AP News in Brief at 5:58 a.m. EDT

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Associated Press

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 5:02 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 21 at 8:00 PM

SKorean president calls actions of sunken ferry's captain, some crew 'unforgivable, murderous'

JINDO, South Korea (AP) — South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Monday that the captain and some crew members of the sunken ferry committed "unforgivable, murderous behavior," while criticism of her own government's handling of the disaster grew.

The captain initially told passengers to stay in their rooms and waited more than half an hour to issue an evacuation order as the ferry Sewol sank Wednesday. By then the ship had tilted so much it is believed that many of the roughly 240 people still missing could not escape.

Park said at a Cabinet briefing, "What the captain and part of the crew did is unfathomable from the viewpoint of common sense, unforgivable, murderous behavior." The comments were posted on the website of the presidential Blue House.

Park said instead of following a marine traffic controller's instructions to "make the passengers escape," the captain "told the passengers to stay put while they themselves became the first to escape."

"Legally and ethically," she said, "this is an unimaginable act."

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More runners, more fans, more police expected for 1st Boston Marathon after bombings

BOSTON (AP) — For years, state and local officials have conducted a "tabletop exercise" before the Boston Marathon, a meeting that allows them to study a map of the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boston's Copley Square and plan for emergencies that could arise during the race.

So many new people needed to attend the session this year that they moved it from the state's emergency bunker in Framingham to the a convention center in the city. The crowd grew from what usually is about 100 to more than 450, according to Boston Athletic Association executive director Tom Grilk, who is in charge of organizing the race.

"Whether you have a small group or a big group, the spirit is the same," he said this month in an interview at the athletic association's office, about two blocks from the finish line. "And that is: How do we get our event done well?"

One year after a pair of homemade pressure cooker bombs killed three people and wounded more than 260 others, turning a day of athletic triumph into one of tragedy, the Boston Marathon returns to the streets on Monday. For the 118th edition of the world's oldest annual marathon, security along the course will be tighter than ever.

"There'll be considerably more police presence," Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "But we also don't want to have it, you know, kind of a race through a militarized zone. So it's about striking a balance, and I think we have struck that balance."

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10 Things to Know for Today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. WHO HAS HARSH WORDS FOR SOUTH KOREA FERRY CREW

President Park Geun-hye says the captain and some crew members of the sunken ship committed "unforgivable, murderous acts," leaving more than 300 dead or missing.

2. BOSTON READY FOR SECOND-LARGEST RACE

Amid tight security, 36,000 runners will take part in the city's marathon one year after a terrorist attack turned this sporting event into a tragedy.

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FBI says Calif. teen 'lucky to be alive' after stowing away in wheel well of Hawaii-bound jet

HONOLULU (AP) — Officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a plane's wheel well, surviving cold temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen.

"Doesn't even remember the flight," FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu told The Associated Press on Sunday night. "It's amazing he survived that."

The boy was questioned by the FBI after being discovered on the tarmac at the Maui airport Sunday morning with no identification, Simon said.

"Kid's lucky to be alive," Simon said.

Simon said security footage from the San Jose airport verified that the boy from Santa Clara, Calif., hopped a fence to get to Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 on Sunday morning. The child had run away from his family after an argument, Simon said. Simon said when the Boeing 767 landed in Maui, the boy hopped down from the wheel well and started wandering around the airport grounds.

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Americans love a good mystery, and missing Malaysian jet has the drama to keep people hooked

PERTH, Australia (AP) — From the disappearances of aviator Amelia Earhart to labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa, there's just something about a good mystery that Americans find too tantalizing to resist. Perhaps that's why the saga of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has continued to rivet the country long after people elsewhere have moved on.

From the beginning, the story has bubbled with enough drama to rival a good Hollywood whodunit. And even though it unfolded on the other side of the world with only three Americans on board, many were sucked in anyway.

"This story has many ingredients of compelling drama, particularly early on: lives at stake, mystery unsolved, a race against time, human emotion," Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute, said in an email.

Many found it impossible to believe that a modern Boeing 777 carrying 239 people could just vanish without a trace in an age where an iPhone can be tracked just about anywhere.

And so they tuned in to watch the latest developments. And when there were no new developments, they stayed glued to their smartphones because the suspense of not knowing — or possibly missing something new — somehow spiked when nothing was going on. From oil slicks to pings from dying black boxes, each new lead provided a salacious morsel that drove viewers to wonder: Will this be it?

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John Paul's legacy stained by sex abuse scandal, none greater than embrace of Legion of Christ

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope John Paul II is rightly credited with having helped bring down communism, of inspiring a new generation of Catholics with a globe-trotting papacy and of explaining church teaching on a range of hot-button issues as Christianity entered its third millennium.

But the sexual abuse scandal that festered under his watch remains a stain on his legacy.

John Paul and his top advisers failed to grasp the severity of the abuse problem until very late in his 26-year papacy, even though U.S. bishops had been petitioning the Holy See since the late-1980s for a faster way to defrock pedophile priests.

The experience of John Paul in Poland under communist and Nazi rule, where innocent priests were often discredited by trumped-up accusations, is believed to have influenced his general defensiveness of the clergy. The exodus of clergy after the turbulent 1960s similarly made him want to hold onto the priests he still had.

Pope Francis has inherited John Paul's most notorious failure on the sex abuse front — the Legion of Christ order that John Paul and his top advisers held up as a model. Francis, who will canonize John Paul on Sunday, must decide whether to sign off on the Vatican's three-year reform project, imposed after the Legion admitted that its late founder sexually abused his seminarians and fathered three children.

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Japan-China tensions point to legacy of troubled history kept alive by rival monuments

NANJING, China (AP) — Strolling through China's sprawling memorial to a 1937 massacre by Japanese troops, a 64-year-old retired teacher said the incident remains an open wound.

"Japan is a country without credibility. They pretend to be friendly, but they can't be trusted," Qi Houjie said as a frigid wind swept the austere plaza of the Nanking Massacre Memorial Hall.

Across the waters, Japanese visiting a Shinto shrine in Tokyo that enshrines 14 convicted war criminals among 2.5 million war dead say they're tired of Chinese harping, underscoring a gradual hardening of attitudes toward their neighbor. China criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday for having a "wrong attitude to history" after he sent a traditional offering to Yasukuni Shrine at the start of a 3-day spring festival.

"Yasukuni Shrine is a damaging element to Japan's relations with its neighbors," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said. "It is a negative asset for Japan. If the Japanese leaders are willing to continue carrying this negative asset on their back, the negative asset will become increasingly heavier."

Such statements don't sit well with Ayumi Shiraishi, a 28-year-old hotel employee who decided to see Yasukuni on a recent trip to the Japanese capital. "The harsher they criticize, the more strongly I feel it's not their business," she said of the Chinese. "It's a matter of the prime minister's belief, as he has said, and there is nothing wrong with that."

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AP-GfK Poll: Most agree with scientists on smoking, fewer buy Big Bang, evolution or warming

WASHINGTON (AP) — Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they express bigger doubts as concepts that scientists consider to be truths get further from our own experiences and the present time, an Associated Press-GfK poll found.

Americans have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 billion years ago.

Rather than quizzing scientific knowledge, the survey asked people to rate their confidence in several statements about science and medicine.

On some, there's broad acceptance. Just 4 percent doubt that smoking causes cancer, 6 percent question whether mental illness is a medical condition that affects the brain and 8 percent are skeptical there's a genetic code inside our cells. More — 15 percent — have doubts about the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines.

About 4 in 10 say they are not too confident or outright disbelieve that the earth is warming, mostly a result of man-made heat-trapping gases, that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old or that life on Earth evolved through a process of natural selection, though most were at least somewhat confident in each of those concepts. But a narrow majority — 51 percent — questions the Big Bang theory.

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Cuba's chronic housing deficit endures despite touted real-estate, construction reforms

HAVANA (AP) — The residents of 308 Oquendo Street were jolted awake in the middle of the night by violent shaking and a noise that they likened to a freight train, or an exploding bomb.

Part of their building's seventh floor had collapsed into the interior patio, heavily damaging apartments on the floors below. No one died, but the 120 families living in the building were left homeless.

Despite reforms in recent years to address the island's housing problem, such building collapses remain common in Cuba, where decades of neglect and a dearth of new home construction have left untold thousands of islanders living in crowded structures at risk of suddenly falling down.

When President Raul Castro legalized a real estate market for the first time in five decades, it was supposed to stimulate both new construction and maintenance of existing homes. But 2½ years later, there has been only a minimal impact on easing one of Cuba's biggest challenges: a chronic lack of suitable housing.

"We are very worried. The housing situation is critical in Cuba," said Anaidis Ramirez, among those displaced by the Feb. 28 building collapse in the densely populated Central Havana neighborhood.

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Another Malaysian plane makes emergency landing as sub search for missing jet wears on

PERTH, Australia (AP) — As the search continued off the coast of Australia for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet on Monday, the airline announced another plane bound for India was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its tires burst on takeoff.

All 159 passengers and seven crew members arrived safely back in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, about 2 a.m. on Monday, around four hours after the plane took off for Bangalore, India. The incident brought additional drama to an airline already under immense pressure for answers from the public and the families of those missing from Flight 370, more than six weeks after it departed the same airport.

Meanwhile, a robotic submarine continued scouring a desolate patch of silt-covered seafloor in the Indian Ocean for any trace of the missing plane. The unmanned sub has spent nearly a week searching for the plane's black boxes and has covered about two-thirds of its focused search area. But it has yet to uncover any clues that could shed light on the plane's mysterious disappearance.

The U.S. Navy's Bluefin 21 has made eight trips below the surface to scan the seabed far off the coast of western Australia, journeying beyond its recommended depth of 4 1/2 kilometers (2.8 miles). Its search area forms a 10-kilometer (6-mile) radius around the location of an underwater signal that was believed to have come from the aircraft's black boxes. The search coordination center said the sonar scan of the seafloor in that area was expected to be completed sometime this week.

Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has stressed the importance of the weekend's submarine missions, but added that even if no debris was recovered, the scope of the search may be broadened or other assets may be used.

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