• Malaysia, Indonesia to accept boats in breakthrough on migrants

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    Malaysia and Indonesia said Wednesday they would no longer turn away migrants, a breakthrough in the region's crisis that came just hours after hundreds more starving people were rescued at sea. Earlier, Myanmar, whose policies toward its ethnic Rohingya minority are widely blamed for fuelling the human flow, also softened its line by offering to provide humanitarian aid to stricken migrants. Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand had sparked growing international outrage by driving off boats overloaded with exhausted and dying Rohingya as well as Bangladeshis. More »Malaysia, Indonesia to accept boats in breakthrough on migrants

  • Knife attacks put Olympic city Rio on edge

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    A series of knife attacks in areas popular with tourists has Rio de Janeiro on edge just a year before the Brazilian city hosts South America's first Olympics. In the latest incident, police said two teenagers fatally stabbed a 52-year-old doctor late Tuesday as he cycled near the popular Rodrigo de Freitas lake, not far from the site hosting the Olympic rowing events. The victim, identified as Jaime Gold, died of his injuries in hospital. More »Knife attacks put Olympic city Rio on edge

  • Guatemalan central bank, social security chiefs arrested

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    The heads of the Guatemalan central bank and social security administration were arrested Wednesday on corruption charges, prosecutors said, the latest blow to embattled President Otto Perez. Julio Suarez, the head of the Central Bank of Guatemala, and Juan de Dios Rodriguez, the president of the Guatemalan Social Security Institute (IGSS), are accused of fraud in a $14.5-million contract for dialysis services for patients covered by IGSS health insurance. Members of the IGSS board of directors and two PISA executives were also arrested. More »Guatemalan central bank, social security chiefs arrested

  • At least seven killed in southern Mexico clashes

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    At least seven people were killed and 20 were wounded in clashes between armed civilians in Mexico's violence-plagued southern state of Guerrero, officials said Wednesday. The shootouts erupted late Tuesday in El Naranjo, a hamlet that is part of the municipality of Tlacotepec, which lies in a mountainous region where drug gangs grow opium poppies. "At the moment we have seven people dead," a state government official, who requested anonymity, told AFP. More »At least seven killed in southern Mexico clashes

  • EU lawmakers accuse states of passing buck on migrants

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    EU lawmakers on Wednesday accused some member states of passing the buck by rejecting a Brussels plan for binding quotas for refugees making the dangerous Mediterranean crossing. Members of the main groups in the European Parliament voiced support for the plan that European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled last week to make the rest of the 28-nation EU share the burden of frontline states such as Italy, Greece and Malta. More »EU lawmakers accuse states of passing buck on migrants

  • Dutch doctor who gave wrong diagnoses could face longer sentence

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    Prosecutors in the Netherlands on Wednesday called for a longer prison term for a former neurologist convicted for giving wrong diagnoses, which led one patient to commit suicide. Ernst Jansen Steur "mistreated and neglected eight patients", and "systematically made serious mistakes concerning his patients' treatment", prosecutors said in a statement. Jansen Steur, 69, was sentenced in February 2014 to three years in prison. More »Dutch doctor who gave wrong diagnoses could face longer sentence

  • Time short for global climate deal in Paris, warns Hollande

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    French President Francois Hollande warned Wednesday that time was short for a year-end deal on climate change and called on world leaders to unlock the complex process in the months ahead. In a speech opening a two-day gathering of business executives on climate change, Hollande said "200 days are left" before a crucial UN conference which France will host. "That may seem a lot of time, but in fact there's very little," Hollande said. More »Time short for global climate deal in Paris, warns Hollande

  • Israel reverses ban on Palestinians using settler buses

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday overturned a ban on Palestinians riding the same buses as Jewish settlers, a measure condemned by rights campaigners as "ethnic separation". The about-face came as EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini began her first visit to the region since a new rightwing Israeli government was sworn in last week. The three-month pilot project barring Palestinian workers from returning home from Israel to the West Bank on Israeli buses began on Wednesday morning after approval from hardline Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon. More »Israel reverses ban on Palestinians using settler buses

  • Burundi leader says country peaceful, warns against 'encouraging insurrection'

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza insisted Wednesday that "security reigns" in the country, after a failed coup and weeks of violent protests at his bid for a third term in power. "Peace and security reign over 99.9 percent of Burundian territory and people are going about normally in their activities," the president said in a broadcast on state radio. One week after a coup led by a top general was crushed -- with soldiers fighting each other on the streets -- security forces on Wednesday again battled to end the anti-government protests that have been raging in parts of the capital since late April. More »Burundi leader says country peaceful, warns against 'encouraging insurrection'

  • Albania threatens to veto Macedonia's NATO bid

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama threatened on Wednesday that his country would veto Macedonia's NATO candidacy, arguing it did not respect the rights of its ethnic Albanian minority. "Macedonia could not be a NATO member without respecting the Ohrid agreement and human rights," Rama told a regional ministerial meeting on the fight against terrorism. Ethnic Albanians make up around one quarter of Macedonia's 2.1 million population. More »Albania threatens to veto Macedonia's NATO bid

  • UN announces Yemen talks, but govt demands rebel pullout

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    The United Nations announced Wednesday a date for its conference on Yemen, where Saudi-led warplanes have intensified raids against rebels in a conflict that has displaced half a million people. The developments came as Tehran headed off a potential confrontation with arch-foe Washington by saying an Iranian ship bound for Yemen in defiance of a blockade would now dock in Djibouti for UN inspection. The Saudi-led coalition has waged an air campaign against the Huthi rebels since March 26 in an effort to restore the authority of exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled to Riyadh. More »UN announces Yemen talks, but govt demands rebel pullout

  • EU parliament in surprise vote for 'conflict minerals' ban

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    European legislators on Wednesday unexpectedly voted in favour of a law requiring firms to ensure they do not use so-called conflict minerals from Africa and other areas that end up funding warlords. "I must confess that it's been one of the most intense moments I've experienced since becoming a member of the European parliament," said Socialist Gianni Pittella of Italy, who leads the second biggest bloc in the assembly. Applause broke out as lawmakers at the last minute passed amendments calling for compulsory ethical sourcing of materials from conflict areas like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia and Afghanistan. More »EU parliament in surprise vote for 'conflict minerals' ban

  • I only promote reading, writer tells sabotage trial

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    Erri de Luca, the Italian writer on trial for inciting criminal damage to a controversial high-speed rail link through the Alps, told a court Wednesday he was only capable of inciting people to read or write. De Luca, who was spending his 65th birthday before a judge, faces a possible five-year prison term in a case that has become a cause celebre for the anti-globalisation movement. At the heart of the case are statements made by De Luca in interviews in which he described as legitimate attempts to sabotage a project that has become a focus for anti-globalisation protesters. More »I only promote reading, writer tells sabotage trial

  • Uruguay to probe dictatorship crimes

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    Uruguay has created a commission to probe human rights violations perpetrated from 1968 to 1985 as the government cracked down brutally on a leftist rebellion. The Truth and Justice Working Group will investigate crimes committed by the police and army during the country's 1973 to 1985 dictatorship, and during a state of emergency decreed prior to the dictatorship, on June 13, 1968. It said the commission will "investigate crimes against humanity committed by agents of the state or those who had its authorization, support or acquiescence, inside and outside Uruguay's borders." Vazquez's Broad Front party includes former members of the Tupamaros guerrilla group, which waged an insurgency against Uruguay's government starting in the early 1960s. More »Uruguay to probe dictatorship crimes

  • Bin Laden's bookshelf: French economics and conspiracy theory

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    Osama bin Laden's English language reading list included numerous books by conspiracy theorists and an inordinate number on France, suggesting he may have planned to strike the country's economy, US officials said Wednesday. Jeffrey Anchukaitis, spokesman for the US director of national intelligence's office, said Bin Laden "appears to have been interested in attacking the economy of France in the hope that an economic collapse there would trigger one in the US or the rest of the Western world." US intelligence analysts were not surprised Bin Laden was interested in attacking the economies of west, but Anchukaitis said "it was surprising that he asked for so many books on France." The spokesman told AFP that "just because he had these books doesn't mean he was committed to that course of action." "It means he had asked his lieutenants to bring him information on France," he said. More »Bin Laden's bookshelf: French economics and conspiracy theory

  • Macedonia crisis talks yield no breakthroughs

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    Talks between Macedonia's embattled premier and the opposition failed to yield any breakthroughs Wednesday toward ending the political crisis that has paralysed the small Balkan country. The opposition accuses conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of corruption, wiretapping and other wrongdoings and has vowed to protest until he quits. Gruevski and the centre-left opposition leader Zoran Zaev met until early Wednesday in Strasbourg behind closed doors as their supporters led rival protests for the fourth straight day in Macedonia's capital Skopje. More »Macedonia crisis talks yield no breakthroughs

  • Iran rules out nuclear inspections of military sites

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday ruled out allowing nuclear inspectors to visit military sites or to question scientists if Tehran strikes a long-sought deal with world powers. "We have already said that we will not allow any inspections of military sites by foreigners," the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying. "They also say that we must allow interviews with nuclear scientists. More »Iran rules out nuclear inspections of military sites

  • Ex-Soviet Georgia urges EU progress, despite Russian pressure

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has warned European Union leaders against letting Russian aggression in Ukraine undermine the bloc's project of building closer links with ex-Soviet nations. Speaking ahead of a key Eastern Partnership summit in Riga that starts Thursday, Margvelashvili insisted Russia's opposition should not scare Europe off closer ties with the former Communist states. "Top EU leaders gave me clear assurances that there is no informal Russian veto on Georgia's free choice to be part of Europe," Margvelashvili told AFP in an interview on Tuesday. More »Ex-Soviet Georgia urges EU progress, despite Russian pressure

  • Bin Laden bent on spectacular US attack until the end: files

    AFP News - Thu, May 21, 2015

    Hunkered down in his Pakistani compound, Osama bin Laden pleaded with his followers to stay focused on attacking the United States instead of being dragged into Muslim infighting. Documents that were declassified on Wednesday shed new light on the mindset of Al-Qaeda's founder, his debates over tactics, his anxiety over Western spying and his fixation with the group's media image. "The focus should be on killing and fighting the American people and their representatives," the late Al-Qaeda figurehead wrote. More »Bin Laden bent on spectacular US attack until the end: files

  • German police find Hitler's long-lost horse sculptures

    AFP News - Wed, May 20, 2015

    German police Wednesday recovered two life-sized bronze sculptures of horses worth millions that once stood outside Adolf Hitler's chancellery but vanished in the year the Berlin Wall fell. Police said they had found the long-lost masterpieces, commissioned by the Third Reich, in a warehouse after staging 10 raids in five states targeting eight suspected members, aged 64 to 79, of a ring of illegal art dealers. The artworks included the monumental horse sculptures and granite reliefs, by sculptors Josef Thorak and Arno Breker, police said in a statement. More »German police find Hitler's long-lost horse sculptures

  • UNESCO chief 'deeply concerned' about Palmyra, urges ceasefire

    AFP News - Wed, May 20, 2015

    The head of UNESCO said on Wednesday she was "deeply concerned" about fighting in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra and called for an "immediate" end to hostilities. Irina Bokova said in a statement that the fighting was "putting at risk one of the most significant sites in the Middle East," as Islamic State fighters overran the north of the city. Palmyra's UNESCO-listed heritage site, including ancient temples and colonnaded streets, and its adjacent museum housing priceless artefacts, are in the city's southwest. More »UNESCO chief 'deeply concerned' about Palmyra, urges ceasefire

  • Turkey charges ex-boyfriend of shot singer with attempted murder

    AFP News - Wed, May 20, 2015

    A Turkish court on Wednesday charged with attempted murder the ex-boyfriend of a teenage talent show hopeful who was shot in the head in an attack that has highlighted concerns over violence against women. Police on Tuesday arrested three men over the assault in the Kurdish-majority southeastern Diyarbakir region on 19-year-old Mutlu Kaya, who had been competing in a national televised song contest. Two were released under judicial supervision but her former boyfriend, named as Veysel Ercan, 26, was remanded in custody and charged with attempted murder, Turkish media including the website of the Milliyet daily reported. More »Turkey charges ex-boyfriend of shot singer with attempted murder

  • Heavy gunfire at Burundi protests as poll delayed

    AFP News - Wed, May 20, 2015

    Burundian security forces fired shots and tear gas in battles with protesters Wednesday, the latest violence in weeks of anti-government demonstrations, as the presidency delayed elections by over a week. In the capital Bujumbura, thousands defied heavy gunfire from police and government orders to call off their protests, marching through the streets to demand President Pierre Nkurunziza abandon his bid for a third term in power. One week after a failed coup led by a top general -- which saw soldiers battling each other on the streets -- police were seen returning to try to quash protests. More »Heavy gunfire at Burundi protests as poll delayed

  • Stigma haunts relatives of Thais jailed under royal insult law

    AFP News - Wed, May 20, 2015

    When Natnicha's husband was jailed for insulting Thailand's monarchy under the country's lese majeste laws, she didn't just lose a partner. Several anti-coup activists, two theatre performers, a bookseller and even a mentally ill 65-year-old have been jailed under the draconian "112" royal defamation law since the May 22 power grab by the Thai junta. More »Stigma haunts relatives of Thais jailed under royal insult law

  • China 'severely concerned' over US spying accusations

    AFP News - Wed, May 20, 2015

    China said Wednesday it was "severely concerned" over the arrest of one of its citizens in the US, one of six Chinese nationals charged with economic espionage. US prosecutors accused the Chinese suspects, who include three university professors, with a years-long scheme to steal mobile phone technology trade secrets for Beijing's benefit. "China is severely concerned about this," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular briefing, adding Beijing would defend its citizens' rights. More »China 'severely concerned' over US spying accusations

Pagination

(1000 stories)