Zimbabwe's president says Africa's security agents must be wary of new foreign threats
May 6, 2013 11:02 AM CDT
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe urged African intelligence services Monday to prepare for fresh onslaughts??by foreigners and the continent's former colonizers to grasp its natural resources and potential wealth. ??Mugabe said Africa's vast reserves of untapped resources and the world-wide recession have triggered a new scramble for control of its "raw wealth." Opening a convention of the continent-wide 49-nation Committee of Intelligence and Security Services, ??Mugabe said outsiders have used...
AP PHOTOS: Buenos Aires becoming a new Mecca for international street muralists
May 6, 2013 10:53 AM CDT
In most major cities, street artists create their works under cover of darkness, spray-painting their graffiti quickly to elude arrest. Not so in Buenos Aires, where painters have found a surplus of empty walls to splash their colors on, building owners who readily consent to having their walls painted, and a local government that has subsidized some of the urban murals. Buenos Aires' welcoming attitude has made it one of the world's top capitals for international street muralists, drawing well-known...
Murder investigation opens against owner as death toll from Bangladesh accident hits 675
May 6, 2013 10:44 AM CDT
Bangladeshi police are investigating possible murder charges against the owner of a shoddily built factory that collapsed nearly two weeks ago after the wife of a garment worker crushed in the accident filed a complaint. The development comes as officials said Monday that the death toll from the country's worst industrial disaster had reached 675. Sheuli Akter, the wife of Jahangir Alam, filed the complaint with Dhaka magistrate Wasim Sheikh, saying her husband and other workers were "pushed...
New Tuareg group launched in northern Mali wants to negotiate with government
May 6, 2013 10:32 AM CDT
Tuareg leaders in northern Mali have formed a new group which they say will aim to negotiate with the Malian government, as questions linger over the future of the Kidal region. In a statement announcing the launch of the High Council for the Azawad, organizers said they are not seeking independence from Mali and instead want dialogue. But the new body appears to be led by several of the same Tuareg dignitaries who earlier backed the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, or NMLA,...
Chinese actress feeds Kenya's orphan elephants to raise awareness on Asian ivory demand
May 6, 2013 10:28 AM CDT
Chinese actress Li Bingbing is in Kenya to bring attention to the growing problem of elephants slaughtered for the international ivory trade. Bingbing on Tuesday urged governments and consumers to combat the illegal wildlife trade. She told a news conference that Africa's poaching crisis raises major concerns about the survival of elephants and rhinos in Kenya. She noted that such deaths are linked to organized crime and the funding of armed militias. Former NBA star Yao Ming has also visited...
London hosts international Somalia conference to aid post-war gains in security, justice
May 6, 2013 10:20 AM CDT
Somalia's president over the weekend received the country's first pieces of mail in more than two decades. It's the kind of small but hopeful development that leaders meeting in London on Tuesday want to see more of. Britain and Somalia on Tuesday co-host an international donors' conference that aims to provide international support for the Somali government as it continues to leave behind two decades of conflict. Though Mogadishu still suffers from intermittent terror attacks by the Islamic...
A look at the alleged victims of Germany's far-right National Socialist Underground
May 6, 2013 10:15 AM CDT
The highest profile trial of neo-Nazis in years began Monday in Munich, with four men and a woman facing charges in the killings of nine ethnic minority businessmen _ eight Turks and one Greek _ and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007. The case has led to soul-searching in Germany over the treatment of immigrants and the role of the police in combating right-wing extremism. Here is a look at the alleged victims of the self-styled National Socialist Underground: _ Enver Simsek, a 38-year-old...
Iranian website editor arrested after reporting that there is evidence of voter fraud in 2009
May 6, 2013 10:00 AM CDT
A journalist for an Iranian news website says its editor has been arrested after reporting that there is an audiotape of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discussing vote rigging in his disputed 2009 re-election. Ahmadinejad's office strongly denied last month's report on the Baztab website, and so far, no audiotape has surfaced. The president's supporters claim the purported tape was an attempt to undermine Ahmadinejad's attempts to get his protege on the June 14 presidential ballot that will pick...
Kenyan court sentences 2 Iranians convicted of plotting explosion to life in prison
May 6, 2013 8:47 AM CDT
A Kenyan court on Monday sentenced two Iranian nationals convicted of plotting attacks against Western targets to life in prison. Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi were arrested in June 2012 and led officials to a 15-kilogram (33-pound) stash of the explosive RDX. Officials in Kenya say the two suspects may have been planning attacks on Israeli, American, British or Saudi Arabian interests in Kenya. Magistrate Kiarie Waweru Kiarie sentenced the two to life in prison for committing...
Egypt police say bystander killed during skirmish with men who fired on PM's convoy
May 6, 2013 8:46 AM CDT
Egyptian police officials say a bystander returning home after visiting his aunt was killed in a shootout involving the prime minister's convoy. The incident occurred late Sunday when five men in a pickup truck fired birdshot at the convoy during a traffic argument on a Cairo bridge, not realizing the vehicles were part of Prime Minister Hesham Kandil's motorcade. Police officials say motorist Taha Sayed Hassan was hit by the birdshot. They say he died of his wounds Monday. The prime minister's...
Lawyers for Kenya torture victims say they are in compensation talks with UK government
May 6, 2013 7:51 AM CDT
Lawyers for Kenyans tortured during a rebellion against colonial rule in the 1950s said Monday that they are negotiating with the British government over a possible settlement. An agreement to pay compensation could have broad implications for thousands of people who say they were abused by authorities in Britain's former colonies. Law firm Leigh Day, which represents three elderly Kenyans seeking compensation, confirmed talks were taking place, but gave no other details, "due to the nature of...
South African company reaches out to UN, works to release 12 employees kidnapped in Senegal
May 6, 2013 7:33 AM CDT
A South African company which specializes in the removal of land mines has reached out to the government of Senegal and to the United Nations to try to win the release of their 12 Senegalese employees who were kidnapped last weekend in Senegal's southern Casamance region. Head of communications for Denel Vuyelwa Qinga said in a statement Monday that the negotiation for the release of the staff of Denel's demining company, Denel Mechem, "is being handled at the highest level and the company is...
Tanzania police: 4 Saudi Arabian nationals arrested after bomb attack on Catholic church
May 6, 2013 6:44 AM CDT
A police commander in Tanzania says four Saudi Arabian citizens have been arrested following a bomb attack on a Catholic church. Magesa Mulogo said Monday that the four Saudi nationals were among six people arrested. Mulongo said two people died in Sunday's bombing of a newly opened church in the northern city of Arusha. Nearly four dozen people were wounded in the blast just before the church's inaugural Mass, which was attended by the pope's envoy to Tanzania. Mulogo said eyewitnesses reported...
US-led naval exercises in Gulf begin amid Iranian maritime buildup
May 6, 2013 6:38 AM CDT
The US Navy says envoys from 41 nations have gathered in Bahrain to begin anti-mine drills in the Persian Gulf amid efforts by Iran to expand its naval presence there. The US-led exercises, which run through May 30, mark the second major show of maritime cooperation in the Gulf in less than a year. Although the Navy says the drills are not specifically tailored to counter Iranian threats, Iran has previously warned it could block critical Gulf oil routes in retaliation for Western sanctions over...
Highest Italian court says Berlusconi trials stay in Milan, denies defense bid to change venue
May 6, 2013 6:33 AM CDT
Italy's highest court has denied a defense motion to move Silvio Berlusconi's sex-for-hire trial and tax fraud appeal away from Milan. The ruling Monday allows resumption of both trials, which are nearing verdicts. The defense had sought to have both cases moved to the nearby city of Brescia, arguing that Milan courts are biased against the former premier. The motion was made in March as the courts sent doctors to verify an eye ailment that prevented Berlusconi from attending the trials. Berlusconi...
Iran quake rattles region near nuclear reactor; no damage reported in surrounding area
May 6, 2013 3:00 AM CDT
Iran says a moderate earthquake rattled a region near the country's main nuclear reactor, but there were no reports of damage or deaths in the surrounding area. The official Islamic Republic News Agency says Monday's quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 and was centered near Kaki, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of Bushehr on the Persian Gulf coast. A more powerful 6.1 temblor struck the same area last month, killing at least 37 people and raising calls for greater international...
Spain's registered jobless figure falls below 5 mln n April owing to seasonal job increase
May 6, 2013 2:36 AM CDT
Spain's Labor Ministry says the number of people registered as unemployed fell by 46,050 in April with more people finding jobs in the run-up to the summer tourist season. The ministry said Monday the total number registered as jobless stands at 4.99 million. Spain has been in recession for the best part of the past four years as the economy battles to recover from the collapse of its once-booming real estate sector. The ministry said April registered 1.1 million new job contracts, 19 percent...
Norway's chess superstar Magnus Carlsen brings cross-over cool to brainy sport
May 6, 2013 1:37 AM CDT
He does fashion shoots with Liv Tyler, enjoys soccer-style sponsorships deals and was recently named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people. Who is this superstar? The world's top-ranked chess player. With his trendy look and athletic physique, Norway's Magnus Carlsen has brought an injection of cool to the normally sedate world of global chess _ extending its popularity beyond its niche following. The 22-year-old's home country is buzzing with excitement as he competes in a tournament...
Israel beefs up rocket defenses after its twin airstrikes in Syria prompt anger, threats
May 5, 2013 8:40 PM CDT
Israel rushed to beef up its rocket defenses on its northern border Sunday to shield against possible retaliation after carrying out two airstrikes in Syria over 48 hours _ an unprecedented escalation of Israeli involvement in the Syrian civil war. Syria and its patron Iran hinted at possible retribution, though the rhetoric in official statements appeared relatively muted. Despite new concerns about a regional war, Israeli officials signaled they will keep trying to block what they see as an...
Malaysia's governing coalition wins 13th straight national elections, extending 56-year rule
May 5, 2013 8:37 PM CDT
Malaysia's long-governing coalition won national elections with a weakened majority to extend its unbroken, 56-year rule, fending off the strongest opposition it has ever faced but exposing vulnerabilities in the process. The Election Commission reported that Prime Minister Najib Razak's National Front coalition captured 133 of Malaysia's 222 parliamentary seats Sunday, down slightly from the 135 it held before Parliament was dissolved. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's three-party alliance seized...
Under militia pressure, Libyan parliament passes law banning Gadhafi-era officials from posts
May 5, 2013 6:38 PM CDT
Under pressure from armed militias, Libya's parliament passed a sweeping law Sunday that bans anyone who served as a senior official under Moammar Gadhafi during his 42 year-long rule from working in government. The Political Isolation Law could lead to the dismissal of many current leaders, some of whom had defected to the rebel side during the country's 2011 civil war or had been elected to office since Gadhafi's ouster and killing. The move is likely to further stall the country's already rocky...
Egypt police say men fire birdshot at prime minister's convoy, unaware who was inside car
May 5, 2013 6:10 PM CDT
Egyptian police officials say five men in a pick-up truck fired birdshot at the prime minister's convoy during a traffic argument, not knowing he was inside. They say Prime Minister Hesham Kandil's three-car convoy was on a Cairo bridge late Sunday when it encountered the speeding truck, and fired warning shots in the air to get it to move. The men fired birdshot at the convoy. They later told police they didn't realize the prime minister was inside one of the tinted-windowed cars. The men were...
Sudan shootout kills at least 20, including a tribal chief and Ethiopian peacekeeper
May 5, 2013 5:51 PM CDT
Sudan and the U.N. say a shootout in a disputed oil-rich border region has left at least 20 people dead, including at least one Ethiopian U.N. peacekeeper and a tribal chief traveling with them. Khartoum's Interior Ministry in a statement carried by Sudan's media on Sunday said 21 were killed in Abyei district, including Koul Deng Majok , an ethnic Ngok Dinka from neighboring South Sudan, two peacekeepers, and 17 members of the Misseriya tribe. It said Majok's tribe had failed to inform Misseriya...
Police: At least 10 people killed in northeast Nigeria church, market attack amid unrest
May 5, 2013 5:24 PM CDT
Police say at least 10 people have been killed in an attack in northeast Nigeria that targeted a church and a local market. The attack occurred Sunday in Njilan, a village in Adamawa state. Adamawa state police spokesman Muhammad Ibrahim said that six people had been killed in the market, while another four were killed around the church. Ibrahim could not immediately offer a motive for the attack, nor could he say whether police had any suspects in the violence. Northeast Nigeria has faced increasingly...
Authorities in Jamaica say police constable slain in high-crime area of southern parish
May 5, 2013 4:42 PM CDT
Police in Jamaica are investigating the killing of a police constable in a high-crime area in the southern part of the Caribbean island. The high command of the Jamaica Constabulary Force says Constable Michael Townsend was slain Sunday near May Pen in Clarendon parish. Police have declined to immediately provide any further details, saying that further information will be released later. The Jamaica Observer newspaper says Townsend was killed in a gun attack, possibly as he was visiting friends...
Hungary's prime minister vows 'zero tolerance' for anti-Semitism, fails to impress Jewish meet
May 5, 2013 4:41 PM CDT
Hungary's prime minister told an international assembly of Jews on Sunday that his government has declared "zero tolerance" on anti-Semitism, but his speech failed to impress those gathered who said he has failed to confront the country's largest far-right party. Addressing the opening session of the World Jewish Congress, Prime Minister Viktor Orban acknowledged that anti-Semitism was on the rise both in Europe and Hungary, attributing it partly to the economic crisis affecting the region....
Prominent Haiti hotelier says former President Aristide seeks to rebuild his political party
May 5, 2013 4:17 PM CDT
Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is trying to rebuild his political party as the Caribbean nation prepares for legislative and local elections, a prominent hotelier said Sunday. In an interview with The Associated Press, Richard Morse, manager of the Hotel Oloffson, said he has met with Aristide three times in the past two weeks to discuss the possibility of his wife, Lunise Exume Morse, running under Aristide's party as a senatorial candidate in a vote that's supposed to be held...
Venezuela's Maduro says Honduras and Guatemala have been added to Petrocaribe program
May 5, 2013 4:08 PM CDT
Venezuela's president says Honduras and Guatemala have been included in the Petrocaribe program, under which his country provides oil and natural gas on preferential terms. President Nicolas Maduro made the announcement Sunday as he hosted a Petrocaribe summit bringing together Latin American and Caribbean leaders in Venezuela's capital. Venezuela created Petrocaribe in 2005 to sell fuel to member countries more cheaply and help finance their oil infrastructure projects. The program currently...
Car bomber kills 7 after ramming into military convey escorting a Qatari delegation in Somalia
May 5, 2013 3:44 PM CDT
Seven people were killed Sunday morning when a suicide bomber attempted to ram a car laden with explosives into a military convoy escorting a four-member Qatari delegation. Gen. Garad Nor Abdulle, a senior police official said the members of the Qatari delegation who were being escorted in the interior minister's convoy were unharmed and safely reached their hotel. Abdulle said the interior minister was not in the convoy. Mohamed Abdi, an officer at the scene of the blast, said four civilians...
Attacks in Iraq including blast near Internet cafe kill 9, wound 33
May 5, 2013 2:48 PM CDT
A series of attacks including a blast near an Internet cafe in a Sunni area of Baghdad killed nine people and wounded dozens on Sunday in and around the Iraqi capital. The attacks came amid heightened sectarian tension following a deadly security crackdown on a camp in northern Iraq run by Sunnis, protesting what they consider to be their second-class treatment by the Shiite-led government. Government investigators say the April 23 incident left 40 people dead, while a spate of follow-up attacks...
AP PHOTOS: Soviet Jewish WWII veterans say Israelis don't know their story
May 5, 2013 2:38 PM CDT
Once a year, Israel's Jewish war veterans don suit jackets and uniforms dripping in Red Army medals, the shiny bronzes and silvers pinned to their chests in tight rows like armor. About 500,000 Jews served in the Soviet Red Army during World War II. Most of those still alive today _ about 7,000 _ are said to live in Israel. Every year on Victory Day, which falls on Thursday this year, they parade in uniform throughout Israel to celebrate Nazi Germany's surrender to the Soviet Union. Afterward,...
Justice minister says Venezuela's military to form part of anti-crime initiative
May 5, 2013 2:20 PM CDT
Venezuela's top security official announced Sunday the government of President Nicolas Maduro will use the military to fight rampant violent crime, raising concerns among activists who warned the initiative could lead to human rights violations. Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez said personnel from the army, navy and air force will join National Guard troops as part of a forthcoming anti-crime initiative. Rodriguez did not provide details of the plan during an interview broadcast on state television,...
A look at what's behind the escalation of Israel's involvement in Syria
May 5, 2013 2:20 PM CDT
A look at the reasons for and possible implications of the escalation of Israel's involvement in Syria's civil war. WHY NOW? Israel has said repeatedly it does not want to get dragged into Syria's civil war but has also warned that it will not allow so-called "game-changing" sophisticated weapons to flow across the border to Lebanon's Hezbollah, an Islamic militant group allied with the Syrian regime. Israeli defense officials believe Iran has stepped up shipments of weapons to Hezbollah through...
Pilot dies when aircraft dives and crashes into a hangar at Spanish air show
May 5, 2013 1:01 PM CDT
A historic jet plane crashed into a hangar and exploded in a fireball at an airshow southwest of the capital Sunday, severely injuring its pilot who later died in the hospital, officials said. A spokesman for Spain's Defense Ministry said the pilot, Ladislao Tejedor Romero, 35, an experienced jet pilot and assistant to Defense Minister Pedro Morenes, died of his injuries in the serious burns unit of Getafe hospital. Some 3,000 people were at Cuatro Vientos airfield watching a showcase of aerial...
Indian shop owner, passionate for education, runs school for poor kids under a railway bridge
May 5, 2013 12:39 PM CDT
Their classroom is a flattened patch of dirt and rocks under the elevated rail tracks. Their blackboards are rectangles painted on a chipped concrete wall. Their teacher is a shop owner with no formal training, but a conviction that education is their only hope. For some of these dozens of children of poor migrant workers in India's capital, this makeshift, open-air school under the rumble of mass transit is the only school they have. Others who attend overcrowded and dismal government schools...
In election season, Pakistani women struggle to be heard, as voters or candidates
May 5, 2013 12:27 PM CDT
For decades, not a single woman in this dusty Pakistani village surrounded by wheat fields and orange trees has voted. And they aren't likely to in next week's parliamentary election either. The village's men have spoken. "It's the will of my husband," said one woman, Fatma Shamshed. "This is the decision of all the families." Mateela is one of 564 out of the 64,000 polling districts across Pakistan where not a single woman voted in the country's 2008 election. The men from this village of roughly...
Chile's Bachelet courts Communist Party, social movements to create grand coalition for reform
May 5, 2013 12:26 PM CDT
Communist and other leftists were considered enemies of the state during Chile's military dictatorship, a 17-year period that saw thousands of people killed and disappeared for their politics. But as this year's elections nears, former President Michelle Bachelet, who was detained and tortured under the regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, is reaching out to the now-legal Communist Party and other left-leaning groups in her bid to return to the nation's top post. It's a politically pragmatic move...
8 Pakistani soldiers and police, around 30 others killed in violence across country
May 5, 2013 12:16 PM CDT
Military operations and insurgent attacks in lawless districts of Pakistan left eight members of the security forces and around 30 militants and criminal suspects dead on Sunday, officials said. Two soldiers and 16 militants were killed in clashes in the Tirah Valley area of the Khyber tribal region in the northwest, the military said in a statement. Another three soldiers were wounded in the remote mountainous district near the Afghan border. The army launched an offensive last month into the...
Publicist for Wisin & Yandel says the Puerto Rican reggaeton duo is not breaking up
May 5, 2013 12:00 PM CDT
The publicist for Puerto Rican reggaeton stars Wisin & Yandel said Sunday that the Grammy-winning duo has no intention of breaking up, dismissing comments made by another performer that the pair were going their separate ways. In a Sunday phone interview, Miami-based publicist Jennifer Nieman said Wisin & Yandel is a "solid duo" with major concerts booked "months down the line," a clothing line and several endorsement deals. "They are not breaking up. The brand is solid and intact," Nieman...
Central African Republic to investigate ousted leader Francois Bozize for human rights abuses
May 5, 2013 11:54 AM CDT
Central African Republic's interim government says it is investigating what it claims are human rights abuses committed under the rule of deposed president Francois Bozize. Justice Minister Arsene Senda, speaking on state radio Saturday, said he instructed prosecutors to probe crimes allegedly carried out by Bozize and other members of his government. Senda charged that the Bozize government was responsible for assassinations, torture, kidnappings and economic crimes. He charged that 119 people...
Israeli airstrikes in Syria highlight complexities for Arab leaders, who denounce the attacks
May 5, 2013 11:49 AM CDT
Five weeks ago, the head of the Arab League capped a summit in Qatar with an impassioned appeal to strengthen the rebel fighters trying to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad. On Sunday, he denounced Israeli's airstrike into Assad's territory as a dangerous threat to regional stability. The contrast reflects a fundamental conundrum for Arab leaders. Nearly all Arab states have sided with the rebel forces seeking to topple Assad and inflict a blow to his main ally, Iran. And Sunday's attack...
Tens of thousands of leftists march in Paris to denounce president's policies as austerity
May 5, 2013 11:19 AM CDT
Tens of thousands of supporters of leftist parties marched through central Paris on Sunday to express disappointment with President Francois Hollande's first year in power, criticizing the leader for reneging on his promises to rein in the world of finance and enact economic stimulus. Hollande, a Socialist, rose to the presidency last May, promising to spare France the austerity measures imposed elsewhere in Europe. And the French government has largely avoided the deep spending cuts, big tax...
Zimbabwe's army chief refuses to talk with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
May 5, 2013 11:02 AM CDT
Zimbabwe's army commander said he would not speak to the nation's prime minister, describing him as a "sellout" and a "psychiatric patient," reported a state-controlled Sunday newspaper. Gen. Constantine Chiwenga dismissed calls for him and other top security officials to meet with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to discuss demands for reforms in the armed forces ahead of crucial elections this year, reported the Sunday Mail, , which is a mouthpiece of President Robert Mugabe's party. Chiwenga...
Syrian rebels enter northern air base after days of fighting
May 5, 2013 10:56 AM CDT
Rebels occupied Sunday parts of a military air base in northern Syria after days of fighting with government troops who have been defending the sprawling position for months, activists said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebels moved deep inside Mannagh air base, near the border with Turkey, despite fire from government warplanes. The Aleppo Media Center says rebels captured a tank unit inside the base and that the base commander, Brig. Gen. Ali Salim Mahmoud, was...
1 dead, 44 injured in blast at launch of a Tanzanian Catholic church
May 5, 2013 10:51 AM CDT
A woman died and 44 people were seriously wounded when a bomb exploded in a Roman Catholic church in northern Tanzania, a Tanzanian police official said Sunday The woman died in hospital as a result of the bombing in the Arusha church just before Mass, which was attended by the papal envoy to Tanzania, said Magesa Mulogo, the regional police commissioner of Arusha. Mulogo said eyewitnesses report that the bomb was thrown from a motorcycle into the church. Mulogo said the driver of the motorcycle...
Plane returns to Finnish airport after engine problem; some reported hearing explosion
May 5, 2013 10:10 AM CDT
German airline Lufthansa says one of its passenger planes experienced an engine problem shortly after take-off in Finland and had to return to the Helsinki airport. Some passengers told local media they heard an explosion. Lufthansa spokesman Christian Gottschalk said Sunday the Airbus A321 plane was bound from Helsinki to Frankfurt with 168 people aboard. He says the aircraft had problems with one of its two engines, but all passengers safely left the plane after landing in Helsinki late Saturday....
A look at the Fateh-110 missiles that Israeli officials say were targeted in Syria
May 5, 2013 9:51 AM CDT
Israel has carried out airstrikes against Syria twice in the past three days, targeting what officials say are shipments of highly accurate, Iranian-made guided missiles known as Fateh-110s believed to be on their way to Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group. Here are some details about the missile: _WHAT IS THE FATEH-110? The Fateh-110, or "Conqueror" in Farsi, is a short-range ballistic missile developed by Iran and first put into service in 2002. The Islamic Republic unveiled an upgraded version...
French ballistic missile test ends in failure after missile destroys itself; reason unclear
May 5, 2013 9:18 AM CDT
A French ballistic missile test has ended in failure after the missile destroyed itself just minutes after its launch from a nuclear submarine off the coast of Brittany. The French Defense Ministry said in a statement that, as usual, the M51 missile was not armed with a nuclear warhead during the test Sunday. Debris from the missile fell in an area that was closed to sea and air traffic. The ministry said it was investigating why the test failed. Sunday's was the first failure in the six tests...
Police say 1 killed as Islamic group demonstrates in Bangladesh for anti-blasphemy law
May 5, 2013 8:18 AM CDT
Police in Bangladesh's capital fired rubber bullets to disperse stone-throwing Islamic activists Sunday during a protest to demand that the government enact an anti-blasphemy law. The activists were among thousands demonstrating around Dhaka, blocking roads and cutting off the city from the rest of the country. Police said protesters also set many shops and at least 30 vehicles on fire. Authorities deployed more than 15,000 security forces in the capital. Clashes broke out in central Dhaka as...
NKorea says detained American disguised identity, denies it aims to use him as bargaining chip
May 5, 2013 8:02 AM CDT
North Korea on Sunday revealed a few more details about a Korean-American recently sentenced to 15 years' hard labor, saying he entered the country with a disguised identity. Pyongyang also rejected speculation that it intends to use Kenneth Bae as a bargaining chip. In remarks carried by state media, an unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesman did not specify the Washington state man's crimes but said he confessed. He said Bae entered North Korea "with a disguised identity in an intentional way...
Bahrain court sentences 31 protesters to 15 years prison each over police attack
May 5, 2013 7:57 AM CDT
A defense lawyer in Bahrain says a court has sentenced 31 protesters to 15 years in prison each for roles in firebomb attacks against security forces during an anti-government demonstration last year. The defendants, aged 16 to 34, all come from Sitra island, a hotbed of protests since early 2011 when Bahrain's majority Shiites began an uprising seeking a greater political voice in the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom. The court decision Sunday could touch off more unrest. Defense layer Mohamed al-Tajir...
Malaysian police investigate suspected killing of American pastor found tied up in his home
May 4, 2013 11:27 PM CDT
Malaysian police are investigating the death of an U.S. pastor found at his home with his hands and legs bound and a cellphone charger cable around his neck. Amiruddin Jamaluddin, a Kuala Lumpur district police chief, says officials believe Rev. David Ginter was murdered but have not identified any suspects or motive. Ginter's wife, who was visiting her home country of Australia, asked a neighbor to check on him Saturday when she couldn't contact him. He was found dead and his car was missing....
Malaysians vote in tight national elections to decide fate of long-ruling coalition
May 4, 2013 11:15 PM CDT
Millions of Malaysians began voting Sunday in tight national elections that could see the long-ruling coalition ousted after nearly 56 years in power. Incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak has voiced confidence that the National Front coalition will remain Malaysia's dominant political force despite facing its most unified opposition challenge since independence from Britain in 1957. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's three-party alliance hopes widespread grievances over how the National Front...
Syria state news agency says missiles strike military research center, blames Israel
May 4, 2013 10:44 PM CDT
Israeli missiles struck a research center near the Syrian capital Damascus, setting off explosions and causing casualties, Syria's state news agency reported early Sunday, citing initial reports. If confirmed, it would be the second Israeli strike on targets in Syria in three days, signaling a sharp escalation of Israel's involvement in Syria's bloody civil war. There was no immediate Israeli comment. However, Israel has said it will not allow sophisticated weapons to flow from Syria to...
Venezuela's government lashes out at Obama's comment on the country's elections, crisis
May 4, 2013 8:31 PM CDT
Venezuela's government on Saturday angrily rejected comments made by U.S. President Barack Obama about the South American country's political crisis and accused Washington of being behind violence that has followed its recent presidential election. A foreign ministry statement said that Obama's "fallacious, intemperate and interventionist declaration" will lead toward deteriorating relations between the countries and "confirms to the world the policy of aggression his government maintains against...
Egypt's Christians mark Coptic Easter weeks after spiritual leader criticizes president
May 4, 2013 6:59 PM CDT
Pope Tawadros II led his first Easter Mass as head of the ancient Coptic Church in Egypt praying for security and prosperity on Saturday at the same cathedral that was the site of sectarian clashes weeks earlier. The Orthodox Easter mass, meant to be a religious celebration that marks the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion, took place amid increased attacks on churches. Egypt's Orthodox Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of the country's 90 million people, have long complained...
Israel enforces `red line' with Syria airstrike on weapons bound for Hezbollah, officials say
May 4, 2013 5:41 PM CDT
With a second airstrike against Syria in four months, Israel enforced its own red line of not allowing game-changing weapons to reach Lebanon's Hezbollah, a heavily armed foe of the Jewish state and an ally of President Bashar Assad's regime, Israeli officials said Saturday. But the strike, which one official said targeted a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles, also raised new concerns that the region's most powerful military could be dragged into Syria's civil war and spark...
Obama says he won't comment on Israeli airstrike on Syria, will leave it to the Israelis
May 4, 2013 5:20 PM CDT
President Barack Obama says he won't comment on an Israeli airstrike against Syria that targeted a shipment of advanced missiles believed to be headed for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Israeli officials on Saturday confirmed the strike, which took place early Friday. Obama told the Spanish-language network Telemundo in an interview that he will defer to the Israeli government for comment. He also repeated his view that the Israelis justifiably have to guard against the transfer of advanced...
Mali: 5 killed, including 2 Malian soldiers, after suicide bomber attacks army patrol near Gao
May 4, 2013 4:47 PM CDT
A suicide bomber on a scooter attacked a Malian army patrol in the troubled northern city of Gao on Saturday as other militants in a car sprayed the troops with gunfire sparking a clash that left three suspected militants and two soldiers dead, an official said. The attack, in which four other soldiers were wounded, underscores the challenges facing the country following a French-led military intervention, which succeeded in liberating the three main towns occupied by the al-Qaida-linked groups...
Police: At least 39 people killed in ethnic clash in rural Nigerian town
May 4, 2013 4:26 PM CDT
Police say at least 39 people have been killed in ethnic violence in a rural town in Nigeria. The attack happened Friday in Wukari, a town in Nigeria's Taraba state. A state health official and residents said Saturday that others were also injured in the violence that sparked during a funeral service that pitted the Jukun people against the Hausa Fulani. Taraba state police spokesman Joseph Kwaji later said at least 39 people had been killed. Officials later placed the town on a 24-hour curfew,...
7 American service members killed in attacks in Afghanistan
May 4, 2013 4:04 PM CDT
Seven U.S. soldiers and a member of the NATO-led coalition were killed on Saturday in one of the deadliest days for Americans and other foreign troops in Afghanistan in recent months, as the Taliban continued attacks as part of their spring offensive. The renewed violence came as Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledged at a news conference that regular payments his government has received from the CIA for more than a decade would continue. Karzai also said that talks on a U.S.-Afghan bilateral...
Reports: Senior Conservative Party lawmaker arrested on suspicion of rape, sexual assault
May 4, 2013 3:21 PM CDT
LONDON _ British media say that a senior Conservative Party politician has been arrested for questioning on suspicion of rape and sexual assault. The reports identify the politician as Deputy House of Commons Speaker Nigel Evans, a 55-year-old from Lancashire, northwest England, who has served in Parliament for two decades. British police do not identify people arrested for questioning who have not been charged. Asked about the arrest of Evans, Lancashire police said in a statement that a 55-year-old...
Report: Hundreds evacuated after train carrying chemicals derails, catches fire in Belgium
May 4, 2013 2:54 PM CDT
Belgian media say that hundreds of people were evacuated after a train carrying chemicals derailed and caught fire in northern Belgium. Amateur video showed the train ablaze in the early hours of Saturday; in daylight, the train cars could be seen forming a zig-zag over the track. Media, citing a statement from the East Flanders government, said that authorities were investigating if a death of someone in the area of the derailment was linked to the accident. The statement said 17 people were...
Don Omar: Reggaeton duo Wisin and Yandel breaking up
May 4, 2013 2:46 PM CDT
Reggaeton star Don Omar said at his concert late Friday that the popular Puerto Rican reggaeton duo of Wisin and Yandel is breaking up. Accompanied by Yandel, Don Omar praised his future as a soloist. Manager Edgar Andino neither confirmed nor denied the announcement in an interview with local newspaper El Nuevo Dia. "As far as I know, Don Omar is not Yandel's publicist or manager," Andino is quoted as saying. Andino did not return a message for comment. Yandel's real name is Llandel Veguilla...
Saudi authorities allow private girls' schools to hold sports activities, within Islamic rules
May 4, 2013 2:42 PM CDT
Saudi Arabian girls will be allowed to play sports in private schools for the first time, according to a decision announced on Saturday, the latest in a series of incremental changes aimed at slowly increasing women's rights in the ultraconservative kingdom. Saudi Arabia's official press agency, SPA, reported that private girls' schools are now allowed to hold sports activities in accordance with the rules of Shariah, or Islamic law. Students must adhere to "decent dress" codes and Saudi women...
Drug violence in western Mexican state pushes 2 major companies to relocate facilities
May 4, 2013 2:38 PM CDT
The economic development secretary of the western Mexican state of Michoacan says two major firms have decided to relocate their distribution centers to escape violence. Ricardo Martinez says yogurt giant Dannon and pharmaceutical company Grupo Casa Saba have moved to Queretaro and Jalisco states respectively. Another company, the PepsiCo subsidiary Sabritas, was the target of fire bombings in Michoacan last year, apparently by a drug cartel. Martinez said on Friday that Sabritas will continue...
Activists say Sunni Muslims flee Syrian coastal city after reports of sectarian killings
May 4, 2013 2:29 PM CDT
Thousands of Sunni Muslims fled a Syrian coastal town Saturday, a day after reports circulated that dozens of people, including children, had been killed by pro-government gunmen in the area, activists said. The violence occurred as embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad made his second public appearance in a week in the capital, Damascus. Also, Israeli officials confirmed that the country's air force carried out an airstrike against Syria, saying it targeted a shipment of advanced missiles bound...
Iraqi PM's group wins largest bloc of votes in 7 provinces in local election, but no majority
May 4, 2013 2:19 PM CDT
A coalition led by Iraq's prime minister has won the largest single bloc of seats in seven of 12 provinces participating in local elections, and tied in an eighth, although it failed to achieve a majority in any of the districts, electoral officials announced Saturday. Last month's vote was for seats on local-level governorate councils and has no direct effect on the country's national posts. But the results do offer an important glimpse into levels of support for the country's political blocs...
Twin blasts in Pakistan port city kill 3 near office of Taliban-critical political party
May 4, 2013 1:43 PM CDT
Two blasts in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi killed three people near the office of a political party critical of the Taliban, a police officer said, heightening tensions ahead of the country's historic May 11 election. Police officer Aamir Farooqi said the explosions late Saturday also wounded another 22 people. A spokesman for the Taliban, Ahsanullah Ahsan, claimed responsibility. Pakistan has been experiencing a wave of violence connected to historic elections scheduled for next Saturday,...
Influential Jamaican saxophonist Cedric Brooks dies at 70
May 4, 2013 1:02 PM CDT
Cedric Brooks, a Jamaican saxophone player and influential roots reggae musician, has died. He was 70. One of Brooks' sisters, Paulette Keise, said he died Friday of cardiac arrest at New York Hospital Queens. She said Saturday that he suffered from high blood pressure and diabetes and fell ill several years ago, losing his ability to speak. Brooks began his music career in the late 1960s as a studio musician, playing in songs such as Burning Spear's "Door Peep." He also had hits with trumpet...
Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina to run for re-election, reversing vow not to contest
May 4, 2013 12:02 PM CDT
Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina will stand for re-election in July, despite earlier assurances that he would not run to help return stability to the Indian Ocean island nation. A showdown looms between Rajoelina and the wife of former president Marc Ravalomanana who are among the 41 presidential candidates who were approved by the Special Elections Court on Friday. Former President Didier Ratsiraka and two former prime ministers are among other candidates approved. Rajoelina defended his...
Possible presidential front-runners in Iran's June 14 election
May 4, 2013 11:43 AM CDT
The following are potential front-runners in Iran's June 14 presidential elections. The list of candidates will be announced later this month after vetting by Iran's ruling clerics: ___ ALI AKBAR VELAYATI: Top adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on international affairs. Velayati, 67, Served as foreign minister during the 1980-88 war with Iraq and into the 1990s. He is a physician and runs a hospital in north Tehran. He was among the suspects named by Argentina in a 1994 bombing...
Next Iranian president likely to offer more diplomacy and less bombast than Ahmadinejad
May 4, 2013 11:40 AM CDT
For eight years, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has played the role of global provocateur-in-chief: questioning the Holocaust, saying Israel should be erased from the map and painting U.N resolutions as worthless. His provocative style grated inside Iran as well _ angering the country's supreme leader to the point of warning the presidency could be abolished. Now, a race is beginning to choose his successor and it looks like an anti-Ahmadinejad referendum is shaping up. Candidate registration...
Guyana to resume rice exports to Venezuela under new Petrocaribe deal
May 4, 2013 11:25 AM CDT
Guyana says it will resume rice shipments to neighboring Venezuela following the renewal of a $130 million rice-for-oil deal between the two South American countries. Agriculture Minister Leslie Ramsammy said Saturday that Guyana could export as much as 210,000 metric tons (231,500 tons) of rice in the next two weeks. He said he expects to travel to the Venezuelan capital of Caracas in about a week to hasten the renewed Petrocaribe deal, which was launched by late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez...
Addicted to oil, Venezuela faces a grim future with prices and production dropping
May 4, 2013 9:38 AM CDT
Only the filthy water from broken sewer pipes keeps the dust down in front of Ramon Boet's shop, which sells statues of saints and other religious objects. In the distance, massive tankers pull up to a half-century-old refinery that processes much of the oil that earns Venezuela more than $100 billion a year. "It doesn't help us at all," Boet, 58, says as a blackout snuffs the lights in his shop in this Caribbean coastal town. He closes before dusk. Too many robbers. The oil flowing from the...
Decomposition makes Bangladesh crews' job more gruesome 10 days after collapse; toll at 547
May 4, 2013 8:38 AM CDT
Ten days after the horrifying collapse of a garment-factory building, life has become still more gruesome for crews working to recover bodies at the site. The death toll rose to 547 on Saturday and the stench of decaying flesh was sickening evidence that the work is not yet done. Rescue workers said some bodies have deteriorated so badly that they have found bones without flesh. Since the April 24 collapse in the Dhaka suburb of Savar, high temperatures have generally been 32 degrees C (90 degrees...
4 killed, 6 injured in drive-by shooting in Puerto Rico
May 4, 2013 8:25 AM CDT
Four people have been killed and six others injured in a drive-by shooting in Puerto Rico. Police said in a statement Saturday that a 45-year-old woman and her 17-year-old daughter are among the victims. Police say they were part of a group gathered at a barbecue restaurant in the central mountain town of Aguas Buenas late Friday when unknown gunmen began shooting into the crowd. Police say one of the injured people is in critical condition. No one has been arrested, and police say they don't...
Bodies of 2 US crew found at site of military plane crash in Kyrgyzstan, 3rd still missing
May 4, 2013 7:13 AM CDT
Search teams on Saturday found the bodies of two American crew members near where their military refueling plane crashed in the rugged mountains of Kyrgyzstan, while the third crew member was still missing, the emergencies minister of the Central Asian nation said. The KC-135 plane crashed Friday afternoon about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of the air base that the U.S. operates in Kyrgyzstan to support military operations in Afghanistan. Officials at the U.S. Transit Center at the Manas base...
Iraqi panel probing deadly raid needs more financial, political backing, rights group says
May 4, 2013 6:08 AM CDT
Human Rights Watch on Saturday urged Iraqi authorities to give more financial and political backing to a government panel probing a deadly raid by security forces at a protest camp last week to find out who is responsible for what it alleged was an unlawful use of lethal force. The group said it received photos from a separate, parliamentary investigation taken in the aftermath of the attack that show the bodies of several men lying in the protest area amid burning cars. Some have their hands...
Saudi special security court has issued 2,145 jail sentences for 'terror' suspects since 2008
May 4, 2013 5:39 AM CDT
The Saudi Justice Ministry says a special security court has issued 2,145 jail sentences for "supporting terrorism" since it was formed four and a half years ago. The Specialized Criminal Court often tries suspects accused of affiliation with al-Qaida's local branch, which operates both in the kingdom and in Yemen. But critics say it also tries human rights activists and other dissidents as well cases related to unrest among Saudi Arabia's Shiite minority. It was unclear if "supporting terrorism"...
Politics is a fishy business: Pakistani lawmaker holds political rally at sea
May 4, 2013 4:51 AM CDT
Wearing life jackets and bobbing on the gentle waves of the Arabian Sea, supporters of a candidate in Pakistan's upcoming nationwide election held a waterborne rally to highlight the challenges faced by their embattled fishing community. Backers of independent political candidate Haji Usman Ghani took to the water Friday on a flotilla of fishing boats. He is contesting May 11 elections for the Sindh provincial assembly from a constituency near the southern port of Karachi, Pakistan's largest city,...
Iraqi panel probing deadly raid needs more financial and political backing, rights group says
May 3, 2013 11:00 PM CDT
Human Rights Watch on Saturday urged Iraqi authorities to give a government committee charged with probing a deadly raid by security forces on a protest camp last week greater financial and political backing to investigate who is responsible for what it described as an apparently unlawful use of lethal force. The group also said it received photos from a separate, parliamentary investigation allegedly taken in the aftermath of the attack that showed the bodies of several men lying in the protest...
Angry with Peru, Venezuela's president calls ambassador home
May 3, 2013 9:59 PM CDT
President Nicolas Maduro has responded angrily to a call by Peru's foreign minister for tolerance and dialogue in Venezuela, saying he will recall his ambassador for consultations. The Peruvian diplomat, Rafael Roncagliolo, also called on the Union of South American Nations, of which his country is acting president, to issue a statement urging Maduro to exercise tolerance. Maduro said Friday that Roncagliolo's statement showed a "lack of respect" for Venezuelan democracy. Two Venezuelan opposition...
In Costa Rica, Obama prodding Central American leaders to move conversation beyond drugs
May 3, 2013 8:30 PM CDT
President Barack Obama came to Latin America eager to move the region's relationship with the U.S. beyond fighting drugs and organized crime, yet the pervasive problems still trailed him throughout his three-day trip to Mexico and Costa Rica. In the Costa Rican capital Friday, Obama defended his administration's efforts to stem U.S. demand for drugs that many regional leaders see as a driving factor in their security issues. He said the U.S. and Latin America share "common effects and common...
Regional disputes, corruption keep Central America from uniting on US issues for Obama trip
May 3, 2013 8:07 PM CDT
President Barack Obama on Friday addressed a Central American region that continues to be plagued by violence, drug trafficking, corruption and poverty, despite the success of a seven-year trade agreement with the United States. Central America's problems have directly impacted the U.S., as thousands from the region migrate north each year along increasingly deadly smuggling routes. In a press conference late Friday with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, Obama said only a comprehensive...
Obama doesn't foresee a scenario where US would send ground troops to Syria
May 3, 2013 7:50 PM CDT
President Barack Obama said Friday he doesn't foresee any circumstance requiring the U.S. to send ground troops into Syria, even as Washington pursues more evidence about the regime's purported use of chemical weapons. "I do not foresee a scenario in which boots on the ground in Syria, American boots on the ground, would not only be good for America but also would be good for Syria," Obama said at a news conference. The president's declaration was in line with the apparent prevailing sentiment...
Obama supports including gays in immigration bill, won't say if he'd sign bill without it
May 3, 2013 7:03 PM CDT
President Barack Obama says he supports recognizing gay unions in a broad immigration bill pending in Congress but won't say whether he would sign legislation that fails to do so. Obama says that recognizing same-sex relationships in the bill is "the right thing to do." But he says it would be premature to telegraph what he will or won't do before lawmakers send him a bill. Gay rights supporters are pushing for an amendment to the bill to allow gays to sponsor their partners to come to the U.S....
Obama says he doesn't foresee a scenario where he'd send US ground troops to Syria
May 3, 2013 6:54 PM CDT
President Barack Obama says he doesn't foresee sending U.S. ground troops into Syria. Obama was asked at a news conference in Costa Rica what he might do if more evidence of Syrian use of chemical weapons emerges. Obama says that as commander in chief he doesn't like to rule things out, but he doesn't foresee a scenario in which American boots on the ground would be good for the U.S. or good for Syria. He says leaders he's consulted in the region agree. Obama says the U.S. is putting pressure...
Kazakhstan teachers recall man linked to Boston bombing suspect, say he was normal teen
May 3, 2013 3:59 PM CDT
Former teachers of one of the students from Kazakhstan arrested in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings described him on Friday as an easygoing teenager who distinguished himself mainly by his failing grades in math and science. Dias Kadyrbayev was a university friend of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He and another 19-year-old student from oil-rich Kazakhstan, Azamat Tazhayakov, have been charged with trying to destroy evidence by allegedly disposing of a backpack and laptop computer...
Aid group: Thousands flee renewed fighting in east Congo town of Pinga
May 3, 2013 3:37 PM CDT
Thousands of people have fled the town of Pinga in eastern Congo following renewed fighting between local armed groups, and nine members of Doctors Without Borders' Congolese staff have gone missing, the aid group said Friday. Jan Peter Stellema, the head of Doctors Without Borders' operations in Goma, said civilians in the area had been facing violence regularly. "Pinga has changed hands eight times in a year and civilians are caught between a rock and a hard place," he said. The town, located...
Violent demonstrations in Guinea over upcoming legislative elections leave 4 dead
May 3, 2013 3:25 PM CDT
Victims' relatives and authorities in West African nation of Guinea say four people are dead following violent demonstrations against an upcoming legislative election. A cousin said Friday that student Cherif Souleymane Diallo died after being shot by a police officer Friday. A second man, Mamady Camara, who was wounded Thursday by a thrown rock, also died. A third unidentified man died from a gunshot wound, doctors said. The fourth victim of the protest-related violence was a police officer...
Mexico rights agency: 91 percent of journalist killings, disappearances unpunished
May 3, 2013 3:20 PM CDT
Mexico's governmental rights commission says 84 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000, and 20 more have disappeared since 2005. The National Human Rights commission says there have been 39 attacks on journalists' offices or equipment since 2005. Only 12 cases have resulted in convictions, meaning 91 percent have gone unpunished. The commission said Friday that charges have been brought in 15 other cases, but the cases were apparently either dismissed or are still in trial. The commission...
Libyan protesters decry militias' latest assaults, come under brief attack in Tripoli
May 3, 2013 2:48 PM CDT
Hundreds of Libyan pro-democracy advocates marched in Tripoli on Friday, denouncing militias' recent blockade of government buildings and coming under attack briefly by supporters of the armed groups, in the latest sign of the turmoil that threatens the country's first elected authorities. Raising banners that read "No democracy with force," the protesters marched on the capital's Algeria Square and Martyrs' Square but were attacked by counterdemonstrators who tore their placards and forced them...
5 South African officials suspended after private wedding party landed at military air base
May 3, 2013 2:45 PM CDT
Five South African officials, including police and military commanders, have been suspended after a chartered plane carrying about 200 guests from India to a lavish family wedding was allowed to land at a South African air force base, the government said Friday. The scandal, in which the passengers allegedly bypassed customs procedures on their way to a gaudy entertainment complex, has angered many South Africans who see the episode as a case of cronyism linking big business and the highest levels...
Mexico detains 11 migrants from India, dozens from Central America
May 3, 2013 2:16 PM CDT
Mexican immigration agents say they have detained 11 migrants from India and dozens of Central American migrants. Eight of the Indian citizens, including two minors, were being transported in a truck near Mexico's border with Guatemala when they were detained. Twenty-five Guatemalan migrants and three Salvadorans were also aboard the vehicle. The National Immigration Institute said Friday the truck was being driven by a Mexican man who ignored police orders to stop. The migrants told agents...
Sectarian shadow hangs over latest reported mass killing in Syria's civil war
May 3, 2013 2:09 PM CDT
The bodies of the Syrian boys and young men in jeans and casual shirts were strewn along a blood-stained pavement, dying apparently where they fell. Weeping women moved among the dead, and one of them screamed, "Where are you, people of the village?" In the Syrian civil war's latest alleged mass killing, activists said Friday that regime troops and gunmen from nearby Alawite areas beat, stabbed and shot at least 50 people in the Sunni Muslim village of Bayda. The slayings highlighted in the...
Google changes Palestinian location from 'territories' to 'Palestine'
May 3, 2013 1:14 PM CDT
Google is de facto recognizing a state of Palestine _ at least on its local home page in the Palestinian territories. Google spokesman Nathan Tyler said Friday "We're changing the name `Palestinian territories' to `Palestine' across our products." He said Google consults with a number of sources and authorities when naming countries and is following the lead of several international organizations. The move comes after a U.N. decision last year upgrading the Palestinians' status to "non-member...
Military says hunger strike at Guantanamo holds steady at 100 prisoners
May 3, 2013 1:12 PM CDT
A U.S. military spokesman says the number of prisoners on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay has held steady for nearly a week. Army Lt. Col. Samuel House says 100 of the 166 men held at the U.S. base in Cuba are classified as hunger strikers as of Friday. Of those on strike, 23 are being force-fed liquid nutrients to prevent starvation. Four are in the detainee hospital for observation. The military classifies a prisoner as a hunger striker based on criteria that include weight and the number of...
Report: South Africa losing battle against growing corruption
May 3, 2013 12:55 PM CDT
South Africa is fighting a losing battle against corruption which sucked up nearly 1 billion rand ($111 million) in taxpayers' money last year, according to a new report that contradicts government statements that efforts to stamp out financial misconduct are going well. "Corruption is rampant," the author of the report, financial forensics expert Peter Allwright, said Friday. "It's out of control ... and the dedicated units that have been created to fight financial misconduct are in essence fighting...
Lawyers for Afghan interpreters launch UK legal bid seeking same treatment as Iraqis
May 3, 2013 12:30 PM CDT
Three Afghan interpreters who worked with British troops launched a legal bid on Friday challenging the U.K. government's decision not to give them the same assistance awarded to Iraqi interpreters, which their lawyers said is dangerous and discriminatory. Law firm Leigh Day said Afghan interpreters and their families are under threat from the Taliban and the British government has a duty to ensure they're not left exposed. The firm said it filed for judicial review at Britain's High Court on...