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Gay pride rainbow flags cut down in Swedish city

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 10:12 AM

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Officials in the Swedish city of Sodertalje say vandals have removed rainbow flags that were raised outside city hall in support of the gay pride festival this week in neighboring Stockholm.

City officials said the flags were hoisted Monday but were gone Tuesday morning and the flagpole ropes had been cut.

Sodertalje spokesman Henri Tagot said new rainbow flags would be raised Tuesday but taken down overnight "to prevent this from happening again."

20 injured in Azerbaijan defense plant blast

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 10:07 AM

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — A health official in Azerbaijan says at least 20 people have been injured in an explosion at a defense plant.

There was no immediate indication of the cause of the Tuesday afternoon blast at the plant in Shirvan, 100 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of the capital, Baku.

A spokeswoman for the national health ministry, Lia Bairamova, said the 20 people have been taken to a local hospital with various injuries. She did not elaborate.

Slow coach! Romanian president oks plan to speed up trains

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 09:59 AM

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president has approved a plan to upgrade the country's antiquated and notoriously slow railway system and integrate it into the European rail network.

President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday called the rail network "a strategic sector for national security and for Romania's development."

Trains run at an average speed of 80 kilometers an hour (50 mph). A train ride from Bucharest to the major city of Cluj, 500 kilometers (310 miles) northwest of the capital, takes between 10-14 hours.

US advises Americans to reconsider travel to Turkey

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 09:59 AM

ISTANBUL (AP) — The United States is advising its citizens to "reconsider travel to Turkey at this time" following an attempted military coup and the imposition of a three-month state of emergency, and it has authorized the "voluntary departure" of family members of staff at its embassy in Ankara and consulate in Istanbul.

The travel warning sent by the U.S. Embassy Tuesday said the State Department is continuing to monitor the effect of the abortive coup and the state of emergency on the overall security situation in the country.

Gunmen kill 2 army soldiers in southern Pakistan

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 09:40 AM

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani police say unidentified gunmen have killed two army soldiers in a hit and run attack in the southern port city of Karachi.

Raja Umar Khattab, a senior counter-terrorism police officer, says two gunmen apparently escaped on a motorbike after firing several shots at the moving military vehicle Tuesday in Karachi's busy Saddar district.

Security high as young Catholics await pope in Poland

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 09:27 AM

KRAKOW, Poland (AP) — Buses of Polish security forces are moving into Krakow as thousands of young people gather ahead of the arrival of Pope Francis for World Youth Day, a major gathering of Catholics from around the world.

Those gathered expressed shock at the killing in France on Tuesday of an 86-year-old priest whose throat was cut by two hostage-takers in a church.

Archbishop Georges Pontier, president of the French bishops conference, said in Krakow that the attack "shocked us, it touched us, and revolted us."

European development bank considers funding gas pipeline

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 09:08 AM

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is looking to support financially the development of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which plans to bring oil across the Balkans and on to Italy.

President Suma Chakrabarti told Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama during a visit Tuesday that the pipeline project was of great interest as it would help the region's energy security and was deemed environmentally sustainable.

Germany lends Albania $55 million for energy link project

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 08:38 AM

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Germany is lending 50 million euros ($55 million) to Albania to help it build a power line with neighboring Macedonia.

Under the terms of the agreement signed Tuesday between Albania's Energy Ministry and the German Embassy in Tirana, 30 million euros has been released. The remaining 20 million will come in September.

The loan terms were not disclosed.

The European Union is also providing 14 million euros while the domestic power distribution company is investing five million euros.

Obama's half-brother says he will vote for Donald Trump

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 08:36 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A Kenyan half-brother of President Barack Obama says he will vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and not the candidate his brother has endorsed, Hillary Clinton.

Malik Obama told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he thinks Trump has a lot of energy and is very straightforward.

He says Clinton has not properly explained what she will do to change America.

He says he has the right to vote in the U.S. election in November.

Niece of Thai army torture victim sued for internet postings

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 08:36 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — Police in Thailand, acting on a complaint filed by the army, have arrested the niece of a conscript who was tortured to death by his fellow soldiers.

Naritsarawan Kaewnopparat was arrested Tuesday morning in Bangkok on charges of criminal defamation and violating the Computer Crime Act for material she posted on the internet.

Naritsarawan won 7 million baht ($200,000) compensation for her uncle's loss in a malfeasance suit against the government, but the perpetrators went unpunished.

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