Russian social media CEO quits, flees country

The founder of Russia's leading social media network — a wunderkind often described as Russia's Mark Zuckerberg — has left his post as CEO and fled the country as cronies of President Vladimir Putin have made steady inroads into the company's ownership.

Iran removes official in charge of prisons

Iran's official news agency says the official in charge of the country's prisons has been removed from the post. The development follows reports of alleged abuse of inmates at a Tehran penitentiary.

Mexico steps back from telecom, Internet limits

Mexico's governing party appeared to step away on Wednesday from a proposal that would authorize officials to block Internet and telecom signals, pulling back a day after anti-censorship protests that ended in clashes in Mexico City.

Sherpas leave Everest; some expeditions nix climbs

Dozens of Sherpa guides packed up their tents and left Mount Everest's base camp Wednesday, after the deaths of 16 of their colleagues in an avalanche exposed an undercurrent of resentment by Sherpas over their pay, treatment and benefits.

German, French ministers visit Moldova, Georgia

The French and German foreign ministers are making a joint visit to Moldova and Georgia, former Soviet republics that have breakaway regions with Russian-speaking populations, as tensions simmer over Russia's intentions in Ukraine.

HK, Philippines compromise over tourist deaths

Hong Kong and the Philippines reached a compromise Wednesday over Hong Kong's demands for an apology for the families of eight tourists killed in a bungled response to a 2010 Manila hostage-taking that soured relations.

Afghan election commission delays vote results

Afghanistan's election commission delayed a planned release of full results from the April 5 presidential election to allow for recounts and audits, officials said Wednesday, a development that adds to the confusion surrounding the balloting to replace President Hamid Karzai.

Last rebel bastion in Syria’s Homs expected to fall soon

Syrian regime tanks and artillery shelled rebel positions Thursday in the central old city district of Homs, according to rebels and anti-government activists, who said they believe that the last rebel bastion will be overwhelmed by government forces in the coming days.

SKorea ferry toll hits 156 as search gets tougher

As the 156th body was pulled from waters where the ferry Sewol sank a week ago, relatives of the nearly 150 still missing pressed the government Wednesday to finish the grim task of recovery soon. But the work was reaching a new, more complicated phase, with an official saying divers must now rip through cabin walls to retrieve more victims.