National News from Yahoo

Ukrainian unity on display with peaceful rallies

MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Thousands gathered for peaceful demonstrations Thursday in at least four eastern cities to denounce Russia for its perceived meddling in Ukrainian affairs, a day after the most lethal clash so far killed three pro-Russian activists.


Wikipedia beats Google in helping researchers track flu season

By monitoring the number of times people look for flu information on Wikipedia, researchers may be better able to estimate the severity of a flu season, according to a new study. Researchers created a new data-analysis system that looks at visits to Wikipedia articles, and found the system was able to estimate flu levels in the United States up to two weeks sooner than the flu data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were released. The new system examined visits to Wikipedia articles that included terms related to flulike illnesses, whereas Google Flu Trends looks at searches typed into Google. The research team wanted to use a database that is accessible to everyone and create a system that could be more accurate than Google Flu Trends, which has flaws.


Confused, chaotic scene described on sinking ferry

MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — There was chaos and confusion on the bridge of a sinking ferry, with the captain first trying to stabilize the listing vessel before ordering its evacuation, a crewman said Thursday.


Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel laureate whose novels and short stories exposed tens of millions of readers to Latin America's passion, superstition, violence and inequality, died at home in Mexico City around midday Thursday, according to people close to his family. He was 87.


Nigerians search dangerous forest for 100 abducted girls

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Able-bodied men from the Nigerian town of Chibok have taken to the dangerous Sambisa Forest to search for more than 100 abducted girls and young women whom the military claimed to have freed from their Islamic extremist kidnappers, an education official said Thursday.


Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected — a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.


Space first: NASA finds 'Earth cousin' that may sustain life

For the first time, scientists have discovered an Earth-sized alien planet in the habitable zone of its host star, an "Earth cousin" that just might have liquid water and the right conditions for life. The newfound planet, called Kepler-186f, was first spotted by NASA's Kepler space telescope and circles a dim red dwarf star about 490 light-years from Earth. "One of the things we've been looking for is maybe an Earth twin, which is an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a sunlike star," Tom Barclay, Kepler scientist and co-author of the new exoplanet research, told Space.com.


Dirty creek, old purse solve four-decade mystery

ELK POINT, S.D. (AP) — Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson had planned to celebrate the end of the 1971 school year by gathering with classmates at a quarry along a gravel road.


Facebook rolls out location-sharing feature

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook users in the U.S. will soon be able to see which of their friends are in close proximity using a new feature the company is launching on Thursday.


Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions

GENEVA (AP) — Top diplomats from the United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine reached agreement after marathon talks Thursday on immediate steps to ease the crisis in Ukraine.


Two reasons why Iran is moving fast to comply with nuclear deal

With little fanfare, Iran has taken faster steps than required to comply with an interim nuclear deal that substantially limits its capacity to make a nuclear weapon. Today, the United Nations nuclear watchdog reported that Iran has significantly reduced its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium – the material that is a few technical steps from bomb-grade – and is ahead of schedule to completely dispose of remaining stocks by mid-July. Iran has two incentives to move quickly on the terms of the deal, which took force on Jan. 20. It is eager to show it can abide by all its nuclear commitments, as Iran and world powers begin drafting a comprehensive nuclear deal after three rounds of talks, with a fourth due to begin on May 13.


Pope washes feet of elderly, disabled in rite

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 elderly and disabled people Thursday — women and non-Catholics among them — in a pre-Easter ritual designed to show his willingness to serve others like a "slave."


Salsa great Cheo Feliciano dies in car crash

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rican salsa legend Cheo Feliciano died in a car accident early Thursday, prompting the governor of the U.S. territory to declare three days of mourning.


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