• Spanish judge rules no crime in killing Ebola dog

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    MADRID (AP) — A Spanish judge has ruled health authorities didn't commit a crime when they euthanized Excalibur, a dog that belonged to a nursing assistant who contracted Ebola last month. An animal rights group had filed a complaint against a Madrid health official, citing a violation of an animal protection law. A judge issued a seven-page ruling Wednesday. Excalibur belonged to Teresa Romero, the first known person to contract Ebola outside West Africa in the latest outbreak. She had treated two Spanish missionaries who died from Ebola after they were flown back from West Africa. Romero later recovered. Spanish health authorities ordered the killing of the dog Oct. 8, fearing a risk of transmission. In the U.S.

  • Egypt court sentences 78 minors over protests

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian judicial official says a court has sentenced 78 minors to up to five years in prison over their participation in Islamist demonstrations. Alexandria Misdemeanor Juvenile Court issued its ruling Wednesday. A court official says the minors, between 13 and 17, faced several charges including blocking traffic, setting tires ablaze and sabotaging private properties. The sentences can be appealed. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists. Supporters of Egypt's now-banned Muslim Brotherhood group staged near-daily demonstrations in the months that followed the military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Demonstrations often

  • Rare Shakespeare Folio discovered in French town

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — The accidental discovery in a small library in northern France of an original first folio of Shakespeare's plays has sent a jolt of excitement around the world of Shakespeare scholars. The find brings the total of known folios in the world to 233, and is significant as each first folio can contain variations that shed light on the bard's intentions. Among the 900 pages of the most recent discovery are rare annotations that suggest it was used for performance. The annotations "might tell us something about Shakespeare's reception at the time, how they were thought of as text for performance," said Stanley Wells, honorary president Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

  • AP Interview: Jordan prince calls for tolerance

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Moderate Muslims must take a stand against religious extremists who violate the core values of Islam, a brother of Jordan's king said Wednesday. Prince Feisal al-Hussein also said that Jordan is trying to defuse religious tensions at a major Jerusalem shrine that is sacred to Muslims and Jews. Jordan serves as custodian of the Muslim-run shrine, which sits on the fault line of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Jordan is also part of a U.S.-led military coalition against the Islamic State group, which holds territory across Syria and Iraq. The prince is chairman of "Generations for Peace," a group promoting peaceful conflict resolution. He said the organization he founded in 2007 has reached more than 200

  • 2 bombings kill 10 people in Iraq

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi authorities say two bombings at a market and a commercial street have killed 10 people in Baghdad. Police officials say a car bomb exploded Wednesday night at a commercial street in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr city, killing seven people and wounding 15 others. Earlier, police said a bomb blast near an outdoor market in southern Baghdad killed three people and wounded seven others. Medics in nearby hospitals confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media. Iraq is facing its worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops, as the Islamic State group is in control of about a third of the country. U.S.

  • Activists raise Raqqa strikes' death toll to 95

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — The death toll from a series of Syrian government airstrikes on the Islamic State group's stronghold in northeastern Syria has risen to at least 95, making it one of the deadliest attacks on the city of Raqqa in the past three years, activists said Wednesday. Some of the Tuesday airstrikes hit a popular market near a museum and an industrial neighborhood, causing many civilian casualties. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights raised its death toll Wednesday to 95. Its director, Rami Abdurrahman, said the dead include 52 civilians whose names the group was able to document. They include three women and four children, he said. At least 120 others were wounded in the strikes, according to the grou

  • In Britain, US turkey dinner is big for business

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    LONDON (AP) — Plump turkeys in butcher shop windows. Harvest displays of pumpkin and corn. Sandwich boards describing groaning feasts. Thanksgiving isn't a holiday in Britain, but you might be forgiven for being fooled. It's not hard to find someone to talk turkey, never mind sell you one. That's because there are so many Americans in Britain these days that dozens of businesses have started selling the goods they need to celebrate. Greg Klaes, a Detroit native who used to teach science on U.S. military base schools, started growing pumpkins 30 years ago so his students could carve Halloween jack-o-lanterns. This year, his Oxfordshire farm is selling 600 kilograms (1,322 pounds) a week, filling harvest decorations and pumpk

  • EU proposes $380 billion investment plan

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's executive has proposed a plan to boost investment in the bloc's flagging economy by 315 billion euros ($380 billion) by attracting reluctant private investors with guarantees and seed money. Experts warn, however, it alone will not be enough to restart growth. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday that the long-awaited plan will use 21 billion euros in money from EU institutions to entice spending on projects in education, transport, the digital economy and the environment. Juncker estimated that every euro invested in the three-year scheme could attract private and public investment of about 15 euros. The Commission said the plan would create up to 1.

  • Lebanese FM: Cyprus may be jihadi transit point

    Yesterday

    NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Lebanon's foreign minister says more attention should be paid to the possibility of Cyprus becoming a gateway for aspiring foreign jihadis to transit in and out of the Middle East. Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil warned after talks Wednesday with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides that the small island nation could be used "as a European country for foreign fighters to move from Europe toward the Middle East" and vice versa. Ethnically split Cyprus lies about 100 miles east of Syria. A Cypriot security official said last week that Cyprus has already stepped up screening efforts across the island's dividing line to prevent Europeans from passing through en route to Syria.

  • Germany to require 30 pct women in top boardrooms

    Yesterday

    BERLIN (AP) — Germany's leading companies will need to have at least 30 percent women on their supervisory boards from 2016, according to a new directive being adopted by the government, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday. The leaders of Germany's Social Democrats and Merkel's conservative bloc agreed on the measure at a late-night meeting Tuesday. A bill will be put to Cabinet on Dec. 11, she said. Currently, women hold just 22 percent of non-executive positions on the boards of companies listed in Germany's benchmark DAX 30 index, according to Economy Ministry figures. They hold just six percent of management board posts. The new plan will affect 100 listed companies starting 2016.

  • Egypt opens crossing to Gaza for 1st time in month

    Yesterday

    EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Egyptian authorities temporarily re-opened a border crossing with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday to allow Palestinians stranded outside the territory to return home, officials said. The crossing had been closed since Oct. 24, when a militant ambush killed 31 Egyptian soldiers near the border town of Rafah. Since the October attack, Egypt declared a three-month state of emergency and a dusk-to-dawn curfew for much of northern Sinai. Soldiers also started demolishing houses along the border to create a security buffer zone and block cross-border smuggling tunnels. Maher Abu Sabha, director of the crossing point on the Gaza side, said that the crossing would be open Wednesday and Thursday — but only

  • Palestinian president against Jewish state bill

    Yesterday

    PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that he supports Israeli members of parliament who oppose the plan to formalize Israel's status as a Jewish state. Speaking in the South African capital, Pretoria, Abbas said it is important that Israel consider what the proposed law may mean for the region. "We need to ask this question to the Israeli people and to ask this to the Israeli government: What does this bill mean for peace?" Abbas said, speaking through a translator. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promoting a bill to have the country's constitution declare it a Jewish state. Critics of the bill say it discriminates against Israel's Arab minority who make u

  • UN concerned over escalation of violence in Libya

    Yesterday

    CAIRO (AP) — The U.N. Secretary General has expressed deep concern about the recent escalation of violence in Libya, including recent airstrikes on a military air base that until this week was Tripoli's only functioning airport. In a statement Wednesday, Ban Ki-moon called on all sides to end the fighting. His envoy, Bernardino Leon, asked the head of the internationally-recognized government, Abdullah al-Thinni, to stop airstrikes on the Matiga air base, held by Islamist militias who with their allies control the capital. Al-Thinni described the strikes by Libya's air force as "preventive" against militias who were planning attacks against his government. Ban also said violations of U.N. premises in Tripoli can't be

  • Impoverished Lebanese city is target for IS group

    Yesterday

    TRIPOLI, Lebanon (AP) — Jamal Hayak is finally fixing up his restaurant, damaged a month ago in clashes between the army and militants in this northern Lebanese city. But he has little doubt violence will erupt again, and he says he fears next time it will be Islamic State group fighters battling in Tripoli's streets. "In the beginning we used to say. 'This is the last time.' Now we've had Round 21 and 22 (of fighting), so we say God knows," said Hayak, 56, grimy with dust as he fixed his shop, shelled during the four days of fighting in late October that killed over 20 people. Sunni Muslim-majority Tripoli is seen as particularly vulnerable to becoming a foothold for militants from Syria, including the Islamic State group,

  • Correction: Iraq-Bombing Baghdad story

    Yesterday

    BAGHDAD (AP) — In a story Nov. 25 about security in Baghdad, The Associated Press erroneously reported the name of Iraq's Interior Ministry spokesman. His name is Saad Maan Ibrahim, not Maan Saad. A corrected version of the story is below: Iraq to overhaul Baghdad security to stop bombings Faced with Islamic State bombing campaign, Iraq moves to overhaul Baghdad security methods By HAMZA HENDAWI Associated Press BAGHDAD (AP) — Baghdad's neighborhood of Gorayaat, a small Shiite enclave on a bend in the Tigris River, exemplifies the failures of Iraq's security agencies trying to protect the capital from attacks by the Islamic State.

  • IMF says Egypt's economy starting to recover

    Yesterday

    CAIRO (AP) — An International Monetary Fund official says that Egypt's economy has begun to recover after four years of slow activity. The statement from Chris Jarvis late Tuesday followed an IMF delegation visit to Egypt for a long-delayed assessment of the economy. He says that Egyptian authorities "have set appropriate economic objectives." The IMF says it projects Egypt's growth to reach 3.8 percent in the fiscal year 2014/15, in line with the government's own stated goals. Egypt's growth rate has been hovering at around 2 percent since the country's 2011 revolt. Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian has said he hopes the resumption of consultations with the IMF will help restore confidence in the economy.

  • Iran parliament approve science minister nominee

    Yesterday

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's parliament on Wednesday approved President Hassan Rouhani's nominee for ministry of science, ending a long stand-off between the moderate president and the conservative-dominated assembly. In a vote, 197 out of 235 lawmakers voted to approve Mohammad Farhadi as new head of the science, research and technology ministry. Farhadi, a physician who specializes in ear, nose and throat ailments, is currently the head of Iran's Red Crescent Society. He previously served as minister of health under former President Mohammad Khatami. Rouhani attended the parliament session on Wednesday to defend the qualifications of his nominee; Farhadi is the fifth nominee proposed by Rouhani for the post.

  • Once maligned, Iran's Jews find greater acceptance

    Yesterday

    YAZD, Iran (AP) — More than a thousand people trekked across Iran this past week to visit a shrine in this ancient Persian city, a pilgrimage like many others in the Islamic Republic — until you notice men there wearing yarmulkes. Iran, a home for Jews for more than 3,000 years, has the Middle East's largest Jewish population outside of Israel, a perennial foe of the country. But while Iran's Jews in recent years had their faith continually criticized by the country's previous governments, they've found new acceptance under moderate President Hassan Rouhani. "The government has listened to our grievances and requests. That we are being consulted is an important step forward," said Homayoun Samiah, leader of the Tehran Jew

  • Saudi Arabia: Deaths from MERS virus reach 348

    Yesterday

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry says that a total of 348 people have died in the kingdom after contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS. The ministry's latest figures, released late Tuesday, include two recent deaths recorded in the capital Riyadh. It brings to 810 the number of confirmed cases in Saudi Arabia since the virus was first identified in 2012. The virus has since spread to other parts of the world, though it has mostly remained centered in Saudi Arabia. MERS belongs to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses that include both the common cold and SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome.

  • Official: Gunmen kill 4 polio workers in Pakistan

    Yesterday

    QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Gunmen attacked a polio vaccination team Wednesday, killing four health workers, while a suspected U.S. drone strike killed four alleged militants in Pakistan, officials said. The attack on the health workers took place in the southwestern city of Quetta, while the drone strike targeted a militant hideout in the North Waziristan tribal region in northwest Pakistan. Those killed in the attack on the outskirts of Quetta included three women, said a police spokesman Shahzada Farhat. The vaccination team of three women and three men was waiting for a police escort when two gunmen opened fire on them, he said. Local militants oppose the vaccination campaign, alleging that western governments u