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AP Sources: US Urges No Travel To Cuba, Cuts Embassy Staff

Sep 29, 2017

WASHINGTON - Senior U.S. officials say the United States is pulling roughly 60 percent of its staff out of Cuba and warning American travelers not to visit due to "specific attacks'' that have harmed U.S. diplomats.
 
The officials say the U.S. is ordering all nonessential staff in the embassy in Havana to leave, along with all family members. Only "emergency personnel'' will remain.
 
The U.S. is also warning American citizens they could be harmed if they travel to Cuba. A State Department travel warning will note that attacks on diplomats have occurred in hotels.

President Trump is not the only world leader facing criticism for a delayed condemnation of Saturday's white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Va.

For three days, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — an outspoken critic of anti-Semitism around the world — said nothing about the anti-Jewish chants and Nazi swastikas paraded in Charlottesville.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

This week, more than 70 teens and young adults from 16 countries around the globe are at Colby College in Waterville. Though they come from different cultures, they all have something in common: the loss of a family member from terrorism or war.

Young leaders from 18 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa conclude a six-week fellowship at the University of Maine Friday. Among them is Obakeng Sethamo, the founder and director of Climate Exploration Hub in Botswana.

“The biggest population in Africa is of young people, which means the continent is growing, and with that level of growth in terms of access to energy, that is the biggest thing for young people and that is the biggest opportunity right there,” he says.

Updated 9:40 p.m. ET

Stung by new American sanctions, Russia's Foreign Ministry says the U.S. must downsize its diplomatic and technical staff in Moscow and other cities. The ministry is also suspending the U.S. Embassy's use of two sites — a storage facility and a dacha on an island in the Moscow River.

President Trump said Friday night he would sign the sanctions legislation because Congress was responsive to his input on the bill.

Quake on Greek Island Kills Two, Sends Tourists into Panic

Jul 21, 2017
Michael Probst / Associated Press

KOS, Greece - A powerful earthquake sent a building crashing down on tourists at a bar on the Greek holiday island of Kos and struck panic on the nearby shores of Turkey early Friday, killing two people and injuring some 200.

Rescue authorities said two men from Turkey and Sweden died in the collapse at the White Corner Club when the 6.5-magnitude quake struck at about 1:30 a.m., rattling Greek islands and the Turkish Aegean coast in a region where seismic activity is common. The dead vacationers were not named.

Matthieu Alexandre / AP

PARIS — A French prosecutor says a man who was killed when he drove a car packed with arms and explosives into a police convoy had pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State group.

Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said Thursday the attacker had a huge cache of weapons both at home and in the vehicle used in Monday's rampage.

Molins said evidence from the investigation shows the suspect wanted to join IS forces in Syria and Iraq.

Social media companies are under pressure to block terrorist activity on their sites, and Facebook recently detailed new measures, including using artificial intelligence, to tackle the problem.

The measures are designed to identify terrorist content like recruitment and propaganda as early as possible in an effort to keep people safe, says Monika Bickert, the company's director of global policy management.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has changed his pick for a successor, naming his son Prince Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince and deposing Prince Mohammed bin Nayef from the post. At 31, the country's new successor to the throne is 50 years younger than the current monarch.

Otto Warmbier, a U.S. citizen who was freed last week after more than a year in North Korean detention, has died. Doctors who examined him after his return to said he had "extensive loss of tissue" in all parts of his brain.

Warmbier, 22, had been in a coma since coming home to the United States last week.

Alexander Zemlianichenko / Associated Press

MOSCOW -   The wife of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says that he has been arrested outside his Moscow home on his way to the main demonstration in the capital.
 
Although city authorities had agreed to a location for the Moscow protest, Navalny called for it to be moved to one of Moscow's main thoroughfares.
 
Navalny said contractors hired to build a stage at the agreed-upon venue couldn't do their work.
 

Matt Dunham / Associated Press

LONDON - British police have named the third London Bridge attacker at 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba, believed to be an Italian national of Moroccan descent.

Police said Tuesday he is from east London and his family has been notified.
 
Police say he was not a "subject of interest'' to police or the intelligence services.
 
The other two attackers were named Monday as Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane.

BANGOR, Maine - Horror author Stephen King says Islamic State is a "rogue cult'' and that the group's bombings will eventually lead to its undoing.
 
King made the comments via his Twitter account on Tuesday morning in the aftermath of a suicide bombing attack at an Ariana Grande show on Monday night that left 22 people dead in Manchester, England.
 
King's tweet says Islamic State "has substituted superstition and murder for spirituality'' and "every bombing hastens the day when they will be no more.'' The tweet had been shared about 2,000 times by late morning.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Swedish prosecutors have announced they are dropping the country's rape investigation of Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks founder, who has long denied the allegation, has been holed up at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012 to avoid Sweden's extradition request.

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