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WORLD NEWS

Yemen Houthi rebels advance despite Saudi-led air strikes

People carry ammunition boxes they took from army depots in AdenBy Mohammed Mukhashef ADEN (Reuters) - Yemen's Houthi rebels made broad gains in the country's south and east on Friday despite a second day of Saudi-led air strikes meant to check the Iranian-backed militia's efforts to overthrow President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Shi'ite Muslim Houthi fighters and allied army units gained their first foothold on Yemen's Arabian Sea coast by seizing the port of Shaqra 100km (60 miles) east of Aden, residents told Reuters. The advances threaten Hadi's last refuge in Yemen and potentially undermine the air campaign to support him. The losses came as the spokesman for the Saudi-led operation, Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri, told a press conference in Riyadh that defending the Aden government was the campaign's "main objective." "I want to confirm that the operation itself has as its main objective to protect the government in Aden," Asseri said.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:09:34 -0400
Torn-up sick notes show crash pilot should have been grounded

Andreas Lubitz runs the Airportrace half marathon in HamburgBy Tom Käckenhoff DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - German authorities said on Friday they had found torn-up sick notes showing that the pilot who crashed a plane into the French Alps was suffering from an illness that should have grounded him on the day of the tragedy. French prosecutors believe Andreas Lubitz, 27, locked himself alone in the cockpit of the Germanwings Airbus A320 on Tuesday and deliberately steered it into a mountain, killing all 150 people on board. "Documents with medical contents were confiscated that point towards an existing illness and corresponding treatment by doctors," said the prosecutors' office in Duesseldorf, where the co-pilot lived and where the doomed flight from Barcelona was heading. Germanwings said Lubitz had not submitted any sick note that would have grounded him on Tuesday, March 24, the day of the crash.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:56:11 -0400
Time for Iran to make tough decisions in nuclear talks: U.S.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif walks with others after a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry and other US officials at the Beau Rivage Palace HotelBy Louis Charbonneau and John Irish LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Negotiations between six world powers and Iran over its nuclear program have been "tough and very serious" and the next few days will show whether Tehran is ready to make the necessary hard decisions, a senior U.S. official said on Friday. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's move to reach out to the leaders of the six powers on Thursday is "hopefully a sign that Iran is ready to make some of the tough decisions," the senior State Department official added on condition of anonymity. Tehran and the powers are struggling to hammer out a political framework accord by the end of this month that would lay the foundations for a full settlement by June 30. Under a final accord, Tehran would halt sensitive nuclear work for at least a decade and in exchange, international financial and oil and some U.N. sanctions on Iran would be lifted.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:27:19 -0400
Syria's Assad calls chlorine allegations 'malicious propaganda': CBS

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with Venezuelan state television TeleSUR in DamascusPresident Bashar al-Assad of Syria dismissed as "malicious propaganda" allegations that his troops used chlorine gas in the fight against insurgent rebels, according to an interview broadcast on Friday on CBS "This Morning." Asked about allegations Syrian government forces have used chlorine gas and barrel bombs, Assad said: "Let me fully answer this. This is part of the malicious propaganda against Syria. First of all the chlorine gas is not military gas. Syria agreed in 2013 to destroy its entire chemical weapons program under a deal brokered with the United States and Russia after hundreds of people were killed in a sarin gas attack on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 08:17:44 -0400
Syrian army closes in on city near Lebanese border
The Syrian army, backed by Hezbollah fighters, closed in on the city of Zabadani near the border with Lebanon on Friday, a Lebanese security source said, and Syrian media said at least 20 insurgents had been killed in the battles to seize high ground. Violence from Syria's four-year war has regularly tipped over into Lebanon, and militiamen from the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah have been fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Syrian state news agency SANA, citing a Syrian military source, said the army had gained control of at least ten "strategic areas" to the west of Zabadani. The Lebanese television station al-Manar, run by Hezbollah, broadcast footage of Syrian soldiers in a mountainous area using heavy weapons around Zabadani, and showed the body of at least one enemy combatant.
Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:11:11 -0400
France to begin push for U.N. Middle East action in 'coming weeks'

French Foreign Minister Fabius chairs a United Nations Security Council meeting on the Crisis in the Middle East in his capacity as the current President of the Council at U.N. headquarters in New YorkBy Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - France plans to start discussions with partners in the "coming weeks" on a United Nations Security Council resolution to lay out parameters for ending the Middle East conflict, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Friday. "I hope that the partners who were reluctant will not be reluctant anymore," said Fabius, referring to the United States, which has traditionally shielded its ally Israel from any action at the U.N. The United States has said it would "reassess" its options on U.S.-Israel relations and Middle East diplomacy after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a stand last week against Palestinian statehood during his election campaign.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:11:32 -0400
Amanda Knox murder conviction overturned by Italy high court

Raffaele Sollecito leaves Italy's highest court building in Rome, Italy, 27 March 2015. American Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend expect to learn their fate Friday when Italy's highest court hears their appeal of their guilty verdicts in the brutal 2007 murder of Knox's British roommate Meredith Kercher. (AP Photo/Massimo Percossi, ANSA) ITALY OUTROME (AP) — Italy's highest court overturned the murder conviction against Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Friday, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case that captivated people on both sides of the Atlantic.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:55:31 -0400
Italy clears Knox and Sollecito of Kercher murder

Italy's top court clears Amanda Knox (L) and Raffaele Sollecito (R) of the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher, bringing a sensational end to an eight-year legal dramaRome (AFP) - Italy's top court on Friday cleared Amanda Knox of the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher, bringing a sensational end to an eight-year legal drama.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:55:08 -0400
Brazil's economy barely avoided recession last year

Products on sale are displayed in a clothing store in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, March 27, 2015. The Brazilian government's statistics bureau said on Friday that Brazil's economy grew just 0.1 percent last year, the worst result since 2009, and bad news for President Dilma Rousseff, whose popularity has plummeted along with Brazil's economic performance. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's economy grew just 0.1 percent last year, barely keeping the country out of a recession, the government's statistics bureau said Friday.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:54:14 -0400
Germanwings crash co-pilot hid illness from airline

French gendarmes and investigators sift through the scattered debris on March 26, 2015 at the crash site of the Germanwings Airbus A320 in the French Alps above the southeastern town of SeyneThe Germanwings co-pilot who crashed his Airbus into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard, hid a serious illness from the airline, prosecutors said Friday amid reports he was severely depressed. The black box voice recorder indicates that Andreas Lubitz, 27, locked his captain out of the cockpit on Tuesday and deliberately flew Flight 4U 9525 into a mountainside, French officials say, in what appears to have been a case of suicide and mass murder. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that all the signs were "pointing towards an act that we can't describe: criminal, crazy, suicidal". German prosecutors revealed that searches of Lubitz's homes netted "medical documents that suggest an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment", including "torn-up and current sick leave notes, among them one covering the day of the crash".


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:53:17 -0400
Marriage plans and writing occupy Amanda Knox

FILE -- In this file photo taken on Nov. 21, 2009, Amanda Knox reacts during a hearing at Perugia's court, Italy. American Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito expect to learn their fate Friday when Italy's highest court hears their appeal of their guilty verdicts in the brutal 2007 murder of Knox's British roommate Meredith Kercher. Several outcomes are possible, including confirmation of the verdicts, a new appeals round, or even a ruling that amounts to an acquittal in the sensational case that has captivated audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)SEATTLE (AP) — Despite the murder case hanging over her head, Amanda Knox tried to lead a normal life in the more than three years since she was freed from an Italian prison: She recently got engaged and has started writing theater reviews and other articles for a weekly paper in her hometown.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:52:14 -0400
Ibrahimovic's double gives Sweden 2-0 win over Moldova
CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Two goals by Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave Sweden a 2-0 win over Moldova on Friday to strengthen his team's hopes of qualifying for the European championship.
Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:49:48 -0400
The Latest: Church service in Duesseldorf for crash families

A stele and flowers laid in memory of the victims are placed in the area where the Germanwings jetliner crashed in the French Alps, in Le Vernet, France, Friday, March 27, 2015. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. Authorities believe the 27-year-old German deliberately sought to destroy the Airbus A320 as it flew Tuesday from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)10:40 p.m. (2140 GMT, 5:40 p.m. EDT)


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:46:16 -0400
Spain beats Ukraine 1-0 in Euro 2016 qualifier

Spain’s Alvaro Morata fights for the ball followed by Ukraine's Yevhen Khacheridi, left, during the Euro 2016 qualifying soccer match between Spain and Ukraine, at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, in Seville, Spain, on Friday, March. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Angel Fernandez)SEVILLA, Spain (AP) — Alvaro Morata scored in his first start for Spain to secure a 1-0 win at home over Ukraine in a European championship qualifier on Friday.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:46:14 -0400
Pro-Iran Hezbollah says Riyadh will be 'defeated' in Yemen

An image grab taken from Hezbollah's al-Manar TV on March 27, 2015 shows Hassan Nasrallah, the head of the militant Shiite Muslim movement, giving a televised address from an undisclosed location in LebanonSaudi Arabia will be roundly "defeated" in its air campaign against Yemen, Hassan Nasrallah, head of Lebanon's pro-Iran movement Hezbollah, said Friday, calling on Arab leaders to stop the "aggression". "The outcome of this war is clear: Saudi Arabia will be defeated and the Yemeni people will have an undeniable victory," Nasrallah said in a televised speech. Hezbollah is now militarily involved in Syria, where it is bolstering the embattled regime, and in Iraq where it says it is fighting Sunni extremists. A months-long rebellion by Shiite fighters in Yemen escalated into a regional conflict Wednesday, when a coalition led by Saudi Arabia began conducting air strikes on rebel-held territory.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:43:36 -0400
Kane scores 80 seconds into England debut in qualifying win

England's Harry Kane, celebrates his goal during the Euro 2016 Group E qualifying soccer match between England and Lithuania at Wembley Stadium in London, Friday, March 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)LONDON (AP) — Harry Kane scored 80 seconds into his England debut on Friday, providing another eye-catching moment in his outstanding breakthrough season in a 4-0 victory over Lithuania in European Championship qualifying.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:43:29 -0400
UK nurse cured of Ebola after receiving new treatment

Corporal Anna Cross holds a press conference at the Royal Free Hospital in London on March 27, 2015A British army reservist who contracted Ebola while working as a volunteer nurse in Sierra Leone has fully recovered after becoming the first patient in the world to receive an experimental new treatment. Anna Cross, 25, was discharged on Friday from the Royal Free Hospital in London where she was taken earlier this month after being evacuated from west Africa on a military plane. "She has completely recovered from Ebola, she is now free of the virus," her doctor, Michael Jacobs, said.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:39:38 -0400
Togo presidential election postponed to April 25: official

Union for the Republic's supporters attend the party's national gathering in Kara, Togo, on February 25, 2015Lome (AFP) - Togo's presidential election has been postponed by 10 days to April 25, the communications minister announced on Friday, after calls for a delay over claims the voter register was flawed.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:38:24 -0400
Swedish MPs meet Snowden, talk mass surveillance

Edward Snowden greets the audience before he is honoured with the Carl von Ossietzky medal by International League for Human Rights to during a video conference call in Berlin December 14, 2014Three Swedish members of parliament met with fugitive US intelligence agent Edward Snowden at a secret location in Moscow on Friday to discuss mass surveillance, Swedish media reported. The visit was organised by the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, a Stockholm-based organisation that honoured Snowden with a human rights prize in September 2014. "We discussed his journey and he gave us a nuanced account of how mass surveillance works and what doesn't work," MP Jakop Dalunde of the Greens Party told public broadcaster SVT. "I was invited by the Right Livelihood Foundation and for me it was self-evident to say yes," Sundin said.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:35:13 -0400
Top Asian News at 9:30 p.m. GMT
BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's junta leader has vowed to take legal action against companies using forced labor, after an Associated Press investigation revealed that fish caught by enslaved migrant workers was being exported from Thai ports to global markets. In comments published Friday by the English-language Bangkok Post newspaper, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha acknowledged he had seen this week's AP article and said his government was stepping up efforts to combat the scourge and prosecute those responsible.
Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:32:48 -0400
AP Interview: Ukraine PM: Russia could spark new offensive

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk talks with reporters during an interview with the Associated Press in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, March 27, 2015. Yatsenyuk said in an interview with The Associated Press, Friday, that Russia was uninterested in de-escalating Ukraine’s conflict with separatist forces, despite a commitment to maintain the peace made in a February cease-fire agreement. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia plans to eliminate Ukraine as an independent state and could spark a new offensive in the east to achieve that aim, Ukraine's prime minister told The Associated Press on Friday.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:32:01 -0400
Prosecutors: Evidence Germanwings co-pilot hid illness

Investigators carry boxes from the apartment of Germanwings airliner jet co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, in Duesseldorf, Germany, Thursday March 26, 2015. On Thursday, French prosecutors said Lubitz, the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525, "intentionally" crashed the jet into the side of a mountain Tuesday in the French Alps. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)MONTABAUR, Germany (AP) — Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz appeared happy and healthy to acquaintances, but a picture emerged Friday of a man who hid evidence of an illness from his employers — including a torn-up doctor's note that would have kept him off work the day authorities say he crashed Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountainside.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:30:25 -0400
Saudi ground troops would face Yemen 'quagmire': experts

A Yemeni man wearing military fatigues sits on debris at the site of a Saudi air strike against Huthi rebels near Sanaa Airport on March 26, 2015Saudi-led airstrikes alone are unlikely to crush Iranian-backed Yemeni rebels but a ground incursion would risk a bloody "quagmire" and escalating tensions with Tehran, experts say. Saudi Arabia pledged to do "whatever it takes" to defend its ally President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi after launching aerial raids against the Huthi Shiite fighters and their allies. "History shows that airstrikes without corresponding ground forces do not produce a decisive victory," said Frederic Wehrey of the US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "If Saudi Arabia relies only on airstrikes and civilian casualties start mounting they will lose support very, very quickly," said Sultan Barakat, research director at the Doha-based Brookings Institution.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:23:51 -0400
Putin's mystery military award points to Ukraine involvement

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on March 27, 2015Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded several military units a hugely prestigious title that was given to troops for heroism during WWII, sparking new questions about the Kremlin's involvement in Ukraine. Putin this week bestowed the honorary "guards" title on two air assault brigades and a communications regiment, with the award being seen by some analysts as a tacit acknowledgement that Russian troops have been fighting in east Ukraine. The defence ministry in Moscow says that the honorary title is not given to military units "in times of peace". The wording appears odd given that Russia -- according to the official line -- is not involved in any military conflicts.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:21:25 -0400
Mexico sets 25 pct pollution cut by 2030 for climate talks
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico has become the first developing nation to submit pollutant reduction goals for next fall's Paris climate change talks, pledging to cut greenhouse gas and black carbon emissions 25 percent by 2030.
Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:21:07 -0400
El Salvador soccer players acquitted in match-fixing case
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Eleven soccer players and two foreign businesspeople accused of match-fixing involving El Salvador's national team were acquitted of criminal charges Friday.
Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:17:12 -0400
Romania questions ex-minister over 3 Picassos, 100 paintings

In this picture taken on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, former Romanian finance minister Darius Valcov exits handcuffed from the prosecutors office in Bucharest, Romania. Romanian prosecutors investigating an alleged bribery scheme have questioned the former finance minister about the origins of 100 paintings, including three works by Pablo Picasso. Prosecutors questioned Darius Valcov on Friday March 27, 2015, saying the paintings had been hidden by four of his friends. The works have been sent to art experts for evaluation. Valcov, under house arrest since Thursday, declined to comment. (AP Photo/Octav Ganea, Mediafax) ROMANIA OUTBUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian prosecutors investigating an alleged bribery scheme have questioned the former finance minister about the origins of 100 paintings, including three works by Pablo Picasso.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:17:03 -0400
Nigeria: Boko Haram's caliphate to the fall of Gwoza

Displaced Nigerians rest on the side of a road in Bama on March 25, 2015 after the Nigerian army retook the townOn August 24, 2014, the leader of the extremist group, Abubakar Shekau, announces that Gwoza, which the group seized in June, is part of an Islamic caliphate. On September 2, Boko Haram fighters take over the town of Bama in Borno state, following heavy fighting with government troops, 75 kilometres (45 miles) from the group's spiritual home, Maiduguri. Bama's fall comes several days after that of the border town of Gamboru, which had already been targeted by Boko Haram gunmen in May, razing the town and killing at least 300 people, locals say. On January 3, 2015, Boko Haram attacks the town of Baga on the banks of Lake Chad, where the borders of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger converge.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:14:37 -0400
Takata sued for $1.9 bn in Canada over faulty airbags

Canadian drivers have launched three class action lawsuits against embattled Japanese auto supplier Takata over defective airbags linked to at least five fatalities worldwide, lawyers confirmed on March 27, 2015Canadian drivers have launched three class action lawsuits against embattled Japanese auto supplier Takata over defective airbags linked to at least five fatalities worldwide, lawyers confirmed Friday. The plaintiffs are seeking a total of Can$2.4 billion (US$1.9 billion) for personal injuries, car repairs and an expected loss in value of their vehicles included in a massive global safety recall, Merchant Law Group LLP lead partner Tony Merchant told AFP. In addition to Merchant, two other Canadian law firms have launched suits, and a fourth is considering doing so. If they are certified by a judge, they would likely be lumped into a single class action lawsuit in the coming months.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:14:33 -0400
Montenegro-Russia qualifier resumes after suspension

Medics transport Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev after was hit by a flare thrown from the stands during the Euro 2016 Group G qualifying soccer match between Montenegro and Russia, at the City Stadium in Podgorica, Montenegro, Friday, March 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Risto Bozovic)PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — A European championship qualifying match between Montenegro and Russia was resumed following a 30-minute suspension after Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was hit by a flare thrown from the stands.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:11:11 -0400
Breakaway Turkish Cypriots set to join ranks of Cyprus FA

FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, file photo, a hole in a wall with a view of a soccer pitch inside the United Nations controlled buffer zone separating ethnically-split Cyprus in the capital Nicosia. Six decades of soccer separation on ethnically divided Cyprus may be at its end as breakaway Turkish Cypriots are poised to join the ranks of the Cyprus Football Association to bring the sport under a single administrative roof. Cyprus Turkish Football Association International Relations Co-ordniator Deniz Birinci said on Friday, March 27, 2015, that Association President Hasan Sertoglu will on Monday set in motion the process to induct the CTFA into the Cyprus FA. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File)NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Six decades of soccer separation on ethnically divided Cyprus may be at its end as breakaway Turkish Cypriots are poised to join the ranks of the Cyprus Football Association to bring the sport under a single administrative roof.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:10:08 -0400
British technical support for Saudi op in Yemen: Hammond

British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond (pictured) listens during a joint press conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud bin al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz during a meeting on March 23, 2015 in RiyadhBritain will provide technical support to Saudi Arabia's intervention in Yemen under the allies' existing close military relationship, Foreign Minister Philip Hammond said Friday. Speaking to reporters in Washington, Hammond said he had visited Riyadh on Monday and that Britain backs the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council operation against Huthi rebels. Asked what practical support Britain could provide, he said: "Political support, of course, logistical and technical support.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:02:05 -0400
15-year-old American CiCi Bellis advances at Miami Open

Sloane Stephens returns to Madison Keys at the Miami Open tennis tournament, Friday, March 27, 2015 in Key Biscayne, Fla. Stephens won 6-4, 6-2. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) — Precocious amateur CiCi Bellis says she's ready to take on the best of the pros — Serena Williams.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:01:04 -0400
Saudi pounds Yemen rebel camps, Arab allies gather

A tank bearing the flag of southern Yemeni seperatist movement, which was confiscated from a military depot, is driven on a street in the southern city of Aden on March 27, 2015Saudi-led coalition warplanes bombed rebel camps in Yemen Friday in a second day of strikes as embattled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi arrived in Egypt for talks with Arab allies. A months-long rebellion by Shiite fighters has escalated into a regional conflict that threatens to tear apart the impoverished state at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia has vowed to do "whatever it takes" to prevent Hadi's fall, accusing Shiite Iran of "aggression" and backing the Huthi rebels' power grab. Amid the air raids and scattered fighting, a call for a ceasefire was issued by former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, suspected of being allied with the rebels.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:00:53 -0400
At least 9 dead as militants attack hotel in Somali capital

Somali soldiers take position after a bomb that was detonated at the gate of one of Mogadishu's most popular hotel. Friday, March, 27, 2015, A Somali police official says a suicide bomber has detonated his explosives-laden car at the gate of a hotel popular with government officials in Mogadishu. Capt. Mohamed Hussein says gunfire could be heard inside the Maka-Mukarramah Hotel, but it was not clear if any gunmen had managed to penetrate the hotel's gate( AP P hoto/Farah Abdi Warsameh)MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Al-Shabab militants blasted their way into a Mogadishu hotel on Friday and took up positions inside, killing at least nine people and exchanging fire with security forces seeking to recapture the facility, a Somali police official said.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:49:42 -0400
Astronauts blast off for 1-year trip to space station

Russia's Soyuz-FG booster rocket with the space capsule Soyuz TMA-16M that will carry a new crew to the International Space Station (ISS) is installed at the launch pad in Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, March 27, 2015. The new Soyuz mission is scheduled for Saturday, March 28.(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) — American astronaut Scott Kelly and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Kornienko blasted off early Saturday on a mission to spend an entire year away from the Earth.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:46:54 -0400
US Air Force test-launches 2nd missile in week
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, California (AP) — The U.S. Air Force test-launched an unarmed Minuteman 3 missile from California for the second time this week.
Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:45:46 -0400
German airline could face 'unlimited' damages for Alps crash

People and family members of a victim pay tribute next to a stele and flowers laid in memory of the victims in the area where the Germanwings jetliner crashed in the French Alps, in Le Vernet, France, Friday, March 27, 2015. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. Authorities believe the 27-year-old German deliberately sought to destroy the Airbus A320 as it flew Tuesday from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)STOCKHOLM (AP) — Lufthansa could face "unlimited" compensation claims for the crash that killed 150 people in the French alps and it would be difficult, even counterproductive, for the German carrier to try to avoid liability, experts said Friday.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:43:52 -0400
Masses displaced by Boko Haram hope to vote in Nigeria polls

A woman rests with her twin infants in a makeshift maternity ward in Maiduguri on March 25, 2015A woman in a pale and patterned hijab, stares blankly from a bed in a makeshift clinic at a camp for the displaced in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, with newborn twins resting on her lap. After escaping Boko Haram's murderous rampage in the town of Bama, some 70 kilometres (45 miles) away, caring for her infants may be more of a concern than voting in Saturday's presidential election. President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday said it was now possible for thousands of the displaced to return home, praising a military offensive that has reclaimed a series of towns and villages from Islamist rebel control over the last six weeks. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been "watching" for signs of masses moving home, trying to decide if it should send ballot papers to the remote towns targeted by Boko Haram, spokesman Kayode Idowu said.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:43:05 -0400
Italy's top judges burn night oil mulling Knox fate

A combination of two file photos shows Raffaele Sollecito (R) and Amanda Knox, the co-accused in the 2007 murder of Meredith KercherJudges at Italy's top court worked into the evening Friday mulling whether to uphold the murder conviction of Amanda Knox in what could be the final act of an eight-year legal drama. American Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted last year for a second time of taking part in the 2007 killing of Meredith Kercher, a British student with whom Knox, then 20, shared a house in the university town of Perugia. In final arguments to the Court of Cassation, Sollecito's lawyer said last year's ruling in Florence had been flawed, citing summing up mistakes on the number of stab wounds inflicted on Kercher's neck and a bloody footprint being described as that of a woman, when it belonged to a man. "This is just a small taste of the mistakes that mean this verdict was a miscarriage of justice," Giulia Bongiorno told the court.


Date Posted : Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:39:53 -0400
 

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