By The Associated Press

Poor retail sales, glum outlook compound Spain’s troubles

MADRID, Spain — A record drop in retail sales added to Spain’s economic woes on Tuesday as the government struggled to boost market confidence in the crippled banking industry and investors remained doubtful of the country’s ability to get a grip on its debts amid a recession.

Facebook stock closes lower on second day of trading after IPO

NEW YORK — Facebook’s stock is tumbling well below its $38 IPO price in the social network’s second day of trading as a public company on Monday.

China makes growth a priority amid weak industrial activity

BEIJING — Premier Wen Jiabao called for more priority to be given to boosting China’s slowing economic growth, a state news agency reported Sunday, after unusually weak industrial activity in April prompted alarm about the world’s second-largest economy.

Greek bailout in jeopardy as left-wing leader rejects commitment to austerity

ATHENS — The smouldering debate over European austerity flared hotter Tuesday as the left-wing politician trying to form a new Greek government declared that his country is no longer bound by its pledges to impose crippling cutbacks in return for rescue loans.

Hot streak carries resilient Coyotes into West Final

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Battered and beaten down from a brutal stretch on the road, the Phoenix Coyotes reeled off 11 straight wins in February, knocking off some of the best teams in hockey.

  • May 9, 2012

Brodeur bedevils Flyers as New Jersey clinches series

Bryce Salvador, David Clarkson and Ilya Kovalchuk scored goals to lift New Jersey to a 3-1 Game 5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night, sending the Devils into the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2003.

  • May 9, 2012

Coyotes nip Predators to set a date with Kings

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Mike Smith stopped 32 shots and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 on Monday night to earn their first trip to the Western Conference finals.

  • May 8, 2012

Rangers pull off incredible comeback against Capitals to take command of series

NEW YORK — Marc Staal scored a power-play goal 1:35 into overtime after Brad Richards tied it in the dying seconds of regulation to lift the New York Rangers to a stunning 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Monday night.

  • May 8, 2012

Voters across Europe punish the promoters of austerity but where the continent goes is unclear

PARIS — The day after Francois Hollande rode to power in France on a slogan of “change now” the conversation in Europe is already different: Austerity has become a dirty word.

  • May 8, 2012

Greek coalition talks fail

ATHENS — Greece sank deeper into a political and financial morass on Monday as initial efforts to form a new coalition government failed a day after angry voters punished parties backing the country’s international bailout.

  • May 8, 2012

France votes for change, boots Sarkozy in favour of Hollande

PARIS — Socialist Francois Hollande defeated conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday to become France’s next president, heralding a change in how Europe tackles its debt crisis and how France flexes its military and diplomatic muscle around the world.

‘The Avengers’ assembles record box office

LOS ANGELES — Hulk, smash. That’s what Captain America tells the Incredible Hulk to do in 'The Avengers', and that’s what the Marvel Comics superhero mash-up did at the box office, smashing the domestic revenue record with a $200.3 million debut.

  • May 6, 2012

Germany defends drive for budget discipline amid market turmoil

BERLIN — Germany defended its pro-austerity stance on Tuesday, with Chancellor Angela Merkel and two ministers pressing for Europe to stick with a policy of fiscal discipline in spite of the latest bout of political uncertainty.

George Zimmerman takes witness stand, apologizes for shooting Trayvon Martin; gets $150K bail

SANFORD, Fla. — A routine bail hearing for a man suspected of killing a black teenager took a surprising turn into remorse and explanation Friday when the neighbourhood watch volunteer got on the witness stand and told the victim’s parents: “I am sorry for the loss of your son.”

Relatives listen in horror as Norwegian gunman describes hunting down teenage victims

OSLO, Norway — Norwegians who lost loved ones on Utoya island have relived the horror as far-right fanatic Anders Behring Breivik described in harrowing detail how he gunned down teenagers as they fled in panic or froze before him, paralyzed with fear.

Twins charged with faking ‘stock-picking robot’ to swindle investors

WASHINGTON — U.S. investors thought they were buying access to a stock-picking robot named “Marl.” Instead, they paid millions to teenage twin brothers in England who now face civil fraud charges for an alleged penny-stock swindle.

Rival Sudans claim control of oil town

Sudan and South Sudan both claimed to be in control of a contested oil town near the countries’ ill-defined border on Friday after the south said it was withdrawing its troops to avert a return to war.

‘Three Cups of Tea’ author mismanaged charity, must reimburse more than $1M

HELENA, Mon. — 'Three Cups of Tea' author Greg Mortenson mismanaged the non-profit organization he co-founded to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan and spent millions of dollars of charity money on charter flights, family vacations and personal items, according to an investigative report released Thursday.

  • Apr 5, 2012

Syrian attack in Damascus outskirts dims cease-fire hopes

BEIRUT — Syria launched a blistering assault Thursday on the outskirts of its capital, shelling residential areas and deploying snipers on rooftops as international envoy Kofi Annan demanded every fighter lay down arms in time for a UN-brokered cease-fire.

  • Apr 5, 2012

Spain takes centre stage as Europe’s debt crisis flares up again

MADRID, Spain — Rising concerns over Spain’s economy and its ability to handle its debts sent its cost of borrowing higher Thursday, sparking fears that Europe’s debt crisis is flaring up again after a brief respite.