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In the Nation


Fun and faith

in Easter tradition

Some wore their Sunday best in New York's annual Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue, but others simply spruced up previous outfits.

"That's what she wore for St. Patrick's Day," Barbara Baicich said as she scooped up her cockapoo in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

In recent decades, the street gathering that started in the 1880s as a strolling display of Easter finery outside Fifth Avenue churches has morphed into a sort of costume circus.

There were also lots of bonnets piled high with bunny ears or eggs - made of silicone, polyester, and felt - parading up and down the crowded avenue.

The zany scene didn't seem to bother people lined up to enter the cathedral, including Elizabeth Herrera, 40, in her new dress and blossom-graced hat. "Religion is what you make of it, and it's in your heart," she said, smiling at people and pets in over-the-top garb. - AP

Ex-justice on retiring

John Paul Stevens says it's appropriate for Supreme Court justices to factor in political considerations when weighing a decision to retire. "I think certainly it's natural and an appropriate thing to think about your successor," the retired justice told ABC's This Week in an interview aired Sunday. Stevens, nominated by President Gerald Ford, joined the court in 1975 and retired in 2010, at 90. "If you're interested in the job . . . you have to have an interest in who's going to fill your shoes," Stevens said. He said he stepped down out of concern about his health. - AP

2 siblings die in fire

A house fire that left two children dead early Sunday in New York City was sparked accidentally, possibly by a child playing with a lighter or matches, emergency officials said. The half-siblings, a boy and a girl, both 4, were at their grandfather's home in Queens when the blaze broke out in the basement just before midnight Saturday. - Reuters