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AP Explains: Who competes and how Carnival parades judged

Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 3:17pm

Rio de Janeiro's Carnival parade is world famous for the samba dancing, costumes that leave little to the imagination and the magnificent floats that roll down Avenida Marques de Sapucai, also known as the "sambadrome." For the competitors, getting to the big show is months in the making.

Deadly insurgent attack in Homs weighs on UN-led Syria talks

Jamey Keaten and Dominique Soguel, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 2:46pm

A deadly terrorist attack in central Syria on Saturday threatened to thwart efforts to wrest a political solution at peace talks in Geneva, with the U.N. mediator decrying "spoilers" who try to derail the efforts to end the country's disastrous six-year war.

In a blow, twin attacks on Syrian security kill at least 32

Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 1:49pm

In synchronized attacks, insurgents stormed into heavily guarded security offices in Syria's central Homs city, clashed with troops and then blew themselves up, killing a senior officer and at least 31 others, state media and officials reported.

Britain agrees $150 million loan guarantee to Egypt on visit

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 1:21pm

Britain on Saturday finalized a $150 million loan guarantee to Egypt, where Boris Johnson was on his first visit to the country as Foreign Secretary and as a human rights organization urged him to speak about what they described as "appalling" abuses.

Thousands rally in Romania to back beleaguered govt

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 12:04pm

Thousands of people turned out for a pro-government rally Saturday in southern Romania, hoping to boost the popularity of the center-left government following massive anti-corruption protests.

Syria envoy to Geneva talks demands opposition groups denounce attacks in Homs, says it a test of their commitment

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 11:45am

Syria envoy to Geneva talks demands opposition groups denounce attacks in Homs, says it a test of their commitment.

Albanian police sue opposition leader, say he urged violence

Llazar Semini, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 11:26am

Albanian police have sued the leader of the country's opposition Democratic Party for allegedly inciting calls for violence.

The Latest: IS fighters in Syria's Homs target gas pipeline

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 11:16am

The Latest on the developments in the Syrian conflict (all times local):

Conditions deteriorate in west Mosul as Iraqi advances slow

Susannah George, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 10:37am

The Iraqi advance into Mosul's western half slowed Saturday as combat turned to urban warfare and Iraqi forces met stiff resistance from the Islamic State group. Hundreds of civilians poured out of Mosul on foot following the advances, but the vast majority of 750,000 estimated to still be in the city's west remain trapped, and describe deteriorating humanitarian and security conditions.

Zimbabwe's Mugabe marks 93rd birthday in opposition area

Christopher Torchia, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 9:02am

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe celebrated his 93rd birthday Saturday amid granite hills where ancient spirits are said to dwell, defying calls to resign after nearly four decades in power in a region known for opposing the man who says he'll run again in 2018 elections.

Azerbaijani soldiers are killed in Karabakh fighting

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 8:36am

Several Azerbaijani soldiers have been killed during fighting in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, Azerbaijan said Saturday as it and neighboring Armenia traded blame for an outbreak of violence.

Israel military fire tear gas to disperse Lebanese protest

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 7:55am

Israel's military fired tear gas across the border into Lebanon on Saturday, breaking up a small Lebanese protest against cameras installed there, Lebanon's National News agency reported.

Afghan official: IS militants kill 11 in mosque ambush

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 7:45am

At least 10 police officers and the wife of a police commander were killed in an ambush by Islamic States group militants in northern Zawzjan province, a provincial official said.

Kurdish journalist killed covering Iraq's battle for Mosul

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 7:20am

A local Kurdish news organization says one of their presenters was killed covering the Mosul operation and another of their journalists was wounded. 

Myanmar police blame grudge, not army, for lawyer's murder

Esther Htusan, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 6:20am

The assassination of a prominent legal adviser to Myanmar's government was the result of a personal political grudge and not part of a bigger conspiracy by the military, senior security officials said Saturday.

Protesters mark Philippine revolt by condemning killings

Jim Gomez, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 6:14am

Hundreds of left-wing and pro-democracy activists on Saturday marked the anniversary of the 1986 revolt that ousted Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos to warn about what they say are the incumbent president's dictatorial tendencies and condemn his decision to allow Marcos to be buried in a heroes' cemetery.

Merkel formally nominated for German election run

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 5:00am

Angela Merkel's conservatives have formally nominated the German chancellor as her party's top candidate for the September parliamentary election in the region where she has her political base.

Turkish PM launches 'yes' campaign over Erdogan powers

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 4:20am

Turkey's prime minister has officially launched his ruling party's campaign for a "yes" vote in a referendum on ushering a presidential system, which critics fear will concentrate too many powers in the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Inside the fight against IS sleeper cells in liberated Mosul

Susannah George and John Beck, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 25th - 2:54am

Two crudely armored pickup trucks cruised along an eastern Mosul highway. A masked Iraqi officer riding shotgun yelled "Go! Go! Go!" and switched the radio from Iraqi folk music to fast, patriotic battle hymns as the vehicles sped up and weaved through the busy afternoon traffic.