News

Spain's consumer prices fall by 0.1 pct in Oct.

New Europe News - 5 hours 14 min ago
by  KG/XINHUA

 MADRID, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Spain's prices fell by 0.1 percent in October compared with the same month in 2013, according to Consumer Price Index (CPI) advance data published on Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

     The INE said the figure was higher than that of September wherein prices fell by 0.2 percent year-on-year. The increase was the result of higher prices of food and non-alcoholic drinks, the INE explained.

     Spanish prices have been falling for four consecutive months in annual terms, they fell by 0.3 percent in July, by 0.5 percent in August and by 0.2 percent in September.

     However, prices in the country increased by 0.5 percent on a month-to-month basis.

     The INE will confirm this data on Nov. 13 when it will give more information about the evolution of prices.

Categories: News

Cyprus says tripartite cooperation with Greece, Egypt not aimed at Turkey

New Europe News - 5 hours 16 min ago
by  KG/XINHUA

Cyprus said on Friday that its tripartite cooperation with Greece and Egypt is not in any way aimed at Turkey and does not constitute a reaction to alleged violations of Cyprus's exclusive economic zone by Turkish warships.

However, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides noted in an interview with state radio that the Foreign Ministers of the three countries who met in Nicosia on Thursday urged Turkey to stop its provocations and respect the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and international law.

The Foreign Ministers prepared a summit of Cyprus, Greece and Egypt to be held in Cairo on November 8 to finalize and ratify the tripartite cooperation agreement.

Kasouldes said in that the tripartite cooperation is meant to expand to include other countries in the region.

He added that it is designed to contribute to the consolidation of stability and peace in the eastern Mediterranean region.

Turkey said that by sending its warships 45 nautical miles off the coasts of Cyprus acted on behalf of Turkish Cypriots to protect their rights to the natural resources of the island.

The breakaway state, calling itself "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" is recognized only by Turkey which does not recognizes Cyprus, whereas the Republic of Cyprus, represented by a Greek Cypriot government is recognized internationally and is an EU member.

Kasoulides said that hydrocarbons in Cyprus's exclusive economic zone belong to the state and not to individual communities and the benefits will be apportioned to all communities after the Cyprus problem is solved.

Despite the suspension of peace negotiations, brokered by the United Nations, an emissary of the Secretary General has embarked in consultations in Ankara, Athens and Nicosia in an effort to restart the negotiating process.

The Cyprus dispute has derailed Turkey's bid to join the European Union as most of the 35 chapters of its negotiating process have been blocked after Ankara resisted EU demands to extend recognition to all its 28 members. 

Categories: News

Finland considers charging non-EU/ETA university students: media

New Europe News - 5 hours 20 min ago
by  XINHUA

    HELSINKI, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Finnish government is planning to introduce tuition fees to be collected from some foreign students coming from outside the EU or the European Economic Area, local media has reported recently.

     The tuition fee per semester would be 4,000 euros (5,036 U.S. dollars) at least. Some programmes could charge more.

     The new plan would still exempt non-EU/ETA students if they would study in Finnish or Swedish or if they were exchange students.

     Currently university education in Finland is free to almost everyone admitted.

     The change would require that universities should create a scholarship programme open for financially challenged students from outside the EU or ETA.

     The current government was able to agree on the would-be change following the resignation of the Green Party ministers.

     Within Parliament, a Member's Bill was presented earlier suggesting that tuition fees should be introduced, and 119 out of 200 MPs signed.

     The chairman of the coalition party's parliamentary caucus MP Arto Satonen said to national radio that he believed the government plan about tuition fees would be accepted.

     Finnish student organizations fear that fees collected from non-EU/ETA students would be just the beginning and would lead to other fees, according to media reports.

     The government plan would not allow foreign students to obtain tax concessions based on study costs if they would choose to stay in Finland after their studies.

Categories: News

France says conditions not met to deliver Mistral warship to Russia: media

New Europe News - 5 hours 21 min ago
by  KG/XINHUA

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin on Thursday said the conditions had not yet been met to deliver the first of two controversial Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia, rejecting reports that Moscow would receive the first of them on Nov. 14.

Speaking to RTL radio about the conditions that need to be met, Sapin said, "In Ukraine we are in a situation that is becoming more normal, that allows for things to calm down."

On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Russia had received an invitation to retrieve the first of two French warships next month, despite tensions that have tainted relations between Moscow and Western powers over the Ukrainian crisis.

However, on Tuesday, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Paris would wait until next month to decide whether to deliver the first of the two vessels.

After pressure to suspend the 1.2-billion-euro (about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars) deal amid escalating violence between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists, French President Francois Hollande in September decided to halt the delivery of the Mistral warship to Russia. The decision was based on a worsening situation in Ukraine despite diplomatic efforts to end the month-long crisis peacefully.

Categories: News

British PM reiterates "moral duty" on tax cut

New Europe News - 5 hours 25 min ago
by  KG/XINHUA

British Prime Minister David Cameron Thursday reiterated his tax cut promise, stressing that most basic-rate taxpayers will pay 3,800 pounds (or 6,070 U.S. dollars) less in income tax between 2015 to 2020.

Writing in The Times Today, Cameron said the government has a "moral duty" to think of the low incomes people in any decisions made on tax and spending.

"We have taken three million people out of income tax altogether and cut the taxes of 26 million. In the next parliament, we will go further," claims Cameron.

Refreshing his first introduction last month during the Conservatives Party conference, Cameron confirms that if his party wins the election next year, in the next parliament, the government will raise the tax threshold from current 10,000 pounds to 12,500 pounds, it means every worker will pay 3,800 pounds less in income tax; the threshold for the 40 percent tax rate will be raised to 50,000 pounds by 2020.

He noted that financing these tax cut while continuing to cut the deficit will be hard, but "doable".

"In this parliament we will have made 100 billion pounds of savings while cutting income tax by 10.5 billion pounds. In the next parliament we plan to make 25 billion pounds of savings while making 7.2 billion pounds in income tax cuts," he added.

Cameron wants to put the spotlight on tax promises made during his party conference speech a month ago, after four weeks dominated by Ukip, immigration and Europe, said the Times.

According to the public survey released by Yougov/The Suy on the same day, Labor Party leads at three percentage points with 34 percent in voting intention, followed by the Conservatives' 31 percent and Ukip's 17 percent. 

Categories: News

Party crashers: Knicks ruin LeBron James' homecoming with 95-90 win over Cavaliers

New Europe News - 5 hours 32 min ago
by  Associated Press Knicks spoil James' homecoming, 95-90 by TOM WITHERS, Associated Press - 31 October 2014 03:03-04:00

CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James shot miserably. His passes were errant. He didn't look good doing much other than tossing powder in the air.

His homecoming was horrendous.

"I didn't press," James said, dismissing nerves as a factor. "I didn't do much."

James struggled from the start in his first game with Cleveland in four years, and the New York Knicks ruined the megastar's emotional return home with a 95-90 victory over the Cavaliers on Thursday night.

James, who returned to the Cavs and his native Ohio this summer after winning two NBA titles in Miami, finished with 17 points on 5-of-15 shooting. He also committed eight turnovers and never looked comfortable on a night when the entire city — and a star-studded crowd — celebrated his comeback.

"It was a special night," he said. "I'm glad it was great, but I'm also glad it's over."

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and buried a baseline jump shot with James in his face with 25 seconds left to give the Knicks a 92-87 lead.

Kyrie Irving scored 22 and Kevin Love added 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavs, who have some work to before they can start thinking about winning any titles.

Iman Shumpert and Jason Smith had 12 points apiece for the Knicks, who were embarrassed at home on Wednesday by Chicago but then returned the favor on a monumental night for Cleveland.

"It was pretty incredible," New York forward Amare Stoudemire said, describing the atmosphere. "I haven't seen anything like that before. The city was on fire. It was great to kind of spoil the excitement — great for us."

James was greeted with a thunderous ovation before the game by more than 20,000 fans, who had been counting down the days until the opener since he announced he was coming back home in a touching essay on July 11. There were thousands more packing the streets outside Quicken Loans Arena as an entire region came together to welcome him.

This was more than a game for Cleveland. It was a homecoming, an event and a city-wide block party rolled into one.

The Knicks wrecked it, giving rookie coach Derek Fisher his first win.

"You've got to give them credit," Irving said. "They made tough shots."

New York, booed at times by the Madison Square Garden crowd a night earlier, built a seven-point lead in the third quarter and was up 86-77 on Anthony's bucket with 3:07 remaining.

With James unable to find his shot, Irving kept Cleveland close and his jumper brought the Cavs within 88-85 with 1:43 left. But J.R. Smith hit a jump shot, and after James made a driving layup, Anthony knocked down his baseline jumper with his good friend guarding him to put away the Cavs.

James started poorly, shooting just 1 of 9 from the field in the first half. He also had a miscommunication with Irving, who broke to the basket just as James was firing him a pass and the ball flew into the first row of seats next to film director and super Knicks fan Spike Lee.

"I was throwing passes where I thought some of my teammates were," said James, who sat out Cleveland's final preseason game and welcomed a new baby girl last week. "Those things will come."

The Cavaliers visit Chicago on Friday and the Knicks are at home to Charlotte on Sunday.

In other games Thursday, the Clippers edged the Thunder 93-90, the Mavericks had a 120-102 win over the Jazz, the Wizards beat the Magic 105-98 and the Timberwolves beat the Pistons 97-91.

At Los Angeles, Blake Griffin scored 23 points, making two free throws with five seconds left, and Chris Paul added 22 to help the Clippers beat Oklahoma City in their season opener to usher in a new era under owner Steve Ballmer.

Ballmer paid a record $2 billion to buy the team after 33-year owner Donald Sterling was banned for life by the NBA for racist remarks. The Thunder sent the Clippers packing in the second round of the playoffs last spring, shortly after the Sterling scandal erupted.

Already without injured Kevin Durant, the Thunder lost Russell Westbrook to a hand injury in the second quarter. Perry Jones scored a career-high 32 points, making 9 of 11 free throws.

At Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points and Tyson Chandler, the center and emotional leader when the Mavericks beat Miami for the title three years ago, had 13 points and six rebounds in his first home game since leaving in free agency not long after celebrating the crown.

News Topics: Sports, Athlete injuries, NBA basketball, Sports team and league operation, Men's sports, Men's basketball, Athlete health, Professional basketball, Basketball, Sports industry, Media and entertainment industry, Industries, Business, Sports business

People, Places and Companies: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Iman Shumpert, Iman, Jason Smith, Derek Fisher, J.R. Smith, Spike Lee, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Steve Ballmer, Donald Sterling, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Perry Jones III, Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler, Cleveland, New York, New York City, Ohio, United States, North America

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

Categories: News

For Thomas Eric Duncan's fiancée, life after Ebola comes with challenges

New Europe News - 6 hours 5 min ago
by  Associated Press Ebola victim's fiancée struggles to rebuild life by EMILY SCHMALL, Associated Press - 31 October 2014 02:30-04:00

DALLAS (AP) — The fiancée of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan is struggling to recover after losing her future husband along with most of her personal belongings, and she says she is effectively homeless due to the lingering stigma of the virus.

Louise Troh has been cleared of the deadly virus for more than a week. She was quarantined in her former home during Duncan's final days then spent the remainder of a 21-day quarantine period in a cottage at a Catholic church retreat in south Dallas. She said she didn't know where she was when she first arrived. Troh, 54, is now crammed with nine other people into her daughter's modest apartment.

Except for a few plastic bins of photographs and personal items, Troh's old apartment was stripped to the carpeting and burned.

"This destroyed my whole life," she told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Members of Troh's church are trying to drum up enough money to buy a condo to rent to her in her old neighborhood. Troh says she hasn't been able to find a landlord willing to rent to her four-person household or one that her $9 per hour job in a nursing home can support.

"I am hurt, I am displaced, I have this Ebola stigma on me and no one will take me in," she said.

She said a previous landlord, The Biltmore Apartments, cited an outstanding debt of $1,900 for denying her application — a charge Troh said was frivolous. Lisa Hawkins, the building complex's community manager, declined to comment.

The Ivy Apartments, where Duncan stayed with Troh for 10 days before his first trip to the emergency room, also denied her rental application, Troh said. A message left with The Ivy's manager was not returned.

"They are treating me like a foreigner," said Troh, who is an American citizen. "America thinks we do not deserve better."

State and federal law prohibits discrimination against buyers or renters on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability and family status.

Troh's pastor, George Mason of Wilshire Baptist Church, said buying a condo to rent to Troh is a last resort.

"When we tried to rent another condo, they turned us down when they found out who we were," Mason said.

Troh does not have an attorney, but Mason does. He said if a pending deal to buy a condo for Troh to rent falls through, filing a lawsuit will be Troh's next course of action.

Duncan first visited the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on Sept. 26. He was sent home, only to return days later with more advanced Ebola symptoms. By Oct. 8, he was dead.

For five days, Troh, her son, Duncan's nephew and a family friend were confined by armed guard to the apartment at The Ivy where Duncan had also stayed while his condition deteriorated but before he was hospitalized.

"Imagine, I could not visit him. I was told 'prepare for the worst.' It was horrible. You either think of killing yourself or you ask God to make you strong," Troh said.

Troh returned to church last Sunday in her first public appearance since going into quarantine. Fellow congregants donated money to help her buy clothes and have pledged to donate more to help Troh furnish a home — whenever she manages to find one.

When Duncan landed at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Sept. 16, he was realizing a long-held dream to reunite with Troh and their 19-year-old son, a college freshman at San Angelo State. In medical records Duncan's family shared with the AP, Duncan referred to Troh as his spouse, even though the two were not married.

Troh had hoped to spend the next month planning a wedding. Instead, she's planning a memorial service.

News Topics: General news, Ebola virus, Housing rental, Home buying, Hemorrhagic fever, Infectious diseases, Diseases and conditions, Health, Residential real estate, Lifestyle

People, Places and Companies: Dallas, Texas, United States, North America

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

Categories: News

AP Interview: Freed Vietnam dissident: I had no choice but to go to US, couldn't see family

New Europe News - 6 hours 9 min ago
by  Associated Press AP Interview: Dissident forced to leave Vietnam by DAISY NGUYEN, Associated Press - 31 October 2014 02:26-04:00

LOS ANGELES (AP) — One of Vietnam's most prominent dissidents said he was asked to sign a form seeking a pardon for spreading "propaganda against the state" before his release from prison last week, then forced onto a U.S.-bound flight with just the clothes on his body.

Nguyen Van Hai, who blogged under the name Dieu Cay, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he refused to sign the document because he didn't believe he had committed a crime.

He said authorities gave him no option but to leave for the United States.

"They rushed me directly from the jail to (Hanoi's) Noi Bai International Airport and escorted me onto the airplane. They didn't allow me to see my family before my departure. So we can't say they released me. If they had given me back my freedom, I could have gone back home instead of going directly to the airport without seeing my family and my friends."

Vietnam's communist government previously said Hai was released for humanitarian reasons.

A State Department spokeswoman said Hai had decided himself to travel to the United States.

Hai, 62, said he wasn't aware of U.S. involvement in his release, other than that the Obama administration was appealing for the release of prisoners of conscience in Vietnam.

Washington has been calling on Vietnam to improve its human rights record to smooth the way for stronger military and economic relations. The U.S., which has a stated commitment to supporting democracy and human rights around the world, wants closer ties with Vietnam as it looks to ramp up America's presence in Southeast Asia and counter an assertive China.

Washington has been intimately involved in negotiations around the early release of other dissidents, but U.S. officials rarely speak about the details publicly. Three dissidents were granted early release in April. One of them, Cu Huy Ha Vu, went directly from jail to the United States accompanied by a U.S. diplomat posted at the embassy in Hanoi.

Hai's release Oct. 21 came on the same day Tom Malinowski, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for human rights, visited Hanoi.

Hai said Hanoi should be congratulated for releasing several political prisoners this year, but questioned its motives.

"I think Hanoi should be encouraged to release political dissidents, but it's unacceptable when they use political prisoners as bargaining chips in diplomatic negotiations," Hai said.

"I hope that all governments (negotiating with Vietnam) put democracy and other civil rights as conditions under which the country should respect and comply with," he added.

Hai was the co-founder of the Club for Free Journalists, which was established to promote independent journalism. He was first detained in 2007 as a result of his political views. His 12-year prison term began in September 2012, and he later went on two hunger strikes against being held under solitary confinement.

He said he shuffled among 11 prisons, where he saw overcrowding, a lack of clean water and poor health care. He said he wasn't allowed visitors or access to media.

Hai said he was able to smuggle a message by a cellmate who is serving a two-year jail sentence for posting online criticism of the government. Truong Duy Nhat, a blogger and former reporter at a state-run newspaper, was convicted of "abusing democratic freedoms" in March.

His message read: "A government needs a critical media, more so than a media that only knows how to praise a government."

Hai was honored last November in the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists' 2013 International Press Freedom Awards.

His ex-wife and two of his children are still in Vietnam and it is not clear whether they will join him. One daughter is in Canada, though Hai said he plans to seek asylum to stay in United States. He said he plans to use his new freedom to promote human rights and freedom of the press inside Vietnam.

News Topics: General news, Human rights and civil liberties, Political imprisonment, Government and politics, Freedom of the press, Diplomacy, Newspapers, News media, Social issues, Social affairs, Political issues, Media, Freedom of speech, International relations

People, Places and Companies: Vietnam, Hanoi, United States, Southeast Asia, Asia, North America

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

Categories: News

Crowds, costumes, cuteness welcome thousands of fans at first ever Hello Kitty Con

New Europe News - 6 hours 11 min ago
by  Associated Press Crowds, cuteness overwhelm first Hello Kitty Con by SANDY COHEN, Associated Press - 31 October 2014 02:24-04:00

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hello Kitty cuteness is taking over Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles as the city hosts the first Hello Kitty fan convention.

Hello Kitty Con is expected to draw some 25,000 fans over four days.

Long lines snaked through the sold-out event Thursday at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art, where conventioneers could pose for photos with Hello Kitty, get permanently inked with her image, hear lectures about her popularity and shop for exclusive products created for the mouthless cat character's 40th birthday, which falls on Nov. 1.

"I grew up collecting Hello Kitty and being in love with her," said 30-year-old Grisel Esquivel, who was having a Hello Kitty face etched onto her wrist.

Chicago tattoo artist Mario Desa created about 100 Hello Kitty-inspired designs for ink-friendly fans. Organizers expect that about 50 conventioneers a day will receive free tattoos from the five artists at "HK Ink."

Frank Clow, a 51-year-old collector, spent hours waiting in line to get a Hello Kitty mermaid tattoo while his wife shopped for limited-edition collectibles.

"I like tattoos in general," he said, adding that he took the day off from work to come to the convention.

Elena Ramirez and Janet Tongtip also took vacation days to come to Hello Kitty Con, where they were dazzled by the cuteness — and the crowds.

"Since we were little, we've been big fans," said Ramirez, 29. "We're getting sentimental looking at all the old bags and things we used to have."

"The lines are pretty bad," Tongtip said, "but they're moving quickly."

Though Hello Kitty is popular around the world, Sanrio spokesman Dave Marchi said the Los Angeles convention celebrating her 40th anniversary is "the only one happening anywhere in the world."

Scores of fans came in costume, wearing Hello Kitty dresses, cat ears and the character's signature red bow. Among them was 23-year-old Ana Sanchez, who was decked out head-to-toe in Kitty attire, from the whiskers painted on her face down to her printed Hello Kitty sneakers.

"There's just something about this cat that I just love," she said, adding that she is actually allergic to cats. Her dutiful boyfriend, who bought the couple's tickets, stood by her side with a camera hanging from his neck.

Photo possibilities abound: There are couture fashion creations inspired by Hello Kitty, an entire home outfitted in licensed products, and many vintage items, including the Hello Kitty coin purse issued in Japan in 1975 that launched her popularity.

For its first U.S. appearance, the tiny, original vinyl purse is displayed with all the pomp of the Hope diamond. It sits atop a pile of blue velvet inside a glass case rimmed with red ropes, all alone in a room manned by security guards.

Lectures, panel discussions and hands-on craft workshops are offered throughout the convention, along with ample shopping opportunities. Companies such as Sephora and Spam created special products for Hello Kitty Con, including a $450 crystal-encrusted makeup-brush set and Spam shaped like a Kitty face.

Another pop-up shop carries convention souvenirs and 40th anniversary limited-edition items, while a "Vintage Shoppe" offers authentic antique pieces, including a Hello Kitty plush doll that cost $14.50 in 1976 and now sells for $150.

Hello Kitty helps generate $8 billion a year for Sanrio, Marchi said.

Conventioneers are invited to play Kitty-themed games in the free Target arcade, where they can collect points redeemable for keepsake merchandise. The neighboring Japanese American National Museum is showing an associated exhibit, "Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty," through April that features a breadth of Hello Kitty products as well as creative interpretations of the character from 40 international artists.

Yuko Yamaguchi, Sanrio's lead Hello Kitty designer since 1980, provided the most priceless souvenirs: personalized sketches for fans.

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .

News Topics: Business, Arts and entertainment, Visual arts, New products and services, Tattoos, Products and services, Corporate news, Beauty and fashion, Lifestyle

People, Places and Companies: Los Angeles, Japan, California, United States, North America, East Asia, Asia

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

Categories: News

AP Interview: Freed Vietnam dissident: I had no choice but to go to US, couldn't see family

New Europe News - 6 hours 22 min ago
by  Associated Press AP Interview: Dissident forced to leave Vietnam by DAISY NGUYEN, Associated Press - 31 October 2014 02:13-04:00

LOS ANGELES (AP) — One of Vietnam's most prominent dissidents said he was asked to sign a form seeking a pardon for spreading "propaganda against the state" before his release from prison last week, then forced onto a U.S.-bound flight with just the clothes on his body.

Nguyen Van Hai, who blogged under the name Dieu Cay, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he refused to sign the document because he didn't believe he had committed a crime.

He said authorities gave him no option but to leave for the United States.

"They rushed me directly from the jail to (Hanoi's) Noi Bai International Airport and escorted me onto the airplane. They didn't allow me to see my family before my departure. So we can't say they released me. If they had given me back my freedom, I could have gone back home instead of going directly to the airport without seeing my family and my friends."

Vietnam's communist government previously said Hai was released for humanitarian reasons.

A State Department spokeswoman said Hai had decided himself to travel to the United States.

Hai, 62, said he wasn't aware of U.S. involvement in his release, other than that the Obama administration was appealing for the release of prisoners of conscience in Vietnam.

Washington has been calling on Vietnam to improve its human rights record to smooth the way for stronger military and economic relations. The U.S., which has a stated commitment to supporting democracy and human rights around the world, wants closer ties with Vietnam as it looks to ramp up America's presence in Southeast Asia and counter an assertive China.

Washington has been intimately involved in negotiations around the early release of other dissidents, but U.S. officials rarely speak about the details publicly. Three dissidents were granted early release in April. One of them, Cu Huy Ha Vu, went directly from jail to the United States accompanied by a U.S. diplomat posted at the embassy in Hanoi.

Hai's release Oct. 21 came on the same day Tom Malinowski, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for human rights, visited Hanoi.

Hai said Hanoi should be congratulated for releasing several political prisoners this year, but questioned its motives.

"I think Hanoi should be encouraged to release political dissidents, but it's unacceptable when they use political prisoners as bargaining chips in diplomatic negotiations," Hai said.

"I hope that all governments (negotiating with Vietnam) put democracy and other civil rights as conditions under which the country should respect and comply with," he added.

Hai was the co-founder of the Club for Free Journalists, which was established to promote independent journalism. He was first detained in 2007 as a result of his political views. His 12-year prison term began in September 2012, and he later went on two hunger strikes against being held under solitary confinement.

He said he shuffled among 11 prisons, where he saw overcrowding, a lack of clean water and poor health care. He said he wasn't allowed visitors or access to media.

Hai said he was able to smuggle a message by a cellmate who is serving a two-year jail sentence for posting online criticism of the government. Truong Duy Nhat, a blogger and former reporter at a state-run newspaper, was convicted of "abusing democratic freedoms" in March.

His message read: "A government needs a critical media, more so than a media that only knows how to praise a government."

Hai was honored last November in the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists' 2013 International Press Freedom Awards.

His ex-wife and two of his children are still in Vietnam and it is not clear whether they will join him. One daughter is in Canada, though Hai said he plans to seek asylum to stay in United States. He said he plans to use his new freedom to promote human rights and freedom of the press inside Vietnam.

News Topics: General news, Human rights and civil liberties, Political imprisonment, Government and politics, Freedom of the press, Diplomacy, Newspapers, News media, Social issues, Social affairs, Political issues, Media, Freedom of speech, International relations

People, Places and Companies: Vietnam, Hanoi, United States, Southeast Asia, Asia, North America

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

Categories: News

Thursday's NBA Capsules

New Europe News - 6 hours 29 min ago
by  Associated Press NBA Capsules by The Associated Press, Associated Press - 31 October 2014 02:06-04:00

CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James struggled from the start in his first game with Cleveland in four years, and the New York Knicks ruined the megastar's emotional homecoming with a 95-90 victory over the Cavaliers on Thursday night.

James, who returned to the Cavs and his native Ohio this summer after winning two NBA titles in Miami, finished with 17 points on 5-of-15 shooting. He also committed eight turnovers and never looked comfortable on a night when the entire city — and a star-studded crowd — celebrated his comeback.

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and buried a jumper with James in his face with 25 seconds left to give the Knicks a 92-87 lead.

Kyrie Irving scored 22 and Kevin Love added 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavs, who have some work to before they can start thinking about any titles.

CLIPPERS 93, THUNDER 90

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin scored 23 points, making two free throws with five seconds left, Chris Paul added 22 to help the Clippers beat Oklahoma City in their season opener to usher in a new era under owner Steve Ballmer.

Los Angeles hardly resembled its new ad campaign of "Be Relentless" early on, when the Thunder scored the game's first eight points as Ballmer cupped his hands and yelled to his team from his baseline seat near their bench.

He paid a record $2 billion to buy the team after 33-year owner Donald Sterling was banned for life by the NBA for racist remarks. The Thunder sent the Clippers packing in the second round of the playoffs last spring, shortly after the Sterling scandal erupted.

Already without injured Kevin Durant, the Thunder lost Russell Westbrook to a hand injury in the second quarter. Perry Jones scored a career-high 32 points, making 9 of 11 free throws. The Thunder are 0-2, having dropped their opener a night earlier at Portland.

MAVERICKS 120, JAZZ 102

DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points and Dallas celebrated the return of two key pieces from the franchise's only championship team in a home-opening victory over Utah.

Tyson Chandler, the center and emotional leader when Dallas beat Miami for the title three years ago, had 13 points and six rebounds in his first home game since leaving in free agency not long after celebrating the crown.

J.J. Barea, the diminutive guard and 2011 NBA Finals spark who was re-acquired a day earlier, got a standing ovation when he came off the bench late in the first quarter. He had four points.

Derrick Favors had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz, who fell behind by 30 points in the first half of a tough back-to-back after an opening loss to Houston at home.

WIZARDS 105, MAGIC 98

ORLANDO, Florida (AP) — John Wall had 30 points and 12 assists, helping Washington hold off a late surge to beat Orlando.

Marcin Gortat added 20 points and 12 rebounds. All five starters scored in double figures as Washington earned its fifth straight victory over its division rival.

The Magic trailed by three at the half, only to be outscored 28-15 in the third quarter. Orlando recovered in the fourth and rallied to trim what had been a 17-point Washington lead to two with less than a minute to play. But Wall got free for a driving layup to help preserve the victory.

Nik Vucevic led the Magic with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

Orlando finished with 18 turnovers, matching its total from its season opener.

TIMBERWOLVES 97, PISTONS 91

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Thaddeus Young scored 19 points and hit a big 3-pointer with 90 seconds remaining to lift Minnesota over Detroit.

Nikola Pekovic had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Ricky Rubio added 11 points, eight assists and seven boards for the Timberwolves in their home opener.

Caron Butler scored 24 points and D.J. Augustin had 20 points and six assists for the Pistons, who have opened the season with two straight losses on the road under first-year coach Stan Van Gundy.

Andre Drummond had 11 points and 12 rebounds, but he was limited in the second half by foul trouble and the Timberwolves held off a late charge from Butler and the Pistons.

News Topics: Sports, Athlete injuries, NBA basketball, Men's sports, Sports team and league operation, Men's basketball, Athlete health, Professional basketball, Basketball, Sports industry, Media and entertainment industry, Industries, Business, Sports business

People, Places and Companies: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Steve Ballmer, Donald Sterling, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Perry Jones III, Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler, Jose Juan Barea, Derrick Favors, Thaddeus Young, Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio, Caron Butler, D.J. Augustin, Stan Van Gundy, Andre Drummond, Orlando, Cleveland, Dallas, Ohio, Portland, New York City, Florida, United States, North America, Texas, Maine, New York

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

Categories: News

'Not like hothouse flowers': In words and images, Hong Kong protesters show determination

New Europe News - 6 hours 37 min ago
by  Associated Press Hong Kong protesters: Images of determination Associated Press - 31 October 2014 01:58-04:00

HONG KONG (AP) — On the evening of Sept. 28, Hong Kong police struggling to hold back thousands of democracy protesters unleashed dozens of rounds of tear gas in a failed attempt to disperse them. When the smoke cleared, Hong Kong had changed. Many young people who previously were indifferent to politics say they experienced an awakening.

The student-led protesters are now ending their fifth week occupying the streets of this busy southern Chinese financial hub. Armed with nothing more than umbrellas and facemasks and camping in tents, they're locked in a standoff with the government over democratic reforms that seem impossible to win from Beijing.

Associated Press photographer Vincent Yu captured images of many of these protesters and asked them, "How has Occupy changed Hong Kong? And what's the future of the movement after the protest?"

___

HACKEN TSE, 38:

"It has increased people's civil awareness, but the youngsters have yet to learn many things. ... The development of the movement has come to a time when they should take a turn, but they still haven't realized it. Some people just want to get the aura of glory, yet have done nothing since the beginning. They don't know their rights and duty."

___

KELVIN LEE, 21:

"It has made many students begin to show political awareness. Me as an example, I've always been nonchalant toward politics. But since the happening of this movement, I've started to pay more attention to it. ... Honestly, in the imminent short term, Hong Kong will not have too many changes. But in the long run, this movement is an important milestone."

___

MELVIN LEE, 42:

"We have never been this resolute, never this determined. When Hong Kongers want to do something, no outside force can change it. ... This movement is reshuffling Hong Kong. Hong Kongers will be more concerned with issues on rights, and be more careful on its political policy. They will not simply allow others to represent them ... but instead will express their views by themselves."

___

SIMON CHEUNG, 27:

The attitude has changed, clearly. The previous protests were not on this big a scale. This time, it's not just limited to an ordinary street protest. We will continue to stay. ... It's either win or lose."

___

TABRIS HO, 25:

"Firstly, it exposes to public knowledge that the youths in Hong Kong are not like hothouse flowers. They can stand the test of hardships and challenges. ... Through this movement, Hong Kongers have a common faith. This generation will have a deep-rooted memory. Even if the National People's Congress (in Beijing) does not make any changes, the political system remains stagnant."

___

GWEN CHAN, 15:

"Many adults felt that the '90s generation and the '00s generation were useless. This movement has changed their views. Many people say that we receive payment (for protesting), but how would that work? Sleeping on the street for a month, the floor is so hard, don't you think it's tiring? There's no brainwashing now. Whatever I feel is right, I will do. Even if others don't support it, I will still come out. ... This movement will not succeed in one go, Even (Republic of China founder) Sun Yet-sen did not succeed in one go. We will continue walking down this road."

___

SUEN YUK MING, 20:

"At least it provokes politically indifferent individuals to participate in this political movement. The government would never have a dialogue with the citizens, but now that they are communicating with the students, at least something has changed. ... Even if we can't achieve democracy, this movement will pass down through history and become a reference for other social movements, paving a path for future protest."

___

JAY KOON, 19:

"Before Sept. 28, many people were indifferent to politics, feeling that the working of the government has nothing to do with oneself. However, after this time, they will realize politics have much relevance to oneself. More youths now care for Hong Kong. ... If needed, a large crowd of citizens are ready to come out and sacrifice. The previous demonstrations were like carnivals, but the future movements will never be the same."

___

KIT CHOW, 22:

"Before, most people were silent, and few people stood up, but today many Hong Kongers are investing a lot of effort for democracy. ... I am still relatively pessimistic. The government still hasn't come up with concessions, their position is very firm. ... The voice of the people is not able to enter the government's ear. Resistance is not just a one-off. We must persist. Then Hong Kong will have hope."

___

SOLDIER WONG, 21:

"Hong Kong people will not advocate violence. Everyone will express their demands peacefully, (and) there won't be any casualties. I hope there will be real political change. We must continue down this road."

___

MO (only surname given), 22:

"Many Hong Kong people have woken up. Change won't come from sitting in front of the TV and scolding. You have to personally come out before you can change the situation. ... I firmly believe Hong Kong people will fight for the things they want: civil nomination, universal suffrage, abolishing functional constituencies (the interest groups that get to vote in Hong Kong elections)."

___

SUMMER TSANG, 24:

"More people will be concerned about politics, more people will stand up. ... This time it's an irreversible change. So many young people have been fighting more fiercely than before, that from now on it will never again be as tranquil as it was before."

___

LEUNG (only surname given), 80:

"I think the psychology of Hong Kong people has changed. Their awareness of democracy has strengthened. This time there are many young people, from high schoolers to university students. You see all the students coming out, so how can old people not support them? ... The Communist Party has Hong Kong's government under its command. It's not impossible that they could send in the People's Liberation Army. Hong Kong people need to be vigilant."

News Topics: General news, Protests and demonstrations, Government and politics, Political and civil unrest

People, Places and Companies: Hong Kong, Beijing, China, Greater China, East Asia, Asia

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

Categories: News

BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS

New Europe News - 6 hours 41 min ago
by  Associated Press BC-AS--Asian News Digest, AS Associated Press - 31 October 2014 01:54-04:00

ASIA

MALAYSIA-MISSING PLANE-LAWSUIT

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Two Malaysian teenage boys are suing Malaysia Airlines and the government over the loss of their father on Flight 370, the first lawsuit filed by the family of a passenger of the jetliner that mysteriously disappeared eight months ago. Jee Kinson, 13, and Jee Kinland, 11, said in the suit that when the plane dropped from the radar while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 with 239 people on board, the civil aviation department did not try to establish contact within reasonable time. By Eileen Ng. SENT: 330 words, photos.

HONG KONG-DEMOCRACY PROTEST

HONG KONG — Hong Kong student protest leaders are considering visiting Beijing while it hosts a major Asian summit next week to press their demands for greater democratic reforms. Student leader Alex Chow said at a rally late Thursday that protest organizers would discuss the idea of trying to talk to Chinese officials during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum that begins Nov. 5. SENT: 310 words, photos.

HONG KONG-PORTRAITS OF PROTEST

HONG KONG — Photographer Vincent Yu captures images of 17 protesters on the streets of Hong Kong and asks them: How has Occupy changed Hong Kong? And what's the future of the movement? UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 0700GMT, photos.

UNITED NATIONS-NORTH KOREA

UNITED NATIONS — North Korea said it has invited European Union's top human rights official to visit the country, but it threatened to drop recent offers of visits by United Nations rights officials unless a U.N. resolution on the country removes any reference to the International Criminal Court before Saturday. North Korean diplomat Kim Un Chol told The Associated Press that the visit by the EU official, Stavros Lambrinidis, is expected next March. By Cara Anna. SENT, photos.

VIETNAMESE DISSIDENT-INTERVIEW

LOS ANGELES — One of Vietnam's most prominent dissidents said he was asked to sign a form seeking a pardon for spreading "propaganda against the state" before his release from prison last week, then forced onto a U.S.-bound flight with just the clothes on his body. Nguyen Van Hai, who blogged under the name Dieu Cay, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he refused to sign the document because he didn't believe he had committed a crime. By Daisy Nguyen. UPCOMING: 650 words by 0700GMT, photos.

MYANMAR-POLITICS

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar — Myanmar's president held rare talks with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and more than a dozen of the country's political and military heavyweights. Suu Kyi, who is constitutionally barred from running for president in next year's election, has been calling for a meeting with the president, commander in chief and parliament speaker for nearly a year to discuss the nation's political reform process. By Esther Htusan. SENT: 300 words, photos.

ASIA-HAPPINESS

SINGAPORE — Emerging Asian nations are finding out what developed ones did years ago: Money — and the stuff it buys — brings happiness, or at least satisfaction. Levels of self-reported well-being in fast-growing nations like Indonesia, China and Malaysia now rival those in the U.S., Germany and the United Kingdom, rich nations that have long topped the happiness charts, according to a Pew Research Center global survey released Friday. By Chris Brummitt. SENT: 760 words, photos.

CHINA-AFGHANISTAN

BEIJING — China is hosting an international conference on Afghanistan's security and reconstruction that highlights its growing role in the country as U.S. and NATO forces depart. New Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is headlining Friday's forum in Beijing known as the Istanbul Ministerial Process. The annual conference brings Afghanistan and China together with more than a dozen member nations and observers including the United States. SENT: 130 words.

FIJI-SANCTIONS DROPPED

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The U.S. and Australia have removed sanctions against Fiji following democratic elections last month in the South Pacific nation. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Friday began a two-day visit to Fiji and announced that Australia had lifted all remaining sanctions, including the sale of weapons. By Nick Perry. SENT: 300 words.

JAPAN-HELLO KITTY AT 40

When she came to life in 1974, she was a kitty without a name, sitting sideways in blue overalls and a big red bow, on a coin purse for Japanese girls. Come Saturday, fans around the world will celebrate the 40th anniversary of this global icon of "cute-cool." That is, Hello Kitty. Only a handful of characters last so long, especially in Japan, where thousands come and go in a highly competitive market. Hello Kitty has the looks, and more. By Mari Yamaguchi. Expected by 0800GMT: 740 words, photos.

WITH:

HELLO KITTY CON

LOS ANGELES — Hello Kitty cuteness is taking over Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles as the city hosts the first Hello Kitty fan convention. Hello Kitty Con is expected to draw some 25,000 fans over four days. By Sandy Cohen. SENT, photos.

JAPAN-ECONOMY

TOKYO — Japan's central bank decided Friday to expand its asset purchases in a surprise move to shore up sagging growth in the world's No. 3 economy. The Bank of Japan said it would increase its asset purchases by between 10 trillion yen and 20 trillion yen ($90.7 billion to $181.3 billion) to about 80 trillion yen ($725 billion) annually, citing an easing in inflation. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT, 480 words, photos.

US & INTERNATIONAL

IRAQ-ISLAMIC STATE KILLINGS

BAGHDAD — The Islamic State group wanted to send a warning. So the extremist fighters stormed the home of a former police officer suspected of activities against the group, killed him and his son, then hung his mutilated body on a nearby fence for days for all to see in the Iraqi city of Mosul. IS has recently killed dozens of former police officers in a campaign to prevent any possible challenge to its rule by fellow Sunnis at a time when the militants are under pressure by the U.S.-led air campaign and some losses on the ground in Iraq. By Sameer N. Yacoub and Sinan Salaheddin. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.

— SYRIA — A vanguard of Iraqi peshmerga fighters enters the embattled Syrian border town of Kobani from Turkey ahead of a larger group of 150 that the Kurds hope will turn the tide against the Islamic State group. SENT: 930 words, photos, video.

— UNITED NATIONS-SYRIA — The outspoken new U.N. envoy on Syria is briefing the Security Council for the first time after visiting key countries with influence on any possible solution to the deeply entrenched conflict. SENT: 620 words, photos.

EBOLA-NURSE QUARANTINED-MAINE

FORT KENT, Maine — Insisting she's perfectly healthy, nurse Kaci Hickox again defies the state's Ebola quarantine by leaving her home and taking a bicycle ride with her boyfriend. Maine health authorities struggle to reach a compromise that would require Hickox to keep her distance from other people, in the nation's most closely watched clash between personal freedom and fear of the disease. By Robert F. Bukaty. SENT: 830 words, photos, video.

— NYC DOCTOR-HEALTH DETECTIVES — Ebola case highlights work of New York City's disease trackers, who investigate and identify outbreaks. SENT: 690 words, photos.

ISRAEL PALESTINIANS

JERUSALEM — Israel closes Palestinian access to Jerusalem's most sensitive religious site, a rare move that ratchets up already heightened tensions after the attempted killing of a prominent Jewish ultranationalist by a Palestinian gunman. The Palestinians accuse Israel of a "declaration of war," deepening a crisis fueled by failed peace efforts, Israeli settlement construction and months of violence in the holy city. By Josef Federman. SENT: 900 words, photos, videos.

UKRAINE-WINTER THREAT

DONETSK, Ukraine — Dark tunnels in the basement of a bombed-out hospital in the eastern city of Donetsk lead to a dimly lighted makeshift shelter. The inhabitants' eyes are dull and their faces are weary with hardship. These people are either too poor or old to flee the brutal separatist war. Their dire situation is about to become much worse as Donetsk braces for winter: Damage to critical infrastructure and lack of adequate shelter for the newly homeless could mean death from cold for many. By Nataliya Vasilyeva. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

TIM COOK-COMES OUT

NEW YORK — Apple CEO Tim Cook's declaration that he's "proud to be gay" makes him the highest-profile business executive in the nation to publicly acknowledge his sexual orientation. In a country where more major-league athletes have come out than top CEOs, business leaders and gay-rights advocates say Cook's disclosure is an important step toward easing anti-gay stigma in the workplace. By Mae Anderson. SENT: 870 words, photos.

HALLOWEEN-CHOCOLATE PRICES

NEW YORK — Halloween is a big treat for candy makers. Americans will spend about $1.5 billion this year filling bowls with chocolate to hand out to ninjas, ghosts and superheroes. That makes the last day of October the industry's most important holiday for sales — ahead of Easter, Christmas and even Valentine's Day. By Steve Rothwell. SENT: 770 words, photos.

ECONOMY-GDP

The U.S. economy powered its way to a respectable growth rate of 3.5 percent between July and September, outpacing most of the developed world and on track to extend the momentum through the end of the year and beyond. The result isn't a fluke. It turns out the world's biggest economy did a lot of things right in the wake of the Great Recession that set it apart. Those key decisions, particularly by the Federal Reserve, appear to be paying off now. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 700 words. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.

HAWAII VOLCANO

PAHOA, Hawaii — The National Guard deploys troops to a rural Hawaii town as lava makes a slow crawl toward a major road and threatens to further isolate the community that got its start during the lumber- and sugar-plantation heydey. SENT: 490 words, photos, videos.

COLONIAL CEMETERY-HEADLESS SKELETON

FORT EDWARD, New York — Sleepy Hollow has the legend of the Headless Horseman. Does a community 150 miles farther up the Hudson River have a Headless Ranger buried in an unmarked cemetery from the 18th century? When two local municipalities finally completed the long-sought purchase of 34 acres on a historic island in the river, they got something else in the deal: an unmarked Colonial-era cemetery that could hold the remains of hundreds of people, including some of the famous frontier fighters known as Rogers' Rangers. In 2006, a local couple uncovered seven human skeletons buried at the site, including one that was missing its skull. By Chris Carola. SENT: 600 words, photos.

ENTERTAINMENT

FILM-INTERSTELLAR

LOS ANGELES — Jessica Chastain doesn't even feel comfortable saying her character's name. The Oscar-nominated actress quickly attempts to course correct when she realizes she's speaking liberally about Murph, the astrophysicist she's portraying in "Interstellar," one of the most closely guarded and anticipated films of 2014. "I'm just so terrified," she says. While only a 7-year age difference separates Chastain from Matthew McConaughey in the real world, the theory of relativity finds them as a disconnected father and daughter in writer-director Christopher Nolan's sweeping space-time saga about a last-ditch effort to find humans a new home in another galaxy. By Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang. SENT: 700 words, photos.

SPORTS

LEBRON'S RETURN

CLEVELAND — LeBron James begins a new journey, right back where it started. Back home after four years in Miami, James plays his first regular-season game with the Cavaliers in front of fans who weren't sure he would ever come back. By Tom Withers. SENT: 520 words, photos.

RED SOX-UEHARA

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox have signed Koji Uehara for two more years, committing $18 million to the reliever who closed out the 2013 World Series but struggled along with the team this season. By Jimmy Golen. SENT, photos.

ALSO GETTING ATTENTION

— BURKINA FASO — The longtime leader declares a state of emergency after protesters who oppose his bid for another term storm the parliament and set part of it on fire. SENT: 780 words, photos, video.

— DEATH WITH DIGNITY ADVOCATE — A terminally ill woman who expects to take her own life under Oregon's assisted-suicide law says she is feeling well enough to possibly postpone the day she had planned to die. SENT: 470 words, photos.

— VATICAN-SISTINE CHAPEL — The Vatican says Sistine Chapel frescoes are turning white from tourists' carbon dioxide and humidity. SENT: 500 words, photos.

— BABY FORMULA — Federal regulators have announced they are suing Gerber, the well-known baby food maker, for claiming that its Good Start Gentle formula can prevent or reduce allergies in children. SENT: 520 words, photo.

___

Online:

http://apexchange.com

___

YOUR QUERIES: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is Malcolm Foster. Questions and story requests are welcome. The news desk can be reached at (66) 2632-6911 or by email at asia@ap.org.

The Asia Photo Desk can be reached at (81-3) 6215-8941 or by fax at (81-3) 3574-8850.

Between 1600 GMT and 0000 GMT, please refer queries to the North America Desk in New York at (1) 212-621-1650.

News Topics: General news, Economy, Protests and demonstrations, Ebola virus, Territorial disputes, War and unrest, Government and politics, Parliamentary elections, Lawsuits, Business, Political and civil unrest, Hemorrhagic fever, Infectious diseases, Diseases and conditions, Health, Elections, Legal proceedings, Law and order

People, Places and Companies: Aung San Suu Kyi, Ashraf Ghani, Tim Cook, Jessica Chastain, Matthew McConaughey, Christopher Nolan, Koji Uehara, Jerusalem, China, Hong Kong, Palestinian territories, Fiji, Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Syria, Beijing, North Korea, Myanmar, United States, Kuala Lumpur, Israel, East Asia, New York City, Southeast Asia, Middle East, New York, Donetsk, Hawaii, Greater China, Asia, Oceania, Central Asia, North America, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Europe

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

Categories: News

BC-BKN--NBA Standings

New Europe News - 6 hours 46 min ago
by  Associated Press BC-BKN--NBA Standings Associated Press - 31 October 2014 01:49-04:00 BC-BKN--NBA Standings,0223 National Basketball Association

%hdrmisc(At A Glance<%)

%byline(By The Associated Press%)

EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Division W L Pct GB Boston 1 0 1.000 — Toronto 1 0 1.000 — New York 1 1 .500 ½ Philadelphia 0 1 .000 1 Brooklyn 0 1 .000 1 Southeast Division W L Pct GB Miami 1 0 1.000 — Charlotte 1 0 1.000 — Washington 1 1 .500 ½ Atlanta 0 1 .000 1 Orlando 0 2 .000 1½ Central Division W L Pct GB Chicago 1 0 1.000 — Indiana 1 0 1.000 — Cleveland 0 1 .000 1 Milwaukee 0 1 .000 1 Detroit 0 2 .000 1½ WESTERN CONFERENCE Southwest Division W L Pct GB Houston 2 0 1.000 — San Antonio 1 0 1.000 ½ Memphis 1 0 1.000 ½ New Orleans 1 0 1.000 ½ Dallas 1 1 .500 1 Northwest Division W L Pct GB Portland 1 0 1.000 — Denver 1 0 1.000 — Minnesota 1 1 .500 ½ Utah 0 2 .000 1½ Oklahoma City 0 2 .000 1½ Pacific Division W L Pct GB Golden State 1 0 1.000 — Phoenix 1 0 1.000 — L.A. Clippers 1 0 1.000 — Sacramento 0 1 .000 1 L.A. Lakers 0 2 .000 1½

___

Thursday's Games

Washington 105, Orlando 98

Minnesota 97, Detroit 91

New York 95, Cleveland 90

Dallas 120, Utah 102

L.A. Clippers 93, Oklahoma City 90

News Topics: Men's basketball, NBA basketball, Sports, Men's sports, Basketball, Professional basketball

People, Places and Companies: Dallas, Orlando, Cleveland, Texas, United States, North America, Florida, Tennessee

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

Categories: News

BC-HKN--NHL Scoring Leaders

New Europe News - 6 hours 48 min ago
by  Associated Press BC-HKN--NHL Scoring Leaders Associated Press - 31 October 2014 01:48-04:00 BC-HKN--NHL Scoring Leaders,0054 NHL Scoring Leaders

%byline(By The Associated Press%)

Through Oct. 30 GP G A PTS Sidney Crosby, Pit 9 7 8 15 Tyler Seguin, Dal 9 7 8 15 Jakub Voracek, Phi 10 3 12 15 Tyler Toffoli, LA 10 5 8 13 Brent Burns, SJ 12 4 9 13 Claude Giroux, Phi 10 2 11 13 15 tied with 12 pts. News Topics: Sports, NHL hockey, Professional hockey, Hockey, Men's hockey, Men's sports

People, Places and Companies: Tyler Toffoli

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

Categories: News

Maine locked in standoff with defiant nurse over Ebola precautions as compromise efforts stall

New Europe News - 7 hours 4 min ago
by  Associated Press Compromise efforts stall for quarantined nurse by ROBERT F. BUKATY, Associated Press - 31 October 2014 01:31-04:00

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — A nurse defied Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who have treated Ebola patients, leaving her home for a bike ride. The governor of Main said negotiations with the nurse have broken down and he is ready to exercise the "full extent" of this authority to protect the public.

Kaci Hickox stepped out of her home Thursday in remote Maine for the second day in a row and rode away on her bicycle with her boyfriend, the pair were followed by state police who were monitoring her movements and public interactions. The episode has become evidence of what's shaping up to be the nation's most closely watched confrontation between personal freedom and Ebola fears. Police couldn't detain Hickox without a court order signed by a judge.

By evening, it was unclear whether the state had gone to court or whether there had been any progress toward ending the standoff. The governor's office and Hickox's lawyers would not comment.

Hickox, who volunteered in Sierra Leone with Doctors Without Borders, contends there's no need for quarantine because she's showing no symptoms. She's also tested negative for the deadly disease, though it can take days for the virus to reach detectable levels.

State officials were going to court in an effort to detain Hickox for the remainder of the 21-day incubation period for Ebola that ends on Nov. 10

Gov. Paul LePage said the state was willing to agree to arrangements that would have allowed Hickox to go for walks, runs and bicycle rides while preventing her from going into public places or coming within 3 feet (less than a meter) of others. But the governor said those discussions failed.

Hickox, 33, told reporters that she hoped for a compromise with health officials, but her actions indicated she had no intention of remaining in isolation.

"I really hope that we can work things out amicably and continue to negotiate," she said as she and her boyfriend rode on a dirt path in this small town of 4,300 people.

It was the second time Hickox broke quarantine. She left her home Wednesday evening briefly to speak to reporters, even shaking a hand that was offered to her.

After returning from Africa, Hickox stepped into the media glare last week when she became subject of a mandatory quarantine in New Jersey.

After being released from a hospital there, she returned to this small town, where she was placed under what Maine authorities called a voluntary quarantine.

She said she is following the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation of daily monitoring. But she said she is no threat to others because she has no symptoms.

"I'm not willing to stand here and let my civil rights be violated when it's not science-based," she said Wednesday evening.

States have broad authority when it comes to such matters. But Maine health officials could have a tough time convincing a judge that Hickox poses a threat, said attorney Jackie L. Caynon III, who specializes in health law in Massachusetts.

"If somebody isn't showing signs of the infection, then it's kind of hard to say someone should be under mandatory quarantine," he said.

In other developments:

— Ebola fears infected a medical conference on the subject. Louisiana state health officials told thousands of doctors planning to attend a tropical-diseases meeting this weekend in New Orleans to stay away if they have been to certain African countries or have had contact with an Ebola patient in the last 21 days.

— Liberia is making some progress in containing the outbreak, while Sierra Leone is "in a crisis situation which is going to get worse," the top anti-Ebola officials in the two countries said.

— The World Bank announced it will give an additional $100 million to help bring in more foreign health workers. That raises the money it has given to the fight to $500 million.

Ebola, which is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, has killed thousands of people in Africa, but only four people have been diagnosed with it in the United States. People can't be infected just by being near someone who's sick, and people aren't contagious unless they're sick, health officials say.

Guidelines from the CDC recommend daily monitoring for health care workers like Hickox who have come into contact with Ebola patients. But some states like Maine are going above and beyond those guidelines.

___

Associated Press writers David Sharp in Portland and Alanna Durkin in Augusta contributed to this report.

News Topics: General news, Ebola virus, Health, Recreational cycling, State governments, Hemorrhagic fever, Infectious diseases, Diseases and conditions, Recreational sports, Outdoor recreation, Recreation and leisure, Lifestyle, Government and politics

People, Places and Companies: Paul LePage, Maine, Africa, Sierra Leone, United States, North America, West Africa

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

Categories: News

Thursday's NHL Capsules

New Europe News - 7 hours 8 min ago
by  Associated Press Thursday's NHL Capsules Associated Press - 31 October 2014 01:27-04:00

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves in his 30th NHL shutout, and Chris Kunitz had two goals in a three-point game to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings 3-0 on Thursday night.

Kris Letang scored his first goal of the season, and Evgeni Malkin became the fifth player in team history to register 400 assists as the Penguins used their dominant power play and a steady performance from Fleury to hand the defending champion Kings just their second regulation loss.

Pittsburgh went 2 for 6 with the man advantage, including two first-period goals that put the Kings on their heels.

Martin Jones made 20 saves for Los Angeles, but the Kings failed to score for the second time in 10 games this season. The Kings lost in regulation for just the second time this season.

DEVILS 2, JETS 1, SO

NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) — Jacob Josefson scored the lone goal in the shootout, and Cory Schneider made it stand up as New Jersey ended its tiebreaker frustration with a come-from-behind victory over Winnipeg.

Michael Ryder forced overtime for New Jersey, scoring the tying goal with 3:27 left in regulation. The Devils earned the shootout victory after losing all 13 last season and one other this season.

Josefson, the Devils' second shootout shooter, lifted a shot over sprawling goalie Ondrej Pavelec.

New Jersey earned its first home victory in four games and snapped the Jets' two-game winning streak.

Blake Wheeler, who led the Jets with 28 goals last season, netted his fourth of the season in the first period.

BRUINS 3, SABRES 2, OT

BUFFALO, New York (AP) — Brad Marchand had two goals, including the winner 1:20 into overtime, and Boston earned its third straight road victory by beating Buffalo.

Drew Stafford and Tyler Ennis each had a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who are 0-4-1 at home this season.

Marchand added an assist on Adam McQuaid's goal for the Bruins. Niklas Svedberg made 13 saves for his second win of the season, both coming against Buffalo.

Jhonas Enroth made 34 saves for the Sabres.

Marchand's tying goal at 14:30 of the third period was reviewed after he redirected Loui Eriksson's shot past Enroth with his hand.

LIGHTNING 4, FLYERS 3

TAMPA, Florida (AP) — Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist, helping Tampa Bay beat Philadelphia.

Vladislav Namestnikov and Jason Garrison scored the other Lightning goals. Tampa Bay has defeated the Flyers seven straight times at home, dating to February 2011.

Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek and Michael Raffl netted goals for the Flyers, who had won three in a row.

After Stamkos gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead with his eighth goal this season from the left circle at 5:30 of the third, Voracek's in-close shot made it a one-goal game again 68 seconds later.

Garrison made it 4-2, snapping his 28-game goal drought, on the power play with 3:12 to play. Raffl cut the Flyers' deficit back to one in the final minute.

Stamkos had put the Lightning ahead 2-1 during a power play with 45.7 seconds remaining in the second period.

PANTHERS 2, COYOTES 1

SUNRISE, Florida (AP) — Scottie Upshall scored 10:56 into the third period, Roberto Luongo made 32 saves in front of another small crowd, and Florida edged Arizona.

The announced crowd was 7,691, just 380 more than the franchise-record low of 7,311 that watched the Panthers play Ottawa on Oct. 13th.

Brandon Pirri tied it for Florida at 5:37 of the second period with a power-play goal. Jussi Jokinen and Erik Gudbranson had the assists.

Coyotes goalie Mike Smith stopped 24 shots.

Martin Hanzal gave Arizona a 1-0 lead with 2:33 left in the first period during a power play off assists from Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle.

BLACKHAWKS 5, SENATORS 4, SO

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist in Chicago's shootout win over Ottawa, reaching two milestones in the city in which he started his NHL career back in 1997.

Patrick Sharp scored the only goal of the shootout. Jonathan Toews scored twice for Chicago (6-3-1), and Kris Versteeg added a goal. Scott Darling turned aside 28 shots for the win.

Mark Stone, Clarke MacArthur, Bobby Ryan and Mika Zibanejad had goals for Ottawa (5-2-2). Craig Anderson made 35 saves.

Hossa's goal at 13:50 of the third period was his second of the season and his 1,000th career point. It came in his 1,100th NHL game.

The goal was one of four in a third-period outburst between the teams that entered the frame tied 2-2.

BLUES 2, DUCKS 0

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Alexander Steen and Ryan Reaves scored, and Jake Allen stopped 24 shots in his second NHL shutout, leading St. Louis over Anaheim.

The Blues (5-3-1) won their third consecutive game despite playing without four of their top nine forwards. David Backes and T.J. Oshie sat out because of concussions, Paul Stastny was sidelined by a shoulder injury, and Joakim Lindstrom missed the game due to an illness.

The Ducks (8-3) played the second game of a four-game, six-day trip. Anaheim had won four straight against the Blues, including a 3-0 home victory on Oct. 19.

Steen tipped in a long shot from Carl Gunnarsson for his second of the season 4:29 in. Reaves made it 2-0 with his second at 2:03 of the third.

It was the second goal in three games for Reaves, a fourth-line enforcer, and his 13th in 203 career NHL games.

Allen (2-1) posted his first shutout since March 14, 2013.

WILD 4, SHARKS 3, SO

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) — Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville scored in the shootout to lift Minnesota over San Jose.

Kyle Brodziak scored twice in the third period, and Koivu had a goal in the second for Minnesota, which for the second straight game overcame a 3-1, third-period deficit to win.

The Wild rallied to win 4-3 Tuesday at Boston, one night after allowing five third-period goals in a 5-4 road loss to the New York Rangers.

Joe Thornton, Tommy Wingels and Mirco Mueller scored for the Sharks. Antti Niemi made a career-high 43 saves.

AVALANCHE 5, ISLANDERS 0

DENVER (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon scored his first two goals of the season and Semyon Varlamov stopped 40 shots for his 14th NHL shutout, lifting Colorado over the New York Islanders.

MacKinnon, the 19-year-old reigning rookie of the year, netted both of his goals in the second period, one on a power play. He later tipped a shot past goalie Chad Johnson.

Cody McLeod and Marc-Andre Cliche also scored their first goals of the season. Erik Johnson added another in the third period.

Varlamov was sharp against the Islanders, one of the NHL's highest scoring teams. It was his first shutout since April 5 at St. Louis.

The Avalanche took command with a three-goal second period.

The Islanders struggled on the power play, going 0-for-6.

CANUCKS 3, CANADIENS 2, OT

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Daniel Sedin scored a power-play goal 2:45 into overtime, off an assist from twin brother Henrik, and Vancouver bounced back from a blown lead to beat Montreal.

Daniel took a feed from Henrik off the rush and scored against Carey Price for his third goal of the season after the Canucks squandered a 2-0 lead in the third period.

Nick Bonino and Brad Richardson scored for Vancouver (7-3). Ryan Miller made 28 saves.

Alex Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty had goals for Montreal (8-2-1), and Price stopped 22 shots.

News Topics: Sports, Athlete injuries, NHL hockey, Men's sports, Athlete health, Professional hockey, Hockey, Men's hockey

People, Places and Companies: Marc-Andre Fleury, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin, Martin Jones, Jacob Josefson, Cory Schneider, Michael Ryder, Ondrej Pavelec, Blake Wheeler, Brad Marchand, Drew Stafford, Tyler Ennis, Adam McQuaid, Niklas Svedberg, Jhonas Enroth, Loui Eriksson, Steven Stamkos, Vladislav Namestnikov, Jason Garrison, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek, Michael Raffl, Scottie Upshall, Roberto Luongo, Brandon Pirri, Jussi Jokinen, Erik Gudbranson, Mike Smith, Martin Hanzal, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Keith Yandle, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews, Kris Versteeg, Scott Darling, Mark Stone, Clarke MacArthur, Bobby Ryan, Mika Zibanejad, Craig Anderson, Alexander Steen, Ryan Reaves, Jake Allen, David Backes, T.J. Oshie, Paul Stastny, Joakim Lindstrom, Carl Gunnarsson, Mikko Koivu, Jason Pominville, Kyle Brodziak, Joe Thornton, Tommy Wingels, Mirco Mueller, Antti Niemi, Nathan MacKinnon, Semyon Varlamov, Chad Johnson, Cody McLeod, Marc-Andre Cliche, Erik Johnson, Daniel Sedin, Carey Price, Nick Bonino, Brad Richardson, Ryan Miller, Alex Galchenyuk, Max Pacioretty, Ottawa, Tampa, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Buffalo, Missouri, Montreal, Ontario, Canada, North America, Florida, United States, Pennsylvania, New York, Quebec

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

Categories: News

A glimmer of hope as Ukraine, Russia reach gas supply deal

New Europe News - 7 hours 13 min ago
by  Kostis Geropoulos

After months of negotiations, Russia and Ukraine Thursday night clinched a multi-billion dollar deal that will guarantee that Russian gas exports flow into Ukraine and beyond to the European Union over the winter.

EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said he saw in the agreement a “first glimmer” of improved relations between Moscow and Kiev.

“We can guarantee a security of supply over the winter,” not only for Ukraine but also for the EU nations closest to the region that stood to suffer should the gas standoff have worsened, Oettinger said.

The issue for Moscow was whether Ukraine was in a position to come up with the necessary cash to pay for the gas. “Yes, they are,” Oettinger said, adding that the $4.6 billion deal should extend through March.

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Brussels will also help Ukraine with the payments through aid and guarantees. “There is now no reason for people in Europe to stay cold this winter,” he said. Barroso added that he was “hopeful that the agreement can contribute to increase trust between Russia and Ukraine.”

Under the deal, Ukraine would pay for its outstanding debt by making a $1.45 billion deposit without delay, and $1.65 billion by year's end. The final sum of debt would be determined through arbitration.

For new gas, Russia will only deliver after pre-payment and Ukraine intends to buy some $1.5 billion by the end of December.

Following the final round of trilateral talks, Ukraine’s Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said Ukraine and the European Commission have secured financing to purchase the amount of Russian gas necessary to ensure uninterrupted supplies to Europe through the upcoming winter. “Together with the European Commission we have managed to secure financing to purchase the necessary volumes of [Russian] gas,” Prodan said. “These volumes will guarantee secure and reliable gas deliveries through Ukraine to the European Union,” Prodan said.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said he hopes Gazprom and Naftogaz will be able to agree on a continuation of Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine after the so-called “winter package” expires.

“Of course our companies, Gazprom and Naftogaz, will return to a dialogue. I think that today’s agreement will allow them to continue the dialogue on a constant basis, and new concrete steps will be prepared to secure deliveries from April,” Novak told journalists after the trilateral talks.

Christopher Granville, co-founder of Trusted Sources in London, a highly experienced commentator on Russian political and economic affairs, told New Europe earlier on Thursday that the deal “will be fairly robust”.

He stressed that a key element is this pre-payment. “If the Ukrainians don’t pay there is no gas. And if they don’t pay means their sponsors in the European Union or America or IMF or wherever - but above all in Europe because Europe has the key interest in the stable gas trade - then that’s a political failure for Europe. Russia is simply saying, ‘We’ve put billions for credit for Ukraine on the gas trade already and Europe you are saying you are supporting Ukraine. Well, show us the money,’” Granville said.

See also:

Another winter of discontent: talks on Russian gas for Ukraine deadlocked

Categories: News

Survivalist wanted in deadly trooper ambush caught; prosecutors to seek death penalty

New Europe News - 7 hours 18 min ago
by  Associated Press Trooper ambush suspect caught, death penalty eyed by MICHAEL RUBINKAM, Associated Press - 31 October 2014 01:17-04:00

LORDS VALLEY, Pennsylvania (AP) — A survivalist accused of ambushing two state troopers, killing one and seriously wounding the other, was captured by U.S. marshals near an abandoned airplane hangar, ending a seven-week manhunt that had rattled the nerves of area residents.

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Eric Frein, who meekly gave himself up when surrounded Thursday, authorities said.

"He did not just give up because he was tired," state police Commissioner Frank Noonan said. "He gave up because he was caught."

State police said they didn't know whether Frein, who was unarmed when captured, had been using the hangar as a shelter during his 48 days on the run, and they wouldn't say what they found there.

Frein was held in the handcuffs of the trooper he's accused of killing, Gov. Tom Corbett said Thursday at a nighttime news conference.

The quiet takedown of Frein, who kneeled and put his hands up when marshals approached him, ended weeks of tension and turmoil in the area, as authorities at times closed schools, canceled outdoor events and blockaded roads to pursue him. Residents grew weary of hearing helicopters overhead, while small businesses suffered mounting losses and town supervisors canceled a popular Halloween parade.

Frein is charged with opening fire outside the Blooming Grove barracks on Sept. 12, killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson and seriously wounding Trooper Alex Douglass. After his arrest Thursday near the abandoned hangar, he was placed in Dickson's car for the ride back to the barracks, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) away.

Douglass and his family and Dickson's family expressed "relief and gratitude" over Frein's arrest, Noonan said.

Police said they linked Frein to the ambush after a man walking his dog discovered his partly submerged SUV three days later in a swamp a few miles from the shooting scene. Inside, investigators found shell casings matching those found at the barracks as well as Frein's driver's license, camouflage face paint, two empty rifle cases and military gear.

Officials, saying Frein was armed and extremely dangerous, had urged residents to be alert and cautious. Using dogs, thermal imaging technology and other tools, law enforcement officials combed miles of forest as they hunted for Frein, whom they called an experienced survivalist at home in the woods.

They pursued countless tips and closed in on an area around Frein's parents' home in Canadensis after he used his cellphone to try contacting them and the signal was traced to a location about 3 miles away. At times police ordered nearby residents to stay inside or prevented them from returning home.

Trackers found items they believe Frein hid or abandoned in the woods — including soiled diapers, empty packs of Serbian cigarettes, an AK-47-style assault rifle and ammunition and two pipe bombs that were functional and capable of causing significant damage. They also discovered a journal, allegedly kept by Frein and found in a bag of trash at a hastily abandoned campsite, that offered a chilling account of the ambush and his subsequent escape into the woods. The journal's author described Dickson as falling "still and quiet" after being shot twice.

Police spotted a man they believed to be Frein at several points during the manhunt, but it was always from a distance, with the rugged terrain allowing him to keep them at bay. Police said he appeared to be treating the manhunt as a game.

Frein, 31, had expressed anti-law enforcement views online and to people who knew him. His criminal record appeared limited to a decade-old misdemeanor case involving items stolen from a World War II re-enactors event in upstate New York, for which he spent 109 days in jail.

Police found a U.S. Army manual called "Sniper Training and Employment" in his bedroom at his parents' house, and his father, a retired Army major, told authorities that his son is an excellent marksman who "doesn't miss," according to a police affidavit. Authorities believe Frein had been planning a confrontation with police for years, citing information they found on a computer used by him.

A man and a woman believed to be Frein's parents, reached separately by telephone on Thursday, declined to comment.

The manhunt for Frein in northeastern Pennsylvania had scrapped some plans for trick-or-treating. The chairman of Barrett Township's board of supervisors planned to meet with other town officials to try to salvage Halloween.

"No police were hurt. Nobody else was hurt. He didn't take any more lives. He didn't shoot anybody else, from what I understand," chairman Ralph Megliola said. "That's the best scenario."

Helen Blackmore, who lives in the heart of the search zone in Cresco, was ready for some normalcy.

"It was very crazy here. The helicopters were out all the time. Nobody was sleeping. Even today they were out," she said. "We're relieved. We're very relieved. We want things to get back to normal."

Frein belonged to a military re-enactors group, playing the part of a Serbian solder. He had a small role in a 2007 movie about a concentration camp survivor and helped with props and historical references on a documentary about World War I.

His 18-year-old sister, Tiffany Frein, earlier acknowledged that he "did something messed up" but told NBC News that he is "not a psycho."

Frein is charged with first-degree murder and various other offenses, including two counts of possession of weapons of mass destruction filed after police discovered the pipe bombs.

Dickson, at his funeral, was called a devoted husband and father and "impeccable" ex-Marine who took his work seriously but also enjoyed making wooden toys for his young sons and finding humor in everyday situations.

Douglass was shot in the pelvis and critically injured in the ambush, which took place during a late-night shift change. He remained hospitalized until Oct. 16, when he was discharged to a rehabilitation facility, state police said.

"If you attack troopers, and a civilized society, the Pennsylvania State Police will bring you to justice. Eric Frein is a coward," the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association said in a statement. "Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II and Trooper Alex T. Douglass are true heroes."

___

Associated Press writers Alicia A. Caldwell in Washington and Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

News Topics: General news, Crime, War and unrest, Halloween, Municipal governments, Shootings, Holidays, Occasions, Lifestyle, Local governments, Government and politics, Violent crime

People, Places and Companies: Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania, United States, North America

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

Categories: News

Myanmar's president, army chief hold rare talks with opposition leader Suu Kyi

New Europe News - 7 hours 19 min ago
by  Associated Press Myanmar's president, army chief meet Suu Kyi by ESTHER HTUSAN, Associated Press - 31 October 2014 01:16-04:00

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar's president held rare talks Friday with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and more than a dozen of the country's political and military heavyweights.

Suu Kyi, who is constitutionally barred from running for president in next year's election, has been calling for a meeting with the president, commander in chief and parliament speaker for nearly a year to discuss the nation's political reform process.

Until now, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate had been repeatedly rebuffed.

After winning international praise for helping steer the country from dictatorship to democracy, President Thein Sein's nominally civilian government is facing mounting criticism that early political reforms and peace talks with ethnic rebels have stalled.

Critics said Friday's meeting would be little more than window dressing — an attempt to show participants at an upcoming East Asia Summit that political dialogue is continuing. The summit will be held in Myanmar next month and President Barack Obama is expected to attend along with other world leaders.

On Thursday, Obama has discussed his upcoming visit in separate telephone conversations with Thein Sein and Suu Kyi. Obama underscored the need for an inclusive and credible process for conducting elections next year, the White House said. He also stressed the importance of addressing tensions in Rakhine State, where more than 100,000 members of a Muslim minority have fled attacks and persecution over the last two years.

Few details have been released about Friday's talks, which are being held in the capital, Naypyitaw. A news conference is expected to follow.

More than a dozen other political and party leaders are taking part, including military chief Min Aung Hlaing, who plays a crucial political role under the country's constitution and has veto power over constitutional amendments.

News Topics: General news, Armed forces, Government and politics, Army, Military leadership, Military and defense

People, Places and Companies: Aung San Suu Kyi, Thein Sein, Barack Obama, Naypyidaw, Myanmar, Southeast Asia, Asia

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

Categories: News