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Nigerian forces clash with Boko Haram fighters

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, September 1, 2014 - 01:38 PM

BAUCHI, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian military officials say they killed about 70 Boko Haram fighters when the Islamic extremists attacked the northeastern town of Bama Monday morning.

The militants arrived Monday morning in armored tanks and trucks and tried to take over the town, said the officials, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

VENICE WATCH: McDormand hails female stories

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, September 1, 2014 - 01:20 PM

VENICE, Italy (AP) — The Venice Film Festival is bringing 11 days of red carpet premieres, innovative movies and Hollywood glamour to the Italian city. Here's what has been catching the eye of The Associated Press:


Frances McDormand says her latest project, "Olive Kitteridge," is unusual — its central character is a woman over 40.

Albanian main opposition party boycotts Parliament

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, September 1, 2014 - 01:17 PM

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's main opposition Democrats are boycotting Parliament, complaining that the socialist-led governing coalition pays no attention to its views.

Democrat leader Lulzim Basha announced the move Monday, when Parliament opened its sessions after the summer recess, saying that his party is "not heard but attacked."

Last-minute effort to end crisis with Yemen rebels

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, September 1, 2014 - 12:52 PM

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A Yemeni presidential envoy traveled Monday to the northern stronghold of powerful Shiite rebels for a last-minute effort to end a standoff with the government, an official and a rebel representative said.

The last-minute talks come after the Hawthi rebel leader, Abdel-Malek al-Hawthi, called for civil disobedience against the government, expanding the mass protests that have besieged the capital for more than two weeks.

Scottish zoo: 'Bad news' for pregnant giant panda

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, September 1, 2014 - 12:24 PM

LONDON (AP) — Edinburgh Zoo warned Monday that its female giant panda, Tian Tian, may have lost her cub.

Hopes were high that Tian Tian, or Sweetie, would give birth at the end of August following artificial insemination in April.

But the zoo's panda expert said Tian Tian is "now past her due date," and hormone tests showed that "something may be amiss."

Euro weighed down by soft economic data, Ukraine

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, September 1, 2014 - 12:22 PM

LONDON (AP) — The euro fell to a near one-year low against the dollar in the wake of soft European economic data and uncertainty over the crisis in Ukraine.

Europe's single currency fell to a low of $1.3119 after a survey Monday showed that the manufacturing sector across the 18-nation eurozone lost momentum in August. The euro hasn't been lower since early September of last year.

Rebels no longer demanding full independence

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, September 1, 2014 - 12:02 PM

MOSCOW (AP) — Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine are backing away from their demand for full independence. At the start of negotiations in Belarus, the rebels say they will respect Ukraine's sovereignty, in exchange for autonomy.

It's a shift that reflects Moscow's desire to strike a deal at a new round of peace talks -- possibly avoiding tougher Western sanctions. The talks follow last week's meeting between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. Similar talks earlier this summer produced no visible results.

240 rebels depart Central African Republic capital

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, September 1, 2014 - 12:01 PM

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Witnesses say several hundred Muslim rebels have left the capital of Central African Republic and are now heading back to the country's north about eight months after they were forced from power.

Authorities say 239 men and their families left Bangui out of about 2,200 who are believed to still be living in the capital.

Maj. Flavien Mulume with the African peacekeeping mission acknowledged it remains unclear what will be done with the rebels who chose not to leave Monday.

Insufficient postage leads to bust of fake drugs

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, September 1, 2014 - 11:59 AM

VIENNA (AP) — Austrian police have announced the breakup of an international gang dealing in phony health products and say insufficient postage provided the major lead.

British, Hungarian and Austrian police were involved in the sweep that culminated Monday in eight arrests, including the suspected head of the scam in Vienna, police said. Searches netted 130,000 euros (more than $170,000) in cash and about 1 million fake pills, worth about 10 million euros (more than $13 million.)

Dutch to send 100 troops to Afghanistan in 2015

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, September 1, 2014 - 11:50 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch government says it plans to send 100 troops to northern Afghanistan as part of a NATO mission due to start in 2015, when the alliance's combat mission in the war-weary nation ends.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday the Dutch contingent would be made up of trainers, medical personnel, transport and security staff and a logistics unit. It will be based in the northern town of Mazar-i-Sharif and will have an "advisory role in the highest echelons of the army and police."

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