Syria’s neighbors seek more help for refugees

GENEVA (AP) — Top officials from four nations harboring more than 1.8 million Syrian refugees say they badly need outside help to care for those fleeing the violence. In a joint statement Wednesday, the foreign ministers from Iraq,…

Report: Pakistanis stuck in limbo in Afghan prison

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani legal aid group says dozens of Pakistani prisoners held by the U.S. at an Afghan prison are at risk of falling into indefinite detention because negotiations have stalled between the U.S. and Pakistan…

Many vets’ caregivers cut out from federal benefit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday it supports expanding a caregivers benefit for grievously wounded veterans but only if Congress comes up with the billions needed to pay for the expansion. Congress created the…

EU unveils plan to clamp down on shadow banking

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is pushing for a more stable financial system by clamping down on “shadow banking” — the high-finance sector that handles trillions of dollars but isn’t bound by the same rules as banks.…

US trade deficit widens to $39.1 billion in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit widened in July from a four-year low in June. American consumers bought more foreign cars and other imported goods, while U.S. companies exported fewer long-lasting manufactured goods. The Commerce Department said…

Court asked to uphold BP spill settlement approval

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Plaintiffs’ attorneys who brokered a multibillion-dollar settlement with BP following the company’s 2010 Gulf oil spill have asked a federal appeals court to uphold a judge’s approval of the deal. In a court filing…

Obama reassures Europeans over US surveillance

STOCKHOLM (AP) — President Barack Obama is reassuring Europeans that the U.S. is not snooping through their emails or eavesdropping on their telephone calls. Obama says U.S. surveillance programs that became public knowledge after a government contractor leaked…

Human rights group dings Kanye for Kazakhstan trip

NEW YORK (AP) — The Human Rights Foundation has criticized Kanye West for performing at a wedding in Kazakhstan, joining a chorus of detractors who say he legitimized the human rights violations of the nation’s president. The rapper…

Fantasia prepares for Broadway under watchful eye

NEW YORK (AP) — The first rehearsal of Fantasia Barrino’s upcoming Broadway show was, to be fair, a little rough. No sooner had the “American Idol” and Grammy Award winner opened her mouth to sing “I Can’t Give…

Hillary Clinton gets Elton John foundation honor

NEW YORK (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton’s support of gay rights has earned her a special honor from the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The former secretary of state will receive its first Founder’s Award. In a statement Wednesday,…

Harper joins ‘Dancing With the Stars’ competition

NEW YORK (AP) — Busy cancer patient Valerie Harper leads a class of 12 amateur hoofers in the upcoming 17th season of “Dancing With the Stars.” The cast was revealed Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” For a…

Hindus, Sikhs could get Afghan parliamentary seat

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a legislative decree Wednesday giving minority Hindus and Sikhs a reserved seat in the country’s lower house of parliament for the next parliamentary elections in 2015. Karzai used his…

Iraq warns of unforeseen effects of Syria strike

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s prime minister is warning that an outside military strike on neighboring Syria could have unforeseen consequences, and says United Nations inspectors should have a chance to report their findings on allegations of chemical weapons…

Mexican Senate passes major education reform

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s Senate overwhelmingly passed a sweeping reform of the notoriously dysfunctional public school system early Wednesday, handing President Enrique Pena Nieto an important victory in his push to remake some of his country’s worst-run…

Afghan woman sought in alleged $1.1M bank theft

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The young woman worked for three years at the Afghan bank, officials say. Then one day she vanished. As did $1.1 million. Afghan authorities have been scrambling to track down the suspected thief and…