AP News in Brief at 10:58 p.m. EDT

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Associated Press

Posted on May 14, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 14 at 11:00 PM

Anger, grief swell in Turkey after 274 coal miners die; many blame prime minister

SOMA, Turkey (AP) — Amid wails of grief and anger, rescue workers coated in grime trudged repeatedly out of a coal mine Wednesday with stretchers of bodies that swelled the death toll to 274 — the worst such disaster in Turkish history.

Hopes faded for 150 others still trapped deep underground in smoldering tunnels filled with toxic gases.

Anti-government protests broke out in the mining town of Soma, as well as Istanbul and the capital, Ankara, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan heckled as he tried to show concern. Protesters shouted "Murderer!" and "Thief!" and Erdogan was forced to seek refuge in a supermarket, surrounded by police.

The display of anger could have significant repercussions for the Turkish leader, who is widely expected to run for president in the August election, although he has not yet announced his candidacy.

Tensions were high as hundreds of relatives and miners jostled outside the mine's entrance Wednesday, waiting for news amid a heavy police presence. Rows of women wailed uncontrollably and men knelt sobbing or simply stared in disbelief as rescue workers removed body after body, some charred beyond recognition.

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List of some of history's worst mine disasters around the world

A list of some of history's worst mine disasters:

—1942: China's northeast is the site of the world's deadliest coal mine disaster when an accident kills 1,549 miners in Japanese-occupied Manchuria during World War II.

—1906: A dust explosion in a French mine kills 1,099 workers.

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10 Things to Know for Thursday

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

1. DEATH TOLL CONTINUES TO RISE IN TURKEY MINE

The relentless task of carrying bodies from a coal mine goes on as more than 270 bodies are recovered with 150 miners still missing in the country's deadliest-ever mining accident.

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Ukraine warily begins talks on ending crisis — but its pro-Russia foes aren't invited

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — European-backed peace talks on ending Ukraine's crisis began with little promise Wednesday when pro-Russian insurgents — who weren't even invited to the session — demanded that the Kiev government recognize their sovereignty.

The "road map" put forth by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe calls for national dialogue as a first step toward resolving the escalating tensions, in which the insurgents have seized government buildings in eastern Ukraine and declared independence, while government forces have mounted limited offensives to retake control of the region.

But instead of a dialogue, the day was more a case of competing monologues, with the two sides as far apart as ever.

Denis Pushilin, a leader of the insurgency in the city of Donetsk, said his faction was not invited to the government-organized roundtable in Kiev, and that the "talks with Kiev authorities could only be about one thing: the recognition of the Donetsk People's Republic."

Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said in his opening remarks at the Kiev talks that authorities were "ready for a dialogue," but insisted they will not talk to the pro-Russia gunmen, which the government has denounced as "terrorists."

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Wildfire burns homes in Southern California as firefighters scramble to control wildfires

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Flames engulfed suburban homes and shot up along canyon ridges in one of the worst of several blazes that broke out Wednesday in Southern California during a second day of a sweltering heat wave, taxing fire crews who fear the scattered fires mark only the beginning of a long wildfire season.

Thick black smoke darkened blue skies over the Pacific coast city of Carlsbad, about 30 miles north of San Diego, known for its Legoland California amusement park. The park was closed Wednesday because of a power outage caused by the fire.

At least two firefighters suffered minor injuries — one heat-related and one from smoke inhalation — since Tuesday.

Thousands were asked to evacuate their homes in Carlsbad after the blaze erupted at about 10:34 a.m. Wednesday and spread through rapidly heavy brush before jumping into residential areas.

Despite a state fire report of 30 homes burned earlier in the day, Carlsbad Fire Chief Michael Davis said he knows of just three homes destroyed and about a dozen damaged, all of them in the same neighborhood.

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AP PHOTOS: Wildfire burns homes in Southern California during 2nd day of sweltering heat wave

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — During a second day of a sweltering heat wave, flames engulfed suburban homes and shot up along canyon ridges in one of the worst of several blazes that broke out Wednesday in Southern California.

Thick black smoke darkened blue skies over the Pacific coast city of Carlsbad, about 30 miles north of San Diego, known for its Legoland California amusement park. The park was closed Wednesday because of a power outage caused by the fire.

At least two firefighters suffered minor injuries — one heat-related and one from smoke inhalation — since Tuesday.

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Follow AP photographers on Twitter: http://apne.ws/XZy6nyhttp://apne.ws/XZy6ny

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Sept. 11 museum opens this week deep beneath ground zero; 'It brings everything up'

NEW YORK (AP) — The museum devoted to the story of Sept. 11 tells it in victims' last voicemails, in photos of people falling from the twin towers, in the scream of sirens, in the dust-covered shoes of those who fled the skyscrapers' collapse, in the wristwatch of one of the airline passengers who confronted the hijackers.

By turns chilling and heartbreaking, a place of both deathly silence and distressing sounds, the National September 11 Memorial Museum opens this week deep beneath ground zero, 12½ years after the terrorist attacks.

The project was marked by construction problems, financial squabbles and disputes over the appropriate way to honor the nearly 3,000 people killed in New York, Washington and the Pennsylvania countryside.

Whatever the challenges in conceiving it, "you won't walk out of this museum without a feeling that you understand humanity in a deeper way," museum President Joe Daniels said Wednesday.

The privately operated museum — built along with the memorial plaza above for $700 million in donations and tax dollars — will be dedicated Thursday with a visit from President Barack Obama and will be open initially to victims' families, survivors and first responders. It will open to the public May 21.

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Group pushes feds, companies for changes to laws allowing child labor on US tobacco farms

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — An international rights group is pushing the federal government and the tobacco industry to take further steps to protect children working on U.S. tobacco farms.

A report released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch claims that children as young as 7 are sometimes working long hours in fields harvesting nicotine- and pesticide-laced tobacco leaves under sometimes hazardous conditions. Most of what the group documented is legal, but it wants cigarette makers to push for safety on farms from which they buy tobacco.

Human Rights Watch details findings from interviews with more than 140 children working on farms in North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, where a majority of the country's tobacco is grown.

"The U.S. has failed America's families by not meaningfully protecting child farmworkers from dangers to their health and safety, including on tobacco farms," said Margaret Wurth, children's rights researcher and co-author of the report.

Human Rights Watch met with many of the world's biggest cigarette makers and tobacco suppliers to discuss its findings and push them to adopt or strengthen policies to prevent the practices in their supply chains.

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Study: Lung cancer screening could cost Medicare billions, add $3 to monthly premiums

Every person covered by Medicare would shell out an additional $3 a month if the government agreed to pay to screen certain current and former smokers for lung cancer, a new study estimates.

It would cost Medicare $2 billion a year to follow recent advice to offer these lung scans — and fuel angst about rising health costs that are borne by everyone, not just smokers, the study found.

Joshua Roth of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle said the researchers merely were tallying the cost of screening, and were not "judging value" or saying whether Medicare should pay it. He led the study, which was released Wednesday and will be presented at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference later this month.

Lung cancer is the world's top cancer killer, mainly because it's usually found too late for treatment to do much good. Most deaths involve Medicare-age people, and most are due to smoking.

Recently, a major study found that annual CT scans, a type of X-ray, could cut the chances of dying from lung cancer by up to 20 percent in those most at risk — people ages 55 through 79 who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or the equivalent, such as two packs a day for 15 years.

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CANNES WATCH: Blake Lively dazzles on carpet, Kidman talks lows, Campion criticizes industry

CANNES, France (AP) — The Associated Press is all over the Cannes Film Festival — from its glitzy premieres to the celeb parties and quirky moments in between. Here's what reporters have seen and heard:

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BLAKE LIVELY FOR THE WINNING LOOK

Blake Lively stunned crowds at the Cannes opening of "Grace of Monaco" in Gucci Premiere, wearing a beautifully constructed shoulder-less, two-tone bordeaux silk chiffon bustier dress.

The daring slit down the "Gossip Girl" star's floor-length fluttery pleated skirt exposed a toned left leg and drew attention away from the fact that the gown's color slightly clashed with the bright red carpet. Lively is at Cannes as a L'Oreal ambassador and as the better half of actor Ryan Reynolds, whose film "Captives" is competing for the Palme d'Or.

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