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Clashes force nearly 60,000 Malians from homes over last month -UN
Fighting in northern Mali has forced nearly 60,000 people to flee their homes over the last four weeks, a United Nations aid agency said on Friday, highlighting the lack of peace despite a partial deal being signed earlier this month. UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency, said the vast majority of the newly displaced were from the Timbuktu region, which has seen a string of clashes involving various groups of gunmen. Civilians said they were fleeing their homes because they feared violence as well as force recruitment by armed groups, UNHCR said.
Rocket attack in Libya's Benghazi leaves 8 dead, 8 wounded-official
By Ayman al-Warfalli and Ahmed Elumami BENGHAZI, Libya/TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Eight people were killed and eight wounded when a rocket hit a residential district in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Friday, officials said. An army commander blamed Islamist fighters for the rocket strike. Fighting for control of the country's second-largest city has been going on for a year, part of a conflict between former rebel groups who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but now back two rival governments.
Pashtuns refuse to bury dead from Pakistan bus hijackings
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) ? Hundreds of Pakistani Pashtuns protested Saturday after deadly bus hijackings that killed 19 people, saying they refused to bury their dead until the government guaranteed their protection.
Protesters gather at Phoenix mosque under close police watch
PHOENIX (AP) ? About 500 protesters gathered outside a Phoenix mosque on Friday as police kept two groups sparring about Islam on separate sides of the street.
LEADING OFF: Lincecum looks to keep up strong start
A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:
Lightning strike: Tampa Bay heads to Cup finals
NEW YORK (AP) ? One thing to count on when the Tampa Bay Lightning play for the Stanley Cup: They won't be intimidated by anything.
FRENCH OPEN LOOKAHEAD: No. 1 Djokovic faces teen Kokkinakis
PARIS (AP) ? The next player facing Novak Djokovic as he seeks to win the French Open for the first time is an opponent he's never played before.
O'Malley readying presidential announcement in Baltimore
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is ready to enter the Democratic presidential campaign, mounting a longshot challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton for the party's nomination in 2016.
US, Iran accelerate nuclear talks a month before deadline
GENEVA (AP) ? A month out from a nuclear deal deadline, the top U.S. and Iranian diplomats are gathering in Geneva this weekend, hoping to bridge differences over how quickly to ease economic sanctions on Tehran and how significantly the Iranians must open up military facilities to international inspections.
Hastert rose to speakership among the scandals of others
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Dennis Hastert's career as House speaker both arose and ended amid the sex-related scandals of others.
Coast Guard: There were boots on the ground after oil spill
LOS ANGELES (AP) ? The leader overseeing a massive oil cleanup along the California coast defended the initial response, saying there were boots on the ground after the spill that stained popular beaches.
Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:
Jury convicts TV actor Diamond of misdemeanors in stabbing
PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (AP) ? TV actor Dustin Diamond was convicted Friday of two misdemeanors stemming from a barroom fight, but a Wisconsin jury cleared the former "Saved by the Bell" actor of the most serious felony charge.
FIFA's Blatter slams US action, Europe 'hate' campaign
FIFA leader Sepp Blatter said Saturday he was "shocked" at the way the US judiciary has targeted football's world body and slammed what he called a "hate" campaign by Europe's football leaders. In an interview with Swiss television, Blatter said he suspected the arrest of seven FIFA officials on Wednesday under a US anti-corruption warrant was an attempt to "interfere with the congress" at which he was elected Friday.
Turkey seizes bank associated with US-based Muslim cleric
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) ? Turkey's banking regulator says a state fund has seized a bank associated with a movement led by the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, which authorities have accused of attempting to destabilize the government.
U.S. defense chief says China's island-building erodes security
By David Alexander and Rujun Shen SINGAPORE (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday that Beijing's island-building in the South China Sea was undermining security in the Asia-Pacific but, despite his blunt remarks, the response from Chinese officials was measured. Carter, speaking to top defense officials from the Asia-Pacific at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, acknowledged that several countries had created outposts in the region's disputed islands, but he said the scope of China's activity created uncertainty about its future plans. "China has reclaimed over 2,000 acres, more than all other claimants combined ... and China did so in only the last 18 months," Carter told the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum.
Presidential disaster declaration signed after Texas storms kill 21
By Lisa Maria Garza and Jim Forsyth DALLAS (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration late on Friday for areas in Texas hammered by severe weather that killed at least 21 people, caused massive flooding and prompted evacuations this week. Storms that battered North Texas on Thursday and Friday added more runoff to swollen rivers and prompted hundreds of calls for help in Dallas, where some areas saw up to seven inches (17.8 cm) of rain. "Communities across the State of Texas have experienced devastating destruction, injury and ? most tragically ? loss of life due to the major and unceasing severe weather system that has been impacting our state for weeks," said Governor Greg Abbott, who has declared 70 counties disaster areas.
B.B. King funeral to take place Saturday in Mississippi
INDIANOLA, Miss. (AP) ? Blues pioneer B.B. King is being remembered in the Mississippi Delta as a man whose talent was equaled by his generous spirit.
AP source: Hastert paid to keep old sex abuse claims secret
CHICAGO (AP) ? Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert paid hush money to conceal claims that the Illinois Republican sexually molested someone decades ago, a person familiar with the allegations said.
Latest on flooding: More rain in the forecast for Texas
1 a.m. (CDT)
Obama says 'handful of senators' blocking surveillance reforms
By Patricia Zengerle and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama warned on Friday that surveillance powers used to prevent attacks on Americans could lapse at midnight on Sunday unless "a handful of senators" stop standing in the way of reform legislation. Obama said he had told Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other senators that he expects them to act swiftly on a bill passed by the House of Representatives that would renew certain powers and reform the bulk collection of telephone data. "I don't want us to be in a situation in which for a certain period of time, those authorities go away and suddenly we're dark and heaven forbid we've got a problem," Obama told reporters in the Oval Office.
Volunteers search for missing after Central Texas flood
WIMBERLEY, Texas (AP) ? A handful of volunteers trudged along the muddy and brush-filled banks of the Blanco River in Central Texas, searching for a group of people still missing days after the vacation house where they were staying was swept away in a massive flood.
Iran, US eye 'intense' month to seal historic deal
US top diplomat John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart will Saturday launch a new high-stakes diplomatic drive to nail down an unprecedented nuclear deal as they hurtle towards a deadline just one month away. US officials warned the weeks leading to June 30 would be intense, vowing to "keep the pressure on" to force the Iranians and everyone at the table to make the "tough decisions" needed to end a 12-year standoff and put a nuclear bomb beyond Iran's reach. Sealing a long-elusive deal with the Islamic republic could prove President Barack Obama's lasting foreign policy achievement.
Man not guilty of murder in killing of unarmed trespasser
RENO, Nev. (AP) ? A Nevada man who was accused of murder after confronting two unarmed trespassers with a deadly barrage of gunfire at a vacant duplex he owns was found not guilty Friday of all charges in the latest case to test the boundaries of stand-your-ground self-defense laws.
4 more bodies found after Texas flooding
DALLAS (AP) ? Authorities said Friday they reclaimed four more bodies from Texas waters, adding to the growing death toll inflicted by record-setting storms that continue to submerge highways and flood homes.
US hits out at China on sea reclamation at security summit
The United States on Saturday vowed to keep sending military aircraft and ships to disputed parts of the South China Sea and called for an immediate halt to reclamation works by Beijing in the tense region. US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told a high-level security conference in Singapore that Beijing's intensifying reclamation activity was "out of step" with international norms. To that end, there should be an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by all claimants," Carter said at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue on security with a high-level Chinese military delegation attending.
Lightning strike: Tampa Bay beats Rangers, will play for Cup
NEW YORK (AP) ? The only history the Tampa Bay Lightning were interested in was what they would create.
4,200 migrants rescued in Med Friday, 17 dead: coastguard
The Italian coastguard said it had coordinated the rescue of about 4,200 migrants sailing across the Mediterranean Sea, but also found 17 corpses on several of the rickety boats. Distress calls were made from 22 different boats, many off Libya but also off the southern Italian coast. The 17 bodies were found on three inflatable dinghies, from which more than 300 other migrants were rescued alive, the Italian navy said on Twitter.
Child sex abuse claims shake UN as revelations continue
UNITED NATIONS (AP) ? The boys said they approached the French soldiers because they were hungry. Some were so young that they didn't quite understand the acts the soldiers demanded in return. One boy, 8 or 9 years old, said he did it several times to the same soldier, "until one day an older kid saw him and told him what he was doing was bad."
Aussie Bowditch shares lead at rain-soaked PGA stop
Australia's Steven Bowditch birdied three of his last five holes to claim a share of the lead when play was suspended at the rain-soaked US PGA Byron Nelson tournament. Bowditch, who led for the first time after 18 holes in a tour event, started on the back nine and mixed four birdies and four bogeys in his first eight holes. "I didn't putt anywhere near as well as I did yesterday," Bowditch said.
Latest on flooding: Obama signs Texas disaster declaration
11:30 p.m. (CDT)
Pentagon chief criticizes Beijing's South China Sea moves
SINGAPORE (AP) ? China's land reclamation in the South China Sea is out of step with international rules, and turning underwater land into airfields won't expand its sovereignty, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told an international security conference Saturday, stepping up America's condemnation of the communist giant as Beijing officials sat in the audience.
Mass deaths of rare Kazakhstan antelopes stir conservation fears
The sudden deaths of tens of thousands of endangered antelopes in ex-Soviet Kazakhstan over the past two weeks have left scientists scrambling for answers and conservationists worried about the animal's future. Over 120,000 rare saiga antelopes -- more than a third of the total global population -- have been wiped out in a devastating blow that the United Nations Environment Programme has called "catastrophic". Any infections have likely been exacerbated by recent rains that have made the antelopes -- 90 percent of which live on the steppes of Central Asian Kazakhstan -- less able to cope with diseases.
Google working with Levi Strauss to make smart clothes
Google announced it is working with iconic US jean maker Levi Strauss to make clothing from specially woven fabric with touch-screen control capabilities. The Internet titan used its annual developers conference in San Francisco to reveal its so-called Project Jacquard and to spotlight Levi Strauss as its first partner. Named after a Frenchman who invented a type of loom, Project Jacquard is in the hands of a small Google team called Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP), which is different from the Google (x) lab that developes big-vision innovations such as self-driving cars.
Federal agencies defend response to California oil spill
LOS ANGELES (AP) ? On the afternoon of the largest coastal oil spill in California in 25 years, graduate student Natalie Phares quickly organized a volunteer bucket brigade to clean a beach north of Santa Barbara.
Wisconsin jury convicts 'Saved by the Bell' actor Dustin Diamond of misdemeanors in stabbing
PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (AP) ? Wisconsin jury convicts 'Saved by the Bell' actor Dustin Diamond of misdemeanors in stabbing.
Correction: 10 Things to Know-Friday story
In a story May 28 about former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert being indicted, The Associated Press misidentified his party affiliation. He is a Republican, not a Democrat.
Who? Townshend, Springsteen, Daltrey jam at NYC event
NEW YORK (AP) ? Bruce Springsteen called Pete Townshend "the greatest rhythm guitarist of all-time," told a story about attending his first Who concert as a pimply-faced teenager and joined Townshend and surprise guest Roger Daltrey onstage for a rocking set.
Mexico lawmakers demand president detail wealth after misrepresentation
By Simon Gardner MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's president came under pressure on Friday to fully disclose his financial assets following a Reuters report on Thursday that he had misrepresented the circumstances under which he acquired a property in a lakeside retreat near Mexico City. Opposition lawmakers from left and right called on President Enrique Pena Nieto to detail all of his properties, saying he had undermined his own efforts to battle corruption. Meanwhile, legal experts and two former government officials tasked with overseeing public servants, said the assertion by Pena Nieto's office that the plot of land was donated by his father was inaccurate, if, as the public registry document seen by Reuters stated, he was named as sole purchaser.
Blatter wins fifth FIFA term as challenger concedes
By Mike Collett and Brian Homewood ZURICH (Reuters) - Sepp Blatter was re-elected president of FIFA for a fifth term on Friday after his only challenger conceded defeat in an election overshadowed by allegations of rampant corruption in world soccer. Blatter won despite demands that he quit in the face of a major bribery scandal being investigated by U.S., Swiss and other law enforcement agencies that plunged soccer's governing body into the worst crisis in its 111-year history. Neither Blatter nor Jordanian opponent Prince Ali bin Al Hussein received the necessary two thirds of votes in the first round, with Blatter securing 133 votes against 73 for Prince Ali.