Friday, November 21, 2014

New ‘Hunger Games’ movie debuts Friday

FAIRFIELD — Let the games – resume. “The Hunger Games,” that is. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” hits the silver screen Friday. In this outing, heroine Katniss Everdeen finds her family, friends and people of District 12 under threat from President Snow. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth are featured. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman […]

‘Hunger Games’ stars dream up an alternate cast

LOS ANGELES — Quick – If they were doing a “Hunger Games” remake, who should play the leading roles? We recently posed the question to the franchise’s three young stars – Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth – and they came up with some entertaining answers. Hemsworth, aka Gale Hawthorne, boldly going first: “I’d probably […]

China wins support for Asia-Pacific trade proposal

HUAIROU, China — Leaders of Asia-Pacific economies agreed Tuesday to begin work toward possible adoption of a Chinese-backed free-trade pact, giving Beijing a victory in its push for a bigger role in managing global commerce. In a joint statement after a two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, the leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and Russia’s […]

Putin’s gallantry upstages Chinese host at APEC

BEIJING — It was a warm gesture on a chilly night when Vladimir Putin wrapped a shawl around the wife of Xi Jinping while the Chinese president chatted with Barack Obama. The only problem: Putin came off looking gallant, the Chinese summit host gauche and inattentive. Worse still were off-color jokes that began to circulate […]

Obama’s bid for new China ties can’t quell tension

BEIJING — When Xi Jinping took the reins of a booming China two years ago, President Barack Obama saw an opportunity to remake America’s relationship with the Asian power. But even after Obama’s unusually robust efforts to forge personal ties with Xi, the two leaders are meeting in Beijing amid significant tensions, both old and […]

California’s $7.5 billion water bond passes

LOS ANGELES — California voters approved spending $7.5 billion to improve the state’s outdated and undersized water storage and delivery system amid a historic drought. Proposition 1 passed with about two-thirds support on Tuesday. It calls for building two new reservoirs, investing in conservation measures, water recycling and groundwater cleanup. Its passage comes amid three […]

Coastal California residents using far less water

SACRAMENTO — Residents in coastal communities use far less water than their inland counterparts, but still find ways to cut back even more, residential per-capita water use figures released for the first time Tuesday show. The State Water Resources Control Board is collecting per-capita data to better target conservation efforts as farms go fallow and […]

New Call of Duty out next week, at Walmart first

NEW YORK — The latest installment in the blockbuster “Call of Duty” video game franchise goes on sale next week and those that need to be first in line will have to head to Walmart. The retail giant is selling “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” 24 hours before its official release, a move that could […]

Movie screen screams coming to box office

FAIRFIELD — Thriller is this weekend’s box office buzzword. Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo and Bill Paxton star in “Nightcrawler.” The plot centers on a driven young man desperate for work who joins the world of Los Angeles crime journalism. He blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. It’s rated […]

Suisun City gallery readies for new show

SUISUN CITY — The Lawler House Galley is set to open a new show on Halloween. The exhibit, “Visual Delights,” opens Friday and continues through Jan. 25, 2015, the museum announced in a press release. An opening reception is scheduled from 3 to 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at the gallery. Admission is free. Gallery hours […]

Fairfield High theater program presents show with Halloween theme

FAIRFIELD — Fairfield High School’s Way Off Broadway Theatre presents a Halloween show this week. “The Weird: A Series of Ghost Stories,” begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the school in Theater Room F5. The school is located at 205 E. Atlantic Ave. The shows are open to the public. There is […]

Freed Vietnamese dissident travels to US: official

WASHINGTON — The State Department welcomed Tuesday the release of one of Vietnam’s most prominent dissidents, as the U.S. urges the authoritarian government in Hanoi to improve its human rights record and smooth the way for stronger relations. State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf said Nguyen Van Hai, also known as Dieu Cay, was due to arrive in […]

North Korea frees US man; 2 more still detained

WASHINGTON — North Korea’s reclusive government abruptly freed an American man Tuesday, nearly six months after he was arrested on charges of leaving a Bible in a nightclub, but Pyongyang refused to hand over two other U.S. citizens who are still being held. There was no immediate explanation for the release of Jeffrey Fowle, who […]

Conservative bishops move away from gay overture

VATICAN CITY — A fight for the soul of the Catholic Church has broken out, and the first battlefield is a document on family values that pits increasingly alarmed conservatives against more progressive bishops emboldened by Pope Francis’ vision of a church that is more merciful than moralistic. On Tuesday, conservative bishops distanced themselves from […]

North Korean leader reappears publicly – with cane

SEOUL, South Korea — After vanishing from the public eye for nearly six weeks, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is back, ending rumors that he was gravely ill, deposed or worse. Now, a new, albeit smaller, mystery has emerged: Why the cane? Kim, who was last seen publicly at a Sept. 3 concert, appeared […]

Analysis: US-led airstrikes produce few gains

By Vivian Salama BAGHDAD — After two months, the U.S.-led aerial campaign in Iraq has hardly dented the core of the Islamic State group’s territory. The extremist fighters have melted into urban areas when needed to elude the threat, and they have even succeeded in taking new territory from an Iraqi army that still buckles […]

Turkey: Syrian town poised to fall to militants

MURSITPINAR, Turkey — Islamic State fighters were poised to capture a strategic Syrian town on the Turkish border, Turkey’s president warned Tuesday, even as Kurdish forces battled to expel the extremists from their footholds on the outskirts. The outgunned Kurdish fighters struggling to defend Kobani got a small boost from a series of U.S.-led airstrikes […]

Afghan suicide bomber kills 3 foreign troops

KABUL, Afghanistan — A Taliban attacker detonated his car bomb next to an international military convoy on Tuesday, killing three members of the NATO-led force and wounding nearly 20 troops and civilians, officials said. Security forces in full battle gear administered CPR to wounded comrades shortly after the early morning blast that rattled nearby neighborhoods […]

Mexico airlifts tourists after Hurricane Odile

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico — The Mexican government began airlifting the first of thousands of stranded tourists out of the hurricane-ravaged resort area of Los Cabos on Tuesday, as residents picked up the pieces of shattered, flooded homes. The Interior Ministry said military and commercial planes were carrying travelers out through the Los Cabos international […]

Ukraine lawmakers ratify landmark deal with Europe

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine moved to resolve months of crisis Tuesday by strengthening ties to Europe and loosening some controls over the country’s rebellious eastern regions where it has been fighting Russian-backed separatists. The actions by lawmakers began to flesh out the emerging picture of a new Ukraine, where a determined pivot toward Europe has […]

Iraq parliament rejects interior, defense nominees

BAGHDAD — Iraqi lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s nominees Tuesday to lead the defense and interior ministries, leaving the crucial Cabinet posts unfilled as an emerging U.S.-led coalition intensifies its air campaign against Islamic State extremists who have seized a third of the country. Control over the two powerful security portfolios has long been […]

Wreckage scattered in Ukraine as inquiry released

HRABOVE, Ukraine — A child’s jump rope, its yellow handles blistered and charred. A burned book in Tagalog. Chunks of twisted fuselage. More than seven weeks after being shot from the sky, the wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 still lay strewn Tuesday across the fields of eastern Ukraine. As evidence of the July 17 […]

At US base, S. Korean ex-prostitutes face eviction

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — More than 70 aging women live in a squalid neighborhood between the rear gate of the U.S. Army garrison here and half a dozen seedy nightclubs. Near the front gate, glossy illustrations posted in real-estate offices show the dream homes that may one day replace their one-room shacks. They once worked as prostitutes for […]

US strike targets leader of Somali extremist group

MOGADISHU, Somalia — U.S. airstrikes in Somalia may have killed the leader of the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, with a militant commander saying Tuesday that he was in a car that was struck and that six people died. The leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, has no heir apparent. If he has been killed, it would be […]

Ferguson slowly starting to make comeback

FERGUSON, Mo. — The unmistakable signs of healing are beginning to dot Ferguson, even the small area of this St. Louis-area suburb that was the center of attention for three weeks. But those in the community know they’ve got a long way to go. Some merchants say business hasn’t come close to recovering from the aftermath […]

Nicaraguan officials: 22 trapped miners rescued; others still being sought

BONANZA, Nicaragua — Rescue workers and trapped miners alike frantically dug away at opposite sides of rock and mud that blocked a Nicaragua gold mine, finally succeeding in freeing at least 20 men. Efforts to reach five miners still missing continued Saturday. Antonio Diaz said the miners tried to cheer each other up inside the […]

Saudi king warns Europe and US of terrorist threat from extremist groups in Iraq, Syria

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — The king of Saudi Arabia has warned that extremists could attack Europe and the U.S. if there is not a strong international response to terrorism after the Islamic State group seized a wide territory across Iraq and Syria. While not mentioning any terrorist groups by name, King Abdullah’s statement appeared aimed […]

Syrian rebels holding 44 Fiji peacekeepers attack Filipino troops in Golan Heights

BEIRUT — Clashes erupted between al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels and U.N. peacekeepers in the Golan Heights on Saturday after the militants surrounded their encampment, activists and officials said, as the international organization risked being sucked further into the conflict. Other U.N. peacekeepers were able to flee from a different encampment that that was also surrounded by […]

EU inches toward new sanctions on Russia in response to military incursion in Ukraine

BRUSSELS — The European Union on Saturday warned that the apparent incursion of Russian troops on Ukrainian soil pushes the conflict closer to a point of no return, with new economic sanctions being drawn up to make Moscow reconsider its position. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who briefed a summit of the 28-nation EU’s leaders in Brussels, said […]

5 US airstrikes target Islamic State fighters

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military says fighter aircraft and unmanned drones have struck Islamic State militants near Iraq’s Mosul Dam. In a statement issued Saturday, U.S. Central Command says the five latest U.S. airstrikes were in support of operations conducted by Iraqi security forces. Officials say the airstrikes destroyed an armed vehicle, a fighting position […]