Putin turns down Japanese dog gift, MP says
Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected Japan's offer of a gift Akita dog, a Japanese MP says.
Park Geun-hye impeached: South Korea rally demands full removal
Opponents of impeached President Park Geun-hye rally in Seoul to demand her definitive removal.
Gambian president refuses to accept defeat
International condemnation as Jammeh reverses decision to accept Barrow’s victory
Indonesia counter-terrorism forces foil plot to bomb state palace - police
Indonesian counter-terrorism forces on Saturday arrested three people near the capital Jakarta suspected of planning a bomb attack on the presidential palace, a police spokesman said.
Iraq says army makes gains in grueling Mosul battle
By Dominic Evans and Stephanie Nebehay BAGHDAD/GENEVA (Reuters) - The Iraqi army said it took full control of two more districts of east Mosul on Saturday, pushing back Islamic State militants in a slow and hard-fought advance into the city whose 1 million residents face growing shortages of fuel, water and food. A military statement said elite Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) troops took over the neighborhoods of al-Murour and al-Qadisiya al-Oula, expanding their area of control in the east o...
45,000 left homeless after Indonesia quake
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced after a devastating earthquake in Indonesia killed more than 100 people, an official said Saturday, leaving communities in ruins as aid trickled into the disaster-stricken province.
Advocates: Alabama execution a 'disaster'
Ronald Bert Smith Jr. was "not anesthetized at any point during the agonizingly long procedure," his legal team says.
South Koreans celebrate Park impeachment, but anxiety remains
For the seventh straight week, protesters gathered en masse in the streets of the capital, but the mood was generally festive, after lawmakers on Friday voted overwhelmingly to impeach the deeply unpopular Park over a corruption scandal.
French government seeks extension of state of emergency
PARIS (AP) — French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says 17 attacks have been thwarted in the country so far this year and he is asking Parliament to extend the state of emergency until July 15.
US, European, Middle East Top Diplomats Meet in Paris Over Syria
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other top diplomats are in Paris in a fresh attempt to find solutions for Syria's nearly six-year-old war that has claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault hosted the meeting in the French capital to discuss Syria with United States, European and Arab top diplomats and members of Syria's opposition, a group known as the "friends of Syria." Foreign ministers of Germany, Britain,...
Indonesia nabs three suspects plotting bomb attack in Jakarta
Indonesian police on Saturday secured a bomb and arrested three suspected terrorists in Bekasi, outside Jakarta.
African Union Criticizes Gambian President Over Rejected Election Results
The African Union is calling on Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to accept the results of the presidential election earlier this month as he said he would. AU Commission Chairperson Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma said, "The chairperson of the commission strongly urges President Yahya Jammeh to facilitate a peaceful and orderly transition and transfer of power to the new president of The Gambia." Jammeh had conceded defeat after the December 1 poll, but issued a statement Friday saying...
One of president-elect's most trusted allies, Rudy Giuliani pulls out of Trump’s cabinet race
WASHINGTON, U.S. - As Trump transitions into power and widens his search for the nation’s top diplomat - a shocking twist of events shook New York as its former Mayor and the president-elect&
Malaysia police kill key Abu Sayyaf militant in shootout
Malaysian security forces have killed a key member of a Philippine Islamist militant group in a shootout in waters off Sabah in Borneo, the Philippine military said Saturday (Dec 10).
Car Bomb Attack in Somalia Hits Police Checkpoint, Kills 2
At least two police officers were killed and four others wounded in a car bomb attack on a police checkpoint near the Somali capital Mogadishu Saturday, officials and eyewitnesses said. "The criminals have again carried out one of their cowardly attacks. This time they hit a police checkpoint at the Siinkadheer in the outskirt of Mogadishu," Mogadishu regional admin spokesman, Abdifitah Omar Halane told VOA Somali. He said one police officer was killed and four others wounded...
CIA makes explosive revelations: Investigation ordered by Obama reveals Russia’s interference in presidential election
WASHINGTON, U.S. - Days after accusations were traded between U.S. and Russia and ardent Clinton followers, along with some top cyber security experts claimed foul play in the dramatic and charged
South Koreans Celebrate President's Impeachment
Throngs of South Koreans took to the streets of the capital Saturday to celebrate the impeachment of disgraced President Park Geun-hye. The National Assembly voted to impeach Park Friday. Saturday marks the seventh consecutive Saturday South Koreans have gathered on the streets of Seoul because of the disgraced president. The protest mood of the crowd from the first six weeks shifted to a celebratory mood Saturday. Some in the crowd, however, want Park's immediate dismissal. That is unli...
Pakistan’s largest lake destroyed by pollution
The Manchar lake was an immense reserve of fresh water and covers over 250 square kilometers. Its shores were home to the fishing boats of the Mohanna tribe. In the seventies a plan was launched for the spillage of industrial, human and agricultural waste. Out of 200 species of fish, 14 have become extinct; there are few remaining boats; 15 thousand fishermen have emigrated in search of work.
After impeachment of S Korean president, anti-Park rallies resume
Protestors demanding that South Korean President Park Geun-hye step down marched on Saturday for a seventh straight weekend, a day after parliament voted overwhelmingly to impeach her and put the fate of her presidency in the hands of a nine-judge court.
Can Japan and Russia achieve a genuine rapprochement?
Author: Kazuhiko Togo, Kyoto Sangyo University Since 1945, relations between Japan and Russia have repeated their ‘ups and downs’ many times. The world is again seeing an ‘upturn’, but this time many felt that the two countries might finally make a real breakthrough. The ‘upturn’ began in 2012 when Putin and Abe were re-elected to […]
5 Killed, Dozens Hurt in Blast After Bulgarian Train Derails
Five people were killed in northeastern Bulgaria following a gas explosion on a derailed tanker train early Saturday, national radio reported. Officials said at least 23 people were injured, many with severe burns. Nikolay Nikolov, who heads the country’s firefighting department, said at least 20 buildings in the village of Hitrino were destroyed when containers of gas exploded at 5:40 a.m. local time (0340 GMT). Two tank cars, carrying propane-butane and propylene,...
Human Rights Day in Lahore: The government must stop all discrimination
Hundreds of people gathered in front of the Press Club, displaying placards and chanting slogans. Disabled, trans-gender, women, men and children have called for respect of minorities, the guarantee and protection of the fundamental rights of each individual.
Nobel Laureates, Others Gather to Fight Child Slavery
Seven-year-old Siam stands speechless when asked what he would like to do when he grows up. He stares blankly as if being asked the most ridiculous of questions. The boy, dressed in a faded red T-shirt with a picture of a superhero and tattered blue shorts, has never been to school and cannot see a world beyond the narrow, filthy lanes of Shrill Nixa’s Purim, the slum settlement he has lived in all his life. For as long as he can remember, he has stayed at home to look after his four younger ...
OPEC, Russia see smooth road to global deal on output cut
Russia and Saudi Arabia said they expect OPEC and non-OPEC producers to reach an agreement on Saturday to curtail oil output and prop up prices in the first such joint move since 2001. Everything is good!" Khalid al-Falih, energy minister of OPEC's de facto leader and top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, told reporters. Oil prices have more than halved in the past two years after Saudi Arabia raised output steeply in an attempt to drive higher-cost producers such as U.S. shale firms out o...
Pentagon chief announces 200 more US troops for Syria
Washington will send another 200 troops to Syria to help an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters seize the Islamic State group bastion of Raqa, Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said on Saturday. The operation coincides with a vast US-backed offensive to retake Iraq's second city of Mosul from the jihadists, forming a twin-pronged campaign intended to deliver a knockout blow to the "caliphate" they declared across Iraq and Syria in 2014. The two cities are the last major urban c...
The Kansai University says no to the government: We will not do research for military purposes
The private institution has allowed its researchers to be part of the Ministry of Defense Program which provides technological studies in peaceful and military context: "This could be used against humanity without the approval of the scientists."
Denial and Outrage in Russia at Latest Anti-Doping Report
In the runup to the release of the World Anti-Doping Agency report, Match TV, a Kremlin-sponsored national sports channel launched earlier this year, rightly labeled the stakes involved. The WADA findings, the channel’s lead noted, would “determine the future of Russian sport.” It may prove the only point on which Russia and the rest of the world agree. No good news After a full year of doping scandals and a partial ban on Russian athletes to the Olympic Games in Rio de...
Iraq sends reinforcements to eastern Mosul after IS attack
MAKHMOUR, Iraq (AP) — An Iraqi commander says reinforcements have been sent to eastern Mosul after a major Islamic State counterattack drove troops back last week, further slowing a nearly two-month-old offensive to retake the city.
200 additional American special operations troops headed to Syria
WASHINGTON, U.S. - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has said that U.S. is further enhancing its efforts in the fight against the Islamic State Militant Group.Making the announcement at the
South Korea protests take on celebratory mood after Park ouster
Although the national assembly voted to strip Park of her executive powers on Friday, activists say they intend to keep up the pressure with the impeachment still requiring final approval from the Constitutional Court -- a process that could take months.
Russians, Saudis Confident Deal Will Cut Oil Output
Russia and Saudi Arabia said they expect OPEC and non-OPEC producers to reach an agreement Saturday to curtail oil output and prop up prices in the first such joint move since 2001. “We have a deal already. We are just putting the final touches. Everything is good!” Khalid al-Falih, energy minister of OPEC’s de facto leader and top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, told reporters. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, speaking as he joined a breakfast with OPEC and non-OPEC ministers in...
Human Rights: letter to Xi Jinping for arrested Chinese writers
Signatories include: Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, JM Coetzee. The memory of Liu Xiaobo, sentenced to 11 years in prison; his wife Liu Xia, under house arrest; Academician Ilham Tohti, sentenced to life imprisonment for his criticism of Beijing's policy towards the Uighurs.
Apostolic Vicar of Arabia: the Jubilee of mercy has brought people closer to faith
Msgr. Hinder speaks of the Holy Year as an occasion for "reconciliation and forgiveness." In an atmosphere of war and violence "forgiveness become increasingly important." A gesture that must also embrace those who "deny rights and inflict suffering." Thousands of faithful attend Advent Masses. Immigration "contaminates" the very life of the Church.
U.S. boosts Syria anti-IS forces, urges Gulf military self-reliance
By William Maclean MANAMA (Reuters) - The United States will send 200 additional military personnel including special forces to the campaign against Islamic State in Syria to create a "tornado" of pressure against the group's Raqqa hub, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday, Carter, speaking in Bahrain to regional security chiefs, twinned the announcement with a call on Middle East allies to do more for their own defense, a sore topic with some Gulf states who rese...
Krasnodar: flurry of convictions for high treason and espionage
Komanda-29 association for legal protection denounces situation. The case of Oksana Sevastadi, sentenced to seven years in prison for a text message sent to a Georgian acquaintance.
On Human Rights Day, UN Urges Everyone to Stand Up for Universal Rights
Countries around the world mark International Human Rights Day December 10. As disrespect for basic human rights continues to be widespread in many parts of the globe, the United Nations is calling on everyone to stand up for universal rights. “The time for this is now. We the peoples can take a stand for rights. And together, we can take a stand for more humanity,” the world body said in a statement. “Upholding human rights is in the interest of all. Respect for human rights advances well-be...
Irreconcilable differences: Can Leni Robredo continue as vice-president of the Philippines?
Channel NewsAsia's Aya Lowe looks at what could happen next after relations soured between Philippines President Duterte and Vice-President Leni Robredo.
Australia theme park reopens minus killer ride
Australia's biggest theme park re-opened quietly Saturday without the water ride that killed four people and faces demolition.
Myanmar Farmers Hope NLD Can End Suffering of Junta-era Land Grabs
The siblings Kaw Nan and La Moi appear glum and still shocked when asked to explain what happened to their father after he removed some fences that a company had built on his farmland in Phang Meti Village. In early August, they said, police suddenly summoned Nhkum Naw Bawk, 58, and two other farmers who had experienced similar problems, because the company had filed a criminal complaint against them for trespassing and destroying private property. “The police told us: ‘Don’t worry, just brin...
Solomon Islands scrambles to reach areas hit by second major quake
The Solomon Islands plans to dispatch emergency supplies to areas affected by a 6.9 magnitude aftershock on Saturday, a day after a much larger tremor triggered a tsunami warning that send hundreds of coastal people fleeing into the hills.
Taiwan says China air force conducts long-range drills
Chinese military aircraft on Saturday flew over waterways near Taiwan as part of long-range exercises, Taiwan said, the first such flights since a telephone call between Taiwan's leader and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump irked China.
Health care industry: What's after Obamacare?
Hospitals and insurers want to know soon how GOP leaders plan to address the consequences of repealing the health law.
It's Trump's war soon: Afghan future is cloudy at best
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan has fallen so far from Americans' consciousness that some may have forgotten it's called the forgotten war.
Reports: CIA Believes Russia Helped Trump Win White House
U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered the intelligence community to conduct a full review of “hacking-related activity aimed at disrupting the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” After his announcement Friday, two leading U.S. newspapers — The New York Times and The Washington Post — reported Russia intervened in the recent U.S. presidential election to help Donald Trump win. The Times reported Russians hacked the computers of both the Republican National Committee and the Democratic...
Assad relies on foreign fighters in push to retake Aleppo
ALEPPO, Syria (AP) — Syria's President Bashar Assad is on the verge of recapturing all of Aleppo from rebels, but the victory won't be his alone. The battle for Syria's largest city has attracted thousands of foreign forces backing Assad — including Russian soldiers and Shiite fighters from Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan.