Authorities: 2 killed, 9 missing following Pennsylvania chocolate factory explosion.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says humanity’s survival depends on how people manage water. He was speaking Friday at the end of a three-day conference on global water resources during which developing nations made urgent calls for help with cleaner drinking water and better sanitation. Guterres said: “All of humanity’s hopes for the future depend, in some way, on charting a new course to sustainably manage and conserve water.” This includes rational use of water for agriculture and more aggressive action again climate change. Water, Guterres said, “needs to be at the center of the global political agenda.”
Rwanda’s government has commuted the 25-year sentence of Paul Rusesabagina, who inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda” for saving hundreds of countrymen from genocide but was convicted of terrorism offenses years later in a widely criticized trial. Government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo told The Associated Press Friday that the sentence was commuted by presidential order after a request for clemency. She said Rusesabagina, a U.S. resident and Belgian citizen, is expected to be released on Saturday. The case had been described by the United States and others as unfair. Makolo noted the “constructive role of the U.S. government” in creating conditions toward the release.
Germany's foreign minister has urged North Macedonia’s leaders to deliver on a pledge to amend the country’s constitution needed to speed up its path toward European Union membership. North Macedonia has promised Bulgaria to add a reference in its constitution to the existence of an ethnic Bulgarian minority and end a spat between the two neighbors. But the amendment would require cross-party backing and the main opposition party remains opposed to it. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock met with North Macedonia's political leaders in the capital on Thursday.
Police in Montenegro say they have arrested Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon, who is wanted in South Korea in connection with a $40 billion crash of the firm’s cryptocurrency. Montenegro's interior minister said Thursday that authorities were awaiting official confirmation of the identity of a man who was arrested at the airport in the capital, Podgorica, with false documents, but they believe it’s Kwon. South Korea asked Interpol in September to circulate a “red notice” for the 31-year-old across the agency’s 195 member nations to apprehend him. Kwon and five others are wanted because of allegations of fraud and financial crimes in relation to the implosion of Terraform's digital currencies in May 2022.
One of the oldest surviving biblical manuscripts is up for sale — for a cool $30 million. The Codex Sassoon is a nearly complete 1,100-year-old Hebrew Bible. Sotheby's is putting it up for auction in New York in May for an estimated price of $30 million to $50 million. Its anticipated sale speaks to the still bullish market for art, antiquities and ancient manuscripts even in a worldwide bear economy. The ancient manuscript was going on display at a Tel Aviv museum on Wednesday as part of a global tour meant to drum up interest.
ZURICH — Russia and Belarus teams were excluded by the International Ice Hockey Federation on Wednesday from all its world championships next season, including the women’s event in the United States.
The United Nations chief is urging the first world conference on water in more than 45 years to address the “21st century emergency” that is wasting the world’s most important resource and has left billions of people without clean water and basic sanitation. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Wednesday's high-level opening session that water is “humanity’s lifeblood” and a human right – but the world is draining it “through vampiric overconsumption and unsustainable use and evaporating it through global heating.” Guterres called for “game-changing commitments” toward U.N. goals on water including ensuring that all people have access to drinking water and sanitation by 2030.
In Nigeria’s teeming city of Lagos, children in the Makoko area swim and play in filthy water surrounded by garbage. In Ivory Coast’s largest city, Abidjan, thousands of families must fetch water from streams for their daily needs. In Mozambique and Malawi the recent destruction and flooding caused by Cyclone Freddy have displaced more than 500,000 people and the lack of clean water has seen a dramatic rise in cholera cases. March 22 is the United Nation’s World Water Day, marked annually since 1993 to raise awareness about the pressing need for billions of people around the world to have access to clean water and sanitation.
Martina Navratilova has returned to TV work at Tennis Channel during its Miami Open coverage. Her appearance comes less than three months after Navratilova said she had throat cancer and breast cancer. She says her sense of taste disappeared during the treatment for cancer and she lost 15 pounds. The 66-year-old member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame told Piers Morgan in an interview shown Tuesday on TalkTV that she has been told by doctors that she is “cancer-free” and that she should be “good to go” after some additional radiation treatment.
Voters in Montenegro are casting ballots in a presidential election marked by a deep political crisis and uncertainty over whether the small NATO member state in the Balkans will unblock its bid to join the European Union or seek instead to improve ties with Serbia and Russia. Analysts predict that the first round of Montenegro’s presidential vote on Sunday will not produce a clear winner and that 61-year-old pro-Western incumbent Milo Djukanovic will face one of several challengers in a runoff vote in two weeks. The presidency is largely ceremonial. But the ballot is seen as a key indicator of popular sentiment ahead of a parliamentary election on June 11.
The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad says one of its commanders has been killed in Syria in what it described as an assassination by Israeli agents. Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad group, says that Ali Ramzi al-Aswad, 31, was killed Sunday morning in the Damascus countryside in a “cowardly assassination with bullets bearing the fingerprints of the Zionist enemy,” referring to Israel. There was no immediate statement from Israel on the alleged assassination. Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, including attacks on the Damascus and Aleppo airports, but it rarely acknowledges or discusses the operations.
Police in Pakistan have stormed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s residence in the eastern city of Lahore and arrested more than 60 people. The action Saturday came amid tear gas shelling and someone opened fire from the roof of the building. Police say they moved in to remove a barricade erected by members of Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party and his defiant supporters. They say baton-wielding Khan supporters attempted to resist officers by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. Police say at least three officers were injured. Khan was in Islamabad on Saturday to face graft charges but the judge postponed the hearing until March 30.
South Sudan’s National Security Service has released the remaining journalists who had been detained for weeks over a video apparently showing the country’s president urinating on himself during an event. At least seven journalists with the state broadcaster were detained in January following the circulation of the video of President Salva Kiir during the inauguration of a road project. The Union of Journalists of South Sudan said the two remaining journalists had been freed. None of the journalists had been charged. The South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation footage aired in December and was widely shared online.
Western officials are hoping for progress this weekend in EU-mediated talks between Serbian and Kosovo leaders. These represent another attempt to defuse decades of tensions between the Balkan neighbors and wartime foes. Serbia's president and Kosovo's prime minister are to meet on Saturday at North Macedonia's lakeside resort of Ohrid. They tentatively agreed last month to the wording of an 11-point EU plan to normalize relations following their 1998-1999 war and Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008. Solving the longstanding dispute has become more important as war rages in Ukraine and fears mount that Russia could try to stir instability in the volatile Balkan region where it holds historic influence.
The International Criminal Court says it has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes, accusing him of personal responsibility for the abductions of children from Ukraine. It was the first time the global court has issued a warrant against one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. The warrant Friday also was for the arrest of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the Commissioner for Children’s Rights in Putin's office, on similar allegations. A possible trial of any Russians at the ICC remains a long way off. Moscow does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction or extradite its nationals.
International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Russian President Putin because of his actions in Ukraine
International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Russian President Putin because of his actions in Ukraine.
A United States envoy has urged Serbia and Kosovo to implement a European Union-facilitated agreement on normalizing their relations, calling it the best option to preserve peace and security in the region. Gabriel Escobar visited Pristina Friday ahead of a summit meeting between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti in Ohrid, North Macedonia. The meeting will focus on how to implement the tentative agreement that calls for the two countries to maintain good neighborly relations, recognize each other’s official documents and national symbols, and would see Belgrade allow Pristina to seek membership in the EU and U.N.. Serbia's leaders have vowed never to recognize Kosovo.
Coils of red-robed and white-capped women are becoming ominous fixtures of the mass anti-government protests roiling Israel. Heads bowed and hands clasped, they are dressed as characters from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and are growing in numbers as the protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policies intensify. They say they are trying to ward off what they believe will be a dark future — much like the novel's chilling dystopia where women are stripped of their rights — if the government follows through on its plan to overhaul the judiciary.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has signed a bill that will restrict electric car manufacturers from selling vehicles in person unless they open franchised dealerships. Reeves enacted the measure into law Tuesday despite calls from some fellow Republicans in the Legislature to veto it. The law will force electric car companies to sell vehicles through franchises rather than company-owned stores. Reeves says small dealerships in the state are seeking assurances that big manufacturers like Tesla don't retain a competitive advantage. Republican opponents say the law will interfere with the automobile market and stop electric carmakers from bringing new technology and jobs to the state.
The U.S. military said a Russian warplane struck the propeller of a U.S. drone over the Black Sea, causing America forces to bring the unmanned aircraft down in international waters. The U.S. European Command said two Russian Su-27 fighter jets “conducted an unsafe and unprofessional intercept” of the MQ-9 drone in international airspace over the Black Sea. The State Department called it a “brazen violation of international law.” Moscow said the U.S. drone maneuvered sharply and crashed into water following an encounter with Russian fighter jets scrambled to intercept it near Crimea, but insisted its warplanes didn’t fire their weapons or hit the drone.
President Xi Jinping is calling for China to play a bigger role in managing global affairs after Beijing scored a diplomatic coup by hosting talks that produced an agreement by Saudi Arabia and Iran to reopen diplomatic relations. Xi spoke Monday following a legislative session that installed a government of loyalists to tighten his control over the economy and society. Xi gave no details of the ruling Communist Party's ambitions abroad. But his government has pressed for changes in the International Monetary Fund and other entities that it complains fail to reflect the needs and desires of developing countries.
News of the rapprochement between long-time regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran sent shock waves through the Middle East and dealt a symbolic blow to Israel's prime minister. Benjamin Netanyahu had made the threat posed by Tehran a public diplomacy priority and personal crusade. The Iran-Saudi deal came after more than a year of negotiations in Baghdad and more recent talks in China. The breakthrough also became ensnared in Israel’s internal politics, reflecting the country’s divisions at a moment of national turmoil. In countries like Yemen and Syria, long caught between the Sunni kingdom and the Shiite powerhouse, the deal stirred cautious optimism.
American skier Mikaela Shiffrin has set the outright World Cup record for most career victories with 87 by winning a slalom. Shiffrin broke a tie with Ingemar Stenmark on the all-time overall winners list between men and women. The Swede competed in the 1970s and 80s. Shiffrin had matched Stenmark’s mark of 86 wins with victory in a giant slalom Friday. Saturday’s result marked the American’s sixth slalom win of the season and the record-extending 53rd career win in the discipline. She has already locked up her fifth overall championship and the discipline titles in slalom and GS.
A man suspected of stalking a podcast host for months was found dead Friday after police believe he killed the podcaster and her husband inside their home in the Seattle suburb of Redmond. Police had been trying to serve a protection order on 38-year-old Ramin Khodakaramrezaei before Friday's killings but they had been having a hard time locating the truck driver from Texas. Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe said 33-year-old Zohreh Sadeghi and her 35-year-old husband, Milad Naseri, both died just a week after receiving the court order. Lowe said the killings were “the absolute worst outcome” for a stalking case.
GENEVA (AP) — From a prodigiously talented 15-year-old to the most decorated female skier of all-time, Mikaela Shiffrin has done quite a lot in only 12 years.
American skier Mikaela Shiffrin has won her record-tying 86th World Cup race with victory in a giant slalom. Shiffrin’s win matched the overall record set by Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark 34 years ago. The 27-year-old American protected her half-second lead from the first run and finished 0.64 seconds ahead of Federica Brignone. It was Shiffrin’s fourth straight wire-to-wire win in World Cup giant slaloms since January. Shiffrin also clinched the season-long World Cup giant slalom title to secure her 15th career crystal globe trophy. She already won her fifth overall World Cup title and the slalom title this season.
German police say shots were fired inside a building used by Jehovah’s Witnesses in the northern German city of Hamburg and an unspecified number of people were killed and wounded. The shooting took place Thursday evening in the Gross Borstel district, a few kilometers (miles) north of the downtown area of Germany’s second-biggest city. Police say that several people were seriously wounded, some of them fatally, but haven’t given a precise figure. They say there is no immediate indication a shooter is on the run, and it appeared likely that the perpetrator or perpetrators were either in the building or among the dead.
A letter claiming to be from the Mexican drug cartel blamed for abducting four Americans and killing two of them condemns the violence and says the gang turned its own members who were responsible over to authorities. In a letter obtained by The Associated Press through a Tamaulipas state law enforcement source, the Scorpions faction of the Gulf cartel apologized to the residents of Matamoros where the Americans were kidnapped, the Mexican woman who died in the cartel shootout and the four Americans and their families. Drug cartels have been known to issue comuniques to intimidate rivals and authorities, but also at times like these to do some public relations work to try to smooth over situations that could affect their business.
Chance of Rain: 3%
Sunrise: 07:10:03 AM
Sunset: 07:31:15 PM
Wind: W @ 13 mph
UV Index: 5 Moderate
Partly cloudy skies. Low 23F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.
Chance of Rain: 17%
Sunrise: 07:08:27 AM
Sunset: 07:32:14 PM
Wind: SSE @ 9 mph
UV Index: 5 Moderate
Becoming partly cloudy later with any flurries or snow showers ending by midnight. Low around 25F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 30%.
Chance of Rain: 8%
Sunrise: 07:06:51 AM
Sunset: 07:33:13 PM
Wind: NNW @ 10 mph
UV Index: 6 High
A mostly clear sky. Low 22F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph.
Chance of Rain: 1%
Sunrise: 07:05:16 AM
Sunset: 07:34:11 PM
Wind: SE @ 10 mph
UV Index: 6 High
Partly to mostly cloudy. Low near 35F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.
Chance of Rain: 5%
Sunrise: 07:03:40 AM
Sunset: 07:35:10 PM
Wind: SSE @ 15 mph
UV Index: 4 Moderate
Cloudy during the evening. A few showers developing late. Low 41F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
Chance of Rain: 41%
Sunrise: 07:02:05 AM
Sunset: 07:36:08 PM
Wind: S @ 15 mph
UV Index: 6 High
Rain showers in the evening changing to snow showers overnight. Low 34F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precip 40%.
Chance of Rain: 24%
Sunrise: 07:00:30 AM
Sunset: 07:37:06 PM
Wind: SW @ 12 mph
UV Index: 6 High
Mostly clear skies. Low 31F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.