TOKYO (AP) — Japan's nuclear watchdog formally approved a set of new safety requirements for atomic power plants Wednesday, paving the way for the reopening of facilities shut down since the Fukushima disaster in a move critics charge is too hasty.
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian troops backed by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters clashed Wednesday with rebel forces south of a Damascus suburb that is home to a major Shiite Muslim shrine, in an attempt to secure the area surrounding the revered site, activists said.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's president said Wednesday he will not pursue peace talks with the Taliban unless the United States steps out of the negotiations, while also insisting the militant group stop its violent attacks on the ground after it claimed responsibility for a rocket attack that killed four Americans.
BEIJING (AP) — China's new leader Xi Jinping is commanding wayward Communist Party cadres to purify themselves of corruption, and he's summed it up in a pithy slogan as Mao Zedong might have done: Look in the mirror, take a bath.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A state security prosecutor in the United Arab Emirates says 30 Egyptian and UAE suspects have been charged with plotting a coup linked to a network of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, in a case likely to further strain relations with Cairo.
BERLIN (AP) — Trying to tamp down concerns about government over-reach, President Barack Obama on Wednesday defended U.S. Internet and phone surveillance programs as narrowly targeted efforts that have saved lives and thwarted at least 50 terror threats.
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's highest court said Wednesday it has received an application from longtime President Robert Mugabe's party to delay crucial elections by at least two weeks following pressure from regional leaders.
AMSTERDAM (AP) — Dutch police say three farmworkers have died and a fourth has been critically injured after they fell into a silo filled with manure for use as fertilizer in the northern town of Makkinga.
GENEVA (AP) — The Syrian civil war contributed to pushing the numbers of refugees and those displaced by conflict within their own nation to an 18-year high of 45.2 million worldwide by the end of 2012, the U.N.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The United Nations and Washington have separately asked the Philippines not to withdraw its more than 300 Filipino peacekeepers from the Golan Heights, warning of "maximum volatility" in the region after a number of countries decided to pull out their peacekeeping forces amid escalating violence, the Philippines' top diplomat said Wednesday.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A serial sex offender was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for raping and murdering an Irish woman while he was free on parole after previous convictions for raping five women.
SAO PAULO (AP) — About 50,000 protesters energetically returned to the streets of Brazil's biggest city Tuesday night, a demonstration of anger toward what they call a corrupt and inefficient government that has long ignored the demands of a growing middle class.
SINGAPORE (AP) — Singaporeans rolled back military training, kept cough-stricken children indoors and considered wearing protective masks to work after a smoky haze triggered by forest fires in neighboring Indonesia caused air pollution to briefly hit its worst level in nearly 16 years.