The Latest: Trump spokesman calls Flynn probe 'appropriate'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn (all times local): 1:55 p.m. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is calling an inquiry into former national security adviser Michael Flynn "appropriate." The Pentagon's acting inspector general has begun an inquiry into Flynn, the retired Army officer who was President Trump's first national security adviser. Spicer says the administration welcomes the inquiry announced Thursday by Maryland Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings.

Moments that matter in Trump's first 100 days in office

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In his first 100 days, President Donald Trump has lived up to his promise to shake up Washington. It's been a presidency in which tweets -- whether angry or boastful, accurate or not -- have been the favored form of communications. Trump has suffered stunning setbacks on immigration and health care, while winning confirmation of a young, conservative justice to America's top court.

Life sentences sought for 30 with ties to Turkish newspaper

ISTANBUL (AP) -- A Turkish court accepted a criminal indictment demanding life imprisonment for 30 people with ties to a newspaper linked to a Muslim cleric whom the government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt. Turkey's official Anadolu news agency said the defendants, including former managers and columnists for the Zaman newspaper, were charged with "membership in an armed terror organization" and "attempting to overthrow" the country's government, Parliament and constitutional order.

Bouchard: 'Cheater' Sharapova should be banned for life

ISTANBUL (AP) -- If Eugenie Bouchard had her way, Maria Sharapova would have been banned from tennis for life. The 2014 Wimbledon finalist from Canada, who has been ranked as high as fifth in the world, called Sharapova a cheater upon the Russian's return from a 15-month doping suspension for using the banned substance meldonium.

Pentagon probes former Trump aide Flynn's foreign payments

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The investigations into President Donald Trump's ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn intensified Thursday as the Pentagon's watchdog joined lawmakers in scrutinizing the legality of payments he accepted from foreign sources including a Russian state-sponsored television network.

UK anti-terror police detain man with knives near Parliament

LONDON (AP) -- Armed police carrying out a counterterrorism operation Thursday swooped in on a man they said was carrying knives in a bag near Britain's Parliament and arrested him on suspicion of planning terrorist acts. A European security official familiar with the individual said the suspect was known to British security agencies and was thought to have been inspired by the Islamic State group.

Palestinians strike in support of prisoners' protest

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- Palestinians across the West Bank are observing a general strike in support of hundreds of hunger-striking prisoners held by Israel. Palestinians say between 1,300 and 1,500 prisoners have been on a hunger strike for 11 days, demanding better conditions and more contact with relatives. Israel puts the number at about 1,100. The widely observed strike in the West Bank and east Jerusalem reflects the Palestinian consensus on prisoners.

Russian navy ship sinks in Black Sea, all 78 crew rescued

MOSCOW (AP) -- A Russian naval reconnaissance ship sank Thursday after colliding with a freighter off Istanbul, but all crew members were rescued, the Defense Ministry said. Turkey's coastal safety authority said all 78 personnel from the Russian frigate Liman were safe, as were all crew aboard the freighter, the Togo-flagged Youzarsif H. The freighter was carrying livestock.

The Latest: Minor damage to freighter that hit Russian ship

ISTANBUL (AP) -- The Latest on Russia navy ship damaged near Istanbul (all times local): 5:40 p.m. Turkey's transportation minister says that the Togo-flagged freighter involved in the collision with a Russian navy vessel has sustained very minor damage and is able to continue sailing. Ahmet Arslan also told Turkey's A Haber news channel that the collision in the Black Sea off Istanbul occurred in heavy fog.

Poland signs first deal to buy natural gas from US supplier

WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- Poland has signed its first deal to purchase liquefied natural gas from a U.S. supplier, a step that will help the country's efforts to cut its dependence on deliveries from Russia, officials said Thursday. The head of Polish gas giant PGNiG, Piotr Wozniak, called it a "historic moment" for the company which is "gaining a new partner in LNG trade" in North America and becoming a "gateway" that opens for U.S.

UAE's first solar-powered gas station opens in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- A government oil company in the United Arab Emirates says it has opened the country's first solar-powered gas station in Dubai. The Dubai-owned Emirates National Oil Company said on Wednesday the service station on the city's main Sheikh Zayed Road thoroughfare is covered with solar panels that can generate up to 120 kilowatt hours.

Pope faces balancing act in Egypt amid security fears

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis is facing a religious and diplomatic balancing act as he heads to Egypt this weekend, hoping to comfort its Christian community after a spate of Islamic attacks while seeking to improve relations with Egypt's Muslim leaders. Security has been tightened, with shops ordered closed and police conducting door-to-door checks in the upscale Cairo neighborhood where Francis will stay Friday night.

Pentagon gets more flexibility on Iraq, Syria troops

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is giving the Pentagon greater flexibility to determine the number of U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria, in another move by President Donald Trump to shift greater power to his military leaders. The decision will give Defense Secretary Jim Mattis the authority to send more forces into Syria, to assist U.S.

The Latest: Israel official: Patriot missile hit Syria drone

BEIRUT (AP) -- The Latest on Syria (all times local): 9:30 p.m. An Israeli defense official says the military's Patriot missile that was deployed earlier in the evening over the Golan Heights had struck an incoming drone from Syria. The official says the military is checking to see if it was a Russian aircraft that had entered the Israeli side on Thursday by mistake or if it was a Syrian one.

Egyptian artist paints church murals, unfazed by attacks

CAIRO (AP) -- On a scaffold several stories high beneath the dome of a Cairo church, Ayman William paints for the glory of God, unfazed by recent attacks against his fellow Coptic Christians in Egypt. The church, deep within the dusty alleyways of one of the many "informal" neighborhoods that have sprung up to accommodate the capital's surging population, is building a new extension.

As Trump calls for wall, a look at the world's barriers

As President Donald Trump marks 100 days in office, he is vowing to keep his campaign promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico. Despite widespread skepticism and Mexico's refusal to pay for the wall, as Trump has demanded, the U.S. government has been soliciting bids and test sections could be built as soon as this summer.

After Damascus blasts, Israel intercepts 'target' from Syria

BEIRUT (AP) -- An apparent Israeli missile attack on a Syrian military installation near Damascus International Airport shook the capital early on Thursday morning and raised tensions between the two hostile neighbors. After nightfall, the Israeli military deployed its Patriot missile defense system to intercept a projectile incoming from Syria above the Golan Heights.

Trump gives Pentagon more flexibility on Iraq, Syria troops

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is giving the Pentagon greater flexibility to determine the number of U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria, in another move by President Donald Trump to shift greater power to his military leaders. The decision will give Defense Secretary Jim Mattis the authority to send more forces into Syria, to assist U.S.

Australia warns gas companies they risk export restrictions

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Australia's prime minister warned energy companies on Thursday that they would be restricted from exporting gas if Australians are not also provided with adequate supplies at internationally competitive prices. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it was unacceptable that Australia was about to overtake Qatar as the world's biggest exporter of liquid natural gas yet domestic gas users face shortages and sky-rocketing prices.