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Turkey moves to block YouTube, but attempt fails

ISTANBUL — Turkish authorities pressed Thursday to block access to YouTube following similar action against Twitter, a move sure to provoke further outrage in a country where social media is widely used.

Obama, Francis find common ground, sharp divisions

VATICAN CITY — Sharp differences over abortion and birth control surfaced as President Barack Obama held his first meeting today with Pope Francis, even as the president sought to emphasize common ground issues like economic inequality during a much-anticipated Vatican visit.

Obama plays up U.S.-Europe bond amid Russia tension

WAREGEM, Belgium — President Barack Obama reached back 100 years to reinforce the U.S.-European bond, calling for a recommitment to peace today during a solemn pilgrimage to a World War I cemetery as European tensions run high over Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.

Satellite spots 122 objects in Malaysia jet search

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A French satellite scanning the Indian Ocean for remnants of a missing jetliner found a possible plane debris field containing 122 objects, a top Malaysian official said today, calling it “the most credible lead that we have.”

Missing jet: Uncertainty makes hunt uniquely hard

CANBERRA, Australia — Not one object has been recovered from the missing airliner that Malaysian officials are now convinced plunged into the southern Indian Ocean 17 days ago. Some of the pieces are likely 11,500 feet underwater. Others are bobbing in a fickle system of currents that one oceanographer compares to a pinball machine. And by now, they could easily be hundreds of miles away from each other.
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Turkish attempt to ban Twitter backfires

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s attempt to block access to Twitter appeared to backfire today with many tech-savvy users circumventing the ban and suspicions growing that the prime minister was using court orders to suppress corruption allegations against him and his government.

Police posts attacked by drug gangs

RIO DE JANEIRO — Rio de Janeiro police say suspected drug gang members have attacked three of the so-called police pacification posts set up recently in slums.

Afghan attack kills 9, including 4 foreigners

KABUL, Afghanistan — Four men with pistols stuffed in their socks attacked a luxury hotel in Kabul on Thursday, opening fire in a restaurant and killing nine people, including four foreigners, officials said.

Nothing spotted in search for jet, Australia says

PERTH, Australia — Search planes scoured a remote patch of the Indian Ocean but came back empty-handed today after a 10-hour mission looking for any sign of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, another disappointing day in one of the world’s biggest aviation mysteries.

Pro-Russian crowds seize two Ukrainian warships

KIEV, Ukraine — Pro-Russian crowds seized two Ukrainian warships today and Ukraine said its troops were being threatened in Crimea as the European Union considered new sanctions against Russia for its annexation of the Black Sea peninsula.

Australia checking two objects in search for plane

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — An air search in the southern Indian Ocean for possible objects from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane described as the “best lead” so far ended for the day without success today but will resume in the morning, Australian rescue officials said.

Malaysia tries to restore pilot’s deleted files

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Investigators are trying to restore files deleted last month from the home flight simulator of the pilot aboard the missing Malaysian plane to see if they shed any light on the disappearance, Malaysia’s defense minister said today.
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Russian forces flex muscles in Crimea

SEVASTOPOL, Crimea — Masked Russian-speaking troops seized control of Ukrainian naval headquarters in Crimea today after it was stormed by militiamen. Pro-Moscow Crimean authorities also detained the Ukrainian navy commander and reportedly blocked the defense minister and another government official from traveling to the peninsula to try to defuse tensions.
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Defiant Putin adds Crimea to Russia’s map

MOSCOW — With a sweep of his pen, President Vladimir Putin added Crimea to the map of Russia today, describing the move as correcting past injustice and responding to what he called Western encroachment upon Russia’s vital interests.

West readies sanctions on Russia after Crimea vote

LONDON — The top diplomats for Russia and the U.S. voiced pessimism today about negotiating an immediate end to the crisis in Ukraine, whose strategic Crimea region is voting this weekend about whether to secede.

Search for lost jet expands amid signs it flew on for hours

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The search for the missing Malaysian jetliner expanded east and west today after American officials said it was emitting signals to satellites for hours after its last contact with air traffic control nearly a week ago over the South China Sea.
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Merkel: Russia risks huge consequences in Ukraine

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today that Russia risks “massive” political and economic consequences if Moscow does not enter into “negotiations that achieve results” over the situation in Ukraine.