Crunch time in Greece as bailout due to expire, IMF loan due with no deal in sight
ATHENS, Greece — It's crunch time for Greece, with the European part of its international bailout expiring Tuesday and with it any possible access to the remaining rescue loans it contains that it needs to pay its debts.
As a result, the government is unlikely to repay a roughly 1.6 billion-euro ($1.87 billion) debt to the International Monetary Fund due Tuesday, too — a move that increases fears the country is heading to a messy default and potential exit from the euro currency.
With banks shut and Greeks limited to cash withdrawals of 60 euros ($67) per day, long lines formed once more at ATM machines. Capital controls began Monday and will last at least a week, after a weekend bank run prompted by the prime minister's call for a referendum on creditor demands in return for bailout loans.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras argues that the demands from creditors for further, tougher austerity measures cannot be accepted after six years of recession.
European officials and Greek opposition parties have warned that a rejection of the creditor proposals in Sunday's popular vote will lead Greece out of the eurozone and potentially out of the European Union itself. The government has responded by saying this is scaremongering, and that a "no" vote will mean the country is in a better negotiating position.
The Latest: European stock markets trim losses on speculation Greece considering Juncker offer
ATHENS, Greece — The latest news on Greece's financial woes on a day a big repayment to the International Monetary Fund is due and the country's bailout program with European creditors ends (all times local):
Stock markets across Europe trimmed earlier losses amid speculation that the Greek government is considering a last-minute effort by the head of the European Commission to break the deadlock between the country and its creditors.
Jean-Claude Juncker has made a last-ditch effort to help Greece get a bailout deal, provided Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras campaigns for staying in the euro.
10 Things to Know for Today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
1. CRUNCH TIME ARRIVES FOR GREECE
With the European part of its international bailout expiring Tuesday, Athens might lose any possible access to the remaining rescue loans it contains.
NATO: Coalition convoy targeted in suicide attack in Kabul; casualties expected
KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide attacker driving an explosives-packed vehicle targeted a NATO military convoy in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Tuesday, police and a NATO official said.
Police on the scene said casualties were expected. "It was a suicide car bomber, there are casualties but it is too early to know the extent of the damage," said Kabul deputy police chief Sayed Gulagha.
A spokesman for the NATO mission in Afghanistan, US Army Col. Brian Tribus, said that a coalition convoy had been attacked.
"We can confirm there was an attack on coalition forces. We are gathering information," he said.
The explosion happened at 1.20 p.m. on the main airport road in eastern Kabul. The blast sent a huge plume of black smoke over the city.
Oklahoma, Florida move quickly to resume lethal injections after Supreme Court's ruling
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma and Florida moved quickly to resume lethal injections after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of midazolam, a sedative that has been used in several problematic executions.
Attorneys general in both states asked courts Monday to allow executions to proceed, just hours after the high court voted 5-4 in a case from Oklahoma that midazolam can be used in executions without violating the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
Prison officials in both states have said previously they were ready to proceed with executions if the use of midazolam were upheld, but neither would disclose Monday how many doses they have.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt sent notice to the state Court of Criminal Appeals that Richard Eugene Glossip, John Marion Grant and Benjamin Robert Cole have exhausted their appeals and may be executed as early as Aug. 5.
"The families in these three cases have waited a combined 48 years for justice," Pruitt said in a statement.
Iran's foreign minister returns to nuclear talks in Vienna amid signs of Iranian backtracking
VIENNA — Iran's foreign minister returned to the nuclear talks in Vienna where negotiators are struggling to overcome still significant differences and preparing to work through Tuesday's self-imposed deadline for a deal.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejoined the talks after a day of consultations in Tehran and was meeting first with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
"I feel the negotiations have reached a very sensitive stage, and at this stage, with political will, determination and lots of work, progress is possible," Zarif told reporters on arriving in Vienna with Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's atomic agency, who had missed earlier sessions due to illness.
Iran's official news agency said Salehi's participation indicated Iran's serious desire to accelerate the talks and achieve a comprehensive deal. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was also expected to join the discussions.
Zarif said Iran would only accept an agreement that is "fair, balanced and also based on national pride and the rights of the Iranian people."
Former class president Chris Christie returning to high school to launch 2016 bid
NEWARK, New Jersey — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who spent three years as president of his high school class, is returning to his alma mater to announce he's running for president of his country.
The Republican governor is set to launch his campaign Tuesday in the old gymnasium of Livingston High School in the town of Livingston, New Jersey, where he experienced some of his first political victories. Christie remains close to many of his former classmates, who had inklings even then that a career in politics was in his future.
"If you were to poll and ask who would one day be governor, I think Chris would have overwhelmingly won," said Harlan Coben, now a best-selling author, who served as student council president when Christie was senior class president and played with him on the Little League baseball team in the town about 20 miles west of New York City.
In an interview with The Associated Press ahead of his 35th high school reunion earlier this year, Christie, who also served in student government during his junior high school years, talked about some of the lessons he learned from those early races. Among them: Always vote for yourself.
"The first race I ever ran in, I did not vote for myself. I voted for the other person because I actually thought that you know it was conceited to vote for yourself. And I wound up losing the election by two votes," he said. "So I learned always to vote for yourself, that's the first thing."
A year after Gaza's most destructive war, Hamas deeply entrenched despite public's frustration
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Emad Firi is angry. During last summer's Israel-Hamas war, a shell slammed through the roof of his house and shredded his right leg. Unable to work, Firi's son now drives his taxi but the family struggles to survive.
The 50-year-old blames Israel, but also the Islamic militant group Hamas which has ruled Gaza since a violent takeover in 2007. In the Hamas era, the tiny territory has endured three wars with Israel and a crippling Israeli-Egyptian border blockade that keeps most of its 1.8 million residents trapped.
"Who is not angry about this difficult situation?" Firi said, waiting at a rehabilitation clinic to finally to be fitted with an artificial leg.
But the people of Gaza won't rise up — some out of fear, he said. "If I say two words, I may go to prison," he says, as Hamas has little tolerance for dissent and often detains critics. "So we stay silent."
A year after the most destructive war in Gaza yet, Hamas remains in control — despite signs of mounting frustration and a poll indicating half the residents would emigrate if borders were open.
Indonesian air force transport plane crashes in Medan neighborhood, at least 37 dead
MEDAN, Indonesia — An Indonesian air force transport plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in the country's third-largest city of Medan, killing at least 37 people.
North Sumatra police chief Eko Hadi Sutedjo told reporters Tuesday that the plane was carrying 50 people based on its manifest.
He says 37 bodies have been transported to a Medan hospital.
Air force officials say the C-130 Hercules appeared to develop engine trouble shortly after takeoff.
Man sets self on fire on Japanese bullet train, killing himself and 1 other
ODAWARA, Japan — A man riding a Japanese high-speed bullet train set himself on fire Tuesday, killing himself and another passenger as the coach filled with smoke, a fire official said.
At least 26 other people were injured, three seriously, mostly from smoke inhalation, Odawara Fire Department official Ikutaro Torii said.
The man's motive wasn't clear.
The passenger poured an oil-like substance over his head before setting himself on fire, authorities said. Kyodo News service reported that he used a lighter. Officials said the fire was at the front of the first car in the train, which was heading from Tokyo to Osaka.
"I said to myself, 'This is bad!'" said Takeo Inariyama, a 54-year-old businessman traveling in the second car. "I saw everyone running toward me and smoke coming. Also the smell (of smoke) filled the car. So I felt my life was in danger."