WASHINGTON (AP) — More than two-thirds of the states reported job gains in March, as hiring has improved for much of the country during what has been a sluggish but sustained 4 1/2-year recovery.
The chief executive of Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell Ben van Beurden met President Vladimir Putin at his private residence on Friday, telling the Russian strongman that the company wanted to expand its operations in Russia. The meeting between the Shell chief and Putin was the latest signal from the Kremlin that it is keen to keep ties with European big business despite the standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine. Putin had held a similar meeting on March 26 with the chief executive of Siemens, Joe Kaeser, who reassured the Russian president that the German industrial giant planned a long-term investment in Russia. Van Buerden told Putin that Shell wanted to expand the Sakhalin-2 offshore oil and gas project in the Pacific which is already delivering Russian LNG to Asian markets.
NEW YORK (AP) — Chobani plans to expand beyond its Greek yogurt cups this summer as it faces intensifying competition in the fast growing category.
Russia voiced disappointment on Friday with the U.S. assessment of an international deal to defuse the crisis in Ukraine, saying the threat of new sanctions against Moscow by Washington was "completely unacceptable". The Foreign Ministry accused U.S. officials of seeking to whitewash what it said was the use of force by the Ukrainian government against protesters in the country's mainly Russian-speaking eastern provinces. Thursday's deal called among other things for all illegal armed groups to disarm and end occupations of public buildings in Ukraine's east. President Barack Obama said the meeting in Geneva between Russia, Ukraine and Western powers was promising but that Washington and its allies were prepared to impose more sanctions on Russia if the situation fails to improve.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's robotic moon explorer, LADEE, is no more.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Democrats and their allies who are trying to take out Republican Gov. Scott Walker have invested all their hopes in Mary Burke, a Harvard-educated political newcomer whose father started Trek Bicycle when she was a teenager.
Japan said Friday it would redesign its controversial Antarctic whaling mission in a bid to make it more scientific, after a United Nations court ruled it was a commercial hunt masquerading as research. The bullish response, which could see harpoon ships back in the Southern Ocean next year, sets Tokyo back on a collision course with environmentalists. Campaigners had hailed the decision by the International Court of Justice, with hopes that it might herald the end of a practice they view as barbaric. "We will carry out extensive studies in cooperation with ministries concerned to submit a new research programme by this autumn to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), reflecting the criteria laid out in the verdict," said Yoshimasa Hayashi, minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Family members and friends of the police officer authorities say was killed by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects are honoring him a year later.
ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria's ailing incumbent president wins 4th term with 81 percent of vote.
Monte Carlo (Monaco) (AFP) - David Ferrer produced a major upset at the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday as the persistent Spaniard stunned eight-time champion Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 in the quarter-finals. Ferrer, seeded sixth, handed the top seed only his third loss at the tournament a day after Nadal had won his 300th clay match of his career and 50th at the Monte Carlo Country Club. That's what happened today," said Nadal. Ferrer will now face off on Saturday against Australian Open winner Stanislas Wawrinka, who beat Nadal in that grand slam final and booked his place 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 over Canadian Milos Raonic.
By Pavel Polityuk and Thomas Grove KIEV/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Armed pro-Russian separatists were still holding public buildings in eastern Ukraine on Friday, saying they needed more assurances about their security before they comply with an international deal ordering them to disarm. The agreement, brokered by the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union in Geneva on Thursday offered the best hope to date of defusing a stand-off in Ukraine that has dragged East-West relations to their lowest level since the Cold War. Enacting the agreement on the ground though will be difficult, because of the deep mistrust between the pro-Russian groups and the Western-backed government in Kiev, which this week flared into violent clashes that killed several people.
The United Nations said Friday at least 58 people were killed and more than 100 others wounded in an attack against one of its bases in South Sudan sheltering thousands of civilians. The top UN official in the war-torn nation, Toby Lanzer, praised peacekeepers from India, Nepal and South Korea for preventing what could have been a massacre of up to 5,000 people, and vowed the world body would use "lethal force" again to protect civilians under their protection. "We will do everything necessary to protect the lives of people in our protection, including the use of lethal force," Lanzer told AFP. In the clearest account yet of Thursday's incident in the government-controlled town of Bor, Lanzer described how a group of around 350 armed youths in civilian clothes "used extremely violent force to breach the perimeter" of the UN base.
By Pavel Polityuk KIEV (Reuters) - The Ukrainian government warned on Friday it could take "more concrete actions" next week if pro-Russian separatists do not end their occupations of public buildings under the terms of an international accord. Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia gave no details and Kiev has threatened to use force before to little effect. The minister also said that, despite demands from the separatists in the east, the government saw no need under its deal with Russia to dismantle the pro-European Maidan camp in Kiev.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's envoy to the European Union said the authorities in Kiev had incorrectly interpreted an international deal to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, where rebellions have broken out in Russian-speaking eastern provinces. "If we are speaking about how the Geneva document is being interpreted in Kiev by the current authorities, then unfortunately they understood this incorrectly," Vladimir Chizhov told the Russian state television Rossiya-24. ...
ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — A powerful, magnitude-7.5 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was centered northwest of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where many Mexicans are vacationing for the Easter holiday.