Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mayisin son Dakika World News (May 2015 -A)

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Thursday blamed the United States and its allies for the conflict in Ukraine, saying their drive to bring Kiev closer to the West was a threat to Moscow and had forced it to react........Russia says U.S. forced it to act on Ukraine


  1. Nepal quake epicentre 'devastated'...

    Towns and villages near the epicentre of Saturday's earthquake in central Nepal have suffered "almost total devastation", the Red Cross says.

    Assessment teams say they have found survivors in a "desperate situation".

    More than 6,000 people are now known to have died in the 7.8-magnitude quake but the fate of thousands more in many remote areas remains unknown.

    The government has warned that the death toll could rise to more than 10,000.

    Although rescue teams from Nepal and the international community are operating in the capital Kathmandu and the surrounding area, landslides and poor weather have hampered efforts to reach isolated districts.

    Emergency aid has also yet to reach many of the worst-hit areas, six days after the quake hit.

    There was some good news on Thursday when a 15-year-old boy and a woman in her 20s were pulled from the wreckage of two collapsed buildings in

  2. China says U.S. welcome to use civilian facilities in South China Sea...

    (Reuters) - The United States and other countries will be welcome to use civilian facilities China is building in the South China Sea for search and rescue and weather forecasting "when conditions are right", China's navy chief has told a senior U.S. officer.

    China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas, with overlapping claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.

    Recent satellite images show China has made rapid progress in building an airstrip suitable for military use in the disputed Spratly Islands and may be planning another.

    Those moves, along with other reclamations, have caused alarm around the region and in Washington too, with the issue dominating a summit of Southeast Asian leaders this week, to China's

  3. The Kremlin does not have information on Ukraine’s alleged plan to sue Russia in the International Criminal Court (ICC), and thus does not comment on it, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday...

    "I have had no chance to get familiarized with that information," Peskov told journalists.

    "Frankly speaking, I have not heard about it, and hear it from you for the first time," he said when asked by a reporter to comment on the report.

    Earlier, a number of media reported that Ukraine’s authorities collected materials on violations of international human rights allegedly committed by Russia during incorporation of Crimea, as well as the situation around Donbass. Kiev reportedly plans to file a relevant lawsuit to the ICC in the next few weeks.

    Earlier, Russia’s Foreign Ministry, while commenting on Kiev’s such plans, said those guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine’s southeast should be sought among the supporters of the "party of war" in Kiev, not Russia.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and rule of law, Konstantin Dolgov said he would "agree that military crimes and crimes against humanity should have long been investigated."

    "But people who committed and organized them should be sought in Ukraine, among representatives of the ‘party of war’," Dolgov said. "The Ukrainian authorities are not addressing that yet.".

  4. China, EU to hold high-level strategic dialogue in Beijing ...

    China and the European Union (EU) will hold their fifth round of high-level strategic dialogue from May 5 to 6, said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Thursday.

    Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi will co-chair the dialogue with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini in Beijing, said spokesperson Hong Lei at a routine press briefing.

    This round of talks comes as the two sides celebrate the 40th anniversary of China-EU diplomatic ties and will be an important part of the celebrations, said Hong.

    The two sides will take the opportunity to exchange views on international and regional issues of common concern, he said.

    China believes that the dialogue will help increase strategic mutual trust, promote pragmatic cooperation and create favorable conditions for the building of the China-EU partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization.

  5. Saudi troops kill ‘dozens’ repelling Houthi attack on Yemen border crossing...

    Saudi ground forces deployed at the Yemen border, supported by the air force, have successfully repelled a massive attack by Houthi rebels on a border crossing, Riyadh has announced, saying that dozens of “hostile elements” were killed.

    In a statement issued by the Saudi Defense Ministry, Riyadh claims that the country’s ground forces “repelled an attack carried out by groups of Huthi militias and their supporters” in the border sector of Najran.

    The Houthis reportedly tried to capture border and control posts in Najran when Saudi forces engaged the attackers with “direct and indirect fire”. The Saudi Air Force also came to the rescue, targeting the rebels’ military hardware. “With the grace of God, our gallant forces managed to defeat the hostile evil elements,” the Saudi Press Agency wrote.

    At least three Saudi servicemen were killed, according to report, while taking out at least a dozen Houthi fighters. The Saudi side did not share the exact number of attackers, but the information released indicated that a large full blown attempt to attack Saudi positions.

    In a separate incident a border guard was killed by a shell, bringing the number of Saudi casualties in the five-week campaign to 14, Reuters

  6. Istanbul under security lockdown on tense May Day...

    Turkish police on Friday put Istanbul under a security lock down to thwart unauthorized demonstrations on a tense May Day, with roads to the center shut and public transport severely restricted.

    The usually traffic-clogged streets in the city center were eerily quiet as police blocked all vehicle access to Taksim Square, the traditional focus for protests in the city.

    Several hundred people turned out for an initial protest under heavy police surveillance in the Besiktas district on the Bosphorus, shouting "Long Live May 1!" and "shoulder to shoulder against Fascism!"

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's administration -- shaken by weeks of deadly anti-government protests in May-June 2013 centered on Taksim Square -- is hugely nervous about public demonstrations ahead of June 7 legislative elections.

    In an apparent bid to discourage protests, the city's main metro line has been halted well before Taksim and services on the city tram service are stopping halfway.

    The local authorities have erected iron barriers on Taksim Square to make even pedestrian access impossible.

    Several ferry services from the Asian side of the Bosphorus have been suspended to prevent people from crossing to join protests on the European side.

    Private helicopters were also banned from taking to the skies to give the airspace to police

  7. Cuba: une visite historique du MAE japonais...

    Pour la première fois dans l'histoire des relations entre le Japon et Cuba, le ministre japonais des Affaires étrangères se rend à La Havane.

    Le ministre japonais des Affaires étrangères Fumio Kishida entame vendredi sa première visite à Cuba, annonce la chaîne télévisée NHK.

    Fumio Kishida est le premier ministre des Affaires étrangères à s'être rendu à Cuba. Le Japon a commencé à s'intéresser à coopérer avec "l'Ile de la liberté" suite au début de la normalisation des relations entre Cuba et les Etats-Unis.....

  8. El Partido Comunista de Grecia opina que la coalición de izquierda radical Syriza no cumple con las promesas electorales tras haber llegado al poder y lleva a cabo una política en contra del pueblo, declaró este viernes a RIA Novosti el secretario general del bloque comunista, Dimitris Kutsumbas...

    "El Gobierno de (primer ministro griego, Alexis) Tsipras (…) modificó las promesas que dio antes de los comicios de acabar con memorandos, leyes consentidoras, legislación antilaboral y aún más, vemos que está introduciendo nuevas medidas antipopulares", dijo Kutsumbas al responder a la pregunta por qué los comunistas no apoyan a Syriza....

    1. Greece's 'Blazing Saddles' Strategy Isn't Working...

      There's a scene in the 1974 Mel Brooks movie "Blazing Saddles" where the besieged sheriff points a gun at his own head and threatens to shoot himself if the townspeople threatening to kill him don't back off. "Listen to him, men, he's just crazy enough to do it!" calls one vigilante, as the sheriff effectively kidnaps himself and escapes. I'm starting to think that the Greek government has been attempting a similar tactic since its election in January, albeit with less success.

      The gun Athens pointed at itself was the threat of default. Moreover, it seemed to think that other countries were standing close enough for a suicide bullet to traverse Greece and then snuff out Portugal, then Spain, then Italy. It turns out, though, that the denizens of euroland don't much care whether Greece pulls the default trigger, and -- rightly or wrongly -- aren't that worried about the potential consequences.

      But if Greece's threats are mostly empty, its creditors' are all too real. And it's starting to become clear which of those creditors is liable to lose its patience first.

      Greece has lost 2 percentage points of anticipated growth in just three months, according to the European Commission's latest forecasts published on Tuesday. The nation's economy will expand by just 0.5 percent this year, after the EC slashed the 2.5 percent prediction it made in February. A country that's barely growing but has debts equal to 180 percent of its gross domestic product is a country that will struggle to meet its obligations...............

  9. UN envoy to kick-off Syria talks in Geneva next week...

    The United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Syria will begin next week a series of in-depth, separate consultations with Syrian stakeholders and regional and international actors to take stock of their views on reopening peace talks based on the 2012 so-called Geneva Communiqué, a spokesperson for the Organization has announced.

    In a note to correspondents issued this morning, the UN spokesperson confirmed that Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura had invited “as many of the parties as possible” to the Geneva Consultations on Syria scheduled to begin on 4 May at UN Headquarters in Geneva and expected to last for an initial period of five to six

  10. Member of of Ukraine's Azov volunteer battalion detained in Crimea — prosecutor...

    A member of the nationalist Azov battalion, a paramilitary group making part of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s National Guard that took part in the armed conflict in Ukraine’s southeast, has been detained in Crimea, Crimean Prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya said Friday.

    Poklonskaya said the young man is suspected of involvement in arson of a mosque in the city of Simferopol and attempt to carry out a terrorist act near the republic’s prosecutor’s office.

    "The suspect has been detained and the measure of restraint in the form of taking into custody has been imposed on him," she said.

    Poklonskaya added that solution of a number of high-profile crimes of terrorist and extremist nature earlier committed on the peninsula was the result of a focused effort of the prosecutor’s office, operative units of the Russian Interior Ministry’s anti-extremism center and the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Department in Crimea.

  11. US envoy deflects 'stupid blonde' insult by Turkish mayor with humor ...

    The US ambassador to Turkey is fighting back with humor after Ankara's mayor called a US state department spokeswoman a "stupid blonde."

    John Bass posted a picture on his Instagram account with his normally dark hair digitally altered to a reddish blond. The caption said: "American Diplomats: We Are All Blonde."

    Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek had taken to social media to go after State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf for criticizing Turkish police tactics during

  12. EU says 1,000 citizens unaccounted for after Nepal quake ...

    A thousand European Union citizens in Nepal are still unaccounted for, nearly a week after a massive quake that hit during the peak trekking season, the EU ambassador to Nepal said Friday.

    Most were trekking in the remote Langtang mountain range near the epicentre or in the Everest region, Rensje Teerink told journalists in Kathmandu.

    "They are missing but we don't know what their status is," she said.

    "Many were in the Langtang area and some were in the Lukla area," she added, referring to the small Himalayan airstrip known as the gateway to Everest.

    Another EU official said on condition of anonymity that the majority were likely to be found safe and well but that their status was currently unknown given the difficult terrain and lack of access to affected

  13. Un grupo de hombres armados ha derribado un helicóptero del Ejército de México en la ciudad de Guadalajara, en el estado de Jalisco, al oeste del país, informa AP. El ataque se atribuye al narcotráfico...

    Según los datos preliminares, el accidente costó vida a tres militares y al menos 12 personas resultaron heridas. El presidente del país, Enrique Peña Nieto, ha lamentado lo sucedido en su cuenta oficial de

    1. Mexican army helicopter shot at in drug cartel attack...

      A Mexican army helicopter has been shot at in the western state of Jalisco, killing three soldiers and injuring 12 others.

      The country's defence minister said the aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing after it came under fire from members of a drug cartel.

      A government official said the Jalisco New Generation gang was believed to be behind the attack, Reuters reports.

      There were violent clashes elsewhere in the state on Friday.

      Jalisco's Governor Aristoteles Sandoval said at least seven people had been killed and 15 injured.

      Vehicles were set on fire and banks and petrol stations were damaged across the region.

      "This is a reaction to an operation to detain leaders of this cartel," said Mr Sandoval, without naming the group.

      The Jalisco New Generation is considered one of the most powerful criminal organisations in Mexico and is involved in large-scale drug trafficking along the Pacific Coast.

      The military helicopter was taking part in the operation when it spotted carloads of gunmen on a road between the towns of Casimiro Castillo and Villa Purificacion.

      Three other security personnel are still missing, according to the defence ministry.

      More than 20 police officers have been killed in attacks by drug gangs in the last two months in Jalisco

  14. Ukraine claims over $16 bln from Gazprom under gas contracts...

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced this on his Facebook page on Friday.

    "Within six months after our first recourse to the arbitration institute regarding the [gas] transit contract [with Russia's Gazprom], leading international experts and lawyers have done a lot of work to clearly prove that the transit contract is unfair in relation to Ukraine, and more than $10 billion should be paid by Gazprom to Naftogaz as compensation of losses," he wrote.

    "Thus, the total sum of our claims against Gazprom under the gas purchase transit contracts has already exceeded $16 billion," Yatsenyuk said.

  15. Nigeria frees 234 more women, children from Boko Haram's Sambisa stronghold: Army...

    Nigeria troops have freed another 234 women and children from Boko Haram's stronghold in the Sambisa forest, the military said on Saturday.

    The defence headquarters said in a statement the hostages were rescued on Friday through the Kawuri and Konduga end of Sambisa forest.

    Some 500 women and children have already been rescued by the military in the past few days.

    "They have been evacuated to join others at the place of ongoing screening," the military said.

    It said the "assault on the forest is continuing from various fronts and efforts are concentrated on rescuing hostages of civilians and destroying all terrorists camps and facilities in the forest."

    The military had pledged to free more hostages from the Islamists after hundreds were rescued earlier this

  16. Baltimore celebrates charges in death of Freddie Gray...

    Baltimore residents celebrated the decision by the chief prosecutor to charge one police officer with murder and five others with lesser crimes in the death of a young black man.

    Freddie Gray suffered a critical neck injury in the back of a police van, a case that fueled new anger over police treatment of minorities.

    The charges brought jubilation and relief to the streets of Baltimore after nearly two weeks of peaceful protests, punctuated by Monday's rioting.

    "What I am happy about is that the community is feeling a sense of calm, or sense of relief," said Munir Bahar, Co-Founder of 300 Men March Movement.

    "It makes our job easier trying to keep the peace in our community. Trying to prevent the community from burning itself down."

    The 300 Men March Movement is comprised of men and women across the entire City of Baltimore actively working to decrease gun violence in urban

  17. US-led Syria strikes 'kill dozens of civilians'...

    Air strikes by the US-led coalition targeting Islamic State militants have killed more than 50 civilians in northern Syria, activists say.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group, says Birmahle village was hit on Friday and that some people were still trapped in rubble.

    The coalition has so far not

  18. Several hundred Yazidi captives have been killed in Iraq by Islamic State (IS) militants west of Mosul, Yazidi and Iraqi officials say...

    A statement from the Yazidi Progress Party said 300 captives were killed on Friday in the Tal Afar district near the city.

    Iraqi Vice-President Osama al-Nujaifi described the reported deaths as "horrific and barbaric".

    Thousands of members of the religious minority group were captured last

  19. French patrol boat rescues 217 migrants off Libyan coast ..

    A French patrol ship rescued 217 migrants from three small boats that had run into trouble off the coast of Libya on Saturday, the maritime police said in a statement.

    The Commandant Birot helped several dozen people in distress and intercepted two suspected people smugglers, according to the statement.

    "The intercepted vessels have all been neutralised," the maritime police said, adding that they were responding to a call from the maritime rescue coordination centre in Rome as part of the European Union's operation Triton.

    The rescued migrants and the suspected people smugglers have been handed over to the Italian authorities, the Toulon, France-based maritime police added.

    The sea is one of the main routes into the European Union for tens of thousands of mostly Asian and African migrants fleeing war and poverty, with almost 40,000 people having arrived this year already.

    A migrant boat sank with the loss of more than 700 lives last month, raising pressure for action by EU countries, who pledged to step up search and rescue operations in the southern Mediterranean.
    - Reuters/al

  20. Berlin commémore la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale et insiste sur sa "responsabilité"...

    Le ministre allemand des Affaires étrangères Frank-Walter Steinmeier a commémoré aujourd'hui la fin de la bataille de Berlin il y a 70 ans, prélude à la capitulation sans condition de l'Allemagne, insistant sur la "responsabilité" que conserve son pays.

    "Il nous revient particulièrement - peut-être plus qu'à quiconque - la responsabilité de maintenir un ordre international. Un ordre qui assure la paix", a déclaré M. Steinmeier à la chambre des représentants de Berlin, qualifiant de "libération" la reddition le 2 mai 1945 de la garnison berlinoise face à l'Armée rouge. Cette tâche incombe "particulièrement à l'Allemagne, dont le nationalisme débridé a plongé le monde dans le chaos (...), et qui a depuis été réintégrée, prudemment et progressivement, à l'ordre pacifique européen et international", a martelé le chef de la diplomatie allemande.

    Pour M. Steinmeier, "le 'plus jamais' signifie aussi, pour nous Allemands: 'Plus jamais seuls !'", et implique une politique étrangère tournée vers "la compréhension entre les peuples, la quête de solutions politiques aux conflits et la conservation de structures de maintien de la paix"

  21. Australia has unveiled new laws for foreigners who break rules on buying real estate in the country...

    The regulations are aimed at tightening access to the country's housing market, allowing foreigners to purchase NEW buildings in Australia, but not existing property. Anyone who violates the rules could face up to three years in jail, or be hit with fines of over 100 thousand US dollars for individuals, and over 500,000 US dollars for companies.

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the changes, saying his government was in favour of foreign investment, but also wanted to ensure that "locals are getting a fair go". The changes come after the government earlier this year announced it would introduce fees on all foreign investment applications.

  22. Saudi-led coalition denies Aden ground operation...

    The Saudi-led coalition has not started any major ground operation in the Yemeni port of Aden, coalition spokesman Ahmed al-Asiri said on Sunday, denying previous reports from Yemeni sources that ground troops had arrived and had began to fight.

    “There are no foreign forces in Aden but coalition continues to help fight against the Houthi militia,” Asiri said in a statement.

    It was earlier reported that a “limited coalition force entered Aden and another force is on its way” to the southern port city, a Yemeni official who requested anonymity, was quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying.

    Meanwhile, Yemen’s Aden al-Ghad newspaper had reported that “the first push of the Arab ground force arrived on Sunday morning in Aden and began to take part in battle,” citing its reporters. The newspaper is linked to southern separatists demanding the restoration of the southern state that merged with North Yemen in

  23. China sends armed police to Nepal for first time...

    .....The first batch of 160 "armed police officers" crossed the Friendship Bridge that links the two countries on May 2. A total of 500 police officers and 180 pieces of road repair machinery will be sent, according to Fu Ling, a senior officer with the traffic rescue brigade of the police.

    The visiting policemen were received by the Nepalese police at the border, the official Xinhua news agency said. China has also sent geologists to Nepal to assist in the rescue

  24. Two inmates were killed and 21 others injured during fighting that broke out in an Athens prison on Sunday, the justice ministry said...

    The violence erupted between Albanian and Pakistani groups of prisoners using improvised weapons in Korydallos prison in western Athens, an informed source said. The reason for the dispute was unclear.

    Eight of the injured were said to be in serious condition, and several ambulances could be seen in front of the prison.

  25. Sweden accuses Russian warships of disrupting power cable laying...

    Swedish authorities have accused Russian naval ships of interfering with the cable-laying work between Sweden and Lithuania. It comes a few months after Sweden unsuccessfully hunted for Russian submarines in the Stockholm archipelago.

    Sweden insists Russian war vessels have interfered with the cable-laying four times over the past couple of months, the Local reported.

    "Sweden has discussed the matter with the Russian authorities," Pezhman Fivrin, spokesperson for Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, told the Aftobladet newspaper.

    Stockholm would discuss the accusations again on Monday, Wallström

  26. Two killed at US cartoon conference...

    Two gunmen have been shot dead after they opened fire outside a conference on cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a suburb of Dallas, US police say.

    A security guard was also injured. Police sealed off the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland and evacuated participants.

    The event, organised by a group critical of Islam, was offering a cash prize for a drawing of the Prophet.

    Dutch anti-Islamic politician Geert Wilders was among those attending.

    He tweeted that shots had been fired and he had safely left the building.

    It was not clear if the shootings were related to the

  27. An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.6 hit the near the New Zealand South Island resort towns of Queenstown and Wanaka, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Monday...

    The quake was centered 59 km (36 miles) north of Queenstown at a depth of 10 km (six miles) according to the USGS. Social media users reported feeling the tremor but there were no immediate reports of damage or injury.

    The quake was initially measured at 5.9 magnitude

  28. Lindner: Ein Grexit auf Zeit "würde Europa stärken"...

    Chef Christian Lindner hat einen zeitweiligen Austritt Griechenlands aus der Eurozone - also einen Grexit auf Zeit - ins Spiel gebracht: „Unsere Strategie war Solidarität gegen Reformen. Dazu stehen wir – aber in aller Konsequenz. Wenn sich Griechenland Reformen verweigert, darf es keine weiteren Hilfen geben“, sagte Lindner im Interview mit der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung.

    Der Gedanke des vereinten Europa würde im Zweifel gestärkt, "wenn ein chronisch unsolides Mitglied die Eurozone mindestens zeitweise verlässt", meinte Lindner, dessen Partei seit der letzten Wahl im Herbst 2013 nicht mehr im deutschen Bundestag vertreten ist. Ein Brexit, also das Ausscheiden Großbritanniens aus der EU, "wäre geostrategisch gefährlicher als der Grexit aus dem Euro", sagte Lindner.
    Papandreou für Referendum

    Ebenfalls in der Frankfurter Allgemeinen machte sich Griechenlands Ex-Premier Giorgos Papandreou für ein Euro-Referendum in seinem Land stark. Er sagt das zwar nicht wörtlich, spricht sich jedoch dafür aus, das Volk über ein Reformprogramm und etwaige Vereinbarungen mit den Geldgebern abstimmen zu lassen. In letzter Konsequenz würde dies wohl über einen Verbleib Griechenlands in der Eurozone entscheiden, denn im Falle eines "Nein" der Griechen und in der Folge ausbleibender Hilfen würde Athen in den Staatsbankrott schlittern.

  29. With rescue near, Boko Haram stoned Nigerian girls to death...

    Even with the crackle of gunfire signalling rescuers were near, the horrors did not end: Boko Haram fighters stoned captives to death, some girls and women were crushed by an armoured car and three died when a land mine exploded as they walked to freedom.

    Through tears, smiles and eyes filled with pain, the survivors of months in the hands of the Islamic extremists told their tragic stories to The Associated Press yesterday (May 3), their first day out of the war zone.

    “We just have to give praise to God that we are alive, those of us who have survived,” said 27-year-old Lami Musa as she cradled her five-day-old baby girl.

    She was among 275 girls, women and their young children, many bewildered and traumatised, who were getting medical care and being registered a day after making it to

  30. A suicide bomber blew himself up on Monday in a central neighborhood of the Syrian capital where major security compounds are housed, according to a Syrian army source...

    The army source told state television the security forces had killed all the members of "a terrorist group" in the bustling Rukn al-Din district during a chase after a suicide bomber blew himself up.

    The source did not say whether there were any casualties but a resident contacted by Viber said the army had sealed off the main streets of the congested part of the capital adjacent to key government installations and embassies. by Reuters

  31. Two Ukrainian servicemen killed in eastern Ukraine: Kiev military...

    (Reuters) - Two Ukrainian servicemen were killed and five wounded in continued clashes with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine despite a two-month ceasefire, Kiev's military said on Monday.

    The two were killed when their armored personnel carrier was blown up by a land mine in the Luhansk region near the border with Russia, military spokesman Oleksander Motuzyanyk told a televised briefing.

  32. Kiev confirms Contact Group’s meeting on May 6...

    The Ukrainian side has confirmed May 6 as the date for a new meeting of the Contact Group on the Ukraine crisis settlement in Minsk, Ukraine Envoy Leonid Kuchma’s spokeswoman Daria Olifer said on her Facebook account on Monday.

    "A meeting of the Contact Group participants with representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics is intended to be held in Minsk on May 6," she said.

    Ahead of this event, a working meeting will be held on May 5 between OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) representative Heidi Tagliavini, Kuchma and Russian envoy Azamat Kulmukhametov, the spokeswoman

  33. China lodges protest with U.S. after religious freedom report..

    China has lodged a protest with the United States after a U.S. government commission said Chinese violations of religious freedom were "severe" and "systematic", the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

    The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan U.S. federal government body, said in a report last week that there were "unprecedented violations" against Christians, Buddhists and Muslims in China last year.

    The report urged the U.S. Department of State to re-designate China's government as a top-tier violator, along with 16 other countries, including Myanmar, Iran, North Korea and Saudi Arabia.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing was firmly opposed to the report's findings and had already lodged a diplomatic protest.

    "This report from the so-called U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is full of political bias and makes arbitrary and unfounded criticism of China," Hua told a daily news briefing, adding that Chinese citizens had "ample" freedom religious freedom under

  34. Two United Nations peacekeeping soldiers were injured in the Golan Heights by Syrian mortar shells, a Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson confirmed to Xinhua...

    The spokesperson did not say how serious the injuries were, but Israel Radio reported that the peacekeepers were slightly wounded.

    Several mortar shells hit Israeli-occupied Golan Heights territories, where the United Nations Disengagement Observance Force (UNDOF) is deployed.

    The UNDOF has been deployed in the region in accordance with a UN Security Council resolution following the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, under an agreement of disengagement between Israeli and Syrian forces on the Golan

  35. Saudi-led alliance mulls partial truces in Yemen: statement...

    (Reuters) - A Saudi-led Arab alliance conducting air strikes against Houthi fighters in Yemen is considering calling truces in specific areas in Yemen to allow humanitarian supplies to reach the country, the Saudi foreign minister said on Monday.

    Adel al-Jubeir also said Saudi Arabia might host a center to coordinate delivery of humanitarian supplies.

    The United Nations says the humanitarian situation in Yemen has grown desperate after weeks of air strikes.

    "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is holding consultations with members of the alliance in defense of legitimacy in Yemen and all countries that support it, to create specific areas inside Yemen to deliver humanitarian supplies, where all aerial operations will stop at specific times to allow these supplies in, as stipulated by UN Security Council resolution 2216," Jubeir said in a

  36. Jihadists Destroy Proposed World Heritage Site in Mali ...

    Jihadists have destroyed a mausoleum in central Mali that had been submitted as a U.N. World Heritage site, leaving behind a warning that they will come after all those who don't follow their strict version of Islam, a witness said Monday.

    The dynamite attack on the mausoleum of Cheick Amadou Barry mirrors similar ones that were carried out in northern Mali in 2012 when jihadists seized control of the major towns there. The destruction also comes as concerns grow about the emergence of a new extremist group active much further south and closer to the capital.

    Barry was a marabout, or important Islamic religious leader, in the 19th century who helped to spread Islam among the animists of central Mali. One of his descendants, Bologo Amadou Barry, confirmed to The Associated Press that the site had been partially destroyed in Hamdallahi village on Sunday

  37. China says Philippines violating South China Sea code...

    (Reuters) - China has accused the Philippines of violating a 13-year-old informal code of conduct in the South China Sea with its building work on disputed islets, firing back again after repeated criticism of China's own construction work.

    China and the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed an agreement in 2002 to refrain from occupying uninhabited reefs and shoals in the sea, and from building new structures that would complicate disputes.

    In a statement released just before midnight on Monday, China's Foreign Ministry urged the Philippines to stop its "malicious hyping and provocation" on the dispute, whose basis, it said, was Manila's illegal occupation of certain Chinese islands.

    "The Philippines side has conducted large-scale construction of military and civil facilities including airports, ports and barracks on those islands for many years," the ministry

  38. 7.4 quake, aftershocks hit Papua New Guinea prompting tsunami scare...

    A strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck the southern coast of Papua New Guinea, US Geological Survey reported. A tsunami warning was issued for an area within 300 km of the epicenter, including the Australian coast, before being downplayed.

    A large temblor registered 133 kilometers (83 miles) south-west of Kokopo, according to USGS. The revised data showed the epicenter to be 63 kilometers under the coast of New Britain island.

    The quake was followed by a 5.9-magnitude aftershock just 10 minutes later. The series of aftershocks continued with 5.6 and 5.2 tremors.

    The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) has issued a preliminary warning message immediately after the first tremor, saying that “hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300km of the earthquake epicenter.” .....

  39. China offers possible use of reclaimed areas by third countries: U.S...

    China has offered the possible use of reclaimed areas in the South China Sea by third countries, including the United States, in the future, during recent bilateral talks by naval chiefs, a U.S. Navy official said Monday.

    China’s unilateral land reclamation and construction of facilities including airstrips on islands in disputed areas in the sea have drawn controversy and protest by some Southeast Asian countries which also claim them.

    Adm. Wu Shengli, commander in chief of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, made the potential offer during a videoconference with Adm. Jonathan Greenert, U.S. chief of naval operations, on Wednesday last week, according to the official.

    It was the first time for the U.S. side to hear such an offer from the Chinese side, the official said.

    The U.S. official said Greenert “did not endorse or validate to Adm. Wu or his Navy that we would use the islands,” noting the U.S. side regarded Wu’s proposal as an unofficial offer which was not made through the formal diplomatic channel.........

  40. Syria conflict: Aleppo civilians suffer 'unthinkable atrocities'...

    Civilians in Syria's second city of Aleppo are suffering unthinkable atrocities, Amnesty International says.

    A new report alleges that government forces and many rebel groups are committing war crimes on a daily basis.

    The government has reportedly stepped up its bombardment of Aleppo in recent weeks in response to a rebel offensive.

    President Bashar al-Assad categorically denied that barrel bombs had ever been used by his forces in an interview with the BBC in February.

    At least 10 people, including four children and teacher, were killed on Sunday when a barrel bomb hit a nursery school in the Seif al-Dawla district.

    Local journalist Zaina Erhaim told the BBC on Monday that she heard the sound of children's screams and saw rescuers struggling to pull victims from the rubble...........

  41. IWF verlangt Schuldenschnitt für Griechenland...

    Der Internationale Währungsfonds droht einem Bericht zufolge den Euroländern: Verzichten sie nicht teilweise auf Griechenlands Schulden, will der IWF nicht mehr

  42. South Ossetia suspends easy rules of crossing border with Georgia for three days...

    outh Ossetia on May 8-10 will suspend the operation of checkpoints on the border with Georgia that let locals travel either way according to simpler rules, the press office of South Ossetia’s State Security Committee has said. The measure is expected to enhance public security during celebrations on the occasion of the V-Day’s 70th anniversary, the State Security Committee said, adding that the routine border crossing procedures would resume as of May 11.

    Easy border crossing rules are effective in South Ossetia for the residents of the remote Leninogorsk district, which has had tight historical bonds with Georgia. The local residents have special passes allowing them to cross the border without any formalities, because many families live on either side of the border and their households are split.........

  43. Aid Group: About 40 Migrants Reportedly Drown During Rescue ...

    The Save the Children aid group reported that about 40 migrants may have drowned Sunday in the Mediterranean when the rubber dinghy they were on either deflated or exploded as they tried to reach the coast of Italy.

    Save the Children said survivors of the accident reported that "very many" died when they fell into the sea and could not swim. They were the latest casualties – now more than 1,750 this year – in the unrelenting stream of migrants trying to escape conflict and poverty in Africa and the Mideast for a more stable life in Europe.

    The deaths were reported by some of the survivors – from Ghana, Gambia, Senegal and Ivory Coast – as they arrived in the Italian port of Catania.

    Italian naval and coast guard ships rescued nearly 6,800 migrants last weekend and another 652 migrants from Ghana, Nigeria and Gambia arrived in Italy Tuesday aboard the Italian naval ship

  44. Bruselas propondrá multar a España por la manipulación del déficit y la deuda ...

    La Comisión Europea propondrá esta semana multar a España por la manipulación de las estadísticas de déficit y de deuda en la Comunidad Valenciana, informa Europa Press.

    El castigo por la ocultación sistemática de parte del gasto sanitario y por el falseamiento del déficit en la Comunidad Valenciana será debatido este miércoles en la reunión del colegio de comisarios.

    El importe de la sanción que se aprobará formalmente este viernes será "muy inferior" al máximo estipulado en la legislación de la Unión Europea, el 0,2% del PIB del país (2.000 millones de euros en el caso de España), según fuentes de Europa Press. Después, el Ecofin tendrá que ratificar la propuesta.

    A raíz de la manipulación de estadísticas de Grecia, Bruselas impuso en 2011 una legislación que permite investigar estadísticas en un país miembro de la Unión y sancionar a dicho país si se revelan falseamientos. En este caso de España se trata de la primera vez que la UE hace uso de este nuevo

    1. Questions and Answers: Commission investigation into statistical reporting in Valencia...

      Questions and Answers: Commission investigation into statistical reporting in Valencia

      On what basis has the Commission concluded that an entity within the general government sector of Spain (IGGV) was seriously negligent?

      The investigation showed that severe irregularities took place in the accounting, recording and reporting of expenditure of the AC of Valencia over a significant period of time. The accrual principle was not respected, extra-budgetary accounts were used improperly, expenditure was sometimes left unrecorded for years and the statistical information communicated from the regional authorities of Valencia to the national authorities was misleading, leading to the misreporting of the deficit data for Spain in 2012.

      The report therefore concluded that the EDP data transmitted to Eurostat in 2012 did not include part of the expenditure incurred by the AC of Valencia. The accrual principle, which follows from ESA 95[1] rules, was disregarded.

      The evidence provided by different entities, including IGGV (Intervención General de la Generalitat Valenciana), the Regional Ministry of Health, IGAE (Intervención General de la Administración del Estado) and the Regional Court of Auditors points to IGGV as the main responsible for the fact that the accrual principle was not followed and that considerable amounts of health expenditure were not recorded. It was the IGGV that had the responsibility of compiling the public accounts of the region.

      What is the procedure for the preparation of the final report?

      The Commission Delegated Decision 2012/678/EU of 29 June 2012 on investigation and fines related to the manipulation of statistics as referred to in Regulation (EU) No 1173/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the effective enforcement of budgetary surveillance in the euro area[2] lays down detailed rules concerning the procedures for investigating misrepresentation of general government deficit and debt data that are the result of intentional or serious negligence, detailed rules concerning the right of defence and confidentiality and detailed criteria establishing the amount of the fine.............

  45. US approves ferry service between Cuba and Florida...

    Ferries could be set to run between Florida and Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years after the US government approved new services.

    Services between the two countries stopped when the US imposed a trade embargo on Cuba in 1960.

    But Washington announced the restoration of diplomatic ties in December last year.

    The US government has now lifted the ban and a number of ferry companies say they have been given licences.

    "Today's action was a great step forward," said Joseph Hinson, president of the Miami-based United Americas Shipping Services.

    "If all goes smoothly we could have things up and running by September."

    1. US approves first ferry service to Cuba in decades...

      Ferry services may soon link the US and Cuba for the first time in more than half a century after the Treasury Department in Washington issued licenses to at least two US companies.

      Ferry links between Florida and Cuba ceased in the early 1960s, following the Cuban revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power.

      In December, the United States and Cuba announced plans to renew diplomatic relations after 54 years, and have since held high-level talks.

      "If all goes smoothly we could have things up and running by September," said Joseph Hinson, vice president of Baja Ferries USA.

      He added the company still needed to get approval from Cuba, as well as Florida port

    2. ABD'den Küba'ya feribot seferi...

      ABD medyasında yer alan haberlere göre, Hazine Bakanlığı, 4 taşımacılık şirketine Küba ile ABD arasında ticari feribot seferi düzenleme lisansı verdi. Bu lisansların seferlerin hemen başlayacağı anlamına gelmediği ve Küba'nın da söz konusu şirketlere izin vermesi gerektiği belirtildi.

      ABD ile Küba arasındaki deniz seferleri iki ülke arasında yaşanan gerilim nedeniyle 1960'ların başından beri gerçekleştirilmiyordu.

      Hazine Bakanlığı yetkilileri, söz konusu iznin genel bir lisans olmadığını ve her firmanın ayrı değerlendirildiğini kaydetti ancak toplam kaç firmaya yetki verildiği konusunda açıklama yapmadı

  46. Hungary Seeks EU Debate on Restoring Death Penalty ...

    A debate about restoring the death penalty has been a recurring issue with Hungary's prime minister since a 2002 bank robbery in which eight people were killed.

    Now, spurred by the April 22 stabbing of a young tobacco shop assistant but also aware of gains by the far-right Jobbik party, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has again called for the issue to be kept "on the agenda.''

    The idea drew stern condemnations from the European Union, where the death penalty's ban is a cornerstone of human rights policies, and where Orban last week reassured Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, that Hungary had no plans to restore capital

  47. Hezbollah says will attack Nusra Front inside Syria...

    Hezbollah's leader said on Tuesday his Lebanon-based militant group will launch an attack inside Syria against al Qaeda-linked insurgents in the mountain region along the countries' border.

    Local media and Syrian opposition have speculated that such an assault could start within days in the Qalamoun area, and Hezbollah fighters clashed with gunmen from the same Syria-based insurgent group, Nusra Front, in a different border zone on Tuesday.

    The attack "will announce itself when it happens," Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech. It would be in Qalamoun, but "as for its goal, place or where it will extend to.. This ...we do not declare now."

    1. Hezbollah captures Syrian village from Islamic militants...

      Hezbollah fighters captured a Syrian village Tuesday near the border with Lebanon after intense fighting with Islamic militants, the group's television station said, while an activist said battles are concentrating near a strategic Syrian hill.

      The battles come amid reports in Lebanon that Hezbollah and the Syrian army are expected to launch an offensive against members of the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda's branch in Syria, and the Islamic State group in Qalamoun.

      Hezbollah's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, said in a televised speech late Tuesday that his group will attack militants in Qalamoun, adding that "time will tell" when the battle will become full blown. He added that there will be no formal announcement before the widely anticipated battle begins.

      Nasrallah vowed that his group will continue fighting in Syria along with President Bashar Assad's forces, saying recent defeats of the Syrian army in the northwestern province of Idlib do not mean the president's opponents have won the

  48. Obama expected to push for Gulf missile defense at U.S. summit...

    (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is expected to make a renewed U.S. push next week to help Gulf allies create a region-wide defense system to guard against Iranian missiles as he seeks to allay their anxieties over any nuclear deal with Tehran, according to U.S. sources.

    The offer could be accompanied by enhanced security commitments, new arms sales and more joint military exercises, U.S. officials say, as Obama tries to reassure Gulf Arab countries that Washington is not abandoning them.

    With little more than a week to go before Obama hosts the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council at the White House and then at Camp David, aides are discussing the options in pre-summit meetings with Arab diplomats. Officials say no final decisions on possible U.S. proposals have been

  49. The Germanwings co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing a plane in the French Alps in March, killing all 150 people on board, practised a descent on the previous flight, German newspaper Bild said on Tuesday...

    Prosecutors believe 27-year-old German co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit and veered the plane into an early descent on a flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf on 24 March.

    Bild, citing sources close to France’s BEA crash investigation agency, said an interim report that BEA was planning to publish on Wednesday would say that Lubitz had practised reducing flight altitude on the outbound flight from Dusseldorf to Barcelona the same day as the crash.

    Bild cited the sources as saying the BEA report would talk about a “controlled descent that lasted for minutes and for which there was no aeronautical justification”

  50. French judges ended their investigation into the 2004 death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, AFP reported Wednesday...

    According to the report, findings were submitted to the prosecutor, who now has three months to decide whether to dismiss the case or carry it to court, on April 30.

  51. White House won’t support self-determined Kurdish gov’t...

    The White House said Tuesday that it still backs a "unified" Iraq even with the president of the Kurdish Regional Government set to ask for U.S. support for his government during his current visit to Washington.

    "It continues to be the view of the United States that a unified Iraq that's governed in an inclusive way is clearly in the best interest of Iraq's diverse population," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

    Iraqi news agencies said self-determination of Iraqi Kurds will be one of the main topics to be discussed during Massoud Barzani's visit, citing his Chief of Staff Fuad Hussein.

    The White House released a readout saying President Barack Obama on Tuesday met Barzani at the White House, along with Vice President Joe

  52. Japan Planning Military Deployment to its Southernmost Islands..

    Media reports from Japan suggest up to 600 military personnel are to be stationed on its southwestern islands in the East China Sea.

    The Defense Ministry of Japan is planning to deploy units of its Ground Self-Defense Force to the islands of Miyako and Ishigaki southwest of Okinawa, in what Japanese government sources claimed to be a response to increased maritime activity from Chinese naval vessels in the Pacific Ocean close to the islands.

    Around 600 military personnel, equipped with surface-to-ship missiles, are to be deployed on the islands, which are controlled by Japan as part of its Okinawa Prefecture....

  53. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday Tehran would not accept nuclear talks under threat, state television reported, as Iran and world powers try to meet a June 30 deadline for a final deal...

    "Holding nuclear talks (with major powers) under shadow of threat is unacceptable for Iran...Our nation will not accept it...Military threats will not help the talks," Khamenei was quoted as saying by Iran's English language Press TV. by Reuters

  54. Record number internally displaced by conflict - report...

    Conflict and violence around the world have displaced a record 38 million people inside their own countries, a new report says.

    The figures published by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) were described as the worst in a generation.

    Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria had the most newly displaced

  55. US leading effort to assign blame for Syria chlorine attacks...

    Diplomats say the United States is leading an effort to create a way to attribute blame for chlorine attacks in Syria.

    The U.N. Security Council has been unable to follow up on a resolution it passed earlier this year that condemned such attacks in Syria and threatened action for further violations because no one has had a mandate to assign blame.

    A council diplomat on Wednesday said the proposed new mechanism likely would answer to the council and would allow experts access to look into attacks. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because the diplomat wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the draft.

    The U.S. did not immediately comment Wednesday. A U.S. official on Tuesday said, "We are actively engaged in conversations with U.N. colleagues" on the chlorine issue.

  56. Ukraine leader warns of worsening conflict, peace envoys more hopeful...

    Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has warned of a growing threat of large-scale military action in the east of the country, but peace envoys reported some progress towards full implementation of a fragile ceasefire agreement.

    Earlier Ukraine's military said five of its servicemen had died in the past 24 hours, while pro-Russian separatist officials said three rebel fighters had been injured in the same period in attacks from the Ukrainian side.

    Casualties are reported almost daily despite the truce, brokered in February in the Belarussian capital Minsk to end a year-old conflict in which more than 6,000 have been

  57. Perú: Protestas contra el proyecto minero Tía María dejan al menos 4 policías heridos ...

    Al menos cuatro policías resultaron gravemente heridos después de haber sido tomados como rehenes por un grupo de manifestantes que protestaban en contra del polémico proyecto minero Tía María en la ciudad de Mollendo, según informa RPP.

    Los cuatro policías rescatados fueron agredidos con cadenas por los manifestantes que los tomaron como rehenes, resultando con heridas de consideración en la cabeza y espalda, según informa RPP.

    Los policías aún permanecen en el hospital de Mollendo, y se prevé que en las próximas horas sean trasladados a la ciudad de Arequipa dos efectivos cuyas heridas representan mayor

  58. En Alemania desmantelan una banda que ayudó a inmigrantes africanos llegar a la UE...

    La policía de Alemania en coordinación con la Oficina Europea de Policía (Europol) desmanteló un grupo criminal que ayudó a inmigrantes africanos entrar en países de la Unión Europea, informó este miércoles Europol.

    Como resultado de la operación fueron arrestados tres supuestos miembros clave de la banda, un hombre de 22 años y otros dos de 26 años, indica la nota.

    De acuerdo a la investigación, la red facilitó a los inmigrantes diferentes rutas para viajar de un país europeo a otro.

    Así, cuando los migrantes llegaban al sur de Europa la banda les recibía y enviaba en tren hasta París.

    Después los migrantes viajaban a Colonia en minibuses, y de allí partían en tren a países escandinavos.

  59. Canadian lawmakers vote to expand spy powers...

    Legislation that would dramatically expand the powers of Canada's spy agency has cleared a key hurdle.

    The House of Commons on Wednesday approved the Anti-Terror Act, which was spurred by last year's attack on parliament.

    The act would give the spy agency the ability to operate overseas and make preventative arrests.

    Dominated by the Conservative party, the Senate is expected to approve the act before June.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been a staunch supporter of the bill, which criminalises the promotion of terrorism, including via the internet.

    "There is a high probability of jihadist attacks from within," Canadian Defence Minister Jason Kenney said. "The threat of terrorism has never been greater."

    The bill also makes it easier for police to arrest and detain individuals without

  60. With support from Liberals, Conservatives pass controversial anti-terror bill...

    The federal government's controversial new anti-terrorism bill has won the approval of the House of Commons.

    The Anti-Terrorism Act, also known as Bill C-51, easily passed third reading by a margin of 183 to 96, thanks to the Conservative government's majority and the promised support of the third-party Liberals.

    The legislation gives the Canadian Security Intelligence Service more power to thwart suspected terrorist plots -- not just gather information about them.

    It also increases the exchange of federal security information, broadens no-fly list powers and creates a new criminal offence of encouraging someone to carry out a terrorist attack.

    In addition, the bill makes it easier for the RCMP to obtain a peace bond to restrict the movements of suspects and extend the amount of time they can be kept in preventative

  61. British voters get to decide on Thursday who they want to rule the world's fifth-largest economy in a tight election that could yield weak government, propel the United Kingdom towards a vote on EU membership and stoke Scottish desire for secession.

    Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives and Ed Miliband's opposition Labour Party have been neck and neck in opinion polls for months, indicating neither will win enough seats for an outright majority in the 650-seat parliament.

    "This race is going to be the closest we have ever seen," Miliband told supporters in Pendle, in northern England, on the eve of the vote. "It is going to go down to the wire."

    Cameron said only his Conservatives could deliver strong, stable government: "All other options will end in chaos."

  62. Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades...

    Vice President Joe Biden spoke today with Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades about the conflict settlement process, bilateral relations, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The Vice President underscored the importance of seizing the opportunity to work with newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to conclude a settlement as soon as possible to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation, which is in the overwhelming interest of all Cypriots. The Vice President and President Anastasiades also agreed to continue strengthening our strategic partnership to deepen and expand areas of bilateral cooperation. Finally, on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the two leaders agreed on the importance of maintaining transatlantic solidarity and support for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

  63. China warns Philippine military planes away from disputed sea area: Manila...

    (Reuters) - China has warned Philippine air force and navy planes at least six times to leave areas around the disputed South China Sea, the Philippine military commander responsible for the region told a Senate hearing on Thursday.

    While Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez gave no timeframe, a senior Philippine air force official told Reuters the warnings had come in the past three months.

    China could be "testing the waters" to see if it can enforce an air exclusion zone above the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea, said the air force official, who declined to be

  64. Russia says US "rudely interfered" in Ukraine’s affairs by backing coup...

    The US policy in Ukraine was of a clearly destructive character over the past year, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday in its report on Russia’s foreign policy in 2014 published on the ministry’s website.

    "The White House rudely interfered in the inter-Ukrainian affairs by orchestrating and supporting an anti-constitutional coup d’etat in Kiev relying on the ultranationalist and neo-Nazi forces," the report reads.

    The US leadership ignored Moscow’s repeated warning that shattering the fragile inter-political balance in Ukraine would result in the emergence of a serious hotbed of instability in Europe.

    The authors of the report stress that Washington "has forgotten" about its commitments to promoting a nation-wide constitutional process with the participation of all the political forces and regions in Ukraine enshrined in the April 17, 2014 Geneva Statement released jointly by the US, as well as the EU, Ukraine and Russia.

    "In fact, the White House was directly pushing Kiev towards the suppression by force the protests in those regions of the country which have not accepted the results of the violent overthrow of the legitimate authorities," the report reads.

  65. NSA phone data collection 'illegal', US court rules...

    A US appeals court has ruled that bulk collection of phone records by the National Security Agency is illegal.

    Overturning a 2013 ruling, the judges did not, however, halt the programme but urged Congress to take action.

    The NSA's spying was leaked by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor who has since fled to Russia.

    The NSA has collected data about numbers called and times, but not the content of conversations. It also allegedly spied on European firms.

    Among individuals targeted was German Chancellor Angela

  66. La Finlande se dote d'un gouvernement de droite tripartite...

    (Belga) Le futur Premier ministre finlandais Juha Sipilä (Centre) a annoncé jeudi avoir choisi de former son gouvernement avec deux partis de droite, les Vrais Finlandais (eurosceptiques) et les conservateurs.

    Pour constituer une majorité, M. Sipilä, qui a remporté les élections législatives le 19 avril avec la promesse de redresser une économie en berne, s'est allié avec les partis arrivés deuxième et troisième lors de ce scrutin. "Trouver la solution n'était pas facile", a-t-il dit à la presse, après des semaines de spéculations sur ses hésitations entre sociaux-démocrates et conservateurs comme deuxième partenaire. Pour les Vrais Finlandais, parti qui s'était bâti à l'origine sur son rejet de l'immigration avant de recentrer leur programme sur l'euroscepticisme, c'est la première participation à un gouvernement. Les trois partis amenés à exercer le pouvoir contrôlent ensemble 124 des 200 sièges du Parlement. Ils doivent encore négocier leur plateforme gouvernementale, avec pour objectif commun probablement de donner un coup de fouet à la croissance économique par des mesures de simplification administrative. (Belga)

    1. Finland's election winner plans coalition with eurosceptics...

      Finland's likely next prime minister Juha Sipila announced plans on Thursday to form a coalition with the Finns Party, which wants a tougher line on euro zone bailouts and immigration.

      Sipila, head of the Centre Party, said the planned majority coalition in parliament would also include the center-right National Coalition led by the previous prime minister, pro-EU Alexander Stubb.

      "This was the best option. The biggest challenge is the economic situation. We need a strong coalition that is capable of planning reforms and implementing those decisions," Sipila told a news conference.

      The entry of the Finns into Sipila's cabinet is a rare achievement among the new, often eurosceptic parties across Europe which have made big gains in elections but have been usually excluded from power by the established mainstream.

      Fringe parties have gained support in the Nordic countries, often boosted by worries over immigration. In Sweden, mainstream parties have refused to deal with the Sweden Democrats, while in Norway the Progress Party is part of the ruling

  67. Turkey confirms pact with Saudi to help anti-Assad rebels...

    Turkish officials are confirming that their country has forged an alliance with Saudi Arabia to help rebels fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    The pact, which provides rebels logistical and financial support, is a concern for a U.S. administration wary of empowering radical Islamist groups in Syria.

    Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been at odds over how to deal with Assad, their common enemy. But mutual frustration with what they consider American indecision has brought the two together in a strategic alliance that is driving recent rebel gains in northern Syria, Turkish officials say.

    The Obama administration worries that the revived rebel alliance could potentially put a more dangerous radical Islamist regime in Assad's place, just as the U.S. is focused on bring down ISIS.

  68. Saudi Arabia wants to bring together the many branches of the war-torn country's armed and political opposition to discuss what to do after the regime's downfall, opposition sources said Thursday...

    The Sunni-ruled kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a main backer of forces fighting to topple Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, while its Shiite-dominated rival Iran backs him.

    "In mid-June, Saudi leaders want to unite all -- or a vast majority -- of Syrian political and military opponents to prepare" for the period after Assad, said Haytham Manna, a veteran opposition figure.

    This meeting would "not include the jihadists of (Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate) Al-Nusra Front and of the Islamic State group," he told AFP by

  69. VE Day 70th anniversary marked with events across Europe...

    Events across the UK and the rest of Europe on the weekend will commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day - the end of World War Two on the continent.

    A two-minute silence will be held at London's Cenotaph on Friday to mark the moment Winston Churchill announced that the war with Germany was over.

    And on Friday evening, more than 200 beacons will be lit around the UK.

    There were street parties across the UK when Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945, bringing to a close six years of

  70. David Cameron looks set to remain at 10 Downing Street after an exit poll forecast the Tories would be the largest party in the House of Commons after the 2015 UK General Election...

    And the expert who led the exit poll operation said Mr Cameron could even be heading for an overall majority.

    He made the comments after the Conservatives successfully defended the key Labour target of Nuneaton with a share of vote even higher than predicted.

    The survey of 22,000 voters for BBC/ITN/Sky suggested Mr Cameron would be holding on to power by his fingertips.

    He would not have the luxury of a stable coalition with the comfortable majority offered by his partnership with Liberal Democrats over the past five

    1. David Cameron is preparing for another term as Britain's Prime Minister, as the UK general election put his Conservative Party on the brink of securing an absolute majority in the House of Commons...

      A dramatic night saw the Scottish National Party sweep Labour out of almost all its strongholds north of the border, while the Liberal Democrats also suffered savage losses.

      Labour's shadow chancellor Ed Balls lost his seat to Conservative Andrea Jenkyns, making it one of the most high-profile casualty of the night.

      Question marks now being raised about the future of Labour leader Ed Miliband, as well as the Liberal Democrat's Nick Clegg and Ukip's Nigel

  71. Finland coalition partner says Grexit would make sense...

    Timo Soini, the Finns Party leader and possible new finance minister of Finland, said on Friday it would make sense for Greece to leave the euro zone.

    The Finns Party came second in parliamentary elections and has been included in the planned coalition with the Centre Party and pro-EU National Coalition Party.

    In an interview with Finland's largest broadcaster MTV, Soini declined to comment on the putative government's stance towards a possible third bailout package for Greece, but criticized the handling of the euro crisis.

    "The crisis has not alleviated ... and something must be done about it. There are two ways. Either those who can't survive will exit, or then we will take steps towards deeper integration, joint responsibility on debt and common taxation."

    Asked whether he would still like to see the Greece thrown out of the euro bloc, he said:

    "That would perhaps be the clearest option, for everybody, also for the

  72. Un navire allemand sauve 200 migrants au large de Lampedusa...

    Une frégate de la marine allemande a procédé vendredi au sauvetage de 200 migrants au large de l'île italienne de Lampedusa, a annoncé le gouvernement allemand.

    Les migrants, dont on ignorait l'origine dans l'immédiat, se trouvaient à bord d'une "embarcation en bois". Ils ont été secourus alors que leur bateau se trouvait "à environ 250 km au sud de Lampedusa", a déclaré un porte-parole du ministère allemand de la Défense lors d'une conférence de presse régulière à

  73. Newly released images show Vietnam has carried out significant land reclamation at two sites in the disputed South China Sea, though the scale and pace is dwarfed by that of China, a U.S. research institute said...

    In response, China condemned Vietnam's actions, and said its work in the region was part of an obligation to the international community to improve navigation safety and contribute to science and research, including building observation platforms to monitor sea levels.

    The photographs, shared with Reuters by Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), show an expansion of the land area of Vietnamese-controlled Sand Cay and West London Reef in the Spratly archipelago and the addition of

  74. Jemen: Saudi-Arabien kündigt Waffenruhe ab Dienstag an...

    Die Feuerpause soll der Versorgung der notleidenden Bevölkerung dienen und fünf Tage dauern.

    Im gewaltsamen Konflikt zwischen der Houthi-Miliz im Jemen und der von Saudi-Arabien angeführten arabischen Militärallianz hat Riad eine Waffenruhe zur Versorgung der notleidenden Bevölkerung ab Dienstag angekündigt. Die Feuerpause solle am späten Abend beginnen und zunächst fünf Tage dauern, sagte der saudiarabische Außenminister Adel al-Jubeir am Freitag in Paris. Eine Verlängerung sei mö

  75. OSCE chief monitor in Ukraine urges sides to respect ceasefire during WWII commemorations...

    The chief monitor from European security watchdog OSCE on Friday called on all parties in eastern Ukraine to ensure a lasting ceasefire during events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in World War Two, scheduled for this weekend.

    "I urge all sides to mark the commemoration of the events 70 years ago by intensifying efforts to support a sustainable ceasefire - one that endures not only through the holiday period, but also in the coming days and future," said Ertugrul Apakan, head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe monitoring mission.

    Apakan called on all parties "to exercise restraint, adhere to full and comprehensive ceasefire and ensure that peace prevails during upcoming weekend and beyond".

  76. Pentagon Raises Security Level at All US Military Bases Due to ISIL Threat...

    While maintaining that the concerns are not tied to any "specific threat," the Pentagon has raised the security status of military bases across the country due to general unease about the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorist group.

    Ordinarily, US military bases remain at force protection condition (FPCON) Alpha Plus. In this way, security remains ever alert for a "possible threat of terrorist activity."

    On Thursday night, US Northern Command’s Admiral William Gortney raised that level to FPCON Bravo. That decision came hours after FBI Director James Comey informed reporters of US concern over the Islamic State’s Internet presence.

    "We have a general concern, obviously, that ISIL is focusing on the uniformed military and law enforcement," Comey said on Thursday.....

  77. US and Gulf allies to seek new security pact...

    The United States and its Gulf allies will try to agree on new security measures at a summit in Washington next week to counter Iran's influence in the region, US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

    After marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe at the Arc De Triomphe in Paris, Kerry hosted on Friday his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, as well as the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

    The Paris meeting set the stage for a summit next week in Washington and Camp David between US President Barack Obama and the six-nation GCC on May 14.

    The Obama administration faces a formidable challenge to allay Gulf Arab fears over a nuclear deal with Tehran.

    The West hopes to secure a nuclear deal with Tehran by an end-of-June deadline and this has stirred anxiety among Washington's Gulf allies who fear Iran's intentions in the

  78. Russia is due to stage its biggest ever military parade in the capital Moscow to mark 70 years of victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two...

    Thousands of troops will march on Red Square, and new high-tech armour will be on show for the first time.

    More than 20 heads of states are in Moscow, but many world leaders are boycotting the event because of Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis.

    Russia denies claims by the West that it is arming rebels in eastern Ukraine.

    More than 6,000 people have been killed since fighting began in April 2014 in Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

    Show of strength

    The victory parade in Moscow is due to start at 10:00 local time (07:00 GMT), after a series of dress rehearsals on the streets of the

  79. North Korea claims success in test-firing sub-launched ballistic missile...

    North Korea said Saturday it successfully test-fired a newly developed ballistic missile from a submarine in what would be the latest display of the reclusive country’s advancing military capability.

    Officials from rival South Korea previously had said that North Korea was developing technologies for launching ballistic missiles from underwater, although past tests were believed to have been conducted on platforms built on land or above water and not from submarines.

    Security experts say that a North Korean capability to launch missiles from submarines would be an alarming development as missiles fired from submerged vessels are harder to detect before launch than land-based ones. The North already has a considerable arsenal of land-based ballistic missiles and is also believed to be advancing in efforts to miniaturize nuclear warheads to mount on them, according to South Korean officials.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un personally directed the test launching and called the missile a “world-level strategic weapon” and an “eye-opening success,” the official Korean Central News Agency said. The report did not reveal the timing or location of the launch....AP

  80. Russia holds huge parade to mark WWII victory...

    Russian President Vladimir Putin this morning thanked Russia's key allies in World War II, the United States, Britain and France, for helping to defeat Nazi Germany as he presided over a huge parade marking Victory Day amid a Western boycott.

    "We are grateful to the people of Great Britain, France and the United States for their contribution to victory," Mr Putin said at the beginning of the parade.

    He also thanked those who fought against the Nazis in other countries, including Germany......

  81. Griechenland: Reparationsforderungen in Athener U-Bahnen...

    Kriegsbilder statt Wettervorhersage: In Athen U-Bahnen wird ein Video vom Einmarsch deutscher Truppen in Athen gezeigt. Es ist Teil der Kampagne für Reparationszahlungen.

    Fernsehbildschirme in U-Bahnen zeigen in Deutschland gewöhnlich Werbung, Unterhaltung und kurz gehaltene Nachrichten. In Griechenland gibt es dieser Tage auch eine klare politische Botschaft zu sehen. Anlässlich der Kapitulation von Nazideutschland vor genau 70 Jahren werden in Athener U-Bahnen Aufnahmen vom Einmarsch deutscher Truppen in Athen abgespielt. Das Video hat der "Nationale Rat zur Durchsetzung deutsche Reparationen an Griechenland" erstellt. Mehrere Ministerien unterstützen das Projekt, darunter das Wirtschafts- und das Verteidigungsministerium.......

  82. Migrants en Méditerranée : la Libye opposée au plan de l’Union européenne...

    La Libye, par la voix de son ambassadeur aux Nations unies, Ibrahim Dabbashi, a vertement critiqué le projet de résolution qui sera présenté à l’ONU et qui vise notamment à utiliser des moyens militaires pour détruire, y compris sur le territoire libyen, les bateaux des passeurs qui convoient les migrants vers l’Europe.

    Dans une interview accordée vendredi 8 mai à l’agence de presse Associated Press, M. Dabbashi a exclu, « à ce stade », la présence de troupes étrangères sur le sol libyen.......

  83. Military plane crash in Spain kills crew, forces closure of Seville airport...

    A military transport plane crashed near southwestern Seville airport Saturday, killing its crew, Spain's prime minister said. It is unclear if any others were injured.

    Mariano Rajoy said up to 10 crew members were aboard the brand new Airbus A400M aircraft that was undergoing flight trials at the airport.

    Spain's airport authority AENA confirmed that Seville airport had been closed because its fire crews had gone to attend a plane crash outside its perimeter fence. All flights to Seville were being diverted to Malaga and Jerez airports, AENA said.

    An industrial estate near where the Airbus came down in the suburb of Carmona had lost electrical power as a result of the crash, AENA said.

    Calls to the regional government of Andalucia went unanswered Saturday.

    Photographs published on leading Spanish newspaper El Pais' website showed fire services extinguishing the fire at the smoking wreckage in a ploughed field......AP.......

  84. Crash d'un avion militaire près de Séville: au moins 3 morts...

    Un avion de transport militaire A400 M s'est écrasé samedi près de Séville, dans le sud de l'Espagne, avec huit ou dix personnes à bord, a annoncé le chef du gouvernement espagnol Mariano Rajoy. Les secours parlent d'au moins trois morts. L'avion militaire A400M était destiné à la Turquie, a annoncé son constructeur Airbus Defence and Space, filiale du groupe aéronautique européen, dans un communiqué........

  85. Grèce: "Un pays peut faire faillite soudainement", prévient Schäuble...

    Le ministre des Finances allemand Wolfgang Schäuble a prévenu samedi qu'un pays pouvait faire faillite soudainement, tout en insistant sur la volonté de l'Allemagne de maintenir la Grèce en zone euro.

    "Les expériences ailleurs dans le monde nous ont montré qu'un pays peut soudainement être précipité vers la faillite", a déclaré le ministre dans un entretien au journal Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS).

    A la question de savoir si le gouvernement allemand se prépare à un tel scénario pour la Grèce, Wolfgang Schäuble se contente de dire qu'"il y a des questions auxquelles un politicien raisonnable ne doit pas répondre". L'Allemagne "fera tout pour maintenir la Grèce dans la zone euro à des conditions responsables", a toutefois répété Wolfgang Schäuble, estimant qu'il "ne fallait pas échouer"...........

  86. Schäuble warnt Griechen vor überraschender Staatspleite...

    "Ein Land kann plötzlich in die Zahlungsunfähigkeit rutschen", erklärt der deutsche Finanzminister in einem Interview.

    Der deutsche Finanzminister Wolfgang Schäuble hat vor einer überraschenden Staatspleite Griechenlands gewarnt. "Erfahrungen anderswo auf der Welt haben gezeigt: Ein Land kann plötzlich in die Zahlungsunfähigkeit rutschen", sagte er der "Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung". Mit einem Durchbruch im Schuldenstreit beim Treffen der Euro-Finanzminister am Montag in Brüssel rechnet er nicht. Schlechte Nachrichten gab es auch aus Athen: Die Regierung senkte die Prognose für das griechische Wirtschaftswachstum heuer von 1,4 auf 0,8 Prozent des Bruttoinlandsprodukts............

  87. Syrian government forces advanced Saturday towards the rebel-held town of Jisr al-Shughur, where around 250 army soldiers and their families are trapped in a hospital building, activists said...

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government troops were now within two kilometers (just over a mile) of where the group has been trapped since rebels seized Jisr al-Shughur in northwestern Idlib province two weeks ago.

    "Regime forces and allied fighters are now two kilometers from the hospital and desperately want to save the 250 people besieged inside," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

    He said there was fierce fighting between rebels and army backed by airstrikes as they sought to approach the hospital on Jisr al-Shughur's southeastern outskirts.

    Government forces inside the hospital have been battling rebels to keep them from entering the

  88. FYROM police killed in clashes with 'terrorists'...

    At least five police officers have died in clashes in FYROM with an armed group from an unidentified neighbouring state, say officials.

    The fighting in Kumanovo, near the northern borders with Kosovo and Serbia, left another 30 injured.

    Interior Minister Gordana Jankulovska said that the "terrorist group" were armed with bombs and automatic rifles.

    She added that fighting was continuing and the group had been planning attacks on state institutions.

  89. Thousands of passengers were stranded in seaports and some domestic flights were cancelled as Typhoon Noul strengthened further before its expected landfall in the northeastern tip of the Philippines on Sunday...

    The typhoon was packing winds of up to 170 kph (105 mph), with gusts of up to 205 kph (125 mph), as it approached the rice-producing provinces of Isabela and Cagayan about 400 km (250 miles) north of the capital, Manila.

    But the typhoon had shrunk significantly, with heavy to intense rains expected within a 150-km diameter, half the initial forecasts, and might bring storm surges of up to 1.5 metres over the eastern coasts of Isabela and Cagayan, the weather bureau said....

  90. Arab League close to forming unified military force...

    Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said the Arab League is moving closer to forming a joint Arab military force, pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported Saturday.

    “Technical teams are already working to develop a vision to establish a joint Arab force, and this will be ready within the next four months,” Shukri said on the sidelines of a state visit to Eritrea.

    Speaking about Yemen, the FM said: “There can be no doubt that the situation in Yemen requires serious effort in order to find a solution to the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the suffering of the Yemeni people. We need to find a way to return legitimacy and restore stability to Yemen.”

    “Egypt is continuing its participation in the alliance and is doing everything in its power to stop the escalation,” Shukri said.

    “We are in contact with our partners to provide assistance and help reach a political framework conducive to securing a ceasefire, returning Yemen’s legitimate government to power and ensuring Yemeni security and stability,” he added............

  91. Greece seeks Eurozone recognition of economic progress...

    Greek politicians say they are hopeful that Eurozone ministers will recognise the fiscal progress that the country has made.

    Eurozone finance ministers are meeting in Brussels on Monday to continue negotiations on a deal to release a portion of billions of bailout funds.

    Greek ministers says they will honour a payment of €750m (£544m, $834m) to the IMF due on Tuesday.

    No breakthrough is expected at Monday's talks, with many issues unresolved.

    Greece's left-wing government has said it will not break anti-austerity electoral promises, something that has put the country at odds with European

  92. US Security Chief Warns of 'New Phase' in Terrorist Threat ...

    The worldwide terrorist threat has entered a "new phase," where media savvy Islamist extremists are successfully attracting so-called "lone wolf" attackers to their cause, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warned Sunday.

    Speaking on ABC's This Week program, Johnson said the Islamic State group's influence is spreading far beyond the battlegrounds of the Middle East.

    "We're very definitely in a new environment, because of ISIL's (Islamic State group's) effective use of social media, the Internet, which has the ability to reach into the homeland and possibly inspire others," he said. "We're very definitely in a new phase in the global terrorist threat, where the so-called lone wolf could strike at any moment."

    The U.S. security chief urged Americans to be vigilant and aware, but not to avoid going to public

  93. Moroccan F-16 goes missing in Yemen...

    A Moroccan F-16 warplane taking part in the Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting in Yemen went missing, the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces said in a statement.

    Backed by the United States, a Saudi-led coalition has been conducting air strikes against the Houthis and army units loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh since March 26 with the aim of restoring the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

    Morocco announced its backing of Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the action and has had F-16 warplanes stationed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

  94. Hollande arrives in Cuba for landmark visit...

    François Hollande arrived in Havana late Sunday, the first French president to visit Cuba in more than a century, cementing Paris's lead in the EU rapprochement with the communist island.

    Hollande is also the first Western leader to visit Cuba since a surprise announcement in December by Havana and Washington that the former Cold War foes would seek to normalize relations after half a century of bad blood.

    Hollande arrived at Havana's Jose Marti International Airport at 22:50 (0250 GMT) and was greeted by Cuba's Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra.

    The visit is aimed at boosting French and European Union interests in Cuba, which has undergone gradual economic and social reforms under Castro.

    France is seeking to "be the first among European nations, and the first among Western nations, to be able to say to the Cubans that we will be at their side if they decide themselves to take needed steps toward opening up," Hollande told reporters before leaving for Havana.....france24

  95. Cameron schließt neues Unabhängigkeitsreferendum Schottlands aus...

    Der britische Premierminister David Cameron hat eine weitere Abstimmung über die Unabhängigkeit Schottlands ausgeschlossen. "Wir hatten ein Referendum. Schottland hat entschieden dafür gestimmt, im Vereinigten Königreich zu bleiben", sagte Cameron am Sonntag dem Fernsehsender Channel 4 News und ergänzte: "Es wird kein weiteres Referendum geben."

  96. Griechenland-Rettung: Planspiel „Geuro“...

    Falls sich Griechenland und seine Retter nicht einigen, braucht Athen einen Plan B. Helfen könnte dabei ausgerechnet ein Ökonom aus Deutschland. Seine Idee einer parallelen Zweitwährung gewinnt an

  97. Drohender Staatsbankrott: Troika plant mit drei Negativ-Szenarien für Griechenland...

    In Brüssel geht es beim Treffen der EU-Finanzminister für Griechenland wieder einmal um alles. Doch die Geldgeber haben wenig Hoffnung - das lassen auch die Planspiele erkennen, die Experten der Troika derzeit durchspielen.

    Kurz vor dem Treffen der Euro-Finanzminister in Brüssel ist eine Einigung der Gläubiger mit dem vom Staatsbankrott bedrohten Griechenland offenbar weiter nicht in Reichweite. Zwar seien die neuen Unterhändler aus Athen "menschlich angenehmer" als vormals die Mannschaft um den griechischen Finanzminister Gianis Varoufakis, sagte einer der Unterhändler der Gläubiger-Troika der "Welt". "Inhaltlich geht es dennoch nicht voran." Fortschritte über wichtige Reformen bei Rente, Arbeitsmarkt und Steuern ließen sich kaum feststellen, sagte der Unterhändler laut "Welt". "Im Gegenteil". So sei in Griechenland gerade erst ein Gesetz verabschiedet worden, das die Wiedereinstellung von 13.000 Staatsbediensteten beschließe. Dies sei "klar gegen den Geist der Reformverträge mit der Troika" aus Internationalem Währungsfonds (IWF), Europäischer Zentralbank (EZB) und EU-Kommission, kritisierte der Unterhändler.

    Die Institutionen planten daher inzwischen mit einem positiven und drei negativen Szenarien, hieß es laut "Welt" aus Verhandlungskreisen. Nur das positive Szenario sehe vor, dass Griechenland all seinen Verpflichtungen nachkomme, sodass Athen bis zum Auslaufen des zweiten Hilfsprogramms Geld

  98. Australia urges China not to create South China Sea air zone...

    Australia urged China not to create a proprietary air zone over the disputed South China Sea, with defusing tensions in the waters a priority, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.

    “The Asean countries have been discussing this and I believe they’ve made their position quite plain that they would be deeply concerned if there was any attempt to impose an air defence identification zone over the South China Sea,” Ms Bishop said in an interview in Canberra today (May 11), referring to the Association of South-east Asian Nations.

    China, which is creating artificial islands in the busy shipping and fishing area that’s also claimed by countries like the Philippines and Vietnam, said again this month it reserves the right to establish an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). It sparked a rebuke from Australia, Japan and US when it set up a similar zone in late 2013 over disputed islands in the adjacent East China

  99. Houthis say shot down Moroccan warplane in Yemen's Saada...

    A leading member in the Shiite Houthi group said Monday that his movement had shot down a Moroccan warplane from the Saudi-led coalition while it was carrying out a raid on northern Yemen's Saada province.

    "The warplane was carrying out a raid as part of the [Saudi-led coalition] aggression on Yemen, before the anti-aircraft guns shot it down," Deif al-Shami, a member of the political bureau of the Shiite group, told Anadolu Agency.

    "The plane's wreckage is currently in our possession, but there are no information yet about the pilot's fate," he added.

    Earlier in the day, the Moroccan army said that a Moroccan F-16 fighter jet which was at the disposal of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen had gone

  100. A Turkish dry cargo ship was shelled from the Libyan coast as it approached the port of Tobruk and then attacked from the air as it tried to leave the area on Sunday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Monday...

    The third officer on the Cook Islands-chartered Tuna-1 vessel died and other crew members were wounded in the attacks, which the ministry condemned in a statement. It did not specify who launched the assaults.

    "We condemn strongly this contemptible attack which targeted a civilian ship in international waters and curse those who carried it out," it said. Ankara had protested to authorities in Libya. There was no immediate comment from Libyan officials.

    A Libyan warplane from forces loyal to the internationally recognized government bombed a Greek-operated oil tanker anchored off Libya's Mediterranean coast in January, killing two crewmen amid hostilities between factions vying to rule the oil-producing North African

  101. Syrian President Bashar Assad has placed his top intelligence official under house arrest for allegedly conspiring with the regime’s enemies to carry out a coup, the British daily Telegraph reported on Monday....

    Ali Mamlouk, who heads the National Security Bureau, was reportedly detained after he was suspected of maintaining contact with governments backing the Syrian rebels as well as oppositionists from abroad.

    According to the Telegraph report, key associates of the president, including those with access to him, “are increasingly turning on each other.”

    The newspaper cites sources within the presidential palace as saying that there is great dissension within the various intelligence arms, some of whose commanders are growing wary of Iran’s burgeoning influence in Damascus.

  102. Libya has criticised EU proposals to authorise the use of force against people smugglers taking migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe...

    The Libyan ambassador to the UN told the BBC that the EU's intentions were unclear and "very worrying".

    The EU is seeking a UN mandate to allow military action to destroy or halt smugglers' boats in Libyan waters.

    The measures are part of the EU's proposed plans to stop migrants drowning in the Mediterranean.....BBC

  103. Europe Wary About Cameron’s Next Moves ...

    Europe is waiting with unease for the next steps of British Prime Minister David Cameron, after the electoral victory of his euro-skeptic conservative party.

    For now, questions abound in the European Union as to what it will take to keep Britain in the 28-nation bloc and just how far Europeans are willing to compromise so this happens.

    German local elections usually do not get much attention elsewhere in Europe. But Sunday’s gains by a euro-skeptic party in the city-state of Bremen made news here in France. That is because of a much bigger win in Britain last week by Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party.

    With Cameron’s promises to hold a referendum by 2017 on Britain’s membership to the European Union, euro-skepticism and questions about the EU’s future are renewed concerns.

    In Brussels, the two top EU chiefs: Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU President Donald Tusk, say they are willing to listen and negotiate with Britain. French President Francois Hollande also says he is willing to discuss Britain’s place in the EU with

  104. Nato: Russland liefert weiter Waffen an Ukraine-Separatisten...

    Nato-Generalsekretär Stoltenberg meint, die Seperatisten in der Ostukraine wären problemlos in der Lage, Überraschungsangriffe zu starten.

    Die Separatisten in der Ostukraine könnten nach Einschätzung der Nato problemlos neue Überraschungsangriffe starten. Russland habe in Verletzung des Minsker Friedensabkommens über Wochen und Monate weiter schwere militärische Ausrüstung geliefert und Ausbilder sowie Truppen geschickt, sagte Generalsekretär Jens Stoltenberg am Montag in Brü

  105. Putin to host US Secretary of State Kerry for high-stakes Sochi talks...

    President Vladimir Putin is expected on Tuesday (May 11) to host US Secretary of State John Kerry for crucial talks in Sochi amid tensions over Ukraine, during the top US diplomat's first visit to Russia since the start of the crisis.

    Ties between Moscow and Washington collapsed after Russia seized Crimea and buttressed separatists in eastern Ukraine but after a year of raging tensions signs are emerging that both Russia and the West may be ready to seek detente.

    President Vladimir Putin has refused to budge on Ukraine but has signalled his readiness to mend ties with Washington and Brussels as Russia chafes under the burden of biting Western sanctions.

    The US State Department said on Monday that Kerry would meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and Putin, who is spending the week at his summer residence in Sochi.

    "This trip is part of our ongoing effort to maintain direct lines of communication with senior Russian officials and to ensure US views are clearly conveyed," said spokeswoman Marie Harf.

    It will be Kerry's first visit to Russia in two

    1. US Secretary of State John Kerry has said he has held a "frank meeting" with President Vladimir Putin during his first visit to Russia since the Ukraine crisis began in early 2014...

      Both sides say that eight hours of talks between Mr Kerry and the Russian leadership were a welcome development.

      It is the highest-level trip by a US official to Russia since the Ukraine crisis began.

      Relations between the two countries deteriorated sharply since then.....BBC

  106. El FMI ya trabaja con los países vecinos de Grecia para contener los efectos de un posible impago...

    El Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) está trabajando con "las autoridades nacionales del sureste de Europa" en planes de contingencia ante un posible impago por parte de Grecia. Así lo afirma The Wall Street Journal en una información que ha publicado hoy y en la que también se apunta que las diferentes partes se están preparando para un fracaso en las negociaciones entre Atenas y Bruselas.

    El motivo de estas conversaciones entre el FMI y los países vecinos de Grecia se encuentra en el hecho que las entidades bancarias helenas tienen un papel muy importante en los sistemas financieros de países como Bulgaria, FYROM, Albania o

  107. La Grèce rembourse le FMI et cherche le salut politique avec un référendum...

    750 millions d’euros vont être remboursés au FMI en attendant la prochaine échéance de juin. L’idée d’un référendum à Athènes sur le maintien ou non de la Grèce dans la zone euro fait son chemin.

    L’agence de la dette grecque a annoncé avoir donné l’ordre de paiement pour rembourser l’échéance de 750 millions d’euros au FMI due mardi 12 mai, alors que les ministres des Finances de la zone euro prenaient connaissance à Bruxelles des progrès des négociations. Un nouveau gage de bonne volonté alors que nombre de ministres ont été échaudés par les ratés des négociations depuis l’accord conclu le 20 février . Cette fois-ci, le ton a toutefois changé, et à l’inverse de l’Eurogroupe du 24 avril à Riga , plein de reproches et d’amertume, l’atmosphère était plus amicale et encourageante. A l’issue de la réunion, les ministres se sont félicités des progrès accomplis et de la contribution grecque « à des discussions plus substantielles ». Toutefois, l’accord n’a pas été scellé, lundi. « Plus de temps et plus de travail sont nécessaires », a une nouvelle fois répété le président de l’Eurogroupe Jerone Dijsselbloem. Le prochain remboursement important de la Grèce interviendra le 5 juin, avec un dû de 302,5 millions d’euros au FMI, ce qui laisse encore quelques semaines pour trouver un accord.
    L'écart entre les positions se réduit....

  108. In phone call with Ukraine President, Ban addresses country’s ongoing crisis...

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has spoken with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and briefed him on his recent discussions in Moscow, a United Nations spokesperson confirmed today.

    The Secretary-General visited the Russian capital on 9 May for the 70th anniversary celebration of ‘Victory Day’ which marks the conclusion of the Second World War in Europe for Russian forces. During his time in Moscow, Mr. Ban also conducted discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the continuing fighting in Ukraine’s eastern regions.

    “They discussed the importance of implementing fully the February 2015 Minsk package and also how the UN could support the implementation of that agreement,” the UN spokesperson’s office explained in a readout of the telephone conversation between Mr. Ban and Mr. Poroshenko.

    “In this connection, the Secretary-General informed President Poroshenko that he will be proceeding with consultations with members of the Security Council and others on the possible establishment of a United Nations peace support office in Ukraine.”

    1. The United Nations Secretariat has not confirmed plans to open a UN office in Ukraine to support the implementation of the Minsk agreements, voiced by Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko...

      In reply to a Tass query, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq said he could not confirm this.

      Earlier on Monday, the Ukrainian president said the UN would shortly open an office in the country that would concentrate on "ensuring the implementation of the Minsk agreements".

      Farhan Haq drew attention to a report of the UN press service after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had met with the Ukrainian leader, which said nothing about these agreements.

  109. Tokyo stocks fall in morning as Greece concerns depress sentiment...

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks fell on Tuesday morning as investor sentiment was stymied by concerns over a lack of progress in Greece's bailout negotiations and the potential for a Greek default to destabilize global markets.

    The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 121.73 points, or 0.62 percent, from Monday to 19,499.18. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 8.34 points, or 0.52 percent, to 1,589.99.

    Unease over Greece kept stocks down after a eurozone financial ministers' meeting on Monday failed to provide signs of substantial progress, said Hiroichi Nishi, assistant general manager of investment research at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

    Greece staved off worries of default for the time being by making a 750 million euro loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund on Monday, ahead of Tuesday's deadline.

    "Investors are confident that the European financial system will not collapse even if Greece defaults, but they are still concerned about the country's fragile condition and this is weighing on markets," Nishi said..........

  110. A major earthquake has struck eastern Nepal, two weeks after more than 8,000 people were killed in a devastating quake....

    The latest earthquake hit near the town of Namche Bazar, near Mount Everest.

    The US Geological Survey said it had a magnitude of 7.3. An earthquake on 25 April, centred in western Nepal, had a magnitude of 7.8.

    The latest tremor was felt as far away as the Indian capital Delhi, as well as Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

    Strong tremors were felt in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, which was badly damaged in last month's

  111. Un nouveau séisme de magnitude 7,4 frappe le Népal...

    Un séisme de magnitude 7,4 sur l'échelle de Richter s'est produit, mardi, au Népal, où les habitants de la capitale Katmandou ont trouvé refuge dans la rue. Le tremblement de terre précédent, survenu fin avril, a fait 7 800 morts.

    Le Népal a tremblé de nouveau mardi 12 mai au matin. Le pays a été frappé par un séisme de magnitude 7,4 sur l'échelle de Richter. Les habitants de la capitale Katmandou ont fui leur logement peu après la secousse qui s'est produite à 12H35 locales.

    Selon l'institut de veille géologique américain USGS, l'épicentre du séisme était situé près du camp de base du mont Everest, à 83 km à l'est de Katmandou et à seulement 19 km de profondeur.

    Les secousses ont été ressenties jusqu'à New Delhi, la capitale indienne, où les immeubles ont tremblé pendant plus d'une minute, ont constaté des té

  112. M 7.3 - NEPAL - 2015-05-12 07:05:19 UTC ... local time: 12:50....

    Magnitude Mw 7.3
    Region NEPAL
    Date time 2015-05-12 07:05:19.0 UTC
    Location 27.89 N ; 86.17 E
    Depth 10 km
    Distances 86 km E of Kathmandu, Nepal / pop: 1,442,271 / local time: 12:50:19.0 2015-05-12
    23 km E of Kodāri, Nepal / pop: 1,600 / local time: 12:50:19.0 2015-05-12

  113. Magnitude 7.1 earthquake has struck Nepal, US Geological Survey (UCGS) said on Tuesday...

    The epicenter of the earthquake lay 68 km to the west of the village of Namche Bazaar at the depth of 10 km.

    There have been no reports on victims or damages

  114. Regierung greift in Kassen der Kommunen.... Athen sammelt 600 Millionen Euro ein ...

    Die Regierung in Athen hat rund 600 Millionen Euro bei Kommunen und anderen staatlichen Institutionen eingesammelt. Ein Gesetz sieht vor, dass Behörden ihre Reserven an die Notenbank weiterleiten, damit die Zentralregierung damit ausstehende Löhne zahlen kann.

    Griechenland hat bei verschiedenen staatlichen Ebenen rund 600 Millionen Euro zur Finanzierung der laufenden Verpflichtungen eingetrieben. Die Regionalregierungen hätten 64,5 Millionen Euro überwiesen und andere staatlichen Einrichtungen weitere 535,8 Millionen Euro, erklärte Regierungssprecher Gabriel Sakellaridis in Athen.
    Kommunen müssen Barreserven bei Notenbank parken

    Erst vor kurzem hatte das Parlament einen Gesetzesentwurf der Regierung verabschiedet, der vorsieht, dass die Kommunen und andere Behörden ihre Geldreserven an die Zentralbank überweisen müssen. Mit dieser Maßnahme verspricht sich der pleitebedrohte Staat kurzfristig mehr Liquidität etwa zur Zahlung von Löhnen und Gehältern..........

  115. Russia 'lost 220 troops' in Ukraine - Nemtsov report...

    An investigation by Russian opposition activists has concluded that 220 Russian soldiers died in two major battles in eastern Ukraine.

    The report includes data compiled by the opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead in February.

    Russia denies Western accusations that it has sent regular troops and armour to help the rebels in eastern Ukraine.

    The cost of Russia's military involvement and of annexing Crimea is said to run into billions of dollars.

    The 64-page report, called Putin - War, has been published on the Open Russia news website.

    At a news conference in Moscow Ilya Yashin, an ally of Boris Nemtsov who finalised the report, said it was the work of "true patriots" who opposed the "isolationist policies of [President] Vladimir Putin".

    It details how 150 Russian soldiers were killed in the key battle for Ilovaisk, a small town in the Donetsk region, in August 2014.......

  116. Report: Iranian warships will escort Yemen-bound cargo ship ...

    Iranian warships will accompany a cargo ship bound for the Yemeni port of Hodaida, held by Iran-allied Houthi fighters, a naval commander was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA on Tuesday.

    "The 34th fleet, which is currently in the Gulf of Aden, has special responsibility to protect the Iranian humanitarian aid ship," Admiral Hossein Azad said, referring to a destroyer and support vessel in international waters off Yemen.

    A ceasefire was due to begin on Tuesday evening between a Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi militia in Yemen. by Reuters

  117. North Korea Defence Chief Hyon Yong-chol 'executed'...

    North Korea's Defence Minister Hyon Yong-chol has been executed, South Korea's spy agency has told parliament, according to media reports.

    South Korea's Yonhap news agency said MPs were told Mr Hyon had been killed on 30 April by anti-aircraft fire in front of an audience of hundreds.

    He is believed to have been accused of showing disloyalty to North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un.

    Reports from North Korea are impossible to independently confirm....BBC

  118. US helicopter missing after fresh earthquake in Nepal...

    A US Marine Corps helicopter involved in disaster relief efforts in Nepal was declared missing while working in the vicinity of Charikot village, a spokesman for US Pacific Command said.

    The spokesman said US military personnel were responding to the disappearance of the UH-1 Huey helicopter and the incident was under investigation.

    Six US marines and two Nepalese soldiers were on board the helicopter.

    The helicopter crew was overheard talking on the radio about fuel problems before the aircraft went missing.

    Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said US search lights have been suspended due to darkness but a ground search by Nepalese army troops in the mountainous area continued during the night.

    "Essentially what we have right now is truly a missing helicopter. We simply don't know its location," Col Warren said.

    Charikot was one of the villages hardest hit by today’s earthquake, which the US Geological Survey said was centred 68km west of the town of Namche Bazaar, close to Mount Everest and the border with Tibet.

    It was felt as far apart as New Delhi and Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.......

  119. Pentagon mulls sending planes, ships near disputed South China Sea islands...

    The Pentagon is considering sending U.S. military aircraft and ships to assert freedom of navigation around rapidly growing Chinese-made artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter requested options that include sending U.S. military ships and aircraft within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of reefs that China has been building up in the disputed Spratly Islands, the official said.

    Such a move would directly challenge Chinese efforts to expand its influence in the disputed region by literally adding territory through a massive island-building exercise.

    "We are considering how to demonstrate freedom of navigation in an area that is critical to world trade," the U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that any options would need to be approved by the White House.

    Carter's request for the development of options including using the U.S. ships and aircraft was first reported earlier on Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal.

    The Pentagon and White House did not immediately comment.......REUTERS

    1. Министерство обороны США рассматривает возможность использования самолетов и кораблей для оспаривания территориальных притязаний Китая в районе архипелага Спратли (Наньша) в Южно-Китайском море....

      Об этом со ссылкой на источники в Пентагоне сообщила во вторник на своем сайте газета The Wall Street Journal. Данные действия, отметило издание, могут привести к "повышению ставок в региональном выяснении отношений" в спорных водах этой акватории.

      "Министр обороны США Эштон Картер попросил своих помощников проанализировать варианты, включая полеты над островами самолетов ВМС, наблюдение и отправку военных кораблей США в 12-мильную зону "рифов", которые были созданы и заявлены Китаем (в качестве своей территории) в районе, известном как острова Спратли, - говорится в статье. - Эти действия в случае их одобрения Белым домом должны станут для Пекина сигналом того, что США не согласятся на территориальные притязания Китая на искусственно созданные острова (в районе), который США рассматривают в качестве международных вод и воздушного пространства".

      "США заявили, что они не признают искусственные острова в качестве суверенной территории Китая, - написала газета. - Тем не менее, по словам военных, пока ВМС не направляли самолетов и кораблей в 12-мильную зону заявленных (Китаем в качестве своих) "рифов" во избежание эскалации напряжения". На прошлой неделе министерство обороны США обнародовало ежегодный доклад, посвященный развитию в Китае военной сферы и безопасности, в котором отметило, что Пекин ускорил процесс восстановления земель в районе спорных островов Спратли..........

  120. Der deutsche "Geuro"-Trick soll die Griechen retten...

    Griechenland kann nicht mit dem Euro leben, aber womöglich auch nicht ohne ihn. Nun hat ein Ex-Top-Mann der Deutschen Bank eine Lösung des Dilemmas präsentiert – direkt im Büro von Janis

  121. Full Alert: ISIL Plots to Infiltrate Italy, Malta on Migrant Boats...

    Terrorists from the violent Islamic State militant group plan to set sail for Italy and Malta soon under the guise of migrants, the Libyan information chief for the internationally-recognized government told Italian media.

    "In the coming weeks, Italy will experience the arrival not only of poor African immigrants but also of boats carrying Daesh (IS)," Omar Gawari told Italy's ANSA news agency on Tuesday.

    Gawari added that the island country of Malta, located on the major migrant route between Libya and Italy's Sicily, could also be targeted for terror attacks..........

  122. The Guardian: l'UE pourrait lancer une opération terrestre en Libye...

    L'Union européenne pourrait lancer en Libye une opération terrestre visant à détruire les "infrastructures du trafic d'êtres humains", rapporte le journal britannique The Guardian, citant un document conçu au sein de l'UE.

    L'Union européenne a conçu un plan prévoyant une opération militaire au sol censée mettre un terme aux flux de migrants libyens, indique un document dont The Guardian a obtenu copie.

    "Cette opération demanderait un large éventail de forces aériennes, navales et terrestres. Ces forces pourraient comprendre des capacités de renseignement, de surveillance et de reconnaissance, des troupes de débarquement, des patrouilles aériennes et navales, des moyens amphibies, des unités de frappe aériennes, terrestres et navales, dont des forces spéciales", lit-on dans le document de 19 pages qui sera soumis en juin aux chefs de gouvernement des pays de l'UE. Selon le quotidien britannique, l'opération doit avoir pour but de "détruire complètement les infrastructures du trafic d'êtres humains".

    L'UE a auparavant déclaré qu'elle ne projetait aucune opération militaire en Libye......

  123. Hezbollah, Syrian army make big gains in border battle...

    Lebanon's Hezbollah and the Syrian army made big advances against insurgents in mountains north of Damascus on Wednesday, Hezbollah and Syrian state media said, shoring up President Bashar al-Assad's grip on a crucial border zone.

    The gains in the Qalamoun region close to Lebanon against groups including the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front follow significant defeats for Assad elsewhere, notably in Syria's northwest near the Turkish border.

    Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shi'ite group with a powerful militia, has been a vital ally for Assad in the four-year-long conflict that has become a focal point for the struggle between Tehran and Sunni Saudi Arabia that has backed the insurgency.

    Hezbollah fighters and the army seized Talat Moussa, the highest peak in the area targeted in the offensive. Sources briefed on the situation said that move had effectively secured control of the entire area some 50 km (30 miles) from

  124. Syrian opposition armed groups reject U.N. invitation...

    Syrian armed groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad have rejected an invitation to U.N. consultations in Geneva, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Wednesday, dealing an blow to hopes of reviving talks to end the conflict.

    The letter from 30 opposition armed groups to the U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura, who is presiding over the consultations, accused him of abandoning his neutrality and "standing on the side of one party without the other".

    De Mistura's low-key process, which involves him talking separately to scores of interested parties, follows failed attempts by his predecessors to stop the fighting. He was hoping to directly involve the armed groups for the first time.

    De Mistura's spokeswoman Jessy Chahine said he had taken note of the letter.

    "The consultations continue as usual, and we remain in contact with all relevant parties, including the armed factions, who play an important role in the current Syrian conflict," she said in an emailed comment to Reuters.

    The letter to De Mistura said he was biased.

    "Your positions and your statements, especially your statement that Bashar al-Assad is part of the solution in Syria, have shown and given us a clear impression of your indifference toward the massacres that the regime is committing," it

  125. Japan's Cabinet endorsed a set of defence bills Thursday that would allow the country's military to go beyond its self-defence stance and play a greater role internationally, a plan that has split public opinion...

    Hundreds of citizens rallied outside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's office, calling the bills “war legislation” that turn Japan toward militarism. They say the move would tarnish nearly 70 years of efforts by Japan to regain international trust and identity as a pacifist nation.

    After its defeat in World War II, Japan renounced war under the U.S.-drafted constitution that bans the use of force as a means of settling international

  126. Athènes réclame le report du remboursement de la dette détenue par la BCE...

    (Belga) Le ministre grec des Finances, Yanis Varoufakis, a souhaité jeudi que la Banque centrale européenne (BCE) retarde le remboursement des quelque 27 milliards d'euros de dette grecque qu'elle détient.

    "C'est assez simple, l'échéance de ces obligations doit être repoussée. C'est clair également pour la BCE", a déclaré M. Varoufakis au cours d'une conférence. Avec les obligations qu'elle a en portefeuille, la BCE détient quelque 27 milliards d'euros de dette grecque. Il est hors de question de la restructurer, avait prévenu en janvier Benoît Coeuré, l'un des directeurs de l'institution de Francfort. Au fur et à mesure que ces obligations arrivent à échéance, Athènes doit les rembourser. Athènes doit rembourser plus de 6 milliards d'euros à la BCE en juillet et en août, a rappelé M. Varoufakis. "Le ministère des Finances devra, en quelque sorte, emprunter à nos pairs, pour les rembourser", a-t-il expliqué. M. Varoufakis a averti lundi que le pays risque de manquer de liquidités dans les "deux semaines" si aucun accord n'est conclu avec ses créanciers pour débloquer la dernière tranche des fonds d'aide. (Belga)

    1. Greece’s Varoufakis says debt swap fills Draghi’s “soul with fear”...

      Repayment of what Greece owes to the European Central Bank should be pushed into the future, but it is not an option because it fills ECB chief Mario Draghi’s “soul with fear”, Greece’s finance minister said on Thursday.

      Yanis Varoufakis said Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, cannot risk irritating Germany with such a debt swap because of Berlin’s objection to his bond-buying programme.

      Varoufakis first raised the idea of swapping Greek debt for growth-linked or perpetual bonds when his leftist government came to power earlier this year, But Athens has since dropped the proposal after it got a cool reception from euro zone partners.

      The outspoken minister, who has been sidelined in talks with European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders, brought it up again on Thursday, saying €27bn of bonds owed to the ECB after €6.7bn worth are repaid in July and August should be pushed back.

      “What must be done (is that) these 27 billion of bonds that are still held by the ECB should be taken from there and sent overnight to the distant future,” he told parliament.

      “How could this be done? Through a swap. The idea of a swap between the Greek government and the ECB fills Mr. Draghi’s soul with fear. Because you know that Mr. Draghi is in a big struggle against the Bundesbank, which is fighting against QE. Mr. Weidmann in particular is opposing it.”

      Varoufakis was referring to the ECB’s quantitative easing (QE) or bond-buying plan and Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann’s unabashed criticism of it.

      Varoufakis said the bond-buying plan is “everything for Mr. Draghi” but that “allowing such a swap of our own new bonds with these bonds ... would feed Mr. Weidmann with excuses to create problems with the ECB’s QE.”.........

    2. Varoufakis warnt vor Rückfall in die Steinzeit....

      Rückkehr zur Drachme wäre verheerend, sagt der Finanzminister. Hafen von Piräus soll doch verkauft werden.

      Der griechische Finanzminister Yanis Varoufakis hat einen Austritt seines Landes aus der Eurozone ausgeschlossen. Die Wiedereinführung der alten Währung Drachme würde Griechenland in die Steinzeit zurückwerfen, sagte Varoufakis am Donnerstag in Athen. Besser wäre aber gewesen, wenn Griechenland der Eurozone gar nicht erst beigetreten wäre. Dann hätte das Land die Möglichkeit gehabt, seine Wettbewerbsfähigkeit zu verbessern. "Aber wenn Du einmal drinnen bist, dann gibt es keinen Weg heraus."
      EZB-Geld sollen später fließen

      Seine Umschuldungspläne hat Varoufakis trotz des Widerstands der Euro-Partner noch nicht zu den Akten gelegt. Sein Land bräuchte mehr Zeit für die Rückzahlung von Krediten an die Europäische Zentralbank (EZB). Allerdings sieht er wenig Chancen auf Erfolg. EZB-Chef Mario Draghi könne es sich wegen des laufenden Anleihenkaufprogramms nicht leisten, Deutschland zu irritieren.....

  127. India's Modi Seeks Closer Ties During China Visit ...

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in China for a state visit expected to further boost diplomatic and economic ties between the two Asian giants.

    Prime Minister Modi, who is making his first visit to China since being elected last year, arrived early Thursday in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province and the hometown of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

    In what is being seen as a gesture of goodwill, President Xi is traveling to Xi'an to welcome Modi later Thursday. It is unusual for Chinese leaders to meet visiting heads of state outside of the capital, Beijing.

    The visit comes months after Modi hosted Xi at his hometown of Ahmedabad for a state visit during which both leaders exuded a notable degree of personal warmth, which both sides hope translates into further economic cooperation.

    The two leaders are expected during the visit to sign $10 billion in economic deals, according to the Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper...........

  128. Syria conflict: IS advances on ancient ruins of Palmyra...

    Islamic State (IS) militants are reportedly mounting an assault on the Syrian town of Tadmur, where Palmyra - one of the greatest archaeological sites in the Middle East - is located.

    The IS advance has raised fears over what might happen to the temples and colonnaded streets of the ancient city if the jihadists take control of it.

    They have ransacked and destroyed several ancient sites in Iraq.

    Palmyra has already suffered some damage during the four-year civil war.

    The government-controlled area is close to gas fields and lies on the road between the capital, Damascus and the contested eastern city of Deir al-Zour.
    'International catastrophe'

    On Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group, said that IS militants were within 2km (1.24 miles) of the ruins of Palmyra, a Unesco world heritage site.

    Syrian Observatory's director, Rami Abdul Rahman, told the AFP news agency that the jihadists had taken all the army posts between Tadmur and al-Sukhanah, a town to the north, after a lightning advance across the desert....BBC

  129. Baltic countries request permanent NATO force to deter Russia...

    The three Baltic countries are asking NATO to permanently deploy an army brigade to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as a deterrent against an increasingly assertive Russia.

    The chiefs of defence of the three countries are presenting the request in a joint letter this week to NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, said Capt. Mindaugas Neimontas, spokesman for Lithuania's chief of defence.

    "It is necessary because of the security situation," Neimontas told The Associated Press on Thursday. "It's not getting better in our region, so it will be a deterrent."....AP....

  130. Attention les oreilles: les ministres turc et grec chantent, main dans la main, "We are the World" (vidéo)...

    Duo improbable en marge de la réunion de l'Otan à Antalya, les ministres turc et grec des Affaires étrangères ont chanté main dans la main au cours d'un dîner de gala "We are the World", le tube des années 80, selon des images vidéo diffusées sur internet.

    "Chantons une dernière chanson, la chanson de la paix". L'invitation a été lancée mercredi soir par le chanteur turc Behzat Gerceker aux chefs de la diplomatie des pays de l'Otan, réunis pour deux jours dans cette ville du sud-ouest de la Turquie. Mevlut Cavusoglu et son homologue grec Nikos Kocias se sont alors levés de table et ont rejoint le chanteur et son groupe Enbe Orkestrasi pour entonner une version de la chanson à succès de Michael Jackson et Lionel Richie, "We are the World", sortie en 1985, d'après les

  131. First president of BRICS Bank to take office in 10 days — India’s deputy finance minister...

    The first president of the new BRICS Development Bank Kundapur Vaman Kamath will take office in 10 days, India’s Deputy Finance Minister Rajiv Mehrishi said On Thursday.

    The BRICS countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

    Born in 1947, Kamath headed the largest private bank in India, ICICI until

  132. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday that he is alarmed by reports that some countries in Southeast Asia may be refusing entry to boats adrift at sea with several thousand refugees and migrants...

    Thailand declined permission for a migrant boat to land on Thursday while Malaysia said it would push boats back out to sea.

    "The secretary-general urges governments to ensure that the obligation of rescue at sea is upheld and the prohibition on refoulement is maintained," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

    "He also urges governments to facilitate timely disembarkation and keep their borders and ports open in order to help the vulnerable people who are in need," he said.

    Smugglers have abandoned ships full of migrants, many of them hungry and sick, following a crackdown on human trafficking in Thailand, the most common first destination for Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Bangladesh and by Reuters

  133. President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi on Thursday recalled Yemen's ambassador to Iran, a source from Yemen's presidency has said...

    "President Hadi, who is currently in Riyadh, has ordered his ambassador to leave Tehran as soon as possible," the source said.

    Yemeni authorities, however, along with their Iranian counterparts, have yet to officially announce the ambassador's withdrawal.

    Earlier Thursday, Foreign Minister Riyadh Mansour was quoted by Yemen's official news agency as saying that his government was studying the possibility of severing diplomatic relations with Iran.

    Hadi and his Gulf allies accuse Iran of supporting Yemen's Shiite Houthi militant group, which overran capital Sanaa late last year and has since extended its influence southward to other parts of the fractious country....

  134. The European Union's border agency is boosting its operations in the Mediterranean near Greece as increasing numbers of migrants try to enter the EU from Turkey, its head said Thursday...

    Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri told The Associated Press: "We are worried about the situation in Greece and that's why we will upgrade our action there and our support to the Greek authorities."

    More than 10,000 people have been plucked from the central Mediterranean in recent weeks attempting to enter Europe from Libya in overcrowded and unseaworthy boats. Some 1,700 are feared dead.

    "There is a shift from the central Mediterranean to the eastern Mediterranean" as more migrants leave Turkey by sea and land, Leggeri said.

    "They are moving very quickly so we have to be flexible."

    Earlier Thursday, police in northern Greece said that 93 Syrian migrants were released from a locked cargo train carriage, after being tricked by smugglers into traveling in the wrong direction.

    The number of Syrians reaching Greece has surged in the past year as the civil war in their country continues into a fifth year.

    Many make the short hop from Turkey's southwest coast toward the island of Lesbos some 9 kilometers (5 miles) away in inflatable rafts. From there they often try to board ferries and move further north into Europe.

    But others choose to travel by land through western Turkey and across the Greek and Bulgarian borders, where the Frontex presence is also being stepped up.

  135. Italy reports 3,600 migrant rescues in 2 days...

    Almost 3,600 migrants have been rescued from overcrowded boats sailing from Africa to Europe over the past 48 hours, Italy has said, with sea conditions seen as perfect for attempting the crossing.

    As more than 600 migrants were brought ashore at the port of Catania in Sicily, rescuers plucked another 2,500 from rickety boats off the coast of Libya, the coast guard said.

    Most of those who arrived in Catania had been picked up by the British warship HMS Bulwark and were Somali and Nigerian, port officials said.

    With Libya engulfed in strife, people smugglers are increasingly free to pack migrants onto unsafe boats, and they are expected to push total arrivals in Italy for 2015 to 200,000, an increase of 30,000 on last year, according to an Interior Ministry projection.

    Sandra Dike, a heavily pregnant 20-year-old Nigerian woman, said she left her home country because of the danger of attacks by the armed Islamist group Boko Haram.........

  136. 'We Are the World'.... order? Social media slams NATO’s charity song performance...

    NATO foreign ministers got their rocks off and sang karaoke at the end of a meeting in Antalya, Turkey. Perhaps the song choice - “We Are The World” – was poor though. They got roasted on social media for their perceived peace-promoting hypocrisy.

    Since the millennium, the military alliance’s troops have been involved in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, which has seen many thousands die in the conflicts. NATO has also used drone campaigns and bombing raids in its war on terror.....

  137. One of the renegade generals who tried to seize power in Burundi says he recognises that their attempt to overthrow the president has failed...

    General Cyrille Ndayirukiye told the AFP news agency that most in the military wanted to keep the current government in power.

    Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has tweeted he is back in the country.

    Throughout Thursday there were fatal clashes in the capital, Bujumbura, leaving at least five soldiers dead.

    The whereabouts of the man who launched the coup, Maj Gen Godefroid Niyombare, are unknown.

    Thousands celebrated on the streets of the capital after Gen Niyombare announced the takeover on national radio on Wednesday whilst President Nkurunziza attended a summit in Tanzania.

    This followed weeks of protests against Mr Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term in office, an apparently unconstitutional move, causing tens of thousands to flee the country....BBC

  138. The European Union firmed up plans to crack down on people smugglers in the Mediterranean on Thursday as Italy said another 2,000 migrants were rescued at sea...

    Germany said it was confident of winning U.N. Security Council approval for an ambitious EU naval military operation, part of a wider plan to stem the flow of people risking their lives to reach Europe from the shores of North Africa.

    In an effort to destroy the human traffickers’ “business model,” the EU wants to be able to identify, intercept and possibly destroy the smugglers’ boats in Libyan waters, something that would require a United Nations resolution.

    Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in the Turkish city of Antalya, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he expected such approval to be forthcoming.

    “My impression is that there is no veto in principle from one of the veto powers in the Security Council of the United

  139. North Korea's military ambitions and China's maritime claims will be two of the focal points for Secretary of State John Kerry, when he travels to Asia this weekend. His visit to China comes at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing over China's expanding land reclamation effort in disputed areas of the South China Sea......VIDEO....

  140. The United States and its Gulf allies agree that a nuclear deal with Iran is in their security interests, U.S. President Barack Obama and officials from the Gulf Cooperation Council member states said in a joint statement Thursday...

    The countries will work together to counter Iran’s “destabilizing activities” in the region, they said in the statement, which was released after a rare U.S.-GCC summit at the presidential retreat Camp David.

    Obama said he assured leaders of Gulf nations that the Washington would stand by them against outside attacks, following “candid” talks about Iran, ISIS militants and other regional issues..........

  141. No survivors found on crashed US helicopter in Nepal...

    A US Marine helicopter that crashed into a mountainside in Nepal was completely destroyed and there were no survivors among the eight on board, Nepal's top defence official has said.

    Three charred bodies were found in the wreckage of the UH-1YHuey that went missing on Tuesday while on a mission to deliver aid to victims of two earthquakes, Defence Secretary Ishwori Prasad Paudyal said.

    The search for others is continuing at the site near the village of Ghorthali, east of Kathmandu, at an altitude of 3,

  142. ISIS Militants seize Ramadi stronghold...

    Islamic State militants have seized the main government building in Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's largest province.

    As many as six suicide car bombs and mortars were used in the assault on the compound that houses the main police HQ and governor's office.

    At least 50 security personnel are reported to have been taken prisoner at the site.

    IS and Iraqi troops have been battling for months to take control of the strategically important Anbar province.

    The attack by IS militants began overnight when the suicide car bombs were driven into compound housing a number of government buildings, killing at least 10 people and wounding a number of others.

    Fighting continued into Friday and by 14:00 (11:00 GMT) the black flag of IS was seen flying over the complex.

    IS "now occupies the government centre in Ramadi and has also raised its flag over the police HQ for Anbar", a police major told the AFP news agency.

    The militant group itself issued a statement confirming it had taken control of the complex and said it had killed an unspecified number of pro-government fighters....BBC

  143. ISIS has launched a wide-scale attack on Iraqi security forces in Ramadi in an apparent attempt to take the rest of the key central Iraqi city, a provincial governor said Friday...

    The ISIS offensive, which started Thursday night and continued into Friday, included suicide attacks with explosive-rigged cars near security posts in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, Anbar Gov. Suhaib Al-Rawi said.

    On Friday, ISIS raised its trademark black flag over the provincial government building after capturing it, according to a security source who just left the city and a civilian still inside the city.....CNN

  144. Russia Wants Cash From France if Mistral Deal Is Voided ...

    Russia wants 1.163 billion euros ($1.32 billion) from France in compensation for canceling a contract to deliver two Mistral helicopter carriers, a Russian source close to the negotiations said Friday.

    French President Francois Holland has come under pressure from his Western allies not to deliver the Mistrals because of Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis. He discussed the 2011 contract worth 1.19 billion euros with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month, and Moscow has said it is willing to accept financial compensation if Paris does not fulfill the deal.

    The source said Russia was eyeing 1.163 billion euros, confirming a report on Friday by the Russian daily Kommersant, which also said Paris was offering to pay 785 million


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US Democratic congresswoman : There is no difference between 'moderate' rebels and al-Qaeda or the ISIS

United States Congresswoman and Democratic Party member Tulsi Gabbard on Wednesday revealed that she held a meeting with Syrian Presiden...

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