RUATOKI, New Zealand - Armed police stormed into this quiet village at dawn, threw up roadblocks, shot out truck tires and forced families out of their homes at gunpoint.
CHIMALTENANGO, Guatemala - Tattoos, baggy pants and tank tops are out. Smart blazers and university recruits are in.
EDITOR'S NOTE - A yearlong exploration by The Associated Press suggests that despite immense challenges, progress is gaining a foothold in pockets of Africa, in spheres ranging from democracy to education. And after minimal results from five decades of Western advice and aid, the progress is led by Africans themselves. This is Part V of the series.
MINSK, Belarus - The leaders of Russia and Belarus pledged closer cooperation on military, economic and foreign policy but gave no indication Friday that the ex-Soviet neighbors were moving closer to a long-discussed full merger.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa - After a protracted delay, tough new laws against sexual abuse will finally go into effect Sunday in South Africa, which is often called the ''rape capital'' of the world.
BAGHDAD - Thousands of followers of a radical cleric took to Baghdad's streets after Friday prayers to protest a triple car bombing in one of their southern strongholds and make a show of strength directed at a rival Shiite power broker.
VATICAN CITY - The Vatican, which has been accused of aggressively seeking souls in Russia and some other countries, said Friday it has every right to spread its message and accept converts but that non-Catholics must never be forced to embrace the faith.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday that Serbia could only join the European Union if it lived up to international demands to hand over war crime suspects and respected the independence of Kosovo.
CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Qaida's deputy leader denounced last month's Mideast peace conference in Annapolis, Md., as a ''betrayal'' of Palestinians in a new audio message posted Friday on an Islamic militant Web site,
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Police have detained the wife and two children of a former coast guard officer who died in custody while facing a dictatorship-era human rights trial, hours after an autopsy found cyanide in the man's blood, a judge said Friday.
BALI, Indonesia - U.S., European and other envoys talked far into the night Friday as they forged a compromise at the U.N. climate conference, breaking a deadlock over how ambitious the goal should be in negotiating future cutbacks in global-warming gases.
SEOUL, South Korea - North and South Korea ended three days of talks Friday without an agreement on creating a shared fishing zone to defuse tensions along their disputed sea border.
LONDON (AP) - The archbishop of Canterbury said Friday he will not reverse his decision to exclude a gay U.S. bishop from joining other bishops at a global Anglican gathering next year.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Hamas gunmen on Friday burst into the home of a top Fatah official in Gaza and arrested him, relatives said. He was the most senior Fatah politician to be detained since Hamas forces overtook the territory in June.
BEIJING - Cross-border human trafficking for forced labor and prostitution is a growing problem along China's southern border, officials said Friday at a conference on the issue.
WASHINGTON - Congress is close to sending President Barack Obama a bill to give $1 billion in loan guarantees to cash-strapped Ukraine and provide the administration broad authority to levy more sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea.
LAS VEGAS - A slate of potential Republican presidential candidates is descending upon Las Vegas to court one of the GOP's most powerful patrons.
As Minnesota Vikings fans were getting ready for the final game at the Metrodome last December, officials at Whelan Security noticed social media chatter suggesting some of the faithful might rush the field and try to steal a piece of history.
VATICAN CITY - President Barack Obama called himself a "great admirer" of Pope Francis as he sat down at the Vatican Thursday with the pontiff he considers a kindred spirit on issues of economic inequality. Their nearly hourlong first meeting comes as Obama's administration remains deeply split with the church over abortion and contraception.
NEW YORK - When her abusive husband left for work last fall, she grabbed her kids, her dog and her bags, only to run up against a heart-wrenching obstacle: None of the city's more than 50 domestic violence shelters would accept the pet.
WASHINGTON - The Secret Service sent three agents home from the Netherlands just before President Barack Obama's arrival after one agent was found inebriated in an Amsterdam hotel, the Secret Service said Tuesday.
NEW YORK - Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers have knocked Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees off baseball's payroll perch, part of an offseason spending spree that has the average salary approaching $4 million for the first time.
HONG KONG - Investigators are closer to solving an international aviation mystery thanks to a British communications satellite and classroom physics.
NORFOLK, Va. - A sailor was fatally shot aboard a guided-missile destroyer docked at the world's largest naval base late Monday, and security forces killed the lone suspect, according to the Navy.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia said Tuesday that it has narrowed the search for a downed jetliner to an area the size of Alaska in the southern Indian Ocean, while Australia said improved weather would allow the hunt for possible debris from the plane to resume.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - After 17 days of desperation and doubt over the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, the country's officials said an analysis of satellite data points to a "heartbreaking" conclusion: Flight 370 met its end in the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean, and none of those aboard survived.
NEW YORK - One month in, NBC's generational trade of Jay Leno for Jimmy Fallon at the "Tonight" show is succeeding beyond the hopes of executives who engineered it.
ARLINGTON, Wash. - Hopes of finding any more survivors from a massive mudslide that killed at least eight people waned as searchers pulled more bodies from the tangled debris field in rural Washington state and crews worked through the night into Monday.