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Journalist jailed for online post freed from Myanmar prison

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, March 2, 2015 - 07:05 AM

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A photojournalist who was arrested for mocking Myanmar's leaders on Facebook has been freed.

Aung Nay Myo expressed relief after walking out of Monywa prison Monday, saying the charges against him were dropped and police returned his seized computer and phones.

Thousands mourn Turkish novelist Yasar Kemal

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, March 2, 2015 - 06:52 AM

ISTANBUL (AP) — Political leaders and fellow writers are among thousands who gathered for the funeral of Yasar Kemal, one of Turkey's best-known novelists.

Kemal, whose focus on social injustices brought him into conflict with authority, died on Saturday aged 91.

Mourners bid him farewell on Monday chanting: "Yasar Kemal was our honor."

Kemal was best-known for his 1955 novel "Memed, My Hawk," which was based on the troubled feudal relations in Turkey's southern regions where he grew up.

Saudi diplomat taken by al-Qaida in Yemen free after 3 years

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, March 2, 2015 - 06:36 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry says that its diplomat who was abducted by alleged al-Qaida militants in Yemen has been released after nearly three years in captivity.

The ministry said in a statement Monday that efforts made by the kingdom's intelligence agency led to the release of Abdullah al-Khalidi, who is now at the Saudi consulate in Yemen's city of Aden. The statement said he will undergo medical tests and be reunited with his family soon.

Roadside bombs kill 8 civilians in Afghanistan

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, March 2, 2015 - 06:28 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says two roadside bombings have killed at least eight civilians, including women and children, in the country's east.

Hazrat Hussain Mashreqiwal, spokesman for the police chief in Nangarhar province, said at least six civilians, including two women and two children, were killed when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb that wounded another two civilians. He says two students were killed in a separate bombing that wounded a third civilian. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Russia's FM: Killing of Nemtsov 'heinous,' will be probed

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, March 2, 2015 - 05:45 AM

GENEVA (AP) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the killing of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was a "heinous crime which will be fully investigated."

Nemtsov was shot dead Friday night near the Kremlin. Western officials have called on Moscow to conduct a prompt and transparent probe of the killing.

Lavrov told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had "immediately handed down all instructions and is ensuring special control over this investigation."

Israel says it foiled Gaza smuggling ring helping Hamas

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, March 2, 2015 - 05:39 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says it has foiled a ring that smuggled iron, electronic equipment and other prohibited materials to Hamas to rebuild its infrastructure following last year's war.

Israel's internal security agency says Hamas paid the Israeli companies at least $375,000 to store and deliver the goods, which entered through the Kerem Shalom cargo crossing and were listed as destined for straw companies.

Ukraine's leader urges peacekeeping mission for the east

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, March 2, 2015 - 05:37 AM

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's president has a signed a decree opening the way to a formal request for international peacekeepers to be stationed in eastern regions where government forces are battling Russian-backed separatists.

President Petro Poroshenko's office said Monday the appeal for a contingent of peacekeepers will be addressed to the United Nations and the European Union. His office gave no specific details on the mission's composition or any timetable for it but Russia is strongly against the idea.

Child porn court case closed against German ex-lawmaker

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, March 2, 2015 - 05:36 AM

BERLIN (AP) — A German court has closed a child porn case against a prominent former German lawmaker in exchange for a 5,000-euro ($5,600) payment.

Sebastian Edathy was accused of downloading pornographic photos and videos of children on his parliamentary laptop. Edathy admitted doing so and said it was a mistake in a statement read by his lawyer Monday, news agency dpa reported.

The state court in Verden then closed the case in exchange for the payment, which will be given to a child protection group.

US Army head warns of defense cutbacks in Britain

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, March 2, 2015 - 05:25 AM

LONDON (AP) — The U.S. Army chief of staff says cuts in British defense spending may undermine the nation's ability to be an effective ally in future military operations.

Gen. Raymond Odierno says Monday in the Daily Telegraph that the U.S. is reviewing the role of British troops in future conflicts as the U.K. considers reducing military spending to less than the 2 percent of gross domestic product expected of NATO members.

He says: "I would be lying to you if I did not say that I am very concerned about the GDP investment in the U.K."

Namibian president wins African leadership prize

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, March 2, 2015 - 05:19 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba has won the 2014 Ibrahim Prize for African leadership, the first African leader deemed worthy of the honor since 2011.

Prize committee chairman Salim Ahmed Salim announced on Monday in Nairobi that Pohamba won the $5 million prize.

The prize is for democratically elected African leaders who maintain good governance and who step down from office at the end of their terms. Pohamba is still serving as Namibia's president until the newly elected president is inaugurated on March 21.

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