World

NEW YORK - Norwegian Cruise Line is sailing into the luxury sector by buying the high-end Prestige Cruises International.

The deal will give Norwegian access to Prestige's eight ships on the Oceania and Regent Seven Seas cruise lines and its big-ticket vacation packages. Norwegian, which owns 13 ships, is known for its "Freestyle Cruising" that lets travellers choose where they want to eat and at what time.

BEIRUT - Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, "our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people."

The footage — depicting what the U.S. said appeared to be a sickening act of brutality — was posted two weeks after the release of video showing the killing of James Foley and days after Sotloff's mother pleaded for his life.

Easy credit and longer-term loans currently being offered at auto dealerships can make buying an expensive car alluring. Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at the Bankrate.com website, says consumers with poor credit shouldn't bite.

Consumers tend to focus on the payment rather than the interest rate, which likely will be far higher than the below 3-per cent rate now available to those with good credit.

"They engage in the dangerous financial habit known as payment shopping," McBride says.

Here's what he suggests instead.

NEW YORK - Apple says that some celebrity accounts were deliberately targeted and hacked, leading to the posting of nude photos online.

The company says its investigation found that individual accounts had been compromised. It says there wasn't a general breach involving its systems, including the iCloud and Find my iPhone services.

The FBI said Monday that it was addressing allegations that online accounts of several celebrities, including Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, had been hacked, leading to the posting of their nude photographs online.

WASHINGTON - The leader of the Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group was the target of U.S. military airstrikes that struck an encampment and a vehicle there on Monday night, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.

Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said the results of the strike are still being assessed and he can't confirm if Somali Ahmed Abdi Godane, the rebel leader, was hit.

WASHINGTON - A family spokesman says relatives of freelance journalist Steven Sotloff are aware of a new video purporting to show his beheading by Islamic State militants.

In a two-sentence statement Tuesday, family spokesman Barak Barfi said Sotloff's family, quote, "knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately."

The family has not been told whether the video is authentic, and Barfi said the family does not plan to make any additional comments now.

NOVOKATERYNIVKA, Ukraine - The Ukrainian solders were an easy target as they launched a desperate run to safety. Pounded by a gauntlet of rocket shells, blown up in their vehicles, they died by the dozens.

In fields around the eastern Ukrainian village of Novokaterynivka, more than thirty army vehicles lay charred and pulverized into twisted piles of metal Tuesday — the result of a devastating weekend ambush by separatist forces.

WASHINGTON - A new study says that as the world gets warmer, parts of North America, Europe and Asia could see more frequent and stronger visits of cold air as the world gets warmer.

Researchers say that's because of shrinking ice in the seas off Russia. Less iced would let more energy go from the ocean into the air, and that would weaken the atmospheric forces that usually keep cold air trapped in the Arctic.

But at times it escapes and wanders south, bringing with it a bit of Arctic super chill.

SOTO DEL REAL, Spain - Spanish officials have ordered the immediate release of a detained British couple who were wanted by police in the United Kingdom after they took their critically ill child for treatment abroad without doctors' consent.

The National Court in Madrid said in a statement that a judge decided to free the couple Tuesday after British authorities dropped the case against them.

BUFFALO, N.Y. - A bank purposely avoided giving mortgages to African-Americans by locating all of its branches outside black neighbourhoods and directing advertising and loan products toward largely white communities, New York's attorney general said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday as part of a wider investigation into an illegal practice known as redlining.

Evans Bank is accused in the federal civil complaint of violating federal, state and local housing and discrimination laws, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said at a news conference in Buffalo.

PHOENIX - A 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an instructor with an Uzi at a shooting range said immediately after the shooting that she felt the gun was too much for her and had hurt her shoulder, according to police reports released Tuesday.

Her family members were focused on the girl because they thought she was injured by the gun's recoil and didn't immediately realize instructor Charles Vacca had been shot until one of his colleagues ran over to him.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Thirty-two teens escaped from a Nashville youth detention centre by crawling under a weak spot in a fence late Monday, and nine were still on the run Tuesday, a spokesman said.

The teens — ages 14 to 19 — left their rooms at about 11 p.m. Monday night and "overwhelmed" the staff in a common area, Tennessee Department of Children's Services spokesman Rob Johnson said. "Staffing was lighter during the overnight hours, so presumably they had planned for that."

NEW YORK - Joan Rivers' family is confirming that the comedian is on life support after going into cardiac arrest last week during a procedure at a doctor's office.

Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said in a statement Tuesday that her mother is on life support "at this time." Melissa said the family is extremely grateful for the public support.

SAN FRANCISCO - Netflix is giving its Internet video subscribers a more discreet way to recommend movies and TV shows to their Facebook friends after realizing most people don't want to share their viewing habits with large audiences.

Until now, Netflix subscribers linking the service to their Facebook accounts automatically disclosed everything they were watching with a potentially wide-reaching range of people. The company believes the open-ended approach discouraged most Netflix subscribers from connecting their accounts with their Facebook profiles.

The international group Doctor Without Borders warned Tuesday that the world is losing the battle against Ebola and lamented that treatment centres in West Africa have been "reduced to places where people go to die alone" as authorities race to contain the disease.

In Liberia, a missionary organization announced that another American doctor has become infected.

MOGADISHU, Somalia - A U.S. airstrike in Somalia killed at least six members of the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, possibly including its leader who was in a car that was hit.

The leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, has no heir apparent and if he has been killed, al-Shabab could ditch its association with al-Qaida and align itself with the Islamic State group, analysts say.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - A top Saudi security official said Tuesday that police had arrested 88 men suspected of being part of an al-Qaida cell that was plotting attacks inside and outside of the kingdom.

Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki did not give any details about the alleged plots, but said 59 of men arrested had previously served prison sentences for similar offences. He said they were also planning assassinations.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Officials say a Delta Air Lines flight from New York to West Palm Beach was diverted because of a passenger dispute over a reclining seat.

The flight was diverted to Jacksonville on Monday night. According to a report by the Jacksonville Airport Authority, 32-year-old Amy Fine was resting her head on her tray table when the passenger ahead of her reclined the seat. The seat hit Fine's head, and witnesses say the two passengers began arguing. Flight attendants called Fine combative.

LONDON - It's official. She is not amused.

The U.S. ambassador to Britain has told Tatler magazine that the Queen finds the obsession with mobile phone images a bit disconcerting. The monarch expressed her dismay to Matthew Barzun, who spoke with her when presenting his credentials as America's representative.

The magazine quoted Barzun as saying "she was essentially saying, 'I miss eye contact.' "

SANAA, Yemen - The Yemeni president on Tuesday dismissed the Cabinet including the prime minister who led it for two years, while partially reversing an earlier decision to lift fuel subsidies in a bid to end a standoff with Shiite rebels holding anti-government protests across the country.

WASHINGTON - Chris Brown pleaded guilty on Tuesday to hitting a man outside a Washington hotel, an assault that occurred while the singer was on probation for attacking his then-girlfriend Rihanna.

Brown pleaded guilty to misdemeanour assault and was sentenced to time served. He spent two days in a District of Columbia jail in this case.

The Grammy-winning singer was arrested in October. The victim told police Brown hit him after he tried to get in a picture the singer was taking with two women.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - A Penn State student is gaining an Internet reputation as a "squirrel whisperer" for befriending, feeding and dressing up a furry little friend she has named "Sneezy."

Junior Mary Krupa tells WJAC-TV (http://bit.ly/1B9IvPf ) that she's able to dress up the squirrel in party hats, or get Sneezy to hold doll-sized props, simply by feeding the animal.

Krupa and Sneezy's exploits are chronicled in a Facebook page titled "Sneezy the Penn State Squirrel."

VENICE, Italy - Is there a language Viggo Mortensen doesn't speak?

The multilingual Danish-American actor has performed in everything from English to Elvish. Now he tackles French — as well the power of silence — in Venice Film Festival entry "Far From Men," a stark story about two men, a schoolteacher and a murderer, caught up in Algeria's war for independence.

Mortensen also learned some Arabic for the film by French director David Oelhoffen. So how many tongues has he used onscreen?

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. - Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is scheduled to appear in court for a change-of-plea hearing on drug-related charges he faces from a traffic stop in March.

Irsay was due to appear in a Hamilton County court in Noblesville on Tuesday morning.

The 55-year-old Irsay has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving while intoxicated and driving with a Schedule I or II controlled substance in his body.

PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of - It's a hot, sunny morning at the newly refurbished Sosan Football Stadium in Pyongyang. Two women's soccer teams head to the sidelines of the artificial turf, leaving only a row of archers to continue their practice before several senior sports ministry officials. So sure are they of their aim — or, perhaps, so impromptu is the decision to have them shoot here — that there are no barriers behind the targets, posted on simple squares of straw.

The archers have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders.