• EU, US seek Putin Achilles' heel on Ukraine

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    BRUSSELS (AP) — Months after Russia annexed Crimea and stepped up support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, Europe and the United States are still searching for a way to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to change course. Targeted economic sanctions and threats of tougher ones have yet to alter what western officials say is Moscow's growing backing for the rebels, including the shelling of Ukrainian military targets in southeast Ukraine from inside Russian territory and alleged plans to boost weapons supplies. The U.S. on Sunday released satellite images that it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists also has crossed the border.

  • UMass Amherst awarded $700k to study tribal health

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — The University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a $700,000 grant for a research project to identity and reduce health risks in tribal communities. The project will focus on health risks associated with climate change, indoor wood smoke exposure, environmental asthma and other tribal concerns. The grant is one of six awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for projects focusing on tribal health issues. The EPA funds research on tribal communities through the Science to Achieve Results program. Because many tribes rely on natural resources, the research focuses on environmental health risks and the most efficient methods of avoiding or addressing the risks.

  • 38 killed as Libyan forces battle militias in east

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — Heavy clashes between Libyan soldiers loyal to a renegade general and Islamist-led militias killed 38 people, health officials said Sunday, as fighting between rival militias around the capital's international airport raged on and European nations warned their citizens to leave. Forces loyal to Gen. Khalifa Hifter battled militias in the eastern city of Benghazi in clashes that started Saturday and continued through early Sunday morning, a security official said. Commando forces regained control of four military camps captured by Islamist militias in the past few days, the official said. The fighting killed eight militia fighters, including the brother of an alleged leader of an al-Qaida-inspired group, the official

  • Study: Blue whales at risk of hitting ships

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A satellite study of blue-whale movements shows the endangered creatures cluster for long periods in busy shipping lanes off the California coast, putting them at risk for collisions with large vessels. The study, originally published in the science journal Plos One, discovered the whales seem to congregate in two particularly rich feeding areas that are crossed by shipping lanes off the California coast. Researchers said they used satellites to track 171 tagged blue whales over 15 years. "It's an unhappy coincidence," said Ladd Irvine, a marine mammal ecologist at Oregon State University who led the study. "The blue whales need to find the densest food supply.

  • Lofty goals for new Florida Polytechnic University

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — The curiously oval-shaped structure at the new Florida Polytechnic University, designed by noted Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, is a symbol of the state's latest higher-education experiment. It is the centerpiece of what will soon-be Florida's 12th state university and the only one dedicated almost exclusively to producing science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, degrees. Adorned with curved awnings and a roof that adjusts with the sun's angle, the 162,000-square foot, $60 million Innovation, Science and Technology building will house the school's laboratories, classrooms, auditoriums and other meeting rooms. It is the perfect symbol of a university built with the Silicon Valley-type

  • Key World War I battle re-enacted in Poland

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    SZKOTOWO, Poland (AP) — About 200 history enthusiasts from across Europe have gathered on a hilly area in Poland to reconstruct the Battle of Tannenberg, an engagement between the Russian and German Empires in the first days of World War I. The reenactment was held Sunday, one day before the 100th anniversary of the start of the war. It was held on the site of the original battle, which a century ago was in eastern Prussia, but which now lies in northern Poland. The battle took place from Aug. 26-30, 1914, and resulted in a major defeat for Russia. The victorious German commander, Paul von Hindenburg, became a national hero, and was later Germany's president. The battle is also sometimes known as the second Battle of Tannen

  • Costa Concordia wreck reaches final destination

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    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.

  • New Wyoming state archaeologist named

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming has a new state archaeologist. Greg Pierce has been selected for the position. He succeeds Mark Miller, who retired this spring after holding the job for the past 30 years. Pierce has a Bachelor's degree in History and Anthropology from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts in Anthropology from East Carolina University. He is currently a PhD candidate in Anthropology at the University of Wyoming. He has conducted research and fieldwork in the southeastern United States and the American West. Pierce also has worked in North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

  • State media: Car bomb in central Syria kills 7

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    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: 14 hr ago

    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.

  • German vice chancellor: press Russian oligarchs

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    BERLIN (AP) — Europe should take aim at rich businesspeople who support Russia's government as it increases pressure on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine, Germany's vice chancellor said Sunday. European Union foreign ministers last week ordered the preparation of stepped-up sanctions, frustrated over Russia's refusal to heed EU demands to help bring about an end to the fighting in Ukraine, and outraged by the shooting down of a Malaysian passenger plane over eastern Ukraine. "We should now target those on whose shoulders the Russian government stands: the oligarchs, the billionaires," Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Germany's economy minister, told ARD television. "They want their fancy houses in Western Europe

  • Maine marine lab opens up to the public on Aug. 1

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    EAST BOOTHBAY, Maine (AP) — Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences will open up to the public on Friday to allow science-minded residents a chance to tour the facility, meet experts and participate in hands-on activities. The free event at the Maine laboratory will last from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Dr. Graham Shimmield, executive director of the laboratory, says the event is a chance for the laboratory's scientists to share what they are learning about the ocean. Hands-on activities will include plankton tows from the dock, microscope viewing, and experiments about ocean acidification and fish DNA.

  • Unarmed Aussie police to help secure Ukraine site

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Unarmed Australian police will be sent to the site in rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine where the Malaysian airliner came down as part of a Dutch-led police force to secure the area and help recover victims' remains, Australia's prime minister said Sunday. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that by using unarmed police, Ukraine's Parliament will not need to ratify the deployment as it would if the security force were to be armed. "This is a risky mission. There's no doubt about that," Abbott told reporters. "But all the professional advice that I have is that the safest way to conduct it is unarmed, as part of a police-led humanitarian mission.

  • AP PHOTOS: North Korea marks war anniversary

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    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.

  • No booze for DC folks? New Hampshire may fix law

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire is assuring residents of the nation's capital that they can purchase alcohol in the state despite a law that suggests otherwise. But cigarettes? Maybe not. The New Hampshire Liquor Commission recently clarified that Washington residents can buy alcohol in New Hampshire even though state law doesn't explicitly include them and instead refers to licenses from "another state" or Canada. It's unclear how many other laws might unintentionally snub Washington residents, but like the alcohol law, the state's tobacco law says a license from "another state" can be used to show proof of age, without mentioning Washington or U.S. territories. One state senator says he's willing to sponsor a bill to f

  • Philippines welcomes its 100 millionth citizen

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine officials welcomed the birth Sunday of their country's 100 millionth citizen with a cake, hope and concerns about how their poor Southeast Asian nation can help ensure a decent life for its swelling population. A baby girl named Chonalyn was born shortly after midnight at the government-run Jose Fabella hospital in Manila, pushing the country's estimated population to the milestone figure, said Juan Antonio Perez III, executive director of the Commission on Population. Wrapped in a blanket and pink bonnet and cradled by her beaming mother, Chonalyn was showered with a cake, infant clothes and other gifts by health and population commission officials at a hospital ceremony.

  • Israeli Arabs caught in the middle of Gaza war

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    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

  • Malaysia: Rebels to let police secure MH17 site

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia said Sunday that it would send dozens of police to the Malaysian airliner's crash site in eastern Ukraine after pro-Russia separatists agreed to allow international police personnel to provide protection for investigators. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement that he spoke with his counterparts from the Netherlands and Australia, and the three agreed to work together in deploying police personnel to the site. Later in the day, however, European monitors said reports of fighting in the area had forced the cancellation of a trip to the crash site by a team of international police officers.

  • Pope: World War I should teach us: No more war

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I with an impassioned plea for people to "not repeat the mistakes of the past," urging them to embrace dialogue to overcome conflicts. Francis cited current warfare between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as in Iraq and in Ukraine. He told pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter's Square Sunday that he was thinking of children — killed, maimed or orphaned by war — who "for toys, have the debris of war." "I beg you, stop. I ask you with all my heart," Francis said. He cited World War I-era Pope Benedict XV's denunciation of the Great War as a "useless massacre." Francis said: "Everything is lost with war, nothing is l

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

    Updated: 20 hr ago

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