• Hamas says 3 senior leaders killed in Gaza strike

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Islamic militant group Hamas says three of its senior military leaders have been killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip. Hamas says in a text message sent to media that the three — Mohammed Abu Shamaleh, Mohammed Barhoum and Raed al-Attar — were killed in the Israeli airstrike near the southern town of Rafah early on Thursday. They are considered to be in the senior levels of the Hamas military leadership. Palestinian police and health officials say that six people were killed in the Rafah strike and that dozens of others remain trapped in the rubble of a four-story building targeted by Israel.

  • Hamas military wing says 3 of its senior leaders killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza house

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas military wing says 3 of its senior leaders killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza house.

  • Some see Qatar's hand in collapse of Gaza talks

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The explosions rocking the Gaza Strip may seem far removed from the flashy cars and skyscrapers of ultra-rich Qatar, but efforts to end fighting between Hamas and Israel could hinge on how the tiny Gulf Arab state wields its influence over a Palestinian militant group with few friends left. Qatar has been home to Hamas chief-in-exile Khaled Mashaal since 2012 and has carved out a role as a key financial patron for Gaza, buying influence while shoring up an economy overseen by Hamas. That support is prompting accusations that Qatar helped scuttle a lasting truce in the monthlong Gaza war, piling on pressure as the U.S. ally finds itself increasingly isolated as larger Mideast powers margina

  • Mongolia hosts China's leader, seeks port access

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    ULAN BATOR, Mongolia (AP) — Landlocked Mongolia is hoping for better access to China's ports as Chinese President Xi Jinping conducts a two-day visit to the sprawling, arid nation sandwiched between China and Russia. Xi arrived in the Mongolian capital late Thursday morning and was scheduled to meet with Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia, and with parliamentary officials on Friday. Faced with declining foreign investment and increased inflation and unemployment, Mongolia is desperate for more ways to export its mineral resources. Xi's trip is expected to include discussions on infrastructure investment, as well transportation deals that would help Mongolia export minerals through the Chinese ports.

  • Australia cites reporter's killing in law reforms

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday used the killing of American journalist James Foley to bolster his government's case for contentious counterterrorism reforms that have been rejected by some Islamic leaders. Abbott described the video recorded beheading of Foley by a masked Islamic State extremist with an apparent English accent as "despicable." "The ISIL is as near to pure evil as we're ever likely to find and there can be no compromise," Abbott told reporters, referring to the al-Qaida splinter group leading Sunni militants in Iraq, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, now known as Islamic State. "As for the apparent truth that the murderer was a British citizen, it just

  • Israeli air strikes pound Gaza; 6 dead in Rafah

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian police say at least six people have been killed when an overnight Israeli airstrike hit a densely populated neighborhood in the Gaza Strip. Police say the strike early on Thursday destroyed a four-story structure in the southern town of Rafah and that rescue workers were still searching for people trapped in the rubble. The strike was one of 20 the Israeli military says were carried out since midnight on Wednesday. It followed the breakdown of Egyptian-mediated talks aimed at producing a long term truce after more than a month of fighting that has killed more than 2,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians. Israel lost 67 people, all but three of them soldiers.

  • Australia cites reporter's killing in law reforms

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has used the killing of American journalist James Foley to bolster his government's case for contentious counterterrorism reforms that have been rejected by some Islamic leaders. Abbott on Thursday described the beheading of Foley by a masked Islamic State extremist with an apparent English accent as "despicable." He told reporters the killing is an example of why Australia needed news laws "to strengthen the powers of our security agencies to make it easier to detain and jail people who have been involved in terrorist activities overseas." Abbott has been meeting with Australian Islamic leaders this week in a bid to convince them of the need for propose

  • Thai army ruler nominated as next prime minister

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    BANGKOK (AP) — Three months after overthrowing Thailand's last elected government, this Southeast Asian nation's junta leader is stepping out of his army uniform for good — to take up the post of prime minister in a move critics say will only extend his time at the helm and consolidate the military's grip on power. Thailand's junta-appointed legislature voted unanimously Thursday to name Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha to the post during a session in Bangkok. There was little doubt over the outcome since Prayuth was the only candidate. The 60-year-old leader is due to retire from the army next month and the change appears aimed in part at keeping him at the helm as the military implements sweeping political reforms.

  • 2 Americans arrested in Bali under suicide watch

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    BALI, Indonesia (AP) — An American couple arrested in Indonesia on suspicion of murdering the woman's mother and stuffing her body into a suitcase at a resort hotel are being held under a suicide watch, their appointed lawyer said Wednesday. Haposan Sihombing, an Indonesian lawyer assigned to the couple by Bali police, said Heather Mack and her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, are refusing to talk to investigators. Their American attorney said this week that Heather Mack is two months pregnant and complained about her treatment in custody. Sihombing said Mack, 19, is being detained at the Denpasar police station while Schaefer, 21, is being held separately at the provincial police headquarters.

  • Brazil expands labor rights for domestic workers

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Nivea dos Santos got her first job as a live-in maid at age 12, dusting, vacuuming, ironing and polishing the silver of a wealthy Rio de Janeiro family from dawn until she'd fall, exhausted, into bed. More than two decades later, Brazil has passed legislation aimed at preventing such abuses. The landmark domestic workers law, passed as a constitutional amendment last year and strengthened this month, aims to extend some of Brazil's generous labor protections to the more than 6 million maids, nannies, eldercare givers, gardeners and caretakers who work in privates homes — many toiling long hours for little or, in some cases, no pay. For some, it's been a boon.

  • Police seek mystery pair in selfies after burglary

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (AP) — Would burglars be dumb enough to post selfies on their victim's cloud account? That's what Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators are trying to determine. Detectives on Wednesday released photos of a man and woman that mysteriously appeared on a Santa Clarita woman's online account days after thieves broke into her home through a window and ransacked the place. The crooks stole cash and either her cellphone or tablet, Deputy Joshua Dubin said. The photos, apparently taken with the stolen device, were uploaded to the woman's account after the July 30 break-in, he said.

  • Australian junior banned for 1 year for drug use

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Australia's top-ranked junior player has been banned for a year by a Tennis Australia tribunal for taking the party drug ecstasy. Brad Mousley, 18, is the first Australian tennis player to be sanctioned for drug use in the decision announced Thursday. The Adelaide-based Mousley, ranked the 17th junior in the world, admitted taking the drug at a birthday party in March. He was drug tested two days later after a qualifying match for a Futures tour event in Melbourne. Mousley tested positive for the banned stimulant methylenedioxymethamphetamine, commonly known as ecstasy. He faced a two-year suspension but told the tribunal he had not taken the drug to enhance his performance.

  • Brazil Socialists name Silva as new candidate

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Environmentalist Marina Silva announced Wednesday that she will be the new presidential candidate for Brazil's Socialist Party a week after its previous candidate was killed in a plane crash. Silva, who had been Eduardo Campos' vice presidential running mate, met with members of the party in Brasilia who officially approved her as the new candidate. The decision was widely expected. Party members and Silva's associates had said over the weekend that the main leaders had already chosen her to run in Campos' place. The party also announced that Beto Albuquerque, who heads the party in the House of Representatives, will be Silva's running mate.

  • Main subway line blacked out in Chile's capital

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A power failure has knocked out the main subway line in Chile's capital, trapping thousands of riders and throwing Santiago's evening rush hour into chaos. Passengers were stuck underground in train cars without lights, and it took subway workers about 40 minutes to begin began opening doors and leading people along the tracks to the nearest stations. As the subway users streamed to the service, public buses became jammed because of insufficient numbers of vehicles. Officials have not provided any information on what caused the power outage. The failure came just days after several stations on another subway line had to be closed because a cracked rail halted train service.

  • Argentina defends plan to pay creditors outside US

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina will make its next round of scheduled debt payments, the economy minister said Wednesday as he defended a new plan to pay creditors locally and avoid the jurisdiction of a U.S. court that forced the country into default last month. Under legislation that still must be submitted to Congress, Argentina will no longer use the Bank of New York as a trustee for about $30 billion in bonds and will service debt through its own central bank, Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said. The change will allow the country to make $200 million in interest payments scheduled for Sept. 30 to bondholders who voluntarily accept the change, Kicillof said a day after President Cristina Fernandez announced the

  • UN agency: Iran abiding with terms of nuke deal

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    VIENNA (AP) — The U.N. nuclear agency says that Iran is keeping commitments it agreed to with six world powers in a pact that temporarily caps its nuclear activities and eliminates material that could be most easily used to make nuclear weapons. The finding is contained in a restricted International Atomic Energy Agency report released Wednesday and obtained by The Associated Press. Under the agreement reached late last year, Iran agreed not to increase the scope or capacity of its uranium enrichment program. Iran says it needs the program to make reactor fuel, but uranium can also be used for the fissile component of nuclear warheads if enriched to high levels. Iran also agreed to eliminate its enriched uranium stock

  • Social media pushes back at militant propaganda

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — The extremists of the Islamic State group have turned their social media into a theater of horror, broadcasting a stomach-turning stream of battles, bombings and beheadings to a global audience. The strategy is aimed at terrorizing opponents at home and winning recruits abroad. But there are increasing signs of pushback — both from companies swiftly censoring objectionable content and users determined not to let it go viral. Public disgust with the group's callous propaganda tactics was evident following the group's posting of the beheading video of American journalist James Foley — chilling footage that spread rapidly when it appeared online late Tuesday.

  • Mexico: 14 police on trial for US SUV shooting

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Fourteen former federal police officers have gone on trial on charges of using excessive force in a 2012 shooting attack that wounded two CIA agents, Mexico's national security commissioner said Wednesday. Monte Alejandro Rubido said there was no evidence the police officers had acted on orders from an organized crime gang, saying the attack on the diplomatic vehicle was a case of mistaken identity. "We identified the motive in the attack and it was a regrettable error on the part of the people there," Rubido told reporters. "The only legal evidence the investigation found was the use of excessive force on the part of the colleagues in the federal police.

  • Head of Guatemalan military dies in chopper crash

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — The head of the Guatemalan military's joint chiefs of staff died in a helicopter crash Wednesday near the border with Mexico. Interior Secretary Mauricio Lopez said Gen. Rudy Ortiz was killed along with four other military officers when the helicopter went down in a mountainous area of the western province of Huehuetenango. Lopez identified one of the other victims as Gen. Braulio Mayen, commander of the army's 5th Brigade. Ortiz, 51, and the others were flying in a Bell 206 helicopter to the village of Ixquisis, where the two generals were going to check on troops, Lopez said. "They couldn't land in Ixquisis and instead decided to go to the military base in Las Palmas and in that trajector

  • Liberian slums barricaded as Ebola sets new record

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Riot police and soldiers acting on their president's orders used scrap wood and barbed wire to seal off 50,000 people inside their Liberian slum Wednesday, trying to contain the Ebola outbreak that has killed 1,350 people and counting across West Africa. Hundreds of slum residents clashed with the gunmen, furious at being blamed and isolated by a government that has failed to quickly collect dead bodies from the streets. One 15-year-old boy was injured trying to cross the barbed wire as security forces fired into the air to disperse the crowd. The World Health Organization said the death toll is rising most quickly in Liberia, which now accounts for at least 576 of the fatalities.