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Iran, powers explore nuclear compromises, Israel alarmed

U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Sherman, U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, U.S. Secretary of Energy Moniz and British Foreign Secretary Hammond wait for a P5+1 meeting in LausanneBy Louis Charbonneau, John Irish and Parisa Hafezi LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers tried to break an impasse in nuclear negotiations on Sunday, but officials cautioned that attempts to reach a preliminary deal by a deadline in two days could yet fall apart. The two sides explored compromises in areas including numbers of centrifuges used to enrich uranium that Iran could operate, and its nuclear enrichment work for medical research. Foreign ministers from the six countries will hold ?the first full meeting with Iran's foreign minister on Monday morning. Tehran, which denies it is trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability, is demanding an end to international sanctions that are crippling its economy.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:39:32 -0400
Fighting and air strikes across Yemen; dialogue remains distant

People stand on a tank that was burnt during clashes on a street in Yemen's southern port city of AdenBy Mohammed Mukhashaf and Sami Aboudi ADEN (Reuters) - Yemeni fighters loyal to the Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi clashed with Iranian-allied Houthi fighters on Sunday in Aden, the absent leader's last major foothold in the country. Hadi loyalists in the southern port city reported a gunbattle in the central Crater district in which three people were killed, and said they recaptured the airport, which has changed hands several times in recent days. The Health Ministry, loyal to the Houthi fighters who control the capital, said Saudi-led air strikes had killed 35 people and wounded 88 overnight. The Houthi fighters, representing a Shi'ite minority that makes up around a third of Yemen's population, emerged as the most powerful force in the Arabian Peninsula's poorest country last year when they captured the capital Sanaa.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:18:59 -0400
Nigeria vote runs into second day after glitches, killings

Policemen stand guard near Independent National Electoral Commission in KanoBy Tim Cocks and Bate Felix ABUJA (Reuters) - Voting in Nigeria's tensest election since the end of military rule in 1999 spilled into a second day on Sunday after technical glitches hit voter ID machines and Islamist Boko Haram militants killed more than a dozen people in drive-by shootings. The race pits President Goodluck Jonathan against former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari for the favor of an electorate divided along a complex mix of ethnic, regional and in some cases religious lines. Islamist insurgents launched several attacks on voters in the northeast on election day, killing three in Yobe state and 11 in neighboring Gombe, including an opposition parliamentary candidate. The militants, who are trying to establish an Islamic caliphate in religiously mixed Nigeria, reject democracy and their leader Abubakar Shekau has threatened to kill those who go to vote.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:59:12 -0400
Germanwings crash co-pilot may have had detached retina: newspaper

A Germanwings logo is pictured at a door of a car outside the Germanwings headquarters at Cologne-Bonn airportBy Maria Sheahan and Michael Nienaber BERLIN (Reuters) - The co-pilot suspected of crashing a passenger jet in the Alps may have been suffering from a detached retina but investigators are unsure whether his vision problems had physical or psychological causes, a German newspaper said on Sunday. Bild am Sonntag also reported how the captain of the Germanwings Airbus had screamed "open the damn door!" to the co-pilot as he tried to get back into the locked cockpit before the jet crashed last Tuesday, killing all 150 on board. Another German newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, quoted a senior investigator as saying the 27-year-old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz "was treated by several neurologists and psychiatrists" and that a number of medications had been found in his apartment. Lufthansa, the parent company of the budget airline, said the carrier was unaware of a psychosomatic or any other illness affecting Lubitz.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 10:21:36 -0400
Egypt lists top Brotherhood leader, 17 others as terrorists: state media

Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie looks on during his trial in CairoCAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's public prosecutor has listed the Muslim Brotherhood's leader and 17 other top members of the group as terrorists, state media said on Sunday, part of a sustained crackdown by the authorities on Islamists. Egypt has already listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and jailed thousands of its supporters since the army removed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi from power in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule. ...

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:17:46 -0400
Air Canada flight slides off Halifax runway, injuring passengers

Air Canada Airbus A320 lies in the snow after it skidded off the runway at Halifax International AirportBy Mark Blinch HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (Reuters) - An Air Canada plane slid off a runway and suffered heavy damage while landing in the east coast city of Halifax on Sunday, sending more than 20 passengers and crew to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The airline said in an update on Sunday afternoon that all but one of those admitted to hospitals had now been released. "We at Air Canada are greatly relieved that no one was critically injured. Yet we fully appreciate this has been a very unsettling experience," Air Canada Chief Operating Officer Klaus Goersch said in a statement.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:17:14 -0400
Germany, Portugal boost Euro 2016 qualifying hopes

Germany players celebrate their victory during the Euro 2016 qualifying match between Germany and Georgia, in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sunday, March 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)BERLIN (AP) — Traditional heavyweights Germany and Portugal earned important wins to boost their hopes of qualifying for the 2016 European Championship on Sunday, while Romania and Northern Ireland hold a big edge in their group after victories.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:52:42 -0400
US beats Finland 4-1 in women's world hockey

US player Dana Trivigno, left, in action against Finland's Suvi Ollikainen during the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship group A match between USA and Finland at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, southern Sweden, on Sunday March 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Claudio Bresciani, TT) SWEDEN OUTMALMO, Sweden (AP) — Hilary Knight had two goals and an assist and the United States beat Finland 4-1 on Sunday to improve to 2-0 in Pool A play in the women's world hockey championships.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:42:28 -0400
Top Asian News at 9:30 p.m. GMT
SINGAPORE (AP) — Singaporeans bid farewell to longtime leader Lee Kuan Yew on Sunday with an elaborate procession and a three-hour state funeral at which his son, the current prime minister, eulogized the statesman and declared that the wealthy city-state he helped build is his monument. Undeterred by heavy rain, about 100,000 people lined a 15-kilometer (9-mile) route through the city to catch a glimpse of the funeral cortege. Lee's coffin, draped in Singapore's red and white flag and protected from the downpour by a glass casing, lay atop a ceremonial gun carriage that was solemnly led past city landmarks from Parliament to a cultural center where the state funeral was held.
Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:33:03 -0400
Serena Williams beats 15-year-old Bellis 6-1, 6-1 in Miami

Serena Williams returns the ball to CiCi Bellis at the Miami Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla., Sunday, March 29, 2015. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) — Seven-time champion Serena Williams needed only 41 minutes to beat 15-year-old American CiCi Bellis 6-1, 6-1 on Sunday in the third round of the Miami Open.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:31:30 -0400
France beats Denmark 2-0 in friendly match

France’s Alexandre Lacazette, left, challenges for the ball with Denmark's Nicolai Boilesen during their international friendly soccer match at Geoffroy Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne, central France, Sunday, March 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)SAINT-ETIENNE, France (AP) — Alexandre Lacazette scored his first international goal as France beat Denmark 2-0 in a friendly match on Sunday.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:29:26 -0400
WWII heroes to give congressional gold medal to Ohio museum

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2013 Richard Cole, center, proposes a toast with two other surviving members of the 1942 Tokyo raid led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, Edward Saylor, left, and David Thatcher, at the National Museum for the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. The group will receive the Congressional Gold Medal on April 15, 2015, in Washington, then hand it over April 18 to the museum for display its exhibit depicting the launch from an aircraft carrier of the Raiders’ daring 1942 bombing attack on mainland Japan. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)CINCINNATI (AP) — More than seven decades after a daring bombing run by the "Doolittle Tokyo Raiders" rallied their own nation while stunning another, the World War II heroes are still adding to their legacy.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:22:39 -0400
Germany beats Georgia 2-0 away in Euro qualifier

Germany’s Bastian Schweinsteiger, center, attacks during the Euro 2016 qualifying match between Germany and Georgia, in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sunday, March 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Germany got its European Championship qualifying campaign back on track with a hard-fought 2-0 win in Georgia on Sunday.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:21:29 -0400
Northern Ireland wins again in Euro 2016 qualifying

Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty scores against Finland during the Euro 2016 qualifier soccer match at Windsor Park, Belfast, Sunday March 29, 2015. (AP Photo/PA, Martin Rickett) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVEBUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Romania and Northern Ireland both won on Sunday to tighten their grip on the top two places in Group F of European Championship qualifying, while Greece showed signs of improvement in a 0-0 draw against Hungary.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:18:13 -0400
Arab League unveils joint military force amid Yemen crisis

Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, wearing an army uniform, ride on an armed truck to patrol the international airport in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, March 28, 2015. Yemen's President Abed Raboo Mansour Hadi, speaking at an Arab summit in Egypt on Saturday, called Shiite rebels who forced him to flee the country "puppets of Iran," directly blaming the Islamic Republic for the chaos there and demanding airstrikes against rebel positions continue until they surrender. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — A two-day Arab summit ended Sunday with a vow to defeat Iranian-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen and the formal unveiling of plans to form a joint Arab intervention force, setting the stage for a potentially dangerous clash between U.S.-allied Arab states and Tehran over influence in the region.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:08:45 -0400
French conservatives win key local voting, gov't left loses

Former French President and conservative party UMP leader Nicolas Sarkozy gives a speech following the final round of French local elections, in Paris, France, Sunday, March 29, 2015. French voters are choosing members of local councils in run off elections Sunday seen as a test for the far right National Front, which is expanding its presence in French politics. The mainstream conservative UMP party came out ahead in the first round, ahead of the National Front and the governing Socialists. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)PARIS (AP) — Former President Nicolas Sarkozy blasted the "lies, denial and impotence" of France's governing Socialists after estimates showed his conservative party and their allies chalked up wins across France in Sunday's local elections that saw the left lose nearly half of its councils. The far-right National Front edged forward in its bid to create an army of grassroots support, but fell short of its dream to capture its first council.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:59:37 -0400
Air Canada plane skids off Halifax runway after hard landing

Air Canada AC624 crash: Airline says weather conditions were safeHALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) — An Air Canada plane made a hard landing in bad weather at the Halifax airport, skidding off a runway, shearing off its nose and crumpling an engine. The airline said Sunday that 25 people were taken to hospitals for observation and treatment of minor injuries.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:58:27 -0400
Nigeria in tense vote count after second day of polling

Electoral officials start the counting operations at a polling station in Lagos, on March 29, 2015Nigeria counted ballots in a closely fought general election Sunday after failures in controversial new technology pushed voting into a second day, with President Goodluck Jonathan facing a stiff challenge from ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. Despite violence linked to Boko Haram militants and sporadic unrest elsewhere, UN chief Ban Ki-moon and others praised the conduct of the vote and called for calm to avoid a repeat of deadly rioting that followed 2011 elections. In a sign of the continuing threat posed by the Islamists however, military fighter jets and ground troops pounded Boko Haram fighters in the northeastern state of Bauchi after a series of attacks on polling stations at the weekend.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:57:34 -0400
Portugal beats Serbia 2-1 in Euro 2016 qualifier

Portugal's Fabio Coentrao celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Serbia during the Euro 2016 group I qualifying soccer match between Portugal and Serbia at the Luz stadium, in Lisbon, Portugal, Sunday, March 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal went top of European Championship qualifying Group I with a 2-1 win over Serbia on Sunday.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:52:33 -0400
French right deals major blow to ruling Socialists in local elections

UMP president and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech following the anouncement of results of the French departementales elections on March 29, 2015 in ParisFrance's ruling Socialists took a drubbing in run-off local polls on Sunday that saw major gains for former president Nicolas Sarkozy and the far-right ahead of 2017 presidential elections. Right-wing parties, spearheaded by Sarkozy's UMP, won a thumping victory, taking between 65 and 71 councils out of a possible 98, according to projections from a range of pollsters. Voters punished the Socialist government of President Francois Hollande for failing to revive the slumping economy, with left-wing parties projected to take only between 28 and 37 councils. The far-right National Front (FN) of Marine Le Pen, which took a quarter of the vote in the first round last week, was not expected to win any councils -- in part because mainstream voters combine to keep it out of power in second-round run-offs.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:28:09 -0400
Leading suspect in Tunisia museum attack killed

A bullet hole is seen on an art piece showcase during the reopening day of the National Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia, Friday, March 27, 2015. The National Bardo Museum targeted by a terrorist attack reopens for the first time since gunmen opened fire on tourists March 18, killing 21 people. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisian security forces decimated the leadership of a Tunisian jihadi group linked to al-Qaida's North African branch, including the man identified as the "operational chief" of the attack this month on the National Bardo Museum that killed 22 people, mostly foreign tourists, the interior minister said Sunday.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:27:11 -0400
What an Iran nuclear deal could look like

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (L) meets Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi during Iranian nuclear talks in Lausanne on March 29, 2015Lausanne (AFP) - Global powers were Sunday narrowing in on a deal to stop any Iranian bid to develop nuclear weapons, with diplomats saying some key parts of an outline had been tentatively agreed.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:09:40 -0400
Equatoguinean party-poopers hold Ivory Coast

Equatorial Guinea's player Armando Sipoto Bonale (L) vies with Ivory Coast's Jean Daniel Akpa Akpro during the friendly football match on March 29, 2015 in AbidjanEquatorial Guinea became party-poopers on Sunday at the ongoing celebrations of new African football champions Ivory Coast by forcing a 1-1 international friendly draw in Abidjan. Spain-born teenage winger Ivan Salvador put the visitors ahead after 13 minutes at a vibrant, near-full Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny. It was the second friendly match within four days for both countries after Ivory Coast defeated Angola 2-0 in Abidjan and Equatorial Guinea lost to Egypt by the same score in Cairo.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:08:10 -0400
Apology for wrong anthem for El Salvador before game in US
WASHINGTON (AP) — Organizers of a soccer match in the U.S. capital apologized to El Salvador on Sunday for playing the wrong national anthem before an exhibition game against Argentina.
Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:58:23 -0400
Rossi wins thrilling Grand Prix of Qatar

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi of Italy celebrates with his trophy on the podium after winning the MotoGP race of the Qatar Grand Prix on March 29, 2015Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, on a Yamaha, won a spectacular Grand Prix of Qatar on Sunday as he withstood a furious onslaught from fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso over the final laps to take the opening race of the season. A see-saw battle saw the the lead change hands numerous times before the 36-year-old Rossi opened up a slight gap on the final two laps and held off the charging Dovizioso on his Ducati, who was looking for his first win in MotoGP. It was a stunning 109th victory for the iconic Rossi and his 197th podium as Italy swept the board with Andrea Iannone, also on a Ducati, coming home third. It was a first time Italy took the top three places since the Japanese MotoGP in 2006.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:42:32 -0400
Nigerians vote Sunday despite violence, technical hitches

Two youths ride bicycles past a mural on a school wall and election posters supporting President Goodluck Jonathan, on a street in Kano, Nigeria Sunday, March 29, 2015. Voting in Nigeria's elections continued in certain areas on Sunday after technical problems prevented some people from casting their ballots on Saturday and despite extremist violence in the northeast and protests in the south. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Boko Haram fighters attacked poll stations in northeast Nigeria and a governor demanded elections be canceled in an oil-rich southern state Sunday as the count started for a presidential election too close to call.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:41:18 -0400
Arabs vow to pound Yemen rebels until they surrender

Yemeni Shiite Huthi rebels and supporters take part in a demonstration in the southwestern city of Taez against the Saudi-led military intervention in the country, on March 29, 2015Saudi-led warplanes bombed Yemen's main international airport and a renegade troop base in the capital Sunday, as Arab leaders vowed to pummel Iranian-backed rebels until they surrender. Yemen's President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has urged his Arab allies to keep bombing until the Huthi Shiite rebels are defeated, branding them Iran's "puppet". His Foreign Minister Riyadh Yassin said there could be "no negotiations and dialogue" with the rebels "until the legitimate government has control over all Yemeni lands". Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said at a regional summit in Egypt the offensive would last until the rebels "surrender" their weapons and withdraw from areas they seized.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:36:09 -0400
Curfew in Bauchi, NE Nigeria, after Boko Haram fighting

Nigerian security forces in Bauchi in 2011An indefinite lockdown was ordered on three areas in northeast Nigeria on Sunday after troops battled scores of Boko Haram fighters outside the Bauchi state capital, Bauchi city, the authorities said. The fighting took place as Nigeria held a second day of voting in its general election after technology failures hampered polling on Saturday. A spokesman for the Bauchi state governor said an indefinite, round-the-clock curfew had been imposed on three areas because of the fighting. "The state government has put a 24-hour curfew in Bauchi, Kirfi and Alkaleri local governments as a result of the security breach by Boko Haram," Danlami Baban-Takko said.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:29:41 -0400
Afghan MP survives suicide attack, three dead: officials

Afghan security personnel investigate the site of a suicide attack targeting Gul Pacha Majidi, a lawmaker in Kabul, on March 29, 2015A prominent Afghan MP escaped a suicide attack Sunday that killed three people including a child and left seven others wounded, officials said, just days after Washington announced it would slow the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. President Barack Obama last Tuesday reversed plans to withdraw around 5,000 US troops from Afghanistan this year, an overture to the country's new reform-minded leader, President Ashraf Ghani. The Taliban, waging a deadly insurgency since they were ousted from power in late 2001, warned that the announcement would damage any prospects of peace talks as they vowed to continue fighting. The suicide bomber detonated himself on Sunday evening as Gul Pacha Majidi, a lawmaker from eastern Paktia province, was leaving a meeting of Afghan elders in central Kabul.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:27:35 -0400
Syria forces regroup after Islamists seize Idlib city

Fighters loyal to Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate and its allies gather around a tank on a square in the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib on March 28, 2015Syrian troops regrouped on Sunday after a coalition including Al-Qaeda's local affiliate seized the city of Idlib, the second provincial capital to fall from government control. The capture is a blow to the government and raises the prospect that Idlib will become the effective capital of territory held by Al-Qaeda's Syrian wing, Al-Nusra Front, analysts said. On Sunday, the city in northwestern Syria was largely quiet, after sporadic government aerial bombardment overnight, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said. A security source in Damascus and Syrian media said government forces were regrouping outside the city.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:27:09 -0400
Saudi response to Swedish criticism tests Europe's reach

FILE- In this Wednesday, March 11, 2015 file photo, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom gestures during a media interview at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in central Stockholm, Sweden. Wallstrom isn't the first diplomat to have expressed concerns about Saudi Arabia's human rights record. But when she used the word “dictatorship,” in a speech in February, 2015, she crossed a red line for the kingdom at a time of intense regional turmoil, setting off a diplomatic crisis that has underscored the perils of promoting reform four years after the Arab Spring. (AP Photo/Claudio Bresciani, TT, File) SWEDEN OUTDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Sweden's foreign minister is hardly the first diplomat to raise concerns about Saudi Arabia's human rights record, but when she used the word "dictatorship" in a speech last month she crossed a red line for the kingdom at a time of intense regional turmoil, igniting a diplomatic crisis.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:26:56 -0400
Results expected from Monday in Nigeria election: commission

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission Attahiru Jega (R) speaks on February 7, 2015 in Abuja, NigeriaFirst results of Nigeria's presidential election could be given from Monday, the head of the country's electoral commission said on Sunday, as voting went into a second day after technical glitches. "Our hope is to be able to declare within 48 hours (of polls closing on Saturday) and hopefully within less time," said Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). INEC later said that collation of results from states across the country would begin in Abuja from 12:00 pm (1100 GMT). Technical problems with new devices to "read" biometric voter identity cards plus the delayed arrival of election material and officials forced INEC to extend voting into a second day on Sunday.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:12:57 -0400
Firmino earns Brazil 1-0 win over Chile in friendly match

Brazil’s Firmino, left, takes the ball past Chile’s goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to scores the opening goal during the international friendly soccer match between Brazil and Chile, at the Emirates stadium, in London, Sunday, March 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)LONDON (AP) — Brazil kept up its resurgence since last year's World Cup by beating Chile 1-0 in an ill-tempered friendly on Sunday, with substitute Roberto Firmino's second-half goal clinching an eighth straight victory in Dunga's second spell as coach.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:04:57 -0400
Iran deal 'can be done', must put bomb out of reach: UK

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on March 23, 2015 in RiyadhThey are also planning to have a full meeting to include Iran as they chase the outlines of a deal to pare back the Iranian nuclear programme and thwart any covert dash for a bomb. "If we're going to get this done here over the next few hours Iran has got to take a deep breath and make some tough decisions to ensure that those red lines can be met," Hammond said.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:59:34 -0400
Uzbekistan president set for win in predictable poll

Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov (C) dances during a state celebration of the Nowruz holiday marking the beginning of spring in Tashkent on March 21, 2015Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov looked certain to claim victory in presidential polls Sunday after all three of the 77-year-old's challengers endorsed his bid to extend his 25-year-rule. Karimov, accompanied by his wife Tatyana Karimova, cast his ballot at midday in the weakly-contested vote in the country of more than 30 million, where voting began at 6:00 am (0100 GMT) as snow fell in the streets of the capital Tashkent. While exit polls are prohibited under Uzbek law, many voters in Tashkent told AFP they had voted for Karimov. Gulhayo Khujanova, an 18-year-old student casting her vote for the first time, told AFP: "I voted for our president, Islam Karimov.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:48:56 -0400
Greece seeks 'happy ending' as creditors mull loan deal

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hopes EU talks on Greek debt will yield a "happy ending"Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in remarks published Sunday he hoped key talks with international creditors would yield a "happy ending" in the standoff over the country's crippling debt crisis. Athens is set to present a list of economic reform proposals to international creditors this week in a bid to unblock a new 7.2 billion euro ($7.8 billion) tranche of EU-IMF loans and avoid a debt default. Tsipras' remarks came after Germany's Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said Friday he opposed giving Greece any more emergency loans, accusing it of frittering away trust. European paymaster Germany has been leading the push for austerity in Europe, with Greece complaining that the punishing budget cuts demanded were damaging its economy and threatening to force it out of the eurozone.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:39:32 -0400
Last minutes of ill-fated Germanwings flight

People arrive to pay tribute to the victims of a Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard, on March 28, 2015 at a memorial in le Vernet, south-eastern France, near the site of the crashThe Germanwings flight started like any other, the conversation in the cockpit normal, with co-pilot Andreas Lubitz offering no indication of the horror he would allegedly inflict. This is how Flight 4U 9525, which investigators believe Lubitz deliberately steered into a French mountainside, unfolded according to French prosecutors and Germany's Bild newspaper. There was nothing abnormal," French prosecutor Brice Robin told reporters on Thursday. - According to excerpts published by Bild on Sunday, during the conversation the captain said he didn't have time to go to the toilet before leaving Barcelona and Lubitz offered to take over at any time.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:39:03 -0400
Alps crash captain shouted 'open the damn door'

Police vans block the view as Japanese victims pay their respects on March 29, 2015 near a commemorative headstone in Seyne-les-Alpes, the closest accessible area to where a Germanwings flight crashed in the French AlpsThe captain of a passenger jet that investigators believe was deliberately crashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard, shouted at the co-pilot to "open the damn door" as he desperately tried to get back into the locked cockpit, a German newspaper reported Sunday. French officials say the plane's black box voice recorder indicates that Andreas Lubitz, 27, locked the captain out of the cockpit of the Germanwings jet and steered Flight 4U 9525 into a mountainside. They believe that the more senior pilot, identified by Germany's Bild newspaper as Patrick S., tried desperately to reopen the door during the Barcelona to Duesseldorf flight's eight-minute descent after he left to use the toilet. It said "loud metallic blows" against the cockpit door could then be heard, before another warning alarm went off and then the pilot is heard to scream to a silent Lubitz in the cockpit "open the damn door".

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:30:24 -0400
Divided Nigeria city awaits results of tense presidential vote

Nigerians attend Sunday mass at Saint Joseph's Cathedral, a rare church in the predominately Muslim area of Kaduna, where peace was preached on March 29, 2015Kaduna (Nigeria) (AFP) - A Sunday Mass was faintly audible in the background as Ene Orgha recalled the violence that left her stranded from her home in the city of Kaduna after Nigeria's general elections four years ago.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:29:32 -0400
Dismal Welsh relegated from English Premiership

Bath's players take part in a scrum on January 18, 2015, in Toulouse, southern FranceLondon Welsh's relegation from the English Premiership was finally confirmed on Sunday as they lost 29-14 at home to Bath. In very difficult conditions, Bath managed five tries through Rob Webber, Leroy Houston (two), Sam Burgess and Alafoti Fa'osiliva with Tom Homer kicking two conversions. Nic Reynolds and Opeti Fonua scored tries for Welsh, with Tristan Roberts and Will Robinson adding conversions.

Date Posted : Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:28:54 -0400

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