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Hugo Chavez' favorite daughter makes UN debut as US bashed

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 05:36 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The favorite daughter of Venezuela's late leader Hugo Chavez has made her debut as her country's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations at an event where countries lined up to slam the United States for its recent sanctions against Venezuelan officials.

Maria Gabriela Chavez, who was named to the post last August, confirmed Wednesday this was her first public event in her new role. "I'm here to learn," she told The Associated Press.


Puerto Rico approves law to crack down on tax evasion

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 05:34 PM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's governor has signed a law that requires service providers to accept at least two different types of payment in a push to crack down on tax evaders.

The law applies to anyone requiring a license or legal authorization to provide services. It is common for doctors, lawyers and others who work in the U.S. territory to accept only cash.

The Treasury Department now has three months to implement the measure that Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla approved Wednesday.


Lacking faith in government, Mexican parents approach cartel

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 05:30 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Families of 43 college students missing in southern Mexico since September say desperation and a lack of confidence in the government has driven them to appeal to the leader of a drug gang for help in locating their sons.

After months of investigation, Mexican officials concluded a different drug gang murdered and incinerated the young men. But six months after the disappearance, and with only one of the missing identified through a bone fragment, parents are asking the leader of a rival gang to share what he knows.


Amnesty: Gambia sentences 3 to death for attempted coup

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 04:44 PM

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — A human rights group says Gambia has sentenced three soldiers to death after a secret trial in which they were convicted of participating in an attempted coup.

Amnesty International said Wednesday that the death sentences were handed down Monday, along with life sentences for three other soldiers.

The rights group called the death sentences a "cruel violation" and said they should be commuted to prison terms. It also called for a new trial.


Gay Premier urges businesses in Indiana to move to Ontario

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 02:46 PM

TORONTO (AP) — Ontario's premier, who is openly gay, is urging businesses upset by a so-called religious objections law in Indiana to set up shop in Canada's most populous province.

The Indiana law, which takes effect July 1, does not specifically mention gays and lesbians, but critics say it is designed to protect businesses and individuals who do not want to serve gays and lesbians.


Gay premier urges businesses in Indiana to move to Ontario

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 02:30 PM

TORONTO (AP) — Ontario's premier, who is openly gay, is urging businesses upset by a so-called religious objections law in Indiana to set up shop in Canada's most populous province.

The Indiana law, which takes effect July 1, does not specifically mention gays and lesbians, but critics say it is designed to protect businesses and individuals who do not want to serve gays and lesbians.


French officials: Alps avalanche kills 3 tourists, injures 1

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 02:23 PM

PARIS (AP) — Three foreign tourists — two Austrians and an Italian — have died in an avalanche in the French Alps, and a fourth tourist has been taken by helicopter to a hospital in Grenoble with unspecified injuries.

Hautes-Alpes department officials said that the snow slide took place mid-afternoon Wednesday in the Ecrins massif, near the town of Briancon, as a group of skiers — all non-French nationals — were travelling along a mountain.


Four dead after Mexican oil rig catches fire

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 01:58 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's state-owned oil company says a fire at an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico has killed four workers.

Sixteen others were injured in the fire on the shallow-water platform, and 300 were evacuated. The injured are being treated at a hospital in Campeche, on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Pemex says eight firefighting boats have been working to extinguish the flames.

It's not clear whether any significant amount of oil has spilled into the Gulf.


Al-Jazeera journalist says Canada not issuing him passport

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 01:52 PM

TORONTO (AP) — Al-Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy says Canada is refusing to issue him a new passport.

Fahmy, who was born in Egypt and is a naturalized Canadian citizen, was freed in February from jail in Egypt, where he remains on bail awaiting trial. Fahmy renounced his Egyptian citizenship last year as a condition of any future release from Egypt.

Fahmy and two other journalists were charged with being part of a terrorist group and airing falsified footage. They deny the charges.


New Nigerian leader vows to go after Boko Haram

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 01:21 PM

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's new president is vowing to go after the country's Islamic insurgent group, Boko Haram (BOH'-koh hah-RAHM').

Muhammadu Buhari made history in Nigeria -- Africa's most populous country -- as the first opposition party candidate to win elections. He's a former major general who led Nigeria three decades ago following a coup -- but he was deposed by another coup after ruling for less than 20 months.


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