AP News in Brief at 8:58 p.m. EDT

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Associated Press

Posted on May 13, 2014 at 8:04 PM

166 dead, many miners still trapped after explosion and fire at Turkish coal mine

SOMA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's energy minister has raised the death toll from an explosion and fire at a coal mine in western Turkey to 166. Some 200 people are still believed trapped inside the mine.

Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said early Wednesday that 787 people were working inside at the time of the accident in the coal mine in Soma, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of Istanbul.

He says 80 mine workers were injured and at least four of them are in serious condition.

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Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey.

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FBI: 100s have contacted us on pedophile teacher as possible victims or offering information

Hundreds of people have contacted the FBI about a teacher suspected of drugging and molesting boys during a four-decade career at international schools on four continents, greatly expanding the potential number of suspected victims.

The FBI said last month that William Vahey had molested at least 90 boys, whose photos were found on a memory drive stolen by his maid. The bureau said Tuesday that it has now "been contacted by several hundred individuals from around the globe wishing either to reach out as potential victims or provide information in the ongoing investigation."

Special Agent Shauna Dunlap said officials wanted as many people as possible to call or contact the FBI through its website in order to receive counseling and provide information about a man who the bureau calls one of the most prolific pedophiles in memory.

Vahey killed himself at age 64 after evidence of molestation was found on a memory drive stolen by a maid in Nicaragua.

He was one of the most beloved teachers in the world of international schools that serve the children of diplomats, well-off Americans and local elites. The discovery of his molestation has set off a crisis in the community of international schools, where parents are being told their children may have been victims, and administrators are scurrying to close loopholes exposed by Vahey's abuses.

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6 Ukrainian soldiers killed in east; Kiev skeptical about OSCE peace plan pushed by Germany

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — An insurgent ambush killed six soldiers Tuesday in eastern Ukraine as Germany moved to jumpstart a possible plan toward peace that includes launching a dialogue on decentralizing the government in Kiev.

Ukraine's leadership appeared cool to the plan and U.S. officials view its prospects for success skeptically. But some analysts say Russian President Vladimir Putin is more likely to accept a deal that doesn't come from Washington

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is in Ukraine to try to broker a quick launch of talks between the central government and pro-Russia separatists. That would be a first step in implementing a "road map" drawn up by the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe aimed at settling the crisis.

The OSCE is a trans-Atlantic security and rights group that includes Russia and the U.S., whose sparring over each other's role in Ukraine sometimes overshadows events on the ground.

Speaking in Brussels, acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk thanked the OSCE for its plan but said Ukraine has drawn up its own "road map" for ending the crisis and noted the people of his country should settle the issue themselves.

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Nigeria says all options open to free kidnapped girls as US has begins surveillance flights

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — U.S. reconnaissance aircraft flew over Nigeria in search of the nearly 300 kidnapped schoolgirls Tuesday, a day after the Boko Haram militant group released the first evidence that at least some of them are still alive and demanded that jailed fighters be swapped for their freedom.

A Nigerian government official said "all options" were open — including negotiations or a possible military operation with foreign help — in the effort to free the girls, who were shown fearful and huddled together dressed in gray Islamic veils as they sang Quranic verses under the guns of their captors in a video released Monday.

The footage was verified as authentic by Nigerian authorities, who said 54 of the girls had been identified by relatives, teachers and classmates who watched the video late Tuesday.

The abduction has spurred a global movement to secure the girls' release amid fears they would be sold into slavery, married off to fighters or worse following a series of threats by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.

Protesters marched through the streets of the capital, Abuja, Tuesday to demand more government action to find and free the girls, who are believed to be held in the vast Sambisi forest some 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the eastern town of Chibok, where they were seized from their school on April 15.

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European court: People can ask Google to remove personal info from search results

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Europe's highest court Tuesday gave people the means to scrub their reputations online, issuing a landmark ruling that experts say could force Google and other search engines to delete references to old debts, long-ago arrests and other unflattering episodes.

Embracing what has come to be called "the right to be forgotten," the Court of Justice of the European Union said people should have some say over what information comes up when someone Googles them.

The decision was celebrated by some as a victory for privacy rights in an age when just about everything — good or bad — leaves a permanent electronic trace. Others warned it could interfere with the celebrated free flow of information online and lead to censorship.

The ruling stemmed from a case out of Spain involving Google, but it applies to the entire 28-nation bloc of over 500 million people and all search engines in Europe, including Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing.

It has no immediate effect on the way Google and other search engines display their results in the U.S. or other countries outside Europe.

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Afghanistan veteran who saved comrade gets Medal of Honor from Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — It could have been over for Kyle J. White just 30 seconds into the Taliban ambush, when a rocket-propelled grenade knocked him unconscious.

But he came to and by the time the four-hour firefight in Afghanistan was over, White, reeling from concussions and shrapnel in his face, had saved one comrade's life and helped secure the evacuation of other wounded Americans.

On Tuesday, White became only the seventh living recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan, the latest reminder of the post-Sept. 11 conflicts and U.S. sacrifices President Barack Obama has sought to bring to an end

"We pay tribute to a soldier who embodies the courage of his generation," Obama said.

With the medal, White, who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome after the ambush, also draws attention to the recent scrutiny confronting the Veteran's Affairs health care system and allegations of lapses in care and delays in mental health treatment.

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Capito and Tennant win party nods for Senate in West Virginia, ensuring its 1st female senator

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito and Democrat Natalie Tennant captured primary wins on Tuesday, setting the stage for a historic U.S. Senate showdown in November that will give West Virginia its first female senator.

Capito, a seven-term congresswoman and daughter of former Gov. Arch Moore, and Tennant, the state's secretary of state, each cruised to victory and will square off to replace Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who is retiring after 30 years.

West Virginia has become increasingly Republican, and Capito enters the general election contest as the heavy favorite. If elected, she would be the first Republican senator from West Virginia since 1959.

Voters in Nebraska also were deciding their lineups for the November elections in the latest round of spring primaries. The fall midterms will determine control of Congress for the last two years of President Barack Obama's second term, with Republicans expected to hold the House and cautiously optimistic about winning control of the Senate.

The GOP needs to net six seats to grab the majority.

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Oscar-winning 'Searching for Sugar Man' director Malik Bendjelloul dies at 36

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Malik Bendjelloul, the cash-strapped freelance film maker who shot to Hollywood stardom overnight with the Oscar-winning music documentary "Searching for Sugar Man," has died. He was 36.

Swedish police spokeswoman Pia Glenvik told The Associated Press that Bendjelloul died in Stockholm late Tuesday, but wouldn't specify where his body was found or the cause of death.

She said no crime is suspected in relation to the filmmaker's death.

"Searching for Sugar Man," which tells the story of how American singer Sixto Rodriguez became a superstar in South Africa without knowing about it, won the Oscar for best documentary in 2013. It was the first time a Swedish film had won an Oscar since Ingmar Bergman's "Fanny and Alexander" in 1984.

The film also won several other prizes, including a British BAFTA for best documentary and the Swedish Guldbagge award.

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Sterling seeks forgiveness but creates new controversy with remarks on Magic Johnson, HIV

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An interview that was supposed to be an attempt at rehabilitation instead had Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling facing fresh rebukes as he went from apologizing for recent racist remarks to slamming Magic Johnson, repeatedly bringing up the ex-NBA star's HIV and calling him an unfit role model for children.

"He's got AIDS!" Sterling said loudly at one point in the interview, cutting off CNN's Anderson Cooper as the interviewer attempted to cite Johnson's accomplishments after Sterling asked, "What has he done, big Magic Johnson, what has he done?"

Johnson, who is appearing on Cooper's show on Tuesday, wrote on his Twitter account that "I'd rather be talking about these great NBA Playoffs than Donald Sterling's interview."

In an early excerpt from Johnson's interview posted on CNN's website, the former Lakers star said Sterling is "reaching."

"He's trying to find something that he can grab on to help him save his team," he said. "And it's not going to happen. ... I'm a God-fearing man and I'm going to pray for him and hope things work out for him."

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Man who claims to be God rams truck into Baltimore TV station; police make arrest hours later

TOWSON, Md. (AP) — A man claiming to be God rammed a truck through the front of a Baltimore-area television station Tuesday, leaving a gaping hole as reporters and other staff fled the building.

Police arrested a suspect about five hours after the incident, officials said at a news conference. The suspect was not injured but was taken for medical treatment, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said.

"It's very clear the subject is suffering from emotional or mental health issues," Police Chief James Johnson said. The identity of the 29-year-old man was not immediately disclosed.

Michael Marion was in his office off WMAR-TV's lobby when he heard someone rattling violently against the security door about 11:45 a.m. The man demanded to be let in, claiming "I am God, I am God," Marion said.

"I heard a series of crashes," Marion said. "The next thing, I looked in the lobby, and the only thing between truck and the lobby was the final door. I heard one final crash. I looked through the door, and by then the truck was pulling in the lobby."

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