Billy Paul, a star from the Philadelphia soul scene who won fame with "Me and Mrs. Jones" before drawing controversy with his racially charged politics, died Sunday. Known for his uplifting, mellifluous voice, Paul won a Grammy Award and helped shape the course of modern R&B but fell on the losing end of one of the music industry's legendary tales of poor marketing. Born as Paul Williams in Philadelphia, the singer came of age as the eastern city became an epicenter of a style of soul music known for smooth and jazzy melodies.
The UN Security Council echoed international condemnation Sunday of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test by North Korea, while US President Barack Obama dismissed Pyongyang's offer of a nuclear moratorium. Saturday's test, personally monitored by supreme leader Kim Jong-Un, was the latest in a series of provocative moves by Pyongyang that have further fuelled tensions on the divided Korean peninsula following the North's fourth nuclear test back in January.
By Roberta Rampton and Arshad Mohammed HANOVER, Germany/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will announce on Monday he plans to send as many as 250 additional U.S. troops to Syria, a sharp increase in the American presence working with local Syrian forces fighting Islamic State militants, U.S. officials said. The deployment, which will increase U.S. forces in Syria to about 300, aims to accelerate recent gains against Islamic State and appears to reflect growing confidence in the ability of U.S.-backed forces inside Syria and Iraq to claw back territory from the hardline Sunni Islamist group.
HANNOVER, Germany (AP) — President Barack Obama mounted a strong defense of international trade deals Sunday in the face of domestic and foreign opposition, saying it's "indisputable" that such agreements strengthen the economy and make U.S. businesses more competitive worldwide. But he acknowledged that the clock is ticking on his faltering trade agenda.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Sunday that it successfully test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine and warned of its growing ability to cut down its enemies with a "dagger of destruction." South Korea couldn't immediately confirm the claim of success in what marks Pyongyang's latest effort to expand its military might in face of pressure by its neighbors and Washington.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un hailed a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test as an "eye-opening success", state media said Sunday, declaring Pyongyang has the ability to strike Seoul and the US whenever it pleases. Saturday's launch came amid growing concern that Pyongyang is preparing a fifth nuclear test.
Prince's film career blazed brightly but briefly compared to his 40-year reign in music, even if he left his mark on Hollywood with countless movie and television soundtracks. Like many other music stars from Madonna to David Bowie and Michael Jackson, Prince's time in front of and behind the camera left a very faint trace compared to his huge impact in the music studio and on stage. From the success of "Purple Rain" in 1984 to the failures of "Under the Cherry Moon" (1986) and "Graffiti Bridge" (1990), Prince's film career lasted a mere six years.
A loose coalition of trade unions, environmentalists and consumer protection groups in the northern city of Hanover said they drew a crowd of 90,000 to a march and rally outside the city's opera house. Obama's trip -- to open an industrial technology fair and hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders -- was intended to lend momentum to flagging efforts to see the world's biggest trade pact finalised this year.
Pope Francis on Saturday heard confessions from 16 teenagers after a surprise appearance in St Peter's square to greet thousands of young people attending his holy year youth day. The 16 boys and girls were among tens of thousands of 13 to 16-year-olds visiting the Vatican this weekend as part of Francis's Jubilee year dedicated to the theme of mercy. Thousands of them confessed to a total of 150 priests on duty at St Peter's before passing through a door of the basilica that is only open for the duration of the Jubilee, which started in December and runs to November.