• Sri Lanka says no hope finding mudslide survivors

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    KOSLANDA, Sri Lanka (AP) — Hundreds of desperate Sri Lankan villagers dug with bare hands through the broken red earth of a deadly landslide Thursday, defying police orders after a top disaster official said there was no chance of finding more survivors at the high-elevation tea plantation. There were conflicting reports of how many people were missing in the slide, which struck Wednesday morning in the island nation's central hills after heavy monsoon rains. Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the number of dead at the Koslanda tea plantation would be fewer than 100. But Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center — which Amaraweera oversees — reported 190 people missing. Villagers, meanwhile, said th

  • Latvian musical on Nazi collaborator stirs anger

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    RIGA, Latvia (AP) — A famous Latvian aviator who joined a Nazi killing squad during World War II is being brought to life in a musical that has outraged Jews in the Baltic country and beyond. Critics say the show, touring theaters across Latvia until February, is an attempt to whitewash the legacy of Herbert Cukurs, who was assassinated by Israeli agents in South America for his role in the Holocaust. But producer Juris Millers says that because Cukurs never went on trial it remains unclear to what extent he participated in atrocities committed by the notorious Arajs Commando, which is blamed for murdering 30,000 people, mostly Jews, during the 1941-1944 Nazi occupation of Latvia.

  • Norman City Council debates proposed changes in water rates

    By Jane Glenn Cannon, Staff Writer | Updated: 2 hr ago

    A vote on whether to call an election to raise water rates was postponed Tuesday, because Norman City Council members have not agreed on some of the specifics of the rate hike.

  • Amnesty: Libyan militias committing war crimes

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — Amnesty International said rival militias and armed groups in Western Libya are committing "mounting war crimes" with impunity. In a new report released Thursday, it accused fighters of having complete disregard for civilian lives, saying militants have fired GRAD rockets and artillery into civilian neighborhoods. "In today's Libya the rule of the gun has taken hold. Armed groups and militias are running amok, launching indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas and committing widespread abuses, including war crimes, with complete impunity," Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said in a statement.

  • Wanted in US, Roman Polanski questioned in Poland

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Prosecutors in Poland questioned filmmaker Roman Polanski at the request of U.S. prosecutors who are seeking his arrest on charges from 1977 of having sex with a minor, a spokeswoman said Thursday. Spokeswoman for the prosecutors in Krakow, Boguslawa Marcinkowska, said the filmmaker remained free but available for further proceedings. Mateusz Martyniuk, a spokesman for the prosecutor general's office, said the U.S. requested Polanski's arrest and Polish prosecutors were expecting that an extradition request would follow. Earlier, Deputy Foreign Minister Rafal Trzaskowski hinted that Poland would not be willing to act on a U.S. extradition request, if one were made.

  • Hawaii lava flow is slow, gentle, yet unrelenting

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, moves gradually and persistently as she deposits lava across the Big Island of Hawaii. People in the small town lying in its path say the lava will reshape the community yard by yard as it slides toward the ocean. "She is so gentle, but so unrelenting. She is just slow and steady," said Jamila Dandini, a retiree who stopped at a coffee shop down the road from where scientists have forecast the lava will likely cross. Lava from a vent at Kilauea volcano has been sliding northeast toward the ocean since June. Last month, scientists said it was two weeks away from hitting the main road in Pahoa, a small town of about 950 residents. The lava slowed but has largely remaine

  • Peshmerga troops start entering Syrian border town

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    SURUC, Turkey (AP) — Ten Iraqi peshmerga fighters entered the embattled Syrian border town of Kobani via Turkey on Thursday, the first from among a group of 150 Kurdish troops headed there, activists said. The development followed heavy overnight clashes as Islamic State fighters unsuccessfully tried to capture the border crossing point, the only gateway in and out of the strategic Kurdish town besieged by the militants. Kobani-based activist Mustafa Bali said the 10 entered Kobani first and that the rest will follow gradually later in the day because the border crossing point has been targeted by Islamic State fighters.

  • Boy, 15, arrested in online threats against Duncan, Oklahoma schools

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: 3 hr ago

    Police arrested a 15-year-old boy on complaints of making threats against Duncan, Oklahoma schools, authorities report Thursday. The threats made references to a possible shooting.

  • Group says militants killed 600 Iraqi prisoners

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Militants from the Islamic State carried out a mass killing of hundreds of Iraqi prison inmates when they seized the country's second-largest city of Mosul in June, an international rights group said on Thursday. Some 600 male Shiite inmates from Badoosh prison outside Mosul were forced to kneel along the edge of a nearby ravine and shot with automatic weapons, Human Rights Watch said in a statement based on interviews with 15 Shiite prisoners who survived the massacre. The New York-based watchdog added that the Shiite prisoners were separated from several hundred Sunnis and a small number of Christians who were later set free. A number of Kurdish and Yazidi inmates were also killed, they said.

  • MSU to boost biomedical engineering research

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State University's College of Engineering plans to add a new academic department next year as part of an effort to boost research related to health care. The East Lansing school's Board of Trustees recently approved the Department of Biomedical Engineering. The department — the College of Engineering's first new academic department since 1969 — is to start Jan. 1 and its first courses will be offered in spring 2016. Provost June Pierce Youatt said the department will be a focal point for innovations in health care technology. "This department will be uniquely positioned to bring technological innovations to the vast statewide network of health care providers served by the univer

  • Survey: Asia finds money brings happiness

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    SINGAPORE (AP) — Emerging Asian nations are finding out what developed ones did years ago: money — and the stuff it buys — brings happiness. Levels of self-reported well-being in fast-growing nations like Indonesia, China and Malaysia now rival those in the U.S., Germany and the United Kingdom, rich nations that have long topped the happiness charts, according to a Pew Research Center global survey released Friday. It says it shows how rises in national income are closely linked to personal satisfaction. The pollsters asked people in 43 countries to place themselves on a "ladder of life," with the top rung representing the best possible life and the bottom the worst.

  • Bodies found in Mexico where 3 Texans missing

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    MATAMOROS, Mexico (AP) — Mexican officials say four bodies have been found east of the border city of Matamoros, near where three young Americans went missing more than two weeks ago. Tamaulipas state investigator Raul Galindo Vira on Wednesday confirmed the bodies had been found, but he declined to discuss who they might be. A second state official said investigators were trying to determine if they include three siblings from Progreso, Texas, who disappeared with a fourth person on Oct. 13. The official, who said the bodies were badly decomposed, insisted on speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

  • Milosevic's widow ridicules EU lifting sanctions

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Slobodan Milosevic's exiled widow ridiculed the European Union's decision to lift a 15-year freeze on assets of the former Serbian strongman, saying in an interview published Thursday that the family has no property outside Serbia. The EU earlier this week dropped its sanctions against Milosevic's family and several of his former political associates, saying they no longer represent "a threat to the consolidation of democracy" in Serbia. Milosevic's widow, Mirjana Markovic, who was granted political asylum in Russia with their son Marko when Milosevic lost power in a popular revolt 2000, told Belgrade's Vecernje Novosti newspaper that she "laughed" when she heard the news.

  • Kaci Hickox, Nurse in Ebola Quarantine Standoff, Goes for a Bike Ride

    Published: Thu, Oct 30, 2014

    Kaci Hickox took her campaign against an Ebola quarantine out for a spin on Thursday, NBC News reports. The Maine nurse, openly defying a self-quarantine order imposed after she treated patients in West Africa, took off for a bike ride with her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur. Authorities in Maine are pursuing a court order to enforce the quarantine through Nov. 10. Hickox says she is completely healthy and free of symptoms, and that the quarantine is unnecessary and unconstitutional.

  • Company: German man kidnapped in Nigeria is free

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    BERLIN (AP) — The company that employed a German man kidnapped in Nigeria last week says he has been freed. The German office of Nigeria-based construction company Julius Berger declined to provide further details beyond confirming the employee's release. There was no word about any possible ransom being paid. Gunmen had kidnapped the man and killed another German construction expert as the two men were being driven to work Oct. 24 in Nigeria's southwestern state of Ogun.

  • Amid murder case, Philippines says US pact stays

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A security pact that allows thousands of American troops to join large-scale combat exercises in the Philippines is "imperfect" but Manila is unlikely to amend it, the country's top diplomat said Thursday. The Visiting Forces Agreement, which was signed by the treaty allies in 1998, has come under renewed criticism by left-wing groups and nationalists after it allowed American officials to retain custody of a U.S. Marine accused of killing a transgender Filipino earlier this month. The U.S. military agreed to transfer Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton from an American warship to the Philippine military's main camp in metropolitan Manila but he remains guarded by fellow Marines in a compound with

  • Police seek 'very pregnant,' caped robbery suspect

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police are trying to foil a robbery suspect described as pregnant and wearing a large, red cape. Police say the woman is a suspect in at least four armed robberies in recent weeks. The clerk at a Walgreens store told police the woman said she had a gun and took about $200 from the register before escaping in a gold Nissan Maxima on Oct. 6. The clerk described her as being "very pregnant" and wearing the cape. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://on-ajc.com/1tSkX0R) that descriptions of the woman in other robberies vary. In the most recent case -- the robbery of a Big Brother Grocery -- she is described as being pregnant and wearing a red shawl.

  • Image of Asia: Resting at the Pushkar cattle fair

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    In this photo by Deepak Sharma, a camel herder stands beside resting camels at the cattle fair in Pushkar, in the desert state of Rajasthan in western India. Hundreds of thousands of camels, horses and cattle from all over northern and western India are bought and sold at the annual fair in the town 325 kilometers (200 miles) southwest of New Delhi. Hindus come during the fair to take a dip in Pushkar Lake, which they believe washes away their sins. They also offer prayers to the god Bramha — who Hindus believe created the universe. Pushkar is home to the only temple where he is worshipped.

  • Shell: oil drop yet to have full impact on profits

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    AMSTERDAM (AP) — Shell, Europe's largest oil producer, reported a dip in third quarter profit on Thursday, but said it has yet to feel the full impact of the recent slide in oil prices. As the company reported a 4.5 percent dip in third-quarter net profit, to $4.46 billion, Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry warned that the period's figures reflect only a third of the oil price's slide from above $100 per barrel this summer to around $81 per barrel. Henry said that every $10 fall in the price of oil per barrel will shave $3 billion off Shell's annual earnings. Shell's investment strategy is based on prices remaining between $70 and $110, Henry said, with $70 representing what Shell sees as a likely bottom for prices.

  • Prosecutor: Oklahoma officer justified in shooting

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Thu, Oct 30, 2014

    SPIRO — A prosecutor in eastern Oklahoma has found an undersheriff was justified in the fatal shooting of an armed man who authorities say held a family hostage and threatened officers. LeFlore County District Attorney Jeff Smith said Wednesday that Undersheriff Kendall Morgan wont’ be charged in the Oct. 13 shooting. Smith says Morgan’s actions were necessary to protect himself, other officers and civilians. Morgan fatally shot 36-year-old Freddie Cooper Jr. once in the chest in Spiro. Authorities say Cooper held four people hostage in a home before walking outside and pointing a handgun at officers.