Top Stories

  • Iraq offers aid to those displaced by militants

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Wednesday his government has allocated more than $850 million to assist those displaced by last month's militant takeover of much of the country, and called on Sunnis remaining in those areas to take up arms against the insurgents. He spoke in a weekly address delivered hours before car bombs in two mostly Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad killed 23 people and wounded scores more as residents tried to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

  • Rights group: Syria using barrel bombs, defying UN

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian government is still indiscriminately bombing civilians with explosives-filled barrels in defiance of a U.N. Security Council resolution, an international human rights group said Wednesday. The Human Rights Watch statement came as the Security Council was expected to meet for a fifth round of reporting on the resolution — and at least 11 people were killed by the bombs overnight. February's resolution demanded a halt to all attacks against civilians and indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment — including the use of so-called barrel bombs — in populated areas. The crude weapons — barrels packed with explosives and scraps of metal that are pushed out of helicopters — cannot be precisel

  • UN condemns extremist takeover of parts of Iraq

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council is condemning the offensive waged by the extremist Islamic State group and allied militants in Iraq, calling it "a major threat" to the country's future. The council stressed in a resolution adopted unanimously Wednesday extending the U.N. political mission in Iraq that the only way to address the threat is for political leadership "to make decisions that will unite the country." Council members called on all political groups to overcome divisions and urged Iraq's leaders to quickly form a government reflecting all segments of the population "that would contribute to finding a viable and sustainable solution to the country's current challenges.

  • How high-level Chinese officials are taken down

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    BEIJING (AP) — The investigation into China's former security chief Zhou Yongkang could pave the way for him to stand trial as the most senior politician ever prosecuted for graft. It's hard to predict how his case will be handled in the opaque, secretive world of Chinese politics, but here's how such prosecutions tend to play out, though not necessarily always in this sequence: ASSOCIATES FALL The first hints of trouble in past cases have been the disappearances of the politician's associates. In the months before Tuesday's announcement of the probe into Zhou, his known allies in his various spheres of influence were rounded up, one after another, in spectacular fashion.

  • Yemen nearly doubles fuel prices to narrow deficit

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen's government has nearly doubled fuel prices in an attempt to reform government subsidies and narrow a budget deficit. According to new prices posted Wednesday in the capital, Sanaa, the government raised price of regular gasoline to 200 Yemeni riyals per liter (93 U.S. cents) from 125 riyals (58 U.S. cents). Diesel used for public transport and trucks rose to 195 riyals per liter (91 U.S. cents) from 100 riyals (46 U.S. cents). That's on par to the U.S. average price per liter for gasoline, which is 92 cents — or $3.51 per gallon. Past price hikes have led to street riots, but only scattered demonstrations were seen Wednesday in Sanaa. Security forces and armored vehicles were in the street

  • Leaders of Spain, Catalonia hold secession talks

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    MADRID (AP) — The leader of the economically powerful Catalonia region held firm in a meeting with Spain's prime minister on Wednesday, saying he intends to push ahead with a secession referendum in November despite the central government's vows to stop it from happening. After a 2 1/2 hour meeting with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Catalonia President Artur Mas said the referendum issue remains deadlocked. However, he said there was a willingness on both sides to keep communication channels open. Mas said the talks took place "in an atmosphere of frank dialogue." "That, in itself, is very positive," he said. "There are always potential solutions" to disagreements, he said. A Spanish government statement said Ra

  • Poll: Turks divided on Erdogan before election

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turks are divided on how they feel about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of his bid to become president in an upcoming election, and about their country's direction, according to an opinion poll published Wednesday. The Aug. 10 ballot will be the first time Turkish voters directly elect their president, and Erdogan, whose moderate Islamist AKP party has dominated Turkish politics for more than a decade, is a strong favorite. The Pew Research Center poll found respondents evenly split on Erdogan, with 48 percent saying he has a good influence on the country and the same percentage saying he has a bad one. The survey polled 1,001 people from April 11-May 16 and has a margin of error of 4.5 perc

  • Khmer Rouge tribunal clears way for genocide trial

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — A United Nations-assisted tribunal on Wednesday cleared the way to begin the genocide trial of two elderly former top leaders of Cambodia's 1970s Khmer Rouge regime. Survivors of the communist regime's reign of terror, along with students and Buddhist monks, attended a hearing that laid down the ground rules for the trial, which judges said would likely start in September or October. The defendants, Khieu Samphan, 83, and Nuon Chea, 88, were in the top leadership of the 1975-79 regime, which is generally held responsible for the deaths of about 1.7 million people from starvation, exhaustion, disease and execution.

  • Suspect charged with murder in Jewish Museum case

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The man suspected of killing four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum in May has been charged with "murder in a terrorist context." One day after his extradition from France, federal police said Wednesday that Mehdi Nemmouche had also been interrogated by a counter-terrorist unit. Nemmouche agreed to his extradition only after he received sufficient guarantees he would not be turned over to a third country. Nemmouche, 29, had fought with Islamic extremists in Syria. On May 24, a lone gunman walked into the Jewish Museum in the center of Brussels, unpacked a Kalashnikov rifle, killed four people with a burst of fire, packed up and walked away.

  • Palestinian health official says 13 killed in tank shell attack on UN school in Gaza

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian health official says 13 killed in tank shell attack on UN school in Gaza .

  • Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; 128 killed


    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel unleashed its heaviest air and artillery assault of the Gaza war on Tuesday, destroying key symbols of Hamas control, shutting down the territory's only power plant and leaving at least 128 Palestinians dead on the bloodiest day of the 22-day conflict. Despite devastating blows that left the packed territory's 1.7 million people cut off from power and water and sent the overall death toll soaring past 1,200, Hamas' shadowy military leader remained defiant as he insisted that the Islamic militants would not cease fire until its demands are met. The comments by Mohammed Deif in an audiotape broadcast on a Hamas satellite TV channel cast new doubt on international cease-fire efforts.

  • Militia gunfire in Libya capital as inferno rages


    CAIRO (AP) — Heavy gunfire between warring militias prevented firefighters from battling a massive inferno in Libya's capital Tuesday, despite calls for a cease-fire to end the worst violence in the capital since the country's 2011 civil war. The blaze engulfing oil depots started earlier in the crossfire of militias fighting over Tripoli's international airport, a weekslong battle between rivals mirroring the violence that's plagued Libya since the downfall of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. In the eastern city of Benghazi, Islamist-led militias said they also seized bases of a renegade general fighting against them Tuesday as a jet fighter crashed.

  • Activists: Syrian rebels detonate tunnels, kill 13


    BEIRUT (AP) — Insurgents fighting in Syria to oust President Bashar Assad detonated bomb-packed tunnels under buildings in the contested northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday, killing at least 13 pro-government troops, opposition activists said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebels detonated explosives in two tunnels, dug under the ancient quarter of Aleppo that has been the site of some of the fiercest fighting in the Syrian conflict, now in its fourth year. The Observatory said the blasts killed at least 13 soldiers and pro-government militiamen late Tuesday. It said one bomb went off under a police station that likely housed troops.

  • Hamas demands for cease-fire and Israel's concerns


    JERUSALEM (AP) — Hamas rulers have presented a list of demands to stop their fire on Israel in the Gaza war. Israel has said it doesn't want to reward Hamas for its rocket campaign, but has other reasons to oppose the demands — mostly based on security. Here's a look at Hamas' list of demands and why Israel is unlikely to accept many of them: ___ END OF THE ISRAELI OFFENSIVE Hamas is demanding an "immediate cessation" to Israel's war against it in Gaza, which has hit thousands of Hamas sites, according to the Israeli military.

  • Anti-Semitic graffiti appears in Rome amid turmoil


    ROME (AP) — Rome's mayor has denounced anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas that have appeared across Rome and ordered them removed. Some of the graffiti referred to the escalating violence in Gaza and included taunts such as "Jews, the end is near." Mayor Ignazio Marino offered his solidarity with Rome's Jewish community and said the graffiti, which appeared near Jewish-owned businesses, was an "offense to all Romans." Jewish leaders, meanwhile, urged Rome police to find those responsible and punish them. The head of Rome's Jewish Community, Riccardo Pacifici, said "Rome cannot become like Paris where Jews are assaulted, synagogues are surrounded and where wearing the yarmulke is a concrete danger.

  • Correction: Libya story


    CAIRO (AP) — In a story July 27 about violence in Libya, The Associated Press erroneously reported a death toll figure released by the Libyan Health Ministry over fighting at Tripoli's international airport. The ministry said at least 97 people had been killed in the ongoing battle for the airport, not 79.

  • Turkish PM Erdogan returning Jewish American award


    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is returning an award given to him by a Jewish American group in 2004, after the group asked for it back because of comments he made regarding the conflict in Gaza. Turkey's ambassador to the U.S., Serdar Kilic, wrote to Jack Rosen, president of the American Jewish Congress, on Erdogan's behalf. Kilic said Erdogan would be glad to return the award because of Israel's actions in Gaza and "the regrettable stance adopted by the present leadership of the American Jewish Congress vis-a-vis the recent attacks on the innocent civilians in Gaza." The letter, dated July 27, was made available Tuesday.

  • Gaza official: At least 100 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes and shelling on Tuesday


    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza official: At least 100 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes and shelling on Tuesday.

  • Egypt military kills 7 militants in volatile Sinai


    CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian troops killed seven suspected militants and arrested five as part of an ongoing offensive in the volatile Sinai Peninsula, where the military has been trying to quell a spreading insurgency by Islamic militants, an army spokesman said. The troops killed three militants in an exchange of fire while four others died when a group tried to attack a house of in the border town of Rafah, according to a statement posted on Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir's official Facebook page late Monday. Five militants were arrested and five were wounded, the posting said. It was unclear if the five were the same people.

  • Senior Palestinian official offers 24 hour truce in Gaza, says he's also speaking for Hamas


    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Senior Palestinian official offers 24 hour truce in Gaza, says he's also speaking for Hamas.