World

16th December

French police prepare for fifth wave of yellow vest protests

PARIS (Reuters) – France will deploy tens of thousands of police nationwide and around 8,000 in Paris on Saturday to handle a fifth weekend of ‘yellow vest’ protests, although the movement appears to be losing...

Greece seizes big drugs haul from Syrian freighter sailing for Libya

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece has seized drugs worth more than 100 million euros ($113 million) after intercepting a Syrian ship sailing for Libya, the coast guard said on Friday. Officials found about six tonnes of processed cannabis and 3 million super-strength “Captagon” amphetamine pills hidden aboard the Syrian-flagged “Noka”, it said in a statement. The...

Supporters of ex-al Shabaab leader clash with police in Somalia’s Baidoa city, 11 dead

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – At least 11 people were killed in Somalia’s city of Baidoa in clashes between security forces and supporters of a former al Shabaab leader who is seeking election as a regional president, a military officer and an elder said on Friday. Authorities arrested Mukhtar Robow on Thursday, accusing him of bringing Islamist...

Girl dies after being detained by U.S. Border Patrol – Washington Post

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock hours after she was taken into U.S. Border Patrol custody, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. The girl and her father had been detained by immigration authorities on Dec. 6 in New Mexico as part of a group of 163 people who...

UK royals release Christmas cards with fireworks for Harry and Meghan

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s royals revealed their 2018 Christmas cards on Friday, with Prince William choosing a relaxed family photo while younger brother Harry used an image taken on the evening of his wedding to U.S. actress Meghan Markle. The striking black and white picture of Harry and Meghan, who is expecting the couple’s first...

China warns Tibetans not to be taken in ahead of Dalai Lama anniversary

BEIJING (Reuters) – The people of Tibet should not be taken in by the Dalai Lama’s lies and clearly understand the importance of Communist Party rule in the region, the Chinese government said ahead of March’s sensitive 60th anniversary of him fleeing into exile. Beijing sent troops into Tibet in 1950 in what it officially...

15th December

Hunt on in India for leopard that killed meditating monk

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Indian forest rangers have launched a hunt for a leopard that killed a monk meditating under a tree deep in a jungle. The monk, Rahul Walke Bodhi, had been meditating in the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in the western state of Maharashtra for the last month, and was attacked while offering morning...

Classical piano soothes old elephants at Thai sanctuary

KANCHANABURI, Thailand (Reuters) – Lam Duan, a 65-year-old, blind Thai elephant is enjoying her lunch, listening to Silent Night being played on a piano. For eight years, pachyderms like Lam Duan – old, overworked and sometimes disabled – have been rehabilitated with music at Elephants World, a retirement sanctuary for the animals in the western...

Jet Airways’ survival may rest on founder Goyal leaving the cockpit

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Jet Airways Ltd’s <JET.NS> 69-year-old founder Naresh Goyal, who started out as an assistant in a travel agency, wove together charm, persistence and consummate dealmaking to build India’s biggest full-service carrier. Now, his penchant for control has emerged as a major obstacle as the indebted airline tries to negotiate a rescue...

Australian rail workers postpone coal haulage strikes as cyclone looms

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Coal railway workers at Australian hauler Aurizon Holdings Ltd have postponed some planned strikes in Queensland, a union official said, as a cyclone is forecast to bring poor weather near some of the affected railways. Aurizon’s four major railways in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, the world’s largest coking coal export region,...

Turkey orders arrest of 267 Gulen-linked suspects: Anadolu

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish prosecutors ordered the detention of 267 people, mostly military officers and defence industry staff, for suspected links to the U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016, state media said on Friday. The orders marked an escalation of what has been a steady stream of raids against alleged...

British women push for equality 100 years after first female MP’s election

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A century after Britain’s first election in which women voted and stood for parliament, female activists called on Friday for further reform to achieve equality amid abuse and prejudice. Despite celebrations to mark 100 years since most women aged over 30 won the right to vote – including unveiling a...

Superyacht in Malaysia scandal can be yours for $130 million

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia has set a $130 million pricetag for a superyacht seized from a fugitive financier wanted in connection with a multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB, a government lawyer said on Friday. The Equanimity is among $1.7 billion in assets allegedly bought by financier Low Taek Jho, also known as...

Janet Jackson gets Rock Hall of Fame place on Brit-heavy list

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Janet Jackson finally won her place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday when the pop singer was named as one of seven music acts to be getting a place in music history. Jackson, 52, the younger sister of the late Michael Jackson, will join Fleetwood Mac singer...

France’s EDF faces delay in Brazil dam over clearing trees

BRASILIA (Reuters) – A consortium led by Electricité de France SA is ready to fill the reservoir of a hydroelectric dam built in Brazil’s soy belt, but could be delayed by a year over removal of trees from the area to be flooded, the company and state officials said. Prosecutors are asking Mato Grosso’s state...

Congo fire destroys thousands of voting machines for presidential election

KINSHASA (Reuters) – A fire overnight at a warehouse in Congo’s capital destroyed thousands of voting machines and ballot boxes that were due to be used in the country’s long-delayed Dec. 23 presidential election, authorities said on Thursday. Democratic Republic of Congo’s national electoral commission (CENI) said in a statement the blaze had destroyed 8,000...

Sierra Leone’s sick suffer untreated as doctors strike

FREETOWN (Reuters) – Seven-year-old Carlos Kamara needs urgent surgery on a collapsed lung after he swallowed a toy whistle. Instead, all he can do is lie in pain in a half-empty hospital ward waiting to be seen. A doctors’ strike in Sierra Leone has paralyzed an already threadbare health system in one of the world’s...

Dutch church holding non-stop service to block deportations hopes for Christmas miracle

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Worshippers at a church in the Netherlands that have been holding round-the-clock prayer services for more than six weeks to prevent an Armenian family from being deported are hoping for a Christmas miracle. Under Dutch law, police are barred from entering a place of worship while a ceremony is in progress....

Apple plans new $1 billion campus for Austin, Texas

(Reuters) – Apple Inc <AAPL.O> said on Thursday it would spend $1 billion to build a second campus in Austin, Texas, that will house up to 15,000 workers as part of a broader push by U.S. companies to create more domestic jobs. The iPhone maker also said it plans to expand in Seattle, San Diego...

YouTube, under pressure for problem content, takes down 58 mln videos in quarter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – YouTube took down more than 58 million videos and 224 million comments during the third quarter based on violations of its policies, the unit of Alphabet Inc’s <GOOGL.O> Google said on Thursday in an effort to demonstrate progress in suppressing problem content. Government officials and interest groups in the United States, Europe...

Up to 15,000 Syrian rebels ready to back Turkish operation in northeast

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Up to 15,000 Syrian rebels are ready to join a Turkish military offensive against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in northeast Syria, but no date has been set for the operation, a spokesman for the main Turkish-backed Syrian rebel group said on Thursday. President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey would launch the...

Bad bet: 70 finches seized at U.S. airport may have been bound for gambling

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Customs agents at a New York airport have arrested a bird smuggler who had hidden 70 live finches inside multi-colored hair rollers he had brought from Guyana and may have been bound for a gambling ring, federal officials said on Thursday. A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agriculture specialist at John...

Maldives tells U.N. climate talks – “We are not prepared to die”

KATOWICE, Poland (Reuters) – The Maldives will do all in its power to keep “our heads above water”, the head of its delegation at U.N. climate talks said on Thursday in an impassioned appeal for nations to overcome their divisions over how to tackle global warming. The low-lying Maldives is among countries most vulnerable to...

Better care, stronger laws needed to save 30 million babies on the brink of death

GENEVA, 15 DECEMBER 2018 (UN NEWS CENTRE) – Nearly 30 million babies each year –  nearly a quarter of the total – are born too soon, too small or become sick, requiring specialised care to survive beyond the first month of life, according to a new report by a global coalition that includes the UN Children’s...

Police hunt Strasbourg market gunman, dead or alive

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) – Armed French police launched an operation in Strasbourg’s Neudorf neighbourhood on Thursday as they pursue the hunt for a gunman who killed three people in an attack on a Christmas market. Elite officers from the RAID police unit fanned out along one street, some with their guns trained on the houses...

Captured Ukrainian navy captains tell Russia: we won’t testify

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Two Ukrainian navy captains being held in a Russian jail have refused to provide testimony because they consider themselves prisoners of war, their lawyers said on Wednesday. Russia seized three Ukrainian navy vessels and their combined crew of 24 last month off the coast of Russian-annexed Crimea and accused them of illegally...

In an African first, a cannabis expo…without cannabis

PRETORIA (Reuters) – Andre Kruger’s stand at Africa’s first ever cannabis exposition displayed an indoor growing tent, complete with state-of-the-art lighting imported from the United States and fittings for a high-tech hydroponic irrigation system. What it didn’t have, however, was a cannabis plant. The four-day expo, which opened in South Africa’s capital Pretoria on Thursday,...

Somalia arrests ex-Islamist militant running for regional presidency

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Somalia arrested on Thursday a former Islamist militant who seeking election as a regional president, sparking clashes between his supporters and security forces. The arrest of Mukhtar Robow in an area where al Shabaab militants retain a presence after a long civil war heightened tension between Somalia’s central government and semi-autonomous regions...

Huawei $2 billion security pledge followed walkout by British official – sources

LONDON (Reuters) – Huawei’s relations with British authorities hit a low last month when a top official walked out of a meeting with the Chinese company over its perceived failure to fix security holes in its products, sources familiar with the talks told Reuters. Although Huawei responded with a pledge to spend $2 billion on...

Macron says he won’t place Europe before French grievances

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday he would never put Europe ahead of the demands of the French people, days after he caved in to a anti-tax revolt by announcing costly measures set to increase the French budget deficit. “No country can move forward if it doesn’t listen to the legitimate anger...

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