News: U.S. & World

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  • Vatican: Pope's private calls don't reflect policy

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — What Pope Francis may tell Catholics in private telephone conversations doesn't reflect church policy, the Vatican's spokesman said Thursday. An unusual statement from The Rev. Federico Lombardi came after days of speculation that the pope wants to change Roman Catholic Church rules barring communion for...

  • Suicide attack in Iraq kills at least 11 people

    BAGHDAD (AP) — A suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a police checkpoint south of Baghdad on Thursday morning, killing at least 11 people, officials said, the latest episode in an uptick in violence in the run-up to next week's parliamentary elections. The attack struck during the morning rush hour, when the checkpoint at one...

  • Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel broke off Mideast peace talks and brought the U.S.-brokered process to the brink of collapse Thursday, protesting a reconciliation agreement between the Western-backed Palestinian Authority and the militant group Hamas, the Jewish state's sworn enemy. Israel's Security Cabinet made the decision during a marathon...

  • UN chief: Syria war threatens Lebanon's stability

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. secretary-general is warning that the 3-year-old conflict in Syria poses a serious threat to the stability of neighboring Lebanon, as thousands of refugees stream into the small country and weapons and fighters are transferred out. Ban Ki-moon's latest report to the U.N. Security Council, circulated Thursday,...

  • Gaga over gorillas? 2 babies arrive at Bronx Zoo

    NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City zoo is celebrating the arrivals of two baby western lowland gorillas. They're the first gorillas born at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo since 2006. Zoo officials said Thursday the babies' genders aren't yet known. A gorilla named Julia gave birth on March 10. Another named Tuti had her baby on...

  • Timbuktu's storied mausoleums to rise from ruins

    TIMBUKTU, Mali (AP) — Roofs are torn off, mud bricks are strewn about and walls barely rise from the desert dunes where Timbuktu's storied mausoleums once stood and are now in ruins. Islamic radicals swept in and tore them apart as totems of idolatry, along with other symbols of the fabled city. Now that the jihadists are gone, having been...

  • Panama's outgoing president touts wife's candidacy

    PANAMA CITY (AP) — She's a political novice with a scant presence on the campaign trail, but Marta Linares has one vote that matters more than most in her bid to become Panama's next vice president: that of her husband, outgoing President Ricardo Martinelli. Barred by the constitution from seeking re-election, Martinelli is counting on his...

  • Activists say Syrian airstrikes in north kill 30

    BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government airstrikes struck a vegetable market in a northern rebel-held town Thursday, killing at least 30 people and wounding scores of others, an activist group said. The airstrikes came as another Syrian lawmaker announced his candidacy for June presidential election, state media said, a poll embattled President...

  • Canada's FM denounces Russia's actions in Ukraine

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said Thursday that the international community should not accept Russia's "aggression" in Ukraine and committed to help the country develop its democracy. Baird noted the conflict between Moscow and Kiev was worsening as Ukraine's forces moved to drive pro-Russian insurgents out of...

  • House speaker says world wants US to lead

    MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that allies of the United States want America to show strong leadership globally, and that he wants some of his congressional colleagues to stop shying away from immigration reform. Boehner said other countries are looking for the United States to lead, and that the 150 troops...

  • 9/11 museum film draws heat for portrayal of Islam

    NEW YORK (AP) — A film that will be shown at the National September 11 Memorial Museum when it opens next month unfairly links Islam and terrorism, clergy members said in letters demanding it be changed. "The Rise of Al Qaeda," a brief documentary narrated by NBC anchor Brian Williams, shows the growth of international terrorist groups in...

  • Family of slain TSA agent files claim for $25M

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The widow and two children of a security screener killed in an attack at Los Angeles International Airport last year have filed a $25 million claim against the city of Los Angeles. AlderLaw P.C. said Thursday the claim was filed on behalf of the family of Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez,...

  • Feds weigh protecting orcas in West Coast waters

    SEATTLE (AP) — A federal agency is weighing whether to protect endangered orcas in the waters off the West Coast. NOAA Fisheries said Thursday it would consider a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity seeking to expand the critical habitat for southern resident killer whales. NOAA has already designated inland waters of Washington...

  • Internet governance debated in Brazil

    SAO PAULO (AP) — An international two-day conference on Internet governance is drawing to a close in Brazil as government officials, academics and technical experts from some 90 countries debate how the Internet should be run. The final document of the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance, or NETmundial is...

  • London school says students abused by US teacher

    LONDON (AP) — A British private school said Thursday that images of between 50 and 60 of its students were found on the computer drive of an American suspected child predator who killed himself last month. The FBI has asked for international help to find victims of William Vahey, who worked at 10 international schools around the world over...

  • Bernie Goetz headed for trial in NYC pot-sale case

    NEW YORK (AP) — Bernie Goetz (GEHTS) is headed toward a trial in his New York marijuana case after rebuffing a plea offer involving 10 days of community service. A defense lawyer told a judge Thursday that Goetz remains uninterested in that deal. Goetz is preparing for a trial in the Manhattan court complex where he was tried in 1985 for...

  • Man dies after Los Angeles police station shooting

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man suspected of wounding an officer while shooting up a Los Angeles police station died Thursday at a hospital more than two weeks after the attack, authorities said. Daniel Christoph Yealu, 29. died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter said. Yealu, 29, was wounded in the April 7 shootout...

  • Chicago to name high school after President Obama

    CHICAGO (AP) — President Barack Obama's hometown of Chicago plans to name a high school after him. Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday announced plans to build Barack Obama College Preparatory High School. The selective enrollment high school will be open for the 2017-2018 school year. Chicago Public Schools says its enrollment will be 1,200...

  • Russia's Putin calls the Internet a 'CIA project'

    MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called the Internet a CIA project and made comments about Russia's biggest search engine Yandex, sending the company's shares plummeting. The Kremlin has been anxious to exert greater control over the Internet, which opposition activists — barred from national television — have used to...

  • US protests Iran's election to UN NGO committee

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power protested the election of repressive regimes including Iran to the U.N. Committee on Non-governmental Organizations which deals with civil society groups accredited to the United Nations. Iran's U.N. Mission responded Thursday by rejecting "baseless accusations" raised by Power on the...