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MH17 bodies returned as Malaysia battles fallout

Remains of MH17 victims return to mourning Malaysia as govt faces fallout of 2 plane tragedies
Vincent Thian And Chris Brummitt, The Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Carried by soldiers and draped in the national flag, coffins carrying Malaysian victims of Flight MH17 returned home Friday to a country still searching for those onboard another doomed jet and a government battling the political fallout of both tragedies.

Foley case lays bare debate over paying ransom

Foley case highlights wrenching debate over whether governments should pay ransom for hostages
Lara Jakes And Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The beheading of freelance journalist James Foley has forced a new debate between the longtime U.S. and British refusal to negotiate with terrorists, and Europe and the Persian Gulf's increasing willingness to pay ransoms in a desperate attempt to free citizens. The dilemma: How to save the lives of captives without financing terror groups and encouraging more kidnappings.

Nixon orders withdrawal of Guard from Ferguson

Missouri Gov. Nixon orders 'systematic' withdrawal of National Guard from Ferguson
The Associated Press

FERGUSON, Mo. - Gov. Jay Nixon says his decision to draw down the Missouri National Guard in Ferguson follows progress in stemming upheaval in the St. Louis suburb since a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old.

Nixon tells KMOX-AM that "the last two nights have been really good" in the suburb that had been the centre of nightly racial unrest since Michael Brown was killed Aug. 9.

The white officer who shot Brown, Darren Wilson, is on administrative leave and has not been charged.

Mexico increases number of missing to 22,322

Revising its calculation upward, Mexico government now says 22,322 reported missing since 2006
The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY - The Mexican government has increased its calculation of the number of people who have disappeared since the start of the country's drug war in 2006 and now lists 22,322 as missing, officials said Thursday. It had said in May that 8,000 people were missing.

Assistant Attorney General Mariana Benitez said 12,532 people went missing during the 2006-12 administration of President Felipe Calderon, who declared war on drug traffickers. An additional 9,790 have disappeared since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office on Dec. 1, 2012.

Irish peacemaker, ex-premier Reynolds dies at 81

Albert Reynolds, Irish prime minister who helped bring peace to Northern Ireland, dies at 81
Shawn Pogatchnik, The Associated Press

DUBLIN - Albert Reynolds, the risk-taking Irish prime minister who played a key role in delivering peace to Northern Ireland but struggled to keep his own governments intact, died Thursday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 81.

His eldest son, Philip, said he died around 3 a.m. at his Dublin home, where in recent years he required 24-hour care. The government ordered flags to fly at half-mast until Reynolds' state funeral Monday.

Police ticket boy after toy motorcycle hits SUV

Mexico police ticket 6-year-old boy, impound his toy motorcycle after crash with SUV
The Associated Press

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico - Police in this border city repented Thursday over ticketing a 6-year-old boy for reckless driving, driving without a license and not having his vehicle registered after he drove his miniature motorcycle into an SUV.

The boy's mother, Karla Noriega, said police impounded the miniature gasoline-powered motorbike that her son got for Christmas after he crashed into an SUV on Dec. 27.

Myanmar frees prominent political prisoners

Myanmar releases prominent political prisoners after presidential pardon
The Associated Press

YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar has freed several prominent political prisoners, which has been a key condition set by Western countries for easing sanctions against the country.

Myanmar authorities freed the prisoners Friday as part of a presidential pardon for 651 detainees. Relatives and supporters of activists and ethnic minority politicians confirmed their release.

Myanmar state radio and television announced said that the 651 detainees were being freed to take part in "nation-building."

Japan's PM reshuffles Cabinet to win tax support

Japan's leader reshuffles Cabinet to win opposition support for tax hike proposal
Malcolm Foster, The Associated Press

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda replaced five members of his Cabinet on Friday in a bid to win more co-operation from the opposition to raise the sales tax and rein in the country's bulging fiscal deficit.

Two of the removed ministers had been censured by the opposition for making comments that were deemed inappropriate. Twelve posts were unchanged, including finance and foreign minister.

Panetta assures Afghans of full probe into video

US assures Afghans of full probe of Marines video amid condemnation and fear of strained ties
Pauline Jelinek,Robert Burns, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Pentagon leaders scrambled Thursday to contain damage from an Internet video that purports to show four Marines urinating on Taliban corpses, an act that would appear to violate international laws of warfare and further strains U.S.-Afghan relations.

Court asked to release Moroun, top aide from jail

Lawyers ask Michigan appeals court to release Moroun, Stamper from jail in bridge dispute
The Associated Press

DETROIT - Lawyers have asked the Michigan appeals court to release the owner of the Ambassador Bridge while he appeals an order that put him in jail for civil contempt.

The filing came hours after Manuel "Matty" Moroun and Dan Stamper were sent to jail Thursday as the consequence for the bridge company failing to finish work connecting the bridge to interstates.

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