ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A time few could imagine during the not-too-distant glory days of casino gambling has arrived in Atlantic City, where two casinos will close this weekend and a third will shut down in two weeks.
BONANZA, Nicaragua (AP) — The first 11 of 24 freelance gold miners trapped by a collapse in a mine in northern Nicaragua have been rescued and crews were working early Saturday to free more, officials said.
A new study reports one of the biggest potential advances against heart failure in more than a decade — a first-of-a-kind, experimental drug that lowered the chances of death or hospitalization by about 20 percent.
BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders on Saturday were poised to impose new sanctions against Russia as Ukraine's president warned the conflict with Moscow threatens peace and stability for Europe as a whole.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Sept. 11 memorial plaza will be open on the night of the attacks' anniversary this year, the first time the general public will be able to visit ground zero on the commemoration date.
The plaza will be closed to the public during the remembrance ceremony and much of the rest of the day, but it will open from 6 p.m. to midnight for those who want to pay respects and view one of the most evocative observances — the twin beams called the Tribute in Light — from an especially "meaningful vantage point," memorial President Joe Daniels said in an email Thursday to victims' families.
A symbolic shift for a site that was inaccessible to the public for years after the attacks, the plan reflects its increasing openness as more gets rebuilt.
The memorial plaza, with its massive reflecting pools etched with the names of the dead, opened in 2011. But to control crowds amid construction elsewhere on the World Trade Center property, tickets and security screening were required until this spring. Since the ticketed, underground memorial museum opened in May, open access has been allowed during days and evenings at the plaza, which joins the streetscape of lower Manhattan even as it serves as a place of remembrance protected by police and security guards. Museum officials said that security measures would be in place for the public hours on Sept. 11 but that they couldn't disclose details.
The night hours on Sept. 11 will provide visitors a solemn setting for looking at the Tribute in Light, which first appeared on March 11, 2002, to mark the six months that had passed since the attacks. It has become a moving, quietly powerful element of the anniversaries since.
It shines from a roof near the trade center, traditionally from sunset to dawn. Formed from 88 powerful bulbs positioned into two squares that echo the fallen Twin Towers, the light memorial reaches four miles skyward, according to the Municipal Art Society, a nonprofit group that orchestrates the $500,000-a-year project.
The museum will be closed to the public throughout the day.
The private anniversary ceremony will be held on the plaza in the morning, a tribute that has centered on reading of the names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in New York, at the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in the 2001 attacks, as well as recognizing the six people killed in the 1993 trade center bombing.
"Of course, remembering those we lost is something we do each and every day," Daniels noted in his message Thursday.
GENEVA (AP) — The civil war in Syria has forced a record 3 million people out of the country as more than a million people fled in the past year, the U.N. refugee agency said Friday.
The tragic milestone means that about one of every eight Syrians has fled across the border, and 6.5 million others have been displaced within Syria since the conflict began in March 2011, the Geneva-based agency said. More than half of all those uprooted are children, it said.
"The Syria crisis has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, yet the world is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them," said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.
Syria had a prewar population of 23 million.
The recent surge in fighting appears to be worsening the already desperate situation for Syrian refugees, the agency said, as the extremist Islamic State group expands its control of broad areas straddling the Syria-Iraq border and terrorizes rivals and civilians in both countries.
According to the agency, many of the new arrivals in Jordan come from the northern province of Aleppo and the northeastern region of Raqqa, a stronghold of the group. An independent U.N. commission says the group is systematically carrying out widespread bombings, beheadings and mass killings that amount to crimes against humanity in both areas.
The commission investigating potential war crimes in Syria said on Wednesday that the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad likely used chlorine gas to attack civilians, who are bearing the brunt of a civil war that has killed more than 190,000 people and destabilized the region.
The massive numbers of Syrians fleeing the civil war has stretched the resources of neighboring countries and raised fears of violence spreading in the region.
The U.N. estimates there are nearly 35,000 people awaiting registration as refugees, and hundreds of thousands who are not registered.
International Rescue Committee President David Miliband said the Syrian refugee crisis represents "3 million indictments of government brutality, opposition violence and international failure."
"This appalling milestone needs to generate action as well as anger," he said, calling for more aid to Syria's overburdened neighbors and for civilians still in the country.
The refugee agency and other aid groups say an increasing number of families are arriving in other countries in shockingly poor condition, exhausted and scared and with almost no financial savings left after having been on the run for a year or more. In eastern Jordan, for example, the agency says refugees crossing the desert are forced to pay smugglers $100 per person or more to be taken to safety.
Lebanon hosts 1.14 million Syrian refugees, the single highest concentration. Turkey has 815,000 and Jordan has 608,000.