Top Stories

  • Mexican mining firm complains about probe of spill

    Updated: 23 min ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — A mining conglomerate charged Thursday that it is being subjected to "punitive" legal actions by Mexican officials because one of its mines spilled acid-laced copper sulfate and heavy metals into two rivers. Environmental authorities have ordered a full inspection of Grupo Mexico's Buenavista copper mine near the U.S. border and threatened possible fines of up to $3 million. Prosecutors, meanwhile, have filed a criminal complaint over the spill, which caused water supplies to be shut off for tens of thousands of people in northern Sonora state.

  • Mexico nabs suspects with 10,000 sea turtle eggs

    Updated: 44 min ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Environmental prosecutors in Mexico say three suspects have been detained in the southern Pacific coast state of Oaxaca with more than 10,000 illegally harvested eggs from protected sea turtles. The Attorney General for Environmental Protection says in a statement Thursday that police found two women and a man with 10,375 olive ridley turtle eggs during a passenger bus inspection in the town of Santo Domingo Tehuantepec. The suspects told authorities they were traveling to the coastal city of Salina Cruz. Olive ridley turtles nest on the Mexican coast and are protected under the country's law. Conviction for harvesting their eggs is punishable by prison terms of one to nine years.

  • Europe, US mull UN resolution on Gaza truce

    Updated: 53 min ago

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — With Egyptian efforts to end the Gaza war collapsing, the United States, Britain, France and Germany are discussing a possible Security Council resolution calling for a sustainable cease-fire and an international monitoring mission to ensure its implementation, U.N. diplomats said Thursday. Diplomats said the U.S., Israel's main ally, had joined the European effort to produce a resolution that would call for a ceasefire and advance the goal of a durable peace. "This is not a competition," said an American diplomat in Washington. "We share with other Security Council members a concern over the return to hostilities following the breach of the Egyptian-brokered humanitarian ceasefire.

  • Kvitova moves into semifinals at Connecticut Open

    Updated: 54 min ago

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova moved into the semifinals of the Connecticut Open with a 6-4, 6-1 win Thursday over fellow Czech player Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Kvitova went down by a service break in the third game of the match, but avoided the upset bug that has sent every other seeded player in the tournament packing. Trailing 4-3, the second seed called her coach onto the court, and he told her to stop trying to win every point and be more patient. "So I was trying to play a little bit longer rallies, just wait for the good point that I can really attack her, going forward for the final volleys, for example," she said. It worked. She broke back to tie it at 4, and then broke Zahl

  • Dominican Republic bans Miley Cyrus concert

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — The Dominican Republic government commission that oversees public performances is banning a Sept. 13 concert by Miley Cyrus on morality grounds. The commission said in a statement Thursday that it took the action because Cyrus often "undertakes acts that go against morals and customs, which are punishable by Dominican law." Tickets ranging from $27 to $370 for the concert in the capital have been on sale since July. Some critics have declared Cyrus' onstage antics, including twerking and crotch-grabbing, as vulgar. A representative for Cyrus did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Concert organizers in the Dominican Republic did not comment on the ban.

  • Police tear gas, water cannons at Chilean protest

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Student protesters fled a tear gas truck and police water cannons used during a march through the Chilean capital Thursday, but no injuries or arrests were reported. Thousands of young people unhappy with the pace of education reform under President Michelle Bachelet participated peacefully in the protest. But dozens of unidentified people wearing masks interrupted the march, damaging traffic lights and signs, starting fires in trash containers and throwing sticks and stones at police. Protest organizers said about 80,000 people took part in the march. Interior Undersecretary Mahmud estimated the number of participants at 25,000. The demonstration created major traffic jams around Santiago

  • Irish peacemaker, ex-premier Reynolds dies at 81

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    DUBLIN (AP) — Albert Reynolds, the risk-taking Irish prime minister who played a key role in delivering peace to Northern Ireland but struggled to keep his own governments intact, died Thursday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 81. His eldest son, Philip, said he died around 3 a.m. at his Dublin home, where in recent years he required 24-hour care. The government ordered flags to fly at half-mast until Reynolds' state funeral Monday. Reynolds, a savvy businessman from rural County Roscommon who made millions running rural dance halls and a pet food company before his election to parliament in 1977, led two feud-prone coalition governments from 1992 to 1994.

  • Charges dropped against Venezuelan protesters

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan courts have dropped all charges against hundreds of demonstrators detained during anti-government protests that wracked the South American country this spring. A local human rights organization announced Thursday that 276 demonstrators no longer face prosecution for vandalism and inciting violence. Their arrests will not be noted on their records. Nizar El Fakih is spokesman for the Human Rights Center of Andres Bello Catholic University. He says the charges were dropped in recent days because there was no evidence of wrongdoing. Human rights groups say the dismissals confirm that the arrests were illegal.

  • A-League's Newcastle Jets to be sold

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    SYDNEY (AP) — Australian A-League side the Newcastle Jets are being sold by the group, owned by financially-troubled mining magnate Nathan Tinkler. Hunter Sports Group, which currently owns the team's license to play in the A-League, announced its intention to sell in a statement Friday. Hunter Sports Group said it will "continue to underwrite the club and day-to-day operations will continue as normal until the completion of the sale." Jets chief executive Robbie Middleby said the club would operate as usual pending the sale. Middleby said the club will "continue to execute our plans in preparation for the 2014-15 season. We look forward to securing new owners and moving forward with this new chapter.

  • Drought hits food supplies in Central America

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Central America is having one of its worst droughts in decades, and experts warned Thursday that major farm losses and the deaths of hundreds of cattle in the region could leave hundreds of thousands of families without food. The agricultural losses are largely in corn and beans, basic staples of the region's diet, the United Nations' World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization said in a joint statement. "The impact of the prolonged heat wave is having on nutrition and food security in parts of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua is very worrisome," the agencies said. The food agencies said the situation needs to be addressed immediately or what is already a food crisi

  • Liberia gives food in slum sealed to stop Ebola

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Government officials handed out bags of rice and sachets of drinking water Thursday to residents of an impoverished slum in Liberia's capital where tens of thousands of people have been barricaded in an effort to stop the spread of Ebola. International aid workers warned that more help was needed as the country battles not only the virulent disease but also hunger as travel restrictions have blocked food from getting to parts of the seaside capital. In the tense township of West Point, hundreds of residents lined up to receive government provisions a day after authorities put up barbed wire barricades and enforced a blockade of the area that kept market traders from entering or leaving.

  • Airlines, cruise ships monitoring Caribbean system

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Airlines and cruise ship companies are monitoring the progress of a tropical disturbance approaching the Lesser Antilles at the eastern end of the Caribbean. Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the system of low pressure had a 50 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression or possibly a tropical storm within 48 hours. Jennifer de la Cruz, a spokeswoman for Carnival Cruise Lines, said the Florida-based company has one ship that will have its itinerary slightly modified to steer clear of the system's predicted path. That ship, the Carnival Splendor, will drop a port call in the Turks and Caicos Islands and stop instead at Florida's Port Canaveral.

  • US inspector finds Beyonce, Jay-Z Cuba trip legal

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    HAVANA (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department's inspector general has determined Jay-Z and Beyonce's fifth-anniversary trip to Cuba last year was legal under rules allowing educational travel to the island. The music superstars angered several Republican politicians in Florida with their four-day visit to Havana, which saw them eating in some of the city's high-end private restaurants and touring colonial Old Havana while Jay-Z puffed on a Cuban cigar. Washington's 51-year embargo makes it illegal for U.S. citizens to visit Cuba for mere tourism, although tens of thousands of Americans travel to the island each year on academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange licenses.

  • Goalkeeper Tim Howard taking break from US team

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — Star goalkeeper Tim Howard is taking a one-year break from the U.S. national team because of a "commitment" to his family. The three-time World Cup veteran asked U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann to not consider him for the roster until September 2015. The 35-year-old Howard will continue to play for Everton in the English Premier League. "Having played overseas for the last 12 years and missing out on spending time with my family, making this commitment to my family is very important at this time," Howard said in a statement Thursday. "It's the right decision at the right time. Jurgen has always been up front with all the players in saying you have to earn your place, which is something I agree with.

  • Mexico arrests 13 at water-rate protest by Mayas

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Police on Mexico's Caribbean coast arrested 13 activists during a demonstration by Maya Indians against water rate hikes. The Mayas were the original inhabitants of the area, south of the resort city of Cancun. But they have been pushed into poor, dry farmland inland as resorts pop up along the coast. Households in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, the most important remaining Indian-majority town, had long paid a flat $5.20 monthly fee for water. But the state water authority began installing water meters last year and started charging households more for water use of over 10 cubic meters (2,640 gallons) per month per family. The Quintana Roo prosecutors' office said Thursday that activists took over t

  • After fan protest, Fred threatens not to play

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    SAO PAULO (AP) — Former Brazil striker Fred warned on Thursday that he and his Fluminense teammates might not play this weekend following threatening behavior by fans after the team's recent run of defeats. A few dozen Fluminense fans shouted abuse at players, threw objects and hit out at their cars earlier Thursday as the team left a Rio de Janeiro airport where it had touched down following a 1-0 loss to Chapecoense, its third in a row. Some fans called the players "mercenaries" and threw coins at them. One told Fred to "ask to leave" the club. Authorities didn't let the players leave through the main arrival area because of the protest, but fans found the back exit being used by the squad and kicked and punched som

  • Puerto Rico drug ring accused of selling meth

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The U.S. Attorney's Office in Puerto Rico is for the first time prosecuting a suspected drug-trafficking organization on charges of distributing methamphetamine in the U.S. territory. Sixteen suspects have been charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth and the date-rape drug gamma-butyrolactone, known as GBL. One of the suspects is the son of a local mayor. An indictment released Thursday says the meth came from California and the GBL from China. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating the organization in September 2013.

  • Venezuela proposes fingerprinting grocery shoppers

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelans could soon have to scan their fingerprints to buy bread. President Nicolas Maduro says a mandatory fingerprinting system is being implemented at grocery stores to combat food shortages by keeping people from buying too much of a single item. He calls it an "anti-fraud system" like the fingerprint scan the country uses for voting. In announcing the plan late Wednesday, Maduro did not say when the system would take effect, but other administration officials suggested it could be in place by December or January. The move was met with skepticism. Critics said the new system is tantamount to rationing and constitutes a breach of privacy.

  • Brazil's Palmeiras struggling with Argentine coach

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian club Palmeiras made a rare move when it hired an Argentine coach earlier this year, and the results have not been good. Since the arrival of Ricardo Gareca, Palmeiras hasn't won a single match in the Brazilian league, and its latest defeat on Wednesday left the club in last place in the 20-team standings. Gareca was hired in May but only made his official debut after the World Cup break. Since then, Palmeiras lost six matches and drew one in the league. Most Brazilian coaches would be on the brink of getting fired after similar results. But Palmeiras officials and even fans remain behind the Argentine, who says that with a little more time he can put the team back on track.

  • Israel kills 3 Hamas military commanders in Gaza

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel stepped up its campaign against Gaza's ruling Hamas on Thursday, killing three of the group's senior military commanders in an airstrike that pulverized a four-story home, the second such attack targeting top leaders in two days. The pinpoint pre-dawn attack on Hamas' inner sanctum was launched minutes after the men emerged from tunnel hideouts, a security official said — displaying the long reach of Israel's intelligence services. The killing of the commanders, who played a key role in expanding Hamas' military capabilities in recent years, was bound to lower morale in the secretive group, but might not necessarily diminish its ability to fire rockets at Israel.