Wednesday, July 1, 2015

U.S. to Open Havana Embassy

For Greeks, a Murky Choice Between Pain, Pride

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At home and in the streets, Greeks are weighing the monumental choice they have to make on Sunday: more financial pain to stay with the euro, or the uncertainty of being cut loose.

U.S. to Open Havana Embassy

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The U.S. and Cuba have reached an agreement to restore diplomatic relations and reopen embassies in each other’s capitals, the biggest step yet toward ending a half century of animosity between the two countries.

Indonesia Plane Crash Toll Rises to 141

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The death toll from the crash of an air force transport plane in Medan jumped to more than 140, indicating a growing list of victims from the neighborhood where the plane went down.

New Greek Proposals Fall Short of Demands

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Greece sent a new proposal for budget cuts and policy overhauls as part of a request for a new bailout, but it falls short of the demands of the country’s creditors, three European officials said.

Sharp Rise in Migrants Reaching Europe: U.N.

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The number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe increased sharply in the first half of the year, according to the U.N., with Greece overtaking Italy as the main entry point.

China Invites North Korea's Kim to Beijing

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China has invited Kim Jong Un to attend events in September to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

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Militants Attack Egyptian Army Checkpoints

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At least 10 Egyptian soldiers were killed in simultaneous attacks on military checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula, an army spokesman said, a day after President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi vowed to strengthen the country’s antiterror laws.

U.K. Puts Schools on Frontline Against Extremism

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A new legal requirement in Britain for teachers to report extremist behavior in nurseries and schools to police is drawing sharp criticism from British Muslims.

Saudi Prince Pledges $32 Billion to Good Causes

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Saudi Arabia’s Prince al-Waleed bin Talal pledged $32 billion to philanthropy, with the empowerment of women one of his priorities.

The Dominicans of Haitian descent denied a right to nationality – video 

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People born in the Dominican Republic to Haitian immigrants are being denied basic rights. We hear from Dominicans unable to enrol at school or college, work in the formal economy or register the births of their children – and who live in fear of being deported Continue reading...

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

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As the U.S. and Cuba move ahead with their historic normalization of bilateral ties, human rights groups have been urging Washington to keep up the pressure on Havana to improve its dismal rights record. When the thaw in relations was announced late last year, Cuba announced several rights-related trust-building measures, including agreeing to release 53 political dissidents, expand Internet access, and allow more visits by rights monitors. But the communist government continues to...

Puerto Rico Power Company Forced to Sell Bonds Amid Crisis

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Puerto Rico's troubled power company has been forced to sell bonds once again to obtain capital and avoid defaulting on a $415 million debt payment due Wednesday with a worsening economic crisis in the U.S. territory. The Electric Power Authority said in a statement that it paid $153 million in cash and the remainder from its debt service reserve accounts. In turn, creditors agreed to buy $128 million worth of new bonds to provide liquidity, and those bonds have to be paid in full by...

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Before Obama, a Long History of Attempted US-Cuba Detente

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After the U.S. military’s failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban missile crisis the following year, President John F. Kennedy chose a different tack on U.S.-Cuban relations by engaging in back channel negotiations with Prime Minister Fidel Castro. The talks made enough progres that, declassified documents show, a few months after Kennedy was assassinated, Castro sent a secret message to his successor, President Lyndon Johnson, who was up for reelection in 1964. “If the...

AP Top News at 1:35 p.m. EDT

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AP Top News at 1:35 p.m. EDT
The Latest: US, Cuba to open embassies, restore tiesWASHINGTON (AP) - The United States and Cuba will open embassies in their capital cities after more than 50 years of hostilities between the two countries. The latest developments (all times local): ---
TUAL, Indonesia (AP) - All he did was ask to go home. The last time the Burmese slave made the same request, he was beaten almost to death. But after being gone eight years and forced to work on a boat in faraway Indonesia, Myint Naing was willing to risk everything to see his mother again. His nights were filled with dreams of her, and time was slowly stealing her face from his memory.
The Latest: Egypt's Cabinet approves draft anti-terror lawCAIRO (AP) - The latest news on the coordinated militant attacks in Egypt's restive northern Sinai Peninsula that killed 50 soldiers (all times local): 6:45 p.m.
Macy's dumps Trump, Flo Rida pulls out of Miss USA pageantNEW YORK (AP) - Rapper Flo Rida has pulled out of his guest appearance at the "Miss USA" pageant later this month and Macy's has dumped Donald Trump, part of the continued fallout over the GOP hopeful's remarks about Mexican immigrants during his presidential campaign announcement. A representative of the platinum-selling rapper confirmed that Flo Rida won't be performing at the July 12 pageant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The pageant lost both its co-hosts Tuesday, with "Dancing with the Stars" Cheryl Burke and MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts bowing out.
Episcopalians to vote on allowing gay marriage in churchesSALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Episcopalians were set to vote Wednesday on allowing religious weddings for gay couples, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. In 2003, the denomination made history by electing its first openly gay bishop. Since then, many Episcopal dioceses have allowed their priests to perform civil same-sex weddings. Still, the church hadn't changed its laws on marriage.
MEDAN, Indonesia (AP) - Indonesia's air force promised Wednesday to investigate whether the aging transport plane that crashed into a city neighborhood, killing 141 people, was violating rules by carrying non-military passengers who paid for their flights. A local military commander said the search for bodies has ended. The dead included all 122 on the plane, including military personnel and family members, and people in a residential area of Medan city where the C-130 Hercules crashed shortly after takeoff on Tuesday, North Sumatra police Maj. A. Tarigan told TVOne station.
Emails show top officials aware of Clinton's private addressWASHINGTON (AP) - Senior Obama administration officials, including the White House chief of staff, knew as early as 2009 that Hillary Rodham Clinton was using a private email address for her government correspondence, according to some 3,000 pages of correspondence released by the State Department late Tuesday night The chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, requested Clinton's email address on Sept. 5, 2009, according to one email. His request came three months after top Obama strategist David Axelrod asked the same question of one of Clinton's top aides.
Nicholas Winton, savior of Jewish children, dies at 106LONDON (AP) - He was just a 29-year-old clerk at the London Stock Exchange when he faced the challenge of his lifetime. Traveling with a friend to Czechoslovakia in 1938, as the drums of impending war echoed around Europe, Nicholas Winton was hit by a key realization. The country was in danger and no one was saving its Jewish children.
PARIS (AP) - Joggers wheezed, electric wires warped, and Britain sweated through its hottest July day on record as a wide swath of Western Europe sweltered in a heat wave. Authorities in France and elsewhere, mindful that thousands died during a 2003 heat wave, reached out to the elderly, families and other vulnerable people on Wednesday to warn of health risks. Paris officials opened special air-conditioned rooms for the public.

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To many ordinary Iranians, nuclear deal means money, food and jobs

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VIENNA (Reuters) - To Iran's leaders, solving a nuclear standoff with the West might be a question of maintaining geopolitical influence and prestige. To its ordinary citizens, it's about money, food and jobs.
  

Russia angers Baltic states with review of independence

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MOSCOW/VILNIUS (Reuters) - A move in Russia to review the legality of a 1991 decision formally granting Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia independence from the Soviet Union has alarmed the Baltic States and stoked tensions in ties with Moscow.
  

Islamic State weaves web of support in Gulf Arab states

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KUWAIT/DUBAI (Reuters) - When a Saudi Arabian man flew to Kuwait in the early hours of Friday to carry out the country's worst militant attack, a bomb vest, Kuwaiti-style Arab robes, a place to prepare, and a car and driver to take him to his target were all lined up for him.
  

Mass killer Breivik accuses Norway of violating his human rights

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OSLO (Reuters) - Mass killer Anders Behring Breivik launched legal action on Wednesday accusing the Norwegian state of violating his human rights by keeping him in strict isolation in prison four years after he massacred 77 people.
  
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Talk of Syria action may be Erdogan's latest gambit to pressure the West

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ANKARA (Reuters) - Alarmed by Syrian Kurds' advances against Islamic State, and irked by Western reluctance to tackle Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, President Tayyip Erdogan has once again raised the prospect of a Turkish military intervention in Syria.
  

Russia: Request Over Baltic Independence Has ‘No Prospects’

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Russia says a request to look into the legality of the three Baltic countries' independence from the Soviet Union has “no legal prospects.”

Have Tajik IS Militants Faked Their Own 'Martyrdoms'?

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The concept of "martyrdom," death in battle against "infidels," is a key element of the ideology of the Islamic State (IS) militant group. IS issues photos of dead militants online, hailing them as "martyrs" in propaganda efforts.

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