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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sudan: Students Torch Khartoum University Mosque

10 May 2016

Khartoum / Kosti — Unrest at the University of Khartoum continued at the weekend as students torched a building where others were staying after they were forced to move out their dormitories. Protesting students in White Nile state were dispersed by police and security agents.

On Sunday evening, student supporters of Sudan's ruling party burned the mosque of the Faculty of Education in the university in Omdurman. The property of students who were staying there after expulsion from the university's boarding houses was destroyed.

A witness told Radio Dabanga that the attacking students were backed by security agents, and beat the other students with sticks and machetes.

"The security service continued to lay siege on the buildings of the Faculty of Education until Monday morning," the witness said, adding that the university administration has decided to close the faculty indefinitely.

The University of Khartoum has been the scene of widespread student unrest for several weeks, and classes have been suspended. One of the main student grievances is a decision by the university administration to sell-off faculty buildings and move university facilities to the outskirts of Khartoum 'to make way for tourist attractions'.


Mohamed El Tayeb El Gurashi is the father of one of the students who has been dismissed by the University of Khartoum and is now detained with eight other students. From the office of lawyer Nabil Adeeb's in Khartoum, he told Radio Dabanga that he holds the President and Chancellor of the University of Khartoum responsible for the students' safety.

"The arrest and dismissal of students is illegal," El Gurashi said, demanding the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) to immediately release them. "All liberal students, political, civil and legal organisations have to put pressure on the regime in order to release them."

Last week, Nabil Adeeb's office was raided by NISS agents, who arrested several students who were suspended from Khartoum University as they consulted with their lawyer. The NISS has stressed that it "will not allow the transfer of conflict and violence to the capital Khartoum".

Two students were killed in separate incidents in April, at Omdurman's Ahlia University and at the University of Kordofan, in which government security forces and armed students used live ammunition to break up protests at the university campuses.

White Nile

A student strike at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Imam El Mahdi in Kosti, White Nile state, resulted in the serious injury of five students and detention of dozens of others on Sunday.

A student at the faculty told Radio Dabanga that NISS and police forces entered the campus to confront student protesters with beatings and teargas, which caused the injuries to five students. They were transferred to the hospital.

Some 40 others were detained by the NISS, and released on Monday. The agents chased students to their boarding houses and detained a number of them, several protesters told this station.

They said that the protesters will continue their strike from studying until all their demands are met. Since the beginning of April, the students have been demanding amendments to the regulations prepared by the university administration earlier last year.

Source: allAfrica.
Link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201605101378.html.

Indian Kashmir hospital struggles amid unrest

12 July 2016 Tuesday

Indian-administered Kashmir's main hospital struggled to treat hundreds of patients wounded in four days of clashes Tuesday, as medics warned that many could lose their eyesight from shotgun injuries.

As the overall death toll from the violence rose to 32, ambulances continued to deliver more victims to Srinagar's Sri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) where patients were sometimes forced to share beds.

An administrator said staff had been ordered not to speak to the press but wards were crammed with young boys and men, many of whom had suffered serious eye injuries caused by the firing of pellets by Indian troops.

"Doctors are working in operating theatres round-the-clock. We've operated on 90 for serious eye injuries since Saturday morning," said a doctor in SMHS where many volunteers were helping to tend to the injured.

One of the youngsters said that he had been injured when paramilitary troops opened fire towards him and a group of his friends with pellet guns as they walked out of a mosque in Srinagar on Friday evening.

"I can't see anything right now," the boy said, declining to give his name as he wiped away tears that were dripping out of the sides of his bandaged eyes.

A senior state administrator said at least 1,000 people have been injured in the clashes in Kashmir, which is India's only Muslim-majority state, since Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed last Friday.

Much of the worst violence has been in the south of the capital Srinagar where security forces have used live fire, non-lethal pellet guns as well as tear gas to disperse crowds.

On Monday, hundreds of protesters tried to storm a military airbase about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Srinagar before being repelled.

While there were fresh clashes Tuesday, the violence was on a much smaller scale than previously. Two people died in hospital from injuries they had sustained earlier, raising the toll to 32.

The death of 22-year-old Wani, a poster boy for the region's biggest rebel group, has sparked the deadliest clashes in Kashmir since 2010 when massive demonstrations were held against Indian rule.

Hizbul Mujahideen is one of several separatist groups which have been fighting for decades against the hundreds of thousands of Indian troops deployed in the disputed region.

Tens of thousands have died in the fighting since 1989.

Kashmir has been divided between rivals India and Pakistan since their independence from Britain in 1947, but both claim the picturesque Himalayan territory in its entirety.

Source: World Bulletin.
Link: http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/174880/indian-kashmir-hospital-struggles-amid-unrest.

18 dead in Indian Kashmir protests after top rebel killed

July 10, 2016

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — The death toll in Kashmir rose to 18 on Sunday as clashes between Indian troops and protesters continued despite a curfew imposed in the disputed Himalayan region to suppress anti-India anger following the killing of a popular rebel commander.

Anti-India protests have been reported from many places across Kashmir since Burhan Wani, chief of operations of Hizbul Mujahideen, Kashmir's largest rebel group, was killed Friday in fighting with Indian troops.

The dead included 17 civilians killed in two days of clashes between angry, rock-pelting protesters who defied the curfew and Indian troops, a police official said. The other fatality was a policeman who was killed Sunday after protesters pushed the armored vehicle he was driving into a river during clashes in the southern Anantnag area, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to reporters.

After the protests erupted, Indian troops used live ammunition, pellet guns and tear gas to try and control the angry crowds, police said. More than 150 civilians have so far been injured in the clashes.

Police intelligence chief Shiv M. Sahai said that protesters attacked several police and paramilitary posts in the region. Around 90 government troops were also injured, he said. Thousands of government forces in riot gear have fanned out across towns and villages in Kashmir.

Officials at the region's main hospital, in the city of Srinagar, said Sunday that they were dealing with a medical emergency as they tried to attend to at least 80 civilians admitted with bullet and pellet injuries, local media reported.

Coalition of Civil Society, a prominent local rights group, said in a statement Sunday that government forces "assaulted the patients and attendants" at four hospitals in the region and also attacked ambulances carrying patients.

Indian paramilitary spokesman K.K. Sharma said the complaint would be investigated, but called the allegations "baseless." Wani, in his early 20s, had become the iconic face of militancy in Kashmir over the last five years, using social media like Facebook to reach out to young Kashmiri men.

Kashmir is evenly divided between India and Pakistan, but claimed in its entirety by both. Most people in Kashmir have long resented India's presence, and support rebel demands for an independent Kashmir or a merging with Pakistan. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the subsequent Indian military crackdown.

Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani described Wani's killing as the "biggest success against militants" in recent years. Indian officials, fearing that the killing could lead to violent protests in the already troubled region, have also indefinitely suspended an annual Hindu pilgrimage to a mountain cave that draws about half a million people each year.

Cellphone services in southern parts of Kashmir remained suspended for a second day and mobile internet services were blocked in the rest of the region to prevent anti-India demonstrators from mobilizing.

Shops, businesses and government offices remained closed. Authorities also postponed school and college examinations and suspended rail services.

Thousands mark 21 years since Srebrenica massacre

July 11, 2016

SREBRENICA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Tens of thousands of people on Monday marked the 21st anniversary of Europe's worst mass murder since the Holocaust and attended the funeral of 127 newly-found victims.

Family members sobbed as they hugged the coffins for the last time before their loved ones were laid to rest at a cemetery next to 6,337 other victims found previously in mass graves. The youngest victim buried this year was 14, the oldest 77.

Fatima Duric, 52, buried her husband whom she last saw when Serbs overran the eastern Bosnian enclave at the end of Bosnia's 1992-95 war. The United Nations had declared Srebrenica a safe haven for civilians, but that didn't prevent Serb soldiers from attacking the town they besieged for years. As they advanced on July 11, 1995, most of the town's Muslim population rushed to the nearby U.N. compound in hopes the Dutch peacekeepers would protect them.

But the outnumbered and outgunned peacekeepers watched helplessly as Muslim men and boys were separated for execution and the women and girls were sent to Bosnian government-held territory. Nearly 15,000 residents tried to flee through the woods, but were hunted down and also killed.

International courts defined the massacre of more than 8,000 people as an act of genocide committed with the intent to exterminate the Muslim Bosniak population in the area. The victims were buried in mass graves, which were dug up by the perpetrators shortly after the war and relocated in order to hide the crime. During the process, the half-decomposed remains were ripped apart by bulldozers so that body parts are still being found in more than 100 different mass graves and are being put together and identified through DNA analysis.

Victims are buried each year at the memorial center across the road from the former U.N. base where most of them were last seen alive. Duric lost her husband as they fled with their two children through the woods and walked for days toward government-held territory.

"After all these years, his body was found. In fact, just a few bones. I am burying them today," Duric said. What hurts the survivors the most is the constant denial of the nature of the crime by Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs.

Last year, Serbia's prime minister Aleksandar Vucic — a former radical Serb nationalist who openly supported Serb forces in Bosnia during the war — was chased away by stone-throwing protesters from the burial ceremony mostly because he refused to acknowledge the genocide.

This year, victims' families demanded that those who deny the nature of the crime should not come so nobody from official Belgrade or the Serb half of now ethnically divided Bosnia, where Srebrenica is located, came. The president of the Bosnian Serb part, Milorad Dodik, told media on Monday that Serbs will never acknowledge the massacre as genocide.

However, the leader of the Serbian opposition Liberal Democratic Party, Cedomir Jovanovic, who never avoided the word, was greeted by the victims' family members with applause as he laid flowers at the memorial center. Like every year, the non-governmental group from Belgrade "Women in Black" stood quietly holding a large banner that read "Responsibility," demanding Serbia acknowledges its role in the crimes in Bosnia.

"We will never stop paying tribute to the victims of genocide," said Stasa Zajevic, the head of the group. The former president of the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Theodor Meron, as well as the current president, Carmel Agius insisted in speeches that the Srebrenica massacre "must be called by its real name: genocide." The tribunal has convicted six people for involvement in the Srebrenica genocide, including wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, sentenced this year to 40 years in prison.

President Bakir Izetbegovic said in order for a crime to be put into the past, it first has to face punishment. "The answer is in our readiness to learn from history and to turn those lessons into a vision of peace, understanding and tolerance," Izetbegovic said.

"The dream of exterminating others will always end with defeat and self-destruction," he warned those who still deny the genocide in Srebrenica. "Accepting and acknowledging the truth is the first step toward reconciliation."

The Srebrenica funerals are unique among Muslims because they are attended by women which otherwise is not customary. But mostly male residents were killed in Srebrenica and the town's women never even considered sticking to the tradition.

Turkey to give citizenship to Ahiska Turks

13 July 2016 Wednesday

Ahiska Turks from Ukraine are in line to receive Turkish citizenship, Interior Minister Efkan Ala said Tuesday.

Turkey has already announced Syrian refugees living in Turkey will get citizenship and Ala told parliament that preparations were underway to grant the privilege to Ahiska Turks, also known as Meskhetian Turks, who have settled in the eastern province of Erzincan having fled the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“We rush to help whoever is oppressed,” Ala told lawmakers.

In the town of Uzumlu, Ahiska Turks danced in celebration at the announcement. “We became very happy after we learned that they will give us Republic of Turkey identities," Fikriye Etemoglu said.

Ismail Izaha added: “We are already Turks. We came to our homeland. We have been expecting this news for a long time. May Allah bless our state.”

Around 1,200 Ahiska Turks have arrived in Uzumlu, where the government has provided them furnished apartments, since December.

According to the World Ahiska Turks Association, nearly 25,000 Ahiska Turks live in Turkey. In 1944 they were expelled from their homeland -- the Meskheti region of Georgia -- by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

Many migrated to Ukraine with the break-up of the Soviet Union, where they settled in shanty towns used by seasonal workers.

Source: World Bulletin.
Link: http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/174896/turkey-to-give-citizenship-to-ahiska-turks.

Jordan agrees one-off aid for Syrians blocked at border

13 July 2016 Wednesday

Jordan has agreed to a one-off aid delivery to more than 100,000 desperate Syrians blocked in the desert no-man's land on its northeastern border, the United Nations said.

Jordan closed the border to both would-be refugees and aid agencies after a June 21 suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State group killed seven soldiers near the makeshift desert camp.

"We have negotiated with the government for an intervention... to create packages that will include food as well as non-food items that we will get to the people at the berm" marking the frontier, the executive director of the UN's World Food Program, Ertharin Cousin, told AFP.

"But the Jordanian government has been very clear with us it is a one-time intervention," she added in an interview on Tuesday.

Cousin said the details of the aid delivery were still being worked out with the UN Children's Fund and the International Organization for Migration and she could give no firm date for it.

On Tuesday, armed forces chief General Meshaal Mohamed al-Zaban reiterated at a meeting attended by the WFP director that the border would remain closed, the official Petra news agency reported.

Zaban said Jordan would "allow nobody" to cross, because the kingdom's security was an "absolute priority."

Jordanian officials have charged that the vast Rukban camp has become a hotbed of jihadist activity.

Cousin said she had flown over the camp by helicopter early on Tuesday.

"You are looking out of the window and it is just all desert and the sun rising and suddenly thousands of tents," she said.

"The numbers have been estimated by our teams on the ground as high as 100,000-plus at the border on the berm."

Aid agencies have voiced concern about the plight of the camp's residents who had been dependent on food and water deliveries across the border before its closure.

The refugees are "enduring very harsh weather conditions, sweltering heat and frequent dust storms" and "have or are running out of food," WFP Jordan spokeswoman Shaza Moghraby told AFP late last month.

Source: World Bulletin.
Link: http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/174895/jordan-agrees-one-off-aid-for-syrians-blocked-at-border.

2 Guantanamo detainees sent to Serbia in latest releases

July 11, 2016

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A Tajik and a Yemeni national each held for roughly 14 years at Guantanamo Bay have been freed and sent to the Balkan nation of Serbia, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Monday.

The Pentagon said the two men were released from the U.S. base in Cuba after comprehensive security reviews. It identified the Yemeni as Mansur Ahmad Saad al-Dayfi and the Tajik as Muhammadi Davlatov.

The latest detainee releases come amid a renewed push by the Obama administration to whittle down the number of men held at the U.S. base in Cuba. On Sunday, another Yemeni prisoner was released and sent to Italy after more than 14 years in custody.

The Monday transfers leave 76 prisoners at Guantanamo's detention center, which was opened in January 2002 to hold foreign fighters suspected of links to the Taliban or the al-Qaida terrorist organization. Some two dozen low-level prisoners are expected to be sent home or resettled in other countries in coming weeks.

President Barack Obama has been seeking to close the detention center amid opposition from Congress, which has prohibited transferring detainees to the U.S. for any reason. The administration has been working with other countries to resettle detainees who have been cleared for transfer.

Lee Wolosky, the U.S. State Department's special envoy for Guantanamo's closure, said Washington is grateful to Serbia for accepting the two men. These are the first detainee transfers to that country.

"Serbia now joins other friends and allies in Europe in accepting multiple detainees for resettlement, bringing us closer to our shared goal of closing the facility," Wolosky said in an email. Officials say that before any detainee is transferred, the State Department obtains security assurances from the receiving country. Defense officials, with the intelligence community, also review the receiving nation's ability to mitigate any possible threat.

The two men's Pentagon profiles released years ago both asserted they were of high intelligence value and were "likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests, and allies." But they were never charged with a crime, and authorities ultimately decided they did not pose a security threat and could be freed.

The State Department said Monday that both detainees were unanimously approved for transfer by six U.S. government departments and agencies. The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights said Davlatov had filed a habeas corpus petition a decade ago challenging the legality of his capture and detention. He been approved for release and was slated to be released to Tajikstan in 2008. However, he obtained a preliminary court injunction against his transfer there due to his arguments that he faced a serious risk of torture or unjust imprisonment there.

In a Monday statement, the Center blasted the Obama administration for making "no meaningful efforts to transfer him" for years. He "never should have been brought to Guantanamo, and by the government's own admission he should have been released six years ago," said attorney J. Wells Dixon.

Romania probes 'slaves' kidnapped, chained, forced to beg

July 13, 2016

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Dozens of vulnerable men and boys were kidnapped, chained, whipped, fed scraps and forced to work or fight each other for entertainment over an eight-year period in rural southern Romania, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Three men and two boys aged between 10 and 12 were found chained up and were rescued by police Wednesday in the mountain town of Berevoiesti during searches at the homes of suspects — members of an extended Roma family. Organized-crime prosecutors said the investigation involves some 90 suspects who they say exploited around 65 people with physical and mental disabilities or who were very poor, making them log wood, beg or look after animals.

Some 160 police and prosecutors took part in the raid Wednesday on the town, some 150 kilometers (95 miles) northwest of Bucharest. Berevoiesti mayor Florin Bogdan told Digi24 television he had alerted authorities about suspicions of slavery in the town last year. Media reported investigators have been monitoring suspects for months and took action when the majority of suspects were at home.

A prosecutors' statement said some victims were snatched from railway and bus stations, outside churches or even from their own homes and transported to private homes by members of the group. Some of them performed domestic chores while others were made to transport and sell wood that was the product of illegal logging.

It said the captives were sometimes held in chains, whipped, beaten and threatened, refused food or made to eat off the ground, and coerced into fighting each other for entertainment. They were locked up overnight to prevent them escaping. Some were stripped naked and doused with hot or cold water. There are suspicions some were raped or sexually abused.

One youngster told Digi24 he had had received just 10 lei ($4.20) a week for cleaning horses and other work. Valentin Preoteasa, chief prosecutor at the Pitesti office, called the case unprecedented. "It is shocking to hear this in the 21st century," he told The Associated Press by telephone, adding he had immediately poured his office's resources into the probe. "All five prosecutors in the Pitesti office are working on the case," together with police officers, he said.

Preoteasa said the victims have been housed in centers and given food, showers and beds. He could not say how many were children. Spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office Mihaela Porime said some of the youngsters had their identity papers and birth certificates confiscated.

Preoteasa said investigators have located about 30 suspects, including women, and are in the process of questioning them. Police carrying out the searches confiscated 228,000 lei ($56,300), about one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of gold, nine chainsaws and three trucks that they said were used in the criminal activity.

They risk up to 20 years in prison.

Hungarian officers beat migrants severely, rights group says

July 13, 2016

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungarian police and soldiers have beaten some migrants severely before sending them back across the border to Serbia, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Wednesday. Since July 5, migrants caught within 8 kilometers (5 miles) of the border are being returned to the Serbian side of the razor-wire fence built by Hungary last year to stem the migrant flow. Police said 621 people were sent back to Serbia through the fence during the first week the new rules were in effect.

One of the claims of abuse noted in the HRW report said men in a group of between 30 and 40 migrants that also included women and children were beaten by soldiers for two hours after being detained in Hungary.

"I haven't even seen such beating in the movies," the reported quoted an unidentified man as saying. "Five or six soldiers took us one by one to beat us. They tied our hands with plastic handcuffs on our backs. They beat us with everything, with fists, kicks, and batons. They deliberately gave us bad injuries."

Others interviewed by HRW claimed to have been beaten by police and of being injured when forced back to Serbia through small openings in the razor-wire fence. The HRW report was based on interviews with 41 asylum-seekers and migrants as well as officials from a wide range of Hungarian and international institutions, including the U.N. refugee agency, Hungarian police and the immigration office.

The organization said Hungary was also failing to comply with international standards regarding asylum-seekers, for example by quickly dismissing most asylum claims from single men, while accepting only 15 claims daily at each of the two transit zones on the Serbian border. This has led to hundreds of refugees being stranded at the border in precarious conditions.

"The abuse of asylum seekers and migrants runs counter to Hungary's obligations under EU law, refugee law, and human rights law," said Lydia Gall, the advocacy group's regional researcher. "The European Commission should use its enforcement powers to press Budapest to comply with its obligation under EU law to provide meaningful access to asylum and fair procedures for those at its borders and on its territory."

"Hungary is breaking all the rules for asylum seekers," Gall said. The Hungarian government did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but authorities last month rejected similar allegations of abuse reported by the U.N. refugee agency. HRW said it sent its findings and questions to Hungary's Office of Immigration and Nationality, as well as to the interior and defense ministries on June 13 and did not receive any response.

HRW also said Hungary was applying "legal fiction" at the transit zones on the border, as people there were not considered to have entered the country even though the zones are in Hungarian territory. This makes it possible for Hungary to ensure that refugees whose asylum claims are rejected in the transit zones do not try to stay in Hungary or pass through the country, as nearly 400,000 people did last year, on their way west.

Germany's Schweinsteiger weds Serbian tennis ace Ivanovic

July 13, 2016

BERLIN (AP) — German soccer star Bastian Schweinsteiger has tied the knot with Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanovic. Photos of the couple in Venice, Italy, had stirred talk that they were getting married.

On Wednesday, the 31-year-old Manchester United player posted a picture of himself and his bride with the words "Mr. & Mrs. (heart)" on Twitter. Ivanovic, 28, a former No. 1, crashed out of Wimbledon in the first round last month.

Schweinsteiger captained Germany's team to the semifinal of the European Championship, where it lost to host France.

Berlin leftist rioting leaves 120 officers injured

July 10, 2016

BERLIN (AP) — Police say more than 120 officers were injured and 86 demonstrators were detained during leftist riots in the German capital which police call "the most aggressive and violent protests in the last five years."

Berlin police said in a statement Sunday that protesters threw bottles, cobblestones and fireworks, destroyed cars and attacked officers. Only one of the police officers required treatment at a hospital. It wasn't immediately clear how many rioters were injured.

About 3,500 protesters participated in the rallies, which started Saturday evening and lasted until early Sunday. Activists had called for the demonstration to protest against police operations at buildings taken over the squatters in the eastern part of the city last month.

Around 1,800 police officers were called in to monitor the protesters.

Theresa May becomes Britain's new leader as Cameron exits

July 13, 2016

LONDON (AP) — Theresa May entered No. 10 Downing St., on Wednesday as Britain's new prime minister, following a bittersweet exit by David Cameron that was tinged with humor and regret. "I was the future once," Cameron quipped as he left office. But that future now belongs to May, and it involves instability, uncertainty and tough wrangling over Britain's departure from the European Union.

Britain's transition of power unfolded with startling speed since the June 23 referendum on EU membership. Cameron announced his resignation after voters rejected his appeal to stay in the 28-nation bloc, and May, the former home secretary, became Conservative Party leader Monday after an abbreviated contest in which her only remaining rival dropped out.

Then came Wednesday's ceremonial choreography: Two trips to Buckingham Palace and two audiences with Queen Elizabeth II that ended with one prime minister out of a job and a new one curtseying to the monarch to begin her term.

May stood in front of the iconic door of No. 10 with her husband, Philip, as the 13th prime minister of the queen's reign and the first woman to hold the job since fellow Conservative Margaret Thatcher served from 1979 to 1990.

She acknowledged that Britain faces a rocky road ahead as it undoes 43 years of EU ties and forges a new relationship with its neighbors. "Following the referendum, we face a time of great national change," May said. "And I know because we're Great Britain we will rise to the challenge.

"As we leave the European Union we will forge a bold new positive role for ourselves in the world and we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few, but for every one of us," she said.

May promised to fight for social justice in a speech that addressed "hard-working families" who have struggled during the years of instability since the 2008 financial crisis. Many of those people, fed up with remote politicians and bureaucrats, voted to leave the EU.

"When it comes to opportunity we won't entrench the advantages of the fortunate few. We will do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to go as far as your talents will take you," May said, in language more often used by left-of-center politicians, rather than by members of the center-right Conservative Party.

May began appointing her new Cabinet within an hour of taking office, and several posts went to "leave" supporters. The most notable was former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who was given the meaty job of foreign secretary, Britain's top diplomatic post. The blond, Latin-speaking Johnson — a leader of the campaign for a British exit, or Brexit — had aspired to be prime minister himself before his bid failed because of party infighting.

Former Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond was named Treasury chief, ousting George Osborne, a strong "remain" voice in the referendum. May's former job of home secretary went to Amber Rudd. May has said she will create a new post of "Brexit" minister to oversee talks on a British EU exit from the 28-nation EU. That key job went to veteran Conservative lawmaker David Davis — a longstanding advocate of leaving the EU — and he will lead at least two years of negotiations with the bloc.

Wednesday's carefully orchestrated political changeover began with Cameron making a final appearance in Parliament, turning the usually raucous prime minister's question time into a session filled with praise, thanks, gentle ribbing, cheers — and a sprinkle of criticism.

Later, in a brief speech on Downing Street, the 49-year-old Cameron defended his government's legacy. "It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve our country as prime minister over these last six years, and to serve as leader of my party for almost 11 years," he said. "It's not been an easy journey, and of course we have not got every decision right, but I do believe that today our country is much stronger."

Then, he and his wife, Samantha, and his children — 12-year-old Nancy, 10-year-old Elwen and 5-year-old Florence — left their home of six years and made the short drive to Buckingham Palace. The palace soon confirmed that Cameron had "tendered his resignation as prime minister and First Lord of the Treasury, which her majesty was graciously pleased to accept."

Minutes later, the palace released a photo of May curtseying to the monarch and confirmed that the queen had "requested her to form a new administration." As home secretary, the 59-year-old May has been in charge of immigration and law and order for the past six years. She has the tough task of calming the country and global financial markets after the upheaval that followed the referendum.

Although May had backed remaining in the EU, she has reassured "leave" supporters that "Brexit means Brexit, and we will make a success of it." Not all believe her. As May spoke in front of her new residence, a small band of pro-Brexit demonstrators down the street chanted "Theresa May, don't delay!"

She is under pressure from pro-Brexit Conservatives and other EU leaders to start formal exit talks with the bloc. But Tony Travers of the London School of Economics said May probably would not rush to trigger Article 50 of the EU constitution, which starts a two-year countdown to a departure from Europe.

"I don't detect Theresa May being an impulsive person," Travers said. "I think she's a cautious person, and the British political establishment needs to come to terms with this massive decision." Cameron used his final day in office to try to stake a claim on a legacy beyond his status as the prime minister who — by gambling on a referendum — took Britain out of the EU.

He said his government had cut the deficit, overseen economic growth and legalized same-sex marriage. And he offered the closest thing he has ever given to a mission statement: "I believe that politics is about public service in the national interest."

"I will miss the roar of the crowd, Cameron told Parliament. "I will miss the barbs from the opposition." He ended by referring to a jibe he directed at then-Prime Minister Tony Blair more than a decade ago: "He was the future once."

"Nothing is really impossible if you put your mind to it," Cameron said. "After all, as I once said, I was the future once." He left the chamber to applause from all sides of the House and a standing ovation from his Conservative colleagues.

Britain's new leader May seen as more Merkel than Maggie

July 12, 2016

Within moments of Theresa May's confirmation as the next prime minister of Britain, London tabloids and wags were comparing her to Britain's "iron lady" of the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher. But those taking a closer look see more in common with Europe's most powerful woman today: Germany's "iron chancellor," Angela Merkel.

Both women have a track record of cautious pragmatism. Merkel famously will sit on the fence on many issues waiting for consensus to build before she commits herself to whichever side is more likely to work. May demonstrated her own grasp of patient tactics, opting to stay on the policy sidelines during Britain's bruising referendum on European Union membership — positioned in the middle, seemingly the best spot from which to take charge of a divided Conservative Party in the wake of David Cameron's resignation.

"It's often said that you cannot tell what Merkel thinks about an issue until the last moment, if even then. May seems to be similarly inscrutable. She waits for her moment," said Hans Kundnani, a London-based foreign policy analyst at the German Marshall Fund think tank.

"Everyone seems to want to compare women leaders to Thatcher. Even when Merkel first emerged, she was compared with Thatcher as well. But actually, Merkel is the anti-Thatcher," Kundnani said. "Thatcher was very passionate with strong beliefs and fought for them. She was a divisive politician, whereas Merkel is the opposite. So far, based on what we know of May, there seems to be more Merkel in her than Maggie."

The German media explored how May, 59, might strike a strong working relationship with the 61-year-old Merkel, Germany's leader since 2005, citing similarities in substance and style, from family background to hobbies.

"How much Merkel is in Mrs. Brexit?" asked Tuesday's online edition of the German tabloid Bild, which cited parallels between the leaders and cited hopes that they could form a bond that limits the political damage to Europe as Britain negotiates a slow exit from the 28-nation EU.

Both grew up in the countryside in devout Christian households: May in a village near Oxford where her father was a Church of England vicar, Merkel in a town north of Berlin where her father served as a Lutheran pastor.

They both like to relax in the kitchen and cook for their camera-shy husbands. May says she keeps more than 100 cookbooks at the ready to consult with her investment banker husband Philip, while Merkel has described spoiling her husband, Joachim Sauer, with home-made plum cake.

Neither have children, an issue that proved strangely decisive in May's quick confirmation as British leader. Her main rival for the leadership, Andrea Leadsom, resigned barely a day after clumsily suggesting she'd make a better leader because she, unlike May, was a mother.

Merkel and May both favor businesslike dress, with a shared fondness for big-beaded necklaces and the colors mint and turquoise. Fashion parallels diverge decisively at their feet, which May famously adorns with an array of high-end footwear.

May's collection of shoes is so synonymous with her otherwise sober image that the German newspaper Die Welt, when reporting on Britain's new leader, displayed a front-page shot of her feet in leopard-print heels alongside the headline, "The shoes of power."

Possibly the biggest issue now is whether May will evolve as prime minister into a consensus-seeking centrist like Merkel or turn right toward her Conservative Party's most vocally anti-European lawmakers. While Thatcher was famous for inflexibility — "This lady's not for turning," she once declared in mocking other lawmakers open to compromise — May has highlighted the need for Conservatives to look critically at their uncaring image and reach out to the poor and marginalized.

"Under my leadership, the Conservative Party will put itself — completely, absolutely, unequivocally — at the service of ordinary working people," she said Monday hours before officially becoming the prime minister-designate.

May has spent the past six years working as Cameron's home secretary, the top law and order post for England and Wales, the first five of those in coalition with the left-wing Liberal Democratic Party. Merkel has governed twice with left-wing rivals, and has relentlessly moved her conservative Christian Democrats to the center. Merkel has shifted Germany away from reliance on nuclear power, scrapped military conscription and increased support for working mothers.

The two leaders have carved starkly different paths on the issue that most fueled anti-Europe sentiment in Britain: immigration. Merkel was seen to inspire a traffic jam of immigrants into Europe with a 2015 promise to provide unlimited shelter to war refugees, a position she's been forced to moderate as Germany's capacity to absorb newcomers has been pushed to its limits.

May, by contrast, has been consistently firm in seeking to reduce immigration to Britain — though, in her emerging leadership role, she has cautioned that immigration could spike before Britain leaves the EU.

And on that key question, those comparing May to Merkel see signs that Britain's negotiations with the EU could prove a drawn-out affair, with May already pledged not to invoke the treaty article formally starting exit negotiations until 2017.

In Monday's speech, May pledged that "Brexit means Brexit" — but offered not a hint what kind of exit she actually imagines will happen, or when. Some hope that May might come to command the art of the political U-turn, much like Merkel, who has shifted course as events and coalition requirements demanded.

Kundnani said he suspects that May would like to minimize the United Kingdom's disconnection from the EU's border-free economy but could find herself with particularly little room for maneuver within Conservative ranks because she, unlike most of her defeated leadership rivals, supported the "remain" side in the referendum.

"She has to be tougher to prove her 'leave' credentials," he said. "She might privately favor another course, but the pressure on her not to backtrack from the Brexit vote will be greater."

Pogatchnik reported from Dublin. Associated Press reporters Geir Moulson and Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin contributed to this story.

Britain's prime minister chairs his final Cabinet meeting

July 12, 2016

LONDON (AP) — The brutal swiftness of British politics was on display Tuesday as moving vans pulled up to take David Cameron's possessions away from 10 Downing Street and his successor posed for photos in front of her new home.

Cameron will step aside on Wednesday after losing the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union. The next prime minister, Theresa May, is seeking to calm the country, and financial markets, after upheaval following the unexpected result.

Ministers — including May — gathered for Cameron's 215th and final weekly Cabinet session Tuesday, the day after she was confirmed as the new Conservative leader and prime minister-in-waiting. The moment was bittersweet. Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said there had been a "touch of sadness" to the meeting, which saw May and Treasury chief George Osborne lead tributes to Cameron.

Cameron's spokeswoman, Helen Bower, said ministers banged the Cabinet table in approval and tribute at the end of the "warm and reflective" meeting. Osborne and May cited Cameron's achievements including legalizing same-sex marriage, reform of schools and an increased minimum wage — but Britain's relationship with Europe looks set to define his legacy.

Cameron resigned after Britons voted — against his advice — to leave the EU. May will have to deal with the political fallout and oversee the complex process of separating from the bloc. She spent the day considering the makeup of her own Cabinet before she moves into 10 Downing Street on Wednesday. She went to Conservative head office and got down to work.

Cameron has said he will give his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II after his last appearance in Parliament as prime minister; May will then go separately to Buckingham Palace to meet with the queen and take up her new post.

British media have focused on whether Osborne will keep his job in charge of the economy, which has been rattled since the Brexit vote. With the pound in crisis and fears over the wider economy, some argue that May could opt for continuity and keep Osborne in place, particularly as he has the confidence of many in the banks and markets.

But others say that the key position should go to someone who favored leaving the European Union. Osborne, a one-time leadership hopeful, had strongly backed the bid to stay in the 28-nation bloc. May supported remaining in the EU, but has promised to give prominent "leave" campaigners key Cabinet roles in a bid to heal the party's longstanding split over Europe.

Two of the leading Brexiteers, former London Mayor Boris Johnson and Justice Secretary Michael Gove, were briefly Conservative leadership contenders, and May could show magnanimity by putting them in her Cabinet.

She has also said she will appoint a "Brexit minister" to oversee negotiations with the EU. May is already facing pressure from the 27 remaining EU countries to invoke Article 50 of the bloc's constitution, which sets the clock ticking on two years of formal exit talks.

She is also facing calls from opposition politicians to call an early election, before the next scheduled vote in 2020. In remarks to party workers Tuesday, she signaled strongly she would not do that, saying the party must "put this time to good use, to build the support we need to go to the country in four years' time, and not just win, but win big."

Even so, May might be tempted to go to the polls to confirm her own mandate, and because the main opposition Labour Party is in the midst of a leadership struggle that puts it in a weak position. Leader Jeremy Corbyn has lost the support of most Labour members of Parliament and is facing a challenge from legislator Angela Eagle, in a contest with all the brutality but none of the speed of the Conservative succession.

Left-winger Corbyn has a strong base of support among grassroots Labour members and some trade union leaders, but little backing from Labour lawmakers. The party's governing National Executive Committee met for several hours Tuesday to decide whether Corbyn should automatically be on the ballot in a leadership contest, or whether he needed to gather nominations from 51 lawmakers — something he would struggle to do.

Passions around the issue ran high. Len McCluskey, general-secretary of the Unite union, called Eagle's challenge a "coup" and said it would be a "sordid little fix" to exclude Corbyn from the ballot paper.

The committee decided by a vote of 18-14 that Corbyn would be on the ballot automatically. Several hundred thousand party members are eligible to vote in the leadership race. The bitter battle risks splitting the century-old Labour Party in two, and has led to allegations of abuse and violence. Police said Tuesday they were investigating reports that a brick had been thrown through the window of Eagle's constituency office in northwest England.

Corbyn said the attack on Eagle's office and abuse directed at other lawmakers was "extremely concerning." Last month Labour legislator Jo Cox was shot and stabbed to death in her northern England constituency, the first lawmaker to be killed in a quarter of a century.

"As someone who has also received death threats this week and previously, I am calling on all Labour Party members and supporters to act with calm and treat each other with respect and dignity, even where there is disagreement," Corbyn said.

Stealth candidate Theresa May to be UK's next leader

July 11, 2016

LONDON (AP) — After all of the flamboyant characters and very public backstabbing in the race to become Britain's next prime minister, the winner turned out to be an understated workhorse who maintained a low profile throughout the campaign.

Home Secretary Theresa May, 59 is not well-known internationally, but she has served for six years in one of Britain's toughest jobs, playing an important role in counter-terrorism policy, and now will take charge of delicate negotiations to separate Britain from the European Union.

She was less visible — and less talked about as a likely future prime minister — than Treasury Chief George Osborne and former London Mayor Boris Johnson, but she proved to be the stealth candidate, outmaneuvering both in the intense competition to follow Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

During the EU referendum campaign, Osborne was passionate about remaining in the EU, and lost his leadership hopes when voters turned the other way. Johnson led the campaign to take Britain out of the EU, but never formally entered the leadership race because of dwindling support among his party's lawmakers.

By contrast, May stayed largely out of the referendum fray. She tepidly backed remaining in the EU in a single speech, then remained largely out of sight as the behemoths of the Conservative Party — including Cameron and Justice Secretary Michael Gove — did each other in.

Her triumph is no surprise to colleagues who say she is cool and calm under pressure. She has grown in confidence and stature after six years in the limelight, projecting authority in front of TV cameras that once made her nervous. She is not flashy, does not call attention to herself, and had seemed content with her public role as a loyal Cameron backer.

There is no doubt she has her critics. Conservative Party elder statesman Kenneth Clarke last week called her a "bloody difficult woman" in an unguarded moment when he didn't know he was being filmed.

May has long seemed aware that the Conservative Party is saddled with an elitist, out-of-touch image. Serving as party chairwoman in 2002, she warned that the Conservatives had become known as "the nasty party" and needed to change their ways and broaden their appeal.

In her brief, successful leadership campaign, she took a more populist stance somewhat at odds with her "law and order" image. She emphasized the need for more equal opportunity and fairness within Britain.

"Right now, if you're born poor, you will die on average nine years earlier than others," she said. "If you're black, you're treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you're white. If you're a white, working-class boy, you're less likely than anybody else to go to university. If you're at a state school, you're less likely to reach the top professions than if you're educated privately. If you're a woman, you still earn less than a man."

As home secretary, May has earned a reputation as a reliable, even-tempered minister who capably ran a sprawling department responsible for counter-terrorism policy, policing, immigration, border control and drug policy.

She was criticized at times for problems with border staffing but generally got high marks from politicians and the media while taking a hard line on national security matters and calling for the easier deportation of extremists.

She took steps to limit the "stop and search" powers of police and used her position to criticize police and fire departments for lacking diversity. May ran a largely scandal-free department and managed to keep her personal life out of the news — the only exception being a slight media fascination with her impressive collection of shoes. She has spoken out at times about living with diabetes and colleagues have said they don't believe the illness will have any impact on her ability to serve as prime minister.

May is a vicar's daughter who came up through Conservative Party ranks, working behind the scenes at her local Conservative Association before becoming a city councilor in a London borough, then entering Parliament in 1997. Her position within the party was helped when she served as its chairwoman in 2002 and 2003.

Like several other top leaders in her party, May was educated at Oxford. She worked at the Bank of England and other financial institutions before entering politics. She has been married since 1980 and has no children — which was briefly a bone of contention during the abbreviated leadership campaign when a rival suggested having children made a person better qualified to serve as prime minister.

Stressing her extensive experience near the top of government, her campaign for the top job was launched with the slogan "Theresa May is ready to be prime minister from Day One." Day One will be Wednesday, when she is expected to visit Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace before assuming her formidable new role.

Britain may be yearning for a country that never was

July 10, 2016

GREAT YARMOUTH, England (AP) — Across Britain, from dilapidated Welsh coal mining towns to English beach resorts frozen in time, people say they voted to leave the European Union and plunge into the unknown to get their country back.

But which country is that, exactly? Could their stinging blow to the European project have stemmed from a yearning for a Britain that never really existed? On a rare blue-sky day in Great Yarmouth, a quintessentially English seaside resort with squeaky-floored hotels and screeching seagulls, the mostly elderly people strolling along the beach longed for a bygone era.

Not just in this declining coastal town but throughout the United Kingdom, they said, the sense of community that once glued the country together had been shattered. They blamed politicians, bankers, foreigners, European bureaucrats and even political correctness.

Yvonne Pycroft, a 69-year-old with purple highlights in her white hair, summed up the feelings of many "leave" voters when she said she's not sure Britain will be better off outside the European Union, "but what we had I didn't like so we're just taking a gamble. I'm just hoping it will change for the better."

In the Working Men's club of Haltwhistle, a quaint countryside village whose claim to fame is being the geographical midpoint of Britain, gray-haired men agreed their country was better off before it joined the EU in 1973. Except for Dryden Smith, the oldest man in the club and one of the few who said they voted "remain." With gleaming badges on his blazer, he said the quality of life has improved greatly since he was young.

"I'm 81 years old now. I'm looked after left, right and center. And I can't ask for more," he said, hands trembling. "I come out here and enjoy my whisky. Bring my wife out with us. And we just have a good time. Before that, we couldn't because we hadn't the money."

"Leave" voters, many of them pensioners, told Associated Press journalists on a road trip across Britain last week they were sick and tired of being told what to do by Brussels. But besides the free movement of people, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of European migrant workers coming to Britain, they struggled to find examples of how the EU has encroached on their lives.

They still enjoy many of Britain's unique features, such as paying with pounds rather than euros, the currency of 19 EU members, driving on the left side of the road and using electricity plugs with three pins instead of two, the norm in most of Europe.

In Wales, more than 52 percent of the electorate voted out despite getting more money back from the EU than they put in. Jenny Hughes, an education consultant in the town of Pontypridd, said it reminded her of a scene in the 1979 Monty Python comedy film "Life of Brian," where occupied Judeans ask "what have the Romans done for us?" except improve sanitation, medicine, education, irrigation, public order and roads.

"They say this is a chance to have a go at (Conservative Prime Minister David) Cameron, this is a chance to have a go at the bankers," Hughes said. "They are voting against immigration, they are voting against the establishment."

Except in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which voted to remain, people in deprived former coal, steel and shipbuilding towns admitted they voted "leave" without having a clear idea of the potential economic consequences. Their decision, they said, was fueled by a feeling of being ignored and abandoned even by Labour, the traditional party of the working class, and this was their chance to make their voices heard.

In Great Yarmouth, Pycroft said she would like Britain to return to the days when children could play conkers, a traditional school yard game with chestnuts that some schools have reportedly banned for safety reasons, and people didn't get offended by nursery rhymes.

"We're not allowed to say 'baa-baa black sheep anymore," she said. "It's ridiculous." Having a pint on the beachfront promenade, Sean Sutton and Maria Atkins, both 46-year-old leave voters, said they didn't think they were glorifying the past.

"We were the best country in the world for making steel and producing coal and everything and it's all gone now," Sutton said, sunglasses perched on his shaved head. Heavy industry jobs that gave people an income and sense of identity have been sent overseas, while migrant workers are bringing down the pay for remaining jobs in Britain, he said.

Gone, too, he added, is the community spirit whereby "you can leave your back door open if you want. You can go to the shops without being scared of being mugged or anything like that. And that's what Britain's got to go back to."

Several studies have shown crime levels are declining in Britain and other Western European countries. Figures from the EU's official statistics agency show England saw an 18-percent drop in violent crimes recorded by police between 2002 and 2012.

Still, Atkins said people aren't treating each other the way they used to. Manners and respect for the elderly has gone "out the window," she said. Sutton agreed, saying migrants were partly to blame.

"They won't open doors for you," he said. "I was brought up to open doors for people and say 'please' and 'thank you.' Some of them just barge past you." Great Yarmouth was among several areas in eastern England where more than 70 percent voted "leave." Like many English seaside resorts it started stagnating when package tours to Spain became affordable in the 1970s. It's now struggling with unemployment, low education levels and high rates of teenage pregnancy.

In Peterborough, an eastern city with a high rate of immigration, the "leave" side got 61 percent. Mike Bullock said he voted "leave" partly because of the loneliness he had felt as the only Englishman working in a packing factory.

"All the rest of them spoke either Lithuanian or Polish," he said. "If there wasn't anybody else available, anybody who spoke English, I used to go have my tea break on my own." In a market stall in the city, 67-year-old Bruce Johnson also complained about immigration and said he wanted his country back from a "faceless group of diplomats" in Brussels. Asked whether he could think of anything Britain had gained from its EU membership, he paused for a second.

"I'm trying to think of something," he said. "I don't think it has." Behind him a jukebox was playing "Land of Hope and Glory," viewed by many as England's unofficial national anthem.

AP journalist David Keyton contributed to this report.

Support sought for kids left behind by UN troops in Haiti

July 14, 2016

PORT SALUT, Haiti (AP) — The first time Rosa Mina Joseph met Julio Cesar Posse he was hanging out in civilian clothes on the beach in her hometown in southern Haiti, where he was stationed as a member of a U.N. peacekeeping force.

Within weeks, she says, the Uruguayan marine was showing up every weekend at her family's shack, pledging his love in Spanish and broken Haitian Creole. But about a year later when his rotation ended, Posse quietly returned home. He left behind Joseph, a broken-hearted 17-year-old with an infant and no way to support the child without depending on struggling relatives.

"He promised me he'd marry me and would take care of me," Joseph, now 22, tearfully said in a recent interview at her mother's house in Port Salut, a town along the southwestern tip of Haiti. After years of mounting frustration, she and several other women with children fathered by peacekeepers say they will now pursue claims for child support against the absentee fathers and the U.N.

Haitian human rights attorney Mario Joseph said he will file civil suits in Haiti this month. Joseph's law firm also is involved in a high-profile claim on behalf of 5,000 cholera victims who blame the U.N. for introducing the disease. A U.S. federal appeals panel in New York is weighing whether the lawsuit can proceed or if the United Nations is entitled to immunity.

The peacekeeping force was sent to Haiti in 2004 to keep order following a violent rebellion that toppled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Since then, some peacekeepers have been accused of rape and other abuse, of using excessive force and of inadvertently introducing cholera because of inadequate sanitation at a base used by troops from Nepal.

U.N. troops have been accused of sexual exploitation elsewhere as well, most recently in the Central African Republic, and "peacekeeper babies," have long been a legacy of their deployments, as they have for other military forces throughout history.

Rosa Mina Joseph, whose son was born in 2011, said she received an envelope with $300 in cash from the U.N. two years ago when it established paternity. She had to drop out of school to care for the son and her dreams of becoming a nurse have all but vanished.

Posse sent her $100 once from Uruguay, she said, but has not sent anything more. While Joseph was a minor at the time she gave birth, potential criminal charges against the marine would confront a difficult legal challenge: U.N. peacekeepers can't be prosecuted in the countries in which they serve under international agreements.

The Associated Press does not typically identify sexual assault victims, but Joseph gave permission as long as a photo of her face was not published. "I want him to take responsibility to care for his son because I don't have the means by myself," she said in the yard where she spends her days doing laundry and cooking.

The U.N. force in Haiti currently includes 4,899 uniformed personnel, a combination of military and civilian police, from more than a dozen countries. That's down from over 13,000 peacekeepers following Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake.

Ghandi Shukry, head of a Conduct and Discipline Unit in the U.N. mission, which is known by its French acronym MINUSTAH, said 29 claims for paternity have been submitted to the U.N. in Haiti. He said 18 of the claimants have been classified as "victims" by the world body because they were receiving some kind of support.

"We are not facing a current wave of paternity claims. They are all kind of old cases," said Shukry, stressing that any kind of sexual relations by peacekeepers and locals is prohibited. The U.N. official confirmed that Joseph and three other Port Salut women represented by the attorney did have paternity established in 2014 after DNA swabs from the mothers, children and peacekeepers were analyzed. He declined to discuss any of the cases in detail.

He said that two members of his unit maintain regular contact with the Port Salut women. MINUSTAH also put the women in touch with a Uruguayan military representative, he said, since the U.N. allows troop-contributing countries to investigate allegations and decide how to pursue paternity claims.

The Port Salut women, however, say contact with U.N. staffers or Uruguay military representative is rare and generally bewildering. A 2015 U.N. report by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged that there were "numerous obstacles to having paternity recognized and to obtaining support for children of United Nations personnel, whether they were born as a result of sexual exploitation and abuse or not."

MINUSTAH's uniformed personnel are now barred from leaving bases alone or when wearing civilian clothing and mission rules have changed in recent years to prohibit any fraternization. "Not only sexual relations are prohibited; even having normal relations with the local population is prohibited," Shukry said.

Uruguay's Navy spokesman, Capt. Gaston Jaunsolo, acknowledged there have been a small number of paternity cases and said service members found guilty are sanctioned and barred from peacekeeping missions.

He confirmed that Posse continued in the Navy and said service members are forbidden to speak the press without permission. A listed phone number for Posse was out of service. His profile on a social networking site says he's looking for a young woman between 18 and 25 to start a family with.

The Uruguayan Army issued a statement to AP saying it's sent roughly 3,000 troops to Haiti since 2011 and four paternity allegations were made against that military branch. There's been one positive DNA test, the statement said, and no complaints have been made since 2014. It said the soldier who tested positive was punished but not discharged.

Meanwhile, the women struggling to raise their kids in Port Salut are eking out a living with the help of their families. Their children are sometimes teased by other kids who call them "MINUSTAH babies" or mockingly ask where their daddies are.

"When he's older I'll find a way to explain things. For now, the only thing I can say is that his father's not here," Joseph said as she held a snapshot showing her and Posse together at her 17th birthday party, a heart drawn on the back of it reading "Osemina y Julio."

AP writer Leonardo Haberkorn contributed from Montevideo, Uruguay.

2 killed in northern Mali protest

13 July 2016 Wednesday

Two people were killed and 12 injured in protests in northern Mali on Tuesday, the military said.

The demonstrations in Gao, the largest city in the country’s north, against the installation of interim authorities across the region turned into a violent confrontation with the army, Abderahmane Souleymane, a military officer said.

The protest organized by civil society groups had been barred by the local authority due to security reasons.

The protesters claim they are not represented in fresh local authorities that are being established under a 2015 peace deal between the government, pro-government armed groups and former Tuareg rebels.

The agreement envisages fresh interim authorities to decentralize the five regions of northern Mali.

Protesters claimed they were demonstrating peacefully when the army opened fire.

In 2012, a failed coup was followed by a Tuareg rebellion that allowed al-Qaeda-linked militants to take over the northern half of the country.

Source: World Bulletin.
Link: http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/174881/2-killed-in-northern-mali-protest.

Portugal stuns France to lift 1st cup despite Ronaldo injury

July 10, 2016

SAINT-DENIS, France (AP) — Portugal's players frantically tended to Cristiano Ronaldo's left knee but their tearful captain couldn't withstand the pain any longer. The Portuguese had to win their first major trophy the hard way, stunning host France in the European Championship final after playing without Ronaldo from the 25th minute through extra time on Sunday.

Two hours after being carried off injured with the 1-0 victory secured by his battling teammates, the three-time world player of the year returned a champion for the first time with his country. "I had bad luck because I had a small injury in the beginning of the game, but my colleagues did their part — they run, they fight," said Ronaldo, who has already won every major club honor. "Nobody believed in Portugal but we won".

An unlikely scorer secured the pre-tournament outsiders a title at last. It could be an uncomfortable few months ahead for Eder, the unheralded striker who will return shortly to French club Lille after breaking French hearts with his 109th-minute goal.

"The ugly duckling became beautiful," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. A second-half substitute, Eder scored only his fourth goal in 29 appearances for Portugal with a low shot from 25 meters (yards) past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

"Cristiano told me I would be scoring the winning goal," Eder said. "He gave me strength and positive energy." In doing so, Portugal denied the French a third final victory on home soil to add to Euro '84 and the 1998 World Cup.

"Football can be very cruel," said Lloris, France's captain. "The overriding emotion is a lot of sadness." Twelve years after losing to Greece on home soil in their last appearance in the final, it was Portugal's turn to spoil the host nation's party. And they achieved it after winning only one of their seven games at Euro 2016 inside 90 minutes, and after losing the inspirational Ronaldo midway through the first half.

"It was tough because we lost our main man and we had all our hopes pinned on him because he's a player who can score a goal at any minute," Portugal defender Pepe said. "When he said he couldn't go on, I tried to tell my teammates that we have to win it for him. That we were going to fight for him."

It was a mostly dull and stodgy final but the record books will only show that Portugal went from third-place in its group to champion, and with little help from Ronaldo in its last match. The championship's first 24-team tournament became a reality over the last month, but the quality of football deteriorated. Such a sterile showpiece — the first European Championship final to be scoreless after 90 minutes — seemed a fitting climax.

"We weren't clinical enough," said France coach Didier Deschamps who lifted the World Cup in the stadium as a player in 1998. "We weren't cool-headed enough." Even France forward Antoine Griezmann, the tournament's leading scorer, couldn't rise to the big occasion. There was no seventh goal of Euro 2016 from the Atletico Madrid forward, who also lost out in the Champions League final six weeks ago to Ronaldo's Real Madrid.

Griezmann was the first player to find the target, but his header was tipped over by Rui Patricio, who was formidable in the Portugal goal. When an inviting cross from Kingsley Coman was delivered in the 66th, Griezmann missed with a free header.

Only once was Patricio beaten, when Andre-Pierre Gignac's shot hit the inside of the post but it came back out. Luck was on Portugal's side, and Eder was able to strike the decisive blow. It didn't seem to be going Portugal's way in the ninth minute when Dimitri Payet's right knee clattered into Ronaldo's standing left leg.

Ronaldo went down in agony — writhing, grimacing and screaming. He was able to return, but this was one injury he could not run off. Ronaldo fell to the turf again in the 17th. One of the moths infesting the national stadium fluttered over Ronaldo's tearful right eye. Teammates tried to help in vain to help, with Nani tending to the knee.

Ronaldo watched the game forlornly on the touchline as strapping was attached before dragging himself back onto the field. But Ronaldo's mobility was restricted. Battling through the pain, regularly reaching down to check on the injury, Ronaldo realized there would be no miracle recovery.

The clock hit 23 minutes and Ronaldo ripped off his captain's armband and tossed it on the turf. Slumping to the ground again, Ronaldo was consoled by Nani, who embraced his former Manchester United teammate as the armband was transferred.

The stretcher came on and in the 25th minute Ronaldo became a spectator. But thanks to Patricio's array of saves and dogged defending, Ronaldo left a champion. Unlike his great rival Lionel Messi, the Argentina and Barcelona forward, the 31-year-old Ronaldo has now filled the medal void on the major international stage. It's a rapid turnaround for a national team that exited the 2014 World Cup in the group stage.

"It's something unbelievable in my career," Ronaldo said. "Something I deserve."

France, Portugal fans mingle amid tight security for final

July 10, 2016

SAINT-DENIS, France (AP) — France and Portugal fans from as far afield as Switzerland and the South Pacific gathered Sunday at the Stade de France stadium or took in the sights in Paris as they prepared to watch their teams meet in the European Championship final.

Fans mingled peacefully outside the stadium amid tight security in a city still on high terror alert in the aftermath of Nov. 13 attacks by Islamic extremists that left 130 people dead and hundreds injured. That night of bloodshed started when three suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the Stade de France.

Hours before kickoff, a long line of police vans was parked alongside the main road near a metro station and officers in body armor stood outside a high fence ringing the stadium. Mathias Vicherat, the Paris mayor's chief of staff, said some 1,900 police and other security officers would patrol the 92,000-capacity fan zone in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. The city's police chief, Michel Cadot, said 3,400 officers would patrol the Champs-Elysees, where fans are expected to mass after the match.

Jean-Paul Ausu left the palm-fringed beaches of New Caledonia, a French territory in the South Pacific, and flew 22,000 kilometers (13,670 miles) to be in France for the tournament. He still wasn't sure he'd make it into the game.

"We tried to find tickets but haven't been able to find any," Ausu said. "We're trying now to see what we can do at the (French Football) Federation's sales point, but we're still waiting." Portugal fans Mickael and Anna Polo-Carvalho, had a much shorter trip to get to the match - driving a few hundred kilometers (miles) from their home in Switzerland - and were planning to motor back again after the match.

"We found tickets at the very last minute. We thought, let's drop off the kids at their grandparents and we hit the road. It all went fine," Anna Polo-Carvalho said. "When we got here, we visited the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Elysees and we started preparing ourselves psychologically for this match. We'll see who wins but we hope it's Portugal. Tonight, it's straight to the car and back at work tomorrow morning at nine."

Patrick Baeurer looked slightly out of place in his Germany shirt as he entered the Stade de France. Baeurer, 22, won two tickets in a competition for videos showing football freestyle skills. "I had thought Germany would make it to the final, but unfortunately they lost last week to France," he said.

He was tipping France to win 2-1, thanks to its home advantage. Long before the final, Laura Bounineau knew she would be a winner come the final whistle. "My dad is French, my mother Portuguese, so I'm supporting both nations and proud of it," she said. "There's no problem: I will be happy tonight no matter what."

Indian Prime Minister Modi plays drums in Tanzania

July 10, 2016

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) — Visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli on Sunday signed five agreements, including one to provide credit $92 million to improve water accessibility on the island of Zanzibar.

Modi arrived here on Saturday night from South Africa on the third leg of his four-nation tour of Africa. Upon arriving at State House, the president's residence, Modi joined Magufuli to play traditional Tanzania drums at a colorful ceremony. Earlier, he received a 21-gun salute from members of the uniformed forces before inspecting a guard of honor.

According to the agreement on water, India will extend a line of credit for the rehabilitation and improvement of the water supply system for the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar. Describing India as a trusted partner in helping Tanzania's development, Modi said they had agreed to deepen the two countries' defense and security partnership, especially in the maritime domain.

"Our in-depth discussions on regional and global issues reflected our considerable convergence on issues of common interest and concern," said Modi. Modi's trip is meant to raise India's profile in energy, trade and investment in Africa, where China's presence has been strong. He began in Mozambique and South Africa and will be heading to Kenya later Sunday.

India's foreign ministry has described the four countries on the Indian Ocean as economic gateways to landlocked African states.