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A Prague court on Friday dropped abuse of power charges against a top aide to former Czech prime minister Petr Necas, whose centre-right government collapsed over a bribery and spy scandal in 2013.

All-clear given after bomb threat at FIFA congress

The FIFA congress resumed on Friday after the all-clear was given following a bomb alert at the venue where world football's governing body will vote on whether to retain Sepp Blatter as president.

Myanmar navy finds 727 migrants packed in boat

Myanmar's navy found 727 people crammed on a fishing boat in its waters, the Ministry of Information said in a Facebook post Friday, adding the would-be "Bengali" migrants had been towed to an island.

Four dead as Saudi 'foils' attack on Shiite mosque: ministry

A car blast outside a Saudi mosque during Friday prayers killed four people, including its driver, in an attack that was "foiled" by the authorities, the interior ministry said.

Syrian army in retreat as rebels tighten grip on Idlib

Syrian troops retreated as regime warplanes bombarded Al-Qaeda-led rebel fighters on Friday, a day after the insurgents overran the last government-held city in the key northwestern province of Idlib.

Blast outside Saudi Shiite mosque during prayers: witnesses

A car exploded outside a Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia during Friday prayers, witnesses said, the second such blast in a week after a suicide bombing claimed by jihadists killed 21 people.

Japan evacuates island after volcano erupts

A violent volcanic eruption in Japan forced the evacuation of an island on Friday, as a huge column of ash was shot high into the sky.

Michael Jackson's Neverland to go 'on sale for $100 million'

The sprawling California property that was once the location of the 'king of pop' Michael Jackson's mind-boggling amusement park is going on sale for $100 million, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

S. Korea reports three new MERS cases

South Korea confirmed three more MERS cases Friday, bringing the total number of patients infected with the potentially deadly virus to 10, including a man who defied a quarantine protocol and travelled to China, health officials said.

India battles deadliest heatwave in two decades

Indian authorities urged hospitals to treat heatstroke as an emergency as the toll from a long heatwave topped 1,800 on Friday, making it the deadliest in more than two decades.

Op-Ed: Soccer: Is Ali Bin Al Hussein the fairy-tale prince FIFA needs?

Amidst a slew of corruption allegations FIFA is due to elect its President today. Incumbent Sepp Blatter, whose position seemed impregnable just days ago, is challenged by Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, vice-president of the Asian soccer confederation.

Italy village where mafia have 'stolen' the right to vote

Italy goes to the polls this weekend for local and regional elections but not in the village of Plati in the southern region of Calabria, heartland of the 'Ndrangheta mafia, who control much of Europe's cocaine trade.

Chile students, police clash at new protest over reforms

Chilean police fired tear gas and used water cannons to disperse stone-throwing students protesting against what they call inadequate education reforms and heavy-handed crackdowns on recent demonstrations.

Myanmar says don't 'single us out' at migrant crisis talks

Myanmar rebuked the UN Friday after being called on to address the cause of the exodus of Rohingya Muslims from its shores, saying it is being "singled out" for criticism at international talks.

US spelling bee ends in a tie -- again

The world's premier spelling bee ended in a tie in the US for a second year in a row after an intense 10-round showdown between two young contestants who tackled some of the English language's most obscure words.

Cameron meets Polish PM on EU reform tour

British Prime Minister David Cameron met Poland's premier in Warsaw on Friday on a whistlestop European tour to gather backing for EU reforms amid implacable Polish opposition to proposals to limit benefits for immigrants.

Buhari vows to tackle Nigeria's problems 'head on'

Nigeria's new President Muhammadu Buhari pledged to tackle the nation's problems "head on" and an intensified fight against Boko Haram in his inaugural speech after taking the oath of office on Friday.

Mexico arrests senior New Generation cartel operative

Mexican authorities have detained a senior operative of a drug cartel that has clashed with security forces in the western state of Jalisco in recent weeks, officials said.

Kenyan man pleads guilty in U.S. to supporting terrorist groups

A Kenyan man pleaded guilty to supporting three different terrorist organizations, admitting to providing money and recruits in Syria and Somalia, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Future at stake, Republicans crowd into White House race

With eight declared Republican presidential hopefuls and eight more expected to run, consensus has been brushed aside for 2016, as GOP rivals battle to shape the future of the party, and America, in the post-Obama era.

Sweet 16: The many Republicans on the White House trail

In 2008, there were 10 Republicans and eight Democrats competing to succeed George W. Bush in the White House.

Blatter defends anti-corruption record ahead of FIFA vote

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter on Friday defended his actions battling corruption ahead of a vote to decide on whether he remains as president of football's beleaguered world body.

Suu Kyi sidesteps Rohingya migrant crisis for political pragmatism

Aung San Suu Kyi was once an unassailable champion of Myanmar's powerless.

Shiite militia rename mission to retake Iraqi city of Ramadi

Every military operation appears to require the proper name or branding. The Pentagon has become expert at providing euphemistic names for operations such as Enduring Freedom.

18 labs may have received live anthrax samples: U.S. officials

A total of 18 laboratories may have accidentally received live samples of anthrax shipped out by the American military, U.S. authorities said.

Florida man threatens suicide, cops shoot him dead

Justin Way was a recovering alcoholic who'd been on the wagon for five weeks. Then he lost his job. He became suicidal and had a setback. Way's girlfriend Kaitlyn Christine Lyons found him drinking a bottle of vodka and lying in bed with a large knife.

Heron makes unannounced visit to No. 10 Downing Street

Larry the cat was nowhere to be seen when a grey heron came strolling through the open front door at No. 10 Downing Street today. The avian visitor was trying to avoid the advances of a rather forward-acting crow.

Angry mob in Guatemala beat and then burn 16-year-old girl alive

An angry mob of over 100 people, including young children, stood back and watched as some members of the group beat a 16-year-old-girl bloody, knocked her to the ground and then set her on fire. VIDEO HAS BEEN EDITED

More than 700 migrants rescued in Mediterranean

A total of 741 migrants who set sail from Libya in the hopes of reaching Europe were rescued in the Mediterranean on Thursday, the Italian coastguard said.

U.S. indicts 15 Chinese in university cheating scam

The United States has indicted 15 people from China with fraud and conspiracy over a four-year scam to fake entry tests into American universities in what campaigners warn is a wider problem.

Thailand hosts talks on Southeast Asia migrant crisis

Delegates from 17 nations gathered in Thailand Friday for talks on Southeast Asia's migrant crisis which has seen thousands of desperate people flee on boats across the Bay of Bengal aiming for Malaysia and Indonesia.

Car bombs at Baghdad hotels kill at least nine: officials

At least nine people were killed and dozens wounded when car bombs ripped through the car parks of two upscale Baghdad hotels, officials said on Friday, updating an earlier toll.

Chile students, police clash at new protest over reforms

Chilean police fired tear gas and used water cannons Thursday to disperse stone-throwing students protesting what they call inadequate education reforms and heavy-handed crackdowns on recent demonstrations.

Illegal baby sale, abortion ring dismantled in Colombia

Colombian authorities have dismantled a trafficking ring involving illegal abortions and stolen babies, arresting five suspects, police said Thursday.

Op-Ed: US pushing plans to directly arm Sunni tribes and Kurds in Iraq

Sunni fighters defending Ramadi complain that they were defeated by the Islamic State fighters because they had not received either payment or US military equipment from the Iraqi central government.

Nebraska becomes 19th U.S. state to ban death penalty

Lawmakers in Nebraska overrode a governor's veto of their vote to repeal the death penalty, becoming the 19th US state—and the first conservative state in more than 40 years—to abolish capital punishment.

Swedish dads to get third month of paternity leave

The Swedish government plans to introduce a third month of paid parental leave reserved for fathers as of next year in a bid to further increase gender equality, it said on Thursday.

Qaeda-led rebels take Idlib's last Syria regime bastion

A rebel coalition led by the Syrian affiliate of Al-Qaeda stormed and seized the last regime-held city in Idlib province Thursday, as Iraq exhumed the remains of 470 jihadist victims.

Watch Florida fisherman reel in 552-lb Atlantic goliath grouper

A Florida fisherman, Jon Black, reeled in a 552-pound Atlantic goliath grouper fish from a Kayak while fishing in Sanibel, Fla., on 20 May. The catch is believed to be the biggest goliath grouper ever caught from a kayak.

Baltics mull joint air defence system against Russia

Defence ministers for the three Baltic states said Thursday they are mulling a joint air defence system in response to security concerns over Russia's activity in the region.

Mexico must probe police gunfight: rights group

A US-based human rights group urged Mexican prosecutors Thursday to investigate whether police committed extrajudicial executions after a "shootout" left 42 suspects dead, raising questions about the lopsided death toll.