• Sunday, February 01, 2015

World

Mediators seek Ukraine truce as 15 troops killed

Mediators seek Ukraine truce as 15 troops killed

Kiev's pro-Western leaders and mediators hoped to reach a "binding" truce with pro-Russian separatists yesterday despite Ukraine suffering one of its bloodiest days yet in the nine-month conflict with 15 troops killed. "In the last day, 15 soldiers died and 30 more were wounded. That is the figure for the whole frontline," Defence Minister...

Greece, EU on collision course

Greece's new government began a search for European allies yesterday in its bid to renegotiate its loans and end austerity, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel once again ruled out debt relief for Athens. The leftist government opened talks on its bailout with European partners on Friday by flatly refusing to extend the programme or to cooperate with the international inspectors overseeing it. Radical Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his maverick Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis are reaching out to France and Italy,...

US ground troops could be needed in Iraq: Hagel

Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in an interview on Friday the United States might eventually need to send non-combat ground troops to Iraq to help turn back Islamic State forces. Hagel, who announced his resignation under pressure in November, told CNN all options must be considered in Iraq, including sending troops for non-combat roles such as gathering intelligence and locating Islamic State targets. "I think it may require a forward deployment of some of our troops ...," he said. "I...

Hostage Crisis

Japan says negotiations 'deadlocked'

Japan says negotiations 'deadlocked'

Japan's deputy foreign minister has said negotiations with the Islamic State group threatening to execute a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese journalist have become "deadlocked", local media reported yesterday. Yasuhide Nakayama, who is leading Tokyo's emergency response team in Amman, told reporters in the Jordanian capital late Friday that there had been no progress...

Hamas armed wing a 'terror group'

An Egyptian court yesterday banned the armed wing of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, declaring it a "terrorist" group. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, denounced the ruling against the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades as "a dangerous political decision that serves the interests of the occupier," referring to Israel. Since Egypt's military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, the authorities have accused Hamas of aiding jihadists who have waged a string of deadly attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula. The court...

Obama to appear in public with Dalai Lama

Obama to appear in public with Dalai Lama

US President Barack Obama will appear in public at an event attended by the Dalai Lama next week in Washington, the White House said Friday, in a move sure to anger Beijing. "The president will deliver remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast," National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said. "This year, the organizers also...

AirAsia Tragedy

'Pilot left seat when jet lost control'

The captain of the AirAsia jet that crashed into the sea in December was out of his seat conducting an unusual procedure when his co-pilot apparently lost control, and by the time he returned it was too late to save the plane, two people familiar with the investigation said. Details emerging of the final moments of Flight QZ8501 are likely to focus attention partly on maintenance, procedures and training, though Indonesian officials have not ruled out any cause and stress...

800m men descended from 11 Asian leaders

800m men descended from 11 Asian leaders

More than 800 million men living today are descended from just eleven men, including the ruthless Mongolian leader Genghis Khan, according to new research. Geneticists have been able to find eleven distinctive sequences in Y-chromosomes - the chunk of DNA that is only carried by men - that are persistent in modern populations in Asia. By systematically analysing the DNA of more than 5,000 men, they have been able to trace these male lineages to their approximate 'founding fathers'. They found that along with Khan, who is reputed to have sired hundreds of children as his hoards cut a swathe across much of Asia, they traced ten other lineages. These are thought to...

Mattarella elected as Italian president

Mattarella elected as Italian president

Sergio Mattarella, a constitutional court judge from Sicily who is seen as a symbol of Italy's battle against organised crime, was elected Italy's new president yesterday. The 73-year-old Sicilian, who was backed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's centre-left Democratic Party (PD), succeeds the hugely popular Giorgio Napolitano, who is stepping down because of his advanced age.

India tests missile from mobile launcher

India tests missile from mobile launcher

India yesterday succeeded for the first time in using a mobile launcher to test-fire a long-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead deep inside rival China. Although yesterday's launch was the third test of the Agni V missile, it was the first time the weapon had been fired from a so-called canister mounted on a truck rather than from a concrete launchpad used in previous trials. Analysts say the Agni V has the range to strike any target on the Chinese mainland, including military installations in the far northeast.

News in Brief

India rescues 120 child slaves Afp, New Delhi Indian police have rescued hundreds of child slaves as young as six during days of raids on workshops in the central city of Hyderabad, a senior officer said Friday. Police discovered 120 children -- some of them sick, underweight and traumatised -- during raids on workshops that make bangles and other goods late on Thursday, as part of a city-wide crackdown on child slavery. Suu Kyi's mansion gates to be auctioned Afp, Yangon A set of...