Iran seizes ship after firing shots

Iran seizes ship after firing shots

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

Iranian forces fired warning shots across the bridge of a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo vessel as it was traversing the Strait of Hormuz, boarded the ship and directed it toward the Iranian mainland, a Pentagon official said Tuesday.

The incident with the MV Maersk Tigris, which prompted the U.S. Navy to dispatch a destroyer and a plane in response, comes at a critical time in Iran’s relations with its neighbors and the United States.

The U.S., other world powers and Iran are trying to hammer out a final deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

Last week, the U.S. Navy dispatched an aircraft carrier and guided-missile cruiser to the Arabian Sea amid worries that a convoy of Iranian cargo ships was headed to Yemen to deliver arms to the Shiite rebels fighting to take over Yemen.

Sen. Bernie Sanders to run for president


Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will announce his plans to seek the Democratic nomination for president Thursday, presenting a liberal challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Sanders, an independent who describes himself as a “democratic socialist,” will follow a statement with a major campaign kickoff in his home state in several weeks. Two people familiar with his announcement spoke to The Associated Press under condition of anonymity to describe internal planning.

Sanders will become the second major Democrat in the race, joining Clinton.

Nigerian army rescues nearly 300 women and girls


Nigerian troops rescued nearly 300 girls and women during an offensive Tuesday against Boko Haram militants in the northeastern Sambisa Forest, the military said, but they did not include any of the schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok a year ago.

The army announced the rescue on Twitter and said it was screening and interviewing the abducted girls and women.

Troops destroyed and cleared four militant camps and rescued 200 abducted girls and 93 women, “but they are not the Chibok girls,” army spokesman Col. Sani Usman told The Associated Press.

Philippine woman’s execution delayed

CILICAP, Indonesia

A Philippine woman convicted of drug smuggling — one of nine people due to face a firing squad — has been granted a stay of execution, Indonesia’s attorney general said today.

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo did not comment on whether the executions of two Australians, four Nigerians, a Brazilian and an Indonesian man had been carried out as scheduled shortly after midnight.

Indonesia media reported that the eight had been executed, citing official though unidentified sources.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that Australia will withdraw its ambassador from Jakarta in response to the still unconfirmed executions of two Australians, Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31.

“These executions are both cruel and unnecessary,” Abbott told reporters.

Associated Press

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