Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Police: Parents who killed selves, kids feared apocalypse

SPRINGVILLE, Utah — A Utah couple and their three children who were found dead in their home last fall overdosed on drugs after the parents told friends they were concerned about a pending apocalypse, authorities said Tuesday. Police also found old letters from the mother to a Utah man in prison for killing family members […]

Indonesia: AirAsia plane climbed too fast, then disappeared

JAKARTA, Indonesia — An AirAsia plane that crashed last month with 162 people on board was climbing at an abnormally high rate, then plunged and suddenly disappeared from radar, Indonesia’s transport minister said Tuesday. Ignasius Jonan told Parliament that radar data showed the Airbus A320 was climbing at about 6,000 feet a minute before it disappeared on […]

X-rays unlock secrets of ancient scrolls buried by volcano

BERLIN — Scientists have succeeded in reading parts of an ancient scroll that was buried in a volcanic eruption almost 2,000 years ago, holding out the promise that the world’s oldest surviving library may one day reveal all of its secrets. The scroll is among hundreds retrieved from the remains of a lavish villa at […]

4 men in Paris court are 1st to face terror attacks charges

PARIS — French anti-terror prosecutors were seeking to charge four men Tuesday in connection with the attacks in Paris that left 20 people dead, which would be the first suspects charged in the country’s bloodiest terrorist attacks in decades. The four men remained in court late Tuesday awaiting an anti-terror judge’s decision on whether to […]

A look at the hostages believed held by Islamic State group

BEIRUT — A list of foreign hostages believed held by the Islamic State group and some of those who have been released, reportedly in exchange for ransom money: KENJI GOTO and HARUNA YUKAWA: The Islamic State group threatened to kill the two Japanese hostages in a video released Tuesday unless they receive $200 million in […]

Saudi Arabia’s rights crackdown linked to war on terror

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A man is given 50 lashes in a public square for “insulting Islam” on a liberal blog. Another is arrested for filming and uploading a woman’s public beheading. Two females are imprisoned and put on trial for writing on Twitter in support of women driving. These cases have thrust Saudi […]

Japan weighs ransom in Islamic State threat to kill hostages

CAIRO — The Islamic State group threatened to kill two Japanese hostages within 72 hours, demanding a $200 million ransom in a video posted online Tuesday that showed a knife-brandishing masked militant standing over the two kneeling captives. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was traveling in the Middle East, vowed to save the men. But […]

12 dead in bus attack that could doom Ukraine’s shaky truce

DONETSK, Ukraine — An attack on a passenger bus in eastern Ukraine killed 12 people Tuesday, likely dealing the final blow to hopes that a short-lived and shaky cease-fire could take hold. Across Donetsk, the city that Russian-backed separatists call their capital, explosions and the sound of shells whistling overhead are again unnerving the local […]

Freed Cuba dissidents praise detente, pledge push for change

HAVANA — Cuban dissidents freed as part of a historic detente with the United States said Tuesday they support the warming of relations and predicted it will help their efforts to bring change inside their country. Fifty-three dissidents were let go, most in the last week, as part of a deal that also saw both […]

North Korea again urges US to suspend military exercises

UNITED NATIONS — North Korea said Tuesday that “many things will be possible this year on the Korean peninsula” if the United States agrees to suspend its annual military exercises with South Korea in exchange for Pyongyang’s suspension of nuclear tests. North Korea’s new deputy U.N. ambassador, An Myong Hun, refused to give details during […]

Critics dog Cambodia’s leader as he marks 30 years in power

NEAK LOEUNG, Cambodia — Hun Sen, Cambodia’s tough and wily prime minister, marked 30 years in power Wednesday, one of only a handful of political strongmen worldwide who have managed to cling to their posts for three decades. Since first taking up the job of prime minister at age 33, he has consolidated power with […]

Kerry praises Pakistan operation, more work to be done

ISLAMABAD — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday praised the Pakistani military’s operation against militants in the country’s northwest, saying the results are “significant,” but cautioned that more work needs to be done. Pakistan launched a major operation in the North Waziristan region in June. The U.S. had long advocated for such an […]

Japan Cabinet OKs record military budget with eye on China

TOKYO — Japan’s Cabinet approved the country’s largest ever defense budget on Wednesday, including plans to buy surveillance aircraft, drones and F-35 fighter jets to help counter China’s rising assertiveness in the region. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet endorsed a nearly 5 trillion yen ($42 billion) defense budget for the year beginning in April as […]

Defiant Charlie Hebdo fronts Muhammad, drawing more threats

PARIS — In an emotional act of defiance, Charlie Hebdo resurrected its irreverent and often provocative newspaper Tuesday, featuring a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover that drew immediate criticism and threats of more violence. The newspaper unapologetically skewered other religions as well, and bragged that Sunday’s turnout of a million people at […]

Egypt court overturns last Mubarak conviction. Will he walk?

CAIRO — An appeals court on Tuesday overturned the last remaining conviction against Egypt’s deposed leader Hosni Mubarak and ordered his retrial on corruption charges, opening the door for his possible release. The ruling, just days before the fourth anniversary of the start of the 2011 anti-Mubarak uprising, pointed to how far Egypt has moved […]

As world watches Paris, Nigeria suffers its own attacks

JOHANNESBURG — Nigeria’s president was among leaders who condemned last week’s attack by Islamic extremists on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, yet his response to the slaughter of civilians by militants in his own country has been muted. Some commentators criticized President Goodluck Jonathan’s reticence about the violence in Nigeria’s Baga town, and the […]

Pope presses Sri Lankan unity call with Mass, Tamil visit

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Pope Francis pressed his call for Sri Lankan unity and reconciliation Wednesday with a Mass in Colombo to canonize the country’s first saint and a visit to the war-ravaged north to pray at a shrine revered by both Sinhalese and Tamil faithful. Tens of thousands of people waving Vatican flags packed […]

France traces arms, attack money, prepares new terror laws

PARIS — France’s prime minister demanded tougher anti-terrorism measures Tuesday after deadly attacks that some call this country’s Sept. 11 — and that may already be leading to a crackdown on liberties in exchange for greater security. Police told The Associated Press that the weapons used came from abroad, as authorities in several countries searched […]

Sister: Hospital gunman shot wife ‘out of love’

DOVER, N.H. — A New Hampshire man walked into his wife’s hospital room early Tuesday, fatally shot her then killed himself, a murder-suicide that he foretold in a candid and emotional Facebook posting to friends and family. Authorities did not identify the man. But Dorcas Lavoie told The Associated Press that her brother, Mark A. […]

Fine wine stolen from famed Napa Valley restaurant

YOUNTVILLE — Wine sold for nearly $8,000 a bottle was stolen from the French Laundry in Napa Valley, a restaurant that has twice been named the best in the world. The theft occurred on Christmas Day at Chef Thomas Keller’s famed restaurant that is known for twice daily serving nine-course tasting menus, none of which uses the […]

GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists

WASHINGTON — House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups. The supportive statements suggest party leaders think the flare-up will fade during the holidays, with a new Congress […]

Prosecutor in Garner case ponders Grimm seat

WASHINGTON — Potential candidates eyed a New York congressional seat Tuesday as Republican Rep. Michael Grimm announced his resignation, following a guilty plea on tax evasion charges. Among the possible candidates is a Staten Island prosecutor who oversaw a case in which a white New York City police officer was cleared in the death of […]

2 male porn performers test positive for HIV

LOS ANGELES — Two adult film actors have contracted HIV, with one most likely infecting the other during unprotected sex at a film shoot in Nevada where testing was less stringent than industry standards, officials said. One of the actors had previously tested negative for the virus that causes AIDS before a pair of film […]

Spokesman: George H.W. Bush released from hospital

HOUSTON — Former President George H.W. Bush was released from a Houston hospital Tuesday after a stay of about a week for treatment of shortness of breath. The 90-year-old Bush left Houston’s Methodist Hospital, was resting at home and is “grateful to the doctors and nurses for their superb care,” family spokesman Jim McGrath said […]

GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists

WASHINGTON — House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups. The supportive statements suggest party leaders think the flare-up will fade during the holidays, with a new Congress […]

Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Islamic extremists killed 35 people and kidnapped at least 185 in an attack near the town where nearly 300 schoolgirls were taken hostage in April, witnesses said Thursday. In Sunday night’s attack on the village of Gumburi, most of the kidnapped were young women, children and members of a civilian defense group […]

European court rules obesity can be a disability

LONDON — Obesity can be a disability, the European Court of Justice ruled Thursday — a decision that could have widespread consequences across the 28-nation bloc for the way in which employers deal with severely overweight staff. The ruling, which is binding across the EU, has such profound implications for employment law that experts expect […]

Gay vets can march in Boston St. Patrick’s parade

BOSTON — For the first time in its history, the sponsors of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade will allow a group representing the gay community to participate, drawing cheers from Mayor Martin Walsh, who boycotted the event last year over the exclusion. The South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which has long resisted the inclusion […]

Cosby won’t be charged over molestation claim

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles prosecutors on Tuesday declined to file any charges against Bill Cosby after a woman recently claimed the comedian molested her around 1974. The rejection of a child sexual abuse charge by prosecutors came roughly 10 days after the woman, Judy Huth, met with Los Angeles police detectives for 90 minutes. […]

End game: No immigration deal, just divisions

WASHINGTON — A Congress that began with bright hopes for immigration legislation is ending in bitter divisions on the issue even as some Republicans warn that the political imperative for acting is stronger than ever for the GOP. In place of a legislative solution, President Barack Obama’s recent executive action to curb deportations for millions […]