• Iraq says moving troops, preparing offensive to retake Mosul

    Iraq's military said on Friday it was mobilizing troops to prepare for an offensive the government has pledged to launch this year to retake the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State. Hundreds of forces from the army's 15th division reached Makhmour base, 70 km (45 miles) south of Mosul, and…

  • Israel says has mended fences with EU in Netanyahu-Mogherini call

    By Ori Lewis JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said on Friday it had resolved its differences with the European Union after weeks of diplomatic tension following an EU decision not to allow goods produced in settlements in the occupied West Bank to be labeled "Made in Israel".     Prime Minister…

  • Millennium after split, pope and Russian patriarch embrace in Cuba

    By Philip Pullella and Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) - Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill embraced and kissed on Friday in a historic meeting nearly 1,000 years after the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity split apart. "Finally," Francis said as he and Kirill entered…

  • Amid big uncertainties, Syria truce deal might mean some relief for civilians

    Despite the many questions swirling around the cessation of hostilities in Syria that was announced early Friday – including whether the truce will even take hold – the plan offers a glimmer of hope for a half million Syrians at risk of going hungry. Just hours after the deal’s announcement, the…

    Christian Science Monitor30 mins ago
  • 'Right to work' is now law of the land in more than half of US states

    West Virginia became the 26th state to adopt a “right-to-work” law on Friday when the state legislature rebuked Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s vetoes of two highly contentious bills. Most lawmakers voted along party lines, with Republicans arguing that the legislation is pro-growth and…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Syria ceasefire proposal inspires cautious relief

    What Secretary of State John Kerry called "a pause" in the fighting is set to begin in one week, with the promise of further talks leading to a cease-fire, David Sanger reported for The New York Times. Recommended: How well do you understand the conflict in Syria? Several ceasefires have been…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Bizarre case of Edgar Latulip: How an Ontario man solved his own cold case

    After being listed as missing and presumed dead by family for thirty years, Edgar Latulip is finally going home. Mr. Latulip went missing in 1986 from a group home in Kitchener, Ontario. At first, Latulip headed for Niagara Falls by bus without his medication.

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Pope, Russian Orthodox chief say Christians being 'exterminated'

    HAVANA (Reuters) - Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Friday called on the international community to protect Christians under assault in the Middle East in apparent reference to violence by the militant group Islamic State. "In many countries of the Middle East and North Africa…

    Reuters21 mins ago
  • Merkel's liberal refugee policy 'unsustainable', says French PM

    Germany's liberal refugee policy which ushered in 1.1 million asylum-seekers last year is not sustainable, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned Friday, as Chancellor Angela Merkel said a group of EU countries may take more in. "This policy, which is justified temporarily, is unsustainable in…

    AFP26 mins ago
  • Facebook nude-painting case can face trial in France

    If you post a 19th-century nude painting on Facebook, is it art or impermissible nudity? That question is now cleared for trial in France, after an appeals court there ruled that an aggrieved user can ...

    Associated Press27 mins ago
  • The Latest: Pope, patriarch sign declaration on unity

    HAVANA (AP) — The latest on Pope Francis's historic meeting in Cuba with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and his subsequent trip to Mexico (all times local):

    Associated Press29 mins ago
  • Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill sign joint declaration on religious unity

    HAVANA (AP) — Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill sign joint declaration on religious unity.

    Associated Press35 mins ago
  • UN probe zeroes in on five Syria chemical weapons cases

    A UN investigative team has zeroed in on five potential cases of serious chemical weapons use in Syria but has yet to identify the perpetrators, according to its first report released Friday. The Joint Investigative Mechanism was established by the UN Security Council in August last year to come…

    AFP37 mins ago
  • Valero Energy sues U.S. EPA over biofuels plan

    By Chris Prentice NEW YORK (Reuters) - Valero Energy Corp filed lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday to push the regulator to alter a U.S. policy designed to boost use of renewables in transportation fuels. The country's top refiner and No. 3 ethanol producer filed…

    Reuters39 mins ago
  • Langer shoots 62 to take 4-stroke lead in Chubb Classic

    NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Bernhard Langer shot a 10-under 62 on Friday to take a four-stroke lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Chubb Classic at TwinEagles.

    Associated Press40 mins ago
  • California desert to be protected as national monument

    Some 1.8 million acres of scenic California desert were designated national monuments by U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday, roughly doubling the amount of public land set aside for protection during his presidency. Obama's protection of three sections of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts means…

    Reuters40 mins ago
  • Bencic beats Pavlyuchenkova to make St. Petersburg semifinal

    ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Top-seeded Belinda Bencic won a late-night battle with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to take the final spot in the semifinals at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

    Associated Press42 mins ago
  • Pope, Russian patriarch kiss at historic meeting

    Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill kissed each other and sat down Friday for the first meeting between heads of the Eastern and Western churches in nearly a thousand years. The 79-year-old Francis, in white robes and a skullcap, and Kirill, 69, in black robes and a white headdress,…

    AFP45 mins ago
  • Diplomats aim for temporary Syria truce in a week

    BEIRUT (AP) — A diplomatic push for a temporary pause in Syria's civil war and the delivery of humanitarian aid faced huge hurdles Friday, with Russia saying it would continue its airstrikes and government planes dropping leaflets urging rebels to surrender because "the belt is narrowing around you."

    Associated Press46 mins ago