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One killed, two injured in Japan park blasts

One person was killed and at least two injured by two near-simultaneous blasts in a Japanese park on Sunday, the local fire department said. The explosions occurred at a park in Utsunomiya, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Tokyo, shortly after 11:30 am (0230 GMT), a fire department spokesman said. It was not immediately clear what caused the blasts. "One person was found dead," the fire department spokesman told AFP, without elaborating further. Public broadcaster NHK said a body badly damaged in the blast was found at a bicycle parking space for the park. "The sex and ages of the three are not known yet," another local fire department official said, adding one blast hit a car parking lot for the park. NHK footage showed a car completely charred, as fire fighters poured water …

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Filipinos among 26 hostages freed by Somali pirates after nearly five years

Somali pirates have freed 26 Asian hostages held for nearly five years after the hijacking of their fishing vessel, the last commercial ship seized at the height of the country’s piracy scourge, negotiators said Saturday. The crew of the Naham 3, the second longest held hostage by Somali pirates, were taken captive when their Omani-flagged vessel was seized in March 2012 south of the Seychelles. “We are very pleased to announce the release of the Naham 3 crew early this morning,” said John Steed, coordinator of the Hostage Support Partners (HSP) who helped negotiate their release. Steed, a retired British army colonel who has made it his mission to save “forgotten hostages” told AFP the mission to return the crew to their families still held one obstacle: extracting them from the city of …

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Many Thais gather to sing royal anthem in honor of late king

BANGKOK  -- A huge crowd of Thais gathered on Saturday outside Bangkok's Grand Palace to sing the royal anthem in honor of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The scene was which was recorded for a new music video. At about 10:00 p.m. local time, tens of thousands of Thais, all dressed in black, filled Sanam Luang, the public square in front of the Grand Palace, sang the royal anthem, or Sansoen Phra Barami, together for three times with lighting candles in their hands. Pictures of night singing event are circulating on social media and were described by Thai media as "historic". An estimated of more than 150,000 people, also gathered here to sing the song in the afternoon, or from 1:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m.. The revered late king Bhumibol Adulyade passed away on Oct. 13 …

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2,400 migrants rescued, 14 die, off Libya

Horrific scenes unfolded in the Mediterranean off Libya Saturday as a full-to-capacity rescue ship was forced to sail away from desperate migrants trying to swim towards the rescuers. During a dramatic 24 hours, the crew of the Norwegian Siem Pilot and another aid boat rescued panicked migrants in the dark, with only limited resources and in the face of aggressive people smugglers. Around 2,400 migrants were rescued and 14 dead bodies pulled from the water on Saturday, according to the Italian coastguard. "I've never had a SAR (search and rescue) like it. We were in the process of transferring 1,000 migrants from the Okyroe (tanker) to the Siem Pilot when suddenly, in the dark, rubber boats appeared. It looked hopeless," said Pal Erik Teigen, the police officer in charge of the rescue operation. Migrants …

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UN envoy asks for Yemen cease-fire extension

The U.N. special envoy for Yemen on Saturday urged the warring parties in the Arab country to extend a temporary cease-fire for at least another renewable 72 hours. The current 72-hour truce expired at 11:59 p.m. local time Saturday. There was no immediate word on whether the combatants would agree to extend the cease-fire. "The ceasefire was largely holding despite reported violations from both sides in several areas," Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said in a statement released by the U.N. spokesperson. Ahmed noted that the cease-fire over the last days had enabled U.N. personnel to deliver food and humanitarian supplies to several areas that were previously inaccessible. "We would like to build on this and we aim for a wider outreach in the next few days," Ahmed said. He expressed the hope that …

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Katy Perry visits UNLV dorms, urges students to vote Clinton

UNLV students relaxing in their dorms got an unexpected knock on their doors Saturday afternoon from Katy Perry, who was roaming the halls and drumming up support for Hillary Clinton on the first day of early voting in Nevada. The singer famous for songs like "Teenage Dream" and "Waking up in Vegas" was met with squeals and requests for selfies from the students. She sported bright red lipstick that matched her high heels and a T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase "Nasty Woman," which has become a rallying cry for Clinton supporters after Donald Trump uttered it during Wednesday's presidential debate. "We're out here campaigning for Hillary Clinton. Ever heard of her?" she told a trio of young women after they invited her and a crowd of reporters into their dorm room. "Because …

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Cameroon train crash kills more than 70, injures 600

Authorities in Cameroon rushed more than 600 injured people to hospitals in the country's two main cities Saturday in an effort to save lives a day after an overcrowded train derailed, killing more than 70 people. Bodies remained strewn along the tracks as rescue workers searched for more injured or dead. The injured were being taken to hospitals in the capital, Yaounde, and the port city where the train was heading, Douala, officials said, as the president declared Monday to be a national day of mourning. "My sincere condolences to the families of the victims of the derailment" of the Camrail train," President Paul Biya said on his official Facebook page. About 70 people died and 600 were wounded, he said, and the cause of the crash was being investigated. The local hospital …

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Father sentenced to 1,503 years in prison in daughter’s rape

A Fresno man was sentenced to 1,503 years in prison for raping his teenage daughter over a four-year period. The 41-year-old was sentenced Friday to the longest-known prison sentence in Fresno Superior Court history, the Fresno Bee reported. The Associated Press is not naming the man because it could identify his daughter. The AP does not name victims of sexual abuse. In announcing the punishment, Judge Edward Sarkisian Jr. told the man he is a "serious danger to society" and noted that he had never shown remorse and has blamed his daughter for his predicament. The man's daughter was first sexually abused by a family friend but instead of protecting her, he turned her into "a piece of property," prosecutor Nicole Galstan said. The victim was raped two to three times a week from May …

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Woman’s abdominal pain turns into surprise baby

Abdominal pain sent Stephanie Jaegers to the hospital. She told her husband, Michael, she believed it was due to kidney stones. When they arrived at the hospital in Stockbridge, Georgia, on Tuesday, doctors asked if she might be pregnant. She said no, and doctors began preparing her for X-rays. But after some observations, doctors changed plans and began preparing her for an ultrasound. Michael Jaegers tells WXIA-TV (http://on.11alive.com/2eud8vl) doctors told him his wife was pregnant — 38 weeks pregnant to be exact. He says there are no words to describe being told you're having a baby — in 30 minutes. At 3:50 a.m. Wednesday, Shaun Jude Jaegers was born. At 7 pounds, 3 ounces and 19 inches long, he appeared to be very healthy, even without prenatal care.

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Syria blamed for 3rd chemical attack

United Nations — An international team has determined that the Syrian government carried out a third chemical attack in the conflict-wracked nation, according to a report released late Friday. In August, the team from the United Nations and the chemical weapons watchdog blamed President Bashar Assad's government for using chlorine gas in two attacks and Islamic State fighters for using mustard gas in one attack. The team said at that time that three other attacks indicated possible government involvement. In a report sent to the UN Security Council late Friday and seen by The Associated Press, the team said there was "sufficient evidence" to conclude that Syrian forces were responsible for one of the attacks in Qmenas in Idlib governorate on March 16, 2015. It said a device, dropped from a high altitude, "hit …

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