• Eurozone prices plunge 0.6 pct amid weak growth, cheap oil

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Falling prices sent another worrying signal about the eurozone economy just before the European Central Bank starts a 1 trillion euro ($1.1 trillion) stimulus effort. Consumer prices fell 0.6 percent in the 12 months to January, accelerating the 0.2 percent annual drop in December. Prices are weighed down by the recent plunge in oil prices. But even excluding energy costs, they are weak, a sign of the deep economic malaise afflicting the 19 countries that share the euro currency. Friday's report by the Eurostat statistics agency showed that the core inflation rate, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, was at plus 0.5 percent, down from 0.7 percent the month before.

  • Image of Asia: Waiting for word on Japanese hostage

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    In this photo by Eugene Hoshiko, Japan's government spokesman Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga bows toward to Japanese flag prior to a news conference about a hostage crisis involving a Japanese journalist in Syria. The fates of freelance journalist Kenji Goto and a Jordanian military pilot held by the Islamic State group remained unknown Friday after a purported deadline for a possible prisoner swap lapsed with no word from the militants.

  • Mattek-Sands, Safarova win Australian Open doubles title

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova won the Australian Open women's doubles title on Friday in their first tournament together as a partnership, beating Chan Yung-jan and Zheng Jie 6-4, 7-6 (5). Not only had Mattek-Sands and Safarova never played together before the first Grand Slam of the year, they had never even practiced together. "Actually, we didn't even really know which side we were going to play," Mattek-Sands said. "We started off on the opposite sides, (then) we switched. I think we switched again. It was pretty spur of the moment." It marked the first time a new pairing had won a Grand Slam title since Nathalie Dechy of France and Russia's Dinara Safina captured the 2007 U.

  • Israeli conductor collapses at Swiss concert, dies

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    BERLIN (AP) — Organizers of a Swiss music festival say Israeli conductor Israel Yinon collapsed during a performance and died. Yinon was conducting a piece by Richard Strauss on Thursday night when he collapsed, said Marc Reinhardt, a spokesman for the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, whose students were performing. Reinhardt told The Associated Press on Friday an audience member tried to save Yinon, but he died in the ambulance on his way to a hospital. He had no details on what caused Yinon to collapse. The 59-year-old conductor had previously led the students of the Jungen Philharmonie Zentralschweiz orchestra in concerts in 2009 and 2012.

  • Chinese MH370 relatives reject word that passengers are dead

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    BEIJING (AP) — About 100 Chinese families of passengers on the missing Malaysian airliner demanded Friday that Malaysian officials retract their statement that all aboard died, saying that without hard evidence they don't want to start compensation claims. Malaysia's government formally declared still-missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 an accident on Thursday and said all those 239 people on board were presumed dead, paving the way for claims to begin. Most of the victims' families in China — where the majority of the passengers were from — still hold onto hope that their loved ones are alive. "We don't accept it. As a matter of fact, we are demanding the statement to be retracted," Zhang Qian, whose husband was on th

  • Va. middle school students participating in NASA challenge

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Students at nine Virginia middle schools are participating in a NASA program to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Virginia Department of Education says the state is one of ten chosen by NASA and the U.S. Department of Education to participate in the 2014-2015 Engineering Design Challenge. Officials say students will take on after-school challenges designed by NASA aimed at solving real-world problems such as how to successfully parachute a spacecraft onto the surface of Mars. The Virginia schools participating are: Caroline Middle in Caroline County, Falling Creek Middle in Chesterfield County, Holmes Middle and Key Middle in Fairfax County, Peabody Middle in Petersburg

  • Italy tries anew to elect president amid political wrangling

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    ROME (AP) — Italian Premier Matteo Renzi's candidate in this week's presidential election could cost him backing for his reform agenda. Lawmakers were voting in Parliament Friday, a day after a first round fell far short of producing the two-thirds majority needed to elect a new head of state. Chances of victory improve on Saturday, when only a simple majority is needed. Renzi has urged his Democrats and coalition allies to vote for Sergio Mattarella, a constitutional court justice. But the choice angered opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi's forces. Decades ago, Mattarella raised conflict-of-interest concerns after the media mogul jumped into politics.

  • Ahead of election, Israel issues West Bank building tenders

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's settlement watchdog group says the government has issued hundreds of tenders for housing units in the West Bank, an area the Palestinians demand for their future state. Peace Now said on Friday that 450 tenders have been issued. The move comes ahead of Israel's national elections in March 17. Hagit Ofran of Peace Now accused the Israeli government of "trying to create facts on the ground ahead of the election." The elections are widely seen as a vote of confidence in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his hawkish government. U.S.-mediated peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed last year in part over Jewish settlements.

  • 12 civilians, 5 troops killed in eastern Ukraine

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — At least 12 civilians and 5 Ukrainian troops have been killed in the past 24 hours in war-ravaged eastern Ukraine. Full-blown fighting between Russian-backed separatists and government forces erupted anew at the start of January following a month of relative tranquility. The city hall in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk said Friday seven people were killed and 23 wounded as the city remains under constant artillery fire. Defense Ministry spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov said 5 Ukrainian troops have died in the past 24 hours as the Ukrainian army resists the separatist onslaught on Debaltseve, a railway hub that has been the epicenter of recent fighting. Five civilians were also killed in the fighting

  • AUSTRALIAN OPEN SCENE: No sleep for Mattek-Sands' relatives

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Bethanie Mattek-Sands had relatives in about five U.S. states wide awake watching as she and Lucie Safarova won the women's doubles title at the Australian Open on Friday. The match started about 4:30 p.m. locally, just after midnight on the east coast of the United States, and finished well into the overnight hours. By the time she and Safarova accepted their trophy after their 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over Chan Yung-jan of Taiwan and Zheng Jie of China, it was really getting late. Asked if they were dancing in the streets of her hometown of Neenah, Wisconsin, Mattek-Sands said she wasn't sure. "But I know a lot of my family was up," she said. "I just Face Timed them all.

  • Cosmosphere's planetarium to undergo complete renovation

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — The Cosmosphere's is planning a complete renovation for its Justice Planetarium. The Hutchinson-based facility announced Thursday in a news release that the planetarium will close its doors Feb. 2 for the planned upgrades. It is expected to reopen April 12. Upgrades include the installation of a new digital projection system that it says will transform the venue into a state-of-the-art facility. The new projection system will utilize the planetarium's full dome for all programs and imagery. It also has the ability to link via the Internet to other planetariums, observatories and telescopes around the world in real time. Other improvements include new carpet, seats, electric and sound, LED

  • Philippines mourns 44 commandos; terror suspect hunted

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine president said Friday he has ordered the hunt for a Filipino terror suspect who escaped an anti-terrorist operation that resulted in the killings of 44 police commandos, the biggest single-day combat loss in recent years that threatened to derail a peace deal with Muslim rebels. On a national day of mourning, President Benigno Aquino III promised grieving relatives of the slain commandos that government forces will capture suspected bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman. He said that Malaysian Zulkifli Bin Hir, also known as Marwan, one of Southeast Asia's top terror suspects, apparently was killed during the Jan. 25 operation. Officials said a DNA test was still needed to confirm Marwan's identit

  • Belgian authorities detain 4 in anti-terror sweep

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian authorities have detained four suspects during an anti-terror sweep linked to the recruitment of potential jihadis to go fight in Syria. Police searched 22 homes mostly in northeastern Belgium early Friday but found no weapons, explosives or ammunition. The federal prosecutor's office said in a statement the sweep was aimed at "uncovering the organization behind the recruitment and sending" of individuals to Syria. It stressed the operation was not linked to the Paris attacks of early this month nor to the Jan. 15 operation in and around the eastern town of Verviers, when authorities claimed they prevented an imminent and major terror attack on police.

  • Pakistanis fleeing offensive find new dangers in Afghanistan

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    KHOST, Afghanistan (AP) — Tens of thousands of Pakistanis have sought shelter at a sprawling refugee camp in a volatile region of Afghanistan after crossing the mountainous border to escape a military onslaught against insurgents. For decades Afghans have fled into Pakistan to escape war and upheaval, but in recent months the tide has reversed, with some 60,000 Pakistanis — more than half of them children — taking refuge in the Gulan camp, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the border in the restive Khost province. "We knew the military operations would last a long time once they started," said Malik Omardin, a tribal elder who came from the Pakistani town of Datta Khel.

  • Former Bulgarian president dies at 79

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Zhelyu Zhelev, a philosopher and communist-era dissident who became Bulgaria's first democratically elected president in 1990, died Friday, his family said. He was 79. Zhelev was the founder and first leader of the pro-democracy Union of Democratic Forces after the demise of the country's Stalinist regime in 1989. He served as president until 1997. His successor, Petar Stoyanov, praised Zhelev's contribution to "bringing back Bulgaria to the family of free and democratic European nations." Zhelev is survived by his daughter. No funeral details were immediately announced.

  • Leahy praises FCC's redefinition of broadband

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy is praising a decision by the Federal Communications Commission to upgrade significantly the definition of broadband Internet service. The FCC voted Thursday to change the definition of broadband from a download speed of 4 megabits per second to 25 megabits per second, and upgraded the upload speed from 1 to 3 megabits per second. New FCC rules would require providers to achieve those speeds before advertising their service as broadband. Slower speeds would have to be identified by a different label. Leahy says the decision will put pressure on Internet service providers to upgrade speeds, especially in rural areas, in many parts of Vermont.

  • Qatar Airways buys nearly 10 percent of BA, Iberia parent

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar Airways says it is buying a nearly 10 percent stake in International Consolidated Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia. The government-backed Gulf carrier said on Friday that the decision to buy 9.99 percent of the company, known as IAG, was part of an effort to enhance its operation and strengthen existing commercial ties with the European company. It says it may consider increasing its stake further down the road. Financial terms were not disclosed. Qatar Airways has expanded rapidly in recent years as it and rivals in the nearby United Arab Emirates increasingly drive long-haul international travelers through their fast-growing Gulf hubs.

  • What to watch at Aussie Open Saturday: No 1 vs No 2

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — It's been five years since Serena Williams won the last of her five Australian Open singles titles. Maria Sharapova's one and only trophy at Melbourne Park came in 2008 when she defeated Ana Ivanovic. This year's final at Rod Laver Arena will feature a No. 1 (Williams) against a No. 2 (Sharapova) for the first time at Melbourne Park since 2004, when top-seeded Justin Henin defeated No. 2 Kim Clijsters in an all-Belgium final. The 33-year-old Williams, who has won all five times she's reached the final, will be the oldest player to reach the championship match in Australia in the Open era. She last won the title here in 2010, beating Henin.

  • Egypt's IS affiliate claims Sinai attacks that killed 26

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — An Egyptian militant group affiliated with the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for coordinated and simultaneous attacks that struck more than a dozen army and police targets in three towns in the restive Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 26 security officers. Following the attack, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi cut short a trip to Ethiopia, to return to Cairo, the state MENA news agency reported Friday. The wide-ranging attack late Thursday required a previously unseen level of coordination. At least one car bomb was set off outside a military base, while mortars were simultaneously fired at the base, toppling some buildings and leaving soldiers buried under the debris, official sai

  • Islamic State group silent as deadline passes with no swap

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    TOKYO (AP) — The fates of a Japanese journalist and Jordanian military pilot were unknown Friday, a day after the latest purported deadline for a possible prisoner swap passed with no further word from the Islamic State group holding them captive. "Government institutions are working around the clock on the case of pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh," Jordanian military spokesman Mamdouh al-Ameri said in a statement. "We will inform you of any developments in due time." He urged Jordanians not to listen to rumors. Japanese officials had no progress to report after a late night that ended with the Jordanian government saying it would only release an al-Qaida prisoner from death row if it got proof the airman was alive.




Advertisement