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After injury, Kings of Leon ready for stage
NEW YORK (AP) ? A brotherly reunion is coming to the City of Brotherly Love: Family band Kings of Leon will play its first show Sunday in Philadelphia since drummer Nathan Followill injured his ribs.
Hollande says EU sanctions on Russia to be increased over Ukraine
French President Francois Hollande said Saturday that EU leaders meeting in Brussels were likely to boost sanctions on Russia over the escalating Ukraine conflict. "Sanctions will be no doubt increased and the (European) Commission will have to work on" implementing this, Hollande told reporters after a meeting of centre-left leaders in Paris. The Ukraine crisis is "the biggest crisis since the end of the Cold War," said Hollande. "It's close to Europe.
Iran president condemns US sanctions 'invasion'
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) ? Iran's President Hassan Rouhani called Western sanctions an "invasion" on Saturday after Washington imposed penalties on 25 businesses, banks and individuals.
Kerry urges global 'coalition' to fight IS jihadists
US Secretary of State John Kerry has called for a global coalition to combat the Islamic State jihadist group and their "genocidal agenda". His remarks came as Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah warned that the West would be the group's next target unless there was swift action to stem their advances through Iraq and Syria. Writing in the New York Times, a week before a NATO summit in Wales, Kerry urged "a united response led by the United States and the broadest possible coalition of nations".
EU's Barroso warns Ukraine crisis near 'point of no return'
EU Commission head Jose Manual Barroso warned on Saturday that the crisis in Ukraine was reaching the point of no return, after reports Russian troops were fighting in the east of the country. "We are in a very serious, I would say, dramatic situation... where we can reach the point of no return," Barroso said after talks in Brussels with Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko.
Lesotho military says it has disarmed police
JOHANNESBURG (AP) ? Lesotho's military seized and disarmed two police stations in the mountainous kingdom Saturday in an effort to secure the country, the defense force spokesman said.
Leave that iguana in the jungle, expert tells Costa Rica
Thousands of parrots, monkeys, iguanas, toucans, turtles and other rainforest animals are kept as exotic pets in Costa Rica, a practice putting some species at risk, according to experts. The Central American country, famous for its rich biodiversity, won plaudits from conservationists two years ago for banning sport hunting in a pioneering move to protect wild animals. "There are no precise figures, but we know it's a problem of great magnitude, because a study by the environment ministry found that 25 percent of households have a parrot or a parakeet as a pet," said Andrea Aguilar of the Instituto Asis, a key figure behind the conference. Aguilar's institute runs a shelter for wild animals in La Fortuna de San Carlos, a lush region in northern Costa Rica that draws large numbers of foreign tourists with its famous wildlife and tropical vegetation.
Bombings kills 13 in Iraq
BAGHDAD (AP) ? Two bombings targeting the Iraqi military killed 13 people, including six soldiers, south of Baghdad on Saturday, officials said.
EU to slap new sanctions on Russia over Ukraine
BRUSSELS (AP) ? A top European Union official said Saturday that the 28-nation bloc is set to decide new sanctions against Russia as Ukraine's president warned the conflict with Moscow threatens peace and stability for Europe as a whole.
EU urges end to Russia 'aggression' in Ukraine
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said a decision on further sanctions against Russia over what she described as its "aggression" in Ukraine would be made by EU leaders on Saturday evening. The unfolding crisis dominated a two-day meeting of EU foreign ministers in Milan, which wrapped up here on Saturday. "All ministers expressed deep concern about the recent aggression by regular Russian forces," Ashton said at the close of the informal talks. We need a sustainable political solution that respects Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
EU's Barroso says ready to impose strong Russia sanctions
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Saturday the EU was prepared to toughen sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis but also that it wanted a political deal to end the confrontation. At a news conference in Brussels with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Barroso said: "We are ready to take very strong and clear measures but we are keeping our doors open to a political solution." He described any tightening of sanctions as intended not to escalate the crisis but to push Moscow to negotiate and he stressed that the EU did not want confrontation - "it makes no sense to have ... a new Cold War" - and said that would be "detrimental to all of Europe". Poroshenko, echoing comments by EU officials, said he expected a summit of EU leaders later on Saturday to make a formal request to the EU's executive Commission to draw up new sanctions measures that could be implemented if necessary. Commission President Barroso noted that his staff already had a broad range of options to propose to member states.
Ukrainian civilian plane crashes in Algeria
ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) ? A Ukrainian civilian cargo plane crashed in the mountains near the far southern desert city of Tamanrasset in the early hours of the morning Saturday, reported the state news agency.
Study: Novel heart failure drug shows big promise
A new study reports one of the biggest potential advances against heart failure in more than a decade. Doctors say that a first-of-a-kind, experimental drug cut the chances of death or hospitalization by about 20 percent.
Syrian rebels attack peacekeepers in Golan Heights
BEIRUT (AP) ? Clashes erupted between al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels and U.N. peacekeepers in the Golan Heights on Saturday after the militants surrounded their encampment, said activists and officials, as the international organization risked being sucked further into the conflict.
EU's Barroso warns Russia not to underestimate EU resolve
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso warned Russia on Saturday that the EU was ready to defend its principles in the confrontation over Ukraine and called for a political solution before the crisis reached a "point of no-return". "Russia should not underestimate the European Union's will and resolve to stand by its principles and values," Barroso told a joint news conference in Brussels with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. He said it was not too late for a political solution. ...
Russian politician beaten after report on soldier burials
A Russian politician whose newspaper reported mysterious funerals of soldiers from the Pskov region has been assaulted and badly beaten in an "act of political revenge", his party said on Saturday. The report has raised awkward questions for the Kremlin, which NATO and western governments accuse of sending troops into eastern Ukraine in support of pro-Russian separatists. Some people in the Pskov region believe local soldiers were killed fighting in Ukraine, contradicting the government's claim that Russian forces are not involved. Lev Shlosberg, a parliamentarian from the liberal Yabloko party, was attacked on Friday evening close to his home, Yabloko said in a statement.
Sri Lanka overpower Pakistan to win ODI series
Seamer Thisara Perera claimed 4-34 and Tillakartane Dilshan hit an unbeaten 50 as Sri Lanka trounced Pakistan by seven wickets in the final one-dayer on Saturday to clinch the series 2-1. Dhammika Prasad chipped in with two wickets as the hosts bowled Pakistan out for 102 and then surpassed the Duckworth-Lewis target of 101 in the 19th over of a one-sided game in Dambulla. An hour-long rain interruption after Pakistan had slumped to 81-8 in the 26th over of the first session forced the umpires to reduce the game to 48-overs-a-side. Sri Lanka galloped home in style to build on the 2-0 sweep in the preceding Test series and left Pakistan searching for answers ahead of the World Cup less than six months away.
Russian tanks flatten east Ukrainian town, Ukraine military says
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's military said on Saturday its forces had pulled out of areas to the east of the border-area city of Luhansk under pressure from Russian-backed rebels and that Russian tanks had been used to "destroy virtually every house" in one small town. "Direct military aggression against eastern Ukraine is continuing," Kiev's defense and security council said in a separate Twitter post. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
11 of 24 trapped gold miners rescued in Nicaragua
BONANZA, Nicaragua (AP) ? The first 11 of 24 freelance gold miners trapped by a collapse in a mine in northern Nicaragua have been rescued and crews were working early Saturday to free more, officials said.
Housing group: 20 years to rebuild Gaza
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) ? An international organization involved in assessing post-conflict reconstruction says it will take 20 years for Gaza's battered and neglected housing stock to be rebuilt following the war between Hamas and Israel.
Pro-Ukraine fighters escape encirclement, others still trapped: Kiev, militia
A group of pro-Ukrainian fighters broke out of encirclement by Russian-backed separatists near the eastern city of Donetsk early on Saturday, Ukraine's interior minister said, but other reports suggested many were still trapped. Kiev and Western countries say the reversal is the result of the arrival of armored columns of Russian troops, sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin to prop up the five-month-old separatist revolt in eastern Ukraine which had been near collapse. A senior U.N. human rights official said on Friday nearly 2,600 civilians, Ukrainian government forces and rebels have been killed in a conflict which has led to the biggest Russia-West crisis since the Cold War. EU foreign ministers were due to meet in Brussels on Saturday to discuss the possibility of imposing new sanctions on Moscow over the crisis.
EU leaders to pick new foreign policy chief
BRUSSELS (AP) ? European Union leaders are set to decide who will be the 28-nation bloc's foreign policy chief for the next five years, with Italy's top diplomat Federica Mogherini widely seen as the front-runner for the prestigious job.
Ukraine's Poroshenko wants 'appropriate response' from EU over Russian forces
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appealed to the European Union to give an "appropriate response" over Russian forces being brought into Ukraine, his spokesman said in a Twitter post. Referring to meetings in Brussels between Poroshenko and EU leaders on Saturday, the spokesman said: "Poroshenko expressed the hope that the leaders of EU members will give an appropriate response to the act of aggression toward Ukraine. "The bringing of Russian forces onto Ukrainian territory requires an appropriate response from the EU." (Writing by Richard Balmforth;
Somalia launches offensive against extremists
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) ? Military officials say the Somali army, backed by African Union forces, has launched a long-awaited operation against al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab fighters in southern Somalia.
Liberia reopens slum barricaded to fight Ebola
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) ? Crowds celebrated in the streets of Liberia's capital on Saturday after authorities reopened a slum where tens of thousands of people had been barricaded for more than a week to contain the country's Ebola outbreak.
Lawmaker who called for Israel boycott attacked in London
An outspoken lawmaker who declared an "Israel-free zone" in a northern English city suffered a suspected broken jaw in an attack believed to be linked to his support for the Palestinians, his party said on Saturday. George Galloway, who once lauded Saddam Hussein and criticised the 2003 U.S-led invasion that toppled the Iraqi leader, was attacked in west London on Friday night. "It is thought that the attack is connected to Mr Galloway's support for the Palestinian cause," the left-wing Respect Party said in a statement. A Respect spokesman said the incident appeared to be connected with Israel because the attacker had been shouting something about the Holocaust.
20 miners rescued, five still missing in Nicaragua collapse
Rescuers in Nicaragua on Friday rescued 20 miners who had been trapped deep underground for nearly two days after a cave-in at an unlicensed gold mine, but five others were still missing. "We give thanks to God our Lord and the Virgin Mary for having saved from death 20 artisanal miners," First Lady Rosario Murillo, the presidential spokeswoman, told reporters. "Hopefully we can find them in the coming hours," she said, adding that President Daniel Ortega was aware of the rescue efforts. The accident happened at an artisanal mine near the town of Bonanza, which is perched on the side of a hill, in a region that is home to Nicaragua's biggest gold mines.
EU not to decide new Russia sanctions on Saturday: Finland's Stubb
Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said European Union leaders would not decide on new sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis at an EU summit in Brussels on Saturday. "It is clear we will discuss new sanctions as the situation has changed in the last few days ... but we will not decide on any new sanctions today," Stubb said in an interview with YLE public radio. "If Russia continues with its destabilizing efforts (in eastern Ukraine), I think it is right that sanctions will be toughened, but I hope that will not happen.
Russia demands publication of recordings from downed flight MH17
By Mark Trevelyan MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is demanding to know why international investigators have yet to publish the black box data from a Malaysian airliner that was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July, a deputy defense minister said in an interview published on Saturday. Moscow blames Ukraine for the disaster, in which all 298 passengers and crew were killed. In a version of events widely believed in the West, Ukraine says the Boeing 777 was shot down by pro-Russian separatists with a surface-to-air missile. Who doesn't want this to happen?" The interview marked the latest example of Moscow's attempts to go on the media offensive at a time when it faces intense international pressure over mounting evidence of its military support for the rebels, something it continues to deny.
Lesotho military seize police HQ in 'coup' attempt
Lesotho's military seized control of police headquarters in the tiny African kingdom in the early hours of Saturday, a government minister told AFP, describing the events as a coup attempt. "The armed forces, the special forces of Lesotho, have taken the headquarters of the police," sports minister and leader of the Basotho National Party Thesele Maseribane said. "The [military] commander said he was looking for me, the prime minister and the deputy prime minister to take us to the king.
EU set to slap new sanctions on Russia
BRUSSELS (AP) ? European Union leaders are poised to slap additional sanctions on Russia because of what they condemn as a continued destabilization of Ukraine and a deepening military involvement by Moscow.
What to watch at US Open: Isner-Kohlschreiber III
NEW YORK (AP) ? John Isner is not the sort to study a lot of video of past matches in order to prepare for an upcoming opponent.
EU leaders seek riposte to Russia
European Union leaders gather in Brussels Saturday to thrash out a response to Russia's deeper involvement in war-torn Ukraine and to bring new faces to key EU posts. The 28 heads of state and government sit down for talks as accusations rain down on the Kremlin that Russian combat troops are fighting inside Ukraine, with fears growing that Europe may soon face a full-scale war on its eastern borders. It has only been five weeks since EU states toughened their sanctions against Russia, but with the West's almost unanimous belief that Moscow is now a direct and hostile force inside Ukraine, the EU is under pressure to once again up the stakes. "Such behaviour cannot remain without consequences," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday amid the reports by NATO that "well over" a thousand Russian soldiers were waging war in Ukraine.
Experimental Ebola drug ZMapp cures 100 percent of lab monkeys
By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - The experimental Ebola drug ZMapp cured all 18 of the lab monkeys infected with the deadly virus, including those suffering the fever and hemorrhaging characteristic of the disease and just hours from death, scientists reported on Friday. No other experimental Ebola therapy has ever shown success in primates when given that long after infection; ZMapp, produced by San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical, has never been scientifically tested in people, and the current study was the first in primates. The success is therefore a "monumental achievement," virologist Thomas Geisbert of the University of Texas Medical Branch wrote in a commentary on the paper, published online in Nature.
Ebola hits fifth W. African state as Senegal confirms first case
The Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 1,500 people across West Africa spread to a fifth country in the region on Friday with the first confirmed case of the deadly virus in Senegal. The case marks the first time a new country has been hit by the outbreak since July and comes a day after the World Health Organization warned the number of infections was increasing rapidly. On Friday, scientists writing in the journal Nature said 18 lab monkeys given high doses of the Ebola virus fully recovered after being given the prototype drug ZMapp, which reversed bleeding in the animals. ZMapp has been given to a handful of frontline health workers who have contracted Ebola, two of whom have recovered, and two of whom have died.
Missing brain tumour boy could be in Spain: police
A five-year-old British boy with a brain tumour who was taken from hospital by his parents without doctors' consent could now be in Spain, British police said on Saturday. The police said they had "positive information" to suggest that Ashya King and his family could be in Spain where they have "strong links" to the Marbella area. King's parents, who are Jehovah's Witnesses, drove him away from Southampton hospital in southern England on Thursday and were seen boarding a ferry to Cherbourg in France. British and French police have been searching for the boy and a French prosecutor said the youngster had effectively been "kidnapped".
MANILA, Philippines (AP) ? Philippine defense chief says Syrian rebels attacked Filipino peacekeepers in Golan Heights.
China warns foreign powers not to use Hong Kong as a 'bridgehead'
By Sui-Lee Wee BEIJING (Reuters) - China has warned against any foreign interference ahead of a crucial ruling on the city's political future on Sunday, saying Beijing will not tolerate the use of Hong Kong "as a bridgehead to subvert and infiltrate the mainland". China's largely rubber-stamp parliament is set to meet on Sunday, when it is expected to limit 2017 elections for Hong Kong's leader to a handful of pro-Beijing candidates, a move likely to escalate plans by pro-democracy activists to blockade the city's Central business district on Sunday. Hong Kong is a special administrative region (SAR) of China, administered by what is known as the Basic Law.
Palmer opens with a 63 to lead Deutsche Bank
NORTON, Mass. (AP) ? Ryan Palmer would not have guessed this would be his lowest round of the year, at least not the way it started.
Sierra Leone dismisses health minister over handling of Ebola
FREETOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma dismissed his Health Minister Miatta Kargbo on Friday over her handling of the Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 400 people in the West African country. A presidency statement said that Kargbo was removed "to create a conducive environment for efficient and effective handling of the Ebola outbreak". She will be replaced by her deputy Dr Abubakarr Fofanah, the statement said.