• 2 suicide bomber attacks in Kabul kill 7, wound 21

    Updated: 12 min ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Two suicide bombers in the Afghan capital targeted two buses carrying Afghan army troops on Wednesday, killing seven and wounding 21 people, police said. The first attacker hit a bus with Afghan National Army officers, killing seven and wounding 15 in west Kabul, said Kabul criminal investigation police chief Mohammad Farid Afzali. The second attacker, who was also on foot, blew himself up in front of a second bus in northeast Kabul, wounding additional army personnel, Afzali said. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attacks. They came a day after Afghanistan and the U.S. signed a security pact allowing U.S.

  • Reports: China body-searched 10,000 pigeons

    Updated: 17 min ago

    BEIJING (AP) — The 10,000 pigeons released in a ceremony Wednesday for China's National Day underwent unusual scrutiny, each having its feathers and anus checked for dangerous materials, state-run media reports said, reflecting government jitters over possible attacks. The symbols of peace were released at sunrise in Beijing's symbolic heart of Tiananmen Square in a ceremony for the Oct. 1 holiday to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Beijing domestic security police officer Guo Chunwei was quoted in the Jinghua Times as saying workers checked the wings, legs and anus of each pigeon ahead of time to ensure they were "not carrying suspicious material.

  • No images of Hong Kong protests in China's media

    Updated: 30 min ago

    BEIJING (AP) — China's government has cut off news about Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests to the rest of the country, a clampdown so thorough that no image of the rallies has appeared in state-controlled media, and at least one man has been detained for reposting accounts of the events. By contrast, media in semiautonomous Hong Kong have been broadcasting nonstop about the crowds, showing unarmed students fending off tear gas and pepper spray with umbrellas as they call for more representative democracy in the former British colony. The contrast highlights the differences in the "one country, two systems" arrangement that China's Communist Party agreed to when it negotiated the 1997 return of Hong Kong.

  • Fight for growing Pentecostal vote in Brazil

    Updated: 31 min ago

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's rapid religious transformation is reverberating through the country's tight presidential race, where abortion and gay marriage have emerged as hot-button issues and Pentecostal televangelists are political power brokers. The socially conservative Pentecostal population now includes more than one-fifth of the electorate, just three decades after barely registering any presence at all. That change has the secular-minded incumbent quoting Psalms while her Bible-reading rival has repeatedly stressed her belief in a secular state to avoid alienating liberal voters ahead of Sunday's first-round vote.

  • Serena Williams headlines Hopman Cup field

    Updated: 32 min ago

    PERTH, Australia (AP) — Top-ranked Serena Williams will combine with Wimbledon doubles champion Jack Sock in the United States team which will compete in a star-studded Hopman Cup tournament in January. Williams won the Cup with James Blake in 2003 and Mardy Fish in 2008 and will again use the tournament as preparation for the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, the Australian Open. Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will combine with Alize Cornet in a French team playing in Group B with Australia, Great Britain and Poland. Two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray will play for Britain alongside Heather Watson. Canada's Eugenie Bouchard, rising Australian star Nick Kyrgios and world No.6 Agnieszka Radwanska

  • More than games gold at stake in all-Korean final

    Updated: 51 min ago

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Rarely has there been so much at stake in an Asian Games football final. It's North vs. South on the divided Korean peninsula, and it's a game South Korea's players are desperate to win. Not just because it takes place on home soil against their closest neighbor but also because a gold medal would grant them exemption from mandatory military service, which is largely in place because the two countries are still technically at war. When North Korea and South Korea met in the Asian Games final in 1978, the game ended goalless and the title was shared. While the same scoreline is possible at Incheon on Thursday, especially given the strength of the two teams at the back, there will be no such sharing

  • Fight for growing Pentecostal vote in Brazil

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's rapid religious transformation is reverberating through the country's tight presidential race, where abortion and gay marriage have emerged as hot-button issues and Pentecostal televangelists could be political power brokers. The socially conservative Pentecostal population now includes more than one-fifth of the electorate, just three decades after barely registering any presence at all. That change has the secular-minded incumbent quoting Psalms while her Bible-reading main rival has repeatedly stressed her belief in a secular state to avoid alienating liberal voters ahead of Sunday's first-round vote.

  • Government confirms first case of Ebola in US

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    DALLAS (AP) — The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. was confirmed Tuesday in a patient who recently traveled from Liberia to Dallas — a sign of the far-reaching impact of the out-of-control epidemic in West Africa. The unidentified man was critically ill and has been in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital since Sunday, federal health officials said. They would not reveal his nationality or age. Authorities have begun tracking down family, friends and anyone else who may have come in close contact with him and could be at risk for becoming ill. But officials said there are no other suspected cases in Texas. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Director Tom Frieden said the man left L

  • Mexico announces homicide charges in army killings

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican prosecutors announced homicide charges Tuesday against three soldiers in the June killings of 22 suspected gang members in southern Mexico, challenging the army's version that the suspects died in a shootout. Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said that after a brief initial firefight the three soldiers entered a warehouse where the suspects had taken refuge and opened fire with "no justification whatsoever." Murillo Karam offered no details on whether the suspects had already surrendered, as a witness has said, or whether they were unarmed when shot.

  • Scientists see bleached coral in northwest Hawaii

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — Warm ocean temperatures have caused large expanses of coral to bleach in the pristine reefs northwest of Hawaii's main islands, scientists said Tuesday. Mass bleaching has occurred at Lisianski atoll, about 1,000 miles northwest of Honolulu, said Courtney Couch, a researcher at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. Coral also bleached at Midway, Pearl and Hermes atolls, but not as severely. Couch called the situation "dire," particularly for Lisianski. In one shallow part of the reef, 90 percent of the coral was bleached, she said. An average of 35 percent of the coral sites observed at the atoll had bleached, she said. "It's a pretty big deal. Especially after looking at the forecasts for thermal st

  • Hong Kong chief says voting beats watching TV

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong's embattled leader attended a flag-raising ceremony Wednesday to mark China's National Day after refusing to meet pro-democracy demonstrators despite their threats to expand the street protests that have posed the stiffest challenge to Beijing's authority since China took control of the former British colony in 1997. Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying took part in the ceremony — marking the anniversary of the founding of communist China in 1949 — as hundreds of protesters behind police barricades yelled at him to step down, although they fell silent and turned their backs when the ceremony began. Helicopters flew past carrying the Hong Kong and Chinese flags, with the latter noticeably

  • Cat, dog, lasers: A senior portrait to remember

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York boy and his cat, a principal and her dog — and lasers. They all came together in teenager Draven Rodriguez's senior portrait, which ended up with him holding his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, and Schenectady High School principal Diane Wilkinson holding her Chihuahua, Vivienne. The 16-year-old had originally wanted his senior yearbook portrait to show him holding his cat, with lasers in the background. He posted the photo on the Internet, and it went viral. The school denied his request but said the photo could appear somewhere in the yearbook. Wilkinson got in on the act, and school district officials say the portrait with the two pet owners will appear on the principal's yearbook

  • Luck, instinct determined fates of volcano hikers

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    TOKYO (AP) — Huge boulders falling from the sky. Billowing gray smoke that cast total darkness over the mountain. Volcanic ash piling on the ground and fumes filling the air. Some survivors of the eruption of Mount Ontake made a split-second decision to hide behind big rocks or escaped into lodges that dot the mountain's slopes. Outdoors, other hikers fell, hit by rocks or possibly suffocated by gases, and quickly buried in ash. At least 36 people were killed in Saturday's surprise eruption. Some bodies have been recovered, and search efforts for the other missing bodies resumed Wednesday morning. For survivors such as mountain guide Sayuri Ogawa, it was a near-death experience.

  • Argentina slams US judge after contempt decision

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's president on Tuesday said a U.S. judge's decision a day earlier to hold the South American country in contempt for attempting illegal moves to service its debt is pure "silliness." "All of this is not casual, and it comes from a senile judge," President Cristina Fernandez said during an event at the government house. "There are some players in the economy who want to bring down the government and they want to do it with help from abroad." Argentina deposited a $161 million bond interest payment with a newly appointed local trustee on Tuesday in defiance of U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa.

  • Rousseff takes lead in Brazil election poll

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff climbed in two election polls released Tuesday — opening a solid runoff vote lead in one but remaining in a technical tie with her chief rival in another. A survey carried out by the Datafolha polling group and published on the website of the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper showed Rousseff winning 49 percent support from those polled, while Silva held 41 percent in a possible second-round vote. A month ago Silva led Rousseff 50-to-40 in a Datafolha poll. A separate poll conducted by the Ibope Institute and published on the website of the Estado de S.

  • Mexico says 14 of 57 missing students found

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Fourteen of the 57 students reported missing after weekend shootings that killed six people in the southern state of Guerrero have been located, officials said Tuesday. Some were found in their homes or at school, and a search was continuing for the 43 teachers college students still unaccounted for, state Prosecutor Inaky Blanco said. Earlier, the head of the state human rights commission, Ramon Navarrete, said some of the students had fled the shooting in the municipality of Iguala, and some were detained and then released. He added that there were high hopes of finding the rest. Student activists linked to the Ayotzinapa normal school are known for their radical protests.

  • Shares of companies testing Ebola vaccines rise

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of some companies that are studying potential vaccines for Ebola climbed after federal officials announced that the first case of the disease has been diagnosed in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control said a patient being treated at a hospital in Dallas tested positive for the disease. Ebola is believed to have sickened more than 6,500 people in West Africa, and more than 3,000 people have died. The World Health Organization has worked to speed up the use of some experimental vaccines and companies are ramping up testing. Earlier this month NewLink Genetics said it would start safety testing of a vaccine within a few weeks, while Inovio Pharmaceuticals said it would start human trials of a D

  • Elk nose into Grand Canyon water stations

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Grand Canyon officials have reduced waste by banning disposable plastic water bottles and installing water stations for visitors. But a new problem sprung up: Elk are helping themselves to water at the stations by lifting spring-loaded levers with their noses. Now, officials plan to elk-proof the stations to outsmart the animals, conserve water and protect visitors from aggressive behavior by the animals. They are experimenting with a cage around the spouts at one water station and will change the way it's turned on. "They got a little aggressive about it," chief resource manager Martha Hahn said. "They were pretty protective of that water and wanting to get it first.

  • FTC to retailers: Drop your caffeinated drawers

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — If you purchased caffeine-infused underwear because of promises it will make you thinner, federal regulators say you were hoodwinked — but at least you can get your money back. The Federal Trade Commission announced this week that two companies have agreed to refund $1.5 million to consumers who purchased "shapewear" that supposedly can reduce cellulite and fat because it's infused with caffeine, vitamin E and other things. The FTC says there's no scientific evidence to back up those claims. In a settlement, Norm Thompson Outfitters of Oregon, and Wacoal America Inc. of New Jersey agree not to make claims that their products cause weight loss or a reduction of body size.

  • Feds unveil cleanup plan for nuclear waste dump

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy on Tuesday said it's committed to cleaning up and resuming initial operations at the federal government's troubled nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico as early as 2016, work that's expected to cost more than $240 million. The timeline and cost details were included in a recovery plan developed by the department over several months with help from nuclear industry experts. The plan outlines what needs to be done to decontaminate the underground Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Shipments of plutonium-contaminated waste from federal installations around the country have been on hold since early February.