A group of neo-Nazi arrested in France

PARIS (AP) — France's Interior minister said a neo-Nazi group of eleven people has been arrested.
The members of the group, who were spreading racist messages, were arrested Wednesday in an investigation of "criminal association" and "participation to a combatant group", Bernard Cazeneuve said Friday in a written statement.
Eleven rifles, two guns, 28 knives, some bullet-proof vests and helmets and several Nazi flags were among the items seized during police raids in eight regions of France.
The three "most active members" of the group were brought before a judge Friday to be charged, the statement said.

India's Nehwal storms into home turf semi

New Delhi (AFP) – Defending champion Saina Nehwal stormed into a home turf semi-final at the India Open on Friday, with Japan's number two seed Kento Momota booking his place in men's event.
Second seed Nehwal had a tough fight to down fifth seed South Korean Sung Ji Hyun in 83 minutes.
The 26-year-old dropped the first set but battled hard to win 19-21, 21-14, 21-19 in front of a cheering home crowd.
The Olympic bronze medallist will next meet world number 2 Li Xuerui of China, who beat compatriot Wang Shixian 22-20, 12-21, 21-17 in the quarters.
Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon defeated Taiwan's eighth seeded Tai Tzu Ying 12-21 21-14 22-20 in another closely contested quarter final match, while India's Pusarla Sindhu lost to South Korean Bae Yeon Ju 15-21, 21-15, 21-15.
On men's side, Japan's Kento Momota thrashed Denmark's unseeded Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in straight sets 21-8, 21-9 to qualify for the next round on Saturday.
Fifth seed Dane Viktor Axelsen beat Wei Nan of Hong Kong 21-17, 21-12.
On Thursday star shuttlers Lin Dan of China and Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei crashed out of the tournament.
The finals for both the men's and women's singles will be played on Sunday at New Delhi's Siri Fort stadium.

Brazil's Petrobras and Odebrecht to reduce costs

SAO PAULO (AP) — Two Brazilian companies ensnared in massive corruption investigation say they plan to cut billions of dollars in costs or sell off assets.
State-run oil company Petrobras says in a Friday statement that it has approved a voluntary layoff program to reduce its workforce by about 12,000 and save 33 billion reals (about $9.20 billion) by 2020.
In an interview published Friday by the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, the head of the Odebrecht construction company says it has put assets up for sale to raise R$12 billion (US$ 3.3 billion).
Newton de Souza became president in 2015 after former chief executive Marcelo Odebrecht was arrested. In early March he was sentenced to 19 years in prison on charges of corruption and money laundering.

South Africa's Zuma denies dishonesty over Nkandla saga

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African President Jacob Zuma said on Friday he only ever acted in good faith in his handling of a 2014 watchdog report into $16 million of state-funded improvements to his private home and would pay back a portion of the money.
In an address to the nation the day after a scathing constitutional court ruling, Zuma apologized for the "frustration and confusion" created by the scandal over his Nkandla residence.
(Reporting by Ed Cropley; Editing by Ed Stoddard)

Greece passes asylum law needed for EU-Turkey migrants deal

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek lawmakers on Friday passed an asylum amendment bill needed for the implementation of a European Union agreement with Turkey for the return of refugees and migrants from Greek islands to Turkey starting on Monday.
The deal aims to end the uncontrolled influx of refugees and other migrants after more than one million people crossed into Europe last year.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Karolina Tagaris)

Syria's Palmyra: Ghost town bearing scars of IS destruction

PALMYRA, Syria (AP) — Explosions rocked the ancient town of Palmyra on Friday and on the horizon, black smoke wafted behind its majestic Roman ruins, as Syrian army experts carefully detonated hundreds of mines they say were planted by Islamic State militants before they fled the town.
An Associated Press crew visiting the town Friday witnessed firsthand the destruction inflicted by the extremist group on the town's famed archaeological site, less than a mile away from the modern-day town of the same name, now completely deserted.
While some parts of the site, including the Roman-era grand colonnades and amphitheater appeared relatively untouched, the damage was very much visible elsewhere.
The remarkable Arch of Triumph, built under the Roman emperor Septimius Severus between A.D. 193 and A.D. 211, has been reduced to a pile of stones, blown up by IS extremists who filmed the destruction for the world to see. The monumental arch once sat atop the famed colonnaded streets of the ancient town.
The Temple of Baalshamin and parts of the Temple of Bel, one of the best-preserved Roman-era sites, are also destroyed.
Apart from the Roman ruins themselves, heavy damage could be seen on parts of the walls of Palmyra's towering Mamluk-era citadel, built during the Islamic conquest in the 13th century. On top of the scarred citadel, a Syrian flag flies in the wind.
Palmyra is located about 248 kilometers (155 miles) east of Damascus, the Syrian capital. Government troops, backed by allied militiamen and Russian airstrikes retook the town on Sunday from IS militants who had controlled Palmyra and its environs for 10 months.
Ancient Palmyra is a UNESCO heritage site — an archaeological gem that attracted tens of thousands of tourists every year.
It was completely deserted on Friday, except for Syrian army soldiers working on dismantling explosives and visiting journalists. The town — about a kilometer away from the ruins — is completely deserted, its remaining residents had fled as the Syrian army's offensive against IS began a month ago.
Traces of the fighting could be seen all around. Burned cars parked on the side of the road, electricity cables strewn about on the streets, and scattered empty water tanks apparently used as barricades.
At the entrance to the Roman amphitheater, where IS filmed children shooting captive Syrian soldiers in the head, black graffiti is sprayed on a stone wall.
"Lasting and Expanding," it read in Arabic, a logo of the Islamic State group. "The Islamic State" is scribbled on another nearby wall.
A Syrian officer told reporters that more than 3,000 mines have so far been dismantled. "They booby-trapped everything, trees, doors, animals," he said, speaking of the militants. Russian sappers have arrived in Syria to help the Syrian army clear mines in and around the town.
The recapture of Palmyra was a strategic coup for President Bashar Assad through which he hopes to convince the West that the Syrian army is a credible partner in combatting terror as it ramps up the fight against the Islamic State.
"The Syrian army is defending Rome and London in as much as it is defending Damascus," another officer told reporters Friday. Both officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give statements to media crews.
He handed the visiting reporters a booklet he said the militants had apparently distributed to residents of Palmyra.
It reads: "Loyalty to Islam, not to the nation."
Associated Press writer Zeina Karam in Beirut contributed to this report.

Missing Texas mother found dead in car, children alive in back seat

By Lisa Maria Garza
DALLAS (Reuters) – A woman from a Dallas suburb who was reported missing this week was found dead inside her sport-utility vehicle in a shopping center parking lot with her three children alive in the back seat, police said on Friday.
Police in Frisco, about 25 miles north of Dallas, discovered the body of Christine Woo, 39, in a Honda Pilot at a Target parking lot on Thursday evening. The cause of death has not yet been determined. Police would not say if there were signs of trauma on Woo.
The children, a 5-year-old girl, 3-year-old boy and 1-year-old girl, were taken to a hospital for evaluation, police said. Local media reported that they were severely dehydrated.
Brandon Woo, her husband, reported on Tuesday that his family had been missing since Monday, police said.
Surveillance video released by authorities showed the mother and her children shopping at a local drug store the same day about 15 miles from where she was found dead.
"She's a loving mother," her husband told local TV station WFAA. "She's like a lioness, she would fight for her kids, she would never hurt her kids at all."

(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Fiona Ortiz)

10 Ways to Finally Make Fitness a Habit

Most people go on and off of their workouts like bad fad diets.
But, just like with clean eating, good sleep and brushing your teeth, consistency in exercise is critical to better health. So how do you rehab your on-again, off-again relationship with the gym to become a fitness faithful? Follow these 10 tips, courtesy of trainers and psychologists, to make fitness a lifelong habit:
1. Forget the 'Go Hard or Go Home' Mentality
Hourlong, sweat-soaked workouts are great, but they don't all have to be so grueling. And, when you're trying to make fitness a habit, they shouldn't be. Besides potentially pushing your body harder than what it's ready for and upping your risk of injury, a "go hard or go home" line of thinking generally ends in you throwing in the towel, says clinical psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, author of "Better than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love."
End your all-or-nothing approach and prevent burnout by starting small. "If you watch TV, set up a stationary bike and spin easy while watching," says Pat Gilles, a Wisconsin-based certified strength and conditioning coach. "You would be amazed how a set of five push-ups when done throughout the day can equal 200." Bonus: Compared to performing one 30-minute workout, fitting in three 10-minute mini workouts may be superior for improving your heart health, per 2015 research in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.
[See: The 10 Best Diets for Fast Weight Loss.]
2. Stop Waiting to Have Time
"When you decide to work out 'when you have time,' you never will have time and you will never work out," says Lombardo, who recommends scheduling your workouts like any other priority. Because, in fact, they are a priority. "While some studies show the best time to work out is the morning, I find in my clinical practice that the best time really depends on the individual," she says. "If you know you are never going to get up early to go to the gym, then you might do better penning in a time in the evening or during lunch."
3. Give it Eight Weeks
The whole "it takes 21 days to form a habit" is idealistic, if not altogether unrealistic. While, if nothing unexpected or stressful pops up onto your plate, you can likely cement a habit in three weeks, real life includes stress, frustrations, surprises and family drama, Lombardo says. All of that can delay how long it takes for you to get into the exercise groove and make hitting the gym a true habit. For that reason, Mike Donavanik, a certified strength and conditioning coach in Los Angeles, tells his clients that it takes a good eight weeks of consistent workouts to make future ones automatic.
[See: The 38 Easiest Diets to Follow: in Pictures.]
4. Make it Convenient
Nowadays, between supermarket delivery services and Skype-based therapy sessions, convenience is more important than ever. The same goes for exercise — especially for newbies trying to make it a habit, Gilles says. So if you are looking to join a gym, choose one that's near your home or work — or put together your own one in the basement. If you want to get in a morning workout, lay out your clothes and breakfast the night before, Lombardo says. Consider your workout and make it a point to remove any and all obstacles standing between it and you.
5. Find Your Fitness Personality
When it comes to working out, there's no stronger instigator than intrinsic motivation — the desire to do something simply because you like doing it. So, if you've always left the gym thinking "well, that was no fun," finding a workout that you truly enjoy has the potential to radically change your relationship with exercise, Donavanik says. Try to pinpoint your fitness personality. Do you like to work out with others or need some alone time? Do you like fast-paced workouts or slower ones? Are you competitive or into mindfulness? "If you don't like lifting, go spinning. If you don't like spinning, go do CrossFit. If you don't like CrossFit, do yoga," he says. "I guarantee you can find something that you like. You just need to be open minded to the idea of actually liking something."
6. Get Accountable
"Accountability is an integral part of helping you stick with workouts," Lombardo says. But accountability doesn't have to equate to enlisting the support of a workout buddy. It could mean hiring a personal trainer, placing a bet on GymPact or DietBet, logging workouts in your fitness tracker or signing up in advance for paid workout classes, Gilles says. Again, gauging your fitness personality can help you find the right course of accountability action for you.
7. Stop Using Exercise as Punishment
A lot of people think of exercise as a punishment or a way to "offset" their favorite, less-than-healthy foods. So, as a result, exercise becomes a chore and a time for self-critique, Donavanik says. Sound like you? No wonder you aren't consistent with your workouts. Research from Syracuse University shows that the more dissatisfied people are with their bodies, the more likely they are to avoid exercise. "Instead, when you put 'gym' in your schedule, think of it more as 'me time' and allow yourself the luxury to do something good for yourself," he says. "Make your workout an opportunity to de-stress, to take time just for yourself and to not worry about anything else."
[See: How to Weigh Yourself the Right Way.]
8. Make the Right Goals
"Focus on performance over results," Lombardo says. "Too often, people base their feelings about exercise according to their results. Thinking such as, 'I haven't lost any weight; this is not working' can ensue. And it's tough to enjoy something when you view it as a failure." By focusing on the immediate rewards of your gym time (for instance, working out increases all-day energy levels, improves sleep quality, fights brain fog and can even take the edge off of a headache) every workout feels worth it.
9. Drop the Comparisons
Comparing yourself to others in the gym — namely those who are fitter than you — is a surefire way to make yourself feel defeated and want to give up. But just because the guy at the squat rack made fitness a habit before you did doesn't mean that you can't, too, Lombardo says. "Remember, any habit is learned," she says. "And anyone, yes anyone, can change." So rather than think, "I'll never be that fast" when someone passes you on the trail, think, "I'm so excited to be that fast."
10. Celebrate Small Victories
Recognizing progress — and giving yourself the kudos you deserve — can help keep you motivated to exercise over the long-haul, says Gilles, who recommends setting continual short- and long-term goals. To spot progress in real-time, try tracking your workouts in an online log or notebook, Donavanik says. Every time you add five pounds to the barbell, or run a mile one second faster than last time, celebrate that. Go ahead and smile, share your achievement with others or celebrate by buying a new pair of shiny sneakers.
K. Aleisha Fetters is a freelance Health + Wellness reporter at U.S. News. You can follow her on Twitter, connectwith her on LinkedIn or email her at kafetters@gmail.com.

Getting Over a Cold? Try This Light and Energizing 15-Minute Workout

Whenever the weather changes, without fail, it seems a new round of bugs comes to town. Feeling draggy is never fun. But when it comes to your get-fit goals, there’s nothing more frustrating than finally getting into the swing of a great routine and then bam: you’re suddenly too pooped to hit the gym.
With a mild case of the sniffles, however, some gentle exercise could provide just the energy boost you need. Here’s a quick and light workout you can try at home. Perform 10-15 reps of each exercise, then repeat the series until about 15 minutes are up. Your focus should be on activating and stretching your muscles. So take care not to push your body too hard.  This circuit is designed to keep you moving without wrecking your recovery.
Related: 5 Legit Reasons to Skip a Workout, According to a Fitness Expert
Sun salutations
(Photo: Jen Cohen)
Start by standing with your arms by your sides, chest out, and shoulders back. From here, raise your arms up and over your head, reaching as high up as you can. Hold for a few seconds.
Lateral band walk
(Photo: Jen Cohen)
Place a light resistance band around your legs, just below your knees. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, so the tension in the band stays tight. While maintaining this tension, squat down and take 5 steps to the left. Stay in your squat position and take 5 steps to the right. Repeat until you have completed 15 steps in each direction.
Related: Best and Worst Exercises to Do When You Have a Cold
Static lunge with floor touch
(Photo: Jen Cohen)
Get into a lunge position with your left leg behind you and right leg in front. Make sure your right leg is creating a 90-degree angle and that your knee is not going past your toes. From here, take your right hand and reach down to touch the outside of your right foot. Repeat this for 10 reps before switching sides.
Standing hip abduction
(Photo: Jen Cohen)
Place a light resistance band around your shins. Stand with your feet wide enough to create tension. Shift your weight into your right leg and lift your left leg off the ground. From here, extend your left leg out to the side as far as you can before bringing it back in. When you do this, be sure to keep your feet far enough apart to maintain constant tension in the band. Perform 10 reps before switching to your other leg.
Related: 11 Surprising Ways to Survive an Awful Allergy Season
Sumo squat to side reach
(Photo: Jen Cohen)
Take a wide stance with your toes slightly flared out. From here, squat down and place your hands behind your head. While maintaining your squat, tilt your torso to the right and tap your elbow to your leg. Come back to center and repeat on the left side. Continue alternating until you’ve completed 10 reps on each side.
Jennifer Cohen is a leading fitness authority, TV personality, entrepreneur, and best-selling author of the new book, Strong is the New Skinny. 
More from Health.com:
A 6-Move Circuit You Can Do Without Leaving Your Chair
How to Lose 10 Inches in 10 Days
12 Yoga Poses for People Who Aren’t Flexible

Graft raids, arrests against Brazil ruling party

Sao Paulo (AFP) – Police made several new arrests Friday during fresh raids in a probe into money laundering accusations against crisis-hit President Dilma Rousseff's party.
The federal police said in a statement it launched "a new front in investigations" into a "money laundering scheme" involving the ruling Workers' Party (PT).
The sprawling scandal threatens to bring down the government of Latin America's biggest economy, which hosts the Olympic Games in August.
Police said they had warrants to detain two people and question two more, including former PT treasurer Delubio Soares, who was jailed over a previous bribery scandal involving the party.
Friday's raids in Sao Paulo were part of Operation Car Wash, a wide-ranging investigation into corruption at state oil firm Petrobras.
Rousseff faces impeachment proceedings alongside a separate set of allegations of financial wrongdoing.
Her fight against impeachment gathered speed Thursday when tens of thousands of people marched nationwide to oppose what they branded a "coup" against her.
Rousseff's chief ally in the crisis — ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva — meanwhile won a court battle that removes him from the jurisdiction of a crusading anti-corruption judge.
Friday's raids aim "to deepen the investigation into the money laundering scheme" involving a bank linked to Petrobras and cash that was allegedly used to pay off PT debts, the police statement said.