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North Korea denies it apologized over mine blast

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 10:06 PM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea is denying Seoul's claim that the North's recent expression of "regret" after a marathon negotiating session is an apology for a mine explosion that maimed two South Korean soldiers.

The statement Tuesday by Pyongyang's powerful National Defense Commission further belies Seoul's claim that it successfully pushed the North in the talks last week to take responsibility for the blast. The statement says Seoul must stop saying the North apologized or face unspecified consequences.

China chemical factory blast toll rises to 5

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 08:55 PM

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say the death toll from an explosion at a chemical factory in eastern China has risen to five.

The factory that produces adhesive materials exploded on Monday night in Lijin county in Shandong province.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday that at least five people had been confirmed dead, citing local authorities. On Monday the toll was reported as one.

Xinhua said the cause of the blast was under investigation.

UN: Gaza could be 'uninhabitable' by 2020 if trends continue

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 06:57 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new United Nations report says Gaza could be "uninhabitable" in less than five years if current economic trends continue.

The report released Tuesday by the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development points to the eight years of economic blockade of Gaza as well as the three wars between Israel and the Palestinians there over the past six years.

Last year's war displaced half a million people and left parts of Gaza destroyed.

Guinea arrests ex-wildlife director for alleged trafficking

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 06:16 PM

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — An alliance to save great apes says authorities have arrested Guinea's former wildlife director for allegedly playing a key role in trafficking chimpanzees and other endangered wildlife.

The Great Apes Survival Partnership said Tuesday that Ansoumane Doumbouya, who was also Guinea's representative to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, was arrested Aug. 21.

Nigeria to deploy drones to curb oil theft

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 06:06 PM

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — An official of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation says the organization will deploy drones across the territorial waters of Africa's largest oil producer to help curb the rampant oil theft.

The organization's Managing Director Ibe Kachikwu said Tuesday in a statement that the corporation was launching an "armada of approaches" aimed at ending theft within eight months, including changing staff at the loading bays of crude oil export terminals every 90 days.

Charges sought against Brazil's former chief-of-staff

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 05:46 PM

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian police say they have asked prosecutors to file charges against former presidential chief of staff Jose Dirceu for his alleged involvement in the massive corruption scheme at state-owned oil company Petrobras.

Dirceu is the most senior member of the ruling Workers' Party to be taken into custody in connection with the scheme.

The federal police department said in a statement issued Tuesday it has asked prosecutors to charge Dirceu with corruption, racketeering and money laundering.

Guatemala Congress lifts president's immunity of office

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 03:48 PM

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemala's Congress has voted to withdraw President Otto Perez Molina's immunity from prosecution in connection with a widening corruption scandal.

A vote of at least 105 of the 158 representatives was required to approve the measure Tuesday.

Perez Molina's government has been beset by a series of corruption cases, but until now he has been immune to prosecution as president.

US presidential hopeful Marco Rubio to visit Puerto Rico

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 03:44 PM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio is scheduled to visit the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico this week.

A spokeswoman told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Florida senator will meet with supporters on Friday in the capital of San Juan.

Rubio's visit will coincide with that of Democrat Hillary Clinton. No further details of his visit were immediately released.

Shots fired from Syria kill Turkish soldier

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 03:12 PM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The military says a Turkish soldier was killed from shots fired from Islamic State-controlled area across the border in Syria. A second soldier is reported missing.

The military said the incident occurred Tuesday at a border post near the town of Kilis. The soldier disappeared following a clash between the soldiers and the assailants.

Moldovan police chief briefly detained at Moscow airport

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 02:44 PM

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Authorities say Moldova's police chief was detained for three hours at an airport in Moscow before being released.

Interim police chief Gheorghe Cavaliuc was stopped by Russian border police Tuesday and held at Domodedovo airport. He said he was initially informed there was a problem with his passport and later told he resembled a wanted criminal.

Cavaliuc was freed after three hours. He said he believed his detention was connected to his work, saying "I have researched a lot of international organized crime groups."

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