• Mexico: 2 burned bodies found in congressman's SUV

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP) — Two charred bodies were discovered Tuesday inside a burned-out vehicle in which a congressman and his driver were kidnapped at gunpoint the previous day, Mexican authorities said. Zacatecas state prosecutor Arturo Nahle said that although the vehicle was completely burned, the license plates left "no doubt" that it was the congressman's SUV. He said DNA testing was being done on the remains to determine whether they belonged to Gabriel Gomez Michel, a member of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and his driver.

  • German-US reporter held in Somalia is freed

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A German-American journalist who was kidnapped in Somalia more than two years ago was freed Tuesday, according to a Somali police official and a leader of the Somali pirates who had held him. The journalist, identified by the German weekly Der Spiegel as 45-year-old Michael Scott Moore, was immediately flown to Kenya's capital, Nairobi, after being freed, Somali police official Mohamed Hassan said by phone from the town of Galkayo in north-central Somalia. Some of the pirates who held Moore reached a deal with negotiators after a ransom was paid, said Bile Hussein, a pirate commander in the Somali coastal town of Hobyo.

  • Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq are just the start

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The one-two-three punch of American and Arab airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq was just the beginning, President Barack Obama and other leaders declared Tuesday. They promised a sustained campaign showcasing a rare U.S.-Arab partnership aimed at Muslim extremists. At the same time, in fresh evidence of how the terrorist threat continues to expand and mutate, the U.S. on its own struck a new al-Qaida cell that the Pentagon said was "nearing the execution phase" of a direct attack on the U.S. or Europe. "This is not America's fight alone," Obama said of the military campaign against the Islamic State group.

  • Turkey considers military role against ISIL

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday he is considering expanding support for Western and Arab operations against the Islamic State group to include military involvement. His comments Tuesday to Turkish reporters in New York mark a potential shift in Turkey's position on international efforts to fight the group, hours after the U.S. and Arab allies launched airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria. Erdogan spoke on the sidelines of an annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations a day after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he expects a more robust role for Turkey in the fight against the Islamic State group after Ankara secured the release of 49 Turkish hostages that w

  • Nearly-cooked models start Paris Fashion Week

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — Ninety-three shows, nine days, one fashion-crazed city. The world's travelling circus of fashion editors, buyers and celebrities waved goodbye to the cobbled streets of Milan and cried "Bonjour Paris" on Tuesday, bracing itself for the last, most colorful furlong of spring-summer 2015 ready-to-wear shows. Tuesday's a day for the up-and-coming fashion designers and stars of tomorrow. And it can pack some surprises. Anthony Vaccarello, who has dressed Gwyneth Paltrow, gave himself an ego boost by plastering his name in huge letters all over his clothes, while newcomer house Anrealage tried to cook its models for the sake of art. As they say, "fashion has no mercy." Here are show reports and high

  • Syrian refugees in Turkey reach 150,000

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    SURUC, Turkey (AP) — Refugees streaming into Turkey from Syria say their home city, once bustling with 400,000 citizens, has become a ghost town, emptied of all people but a few thousand fighters trying to hold off an onslaught by Islamic militants. The masses fleeing the brutal offensive by the Islamic State group on the city of Kobani, looming just across the border from Turkey, are part of a wave that has reached 150,000 people since Thursday. Turkey had taken in well over a million Syrian refugees from the 3 ½-year-old conflict already before the latest wave, but this influx is the largest yet, according to the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR.

  • EU increases Syria refugee aid by $280 million

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is increasing its aid to those affected by the civil war in Syria by 215 million euros ($280 million). The EU Commission said Tuesday the new funding includes 50 million euros for humanitarian aid and 165 million euros to support long-term development projects in Syria and the neighboring countries hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees. The 28-nation bloc's executive arm said the humanitarian assistance will also help the more than hundred thousand Syrians who fled from advancing Sunni extremists to seek refuge in Turkey over the past few days. EU Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said "the conflict in Syria continues unabated, and the needs of the Syrian people grow inexorab

  • Main developments in fight against extremist group

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    Here is a look at the main developments Tuesday in the U.S.-led coalition's campaign against militants from the Islamic State group. — Warplanes from the U.S. and Arab allies strike Islamic State group positions in Syria for the first time, hitting training camps and other facilities. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan confirm they participated in the strikes. Qatar played a supporting role. Among the targets hit was a government building used by the militants as a headquarters in their de facto capital, the Syrian city of Raqqa. — U.S. strikes also hit al-Qaida's branch in Syria, targeting a cell known as the Khorasan Group said to be plotting to attack the United States or Europe. Lt. Gen.

  • US: Syria failed to confront Islamic State havens

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.S. has told the U.N. secretary-general that airstrikes against Islamic State group strongholds in Syria have begun because Syria's leaders have failed to stand up to the threat. "The Syrian regime has shown that it cannot and will not confront these safe havens effectively itself," says Tuesday's letter from U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power to Ban Ki-moon. "Accordingly, the United States has initiated necessary and proportionate military actions in Syria in order to eliminate the ongoing ISIL threat to Iraq," the letter says hours after the airstrikes began with the participation of five Arab nations. The United States has warned of a lengthy campaign to defeat the extremists who have seized

  • New jihad appeal makes policing even harder

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — The Islamic State group's call on Muslims to go after the "filthy French" and other Westerners multiplies already deep security concerns in nations targeting the militant organization. The appeal made public Monday makes intelligence tracking of potential suspects virtually impossible and opens up Muslims in the West to the possibility of being unfairly put under suspicion or stigmatized. Nations are honing mechanisms to monitor Westerners who head to Syria and Iraq to fight in the jihad, the better to catch them when they return home with deadly skills.

  • Yemeni Shiite rebel leader vows to fight al-Qaida

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The leader of Shiite rebels who swept through Yemen's capital vowed on Tuesday to go after al-Qaida's branch in the country, a show of the group's strength and confidence as it ignored calls by the government for its fighters to leave the city. The Shiite rebels known as Hawthis overran Sanaa over the weekend, defeating Sunni Islamist fighters. The rebels signed a peace deal with the government on Sunday and handed over control of key buildings like the Central Bank, state TV building and the cabinet headquarters back over to military police. But the rebel fighters remain virtually in control, setting up checkpoints in the streets, checking IDs of drivers.

  • Hemp crop from detained seeds harvested in Ky.

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Some of the imported hemp seeds detained by U.S. customs officials in the spring turned into 10-foot-tall plants that were harvested Tuesday on a research plot in Kentucky, where marijuana's non-intoxicating cousin has gained a foothold as a potential cash crop. A sickle bar mower pulled by a tractor made half a dozen swaths to cut the hemp patch at the University of Kentucky research farm. Farmers wanting to learn more about the crop were among the curious who posed for pictures while holding long, leafy stalks. "There's a great possibility that it could become a viable crop in Kentucky," said UK agronomist David Williams, who helped oversee the research plot. "It's not the most complicated plant to g

  • Mexico sees sign of hope for Monarch butterflies

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Experts in Mexico said Tuesday there is a tentative sign of hope for the mass migration of monarch butterflies, whose numbers dropped to their lowest level ever last year. The head of Mexico's nature reserves, Luis Fueyo, said the first butterflies have been seen entering Mexico earlier than usual this year. Fueyo said it is too early to say whether butterfly numbers will rebound this year from a series of sharp drops, but noted "this premature presence could be the prelude to an increase in the migration." He said the first butterflies have been sighted in the northern border state of Coahuila. Most normally arrive in October from the United States and Canada, where they spend the summer.

  • Assad backs all efforts to fight terrorism

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — President Bashar Assad said Tuesday he supports any international effort against terrorism, apparently trying to position his government on the side of the U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria. Assad's remarks came hours after the opening salvo in what the United States has warned will be a lengthy campaign to defeat the extremists who have seized control of a huge swath of territory spanning the Syria-Iraq border. Damascus said the U.S. informed it beforehand that the strikes were coming. One Syrian activist group reported that dozens of Islamic State fighters were killed in the pre-dawn strikes, but the numbers could not be independently confirmed.

  • Algerian troops search for kidnapped Frenchman

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algerian police and soldiers combed the imposing Djura Djura mountains on Tuesday searching for a kidnapped Frenchman that a security official said had been snatched by a former al-Qaida commander. Residents described roads choked with military trucks and helicopters clattering overhead as security forces fanned out through the rugged region that has long been a hotbed for extremist groups. In a video posted Monday, the group calling itself the Jund al-Khilafah said it would kill Herve Gourdel in 24 hours unless France ended its participation in airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq.

  • Mexico rights agency probes death of 22 in clash

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's governmental human rights agency said Tuesday it is investigating the deaths of 22 people in a clash with the army that one witness has described as a massacre. The National Human Rights Commission expects to conclude its report on the incident in about six weeks. The agency is examining various aspects including reconstructing how the victims died, commission president Raul Plascencia said. The Mexican army reported on June 30 that 22 presumed criminals had been killed and one soldier wounded in what it described as a shootout after suspects attacked soldiers first.

  • UK regulator fines Barclays record $62 million

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    LONDON (AP) — U.K. regulators fined Barclays Bank Plc, Britain's second-biggest bank, a record 37.7 million pounds ($62 million) for failing to properly protect client assets. The Financial Conduct Authority said Tuesday that the penalty was the largest ever for such violations and reflected significant weakness in the systems and controls at Barclays' investment banking division between November 2007 and January 2012. Tracey McDermott, FCA director of enforcement and financial crime, says Barclays "failed to apply the lessons from our previous enforcement actions, numerous industry-wide warnings, and exposed its clients to unnecessary risk." Barclays said it has already corrected the problems, which it had discovered

  • Islamic militants parade captured Iraqi soldiers

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — The Islamic State group on Tuesday paraded captured Iraqi troops through the streets of a militant stronghold west of Baghdad, residents said. Residents of Fallujah said about 30 men in Iraqi military uniforms, who were captured earlier this week, were driven in the back of seized military vehicles through the city, located about 65 kilometers (30 miles) west of Baghdad. The captured soldiers looked very exhausted, eyewitnesses said. The militants driving the convoy blasted songs glorifying the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as they paraded their captives. The residents spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for their safety.

  • Countries pledge to end forest loss; Brazil balks

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — More than 30 countries set the first-ever deadline on Tuesday to end deforestation by 2030, but the feasibility of such a goal was eroded when a key player, Brazil, said it would not join. The United States, Canada and the entire European Union signed on to a declaration to halve forest loss by 2020 and eliminate deforestation entirely by 2030. "This is the family photo we have been looking for decades," said Charles McNeill, a senior environmental policy adviser for the U.N. Development Program in an interview with The Associated Press. "The forest issue is where everyone comes together." But, like in any family, there were signs of dysfunction before the agreement was formally unveiled on Tuesd

  • Ukraine: Cease-fire being upheld on both sides

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A cease-fire in east Ukraine is being upheld by both government troops and Russia-backed rebels, a senior Ukrainian official said Tuesday, in a first step toward enforcing a truce that has been riddled by repeated violations since it was imposed earlier this month. Col. Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, told journalists that the cease-fire had been upheld since late Monday, making it the first night in weeks that there have been no civilians killed or residential buildings shelled. Lysenko said there also had been no casualties among Ukrainian forces.