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S. African anti-apartheid hero awarded Tang Prize

Albie Sachs, the South African judge who rose to fame for his role in the anti-apartheid struggle, was Saturday awarded the Tang Prize, touted as Asia's version of the Nobels, for his contributions to human rights and justice. Sachs, who lost an arm and the sight of one eye in a car-bombing by apartheid forces in Mozambique in 1988 and was later appointed to South Africa's Constitutional Court by Nelson Mandela, was recognised "for his many contributions to human rights and justice globally," said the Tang Prize Foundation. In particular, the foundation recognised his efforts "in the realisation of the rule of law in a free and democratic South Africa".


US fans showing up in force in Brazil

RECIFE, Brazil (AP) — Some wanted to play soccer barefoot on the beach with Brazilians, experiencing for themselves those romanticized images they'd seen on TV. Others dreamed of attending meaningful games in the homeland of Pele, soaking up the passion for the game permeating not just the stadiums, but every corner of every neighborhood.


UN says 10.8 million Syrians need humanitarian aid

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The humanitarian situation in Syria is worsening and the number of people needing urgent help has reached 10.8 million — almost half of Syria's population of 22 million, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday.


AP PHOTOS: There's a new 'World's Ugliest Dog'

PETALUMA, Calif. (AP) — It's that time of year again when dogs with unusually large heads, hairless bodies and other oddities compete to be the World's Ugliest Dog.


13 shot dead after attacking police in west China

BEIJING (AP) — Police in China's western Xinjiang region shot dead 13 assailants who drove one or more vehicles into a police office building and set off explosives in an attack Saturday that injured three officers, the news website for the regional government said.

Review confirms basis of Japan's sex slave apology

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese panel confirmed the validity of a study that led to Japan's landmark 1993 apology for forcing Asian women into wartime prostitution, even as South Korea blasted the review as a move that "picks again at the painful wounds" of victims.


As homicides surge, forensics stall in Jamaica

SPANISH TOWN, Jamaica (AP) — Corpses, the suspected victims of violent deaths, are wrapped in plastic bags or covered loosely in stained sheets. There is no air conditioning and the room quickly becomes sweltering as the tropical sun beats down on the metal roof. A black fly buzzes around the room amid the smell of decay.


VA: 65 percent of senior executives got bonuses

WASHINGTON (AP) — About 65 percent of senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department got performance bonuses last year despite widespread treatment delays and preventable deaths at VA hospitals and clinics, the agency said Friday.


Stephanie Kwolek, Kevlar inventor, dies at 90

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Police Lt. David Spicer took four .45-caliber slugs to the chest and arms at point-blank range and lived to tell about it. Like thousands of other police officers and soldiers shot in the line of duty, he owes his life to a woman in Delaware by the name of Stephanie Kwolek.


Obama expands government benefits for gay couples

WASHINGTON (AP) — A year after the Supreme Court struck down a law barring federal recognition of gay marriages, the Obama administration granted an array of new benefits Friday to same-sex couples, including those who live in states where gay marriage is against the law.


New York legislature approves medical marijuana bill

New York state lawmakers gave final approval on Friday to a bill that would allow limited access to medical marijuana in New York, joining 22 other states where cannabis has been legalized for therapeutic purposes. The bill, passed on a 49-10 state Senate vote, embodies a deal reached on Thursday between Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers that would allow patients to inhale vaporized extracts of pot's active ingredients or to eat them in food, but prohibit smoking of marijuana itself. Exactly how medical marijuana products will be formulated in New York will be left up to the state's Health Department under the program, which the governor would have discretion to halt at any time, and which will expire after seven years, unless lawmaker reauthorize it.


Ukraine orders 1-week government cease-fire

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's president ordered his forces to cease fire Friday and halt military operations for a week against pro-Russian separatists in the country's east — the first step in a peace plan he hopes will end the fighting that has killed hundreds.


BRAZIL BEAT: Religiously watching the World Cup

SAO PAULO (AP) — They say that football is a religion in Brazil. So when the World Cup is being played on home soil, actual religions have to make some adjustments.


Benghazi suspect faces criminal, not military, court

A suspected leader of the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, captured by U.S. forces and spirited out of the country, can expect to move quickly through the initial steps of the criminal justice system.


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