Hagel, NATO ministers talk Syria chemical weapons

BRUSSELS (AP) — New reports that the French confirmed the use of sarin gas in Syria triggered discussions here at the meeting of NATO defense ministers, but the alliance is still refusing to make any contingency plans for…

Activist: Repatriated NKoreans from its underclass

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Before they were detained in Laos and sent home, a group of young North Korean defectors smiled and teased each other as they told an activist how some of them were beaten with…

Rebekah Brooks denies phone hacking charges

LONDON (AP) — The former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International has pleaded not guilty to all charges related to phone hacking. Rebekah Brooks entered pleas Wednesday at London’s Southwark Crown Court along with almost a dozen…

Ethiopia: Egypt attack proposals ‘day dreaming’

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A spokesman for Ethiopia’s prime minister is downplaying suggestions by Egyptian politicians that Egypt should sabotage Ethiopia’s new Nile River dam. Political leaders in Egypt on Monday proposed carrying out hostile acts against…

Malian army takes Anefis, 1st territorial gain

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Local officials in Mali say the Malian military is clashing with rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, or NMLA, near the village of Anefis in northeast Mali. It marks…

West accuses Iran of nuclear defiance, deception

VIENNA (AP) — Five world powers are urging Iran to heed demands aimed at easing fears that it might want nuclear arms. The United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany say it is “essential and urgent” that…

Yemen launches major offensive against al-Qaida

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemeni military officials say thousands of troops, backed by tanks and warplanes, have launched a major offensive in a southern province to rout al-Qaida militants from the area. The officials say the operation in…

Turkey’s tourism industry shrugs off protest fears

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey, a largely Muslim nation that bridges Europe and Asia, has a flourishing tourist industry based on ancient historical sites and ruins, a world-ranked metropolis in Istanbul, wide sandy Mediterranean beaches and stunning regions of…

AP Interview: MD eyes new operation as Rome mayor

ROME (AP) — Studied under pioneering U.S. surgeon. Saved lives transplanting livers on two continents. Helped create cutting-edge transplant center in Mafia-plagued Sicily. Elected mayor of Rome? Whether Ignazio Marino adds that last credential to his impressive resume…

Protests unite Turks across the social spectrum

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s state-run news agency says police have detained 25 people for “spreading untrue information” on social media and provoking protests. The Anadolu Agency says Wednesday the people were detained in the city of Izmir…

Glance: Key ECB measures to calm eurozone crisis

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank and its president, Mario Draghi, have played a key role in fighting the government debt crisis afflicting the 17 European Union member countries that use the euro. The ECB is…

ECB searches for ways to boost sagging eurozone

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe’s economy badly needs a push. The European Central Bank says it stands ready to help. But how? To stimulate growth, the ECB has already cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low,…

Copters pluck families from raging European floods

BERLIN (AP) — Rising river levels are still threatening vast parts of eastern and southern Germany and hundreds of people were being evacuated in Dresden. A city spokeswoman told German news agency dpa on Wednesday some 600 persons…

Indian businessman arrested in rape of Irish woman

KOLKATA, India (AP) — Police said Wednesday they have arrested a man accused of raping an Irish woman who volunteered at a children’s charity in the Indian city of Kolkata. The local businessman who was arrested will be…

11 people hospitalized after Moscow subway fire

MOSCOW (AP) — Authorities say that parts of Moscow’s metro are shut down after a fire at a station close to the Kremlin injured dozens of people. The Emergencies Situations Ministry said in a statement that the fire…

New Zealand driver, 105: ‘I don’t think I’m old’

NGATAKI, New Zealand (AP) — Bob Edwards was born before the first Model T rolled out of Henry Ford’s factory in Detroit. He learned to drive in a French car that had a lever instead of a steering…

Netanyahu cool to Arab initiative

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s deputy foreign minister says Palestinians are unwilling to talk peace despite a push by the U.S and Israel to restart negotiations. Zeev Elkin told Israel Radio on Wednesday that Israel is “ready and willing”…

Signature campaign on Egypt’s streets tests Morsi

CAIRO (AP) — Thousands of volunteers are hitting the pavement around Egypt, on streets, in metro stations, even in hospitals, passing out black-and-white forms to whoever will take them. The goal: To collect millions of signatures on a…

New Pakistan PM vows better economy, end to drones

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s parliament is poised to elect Nawaz Sharif as prime minister, completing the first transition of power between two democratically elected civilian governments in the nearly 66-year history of this coup-prone country. The National Assembly…

Syria army deals severe blow to rebels in key town

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian State TV is reporting that President Bashar Assad’s army is now in full control of the embattled border town of Qusair, where fighting raged with rebels for nearly three weeks. The state TV said…