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Government and politics

Gay, disabled journalist's 'personal view' new in Serbia

Gay journalist beams 'personal view' from wheelchair - pushing limits in Serbia
Jovana Gec, The Associated Press

BELGRADE, Serbia - Nenad Mihailovic flouts Serbian taboo. He's openly gay in a notoriously macho culture. He uses a wheelchair in a society that shows little sympathy for the disabled. And he's a voice of liberal thinking in a nation where strong leaders have a tendency to quash dissent.

US counterterrorism strategy in Yemen collapses amid chaos

Once Obama's model for fighting extremists, US counterterrorism strategy collapses
Julie Pace And Ken Dilanian, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The U.S. counterterrorism strategy in Yemen has all but collapsed as the country once hailed by President Barack Obama as a model for fighting extremism descends into chaos, according to U.S. and Yemeni officials.

Boehner 'baffled' by reports Israel spied on Iran talks

Boehner 'baffled' by reports that Israel spied on Iran nuclear talks
Deb Riechmann And Josef Federman, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The leader of the U.S. House of Representatives House said Tuesday that he's "baffled" by reports that Israel spied on negotiators in the closed-door talks over Iran's nuclear program — espionage that Israeli officials denied.

"I'm baffled by it,"Speaker John Boehner told reporters about the news report that comes at a time of strained relations between the U.S. and Israel. "I'm not aware of that at all."

Utah to use firing squads if lethal drugs are unavailable

Governor signs law making Utah only state to use firing squads if lethal drugs are unavailable
Michelle L. Price And Brady McCombs, The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY - Utah became the only state to allow firing squads for executions when Gov. Gary Herbert signed a law approving the method for use when no lethal injection drugs are available, even though he has called it "a little bit gruesome."

The Republican governor has said Utah is a capital punishment state and needs a backup execution method in case a shortage of the drugs persists.

Firing of Milwaukee police officer who shot man upheld

Police commissioners uphold firing of white Milwaukee police officer who shot black man
The Associated Press

MILWAUKEE - A panel of police commissioners in Milwaukee has upheld the firing of a white officer who fatally shot a black man last year.

The three-commissioner panel ruled Monday night that firing Christopher Manney was the proper punishment. The panel earlier found that Manney violated department protocol when he tried to search the man moments before they began fighting.

Posthumous Nelson Mandela memoir to be published in 2016

Nelson Mandela presidential memoir, sequel to 'Long Walk to Freedom,' to be published in 2016
Jill Lawless, The Associated Press

LONDON - A posthumous memoir by Nelson Mandela, recounting his time as South Africa's first democratically elected president, is scheduled to be published around the world next year.

Pan Macmillan said Tuesday that it will publish the sequel to Mandela's bestselling autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom" in Britain, South Africa, India and Australasia in 2016. U.S. and Canadian rights have not yet been sold.

Barbados planning to replace queen as head of state

Barbados planning to replace Queen Elizabeth as titular head of state, adopt republican gov't
Carol Williams And David McFadden, The Associated Press

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - Barbados plans to remove Queen Elizabeth II as titular head of state and replace her with a ceremonial president from the Caribbean island, a former British territory once known as "Little England" for its colonial trappings.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart announced that the plan is to make Barbados a republic by November 2016 when the island of roughly 300,000 people celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence. He said it makes no sense to keep the monarch as the head of state of an otherwise independent country.

Israel's Netanyahu apologizes to country's Arab minority

Israel's Netanyahu apologizes for offending Arab citizens with his comments during election
Ian Deitch, The Associated Press

JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Israel's Arab citizens on Monday for remarks he made during last week's parliament election that offended members of the community.

The move appeared to be an attempt to heal rifts and mute criticism at home and in the United States. Netanyahu drew accusations of racism in Israel, especially from its Arab minority, and a White House rebuke when, just a few hours before polling stations were to close across the country, he warned that Arab citizens were voting "in droves."

Israel seeks an ally in France to oppose Iran deal

Having struck out in the US, Israel seeks an ally in France in its opposition to Iran deal
Greg Keller, The Associated Press

PARIS - Unable to find support from its U.S. allies, Israel is turning to France to help head off what it sees as a bad and dangerous nuclear deal with Iran.

In an interview with The Associated Press in Paris, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said Monday that dialogue with France over Iran's nuclear program "has proven in the past that it was productive" and makes this week's last-minute diplomatic mission to Paris worthwhile.

France swings to the right as Europe retrenches

France swings to the right, as Europe shifting amid economic and security concerns
Angela Charlton And Sylvie Corbet, The Associated Press

PARIS - France, long the land of the left, is making a right turn.

The top two parties in weekend local elections were the conservative UMP and the far right National Front. And even the governing Socialists are adopting traditionally right-wing policies: reducing labour protections, expelling immigrants and rounding up trouble-makers.

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