Monday, 22nd December 2014

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World

Islamabad, Pakistan (AFP)- Rights groups Saturday condemned Pakistan's decision to hang two convicted militants in its first executions for six years, as leaders vowed decisive action in the wake of a Taliban school massacre that left 149 people dead. The bloody rampage in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday sparked international outrage and Pakistan described it as its own...

Full Article Sunday, 21 December 2014 00:00

Vatican City, Holy See (AFP)-The Christmas lights came on at the Vatican Friday, sending out what Pope Francis described as a message of "light, hope and love" at the end of an extraordinary year for the Catholic Church.As the fairy lights sparkled into life on the 25-metre fir tree on St Peter's square, there was also an early unveiling of...

Full Article Sunday, 21 December 2014 00:00

Johannesburg, South Africa (AFP)- | South Africa on Saturday welcomed back home its first Miss World winner in 40 years, Rolene Strauss, with wild cheers and ululations.Hundreds turned up at O.R. Tambo International Airport to greet Strauss after the 22-year-old medical student was crowned Miss World 2014 at a glitzy final in London last Sunday. Dressed in the country's national colours, South Africans...

Full Article Sunday, 21 December 2014 00:00

Nouakchott, Mauritania (AFP)- Leaders in the sub-Saharan Sahel region of Africa called Friday on the United Nations to organise an international force "to neutralise the armed groups" sowing chaos in Libya.The call came at the end of a regional summit on the "Nouakchott Process", named for an initiative launched in Mauritania's capital in March 2013 to boost security cooperation among 11 participating states.

Full Article Sunday, 21 December 2014 00:00

Washington, United States (AFP)- President Barack Obama has -- in just a few weeks and in spectacular fashion -- turned the tables on US policy toward Latin America, neglected by Washington for much of this century. In quick succession, he has responded to the desires of many in Latin America first with changes in immigration and then this week's stunning detente with Cuba.

Full Article Sunday, 21 December 2014 00:00

Moscow, Russia (AFP)- The latest round of Ukraine-related sanctions by the United States and Canada hamper efforts to resolve the conflict, Russia's foreign ministry said Saturday. "The sanctions are directed to disrupt the political process," the ministry said in a statement following the announcement of the latest measures on Friday.  "We advise Washington and Ottawa to think about the consequences...

Full Article Sunday, 21 December 2014 00:00

New Delhi, India (AFP)- An Indian diplomat at the centre of a bitter row with the United States has been stripped of her duties over unauthorised statements to media, a government source and reports said Saturday. Devyani Khobragade was arrested and strip-searched in New York last December while serving as India's deputy consul-general on charges of mistreating her servant.

Full Article Sunday, 21 December 2014 00:00

Nanjing, China (AFP) - President Xi Jinping said Saturday that no one can deny the Nanjing Massacre, as China for the first time held a national day of remembrance for the Japanese military rampage that Beijing says killed 300,000 people.A crowd of what state media put at 10,000 people attended a ceremony in Nanjing to mark the 77th anniversary of the massacre,...

Full Article Sunday, 14 December 2014 00:00

Bangkok, Thailand (AFP) - Thailand’s crown prince has divorced his wife, in a dramatic fall from grace for a senior princess at a time of heightened anxiety over the health of the country’s revered but ailing monarch. A statement published by the palace in the early hours of Saturday in the Royal Gazette said Princess Srirasmi had relinquished her royal status, a move that ends her 13-year marriage to Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Full Article Sunday, 14 December 2014 00:00

Karbala, Iraq (AFP) - Millions of Shiite Muslim pilgrims defied the threat of jihadist attacks and thronged the Iraqi shrine city of Karbala for the climax of annual Arbaeen mourning rituals on Saturday. Some had walked for more than 12 days, from Iraq’s far south or across the border from Iran, while others were bused in or crammed into lorries for the journey

Full Article Sunday, 14 December 2014 00:00

Rome, Italy (AFP) - The US-led coalition of countries involved in airstrikes against Islamic State will never bomb the jihadist group out of existence, a Nobel peace prize winner warned Friday. Shirin Ebadi was one of Iran’s first female judges. She was demoted after the 1979 Islamic revolution and went on to become the country’s most prominent rights campaigner. She won the...

Full Article Sunday, 14 December 2014 00:00

Donetsk, Ukraine (AFP) -Wissam Fawzi left Iraq in 2006, hoping to put the horrors of war behind him and study dentistry far away from the sound of bombs. Unfortunately, he picked eastern Ukraine for his new home.  “I wanted to move to Donetsk because there was war in Iraq. There was shelling in Baghdad in 2006. It was very hard,” said the 29-year-old. 

Full Article Sunday, 14 December 2014 00:00

Beirut, Lebanon (AFP) -The meteoric rise of the Islamic State group and its ability to recruit Western jihadists reflect the extent to which religious radicalism has come to dominate global conflict. After decades of dictatorship interrupted by three years of revolt, the Middle East saw fresh upheaval in 2014 as IS fighters swept across Syria and Iraq and the Gaza Strip...

Full Article Sunday, 14 December 2014 00:00

Kiev, Ukraine (AFP) - With Ukraine still trapped in a Soviet-era approach to mental health and psychiatric hospitals so under-funded that some have less than 10 cents a day to feed patients, the country has been left ill-prepared for the trauma of war.
As with so many aspects of its sudden descent into conflict, Ukraine has turned to volunteers to help deal...

Full Article Sunday, 14 December 2014 00:00

Washington, United States (AFP) -  Top US diplomat John Kerry will meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Rome on Monday, amid a toughening American response to a Kremlin-backed separatist insurgency in Ukraine. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Friday that the pair would discuss the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations,...

Full Article Sunday, 14 December 2014 00:00

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