World

Syrian ‘White Helmets’ flee to Jordan with Israeli, Western help

JERUSALEM/AMMAN – Hundreds of Syrian “White Helmet” rescue workers and their families fled advancing government forces and slipped over the border into Jordan overnight with the help of Israeli soldiers and Western powers, officials said....

British reject May’s Brexit plan, some turn to Boris and far right: poll

LONDON – Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to leave the European Union are overwhelmingly opposed by the British public and more than a third of voters would support a new right-wing political party committed to quitting the bloc, according to a new poll. May’s political vulnerability was exposed by the survey which found voters would...

Iran’s Rouhani warns Trump about ‘mother of all wars’

DUBAI – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday cautioned U.S. President Donald Trump about pursuing hostile policies against Tehran, saying “war with Iran is the mother of all wars”, but did not rule out peace between the two countries. Iran faces increased U.S. pressure and looming sanctions after Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States...

Israel’s LGBT community protests for fathers’ surrogacy rights

TEL AVIV – Tens of thousands of demonstrators from Israel’s LGBT community and their supporters gathered at a main Tel Aviv plaza on Sunday for the culmination of a day-long strike in protest at the exclusion of gay men from new surrogacy legislation. Earlier, demonstrators blocked the Ayalon freeway, a main route through Tel Aviv,...

Egyptian women challenge social norms by practicing Parkour

CAIRO – A group of Egyptian women gather at an abandoned park in a Cairo suburb once a week, climbing walls and jumping around in the strenuous physical discipline known as Parkour, while also challenging the country’s conservative social norms. Founded in France in the 1980s as the Art du Deplacement and later taking its...

Russian-backed air strikes hit Islamic State in southern Syria: sources

AMMAN – Russian and Syrian jets stepped up their bombing of an Islamic State bastion along the Jordan-Israel border in southwestern Syria, as the militants pushed into areas abandoned by other rebel groups, diplomatic and opposition sources said. Islamic State-affiliated forces entrenched in the Yarmouk Basin, which borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Jordan, also...

Afghan vice president Dostum escapes blast on return from exile

KABUL – Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum narrowly escaped a suicide bomb attack at Kabul airport as he returned home on Sunday from more than a year in exile in Turkey over allegations of torturing and abusing a political rival. Dostum, who left Afghanistan last year after heavy pressure from Western donors including the...

Greek anarchist group throws paint at foreign ministry in Athens

ATHENS – Greek self-proclaimed anarchists threw red paint at the facade of the foreign ministry in Athens and flyers on the streets outside the nearby parliament on Sunday, police said. About 10 people were involved in the evening incident, a police official said. There were no injuries. One person had been detained. In a statement...

U.S. launches campaign to erode support for Iran’s leaders

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration has launched an offensive of speeches and online communications meant to foment unrest and help pressure Iran to end its nuclear program and its support of militant groups, U.S. officials familiar with the matter said. More than half a dozen current and former officials said the campaign, supported by...

Israel-Hamas Gaza truce largely holds after flare-up

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A truce between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, largely held on Saturday a day after one of the most fierce flare-ups along the volatile border in years. Hamas said it had agreed to the truce with Israel, a day after clashes killed an Israeli soldier and...

Syrian army pushes into Quneitra province: state tv, rebels

AMMAN (Reuters) – The Syrian army and allied forces made advances in the southwest that bring it closer to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights as rebels refusing to return to state rule boarded buses for opposition controlled northern Syria, state television and rebels said. The army, backed by a Russian air campaign, has been pushing into...

Cuba aims to build socialism, not communism, in draft constitution

HAVANA (Reuters) – A draft of Cuba’s new constitution omits the aim of building communism, recognizes private property and opens the door to gay marriage, in a sign of changing times, although it keeps the Communist Party as the guiding force of the one-party system. Cuba’s national assembly is this weekend debating a draft of...

In Senegal, China’s President Xi pledges stronger Africa ties

DAKAR (Reuters) – China’s President Xi Jinping pledged during a visit to Senegal on Saturday to strengthen economic ties with Africa, a continent already awash with cheap Chinese loans in exchange for minerals and huge construction projects. Xi arrived in Senegal on Saturday for a two-day visit to sign bilateral deals, the first leg of...

France’s Le Maire says no U.S. trade talks with metals tariffs in place

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday the European Union could not consider negotiating a free trade agreement with the United States without Washington first withdrawing its tariffs on steel and aluminum. Speaking to reporters at the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Buenos Aires, Le...

Cuba’s draft constitution opens path to gay marriage

HAVANA (Reuters) – The draft of Cuba’s new constitution opens the path to same-sex marriage, a government official said on Saturday, which would make the country that once persecuted homosexuals an unlikely leader in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. In the early years of Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution, many homosexuals were sent to correctional...

Hundreds of Syrian ‘White Helmets’ evacuated by Israel to Jordan: reports

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – About 800 members of Syria’s White Helmets civil defense group and their families were evacuated via Israel to Jordan on Sunday from southwest Syria, where a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive is under way, media said. In a statement, the Israeli military said it had completed “a humanitarian effort to rescue members of...

The town that doesn’t vote: Pakistan’s Ahmadis say forced to abstain

RABWAH, Pakistan (Reuters) – There are no campaign posters in the Pakistani town of Rabwah, and no election rallies on its streets. Though they could be an influential bloc in a key electoral battleground, nearly 90 percent of its residents will not vote in a July 25 poll. The people of Rabwah, in Punjab province,...

Hundreds protest over Hong Kong’s move to ban separatist political party

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hundreds of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters on Saturday rallied against the government’s attempt to ban a political party, saying it dealt the most serious threat to the city’s freedom of association since its return to Chinese rule. Organizers said 1,200 protested, while the police estimated 600 attended at the peak. The...

New Peru justice minister takes office after scandal

LIMA (Reuters) – Peruvian lawmaker Vicente Zeballos took over as justice minister on Saturday, a week after his predecessor Salvador Heresi was fired in an influence-peddling scandal that has shaken the country’s judiciary. Zeballos will be responsible for an overhaul of the judicial system announced by President Martin Vizcarra after audio recordings published in local...

Myanmar violated U.N. child rights pact in Rohingya crackdown, experts find

YANGON (Reuters) – Myanmar violated its obligations to the United Nations child rights convention in its crackdown on the Rohingya that led to an exodus of hundreds of thousands of people from the minority community, legal experts have found. Children make up around half of the more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled Buddhist-majority...

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