Saturday, January 31, 2015
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Serena Williams wins 6th Australian, 19th major title
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Serena Williams won her 19th Grand Slam title, continued her unbeaten run in six Australian Open finals and extended her decade-long domination of Maria Sharapova with a 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory despite a hacking cough on Saturday night.... 1/31/2015 12:10 PM

Italy's lawmakers elect Sergio Mattarella as president
ROME (AP) -- Italian lawmakers have elected Constitutional Court justice Sergio Mattarella on the third day of voting.... 1/31/2015 12:09 PM

Vatican hits sour note with women, but progress may come
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- A new Vatican outreach initiative to women hit a sour note before it even got off the ground: The sexy blonde on its Internet promo video came under such ridicule that it was quickly taken down.... 1/31/2015 11:59 AM

Former German president Richard von Weizsaecker dies at 94
BERLIN (AP) -- Former German President Richard von Weizsaecker, who declared Germany's World War II surrender a "day of liberation" for his country as he urged it to confront the Nazi past, and promoted reconciliation during a 10-year tenure that spanned the reunification of west and east, has died. He was 94.... 1/31/2015 11:57 AM

China offers up to $50K in cash for terror tips in Tibet
BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese authorities are offering up to 300,000 yuan ($50,000) for tips on terrorism activities in the Himalayan region of Tibet, the official Xinhua News Agency said Saturday.... 1/31/2015 10:54 AM

AU threatens South Sudan warring factions with sanctions
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) -- The African Union Saturday joined regional and international organizations in threatening South Sudan's warring factions with sanctions.... 1/31/2015 10:36 AM

Germany's Merkel says she doesn't see another Greek debt cut
BERLIN (AP) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel is underlining the refusal of Greece's European creditors to consider forgiving part of the debt-ridden country's rescue loans though stressing that Berlin's aim remains to keep Greece in the eurozone.... 1/31/2015 10:26 AM

Iraqi libraries ransacked by Islamic State group in Mosul
BAGHDAD (AP) -- When Islamic State group militants invaded the Central Library of Mosul earlier this month, they were on a mission to destroy a familiar enemy: other people's ideas.... 1/31/2015 9:19 AM

Officials say bombings kill 9 people around Iraq's capital
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Authorities in Iraq say bombings targeting public places and security forces have killed nine people in and around the capital, Baghdad.... 1/31/2015 9:14 AM

Family, diplomats say no new word on Islamic State hostages
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- The family of a Jordanian fighter pilot held by the Islamic State group said Saturday it has received no word on his fate since the militants threatened to kill him earlier this week.... 1/31/2015 9:05 AM

Japan self-censors images, words linked to hostage crisis
TOKYO (AP) -- Images or mentions of knives, ransom or blood - or anything else that can be seen alluding to the hostage crisis involving two Japanese in Syria - have been omitted. Some anime and other entertainment programs are altering, canceling or postponing episodes violating those sensitivities - typical of the kind of self-restraint shown here to avoid controversy.... 1/31/2015 9:01 AM

Philippine air force plane crashes at sea, killing 2 pilots
MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- The Philippine air force said one of its Italian-made light planes crashed at sea on a training mission Saturday, killing the two pilots.... 1/31/2015 8:53 AM

Anger, mourning in Pakistan after mosque bombing kills 59
ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Thousands of Shiites across Pakistan mourned and protested Saturday after a bombing at a Shiite mosque in the country killed at least 59 people.... 1/31/2015 8:45 AM

5 given preliminary charges over jihadi network in France
PARIS (AP) -- French authorities have laid preliminary charges against five men suspected of involvement in a jihadi recruiting network in a small southern town from where several youths went to fight in Syria and Iraq.... 1/31/2015 8:06 AM

Is he dead? Philippines awaits answer of costly terror raid
MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- The cellphone message of the Filipino police commandos to their base was triumphant: "Mike 1 bingo," a code meaning they have killed one of Southeast Asia's most-wanted terror suspects, Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan.... 1/31/2015 6:55 AM

IS hostage drama shows change in propaganda technique
BEIRUT (AP) -- The latest Islamic State hostage drama involving a veteran Japanese war correspondent and a young Jordanian pilot marks the first time the group has publicly demanded prisoner releases. It also signals a change in the extremist group's propaganda technique.... 1/31/2015 6:50 AM

Beijing Winter Olympics bid highlights skiing, hockey growth
CHONGLI, China (AP) -- Clad in neon-green from head to toe, Chinese snowboarder He Qiang is part of a growing cohort of middle-class enthusiasts in a country with little tradition of winter sports but that is now seeking to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.... 1/31/2015 6:46 AM

Artillery fire kills at least 12 civilians in Donetsk
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) -- Artillery fire killed at least 12 civilians in the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk on Friday amid fierce fighting between pro-Russia separatists and government troops as hopes for a break in hostilities were dashed when an attempt to call a new round of peace talks failed.... 1/31/2015 6:05 AM

Australian paper mocked for obit of 'The Thorn Birds' author
SYDNEY (AP) -- Australia's main national newspaper was facing sharp criticism over its obituary of the nation's most famous author, whom it described as plain and overweight.... 1/31/2015 4:39 AM

German World War II panzer ace Otto Carius dies at 92
BERLIN (AP) -- Otto Carius, a World War II German panzer ace credited with destroying more than 150 enemy tanks, mostly on the Eastern Front, has died at 92.... 1/31/2015 2:12 AM

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