US military joins search for missing boys in Thailand cave as rescue shifts to hunt for other entrances

The attempted rescue of a dozen boys and their soccer coach after a heavy rainstorm flooded the entrance to a popular cave in Thailand has turned into a hunt for another entrance, as U.S. military and British cave expects joined the search on Thursday. Heavy rain has hampered the search and some of the rescue divers have been forced to turn back after floodwater seeped into a second chamber of the caves, five days after the group was reported missing. “There’s not much we can do right now,” Interior Minister…

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AP Explains: Iran reopens uranium plant in its latest gamble

TEHRAN, Iran –  Iran says it has restarted production at a “major” uranium facility involved in its nuclear program, though it still pledges to follow the terms of the country’s landmark atomic deal now under threat after President Donald Trump pulled America out of the accord. Iranian comments about the Isfahan plant, which produces material needed to make enriched uranium, appear aimed at pressuring Europeans and others to come up with a way to circumvent new American sanctions. Already, many international organizations are pulling back from promised billion-dollar deals with…

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EU leaders seek ways to halt migrants amid political turmoil

BRUSSELS –  European Union leaders were gathering Thursday to examine new ways to stop migrants entering Europe, desperate to ensure that their differences over managing the flows do not tear the 28-nation bloc apart. The number of people arriving in Europe seeking sanctuary or better lives has dropped significantly, but anti-migrant parties have consolidated their powers, winning votes as they exploit fear of foreigners. The political crisis caused by the EU’s inability to share responsibility for those entering is undermining German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leadership. It’s also helped bring an…

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Activists: Airstrike on shelter kills 17 in southwest Syria

BEIRUT –  A barrage of airstrikes hit rebel-held areas in southwestern Syria on Thursday, killing at least 17 civilians hiding in an underground shelter as government forces pressed their offensive to reclaim a region that was until recently part of a negotiated truce. The strategic southwestern corner of Syria extends from the border with Jordan in the south to the western frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. It also lies south of the capital, Damascus, and has been under a so-called de-escalation agreement reached between Russia, the main government ally,…

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Fire sweeps through market in Kenya’s capital, killing 15

In this image from TV, a fire fighter damps down the charred debris after a fire swept through a marketplace in Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday June 28, 2018. Authorities report that several people are known to have died and about 70 are receiving hospital treatment, with rescue teams still searching for more bodies and survivors in the burned marketplace. (AP Photo) NAIROBI, Kenya –  A fire swept one of Nairobi’s largest open-air markets early Thursday, killing 15 people and sending 70 injured to hospitals, an official said. Nairobi County Commissioner Kangethe…

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German boat rescuing 200 migrants remains at sea

The Latest on Europe’s migrant crisis (all times local): 11:35 a.m. A German rescue ship with more than 200 migrants on board remains in a holding pattern off Malta for the sixth day after EU states failed to agree on a plan to equitably distribute the migrants. Mission Lifeline spokesman Axel Steier said Wednesday that weather conditions were deteriorating and some people rescued at sea were in fragile health. Italy on Tuesday said a deal had been reached that included Italy taking some migrants, and that the ship would head…

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Tropical forests see high loss of tree cover for 2nd year

Colombia saw a dramatic increase in forest degradation last year and levels in Brazil remain historically high, according to new satellite data released Wednesday. The data from the University of Maryland show tropical forests around the globe lost 15.8 million hectares (39 million acres) of tree cover in 2017 — an area the size of Bangladesh. That makes 2017 the second-worst year on record, after 2016, since researchers began gathering the data in 2001. Losses in Brazil, home to most of the Amazon rainforest, made up nearly 30 percent of…

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Case against woman in murder of NKorean scion feeble: lawyer

Circumstantial evidence against one of the two women accused of poisoning to death the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader is feeble, with many doubts and gaps that “stood out like a sore thumb,” her lawyer told a court on Wednesday. The 25-year-old woman, Siti Aisyah of Indonesia, is accused along with 29-year-old Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam of smearing the banned VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam’s face in a crowded airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 13, 2017. The women, who face the death penalty,…

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Czech tycoon gets second shot at government

The Czech president appointed the second cabinet of billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis in six months on Wednesday (Jun 27), betting that a coalition with the Social Democrats and informal backing from the Communists would provide a parliamentary majority. “Our government will fight for the safety of our citizens, especially against illegal migration and to protect our interests in Europe,” Babis said during the ceremony in Prague with President Milos Zeman. Advertisement “Our government will also fight against corruption, waste and bureaucracy,” Babis vowed. The cabinet comprises ten members of…

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Beijing raps Taiwan’s Tsai over call to ‘constrain’ China

China lashed out on Wednesday at Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen after she urged the international community in an AFP interview to “constrain” China before it does irreparable damage to global democracy. Her comments are “misleading and totally baseless”, the spokesman for Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office told a regular press conference. Advertisement Tsai’s “objective is to create emnity between compatriots across the straits”, said Ma Xiao Guang, referring to Chinese separated by the Taiwan Strait. She is “plotting to contain the great rejuvenation of the Chinese race”, he said, adding that…

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