World News: New Details in Afghan Attack; Mexican Volcano; Bird Flu in China

By: AP
By: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- New details are emerging about last week's bombing that killed a young U.S. diplomat and four other Americans in Afghanistan.
A State Department official familiar with the investigation into the attack said Friday the group was walking from a military base to a school when the explosion hit. Initial reports that members of the group were in vehicles as well as reports they were lost are incorrect, the official said.
The official was not authorized to speak to news media and provided the details on condition of anonymity.
The official said on-foot travel was approved because of the short distance between the base and the school compound, and that the group tried to use an entrance to the compound that no longer provided access to the school and was moving to another entrance when the bomb detonated.

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- The Popocatepetl volcano has spewed a dense cloud of ash over the central Mexico state of Puebla, with ash falling to the ground in several towns.
Mexico's National Disaster Prevention Center says ash was blown about 400 yards (meters) into the air above the volcano, located east of Mexico City. Prevailing winds carried the material northeast, away from Mexico City.
The center said ash falls had been confirmed in Huejotzingo, near the city of Puebla, which is capital of the state of the same name.
The 17,886-foot (5,450-meter) volcano periodically emits bursts of ash, vapor and sometimes glowing rock.

BEIJING (AP) -- The U.S. and China have agreed to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons in a test of whether the world powers can shelve years of rivalry and discord, and unite in fostering global stability.
Kerry and China's foreign policy chief, State Councilor Yang Jiechi (yahng jay-uh-CHUR'), say the two nations would work together to create a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, effectively forcing North Korea to give up its arsenal.
Yang describes China's stance on North Korea as "clear cut" and is calling for the resumption of the six-nation talks aimed at ending the nuclear threat. He says "the issue should be handled and resolved peacefully through dialogue."
Beyond this latest attempt to restrain North Korea, the burgeoning nuclear crisis has so frustrated the U.S. and China that they are forming a new and tentative bond with the potential to carry over into areas that have vexed them for decades.
Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday described a "synergy" between the two countries to achieve worldwide security and economic stability.
Kerry, who is visiting Beijing, says "We have a stake in China's success. And frankly, China has a stake in the success of the United States."

BALI, Indonesia (AP) -- Indonesian investigators have started working to determine what caused a new Lion Air passenger jet to miss a runway while landing on the resort island of Bali, crashing into the sea without causing any fatalities.
Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said Sunday the National Transportation Safety Committee is examining the wreckage of the Boeing 737-800 that snapped in half before coming to rest in shallow water near Bali's airport Saturday. He said aviation authorities have already removed the plane's flight data recorder and are now planning to tow the aircraft and retrieve its cockpit voice recorder located in the tail.
He added that the pilots will also undergo drug testing.
All 101 passengers and seven crew members were safely evacuated from the plane, although up to 45 people suffered injuries.

BEIJING (AP) -- The World Health Organization's chief said Sunday that it wasn't surprising that a new strain of bird flu that has sickened dozens in eastern China has spread to the capital.
Up until Saturday when Beijing officials reported the capital's first case of H7N9, all cases had been in Shanghai and other eastern China areas. On Sunday, the first two cases were reported in central Henan province, which is next to Beijing.
It's not the case that everyone confirmed infected with H7N9 was "clustered in one small area with the same source of exposure," said Michael O'Leary, head of WHO's office in China. "So we've been expecting new cases to occur."
A 7-year-old girl was Beijing's first confirmed case of H7N9, which has killed 11 people and sickened 50 others.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Puerto Rico's governor has signed legislation to protect a swath of land along the island's northeast coast that serves as a top U.S. nesting site for the world's largest turtle.
The law ends a 15-year fight that activists and celebrities including actor Benicio Del Toro waged against developers eager to build hotels, golf courses and luxury homes in an area fringed by palm trees and turquoise waters.
The area is called the Northeast Ecological Corridor and covers more than 1,200 hectares (2,900 acres) of lush vegetation and pristine beaches that are a nesting site for the federally endangered leatherback turtle. It is also the site of a popular bioluminescent bay, featuring microorganisms that glow in the dark when agitated.
Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed the bill on Saturday.

CZESTOCHOWA, Poland (AP) -- A giant statue of the late Pope John Paul II billed as the world's tallest has been unveiled in southern Poland.
Archbishop Waclaw Depo unveiled the statue of the Polish pontiff Saturday in the southern city of Czestochowa, the home of this predominantly Catholic nation's most famous pilgrimage site, the Jasna Gora monastery.
The white fiberglass figure rises about five stories, or nearly 14 meters (more than 45 feet), on a hill overlooking the city.
It was funded by a businessman, Leszek Lyson, in gratitude for what he believes was an intervention by the late pontiff in saving his drowning son.
John Paul, who led the Roman Catholic church for 27 years before dying in 2005, remains a respected figure in his homeland.


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