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70 kidnapped migrants rescued in northern Mexico

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, August 1, 2014 - 07:28 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Authorities in northern Mexico say security forces have rescued 70 migrants who had been kidnapped and were being held at a house inside a gated community in the coastal city of Madero.

Tamaulipas state officials say in a statement Friday that there were 41 Hondurans, 18 Salvadoran, six Guatemalans, four Nicaraguans and one Cuban. Officials say there were several children in the rescued group but give no further details.

China bladder trade sending porpoise to extinction

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, August 1, 2014 - 06:02 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Gillnet fishing in the upper Sea of Cortez has pushed the vaquita marina, the world's smallest porpoise, to the brink of extinction, according to an environmental report published Friday which states fewer than 100 of them are believed left.

Despite nearly two decades of efforts by Mexico to save the vaquita, new studies using underwater listening devices found only half as many porpoises as were counted in 2012. Experts believe fewer than 25 of the remaining vaquitas are reproductively mature females.

Moody's upgrades Greece's credit rating

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, August 1, 2014 - 05:22 PM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Moody's ratings agency late Friday upgraded Greece's government bond rating, predicting a gradual decline of its massive national debt.

The agency is also citing a continued commitment by the bailed out country's conservative-led government to improve public finances.

In Friday's announcement, the agency said it had raised the Greek rating by two notches from Caa3 to Caa1 — still below investment grade.

China bladder trade sending porpoise to extinction

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, August 1, 2014 - 04:25 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — An environmental panel says fewer than 100 of Mexico's vaquita marina porpoises are left and they are in imminent danger of extinction.

A report released Friday say studies using underwater listening devices have found only about half the number of porpoises counted in 2012.

The tiny porpoise lives only in the upper portion of the Sea of Cortez. It is threatened by gillnet fishing and China's appetite for the swim bladder of another endangered fish hunted in the same area.

Searchers find remains at Malaysia Airlines crash site

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, August 1, 2014 - 03:51 PM

HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) — The team of international investigators that's now at work at the Malaysia Airlines crash site in eastern Ukraine is finding human remains, though a spokeswoman for the recovery operation isn't providing any additional information.

The remains of as many as 80 victims from the plane have been lying in farm fields for two weeks. Recovering those remains, and the belongings of the victims, is a top priority of the Dutch and Australian team.

A look at Israeli soldiers who have been captured

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, August 1, 2014 - 03:47 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli officer Hadar Goldin, a 23-year-old second lieutenant from the central Israeli city of Kfar Saba, was apparently captured on Friday in the mayhem that followed a surprise attack on Israeli troops by militants in the Gaza Strip.

The incident could lead to an escalation in Israel-Hamas fighting in the coastal territory, which is already in its fourth week. In the past, Israel has gone to great lengths to return captured soldiers, including large-scale military operations and lopsided prisoner swaps to return its captured troops.

Why isn't there a treatment or vaccine for Ebola?

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, August 1, 2014 - 03:08 PM

LONDON (AP) — In the four decades since the Ebola virus was first identified in Africa, treatment hasn't changed much. There are no licensed drugs or vaccines for the deadly disease.

Some are being developed, but none have been rigorously tested in humans. One experimental treatment, though, was tried this week in an American aid worker sick with Ebola, according to the U.S-based group that she works for in Liberia.

Remains of Air Algerie crash victims now in Paris

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, August 1, 2014 - 02:54 PM

PARIS (AP) — France's foreign and transport ministries say the first traces of passenger remains from the site where the Air Algerie plane went down in Mali last month have been brought to Paris for identification.

A statement said the first "organic and biological elements" collected arrived in Paris Friday. Information from families to help identify the victims has also been gathered.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has previously said the remains were "pulverized," making identification exceedingly difficult.

NKorea seeks UN meeting on US-SKorea drills

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, August 1, 2014 - 02:33 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — North Korea said Friday it has asked for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting to protest upcoming U.S.-South Korean military exercises, warning the drills increase the danger of war on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea's deputy ambassador Ri Tong Il criticized the council for its failure to respond to the country's July 21 letter requesting a meeting. He said the joint exercises are a threat to international peace and security that must be addressed.

Iran opens first state-run alcohol rehab center

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, August 1, 2014 - 01:56 PM

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has opened the country's first, state-run rehab and treatment center for alcoholism, an Iranian semi-official news agency reported on Friday.

According to the report by ISNA, the center was inaugurated at the Tehran University's Medical School. One of the physicians at the center, Dr. Mohammad Reza Sargolzaiee, was quoted as saying that the center opened "following an increase in alcohol use among Iranians."

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