29 January 2016

Attack on Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia kills 3

Two gunmen wearing suicide bomb belts attacked a Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia during Friday prayers, an assault that killed at least three people and one bomber and wounded 18, authorities said.
The attack struck the Imam Reda Mosque in the neighborhood of Mahasen, an area popular with Shiite workers of the state-run Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world's largest oil-producing firm.

Hingis, Mirza win Australian Open doubles title

Martina Hingis, left, of Switzerland and Sania Mirza of India kiss their trophy after defeating Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in the women's doubles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 29, 2016.
Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza maintained their perfect record in Grand Slam doubles finals, beating the Czech pair of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (1), 6-3 at the Australian Open on Friday to extend their winning streak to 36 matches on the way to a third major title.
Hingis, a three-time singles champion at Melbourne Park, and Mirza dominated the first-set tiebreaker preceded by eight service breaks, four by each team.

28 January 2016

India cities get funds to tackle woes from sewage to traffic

In this June 12, 2015 file photo, an Indian motorist rides past an overflowing roadside garbage-dumping site in New Delhi, India. India has taken its first multibillion-dollar step toward rebuilding its metro areas as so-called smart cities by awarding 20 with funds to solve problems from shoddy sewage treatment to constant power outages and snarled traffic.
India took a step toward modernizing its cities on Thursday by awarding 20 with funds to solve problems from shoddy sewage treatment to snarled traffic.
The government eventually plans to spend $15 billion to remake 100 cities over five years, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said. The first 20 to receive financing include the capital of new Delhi, the western cities of Pune, Jaipur and Ahmadabad, and the southern cities of Chennai and Kochi.

The Latest: Djokovic wins 1st set vs Federer at Aussie Open

Andy Murray of Britain reaches for a forehand return to David Ferrer of Spain during their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016.
The Latest from the Australian Open on Thursday (all times local):
8:05 p.m.
Novak Djokovic has easily won the first set 6-1 in his semifinal against Roger Federer on Rod Laver Arena.
The top-ranked and defending champion Djokovic started strongly, holding his opening service game to love, then breaking No. 3-ranked Federer's service in the second game to take a 2-0 lead after four minutes. He won the first set in 22 minutes.

Re-elected Vietnam communist boss defends one-party rule

Newly re-elected Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong arrives at National Convention Center for the last day of the 12th National Congress of the party in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016.
Vietnam's re-elected leader, a 71-year-old Communist Party ideologue, made it clear Wednesday that one-party rule was here to stay, insisting that the collective leadership he heads is a far better alternative to what he called authoritarianism disguised as democracy.
General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (pronounced Noo-yen Foo Chong) was re-elected Wednesday as head of the party and the leader of a 19-member Politburo that will govern Vietnam for the next five years. The decisions were made at the end of a weeklong congress of the 4.5-million-member party, which rules the lives of 93 million Vietnamese.

27 January 2016

China's anti-graft body investigates statistics bureau chief

In this Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 photo, Wang Baoan, the head of China's National Bureau of Statistics, speaks at a press conference in Beijing. China's anti-graft agency announced Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 that the Wang is being investigated for severe disciplinary violations, a phrase which usually refers to corruption.
The head of the bureau that gathers China's economic data is under investigation by the anti-graft agency in a possible expansion of an anticorruption campaign that has shaken state companies and securities firms.
Wang Bao'an, chairman of the National Bureau of Statistics and a former deputy finance minister, is suspected of "severe disciplinary violations," the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a statement Tuesday. It gave no details.

French taxis, air traffic controllers, schools on strike

Taxi drivers on strike stand next to their cars as they demonstrate in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Paris taxi drivers protesting what they consider unfair competition from rival services such as Uber are joining teachers and other public servants in nationwide strikes and demonstrations.
Paris police fired tear gas and taxi drivers lit bonfires on a major highway Tuesday amid nationwide strikes and protests over working conditions and competition from non-traditional services such as Uber.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls met with taxi drivers in an apparent attempt to defuse tensions. He condemned the drivers' violence but promised to strengthen a police crackdown on the competing taxi services the drivers are protesting. He is also forming a panel of taxi company representatives and government ministers to discuss reforms in the sector.

Marvin Minsky, pioneer of artificial intelligence, dies

In this July 14, 1987, file photo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Marvin Minsky, speaks to the audience during a panel discussion whose topic was, "Artificial Intelligence: Society's Atlas or Achilles," at the Paramount Theater in Seattle. A pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence at MIT who saw parallels in the functioning of the human brain and computers has died. The university said Minsky died Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston of a cerebral hemorrhage. Minsky was 88.
Marvin Minsky, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who saw parallels in the functioning of the human brain and computers, died Sunday at age 88.
The university said Minsky died Sunday at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The cause of death was a cerebral hemorrhage.
Minsky viewed the brain as a machine whose functioning can be studied and replicated in a computer, and he considered how machines might be endowed with common sense.

Abe Vigoda, sad-eyed character actor, dead at 94

In a June 9, 2006 file photo, actor-comedian Abe Vigoda attends the Friars Club celebrity roast of legendary comedian Jerry Lewis in New York City. Vigoda, whose leathery, sunken-eyed face made him ideal for playing the over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series `Barney Miller' and the doomed Mafia soldier in `The Godfather,' died in his sleep Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, at his daughter's home in Woodland Park, N.J. He was 94.
Character actor Abe Vigoda, whose leathery, sad-eyed face made him ideal for playing the over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series "Barney Miller" and the doomed Mafia soldier in "The Godfather," died Tuesday at age 94.
Vigoda's daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, told The Associated Press that Vigoda died Tuesday morning in his sleep at Fuchs' home in Woodland Park, New Jersey. The cause of death was old age. "This man was never sick," Fuchs said.

Clock ticks down on EU passport free travel dream

A member of the Greek Red Cross waits for migrants and refugees to arrive on a beach of the Greek island of Lesbos Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. More than 850,000 people, most fleeing conflict in Syria and Afghanistan, entered Greece by sea in 2015, according to the UNHCR, and already in 2016, some 35,455 people have arrived despite plunging winter temperatures.
Passport-free travel and hassle-free business in Europe has never been in more danger.
With more than 1 million people streaming into the European Union hoping for sanctuary or jobs, nations have erected fences, deployed troops and tightened border controls.
"What we have worked for, for so many years, we are seeing it crumbling now in front of us," Roberta Metsola, a leading EU lawmaker on migration, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

26 January 2016

Malaysian PM cleared of wrongdoing in $700 million scandal

In this Monday, Jan. 25, 2016 photo, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks at a conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia's attorney general said Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, that nearly $700 million channeled into Najib's private accounts was a personal donation from Saudi Arabia's royal family, and cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing. The announcement capped months of uncertainty for Najib, who has come under intense pressure to resign over the financial scandal in his biggest political crisis since he took power in 2009.
Malaysia's attorney general said Tuesday that nearly $700 million channeled into Prime Minister Najib Razak's private accounts was a personal donation from Saudi Arabia's royal family, and cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing.
The announcement by Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali capped months of uncertainty for Najib, who has been fighting intense pressure to resign over the financial scandal in his biggest political crisis since he took power in 2009.

Hot yoga founder ordered to pay in harassment lawsuit

In this Sept. 27, 2003, file photo, Bikram Choudhury, front, founder of the Yoga College of India and creator and producer of Yoga Expo 2003, leads what organizers hope will be the world's largest yoga class at the Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. A Los Angeles jury on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, ordered Choudhury to pay $924,500 in compensatory damages after finding he had subjected a lawyer to harassment and retaliation.
The founder of a popular hot yoga method on Monday was ordered to pay more than $900,000 to a lawyer who said she was fired for investigating allegations of sexual harassment against the guru.
A Los Angeles jury ordered Bikram Choudhury to pay the attorney $924,500 in compensatory damages after finding he had subjected her to harassment and retaliation. The jury is considering whether to award the attorney, Minakshi Jafa-Bodden, with punitive damages on Tuesday.

Twitter parts with 4 key execs in latest sign of turmoil

This Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, file photo, shows a Twitter app on an iPhone screen, in New York. Twitter says that four executives are leaving the company. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey posted Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, that Alex Roetter, Skip Schipper, Katie Stanton and Kevin Weil are exiting the company. Roetter served as senior vice president of engineering, Schipper was vice president of human resources, Stanton was vice president of social media and Weil was senior vice president of product.
Four of Twitter's key executives are leaving the company in an exodus that has escalated the uncertainty facing the messaging service as it struggles to broaden its audience and lure back disillusioned investors.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced the management shake-up late Sunday after technology news site Re/Code reported the changes earlier in the day.

Dorsey described the departures as voluntary, a characterization that three of the four exiting executives echoed in their own posts.

24 January 2016

French president in India to strengthen strategic ties

French President Francois Hollande, left, receives flowers from India's Haryana state Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, second right, as Haryana state Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, second left, and Indian lawmaker Kirron Kher, right, join in receiving him at the Indian air force station in Chandigarh, India, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. Hollande began a three-day visit to India on Sunday that could push a multibillion-dollar deal for combat airplanes and closer cooperation on counterterrorism and clean energy.
French President Francois Hollande began a three-day visit to India on Sunday that could push a multibillion-dollar deal for combat airplanes and closer cooperation on counterterrorism and clean energy.
Hollande landed in the northern city of Chandigarh where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined him at official engagements and lauded France's decision to invest $1 billion every year in India in various sectors.

22 January 2016

Al-Jazeera says 3 of its reporters in Yemen likely kidnapped

Three Al-Jazeera journalists working in war-ravaged Yemen who went missing this week likely have been kidnapped, the satellite news network says, the latest reporters targeted in the civil war gripping the Arab world's poorest country.
Reporter Hamdi al-Bokari and crew members Abdulaziz al-Sabri and Moneer al-Sabai were last seen Monday night in Taiz, a city in southern Yemen that's been the scene of heavy fighting for months now, the Qatari broadcaster said.

What We Know: Key takeaways in case of poisoned spy

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and President's aide Andrei Fursenko attend a meeting of the presidential education council in the Kremlin in Moscow, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016. Putin probably approved a plan by Russia's FSB security service to kill a former agent turned Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko who died after drinking tea laced with radioactive poison, a British judge said on Thursday in a report that led Moscow to accuse Britain of souring bilateral relations.
A British judge has concluded that two Russians, acting at the behest of Moscow's security services and probably with approval from President Vladimir Putin, poisoned ex-KGB agent and fierce Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko. Here's what we know:

Lewis Hamilton shows softer side at Paris Fashion Week

A model wears a creation by British fashion designer Kim Jones for Louis Vuitton men's Fall-Winter 2016/2017 fashion collection presented in Paris, France, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton showed off his softer side at Louis Vuitton's menswear show in a pastel silk bomber and shades Thursday. He joined the front row celebrity-pack, which included director Xavier Dolan, actor Michael B. Jordan and model Georgia May Jagger who rocked a black Louis Vuitton bodysuit and assorted choker. 

Here are the highlights of Thursday's fall-winter Paris Fashion Week shows with reports from Dries Van Note, Issey Miyake, Louis Vuitton and Rick Owens.

21 January 2016

Timeline of events in Alexander Litvinenko investigation

Alex Goldfarb, friend of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, looks at the report, during a press conference with Marina Litvinenko, widow of Litvinenko, in London, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016. Judge Robert Owen said Thursday he is certain that Litvinenko was given tea laced with a fatal dose of polonium-210 at a London hotel in November 2006. He says there is a "strong probability" that the FSB directed the killing and the operation was "probably approved" by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A British judge has published a report on the 2006 death of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, saying President Vladimir Putin probably approved a plan by the Russian security service to kill him with poison. Here is a timeline of events surrounding the case:
— 2000: Litvinenko flees Russia and seeks political asylum in Britain, which was granted the following year.

Only on AP: Islamic State razing of Iraq monastery condemned

In this Nov. 7, 2008 file photo, U.S. Army chaplain Geoffrey Bailey leads soldiers on a tour of St. Elijah's Monastery on Forward Operating Base Marez on the outskirts of Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq, St. Elijah’s stood as a place of worship for 1,400 years. Satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press confirm that the monastery in Iraq has been reduced to a field of rubble, yet another victim of the Islamic State's relentless destruction.
The Obama Administration and the Vatican condemned the Islamic State group Wednesday for razing Iraq's oldest Christian monastery, a 1400-year-old structure that survived assaults by nature and man for centuries before it was deliberately destroyed by extremists.
At the United Nations, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said reducing St. Elijah's monastery in Mosul to a field of rubble was malicious and misguided. The Associated Press confirmed the news with exclusive satellite images published early Wednesday.

New evidence points to giant 9th planet on solar system edge

This artistic rendering provided by California Institute of Technology shows the distant view from Planet Nine back towards the sun. The planet is thought to be gaseous, similar to Uranus and Neptune. Hypothetical lightning lights up the night side. Scientists reported Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, they finally have "good evidence" for Planet X, a true ninth planet on the fringes of our solar system.
The solar system may have a ninth planet after all.

This one is 5,000 times bigger than outcast Pluto and billions of miles farther away, say scientists who presented "good evidence" for a long-hypothesized Planet X on Wednesday.
The gas giant is thought to be almost as big as its nearest planetary neighbor Neptune, quite possibly with rings and moons. It's so distant that it would take a mind-blowing 10,000 to 20,000 years to circle the sun.

Pakistan university latest target of militant attacks

Pakistani troops arrive at the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda town, some 35 kilometers (21 miles) outside the city of Peshawar, Pakistan, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Gunmen stormed Bacha Khan University named after the founder of an anti-Taliban political party in the country's northwest Wednesday, killing many people, officials said.
The attack on the Bacha Khan University in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, which killed 20 people and was claimed by a breakaway Taliban faction, is the latest in a series of attacks spanning more than a decade.
The attacks, which have killed tens of thousands of civilians and security personnel, have been claimed by the Pakistani Taliban and other militants, who are deeply opposed to Islamabad's decision to partner with the United States against al-Qaida in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Pakistan school hit by militants was named for Gandhi ally

Pakistani women light candles during a vigil for victims of the Bacha Khan University attack, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016 in Peshawar, Pakistan. Taliban gunmen stormed a university in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing many people and triggering an hours-long gun battle with the army and police before the military declared that the assault in a town near the city of Peshawar was over.
The co-ed Bacha Khan University in Pakistan, attacked by Islamic militants on Wednesday, was named for a prominent secular activist and ally of Mahatma Gandhi, and embodied much of what the extremists revile.
The four attackers killed 18 students and two teachers before being gunned down by security forces in an attack that revived painful memories of the assault on a nearby army-run school in Peshawar just over a year ago, which left some 150 people dead, mainly children.

19 January 2016

Russell Crowe takes in Giorgio Armani fashion from front row

Models wear creations for Giorgio Armani men's Fall-Winter 2016-2017 collection, part of the Milan Fashion Week, unveiled in Milan, Italy, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016.
Two human reactions to turbulent times emerged as fashion concepts during Milan Fashion Week, which wrapped up its five-day run on Tuesday: cocooning and militarization.
On one end of the spectrum, designers offered men myriad forms of comfort for next fall and winter, including soft-cut jackets; enveloping cashmere, vicuna and alpaca knitwear; silken pajamas meant as street wear and the ubiquitous long scarf that in many collections substituted for a traditional tie.

17 January 2016

Burkina Faso hotel seizure ends; 4 jihadis, 28 others dead

In this image taken from video from AP Television, a rescued woman sits in a vehicle with bullet hole in windshield near the Splendid Hotel, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The SITE Intelligence Group reports that an al-Qaida affiliate is claiming responsibility for the ongoing siege on an upscale hotel and cafe in Burkina Faso's capital where an unknown number of hostages are being held.
The Al-Qaida fighters who stormed a popular hangout in Burkina Faso's capital at dinnertime came with a mission to kill as many people as possible, firing at people as they moved to a nearby hotel and setting the cafe ablaze, survivors and officials said Saturday. When the gunfire stopped after a more than 12-hour siege, at least 28 people had been slain in an unprecedented attack on this West African country long spared the jihadist violence experienced by its neighbors.

Milan menswear designers pay tribute to David Bowie

Models wear creations for Costume National Homme men's Fall-Winter 2016-2017 collection, part of the Milan Fashion Week, unveiled in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016.
Milan designers paid tribute to music and fashion icon David Bowie as Milan Fashion Week menswear previews for next fall and winter continued on Saturday.
Costume National designer Ennio Capasa and Roberto Cavalli's Peter Dundas both said that the musician had often been a font of inspiration, apparent also in these collections previewing just a week after Bowie's death. Donatella Versace saluted the singer with a single burst of Bowie's hit "Ground Control to Major Tom" at the end of her futuristic, outer-space-inspired runway show.

16 January 2016

Venezuela president gets rare live TV criticism

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, left, speaks with President of the National Assembly Henry Ramos Allup, prior to delivering his annual state of the nation report in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. Ahead of a surprise dire economic data release, Maduro said he would declare an economic emergency giving him 60 days to unilaterally enact sweeping reforms. The decree will be debated in the newly-seated opposition congress next week.
In a stunning display of Venezuela's tense new political order, President Nicolas Maduro suffered through a long scolding from the head of the country's new opposition Congress Friday after presenting his state of the nation address.
Congress leader Henry Ramos wagged his finger inches from the embattled president's head in a rebuttal that was broadcast live across the South American country — unprecedented media access for an opponent of the country's socialist revolution.

15 January 2016

Pakistani top militant in gov't custody over attack in India

In this Jan. 27, 2000 file Maulana Masood Azhar, center, (wearing glasses and white turban), arrives in Islamabad, Pakistan. The leader of an outlawed Pakistani militant group has been taken into "protective custody" amid a probe as to whether he is linked to a deadly attack earlier this month on an Indian air base, two security officials and a provincial minister said Friday, Jan. 15, 2016.
The leader of an outlawed Pakistani militant group has been taken into "protective custody" amid a probe as to whether he is linked to a deadly attack earlier this month on an Indian air base, two security officials and a provincial minister said Friday.
The security officials also said that Pakistan has arrested this week a total of 25 militants suspected in the Jan. 2 assault in Pathankot, close to India's border with Pakistan.

Police arrest 3 men on suspicion of links to Jakarta attack

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, an unidentified man with a gun walks in the street as people run in the background on Thamrin street near Sarinah shopping mall in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Suicide bombers exploded themselves in downtown Jakarta on Thursday while gunmen attacked a police post nearby, a witness told The Associated Press. Local television reported more explosions in other parts of the city.
Indonesians were shaken but refusing to be cowed a day after a deadly attack in a busy district of central Jakarta that has been claimed by the Islamic State group.
In a new development, police on Friday told an Indonesian TV channel they arrested three men on suspicion of links to the attack that killed seven people including five attackers.

Egypt unveils rare whale fossil museum to boost tourism

The largest intact Basulosaurus isis whale fossil, which is on display at the Wati El Hitan Fossils and Climate Change Museum, on the opening day, in the Fayoum oasis, Egypt, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Egypt has cut the ribbon on the Middle East’s first fossil museum housing the world's largest intact skeleton of a "walking whale" in an attempt to attract much-needed tourists driven off by recent militant attacks.
Egypt on Thursday unveiled what it said is the Middle East's first museum dedicated to fossils that showcases an early form of whales, now extinct and known as the "walking whale."
The unveiling is part of concentrated government efforts to attract much-needed tourists, driven away by recent militant attacks, and restore confidence in the safety of its attractions.

14 January 2016

Alan Rickman, star of stage and 'Harry Potter' dies at 69

In this Tuesday, June 9, 2015 file photo, actor Alan Rickman attends The Public Theater's Annual Gala at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, in New York. British actor Alan Rickman, whose career ranged from Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company to the “Harry Potter” films, has died. He was 69. Rickman’s family said Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016 that the actor had died after a battle with cancer.
British actor Alan Rickman, a classically-trained stage star and sensual screen villain in the "Harry Potter" saga and other films, has died. He was 69.
Rickman's family said Thursday that the actor had died after a battle with cancer.
Trained at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Rickman was often cast as the bad guy; with his rich, languid voice he could invest evil with wicked, irresistible relish.

13 January 2016

Pakistan announces 'several' arrests over attack in India

In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 file photo, Indian soldiers keep guard at the perimeter fence of the Indian air force base in Pathankot, India, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Indian defense minister Manohar Parrikar had said on Tuesday that Indian forces have killed the last of the six militants who attacked the air force base near the Pakistan border over the weekend, though soldiers are still searching the base as a precaution.
Pakistan on Wednesday announced the arrest of "several individuals" from an outlawed Islamic militant group believed to be linked to a four-day assault on an Indian air base earlier this month that killed seven Indian soldiers.
The government announced the arrests in a statement after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif presided over a meeting to discuss security issues. The meeting was also attended by Pakistan's army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif, the country's intelligence chief and other security officials.

IS branch attacks Pakistani mission in Afghanistan, kills 7

An Afghan man carries two schoolgirls away from a clash site, in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. Several members of the Afghan security forces were killed Wednesday after unidentified gunmen attacked the Pakistani consulate in a volatile eastern province, an official said on Wednesday.
A branch of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for an attack Wednesday on Pakistan's Consulate in eastern Afghanistan that killed at least seven members of the Afghan security forces.
The attack in Jalalabad, the capital of the volatile Nangarhar province that borders Pakistan, started when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives vest outside the diplomatic mission, said Attaullah Khyogani, spokesman for the province's governor.

Oil keeps falling. And falling. How low can it go?

In this Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, photo, Cornelio Bonilla pumps gas at Best Food Mart gas station in Gainesville Ga. The price of oil continues to fall, extending a slide that has already gone further and lasted longer than most thought, and probing depths not seen since 2003.
The price of oil keeps falling. And falling. And falling. It has to stop somewhere, right?
Even after trending down for a year and a half, U.S. crude has fallen another 17 percent since the start of the year and is now probing depths not seen since 2003.
"All you can do is forecast direction, and the direction of price is still down," says Larry Goldstein of the Energy Policy Research Foundation, who predicted a decline in oil in 2014.

As oil plunges, energy companies cut jobs, postpone projects

This Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 file photo shows a BP logo outside a petrol station in the town of Bletchley in Buckinghamshire, England. The world’s biggest oil companies are slashing jobs and backing off major investments as the price of crude keeps falling - and it may be just the beginning. Oil company BP said on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 it is cutting some 4,000 jobs in exploration and production over the next two years amid sharp declines in the price of crude as companies brace for a new normal of ever-falling prices. Other companies are also cutting back, such as Shell, which cut 6,500 staff and contractor positions last year.
The world's biggest oil companies are slashing jobs and backing off major investments as the price of crude falls to new lows — and there may be more pain to come.
Companies like BP, which said Tuesday it is cutting 4,000 jobs, are slimming down to cope with the slump in oil, whose price has plummeted to its lowest level in 12 years and is not expected to recover significantly for months, possibly years. California-based Chevron said last fall that it would eliminate 7,000 jobs, while rival Shell announced 6,500 layoffs.

12 January 2016

More than 80 whales wash ashore on India's southern coast

One among the dozens of whales that have washed ashore on the Bay of Bengal coast at the Manapad beach in Tuticorin district, Tamil Nadu state, India, Tuesday, Jan.12, 2016. The top government official in the southeastern port town of Tuticorin said the short-finned pilot whales began washing up on beaches Monday evening.
More than 80 whales have washed ashore on India's southern coast, officials said Tuesday.
The short-finned pilot whales began washing up on beaches Monday evening, said M. Ravi Kumar, the top government official in the southeastern port town of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu state.

11 January 2016

New Yorkers, others on public transit strip to underwear

Two men clad in colorful underwear walk up the subway steps during the 15th annual No Pants Subway Ride Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in New York. The group event, a prank meant to amuse, has been going on since 2002.
Thousands of New Yorkers thought it was a hot thing Sunday to strip to their underwear during winter and ride on public transportation, along with pantless crowds in about 60 countries.
"I'm a no-pant virgin," declared a grinning Miguel Ramos amid New York's No Pants Subway Ride. It was the Mexican-born restaurant worker's first foray into the "international celebration of silliness," as organizers billed it.

10 January 2016

Kim visits military as Koreas slide into Cold War standoff

South Korean soldiers stand in front of equipment used for propaganda broadcasts near the border area between South Korea and North Korea in Yeoncheon, South Korea, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016.
North Korea's leader has taken a victory tour of military headquarters to celebrate the country's widely disputed claim of a hydrogen bomb test.
Kim Jong Un called the nuclear test "a self-defensive step for reliably defending the peace on the Korean Peninsula and the regional security from the danger of nuclear war caused by the U.S.-led imperialists," according to a dispatch Sunday from state-run Korean Central News Agency.

9 January 2016

Extradition for Mexican drug lord not likely to be swift

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is made to face the press as he is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican soldiers and marines at a federal hangar in Mexico City, Mexico, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced that Guzman had been recaptured six months after escaping from a maximum security prison.
Mexican marines had barely faced down .50-caliber sniper guns and a loaded grenade launcher to recapture the world's most notorious drug lord when the calls started coming: Extradite Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States. And soon.
Mexico's leaders avoided talk about extradition following Guzman's capture early Friday, but even if they decided to send him to the U.S., the process likely would not be fast. For now, they have sent him back to the Altiplano maximum-security prison from which he escaped in July.

Iranian Princess Ashraf, shah's twin sister, dies at age 96

In this June 20, 1975 file photo, Princess Ashraf Pahlavi of Iran talks with Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim of the United Nations during International Women’s Year Conference in Mexico City. Pahlavi, the twin sister of the country’s deposed shah whose glamorous life epitomized the excesses of her brother’s rule, has died after decades in exile. She was 96. Reza Pahlavi, a son of the shah, announced his aunt’s death in a Facebook post on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016.
Iranian Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, the twin sister of the country's deposed shah whose glamorous life epitomized the excesses of her brother's rule, has died after decades in exile. She was 96.
Many in Iran before the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution believed Princess Ashraf served as the true power behind her brother, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and pushed him into taking power in a 1953 coup engineered by the U.S.

Two-time defending champion Wawrinka in Chennai semifinals

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka plays a shot against Spain's Guillermo Garcia Lopez at Chennai Open tennis tournament in Chennai, India, Jan. 8, 2016. Wawrinka beat Lopez in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.
Stan Wawrinka advanced to the semifinals of the Chennai Open with a 6-4, 6-4 win over fifth-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain Friday.
The top-seeded Swiss, a two-time defending champion, fired 14 aces to set up a clash with third-seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire.
Paire also served 14 aces as he defeated Thomas Fabbiano of Italy 6-4, 7-5.

8 January 2016

Libya truck bombing kills at least 60 policemen, wounds 200

Map locates Zliten, Libya.
A massive truck bomb exploded near a police base in the western Libyan town of Zliten on Thursday, killing at least 60 policemen and wounding around 200 others, officials said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but a local Islamic State affiliate has been trying to gain a foothold in Zliten, spreading westward from its central stronghold in the city of Sirte along the North African country's coast.