Government and politics
MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao is setting up a boxing institute in China and believes the country of 1.4 billion people can produce professional world champions.
Pacquiao said Wednesday that he has partnered with a Chinese company and the Chinese government to set up an institute in his name, with the aim of imparting the experience that has seen him win eight world titles.
CHICAGO - Federal appeals judges bristled on Tuesday at arguments defending gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, with one Republican appointee comparing them to now-defunct laws that once outlawed weddings between blacks and whites.
As the legal skirmish in the United States over same-sex marriage shifted to the three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, more than 200 people lined up hours before to ensure they got a seat at the much-anticipated hearing.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist won the Democratic primary to challenge Republican Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday, marking another step in an unlikely political comeback four years after leaving the Republican Party.
MINSK, Belarus - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said early Wednesday that he has support for a peace plan from leaders who attended a summit meeting in Minsk, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Interfax news agency reported.
But there were no indications that would mean an immediate end to the fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in which about 2,000 civilians and more than 700 Ukrainian troops have died.
GAZA, Palestinian Territories - Israel and Gaza's ruling Hamas agreed Tuesday to an open-ended cease-fire after seven weeks of fighting — an uneasy deal that halts the deadliest war the sides have fought in years, with more than 2,200 killed, but puts off the most difficult issues.
WASHINGTON - Egypt and the United Arab Emirates secretly carried out airstrikes against Islamic militias inside Libya, the United States publicly acknowledged Tuesday, another sharp jolt to American-led attempts over the past three years to stabilize Libya after dictator Moammar Gadhafi's overthrow.
PARIS - France reshuffled its government on Tuesday to silence dissidents who had openly criticized Socialist President Francois Hollande's economic policy as he tries to pull the nation out of stagnation and steer it toward growth.
Emmanuel Macron, who had earlier served as top adviser in charge of economy, took over the Economy Ministry, replacing Arnaud Montebourg who had publicly railed against government policy as being too austere and even unjust to the French.
NAIROBI, Kenya - A rebel commander who warned the U.N. not to fly over his territory shot down a U.N. helicopter Tuesday in rural South Sudan, charged a spokesman for a state governor.
The U.N. confirmed that three people died and one survived — all Russian citizens — when one of its helicopters crashed. The U.N. said it is investigating the cause.
The U.N. mission said that an Mi-8 cargo helicopter crashed near Bentiu, a hotly contested area between the government and rebel fighters.
CANBERRA, Australia - The Australian government said Tuesday it will spend 64 million Australian dollars ($60 million) on measures to counter violent extremism and radicalization as Islamic State continues to recruit foreign fighters to its ranks in Iraq and Syria.
The measures include strengthened community engagement programs aimed at preventing young Australians from becoming involved with extremist groups and new multi-agency investigation teams to disrupt foreign fighters and their supporters.
WASHINGTON - Vice-President Joe Biden is calling top Iraqi leaders to call for the formation of a new government and encourage their opposition to the Islamic State group.
Biden called Iraqi Kurdistan Regional President Masoud Barzani on Sunday night and Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi and Iraqi Council of Representatives Speaker Salim al-Jabouri on Monday.
Biden and al-Abadi discussed military action against Islamic State and the importance of forming a new government in the fight against the terror group that has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria.