Nemtsov a possible 'sacrificial victim,' investigators say MOSCOW (AP) - Maybe it was Islamic extremists who killed Boris Nemtsov. Or someone offended by his love life. Or agents of a Western power that will stop at nothing to disfigure President Vladimir Putin's image and drive him from power. Russian investigators, politicians and political commentators on state television on Saturday covered much ground in looking for the reason Nemtsov was gunned down in the heart of Moscow, but they sidestepped one possibility - that he was murdered for his relentless opposition to Putin.
Nemtsov killing follows slaying of other Kremlin critics MOSCOW (AP) - Prominent Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov's killing follows the slaying over the past decade of several other high-profile critics of President Vladimir Putin and his policies. Here is a look at some of the best-known cases. ---
Venezuela to shrink US Embassy staff, require tourist visas CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela will shrink the size of the U.S. Embassy staff, limit the activities of U.S. diplomats and require American citizens to apply for visas if they want to come bask on the beach. Speaking before a crowd that rallied to protest imperialism, President Nicolas Maduro said Saturday that "gringo" meddling had forced him to adopt the series of restrictive measures, which include requiring U.S. diplomats to seek approval from the Foreign Ministry for meetings they conduct here.
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Obama, Netanyahu on collision course 6 years in the making WASHINGTON (AP) - For six years, President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been on a collision course over how to halt Iran's nuclear ambitions, a high-stakes endeavor both men see as a centerpiece of their legacies. The coming weeks will put the relationship between their countries, which otherwise remain stalwart allies, to one of its toughest tests.
Better plane tracking trialed after Malaysia plane mystery SYDNEY (AP) - Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia will lead a trial to enhance the tracking of aircraft over remote oceans, allowing planes to be more easily found should they vanish like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Australia's transport minister said Sunday. The announcement comes one week ahead of the anniversary of the disappearance of Flight 370, which vanished last year on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. No trace of the plane has been found.
Brazil arrests US sect leader wanted on sex charges RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Brazilian authorities said Saturday they arrested a self-professed minister put on a U.S. most-wanted list for allegedly molesting two girls in a "Maidens Group" at his religious fellowship in rural Minnesota. A statement posted on the website of the Public Security Secretariat for the Rio Grande do Norte state government reported the arrest of Victor Arden Barnard, 53. The U.S. Marshals Service also confirmed the arrest in a statement.
Tiny Missouri town mourns after gunman kills 7, then himself KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Residents of a small southern Missouri town struggled to come to grips with the knowledge that one of their own had killed seven people in a spasm of violence that ended when the gunman shot himself to death on a rural county road. Joseph Jesse Aldridge, 36, went to four homes in the unincorporated town of Tyrone in Texas County late Thursday, killing relatives and neighbors but sparing two teenagers. He was later found dead in a vehicle in neighboring Shannon County, about 25 miles away.
Mexico drug lord captures change but don't lower trafficking MEXICO CITY (AP) - It's another big score for the Mexican government, which has been tearing through its list of most-wanted drug lords in recent years. Still, no one expects drug trafficking or violence to decrease after the capture of Servando "La Tuta" Gomez, a former grade-school teacher whose Knights Templar cartel once terrorized the western state of Michoacan.
From Iraq to New York, a busy week for Islamic State group BEIRUT (AP) - Little known to the wider world 18 months ago, the Islamic State extremist group has muscled its way into the international spotlight by carving out a self-declared caliphate in the heart of the Mideast, beheading its opponents and foreign journalists, and attracting radicalized youth as far afield as Paris, London and New York. The militants' once seemingly unstoppable push across Syria and Iraq has slowed to a crawl in recent months as the United States, its Arab allies and even rival Iran work to roll back the group and ultimately defeat it. Despite those efforts, the extremists show little sign of crumbling under the weight of international efforts to crush it.
Anthony Mason, rugged forward of 1990s Knicks, dies at 48 NEW YORK (AP) - Anthony Mason's game was grit over glitz, more force than flash. That might not fit some stereotypes of New York, but it was the perfect style for the Knicks of the 1990s, and made the rugged forward a beloved bruiser by teammates and fans.