Nation & World


The Latest: Gaza ministry: Young protesters shot in the head

The Latest on the crisis along the Israel-Gaza border (all times local): 12:50 a.m. Gaza's Health Ministry says a Palestinian youth participating in protests on Gaza's border with Israel has been shot in the head and is in critical condition. Since weekly mass marches began in late March, 28 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli army fire from across the border fence. On Friday...
Large area of Berlin center evacuated for WWII bomb disposal

Large area of Berlin center evacuated for WWII bomb disposal

Berlin police were evacuating thousands of people from a central area of the German capital Friday and shutting down the main train station in preparation for the removal of an unexploded World War II bomb found during recent construction work. Some 10,000 residents and workers were being forced to leave a two-square-kilometer (almost a square mile) area, including the train station, while bomb experts...
South Africa's leader cuts short UK visit after protests

South Africa's leader cuts short UK visit after protests

South Africa's president has cut short a visit to Britain to return home and deal with violent protests in a provincial capital. President Cyril Ramaphosa left the Commonwealth summit in London to respond to the turmoil in the North West capital of Mahikeng, where residents have brought life to a standstill with protests over alleged corruption and calls for the premier to resign. Ramaphosa was expected...
Israeli leaflets tell Gaza residents to shun border protest

Israeli leaflets tell Gaza residents to shun border protest

Israeli military aircraft on Friday dropped leaflets urging Palestinians to stay away from the Gaza-Israel border fence and warning that they endanger their lives if they follow directives of Hamas organizers of the weekly protests there. The leaflets were dropped ahead of what is to be the fourth large-scale border march since March 30. In the past three weeks, 28 Palestinians have been killed and...
Koreas set up 1st hotline between leaders ahead of summit

Koreas set up 1st hotline between leaders ahead of summit

North and South Korea installed the first-ever telephone hotline between their leaders Friday as they prepare for a rare summit next week aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang. South Korea's presidential office said a successful test call was conducted on the hotline between Seoul's presidential Blue House and Pyongyang's powerful State Affairs Commission. South Korean President Moon...
Basque militant group ETA: 'We really are sorry'

Basque militant group ETA: 'We really are sorry'

The Basque militant group ETA on Friday offered an unprecedented apology for the pain caused during its more than four decades of armed campaign for independence from Spain and France, and vowed not to return to violence. ETA, which killed around 850 people including police, politicians and entrepreneurs, is due to announce its final dissolution early next month, ending one of Europe's last standing...
Genesis Prize winner Portman pulls out of Israel ceremony

Genesis Prize winner Portman pulls out of Israel ceremony

U.S. actress Natalie Portman, this year's recipient of a prize dubbed the "Jewish Nobel," has pulled out of the June awards ceremony in Israel because of extreme distress over recent events in the country, the Genesis Prize Foundation said. The foundation said it was informed by Portman's representative that the Jerusalem-born Oscar winner "does not feel comfortable participating in...
Mahathir's wife urges Malaysian women to be 'queenmakers'

Mahathir's wife urges Malaysian women to be 'queenmakers'

The wife of former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad urged women on Friday to support the opposition coalition in next month's general election for a better future. Women are nearly half of the 14.94 million people eligible to vote in the May 9 polls that will pit Prime Minister Najib Razak's long-ruling coalition against an opposition coalition headed by his former mentor Mahathir, one of Asia's...
Indonesia's Aceh canes couples for public shows of affection

Indonesia's Aceh canes couples for public shows of affection

Indonesia's deeply conservative Aceh province on Friday caned several unmarried couples for showing affection in public and two women for prostitution before an enthusiastic audience of hundreds. The canings were possibly the last to be done before large crowds in Aceh after the province's governor announced earlier this month that the punishments would be moved indoors. The caning last year of two...
Volcano in southern Japan erupts for 1st time in 250 years

Volcano in southern Japan erupts for 1st time in 250 years

A volcano in southern Japan has erupted for the first time in 250 years, and authorities set up a no-go zone around the mountain. Mount Io spewed smoke and ash high into the sky Thursday in its first eruption since 1768. Japan's Meteorological Agency on Friday expanded a no-go zone to the entire mountain from previously just around the volcano's crater. Explosions have briefly subsided Friday, but...
First clues emerge about Cuba's future under new president

First clues emerge about Cuba's future under new president

Miguel Diaz-Canel has been the presumptive next president of Cuba since 2013, when Raul Castro named the laconic former provincial official to the important post of first vice president and lauded him as "neither a novice nor an improviser," high praise in a system dedicated to continuity over all. Castro said nothing about how a young civilian from outside his family could lead the socialist...
First clues emerge about Cuba's future under new president

First clues emerge about Cuba's future under new president

Miguel Diaz-Canel has been the presumptive next president of Cuba since 2013, when Raul Castro named the laconic former provincial official to the important post of first vice president and lauded him as "neither a novice nor an improviser," high praise in a system dedicated to continuity over all. Castro said nothing about how a young civilian from outside his family could lead the socialist...
Armenian protesters to renew efforts to stop capital traffic

Armenian protesters to renew efforts to stop capital traffic

The leader of large protests that have roiled the capital of Armenia for a week is calling on supporters to renew efforts to paralyze traffic. The protests, which began last Friday, are against former President Serzh Sargsyan's assumption of the prime minister's post. The move came as Armenia changed its government structure to reduce the power of the president and give more authority to the premier...

Russia says US visa delays could halt direct flights

The Russian Foreign Ministry says increasing delays by the United States in issuing visas could result in flagship airline Aeroflot ending flights to the U.S. State-owned Aeroflot is the only airline with scheduled year-round U.S. flights. A ministry statement Thursday complained that the waiting time for interviews for U.S. visa applicants has stretched to 250 days. "In other words, it's senseless...
Women take fall in Nobel scandal for man's alleged misdeeds

Women take fall in Nobel scandal for man's alleged misdeeds

Thousands of protesters called Thursday for the resignation of the secretive board that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature after a sex-abuse scandal linked to the prestigious Swedish academy forced the ouster of its first-ever woman head and tarnished the reputation of the coveted prize. The ugly internal feud has already reached the top levels of public life in the Scandinavian nation known for...
EU foreign policy hails Western Balkan efforts at membership

EU foreign policy hails Western Balkan efforts at membership

The European Union foreign policy chief on Thursday hailed efforts by nations in Western Balkans to advance toward membership in the bloc, ending a tour of the volatile region where Russia is also vying for influence. Federica Mogherini spoke in Serbian capital Belgrade, the last stop of her trip that also included Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro. The region remains tense following the wars of the...
India hopes to host 3 sports events, including 2032 Olympics

India hopes to host 3 sports events, including 2032 Olympics

The Indian Olympic Association says it will bid for three major sporting events — the 2026 Youth Olympics, the 2030 Asian Games and the 2032 Summer Olympics. The bidding process for the 2026 Youth Olympics is likely to start in 2020. Thailand has also expressed interest in hosting the event. Addressing a press conference Thursday with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, IOA...

Russia, NATO military chiefs meet in Azerbaijan

Russia's top military officer has met with his NATO counterpart, the first such encounter since relations between Moscow and the alliance have sunk to post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis. Russia's Defense Ministry said the chief of the military's General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, met Thursday in Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, with U.S. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, NATO's top military officer...
Queen tips Prince Charles to follow her as Commonwealth head

Queen tips Prince Charles to follow her as Commonwealth head

Queen Elizabeth II opened a summit of the 53-nation Commonwealth on Thursday, and backed her son Prince Charles to be the next leader of the association of Britain and its former colonies. In a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, the queen said she hoped Charles would "carry on the important work" of leading the Commonwealth, a loose alliance of countries large and small that has struggled to...

Police: 2 die in light airplane crash in Northern Ireland

Police say two people have died in the crash of a light airplane in Northern Ireland. Police said Thursday the airplane crashed near Belfast International Airport. The Air Accident Investigation Branch is sending a team to investigate. The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said the plane was on fire after the crash. Airport officials said the plane was not flying to or from the airport at the...
Pentagon: Sarin likely at Syria sites, but questions remain

Pentagon: Sarin likely at Syria sites, but questions remain

The Pentagon said Thursday a "preponderance of the evidence" indicates there were chemical weapons, including "elements" of sarin nerve gas, at the three Syrian sites bombed by the U.S. and its allies last week. Any definitive conclusion probably will remain an open question for some time. Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said at a Pentagon briefing that the United States believes...
Pentagon: Sarin likely at Syria sites, but questions remain

Pentagon: Sarin likely at Syria sites, but questions remain

The Pentagon said Thursday a "preponderance of the evidence" indicates there were chemical weapons, including "elements" of sarin nerve gas, at the three Syrian sites bombed by the U.S. and its allies last week. Any definitive conclusion probably will remain an open question for some time. Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said at a Pentagon briefing that the United States believes...
After Syria missile strikes, US stuck in holding pattern

After Syria missile strikes, US stuck in holding pattern

The drama of U.S. and allied missile strikes on Syria has obscured a sobering fact: The U.S.-led campaign to eliminate the Islamic State from Syria has stalled. The U.S. has 2,000 troops in Syria assisting local Arab and Kurdish fighters against IS, even as President Donald Trump resists deeper U.S. involvement and is eager to withdraw completely in coming months. Trump wants "other people"...

US easing rules on sales of armed drones, other weaponry

The Trump administration moved Thursday to make it easier for U.S. defense contractors to sell armed drones and other conventional weapons to foreign governments. In policy changes aimed at boosting American firms' ability to compete in the increasingly lucrative global arms market, the administration said it is removing restrictions that barred U.S. manufacturers from directly marketing and selling...
After Syria missile strikes, US stuck in holding pattern

After Syria missile strikes, US stuck in holding pattern

The drama of U.S. and allied missile strikes on Syria has obscured a sobering fact: The U.S.-led campaign to eliminate the Islamic State from Syria has stalled. The U.S. has 2,000 troops in Syria assisting local Arab and Kurdish fighters against IS, even as President Donald Trump resists deeper U.S. involvement and is eager to withdraw completely in coming months. Trump wants "other people"...

US easing rules on sales of armed drones, other weaponry

The Trump administration moved Thursday to make it easier for U.S. defense contractors to sell armed drones and other conventional weapons to foreign governments. In policy changes aimed at boosting American firms' ability to compete in the increasingly lucrative global arms market, the administration said it is removing restrictions that barred U.S. manufacturers from directly marketing and selling...
Far-right cancels bid to shut Berlin's Berghain techno club

Far-right cancels bid to shut Berlin's Berghain techno club

A far-right party has withdrawn its proposal to close down one of Berlin's most famous techno clubs after the plan drew widespread ridicule in the laissez-faire German capital. Sibylle Schmidt, a district councilor for the Alternative for Germany party, had demanded that the Berghain club lose its license to operate over partygoers' drug consumption and lascivious behavior on the dance floor. Schmidt...
Gaza protest camps moved closer to Israel border fence

Gaza protest camps moved closer to Israel border fence

Gaza protest organizers moved sit-in tents closer to the Israeli border fence Thursday, a day before a fourth planned mass demonstration, raising fears of more bloodshed. The protests, largely led by Gaza's Hamas rulers, began March 30. Organizers said they'll gradually move the camps toward the fence until May 15, but made conflicting comments about a possible breach. Hamas says the protests are...
FBI offers $1M for info on US reporter missing in Syria

FBI offers $1M for info on US reporter missing in Syria

Federal authorities for the first time are offering a reward for information leading to an American journalist who has been missing in Syria for more than five years. The reward is up to $1 million. Austin Tice, of Houston, Texas, disappeared in August 2012 while covering Syria's civil war. A video released a month later showed him blindfolded and held by armed men saying "Oh, Jesus." He...
FBI offers $1M for info on US reporter missing in Syria

FBI offers $1M for info on US reporter missing in Syria

Federal authorities for the first time are offering a reward for information leading to an American journalist who has been missing in Syria for more than five years. The reward is up to $1 million. Austin Tice, of Houston, Texas, disappeared in August 2012 while covering Syria's civil war. A video released a month later showed him blindfolded and held by armed men saying "Oh, Jesus." He...
UK mulls plan to ban plastic straws and cut waste

UK mulls plan to ban plastic straws and cut waste

Britain's government wants to take action to ban plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds — and is urging other Commonwealth nations to follow suit. Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday that "plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world." She told Commonwealth leaders meeting in London Thursday that protecting the ocean environment is "...

Judge blocks transfer of US citizen with ties to IS group

A federal judge on Thursday blocked the government from transferring an American citizen accused of fighting with Islamic State militants to Saudi Arabia, meaning he will stay for now in a U.S. military detention facility in Iraq. The Trump administration has been holding the unidentified citizen without charge since he surrendered on the Syrian battlefield more than seven months ago. The detainee's...
Turkey's weak opposition scrambles to challenge Erdogan

Turkey's weak opposition scrambles to challenge Erdogan

One party leader is in jail. Another doesn't have a candidate. A third might face eligibility issues for her party. Turkey's weak opposition is scrambling to mount a meaningful challenge against strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with just nine weeks to prepare for snap elections. Erdogan set the presidential and parliamentary elections for June 24, in a move that will usher in a new system...
UN health agency: Dengue vaccine shouldn't be used widely

UN health agency: Dengue vaccine shouldn't be used widely

The World Health Organization says the first-ever vaccine for dengue needs to be dealt with in "a much safer way," meaning that the shot should mostly be given to people who have previously been infected with the disease. In November, the vaccine's manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, said people who had never been sickened by dengue before were at risk of developing a more serious disease after...
Germany's Merkel appears open to compromise on EU reforms

Germany's Merkel appears open to compromise on EU reforms

German Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled her willingness to find compromises with France when it comes to reforming the European Union, as she hosted French President Emmanuel Macron for talks Thursday in Berlin. Macron has outlined ambitious plans for greater economic integration across the 28-nation bloc, but his proposals have met resistance in some member countries, including among conservatives...
Seoul: N. Korean leader removes major nuclear sticking point

Seoul: N. Korean leader removes major nuclear sticking point

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that his rival, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, isn't asking for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula as a precondition for abandoning his nuclear weapons. If true, this would seem to remove a major sticking point to a potential nuclear disarmament deal. North Korea, a small, authoritarian nation surrounded by bigger and richer neighbors...

Kremlin says nationalizing sanction-hit Rusal is an option

The Kremlin says a temporary nationalization of aluminum producer Rusal is being discussed after the company was hit by United States sanctions. President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov says nationalization is "one of the viewpoints which is being actively discussed" as the government mulls how to support Rusal. Peskov adds that "it is important here to understand the opinion...
Better than a beach photo: Christie spends $85K on portrait

Better than a beach photo: Christie spends $85K on portrait

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's official portrait will cost $85,000, which is more than taxpayers shelled out for paintings of his three predecessors combined. The Record reports that Australian artist Paul Newton will paint the portrait of the Republican who left office after eight years in January. The cost detail was obtained through an open records request. Democrats Jon Corzine, Richard...

Egypt exhibiting previously unseen Ptolemaic artifacts

Egypt is exhibiting artifacts from the Ptolemaic period for the first time in The Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said Wednesday the exhibit displays around 300 artifacts that show the life of the Ptolemaic dynasty that ruled Egypt for some 300 years — from around 320 B.C. to about 30 B.C. A Dominican archaeological mission unearthed the artifacts in the Taposiris...

Attacker in Berlin skullcap case turns himself in to police

A 19-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker turned himself in to police Thursday after his violent attack on a man wearing a Jewish skullcap in Berlin caused outrage across Germany. The young Syrian showed up with his lawyer at a police precinct, police spokesman Winfrid Wenzel said. The 21-year-old victim, an Arab Israeli, caught Tuesday's assault on video. It quickly went viral and reopened a debate about...
The Latest: Pence tweets response to Cuba's Raul Castro

The Latest: Pence tweets response to Cuba's Raul Castro

The Latest on Raul Castro's handover of Cuba's presidency (all times local): 6:45 p.m. Vice President Mike Pence is responding to outgoing Cuban leader Raul Castro, telling him on Twitter that "we're here standing with the Cuban people." Pence tweeted in response to a quote from Castro, who said Pence "couldn't take it and left" during his appearance last weekend at an international...
Israel celebrates its 70th birthday with parties and BBQ's

Israel celebrates its 70th birthday with parties and BBQ's

Israel is celebrating 70 years since the modern Jewish state was established. Parks and beaches were packed Thursday with people celebrating the country's Independence Day with barbecue and parties or by watching air force fly-bys or hiking in nature. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the country's annual Bible Quiz, in which young Jewish scholars from around the world compete. Festivities...
Ancient coins, bracelets looted from Romania return home

Ancient coins, bracelets looted from Romania return home

Coins and bracelets from the 1st century that were looted from western Romania years ago and smuggled out of the country were put on display Thursday after a joint investigation with Austria brought them back home. The treasure trove of gold and silver artifacts, stolen between 2000 and 2001, was presented at Romania's National History Museum. The items were found in Austria in 2015 and returned following...
Poland marks 75th anniversary of uprising in Warsaw Ghetto

Poland marks 75th anniversary of uprising in Warsaw Ghetto

Sirens wailed, church bells tolled and yellow paper daffodils of remembrance dotted the crowd as Polish and Jewish leaders extolled the heroism and determination of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising fighters on the 75th anniversary of their ill-fated rebellion. Polish President Andrzej Duda and World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder said the hundreds of young Jews who took up arms in Warsaw in 1943...
Greek court backs release of Turkish officer seeking asylum

Greek court backs release of Turkish officer seeking asylum

Greece's highest court on Thursday approved the release from custody of one of eight Turkish servicemen who have applied for asylum in Greece after fleeing Turkey following a failed 2016 coup in the neighboring country. The ruling is likely to anger NATO-ally and regional rival Turkey, which has repeatedly demanded their extradition. It was not clear when the release order would be carried out. The...
Russia joins bid to win compensation over US metals tariffs

Russia joins bid to win compensation over US metals tariffs

Russia on Thursday joined the European Union, India and China in appealing through the World Trade Organization to demand compensation from the United States for its tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. The WTO published a filing from Russia that, like other countries, argues that the U.S. tariffs that took effect March 23 amount to a "safeguard" measure aimed to protect U.S. domestic...
Syrian rebels give up Damascus area town to government

Syrian rebels give up Damascus area town to government

The Syrian government took control of a town northeast of Damascus on Thursday after rebels evacuated to north Syria — the latest in a string of handovers by rebels to the government. Residents in the town of Dumayr welcomed security forces into their town in a triumphant show for the cameras of the state-affiliated al-Ikhbariya TV station. Waving the national flag, they lifted al-Ikhbariya...
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