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William and Kate meet 1st-time New Zealand parents

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 07:12 AM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Britain's Prince William, his wife, Kate, and their baby son, George, interacted with first-time New Zealand parents and their babies on Wednesday.

The informal meeting with 10 parents was held at Government House in Wellington. According to local media, all of the babies were born within a week or two of Prince George, who was born last July.

William and Kate started their three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia on Monday.

German prosecutors release collector's art

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 06:59 AM

BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors on Wednesday released more than 1,000 artworks found at the Munich apartment of a reclusive collector, days after he agreed to cooperate with authorities in determining which pieces were seized by the Nazis. However, works whose Nazi-era history is still being probed will remain in custody.

Head of German NSA inquiry quits over Snowden row

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 06:41 AM

BERLIN (AP) — The head of a German parliamentary inquiry into surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency has resigned, citing tensions over whether to seek testimony from NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

All four parties in Germany's lower house, the Bundestag, agreed last month to launch the inquiry into the scope of spying on Germans' communications by the U.S. and its allies, including the alleged monitoring of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.

Pope denounces slaying of Dutch Jesuit in Syria

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 06:38 AM

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has denounced the "brutal slaying" of an elderly Jesuit priest in Syria and called for an end to the violence.

A masked gunman killed the Rev. Francis Van Der Lugt in his monastery on Monday in the besieged Syrian city of Homs. The slaying underscored fears among many of Syria's Christian and Muslim minorities for the fate of their communities as Islamic extremists gain influence among rebels seeking to topple President Bashar Assad.

Russia: Intelligence help prevented Sochi attacks

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 06:32 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's security service chief says intelligence agencies in Russia and other countries helped to prevent terrorist attacks on the Winter Games in Sochi.

FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov said in comments carried by Russian news agencies on Wednesday that intelligence agencies from the United States, Austria, France, Germany and Georgia had helped Russia to target individuals who were plotting terrorist attacks on the 2014 Winter Games.

Vienna Philharmonic wins Birgit Nilsson Prize

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 06:19 AM

VIENNA (AP) — The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra added a prestigious feather to its cap Wednesday, with the Birgit Nilsson Foundation picking it as this year's winner of its $1-million prize named after the late Swedish soprano.

It is the first time an orchestra has been chosen since the prize was launched in 2009. Then, the choice fell on opera star Placido Domingo, who was personally chosen by Nilsson and honored three years after her death. Conductor Riccardo Muti was picked three years later.

Women's group; Rebel suspects' families detained

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 06:09 AM

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A Sri Lankan women's rights group said Wednesday that the government is arresting innocent female relatives of males it suspects are trying to revive the Tamil Tiger rebel group and the women are suffering from ill treatment.

Investors hope new India gov't will revive growth

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 05:53 AM

MUMBAI, India (AP) — India's stock market has hit several new highs in the last month and the once-struggling rupee has strengthened on signs that the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party will win the largest bloc of seats in parliamentary elections that began this week and run until May 12.

The Hindu nationalist BJP has been emphasizing its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's pro-business credentials and economic success as leader of Gujarat state.

Saudi Arabia reports 2 more deaths from MERS

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 05:51 AM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi health authorities said Wednesday that 11 people in the western city of Jiddah have contracted the Middle East respiratory syndrome, resulting in two recent deaths and prompting officials to temporarily shutter the emergency unit at one of the city's biggest hospitals.

Among those who tested positive for MERS was an employee at Jiddah's King Fahd hospital. The potentially fatal disease is related to SARS and was first identified in 2012 in the Middle East, where most cases since have been diagnosed.

Italy rescues 4,000 migrants at sea in past 2 days

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 05:31 AM

ROME (AP) — Italian authorities say some 4,000 migrants have been rescued at sea in the past 48 hours as the exodus from Libya continues unabated.

Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Wednesday that around 15,000 migrants have been rescued since the start of the year and that there were between 300,000 and 600,000 people in Libya ready to board smuggling boats.

He said these foreigners — from Africa, Syria and elsewhere in the Mideast — weren't in Libya as tourists but were waiting to try to reach Europe to apply for asylum.

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