• Government confirms first case of Ebola in US

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    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

  • Luck, instinct determined fates of volcano hikers

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    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.

  • Kurds claim advances in Iraq as Britain joins fray

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    SALHIYAH, Iraq (AP) — Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq captured a border crossing with Syria on Tuesday, expelling Islamic State militants in heavy fighting that ground down to vicious house-to-house combat and close quarters sniping. In neighboring Syria, Kurdish militiamen were on the defensive as the extremists pressed ahead with a relentless assault on a town near the Turkish border. The attack on Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, has driven more than 160,000 people across the frontier in the past few days. Iraqi Kurdish fighters, known as peshmerga, were doing the bulk of the fighting on the ground as a U.S.-led coalition carried out an aerial assault against the Islamic State group in both Iraq and Syria.

  • Iranian filmmakers call for nuclear deal

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Six prominent Iranian movie directors have launched a campaign calling for a nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. The filmmakers include Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, who won the award for best screenplay at this year's Venice Film Festival, and Asghar Farhadi, who won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012. Slogans on the website, No2NoDeal.com, say a deal to resolve the decade-long impasse over Iran's nuclear program is possible by the Nov. 24 deadline and call for the lifting of crippling international sanctions. It suggests any deal is better than "No Deal" because the sanctions have harmed ordinary Iranians.

  • EU says Apple gets illegal tax benefits in Ireland

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    BRUSSELS (AP) — Apple risks having to repay Ireland tax rebates worth billions of dollars after the European Union's competition watchdog said Tuesday the company appears to be benefiting from illegal tax deals there. In a preliminary report into the company's overseas tax practices, the 28-nation bloc's executive Commission said the low tax treatment Ireland is granting Apple counts as state aid and could be illegal under EU law. If the finding is confirmed, Apple Inc. could face a huge repayment bill because it funnels the bulk of its international sales through subsidiaries in Ireland. To keep market competition fair, the EU forbids governments from helping individual companies.

  • Gaza lions sent to Jordan after war damages zoo

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    BEIT LAHIYA, Gaza Strip (AP) — A trio of scrawny lions was brought into Israel from Gaza on Tuesday en route to a better life at a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan after their zoo was damaged in the recent Israel-Hamas war. The three, a pair of males and a pregnant female, were sedated at Al-Bisan zoo in Beit Lahiya before the big cats were placed in metal cages and loaded onto a truck that transferred them through the Erez border crossing into Israel. Amir Khalil of the Four Paws International welfare group said the zoo's animals were in urgent need of care after the 50-day war. He said the zoo was badly damaged and more than 80 animals died as a result of the fighting. Al-Bisan is one of five makeshift zoos in Gaza that

  • Wave of attacks kills nearly 50 in Iraq

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    BAGHDAD (AP) — A wave of car bombings and other attacks mainly targeting Shiite areas of Iraq killed at least 47 people on Tuesday, including more than 20 in the capital Baghdad, officials said. No one claimed responsibility for the attacks, which were likely carried out by Sunni militants. The extremist Islamic State group, which seized a third of the country in a lightning offensive over the summer, has claimed similar previous attacks. In the deadliest attack, a car bomb in northwestern Baghdad killed eight people and wounded 15. Another car bomb in a different area killed seven and wounded 21, and a mortar attack killed seven and wounded 13 elsewhere in the capital, police said. All three attacks targeted Shiite-majorit

  • Index ranks Norway tops for well-being of elderly

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — A global index reflecting economic security, health and other factors — and not deducting for cold winters — ranks Norway and Sweden with the highest level of well-being for older people. Of the 96 nations in the index, Afghanistan ranked last. The Global AgeWatch Index, released on Tuesday, was compiled by HelpAge International, a London-based nonprofit with affiliates in 65 countries. Its mission is to help older people challenge discrimination, overcome poverty and lead secure, active lives. The 13 indicators measured in the index include life expectancy, coverage by pension plans, access to public transit, and the poverty rate for people over 60.

  • UN: Islamic State forcing thousands to flee Syria

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N humanitarian chief on Tuesday said tens of thousands of people are fleeing Syria as the Islamic State militant group expands its grip on large parts of the country despite a U.S.-led airstrike campaign. Valerie Amos said tens of thousands more could flee if the Islamic State group's fighters continue to seize control of more territory. "Over the past two weeks, ISIL forces have advanced in northern Aleppo and over 160,000 people, mostly women and children, fled into Turkey in just a few days," Amos told the Security Council, using one of the acronyms for the group. "Their fear is so great that many people crossed heavily mined fields to seek refuge.

  • US-led airstrikes hit Islamic State near Turkey

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    BEIRUT (AP) — U.S.-led coalition airstrikes targeted fighters, vehicles and artillery pieces of the Islamic State group on both sides of the Syria-Iraq frontier Tuesday, including around a beleaguered Kurdish town near the Syrian-Turkish border that is under assault by the militants, activists said. The aerial campaign, which began last week in Syria and last month in Iraq, aims to destroy the extremist faction known as the Islamic State, which has seized control of a huge chunk of territory stretching from northern Syria to the western outskirts of the Iraqi capital. Despite the coalition airstrikes, the militants have pressed their offensive on the town of Kobani, also known by its Arabic name Ayn Arab, and surrounding vi

  • Israel, Palestinians part ways in dueling speeches

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    JERUSALEM (AP) — In a pair of fiery speeches at the United Nations, the Israeli and Palestinian leaders appear to have abandoned any hope of reviving peace talks and instead seem intent on pressing forward with separate diplomatic initiatives that all but ignore each other. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for an alliance with moderate Arab countries against radical Islam, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, after accusing Israel of "genocide," plans on appealing to the U.N. Security Council to endorse Palestinian independence. Both plans offer novel attempts at breaking months of deadlock. Yet both appear doomed to fail.

  • Hostage tale suggests IS wary of upsetting Turkey

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    SILOPI, Turkey (AP) — Turkish truck driver Ozgur Simsek was sleeping off a 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) fuel run to the Qayara power station in Iraq, he said, when he heard banging on his vehicle's door. "IS took over last night," the power plant's foreman shouted, referring to the Islamic State group. "Empty your trucks and run!" Simsek rushed to unload his tanker's fuel, he said, but it was too late. A battered pickup bearing the black-and-white logo of the Islamic State group rolled across the tarmac. Qayara's security guards, who only moments before had been joking around with the truckers, turned on the men, donning black masks and brandishing weapons — taking all 32 Turkish men hostage.

  • Turkey mulls permit for incursions in Syria, Iraq

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's parliament will vote on a motion that would allow foreign forces as well as Turkish soldiers to make incursions into Syria and Iraq from its territory, Turkey's deputy prime minister said Tuesday. Parliament is scheduled to renew mandates Thursday that authorize Turkey's military to carry out operations in Syria and Iraq. The existing mandates enable Turkey's military to cross the border to counter threats to Turkey from Kurdish rebels fighting Ankara from bases in Iraq or to make incursions into Syria in the event of threats from Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

  • Afghanistan, US sign long-awaited security pact

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan and the United States signed a security pact on Tuesday to allow U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of year, ending a year of uncertainty over the fate of foreign troops supporting Afghans as they take over the fight against the Taliban insurgency. Under the pact, along with a separate deal signed with NATO, about 10,000 American troops and several thousand more from other NATO countries will stay to train and advise Afghan forces, after the international combat mission ends Dec. 31. Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai had refused to sign it despite U.S. threats of a full withdrawal in the absence of legal protections for American forces. U.S.

  • Wife of Islamic State hostage asks for his release

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — The wife of a British aid worker held hostage in Syria by the Islamic State group made a televised plea Tuesday asking her husband's captors to free him. Alan Henning, a 47-year-old former taxi driver, was kidnapped in December after crossing from Turkey into Syria in an aid convoy. His wife Barbara Henning asked the militants: "Please release him. We need him back home." In recent weeks, the militants have released online videos showing the beheading of two American journalists and a British aid worker, and threatened to kill Henning next. Henning's captivity, and that of other Western hostages, was kept secret for months out of concerns publicity would endanger their security.

  • Emirates inks deal to manage Angola's airline

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Emirates airline — the Middle East's largest carrier — has signed a 10-year management deal with Angola's national airline in a move that could bolster the Dubai-based carrier's foothold in Africa. The deal signed Tuesday does not include an equity investment by Emirates. Rather, Emirates will appoint four senior executives to implement a new business plan for TAAG Angola Airlines. Emirates will also conduct crew training. Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Ahmad bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a statement the company sees "huge potential in Africa." He says that Emirates wants to provide "deeper reach and better connectivity" for its passengers in Central and South Africa.

  • Families wait in agony for word on Ebola patients

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — First the ring tone echoed outside the barbed-wire-topped walls of the Ebola clinic. Then came the wails of grief, as news spread that 31-year-old Rose Johnson was dead just days after she was brought here unconscious by relatives. Soon her mother's sorrow became so unbearable, her body so limp and heavy, that even her two other daughters could no longer help her stand. There had been no official confirmation of Rose's death from hospital officials, no time for someone to explain her final moments, just word from a family acquaintance inside who said her bed had been cleared that morning to make way for a new patient.

  • Islamist-allied militias in Libya reject UN talks

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    CAIRO (AP) — Islamist-allied militias in control of the Libyan capital and the country's top religious body on Tuesday rejected U.N.-led talks that have called for a cease-fire in the battered nation. The announcements reflect the difficulties facing the U.N. envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon, as he tries to broker a truce amid a deep polarization that has left Libya torn between two rival governments and parliaments. The statements followed the first round of U.N.-brokered talks between Libya's rival lawmakers held Monday in an attempt to bridge the gap between the warring groups.

  • Ukrainians gear up for winter without Russian gas

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — For Alexei Polezhai, who sells water heaters and wood-burning stoves at his two shops in Kiev, sales this fall have been remarkably good considering the dramatic collapse in the rest of the Ukrainian economy this year. Ukrainians are rushing to insulate their walls, seal up drafty windows and snap up heating equipment as the possibility sets in that they may be about to experience their first winter without Russian gas. Russia stopped gas deliveries to Ukraine in June after Kiev failed to pay what Moscow said it owed in arrears.

  • Iraqi Arabs claim persecution by Kurds

    Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    KIRKUK, Iraq (AP) — When Sunni militants captured Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in June, Abu Sara and his family feared their town of Taza, located some 50 kilometers southeast of the city, would inevitably be next. Government soldiers had dropped their weapons and abandoned their posts — forcing residents to fend for themselves. It wasn't before long before the gas was cut, then the water, ahead of the imminent onslaught. The family was left with little choice but to flee to the closest city that could offer them safe haven — Kurdish-dominated Kirkuk. But life has been filled with hardship for Abu Sara and the tens of thousands of Iraqi Arabs who escaped one opponent only to face another.