Olivia Wilde welcomes baby boy

LOS ANGELES — It's a boy for Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis.

A spokeswoman for the "Tron: Legacy" actress confirms the couple welcomed son Otis Alexander on Sunday.

Wilde posted a message on Twitter Wednesday with a photo of her cuddling the newborn. It says, "Ladies and gentlemen, Otis Alexander Sudeikis has LEFT the building!" and then notes in parentheses that she's the building.

The 30-year-old "Rush" and "House" actress is engaged to the 38-year-old "We're the Millers" actor and former star of "Saturday Night Live."

It's the couple's first child.

South Korea ferry toll hits 159 as relatives wait

JINDO, South Korea (AP) — Divers made their way deeper Thursday into the submerged wreck of a ferry that sank more than a week ago as the death toll neared 160 and relatives of the more than 140 still missing pressed the government to finish the grim task of recovery soon.

At a port on this island near the scene of divers' efforts, relatives lined up for a daily ritual, crowding around a large signboard to read updates about bodies found overnight and the search plan for the day. Volunteers posted messages of support: "Please come back home," one of the messages said. "We pray for you."

Photos: South Korea ferry disaster

Related: Children's corpses reveal desperate attempts to escape Korean ferry

Related: Captain who left doomed ferry had 40 years at sea

Navy divers Thursday were searching the rear of the ferry's fourth floor, officials posted on a sign board. The coast guard and a rescue company were searching the middle section of the same floor, and another team was to search the front and middle of the fourth floor. Officials also posted new numbers at the port: 159 dead; 143 missing.

As divers plunge deeper into the ferry, the work gets harder as they find they have to rip through cabin walls to retrieve more victims.

Looming in the background is a sensitive issue: When to bring in the cranes and begin the salvage effort by cutting up and raising the submerged vessel.

South Korea ferry death toll passes 100

Duration: 0:58 Views: 10k Reuters

"Now we think we have to deal with this realistically," said Pyun Yong-gi, whose 17-year-old daughter is among the missing.

"We don't want the bodies to decay further, so we want them to pull out the bodies as quickly as they can," Pyun said on Jindo island, where recovered bodies are taken for families to identify.

That view is not shared among all relatives of the missing, however. One of them, Jang Jong-ryul, was sensitive about the mere mention of the word "salvage" and said most families don't want to think about it.

The number of corpses recovered has risen sharply since the weekend, when divers battling strong currents and low visibility were finally able to enter the submerged vessel. But the task is becoming more difficult.

"The lounge is one big open space, so once in it we got our search done straight away. But in the case of the cabins, we will have to break down the walls in between because they are all compartments," said Koh Myung-seok, spokesman for the government-wide emergency task force.

A man reads messages wishing for safe return of passengers aboard the sunken ferry boat Sewol, at a gymnasium where relatives of passengers wait for their missing loved ones in Jindo, South Korea, Wednesday, April 23, 2014.AP Photo: Ahn Young-joon

A man reads messages wishing for safe return of passengers aboard the sunken ferry boat Sewol, at a gymnasium where relatives of passengers wait for their missing loved ones in Jindo, South Korea, Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

The government has not said when it intends to begin the salvage effort, though it has said it will be considerate of the families of the missing.

For some relatives of the missing, speed in recovering the dead is becoming more important.

"I've seen the bodies and they are starting to smell. It inflicts a new wound for the parents to see the bodies decomposed," Pyun said.

Related: Acts of bravery emerge from pilloried ship crew

Related: Families hopes for ferry victims painfully humble

He and other relatives have set a deadline of Thursday for the government to recover all the bodies, though he concedes they have no way to enforce it. "We are not the ones who are actually doing it, so we know that there is nothing we can do," Pyun said.

The victims of the April 16 disaster are overwhelmingly students of a single high school in Ansan, near Seoul. More than three-quarters of the 323 students are dead or missing, while nearly two-thirds of the other 153 people on board survived.

The funeral halls in Ansan are already full, and Oh Sang-yoon of the task force center said in a statement that the center "is taking measures to accommodate additional bodies by placing mortuary refrigerators at the funeral halls in Ansan," and directing mourning families to funeral homes in nearby cities.

Twenty-two of the 29 members of the ferry's crew survived, and 11, including Capt. Lee Joon-seok, have been arrested or detained in connection with the investigation. Two of the crew were arrested Wednesday, senior prosecutor Ahn Sang-don said.

Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers

Duration: 1:39 Views: 4k AP Online Video

Ahn said an analysis of photos and video on the ship before its sinking showed the captain and other arrested crew members didn't rescue passengers, though it was their duty. Ahn said the crew members were at the ship's steering room or engine room together before fleeing the Sewol earlier than passengers.

The captain initially told passengers to stay in their cabins, and waited about half an hour to issue an evacuation order. He has said he waited because the current was strong, the water was cold and passengers could have drifted away before help arrived. But maritime experts said he could have ordered passengers to the deck — where they would have had a greater chance of survival — without telling them to abandon ship.

It was not the crew but a passenger who first alerted authorities that the boat was in distress, the coast guard confirmed Wednesday.

An emergency call was made 8:52 a.m. last Wednesday to the Jeonnam 119 fire department, which transferred the call to the Mokpo coast guard office, the coast guard said in an emailed statement. The ferry made its first distress call three minutes later.

Yonhap news agency reported that the caller was a student from Ansan, and remains missing.

Ferry disaster: Searchers and divers look for people believed to have been trapped in the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea, April 22.AP Photo: Korea Pool

Searchers and divers look for people believed to have been trapped in the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

The cause of the disaster is not yet known. Ahn said investigators are considering factors including wind, ocean currents, freight, modifications made to the ship and the fact that it turned just before it began listing.

Tracking data show that the ship made a 45-degree turn, and that it turned about 180 degrees in the course of about three minutes around the time the vessel began to list.

A maritime professor who spoke with the Sewol's third mate, who is among those arrested and was steering the ferry before it sank, said he suspects a problem with the steering gear caused the sinking.

Professor Kim Woo-Sook of Mokpo National Maritime University said he spoke to Park Han-gyeol, a former student, at a Mokpo detention facility. He says she told him she ordered a helmsman to make just a 5-degree turn, but the steering gear turned too far and the helmsman could not turn it back.

Kim said the steering gear would not have been enough alone to capsize the ship, but he suspects it caused poorly secured freight to shift, making the vessel unbalanced. He said he told her he believes she didn't make any mistakes in steering the ship, but that was wrong to have followed the captain in escaping the ship without protecting the passengers.

Senior prosecutor Yang Jung-jin said government investigators have not confirmed problems in the steering gear of the Sewol.

___

Drouin-Keith wrote from Seoul. Associated Press writers Jung-hee Oh and Kyeongmin Lee in Jindo, Chang Yong-jun in Ansan, and Youkyung Lee, Hyung-jin Kim, Foster Klug and Jung-yoon Choi in Seoul contributed to this report.

Obama: New sanctions on Russia ‘teed up’

TOKYO (AP) — Warning Russia that new economic sanctions are "teed up," President Barack Obama accused Moscow of failing to live up to an agreement last week to ease tensions in eastern Ukraine.

Related: Russia threatens response if interests attacked in Ukraine

Related: UK scrambles jets to see off Russian planes near Scotland

Still, he cautioned that the United States needs to secure the support of allies to ensure that additional economic pressure is even applied. He conceded that new sanctions may not change Russian President Vladimir Putin's geopolitical calculations.

"There are some things the United States can do alone but ultimately it's going to have to be a joint effort, a collective effort," Obama said during a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Obama's comments underscored the difficulties he faces in devising a response to Russia's aggressive moves on Ukraine's eastern border and the growing unrest in the country driven by pro-Russian insurgents. He did not put a timeline on when sanctions could be applied, saying only it was a matter of days, not weeks.

Obama complained that militias and armed men continue to take over government buildings in Ukraine in defiance of Ukrainian authorities. Pro-Russian insurgents have been especially active in eastern Ukraine in the aftermath of Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. Under an agreement struck last week in Geneva, Russia had agreed to take steps to defuse the tensions.

"So far we have seen them not abide by the spirit or the letter of the agreement in Geneva," Obama said. If that continues, he said, "there will be further consequences and we will ramp up further sanctions."

Related: Ukraine's leaders say have U.S. backing to take on 'aggressors'

Obama's caution came in the wake of a warning by the Russian foreign minister that attacks on Russian citizens or interests in Ukraine would bring a firm response. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov compared the circumstances to those that triggered the war with Georgia in 2008.

By acknowledging that he still needed cooperation from allies to impose new sanctions, Obama laid bare one of the key obstacles to presenting a united front against Russia. Many European countries rely on Russian energy and fear that increased pressure on Moscow could hurt their own economies.

"It's important to emphasize that throughout this process our goal has been to change Mr. Putin's calculus, that our preference is to resolve this diplomatically, that sanctions hurt Russia more than anybody else but they are disruptive to the global economy," Obama said.

In Russia, Lavrov on Wednesday declared that attacks on Russian citizens are attacks against the Russian federation. His comments came day after Ukraine announced it was re-launching a campaign against pro-Russia insurgents occupying government facilities in the mostly Russian-speaking east.

"If we were attacked we could certainly respond," Lavrov said.

Aldridge’s 43 lifts Blazers over Rockets 112-105 (Yahoo Sports)

HOUSTON (AP) -- LaMarcus Aldridge's son JJ, who turned 5 on Wednesday, texted him after the Portland Trail Blazers' playoff win and told him he looked like Spider-Man on one of his dunks.

To the Houston Rockets the Portland star probably looked like a superhero on more than just that one play.

Aldridge continued his dominance against the Rockets, scoring 43 points to lift the Trail Blazers to a 112-105 victory and a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Aldridge has made the most of the return to his home state and put the Trail Blazers in control heading home for Game 3 in Portland on Friday. The former University of Texas star who grew up in Dallas laughed heartily and said 'maybe' when asked if he'd rather stay in the Lone Star state after the way he's played in the first two games.

''(Leading) 2-0 going home feels great, but it's not over,'' he said. ''We're going to stay hungry, stay humble and go home and try to duplicate the same (success).''

Aldridge became the first player with consecutive games of 43 points games in the playoffs since Tracy McGrady did it in April 2003 after scoring a career-high and franchise playoff-record 46 in an overtime win in Game 1. He's also the first player Trail Blazers history to have two 40-point games in the postseason and his 89 points in a team's first two playoff games trail only Michael Jordan (1986, 1988) and Jerry West (1965) in the last 50 years.

He's helped the Trail Blazers win two road games to start a playoff series for just the second time in franchise history and the first since they took the first two against the Lakers in the 1977 Western Conference Finals.

Damian Lillard made six free throws down the stretch to help out in the win. But the guard gave all the credit for the win to Aldridge.

''What can they do to stop him? He was great once again, just like Game 1,'' Lillard said. ''When a lot of guys couldn't get going and couldn't hit shots, he just carried us. He played like an MVP again.''

The Rockets spent the last two days of practice focused on how to slow Aldridge down, but nothing they did seemed to faze the 6-foot-11 player.

''We tried changing it up tonight,'' Houston coach Kevin McHale said. ''Tonight, he was picking and popping and moving and we were having trouble running people at him. We were trying to get the ball out of his hands as much as we could.''

Aldridge credited coach Terry Stotts for moving him around early in the game to help evade Houston's double-teams.

''I made tough shots,'' Aldridge said. ''I don't think too much was easy tonight. I just got in that rhythm and started making shots.''

James Harden knocked down a 3-pointer with about 30 seconds left to get the Rockets within 3. Lillard made two free throws before Harden fouled out about 10 seconds later. Mo Williams and Lillard both made a pair of free throws after that to secure the win. Lillard finished with 18 points.

Dwight Howard was unstoppable early and scored 25 points in the first half, but managed just seven in the second half.

After missing 20 shots in Game 1, Harden promised a better performance in this game. But it was much of the same as he was 6 of 19 and finished with 18 points.

''We don't have our same flow, our same mojo that we had throughout the season,'' Harden said. ''We don't have our same swag ... we've got to get that back.''

The Rockets trailed by nine points before a 5-0 run cut the lead to 102-98 with about a minute left. Both teams made a pair of free throws after that before Lillard found Wesley Matthews wide open for a reverse layup to make it 106-100 with 33 seconds left.

A one-handed dunk by Aldridge over Omer Asik gave Portland a 96-87 lead with about five minutes left.

With Aldridge on the bench to start the fourth, Houston scored the first four points of the period to cut the lead to two points, but Williams and Dorell Wright made consecutive 3s to make it 89-81 midway through the quarter.

Aldridge made 10 of Portland's first 14 points of the second half to help the Trail Blazers build a 67-58 lead with about eight minutes left in the quarter. Houston scored the next nine points, with the last five from Chandler Parsons, to tie it at 67 a couple of minutes later.

Portland an 83-77 led entering the fourth quarter.

The Trail Blazers scored seven straight points to take a 53-51 lead late in the second quarter, but Beverley's basket at the buzzer tied it at halftime.

Howard scored Houston's first 13 points and had 19 - with five dunks - by the end of the first quarter to help the Rockets to a 31-23 lead.

NOTES: Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, who has been working with Howard this week, watched the game from a courtside seat. ... Wright finished with 15 points. ... Howard's 19 points in the first quarter were a franchise-high for a quarter in the playoffs, surpassing the 18 Olajuwon scored against Utah on May 5, 1995.

Hamels loses to Dodgers in 1st start of season (Yahoo Sports)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Zack Greinke is in midseason form. Cole Hamels is just starting his season.

Greinke outpitched Hamels with seven strong innings, Hanley Ramirez homered and Yasiel Puig drove in two runs for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.

''It wasn't like everything was incredible, but I could use anything in or away at any time,'' Greinke said. ''For the most part, throughout my whole career, I've had at least two pitches. There have been very few games where I don't have two pitches working, and usually there's three.''

Greinke (4-0) allowed two runs and five hits while striking out 11 and walking one batter intentionally. Manager Don Mattingly tried to squeeze one more inning out of the right-hander, but lifted him after Jayson Nix drove Greinke's 108th pitch to left-center for a leadoff homer.

J.P. Howell got three outs in the eighth, and Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save after the Dodgers picked up a couple of insurance runs in the eighth on Ramirez's leadoff homer to center and Justin Turner's RBI single off Shawn Camp.

Greinke is off to the second-best start of his 11-year career. He won his first six decisions in 2009 with Kansas City, when he finished 16-8 and established career bests with a 2.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts en route to the AL Cy Young Award.

''He's been a great pitcher. He took off in Kansas City when he won that Cy Young and he's been good ever since,'' Hamels said. ''He's a true competitor and he's pretty smart. He definitely knows how to pitch, and you know when you have to face a guy like him, you have to keep the other guy from scoring because he's going to do the same.''

It was Greinke's 18th double-digit strikeout game in the majors and his first in 33 starts with the Dodgers. This was the 17th consecutive start in which Greinke pitched at least five innings while allowing fewer than three runs.

Hamels took the loss in his season debut, after missing the first three weeks because of biceps tendinitis. The 30-year-old left-hander made 86 pitches, allowing two runs and six hits over six innings with five strikes and a walk. He made 30 or more starts in each of the previous six seasons, so starting the season this late was an adjustment for him.

''That's in the past. I don't really think about last year or last week. I just keep going forward and try to get healthy,'' Hamels said. ''I was worried about what I had to do - build up my pitch going and get ready to start every five days. That's what transpired for the past couple of weeks. That's kind of all I could do.

''I knew what I was going into. It was just a matter of preparing myself just like I normally have and getting ready in a spring training-type setting. It was just a couple of weeks later than everybody else.''

Puig struck out his first two times up, but lined an RBI single to right in the fifth to put the Dodgers ahead 2-1 after Hamels gave up a two-out single by Drew Butera and walked Greinke.

''You can never walk the pitcher. I understand Greinke is a very good hitter, but at the same time, you have to let him hit his way on,'' Hamels said. ''That right there was the ballgame. It decided everything in terms of what transpired in the next inning and it racked up my pitch count right there.''

Juan Uribe's sacrifice fly gave Los Angeles 1-0 lead in the second, after Matt Kemp led off with the first of his two doubles. Ryan Howard tied it in the fourth with an RBI single after a leadoff double by Jimmy Rollins.

''One of the keys, where Rollins hit that leadoff double, I didn't even try to keep him from scoring,'' Greinke said. ''It would be really tough. As long as you just limit it to that one run, it's not that big of a deal. That's kind of the mindset. It's been working.''

Greinke had nine strikeouts through the first five innings, including five in a row after Howard's hit. Greinke doubled with two outs in the seventh and scored on Puig's triple off the right field fence.

NOTES: Two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start on Friday with Class A Rancho Cucamonga as he works his way back from a muscle strain in his upper back. He last pitched for the Dodgers in a season-opening 3-1 win over Arizona during the team's two-game visit to Australia. ... The Phillies have 18 extra-base hits over their last four games after getting none in their previous four - the club's longest drought since a four-game stretch in May 1968. ... Dodgers 1B and cleanup hitter Adrian Gonzalez, whose 16-game hitting streak ended Tuesday, didn't start for the first time this season. He pinch-hit in the ninth and flied out to the warning track in center with two men on.

Apple shares hit 2014 highs, Asian stocks lag

By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Shares in tech heavyweights Apple and Facebook held hefty after-hours gains on Thursday as their results handily outpaced Wall Street expectations, though Asian markets managed only a mumbled cheer.

The Nikkei slipped 0.97 percent with some investors apparently disappointed that a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama made no concrete progress on a trade deal.

Markets were mixed elsewhere across the region with Singapore up 0.5 percent, but Shanghai off 0.3 percent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged ahead by a tenth of a percent.

The outlook for the U.S. market was brighter, however, with Nasdaq futures up 1 percent and the S&P 500 E-mini adding 0.3 percent.

European bourses were also set for a positive day, with the FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 futures all starting 0.3 to 0.5 percent firmer.

The gains come after Apple decided to buy back $30 billion of its shares through the end of 2015 and authorized a seven-for-one stock split.

Its shares jumped almost 8 percent to $566.50 in after-hours trade, the highest since December and adding roughly $35 billion to its market worth.

Apple reported sales of 43.7 million iPhones in the quarter ended March, far outpacing forecasts. That drove a 4.6 percent rise in revenue to $45.6 billion, a record for any non-holiday quarter.

Facebook Inc shares also boasted a 3.7 percent jump after hours as the Internet social networking company topped Wall Street's financial targets.

Of the 158 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far, 75 percent have beaten earnings expectations.

The Nasdaq had ended Wednesday 0.83 percent lower, while the Dow eased 0.08 percent and the S&P 500 lost 0.22 percent.

NZD THE LONE MOVER

The main mover in currencies was the New Zealand dollar, which hopped higher after the country's central bank raised interest rates by a quarter point to 3 percent and signaled there was more tightening to come.

The kiwi dollar gained around a third of a cent to $0.8623 in the wake of the news.

Yet that was the only excitement in a market that has been trading within frustratingly tight ranges. The U.S. dollar eased slightly on the yen to 102.35, but remains trapped in a 101.50 to 104.50 band that has held for almost three months now.

Likewise, the euro was little changed at $1.3819 after failing to sustain even the smallest of rallies overnight. It briefly popped up to $1.3854 following better news on euro zone manufacturing, but quickly ran out of steam.

The latest performance of manufacturing indexes showed euro zone businesses enjoyed the best month in nearly three years, led by a jump in Germany.

The "flash" PMI for the United States dipped a tick to 55.4 in April, missing forecasts of 56.0 but still pointing to solid growth in the sector.

However, there was worrying news on U.S. housing as new home sales dived 14.5 percent in March on top of a 4.5 drop in February. The annualized sales pace of 384,000 was the second slowest since late 2012, a blow to what has been a major driver of the U.S. economic recovery.

In commodity markets, oil prices recouped some of the losses suffered after U.S. crude inventories hit a record high, with the continuing crisis in Ukraine keeping a floor under the market.

Brent crude for June delivery added 17 cents to $109.28 a barrel, while U.S. crude gained 22 cents to $101.66.

Gold edged higher to $1,286.05 an ounce but remained uncomfortably close to major chart support at $1,275.

(Editing by Chris Gallagher & Shri Navaratnam)

Kane leads Blackhawks past Blues, 4-3 in OT (Yahoo Sports)

CHICAGO (AP) -- Patrick Kane had his shot all along. Same for his dazzling puck-handling skills and the vision that sees the plays before they happen.

What Kane got back on Wednesday night was his legs, and the result was a familiar one.

Kane scored his second goal of the game at 11:17 of overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-3 to even their first-round playoff series at two games.

''Special player. Patience, play recognition, delays, just at a different level you don't see often,'' Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.

Kane missed the final 12 games of the regular season after he hurt his left leg during a 4-0 victory over St. Louis on March 19. He scored in his first game back in the series opener against the Blues, but Game 4 was by far his best performance since the injury.

''Every game feels like I've gotten a little bit better,'' he said. ''Whether it's timing or getting used to playing in the playoffs again, whatever it may be, just try to keep getting better and better and use these games to my advantage.''

Kane carried the puck down the left side in OT as teammates Ben Smith and Brandon Saad rushed toward the net, and beat Ryan Miller with a well-placed wrist shot for his 32nd career postseason goal.

Kane, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP last season, also had a shot go off the crossbar earlier in overtime.

''He's a dangerous player,'' Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. ''He's dangerous off the rush. The most dangerous player in the league.''

Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell also scored for defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago, which blew a 2-0 second-period lead. Jonathan Toews had two assists and Corey Crawford made 30 saves.

Game 5 of the best-of-seven series is Friday night in St. Louis.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals for the Blues, and Miller finished with 30 stops. Maxim Lapierre also scored his first goal of the series.

''We knew it was going to be a tough battle and I think we're right where we want to be,'' Lapierre said. ''We won our two games at home. We came were and played good hockey. Now we've got to focus, regroup and play good hockey in St. Louis again.''

Tarasenko's fourth goal of the playoffs made it 3-2 at 12:26 of the third, but Bickell tipped Michal Rozsival's slap shot past Miller to tie it with 3:52 left in regulation.

The Blues were without captain David Backes again after he was scratched for the second straight game with an upper-body injury. Backes hasn't played since he absorbed a big hit from Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook in the third period of St. Louis' 4-3 overtime victory Saturday.

Seabrook served the second of his three-game suspension, giving Sheldon Brookbank his second straight start with top defenseman Duncan Keith.

Blues forward Brenden Morrow also was scratched after Hitchcock said earlier in the day that he would miss the rest of the series. Morrow missed the final three games of the regular season with a foot injury. He played in Games 1 and 3 against the Blackhawks.

Playing in front of another loud sellout crowd, the Blackhawks used their maligned power play to grab the lead in the second.

St. Louis defenseman Alex Pietrangelo had his stick knocked away by Toews, who fired a shot that went off Shaw's right skate and popped up in the air. Shaw then swiped it in with a backhand for his first goal of the postseason at 8:40.

It was the Blackhawks' second power-play goal in 17 opportunities for the series.

Kane got an assist on Shaw's score, and then scored one of his own to make it 2-0 at 16:09. Defenseman Johnny Oduya made a beautiful cross-ice pass to a streaking Kane, who shot it over Miller's glove for his second of the series.

''I just try to play off instincts and have the feeling that you're going to make things happen instead of waiting around,'' Kane said. ''I'll try to keep that going.''

St. Louis appeared to be in big trouble before Kane committed a delay of game penalty with 1:16 left in the second, giving the Blues an opening. Just seven seconds into the resulting power play, Tarasenko beat a screened Crawford for his third goal of the series.

It was the Blues' second power-play goal in 21 chances in the series.

St. Louis then got another late-period goal when Lapierre's shot went off the right post and then Crawford's left shoulder before going into the net with 3.1 seconds to go. Five of the Blues' goals in the series have come in the final two minutes of a period.

NOTES: Blues C Derek Roy returned after missing Game 3. ... Blues C Vladimir Sobotka was shaken up after a big hit from Bickell in overtime, but quickly returned to the ice.

---

Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

France, US back sanctions against S. Sudan

France and the United States called for the UN Security Council to consider sanctions against South Sudan over spiraling violence in the country's civil war, diplomats said.

US ambassador Samantha Power relayed Washington's position in a closed-door meeting of the 15-member Council, diplomats said, and France's Gerard Araud told reporters before the session that it was time to think about sanctions against those responsible.

"I think we should consider sanctions because it is horrendous," he said.

In December, the Security Council agreed to almost double the size of the UN peacekeeping force in troubled South Sudan, but few of the extra troops have actually arrived.

"Maybe we have to face the fact that we can't cooperate with this government anymore... We need some soul-searching about what the UN should do in South Sudan," said Araud.

The Security Council stopped short of announcing any immediate decision after breaking up its talks.

Rotating president Nigeria said members were united in their determination that an attack last week on a UN base in the government-controlled town of Bor not happen again.

"Most of us suggested using the principle of deterrence to send a message unequivocally to the parties responsible for this impunity," said Nigerian ambassador Joy Ogwu.

"They can violate the sanctity of the UN institutions and kill people inside those institutions? It's intolerable. It should not happen," she added, without mentioning the word "sanctions."

UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous demanded an immediate end to the violence and warned that with the changing season, a "humanitarian catastrophe" would become more certain.

The UN Security Council has said last Thursday's attack on a UN base which killed at least 58 people may constitute a war crime.

The attack on the UN compound and the killing of unarmed civilians "denotes a serious escalation in the conflict and it does create an extremely dangerous precedent," Ladsous said.

"Unless there are serious consequences for the parties to cease the violence and engage in meaningful talks... then the toll on innocent civilians will continue to rise," he said.

He accused the South Sudan government of impeding UN officials' freedom of movement and preventing them from doing their job.

On Tuesday, the White House expressed horror at the "abomination" of the violence in South Sudan, where rebels have been accused of massacring hundreds of civilians.

Rebels seized the oil hub of Bentiu last week, unleashing two days of ethnic slaughter as they hunted down civilians sheltering in mosques, churches and a hospital, butchering dozens on the roadside, according to the United Nations.

Images released by the United Nations show piles of bloated, decomposing bodies -- a repeat of mass killings seen in other areas of the country over the past four months.

The UN said the killings continued for almost two days after the rebels proclaimed victory in Bentiu, and that the rebels had used hate radio broadcasts to whip up violent ethnic sentiment.

South Sudan's army has been fighting rebels loyal to sacked vice president Riek Machar since the unrest broke out on December 15.

The conflict has pitted President Salva Kiir's Dinka tribe against militia forces from Machar's Nuer people.

In Bentiu, some 23,000 terrified civilians have crowded into the cramped UN peacekeeping base for protection.

© 2014 AFP

Buffett: moving oil by rail safely major industry concern

By Luciana Lopez

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Warren Buffett, chairman of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, said on Wednesday that safety is a major priority for the rail industry, after a recent spate of accidents raised concerns about how to transport oil safely.

"I can tell you that's all they're thinking about," the investor said in an interview with Reuters.

"We're going to move a lot of crude in this country, and we have to learn how to do it very safely," he added.

He added that the delay in the construction of the Keystone pipeline was unlikely to prompt additional purchases of tank cars at Berkshire railroad unit BNSF.

Earlier this year the railroad said it plans to buy its own fleet of up to 5,000 new crude oil tank cars with safety features that exceed the latest industry standards.

Oil by rail has surged in recent years, helped by a boom in North Dakota. Traffic is now running 10 percent ahead of last year at this time, with BNSF accounting for roughly a third of U.S. oil-by-rail traffic.

But recent accidents have underscored the dangers of transporting the volatile fuel by train, with Canada now planning to phase out older tank cars to improve safety.

COCA-COLA COMPENSATION PLAN

Buffett also said, in an interview with CNBC the same day, that he thinks Coca-Cola's equity compensation plan was excessive, but that Berkshire Hathaway abstained in a shareholders vote.

Earlier on Wednesday, Coca-Cola said 83 percent of shareholders approved the plan. Critics, most notably activist investor David Winters, said the plan would dilute the holdings of current shareholders too much.

As of December 31, Berkshire owned 400 million shares of the company, just over 9 percent of the shares outstanding.

Buffett said he and partner Charlie Munger did not want to vote against the plan because he did not want to show disapproval of management, adding that he has enormous respect for Coca-Cola's chief executive, Muhtar Kent.

"I love Coke, I love the management, I love the directors, so I didn't want to vote 'No,'" Buffett said. "It's kind of un-American to vote 'No' at a Coke meeting. I didn't want to express any disapproval of management but we did disapprove of the plan. The plan compared to past plans was a significant change."

Buffett said he has no intention of selling any Coca-Cola shares.

The Coca-Cola board of directors "respects Mr. Buffett's philosophical stance on equity-based compensation," the board said in a statement.

"We greatly respect his views and look forward to continuing our productive relationship with him for many years to come," the statement added.

Nonetheless, Buffett said that investor activism is getting stronger.

"The CEOs are terrified of activists. I can tell you that," Buffett said. "They are all talking to investment bankers and lawyers and saying, 'What do we do about this?'"

He denied he had soured on his enormous investment in IBM, and said Berkshire bought some more shares this year, although the purchases did not come after IBM's most recent earnings report. He said he would not rule out future IBM stock buys.

Buffett was in New York for lunch with an anonymous bidder who paid $1,000,100 to win last year's "Power Lunch with Warren Buffett" auction benefiting San Francisco's Glide Foundation.

His New York visit comes ahead of the company's annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, on May 3. Tens of thousands of people flock to the gathering every year to hear Buffett and Munger answer hours of questions about the company's future.

(Reporting by Luciana Lopez and Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Lisa Shumaker)

Mavs roll past Spurs 113-92, even series at 1-1 (Yahoo Sports)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Blowing their playoff opener turned out to be great therapy for the Dallas Mavericks.

Eighth-seeded Dallas rolled to a 113-92 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday night, snapping a 10-game skid against the Spurs and evening their first-round series at a game apiece.

Dallas didn't relent in Game 2 after watching a 10-point lead evaporate in the final eight minutes of the series opener Sunday.

''Game 1 actually helped a lot more than today,'' Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said. ''We were down after Game 1, but in this building to be up 10 with six or seven minutes left, I think that gave us a lot of confidence coming into this one. Just keep executing the game plan.''

It was Dallas' first playoff victory since June 12, 2011, when it rebounded from an 0-2 deficit to defeat the Miami Heat for the NBA title.

If not for the final eight minutes of the series opener, the Mavericks would have a 2-0 lead entering Game 3 on Saturday.

''It feels great, but it's nothing to celebrate,'' Dallas point guard Jose Calderon said. ''I think we have to keep doing what we're doing. I think we played two really good games.''

In Game 2, the Mavericks used an aggressive offense and a brutal defensive effort that discombobulated the normally even-keeled Spurs, who finished the regular season with the league's best record.

Monta Ellis scored 21 points, Shawn Marion added 20 points, Nowitzki had 16, Devin Harris had 18 and Calderon 12 for Dallas, which never trailed after the opening minutes of the second quarter.

Manu Ginobili had 27 points, Tony Parker added 12 and Tim Duncan 11 for the Spurs, who did not have any other player score more than seven points.

''They beat us in every aspect of the game,'' Ginobili said. ''They played harder. Our defense was soft (and) not as aggressive as theirs. Not that I don't expect them to play hard. We know they are a tough team, but having such a poor performance in the playoffs bothers me.''

San Antonio's ineptness had as much to do with tying the series as Dallas' stellar play. The Spurs averaged 14.4 turnovers during the regular season, but had 15 with 3 minutes left in the first half. They finished with 24 turnovers, which resulted in 33 points for the Mavericks.

''Just being very active,'' Ellis said. ''Not put them on the free-throw line. Trust that the help was going to be there. We locked in to the game plan that we had. They made some careless turnovers. That was good for us.''

Dallas was extremely physical in the first half whenever Parker and Ginobili drove the lane.

''NBA playoff games are physical,'' Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. ''If you don't have the right kind of posture and disposition, you're going to knocked back on your heels and your butt and tonight we did a better job of hitting first in some of those instances.''

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was dismayed early when no fouls were called - not that it mattered when they were. San Antonio finished 18 for 29 on free throws.

''It's a bad combination to not play good defense at one end and give the ball up at the other end and not shoot free throws very well, either,'' Popovich said. ''That's a bad combination at both ends of the floor. That means you get your butt kicked and that's what happened tonight.''

Dallas also continued to crowd San Antonio's 3-point shooters. Aside from Ginobili's 5-for-6 shooting, the Spurs were 5 for 14 long range after going 3 for 17 in the opener.

''It's pretty frustrating,'' San Antonio wing Danny Green said. ''They're doing a good job of getting, not just to me, but all our shooters; showing us a lot of respect. But we've got to find other ways to get it done. We can't rely on our Big Three to carry us every night. Got to find a way to get involved, push the pace offensively.''

The Mavericks attacked the basket with the same intensity, finishing with 44 points. San Antonio pulled within 61-56 with 8:38 remaining in the third quarter when Kawhi Leonard made two of three free throws, but it was the closest it would get in the second half.

NOTES: Popovich received a standing ovation before the game after being recognized as the NBA Coach of the Year. Spurs owner Peter Holt presented Popovich with the Red Auerbach trophy, which he has won three times. ... After assigning Spurs nemesis Joey Crawford to officiate Game 1, the league had Danny Crawford on hand for Game 2 to the chagrin of the Mavericks' fans. But just as in the opener, both officials reserved most calls and non-calls for the opposition. Crawford's lack of calls led Popovich to scream at Crawford throughout the first half. ... Academy Award-winning actor Tommy Lee Jones sat courtside beside Holt. ... Nowitzki was assessed a technical foul with 1:38 remaining in the first half after Ginobili was fouled by Marion on a 3-point attempt. Marion touched Ginobili's hip as he released the ball, but the Argentinian appeared to exaggerate the contact when he fell to the floor. ... After scrambling to capture a loose ball under the basket, Tiago Splitter flung an overhead, two-handed no-look pass to an open Ginobili for a 3-pointer with 4:44 remaining in the third quarter.