UN chief: Suffering in Syria...Grim task for divers...New rules proposed for e-cigarettes

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says both sides are to blame for needless deaths in Syria. He points to a U.N. report that shows that nearly 3.5 million civilians have no access to humanitarian aid. Both sides have failed to implement a February resolution calling for an end to sieges in civilian areas that block the delivery of food. The three-year-old civil war in Syria has killed more than 150,000 people.

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Russia's foreign minister is warning that any attacks on Russian citizens or interests in Ukraine will be met with a strong response. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made the comment while speaking on a Kremlin-funded satellite TV channel. Meanwhile, the presidents of four post-Soviet republics and Ukraine's foreign minister are meeting in Prague with EU nations on Thursday to try to figure out how to stop Russia from blocking their increased ties.

TOKYO (AP) — President Barack Obama says he's not optimistic North Korea will shift away from its irresponsible behavior in the near future. Speaking in Tokyo, the president said North Korea and its nuclear program comprise the most destabilizing situation in the Asia-Pacific region. Obama says the isolated regime must change its behavior if it's serious about being a formal nation.

JINDO, South Korea (AP) — South Korean authorities say divers are working their way deeper into the ferry that sank more than a week ago to continue the grim task or recovering bodies. Officials posted new numbers at the port where bodies are being taken: 159 dead; 143 missing. Investigations continue. Eleven of the 22 crew members who survived have been detained or arrested.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration wants to prohibit sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels. The popular battery-powered devices heat liquid nicotine. The proposals come as members of Congress and public health groups have raise concerns over e-cigarettes and question their marketing tactics.