• Nigeria: German killed, pirates hijack gunboat

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    WARRI, Nigeria (AP) — Gunmen killed a German man and kidnapped a second in southwest Nigeria, police said Tuesday as the military reported that pirates in the oil-rich south hijacked a police gunboat and killed three officers. Armed men attacked a group of workers for Julius Berger Nigeria construction company as they were being driven to work in southwest Ogun state on Friday, police Assistant Superintendent Abimbola Oyeyemi told The Associated Press. One German was shot and killed in the attack and "we are working 24 hours round the clock to free the abducted German and arrest the criminals," he said.

  • 18 miners trapped in coal mine accident in Turkey

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Surging water trapped at least 18 workers Tuesday in a coal mine in Turkey, officials and reports said — an event likely to raise even more concerns about the nation's poor workplace safety standards. Initial reports said flooding inside the Has Sekerler mine near the town of Ermenek in Karaman province caused a cave-in, but subsequent reports workers were trapped by the water. Turkey's emergency management agency, AFAD, said a broken pipe in the mine caused the flooding but did not elaborate. Gov.

  • Bahrain court suspends main opposition group

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — A Bahraini court ordered the activities of the country's main Shiite opposition group to be suspended on Tuesday, less than a month before parliamentary elections are to be held. The ruling against Al-Wefaq means the group effectively cannot operate for three months in the Gulf island kingdom. It is prevented from organizing rallies and press conferences, issuing statements or using its offices, lawyer Abdullah al-Shamlawi told The Associated Press. Al-Wefaq earlier this month announced it was boycotting elections scheduled for November 22. It does not feel the government has engaged in genuine reconciliation efforts following widespread protests directed at the Sunni monarchy that began in 2011 and w

  • India slides, US gains in gender equality ranking

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian women still face some of the world's worst inequality in access to health care, education and work, despite years of rapid economic growth, according to a survey of 142 nations released Tuesday. The annual Gender Gap Index by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum showed India falling to 114th place, after being ranked 101st out of the 136 countries surveyed last year. That puts India below other fast-developing nations including South Africa, ranked 18th, China at 87 and Brazil at 71. Nordic nations led the world in promoting equality of the sexes, as they have for many years, with Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark occupying the top five spots.

  • Court sentences Israeli cult leader to 30 years

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli court sentenced a convicted polygamist and cult leader to 30 years in prison Tuesday. Goel Ratzon was found guilty of rape, incest and other offenses in September, but acquitted of enslavement charges. His sentencing in Tel Aviv District Court ended a saga that began in 2010 when details of Ratzon's cult first emerged. The court found that Ratzon kept at least 21 "wives," some of whom tattooed his name on their bodies along with images of the short 64 year old with long white hair and beard. The children they bore him were named after variations of his first name Goel, or "savior" in Hebrew. Israeli media reported that Ratzon's "wives" bore him more than 30 children.

  • Emissions drop puts EU just shy of 2020 goal

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The European Union's environment agency says the bloc's greenhouse gas emissions dropped by nearly 2 percent last year, putting the EU very close to reaching its emissions target for 2020. That goal is to reduce emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by 20 percent compared to 1990 levels. The European Environment Agency said Tuesday that emissions already have fallen 19 percent, meaning the 28-nation bloc is likely to exceed its target. The EEA projected that 2020 emissions will be 21 percent or 24 percent lower than they were in 1990, depending on whether planned climate action is implemented in full. However, Germany and Spain were among some countries that weren't on track to m

  • Macy's to head overseas with branch in Abu Dhabi

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Middle East is getting the world's first Macy's department store outside the United States, and just for good measure, its second Bloomingdale's too. Property developer Gulf Related and Dubai-based retail conglomerate Al Tayer Group said on Tuesday that they plan to open both stores in a new shopping center being built in the United Arab Emirates capital, Abu Dhabi. The mall, known as Al Maryah Central, is expected to cost about $1 billion to build and should open in spring 2018. It will be located next to an existing shopping mall known as The Galleria on al-Maryah island, a rapidly developing area just across the water from Abu Dhabi's central business district.

  • Afghan president seeks Chinese investment

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    BEIJING (AP) — Afghanistan's new president began a visit to Beijing on Tuesday seeking Chinese help in rebuilding his country and promoting regional stability. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai received pledges of hundreds of millions of dollars in aid in a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He also plans to urge potential investors to help bankroll Afghanistan's development, especially its mining industry. A Chinese state company has already signed a $3 billion deal to develop a 5 million-ton copper deposit at Mes Aynak, near Kabul, but pulled its workers out last year after they came under Taliban fire. The trip is Ghani Ahmadzai's first state visit abroad since taking office last month, underscoring his desire for clos

  • Turkish villages give Syrian Kurds shelter, hope

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    ALANYURT, Turkey (AP) — Just eight families used to inhabit this small hamlet jutting into no-man's land on the Turkish-Syrian border, eking out a living from the land, living in mud-brick houses yards away from Turkish army lookout posts. Now, as thick black smoke rises from the besieged Kurdish Syrian town of Kobani in the distance, the village's population has more than doubled. In mid-September, up to 80 terrified refugees streamed into Alanyurt — which locals call by its Kurdish name of Zahwan — fleeing an onslaught by extremists from the Islamic State group on Kobani and surrounding villages. Most left with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Bader Uzgar, head of the village, took them in.

  • Syria's 3 ½-year conflict roiling the economy

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The middle-aged salesman sat glumly among an array of shorts, khaki leisure suits bedecked with gold belts and dresses with plunging necklines in the ancient Damascus bazaar — luxuries few can afford in today's Syria. He, like many traders, lost most of his customers when Syria's uprising erupted in 2011 against the rule of President Bashar Assad, and his new clientele is far poorer: Syrians fleeing the fighting with barely any possessions. Now, he fears there's even worse to come, as the U.S.-led bombings of the Islamic State group target the country's modest oil reserves under the militants' control, sending oil and diesel prices soaring.

  • Toronto elects a new mayor, ends Ford era

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    TORONTO (AP) — Toronto's next mayor will be a straight-laced, button down moderate conservative — almost the polar opposite of current Mayor Rob Ford, whose term was plagued by scandals involving public drinking and illegal drug use. John Tory won Monday's election with 40 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent for Doug Ford, brother of the outgoing mayor. Left-leaning Olivia Chow was third with nearly 23 percent, with 100 percent of polling stations reporting. "Torontonians want to see an end to the division that has paralyzed city hall for the past four years, and to all that I say, 'Toronto, I hear you. I hear you loud and clear,'" Tory told cheering supporters, vowing to restore Toronto's reputation on the intern

  • Turkey: suspicious packages contained chalk dust

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — An official says the suspicious powdery substance that was sent to six consulates in Istanbul, leading to the hospitalization of more than 30 staff members, was a material similar to chalk dust. Health Ministry Undersecretary Eyup Gumus said Tuesday that the powder tested negative for biological and toxic agents. The consulates of Canada, Belgium, Germany, France and the United States were sent envelopes containing the powder Friday, leading to the evacuation of some of the missions and the hospitalization of 25 staff. The Hungarian Consulate received a similar package on Monday and six staff members were hospitalized. Gumus said the 25 were discharged Monday after authorities determined that the

  • Malaysia's Anwar makes final appeal in sodomy case

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's top court on Tuesday began hearing a final appeal filed by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim against a sodomy conviction widely regarded as a means to neutralize the threat he poses to the country's ruling coalition. Anwar was sentenced to five years in prison in March on charges of sodomizing a male aide in 2008 after Malaysia's appeals court overturned an earlier acquittal. "I am confident of winning the case if we have judicial independence," the 67-year-old said before entering the Federal Court, where around 200 of his supporters had gathered. "I'm mentally prepared, but I don't have much hope.

  • Expanding Mexico City running out of cemeteries

    Updated: Mon, Oct 27, 2014

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Edgardo Galvan watched as two gravediggers shoveled muddy soil from his father's grave until they reached a set of bones mixed with wood chips, the remnants of the coffin he was buried in seven years earlier. The gravediggers placed the bones in a black plastic bag and handed them to Galvan, who planned to cremate them and put the ashes in a small crypt the family bought in a church. "I've had to go through two difficult moments, first burying him and now unburying him," the 42-year-old carpenter said as he stood in the San Isidro cemetery in the Mexico City borough of Azcapotzalco.

  • Japan, North Korea start talks on abductions

    Updated: Mon, Oct 27, 2014

    PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Japanese and North Korean officials held talks in Pyongyang for the first time in 10 years Tuesday, meeting to assess progress into North Korea's investigation into the fates of Japanese citizens who were abducted in the 1970s and '80s. The abduction issue has long been a major obstacle in the frosty ties between the two nations, which have no formal diplomatic relations. The Japanese delegation, led by Junichi Ihara, head of the Asia and Oceania affairs bureau at Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is to stay in North Korea for four days.

  • Poland in defense shift as security concerns rise

    Updated: Mon, Oct 27, 2014

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland is planning a major realignment of its military structure because of the conflict in neighboring Ukraine, the country's defense minister said Monday, a move that could shift thousands of troops to its eastern border. "The geopolitical situation has changed. We have the biggest crisis of security since the Cold War and we must draw conclusions from that," Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak told The Associated Press. Although Poland joined NATO in 1999, most of its 120,000-member army is based along the country's western border, as a relic of its former status as a Soviet bloc member.

  • Newly re-elected Brazil leader faces house divided

    Updated: Mon, Oct 27, 2014

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's re-elected leader Dilma Rousseff on Monday faced a house divided after a bitterly fought election that culminated in the narrowest presidential win since the nation's return to democracy three decades ago. In a victory speech, Rousseff said her first task will be to seek reconciliation and to build bridges to those who didn't vote for her. "This president is willing to dialogue and that's the first promise of my second term, to have a dialogue," she said before cheering supporters in Brasilia. But it's not clear how far Rousseff is willing to reach out to rivals, nor how receptive a highly fragmented Congress, which after this month's general election is split between 28 parties, will be

  • Army troops isolated after Africa duty tour

    Updated: Mon, Oct 27, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — An Army two-star general and 11 of his staff are being isolated at the base in Italy upon returning from serving in West Africa to help with the Ebola fight. The general and his staff were met by Italian security officials wearing full hazardous materials suits when they arrived in Vicenza, Italy, over the weekend, a senior military official said Monday. Maj. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, the commander who led the U.S. response in Liberia, and the members of his headquarters staff were some of the first troops to go to Liberia and were there to provide the initial assessments of the military needs and to begin coordinating the U.S. response. They did not have contact with Ebola patients.

  • Australian teenager features in second IS video

    Updated: Mon, Oct 27, 2014

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian teenage runaway, dubbed the Ginger Jihadist by the media, has been featured in a second Islamic State propaganda video. Australian media reported the latest YouTube video of 17-year-old Abdullah Elmir dressed in Arabic garb and clutching an assault rifle on Tuesday as the Senate prepared to debate legislation that would simplify prosecuting Australian extremists who fight in the Middle East. Abdullah vanished from his Sydney home in June, telling his family he was going fishing. He appeared in his first Islamic State video last week warning that the movement won't stop fighting until the extremists' notorious black flag is flying above every nation.

  • UN investigator, banned by Iran, not fazed

    Updated: Mon, Oct 27, 2014

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations special investigator on Iran is not fazed by a senior official's announcement that he is banned from the country, saying on Monday, "He loves banning me." Ahmed Shaheed also told reporters he was "shocked" by the execution Saturday of Reyhaneh Jabbari, a woman convicted of murdering a man she said was trying to rape her. He said he had repeatedly raised concerns about the fairness of her trial. He spoke a day before presenting his report on Iran to the General Assembly's human rights committee, where he is expected to speak out against the country's second-highest rate of executions in the world.