• Soldiers' rights activist jailed in Russia

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    MOSCOW (AP) — A veteran activist who investigated the deaths and disappearances of Russian soldiers in Ukraine has been jailed, an advocacy group said Saturday. Ten Russian troops were captured in August in eastern Ukraine amid fighting between pro-Moscow separatists and Ukrainian troops after weeks of Moscow denying involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. Authorities insisted the captured soldiers got lost while patrolling the border, and the deaths were accidental and happened in Russia. The Soldiers' Mothers of St. Petersburg, a highly respected non-governmental organization with a long history of working to defend the rights of soldiers, said Saturday that its colleague in southern Russia who was investigating the deaths

  • Prof with 4 beetles named after him has 1 more hit

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    FARGO, N.D. (AP) — They may not be John, Paul, Ringo and George, but four of the less musical kind of beetle bear Allan Ashworth's name. Now a non-beetle has joined the group (and no, it's not Yoko). Two Chilean researchers at North Dakota State University's entomology laboratory recently identified a new species of damsel bug among the insects Ashworth collected during his many trips to their South American homeland. They named it "Nabis ashworthi" in honor of Ashworth, a retired distinguished professor of geology at the school who already has four beetle species named after him. Entomology doctoral student Eduardo Faundez and research assistant Mariom Carvajal, a freshman majoring in microbiology, found the new species wh

  • UW's Frost accepts 2-year foundation job

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — University of Wyoming geology professor and administrator Carol Frost has accepted a two-year appointment with the National Science Foundation. Frost will serve as director of the foundation's Earth Sciences Division starting Dec. 15. The foundation says Frost will serve as its principal spokeswoman in the area of earth sciences, directing all Earth Sciences Division activities. Frost says her appointment is an opportunity for her to contribute to the nation's science and education mission at the highest level as well as learn new capabilities and skills. Frost will retain her UW faculty position and will return periodically during the next two years to maintain her research program at Wyomi

  • Conservatives gaining force in Brazil Congress

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — With its Carnival reputation and skin-baring beach life, Brazil may look like a liberal bastion. But unease over a worsening economy and deteriorating public safety, plus a backlash against recent gay-rights gains, are propelling a conservative rise that will shape the next administration, regardless of who wins the presidency. The general election held earlier this month saw a greater share of Brazil's National Congress seats go to various conservative caucuses, which now control nearly 60 percent of the 513 seats in the lower house.

  • India politician jailed for graft freed on bail

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Southern India's powerful politician Jayaram Jayalalitha was released on bail Saturday, 22 days after being convicted of corruption and sentenced to four years behind bars. The 65-year-old former film star walked out of a prison in the southern city of Bangalore. Jayalalitha was forced to step down as the highest elected official in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, after a Bangalore court last month found her guilty of possessing wealth disproportionate to her income. The Supreme Court on Friday granted her bail, after she argued that she needed medical attention for diabetes and high blood pressure. She has also asked a lower court to suspend her sentence while she appeals her conviction.

  • Polish official: alleged spies worked for Russia

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A high-ranking Polish army officer and a civilian put under arrest in Poland on espionage charges worked for Russian military intelligence, a Polish lawmaker said. The two men were detained for questioning on Wednesday and have been put under arrest for three months while their cases are investigated further. The media say that one of them is an army colonel and the other is a lawyer with Polish and Russian passports who had some access to lawmakers and to energy security issues. Member of the parliamentary commission for the security services, Marek Biernacki, said late Friday that both worked for the Russian military intelligence.

  • Williams up against youth in WTA finals

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    SINGAPORE (AP) — Serena Williams will play two of the tour's young rising stars in the round-robin stage of this year's WTA finals in Singapore. The draw Saturday placed top-seeded Williams in the Red Group with 23-year-old Simona Halep and 20-year-old Eugenie Bouchard as well as the more experienced Ana Ivanovic, who has beaten the American only once in eight matches. "I don't care who I play, to be perfectly honest with you. You can put me against anybody at this point, I'm ready," said the top-ranked Williams, whose appearance in Singapore was in doubt after she pulled out of the China Open tournament earlier this month with a knee injury. "I really can't wait for my match. I wish I had a match tomorrow.

  • Bombings kill 4 security troops in Afghanistan

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide car bomber killed three Afghan security force troops Saturday as a roadside bomb killed a district police chief, authorities said. The car bombing happened in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province, police commander Ghulam Sakhi Ghafori said. He said the blast on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand, killed two police officers and a soldier and also wounded one civilian and five soldiers. The roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan's eastern Khost province, killing the district police chief, a statement released by the provincial governor's office said. The statement added that the blast, near the city of Khost, wounded three police officers and a civilian.

  • Iraq lawmakers approve nominees for interior, defense ministers amid Islamic State group fight

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq lawmakers approve nominees for interior, defense ministers amid Islamic State group fight.

  • Lebanon pulled into war with Islamic State group

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    BEIRUT (AP) — With all eyes on the Islamic State group's onslaught in Iraq and Syria, a less conspicuous but potentially just as explosive front line with the extremists is emerging in Lebanon, where Lebanese soldiers and Shiite Hezbollah guerrillas are increasingly pulled into deadly fighting with the Sunni militants along the country's border with Syria. The U.S.

  • Prominent Thai scholar faces anti-monarchy charge

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    BANGKOK (AP) — One of Thailand's most prominent scholars is the target of a criminal complaint for comments he made about a Thai king who died more than 400 years ago. Sulak Sivaraksa, 82, was cited by two retired senior army officers on charges of lese majeste, or insulting the monarchy. If convicted, he could be imprisoned for up to 15 years. In Thailand, anyone can file a lese majeste complaint with police, and the charge has frequently been used as a weapon to harass political enemies. The complaint, filed Thursday, comes during a period of heightened nationalism under a military-installed administration that took power in a coup in May that ousted an elected government.

  • Germany arrests 2 suspected IS supporters

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors say they've arrested two men suspected of supporting the Islamic State group and searched the homes of several others. Federal prosecutors said the two were arrested Saturday in the western city of Aachen. They were identified only as Tunisian citizen Kamel Ben Yahia S. and Russian national Yusup G. because of German privacy rules. The Tunisian is accused of providing clothing worth over 1,100 euros ($1,400) and 3,400 euros in cash to IS, and smuggling a 17-year-old boy from Germany to Syria to join it. The Russian is accused of participating in the smuggling. Six others suspected of helping them had their homes searched. One was temporarily detained.

  • German train drivers launch 2-day strike

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    BERLIN (AP) — Train drivers at Germany's national railway have started a two-day strike after their union rejected a new pay offer in a bitter dispute complicated by rivalry between unions. The GDL union called members out on strike from early Saturday morning until early Monday morning, its second walkout this week. GDL wants a 5 percent pay increase and shorter working hours. A bigger sticking point is its demand to negotiate for other staff traditionally represented by a rival union. National railway Deutsche Bahn says it offered a raise of 5 percent over 30 months on Friday for the drivers but won't accept rival pay deals for other employees. GDL rejected what it called a "sham offer.

  • China, Vietnam patch ties after territory disputes

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    BEIJING (AP) — China and Vietnam agreed to resume military ties and better manage their maritime disputes in the first signs that tensions over territorial claims could be easing. Despite fraternal ties between their ruling Communist parties, relations between the two countries grew tense this year after China deployed an oil rig near the Paracel Islands, which are also claimed by Hanoi. The vessels of the two sides rammed each other near the rig, and there were deadly anti-China riots in several industrial parks in Vietnam, leading to an exodus of thousands of Chinese workers.

  • S. Korea concert planner found dead after 16 die

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean man involved in planning an outdoor pop concert where 16 people were killed after falling through a ventilation grate was found dead Saturday in an apparent suicide, officials said, as doctors treated eight others facing life-threatening injuries from the disaster. The man, 37, an employee of the Gyeonggi Institute of Science and Technology Promotion, was found dead at around 7 a.m. in Seongnam, the city south of Seoul where Friday's accident occurred, said city spokesman Kim Nam-jun. The site of his death was not far from where 16 people watching a performance by 4Minute, a girls band that is popular across Asia, were killed when the ventilation grate they were standing on collapsed

  • Indonesia's new president faces tough early tests

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Rebooting a slowing economy in a nation of 250 million where inequality is rising, a looming decision on raising fuel prices and vulnerability to any U.S. interest rate hikes would be enough to tax any incoming president. But Indonesia's Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who takes office Monday, must also find a way to work with a powerful and well-funded opposition that could block moves to address the challenges holding back the country's rise as an emerging market powerhouse. At least eight heads of state and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will attend the inauguration, a sign of Indonesia's regional and international clout.

  • Philippine militants free 2 kidnapped Germans

    Updated: Sat, Oct 18, 2014

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Two Germans freed after being held for six months in the southern Philippines by a militant group that threatened to behead one of them if ransom was not paid were flown to Manila on Saturday under the care of their embassy, a Philippine military spokesman said. Following their release Friday, Stefan Okonek and Henrike Dielen were flown to Manila under arrangements made by the German Embassy, said Maj. Gen. Domingo Tutaan. The two have not spoken publicly about their ordeal and German diplomats could not be reached for comment. Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin confirmed their released late Friday, just hours after the Abu Sayyaf militant group had threatened to behead Okonek.

  • Nepal official: Most stranded trekkers rescued

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Most of the trekkers stranded by deadly blizzards in northern Nepal have been rescued or moved to safer ground, but efforts to reach those left behind will continue along the popular route where they were trekking, an official said Saturday. At least 29 people were killed this past week in a series of snowstorms and avalanches that struck at the height of the October trekking season. The dead and injured include foreign travelers as well as Nepalese guides and local villagers caught in the storms.

  • Activists: Islamic State group may have warplanes

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Syrian activists say the Islamic State militant group has captured some MiG fighter jets and is test-flying the warplanes in Syria with the help of former Iraqi air force pilots. Friday's account by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights could not be independently confirmed, and U.S. officials said they had no reports of the militants flying jets in support of their fighters in Iraq and Syria. The Observatory said the planes, seen flying over the Jarrah air base in the eastern countryside of Syria's Aleppo province this week, are believed to be of the MiG-21 and MiG-23 variety.

  • 16 dead in accident at South Korean concert

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Sixteen people watching an outdoor pop concert in South Korea fell 20 meters (60 feet) to their deaths Friday when a ventilation grate they were standing on collapsed, officials said. Photos of the scene in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, showed a deep concrete shaft under the broken grate. Seongnam city spokesman Kim Nam-jun announced the deaths in a televised briefing and said 11 other people were seriously injured. A man who was involved in planning the concert was found dead early Saturday in an apparent suicide. Fire officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of office rules, said the victims were standing on the grate while watching an outdoor performance by girls' band 4Minut