• Erdogan: no normalizing of ties with Israel

    Updated: 11 min ago

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's president on Friday called on Israel to halt its offensive on the Gaza Strip and not to carry out a ground incursion, while the prime minister said there can be no normalizing of Turkish-Israeli ties as long as Israel's actions continue. "I would like to remind Israel that (a ground operation) would lead to dangerous developments and sow the seeds of hatred," President Abdullah Gul said on his way out of a mosque following Friday prayers.

  • Iraqi Kurds take over 2 northern oil fields

    Updated: 13 min ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Kurdish security forces took over two major oil fields outside the disputed northern city of Kirkuk before dawn Friday, the Oil Ministry said, the latest move in a deepening a dispute with the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said Kurdish troops known as peshmerga also expelled the local workers from the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oil fields. He declared the takeover "a violation to the constitution" and warned that it poses "a threat to national unity." There was no immediate comment from authorities in the Kurdish self-rule region of northern Iraq. The already difficult relationship between the Kurds and Iraq's central government has sharply deteriorated in r

  • India village council accused of ordering rape

    Updated: 13 min ago

    NEW DELHI (AP) — A 14-year-old girl was dragged into a forest and raped on the orders of a village council in remote eastern India in retaliation for a sex assault blamed on her brother, her family and police said Friday. Jitendra Singh, a top local police official, said two men have been arrested in the rape case. They include the village headman and the main suspect, identified as the husband of the woman who was allegedly molested by the victim's brother. The victim's brother has also been arrested on charges of molestation. The girl's mother told CNN-IBN news channel that she pleaded with the council and other villagers when they ordered the rape but no one listened. "We kept begging them. We begged with fol

  • Report: At least 30 Ukraine troops dead in attack

    Updated: 15 min ago

    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian Interior Ministry official said at least 30 servicemen were killed Friday after pro-Russia rebels fired on them with missiles. Zoryan Shkiryak, an adviser to the interior minister, said authorities would react swiftly to punish the perpetrators. "They will be destroyed or captured and be made answerable to Ukrainian law," Shkiryak said. Defense Ministry spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov said the attack was on a forward base in a village near the Russian border and confirmed there had been heavy casualties, but did not give any specific figure. The base was located near one of three border crossings whose closure Russian officials had announced Friday.

  • Syrian rebels attack defense minister's village

    Updated: 16 min ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian activists say rebels have attacked the village of the country's defense minister and captured parts of it. Activists say the attack began Friday with a suicide bombing that targeted a checkpoint in the village of Rahjan in the central province of Hama. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says rebels then entered parts of the village, killing 18 soldiers and pro-government gunmen. An activist in Hama who goes by the name of Muhannad al-Muhammad confirmed that rebels, including members of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, entered the village. Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij is from the village and has played a major role in fighting rebels since he took offic

  • Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

    Updated: 23 min ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — The Palestinian death toll from Israel's massive air campaign in Gaza topped 100 people Friday as rockets fired by militants reached deeper into Israel — and for the first time in the fighting, struck from neighboring Lebanon. Gaza militants already have fired more than 550 rockets against Israel in the offensive. The Israeli military says it has hit more than 1,100 targets, mostly what it identified as rocket-launching sites, bombarding the territory on average every five minutes. In Gaza, an Israeli airstrike Friday hit the home of a well-known Islamic Jihad leader. Gaza health officials said strikes overnight killed a total of eight people, raising the death toll to at least 98.

  • Polish government survives vote of confidence

    Updated: 34 min ago

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's center-right government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk survived a confidence vote on Friday that was called by the opposition over leaks of embarrassing conversations by some leaders. The vote went 236-155 in the government's favor in the Sejm, or lower house of parliament. The result is a setback for Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of the nationalist Law and Justice party, who called for the vote. Kaczynski accuses Tusk of dragging Poland into a political crisis and of general incompetence in guiding the country of 38 million. Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz survived a separate confidence vote also called by the opposition.

  • A look at who's running in Slovenia vote

    Updated: 36 min ago

    LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Slovenia is holding an early parliamentary election on Sunday to choose its third government in three years. The EU-member country was forced into a vote after the outgoing prime minister, Alenka Bratusek, lost a power struggle within her party and resigned. A new party is leading in opinion polls but appears far from majority support, and another coalition government is the likely outcome. Once the most prosperous of the eastern European states, the eurozone nation plunged into financial turmoil during the EU debt crisis. It has managed to stabilize Slovenia's banks without resorting to an international bailout.

  • India asks UN group to vacate rent-free office

    Updated: 43 min ago

    NEW DELHI (AP) — India's new Hindu nationalist government has asked a U.N. body overseeing military activity in divided Kashmir to vacate a government bungalow in the heart of the nation's capital that it has used rent-free for 40 years. India and Pakistan both claim Kashmir in its entirety, and India discourages any intervention or criticism in the dispute. The two countries fought two of their three wars since independence in 1947 over Kashmir. A U.N. official confirmed that the U.N. Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan was asked to vacate the bungalow. "No reason was given. We were asked to vacate the bungalow," Maj. Nicholas Diaz said Friday at the bungalow, which is around the corner from India's Supreme

  • Poachers kill elephant for tusks in Thai sanctuary

    Updated: 50 min ago

    BANGKOK (AP) — Poachers have killed and sawed the tusks off a 50-year-old elephant that performed in Thai royal processions and was featured in Oliver Stone's 2004 movie "Alexander," the manager of the conservation center where the animal was kept said Friday. Laithongrian Meephan of the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal said the elephant was found dead Friday morning. Poachers had apparently poisoned it before cutting off its tusks. The center breeds and trains elephants, and also serves as a retirement home for aging beasts. Some of them take part in ceremonial shows for members of Thailand's royal family and tourists in Ayutthaya, the country's ancient capital.

  • Bosnian mom buries 2 sons 19 years after massacre

    Updated: 56 min ago

    SREBRENICA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — After 19 years, Hajrija Selimovic finally has a place to mourn her family. Selimovic buried her two sons Friday next to her husband's white tombstone in a cemetery for the victims of Srebrenica, Europe's worst massacre since World War II. The three were among the 8,000 Muslim men and boys killed when Serb forces overran the eastern Bosnian town on July 11, 1995. Samir was 23 and Nermin 19 when they were shot by an execution squad. The remains of Srebrenica victims are still being found in mass graves to this day and are being identified using DNA technology. Every July 11, more are buried at a memorial center near the town. "They were victims of monstrous nationalism," Cami

  • Inventor pushes solar panels for roads, highways

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The solar panels that Idaho inventor Scott Brusaw has built aren't meant for rooftops. They are meant for roads, driveways, parking lots, bike trails and, eventually, highways. Brusaw, an electrical engineer, says the hexagon-shaped panels can withstand the wear and tear that comes from inclement weather and vehicles, big and small, to generate electricity. "We need to rebuild our infrastructure," said Brusaw, the head of Solar Roadways, based in Sandpoint, Idaho, about 90 miles northeast of Spokane, Washington. His idea contains "something for everyone to like." "Environmentalists like it," he said. "Climate change deniers like it because it creates jobs.

  • Energy officials discuss German waste in SC

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — U.S. Energy Department officials say the German government is paying researchers at the Savannah River Site near Aiken to study how to handle waste that might be sent to South Carolina. The research is focused on how to separate materials in the waste. Gary DeLeon with the Energy Department says if the material is processed, an easier way is needed to handle it. DeLeon says a method has been developed to separate the highly enriched uranium. It could be blended to make fuel for nuclear reactors. The United States has a longstanding program to bring back nuclear waste created by American-generated atomic material that sent to foreign countries for research.

  • Indian prime minister to meet Obama in September

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW DELHI (AP) — India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet President Barack Obama in Washington in September during a visit aimed at restoring strained relations between the countries. At a meeting in New Delhi, Modi told U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns that he was accepting an invitation from Obama, the prime minister's office said in a statement Friday. Modi said ties between the two democracies would be a powerful force for peace, stability and prosperity in the world. "Burns conveyed President Obama's desire to strengthen economic relations" between the countries, the statement said.

  • UN: Europe holds 4 percent of Syrian refugees

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency says Europe has taken in 123,600 Syrians since the conflict began in March 2011, including over 11,000 who were rescued off the coast of Italy this year. The agency's tally shows just 4 percent of all the 2.9 million Syrian refugees wind up in Europe, mostly in Sweden, Germany, Bulgaria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The bulk of Syria's refugees flee for neighboring countries. Agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters Friday in Geneva that European governments must do more to welcome and protect the growing numbers of Syrian refugees that are seeking safety in countries beyond the Mideast.

  • Portuguese bank says it's healthy, markets recover

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Senior Portuguese officials gave assurances Friday about the soundness of Portugal's biggest bank, seeking to defuse tension after world markets went into a spin over fears that Banco Espirito Santo's troubles could reignite Europe's financial difficulties. Banco Espirito Santo also tried to allay investor concerns that it is at risk from potential defaults on loans it made to ailing companies in its financial and industrial group. It said late Thursday it has a 2.1 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) cash cushion which is enough to cover its exposure to other Espirito Santo group companies and keep it within regulatory requirements.

  • Police helicopter crashes in Macedonia, killing 4

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — A Macedonian police helicopter crashed overnight during a training flight near the southern town of Strumica, killing all four people on board, authorities said Friday. Interior Minister Gordana Jankulovska said the four crew members were all pilots, each with more than 30 years of flight experience. They were on a night training flight when the MI-17B helicopter hit a 120-meter (394-foot) -high television transmitter near Strumica, about 190 kilometers (120 miles) south of the capital Skopje. "This is the one of the saddest and darkest days in the Interior Ministry's history," a tearful Jankulovska told reporters in the capital, Skopje.

  • In Afghanistan, Kerry seeks path in voting crisis

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry sought Friday to broker a deal between Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates as a bitter dispute over last month's runoff election risked spiraling out of control. Kerry, who arrived predawn in Kabul on a hastily arranged visit, met with former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah as well as the current leader, President Hamid Karzai. The objective was to convince both candidates to hold off on declaring victory or trying to set up a government until the United Nations can conduct an audit of extensive fraud allegations in the voting. "We are in a very, very critical moment for Afghanistan," Kerry told reporte

  • 4 foreign ministers confirmed at Iran nuke talks

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    VIENNA (AP) — Three European powers and the U.S. have confirmed that their foreign ministers will join Iran nuclear talks this weekend in an effort to advance the stalled negotiations. But the Itar-Tass news agency reported Friday that their Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, isn't coming. That could lessen chances of success, because Moscow often acts as a bridge between Washington and Tehran at the talks. Foreign ministers from Britain, France and Germany are expected in Vienna by Sunday. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to arrive Saturday. The four hope to lessen significant disagreements hindering attempts to agree on long-term curbs on Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for ending sanctions on

  • Europe stocks rebound from bank scare; Asia muted

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    MUMBAI, India (AP) — European stock markets rebounded Friday after slumping on worries about the soundness of a bank in Portugal, while trading in Asia was muted over the specter of more financial turmoil in Europe. Markets worldwide had fallen Thursday because of jitters about the financial stability of Portugal's Espirito Santo International, which reportedly missed a debt payment this week and was cited for accounting irregularities, echoing issues that sparked Europe's debt crisis four years ago. Germany's DAX was up 0.1 percent to 9,666.12 and the CAC-40 in France rose 0.5 percent to 4,320.68. The FTSE 100 in London gained 0.3 percent to 6,688.79. The euro rose slightly to $1.