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  • Militants free 10 Indonesian hostages in south Philippines 

    In this photo provided by the Office of Sulu Governor, Sulu Governor Abdusakur "Toto" A. Tan II, center, sits as Indonesian tugboat crewmen eat a meal after being freed in Jolo, Sulu province, southern Philippines on Sunday May 1, 2016. Abu Sayyaf militants have freed 10 Indonesian tugboat crewmen who were seized at sea in March and taken to a jungle encampment in the southern Philippines, officials said Sunday. (Office of the Sulu Governor via AP)MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Abu Sayyaf militants have freed 10 Indonesian crewmen who were seized at sea in March in the first of three attacks on tugboats that have sparked a regional maritime security alarm, officials said Sunday.


  • In London's mayoral race, candidate rejects 'extremism' barb 

    In this April 28, 2016 photo, Candidate for London Mayor Sadiq Khan speaks during an assembly at the London Mayor election event of London Citizens in London. In the race to become London’s next mayor, one candidate is a bus driver's son who grew up in social housing, the other a billionaire's son raised in a mansion. They are two very different London success stories, and one is about to become mayor of Europe's largest city. The contrast between Labour's Sadiq Khan and Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith is resonant in a city where soaring property prices are increasing income disparities.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)LONDON (AP) — One is a bus driver's son who grew up in social housing, the other a billionaire's son raised in a mansion. They are two very different London success stories, and one is about to become the city's next mayor.


  • Five years after bin Laden, Al-Qaeda down but far from out 

    Replaced as the preeminent global jihadist power by the Islamic State group, Al-Qaeda nonetheless remains a potent force and dangerous threat, experts sayFive years after the killing of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, the network he founded is far from dead even if it has suffered a series of setbacks. Replaced as the preeminent global jihadist power by the Islamic State group, Al-Qaeda nonetheless remains a potent force and dangerous threat, experts say. With last year's Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris and a wave of shootings in West Africa, Al-Qaeda has shown it can still carry out its trademark spectacular attacks.


  • Al-Qaeda after bin Laden 

    A French soldier patrols a market in Gao, northern MaliDubai (AFP) - The jihadist group Al-Qaeda has survived the death of its founder Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011 and bolstered its notoriety with attacks in Africa, Europe and Yemen.


  • Austria, Germany press EU to prolong border controls 

    A barbed wire fence is erected at a border crossing between Austria and Slovenia at Spielfeld, Austria in December 2015Austria and Germany said on Saturday they were in talks with the European Union's executive body to extend temporary border controls brought in last year to help stem the migrant flow. "I can confirm that we are having discussions with the EU Commission and our European partners about this," Austrian interior ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck told AFP. Member states must "be able to continue carrying out controls on their borders," German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in a written statement to AFP.


  • Around 20 Syrians readmitted to Turkey under EU migrant deal: Turkish PM Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Saturday around 20 Syrians had been readmitted to Turkey under an EU migrant deal designed to help stem migration to Europe across the Aegean Sea. According to the text of an address to the nation supplied in advance to the media, Davutoglu said that in return 110 Syrians had been sent to Europe for resettlement. Turkey and the EU last month sealed a controversial deal intended to halt illegal migration to Europe in return for financial and political rewards for Ankara.
  • Hindu tailor in Bangladesh hacked to death in attack claimed by Islamic State By Ruma Paul DHAKA (Reuters) - Three assailants sped up to a Bangladeshi tailor's shop by motorcycle on Saturday, dragged out the Hindu owner and hacked him to death, police said, in an attack claimed by Islamic State. Police official Abdul Jalil, quoting witnesses, said the attackers fled the scene after killing 50-year-old Nikhil Chandra Joardar outside his shop in the town of Tangail, 80 km (50 miles) northwest of the capital Dhaka. Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the killing, saying the tailor had blasphemed Prophet Mohammad, the U.S.-based monitoring service SITE said.
  • Trevi fountain runs red with 'blood' of persecuted Christians 

    The Trevi fountain is illuminated in red to symbolise blood of persecuted Christians around the world in a grim makeover for one of Italy's most iconic monuments, on April 29, 2016 in RomeThe Trevi fountain in Rome was bathed in red light Friday, symbolising the spilt blood of persecuted Christians, in a grim makeover for one of Italy's most iconic monuments. Tourists looked on as survivors and relatives of victims of attacks on Christians in Africa and the Middle East made emotional pleas for an end to religious violence next to the fountain in the heart of the Eternal City. "We are here to let persecuted Christians know they have not been abandoned, they are not alone," Nunzio Galantino, secretary general of the Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI) said.


  • Turkish leaders proudly remember 'forgotten' Ottoman WW1 victory 

    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addressing an audience during a seminar at the university in the Qatari capital, Doha, on April 28, 2016Turkey's leaders on Friday celebrated the 100th anniversary of a rare victory by the Ottoman army in World War I against British-led forces in today's Iraq, urging modern Turks not to forget the exploits of their Ottoman forefathers. The surrender by a British-led force at the garrison in Kut al-Amara (Kut in modern Iraq) is seen as the last Ottoman victory of the war, which ended in the defeat of the Empire and its German allies. "Turkey is changing.


  • Biden takes 'Moonshot' cancer campaign to Vatican 

    This picture released by the Vatican press office shows Pope Francis (L) shaking hands with US Vice President Joe Biden on April 29, 2016 at the VaticanUS Vice President Joe Biden won Pope Francis's backing Friday for advances in cancer treatment to be made available to everyone, as he brought his "Moonshot" campaign to the Vatican. Biden, whose 46-year old son Beau Biden died from brain cancer last year, made an emotional speech at a stem cell summit thanking Francis for counselling his family during the pontiff's visit to the United States. Francis told the summit, which is being hosted by the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture and US-based Stem for Life Foundation, it was unacceptable that patients suffering rarer types of cancer or childhood diseases were sidelined "because investing in them is not expected to produce substantial economic returns".


  • Global aid summit must not to focus on refugee crisis alone: leaders By Sebastien Malo UNITED NATIONS (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The refugee crisis triggered by conflict in the Middle East should not monopolize the first World Humanitarian Summit, which needs to find solutions to broader humanitarian problems, a top EU official and the head of a leading aid group said. The global summit in Istanbul on May 23-24 is expected to draw 5,000 government and civil society delegates who will seek to agree on how humanitarian action should meet modern-day challenges. The summit comes as hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants fleeing conflict and poverty have crossed into Greece by sea from Turkey in the past year, triggering a humanitarian crisis.
  • London mayor rivals tackle housing in 'Box that Rocks' 

    If Sadiq Khan wins, he will become the first Muslim mayor of London or of any major European capital -- a fact not lost on Goldsmith's campaign as he plays catch-upThe two men battling to become London's new mayor confronted the city's housing crisis in the campaign's biggest event, as they faced 6,000 citizens in a thunderous Olympic arena. Labour candidate Sadiq Khan and his Conservative rival Zac Goldsmith were grilled on the key issue gripping London voters on Thursday, with exactly a week to go in the race for control of western Europe's biggest city. In one of the most striking events of the campaign, they were put to the test by London Citizens, a giant and influential agglomeration of largely faith-based local groups seeking to improve life in their communities.


  • Australia at odds with Pacific neighbors over harsh immigration policy 

    Protesters from the Refugee Action Coalition hold placards during a demonstration outside the offices of the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Sydney, AustraliaBy Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Lawyers for 850 asylum seekers held in a controversial detention center in Papua New Guinea said on Friday they planned to seek potentially billions of dollars in compensation, as Australian officials prepared to travel to PNG for emergency talks. PNG announced this week the closure of the detention center it operates on behalf of Australia, which has pursued a hardline immigration policy criticized by the United Nations and international human rights organization.


  • Residents of Iraq's IS-held Fallujah suffer under siege 

    Map locates Fallujah and Ramadi, Iraq; 2c x 3 inches; 96.3 mm x 76 mm;BAGHDAD (AP) — Abu Jassim can only afford to provide one meal a day for his seven-member family — usually a stew made of locally grown leafy green vegetables or rice with a small portion of flat bread.


  • Biden presses Iraq to not let political chaos upend gains 

    Vice President Joe Biden meets with U.S. diplomatic and military personnel serving in Iraq, Thursday, April 28, 2016, at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Josh Lederman)BAGHDAD (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden pressed Iraq on Thursday not to let its crippling political crisis upend hard-fought gains against the Islamic State group as he returned to the country that's come to symbolize America's relentless struggles in the Middle East.


  • Obama expects U.S. to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees this year 

    Internally displaced children run inside a refugee camp in Dana town after fleeing Palmyra, in northern Idlib provinceBy Jeff Mason and Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Thursday he expected the United States would meet a goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees before the end of the year despite delays and opposition from critics concerned about security implications. As Europe grappled with Syrians fleeing the country’s civil war last autumn, Obama promised to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of fiscal year 2016. "We're going to keep on pushing," Obama said when asked on Thursday whether the goal would be achieved.


  • Italy, Austria seek to calm tensions over Brenner border controls 

    A sign reading "Republic of Austria - border control" is seen at Brenner on the Italian-Austrian borderItaly and Austria on Thursday played down tensions that flared after Austria said it might reintroduce border controls at the Alpine Brenner pass to keep migrants from coming from Italy. A day after Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Austria's announced plans to build a fence at Brenner was "shamelessly against European rules", Austria's new Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said he had come to Italy "to calm tempers".


  • Abroad, some see Trump as danger, others as mystery 

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)BRUSSELS (AP) — The world is fascinated by Donald Trump, just as blindsided as many Americans are about his rise and nearly at a loss to understand what he would do as president.


  • Pentagon working to 'take out' Islamic State's Internet 

    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on operations against the Islamic State group and Middle East strategy on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 28, 2016The US military's secretive Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) is working to destroy the Islamic State group's Internet connections and leave the jihadists in a state of "virtual isolation," Pentagon chiefs said Thursday. In what he described as the command's "first major combat operation," Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said CYBERCOM is playing an important role in the US-led military operation against the IS group in Iraq and Syria.


  • Hackers leak stolen Kenyan foreign ministry documents 

    A magnifying glass is held in front of a computer screen in this picture illustration taken in BerlinBy George Obulutsa NAIROBI (Reuters) - Online activists who claim ties to Anonymous said on Thursday they had begun to leak documents from Kenya's foreign ministry as part of a campaign to expose government and corporate corruption across Africa. HackRead, a cyber security news site, reported that a hacker affiliated with "Operation Africa" had told it: "In (a) few days you will receive full disclosure of the data – We the Anonymous will stand against corruption, child abuse, and child labor!" A link to a sample of 95 documents was published to a widely known Anonymous Twitter account, part of what it claimed was a one-terabyte stash of date from Kenya's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The documents, viewed by Reuters, appear to consist of mostly routine correspondence between Kenyan foreign ministry officials and other diplomatic missions, trade partners and international companies around the world.


  • Refugee baby Serbia Merkel in transit across Europe 

    A baby named Serbia Merkel Al Mustafa sleeps in the "Krnjaca" collective centre, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, April 28, 2016. Serbia for the country where she was born just a few days ago, Merkel for the German leader where her Syrian refugee parents want to go in their desperate attempt to escape the war and poverty. The Al-Mustafa family is among hundreds of migrants stuck in Serbia after the official closure of the Balkan route for passage. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)KRNJACA, Serbia (AP) — She has wide brown eyes, rosy cheeks and thick black hair. Her name is Serbia Merkel al-Mustafa.


  • Israel nuclear reactor defects spark secrecy dilemma 

    Israel's Dimona nuclear power plant was built in the 1950sGrowing safety fears surrounding Israel's largest but ageing atomic research centre have provoked fresh questions over its future and a dilemma over the secrecy of the country's alleged nuclear arsenal. Israel, believed to be the Middle East's sole nuclear power, has long refused to confirm or deny that it has such weapons. The Haaretz newspaper reported on Tuesday that a study had uncovered 1,537 defects in the decades-old aluminium core of the Dimona nuclear reactor in the Negev desert of southern Israel.


  • After hostage beheading, is Philippines facing IS threat? 

    This image made from undated militant video, shows Canadians John Ridsdel, right, and Robert Hall. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that the decapitated head of a Caucasian male recovered Monday, April 25, 2016, in the southern Philippines belongs to Ridsdel, who was taken hostage by Abu Sayyaf militants in September 2015. (Militant Video via AP Video) NO SALES, MANDATORY CREDITMANILA, Philippines (AP) — Months before Abu Sayyaf militants beheaded retired Canadian mining executive John Ridsdel in the tropical jungles of the southern Philippines, they showed him pleading for life in a video with three other hostages that demanded a record-high ransom.


  • Trump vows 'America first' foreign policy 

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel April 27, 2016 in Washington, DCRepublican White House frontrunner Donald Trump promised a top-to-bottom overhaul of US foreign policy Wednesday to put "America first" and make its allies pay up. In a major foreign policy speech short on specifics that left Washington experts scratching their heads, Trump warned that Europe and Asia may have to defend themselves. "'America First' will be the major and overriding theme of my administration," Trump told supporters, co-opting the slogan of America's pre-World War II isolationists.


  • White House hopeful Cruz taps Carly Fiorina as running mate 

    Republican presidential hopefuls Carly Fiorina (L) and Ted Cruz at the CNBC Republican Presidential Debateat the Coors Event Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado on October 28, 2015White House hopeful Ted Cruz went all-in as he sought to bar Donald Trump's triumphant march to the Republican nomination, naming Carly Fiorina as his running mate as the primary race hits its final stretch. The Texas senator made the surprise announcement on Wednesday, a day after Trump clinched a knock-out series of wins in five states, putting him within striking distance of the nomination as all eyes turn to next week's key vote in Indiana. Cruz tapped the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Fiorina as his would be vice presidential pick, without waiting -- as is customary -- for the end of the primary campaign.


  • China's HNA to buy Radisson operator Carlson Hotels HONG KONG (AP) — A unit of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group has agreed to buy Carlson Hotels, which owns brands including Radisson and Country Inns and Suites, the latest in a flurry of overseas investments by Chinese companies.
  • Samsung's profit beats forecast thanks to early phone debut SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics recorded a better-than-expected profit in January-March, as an early debut of its flagship Galaxy smartphones boosted sales of high-end phones despite flat growth in the overall smartphone market.
  • Australia's tough immigration policies hit in middle of election campaign 

    File photo of protesters reacting as they hold placards and listen to speakers during a rally in support of refugees in central Sydney, AustraliaBy Jane Wardell SYDNEY (Reuters) - Papua New Guinea and Australia will hold urgent talks about the fate of 900 asylum seekers after PNG announced the closure of the island detention center holding them, leaving Australia's tough immigration policies in disarray in the midst of a general election campaign. PNG's High Commissioner to Australia Charles Lepani said on Thursday talks would take place early next week, but responsibility for what to do with the men rested with Australia which has remained firm against taking any of the detainees.


  • Austria plans fence to stop migrants at major border crossing with Italy 

    A sign reading "Republic of Austria - border control" is seen at Brenner on the Italian-Austrian borderBy Kirsti Knolle and Francois Murphy VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria outlined plans on Wednesday to erect a fence at a border crossing with Italy that is a vital link between northern and southern Europe, escalating a stand-off between the two states over how to handle a migration crisis. Migrants are crossing the Mediterranean from Africa to Italy in growing numbers and Austria has said Rome must stop them traveling onwards towards northern Europe or it will have to introduce border controls at the Brenner Pass in the Alps.


  • Several Egyptians killed in clashes with smugglers in Libya CAIRO (AP) — At least a dozen Egyptians have been killed in clashes with smugglers in central Libya, Egypt's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
  • Global press freedom at 12-year low, watchdog says 

    Photos of journalists who were killed are seen during a protest in Mexico City on February 11, 2016Global press freedom fell in 2015, hit by violence against journalists in the Middle East, intimidation in Mexico and concerns about free expression in Hong Kong, a watchdog said Wednesday. An annual survey by pro-democracy group Freedom House said freedom of the press worldwide dropped to its lowest level in 12 years. Freedom House said a big part of the problem was "heightened partisanship and polarization" and intimidation and attacks against journalists.


  • Austrian parliament passes package on tougher asylum rules 

    Migrants wait at Austrian-German border in AchleitenAustria's parliament on Wednesday passed tough new asylum measures, including a process under which migrants could be turned away at the border within an hour, which could be activated if lawmakers decree public order is threatened. Austria has mostly served as a conduit into Germany for refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa but it has also absorbed around 100,000 asylum seekers since last summer. Austria has also been imposing restrictions on movement, including coordinating border closures with nearby Balkan countries over the past months and it is now preparing stricter border controls at the important Brenner crossing with Italy.


  • Immigration puts Swedish schools to the test 

    Of the roughly 245,000 migrants who have arrived in Sweden since 2014, 70,000 are under the age of 18Sweden's schools were already struggling with demoralised teachers and declining test scores before the arrival of masses of young migrants whose needs have put unprecedented strain on the system. The Swedish school system already faces major challenges including an acute shortage of qualified teachers -- 60,000 more are needed by 2019 -- and declining scores in standardised international tests. A UNICEF report published in April showed that Sweden, along with neighbouring Finland, is the country where school results declined most between 2006 and 2012.


  • Iran's Khamenei says US lifted sanctions only on paper 

    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali KhameneiIran's supreme leader and president accused the United States of hostility and bad faith Wednesday, saying the implementation of its nuclear deal with world powers was not being honoured. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei echoed other officials in Tehran who allege that Washington is creating hurdles for European financial institutions, more than three months after the agreement came into force. With nuclear-related sanctions lifted, US and European diplomats have said there is no bar on non-American banks doing business with Iran.


  • US military conducts cyber attacks on IS 

    A US-led coalition has been striking IS fighters in Iraq and Syria since August 2014, and officials have long stated the importance of using cyber techniques such as overloading IS networks to limit the group's communicationsThe US military is now conducting cyber attacks on the Islamic State group, a general said Tuesday as the Pentagon looks to accelerate the fight against the jihadists. "We have now begun to use our exquisite cyber capabilities in this fight against Daesh," Baghdad-based Major General Peter Gersten told Pentagon reporters, using an acronym that comes from the group's name in Arabic. In February, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and the US military's top officer, General Joe Dunford, said the United States was determined to "accelerate" the anti-IS campaign, and indicated cyber warfare would play an increasingly important role in doing so.


  • More migrants ferried from Greece to Turkey under EU deal 

    A young man from Afghanistan sits on his bunk bed inside a tent at a camp for refugees and migrants in Schisto, near AthensBy Karolina Tagaris and Lefteris Papadimas ATHENS (Reuters) - Stone-throwing migrants in a Greek detention camp clashed with police on Tuesday hours after two ferries shipped refugees back to Turkey under a disputed deal intended to stem the human influx into Europe. Garbage bins were set on fire, a police spokesman said, and migrants "were throwing stones and pieces of metal at police". Just over 340 people have so far been returned to Turkey since April 4 under the accord agreed with the European Union in March after more than 1 million people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and beyond reached the continent last year.


  • Palestinians unveil gift of giant Mandela statue 

    Palestinian and South African officials pose in front of a giant statue of Nelson Mandela during its inauguration ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah on April 26, 2016Palestinians on Tuesday inaugurated a giant statue of Nelson Mandela donated by the South African city of Johannesburg to their political capital in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The six-metre (20-foot) two-tonne bronze statue was a gift from Johannesburg with which Ramallah is twinned. "I think that Nelson Mandela himself would have been extremely proud of what has been done today," Parks Tau, the mayor of the South African city, told AFP.


  • Egyptian rights group says 237 protesters arrested in Cairo 

    Egyptians demonstrate against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Mesaha square in Cairo's Dokki district, Monday, April 25, 2016. Police fired tear gas and birdshot on Monday to disperse hundreds of demonstrators calling on el-Sissi to step down over his government's decision to surrender control over two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Mostafa Darwish)CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian coalition of rights groups said Tuesday that police arrested nearly 250 people during the previous day's protests in Cairo against the government's decision to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.


  • Ambitious Saudi reforms up against 'vested interests' 

    Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest crude exporter and has for years enjoyed huge revenues from its oil reservesSaudi authorities will have to confront a range of vested interests if they hope to pull off an ambitious plan to diversify the economy away from oil, analysts said. The "Vision 2030" plan, unveiled Monday by the powerful Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aims to transform an economy that has for decades relied mainly on Saudi Arabia's vast oil resources. At the root of the plan is the sale of less than five percent of state oil giant Saudi Aramco in what officials say will be the largest-ever Initial Public Offering.


  • Key radical Islamist groups in Bangladesh NEW DELHI (AP) — Hours after Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina accused one group of religious radicals of killing a gay rights activist and his friend on Monday night, a different group took responsibility for the attack.

 

 

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