Independence Day filled with concerts, parades and politics

NEW YORK (AP) — The national holiday to mark America's birth as a country will be filled with parades, concerts, competitive eating and of course, fireworks.

But Independence Day won't be free from politics, as President Donald Trump's plan for a celebration in Washington featuring a display of tanks , fighter jets and a stealth bomber is garnering support from some and protests from others.

Highlights from celebrations around the country:


The Macy's fireworks show over the East River in New York City is said to be one of the biggest in the country.Read more on

Report: Iraq gov’t detains thousands in degrading conditions

BAGHDAD (AP) — A leading international human rights organization criticized the Iraqi government Thursday for holding thousands of prisoners, including children, in degrading and "inhuman" conditions.

Human Rights Watch cited extreme overcrowding in three pretrial detention facilities in northern Iraq's Nineveh province where prisoners are held mostly on terrorism charges.Read more on

82 migrants missing at sea day after deadly Libya airstrike

CAIRO (AP) — A boat carrying 86 migrants from Libya sank in the Mediterranean Sea and only three passengers are known to have survived the shipwreck the day after an airstrike on a Libyan detention center killed at least 44 migrants, the U.N. migration agency said Thursday.

The International Organization for Migration said the boat sank late Wednesday off the Tunisian city of Zarzis and 82 of the migrants who had been on board were missing.Read more on

Australian student released in North Korea says ‘I’m OK’

TOKYO (AP) — An Australian student released after a week in detention in North Korea arrived in Tokyo on Thursday after telling reporters he was in "very good" condition, without saying what happened to him.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced to Parliament that Alek Sigley, 29, had been released following intervention from Swedish diplomats and had been taken to the Australian Embassy in Beijing.

Later Thursday, Sigley flew to Tokyo's Haneda airport to reunite with his Japanese wife.Read more on

Migrants say Libya militias conscripted them to clean arms

CAIRO (AP) — Migrants who survived the deadly airstrike on a Libyan detention center said Thursday they had been conscripted by a local militia to work in an adjacent weapons workshop.

The decision to store weapons at the facility in Tajoura, to the east of Tripoli, may have made it a target for the self-styled Libyan National Army, which is at war with an array of militias allied with a weak, U.N.-recognized government in the capital.

The Tripoli government has blamed Wednesday's pre-dawn strike, which killed at least 44 migrants and wounded more than 130, on the LNA and its foreign backers.Read more on