Maybe this feline group appreciates the beauty of flowering cherry trees in a Tokyo park. Or they were just hanging out.



Protesters, police clash in two cities

ALEXANDRIA - Clashes erupted Friday in two cities in northern Egypt, and protesters rallied in Cairo in the latest demonstrations against Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who claims the recent wave of anti-government unrest is the work of conspirators.

In the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, hundreds of unidentified assailants threw stones and fire bombs at protesters rallying against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most powerful political group.

The anti-government protesters hurled stones back at the assailants during the clash in a square that used to be home to the Brotherhood's office before it was stormed weeks ago by demonstrators. The clashes also halted train traffic for a few hours at a station near the site.

Separately, protesters and riot police clashed in the president's home province of Sharqiya in the Nile River Delta. Police fired tear gas and threw stones back at rock-throwing demonstrators trying to torch a Brotherhood office in the city of Zagazig, 50 miles north of the capital, Cairo.


'Anti-austerity' dog is out of quarantine

ATHENS - Ruby the anti-austerity dog is back on the streets of Athens - just in time for next week's visit by representatives of international creditors monitoring Greece's troubled finances.

The male stray gained fame this month after barking menacingly as part of a pack of dogs as European and International Monetary Fund austerity inspectors arrived at the Finance Ministry for talks.

Ruby was later captured by municipal officials and freed Friday after being observed for two weeks and showing no signs of aggressiveness.


War rapist-torturer gets 45 yrs. in prison

SARAJEVO - A court in Bosnia on Friday convicted a Montenegrin man of several counts of murder, torture, rape and looting during Bosnia's 1992-95 war, and sentenced him to 45 years in prison - the highest sentence ever issued in the country.

Judge Zoran Bozic said that Veselin Vlahovic, killed 31 people, raped a number of Bosnian and Croat women, and tortured and robbed non-Serb residents of a Sarajevo suburb while fighting for the Bosnian Serbs. Among other crimes, the judge described how Vlahovic cut the throats of two brothers in front of their mother, then killed her and raped the men's wives.

"We are happy with the maximum sentence," said Boris Grubisic, the spokesman for the prosecutor's office.

C. African Republic

Ex-president seeks exile in Benin

COTONOU, Benin - Ousted Central African Republic President Francois Bozize is requesting exile in the tiny West African nation of Benin days after rebels invaded and overthrew his government of a decade, officials said.

Bozize requested to reside in Benin, the country's Foreign Affairs Minister Nassirou Arifari Bako confirmed late Thursday.

"It is true that he has asked Benin to welcome him, but nothing has been decided yet," Bako told The Associated Press. "It's a delicate subject."

Thousands of armed rebels invaded the capital of Central African Republic last weekend, and Bozize and his family fled to neighboring Cameroon amid the chaos.

The Associated Press