• Islamic militants on offensive against Kurds

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic militants using weapons they recently seized in neighboring Iraq intensified an offensive against Kurdish areas in northern Syria as they fight to expand the territory under their control, activists said Thursday. The clashes came as a Syrian watchdog group said the death toll in Syria's three-year conflict has climbed to 171,000, reflecting the relentless bloodletting in a civil war that appears no closer to being resolved. Nearly half of the dead were civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

  • Report: Chinese hackers hit US personnel networks

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Chinese hackers broke into the computer networks of the Office of Personnel Management earlier this year with the intention of accessing the files of tens of thousands of federal employees who had applied for top-secret security clearances, according to The New York Times. Senior U.S. officials say the hackers gained access to some of the agency's databases in March before the threat was detected and blocked, the Times reported in an article posted on its website Wednesday night. How far the hackers penetrated the agency's systems was not yet clear, the newspaper said. Accusations of hacking by China and counterclaims of such activity by the U.S. government have strained U.S.-Chinese relations. Chinese hac

  • Ex-OIC chief launches election campaign in Turkey

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    ISTANBUL (AP) — The former head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation kicked off his campaign to become president of Turkey Thursday, highlighting his credentials as a champion of the Palestinian cause and promising to be a uniting force. Launching his campaign in Istanbul, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu — considered the underdog in the August elections where he will face Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan — emphasized the strides he made toward Palestinian reconciliation and their international recognition during his nine-year tenure at the OIC. He promised to be a uniting force, in contrast to Erdogan's often divisive and confrontational style. Erdogan this week accused Ihsanoglu of advocating "neutrality" and not siding

  • Air raid sirens sound across Jerusalem, signaling rocket attack

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Air raid sirens sound across Jerusalem, signaling rocket attack.

  • News 9: Expert warns of dangers in new social media website

    Published: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    YouNow.com is a website to watch broadcasters live, chat with them, make new friends and grow your fan-base, says News 9, and it's another social media platform many teens and pre-teens are flocking to. But it can quickly turn sexual by ...

  • WellPoint CEO: Insurer readies for technology wave

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — WellPoint CEO Joseph Swedish says that when people ask what a doctor's appointment will be like in the future, they assume that patients will physically have to visit an office. They're wrong, the insurance executive told The Associated Press during an interview at its New York headquarters. "I would argue that will no longer be necessary in the not too distant future," Swedish said after pulling out a smartphone to show how it can be used to help remotely diagnose problems like ear infections. Swedish says adapting to technology is a top priority for him as he leads the nation's second largest health insurer. The U.S. health care overhaul also is a big focus for WellPoint Inc.

  • Qatar questions fate of citizens detained in UAE

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar said Thursday it is looking into the fate of two of its citizens reportedly detained in the United Arab Emirates, a day after Emirati media reported that Qatari intelligence agents were being held by the federation. The arrests are likely to further strain fraught relations between the two energy-rich and Western-allied Gulf nations. The Emirates joined neighbors Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in pulling its ambassador from Qatar earlier this year in a move based in part on Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

  • Robot writes Torah at Berlin's Jewish Museum

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    BERLIN (AP) — The robot's quill runs across the paper scroll, from right to left, scribbling down ancient Hebrew letters with black ink. It is penning down the Torah, the Jews' holy scripture, and it is doing it much faster than a rabbi could because it doesn't need to take breaks. The Torah-writing robot was developed by the German artists' group robotlab and was presented for the first time Thursday at Berlin's Jewish Museum. While it takes the machine about three months to complete the 80-meter (260-foot) -long scroll, a rabbi or a sofer — a Jewish scribe — needs nearly a year. But unlike the rabbi's work, the robot's Torah can't be used in a synagogue.

  • UK govt seeks data retention law after EU verdict

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — Concerned after a European court ruled in favor of citizens' right to privacy, Britain's prime minister pledged Thursday to rush through emergency measures to force phone and Internet companies to store call and search records for a year. The European Court of Justice ruled in April that a European Union directive requiring companies to store communications data for up to two years was too broad and a threat to privacy rights. Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday without the emergency law, governments would be less able to protect the country from pedophiles, gangsters and terrorists.

  • UN: no danger from stolen nuke material in Iraq

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    VIENNA (AP) — The U.N.'s nuclear agency says atomic material has been taken from a university in Iraq in a region controlled by Islamic militants but it does not present a health, safety or proliferation risk. The International Atomic Energy Agency describes the material as "low-grade" and says its removal from Mosul University does not translate into a "significant" danger of any kind. The agency says it was notified by Iraqi officials of the seizure of the unspecified material and is seeking further details. Thursday's statement gave no further information as to the type and amount of material missing or who the suspected thieves were. Mosul is in the hands of militants seeking to establish a trans-boundary Is

  • 5 journalists jailed 10 years for Myanmar stories

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Four reporters and the chief executive of the magazine they work for were sentenced Thursday to 10 years of hard prison labor for violating Myanmar's national security by writing and publishing stories about a weapons factory. The court sentenced the five men for violating the 1923 Burma State Secrets Act pertaining to trespassing in a prohibited area with prejudicial purpose. The law was enacted when Myanmar was a British colony called Burma. The weekly Yangon-based Unity journal published stories in late January alleging the military had seized more than 3,000 acres (1,200 hectares) of farmland in Myanmar's central Magwe Region to construct a weapons factory.

  • US, China talk cyberhacking amid new allegations

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    BEIJING (AP) — Top American officials said Thursday they challenged their counterparts in China to rein in alleged cybersecurity infringements as a new allegation emerged of a brazen attempt by Chinese hackers to break into U.S. government personnel files. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the two powers had a frank exchange on the issue during this week's "Strategic and Economic Dialogue" in Beijing. However, Kerry said he and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew only were notified of the latest accusation of wrongdoing after the gathering's conclusion. "We did not raise it in specific terms. We raised the subject, obviously," Kerry told reporters.

  • Britain accused of covering up CIA flights

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — A lawyer representing people allegedly flown on CIA flights to Libya and tortured has accused Britain of covering up details of its involvement. Britain says its records are incomplete because of water damage. Cori Crider, a lawyer from charity Reprieve which is investigating CIA flights through the Britain-administered island of Diego Garcia, said Thursday that the loss was strikingly convenient. The U.S., which has a large military base on the Indian Ocean island, admitted using it in 2002 for its extraordinary rendition program. Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds said logs of flights landing and taking off from the island in 2002 are "incomplete due to water damage.

  • Kerry: Crisis in Israel, Gaza, needs de-escalation

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    BEIJING (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. is trying to stem the surging violence in Israel and Gaza in a way that allows the Jewish state to continue defending itself from Hamas rocket fire. Kerry, in Beijing for a summit with Chinese leaders, says it's a "dangerous moment" for the Mideast. Hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza since the killings of three Israeli and one Palestinian teenagers sparked tensions. Dozens of Palestinians have died in Israeli attacks. Kerry says no country can accept such rocket attacks. But he says de-escalating the crisis is ultimately in everyone's interests. Kerry says he spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Ma

  • Indians balk at $33 million statue in new budget

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    NEW DELHI (AP) — In a country grappling with poverty, sluggish growth and a daunting deficit, India's new budget has set aside 2 billion rupees ($33 million) for a colossal iron-and-bronze statue almost twice the size of the Statue of Liberty. The plans in Thursday's budget for a 182-meter (nearly 600 feet)-tall replica of Indian independence leader Vallabhbhai Patel caused an outcry, with many people saying the country has far more urgent priorities. "How can they waste money on statue like that?" asked Rohtash, a vegetable vendor in the Indian capital who goes by one name. "The government could have used that money to reduce the price of rice. That would have been some help for poor people like us.

  • Heads up, World Cup teams: The robots are coming

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — When robots first started playing soccer, it was a challenge for them just to see the ball. And to stay upright. But the machines participating in this month's international RoboCup tournament are making passes and scoring points. Their ultimate goal? To beat the human World Cup champs within the next 35 years. "It's hard to predict what will happen in 2050, but we are on the right path," said event co-founder Manuela Veloso, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. A week after the World Cup title game in Rio de Janeiro, teams from 45 countries will face off at RoboCup about 1,200 miles away in the Brazilian coastal town of Joao Pessoa.

  • Samsung faces fresh child labor claim in China

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung is facing a fresh accusation that one of its China suppliers hired children to meet production targets during a period of high demand. Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday it is looking into the allegation by China Labor Watch that its supplier Shinyang Electronics in Dongguan hired children and underage student workers. The New York-based labor watchdog said children were hired during a busy production period, worked for 11 hours a day without overtime pay and without social insurance. The accusation conflicts with Samsung's recent report on conditions at suppliers. It said no child labor was found by an external audit of about 100 Chinese suppliers.

  • Stigmatized nuclear workers quit Japan utility

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    TOKYO (AP) — Stigma, pay cuts, and risk of radiation exposure are among the reasons why 3,000 employees have left the utility at the center of Japan's 2011 nuclear disaster. Now there's an additional factor: better paying jobs in the feel good solar energy industry. Engineers and other employees at TEPCO, or Tokyo Electric Power Co., were once typical of Japan's corporate culture that is famous for prizing loyalty to a single company and lifetime employment with it. But the March 2011 tsunami that swamped the coastal Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, sending three reactors into meltdown, changed that. TEPCO was widely criticized for being inadequately prepared for a tsunami despite Japan's long history of being hit by giant waves a

  • Cairo cinema gives Egypt home for alternative film

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    CAIRO (AP) — Squeezed in between auto parts shops and cafes off the crowded avenues of downtown Cairo, no blaring marquee announces this cinema. Instead look for a small blue doorway, marked by a discrete neon calligraphy sign and sometimes an old Peugeot parked across the street playing films projected onto its windshield. The car once belonged to the late Youssef Chahine, Egypt's most lauded movie director, who in a career that spanned six decades made films with a social conscience that challenged censors and broke with the dominant big-studio system. Behind the door, a project launched by the production company he founded aims to bring films in that tradition to a new audience.

  • 2 gored in 4th bull-run of Spain's San Fermin

    Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    PAMPLONA, Spain (AP) — A fighting bull gored two Spaniards and tossed several others into the air in a frantic fourth running of the bulls Thursday at Spain's San Fermin festival in Pamplona. A Navarra regional government statement said the two men were gored in the leg and another five people were taken to Pamplona hospitals for minor injuries sustained in the 8 a.m. dash Thursday. The gorings were caused by a lone bull that raced ahead of the pack, raising panic among the hundreds of screaming runners along the 930-yard (850-meter) course from a holding pen to Pamplona's bull ring.