World

19th February

Exclusive: U.S. blocks North Korean air traffic revival ahead of Trump-Kim summit – sources

MONTREAL/SEOUL (Reuters) – The United States has blocked efforts by a U.N. agency to improve civil aviation in North Korea at a time when Pyongyang is trying to reopen part of its airspace to foreign...

18th February

Paramount Group in talks to develop Africa’s defense industry

ABU DHABI (Reuters) – South African defense company Paramount Group expects to sign agreements with four African governments this year to set up production facilities in their countries, its chairman said on Sunday. Paramount, Africa’s largest privately owned defense firm, has established manufacturing capabilities to meet demand from specific domestic markets before, including in India,...

Timeline: The rise and fall of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

(Reuters) – Islamic State faces the total defeat of its self-proclaimed caliphate. This timeline chronicles its lightning rise, cruel reign and stubborn fall. ** 2004-11 – In the chaos following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, an al-Qaeda offshoot sets up there, changing its name in 2006 to Islamic State in Iraq. ** 2011 –...

IS ‘caliphate’ on brink of defeat in Syria as Trump urges Europe to do more

NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) – U.S.-backed fighters in Syria are poised to capture Islamic State’s last, tiny enclave on the Euphrates, the battle commander said on Saturday, bringing its self-declared caliphate to the brink of total defeat as U.S. President Donald Trump spoke of “100 percent victory”. Jiya Furat said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)...

Polish PM cancels trip to Israel in wake of comments on Poles in Holocaust

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s prime minister has canceled a trip to Israel in the wake of reported remarks made by his Israeli counterpart suggesting Polish complicity during the Holocaust, an aide in his office told Polish media on Sunday. A government spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters that Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki would not attend the summit...

Iran’s Zarif accuses Israel, U.S. of seeking war

MUNICH (Reuters) – Iran’s foreign minister on Sunday accused Israel of looking for war and warned that its actions and those of the United States were increasing the chances of a clash in the region. Addressing the Munich Security Conference, Mohammad Javad Zarif, also criticized the U.S. administration after Vice President Mike Pence this week...

Trump policies unite allies against him at European security forum

MUNICH (Reuters) – In 2009, then U.S. Vice President Joe Biden came to Munich to “press the reset button” with Russia. A decade later he came again to offer the world better relations, this time with his own country. Promising that “America will be back” once Donald Trump leaves office, Biden won a standing ovation...

May to speak to every EU head in bid for Brexit deal changes

LONDON (Reuters) – Theresa May plans to speak to every European Union leader and the European Commission chief to seek changes to her EU withdrawal agreement, days after another defeat from her own lawmakers and as businesses brace for a no-deal Brexit on March 29. In her talks with EU leaders and European Commission President...

Indonesian presidential hopefuls vow energy self-sufficiency through palm

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s two presidential candidates pledged on Sunday to achieve energy self-sufficiency by boosting the use of bioenergy, particularly fueled by palm oil, to cut costly oil imports by Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, has been pushing for all diesel fuel used in the country to contain...

Nigerian candidate says delayed presidential vote could be compromised

ABUJA (Reuters) – While most Nigerians took the delay in a presidential election in their stride on Sunday, after similar postponements in 2011 and 2015, one presidential candidate and civil society groups expressed concern that the vote could now be compromised. Authorities postponed Saturday’s election by a week just hours before polls had been due...

Kashmiris complain of evictions after deadly attack on Indian forces, authorities promise safety

SRINAGAR (Reuters) – India has warned against rising communal tensions across the country as some Kashmiris living outside their state said they faced property evictions while others were attacked on social media after a suicide bomber killed 44 policemen in the region. The car bomb attack on a security convoy on Thursday, claimed by Pakistan-based...

Catholic Church credibility on the line at abuse meeting

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican will gather senior bishops from around the world later this week for a conference on sex abuse designed to guide them on how best to tackle a problem that has decimated the Church’s credibility, but critics say it is too little, too late. The unprecedented four-day meeting, starting on...

U.S. cannot back Syrian forces who align with Assad: U.S. commander

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The United States will have to sever its military assistance to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) battling Islamic State if the fighters partner with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or Russia, a senior U.S. general said on Sunday. The remarks by Army Lieutenant General Paul LaCamera, who is the commander of the...

Nicaraguan government meets with business leaders in bid to end crisis

MANAGUA (Reuters) – The Nicaraguan government said it has initiated talks with the country’s private sector in what observers see as a bid to repair the relationship between embattled President Daniel Ortega and business leaders and ease a political crisis that has engulfed the country since last spring. The dialogue between the government and businessmen...

Saudi crown prince begins Asia tour with $20 billion Pakistan investment pledge

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday said Saudi Arabia has signed investment agreements worth $20 billion during his high-profile visit to Pakistan, where tensions were flaring up with nuclear-armed rival India. Kicking off his tour of South Asia and China with a far higher Pakistan investment than expected, the crown prince...

Illinois factory gunman obtained firearm permit despite felony conviction

AURORA, Ill. (Reuters) – The gunman who killed five co-workers and wounded five policemen at an Illinois factory was a violent felon who nevertheless obtained a state permit to buy a firearm despite being legally barred from owning one, authorities said on Saturday. Gary Martin, 45, who carried his pistol to work on Friday apparently...

U.S. backs India’s right to defend itself after Kashmir attack

NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR (Reuters) – The United States has told India it supports its right to defend itself against cross-border attacks, the government in New Delhi said on Saturday as it considers retaliation against a car bombing in disputed Kashmir claimed by Pakistan-based militants. Tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have risen again after India, incensed...

‘Roma’ actress says she is proud of her roots after fellow actor uses racial slur

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Oscar-nominated Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio, who stars in the critically acclaimed film “Roma,” said on Saturday that she was proud of her indigenous roots after a soap opera star used a racial slur to describe her. “I am proud to be an Oaxacan indigenous woman, and it saddens me that there...

Nigerian presidential poll postponed, opposition slams decision

DAURA/YOLA, Nigeria (Reuters) – Nigerian authorities postponed Saturday’s national election by a week, just hours before polls had been due to open, prompting the opposition candidate to accuse President Muhammadu Buhari of seeking to “disenfranchise” voters. The electoral commission said the postponement was due solely to logistical factors and denied political pressure had played any...

U.S. military not decided yet on necessity of border wall

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) – Acting U.S. Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used. President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised...

Legal challenges to Trump emergency declaration face uphill battle

(Reuters) – Democratic lawmakers, states and others mulling legal challenges to President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to obtain funds to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall face an uphill and probably losing battle in a showdown likely to be decided by the conservative-majority Supreme Court, legal experts said. After being rebuffed by the U.S. Congress...

Seeking independence ‘is not a crime,’ Barcelona protesters say

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of people waving pro-independence flags and holding pictures of jailed Catalan separatist leaders took to the streets of Barcelona on Saturday to call for self-determination for the northeastern Spanish region. Chanting “Freedom!” and “Independence!”, around 200,000 people, according to local police, took part in the peaceful march at a...

Far-right activists stage torchlit march in Bulgarian capital

SOFIA (Reuters) – More than 2,000 far-right activists from several European countries staged a torchlit procession through Sofia on Saturday to honour a Bulgarian pro-Nazi general, despite opposition from the Balkan country’s political parties and Jewish groups. The procession, known as the Lukov March after Hristo Lukov, who led the pro-Nazi Union of Bulgarian National...

More U.S. aid for Venezuela touches down amid distribution uncertainty

CUCUTA, Colombia (Reuters) – A U.S. military transport plane carrying humanitarian aid meant for Venezuelans landed in the Colombian border city of Cucuta on Saturday, where food and medicine is being stored amidst uncertainty over how and where aid will be distributed. The shipment will be the second arrival of large-scale U.S. and international aid...

17th February

French police fire tear gas as latest ‘yellow vest’ protests turn violent

PARIS (Reuters) – French police fired tear gas to disperse protesters who threw projectiles and set bins on fire in Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux on Saturday, as the 14th straight weekend of “yellow vest” protests took a violent turn in the afternoon. In Rouen in the north, four people were injured after a driver tried...

Zimbabwean rescuers pull 22 bodies from mine, eight more found alive

BATTLEFIELDS, Zimbabwe (Reuters) – Zimbabwean rescuers pulled the bodies of at least 22 illegal gold miners out of shafts west of Harare that were flooded earlier in the week, and rescued eight more alive, officials and witnesses said on Saturday. The accident involving about 70 miners in Battlefields, 175 km (109 miles) west of the...

Joe Biden says will decide soon whether to run for U.S. presidency

MUNICH (Reuters) – Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, said on Saturday he had not yet decided whether to run for president in 2020 but would do so “in the near term”. More than two dozen Democrats could ultimately opt to run for president, creating a crowded field hoping to challenge President Donald...

Bangladesh slum fire kills at least eight

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (Reuters) – A fire gutted more than 200 slum houses in the Bangladeshi port of Chittagong on Sunday, killing at least eight people and injuring more than 50, police and fire fighters said. A fire official said the fire may have been caused by a short circuit. Bangladesh is an impoverished country where...

Kim Jong Un to arrive in Vietnam on February 25 ahead of Trump summit

HANOI (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will arrive in Vietnam on Feb. 25 ahead of a planned second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, three sources with direct knowledge of Kim’s schedule told Reuters on Saturday. Trump and Kim are due to meet in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28 following their...

Former U.S. Cardinal McCarrick defrocked for sex crimes

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been expelled from the Roman Catholic priesthood after he was found guilty of sexual crimes against minors and adults, the Vatican said on Saturday. Pope Francis has decided that the ruling, which followed an appeal by McCarrick, a power-broker as Archbishop of Washington, D.C. from...

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