Government and politics
RABAT, Morocco - Journalists and activists in Morocco during the heady days of the Arab Spring knew Anas Haloui, a slight, serious, wispy-bearded man in his 30s who would bombard them with emails about the plight of jailed Islamists.
Unlike many Salafis, as followers of his ultraconservative strand of Islam are known, he was eager to engage with people who didn't share his beliefs.
LINCOLN, Neb. - Lawmakers in the central state of Nebraska gave final approval on Wednesday to a bill abolishing the death penalty that would make it the first conservative state to do so since 1973 if the measure becomes law.
The vote margin in the unicameral Legislature was more than enough to override a promised veto from the state's Republican governor.
WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve policymakers largely agreed when they met last month that it would be too early to start raising interest rates in June, as they debated whether the economy's winter weakness would fade or persist.
While "a few" Fed officials believed that the U.S. economy would be ready to raise rates in June, they were outnumbered by "many" Fed officials who viewed it as "unlikely" that the economic data would be strong enough to justify a hike next month.
WASHINGTON - The prevailing images of protests in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, over police killings of black men were of police in riot gear, handcuffed protesters, tear gas and mass arrests. The main images of a fatal gun battle between armed bikers and police in Waco, Texas, also showed mass arrests — carried out by nonchalant-looking officers sitting around calm bikers on cellphones.
BEIJING, China - A nine-story residential building in southwest China collapsed following a landslide on Wednesday, trapping at least five people, the city government said.
The collapse occurred at about 11:30 a.m. in Guiyang city. Two hours later, the city government said it had checked three-quarters of the 35 households and found at least five of the 114 residents were missing. It was trying to contact a total of 21 residents.
KATHMANDU, Nepal - Nepal must take lessons from earthquake-hit countries such as Mexico and strictly enforce existing building laws as it prepares to rebuild from two major quakes, a senior United Nations official said Wednesday.
Major earthquakes on April 25 and May 12 killed at least 8,622 people and damaged 756,000 houses and other buildings in Nepal.
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia - Indonesia and Malaysia agreed Wednesday to provide temporary shelter to thousands of migrants believed to be stranded at sea, a potential breakthrough in the humanitarian crisis confronting Southeast Asia after weeks of reluctance by the region's nations to take responsibility.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - John Glenn, who declared as a 77-year-old in a news conference from space that "to look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is to me impossible," says facts about scientific discovery should be taught in schools — and that includes evolution.
The astronaut, now 93 with fading eyesight and hearing, told The Associated Press in a recent interview that he sees no contradiction between believing in God and believing in evolution.
SUMAS, Wash. - A prosecutor in Washington state says a U.S. Border Patrol agent was justified in fatally shooting a 20-year-old British Columbia man who crossed the U.S.-Canada border illegally in March and sprayed the agent with bear spray.
Whatcom County prosecutor Dave McEachran said the agent retreated as far as he could from the young man, identified as Jamison Childress, and warned the man that he would have to shoot if the bear spray was deployed.
SALGAR, Colombia - Hector Raul Henao wept as he surveyed the barren landscape of mud and uprooted trees that had been a vibrant community of small coffee farmers. In the distance, across the still-raging La Libordiana ravine, he pointed to the zinc-roofed house he fled — one of just two left standing in an area devastated by a mudslide that killed at least 78 people.
"I lost half my life," he said Tuesday amid tears.