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Teacher on trial for child abuse in case that shocked Turkey

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 04:09 AM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The trial has opened in Turkey of a teacher accused of sexually abusing 10 boys under his care at two religious foundations, a case that has shocked the country and led to accusations of a cover-up.

The 54-year-old man is charged with assaulting the boys, aged between 10 and 12, at boarding homes, one of which was run by a foundation linked to Turkey's ruling party. The first hearing was held Wednesday behind closed doors.


Dutch court quashes $50 billion Yukos shareholders' award

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 04:01 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch court has quashed a $50 billion award Russia had been ordered to pay the former majority shareholders of Yukos, a major victory for Moscow in the high-stakes dispute over the dismantling of what was once Russia's largest oil producer.


Rights complaint filed after Philippine candidate's remark

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 03:47 AM

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Representatives of women's groups have filed a complaint at the Commission on Human Rights against the front-runner in the Philippine presidential race for his remark about wanting to rape an Australian missionary who was assaulted and killed by prisoners during a hostage-taking in 1989.

The complaint filed Wednesday said Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte violated a law protecting women's rights and eliminating all forms of discrimination. Duterte has topped voter surveys for the May 9 presidential election.


Germany asks Belgium to take 2 nuclear reactors offline

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 03:41 AM

BERLIN (AP) — The German government is asking neighboring Belgium to take two nuclear reactors offline temporarily because of safety concerns.

Germany, which plans to switch off all of its own nuclear reactors by 2022, is sensitive to concerns about plants outside the country. Berlin already has called on France to shut down its oldest plant, at Fessenheim on the German border, as soon as possible.


Japan Catholic school sex-abuse victims demand to be heard

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 03:24 AM

TOKYO (AP) — The Roman Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal has stretched into one of the least Catholic countries: Japan, where former students at a prestigious all-boys parochial school allege they were molested or raped by religious brothers who taught there decades ago.

Three former students at St. Mary's International School in Tokyo tell The Associated Press they were sexually abused by brothers there. One described "health checkups" in which a brother touched boys' testicles. Another says he was raped in the chapel by two brothers at age 11.


France wants to extend state of emergency during Euro 2016

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 02:48 AM

PARIS (AP) — France's government is calling for a two-month extension of the state of emergency that was declared after the deadly Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, to cover the European Championship soccer tournament and the Tour de France.

The measure will require parliament's approval.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Wednesday on France Info radio that the extension of the state of emergency until the end of July will "allow a better response against the terrorist threat" during the June 10-July 10 Euro 2016 tournament.


Death toll reaches 48 in Japan earthquakes

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 01:57 AM

TOKYO (AP) — Searchers have found a man's body in a landslide-hit area in southern Japan, bringing the death toll to 48 from two powerful earthquakes on successive nights last week. Three people remain missing.

The body was found Wednesday morning in the mountain village of Minamiaso (mee-nah-mee-AH'-soh). The second earthquake triggered landslides that slammed into buildings and across roads in the Minamiaso area early Saturday morning.


APNewsBreak: Sushi alert: Grim outlook for bluefin tuna

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 01:53 AM

TOKYO (AP) — The latest scientific assessment paints a likely bleak future for the Pacific bluefin tuna, a sushi lovers' favorite whose population has dropped by more than 97 percent from its historic levels.

A draft summary of a report by the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean seen by The Associated Press shows the current population of bluefin tuna is estimated at 2.6 percent of its "unfished" size. A previous assessment put the population at an already dire 4.2 percent.


China official spending on perks well under budget last year

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 12:44 AM

BEIJING (AP) — Amid an ongoing austerity drive, China's Finance Ministry says official spending on overseas travel, vehicles and entertainment was almost 15 percent less than budgeted last year.

A report on the ministry's website Wednesday said just 5.37 billion yuan ($826 million) was spent last year out of a budget of 6.31 billion ($970).

It said that although this year's budget for the three items is only slightly lower, spending will continue to be tightly controlled.


Taiwan officials in Beijing to negotiate over deportations

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 12:18 AM

BEIJING (AP) — Taiwanese legal officials are in Beijing for talks on the recent deportations of Taiwanese wire fraud suspects to China from third countries that have caused new friction between the sides.

Justice Ministry official Chen Wen-chi said shortly before the delegation's Wednesday departure that Taiwan hopes to ensure that 45 Taiwanese deported this month from Kenya receive proper legal protection. She said Taiwan wants the sides to cooperate on the case and similar ones in the future.


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