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AP Top International News at 5:09 p.m. EDT

Raul Castro retires as Cuban president, outlines future
HAVANA (AP) -- Raul Castro stepped down as president of Cuba on Thursday, handing power to a 57-year-old successor he said would hold power until 2031, a plan that would place the state the Castro brothers founded and ruled for six decades in the hands of a Communist Party official who remains little known to most people on the island....

Women take fall in Nobel scandal for man's alleged misdeeds
STOCKHOLM (AP) -- Thousands of protesters called Thursday for the resignation of the secretive board that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature after a sex-abuse scandal linked to the prestigious Swedish academy forced the ouster of its first-ever woman head and tarnished the reputation of the coveted prize....

Syrian rebels give up Damascus area town to government
BEIRUT (AP) -- The Syrian government took control of a town northeast of Damascus on Thursday after rebels evacuated to north Syria - the latest in a string of handovers by rebels to the government....

Queen tips Prince Charles to follow her as Commonwealth head
LONDON (AP) -- Queen Elizabeth II opened a summit of the 53-nation Commonwealth on Thursday, and backed her son Prince Charles to be the next leader of the association of Britain and its former colonies....

Pentagon: Sarin likely at Syria sites, but questions remain
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon said Thursday a "preponderance of the evidence" indicates there were chemical weapons, including "elements" of sarin nerve gas, at the three Syrian sites bombed by the U.S. and its allies last week. Any definitive conclusion probably will remain an open question for some time....

The Latest: Cuban-Americans in Miami expect little change
HAVANA (AP) -- The Latest on Raul Castro's handover of Cuba's presidency (all times local):...

Trump leaves open possibility of bailing on meeting with Kim
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump said that although he's looking ahead optimistically to a historic summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un he could still pull out if he feels it's "not going to be fruitful."...

FBI offers $1M for info on US reporter missing in Syria
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal authorities for the first time are offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to an American journalist who has been missing in Syria for more than five years....

Rebels in Syria's south brace for onslaught, fear wider war
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- Rebels in southern Syria who were once backed by the United States fear a new offensive by President Bashar Assad's forces, one that risks igniting a wider conflict....

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Up to the Minute
Africa
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Asia
Indian police arrest 18 Rohingya Muslims

Europe
Armenian protesters to renew efforts to stop capital traffic

Latin America/Caribbean
Caravan migrants hop freight train in Mexico heading north

Middle East
Syrian rebels give up Damascus area town to government