• Islamic State militants use water as weapon in western Iraq

    Islamic State militants have closed gates of a dam on the Euphrates River in western Iraq, reducing the water and giving them greater freedom of movement to attack government forces downstream on the southern bank, local officials said. The militants have redirected the flow of water to their…

  • Russian investigators point finger at Ukraine over downing of MH17

    Russian federal investigators said on Wednesday they had testimony from a former Ukrainian air force mechanic supporting a Moscow theory that a Malaysian passenger plane downed in east Ukraine last summer was attacked by a Ukrainian fighter jet. Moscow has stepped up a campaign denying any…

  • Syrian troops battle to repel Islamic State attack on city

    By Tom Perry and Sylvia Westall BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian troops and militia battled on Wednesday to repel an Islamic State attack on the city of Hasaka in the northeast, and a Kurdish official said the government forces may not be able to hold off the jihadists. Hasaka city is divided into zones…

  • US sees drawn-out fight vs Islamic State amid claim of Assad-IS collaboration

    A US-led coalition united against the Islamic State met in Paris this week against the backdrop of militant victories in Iraq and Syria that underscore the coalition's struggles to get ahead on a constantly shifting battlefront. The coalition of mostly Middle Eastern and European nations has…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • China ship disaster: Why retirees take 'red setting sun' cruises

    The freak storm that sank a Yangtze river cruise ship on Monday night, apparently claiming more than 400 lives, may have been unusual. A cruise on the Yangtze river, with a visit to the Three Gorges Dam as a highlight, is popular with Chinese tourists, especially older people. Retirees made up…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Stanley Cup Finals: Blackhawks, Lightning feature scoring, goaltending

    The 2014-15 National Hockey League season has come down to the final two teams left standing in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks will meet, starting Wednesday night, to decide who will take home one of the oldest trophies in sports. Tampa Bay survived…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Why Iran’s Revolutionary Guard backs a nuclear deal: It’s just business

    Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the most powerful branch of Iran's military, is known for its fierce rhetoric, for supporting fellow Shiite Muslims across the Middle East, and for challenging American and Israeli regional influence by any means possible. For many years, the IRGC profited, too, from…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • 10 Things to See: A week of top AP photos

    Here's your look at highlights from the weekly AP photo report, a gallery featuring a mix of front-page photography, the odd image you might have missed and lasting moments our editors think you should see.

    Associated Press
  • Russian labor camp memorial group faces heavy pressure

    MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian organization that restored a Soviet-era forced-labor camp as a memorial for the victims of political repression said Friday it is facing legal action aimed at pressuring it to fold.

    Associated Press
  • Encouraging job market news sends US stocks higher

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rose in early trading on Wednesday as investors welcomed some encouraging news about the job market. Eight of the 10 industry sectors in the Standard and Poor's 500 index were higher, led by a 1.1 percent jump in telecommunications companies. The buying follows a rise in…

    Associated Press
  • Russia's Lavrov says fresh fighting in east Ukraine stalls peace talks

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday those responsible for a fresh outbreak of fighting in east Ukraine aimed at stalling progress in peace talks to solve the conflict that has claimed more than 6,100 lives. Asked to comment on reports from Ukraine of the most serious battles…

    Reuters13 mins ago
  • Rome university chief blasted for 'Miss University' pageant

    ROME (AP) — Some of Italy's top female academics are demanding an apology from the president of the University of Rome for participating in the jury of a "Miss University" pageant to select the "most beautiful and wise" university student for 2015.

    Associated Press
  • 5 Juventus players to watch in Champions League final

    Barcelona's attack of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar doesn't scare Juventus.

    Associated Press17 mins ago
  • Islamic State fighters attack northeastern Syrian city

    BEIRUT (AP) — Militants from the Islamic State group launched a major attack on the predominantly Kurdish city of Hassakeh, activists and Syrian state media said Wednesday, in an apparent attempt by the extremist group to reverse some of the advances made recently by Kurdish fighters in the…

    Associated Press
  • Reports: At least 17 killed in Ukraine battles

    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Separatists in east Ukraine said 15 people in territory under their control were killed Wednesday during battles around the rebel stronghold of Donetsk that is threatening to tip the country back into full-blown war.

    Associated Press
  • Top Asian News at 4:00 p.m. GMT

    JIANLI, China (AP) — Chinese authorities deployed scores more divers and a large crane as they escalated efforts Wednesday to recover more than 410 people believed to be trapped inside an overturned river cruise ship. The capsizing late Monday of the multi-decked Eastern Star in the Yangtze River…

    Associated Press23 mins ago
  • Separatists say 15 people killed in clashes in east Ukraine: report

    A senior rebel commander said around 15 fighters and civilians had been killed as a result of clashes between Ukrainian government forces and separatists near rebel-controlled Donetsk on Wednesday, separatist press service DAN reported. "At the moment around fifteen people have been killed, these…

  • Ukraine starts criminal case against ally of deposed Yanukovich

    Ukraine prepared to bring criminal proceedings for embezzlement against an ally of deposed leader Viktor Yanukovich on Wednesday after stripping him of parliamentary immunity from prosecution. Serhiy Klyuev, a tycoon whose wealth from metals and property was put at around $323 million by Forbes…

    Reuters26 mins ago