World

21st November

Taliban say no pact struck with U.S. on deadline to end Afghan war

KABUL (Reuters) – A three-day meeting between the Taliban and the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan to pave the way for peace talks ended with no agreement, the militant group said a day after the...

20th November

French universities to offer more courses in English to attract foreign students

PARIS (Reuters) – France wants to boost the number of foreign students at its universities by more than half over the next decade and will offer more courses taught in English to attract them. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, announcing the plan on Monday, said increasing the number of foreigners studying in the country would help...

‘Yellow vest’ protests block fuel depots in France, retailers hit

PARIS (Reuters) – Protesters angered by higher fuel taxes blocked access to three oil depots in France and sporadic unrest erupted in the overseas territory of Reunion, in a third day of demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron’s economic reforms. Up to 20,000 protesters clad in fluorescent high-visibility jackets blocked highways across France with burning barricades...

Rouhani says Iran to continue oil exports and resist US economic war

(Reuters) – Iran will continue to export oil despite U.S. sanctions, which are part of a psychological war doomed to failure, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday. By reimposing sanctions on OPEC’s third biggest crude producer, Washington wants to force Tehran to drop its ballistic missile programs, further curb its nuclear work and limit...

China defers Tonga’s loan payments as Pacific nation signs up to Belt and Road

PORT MORESBY,19 NOVEMBER 2018 (REUTERS) – Tonga has signed up to China’s Belt and Road initiative and has received a reprieve from Beijing on the timing of debt payments shortly before an onerous schedule to repay loans was due to start. Lopeti Senituli, political advisor to Tongan Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva, told Reuters by email...

Finns respond to Trump by raking country great again

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Puzzled Finns have taken to Twitter to post pictures of themselves raking the forest after U.S. President Donald Trump said California should learn a lesson from the Nordic country about how to protect itself against wildfires. While visiting California’s wildfire zones on Saturday, Trump told reporters that Finland spends “a lot of...

Thousands evacuated as Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupts

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Nearly 4000 people were evacuated on Monday from areas around Guatemala’s Fuego volcano, which began violently erupting overnight, the country’s disaster agency Conred said. The volcano spewed out dangerous flows of fast-moving clouds of hot ash, lava and gas early Monday and more than 2,000 people had taken refuge in shelters...

Security forces storm PNG parliament over unpaid wages after APEC summit

PORT MORESBY (Reuters) – A group of up to 100 Papua New Guinea (PNG) security personnel forced their way into parliament on Tuesday to demand unpaid wages, lawmakers said, just days after world leaders attended a regional summit in the impoverished island nation. “It was the armed forces, police and correctional workers. They have entered...

Brexit turmoil delays deal on Britain’s EU defense ties

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – British plans for a swift inclusion in the European Union’s new flagship defense pact are being undermined by political turmoil in London and uncertainly over the terms of Britain’s exit from the bloc, EU diplomats say. Prime Minister Theresa May called in February for a new security treaty with the EU from...

Airbnb to remove listings in Israel’s West Bank settlements

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Home-renting company Airbnb Inc <AirBnB Inc> said on Monday it would remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, a move Israel called a “wretched capitulation” to boycotters and Palestinians hailed as a step towards peace. The decision, affecting some 200 listings, would take effect in the coming days, Airbnb...

Putin says Russia will retaliate if US quits nuclear missile treaty: agencies

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday the Kremlin would retaliate if the United States withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, Russian news agencies reported. Putin discussed possible Russian retaliation with top Russian Defence Ministry officials and added that the Kremlin was ready to discuss the INF treaty with Washington....

Saudi king to open mine project, crown prince to attend G20

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will inaugurate the Waad Al-Shamaal mining project on Thursday, Alarabiya TV said on Twitter, quoting energy minister Khalid al-Falih. The project will cost 85 billion riyals ($22.7 billion) and will create 10,000 jobs, according to Falih. It is part of an industrial scheme aimed at opening up Saudi’s...

Berlin imposes travel ban, arms freeze over Khashoggi killing

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany banned 18 Saudis suspected of involvement in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi from much of Europe on Monday and moved to halt all arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The bans bind all members of the European Union’s passport-free Schengen zone, suggesting Germany is willing to use its influence as the...

Yemeni Houthis halt missile attacks on Saudi coalition, raising peace prospects

DUBAI (Reuters) – Houthi rebels in Yemen said on Monday they were halting drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their Yemeni allies, responding to a demand from the United Nations. The Iranian-aligned group, which has been battling the Saudi-backed government for nearly four years, also said it was ready...

May sticks to Brexit deal as opponents seek formal challenge

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May vowed on Monday to stick to her draft European Union divorce deal as dissenting lawmakers in her own party tried to trigger a leadership challenge. Since striking a deal with the EU on Tuesday, May has faced the most perilous crisis of her premiership with several cabinet...

US briefly shutters border crossing to brace for migrants

TIJUANA, Mexico (Reuters) – U.S. officials briefly closed the busiest border crossing from Mexico early on Monday to add concrete barricades and razor wire amid concerns that some of the thousands of Central American migrants at the border could try to rush the crossing. Northbound lanes at the San Ysidro crossing from Tijuana to San...

Clashes break out after Greeks march to mark 1973 student revolt

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek police clashed with young protestors in central Athens on Saturday after thousands marched to mark the anniversary of a violently quashed student uprising in 1973 that helped topple the military junta. More than 10,000 demonstrators marched peacefully through the center of Athens, which was heavily guarded by police. They held banners...

Urban ranching: A socialist commune’s response to Venezuela’s crisis

CARACAS (Reuters) – A socialist commune has drawn the ire of its neighbors in a wealthy area of Caracas with an unusual response to the hyperinflation and food shortages afflicting Venezuela: turning its backyard into an urban cattle pasture. The leaders of the Apacuana commune, devotees of socialist President Nicolas Maduro, drove six hours to...

Cyclone ‘Gaja’ makes landfall in south India, kills 11 people

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A cyclone made landfall in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Friday, killing at least 11 people, uprooting trees and knocking down electricity poles after more than 80,000 people were moved out of its path to safety, officials said. Cyclone “Gaja” made landfall in the early hours of Friday...

China blames ‘excuses’ for lack of agreement at APEC, as US ties sour again

BEIJING (Reuters) – A major Asia-Pacific summit’s failure to agree on a communique resulted from certain countries “excusing” protectionism, a top Chinese diplomat said, in a veiled criticism of Washington that further sours the tone of China-U.S. ties ahead of a G20 meet. After months of bickering over a damaging trade war, the disputed South...

Kremlin says Putin told Pence Russia did not meddle in US election: Ifax

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin told U.S. Vice President Mike Pence Russia had nothing to do with meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, Interfax reported on Monday, during discussions about an upcoming meeting between Putin and President Donald Trump. Putin and Pence spoke in Singapore last week about key issues that could be...

French protesters rail against Macron’s fuel taxes with road blocks

PARIS (Reuters) – Thousands of French protesters hit out at higher fuel taxes and President Emmanuel Macron’s economic policies in demonstrations across motorways on Saturday, sparking major logjams and several accidents, including a fatality at one road blockade. Dozens of people were also injured, as drivers tried to get around stoppages, after protestors in a...

Mexican drug lord, Beltran Leyva, dead at 56 of cardiac arrest

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Hector Beltran Leyva, a Mexican drug lord whose cartel earned a reputation as one of the country’s most vengeful and ruthless, died late on Sunday in hospital of cardiac arrest after being transferred from jail with chest pain, Mexican authorities said. Beltran Leyva had been incarcerated since March 2, 2016 in...

Cambodian PM says won’t allow any foreign military base in his country

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday there would never be a foreign military base in his country, following a news report that China was lobbying for a naval base in southwest Koh Kong province. The Asia Times, citing unidentified diplomatic sources and analysts, reported on Thursday that Beijing had...

Jewish leader says Germany dragging heels on looted art

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is shirking its responsibility for the Holocaust by dragging its heels on returning art confiscated by the Nazis, and failing to crack down on resurgent anti-Semitism, the head of the World Jewish Congress said on Sunday. Ronald Lauder told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that other countries, including Britain, the United...

19th November

Stolen Picasso resurfaces in Romania six years later

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – A painting believed to be “Tête d’Arlequin” by Pablo Picasso stolen in 2012 from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal museum has turned up in Romania, prosecutors said on Sunday. In one of the art world’s most dramatic heists, thieves made off with seven paintings, worth millions of euros, by Picasso, Matisse, Monet and others. While...

Trump calls CIA assessment of Khashoggi murder premature but possible

WASHINGTON/MALIBU, California (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Saturday called a CIA assessment blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi “very premature” and said he will receive a complete report on the case on Tuesday. Trump, on a trip to California, said the killing “should never have...

Two years after Philippines’ pivot, Duterte still waiting on China dividend

MANILA (Reuters) – Two years after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced a divorce with old ally the United States in return for bumper business ties with China, he doesn’t have much to show for it. Duterte left Beijing in 2016 with $24 billion of Chinese loans and investment pledges for his ambitious infrastructure overhaul, a...

Copts inaugurate renovated St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo

CAIRO (Reuters) – After more than three years of renovation, St. Mark’s in Cairo, the main cathedral of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, was inaugurated on Sunday. The facelift was ordered to mark the golden jubilee of the cathedral, the official headquarters of the Coptic Church, the largest Christian denomination in the Middle East. Hundreds of...

Central African war crimes suspect ‘Rambo’ handed to global court

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A war crimes suspect wanted for alleged murder, deportation and torture of Muslims in the Central African Republic has been handed over to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, the tribunal said. CAR officials transferred Alfred Yekatom on Saturday to officials from the global court, which is investigating six years of...

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