Brazil World Cup legislation moves closer to passage
By Maria Carolina Marcello and Ana Flor BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian lawmakers on Wednesday moved a step closer to passing a long-delayed measure key to preparations for the 2014 soccer World Cup, breaking
Puerto Rico's police chief quits amid crime spike
Puerto Rico's police chief quit late Wednesday, less than a year after being appointed to lead a department that federal agents have accused of corruption, illegal killings and civil rights violations. The resignation...
Cuban-Americans find hope on return to homeland
Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Cuba drew nearly 300 Americans to the island they or their parents long ago fled. What they found was a country that was different from the one they had imagined, yet somehow still close to...
Mexico senators approve religious reform
Mexico's Senate has approved a constitutional reform that guarantees people the right to celebrate religious events in public as long as they don't engage in electoral politics. Senators voted 72-35 Wednesday for the...
Dempsey says he 'misspoke' on defense cuts
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says he misspoke when he said recently that another $500 billion in defense budget cuts next year would mean the US would no longer be a global power. ...
Tibetan monk, 20, latest to self-immolate in China
A 20-year-old Tibetan monk in western China has become the latest to set himself on fire in protest against the authoritarian government, Tibetan exiles said Thursday. More than 30 people have self-immolated, or...
Thousands march in Mali streets to support junta
Several thousand people took to the streets of Mali's capital in support of last week's coup and to protest against the possible use of force by Mali's neighbors who are putting a peacekeeping unit on standby in case...
Guyana judge dismisses treason case against trio
A judge in Guyana has dismissed charges against a Guyanese army major and two others in the South American country. Police accused the trio of taking part in a July 2009 arson attack on a health ministry building. They...
Salvadoran leader: I wasn't involved in gang truce
The president of El Salvador denied Wednesday that his government had rewarded his country's two largest street gangs for striking a truce credited with a dramatic drop in the staggering national homicide rate. ...
Data request investigation points finger at UK newspapers
LONDON (Reuters) - Analysis showing the alleged extent of a private investigator's dealings with some British national newspapers was published on Wednesday by ITV News. The broadcaster's investigation into
Cuban-American in emotional return to family home
Cecilia Dalmau's mother made only one request before her daughter flew to Cuba for Pope Benedict XVI's visit: "I would love to see pictures from my childhood home." When Dalmau and her Cuban-exile father, Sergio,...
Ex-Brazil leader Silva's tumor is gone
A Brazilian hospital says former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's cancerous tumor has been successfully treated and has disappeared. Doctors found the tumor in Silva's throat late last year. He has since...
Prominent Pakistani acid victim commits suicide
Pakistani acid attack victim Fakhra Younus had endured more than three dozen surgeries over more than a decade to repair her severely damaged face and body when she finally decided life was no longer worth living. The...
Neo-Nazi killing of gay man moves Chile toward law
Prosecutors in Chile asked for murder charges Wednesday in the death of a young gay man whose attackers brutally beat him and carved swastikas into his body. Daniel Zamudio died Tuesday night, 25 days after he was...
US diplomat: al-Qaida, Iran exploit Yemen turmoil
A top U.S. diplomat in the Middle East says al-Qaida and Iran have used the turmoil and uncertainty in Yemen to increase their influence. Jeffery Feltman, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs,...
Arab summit appears divided over approach to Syria
Arab leaders gathering here Thursday will call for Syria to implement a cease-fire, but there's little faith that President Bashar Assad will do anything to halt his crackdown on the year-old uprising. That could set...
Morales re-election backed
Bolivia's governing Movement Toward Socialism party has unanimously backed President Evo Morales' candidacy for re-election, though the vote doesn't come until December 2014. Party Chairman Victor Ramirez announced the...
Twin says Polish leader's death likely no accident
The twin brother of the Polish president who died in a 2010 plane crash in Russia claimed Wednesday that the accident is looking increasingly like an assassination and called on the European Union to investigate. ...
NATO: Afghans to take lead in majority of country
Afghan forces will soon start taking charge of security for three-quarters of the nation's 28 million people, NATO's top military commander said Wednesday, a milestone as the country assumes the lead for protecting the...
Italy seizes $1.5 billion in Gadhafi family assets
Italian tax police say they have seized (EURO)1.1 billion ($1.5 billion) in assets from the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's family and associates, including shares in Italy's biggest bank. The assets were frozen...
Crime, violence cost Honduras 10 percent of GDP
A new World Bank report says crime and violence has cost Honduras the equivalent of 10 percent of the country's GDP annually. Honduras had the highest homicide rate in the world in 2010, with 6,200 killings, or 82.1...
Thousands rally for Mali junta, Toure says free
By David Lewis BAMAKO (Reuters) - Thousands of demonstrators chanted pro-junta slogans in Mali's capital on Wednesday, protesting against the threats of foreign powers to use sanctions to force the leaders o
Libya militias resume fighting after ceasefire
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Rival militias in the Libyan city of Sabha resumed fighting hours after calling a ceasefire on Wednesday, after three days of clashes that killed more than 50 people and highlight the government
The real da Vinci code: Louvre unlocks last work
An intense and controversial restoration of the last great work by Leonardo da Vinci goes before the public Thursday at the Louvre Museum, revealing "The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne" in the full panoply of hues and...
Body of French gunman may be sent to Algeria for burial
ALGIERS/PARIS (Reuters) - The father of an al Qaeda-inspired gunman who killed seven people in a shooting rampage in southwest France said on Wednesday he wanted his son buried in Algeria, but the Algerian authorit
Egypt's military generals defend their business
Egypt's ruling military council warned it will not allow civilians to encroach on the armed forces' extensive business enterprises in rare comments about its secretive economic interests in the face of increasing...
Dominican teen beggars charged with killing boy, 7
Police say five teenage beggars who worked as boot cleaners in the Dominican Republic have been charged with killing a 7-year-old boy who was part of their group. Police spokesman Maximo Baez says the teens are accused...
Longtime AP correspondent Joseph Panossian dies
Joseph Panossian, a longtime Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press who covered transformative events from the Lebanese civil war to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 74....
Brazil state passes law on offensive songs
A Brazilian state has approved a law banning the use of public funds to pay for events where songs that offend women and gays are played. The state legislature of the northeastern state of Bahia approved the law...
Belarus arrests 3 leading opposition activists
Belarus arrested three top opposition figures Wednesday who were on their way to Brussels to meet with European Union officials, a move certain to further fuel tensions with the bloc. The 27-nation EU already has...
AP Interview: French shooter had split with wife
The 23-year-old man who claimed responsibility for a killing spree in southern France had separated from his wife days before the attacks and was suffering "psychological difficulties," his lawyer said. In an interview...
Egyptian army takes on Islamists to retain power
By Marwa Awad CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is locked in a power struggle with ruling generals over how much influence the army will have after civilians take over in three months time, a disp
Guinea-Bissau sets date for presidential runoff
An election official in Guinea-Bissau says a presidential runoff will be held next month. Electoral commission president Desejado Lima da Costa said Wednesday the vote will be held April 22. Former prime minister...
Tribe threatens separate state in south Libya
A Libyan tribe threatened Wednesday to declare a separate state in Libya's south after days of bloody battles with a rival tribe, the second such move toward secession this month. The breakaway threats are the latest...
Protests against Italy's Monti rising
By Steve Scherer ROME (Reuters) - Italy's three main trade union federations will hold a joint protest rally against Prime Minister Mario Monti's economic reforms on April 13, the head of the country's large
200 French troops leave Afghanistan
Two hundred French troops said goodbye to the war in Afghanistan on Wednesday as part of France's accelerated pullout from the country. In January, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced a faster-track exit for...
Destruction as Syrian forces take opposition town
Syrian activists said Wednesday a government offensive in northern Syria during which troops overran a major opposition stronghold has left behind scenes of destruction, with corpses in the streets, homes burned to the...
Militant faction breaks off talks with US, Afghans
A major Afghan militant group is following in the Taliban's footsteps by suspending talks with the United States and the Kabul government, another setback to efforts toward a peaceful resolution to the decade-long war. ...
Very high radiation, little water in Japan reactor
One of Japan's crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and hardly any water to cool its fuel, according to an internal examination that reinforces doubts about the plant's stability. A tool...
Zimbabwe to cut back on hangings
Zimbabwe is considering cutting back on hangings according to a proposed new constitution, reserving the death penalty for only extreme cases of aggravated murder, a government official said Wednesday. Constitutional...
Could bombing Iran push it to build the Bomb?
By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Pre-emptive military strikes aimed at forcing Iran to abandon its nuclear activities may end up having the opposite effect: convincing the Islamic Republic's leaders they n
Egypt rulers lift block on Ayman Nour election bid
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's military rulers on Wednesday lifted a ban preventing Ayman Nour from running for the presidency, opening the way for a presidential bid by the liberal politician who came a distant second
100 orangutans estimated lost in Indonesian fires
Fires raging in an Indonesian swamp forest may have killed a third of the rare Sumatran orangutans living there and all of them may be lost this year, conservationists warned Wednesday. The Tripa swamp forest in Aceh...
Egypt's constitutional panel meets amid crisis
A panel tasked with drawing up Egypt's new constitution held its first meeting Wednesday, despite a boycott by liberal members who accuse the Islamists that dominate the committee of trying to hijack the charter-writing...
Report: Poland ex-spy chief charged over CIA site
Poland has pressed the first charges in an investigation into a secret CIA prison on its territory, according to a newspaper. The Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper says former intelligence chief Zbigniew Siemiatkowski has been...
Puerto Rico gang members face drug, murder charges
U.S. agents in Puerto Rico are serving 32 arrest warrants against members of two drug-trafficking gangs accused of several killings including that of a police helicopter co-pilot. U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez...
Human rights groups welcome Polish report on CIA prisons
WARSAW (Reuters) - Human rights campaigners welcomed on Wednesday a report that prosecutors had charged the former head of Poland's intelligence service for helping set up CIA prisons for al Qaeda suspects in the c
Insight: In secret unit, clues to top Israeli duo's chemistry
By Dan Williams JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Forty years before becoming Israel's top decision-making duo, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak first made news on the blood-stained wing of a hijacked Belgian airliner.
South Sudan says it pulls back troops from border
South Sudan said Wednesday it has pulled out its troops from a contested area along the border with Sudan shortly after clashes between the two countries' armies sparked fears of a return to war. Military spokesman...
Livni ousted as leader of Israel's opposition party
By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's main opposition Kadima party, expected to suffer a crushing defeat in the next election, has voted out its leader Tzipi Livni and chosen ex-defence chief Shau