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  • Top Asian News 2:27 p.m. GMT VIENTIANE, Laos (AP) — Daring to take on China in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea, the Philippines went to an international tribunal for justice, and won big. But it turned out to be a pyrrhic victory. Beijing came back with such ferocity and manipulative diplomacy that other Southeast Asian countries that have similar disputes with it are apparently backing down. One by one, their positions became clear at meetings this week of Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asian nations, a gathering that was supposed to unanimously call out China for a host of actions in the resource-rich South China Sea — building artificial islands and military airstrips, sending warships, staging live-firing exercises and shooing away fishermen from other countries.
  • Dubai's DP World reaches deal to expand port in Taiwan DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Port operator DP World says it has reached a deal to help expand a seaport in Taiwan.
  • From Beirut to Baghdad, 'useless' bomb detectors guard against disaster 

    A policeman uses a scanning device to inspect a vehicle at the entrance to Sadr CityBy Dominic Evans and Saif Hameed BEIRUT/BAGHDAD (Reuters) - At a checkpoint in central Beirut, a guard checks a small truck for explosives. At the nearby marina where millionaires' yachts are moored by the glistening Mediterranean Sea, and at entrances to the underground parking of an upmarket shopping mall, the same bomb detectors are used. Marketed under names such as ADE651, GT200 and Alpha, they are supposed to respond to the presence of explosives, causing their metal antenna to swivel on a hinge toward the material.


  • Nissan quarterly profit down 11 pct on yen, shrinking sales 

    This Feb. 11, 2016, photo shows a Nissan emblem on a 2016 Nissan automobile at the Pittsburgh International Auto Show in Pittsburgh. Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. is reporting a 136.4 billion yen ($30.7 million) profit for the fiscal quarter through June, down nearly 11 percent from the same period a year ago. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. is reporting a 136.4 billion yen ($30.7 million) profit for the fiscal quarter through June, down nearly 11 percent from the same period a year ago, after a mileage testing scandal at its supplier hit its minicar sales in Japan.


  • Terror fears permeated GOP week _ Dems barely mention them 

    Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)WASHINGTON (AP) — After terrorism fears permeated Republican speeches a week ago, Democrats have barely mentioned the Islamic State group through two days of their convention.


  • Priest murdered in French church attack: what we know so far 

    Police officers stand on guard behind the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray on July 26, 2016, following an attack by two knife-wielding menAn elderly priest had his throat slit in a church in northern France on Tuesday after two men stormed the building and took hostages. The attack in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray came as France was still coming to terms with the Bastille Day killings in Nice claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group. The victim was father Jacques Hamel, a semi-retired assistant parish priest, according to the archbishop of nearby Rouen, Dominique Lebrun.


  • Hungary says willing to take back some migrants from Austria 

    Austrian Chancelor Christian Kern, left, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban shake hands after their joint press conference at the Delegation Room of the Parliament in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (Szilard Koszticsak/MTI via AP)BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary is willing to take back some migrants from Austria under European rules and would then return them to their countries of origin, mostly Kosovo and Albania, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Tuesday.


  • Many factors make France the top IS terror target in Europe 

    FILE - This Wednesday, July 20, 2016 file picture shows soldiers patrolling the famed Promenade des Anglais in Nice, southern France. Since January 2015, IS-inspired attackers have killed at least 235 people in France, by far the largest casualty rate of any Western country. (AP Photo/Claude Paris, File)PARIS (AP) — When militants loyal to the Islamic State group seek to inflict pain on Europe, France is their preferred target, a grim reality borne out yet again with Tuesday's knife slaughter of a Catholic priest.


  • Pope to find a Catholic Poland out of step with his vision 

    FILE -- In this April 16, 2016 file photo, Pope Francis shows a drawings made by children on his flight back to Rome following a visit to the Greek island of Lesbos. The pontiff’s advocacy for refugee rights faces a diplomatic test Wednesday when he begins a five-day visit to Poland, where a populist government has slammed the door on most asylum seekers. (Filippo Monteforte/Pool Photo via AP)KRAKOW, Poland (AP) — When Pope Francis arrives in Poland this week for World Youth Day, he will meet a nation still deeply committed to its conservative Catholic traditions and to the memory of St. John Paul II, who inspired this country's successful struggle against communism in the 1980s.


  • Bahrain to try scores of people on charges of setting up militant group Bahrain prosecutors said on Tuesday scores of people will stand trial next month on charges of setting up a "terrorist organization", espionage and armed attacks on police officers. The case pertains to Bahrain's allegation last year that Iranian Revolutionary Guards helped fugitives from the Western-allied Gulf kingdom join forces to set up a Shi'ite militant group called the Zulfiqar Brigades to destabilize the state. Bahrain's Sunni Muslim monarchy survived an uprising in 2011 mainly by majority Shi'ite Muslims demanding democratic reform.
  • Historic solar flight marks first round-the-world journey 

    The Solar Impulse 2 plane lands in an airport in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, early Tuesday, July 26, 2016, marking the historic end of the first attempt to fly around the world without a drop of fuel, powered solely by the sun’s energy. Solar Impulse Chairman and pilot Bertrand Piccard was at the controls of the single-seater when it landed at the Al Bateen Executive Airport. Piccard traded off piloting with co-founder Andre Borschberg in the epic journey that took more than a year to complete. (AP Photo/Aya Batrawy)ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The world's first round-the-world flight to be powered solely by the sun's energy made history on Tuesday as it landed in Abu Dhabi, where it first took off on an epic 25,000-mile (40,000-kilometer) journey that began more than a year ago.


  • Wary of turmoil in holiday hotspots, Germans flock to 'safe' Denmark 

    People pass in front of an entrance to the Tivoli Gardens in CopenhagenBy Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Put off by militant violence and political upheaval in traditional sun-and-sea holiday hotspots like Tunisia and Turkey, German tourists are flocking to nearby Denmark this summer counting on peace and quiet within secure borders. Denmark is part of Europe's passport-free Schengen travel zone, but it reinstated temporary border controls late last year in reaction to a wave of migrants sweeping across the continent from the Middle East and North Africa. Although tightening its borders and immigrant laws risked damaging Denmark's international image as a paragon of liberal, law-abiding tolerance, it has ironically boosted tourism in the small Nordic country of 5.7 million people.


  • Nepal quake survivors struggle with debt, raising trafficking fears 

    A woman works to rebuild a house a year after the 2015 earthquakes in BhaktapurBy Rina Chandran KATHMANDU (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Hundreds of Nepalis who had borrowed money to rebuild their lives after two earthquakes left them homeless are at risk of being trafficked or duped into selling their kidneys to pay off their debts, an international development organization said. Nepal received $4.1 billion in pledges from donors for reconstruction after quakes last April and May killed 9,000 people, injured at least 22,000 and damaged or destroyed more than 900,000 houses in the Himalayan nation. More than a year on, reconstruction has been slow with unrest over a new constitution adding to the delays.


  • Tunisians rally against bill that would pardon graft 

    Tunisians demonstrate against a bill being discussed in parliament to grant amnesty to people accused of corruption on July 25, 2016Hundreds of Tunisian demonstrated Monday in the capital to protest against a bill being discussed in parliament to grant amnesty to people accused of corruption. If the so-called "economic reconciliation" bill is passed, people accused of corruption would not be prosecuted but would instead pay a fine and reimburse embezzled funds. When the bill was submitted to parliament last year by President Beji Caid Essebsi it sparked outrage, with demonstrators taking to the streets to denounce it.


  • UN weather agency: 54 Celsius in Kuwait may be Asian record GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. weather agency says it suspects a 54-degree Celsius (129.2 Fahrenheit) temperature recorded in Kuwait has set a record for the eastern hemisphere.
  • Indonesian 'maid detectives' on mission to save women from trafficking 

    A group of domestic helpers leaving for Hong Kong pass through the security check at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airportBy Beh Lih Yi JAKARTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Rima Jayanti has not had formal training in detective work but with her sharp eye and gut instinct, her task is to spot Indonesian women at Jakarta's bustling airport in danger of being sent abroad to a life of domestic servitude. Domestic helpers going to the Middle East tend to wear an Islamic headscarf, be middle-aged and elusive when asked about their plans, she said.     Women traveling to Hong Kong or Taiwan meanwhile usually have short hair, wear sneakers and are younger. Some 2.3 million Indonesians are working as maids in wealthier countries in Asia and the Middle East, risking abuse including the non-payment of wages and physical assault.


  • Iran up, US down: height study charts global health 

    Dutch men are the tallest in the world, measuring an average height of 182.5 cm (five feet 10 inches), according to a new studySouth Korean women and Iranian men are significantly taller than they were 100 years ago but Americans have barely grown, according to a new study Tuesday that reflects nutritional and environmental factors. Researchers at Imperial College London used data from around the world to track the height of young adults between 1914 and 2014 in over 200 countries and territories. Where once Scandinavia and the United States produced the tallest men, the Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia and Latvia now top the rankings, with Dutch men measuring an average height of 182.5 cm (five feet 10 inches).


  • Wagner festival given rapturous reception on opening night 

    Police stand in front of a checkpoint at the venue of Germany's legendary Bayreuth opera festival on July 25, 2016Germany's legendary Bayreuth opera festival, dedicated to the works of Richard Wagner, got off to a rapturous start on Monday with a brand new production of the composer's last opera, "Parsifal", enthusiastically received by the first-night audience. While this year's month-long proceedings have been overshadowed by a series of deadly attacks in the country, the performers were tumultuously applauded at the end of the six-hour performance. Out of respect for those killed or wounded in attacks over the last week in Ansbach, Munich and Wuerzburg -- all in the state of Bavaria -- organisers cancelled the lavish banquet that traditionally follows the first performance of the festival.


  • Shock, fear grip German town after suicide attack 

    Police inspects a refugee shelter where a 27-year-old Syrian migrant who set off an explosive device near an open-air music festival stayed, on July 25, 2016 in AnsbachResidents of Ansbach were left reeling Monday after a Syrian suicide bomber blew himself up outside a music festival, shattering the sleepy calm of this picture-postcard southern German city. "There's a strange atmosphere in town, people are in shock," said Kirstin Maier, 49, sitting in the sun outside a cafe a few dozen metres from the police cordon. Maier and her partner Rainer Bettighofer, 53, heard the blast from the balcony where they were sitting at around 10 pm (2000 GMT) on Sunday.


  • Israel advances plans for 770 settlement homes 

    Israeli settlements in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank are viewed as illegal under international lawIsraeli authorities have advanced plans for 770 new settlement homes in annexed east Jerusalem, officials and rights groups said Monday, drawing condemnation from Palestinian leaders and the United Nations. The homes would expand the Gilo settlement on the southern perimeter of east Jerusalem. The land where they are to be built requires technical approval known as "reparcelisation" by Jerusalem's local planning and building committee in order for the process to advance, according to Ir Amim.


  • After truck attack in Nice, Italy frets about European security cooperation By Emilio Parodi MILAN (Reuters) - After the truck attack that killed 84 people in Nice, Italy tightened controls at four border crossings with France over fears an assailant could sneak across onto Italian soil. The rapid action reflected growing Italian concern about weak cooperation on security matters in the European Union after a spate of deadly attacks -- in France, Belgium and now Germany. "What happened in Nice, and in a sense also what happened in Munich, only reinforces what I am saying: that we need to focus everything on prevention and share all useful information," said Claudio Galzerano, a senior official with Italian anti-terrorism police in charge of international cooperation.
  • Small details can boost Nepali trafficking victims' faith in law, judge says By Rina Chandran KATHMANDU (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Lack of awareness of the law and the social stigma around human trafficking keep many victims in Nepal from approaching the courts, even as the number of such cases being prosecuted is slowly rising, a district court judge said. Only a few hundred cases come to the courts, Tek Narayan Kunwar said. "It is a small but still significant number, and an improvement from before," Kunwar, judge at the Chitwan district court in Bharatpur, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
  • Ukraine, after war, becomes a trove for black market arms trade 

    Ukrainian serviceman checks documents at checkpoint near SlavianskBy Alessandra Prentice and Anton Zverev SLOVIANSK, Ukraine/MOSCOW (Reuters) - On Feb. 12 last year, the same day that a ceasefire ended the worst of the fighting in eastern Ukraine between rebels and government forces, a former rebel fighter seized a chance to turn his inside knowledge of the conflict into hard cash. In February 2015, the sides in the conflict agreed a ceasefire.


  • Austria breaks up migrant-smuggling ring: police Austria has broken up an international people-smuggling ring that illegally spirited more than 1,000 migrants into Germany, France and other countries from Hungary, police said on Monday. Austrian, German and Hungarian authorities have arrested 17 people over the ring, most of whom were from the southern Russian region of Chechnya, Austrian police said. "Members (of the organization) were almost exclusively people from the Russian region of Chechnya based in Austria," and many of the drivers were Polish, a police statement said.
  • Turkish president gains upper hand in power struggle 

    Turkish Supporters are silhouetted against a screen showing President Tayyip Erdogan during a pro-government demonstration in AnkaraBy Samia Nakhoul and Ayla Jean Yackley ISTANBUL (Reuters) - At the crossroads between a divided Europe and a convulsed Middle East, Turkey is caught in a power struggle between former Islamist allies which is shaking democratic institutions and raises questions about its future path. Since a failed coup on July 15, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) founded by President Tayyip Erdogan has gained the upper hand in its battle with clandestine networks in the military, judiciary and bureaucracy loyal to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. Erdogan accuses Gulen of masterminding the attempted coup by a faction within the military and has rounded up more than 60,000 people in an operation which he hopes will cleanse Turkey of what he calls the Gulenist "virus".


  • Ex-Lebanon hostage Thomas Sutherland dies in Colorado 

    FILE - In this Dec. 1, 1991, file photo, Thomas Sutherland jumps and shouts after arriving at Fort Collins-Loveland Airport outside his hometown of Fort Collins, Colo. Sutherland spent six and one-half years as a hostage in Lebanon before being released Nov. 18. Sutherland's daughter Kit is at right. Thomas Sutherland, who was held captive in Lebanon for more than six years until he was freed and returned home to become professor emeritus at Colorado State University, has died. According to Colorado State University, Sutherland died in Fort Collins on Friday at the age of 85. (AP Photo/Jeff Robbins)FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Thomas Sutherland, a teacher was held captive in Lebanon for more than six years until he was freed in 1991 and returned home to become professor emeritus at Colorado State University, has died.


  • Saudis in rare Israel visit, meet senior official Gold 

    Israeli Foreign Ministry director general Dore Gold delivers a speech in Jerusalem on June 1, 2015, during a conference about the 50-day war in Gaza in the summer of 2014The head of a rare Saudi delegation to Israel and the occupied West Bank met a senior Israeli government official during his trip, Israel's foreign ministry told AFP on Sunday. Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the meeting between retired Saudi general Anwar Eshki and ministry Director General Dore Gold took place at the prestigious King David hotel in west Jerusalem but did not give further details.


  • Putin, Netanyahu discuss cooperation against Middle East terrorism -agencies 

    Russian President Putin gives message of condolences to French President Hollande over mass killings in Nice in MoscowMOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a phone conversation on Saturday, discussed cooperation in fighting terrorism threats in the Middle East, Russian news agencies quoted the Kremlin as saying. Putin and Netanyahu agreed to continue contacts at various levels. The conversation was held at the initiative of the Israeli side, agencies quoted the Kremlin as saying. (Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; editing by Mark Heinrich)


  • Hungary PM becomes first EU leader to endorse Trump 

    Hungary's Prime minister Victor Orban is a fervent opponent of immigration -- particularly from Muslim nations -- and has blamed recent terror attacks in Europe on the bloc's refugee crisis, which erupted last summerHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Saturday became the first European leader to endorse US presidential candidate Donald Trump, calling him a "better option" for the bloc than his rival, Hillary Clinton. "I am not a Donald Trump campaigner. The right-wing leader said he was swayed by security proposals Trump had made in his acceptance speech as the Republican Party's presidential nominee on Thursday night.


  • Colorado mother: Son killed while fighting ISIS in Syria 

    In this 2015 photo provided by Katy Shirley, Levi Shirley, left, and his sister Katy Shirley pose for a photo in Arvada in suburban Denver. Levi, who joined Kurdish forces in their fight against the Islamic State group was killed in combat in Syria, his mother said Thursday, July 21, 2016. Susan Shirley said the U.S. Consulate in Turkey called her Tuesday to tell her that her son Levi Shirley, 24, was killed July 14 by a land mine. (Katy Shirley via AP)DENVER (AP) — A Colorado man who joined Kurdish forces in their fight against the Islamic State group was killed in combat in Syria, his mother said.


  • Hundreds of migrants march from Belgrade towards Hungary 

    A group of migrants walk near Belgrade on July 22, 2016, to protest the closed border preventing them from entering central EuropeSome 300 migrants in Belgrade, mostly young men from Afghanistan and Pakistan, on Friday began a hunger strike and set off on foot towards the Hungarian border in the hope of entering the European Union. Defying afternoon heat, the migrants began their 200 kilometre (120 mile) trek north escorted by a police car, an AFP photographer reported.


  • HRW urges Syria regime to let aid into besieged Aleppo 

    Rescuers look for victims under the rubble of a collapsed building following an air strike on a rebel-held neighbourhood of Syria's Aleppo on July 19, 2016Human Rights Watch on Friday urged Syrian regime forces to immediately let desperately needed aid into besieged districts of Aleppo and to allow civilians to leave the city. The New York-based group appealed to forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad to abide by international humanitarian law. "Syrian government forces are repeating the terrible siege tactics in densely populated eastern Aleppo that devastated civilian populations in other towns in Syria," HRW's deputy Middle East director Nadim Houry said.


  • Syrian refugees welcomed in recession-hit Brazil but face tough times By Sophie Davies RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Hanan Dacka fled the civil war in Syria with her family to start a new life in Brazil, the idea that she might one day carry the Olympic torch was beyond the stretch of anyone's imagination. The Summer Olympic Games begin on Aug. 5 in Rio de Janeiro.
  • AP PHOTOS: Editor selections of the week in the Mideast 

    FILE - In this Wednesday, July 20, 2016 file photo, mourners walk past the Israeli barrier as they carry the body of Muhey al-Tabakhi, 12, during his funeral in the West Bank town of Al-Ram, near Jerusalem. A Palestinian hospital official says the boy was killed after clashes erupted between Israeli forces and protesters in the West Bank. Ramallah hospital director Ahmad Bitawi says the boy was killed by a bullet to the chest. Israeli police deny that live fire was used against protesters.(AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi, File)Across the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan this week, scorching temperatures and regional conflicts touched the lives of people living here.


  • Qatar says gives $30 million to pay Gaza public sector workers Qatar said on Thursday it would give $30 million to help pay the salaries of thousands of Gaza Strip public sector workers left without a full wage package since 2013. The donation was welcomed by Hamas, the Islamist group that dominates the enclave who said it would help ease the wage shortages - that have tested already strained relations with the U.S.-backed Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank. There was no immediate comment from Palestinian Authority or Israel, who have long been suspicious of Qatar's regular donations to Hamas and other Islamist groups across the region.
  • Analysis: Is Turkish leader transforming a nation? 

    People walk in Kizilay Square with a poster of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the background in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, July 21, 2016. Turkish lawmakers declared a three-month state of emergency Thursday, overwhelmingly approving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's request for sweeping new powers to expand a crackdown in the aftermath of last week's coup. Parliament voted 346-115 to approve the national state of emergency, which will give Erdogan the authority to extend detention times for suspects and issue decrees that have the force of law without parliamentary approval, among other powers.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)ISTANBUL (AP) — The stunning sweep of Turkey's crackdown following an attempted coup last week forces questions about how far President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will go in a tense, conspiracy-fueled country. While the purges may be designed to derail any future insurrections, there are increasing concerns that Erdogan is seizing the moment to transform Turkey, steering it from its secular roots toward a more pious Muslim model and cementing personal power at the expense of democratic ideals.


  • France committed to leading Israel-Palestine talks: Hollande 

    French President Francois Hollande (R) welcomes President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas upon his arrival on July 21, 2016 at the Elysee Presidential Palace in ParisFrench President Francois Hollande told Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas in Paris on Thursday that his country is committed to leading international efforts to help secure peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Hollande confirmed "France's commitment to building on the momentum created" on June 3, when Paris hosted senior diplomats to work towards organising an international conference to reboot talks by the end of the year. "While the latest report from the Quartet shows the two-state solution is under threat by continued settlement-building, there is an urgent need to recreate a political perspective," Hollande added.


  • Thousands march in Jerusalem Gay Pride under police guard 

    Israelis participate in Jerusalem's Pride Parade on July 21, 2016Thousands of revellers attended Jerusalem's Gay Pride parade under heavy police protection on Thursday, a year after an ultra-Orthodox Jew killed a teenager at the march. Many laid flowers under a picture of Shira Banki, 16, who was killed at the march in July last year. Banki was attacked at random by Yishai Shlissel, an ultra-orthodox Jew who also stabbed five other people and is now serving a life sentence.


  • French warplane bombed Libya militias after French deaths BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — A French warplane bombed Islamic militia positions outside the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi this week after the killings of French officers in the area, two Libyan officials said Thursday.
  • Police investigate attempted abduction of UK serviceman at air base By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - British police investigating the attempted abduction of a serviceman from a Royal Air Force base in eastern England, said on Thursday they could not discount it being a terrorism incident. The serviceman, aged in his late 20s, was jogging on Wednesday afternoon and not in uniform when he was approached by two men on a quiet, rural road near the married quarters of RAF Marham in Norfolk. The married serviceman, who was very shocked but not hurt, ran off and the two attackers, described by police as being aged between 20 and 30 and of Middle Eastern origin in appearance, fled in the car.

 

 

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