May 17, 2013
May 14, 2013
NEW DELHI (AP) -- Their classroom is a flattened patch of dirt and rocks under the elevated rail tracks. Their blackboards are rectangles painted on a chipped concrete wall. Their teacher is a shop owner with no formal training, but a conviction that education is their only hope.
For some of these dozens of children of poor migrant workers in India's capital, this makeshift, open-air school under the rumble of mass transit is the only school they have. Others who attend overcrowded and dismal government schools come here as well -- to actually learn.
India's Right To Education Act promising free, compulsory schooling to all children ages 6 to 14 was supposed to take full effect March 31, but millions of children still don't go to school and many who do are getting only the barest of educations.
So every morning, more than 50 children gather under the bridge for two hours of lessons at Rajesh Kumar's informal school. They sweep the dirt flat and roll out foam mats to sit on, just meters (yards) from the bushes were several men had been squatting and defecating minutes earlier.
May 13, 2013
May 9, 2013
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia will be a guarantor of world security, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday at the annual military parade on Red Square.
Putin made his short speech at the culmination of Victory Day, marking the defeat of Nazi Germany 68 years ago. It is Russia's most important secular holiday, honoring the huge military and civilian losses of World War II and showing off the country's modern arsenal.
Putin told 11,000 servicemen standing in tight formation on the square and the war veterans in the spectator stands that "we remember what the tragedy of war means and will do everything so that nobody will ever dare to unleash it anew, threaten our children, our homes and our land."
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- The Man Nyon Pharmacy is lined with rows of colorful packages containing everything from dried bear bile and deer antler elixir to tiger bone paste and ginseng. But the ancient "Koryo" medicine provided at this popular dispensary isn't just for minor aches and pains.
It has been integrated into the health system from the smallest village clinic all the way up to the nicest showcase hospitals in the privileged capital of Pyongyang. Both modern and traditional styles of healing have long been uniquely intertwined nationwide with doctors from both schools working in tandem under one roof.
North Korean physicians say many patients prefer traditional medicine to the Western kind, but it's difficult to determine the true situation in this closed and impoverished society where access is limited. Defectors, foreign aid workers and North Koreans agree that many Western drugs are scarce and say villagers still forage for plants in some areas to make their own herbal concoctions.
With the U.N. Security Council imposing its toughest-ever sanctions following North Korea's third nuclear test in February, patients may become even more dependent on these home-grown remedies in a country of 24 million people where government health spending ranks among the world's lowest.
May 2, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Orb has been made the early 7-2 favorite for the Kentucky Derby, with undefeated Verrazano the second choice in a full field of 20 horses.
Trained by Shug McGaughey, Orb drew the No. 16 post on Wednesday. Four horses have won from there, most recently Animal Kingdom two years ago. McGaughey is in racing's Hall of Fame, but the 62-year-old trainer has yet to win the Derby in six previous tries.
Orb comes into Saturday's big race on a four-race winning streak. He won the Florida Derby in his last start.
Wood Memorial winner Verrazano drew the No. 14 post and is the 4-1 second choice. The colt is one of a record-tying five starters trained by Todd Pletcher. He won his first and only Derby in 2010 with Super Saver.
May 1, 2013
In May Day protests, parades, strikes and other demonstrations held in cities around the world, activists lashed out at political and business leaders they say have ignored workers' voices or enriched themselves at the expense of laborers. In some places, the demonstrations turned violent, with activists clashing with police.
April 25, 2013
SAVAR, Bangladesh (AP) - An eight story building housing garment factories near the Bangladeshi capital collapsed Wednesday, killing at least 200 people. The disaster, just five months after a garment factory fire killed 112 people, has drawn renewed attention to the notoriously unsafe conditions in Bangladesh's $20 billion clothing industry that supplies retailers around the world. The disasters also highlight failings in the retail industry's system of factory audits that are meant to ensure unsafe factories are not used.
April 23, 2013
Saturday's earthquake in China's Sichuan province, measured by China's earthquake administration at magnitude 7.0 and by the U.S. Geological Survey at 6.6, killed at least 192 people, injured more than 11,000 and left nearly two dozen missing, mostly in the rural communities around Ya'an city.
The temblor struck along the same fault line where a devastating quake to the north killed more than 90,000 people in Sichuan and neighboring areas five years ago in one of China's worst natural disasters. Relief teams flew in helicopters and dynamited through landslides to reach some of the most isolated communities, where rescuers in orange overalls led sniffer dogs through piles of brick, concrete and wood debris to search for survivors.
April 17, 2013
BOSTON (AP) - By Wednesday, two days after the bombing, investigators in white jumpsuits had fanned out across the streets, rooftops and awnings around the blast site in search of clues. They combed through debris amid the toppled orange sports drink dispensers, trash cans and sleeves of plastic cups strewn across the street at the marathon's finish line.
President Barack Obama branded the attack an act of terrorism. Obama plans to attend an interfaith service Thursday in the victims' honor in Boston.
Scores of victims of the Boston bombing remained in hospitals, many with grievous injuries. Doctors who treated the wounded corroborated reports that the bombs were packed with shrapnel intended to cause mayhem. In addition to the 5-year-old child, a 9-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy were among 17 victims listed in critical condition.