China says defense budget to rise by about 7 percent in 2017

BEIJING (AP) — China will raise its defense budget by about 7 percent this year, a government spokeswoman said Saturday, continuing a trend of lowered growth amid a slowing economy despite regional tensions over the South China Sea and other issues.

  • Written by GERRY SHIH and CHRISTOPHER BODEEN , Associated Press

After bruising election, Democrats meet to elect leader

HINCKLEY, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Democrats are about to pick their party leader after a bruising election cycle.
Democrats were set to gather in Hinckley Saturday to vote for the party's chair. Current chairman Ken Martin is seeking a fourth, two-year term. He's being challenged by former party associate chairwoman Donna Cassutt.

  • Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

UN report shows North Korea using Africa to slip sanctions

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — North Korean weapons barred by U.N. sanctions ended up in the hands of U.N. peacekeepers in Africa, a confidential report says. That incident and others in more than a half-dozen African nations show how North Korea, despite facing its toughest sanctions in decades, continues to avoid them on the world's most impoverished continent with few repercussions.

  • Written by CARA ANNA , Associated Press

Malaysia expels North Korean ambassador over Kim's killing

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's foreign minister says the government has expelled North Korea's ambassador for criticizing the investigation into the killing of the North Korean leader's estranged half brother.

  • Written by EILEEN NG, Associated Press

Sinn Fein surge creates new Northern Ireland landscape

DUBLIN (AP) — Northern Ireland's snap election has left the rival extremes of politics virtually neck and neck for the first time — and facing a bruising battle to put their Catholic-Protestant government back together again in an increasingly polarized landscape.

  • Written by SHAWN POGATCHNIK , Associated Press