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Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Crusades fought, e-Bay bids sought for relics
ROME (AP) -- Wars have been fought to obtain them. Medieval monks and modern-day bandits have pilfered them. Two millennia after the first Christian martyrs' blood stained Rome, the temptation of, and fascination with, religious relics endures. And the canonization of two well-loved popes, John Paul II and John XXIII, on Sunday is feeding a seemingly endless appetite for fresh relics.... 4/24/2014 2:57 AM

Bloodied shirt, unwashed fork: JPII relics abound
ROME (AP) -- Inside a chapel on the edges of Rome, a nun uses a key to open a wooden wall panel, revealing a hidden niche. Behind glass and stitched loosely to supporting backing hangs a relic of holy suffering: the bullet-pocked, bloodstained undershirt that John Paul II was wearing when a gunman shot him in the stomach in St. Peter's Square.... 4/24/2014 2:55 AM

Kashmiris stage protests during Indian elections
SRINAGAR, India (AP) -- Indian forces used tear gas and wooden batons Thursday to disperse scores of Kashmiri demonstrators who shouted anti-India slogans and threw rocks to protest against voting in national elections in the disputed region.... 4/24/2014 2:53 AM

Unilever first quarter sales hit by strong euro
AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Unilever PLC, the maker of consumer products such as Dove soaps and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, says its underlying sales grew in the first quarter, but revenue was down due to a big impact from the stronger euro.... 4/24/2014 2:52 AM

China frees Japanese boat after boat owner pays up
BEIJING (AP) -- A Chinese court released a seized Japanese freight ship Thursday after owner Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. agreed to pay about $39 million to resolve a dispute dating back more than seven decades.... 4/24/2014 2:44 AM

Afghan guard shoots dead 3 foreigners in hospital
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Police in Afghanistan say a security guard has opened fire in a Kabul hospital, killing three foreigners and wounding one other person.... 4/24/2014 2:35 AM

Heineken returns to growth in Western Europe
AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Heineken NV says it has returned to growth in its crucial Western Europe market in the first quarter, after a long period of stagnation. "Organic" sales - measured by operations held in both years, stripping out the effects of currencies and acquisitions - grew by 3.4 percent.... 4/24/2014 2:29 AM

Classes begin at SKorean school full of mourning
ANSAN, South Korea (AP) -- Students in the city hit hardest by the South Korean ferry disaster returned to classes Thursday, their school campus a tragic landscape of yellow ribbons, chrysanthemums and photos of classmates and teachers who make up the vast majority of the more than 300 people feared dead.... 4/24/2014 2:25 AM

Obama: US would defend Japan in islands dispute
TOKYO (AP) -- Showing solidarity with Japan, President Barack Obama affirmed Thursday that the U.S. would be obligated to defend Tokyo in a confrontation with Beijing over a set of disputed islands, but urged all sides to resolve the long-running dispute peacefully.... 4/24/2014 2:07 AM

Obama: Not hopeful North Korea will change soon
TOKYO (AP) -- President Barack Obama says he's not optimistic North Korea will stop behaving irresponsibly in the near future.... 4/24/2014 2:04 AM

Obama: New sanctions against Russia are 'teed up'
TOKYO (AP) -- Warning Russia that new economic sanctions are "teed up," President Barack Obama accused Moscow of failing to live up to an agreement last week to ease tensions in eastern Ukraine.... 4/24/2014 1:49 AM

Pakistan: Bomb kills police officer, 2 others
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) -- A Pakistani official says a bombing in the country's south targeted a police officer known for his anti-militant campaigns, killing him and his two friends.... 4/24/2014 1:49 AM

Magnitude 6.6 quake off British Columbia coast
PORT ALICE, British Columbia (AP) -- A magnitude 6.6 quake was recorded Wednesday night in the Pacific Ocean off the northwest corner of British Columbia's Vancouver Island, the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center said.... 4/24/2014 1:40 AM

Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) -- With the Mount Everest climbing season increasingly in doubt, Nepalese tourism officials traveled to base camp Thursday to negotiate with Sherpas who want to walk off the job after an avalanche killed 16 of the mountain guides.... 4/24/2014 1:18 AM

EU, post-Soviet republics meet on partnership plan
PRAGUE (AP) -- Amid Ukraine's deepening crisis, the presidents of post-Soviet republics and EU member states are gathering in Prague to save a project to boost their ties.... 4/24/2014 1:04 AM

Britain's Prince William bids Australia farewell
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Britain's Prince William bid farewell to Australia on Thursday in the only speech of his national tour, revealing that his baby son George had become particularly fond of a toy native animal during the visit.... 4/24/2014 12:37 AM

Obama: Time is now to resolve trade pact issues
TOKYO (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the time is now to resolve issues preventing the conclusion of a major, 12-nation trade agreement.... 4/24/2014 12:29 AM

China to open 8 state industries for investment
BEIJING (AP) -- China's government says it will open 80 projects in eight state-run industries to private and foreign investors as part of efforts to make its slowing economy more productive.... 4/24/2014 12:08 AM

Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
TOKYO (AP) -- President Barack Obama says he wants to see a dispute between China and Japan over islands in the East China Sea resolved peacefully.... 4/24/2014 12:02 AM

Costa Rica is demanding US explain 'Cuban Twitter'
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) -- The Costa Rican government says it's still waiting for the Obama administration to explain why it launched the secret "Cuban Twitter" network from inside the Central American nation's borders despite warnings in 2009 that the plan could jeopardize the two countries' diplomatic relations.... 4/24/2014 12:01 AM