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Al-Qaida in Syria seizes large parts of northern city

BEIRUT (AP) Al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria, the Nusra Front, seized control of large parts of the northwestern city of Idlib from government forces Saturday, sweeping into neighborhoods close to the city center, opposition activists and the group said.

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 07:58:42 -0400
Hamilton on pole for Malaysian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton powers his car in the rain during qualifying for the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang on March 28, 2015Peerless Lewis Hamilton waited out a torrential downpour before snatching pole position at the Malaysian Grand Prix in a wet and wild qualifying session on Saturday. The Mercedes driver and reigning world champion set a fastest time of 1min 49.834sec, ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, after rain halted qualifying for 35 minutes. The commanding drive from Hamilton, hit by mechanical problems this week, will fuel his charge towards a second race win after he dominated the season-opener in Australia. Vettel was the day's other big winner and he whooped and hollered to his team as he seized second place from Mercedes' Nico Rosberg in the dying seconds.

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 07:57:21 -0400
Uzbekistan to vote to extend veteran leader's rule

FILE - In this Saturday March 21, 2015 file photo, Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov greets people during the festivities marking the Navruz holiday, or a sping "New Year" holiday, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is going through the motions of a presidential election this weekend, with a crushing win for its longtime leader a foregone conclusion, but the long-term future of the Central Asian nation is still far from certain. Islam Karimov, 77, has led the double-landlocked former Soviet republic of 30 million people uninterruptedly since the late 1980s. (AP Photo/File)MOSCOW (AP) Uzbekistan is going through the motions of a presidential election this weekend, with a crushing win for its longtime leader a foregone conclusion, but the long-term future of the Central Asian nation is still far from certain.

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 07:47:51 -0400
Police on trial: Tears, anger resurge over 2005 French riots

FILE - In this Nov. 8, 2005 file photo, firefighters work to extinguish burning cars set on fire by rioters in Gentilly, south of Paris, France. Two young boys were electrocuted in a power substation in Clichy-sous-Bois, while hiding from police on Oct. 27, 2005. The boys deaths led to three weeks of nationwide riots by those who see police not as protectors but as predators. Ten years after the boys deaths an emotional trial has exposed a still-divided France. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)RENNES, France (AP) One October afternoon, two teenage boys were kicking around a football in their desolate housing project northeast of Paris. Two hours later, they lay lifeless, electrocuted in a power substation as they hid from police.

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 07:44:44 -0400
Yemen's president calls Shiite rebels 'stooges of Iran'

A Yemeni man carries a box of ammunition he took from a military depot in Aden, Yemen, Friday, March 27, 2015. Shiite rebels, known as the Houthis, has seized the city since Wednesday. Looters have then taken weapons and ammunition from two abandoned army camps. (AP Photo/Yassir Hassan)SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) Yemen's embattled president on Saturday called Shiite rebels who forced him to flee the country "stooges of Iran," directly blaming the Islamic Republic for the chaos there and demanding airstrikes against rebel positions continue until they surrender.

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 07:28:53 -0400
Nigerians turn out en masse to vote in presidential election

People displaced following attacks by Islamist militants lineup for accreditation before casting their votes, in Yola, Nigeria, Saturday March 28, 2015. Nigerians went to the polls Saturday in presidential elections which analysts say will be the most tightly contested in the history of Africa's richest nation and its largest democracy. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) Nigerians turned out en masse to vote in a presidential election Saturday that analysts say is too close to call between President Goodluck Jonathan and former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari.

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 07:27:06 -0400
Russia 'to join China-led development bank'

Construction of a Disney amusement park in Shanghai, pictured on February 2, 2015Russia is to sign up to the Chinese-led development bank AIIB, first deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov said Saturday at an international forum in China, cited by Russian news agencies. "I'd like to inform you that Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken the decision that Russia will participate in the capital of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)," Shuvalov said at China's Boao Forum, quoted by RIA Novosti state news agency.

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 07:16:25 -0400
UN chief says he's angry, shamed by failure to end Syria's war; vows to step up diplomacy

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) UN chief says he's angry, shamed by failure to end Syria's war; vows to step up diplomacy.

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 07:07:53 -0400
Lights out in Australia as Earth Hour kicks off

Fireworks go off at the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House to signal the start of Earth HourThe Sydney Harbour Bridge and the sails on the nearby Opera House went dark Saturday, as lights on landmarks around Australia were switched off for the global climate change awareness campaign Earth Hour. Millions are expected to take part around the world in the annual event organised by conservation group WWF, with hundreds of well-known sights including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Seattle Space Needle set to plunge into darkness. "It's almost like the thing vanished," said Tony Jennings from Earth Hour after standing under the Harbour Bridge as the lights went off at 8:30pm (0930 GMT).

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 07:02:55 -0400
Iran nuke talks expand as deadline for deal looms

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, center, speaks to journalists as he arrives for a new round of nuclear talks with Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland, Saturday, March 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott)LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Negotiations over Iran's nuclear program picked up pace on Saturday with the foreign ministers of France and Germany joining U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in talks with Iran's top diplomat ahead of a looming end-of-March deadline for a preliminary deal.

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 07:00:28 -0400
Iran talks go into top gear in battle of wills

Top US and Iranian diplomats try to hammer out a nuclear deal as the deadline loomsTortuous negotiations aimed at laying to rest fears that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons moved into top gear Saturday with each side demanding the other give ground ahead of a looming deadline. "We're at that point in the negotiations where we really need to see decisions being made," a senior US State Department official said late Friday at the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland. The other side needs to choose between pressure and a political accord," countered Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. France's top diplomat Laurent Fabius, the most hawkish in the P5+1 group of countries negotiating with Iran since late 2013, was the first European minister to fly in for the crucial talks saying he wanted to reach a "robust deal".

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 07:00:17 -0400
Yemen's president calls Shiite rebels 'stooges of Iran,' directly blaming country for chaos

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) Yemen's president calls Shiite rebels 'stooges of Iran,' directly blaming country for chaos.

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 06:52:25 -0400
Official: Al-Shabab siege at Somali hotel ends, 17 dead

Somali soldiers take position after a bomb that was detonated at the gate of one of Mogadishu's most popular hotel. Friday, March, 27, 2015, A Somali police official says a suicide bomber has detonated his explosives-laden car at the gate of a hotel popular with government officials in Mogadishu. Capt. Mohamed Hussein says gunfire could be heard inside the Maka-Mukarramah Hotel, but it was not clear if any gunmen had managed to penetrate the hotel's gate( AP P hoto/Farah Abdi Warsameh)MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) Somali troops on Saturday took full control of a hotel that extremist gunmen stormed and occupied for more than 12 hours following a suicide bombing. At least 17 people died and dozens were wounded.

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 06:44:45 -0400
Search continues for at least 2 after apparent NYC gas blast

A man distributes pastries to weary firefighters at the site of an explosion and fire in the East Village neighborhood of New York, Friday, March 27, 2015. Thursday's inferno caused the collapse of three buildings and fire damage to a fourth, the fire department said. It left four people in critical condition and more than a dozen others injured and at least one family searching for a loved one. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)NEW YORK (AP) Emergency workers are searching for at least two people still missing after an apparent gas line explosion leveled three apartment buildings as investigators piece together what exactly caused the blast that injured 22.

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 06:43:19 -0400
German pilot visited glider field near crash site as a child

Spanish police officers pay tribute next to a stele and flowers laid in memory of the victims in the area where the Germanwings jetliner crashed in Le Vernet, France, Friday, March 27, 2015. Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz appears to have hidden evidence of an illness from his employers, including having been excused by a doctor from work on Tuesday, the day authorities say he crashed a passenger plane into a mountain, prosecutors said. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)SISTERON, France (AP) The German co-pilot accused of crashing a passenger plane in the French Alps frequented a gliding club near the crash site as a child with his parents, according to a member of the club.

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 06:43:04 -0400
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