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Philippine rebels reject terror tag but still open to talks

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 9:48pm

Communist guerrillas say a Philippine government court petition to have them designated as terrorists is a desperate attempt to alienate them from the people and add they're "heaven and earth" different from extremists notorious for beheadings and other atrocities.

Mexican candidate: government erred in not going after arms

Mark Stevenson and E. Eduardo Castillo, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 9:02pm

Ruling-party presidential candidate Jose Antonio Meade said Wednesday the Mexican government made a mistake by focusing more on seizing drugs headed for the United States than on weapons headed into Mexico.

Mystery cloaks Japanese dad of 13 born from Thai surrogates

Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 8:32pm

A Japanese businessman who won legal custody of his 13 children born from surrogates in Thailand is virtually anonymous in his home country.

AP Exclusive: Migrant recounts his deportation from Israel

Rodney Muhumuza, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 7:29pm

Inside the immigration office in Tel Aviv, Yohannes Tesfagabr considered his options. He could not dare return to his native Eritrea, a country he risked his life to flee in 2010. He also hoped to avoid the fate of compatriots who languished in a notorious desert jail for illegally staying in Israel.

50 girls missing from Nigerian town after Boko Haram attack

Haruna Umar, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 7:20pm

About 50 girls have been missing since Boko Haram extremists attacked a village in northern Nigeria that has a girls' boarding school, provoking fears they may have kidnapped like those from the town of Chibok nearly four years ago.

Colombia arrests cop who got Escobar for money laundering

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 7:20pm

The Colombian cop who commanded the operation that killed drug kingpin Pablo Escobar has been arrested for laundering money on behalf of a demobilized right-wing militia.

Mexico judge rules arrest of alleged cartel boss was illegal

Mark Stevenson, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 6:32pm

A judge in Mexico ruled Wednesday that this week's arrest of an alleged top drug cartel boss in a city bordering Texas was illegal.

UN vote expected on 30-day cease-fire in Syria to help needy

Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 6:25pm

Sweden and Kuwait called for a vote Thursday on a U.N. resolution ordering a 30-day cease-fire throughout Syria to enable delivery of humanitarian aid to millions of people in acute need, and the evacuation of the critically sick and wounded.

Magnitude-4.8 quake strikes off Greek island of Zakynthos

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 5:52pm

Greek authorities say an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.8 has struck off the western island of Zakynthos, but no injuries or damage have been reported.

Ferry blast injures passengers in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 5:24pm

An explosion ripped through a ferry as it unloaded passengers in the Caribbean beach city of Playa del Carmen on Wednesday, hurting as many as 25 people, but authorities said none of the injuries were life-threatening.

Hospitals overwhelmed by bombing blitz of Damascus suburbs

Philip Issa and Zeina Karam, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 5:19pm

Doctors in Syria's rebel-controlled suburbs of Damascus said Wednesday they were unable to keep up with the staggering number of casualties, amid a ferocious bombing campaign by government forces that has targeted hospitals, apartment blocks and other civilian sites, killing and wounding hundreds of people in recent days.

Venezuela's Maduro calls for early Congress vote as well

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 4:44pm

President Nicolas Maduro is doubling-down on plans to concentrate power by calling Wednesday for early congressional elections to coincide with a presidential vote in April that opponents hours earlier said they would boycott unless steps are taken to ease fears it's rigged.

Former UN chief says Koreas dialogue must be kept alive

Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 4:41pm

Former U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday the dialogue between the two Koreas that began during the Winter Olympics must be kept alive so it can hopefully lead to reconciliation, peace and the denuclearization of North Korea.

Crews to leave Puerto Rico as $750M Fluor contract nears end

Danica Coto, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 4:26pm

Crews who are helping restore power in Puerto Rico as part of a $750 million federal contract will leave the U.S. territory soon as nearly a quarter of a million customers remain in the dark more than five months after Hurricane Maria, officials said Wednesday.

US Jewish group withdraws Holocaust video offensive to Poles

Vanessa Gera, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 4:22pm

A prominent Jewish-American foundation removed a video from YouTube which had sparked outrage in Poland and beyond on Wednesday with its provocative use of the historically inaccurate term "Polish Holocaust" to protest a controversial new Polish law criminalizing some comments about the Holocaust.

The Latest: Sweden, Kuwait call for UN vote on Syria

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 3:32pm

The Latest on the Syrian civil war (all times local):

French government unveils tough measures for asylum-seekers

Sylvie Corbet, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 2:32pm

French President Emmanuel Macron's government on Wednesday presented a bill to enforce tougher immigration rules, decried by human rights organizations as repressive toward asylum-seekers.

Vandalism, violent incidents mark Italy's election campaign

Frances D'Emilio, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 2:14pm

More acts of vandalism, intimidation and violence have been taking place during Italy's tense election campaign, including a bullet placed in mail destined for a candidate for Parliament, and the knifing of two people affixing campaign posters.

At least 44 dead as bus veers off cliff in Peru

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 21st - 1:38pm

A double-deck bus ran off the Panamerican Highway and tumbled 200 meters (about 650 feet) down a cliff in southern Peru on Wednesday, and police said at least 44 people died.