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Kerry calls on Russia, Iran, Hezbollah to end Syria war

Beirut (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry called on key backers of President Bashar al-Assad to end the three-year war in Syria, during an unannounced visit to neighbouring Lebanon on Wednesday.


Ireland confronts 'mother-and-baby home' graveyard revelation

Ireland is considering an inquiry into what the government called a "deeply disturbing" discovery of an unmarked graveyard at a former home run by the Roman Catholic Church where almost 800 children died between 1925 and 1961. Ireland's once powerful Catholic Church has been rocked by a series of scandals over the abuse and neglect of children, and the government is concerned that research carried out by a local historian in county Galway has revealed another dark chapter. The graveyard was discovered in the former grounds of one of Ireland's "mother-and-baby homes" run by the Bon Secours order of nuns. Researcher Catherine Corless said public records show that almost 800 children died at the home before it was closed just over 50 years ago.


Kerry makes surprise Lebanon stop

BEIRUT (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling for an end to the political stalemate in Lebanon, saying it is "deeply troubling" at a time of instability in the region.


Mourning, tight security on Tiananmen anniversary

BEIJING (AP) — Yin Min held the ashes of her son and wept, she said, as she marked 25 years since he was killed in the crackdown by Chinese tanks and troops on protests at Tiananmen Square. Outside, guards kept a close eye on her home while police blanketed central Beijing to block any public commemoration of one of the darkest chapters in recent Chinese history.

Hagel says rush to judgment on Bergdahl 'unfair'

BRUSSELS (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says it is unfair to the family of released captive Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to leap to conclusions about his behavior in uniform.

Will that be a 6-bedroom suite or just a couch?

NEW YORK (AP) — Private elevators, personal shopping assistants, six-bedroom suites with their own postal codes. Even helipads. This is what the super-rich have come to expect from hotels.


Dalai Lama remembers 'martyrs' of Tiananmen Square

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama marked the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing on Wednesday by urging China to embrace democracy and offering prayers for the protest "martyrs". The Dalai Lama, reviled by Beijing as a separatist, made the rare comments on the June 4, 1989, violence at a prayer meeting two years after he renounced politics. "I offer my prayers for those who died for freedom, democracy and human rights," the Nobel Peace Prize winner said according to a statement posted on his web site (dalailama.com). "While great progress has been made to integrate into the world economy, I believe it is equally important to encourage China to enter the mainstream of global democracy," he added.


Obama casts Ukraine crisis as march toward liberty

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — President Barack Obama held up 25 years of Polish democracy as a beacon for neighboring Ukraine in a public celebration Wednesday, warning Russia that the free world is united against its "dark tactics" to violate Ukraine's sovereignty.

Israel doctors won't force-feed Palestinians

JERUSALEM (AP) — Proposed legislation to permit the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike is pitting Israel's government against the country's main doctors' association, which says the practice amounts to torture.


Taliban video shows handover of US soldier

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban on Wednesday released a video showing the handover of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan, touting the swap of the American soldier for five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo as a significant achievement for the insurgents.


Neighbors: Stabbing at odds with girls' upbringing

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — Neighbors of two Wisconsin girls accused of stabbing a friend nearly to death say they're struggling to reconcile the allegations with what they know about the 12-year-olds and their upbringings.


The real NSA scandal is overseas

Last week Edward Snowden popped up from his exile in Moscow for an exclusive interview with NBC News anchor Brian Williams. Like much of the public narrative that has emerged since Snowden absconded with reams of classified documents from the National Security Agency, the interview further muddied the waters about what his historic leaks have revealed.


China in security clampdown on Tiananmen anniversary

By Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - China deployed its vast security apparatus on Wednesday to snuff out commemoration of the suppression of pro-democracy protests around Tiananmen Square 25 years ago, flooding the streets with police as censors scrubbed the Internet clean of any mention of the crackdown. Several governments including the United States urged China to account for what happened on June 4, 1989, comments that riled China, which has said the protest movement was "counter-revolutionary". Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama used the anniversary to call on China to embrace democracy. China has never released a death toll for the crackdown, but estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.


Rangers, LA Kings ready for big Stanley Cup finish

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Although the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers have played 41 combined postseason games over the previous six weeks, they still have ample energy for the big finale to their epic playoff chase.


6 militants killed, 3 Ukrainian troops injured

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's National Guard says its forces abandoned a military outpost in the eastern city of Luhansk after running out of ammunition in a 10-hour battle with pro-Russian militants.


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