27 April 2017

India Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna dies of cancer at age 70

In this Aug. 15, 2011, file photo, Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna attends the funeral of versatile Indian actor Shammi Kapoor in Mumbai. A hospital official says Vinod Khanna, a dashing Bollywood actor turned politician, has died of cancer in Mumbai. He was 70.
Vinod Khanna, a dashing Bollywood actor turned politician, has died of cancer, a hospital official said. He was 70.

Tushar Pania, a spokesman for Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, said Khanna died Thursday due to bladder carcinoma.

Khanna made his Bollywood debut in 1968 and acted in more than 100 films. His popular performances included "Mere Apne" (My Own), "Mera Gaon Mera Desh" (My Village, My Country), "Gaddaar" (Traitor), "Kachhe Dhaage" (Delicate Thread) and "Amar Akbar Anthony." He acted with top stars Amitabh Bachhan and Dharmendra in several Hindi movies.

26 April 2017

Brazil police arrest 12 men suspected of stealing millions

Guards and police inspect a vault that the assailants blew up early morning in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, Monday, April 24, 2017. Dozens of attackers armed with assault rifles used explosives to blast open the vault of an armored car company early Monday and apparently escaped by boat into Brazil with a haul of cash, authorities said.
Twelve men suspected of taking part in a dramatic, multimillion-dollar theft from an armored car company in a Paraguayan border city have been arrested in Brazil, officials in the Brazilian Federal Police said Tuesday.

The men are thought to be among roughly 50 men who used explosives to blast into the vault of the Prosegur company in Ciudad del Este, then escaped into Brazil, Federal Police Inspector Fabiano Bordignon said.

25 April 2017

'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' author dead

This 1975 image released by William Morrow shows author Robert M. Pirsig working on a motorcycle. Pirsig, whose novel “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” became a million-selling classic after more than 100 publishers turned it down, died at his home in South Benwick, Maine on Monday, April 24, 2017. He was 88.
Robert M. Pirsig, whose philosophical novel "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" became a million-selling classic and cultural touchstone after more than 100 publishers turned it down, died Monday at age 88.

Pirsig's publishing house, William Morrow, announced that he died at his home in South Berwick, Maine. He had been in failing health.

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" was published in 1974 and was based on a motorcycle trip Pirsig took in the late 1960s with his 12-year-old son, Chris.

24 April 2017

Maoist rebels kill at least 24 Indian paramilitary soldiers

Maoist rebels killed at least 24 Indian paramilitary soldiers and injured six others in their stronghold in central India on Monday in one of the worst attacks on the country's security forces in recent years, police said.

The rebels fired from hilltops at a group of paramilitary soldiers who were guarding workers building roads in a forested area of Sukma district of Chhattisgarh state, police officer Vishwaranjan said.

The government has been trying to improve roads in the dense jungles of Chhattisgarh to make it easier for security forces to pursue the rebels.

22 April 2017

Queen Elizabeth II turns 91 with day at the horse races

Britain marked Queen Elizabeth II's 91st birthday on Friday with gun salutes, as the monarch herself enjoyed a family day and a trip to the races.

The queen, who owns and breeds racehorses, was spotted smiling broadly and chatting animatedly Friday with jockeys and staff at Newbury Racecourse, not far from her Windsor Castle home.

She visited the racecourse with daughter Princess Anne and sat in the royal box to watch her thoroughbred Maths Prize run; it finished fifth.

21 April 2017

Paris police shot on Champs-Elysees; IS group claims attack

Bystanders raise their arms as police seal off the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, after a fatal shooting in which a police officer was killed along with an attacker, Thursday, April 20, 2017. French media are reporting that two police officers were shot Thursday on the famed shopping boulevard. Many police vehicles can be seen on the avenue that passes many of the city's most iconic landmarks.
A gunman opened fire on police on Paris' iconic Champs-Elysees boulevard Thursday night, killing one officer and wounding three people before police shot and killed him. The Islamic State group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, which hit just three days before a tense presidential election.

Security already has been a dominant theme in the campaign, and the violence on the sparkling avenue threatened to weigh on voters' decisions. Candidates canceled or rescheduled final campaign events ahead of Sunday's first round vote.

19 April 2017

India ruling party leaders face trial in 1992 mosque attack

In this July 28, 2005 file photo, Indian opposition leader and President of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) L.K. Advani, second right, senior BJP leaders Uma Bharati, right, Kalyan Singh, second left, and Murli Manohar Joshi wave to people during a public rally in Rae Bareilly, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. India's top court said Wednesday, April 19, 2017, that the four senior leaders of India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party will stand trial for their role in a criminal conspiracy over the destruction of the 16th century Babri mosque in 1992, an event that sparked bloody nationwide rioting. Of the four main leaders who will now stand trial, Singh is currently the governor of an Indian province, and the constitution protects him from criminal trial. Therefore his trial will start after his term ends.
India's top court on Wednesday ordered four senior leaders of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to stand trial over a 1992 attack on an ancient mosque that sparked Hindu-Muslim violence that killed thousands.

A lower court had earlier dropped conspiracy charges against the four in a case that has languished in India's sluggish legal system for almost 25 years.

14 April 2017

US drops 'mother of all bombs' on Islamic State tunnel

This undated photo provided by Eglin Air Force Base shows a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, the U.S. military's largest non-nuclear bomb, which contains 11 tons of explosives. The Pentagon said U.S. forces in Afghanistan dropped a GBU-43B on an Islamic State target in Afghanistan on Thursday, April 13, 2017, in what a Pentagon spokesman said was the first-ever combat use of the bomb.
U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Thursday struck an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with "the mother of all bombs," the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military, Pentagon officials said.

The bomb, known officially as a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, unleashes 11 tons of explosives. When it was developed in the early 2000s, the Pentagon did a formal review of legal justification for its combat use.

The Pentagon said it had no early estimate of deaths or damage caused by its attack, which President Donald Trump called a "very, very successful mission."

Ocean world near Saturn top contender for life beyond Earth

This June 28, 2009 image provided by NASA, taken by the international Cassini spacecraft, shows Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons. NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected hydrogen molecules in the geysers shooting off the ice-encrusted ocean world, possibly the result of deep-sea chemical reactions between water and rock that could spark microbial life, according to findings announced Thursday, April 13, 2017 in the journal Science.
A tiny, ice-encrusted ocean world orbiting Saturn is now a hotter-than-ever candidate for potential life.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected hydrogen molecules in the geysers shooting off the moon Enceladus, possibly the result of deep-sea chemical reactions between water and rock that could spark microbial life, scientists announced Thursday.

NASA and others are quick to point out this latest discovery does not mean there's life on Enceladus (ehn-SEHL'-uh-duhs), but that there may be conditions favorable for life.

13 April 2017

Chase pays off as Mumbai beats Sunrisers in IPL by 4 wickets

Mumbai Indians Nitish Rana bats during their Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
The chasing team at Wankhede Stadium won for the sixth straight Indian Premier League game as Mumbai Indians beat defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets on Wednesday.

Mumbai won the toss and opted to field in what turned out to be a wise decision, given the recent success of teams batting second at this ground. Sunrisers made 158-8 off 20 overs, with only openers Shikhar Dhawan (48) and David Warner (49) achieving significant scores. Man-of-the-match Jasprit Bumrah took 3-24 as Sunrisers' middle-order collapsed. Harbhajan Singh also did some damage with 2-23, including the important wicket of Warner, who had smashed seven fours and two sixes.

12 April 2017

Philippines: Troops killed militant blamed for beheadings

Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa walks after an anti-terror simulation exercise at a bus terminal in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Dela Rosa said at least several people have been killed in battle between government forces and suspected Abu Sayyaf militants on a central resort island, far from the extremists' southern jungle bases and in a region where the U.S. government has warned the gunmen may be conducting kidnappings.
Philippine troops battling militants in a central province killed a key Abu Sayyaf commander who had been blamed for the beheadings of two Canadians and a German hostage and was apparently attempting another kidnapping mission, the military chief said Wednesday.

Military chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Ano told The Associated Press that troops have recovered and identified the remains of Moammar Askali, who used the nom de guerre Abu Rami, in the scene of the battle in a far-flung coastal village on Bohol island, where five other Abu Sayyaf gunmen were killed in the fighting Tuesday, along with four soldiers and policemen.

Germany: Pregame blasts rock soccer team bus; player injured

A window of Dortmund's team bus is damaged after an explosion before the Champions League quarterfinal soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco in Dortmund, western Germany, Tuesday, April 11, 2017.
Three explosions went off near the team bus of Borussia Dortmund, one of Germany's top soccer clubs, as it set off for a Champions League quarterfinal match on Tuesday evening. One of Dortmund's players was injured.

Police said they were working on the assumption that the blasts were directed at the Dortmund team and caused by "serious explosive devices," which may have been hidden in a hedge near a car park.

10 April 2017

Pakistan's army sentences alleged Indian spy to death

In this March 29, 2016 photo, journalists look a image of Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016, during a press conference by Pakistan's army spokesman and the Information Minister, in Islamabad, Pakistan. The army said in a statement Monday, April 10, 2017, that Jadhav was sentenced to death on charges of espionage and sabotage. Pakistan says Jadhav was an Indian intelligence official who aided and financed terrorist activities.
Pakistan's military sentenced an Indian naval officer to death Monday on charges of espionage and sabotage, officials said.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016, had been convicted by a military tribunal, the Pakistani army said in a statement. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, the head of Pakistan's armed forces, signed off on the sentence.

Pakistan's Defense Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif alleged that the spy had official Indian government backing.

9 April 2017

Bereaved Syrian father: US missile strike not enough

Abdel Hameed Alyousef, 29, of Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, looks at photographs of his deceased children on his cell phone in Antakya, southeastern Turkey, late Friday, April 7, 2017. His wife Dalal and his 9-month-old twins Aya and Ahmed, along with other members of his family were all killed in Tuesday's chemical weapon attack on the Syrian town that killed some 87 people. The human cost of the attack is evident as Alyousef says 'I had lost 19 of my close relatives' in the attack which has been widely blamed on Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, although Syria officially denied using chemical weapons.
Abdel Hameed al-Yousef woke to the sound of an early morning bombardment in the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun and told his wife Dalal to take their twins Aya and Ahmed to safety outside.

He emerged to find the home covered in dust, and then a new strike exploded about 400 yards (300 meters away).

Within minutes, he said, his eyes started to water, and he soon lost consciousness.

Historian: Nazi leader Hitler once had Jewish landlord

A German historian says Nazi leader Adolf Hitler lived for almost a decade in a house that belonged to a Jewish merchant.

Paul Hoser says Hitler lived at Thierschstrasse 41 in Munich's Lehel district from 1920 till 1929, interrupted by a year spent at Landsberg prison for staging a failed coup in Bavaria.

8 April 2017

India extends $4.5 billion line of credit to Bangladesh

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 8, 2017. India and Bangladesh have signed a slew of agreements, including a $4.5 billion concessionary line of credit from India for development projects in Bangladesh, as the South Asian neighbors try to deepen their ties.
India and Bangladesh signed a slew of agreements on Saturday, including a $4.5 billion concessionary line of credit from India for development projects in Bangladesh, as the South Asian neighbors try to deepen their ties.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart, Sheikh Hasina, held wide-ranging talks in New Delhi, exchanging views on defense, regional security and cooperation in combating international terrorism.

6 April 2017

Former Mexican cartel head gets life for drug smuggling

In this Jan. 21, 2008, file photo, Mexican federal police officers escort Alfredo Beltran Leyva, known as "El Mochomo, upon his arrival at the Mexico City's airport. Beltran Leyva, 46, was sentenced to life in prison on April 5, 2017, after pleading guilty in February to charges his multibillion-dollar operation smuggled tons of cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States.
A once-powerful Mexican drug cartel leader and associate of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has been sentenced to life in a U.S. prison.

Alfredo Beltran Leyva, 46, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty in February to charges his multibillion-dollar operation smuggled tons of cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States. Beltran Leyva led the organization from the 1990s to his indictment in 2014, as it shipped tons of cocaine from South America to the United States, prosecutors said.

5 April 2017

Indian police: Mob kills Muslim man who was transporting cow

In this Oct. 2, 2015 file photo, a student activist holds a placard during a protest denouncing the killing of a 52-year-old Muslim farmer Mohammad Akhlaq by villagers upon hearing rumors that the family was eating beef, a taboo for many among India's majority Hindu population, in New Delhi, India. A Muslim man accused of transporting cows for slaughter has died after he was beaten by a mob in western India, police said Wednesday, April 5, 2017, in the latest incidence of violence by Hindu vigilante groups enraged over the treatment of animals they consider sacred.
A Muslim man beaten by a mob that accused him of transporting cows for slaughter has died in western India, police said Wednesday, in the latest violence by Hindu vigilante groups enraged over treatment of the animal they consider sacred.

Pehlu Khan died late Tuesday of injuries sustained when he and 14 other men were brutally beaten three days earlier in Rajasthan state, police said.

Hindus, who form 80 percent of India's 1.3 billion population, consider cows to be sacred and for many eating beef is taboo. In many Indian states, the slaughtering of cows and selling of beef is either restricted or banned.

N. Korea fires ballistic missile ahead of Trump-Xi meeting

Visitors sit in front of the TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea's missile firing, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. North Korea fired a ballistic missile into its eastern waters Wednesday, U.S. and South Korean officials said, amid worries the North might conduct banned nuclear or rocket tests ahead of the first summit between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping this week. The letters read "North Korea fired a ballistic missile into its eastern waters."
North Korea fired a newly developed powerful ballistic missile into its eastern waters Wednesday, U.S. and South Korean officials said, amid worries the North might conduct nuclear or long-range rocket tests ahead of the first summit between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping this week.

The initial U.S. and South Korean assessments indicated it was a KN-15 medium-range missile, whose first publicly known test in February was considered by many foreign experts as a potentially worrying development. It uses solid fuel already loaded inside the missile, which would shorten launch preparation times, boost the weapon's mobility and make it harder for outsiders to detect the signs of its liftoff.

4 April 2017

India-China row deepens as Dalai Lama arrives in NE India

India said Tuesday that China should not interfere in its internal affairs, as the Dalai Lama began a weeklong visit to India's remote northeast that Beijing has protested.

The Tibetan spiritual leader was greeted by cheering supporters as he arrived in Arunachal Pradesh. China claims the partly ethnically Tibetan Himalayan state as its own territory, and warned last month of "severe damage" to relations with India and increased regional instability if the Dalai Lama proceeds with his trip.

Renowned Indian classical singer Kishori Amonkar dies at 84

A man pays his last respect to classical Indian musician Kishori Amonkar in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Amonkar, renowned for her innovative interpretation of classical Indian music, has died, one of her students said Tuesday. She was 84.
Singer Kishori Amonkar, renowned for her innovative interpretation of classical Indian music, has died, one of her students said Tuesday.

Amonkar, 84, died late Monday at her home in central Mumbai after a brief illness, said Gandhar Bedekar. Music students in India often live with their mentors, and Bedekar's mother was one of Amonkar's oldest disciples.

One of the leading lights of the Jaipur "gharana" or community of musicians, Amonkar was trained by her mother, Mogubai Kurdikar, who was also a well-known singer.

3 April 2017

11 Indian sailors on small boat hijacked off Somali coast

In this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012 file photo, masked Somali pirate Hassan stands near a Taiwanese fishing vessel that washed up on shore after the pirates were paid a ransom and released the crew, in the once-bustling pirate den of Hobyo, Somalia. Somali pirates have seized a small boat, kidnapped its Indian crew members, and are taking the vessel to the Eyl area of northern Somalia, an investigator said Monday, April 3, 2017, the latest vessel targeted by the region's resurgent hijackers.
Somali pirates have seized a small boat, and its 11 Indian crew members, and taken the vessel to along the central coast, a state official said Monday. It is the latest ship targeted by Somalia's resurgent hijackers.

The pirates on Monday afternoon anchored the sailboat on the coast off Elhur, 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Hobyo, which was a center of the piracy that was rampant several years ago, said Ahmed Mohamed, an official with the Somali state of Galmudug.

Desperation sets in as flood death toll in Colombia tops 200

Firefighters search for survivors in Mocoa, Colombia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, who has declared Mocoa a disaster area, said that at least 207 were killed but that the death toll was changing "every moment." Authorities said another 200 people, many of them children, were injured and just as many were unaccounted for amid the destruction.
Townspeople desperately searched their ruined homes and the local hospital for loved ones Sunday after a torrent of water, mud and debris swept through a city in southern Colombia, causing more than 200 deaths, many of them children, and leaving hundreds more missing and injured.

Neighborhoods were left strewn with rocks, wooden planks, tree limbs and brown muck after heavy rain caused the three rivers that surround Mocoa to rise up and surge through the city of 40,000 Friday night and early Saturday as people slept. The deluge smashed houses, tore trees out by the roots and washed cars and trucks away.

2 April 2017

Iconic New Delhi movie theater shuts down after 85 years

In this Thursday, March 30, 2017 photo, motorists drive past the colonial era Regal Theater in New Delhi, India. The Indian capital's iconic theater signed off on Thursday night after more than eight decades with nearly 600 movie buffs cheering a 1964 Bollywood classic at a final screening. With nostalgic theater-goers singing their way to the exits, the iconic New Delhi theater has closed its doors to make way for a multiplex.
From Bollywood superstars to political heavyweights, the Regal theater hosted some of India's biggest names over more than eight decades.

But with nostalgic theater-goers singing their way to the exits after a final showing of a Bollywood classic, the iconic New Delhi theater has closed its doors to make way for a multiplex.

"It's the end of an era. It's very sad," said Nanak, who had worked at the theater since 1979. Nanak, whose grandfather and father were part of the Regal's management team in the 1950s and '60s, uses one name.

28 March 2017

3 Kashmir civilians killed in protests against Indian rule

An Indian paramilitary soldier fires at Kashmiri protesters near the site of a gun battle in Chadoora town, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Three civilians were killed and 28 other people were injured in anti-India protests that erupted Tuesday following a gunbattle between rebels and government forces that killed a rebel in disputed Kashmir, police and witnesses said. Witnesses said intense clashes between rock-throwing protesters and government forces erupted just a few hundred meters (yards) from the besieged house, with police and paramilitary soldiers firing shotgun pellets and tear gas to stop the protest. Later, government forces fired into the crowd, police said.
Three civilians were killed and 28 other people were injured in anti-India protests that erupted Tuesday following a gunbattle between rebels and government forces that killed a rebel in disputed Kashmir, police and witnesses said.

The gunbattle began after police and soldiers cordoned off the southern town of Chadoora following a tip that at least one militant was hiding in a house, said Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani.

As the fighting raged, hundreds of residents chanting anti-India slogans marched near the area in an attempt to help the trapped rebel escape.

27 March 2017

Avalanche kills 7 students, instructor in Japan

Firefighters make rescue operation at a ski resort following an avalanche in Nasu, Tochigi prefecture, Monday, March 27, 2017. Several high school students are feared dead after being caught in an avalanche Monday during a mountain climbing outing at a ski resort.
An avalanche killed seven Japanese high school students and an instructor Monday during a mountaineering field trip at a ski resort north of Tokyo, authorities said.

Nearly 50 students and instructors were caught by the morning avalanche in the town of Nasu in Tochigi prefecture, about 190 kilometers (120 miles) from the Japanese capital.

Police confirmed the death of the eight people late Monday, the prefecture said. Forty other people were injured, including two who were in serious condition, a prefecture report said.

Crackdown creates meat shortage in most populous India state

In this Sunday, March 26, 2017 photo, workers stand at a slaughter house where they used to work after the same was shutdown by authorities in Allahabad, India. India's most populous state is running out of meat. After the Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in Uttar Pradesh this month on the back of a resounding electoral victory and named a Hindu priest-cum-politician as the state's chief minister, the government began cracking down on illegal slaughterhouses and meat shops.
India's most populous state is running out of meat.

After the Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in Uttar Pradesh this month on the back of a resounding electoral victory and named a Hindu priest-cum-politician as the state's chief minister, the government began cracking down on illegal slaughterhouses and meat shops.

The new chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, is a strong supporter of laws protecting cows, which are revered by devout Hindus, and has publicly opposed beef consumption. The slaughter of cows and the consumption of beef are taboo for most Hindus. Their slaughter is barred by law in most Indian states, including Uttar Pradesh.

Nationwide protests bring thousands to Russia's streets

Protesters gather at Marsivo Field in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, March 26, 2017. Thousands of people crowded in St.Petersburg on Sunday for an unsanctioned protest against the Russian government, the biggest gathering in a wave of nationwide protests that were the most extensive show of defiance in years.
Russia's opposition, often written off by critics as a small and irrelevant coterie of privileged urbanites, put on an impressive nationwide show of strength Sunday with dozens of protest across the vast country. Hundreds were arrested, including Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic.

It was the biggest show of defiance since a 2011-2012 wave of demonstrations rattled the Kremlin and led to harsh new laws aimed at suppressing dissent. Almost all of Sunday's rallies were unsanctioned, but thousands braved the prospect of arrest to gather in cities from the Far East port of Vladivostok to the "window on the West" of St. Petersburg.

26 March 2017

No surprise: Beijing's pick Lam chosen as Hong Kong's leader

Former Hong Kong Chief Secretary Carrie Lam declares her victory in the chief executive election of Hong Kong in Hong Kong, Sunday, March 26, 2017. A Hong Kong committee has chosen the government's former No. 2 official Lam to be the semiautonomous Chinese city's next leader.
The candidate favored by China's Communist leadership was chosen as Hong Kong's new leader on Sunday, in the first such vote since huge pro-democracy protests erupted over the semiautonomous Chinese city's election system in 2014.

A committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites selected Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's former No. 2 official, as the financial hub's chief executive even though she was far less popular than her main rival. Lam received 67 percent of the votes cast by the 1,194-member committee.

25 March 2017

Belarus police arrest over 400 protesters; many are beaten

Belarus police push a woman down while detaining an activist during an opposition rally in Minsk, Belarus, Saturday, March 25, 2017. A cordon of club-wielding police blocked the demonstrators' movement along Minsk's main avenue near the Academy of Science. Hulking police detention trucks were deployed in the city center. 
Police in Belarus cracked down hard Saturday on opposition protesters who tried to hold a forbidden demonstration in the capital — a human rights group said more than 400 people were arrested and many were beaten.

The demonstrators had hoped to build on a rising wave of defiance of the former Soviet republic's authoritarian government, led by President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled since 1994.

EU puts pen to paper, signs unity pledge on 60th anniversary

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gets ink on his hands as he signs a declaration with the original 1957 pen of the Rome Treaty during an EU summit meeting at the Orazi and Curiazi Hall in the Palazzo dei Conservatori in Rome on Saturday, March 25, 2017. European Union leaders were gathering in Rome to mark the 60th anniversary of their founding treaty and chart a way ahead following the decision of Britain to leave the 28-nation bloc.
With Britain poised to start divorce proceedings, the 27 remaining European Union nations put pen to paper Saturday in Rome to renew their vows for continued unity in the face of crises that are increasingly testing the bonds between members.

The EU nations marked the 60th anniversary of their founding treaty as a turning point in their history, as British Prime Minister Theresa May will officially trigger divorce proceedings from the bloc next week — a fact that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called "a tragedy."

24 March 2017

Ex-Russian lawmaker shot dead in Kiev; Ukraine blames Russia

A former Russian lawmaker who became a vociferous critic of Moscow following his recent move to Ukraine was shot and killed Thursday in Kiev, prompting harsh words between the two neighboring countries.

Denis Voronenkov, who had testified to Ukrainian investigators and criticized Russian policies after his move to Kiev last fall, was shot dead by an unidentified gunman near the entrance of an upscale hotel in the Ukrainian capital.

23 March 2017

5 dead in vehicle, knife attack at British Parliament

An attacker is treated by emergency services outside the Houses of Parliament London, Wednesday, March 22, 2017. London police say they are treating a gun and knife incident at Britain's Parliament "as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise." The Metropolitan Police says in a statement that the incident is ongoing. It is urging people to stay away from the area. Officials say a man with a knife attacked a police officer at Parliament and was shot by officers. Nearby, witnesses say a vehicle struck several people on the Westminster Bridge.
A knife-wielding man went on a deadly rampage in the heart of Britain's seat of power Wednesday, plowing a car into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament. Five people were killed, including the assailant, and 40 others were injured in what Prime Minister Theresa May condemned as a "sick and depraved terrorist attack."

Lawmakers, lords, staff and visitors were locked down after the man was shot by police within the perimeter of Parliament, just yards (meters) from entrances to the building itself and in the shadow of the iconic Big Ben clock tower. He died, as did three pedestrians on the bridge, and the police officer.

22 March 2017

Israeli archeologists dig up liquor bottles of WWI troops

This undated photo provided by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, shows century-old liquor bottles that belonged to British soldiers in World War I. The Israel Antiquities Authority said Wednesday it was excavating 250,000-year-old flint tools when the archaeologists stumbled upon hundreds of liquor bottles near a building where British soldiers were garrisoned in 1917.
In a search for antiquities, Israeli archaeologists have unearthed a far more modern find — century-old liquor bottles that belonged to British soldiers in World War I.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said Wednesday it was excavating 250,000-year-old flint tools when the archaeologists stumbled upon hundreds of liquor bottles near a building where British soldiers were garrisoned in 1917.

21 March 2017

India gives Ganges, Yamuna rivers same rights as a human

In this Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 file photo, a giant Idol of Hindu goddess Durga suspends from a crane before it is immersed in the River Yamuna during Durga Puja festival in New Delhi, India. A court in northern India has granted the same legal rights as a human to the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, considered sacred by nearly a billion Indians. The Uttaranchal High Court in Uttarakhand state ruled Monday, March 20, 2017, that the two rivers be accorded the status of living human entities, meaning that if anyone harms or pollutes the rivers, the law would view it as no different from harming a person.
Two of India's most iconic rivers, considered sacred by nearly a billion Hindus in the country, have been given the status of living entities to save them from further harm caused by widespread pollution.

The High Court in the northern state of Uttarakhand ruled Monday that the Ganges and the Yamuna rivers be accorded the status of living human entities, meaning that if anyone harms or pollutes either river, the law would view it as no different from harming a person.

20 March 2017

Iran's top leader faults government's progress on economy

In this picture released by official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader on Monday, March 20, 2017, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sits in a session to deliver his message for the Iranian New Year, Iran. Nowruz, a festival to celebrate the new Persian year starts with the spring. Iranians follow the Persian solar year, and this year, they begin the year 1396. A portrait of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini is placed at right.
Iran's supreme leader has suggested Monday that the government has fallen short in its efforts to improve the economy as moderate President Hassan Rouhani prepares to campaign for re-election in May.

"There is a large gap between what has been carried out, and what the people and what we expect," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised address in honor of the Persian New Year, known as Nowruz.

Pakistan and India discuss water dispute

A delegation of Indian experts, headed by P K Saxena, left, holds talks with his Pakistani counter part Mirza Asif Saeed, right, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, March 20, 2017. Pakistani and Indian experts on Monday opened round-table talks in Islamabad over water disputes between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, even as tensions over competing claims to Kashmir remain high.
Pakistani and Indian experts on Monday opened round-table talks in Islamabad over water disputes between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, even as tensions over competing claims to Kashmir remain high.

Pakistan's minister for water and power, Khawaja Asif, welcomed the Indian delegation for the two-day talks, saying he hoped the discussions will move forward in anticipation of continued talks on April 12 in Washington.

Vodafone's Indian telecom unit merges with local company

British telecom company Vodafone's Indian unit on Monday announced a merger with Idea Cellular, a local company, creating India's largest telecom operator, with around 400 million customers.

Vodafone will own 45.1 percent of the combined company and Idea will have a 26 percent stake, while the rest will be owned by public shareholders after the merger, which is expected to be completed next year, the companies said in a joint statement.

East Timor votes for president in test for young nation

People queue up to give their vote during the presidential election at a polling station in Dili, East Timor, Monday, March 20, 2017. East Timorese went to vote Monday in the first presidential election since the U.N. officially ended the peacekeeping mission in the country in 2012.
East Timor voted for a new president Monday in an election that will test Asia's newest and poorest nation.

Francisco "Lu Olo" Guterres, a former guerrilla leader from the leftist Fretilin party, was up against seven other candidates. He and the Democratic Party's Antonio da Conceicao, the minister of education and social affairs, were the front-runners.

While East Timor's president has a mostly ceremonial role, the prime minister heads the government.

19 March 2017

Hindu hard-liner sworn in as leader of India's largest state

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left watches as Yogi Adityanath, standing right takes oath as Uttar Pradesh state chief minister in Lucknow, India, Sunday, March 19, 2017. Administering the oath of office is state Governor Ram Naik, standing left.
A hard-line Hindu religious leader was sworn in Sunday as the chief minister of India's most populous state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders of India's ruling party attended a ceremony in the Uttar Pradesh state capital of Lucknow, where Yogi Adityanath took the oath of office.

Adityanath is a five-time member of Parliament who has offended many in the country with his polarizing statements attacking the Muslim community.

13 autoworkers get life in prison for 2012 factory riots

In this July 19, 2012, file photo, security guards stand near a burnt down reception block of Maruti Suzuki factory in Manesar, near New Delhi, India. A court in north India has sentenced 13 factory workers to life imprisonment for taking part in violence at the country's largest automobile factory that led to the death of a manager nearly five years ago.
A court in north India has sentenced 13 factory workers to life imprisonment for taking part in violence at the country's largest automobile factory that led to the death of a manager nearly five years ago.

Four other workers were sentenced to five years in prison for the rioting that broke out at the Maruti Suzuki manufacturing unit in Manesar in Haryana state in July 2012 following a dispute between workers and management at the factory.

Rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry dies at 90

In this Oct. 17, 1986 file photo, Chuck Berry performs during a concert celebration for his 60th birthday at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Mo. On Saturday, March 18, 2017, police in Missouri said Berry has died at the age of 90.
Chuck Berry, rock 'n' roll's founding guitar hero and storyteller who defined the music's joy and rebellion in such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven," died Saturday at his home west of St. Louis. He was 90.

Emergency responders summoned to Berry's residence by his caretaker about 12:40 p.m. found him unresponsive, police in Missouri's St. Charles County said in a statement. Attempts to revive Berry failed, and he was pronounced dead shortly before 1:30 p.m., police said.

18 March 2017

Syrian rebels begin evacuation from besieged Homs

Gunmen and family members leave the al-Waer neighborhood bound for a town on the Turkish border, in Homs, Syria, Saturday, March 18, 2017. Scores of Syrian opposition fighters and their families have begun leaving al-Waer, the last rebel-held neighborhood in the central city of Homs as part of a Russian-backed evacuation deal signed earlier this week. The city was once known as the epicenter of the 2011 uprising against President Bashar Assad.
Scores of Syrian opposition fighters and their families began leaving the last rebel-held neighborhood in the central city of Homs on Saturday as part of a Russian-backed evacuation deal signed earlier this week.

By sunset, 344 fighters and their families had left the city — once a center of protest during the 2011 uprising — completing the evacuation for the day. They were bound for a town on the Turkish border after the latest in a series of local agreements in which insurgents have relocated to the rebel-held north after months or years under siege in the country's major cities.

Death toll in Peru climbs to 67 from El Nino rains, floods

A woman is pulled to safety in a zipline harness in Lima, Peru, Friday, March 17, 2017. Intense rains and mudslides over the past three days have wrought havoc around the Andean nation and caught residents in Lima, a desert city of 10 million where it almost never rains, by surprise.
The number of people killed in Peru following intense rains and mudslides wreaking havoc around the Andean nation climbed to 67 Friday, with thousands more displaced from destroyed homes and others waiting on rooftops for rescue.

Across the country overflowing rivers caused by El Nino rains damaged 115,000 homes, collapsed 117 bridges and paralyzed countless roadways.

"We are confronting a serious climatic problem," President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said in a statement broadcast live Friday afternoon. "There hasn't been an incident of this strength along the coast of Peru since 1998."

Activist: Basque separatist group ETA to disarm by April 8

In this file image made from video provided on Oct. 20, 2011, masked members of the Basque separatist group ETA hold up their fists in unison following a news conference at an unknown location. Spanish media are reporting that ETA are set to announce Friday March 17, 2017 its new initiative to lay down weapons aimed at speeding the stalled process of disbanding.
Basque civil society groups will fully disarm the separatist group ETA by April 8, a French environmental activist with ties to the Basque community promised Friday.

The militants announced a permanent cease-fire in 2011, but the governments of Spain and France have so far refused to take part in its disarmament because ETA tied it to the future of its militants, both in and out of jail. The two countries have demanded that ETA lay down its weapons without conditions and disband.

17 March 2017

Somali pirates release oil tanker and crew, officials say

In this photo taken Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, the Aris 13 oil tanker is seen from a helicopter in the harbor of Gladstone, Australia. Pirates have hijacked the Aris 13 oil tanker off the coast of Somalia, officials and piracy experts said Tuesday, March 14, 2017, the first such seizure of a large commercial vessel on the crucial global trade route since 2012.
Somali pirates who seized a Comoros-flagged oil tanker earlier this week after five years without a major hijacking in the region have released the ship and its crew without conditions, officials said late Thursday.

Security official Ahmed Mohamed told The Associated Press the pirates disembarked the ship, which was heading to Bossaso port, the region's commercial hub, with its eight Sri Lankan crew members aboard.

10 injured by volcanic explosion on Italy's Mount Etna

Snow-covered Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano, spews lava during an eruption in the early hours of Thursday, March 16, 2017. A new eruption which began on March 15 is causing no damages to Catania's airport which is fully operational.
Sicily's Mount Etna volcano unleashed an explosion Thursday, hurling molten rocks and steam that rained down on tourists, journalists and a scientist who scrambled to escape the barrage. Ten people were reported injured.

The tourists, who were drawn to Etna to observe the spectacle of the active volcano erupting, were caught by surprise when its flowing magma hit thick snow, causing a phreatic explosion that rained rock and other material down upon them.

15 March 2017

Somali pirates demand ransom for oil tanker, EU force says

In this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012 file photo, masked and armed Somali pirate Hassan stands near a Taiwanese fishing vessel washed ashore after the pirates were paid a ransom and the crew were released in the once-bustling pirate den of Hobyo, Somalia. Pirates have hijacked an oil tanker off the coast of Somalia, Somali officials and piracy experts said Tuesday, March 14, 2017, in the first hijacking of a large commercial vessel there since 2012.
Armed men are demanding a ransom for the release of an oil tanker they have seized off the coast of Somalia and the crew is being held captive, the European Union anti-piracy operation in the region announced late Tuesday.

An EU Naval Force statement said the operation had finally made contact with the ship's master, who confirmed that armed men were aboard the Comoros-flagged tanker Aris 13.

13 March 2017

Scotland seeks new independence referendum amid Brexit spat

In this Monday, May 23, 2016 file photo, Scottish First Minster Nicola Sturgeon talks to journalists after meeting in London. Scotland's leader Nicola Sturgeon will seek authority to hold a new independence referendum in the next two years because Britain is dragging Scotland out of the European Union against its will, she said Monday March 13, 2017.
Scotland's leader delivered a shock twist to Britain's EU exit drama on Monday, announcing that she will seek authority to hold a new independence referendum in the next two years because Britain is dragging Scotland out of the EU against its will.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would move quickly to give voters a new chance to leave the United Kingdom because Scotland was being forced into a "hard Brexit" that it didn't support. Britons decided in a June 23 referendum to leave the EU, but Scots voted by 62 to 38 percent to remain.

Hungary's president re-elected for 5-year term

Hungarian President Janos Ader delivers his speech during the plenary session of the unicameral Hungarian Parliament in Budapest, Hungary, Monday, March 13, 2017, when the deputies elect the President of Hungary for the next term of five years. Janos Ader is up against the candidate of the opposition coalition Laszlo Majtenyi for the post.
Hungarian lawmakers re-elected President Janos Ader to his largely ceremonial post on Monday, ensuring another five-year term for a supporter of populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government.

Ader, nominated by Orban's governing Fidesz party, defeated Laszlo Majtenyi, a former ombudsman for data protection nominated by the left-wing opposition. Ader won by 131 votes to 39, with 29 abstentions.

A second round was needed because Ader fell two votes short of the 133 votes needed for a two-thirds majority in the first round. Only a simple majority was needed to win in round two.

46 killed, dozens missing in Ethiopia garbage dump landslide

Police officers secure the perimeter at the scene of a garbage landslide, as excavators aid rescue efforts, on the outskirts of the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Sunday, March 12, 2017. Officials and residents say more than a dozen people have been killed in a landslide at a massive garbage dump on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital, and several dozen people are missing.
A mountain of trash gave way in a massive garbage dump on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital, killing at least 46 people and leaving several dozen missing, residents said, as officials vowed to relocate those who called the landfill home.

Addis Ababa city spokeswoman Dagmawit Moges said most of the 46 dead were women and children, and more bodies were expected to be found in the coming hours.

12 March 2017

Freed Jordanian who killed 7 Israeli girls shows no remorse

In this Sunday, March 16, 1997 file photo, King Hussein of Jordan shakes the hand of members of the Badayev family in Beit Shemesh who are in mourning after their daughter Shiri was killed by a Jordanian soldier. King Hussein came to Israel to offer condolences to the seven families who had lost their daughters in an attack on a class trip. The Jordanian soldier who killed seven Israeli schoolgirls in a 1997 shooting rampage was released Sunday, March 12, 2017, after serving 20 years in prison.
A Jordanian soldier who killed seven Israeli schoolgirls in a 1997 shooting rampage was unrepentant after his release from prison Sunday, lashing out at Israelis with harshly derogatory remarks.

Ahmed Daqamseh, who had spent 20 years in prison, was given a rousing welcome in his home village in northern Jordan after his release. He was greeted by chanting supporters who kissed him on the cheek and raised a photo of him with the caption, "Welcome to the hero Daqamseh."

Chawrasia successfully defends Indian Open title

S.S.P. Chawrasia successfully defended his Indian Open title on Sunday, finishing with a 10-under-par 278 for a comfortable seven-stroke victory.

Chawrasia held a two-shot lead when he completed his weather-delayed third round on Sunday morning and continued his fine form before signing off with 71 in the last round.

11 March 2017

Indian PM Modi's party wins landslide in key state elections

Bharatiya Janata Party supporters celebrate winning seats in the state legislature during elections in Utar Pradesh, Lucknow, India, Saturday, March 11, 2017. India's governing Hindu nationalist party is heading for major victories in key state legislature elections that are seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly 3-year-old rule.
India's ruling Hindu nationalist party won landslide victories in results announced Saturday from key state legislative elections that are seen as a referendum on the performance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly 3-year-old government.

Leaders from Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party said the party's victory in Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state, would boost Modi's chances of winning another term as India's prime minister in 2019 elections.

The Election Commission said the BJP won 311 out of 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh's legislature. The party's president, Amit Shah, described it as "a historic verdict."

Indian PM Modi's party headed for landslide in state polls

Bharatiya Janata Party supporters celebrate winning seats in the state legislature during elections in Utar Pradesh, Lucknow, India, Saturday, March 11, 2017. India's governing Hindu nationalist party is heading for major victories in key state legislature elections that are seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly 3-year-old rule.
India's governing Hindu nationalist party was headed to landslide victories Saturday in key state legislature elections that are seen as a referendum on the performance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly 3-year-old government.

Leaders from Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party said the party's victory in Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state, would boost Modi's chances of winning another term as India's prime minister in 2019 elections.

The Election Commission said the BJP won 216 out of 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh's legislature and was leading in another 93 voting districts in the state. The party's president, Amit Shah, described it as "a historic verdict."

Maoist rebel attack kills 11 paramilitary soldiers in India

Maoist rebels on Saturday shot and killed at least 11 Indian paramilitary soldiers in an ambush in central India, police said.

The attack also left three soldiers wounded in the rebel-infested Sukma forest area in Chattisgarh state, top police officer R.K. Vij said. It wasn't clear if any rebels were killed or injured when the Central Reserve Police Force soldiers returned fire, he said.

9 March 2017

IS gunmen in white lab coats kill 30 in Kabul hospital

Security forces block the main road to a military hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Gunmen stormed the military hospital Wednesday in a neighborhood in the Afghan capital that is also home to a number of embassies.
Gunmen wearing white lab coats stormed a military hospital in Afghanistan's capital on Wednesday, killing at least 30 people and wounding dozens in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

The attack on the 400-bed military facility, located near two civilian hospitals in Kabul's heavily-guarded diplomatic quarter, set off clashes with security forces that lasted several hours.

The brazen assault reflected the capability of militant groups in Afghanistan to stage large-scale and complex attacks in the heart of Kabul, underscoring the challenges the government continues to face to improve security for ordinary Afghans.

'Fearless Girl' statue stares down Wall Street's iconic bull

People stop to photograph the "Fearless Girl" statue, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in New York. The statue was installed by investment firm State Street Global Advisors. An inscription at the base reads, "Know the power of women in leadership. She makes a difference."
A new statue of a resolute young girl staring down Wall Street's famous Charging Bull was erected by a major asset managing firm for International Women's Day to make a point: There's a dearth of women on the boards of the largest U.S. corporations.

State Street Global Advisors, the Boston-based investment giant, had the statue created to push companies to increase the number of women directors.

8 March 2017

Iconic rock arch from 'Game of Thrones' falls into Malta sea

This is a April 2014 image of the landmark the Azure Window located just off Malta. The natural rock arch jutting off the Maltese island of Gozo, has collapsed into the sea during a storm. Malta’s prime minister called the loss on Wednesday March 8, 2017, of the iconic limestone formation “heartbreaking.” No one was injured by the fallen arch, which was also a TV and film backdrop.
The Azure Window, a natural rock arch which jutted onto the sea off Malta and was a backdrop for the "Game of Thrones" TV series, has collapsed in a storm.

Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat tweeted his "heartbreaking" sadness at the loss Wednesday of one of the main tourist attractions on the island of Gozo.