Turkish prime minister announces decision to step down ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced his resignation on Thursday, paving the way for the country's president to pursue a tighter grip on power. "I decided that for the unity of the (ruling party) a change of chairman would be more appropriate. I am not considering running at the May 22 congress," Davutoglu told the nation. Davutoglu, who had fallen out with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced he was stepping aside following a meeting with executives of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, which has dominated Turkish politics since 2002. The decision is not effective immediately.
Iraq routed IS from Ramadi at a high cost: A city destroyed RAMADI, Iraq (AP) - This is what victory looks like in the Iraqi city of Ramadi: In the once thriving Haji Ziad Square, not a single structure still stands. Turning in every direction yields a picture of devastation. A building that housed a pool hall and ice cream shops - reduced to rubble. A row of money changers and motorcycle repair garages - obliterated, a giant bomb crater in its place. The square's Haji Ziad Restaurant, beloved for years by Ramadi residents for its grilled meats - flattened. The restaurant was so popular its owner built a larger, fancier branch across the street three years ago.
AP FACT CHECK: Bringing coal jobs back to Appalachia DALLAS (AP) - Donald Trump says he would bring back lost coal-mining jobs, and he is positioning for the November election in big coal states by portraying Hillary Clinton as a job killer. Trump, however, has yet to explain exactly how he will revitalize Appalachia's coal industry. To pull it off, he will have to overcome market forces and a push for cleaner fuels that have pummeled coal. Coal's slump is largely the result of cheap natural gas, which now rivals coal as a fuel for generating electricity. Older coal-fired plants are being idled to meet clean-air standards. Another hurdle for reviving coal mining in Appalachia: less coal.
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10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. ISLAMIC STATE GROUP WAGING SCORCHED EARTH CAMPAIGN Two months after the liberation of Ramadi, the AP learns that the city remains too devastated and full of explosive booby traps for former residents to return. 2. NORTH KOREA'S ELITE GATHER IN PYONGYANG FOR BIGGEST POLITICAL CONFERENCE IN DECADES Foreign experts say Kim Jong Un will likely use the meeting to push his expansion of a nuclear arsenal that already worries his neighbors and Washington. 3. WHY TRUMP'S PROMISE TO RESTORE COAL-MINING JOBS MIGHT BE HARD TO KEEP To do so, he would, if elected, have to undo regulations and reverse the power market's embrace of cheap natural gas.
Kenya: Woman found alive after 6 days in collapsed building NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - A woman has been found alive after six days in a collapsed building and rescuers are working to free her, a Kenyan government official said Thursday. Rescuers are creating room to release the woman who is speaking to medics waiting to treat her, said Pius Masai, the head of the National Disaster Management Unit. "The medical team has administered IV, glucose has been administered. She is talking and in good spirits ... we are taking our time to ensure she is removed safely," Masai said. The woman has been given oxygen and she is trapped in small corner of her room, said Abbas Gullet, head of the Kenya Red Cross.
Senate Dems field large roster of women in the Year of Trump WASHINGTON (AP) - If 2016 has been the Year of Trump in politics, it may also end up being a new Year of the Woman, if Democrats get their way. And that won't be a coincidence. Democrats will have female Senate candidates on the ballot in nine states in November, a near-record, and these contenders will likely be sharing the ticket with the first major-party female presidential nominee in history in Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump, whose commanding win in Indiana cemented his improbable status as the GOP's presumptive presidential nominee, is viewed unfavorably by 70 percent of women, according to Gallup.
Alberta declares emergency as fires threaten Canada oil town FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta (AP) - Alberta declared a state of emergency Wednesday as crews frantically held back wind-whipped wildfires that have already torched 1,600 homes and other buildings in Canada's main oil sands city of Fort McMurray, forcing more than 80,000 residents to flee. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said fire had destroyed or damaged an estimated 1,600 structures. Flames are being kept from the downtown area thanks to the "herculean'" efforts of firefighters, said Scott Long of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency. No injuries or fire related fatalities have been reported. The fire appeared near the airport late Wednesday where crews were onsite.
Blasts in Syria kill 6 as Aleppo mostly calm after truce DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - Two blasts struck a central Syrian village Thursday, killing at least six people and wounding dozens, hours after a truce brought relative calm to the northern city of Aleppo after weeks of escalating violence there. The governor of Homs, Talal Barrazi, told The Associated Press that the blasts were trigged by a car bomb and a suicide attacker wearing an explosive belt who detonated his device in the village of Mukharam al-Fawkani. The village is east of the central city of Homs, Syria's third largest. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the twin attacks. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for similar attacks in Homs province in recent months that killed scores of people.
'Romeo and Juliet' takes on local twist in Gaza performance GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" has opened to audiences in the Gaza Strip, albeit with a distinctly Palestinian twist. Instead of the forbidden love story of Renaissance-era European aristocracy, the star-crossed young couple in Gaza's version of the play is divided by politics stemming from the deep internal Palestinian split between two rival movements. Yousef, a son of a member of Gaza's ruling Islamic militant group Hamas, falls in love with Suha, the daughter of a fanatical member of the rival Fatah party. Dubbed "Romeo and Juliet in Gaza," the performance has brought a rare taste of foreign culture to this conservative and isolated territory.
Navajos shocked as details of kidnapping death emerge SHIPROCK, N.M. (AP) - On the far side of a desert hilltop in the shadow of the Shiprock Pinnacle, a towering monolith sacred to the Navajo Nation, the stranger ignored the cries of an 11-year-old girl. Hours had passed since the man had talked the girl and her brother into his van while they were playing about a quarter-mile from their home after school. She begged to be taken home, but he led her away from her 9-year-old brother, to an even more remote spot, where he removed her clothes and sexually assaulted her. Then he hit her twice in the head with a tire iron and left her for dead before driving off and leaving the boy as well, all alone, as night fell.