Britain's foreign secretary met Cuban officials on Thursday on the first such visit to the island since 1959, for talks on boosting trade and tourism ties with the island.
Philip Hammond's trip comes a month after US President Barack Obama's historic visit to the Caribbean nation, which is opening up to warmer ties with its old Cold War rivals. Hammond said in Havana that he was "the first UK foreign secretary to visit Cuba since the revolution" in 1959. His visit also follows meetings in recent months between Cuba's President Raul Castro and other top officials and leaders from the European Union. Hammond met with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez and signed several cooperation agreements with other government officials. Hammond said he wanted "enhanced bilateral cooperation underpinned by increased trade, increased investment and more tourists coming to Cuba" from Britain. Britain was the second-biggest source of foreign tourists to Cuba last year after Canada, with 160,000 Britons making the trip, he said.
His ministry said earlier that he would sign a "bilateral agreement restructuring Cuba's debt to the UK," but Hammond did not comment about that during his news conference later in Havana.
He also met with representatives from Cuban civil society and the British business community in Havana, the Foreign Office said. In March, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini became the highest-ranking EU official ever to visit Cuba when she traveled to Havana.
She signed a deal to normalize relations with Cuba, including an agreement on human rights. Hammond's office said he, too, would broach the sensitive topics of human rights and social and economic reform in Cuba. Britain in 2010 launched a drive to strengthen its ties with Latin America and also backs the EU agreement with Cuba. Britain wants to "strengthen a bilateral dialogue where we're able to raise issues of concern to both sides in the spirit of free and open discussions", he added. British direct exports to Cuba - mostly dairy, pharmaceuticals and machinery - increased by nearly a third last year to the equivalent of about $36 million, Hammond said.
Indirect trade via companies based in third countries made the total even bigger, the British embassy in Havana added. The growth in trade coincided with the historic rapprochement between Cuba and the United States after 50 years of enmity stemming back to the Cold War. Analyzing the current mass bleaching event ravaging the Great Barrier Reef, researchers from the ARC Center of Excellence for Climate System Science found the effects of human-induced climate change had added one-degree Celsius of warming to the ocean temperatures.
But should greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, this extreme temperature will become the new normal within 20 years and cause similar mass bleaching events every two years, the as-yet unpublished findings show. That spells death for large swathes of the Great Barrier Reef as coral bleaching recovery rates are being overwhelmed by more frequent and severe mass bleaching events.
Though the research is yet to be peer reviewed, the scientists took the unprecedented step of releasing their results early due to the grave nature facing the Great Barrier Reef from inaction. Coral reefs are one of the most important and productive marine ecosystems that the world depends on for tourism and fisheries sustainability. Coral bleaching occurs when stress such as heat caused the animal to expel the symbiotic algae, loosing vital nutrients and energy reserves, thus color, leading to the wide scale loss of productive habitats for fish.
Recent research suggests corals with high levels of fat or other energy reserves can withstand annual bleaching events, which is critical to predicting the persistence of corals and their capacity to recover from more frequent events resulting from climate change. South African President Jacob Zuma should face almost 800 corruption charges that were dropped in 2009, a judge said on Friday, piling further pressure on the embattled leader. A sizzling heat wave has claimed more than 300 lives in India, and officials have forbidden daytime cooking in some areas to prevent fires that have killed nearly 80 others.
Three people were killed and 25 wounded when rebel-fired mortars hit a mosque in Aleppo as people were leaving Friday prayers, the Syrian state news agency SANA said on Friday The mosque was in the government-held Bab al-Faraj area of Aleppo. A helicopter with 13 people on board crashed off western Norway on Friday, with rescue workers saying there was no sign of survivors but that the search was going on. A 94-year-old former SS sergeant has told a German court he is "ashamed" that he served as a guard in the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp and that he knew what was going on there but did nothing to stop it. Albania's governing Socialist Party says it has sued former prime minister Sali Berisha for calling on citizens to arm themselves.
It's a big day for nine-year-old Nepali schoolgirl Riddhima Shrestha and her three-year-old sister, Ishita, as they dress up in silk brocade and gold jewellery, preparing to wed a Hindu god. The two sisters are among dozens of girls taking part in the "ihi" or "bel bibaha" ceremony - a coming-of-age ritual practised by Kathmandu's indigenous Newar community, whose customs combine elements of Hinduism and Buddhism. The two-day ceremony, usually held several times a year in the capital's historic durbar (royal) square, sees pre-pubescent girls "marry" the Hindu deity, Vishnu, symbolized by the local "bel" fruit. The centuries-old custom is believed to protect girls from the stigma of widowhood by ensuring that a Newari woman's first husband - the god - will inevitably outlive her mortal spouse.
During the ceremony, girls hold the bel fruit, also known as a wood apple, in one palm and touch a statue of the god with the other, symbolically giving Vishnu their hand in marriage. The girl's parents also secure their place in heaven by performing "kanyadaan" - the practice of giving away one's daughter in marriage - according to the priests who conduct the ceremony.
After the rituals end, with gifts for the bride followed by a feast for family and friends, it's back to school for third-grader Riddhima, who is the first of her classmates to go through the ceremony. The Supreme Court of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Friday sentenced a Republic of Korea-born US citizen to 10 years of hard labor for alleged subversion and espionage activities. Kim Dong-chul, who was born in 1953 in Seoul and emigrated to the United States in 1972, was charged with plotting to subvert the DPRK system, slandering the supreme leadership of the country and gathering state and military secrets. Running a trade company in Rason, a special economic zone in the DPRK, Kim started espionage in 2013 after coming into contact with several people from the ROK who tasked him with collecting top party, state and military secrets of the DPRK, including its nuclear facilities, nuclear tests and photographs of warships at repairing factories, according to the prosecutor.
The ROK citizens from whom Kim took orders included a correspondent of Donga Daily, an official with the ROK's Ministry of Unification and a professor at Seoul National University, said the prosecutor.
He was also accused of illegally buying a DPRK-made mobile phone in the capital city of Pyongyang via his local employee and providing the phone to the ROK. Kim received donations from a Canadian church, gave them to kindergartens in Rason and took pictures of the local children accepting the donations, according to the prosecution. He was arrested on Oct 2, 2015 as he was receiving an SD card that contained photos of local markets in Rason and documents about the DPRK's nuclear programs from a local resident in Rason whom he had bought off, said the prosecutor. Evidence was presented to the court including his passport, the SD card, a Nikon camera, a mobile phone he used to contact with the ROK citizens, text messages showing him receiving orders from them, documents handed over to him when he was caught, and pictures he had taken of military vessels.
The DPRK government has convicted a number of foreigners for anti-DPRK crimes in recent years, often making them publicly confess their actions before trying them in court.
In March 2016, US student Otto Frederick Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for taking down a political slogan from a hotel in Pyongyang. In December 2015, the Supreme Court sentenced ROK-born Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim to lifetime labor. A young man poses as a sleazy, bejeweled politician in a white suit, sitting atop a white horse surrounded by hordes of bodyguards while promising jobs and prosperity to the voters.
Luka Maksimovic and his friends started out to have fun, but the young pranksters have become a sensation - and have been elected to office - after finishing second in a local vote in a rundown industrial town in central Serbia.
The success of the rookie citizens' group at last weekend's election in Mladenovac, outside Belgrade, seems to reflect widespread disillusionment with politicians in crisis-stricken Serbia and the desire for new, young faces still untouched by the corruption that has plagued all aspects of the Balkan country's political scene. Maksimovic described his alter ego - Ljubisa Preletacevic Beli - as the worst possible version of a typical Serbian politician: He is loud and dishonest, owns a shady business and obeys no rules.
During campaigning, Preletacevic parodied Serbia's political reality: bare-chested, he saved children from imaginary danger, posed with small animals in his arms, handed out forged university diplomas and promised healthier sandwiches than his opponents.
The group's election list, dubbed "Hit it Hard - Beli," won 20 percent of the votes, or 13 out of 50 or so seats in the municipal council - behind the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Aleskandar Vucic's populist Progressive Party but ahead of all the opposition parties in Mladenovac. The future council members from the list include Preletacevic and Sticker, but also independent activists determined to change the situation in their town and serve as a control mechanism for the work of the local authorities.
Draza Petrovic, editor of the liberal Danas daily and a satirical columnist, said the happenings in Mladenovac show that citizens increasingly have been turning to irony and satire as a form of opposition to the dismal reality of their everyday lives. Amid Serbia's recent economic crisis, Mladenovac has turned from an industrial hub into a worn-out town, where many of the 20,000 residents have been left without jobs after factories closed one after another. Out in the streets, Mladenovac citizens laugh and wave as a cheerful, blue-eyed Preletacevic walks the town in his white suit, his hair bundled on top of his head. Luka Maksimovic, who assumed the character of a bejeweled politician in a white suit during municipal elections, walks with his associates through the green market in the town of Mladenovac, outside Belgrade, Serbia, on Tuesday. Dozens of gawkers stood upwind of the carcass on Tuesday, examining it, marveling at it, and of course taking selfies with it. Its enormous tongue was so swollen that it bulged out of its mouth like a giant black balloon.
Authorities said on Wednesday the rotting carcass of the 30-ton gray whale would be cut up and trucked to a landfill. Beach Superintendent Rich Hardon said the work by an emergency contractor will begin on Thursday morning and take a couple of days at a cost of about $30,000. Curiosity seekers have been visiting the beach, despite the stench, since the huge animal washed ashore on Sunday at Lower Trestles, a popular surfing spot. Burial on the beach isn't feasible because the stretch is mostly cobblestones, Haydon said. The United Nations mediator on Thursday called on the leaders of the United States and Russia to salvage the "barely alive" two-month-old cease-fire in Syria and revitalize the damaged peace process.
UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura voiced deep concern at the truce unraveling in Aleppo and at least three other hotspots, although he saw some narrowing of positions between the government and opposition visions of political transition. The US and Russia must convene a ministerial meeting of major and regional powers who compose the International Syria Support Group, he said. The main opposition High Negotiations Committee pulled out of the formal talks a week ago, in protest at intensified fighting and slow aid deliveries. Bashar Ja'afari, who led the government delegation, said on Tuesday the round had been "useful and constructive". De Mistura said this round of talks had been "overshadowed by a substantial and indeed worrisome of cessation of hostilities". A day after Maduro announced his latest drastic measures to tackle power shortages in the recession-hit country, the opposition was gathering signatures for an official petition to launch a referendum. Citizens queued up to sign, voicing anger at Maduro over a crisis that has led to power outages for four hours a day in most of the country, exacerbating an already disastrous economic implosion.
The International Monetary Fund issued a stark warning on the state of Venezuela's oil-dependent economy, hit hard by the collapse in global crude prices. After daily power-cuts were imposed on Monday, looting was reported in several places including the country's second-biggest city, Maracaibo. Maduro on Tuesday announced enforced leave for public sector employees three workdays a week for at least two weeks in a bid to slash electricity use. Vice-President Aristobulo Isturiz also said primary and high schools would be closed on Fridays. Electricity shortages have compounded an economic crisis that has left Venezuelans queuing for hours in shops to buy scarce goods. But the government has resisted using crude to generate electricity, calling it inefficient. April in Thailand is typically hot and sweaty, but this year's scorching weather has set a record for the longest heat wave in at least 65 years. The average peak temperature each day this month has been above 40 C, with the mercury spiking one day to 44.3 Cjust short of the all-time record. The heat wave has also fueled a new record for energy consumption and prompted health warnings on everything from foodborne illness to drowning, both of which rise every April when Thailand's hottest month coincides with school summer break. On this very day, April 27, in 1960, Thailand posted its hottest day ever recorded with 44.5 C in the northern province of Uttaradit. Countries across Southeast Asia are feeling the heat, which scientists said is triggered by El Nino, a warming of parts of the Pacific Ocean that changes weather worldwide and tends to push global temperatures up. Thailand's Department of Disease Control has warned people to beware of food poisoning and other food-related illnesses that typically increase during hot weather when bacteria can thrive on unrefrigerated food. Oranges, watermelon, pineapple and other fruit get chopped up, mixed with fruit juice or water and is then frozen for the chimpanzees, orangutans and other primates. The return to Paris of the last known survivor of those believed to have carried out the Nov 13 attacks in the French capital may help investigators untangle some of the still-unresolved questions about the assault, which claimed 130 lives at restaurants, a noted music hall and a sports stadium outside the city.
Attorney Frank Berton told reporters that his client "volunteered that he would explain himself at some later date". Abdeslam, a French citizen of Moroccan origin, spent four months on the run following the attacks and a month in Belgian custody after being tackled by heavily armed police outside his hideout in the Mollenbeek neighborhood of Brussels.
Abdeslam was extradited from Belgium to France earlier on Wednesday in what Berton described as a "muscular operation" involving an early-morning transfer from his cell in Belgium and a cross-border helicopter ride. The Paris attacks were carried out by three teams of assailants who blew themselves up or sprayed gunfire, and Abdeslam's testimony will likely prove significant to definitively linking the events that night - and in establishing how they fit in with the suicide bombings in Brussels that rocked the city on March 22. Abdeslam faces preliminary charges of participating in a terrorist organization, terrorist murders and attempted murders, attempted terrorist murders of public officials, hostage-taking, and possessing weapons and explosives, French prosecutors said in a statement.
French Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas had earlier said that Abdeslam would be placed in isolation, watched by guards specially trained to deal with "people reputed to be dangerous".
Georges Salines, whose daughter Lola died at the Bataclan music hall, said Abdeslam's arrival in Paris had enormous significance for victims of the attacks.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea fired what was believed to be a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile on Thursday, but it appeared to have failed, the Republic of Korea's defense ministry said. Russia on Thursday successfully launched the first rocket from its new space facility after a last-minute delay the day before. Turkish authorities detained 15 people on Thursday in connection with a suicide bomb attack in the northwestern city of Bursa which wounded 13 people, Interior Minister Efkan Ala said. A woman who unexpectedly gave birth on a Jetstar flight has named her son after the airline, in a bizarre tribute to the flight attendants who helped deliver the child. A British couple and their son were savagely attacked during a family vacation in the latest blow to Thailand's image as a welcoming tourist paradise. Japan is abandoning a quarter-of-a-billion-dollar satellite it sent to study black holes, disappointed space scientists said on Thursday, after spending a month trying to save it. After trekking nearly two hours through dense jungle, Brazilian government environmental special forces burst into a clearing where the trees had been sawed and a muddy crater dug: an illegal gold mine on indigenous land in the heart of the Amazon.
The miners and gold were already gone, scattered by the whir of helicopter blades, but armed troopers in camouflage burned the tents and generators.
The five-day operation last week, coordinated by Brazil's environmental agency Ibama and Indian foundation Funai, found 15 air strips and destroyed 20 barges used to transport equipment and supplies by the estimated 5,000 illegal miners in the vast remote region. At more than 29.5 million hectares, the Yanomami people's territory is twice the size of Switzerland and home to around 27,000 indigenous people.
The land has legally belonged to the Yanomami since 1992, but miners continue to exploit the area, sawing down trees and poisoning rivers with mercury in their lust for gold.
A study published last month by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, a public biomedical research group, found that in some Yanomami villages, 92 percent of residents suffered from mercury poisoning. High mercury exposure harms the nervous, digestive and immune systems, can lead to impaired vision and hearing, and can be fatal. Last week's raid was considered a success but Ibama's operation leader Roberto Cabral said the miners will probably be back. From a base in the Tepequem mountains on the frontier with Venezuela, three helicopters flew the 35-person team for an hour and a half to the banks of the majestic Uraricoera River. From there it was another hour or two on foot, cutting aside branches and wading through waist-high mud, to reach the mines. For Fiona Watson, who works for the activist group Survival International and has campaigned for the Yanomami since 1990, any long-term solution must be based on having more people on the ground, graver punishments and a focus on those hiring the miners and supplying equipment. An agent takes cover as an illegal gold dredge burns down on the banks of Uraricoera River during an operation against illegal gold mining in the heart of the Amazon rain forest on April 15.
So powerful was the indoctrination during his 20-month captivity in Iraq and Syria that the boy told his mother he wanted to stay at the camp where the Islamic State had trained him to kill "infidels", including his own people. Now in the relative safety of Kurdish-controlled territory, Murad's mother said how she had struggled to persuade her son - like other Yazidi boys being prepared for battle - to escape earlier this month with her and his little brother. Yazidi boys appear to be part of broader efforts by the IS to create a new generation of fighters loyal to the group's ideology and inured to its extreme violence.
The IS captured Murad, his mother and brother in August 2014 at their village near the Iraqi town of Sinjar. The United States launched airstrikes against the militants partly to save the survivors and last month said the attacks on Yazidis, whose faith combines elements of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Islam, and other groups amounted to genocide.
More than one third of the 5,000 Yazidis captured in 2014 have escaped or been smuggled out, but activists said hundreds of boys are still held.
Murad, wearing a jersey of the Spanish soccer club Real Madrid, sat with his mother on the floor of a Spartan trailer in Qadiya camp, twiddling his thumbs and resisting answering questions. The IS dressed the boys in the same long robes they wore, and trained them how to use guns and knives. Around 750 other children have escaped in recent months but a few thousand more remain missing.


Close to 200 dogs, including Golden Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, Rottweilers, Japanese Tosas and Korean Jindo dogs, paced in circles inside the small wire cages, barking furiously at their rescuers. The dogs in Gong's farm, one of thousands across the country, were bred specifically for consumption and confined in their cages from birth until slaughtered for their meat.
Gong's business is the fifth and the largest dog meat farm to be closed down by the US-based Humane Society International, and Gong said he was happy to get out.
A poll conducted by Gallup Korea last year showed that only 20 percent of men in their 20s consumed dog meat in the past year, compared to half of those in their 50s and 60s. Gong also noted that the increasing popularity of dogs as domestic pets had played a large part in reducing demand for their meat.
The HSI rescued a total of 225 dogs last year, closing down four farms in what they call a "constructive and collaborative" approach to phase out an industry that has long been criticized by international animal welfare groups. In return for shuttering his business for good, a farmer receives up to $60,000 - depending on the number of dogs being bred - that can be used as seed money for a more "humane" farm, growing anything from blueberries to green peppers. Through its well-publicized rescues, HSI seeks to raise awareness about the cruelty of dog meat farms and "initiate a conversation with South Korean policymakers," the group's campaign manager Andrew Plumbly said. South Korea is preparing to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, and Plumbly said the global publicity surrounding the event provided an opportunity to push for change. The South Korean authorities are sensitive to the negative publicity attached to the dog meat industry, and dog restaurants in Seoul were shut down ahead of the 1988 Summer Olympics. Gong, who stumbled into the dog meat industry after many failed business attempts, admits he was "never proud" of his farm, which only ever earned him a modest living. In a normal year, he would sell around 200 animals, with an average price - depending on size - of about $200. Running a dog farm in South Korea requires no special license, although Gong said there were regular government checks to ensure neighbors weren't being disturbed and dog waste was being properly disposed of.
Gabriel Wildgen, right, and Abbey Herbert of the Humane Society International transfer a dog from a cage to a crate before transport during a publicized rescue event involving the closure of a dog farm in Wonju, southeast of Seoul, on Wednesday. Australia's hard line immigration policy was thrown into turmoil on Wednesday after Papua New Guinea ordered a processing camp to close, leaving the fate of hundreds of asylum-seekers hanging in the balance. The move to shutter the Australian-funded Manus island facility follows a Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday that detaining people there was unconstitutional and illegal.
Piling further pressure on Canberra, just weeks out from an expected election campaign, an Iranian refugee set himself on fire during a visit by UN officials to Nauru, the other Pacific nation where Australia sends boat people. Four others on the tiny outpost reportedly attempted suicide by drinking washing powder on Tuesday. Papua New Guinea's former opposition leader Belden Namah had challenged the Manus arrangement in court, claiming it violated the rights of asylum-seekers, leading to the center's closure.
In a 34-page finding on Tuesday, the Supreme Court found that detaining them on the island was "contrary to their constitutional right of personal liberty". Despite this, Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton remained adamant that none of the 850 or so men held there would come to his country and that the government's policy designed to deter others wanting to make the risky journey would not change.
Canberra currently has an arrangement with Cambodia, along with Papua New Guinea, to resettle those found to be refugees, although only a handful have taken up the option. Australian media have reported that it is also trying to negotiate deals with Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The court ruled that Australia and Papua New Guinea must "take all steps necessary to cease and prevent" the continued detention of asylum-seekers and transferees on Manus. Earlier this month, the gurdwara in Peshawar's crowded Old City opened its doors to worshippers for the first time in 73 years. On Friday, a Sikh leader and provincial lawmaker was shot and killed outside his home in a remote area in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province, some 140 kilometers from Peshawar. It also added to human rights activists' despair over rising violence against religious minorities in Pakistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting of Sardar Suran Singh, but police disputed their claim, blaming the shooting on political rivalry and saying they had arrested the culprit. Peshawar is a deeply conservative city at the foot of the mountainous Khyber Pass - once a popular route for traders and tourists traveling to nearby Afghanistan, now the focus of an extremist insurgency. The newly-opened gurdwara has a 24-hour Sikh Security detail as well as police guards, but their Muslim neighbors believe an attack is inevitable. Gohar Iqbal, a bookseller who works at a busy stall opposite the temple was certain the building would be targeted by militants. President Nicolas Maduro had already given most of Venezuela's 2.8 million state workers Fridays off during April and May to cut down on power consumption. Drought has reduced water levels at Venezuela's main dam and hydroelectric plant in Guri to near-critical levels.
Water shortages and electricity cuts have added to the hardships of Venezuela's 30 million people, already enduring a brutal recession, shortages of basics from milk to medicines and soaring prices. Maduro, 53, who succeeded the late Hugo Chavez in 2013 and is facing an opposition push to remove him through a recall referendum, appealed for understanding and support.
After months of unscheduled outages, the government began programmed electricity rationing this week across most of Venezuela, except the capital Caracas, prompting sporadic protests in some cities. Maduro has also changed the clocks so there is half an hour more daylight in the evening, urged women to reduce use of appliances like hairdryers, and ordered malls to provide their own generators.
Regarding the public sector measure, the government is excluding workers in sensitive sectors such as food.
UK officials announced on Tuesday that the famous bell of Parliament will fall silent for several months during repairs to its crumbling clock tower. The work, due to begin in January 2017 and last three years, is the biggest repair job on the tower for decades - and Steve Jaggs, Parliament's Keeper of the Great Clock, said it can't wait much longer.
Jaggs said the $42 million renovation will include work to repair corrosion to the cast-iron roof and to stop water seepage that threatens to damage the stonework on the 160-year-old building. The huge clock, which has run almost uninterrupted since 1859, will be stopped for several months so that Parliament's clockmakers can work on the spring that holds the 4-meter pendulum and remove the hands from each of the four faces.
The 13.7-ton Big Ben bell will cease to sound the hours while the clock is stopped, and will be cleaned and checked for cracks. Officially named the Elizabeth Tower in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, the structure is one of London's most famous landmarks. The sound of the bongs became associated with Britain during wartime BBC news broadcasts, and is still played live each day on BBC radio through a microphone in the belfry. The repair work will use traditional methods and materials as much as possible, but a couple of modernizations are planned.
The 28 light bulbs behind each of the four clock faces will be replaced with LED bulbs that can change color, so the clock tower can be tinted to mark major celebrations. A year later, the five experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights are going home without an answer for the desperate parents of the young men missing since September 2014. But they leave behind a blistering account of the government's investigation - a report on Sunday that accused authorities of stonewalling them in their quest for new information and of possibly torturing suspects. Before their mission formally ends on Saturday, two of the experts said they are now concerned about how the parents, who have a tense relationship with the government and wanted the experts to stay, will be treated. The experts also voiced hope that the government will follow their recommendations and use their conclusions to improve the country's judicial system. Fellow Colombian lawyer Alejandro Valencia said the government has a "duty to guarantee it will investigate this grave human rights case". At the request of the parents, the government invited Valencia and Buitrago, along with a Chilean lawyer, a former Guatemalan attorney general and a Spanish psychologist, to help in the investigation.
President Enrique Pena Nieto faced international outrage and protests before his administration invited them to help resolve a case that became a symbol of the tens of thousands of deaths and disappearances in a decade-old drug war. When the experts arrived, the government had already concluded that the students vanished after they were abducted by municipal police in the southern city of Iguala on the night of Sept 26-27, 2014. Prosecutors said the officers delivered the 43 young men to a drug gang, which killed them and incinerated their bodies at a garbage dump. But parents of the students never bought that story, especially after the experts said in a September report that there was no scientific proof that the teachers-in-training were burned at the dump. The parents are from the impoverished state of Guerrero and their sons were in school to become teachers in rural areas.
Pena Nieto has been criticized for only meeting twice with the parents, though other officials have held several meetings with them to give them updates about the investigation.
Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton rolled up wins in Northeastern states on Tuesday in a major show of strength and immediately turned their fire on each other in a possible preview of a general election matchup. Trump easily defeated rivals John Kasich and Ted Cruz in all five states that held contests, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware, with his margin of victory rivaling that in his home state of New York a week ago. Supporters and opponents of Trump clashed in California on Tuesday, and five people, including two little girls, were pepper-sprayed by a demonstrator during the heated confrontation, police said. No serious injuries and no arrests were reported in the clash as about 50 people confronted each other in the Orange County community. Clinton, already in control of the Democratic race, defeated challenger Bernie Sanders in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. The two front-runners used their victory rallies to snipe at each other in the kind of back and forth that will take place should they win their party's nominations and face off in the Nov 8 election to succeed President Barack Obama. Trump criticized Clinton's record as secretary of state and her vote as a US senator from New York in support of the Iraq war. Clinton, in a victory speech in Philadelphia, took aim at Trump for accusing her of trying to "play the woman card".
For the Republicans, the Northeastern battles set the stage for a big contest next week in Indiana. Of 118 committed delegates available on Tuesday, Trump took 105, raising his total delegates to 950.
Clinton's victories on Tuesday gave her 2,141 delegates, pushing her closer to the 2,383 needed for the nomination. Donald Trump's highly anticipated foreign policy speech will test whether the Republican presidential front-runner known for his raucous rallies and eyebrow-raising statements can present a more presidential persona. Trump's campaign said his speech on Wednesday will focus on "several critical foreign policy issues" such as trade, the global economy and national security. Trump has a lot to prove when it comes to calming foreign leaders and policy professionals.
The case began when students at Hijla High School in Bagerhat district complained that the assistant teacher of a science class on Sunday dismissed the Quran as the word of Allah and said there was no heaven, Magistrate Anwar Parvez told The Associated Press late on Tuesday.
The students, aged 17 to 18, along with others from a nearby Islamic school became incensed when the high school's head teacher backed up his colleague.
The magistrate of the quick-ruling court said the assistant teacher pleaded guilty to publicly insulting religion, and the two were sentenced to six months behind bars.
The law against insulting religion, imposed when Britain ruled the Indian Subcontinent, is rarely used and aimed at preventing communal clashes and inciting violence. The Muslim-majority country - politically fractured between secularists and those wanting Islamic rule - has been roiled by an ongoing wave of deadly attacks on atheist writers, religious minorities and activists over the last two years.
On Monday, a gang of young men stabbed two men to death in Dhaka, including the editor of a gay rights magazine who also worked for the US Agency for International Development. Eleven men were shot dead in Cape Verde on Tuesday, including eight soldiers, a local civilian and two Spanish citizens, the minister of Internal Administration for the archipelago off the African coast said. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Wednesday announced that the ruling Workers' Party of Korea will hold its 7th Congress in Pyongyang, the capital of DPRK, on May 6, the country's official news agency KCNA reported. An overloaded truck carrying garment workers swerved and flipped over after a tire exploded on Wednesday, leaving 70 passengers injured, authorities said. Chile reburied Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda's remains on Tuesday after exhuming them to determine whether he was assassinated by late dictator Augusto Pinochet's government - a mystery that still lingers. Syria peace talks in Geneva will resume on May 10, Russia's RIA news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov as saying on Wednesday.
Bangladeshi Muslims attend the funeral of Xulhaz Mannan who was killed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Tuesday. The Bangladeshi prime minister has vowed to hunt down and prosecute those who fatally stabbed two men, including a gay rights activist who worked for the US Agency for International Development. The killings on Monday night were the latest in an ongoing wave of attacks claimed by radical Islamists and targeting the country's outspoken atheists, moderates and foreigners. The victims were identified as USAID employee Xulhaz Mannan, who previously worked as a US Embassy protocol officer, and his friend, theater actor Tanay Majumder. Mannan, a cousin of former Foreign Minister Dipu Moni of the governing party, was also an editor of Bangladesh's first gay rights magazine, Roopbaan, and Majumder sometimes helped him with the publishing, local media said. US Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the "barbaric" murders, issuing a statement from Washington that said the US government would support Bangladeshi efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice. Police said no arrests have been made in the attack, which involved at least five young men who posed as courier service employees to gain access to Mannan's apartment building.
On the morning of April 26, 1986, no one could yet tell that a meltdown in reactor 4 of the nuclear plant in then-Soviet Ukraine was poisoning the air with so much deadly radioactivity that it would become the world's worst nuclear accident. Now, as some survivors returned to their hometown of Pripyat on the eve of the anniversary, memories of confusion and sacrifice abound. She only realized something might be wrong that day 30 years before when her husband, Valeriy, didn't come back from his night shift as a foreman at the stricken reactor. She left her apartment in Pripyat, a model Soviet town built in the 1970s to house Chernobyl workers and their families, to look for him. He was airlifted to Moscow for treatment, but died 45 days later - one of the 31 to die of acute radiation sickness in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.
Elena Kupriyanova, 42, was only 12 when she was evacuated from Pripyat, which lies in the 2,600 square km 'exclusion zone' that has remained largely uninhabited by law since the disaster. Her family and most of the town's 50,000 other residents were transported out of the area in buses on April 27 and told to pack only the bare essentials because they would only be away for three days. A rare inscription found on a stone unearthed near Florence is exciting archaeologists who say it may help reveal the secrets of the Etruscans, one of Italy's earliest and most enigmatic civilizations.
The Etruscans flourished in central Italy 2,500 years ago but their culture and language were assimilated into the Roman empire. Etruscans usually wrote longer texts on perishable linen or wax, so archaeologists excavating in Tuscany's Mugello Valley were delighted when they found a 200-kilogram sandstone slab, inscribed with more than 100 characters, in the foundations of a buried temple.
The stone has been painstakingly cleaned and, although the inscription is yet to be formally deciphered, experts are starting to understand its full significance.
The stone could yield a new perspective because it was found in a religious sanctuary rather than one of the burial sites from which archaeologists have gathered most of their understanding of Etruscan life. It lay flat in the temple's foundations but appears to have stood upright previously, leaving unanswered questions about its original function. A careful cleanup, applying paper pulp and distilled water, seems to have already revealed the names of the two most important gods in the Etruscan pantheon: Tina and Uni, equivalent to the Roman Jupiter and Juno or Greek Zeus and Hera.
Unlike many ancient relics which are found out of context, having been illegally dug up or moved from Italy's archaeological sites, the researchers hope the stone can document local history in the tract of land between modern Fiesole and Bologna, once major Etruscan cities. The Philippine military came under increased pressure on Tuesday to rescue more than 20 foreign hostages after their Muslim extremist captors beheaded a Canadian man, but troops face a dilemma in how to succeed and also ensure the safety of the remaining captives. Abu Sayyaf gunmen beheaded John Ridsdel on Monday in the southern densely forested province of Sulu, sparking condemnations and prompting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to pledge to help the Philippines pursue the extremists behind the "heinous act". Ridsdel's head, which was placed in a plastic bag, was dumped by motorcycle-riding militants on Monday night in Jolo town in impoverished Sulu, about 950 kilometers south of Manila, where the Abu Sayyaf and allied gunmen are believed to be holding 22 foreign hostages from six countries.
It's a politically-sensitive time to carry out major offensives at the height of campaigning in a closely-fought race by four contenders in May 9 presidential elections.
President Benigno Aquino III and opposition politicians have had differences over the handling of the Muslim insurgencies and the poverty and social ills that foster it.
The Philippine military and police said "there will be no letup" in the effort to combat the militants and find the hostages, even though they have had little success in safely securing their freedom. About 2,000 military personnel, backed by Huey and MG520 rocket-firing helicopters and artillery, were involved in the manhunt for the militants, who were believed to be massing in Sulu's mountainous Patikul town, military officials said. Among the 22 hostages are 14 Indonesians who were kidnapped from tugboats in two separate incidences.
In past militant videos posted online, Ridsdel and fellow Canadian Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipino Marites Flor were shown sitting in a clearing with heavily armed militants standing behind them.
A girl does her homdwork by candlelight at home during a power cut in a San Cristobal in the state of Tachira,Venezuela ,on Monday.The government has ordered the rolling blackouts in 18 of 24 states ro save enetgy. As if daily life in Venezuela wasn't hard enough, people across the crisis-wracked South American country will now have to add electricity to the long list of things they'll have to do without. The charges, relating to a multi-billion dollar arms deal, were dropped by the chief state prosecutor in a move that cleared the way for Zuma to be elected president.
The eastern state of Bihar banned cooking between 9 am and 6 pm after accidental fires exacerbated by dry, hot and windy weather swept through shantytowns and thatched-roof houses in villages and killed 79 people. SANA also said there were more deaths and injuries from rebel mortar attacks which hit the Bab al-Faraj and al-Midan quarters of Aleppo on Friday. The chopper was transporting workers from a North Sea offshore oil field when it crashed around midday near the shoreline off the coast of Bergen, Norway's second biggest city.


So far we have not seen any sign of survivors," Sola rescue center spokesman Anders Bang Andersen told reporters. Reinhold Hanning told the Detmold state court on Friday that he had never talked about his service in Auschwitz from January 1942 to June 1944, even to family, but wanted to use his trial as an opportunity to apologize. The request was handed to the prosecutor general's office on Friday, according to lawmaker Taulant Balla.
He was charged with attempts to overthrow the DPRK government and undermine its social system under the guise of conducting religious exchanges over 18 years. The English translation would be something like "Switchover" - suggesting that he switches political parties easily for personal gains. Seaweed still dangled from its mouth, and only a few patches of grey-black skin were left on the body, which was a light beige color from the fat underneath. California parks officials said it would be impractical to tow the whale out to sea or bury it at San Onofre State Beach in San Diego County.
It's something that even I find it difficult, can you imagine the Syrians?" de Mistura said, adding he aimed to resume talks in May, though he gave no date.
But he gave no sign of ceding to the HNC's central demand for a political transition without President Bashar Assad.
It warned the economy would shrink 8 percent this year and inflation would exceed 700 percent. There are areas that have been nearly 10 hours without electricity and that has made people even more annoyed," said Doris Falcon, a Maracaibo resident.
That followed the start of daily four-hour electricity blackouts in several states on Monday, which Maduro said would last 40 days. Berton said the 26-year-old was being sent to Fleury-Merogis, a massive, high-security prison about 30 kilometers south of Paris, where he is due to be held in isolation in a special camera-equipped cell until his next hearing on May 20. The express transfer surprised even Berton, who had to rush from Lille to join his client at Paris' Palace of Justice, arriving in the early afternoon. A ROK official said that the DPRK launched a projectile, estimated to have been a Musudan missile, at about 6:40 am local time from the Wonsan area in northeastern DPRK. The Soyuz 2.1a booster blasted off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East in the early hours Moscow time on Thursday. The female attacker blew herself up near an Ottoman-era mosque in Bursa's historic district on Wednesday.
Jetstar, a subsidiary of Australia's national airline Qantas, allows pregnant women to fly up until the end of their 40th week of the pregnancy for flights shorter than four hours, but passengers were surprised when a woman went into labor midway through the flight. The ultra-high-tech "Hitomi" - or "eye" - was launched in February to find X-rays emanating from black holes and galaxy clusters. While miners once killed the Yanomami with guns or disease - nearly 20 percent of the population was wiped out in the 1980s - today the threat is the toxic liquid metal used to separate gold from grit.
The results shocked experts, who believe mercury is entering the food chain through fish in polluted rivers. We're not able to arrest them, there's no space in the helicopter," he said, sweat pouring down his face in the middle of the steamy jungle.
Beyond the equipment, authorities have been hunting for clues on the illicit business interests behind the miners. With Brazil suffering through its worst recession in a century, Funai's budget for 2016 was cut by 24 percent, while Ibama had its spending reduced by 30 percent. During that offensive, the radical Sunni Muslim group massacred, enslaved and raped thousands of Yazidis, whom they consider to be devil-worshippers. The group also forced Murad to pray, study the Quran and sit through extremist religious lessons, according to his mother, who said she had been beaten as well as raped by at least 14 men. He kept a watchful eye on everyone who passed him on the narrow street, looking for a suspicious gesture, or a bulge beneath the clothes that hints at a hidden gun or a bomb. The reopening was celebrated by Pakistan's tiny Sikh minority, but security is a constant concern.
The murder of Sardar Suran Singh devastated the Sikh community and heightened their fears of militant attacks.
It is increasingly intolerant," said Zohra Yusuf, chairwoman of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
Militants have attacked Peshawar schools, killing children as they studied, bombed buses of government workers and attacked Christians in their churches. The vast majority migrated to India in 1947, the year Pakistan was created as a homeland for Muslims of the subcontinent. They are easily identifiable because of their tightly wound and often colorful turbans, and because they share the surname Singh. With all these measures, we are going to save it," he said, adding that the daily drop in water level had slowed to 10 centimeters from 20.
Mario Cesar Gonzalez, whose son Julio Cesar is among the missing, said the families "don't trust any authority". They've been stunned by his often brash policy proclamations, like his vow to bar foreign Muslims from entering the country. A mob including students, parents and villagers attacked the teachers with sticks, forcing them to lock themselves in a room until police intervened, Parvez said. International governments and aid groups have implored the Bangladeshi government to do more to safeguard free speech. The men were killed at a telecommunications site at Monte Tchota, Minister Paulo Rocha said.
The congress will be the first major conference in 36 years and the first under the current DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un.
The truck was packed with 75 people and far over capacity, which caused the one of its rear tires to explode. That would mark the first time the nation has been a net importer of the sweetener in four years, with the switch likely to support global prices that have already been rising this year. Three years after they were disinterred to be tested for traces of poison, Neruda's remains were returned to his grave at his former home in the resort town of Isla Negra in line with his last wishes.
The prime minister accused the country's opposition party and allied militants of orchestrating the attack.
He said a member of the patrol team briefly caught one of the suspects, but he managed to escape. All the rooms are empty, the glass is gone from the windows and everything's destroyed," said Zoya Perevozchenko, 66. Returning to Pripyat, she found it hard to reconcile the memories of her life there with the derelict ruins of a town abandoned for three decades. They left behind lavish tombs, pottery and statues but tantalizingly few written documents and patchy evidence of their daily lives. It seems to be "a sacred text that may reveal to us parts of the belief system of the Etruscans".
Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Tuesday that his country will host talks with Malaysia and the Philippines to boost maritime security following those hijackings. That question revolves around the manner of Christ's coming back to this earth at the end of the world. First, He will come secretly to take the church to heaven, and then, seven years later, He will come in an open demonstration of power and glory. According to the two-stage teaching of His coming, both groups would not grow together until the end of the world.
And how could the "last trump" sound if it really wasn't the very last moment of time? In an attempt to uphold their contrived theory, the rapturists quote Matthew 24:40, 41 out of context. Those who entered the ark in Noah's day were saved, and those who refused to enter the ark were left outside. But, actually, instead of teaching two separate events, the Greek terms are used interchangeably in the Bible. But they have been repeated so often that millions have assumed that they must be soundly biblical. Whatever else may be taught in Revelation 3: 10, it is evident that no extra coming of Christ is indicated.
In Daniel 9:24-27 God made a daring prophecy concerning the probation of the nation of Israel. They do this by stating that it is Antichrist that causes the sacrifice and oblation to cease after three and one-half years. Paul settles the entire matter for us in the first few verses of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2.
Revelation 20:4 assures us that some of those who are raised in the first resurrection will be those who refused to worship the beast and receive his mark! At the time of the Reformation, most of the reformers understood the prophecy of the Antichrist to refer to the great apostate system of Romanism that developed during the Middle Ages. The teaching spread to the United States in the 1850s and 1860s, where it was to receive its biggest boost when Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, a strong believer in Darby's teachings, incorporated it into the notes of his Scofield Reference Bible, which was published in 1909. As we have noticed, the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus Christ will come the second time in glorious majesty to take His redeemed home with Him. Speaking at a parliamentary session last week, Berisha accused the government of having links to crime gangs and urged Albanians to get weapons to protect themselves. The official said the launch appeared to have failed as the projectile was believed to have crashed several seconds after liftoff. The Roscosmos space agency said in a statement that the three satellites the rocket was carrying orbited several hours later. A video of the attack, which was captured by overhead security cameras, has stirred shock and outrage over its brutality and the ages of the victims, a 65-year-old woman and 68-year-old man from Scotland and their 43-year-old son. But shortly after the expensive technology reached orbit, researchers admitted they had lost control of it and said it was no longer communicating. The Sikhs that lived in the area and attended the gurdwara left when it closed in the 1940s. The CIA Factbook estimates that 3.6 percent of Pakistan's 180 million people are non-Muslims, including Sikhs, Christians and Hindus.
The Spaniards were telecommunications technicians working at the site and the local civilian was a co-worker. Damascus said on Tuesday that it had held a final session of talks with de Mistura in a "useful and productive round".
In between those two events, the Antichrist is supposed to come into power and the great tribulation period takes place. Now why would Jesus promise to be with the church until the end of the world if He intended to come seven years before the end to take them out of the world?
Only as we accept all that the Bible says can we be safe from such deceptive teachings that are confusing millions of sincere Christians today concerning this most glorious event of all ages, the second coming of Jesus Christ. Why would Christians be exhorted to keep hoping to the very end of the world for the grace brought through the revelation of Christ if their real hope was a secret rapture seven years before the revelation?
Let's take a look at some of the texts that have been used to support the doctrine of a two-phase coming of Christ. Jesus completely clarified the meaning by something He said in John 17:6, 15 which sounds very similar. There is not one single scriptural reference that ties the seven years to the end of the world or the coming of Christ.
But Daniel states that it is Jesus who caused the sacrificial system of the Jews to cease when He died on the cross. How completely this demolishes the futuristic school of prophetic interpretation is evident, for they claim that the emergence of the Antichrist and the imposition of his mark are to be looked for after the first resurrection and what they call the secret rapture. In the Scottish church pastored by Edward Irving, a Miss Margaret McDonald gave what was believed at the time to be an inspired utterance.
Since that time, this view has been widely accepted - often by people who are completely unaware that this was not the belief held by Christians over the centuries. It will be a personal, visible, and earthshaking event that everyone alive will know about. Parliament has suspended Berisha for 10 days, prompting his opposition Democratic Party to boycott Parliament. This shows that the coming (parousia) of Christ and the revelation (apokalupsis) of Christ are the same event.
The fact is that there are many Scriptures that admonish Christians to wait and watch for the coming of the Lord.
Most rapturist literature mentions the seven-year tribulation period without offering any Bible proof or explanation. A misinterpretation that confuses something Christ has done, and applies it to the devil instead, is certainly a tragic occurrence. These texts clearly describe the coming (parousia) of Christ as taking place after the reign of the man of sin, not as an escape rapture before the reign of the Antichrist begins.
In fact, it is only after a person has already assumed that Christ will return in two separate comings that these verses could even suggest the idea. Let us carefully study our Bibles that we will not be deceived concerning this most important and wonderful hope, the second coming of Jesus. Froom, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol 2, Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950, pp. The heavens and earth could not pass away seven years before the world ends - that is the end! Please notice that God was going to allow Daniel's people seventy weeks to see what they would do with the Messiah when He appeared. Daniel 9:25 says that the Messiah would be anointed after sixty-nine of those prophetic weeks had passed by.
They agree that the sixty-nine weeks of Daniel 9:25 refer to the period before Christ's first advent, but then they insert a 2,000-year gap before the seventieth week is fulfilled. 484-510.)a€?a€?2Dave MacPherson, The Incredible Cover-Up, Logos International, 1975, Omega Publications, Medford, OR. 484-510.)2Dave MacPherson, The Incredible Cover-Up, Logos International, 1975, Omega Publications, Medford, OR. Yet Paul declares that the saints are caught up to meet the Lord at the same time the dead in Christ are raised. The seventy weeks are prophetic time, and each day represents a literal year (Ezekiel 4:6). Another three and a half years would lead up to the end of the seventy weeks and the end of Jewish probation.
So the seventy weeks would be a literal period of 490 years, after which the Israelites would no longer be God's people. The text that is used to prove the rapture is seen actually to forbid the saints being taken out of this world during the time of trouble. 27, the very year that Jesus was baptized by John and the Holy Spirit anointed Him for His ministry. The Jews had rejected the gospel message and were no longer God's people - just as Daniel had predicted. Henceforth they could be saved only as individuals, in exactly the same way as the Gentiles.
A  I learned something from every man I met or exchanged emails with, and Lou taught me a few words in Spanish.A  Ole! We can take a little walk, maybe get our feet wet, and then lie on a blanket and listen to the waves.
I do the same thing myself, when the mood strikes.A  And how about this for being an "in tune with women" kinda guy?A  A few days after I had ordered myself 2 new green dresses and several in black to add to my collection from a mail order company named Newport News, he sent an email asking:A  "So, what are you wearing right now? A  For Christ Sake!!A  How about saving the Taxpayers a buck?A  In addition to that $6 million you've already blown by hovering and covering me, and scheduling a proper Face to Base meeting in your office; at my convenience? Dramatic, but no drama.A  Short black skirt, or long black dress?A  Heels or boots?A  Camo, or commando?
Until then, as in the end,there is much more to come.A A A  Once Upon a Time, a little mushroom popped through the moss covered ground of the Southeast Alaska Rainforest.
Grant, Attorney at Law, Juneau, AK From Wedding Bells to Tales to Tell: The Affidavit of Eric William Swanson, my former spouse AFFIDAVIT OF SHANNON MARIE MCCORMICK, My Former Best Friend THE AFFIDAVIT OF VALERIE BRITTINA ROSE, My daughter, aged 21 THE BEAGLE BRAYS! HELL'S BELLS: THE TELLS OF THE ELVES RING LOUD AND CLEAR IDENTITY THEFT, MISINFORMATION, AND THE GETTING THE INFAMOUS RUNAROUND Double Entendre and DoubleSpeak, Innuendos and Intimidation, Coercion v Common Sense, Komply (with a K) v Knowledge = DDIICCKK; Who's Gunna Call it a Draw?



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