Airlines cancel flights because of volcano
MEXICO CITY - At least six U.S. airlines canceled nearly 50 flights into and out of Mexico City and Toluca airports Thursday after the Popocatepetl volcano spewed ash, steam and glowing rocks, airport officials said.
Mexico City airport spokesman Jorge Gomez said U.S. Airways, Delta, United, American and Alaska Airlines canceled 47 flights. But he said the airport otherwise continues to operate normally and that by Thursday afternoon no ash had reached the area, about 40 miles away.
Gomez said cities affected by the cancelations included Houston, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Chicago and Los Angeles. At nearby Toluca airport, Spirit Airlines canceled flights from Dallas and Fort Lauderdale.
Lawmakers discuss Snowden citizenship
Some Icelandic lawmakers have introduced a proposal in Parliament to grant citizenship to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, who admits to revealing key details of U.S. surveillance activities.
The idea has received minimal support.
Snowden is believed to be stuck in a Moscow airport transit area, seeking asylum from more than a dozen countries. To apply for asylum in Iceland, Snowden would have to reach the nation's soil. Granting him citizenship would circumvent that issue.
Police: Girl missing 6 years may be alive
LONDON - British police say they have launched a full investigation into the disappearance six years ago of Madeleine McCann, and want to trace 38 "persons of interest" in the case.
Detectives say it's possible that Madeleine, who vanished from a Portuguese holiday resort, is still alive. Scotland Yard said Thursday that 12 of the individuals of interest are British, and the rest from a variety of European countries. The force says it is working with governments across the continent to find out more.
McCann vanished from a vacation home in Portugal's Algarve region on May 3, 2007, days before her fourth birthday.
Lucky babies to get royal silver penny
LONDON - British babies born the same day as Prince William and Kate's first child will receive a "lucky" silver penny.
The Royal Mint announced Thursday that it has minted 2,013 silver coins bearing a shield of the Royal Arms, to be given to newborns who share their birthday with the third in line to the British throne.
Crossing the palm of a newborn baby with silver or offering a silver penny is traditionally seen as a wish for good fortune and health.
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, is due to give birth in mid-July.
Quake's death toll rises to at least 30
BLANG MANCUNG - The death toll from an earthquake that hit Indonesia's Aceh province earlier this week has reached 30, and police and soldiers are searching for another 12 people believed missing, officials said Thursday.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said the main focus of recovery efforts Thursday was to search for more victims, assist the injured and provide supplies for those in need. He said 275 people were injured and more than 4,300 houses and buildings damaged in Tuesday's magnitude-6.1 quake.
Soome 6,500 displaced people were staying at 35 temporary shelters in both Central Aceh and Bener Meriah districts. Many others were staying in tents outside their houses.
American nun's killer released from prison
SAO PAULO - The confessed killer of U.S. nun and Amazon defender Dorothy Stang has been released from jail after serving less than nine of the 27 years he was sentenced to in 2005, officials said Thursday.
The judiciary branch of the northern state of Para said on its website Thursday that Judge Claudio Henrique Rendeiro ruled that Rayfran das Neves Sales was entitled to serve the rest of his sentence under house arrest.
Neves is prohibited from frequenting bars, must sleep at home and find a job. He was released on Tuesday.