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Report: Prince was set to meet addiction doctor before death
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) ? Prince's representatives arranged for the musician to meet a California doctor to help him kick an addiction to painkillers shortly before his death, according to a newspaper report published Wednesday.
Tensions surface between Turkish president, prime minister
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) ? Long-denied tensions between Turkey's president and prime minister are beginning to surface publicly, leading to speculation from political observers that the country's powerful leader may be considering replacing the premier with a figure more willing to take a backseat role.
Independent Algerian paper faces closure threat
ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) ? Independent Algerian newspaper El Khabar is facing likely closure after the government cracked down on its ad revenue and challenged its pending sale in court.
EU proposes scheme to share out asylum seekers
By Gabriela Baczynska BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission proposed a system to distribute asylum seekers across the EU on Wednesday that aims to ease the load on states like Greece and Italy but drew immediate condemnation from governments in Eastern Europe. The European Union executive published legislative proposals to reform the so-called Dublin system of EU asylum rules that includes a "fairness mechanism" under which each of the 28 states would be assigned a percentage quota of all asylum seekers in the bloc that it would be expected to handle. "This is a way to be able to show solidarity in a situation where ... you are not able to take the refugees which were allocated to you." But at a meeting in Prague, ministers from Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic all repeated their opposition to the idea of relocation: "It makes no sense, it violates EU member states' rights," Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak told reporters.
Turkish president says IS is in for heavy losses
ISTANBUL (AP) ? Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned the Islamic State group will suffer heavy losses if it continues attacking Turkey.
Libya's east tests muscle with oil shipment, troop dispatches
By Aidan Lewis and Ayman al-Warfalli TUNIS/BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - By defiantly attempting to export their own oil and dispatching troops towards the centre of the country, Libya's eastern factions may be gambling on force as they bid for a larger stake under a U.N.-backed unity government. It could be a costly bet, one that ignites renewed conflict between east and west over territory, slashes oil production, and pushes Libya closer to a split that has threatened the country since the uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi five years ago. The unity deal, signed in December despite opposition from hardliners, was meant to end the divide between rival governments in Tripoli and the east who have vied for control over the country and its oil resources since 2014, backed by competing factions of former anti-Gaddafi rebels.
U.S. says it, allies to do more to combat Islamic State
By Phil Stewart STUTTGART, Germany (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday that Washington and its allies had agreed to do more in their campaign to defeat Islamic State, but that more risks lay ahead. "These risks will continue... but allowing ISIL safe haven would carry greater risk for us all," he added, using an acronym for Islamic State. "...We also agreed that all of our friends and allies across the counter-ISIL coalition can and must do more as well, both to confront ISIL in Iraq and Syria and its metastases elsewhere." The talks included ministers from France, Britain and Germany and were planned well in advance of Tuesday's attack, in which Islamic State fighters blasted through Kurdish defenses and overran a town.
Cameron backs down over Syrian child refugees, Britain to take more
Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday Britain would take more Syrian child refugees who had made it to Europe, in a move to quell a rebellion in his party before a referendum on EU membership. Cameron has said children fleeing the conflict in Syria are "relatively safe" once they reach Europe and that the government does not want to encourage more Syrians, including unaccompanied children, to attempt the hazardous journey to the West.
Wildfire destroys homes in Canadian city; delays hit evacuation
(Reuters) - An out-of-control wildfire destroyed much of one neighborhood in the remote Canadian city of Fort McMurray and badly damaged other areas, the local government said on Wednesday, hours after it ordered all 80,000 residents to leave in the biggest evacuation in the area's history. Firefighters in the northeastern Alberta city at the heart of Canada's oil sands were bracing for another tough day. Two other neighborhoods, Abasand and Waterways, were listed as "serious loss." By early Wednesday morning Shell had closed one oil sands mine and was in the process of closing another.
Poland says EU migrant quota proposal 'makes no sense'
WARSAW (Reuters) - A European Commission proposal to systematically distribute asylum seekers across the EU "makes no sense" and violates member countries' rights, Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Wednesday. Earlier on Wednesday, the European Commission proposed a system of distributing asylum seekers that aims to ease the load on frontline states like Greece and Italy. The plan envisages mandatory payments for refusing to accommodate migrants. "This is a bad system ... It makes no sense, it violates EU member states' rights," Blaszczak told reporters. ...
South Africa's EFF party ejected from parliament ahead of Zuma address
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa's parliamentary protection services forcefully removed members of the ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters party on Wednesday from the chamber as they attempted to disrupt proceedings ahead of an address by President Jacob Zuma. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Writing by Ed Stoddard; Editing by James Macharia)
As Trump wins, Clinton exploring how to win Republicans
ATHENS, Ohio (AP) ? With Donald Trump all but clinching the Republican nomination for president, Hillary Clinton is beginning to explore ways to woo Republicans turned off by the brash billionaire.
Russia's Lavrov says Syria's Assad is not an ally: RIA
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is not an ally for Russia to the extent Turkey is for the United States, RIA news agency quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Wednesday. "Assad is not an ally for us. Yes, we support him in the fight against terror and in preserving the Syrian state," he told RIA in an interview.
US trade deficit in March smallest in 16 months
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The U.S. trade deficit fell in March to the lowest level in 16 months as imports plunged by the largest amount since the depths of the recession seven years ago.
The fireman's pole is history _ at least in Vienna
VIENNA (AP) ? The fireman's pole is history ? at least in Vienna.
Russia blames Nusra Front for wrecking planned truce in Syria's Aleppo
The Russian Defence Ministry on Wednesday said an upsurge in violence by Nusra Front militants had thwarted plans to extend a truce to the Syrian city of Aleppo the previous day, Russian news agencies reported. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested on Tuesday after meeting U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura that a deal covering Aleppo was close, saying Russian and U.S. military personnel might announce a decision "in the coming hours".
Syria withholds aid to 900,000, risks new siege in Aleppo: U.N.
GENEVA (Reuters) - Syria's government is refusing U.N. appeals to deliver aid to 905,000 people including in Aleppo, the city at the center of an eruption of violence in the past two weeks, U.N. humanitarian advisor Jan Egeland said on Wednesday. "We seem to be having new possible besieged areas on our watch, we are having hundreds of relief workers unable to move in Aleppo," he told reporters after a weekly humanitarian meeting of nations backing the Syria peace process. ...
The Latest: Turkey hails EU move on visas
BRUSSELS (AP) ? The Latest on Europe's response to the wave of migration from the Middle East and elsewhere (all times local):
John Boyega goes from 'Star Wars' to London's Old Vic stage
LONDON (AP) ? John Boyega is going from space battles in "Star Wars" to earthbound struggles onstage at London's Old Vic Theatre.
Minnesota college system bars team travel to North Carolina
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) ? A Minnesota state university system is prohibiting athletics teams from traveling to tournaments in North Carolina this spring after that state passed a law limiting LGBT protections.
Coalition vows to build up further against Islamic State
STUTTGART, Germany (AP) ? An international coalition leading the military campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq agreed Wednesday to accelerate their contributions but did not publicly specify what those would be. The group also called on Iraqi leaders to reconcile political differences.
Trump shifts to new campaign phase, dismisses GOP critics
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) ? Donald Trump, the GOP presidential nomination virtually in hand, is signaling a new phase of his outsider campaign, searching for a running mate who could help him govern and reaching out to one-time competitors in an effort to heal the fractured Republican Party.
European court OKs crackdown on e-cigarettes, packaging
BRUSSELS (AP) ? The European Union's top court dealt a blow to the tobacco industry Wednesday by approving sweeping new rules that will require plain cigarette packs, ban menthol cigarettes and regulate the growing electronic cigarette market.
As Trump becomes presumptive nominee, China urges objectivity
By Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Wednesday urged people in the United States to take a rational and objective view of the relationship between the two countries, after Republican front-runner Donald Trump became the party's presumptive presidential nominee. Trump has proposed that tariffs on imported Chinese goods be increased to up to 45 percent and asserted that China had waged "economic war" against the United States, taking American jobs. On Sunday, he compared the U.S. trade deficit with China to rape.
Victorious Trump sets sights on Clinton, running mate
By Ginger Gibson and Alana Wise INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Reuters) - Billionaire Donald Trump assumed the mantle of presumptive Republican presidential nominee on Wednesday with a mixed message on party unity and a clearer one for his next likely target, Democrat Hillary Clinton. The former reality television star, who has never held public office, won a commanding victory in Indiana's primary on Tuesday, forcing his main rival, Ted Cruz, to drop out of the race. Trump can now prepare for a match-up in the Nov. 8 general election.
Prince is being added to the Apollo Theater's Walk of Fame
NEW YORK (AP) ? Prince is being inducted into the Apollo Theater's Walk of Fame.
Craig Ferguson to host NBC's Red Nose Day charity telecast
LOS ANGELES (AP) ? Craig Ferguson will host NBC's second Red Nose Day telecast for children in need.
Greece rules out "what if" austerity measures sought by IMF
ATHENS, Greece (AP) ? Greece will not approve contingency savings measures that the International Monetary Fund is demanding in case the country does not meet budget targets set out by bailout lenders, an official said Wednesday.
China military tries musical approach to image building
BEIJING (AP) ? China's military has a bulging arsenal of ships, warplanes and missiles, but this week, music is its weapon of choice.
Detroit teachers ending 2-day sick-out, fighting legislation
DETROIT (AP) ? Detroit schools reopened Wednesday after teachers who had called out sick for two days received assurances from the financially struggling district that they would continue to be paid.
Janus's Bill Gross: 'Helicopter money' is coming in a year or so
The next big monetary and fiscal policy move should include an airdrop of money from helicopters to stimulate the U.S. economy, says Bill Gross, a portfolio manager at Janus Capital Group Inc. Gross may not be entirely serious about ?helicopter money?, but in his latest Investment Outlook note published on Wednesday, he said the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury should engage in another round of quantitative easing (QE), printing trillions of dollars to buy government bonds and thereby boost economic growth. Gross notes that the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, and the Bank of England have effectively already bought bonds from their governments for six years and allowed them to spend money to support their sagging economies.
Comedian Patton Oswalt remembers wife in touching essay
NEW YORK (AP) ? Comedian Patton Oswalt has authored a touching essay nearly two weeks after the unexpected death of his wife, crime writer Michelle McNamara.
Russia withdraws 30 aircraft from Syria: TASS cites defense ministry
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has withdrawn around 30 aircraft from Syria, including all of its Su-25 attack planes stationed in the country, TASS news agency cited the Russian Defence Ministry as saying on Wednesday. (Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Dmitry Solovyov)
Exclusive: Target gets tough with vendors to speed up supply chain
By Nandita Bose and Nathan Layne CHICAGO (Reuters) - Discount retailer Target Corp is cracking down on suppliers as part of a multi-billion dollar overhaul to speed up its supply chain and better compete with rivals including Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Amazon.com Inc . The sixth-largest U.S. retailer by sales plans to tighten deadlines for deliveries to its warehouses, hike fines for late deliveries, and could institute penalties of up to $10,000 for inaccuracies in product information, according to a letter sent to suppliers and obtained by Reuters and an interview with Target's chief operating officer John Mulligan. The moves, effective May 30, are the first major steps Target has taken since Mulligan was appointed as COO late in 2015 to fix supply problems that emerged after it expanded product offerings, including fresh food, several years ago.
The Latest: Trump says he'll accept small contributions
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Latest on the 2016 presidential campaign (all times EDT):
EU moves on granting visa-free travel to Turkish citizens
BRUSSELS (AP) ? The European Union's executive Commission is recommending that Turkish citizens be allowed to travel to Europe without visas on short vacations and business trips, a major step toward fulfilling a key part of an agreement with Turkey to deal with the migrant crisis.
Russia to boost troops levels along borders to counter NATO
MOSCOW (AP) ? Russia says it will form new military divisions to be stationed along the country's borders with Europe to counter a planned NATO buildup.
Graceland, home of Elvis, receives 20 millionth paid visitor
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) ? The operators of Graceland say the Memphis tourist attraction centered on the life and music of Elvis Presley has received its 20 millionth paid visitor.
Diamond the size of a tennis ball could fetch $70 million
LONDON (AP) ? It's a rock for the ages.
Swiss defense chief says hackers targeted his ministry
BERLIN (AP) ? Switzerland's defense minister says his department was targeted by hackers in January and is indicating that the motive was industrial espionage.