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Associated Press

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Updated Sunday, Mar 31 at 5:00 AM


Pope presides over trimmed Easter Vigil service

VATICAN CITY (AP) — In a few hours, Pope Francis will celebrate Easter Mass at the Vatican and deliver his "Urbi et Orbi" speech, Latin for "To the city and the world." Usually the pope also issues Easter greetings in dozens of languages.

Francis celebrated a trimmed back Easter Vigil service at St. Peter's Basilica on Saturday night, after having reached out to Muslims and women during a Holy Week in which he has begun to put his mark on the Catholic Church.

After the service Saturday night, the pope baptized four men as part of the ritual.

Typically, after the busy Easter week ceremonies, the pope would go to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo for a few days of vacation. Francis can't do that since the previous pope, Benedict XVI, is currently living there in retirement.

The Vatican says Francis will stay put in the Vatican.


White House takes North Korea's threats seriously

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it is taking seriously a new threat by North Korea against its southern neighbor.

At the same time, the White House said Saturday's statement continued a pattern of "bellicose rhetoric" by North Korea.

The communist north warned the democratic south that their shared peninsula had entered a, quote, "state of war."

Analysts note that the Korean Peninsula has remained in a technical state of war for 60 years and say an all-out conflict is unlikely. But continued threats by the North against the South Korean government and the U.S. have raised fears that a misjudgment between the sides could result in a clash.

The White House said the U.S. is fully prepared and capable of defending its interests and allies in the region.


Suicide bomber, landmines rock northern Mali

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Officials say a suicide bomber has attempted to force his way past the defenses of the city of Timbuktu, detonating himself on its outskirts, while a landmine exploded under army vehicle in another part of northern Mali, killing a total of three.

The twin attacks on Saturday came as French President Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH' oh-LAWND') told French television that French forces had attained their objectives in Mali, a country which until January had lost its northern half to an al-Qaida cell and their allies.

After the extremists began a southward push, Hollande unilaterally authorized a military intervention, quickly liberating the main cities in the north. Outside the heavily fortified cities like Timbuktu, however, the jihadists are still present.

A military official based in Timbuktu says the suicide bomber was fired upon at a checkpoint and blew himself up and injuring at least one soldier.

For 10 months until this January, Timbuktu as well as much of the rest of northern Mali was ruled by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, as well as two other jihadist groups allied with the terror network.


Nev. crash kills 5 family members; teen arrested

MESQUITE, Nev. (AP) — An 18-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in a southern Nevada crash that killed five members of a California family and injured the suspect and three other people.

The Nevada Highway Patrol says the California teen was booked into the Clark County Detention Center after he was treated and released at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.

Troopers say the teen's sport utility vehicle struck a van from behind, causing both vehicles to roll early Saturday on Interstate 15 near Mesquite, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

The patrol says five of the seven people in the van were killed in the 3 a.m. wreck near the Utah line. The other two were hospitalized in critical condition. Authorities say all seven in the van were family members from Southern California.

Troopers say a passenger in the SUV also was treated at the hospital and released.


LA police release suspect's name in abduction case

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police have released the name and photo of a man they say is a suspect in the abduction of a 10-year-old girl who vanished from her San Fernando Valley home last week and was found hours later wandering at a strip mall several miles away.

Authorities identified the man on Saturday as 30-year-old Tobias Dustin Summers. They say he is a child-kidnapping suspect.

Authorities also released a photo of Summers.

Dozens of detectives have worked around the clock looking for clues in the case since the 10-year-old girl was abducted from her home on Wednesday.

She was found hours later, scratched and barefoot, wandering near a Starbucks coffee shop.

Police say she had been dumped in front of a nearby hospital.


4 arrested in killing of 2 teens at Calif. Park

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Four people have been arrested in a shooting this month that left two teens dead and two others hurt at a makeshift memorial in Southern California for another boy and girl who were shot to death at the same site two years ago.

U-T San Diego reports (http://bit.ly/10bG6BG) two 19-year-old men and a 21-year-old man were booked into jail for investigation of first-degree murder and attempted murder in the shooting in Oceanside. A teenage boy also was taken into custody.

Police say 13-year-old Melanie Virgen and 15-year-old Edgar Sanchez were killed March 13 at Libby Lake Park. Two boys, both under 17, were wounded.

The four teens were attacked at the hilltop site of a makeshift memorial for another boy and girl who were shot to death on the same slope in May 2011.


NYC suspect in shooting of 4 released from custody

NEW YORK (AP) — The man arrested in the fatal shooting of one person and wounding three of others in Brooklyn's Coney Island neighborhood earlier this month has been released from custody.

A spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney's office says Saturday a judge ordered 29-year-old Joseph Brown released on Friday.

The spokesman says the investigation is ongoing and Brown is due back in court next month.

Police had said Brown entered an apartment in a public housing complex, walked to a back bedroom and shot a man in the head. Investigators said he then shot three other people in the apartment, killing one.


Patients of Tulsa doctor line up to get tested

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Health officials say hundreds of patients of an Oklahoma oral surgeon accused of unsanitary practices showed up to be tested for HIV and hepatitis.

The Tulsa Health Department said 420 patients of Dr. W. Scott Harrington showed up Saturday. Letters began going out a day earlier to 7,000 of the doctor's patients, warning them that poor hygiene at his clinics created a public health hazard.

Screenings resume Monday morning.

Thirty-eight-year-old Kari Childress showed up before testing began, mainly because she was nervous.

Childress said she had a tooth extracted at one of Harrington's two clinics five months ago. She said that people "''trust and believe in doctors to follow the rules, and that's the scariest part."

Inspectors found a number of problems at Harrington's clinics in Tulsa and suburban Owasso. .


UPDATE: Wichita State and Syracuse advance

UNDATED (AP) — Two college basketball teams are heading to the NCAA's Final Four in Atlanta.

In Los Angeles, Malcolm Armstead scored 14 points, Fred Van Vleet bounced in a big basket with 1 minute left, and ninth-seeded Wichita State earned its first trip to the Final Four since 1965 with a 70-66 victory over Ohio State on Saturday night.

Earlier Saturday, James Southerland scored 16 points and the Syracuse Orange allowed Marquette to shoot just 23 percent in a 55-39 win over the Golden Eagles in the nation's capital. It's Syracuse's first Final Four appearance in a decade.

There are two more games tomorrow. No. 1 seed Louisville plays Duke. And Michigan goes up against Florida.


NEW: Faberge egg exhibit an Easter highlight in Houston

HOUSTON (AP) — Eggs are a symbol of renewal, which is why they are part of Easter celebrations, but a collection of jewel-encrusted eggs on display in Houston is a symbol of extreme wealth.

A Houston couple has loaned its private collection of dozens of authentic Faberge (fa-bur-ZHAY') items to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It includes an egg that a Russian czar presented to his wife in the late 1800s.

The head of the museum in Houston says there are only about 52 Faberge Imperial Easter eggs ever made and he's delighted to have one on display.

Faberge Easter eggs are known for their beauty and intricate workmanship, made of precious metals and stubbed with gemstones that create flowers, birds and other figurines.

The quest to purchase the rare Faberge eggs pitted wealthy American and Russian collectors against each other. About 11 of the treasures are on display in the Kremlin.