News: U.S. & World

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  • Japan trade, justice ministers quit amid scandals

    TOKYO (AP) — Japan's trade and justice ministers resigned Monday after accusations they misused campaign funds in the biggest setback so far for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's conservative administration. The two ministers were among five women Abe named to his Cabinet in a reshuffle early last month, part of an effort to promote women in...

  • Joko Widodo sworn in as Indonesia's new president

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Joko Widodo completed a journey from riverside slum to presidential palace on Monday, cheered through the streets following his inauguration by tens of thousands of ordinary Indonesians in a reminder to the opposition-controlled parliament of the strong grass-roots support that swept him to power. The 53-year-old must...

  • Attacks on Afghan checkpoints kill 4 troops

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Officials say insurgents have attacked several army checkpoints in eastern and southern Afghanistan, killing at least four troops and wounding several people. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which happened Sunday, but the Taliban have stepped up assaults on Afghan and NATO forces ahead of the...

  • Hawaii rides out storm, no reports of serious woes

    HONOLULU (AP) — A Pacific tempest packing hurricane force winds brushed Hawaii over the weekend with heavy rain, high surf and strong winds, but the islands road out the storm with no reports of any serious problems. Hurricane Ana was downgraded to a tropical storm late Sunday afternoon as it began to pull away from the state's more populated...

  • On the road to find the world's funniest person

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — It was last summer and Israeli-Palestinian tensions were at the highest they'd been in some time when Jamie Masada hit on a formula for world peace: Forget about guns and bombs, and just tell jokes to each other. The onetime stand-up comic is, after all, the owner of the venerable Hollywood nightclub The Laugh Factory, so...

  • The 10 semifinalists for World's Funniest Person

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The 10 semifinalists in the World's Funniest Person competition are: — Mustapha El Atrassi, France. Born in France to a Moroccan family, El Atrassi began doing stand-up as a teenager. He appeared in a one-man show in Paris at age 16 and two years later had his own sitcom in Morocco. Since 2008, he's hosted a morning radio...

  • Indian schools face decayed buildings, poverty

    WINSLOW, Ariz. (AP) — Federally owned schools for Native Americans on reservations are marked by remoteness, extreme poverty and a lack of construction dollars. They also are among the nation's lowest performing. The Obama administration is pushing ahead with an improvement plan that gives tribes more control. But the effort is complicated by...

  • What to know about federally run Indian schools

    WINSLOW, Ariz. (AP) — The federal government finances 183 schools and dormitories for Native American children on or near reservations in 23 states. The schools are some of the nation's lowest performing. An effort is underway to improve them. Five things to know about the Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Education schools: ___ THE...

  • Lawyers due in court in marathon bombing case

    BOSTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors and lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are due in court for a status conference. Tsarnaev is charged with carrying out the deadly 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges and could face the death penalty if...

  • Nepal to end rescue operation on trekking route

    KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal was wrapping up rescue operations in its northern mountains Monday, saying all the hikers believed to have been stranded on a trekking route by a series of deadly blizzards are now safe. At least 38 people, including trekkers from Canada, India, Israel, Slovakia, Poland and Japan, died in the blizzards and...

  • Pilots at Lufthansa long-haul fleet to strike

    BERLIN (AP) — A planned strike by pilots at Lufthansa has been expanded to include a one-day walkout Tuesday at the German airline's long-haul fleet. The Vereinigung Cockpit union already had announced a 35-hour strike at Lufthansa's short-haul fleet starting mid-Monday, the latest in a string of walkouts over retirement benefits. It expanded...

  • Australia's Parliament House lifts face veil ban

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's Parliament House on Monday lifted a short-lived ban on facial coverings including burqas and niqabs after the prime minister intervened. The government department that runs Parliament House announced earlier this month that "persons with facial coverings" would no longer be allowed in the open public...

  • HK leader: 'External forces' involved in protests

    HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong's leader has claimed that "external forces" are participating in student-led pro-democracy protests that have occupied parts of this financial capital for more than three weeks, but provided no evidence to back his accusation. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's statement in a televised interview Sunday was the first...

  • China's ruling party opens meeting on rule of law

    BEIJING (AP) — The conundrum of bolstering rule of law in Communist Party-run China was on the agenda for the ruling party's top leaders Monday as they opened a four-day conclave to guide policy for the coming year. Rule of law is a tricky notion in China because the party operates above the law and has never shown eagerness to change that....

  • Federal police take control of 13 towns in Mexico

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Federal police have taken control of 13 municipalities in southern Mexico where local police are suspected of links to organized crime and possibly to the case of 43 missing students, a top official said. The municipalities are all within a roughly 125-mile (200-kilometer) radius of Iguala, the town where the students from a...

  • Ana downgraded to tropical storm; Hawaii relaxes

    HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii residents started to relax Sunday after days of keeping a cautious eye on Hurricane Ana, which was downgraded by late afternoon into a tropical storm. After churning dangerously close for several days the closest Ana got to Hawaii was about 70 miles southwest of the island Niihau on Sunday, leaving the state soaked but...

  • Comedians honor Jay Leno with humor prize in DC

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The joke was on Jay Leno as comedians saluted the former "Tonight Show" host Sunday when he received the nation's top humor prize. Jimmy Fallon, Jerry Seinfeld and Wanda Sykes celebrated Leno's famous work ethic and poked fun as he received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Garth...

  • Kerry seeks Asia's help in anti-Islamic State push

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Indonesia for a brief visit aimed at building Asian support for the fights against Islamic State extremists and the deadly Ebola virus. Highlighting the Obama administration's commitment to the Asia-Pacific region, Kerry led the U.S. delegation to the inauguration of new...

  • Brazilian candidates spar over poverty, corruption

    SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff highlighted her government's achievements in reducing poverty while her rival used Sunday night's presidential debate to attack her on allegations of bribery in state-run oil company Petrobras. Opposition candidate Aecio Neves grilled Rousseff over a growing kickback scandal at Petrobras,...

  • Students clean up after mayhem near pumpkin fest

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Keene State College students quickly cleaned up from a chaotic weekend on Sunday after violent parties near the city's annual pumpkin festival led to destruction, dozens of arrests and multiple injuries. The parties around the school coincided with the Keene Pumpkin Festival, at which the community tries to set a world...

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