WASHINGTON — With enrollments higher than expected, and costs lower, some Democrats say it's time to stop hiding from the president's health care overhaul, even in this year's toughest Senate elections. Republicans practically dare Democrats to embrace "Obamacare," the Republican Party's favorite target in most congressional campaigns. Yet pro-Democratic activists in Alaska are doing just that, and a number of strategists elsewhere hope it will spread. By Charles Babington and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar.


GENEVA — Ukraine is hoping to placate Russia and calm hostilities with its fellow former Soviet republic even as the U.S. prepares a new round of sanctions to punish Moscow for what it regards as fomenting unrest. The carrot-stick strategy emerged as diplomats from Ukraine, the U.S., the European Union and Russia prepared to meet Thursday for the first time over the burgeoning crisis that threatens to roil the new government in Kiev. By Lara Jakes and Julie Pace.

AP Photos.


TORONTO — A flight simulator instructor who wore casual clothes when he figured prominently in CNN's coverage of the missing Malaysia airliner was fired after his boss accused him of dressing like a teenager and making Canadians "look very bad all over the world." By Rob Gillies.


NEW YORK — Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces he will spend $50 million this year on new group that will mix campaign contributions with field operations aimed at pulling gun-control supporters to the polls in the November midterm elections and beyond. By Jennifer Peltz.

AP Photos.


MEXICO CITY — Few outsiders dare venture after dark into Tepito, a neighborhood known as Mexico City's main clearinghouse for contraband ranging from guns and drugs to counterfeit sneakers. But a theater project led by one of Mexico's best-known actors has been taking middle-class audiences into the lives of Tepito residents in an attempt to show the human side of an area blighted by poverty and crime. By Olga R. Rodriguez.

AP Photos.


MEXICO CITY — Prosecutors in western Mexico arrest the mayor of a city that once served as a stronghold of the Knights Templar drug cartel on charges that he helped the gang extort money from city council members.

AP Photo.



NEW YORK — The move by New York City's new police commissioner to disband a unit that spied on the everyday activities of Muslims could be just the first step in a dismantling of some of the huge post-9/11 intelligence-gathering machinery built by his predecessor. By Tom Hays.

AP Photos, video.



SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo's recently fired chief operating officer, Henrique de Castro, left the Internet company with a severance package of $58 million even though he lasted just 15 months on the job. The disclosure in a regulatory filing may lead to more second-guessing about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to hire de Castro as her second-in-command in October 2012. By Michael Liedtke.


EARNS-IBM — IBM's first-quarter earnings fall and revenue comes in below Wall Street's expectations amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business, one that was exacerbated by weaker demand in China and emerging markets. By Barbara Ortutay.

AP Photo.


HAVANA —Cuba publishes the full language of a new law that seeks to make it more attractive for foreign investors to bring badly needed capital to the island, but provides less advantage for projects that are 100 percent foreign-financed. By Andrea Rodriguez.



NEW YORK — Tribeca opens with the premiere of "Time Is Illmatic," a documentary about the creation of Nas' landmark 1994 debut album, "Illmatic." The Queens native Nas followed the screening at New York's Beacon Theatre with a performance of the nine-track album, widely considered a rap classic for its angry but earnest street poetry. By Jake Coyle.

AP Photos.