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Iraqi musicians play ancient oud to soften din of war

AP Photo/Hadi Mizban BAGHDAD (AP) — In a Baghdad workshop plastered with black-and-white photos from a more peaceful time, Mahmoud Abdulnabi hand-carves a wooden oud, a string instrument with ancient roots that has fallen silent in much of the war-torn country. “The...
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AP Exclusive: China Ministry posted bootleg ‘Liar’s Poker’

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein SHANGHAI (AP) — A complete bootlegged copy of Michael Lewis’ bestselling book about Wall Street, “Liar’s Poker,” was hosted on the official website of the Chinese Commerce Ministry, the agency responsible for intellectual...
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AP PHOTOS: Surfing takes Brazilian kids out of Rio slum

AP Photo/Felipe Dana RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — It’s dawn and barefoot boys are hustling down the inclined alleys of Rio de Janeiro slums, surfboards under their arms. They’re heading to nearby Sao Conrado and Arpoador beaches, where they catch waves and momentarily...

China says 6.5 quake hits far western region of Xinjiang

BEIJING (AP) — A magnitude 6.5 earthquake shook buildings in China’s far western region of Xinjiang on Friday, sending people out onto the streets, but there were no immediate reports of casualties from the sparsely populated area surrounding the epicenter. The quake...

Cash-strapped UN food agency reduces help to Syrian refugees

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The United Nations’ food agency is cutting back on assistance to thousands of Syrian refugees after an appeal for a ceasefire to enable Syrians feed themselves went unheeded, World Food Program Executive Director Ertharin Cousin said on...
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Bill Clinton visits Vietnam to mark 20th anniversary of ties

AP Photo/TRAN VAN MINH HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — For Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama’s announcement this week of plans to resume diplomatic relations with Cuba must have stirred memories. It was 20 years ago this month that Clinton pulled off a similar diplomatic and...

’80s file shows plan for Hong Kong ‘plantation’ in NIreland

LONDON (AP) — A bizarre plan to relocate the entire population of Hong Kong to Northern Ireland was considered an option in the uncertain years before Britain handed back the former British colony to Chinese rule, formerly classified government files showed. Britain’s...
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Kuwait promotes unity in wake of bombing designed to divide

AP Photo/ KUWAIT CITY (AP) — An Islamic State sympathizer’s deadly bombing in a packed Kuwaiti mosque last week was designed to fit an all-too-familiar pattern: extremists attack Shiites to stoke sectarian hatred and then proclaim themselves the defenders of Sunnis...

Leopard mauls guide’s arm in attack in South African park

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A leopard mauled a guide in an attack on an open tourist safari vehicle in South Africa’s flagship wildlife park Thursday, authorities said. The attack happened in Kruger National Park as a guide and his passengers watched a leopard about 6.5 feet...
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Indonesian suburb hit by plane disasters twice in 10 years

AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara MEDAN, Indonesia (AP) — A decade ago, when an Indonesian passenger jet crashed into a quaint neighborhood in Indonesia’s third-biggest city, Medan, Waktu Tarigan thought he’d never witness anything like that again. He was wrong. On...