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WORLD NEWS

Ukraine accuses Russia of 'undisguised aggression' as rebels advance

Piece of a mortar projectile is pictured on a road near the airport in Donetsk,By Pavel Polityuk and Polina Devitt KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Monday of "direct and undisguised aggression" which he said had radically changed the battlefield balance as Kiev's forces suffered a further reverse in their war with pro-Moscow separatists. In the latest in a string of setbacks in the past week, Ukraine's military said it had pulled back from defending a vital airport in the east of the country, near the city of Luhansk, where troops had been battling a Russian tank battalion. Poroshenko said in a speech there would be high-level personnel changes in the Ukrainian armed forces, whose troops fled a new rebel advance in the south which Kiev and its Western allies say has been backed up by Russian armored columns. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called on Sunday for immediate negotiations on the "statehood" of southern and eastern Ukraine, blamed Kiev's leadership for refusing to enter into direct political talks with the separatists.


Date Posted : Mon, 01 Sep 2014 22:02:53 -0400
U.S. forces carry out operation against al-Shabaab in Somalia

Al Shabaab soldiers sit outside a building during patrol along the streets of Dayniile district in Southern MogadishuDepartment of Defense spokesman said. "We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement. Al Shabaab is an Islamist group affiliated with al Qaeda that wants to impose its own strict version of Islam in Somalia. It ruled most of the southern region of Somalia from 2006 until 2011, when African peacekeeping troops marched into the capital, Mogadishu.


Date Posted : Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:53:06 -0400
Fiji says Syrian rebels want compensation, removal from terror list

Rebel fighters demonstrate with their fake weapons during a military display as part of a graduating ceremony at a camp in eastern al-GhoutaBy Baz Ratner and Lincoln Feast EIN ZIVAN Golan Heights/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Islamist fighters who seized dozens of Fijian soldiers serving as U.N. peacekeepers on the Golan Heights last week are demanding that their group be removed from a global terrorism list and that compensation be paid for members killed in fighting, the head of Fiji's army said on Tuesday. Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga said negotiations had been stepped up between the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and a new U.N. negotiation team now in place in Syria. "They also told us they are ensuring that they are taken out of battle areas." Heavy fighting erupted on Monday between the Syrian army and Islamist rebels near where 45 Fijian peacekeepers were captured and scores of their fellow blue helmets from the Philippines escaped after resisting capture. Syria's three-year civil war reached the frontier with Israeli-controlled territory last week when Islamist fighters overran a crossing point in the line that has separated Israelis from Syrians in the Golan Heights since a 1973 war.


Date Posted : Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:37:12 -0400
Hong Kong police arrest 19 in pro-democracy scuffles

A pro-democracy activist is detained by the police during a confrontation in Hong KongHong Kong police said on Tuesday they arrested 19 people during scuffles with pro-democracy activists prompted by China's decision not to allow the Asian financial hub to choose its next leader. The 19, aged between 20 and 45, were arrested on Monday for illegal assembly, trying to force their way on to a carriageway, charging a police line and for pushing barriers, a police spokeswoman said. Police used pepper spray to disperse activists as Hong Kong center braces for a wave of disruptive protests against China's decision. Hong Kong is in the midst of a political upheaval as activists in the former British colony push for full democracy.


Date Posted : Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:06:56 -0400
Australia to step up formal partnership with NATO at summit

Australian PM Abbott speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in WashingtonAustralia is set to step up its partnership with NATO, its foreign minister said on Tuesday, as the country pursues a bigger role in global crises from Iraq and Syria to Ukraine. Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who is due to host Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders at a G20 summit in November, has used a number of recent speeches to signal a more muscular approach to foreign policy.


Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:52:45 -0400
Tunisian deputy survives assassination attempt
By Tarek Amara TUNIS (Reuters) - A deputy in Tunisia's transitional parliament survived an assassination attempt in the city of Kasserine, near the Algerian border, where security forces have been hunting Islamist militants for months. Mohamed Ali Nasri told reporters in hospital that about five gunmen attacked his house late on Monday. Tunisia holds its first free parliamentary elections on Oct. 26 after parliament adopted a new constitution this year. Protests in Tunisia in 2010 sparked subsequent revolutions that have transformed the Arab world and in many ways is more stable and secure than other Arab Spring countries such as Libya, Egypt and Syria.
Date Posted : Mon, 01 Sep 2014 22:50:21 -0400
Tropical Storm Dolly forms off Mexico's coast
MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Dolly has formed off Mexico's coast over the Bay of Campeche.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 02:22:44 -0400
Tension as exiled Lesotho PM expected to return

Soldiers walk inside the Makoanyane Barracks in Maseru on September 1, 2014Gunfire and power cuts rekindled tensions in Lesotho's capital Maseru overnight, as the mountain nation awaited the possible return of its exiled prime minister following an apparent coup. An aide to Tom Thabane told AFP the 75-year-old could return to the country Tuesday, after regional mediators brokered a road map to ease the country's political crisis. "We are going home now, most probably we will be in Lesotho tomorrow," Samonyane Ntsekele said. Thabane had fled across the border to South Africa before dawn on Saturday, as troops attacked key police installations and surrounded his official residence.


Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 02:22:01 -0400
Blackwater legacy: a faint memory of Nisoor Square
WASHINGTON (AP) — A jury is about to consider the fates of four former Blackwater security guards who face charges stemming from the shooting of 30 Iraqis on a Baghdad street in 2007.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 02:18:31 -0400
Asia stocks mostly higher, wages data boosts Japan

FILE - The New York Stock Exchange is shown, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011 file photo taken in New York. Global stock markets were muted Thursday Aug. 28, 2014 ahead of U.S. economic data and possible policy announcements from Japan.(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)TOKYO (AP) — Asian stocks were mostly higher Tuesday after a jump in average wages boosted Japan's market. Hong Kong's benchmark was recovering after initially retreating on weak Chinese data and concerns over tensions with Beijing.


Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 02:12:04 -0400
Fiji says UN negotiating demands with hostage takers

Members of the jihadist group Al-Nusra Front fire homemade mortar rounds during fighting with goverment forces on near Aleppo in Syria in February, 2014Fiji revealed for the first time Tuesday the demands being made by Al-Qaeda-linked Syria rebels who took more than 40 UN peacekeepers hostage in the Golan Heights last week. Fiji army chief Mosese Tikoitoga said the rebels wanted their organisation, the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, to be removed from the UN's list of terrorist organisations.


Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 02:11:21 -0400
Dethroned Myanmar beauty queen blasts pageant boss
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A dethroned beauty queen from Myanmar says she won't return her $100,000 crown until the pageant's organizers apologize for calling her a liar and a thief.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 02:08:41 -0400
Clashes between Islamists, rivals in Libya kill 31
CAIRO (AP) — A Libyan security official says clashes in the eastern city of Benghazi between Islamists and rival fighters loyal to a renegade general have killed 31 on both sides.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 02:05:52 -0400
Australian dad accused of abusing Thai-born twins
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian man has been charged with sexually abusing twin girls he fathered several years ago to a Thai surrogate mother in another case that casts a harsh light on Thailand's beleaguered surrogacy industry.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:46:38 -0400
Homicide charges for S. Korean soldiers over death
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Officials say South Korean military prosecutors are charging four soldiers with homicide over the hazing death of a young army conscript in April.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:44:50 -0400
Hong Kong police arrest 22 pro-democracy protesters

Police carry barriers outside Hong Kong government offices as they prepare for a protest by democracy activists in Hong Kong on August 31, 2014Hong Kong police have arrested at least 22 people during a series of protests targeting a senior Chinese official visiting the city, authorities said Tuesday. The city has been plunged into political crisis after pro-democracy activists vowed to take over the streets of the city's financial district following Beijing's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. In the kind of scenes that would be unthinkable on the mainland, Li Fei, a senior member of China's rubber stamp parliament, has been dogged by angry demonstrations throughout his visit to the former British colony -- including lawmakers heckling him during a speech on Monday. Li is in town to explain China's controversial proposal to control who stands for the top post in the city's next leadership election, a decision that has prompted pro-democracy activists to embark on what they describe as a new "era of civil disobedience".


Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:44:23 -0400
Ebola-denial a revolt against colonial mindset: expert

A girl walks past a slogan painted on a wall reading "Stop Ebola" in Monrovia on August 31, 2014It has been one of the more bizarre features of a deadly epidemic: a vocal minority in west African society denying that Ebola exists even as family and friends die around them. "When people say that Ebola does not exist, they are rebelling against something," Senegalese university professor Cheikh Ibrahima Niang told AFP. Seventeen Ebola patients in the Liberian capital Monrovia fled from a guarantine centre two weeks ago after it was attacked by club-wielding youths shouting "there's no Ebola" in the latest of a series of such incidents across the region. "We need to ask what is making them say that," Niang told AFP in an interview at Dakar's Cheik Anta Diop University.


Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:44:18 -0400
Anti-China group nabbed for planned Manila attacks

National Bureau of Investigation agents secure alleged leader Grandeur Pepito Guerrero, center, of a group who call themselves as USAFE as he arrives for inquest proceedings at the Department of Justice in Manila, Philippines, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. Philippine authorities said Tuesday that they arrested three men, including Guerrero, linked to a group that had planned to set off firebombs at Manila’s international airport and a major shopping mall in the city to protest the government’s alleged soft stance in its territorial dispute with China. The military, however, downplayed the planned attack, saying the men were just seeking attention. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine authorities said Tuesday that they arrested three men linked to a group that was planning to set off firebombs at Manila's international airport and a major mall in the city to protest the government's alleged "soft" stance in its territorial dispute with China. The military, however, downplayed the planned attacks, saying the men were just seeking attention.


Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:41:31 -0400
Survey: Foreign companies in China feel 'targeted'
BEIJING (AP) — Foreign companies in China feel increasingly targeted for unfair enforcement of anti-monopoly and other laws and might cut investment if conditions fail to improve, a U.S. business group said Tuesday.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:33:25 -0400
Top Asian News at 5:30 a.m. GMT
SUVA, Fiji (AP) — Fiji's military commander said Tuesday that Syrian rebels have issued three demands for the release of 45 Fijian peacekeepers they've held captive for five days. Brig. Gen. Mosese Tikoitoga said the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front wants to be taken off the U.N. terrorist list, wants humanitarian aid delivered to parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, and wants compensation for three of its fighters it says were killed in a shootout with U.N. officers.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:32:17 -0400
UK: Passports could be seized to fight terrorism

British police officers stand guard outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron is expected on Monday to expand powers to combat terrorism in hopes of preventing attacks by Islamist militants returning from terror training in the Middle East. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday proposed new laws that would give police the power to seize the passports of Britons suspected of having traveled abroad to fight with terrorist groups.


Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:31:15 -0400
Great Barrier Reef dredge dumping plan could be shelved

File photo shows bleaching on a coral reef in Australia's Great Barrier Reef which lost more than half its coral cover in the past 27 years due to climate changeAn India-backed mining consortium could shelve controversial plans to dump dredging waste in the Great Barrier Reef, with alternative sites on land being considered amid growing environmental concerns, Australia said Tuesday. Environment Minister Greg Hunt said there was an "emerging option" that could see the consortium -- India's Adani Group and Australia's North Queensland Bulk Ports and GVK Hancock -- submit a proposal suggesting onshore dumping locations. "There is an emerging option which I've said we'd welcome and consider on its merits," Hunt told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Conservationists have said the dumping of three million cubic metres of material dredged from the seabed as part of a major coal port expansion at Abbot Point -- on the Great Barrier Reef coast in Queensland -- could hasten the natural wonder's demise.


Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:30:20 -0400
Germany to open memorial to Nazis' disabled victims

The memorial to the victims of the Nazis' "euthanasia" programme in Berlin, August 29, 2014Germany will inaugurate the first national memorial to the estimated 300,000 ill and disabled people systematically murdered by the Nazis on Tuesday, at a ceremony with victims' relatives. The site next to the Tiergarten park is the fourth and likely final major memorial in Berlin's city centre to groups targeted in the Holocaust, following monuments dedicated over the last decade to Jewish, gay and Roma victims. Uwe Neumaerker, director of the Holocaust memorial foundation in Berlin, said the slaughter of patients and residents of care homes marked "the first systematic mass crime of the National Socialist regime". The German parliament voted in November 2011 to erect a memorial to the victims of the Nazis' cynically labelled "euthanasia" programme adjacent to Berlin's renowned Philharmonie concert hall.


Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:25:05 -0400
Russia's gains cloud Obama's assurances to Baltics
WASHINGTON (AP) — For the second time this year, President Barack Obama will travel to Russia's backyard to assure nervous nations of his ironclad commitment to their security. But his objectives will be clouded by the West's inability to halt the Russian aggression in Ukraine that has stoked fears in other former Soviet republics.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:17:17 -0400
'No military solution' to Ukraine crisis, UN chief warns

Villagers walk by an abandoned checkpoint in Olenivka on September 1, 2014UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned Western powers Tuesday "there is no military solution" to the Ukraine crisis, after the government in Kiev accused Russia of launching a "great war". As NATO prepares to upgrade its combat readiness in eastern Europe, Ban said he was greatly concerned at developments in Ukraine and wanted to avoid further deterioration to "a very chaotic and dangerous situation". "I know the European Union, the Americans and most of the Western countries are discussing very seriously among themselves how to handle this matter," he told reporters during a visit to New Zealand. His comments came after European-mediated talks on the fast-escalating crisis opened Monday behind closed doors in the Belarussian capital Minsk, attended by Ukraine government, separatist and Russian envoys.


Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:09:51 -0400
Top Asian News at 5:00 a.m. GMT
SUVA, Fiji (AP) — Fiji's military commander said Tuesday that Syrian rebels have issued three demands for the release of 45 Fijian peacekeepers they've held captive for five days. Brig. Gen. Mosese Tikoitoga said the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front wants to be taken off the U.N. terrorist list, wants humanitarian aid delivered to parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, and wants compensation for three of its fighters it says were killed in a shootout with U.N. officers.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 01:02:19 -0400
British migrant rights activist faces Thai trial

British human rights activist Andy Hall arrives at Phra Khanong provincial court for a trial in Bangkok, Thailand Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. Hall, who investigated alleged abuses at a Thai fruit processing factory went on trial Tuesday in the first in a series of criminal lawsuits filed against him by the company. Natural Fruit Co. Ltd. is accusing Hall of defamation in the wake of a report he helped author last year for the Finland-based watchdog group Finnwatch that detailed poor labor conditions in seafood and pineapple export companies in Thailand.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — A British human rights activist who investigated alleged abuses at a Thai fruit processing factory went on trial Tuesday in the first of a series of criminal lawsuits filed against him by the company.


Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:36:03 -0400
Sharks off the menu and on the tourist trail in Palau

Moorish Idols are seen swimming in large schools to spawn in the Ulong Channel, in the small Pacific island nation of Palau, August 27, 2014In many places swimmers might prefer to avoid sharks, but wetsuit-clad tourists in Palau clamour to dive among the predators thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative that has made them one of the country's main visitor attractions. Palau created the world's first shark sanctuary in 2009 and the move has been so successful that plans are now underway to completely ban commercial fishing in the island nation's vast ocean territory by 2018. The fishing-free zone in the northern Pacific, described as unprecedented by famed US marine scientist Sylvia Earle, will cover 630,000 square kilometres (240,000 square miles), an area almost the size of France. The architect of the ambitious plan is Palau President Tommy Remengesau, who said the ban was needed to "let the ocean heal" after years of industrialised fishing in the Pacific that has seen stocks of some species such as bluefin tuna fall to critical levels.


Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:33:05 -0400
Top Asian News at 4:30 a.m. GMT
SUVA, Fiji (AP) — Fiji's military commander said Tuesday that Syrian rebels have issued three demands for the release of 45 Fijian peacekeepers they've held captive for five days. Brig. Gen. Mosese Tikoitoga said the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front wants to be taken off the U.N. terrorist list, wants humanitarian aid delivered to parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, and wants compensation for three of its fighters it says were killed in a shootout with U.N. officers.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:32:15 -0400
Uruguay denies cold feet on taking Guantanamo detainees

An unidentified detainee holds onto a fence at "Camp 6" detention facility at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, April 8, 2014Uruguay denied that it had delayed taking in six detainees from the US military prison at Guantanamo, saying no date for the transfer had been set yet. Uruguayan President Jose Mujica announced in March that his country had agreed to take detainees from the prison on human rights grounds, helping his US counterpart Barack Obama fulfill his long-delayed promise to close the controversial jail. Diego Canepa, an assistant secretary in Mujica's office, denied the report, which cited Obama administration officials. He also denied the newspaper's claim that US Vice President Joe Biden had called Mujica in August "pressing him to resettle the men."


Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:31:31 -0400
Hong Kong activist's newspaper column scrapped amid democracy row
A well-respected Hong Kong newspaper has axed a weekly column by a political activist and hedge fund manager as the Asian financial center braces for a wave of protests against China's decision to rule out full democracy. Columnist Edward Chin Chi-kin said he was told by the Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Journal on Friday that his half-page weekly column that he had written since 2006 would be canceled due to a new page design. Chin, a member of a movement called Occupy Central that has threatened to blockade Hong Kong's financial district amid the democracy row, branded the move "a political decision". "Over the past one-and-a-half years since (Leung Chun-ying), we have seen mainland influence get worse and worse," Chin told Reuters, referring to Chief Executive Leung taking over as Hong Kong leader in mid-July 2012.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:19:19 -0400
Brazilian designer Sergio Rodrigues dies at 86
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Celebrated Brazilian designer Sergio Rodrigues, whose "Mole" armchair is among the most iconic pieces of Brazilian mid-century design, has died. He was 86 years old.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:08:05 -0400
Top Asian News at 4:00 a.m. GMT
SUVA, Fiji (AP) — Fiji's military commander said Tuesday that Syrian rebels have issued three demands for the release of 45 Fijian peacekeepers they've held captive for five days. Brig. Gen. Mosese Tikoitoga said the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front wants to be taken off the U.N. terrorist list, wants humanitarian aid delivered to parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, and wants compensation for three of its fighters it says were killed in a shootout with U.N. officers.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:02:13 -0400
3 Chinese inmates kill guard, break out of jail
BEIJING (AP) — Three inmates, including one sentenced to death, escaped in a rare jailbreak in China's northeast after killing a guard early Tuesday morning, state media reported.
Date Posted : Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:59:33 -0400
British activist set for Thai defamation trial

British activist Andy Hall answers reporters' questions as he arrives for a hearing at a court in Bangkok on September 2, 2014A British activist is set to face a defamation charge in a Bangkok court Tuesday stemming from a report he co-authored on alleged labour abuses in Thailand's food industry. Andy Hall, 34, faces civil and criminal lawsuits submitted by Thai fruit processor Natural Fruit, after his report levelled accusations of forced and child labour, unlawfully low wages and long hours at one of its factories. Natural Fruit is a major supplier to the European drink market and leading European food companies have urged the company to drop its legal action. Defamation is a criminal offence in Thailand and Hall, who has had his passport confiscated by Thai authorities pending the trial, could be jailed for up to a year if found guilty.


Date Posted : Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:53:02 -0400
Syrian rebels, government clash in Golan Heights

U.N. soldiers observe Syria's Quneitra province at an observation point on Mount Bental in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, overlooking the border with Syria, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian rebels clashed with government troops on Monday in the Golan Heights, where al-Qaida-linked insurgents abducted U.N. peacekeepers last week, activists said.


Date Posted : Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:51:49 -0400
Australia to scrap plan for dumping near Great Barrier Reef: AFR

- UNDATED FILE PHOTO - A tourist swims on the Great Barrier Reef in this undated file picture. Fishi..Australia will abandon plans to dump 3 million cubic meters of dredged sand into the Great Barrier Reef area in its effort to create the world's biggest coal port, the Australian Financial Review reported on Tuesday. The fragile reef, which stretches 2,300 km (1,430 miles) along Australia's east coast, and sprawls over an area half the size of Texas, was the centerpiece of a campaign by green groups and tour operators opposing the plan. The Abbot Point port is being expanded to accommodate $16 billion worth of coal projects planned in the inland Galilee Basin by two Indian firms, Adani Enterprises and GVK, and Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart. On Tuesday, the paper said North Queensland Bulk Ports, Adani Group and GVK would re-submit a proposal as early as this week to Environment Minister Greg Hunt offering alternative dumping sites on land.


Date Posted : Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:51:32 -0400
Azarenka tops qualifier Krunic to reach US Open QF

Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts after defeating Aleksandra Krunic, of Serbia, during the fourth round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament Monday, Sept. 1, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)NEW YORK (AP) — Trailing against a woman trying to become the first qualifier in the U.S. Open quarterfinals since 1981, Victoria Azarenka needed every ounce of experience and skill to advance.


Date Posted : Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:45:25 -0400
Mexico turns to army, drones for security
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government says it is increasingly turning to the use of the army and drones in security patrols, reducing the role of the once-successful Marine forces.
Date Posted : Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:40:16 -0400
 

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