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Australian, Thai journalists acquitted of defaming Thai navy

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 11:47 PM

PHUKET, Thailand (AP) — An Australian journalist and his Thai colleague have been cleared of charges of defaming the Thai navy by a court on the island of Phuket.

Human Rights Groups immediately welcomed Tuesday's acquittal but said the case should never have been brought in the first place.

Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian were facing up to seven years in prison over a report in their online news website "Phuketwan" saying military forces accepted money to assist or turn a blind eye to the trafficking of refugees from Myanmar by sea.


Chemical factory explodes in eastern China, killing 1

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 10:46 PM

BEIJING (AP) — A state-run local news website says that a chemical factory has exploded in eastern China, killing one person just three weeks after massive chemical warehouse explosions in the country exposed lax enforcement of safety regulations.

The Dongying News website — run by the Dongying city government — says the factory in Lijin county exploded at 11:22 p.m. Monday and the fire was brought under control about five hours later.


Whitaker urges lawmakers to speak out for young people

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 10:46 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Oscar-winning actor and U.N. goodwill ambassador Forest Whitaker is urging world lawmakers to speak out to help former child soldiers in Uganda, South Sudan and Myanmar, gang members in Mexico and the United States, and orphans in Syria and other countries.

Whitaker, an envoy for the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said many young people around the world feel marginalized because nobody listens to them and believe their only recourse is violence and extremism.


Official index: China manufacturing falls to 3-year low

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 10:07 PM

HONG KONG (AP) — An official index of Chinese manufacturing contracted last month, falling to a three-year low and raising fears of slower-than expected growth in the world's No. 2 economy.

The manufacturing index based on a survey of factory purchasing managers fell to 49.7 in August from 50.0 in July.

The index released Tuesday and compiled by the Chinese Federation for Logistics and Purchasing is based on a 100 point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate an expansion.


Clashes during Israeli raid to arrest militant in West Bank

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 05:23 PM

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A Palestinian security official says several people were wounded during an Israeli raid to arrest a Hamas leader in the northern West Bank.

The official said a local leader of the militant Islamic group and his brother were arrested late Monday night in a Jenin refugee camp.

Israeli soldiers surrounded a house and came under fire from Palestinian gunmen. Five Palestinians were wounded and taken to hospital, he said.


Venezuelan leader says Colombia plotting his assassination

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 04:13 PM

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is accusing enemies in Colombia of trying to assassinate him as both countries prepare to spar at the Organization of American States over an increasingly tense border dispute.

Maduro said during a visit to Vietnam that the conspiracy has the consent of Colombia's government. He didn't present any evidence to back the claim but said he would soon.


White House: Will find another way to honor McKinley

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 03:24 PM

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) — The tallest mountain in North America may no longer carry the name of President William McKinley -- but the White House says it's going to work with officials in Ohio to find another way to honor the nation's 25th president.

Officials in Ohio -- which was McKinley's home state -- are voicing outrage over the announcement that Mount McKinley in Alaska will be renamed Denali. That's the name that Alaskans have used, informally, for centuries. It means, "the high one."


Iran's Parliament speaker says he supports nuclear deal

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 03:05 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Iran's Parliament speaker says he supports the historic nuclear deal with world powers that will rein in Tehran's efforts to build a bomb.

Ali Larajani's comments at a global conference of speakers of parliament on Monday came two days after Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said he opposed a parliamentary vote on the agreement because its terms would turn into legal obligations if passed by lawmakers.


Hurricane Fred hits Cape Verde with flooding, downed trees

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 02:59 PM

PRAIA, Cape Verde (AP) — Hurricane Fred has caused flooding and downed trees in Cape Verde as it passes over the archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.

State-owned TV station Radiotelevisao Caboverdiana also reports Monday the Category 1 hurricane prompted officials to close all airports in the country of 10 volcanic islands with a population of 512,000.

Weather forecasters say Fred is the easternmost hurricane known to have formed in the Atlantic tropics, and the first to pass over Cape Verde as a hurricane.


Official: Turkish court orders British journalists arrested

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 02:50 PM

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish court has charged two Vice News journalists and their assistant with "aiding a terrorist organization" and ordered them arrested pending trial. Their employer has called the charges "baseless and alarmingly false."

Two British journalists, correspondent Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury, and their Turkey-based assistant were detained on Thursday while reporting from Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast.


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