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Myanmar evicts family of officer who testified on entrapment

Myanmar police on Saturday evicted the family of a police officer who had testified a day earlier that he and others were ordered to entrap two Reuters news agency reporters facing charges that could get them up to 14 years in prison, the officer's wife said. The reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, have been detained since Dec. 12 on charges of violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act. The...
India prescribes death penalty for rape of kids under 12

India prescribes death penalty for rape of kids under 12

India's government on Saturday prescribed the death penalty for people convicted of raping children under 12 to help combat an increase in violent crime against women. An ordinance was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet and was being sent to the president for approval, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. The ordinance will require the approval of Parliament within six months...
Queen Elizabeth II turns 92, to attend star-studded concert

Queen Elizabeth II turns 92, to attend star-studded concert

Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 92nd birthday with a star-studded concert in London. Sting, Tom Jones, Craig David and Kylie Minogue are among singers performing at the celebration at Royal Albert Hall, billed as the "Queen's Birthday Party." Prince Harry is expected to speak at Saturday evening's event, in his new role as president of The Queen's Commonwealth Trust. Special gun salutes...

Syria's Damascus region to see thousands more evacuations

Syrian state media says rebels have started to evacuate three towns in the eastern Qalamoun region in the Damascus countryside. Al-Ikhbariya TV says several buses left the towns of Ruhaiba, Jayroud, and al-Nasriya carrying hundreds of rebels and their families to opposition territory in north Syria. The station says there could be 3,200 rebels leaving three towns on Saturday. It says the evacuations...
The Latest: EU urges Israel to refrain from lethal force

The Latest: EU urges Israel to refrain from lethal force

The Latest on developments related to Gaza protests (all times local): 1:55 p.m. The European Union has urged the Israeli military to "refrain from using lethal force against unarmed protesters," after four Palestinians, including a teen-age boy, were killed by army fire in protests along Gaza's border with Israel. In Saturday's statement, the European Union's diplomatic service called for...
European regulators tighten order for jet fan blade tests

European regulators tighten order for jet fan blade tests

The European Aviation Safety Agency has tightened a nearly month-old directive ordering inspections of some fan blades in engines like those used on a Southwest Airlines jet involved in a fatal accident. A directive published by EASA late Friday called for inspections within 20 days of blades in the oldest CFM56-7B engines — those that have been through 30,000 engine cycles or more since installation...

Hamas says man gunned down in Malaysia was important member

Gaza's ruling Hamas militant group said Saturday that a man who was gunned down in Malaysia was an important member of the organization, raising suspicions that Israel was behind the brazen killing. Hamas said Palestinian engineer Fadi al-Batsh was a "loyal" member and a "scientist of Palestine's youth scholars." It gave no further details on his scientific accomplishments but...

Hamas says man gunned down in Malaysia was important member

Gaza's ruling Hamas militant group said Saturday that a man who was gunned down in Malaysia was an important member of the organization, raising suspicions that Israel was behind the brazen killing. Hamas said Palestinian engineer Fadi al-Batsh was a "loyal" member and a "scientist of Palestine's youth scholars." It gave no further details on his scientific accomplishments but...
4 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza border protest

4 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza border protest

Gunfire from Israeli soldiers across a border fence killed four Palestinians, including a 15-year-old boy, and wounded more than 150 others, health officials said, as several thousand people in blockaded Gaza staged a fourth round of weekly protests on the border with Israel. Huge black plumes of smoke from burning tires engulfed the border area Friday. Some of the activists threw stones toward the...
4 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza border protest

4 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza border protest

Gunfire from Israeli soldiers across a border fence killed four Palestinians, including a 15-year-old boy, and wounded more than 150 others, health officials said, as several thousand people in blockaded Gaza staged a fourth round of weekly protests on the border with Israel. Huge black plumes of smoke from burning tires engulfed the border area Friday. Some of the activists threw stones toward the...
N. Korea, setting stage for talks, halts nuclear, ICBM tests

N. Korea, setting stage for talks, halts nuclear, ICBM tests

North Korea announced that it will suspend nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches ahead of its summits with Seoul and Washington, but stopped short of suggesting it has any intention of giving up its hard-won nuclear arsenal. The announcement, which sets the table for further negotiations when the summits begin, was made by leader Kim Jong Un at a meeting of the North Korean...
The Latest: Ally China welcomes N. Korea's nuke suspension

The Latest: Ally China welcomes N. Korea's nuke suspension

The Latest on North Korea saying it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to close its nuclear test site (all times local): 2:25 p.m. China, North Korea's main ally, is welcoming Pyongyang's decision to suspend its nuclear and missile tests. The official Xinhua News Agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang as saying Beijing wishes for North Korea to continue to achieve...
Raul Castro acts like he's retiring though future unclear

Raul Castro acts like he's retiring though future unclear

Raul Castro was relaxed as he gave a 90-minute speech handing over the presidency to his hand-picked successor, Miguel Diaz-Canel. The 86-year-old revolutionary departed from his prepared remarks, making jokes and reminiscing about the past. He talked about his great-grandchildren. In short, he talked like a man heading into retirement. Castro, who stepped down from the presidency Thursday, remains...
40,000 gather in Armenia to demand leader's resignation

40,000 gather in Armenia to demand leader's resignation

About 40,000 demonstrators have gathered in Armenia's capital as a week of protests against the country's new prime minister showed no sign of dissipating. Protesters are calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, the former president who was appointed this week under a new system that gives the prime minister expanded powers and diminishes the presidency. The crowd that amassed...
In court, Dems allege conspiracy between Trump camp, Russia

In court, Dems allege conspiracy between Trump camp, Russia

The Democratic Party sued Donald Trump's presidential campaign, Russia, WikiLeaks and Trump's son and son-in-law Friday, accusing them of an intricate conspiracy to undercut Democrats in the 2016 election by stealing tens of thousands of emails and documents. The lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court seeks unspecified damages and an order to prevent further interference with computer systems of...
Myanmar policeman testifies arrested reporters were set up

Myanmar policeman testifies arrested reporters were set up

A Myanmar police officer testified Friday that he and several colleagues were ordered to entrap two reporters working for the Reuters news agency, dealing a major blow to the government's case against the journalists. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been detained since Dec. 12 on charges of violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act that could get them up to 14 years in prison. The two helped cover...
8 convicted in case alleging govt reps colluded with Mafia

8 convicted in case alleging govt reps colluded with Mafia

A court in Italy convicted a mob boss, three police investigators and a close associate of former Premier Silvio Berlusconi in a case showing collusion between the Sicilian Mafia and state institutions after a deadly wave of mafia bombings during the early 1990s. Prosecutor Nino Di Matteo said the long-awaited verdicts demonstrated with "certainty that while in Italy bombs were exploding, in...
Remains of Czech cardinal return home from Vatican

Remains of Czech cardinal return home from Vatican

The remains of a Czech cardinal who faced persecution from the Nazis and Communists have been returned to his homeland from the Vatican almost 50 years after his death. A Czech military plane landed in Prague with the remains of Cardinal Josef Beran Friday. He will be buried at Prague's St. Vitus Cathedral. Pope Francis approved the transport in line with Beran's last will. Beran was arrested during...
Natalie Portman addresses snub of 'Jewish Nobel,' backlash

Natalie Portman addresses snub of 'Jewish Nobel,' backlash

Actress Natalie Portman has snubbed a prestigious prize known as the "Jewish Nobel," saying she did not want her attendance to be seen as an endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Portman was to have received the award in Israel in June and said in a statement issued early Saturday that her reasons for skipping the ceremony had been mischaracterized by others, and she...
The Latest: Commonwealth chooses Prince Charles as next head

The Latest: Commonwealth chooses Prince Charles as next head

The Latest on the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (all times local): 5:50 p.m. The Commonwealth has confirmed that Prince Charles will be the next leader of the organization of Britain and its former colonies once he succeeds his mother Queen Elizabeth II on the throne. Commonwealth leaders meeting in London said in a statement that the next head of the organization "shall be His Royal...
The Latest: France demands access for chemical inspectors

The Latest: France demands access for chemical inspectors

The Latest on the Syria conflict (all times local): 9 p.m. France is suggesting that Syria and Russia may be covering up evidence of a chemical weapons attack, and is demanding that international inspectors gain access to the Syrian town where it alleged happened. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement Friday that the inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of...
UK teen gets 2 years for targeting CIA chief's phone, email

UK teen gets 2 years for targeting CIA chief's phone, email

A British teenager has been sentenced to two years in a youth detention center for compromising the email and phone accounts of senior U.S. government officials in what a judge called acts of "cyber-terrorism." Prosecutors say Kane Gamble conned call centers during 2015-16 into revealing information that got him into the accounts of then-FBI director Mark Giuliano, then-Secretary of Homeland...

Afghan authorities: 3 protecting voter registration killed

Three police protecting voter registration centers in two Afghan provinces were killed by militants over a two-day period this week, authorities said Saturday. Sharafuddin Majhidi, spokesman for the governor of western Badghis province, said five rockets were fired by militants on a voter registration center in the provincial capital Qalay-i-Now, killing one officer and wounding two others on Friday...
Turkish lawmakers approve early elections called by Erdogan

Turkish lawmakers approve early elections called by Erdogan

Turkey's parliament has approved holding the country's presidential and parliamentary elections a year-and-half early, a change President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said is needed because of uncertainties over Syria. Legislators voted overwhelmingly in favor of holding the elections on June 24. They previously were scheduled for November 2019. Erdogan called for the snap elections, citing neighboring Syria...
Germany: Truck tips over, floods field with fish

Germany: Truck tips over, floods field with fish

Oh sprat! A tractor-trailer tried to take a turn and toppled over, tipping its entire load of fish onto a German farmer's field. Police says some 20 metric tons (22 tons) of sprat spilled out of the truck in Friday's accident in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. German news agency dpa quoted a police spokesman saying: "The fish bar is open."
UK lawmakers form group to combat 'malign' Russian influence

UK lawmakers form group to combat 'malign' Russian influence

British lawmakers set up a special group Friday to focus on Russian election interference and disinformation campaigns, saying more must be done to understand the extent of Moscow's "malign influence." Moscow, meanwhile, accused the U.K. of planning an unprovoked cyberattack on Russia. Britain has accused Russia of using disinformation campaigns to undermine Western democracies. The diplomatic...
Rights group: Lebanon evicting Syrian refugees from towns

Rights group: Lebanon evicting Syrian refugees from towns

Local officials in Lebanon are throwing Syrian out of their towns in a violation of their rights as refugees and residents, a human rights group said in a new report released Friday. Human Rights Watch said it has documented evictions in 13 towns and villages putting more than 3,600 Syrians on the streets since 2017. It says another 7,000 Syrians were forced to abandon a camp near a military base...
German town braces for neo-Nazi concert on Hitler's birthday

German town braces for neo-Nazi concert on Hitler's birthday

A small town in Germany's far east braced Friday for the arrival of hundreds of neo-Nazis planning to attend a music festival timed to coincide with Adolf Hitler's birthday. Police in Germany and neighboring Poland were checking people arriving in Ostritz for the 'Shield and Sword festival.' The two-day event is expected to attract up to 1,000 far-right extremists from Germany, the neighboring Czech...
No surprise: Charles to succeed queen as Commonwealth head

No surprise: Charles to succeed queen as Commonwealth head

Prince Charles has spent a lifetime waiting to be king. On Friday the 69-year-old heir to the British throne got another position to wait for — he was approved as the next head of the Commonwealth made up of the U.K. and the countries that once were its colonies. Commonwealth leaders meeting in London confirmed that the next chief of the 53-nation group "shall be His Royal Highness Prince...

UN health agency: Hungarian scientist exposed to Ebola

The World Health Organization says it has coordinated shipment of an experimental Ebola vaccine and drugs to treat a laboratory scientist in Hungary who was exposed to the potentially deadly disease earlier this month. The U.N. health agency said in an emailed statement on Friday that Hungarian officials asked for help last week after a scientist working in a normally secure laboratory had an "...
UK Supreme Court declines appeal from parents of ill toddler

UK Supreme Court declines appeal from parents of ill toddler

Britain's Supreme Court declined Friday to hear an appeal from a mother and father who want to take their terminally ill toddler to Italy for treatment instead of allowing a hospital to remove him from life support. The decision is another setback for the parents of 23-month-old Alfie Evans, who have been engaged in a protracted legal fight with Alder Hey Children's Hospital over their son's care...
UK Supreme Court declines appeal from parents of ill toddler

UK Supreme Court declines appeal from parents of ill toddler

Britain's Supreme Court declined Friday to hear an appeal from a mother and father who want to take their terminally ill toddler to Italy for treatment instead of allowing a hospital to remove him from life support. The decision is another setback for the parents of 23-month-old Alfie Evans, who have been engaged in a protracted legal fight with Alder Hey Children's Hospital over their son's care...
Pakistan: Armed men rob, harass prominent right activist

Pakistan: Armed men rob, harass prominent right activist

A prominent Pakistani rights group says armed men have raided the house of one of its editors, harassing her and stealing her laptop, two hard drives and two cell phones, as well as some jewelry and cash. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in a statement Friday condemned the raid on Maryam Hasan's home in the eastern city of Lahore on Thursday night. Hasan edited the group's annual State...
Russia: US did not violate red lines during Syria strikes

Russia: US did not violate red lines during Syria strikes

Russia's foreign minister said Friday that the U.S. sought out and respected Moscow's positions in Syria when it launched its air strikes last week. Lavrov noted that despite the escalating tensions between Moscow and Washington, the U.S. made sure it didn't harm any Russian personnel and positions during the strikes against the regime of President Bashar Assad following a suspected chemical attack...
Police remove students from occupied Paris university site

Police remove students from occupied Paris university site

French police removed students from a Paris university building Friday that had been occupied for a month to protest admission changes that also are causing turmoil at other campuses. Paris police said the clearing of the Tolbiac Center, a 22-story tower in southern Paris affiliated with Paris 1 University, went "without incident." Interior minister Gerard Collomb said in a tweet that "...
Zimbabwe's Mugabe summoned over alleged diamond looting

Zimbabwe's Mugabe summoned over alleged diamond looting

A Zimbabwean parliamentary committee is summoning former leader Robert Mugabe to explain past comments on alleged diamond looting — the first time a public institution has called him to account for such claims made during his 37-year rule. Mugabe, who resigned in November following a military intervention and extraordinary public demonstrations, has said $15 billion worth of diamonds were looted...
Croatia's president honors victims of WWII camp

Croatia's president honors victims of WWII camp

Croatia's president visited the site of a World War II concentration camp on Friday and honored its victims, while Jewish leaders are boycotting the main commemoration ceremony for the third year in a row. President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said visiting the Jasenovac camp near Zagreb "evokes a feeling of deep regret over the crimes that took place here and respect for all the innocent victims...

German official, lawyers probed in bribes-for-asylum case

German authorities are investigating an official and three lawyers on suspicion of corruption in the granting of asylum to people who weren't eligible. Prosecutors in the northern city of Bremen say at least 1,200 asylum requests, mostly by members of Syria's Yazidi minority, may have been wrongly approved. The official under investigation is the former head of the Bremen branch office of Germany's...
Islamic State group to give up last pocket in Syrian capital

Islamic State group to give up last pocket in Syrian capital

Islamic State militants agreed to give up their last pocket in Damascus on Friday, state media reported, as the government seeks to retake the entire Syrian capital and its surrounding areas for the first time since 2011. The capitulation followed a week of escalations by pro-government forces against the IS-held Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood and Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus. Pro-government...
Evacuation in Slovakia after unexploded WWII bombs found

Evacuation in Slovakia after unexploded WWII bombs found

Slovak authorities have started evacuating people in a town near the southern border with Hungary after four unexploded World War II bombs were found. Police said Friday they are evacuating people from a street in the town of Sturovo after the 100-kilogram (220-pound) Soviet bombs were found in a field. The number being evacuated as experts remove the bombs and transport them to a safe place was not...
The Latest: Palestinians will seek UN probe of Gaza violence

The Latest: Palestinians will seek UN probe of Gaza violence

The Latest on the crisis along the Israel-Gaza border (all times local): 11:30 p.m. The Palestinians say they will be asking the U.N. Human Rights Council to establish a commission to carry out an independent investigation of the Israeli military's killing and wounding of Palestinians during protests in Gaza. Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. ambassador, said his counterpart in Geneva will start...
Israeli fire in new Gaza border protest kills 4 Palestinians

Israeli fire in new Gaza border protest kills 4 Palestinians

Israeli soldiers firing Friday from across a border fence killed four Palestinians, including a 15-year-old boy, and wounded more than 150 others, health officials said, as several thousand people in blockaded Gaza staged a fourth round of weekly protests on the border with Israel. Huge black plumes of smoke from burning tires engulfed the border area. Some of the activists threw stones toward the...
WWII bomb defused in Berlin after large central evacuation

WWII bomb defused in Berlin after large central evacuation

Berlin police evacuated thousands of people from a central area of the German capital Friday and shut down the main train station as a precaution while they defused and removed an unexploded World War II bomb found during recent construction work. Some 10,000 residents and workers were 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 cut short a visit to Britain to return home and deal with violent protests in a provincial capital, calling late Friday for calm and saying more discussions on the "serious" issues were needed. President Cyril Ramaphosa left the Commonwealth summit in London to visit the North West capital of Mahikeng, where residents brought life to a standstill with protests over...
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...
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