Events marking 70th anniversary of atomic bombings of Japan

Written by The AP Tuesday, 21 July 2015 18:43

The 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be marked with memorial services, peace concerts and art exhibits.

More than 200,000 people died in the two blasts, which were the first wartime uses of nuclear weapons. The U.S. dropped the bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. World War II ended with Japan’s surrender days later.

Pope Francis to issue encyclical on devastating climate change driven by greed

Written by Nicole Winfield,
AP writer
Saturday, 13 June 2015 16:58

Anxiety has gripped American conservatives over Pope Francis’ upcoming encyclical on the environment. So much so that you might think a pope had never before blamed fossil fuels for global warming. Or accused energy companies of hoarding the Earth’s resources at the expense of the poor. Or urged the rich to consume less and share more.

By the numbers: Wheels around the world

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Friday, 22 May 2015 05:54

About one-third of people surveyed in 44 countries reported access to a working car at home. Bikes are more common, according to the Pew Research Center, which said about 42 percent of people in 44 countries possess at least one working bicycle at their residence.

About half of people in the United States said there is a working bicycle at home. But chances are a German garage more likely will contain a bike — eight in 10 Germans possess a bike. Other countries with high rates of bike ownership include:

With rescue near, Boko Haram stoned girls to death

Written by The AP Monday, 04 May 2015 11:02

Even with the crackle of gunfire signaling rescuers were near, the horrors did not end: Boko Haram fighters stoned captives to death, some girls and women were crushed by an armored car and three died when a land mine exploded as they walked to freedom.

Through tears, smiles and eyes filled with pain, the survivors of months in the hands of the Islamic extremists told their tragic stories to The Associated Press on May 3, their first day out of the war zone.

World brands scored on social justice policies

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Friday, 17 July 2015 18:08

Oxfam International recently ranked the world’s 10 largest food and beverage companies on their policies and commitments to improve food security and sustainability. The scorecard covers seven themes impacting the lives of people living in poverty around the world: transparency, farmers, women, agricultural workers, access to land, water and climate change.

President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law this month giving prosecutors the power to declare foreign and international organizations “undesirable” in Russia and shut them down.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have condemned the measure as part of an “ongoing draconian crackdown which is squeezing the life out of civil society.”

Frustration with Latin America's left on the rise

Associated Press
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 20:25

Venezuela's socialist government is struggling to put food on the shelves amid runaway inflation. Brazil's president is facing calls for impeachment. And even Cuba's communist government, an iconic touchstone for generations of leftists, is embracing closer ties with the U.S.

Whether it's because of corruption scandals or stagnant growth, the popularity of the crop of leftist Latin American governments that have been running the region since the start of the millennium appears to be waning. Voters who embraced what became known as the pink tide that swept away the pro-Washington, free-market policies dominant in the 1990s are increasingly turning against the populist firebrands they once rallied behind. 

Children of Holocaust survivors inherit the role of witness

Written by Aaron Heller,
AP writer
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 07:38

When David Hershkoviz was a child, he used to wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of his mother screaming in her sleep, knowing that she was reliving the horrors of the Holocaust.

In time, he learned of the traumatic wartime experience that haunted her most — being torn away from her own mother at the Auschwitz concentration camp's selection line, where at 21 she was forced into work and her mother dispatched to death.

Univision dropping Miss USA pageant after Trump trashes Mexicans

Written by Frazier Moore,
AP Television writer
Friday, 26 June 2015 16:47

Univision is dropping the Miss USA pageant and says it will cut all business ties with Donald Trump in a spiraling controversy over vicious comments the Republican presidential candidate made recently about Mexican immigrants.

Ireland becomes first nation in the world to vote for gay marriage

Written by The Associated Press Saturday, 23 May 2015 06:27

 Ireland has voted resoundingly to legalize gay marriage in the world's first national vote on the issue, leaders on both sides of the Irish referendum declared Saturday even as official ballot counting continued.

Swedish peace activists launch 'gay' sonar to deter Russian subs

Written by The AP Thursday, 14 May 2015 08:05

Swedish peace activists who argue that military hardware isn't the best way to deter Russian submarines have launched their own underwater defense installation: a gay-themed sonar system.

In a publicity stunt dubbed "Operation The Singing Sailor," the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society placed a sonar device in the Stockholm archipelago sending out a Morse code message saying "This way if you are gay."

U.S. names 1st envoy for LGBT rights

Written by The AP Wednesday, 25 February 2015 10:37

The United States named its first international envoy for gay rights this week, tasking a veteran diplomat with leading U.S. efforts to fight violence and discrimination against LGBT individuals overseas.

Randy Berry, currently the consul general in the Netherlands, will promote human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, Secretary of State John Kerry said. A longtime foreign service officer, Berry has served at U.S. posts in Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda and South Africa, and speaks Spanish and Arabic.