Top Stories


  • Israel finds body where US student disappeared

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police said Thursday "there is a strong possibility" they have found the body of an American seminary student who disappeared while hiking in Jerusalem last week. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the body was found in the same area where Aharon Sofer disappeared. Sofer, 23, of Lakewood, New Jersey, had been hiking with a friend in a hilly, forested area on the outskirts of Jerusalem. "There is a strong possibility that it is the body of the missing student," Rosenfeld said, stressing that a forensics team was still trying to confirm the identification. Rosenfeld would not elaborate or say whether there had been any signs of foul play.

  • Egypt's Morsi accused of leaking secrets to Qatar

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's ousted and jailed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi refused to answer a prosecutor's questions about allegations that he leaked classified documents — some related to the army's budget— to Qatar via the Doha-based Al-Jazeera broadcaster, Egypt's official news agency reported Thursday. If the charges are referred to court, it would be the fourth case underway against Morsi, who was overthrown by the military last summer amid mass protests against his yearlong rule. According to Egypt's Middle East News Agency, Morsi refused to answer any of the prosecutor's questions during a four-hour interrogation session held inside Borg al-Arab prison, near the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

  • South African court orders release of tapes

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeals on Thursday ordered the release of taped phone conversations about corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma, a move that could resurrect a case that has dogged the leader since before he took office. Zuma had applied to prevent the tapes from being released while the opposition Democratic Alliance party sought access to them. Conversations on the recordings were cited as a reason to drop fraud and corruption charges against Zuma before he became president in 2009. The prosecuting authority at that time said the conversations showed there was a political conspiracy against Zuma, but the actual recordings were never made public.

  • France suggests Europe could help as Gaza monitor

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — France's president called on the international community to help enforce the cease-fire in Gaza, suggesting Thursday that Europe could play a role in monitoring the dismantling of tunnels dug by Hamas militants as well as helping to secure gateways between Gaza and Egypt and Israel. The comments Thursday from President Francois Hollande lacked specifics, including how a monitoring mission would be pulled together or who would lead it. Hollande said France had proposed international supervision of the destruction of the tunnels, securing the re-opening of gateways from Gaza to Israel and Egypt, and providing the Palestinian Authority "the means to respond to the humanitarian crisis and to begin reconstruction.

  • Filipino bishops to counter Islamic State group

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Leaders of the Philippine Roman Catholic Church, Asia's largest, vowed Thursday to counter extremist religions such as that espoused by Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who heads the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, also asked the country's bishops to collect donations for Christians who have been displaced by the militants and whose places of worship have been razed "by a godless rage with which no genuine religion can ever identify." Citing brutal actions by the Islamic State group, including the beheading of American journalist James Foley, Villegas said the Philippine Catholic church will "do our part ... to counter the defacement of relig

  • Tim Hortons a big part of Canadian identity

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    TORONTO (AP) — Few things unite Canadians the way Tim Hortons does. For half a century, they have warmed themselves on chilly mornings with the chain's coffee and Timbits — or doughnut holes to Americans. So news this week that Burger King will buy Tim Hortons served as a bittersweet reminder of how beloved the homegrown chain is in Canada, where 75 percent of the all the coffee sold at fast food restaurants comes from "Timmy's," as it is affectionately known. Tim Hortons is found in just about every small town and large city across Canada, and hockey-mad Canadians often head to their local Timmy's before or after their kids' games.

  • A flavor out of favor: Dog meat fades in S. Korea

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — For more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat. In her twenties, Oh traveled around South Korea to learn dog meat recipes from each region. During a period of South Korean reconciliation with North Korea early last decade, she went to Pyongyang as part of a business delegation and tasted a dozen different dog dishes, from dog stew to dog taffy, all served lavishly at the Koryo, one of the North's best hotels. She adapted famous dishes to include dog meat, replacing beef with dog in South Korea's signature meat and rice dish bibimbap. But the 58-year-old's lifelong experience with a food eaten for centuries

  • A look at the Islamic State militants in Syria

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — As the U.S. strikes Islamic State targets in Iraq, extremists belonging to the same militant group across the border in Syria are capturing new territory and becoming bolder by the day. There, in its power base, the Islamic State group controls thousands of square kilometers (miles) of territory, including most of Syria's oil-producing region. In the areas under its control, it has established an elaborate governing system that oversees every aspect of people's lives. The U.S. has begun surveillance flights over Syria as a possible precursor for airstrikes against Islamic State targets there. U.S. Army Gen.

  • Mother of US reporter in Syria begs for his life

    Yesterday

    BEIRUT (AP) — The mother of a hostage American journalist pleaded for his release Wednesday in a video directed at the Islamic State group, while new images emerged of mass killings, including masked militants shooting kneeling men after the capture of a strategic air base in Syria. Shirley Sotloff's plea came as a U.N. commission accused the group, which dominates a broad swath of territory spanning the Syria-Iraq border, of committing crimes against humanity and President Barack Obama weighs options for targeting the extremists' stronghold in Syria. The Islamic State militants have threatened to kill 31-year-old Steven Sotloff unless the U.S. halts its airstrikes against it.

  • New counterterrorism units at Australian airports

    Yesterday

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — New counterterrorism units have been working at Australia's two largest airports since last week and had already prevented two suspected jihadists from leaving the country, officials said. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday that the units operating at Sydney and Melbourne airports would soon be introduced at all Australian international airports to monitor the movements of travelers on security watch lists. Biometric screening of passengers will also be introduced at the airports. "I'm advised that these new units have already intercepted at least one person of interest," Abbott told Parliament. "This government will do — I'm sure this Parliament will do — everything that is reasonab

  • UK sex abuse report prompts outrage, reflection

    Yesterday

    ROTHERHAM, England (AP) — Rotherham is a working-class town that is remarkable in its ordinariness — a collection of charmless discount stores, betting shops and kebab counters, surrounded by sleepy residential streets lined with brick houses that have seen better days. But below the drab surface, shock was evident Wednesday as the people of this northern English town learned that for 16 years, girls as young as 11 in their community had been subjected to sexual exploitation on a vast scale. The number of victims — 1,400 — was terrifying enough for a community of just 250,000.

  • Battle for Ukraine's southeast coast heats up

    Yesterday

    NOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine (AP) — Pushing west in a new offensive along Ukraine's strategic coastline, heavily armed Russian-backed separatist forces captured new territory Wednesday far from their previous battles with government troops. The bold offensive along a new southeastern front raised the prospect that the separatists are seeking to create a land link between Russia and Crimea, which also would give them control over the entire Azov Sea. After a third day of heavy shelling that sent many residents fleeing, rebel fighters with dozens of tanks and armored vehicles entered Novoazovsk, a resort town of 40,000 on the Azov Sea, the mayor told The Associated Press.

  • AP ANALYSIS: A grim stalemate at war's end in Gaza

    Yesterday

    TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The third Gaza War in six years appears to have ended in another sort of tie, with both Israel and Hamas claiming the upper hand. Their questionable achievements have come at a big price, especially to long-suffering Palestinians in Gaza. In a sense, Israel got what it wanted: Hamas stopped firing rockets in exchange for mostly vague promises and future talks. But the cost to Israel was huge: Beyond the 70 people killed — all but six of them soldiers — the economy has been set back, the tourism season destroyed, its people rattled for 50 days and its global standing pummeled by images of devastation in Gaza.

  • Israeli premier, Hamas declare victory in Gaza war

    Yesterday

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Both Israel's prime minister and Hamas declared victory Wednesday in the Gaza war, though their competing claims left questions over future terms of their uneasy peace still lingering. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's comments, delivered in a prime-time address on national television, appeared aimed at countering critics of the war, with both hard-liners in his governing coalition, as well as residents of rocket-scarred southern Israel, saying the war was a failure because it did not halt Hamas' rocket attacks or oust the group from power.

  • US official warns Ebola outbreak will get worse

    Yesterday

    FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — A third top doctor has died from Ebola in Sierra Leone, a government official said Wednesday, as a leading American health official warned that the outbreak sweeping West Africa would get worse. The disease has already killed more than 1,400 people in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, and Doctors Without Borders warned that the tremendous influx of patients in Liberia, in particular, is overwhelming their treatment centers there. "I wish I didn't have to say this, but it is going get worse before it gets better," Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said of the outbreak at the end of a visit to Liberia, where he described the situation a

  • EU to beef up border agency to deal with migrants

    Yesterday

    ROME (AP) — The European Commission agreed Wednesday to Italian demands to replace Rome's politically unpopular emergency operation for rescuing would-be refugees crossing the Mediterranean with an EU-wide project. The European commissioner for home affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom, announced plans to beef up the European border patrol agency at a news conference in Brussels alongside Italy's interior minister. She urged all EU member states to contribute planes, ships and personnel to the "Frontex Plus" operation she hopes to launch by November. Italy began its 9.5 million euro ($13 million) a month "Mare Nostrum" operation last October after 360 migrants drowned off the Sicilian island of Lampedusa.

  • Libya's UN envoy warns of 'full-blown civil war'

    Yesterday

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Libya's ambassador to the United Nations warned Wednesday of "full-blown civil war" if the chaos and division in the North African country continue. Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi told the U.N. Security Council that he had always excluded civil war as a possibility, "but the situation has changed." The council unanimously approved a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire and extending sanctions against people threatening Libya's stability. Libya currently has two rival parliaments in different parts of the country, and two different governments, after the outgoing parliament reconvened and appointed a new prime minister.

  • IMF chief Lagarde under investigation in France

    Yesterday

    PARIS (AP) — Christine Lagarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund, was put under official investigation for negligence in a French corruption probe that dates back to her days as France's finance minister. After a fourth round of questioning before magistrates on Wednesday, Lagarde said she was returning to her work in Washington, and called the investigation "without basis." She is the third IMF managing director in a decade to face legal troubles. Lagarde and her former chief of staff have faced questions about their role in an arbitration ruling that handed 400 million euros ($531 million) to a French businessman with a checkered past.

  • US Coast Guard fires at Iranian boat in Gulf

    Yesterday

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A U.S. Coast Guard vessel fired in self-defense on an Iranian boat in the Persian Gulf, the Navy said Wednesday, an encounter that could exacerbate tensions between the two countries as they work to hammer out a lasting deal over Iran's nuclear program. Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said personnel on a small boat dispatched from the U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat Monomoy fired a single shot when it saw crew on a nearby Iranian dhow training one of its two .50-caliber machine guns on them and preparing to fire. "This action by the dhow's crew demonstrated hostile intent which resulted in the defensive fire by the Coast Guardsmen," he said.

  • Israeli prime minister: 'Hamas was hit hard,' won few concessions in Gaza war cease-fire

    Yesterday

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli prime minister: 'Hamas was hit hard,' won few concessions in Gaza war cease-fire.