• Libya's persecuted people displaced again

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — After three years in a packed refugee camp, Mariam Mohammed fled with her seven children and some 3,000 other members of Libya's persecuted Tawergha community after they were caught in crossfire between Islamist militias and pro-government forces in the embattled eastern city of Benghazi. "Some of us had to jump in garbage trucks to escape. The horror makes you do anything," the 45-year-old Mohammed said of the frantic escape Friday under a hail of bullets, rockets and mortars. "There was no other option amid all the destruction." She spoke to The Associated Press by phone Monday from the school-turned-refugee camp outside Benghazi in an area called Tekka that the refugees now call home.

  • Nigeria declared Ebola-free; 'spectacular success'

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Water laced with salt and sugar, and gallons of the nasty-tasting stuff. Doctors who survived Ebola in Nigeria credited heavy doses of fluids with saving their lives as the World Health Organization declared the country Ebola-free Monday, a rare victory in the battle against the disease that is ravaging West Africa. In the end, Nigeria — the most populous country in Africa, with 160 million people — had just 20 cases, including eight deaths, a lower death rate than the 70 percent seen elsewhere across the stricken region. Officials are crediting strong tracking and isolation of people exposed to the virus, and aggressive rehydration of infected patients to counter the effects of vomiting, dia

  • Lacking a plan, Abbas opts for rhetoric

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian president has been speaking in increasingly belligerent tones in recent weeks, accusing Israel of committing "genocide" in Gaza and calling on Palestinians to defend a contested Jerusalem holy site "by any means." The heightened rhetoric is a departure for the normally staid Mahmoud Abbas — and an apparent sign of desperation as he tries to halt a slide in his own popularity following this summer's war between Israel and the Islamic militant Hamas in Gaza. Abbas has staked his decade-long presidency on the pursuit of an independent Palestinian state through negotiations with Israel.

  • WHO chief promises transparency on Ebola failures

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    GAMMARTH, Tunisia (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization says the agency will be upfront about its handling of the Ebola outbreak, following an internal report that details failures in containing the virus. In the draft document obtained by the Associated Press, the WHO says "nearly everyone" involved in the Ebola response failed to notice factors that turned the outbreak into the biggest on record. It blames incompetent staff, bureaucracy and a lack of reliable information. WHO Director Margaret Chan said Monday that the report was a "work in progress." Speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Tunisia, she said "I have promised WHO will be fully transparent and accountable.

  • UN says worker dies from Ebola in Sierra Leone

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations says another of its staffers has died in the Ebola outbreak. A statement by UN Women on Monday said Edmund Bangura-Sesay, a local driver for their office in Sierra Leone, died Saturday. This is the third reported death of a U.N. worker from Ebola. The UN Women statement says Bangura-Sesay was quarantined last Tuesday after his wife showed symptoms. It says his wife remains under treatment, and that the U.N. is working to make sure that everyone who came into contact with Bangura-Sesay while he had symptoms is assessed and quarantined.

  • AP PHOTOS: New gloss on Cuba's classic cars

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    HAVANA (AP) — When Martin Viera's Chevrolet rolled out of the dealer's lot, Harry Truman was president of the United States, gasoline cost 27 cents a gallon and a 24-year-old lefty named Tommy Lasorda was pitching for Almendares in the Cuban winter baseball league. That world is long gone, but the Chevy's still running on the streets of Havana — part of a fleet of classic cars that have become an icon of tourism in the socialist nation. For decades, the cars slowly decayed. But officials in recent years have eased state control over the economy by allowing limited self-employment. So those lucky enough to have a pre-revolutionary car can earn money legally by ferrying tourists — or Cubans celebrating weddings — along

  • Moody's raises Egypt's outlook to stable

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    CAIRO (AP) — Moody's Investor Services said Egypt's political and security situation has stabilized, raising the country's outlook from negative to stable. The influential international ratings agency credits, "the launch of government initiatives toward fiscal consolidation, signs of a growth recovery and an improvement in macroeconomic stability" for its revised assessment, which was announced on Monday. However, Moody's kept Egypt's government bond rating at "Caa1"_essentially junk bond level. Moody's said the continued low rating "reflects the very weak and challenging state of Egypt's government finances.

  • Yemen: Suicide bomber kills 10 Houthi rebels

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A suicide car bomb on Monday targeted a house used by Shiite Houthi rebels in a town south of Sanaa, killing at least 10 and injuring 15, security officials said, in an attack that bore all the hallmarks of al-Qaida. The officials said the bombing in the Radaa area in Baydah province hit the house of Abdullah Idris, a top local official with the party of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh. All victims were members of the Houthi movement, whose fighters overran the capital of Sanaa last month. The Houthis have since made significant military advances widely suspected to have been made with the help of Saleh's loyalists among tribes and in the military.

  • Iran military ready to ship equipment to Lebanon

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's defense minister said his country is ready to ship defensive materials to Lebanon to aid its army in the fight against Sunni extremists on Monday, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported. The report quoted Gen. Hossein Dehghan, speaking at a joint briefing with visiting Lebanese Defense Minister Samir Moqbel, as saying the shipment would help thwart extremists who plan to commit "inhuman crimes" in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. "We will provide an Iranian-made consignment of defensive items to the Lebanese army for their use in fighting the group and other terrorist groups," Dehghan said. The Lebanese troops have been fighting militants from the Islamic State group since fighting spilled into the M

  • EU seeks $1.27 billion in Ebola aid for W. Africa

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    LUXEMBOURG (AP) — The European Union committed itself Monday to step up efforts toward getting 1 billion euros ($1.27 billion) in aid to fight Ebola in West Africa and rejected the idea of halting direct flights coming from the region. The EU foreign ministers set off a week of continentwide action with a pledge "to play an active role in enhancing the international response" to Ebola, which so far has been late and insufficient to contain the deadly virus that has claimed at least 4,500 lives. British Prime Minister David Cameron wants a two-day summit of the 28 EU leaders ending Friday to reach the $1.

  • UN: Uncertain if all Iranian nuke work is peaceful

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    VIENNA (AP) — The head of the U.N. nuclear agency is sounding a note of caution about Iran's claims that it is not interested in nuclear arms, saying he cannot guarantee that all the country's atomic activities are civilian in nature. Though not new, Yukiya Amano's comments Monday are significant amid a renewed deadlock in the 12-year probe by his International Atomic Agency of suspected nuclear weapons work by Iran. Iran denies such activities. Amano's comments also come as the U.S. and five other powers try to persuade Tehran to allow the IAEA greater sleuthing powers, allowing the agency to do snap inspections of sites suspected of possible unreported nuclear work.

  • Wanted: Cities interested in hosting 2024 Olympics

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — Rejected time and again for the 2022 Winter Olympics, the IOC will soon be seeking suitors for the 2024 Summer Olympics. It will be hoping to attract a competitive, high-profile field to show there are cities that want to host the games rather than shun them. Even before Oslo became the fourth city to drop out of the race for the 2022 Games, the International Olympic Committee had started reviewing its bidding system to make it more appealing and less expensive for future host cities. Making the process more flexible — allowing cities to tailor a bid to their own needs from the start rather than adhere to strict IOC requirements — is central to IOC President Thomas Bach's "Olympic Agenda 2020" reform

  • Joko Widodo sworn in as Indonesia's new president

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Joko Widodo completed a journey from riverside shack to presidential palace on Monday, cheered through the streets following his inauguration by tens of thousands of ordinary Indonesians in a reminder to the opposition-controlled parliament of the strong grass-roots support that swept him to power. The 53-year-old must make tough decisions, and soon, to stand a chance of boosting economic growth in Indonesia, a sprawling nation of 250 million people. Supporters have already expressed concerns any reforms he tries to enact could be blocked by a hostile opposition led by the Suharto-era general he defeated in July's election.

  • Final ruling set for US couple convicted in Qatar

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    DOHA, Qatar (AP) — An American couple convicted in Qatar of child endangerment will receive a final verdict on their appeal on November 30, a Qatari judge announced on Monday. Matthew and Grace Huang of Los Angeles were originally jailed on murder charges following the January 2013 death of their adopted daughter Gloria. They were released from prison last November, but banned from leaving during the trial. In March, the court sentenced them to three years in prison for child endangerment. The Huangs, of Asian descent, have remained out of prison during their appeal. They have insisted that their daughter, who was born in Ghana, died of medical problems complicated by unusual eating habits.

  • Suicide, car bombings in Iraq kill at least 33

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Militants unleashed attacks on Iraq's majority Shiite community on Monday, killing at least 33 people, the latest in relentless assaults that have challenged the Shiite-led government as it battles the Sunni-led insurgency by the Islamic State group. A suicide bomber hit a mosque in Baghdad as Shiite worshippers left after noon prayers, killing 17 people, while a triple car bombing in the holy city of Karbala killed 16. Iraq has been plunged into its worst crisis since the U.S. troops left at the end of 2011 in the wake of the blitz by the Islamic State militants this summer.

  • Lebanon imposes new measures against Ebola

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon is imposing new measures to prevent the Ebola virus from reaching the Middle Eastern nation, the health minister said Monday. Wael Abu Faour said Lebanon is more vulnerable than some other Arab countries because of the large Lebanese diaspora in Africa. Thousands of Lebanese live in African nations including Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — countries where the disease has killed more than 4,500 people combined. People traveling to Lebanon from infected countries will have to fill out special forms and any incoming plane carrying someone displaying Ebola symptoms will have all passengers tested at the airport, Abu Faour told reporters on Monday.

  • Australia's Parliament House lifts face veil ban

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's Parliament House on Monday lifted a short-lived ban on facial coverings including burqas and niqabs after the prime minister intervened. The department that runs Parliament House had announced earlier this month that "persons with facial coverings" would no longer be allowed in the open public galleries. Instead, they were to be directed to galleries usually reserved for noisy schoolchildren where they could sit behind soundproof glass. That announcement was made just as Parliament's last two-week session was ending and had no practical effect. On Monday, the Department of Parliamentary Services, or DPS, said people wearing face coverings would be allowed in all public areas of P

  • Vatican warns of 'new genocide' by IS

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has demanded that world governments do more to prevent a possible "new genocide" in northern Iraq and Syria, and for Muslim leaders in particular to repudiate the Islamic State militants who are killing and exiling the region's Christians. Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin told a special meeting of cardinals Monday that beyond a military response, governments must provide more humanitarian aid for refugees and address the core causes of the conflict: the flow of weapons to the region and instability stemming from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Parolin also said Catholic leaders are particularly alarmed that western governments are offering visas to persecuted religious minorities.

  • Iran arrest 4 over acid attack

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian authorities have arrested four people suspected of throwing acid on women, according to a report by the official IRNA news agency. A string of acid attacks against at least two women in the central city of Isfahan last week prompted a loud public outcry. According to Iranian law, the four suspects, if convicted, could face the death penalty. The IRNA report doesn't reveal the identities of the suspects or their possible motives. However, local speculation centers on the possibility that the attackers believed the targeted women weren't dressing modestly enough. Iranian women must cover themselves in public with an enveloping head-to-toe veil.

  • Jews buy homes in contested Arab area of Jerusalem

    Updated: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Residents of a hotly contested part of east Jerusalem said armed Israeli guards moved into two buildings in the area before dawn Monday — a step likely to raise already heightened tensions in the disputed neighborhood. A similar move last month in the same neighborhood of Silwan drew sharp condemnation from the U.S. and created a high-profile spat with Israel. Ateret Cohanim, an organization that settles Jews in Arab areas of east Jerusalem, said it facilitated the purchase of the two buildings from their Arab owners. Spokesman Daniel Lurie said the buildings contain nine apartment units and that Jewish families and religious studies students would soon move into the properties, immediately doubling the J