Top Stories

  • Airlines on alert as eruption begins in Iceland

    Updated: 16 min ago

    REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano began erupting Saturday under the ice of Europe's largest glacier, prompting the country to close the airspace over the volcano. Thousands of small earthquakes have rattled the volcano, located deep beneath the Vatnajokull glacier, in the last week. Seismic data indicated that magma from the volcano was melting ice beneath the glacier's Dyngjujokull icecap, Meteorological Office vulcanologist Melissa Pfeffer said. The remote area, 200 miles (320 kilometers) east of the capital of Reykjavik, is uninhabited. The Civil Protection Department said scientists flew over the ice cap Saturday afternoon but saw no visible signs of the eruption on the surface of the glacier

  • Russian aid trucks leave; highlight dire needs

    Updated: 58 min ago

    DONETSK, Russia (AP) — Hundreds of Russian aid trucks returned home from rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Saturday, highlighting a dire need for long-term assistance to the region where homes and livelihoods have been destroyed by months of fighting. Ahead of a much-anticipated meeting on Tuesday between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks in Kiev with Ukrainian officials and expressed hope for a peaceful solution to the conflict that has claimed more than 2,000 lives. Russia unilaterally sent hundreds of aid trucks into Ukraine through a rebel-held border point Friday, saying it had lost patience with Ukraine's delaying tactics, a move that Ukraine promptly described as an invasion

  • Kurds protest in Paris against Islamic State group

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — Hundreds of ethnic Kurds are marching in Paris to demand more international support for civilians in Iraq facing assaults by Islamic State militants. Waving flags, chanting and marching behind a banner, the demonstrators pressed for more humanitarian and military aid for thousands of Yazidi refugees in the Sinjar mountains. Yekbun Eksen, a member of the Federation of Kurdish Associations of France, said the international aid was not yet enough to protect civilians. The group has led peaceful weekly protests since Islamic State fighters attacked the town of Sinjar earlier this month. France and the United States have been among the countries providing military and humanitarian support for the embattled civ

  • Sweden: 3 protesters injured by mounted police

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — At least three people were seriously injured Saturday when mounted riot police charged demonstrators in southern Sweden, authorities said. Police spokeswoman Ewa-Gun Westford said officers on horseback chased rock-throwing demonstrators who were "causing violent riots" in Malmo, Sweden's third-largest city. Swedish media published photos of people on the ground as police horses raced over them down a street. Approximately 1,000 people had gathered in Malmo to protest an election rally by a far-right group, the Party of the Swedes, ahead of the country's Sept. 14 parliamentary vote. Westford said a fourth person was slightly injured after being hit by a police van.

  • Protesters against brown coal form human chain

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    BERLIN (AP) — Several thousand people have formed a human chain across the German-Polish border to protest the expansion of open-cast mining for brown coal in the region. Organizers said more than 7,500 people linked up in an 8-kilometer ( 5-mile) chain between Kerkwitz, Germany, and Grabice, Poland — two villages that activists fear will be evacuated to make way for further brown coal mines, also known as lignite. Some of Saturday's demonstrators waded into the Neisse river, which divides the two countries, as part of the chain. The leaders of Germany's opposition Green party were among those attending the protest. Both coal and lignite, which is decried as a dirty fuel by environmentalists, play a significant part

  • 2 Europe navigation satellites in the wrong orbits

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — European space officials say they're investigating whether the inaccurate deployment of two satellites will complicate their efforts to develop a new Galileo satellite navigation system that would rival America's GPS network. The European Space Agency and launch company Arianespace say the satellites ended up in off-target orbits after being launched Friday from Kourou, French Guiana, aboard a Soyuz rocket. Saturday's agency statement did not explain the difference between the satellites' intended orbits and its current ones, nor whether their orbital paths could be corrected. Arianespace said they settled into an orbit lower than intended. The European Union hopes to have its 30-satellite Galileo navigat

  • Debaters hope to sway undecided in Scotland vote

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Scotland's long debate over whether the country should become independent has proved a bonanza for printers of bumper stickers, posters, balloons and even umbrellas. Nationwide the words "Yes" and "No" can be found emblazoned on everything from street lights to shopping bags. Posters proclaiming "Proud to be Scots. Delighted to be United" and "Yes to a better, fairer Scotland" adorn the windows of homes sharing the same street. On Monday, it's showdown time. Scotland's pro-independence First Minister Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling, leader of the "No" campaign, will face off in their last televised debate before the Sept. 18 referendum. Both sides claimed victory when the two clashed Aug.

  • Spain busts Colombian cocaine-smuggling gang

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    MADRID (AP) — Spanish police working in cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency say they have arrested six members of a Colombian-based drug-trafficking gang and seized 240 kilograms (530 pounds) of cocaine that had been hidden inside a yacht. According to Saturday's police statement, their investigation opened in April after police learned that a Spanish citizen based in Colombia was smuggling cocaine into Europe by sea. Police say they raided three premises after the gang leader, his wife and four gang members from Colombia traveled to Spain as part of their latest cocaine-smuggling operation. The gang leader and his wife were arrested in Madrid, the four henchmen in the southwest province of Huelva.

  • Paris to celebrate end to Nazi rule 70 years later

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — Her code name was Rainer and she had a gun she called Oscar. Not yet 20, she aimed her weapon at a Nazi officer and shot him to death on a Paris bridge on a Sunday afternoon. That deed on July 23, 1944, was Madeleine Riffaud's summons to Parisians to rise up. "Everyone saw that a young girl on a bicycle can do this," she recalled in an interview with The Associated Press. Riffaud's solitary act provided an opening salvo for a popular uprising in Paris, which was spurred by the Allied landings in Normandy following four years of Nazi occupation. When American and French troops liberated the City of Light on Aug. 25, 1944, it came against a backdrop of jubilation and chaos.

  • West condemns Russia over convoy to Ukraine

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    LUHANSK, Ukraine (AP) — Tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated sharply on Friday as Moscow sent more than 130 trucks rolling across the border in what it said was a mission to deliver humanitarian aid. Ukraine called it a "direct invasion," and the U.S. and NATO condemned it as well. In another ominous turn in the crisis, NATO said it has mounting evidence that Russian troops are operating inside Ukraine and launching artillery attacks from Ukrainian soil — significantly deeper involvement in the fighting than the West has previously alleged.

  • 2 French girls investigated as would-be jihadi

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — Two French girls, aged 15 and 17, have been captured by a security net that authorities are using to ferret out citizens who are considering traveling to other countries to join jihads. The action is one example of how France is taking judicial action against citizens suspected of seeking careers as foreign fighters, even if they have yet to leave French soil. Thousands of European citizens have made the trip to Syrian battlegrounds, but there is no unified plan of action in Europe.

  • Draghi: ECB can't do it all, governments must act

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said Friday the bank is ready to do more to boost the shaky recovery in the 18 countries that use the euro — but warns governments must join in efforts to reduce stubbornly high unemployment. "We stand ready to adjust our policy stance further" if needed to help the weak recovery, Draghi said in the text of a speech at the U.S. Federal Reserve conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The bank has cut interest rates, offered cheap loans to banks and is weighing asset purchases to pump more money into the economy. His printed comments did not offer new guidance on when the bank might take action.

  • Merkel slams Russia over Ukraine convoy


    BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has accused Russia of risking a further escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine by sending an aid convoy into the region without Kiev's permission. Merkel's office says she called Putin on Friday afternoon to express her "deep concern" about the fact that the convoy had crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border. She also spoke to Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko about the incident, praising his government's cool-headed reaction. Merkel says despite Russia's actions, everything should be done to ensure the convoy reaches people in need and the same should be true for a Ukrainian aid convoy that is being blocked by the pro-Russian separatists. Merkel is traveling to Kie

  • Serbia says it won't impose sanctions on Russia


    BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Despite pressure from the European Union, Serbia will not impose sanctions against Russia or curb its food exports to that country, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Friday. After the U.S. and the EU slapped sanctions on Russian state banks and major industries last month over the crisis in Ukraine, Russia responded with a wide-ranging ban on food products imported from those countries. Serbia, a traditional Russian Slavic ally which is seeking EU membership, is hoping to capitalize on Russia's ban by increasing its food exports and replacing some Western goods on the Russian market. The EU has warned candidate countries to refrain from exploiting the Russian ban.

  • German policeman on trial in dismemberment killing


    BERLIN (AP) — A German police officer went on trial Friday accused of strangling and chopping up a man he met in an Internet chat forum devoted to cannibalism. Detlev G., whose last name hasn't been released, is charged with the murder and defilement of a corpse after allegedly killing a 59-year-old businessman from Hannover last November. Prosecutors say the Polish-born victim had fantasized about being eaten, but there was no evidence the suspect actually did so. G., who worked as a police handwriting expert, denies murder and claims the victim killed himself, according to defense attorney Endrik Wilhelm. He faces a prison sentence of at least 15 years if convicted of murder. The court in Dresden heard how the 56-ye

  • NATO criticizes Russian convoy sent into Ukraine


    BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO's secretary general has condemned Russia for sending a "so-called humanitarian convoy" into eastern Ukraine without the consent of the Ukrainian government. Anders Fogh Rasmussen called Russia's unilateral decision to send more than 130 trucks filled with what it called humanitarian aid into rebel-held areas " a blatant breach of Russia's international commitments" and "a further violation of Ukraine's sovereignty by Russia." Rasmussen said in a statement in Brussels that Friday's deployment in the conflict-torn area of Luhansk, Ukraine, could deepen a crisis "which Russia itself has created and has continued to fuel.

  • Pope's Iraq envoy: Minorities need to be defended


    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis' envoy to Iraq says religious minorities being attacked by Islamic militants must be defended now and given international protection so they can return home, reinforcing the Vatican's position that military force is justified in this case. Asked about the U.S. airstrikes on the Islamic State, Francis said this week it was "licit" to stop an unjust aggression, but that the international community — and not just a single country — must decide how. Cardinal Fernando Filoni went further in an interview Friday with The Associated Press upon his return from northern Iraq, where he delivered money and met with minority Christians and Yazidis on behalf of the pope.

  • 4 white lion cubs born at German circus


    BERLIN (AP) — A circus in Germany is celebrating the birth of four rare white lion cubs. A spokeswoman for Circus Krone says the three males and their sister were born Wednesday in the eastern city of Magdeburg and are doing well. Susanne Matzenau said Friday that their father, King Tonga, now has 16 children from two mothers. Matzenau says the cubs will stay with their mother for three months before starting circus training. The circus is considering names, with 'Otto' among the most popular. White lions have a genetic mutation that gives them very light fur, but they are not albinos. They were extinct in the wild for 12 years, but were reintroduced in South Africa in 2004, according to the Global White L

  • Costa Rica angered by Swedish comedy show


    STOCKHOLM (AP) — A Swedish TV network has apologized to Costa Rica for using the Central American country's national anthem to promote a comedy show. TV4 is using the anthem in a trailer for "Parlamentet," a popular game show featuring some of Sweden's best-known comedians. After receiving complaints from Costa Ricans living in Sweden, Costa Rica lodged a diplomatic protest, calling it a "grave disrespect to our national symbol." Network spokesman Anders Edholm told The Associated Press on Friday that producers have apologized to Costa Rica's ambassador in Sweden and Norway, and assured him they won't show the trailer after the first episode of the season airs Sunday.

  • Germany sues Swiss bank for communist-era fortune


    BERLIN (AP) — Germany is suing a Swiss bank to reclaim millions of euros that once belonged to communist East Germany. BvS, an agency tasked with recovering and managing the communist-era funds, says it asked Zurich's regional court last week to force Bank Julius Baer to return 135 million euros ($179.1 million). Dieter Freund, an official at the agency, said Friday the lawsuit alleges that from 1989 to 1992 a businesswoman acting for an East German trading company was allowed to make unauthorized withdrawals from Bank Cantrade, which Julius Baer later bought. The bank contests the claim. Freund says the BvS agency has already recovered about 252 million euros from Swiss private bank AKB in a related case.