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2nd outside report says Mexico students not burned at dump

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 01:00 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A group of Argentine forensic experts says it has determined there is no physical evidence to conclude that 43 students who disappeared in southern Mexico in 2014 were incinerated at a trash dump as government investigators initially claimed.

The report released Tuesday by the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team found the dump in Cocula, Guerrero state, was the site of multiple fires at various times.

Pope briefs priests: don't be smug, don't judge sinners

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 12:56 PM

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A specially-recruited group of priests have last-minute instructions from Pope Francis before fanning out through the world to show a more merciful face of the Catholic Church to sinners.

About 700 priests from around the globe, many of them using headphones for translations, heard Francis on Tuesday stress the welcoming image he wants faithful to have of the church and how priests should act when hearing confessions. The pope said many people abandon confession because priests scolded them or pried for embarrassing details.

UN: Number of Haitians needing food aid spikes amid drought

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 12:36 PM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — U.N. officials say the number of Haitians in need of urgent food aid has spiked as a drought is exacerbated by the El Nino weather pattern.

The U.N. World Food Program says roughly 1.5 million Haitians are now considered severely insecure when it comes to food, more than double the figure from a government assessment in September.

Haiti is in its third year of drought. The situation has deteriorated because of a lack of rain blamed on El Nino, a warming of the tropical Pacific affecting global weather.

Son of Iraqi Kurdish leader calls for aid to battle IS

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 12:27 PM

SALAHUDDIN, Iraq (AP) — A senior Iraqi Kurdish leader has called for international aid to help finance the war against the Islamic State group, saying it's a "miracle" that underpaid Kurdish forces are still on the front lines.

Masrour Barzani, head of the region's security council, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the regional government is struggling to pay Kurdish peshmerga forces because of a dispute with Baghdad over oil revenues, low oil prices and an economic downturn.

Controversy in Austria over criticism of Nazi camp inmates

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 11:48 AM

VIENNA (AP) — The senior party in Austria's government coalition is suggesting that an official in its partner party be removed for indirectly backing an article describing some Nazi concentration camp inmates as a "scourge."

Social Democrat Hannes Jarolim was reacting Tuesday to a ruling by Gottfried Strasser of the Justice Ministry on a story published by the right-wing Aula magazine. The article describes some inmates of the Nazi's Mauthausen camp as "criminals" and a "scourge" upon the region after they were liberated.

Putin's ex-bodyguard turned governor recalls facing bear

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 11:15 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin's former bodyguard, who recently has been named regional governor, says he once confronted a bear outside Putin's residence.

Alexei Dyumin, 43, told the daily Kommersant in an interview published Tuesday that he was on duty while Putin was asleep at a presidential residence when he saw a bear standing at its glass doors. Dyumin said he looked the bear in the eyes, opened the door and shot his service pistol near the bear's legs. He said the animal retreated, and Putin later praised Dyumin for sparing the bear.

Suspension of Turkey flights costs Russian airports heavily

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 11:09 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — A top official at Russia's busiest airport says the halt or reduction of flights to Turkey, Ukraine and Egypt over the past three months has cost the country's airports six billion rubles ($77 million).

Denis Nuzhdin, the deputy CEO of Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, was quoted by state news agency Tass as saying Tuesday that about half the loss comes from Russia's decision to halt charter flights to Turkey in December following Turkey's shooting down of a Russian warplane that it claimed violated its airspace.

UN chief: Leaders must stop conflicts that drive aid crises

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 11:04 AM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says over 80 percent of humanitarian funding requested by the United Nations is going toward life-saving needs in a growing number of conflicts, and urgent action is needed to shift from perpetual crisis management to conflict prevention and solutions.

The U.N. chief calls for "far greater global leadership" to end conflicts that are driving millions of people from their homes and overwhelming humanitarian organizations.

Ikea recalls ceiling lamps for risk of falling glass shades

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 10:48 AM

HELSINKI (AP) — Swedish furniture retailer Ikea is recalling two types of ceiling lamps because of a risk that the glass shades might fall and injure people.

The company says that after receiving complaints from customers that the shades of some "Lock" and "Hyby" lamps had fallen and caused injuries, it's urging all buyers of the two ceiling lamps to immediately return them to an Ikea store for a full refund.

Macedonia: Trial opens for 29 men accused of terrorism

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 10:38 AM

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — A trial has started in Macedonia of 29 men charged with terrorism-related offences in connection with a two-day shootout with police in 2015 that left 18 dead, including eight police officers.

Last May's shootout in the border town of Kumanovo came after a group of gunmen briefly seized control of a police station on the Macedonia-Kosovo border. The gunmen surrendered after two days of fighting which left 18 dead, 42 policemen injured and damaged dozens of homes.

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