World

U.S. warily eyeing new Russian air defenses in Crimea

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The United States is assessing the security implications of Russia's latest deployment of S-400 air defenses to Crimea, a U.S. military official said on Wednesday, adding it could give existing Russian defenses more resilience.

World

Split Social Democrats could sink Merkel's coalition plans

BERLIN (Reuters) - The leader of Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) tried on Tuesday to quash a grassroots rebellion against a blueprint agreed with Angela Merkel's conservatives to enter formal talks on a "grand coalition" which could scupper her plan for

World

Happy Pongal 2018! How long does the Tamil festival to the Sun last and what are its origins? All you need to know

FOR those of us who don’t know, it’s currently Pongal! But what is this Tamil festival and where did it originate from? We’ve got the lowdown… What is Pongal? Pongal is a harvest festival dedicated to the sun celebrated by the T

World

Pope expresses 'pain and shame' over Chile sex abuse scandal

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Pope Francis expressed his "pain and shame" over Chile's sexual abuse scandal on Tuesday in his first comments in the country on a crisis that has scarred the Roman Catholic Church's credibility.

World

Palestinians see Gaza peace dividend pass them by

GAZA (Reuters) - Life began to look up for Gaza's Palestinians when reconciliation between its Hamas Islamist rulers and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority in October brought a drop in crippling prices.

World

Days after Hawaii alert gaffe, Japan issues false alarm about a missile launch

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese public broadcaster NHK issued a false alarm about a North Korean missile launch on Tuesday, just days after a similar gaffe caused panic in Hawaii, but it managed to correct the error within minutes.

World

Erdogan says Turkish operation in Syria's Afrin to be supported by rebels

ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey's planned military operation against Kurdish militia forces in Syria's Afrin region will be supported by Syrian rebel fighters.

World

Kosovo Serb leader shot dead in northern town

PRISTINA (Reuters) - A Kosovan Serb leader, Oliver Ivanovic, who was awaiting trial over the killings of ethnic Albanians during the 1998-99 war, was shot dead outside his party office in the northern town of Mitrovica on Tuesday, a state prosecutor said.

World

Iran says planned U.S.-backed force inside Syria would fan war

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran said on Tuesday a new U.S.-backed, 30,000-strong force inside Syria would "fan the flames of war", echoing the vehement response of Syria, Turkey and Russia to the plan.

World

EU 'still open' to Britain changing mind on Brexit

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Donald Tusk, the European Council president, weighed in to new British debate on whether to hold a second referendum on Brexit by saying on Tuesday that Britons would be welcome to stay in the European Union.

World

Czech PM ready to face allegations as he fights for minority government

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis on Tuesday requested that lawmakers lift his parliamentary immunity so he can face allegations of fraud as he fights to win support for a minority government.

World

Czech PM Babis to ask lawmakers to lift his parliamentary immunity

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Tuesday he would ask lawmakers lift his parliamentary immunity to face allegations of EU subsidy fraud.

World

Philippines shuts more schools as volcano spews ash and lava

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines' most active volcano spewed lava that cascaded downslope and emitted ash that fell on nearby towns, state volcanologists said on Tuesday, prompting the provincial government to shut more schools.

World

Japan investigates how to evacuate citizens from South Korea in crisis: report

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is examining how to evacuate its roughly 60,000 citizens from South Korea in the event of a crisis that closes airports, with military ships being used as shuttles, a Japanese newspaper reported on Tuesday.

World

China rights lawyer says legal license revoked after criticizing President Xi Jinping

BEIJING (Reuters) - A prominent Chinese rights lawyer who wrote an open letter criticizing President Xi Jinping said on Monday that authorities had revoked his license to practice law.

World

Denmark will increase defense spending to counter Russia: PM

RIGA (Reuters) - The Danish government expects to win backing for a substantial increase in defense spending next month, to counter Russia's intensified military activity in eastern and northern Europe, the NATO-member's prime minister said Monday.

World

Blast injures several in Belgium, terrorism ruled out: police

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - An explosion injured several people and brought down a residential building in the Belgian city of Antwerp on Monday evening, police said, stressing the incident was not related to terrorism.

World

North Korea meeting to stress importance of sanctions: Canada

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - A summit on curbing North Korea's nuclear ambitions will focus in part on how to ensure countries fully implement all the sanctions imposed on the reclusive state, a Canadian government source said on Monday.

World

Romania's PM resigns after Social Democrats withdraw backing for him: sources

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania's Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned on Monday, after his ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) leaders withdrew political backing for him in an overwhelming vote, the second premier to be ousted by his party in less than seve

World

Trump thanks Qatar for efforts to combat terrorism

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday thanked the ruler of Qatar for "action to counter terrorism and extremism in all forms," the White House said in a statement that suggested a warming of ties between the two countries.

World

Openness or protection? Czechs' choice echoes EU, U.S. votes

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czechs, like fellow voters from Europe to the United States, must weigh promises of a more outward-looking society against protection from the uncertainties of the global economy and immigration when they elect their president later thi

World

Northern League leader says Italian society threatened by Islam

ROME (Reuters) - Italian culture and society risk being eradicated by Islam, Northern League leader Matteo Salvini, an ally of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, said on Monday as he vowed to halt a migrant "invasion".

World

Syrian Kurdish leader hopes new force will counter threats from Turkey, Damascus

QAMISHLI, Syria (Reuters) - Kurdish-led regions of Syria are looking to a new U.S.-backed border force to protect them in the face of growing threats from Turkey and Damascus, a senior Kurdish politician told Reuters.

World

U.S. diplomat has talks Pakistan amid tension over Trump 'deceit' tweet

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A senior U.S. diplomat had talks in Pakistan on Monday following an outcry over President Donald Trump's accusation that the nuclear-armed South Asian state had engaged in "lies and deceit" as a U.S. ally in the war in neighboring Af

World

Syrian rebel delegation in Washington seeking revival of CIA aid

AMMAN (Reuters) - Free Syrian Army envoys have urged U.S. officials at talks in Washington to resume a suspended CIA program of military aid if it is serious about challenging growing Iranian influence in Syria, according to Syrian opposition figures.

World

Pope warns world is one step away from nuclear war

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Monday he was really afraid about the danger of nuclear war and that the world now stood at "the very limit".

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