia in turn accused authorities in Kiev of flagrantly violating the pact and declared their actions would not stand.

Biden, the highest-ranking American official to visit Ukraine during its conflict with Russia, planned to meet with government officials in the capital of Kiev on Tuesday. The vice president also planned to announce new technical support to help the fledgling government with energy and economic reforms.

Biden's trip comes days after the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and Europe signed an agreement in Geneva calling for Moscow to use its influence to get pro-Russian forces to leave the numerous government buildings they now occupy in cites throughout eastern Ukraine. The U.S. asserted on Monday that publicly available photographs from Twitter and other media show that some of the troops in eastern Ukraine are Russian special forces, and the U.S. said the photos support its case that Moscow is using its military to stir unrest in Ukraine.

There was no way to immediately verify the photographs, which were either taken from the Internet or given to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe last week by Ukraine diplomats.

In Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rejected charges that Moscow was behind the troubles in eastern Ukraine and failing to live up to the Geneva agreement.

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Stowaway survives long flight in jet wheel well, forces authorities to review airport security

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- A 15-year-old boy found his way onto an airport's tarmac and climbed into a jetliner's wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii -- a misadventure that forced authorities to take a hard look at the security system that protects the nation's airline fleet.

The boy, who lives in Santa Clara, Calif., hopped out of the left rear wheel well of a Boeing 767 on the Maui airport tarmac Sunday, according to the FBI. Authorities found the high school student wandering the airport grounds with no identification. He was questioned by the FBI and taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was found to be unharmed.

FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu said the teen climbed into the left rear wheel well of the first plane he saw in San Jose.

"He got very lucky that he got to go to Maui but he was not targeting Maui as a destination," Simon said.

He passed out in the air and didn't regain consciousness until an hour after the plane landed in Hawaii, Simon said. When he came to, he climbed out of the wheel well and was immediately seen by airport personnel who escorted him inside where he was interviewed by the FBI, Simon said.

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10 Things to Know for Tuesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:

1. US TO RUSSIA: TIME SHORT TO HEED UKRAINE ACCORD

Moscow has "days, not weeks" to comply with the agreement aimed at stemming the Ukraine crisis -- or face further sanctions, a U.S. official says.

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How did stowaway survive long, cold flight to Hawaii? Human body can go into hibernation state

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Despite the subzero temperatures and lack of oxygen, people can survive even a long journey in the wheel well of a jetliner. The latest example is a teenager who, according to authorities, stowed away on a 5 1/2-hour flight from San Jose, Calif., to Hawaii. While the number of known stowaway attempts is few, people have survived with surprising frequency.

HOW DANGEROUS ARE THE CONDITIONS?

Very. At 38,000 feet -- the cruising altitude of the Hawaiian Airlines flight that the FBI says the 15-year-old took Sunday -- the outside air temperature is about minus 85 degrees. The air is so thin that a person will pass out because the brain is starved of oxygen.

The plane's own machinery can aid a stowaway's survival, at least initially. Warmth radiating from the wheels, which heat up on the runway during takeoff, and from hydraulic fluid lines can moderate the temperature. But those effects dissipate, and at cruising altitude the temperature in the wheel well would be about minus 30 degrees, estimated John Hansman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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'You can't get us down': More than 32,000 run in Boston Marathon a year after deadly bombing

BOSTON (AP) -- Some ran to honor the dead and wounded. Others were out to prove something to the world about their sport, the city or their country. And some wanted to prove something to themselves.

With the names of the victims scrawled on their bodies or their race bibs, more than 32,000 people ran in the Boston Marathon on Monday in a powerful show of defiance a year after the deadly bombing.

"We're marathon runners. We know how to endure," said Dennis Murray, a 62-year-old health care administrator from Atlanta who finished just before the explosions last year and came back to run again. "When they try to take our freedom and our democracy, we come back stronger."

The two pressure cooker bombs that went off near the end of the 26.2-mile course last year killed three people and wounded more than 260 in a spectacle of torn limbs, acrid smoke and broken glass. But the city vowed to return even stronger, and the victory by Meb Keflezighi -- the first American in 31 years to win the men's race -- helped deliver on that promise.

On Twitter, President Barack Obama congratulated Keflezighi and Shalane Flanagan, the top American finisher among the women, "for making America proud!"

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APNewsBreak: US weighs curbing deportations of people without serious criminal records

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is weighing limiting deportations of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally who don't have serious criminal records, according to two people with knowledge of his deliberations.

The change, if adopted following an ongoing review ordered by President Barack Obama, could shield tens of thousands of immigrants now removed each year solely because they committed repeat immigration violations, such as re-entering the country illegally after having been deported, failing to comply with a deportation order or missing an immigration court date.

However, it would fall short of the sweeping changes sought by activists. They want Obama to expand a two-year-old program that grants work permits to certain immigrants brought here illegally as children to include other groups, such as the parents of any children born in the U.S.

John Sandweg, who served until February as acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said he had promoted the policy change for immigrants without serious criminal records before his departure and that it was being weighed by Johnson. An immigration advocate who's discussed the review with the administration also confirmed the change was under consideration. The advocate spoke on condition of anonymity because the proceedings are confidential.

"Any report of specific considerations at this time would be premature," Clark Stevens, a spokesman for the Homeland Security Department, said Monday. Stevens said Johnson "has undergone a very rigorous and inclusive process to best inform the review," including seeking input from people within DHS as well as lawmakers of both parties, and other stakeholders.

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Death count in South Korean ferry sinking tops 100, with nearly 200 still missing

JINDO, South Korea (AP) -- One by one, coast guard officers carried the newly arrived bodies covered in white sheets from a boat to a tent on the dock of this island, the first step in identifying a sharply rising number of corpses from a South Korean ferry that sank nearly a week ago.

Dozens of police officers in neon green jackets formed a cordon around the dock as the bodies arrived Tuesday. Since divers found a way over the weekend to enter the submerged ferry, the death count has shot up. Officials said Tuesday that confirmed fatalities had reached 104, with nearly 200 people still missing.

If a body lacks identification, details such as height, hair length and clothing are posted on a white signboard for families waiting on Jindo island for news.

The bodies are then driven in ambulances to two tents: one for men and boys, the other for women and girls. Families listen quietly outside as an official briefs them, then line up and file in. Only relatives are allowed inside.

For a brief moment there is silence. Then the anguished cries, the wailing, the howling. They have not known for nearly a week whether they should grieve or not, and now they sound like they're being torn apart.

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Affordable Care Act only chips away at a core goal of sharply reducing the number of uninsured

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Swan Lockett had high hopes that President Barack Obama's health overhaul would lead her family to an affordable insurance plan, but that hasn't happened.

Instead, because lawmakers in her state refused to expand Medicaid, the 46-year-old mother of four from Texas uses home remedies or pays $75 to see a doctor when she has an asthma attack.

"If I don't have the money, I just let it go on its own," Lockett said.

The federal health care overhaul has provided coverage for millions of Americans, but it has only chipped away at one of its core goals: to sharply reduce the number of people without insurance.

President Barack Obama announced last week that 8 million people have signed up for coverage through new insurance exchanges, but barriers persist blocking tens of millions of people around the nation from accessing health care. Questions of eligibility, immigrant coverage and the response from employers and state legislatures mean considerable work lies ahead for health care advocates and officials -- but cost remains a particularly high hurdle for low income people who are most likely to be uninsured.

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FBI: Man dies after being shot by marshal while attacking witness in Utah federal courthouse

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Defendant Siale Angilau was listening to a witness describe gang initiation rituals on Monday when authorities said he grabbed a pen, rushed toward the witness and lunged at him.

A U.S. marshal opened fire on Angilau -- a 25-year-old "Tongan Crip" gang member known on the street as "C-Down" -- shooting him several times in front of shocked jurors, lawyers and courtroom watchers. He died hours later.

The shooting turned a new and secure federal courthouse that opened its doors just one week ago into a site of terror and alarm. Nobody else was hurt, but those in the courtroom were stunned by the sudden turn of events. A mistrial was declared, with U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell saying in her order that jurors were visibly shaken and upset.

"It was kind of traumatizing," said Sara Jacobson, who was in the courtroom to support her grandmother who was scheduled to testify in Angilau's trial.

Her father, Perry Cardwell, was with her and said Angilau was shot at least six times as he attacked the witness, who collapsed to the ground. As he recounted the scene, Cardwell said he remembers hearing somebody yell to get down.

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Thousands line up to bid goodbye at Mexico's memorial for author Gabriel Garcia Marquez

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- With two heads of state and thousands of tearful admirers, Mexico bid farewell on Monday to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian Nobel laureate considered one of the greatest Spanish-language authors of all time.

The ashes of the author, who died Thursday at age 87, were received at Mexico City's majestic Palace of Fine Arts to several minutes of thunderous applause after being placed on a black pedestal by his widow, Mercedes Barcha, and his two sons, Gonzalo and Rodrigo.

He was eulogized in a brief ceremony in the dramatic art deco lobby by the presidents of both Mexico and Colombia, two countries linked by the writer through his birth, life, heritage and career.

"We come as admirers and friends of Gabo from all corners of the planet," said Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, using the nickname by which Garcia Marquez was known throughout Latin America.

"He will live on in his books and writings. But more than anything he will live forever in the hopes of humanity. Eternal glory to someone who has given us so much glory," Santos added.