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June 27, 2014 / 6:55 PM / 3 years ago




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Separatists say ready to extend ceasefire in eastern Ukraine

MOSCOW - Pro-Russian separatist leaders voiced willingness to extend a shaky ceasefire in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east on Friday, after releasing four out of eight international observers captured over a month ago in an apparent goodwill gesture.. (UKRAINE-CRISIS/TALKS (UPDATE 1, PIX), 590 words, moved at 1:39 p.m.) See also: Sharp rise in people fleeing eastern Ukraine (UKRAINE-CRISIS/DISPLACED (UPDATE 1), 300 words, moved)


Iraq’s top Shi‘ite cleric calls for prime minister to be chosen by Tuesday

The most influential Shi‘ite cleric in Iraq called on the country’s leaders on Friday to choose a prime minister within the next four days, a dramatic political intervention that could hasten the end of Nuri al-Maliki’s eight year rule. (IRAQ-SECURITY (WRAPUP 3, PIX), 1,215 words, moved at 12:34 p.m.)


EU moves to assuage Cameron after outvoting him on Juncker BRUSSELS - European Union leaders nominated Jean-Claude Juncker for their bloc’s most powerful job on Friday over the fierce objections of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said the decision would make it harder for him to keep Britain in Europe. (EU-SUMMIT (UPDATE 7), 1,139 words, moved at 1:07 p.m.)


Iraq’s top Shi‘ite cleric calls for top political jobs to be filled by Tuesday (IRAQ-SECURITY/CLERIC (UPDATE 1), 500 words, moved)

Mass prisoner deaths in Iraq point to police executions (IRAQ-SECURITY/EXECUTIONS, 300 words, moved)


Eager but doomed: the British “Tommies” who hoped to be home by Christmas

MEAUX, France - They arrived in France young, eager and hopeful, confident that the new war in Europe would be over by the time the snow began to fall back home in England. An exhibition opening near Paris on Saturday commemorates the British “Tommies” who marched to battle against Germany with no inkling the Great War would drag on for four relentless years. Some 27,000 of them were to die before year’s end, when the stalemate of trench warfare set in. (WWI-ANNIVERSARY/BRITAIN (PIX), 708 words, by Alexandria Sages, moved)

Serbs unveil statue to ‘hero’ who set Europe marching to war

SARAJEVO - Serbs in Bosnia unveiled a statue on Friday of the man who shot dead the heir to the Habsburg throne a century ago, thumbing their nose at the country’s official commemoration of the act that triggered World War One. (WW1-ANNIVERSARY/BOSNIA, 530 words, moved at 11:26 a.m.)


Vatican defrocks Polish archbishop for sexual abuse ROME - A Roman Catholic Church tribunal ordered a Polish archbishop accused of child sex abuse in the Dominican Republic to be defrocked, pending possible further criminal proceedings, the Vatican said on Friday. (VATICAN-ABUSE/ (UPDATE 2), 251 words, moved at 11:03 a.m.)

See also: Pope cancels Rome hospital visit at last minute (POPE-CANCELLATION (UPDATE 2), 313 words, moved at 12:21 p.m.)


U.S. Middle East peace envoy Indyk resigns after talks fail WASHINGTON - U.S. Middle East peace envoy Martin Indyk has resigned following the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian talks, but the State Department said on Friday he would remain involved in the peace effort. (PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL/INDYK, (UPDATE 1), 262 words, moved at 11:35 a.m.)


U.S. to no longer produce anti-personnel land mines

WASHINGTON - The United States said on Friday it would no longer produce or purchase landmines that target people, paving the way for Washington to eventually join an international treaty banning the weapons. (USA-LANDMINES/OBAMA (UPDATE 2), 530 words, moved at 12:17 p.m.)

All is not lost for Ex-Im bank amid Republican jockeying

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Export-Import Bank, derided by conservative critics as an expensive boondoggle, may win a reprieve from what looked like almost certain death in Congress if enough Republicans can be persuaded to let it live on, but with its wings clipped. Some Republicans who were once opposed to extending Ex-Im’s mandate beyond the end of September are now reconsidering, worried that killing it off could leave U.S. exporters at a disadvantage against foreign companies. (USA-EXIM/, 854 words, moved at 1:01 p.m.)


Mississippi Tea Party leader Mark Mayfield dead in apparent suicide

A prominent leader of the Mississippi Tea Party who was arrested in connection with photos posted online of U.S. Senator Thad Cochran’s bedridden wife, died on Friday of an apparent suicide, the man’s lawyer said. (USA-MISSISSIPPI/TEAPARTY, UPDATE 2, 340 words, moved at 2:-04 pm)

Mass. abortion clinics brace for fresh protests, lawmakers seek fix

BOSTON - Massachusetts is beefing up security around abortion clinics and scrambling for a legal fix after the U.S. Supreme Court voided the state’s buffer zone law that kept protesters 35 feet away, saying it violated freedom of speech. (USA-COURT/ABORTION (PIX,UPDATE 1), 600 words, moved at 2:26 pm)

Central Park 5 say still feel hard done by despite settlement

NEW YORK - A group of men wrongfully convicted of raping a jogger in New York’s Central Park in 1989 said they continued to fight feelings of injustice on Friday, a day after the city signed a $40 million settlement to end their civil rights lawsuit. (USA-CRIME/JOGGER, 400 words, moving shortly)

Texas man pleads guilty to trying to aid foreign terrorists

AUSTIN - A Texas man pleaded guilty on Friday of attempting to provide support and resources to a Middle Eastern foreign terrorist organization as part of a federal undercover operation, U.S. prosecutors said. USA-CRIME/TEXAS-TERRORISM (UPDATE 1), 225 words, moved at 1 pm)

Defeated Republican challenges Mississippi Senate primary votes

June 27 - The Tea Party-backed candidate refusing to concede defeat to Republican U.S. Senator Thad Cochran in Mississippi’s primary runoff said his campaign has found more than 1,000 instances of ballots cast by people who were ineligible to vote. (USA-ELECTION/MISSISSIPPI, 316 words, moved at 1:26 pm)

Caesars Entertainment to shut Showboat Atlantic City casino

Caesars Entertainment decision to close its Showboat casino makes it the second gambling house shuttered in what New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had called a crucial year for the future of gambling in Atlantic City. Debt-strapped casino operator Caesars said it would shut the Showboat in August because of falling revenue and high property tax in Atlantic City. It will be the second to close this year, after the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel closed its doors in January. (CAESARS-SHUTDOWN/ (UPDATE 2), 250 words, moved at 1:30 pm)

Detroit police probe case of boy found in basement, stepmom arrested

June 27 - Detroit police said Friday they were still trying to determine if there was any wrongdoing in the case of a 12-year-old boy who was missing for 11 days before being found alive and well in his family’s basement. (USA-MICHIGAN/BOY, 300 words, moved at 11:40 am)

There she goes - Miss Delaware loses her crown

A woman stripped of her crown as Miss Delaware because of her age said on Friday she had done nothing wrong by entering the pageant. Amanda Longacre said she learned on Tuesday that she was disqualified because the Miss Delaware pageant determined she violated the age requirement. On NBC’s “Today” show on Friday, a tearful Longacre said she was consulting a lawyer. (USA-PAGEANT/DELAWARE, 250 words, moved at 1:22 pm) FEATURE

Dogs, debris and Satan make their mark at Oklahoma capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY - As part of her grand plan to visit all 50 U.S. state capitols before her 70th birthday, Deidra Horan drove to Oklahoma City a few weeks ago. She toured the capitol, but that’s not her most vivid memory of the trip. Horan, 64, was attacked by four large stray dogs shortly after she left the building and was badly bitten. It was the latest in a series of headaches for statehouse officials that have included tumbling plaster inside the building and a battle over a monument to Satan outside the 97-year-old neoclassical structure. (USA-OKLAHOMA/CAPITOL (FEATURE), 460 words, moved at 9:38 a.m.) HEALTH AND SCIENCE

Scientists retrace events leading to anthrax breach

CHICAGO - Scientists at the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are conducting tests to see whether the procedure they followed to kill anthrax, although flawed by their own standards, may nevertheless have killed the potentially deadly pathogen before it was sent to less-secure laboratories, where employees work without adequate protective gear. If they are right, it may mean dozens of scientists and staff, who were given a vaccine and powerful antibiotics to prevent anthrax infection, may never actually have been in danger of anthrax disease, a potentially deadly illness that was at the center of 2001 bioterror attacks. (USA-ANTHRAX/TESTS (UPDATE 1), 640 words, moved at 9:18 a.m.)

Russia calls off debut launch of first new space rocket design since Soviet era

MOSCOW - Russia was forced to abandon Friday’s debut launch of its first new space rocket since the Soviet era when the Angara booster cut out during a final countdown watched by President Vladimir Putin via video link from the Kremlin. (RUSSIA-SPACE/ (UPDATE 1, PIX), 300 words, moved at 9:51 a.m.)

In virus hunt, Saudi Arabia suspects African camel imports

LONDON - Saudi Arabia suspects that the MERS virus that has killed hundreds of people there may have arrived in camels from the Horn of Africa and it could ban such imports until it knows more, the kingdom’s chief scientist told Reuters. (HEALTH-MERS/SAUDI-SOMALIA (PIX), 400 words, moved at 7:12 a.m.)

West African nations should prepare for Ebola - WHO

GENEVA - West African nations neighboring those hit by the Ebola epidemic - Mali, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Guinea Bissau - should prepare for the possible arrival of travellers carrying the deadly virus, the World Health Organization said on Friday. (HEALTH-EBOLA/WHO (UPDATE 2), 563 words, moved at 10:32 a.m.) WORLD


Thousands march across Kabul to protest election fraud

KABUL - Thousands of angry protesters marched on the Afghan president’s palace on Friday in support of candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s allegations that mass fraud had been committed during the presidential election by organizers and state officials. (AFGHANISTAN-ELECTION/PROTESTS (UPDATE 2, PIX), 500 words, moved at 6:48 a.m.) See also: Afghan election impasse revives suspicions about Karzai’s role (AFGHANISTAN-ELECTION/KARZAI (PIX), 400 words, moved)


North Korea on agenda as Chinese president visits South

SEOUL - Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit South Korea next week, the two countries announced on Friday, with North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons featuring prominently on the agenda in summit talks. (SOUTHKOREA-CHINA/, 400 words, moved) See also: North Korea’s economy creeps ahead in black thanks to China trade (NORTHKOREA-ECONOMY/ (UPDATE 1), 400 words, moved at 4:39 a.m.)

East Asia

Laos agrees to studies for second Mekong dam

BANGKOK - A Laotian official said on Friday his government would allow environmental assessments before proceeding with construction of a dam on the Mekong River that activists and neighbouring states say could hurt the livelihoods of fishermen and farmers. (LAOS-DAM/, 300 words, moved at 7:17 a.m.) LIFESTYLE AND ENTERTAINMENT Note: newsfeed includes stories from The

Actor Shia LaBeouf charged with disorderly conduct, harassment

NEW YORK - Actor Shia LaBeouf, who starred in the “Transformer” movies and with Harrison Ford in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” was arraigned on Friday on charges of disorderly conduct and harassment at a Broadway theater. LaBeouf, 28, was arrested on Thursday evening after disturbing a performance in New York of the musical “Cabaret.” (PEOPLE-LABEOUF/ (UPDATE 1, PIX, TV), 380 words, moved at 12:02 pm)

Adidas and Nike battle for social media World Cup

RIO DE JANEIRO/BERLIN - Adidas might be attracting bad online buzz for its sponsorship of biting Uruguayan footballer Luis Suarez but in the tussle to win the most World Cup social media play, the German firm says it is winning plenty of positive attention too. (SOCCER-WORLD/BRANDS (PIX, GRAPHICS), 600 words, moved at 7:05 a.m.)

Greener days for Wimbledon groundsman after “Wimblegeddon”

LONDON - Wimbledon’s head grounds man Neil Stubley is relaxed and calm as he watches the cream of international tennis battle it out on his turf - a far cry from a year ago when a spate of injuries took a big toll on players. The mishaps, which led seven players to pull out injured, has gone down in tennis circles as ”Wimblegeddon. Maria Sharapova, who slipped three times in one day, complained that conditions on the court were dangerous. (TENNIS-WIMBLEDON/GROUNDSMAN (PIX), 500 words, moved at 3:48 a.m.)

In ‘Begin Again,’ Keira Knightley tunefully leaves comfort zone

NEW YORK - British actress Keira Knightley, known for playing tragic heroines in period dramas, strayed into new territory with her first major singing role in “Begin Again,” a feel-good film about the music industry and starting over. (FILM-BEGINAGAIN/, 482 words, moved at 12:34 p.m.) BUSINESS AND MARKETS Note: Wall Street markets slug is MARKETS-USA-STOCKS

U.S. judge says bank should return Argentine bond payment

NEW YORK - A U.S. judge on Friday called Argentina’s decision to make a sovereign debt payment in defiance of a court order an “explosive action” and told Bank of New York Mellon to return the money to the government. (ARGENTINA-DEBT/GRIESA (UPDATE 1), 450 words, moved at 1:39 p.m.)

Canada court rules against Wal-Mart in Quebec store closure

OTTAWA - Wal-Mart Stores Inc violated Quebec’s labor code when it closed a store in the largely French-speaking province that had become one of the first in the country to successfully unionize, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Friday. (WALMART-CANADA/COURT (UPDATE 2), 200 words, moving shortly)

U.S. consumer sentiment rises in final June reading

NEW YORK - U.S. consumer sentiment rose in June as consumers remained optimistic the sluggish first quarter was due to difficult winter conditions, a survey released on Friday showed. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final June reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 82.5, up from 81.9 the month before. It was above the median forecast of 82.0 among economists polled by Reuters and above the preliminary reading of 81.2. (USA-ECONOMY/SENTIMENT, 180 words, moved at 2 p.m.)

Air bag accident, lawsuit led to GM Cruze recall

DETROIT/NEW YORK - An accident that left a Georgia woman blind in one eye and a subsequent lawsuit led to General Motors Co’s recall of about 33,000 Chevrolet Cruze sedans in North America for potentially defective air bags made by Takata Corp. (TAKATA-GM/LAWSUIT, 500 words, moved at 7 a.m.)


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