Top Stories


  • Israel, Hamas hold out for more gains in Gaza war

    Updated: Sun, Jul 27, 2014

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel and Hamas are holding out for bigger gains in the Gaza war, helping explain the failure of the world's most influential diplomats to broker even a precursor to a lasting cease-fire. Hamas wants to break the seven-year blockade of Gaza and believes the only way to force serious negotiations on ending the closure is to keep fighting. Israel wants more time to destroy Hamas' rocket arsenal and military tunnels and to inflict enough pain to deter the Islamic militant group from launching rocket attacks in the future. In a further complication, regional rivals have lined up on opposite sides and no trusted mediator has emerged. Here's a look at what each player wants.

  • Fighting intensifies near MH17 disaster site

    Updated: Sun, Jul 27, 2014

    DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian armed forces mounted a major onslaught against pro-Russian separatist fighters Sunday in an attempt to gain control over the area where a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed earlier this month. The U.S. State Department, meanwhile, released satellite images that it says back up its claims that rockets have been fired from Russia into eastern Ukraine and heavy artillery for separatists has also crossed the border. A four-page document released by the State Department seems to show blast marks from where rockets were launched and craters where they landed. Officials said the images, sourced from the U.S.

  • Costa Concordia wreck reaches final destination

    Updated: Sun, Jul 27, 2014

    GENOA, Italy (AP) — The shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner completed its final journey, reaching Genoa on Sunday where it will be scrapped. Pulled by tugboats and nudged by winds, the ship was eased into the port in this northwestern Italian city. The Concordia struck a reef when its captain sailed too close to Giglio Island off Tuscany's coast Jan. 13, 2012, and capsized, killing 32 people. A spectacular operation set the ship upright in September 2013. On Wednesday, tugboats towing the wreck began the slow, five-day journey to Genoa, headquarters of ship owner Costa Crociere Spa and the port where the luxury vessel first set sail, after construction in 2005.

  • State media: Car bomb in central Syria kills 7

    Updated: Sun, Jul 27, 2014

    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A car bomb exploded Sunday in the central Syrian city of Homs, killing at least seven people, the country's state news agency reported. State news agency SANA said the vehicle targeted the Arman neighborhood, home to mostly minority Christians and Alawites, the sect of the President Bashar Assad. It said two rockets also were fired at the site after the bombing. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the bombing and death toll. The Arman neighborhood has been repeatedly hit by car bombs. Syria's conflict, which began as a 2011 uprising, has turned into a chaotic war with sectarian overtones. Mostly Sunni Muslim rebels fight against forces loyal to Assad.

  • Suspected al-Qaida attack kills 2 troops in Yemen

    Updated: Sun, Jul 27, 2014

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A car bomb targeting army posts in southern Yemen killed two soldiers Sunday, officials said, an attack authorities blamed on the country's local al-Qaida branch. Military officials said forces also foiled two other attacks by suspected al-Qaida militants, killing at least three of the assailants in the southern province of Abyan. Yemen's state news agency reported that army forces damaged two other bomb-laden cars and killed those inside before they reached the targeted military camps. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters. The U.S. considers Yemen's local branch of al-Qaida to be the world's most dangerous.

  • AP PHOTOS: North Korea marks war anniversary

    Updated: Sun, Jul 27, 2014

    PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — The 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, meaning the two Koreas remain technically at war. But in North Korea, the anniversary of the agreement ending the hostilities is commemorated as "Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War," a major national holiday. Sunday's 61st anniversary was low-key. There were no large-scale military parades or public appearances by leader Kim Jong Un, who privately paid his respects just after midnight at the mausoleum where his father and grandfather lie in state. Veterans, now in their 70s and 80s, many wearing uniforms laden with medals and clutching bouquets of flowers, were celebrated in patriotic events around the country.

  • Israeli Arabs caught in the middle of Gaza war

    Updated: Sun, Jul 27, 2014

    TIRA, Israel (AP) — Facing the threat of rocket fire along with the rest of Israel, residents in this central Israeli Arab town have found themselves caught in the middle between Jewish neighbors and their fellow Palestinians who are dying in growing numbers in the Gaza Strip. The people of Tira, a town of some 25,000 people known for their warm relations with nearby Jewish communities, have Jewish friends, speak Hebrew fluently and are largely integrated into Israeli society. But with relatives in Gaza and the West Bank, they also empathize with the Palestinians. That internal strain becomes especially hard during times of violence, and tensions have risen since the latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas militan

  • Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war, starting at 2 p.m. (1100 GMT) Sunday

    Updated: Sun, Jul 27, 2014

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war, starting at 2 p.m. (1100 GMT) Sunday.

  • Study: Embargo wouldn't hurt Russia

    Updated: Sun, Jul 27, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — An arms embargo against Russia would be little more than symbolic because Russia is largely self-sufficient in supplying its armed forces, a report argued Sunday. European Union countries exported $583 million of military equipment to Russia last year, less than 1 percent of the nation's $68 billion defense budget, according to a study by IHS Jane's, which provides analysis on the defense industry and security issues. The bulk of that was a $521 million payment to France, which is building two Mistral class warships for Russia. The propriety of arms sales to Russia was questioned last week as the U.S.

  • AP Analysis: Putin stays on offense in Ukraine

    Updated: Sun, Jul 27, 2014

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin might be expected to hunker down into defense mode as he is besieged by accusations of Russian involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Instead he has stayed on offense and appears to positioning for the long game. In his televised appearances since last Thursday's crash, Putin's demeanor hasn't wavered from his usual steely determination. He has allowed Russian media to propound theories blaming Ukrainian forces or suggesting a U.S hand in the crash, while refusing to deny such theories and indirectly placing responsibility on the Ukrainians.

  • Ukraine launches offensive to retake Donetsk

    Updated: Sat, Jul 26, 2014

    DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian officials said their forces advanced to the outskirts of a key town north of Donetsk on Saturday as they try to retake the stronghold held for months by pro-Russia rebels. The move comes as Ukrainian forces appear to have gained some momentum recently by retaking control of territory from the rebels. But Russia also appears to becoming more involved in the fighting, with the U.S. and Ukraine accusing Moscow of moving heavily artillery across the border to the rebels. Ukrainian national security spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Ukrainian forces were outside Horlikva, just north of the regional center of Donetsk.

  • Video shows smiling American bomber in Syria

    Updated: Sat, Jul 26, 2014

    BEIRUT (AP) — An al-Qaida-linked group fighting in Syria has released video of the first American to carry out a suicide attack in the country's civil war, showing him smiling and saying he looked forward to going to heaven. The Nusra Front released the new video late Friday showing American citizen Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, 22, with other fighters before the May 25 attack that targeted several army positions at the same time. It said two of the other three suicide attackers in the assault in the government-held northwestern city of Idlib were from foreign countries, including one who was identified as being from the Maldives. Abu-Salha appears smiling in the video and speaks in broken Arabic. "I want to rest in the a

  • Israel says it's extending Gaza truce for 24 hours

    Updated: Sat, Jul 26, 2014

    BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas resumed rocket fire Saturday on Israel after rejecting Israel's offer to extend a humanitarian cease-fire, the latest setback in international efforts to negotiate an end to the Gaza war. Despite the Hamas rejection, Israel's Cabinet decided to extend a truce for 24 hours, until midnight (2100 GMT) Sunday. However, it warned that its military would respond to any fire from Gaza and would continue to demolish Hamas military tunnels during this period. The temporary lull on Saturday saw Palestinians return to neighborhoods reduced to rubble and allowed medics to collect close to 150 bodies, Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra said.

  • UK man freed 5 months after Yemen kidnapping

    Updated: Sat, Jul 26, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — A British man kidnapped in Yemen has been released safely after five months in captivity, the U.K. government said Saturday. Mike Harvey, a teacher, was abducted in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, on Feb. 12 after leaving an educational institute. Harvey "is being supported by staff at the British Embassy and will be reunited with his family soon," a Foreign Office spokesman said, adding that Harvey was released after efforts between Yemen's government and tribal intermediaries. In Yemen, a security official and a tribal leader said Harvey was freed after a ransom was paid to kidnappers. Other tribal leaders said that he was held by militants linked to al-Qaida.

  • Israeli military says 3 rockets fired from Gaza after Hamas rejects 4-hour truce extension

    Updated: Sat, Jul 26, 2014

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli military says 3 rockets fired from Gaza after Hamas rejects 4-hour truce extension.

  • Hamas official says group rejects Israel's proposed four-hour extension of Gaza war truce

    Updated: Sat, Jul 26, 2014

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas official says group rejects Israel's proposed four-hour extension of Gaza war truce.

  • MH17 victims' family: Airline lacking compassion

    Updated: Sat, Jul 26, 2014

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The family of two brothers killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 called the carrier rigid and bureaucratic Saturday, saying it has offered them no professional grief counselling in more than a week and refused to organize a flight home to Houston for the boys' grandmother. Harun Calehr, the uncle of victims Miguel and Shaka Panduwinata, said the family's frustration has grown as they felt they had to haggle for help from the airline in the days after the Boeing 777 was shot down over Ukraine on July 17. "You know, one would have hoped that there would have been more compassion, more understanding, and not such a rigid, bureaucratic attitude towards everything that we need," Caleh

  • Egypt to try 20 suspected in terrorist attacks

    Updated: Sat, Jul 26, 2014

    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's chief prosecutor charged 20 suspected militants Saturday with carrying terrorist attacks that killed seven people and wounded more than 100, amid new clashes between soldiers and insurgents in the restive Sinai Peninsula. The statement released by Hisham Barakat's office said those charged belonged to a terror group called Ajnad Misr, which started its attacks after the July ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. The group's name means "Soldiers of Egypt" in Arabic. The statement said the suspected militants planted explosives around police stations and security checkpoints. It said 14 suspected members are in custody and six others are on the run.

  • Turkey: 20 police arrested for illegal wiretaps

    Updated: Sat, Jul 26, 2014

    ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's state-run news agency says an Istanbul court has charged 20 police officers with illegal wiretapping and ordered their arrest pending a trial. The Anadolu Agency says 49 other officers are still waiting on Saturday to be questioned and face possible charges. The officers were detained on July 22 in raids to their homes on suspicion of wiretapping officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The government says the officers are associated with a moderate Islamic movement led by a U.S.-based cleric, which it accuses of attempting to topple the government. It says the movement is behind a corruption probe against four former government ministers and a series of leaked recordings sugg

  • Sunni politician seized in Iraq released by gunmen

    Updated: Sat, Jul 26, 2014

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Gunmen in Iraq seized and later released a prominent Sunni politician, officials said Saturday, as confusion remained over who abducted the lawmaker. Riyadh al-Adhadah, head of the Baghdad Provincial Council, returned to his home a day after gunmen abducted him and four of his bodyguards, said Ghalib al-Zamili, a member of the council. The bodyguards also were released, according to a police officer who declined to be named because he is not authorized to brief journalists. It was not immediately clear if al-Adhdah was arrested by security forces or abducted. In 2012 al-Adhdah, a medical doctor and member of the Iraqi Islamic Party, was imprisoned for eight months on terrorism charges. He has maintained his i