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Gold hunters blocked from site of alleged Nazi gold train

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 07:21 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish authorities are taking action against treasure hunters who are swarming the site of an alleged Nazi gold train find in southwestern Poland.

The city of Walbrzych and surrounding wooded hills are experiencing a gold rush after two men said through their lawyers that they have found a Nazi train with armaments and valuables that reportedly went missing in 1945. People with metal detectors are combing the area and its railway tracks.

Economy boosts Portuguese government's re-election bid

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 07:02 AM

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Economic news is continuing to give heart to Portugal's center-right government as it aims for re-election in October.

The government is telling voters the country is back on track after a 78 billion euro ($87 billion) bailout in 2011 brought three years of recession amid deep spending cuts.

The National Statistics Institute reported Monday that the economy grew 1.5 percent in the second quarter compared with last year, maintaining the same rate as in the first quarter.

Death toll rises to 158 in blasts at China's Tianjin port

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 06:50 AM

BEIJING (AP) — Authorities say the death toll has risen to 158 in massive warehouse explosions in the Chinese port of Tianjin. Some 15 people remain missing.

The Tianjin government's official microblog said the confirmed toll rose from 150 last week, but it wasn't clear how the tally increased. Calls to the city's information center rang unanswered.

Among the dead were 94 firefighters, 11 policemen and 53 civilians.

Indian scholar who criticized idol worship murdered at home

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 06:07 AM

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian police are investigating the weekend murder of a scholar who was known for his outspoken criticism of idol worship and religious superstition.

The shooting of M.M. Kalburgi at his home shocked Indian civil society and led to an outpouring of grief as his body was cremated Monday in his hometown of Dharwad in southern India.

Police say they are looking for two men who reportedly arrived on a motorcycle at his home on Sunday and fired two shots that hit the 77-year-old academic in the head and chest.

Canadians, Pakistani and Nigerian among dead in Saudi fire

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 06:06 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A Saudi official says three Canadians, a Pakistani and a Nigerian were among those killed in a fire that engulfed parts of a residential compound in the kingdom's oil-rich east.

Regional civil defense spokesman Col. Ali bin Saad al-Qahtani also was quoted by the official Saudi Press Agency early Monday as saying that a total of 10 people died and 259 were injured in the blaze.

The civil defense directorate previously said 11 people were killed.

200 residents of Iraqi town held by Islamic State group

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 05:43 AM

BAGHDAD (AP) — The mayor of a remote, Islamic State-held town in western Iraq says some 200 residents are detained by the group after clashes there.

Trouble in Rutbah, in Anbar province, started Saturday when Islamic State militants killed a local resident for killing a member of the group as part of a long-running blood feud. Hundreds of residents demonstrated later on that day to protest the killing and clashes broke out when the militants attempted to disperse the protesters.

Japan seeks biggest-ever defense budget amid China concerns

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 05:14 AM

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's Defense Ministry wants to buy an advanced Aegis radar-equipped destroyer and F-35 fighters under its largest-ever budget to bolster the defense of southern islands amid a territorial dispute with China.

The ministry endorsed a 5.1 trillion yen ($42 billion) budget request Monday for the year beginning next April, up 2.2 percent from this year. It would be the fourth annual increase under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who ended 10 years of defense budget cuts.

Austria inspects trucks for migrants, creates 15-mile backup

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 04:51 AM

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Austria's decision to start inspecting trucks at its border with Hungary after 71 migrants died in a food truck has created a huge, 25-kilometer (15 1/2-mile) traffic jam on the main Budapest-Vienna highway.

The Hungarian traffic firm Utinform reported the backup at the Hegyeshalom border crossing Monday and said traffic was slower than usual at other Hungary-Austria border crossings.

Syrian official: Amount of damage at Palmyra temple unclear

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 04:37 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian government official in charge of antiquities says the amount of damage done by an explosion near the ancient Temple of Bel in the militant-controlled city of Palmyra remains unclear.

Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of the Antiquities and Museums Department in Damascus, said Monday that "undoubtedly" a large explosion took place near the 2,000-year-old temple, which lies in a sprawling Roman-era complex.

2 journalists charged in Moroccan king blackmail claim trap

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 04:05 AM

PARIS (AP) — Two French journalists facing extortion charges on accusations that they tried to blackmail Moroccan King Mohammed VI say they were trapped into the agreement.

Eric Laurent and Catherine Graciet are accused of demanding 3 million euros ($3.4 million) in exchange for not publishing a compromising new book about Mohammed VI. They were arrested Thursday in a sting operation.

The two are known for their critical writings about the king. The case has drawn widespread attention in Morocco, where the monarchy is considered above criticism.

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