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Japan may change temple map icon to avoid Nazi confusion
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 18:30:20 -0500

In this Thursday, Feb. 3, 2016 photo, visitors stand next to a religious ornament with the "manji" symbol, which comes from the ancient Sanskrit and is widely used for centuries to denote Buddhist temples on maps and elsewhere, at a temple in Tokyo. As Japan gears up to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and caters to a surging influx of foreign visitors, the country faces a cultural dilemma: Should it stop identifying Buddhist temples on maps with the traditional "manji" symbol that is often confused with a Nazi swastika? (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)TOKYO (AP) — As Japan gears up to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and caters to a surging influx of foreign visitors, the country faces a cultural dilemma: Should it stop identifying Buddhist temples on maps with the traditional "manji" symbol that is often confused with a Nazi swastika?




HSBC to pay $601 mn for shoddy US mortgage practices
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:15:35 -0500

British banking giant HSBC is to pay more than $600 million to US authorities for its abusive mortgage lending and foreclosure practices in the housing marketBritish banking giant HSBC is to pay more than $600 million to US authorities for its abusive mortgage lending and foreclosure practices in the housing market, officials said Friday. HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, will pay $470 million to settle the allegations by the US government, 49 states and the District of Columbia, the Justice Department said in a statement. "This agreement is the result of a coordinated effort between federal and state partners to hold HSBC accountable for abusive mortgage practices," said Stuart Delery, acting associate attorney general, in the statement.




NATO says Russian air strikes 'undermining' Syria peace efforts
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:09:46 -0500

Syrians ride a motorbike past a collapsed building on which graffiti reads "Russia kills us" on January 1, 2016 in the central Syrian town of Talbisseh in the Homs provinceNATO head Jens Stoltenberg said Friday that Russia's air strikes in Syria targeting rebel forces are "undermining" efforts to find a peaceful solution to the five-year war. Syrian peace talks in Geneva earlier this week broke up acrimoniously as Moscow's long-time ally President Bashar al-Assad launched a fresh offensive against rebel forces in Aleppo with massive Russian backing. "What we have seen is that the intense Russian air strikes mainly targeting opposition groups in Syria are undermining the efforts to find a political solution to the conflict," Stoltenberg said as he arrived for talks in Amsterdam with EU defence and foreign ministers.




DraftKings makes long delayed push into UK
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:34:25 -0500

BOSTON (AP) — Daily fantasy sports giant DraftKings is making its long-anticipated international push with a launch Friday in the United Kingdom even as its industry continues to tangle with U.S. policymakers.

The Latest: France says Turkey must fight trafficking groups
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:19:15 -0500

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve speaks to the media during a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart Efkan Ala in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. The European Union has ratcheted up pressure on Greece to start managing its borders properly or face the prospect of measures being imposed from Brussels.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on the influx of migrants into Europe (all times local):




France, Germany pile pressure on Turkey to stem migrant tide
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:14:10 -0500

Migrants and refugees keep themselves warm near a fire at a gas station near the northern Greek village of Idomeni as they wait to cross the Greek - Macedonian border on February 5, 2016The massive flow of migrants into Europe must be slowed with the help of Turkey and better screening of asylum applicants on arrival on the continent, the interior ministers of France and Germany said Friday. Speaking in Athens, the ministers warned again of a real "danger" of Europe's Schengen border-free zone collapsing if its outer frontiers were not better protected by, among other things, boosting Greece's capacity to sort "genuine" refugees from economic migrants. Most come from Turkey, which Europe accuses of doing too little to prevent migrant families setting out for Greece in overloaded boats that often sink, costing hundreds of lives since the crisis accelerated last summer.




UK cannot have 'Europe a la carte': EU parliament leader
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:29:35 -0500

European Parliament President Martin Schulz is pictured during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on February 2, 2016Britain faces opposition from European partners over plans to reform the EU ahead of an in/out referendum on membership, and should not expect "Europe a la carte," the European Parliament president warned Friday. Martin Schulz welcomed Britainâ s push to make the European Union more competitive, but said other demands would "set a dangerous precedent for a Europe a la carte", where countries could ignore aspects of the EU they did not like. The reforms would "meet resistance in the European Parliament", Schultz told students at the London School of Economics (LSE).




Sheikh Salman's FIFA bid gets African boost
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:01:21 -0500

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa is the president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa's bid to take over as FIFA president received a massive boost on Friday with the Asian football chief getting the powerful backing of the African continent. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) agreed to support the Bahraini's bid to succeed Sepp Blatter as president of world governing body FIFA in an election in Zurich later this month. "The executive committee decided that CAF will give full support to Sheikh Salman with his candidacy for FIFA presidency," CAF first vice-president Suketu Patel said after an executive committee meeting during the African Nations Championship tournament in Kigali.




Russian Patriarch Kirill, Kremlin's unwavering backer
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:28:28 -0500

Russian Patriarch Kirill celebrates a Christmas service in Christ the Savior cathedral in Moscow early on January 7, 2016A close ally of President Vladimir Putin, Patriarch Kirill has helped to transform the Russian Orthodox Church into a powerful institution of the post-Soviet state. The 69-year-old native of Saint Petersburg will meet Pope Francis next week in Cuba. Kirill, born Vladimir Gundyaev, was chosen to take the helm of the Russian Orthodox Church in 2009 after the death of Patriarch Alexy II, a domineering presence who had been in charge since the breakup of the Soviet Union.




Pope and Patriarch to bridge 1,000-year split in Cuba
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:16:47 -0500

Pope Francis (left) and Patriarch Kirill will hold landmark talks at Havana's Jose Marti International Airport on February 12Pope Francis will meet Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Cuba next week in a historic first meeting between the heads of the two largest Christian churches, the Vatican announced Friday. The two wings have been estranged ever since with each maintaining for centuries that they are the true heritors of the early Christian church established by the apostles of Jesus Christ. Relations have warmed of late between Rome and other branches of the Orthodox tradition, but the Russian one, the most influential in the Eastern family, has maintained its distance, until now.




Factbox: What business thinks about Britain's EU referendum
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:00:26 -0500

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to renegotiate Britain's ties with Europe and then give voters a referendum on European Union membership by the end of 2017. Following are the views of business leaders: AEROSPACE AND AIRLINES Chief executive of airline easyJet Carolyn McCall said: "We will do everything we can to make sure that consumers understand that they are far better off within the EU when it comes to connectivity and low fares." "We think it would be very difficult for our government to negotiate with 27 other member states to get the flying rights that we have today within the EU." Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary: "We're very actively supporting the campaign to keep the UK in the European Union.

EU negotiators dissect but don't demolish draft deal for Britain
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:00:26 -0500

A British Union Jack flag is seen flying near a face of the clocktower at the Houses of Parliament in London, BritainBy Gabriela Baczynska BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Britain's European partners voiced reservations but no outright rejection of a draft deal to meet its demands for reformed EU membership terms on Friday when negotiators from the 28-nation bloc met for the first time to discuss the text, diplomats said. London's bid to win exemption from the European Union goal of "ever closer union", preserve its financial sector from regulation by the euro zone and curb access to in-work benefits for EU migrant workers won backing from Poland as the meeting of national negotiators - or sherpas - began in Brussels. The powerful leader of Warsaw's new ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, said after meeting British Prime Minister David Cameron that he was satisfied that the proposals would protect the rights of some 600,000 Polish workers already in Britain.




Turkish army seizes parrots, budgies on Syria border
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 12:41:39 -0500

The Turkish army has confiscated 700 parrots and 294 budgerigars on the border with Syria, it said on Friday, as its tighter security measures ensnare what was once a thriving trade in domesticated birds. NATO member Turkey has stepped up security along its 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria as it tries to prevent foreign fighters joining Islamic State militants and defend itself against spillover from the country's civil war. "They were generally bringing Sultan, Love and Paradise parrots.

U.N. migration chief says Angela Merkel is a hero
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 11:38:26 -0500

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the donors Conference for Syria in LondonBy Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.N's top migration official called German Chancellor Angela Merkel a hero on Friday, saying she had taken a principled stand to support refugees while some European leaders had failed a test of human decency. "In my opinion Mrs Merkel is a hero," Peter Sutherland, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special representative for international migration, told a news conference in Geneva.




African confederation backs Sheikh Salman in FIFA election
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 11:14:07 -0500

FILE - In this Thursday, April 30, 2015 file photo, Asian Football Confederation President Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa leaves the AFC Congress in Manama, Bahrain. The Confederation of African Football said Friday it is backing Sheikh Salman of Bahrain in this month's FIFA presidential election. The decision also means CAF has turned its back on the only African candidate in the five-man field, South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, file)KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Sheikh Salman's bid to succeed Sepp Blatter got a major boost Friday when the African soccer confederation announced it was backing the Bahraini royal for FIFA president.




NATO chief meets EU defense ministers to discuss cooperation
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 10:34:54 -0500

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, center, is flanked by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, right, and Netherlands’ Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert as they pose for a picture at the Maritime Museum prior to an informal meeting of EU defense ministers in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)AMSTERDAM (AP) — European Union defense ministers huddled Friday with NATO's secretary general to discuss closer cooperation between the military alliance and the 28-nation bloc to tackle looming threats to the region.




Ai Weiwei wraps Zodiac Heads to protest migrants' condition
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 10:31:28 -0500

Chinese activist and artist Ai Weiwei poses for a photograph standing next to his 12 sculptures installation called Zodiac placed in front of the National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. Ai Weiwei has wrapped with thermal blankets his bronze animal heads meant to recreate the traditional Chinese zodiac to protest the situation of the migrants coming to Europe. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)PRAGUE (AP) — In a protest about the plight of migrants coming to Europe, Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has wrapped golden thermal blankets around his bronze animal heads meant to recreate the traditional Chinese zodiac.




Pope, Russian Orthodox patriarch to meet in historic step
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 10:15:57 -0500

FILE - In this file photo combination Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, right, serves the Christmas Mass in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016 and Pope Francis prays during an audience at the Vatican on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in a historic step to heal the 1,000-year-old schism that divided Christianity between East and West, both churches announced Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev/Andrew Medichini, Files)VATICAN CITY (AP) — In an historic step to heal the 1,000-year schism that split Christianity, Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in an attempt to begin bridging the church's East-West divide, both churches said Friday.




Big spending Chinese clubs show global ambitions
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 10:15:12 -0500

FILE - In this Aug. 22, 2015, file photo, Atletico Madrid's Jackson Martinez, top, goes for a header with Las Palmas' Aythami Artiles during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Las Palmas at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain. Guangzhou Evergrande of the Chinese Super League said Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, that it has signed Martinez for what is believed to be a new record sum in the Asian transfer market. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)The European transfer window is not so European any more, with Chinese clubs outspending the continent's richest clubs in January to prove that the country is now a genuine power in attracting the world's best players.




Scuffles break out over construction of migrant center on Greek island of Kos
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 09:31:11 -0500

Scuffles broke out on Friday on the Greek island of Kos between police and a small group of residents protesting against the construction of a registration and reception center for migrants, police officials said. "About 100 people tried to enter the facilities under construction, and we fired teargas," one of the Police officials said.

Germany's Merkel to travel to Turkey next week over migrants
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 08:00:26 -0500

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Ankara on Monday to meet with Turkey's prime minister as she tries to reduce the migrant influx to Europe, the German government said Friday.

Pope, Russian patriarch to talk about persecution of Christians
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 07:01:10 -0500

The patriarch of Russia's Orthodox Church will take part in an historic first meeting with the Roman Catholic pontiff on Feb. 12 because of the need for a joint response to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, the Orthodox Church said. Senior Orthodox cleric Metropolitan Hilarion said that long-standing differences between the two churches remain, most notably a row over the status of the Uniate Church, in Ukraine. "The situation shaping up today in the Middle East, in North and Central Africa, and in some other regions where extremists are carrying out a genuine genocide of the Christian population, demands urgent measures and an even closer cooperation between the Christian churches," Hilarion said.

French activists denounce abuse of authority after attacks
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 06:44:47 -0500

A man identified only as Younes, 29, who says he is unjustly under house arrest, answers the Associated Press in Goussainville, north of Paris, Thursday Feb.4, 2016. French police have rounded up hundreds of suspects and searched nearly 3,000 homes under a state of emergency since the November extremist attacks on Paris, but much of the action involves drug cases or similar crime instead of terrorism. Rights activists say that's an abuse of authority, and strongly oppose a new government effort to permanently expand police powers. (AP Photo/Nadine Achoui-Lesage)PARIS (AP) — French police have rounded up hundreds of suspects and searched more than 3,000 homes under a state of emergency since the November extremist attacks on Paris — but much of the action involves drug cases or similar crime, not terrorism.




Volvo posts higher 4th quarter profit on brisk Europe sales
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 06:34:34 -0500

HELSINKI (AP) — Swedish truck maker AB Volvo has posted a fourth quarter net profit of 2.59 billion kronor ($310 million), compared with a 2.98 billion kronor loss last year, on the back of cost cuts and brisk sales in Europe.

Experts say launch won't bring N. Korea much closer to ICBM
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 05:08:27 -0500

FILE - IN this Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 file photo, a man walks past a PAC-3 Patriot missile unit deployed for North Korea's rocket launch at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo. Japan has deployed PAC-3 missile batteries in the heart of Tokyo to defend its airspace from incoming rocket debris. South Korea is reportedly mobilizing two Aegis-equipped destroyers. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)TOKYO (AP) — Japan has deployed PAC-3 missile batteries in the heart of Tokyo to shoot down any incoming rocket debris. South Korea is reportedly mobilizing two Aegis-equipped destroyers. The U.S. is already gunning to punish Pyongyang for what it says will be a ballistic missile test in the guise of a space launch.




Toyota posts $5.4 billion quarterly profit, raises forecast
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 05:05:53 -0500

FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2015, file photo, Toyota Motor Corp.'s booth is crowded with visitors in the media preview of the Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo. On Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, Toyota Motor Corp. reports financial results. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama, File)TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's quarterly profit rose nearly 5 percent as the weaker yen and cost reductions offset declining sales in some markets. The automaker raised its full-year earnings forecast.




Fighting flares up in eastern Ukraine
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 03:55:50 -0500

MOSCOW (AP) — The Ukrainian government has accused Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine of violating the shaky truce with large-caliber weapons.

17-year-old American Christian Pulisic gets Bundesliga debut
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 02:54:40 -0500

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2016 file picture Dortmund's Christian Pulisic sits on the bench prior to the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund in Moenchengladnach, Germany. United States under-17 mainstay Christian Pulisic became the youngest player to appear in the Bundesliga this season after impressing on his competitive debut for Borussia Dortmund. With the game against Ingolstadt scoreless on Saturday, Dortmund’s No. 22 came on with as many minutes remaining and made an immediate impact in helping the side win 2-0. (Guido Kirchner/dpa via AP,file)BERLIN (AP) — Christian Pulisic made a big impression in less than half an hour.




Cameron fights for his place in history with EU vote
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 00:51:40 -0500

British Prime Minister David Cameron landed himself in his current position by promising in 2013 to hold a referendum on Europe if he won the 2015 electionPrime Minister David Cameron is playing a high-stakes game which will decide his place in political history with negotiations aimed at preventing Britain from leaving the EU in a looming referendum, experts say. Cameron landed himself in his current position by promising in 2013 to hold a referendum on Europe if he won the 2015 election. Paradoxically for a leader who is arguing for Britain to stay in the European Union, Cameron has described himself as a eurosceptic.




Top Asian News 4:22 a.m. GMT
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 23:22:52 -0500

TOKYO (AP) — As Japan gears up to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and caters to a surging influx of foreign visitors, the country faces a cultural dilemma: Should it stop identifying Buddhist temples on maps with the traditional "manji" symbol that is often confused with a Nazi swastika? The symbol, from ancient Sanskrit, means happiness and prosperity. It has been used for centuries by Hindus and Buddhists, and has turned up in archaeological digs in Europe. But many Western tourists associate it with anti-Semitism and the Holocaust because the emblem was adopted by Nazi Germany to try to enhance a sense of ancient lineage.

Australia may crack down on Syrian refugees: leaked document
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 22:44:07 -0500

By Matt Siegel SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia is considering subjecting thousands of refugees from Syria to tougher character and security checks than their European counterparts to minimize the risk of "extremist infiltration", a leaked policy document says. The draft document singles out refugees from Syria as potentially holding beliefs or associations that may lead them to engage in violent activities, and outlines measures to monitor them even after they gain Australian citizenship. Australia is part of the United States-led bombing campaign against the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria and is on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown radicals.

World pledges $10B for Syrians, but peace prospects bleak
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 20:32:50 -0500

British Prime Minister David Cameron, right, walks back to his seat on the stage after speaking, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel gets up for her turn to speak during the co-hosts press conference near the end of the 'Supporting Syria and the Region' conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)LONDON (AP) — World leaders pledged more than $10 billion Thursday to help fund schools, shelter and jobs for refugees from Syria's civil war, money that British Prime Minister David Cameron said "will save lives, will give hope, will give people the chance of a future."




Brazil health official confirms Zika spread via transfusion
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 19:39:14 -0500

A municipal health worker sprays insecticide in an open area of a sports facility, to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquito that transmits the Zika virus, in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. With no hope for a vaccine to prevent Zika in the near future, authorities are focusing on the most effective way to combat the virus: killing the mosquito that carries it. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Two people in southeastern Brazil contracted the Zika virus through blood transfusions, a municipal health official said Thursday, presenting a fresh challenge to efforts to contain the virus on top of the disclosure of a case of sexual transmission in the United States.




Liverpool target Teixeira becomes China's latest record transfer
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 19:27:31 -0500

Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira has joined China's Jiangsu Suning from Ukraine's Shakhtar DonetskBrazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira became China's third record signing in just over a week on Friday when Jiangsu Suning snapped him up for 50 million euros ($56 million) -- following earlier interest from English giants Liverpool. China's latest monster move came only three days after Guangzhou Evergrande paid 42 million euros for Atletico Madrid's Jackson Martinez, and nine days after Jiangsu's 28-million-euro purchase of Ramires from Chelsea. The hat-trick of record deals pushed China's spending in its current transfer period, which closes on February 26, to 258.9 million euros, higher than the 247.3 million euros spent by English clubs in the now-closed January transfer window, according to the transfermarkt website which tracks the sport's commercial dealings.




UN: At least 200 million females estimated to be circumcised
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 19:21:23 -0500

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — At least 200 million girls and women in 30 countries are estimated to have undergone female circumcision — half of them in Egypt, Ethiopia and Indonesia, the U.N. children's agency said in a report released Thursday night.

LinkedIn forecasts weak first-quarter profit, shares plunge
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 17:47:54 -0500

The logo for LinkedIn Corporation, a social networking networking website for people in professional occupations, is shown in Mountain ViewLinkedIn developed the product, Lead Accelerator, from technology it acquired with the purchase of marketing company Bizo in 2014 for $175 million. LinkedIn's revenue from ads on its website rose 20 percent in the fourth quarter, but the growth was the slowest in two years. LinkedIn forecast an adjusted profit of about 55 cents per share for the first quarter, way below the average analyst estimate of 74 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.




World powers pledge $10 billion in aid for Syria
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 17:38:12 -0500

Migrants and refugees walk to cross the Macedonia-Serbia border near the village of Tabanovce, on February 4, 2016World leaders pledged over $10 billion (9.0 billion euros) Thursday to help conflict-hit Syrians at a London conference overshadowed by the breakdown of peace talks in Geneva. The European Union, Germany, Britain and the United States were among the biggest donors to provide food, education and job opportunities for Syrians in their homeland and neighbouring countries where they have fled.




Syrian cancer kid first to use new Italy humanitarian corridor
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 16:57:40 -0500

Falek, a young Syrian refugee, looks on as her parents speak to the press on their arrival at Rome's Fiumicino airport on February 4, 2016A Syrian child with eye cancer was flown into Italy for treatment Thursday, becoming the first to benefit from a new humanitarian corridor hoping to stop desperate refugees from attempting an often deadly Mediterranean crossing to Europe. "So happy because we come to Italy, from Syria... by humanitarian corridor, direct to Rome!", Yasmine Al Hourani, mother of Falek, a seven-year-old girl, said in halting English at Rome's Fiumicino airport.




US struggling to build anti-Islamic State strategy in Libya
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 16:39:56 -0500

White House press secretary Josh Earnest speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Earnest discussed that the number of Islamic State group fighters has dropped in Iraq and Syria, but is rising in Libya, and other topics. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is struggling to find the right mix of military and diplomatic moves to stop the Islamic State in Libya, where the extremist group has taken advantage of the political chaos in the country to gain a foothold with worrying implications for the U.S. and Europe — particularly Italy, just 300 miles (500 kilometers) away.




WHO sounds Zika blood warning as Europe sees first pregnancy case
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 16:36:14 -0500

A specialist fumigates the Nueva Esperanza graveyard in the outskirts of Lima on January 15, 2016The World Health Organization on Thursday advised countries against accepting blood donations from people who have travelled to regions affected by the Zika virus, as Spain announced Europe's first known case of the disease in a pregnant woman. With dozens of cases emerging in Europe and North America from travellers returning from affected areas, WHO stressed the potential link between Zika and microcephaly -- which causes children to be born with abnormally small heads -- and urged health authorities to take precautions.