• Rights group: Migrant workers abused in UAE homes

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Many Asian and African women working as domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates say their employers beat them with sticks or cables, punched and slapped them, and there's little they can do because they're excluded from the country's labor law protections, a rights group said Thursday. The abuse complaints are rampant throughout the wealthy Persian Gulf region that relies on foreign labor. The Human Rights Watch says the problem is that the migrant workers' residency is tied to their employers through a sponsorship system that prevents them easily changing jobs. It cited passport confiscation, non-payment of wages, excessive work, forced confinement, food deprivation and psychological, physic

  • Canada's PM says shooting rampage was terrorism

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — A masked gunman killed a soldier standing guard at Canada's war memorial Wednesday, then stormed Parliament in an attack that was stopped cold when he was shot to death by the ceremonial sergeant-at-arms. Canada's prime minister called it the country's second terrorist attack in three days. "We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated," Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed in an address to the nation. Unfolding just before 10 a.m., while lawmakers were meeting in caucus rooms, the assault rocked Parliament over and over with the boom of gunfire, led MPs to barricade doors with chairs and sent people streaming from the building in fear. Harper was addressing a caucus when the attack beg

  • Palestinian kills baby at Jerusalem station

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian motorist with a history of anti-Israel violence slammed his car into a crowded train station in Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing a three-month-old baby girl and wounding eight people in what police called a terror attack. The girl and her parents, who were injured in the attack, were U.S. citizens, according to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. The violence came after months of tensions between Jews and Palestinians in east Jerusalem — the section of the city the Palestinians demand as their future capital. The area has experienced unrest and near-daily attacks on the city's light rail by Palestinian youths since a wave of violence over the summer, capped by a 50-day war between Israel and Hamas mi

  • UN inquiry head rejects N. Korea's 'honeyed words'

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — "A few honeyed words" by North Korea as it tries to avoid a referral to the International Criminal Court has not changed the human rights situation on the ground there, the head of a U.N. commission of inquiry on the North told reporters Wednesday. Michael Kirby then had a rare exchange with North Korean officials, who showed up and challenged the commission's work during a U.N. human rights event featuring testimonies from North Korean refugees. "We can't let lies pass at the United Nations," Kim Ju Song, an adviser with the North's foreign ministry, said before the meeting began. Kirby thanked the North Korean officials for coming, and he asked repeatedly to visit the country.

  • North Korean detainee reunites with family in Ohio

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (AP) — An American arrested and held for nearly six months in North Korea for leaving a Bible at a nightclub returned home to Ohio on Wednesday to tears of joy and hugs from his wife and surprised children. A plane carrying Jeffrey Fowle, who was released with help from a retired diplomat and former Ohio congressman, landed Wednesday morning at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, where he was reunited with his family. Moments after Fowle stepped off the plane, his three children and wife ran from a nearby airplane hangar and shared hugs. Base Col. John Devillier said Fowle had a tearful reunion, and that Fowle seemed thrilled. "We had a great reunion for an American citizen coming

  • Missile, fire from Egypt wounds 2 Israeli troops

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Attackers inside Egypt fired an anti-tank missile and automatic rifles at a military vehicle in Israel on Wednesday, wounding two soldiers in a rare cross-border incident, the military said. The attack occurred in southern Negev Desert and the soldiers were evacuated to a hospital in Israel, it added. An Egyptian security official suggested the gunfire came from smugglers who were clashing with Egyptian troops at the time along the border with Israel. The frontier between Israel and Egypt is normally quiet. The two countries signed a peace accord 35 years ago and have close security cooperation.

  • Tourists watch solar alignment in Egypt temple

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    ABU SIMBEL, Egypt (AP) — Hundreds of visitors gathered in Egypt on Wednesday at the Great Temple of Ramses II to watch the sun illuminate colossal statues, a rare 3,200-year-old astronomical ceremony that happens twice a year. At dawn at Abu Simbel, local dignitaries and tourists patiently waited for the sun to send a beam of light into the ancient temple's dark inner chamber for over 10 minutes, lighting three of four enormous, 22-meter (72-feet) -high statues. Thirty-two centuries ago, during the reign of Ramses II, the temple was precisely built to align with the sun twice a year, celebrating the pharaoh's birthday and coronation.

  • Libyan army troops advance into Benghazi

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Libyan army troops on Wednesday pushed into Benghazi, the first time in two months that government forces had entered the eastern city, which has been under control of Islamist militias. The advance was a significant boost to the troops, though fighting was still raging in Benghazi and the army had a long battle ahead, said Meloud al-Zewi, spokesman for Libya's special forces. Al-Zewi said Libyan troops first swooped into the district of Benina, where Benghazi's airport is located, then took control of other districts, including the eastern, heavily populated neighborhood of Sedi Khalifa. Pictures of soldiers kissing the ground and residents welcoming the armored vehicles were widely circulated

  • Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers OK fighters for Syria

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Lawmakers in Iraq's largely autonomous Kurdish region Wednesday authorized peshmerga forces to go to neighboring Syria and help fellow Kurds combat Islamic State militants in the key border town of Kobani, providing much-needed boots on the ground. The unprecedented deployment will almost certainly depend on the support of Turkey, whose president criticized a U.S. airdrop of arms to Kurdish fighters after some of the weapons wound up in the hands of the extremists. Turkey, which has riled Kurdish leaders and frustrated Washington by refusing to allow fighters or weapons into Kobani, said this week it would help Iraqi Kurdish fighters cross into Syria to help their brethren against the militants, who also

  • China's Yan Lianke receives Franz Kafka prize

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    PRAGUE (AP) — Yan Lianke, a Chinese author who has seen some of his novels banned in his homeland, has received the prestigious Franz Kafka Prize in the Czech Republic. Yan said he was grateful as he accepted the annual $10,000 prize Wednesday at Prague's City Hall. Each spring, it's awarded to authors whose works "appeal to readers regardless of their origin, nationality and culture." Past winners have included American novelist Philip Roth, Nobel laureates Elfriede Jelinek of Austria and Harold Pinter of Britain, and Israeli author Amos Oz.

  • Albania PM seeks to ease tensions with Serbia

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister said Wednesday that his nation and Serbia must try to end decades of hostility toward one another by focusing on major issues such as their mutual desire to join the European Union, not last week's dispute over a soccer match. Edi Rama had been expected to make a landmark visit to Serbia on Wednesday — the first by an Albanian leader in nearly 70 years — as part of an effort to ease tensions left over from wars fought following the breakup of Yugoslavia. But the trip was postponed until Nov. 10, after the two nations competed in a soccer match last week that descended into an on-field brawl after a drone carrying an Albanian nationalist banner flew over the stadium in the

  • Iraqis return to school after delay from unrest

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi students returned to school on Wednesday amid tightened security as the academic year began a month late because thousands of people displaced by last summer's onslaught by the Islamic State group had taken shelter in school buildings. But the day was marred by violence and after sunset, car bombings in Baghdad killed at least 29 people, police said. In the areas of northern and western Iraq captured by the extremist group earlier this year — including the country's second largest city of Mosul — students are not required to attend classes, but will be able to watch lectures on state-run TV to prepare for final exams, Education Ministry spokeswoman Salama al-Hassan said.

  • Iranians protest acid attacks in central city

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranians rallied on Wednesday in the central city of Isfahan and the capital, Tehran, to protest a string of acid attacks on women in Isfahan in recent months, the latest public outcry over the assaults that have shocked the nation. About 2,000 people gathered in front of Isfahan's judiciary building, demanding that the perpetrators be brought to justice, reported the semiofficial Fars news agency. Later Wednesday, dozens of people also gathered in front of the parliament in Tehran to condemn the attacks and demand punishment for those behind such assaults. Acid attacks are very rare in Iran, but Isfahan has seen a string of eight cases of such assaults over the past few months, police chief Gen. Ismaeil

  • Bomb outside Cairo University wounds 10

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    CAIRO (AP) — A bomb exploded outside Egypt's largest and most prominent university in the country's capital on Wednesday, wounding 10 people, including six policemen, the Interior Ministry said. The bomb, described as a rudimentary device, went off following clashes between police and Islamist students who were protesting outside the sprawling campus, security officials said. It was the second bombing outside Cairo University in the past six months. Egypt has faced regular militant attacks, mostly targeting security forces, since the military's ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last year. Militant groups say they are avenging a security crackdown on Islamists, while authorities blamed Morsi supporters for the vi

  • Kurdish fighters killed in Syria buried in Turkey

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    SURUC, Turkey (AP) — Hundreds of supporters chanting slogans turned out to accompany three Kurdish fighters — two men and a woman barely out of her teens — to their final resting place in a dusty cemetery on the edge of the Turkish town of Suruc, within view of the Syrian border and the besieged town of Kobani. But there was one notable absence: their families. The flag-draped coffin bearing the body of 20-year-old Hanim Dabaan was carried to her grave Tuesday by women who didn't know her, but wanted to show their support for those killed fighting the Islamic State group extremists. Idris Ahmad, 30, and Mohammed Mustafa, 25, were laid to rest beside her, also carried by volunteers.

  • UK man faked coma for 2 years to avoid court

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — He might have got away with it if it hadn't been for his supermarket loyalty card. A British fraudster who pretended to be quadriplegic and sometimes comatose for two years to avoid prosecution has been convicted after police caught him on camera driving and strolling around supermarkets. Alan Knight of Swansea, Wales, stole more than 40,000 pounds ($64,000) from the bank account of an elderly neighbor with Alzheimer's disease, prosecutors said. When police began investigating, the 47-year-old Knight claimed to be quadriplegic and so sick he sometimes fell into a coma. He checked himself into a hospital to avoid court appearances, saying he was having seizures.

  • 10 men acquitted in Kurdish terror finance trial

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A Danish court on Wednesday acquitted 10 men accused of terror financing for providing money to a Kurdish separatist group. The Copenhagen City Court said prosecutors did not prove that the at least 130 million kroner ($22 million) transferred to Kurdish organizations was actually channeled to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. The group is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European Union. The defendants of Kurdish origin said the money donated between 2009 and 2012 was to support a Kurdish satellite TV station and different humanitarian projects. Prosecutor Stig Fleischer says he has not yet decided whether to appeal the ruling.

  • Pistorius spends first night in single jail cell

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Oscar Pistorius spent his first night of a five-year jail term in a single cell in the hospital wing of a prison in the capital, Pretoria, said a prison official. He seemed confused and tired when he entered the Kgosi Mampuru facility, prison commissioner Zebilon Monama told the South African Press Association. Monama said Pistorius was tense as wardens took his fingerprints and the prison chaplain met with him soon after his prison number was issued on Tuesday. "After he saw the chaplain our psychologist went to see him just to try to talk to him," said Monama.

  • At Berlin Wall, Kerry warns against Cold War redux

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    BERLIN (AP) — Surrounded by relics of the Cold War, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his German counterpart warned Wednesday against a return to the bitter divide between east and west over the current crisis in Ukraine. Under gloomy skies and a steady rain, Kerry and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited one of the few remaining sections of the Berlin Wall. They emphasized that the West does not seek confrontation with Russia and implored Moscow to move quickly to fulfill the terms of an agreement to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine between the government and pro-Russian separatists. Ukraine accuses Moscow of aiding the separatists, a charge that Moscow denies.

  • Sweden scales back submarine hunt

    Updated: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden's military has withdrawn some of the ships taking part in a submarine hunt in the Stockholm archipelago. Military spokesman Erik Lagersten said some of the naval assets, including the corvette HMS Visby, returned to a naval base Wednesday for "maintenance" as the search entered "a partially new phase." He rejected the move was a de-escalation, saying the operation continued with air, ground and some naval assets. The Swedish military launched its biggest anti-submarine operation since the twilight of the Soviet Union on Friday after receiving credible reports of foreign underwater activity in the archipelago that extends from the capital, Stockholm, into the Baltic Sea.