Phelps 4th in 1st final back at international meet
GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Michael Phelps placed fourth in his first international final since coming out of retirement, with Cameron McEvoy upstaging the most decorated swimmer of all time to take the 100-meter freestyle title at the Pan Pacific championships.
08/22/2014 - 07:11 PM
Asia shares gain ahead of US Fed chief's speech
Hong Kong (AFP) - Asian shares mostly rose Friday after the S&P 500 index notched up a record high, as traders awaited a keynote speech by the Federal Reserve chief for clues on the timing of interest rate hikes.
08/22/2014 - 07:09 PM
Iraqi cleric urges leaders not to delay government
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric has called on the country's leaders to settle their differences in a "realistic and doable" manner and swiftly form a new government, badly needed in the face of a growing Sunni insurgency.
08/22/2014 - 07:05 PM
Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm
By Nick Carey and Carey Gillam FERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen nearly two weeks ago. Police, who were widely criticized for using heavy-handed tactics to quell earlier protests over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, made only isolated arrests as local clergy and civic leaders worked to keep protests orderly. In an apparent sign of easing tensions, Captain Ron Johnson, a black State Highway Patrol officer placed in command last week after the criticism of the local police, said a drawdown of National Guard troops would begin on Friday. Governor Jay Nixon ordered the National Guard deployment to help quell the looting and vandalism that have accompanied the nightly protest rallies over Brown's death on Aug. 9, but the troops have largely kept a low profile.
08/22/2014 - 07:03 PM
Ukraine: Russian aid convoy is a 'direct invasion'
URALO-KAVKAZ, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's Security Service chief has called Russia's sending of a massive aid convoy into Ukraine without Kiev's agreement a "direct invasion."
08/22/2014 - 07:03 PM
Philippines makes arrests in online extortion ring
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine police have arrested eight suspected members of an online syndicate accused of blackmailing more than 1,000 Hong Kong and Singapore residents after luring them into exposing themselves in front of webcam, an official said Friday.
08/22/2014 - 06:59 PM
Ukraine's Security Service chief calls movement of the Russian aid convoy a "direct invasion"
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's Security Service chief calls movement of the Russian aid convoy a "direct invasion"
08/22/2014 - 06:57 PM
Rosberg pips Hamilton in Spa opening practice
World championship leader Nico Rosberg topped the times just ahead of his Mercedes team-mate and nearest rival Lewis Hamilton in Friday's opening free practice for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix. Rosberg, who leads Hamilton by 11 points in the title race, clocked a best lap of one minute and 51.577 seconds around the spectacular and sprawling 7.004-km circuit set in the Belgian Ardennes. This gave him an advantage of just 0.097 seconds and confirmed the ferocity of the close contest between the two as they rejoin battle a month after their controversial disagreement at the Hungarian Grand Prix where Hamilton ignored team instructions to allow Rosberg to pass him. Two time former champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was third fastest ahead of Jenson Button of McLaren and Kimi Raikkonen, who has won four times in Belgium, in the second Ferrari.
08/22/2014 - 06:50 PM
Ukraine says Russian truck movement represents 'direct invasion' by Russia
Ukrainian authorities said on Friday that 90 trucks from a Russian aid convoy had crossed into Ukraine without permission and Ukraine's state security chief said this amounted to a "direct invasion" by Russia. "They passed into Ukraine without clearance or participation of the International Red Cross or (Ukrainian) border guards," military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists. "We consider this a direct invasion by Russia of Ukraine," Ukrainian state security chief Valentyn Nalivaychenko said in a separate statement to journalists.
08/22/2014 - 06:30 PM
Hamas kills 11 suspected informers for Israel
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas said it shot dead 11 suspected informants for Israel on Friday, a day after an Israeli airstrike on a house in southern Gaza Strip killed three top Hamas military commanders.
08/22/2014 - 06:30 PM
Russia, in sanctions retaliation, bars entry to some Japanese citizens
Russia's foreign ministry said on Friday it had handed Japan's ambassador in Moscow a list of Japanese citizens barred from entering Russia. The ministry said in a statement that the list was a response to visa restrictions that Japan had imposed on a number of Russian citizens. The ministry did not say which Japanese citizens are on the barred list.
08/22/2014 - 06:29 PM
Mine collapse in Central African Republic kills 25
At least 25 people have died in a collapse at a gold mine 60 km (40 miles) north of the Central African Republic town of Bambari, Ahmat Negat, spokesman for the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels, said on Friday. The mine at Ndassima is carved deep into a forested hilltop north of Seleka's military headquarters in Bambari.
08/22/2014 - 06:25 PM
2 French teen girls probed as would-be jihadis
PARIS (AP) — Two girls, aged 15 and 17, are under investigation in France for allegedly making plans to join jihadis in Syria.
08/22/2014 - 06:20 PM
Germany says regrets any offense caused by Qatar-IS link comments
The German government has no evidence that Qatar is financing Islamic State and regrets any offense caused by a minister who suggested there was such a link, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said on Friday. The spokesman said the German government had been in contact with Qatar following the comments by Development Minister Gerd Mueller in a television interview on Wednesday. "If there were misunderstandings, we regret these," Martin Schaefer said at a government news conference. He described Qatar as a partner and "important regional player" but said the two countries had differences of opinion on some issues.
08/22/2014 - 06:20 PM
Sistani calls on Iraqis to confront Islamic State insurgents
(Reuters) - Iraq's most influential cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said on Friday that all sides agreed on the need to form a "proper" government in Baghdad and repeated his call on compatriots to fight Islamic State insurgents. Speaking through an aide after Friday prayer sermons in the sacred Shi'ite Muslim city of Kerbala, Sistani expressed concern over the plight of about 18,000 Shi'ites in the town of Amerli who are surrounded by Islamic State militants. (Reporting by Raheem Salman; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
08/22/2014 - 06:08 PM
US casual-wear giant Gap to launch 40 stores in India
US casual-wear retail giant Gap Inc says it will open 40 stores in India, calling the expansion "an important next step" in its global growth strategy. The San Francisco-based company, known for its relaxed-style denim and other attire, is the latest foreign company to enter India to tap its increasingly brand-conscious and expanding middle-class. "India is an emerging, vibrant market and an important next step in our global expansion strategy," Gap global president Steve Sunnucks said in a statement late Thursday. It expects to have 110 Gap stores in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan by the end of 2014, while the Gap brand is already present in nearly 50 countries.
08/22/2014 - 06:05 PM
German man evicted for squeaky swing set sex prop
BERLIN (AP) — A German court says a landlady was within her rights to evict a man for persistently using a squeaky swing set in his apartment late at night as a sex prop.
08/22/2014 - 06:00 PM
10 Things to Know for Today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
08/22/2014 - 05:55 PM
UN: death toll from Syrian civil war tops 191,000
GENEVA (AP) — The death toll from three years of Syria's civil war has risen to more than 191,000 people, the United Nations reported Friday.
08/22/2014 - 05:55 PM
Ireland testing dead person recently in Africa for Ebola
Ireland is testing a dead person who recently returned from Africa for the Ebola virus, the Health Service Executive (HSE) of Ireland said on Thursday. Appropriate infection control procedures are being put in place in the community and at the mortuary in the north-west county of Donegal where the person's remains lie, pending the outcome of laboratory tests, the HSE said. "The public health department was made aware earlier today of the remains of an individual, discovered early this morning, who had recently travelled to one of the areas in Africa affected by the current Ebola virus disease outbreak," it said.
08/22/2014 - 05:53 PM
The day Ernest Hemingway took the Ritz bar
The liberation of the bar of the Ritz Hotel in Paris by the writer Ernest Hemingway 70 years ago, as the French capital was freed from its Nazi occupiers, is the stuff of legend. Hemingway, a war correspondent for the American "Collier's" magazine who went on to win the Nobel prize for literature in 1954, was embedded with US 4th Division troops that landed on the Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944. Over the next two months he stuck with the foot soldiers as they marched towards Paris in support of the French 2nd Armoured Division, which entered the capital on August 25. Hemingway had a special attachment to the luxurious Ritz hotel, and its bar, where he had spent a great deal of time before the war.
08/22/2014 - 05:44 PM
Documented death toll in Syria war at least 191,369 through April 2014: U.N.
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - At least 191,369 people have been killed in Syria's conflict through April, more than double the figure documented a year ago and probably still an under-estimate, the United Nations human rights office said on Friday. The U.N. report, based on data from four groups and the government that were cross-checked, reflects a reality of killing and torture while the civil war has "dropped off the international radar", U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said.
08/22/2014 - 05:41 PM
UN rights chief slams Syria 'paralysis', death toll tops 191,000
More than 191,000 people have died in Syria, United Nations rights chief Navi Pillay said Friday, hitting out at "international paralysis" on the nearly three-and-a-half year conflict. Pillay said the death toll of 191,369, recorded between March 2011 when the war broke out and April this year, was nearly double that given a year ago, and was likely an underestimate. After on Thursday lashing out at the UN Security Council for what she called a lack of resolve in ending crises, Pillay said in a statement the dwindling global interest in Syria was "scandalous". "I deeply regret that, given the onset of so many other armed conflicts in this period of global destabilisation, the fighting in Syria and its dreadful impact on millions of civilians has dropped off the international radar," said Pillay.
08/22/2014 - 05:37 PM
Islamic State militants stone man to death in Iraq: witnesses
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State militants in Iraq stoned a man to death in the northern city of Mosul after one of their courts sentenced him to die for the crime of adultery, witnesses said on Friday. The stoning, which happened on Thursday, was the first known instance of the punishment by Islamic State militants in Iraq, although it has been previously reported in Syria. (Reporting by Raheem Salman; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Alison Williams)
08/22/2014 - 05:35 PM
In somber homecoming, Malaysia lays MH17 dead to rest
Millions of black-clad Malaysians fell silent Friday in tribute to their 43 countrymen killed in the MH17 disaster as the first remains were brought home and laid to rest amid deep sorrow and anger. People across the country of 28 million observed a minute's silence at 10:55 am (0255 GMT), shortly after a Malaysia Airlines jet landed with the remains of 20 people killed when MH17 was blasted from the sky by a suspected surface-to-air missile over Ukraine. Five weeks after the July 17 tragedy, the coffins and urns were conveyed to white hearses in a solemn ceremony presided over by Malaysia's King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah and Prime Minister Najib Razak at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Muslim-majority Malaysia had declared a day of national mourning, with flags lowered to half-mast, and business, sport, entertainment and other events cancelled or toned down.
08/22/2014 - 05:28 PM
Nigerian who died in UAE tests negative for Ebola
A Nigerian woman with cancer who died in the Emirati capital this week has tested negative for Ebola, the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi said. The 35-year-old woman with advanced cancer had been travelling via Abu Dhabi airport when her health deteriorated. When medics tried to resuscitate her, the patient had shown signs that may have been consistent with the Ebola virus. "Some of her signs during resuscitation, although explainable by her medical condition, could also have been caused by Ebola virus, and hence this diagnosis needed to be excluded," the authority said in a statement according to the state WAM news agency on Thursday.
08/22/2014 - 05:25 PM
Moscow defies Kiev, orders aid convoy onto Ukrainian soil
By Dmitry Madorsky DONETSK-IZVARINO BORDER CROSSING Russia (Reuters) - Russia ordered a convoy of aid trucks across the border into eastern Ukraine on Friday apparently without Kiev's permission, raising the danger of direct confrontation with the Ukrainian military which is fighting pro-Russian rebels. An unnamed Ukrainian official told Interfax news agency it was not escorted by the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), one of the terms previously agreed by Kiev and Moscow. Kiev and Western capitals have expressed concern that the convoy, held up by wrangling over the terms of passage, the content of the cargo and the role of the ICRC, could be used as a pretext for some form of direct Russian military intervention.
08/22/2014 - 05:22 PM
German cop in dock over cannibalism website killing
The trial of a German police officer accused of murdering a willing victim he met on a website for cannibalism fetishists starts on Friday in the eastern city of Dresden. In a macabre case that captured global attention, prosecutors say the 56-year-old defendant, Detlev Guenzel, killed the man at his home last November, then cut his body into small pieces and buried them in his garden. The dead man, 59-year-old Polish-born Wojciech Stempniewicz, had met Guenzel the month before on a website where users share slaughter and cannibalism fantasies. Guenzel is a three-decade veteran of the police force, the father of an adult daughter, and had been married to his male partner in a civil union for a decade at the time of the killing.
08/22/2014 - 05:20 PM
Russian aid trucks pass into Ukraine without Kiev consent, Red Cross escort
Russian aid trucks have crossed the Ukraine-Russia border without permission from Kiev and without the previously agreed escort from the International Committee of the Red Cross, Interfax Ukraine cited a Ukrainian government source as saying on Friday. "The convoy started to move on its own, without consent from the Ukrainian side and unaccompanied by the Red Cross," the unnamed official was quoted as saying. Writing by Alessandra Prentice;
08/22/2014 - 05:17 PM
Exclusive: Apple iPhone 6 screen snag leaves supply chain scrambling
By Reiji Murai TOKYO (Reuters) - Suppliers to Apple Inc are scrambling to get enough screens ready for the new iPhone 6 smartphone as the need to redesign a key component disrupted panel production ahead of next month's expected launch, supply chain sources said. It's unclear whether the hiccup could delay the launch or limit the number of phones initially available to consumers, the sources said, as Apple readies larger-screen iPhones for the year-end shopping season amid market share loss to cheaper rivals. Cupertino, California-based Apple has scheduled a media event for Sept. 9, and many expect it to unveil the new iPhone 6 with both 4.7 inch (11.94 cm) and 5.5 inch (13.97 cm) screens - bigger than the 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5s and 5c. Two supply chain sources said display panel production suffered a setback after the backlight that helps illuminate the screen had to be revised, putting screen assembly on hold for part of June and July.
08/22/2014 - 05:15 PM
Tunisia crackdown raises fears of rights rollback
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Mosques are being closed, local organizations banned and at least 1,000 people have been arrested as Tunisia cracks down on those suspected of sympathizing with radical Islamists.
08/22/2014 - 05:12 PM
Ice bucket challenge goes awry, firefighters hurt
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A charity stunt that has grown into a social media phenomenon went terribly wrong for four Kentucky firefighters when a fire truck's ladder got too close to a power line after they dumped water on college students who were taking part in an "ice bucket challenge."
08/22/2014 - 05:06 PM
CORRECTS: AP journalist: 1st trucks in Russian aid convoy driven into eastern Ukraine
IZVARYNE, Ukraine (AP) — CORRECTS: AP journalist: 1st trucks in Russian aid convoy driven into eastern Ukraine. (Corrects APNewsAlert to delete reference to Red Cross driving the trucks. )
08/22/2014 - 05:01 PM
Asia stocks rise, Europe flat ahead of Yellen talk
Most Asian stock markets pushed higher Friday after a record day on Wall Street powered by upbeat data that added to evidence the world's biggest economy is gaining strength. European shares were flat ...
08/22/2014 - 04:57 PM
Iraqi, Kurdish forces try to recapture Islamic State-held towns
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi government forces and Kurdish peshmerga fighters attempted on Friday to recapture two towns in the north from Islamic State militants, security sources said. The Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. airpower, took one district near the eastern entrance to Jalawla, 115 km (70 miles) northeast on Baghdad, the site of weeks of clashes, the sources said. Iraqi troops supported by Iraqi fighter planes were advancing towards the nearby town of Saadiya, the security sources said. Both towns are near the Iranian border and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region. ...
08/22/2014 - 04:45 PM
After emotional day, former governor back on stand
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who says that at one time he got in the habit of working late to escape his wife's wrath, has once again taken refuge — this time at the rectory in St. Patrick's Catholic Church.
08/22/2014 - 04:44 PM
With 2016 in mind, Perry heads to New Hampshire
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry is testing his presidential prospects in New Hampshire as he defiantly dismisses a recent indictment and tries to convince voters that he's an improved version of the 2012 candidate who stumbled badly.
08/22/2014 - 04:43 PM
US warns Islamic State 'beyond anything' it has seen
The United States said Thursday that the Islamic State was "beyond anything" it has seen, as US warplanes pressed on with airstrikes against it despite death threats against an American hostage. Pentagon chiefs warned of the dangers of a slick, well-funded operation powered by an "apocalyptic end of days" ideology as the West reeled from the grisly execution of American journalist James Foley. US military leaders said the jihadist group could be eradicated if local Sunni communities reject it and regional powers unite to fight it, but only if the battle is taken into Syria and not just Iraq. Their warnings came after the US military revealed it had carried out a failed mission to resue American hostages inside Syria, reportedly including Foley.
08/22/2014 - 04:40 PM
GENEVA (AP) — United Nations: Syria death toll rises to more than 191,000 between March 2011 and April 2014.
08/22/2014 - 04:40 PM
Kremlin aware aid convoy started to move towards Ukraine's Luhansk: RIA
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has been informed that a Russian aid convoy has moved towards the Ukrainian city of Luhansk, where pro-Russian separatists are fighting Ukrainian government forces, RIA news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying. Russia said on Friday it was no longer prepared to tolerate any delays to an aid convoy heading for Ukraine and that the trucks are starting to move towards Luhansk. ...
08/22/2014 - 04:40 PM
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