Vatican posts surplus but donations drop

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has posted a 2.2 million euro ($2.85 million) budget surplus for 2012, an improvement from the previous year and some good news as it struggles to cope with a scandal involving its…

Syria’s Assad boasts opponents failed to oust him

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s President Bashar Assad claimed in an interview published Thursday that countries conspiring against Syria have “used up all their tools” in their campaign to overthrow his regime. The remarks came as Western-backed Syrian opposition…

Afghan officials: Roadside bombs kill 6 children

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Roadside bombs killed four young girls and two schoolboys in Afghanistan on Thursday while a police inspector was gunned down on her way to work, officials said. The girls, aged 10 to 12 years,…

Lucky British babies to receive royal silver penny

LONDON (AP) — British babies born the same day as Prince William and Kate’s first child will receive their own royal gift in the form of a “lucky” silver penny. The Royal Mint announced Thursday that it has…

Some Kenyan parents oppose laptop offer to kids

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A group of Kenyan parents say they oppose the government’s plan to give laptops to schoolchildren. Musau Ndunda of the Kenya National Association of Parents said Thursday the group thinks the money for laptops…

UAE: ‘Satisfaction’ in fall of Egyptian Islamists

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Gulf Arab states with sharply contrasting views on Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday acknowledged the country’s new military-led government after the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi. The United Arab Emirates, one of…

Having breathing difficulties? Try singing

LONDON (AP) — In a third-floor room of a London hospital with orange and white walls draped with Tibetan prayer flags, roughly a dozen people gathered recently to perform vocal exercises and sing songs, including folk music from…

Mandela children reburied at original gravesite

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The wife of critically ill Nelson Mandela says the former South African president is sometimes uncomfortable but seldom in pain while being treated in a hospital. Graca Machel spoke about her husband’s condition on Thursday…

Group releases video of seal killings in Namibia

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A conservation group has released graphic video of men clubbing seals to death in the western Africa nation of Namibia. Earthrace Conservation said Thursday that the video, captured in 2011 by a covert filmmaker, shows…

Pakistani PM Sharif meets Chinese President Xi

BEIJING (AP) — Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has met with China’s President Xi Jinping during an official visit to Beijing focused on courting Chinese investment. The visit that began Thursday is Sharif’s first to his country’s close…

Military: 100 gunmen killed in central Nigeria

JOS, Nigeria (AP) — A military spokesman says soldiers killed more than 100 gunmen blamed for ethno-religious clashes started by cattle rustling in central Nigeria. Maj. Gen. Henry Ayoola said the military went on the offensive after 28…

On tape, Murdoch slams police investigation

LONDON (AP) — Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has been recorded saying wrongdoing by his British newspapers was “next to nothing” and apparently acknowledging that his reporters paid police officers for information. In a tape published in transcript by…

Court annuls controversial Istanbul project

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A lawyer says an Istanbul court has annulled a government-backed redevelopment project that ignited widespread protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rule last month. However, lawyer Can Atalay said Thursday that the court’s…

Website offers choice of Angkor sunset sites

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia has joined hands with Australia in an effort to use the Internet to help preserve its fabled Angkor Wat temple complex. The Australian Embassy announced Thursday that a recently opened website, angkorsunsets.com,…

Arizona Senator McCain visits US troops in Kabul

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Senior Republican Sen. John McCain is visiting American troops in Afghanistan to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. McCain presided over a reenlistment ceremony for about a half dozen U.S. soldiers in Kabul on…

Nestle cuts China infant formula prices amid probe

BEIJING (AP) — Nestle SA says it will cut infant formula prices in China by an average of 11 percent from Monday in response to a probe into alleged price-fixing by several foreign companies. The price cuts by…

WHO: 71 killed, 300 wounded in Somalia fighting

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The World Health Organization says at least 71 people have been killed and more than 300 wounded in ongoing fighting between rival militias in the Somali city of Kismayo. WHO said in a statement…

Campaigning kicks off for Japan elections

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to speed up disaster reconstruction Thursday as he kicked off the campaign for parliamentary elections during a visit to Fukushima. Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner,…