• China defense budget rise to defy slowing economy

    By Megha Rajagopalan BEIJING (Reuters) - China's defense budget this year will rise about 10 percent compared with 2014, a top government official said on Wednesday, outpacing the slowing economy as the country ramps up investment in high-tech equipment such as submarines and stealth jets. Last…

  • Iran calls Obama's 10-year nuclear demand 'unacceptable'

    By Arshad Mohammed MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) - Iran rejected on Tuesday as "unacceptable" U.S. President Barack Obama's demand that it freeze sensitive nuclear activities for at least 10 years but said it would continue talks on a deal, Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported. Iran…

  • U.S. military's Mosul briefing inaccurate, misguided, Carter says

    A U.S. military official who briefed news media about Iraq's upcoming offensive to retake Mosul provided inaccurate information but should never have publicly discussed war plans anyway, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Tuesday. Carter's criticism of the February news briefing by an official…

  • Netanyahu speech on Iran: Did it put Obama on the back foot?

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress Tuesday laid out a starkly different vision from President Obama’s for preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon – a goal both leaders say is their nonnegotiable guiding priority. Netanyahu laid down a number of “red lines” for…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • At core of Boston Marathon bombing trial, brothers' complex relationship

    Tamerlan Tsarnaev was an amateur boxer, a convert to radical Islam, and someone potentially involved in a triple murder. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was his younger brother: quiet, impressionable, and easily persuaded. It wasn’t his idea to bomb the Boston Marathon in 2013. His lawyers have made it clear…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • For these families, King v. Burwell is more than a Supreme Court case

    Before last year, if Jumaane Cook had a medical problem, he headed for the emergency room. In 2014, Mr. Cook says he was able to get health insurance for the first time in his adult life – a bronze plan with a $5,000 deductible from a Kaiser HMO that covers him and his son for a premium of about…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Why Netanyahu speech has inflamed such passions on Capitol Hill

    “Iran has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted,” the Israeli leader said Tuesday morning, speaking of the international bid to strike a deal over Iran’s nuclear program. To Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) of California, however, the characterization of Iranian negotiators as essentially…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Israeli court orders state to raze West Bank outpost

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's supreme court has ordered Israeli authorities to demolish one of the oldest and most contentious Jewish settlement outposts in the West Bank.

    Associated Press
  • AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Latin America

    During the week that was in Latin America, Mexico underwent its latest spasm of violence as students, politicians and police eyed each other from opposite sides while 43 missing students failed to reappear alive or dead.

    Associated Press
  • Top Asian News at 6:30 a.m. GMT

    BEIJING (AP) — China's military budget will grow by about 10 percent in the coming year, a legislative spokeswoman said Wednesday, despite slowing economic growth that fell to 7.4 percent last year and is expected to further decline in 2015. It would be a slightly smaller rise than last year, but…

    Associated Press26 mins ago
  • World's oldest person celebrates a day before turning 117

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time.

    Associated Press18 mins ago
  • Documentary on 2012 Delhi gang rape banned in India

    By Aditya Kalra NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A documentary film about the fatal gang rape of a woman in New Delhi in 2012 has been banned in India over concerns that derogatory comments made by one of the rapists could create an atmosphere of fear and tension, a police official said. Leslee Udwin's…

    Reuters29 mins ago
  • Australian court backs finding radio royal prank call broke law

    Australia's High Court on Wednesday backed the broadcasting watchdog's finding that an Australian radio station broke the law with a prank call to a British hospital taking care of the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, paving the way for penalties. Two presenters at Sydney's 2Day FM called the London…

    Reuters31 mins ago
  • Australian convicts transferred to Indonesian island for execution

    By Johan Purnomo and Darren Whiteside CILACAP, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were transferred on Wednesday from a Bali prison to an island for execution along with other foreigners, underlining Indonesia's determination to use the death penalty despite international…

    Reuters33 mins ago
  • Egyptians race to expand Suez Canal, hoping for trade surge

    ISMAILIA, Egypt (AP) — Bulldozers push earth and dredgers spit mud round the clock at Egypt's Suez Canal in a race to quickly expand the strategic waterway for two-way traffic, a project trumpeted by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to revive both the country's damaged economy and visions of…

    Associated Press35 mins ago
  • Australia clamps down on illegal foreign housing investment

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian authorities are clamping down on wealthy foreigners illegally buying real estate, ordering a Chinese billionaire to sell a Sydney mansion he recently bought for $30 million, a minister said on Wednesday.

    Associated Press41 mins ago
  • From parks to jobs, disaster prevention gets a makeover

    By Megan Rowling BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Tucked away beneath courts for playing the bowling game pétanque, its entrance part-concealed by hanging plants, lies a cavernous concrete tank for collecting floodwater. The underground tank in Barcelona's northern Horta district is the…

    Reuters46 mins ago
  • India central bank cuts key interest rate as inflation eases

    NEW DELHI (AP) — India's central bank on Wednesday unexpectedly cut a key interest rate by a quarter percentage point, the second such reduction this year as the bank lends support to government efforts to boost economic growth.

    Associated Press57 mins ago