World

20th January

UK’s Prince Philip, 97, has hospital check-up after road crash

LONDON (Reuters) – The husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, 97, visited hospital for a precautionary check-up on Friday after being involved in a car crash the previous day, Buckingham...

U.S. names three killed in Syria blast claimed by Islamic State

(Reuters) – A U.S. Navy servicewoman and a former Navy SEAL are among the four Americans killed in a suicide bombing this week in northern Syria that the United States believes was likely carried out by Islamic State, U.S. officials said on Friday. Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida; Navy...

Ex-Chicago policeman sentenced to nearly seven years in black teen’s death

CHICAGO (Reuters) – White former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was sentenced on Friday to nearly seven years in prison for shooting black teen Laquan McDonald to death in 2014 in a landmark case that highlighted racial tensions in America’s third-biggest city. After a jury convicted Van Dyke, 40, of second-degree murder last fall,...

White House restricts U.S. lawmakers’ travel amid shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration has barred U.S. congressional travel on government-owned or operated aircraft during the partial government shutdown, unless they have White House approval, according to a memo issued on Friday by the White House Office of Management and Budget. The move marks an escalation by the White House, which on Thursday...

Man sets himself ablaze in central Prague square

PRAGUE (Reuters) – A man set himself on fire in a central Prague square on Friday as Czechs marked the 50th anniversary of a student’s self-immolation in protest at the Soviet invasion that crushed the Prague Spring. The unidentified man was taken to hospital after bystanders doused the flames that enveloped him in the same...

Missing ex-Interpol chief’s wife wants asylum in France

PARIS (Reuters) – Grace Meng, wife of missing former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei, applied for asylum in France fearing for her life, her lawyer said on Friday. The boss of Lyon-based Interpol went missing in September after travelling back to his native China. France opened an inquiry and China said he was under investigation for...

Ten-year old Chilean teaches star gazing to classmates

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Ten-year old Ricardo Barriga’s backyard in Pirque, Chile is strewn with a blow-up unicorn, pool toys, a soccer ball and a $3,000 telescope that his parents mail-ordered from Germany. The budding young astronaut can identify constellations in the austral sky, little-known features of the moon, planets and black holes. He recently started...

Newborn lion cubs die in Gaza after winter storm

GAZA CITY (Reuters) – Four baby lion cubs died from the cold in a Gaza zoo after wind ripped protective plastic sheeting from their cage during a winter storm, the zoo’s owner said on Friday. Two cubs were found dead on Thursday, just a day after they were born, said Fathy Joma. The two others...

19th January

Myanmar army kills 13 rebels in Rakhine clashes – military spokesman

NAYPYITAW (Reuters) – Myanmar’s army has killed 13 rebel fighters in the western Rakhine State, a military spokesman said on Friday, as government troops battle to contain a new insurgency in the troubled region. Fighting between security forces and the Arakan Army, an ethnic armed group seeking greater autonomy for Rakhine, has forced some 5,000...

Oslo stabbing investigated as terrorist attack – police

OSLO (Reuters) – A knife attack in a supermarket in Oslo is being investigated as a possible act of terrorism, the head of the Norwegian police’s security service (PST) said on Friday. A woman was knifed on Thursday as she was paying at the till and the suspect, a 20-year-old Russian man, was arrested soon...

Chinese drone maker DJI uncovers corruption, sees $150 million loss

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd, the world’s largest maker of consumer drones, has discovered several cases of serious corruption at the company and expects 2018 losses of more than 1 billion yuan ($150 million) as a result, it said on Friday. The company said it was investigating the cases, which came...

Murdoch seeks permission to merge UK’s Times and Sunday Times

LONDON (Reuters) – Rupert Murdoch’s London-based newspapers The Times and Sunday Times have asked the British government for permission to share resources across both titles, a move that is barred under rules imposed when the media mogul bought both newspapers in 1981. John Witherow, editor of The Times, said the cost pressures facing the newspaper...

Drought, animal disease threaten South African farmers

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African grain and red meat farmers are bracing for hard times after dry weather conditions and an outbreak of the highly contagious foot and mouth disease suspended meat exports, officials said on Friday. Maize prices have climbed amid concerns that dry conditions in the main part of South Africa’s maize belt...

Thousands flee as militants kill more than 100 soldiers in northeast Nigeria – aid agencies

GENEVA (Reuters) – Armed groups have killed more than 100 soldiers and seized a huge stock of weapons in clashes in northeast Nigeria since Dec. 26, a report by a group of aid agencies said on Friday, weeks ahead of an election in which security is a campaign issue. An army spokesman denied the number...

EU says Britain must hold European elections if no Brexit before July 2

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission indicated on Friday that Britons would need to choose their representatives to the next European Parliament if the country were to stay in the European Union beyond the first sitting of the new assembly on July 2. Britain is due to leave the EU at midnight of March 29th,...

Explainer: ‘Yellow vest’ crisis exposes limits of French welfare system

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s “yellow vest” protests have exposed a deep-rooted belief that society is not working for large swathes of the French population, especially outside major cities. Driving the unrest is anger about rising living costs – particularly among low-paid workers – and a perception that President Emmanuel Macron is deaf to their needs...

Indonesia to release suspected Bali bomb mastermind Bashir from prison

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Abu Bakar Bashir, the radical Muslim cleric and alleged mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings, will be granted early release from jail on humanitarian grounds, Indonesia’s president said on Friday. Bashir, 81, who is considered the spiritual leader of the Islamist group Jemaah Islamiah (JI), was convicted in 2010 under anti-terrorism laws...

Former Afghan security adviser enters race for president

KABUL (Reuters) – A former national security adviser entered Afghanistan’s presidential race on Friday, seeking to unseat his former boss President Ashraf Ghani with the promise of a renewed effort to bring peace to the country. Mohammad Hanif Atmar, the country’s top security official for four years before he quit in August over policy differences...

Russian scientists find defect in new heavy lift space rocket engine

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Scientists have discovered a defect in the engines of Russia’s new flagship heavy lift space rocket that could destroy it in flight, an apparent setback to a project President Vladimir Putin has said is vital for national security. The Angara A5, which was test-launched in 2014, is being developed to replace the...

Gunmen kill Ghanaian journalist who helped expose soccer graft

DAKAR (Reuters) – Gunmen in Ghana killed an investigative journalist who had helped uncover corruption in football, rights groups and his employer said on Thursday. Ahmed Hussein-Suale was shot three times by men on a motorbike while driving home from work on Wednesday in the capital Accra, said his production company Tiger Eye PI. “We...

EU Chemicals Agency proposes ban on deliberately added microplastics to combat pollution

HELSINKI (Reuters) – The EU Chemicals Agency ECHA on Friday proposed a ban on deliberately adding microplastics to products such as cosmetics, detergents and agricultural fertilisers in the EU by 2020 to combat pollution. The tiny bits of plastic pollution in waterways and oceans are causing growing concern among scientists about their effect on marine...

U.N. members owe $2 billion in debt to peacekeeping, U.S. owes a third

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. member states owe nearly $2 billion in peacekeeping funds, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has warned, with the United States responsible for more than a third of that. “Active peacekeeping missions are soon expected to face liquidity gaps due to late payments and increasing arrears,” Guterres wrote in a Jan....

$11 toothpaste: Immigrants pay big for basics at private ICE lock-ups

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Detained in a California lockup with hundreds of other immigrants seeking asylum, Duglas Cruz faced a choice. He could content himself with a jailhouse diet that he said left him perpetually hungry. Or he could labour in the prison’s kitchen to earn money to buy extra food at the commissary....

Saving a river: Pollution in India’s holy Ganges makes it toxic

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Ganges river, holy to most Indians, flows from the western Himalayas down to the Bay of Bengal through crowded cities, industrial hubs and some of the most populated areas in the world. The river begins as pristine, clear waters in the icy heights of the tallest mountain range in the...

Ageing Singapore: City-state helps firms retain workers past retirement age

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Mohsin Khan is still at his job repairing aircraft hydraulics parts although the Singaporean turns 75 in a couple of months. His technical skills are prized by his employer, and as his eyesight deteriorated slightly, the company invested about two years ago in a S$11,000 (£6,273) laser-marker machine that uses a large...

After billion-barrel bonanza, BP goes global with seismic tech

LONDON (Reuters) – Buoyed by the success of seismic imaging that found an extra billion barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, BP is looking to take its latest technology to Angola and Brazil. The software used in the Gulf, based on an algorithm created by Xukai Shen, a geophysicist straight out of Stanford...

Talks resume as Los Angeles teachers’ strike runs for fourth day

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Negotiators for striking Los Angeles teachers and America’s second-largest school district returned to the bargaining table on Thursday for the first time since talks collapsed last week, as a walkout by some 30,000 educators ran for a fourth day. The teachers, who have gone without a contract for nearly a year,...

Avalanche kills one skier, injures another in New Mexico

TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) – One skier died and another was in critical condition on Thursday, hospital employees said, after being caught in an avalanche on some of the most challenging terrain at Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico, a resort known for its steep runs. They were skiing down a chute off Kachina Peak, a...

Venezuela to receive 2,000 Cuban doctors pulled from Brazil – Maduro

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela will receive 2,000 Cuban doctors who left Brazil following a dispute between the Communist-run island and the government of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who ordered an end to their stay after taking office this year. Bolsonaro said some 11,000 doctors were being used as “slave labour” and demanded that the...

18th January

Car bomber kills 10 in Colombia police academy attack

BOGOTA (Reuters) – A car bomb exploded at a police academy in Colombia’s capital Bogota on Thursday, killing at least 10 people and wounding over 50 in an attack that prompted fears of a return to the country’s violent past. Authorities said the car broke through checkpoints into the grounds of the General Santander School...

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