Biden arrives in Iraq to try to help settle political crisis

BAGHDAD (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Baghdad on Thursday on a visit intended to help Iraqi leaders resolve a political crisis that has hindered efforts to defeat the Islamic State group. Biden landed at midday after an overnight flight from Washington. He was...

After hostage beheading, is Philippines facing IS threat?

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Months before Abu Sayyaf militants beheaded retired Canadian mining executive John Ridsdel in the tropical jungles of the southern Philippines, they showed him pleading for life in a video with three other hostages that demanded a record-high...

Deadly airstrikes hit MSF-supported hospital in Syrian city

BEIRUT (AP) — A wave of nighttime airstrikes hit a hospital in Syria supported by Doctors Without Borders and nearby buildings in the rebel-held part of the contested city of Aleppo, killing at least 27 people as the U.N. envoy for Syria appealed early Thursday on the U.S....

New killings in Bangladesh leave LGBT community full of fear

NEW DELHI (AP) — The killing of two gay rights activists in the Bangladeshi capital has driven the country’s already secretive and small gay community underground, wondering if they can trust a government that considers their status to be criminal, rights groups said....

Japan central bank holds fire on fresh monetary stimulus

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s central bank stunned financial markets Thursday with a decision not to splash out still more monetary stimulus for the ailing economy — apart from zero-interest loans for an earthquake zone. Share prices tumbled after the Bank of Japan ended...

Cruz makes VP pick as GOP race takes another unusual turn

WASHINGTON (AP) — An astonishing Republican presidential primary season has taken another unusual turn, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announcing Carly Fiorina as his running mate — even though he’s mathematically unable to become the GOP nominee through the regular...

South Korea: Suspected midrange North Korean missile crashes

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A suspected powerful midrange North Korean missile crashed seconds after liftoff Thursday, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said, in what would be the second such embarrassing failure in recent weeks. South Korea’s report of the...

Syria activists say airstrikes in rebel-held Aleppo kill 20

BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian monitoring group and rescue workers in opposition-held areas in Syria say a series of airstrikes has hit a hospital and nearby buildings, killing at least 20 people in the northern city of Aleppo. The victims include three of the hospital’s...

Hastert judge delivered verbal equivalent of public flogging

CHICAGO (AP) — When he sentenced Dennis Hastert to more than a year in prison, the judge in the former House speaker’s hush-money case delivered the verbal equivalent of a public flogging. Before imposing the 15-month sentence, a far stiffer sentence than federal...

UN envoy appeals to US, Russia to help Syria peace talks

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. envoy for Syria appealed to the U.S. and Russia to intervene to help revive Syrian peace talks that sputtered to a pause Wednesday, saying a recent spike in fighting has overshadowed the talks and put an increasingly feeble truce in “great...