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Government and politics

Scotland took long road to independence vote

The high road or the low road? Scotland took a long and winding path to independence vote
Jill Lawless, The Associated Press

EDINBURGH, Scotland - On Calton Hill, overlooking Edinburgh, stands Scotland's National Monument. A colonnade of classical stone pillars modeled on the Parthenon in Athens, it's grand, inspiring — and unfinished, ever since the money to build it ran out two centuries ago.

It's a fitting image for the country as seen by independence campaigners, who hope voters will finish Scotland's incomplete journey to statehood by backing separation from Britain in a referendum on Thursday.

1 dead, 1 injured in Danish courthouse shooting

1 dead, 1 injured in Danish courthouse shooting; police say attack linked to custody dispute
Jan M. Olsen, The Associated Press

COPENHAGEN - A 67-year-old gunman opened fire in a Copenhagen courthouse Tuesday, killing a lawyer and seriously wounding the father of his 3-year-old grandchild in connection with a custody dispute, authorities said.

The victims were a 57-year-old lawyer and his client, a 31-year-old man who was in a custody battle with the gunman's daughter, police and court officials said.

The gunman was arrested nearby and police seized a rifle used in the shooting, officials said.

Afghan suicide bomber kills 3 foreign troops

Taliban suicide bomber kills 3 foreign troops in strike on convoy near US Embassy in Kabul
Jason Straziuso, The Associated Press

KABUL - A Taliban attacker detonated his car bomb next to an international military convoy on Tuesday, killing three members of the NATO-led force and wounding nearly 20 troops and civilians, officials said.

Eminem publishers sue New Zealand political party

Eminem's publishers sue New Zealand political party over music used in campaign ad
The Associated Press

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - The music publishers for American rapper Eminem filed a lawsuit Tuesday against New Zealand's ruling political party over the music it used in a campaign commercial.

Detroit-based Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated both claim the National Party breached copyright laws by using Eminem's song "Lose Yourself." Joel Martin, a spokesman for the two companies, said they filed a case in the New Zealand High Court and are seeking damages.

Kerry: US open to talks with Iran on Islamic State

Kerry: US won't rule out talking with Iran about helping in Islamic State crisis
Elaine Ganley And Lara Jakes, The Associated Press

PARIS - As more than two dozen nations pledged Monday to help Iraq fight the Islamic State militants, the United States said it was open to talking to Iran about a role in resolving the crisis, despite Washington's earlier opposition to Tehran even attending the conference.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ruled out any military co-ordination with Iran, which in the end was not invited to Paris.

Generation gap: Young Scots favour independence

Generation gap: Young Scots tend to favour independence; older ones say keep things as they are
Paul Kelbie, The Associated Press

GLASGOW, Scotland - Across Scotland, dinner table talk is getting heated as families argue over how to vote in Scotland's independence referendum. A generation gap has opened up, with younger voters more inclined to back independence and their elders tending to say they want to remain in the United Kingdom.

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.

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