• Libya Islamic militias declare control of Benghazi

    Updated: 18 min ago

    BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Islamic hard-line militias, including the group accused by the United States in a 2012 attack that killed the ambassador and three other Americans, claimed control of Libya's second largest city, Benghazi, after overrunning army barracks and seizing heavy weapons. The sweep in the eastern city is part of a new backlash by hard-liners against their rivals ahead of the sitting of a new parliament. In the capital Tripoli, escalating battles Thursday between militias prompted multiple foreign governments to scramble to get out their citizens as thousands of Libyans fled across the border into Tunisia.

  • Top UN aid official urges daily 'pauses' in Gaza

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. humanitarian chief called Thursday for daily "humanitarian pauses" until a long-term cease-fire is reached between Israel and Hamas in order to deliver relief to hundreds of thousands in need in Gaza, rescue the injured and give civilians a reprieve from the war. The U.N. Security Council expressed "great disappointment" that its call Monday for "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire" has not been heeded, and reiterated "in the strongest terms" its demand for implementation. The council issued "press elements" — its lowest form of response — after hearing briefings from U.N. humanitarian aid chief Valerie Amos and Pierre Krahenbuhl, head of the U.N.

  • Paris riot police deployed for pro-Israel rally

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — Hundreds of riot police in Paris deployed near the Israeli Embassy Thursday for the first major pro-Israel rally since the start of the latest Gaza war. Several thousand people turned out for the rally, waving signs with slogans like "Gaza hostage of Hamas" and "We protest for peace." The demonstration happened amid persistent reports the Jewish Defense League faces a government ban. JDD militants stepped in to assure security at synagogues during pro-Gaza protests, but were blamed for provoking violence at pro-Palestinian rallies. France has both the largest Jewish and Muslim populations in Western Europe, and the Gaza war has raised tensions to their highest in years.

  • Stocks fall in Argentina as country enters default

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Stocks fell sharply in Argentina on Thursday as the country defaulted on its bills for the second time in 13 years, raising fears the move could diminish foreign reserves, stoke inflation and drive the economy deeper into recession. The Merval stock index was down nearly 7 percent in midday trading after Argentina walked away Wednesday evening from talks in New York, where a court-appointed mediator led negotiations with U.S. hedge funds demanding some $1.5 billion Earlier Wednesday, shares had rallied when a group of private Argentine bankers announced it would offer to buy up the disputed debt.

  • Palestinians mull war crime charges against Israel

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is seeking written pledges of support from all political factions, including rival Hamas, before making any attempt to press for possible war crimes charges against Israel, senior officials said Thursday. Abbas hesitated in the past because such a step would transform his relations with Israel from tense to openly hostile and could put him on a collision course with the United States. But with nearly 1,400 Palestinians killed in Israel-Hamas fighting in Gaza in the past 24 days, according to health officials, Abbas is under growing domestic pressure to turn to the International Criminal Court to try to make a case against Israel.

  • Greece to help 'hundreds' of Chinese leave Libya

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    ATHENS, Greece (AP) — With the violence in Libya escalating to its worst level since the 2011 ouster of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, governments from around the world are scrambling to evacuate their citizens from the country, many seeking help from nearby Greece. A Greek government official told The Associated Press Thursday that a merchant vessel has been chartered by the Chinese government for the evacuation of "hundreds" of its citizens, but gave no further details. The official asked not to be named because details of the operation are still being finalized.

  • Israel vows to destroy Hamas tunnels

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel will destroy Hamas' tunnel network in the Gaza Strip designed for deadly attacks inside Israel, "with or without a cease-fire," as the military called up another 16,000 reservists to pursue its campaign against Palestinian militants in the densely-populated territory. Netanyahu's warning came as international efforts to end the 23-day-old conflict seemed to sputter despite concern over the mounting death toll. More than 1,422 Palestinians have been killed so far, including many civilians, according to Gaza health officials.

  • Mudslide swallows Indian village; at least 41 dead

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    MALIN, India (AP) — Rescuers using earth-moving equipment and their bare hands dug through heavy mud and debris Thursday after a landslide engulfed an entire village in western India, killing at least 41 people and leaving about 100 missing and feared dead. More than a day after the Wednesday morning landslide, authorities said the chances of survival were slim for anyone still trapped under the mud in Malin, a village of about 700 people in Pune district of Maharashtra state. Suresh Jadhav, a district official, said around 40 homes were wiped out. Two days of torrential rains triggered the landslide and continued to pound the area as rescuers brought bodies covered in soaked white sheets to ambulances while relatives

  • Kerry: 'No promise' of cease-fire

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says there's, quote, "no promise" of a negotiated cease-fire between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip. Kerry told reporters Thursday in New Delhi that the U.S. remains hopeful that a cease-fire is achievable, and he said the sooner it happens, the better. He urges both sides to begin, quote, "bona fide negotiations" to stop the bloodshed. The violence is now in its fourth week and has killed over a thousand Palestinians living in Gaza and several dozen Israeli troops fighting there.

  • Lebanese Hezbollah commander killed in Iraq

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — A commander with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah was recently killed while on a "jihadi mission" in Iraq, officials in Lebanon said Thursday. The officials, who are close to the Shiite Hezbollah, said that Ibrahim Mohammed al-Haj was killed sometime in the past week. They did not provide any details on his mission or circumstances of his death and spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media. It was the first known Hezbollah death in Iraq since Sunni extremists with the Islamic State captured large parts of the country north and west of Baghdad in June.

  • Expat Turks begin voting in presidential elections

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turks living abroad began voting Thursday to choose Turkey's first directly elected president. It is also the first time expatriate Turks are voting in their countries of residence for Turkish elections. Close to 2.8 million expatriate Turks in 54 countries — about half of them in Germany — are eligible to vote. Only about 250,000 of them however, have registered to vote, according to Turkey's High Election Board. Polls opened in Germany and several other countries on Thursday. In Berlin, hundreds of Turks went to a polling station inside the city's Olympic stadium to vote. A large Turkish flag was put up over the door. "I think it is a great thing for us Turks that we can also vote," said Du

  • Malaysian prime minister: stop fighting in Ukraine

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    AMSTERDAM (AP) — Malaysia's prime minister Wednesday called on Ukrainian and pro-Russian separatists to agree to a cease-fire in the area surrounding the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down. "The conflict in eastern Ukraine may not be easily resolved, but the people on board that plane had no part in it," Najib Razak said shortly before investigators succeeded in reaching the crash site. Nearly two weeks after the plane's destruction on July 17, remains and personal possessions of many aboard have not been recovered — to the anguish of their relatives and friends. "We ask there be an immediate cessation of hostilities in and around the crash site by both Ukrainian and separatist forces.

  • Investigators reach Ukraine crash site

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    ROZSYPNE, Ukraine (AP) — An international team of investigators in eastern Ukraine on Thursday reached the crash site of the Malaysia Airline Flight 17 for the first time. Fighting along the route to the wreckage site between government troops and pro-Russian separatist rebels had for several days kept the delegation from reaching the area. An AP journalist at the scene Thursday said it appeared to be under the control of separatist rebel fighters. Police and forensic experts from the Netherlands and Australia are expected to initially focus their efforts on retrieving bodies still on the site and collect victims' belongings. It remains unclear exactly how many bodies remain and what condition they are in after

  • Haunting memories 70 years after Warsaw Uprising

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Kazimierz Mikos ran down a Warsaw street, zig-zagging to avoid the bullets that whizzed past him. As the 14-year-old ran for his life, he was struck with terror at the sight of a dead body in the street. Even after the scrape with death, the teen volunteered for a heroic Polish struggle against the Nazis — becoming a messenger and a guard. On Friday, Mikos will be among a shrinking group of insurgents to be honored in state ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the start of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. In this uneven struggle, poorly armed young city residents rose up against the German forces that had brutally occupied Poland for five years, battling them in the streets of the capital for over two month

  • Fast food ambitions in China hurt by safety scares

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    BEIJING (AP) — Already China's biggest restaurant operator with 4,600 outlets, KFC is pursuing Chinese consumers so avidly it opens two more every day. That dramatic growth comes with a big catch: KFC's quality control is struggling to keep up. The Louisville, Kentucky-based chain is reeling after a Chinese supplier was accused of selling expired beef and chicken to it, McDonald's and possibly other restaurant chains. Just 18 months earlier, KFC's sales plunged in China after a supplier violated rules on drug use in chickens. Global fast food chains are rushing to expand in China but even experienced operators face costly pitfalls in a fast-changing food supply industry plagued by repeated safety scandals.

  • Israel's military says 16,000 more reserves called up for Gaza fighting

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's military says 16,000 more reserves called up for Gaza fighting.

  • Landslide buries Indian village; at least 24 dead

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    MALIN, India (AP) — Rescue workers and desperate villagers dug through deep mud, rocks and the debris of shattered homes Thursday after a massive landslide buried a remote village in western India, killing at least 24 people and trapping more than 150, authorities said. Two days of torrential rains triggered the landslide early Wednesday, but national rescue personnel could not reach the stricken area in Pune district of Maharashtra state for several hours because of bad roads and debris. Rain was still hampering the effort by Thursday morning. "Everything on the mountain came down," said Suresh Jadhav, a district official. Alok Avasthy, a National Disaster Response Force commander, said 23 bodies had been recovered.

  • Hospital: 33 dead after Guinea concert stampede

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — Hundreds of people leaving a late-night rap concert on a beach in Guinea rushed to leave through a single exit, creating a stampede that killed at least 33 people, officials said Wednesday. The victims included children as young as 10, and most bodies brought to an overflowing morgue in the capital were still dressed in bathing suits and swim trunks. Some had bled from their mouths after their small bodies were trampled, causing internal bleeding. "We are not used to seeing such a large number of bodies at the same time. It's such a tragedy, these young victims killed in the prime of their life," said an employee at Donka Hospital where bodies awaited burial. The hospital's director, Dr. Fatou S

  • AP PHOTOS: At least 17 die in Gaza school attack

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    JEBALIYA, Gaza Strip (AP) — Shelling of a school crowded with refugees in Gaza early Wednesday killed at least 17 people and wounded 90 more, according to Palestinian health officials. Some 3,300 Gazans seeking shelter from the fighting had been crowded into the U.N. school in the Jebaliya refugee camp when it was hit by a series of Israeli artillery shells. The U.N. condemned the attack, with Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon calling it "outrageous" and "unjustifiable." Israel said no U.N. facility had been intentionally targeted, but troops had responded to Hamas mortar fire nearby. Here's a collection of images of the school and those who sought shelter there. ___ Follow AP photographers and photo edi

  • Obama takes tougher line against Gaza casualties

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration condemned the deadly shelling of a United Nations school in Gaza Wednesday, using tough, yet carefully worded language that reflects growing White House irritation with Israel and the mounting civilian casualties stemming from its ground and air war against Hamas. The U.S. frustrations were compounded by a flurry of Israeli media reports this week that appeared aimed at discrediting President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, who spent days trying to negotiate an unsuccessful cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. In unusually blunt language, a State Department spokeswoman on Wednesday repeatedly described one of the reports as "complete crap.