World briefs: Gunmen shoot Ukraine mayor

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DONETSK, Ukraine -- Unidentified gunmen opened fire Monday on the mayor of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, seriously wounding him with at least one bullet to the back while he was riding a bicycle near a major highway, municipal officials said, potentially shifting the crisis in the east of the country onto new and perilous ground.

The mayor, Gennady Kernes, had been regarded as seeking to steer a middle course as pro-Russian militants conduct a campaign of occupations of key facilities in eastern cities that is widely believed to be aimed at drawing the region closer into Moscow's orbit or prompting a Russian intervention similar to the events that led to the Kremlin's annexation of Crimea.

Municipal officials said Mr. Kernes was undergoing surgery for life-threatening injuries. No arrests were reported.

Plane search modified

CANBERRA, Australia -- The aerial search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet was called off Monday, and the underwater hunt will be expanded to include a vast swath of ocean floor that may take at least eight months to thoroughly search, Australian officials said.

Not a single piece of confirmed debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been recovered by a massive multinational hunt that began after it disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board.

The U.S. Navy's Bluefin 21 robotic submarine has spent weeks scouring the initial search area in the remote Indian Ocean far off Australia's west coast, but has found no trace of the missing plane. Officials are looking to bring in equipment that can search a larger patch of seabed.

China bans U.S. TV shows

BEIJING -- Four U.S. television shows, including "The Big Bang Theory" and "The Good Wife," are no longer available on China's largest video websites after the government escalated a crackdown on content deemed offensive.

Searches for "Big Bang Theory" on Sohu.com's website led to pages saying the video couldn't be provided due to policies. A search for "The Good Wife" on Youku Tudou's website generated a message saying the show couldn't be found, possibly because Youku "deleted the content due to violations of relevant rules." "NCIS" and "The Practice" were also deleted, according to the official Beijing Daily.

Publicist found guilty

LONDON -- Max Clifford, a celebrity publicist who has represented O.J. Simpson, David Beckham and Simon Cowell, was found guilty Monday by a London jury of multiple counts of sexual assault dating back almost 50 years.

Clifford, who faced 11 counts of indecent assault relating to seven women between 1966 and 1984, was convicted of eight charges. Prosecutors said the 71-year-old used his status to manipulate young women into sleeping with him using his office as a "sexual fiefdom."

Dengue vaccine advances

LOS ANGELES -- The French pharmaceutical company Sanofi said Monday that its experimental vaccine for dengue fever had succeeded in its first late-stage clinical trial. The results could help pave the way for introduction of the first vaccine to prevent a disease that afflicts as many as 100 million people a year.

Sanofi said the vaccine reduced the incidence of dengue fever by 56 percent in a trial involving more than 10,000 children in Southeast Asia.

Dengue fever is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes and affects people mainly in tropical and subtropical areas. Although not a big problem in the United States, the Florida Keys did have the first cases in decades in 2009. The disease can cause severe fever and joint and muscle pain.


-- Compiled from news services


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