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AP Top International News at 9:04 a.m. EDT

Behind closed doors, North Korea opens ruling party congress
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- North Korea opened the first full congress of its ruling party since 1980 behind closed doors Friday, in an anticlimactic start to what officials have portrayed as a showcase of the country's stability and unity under young leader Kim Jong Un despite tough new sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs....

Canadian convoy begins, hoping to flee wildfire zone
FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta (AP) -- A convoy of evacuees began the long drive out work camps north of the fire-ravaged Fort McMurray area Friday morning....

Activists: Insurgents seize village south of Aleppo
BEIRUT (AP) -- A coalition of Syrian rebels and jihadists seized a strategic village from pro-government forces outside the contested city of Aleppo on Friday, signaling the reemergence of a powerful, ultraconservative insurgent coalition on the opposition's side in the Syria conflict....

Israeli cowboys live frontier life on Syria's doorstep
KIDMAT ZVI, Golan Heights (AP) -- With his wide-brimmed hat, Wrangler jeans and ornate belt buckle, Yehiel Alon could easily pass for one of the Montana ranchers he once worked with. But the 53-year-old is an Israeli cowboy on the Golan Heights bordering war-torn Syria, where frontier life takes on a whole new meaning....

Erdogan hints Turkey won't revise terror law for visa deal
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey won't change its anti-terrorism legislation for the sake of visa-free travel to Europe for its citizens....

Vinyl revival: Czech record maker aims for global dominance
LODENICE, Czech Republic (AP) -- As vinyl records make a global comeback, a little-known Czech company is riding the market surge to establish itself as the world's biggest record manufacturer, with plans to expand in North America and Asia....

Voters punish the Labour Party in Scotland
LONDON (AP) -- Voters punished the opposition Labour Party in Scotland as the results rolled in Friday for local and regional elections - races that underscored divisions in the public mood across the United Kingdom....

The Latest: France wants inquiry into Syrian camp strikes
BEIRUT (AP) -- The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):...

Pope seeks to renew European dream as he accepts unity prize
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis, accepting a prize for promoting European unity, on Friday bemoaned that the continent's people "are tempted to yield to our own selfish interests and to consider putting up fences."...

Colombia arrests alleged big money launderer from Panama
PANAMA CITY (AP) -- Colombian authorities have arrested a prominent Panama businessman sought by the United States and dismantled an empire of businesses that the U.S. says were part of a top worldwide money-laundering organization for drug traffickers....

AP Photo
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E
World Video
Up to the Minute
Militants attack Chevron oil facility in Nigeria, shut down

Global stocks soft after weaker US jobs report

Romania: prosecutors probe suspected electoral fraud plans

Latin America/Caribbean
Colombia arrests alleged big money launderer from Panama

Middle East
The Latest: France wants inquiry into Syrian camp strikes

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