Rare type of twins born holding hands

Twin girls born with a rare condition in Ohio were breathing on their own and their mother said she and her husband were able to hold them on Mother’s Day. Sarah Thistlethwaite said babies Jillian and Jenna were removed from ventilators Sunday afternoon after they were able to breathe comfortably. The identical twin girls shared the same amniotic sac and placenta. Such births are called monoamniotic, or “mono mono,” and doctors say they occur in about one of every 10,000 pregnancies. They were born Friday, holding each other’s hands when doctors lifted them up for their parents to see after delivery.



State to appeal gay marriage ruling

The state’s top lawyer will ask the Arkansas Supreme Court to review a lower court’s decision to overturn a 2004 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced his intent to appeal to the high court late Saturday night, but not before 15 licenses were issued for same-sex couples in northwest Arkansas’ Carroll County, heralding the arrival of gay marriage in the Bible Belt.



Wall collapse kills 18 after heavy rain

Heavy rain caused a retaining wall to collapse at a recycling plant in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao, killing 18 people, state media reported. The wall that collapsed crushed a house for workers in which 40 people were gathered. The wall collapsed due to waterlogging after a rainstorm.


Front-runner gets boost from rival

The front-runner in Afghanistan’s presidential contest picked up a major endorsement as he sought to consolidate his support before an expected runoff next month. Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister who was the top vote-getter in the April 5 election, appeared in Kabul with the third-place finisher, Zalmay Rassoul.


South Sudan

Truce with rebels is quickly broken

A commitment to end five months of fighting in South Sudan was broken within hours as the government and rebels blamed each other for violating a truce that came into effect late Saturday. Both sides were in “active combat” around Bentiu, the capital of oil-rich Unity state, while rebel positions in Upper Nile region were shelled, said a rebel spokesman. Government troops early Sunday repelled an attack near Bentiu, President Salva Kiir said in Juba.


Gunmen storm barracks, kill 20

Militants in Iraq launched an audacious attack on a military barracks in a remote area in the country’s north and killed 20 troops overnight, including some who had been bound and shot at close range, authorities said as other attacks killed 18. The killings at the military barracks in a village outside of Mosul represents the latest blow to the government’s efforts to achieve stability in restive Sunni-dominated areas.



Aid for couple held in daughter’s death

Advocates for Matthew and Grace Huang of Los Angeles, held in Qatar since their adopted African daughter died there in January 2013 after not eating for days, have posted a YouTube video about their story, which contains previously unpublicized footage and photographs depicting a happy family and offers new insights into the circumstances behind her death.

News services