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story.lead_photo.caption Specialists detonated a 550-pound American bomb Sunday in the Main River in Frankfurt, Germany.

WWII-era bomb found in German river

BERLIN -- Some 600 people were evacuated from their homes in the old city of Frankfurt so specialists could remove a World War II-era bomb that was discovered in the Main River.

The German news agency dpa reported that the bomb was safely disposed of, as planned, underwater on Sunday, which led to a loud detonation and a big splash on the river. Police told dpa that "the bomb is no longer a danger."

Firefighters discovered the American 550-pound bomb during diving training in the river on Tuesday.

May, Labor pin Brexit hopes on talks

Both Theresa May's government and the opposition Labor Party said Sunday that their talks represented the best chance of finding a Brexit solution and ending months of deadlock.

But even as David Lidington, May's unofficial deputy, said there was common ground between the two sides, a former leader of May's Conservative Party called on her to end the discussions, pull Britain out of the European Union and then resign as prime minister.

Parliament is in recess until April 23, but the negotiations will continue. Lidington told the BBC on Sunday that the talks involved "testing" possible solutions, and both sides will have to make concessions. He said the government believed it would be possible to get "the benefits of a customs union" -- which Labor wants -- "but still have a flexibility for the U.K. to pursue an independent trade policy on top of that."

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith told Sky News that he'd seen signs the EU was ready to give way on the question of the Irish border and that even if it weren't, May should take the U.K. out of the bloc without a deal. The prime minister should "aim everything" toward getting the U.K. out of the EU before the May 23 European elections and the departure date that May had originally planned should "still stand," he said.

Assange lawyer alleges lies by Ecuador

LONDON -- A lawyer representing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange alleged Sunday that Ecuador's government has spread lies about his actions inside its embassy in London, where Assange sought asylum in 2012.

The Latin American country has claimed Assange's behavior deteriorated before his arrest Thursday and included putting excrement on walls, leaving soiled laundry in the bathroom and not properly looking after his cat. Lawyer Jennifer Robinson told British TV outlet Sky News the Ecuadorean government is spreading falsehoods to divert attention from its decision to revoke his asylum and allow his arrest at its British embassy.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno ended Assange's protected status after more than 6½ years and opened the way for his arrest Thursday. Moreno said Assange abused Ecuador's goodwill, mistreated embassy staff and used his perch to try to interfere in foreign political affairs.

Assange, who appeared much older when he emerged from the embassy than when he sought refuge there in August 2012, is in custody at Belmarsh Prison in southeast London awaiting sentencing in Britain for skipping bail to avoid being sent to Sweden as part of an investigation into a rape allegation. Assange's next court appearance is scheduled for May 2. In the meantime, he is expected to seek prison medical care for severe shoulder pain and dental problems, WikiLeaks has said.

Sweden is considering reviving the investigation. The United States also is seeking his extradition after charging him with conspiring to break into a Pentagon computer system, which could lead to competing extradition demands.

Death toll in Libyan clashes rises to 121

CAIRO -- More than 120 people have been killed since a Libyan military commander launched an assault on the capital of Tripoli 10 days ago, igniting clashes with rival militias, the U.N. health agency said Sunday.

The self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, launched a surprise offensive on April 5 and is battling rival militias loosely affiliated with a weak U.N.-backed government.

The World Health Organization said 121 people have been killed in the fighting and another 561 have been wounded. It did not specify whether they were fighters or civilians. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said more than 13,500 people have been displaced, and that "significant numbers of civilians" remain stuck in areas where the fighting has escalated.

U.N. envoy Ghassan Salame said a school was bombed in the town of Ain Zara, about 9 miles southeast of Tripoli, without saying who was responsible.

Hifter has vowed to unify the country after years of chaos after the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi met with Hifter in Cairo on Sunday, the presidency said, without providing further details.

-- COMPILED BY DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE STAFF FROM WIRE REPORTS

Photo by AP/Egyptian presidency media office
Khalifa Hifter (left), commander of the Libyan National Army, meets with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Sunday in Cairo.

A Section on 04/15/2019

Print Headline: May, Labor pin Brexit hopes on talks WWII-era bomb found in German river 120 people slain in Libya militia clashes Assange lawyer alleges lies by Ecuador

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