Government and politics
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.