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Mediators from the West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS are heading to Burkina Faso in the aftermath of the nation's second coup this year. The delegation going to the capital Ouagadougou includes the former President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou. Burkina Faso's former interim leader Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba agreed to resign Sunday and left the country for the neighboring nation of Togo. Other elements of the military already had declared late Friday on state television that he was no longer in charge of the country. The junta said Sunday their new leader, Capt. Ibrahim Traore, is now officially Burkina Faso's head of state.

AP
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An Associated Press investigation has found that Russian torture in the Ukrainian town of Izium was arbitrary, widespread and absolutely routine for both civilians and soldiers. AP journalists located 10 torture sites in the town, including a deep sunless pit in a residential compound, a clammy underground jail that reeked of urine, a medical clinic, and a kindergarten. AP also spoke to 15 survivors of Russian torture and confirmed the deaths of eight men. All but one were civilians. The AP also found a former Ukrainian soldier who was tortured three times hiding in a monastery, and connected him with loved ones. The town has now been liberated by Ukrainian forces.

AP
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed treaties to illegally annex parts of Ukraine, while Kyiv has submitted an “accelerated” application to join NATO. At the Kremlin, Putin and the pro-Moscow heads of the four Ukrainian regions inked the treaties in a sharp escalation of the war. The signing came three days after the end of Kremlin-orchestrated “referendums” on joining Russia that Kyiv and the West dismissed as a bare-faced land grab, held at gunpoint and based on lies. NATO's chief said the war is at “a pivotal moment,” and that Putin’s decision was “the most serious escalation" since the war began. Russia pounded Ukrainian cities, with one strike in the Zaporizhzhia region’s capital killing 30 people and wounding 88.

AP
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There are moments in history that appear as critical to the world as they are terrifying. Just this century: the 9/11 attacks in 2001; the U.S. “shock-and-awe″ war on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq two years later; the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 killed millions and upended life; and most recently the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine by Russia, bringing ruinous war back to Europe. Friday is one of those watershed moments, as Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties to illegally annex parts of eastern and southern Ukraine, as it did with Crimea in 2014.

AP
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FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, firefighters work beneath the destroyed mullions, the vertical struts which once faced the soaring outer walls of the World Trade Center towers, after a terrorist attack on the twin towers in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

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Activists say Iran's current wave of protests are different from previous unrest. Unleashing their anger at the compulsory veil for women, protesters are targeting something central to the identity of Iran's Islamic cleric-led rule. The protests are drawing from a long history of resistance among Iranian women. During the 1979 revolution, the hijab was a sign of breaking with the secular monarchy. But when the new Islamic Republic then made wearing it mandatory, thousands of women marched in protests. Woman have been challenging the rule ever since. The death of a woman arrested for wearing too loose a headscarf has sparked an eruption of anger.

AP
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Japan and China are getting ready to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1972 normalization of their ties. But there isn’t much of a celebratory mood. Improved ties between Asia’s two biggest economies are considered vital to the region’s stability and prosperity, but they remain at odds over disputed East China Sea islands and China’s growing military and economic assertiveness in the region.

AP
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FILE - Ships of China Marine Surveillance and Japan Coast Guard steam side by side near disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea, Oct. 25, 2012. Japan and China on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, mark the 50th anniversary of the 1972 normalization of their ties, but there isn't much of a celebratory mood. Improved ties between Asia’s two biggest economies are considered vital to the region's stability and prosperity, but they remain at odds over disputed East China Sea islands and China’s growing military and economic assertiveness in the region. (Kyodo News via AP, File)

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Only glimpses of videos that make it online show the protests convulsing Iran over the death of a 22-year-old woman who had been detained by the nation’s morality police. But those flashes show that public anger across the country, once only simmering, is now boiling. The demonstrations surrounding the death of Mahsa Amini — and the government crackdown emerging to stifle them — represent the latest cycle of unrest to grip Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. It likely won’t be the last as the Islamic Republic lurches between crises at home and abroad.