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Faithful fill meadow ahead of pope's last Mass in Poland

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Sunday, July 31, 2016 - 02:35 AM

BRZEGI, Poland (AP) — Young pilgrims have filled a massive meadow near Krakow in southern Poland for a Mass with Pope Francis, the last major event the pope will lead as he wraps up a five-day visit to Poland.

Some of the young people even camped out overnight in the field after an evening with the pope there that drew a massive crowd, estimated at 1.6 million by the World Youth Day organizers.

The Mass is taking place in the Campus Misericordiae in Brzegi, a village near Krakow.

China detains Japanese for 'endangering state security'

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Sunday, July 31, 2016 - 01:42 AM

BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed media reports that authorities have detained a Japanese citizen on suspicion of endangering China's state security.

In a statement faxed to The Associated Press on Sunday, the ministry said the Japanese Embassy in China has been notified about the investigation into the Japanese national.

The statement did not provide any other details.

Thai queen improves after lung infection treatment

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Sunday, July 31, 2016 - 01:09 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's royal palace says that 83-year-old Queen Sirikit suffered a lung infection but her condition has improved.

An announcement issued Saturday night says Sirikit was moved on July 24 from Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital, where King Bhumibol Adulyajej has been living for most of the past few years, to Chulalongkorn Hospital for treatment of minor lung inflammation and blood infection.

It said that after treatment, symptoms of fever and cough had subsided.

Tokyo votes for governor as it readies for 2020 Olympics

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Saturday, July 30, 2016 - 10:36 PM

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's capital is voting for its leader after two predecessors resigned over money scandals as Tokyo prepares to host the 2020 Olympics.

Tokyo, with a population of more than 13 million people and an annual budget bigger than Sweden's, is voting for its governor Sunday.

Among top candidates are former defense minister Yuriko Koike, journalist Shuntaro Torigoe and former rural governor Hiroya Masuda.

If Koike wins, she would become Tokyo's first female governor.

IOC sets up 3-person panel to rule on Russian entries

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Saturday, July 30, 2016 - 06:25 PM

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The IOC has set up a special three-person panel to make a final ruling on which individual Russian athletes are allowed to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee's ruling executive board made the decision Saturday in its final meeting before the opening of the Rio Games next Friday.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams says the panel will decide on the entry of the Russian athletes who have been put forward by individual sports federations and approved by an independent arbitrator.

Congo musician accused of assault is provisionally released

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Saturday, July 30, 2016 - 03:19 PM

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Authorities in Congo have provisionally released a popular musician detained this week after being accused of assaulting a female member of his band.

Rumba musician Koffi Olomide said on his Twitter page Saturday that he has been released and is at home with family. He thanked those who supported him. His lawyer Tony Mwaba Kazadi confirmed the development.

Olomide was jailed Tuesday on a charge of intentional assault and he awaits a hearing.

Puerto Rico towns to share services, cut costs amid crisis

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Saturday, July 30, 2016 - 03:05 PM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's governor has signed a bill letting the island's 78 municipal governments share administrative services as a cost-saving measure amid a deep fiscal crisis.

The measure amends a 1991 law to let local governments set up agreements between two or more municipalities to cooperate on finance, public works and other areas, instead of each town having a department for each service.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said late Friday that it is expected to result in substantial savings.

Brazil cuts ribbon on new subway line crucial for Olympics

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Saturday, July 30, 2016 - 02:22 PM

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian officials have held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a much-delayed $3 billion subway expansion in Rio de Janeiro less than a week before the Olympic Games begin.

Line 4 of the subway is billed as Rio's most important infrastructure project linked to the Olympics. It will transport hundreds of thousands of athletes and fans between the city's iconic beaches and Barra da Tijuca, home to most sporting venues.

JK Rowling says she hopes Harry Potter play goes global

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Saturday, July 30, 2016 - 01:02 PM

LONDON (AP) — London is under Harry Potter's spell once more — and J.K. Rowling hopes the rest of the world will eventually follow.

The stage play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" had its gala opening Saturday in London's West End, and is already the theater event of the year.

If the boy wizard's creator has her way, that will only be the beginning. On the red carpet outside the Palace Theater, Rowling said: "I'd like as many Potter fans to see it as possible."

Tunisian lawmakers pass no-confidence vote, firing PM

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Saturday, July 30, 2016 - 12:21 PM

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia's parliament has passed a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Habib Essid, effectively disbanding the government of the U.S.-trained agricultural economist.

The no-confidence motion was passed by 118 votes, easily passing the country's 109 vote threshold, after an hours-long debate that stretched late into the night.

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