RUSSIAN PRES VLADIMIR PUTIN CALLS FOR SNAP MILITARY DRILLS ON LAND AND IN CASPIAN AND BLACK SEAS, DEFENSE MINISTRY SAYS *

DRILLS ARE UNDERWAY IN RUSSIA'S SOUTHERN, WESTERN AND CENTRAL MILITARY DISTRICTS, WHERE TROOPS HAVE BEEN PUT ON COMBAT ALERT *

THEY WILL LAST UNTIL THE END OF THE MONTH AND INVOLVE A VARIETY OF TROOPS, FROM PARATROOPERS TO THE NORTHERN FLEET *

DRILLS COME AFTER PUTIN LASHED OUT AT UKRAINE FOR ALLEGEDLY SENDING ITS MILITARY INTEL OFFICE TO CARRY OUT ACTS OF SABOTAGE IN CRIMEA *

LABOR DEPT SAYS UNEMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS FELL BY 1,000 TO A SEASONALLY ADJUSTED 261,000 LAST WK *

LESS VOLATILE FOUR-WK AVG DROPPED BY 1,250 TO 264,000 *

OVERALL, NUMBER OF PEOPLE RECEIVING UNEMPLOYMENT CHECKS FELL BY 30,000 TO 2.15 MIL, DOWN 5% FROM A YR EARLIER *

APPLICATIONS, A PROXY FOR LAYOFFS, HAVE REMAINED BELOW 300,000 FOR 77 STRAIGHT WEEKS, LONGEST STREAK SINCE 1970 *

WAVE OF SEVERE STORMS PRODUCED AT LEAST A DOZEN TORNADOES IN INDIANA AND OHIO WED, DAMAGING HOMES AND BUSINESSES, BUT CAUSING NO SERIOUS INJURIES *

NATL WEATHER SERVICE SAYS AN EF3 TORNADO WITH WINDS UP TO 165 MPH HIT SOUTH SIDE OF KOKOMO, IN, TOPPLING A STARBUCKS *

LOCAL OFFICIAL SAYS THE 10 TO 15 PEOPLE HURT IN KOKOMO ONLY SUFFERED MINOR INJURIES *

TORNADOES WERE ALSO SPOTTED ACROSS BORDER IN NW OHIO, INJURING ONE AND CAUSING DAMAGE IN DEFIANCE, HENRY, PAULDING AND VAN WERT COUNTIES *

NO ONE HAS CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR HOURS-LONG TERROR ATTACK ON AMERICAN UNIV OF AFGHANISTAN THAT KILLED AT LEAST 13 PEOPLE *

DOZENS WERE WOUNDED IN ASSAULT THAT BEGAN WED EVENING AND ENDED EARLY THURS *

LOCAL OFFICIAL SAYS SEVEN STUDENTS AND ONE TEACHER ARE AMONG THE DEAD, WHILE INTERIOR MINISTRY SAYS THREE POLICEMEN AND TWO SECURITY GUARDS WERE ALSO KILLED *

U.S. NAVY SHIP FIRED THREE WARNING SHOTS TOWARD AN IRANIAN BOAT THAT WAS APPROACHING ANOTHER U.S. SHIP IN THE NORTH ARABIAN GULF WED, DEFENSE OFFICIALS SAY *

SHOTS WERE FIRED BY THE USS SQUALL, A PATROL SHIP, ACCORDING TO DEFENSE OFFICIAL *

PENTAGON SPOX SAYS THERE WERE THREE INCIDENTS INVOLVING U.S. NAVY SHIPS AND IRANIAN BOATS WED *

INCIDENTS COME DAY AFTER FOUR SMALL IRANIAN BOATS APPROACHED THE USS NITZE AT HIGH SPEED AND VEERED OFF AFTER THE U.S. FIRED FLARES *

PENTAGON HAS CALLED BEHAVIOR OF IRANIAN VESSELS "UNSAFE AND UNPROFESSIONAL" *

SEATTLE JURY CONVICTS RUSSIAN OF HACKING INTO U.S. BUSINESSES TO STEAL CREDIT CARD INFO *

JURORS FOUND ROMAN SELEZNEV GUILTY OF 38 CHARGES, INCLUDING NINE COUNTS OF HACKING AND 10 COUNTS OF WIRE FRAUD *

PROSECUTORS SAY HE ORCHESTRATED AN INTERNATIONAL ONLINE THEFT SCHEME THAT MADE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS *

U.S. SECRET SERVICE AGENTS ARRESTED SELEZNEV IN THE MALDIVES IN 2014 *

RESCUE CREWS CONTINUE TO COMB THROUGH RUBBLE FOR SURVIVORS OF WED'S EARTHQUAKE IN CENTRAL ITALY *

6.2-MAG QUAKE LEVELED THREE SMALL TOWNS AND HAS LEFT AT LEAST 250 PEOPLE DEAD AND MORE THAN 360 OTHERS INJURED *

HUNDREDS OF AFTERSHOCKS, INCLUDING A 4.3-MAG TEMBLOR THURS, HAVE HAMPERED RESCUE EFFORTS *

ITALIAN PM MATTEO RENZI HAS AUTHORIZED $56.5 MIL IN EMERGENCY FUNDING AND THE CANCELLATION OF TAXES FOR RESIDENTS IN QUAKE-STRICKEN REGION *

TWO CATHOLIC NUNS HAVE BEEN FOUND SLAIN IN THEIR DURANT, MS, HOME, LOCAL AUTHORITIES SAY *

THE WOMEN WERE FOUND BY AN OFFICER WHEN THEY DIDN'T REPORT TO WORK AS USUAL *

MS DEPT OF PUBLIC SAFETY SPOX SAYS DEATHS APPEAR TO BE HOMICIDES *

DURANT ASSISTANT POLICE CHIEF SAYS IT IS TOO EARLY TO KNOW HOW THE NUNS DIED, BUT THEY DID NOT APPEAR TO BE SHOT *

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