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Governor: Closing Boston amid bomber hunt ‘tough’

BOSTON — Several days after the Boston Marathon bombing, Gov. Deval Patrick received a call in the pre-dawn hours from a top aide telling him that police officers outside the city had just engaged in a ferocious gun battle with the two men suspected of setting the bombs and that one was dead and the other had fled.

Pro-Russian militants ignore settlement in Ukraine

DONETSK, Ukraine — Pro-Russian militants, boasting that they did not take orders from diplomats in Washington or Moscow, refused to end their armed occupation of a dozen government buildings across eastern Ukraine on Friday, upending hopes for a quick end to the standoff.

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Salmonella decline seen in food poisoning report

NEW YORK — The government’s latest report card on food poisoning shows a dip in salmonella cases but an increase in illnesses from bacteria in raw shellfish. The report counts cases in only 10 states for some of the most common causes of foodborne illness, but is believed to be a good indicator of national food poisoning trends.

Avatar lures pedophiles in uphill battle against child porn online

LONDON — Sweetie looks much like other unfortunate young Filipinas. Just 10 years old, her user profile shows, she spends her days online fielding requests from men who offer her money to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam. When she logs on, invitations pour in — “Are you a working girl?” or “I’m into girls your age” — from strangers keen to get her into a private show via Skype or Yahoo! Messenger.

Deal reached on calming Ukraine unrest — for now

GENEVA — In a surprise accord, Ukraine and Russia agreed Thursday on tentative steps to halt violence and calm tensions along their shared border after more than a month of Cold War-style military posturing triggered by Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.

Prosecutor chides defense witness at Pistorius murder trial

PRETORIA, South Africa — An expert witness for the defense at the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius was supposed to help the athlete’s assertion that he killed his girlfriend by mistake last year, but he ended his testimony on Thursday amid blistering attacks on his credibility by a prosecutor who accused him of slipshod analysis and fuzzy explanations.

Search continues for missing Malaysian jet

PERTH, Australia — A robotic submarine headed back down into the depths of the Indian Ocean on Friday to scour the seafloor for any trace of the missing Malaysian jet one month after the search began off Australia’s west coast, as data from the sub’s previous missions turned up no evidence of the plane.