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Government and politics

France seeks possible accomplice to planned church attack

France seeks possible accomplice to planned church attack uncovered by suspect's misfire
Lori Hinnant, The Associated Press

PARIS - Investigators are searching for possible accomplices in the planned attack on a church uncovered when the suspect apparently shot himself by accident, France's prime minister said Thursday

Manuel Valls told France Inter radio that the would-be attacker could have had a support network.

Airstrikes hit Yemen rebels after Saudis say operation over

Saudis launch airstrikes on Yemen rebels after saying operation over; rebels welcome UN talks
Ahmed Al-Haj And Brian Rohan, The Associated Press

SANAA, Yemen - Saudi-led airstrikes targeted Iran-backed rebels and their allies in Yemen on Wednesday, hours after Riyadh declared an end to a nearly monthlong air campaign. The Shiite forces later said they would welcome United Nations-led peace talks to end a conflict that's killed hundreds without dislodging them from the capital.

The rebels, known as Houthis, say they call for a resumption of dialogue and any efforts under the auspices of the U.N. that lead to a peaceful compromise.

Unseasonal rainstorm kills at least 42 in eastern India

Unseasonal rainstorm kills at least 42, injures dozens in eastern India's Bihar state
Indrajit Singh, The Associated Press

PATNA, India - An unseasonal storm with heavy rain and hail killed at least 42 people, injured more than a hundred and caused heavy damage to the winter wheat crop in eastern India, officials said Wednesday.

Most of the deaths were caused Tuesday night by tin roofs that were blown off of poor people's huts by winds reaching 65 kilometres per hour (40 miles per hour) in northeastern parts of Bihar state, meteorologist R.K. Giri said. The storm subsided before daybreak.

Saudi ambassador: War turning against Yemen's rebels

Saudi envoy says war turning against Yemen's rebels, coalition will keep responding to attacks
Bradley Klapper, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. says Yemen's war will turn against the rebels even as his government scales back its air offensive.

Adel al-Jubeir (AD'-duhl ahl-joo-BEHR') says the Saudi-led coalition will respond to attacks by Houthi (HOO'-thee) rebels as part of its new mission.

On Wednesday, he suggested strikes would soon combat a three-pronged militant attack on the city of Aden.

EU charges Russia's Gazprom gas giant with market abuse

European Union charges Gazprom with market abuse amid worsening EU-Russia relations
Raf Casert, The Associated Press

BRUSSELS - The European Union on Wednesday charged Russian state energy giant Gazprom of abusing its dominant position in central and eastern EU nations in an antitrust case that will further test tense relations between Brussels and Moscow.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Gazprom is strong-arming customer nations ranging from Estonia to Bulgaria, where it sometimes almost fully controls the gas market, by setting unfair pricing and contract restrictions.

New York aims to cut waste by 90 per cent by 2030

New York aims to cut waste by 90 per cent by 2030, will overhaul recycling program
Jonathan Lemire, The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The nation's biggest city, in a far-reaching effort to limit its impact on the environment, is set to mark Earth Day by announcing the ambitious goal of reducing its waste output by 90 per cent by 2030.

New Zealand Prime Minister apologizes for ponytail pulling

New Zealand Prime Minister apologizes to cafe worker for repeatedly pulling her ponytail
The Associated Press

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key has apologized to a cafe worker who said he'd repeatedly pulled her ponytail when he visited the cafe near his home over a period of months, even after she'd told him to stop.

Japanese lawmakers visit shrine honouring war criminals

Japanese lawmakers visit shrine honouring war criminals after prime minister sends offerings
Mari Yamaguchi, The Associated Press

TOKYO - More than 100 Japanese lawmakers paid respects Wednesday at a Tokyo shrine that honours Japan's war dead, including World War II leaders, but Cabinet ministers and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not participate in the spring ritual.

Abe sent religious offerings Tuesday rather than visiting Yasukuni Shrine, a move less likely to draw controversy on his current Southeast Asian trip and an upcoming U.S. visit.

Smuggler's mistake turned rescue into tragedy

Smuggler's faulty manoeuvr turned would-be rescue into worst Mediterranean shipwreck in memory
Trisha Thomas And Colleen Barry, The Associated Press

CATANIA, Italy - Rescue seemed so close at hand.

A ship with experience plucking migrants from unseaworthy smuggler's boats had arrived soon after the distress call went out. But then the fishing trawler's navigator made a manoeuvr that would seal the fate of the 850 people crammed inside: Instead of easing up alongside the merchant ship, he rammed it.

Auschwitz guard goes on trial, says he shares moral guilt

Auschwitz guard tells court he shares moral guilt, witnessed how Jews were led to gas chambers
David Rising, The Associated Press

LUENEBURG, Germany - Former SS Sgt. Oskar Groening told a German court Tuesday that he helped keep watch as thousands of Jews were led from cattle cars directly to the gas chambers at the Auschwitz death camp where he served as a guard.

The 93-year-old, charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, said as his trial opened that he witnessed individual atrocities, but did not acknowledge participating in any crimes.

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