Obama asks people not to forget U.S. "is still at war"


President Barack Obama urged his fellow citizens not to forget that the United States "is still at war" in a Memorial Day speech.

Speaking at Arlington National Cemetery, on the outskirts of Washington, the president said that he is concerned that the sacrifices U.S. troops are making will be forgotten now that the majority of Americans "are not directly touched by war."

"Today, a transition is underway in Afghanistan, and our troops are coming home. Fewer Americans are making the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan, and that's progress for which we are profoundly grateful," he said.

"As we gather here today, at this very moment, more than 60,000 of our fellow Americans still serve far from home in Afghanistan," Obama said, adding that troops and military families have raised with him "their concern about whether the country fully appreciates what's happening."




14 Die in clash between Philippine soldiers, Muslim militants


Fourteen people were killed in a clash between soldiers and militants of the radical Islamic group Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippines, media outlets said.

Seven soldiers and seven radicals were killed in a shootout last Saturday in the Patikul district of Sulu province.

The soldiers were part of a reconnaissance group that ran into the Muslim extremists by chance and the battle ensued, military sources said.

Founded in 1991 by Philippine Muslims who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan, Abu Sayyaf is a local chapter of Jamiat Islamiya, the Southeast Asian branch of al-Qaeda.




Argentine teachers strike, leaving 4.5 million students with no classes


Teachers in Argentina's richest and most-populous province began a two-day strike to demand pay hikes, leaving some 4.5 million students with no classes.

The new job action was launched despite the fact that the Buenos Aires provincial government had warned it would dock the teachers' pay for the days they did not work.

"We're demanding that the discussion be resumed on the salary negotiation, which the government said was finished with an increase of 22 percent when we were demanding 30 percent," a spokesman for the Buenos Aires Educators Association told Efe.

Some 98 percent of the teachers joined the strike, the spokesperson said.




Bus crash kills 16, injures 19 in Mexico


The accident that killed 16 people and injured 21 others over the weekend on the Mexico City-Tampico highway was caused by speeding and poor maintenance of the vehicle, state officials said.

The accident occurred Sunday near Corredor de la Montaña, a town in Hidalgo state.

The vehicle's tires were bald and it was in "bad condition," an Hidalgo government spokesman told Efe.

Two of the injured are in serious condition, the official said, adding that eight others would be released later in the day from the hospitals where they were treated in Pachuca, the capital of Hidalgo.




Mudslide kills 7 in Mexico


Seven people were killed and four others injured when a mudslide buried part of the highway linking this capital with the central city of Queretaro, 213 kilometers (132 miles) to the northwest, Mexico's transportation secretary said.

Heavy rain and hail Sunday night sent a wave of mud and rocks down the side of a mountain near Tepeji del Rio in Hidalgo state, Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said on Twitter.

Efforts to clear the highway are in progress, the secretary said.

Seven vehicles were buried in the mudslide, the source said, adding that several homes in the area were flooded.




Heat take series lead over Pacers; Spurs eye sweep of Grizzlies


The Miami Heat scored 70 points in the first half on the way to a 114-96 drubbing of the Indiana Pacers to take a 2-1 lead in the NBA Eastern Conference finals.

After splitting the first two games in Miami, the defending champion Heat arrived in Indianapolis with something to prove.

The Pacers, regarded as one of the NBA's best teams on defense, seemed powerless to contain the visitors, who were led by LeBron James with 22 points and Dwyane Wade with 18 points and a team-high eight assists.

Udonis Haslem had 17 points and the other member of Miami's Big Three, Chris Bosh, scored 15.