Prince Charles joins folk dance on European tour amid Brexit

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -- Britain's Prince Charles joined in a traditional folk dance Thursday during his visit to Romania on the first day of a three-nation trip seen as an effort to reassure European Union nations that Britain remains a close ally. The prince's nine-day tour with his wife, Camilla, is designed to "highlight the U.K.'s relationship with European partners" in areas such as military ties and combating human trafficking, according to his official website.

Putin: Criticism of Russia protest arrests is 'interference'

MOSCOW (AP) -- In the wake of Russia's largest outbreak of anti-government demonstrations in years, President Vladimir Putin on Thursday indicated authorities won't be cowed by protesters or Western criticism. Police arrested hundreds of people Sunday in scores of unsanctioned protest rallies against government corruption that took place across the country, a striking wave of defiance by an opposition that in recent years had appeared marginal and feckless.

The Latest: Senator says Russia undermined trust in media

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on the Senate intelligence committee's hearing on Russian interference in last year's presidential election (all times local): 10:40 a.m. Sen. Mark Warner is alleging that Russia continually sought to undermine American trust in the U.S. media. Speaking at a congressional hearing on Russian meddling in the presidential election on Thursday, Warner calls the tactic Russian propaganda "on steroids.

Putin ready to meet Trump in Finland if it hosts summit

MOSCOW (AP) -- President Vladimir Putin says he is ready to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump if Finland hosts an Arctic summit. Putin and Finland's president, Sauli Niinisto, both expressed openness for such a meeting when they spoke at an Arctic forum in the Russian city of Arkhangelsk Thursday.

Amid US' Afghanistan uncertainty, Russia resurrects interest

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As America's 16-year war in Afghanistan drags on, Russia is resurrecting its own interest in the "graveyard of empires." The jockeying includes engaging the Taliban and leading a new diplomatic effort to tackle Afghanistan's future, all while Washington leaves the world guessing on its strategy for ending the conflict.

Senate hearing to focus on Russian disinformation tactics

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some tactics Russia used to meddle in last year's presidential election would give shivers to anyone who believes in American democracy, the Senate intelligence committee's top Democrat says. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia spoke ahead of a committee session Thursday that will address how the Kremlin allegedly uses technology to spread disinformation in the U.S. and Europe. Warner and the panel's chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

Mosul shows difficulty of removing militants from urban area

BAGHDAD (AP) -- As the fight for the Iraqi city of Mosul drags on, many might ask: Why has it taken the combined militaries of the United States and Iraq backed by an international coalition more than two years to dislodge a relatively small force of militants lacking heavy weaponry? Donald Trump raised the question during his campaign, promising to turn up the heat against the Islamic State group if he became president.

Senate intel leaders pledge Russia probe cooperation

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pledging cooperation, the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee said Wednesday they would steer clear of politics in their panel's probe of Russian interference in last year's election. They made a point of putting themselves at arm's length from the House investigation marked by partisanship and disputes.

Editorial Roundup: Excerpts from recent editorials

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: ___ March 29 The Telegraph, UK, on Britain formally beginning the process to leave the European Union: This is a historic day for Britain. Today, a UK government triggers Article 50 and begins the process of Brexit. And so the country enters a period of negotiation that, early signs suggest, will be tough, even acrimonious. But the goal is worth some hard work.

Putin critic says he narrowly escaped death after poisoning

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Russian opposition leader critical of President Vladimir Putin says he narrowly escaped death after being poisoned with a substance his doctors still haven't been able to identify. Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr. says his survival shows there are "near misses" in the Russian government's campaign to silence its political opponents. He says the official diagnosis was toxic action by an undefined substance.

The Latest: Senate intel panel working on Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on congressional maneuvering around investigations into Russian meddling into United States politics (all times local): 3:23 p.m. The Senate intelligence committee chairman says his panel's "challenge" is to answer for Americans whether President Donald Trump was directly involved in Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., called the investigation the biggest he's seen since he was elected to Congress.

Britain's Prince Charles on 3-country 'Brexit charm' tour

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -- Britain's Prince Charles arrived in Bucharest Wednesday at the start of a nine-day tour to Romania, Italy and Austria seen as an effort to reassure European Union nations that Britain remains a close ally despite its decision to quit the bloc. Charles arrived in the Romanian capital on the same day British Prime Minister Theresa May launched the Brexit process.

Essay: Britain strikes historic blow to EU; will go it alone

LONDON (AP) -- Britain will go it alone -- turning its back on decades of integration to control its own borders and free itself from the European Union's spider web of rules and regulations. It is a bold and risky move for this proud island nation. Few countries have walked away from such a large, prosperous and peaceful alliance in favor of a solo path.

In Russia's once-quiet provinces, young people lead protest

TAMBOV, Russia (AP) -- The city of Tambov in southern Russia is one of those sleepy, provincial centers that have in the past been the heartland of support for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Not anymore. "Corruption is the root of all problems," says Maria Nizhivenko, a 20-year old coffee shop employee who was detained by police as she took part in a demonstration in the city Sunday.

Joy, sorrow: People in UK, Europe react to Brexit triggering

LONDON (AP) -- Across the United Kingdom and throughout Europe, there was joy and sorrow Wednesday as Prime Minister Theresa May formally triggered a two-year process that will end with Britain exiting the European Union. The country voted 52 to 48 percent to leave in a June referendum. ___ Mike Piper, 70, retired, of Dover, England: "All I want to do before I die is see my country free from the shackles of Europe.

Syrian experts visit critical dam spillway near main IS base

BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian engineers and Red Crescent officials on Wednesday visited a spillway of a key dam west of the Islamic State group's stronghold of Raqqa, opening the gates and relieving pressure, according to the aid organization and Syrian Kurdish media. The visit followed concerns that the Tabqa Dam is threatened, endangering the surrounding area that has become a battleground as U.S.-backed forces push toward Raqqa, the IS group's self-proclaimed capital.

AP FACT CHECK: Spicer says case closed on Russia. It's not

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The question of collusion between Russian interests and Donald Trump's campaign is far from answered, despite repeated assertions by the president's spokesman that it's case closed. Sean Spicer angrily dismissed inquiries about the matter Tuesday, declaring that "every single person who's been briefed on this, as I've said ad nauseam from this podium .

Kushner, taking new White House role, faces rare scrutiny

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jared Kushner has been a power player able to avoid much of the harsh scrutiny that comes with working in the White House. But this week he's found that even the president's son-in-law takes his turn in the spotlight. In a matter of days, Kushner, a senior Trump adviser, drew headlines for leaving Washington for a ski vacation while a signature campaign promise fell apart.