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Saudi crown prince meets Chinese official on Beijing visit

Saudi crown prince meets Chinese official on Beijing visit

World
BEIJING – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has met with a Chinese vice premier in a bid to strengthen relations in the face of criticism from the West over the kingdom's human rights record and its war in Yemen.Prince Mohammed held bilateral talks Friday with Han Zheng at the Great Hall of the People before presiding at a China-Saudi cooperation forum and accompanying signing ceremony.The prince meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping later Friday, highlighting Saudi Arabia's importance as one of China's top oil suppliers and a market for its exports, including military drones.The crown prince's trip comes five months after he came under intense pressure in the U.S. and elsewhere following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbu
From Syria, IS slips into Iraq to fight another day

From Syria, IS slips into Iraq to fight another day

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next Image 1 of 2FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 file photo, U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighters watch as an airstrike hits territory still held by Islamic State militants in the desert outside Baghouz, Syria. U.S. and Iraqi officials say IS fighters facing defeat in Syria are slipping across the border into Iraq, where they are destabilizing the country’s fragile security. Hundreds -- likely more than 1,000 -- IS fighters have crossed the open, desert border in the past six months, defying a massive operation by U.S., Kurdish, and allied forces to stamp out the remnants of the jihadi group in eastern Syria. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File) prev Image 2 of 2FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 file photo, a U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighter reacts
Nigeria leader says many feared ‘the worst’ after vote delay

Nigeria leader says many feared ‘the worst’ after vote delay

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KANO, Nigeria – Nigeria's president in a final appeal to the nation before Saturday's election says many "thought the worst might happen" after a surprise week-long delay but he pledges that people can go to the polls free from fear.President Muhammadu Buhari spoke Friday morning, nearly 24 hours before polls open across Africa's most populous country. Many Nigerians had been outraged when the vote was postponed just hours before the election last weekend. The electoral commission now swears it is ready.Buhari is in a tight race with a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar. Both have signed pledges to contribute to a peaceful election but their supporters have kept up a wave of heated rhetoric.The president says "no worldly hand" can keep Nigeria on its d
Muslim rebel commanders transform into Philippine officials

Muslim rebel commanders transform into Philippine officials

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MANILA, Philippines – Some of the fiercest Muslim rebel commanders in the southern Philippines are in Manila to be sworn in as administrators of a new Muslim autonomy region in a delicate milestone to settle one of Asia's longest-raging rebellions.President Rodrigo Duterte will lead a ceremony Friday to name Moro Islamic Liberation Front leader Murad Embrahim and some of his top commanders as administrators of a transition government for the five-province Bangsamoro region.About 12,000 combatants are expected to be demobilized starting this year under the peace deal.The Philippines and Western governments and the guerrillas see Muslim autonomy as an antidote to ease nearly half a century of Muslim secessionist violence, which the Islamic State group could exploit to gain a foothold.So
French bishops agree to compensation for sex abuse victims

French bishops agree to compensation for sex abuse victims

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next Image 1 of 2FILE - In this Jan.7, 2019 file photo, cardinal Philippe Barbarin, center, takes his seat as he arrives at the Lyon courthouse with his lawyers : Jean-Felix Luciani, 2nd right, and Andre Soulier, right, to attend his trial, in Lyon, central France. Still coming to terms with their responsibility in the clerical sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic church, French bishops have finally accepted the principle of awarding a financial compensation to victims in France. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File) prev Image 2 of 2FILE - In this Jan.7 2019 file photo, Francois Devaux, one of the plaintiffs and President of the "La Parole Libérée" (the Liberated Word) Victims' Group and self-declared victim of Father Preynat talks to the media as
Pacific typhoon expected to lash Guam with gusty wind, rain

Pacific typhoon expected to lash Guam with gusty wind, rain

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next Image 1 of 2Jared Duenas fills up his pickup truck with gasoline in the village of Sinajana, Guam in preparation of a typhoon on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. An intensifying tropical storm in the Pacific is bearing down on Micronesia and could threaten the U.S. territory of Guam in the coming days. (AP Photo/Grace Garces Bordallo) prev Image 2 of 2Tyrone Quinata, 23, and his nephew Rayden Gofigan, 11, shop for batteries and other necessities in Tamuning, Guam on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. An intensifying tropical storm in the Pacific is bearing down on Micronesia and could threaten the U.S. territory of Guam in the coming days. (AP Photo/Grace Garces Bordallo)HAGATNA, Guam – A growing typhoon in the Pacific is heading toward the Mariana Islands and could lash Guam with st
Japanese spacecraft touches down on asteroid to get samples

Japanese spacecraft touches down on asteroid to get samples

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next Image 1 of 2FILE - This computer graphic image provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows the Japanese unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa2 approaching on the asteroid Ryugu. Hayabusa2 is approaching the surface of an asteroid about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth. The JAXA said Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 that Hayabusa2 began its approach at 1:15 p.m. (JAXA via AP, File) prev Image 2 of 2In this photo provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), staff of the Hayabusa2 Project watch monitors for a safety check at the control room of the JAXA Institute of Space and Astronautical Science in Sagamihara, near Tokyo, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 is approaching the surface of the asteroid Ryugu about ...
Amid loss of leaders, unknown militant rises in Philippines

Amid loss of leaders, unknown militant rises in Philippines

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This photo provided by Philippine National Police (PNP), shows militant Abu Sayyaf Group leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan in the PNP confidential report. Philippine and U.S. official say a little known militant has been named the new leader of the Islamic State group in the southern Philippines. The Philippine interior secretary says the rise of Hatib Sawadjaan, who is blamed for orchestrating a suicide bombing in a cathedral last month that killed 23 people on Jolo Island, shows that ISIS would latch on desperately to any militant who could provide a sanctuary and armed fighters as its last strongholds crumble in Syria. (Philippine National Police via AP) MANILA, Philippines – Philippine and U.S. officials say a little-known militant has been named the new leader of the Islamic Sta
Nicaragua’s Ortega says he will restart talks with opponents

Nicaragua’s Ortega says he will restart talks with opponents

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FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2018 file photo, Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, lead a rally in Managua, Nicaragua. Despite the new Feb. 1, 2019 tax rises, Nicaragua has not seen a repeat of last year’s mass protests. And it seems unlikely to, since Ortega forcefully quashed the challenge to his power, including effectively outlawing opposition demonstrations since September. (AP Photo/Alfredo Zuniga, File) MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega says he will restart talks with his opponents, more than six months after breaking off the last dialogue and unleashing a round of arrests.Ortega announced Thursday that he hopes to start a new round of talks next Wednesday. He did not say who would be invited.The previous
Australian who drove into crowd, killed 6, sentenced to life

Australian who drove into crowd, killed 6, sentenced to life

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MELBOURNE, Australia – A man who drove a stolen car into lunchtime crowds in downtown Melbourne and killed six people was sentenced to life imprisonment in what the judge described as "one of the worst examples of mass murder in Australian history."James Gargasoulas, 29, showed little emotion when sentenced Friday in Victoria state's Supreme Court. Under the terms of his sentence, he will spend at least 46 years in jail before he's eligible for parole.Families of the victims filled the courtroom for Justice Mark Weinberg's ruling. Gargasoulas was in a drug-induced psychosis in January 2017 when he killed the six people and injured dozens more in the busy Bourke St. Mall.His victims included a 3-month-old baby who was thrown 60 meters (200 feet) from his stroller an
Italy: Teacher’s ‘experiment’ with black pupil arouses anger

Italy: Teacher’s ‘experiment’ with black pupil arouses anger

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ROME – An elementary school teacher in central Italy who told his students a black classmate was "ugly" is learning about the outrage his action caused.Several parents complained after their children told them the teacher directed the boy to turn his back to the the class and then instructed the other students to "look how ugly he is."The teacher told Italian state TV he was conducting a social experiment.Italian Education Minister Marco Bussetti condemned the incident in a public school in Foligno, a town in the Umbria region, as "very grave." Bussetti tweeted Thursday that urgent measures would be taken to address it.Immigration to predominantly white Italy is a relatively recent phenomenon. The anti-migrant League, one of the two parties in government, issu
Venezuela to close border with Brazil amid Maduro’s refusal of humanitarian aid

Venezuela to close border with Brazil amid Maduro’s refusal of humanitarian aid

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Venezuela's controversial President Nicolas Maduro announced on Thursday that he plans to close the country's border with Brazil "totally and completely" until further notice. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)Venezuela's controversial President Nicolas Maduro announced on Thursday that he plans to close the country's border with Brazil "totally and completely" until further notice.The shocking announcement comes days before shipments of foreign humanitarian aid are set to be delivered to Venezuela, where the situation grows more dire by the day. Maduro maintained at a meeting in Caracas that aid from foreign countries is unnecessary, and an attempt by the United States to undermine his government's power."We're not beggars,&q...
Tug-of-war with a lion: UK zoo’s bizarre big cat challenge sparks backlash

Tug-of-war with a lion: UK zoo’s bizarre big cat challenge sparks backlash

World
closeVideoTug-of-war with a lion: UK zoo's bizarre big cat challenge sparks criticismA zoo in the United Kingdom is coming under fire for offering its visitors a chance to play a challenging game of tug-of-war with its lions and tigers for a small fee.For about $20 (£15), zoogoers — eight and older — at Dartmoor Zoo can join a team of four at a long rope to rival a big cat, according to The Guardian. A juicy piece of raw meat attached to the end of the rope coaxes the lion or tiger into biting the end and giving it a good tug.The challengers are pulling from the other side of the enclosure and do not come into close contact with the wild animals. The zoo says the activity is beneficial to the big cats, allowing them to get the vital exercise they need.HUGE SNAKE MAULED BY ALLIGATOR IN
Mexican Senate approves quasi-military National Guard

Mexican Senate approves quasi-military National Guard

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MEXICO CITY – Mexico's Senate has unanimously approved a watered-down version of the militarized National Guard the government wants to use to combat a rising wave of crime.Senators want to avoid militarizing law enforcement, but President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wants a force with military discipline.The senate voted to place the new guard under the civilian public safety department. But members will initially come from federal and military police units and will have joint military-civilian command and training.The bill also places a five-year limit on using the military for police duties.Because it changed a version passed earlier by the lower house, the bill will apparently have to return to a conference committee. Because it involves constitutional changes, it must still be ap
UN chief discusses Yemen, Venezuela with Pompeo

UN chief discusses Yemen, Venezuela with Pompeo

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In this Feb. 1, 2019 photo, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) UNITED NATIONS – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has held talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo focusing on the redeployment of forces from Yemen's key port and the situation in Venezuela.U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Yemen and Venezuela were the main focus of their 30-minute meeting Thursday afternoon, which was requested by Pompeo.He said Guterres and Pompeo discussed the importance of Yemen's government and Houthi Shiite rebels implementing a December agreement reached in Stockholm and starting the withdrawal of their forces from Hodeida, whose port handles about 70 percent of Yemen's imp