• Plane crash bodies removed from war zone

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — A train bearing the dead from the downed Malaysian airliner finally reached Ukrainian government-held territory Tuesday, but the pro-Russian separatists in control of the crash site showed little willingness to allow the full-scale investigation demanded by world leaders. Five days after the plane was blown out of the sky, refrigerated railcars bearing victims' bodies — gathered up after several days in the sun — rolled out of the war zone and into a weedy railyard in the city of Kharkiv. The dead will be flown to the Netherlands, the homeland of most of the victims, for identification. The Dutch government declared Wednesday a day of national mourning as the country prepared for the arriva

  • Legal marijuana milestone heads for Seattle museum

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    SEATTLE (AP) — The first recreational marijuana sold legally in Seattle will be put on display at the city's Museum of History and Industry after a woman donated part of her purchase Tuesday. Deb Greene, a 65-year-old retiree, waited all night to be first in line at the Cannabis City store when legal pot sales began in Washington on July 8. Cannabis City also donated items from its opening day, including the receipt of the first purchase. Washington and Colorado stunned much of the world by voting in November 2012 to legalize recreational marijuana for adults over 21 and to create state-licensed systems for growing, selling and taxing the pot. Sales began in Colorado on Jan. 1.

  • At least 21 dead in Iraq checkpoint car bombing

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — A suicide driver rammed his explosive-laden car into a police checkpoint in the Iraqi capital killing 21 people, including more than a dozen civilians en route to a Shiite shrine in the final days of the Islamic holy month. At least 13 people killed in the attack were civilians, according to police and hospital officials. At least 35 people were wounded — more than half of them civilians. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak with the media. The attack occurred at the entrance to Baghdad's Khazimiyah district, where many cars were en route to the Imam Al-Khadim Shrine in the lead up to the Eid feast commemorating the end of Ramadan.

  • Jakarta governor wins Indonesian presidency

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo, who captured the hearts of millions of Indonesians with his common man image, was declared the winner Tuesday of the country's presidential election, calling it a victory for all of the nation's people. A former furniture exporter known to most as "Jokowi," Widodo was the first candidate in a direct presidential election in Indonesia with no ties to the former dictator Suharto, who ruled for 30 years before being overthrown in 1998. "This is a victory for all Indonesian people," Widodo, who received 53 percent of the vote, according to the Election Commission, said in a televised speech. "We hope this victory will pave the way to build Indonesia to be an independent econom

  • Arizona bands finds wallet in Texas, locates owner

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — A band known as The Black Moods apparently pulled off a good deed. KSAZ-TV reports (http://goo.gl/JbEOYz) the Arizona band recently returned a wallet after members did some investigating to find its owner. According to the band, members found the wallet filled with cash and credit cards at a gas station in Tyler, Texas. The Black Moods is on tour throughout Texas this month. Lead singer Josh Kennedy and his band mates then used social media to find the wallet's owner and documented their quest in a video. They recently found the father of the woman who lost her wallet and handed it over in Austin, Texas. Kennedy says the band returned it because they are "firm believers in karma" and never c

  • Lax security at crash site hampers investigations

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) — When international monitors and Malaysian aviation experts arrived Tuesday at the two main sites where the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 smashed into the undulating countryside of eastern Ukraine, there was almost no perimeter tape. The only security consisted of two armed men who did not stop reporters from walking across the fields to the twisted metal. Amid the stench of decay and buzzing flies, one piece of the Boeing 777's fuselage that had previously been lying on the ground was propped up against a post.

  • 11 parents of Nigeria's abducted girls die

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — In the three months since Islamic extremists kidnapped more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls, 11 of their parents have died, town residents say. The town where the girls were kidnapped, Chibok, is cut off by militants, who have been attacking villages in the region. Seven fathers of kidnapped girls were among 51 bodies brought to the Chibok hospital after an attack on the nearby village of Kautakari this month, said a health worker who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisals by the extremists. At least four more parents have died of heart failure, high blood pressure and other illnesses that the community blames on trauma due to the mass abduction 100 days ago, said community leader Pogu Bitrus,

  • At 101, weather observer gets a place in the sun

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    BRIDGEHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — It takes only a couple of minutes, twice a day, but 101-year-old Richard Hendrickson is fiercely proud that he has done the same thing for his country and community nearly every day since Herbert Hoover was in the White House in 1930. The retired chicken and dairy farmer, whose home sits in the heart of the ritzy Hamptons, has been recording daily readings of temperature and precipitation on eastern Long Island longer than any volunteer observer in the history of the National Weather Service. The Weather Service will honor Hendrickson on Sunday by naming its 80-year service award in his honor at a ceremony at its Long Island offices in Upton.

  • Amid sanctions, France in warship sale to Russia

    Yesterday

    PARIS (AP) — France says it will go ahead with the sale of a warship to Russia despite calls for an arms embargo against the country, highlighting how Europe's strong business ties are hindering its ability to punish Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine. Western powers say Russia is supporting the insurgents in eastern Ukraine who allegedly shot down a Malaysian Airliner last week, killing all 298 people on board. European Union foreign ministers met Tuesday to consider more sanctions against Russia but agreed only to impose more asset freezes on individuals, leaving economic relations untouched. Some countries, like Britain, argue the plane crash has raised the stakes and Europe should not go soft on Russia.

  • Gaza blockade key to any Israel-Hamas truce deal

    Yesterday

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Ibrahim Zain was driven from his home by Israeli tank fire this week, but says he'd rather endure more Israel-Hamas fighting than accept an unconditional cease-fire he fears will leave in place the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Like Zain, many Gaza residents say the closure, imposed by Israel and Egypt after Hamas seized Gaza in 2007, is like a slow death: It prevents them from traveling, from importing cement to build homes and increasingly from earning enough to feed their families. "We want a good life or no life," said the unemployed 44-year-old father of nine whose small scrap metal business fell victim to the blockade last year.

  • Peace talks eyed after Israel, Hamas cease-fire

    Yesterday

    CAIRO (AP) — The U.S. and Egypt sought Tuesday to find an end to two weeks of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, and officials raised the possibility of restarting stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities as a necessary step to avoid sustained violence. It's unlikely that Washington is ready to wade back into the morass of peace negotiations that broke off last April after nearly nine months of shuttle diplomacy by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. But the new round of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants who control Gaza has reached the level of violence that U.S. officials warned last spring would happen without an enduring truce.

  • European agency urges airlines to avoid Tel Aviv

    Yesterday

    BERLIN (AP) — The European Aviation Safety Agency says it "strongly recommends" that airlines refrain from operating flights to and from Tel Aviv. The recommendation by Europe's main aviation safety body came after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration told U.S. airlines they are prohibited from flying to Israel's Ben Gurion airport for 24 hours following a Hamas rocket explosion nearby. EASA's statement Tuesday didn't name a similar timeframe, but it said the agency would "monitor the situation and advise on any update as the situation develops." European airlines including Lufthansa, Air France and Alitalia say they have already suspended all flights to Tel Aviv over safety concerns.

  • 170-foot ketchup bottle for sale in Illinois

    Yesterday

    BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Would you relish having a towering ketchup bottle? That emblem of roadside Americana could be yours if you fork over enough money. A "For Sale" sign is in front of what's billed as the "World's Largest Bottle of Catsup," the landmark that once served as a water tower in the city of Collinsville, east of St. Louis, the Belleville News-Democrat (http://bit.ly/1kPMozA) reported Tuesday. The asking price for the 65-year-old, 170-foot-tall landmark is $200,000, with the warehouse adjacent to it listed at $300,000. The landmark replicates a bottle of Brooks Old Original Rich and Tangy Catsup, which was produced in the buildings beneath the tower.

  • UK announces inquiry for Russian spy death

    Yesterday

    LONDON (AP) — The British government announced plans Tuesday for a wide-ranging public inquiry into the mysterious 2006 death of poisoned former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko. The decision, which comes at a time of rising tensions with Russia, is a breakthrough in the much-delayed probe because it means investigators can look into whether the Russian state was involved in Litvinenko's death. Here are key facts about the case. ___ WHO WAS ALEXANDER LITVINENKO? A former officer in the Russian intelligence service, Litvinenko fell out with the Russian government and became a strong critic of the Kremlin. He came to Britain in 2000 and obtained political asylum.

  • American Samoa warns about illness outbreak

    Yesterday

    PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) — American Samoa is issuing a health alert after about 100 people went to the territory's only hospital with symptoms similar to Dengue fever. The Department of Health and LBJ Medical Center officials say they detected an illness outbreak among people on the main island of Tutuila having fever, rash and joint pain in the past two weeks. Health Director Motusa Tuileama Nua says the outbreak may be from mosquito-spread diseases in the South Pacific. The alert says the diseases can cause complications including bleeding, paralysis and death. Those who develop fever and body aches with or without a rash are directed to seek medical attention.

  • Infighting as split emerges among Syrian rebels

    Yesterday

    BEIRUT (AP) — Fighters of an al-Qaida affiliate seized a northern border town in Syria from rival rebels, activists reported Tuesday, as new infighting threatened opposition gains. The Nusra Front captured the town of Haram in northern Idlib province, said Rami Abdurrahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory. The town was seized after weeks of skirmishes between the Nusra Front and their one-time allies among the Western-backed rebel groups, who once united over seeking the overthrow of President Bashar Assad. A spokesman for some Western-backed groups, Hussam al-Marie, confirmed the infighting. Another rebel group, the Hazzm Movement, said earlier this week that they would no longer work with the Nusra Front.

  • Iraq Christians flee with little more than clothes

    Yesterday

    IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi Christians who fled the northern city of Mosul rather than convert to Islam by a deadline imposed by extremist militants said they had to leave most of their belongings behind and gunmen stole much of what they did manage to take along. The comments paint a dire picture of life for the ancient community that has long struggled to survive in the midst of a mainly Muslim country. Most Christians left Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, after the Islamic State group and other Sunni militants captured the city on June 10 — the opening move in the insurgents' blitz across northern and western Iraq. As a religious minority, Christians were wary of how they would be treated by hard-line Islamic militants.

  • Freida Pinto speaks at girls' rights summit in UK

    Yesterday

    LONDON (AP) — Actress Freida Pinto of "Slumdog Millionaire" fame has joined forces with girls' rights campaigners in calling for an end to the practice of female genital mutilation. The Indian actress, an ambassador for an international children's development organization, called Tuesday for more progress to abolish the practice as she addressed Britain's inaugural "Girl Summit." UNICEF, the United Nations' children agency, said some progress has been made on ending female genital mutilation, most commonly practiced in Africa and the Middle East. It is still highly prevalent in Egypt, Sudan, Mali and Somalia. The agency and Britain's government hope that the summit will help galvanize action to end the practice within

  • Dutch declare day of national mourning

    Yesterday

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch government has declared Wednesday a day of national mourning as the country prepares for the arrival of the first bodies of victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The country's king and queen will be at an air base in Eindhoven to greet two military planes that are scheduled to arrive around 4 p.m. (1400 GMT) Wednesday carrying the first victims' remains. The government said Tuesday that church bells can be rung during the day and for the five minutes preceding the flights' arrival. Dignitaries will then observe a minute's silence and "everybody can join in.

  • Driver stops to help ducklings, gets ticket

    Yesterday

    NEWFIELDS, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire woman who called police after stopping in a highway median to help some stranded ducklings plans to fight a $44 ticket. Hallie Bibeau of Newfields says she was driving east on Route 101 on Friday when she had to slam on her brakes to avoid hitting the ducklings. She says their mother and several of the ducklings were hit by a car. The mother died. The 33-year-old Bibeau called 911, got out of her car and captured the two surviving ducklings. A state trooper issued Bibeau a ticket for stopping in the median. Police say median stops are for emergencies, and they didn't consider this to be one. Officials say the ducklings were taken to a wildlife rescue in Maine, where one of