Across the world, people are increasingly embracing the subculture of “mermaiding.” At its simplest, these are humans of all genders, shapes and backgrounds who enjoy dressing up as mermaids. In recent years, a growing number have flocked to mermaid conventions and competitions, formed local groups called “pods,” and poured their savings into a multimillion-dollar mermaid tail industry. On a planet plagued by war, disease and social upheaval, many merfolk have found life in the water a refuge. Away from the critics and chaos of life on land, mer-world is the kinder, gentler and more joyful alternative to the real world. Merfolk say it's also a world where you can be whoever and whatever you want.
What is art? Do awards make you a better artist? Are blockbuster movies only for pseudo-actors? These are some questions unleashed in “Official Competition,” a comedy by Argentine directors Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat starring Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez in a battle of egos and vanity. Cruz plays Lola Cuevas, a relentless woman with no filter, passionate about film down to the smallest detail, but with a rather unconventional approach. Banderas plays a star of international stature with many awards and blockbuster films, but who tends to be late for rehearsals. Banderas and Cruz talk to The Associated Press about this film, which opens Friday in the US.
Several of the area’s state and federal representatives Tuesday joined more than half of all U.S. governors in calling to repel Syrian refugees after the ISIS-backed attacks in Paris.
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — Authorities in the U.S. Virgin Islands say an elderly couple visiting from the U.S. mainland has been found stabbed to death in a rental home.
NEW YORK (AP) — Dan Fredinburg, a Google executive who described himself as an adventurer, was among the hundreds who died in a massive earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday.
PARIS — With explosions and gunfire, security forces Friday ended three days of terror around Paris, killing the two al-Qaida-linked brothers who staged a murderous rampage at a satirical newspaper and an accomplice who seized hostages at a kosher supermarket to try to help the brothers escape.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A tour connected to the National World War II Museum is taking three dozen people to the battlefields and towns in Belgium where the Battle of the Bulge was fought 70 years ago.
SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's acting government issued an arrest warrant Monday for President Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him of mass crimes against the protesters who stood up for months against his rule. Russia sharply questioned its authority, calling it an "armed mutiny."
SAN CRISTOBAL, Venezuela (AP) — The battle for Venezuela is being fought as vigorously online as in the streets, with Internet service cut off to a strife-torn university city and the government blocking selected websites and a "walkie-talkie" service widely used by protesters. Internet con…
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — During nearly 42 years in power in Libya, Moammar Gadhafi was one of the world's most eccentric dictators, so mercurial that he was both condemned and courted by the West, while he brutally warped his country with his idiosyncratic vision of autocratic rule until he was…
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — A rebel leader who videotaped himself drinking Budweiser as his men cut off the ears of the nation's former president has finished third in this week's presidential election, according to partial results issued Thursday, thrusting the notorious ex-warlord into the ro…
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — The city notorious as the most dangerous in the hemisphere is throwing a party to tell the world that life here is getting better.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — One of the last major leaders of the pseudo-religious La Familia drug gang has been captured, Mexican officials said Wednesday, an arrest that has provided insights into the final days of one of the country's most bizarre criminal cartels.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan intelligence officials said Wednesday that they had broken up a cell that plotted to kill President Hamid Karzai, arresting six people in Kabul whom they claimed were affiliated with al-Qaida and the Haqqani militant group.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Gunmen killed eight policemen at checkpoint in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, while the United Nations said the average number of armed clashes, roadside bombings and other violence in the country each month is running 39 percent higher in 2011 compared to last year.
ROME (AP) — He was pilloried by the Vatican for creating a sculpture of Pope John Paul II that some mockingly say looks more like Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini than the beloved late pontiff. Now artist Oliviero Rainaldi has a chance at redemption.
LONDON (AP) — Britain's government said Wednesday that a suspect accused of hiring a hit man to kill his wife on their honeymoon in South Africa should be extradited there to face trial.
BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian nuclear engineer was assassinated in a hail of bullets in central Syria Wednesday, the latest casualty in a string of murders this week of academics and scientists, Syria's state-run news agency and activists said.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.S. and European powers were pressuring for resumed Mideast negotiations on Thursday as part of an intensive international effort to curb a Palestinain statehood bid at the United Nations, expected the following day.
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian security forces moved against several schools around the country Wednesday and detained students who demonstrated against President Bashar Assad's regime, while troops shot dead at least four people in central Syria, activists said.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Suspected drug traffickers dumped 35 bodies at rush hour beneath a busy overpass in the heart of a major Gulf coast city as gunmen pointed weapons at frightened drivers. Mexican authorities said Wednesday they are examining surveillance video for clues to who committed the…
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian court Tuesday set bail of $500,000 each for two American men arrested more than two years ago and convicted on spy-related charges, clearing the way for their release a year after a similar bail-for-freedom arrangement for the third member of the group, their d…
TARHOUNA, Libya (AP) — Moammar Gadhafi is determined to fight his way back to power, the toppled dictator’s spokesman said Tuesday, but a large convoy of his soldiers has apparently deserted, crossing the Libyan desert into neighboring Niger.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian helicopters searched Thursday for the wreckage of the unmanned spaceship that crashed and exploded in a forested area in Siberia.
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — One thousand rebels bombarded buildings filled with regime fighters hiding amid civilians in a ferocious battle Thursday for Moammar Gadhafi's last major stronghold in Tripoli. The Libyan leader, still in hiding, sent a new message calling on his supporters to kill the …
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libyans hunting Moammar Gadhafi offered a $2 million bounty on the fallen dictator's head and amnesty for anyone who kills or captures him as rebels battled Wednesday to clear the last pockets of resistance from the capital Tripoli.
TRIPOLI, Libya — Libyan rebels claimed to be in control of most of the Libyan capital on Monday after their lightning advance on Tripoli heralded the fall of Moammar Gadhafi’s nearly 42-year regime, but scattered battles erupted and the mercurial leader’s whereabouts remained unknown.
BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian army shot dead 11 people in a western town near the Lebanese border Thursday and stormed a northwestern town near Turkey's border, activists said.
LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday that Britain would look to the United States for solutions to gang violence after nights of riots and looting, and promised authorities would get strong powers to stop street mayhem erupting again.
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus' ruling coalition partner party quit the government Wednesday over disagreements about ongoing talks to reunify the ethnically divided island, officials said.
OSLO, Norway (AP) — The Norwegian right-wing extremist who killed 76 people in a bombing and youth camp massacre appears to be a lone-wolf sociopath who kept his plans to himself for more than a decade, a top security official said Thursday.
BRUSSELS (AP) — Attorneys have filed a civil lawsuit in Belgium accusing NATO of killing 13 civilians, including 3 children, by bombing a residential compound of a former government official in Libya.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez celebrated his 57th birthday Thursday vowing to survive cancer and proposing to host a summit of Latin American leaders in December.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece was wracked by political turmoil Thursday as the embattled prime minister faced down a party revolt over new austerity measures — a bitter dispute that forced the EU to hint at new loans so Greece can fend off a summer default.
BEIJING (AP) — China says Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir will visit the country in a little over a week, despite the fact he's wanted by an international court on war crimes charges.
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's President Bashar Assad, beset by a popular upheaval that won't die, appears to be turning more and more to a tiny coterie of relatives, the backbone of a family dynasty that has kept Syria's 22 million people living in fear for decades.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic is withdrawing from U.S. missile defense plans out of frustration at its diminished role, the Czech defense minister told The Associated Press Wednesday.
BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — The leader of Bosnia's Serb republic said Wednesday his people are victims of a dysfunctional country and would be much better off on their own, but the EU insists on them staying part of Bosnia.
BERLIN (AP) — The European Union protested Wednesday against Russia maintaining a broad ban on European-grown vegetables despite the identification of sprouts as the cause of a deadly E.coli outbreak.
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi vowed to fight to the death in a defiant speech Tuesday after NATO military craft unleashed a ferocious series of some daytime airstrikes on Tripoli.
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Government forces killed 30 Islamic militants in Yemen's troubled southern province of Abyan in what appeared to be an escalation of a military campaign to retake areas captured by extremists amid the country's turmoil, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
HAVANA (AP) — Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping toured a joint oil exploration project in Cuba near the end of a three-day visit during which the two countries signed economic accords that include the expansion of a refinery, Cuban state media said Tuesday.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Stiff winds blew ash from a Chilean volcano Tuesday in a widening arc across Argentina to the capital, grounding most air travel to and from the country.
TOKYO (AP) — Japan admitted Tuesday it was unprepared for a severe nuclear accident like the tsunami-caused Fukushima disaster and said damage to the reactors and radiation leakage were worse than it previously thought.
BEIRUT (AP) — Mutinous Syrian soldiers joined forces with protesters after days of crackdowns in a tense northern region, apparently killing dozens of officers and security guards, residents and activists said Tuesday.
JERUSALEM (AP) — The newly retired head of Israel's fabled Mossad spy agency has turned his sights toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, repeatedly criticizing the Israeli leader's approach to Iran and the Palestinians.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The top NATO commander in Afghanistan said Thursday that he is committed to reducing the loss of innocent lives to an absolute minimum.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad withdrew as the caretaker chief of the country's vital oil sector and named an ally to run the ministry, state TV reported on Thursday.
DUBLIN (AP) — Tens of thousands of Irish people are leaving their debt-shattered land because they can't find work. But one frustrated job hunter, 26-year-old Feilim Mac An Iomaire, has refused — and captured the nation's imagination with an inventive PR stunt that highlights his plight.
HAVANA (AP) — Raul Castro was in a jovial mood on the eve of his 80th birthday, joking that he's in better shape than many 60-year-olds.