Government and politics
TURNBERRY, Scotland - Donald Trump turned a brief trip to a golf tournament in Scotland into an extension of his presidential campaign trail when he attended the Women's British Open at his plush Turnberry resort on Thursday.
The first round of one of the high-profile events in women's golf wound up being a mere sideshow from the moment the Republican arrived at the course with family members in his private helicopter, declaring "the world has asked me to be here."
YANGON, Myanmar - More than 150 Chinese workers sentenced to life in prison for illegal logging were freed in Myanmar on Thursday under a massive presidential pardon that included nearly 7,000 prisoners.
Others who were freed included former military intelligence officials purged by their army colleagues more than a decade ago, and at least a handful of journalists and social activists.
NEW DELHI - Few countries sentence more people to death than India. Whether those punishments are actually carried out is another matter. Though well over a thousand people have been sent to death row this century, just four have been executed.
Yakub Abdul Razak Memon was the latest. Jailed for his supporting role in the 1993 Mumbai bombings that killed 257 people, he was hanged Thursday morning.
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.
Mullah Mohammad Omar, the secretive head of the Taliban and an al-Qaida ally who led a bloody insurgency against U.S.-led forces, eluded capture for more than a decade in spite of being one of the most-hunted fugitives on Earth.
On Wednesday, he was reported to have died two years ago in a Pakistani hospital, according to the Afghan intelligence agency. In Washington, the U.S. government said they considered the report credible, though it was not confirmed by the Taliban or Pakistan.
Even in possible death, the one-eyed cleric-warrior was shrouded in mystery.
KABUL - Afghanistan asserted Wednesday that the Taliban's reclusive leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, died more than two years ago in a Pakistani hospital — an announcement that injects new uncertainty into the country's fragile peace process.
If confirmed, the surprising news of the death of Mullah Omar would remove a unifying figure for the insurgents, who are believed to be split on whether to continue the war or negotiate with the government of President Ashraf Ghani.
CHICAGO - Lex the police dog from central Illinois is far from top dog in drug-sniffing skills.
That's the core finding of a potentially influential new ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which considered the question of how much police should rely on their K-9 partners to justify searches when a dog's own competence, as in Lex's case, is itself suspect.
BOSTON - After six years of helping the Obama administration determine the nation's food policy, former White House chef and food policy adviser Sam Kass will now report on it.
CALAIS, France - France deployed more than 100 riot police to Calais on Wednesday to bolster security as hundreds of migrants have been trying night after night to rush the railway tunnel leading to England — at times with fatal consequences.
BAGHDAD - Militants in Iraq used stolen Humvees loaded with explosives to unleash a series of suicide car bombings targeting Iraqi security forces on Wednesday, killing at least 18 Iraqi troops, officials said.
The attacks came as the government pressed on with efforts to reclaim territory under the extremists' control in the embattled western Anbar province.