Nation/World | page 152


Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is dead, Afghan president says

MUMBAI, India – As U.S.-backed forces closed in on southern Afghanistan in late 2001, the Taliban leader who lost an eye fighting the Soviet occupation decided not to stay and fight another invader. Mullah Mohammad Omar slipped across the border into Pakistan, reportedly on a motorcycle, and was not seen publicly since.

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Defense secretary testifies in support of Iran nuclear deal

WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday that the U.S. armed forces stand ready to confront Iran, but told lawmakers that a successful implementation of the nuclear agreement with Tehran is preferable to a military strike. Carter, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and three members of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet testified at a committee hearing.

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In this undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. (Associated Press)

Dentist who killed treasured lion feeling heat

MINNEAPOLIS – The turmoil surrounding the killing of a beloved lion in Zimbabwe by a Minnesota big-game hunter was playing out around the world Wednesday, with court proceedings against two men, U.S. authorities offering investigatory assistance and the hunter saying that anger toward him has brought his dental practice to a halt. Walter J. Palmer, 55, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, has acknowledged that he shot Cecil the lion with a bow and arrow on July 1 during the hunt that he paid more than $50,000 to arrange. Palmer said in a statement that he thought at the time what he did was legal.

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End-of-century population put at 11.2 billion

UNITED NATIONS – Move over: The world’s population is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050, a new United Nations report says. And there should be 11.2 billion people on Earth by the end of this century. Meanwhile, India’s population is set to pass China’s in size around 2022, according to the report released Wednesday.

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Former Tuskegee Airman dies at 88

SMITHFIELD, Va. – William R. White, a former member of the famed squadron of African-American pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen, has died. He was 88. White was a humble family man who rarely talked about his war experiences, family members said Wednesday. White died July 24 at his home in Smithfield, his son Brandon White told the Associated Press.

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In brief: Dunford confirmed to lead Joint Chiefs of Staff

WASHINGTON – The Senate on Wednesday confirmed President Barack Obama’s pick to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., who is currently commandant of the Marine Corps, is expected to take over Oct. 1 for Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, who will retire after a 41-year Army career.

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In brief: Russia vetoes U.N. resolution over downed Malaysia Airlines plane

UNITED NATIONS – Russia on Wednesday vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would set up an international criminal court to prosecute those responsible for shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine a year ago. The foreign ministers of the Netherlands, Australia and Ukraine attended a meeting over the downing that killed all 298 people on board Flight MH17. The countries are among the five nations investigating the incident, along with Malaysia and Belgium.

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Israel begins razing West Bank housing complex

JERUSALEM – Israeli bulldozers began demolishing a contested housing complex in a West Bank settlement on Wednesday as the prime minister’s office announced the “immediate construction” of some 300 new units at another location in the same settlement and advanced plans for about 500 new units in east Jerusalem. The move, which is likely to draw international rebuke, comes amid a standoff in the Beit El settlement, to the north of Jerusalem in the West Bank.

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People: Birkin seeks split from crocodile-skin handbags

British singer Jane Birkin has asked Hermes to take her name off the crocodile-skin versions of the iconic Birkin handbag, after being contacted by animal rights group PETA over “cruel” slaughtering practices. A PETA video from June shows several reptiles at a Texas farm that supplies crocodile skins to Hermes left twitching in a bloody ice container to die after being shot with a captive bolt gun and cut with a knife.

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Planned Parenthood seeks fetal tissue study

WASHINGTON – Under fire for its role in providing fetal tissue for research, Planned Parenthood asked the government’s top health scientists Wednesday to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine. Planned Parenthood’s request to the National Institutes of Health came as Senate Republicans pressed their fight to bar the organization from receiving federal aid. Likely opposition from at least one GOP senator highlighted the long odds the GOP will face in a Senate showdown vote expected early next week.

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Three Virginia grads sue Rolling Stone over rape story

RICHMOND, Va. – Three University of Virginia graduates and members of a fraternity profiled in a debunked account of a gang rape in a retracted Rolling Stone magazine story filed a lawsuit against the publication and the article’s author Wednesday, court records show. The three men, George Elias IV, Stephen Hadford and Ross Fowler, filed suit in U.S. District Court in New York. They are also suing Rolling Stone’s publisher, Wenner Media.

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A U.S. Navy airplane is about to land at Incirlik Air Base, on the outskirts of the city of Adana, southern Turkey, on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

Turkey takes on IS, but shelling of Kurds displeases U.S.

ANKARA, Turkey – President Barack Obama’s stepped-up partnership with Turkey in fighting the Islamic State may come at the cost of alienating another key group he’s counting on for help in the same conflict: the Kurds. To Obama’s relief, Turkey has finally started bombing Islamic State targets in neighboring Syria, and agreed to let the U.S. military launch airstrikes from key air bases inside Turkey in a deal announced last week. But in an unexpected twist, Turkey simultaneously started shelling Kurdish rebels in Iraq, where Kurds have proved unusually capable of wresting back territory from the Islamic State militants with the help of air support from the U.S.-led coalition.

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Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell speaks with a protester during a demonstration outside the Hamilton County Courthouse after murder and manslaughter charges against University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing were announced for the shooting death of motorist Samuel DuBose. (Associated Press)

University cop faces murder charge in traffic stop shooting

CINCINNATI – A University of Cincinnati police officer who shot a motorist during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate was indicted Wednesday on a murder charge, with a prosecutor saying the officer “purposely killed him” and “should never have been a police officer.” Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters announced the grand jury indictment at a news conference to discuss developments in the investigation into the July 19 shooting of motorist Samuel DuBose by Officer Ray Tensing.

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U.S. House passes patch for highway funds

WASHINGTON – The House voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to shore up federal highway aid and veterans’ health care before heading out of town for its August recess, leaving unresolved an array of sticky issues that are sure to complicate an autumn agenda already groaning under the weight of indecision. In one of their last decisions before adjourning for a month, the House backed a bill that would extend spending authority for transportation programs through Oct. 29, and replenish the federal Highway Trust Fund with $8 billion. That’s enough money to keep highway and transit aid flowing to states through mid-December.

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Virginia trucker wins $92 million lottery prize in Pennsylvania

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – A truck driver who purchased a Mega Millions ticket at a truck stop claimed his $92 million prize Wednesday at Pennsylvania Lottery headquarters. Steven Peloquin, 52, of Mechanicsville, Virginia, turned in the sole winning ticket from a Mega Millions drawing last week and chose the cash value payout rather than a $153 million annuity, the Pennsylvania Lottery said.

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Dennis Held on the hold Spokane has on residents

Dennis titled this "The Theory of the Movement of Humans Through a Semi-Permeable Membrane, or, Osmosis: An Aquifer Indicted." "Because the Spokane Aquifer is directly beneath this whole valley, with ...

Zags rout Portland 92-66

Gonzaga hammered Portland 92-66 on Thursday as three Zags with Portland ties -- Kyle Wiltjer, Domantas Sabonis and Silas Melson -- combined for 51 points and 20 rebounds. My unedited ...

The works of Catholics nuns in Spokane

The nuns of Spokane have been Franciscans, Dominicans, Sisters of the Good Shepherd and the Holy Names and several other orders and their works and presence has been powerful in ...

Wild Card/Thursday — 2.11.16

During the last two days, I've made trips after work to my bank and Costco. At the bank, I'm greeted by tellers as I walk in who later ask, "How's ...



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