Yemen's president calls Shiite rebels 'stooges of Iran' SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) - Yemen's embattled president on Saturday called Shiite rebels who forced him to flee the country "stooges of Iran," directly blaming the Islamic Republic for the chaos there and demanding airstrikes against rebel positions continue until they surrender. With Egypt's president also calling for a regional Arab military force and another Gulf diplomat separately warning Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen could go on for months, the specter of a regional conflict pitting Arab nations against Shiite power Iran also has been raised.
German pilot visited glider field near crash site as a child SISTERON, France (AP) - The German co-pilot accused of crashing a passenger plane in the French Alps frequented a gliding club near the crash site as a child with his parents, according to a member of the club. Francis Kefer, a member of the club in the town of Sisteron, said on i-Tele television that Andreas Lubitz's family and other members of the gliding club in his home town of Montabaur, Germany, came to the region regularly between 1996 and 2003.
Painstaking recovery mission at treacherous Alps crash site SEYNE-LES-ALPES, France (AP) - The ravine echoes with helicopter rotors, the scrape of metal on stone, the rumble of sliding scree as the remnants of Germanwings Flight 9525 dislodge from the mountainside. The somber mission to recover the remains of 150 people killed when their plane slammed full speed into the Col de Mariaud is not a quiet one, and evidence can be gathered only when the mountains cooperate.
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Millions of Nigerians turn out to vote in presidential poll ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) - Nigerians turned out in their millions Saturday to vote in a presidential election that analysts say is too close to call between President Goodluck Jonathan and former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari. Two car bombs exploded at two polling stations in south-central Enugu state but did not hurt voters, police said. Police detonated two other car bombs at a primary school in Enugu, said Enugu state police Commissioner Dan Bature.
Italian court throws out Knox conviction once and for all ROME (AP) - Amanda Knox, who maintained that she and her former Italian boyfriend were innocent in her British roommate's murder through multiple trials and nearly four years in jail, was vindicated Friday when Italy's highest court threw out their convictions once and for all. "Finished!" Knox's lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova exulted after the decision was read out late Friday. "It couldn't be better than this."
Indiana officials look to stem religious objections fallout INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The heat over Indiana's new religious objections law spread Friday across social media and to the White House as many local officials and business groups around the state tried to jump in and stem the fallout. Use of the hashtag (hash)boycottindiana spread across Twitter, spurred on by activists such as "Star Trek" actor George Takei, who argued that the measure opens the door to legalized discrimination against gay people. Apple CEO Tim Cook also tweeted his objections, saying he was "deeply disappointed" in the Indiana law.
Astronauts board space station for 1-year mission BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) - Two Russians and an American floated into the International Space Station on Saturday, beginning what is to be a year away from Earth for two of them. Mikhail Kornienko and Scott Kelly are to spend 342 days aboard the orbiting laboratory, about twice as long as a standard mission on the station. Russia's Gennady Padalka is beginning a six-month stay.
Big-time programs battling for Final Four berths Saturday night's games will decide half the Final Four, and the big boys have pushed the Cinderellas off the dance floor. Arizona and Wisconsin are back in Southern California fighting for a Final Four berth again. In Cleveland, Notre Dame takes on the biggest heavyweight college basketball has seen in decades, and Kentucky is favored to keep its undefeated season going and deny the Fighting Irish their first Final Four trip since 1978.
Iran nuke talks expand as deadline for deal looms LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) - Negotiations over Iran's nuclear program picked up pace on Saturday with the French and German foreign ministers joining U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in talks with Tehran's top diplomat ahead of an end-of-March deadline for a preliminary deal. With just four days to go until that target, negotiators in the Swiss town of Lausanne settled in for another round of lengthy sessions that they hope will produce an outline of an agreement that can become the basis for a comprehensive deal to be reached by the end of June.
Official: Al-Shabab siege at Somali hotel ends, 21 dead MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - Blood spattered utensils, bullet-pocked walls and overturned chairs mark the reception area of a prominent hotel in the Somali capital following an attack by Islamic extremists that killed at least 21, including six attackers. Somali special forces stood over three bloodied bodies of the alleged attackers after officials declared they have full control of the Maka Al-Mukarramah Hotel Saturday, more than 12 hours after gunmen, believed to be six in number, from the Islamic rebel group al-Shabab took up positions in the hotel.