• Libya ministers resign over militia fighting

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — The official Libyan news agency says six ministers have resigned after accusing the government of taking sides in escalating battles among rival militias. LANA, quoting TV network al-Nabaa, on Wednesday said the ministers of industry, labor, planning, education and water resources, and the state minister for the affairs of the wounded, have submitted their resignation. It quoted Industry Minister Suleiman al-Taif as saying the government was taking sides in the conflict, with the prime minister acting "without their knowledge." The North African country has been convulsed by fighting between mainly Islamist militias and their opponents, including a renegade general who is battling Islamic extremists in the east

  • Experts find 283 DNA samples from MH17 site

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Experts working to identify the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 have gathered DNA samples from 283 people and have positively identified 173. Wim Heijnen of the Netherlands Forensic Institute said Wednesday the DNA samples do not all correspond to a victim's identification. Some of the samples could be from workers who gathered the bodies where the jet was shot down in eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board died when the plane heading to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam was shot out of the sky on July 17 over an area controlled by pro-Russia separatists. Scores of forensic experts have been working for weeks to identify bodies and incomplete sets of remains gathered from the scene and

  • Pakistan minister urges opposition to ease demands

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Cabinet minister on Wednesday urged Pakistan's two key opposition figures leading mass rallies outside parliament to back off their demand for the prime minister's resignation in ongoing talks with the government. The call by Railways Minister Saad Rafiq came as authorities and the two opposition leaders — cricket-star-turned-politician Imran Khan and fiery cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri — were set to continue negotiations later Wednesday. The negotiators are trying to find a peaceful solution to a lingering crisis that has raised fears of political instability in this Islamic nation, which has largely been ruled by dictators.

  • Global trash burning more polluting than expected

    Yesterday

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Rampant trash-burning is throwing more pollution and toxic particles into the air than governments are reporting, according to a scientific study estimating more than 40 percent of the world's garbage is burned. The study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology attempts the first comprehensive assessment of global trash-burning data, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, mercury and tiny particulate matter that can dim the sun's rays or clog human lungs. "Doing this study made me realize how little information we really have about garbage burning and waste management," said lead researcher Christine Wiedinmyer of the government-funded National Center for Atmospheric Resear

  • Scottish businesses: no case for independence

    Yesterday

    LONDON (AP) — A group of 130 business leaders in Scotland have signed an open letter arguing that the case for independence from Britain has not been made. The leaders say much is at stake but uncertainties surround a number of key issues should Scotland vote to break away from Britain on Sept. 18. The leaders say vital issues such as what currency the country would use remain unresolved. Questions also remain on taxes, pensions and the country's membership in the European Union. Signatories include top executives in HSBC Holdings, the Co-operative Bank and Cairn Energy as well as the heads of the largest producers of whisky, including brands Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark and Glenfiddich.

  • Malaysia Airlines set for shakeup after disasters

    Yesterday

    HONG KONG (AP) — Malaysia is preparing to unveil the latest overhaul of its beleaguered state-owned airline, which is reeling from twin disasters months apart that killed hundreds of passengers. Khazanah Nasional, the state investment company that owns 69 percent of Malaysia Airlines, said in early August it will announce details of the overhaul by the end of this month. Malaysian news reports said the announcement will come Friday. Analysts expect Khazanah to slash jobs, drop money losing routes to Europe and China, and replace top management. A substantial revamp has long been on the cards for Malaysia Airlines, which was struggling with chronic financial problems even before it was hit by the double disasters this

  • Annual tomato battle leaves Spanish town red

    Yesterday

    BUNOL, Spain (AP) — The streets of an eastern Spanish town are awash with red pulp as thousands of people pelt each other with tomatoes in the annual "Tomatina" battle that has become a major tourist attraction. At the annual fiesta in Bunol on Wednesday, trucks dumped 125 tons of ripe tomatoes for some 22,000 participants —many from abroad — to throw during the hour-long morning festivities. This was the second year non-resident participants were charged — 10 euros ($13) — to take part. The town of about 20,000 people began charging to help pay off debts of some 5.5 million euros. The event was sold out weeks ahead. The event was inspired by a food fight between local children in 1945 in the tomato-producing

  • Long Island police seek forklift thief

    Yesterday

    RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities on Long Island are asking for the public's help in finding a forklift thief. The bright yellow vehicle went missing Monday between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. from its parking spot near a building in Riverhead. One or more people used a flatbed tow truck with a white cab to remove the Caterpillar forklift. Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call the confidential Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-220-TIPS.

  • Australia and Indonesia mending intel differences

    Yesterday

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia and Indonesia have reached a new agreement on how they'll use their intelligence operations in the future, even settling their disagreement on its name. The agreement their foreign ministers are scheduled to sign Thursday on the Indonesian resort island of Bali is designed to mend a rift sparked last November by accusations that Australians tapped the cellphones of the Indonesian president, his wife and eight ministers and officials in 2009. The document with the ungainly title of "Australia-Indonesia Joint Understanding on a Code of Conduct" was insisted upon by the Indonesians before diplomatic relations are normalized.

  • Golfer aces par-4 hole in Kuala Lumpur tournament

    Yesterday

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian golfer Mohd Nazri Zain had a rare hole-in-one on a par-4 hole during the SapuraKencana National Qualifier tournament on Wednesday. Zain holed out on the water-lined 289-yard 16th hole on the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club's west course during the tournament, which awards the winner a place in the $7 million CIMB Classic. Zain finished with a 2-over 73 Wednesday and in 20th place, 15 strokes behind playoff winner Danny Chia of Malaysia. There has been only one hole-in-one on a par-4 on the PGA Tour, by American golfer Andrew Magee at the TPC Scottsdale during the FBR Open, now Phoenix Open, in 2001.

  • Archaeology Month to focus on utopian societies

    Yesterday

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — This year's Indiana Archaeology Month in September will focus on utopian communities that settled in the state. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources' Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology says at least three utopian communities settled in southwestern Indiana in the early 19th century. A religious group known as the Shakers established the community of Busro or West Union in Knox County. The religious Harmonie Society, also called the Harmonists, and later the secular Owenites formed settlements at New Harmony in Posey County. The DNR says archaeological investigations have revealed a great deal about how people lived in such communal societies.

  • Conflicts weighing heavily on German consumers

    Yesterday

    BERLIN (AP) — A closely-watched survey shows economic expectations among German consumers have "completely collapsed" over concerns about the conflicts in Iraq, Israel and Ukraine. The GfK institute said Wednesday its latest index of economic expectations slid 35.5 points in August to 10.4 — the largest one-month decline since the survey began in 1980. Its headline forward-looking consumer climate indicator also fell to 8.6 for September from 8.9 in August. In addition to the conflicts, GfK says "the gradually accelerating spiral of sanctions in Russia have now also had a negative impact on the previously extremely optimistic economic outlook of Germans." Europe's largest economy shrank a quarterly rate of 0.2 perce

  • Afghanistan's one-time booming war economy slows

    Yesterday

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Rows of dusty trucks and used cars sit unsold in Afghanistan's capital, where real estate agents bemoan a lack of sales and international businessmen no longer frequent top hotels. Even government employees nervously await each payday, worried the next might be delayed. Afghanistan's economy, vastly supported by international military spending and aid since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to topple the Taliban, finds itself struggling on the precipice of what could be an uncertain future. NATO forces plan to pull out at the end of the year, insecurity is rising as international aid falls and a drawn-out election battle threatens to destabilize the country.

  • Pacquiao to help set up boxing academy in China

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Manny Pacquiao is setting up a boxing institute in China and believes the country of 1.4 billion people can produce professional world champions. Pacquiao said Wednesday that he has partnered with a Chinese company and the Chinese government to set up an institute in his name, with the aim of imparting the experience that has seen him win eight world titles. He was speaking from Shanghai where he is promoting his Nov. 22 fight against Chris Algieri for a WBO welterweight title in Macau. He will be defending the welterweight crown he won in a rematch earlier last year with Timothy Bradley, avenging his 2012 loss. Pacquiao, 35, said the Manny Pacquiao Boxing Education Institute will "start in

  • Venezuela battles obesity amid dearth of good food

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Venezuela's socialist government is sounding the alarm about growing waistlines in a country where record food shortages are making it harder to put healthy meals on the table, prompting many people to fill up on empty calories. Authorities launched a public relations campaign Tuesday to halt a steady rise in obesity that threatens to lead to a costly, public health crisis if left unchecked. Under the slogan "Get informed, eat healthy" President Nicolas Maduro's government hopes over the next five years to cut in half the nearly 40 percent rate of obesity among Venezuelans, a condition putting them at greater risk of heart disease and diabetes. According to the World Health Organization, 67.

  • US criticizes Vietnam convictions of dissidents

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — The United States has expressed alarm over prison terms handed down against three Vietnamese democracy activists for obstructing traffic. Human rights groups have described the charges used to convict Bui Thi Minh Hang, Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh and Nguyen Van Minh to 3 years, 2 years and 2 1/2 years respectively on Tuesday as "bogus." The three were arrested earlier this year as they rode motorbikes to visit a former political prisoner in Dong Thap province. The U.S. Embassy late Tuesday said "the use of public disorder laws by Vietnamese authorities to imprison government critics for peacefully expressing their political views is alarming.

  • Peru police seize 3.3 tons of cocaine

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    HUANCHACO, Peru (AP) — Peruvian police say they have seized at least 3.3 tons of cocaine, the year's biggest haul, hidden in a shipment of coal that was bound for Belgium and Spain. Counter-narcotics police chief Vicente Romero flew reporters from the capital to see the drugs Tuesday near the northern port of Trujillo. He said the house in the countryside holding the cocaine was raided the previous day after a six-week joint operation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that included wiretapping. He said two Mexicans and five Peruvians were arrested and that a Mexican cartel was believed to be behind the operation. Romero said it was the biggest cocaine seizure this year in Peru, which in 2012 overtook

  • Australia and US to share information on travelers

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian and U.S. governments signed an information-sharing agreement Wednesday to bolster each country's ability to confirm identities of foreign travelers. The agreement for the sharing of visa and immigration information, which was signed at Parliament House, will enable two-way information sharing between the countries, the Australian government said in a statement. The agreement comes as Australia tightens its border security to prevent Australian jihadists from joining Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. A Sydney man slipped out of the country using his brother's passport this month, but was detained on arrival in the United Arab Emirates and deported. A notorious terrorist left Sydney in

  • Fonterra to invest in China infant formula company

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra said Wednesday it's forming a partnership with China's Beingmate to help meet growing demand for infant formula in the world's most populous nation. Fonterra, the world's largest dairy exporter, said it plans to take a stake of up to 20 percent in Beingmate, an infant food company based in Hangzhou. Fonterra said the two companies also plan to establish a joint venture in Australia to purchase Fonterra's Darnum plant. Fonterra said Beingmate will own 51 percent of the joint venture to satisfy Chinese regulatory requirements and Fonterra will supply the plant with raw milk. Fonterra said its total investment in the partnership would be up to 615 million Ne

  • Rape trial starts for Indonesia school janitor

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A closed-door trial began Tuesday for the first of five janitors accused of raping a kindergartner in a bathroom at a prestigious international school in Indonesia that is facing a storm of controversy following more abuse allegations. The custodians contracted to work at the school were arrested in April — five men accused of attacking the boy and a woman accused as an accomplice. Police said one man committed suicide while in custody after drinking bathroom cleanser.