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Pope, huge crowd celebrate Easter Mass

VATICAN CITY — Marking Christianity’s most hopeful day, Pope Francis made an Easter Sunday plea for peace and dialogue in Ukraine and Syria, for an end to terrorist attacks against Christians in Nigeria and for more attention to the hungry and neediest close to home.

Three killed in Ukraine shootout

BYLBASIVKA, Ukraine — Within hours of an Easter morning shootout at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine, Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement blaming militant Ukrainian nationalists and Russian state television stations aired pictures of supposed proof of their involvement in the attack that left at least three people dead.

Oil slick not from plane

PERTH, Australia — Investigators were analyzing data collected by a robotic submarine that completed its first successful scan of the seabed Thursday in the hunt for the missing Malaysian plane, but say tests have ruled out that a nearby oil slick came from the aircraft.

Nigerian bomb blast kills scores

ABUJA, Nigeria — Suspected Islamic militants struck in the heart of Nigeria on Monday with a massive rush-hour bomb blast at a bus station that killed at least 72 people and wounded 164 in the deadliest attack ever on the nation’s capital.

Long undersea hunt for missing jet looms

PERTH, Australia — After a week of optimism over four underwater signals believed to be coming from the missing Malaysian plane, the sea has gone quiet and Australia’s leader is warning that the massive search will likely be long.

Two killed in attack on Thailand protesters

BANGKOK — An apparent grenade attack against anti-government protesters occupying an upscale shopping area of Thailand’s capital killed at least two people Sunday, the latest violence in a months-long political crisis that is growing bloodier by the day.

Mexico to trump Japan as No. 2 car exporter to US

CELAYA, Mexico — Mexico is on track to become the United States’ No. 1 source of imported cars by the end of next year, overtaking Japan and Canada in a manufacturing boom turning the auto industry into a bigger source of dollars than money sent home by migrants.

Venezuela waits word on jailed protest leader

CARACAS, Venezuela — After spending the night in a military jail, Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez waited to learn Wednesday if he will be charged for violence that has erupted during protests that have revitalized challenges to 15 years of socialist rule in the oil-rich nation.

Thai protesters clash with police

BANGKOK — Gunbattles broke out Tuesday as hundreds of riot police made their strongest attempt to clear anti-government protest sites around Thailand’s capital, leaving at least four people dead and 64 others injured.