News

Suspected Islamic militants abduct 100 female students from school in northeast Nigeria

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 16:50
by  Associated Press Suspected extremists kidnap 100 girls in Nigeria Associated Press - 15 April 2014 11:50-04:00

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Officials say suspected Islamic extremists have abducted about 100 female students from a school in northeast Nigeria — but some of the teens managed to escape from the back of an open truck.

Borno state police commissioner Tanko Lawan said some of the girls were abducted Monday night from a school in Chibok, on the edge of the Sambisa Forest that is an insurgent hideout.

A State Security Service official said gunmen killed a soldier and police officer guarding the school and took off with at least 100 students.

Islamic extremists have been abducting girls to use as cooks and sex slaves.

Extremists also are blamed for Monday morning's explosion at a busy bus station in Nigeria's capital that killed at least 75 people and wounded 141.

News Topics: General news, Kidnapping, War and unrest, Crime

People, Places and Companies: Nigeria, West Africa, Africa

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

EIB continues support for European SMEs

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 16:48
by  EUROPA

The European Investment Bank continues its strong support for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and mid-cap companies across the European Union.

The EIB’s Board of Directors today approved loans worth up to EUR 2.3 billion for the benefit of SMEs and Mid-Caps. This brings total EIB support for SMEs and mid-cap companies so far in 2014 to EUR 9.1 billion. This includes approval for up to EUR 700 million that can be used for agricultural SMEs in Spain and up to EUR 200 million for investment by SMEs and mid-cap companies in Poland including the EIB’s jobs for youth initiative.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said, “Supporting investment by SME and mid-cap companies continues to be a top priority for the EIB. They do not only play an important role in maintaining and creating jobs but are also crucial for the European economy as a whole. We also must look ahead and keep in mind that Europe is competing with other major markets in the world.”

The approval of the SME trade finance facility of up to EUR 600 million for Portugal is an important step that enables the EIB to introduce this new product to a third country. This has already been implemented in Greece and signed in Cyprus. Under the new trade finance facility for Portugal, the EIB would provide guarantees to a network of international banks covering their risk on selected Portuguese banks carrying out trade finance operations for SMEs and Mid-Caps located in Portugal.

Regarding other key priorities of the bank, loans of up to EUR 1.2 billion were approved for strategic infrastructure projects, including up to EUR 125 million for the modernisation and extension of the electricity distribution network in Slovakia.

Up to EUR 1 billion will go to the area of energy efficiency, mostly for the construction and renovation of secondary schools in France with a particular focus on high energy efficiency standards. Projects in the area of research, development and innovation will benefit from loans worth up to EUR 290 million.

The Board of Directors of the European Investment Fund approved 17 new operations on 14th April through which the EIF will further reinforce its support for SMEs. These deals represent EIF commitments of EUR 483.86 million and are expected to leverage EUR 1.67 billion of capital.  With these new approvals, the number of deals approved in 2014 now amounts to 35, with commitments in the order of EUR 1.05 billion and an expected overall leverage of EUR 4.5 billion.

Categories: News

World Golf Glance

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 16:45
by  Associated Press World Golf Glance by The Associated Press, Associated Press - 15 April 2014 11:45-04:00

US PGA TOUR

RBC HERITAGE

Site: Hilton Head, South Carolina

Schedule: Thursday-Sunday.

Course: Harbour Town Golf Links (7,101 yards, 6,493 metres, par 71).

Purse: $5.8 million. Winner's share: $1,044,000.

Last year: Graeme McDowell beat Webb Simpson with a par on the first hole of a playoff.

Last week: Bubba Watson won the Masters for the second time in three years, beating Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt by three strokes. Watson also won at Riviera in February.

Notes: The 20-year-old Spieth is in the field. ... Nick Faldo and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson are entered. Watson won at Harbour Town in 1979 and 1982, and Faldo took the 1984 title. Faldo tied for 53rd last month in the Champions Tour's Mississippi event. ... Brandt Snedeker won in 2011, overcoming a six-stroke deficit with a 64 and beating Luke Donald with a par on the third extra hole. ... Jim Furyk won in 2010 on the first playoff hole after Brian Davis called a two-stroke penalty on himself for moving a loose impediment in a hazard during his backswing. ... In 2009, Brian Gay finished with a 64 for a tournament-record 10-stroke victory. Gay also broke the event scoring record, finishing at 20-under 264. ... The Zurich Classic is next week in Avondale, Louisiana.

Online: http://www.pgatour.com

___

EUROPEAN TOUR/ASIAN TOUR:

MALAYSIAN OPEN

Site: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Schedule: Thursday-Sunday.

Course: Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (6,967 yards, 6,371 metres, par 72).

Purse: $2.75 million. Winner's share: $458,330.

Last year: Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat won the rain-shortened tournament, beating Italy's Eduardo Molinari by a stroke.

Last week: Bubba Watson won the Masters for the second time in three years, beating Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt by three strokes.

Notes: England's Lee Westwood, seventh in the Masters, is in the field along with 2012 winner Louis Oosthuizen, 2011 champion Matteo Manassero, Aphibarnrat and fellow Thai player Thongchai Jaidee. ... Last month in Kuala Lumpur, Asia rallied to tie Europe 10-10 in the inaugural EurAsia Cup at Glenmarie. ... The Volvo China Open is next in Shenzhen.

Online: http://www.europeantour.com

Asian Tour site http://www.asiantour.com

___

US LPGA TOUR

LPGA LOTTE CHAMPIONSHIP

Site: Kapolei, Hawaii.

Schedule: Wednesday-Saturday.

Course: Ko Olina Golf Club (6,383 yards, 5,837 metres, par 72).

Purse: $1.7 million. Winner's share: $255,000.

Last year: Suzann Pettersen beat Lizette Salas with a par on the first playoff hole after Salas chunked her approach shot into the water. Salas closed with a tournament-record 62.

Last event: Lexi Thompson won the Kraft Nabisco Championship on April 6 for her first major title and fourth tour victory, beating Michelle Wie by three strokes. The 19-year-old Thompson became the second-youngest major champion in U.S. LPGA Tour history.

Notes: Thompson is skipping the tournament. ... Pettersen is sidelined by an aggravated disk in her back. ... Top-ranked Inbee Park is winless in five tours starts this season after sweeping the first three majors and winning six times last season. She won a Ladies European Tour event last month in China. ... Wie, from Hawaii, won the last of her two U.S. LPGA Tour titles in 2010. ... The Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic is next week at Lake Merced in San Francisco.

Online: http://www.lpga.com

___

OTHER TOURNAMENTS

MEN

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Greater Gwinnett Championship, Friday-Sunday, TPC Sugarloaf, Duluth, Georgia. Online: http://www.pgatour.com

JAPAN GOLF TOUR: Token Homemate Cup, Thursday-Sunday, Token Tado Country Club, Mie, Japan. Online: http://www.jgto.org

PGA OF AMERICA: Senior PGA Professional National Championship, through Friday, PGA Golf Club, Wanamaker Course and Ryder Course, Port St. Lucie, Florida. Online: http://www.pga.com

PGA TOUR LATINOAMERICA: OSDE del Centro Open, Thursday-Sunday, Cordoba Golf Club, Cordoba, Argentina. Online: http://www.pgatourla.com

WOMEN

JAPAN LPGA TOUR: KKT Cup Ladies Open, Friday-Sunday, Kumamoto Airport Country Club, Kumamoto, Japan. Online: http://www.lpga.or.jp

News Topics: Sports, Men's golf, Women's golf, Masters Golf Tournament, Golf, Men's sports, Women's sports, Events

People, Places and Companies: Graeme McDowell, Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Jonas Blixt, Nick Faldo, Tom Watson, Brandt Snedeker, Luke Donald, Jim Furyk, Brian Davis, Brian Gay, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Matteo Manassero, Thongchai Jaidee, Suzann Pettersen, Lizette Salas, Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie, Inbee Park, Japan, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, United States, Argentina, East Asia, Asia, Southeast Asia, North America, South America, Latin America and Caribbean

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Kansas prosecutor files murder charges against man accused in Jewish community site shootings

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 16:43
by  Associated Press Suspect in Kansas shootings faces murder charges Associated Press - 15 April 2014 11:43-04:00

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas (AP) — Kansas prosecutors have filed state-level murder charges against the white supremacist accused in a shooting spree that left three people dead at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said Tuesday that Frazier Glenn Cross has been charged with one count of capital murder for the deaths of 14-year-old boy and his grandfather outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City.

Howe says Cross also faces one count of first-degree, premeditated murder for the death of a woman who was gunned down while visiting her mother at a nearby retirement complex.

The 73-year-old Cross is from southwest Missouri, and his racist activities have long drawn the attention of hate-group monitors.

Federal prosecutors say they're pursuing their own hate-crimes case against Cross.

News Topics: General news, Shootings, Violent crime, Homicide, Crime

People, Places and Companies: Steve Howe, Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri, United States, North America

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

CAS cites sample collection flaws and 'environmental contamination' in Campbell-Brown case

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 16:41
by  Associated Press CAS cites doping sample flaws in Jamaican case by STEPHEN WILSON, Associated Press - 15 April 2014 11:41-04:00

LONDON (AP) — Sport's highest appeals body says Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown was cleared of doping because of blatant flaws in the test collection procedures and possible "environmental contamination" of her urine sample.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport released its full report Tuesday explaining the decision to uphold the three-time Olympic gold medalist's appeal against a two-year doping ban.

The runner was cleared by CAS in late February, but the reasons have not been released until now.

In a 58-page ruling, the three-man arbitration panel outlines "deplorable" mistakes by Jamaican athletics and anti-doping officials in the collection of the athlete's first partial sample. CAS said the errors could have led to the sample being contaminated by water or sweat containing a banned substance.

News Topics: Sports, Doping, Track and field, Women's track and field, Women's sports

People, Places and Companies: Veronica Campbell-Brown, United Kingdom, Western Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

US prosecutor files murder charges against man accused in Jewish community site shootings

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 16:36
by  Associated Press US prosecutor files murder charges against man accused in Jewish community site shootings Associated Press - 15 April 2014 11:36-04:00

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas (AP) — US prosecutor files murder charges against man accused in Jewish community site shootings.

News Topics: General news, Shootings, Religious strife, Homicide, Violent crime, Crime

People, Places and Companies: Kansas, United States, North America

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Ukraine's acting president says military has restored control over airport in eastern Ukraine

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 16:36
by  Associated Press Ukraine's acting president says military has restored control over airport in eastern Ukraine Associated Press - 15 April 2014 11:36-04:00

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's acting president says military has restored control over airport in eastern Ukraine .

News Topics: General news

People, Places and Companies: Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Titleholder Karolina Pliskova breezes into Malaysian Open 2nd round

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 15:52
by  Associated Press Pliskova breezes into Malaysian Open 2nd round Associated Press - 15 April 2014 10:52-04:00

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic made a winning start to her defense of the Malaysian Open title by easing past Aleksandra Krunic 6-2, 6-2 in the first round on Tuesday.

Pliskova's sister, Kristyna, also won, beating Timea Babos of Hungary 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-4.

However, both Japanese seeds departed: No. 5 Kimiko Date-Krumm retired hurt after trailing 5-3 against Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey, and No. 8 Ayumi Morita was knocked out by qualifier Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine 6-4, 6-2.

Other winners included No. 6-seeded Zarina Diyas from Kazakhstan, and No. 7 Donna Vekic of Croatia.

News Topics: Sports

People, Places and Companies: Karolina Pliskova, Aleksandra Krunic, Timea Babos, Kimiko Date Krumm, Cagla Buyukakcay, Ayumi Morita, Lyudmyla Kichenok, Zarina Diyas, Donna Vekic, Malaysia, Southeast Asia, Asia

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Man pleads not guilty to killing his girlfriend with a sword in front of her kids in US

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 15:42
by  Associated Press Man pleads not guilty in 2008 sword slaying Associated Press - 15 April 2014 10:42-04:00

LANCASTER, California (AP) — An El Salvador-born man has pleaded not guilty to killing his girlfriend with a sword in front of her four children in California nearly six years ago.

City News Service says 34-year-old Jesus Canales entered his plea Monday to charges including murder and child abuse.

Canales, who was profiled on the television show "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back," eluded capture until last November. He was tracked down by Mexican authorities in the town of Jalisco and turned over to U.S. marshals.

The man is accused of killing 26-year-old Lucy Preciado with a sword at her apartment in 2008. Preciado's then-9-year-old daughter called police to plead for help for her wounded mother.

Canales is due back in court May 2.

News Topics: General news, Homicide, Legal proceedings, Crime, Violent crime, Law and order

People, Places and Companies: California, Mexico, United States, North America, Central America, Latin America and Caribbean

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Police say 5 are dead after stabbings at house party in Calgary

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 15:39
by  Associated Press Police say 5 dead in Calgary stabbings Associated Press - 15 April 2014 10:39-04:00

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Police say five people are dead after multiple stabbings at a house party in Calgary.

Emma Poole, a Calgary police spokeswoman, said Tuesday three males were found dead at the home.

Poole also says a male and a female died in hospital, and that all five appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s.

She says a man in his 20s was arrested with the help of the police canine unit about 40 minutes after the stabbings and that he was taken to hospital for treatment for dog bites.

There was no immediate word on charges or the possible motive.

Neighbors in the area say the house was being rented by University of Calgary students and that a so-called Bermuda shorts day party had started there on Monday.

News Topics: General news

People, Places and Companies: Alberta, Canada, Calgary, North America

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

For 1st time, France adopts plan to address problem of military sexual assault

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 15:39
by  Associated Press For 1st time, France tackles military sex assaults Associated Press - 15 April 2014 10:39-04:00

PARIS (AP) — France claims great success in increasing the proportion of women in the military. What it hasn't done is work to prevent sexual assault once they get there.

That is about to change.

The French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday announced the country's first plan to address the problem and inflict harsher punishments on those found guilty.

It involves reforms as basic as including sexual and moral harassment in the military code, creating a statistical database, and improving the barracks situation. Women make up 15 percent of French uniformed military personnel — about the same as the U.S. and among the highest rates in the world.

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also announced that three women would join a nuclear submarine crew by 2017 — another first for France.

News Topics: General news, Military affairs, Sexual assault, Military and defense, Government and politics, Violent crime, Crime

People, Places and Companies: France, Western Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Full lunar eclipse delights Americas with clear skies, 1st of 4 in 2014-15 in rare lineup

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 15:35
by  Associated Press Full lunar eclipse delights Americas, 1st of year by MARCIA DUNN, Associated Press - 15 April 2014 10:35-04:00

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) — Sky-gazers in North and South America were treated to a full lunar eclipse — at least those fortunate enough to have clear skies.

The moon was eclipsed by the Earth's shadow early Tuesday, beginning around 1 a.m. EDT (0500 GMT) for 5 ½ hours. The total phase of the eclipse lasted just 78 minutes.

For some, the moon appeared red-orange because of all the sunsets and sunrises shimmering from Earth, thus the name "blood moon."

It's the first of four eclipses this year and the first of four total lunar eclipses this year and next. In the meantime, get ready for a solar eclipse in two weeks.

NASA got good news Tuesday: Its moon-orbiting spacecraft, LADEE survived the eclipse. Scientists had feared LADEE might freeze up in the cold darkness.

News Topics: Science, Eclipses, Lunar eclipses, Astronomy

People, Places and Companies: Florida, United States, North America

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

European Ombudsman optimistic on future of citizens’ initiatives

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 15:27
by  Meghan Boggess Andy Carling

Despite doubts about its effectiveness and transparency, European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly said she remains optimistic about the European citizens’ initiative project, whose first signatures were collected nearly two years ago.  

Since the first initiative campaigns were launched, 46 have been presented to the European Commission and one has reached a Commission conclusion. At the same time, the number of initiatives launched each year has dropped.

“In one way I wasn’t too surprised at that,” O’Reilly said. “Of course in the first year you’re going to get a lot because those are the ones who have been thinking about it for a long time, and over the years it will find its own pattern.”

According to a 2013 Eurobaromter survey, 67% of European citizens think their voice doesn’t count. O’Reilly regards ECIs as important tools to encourage European democracy and legitimize European institutions. So far, more than 6 million European citizens have supported an ECI.   

O’Reilly has launched an internal investigation into the effectiveness of ECIs in hopes of identifying possible changes to the system.

Already, a variety of issues have been identified by the ECI Support Centre, including an imprecise legal basis, poor translations and ECI organizers’ liability for data protection. O’Reilly said civil society, European institutions and NGOs must all work together to fix these problems.

O’Reilly acknowledged that some were disappointed by the Commission’s first ECI conclusion, in which it responded positively to a petition to protect the right to water. Still, she regarded the political engagement encouraged by the ECI as a success.

“It’s a bit like a new toy, you know, you shake it, you throw it against the wall, you find out how it works. There are going to be problems with it,” O’Reilly said. However, “it has to work.”

Much of the program’s success hinges on future Commission decisions.

“The point of success-to-failure will be when and if one of them actually moves the Commission to move,” she said. O’Reilly noted that it is still unclear how the Commission should respond to particular ECIs, but that people must begin to see real results.

“If they don’t see that then the thing certainly would have failed,” she said. According to O’Reilly, it’s still too early to deem ECIs as a failure. But going forward, political decisions must be made on critical topics.

“That tells people that this was not set up to fail,” O’Reilly said. “This really was set up to be...an institution and something that lasts...something that is relevant.”

European Ombudsman

Emily O'Reilly CV

European Citizens' Initiative

Categories: News

BC-AP News Coverage Advisory

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 15:27
by  Associated Press BC-AP News Coverage Advisory Associated Press - 15 April 2014 10:28-04:00

Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up today. Some plans are subject to change.

HIGHLIGHTING:

Among today's coverage highlights as we see them:

-- UKRAINE (sent; developing)

-- BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING-ANNIVERSARY (sent; developing); BOSTON MARATHON-THEN AND NOW (photo gallery, sent)

-- BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING - TRIPLE SLAYING (upcoming)

-- UNITED NATIONS-SYRIA-TORTURE (sent; developing)

-- PISTORIUS TRIAL (sent; developing)

-- IMMIGRATION (upcoming)

-- MARIJUANA-BRAIN (HOLD FOR RELEASE)

-- WOMEN IN COMBAT (sent)

-- THAILAND-CHINESE TOURISTS (sent)

-- BIG BOY IS BACK (sent)

PHOTOS: BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING-ANNIVERSARY (sent; developing); AP PHOTO: canu402 - The moon moved completely in the earth's shadow, causing a Blood Moon eclipse.

VIDEO: BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING-ANNIVERSARY (sent; developing); WOMEN_COMBAT (sent; with text and photos)

Here are details of those stories, plus others we have in the works for today and notable pieces that we sent in the past 10 hours (all times EDT):

WORLD

UKRAINE - Pro-Russian insurgents who have seized government buildings across eastern Ukraine dig in. SENT: 1,080 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing.

GERMANY-UKRAINE-GAS - German utility company RWE said Tuesday it has started sending natural gas to Ukraine, a move that could support the country if Russia acts on its threat to cut off supplies because of a massive debt for past deliveries. SENT: 450 words, photo.

OBAMA-RUSSIA - With the White House asserting that Russia is stoking instability in eastern Ukraine, Obama is once again faced with the complicated reality of following through on his tough warnings against overseas provocations. SENT: 800 words, photos.

UNITED NATIONS-SYRIA-TORTURE - The bodies of the young men in the photographs are emaciated, their bones protruding. Some bear the marks of strangulation. The U.N. Security Council will meet privately Tuesday to view projected slides of the dead. SENT: 900 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated after Security Council meeting scheduled for 1400 GMT.

PISTORIUS-TRIAL - The chief prosecutor, wrapping up five days of cross-examination, insists that Pistorius intentionally shot his girlfriend to death as they argued. SENT: 880 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing.

MALAYSIA-PLANE - A robotic submarine aborts its first mission after only six hours when it exceeds its maximum depth along the floor of the Indian Ocean. Crews hope to send it back on another mission later in the day. SENT: 900 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developing.

LIBYA - Masked gunmen abducted the Jordanian ambassador in the Libyan capital early Tuesday, officials said, the latest in a wave of abductions in the North African nation still plagued by lawlessness more than two years after the ouster of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. SENT: 580 words.

CHILE-VALPARAISO FIRE- With all of Valparaiso under military rule early Tuesday, 5,000 firefighters, police, forest rangers, soldiers, sailors and civil defense workers joined in a mammoth fight against wildfires. SENT: 510 words, photos, video.

INDIA-THIRD GENDER - India's top court issues a landmark verdict recognizing transgender rights as human rights, saying people can identify themselves as a third gender on official documents. SENT: 500 words, photos.

ITALY-BERLUSCONI - Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi must spend at least four hours a week in the service of the elderly to repay society for his tax fraud conviction, the first sentence against him ever confirmed by Italy's highest court. SENT: 540 words, photos.

THAILAND CHINESE TOURISTS - The bucolic, once laid-back campus of one of Thailand's top universities is under a security clampdown. Not against a terrorist threat, but against Chinese tourists. The reason: "Lost in Thailand," 2012 slapstick comedy that is China's highest-grossing homegrown movie ever. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

CHINA-LAWYERS ABUSED - Four Chinese rights lawyers say they were tortured by police when they were rounded up after protesting outside a detention center. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

VATICAN-UN-ABUSE - The Vatican has responded to the latest round of U.N. sex abuse inquiries by suggesting it is only responsible for implementing a U.N. treaty against torture within the confines of the tiny Vatican City State. SENT: 130 words.

PAKISTAN - Two brothers arrested for the second time over accusations of cannibalism appeared in court Tuesday, police officials said, in a sensational case that has horrified Pakistanis. SENT: 210 words.

MEXICO-A DOG'S LIFE - MEXICO CITY - Life is tough for dogs in Mexico. These days, though, a surge in the middle class has created a new market for fancy goods and services for dogs. UPCOMING: 775 words, photos.

US

BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING-ANNIVERSARY - Vice President Joe Biden, Gov. Deval Patrick and former Boston Mayor Tom Menino will be among the dignitaries who will honor the victims. A formal flag-raising ceremony and moment of silence will take place between 1830 and 1900 GMT at the marathon finish line. SENT: 230 words; updates from events beginning at 1600 GMT, then 500 words by 2000 GMT, photos.

PHOTOS: BOSTON MARATHON-THEN AND NOW - A year later, we revisit sites key to the bombings and the investigation. SENT: 200 words, photos.

BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING - TRIPLE SLAYING - The case remains unsolved. And because the Boston Marathon bombing suspect who died in a shootout with police was fingered in the killings after his death, questions linger about whether the terrorist attack at the race could have been prevented had the homicide case been cracked instead of languishing for more than a year. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 1800 GMT, photos.

FATAL SHOOTING-WHITE SUPREMACIST - Hate-group monitors see a trend: more overall tolerance disrupted by periodic bursts of violence from a disenfranchised fringe. SENT: 800 words, photos.

WOMEN IN COMBAT - For the women, the integration into the once men-only artillery platoons means more pressure and scrutiny. For the men, it means more training for sexual-assault prevention and awareness, and more lectures on respect, team building and moral character. SENT: 1,100 words, photos, audio, video.

WASHINGTON

IMMIGRATION - Latinos and immigration activists are warning of political peril for Obama and his Democratic Party if the president doesn't act soon to curb record-high deportations and allow more immigrants to remain in the U.S. legally. UPCOMING: 750 words by 5 p.m., photo.

HEALTH

MARIJUANA-BRAIN (HOLD FOR RELEASE, 2100 GMT) - A small study of casual marijuana users without any impairment finds evidence of brain changes, a possible omen of trouble later on. UPCOMING: HOLD FOR RELEASE, 2100 GMT, 400 words.

SCIENCE

SMITHSONIAN-TYRANNOSAURUS REX - A Tyrannosaurus rex is joining the dinosaur fossil collection on the National Mall on Tuesday after a more than 2,000-mile journey from Montana.

TECH

DIGITAL LIFE-REVIEW-WINDOWS PHONE UPDATE— Microsoft's new Windows system for smartphones addresses many of the shortcomings in previous versions. But a major frustration remains: There aren't as many apps for it compared with iPhones and Android phones. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by noon, photos.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

YELLEN-BANKS - The Fed chair says recent initiatives by the Fed and other regulators to help banks make it through periods of financial stress are important, but they may still need to be strengthened. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: Developing.

— EUROPE-FINANCIAL CRISIS — The European Parliament completes the biggest overhaul of the bloc's financial system since the introduction of the euro currency, passing laws to minimize the risk and cost posed by failing banks. SENT: 570 words.

GENERAL MOTORS-SALES - As GM executives show off their newest cars and trucks in New York this week, analysts are watching for signs that consumer are reluctant to buy the ones sitting on dealers' lots. UPCOMING: 600 words by noon, with updates from Mary Barra speech starting at 2000 GMT and GM new car unveiling starting at 2200 GMT, photos.

NEW L.A. NEWSPAPER - Aaron Kushner believes he can push a print newspaper in a digital world. The unconventional effort gets another jolt Wednesday when Freedom Communications Inc. launches the Los Angeles Register. UPCOMING: 800 words by 1700 GMT.

CHINA-SHOE FACTORY STRIKE - Workers at a Chinese factory owned by Yue Yuen, the world's largest maker of athletic footwear for brands such as Nike and Adidas, are striking in a dispute over benefits. SENT: 330 words.

POP CULTURE/LIFESTYLES

BIG BOY IS BACK - Union Pacific to restore gigantic steam locomotive, among largest ever built. "It's sort of like going and finding the Titanic or something that's just very elusive, nothing that we ever thought would happen," said Jim Wrinn, editor of Trains, a magazine that covers the railroad industry. SENT: 860 words, photos.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

FILM-TRANSCENDENCE-PFISTER-DEPP— For more than a decade, cinematographer Wally Pfister has been bringing director Christopher Nolan's cinematic visions to life. Now he's calling the shots. UPCOMING: 800 words by 1800 GMT, photos.

FILM-TRIBECA - When the 13th annual Tribeca Film Festival opens Wednesday night, it will present 80-plus feature films and an "Innovation Week" that seems designed to capture some of the tech energy of SXSW. UPCOMING: 900 words by 1800 GMT photos.

HULU-CRITERION COLLECTION - The Criterion Collection and Hulu have extended their deal to keep the video platform as the exclusive streaming home of Criterion's vast library of art house films. SENT: 520 words.

TV-STRAHAN-GMA - Michael Strahan has made good on reports that he's joining "Good Morning America" by paying a visit to the ABC breakfast show on Tuesday. SENT: 130 words.

CHINA-NORWAY - Norway donates a restored Chinese silent film from the 1920s to China's national film archive, despite a prolonged chill in diplomatic ties between the countries. SENT: 420 words, photo.

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People, Places and Companies: Muammar Gaddafi, Silvio Berlusconi, Joe Biden, Deval Patrick, Thomas Menino, Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan, Michael Strahan, General Motors Co, China, Vatican City, Italy, Thailand, Ukraine, Mexico, Libya, Russia, Greater China, East Asia, Asia, Western Europe, Europe, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, North America, Central America, Latin America and Caribbean, North Africa, Africa

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Categories: News

Iranian foreign minister holds talks with Emirati officials in sign of warming ties

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 15:23
by  Associated Press Iran envoy visits Emirates in sign of warming ties Associated Press - 15 April 2014 10:23-04:00

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — State media in the United Arab Emirates says Dubai's ruler has welcomed the Iranian foreign minister at his palace, a sign of warming ties between the two countries.

News agency WAM says Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed bilateral relations and regional developments Tuesday.

Sheik Mohammed is also prime minister and vice president of the UAE, an important U.S. ally.

Iran's official IRNA news agency says Zarif also met the Gulf federation's foreign minister, Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi. It is their third meeting since Zarif took office last year.

Iran and the UAE have longstanding trade ties but differ over several issues, including Tehran's control over three Persian Gulf islands claimed by both countries.

News Topics: General news, International relations, Government and politics

People, Places and Companies: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, Iran, Middle East

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Categories: News

Sri Lanka accuses Canada of using Commonwealth funding as a political tool

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 15:17
by  Associated Press Sri Lanka says Canada holds Commonwealth to ransom Associated Press - 15 April 2014 10:17-04:00

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka has accused Canada of using its funding of the Commonwealth as a political tool by suspending its $10 million annual contribution while Sri Lanka chairs the group's secretariat.

Canada, a leading funder of the 53-member Commonwealth of former British colonies, said it will redirect its contribution to programs that promote the group's values because of concerns over Sri Lanka's human rights record.

Sri Lanka's Foreign Ministry accused Canada on Tuesday of taking the step based on "political compulsions, thereby holding the membership of the wider Commonwealth to ransom."

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper boycotted last year's Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting hosted by Sri Lanka and urged an independent investigation of rights violations during the final stages of the country's decades-long civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels.

News Topics: General news, Government and politics

People, Places and Companies: Stephen Harper, Canada, Sri Lanka, North America, South Asia, Asia

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Categories: News

Mexico sets deadline for vigilantes to register guns

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 15:15
by  Associated Press Mexico sets date for vigilantes to register guns Associated Press - 15 April 2014 10:15-04:00

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government says vigilante groups in the western state of Michoacan will have to register their guns with the army by May 10.

The government commission for Michoacan says the "self-defense" groups will have the choice of joining rural defense corps set up under the army.

The commission said late Monday the deadline for joining the force would be extended, and the force would be up and running by May 11.

Vigilante spokesman Estanislao Beltran said the self-defense forces would not turn in their guns, but were open to joining some of the government forces.

The vigilantes have demanded the release of their members arrested earlier for weapons possession.

But the government has promised only to transfer those arrested to a jail closer to their homes in Michoacan.

News Topics: General news

People, Places and Companies: Mexico, North America, Central America, Latin America and Caribbean

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Categories: News

Health minister: 75 dead, 141 wounded in explosion at busy bus station in Nigerian capital

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 14:56
by  Associated Press Minister: 75 dead in blast at Nigerian bus station Associated Press - 15 April 2014 09:56-04:00

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's health minister says three wounded victims have died, raising the toll to 75 dead in the massive blast at a busy bus station in Nigeria's capital.

Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu visited some of the wounded in hospitals Tuesday, and put their number at 141. He said the previous figure of 164 wounded had counted some patients twice.

Chukwu said the death toll will likely increase as pathologists determine how many victims were blown apart.

President Goodluck Jonathan has blamed Islamic extremists for Monday's blast during morning rush hour.

The explosion just miles from Nigeria's seat of government is increasing doubts about the military's ability to contain an Islamic uprising that has killed more than 1,500 people this year. The extremist group's leader had threatened to attack Abuja and neighboring Cameroon.

News Topics: General news, Transportation, Explosions, Accidents and disasters

People, Places and Companies: Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria, Abuja, West Africa, Africa

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Categories: News

Theo Zagorakis, Greece's captain at Euro 2004, runs for seat in European Parliament

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 14:52
by  Associated Press Former Greece captain Zagorakis enters politics Associated Press - 15 April 2014 09:52-04:00

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The captain who led Greece to the 2004 European Championship title is running for election to the European Parliament.

Theo Zagorakis, a 42-year-old former midfielder who played 120 times for Greece before retiring in 2007, was presented Tuesday by conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on a list of 42 candidates for the center-right New Democracy party.

The election is May 25.

The party is hoping for a strong showing as it faces demands from the opposition to hold early general elections after imposing unpopular austerity measures. Greek political parties frequently draft well-known athletes, actors and other celebrities to their ballots.

Greece will elect 21 members to the 766 member-parliament.

News Topics: Sports, Parliamentary elections, Legislature, Men's soccer, Soccer, Elections, Government and politics, Men's sports

People, Places and Companies: Antonis Samaras, Greece, Europe, Western Europe

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Categories: News

Michael Strahan's side job on 'Good Morning America' confirmed as he pays the show a visit

New Europe News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 14:51
by  Associated Press Strahan's 'GMA' side job confirmed with his visit Associated Press - 15 April 2014 09:51-04:00

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Strahan has made good on reports that he's joining "Good Morning America" by paying a visit to the ABC breakfast show on Tuesday.

The former football star and current co-host with Kelly Ripa of "Live With Kelly and Michael" got a red-carpet welcome from the "GMA" team.

Anchor Robin Roberts expressed excitement that Strahan will be there "a couple of days a week."

Then the cast presented him with an alarm clock and a huge coffee cup.

His brief appearance ended with promises he'll be back "next week."

Strahan joins Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Amy Robach, Lara Spencer and Ginger Zee on television's top-rated morning show.

Unconfirmed reports of Strahan's new part-time gig surfaced early this month. He has said this side job won't affect his daily duties hosting "Live."

News Topics: Arts and entertainment, General news, Television programs, Entertainment, Talk shows, Celebrity, TV news, News media, Media, Television

People, Places and Companies: Michael Strahan, Kelly Ripa, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Amy Robach, Lara Spencer

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News