4.21.17:  Officers shot at in Champs-Elysees shopping district in Paris



PARIS (AP) — The prosecutor’s office leading the investigation into the shooing in Paris yesterday,  says investigators found a pump-action shotgun and knives in the gunman’s car.

Police quickly shot and killed the man after he opened fire on officers, killing one and injuring two others in the Champs-Elysees shopping district.

Authorities say that the man had been detained in February for threatening police but was freed.


There will be extra security in Paris as the first round of the French elections are taking place weekend with residents going to the polls on Sunday.

4.20.17:  GM halts operations in Venezuela after factory is seized




DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says it has halted operations in Venezuela after authorities seized a factory.

The plant was confiscated on Wednesday in what GM called an illegal judicial seizure of its assets.

The Detroit automaker says in a statement Thursday that other assets such as vehicles were taken from the plant, causing irreparable damage.

GM says the plant was taken in disregard of its right to due process. The company says it will defend itself legally and it’s confident that justice eventually will prevail.

GM has about 2,700 workers in the troubled country, where it’s been the market leader for over 35 years.

Venezuela has been rocked in recent days by violent protests of government policies as well as food shortages and triple-digit inflation.


4.19.17:  Mike Pence issues another warning concerning North Korea




YOKOSUKA, Japan (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is again warning North Korea, telling sailors aboard the USS Ronald Reagan in Japan that the U.S. would bring “an overwhelming and effective” response to any use of conventional or nuclear weapons. Dressed in a green military jacket, Pence says that under President Trump, “the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready.”

4.18.17:  Scottish leader: May looking to move UK to right




LONDON (AP) — Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for an early general election reflects her desire to move Britain to the right of the political spectrum as the country negotiates its exit from the European Union.

Urging voters to “stand up for Scotland,” Sturgeon said in a tweet that May’s Conservative Party see “a chance to move the U.K. to the right, force through a hard Brexit, and impose deeper cuts.”

Sturgeon also said in a statement that Scotland must be “protected” from a Conservative Party trying to seize control of government for many years to come.


4.14.17:  36 Islamic State fighters killed by massive bomb




KABUL, Afghanistan. (AP) — Afghanistan officials say the attack on a tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military has left 36 Islamic State group fighters dead.

There were no civilian casualties, according to the Ministry of Defense statement, which also said that several IS caves and ammunition caches were destroyed.

Hakim Khan, 50, a resident of Achin district where the attack took place, welcomed the attack on the militants, saying: “I want 100 times more bombings on this group.”

The bomb, known officially as a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, unleashes 11 tons of explosives.


4.12.17:  Xi stresses China’s North Korea concerns in talk with Trump



BEIJING (AP) — China says President Xi Jinping has stressed the need for an end to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program in a phone discussion with Donald Trump that followed tweets from the U.S. president urging China to play a more active role.

Xi told Trump that China insists on peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and advocates resolving the problem through peaceful means. He said China would maintain “communication and coordination” with Washington over it. The two leaders spoke Tuesday night Washington time.

Earlier Tuesday, Trump tweeted that he tried to persuade Xi to put pressure on North Korea in exchange for a good trade deal with the U.S. In a second tweet, he wrote that he would welcome China’s assistance, but: “If not, we will solve the problem without them!”


4.11.17:  G7 foreign ministers seek new push to end Syria war




LUCCA, Italy (AP) — Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations are expected to call for a new international push to end the war in Syria.

But members differ on how much to pressure Russia over its support of President Bashar Assad, whose forces it blames for a deadly chemical attack last week.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel says Russia, and Iran, must be involved in the peace process, and Japanese foreign ministry spokesman Masato Ohtaka says Russia “can play a key role.”

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson takes a tougher line, saying new sanctions are being considered to urge Russia to end military support for Assad.

The G-7 wants to deliver a message through U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who heads to Moscow after Tuesday’s meeting in Lucca, Italy.


4.11.17:  Russia says it wants ‘productive talks’ with US




WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia’s foreign ministry says it hopes for “productive talks” with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as Tillerson heads to Moscow in his first visit to Russia as the top U.S. diplomat.

The ministry said in a three-page statement issued ahead of Tillerson’s arrival later on Tuesday that the outcome of the talks is important not only for the Russia-U.S. ties but “for the overall atmosphere on the world stage.”

Tillerson is traveling to Russia several days after a chemical attack in Syria and a U.S. air strike on a Syrian government base that Moscow on Tuesday dismissed as “an act of aggression.” Moscow is a staunch ally of President Bashar Assad whom the United States blamed for the chemical attack.

Tillerson said Tuesday that Russia must choose between aligning itself with the U.S. or with Assad and Iran.


4.10.17:  Egypt’s Christians bury dead after IS church bombings



CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian Christians are burying their dead a day after at least 44 people were killed in twin suicide bombings at Palm Sunday services in two separate cities.

Women wailed as caskets marked with the word “martyr” were brought into the Mar Amina church in the coastal city of Alexandria on Monday, the footage broadcast on several Egyptian channels.

Coptic priests, boy scouts, and mourners carrying flowers joined a procession into the church, the pace set by a beat of snare drums.

At least 17 people were killed at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria, the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt. Another suicide attack killed at least 27 people inside St. George’s Church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta.


4.10.17:   Group of Seven are gathering for a meeting 




LUCCA, Italy (AP) — Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations are gathering for a meeting given urgency by the chemical attack in Syria and the U.S. military response.

The meeting in the Tuscan walled city of Lucca that starts Monday aims to pressure Russia to end its support for President Bashar Assad.

Last week’s nerve gas attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed more than 80 people stirred President Donald Trump to strike for the first time at Assad’s forces.

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano says Europe’s broad support for the U.S. military strikes contributed to a “renewed harmony” between the United States and its partners.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is attending the first meeting of G-7 foreign ministers since Donald Trump took office.