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China Launches Its First Cargo Spaceship

China has launched its first cargo spaceship on Thursday, taking the country one step closer to building its own space station.

According to a media report, Tianzhou-1 (Heavenly Ship) took off at 7:41 pm (1141 GMT) from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre in the southern Chinese island of Hainan.

The spacecraft, which can carry over six tonnes of cargo, is propelled by a Long March-7 Y2 carrier rocket.

The spaceship is expected to dock in two days with the Tiangong-2 space lab, which was launched in September.

Report says the Tianzhou-1 is seen as essential in the operation of a space station that China plans to build by 2020.


UN Syria envoy to hold talks with Russia

UN mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura is to hold talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov in Geneva on Monday.

De Mistura said and that the U.S., however has declined to take part in any trilateral meeting for now.

He said they will evaluate upcoming discussions in the Kazakh capital Astana aimed at reviving the tattered ceasefire, and prospects for convening talks in Geneva between Syria’s warring sides in May.

De Mistura, asked about the U.S. administration’s intent to participate, replied: “There is a clearly an intention to maintain and resume these trilateral meetings, and the date and circumstances were not conducive for this to happen on Monday.”

The U.S. carried out an air strike on a Syrian air base earlier this month after a chemical weapons attack that killed scores of people near Idlib on April 4.

Both incidents have raised tensions between Washington and Moscow, the Syrian government’s ally.

De Mistura said that his team had just taken part in technical talks in Tehran, in preparation for the Astana talks organised by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

All sides have flagged their readiness to allow aid convoys to reach Douma and later other besieged towns in the eastern Ghouta province near Damascus, UN humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland said.

Brussels prosecutors to investigate DRC passport deal

Brussels prosecutors are investigating a deal between Belgian company Semlex and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to supply biometric passports, a spokesman for the prosecutors’ office said on Thursday.

He said the investigation had started in early 2017 but declined to give any further details.

A Reuters special report on April 14, showed that 60 dollars of the price of every 185 dollars DRC passport is channelled to a company registered in the United Arab Emirates, believed to be owned by a close relative of DRC President Joseph Kabila.

Brussels-based Semlex, which has become a leader in providing identity and travel documents for African nations over the past 20 years, was not immediately available for comment.

On Tuesday, top opposition leaders in DRC called on the new prime minister to investigate revelations by Reuters that most of the money paid by Congolese citizens for new passports goes overseas.

According to a person with direct knowledge of the passport deal, the UAE-registered company, which receives 60 dollars for every passport issued, is owned by Makie Makolo Wangoi, believed to be a close relative of Congo President Joseph Kabila.

The Congolese presidency, Wangoi and Semlex did not respond to requests for comment for the story.

Speaking to reporters in the capital, Kinshasa, Felix Tshisekedi said the main opposition bloc that he leads would only speak to incoming Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala once he takes action over the passport affair.

Claudel Andre Lubaya, an opposition member of parliament and former provincial governor, also called on the attorney general to investigate the matter.

The youth activist group Lucha reacted to the story on its Twitter feed by saying that Congo “is hostage to a band of stealers and criminals.”

A government spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

Corruption is endemic in the vast central African state.

Kabila’s counsellor on graft and money laundering said in 2015 that the country loses up to 15 billion dollars a year to fraud, roughly three times the annual budget.

Kabila also faces calls from the opposition to step down this year after he refused to quit power at the end of his constitutional mandate in December, citing delays organising an election to replace him.

Turkey referendum: Trump congratulates Erdogan


Donald Trump has congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his victory in Sunday's referendum that gave him sweeping new powers.

The US President's phone call contrasts with concern by European leaders who have pointed out how the result - 51.4% in favour of the changes - has exposed deep splits in Turkish society.
Mr Erdogan has rejected criticism from international monitors who said he had been favoured by an "unequal campaign".

The narrow victory was ruled valid by Turkey's electoral body, despite claims of irregularities by the opposition.
On Monday, Turkey extended the state of emergency for three months. The measure, introduced after a failed coup last July, was set to expire in two days.

The call from Donald Trump was pre-arranged and the focus was Syria - but the congratulations for President Erdogan's victory means the US president joins leaders from Qatar, Guinea, Djibouti and the Palestinian militant movement Hamas to voice the opinion, while those in Europe have been far more cautious.

It will delight Erdogan supporters, who will see it as legitimising the president's victory. But it will dismay opponents, after Mr Erdogan's fiery tirades against the West and the damning verdict of international observers.

It also exposes a split between the EU and US on Turkey: Mr Trump opting for realpolitik while Europe urges the unpredictable Turkish leader to reconcile a divided country.

And it will reiterate similarities between Presidents Trump and Erdogan on issues like democratic norms and press freedom - though the Turkish president has of course dealt with them in a far more extreme way.
Ultimately, President Trump was perhaps aiming to win favour in Ankara, given that the two sides have fundamental disagreements over Syria.

On North Korea, Trump signals break with US-China policy

President Donald Trump, eager to stop rapid advances in North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, is signaling a break with decades of US policy as he looks to coax China into ramping up the pressure on North Korea.

Trump's sweetening the pot, offering China better trade terms if the Asian powerhouse takes steps to put North Korea's provocative behavior to rest. China accounts for 80% of North Korea's foreign trade and has significant political leverage over North Korea.

"We have tremendous trade deficits with everybody, but the big one is with China. ... And I told them, 'You want to make a great deal?' Solve the problem in North Korea. That's worth having deficits. And that's worth having not as good a trade deal as I would normally be able to make," Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview last week, a day after he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping by phone.

The interview was one of several in the last week in which Trump has suggested China could win US concessions on trade in exchange for action on North Korea. The stance is sparking concerns among former officials in successive Democratic and Republican administrations who say Trump appears to be abandoning a pillar of US efforts to urge China's cooperation on North Korea.

But Trump's diplomatic forays so far with Xi -- whom Trump hosted at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida earlier this month -- are bearing tentative signs of progress. China has turned away coal shipments and made more forceful statements in recent weeks in an attempt to cool the ratcheting of tensions in the region.

Still, former White House officials are raising eyebrows at Trump's move and insisting there is a reason why successive Democrat and Republican administrations have kept the issues of trade and North Korea separate in diplomacy with China.

For decades, US officials have made clear to their Chinese counterparts that the US won't barter economic or other foreign policy issues in exchange for support on the North Korean issue -- sending the signal that the US position on the issue was in the interests of global stability. Abandoning that policy, according to officials from President George W. Bush's and President Barack Obama's administrations, risks sending a dangerous message to US allies and adversaries alike and sending the US tumbling down a slippery slope.

By keeping discussions focused squarely on North Korea and shared US and Chinese interests in preventing war on the Korean Peninsula, US officials have also avoided getting dragged into making other concessions -- like recognizing China's territorial claims to Taiwan -- to win China's full support on North Korea.

"We had made a pretty big point of making it clear that we weren't willing to sacrifice our domestic economic interests for the sake of some foreign policy issue," said Michael Froman, the US trade representative under Obama. "We should be careful about 'paying' China -- in terms of standing down on economic issues -- for doing what is in their interest already. Conceivably, they'd prefer not to see instability and military escalation on the Korean Peninsula."

Robert Zoellick, the trade representative and later deputy secretary of state in George W. Bush's administration, agreed, saying he "never conceded a trade point with China to get assistance on a security topic," like North Korea.

That's because doing so risks weakening the US stance on the issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and opens up the US to similar foreign policy gambits from countries around the world seeking a sweeter economic relationship with the US.

Past administrations, though, have failed to stop, let alone slow down, North Korea's nuclear program and ballistic missile developments. So Trump has taken a different tack: seeking to incentivize China into stepping up its role in the North Korean issue as he stressed the urgency of confronting the threat.

It remains unclear whether Trump's comments mesh with the administration's more fleshed-out policy, but they've prompted a sharp response from some former officials.

It remains unclear what Trump would be able to offer China on trade in exchange for more decisive action on North Korea, but experts raised questions about what economic terms the US could offer Beijing in return. The US already faces a multi-billion dollar deficit with China, and the US has struggled for years to create more open market access conditions in China for US companies.

But beyond making economic concessions to China, Trump's offer to barter over the North Korean issue also risks nullifying one of the Washington's biggest pieces of leverage in urging Chinese cooperation: that stopping North Korea's nuclear program is also in China's interest.

China has been less aggressive than the US in seeking to cool down North Korea's aggressive development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. But experts agree that China also wants to prevent North Korea from becoming a full-fledged nuclear power -- and certainly wants to prevent a war on their southern border that could send millions of refugees flooding into China and potentially risk bringing a US military presence to China's borders.

Evan Medeiros, the National Security Council's senior director for Asian affairs under Obama, joined other former officials in questioning Trump's attempt to barter the US-China trading relationship over the North Korean issue.

Mesut Ozil hits winner as Arsenal keep alive top-four hopes at Middlesbrough

Mesut Ozil kept alive Arsenal's hopes of a top-four finish as Middlesbrough slid closer to the Premier League exit door on Monday night.
The Germany midfielder fired home a 71st-minute winner to finally kill off battling Boro, who had dragged themselves back into the game when Alvaro Negredo cancelled out Alexis Sanchez's first-half free-kick five minutes after the restart.

The 2-1 triumph - the Gunners' first league away win for three months - lifted Arsene Wenger's men seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, with a game in hand.

However, the visitors had to fight all the way in front of a crowd of 31,298 at the Riverside, with Steve Agnew's Boro making up for what they may lack in quality with a committed display which for long periods looked like earning them tangible reward.

They kicked off knowing another failure to win - they have not managed a league victory since December 17 - would represent a major blow to their dwindling survival hopes, although buoyed by the knowledge that Arsenal had not collected three points on the road since they won at Swansea on January 14.

Equally, the visitors could not afford to allow that record to continue if they are to stand any chance of securing a 20th consecutive Champions League berth, although the vastly differing levels of ambition were not apparent for much of the first half.

The home side started brightly, with skipper Grant Leadbitter going just wide from distance with four minutes gone and high over from similar range 21 minutes later.

In the meantime, striker Negredo had attempted to catch returning goalkeeper Petr Cech off his line from all of 40 yards and was not too far off target, while Marten de Roon saw a header correctly ruled out for offside.

But Antonio Barragan had to head Aaron Ramsey's 28th-minute volley off the line before goalkeeper Brad Guzan gratefully clutched Sanchez's attempt to his chest after it reared up off the rain-soaked turf seconds later.
The deadlock was broken three minutes before the break when, after Granit Xhaka had been felled by Adam Clayton 20 yards out, Sanchez curled the resulting free-kick past the static Guzan to give his side the lead.

Boro resumed in determined fashion with Stewart Downing lining up on the right, enjoying early success, and it was he who picked out Negredo's 50th-minute run into the box for the Spaniard to stab home a precious equaliser.

Downing was presented with a half-chance to fire his side ahead five minutes later when Nacho Monreal could only help substitute George Friend's cross into his path, but he blazed high and wide from a tight angle.
Agnew's men would have been in front with 61 minutes gone had it not been for Cech, who parried central defender Daniel
Ayala's close-range header after Friend had turned Downing's free-kick back across goal.

However, it was Arsenal who restored their advantage with 19 minutes remaining when Ramsey laid off Sanchez's cross for Ozil, who had been enduring a quiet evening, to fire past the helpless Guzan, who denied Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a third at the death.

G7 says No sanctions on Russia over Syria

The G7 group of nations has failed to reach agreement over threatening new sanctions against Russia and Syria.
Foreign ministers were seeking a common position on the Syrian conflict, before the US secretary of state flies to Russia to try to persuade it to abandon its Syrian ally.

The nations agreed there was no solution to the Syria crisis with President Assad in power.
But UK proposals to target sanctions at senior military leaders were sidelined.

The diplomacy in the Italian town of Lucca follows the latest apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Syria has denied it carried out a chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun last week that left 89 people dead.

In response, the US fired 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase that it said was implicated in the attack.
Speaking after the end of the G7 meeting, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the missile strike “was necessary as a matter of US national security interest”.
“We do not want the regime’s uncontrolled stockpile of chemical weapons to fall into the hands of Isis [so-called
Islamic State] or other terrorist groups who could and want to attack the United States or our allies.

“Nor can we accept the normalisation of the use of chemical weapons by other actors or countries in Syria, or elsewhere.”

Mr Tillerson will head to Moscow for talks on Syria later on Tuesday, hoping to persuade the Russians that they have an unreliable ally in President Assad.

Italian foreign minister Angelino Alfano – hosting the G7 talks – said ministers wanted to engage with Russia to put pressure on President Assad, adding that “we must not push Russia into a corner”.
“We think the Russians have the leverage that is needed to put pressure on Assad and to get him to observe the commitments with regard to the ceasefire,” he added.

The fact that Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow is happening at all is telling.
According to the BBC, Russia reacted angrily to last week’s US missile strike on Syria, condemning it as an “act of aggression”. Yet Moscow is happy to host the US secretary of state. He’ll meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and a meeting with President Putin cannot be ruled out.

But experience shows that Moscow does not take well to threats or ultimatums.
If Mr Tillerson thinks he can weaken Moscow’s support for President Assad, he may need to re-think. The Syrian president is Russia’s key military ally in the Middle East. Russia has invested heavily – militarily, politically and financially – to keep him in power.

Reports on Monday quoted a senior US official as saying that the Russians knew of the chemical attack because a drone had been flying over a hospital in Khan Sheikhoun as victims sought help.

Hours later a jet bombed the hospital in what the US believed was an attempt to cover up the attack, the Associated Press agency said.

Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary James Mattis gave fresh details on the retaliatory strike against Syria’s Shayrat airbase.

He said the “measured response” by the US had “resulted in the damage or destruction of fuel and ammunition sites, air defence capabilities and 20% of Syria’s operational aircraft”.
The Syrian military admits significant material damage but a Russian defence ministry spokesman said only six Syrian Air Force MiG-23s, plus a number of buildings, were destroyed and that only 23 of the missiles had reached Shayrat.

Reports on Monday quoted a senior US official as saying that the Russians knew of the chemical attack because a drone had been flying over a hospital in Khan Sheikhoun as victims sought help.

Hours later a jet bombed the hospital in what the US believed was an attempt to cover up the attack, the Associated Press agency said.

Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary James Mattis gave fresh details on the retaliatory strike against Syria’s Shayrat airbase.
He said the “measured response” by the US had “resulted in the damage or destruction of fuel and ammunition sites, air defence capabilities and 20% of Syria’s operational aircraft”.

The Syrian military admits significant material damage but a Russian defence ministry spokesman said only six Syrian Air Force MiG-23s, plus a number of buildings, were destroyed and that only 23 of the missiles had reached Shayrat.

North Korea, Russia, Syria tensions to dominate G7 agenda

North Korean sabre-rattling and Russia’s role in Syria will likely dominate the agenda as Foreign Ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) industrialised nations meet in the Tuscan city of Lucca on Monday and Tuesday.
Tensions have spiked since last week’s US missile strike on a Syrian airbase.

Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has cried foul.
Meanwhile, North Korea pointed to the U.S. move as justification for its nuclear weapons programme.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country was suspended from the G8 after it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014, slammed the U.S. strike as an “aggression against a sovereign country,” according to state media.

The war of words has not gone without response from the West.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson cancelled a planned trip to Moscow, while London said Russia was responsible “by proxy” for civilian deaths in an apparent chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, which prompted the US strike.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov after the G7 summit, said “it’s time for the Russians to think carefully about their continued support for the Assad regime,” a senior State Department official told reporters in a conference call.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Navy strike force is headed to the Korean Peninsula, after North Korea launched a ballistic missile just ahead of a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 4.

G7 summit host Italy cited North Korea’s “alarming expansion of its ballistic and nuclear system” as “worrisome.”
The G7 is made up of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States. Representatives from the EU will also attend.

White House condemns Egypt attacks

The U.S. has condemned terrorist attacks on two Coptic churches in Tanta and Alexandria, Egypt during the celebration of the Palm Sunday.

The Department of State, in a statement issued by its Spokesperson, Mr Mark Toner, described the bombings as barbaric.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms, the barbaric attacks on Christian places of worship in Tanta and Alexandria that killed dozens of innocent people and left many more injured on this holy day of Palm Sunday.
“We express our condolences to the families and friends of the victims and wish a quick recovery for all those injured.

“The United States will continue to support Egypt’s security and stability in its efforts to defeat terrorism,” the statement said.

Personally, President Donald Trump condemned the attacks and has urged the Egyptian Government to handle the “unfortunate’’ incident properly.
“It is so sad to hear of the terrorist attack in Egypt. U.S. strongly condemns it.

“I have great confidence that President Al Sisi will handle the situation properly,” Trump said on his Twitter handle.
The attacks killed no fewer than 41 people and injured more than a 100 others in two Coptic churches.

Dozens killed in twin bomb attacks at churches in Egypt

Terrifying footage has been released capturing the moment a bomb exploded in a Coptic Church in Cairo, Egypt, killing 44 people attending mass on a Sunday.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for bombing two Egyptian churches as worshippers gathered to mark Palm Sunday, injuring dozens of people in the deadliest attacks on the Coptic Christian minority in recent memory.
The attacks followed a Cairo church bombing in December and came weeks ahead of a planned visit by Catholic Pope Francis intended to show support for the country’s Christian minority.

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop says there are concerns about more attacks by terrorist organisations over Easter.
There is speculation today that the twin bombings suggest that Islamic State group jihadists are lashing out as they find themselves coming under increasing pressure in Iraq and Syria, analysts say.

Terrorist organisation ISIS was targeting Coptic Christians in Egypt but there had also been attacks in other locations, the Minister told Channel Seven’s Sunrise program this morning. While Ms Bishop did not outline concerns about any specific locations, she said: “We are concerned about Easter but also, any other places of mass gathering, even tourist sites are being subjected to attacks by ISIS and similar terrorist organisations.”

The first bombing struck the Mar Girgis church in the city of Tanta north of Cairo, killing 27 people, the health ministry said.
Emergency services had scrambled to the scene when another bombing rocked the Saint Mark’s church in Alexandria where Coptic Pope Tawadros II had been leading a Palm Sunday service.

Eleven people were killed in that attack, which the interior ministry said was caused by a suicide bomber who blew himself up when police prevented him from entering the church.

The ministry said Tawadros was unharmed, and a church official said he had left the church before the bombing.
At least 78 people were wounded in Tanta and another 40 wounded in Alexandria, the health ministry said.
Egyptian officials denounced the violence as an attempt to sow divisions in the country, while Egypt President al-Sisi declared a three month state of emergency.

IS claimed that its “squads” carried out both attacks, in a statement by its self-styled Amaq news agency published on social media accounts.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the bombings of the two Coptic churches as barbaric.
“We condemn the barbaric attacks on Coptic congregations in Egypt this Palm Sunday. Our prayers are with the victims and their families,” he tweeted early on Monday.

Australian Opposition leader Bill Shorten also condemned the attack, saying an attack on any place of religion was an attack on freedom of religion everywhere.
“Labor expresses our support and deepest sympathy to the families of those affected and for the 100,000 Australians of the Coptic faith who are part of our community,” Mr Shorten said in a statement.

Palm Sunday bombings kill dozens at churches in Egypt

Egypt's President says he will declare a state of emergency after two deadly bombings targeted Coptic Christian churches on Palm Sunday.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, which were aimed at a vulnerable religious minority on one of the most important days on the Christian calendar.

The death toll rose to at least 49 Monday, state media reported. At least 27 people died in a blast inside a church in the northern city of Tanta, and 78 people were injured, according to Egypt's state-run news agency Al-Ahram. In Alexandria, 18 civilians and four police officers were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Coptic church, Al-Ahram said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi declared three days of nationwide mourning following the bombings and said a three-month state of emergency would come into force once legal and constitutional measures have been completed.

In response to the attacks, the country will also form a supreme council to counter terrorism and extremism, Sisi said on state television Sunday after an emergency meeting of the country's National Defense Council.
"We have to pay attention because of Egypt and Egypt's future. We know this is a big sacrifice but we are capable of facing it," he said.

"The attack will not undermine the resolve and true will of the Egyptian people to counter the forces of evil, but will only harden their determination to move forward on their trajectory to realize security, stability and comprehensive development," the President said in a statement.

G7 says No sanctions on Russia over Syria

The G7 group of nations has failed to reach agreement over threatening new sanctions against Russia and Syria.
Foreign ministers were seeking a common position on the Syrian conflict, before the US secretary of state flies to
Russia to try to persuade it to abandon its Syrian ally.

The nations agreed there was no solution to the Syria crisis with President Assad in power.
But UK proposals to target sanctions at senior military leaders were sidelined.

The diplomacy in the Italian town of Lucca follows the latest apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Syria has denied it carried out a chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun last week that left 89 people dead.

In response, the US fired 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase that it said was implicated in the attack.
Speaking after the end of the G7 meeting, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the missile strike “was necessary as a matter of US national security interest”.

“We do not want the regime’s uncontrolled stockpile of chemical weapons to fall into the hands of Isis [so-called Islamic State] or other terrorist groups who could and want to attack the United States or our allies.
“Nor can we accept the normalisation of the use of chemical weapons by other actors or countries in Syria, or elsewhere.”

Mr Tillerson will head to Moscow for talks on Syria later on Tuesday, hoping to persuade the Russians that they have an unreliable ally in President Assad.

Italian foreign minister Angelino Alfano – hosting the G7 talks – said ministers wanted to engage with Russia to put pressure on President Assad, adding that “we must not push Russia into a corner”.
“We think the Russians have the leverage that is needed to put pressure on Assad and to get him to observe the commitments with regard to the ceasefire,” he added.

The fact that Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow is happening at all is telling.
According to the BBC, Russia reacted angrily to last week’s US missile strike on Syria, condemning it as an “act of aggression”. Yet Moscow is happy to host the US secretary of state. He’ll meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and a meeting with President Putin cannot be ruled out.

But experience shows that Moscow does not take well to threats or ultimatums.
If Mr Tillerson thinks he can weaken Moscow’s support for President Assad, he may need to re-think. The Syrian president is Russia’s key military ally in the Middle East. Russia has invested heavily – militarily, politically and financially – to keep him in power.

Reports on Monday quoted a senior US official as saying that the Russians knew of the chemical attack because a drone had been flying over a hospital in Khan Sheikhoun as victims sought help.
Hours later a jet bombed the hospital in what the US believed was an attempt to cover up the attack, the Associated Press agency said.

Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary James Mattis gave fresh details on the retaliatory strike against Syria’s Shayrat airbase.
He said the “measured response” by the US had “resulted in the damage or destruction of fuel and ammunition sites, air defence capabilities and 20% of Syria’s operational aircraft”.

The Syrian military admits significant material damage but a Russian defence ministry spokesman said only six Syrian Air Force MiG-23s, plus a number of buildings, were destroyed and that only 23 of the missiles had reached Shayrat.

Reports on Monday quoted a senior US official as saying that the Russians knew of the chemical attack because a drone had been flying over a hospital in Khan Sheikhoun as victims sought help.
Hours later a jet bombed the hospital in what the US believed was an attempt to cover up the attack, the Associated Press agency said.

Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary James Mattis gave fresh details on the retaliatory strike against Syria’s Shayrat airbase.
He said the “measured response” by the US had “resulted in the damage or destruction of fuel and ammunition sites, air defence capabilities and 20% of Syria’s operational aircraft”.

The Syrian military admits significant material damage but a Russian defence ministry spokesman said only six Syrian Air Force MiG-23s, plus a number of buildings, were destroyed and that only 23 of the missiles had reached Shayrat.

Syria conflict: 'Chemical attack' in Idlib kills 58

At least 58 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town in north-western Syria, a monitoring group says.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that strikes on Khan Sheikhoun by Syrian government or Russian jets had caused many people to choke.

Later, aircraft fired rockets at local clinics treating survivors, medics and activists said.

A Syrian military source denied the government had used any such weapons.
Russia's Defence Ministry meanwhile insisted it had not carried out any air strikes in the vicinity.

If confirmed, it would be one of the deadliest chemical attacks in Syria's civil war.

Ghana re-appoint Kwesi Appiah as coach

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has re-appointed Kwesi Appiah as the coach of the Black Stars.
Appiah, who will also take charge of the national team for locally-based players, has been offered a two-year contract to start work 1 May.

He replaces Avram Grant who stepped down as coach after the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

It is a second stint in charge for Appiah, who led the Black Stars from 2012until 2014.
Since leaving the Black Stars following a poor World Cup campaign, he has been coaching Sudanese side Al Khartoum.

The Black Stars failed to get out of the group at the World Cup in Brazil and were also beset by off-field problems with players being expelled from the team and a row over pay.

Tens of thousands of Californians allowed to return home
around dam

A mandatory evacuation affecting nearly 200,000 people around Lake Oroville in California was downgraded to an evacuation warning Tuesdaywith the caution that the condition of the dam that imperils the area could still change quickly.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said told the tens of thousands who were forced to leave their homes were free to return, but he urged them "to remain vigilant and prepared as conditions can rapidly change."

An evacuation center at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds will remain open, but all other locations in the county will close, the sheriff's office said.

Officials were still racing to shore up the Oroville Dam's emergency spillway before more rains can pummel the area and place the structure under even greater stress.
Engineers were trying to lower the water level in Lake Oroville, which lies behind the United States' tallest dam.

The dam itself hasn't been damaged, but because the water levels are so high, the emergency spillway had threatened to flood nearby communities if it failed.

After authorities rapidly drained water from the lake at 100,000 cubic feet per second and bolstered the area with boulders and reinforcements, the risk has been greatly reduced, Honea said.

A storm forecast for later this week had threatened to increase the risk of the spillway's failing, but Honea said that with less rain being predicted, the threat wasn't as great as had been thought.

Bill Croyle, acting director of the state Water Resources Department, agreed that the situation had been stabilized and said crews were making "significant gains in removing water from the reservoir, which ... can further reduce the risk to our situation."

In addition to the updated weather forecasts, Honea said the decision to lower the evacuation order was made because of lower lake levels, new inspections and work to shore up the spillway.

Since the threat of a spillway failure was identified, reinforcing boulders have been placed at the rate of 40 truckloads per hour, and helicopters also moved reinforcements every minute and a half, Croyle said.
Croyle added that design teams were in place to reconstruct parts of the spillway, which was built in the 1960s, and that there would be a seamless transition into rebuilding the infrastructure.

"There's about 125 construction crews on point. So there's a lot of people, a lot of equipment. ... We're not holding back on addressing this issue," he said.

North Korea Leader's Half-Brother Dies in Malaysia

The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un died suddenly at an airport in Malaysia's capital on Tuesday
Police said they were investigating the cause of death of Kim Jong Nam after he fell ill at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, according to the news agency.

NBC News was not immediately able to verify that the man was the half-brother of North Korea's dictator. An official who answered the phone at the district police headquarters told NBC News that "the case is still under investigation." He declined to give his name or comment on the dead man's identity.

Kim Jong Nam and Kim Jong Un share a father in former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who died in 2011. But the pair have different mothers.

Details remained unclear. South Korean officials said it appears he did not die of natural causes.

Unification Ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-hee told a news briefing on Wednesday that the South Korean government believed Kim Jong Nam was murdered, according to Reuters.

"We have yet to have the full briefing from the Malaysian authorities but circumstances seems to be pointing towards confirming that the man killed was Kim Jong Nam," Chung Joon Hee, the spokesman of South Korea's Unification Ministry, told NBC News on Wednesday.

South Korean lawmaker Lee Cheol Woo, the Secretary-General of the Intelligence Committee of South Korea's National Assembly, said the Committee was told by the National Intelligence Service that the body is believed to be that of Kim Jong Nam and were awaiting autopsy results.

Believed to be in his 40s, Kim Jong Nam is believed to have fallen out of favor with the regime in 2001 after he was caught trying to enter Japan under a fake passport, saying he wanted to enter Tokyo Disneyland.

His reported death comes days after North Korea declared its first missile test since the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Earlier this month South Korea said its secretive northern neighbor dismissed its minister of state security, who was a key aide to Kim Jong Un and ran the country's secret police.

ECOWAS forces to remain in Gambia for 6 months

The ECOWAS Commission has said its coalition force in The Gambia would remain for the next six months, as requested by President Adama Barrow.

Mr Marcel de Souza, President of the Commission said this while briefing members of the diplomatic corps and partner organisations on the political situation in The Gambia on Tuesday in Abuja.
 De Souza, however, said that retaining troops in that country would be decided by the Chiefs of Army Staff.
“By the end of the week, the forces will fall back.

He said that the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia was to secure peace contrary to reports that there was a military force in the country after former President Yayah Jammeh’s departure.
The Commission’s president said that member countries handled the costs of maintaining the troops.
He also confirmed that the Gambian armed forces welcomed the ECOWAS coalition force.

He reiterated that Jammeh departed The Gambia for Equatorial Guinea on Friday after final mediation efforts by presidents Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania and Alpha Conde of Guinea.

He also said that the requests made by Jammeh which were also contained in the joint declaration by ECOWAS, AU and the UN were under review.

He said the requests had yet to be validated by the authorities.
ECOWAS issued an order for military intervention in The Gambia to oust Jammeh at the stroke of midnight Jan. 19 when his mandate ended.

Gambia: President Barrrow Speaks On Former President Jammeh’s Exile

Speaking regarding the exile of former President, Yahya Jammeh, Mr. Barrow said his government decided to allow Mr. Jammeh leave the country, in order to ensure his (Jammeh’s) safety.

“We don’t want him to stay in the Gambia, because we cannot guarantee his security. The security situation in the Gambia is fragile. It’s a very difficult situation. And if you allow a former President to stay in your country, you have to guarantee his security.

President Adama Barrow of Gambia has also pledged to ensure the smooth transfer of power to his successor when his tenure as president elapses.

Mr. Barrow said this during an interview with the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, on Sunday night.
However the newly inaugurated president acknowledged the contribution of African and world leaders in ensuring the success of the December 1 presidential election he won to defeat Yahya Jammeh who had led the country for 22 years.

He also said his administration will put in place laws that will ensure smooth transfer of power and ensure presidential term limit in Gambia.

“This time the democratic principle will be reinstated. And we will improve on them. We will put in place laws that nobody will stay long. Laws like term limit.

Every president will know that; ‘look I am president but at this time I will leave power.’ You will behave yourself and try to work for the country so that you will leave a good legacy,” Mr. Barrow said.

Equatorial Guinea Presents Offer To Join OPEC , Agrees To Production Cuts

The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea (http://MMIE.gob.gq)has announced that it has submitted its interest to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2017. H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, travelled to Vienna on January 20 to meet with OPEC officials and present the Government of Equatorial
Guinea’s offer to become the 14th member of the cartel.

With 32.5 million barrels per day of output projected this year, OPEC is the world’s largest organization of oil producers.
The Minister’s trip to Vienna follows the Fourth Africa-Arab Summit, which hosted last November several OPEC members in Malabo, under the patronage of H.E. President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
“For decades, Equatorial Guinea has achieved a sterling track record as a dependable supplier of petroleum to consumers in all corners of the world.

We firmly believe that Equatorial Guinea’s interests are fully aligned with those of OPEC in serving the best interests of the industry, Africa and the global economy,” said H.E. the Minister.

On December 10, 2016, Equatorial Guinea agreed to join 10 other non-OPEC countries to reduce 558,000 barrels per day of total oil production in 2017. Equatorial Guinea’s share of the cut is 12,000 barrels per day.

Even through a two-year sustained slump in oil prices, Equatorial Guinea has maintained liquid output levels at a competitive level.

“There is a consensus amongst producers that an oversupply of oil has been dragging down the price of the barrel,” the Minister said. “Equatorial Guinea is doing its part to ensure stability in the market and that the industry continues to invest in exploring and developing our resources.”

Equatorial Guinea is the third largest oil and gas producer in sub-Saharan Africa. Its $10.6 billion of annual oil and gas exports account for 95 percent of the country’s total exports, with shipments sold every day to China, India, Japan, Korea and many other countries.

The country has remained committed to investing in the entire energy supply chain through landmark projects such as the Bioko Oil Terminal, the Fortuna Floating Liquefied Natural Gas project, the Riaba Fertilizers plant, compressed natural gas and LNG. Equatorial Guinea is currently hosting its latest oil and gas licensing round, EG Ronda, putting on offer all of open acreage not currently operated or under direct negotiation.

Equatorial Guinea has made 114 oil and gas discoveries to date with a drilling success rate of 42 percent.

Mass protests greet Trump’s first days

Hundreds of thousands of women filled the streets of major American cities to lead an unprecedented wave of international protests against President Donald Trump, mocking and denouncing the new U.S. leader the day after his inauguration.

Women activists, outraged by Trump’s campaign rhetoric and behavior they found to be especially misogynistic, spearheaded scores of marches in the United States and sympathy rallies around the world on Saturday.
Organizers said they drew nearly 5 million protesters in all, far surpassing crowd expectations.

The demonstrations also highlighted strong discontent over Trump’s comments and policy positions toward a wide range of groups, including Mexican immigrants, Muslims, the disabled and environmentalists.

Chanting such slogans as, “We need a real leader, not a creepy tweeter,” and “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Donald Trump has got to go,” many marchers wore knitted pink cat-eared “pussy hats” in a reference to Trump’s boast, in a 2005 video made public weeks before the election, about grabbing women by the genitals.
While women constituted the bulk of the demonstrators, many were accompanied by husbands, boyfriends and children.

The planned centerpiece of the protests, a Women’s March on Washington, appeared to draw larger crowds than turned out a day earlier to witness Trump’s swearing-in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

Hundreds of thousands more women thronged New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver and Boston, adding to a public outpouring of mass dissent against Trump unmatched in modern U.S. politics for a new president’s first full day in office.

So-called Sister March organizers estimated 750,000 demonstrators swarmed the streets of Los Angeles, one of the largest of Saturday’s gatherings. Police said the turnout there was as big or bigger than a 2006 pro-immigration march that drew 500,000.

Some 400,000 marchers assembled in New York City, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, though organizers put the number there at 600,000.

The Chicago event grew so large that organizers staged a rally rather than trying to parade through the city. Police said more than 125,000 people attended, while sponsors estimated the crowd at 200,000, the same tally they reported for Boston, and Denver..
Smaller protests were held in such cities as Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Madison, Wisconsin, and Bismarck, North Dakota.

In a Twitter post early on Sunday, the new president appeared to downplay the significance of the protests, when he wrote, “watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election!” he tweeted. “Why didn’t these people vote?

Gambia: Yahaya Jammeh in exile in Equatorial Guinea

Gambia’s defeated leader Yahya Jammeh and his family headed into political exile Saturday night, ending a 22-year reign of fear and a post-election political standoff that threatened to provoke a regional military intervention when he clung to power.
Former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh arrives at the airport before flying into exile from Gambia, January 21, 2017.

As he mounted the stairs to the plane, he turned to the crowd, kissed his Quran and waved one last time to supporters, including soldiers who cried at his departure.

The flight came almost 24 hours after Jammeh announced on state television he was ceding power to the newly inaugurated Adama Barrow, in response to mounting international pressure for his ouster.

Though tens of thousands of Gambians had fled the country during his rule, Jammeh supporters flocked to the airport to see him walk the red carpet to his plane. Women shouted: “Don’t go! Don’t go!”

Jammeh landed in Guinea an hour later. He and his family then took off for Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, according to an airport official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak to the press. Equatorial Guinea, unlike Guinea, is not a state party to the International Criminal Court.
“What is fundamental here is he will live in a foreign country as of now,” Barrow told The Associated Press earlier Saturday.

Barrow won the December elections, but Jammeh contested the results as calls grew for him to be prosecuted for alleged abuses during his time in power. A regional force had been poised to force out Jammeh if last-ditch diplomatic efforts failed to persuade him to leave.

US President Trump signs first bill into law

U.S. President Donald Trump signed his first bill into law on Friday, moments after being sworn in, clearing the way for his Defence Secretary to be confirmed.

The 45th President signed a bill passed by Congress earlier this month that would allow retired Gen. James Mattis to serve as Defence Secretary by waiving the legal requirement that he be out of the military for seven years before doing so, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
Mattis will still need to be confirmed by the Senate, which is expected later on Friday.

Trump told supporters at a luncheon at his Washington hotel on Thursday that he was preparing to use the presidential pen to sign some “very meaningful” documents immediately after his inauguration on Friday.

“We will be signing some papers that will be very meaningful tomorrow right after the speech to get the show going,” Trump had said.
Cameras rolled as he signed his first orders as President in the Capitol, surrounded by congressional leaders.

According to Spicer, the other papers Trump was signing included formal nominations for his Cabinet and a proclamation for a National Day of Patriotism.

The ceremony took place moments after Trump left the podium outside the Capitol building where he was sworn in and delivered his inaugural address.

As is customary, Trump used a series of pens to sign the measures, then distributed the pens among the people who had gathered.
Presidential signing pens are regularly given out as commemorative gifts to politicians or individuals touched by the action.

The moment played out on live television as Trump offered his first pen to the Democrats around him, first House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and then Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who hails from New York and has long known Trump.

As President-Elect, Donald Trump takes oath of office

The 45th president of America is billed to be sworn in later today and the President-elect Donald Trump is ready to “get the show going.”
Donald Trump has arrived in Washington  and he’s going to be there for at least four years.

The reality of the moment, that the real estate mogul and reality show star will recite the oath of office Friday, is finally taking hold.
Less than 24 hours before he is inaugurated, Trump told supporters at a luncheon at his Washington hotel on Thursday that he is preparing to use the presidential pen to sign some “very meaningful” documents.

“We will be signing some papers that will be very meaningful tomorrow right after the speech to get the show going,” Trump said, according to cell phone video of his remarks during a closed press portion of the luncheon obtained by CNN.

The remarks came hours after the President-elect’s incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump is planning to sign a series of executive orders beginning Friday, though Spicer said Trump is “still working through which ones he wants to deal with tomorrow versus Monday or Tuesday.”

“The President-elect is continuing to get briefed on some of the orders he wants to do and the sequencing thereof,” Spicer said. “I think you’ll see some activity on both tomorrow, over the weekend and then Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.”

Trump aides have said that Trump will sign ceremonial and logistical executive orders on Friday, but have also left the door open to more policy-oriented actions and announcements in Trump’s first 12 hours in office.

Advisers are preparing for announcements on a variety of fronts Friday, into the weekend and early next week  whenever Trump gives the signal. Obamacare, the fight against ISIS, immigration and a lobbying ban are high on the list of early executive orders, Spicer said Thursday morning.

CNN reports that a pastor with a long history of inflammatory remarks about Muslims, Mormons, Catholics and gays is scheduled to preach at a private service for President-elect Trump and his family on Friday, shortly before Trump takes the oath of office.

The pastor, the Rev. Robert Jeffress, is a Southern Baptist who vigorously campaigned for Trump during the final months of the presidential election and is a member of his evangelical advisory board. “I love this guy!” Trump has said of Jeffress. Before the campaign, Trump, a Presbyterian, had no apparent connection to the pastor, who leads First Baptist Church in Dallas.

Friday morning’s worship service, scheduled to be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church across the street from the White House, will continue a modern Inauguration Day ritual. With the exception of Richard Nixon in 1973, every president since Franklin Roosevelt has attended spiritual services on Inauguration Day, many at St. John’s. The event is separate from both the inauguration itself and an interfaith service to be held Saturday at Washington National Cathedral, where an imam is among those who will offer prayers.

Usually the Inauguration Day service draws little notice, much less controversy. But offering Jeffress such a prominent pulpit is likely to irk religious minorities, particularly Muslims, many of whom were already angered by the President-elect’s stoking of suspicions about Islam during the campaign.

At noon Friday, the most divisive campaign in recent history and a similarly contentious transition period, marked by Trump’s attacks on Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, and dozens of House Democrats saying they’ll boycott Trump’s swearing-in over it reaches its end.

Trump’s brash statements about ISIS, his cozy relationship with Russia and his criticism of NATO have the world bracing for a new type of American President.

But before all that, Republicans and Trump’s still-growing staff are set for a celebration. Trump and Vice-President elect Mike Pence go through the ceremony at the Capitol at noon, followed by a parade up Pennsylvania Avenue and past Trump’s new hotel  to be followed by a weekend of balls and an anticipated flurry of new executive actions Monday.

The transition of power from a Democratic president to a Republican one  has shut down much of Washington and left its thousands of political staffers in quiet anticipation.

How Trump inaugural activities set $90m world record

Inaugural activities have been under way and this time, with a whooping world record of $90m.
For big-time donors like Boeing and Chevron, the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump sounds downright romantic.

They’ll be treated to an “intimate” dinner with Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife. Then there’s the “elegant” meal by candlelight  part of inaugural festivities described by the event’s planner as having a “soft sensuality.”

All that and more could be yours if you ponied up at least $250,000 to help fund Friday’s inaugural events, according to a brochure obtained by multiple news outlets.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee has raised at least $90 million  a record  to pay for the festivities and provide big donors some face time with the new administration. Donors at the $100,000 level even get a “policy discussion and dinner with select Cabinet appointees.”

In addition to the aerospace giant Boeing ($1 million donated) and the oil company Chevron ($500,000), AT&T, Verizon, and Coca-Cola are among the big companies helping fund the galas, balls, and other pomp and circumstance welcoming Trump to the White House on Friday.

The only part of the inauguration mandated by the Constitution is the swearing-in ceremony. And the expense associated with the president-elect standing on the steps of the Capitol and putting his hand on a Bible comes from taxpayers, not donors; it’s managed by a separate congressional planning committee. Likewise, part of the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue is managed by the US military and paid for out of its budget.

Everything else, the ad hoc inaugural committee pays for with corporate and other donor support: the concerts, porta-potties, and jumbo TV screens. The style and schedule of the inaugural events are entirely up to the incoming administration’s inaugural committee, which can also decide how much contact donors have with the new leaders.

“It’s a blank slate,” said Brian Screnar, who was finance director for Obama’s 2009 inaugural committee. “What access can you provide? Tons, or zero. That’s all a choice.”

Obama forbade all corporate giving and all donations above $50,000 at his 2009 swearing-in. That changed in 2013 for his second inauguration, when the administration reversed course and welcomed donations from big companies. Corporations like AT&T spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the event.

Boeing’s $1 million gift, comes from voluntary disclosures by the companies themselves. The Presidential Inaugural Committee did not respond to numerous requests for comment.

Boeing’s and Chevron’s gifts are among the biggest known. Coca-Cola said this year’s donation will be in-line with what it gave in 2013, which was a little over $431,000. Verizon told Business Insider it’s contributing $100,000 to this year’s events. AT&T is also donating but declined to say how much.

Boeing is giving the same amount it did in 2013. However, Chevron seems to have dialed back its contribution. Chevron gave $1 million in 2013, according to Open Secrets, a website that compiles federal campaign contributions and lobbying data.
Of course, the companies giving to the inauguration could be significantly affected by the Trump team’s policy proposals — and while that could be said of any business, it’s still difficult for ethics watchdogs to overlook.

“There’s a very self-serving reason for funding the inauguration,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, which advocates reducing the influence of big corporations in politics.

Boeing’s future, for instance, is heavily dependent on US defense contracts; Trump has threatened to cancel the new Air Force One that Boeing is developing. And his foreign policy could affect Boeing’s ability to sell planes to countries like Iran and China.

UPDATE: Yahya Jammeh offered a final mediation mission

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has halted a joint military operation on Thursday for final mediation talks with immediate past Gambian President Yahya Jammeh who has refused to step down.

Jammeh has been given until Friday noon to cede power or face military operation to remove him from the country’s seat of government and install the new President Adama Barrow, Head of the ECOWAS Commission Marcel de Souza told the media.

The final mediation mission on Friday will be led by Guinea’s President Alpha Conde and other African leaders including Presidents of Liberia, Mauritania and officials of the United Nations.

Jammeh will not be allowed to stay in The Gambia and if mediation is successful, he will travel to Guinea and then choose a country of exile, de Souza said, adding that ECOWAS is open to possible amnesty for Jammeh as part of the deal.
Nigeria’s lower house has voted to offer Gambian President Yahya Jammeh asylum if he steps down, according to Gambian MPs.

The House of Representatives approved a motion on Thursday for President Muhammadu Buhari to offer Jammeh asylum if he hands over power to Adama Barrow, who won The Gambia’s December 1 elections.

The motion is not binding on the government and there was no immediate response from Buhari, who has proceeded on a medical vacation
It was agreed that the new President Adama Barrow will not return to the country until the 7000-men joint military operation ends.

The decision to engage in a final mediation followed a reported strike by the ECOWAS force after entering the country Thursday evening.
Senegalese army spokesperson Colonel Abdou Ndiaye confirmed the strike in a statement without giving details, Reuters reported.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called on the new President of the Gambia, Adama Barrow, to express his support after the Security Council backed ECOWAS’ intervention.

He expressed supported for the decision of ECOWAS and deep concern at the refusal of Yahya Jammeh to surrender power.
The United States also supported the ECOWAS military intervention describing it as important to stabilize a tense situation in The Gambia.

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma congratulated Adama Barrow and hoped that Yahya Jammeh will “in the interest of The Gambia, bow out peacefully in accordance with the constitution.

Barack Obama’s last words, wishes and plans outside the Whitehouse

The 44th President of the USA, Barack Obama made history when he took office in January 2009 as the first African American to hold the post.

During his mandate he did many memorable thincluding the fact that he addressed the global financial crisis and fought for controversial healthcare reforms and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.

During his last press onference at the POTUS, Obama called on President-elect Donald Trump to continue trying to persuade Russia to reduce its nuclear stockpiles.

He said in his last press conference at the White House as a president that he tried to negotiate further reducing nuclear arsenals with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but he said Russia’s leader was reluctant.

He said that implementing sanctions on Russia following its incursions into Ukraine was a “good example of the vital role” America must play in advocating for and enforcing basic rights around the world.

Obama said sanctions imposed on Russia for annexing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula should not be linked to discussions of reducing nuclear arsenals, saying instead that the sanctions should remain in place until Moscow reverses course on Ukraine.

Obama lamented what he called Russia’s “escalating anti-American rhetoric,” which he said started when Putin returned to the Russian presidency in 2012.

“The reason we imposed the sanctions, recall, was not because of nuclear weapons issues, it was because the independence and sovereignty of a country, Ukraine, had been encroached upon by force, by Russia,” Obama said.

“What I’ve said to the Russians is as soon as you stop doing that, the sanctions will be removed. And I think it would probably best serve, not only American interests, but also the interests of preserving international norms, if we don’t confuse why these sanctions have been imposed with a whole set of other issues,” he said.

“It’s important for the United States to stand up for the principle that big countries don’t go around and invade and bully smaller countries,” Obama added.

President Barack Obama also suggested that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem could have “explosive” results and said he was worried that the prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were waning.
Trump has promised to re-locate the embassy to Jerusalem, breaking with longstanding U.S. policy.

Israel and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital, and such a change would draw international condemnation.

“When sudden unilateral moves are made that speak to some of the core issues and sensitivities of either side, that can be explosive,” Obama said.

He said his administration had warned the incoming Trump administration that big shifts in policy had consequences.

“That is part of what we’ve tried to indicate to the incoming team in our transition process, is pay attention to this because this is … volatile stuff,” he said in response to a question about a potential embassy move.

Obama has said repeatedly that Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is an impediment to creating two states, which the United States believes is the best solution to decades of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

He said his administration did not block a recent U.N. resolution on Israeli settlement activity because it felt a two-state solution was the only option for peace.

“The goal of the resolution was to simply say that the growth of the settlements is creating a reality on the ground that increasingly will make a two-state solution impossible,” Obama said.

“It was important for us to send a signal, a wakeup call that this moment may be passing.”
President Obama hinted that in his first year away from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. he will focus on writing, as well as spending time with family.

“Let’s make it clear: I’m not running for anything anytime soon,” he said when asked about his post-White House plans.
“It’s important for me to take some time to process this amazing experience we’ve gone through. To make sure my wife, with whom I will be sharing a 25th anniversary this year, is willing to re-up and put up with me a little bit longer.”

“I want to do some writing. I want to be quiet a little bit and not hear myself talk so darn much. I want to spend precious time with my girls,” he said. “Those are my priorities this year.”

In a few hours, the 45th President of The United States and republican, Donald Trump will be sworn in.

Adama Barrow sworn in as Gambia's president in Senegal

Troops from a bloc of West African countries have entered Gambia in support of Adama Barrow, shortly after the new Gambian president called for international backing following his inauguration in neighbouring Senegal.
Longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh, who came to power in a 1994 coup, has refused to step down despite losing a disputed December 1 presidential election to Barrow, deepening a political crisis.

In a statement, Senegal's army said on Thursday that forces from ECOWAS, West Africa's regional bloc,  had begun strikes as part of an operation aimed at upholding the result of last month's vote.

Political crisis deepens in Gambia
Colonel Abdou Ndiaye did not specify the type of strikes, but said "significant" land, air and sea resources had been made available .

Earlier on Thursday, Barrow, who had recently sought shelter in Senegal, took the oath of office in a hastily arranged ceremony at Gambia's embassy in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.

"This is a day no Gambian will ever forget in a lifetime," Barrow said in a speech immediately after being sworn in.
Not long after his inauguration, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution backing Barrow and called for a peaceful transfer of power.

"The people of The Gambia spoke clearly at the elections in December. They chose Adama Barrow to be their president. Their voice now needs to be heard and their will needs to be heeded by just one man," Peter Wilson, the UK deputy ambassador to the UN, said.

Earlier this week, Jammeh had declared a national state of emergency , while the parliament extended his term in office by 90 days. He has not been heard from since his mandate expired at midnight.

At least 26,000 people have fled Gambia for Senegal since the start of the crisis fearing unrest, the UN's refugee agency UNHCR said on Wednesday, citing Senegalese government figures.

Troops ready to enter Gambia as president refuses to step down

A midnight deadline has passed in the Gambia, leaving the African country in flux with two presidents and West African troops massed on the border.

Outgoing President Yahya Jammeh has refused to step down since losing the December election to rival Adama Barrow, who was due to take power on Thursday.

Troops from several West African countries were ready to enter Gambia if Jammeh didn't step aside by midnight, Colonel Seydou Maiga Moro with the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) told Senegal's state media.
Hours after the deadline passed, it was unclear whether they'd made good on the pledge.

Jammeh has held power the Gambia since a military coup in 1994 until a surprise loss in the December 1 vote, where his opponent won 45% of the vote.
Hundreds of tourists were pouring out of the Gambia on Wednesday as the risk of violence grew.

In a statement on its website, British tour operator Thomas Cook said it would be flying home 985 vacationers from the country within 48 hours, as well as potentially another 2,500 people who only booked flights through the company.

The UK Foreign Office also updated its advice to travelers, cautioning against all but essential travel to the Gambia.
Senegal, Ghana, Togo and Mali are among the countries who have contributed to the military effort, while the Nigerian
Air Force said in a statement 200 Air Force troops would join ECOWAS forces.

After his loss on December 1, Jammeh originally conceded defeat and said he would step down -- but in just over a week, he changed his mind.

Since then, attempts by African leaders and the United States to convince Jammeh to leave have been unsuccessful.

On Tuesday, the outgoing President declared a state of emergency in the country, claiming "a situation exists which, if it is allowed to continue, may lead to a state of public emergency."

Speaking in a televised statement, Jammeh also claimed he had filed an application with Gambia's Supreme Court to prevent Barrow being sworn in.

Barrow is currently waiting in neighboring Senegal for the transition of power.
The President-elect's office insisted in a statement last week that the election result stands.

Cristiano Ronaldo beats Lionel Messi to win Ballon d'Or 2016


Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award for a fourth time.

Ronaldo, 31, helped Real Madrid win last season’s Champions League and scored three goals as Portugal won Euro 2016.
It adds to the titles he won in 2008, 2013 and 2014.

Ronaldo is now one behind Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who received the honour in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.

The former Manchester United forward has scored 19 goals in 20 games for club and country this term, to add to the 54 he got last season.

Ronaldo’s Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale finished sixth in the vote, while Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy – the only Englishman included on the 30-player shortlist – was eighth.

The Ballon d’Or is given to the best Europe-based player as voted by 173 journalists from around the world.

It has been awarded by France Football every year since 1956, but for the past six years it became the Fifa Ballon d’Or in association with world football’s governing body.
However, Fifa ended its association with the award in September.

FIFA will hand out its own prize for the world’s best men’s player, along with the best women’s player and team of the year, at the Best Fifa Football Awards ceremony in Zurich on 9 January.

Ronaldo’s 2016 in numbers

-42 games, 38 goals, 14 assists
-Third best minutes-per-goal rate – 83.68 – of anyone scoring a minimum of 10 goals across Europe’s top five leagues during 2016, behind Luis Suarez (82.57) and Falcao (59.6)
-Directly involved in 39 La Liga goals in 30 games – 31 scored and nine assists.

Past Ballon d’Or winners

2015: Lionel Messi                               2008: Cristiano Ronaldo
2014: Cristiano Ronaldo                      2007: Kaka
2013: Cristiano Ronaldo                      2006: Fabio Cannavaro
2012: Lionel Messi                              2005: Ronaldinho
2011: Lionel Messi                               2004: Andriy Shevchenko
2010: Lionel Messi                               2003: Pavel Nedved
2009: Lionel Messi

U.S. Soldier who left post in Afghanistan asks Obama for pardon

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl (right) leaves a courthouse after an arraignment hearing for his court-martial in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in December 2015.

A U.S. Army sergeant charged with desertion for leaving his combat post in Afghanistan in 2009 has asked President Barack Obama for a pardon.

The White House confirmed on December 3 that Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl had asked for the presidential pardon before President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20.

Trump made critical comments about Bergdahl during his presidential campaign, calling him "a no-good traitor who should have been executed."

Trump also has criticized a 2014 prisoner swap that won Bergdahl’s release after five years as a prisoner of Afghanistan’s Taliban.
The 30-year-old Bergdahl is facing a court-martial with a possible life sentence.

The White House did not comment on his pending case or what Obama’s response would be to the request for the pardon.

Mayor resigns over Michelle Obama 'ape in heels' post

The mayor of a town in the US state of West Virginia has resigned after she was caught up in a controversy over racist comments about Michelle Obama.
Beverly Whaling had appeared to applaud a Facebook post referring to Mrs Obama as an "ape in heels".

She wrote that the post had made her day, but later said she was referring to the election outcome.
A petition calling for the mayor's resignation had gathered over 170,000 signatures.

Ms Whaling was the mayor of the town of Clay, which has a population of just 491.
The town has no African American residents, according to the 2010 census. In Clay County as a whole, more than 98% of its 9,000 residents are white.

Ms Whaling had responded to a Facebook post by Pamela Ramsey Taylor, a local resident who runs a non-profit group in Clay County, which referred to the first lady as an "ape".

"It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified first lady in the White House. I'm tired of seeing a Ape in heels," Ms Taylor wrote.
Ms Whaling responded with "just made my day Pam".

Ms Whaling had already issued a written apology to news media outlets saying that her comment wasn't intended to be racist.
"I was referring to my day being made for change in the White House! I am truly sorry for any hard feeling this may have caused! Those who know me know that I'm not in any way racist!"


Donald Trump denies transition disarray after sackings

US President-elect Donald Trump has defended his handling of the transition to the White House, amid reports of disarray in his team.
Mr Trump tweeted that the process of selecting his new cabinet and other positions was "very organised".

US media say two senior members of the transition team working on national security have been forced out.
Mr Trump, a property tycoon and Republican outsider, won an unexpected victory against Hillary Clinton.

He has already replaced New Jersey Governor Chris Christie with Vice-President-elect Mike Pence as head of the transition team.
Media reports say Mr Trump's son-in-law and close adviser Jared Kushner was behind the change.

Mr Christie was New Jersey attorney general when Mr Kushner's father was tried and jailed in the state for tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions and witness tampering in 2004.

Former Congressman and House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers, who was handling national security for the transition, announced on Tuesday that he was leaving.

He and another member of the national security team, Matthew Freedman, were sacked, according to the New York Times.
Mr Rogers is thought to have been close to Mr Christie, while Mr Freedman is said to be a protege of Paul Manafort, Mr Trump's former campaign manager who quit in August.


Donald Trump election win sparks protests in US cities

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of several US cities to protest against the election of Donald Trump.
Many shouted the slogan "Not my president". Others burned orange-haired effigies of the businessman.

Mr Trump will become the 45th US president after securing a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton.
He is due to meet current White House incumbent Barack Obama for talks aimed at ensuring a smooth transition.

Mr Obama - who had branded Mr Trump "unfit" for office and campaigned against him - urged all Americans to accept the result of Tuesday's election.

"We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country," he said.
Defeated Mrs Clinton also told supporters Mr Trump had to be given a "chance to lead".
Despite their calls, protesters gathered in several cities across the country.

In New York, thousands marched on Trump Tower, attacking Mr Trump's policies on immigration, gay rights and reproductive rights. Fifteen people were arrested, the New York Times reported.

Protests were largely peaceful but in Oakland, California, some demonstrators smashed shop windows and threw missiles at riot police, who reportedly responded with tear gas
A mass anti-Trump rally shut down the key 101 freeway in Los Angeles

In Chicago, crowds blocked the entrance to Trump Tower, chanting: "No Trump, No KKK, No Fascists USA"
In Portland, Oregon, demonstrators temporarily closed an interstate highway

In Washington DC, protesters held a candlelit vigil. Organiser Ben Wikler told the crowd: "We are here because in these darkest moments, we are not alone"
Demonstrations also took place in Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle and San Francisco, among other cities.

In his victory speech in the early hours of Wednesday, Mr Trump vowed to "bind the wounds of division", after an acrimonious election contest, and to be "president for all Americans".

White House spokesman Josh Earnest has insisted Mr Obama will be sincere about ensuring a smooth handover when he meets Mr Trump, although he added: "I'm not saying it's going to be an easy meeting."

The president-elect will be accompanied to the White House on Thursday morning (1600 GMT) by his wife, Melania, who will have a meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama in the White House residence.

Mr Obama, who congratulated his successor in a phone call in the early hours of Wednesday, said it was "no secret" that he and Mr Trump had pretty significant differences.

But he added that "we all want what's best for this country" and he was "heartened" by what he heard in Mr Trump's remarks the night before.
Mr Trump's transition team for the 10-week period until inauguration will be led by Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey.

The president-elect, who has never held elected office, has said his immediate priorities will be restoring the country's infrastructure and doubling its economic growth.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said: "Donald Trump is taking this very seriously," adding that the business mogul's deal-making ability would enable him to quickly "make things happen for the American people".

As president-elect, Mr Trump is entitled to get the same daily intelligence briefing as President Obama, which includes information on covert US operations and other data gathered by America's 17 intelligence agencies.

Mr Trump's team is understood to be focused on quickly filling key national security posts.
But it is not yet clear who will sit in his cabinet or fill senior posts in his administration, such as chief of staff.

There are expected to be roles for Mr Christie, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, another of Mr Trump's closest advisors, who is being linked with the role of attorney general or national security adviser.

After losses overnight as Mr Trump's surprise victory became clear, financial markets rebounded as a feared meltdown failed to materialise.

US election 2016 result: Trump beats Clinton to take White House

Donald Trump will become the 45th US president after a stunning victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The Republican nominee's projected victory came down to a handful of key swing states, despite months of polling that favoured Mrs Clinton.

The battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and North Carolina cleared the way for his Brexit-style upset.
Global markets plummeted, with the Dow set to open 800 points down.

Mr Trump's projected victory in Wisconsin put him over the 270 out of 538 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.

The US president-elect took to the stage at his victory rally in New York and said: "I just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us on our victory."

"It is time for us to come together as one united people."
The real estate tycoon, former reality TV stars and political newcomer, who was universally ridiculed when he declared his candidacy in June last year, said his victory had been "tough".

Democrats were also unable to wrest control of the Senate from Republicans, who retained their majority in both chambers of Congress.

Hours after polling stations closed, Mrs Clinton also suffered major blows in Democratic-dependent states like Pennsylvania and Iowa, where a Republican has not won since 2004.

New Hampshire and Michigan - which were meant to be part of the Clinton firewall - remained too close to call.

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US candidates hold final rallies before Election Day

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been criss-crossing America in a final push for votes before Election Day.
Both have held rallies in the battleground states of North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Mrs Clinton urged voters to back a "hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America" while Mr Trump told supporters they had a "magnificent chance to beat the corrupt system".

Polls give Democrat Mrs Clinton a four-point lead over Republican Mr Trump.
A record number of Americans - more than 46 million - have voted early by post or at polling stations.
It was after midnight when the rivals held the final rallies of their campaigns - Mr Trump in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and
Mrs Clinton in Raleigh, North Carolina.

"Today the American working class is going to strike back, finally," said Mr Trump, pledging to reverse job losses.
Earlier, in New Hampshire, he told supporters: "We are just one day away from the change you've been waiting for all your life.

"Together we will make America wealthy again, we will make America strong again, we will make America safe again and we will make America great again."

Mrs Clinton told her audience that they did not "have to accept a dark and divisive vision of America".

She looked forward to "a fairer, stronger, better America. An America where we build bridges, not walls. And where we prove conclusively that love trumps hate".

Election day follows a bitter campaign during which the candidates have traded insults and become mired in a series of scandals.

At a star-studded event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mrs Clinton was joined on stage by celebrities Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi as well as her husband Bill, President Obama and his wife Michelle.

Earlier Mrs Clinton said in a radio interview that if she won she would call Mr Trump and hoped he would play a "constructive role" in helping to bring the country together.

At his rally in Scranton in the same state, Mr Trump insisted the momentum was with his campaign.
The businessman described Mrs Clinton as the "most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency", referring to an FBI investigation into Mrs Clinton's use of a private email server while she was serving as secretary of state between 2009 and 2013.

On Sunday Mrs Clinton's campaign received a boost when the FBI said newly discovered emails sent by an aide showed no evidence of criminality.

Election day voting began just after midnight in the small New Hampshire village of Dixville Notch, where seven votes were cast - four for Mrs Clinton, two for Mr Trump and one for the libertarian Gary Johnson.

Results are expected sometime after 23:00 EST (04:00 GMT on Wednesday) once voting ends on the West Coast. State projections will not be available until polling ends - in most states between 19:00 EST (24:00 GMT) and 20:00 EST (01:00 GMT).

Americans are also voting for Congress. All of the House of Representatives - currently Republican controlled - is up for grabs, and a third of seats in the Senate, which is also in Republican hands.

Meanwhile Mr Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway sought to allay international anxiety about the Republican candidate in a BBC interview on Monday.

She said criticism from abroad "does not reflect why Donald Trump is running and who he would be on the global stage".
French President Francois Hollande has said the billionaire made him "want to retch".

It follows a series of sex assault allegations made against Mr Trump, which he denies, and the emergence of a recording of him making obscene remarks about women.

Mr Trump has also been accused of stoking xenophobic sentiment after vowing to ban Muslims from entering the US; describing Mexicans as "rapists" and saying he would build a wall along the US southern border to stop illegal immigration.

Pope Francis to Appoint 17 New Cardinals


Pope Francis has promoted 17 Roman Catholic prelates from around the world to the high rank of cardinal, including 13 who are under 80 years of age and thus eligible to succeed him one day.

Francis, making the surprise announcement during his weekly address, said on Sunday that the ceremony to elevate the prelates, known as a consistory, would be held on November 19.

"Their provenance from 11 nations expresses the universality of the church that announces and is witness to the good news of the mercy of God in every corner of the world," Francis said.

The new cardinal-electors, those under 80, come from Italy, the Central African Republic, Spain, the US, Brazil, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Belgium, Mauritius, Mexico and Papua New Guinea.

Only one of the 13 cardinal-electors will take on a Vatican job. The others would remain in their posts around the world.

Significantly, Francis said the current Vatican ambassador in Syria, Italian Archbishop Mario Zenari, would be elevated but remain in his post to show the Church's concern for "beloved and martyred Syria" - an allusion to the devastating civil war there.

It was believed to be the first time in recent history a Vatican ambassador, known as a nuncio, would have the rank of cardinal.

Three of cardinal-electors are American moderates, including Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich and Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin, a clear signal to the conservative US church hierarchy that he values pastors focused more on mercy than morals.

The four new cardinals over 80, who get the position as a symbolic honour to thank them for long service to the Church, include Father Ernest Simoni, 88, an Albanian priest who spent many years in jail and forced labour during the communist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, who died in 1985.

In addition to Simoni, the other three cardinals over 80 come from Malaysia, Italy and Lesotho.

Cardinals, who wear red hats and are known as "princes of the Church," are the most senior members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy after the pope and serve as his principal advisers around the world and in the Vatican.

Naming new cardinals is one of the most significant powers of the papacy, allowing a pontiff to put his stamp on the future of the 1.2-billion-member global Church.

Cardinals under 80, known as cardinal-electors, can enter a secret conclave to choose a new pope from their own ranks after Francis dies or resigns.

Francis, the former cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected in a conclave on March 13, 2013.

With the current batch, Francis has named 44 cardinal-electors, slightly more than two-thirds of the total of 120 allowed by Church law.

It will be his third consistory since his election in 2013 as the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years and he has used each occasion to show support for the Church in far-flung places or where Catholics are suffering.

The Central African Republic, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Lesotho will have a cardinal for the first time, underscoring Francis' conviction that the Church is a global institution that should become increasingly less Euro-centric.

Dangerous Hurricane Matthew Threatens Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba


An extremely dangerous Hurricane Matthew moved slowly over the Caribbean on Sunday night, following a track that authorities warned could trigger devastating floods in parts of Haiti.

The powerful Category 4 hurricane had winds of 145 mph (230 kph) late Sunday. Its center was expected to pass to the east of Jamaica and then cross over or be very close to the southwestern tip of Haiti late Monday or early Tuesday before reaching Cuba on Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

A hurricane warning was in effect for Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti. Rain was already falling on Jamaica, but forecasters said the southern Haitian countryside around Jeremie and Les Cayes could see the worst of the rains and punishing winds.

"Wherever that center passes close to would see the worst winds and that's what's projected to happen for the western tip of Haiti," said John Cangilosi, a hurricane specialist at the U.S. center. "There is a big concern for rains there and also a big concern for storm surge."

Matthew is one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent history and briefly reached the top classification, Category 5, becoming the strongest hurricane in the region since Felix in 2007. The hurricane center said the storm appeared to be on track to pass east of Florida through the Bahamas, but it was too soon to predict with certainty whether it would reach the U.S. coast.

Officials with Haiti's civil protection agency said there were roughly 1,300 emergency shelters across the country, enough to hold up to 340,000 people. Authorities broadcast warnings over the radio telling people to swiftly heed evacuation warnings, trying to counter a common tendency for people to try to stay in their homes to protect them during natural disasters.

In a Sunday address carried on state radio, interim President Jocelerme Privert urged Haitians to listen closely to the warnings of officials and be ready to move. "To those people living in houses that could collapse, it's necessary that you leave these houses to take refuge in schools and churches," he said.

Teams of civil protection officials walked the streets of Les Cayes and other areas urging residents to secure their homes, prepare emergency kits and warn their neighbors. They also evacuated people from some outlying islands. Many Haitians appeared unaware of the looming hurricane.

"No, I haven't heard anything about a bad storm coming here," farmer Jean-Bernard Mede said with a concerned expression as he took a break from walking three cows along a dirt track outside the flood-prone town of Leogane. "I'll do what I can for my animals and my family."

Forecasters said the slow-moving hurricane was expected to dump 15 to 25 inches (40 to 60 centimeters) of rain over southern Haiti, with a few places getting as much as 40 inches (100 centimeters).

The impoverished country is particularly vulnerable to devastating floods because of the steep terrain, with hillsides and mountains often devoid of trees that hold back water because they have been cut down to make charcoal for cooking fires. Many Haitians live in flimsy houses that are not able to withstand a serious storm, typically built of scraps of wood with corrugated metal roofs.

As of 11 p.m. EDT (0300 GMT), the storm was centered about 325 miles (520 kilometers) southwest of Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince. It was moving north at 5 mph (7 kph).

A hurricane watch was posted for the southeastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands. A tropical storm warning was in effect for parts of the Dominican Republic, where authorities began mandatory evacuations of areas at risk for flooding.

The hurricane earlier had been projected to be closer to Jamaica, but still was a danger to the island.

"The center of the system is looking more likely that it will pass to the east of Jamaica but it won't miss it by that much, so they are still going to see impacts," Cangilosi said. "The impacts are maybe going to be a little lower there than they would be in Haiti and eastern Cuba."

After passing Jamaica and Haiti, Matthew was projected to reach Cuba. The center was expected to pass about 50 miles east of the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, where authorities evacuated about 700 spouses and children of service members on military transport planes to Florida.

The U.S. installation has a population of about 5,500, including 61 men held at the detention center for terrorism suspects. Navy Capt. David Culpepper, the base commander, said emergency shelters had been set up and authorities were bracing for 80 mph winds and storm surge and heavy rain that could threaten some low-lying areas, including around the power plant and water desalination facility.

"We have no choice but to prepare ourselves for to take a frontal assault if you will," Culpepper said.

Cuban President Raul Castro traveled to the eastern city of Santiago to oversee preparations for Matthew's arrival.

A report on state television showed the 85-year-old leader discussing the hurricane's path with ministers and saying: "This is a hurricane we need to prepare for as if it were twice as powerful as Sandy," the 2012 hurricane that devastated much of Cuba's second-largest city.

Hundreds of Cuban soldiers were moving in convoys around the city and state workers with chain saws cut tree limbs overhanging power lines and homes. Trains from Havana to eastern Cuba were cancelled and the government called on residents of eastern Cuba to move livestock to high ground, tape up their windows and store potable water ahead of the hurricane's arrival.


Greek police use tear gas on pensioners at anti-austerity protest


Greek Police tear gas protesting pensioners. Police in Greece have used tear gas on pensioners who were protesting against cuts to their income from the state.

Some of the hundreds of protesting pensioners tried to topple a police bus, while others attempted to break through riot police lines.

Due to austerity reforms, pensions in Greece have been cut repeatedly and they are now worth 25-55% less than they were before the economic crisis.

Pensions are a sticking point in Greek dealings with international creditors.

Shimon Peres, former Israeli president, dies aged 93


Shimon Peres, who served twice as Israel's prime minister and once as president, has died at the age of 93.
Mr Peres suffered a stroke two weeks ago. His condition had improved before a sudden deterioration on Tuesday.
His son Chemi led tributes to "one of the founding fathers of the state of Israel" who "worked tirelessly" for it.

World figures are expected to attend his funeral in Jerusalem on Friday, including US President Barack Obama, Prince Charles and Pope Francis.

Mr Peres was one of the last of a generation of Israeli politicians present at the new nation's birth in 1948.
He won the Nobel Peace prize in 1994 for his role negotiating peace accords with the Palestinians a year earlier.

He once said the Palestinians were Israel's "closest neighbours" and might become its "closest friends".
Mr Peres died in a hospital near Tel Aviv early on Wednesday, with his family at his bedside.

He had been in the intensive care unit of the Sheba Medical Centre after suffering a major stroke on 13 September.
The funeral will be held at Mount Herzl, Israel's national cemetery in Jerusalem.

The Clintons, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UK Prime Minister Theresa May have all confirmed they will attend, Israel's Foreign Ministry said.

Toddler survives three days alone in remote Siberia wood

A three-year-old boy has survived alone for seventy two hours in a forest in the remote Russian region of Siberia in an area renowned for being inhabited by wolves and bears.

Report says Tserin Dopchut only had a small bar of chocolate in his pocket when he wandered into the woodland.
He slept on a dry makeshift bed under a larch tree.

A huge land and air search was launched to find the boy, who may have been following a puppy when he vanished.
According to report, the child had been under the care of his great grandmother but he ventured off near the village of Khut and was located amid dense forestry in the Tuva Republic when her back was turned.

For seventy two hours the child braved plummeting temperatures, the threat of wild animals and the danger of falling into a fast glowing river before he was eventually rescued by his uncle.

Doctors say that the boy suffered no serious injuries f4rom his ordeal.

Yahoo hackers stole data from 500 million users

Yahoo says hackers stole information from about 500 million users in what appears to be the largest publicly disclosed cyber-breach in history.

The breach included swathes of personal information, including names and emails, as well as “unencrypted security questions and answers”.

The hack took place in 2014 but has only now been made public.
Yahoo said it believed the attack was state-sponsored. The FBI has confirmed it is investigating.

The data taken includes names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and encrypted passwords, but not credit card data, Yahoo said.
News of a possible major attack on the technology firm emerged in August when a hacker known as "Peace" was apparently attempting to sell information on 200 million Yahoo accounts.

On Thursday, Yahoo confirmed the breach was far bigger than first thought.
Yahoo is recommending all users should change their passwords if they have not done so since 2014.

Tulsa shooting: Manslaughter charge for police officer who shot black man

A police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black motorist in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been charged with manslaughter, a prosecutor has said.

Officer Betty Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher last week while he was standing next to his broken-down car.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, a curfew went into effect to prevent a third night of violence after a black man was shot dead by a black police officer.

Keith Lamont Scott's family denies police allegations that he was armed.
Demonstrators protesting against Mr Scott's death in Charlotte have defied the curfew - running from midnight to 06:00, some remaining on the streets singing gospel songs.

According to Cpt Mike Campagna, officers have not enforced the curfew as protests were largely peaceful.
However Charlotte police reported two officers were injured on Thursday night.

Hundreds of National Guard troops have been deployed on the streets. Some demonstrators demanded to see footage of the shooting which was released to Mr Scott's family but has not been made public.

The family's lawyer said the footage was inconclusive. But they have demanded its release to the public, which police have so far refused.
Officials say Keith Lamont Scott refused to drop his gun but his family say he was unarmed and holding a book.

It has also emerged that one man injured in gunfire in Charlotte died from his wounds.
The police use of force against black men has for two years been the subject of protests across the US, and now it has also become an election issue.

Egypt migrant boat capsize: Hundreds feared dead

Survivors from a boat which capsized off the Egyptian coast on Wednesday have told the BBC that hundreds of people may have drowned.

The boat was carrying between 450 and 600 migrants when it capsized eight miles (12km) off the coast, they say. The numbers have not been confirmed.

Authorities say they have rescued 163 people and recovered 51 bodies so far off the port city of Rosetta.
Four crew members have been arrested, Egyptian officials said.

They are suspected of involuntary manslaughter and human trafficking, judicial officials were reported as saying.
The incident came after the EU's border agency warned that increasing numbers of Europe-bound migrants are using Egypt as a departure point.

The UN says that more than 10,000 people have died crossing the Mediterranean towards Europe since 2014.
The boat was kept off the coast for five days as more and more migrants were brought on board, survivors told the BBC's Orla Guerin in Rosetta.

The boat is said to have capsized after a final group of some 150 people were crammed on board.
Authorities have been accused of failing to send help fast enough.
"Anyone who was saved here was saved by the local fishing boats," fisherman Abdelrahman Al-Mohamady told the Reuters news agency.

The International Organization for Migration said those rescued included 111 Egyptians, 26 Sudanese, 13 Eritreans, a Syrian and an Ethiopian.
Many survivors are now being held in police custody.

Rescuers are focusing their efforts on the boat's cold storage room, where it is believed around 100 people took refuge during the capsize.

There is still uncertainty over the exact number of migrants who were on board the vessel before it capsized, with estimates between 450 and 600.

The number of deaths is expected to rise.
Some teenage Egyptian survivors, huddled together in the basement of a police station, told the BBC they were trying to reach Italy to find work.

The Egypt office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) say high birth rates and few job opportunities are pushing young Egyptians into taking the risk of a dangerous sea voyage.
Authorities say Egyptians in police custody will soon be released but foreign nationals will be held for a few days for questioning as to how they entered the country.

Somalia food crisis: 300,000 children need help, says UN

Nearly five million people in Somalia are suffering from a shortage of food due to poor rainfall, floods and displacement.

The United Nations says more than 300,000 children under the age of five are severely malnourished and require urgent assistance.
Report say those in need of help have been internally displaced following decades of conflict.
According to a UN report, malnutrition levels in Somalia have increased over the last six months with nearly half the population affected.

The UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia said those providing aid was ready to scale up their response to help families struggling to find food.

In January, aid agencies launched an appeal for more than eight hundred and eighty million dollars to alleviate the humanitarian situation in Somalia but so far less than half of that sum has been donated.

Al-Shabab Terrorist group has been battling the UN-backed government in Somalia for years and has carried out a string of attacks in neighbouring Kenya.

  Suspicious devices found near New Jersey station

A suspicious device found near a New Jersey railway station exploded as a bomb squad was attempting to disarm it with a robot, officials say.

It was one of up to five devices found in backpack inside a rubbish bin near the station in Elizabeth, according to the city's mayor. No-one was hurt.

The discovery came after three attacks at the weekend - bombs in New York and New Jersey, and stabbings in Minnesota.
The explosion in New York's Chelsea area injured 29 people.
In Elizabeth, New Jersey, police detonated a device on Monday following concerns it was a live bomb.

"That was not a controlled explosion," said Mayor Christian Bollwage, adding that the blast happened as a robot examining a device cut a wire.

The bag containing multiple devices was picked out of a bin by two men who thought it could contain something of value.
"They started to examine the backpack is when they found the wires and the pipes and they dropped the backpack, walked around the corner, went in to police headquarters and notified us right away," he said.

In New York City, the FBI said it had stopped a "vehicle of interest" in Brooklyn on Sunday but made no arrests.
Five people were taken into custody for questioning, officials told US media. But a spokeswoman said no-one had been charged and the investigation was continuing.

Both the bomb that detonated on Saturday in Chelsea, and a device found nearby, were shrapnel-filled pressure cookers - similar to the bombs used in the attack on the 2013 Boston marathon, US media report.
The two instruments appeared to be "similar in design", New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Berlin state poll: Losses for Merkel's CDU, gains for AfD

Germany's CDU, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, has suffered historic losses in Berlin state elections.

It has been ousted from the state governing coalition with the centre-left Social Democrats.
Meanwhile the right-wing anti-migrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD) made gains and will enter the state parliament for the first time.

Mrs Merkel's popularity has waned since her decision last year to allow more than a million migrants into Germany.
The CDU won 17.6% of the vote - its worst-ever result in Berlin.

It is the party's second electoral blow in two weeks, having been pushed into third place by the AfD in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania at the beginning of the month.

Emmy Awards 2016: Game of Thrones breaks record

Game of Thrones has broken the record for the highest number of Emmy Awards won by any fictional series.

The HBO fantasy drama triumphed in three categories at Sunday's ceremony, including outstanding drama series.

The show's total number of awards now stands at 38, which means it has beaten Frasier's previous record of 37.
This year's British winners included Dame Maggie Smith, who won outstanding supporting actress in a drama series for her role in Downton Abbey.

South African universities to offer BSC witchcraft

The South African Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande has announced plans to have witchcraft included in the curriculum from 2018.

Speaking to representatives from student unions around the country, the Minister who announced the shocking move urged future university entrees to consider taking Witchcraft.

The announcement was met with boos and bottle throws from the packed auditorium who had gone to the meeting hoping the minister would announce a 0% fee increase for the coming year.

The unperturbed minister also invited renowned witches to make an appointment with his office so they can have their skills tested and those outstanding would then be hired as lecturers.

He also invited witches from across the border, promising them permanent residents’ permits.
Applications is said to be closing on the 30th of September at midnight, after which an appointed panel with conduct interviews. There currently is an opening for 109 witches.
Typhoon cuts power, lashes China with wind and rain before weakening

Typhoon Meranti slammed into southeastern China on Thursday with strong winds and lashing rain that cut power to 1.65 million homes, but there were no reports of more casualties in what has been described as the strongest storm of the year globally.

The storm, registered as a super typhoon before losing strength after sweeping across southern Taiwan, made landfall in the early hours near the major city of Xiamen.

Dozens of flights and train services have been canceled, state television said, disrupting travel at the start of the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday.

Pictures on state media showed flooded streets, fallen trees and crushed cars in Xiamen as rescuers in boats evacuated people.

About 320,000 homes were without power in Xiamen. Across the whole of Fujian province, where Xiamen is located, 1.65 million homes had no electricity, state television said.
Large sections of Xiamen also suffered water supply disruptions and some windows in tall buildings shattered, sending glass showering onto the ground below, state news agency Xinhua said.

The report said it was the strongest typhoon to hit that part of the country since the founding of Communist China in 1949 and the strongest so far this year anywhere in the world.

Tens of thousands of people had already been evacuated as the storm approached and fishing boats called back to port.
One person died and 38 were injured in Taiwan, the Central Emergency Operation Centre there said, as the typhoon hit the southern part of the island on Wednesday.

Meranti was a Category 5 typhoon, the strongest classification awarded by Tropical Storm Risk storm tracker, before it made landfall on the mainland and has since been downgraded to Category 2.

Typhoons are common at this time of year, picking up strength as they cross the warm waters of the Pacific and bringing fierce winds and rain when they hit land.

Meranti will continue to lose strength as it pushes inland and up towards China's commercial capital of Shanghai, but will bring heavy rain.

Zimbabwe court overturns protest ban in Harare

Zimbabwe's high court has overturned a two-week ban by police on demonstrations in the capital Harare.
The challenge was brought by activists, who are opposed to President Robert Mugabe and his government.

They described the court's ruling as "a brave judgement", coming days after President Mugabe, 92, condemned a previous court ruling allowing a demonstration that turned violent.

Zimbabwe has seen a wave of protests recently over the declining economy.
On Wednesday, Zimbabwean High Court judge Priscilla Chigumba ruled that the ban on protests was illegal.

She said that the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law was important to democracy,
Stan Zvorwadza, one of the activists who challenged the ban, told the BBC he welcomed the verdict, adding that he and demonstrators wanted to protest peacefully about the mismanagement of the country.

He was represented in court by Tendai Biti, a lawyer and former finance minister, who told the BBC it proved Zimbabwe's courts were independent.

"My clients can now demonstrate today or tomorrow. This is a brave judgement," Mr Biti said.
President Mugabe at the weekend criticised a court which had given permission for an anti-government protest at the end of August.

It turned violent when police ignored the court order and tear gassed demonstrators.

Mr Mugabe said the judges had showed a reckless disregard for peace, and warned that they should not dare to be negligent when making future decisions.

The president has recently warned protesters there would be no Zimbabwean uprising similar to the "Arab Spring".
He has routinely blamed the country's economic problems on sabotage by Western critics of his policies - which include the seizure of white-owned commercial farms to be given to black people.

Gabon Justice Minister resigns over disputed election

Gabon Justice Minister Seraphin Moundounga has resigned in protest over the disputed Presidential election.

He is reported to have warned the incumbent, Ali Bongo, that he could cancel the results or the elections of they did not tally with reality.
Mr. Bongo was declared a winner by a narrow margin last Wednesday, but the opposition say the poll was fraudulent.

His rival Jean Ping has called for a general strike and says dozens of his supporters have been killed.
Mr. Moundounga is the first senior government Minister to resign over the election result.

Fire kills 23 at prisoners

At least 23 inmates have died after a fire at an Ethiopian prison where anti-government protesters are reportedly being held.

Government sources say that 21 died of suffocation after a stampede while two others were killed as they tried to escape.

There has been an unprecedent wave of protests in Ethiopia in recent months.
Sustained gunfire could be heard coming from Qilinto prison, on the outskirts of the capital Addis - Ababa, after the fire broke out on Saturday evening.

There have been numerous protest in the Oromia Region by members of the country's largest group since November 2015.

Many Oromo activists are being held at the Qilinto facility, according to pro-opposition media.
New York-based Human Rights Watch says that more than 400 people have been killed in clashes with the security forces in Oromia, although the government disputes this figure.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has blamed “anti-peace forces” for the violence.

Mother Teresa declared a saint before huge crowds in the Vatican

Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who devoted her life to helping India's poor, has been declared a saint in a canonization Mass held by Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Pope Francis delivered the formula for the canonization of the Albanian-born nun -- known as the "saint of the gutters" -- before huge crowds of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City on Sunday morning.

Applause broke out before he completed the formula of canonization, in which he declared "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint."

India renamed the city of Calcutta to Kolkata in 2001 to match the Bengali pronunciation. But the church uses the spelling of Calcutta in its references to Mother Teresa.

Speaking in Latin, Francis said that "after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother bishops, we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint, and we enroll her among the saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole church."

Catholics -- including hundreds of blue- and white-robed nuns from the Missionaries of Charity sisterhood founded by Mother Teresa -- had gathered from around the world to attend the canonization of the church's newest saint, just 19 years after her death.

A huge portrait of Mother Teresa, whom the church credits with having performed two miraculous cures of the sick, hung from St. Peter's Basilica during the colorful ceremony.

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff removed from office by Senate

Brazil's Senate has voted to remove President Dilma Rousseff from office for manipulating the budget.

It puts an end to the 13 years in power of her left-wing Workers' Party. Ms Rousseff had denied the charges.
Sixty-one senators voted in favour of her dismissal and 20 against, meeting the two-thirds majority needed to remove her from the presidency.

Michel Temer has been sworn in as president and will serve out Ms Rousseff's term until 1 January 2019.
The centre-right PMDB party politician had been serving as acting president during the impeachment proceedings.

During his first cabinet meeting since the vote, Mr Temer said his inauguration marked a "new era".
He asked his ministers to "vigorously defend" the government from accusations that Ms Rousseff's dismissal amounted to a coup d'etat.

He also told ministers to work closely with the Congress to revive the Brazilian economy. Mr Temer is travelling to China to take part in a summit of the G-20 group of major economies.

The dismissal of Ms Rousseff has caused a rift between Brazil and three left-wing South American governments that criticised the move later on Wednesday.

Brazil and Venezuela recalled each other's ambassadors. Brazilian envoys to Bolivia and Ecuador have also been ordered home.
Ms Rousseff lost the impeachment battle but won a separate Senate vote that had sought to ban her from public office for eight years.

Anti-Temer demonstrations were held in many cities, including Brasilia.
Ms Rousseff was suspended in May after the Senate voted to go ahead with the impeachment process.

She was accused of moving funds between government budgets, which is illegal under Brazilian law.
Her critics said she was trying to plug deficit holes in popular social programmes to boost her chances of being re-elected in 2014.

Ms Rousseff fought the allegations, arguing that her right-wing rivals had been trying to remove her from office ever since her re-election.

Italy earthquake: Death toll reaches 247 amid rescue efforts

The death toll in the Italian earthquake has risen to at least 247 as thousands of rescuers continue efforts to find survivors.

Dozens are believed trapped in ruined Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto, in mountainous central Italy.
The search went on through the night, and there was a strong aftershock which rocked already damaged buildings.
More than 4,300 rescuers are using heavy lifting equipment and their bare hands.

Many of the victims were children, the health minister said, and there were warnings the toll could rise further.
The 6.2-magnitude quake hit at 03:36 (01:36 GMT) on Wednesday 100km (65 miles) north-east of Rome.
The latest death toll was given on Thursday morning - 190 deaths in Rieti province and 57 in neighbouring Ascoli Piceno province.

Rescuers said they had pulled five bodies from the ruins of the Hotel Roma in the historic town of Amatrice. Officials said about 35 people had been staying at the hotel and most had managed to get out. About 10 people were still unaccounted for, a local fire official said.

Late on Wednesday there were cheers in the village of Pescara del Tronto when a young girl was pulled alive from the rubble after being trapped for 17 hours. Almost all the houses there had collapsed, the mayor said.
The quake struck small towns and villages in the mountainous area where the regions of Umbria, Lazio and Le Marche meet.

People there spent the night outside or in tents provided by the emergency services.
Among the victims was an 18-month-old toddler, Marisol Piermarini, whose mother Martina Turco survived the deadly 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila and moved away from there after the experience, Italian news agency Ansa reported.

Ms Turco was being treated in hospital after being pulled from the rubble in the village of Arquata del Tronto, Ansa said.
The area has also been shaken by strong aftershocks, including a 4.7-magnitude tremor with its epicenter about 7km east of Norcia, according to the US Geological Survey.

The mayor of Amatrice said three-quarters of the town had been destroyed and no building was safe for habitation.
Many of those affected were on holiday in the region. Some were in Amatrice for a festival to celebrate a famous local speciality - amatriciana bacon and tomato sauce.

The country is no stranger to earthquakes: the 2009 L'Aquila tremor killed more than 300 people and in May 2012 two tremors nine days apart killed more than 20 people in the northern Emilia Romagna region.

UN report: Syrian troops carried out gas attacks

A confidential report by both the United Nations and the global chemical weapons watchdog has alleged Syrian government forces carried out at least two toxic gas attacks and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant reportedly used sulfur mustard gas.

According to the joint report, a year-long probe by the UN and Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) - authorized by the UN Security Council - focused on nine attacks in seven areas of Syria, where a separate OPCW fact-finding investigation had already determined that chemical weapons had likely been used.

The UK Ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft said it would be a clear step to getting justice.
The Syrian Ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari insisted that the report was likely to be political and accuse some Security Council members of attempting to divert attention away from thir support of opposition forces in Syria.

Eight of the attacks investigated involved the use of chlorine. The inquiry was unable to reach a conclusion in six cases, though it said that three of those cases warranted further investigation.

The 15-member Security Council is due to discuss the report next week. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the report would be made public after that meeting.

The inquiry found there was sufficient information to conclude that Syrian government helicopters dropped devices that then released toxic substances in April 21, 2014 and March 16, 2015; Both cases involved the use of chlorine.

Biden: US understands Turkey's 'feelings' about Gulen

US Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he understood the “intense feeling” in Turkey over the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen whom Ankara accuses of masterminding the July 15 failed coup and wants to see extradited.

Speaking at a news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Biden said work was continuing by US legal experts to evaluate the evidence produced by Turkey “that need to be supplied to an American court” for an extradition.

Turkish officials have warned that if Pennsylvania-based Gulen is not extradited, relations will suffer further and anti-American sentiment will deepen in the country. A senior US official said today Turkey has submitted four extradition requests for Gulen but offered no evidence tying him to last month’s failed coup.
Yildirim said if the process of extraditing Gulen is expedited, Turkish people’s disappointment would be dispelled
“very quickly”.

Colombia and FARC Rebels Sign Historic Peace Agreement

The Colombian government and the Farc rebel group have signed a historic peace accord, putting an end to more than five decades of conflict.

Both sides have agreed to work together to address social exclusion, to deliver justice to the victims of the conflict and build a stable and enduring peace.

The announcement was made in the Cuban capital, Havana, where peace talks were launched in November 2012.
The conflict has killed an estimated 220,000 people and displaced millions.

"The Colombian government and the Farc announced that they have reached a final, full and definitive accord.
The head of the Colombian delegation, Humberto de la Calle, and the chief Farc negotiator, Ivan Marquez, signed the agreement at a ceremony in Cuba where they said the agreement would open doors to a more inclusive society.

Days ago, President Juan Manuel Santos at a news briefing said the war is over but also there is also new a beginning of great thing.
The two sides had signed a bilateral ceasefire in June, paving the way for a final agreement.

Donald Trump can beat polls, UKIP's Nigel Farage tells rally

Outgoing UK Independent Party leader Nigel Farage has urged Republicans to "get your walking boots on" and drum up support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

He appeared before 15,000 activists in Mississippi, where he said the party could "beat the pollsters" in the presidential race.

Nigel Farage drew on parallels between Mr Trump's bid for the White House and that of the Brexit campaign's "people's army of ordinary citizens", which he said engaged successfully with the public prior to the UK's referendum vote on whether to leave the European Union, EU.

He said he had a "message of hope and optimism" for the Republican Party and urged them to get their walking boots on if they indeed wanted change in the US.

Mr Trump, who is trailing his rival Hillary Clinton in the opinion polls, backed the UK's exit from the EU.
In a tweet last week, Mr Trump said: "They will soon be calling me Mr Brexit."

Philippines President Duterte threatens to leave UN

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to separate from the UN after it criticized his war on drugs as a crime under international law.

Duterte said he might ask China and African nations to form another body.

He also accused the UN of failing on terrorism, hunger ending conflicts Mr. Duterte, elected in May 1 has sanctioned the killing of traffickers to try to wipe out the drugs trade.

The UN has repeatedly condemned the driven as violation of human rights.
Some 900 suspected drug traffickers have been killed since Mr. Duterte was elected on 9 May.

The Un Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the Un's office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, have both condemned Mr. Duterte's apparent endorsement of Extra Judicial killings, which is illegal and a breach of fundamental rights and freedoms.

Mr. Duterte was sworn in as President June, after winning a  land-slide election victory.
He had previously been mayor of the country's third biggest city, Davao, 22 years where his tough approach and controversial comments earned him the nickname "the Punisher"

Al-Shabab claims twin suicide bombings in Somalia

At least 20 people have been killed and several others wounded in twin suicide blasts in the Central Somali town of Galkayo.

The first vehicle explosion this evening targeted the local government headquarter, the second target emergency services at the scene of the first blast.

Authorities initially put the death toll at 13 including civilians and security force personnel, but a medical official said that number had risen.

Al-Shabab, the armed group fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Mogadishu, claimed responsibilities for the blasts.

The UN mission in Somali condemned this evening explosion and said terrorist attacks will not stop 2016 electoral process.

Somalia is scheduled to hold elections later this year.

Zambia arrests 133 protesters against President Lungu's re-election

 Zambia police have arrested one hundred and thirty-three people protesting against the re-election of President Edgar Lungu after his main opponent Hakainde Hichilema said the vote was rigged.

Lungu, leader of the patriotic front (PF) won fifty point thirty-five percent of the vote, against forty-seven point sixty-seven percent for Hichilema, of the United Party for National Development (UPND), according to the Electoral commission of Zambia.

The opposition party quickly rejected that result, saying that the electoral commission had colluded to rig the result in favour of Lungu.

Mr. Godwin Phiri, a Southern province police chief said they targeted perceived supporters of the ruling party, and destroyed their properties.

Hichilema's United Party for National Development UPND said it will appeal the result at the constitutional court, accusing election officials of fraud during the court which began after voting ended last Thursday.

Lungu, who can only be inaugurated seven days after being proclaimed victor, was due to hold a celebratory rally on Tuesday.

His election secures him another five-year term

AU soldiers jailed over Somali fuel racket

Nine Ugandan soldiers serving as peace keepers in Somalia have been jailed for running a fuel racket.

The African Union AU said they had been sentenced to between one year and three years by a Ugandan military court, which sat in Somalia.
The officers including two majors were arrested in a sting operation in June.

The AU mission is fighting alongside Somali government forces against al-shabab Islamist militants.
It was the first time a military court connected to the AU mission had sat in Somalia since the troops were deployed nine years ago.

The nine were among eighteen soldiers arraigned before the court for selling fuel belonging to Amisom to civilians in the capital, Mogadishu.

Three of the soldier had also been dismissed with disgrace from the army and would lose their benefits.
Uganda is the highest troop contributor to the twenty-two strong force.

Rio Olympics: US swimmer Ryan Lochte and three others robbed

Gold medal-winner, Ryan Lochte and three other members of the US Olympic swimming team have been robbed at Rio.
US Olympic Committee has confirmed that Lochte, Gunner Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen were stopped by people posing as armed police.

The robbers demanded money and other personal belongings.
Reports say the group had been attending a party at the French Olympic team’s hospitality house when their taxi was stopped on the way back to the athletes’ village.

The US Olympic Committee said all four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities.
The Brazilian Authorities have deployed more than eighty thousand police and army personnel to provide security in Rio during the games.

Philippines protest burial for disgraced President Marcos

At least one thousand five hundred people have protested in the Philippines against plans to move the body of disgraced former president Ferdinand Marcos to the National Heroes' cemetery in Manila.

President Rodrigo Duterte decided last week the body could be transferred from Marcos home city Batac.
Protesters say a hero’s burial would be a grave injustice to Mr. Marco's victims when he brutally repressed dissent until he was overthrown in 1986.

Demonstrators assembled in heavy rains at the seaside Pizal Park in Manila carrying banners calling on President Duterte to reconsider the move.

Reports say Marcos' embalmed body is on display in Batac and its burial in the capital could take place next month one the protesters.
Senator Risa Hontiveros has put forward a Senate resolution opposing the move describing Marcos as an unrepentant enemy of the heroes.

Marcos was elected in 1965, but declared martial law in 1972 hethalding a period characterised by corruption, killings, torture and abductions by the military.

He and his wife, Imelda were deposed in what became known as the People Power Revolution.
President Duterte has defended his decision on Marcos saying he should be buried at the National Heroes cemetery because he was a Filipino soldier.

Report say, most of the forty thousand people laid to rest in the cemetery and from the military but military regulations exclude those who have been dishonourably discharged.

Emirates plane crash-lands at Dubai airport

An Emirates airline flight from India has crash-landed at Dubai International Airport with almost 300 people on board, officials say.

Images posted online show thick black smoke coming from the plane.
The Dubai Government Media Office said on its Twitter account that all passengers were evacuated safely and no injuries have been reported so far.

The Boeing 777 was reportedly flying from the Indian city of Trivandrum to Dubai.
Emirates airline said there were 275 passengers and crew on board.
"Our main priority now is the safety and well-being of all involved," the airline says on Twitter.

The live air traffic monitor Flightradar24 said takeoffs and landings at Dubai had been suspended because of the incident.

Nicaragua: Ortega names his wife as running mate

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has named his wife as his running mate and candidate for vice-president as he seeks re-election for a third term.

First Lady Rosario Murillo already has a prominent role as the chief government spokeswoman and is widely seen as sharing power with her husband.

She appears on Nicaraguan television almost every day.
Critics accuse the first couple of running Nicaragua - which has elections in November - like a personal fiefdom.

While President Ortega rarely speaks to the media, his wife is regularly seen on TV discussing policy and promoting her own brand of New Age spirituality.

Mother of the president's seven children, she is fluent in English and French in addition to being a renowned poet.

She also has a reputation for wearing colorfully extravagant outfits and jewelry more commonly seen in the hippy 1960s.
Correspondents say many Nicaraguans see Ms Murillo as wielding the most power in her country because of her higher public profile.

Husband and wife officially submitted their candidacy papers in the capital Managua, accompanied by the legal adviser of their Sandinista party.
Hundreds of Sandinista supporters cheered the couple when they left the building.

But opposition supporters are concerned her promotion may herald the rise of a new family dynasty in the impoverished Central American nation.

Mr Ortega, 70, is a former left-wing guerrilla who formed part of the government junta following the Sandinista revolution against the dictatorship of the Somoza family, which ruled Nicaragua for four decades.
The Cuban-inspired Sandinistas seized power in 1979.

The party lost elections in the 1990s, but Mr Ortega returned to power in January 2007, after a successful election campaign.

Russian helicopter shot down in Syria

A Russian helicopter has been shot down by rebels in northern Syria, Russian military officials say.
Defence officials say the Mi-8 transport aircraft had five people on board. It is not yet known what has happened to them.

The helicopter was returning from delivering humanitarian aid to Aleppo, Russia's Interfax news agency quoted officials as saying.

It is not clear which group brought the helicopter down.

Tokyo elects Yuriko Koike as first female Governor

Former Defence Minister Yuriko Koike has been elected Governor of Tokyo, the first woman to lead Japan's capital.
Ms Koike, running as an independent candidate, received more than 2.9 million votes in Sunday's election, beating her opponents by a wide margin.

One of her key challenges will be curbing the financial problems plaguing Tokyo's preparations to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

Both her predecessors resigned over funding scandals.

Ms Koike is a member of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), but it did not endorse her so she ran as an independent.

These are some of the comments that have been flung in what has become one of the most negative campaigns of recent years in Japan.

Ms Koike's lead in the polls has annoyed Liberal Democrat Party grandees, with former Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, the father of the local LDP federation chairman, telling voters: "We cannot leave Tokyo to a woman with too much make-up."

In all, 21 contenders were vying to lead the sprawling capital and a number of other cities in the prefecture.
Ms Koike, politician Hiroya Masuda and journalist Shuntaro Torigoe were the front-runners. Mr Masuda obtained nearly 1.8 million votes while Mr Torigoe received 1.3 million, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Election Administration Commission.

Sunday's election was called after previous governor Yoichi Masuzoe resigned last month following fierce criticism over allegations that he used official funds to pay for holidays, art and comic books for his children.

Mr Masuzoe, who won election promising a scandal-free administration, denied breaking the law, but admitted to ethical lapses around his spending.

His predecessor, Naoki Inose, also quit over a funding scandal in 2013 soon after Tokyo won the right to host the Olympics.

Since then Tokyo's preparations for the 2020 Summer Olympics have been hit by scandals, overspending, administrative fumbles and construction delays.

Jacob Zuma must repay $540,000 for Nkandla home – SA Court rules

The South African's highest Court has ordered Presidnet Jaconb Zuma to repay the Government $540,000 for the controversial renovation made to his private house in Nkandla in northern Kwazulu- Natal province.

The Treasury had calculated the amount after getting independent experts to establish how much Mr Zuma should pay for building of a swimming pool, visitor centre, amphitheatre, a chicken run and cattle enclosure.

The constitutional court accepted the amount, giving Mr Zuma forty-five days to repay the money.

The rest of the $23 million the Government spent on the renovations was regarded as security related expenditure for which Mr Zuma qualified.

Zimbabwe says will only pay civil servants when government gets money

Zimbabwe public service Minister, Prince Mupfumira says civil servants in Zimbabwe will only be paid their monthly salaries when the Government has money, not on fixed date.
The announcement is the latest sign of the worsening economic crisis in the Southern African State, and the fact that President Robert Mugabe's Government has little money coming in.
Ms Mupfumira statement has renewed anxiety among civil servants and could trigger a new wave of protests. 
The Government has in recent works even struggled to pay soldiers and policemen, even though Mr Mugabe relies hearing on them to remain in power.
The ninety-two year old has ruled since Zimbabwe's independence in 1980.


France church attack: Priest killed in hostage-taking near Rouen

A priest has been killed in an attack by two armed men at his church in a suburb of Rouen in northern France, police and French media have said.

The armed men entered the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during Mass, taking the priest, Fr Jacques Hamel, 84, and four other people hostage.

Police later surrounded the church and French TV said shots were fired. Both hostage-takers are now dead.
Pope Francis decried the "pain and horror of this absurd violence".
French Interior Ministry spokesman, Pierre-Henri Brandet, said one of the hostages had been critically wounded.

He said the hostage-takers had been "neutralised" after coming out of the church. Police were now searching the church for explosives.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has expressed his horror at the "barbaric attack".

"The whole of France and all Catholics are wounded. We will stand together," he wrote on Twitter.
President Francois Hollande has arrived in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray to be briefed by police.

The Archbishop of Rouen, Dominique Lebrun, who was attending a Catholic gathering in Poland, said: "I cry out to God with all men of goodwill. I would invite non-believers to join in the cry.
"The Catholic Church cannot take weapons other than those of prayer and brotherhood among men."

Chinese General sentenced to life jail for corruption

A retired high ranking Military Officer in China has been sentenced to life in jail by a military court for corruption.
Guo Boxiong, 74 was accused of using his influence to seek promotions for others and of accepting bribes.

He was stripped of his rank of general and his personal assets have been seized.
President Xi Jinping has led a major anti-corruption campaign since taking office nearly four years ago.

Hundreds of thousands of officials have been disciplined as part of the drive.
From 2002 until 2012, Guo served as Vice-Chairman of China's Central Military Commission, which is in charge of the People's Liberation Army the world's biggest armed forces.

During that time, he had also been a member of the 25-person polituro-the power base of the Communist Party.
The Communist party expelled him last year following a corruption probe.

But source says that Guo was prosecuted for accepting bribe worth twelve point three million dollars.
Guo's son, a major General is also under investigation for corruption.

Turkey issues detention warrant for 42 journalists

Turkey ordered the detention of 42 journalists on Monday, broadcaster NTV reported, under a crackdown following a failed coup that has targeted more than 60,000 people, drawing fire from the European Union.

The arrests or suspensions of soldiers, police, judges and civil servants in response to the July 15-16 putsch have raised concerns among rights groups and Western countries, who fear President Tayyip Erdogan is capitalizing on it to tighten his grip on power.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker questioned Ankara's long-standing aspiration to join the EU.
Juncker also said that if Turkey reintroduces the death penalty - something the government has said it must consider, responding to calls from supporters at public rallies for the coup leaders to be executed - it would stop the EU accession process immediately.

Turkey abolished capital punishment in 2004, allowing it to open EU accession talks the following year, but the negotiations have made scant progress since then.

Responding to Juncker's comments, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Haberturk TV that Europe cannot threaten Turkey regarding the death penalty.

Erdogan has declared a state of emergency, which allows him to sign new laws without prior parliamentary approval and limit rights as he deems necessary. The government has said these steps are needed to root out supporters of the coup and won't infringe on the rights of ordinary Turks.

NTV reported that among the 42 journalists subject to arrest warrants was well-known commentator and former parliamentarian Nazli Ilicak.

State-run Turkish Airlines said it had fired 211 employees, citing their links to a religious movement Erdogan has blamed for the attempted putsch.

California wildfires: Hundreds flee homes near Los Angeles

Fast moving wildfires have forced hundreds of People to leave their homes in Mountains Souths of Sam Francisco, California.

Authorities say the fires had covered an area of 20,000 acres by Saturday evening, sending a pall of smoke south across parts of Los Angeles County.

Reports say the fires are being driven by high temperatures and strong winds, as forecasters warn the condition are set to continue.
About 300 people have been evacuated near the city of Santa Clarita.

About 9000 fire-fighters are battling the flammes assisted by helicopters and aeroplanes dumping water and fire retardant.

Los Angeles County  Deputy fire Chief, John Tripp said  about 1,000 homes were currently in danger warning that about forty five thousand homes, mainly in Sam Fransisco Valley could be affected if the situation worsened.

Among those evacuated to safety were about four hundred animals from the Wildlife Way Station, a Sanctuary for rescued exotic animals within the national forest.

The Widefires, known as the sand Fire, broke out on  Friday in the sand Canyon area near Santa Clarita.

US election: Email row claims Debbie Wasserman Schultz

The US Democratic Party chair says she will resign as a row over leaked emails threatens efforts for party unity at the presidential nominating convention.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz's move follows a leak of emails appearing to suggest that party insiders tried to thwart the campaign by Hillary Clinton's rival.
Bernie Sanders had pressed for Ms Wasserman Schultz to quit on the eve of the convention.

Mrs Clinton is to be officially nominated at the Philadelphia meeting.
Vermont senator Mr Sanders had said Ms Wasserman Schultz "should not be chair" of the Democratic National Committee.

More than 19,000 internal DNC emails were published by the WikiLeaks websiteon 22 July, from the accounts of seven leading figures.
Some revealed officials looking at ways to undermine Mr Sanders' campaign, including using his faith.

Brexit: Theresa May says talks won't start in 2016

British Prime Minister Theresa May has said the UK will not begin official negotiations on leaving the European Union 2016 as she held talks with Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

Speaking in Berlin, the Prime Minister said securing a sensible and orderly departure from the EU would take time.
She insisted that the UK would not walk away from Europe and would retain the closest economic links.

Germany's Chancellor, Mrs Merkel said the two sides desired to get the best result for Britain but urged more clarity on timing.
Mrs. Merkel said she did not expect any formal negotiations at this stage as UK needed a period of time to prepare.

She said there was  a need for a certain timeline with regard to Britain's exit and hoped the UK would begin to define its Principles with regard to the process of activating Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the official legal mechanism for leaving.

Mrs. May is due to have talks with France's leader, Francois Holland on Thursday.

Peña Nieto apologizes for wife's mansion scandal

Mexican President, Enrique Pena Nieto has apologised for a scandal involving his wife's purchase of a seven million dollars house from a government contractor two years ago.

Mr. Pena Nielo, who will be facing presidential elections in 2018, said the purchase had damaged people's faith in the presidency.
Addressing political leaders and the unveiling of a new anti corruption system that increases the monitoring of politicians.

Report says Mr. Pena Nieto had reacted angrily at the time he and his wife, Angelica were criticised for buying the Luxury home from Grupo Higa, a major government contractor.
His wife, Angelica Rivera, denied wrong doing and said she had bought the house with earnings from her career as an actress.

She later returned the mansion which she had reportedly been paying for in instalments.
Mr. Pena Nieto's finance Minister had also reportedly bought a house from the same contractor.

A government investigation later found no evidence of wrong doing.
South Sudan: Clashes erupt in Juba hours after UN plea


Renewed fighting has broken out in South Sudan between forces loyal to the president and vice-president.

A reporter in the capital, Juba, told the BBC gunfire and large explosions could be heard all over the city; he said heavy artillery was being used.

More than 200 people are reported to have died in clashes since Friday.

The latest violence came hours after the UN Security Council called on the warring factions to immediately stop the fighting.

In a unanimous statement, the council condemned the violence "in the strongest terms" and expressed "particular shock and outrage" at attacks on UN sites. It also called for additional peacekeepers to be sent to South Sudan.

Chinese media say two Chinese UN peacekeepers have now died in Juba. Several other peacekeepers have been injured, as well as a number of civilians who have been caught in crossfire.

The latest round of violence erupted when troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and first Vice-President Riek Machar began shooting at each other in the streets of Juba.

Dallas Shooting: 5 Police Officers Killed during Protests

Shooters killed five officers during protests against police in downtown Dallas, marking the deadliest single attack on law enforcement since September 11, 2001. Gunshots rang out Thursday night during demonstrations against the fatal shootings of two African-American men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota.

A total of 11 officers were shot, Dallas police said. A standoff is underway as authorities try to negotiate with a suspect in a downtown garage. It was the deadliest single attack on law enforcement since the 2001 terror attacks, when 72 officers died, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

A total of 10 police officers were shot by snipers during the protests, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said. An 11th officer was shot during an exchange of gunfire with one of the suspects, authorities said. Brown said it’s unclear how many suspects were involved, but three people are in custody.

Dallas police have been negotiating and exchanging gunfire with a suspect at a parking garage in downtown for hours. ’The suspect has told our negotiators that the end is coming,” Brown said.

The suspect told negotiators more officers are going to be hurt, and added that there are bombs planted all over downtown Dallas. Two of the shooters were snipers, who shot from an “elevated position” and fired on officers “ambush-style,” he said.

Officers killed included one DART officer and two Dallas police officers. DART, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit agency, operates buses and commuter rail in the city and surrounding suburbs. The Dallas Police Department circulated a photo of a man they said was a suspect in the shooting, but later called him a person of interest and said he turned himself in.

Witness Ismael Dejesus said he filmed the shooter from his hotel balcony about 50 yards away. He described the gunman as wearing tactical pants and a tactical shirt. He had a weapon with a “pretty big magazine,” he said. “He got out of there, walked over to the pillar, put a magazine in and started firing,” he said. “It did look planned. He knew where to stand, he had ammo ready.”
Retired FBI special agent Steve Moore said the attack may have been planned in advance.

“This was an attack planned long before– waiting for an opportunity to go,” Moore said. “I think there was so much logistically, ammunition-wise. They may not have planned the location; they may not have planned the vantage point. But they had prepared for an attack before last night’s shooting is my guess.” President Barack Obama has been notified on the shooting, and a team is keeping him updated on the situation, the White House said.

Istanbul Ataturk airport attack: 36 dead and more than 140 hurt

A gun and bomb attack on Istanbul's Ataturk international airport has killed 36 people and injured more than 140 others, officials say.

Three attackers began shooting outside and inside the terminal late on Tuesday and blew themselves up after police fired at them, officials say.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said early signs suggested the so-called Islamic State was behind the attack.
Recent bombings have been linked to either IS or Kurdish separatists.

Tuesday's attack looked like a major co-ordinated assault, says the BBC's Mark Lowen.
Ataturk airport has long been seen as a vulnerable target, our Turkey correspondent adds, reporting from a plane stuck on the tarmac in Istanbul.

There are X-ray scanners at the entrance to the terminal but security checks for cars are limited.
Pictures from the airport terminal showed bodies covered in sheets, with glass and abandoned luggage littering the building.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against militant groups.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: "We grieve for the victims. We stand by Turkey".

Jacob Zuma urged to repay $500,000 of home upgrade

South Africa's Treasury has recommended that President Jacob Zuma should pay back more than $500,000 of public funds spent upgrading his private residence with facilities including a chicken coop and a swimming pool.

The Treasury said in a statement on Monday that Zuma, the head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, should pay back $509,000 for the unnecessary renovations.

In March, the country's highest court found that the President had violated the constitution by defying an order to repay some of the money used in the $23m non-security upgrades for his home in Nkandla, in the rural eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal.

The work included a swimming pool, which was claimed to be a fire-fighting facility, a chicken run, a cattle enclosure, an amphitheater and a visitors' centre.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, said that the sum was too low but was still a damning indictment of the President.
Zuma has previously defended the upgrades, saying that the accusations against him were unfair given the importance of protecting any head of state.

Colombia: Army says 17 dead in military helicopter crash

All 17 people aboard a military helicopter that crashed in a mountainous area over the weekend were found dead when searchers reached the site in western Colombia, the army said Monday.

The statement said the accident occurred Sunday afternoon in a rural zone of Pensilvania province northeast of the capital, Bogota. The dead included the aircraft’s five crew members and 12 soldiers.

The army said it appeared that reduced visibility from bad weather may have been a factor in the crash, but added that investigators had not yet made a finding.

Authorities said the troops killed were involved an operation against guerrillas of the National Liberation Army, which is the second largest rebel movement involved in the country’s five-decade civil conflict. The main movement, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, is in negotiations with the government that are believed close to producing a formal peace accord.

BREAKING NEWS: David Cameron resigns as prime minister after Britain votes Brexit

David Cameron has resigned as Prime Minister after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

The Prime Minister, who backed a Remain vote, said Britain required "fresh leadership" to negotiate the country's exit from the EU.

"I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination," he said in a statement outside Downing Street.

He promised to "steady the ship" over the coming months before stepping down in October.

Mr. Cameron, flanked by his wife Samantha, said the result was the "will of the British people" which was an "instruction which must be delivered".

Close to tears and with his voice breaking, Mr Cameron said: "I love this country and I feel honored to have served it and I will do everything I can in future to help this great country succeed."

IMF warns the US over high poverty

The United States has been warned about its high poverty rate in the International Monetary Fund's annual assessment of its economy.

The IMF said about one in seven people were living in poverty and that it needed to be tackled urgently.
It recommended raising the minimum wage and offering paid maternity leave to women to encourage them to work.

The report also cut the country's growth forecast for 2016 to 2.2% from a previous prediction of 2.4%.
Slower global growth and weaker consumer spending were also blamed for the rising poverty.

Orlando shooting: 50 people killed in attack on gay nightclub

Fifty people have been killed, including the assailant, and at least 53 injured in an attack inside a gay nightclub in the US state of Florida, authorities said, in the worst mass shooting in US history.

Authorities identified the shooter on Sunday as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old man born in New York with Afghan origins.
Mateen, who was armed with an assault-type rifle and a handgun, was killed in a shootout with at least 11 police officers inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Ron Hopper, special FBI agent in charge of the Orlando office, confirmed that Mateen was interviewed twice by the agency in 2013, after he made "inflammatory comments" to co-workers alleging possible "terrorist ties".

In 2014, authorities interrogated Mateen anew for possible ties to an American suicide bomber.
In both cases, the FBI closed the investigations as they turned out to be "inconclusive" at that time, Hopper said.  

Hopper also confirmed media reports that Mateen made 911 calls to police early on Sunday, and referred to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL also known as ISIS) group.

In a televised statement, President Barack Obama condemned the shooting as "an act of terror and an act of hate", calling the shooter "a person filled with hatred".

"As Americans, we are united in grief and outrage," he said, adding that the attack is "a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon" and commit violence in the US.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina described the shooting as "one of the worst tragedies we have seen", adding that police officers "were shaken by what they have seen inside the club".

"It's a tragedy not only for the city but the entire nation," he said. "Just a look into the eyes of our officers told the whole story."

The injured, many in critical condition, were transferred to nearby hospitals. Among those injured was one police officer, whose kevlar helmet was hit by a round from the suspect. 

The suspect exchanged gunfire with a police officer working at the club, which had more than 300 people inside. The gunman then went back inside and took hostages, Mina said.

Around 5am, authorities sent in a SWAT team to rescue the hostages.
While details of the attack were still emerging, Orlando residents gathered outside the nightclub to pay their respects to the victims.

Al Jazeera's Andy Gallacher, reporting from the scene, described a banner laid out in the streets where people dipped their hands in paint and made their mark. Across the top of the banner was written, "Today our hearts cry out in unity".
"Just metres away at the Pulse nightclub, a popular venue for the LGBT community, bodies of the victims are still lying where they fell," our correspondent said. "Many are yet to be identified."

As the shooting occurred, the nightclub urged patrons to "get out" and "keep running" in a post on its Facebook page.
One witness, who said he was inside the building during the incident, said he heard about 40 shots being fired.

Christopher Hansen said he was in the VIP lounge of the club when he heard gunshots. He continued to hear shooting even after he emerged and police urged people to back away from the club. He saw the wounded being tended to across the street.

Police said they carried out a "controlled explosion" at the club hours after the shooting broke out, while entering the nightclub.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in Orlando.
The nightclub shooting came just a day after a man thought to be a deranged fan fatally shot Christina Grimmie, a rising singing star who gained fame on YouTube and as a contestant on The Voice, while she was signing autographs after a concert in Orlando.

Pakistan: Mother 'burnt her daughter to death' over marriage

 Police in Pakistan City of Lahore have arrested a woman suspected of killing her daughter for marrying without family consent.
Police say the body of the victim, Zeenat Rafiq, shows signs of torture before she was doused with fuel and set alight.

Her mother, Parveen is accused of luring her daughter back from her in-laws.
Report say, neighbours contacted authorities after hearing screaming about Mrs. Rafiq was already dead by the time police arrived.

Police say the accused woman has confessed to the crime.
Police superintendent Ibadanto Nisar says officers are working on the theory that the fifty year-old woman did not commit the crime all by herself without help from the family members.

Report say it is the third of such case in a month in Pakistan where attacks on women who go against conservative rules on love and marriage are common.

Last week, a young school teacher, Maria Sadaqat was set on fire in Murree near Islamabad for refusing a marriage proposal and she died of her injuries.

According to Police, a month earlier village elders ordered the murder of a teenage girl who was burnt to death because she helped a friend to elope.

India kidney racket 'leader' arrested

Indian Police have arrested the suspected leader of an illegal human kidney trading gang in one of the country's leading private hospitals.
The suspect, RajjiKumar Rao was held in the eastern city of Calantha today.

Police say Mr Rao led a gang that lured poor people, to sell their kidneys which were then resold for huge profit.
Eight people, including five employees of Delhi's Apollo Hospital were earlier arrested in connection with the case.

The hospital has denied any role in the illegal trade.
Report says the suspected gang members forged papers to dupe doctors into operating on people in the belief that they were donating the kidneys to their relatives.

Clinton hails a milestone as she clinches Democratic nomination

US Democratic front runner, Hillary Clinton is expected to clinch victory in the race for the presidential nomination after six states have finished holding primaries.

Reports say Mrs Clinton has already reached the two thousand three hundred and eighty three delegates needed, taking into account pledges of support from super delegates.

Rival Bernie Sanders insists it is too early to call the result.

Meanwhile Mrs Clinton received another boost yesterday when an influential Democratic politician and House Minority leader, Nancy Pelosi endorsed her presidency.

Voting is taking place in Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota with the final Democratic primary holding in Washington DC on 14th June.

Republicans are also voting in the same States except North Darkota although Donald Trump has reportedly secured the party's nomination pending the votes of the super delegates.

Migrant crisis: Many feared dead in shipwreck off Libya

About thirty migrants are feared dead after a boat capsized in the Mediterranean off the Libyan coast while some seventy seven were rescued by EU naval units from the sea.

Ships from an EU task force and Italy's coast guard raced to the scene 35 nautical miles (65km) off the coast as survivors clung to the hull or swam.

The Italian navy rescued five hundred and sixty two migrants from a capsized boat on Wednesday.
It has now emerged that the death toll from the shipwreck may have been as great as one hundred.

Five deaths were reported by the Italian coast guard at the time but the International Organization of Migration IOM believes others were trapped in the upturned hull.

Some Six thousand migrants trying to reach Europe have been rescued from flimsy craft in the Mediterranean this week alone.

Aid agencies say the crossing between Libya and Italy is the main route for migrants since an EU deal with Turkey curbed the number sailing across the Aegean to Greece.

Uganda al-Shabab World Cup bomb mastermind found guilty

The Mastermind of the 2010 bomb attacks in Uganda's Capital, Kampala, which killed seventy four people, has been found guilty of terrorism.
Ugandan Isa Ahmed Luyima was one of seven to be convicted on this charge.

The Somalia-based Islamist militant group al-Shabeb said it was behind the bombings, which happened during a screening of the world cup final.

This is thought to be the first major conviction of al-Shabab suspects outside Somalia.

Greece bailout: IMF queries eurozone debt relief deal

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has announced is not yet ready to join the EU's new bailout for Greece.
Report say that the EU creditors had yet to specify what debt relief measures they planned to take.

Earlier, Eurozone Finance Ministry agreed on debt relief for Greece.

They had long been at odds over the issue with Germany in particular opposed to forgiving debt.As a result of that agreement in Brussels, the Ministers agreed with Greece to unlock a further seven point eight billion pounds in loans.

Athens need this tranche of cash to meet debt repayments due to July.

Belarus to broaden existing bilateral ties with Nigeria, says Amb. Beskosty

The Ambassador of Belarus to Nigeria, Vyacheslav Beskosty, has pledged to strengthen the existing bilateral relations with Nigeria for the mutual benefits of both countries.

He made the remarks when Nigerian graduates from institutions of higher learning in the Republic of Belarus, under the auspices of Belarusniki, paid  him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

The envoy said that his country was broadening the existing economic, political and cultural ties with particular interests in Nigeria’s agriculture and power sectors.

He promised that the embassy would facilitate the export of agricultural technology   and electrical products in the country.

The ambassador further stated that the embassy was in contact with some Nigerian companies to organise the visit of Nigerian businessmen to Belarus to explore business opportunities.

Earlier, President of Belarusniki, Muktar Usman,  called on the Belarusian government to find solutions to the strict entry visa requirements for genuine Nigerian businessmen wishing to visit Belarus.

Syrian airbase used by Russia damaged in Isis attack

New satellite imagery appears to reveal extensive damage to a strategically significant airbase in central Syria used by Russian force after an attack by so-called Islamic State IS.

Four helicopters and 20 Lorries were destroyed in a series of fires inside the T4 base last week, the images from intelligence company Stratford suggest.

The cause of the fires is unconfirmed.

The Russian military has denied that it lost helicopters at the base as a result of an IS attack.
An entire combat helicopter unit was wiped out four helicopters in total as well as some damage to some of the Syrian planes on the airport, and also very notably a logistic depot likely one that was being used to supply those specific combat helicopters.

Russian ministry of defence spokesman Tsor Konashenkor insisted that all Russian combat helicopters in Syria Arab Republic continue their mission to destroy terrorists.
Reports has it that there are loses among the personnel.

EgyptAir Flight 804 vanishes from radar with 66 people aboard

EgyptAir Flight 804 vanished from radar on its way from Paris to Cairo with 66 people aboard, the airline said Thursday.

The plane was flying at 37,000 feet when it lost contact overnight above the Mediterranean Sea, the airline tweeted. French President Francois Hollande said he was told the flight crashed, but Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister
Sharif Fathi said he preferred to classify the flight as missing.

Later at the same news conference, he indicated that while there were "no known security issues" with passengers aboard the plane, the probability of terrorism downing it is higher than the likelihood of a mechanical cause.
For now, however, finding the airplane and any possible survivors is the priority, authorities said.

Police car torched as officers protest at violence

Police in 60 French cities have taken part in rallies to demonstrate against what they call a rise in anti-police violence - only to be met with a fierce counter-protest in Paris.

Police say there has been an escalation of violence in protests against labour reforms over the past two months.
French media said up to 15 youths attacked a police car with iron bars and a petrol bomb on Wednesday - the two officers inside fled beforehand.

One activist said it had been officers themselves causing violence while a police union official said a minority of extremists were set on disruption.
Venezuela crisis: Tear gas fired at anti-Maduro protest

Venezuelan police have fired tear gas against anti-government protesters in Cavacas who demand a recall referendum on embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

Thousands have marched in several cities in what is expected to be the biggest wave of opposition rallies in that country.

Mr. Maduro has rejected a referendum drive aimed growing discontent with the country's spiralling economic crisis.

'Miracle' as 4 people pulled alive from Nairobi ruins

Four people have been rescued from the ruins of a residential building in Kenya's Capital Nairobi, six days after it collapsed in heavy rains.

The first person to be pulled from the rubble was a young woman who was eight months pregnant.
Several hours later, three other people were brought out and taken to hospital.

Thirty-six people have been confirmed dead following the collapse of the six-storey residence last Friday with over seventy people still missing.

About one hundred and forty people are estimated to have survived the tragedy.

Nairobi building collapse: Miracle baby's mother dies in rubble

The mother of the six month old baby who was rescued from the rubble of a collapses building in Nairobi is among 26 people who have been confirmed dead.

Rescuers say the body of the woman was found a few metres from where the baby girl was retrieved unhurt on Tuesday.

The presumed owners of the six-storey residence, which came down on Friday night, have been released on bail.
At least 80 people are still missing rescuers say they are still hopeful of finding people alive.

City Authorities says they had earmarked the building for demolition after it was declared unfit for human habitation.

Two brothers, believed to be the building's owners, and three government officials were arrested and released on bail.
Officials say the owners did not have permission to rent out the building's 119 rooms.

Police ''foil anthrax attack'' by ''IS-linked group'

Kenya Police say they have foiled a huge scale biological attack using anthrax, by a terror group with links to so-called Islamic state.

A man, his wife and another woman have been arrested.
Rewards have also been offered for other two men.    

Police did not name the network, but said it stretches across the country and outside its borders, including to Somalia, Libya and Syria.

In a statement, the police  said Mohammed Abbi Ali, a medical intern at a Kenyan hospital, was in charge of a terror network planning huge scale attacks akin to the Westgate Mall attack in which sixteen seven people were killed.

The Police said accomplices of Mr Ali had gone in to hiding, including Ahmed Hish and Farah Dagane, who are medical interns.

Police described them as armed and dangerous and offered two million Kenyan shillings for information leading to their apprehension.

Equatorial Guinea: President Obiang Nguema re-elected with 93.7% of vote

Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has been re-elected with 93.7% of the vote in Sunday's election, according to official results.

Observers said polling day was peaceful and without incident, but the opposition claimed at least 200 of its members were barred from voting.

Mr Obiang, 73, has ruled the tiny oil-rich West African nation since 1979 after a military coup.
Rights groups describe him as one of the continent's most brutal dictators.

In 2009, he was re-elected with 95.37% of the vote.

The election commission put Sunday's turnout at 93%.
President Obiang is Africa's longest serving leader and has been pursued in French courts for allegedly plundering state coffers to buy luxury homes and cars in France.

His son and vice-president, Teodoro 'Teodorin' Nguema Obiang, has been resisting attempts by the US administration to seize his assets, denying charges that they were bought with embezzled state funds.

South Sudan rebel leader Machar sworn in as vice-president

South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar has been sworn in as Vice President in a boost for a peace deal aimed at ending more than two years of conflict.

He returned to the capital, Juba to take the post in a new unity Government led by President Salva Kiir.
Tens of thousands have been killed and about two million people left homeless in the conflict in South Sudan, which became independent in 2011.

Mr. Machar fled Juba at the start of the civil was in December 2013.

He had been accused of trying to organise a which he denied, but it set off a round of tit-for-tat killings which developed into a full-blown conflict.

Both men, whose personal quarrel has resulted in more than two years of bitter conflict in the World's youngest Nation, spoke optimistically about the future at the swearing in ceremony.

Addressing the Media Mr Machar said his main priorities were to ensure a permanent ceasefire, to stabilise the economy and ensure humanitarian access throughout South Sudan.

The US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, described Mr Machar's return as the best hope that South Sudan has had in long time but warned of the need to keep up the pressure on both sides to ensure the peace deal was property implemented.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called for the new unity Government to be formed immediately.

Ukraine marks 30 years since Chernobyl disaster

Ukraine has commenced activities to mark the 30th anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl.
Sirens were sounded at the same moment as the first explosion at the reactor, in the early hours of 26 April 1986.

The Melt down at the Soviet plant was the worst nuclear disaster in history.

An uncontrolled reaction blew the roof off, spewing out a cloud of radioactive material which drifted into other parts of the USSR, including Russia and Belarus as well as Northern Europe.

Relatives of those who died attended candle-lit vigils at several churches, including at Slavutych, a town built to re-house workers who lived near the nuclear plant.   
Reports say a series of events are being held throughout the day.

Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko laid a wreath and observed a minute's silence in the capital, Kiev before heading north for a ceremony at the plant itself near the Belarusian border.

Russian president, Vladimir Putin in a message to the six hundred thousand people who helped in the clear up, known as liquidators, called the nuclear disaster a grave lesson for mankind.

Saudi Arabia agrees plans to move away from oil profits

The Saudi Cabinet has approved sweeping economic reforms aimed at moving the country away from its dependence on oil profits.

Our seventy percent of revenue come from oil last year but it has been hit by falling prices.   
Announcing the reforms, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Dalman described his country as being addicted to oil.

He said a part of the plan would see shares sold in state owned oil giant, Aramco to create a sovereign wealth field.

According to the crown Prince, under the new plan, participation of women in the workforce will increase and a new visa system that will allow expatriate Muslims and Arabs to work long term in the county.

Reports say, vast oil revenues have allowed the Saudi Government to offer generous subsidies on utilities to its population, but fear in responsible to falling oil prices.

Top general shot dead in Burundi, ICC to investigate killings

A top Burundian General and Advisor to one of the country’s Vice Presidents, Athanase Kararuza  has been shot dead in the capital Bujumbura.

General Kararuza, and his wife, who also died in the heavily armed attack were dropping off their daughter at school Monday morning.

The prominent general’s death is the latest in a string of “targeted killings” claiming lives of high ranking members of the military and politicians on both the government and the opposition sides.

Meanwhile, the Hague-based International Criminal Court has announced its initial probe into the killings in Burundi to determine whether or not the situation in the tiny East African nation warrant a full scale inquiry that might culminate into charges of suspected perpetrators.

Nearly 500 people have died in the year-long conflict that has destabilized the small impoverished nation and hundreds of thousands have fled to neighbouring countries as refugees.

Ritual Killings in Zambia lead to xenophobic attacks

Residents of the Zambian capital Lusaka on Monday looted shops belonging to foreigners, accusing them of involvement in ritual killings, police said.

The xenophobic attacks reportedly started at a house and a shop belonging to an entrepreneur from Rwanda in the low-income Zingalume neighbourhood.

They then spread to nearby Chunga neighbourhood.
Zingalume residents stoned police, who responded with tear gas, but the relentless rioting forced police to seek reinforcements.

The rioting followed the discovery of a mutilated body in Zingalume on Saturday. Four suspects were arrested on Sunday.
The discovery was the sixth of its kind in or near the two neighbourhoods in two months.

The victims are believed to have been killed to obtain body parts for use in rituals aimed at obtaining wealth or power.
The police said the residents, who were chanting slogans, accused them, of not providing enough security.

They appealed to residents to be calm, as they are still investigating the murders. The Police spokesperson, Charity Munganga-Chandaalso assured them that those behind the killings will be brought to book.

Ecuador earthquake: At least 413 people confirmed dead

At least 413 people are now known to have died in the earthquake that struck Ecuador, the country's government says.

The 7.8-magnitude quake struck Ecuador's Pacific coast on Saturday, and the search for survivors continues.

The cost of rebuilding is likely to be in the billions of dollars, President Rafael Correa said during a visit to the worst-affected region.

He said it was the biggest tragedy to hit Ecuador in the past seven decades. Some 2,500 people were injured.

Late on Monday, six people, including two girls - one three years old and the other nine months old - were rescued from the ruins of a hotel near the coastal town of Manta.

Elsewhere, funerals for some of those killed were held in Portoviejo and Pedernales, two towns that were the worst hit.

The quake comes at a time when the oil-producing country is already reeling from the slump in global crude prices.

Luis Almagro, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, said some of the group's rarely used emergency funds would be unlocked and given to Ecuador to help it rebuild.

Strong Earthquake strikes southern Japan


A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 knocked over houses in southern Japan on Thursday and Police said people may be trapped underneath.
Japanese Red Cross Kumamoto Hospital said it has admitted or threatened 45 people, including five with serious injuries.

The Japan meteorological Agency said the quake hit at 9.36 pm at a depth of 10 kilometres. No tsunami warning was issued.
The quake measured the highest of 7 on Japan's intensify scale in Mashiki town, 900km southern of Tokyo.

The Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said we intend to do the utmost to grasp the situation.
Reports say more than 10 buildings had collapsed in Mashiki town, with a population of about 34,000 and five had broken out.
Some 16,000 households in the area were without electricity.

In March, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake spanked a devastating tsunami that killed 18,000 people along Japan's northeast coast.

Malawi declares state of emergency over drought

About two point eight million Malawians, face food insecurity making country one of the worst hit in Southern African drought.

Malawi has declared a State of Disaster over worsening food shortages caused by a severe drought as concerns grow over a huger crisis spreading across much of southern Africa.

Malawi's maize production has dropped by twelve percent leaving it short of about one million tonnes of maize needed to feed the populations.

President Peter Mutharika stated that two point eight million Malawians nearly twenty percent of the population face food insecurity, making the country the worst hit in Southern and Eastern Africa, where the current drought affects fifty million people.

The President said he has declared Malawi a State of National Disaster following prolonged dry spells during the 2015/16 agriculture season.
Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique and Zambia are also suffering food supply problems, while South Africa has said the present drought was its worst in have more than one hundred years.

Brazil's Dilma Rousseff accuses deputy of coup plot

President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil has denounced coup plot against her, suggesting that the Vice-President Michel Temer is one of the conspirators.

The President who is facing impeachment in the national congress hinted that he was one of the ringleaders of a plot to over throw her.
She said an audio message released on Monday by Mr Termer, whom she did not name, was evidence of the conspiracy.

In the message, Mr. Temer appears to accept replacing her as President.
The 65- member congressional committee voted 38 to 27 to recommend going ahead with impeachment proceedings.

All eyes will now be on a full vote in the lower house starting on Sunday in the capital Brasilia.
Reports say security will be stepped up around the congress building, with thousands of police deployed in the area.

IMF: EU exit could cause severe damage

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, says UK exit from the European Union could cause severe regional and global damage.
The so called 'Brexit' could disrupt established trading relationships and cause major challenges for both the UK and the rest of Europe.

The IMF said the referendum had already created uncertainty for investors and a vote to Exit would only heighten this vote leave.
The IMF, one of the main pillars of the global Economic order with a mandate to oversee the international monetary and financial system, also cut its UK growth forecast.

It now expect one point nine percent growth in the UK this year, compared with its January estimate of two point two percent for next year, it expects two point two percent growth, unchanged from its earlier forecast.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameroon tweeted said the IMF is right-hearing the EU world pose major risks for the UK Economy.
We are stronger, safer and better off in the European Union.

Syria conflict: IS 'abducts hundreds of factory workers'

At least 200 people are reported missing after a suspected attack by the so-called Islamic State (IS) on a cement factory near Damascus.

Workers were reportedly taken from a dormitory where they were staying on the outskirts of the town of Dumeir.
A factory administrator said no-one had been able to contact the workers since the assault on Monday.
The area around Dumeir has seen fierce fighting between government forces and IS militants in recent days.

The workers were employed at the Badiyah factory, just outside Dumeir, about 25 miles (40km) east of the capital.
Syrian state television, quoting an unnamed industry ministry source, said 300 workers and contractors had been kidnapped from the factory by IS militants.

The factory administrator had earlier put the number seized at 250, but rebel sources said it did not exceed 200.
There was also confusion over who attacked the factory, with some sources suggesting it was a rebel group called Jaysh Tahrir al-Sham.

South Africa's Winnie Madikizela-Mandela fails to inherit home

Nelson Mandela's ex-wife Winnie, has lost her legal bid for ownership of the former Presidents rural home in South Africa.

A High Court dismissed Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's application and ordered her to pay all legal costs.
She argued that the house in Qunu village belonged to her under customary law.

Mr. Mandela, who became South Africa's first black president in 1994, bequeathed the property to his family when he died in 2013, aged ninety-five.

The Government opposed Ms Madikizela-Mandela's bid to inherit the home after she launched court action in 2014.
Mr. Mandela divorced Winnie in 1996 after a thirty-eight year marriage and left her out of his will.

They were South Africa's most celebrated political couple until their marriage collapsed, some six years after Mr. Mandela was released for prison for fighting apartheid.

Panama Papers: Argentina President Macri to go before judge

Argentine President Mauricio Macri has pledged to assert his innocence when he appears before a federal prosecutor on Friday to explain his finances.

An investigation began on Thursday after it transpired Mr Macri was mentioned in the Panama Papers, leaked files of law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Mr Macri said he would file a judicial "declaration of certainty" so the court can see he is telling the truth.
In a televised address, he vowed to prove he had done nothing wrong.

According to local media reports, the president was listed as director of an offshore company in the Bahamas.
He said he wanted to co-operate fully with any inquiry.

Netherlands rejects EU-Ukraine partnership

Voters in the Netherlands have rejected in a referendum an EU partnership deal with Ukraine.

At 32.2 per cent, the turnout was low but above the 30 per cent threshold for the vote to be valid. Just 38.1 per cent of voters were in favour of a deal with Ukraine, while 61.1 per cent rejected it.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said his government may have to reconsider the deal, which has been ratified by all the other 27 member states of the European Union.

Although the non-binding vote is technically a referendum on removing trade barriers with Ukraine, it is being seen as a wider test of anti-EU sentiment.

Even the referendum's Eurosceptic organisers admitted it was not essentially about Ukraine but instead was a "handy hook to push a broader anti-EU agenda and 'give citizens more say in Brussels'".
Despite the low turnout, the outcome could have big repercussions for Europe and the UK.

The EU's decision to push on with the Ukraine treaty regardless of the vote, which has angered some of those opposed to what they see as the arrogance of the Brussels bureaucratic machine, could be "damaging for the EU project by highlighting internal problems ahead of the British vote".

Putin creates new National Guard in Russia 'to fight terrorism'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the creation of a new National Guard, which according to him would fight terrorism and organized crime.

Report say the guard will be formed of interior ministry troops and led by Mr. Putin's former body guard, Viktor Zolotov who will report directly to the President.

Mr. Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said the force could be used to maintain public order.
He denied that its creation was linked to elections in September as some critics say Mr. Putin fears unrest.
Mr. Putin made the announcement during a meeting with key security officials at the Kremlin.

He also announced that Russia's drug control agency and Federal migration service would become part of the interior ministry's remit.

There are suggestions that President Putin is concerned about possible unrest in the run up to parliamentary elections in September.

Iceland's Prime Minister resigns

Iceland's Prime Minister, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, has resigned.
Reports say his resignation is the first major casualty of the leaked Panama papers that have revealed a spot light on offshore finance.

The leaks from Panama-based law firms, Mossack Fonseca, showed Mr. Gunnlaugsson owned an offshore company with his wife but had not declared it when he entered parliament.
He is accused of concealing millions of dollars worth of family assets.

Mr. Gunnlaugsson says he sold his shares to his wife and denies any wrongdoing.
He is one of dozens of high-profile global figures mentioned in the eleven point five million leaked financial and legal records.

Pressure on Mr. Gunnlaugsson to quit had been building since the Panama leak, with thousands of people protesting outside the parliament in the capital Reykjavik yesterday and opposition parties tabling a confidence motion.

EgyptAir hijack: Passenger jet lands at Cyprus' Larnaca

An EgyptAir domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked and forced to divert to Cyprus, Egyptian officials said.
The pilot of the plane was threatened by a passenger strapped with explosives, Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry said.

The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation reported that 55 passengers were on board and a crew of seven. An official in Cyrpus told Associated Press that 56 people been released and have left the aircraft.
EgyptAir said all passengers aside from four foreigners have been released from EgyptAir flight 181.
The plane was an Airbus 320, Egypt's aviation ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement that pilot Omar al-Gammal had informed authorities that he was threatened by a passenger who possessed a suicide belt and forced him to land in Larnaca.

Egyptian state media identified the hijacker as Ibrahim Samaha, an Egyptian National who checked in from Alexandria airport.

Local media in Cyprus reported he first asked to be taken to Istanbul but that the pilot refused this demand.
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation said the airplane was parked at an apron at Larnaca airport. The hijacker asked police to back away from the aircraft.

Brussels attacks: Belgium releases terror murder suspect

A man known as Faycal C, the only person arrested and charged with involvement in the Brussels attacks, has been released for lack of evidence.

Belgian media said the man had been suspected of being the mystery third man in CCTV footage of the bombers.

But a judge found there was no evidence to justify holding him, the prosecutor's office said.
Last Tuesday's attacks on the airport and the city's metro system killed 35 people and injured more than 300.

The attacks were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
Of the 35 victims, seven have still to be identified, the country's crisis centre said on Monday.

At least 12 of the victims are foreign nationals from the US, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, France, the UK, Italy and China, it said earlier.

The death toll does not include three attackers, two of whom blew themselves up at the airport and one in the metro.

EU institutions based in Brussels will reopen on Tuesday, following the Easter break, "with important additional security measures in place", European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva said in a tweet.

MH370 search: Investigators remain 'hopeful' on anniversary

Malaysia and Australia say they remain "hopeful" that flight MH370 will eventually be found, two years on from its disappearance.
The aircraft disappeared between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing on 8 March 2014 with 239 people on board.
Australian-led search teams are combing a 120,000 sq km (46,330 sq mile) area of the southern Indian Ocean.

Only one confirmed piece of debris, a part of wing called a flaperon, has been found, on Reunion Island.
The investigating team is led by Malaysia and includes experts from the US, China, Australia, France and Britain.

The search for the wreckage is estimated to have cost more than $130m (£92m).
The countries have said it will end once the current search area has been completely covered, likely to be around June.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said he remained "hopeful that MH370 will be found", but once the search zone is exhausted the three governments would meet to determine the way forward.
Many relatives want the operation to continue until the plane is found.

On Monday, relatives of 12 Chinese passengers filed lawsuits in Beijing.
Lawyer Zhang Qihuai said they were seeking a range of damages, but their goal was to determine the cause of the accident and those who were responsible.

Families of 32 other passengers, mostly Chinese, have filed a separate lawsuit in Malaysia, and in the US, 43 passengers' relatives have sued in New York.

There are believed to be a number of other cases under way around the world.
Under international agreements, relatives have two years following an air accident to begin legal action.
Last year, authorities found a piece of wing on the shore of Reunion island in the Indian Ocean. It was later confirmed to be a flaperon from the missing plane.

A second suspected piece of debris was found last week in Mozambique.
It will be analysed in Australia by the ATSB, along with representatives of the plane's manufacturer Boeing and the Malaysian investigation team advising.

Although a long way from the suggested possible crash area, both finds are consistent with prevailing ocean currents that could carry debris across the Indian Ocean.

SALMAN TASEER MURDER: Protests after Pakistan hangs Mumtaz Qadri

Thousands of people have protested across Pakistan following the execution of the former Police body guard who shot dead Punjab's governor.

Mumtaz Qadri was hailed as a hero by Islamists after killing Salman Taseer over his oppositions to blasphemy laws in Islamabad in 2011.

Qadris funeral will be held on Tuesday at Liaguat Bagh Park in nearby Rawalpinchi where numbers of mourners are expected.

Prisons officials said he  was executed at Adiala jail in Rawalpinchi near the capital Islamabad.    His supporters took to the streets in Kavachi, Lahore Islamabad and also blocked highways into Islamabad.

Demonstrators burned tires and chanted slogans while schools, and markets in Islamabad and nearly Rawalpinah closed early over fears of violence.

In May, just months after Taseer was gunned down, Pakistan's Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, the cabinets only Christian, was shot dead by gunmen who ambushed his car.

That August, Salman Taseer's son, Shalhbzaz Taseer, was abducted in Lahove.  His where about are still unclear.
Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan and critics argue that Blasphemy laws are often misused to settle personal scores and unfairly target minorities.

Ten children stabbed outside school gate in southern China

The Police in China say a knife wielding attacker has stabbed ten children outside a primary school in Southern China before killing himself.

Two of the children were seriously hurt in the attack in Hainan province but their injuries are not life threatening.
They were walking out of the school in Haikou when the men attacked them.

China tightened security at schools after a spate of similar attacks about five years ago.
Six boys and four girls were targeted by the attacker who was identified only as a 45-year old man.

Similar attacks in the past have generally been attributed to people with personal grudges or suffering from mental health problems.
In 2014, three children were killed in an attack in Hubei province and four more died in an attack in Guangxi province week later.
And because of tight restrictions on gun ownership in China, knives and cleavers care the most commonly used weapons in mass attacks.


Migrant crisis: Greece recalls envoy from Austria

Greece has recalled its ambassador to Austria amid sharp divisions among EU states over the migrant crisis.
It acted after Austria hosted a meeting with Balkan states on the migrant issue, to which Greece was not invited.

Meanwhile, EU and Balkan interior ministers met in Brussels to try to heal rifts over the migrant issue.
Speaking afterwards, the EU's migration commissioner warned the bloc's migration system could completely break down within weeks.

Dimitris Avramopoulos said member states had until a 7 March summit with Turkey to curb the number of migrants.
Austria, Serbia and Macedonia have taken their own steps to limit entry to migrants, angering Greece, which fears the controls will cause a bottleneck.

The measures also threaten Europe's Schengen passport-free travel area that spans 26 countries.

U.S Senate to Block Obama's Court Nominee

The US Senate will block a vote on any Supreme Court nominee from President Barack Obama, the Republican Majority Leader in the chamber has warned.

Sen Mitch McConnell acknowledged Mr Obama's right to propose a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this month.

But he stressed that Republicans controlling the Senate would also exercise their rights.
Scalia's death left the conservative-run Supreme Court evenly divided.

The White House said shortly after Scalia's death that a new judge would soon be nominated by Mr Obama.
Republicans say President Barack Obama should leave this to his successor next year.

According to the constitution, the President nominates justices to the court while the Senate uses its advice and consent powers to confirm or reject that person.
Scalia, 79, was found dead at a Texan ranch. He had died of natural causes.

Czech ‘mafia boss’ Krejcir jailed for 35 years in South Africa

A South African court has sentenced a Czech businessman to 35 years in jail for attempted murder and kidnapping.
The charges against Radovan Krejcir, seen as the kingpin of Johannesburg's criminal underworld, date back to a drug deal in 2013.

He was accused of ordering the kidnapping a man whose brother had disappeared with 25kg (55lbs) of crystal meth.
The man testified that Krejcir poured boiling water over his head.

Krejcir seems to be synonymous with drama, having tried to escape from custody a number of times, says the BBC's Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg.

Months prior his arrest in 2013, he made local and international headlines when he survived an attempt to kill him using guns hidden behind a car number plate operated by remote control.

Ankara blast: At least 28 dead in Turkish capital explosion

A large explosion in the Turkish capital, Ankara, has killed at least 28 people.

A vehicle full of explosives was detonated as military buses were passing by.
More than 40 people were injured in the blast, which happened in an area close to parliament and Turkey's military headquarters.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag called it an "act of terrorism.

Turkey's Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has cancelled a trip to Brussels following the incident.

UN calls on UAE to release five prisoners

United Nations human rights experts have urged the United Arab Emirates to release five Libyans who they say are being detained arbitrarily.
The men, three of whom have US or Canadian dual nationality, were arrested in August 2014.

Two went on trial in late 2015, while three were only charged last month with funding, supporting and co-operating with terrorist organisations.

The UN experts said there was credible information they had been tortured and forced to sign confessions.
Most were also suffering from serious health conditions as a result of their mistreatment and a lack of access to adequate medical care, the experts added.

The experts identified the detainees as Salim Alaradi, a Libyan-Canadian citizen; Kamal Ahmed al-Darrat and Mohamed Kamal al-Darrat, father and son, both Libyan-American citizens; and Adel Rajab Beleid Nasef and Moad Mohamed al-Hashmi, both Libyan citizens.

Following their arrest by State Security officials, the men were allegedly held incommunicado in secret detention locations and in solitary confinement for prolonged periods of time.

Mr Alaradi and Kamal and Mohamed al-Darrat were charged with funding, supporting and co-operating with alleged terrorist organisations on 18 January.

Their trial was scheduled to open on Monday.
However, the UN experts expressed concern that the three men had been charged under a law that had not yet entered into force at the time of their arrest.

Syria: France urges Turkey to stop assault on Kurdish

France's Foreign Ministry has urged Turkey to end its assault on Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.
Reports say that the French said it was worried about the continued worsening of the situation.

On Saturday, Turkey began shelling the militia which it says is linked to the banned Kurdistan workers party, PKK.
The fighters the YPG militia based in Syria have rejected Turkeys' demand to leave areas it has seized, saying Islamists would return if it left.

France has also called on the require and its allies to stop their bombardments across the whole of the country.
France said priority should be given to implementing an agreement reached in Munich this week, and the fight against so-called Islamic State IS group.

Almost five years of civil war in Syria have led to be deaths of more than 250,000 people. About 13.5 million people have been displaced.

Earlier, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warned that Turkey would retaliate if the YPG did not leave the airlease, which lies South of the town of Azaz and near the Turkish border.

Several killed and scores injured in German train crash

At least ten people were killed and scores more injured, after two passenger trains collided in the German State of Bavaria.

The head-on crash happened near Bar Aibling, a spa town about sixty kilometer South-East of Munich.
The transport Minister said the trains had crashed into each other while both travelling at around one hundred kilometer per hour.

Emergency teams, some winched in by helicopter, worked for hours  to free casualties from the wreckage.

Syria 'exterminating detainees' — UN

The Syrian government has carried out a state policy of extermination against thousands of detainees, UN human rights investigators say.

They accuse President Bashar al-Assad's regime of crimes against humanity, in a report for the UN Human Rights Council.

The study says both loyalist and anti-government forces have committed possible war crimes.
Many detainees were tortured; some were beaten to death, and others died from lack of food, water, or medical care.

The findings come from interviews with hundreds of witnesses and cover the period since the start of anti-government protests in March 2011.

The report says thousands of detainees have been killed while in the custody of warring parties during that time.

Syria conflict: Sides trade blame over talks' suspension


Syria's government and the opposition have blamed each other for the suspension of peace talks in Geneva.

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura called a temporary pause, saying the talks would resume on 25 February.

But the opposition HNC said they would not return until conditions improved on the ground, accusing government forces of bombing and starving civilians.

The government said the opposition caused the suspension, acting on the orders of Turkey and Gulf states.

On Thursday a donor's meeting takes place in London aiming to secure extra funding for those affected by the war.

Over 70 countries are taking part, with the UN hoping to raise billions of dollars. Funding last year fell 60% short of the UN's target.

More than 250,000 people have died in almost five years of war in Syria.

Eleven million others have fled their homes as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to his rule battle each other, as well as the Islamic State group.

The civil war has also been a major driving force behind Europe's migration crisis.

AU abandons plans to send peacekeepers to Burundi


The African Union (AU) has abandoned its plan to send 5,000 peacekeepers to help restore stability to troubled Burundi.
Officials said they would instead encourage political dialogue between Burundi's opposing sides.
Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza had fiercely opposed the AU plans to send peacekeepers.

His decision in April 2015 to seek a third term in office has led to ongoing violence and fears that Burundi is sliding into ethnic conflict.

At least 439 people have died and 240,000 have fled abroad since last April, the UN said.
The AU could have deployed troops without Burundi's consent - a clause in its charter allows it to intervene in a member state because of grave circumstances, which include war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity - but it would have been the first time it had done so.

Earlier this week, human rights group Amnesty International published satellite images it said were believed to be five mass graves near Burundi's capital, where security forces were accused of killing scores of people in December.

A fact-finding mission by the AU has reported arbitrary killings, torture and the "closure of some civil society organisations and the media".

Mr Nkurunziza is the former leader of a Hutu rebel group, who has been in power since a 2005 peace deal. Both the government and the opposition are ethnically mixed.
Ethnic conflict between Hutus and Tutsis in the 1990s claimed an estimated 300,000 lives.

Israel's Shimon Peres hospitalised with chest pains

Former Israeli President, Shimon Peres has been hospitalized for chest pains, ten days after he had a minor heart attack.

Official report says Mr Peres was readmitted to a Tel Aviv hospital for observation and testing as he was found by doctors to have an irregular heartbeat.

Mr Peres, 92, served as Israeli Prime Minister twice and was President from 2007 to 2014.
He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for his role in negotiating the Oslo Peace accords with the Palestinians a year earlier, a prize he shared with Prime Minister Titzhak Rabin, who was later assassinated, and Palestinian Leader, Yassar Arafat.
Mr Peres was detected in the 1996 election by the head of the opposition Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Despite his age, Mr Peres has maintained an active public schedule, mostly through his non-governmental Deres Centre for Peace which promotes closer ties between Israel and Palestinians.

New York begins clear-up after mammoth snowfall

A travel ban in New York City has ended as the eastern US begins digging out from the weekend's massive snow storm.

New York, the most populated city in the US, saw its second highest snowfall since records began in 1869 according to Mayor Bill.

As five states saw snowfall of three feet or more, the hazards of shovelling snow were brought home by at least six deaths.
A further twelve people have died in other snow-related incidents since Friday.

The storm, dubbed snow-magedon and snowzilla, is weakening and heading for the Atlantic Ocean.
It has affected some eight five million people, cutting power at one point to three hundred thousand people.  The heaviest fall recorded in Glengary, West Virginia, which had forty two inches - one hundred and seven centimetres.

In Washington DC, the metro remains closed and air travel in the region faces further disruptions.
Some seven thousand flights were cancelled this weekend and disruptions are to continue into the working week, with at least six hundred and fifteen cancelled for Monday.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said the Long Island Rail Road would remain out of action until at least Monday as the live had suffered significant damage.

Tighter laws to curb gun death in America – Obama

President Barrack Obama of the United States made a push for tighter laws to curb gun death in America announcing plans for executive actions that would increase background checks for gun buyers.

This, among other measures is to reduce radicalism, robbery and misuse of firearms by licences owners which has led to painful deaths. 

There were similar measures in Australia, Argentina and Brazil where there were firearms buyback to reduce its proliferation in the society.

Six Canadians from Quebec killed in terrorist attack

The Quebec Government in Canada has confirmed that six people killed in Burkina Faso Islamic Militants attacked were from the French speaking Canadian province.
Reports say that included a family of four who were in Africa to help build a school, on behalf of religious group.

They were working on behalf of humanitarian organisations, des-soeurs de Notre-Dame du Perpetual Secours.
A statement issued by Canadians Minister of foreign Affairs offered condolences to the bereaved and condemned the killings.

A hotel attack by gunmen in Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou left 29 people dead at the week end.

Trump ban 'would make him a martyr'

A Labour Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom Paul Flynn has stated stopping a U.S Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump from entering into the United Kingdome risks turning him into a martyr.

Reports has it that Mr. Trump's call to ban Muslims from US was extremely dangerous but barring him from the UK risked being seen as anti-American.

However, SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed - Sheikh said a ban would be justified on the grounds of religious harmony.
Member of the Parliaments are debating a pro-ban petitions, which has attracted five hundred and seventy-four thousand signatures.

The tycoon, who is leading several opinions polls in the race to be the Republican candidate for President, called for a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the US in response to the shooting of fourteen people in San Bernardino, California in December 2015.

Mr. Trump's comments were criticized across the political spectrum in the US and Europe.
He caused further anger by claiming that areas of London and other parts of the UK have become so radicalized that they have become no-go areas for the Police.

UN to counter N’Korea hydrogen bomb test 


The UN Security Council says it will begin work immediately on new measures against North Korea, after Pyongyang said it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

The council condemned the test, saying "a clear threat to international peace and security continues to exist".

This is the North Korea’s fourth nuclear test since 2006, but if confirmed would be the first of an H-bomb.

However, the US has joined nuclear experts in questioning whether the blast was large enough for such a test.

US White House spokesman, Josh Earnest said "initial analysis was not consistent with North Korea's claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test".

He added: "Nothing that has occurred in the last 24 hours has caused the United States government to change our assessment of North Korea's technical and military capabilities."

Gun control inaction must stop - Obama 


United States President, Barack Obama has unveiled new restrictions on gun purchases. 

President Obama who appeared emotional says the "constant excuses for inaction" have to stop.

He said Most of the actions could be carried out without Congressional approval.

The White House has outlined his plans for executive action, which focus on background checks.

Mr Obama gave his remarks surrounded by survivors and relatives of victims of shootings, recalling mass shootings in the US in the past few years and everyday gun violence in cities like Chicago.

Reports indicate that Gun violence is significantly higher in the US than in other advanced countries, killing about 30,000 people each year.

The US Congress has been reluctant to pass laws restricting gun ownership, facing pressure from gun owners and the powerful National Rifle Association.

SPAIN ELECTION: Political uncertainty after split result 


Spain faces political uncertainty after two new movements won nearly a third of the seats in the country's election.

Anti-austerity party Podemos and liberal Ciudadanos made big gains as the conservative Popular Party (PP) lost its majority.

"Spain is not going to be the same anymore and we are very happy," said Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias.

The PP and the Socialists had alternated running the government for more than three decades.

The parties must now embark on negotiations to form a coalition.

The PP had 28.7% of the vote, the Socialists 22%, Podemos 20.6% and Ciudadanos 13.9%.

SYRIA CONFLICT: Dozens killed in suspected Russian strikes 


At least forty three people have been killed in a series of air strikes believed to have been carried out by Russian planes in the Syrian city of Idlib.

A market place, homes and official buildings were all hit while Bodies were still being pulled from the rubble.

Russia began an air campaign to bolster President Bashar al-Assad’s position in September but has not confirmed whether it carried out strikes in the area.

It says it has targeted only "terrorists", above all jihadist militants from the Islamic State (IS) group, but activists say its strikes have mainly hit Western-backed rebel groups.

 Earlier this week, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution outlining a peace process in Syria. 

The resolution endorsed talks between the Syrian government and opposition in early January, as well as a ceasefire, but disagreements remain between world powers over Mr. Assad's role in Syria's future.

 The Syrian war, which is heading towards its fifth year, has killed more than 250,000 people and displaced millions more, the UN says.

Libya crisis: international talks call for immediate ceasefire


An international conference in Rome has called for an immediate ceasefire in Libya amid hopes that rival leadership would form a unity government.

Us Secretary of State, John Kerry, said he expected Libya's rival governments to sign a UN-backed agreement on Wednesday to form a unity government.

Mr Kerry said the conflict had gone on for too long and the power vacuum had been readily filled by extremists. Libya has been unstable since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in October 2011.

There is growing concern that the Islamic State group, IS, with a stronghold in the city of Sirte, is profiting from the instability.

Delegates from the two opposing administrations were at the talks in Rome along with members from Western and Middle Eastern countries and the UN.

Currently, Libya's internationally recognised government has a parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

In Tripoli, another body, the General National Congress, claims to be the legitimate government. Both parliaments are backed by rival militia groups.

Libya is home to a wide range of rival militia groups who have not taken part in negotiations, but the UN proposal envisages the establishment of a nine-member Presidential council within thirty days alongside a parliament.

French National Front defeated in bid to win regional vote


France's far-right National Front, FN has failed to win a single region in the second round of municipal elections.

The party was beaten into third place, despite leading in six of the thirteen regions in the first round of voting on December 6.

Centre-right Republican, Nicolas Sarkozy finished ahead of the ruling Socialists.

Acknowledging defeat, FN Leader, Marine Le Pen pledged to keep fighting. Marine Le Pen blamed the outcome on the mainstream parties which had colluded to keep the FN from power. She however commended her supporters for embarking on a clean campaign. 

Le Pen stood as a regional Presidential Candidate in the Northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, while her niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen was the FN's candidate in the race in Provence-Alpes-Cote dÁzur, in the South


Top Rwanda genocide suspect arrested in DRC

One of the last suspects wanted for alleged involvement in the 1994 Rwanda genocide Ladislas Ntaganzwa has been arrested in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mr. Ntaganzwa, 53 is accused of organising mass rapes and the massacre of thousands.
The United States had issued a five million dollars reward for his arrest describing him as one of the main instigators of the genocide.
Mr. Ntaganzwa was one of the nine suspects still wanted by the UN for their alleged role in the genocide, which left about eight hundred thousand people dead.

The others are still at Large.

The genocide saw militias from the majority Hutu ethnic group killing Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, ICTR Hassan Bubacar Jallow told newsmen that Mr. Ntaganzwa substantially participated in the planning, preparation and execution of the massacre.
Mr. Jallow said the ICTR, which is now winding up its activities, has transferred his case

North Korea's H-bomb claim dismissed by US

The White House has dismissed the claim by North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un that his country possesses a hydrogen bomb.
If true, the development would mark a significant advancement in North Korean nuclear capabilities.

But while House spokesman, Josh Earnest said Washington's evidence calls into serious question Ryongyang's claim.
Mr. Earnest said the US takes very seriously the risk and the threat posed by the North Korean regime in its ambition to develop a nuclear weapon.
Mr. Kim made the remarks as he inspected a historical military site in the capital, Pyongyang.

While North Korea claims about its nuclear weapons capabilities, this is thought to be its first reference to Hydrogen bomb.

The country has carried out three underground nuclear tests before, but experts cast doubt over the latest claim.
Independent observers are rarely allowed access to the secretive communist state, making verification of the claims difficult.

Kenya, Ethiopia sign pact to end Moyale border conflict

Kenya and Ethiopia have signed an UN-backed trade deal worth two hundred million dollars in a bid to ease cross-border conflict.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn agreed on the deal in the border town of Moyale.

The deal aims to tackle youth unemployment by creating jobs in the energy mining and livestock industries.
Tensions between rival ethnic groups have risen due to lack of land and water.

President Kenyetta said a tarmac road would be built by September next year to link the two Countries capitals.
Reports say security was beefed up ahead of the meeting of the Kenya Ethiopia border.

Cross border raids have forced thousands to flee their homes in recants.

Turkey and EU strike deal to limit refugee flow


Turkey and leaders of the European Union have struck a deal to try to control the flow of migrants to Europe.

Turkey will receive three billion Euros and political concessions in return for clamping down on its borders and keeping refugees in the country.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, said it was a historic day in Turkey's relations with the EU.

Almost 900,000 migrants have made the trip to Europe this year with many fleeing conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and living in makeshift camps in Turkey before their journey.

Reports say Turkish Authorities are hopeful that negotiations on its long-standing application to join the EU will also be given a fresh boost.

Kunduz bombing: US attacked MSF clinic 'in error'


A US aircraft attack on a Doctors Without Borders clinic that claimed At least 30 civilians in the Afghan city of Kunduz has been attributed to human error.
The investigation found that the crew of the AC-130 gunship mistook the clinic for a nearby government building that had been seized by the Taliban.
The attack which occurred last month amid a campaign to retake Kunduz from Taliban forces was described as gross negligence by the medical charity.
The group said the incident constituted "violations of the rules of war" and reiterated calls for an "independent and impartial investigation into the attack".
Shortly after the incident, the medical charity disputed initial US justifications for the attack, which said US forces had struck the hospital because they had come under fire in the area.

Pope Francis urges Kenyans to work for peace

Pope Francis has arrived Kenya for a three-nation African tour.
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Jubilating crowds welcomed him at the airport in the capital, Nairobi.
The pope called for peace, saying conflict and terrorism feed on fear, mistrust, and the despair born of poverty and frustration.

A leading Muslim cleric in Kenya welcomed the visit, saying it gave hope to the "downtrodden".
Meanwhile an atheist group said it would challenge in court a government decision to declare Thursday a holiday in honour of the pontiff.

Pope Francis's five-day visit which is his first to the continent as pontiff will also see him go to Uganda and Central African Republic.

Putin condemns downing of Russia warplane

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the downing of a Russian jet on the Turkey-Syria border.

He described it as a "stab in the back" committed by "accomplices of terrorists".

Turkey says its jets shot at the plane after warning that it was violating Turkish airspace. But Moscow says it never strayed from Syrian airspace.
Nato has held an extraordinary meeting to discuss the incident at Turkey's request.
 In a statement the NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, said its assessment of the incident shows that the Russia warplane did fly into Turkish airspace.

Russia's defense ministry said one of the pilots was killed in a failed rescue attempt.
Mr Putin warned there would be "serious consequences" for Moscow's relations with Turkey.

He also advised Russians not to visit Turkey and said the threat of terrorism there was no less than in Egypt, where a bomb attack brought down a Russian passenger plane last month.

Tunisia blast: Explosion hits bus carrying presidential guards

Tunisia officials say an explosion has hit a bus carrying presidential guards in its capital.

At least twelve people were killed in the blast, the interior ministry said.

The explosion, which occurred during rush hour in the city's main avenue, was an attack.

Tunisia has been targeted by the Islamic State group, including an attack by a gunman on the beach resort of Sousse in June, which killed thirty eight people, mostly foreign tourists.

The North African state is believed to be the biggest exporter of jihadists, with the authorities saying at least three thousand of its nationals fighting in Iraq and Syria.



Perivale doctor and nurse guilty of keeping man as slave for 24 years

A doctor and his nurse wife have been found guilty of keeping a man as a slave for 24 years at their home.
Ofonime Sunday Inuk, now 40, told Harrow Crown Court he arrived in the UK from Nigeria in 1989 when he was 14 and made to look after the couple's home and children.
Emmanuel and Antan Edet, from Perivale, north west London, were found guilty of three slavery and cruelty charges.
The couple, who had denied the charges, are due to be sentenced on 18 November.

During the case, Mr Inuk told the court he had been promised an English education, but was instead made to work, with the warning that if he left the house or went to the police he would be arrested for being an illegal immigrant.

Ten years later he contacted the Metropolitan Police again when he saw media reports about modern slavery and realised the life he was being made to lead was wrong.
He also emailed the charity Hope for Justice, which in turn contacted Scotland Yard to co-ordinate his release.

MYANMAR ELECTION: Vote counting starts after landmark poll

Votes are being counted in Myanmar's first openly contested national election for 25 years.
Turnout is thought to have been 80% in the poll - seen as a further big step away from decades of military rule.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) is expected to win the most parliamentary seats, although she is barred from the presidency.

The military-backed Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP) has been in power since 2011.
Voting was generally smooth, observers say, with some isolated irregularities.

Crowds of excited supporters appeared outside NLD headquarters in Yangon as darkness fell, apparently expecting the hear results. Instead a party official read out a message urging them to calmly wait at home.

The first official results are expected to be issued from 09:00 local time (02:30 GMT) on Monday.

South Sudan plane crash baby 'conscious'

Medical officials in South Sudan's capital, Juba says A 14-month old girl who survived Wednesday's plane crash is now conscious.
Reports say the girl is being treated at the city's teaching hospital and is able to recognize relatives,

About 36 people died after the plane crashed on take-off near Juba airport.
The cause of the crash remains unclear but the manufacturer said the cargo plane was not airworthy.

The UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan has sent divers to search the nearby White Nile for bodies, and also for the black box recorders.

The Antonov An-12 plane, operated by local company Allied Services Limited was heading to Paloch, Upper Nile State, and came down half a mile from the runway.

Burundi violence: Bujumbura clashes kill four

Parts of two districts in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, have been temporarily sealed off after fighting killed four people.
Residents have been seen fleeing the affected districts to find shelter elsewhere.

The killings are part of a cycle of violence that began in April with protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza's third-term bid.
The president has pledged to crack down on those behind the trouble.

In Wednesday night's violence, officials say two people were killed in an exchange of gunfire with police.
A third person was killed by gunmen - described by police as "insurgents" - and it is not yet clear what caused the death of the fourth person.

The districts of Mutakura and Cibitoke were well known for their demonstrations against Mr Nkurunziza's plan to run for the presidency again.

US, Russia carry out 'communications test' over Syria

A Russian and American plan have carried out a planned communication test in the skies over Syria.
The Pentagon said the test lasted around three minutes and was designed to validate the safety protocols agreed last month.

Both countries planes had entered the same battle space and came within in miles of each other last month.

A deal is expected to be signed to avoid clashes between the two air forces.
The test was conducted in South Central Syria with assurances that the first time this mode of communication was used would not be during an unplanned encounter.

A Senior Russian military official said the test was designed to train crews and ground services for incidents dangerous proximity of aircraft.

In September, Russia started carrying out airstrikes against rebels in Syria, after Damascus suffered a string of defeats at the hands of both rebels forces and the Islamic State, IS group.

S.African cops arrested over killing filmed by cameras


Four South African police officers were arrested Monday on murder charges after a video emerged of an execution-style killing of a suspected robber on a suburban street.

Footage from closed circuit television showed police firing at the man from close range as he lay on the ground in Krugersdorp, a town west of Johannesburg.

The three constables and a sergeant are due to appear in court later this week over the killing Mlungisi Mpanza, 36, in broad daylight on October 19.

Local media reported Mpanza, who was alleged to have been involved in a robbery, had earlier fired eight shots at the police.
He was running away and collapsed after being shot in the arm.

The video shows Mpanza lying on a pavement, with his gun beside him, as a policeman takes aim and shoots him with a pistol.
South Africa's police force has been under the spotlight in recent years following a string of brutality cases.

Eight policemen who were convicted of murdering a Mozambican taxi driver in 2013 after he was handcuffed and dragged behind a police van are due to be sentenced next week.

A judiciary inquiry into the killing of 34 striking platinum miners by officers at Marikana laid much of the blame on the police force for its conduct in trying to disperse the strikers.

Turkey election: Ruling AKP regains majority

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has won a critical parliamentary election, regaining the majority it lost in June.
With almost all ballots counted AKP had won 49.4% of the votes, with the main opposition CHP on 25.4%.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the result a "victory for the Nation democracy and people.
Polls had indicated the AKP would receive only between 40-43% of the vote, in line with how it fared in June, when it lost

its majority for the first time in 13 years.
Attempts to form a coalition government after the June election failed.

With almost all of the results counted, the AKP is set to win substantially more than the 276 seats needed to win a majority, allowing it to form a government on its own.

However, it will fall just short of the amount of seats needed to call a referendum on changing the constitution and increasing the powers of the president and AKP founder Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Magufuli wins Tanzania presidency

Tanzania's governing CCM Party candidate, John Magufuli has won the presidential election with fifty eight per cernt of the vote.

Tanzania electoral Commission told newsmen that Mr. Magufuli's main rival Edward Lowassa has rejected the official results that gave him forty percent of the ballot cast.

Mr. Magufuli who is the opposition Ukawa Coalition candidate earlier claimed he had won with sixty two percent of the vote.
The elections on Sunday were the most fierce the governing party faced after fifty four years in power.

Mr John Magufuli, a former Works Minister campaigned for the presidency on the platform of hardwork and will now have to tackle for bigger problems facing the East-African State, including constant power outages and corruption which led to many people turning against the governing party in the election.

Rape and cannibalism in South Sudan, AU says

Rape and cannibalism in South Sudan, African Union says,
The African Union (AU) has accused government and rebel forces in South Sudan of extreme violence since the conflict erupted at the end of 2013.

A commission of inquiry found evidence of killings, torture, mutilations and rape, mostly against civilians, as well as episodes of forced cannibalism.
However, it specified that genocide had not been committed during the conflict.

Tensions remain, with a peace deal agreed between the government and rebels in August repeatedly broken.
Tens of thousands of people have died and another two million people have been forced from their homes since the civil war began nearly two years ago,

In its report, the AU said the commission, formed last year under the chairmanship of Nigeria’s ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, had identified perpetrators of violence from both sides.

It documented details of brutal killings, abductions of woman and sexual violence among other abuses, mostly committed against civilians who were not taking part in the fighting.

Migrant crisis: Austria plans Slovenia border fence

Australian government says it is planning to construct a fence at the main border crossing used by migrants entering the country from Slovenia.
Australian Chancellor, Werner Fayman said the move would not shut down the border, but would allow better control of non citizens.

It came as Germany said it expected the number of deportations of failed asylum seekers to rise.

The United Nations estimates more than seven hundred thousand migrants have crossed to Europe by boat so far this year, mainly from war ravaged Syria.
Meanwhile, three migrant boats have capsized between Turkey and Creek Islands.

UN to investigate human rights abuses in South Sudan

Following claims of violations and abuses in South Sudan, the United Nations has sent a team to assess the country's human rights situation.

The UN Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric stated this at a news conference in New York.
Mr Dujarric said the UN had deployed a ten member team to South Sudan in accordance with a UN Human Rights Council Resolution.

He explained that the team would focus on human rights violations affecting civilians in the country since the outbreak of violence nearly two years ago.

He noted that after the investigation, the team would present an assessment report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva next year.

He added that the report would include recommendation on improving human rights situation and ensure accountability for gross violations in the country.

More than 200 killed as powerful earthquake strikes north-east Afghanistan, rocks Pakistan

A powerful earthquake has struck remote north-east Afghanistan, killing more than 200 people in the country and nearby northern Pakistan and sending shock waves as far as New Delhi.

Hundreds more were injured as the magnitude 7.5 quake shook a swathe of the subcontinent, reducing buildings to rubble and sending terrified people into the streets as the ground rolled beneath them.

At least 52 people were reported dead in several provinces in Afghanistan.
In Pakistan, the head of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Disaster Management Agency, Amer Afaq, said the death toll had reached 167.

Pakistan's military spokesman General Asim Bajwa said nearly 1,000 were injured.
Earthquakes, and quite often the subsequent landslides and tsunamis, have the ability to cause widespread death and enormous damage to cities.

The death toll could climb in coming days because communications were down in much of the rugged Hindu Kush mountain range where the quake was centred.

In one of the worst incidents, at least 12 girls were killed in a stampede to flee their school building in the north-eastern Afghan province of Takhar, just west of where the tremor's epicentre was located.

Seven other people died in the eastern province of Nangarhar, two in Nuristan province in the north-east, three in eastern Kunar province and nine in Badakhshan, officials said.
In Pakistan, 102 deaths were reported by early evening, most in northern and north-western regions bordering Afghanistan, officials said.

Particularly hard-hit in Pakistan was the northern area of Chitral, where 20 people were killed, police official Shah Jehan said.

US, Russia sign deal to avoid Syria air clashes

Russia and the US have signed a deal that they hope would avoid clashes between their air forces in the skies over Syria.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the deal would remain secret at Moscow's request, but that it laid out means for both sides to communicate and establish a hotline on the ground.

He said, the two countries would not, however, share intelligence on their targets.

Mr. Cook also said the deal ensured aircraft would stay a safe distance from each other, but he would not confirm if specific distances were agreed.

Netanyahu urges talks over violence

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to hold talks to calm the recent surge of violence.

Mr Netanyahu said he was "perfectly open" to a meeting that might be "potentially useful".
He also defended a massive security deployment in Jerusalem following a wave of knife attacks by Palestinians.

Near-daily attacks have left seven Israelis dead and dozens wounded over the past fortnight.
Several of the attackers were among at least 30 Palestinians who have been killed in recent violence.

Israeli police set up East Jerusalem checkpoints

Israeli forces have begun a major security operation in East Jerusalem occupied by Arabs, after a surge in attacks by Palestinians.
Police blocked entrances to Jabal Mukaber, a district where three men accused of killing three Israelis on came from.

The Israeli military also deployed hundreds of soldiers to assist.
Later, police said they shot dead a Palestinian who stabbed an Israeli woman at Jerusalem's main bus station.

A Palestinian also attempted to stab a policeman at the Damascus Gate of the walled Old City, but was shot dead by police.

French police hold rare nationwide protests


Thousands of French Police Officers have held a protest in Paris and across the country over what they say are a lack of resources and Judiciary that is too lenient towards criminals.

The protesters also say they have not been given enough credit for fighting jihadists and violent criminals.
The government has in response pledged a series of reform, including tougher sentences for violent criminals.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that there would be stiffer sentences for people in possession of weapons and plans would be introduced to simplify criminal procedures.

EU Election Observers say Guinea's Presidential vote was valid


European Union Election observers say Guinea's presidential election was valid but there were severe logistical difficulties.

This comes after opposition called the vote fraudulent and demanded a re-run.

They also threatened to protest, something the observers urged against.
The final result is expected in the next few days.
It was the country's second democratic presidential election since it gained independence from France in 1958.

Syria conflict: Shells hit Russian embassy compound

Two shells have struck the Russian embassy compound in the Syrian capital Damascus as hundreds of pro-government supporters rallied outside in support of Russian air strikes.

No-one was killed but a BBC Arabic correspondent in Damascus says some people were injured.
The explosions triggered widespread panic and smoke was seen coming from the embassy compound.

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov described it as "a terrorist attack".   
He said the attack was meant to intimidate supporters of the fight against terror and prevent them from prevailing in the struggle against extremists.

Mr. Sergei Lavrov said Russian and the Syrian authorities are now trying to establish those responsible.

Burundi expels Rwandan diplomat over insecurity

Burundi has expelled a Rwandan diplomat, whom it accuses of destabilising the country.

Desire Nyaruhivira had been a top adviser at the Rwandan Embassy in Burundi for many years.

The expulsion comes amid worsening relations between the East African neighbours.

Only last week Burundi accused Rwandan of training rebels seeking to destabilise the country, allegations which he denies.

Rwandan President Paul Kagane has criticised the decision of his Burundian counterpart, Pierre Nkurunziza to seek a controversial third term in office.

Relations between the two countries deteriorated further after Burundi accused Rwanda of hosting failed coup leader, General Godefroid Niyambare, who tried to seize power in May.

Burundi has been hit by a spate of assassinations and attempted assassinations since Mr Nkurunziza won disputed elections in July.

About seventy thousand Burundians are living in refugee camps in Rwanda after fleeing the unrest.

Jerusalem Old City ban on Palestinians after killings

Israel is barring some Palestinians from the Old City of Jerusalem after two attacks, one fatal, on Israelis.

The restrictions are for two days and will stop Palestinians from entering the area unless they live there.

It comes after a Palestinian stabbed two Israelis to death on Saturday. Another stabbed and wounded an Israeli teenager. Police killed both attackers.

In clashes later, a Palestinian was shot dead by troops in the West Bank, Palestinian medical sources said.
Hospital officials said he was killed in the town of Tulkarm. The Israeli military said it was looking into the report
Scores of Palestinians were wounded in the violence across the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

Tensions worsened since an Israeli couple was shot dead by Palestinians in the West Bank on Thursday.

Oregon College shooting: Gunman kills nine in Roseburg attack

Nine people have been killed and seven injured in a shooting at a college in the US state of Oregon, say police.
The gunman, 26, opened fire at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning and was killed in a police shootout.

There were conflicting reports on casualties but Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said 10 dead, including the gunman, was "the best" figure.

Police have not identified the attacker but unnamed officers have told US media his name is Chris Harper Mercer.
Mr Hanlin said he would not confirm the name, adding: "I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act."

The gunman was reportedly born in the UK and moved to the US as a young boy.
A man identified as the gunman's father, Ian Mercer, told US media he was "just as shocked as everybody" by his son's actions.

The killer's motive is not known, although police said they were investigating reports that he had warned of his intentions on social media.

Gunfire heard in Burkina Faso capital

Gunfire has been heard in the Burkina Faso Capital Ouagadougon, around the barracks of the Presidential guard which staged a coup earlier this month.

The army has surrounded the barracks, accusing the guard of failing to lay down their arms following the shout-lived coup.

Coup leader Gen Gilbert Diendeve has called on the Presidential guard to surrender to avoid a bloodbath.
The city's international airport has been shut amid fears of violence.

A former foreign minister has also been arrested in connection with the coup.       
Djibril Bassole, who served as Mr Campaore's Foreign Minister, has been detained over allegations that he supported the coup.

Army Chief of staff Gen Pingrenoma Zagre has ordered people not to venture into the neigbourhood.
Gen Diendere is Mr. Compaore's former Chief of staff, but denies that he had any contact with him before he staged the coup.

Hundreds of prisoners escape in CAR

Hundreds of inmates at a prison in the Central African Republic have escaped as a wave of violence left dozens dead.

After a Muslim taxi driver was killed, clashes erupted on Saturday between Christian militia and Muslim groups.
Members of a Christian militia known as the anti-Balaka attacked the prison on Monday, freeing hundreds of soldiers and militiamen.

The CAR has been wracked by violence since a mainly Muslim rebel group, the Seleka, seized power in March 2013.

The Seleka group was then ousted, sparking a wave of violent reprisals against the Muslim population, thousands of whom fled their homes.

France carries out air strikes against ISIS

France has carried out its first air strikes against Islamic State Militants in Syria.
President Francis Hollande told newsmen in New York that French planes destroyed a training camp in the eastern town of Deir-al-zour.

A US-led coalition has been carrying out air strikes against IS in Syria and Iraq for more than a year.

Mr. Hollande said a political solution was needed to end the Syrian crisis without President Bashar al-Assad involved.
France, like the United Kingdom has previously confined its air strikes against the Islamic State group to Iraqi air space.

Burkina coup leader amnesty rejected

The Speaker for Burkina Faso's transitional parliament has rejected a proposed deal which includes an amnesty for the leaders of last week's coup.

The deal was put forward by regional mediators after weekend talks.

The 13-point plan also suggests reversing the ban on members of the previous president's party from standing in forthcoming elections.

The coup was carried out by allies of President Blaise Compaore, who was ousted by street protests in 2014.
At least 10 people have been killed in clashes since Thursday's coup.

Guatemala ex-first lady Sandra Torres in presidential run-off

Guatemala's former first lady Sandra Torres will stand against a television comedian in a presidential run-off election in October.

The electoral authorities have ruled that Ms Torres was runner-up in the first round, earlier this month.

She narrowly defeated a centre-right businessman, Manuel Baldizon, who said the vote was rigged.
Television comedian Jimmy Morales finished top, following a campaign against corruption.

Ms. Torres divorced President Alvaro Colom in 2011, when his term was coming to an end.
But the Supreme Court ruled out her candidacy saying she had divorced only to bypass a constitutional ban on relatives running for president.

She has now secured a place in the run-off vote, on 25 October.

Zimbabwe vice-president submits correct Mugabe speech

Zimbabwe's vice-president has submitted to parliament a speech that President Robert Mugabe was supposed to deliver; a day after the 91-year-old leader accidentally gave the wrong one.

On Tuesday, Mr. Mugabe read a state-of-the-nation address he gave in August.
The error has been blamed on a mix-up in the president's office.

It took Vice-President, Emmerson Mnangagwa two hours to submit the correct version because of demands from opposition MPs for an apology.

Wednesday's extraordinary session was called so that Mr Mugabe's speech could be officially recorded. It says that the government plans to introduce legislation requiring senior public officials to declare assets as part of measures to tackle corruption.

The speech mix-up has prompted questions from the opposition over whether the president remains fit to lead.

Utah flash floods kill at least 16 people

Flash floods have killed at least 16 people in the US state of Utah, with one person still missing.

Twelve of 16 people in two vehicles swept away on Monday by a wall of water in Hildale were killed. Three children survived. One person is missing.

Hildale once served as a home base for polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs.

Four hikers from a group of seven were also killed in Zion National Park, swept away by floods that coursed through a narrow canyon.

The National Weather Service had issued a flash flood warning earlier. The floods followed heavy rains in the canyons just north of Hildale.

But there were concerns the warnings may not have reached sect members.
Members of Jeffs' sect, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), are discouraged from having contact with the outside world.

The FLDS broke off from the official Mormon church when the main church denounced polygamy in the late 19th Century .

In 2011, Jeffs was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting underage girls whom he considered brides.

He is believed to have up to 70 wives, according to ABC News, which interviewed former members of FLDS in May.
However, the community is split between loyalists who still believe Jeffs is a victim of religious persecution and defectors who are embracing government efforts to pull the town into modern society.

N Korea resumes normal operations at nuclear facility

North Korea says its main nuclear facility, the Yongbyon complex, has resumed normal operations.

The country was improving its nuclear weapons "in quality and quantity", state-run news agency KCNA reported.
Yongbyon's reactor was shut down in 2007 but Pyongyang vowed to restart it in 2013, following its third nuclear test and amid high regional tensions.

The reactor has been the source of plutonium for North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.
Experts believe that if re-started, the reactor could make one bomb's worth of plutonium per year.

The announcement about Yongbyon is the first official confirmation from North Korea that it has restarted operations there.

A US think-tank said earlier this year that satellite images suggested that work had started at the plant.
KCNA said on Tuesday that the North was ready to face US hostility with "nuclear weapons any time".

However, the full scope of North Korea's nuclear capabilities is unclear.
Pyongyang claims it has made a device small enough to fit a nuclear warhead on to a missile, which it could launch at its enemies.

However, US officials have cast doubt on this claim and experts say it is difficult to assess the progress North Korea has made on miniaturisation.

Australian PM Tony Abbott ousted by Malcolm Turnbull


Australia is to have a new prime minister after Tony Abbott was ousted as leader of the centre-right Liberal Party by Malcolm Turnbull.

In the dramatic late night party leadership ballot, Mr Abbott, who had been plagued by poor opinion polls, received 44 votes to Mr Turnbull's 54.

Mr Turnbull said he assumed that parliament would serve its full term, implying no snap general election.

The new leader will be Australia's fourth prime minister since 2013.

The prime minister-elect is expected to be sworn in after Mr Abbott writes to Australia's governor general and resigns.

MIGRANT CRISIS: Germany starts temporary border controls


Germany has introduced temporary controls on its border with Austria to cope with the influx of migrants, the interior minister has said.

Thomas de Maiziere said refugees could "not choose" their host countries and called on other EU states to do more.
Trains between Germany and Austria were suspended for 12 hours.

Germany's Vice-Chancellor has said the country is "at the limit of its capabilities" as more than 13,000 migrants arrived in Munich on Saturday.
Germany expects 800,000 migrants to arrive this year.

Ghana to investigate judges over corruption allegations

Ghana's Judicial Council is to start an inquiry into the Country's judiciary after a two-year investigation by a top journalist.

Investigation by a journalist Anas Aremeyaw alleges that 34 judges have taken bribes and extorted money.

He says he has nearly 500 hours of video evidence on tape, which has been handed over to the Chief Justice.

During his investigation, Mr Anas, who is also a lawyer, was said to have approached the judges offering bribes if they agreed to set his purported clients free.

The Attorney-General has granted the journalist immunity under the whistle-blower act to pursue the story.
Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood has summoned the 12 High Court Judges and 22 Lower Court Justices implicated in Mr Anas’s investigation, which has yet to be broadcast, to appear before the Judicial Council.

None of the judges implicated have so far commented on the allegations.

MIGRANT CRISIS: Denmark-Germany rail links suspended

Denmark has suspended all rail links with Germany after police stopped hundreds of migrants at the border.

Danish police also closed a motorway between the two countries when some asylum seekers began who say their destination is Sweden walking north after being forced off a train.

As the EU struggles with a major migrant crisis, the European Commission has proposed that 120,000 additional asylum seekers should be shared out between members, using binding quotas.

Denmark's DSB rail operator said trains to and from Germany had been suspended for an indefinite period because of exceptional passport checks.

Two trains carrying more than 200 migrants are being held in Rodby, a major port with ferry links to Germany. Danish police say many migrants are refusing to leave the trains because they do not want to be registered in Denmark.

Sweden has become a top destination for refugees after it promised to issue residency papers to all Syrian asylum seekers.

Pope Francis makes it easier for Catholics to remarry

Pope Francis has unveiled reforms intended to make it easier for Roman Catholics to get annulments and remarry within the Church, streamlining steps that many in the church considered too cumbersome and costly.

According to News, Catholics seeking an annulment previously needed approval from two Church tribunals, but the reforms will reduce this to one, although appeals will still be allowed.

The new fast-track procedure will also allow bishops to grant annulments directly if both spouses request it.
Without an annulment, Catholics who divorce and marry again are considered adulterers and are not allowed to receive communion, which many describe as a painful exclusion from the church’s chief sacrament.

Egypt's Agriculture Minister arrested after resignation

Egypt's Agriculture Minister, Selah Eddin Helal, has been arrested shortly after resigning.

Security and judicial sources say he is being held as part of a corruption probe.

Reports say the arrest is in connection to allegations that officials took bribes to help businessmen illegally acquire state land.

In a statement, the Prime Minister's office says Mr Helal had resigned on the orders of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.
It is the first arrest of a high-profile official in such a case since Mr Sisi was elected in May 2014.
President Sisi has promised to make the fight against corruption a focus of his administration.

Hundreds of migrants stranded outside Budapest rail station

Hundreds of migrants were stranded outside a major railway station in the Hungarian Capital, Budapest, after police sealed off the terminal to stop them from travelling through the EU.

Government spokesman, Zoltan Kovacs, defended the closures, saying Hungary was trying to enforce EU law.

Thousands of people, many fleeing war and persecution, are trying to reach northern Europe to claim asylum.
The crisis has highlighted the limitation of the EU's system for cope with refugees.

Robert Mugabe booed in Zimbabwe parliament

Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe, was jeered by the opposition Members in the Parliament as he delivered his state of the nation address.

The President was repeatedly drowned out as he delivered one of shortest ever state of the nation speeches, lasting less than thirty minutes.

The opposition sang protest songs against his ten-point plan to solve the country's economic crisis.
More than twenty thousand people have lost their jobs in the past seven weeks.

Members of Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PFparty responded to the songs by the Movement for Democratic by singing that the 91-year-old was still in charge.

Sierra Leone releases last known Ebola patient from hospital

Sierra Leone has released its last known Ebola patient.  According to the World Health Organization, 35-year-old Adama Sankoh was discharged from a treatment centre in the northern Bombali district.
The country hasn't reported a new infection for more than two weeks, while a few of cases are still being reported in neighboring Guinea.

The milestone comes 15 months after the outbreak was declared in Sierra Leone. Almost 4,000 people have died of Ebola in that country since then.
Sierra Leone’s President, Ernest Bai Koroma, attended the celebrations at the clinic run by International Medical Corps.

The country still has 28 people in quarantine. They will continue to be monitored until the end of the week in case they develop symptoms.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been poured into dealing with the Ebola outbreak.

Relevant authorities say they will continue with heightened surveillance and specific anti-Ebola safe burial practices for three months after the outbreak is officially declared over.

South & North Korea agree on deal to reduce tension

South and North Korea have agreed on a deal to resolve tensions after a series of recent border confrontations.

Both countries’ militaries have been on alert after a brief exchange of fire at the border last week.
The North had threatened to use force to stop propaganda broadcasts by the South, started after two of its soldiers were injured by a landmine.

High-level negotiators have been meeting since Saturday to agree on the deal.
The two Koreas remain technically at war, since the 1950 – 1953 conflict ended in a ceasefire, not a peace treaty.

Gabon's President Bongo 'to give away father's inheritance'

Gabon's President pledged to give his inheritance to the country's youth saying they are the heirs of his father, who was at one time the world's longest-serving president.

Ali Bongo Ondimba said that with the agreement of his wife and children, he will give money that he inherited from his father to a foundation for youth and education. He spoke Monday on the 55th anniversary of Gabon's independence.
Ondimba became president after his father, President Omar Bongo, died in 2009. Omar Bongo ruled the oil-producing country of about 1.5 million people for more than 41 years.

A property in Libreville, the capital, would be used to establish a university, and two properties in Paris would be used as diplomatic and cultural buildings for Gabon, he said.

In 2010, France's highest court authorized a probe into the assets of three African heads of state, including late leader Omar Bongo, after two rights groups' alleged that the leaders laundered money through French villas, cars and bank accounts.

Transparency International and Sherpa accused the leaders of using their nations' riches to buy property and goods in France while their compatriots remain impoverished.

The rights groups say their investigations determined that Omar Bongo and his entourage bought 39 properties in France, and that he had 11 French bank accounts and nine cars in France worth nearly 1.5 million euros.

PESHAWAR SCHOOL ATTACK: Death sentences for six militants

Pakistan has handed the death penalty to six militants linked to an attack on a school in the northern city of Peshawar in which at least one hundred and forty people, mainly children, were killed.

The army said the militants were given a fair trial in military courts before the verdict was handed down.
The attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar last December, carried out by the Taliban, shocked the country.

In response, Pakistan lifted a seven-year moratorium on executions.
It also amended the constitution to allow for the establishment of military courts to try terror suspects.

Since December, two thousand people have been put to death. Many of them were not convicted for terror offences.
The school was near a military complex in Peshawar and many of its students were the children of military personnel.

Peshawar, which is close to the Afghan border, had seen some of the worst of the violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years.

Egypt policemen jailed over deaths

Four Egyptian policemen have been convicted at a retrial over the deaths of thirty seven detainees in August 2013.

The Deputy Chief of Heliopolis Police Station, Lt Col Amr Farouk, was sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and extreme negligence.

Three other officers were given suspended one-year sentences.

The detainees were asphyxiated when tear gas was fired into the back of an overcrowded vehicle transporting them.
Security officials initially said the detainees, allegedly Islamist supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, had rioted and captured a guard while en route to Abu Zabal prison.

Officers said they were forced to respond by firing tear gas into the vehicle carrying forty five detainees. But state prosecutors accused them of acting recklessly.

Crowd-control experts said at the time that the detainees would have died in agony, gasping for air and incapable of resisting the guards.

As many as forty thousand people are believed to have been detained since then and several hundred have been sentenced to death for alleged security offences, among them Mr Morsi and other senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

UN Chief Peacekeeper in CAR sacked over sex abuse claims

The UN envoy to Central African Republic, CAR, Babacar Gaye, has been sacked amid multiple allegations of sexual abuse by peacekeepers.

He was sacked a day after Amnesty International alleged that a 12-year-old girl was raped by a UN peacekeeper.
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, said that he had requested the envoys resignation.

The 10,000-strong UN Force, deployed in 2014 to help restore order in the country had also faced allegations of sexually abusing street children.

In June, Mr. Ban set up an Independent Review Panel to examine the UN's handling of the allegations of sexual exploitation.

Over sixty die as heat wave temperature rises in Egypt

A heat wave in Egypt has killed over sixty people as temperature rises to forty seven degrees.

Report from the country says forty people died after suffering heatstroke on Sunday and Monday, and another 21 died on Tuesday.

Another 581 people have been admitted to hospital with heat exhaustion.
Most of the victims were elderly, several detainees and patients at a psychiatric hospital.

The Electricity Ministry blamed the weather for a widespread power outage for several hours on Tuesday in several districts of Cairo, which bring the capital's metro system to a halt.

The Middle East has been hit by a heat wave since July, with a high atmospheric pressure above much of the region.


Angolan Govt. to destroy 11m illegally imported eggs

The Angolan Government say it will destroy eleven million eggs illegally imported into the country.
Health officials in Angola allege that the chicken eggs were imported without official health certificate.

They did not say where the eggs, seized at the port in the capital Luanda, had been imported from.
Angola's government said in January that it wanted to boost consumption of domestically produced food and drink and that the production of eggs in the country was increasing to meet demand.

He further explained that about twenty-five million eggs were laid each month, and hopes this would increase by ten to fifteen million.

India to assist Nigeria diversify through agriculture

India has expressed her willingness to assist Nigeria to diversify her economy through agriculture.

The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Ghanash Yam, said his country would also assist Nigeria to enhance her education and health sectors.

Mr. Ghanash Yam made the remarks when he paid a courtesy call on Senate President Bukola Saraki, at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.

He told the Senate President that India desired improved business relationship with Nigeria, having sustained mutual understanding even before the two countries became independent.

Mr. Yam also expressed satisfaction with the anti-corruption drive of the current administration.
Responding, Senate President Saraki sought the assistance of India in the effort to rehabilitate communities scattered by the activities of insurgents in the northeast region of Nigeria.

The Korean Ambassador in Nigeria, Mr. Noh Kyu-Duk, paid a similar visit on the Senate President, and pledged his country’s support to Nigeria’s development efforts.

Japan remembers Nagasaki atomic bomb, 70 years on

An emotional memorial service has been held in the Japanese city of Nagasaki where United States Forces dropped an atomic bomb during the Second World War 70 years ago.

At least seventy thousand people died in the attack which came three days after another bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

A solemn ceremony in front of guests from seventy five countries, including US Ambassador, Caroline Kennedy began with a declaration read by children.

A minutes silence and bells marked the time of the explosion in 1945.
Speeches at the ceremony criticised Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was at the ceremony for his plans to loosen the restrictions on what Japan’s Military can do.

The legislation would allow Japan to engage in combat, in defence of any ally which comes under attack for the first time since world war two.

In his address to the ceremony, Mr Abe said Japan remained determined to pursue a world without nuclear weapons.
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, said Nagasaki must be the last as the world cannot allow any future use of nuclear weapons.

The effect of the bomb was devastating, destroying a third of the city, killing thousands instantly and condemning more to death from radiation sickness.

Days later, Japan surrendered, ending World War Two, although the necessity of the two bombs has been debated ever since.

Haitians begin voting in long-delayed elections

Haitians have been voting in long-delayed parliamentary elections, but the vote has been marred by sporadic violence and lengthy delays.

Three polling stations in the capital Port-au-Prince had to close after fights broke out.
Voters at other stations grew frustrated due of long delays.

The elections had been repeatedly postponed since 2011, with President Michel Martelly ruling by decree since January.
The opposition accuses Mr Martelly, who is constitutionally barred from running again, of abusing his powers.

Nearly six million eligible voters are choosing 119 deputies and 20 senators from more than 1,800 candidates registered under different political parties.

Bin Laden plane crash: Jet issued six warning alerts

An initial report into a plane crash that killed three members of the Bin Laden family has revealed that the jet's warning system issued six alerts.

The Air Accidents Investigations Branch report stated that the aircraft had overtaken a micro light before it landed and overshot the runway.

The private jet was attempting to land at Blackbushe Airport, Hampshire on July 31.
The jet's Jordanian pilot was also killed.

Bin Laden's half-sister, Sana Mohammed Bin Laden, her mother, Raja Bashir Hashim, and his brother-in-law, Zuhair Hashim, died in the crash, along with pilot Mazen Al-Aqeel Da'jah Salem.

Islamic State group claims Saudi mosque suicide blast

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a mosque in Saudi Arabia which left 15 people dead.

A senior Saudi official said the mosque in Abha, close to the Yemeni border, was used by the security forces.
The bomb went off while members of the security forces were in the middle of prayer.

Interior Ministry spokesman, Major General Mansour al-Turki, said preliminary findings from the investigation suggested that the suicide bomber had been wearing an explosive belt.

The death toll was initially put at thirteen, but the interior ministry later said two of the wounded had died.
In May, a suicide bomber killed at least twenty one people in an attack on a Shia mosque in Qatif governorate.

Sierra Leone court acquits 13 soldiers accused of mutiny

A military court in Sierra Leone has acquitted thirteen soldiers accused of plotting to seize and kill President Ernest Bai Koroma in 2013.

Judge Advocate Otto During ruled that there was insufficient evidence to link the accused to the crimes.
A defense lawyer said it was the first time in decades that a Sierra Leone court martial had acquitted defendants.

The army is recovering from a civil war that ended in 2002 in which many soldiers took part in looting, human rights abuses or deserted to fight for the rebels.

Soldiers from the Fourth Infantry Brigade at the barracks in the northern town of Makeni were arrested in August 2013.

They were charged with counts that included mutiny and conspiracy and put on trial in April 2014. One of the accused, Corporal Alex Jibao Koroma, was acquitted in February for lack of evidence.

MH370: Plane debris on Reunion Island is from vanished Malaysia flight

Part of the aircraft wing found on Reunion Island is from the missing MH370 plane.
Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Rasak, said International experts examining the debris in France had conclusively confirmed it was part of the missing aircraft.

The Malaysian Airlines plane carrying two hundred and thirty nine people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014.

The debris was found on the remote French Indian Ocean Island a week ago.

Prime Minister Najib said the burden and uncertainty faced by the families in the five hundred and fifteen days since the aircraft disappeared had been unspeakable.

He added that the world now have physical evidence that flight MH370 tragically ended in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Sudan accused of war crimes in South Kordofan

Amnesty International has accused Sudan’s army of committing war crimes by bombing and shelling civilians in its South Kordofan region.

More than 374 bombs, including cluster bombs were dropped in sixty seven locations between January and April, killing at least thirty five people according to Human Rights group.

Amnesty report said at least one point four million people have fled their homes because of the conflict.
It added that its research team had visited South Kordafan and found cluster munitions at four sites.

African Union Chief Mediator, Thabo Mbeki, is currently in Sudan’s capital, Kardoum where he is expected to discuss the conflict with government officials.

Sudan’s army is yet to comment on the allegations.

South African Julius Malema's case thrown out of court

A court in South Africa has thrown out fraud and corruption charges brought against left-wing opposition leader, Julius Malema.

The trial judge, George Mothle, said the case had dragged on for too long which according to him, was prejudicial to Mr. Malema.

Mr. Malema was charged in 2012 with money laundering, racketeering and corruption related to government contract worth four million dollars which he denied and said they were politically motivated.

He formed the Economic Freedom Fighters, EFF party in 2013 following his expulsion from the governing African National Congress, ANC.

Reports say he is a fierce critic of President Jacob Zuma and has campaigned against corruption and has had a couple of brushes with the law. The first was a tax evasion case which was withdrawn and now a corruption case which has been thrown out.

Al-Jazeera trial: Verdict delayed until 29 August

An Egyptian court has again delayed a verdict in the retrial of three Al-Jazeera journalists convicted of aiding the banned Muslim Brotherhood.
Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy, Egyptian Baher Mohamed and Australian Peter Greste were sentenced to 10 years in prison in July 2014.

Their convictions for spreading false news were overturned and they were freed in February to await retrial.
Mr. Greste was deported to Australia and is on trial again in absentia.

The journalists strenuously deny collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Egyptian government considers a terrorist group, after the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi by the military in 2013.

The verdict would be delayed until 29 August.

6 stabbed at gay pride parade in Jerusalem

Israeli Police has arrested an Ultra-Orthodox Jew Yishai Schlissel, after he stabbed six people at Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem.

A police spokesperson said the suspect was the same person who stabbed three people at the parade in 2005.

He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for that attack and was released from prison three weeks ago.

Eyewitnesses say that the attacker emerged behind marchers and began stabbing them while screaming, before being tackled by a police officer.
Israeli Prime, Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the attack contradicted the country's basic values.

Burundi: opposition leader becomes Deputy Speaker

Burundi's opposition leader Agathon Rwasa, has been elected as a Deputy Speaker of Parliament, despite strident criticism of recent legislative and presidential polls.
There has been political crisis since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term.

Mr Rwasa withdrew from this month's presidential election and described Mr Nkurunziza's victory as a joke.

He supported the protests that began in April, against PierreNkurunziza's third-term bid in which more than 70 people have died in clashes with the police.
Rwasa's opposition coalition also called for a boycott of June's parliamentary elections, but with its name on the ballot paper it still won 21 seats.

There is a faltering negotiation process, chaired by Uganda,  that is aimed at resolving the crisis.

MH370 search: Reunion debris to be tested in France

Debris found on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion is to be transported to France to find out whether it is from the missing flight MH370; Initial reports suggest the two-metre long object is very likely to be from a Boeing 777.

The Malaysia Airlines flight - a Boeing 777 - vanished while travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014.
The search had focused on part of the southern Indian Ocean east of Reunion.

Another factor fuelling speculation that this is likely to be remains of MH370 is a case found by the same man who found the debris, a gardener who works for St Andre’s council.

Malaysia has sent a team of investigators and other officials to Toulouse and another team of experts to Reunion - a French overseas department.
Aviation experts who have studied photos of the debris found on Wednesday, say it resembles a flap- a moving part of the wing surface - from a Boeing 777.

Pakistani police kills leader of banned Sunni militant group

Pakistani police have shot dead Malik Ishaq, the leader of banned Sunni militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in the Country.
Ishaq, who had been detained last week, was in a prison convoy in Punjab province when supporters opened fire in an attempt to free him.

They said Ishaq was killed in a gun fight along with his two sons and 11 militants in Muzaffargarh district.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has been behind some of the most violent attacks on Shia Muslims in recent years.
Punjab Home Minister, Shuja Khanzada, confirmed the report while a doctor at Muzaffargarh District Hospital said 14 bodies had been received there.

Six police officers were also reported injured.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was banned in Pakistan in 2001 and designated a terrorist group by the US in 2003.
It is accused of killing hundreds of Shia Muslims in Pakistan.

Obama hails Kenya’s Economic & Political Advances

Barrack Obama has praised Kenya's economic and political advances but warned of challenges ahead.

In a speech in Nairobi, President Obama said corruption, terrorism and ethnic division were threats to Kenya's future.
Mr. Obama condemned the repression of women, including genital mutilation and forced marriage in Kenya which, according to him, did not belong in the 21st Century, adding that the best use of development aid was to spend it on girl's education.

Obama’s two-day trip to Kenya which began on Friday is his first visit as President to the Country where his father was born.

On Saturday, Mr. Obama praised Africa's economic and business potential in a speech at a business summit.
He also visited a memorial for those killed in 1998 US embassy bombing in Nairobi.

After holding bilateral talks, President Obama and President Kenyatta said they were united against terrorism, but they differed sharply in their positions on gay rights.

While Obama spoke strongly against discrimination, Mr. Kenyatta said Kenya did not share the same values.

Somalia blast: Mogadishu hotel rocked by bomb

More than ten people have been killed in a huge bomb explosion at a hotel in the Somali Capital, Magadishu.
Reports say that a lorry was used to attack the Jazeera Palace Hotel, near the Airport.

Ambulances have been collecting the dead and the wounded in what was described as one of the worst scenes of destruction witnessed in Mogadishu.

Somali Militant Islamist group, Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The al-Qaeda linked group said it was responding to the assaults by African Union force and the Somali government.

The blast came as US President Barrack Obama was leaving Kenya for Ethiopia at the end of a two day trip during which he had discussions about dealing with the threat from al-Shabab.

The International Diplomats often stay at Jazeera Palace Hotel which has been targeted in the past.
Reports say the Hotel also accommodates some embassies including those of China, Quarter and Egypt.

Kenya to close airspace for Barack Obama's visit

Kenya will close its airspace for a fifty-minute window ahead of US President Barack Obama's arrival in the capital Nairobi.

Kenya's Civil Aviation Authority says a ban on planes flying lower than twenty thousand feet will remain in place in Nairobi for the duration of Mr. Obama's three-day visit.

Some US media have criticised the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority for revealing US President's travel plans.
The US issued a travel warning for Kenya in July ahead of the visit.

The US State Department said the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, which Mr. Obama is due to address this weekend, could provide target for terrorists.

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority said the country's airspace will also be closed for a further forty minutes on Sunday when President Obama would leave for Ethiopia.

Somali Islamist Group, al-Shabato, has staged repeated attracts on Kenya in recent years.

Yemen: First UN aid ship reaches Aden


A United Nations aid ship carrying food supplies had docked in Yemen’s Southern City of Aden for the first time since fighting broke out there in March.

The Port has been inaccessible until now because of Saudi-led coalition air strikes and fierce clashes between Local Militiamen and Houthi rebels.

The UN vessel was followed later by another aid ship from the United Arab Emirates.

More than eighty per cent of Yemen’s twenty-five million people now require humanitarian aid.

The UN ship arrived with four thousand seven hundred tonnes of food supplies and pharmaceutical aid.

A Regional Director for the UN’s World Food Programme, Muhammad Hadi, described the arrival of the UN aid ship as a major breakthrough for humanitarian aid response.

He said vast amounts of food supplies are needed in Yemen as the United Nations estimates that thirteen million people, more than half of the country’s population, are facing food shortages.

Mass funeral for Turkey bombing victims


A mass funeral ceremony has taken place in Turkey for some of the thirty-two activists killed in a suicide bomb attack in Suruc, near the Syria border.

Mourners clutched the coffins as they were lined up in the courtyard of a Mosque before being taken to their respective home towns for burial.

Turkey’s Prime Minister said the authorities have identified the suspected bomber, believed to have had links with the Islamic State group.


The activists, mainly University Students, were members of a group known as Education of Socialist Youth Association.

The mass funeral for the twenty-five of the victims took place in the South Eastern City of Gaziantep following post-mortem examinations.

The victims were holding a news conference when the bomb ripped through Suruc’s Amara Cultural Centre.

Bomb attack in Turkish town of Suruc kills 30 people 


A bomb attack in the Turkish town of Suruc has killed at least thirty people during a meeting of the Federation of Socialists Youth Association activists in the neighbouring Syrian town of Kobane.

About one hundred others were wounded in the explosion, which is believed to have been caused by a female suicide attacker from the Islamic State Group.

Kobane has been centre of heavy fighting between IS militants and Kurdish fighters.
It was retaken by the Kurds from IS forces earlier this year.

The Federation of Socialists Youths Associations, SGDF, is reported to have at least three hundred members staying at the Amara culture centre in Suruc, where the explosion happened.

Cuba, US formally restore diplomatic relations

Cuba and the United States have formally restored diplomatic relations after an agreement struck in 2014, putting aside decades of hostility.

The Diplomatic Missions of each country became full Embassies after the restoration of diplomatic relations.
The Cuban flag was raised on Monday at the newly opened Embassy in Washington.

The United States Secretary of the State, John Kerry held talks with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez.
A flag will not be raised at the American Embassy in Havana after the visit of Mr. Kerry in August.

Meanwhile, Cuba says the Embargo which it calls a blockade is hugely damaging to its economy.

President Raul Castro has urged President Barack Obama to lift it, calling it the main stumbling block towards normalization.
The US Congress would have to vote on the issue.

Ex- Auschwitz guard, 94, jailed for 4years

A German court has convicted a ninety four year-old former guard at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz of being an accessory to the murder of at least three hundred thousand Jews.
Oskar Groening, known as the "book-keeper of Auschwitz", was sentenced to four years in prison.

He was responsible for counting the belongings confiscated from prisoners and had admitted moral guilt.
His lawyers said he did not facilitate genocide, but prosecutors argued that he had helped the camp run smoothly.

Many observers have questioned whether Groening will ultimately be sent to jail, given his age. He is expected to be one of the last Nazis to face a courtroom.

UN to vote on Iran nuclear deal next week

The Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif says the UN Security Council will vote next week on resolution endorsing its nuclear deal with World powers.
Mr. Zarif told reporters that the Council would recognise for the first time a developing country's uranium enrichment programme.

The deal reached with six powers in Vienna, would be implemented by November.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the agreement proved that constructive engagement works, while his President Barrack Obama called it a step towards a more hopeful world.
Mr. Obama also sought to reassure Americans and allies in the Middle East, who fear the accord, will embolden Iran and fail to stop it gaining nuclear weapons.

The five permanent members of the Security Council the US, UK, France, Russia and China were part of the group of world powers that signed the deal with Iran, along with Germany.

  Mexican drug lord Guzman escapes prison custody

Mexico Drug Lord, Jacquin Guzman, also known as El-Chapoor Shorty, has again escaped from prison custody.

Officials say, Guzman’s escape route from Altiplano maximum security prison was through a more than one point five kilometers tunnel with ventilation and stairs that ended at a construction site outside the prison walls.
A motorcycle was also found which police believe was used to transport tools and remove sand from the space.

Security Commissioner, Monte Alejandro Rubido told newsmen that eighteen guards are being questioned; flight suspended at a nearby Toluca
Airport, while a manhunt has been launched to re-arrest the drug lord.
Mr Rubido said Guzman was last seen in the showers of the jail on Saturday.

He said this was the second time Guzman had escaped from a top security prison.
In 2001 he broke out by hiding in a laundry basket after bribing officials.

He had been serving a sentence of more than twenty years after being arrested in Guatamala in 1993.
His recapture in 2014 was hailed as a victory for Mexico’s government, led by Enrique Pena Nieto.

Guzman’s wealth is estimated at one billion dollars.

His rise to head the Sinalao drug cartel made him the World’s most wanted drug trafficker.
He smuggles huge amount of cocaine, Marijuana and Methamphetamine into the United States.

Before his recapture, the US had offered a reward of up to five million dollars for information leading to his arrest.

Malala turns 18, opens school for Syrian girls

Education Campaigner and Nobel Laureate, Malala Yousafzai who turned 18 years, marked her birthday by opening a school for Syrian girls in an informal refugee settlement in Lebanon’s Beka’a Valley.

In her speech, she criticized world leaders for failing Syrian children.
Malala was attacked by Taliban in Pakistan in 2012 because of her campaign for girls education.

She was award the Noble prize in 2014.

Greece submits economic reform plan

Greece government has agreed to a reform programme and will submit its proposals to its international lenders soon.
The reforms are thought to include tax rises and pension changes.

Greece was due to present the proposals on Thursday to try to secure a third bailout and prevent a possible exit from the eurozone.
The new proposals will be studied by eurozone finance Minister on Saturday and a full European Union summit on Sunday.

Defence Minister and Junior Coalition Party Leader, Panos Kammenos, gave no further details of the agreed plans as he left the Prime Minister’s official residence, where the Ministers had been meeting.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has spent the day discussing the proposals with his cabinet.
Report says that the reforms will be put to the Greek parliament on Friday for approval.

On Wednesday Greece formally submitted a request for an unspecified loan from the European Stability Mechanism Bailout Fund.
This would be a fresh loan to meet Greece’s debt obligations and to ensure stability of the financial system.

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, who will chair Sundays EU summit said he hoped to receive concrete and realistic proposals of reforms from Athens.

German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schanuble, also ruled out debt relief for Greece, saying that there cannot be a haircut because it would infringe the system of the European Union.
Greece needs to implement reforms to win the trust of its eurozone partnership.

TUNISIA ATTACK: UK tourists advised to leave country

All British nationals are advised to leave Tunisia because a further terrorists attack is highly likely.
Thirty Britons were among 38 tourists killed in an attack there last month.

The foreign office estimates that 2,500 to 3,000 UK tourists are in Tunisia and a few hundred British residents.
It is advising against all non-essential travel to Tunisia, and some travel firms are repatriating their British staff.

The foreign office said that although the Tunisian authorities have put in place more security measures, these do not provide adequate protections for British tourists.

Britons are urged to get in touch with their tour operators to plan their return, with those travelling independently advised to return on commercial flights.

Tunisia declared a state of emergency after the 26 June attack.
Plans to build a wall along its borders with Libya to counter the threat from Militants were announce earlier this week.

Furthermore, the British government says they have completed an assessment of the security measures in tourists’ areas and while we are working with the Tunisian authorities to further strengthen those measures, we judge that more work is needed to effectively protect tourists from the terrorist threat.

The Association of British Travel Agents said those due to travel to Tunisia should contact the country they booked through, saying that very low numbers of British tourists were currently in Tunisia following the Sousse attack, 25,000 are usually expected at this time of the year.

Uganda's Amama Mbabazi and Kizza Besigye arrested

Two leading Presidential hopeful in Uganda, Amama Mbabazi and Kizza Besigye have been arrested for organising meetings without Police permission.

Amama Mbabazi was arrested in Eastern Jinja town, while Kizza Besigya was detained at his home in the Capital.
Both were close allies of President Yoweri Museveni, who is widely expected to seek re-election next year, but this has not been confined.

Last month, Mr. Mbabazi said he would challenge Mr. Museveni, seventy, by seeking the nominations of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.

Mr. Museveni sacked Mr. Mbabazi as Prime Minister last year, ending a close working relationship of more than twenty years.

Mr. Mbabazi was arrested in Jinja as he headed out to canvass support in the Eastern town of Mbale. His daughter has also been arrested.
Renegade army General, David Sejusa, was at the police station in Kampala where Mr. Mbabazi was being held to show solidarity with him.

Report has it that no charges have been brought against him as at Wednesday.
Police said Mr. Mbabazi had not been cleared to hold meetings.
Dr. Besigye, the former physician of Mr. Museveni, is seeking the Presidential nomination of the opposition forum for democratic change (FDC) party.

Mr. Museveni has ruled Uganda since 1986, and his critics say he has become increasingly regressive.
However, his supporters say he has provided stability and has improved the living standards of Ugandans.

GREEK DEBT CRISIS: We’ll submit proposal on thursday

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has promised his government will submit credible reforms proposals to its creditors on Thursday.

Mr. Tsipras was speaking during a fractions debate on the Greek debt crisis in the European Parliament.
Greek is desperate for a third bailout to avoid bankruptcy and possibly crashing out of the euro currency.
Meanwhile, the Greek government has insisted that there is no threat to food and fuel supplies.

Reports has it that the Greece government has reassures both the Greek citizens and the visitors including tourists of adequate food supplies and stable prices.
European leaders have set today Thursday as the deadline for serious reforms plans from Greece in Exchange for more aid.

An emergency summit involving all twenty –eight European Union members not just the nineteen eurozone countries will take place on Sunday.

Burundi President Nkurunziza's CNDD-FDD wins Parliamentary election

The ruling party in Burundi has won the Parliamentary elections boycotted by the main opposition parties.
The UN has said media restrictions and violence meant the environment was not conducive to free and credible elections.

Unrest started in April after President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would run for a third term which protesters said was illegal.
The President said he was entitled to a third term because he was appointed for his first term, not elected.

The Presidential election is scheduled for 15th of this month but East African leaders have called for a further two week delay.

Reports has it that, the electoral commission said the Parliamentary poll had been low in the districts of Bujumbura where there had been protests, but that in some provinces outside the capital it was as high as ninety-eight percent.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigns

Finance Minister of Greece, Yanis Varoufakis, has resigned after voters overwhelmingly rejected austerity demands from creditors in Sunday's referendum.

Eurozone Finance Ministers say they expect to hear new proposals from Greece after the country voted to reject the terms of a bail out.

The Head of the Eurozone of Finance Ministers, Jeroen Dijselbloem, said that difficult measures and reforms were inevitable for Greece to recover. Eurozone Finance Ministers are to meet today before a full summit of eurozone leaders.

The European Central Bank is to discuss whether to raise its emergency cash support for Greek Banks, which are running out of funds and on the verge of collapse.
Meanwhile, Greek Banks are to stay closed.

Iraqi air force jet accidentally bombs Baghdad

At least eight people have been killed after a technical problem caused a bomb to fall from an Iraqi military plane over the country’s capital, Baghdad.

The Iraqi air force said the Russian made Sukhoi jet was returning from a bombing raid against Islamic State militants.
Reports say the pilot made six attempts to dislodge the bomb after it became stuck during the attack.

The bomb fell as the plane overflew the capital, destroying many houses.
Three children are among the dead.

Iraqi forces, backed by United States led airstrikes have been fighting IS militants who control much of the West and North of the country.

Hillary Clinton accuses China of 'stealing US secrets'

The United States Democratic Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton, has accused China of stealing US commercial secrets and government information.

Speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire, Mrs. Clinton said that China was stealing secrets from Defence contractors and had taken huge amounts of information from them.

US officials had named China as the chief suspect in the massive hack of the records of a US government agency earlier this year.

She added that she wanted to see China's peaceful rise but that the US needed to stay fully vigilant.
China had denied any involvement, and called US claims irresponsible.

Greece debt crisis: Greek voters reject bailout offer

With more than a third of votes counted, results from the Greek referendum suggest voters have rejected the terms of an international bailout.

Results published by the interior ministry showed about 60% of those whose ballots had been counted voted "No", against some 40% voting "Yes".

Greece's governing Syriza campaigned for a "No" vote, saying the bailout terms were humiliating.

The "Yes" campaign had however warned this could see Greece ejected from the euro-zone.
Senior European officials had also said that a "No" vote would be seen as an outright rejection of talks with creditors.

36 dead as ferry capsizes in Philippines

At least thirty six people have died after a passenger ship capsized off the coast of Leyte in the central Philippines.

The ship, Kim Nirvana was carrying one hundred and seventy three people when it overturned in rough waters just outside the port of Ormoc.

The chair of the Philippine Red Cross, Richard Gordon, said that between fifty and seventy people had been rescued from the boat, which was visible from the shore.

Officials at the disaster risk reduction and management office, say that divers were searching inside the upturned ship.
 The cause of the sinking is not yet known.   

UNSC imposes sanctions on 6 generals in S’ Sudan

The United Nations Security Council has imposed sanctions on six Generals accused of fuelling conflict in South Sudan.
The Generals, three from each side of the conflict, will face global travel bans and asset freezes.

Last week, a UN report alleged that Government troops had gang-raped and burned alive women and girls in the oil-rich
Unity State during an offensive against rebel forces.
South Sudan, the world's newest state, has been hit by conflict area before its creation.

Among those targeted by the sanctions is the Commander of President SalvaKiir, Special Guard and Major General Marial Chanuong YolMangok.

South Sudan army raped and burned girls alive, says UN

The United Nations report has accused South Sudan's army and allied militias of abduction, gang-raping and burning some girls alive during the fight against rebels.

Reports say at least one hundred and seventy two women and girls were abducted and subjected to sexual violence.

A woman was dragged out of her hut and gang-raped in front of her three-year old child.
Meanwhile, the Sudanese government denies the allegation that its army has committed atrocities but says it will study the report.

About 1200 escape from Yemeni prison, including al Qaeda suspects

About one thousand two hundred prisoners, including al-Qaeda suspects, have escaped from a prison in central Yemen.

The prison guards had deserted their posts following clashes between Houthi rebels and their opponents.
Yemen is in the midst of its most severe crisis in years, as competing forces fight for control.

 Security official alleged the prison was attacked by from al-Qaeda supporters, and this is the third major jailbreak in Yemen since a Saudi-led air campaign against the rebels began on 26 March.

Tunisia attack: Suspects connected to gunman arrested

The Tunisian government has arrested a group of people over the massacre of 38 people, mainly tourists, at the beach resort of Sousse last week Friday.
 The country's Interior Minister, Mohamed Gharsalli, who made this known, said 1,000 troops would be deployed to protect the country's beach resorts.

Three European Ministers have laid flowers at the scene of the attack in a sign of solidarity.
Islamic State has said it was behind the attack that killed about thirty people majority of them from the UK.

Violence ruins Burundi Election

The elections in some parts of Burundi have been characterized by violence.

A grenade was thrown at a polling station in the capital Bujumbura while several polling stations were also attacked.   
Gunfire has been heard nightly in the capital, Bujumbura, and scores of people have been killed in the unrest since a failed coup attempt last month.

Elections were held despite the opposition’s boycott and weeks of protests over President Pierre Nkurunziza's plan to seek a third term.
Electoral commission spokesman, Prosper Ntahorwamiye, told newsmen that he was unaware of any incidents.

The African Union, AU, did not send observers - the first time it has taken such a stance against a member state.
Presidential elections are due next month.

Iran Nuclear talks to extend beyond deadline - US

The United States Senior Officials say the Iranian Nuclear talks are to be extended beyond Tuesday’s formal deadline for a deal.

The indication came as Iran’s Foreign Minister; Mohammed Jawad Zarif flew back to Tehran from Vienna, Austria, venue of the talks, for consultations.

The negotiations aim to see limits placed on Tehran’s nuclear programme in exchange to relax international sanctions.

Six world powers and Iran are taking part in the talks.
The countries known as P5 plus one are the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Russia.

They are pushing for the limitation of Iran’s sensitive nuclear activities to ensure it could not build a nuclear weapon quickly.

The negotiators were a few days late agreeing on a framework deal which was reached in early April and that means Tuesday’s deadline for a comprehensive deal would not be respected.

Greek debt crisis: Banks to stay shut, capital controls imposed

Greek banks are to remain closed and capital controls will be imposed, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said.
Speaking after the European Central Bank (ECB) said it was not increasing emergency funding to Greek bank, stating that Greek deposits were safe.

Greece is due to make a one point one billion pound payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Tuesday the same day that its current sails out expires.

Greek risks default and moving closer to a possible exit from the eurozone.

The Greek have been queuing to withdraw money from cash machines over the weekend, while Tsipras did not give details of how long banks would stay shut.

Eurozone Finance Ministers blamed Greece for braking off the talks, and the European Commission took the unusual step on Sunday of publishing proposals by European creditors that it said were on the table at the time.

Greece has however described creditor's terms as not viable and asked for an extension of its current deal until after the vote was completed.

RWANDA’S Karake arrested in Britain

Rwanda's intelligence Chief, Karenzi Karake, has been granted bail in the sum of one million pounds by a court in London.

Karenzi Karake was detained at London's Heathrow Airport on Saturday, in response to a European Arrest Warrant.
Rwanda's President, Paul Kagame, had earlier launched a verbal attack on the UK government over General Karake's arrest.

Mr Kagame said it was a continuation of colonialism and accused the British of arrogance and contempt.
General Karake is accused by Spain of ordering massacres in the wake of the 1994 Rwanda genocide.
He will be freed once the one million pounds is paid and other bail conditions are met.

Supreme Court upholds Obama's Health-Law subsidies

The United States Supreme Court has upheld a key portion of President Barrack Obama's healthcare law, preserving health insurance for millions of Americans.

The ruling stipulates the government can continue to provide nationwide tax subsidies to help people on lower incomes buy health insurance.

The High Court case was the second major challenge to the healthcare law often referred to as Obamacare since its passage.
Reports say if the law had been overturned, six point four million Americans would have been at risk of losing aid.

Chief Justice John Roberts said congress passed the affordable care Act to improve health insurance markets and not to destroy them.
The Supreme Court ruling is seen as a major victory for president Obama.

The 2010 law set up a federally run insurance exchange, where Americans who were not covered by employers or other US health programmes could buy health insurance.
The upholding of the law cements president Obama's biggest legislative victory.

Ethiopian ruling party wins all parliamentary seats

Ethiopia’s ruling party, the EPRDF and its allies have won all parliamentary seats in last month’s election.

Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn’s Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), scored a landslide victory, stripping the opposition of the one seat it had held in the outgoing chamber, said Merga Bekana, Chairman of the electoral board.

Preliminary results for the one constituency that still had to return final results the southwestern Bonga district where elections were delayed, showed the EPRDF also won that seat.

Along with its allies, the EPRDF, which has governed Africa’s second most populous nation for more than two decades, also won a near clean sweep in regional state councils, winning all but 21 of the 1,987 seats.

Mali's Tuareg rebels sign peace pact

Rebels in Mali have signed a peace deal with the government, offering partial autonomy to the north of the country.

Tuareg-led rebels had refused to sign an initial peace agreement last month, but came on board after their demands were met by the government.

The Tuaregs seized part of northern Mali, including Timbuktu, in 2012, but the area was then taken over by Islamist fighters linked to al-Qaeda, until they were removed in a French-led military operation in 2013.
Mali has seen four uprisings since it won independence from France in 1960.

Tuareg and Arab groups in the north - an area rebels call Azawad - say they are ignored by the more prosperous south.
Azawad is sparsely-populated but includes the historic cities of Timbuktu and Gao.

In the wake of the most recent uprising, Tuareg groups called for more concessions from the government in Bamako.

The peace agreement, brokered by Algeria, was not signed until those concessions were granted.
New security plans as well as a development programme for the Azawad region will now be agreed. On Thursday, the government dropped arrest warrants against rebel leaders.

The government has also said it is happy to devolve more authority to the region, but not to give it full autonomy.
Northern Mali continues to be hit by violence and Islamists have made occasional gains in the region. According to the UN, close to 140,000 Malian refugees continue to live abroad.

Since being deployed two years ago, 49 people have died while working for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Yemen crisis: Sanaa mosques hit by blasts

Several mosques have been hit in a series of explosions in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, causing dozens of casualties. At least two blasts were caused by car bombs. Health and security officials said more than 20 people had died.

A building reportedly used as the headquarters of Houthi rebel officials was also hit.
The Islamic State (IS) militant group, which has carried out attacks in Sanaa before, said it was behind the blasts.

In a statement posted online, IS said that four car bombs targeted two areas of worship, as well as a house and an office belonging to what it called "Houthi apostates", referring to the Shia Houthi rebels.

In March, attacks by Islamic State on mosques in Sanaa used mainly by Houthis left more than one hundred and thirty people dead.
Yemen has been in turmoil since Houthi rebels overran Sanaa last September, forcing the government of President Mansour Abdrabbuh Hadi to flee.

Chad bans Islamic face veil after suicide bombings

The Chadian Government has banned people from wearing the full-face veil, following two suicide bomb attacks on Monday.
Chad's Government accused terrorist group, Boko Haram, of the bombings which killed more than twenty people.

The Prime Minister, Kalzeube Pahimi, explained that the veil was used as a camouflage by militants and said the security forces would burn all full-face veils sold in markets, and that any clothing that covers everything but the eyes was a camouflage

At a meeting with religious leaders, Mr. Pahimi said the ban applied everywhere and not only public places
The militant group has not commented on the attack but has previously threatened to attack Chad, after its forces started to help Nigeria.

NATO condemns Russia's move to increase its nuclear arsenal

NATO has condemned Russia's move to strengthen its nuclear arsenal, describing it as unjustified and dangerous.
President Vladimir Putin had said Russia will put more than forty new intercontinental ballistic missiles into service this year, as part of a wide-reaching programme to modernise the country's military.

The move comes after the US proposed increasing its military presence in NATO states in Eastern Europe.
Tensions have remained high over Russia's role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, said that the statement from Mr. Putin has confirmed the aggressive stance of Russia.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, also expressed concern over President Putin's announcement, saying the decision was in contravention of an agreement designed to destroy nuclear weapons in the former territories of the Soviet Union.

Thousands of Nicaraguans protest inter-oceanic canal

Thousands of Nicaraguans have held a protest against the planned construction of a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The fifty billion dollars scheme awarded to a Chinese firm will be longer, deeper and wider than Panama Canal.

The demonstrators fear the canal will have huge environmental costs and force thousands off their land.
Nicaragua’s government says the canal will bring vital investment to the country.

Some of the protesters, who are mostly farmers, accused President Daniel Ortega of selling Nicaragua to the Chinese.
Initial site work began last December with completion due in five years.

Kenya court rules Haki Africa and MHR not terrorists

A court in Kenya has barred the government from declaring two prominent non-governmental organisation as terrorists.

The government has accused Haki Africa and Muslims for Human Rights of having links to the Islamist Group, Al-Shabab.

The groups deny the accusation, and say they are campaigning for the fair treatment of terror suspects.
Despite winning the case, the groups did not have their bank accounts unfrozen, as they had requested.

The High Court in the Coastal City of Mombasa said they have failed to cite financial regulators as respondents in the case.
Haki Africa head Khalil Hussein, described the ruling as bitterness.

The court case has attracted much attention in Mombasa.
Last month, the accounts of Haki Africa and Muslims for Human Rights, MHR, were frozen on orders of the Central Bank and the Commission on Financial Regulation.

The NGOs have accused security agent of being behind the recent assassinations of several radical Muslim preachers around Mombasa.
Kenya officials deny involvement in the killings.

Kenya government in December said it had deregistered five hundred and ten NGOs, including fifteen suspected of having links with terrorism.

Al-Shabab is headquartered in Somalia, but has recruited fighters in Kenya and has carried out a wave of attacks in the country.

Kenyan teachers blacklisted for sex with students

Kenya's authorities have banned one hundred and twenty six teachers for gross misconduct and sexual abuse of their students.

The governing body said the teachers would not be allowed to teach again.
They were found guilty after a disciplinary process by the Teachers Services Commission in Kenya.

A child welfare society of Kenya has urged the Director of Public Prosecutions to ensure that those convicted are imprisoned to protect other children in the future.

This ban is a departure from previous reactions to sexual abuses by teachers.
The list is compiled from complaints between 2011 and 2014.

In 2010, more than one thousand Kenyan teachers were sacked for sexually abusing girls. Most of those cases occurred in rural primary schools.

Burundi opposition reject election delay proposal

Burundi’s opposition has rejected a proposal by the electoral commission to hold presidential polls on the fifteenth of next July, saying their demands for free elections have not been met.

It also called for the resignation of the United Nations Mediator, Djininit, saying he had failed to tackle the crisis in the country.

Western donors have cut some aid to the country and say they will not help finance the election.
Burundi was hit by protests and a failed coup after President Pierre Nkurunziza announced in April that he would run for a third term.

Mr Nkurunziza’s spokesman, Philippe Nzobanariba, said his decision to stand for re-election was non-negotiable and the polls would not be delayed again.

The proposed date falls short of a call by regional leaders to delay the poll which had been scheduled for 26 June by at least six weeks.

The Commission has suggested that parliamentary Elections, originally due on June 5, be shifted to 26 June.
None of the opposition parties attended the meeting where the commission unveiled the new dates.

A group of seventeen opposition parties had earlier issued statement saying they were committed to dialogue, but repeated their demand for 51 year old Mr. Nkurunziza to quit.

Delhi minister, Jitender Singh Tomar held for fake degree

India Police says they have arrested Delhi’s Law Minister amid allegations that his law degree is fake.
Jitender Singh Tomar, who belongs to the Aam Admi party (AAP), faces charges of forgery and cheating if he cannot prove he attended university.
Mr. Tomar has dismissed the claims as baseless, but the University says it has no record of his attendance.

The AAP, which was elected in Delhi on a pledge to fight corruptions, says the arrest was politically-motivated. He has been arrested without any notice or prior information.

Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia, told the Economic Tives of India that the AAP was being targeted, and that the arrest was illegal, creating an emergency – like situation.

The AAP won a hand slide 67 out of 70 seats in Dehli’s council in February’s elections.   
Mr. Tomar had submitted the documents showing that he held a law degree when he ran for office.

The Delhi bar Association filed a Police complain against Mr. Tomar on Tuesday after it repeatedly requested him to provide proof of his qualifications.

Eight-year-old smuggled into Spain in suitcase

An eight-year-old Ivorian boy discovered being smuggled into Spain from Morocco in a suitcase by his father, has been reunited with his mother.

Adou Ouattara was said to be in a terrible state when he was found last month in a bag without air vents at the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

The boy's father was arrested for arranging his son to be smuggled, but is due to be released on bail.
The Moroccan woman who carried him in has also been detained.

The boy underwent DNA tests before the Spanish authorities would hand him over to his mother, who lives legally on Spain's Canary Islands.

Sudan: President Omar al-Bashir forms new Govt

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has formed a new government a month after winning elections that were boycotted by the main opposition parties.

Mr. al-Bashir has created two new Ministries, Ministry of Defence and the Ministry on Oil.
The new government will comprise a total of thirty one cabinet ministers.

In addition President Bashir has also appointed governors for Sudan's eighteen states in what he has vowed will be a new page for his country.

Speaking at his inauguration last week, the president said that he wanted to repair ties with the West, tackle corruption and bring peace to the country.

He said another priority was restoring Sudan's ailing economy.
Mr Bashir, 71, has been in power for twenty six years.

Garissa massacre, suspects charged in Kenyan court

Five men have been charged in a Kenyan Court with one hundred and sixty two counts charge of terrorism, following the deadly assault by militant Islamists on Garissa University College in April.

Some Kenyans and one Tanzanian were alleged to have conspired to commit the terrorist act at the University, although the men denied the charges.

They are the first people to be charged in connection with the massacre.

The trial Judge, Daniel Ogembo remanded the accused in custody until the eleventh of June when the Court will rule on their bail application.

Burundi's parliamentary elections postponed

The Burundian government has postponed Parliamentary and Presidential elections that were scheduled to take place this month.

Burundi foreign Minister, Alan Nyamitive told journalists that elections would be held on the twenty sixth of August.
Mr Agathon Rwasa Burundi’s main opposition leader told reporters that elections could not be held until security improved a neutral electoral commission was appointed and a crackdown on private media ended.

He described Mr Nuriziza as a dictator who should step down, and called on the international community to get involved to help secure condition for good election.

Chad: Exiled Hissein Habre forced to face judge

Former Chadian President, Hissein Habre, was forced out from his prison cell in Senegal’s capital, Dakar and arraigned before a judge.

Mr. Habre appeared for the first time before an African Union-backed Court set up to try him for alleged atrocities committed during his rule from 1982 to 1990.

The former President refused to answer any questions during the Court appearance which lasted for twenty minutes.

His lawyers said that Mr. Habre did not recognize the legitimacy of the Court.

Tanzania: Low-cost water filter wins innovation prize

A water filter which absorbs anything from Copper andFluoride to bacteria, viruses and pesticides has won the Prestigious African Innovation prize.

The innovation, which came from a Tanzanian Chemical Engineer, Askwar Hilonga, uses nanotechnology and sand to clean water.

The inventor said the invention should help the seventy percent of households in Tanzania that do not have clean drinking water.
Experts say the innovation would change the lives of many Africans and people all over the world.   

The invention won a prize worth about thirty nine thousand dollars and was the first of its kind from the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering.

Sepp Blatter resigns as FIFA President

 The FIFA President, Sepp Blatter has announced that he will resign as the Head of the Football Governing Body.
The announcement came after corruption charges were leveled against the leadership of the body.

He said that an extra-ordinary FIFA Congress would be conducted as soon as possible, to elect a new President.

The FIFA President was re-elected last week, after seven top FIFA officials were arrested two days before the election on corruption charges.
Mr. Blatter said his mandate does not appear to be supported by many stakeholders.

More than 40 policemen killed in IS suicide attack

About forty-five Iraqi police officers have been killed in an attack by Islamic State militants in Anbar province of the country.
A report says Suicide bombers rammed three vehicles packed with explosives into a base in the Tharthar, a road connecting the cities of Falluja and Samarra.

Several high-ranking officers were among the victims of the attack.

The bomb blasts caused a large explosion at the ammunition depot inside the base.
The Security forces reportedly regained control of the facility from IS several days ago and were using it to launch operations aimed at cutting IS supply lines from Samarra in neighbouring Salahuddin province.

SYRIA CONFLICT: Islamic State driven out of Assyrian Christian villages

Islamic State, IS, fighters have been driven out of Assyrian Christian villages in Syria which were seized in February.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Kurdish fighters had reclaimed the villages along the Khabur River in north-eastern Syria.
Reports say Syrian government forces drove the IS fighters out and two of the hostages seized from the villages by the IS had been freed.

The two elderly women arrived in the provincial capital of HassAkeh.
About two hundred people from the villages are thought to still be in IS captivity.

Kenyan hospital ordered to pay for failed birth control

A court in Kenya has ordered a hospital to pay $48,000 (£31,000) to a woman who became pregnant despite having a contraceptive implant procedure.

The woman said that she had the implant because she and her husband already had two children and did not want more, and was told that it would prevent her getting pregnant for three years.
The judge said the private hospital in Nairobi had been negligent.

The Aga Khan University Hospital has not made any comment. Despite being served the court papers, no representative from the hospital appeared in court, the judge said.

The woman who told the court that she became pregnant a year after the procedure, said the unplanned pregnancy caused her emotional pain, financial strain and marital problems, partly because her husband thought she had lied about seeking contraception.

Madagascar MPs vote to impeach President Rajaonarimampianina

Parliamentarians in Madagascar have voted to impeach their president, Hery Rajaonarimampianina.
The constitutional court will now decide whether he has violated the constitution and can be dismissed.

The BBC's Martin Vogl in the capital, Antananarivo, says the late-night vote came as a surprise to many.
Mr Rajaonarimampianina has been in office for 16 months and it was hoped his election would end years of political unrest on the island nation.

Madagascar suffered five years of political turmoil beginning in 2009 when Andry Rajoelina ousted Marc Ravalomanana from power.

The coup left the country isolated in the international community and deprived it of foreign aid.
Ahead of the parliamentary vote, the US Embassy in Antananarivo urged the MPs to put the stability of the country first.

Corrupting rocks football governing body, FIFA

US prosecutors have accused several officials from football's governing body FIFA, of racketeering, fraud and money laundering involving tens of millions of dollars over 24 years.

Prosecutors said they had discovered a dozen schemes, including one awarding the 2010 World Cup to South Africa.
Fourteen people have been indicted, with seven held in Zurich on Wednesday.

FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, who is not among them, issued a statement vowing to kick out corrupt officials.
FIFA also announced a swift and immediate provisional ban from football-related activities on 11 of the people involved in the US prosecution, saying it still intends to hold its presidential election on Friday. Mr. Blatter is favoured to win a fifth term.

However, European football body UEFA,has called for the election to be postponed and said it would decide on Thursday whether to boycott the congress.
Swiss prosecutors have also opened a separate investigation into the bidding process for the World Cup tournaments in 2018 in Russia and 2022 in Qatar.

Deadly tornado hits Ciudad Acuna, Northern Mexico

At least 10 people are reported to have been killed by a tornado that hit the Northern Mexico border city of Ciudad Acuna.
Hundreds of homes have been damaged in the city, in Coahuila state, which is just across the border from Del Rio, Texas.

Dozens of people have been injured and officials warned that the death toll could rise.
City Mayor Evaristo Lenin Perez, said a seven-year-old boy was still missing.

Most of the dead are people were outside their homes. Witnesses said a bus also flipped over by the tornado.
Victor Zamora, Coahuila's Interior Secretary, said an area of about seven blocks had been devastated by the tornado, which struck at about 06:10 (11:10 GMT).

India: More than 500 die in heat wave

At least 500 peoples are reported dead in a heat wave sweeping through India, with temperature reaching 448 degrees in some area.

Temperature in Uttar Pradash recorded 448 degrees while temperature has also risen above 448 degrees in the capital, New Delhi.
Authorities have urged people to stay indoors and drink plenty of fluids.

The worse hit states has been Andhra Pradesh, where 246 people have died in the past week.
State officials said 62 people died of sunstroke on Sunday.

Burundi President plays football amid protests

Burundi's President, Pierre Nkurunziza, has been photographed playing football as protests continue over his bid to run for a third term in office.
Mr. Nkurunziza was playing in his daily kick about with friends in the capital, Bujumbura.

In the latest unrest, a protester was shot dead in Bujumbura.
The protester was shot in the back by police in the opposition stronghold of Musaga.

Mr. Nkurunziza had said in a speech on state radio that an insignificant part of the capital was experiencing unrest while the rest of Burundi was peaceful.

The UN refugee agency says that more than 105,000 people have fled Burundi into neighbouring countries since the conflict started.

World's 5 biggest banks in unprecedented criminal case

Fiveof the world's largest banks are to pay fines amounting to five point seven billion dollars for charges including the manipulation of the foreign exchange market.

Four of the banks - JPMorgan, Barclays, Citigroup and Royal Bank of Scotland have agreed to plead guilty to US criminal charges.

The fifth, UBS, will plead guilty to rigging and benchmarking interest rates.
Barclays was fined the most, $2.4bn, as it did not join other banks in November to settle investigations by UK, US and Swiss regulators.

Barclays is also sacking eight employees involved in the scheme.

US Attorney Genera,l Loretta Lynch, said that almost every day for five years since 2007, currency traders used a private electronic chat room to manipulate exchange rates.
She said the actions of the banks harmed countless consumers, investors and institutions around the world.

IS now near Palmyra, a world heritage site

Reports from Syria indicate that the Islamic State has overrun much of the North of Tadmur after fierce clashes with government forces.

Pro-government militia have been evacuating citizens, following the seizure of a third of the Syrian town next to Palmyra by IS Militants, one of the Middle East's greatest archaeological sites.

Similarly hundreds of statues had been moved to safety for fear of being destroyed by IS, but large monuments could not be moved.

Syria's Head of Antiquities has called on the international community to save Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, had said a third of Tadmur had been taken by IS after battles with government soldiers and allied militia men.

UNESCO said Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.

Burundi's Nkurunziza pledges no revenge on coup plotters

Burundi's President, Pierre Nkurunziza, has said his government will not take revenge against those involved in last week's failed coup
A statement from the office of the President said those implicated would be brought to justice in accordance with the rule of law.
Protests are continuing in the capital Bujumbura against Mr Nkurunziza's third-term bid.

The European Union (EU) said shots were fired at the offices of its Bujumbura Representative, Patrick Spirlet. It is unclear who was behind the shooting.
The EU and African Union have called for a postponement of presidential elections slated for June 26, which Nkurunziza has so far rejected, saying the election will go ahead.

The UN refugee agency says that more than one hundred thousand people have fled Burundi into neighbouring countries since the conflict started.
Mr Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader, has been president since 2005.

French army seizes 1.5tonnes of drugs & weapons

The French army says it has seized 1.5 tonnes of drugs and a store of weapons after stopping a convoy of militants in the desert along the North-Eastern Niger.

The French military said Militants in two pickup trucks opened fire on French and Nigerien forces after refusing to stop at a checkpoint on 14 May. Soldiers discovered the illegal cargo after a fire-fight in which three militants were killed.

France has three thousand troops in the Sahel region to combat militant Islamists.
Analysts say widespread trafficking in the Sahel region is a major source of funding for militant Islamist groups across the continent.

Operation Barkhane, which comprises French forces as well as troops from Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad, was established in August 2014 to stop the emergence of jihadist groups.

Burundi President sacks ministers after failed coup

Burundian President, Pierre Nkurunziza, has sacked three cabinet ministers as protests resumed after last week's failed coup.

A spokesman for the president told Journalists that President Pierre Nkurunziza had in a cabinet reshuffle, dismissed his Defence, External Relations and Trade Ministers.

Mr. Nkurunziza returned from Tanzania last week after the unrest.
Report says soldiers fired warning shots to disperse crowds on Monday morning as youths barricaded roads.

Protesters were chanting for President Nkurunziza to drop his plans to seek a third term in elections.
Some businesses were closed and activities stopped in the Nyakabiga, Musaga and Mutakura neighborhoods of Bujumbura, amid protests against the President running for a third term in elections due next month.

Burundi under threat from al-Shabab

Burundi's President, Pierre Nkurunziza, says his country faces a specific threat from the Somali Islamist movement, al-Shabab.
Mr. Nkurunziza made no mention of the coup attempt, which came after weeks of violent protests against him.

The alleged ringleader, Godefroid Niyombare, is still on the run.
Mr. Nkurunziza was out of the country when military officers launched their coup bid against him last Wednesday.

He returned on Friday after forces loyal to him had regained full control.

The President said he came to his office to speak on the telephone with the leaders of Kenya and Uganda regarding a specific threat from the Islamist group al-Shabab.

Over 400 Mozambique citizens deported from SA

South Africa has deported more than 400 Mozambicans, weeks after anti-foreigner violence in Durban and Johannesburg left several people dead.

The move followed a police operation that uncovered hundreds of undocumented migrants.
Many unemployed South Africans accuse foreigners of taking their jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is 24%.

Mozambique's government said it was surprised by the deportations.
"We expected to hold talks with the South Africans to discuss the problem, but we just saw people being arrested," said Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi.

A wave of xenophobic attacks in April left at least seven people dead, where mobs targeted workers from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Mozambique and other African countries.

MIGRANT CRISIS: EU quota plan to take 20000 refugees

The European Commission has unveiled a new blueprint for dealing with the EU's migration crisis, including a controversial plan for national quotas.

The EU aims to bring twenty thousand refugees to Europe in the next two years, as part of the plan, at a cost of fifty million euro (£36m).
The Commission is urging EU states to share the burden of processing asylum claims. Italy and Greece, facing a migrant surge, are struggling to cope.

Under EU law, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark are exempt from the quota plan.
There is pressure for tougher EU action to send economic migrants back home.

Burundi President Nkurunziza ousted in a coup

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza's attempt to return home amid reports of a coup has failed as he has returned to Tanzania where he was attending a summit.

The coup was announced by Major General Godefroid Niyombare on Wednesday, but its outcome remains unclear and the presidency insisted it had failed.

Heavy gunfire was heard near the radio and TV station in the capital, Bujumbura.

There has been mounting unrest in Burundi since President Nkurunziza, who came to power in 2005, announced he was seeking a third term in office - apparently in contravention of the constitution.

Fresh earthquake kills scores in Nepal and India

At least thirty seven people have been killed and more than one thousand injured in India in a devastated quake.

The latest earthquake hit near the town of Namche Bazaar and sent thousands of panicked residents on to the streets of Nepal's capital, Kathmandu.

It had a magnitude of seven point three, compared to the seven point eight of the 25th April quake.

The latest quake struck at 12:35 Nepali time (06:50 GMT) and was centred about 76km (47 miles) east of Kathmandu, in a rural area close to the Chinese border.

The quake was felt in northern India, Tibet and Bangladesh. India's Home Ministry said 16 people had been killed in the state of Bihar, and one more in Uttar Pradesh. Officials in China said one person was confirmed dead in Tibet.

Rescue helicopters have been sent to districts east of Kathmandu that are believed to be worst hit. Police in Charikot, 80km north-east of the capital, said 20 people had died there.

Later on Tuesday, the US military said a Marine Corps helicopter involved in disaster relief efforts had gone missing while working in the vicinity of Charikot. Eight people were on board.

A spokesman for Nepal's government told the BBC that 31 of the country's 75 districts had been affected by the latest quake.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala called for courage and patience, urging all those who had assisted Nepal since the 25 April quake to once again extend your helping hand.

South Africa court halts migrants' deportation

South Africa's high court has temporarily prevented the deportation of more than three hundred undocumented migrants.
Human Rights activists have criticized the arrests of more than seven hundred suspected illegal migrants following recent deadly xenophobic violence.
Police says they made the arrests during crime prevention operations.
The authorities have been under pressure to both bring an end to the attacks on foreigners and to introduce tighter immigration controls.


Burundi's President rejects EU and US calls


Burundi's President, Pierre Nkurunziza, has rejected EU and US calls to delay controversial elections set for June, saying such a move would plunge Burundi into deeper crisis.

At least eighteen people have been killed in protests against his bid for a third term and more than fifty thousand have fled to neighboring states.

Belgium said it was suspending aids to Burundi.

The EU and US said that credible elections would not be held by June.

Last week, African Union (AU) commission chief, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, also said the climate in Burundi was not conducive for elections.

EU seeks UN’s help in dismantling migrant smuggle group


The European Union foreign policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, has pleaded for United Nations’ help towards the dismantling of criminal groups smuggling migrants into the EU.

She made the call at a Security Council briefing on EU plans to use force against smugglers.

Libya, where many smugglers operate, has objected to the EU proposals.

UN estimates that about sixty thousand people have already tried to make the perilous crossing this year.

Cameron close to victory in UK election


British Prime Minister, David Cameron’s Conservative Party, looks set to continue in power, with projections and seats already announced giving his party a majority.

The results seem to confirm a shock exit poll projection published by British broadcasters late Thursday night that put the party way ahead of the opposition Labour Party with 316 seats. Updated projections put the Conservatives on 329, an absolute majority.

The poll also predicted Labour winning 239 seats, the Scottish National Party (SNP) winning 58 and the Liberal Democrats winning 10.
Speaking after successfully defending his seat in Witney, Cameron said his Conservative party’s policies in the last government had been vindicated by the result.

The Prime Minister further said. “This has been a very strong night for the Conservative Party. Some people say there’s only one opinion poll that counts and that’s the one on election day, and I don’t think that’s ever been truer than tonight,” he added, referring to polls published before election day that had put his party neck to neck with Labour.

A party needs 326 seats to achieve a majority in parliament, but this number is slightly lower in practice, as the Sinn Fein MPs in Northern Ireland do not take up their seats.

Brazilian football legend Pelé undergoes second surgery

Pelé was in stable condition in a Sao Paulo hospital on Thursday after undergoing surgery for an enlarged prostate, doctors said, just the latest health scare for the Brazilian football legend.

The 74 year old had the surgery Tuesday and is to have tests to see when he can be released from the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, the same facility that treated him for two weeks last year for a urinary tract infection.

It said he was resting in his room after a Transurethral Resection of the Prostate, TURP.
The Urology Care Foundation says the surgery had excellent outcomes and is the gold standard in caring for benign prostatic hyperplasia, or non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate, a common condition in aging men.

Brazilian media reports said the surgery was aimed at preventing a repeat of the urinary infection that put him in hospital last year.

Germanwings: co-pilot Lubitz deliberately crashed Airbus'

The co-pilot of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps in March 2015 appears to have practiced a rapid descent on a previous flight.

A group of investigators says Andreas Lubitz repeatedly set the same plane for an unauthorized descent earlier that fateful day.

Lubitz is suspected of deliberately crashing the Airbus 320, killing all 150 people on board, after having locked the flight captain out of the cockpit.

Preliminary report by accident investigation agency, BEA, says Lubitz appears to have practised programming a rapid descent on the outbound leg of the flight from Duesseldorf to Barcelona on 24 March.

UK Elections: Millions begin casting their votes


Millions of people will be casting their votes in the UK general election today.

A total of six hundred and fifty Westminster Members of Parliament will be elected, with about fifty million people registered to vote.

There are more than nine thousand council seats being contested across two hundred and seven-nine English local authorities.

Israel embroiled in racial unrest

Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has condemned racism in the country, after protests by Ethiopian Israelis against alleged discrimination.

He made the condemnation at the meeting between Ethiopian Israeli community leaders and an Ethiopian Israeli soldier, whose beating by police has fuelled tension.

A protest by Ethiopian Israelis yesterday ended in clashes with at least forty-six police and seven demonstrators hurt while dozens of protesters were arrested.

Israel's President, Reuvven Rivlin said the community's grievances revealed an open and raw wound at the heart of Israeli society.
Mr. Rivlin gave an assurance that the authority would look directly at the racial discrimination.

Somalia's government ban al-Shabab name from media

The Somali government has told media houses to stop referring to militant group by the name, Al-Shabab.

They instead want the group to be called 'UGUS', an acronym for the Somali word which means "the Group that Massacres the Somali People".
Al-Shabab responded by saying the Somali government should be referred to by the same acronym, UGUS.

Al-Shabab, which is affiliated to al-Qaeda, controls many rural parts of southern Somalia.
Journalists in Somalia are now placed in a difficult situation.

They will have to either obey this order or face the wrath of Al-Shabab, or refuse to comply with the government’s directive and face the consequences.
However, no mention was made of the punishment for anyone who flouted the ban.

BURUNDI PROTESTS: Three killed in Bujumbura

As demonstrations against President Pierre Nkuruziza of Burundi’s re-election bid enter a second week, three protesters have been killed in the country’s capital, Bujumbura.

Report from the scene says police fired shots at the protesters.
Police denied killing the protesters, saying 15 of their officers had been wounded in a grenade attack.

The Red Cross says 12 people have been killed since protests broke out last month after Mr. Nkurunziza was nominated by the ruling CNDD-FDD party as its candidate for the June election.

The latest clashes started when some demonstrators threw stones and police responded by firing at them.
The protests are the most serious since Nkurunziza took power at the end of a 12-year civil war in 2005.
The United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, urged Mr. Nkurunziza to abandon his re-election bid.

Migrant crisis: Thousands rescued in Mediterranean

More than Five Thousand Eight Hundred migrants have been rescued and ten bodies recovered off the Libyan coast over the weekend, the Italian coastguard says.

The survivors were picked up from wooden and rubber boats, in seventeen separate operations by Italian and French ships.

The migrants are now being taken to Italy. Rescue missions are continuing.

At least one thousand seven hundred and fifty people have died this year trying to cross the Mediterranean, a twenty -fold increase on the same period in 2014 when ninety six people died.

The weekend rescue operation is thought to be the biggest mission of its kind so far this year.
Many more migrants are expected to make the crossing in the coming weeks as smugglers take advantage of calmer weather.

In a separate incident on Sunday, three people died when a boat carrying migrants to Europe sank off Egypt's coast, according to Egyptian state media. Thirty-one migrants were reportedly rescued.

NEPAL QUAKE: US aid planes arrive in Kathmandu

Troops and emergency aircraft from the United States have arrived Nepal to deliver help to remote areas hit by last week's devastating earthquake.

Relief efforts near the epicenter have been hampered by a lack of aircraft.
Report says that about One Hundred US marines, Two helicopters and Four Ospreys capable of vertical take-off are now in Kathmandu.

So far, more than Seven Thousand people died in the 1.8 magnitude earthquake and over Fourteen Thousand and Twenty One people injured.

The epicenter was in the horkha region, and many roads to the hilly district are impassable due to landslides.
The six aircraft are due to begin flights on Monday.

Nepal Declares 3 Days of Mourning for Quake Victims

Nepal has declared three days of mourning for the victims of Saturday's earthquake which left more than five thousand people dead and ten thousand people injured.
Prime Minister Sushil Koirala says the government is doing all it can but is overwhelmed by the scale of the catastrophe.

Rescuers are still struggling to bring aid to remote Himalayan areas.
Heavy rain is worsening the plight of hundreds of thousands of people camped out in the open.

The UN estimates that eight million people in thirty nine districts have been affected by the quake.

Sudan's Bashir re-elected with 94 percent of votes

Sudan's President, Omar al-Bashi, has been re-elected with Ninety four percent of the votes. The country's main opposition parties boycotted the election, saying it would not be free and fair.

Turnout was officially forty six percent.

Mr Bashir, who has been in power since 1989, denies International Criminal Court, ICC, charges of ordering genocide in the Darfur conflict.

Western countries, including the US, Britain and Norway have criticised the polls for not being free and fair.

ISIS kills five journalists working for Libya

Five journalists in a Libyan Television station have been found dead, eight months after they were kidnapped.
A government spokesman said the bodies were found near the city of Al Bayda, close to the site of kidnapping.

The crew was taken in August while travelling through territory largely controlled by extremist militants.
Libya al-Barassi, a district army Commander in eastern Libya, told newsmen that militants loyal to Islamic State, IS, were responsible for the killings.

IS-affiliated militants have established a strong presence in parts of Libya, including Derna, where the kidnapping is believed to have taken place.

Italy declares war on migrants - PM

The Italian Government says it is at war with migrant traffickers, and has urged the European Union, EU to take quick action to stop more people dying in the Mediterranean.

Italian Prime Minister MatteoRenzi stated this ahead of an EU summit to discuss the crisis.

Italy wants the EU to consider military intervention to avoid further loss of lives in the Mediterranean.
More than eight hundred people drowned off Libya's coast on Sunday, bringing the number of deaths this year to about one thousand eight hundred.

Niger Republic shuts Schools to prevent Spread of Meningitis

The Government of Niger Republic has ordered the closure of all schools in and around the country's capital, Niamey, until Monday.
This followed the outbreak of meningitis which has killed at least eighty five people this year.
Reports say shortage of vaccines to treat the current strain has caused the outbreak to spread.

A campaign to vaccinate all children between two and fifteen is expected to begin.
The Prime Minister has asked for help in getting more doses of the vaccine.

The Nigerien government has warned people against using unauthorized vaccines, saying that the doses might be for the wrong strain of the disease.

Bomb explodes at Somali restaurant 


A car bomb has exploded outside a popular restaurant in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Report says 11 people have been confirmed dead in the explosion and others have been seriously injured.

Banooda Restaurant is situated in front of the Central Hotel, which is often frequented by politicians.

Militants from the al-Shabab Islamist group often attack hotels, restaurants and government complexes in the city.

 In February, at least 20 people, including senior government officials, were killed in an al-Shabab attack on the Central Hotel. 

Yesterday, al-Shabab said it was behind the bombing of a UN vehicle in Garowe, the main city in the north-eastern Puntland region,  which killed seven people. 

S'Africa to deploy troops to quell further attacks on immigrants


South Africa's Defence Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, says the army will be deployed to volatile areas to prevent attacks on foreigners.

She said that military was intervening because an "emergency" had developed.

Foreign governments have strongly criticized South Africa for failing to protect their nationals. 

At least seven people have been killed and five thousand left homeless since the attacks started about three weeks ago against other Africans and Asians. 

Ms Mapisa-Nqakula explained that Troops would be deployed to flashpoints in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province and the economic heartland of Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg. 

The first deployments were expected to be in Alexandra, a poor township north of Johannesburg. 

The army was also deployed during the xenophobic violence in 2008, when about sixty three people were killed.

Migrants killed in 'religious clash' on Mediterranean boat


Italian police say they have arrested 15 Muslim migrants after they allegedly threw 12 Christians overboard following a row on a boat heading to Italy.

The Muslim migrants involved are said to be from Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali and Guinea.
The Christian migrants believed to be from Ghana and Nigeria are feared dead.

In a separate incident, more than 40 people drowned after another migrant boat sank between Libya and Italy.

More than 500 people from Africa and the Middle East have died making the perilous crossing since the start of the year. Earlier this week, 400 people were believed to have drowned when their boat capsized.

Canada to supply uranium to India

Canada has announced that it will supply uranium to India, boosting India's plan to increase its nuclear capacity to meet growing energy demand.

The agreement was signed in Ottawa during the visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Canada.

The two hundred and eighty million dollars deal is for the supply of uranium for the next five years.
Canada banned the sale of uranium and nuclear hardware to India in 1976, after India used Canadian technology to make its nuclear bomb.

The two countries however, finalized a nuclear co-operation agreement in 2012 paving the way for Canadian firms to export uranium to India.

Kenya 'Liz' gang-rape trio get 15 years

Three men have been convicted of gang-raping a teenage girl known as Liz, in Kenya and dumping her in a pit latrine.
Each of the convicts bagged fifteen-year jail terms.

The assault took place, when Liz was on her way home from her grandfather's funeral in western Kenya's Busia County in June 2013, she suffered a broken back and serious internal injuries.
Nearly two million people signed a petition demanding justice for the girl.

Her mother expressed joy that justice had finally been served.
There are still arrest warrants outstanding for three other suspects in the case, who police say are on the run.

Egypt's Sinai Peninsula hit by deadly bomb attacks


About Thirteen people have been killed in separate bomb attacks in Sinai Peninsula area of Egypt.

At least six people died and thirty others were also reportedly injured in another explosion outside a police station in El-Arish.

Report says seven soldiers lost their lives and two were wounded in an attack on an armored vehicle, near the northern town of Sheikh Zuweid.

Militants from the Sinai Province group, affiliated to Islamic State said they carried out the attacks.

Sinai has become increasingly lawless since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 201, with insurgents intensifying attacks since his Islamist successor Mohammed Morsi, was ousted in 2013.

Iran nuclear: No guarantee of final deal, Khamenei says

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has cautioned against seeing a preliminary agreement on his country's nuclear programme as the guarantee of a final deal with world powers.

Last week Iran and world powers reached a framework agreement on the issue.
But Iran also wants sanctions lifted on the first day of the final deal's implementation against US wishes.

Iranian and US officials have been trying to persuade hardliners in both countries to back the deal which stipulates Iran must slash its stockpile of enriched uranium that could be used in a nuclear weapon, and cut by more than two-thirds, the number of centrifuges that could be used to make more.

In return, UN sanctions and separate measures imposed unilaterally by the US and EU will be lifted as the global nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirms Iranian compliance.

Boston Marathon bomber found guilty

The man accused of bombing the Boston marathon in 2013 has been found guilty of multiple charges that carry the death penalty.
The jury in Massachusetts will now decide what sentence 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will receive.

Three people were killed and more than two hundred and sixty injured when the bombs exploded at the finish line in April 2013.
His lawyers maintained that he played a role in the attacks, but said his older brother was the driving force.

A police officer was killed in the days following the attack, as Tsarnaev and his brother attempted to flee.
The decision was reached yesterday, after the jury deliberated for just over twelve-hours spread over two days.

YEMEN CRISIS: Rebels Push into Central Aden

Fresh fighting has been reported in the southern Yemeni city of Aden between Houthi rebels and militiamen loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Several houses in the central Crater district were set on fire after being hit by rockets as the rebels advanced.
War planes of the Saudi-led coalition, which backs the government, bombed rebel targets to the north.

Iran is also reported to have sent navy vessels to the Gulf of Aden.

Tehran has denied Saudi accusations that it is providing military and financial assistance to the Houthis, who adhere to a branch of Shia Islam known as Zaidism.

Syria conflict: Islamic State bombings target rebels

At least thirty two people have been killed in two overnight car bomb attacks on rebel fighters in northern Syria by Islamic State militants.

A report from the Syria Observatory for Human Rights says that the first bombing left twenty dead in the village of HamwarKilis, near the border with Turkey.

Three rebel Commanders were among nine killed when a joint rebel headquarters was later hit in the town of Marea.
Rebels in Syria have fought bloody battles against IS since early 2014.

Garissa attack: Kenyans protest against al-Shabab

About two thousand five hundred people have staged a protest in Kenya's Garissa town against the militant Islamist group, al-Shabab, following its deadly assault on a local university in the country last week.

Students have also protested in the capital, Nairobi, ahead of a candlelight vigil, demanding more protection from the al-Qaeda-linked Somali militants.

The attack on Garissa University last week Thursday resulted in the death of about one hundred and fifty people.

Five Kenyans have been arrested in connection with the attack and a court in Nairobi agreed to the prosecution's request to detain them for another thirty days, while police investigates their alleged role in supply of weapons to the attackers.

Report says both Muslims and Christians took part in the march and promised to co-operate with the security forces to flush out militants who may be hiding in their community.

Malaysia passes controversial anti-terror bill

Malaysia government has passed a controversial anti-terrorism bill that will help the country tackle the threat of Islamic extremists.

The bill reintroduces indefinite detention without trial - something the Prime Minister had repealed in 2012.
Human Rights Watch called the move a giant step backwards on the gains made.

It was passed hours after the police announced the detention of seven suspected militants believed to be planning attacks in the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Home Minister, Zahid Hamidi, said those arrested, the youngest just fourteen, were planning to attack police stations and army bases to gather weapons.
Police said two of the suspects had just returned from Syria.

Germanwings crash: DNA of 78 victims found

Five days after Germanwings flight 4U 9525 crashed in the French Alps killing all 150 on board, investigators say they have isolated 78 DNA strands.

However, they denied German media reports that body parts of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had been identified.
The cockpit voice recorder suggested he crashed the plane deliberately.

A transcript leaked to German media revealed the frenzied final minutes, with the pilot, locked out of the cockpit, shouting "open the damn door!"

Recovery teams have so far only reached the mountainside on foot or by helicopter to continue the search for human remains, as well as parts of the aircraft including the flight data recorder which is still missing.

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said an access road was being built to the remote site.
Reports say that access to the crash site is very difficult for the recovery teams and they can only get to the place on foot or with the help of helicopters.

Thousands take to the streets in Tunis for anti-terrorism march

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Tunis for an anti-terrorism march.             
The Protesters enchanting "Tunisia is free! Terrorism out!" marched to the Bardo Museum, the scene of an attack in which twenty one tourists and a Tunisian were shot to dead.

Earlier, Tunisian authorities said that they had killed one of the prime suspects in the attack.
Speaking at the museum, Tunisian President, Beji Caid Essebsi paid tribute to his citizens' defiance.

Among other affected leaders  at the protest were the French leader, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and other foreign dignitaries attended a ceremony at the museum where a stone tablet was dedicated to the memory of the attacked victims.

Gunmen last week Wednesday stormed the museum in Tunis and killed many including British, Japanese, French, Italian and Colombian tourists.

Black box has usable data - French Investigators

French investigators say usable data has been extracted from the cockpit voice recorder of Germanwings 4U 9525, but it has not yielded any clue as to the cause of the plane's crash.

They said the plane hit the ground in the French Alps at great velocity, suggesting no explosion in flight.
Flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf crashed after an eight-minute rapid descent on Tuesday.

The Director of the French aviation investigative agency, Remi Jouty, said there were sounds and voices on the cockpit voice recorder but that it was too early to draw any conclusions.
He said investigators would have the "first rough ideas in a matter of days" but that the full analysis could take weeks or even months.

There had been earlier reports that the second black box, the flight data recorder had been found. But Mr. Jouty said this was not the case.
The French, German and Spanish leaders visited the crash site on Wednesday.

YEMEN CRISIS:  Hadi flees palace as Houthi rebels advance

Yemen's President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi has fled his palace in Aden, as Houthi rebels advance towards the city.
The rebels have made rapid gains since seizing a key airbase only sixty kilometers from Aden on Wednesday morning.

Gunfire was heard around the city centre, and security forces allied to the Houthis have taken over the international airport.
Government officials deny reports that the President has fled the country and say he remains in Aden.

The US State Department says it was in touch with President Hadi earlier in the day. It said he is no longer at the compound but could not confirm any "additional details" about his location.
State television, which is controlled by the rebels, announced a reward of ninety three thousand dollars, for anyone who captures the "fugitive" president.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Riad Yassin has called on Arab nations to stage an urgent military intervention.       
Sources in neighboring Saudi Arabia say that, there were no plans for military intervention in the crisis, and that the build-up of military forces on its border with Yemen was "purely defensive".

Angolan on trial over allegedly defaming military generals

A renowned Angolan journalist has been put on trial for allegedly defaming military generals.
The Journalist, Rafael Marques de Morais accused seven generals of being linked to murder, torture and land grabs in Angola's lucrative diamond fields in what he described as "blood diamond" trade.

Mr. de Morais was detained in 1999 for allegedly defaming Angola's President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
He spent 43 days in prison, including 11 in solitary confinement, after he published the article, titled “The Lipstick of the Dictatorship” in a private Angolan newspaper.

The latest case against Mr. de Morais comes after he wrote a book, Blood Diamonds: Torture and Corruption in Angola.

N/Korea rejects South Korea apology 

North Korea has rejected South Korean’s calls for an apology over the sinking of a warship, calling it an "intolerable mockery".
The move comes as South Korea prepares to mark five years since the ship went down on 26 March 2010 with the loss of 46 lives.
South Korea cut almost all trade ties after the sinking -restrictions which remain in place today.

The measures effectively blocked all inter-Korean economic projects with Seoul says they will only be lifted after an apology is issued for the sinking.

Canada to expand air strikes against IS militants

Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper says his country will extend its air strike campaign against Islamic State into Syria.
Mr. Harper stated this in the House of Commons, saying IS must cease to have any safe haven in Syria.
He stressed that Canada's mission against IS would also be extended for one year, beyond October's election and well into 2016.

Meanwhile, Opposition leaders have criticized Mr Harper for drawing Canada into a war with unclear objectives.

The move means Canada will be the first Nato country, other than the United States, to strike inside Syria.
IS controls land on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border - and the US expanded its air strike campaign against the militant group into Syria in September.

It has been joined in similar strikes by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore dies at 91

President Goodluck Jonathan has commiserated with the government of Singapore on the passing away of the founding father and former Prime Minister of the country, Mr.  Lee Kuan Yew.

In a condolence message, President Jonathan assured Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong and the people of Singapore that Nigeria stands in full solidarity with them as they mourn his legendary father who transformed Singapore from a small port city into a highly developed and prosperous centre of global enterprise.

The President prayed that God Almighty would grant Lee Kuan Yew’s soul eternal rest and comfort his family, people of Singapore and admirers in other countries of the world.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan sign agreement over Nile waters

Three African leaders have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to end a long-running dispute over the sharing of River Nile waters and the building of Africa's biggest hydroelectric dam in Ethiopia.

The leaders from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed the agreement in Sudan's capital, Khartoum.
Egypt had opposed the building of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, saying it would worsen its water shortages, although Ethiopia says the dam will give it a fairer share of the Nile waters.

In 2013, Ethiopia's parliament ratified a controversial treaty to replace colonial-era agreements that gave Egypt and Sudan the biggest share of the Nile's water.

Report says the three leaders welcomed the "Declaration of Principles" agreement in speeches in Khartoum's Republican Palace, and watched a short film about the Grand Renaissance Dam that highlighted how it could benefit the region.

UN expresses hope that Ebola outbreak will end soon

The United Nations has expressed optimism that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa will be over by August 2015.
The Head of the UN Ebola mission, Ismail OuldCheikh Ahmed, gave the assurance while briefing Journalists on the virus.
Mr. Ahmed admitted that the UN had made mistakes in handling the crisis earlier on.

The virus has killed more than ten thousand people since its outbreak was announced more than a year ago.

The medical charity, Medecins Sans Frontiers, says a "global coalition of inaction" led to tragic consequences.
Most deaths occurred in the worst-affected countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Lawyer for Bin Laden’s doctor killed in Pakistan

A former lawyer for the Pakistani doctor who helped the United States find Osama Bin Laden, Samiullab Afridi, has been killed in the north-western city of Peshawar.

Mr. Alfridi was on his way home when unidentified assailants fired at his car and later died of injuries.
At least two Taliban splinter groups have claimed responsibility for the killing.

Mr. Alfridi had helped organize a fake vaccination programme aimed at gathering DNA samples from some of the residents at a compound where the former al-Qaeda Chief was found.

The case damaged relations between the United States and Pakistan, with American forces raiding the compound without permission from Islamabad.

Samiullah Afridi had only returned from abroad before the attack.

Two Dutch airmen dead in Mali helicopter crash

A Dutch United Nations helicopter has crashed near Gao in Northern Mali, killing two crew members.

A Commander of the UN Force in Mali told newsmen the crew of the helicopter had a forced landing.

The aircraft is from the UN’s Minusma Mission, charged with peace keeping operations in Mali.
Minusma has about eleven thousand personnel on the ground in Mali.

The Dutch Defense Ministry named the dead men as 30year-old Captain Rene Zeetsen and 26year-old First Lieutenant Ernst Mollinger.

Brazilians call for President Rousseff's impeachment

Many Brazilians have joined demonstrations against President Dilma Rousseff, demanding her impeachment.

The protesters say the President knew about a corruption scandal in the State oil firm, Petrobras.

The political opposition says much of the alleged bribery took place when she was head of the company but had denied involvement.
Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said the government saw the rallies as an expression of democracy.

Protests have taken place across twenty two Brazilian States and the Federal Capital, Brasillia, with the largest demonstration taking place in Sao Paulo, a major opposition stronghold.

Troops reclaim Bama from Boko Haram

Troops have finally succeeded in routing terrorists from Bama, a town in Borno state. 

The mission, which was accomplished with massive casualty inflicted on the terrorists before the remnant finally fled the town, lasted days of careful manouvre and efforts to scale series of obstacles and land mines planted by terrorists who had occupied the town for months. 

The Chadian partners in the Multinational Joint Task Force have been mandated to undertake a pursuit of the terrorists who are believed to be heading for their borders after being dislodged from Bama.

In a related development, Goniri, the last major stronghold of the terrorists operating in Yobe state, has been taken over completely by troops also. 

Cordon and search is continuing in and around the town which is in same LGA with BuniYadi where a bomb making facility was discovered in the course of cordon and search recently.

Death sentence to Brotherhood Chief, 13 others

An Egyptian Court has handed down death sentence to leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement, Mohammed Badie and thirteen others.
They were found guilty of planning attacks against the State.
Mr. Badie had been embroiled in several trials and had been sentenced to death before, although the sentences were later reduced to life imprisonment.
Egypt's government declared the Muslim brotherhood a terrorist group in 2013.
Earlier this month, Egypt carried out its first execution over the violence that followed Mr. Mori's overthrow.
Hundreds of people have been sentenced to death in a crackdown on Islamists, following the removal of President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.



Tanzania albino murders: 200 witch-doctors and traditional healers arrested

More than two hundred witchdoctors and traditional healers have been arrested in Tanzania in a crackdown on the murder of albino persons.

The killings have been driven by the belief - advanced by some witchdoctors - that the body parts of albinos have properties that confer wealth and good luck.

According to the Red Cross, witchdoctors are prepared to pay seventy five thousand dollars for a complete set of albino body parts.
President Jakaya Kikwete has described the murder of albino people as an "evil" that has shamed Tanzania.

The United Nations says nearly eighty albino Tanzanians have been killed since the year 2000.
The latest victims include a one-year-old albino boy, killed in north-western Tanzania a few weeks ago.

Last week, thirty two witchdoctors were detained.
The government banned witchdoctors in January this year as part of its efforts to prevent further attacks and kidnappings targeting people with albinism.

Italy's Berlusconi is back in politics after acquittal


Former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has welcomed his acquittal by Italy's highest court and plans to make a political comeback.

The Court of Cassation rejected appeals to overturn his acquittal on charges of underage sex with a prostitute and abusing his office to cover it up.

Berlusconi, seventy-eight, hailed the ruling as a beautiful day for politics, justice and the rule of law.

The three time Italian Prime Minister remains embroiled in several legal battles and is barred from running for election under the Severino law, which bars from office anyone sentenced to more than two years in jail but his supporters aim to overturn the 2012 legislation.

Berlusconi was convicted in 2013 in what became known as the "Bunga Bunga" case, but won an appeal the last year.

Tanzania bus crash leaves dozens dead in Iringa

Two Lorries and a bus have collided in Tanzania's highland region of Iringa, killing 41 people.

Eyewitnesses said the accident happened after a lorry driver swerved to avoid a pothole.
One of the lorries' containers fell on to the bus that had been heading to Dar es Salaam, crushing many passengers to death.

Traffic accidents have become common in Tanzania in recent times.

President Jakaya Kikwete, released a statement saying that the incident called for great mourning. He said the entire country had been shaken by the news.

Iringa regional Police Commander, Ramadhan Mungi, told newsmen that 23 other passengers had been seriously injured and had been taken to Mafinga hospital.

Stunned France probes deadly Argentina helicopter crash

Prosecutors in France have opened a manslaughter investigation after two helicopters crashed in Argentina, killing eight French nationals.

Three well-known French sports personalities were among those killed in the collision, which also claimed the lives of the two Argentine pilots.

French President Francois Hollande said it was a cause of immense sadness.
Both helicopters were involved in the filming of TV survival show ‘Dropped’, which airs on French channel TF1.

On the show, celebrities are flown into rough terrain and filmed while they attempt to find food and shelter.

Yachts woman Florence Arthaud, Olympic swimmer Camille Muffat and Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine, were the show's celebrities on board at the time of the crash. They all died.

 French media said other contestants were standing on the ground blindfolded a few hundred metres away when the accident happened.

The Argentine pilots were named as Juan Carlos Castillo and Roberto Abate.
Emergency workers began removing bodies from the wreckage and identifying remains earlier today.

Pakistan resumes executions after seven years

Pakistan is to resume executions for all death penalty offences, months after a moratorium was partially lifted to allow executions of terror convicts.

All condemned prisoners who have exhausted the appeals process and whose pleas for clemency are rejected now face execution.

Executions were suspended for seven years but resumed after the Peshawar school massacre in December 2014.
Human Rights groups say more than eight thousand people are on death row in Pakistan.

About one thousand lost their appeals and had clemency petitions rejected.

Libya violence: Foreign oil workers kidnapped

Islamic State militants are said to have kidnapped nine foreign oil workers in a raid in Libya, when they reportedly beheaded eight guards.
Four Filipinos, an Austrian, a Bangladeshi, a Czech and a Ghanaian were abducted with an unidentified foreigner.

The foreign ministry in Vienna said IS had attacked the al-Ghani oil field.
A Libyan army spokesman told journalists that the field, 700 kilometres south-east of Tripoli, had been attacked on Friday.

He said one oil worker died of a heart attack after seeing the beheadings.
The foreigners were working for an oilfield management company, Value Added Oilfield Services.

The company said it did not know which militants had carried out the attack or where the oil workers had been taken.
It insisted that none of its employees had died or were physically harmed in the attack.

Thomas Sankara’s remains to be exhumed

The Government of Bukina Faso has ordered the exhumation of the remains of Thomas Sankara, the former President who was killed in a 1987 coup.

The move is to formally identify Mr. Sankara’s remains, which is one of the long standing demands of his supporters who wanted proof that the remains were actually his.

Mr. Sankara was killed and hastily buried in a coup led by his successor, Blausie Campaore. Mr. Compaore quit the presidency amid Massive street protests last October.

While he was in office, Bukina Faso court blocked a request by Mr. Sankara’s family for his remains to be exhumed.
The new government in Bukina Faso, headed by Michel Kafanjo, said Mr. Sankara’s family would be given the means to help identify the corpse.

Mr. Sankara became president in 1983 after an interim power struggle and led the country for four years until his death at the age of 37.

Tanzania albino killers sentenced to death

Four people have been sentenced to death in Tanzania after being found guilty of murdering an albino woman.

The four had killed the albino woman in 2008 because they believed her body parts had special powers.

The 22-year-old-victim, Zawadi Mangidu, whose husband is one of those convicted, left behind a nine-month-old child.
Tanzania's President, Jakaya Kikwete, this week, vowed to tackle the killing of albinos who are targeted for superstitious reasons.

At least 75 people living with albinism in Tanzania have been killed in targeted attacks since 2000.

The latest court ruling comes a few weeks after a one-year-old albino boy was killed in the same region.

Sirleaf urges Ebola Marshal Plan for West Africa

Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has called for a marshal plan for the ebola-affected countries of Wes Africa.
She made the call at World Conference on Ebola in Brussels.

Mrs Sirleaf proposed the marshal plan along the line of massive United States aid Programme for Europe after World War two.

Her comment came after Sierra Leone was granted more than eighty million dollars to help end the Ebola outbreak and recover from its effects.

About six hundred delegates from across the world met in Brussels to discuss Ebola and long term plans to fight the disease.

The United Nations said the struggle to contain the epidemic was reaching a second phase as the disease in West Africa has dropped to almost ten percent of what it was six months ago.
Nearly ten thousand people have died in the outbreak, the majority in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

President vows to combat ritual murder of albinos

Tanzania's Prersident, Jakaya Kitwete has vowed to end the killings of albinos, which he said had brought shame on the East African Nation.
Mr. Kitwete expressed shock and sadness over the upsurge of killings of albinos.

Albino are people who lack pigment in their skin, have faced attacks for their body parts, which, witch doctors believe bring goodluck and wealth.

The President said such beliefs were false and fuelled the ongoing evil.

The Tanzanian Albinism Society had planned to march to State House in Dares Salaam to deliver a message to President Kitwete, but the police banned the demonstration, citing security reasons.

The President said he was ready to meet albino leaders and campaigners at a later date to discuss possible solutions to the killings.

Last month, an albino toddler was found dead with all his limbs hacked off and a young girl with albinism has been missing since December.
The United Nations warned last year that attacks on albinos were on the increase.

Sierra Leone scholars benefit from Commonwealth scholarship

The Federal Government is to sponsor twenty Sierra Leone scholars studying in different tertiary institutions in Nigeria under the Commonwealth scholarship programme.

The Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, stated this at a news briefing in Abuja ahead of this year’s Commonwealth Day.
Mallam Shekarau explained that the Commonwealth scholarship was designed to provide high level training through exchange programme among the fifty-two Commonwealth countries.

Mallam Shekarau said the highlights of activities to mark the day include quiz competition, poetry recitation and cultural dance.

South African firefighters battle blaze on Cape Town Mountains

More than one hundred South African fighters are battling wildfires on the mountains around Cape Town.

Thousands of hectares of vegetation have been reduced to ashes while several homes and a holiday lodge have also been destroyed.

Officials say more than fifty residents of a retirement home have been treated for smoke inhalation.

The fire started on Sunday and was fanned by strong winds causing it to spread rapidly.
Roads in the area have been closed because of poor visibility.

Four helicopters are on the scene, water-bombing the area and three mass care centres have been set up to accommodate those who have fled their homes.

Parliamentary elections in Egypt set for delay after Supreme Court ruling

Parliamentary elections in Egypt are set to be delayed after the Supreme Court ruled part of an election law unconstitutional.

The ruling struck down part of the law that defined electoral districts.
Voting had been due to start on 21 March and run into April.

An electoral commission spokesman said a "new timetable" was being drawn up.
The election is due to be the final transition from military rule.
Egypt's main assembly was dissolved in 2012.

The elections were scheduled to be held in several stages, but today's ruling has forced authorities to rethink their plans.
Australia, Others to try new system in search of flight MH370

Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia are to try a new method of tracking planes, almost a year since a Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared.
The trial system enables planes to be tracked every 15 minutes, an increase in the current 30 to 40 minutes.

It uses technology already installed on most long-haul jets.

The system is expected to increase the tracking rate to five minutes or less if there is any deviation from a plane's expected route.

Contact with flight MH370, carrying two hundred and thirty nine people, was lost en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Despite an extensive search no trace has ever been found.

Boris Nemtsov murder: Tens of thousands march in Moscow

Tens of thousands of people have marched through central Moscow to honour opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead on Friday.

They carried portraits of Mr Nemtsov and banners saying "I am not afraid".

The opposition supporters gathered at a point not far from the Kremlin before marching past the spot on Great Moskvoretsky Bridge where Mr Nemtsov was killed.
Some chanted "Russia without Putin!"

Several thousand people also marched in St Petersburg.
Boris Nemtsov was due to lead an opposition march today but his killing turned the event into a mourning rally.

His allies have accused the Kremlin of involvement, but President Vladimir Putin condemned the murder as "vile" and vowed to find the killers.

Killer frog disease: Chytrid fungus hits Madagascar

A devastating disease that has wiped out amphibians around the world has been discovered in Madagascar.

A scientific survey has found that the Chytrid fungus is present in numerous sites, although it is not clear whether it is infecting frogs yet.
The island is home to five hundred frog species, and researchers fear they could be at significant risk.

According to the Journal Scientific Reports, one of the authors, Goncalo Rosa, from the Zoological Society of London, said he was worried about the impact that the fungus could have.

The chytrid fungus, which was first identified in the 1990s, has swept across the world, infecting the animals through their skin, and has killed off vast numbers of amphibians.

Madagascar was thought to be one of the places free from the disease, but now the fungus has been confirmed in several sites across the island.
Scientists are trying to establish whether the fungus has always been present, but just not detected, or whether it has spread from elsewhere.

Jihadi John named as Mohammed Emwazi

The masked Islamic State militant known as “Jihadi John,” who has been pictured in the videos of the beheadings of Western hostages, has now been named.

He is Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born British man in his mid-twenties from West London, who was previously known to British security services.

British Police declined comments, citing ongoing investigations.
Emwazi first appeared in a video last August, which showed him killing the US Journalist, James Foley.

He was later thought to have been pictured in the videos of the beheadings of US journalist Steven Sotloff, British aid worker David Haines, British taxi driver Alan Henning, and American aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known as Peter.

Islamic State abducts dozens of Christians in Syria

Islamic State (IS) has abducted dozens of Assyrian Christians from villages in north-eastern Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported that at least ninety people, including women and children were seized in a series of dawn raids near the town of Tal Tamr.

Some Assyrians managed to escape and made their way east to the largely Kurdish-controlled city of Hassakeh.
Syrian Kurdish fighters backed by US-led air strikes continue to advance into IS-held territory.

Hassakeh province is strategically important in the fight against IS because it borders both Turkey and areas controlled by the group in Iraq.

French citizens' passports confiscated over jihad plans

French authorities have, for the first time, confiscated the passports of six nationals who were allegedly planning to travel to Syria to join jihadists.

Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said the intelligence services believed the men wanted to join the Islamic State militant group, saying the measure is part of new counter-terrorism laws adopted last November.

Meanwhile, France has deployed an aircraft carrier off Bahrain to be used against Islamic State militants.

A spokesman for Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said planes from the Charles de Gaulle Carrier will be used against IS positions in Iraq.
France began an Operation in support of the US-led coalition against IS in September last year.

Burundians celebrate as journalist Bob Rugurika is freed

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Burundi’s capital Bujumbura to celebrate the release of a prominent journalist, Bob Rugurika, controversially charged with the murder of three Italian nuns.

The crowd sang and danced when Mr. Rugurika entered the city after being freed on bail.
Such huge demonstrations in defiance of the government are rare in Burundi.

The three nuns, Lucia Pulici 75, Olga Rashieffi 82, and Bernedetta Boggian 79, were killed at their convent in Bujumbura in September.

Mr. Rugurika was arrested after his station, African Public Radio, broadcast the purported confession of a man claiming to be one of the killers.

It was also alleged that the man was acting on the orders of senior intelligence officials, an allegation denied by the government.

The authorities then charged Mr. Rugurika with complicity in the murders, breach of public solidarity and disclosing confidential information about the case.

Ebola outbreak: Liberia schools reopen after six months

Many schools in Liberia have reopened six months after they were closed to try to curb the spread of Ebola.
Pupils welcomed the move, but some raised fears that the deadly disease had not yet been totally eradicated.

According to report, positioned at school gates were staff equipped with thermometers to take pupils’ temperatures and buckets of chlorinated water for them to wash their hands.

It will be recalled that Liberia was the worst hit of three West African states affected by the Ebola outbreak, identified in March 2013.
More than nine thousand people have been killed by the virus, but there has been a general decline in the number of cases in recent weeks.

Italian Coastguards work to rescue more than 1000 migrants

Italian coastguard is conducting a major rescue operation to save more than one thousand migrants in difficulty on the Mediterranean Sea.
Officials say search teams have helped get at least one hundred and thirty people to safety so far and are working to reach more.

There were reports that rescuers were threatened by armed men who approached them in a speedboat from the Libyan coast.
Earlier this week, at least three hundred migrants perished in the Mediterranean Sea.

They had been travelling in dinghies which ran into trouble during stormy weather after leaving the coast of Libya.
The rescue attempts took place in the seas south of the Italian Island of Lampedusa.

The UNHCR says almost three thousand five hundred people died while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe last year, making it the world's most dangerous sea crossing for migrants trying to enter the European Union.

More than two hundred thousand people were rescued during the same period.

Egyptian court orders release of Al Jazeera journalists

A court in Egypt has ordered the release on bail of two Al Jazeera journalists being retried for allegedly aiding the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, were imprisoned in June along with their Australian colleague, Peter Greste.
But their convictions for spreading false news to help a terrorist group were overturned on appeal last month.

Mr Greste was freed last week under a law allowing the deportation of foreign nationals to their home countries.
Mr. Fahmy has given up his Egyptian citizenship to qualify for deportation to Canada, but Mr Mohamed has no foreign passport.

The journalists denied collaborating with the banned Muslim Brotherhood after the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi by the military in 2013. They say they were jailed simply for reporting the news.

Guinea: Red Cross aid workers face attacks

Aid workers fighting Ebola in Guinea are being subjected to an average of 10 attacks every month, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The group said the latest assault happened on Sunday when two Guinean Red Cross volunteers were beaten by locals while trying to conduct a safe burial.

According to the ICRC, the attacks against the group's workers ranged from verbal abuse to physical confrontations.
Last year (2014), eight aid workers were hacked to death in Guinea.

It came as the US said it would pull out troops stationed in Liberia to help contain the virus.
US President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that all but 100 of the soldiers remaining in the country would leave by the end of April.

There were 2,800 US troops in West Africa at the height of the epidemic, but about 1,500 have already left the region.
Mr Obama said about 10,000 civilian responders would stay in West Africa to fight the virus.

Egypt court overturns 36 Brotherhood death sentences

A court in Egypt has overturned death sentences given to thirty-six members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, including its spiritual leader, Mohammad Badie.

They were among one hundred and eighty-three people condemned in connection with a 2013 attack on a police station in the central province of Minya that left two policemen dead.

The Court of Cassation gave no reason on Wednesday for ordering a retrial.
Hundreds of people have been sentenced to death since the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi two years ago.

The mass trials, along with a crackdown on Islamists that has seen more than one thousand four hundred killed, have drawn widespread international criticism.

Mr. Badie has been sentenced to death in three other cases, according to his lawyer. He is serving a life sentence in a Cairo jail given in a fifth case.

Ukraine crisis: Leaders plan peace talks in Belarusian

The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany are to meet in Belarusian capital Minsk for a peace deal after months of fighting.

Fighting has surged in eastern Ukraine as government forces and pro-Russian rebels try to make gains ahead of expected peace talks.
Rebels carried out rocket attacks on a key military base and a residential area in Kramatorsk, killing at least seven civilians.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's volunteer Azov battalion has launched an offensive against separatists around Mariupol.
More than five thousand people have died since the conflict began last April.
Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of sending troops and arms to support the rebels, but Russia denies the allegation.

The summit is expected to focus on the creation of a demilitarized zone and the withdrawal of heavy weapons.

Afghan drone strike kills IS militant Commander

A drone strike in Afghanistan has killed a militant Commander who recently swore allegiance to the Islamic State.
The Police Chief of Helmand said that former Taliban Commander, Mullah Abdul Rauf, had died in the NATO strike.

It emerged last month that Rauf had sworn allegiance to IS after falling out with the Taliban.
Tribal elders in northern Helmand say a car carrying up to six people and ammunition was destroyed while crossing the desert.

The late Commander was appointed Deputy Commander in the region some weeks after he first declared his allegiance after he split from the Taliban.

DARFUR: 2 Russian pilots kidnapped in Sudan

Two Russians working for UTair Airline have been kidnapped in the Darfur region of Sudan.
UTair has a contract to fly aircraft for the joint UN-African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur, since2007.

The two Pilots were taken in the town of Zalingei.
The Russian embassy in Khartoum confirmed the kidnap.

An Utair helicopter with the UN mission in neighbouring South Sudan was shot down last year and three of its crew were killed.
Darfur has been the scene of a deadly conflict between the government and three rebel movements since 2003.

Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste deported from Egypt

 Jailed Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste has been deported from Egypt to Cyprus.
The Australian ex-BBC correspondent was arrested in December 2013 and imprisoned last June on charges that included spreading false news.

He was jailed with two other Al-Jazeera men - Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed.
Presidential sources said Mr. Fahmy would be deported to Canada after his dual Egyptian nationality was dropped.

All the defendants denied the charges against them and said their trial was a sham.
The three men said they were simply reporting the news.

They were accused of collaborating with the banned Muslim Brotherhood after the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi by the military in 2013.

MH370: Malaysia declares flight disappearance an accident

The Malaysian Government has officially declared the disappearance of Malaysian Airline flight MH370 an accident and says there were no survivors.

No trace of the Beijing-bound aircraft has been found since it disappeared on 8 March 2014.
Malaysian officials said that the recovery of the missing aircraft remained a priority and that they had pursued "every credible lead".

Officials say that the recovery operation is ongoing but that the 239 people onboard are now presumed dead.
The plane's whereabout is still unknown despite a massive international search in the southern Indian Ocean.

The declaration should allow compensation payments to relatives of the victims.

Mexico City: Gas truck explodes near maternity hospital

A gas tanker has exploded outside a maternity and children's hospital in Mexico City, killing at least seven people, including four babies.

Dozens more were injured by flying glass. About 100 people were believed to be inside at the time.

Rescuers are at the scene, searching for any victims who might be trapped under rubble and twisted metal.
The blast on the western edge of Mexico City was so large that much of the building was destroyed.

12 killed in suicide attack against Malian rebels

Suicide bombers and armed attackers have killed about a dozen people in an assault on rebel positions in northern Mali.
Report says it may have been infiltrated by militant Islamists who joined the attack.

Northern Mali has been hit by conflict between government forces, Tuareg separatists and militant Islamists.

The Movement for the Liberation of Azawad and the al-Qaeda-linked group later fell-out, and animosity between them now run strong.
The UN has a nine thousand strong force trying to restore stability in Mali.

Child soldiers freed in South Sudan

The South Sudanese military has freed two hundred and eighty child soldiers as part of a wider deal to release about three thousand underage fighters.

The soldiers were recruited into an armed group which has made peace with the government.

A civil war broke out two years ago after President Salva Kiir accused his deputy of trying to foment a coup.
About one point five million people have fled their homes as a result of the fight.

According to UNICEF, twelve thousand children have been forcibly recruited by armed groups in South Sudan over the past year.

Libya hotel attack: Five foreigners among nine killed

Militants have attacked Corinthia hotel in Tripoli, popular with foreigners in Libya's capital, killing five people and injuring twelve others.

Several gunmen stormed the Hotel and opened fire in the reception area, while a car bomb also exploded outside the hotel.

An unconfirmed report says some of the assailants blew themselves up and that foreigners are among the dead.

Greece anti-bailout leader, Tsipras made Prime Minister

The Head of Greece's far-left Syriza party, Alexis Tsipras, has been sworn in as Prime Minister and is set to lead an anti-austerity coalition government.

Turning up for the ceremony without a tie, the leftist took the oath less than twenty-four hours after winning the general election on an anti-austerity platform.

He had earlier formed a coalition with the centre-right Independent Greeks.
European Commission Head, Jean-Claude Juncker has reminded him of the need to ensure fiscal responsibility.

Congratulating Mr. Tsipras on his election win, Mr. Juncker said in a tweet: "The European Commission stands ready to continue assisting Greece in achieving these goals." He also referred to "promoting sustainable jobs and growth".
Egypt Court convicts doctor of manslaughter

An Egyptian doctor has been convicted of manslaughter of a girl, who died after an illegal female genital mutilation procedure.
Opponents of Female Genital Mutilation were dismayed when RaslanFadl was acquitted in November of charges relating to the death of thirteen-year-old Suhair al-Bataa.

After an appeal, a court in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura sentenced him to more than two years in prison.
The campaign group ‘Equality Now’ called the ruling a "monumental victory".

Although Female Mutilation was banned in Egypt six years ago, it remains widespread.

Fighter jet crash kills 10 in Spain

Ten people, including two pilots, have died in a fighter jet crash at a military base in Spain.
Military officials said that the Greek F-16 crashed into other planes and exploded at the Los Llanos airbase in Central Spain.

Reports say one of the pilots performed a wrong manoeuvre during takeoff.
Another thirteen people are said to be injured with six in critical condition.

YEMEM: President, Prime Minister resign

The President of Yemen has resigned along with his Prime Minister as Shia Houthi rebels tighten their grip on the capital Sanaa.

President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah tendered their resignations to parliament which reportedly refused to accept them.

The move came despite a deal to make political concessions to the rebels.
Rebel figures welcomed the news with one reportedly proposing the creation of a ruling presidential council.

The council would include Houthi-led groups, Abu al-Malek Yousef al-Fishi was quoted as saying by Reuter’s news agency.
Houthi leaders had previously committed themselves to withdrawing from key positions around the presidential palace and the home of President Hadi.

The US, which is helping fight al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, said it was still assessing the implications of President Hadi's move.
Egyptian Court orders release of Alaa & Gamal Mubarak

An Egyptian Court has ordered the release of Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, the sons of former President Hosni Mubarak, pending a retrial.

The conviction of Mr. Mubarak and his sons was overturned on 13 January over legal procedures.
The former President remains in a military hospital where he has been serving his sentence.

A court had ruled that legal procedures were not properly followed when they were convicted.
The former President was found guilty of embezzlement in May 2014 and sentenced to three years in prison, while his sons were sentenced to four years each.

Charges of conspiracy in the killing of hundreds of protesters during the uprising that ended his rule in 2011 were dropped in November.

Zambia votes in Presidential elections

Voters in Zambia are going to the polls today in a Presidential election caused by the death of Michael Sata last year.

The vote is expected to be a close contest between Edgar Lungu from the Governing Patriotic Front and Hakainde Hichilema from the United Party for National Development.
The winner will serve out the remaining 18 months of Michael Sata's term.

Zambia is due to hold a general election in 2016.

GOLAN HEIGHTS: Israeli Air strike kills Hazbollah fighters

An Israeli Air strike has killed several Hazbollah fighters in the Syrian sector of the Golan Heights, the Lebanese militant movement says.
Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV said they were killed in Quneitra province "during a field reconnaissance mission".
Report says that one of those killed was Jihad Mughniyeh, son of a top military commander killed in 2008.
Israel said it would not comment, Hezbollah militants have been supporting President Bashar al-Assad.
Activists say the four-year Syrian conflict has left some 76,000 people dead.
Israel has conducted several air strikes inside Syria since the conflict began.
The strikes were said to be aimed at preventing the transfer of stockpiles of rockets from the Syrian government to Hezbollah.
Israel fought a 34-day war with Hezboliah in 2006.

Belgian anti-terror raid, leaves two dead

Two people have been killed in an anti-terror operation in eastern Belgium, local officials say.
According to reports a third person was wounded during the raid in the town of Verviers,

Witnesses reported hearing heavy gunfire for several minutes and at least three explosions.
The area around the train station has been cordoned off and reports on social media say there is a heavy police presence in the town centre.

Verviers is in the province of Liege and has a population of about 56,000.
The incident comes a week after attacks in neighbouring France that killed 20 people.

Belgian media has reported that some of the weapons used in the attacks in Paris were bought near Gare du Midi train station in Brussels.
The attacks - on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, a kosher market and police - have heightened security fears in several European countries.

Charlie Hebdo reprint runs into 5m copies in France

Millions more copies of French weekly, Charlie Hebdo, are being printed after the first run sold out in hours.
Five million copies are being produced, up from three million planned - a week after Islamist gunmen murdered 12 people at its offices and five others in subsequent attacks in Paris.

Al-Qaeda in Yemen has claimed responsibility for the attack on the magazine.
A video purportedly from AQAP, emerged but it did not provide any evidence to support its claims.

The group had previously welcomed the attack, without acknowledging any role in the operation.

LRA commander, Dominic Ongwen in Ugandan custody

A Senior Militia Commander Dominic Ongwen, who is wanted for war crimes, has been handed over to Ugandan troops in the Central African Republic, CAR.

Mr Ongwen, considered by some to be a deputy to Lord's Resistance Army Chief, Joseph Kony, was taken into US custody last week.
Rebels in the CAR said he was captured, but US officials say he defected.

Uganda has said the militia commander will face trial at the International Criminal Court, ICC in The Hague.
The Lord’s Resistance Army, LRA, has abducted thousands of children for fighting and sex slavery.

Both Mr Ongwen and Joseph Kony are wanted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Uganda Foreign Affairs Minister, Okello Oryem, said the LRA commander would be taken to Uganda before being sent to The Hague.

We are at war with terrorism not Islam – French PM


French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said his country is at war with extremism and terrorism - but not with Muslims.

He told the French National Assembly that the Islamist gunmen who murdered 17 people in Paris had wanted to kill the "Spirit of France", but had failed.

He was speaking after the funeral ceremonies were held for seven of the people who died in last week's attacks.

This week's edition of the magazine, targeted by the gunmen is to show a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Charlie Hebdo's previous depictions of the Prophet are said to have prompted the attack on its offices which left 12 people dead, including the satirical magazine's editor and four other cartoonists.

Indonesian drivers locate recorder of missing Air Asia Jet


Indonesian divers may have located the flight recorders of the missing Air Asia flight QZ850I.

The head of the search and recovery operation, Bambang Sulistoyo said the recorders have been found and divers would try to retrieve it.

According to Mr.Sulistoyo, the recorders were buried on the seabed underneath the aircraft’s debris.

The possible discovery followed intense efforts to find the main fuselage of the plane.

It disappeared in bad weather on December 28, with 162 people on board.

 I’ll pay salary arrears, Ortom promises Civil Servants

The All Progressives Congress Governorship candidate in Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom, has pledged to offset the outstanding arrears of wages of Civil Servants as well as pensions of retired Civil Servants, if elected in next month’s polls.

He made the pledge during a stakeholder’s forum in Makurdi and assured to provide quality leadership, anchored on the fear of God and the principles of justice and accountability.

Dr. Ortom pointed out that he will embark on industrialization to generate wealth and employment opportunities for the youths.

The APC Governorship candidate said he had met all the conditions specified by law, to contest for the position of Governor and urged APC members and supporters to conduct issue-based campaigns throughout the State.

 Croatia votes for new President


Voters in Croatia are going to the polls to determine who will be their next Head of State.

The second round of the country’s Presidential election is a run-off between the incumbent, Ivo Josipovic and KolindaGrabar-Kitarovic.

Mr.Josipovic won thirty Eight point five percent of the vote, compared to thirty seven percent for Ms.KohindaGrabar-Kitarovic in a tight first round.

In Croatia office of the President is ceremonial but the election is seen as a key test for the main political parties.

Mr.Josipovic, a 57- year-old Laws expert and classical composer was nominated by the governing coalition.

He has been President since 2010.

His rival Ms Grabar-Kitarovic, forty six, is a Former Foreign Minister and assistant to the NATO Secretary General.

PARIS ATTACKS: Millions take part in unity rally


More than forty world leaders took part in a Unity March in Paris, in honour of the seventeen people killed during the three day attacks.

The rally, led by relatives of the victims of last week's attacks on satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo and a kosher super market began at the Place de la Republic and will finish at the place de la nation.

World leaders including British Prime Minister David Cameroon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were present at the beginning of the march.

A Minute silence was observed before the march began.

About two thousand police officers and one thousand three hundred and fifty including elite Markesmen on rooftops have been deployed to protect participants.

Outside Paris, several other French cities also held rallies with a combined turnout of at least one million.

Solidarity marches were also held in world cities including London, Madrid, Cairo, Sydney and Tokyo.


UGANDA: Unknown Men kidnap 4 Muslim Clerics  


Four Muslim clerics in the Ugandan capital Kampala have gone missing, after being picked up by unidentified men, a community leader says.

The head of Uganda's Muslim Tabliq sect, told BBC that they were "kidnapped" from their homes.

The Police are still investigating the issue.

It is not clear if the disappearances are linked to the shooting of two Muslim clerics in December.

Police blamed the killings on remnants of the Allied Democratic Forces, (ADF), a Ugandan Muslim rebel group based in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

The group is headed by Jamil Mukulu, who before starting the movement was a radical leader within the Tabliq sect.

Charlie Hebdo: Gun attack on French magazine kills 12


Twelve persons have been shot dead by gunmen at the Paris office of French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo in an apparent militant Islamist attack.

Four of the magazine's well-known cartoonists, including its editor, as well as two police officers were among those killed.

Reports say major police operation is under way to find three gunmen who fled by car.

President Francois Hollande, said there was no doubt that it was a terrorist attack.

It is believed to be the deadliest attack in France since 1961.

The masked attackers opened fire with assault rifles in the office and exchanged shots with police in the street outside before escaping.

Ebola: New vaccine trial begins in UK


Scientists at Oxford University have begun immunising healthy volunteers with a new Ebola vaccine.

In September last year a separate trial of another Ebola vaccine got under way in the city.

This latest trial involves 72 volunteers aged 18-50.

Initial tests in monkeys showed the vaccine, developed by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, gave complete protection against Ebola.

The volunteers in Oxford are the first humans to receive the vaccine.

Dr Matthew Snape, from the Oxford Vaccine Group, part of the University Of Oxford Department Of Paediatrics, said all participants would be immunised within a month.

Similar small trials will also be done in the US and three African countries unaffected by Ebola.

The first dose is designed to prime the immune system with the second booster dose to enhance the immune response.

The two doses contain different components, but both include genes for a protein from the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus.

Thousands flee Kashmir as Indian & Pakistan clash


Thousands of villagers have fled their homes in Indian-administered Kashmir as Indian and Pakistani troops continue to exchange fire in the region.

At least 10 Indian and Pakistani soldiers and civilians have been killed in the violence over the past week.

Both sides have accused each other of starting the hostilities.

A ceasefire agreed in 2003 remains in place, but the neighbours often accuse each other of violating it.

Some 10,000 civilians living in border villages on the Indian side have fled their homes since fighting began last week

India and Pakistan are continuing to exchange fire in the disputed region yesterday.

Republicans take control of US Congress


Republicans are set to take control of both congress chambers for the first time in eight years.

New and re-elected senators and all representatives will begin the swearing-in process today.

At the top of the Republican agenda is approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, a challenge to Barack Obama's healthcare law and a trade deal.

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner is facing a leadership challenge from several more conservative members.

Among those challenging Mr Boehner is Texas Representative Louis Gohmert, who earlier said it was time for a change after "years of broken promises".

The party won a majority in the Senate during last November's mid-term election.

But they have been angered by recent solo actions by Mr Obama including an executive action on immigration policy and a major shift in US policy towards Cuba.

Libyan air force bombs Greek oil tank

Libyan air force jets have bombed a Greek-operated oil tanker chartered by Libya's national oil company, killing two crew members.

A Libyan military spokesman said the ship's movements at the port of Derna had aroused suspicion.

The oil company rejected this, saying the ship was delivering fuel to industrial facilities there and the authorities had been kept informed.

Derna has been controlled by Islamist militants for the past two years.

The Libyan military attacked the port several times last year in an attempt to weaken militant groups there.

 Car bomb rocks Mogadishu, kills 4

A car bomb has exploded in the Somali capital Mogadishu, killing four people.

Witnesses said the blast was close to the international airport, where African Union troops, UN staff and several Western embassies are based.

Plumes of black smoke were seen in the area and the sound of gunfire was reported shortly after the explosion.

Security has improved in Mogadishu in recent months, but Islamist group al-Shabab regularly carries out attacks.
A Somali official, Captain Mohamed Hussein told correspondents that security forces were alerted to the threat of a car bomb shortly before the blast.

He said the bomb targeted a convoy of US-trained Somali intelligence forces, known as the Alpha Group.

The attack comes a week after al-Shabab militants infiltrated the airport, killing three AU peacekeepers and a civilian contractor.

Earlier in December, at least six people were also killed when al-Shabab attacked a UN convoy near the airport in Mogadishu.

SCOTLAND: Gartnavel Hospital confirms Ebola patient

A healthcare worker who has just returned from West Africa has been diagnosed with Ebola and is being treated in hospital.

The patient, who arrived from Sierra Leone is receiving treatment at Glasgow's Gartnavel Hospital, Scotland.
All possible contacts with the patient are now being investigated.

Health Officials in Scotland said infectious diseases procedures had been put into effect.

AirAsia QZ8501: Indonesian Govt sends investigative teams 

Indonesian officials say they are sending investigative teams to the Island where Air Asia flight Qz8501 went missing.

The Multinational search for the plane has entered a third day, with the operational area now widened to cover 13 zones over land and sea.

The Airbus A320-200 carrying 162 people from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore disappeared on Sunday.

The Pilots last contact was a request to divert around bad weather.

Indonesian officials say air traffic control had approved one request, to veer left, then gave a second request for permission to climb two or three minutes later.

No reply was received and the plane then disappeared from Radar, No trace of the plane yet.

Ukraine votes to drop non-aligned status

Ukraine’s parliament has voted to drop the country’s non-aligned status and work towards a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership.

Ukrainian President Patro Poroshenko pledged to seek NATO membership over Russian support for rebels in the east.
In a vote in Ukraine’s parliament, MPs overwhelming backed the move by 303 to 8.

Speaking before the vote, Foreign Minister PavioKlimkin said Ukraine was determined to pivot towards Europe and the West.
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov called the move as counter-productive and said it would boost tensions.

The non-aligned status, which Ukraine adopted in 2010 under Russian pressure, prevents it from joining military alliances.

Beji Essebsi wins Tunisia’s first Presidential poll

Veteran politician Beji Essebsi has been confirmed winner of Tunisians first Presidential poll.

He secured fifty-point-six-eight percent of the votes in Sunday’s run-off, defeating caretaker President Moncef Marzouki who scored forty-four-point-thirty two percent.

The results were announced by the country’s electoral commission, Chasik Sarsar.

Mr. Marzouki, a sixty seven year old former exile, earlier refused to admit defeat.

It is the first time Tunisians have been able to vote freely for their President since independence from France in 1956.

DR Congo: Many dead after ferry sinks on Lake Tanganyika 

At least one hundred and twenty-nine bodies have been recovered from Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo, after a ferry capsized on Friday.

Local Transport Minister, Laurent Sumba Kahozi said the search for survivors was continuing.
Rescue workers found passengers in the water on Sunday, clinging on to petrol cans and other objects.

Life jackets are also often missing and many people cannot swim.
Reports say such accidents are fairly common in the region as ferries are often overloaded.

SUDAN: Bashir claims victory over ICC charges

The President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir has claimed victory over the International Criminal Court, ICC after it ended its probe into allegations of war crimes in Darfur.

The ICC charged Al-Bashir in 2009 for crimes in the region dating back to 2003, but he refused to recognise the authority of the court in the Hague.

He said the court had failed in its attempts to "humiliate" Sudan.
Announcing the suspension on Friday, ICC Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda blamed it on lack of action by the UN.

Other Sudanese officials have also been charged by the ICC - but none have been arrested.
Darfur has been riven by conflict since rebels took up arms in 2003. The UN says more than 300,000 lives have been lost, mostly from disease.

The suspension of the Darfur investigation came just over a week after the ICC dropped charges against another Head of State, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

UN members agree deal at Lima climate talks

United Nations members have reached an agreement on how countries should tackle climate change.
Delegates have approved a framework for setting national pledges to be submitted to a summit next year.
Differences over the draft text caused the talks in Lima, Peru, to overrun by two days.
Environmental groups have criticized the deal as a weak and ineffectual compromise, saying it weakens international climate rules.   
The talks proved difficult because of divisions between rich and poor countries over how to spread the burden of pledges to cut carbon emissions.

@shamiwitness: India arrests man over pro-Islamic State tweets

A man suspected of running an influential Twitter account promoting Islamic State (IS) has been arrested in southern India.
The man, a 24-year-old, working in Bangalore, was named as Mehdi Masroor Biswas.
The twitter account, which has since closed, provided news on IS and celebrated its rise in Syria and Iraq.
Police said Mr Biswas was arrested for cyber-terrorism offences and crimes against the state, but they do not believe he has actual links to IS.
With nearly 18,000 followers, @ShamiWitness was one of the main sources of information about the group in English.
The IS militant group has used social media to recruit foreign fighters and to disseminate videos of their fighters beheading Western journalists and aid workers.

Washington march: Civil rights protest over US police killings

Thousands of civil rights protesters are marching through Washington DC, to bring attention to the recent killings of unarmed black people by police.
Relatives of Michael Brown, shot dead in Ferguson,   Missouri and Eric Garner, who died being restrained in New York, are due to attend.
The decision by the grand jury not to charge police over either death generated waves of unrest across America.
A demonstration in New York is also due to draw thousands.
Organisers arranged buses to take demonstrators to the capital, where they are due to march down Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, America's oldest civil rights group, is involved in the protest, called the Justice for All March, along with the National Action Network and the Urban League.


Serge Lazarevic: Mali confirms militants freed for French hostage

Mali has confirmed that four Islamist militants were freed in exchange for the release of French hostage Serge Lazarevic this week.
Mr. Lazarevic was seized by armed men in Mali in 2011 and was the last French hostage in the region still being held by al-Qaeda-linked militants.
France had refused to confirm reports of a prisoner exchange.
Two members of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb AQIM who allegedly took part in Mr. Lazarevic's abduction have previously been named as having been released - Malians Nohamed Aly Ag Wadoussene and Haiba Ag Acherif.
AQIM kidnapped a number of Western hostages before the French military deployed its forces against the group in January 2013.
At one point, at least fourteen French nationals were being held by Islamists in West Africa.

Italy trade unions strike over Renzi's labour reforms

A general strike has paralysed transport and shut schools and hospitals across Italy, as workers protest labour market reforms.
Scuffles broke out between the police and some protesters in the northern cities of Milan and Turin as rallies took place in all major cities.
Trade unions say the government’s reforms would endanger job security by making it easier to dismiss workers.
But Prime Minister Matteo Renzi says Italy need mobility of labour.
The unions say existing regulations are necessary to protect workers from being sacked by unscrupulous companies, expressing fears over the culture of hire and fire.
In recent years, a series of Italian governments have failed in their attempt to reform the country’s employment laws.

Ebola crisis: Sierra Leone bans Christmas celebrations

Sierra Leone has banned public celebration of the Christmas and New Year because of the Ebola crises.
Government’s Ebola response unit said soldiers would be deployed on the streets throughout the festive period to enforce the ban.
Sierra Leone has the highest case of Ebola in the current outbreak.

Flights disrupted after computer failure at UK control centre

Passengers are facing widespread flight disruption after a computer failure at the UK's air traffic control centre.
Nats said it was in the process of returning to normal operations after a "technical problem" at its Swanwick control centre caused delays and grounded some flights.
This included delays at Heathrow and Gatwick, where departing flights were grounded for a time. Other UK airports reported knock-on effects.
Problems were reported around the UK.
The government said the scale of the disruption was "unacceptable" and said it had asked for a "full explanation" of what had gone wrong.
It comes a year after a telephone glitch at the Hampshire control room caused huge disruption - one of a number of technical hitches to hit the part-privatised Nation Air Traffic Services (Nats) since the centre opened in 2002.


Hong Kong protests: over 200 arrests as Admiralty site is cleared

More than two hundred activists have been arrested in Hong Kong after police cleared the main pro-democracy protest camp at Admiralty.

The dismantling was done peacefully, but many activists vowed to continue with other forms of civil disobedience.
Police began their operation in what is widely seen as the final act in the long-running protests.

The demonstrations have dwindled in recent weeks from the tens of thousands who turned out in September.
Activists want Beijing to allow free elections for the territory's next leader in 2017. China says everyone can vote but a pro-Beijing committee will screen candidates.

Among those arrested was opposition Democratic Party founder Martin Lee, student leader Nathan Law, media tycoon Jimmy Lai and singer Denise Ho.

Malala and Kailash Satyarthi receive joint Nobel award

Pakistani education activist, Malala Yousafzai and Indian child Rights Campaigner, Kallash Stayarthi have received the Nobel Peace prize awards.
The Nobel Committee described both laureates as Champions of Peace.

Ms. Yousafzai and Mr. Satyarthi received their awards from the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjorn Jagland in the presence of King Harald IV of Norway.

In her speech on the occasion, 17 year old Ms Yousafzai said the award was not just for her but also for those forgotten children who want education and for those frightened, voiceless children who want peace and change.
Recall that Ms Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in 2012 for campaigning for girls’ education and now lives in New York.

She is the youngest ever recipient of a Nobel Prize.
The young Laureate said she was dedicating the prize money to the Malala fund to help give the girl child everywhere a quality education.

Mugabe names Mnangagwa as Vice-President

Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe has appointed Emmerson Mnangagwa as his deputy, making the former Justice Minister the favourite to succeed him.

Mr. Mnangagwa takes over from Joice Muguru, who Mugabe sacked after accusing of plotting to kill him, an allegation she has denied.
Mr. Mugabe, 90, purged the government of seven Ministers on Tuesday as he tightened his grip on power.

He was re-elected leader of the ruling Zanu-PF party at its Congress at the weekend, while his 49 year old wife, Grace was chosen to head its Women's Wing.

Mugabe fires Vice President after plot claim

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has sacked his Vice-President, Joice Mujuru after accusing her of corruption and plotting to kill him.
Mr. Mugabe also dismissed seven government ministers in connection with the alleged plot.

Mrs. Mujuru, once seen as a possible future leader of Zimbabwe, has denied plotting against the President.
In a statement, the Chief Secretary to the Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda says President Mugabe has exercised his executive powers to release Joice Mujuru with immediate effect.

The Ministers whose sacking was announced included State Security Minister.
Didymus Mutasa as Energy Minister Dzikama, Mauhaire, who was seen as close to Mrs. Mujuru.

The sackings come a week after Mr Mugabe denounced his Vice President at a party congress and removed her from her post in the ruling party, Zanu-PF.
Mr. Mugabe, 90 has been in power since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980 and is due to stand for election again in 2018.

Mrs Mujuru fought alongside the President in the 1970s guerrilla war against white-minority rule and had been thought a possible successor as President.

But report says her career ran into trouble when Mr. Mugabe’s wife entered politics early this year.

UN asks for $16bn in humanitarian aid

The United Nations says it will need a record $16 billion to fund its humanitarian operations next year, with almost half the total going to help victims of the Syrian conflict.

Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, says the money will provide aids for more than 57 million of the most vulnerable people around the world.

The request comes as aid agencies warn they are running out of cash to fund this year's operations in Syria.
Last week the World Food Programme announced it would have to cut food rations to Syrian refugees.

Ms. Amos said those conflicts accounted for more than seventy percent of the funding being sought.

AL-SHABAB MASSACRE: Kenyatta replaces Security Chief

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has replaced his Interior Minister and Police Chief following a massacre of Kenyans by the IslamistGroup Al-Shabab.

 Kenya's Police Chief David Kimaiyo stood down, while Interior Minister Joseph Lenku was dismissed.
An opposition politician and retired army general, Joseph Nkaissery, was nominated to replace Mr. Lenku.

Earlier, al-Shabab killed 36 quarry workers in the north-eastern Mandera region near the Somali border.

He said four were beheaded inside their tents, while three appeared to have escaped to Mandera town.
Demonstrators took to the streets in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, calling on the President to improve security.

South Korean:Hopes fade for 52 missing sailors

Hopes are fading of finding survivors from a South Korean ship which sank off Russia on Monday.
South Korean and Russian officials say overnight searches for 52 missing crew members proved fruitless and at least one empty lifeboat has been found.

Seven people were saved when the trawler Oryong 501 sank in Bering Sea, off the Chukotka peninsula.

The 36-year-old trawler, which weighed nearly 2,000 tonnes   was fishing for pollock when it ran into trouble.
Stormy weather caused seawater to flood a fish storage area, causing the ship to tilt and eventually sink. Crew members had tried to pump out the water.

Kabul police boss quits amid attacks

Kabul's Police Chief has resigned following a surge in attacks by Afghan militants on foreigners in the city over the past two weeks.
General Zahir Zahir gave no reason for his resignation

Three South Africans were killed in a Taliban attack on a compound used by a US-based charity yesterday, the third such attack in the past 10 days.
President Ashraf Ghani, who took power in September, has vowed to bring peace after decades of conflict.

There has been a clear pattern to the Taliban attacks of the past two weeks in the capital, as most have targeted foreigners, military or civilian, whenever and wherever possible.

The attacks are set-back for President Ghani, who has promised to restore peace to the country. It is also embarrassing for the Police, Military and Intelligence agencies which seem incapable of disrupting the plans of the Taliban suicide bombers.

Ebola outbreak: West Africa death toll nears 7000

The number of people who have died by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 6,928.
According to the World Health Organization, the toll has increased by over 1,000 since the WHO's last report on Wednesday, but it includes unreported deaths from earlier in the outbreak.

Experts say the infection rate is more significant and that the death toll reflects how the virus is spreading.
Infection rates are decreasing in Liberia, but are high in Sierra Leone.

There have been over 16,000 reported cases in Guinea, Sierra and Liberia.
Mali has reported seven deaths from Ebola and 10 confirmed cases.

The disease is now spreading fastest in Sierra Leone, with 6,802 cases reported in total.
Nigeria and Senegal are both clear of the quarantine period and no new cases or deaths have been reported.

Pope in 'silent adoration' in Istanbul Blue Mosque

Pope Francis stood in silent adoration in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque alongside the city’s top Muslim Cleric on the second day of his Turkey visit.

The Pope later visited the Hagia Sofia, a Church turned into Mosque and then a Museum.
The Catholic Pontiff had earlier called for an interfaith dialogue to counter fanaticism during a visit to the Turkish capital, Ankara.

The Pope’s visit is the fourth by a Pontiff to Turkey.
On arrival in Istanbul, Pope Francis was met by the leader of the Orthodox Church, Bartholomew I.
Both Clerics are expected to hold discussions focused on healing the division in the Christian Church in 1054 that divided Rome and Constantinople.


Ebola crisis: French President Hollande visits Guinea

French President Francois Hollande is on a visit to Guinea, the first trip by a western leader to a country at the centre of the latest Ebola outbreak.

After arriving in the capital Conakry, Mr Hollande said France had a duty to support Guinea in the fight against the virus.
France has pledged one hundred and twenty-five million dollars to help tackle the disease by opening several care centres in Guinea, a former French colony.

More than one thousand two hundred people have died of Ebola in Guinea.
During the visit, President Hollande is due to tour healthcare centres and takes part in a round table discussion on Ebola.

Pope Francis in Turkey urges faiths to combat fanaticism

Pope Francis has called for an interfaith dialogue to counter fanaticism and fundamentalism, at the start of a key visit to Turkey.

In a speech in the capital, Ankara, the Catholic Pontiff also called for a renewed mid-east peace punch, saying the region had for too long been a theatre of fratricidal wars.
He also urged more help for refugees from Syria and Iraq.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the visit was a significant step to enhance regional peace.
The Pope’s three-day trip comes as Turkey hosts one point six million refugees on its Southern border after the Islamic State insurgents seized Swathes of  neighboring Syria and Iraq.


British brothers jailed for training at Syria terror camp

Two brothers have become the first Britons to be jailed for terrorism training in Syria.

Thirty year old Mohommod Nawaz, and twenty four year old  Hamza Nawaz, both from Stratford, east London, were sentenced to four-and-a-half years and three years respectively.
They had admitted conspiracy to attend a terrorism training camp in 2013.

The judge Christopher Moss said the men's "focus" was the regime in Syria rather than attacks in the UK and there was no evidence either man had taken part in fighting.

Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said the sentences sent a "clear message that people who commit, plan and support acts of terror abroad will face justice when they come back to the UK".

Scotland Yard described the jailing of the two men as a "landmark case" and the first of a string of cases due to come before the courts for sentencing.

NATO military Chief Breedlove warns of Russian incursion

NATO's top military commander, Gen Philip Breedlove, has warned that Russian "militarization" of the annexed Crimea Peninsula could be used to exert control over the whole Black Sea.

Speaking in Kiev, Gen Breedlove, who is in Ukraine for high level talks with Ukrainian leaders, said Russian military assets being installed in Crimea, would have an effect on almost the entire Black Sea.
 Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in March 2014.

Russia's Defence Ministry said it had deployed a batch of 14 military jets to Crimea, as part of a squadron of 30 that will be stationed on the Peninsula.

Russia has continued to deny allegations from western countries that it played any direct role in the conflict in Ukraine, which has claimed more than 4,317 lives.
President Vladimir Putin said that Russia poses no threat to anyone and would resist efforts to draw it into geopolitical intrigue, Russia.

7 officers arrested for beating a protester in Hong Kong

Seven Hong Kong policemen have been arrested in connection with the beating of a pro-democracy protester.
A police statement said the officers, who had already been suspended, were detained on suspicion of assault resulting in grievous body harm.
The incident took place on October 15 amid clashes while police cleared an underpass by the Admiralty camp.
Civic Party protester, Ken Tsang, was filmed being led away in handcuffs and beaten for several minutes.
Local TV network TVB later aired footage of his assault, and Mr Tsang's lawyer said that the beatings had continued after he was taken to a police station.
The authorities immediately moved to suspend the officers and launched an investigation shortly after the clip was aired.

Kenya bus killings claimed by Somali group al-Shabab

Officials say Gunmen from the Somali militant group al-Shabab have attacked a bus in northern Kenya, killing twenty eight people.

The bus was travelling to the capital, Nairobi, when it was stopped in Mandera County, near the Somali border.
Gunmen separated out non-Muslims by asking passengers to read from the Koran, officials and witnesses said. Those who failed were then shot in the head.

Al-Shabab has carried out a series of attacks in Kenya since 2011.
A statement on a website linked to the Islamist group carried a statement saying the attack was carried out in retaliation for security raids on mosques in the coastal city of Mombasa earlier this week.

Iran nuclear talks: 'Big gaps' remain as deadline looms

Western negotiators have said key sticking points remain as negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme enter their final stages in Vienna.
Germany and the US said the sides were working to close big gaps ahead of Monday's deadline for a final deal.
Six world powers want Iran to curb its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of United Nations sanctions.
The US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China - the 5+1 group - are seeking reassurance that Iran is not trying to build a nuclear weapons capability.
Iran insists its nuclear programme is purely energy-related.


Kenyan city of Mombasa hit by killings after mosque raids

Kenyan city of Mombasa was hit by killings after mosque raids

Kenyan officials say the attacks came hours after police raided two mosques which accused of having links with militant Islamists in neighboring Somalia.

One person was killed in the police raids and more than two hundred were arrested.
Masked youths armed with machetes went on rampage in the Kisauni area of the city, attacking people waiting at bus stops.

Several others were injured in the attacks, which were carried out in apparent revenge for the police action.

EBOLA: Sierra Leone Doctor dies in US hospital

A surgeon from Sierra Leone, Dr. Martin Salia who was being treated for Ebola in the United States died in a hospital in Nebraska.
The forty four year old doctor was in a critical conduction and unable to walk when he arrived at the hospital.

The White House sent condolences and said his death is another reminder of the human toll of this disease and of the continued need to tackle the epidemic in the worst affected countries.

Removal of MH17 flight wreckage begins in Ukraine

Work has begun to remove wreckage from the MH17 crash site in rebel held eastern Ukraine after months of delays, according to Dutch officials the Malaysian Airlines plane, the plane which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over Ukraine in July. All 298 people on board were killed.

Workers could be seen cutting up parts of the plane and using cranes to load them onto Lorries.
Access had previously been limited by rebels and the conflict in Ukraine.

The Dutch Safety Board said the recovery operation was expected to take several days. And the debris will be transported to the Netherlands for investigation.

The wreckage would assist the investigation into the cause of the crash the board said in a statement, adding that it intended to reconstruct a section of the aircraft.

Abbott closes G20 summit by outlining economic pledges

Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbot has closed the G20 summit by detailing economic pledges agreed by World

The leaders agreed to boost their economies by at least 2 point 1 percent by 2018, adding two trillion dollars to global economies.

Australia, as host of the meeting had sought to keep the focus on economic issues, but the issues of climate change and conflict in Ukraine attracted significant attention.

United States President Barrack Obama met European leaders to discuss a co-ordinated response to what they see as Russian's destabilization of Ukraine.

In an interview, Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin called for an end to sanctions against Russia, saying they harmed the world economy as well as Russia.
Australian leader, Tony Abbot agreed to take strong and effective action on climate change following pressure from the US and European leaders.

G-20 leaders also released a statement in which they vowed to do all they could to extinguish the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Ebola: DR Congo says its outbreak is over

A three-month Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has ended after claiming at least 49 lives.
The country's health Minister, Felix Kabange said no new cases had been registered since 4 October, though he warned against complacency.

The Country's outbreak is unrelated to the one in West Africa which has claimed more than 5,000 lives.
Today's announcement came 42 days after the last new Ebola case in the Country - Ebola outbreaks are usually declared over when two full cycles of the virus' 21 day incubation period finish without further infections.
The outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which began in August, had a high fatality rate at 74%.

Burkinabe army sets leadership deadline for opposition

Bukina Faso's military ruler Lt. Col. Isaac Zida has told activist groups they have until today afternoon to provide a list of candidates for interim national leader.
Lt Col Zida agreed a transition plan with civilian political groups on Thursday, but no leader was named.

The groups have agreed to submit a list of candidates to a 23-number council, which will then select a single leader.
Col Zida took over from long-time leader Blaise Compaore, who was ousted after mass street protests in October.
But then protests erupted against army rule after Col Zida suspended the constitution and cracked down on dissent.
International bodies threatened sanctions unless civilian rule was restored.

A deal was reached on Thursday to install an interim legislative chamber and a transitional leader until elections are organized next year.
Under the charter agreed on Thursday, the interim president will be chosen by a special college composed of religious, military, political, civil and traditional leaders.

Ukraine crisis: Russia under pressure at G20 summit

Russia has been rebuked by Western leaders about its role in the Ukraine crisis, at a G20 summit in Australia.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Russian President Vladimir Putin that he needed to "get out of Ukraine".
US President Barack Obama said Moscow's "aggression" in Ukraine was a "threat to the world", while the UK threatened more sanctions unless Russia stopped "destabilising" its neighbour.
The two-day summit in Brisbane is focusing on promoting economic growth.
World leaders are expected to elaborate on plans agreed by G20 finance ministers in February to boost global growth by 2% in five years.

Frosty handshake
However, Saturday - the first of the two-day summit - was dominated by Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists have been fighting government forces in eastern regions.
Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Russia of sending military forces across the border, something the Kremlin denies.
The EU imposed sanctions when Russia annexed Crimea in March and has added further measures since.


World Leaders meet in Australia for G20 Summit

World Leaders have converged on Queens Land City of Brisbane, the Australian Capital for this weekend’s G-20 Summit.
Thirteen World Leaders are attending the Summit including the United States, Chinese and Russian Leaders.

Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbot said leaders would focus on promoting growth, job creation, identifying tax cheats and strengthening the global economy.
Tensions with Russia over Ukraine will also be discussed while campaigners want climate change on the agenda.


Ebola Outbreak: Liberia President lifts state of emergency

Liberia's President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has lifted the state of emergency imposed on the country.
In a radio address, she told the nation that night curfews would be reduced, weekly markets could take place and preparations were being made for the re-opening of schools.
It marks the progress being made in the country, where the weekly number of new infections is falling.
She however warned that the fight against Ebola is over.

Meanwhile, clinical trials to find an effective treatment for Ebola patients are to start in West Africa next month.

The medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres, which has been helping lead the fight against the virus, says three of its treatment centres will host three separate research projects

Ebola crisis: WHO says death toll has passed 5000

The World Health Organisation says the number of people killed by the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola has risen to five thousand, one hundred and sixty.

The frequency of new cases no longer appears to be increasing nationally in Guinea and Liberia, but remains high in Sierra Leone, the health agency added.

The Ebola outbreak is thought to have infected more than Fourteen thousand people, almost all in West Africa.
The deaths of three more people in Mali have been reported in the past day.

Probe makes historic comet landing

European Robot probe Philae has made the first, historic landing on a comet, after descending from its mothership.
The landing on Comet 67P/ was confirmed at about 4pm.

There were cheers and hugs at the control room in Darmstadt, Germany, after the signal was confirmed.
It was designed to shine a light on some of the mysteries of these icy relics from the formation of the Solar System.

The landing caps a 6.4 billion-kilometre journey that was begun a decade ago.
Shortly after the touchdown was confirmed, Stephan Ulamec, the mission's lander chief, said: "Philae is talking to us... we are on the comet."

The first pictures from the surface have already reached Earth and are being processed in preparation for release.

Last US Ebola patient cured, released from hospital

The last known person in the US with Ebola has recovered and has been released from hospital.
Craig Spencer, an American doctor who became the first person to be diagnosed in New York, has been declared free of the virus.

He wor