Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Government finances improved across Europe in 2013
BRUSSELS (AP) -- Governments across the 18-country eurozone made further headway in 2013 in reducing their deficits, official figures showed Wednesday in a further sign that spending cuts and the nascent economic recovery helped to heal government finances.... 4/23/2014 6:15 AM

Thai Red Shirt activist shot dead in capital
BANGKOK (AP) -- Police in Thailand's capital say a pro-government activist who opposed a law punishing critics of the monarchy has been shot dead.... 4/23/2014 6:15 AM

HK, Philippines compromise over tourist deaths
HONG KONG (AP) -- Hong Kong and the Philippines reached a compromise Wednesday over Hong Kong's demands for an apology for the families of eight tourists killed in a bungled response to a 2010 Manila hostage-taking that soured relations.... 4/23/2014 6:07 AM

Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Unidentified material that has washed ashore in southwestern Australia is being examined for any link to the lost Malaysian plane, authorities said Wednesday.... 4/23/2014 6:06 AM

Bomb, shooting in Egypt kills 2 police officers
CAIRO (AP) -- A senior Egyptian police officer was killed after an explosive device placed under his car went off in a western Cairo suburb on Wednesday while another officer died in a raid on a militant hideout in the country's second-largest city, officials said.... 4/23/2014 6:05 AM

Obama opens 4-country, Asia-Pacific trip in Tokyo
TOKYO (AP) -- President Barack Obama is opening a four-country visit to the Asia-Pacific region in Japan, but the West's dispute with Russia over Ukraine is looming.... 4/23/2014 6:03 AM

Pro-Russian insurgents hold journalist captive
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) -- Pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Ukraine admitted on Wednesday that they are holding an American journalist who has not been since early Tuesday.... 4/23/2014 6:02 AM

China says quality of its groundwater has worsened
BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese authorities say nearly 60 percent of the groundwater at sites monitored throughout the country is of poor or extremely poor quality, with excessive amounts of pollutants.... 4/23/2014 5:49 AM

Pakistan's army seeks closure of TV channel
ISLAMABAD (AP) -- The Pakistani army has filed a complaint asking the government to shut down the country's leading private Geo News TV channel over what the military calls "false" reports, an official said Wednesday.... 4/23/2014 5:40 AM

Obama: US-Japan treaty applies to disputed islands
TOKYO (AP) -- President Barack Obama confirmed Wednesday that America's mutual security treaty with Japan applies to the islands at the center of a territorial dispute between China and Japan.... 4/23/2014 5:38 AM

France unveils plan to fight jihadist threat
PARIS (AP) -- French authorities are taking steps to crack down on the flow of young would-be jihadis embarking to fight in Syria's civil war.... 4/23/2014 5:36 AM

Blair: Radicalized Islam a growing threat
LONDON (AP) -- The West should set aside its differences with Russia and China to focus on the growing threat from radical Islam, Tony Blair said Wednesday, in a speech that included a call to support Egypt's military government against its Muslim Brotherhood opponents.... 4/23/2014 5:25 AM

Captain who left doomed ferry had 40 years at sea
MOKPO, South Korea (AP) -- A colleague calls Capt. Lee Joon-seok the nicest person on the ship. With more than 40 years' experience at sea, Lee could speak with eloquence about the romance and danger of a life spent on ships.... 4/23/2014 5:19 AM

UN heads say Syria aid needs 'largely unanswered'
GENEVA (AP) -- The directors of five United Nations agencies that provide humanitarian aid to Syria say their appeal for $6.5 billion in emergency funding for 2014 has been mostly ignored.... 4/23/2014 4:59 AM

Anti-Obama protesters clash with police in Manila
MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Police armed with truncheons, shields and a fire hose clashed Wednesday with more than 100 left-wing activists who rallied at the U.S. Embassy in Manila to oppose a visit by President Barack Obama and an expected security pact that would increase the American military presence in the Philippines.... 4/23/2014 4:57 AM

Afghan election commission delays vote results
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghanistan's election commission has delayed a planned release of full results from the April 5 presidential election to allow for recounts and audits.... 4/23/2014 4:10 AM

Sherpas leave Everest; some expeditions nix climbs
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) -- Dozens of Sherpa guides packed up their tents and left Mount Everest's base camp Wednesday, after the avalanche deaths of 16 of their colleagues exposed an undercurrent of resentment by Sherpas over their pay, treatment and benefits.... 4/23/2014 3:37 AM

AP PHOTOS: Syrians on treacherous trek to safety
MOUNT HERMON, Lebanon (AP) -- As the late-day sun slipped behind the mountains in front of them, a ragtag group of around a dozen Syrians desperate to flee their country's bloody civil war set off on their treacherous nighttime trek across the rugged frontier into neighboring Lebanon.... 4/23/2014 3:34 AM

Prof: Ferry turned further than 3rd mate ordered
MOKPO, South Korea (AP) -- A maritime professor who spoke with the third mate who was steering the South Korean ferry before it sank says he suspects a problem with the steering gear caused the sinking.... 4/23/2014 3:17 AM

AP PHOTOS: Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) -- With golden umbrellas covering them from the equatorial sun, boys in princely attire are hoisted onto the shoulders of their fathers and uncles, part of a ritual carried out this time every year at Buddhist pagodas all over Myanmar: young would-be-novices preparing to enter the monkhood.... 4/23/2014 3:01 AM