Thursday, May 5, 2016

JuniDrome world news in brief (June 2016)

Shinzo Abe cautioned Britain on Thursday that a vote to leave the European Union in a June 23 referendum will make Britain less attractive for Japanese investors.

“A vote to leave would make the U.K. less attractive as a destination for Japanese investment,” Abe, who leads the world’s third largest economy, said through a translator at a news conference with Prime Minister David Cameron........Abe meets Cameron, says Brexit would make U.K. less attractive for Japanese investors


  1. Maduro accuses OAS chief of urging foreign intervention in Venezuela...

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday that Organization of American States chief Luis Almagro had called for foreign "intervention" in his country by invoking the body's Democratic Charter in response to the political crisis in Venezuela.

    "Today, Mr. Almagro presented a document asking for intervention in Venezuela from abroad and a pipe dream called the Democratic Charter is being applied to us to open the doors to a 'gringo' intervention in Venezuela," Maduro told supporters at the presidential palace.

    "They can do as follows with the Democratic Charter, put it in a really thin little tube and let Mr. Almagro make better use of it, sticking his Democratic Charter wherever it fits. Venezuela will be respected and nobody's going to apply any charter of any kind - or whatever they want to call it - to Venezuela," he said.

    Maduro accused the secretary-general of "usurping his functions" by intending to transform himself "into a supranational power above the OAS Charter and above (Venezuela's) sacred Constitution."

    He said that his domestic and international enemies "have gone beyond the limit" and believe that this move will intimidate the Venezuelan people.

    "I call for national rebellion in the face of international threats," he said.

    Alamagro on Tuesday activated the Democratic Charter in the case of Venezuela, an unprecedented step that could lead to the country's suspension from the OAS, provided that two-thirds of the OAS member states feel that the Caracas government has undermined democracy there.

    Backed by a 132-page report. Almagro resorted to Article 20 of the Charter to call for a Permanent Council meeting of the member states between June 10-20 to discuss whether the Venezuelan government has subverted democracy there.

    The report sets forth how the alteration in the constitutional order has occurred and how it "seriously (affects) the democratic order" in the South American country.

    Almagro is the first OAS chief to activate the Charter against a member state against the will of its government.

  2. Germany's refugee shelters stand half-empty as arrivals drop...

    This was supposed to be the largest asylum shelter in Germany, with room for 7,000 people. But these predictions were never realized. At its current full capacity, Berlin's former Tempelhof airport can accommodate 2,324 asylum seekers, yet now – as the numbers of migrants coming to Germany continue to drop – almost half its beds stand unoccupied.

    Over 1,300 asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Moldova and Iran currently reside in the onetime airport, built in the 1920s and later refurbished by the Nazis. White cubicles of up to 25 square meters, each containing three to six bunk beds, fill four of Tempelhof's seven hangars. In some reside whole families, in others, single men or women are housed together randomly, ignoring religious or national differences.

    A row of lockers runs across each hangar, separating the cubicles from the common areas, where young men – most of them still unable to work – huddle near mismatching sofas, while children run around looking for a playmate. Semi-alert security staff and concerned social workers roam among them, ready to intervene in cases of conflict.

    “Nobody feels comfortable here. This place is too big and there are a lot of kids screaming,” said Zachariah (23), a former physics student from Aleppo, who arrived in Germany ten months

  3. Reconnaisance du génocide arménien au Bundestag: un vote "absurde", selon Erdogan ...

    Le vote prévu jeudi au Bundestag sur une résolution reconnaissant le génocide des Arméniens, que nie catégoriquement Ankara, est "absurde", a déclaré mercredi le Premier ministre turc, mettant en garde contre une détérioration des relations avec l'Allemagne si elle était adoptée.

    Laisser l'histoire aux historiens

    "C'est un vote absurde. Il faut laisser l'histoire aux historiens", a affirmé Binali Yildirim devant la presse à Ankara. Même s'il a souligné que l'adoption du texte aurait un "impact défavorable" sur les liens entre Ankara et Berlin, M. Yildirim a estimé que les dégâts seront limités.

    "Il ne se passera rien, ce texte n'a aucune valeur pour nous, ils sera nul et non avenu", a-t-il indiqué. Il a ainsi exclu que la Turquie riposte au vote des députés allemands en tournant le dos à l'accord sur les migrants conclu en mars avec l'Union européenne (UE). "La Turquie n'est pas un Etat de tribus. Elle a de longues traditions", a assuré M. Yildirim.

    L'adoption du texte est quasi-certaine

    Le projet de résolution parlementaire allemande est proposé par les groupes parlementaires de la majorité - les conservateurs de la CDU/CSU et le SPD - ainsi que par celui des Verts, formation de l'opposition. Il a toutes les chances d'être adopté

  4. Dalai Lama: "Deutschland kann kein arabisches Land werden"...

    Der Dalai Lama findet, in Europa seien inzwischen zu viele Flüchtlinge. Sie sollten nur vorübergehend aufgenommen werden, sagt das im Exil lebende Oberhaupt der Tibeter.

    Der Dalai Lama hat sich in die europäische Diskussion über Flüchtlinge eingeschaltet. Der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung sagte er, Menschen, denen es besser gehe, hätten die Verantwortung, Flüchtlingen zu helfen. Andererseits seien es mittlerweile zu viele, sagte das geistige Oberhaupt der Tibeter.

    "Europa, zum Beispiel Deutschland, kann kein arabisches Land werden", forderte er. Mittlerweile seien so viele Flüchtlinge angekommen, dass es in der Praxis schwierig sei. Auch moralisch gesehen finde er, dass diese Flüchtlinge nur vorübergehend aufgenommen werden sollten, sagte der 80-Jährige, der seit über 50 Jahren im Exil in Indien lebt. Ziel solle vielmehr sein, dass die Flüchtlinge zurückkehren und beim Wiederaufbau ihrer eigenen Länder

  5. Moscow has denied reports that he agreed to peacekeepers in East Ukraine...

    The administration of the President of Ukraine said that the Russian side gave consent to the deployment in the East of Ukraine armed peacekeeping force, reports «Interfax-Ukraine».

    «After talks in «Norman format» we have reached unity in the positions and arrangements that we start in Vienna at the level of permanent representatives of States-participants of the Normandy format to the OSCE, and in the future, with the involvement of all OSCE countries. Because we need the consensus of all States members of the Organization concerning deployment of the mission in the Donbass. Agreed to this and the Russian side», — quotes «Interfax-Ukraine» Deputy head of the presidential administration of Ukraine Konstantin Eliseev.

    Elisha also claims that the Ukrainian party has phone records confirming the agreement of the President of Russia on the placement of armed OSCE mission.

    However, the Russian side was quick to refute the statement of consent of the Kremlin for armed peacekeepers, «Interfax» reports.

  6. Turkey not contributing to US-backed Syria operation near Manbij...

    Turkey is not contributing to a U.S.-backed operation against ISIS in Syria that includes Kurdish fighters near the town of Manbij, a Turkish military source said Wednesday.

    The Syrian fighters had advanced against ISIS militants in the last tract of territory the group holds near the Turkish border Wednesday, a monitoring group said, opening a major new front with U.S.-led air support.

  7. Media groups expressed outrage June 1 at Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s endorsement of killing corrupt journalists, warning his comments could incite more murders in a nation already one of the world’s most dangerous for reporters...

    Duterte, who won last month’s elections in a landslide after pledging to kill tens of thousands of criminals, told reporters on May 31 that there was justification for killing journalists who took bribes or engaged in other corrupt activities.

    “Just because you’re a journalist you are not exempted from assassination,” Duterte said using a sware word as journalists. He was asked how he would address the problem of media killings in the Philippines after a reporter was shot dead in Manila last week.

    The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines described the comments as “appalling.” It conceded there were corruption problems in the industry but said these did not justify murdering reporters.

    “He has also, in effect, declared open season to silence the media, both individual journalists and the institution, on the mere perception of corruption,” the NUJP said in a statement.

    The Philippines is one of the most dangerous nations in the world for journalists, with 176 murdered since a chaotic and corruption-plagued democracy replaced the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos three decades ago....AFP

  8. Fort McMurray fire: First residents return home...

    Thousands of evacuees who fled a huge wildfire the in Canadian oil city of Fort McMurray a month ago are beginning to return home.

    Officials expect up to 15,000 people to go back on Wednesday, although three neighbourhoods remain off-limits.

    The water is reported to be not safe to drink yet, and other services are limited.

    Authorities will continue assessing conditions daily, and the plans could change if conditions worsen.

    CBC reported that five conditions had to be met for people to return, including the restoration of critical services such as police and healthcare.

    Early in the morning, police began removing the barricades that had kept residents out of the city....BBC

  9. Near the coast of the island of Sumatra in West Indonesia, Thursday, June 2, an earthquake of magnitude 6.5...

    According to the USGS, the epicenter of the earthquake, recorded at 05:56 local time, was located some 91 km West of the city of Sagapenum in the province of Jambi, and in 531 km South-West of Singapore. The focus lies at a depth of 50.8 km.

    Information on victims and destructions did not arrive. A warning about the danger of a tsunami has not been published.

    The most powerful earthquake in the last decade occurred in Indonesia on 27 may 2006, killing approximately 5.100 people. Affected Indonesia and resulted most destructive in recent years, the earthquake in South Asia that occurred on 26 December 2004, which killed about 240,000.

  10. Europe floods: Natural disaster to be declared in France...

    France is to declare a state of natural disaster in areas worst hit by flooding in recent days, President Francois Hollande says.

    The measure frees up funds, with some towns in central France suffering their severest floods in decades.

    In Paris the Seine continues to rise, prompting the closure of a metro line running through the city centre.

    Heavy rains across Europe have left at least 10 people dead, most of them in Germany.

    More downpours are forecast right through the weekend across a band of central Europe from France to Ukraine, with as much as 50mm (2in) of rain falling in some parts in just a few hours.
    'Totally under water'

    After a day of respite on Wednesday in central France, the region is braced for a further rise in already exceptionally high river levels.

    The Loiret department, south of Paris, is on red alert, with seven others one level lower.

    Nearly 10,000 homes are without electricity....BBC

    1. Paris museums on alert as Seine rises after torrential rain...

      Torrential rains across France forced thousands of people from their homes and saw stranded motorists rescued by soldiers as flood waters rose.

      The Louvre museum halted entries this afternoon and will be closed to the public tomorrow to evacuate artworks held in its underground reserves as the River Seine began to burst its banks.

      The riverside museum - the most visited in the world, home to everything from the Mona Lisa to priceless Egyptian artefacts, took the radical action after days of torrential rain in the French capital.

      The Musee d'Orsay, which faces the Louvre on the opposite bank of the river, closed early today to put its own "protection plan" into place.

      Its galleries hold the world's greatest collection of Impressionist masterpieces, including the finest paintings by Renoir, Manet, Van Gogh and Degas, as well as 24 works by Gauguin.

      "The aim is to move works situated in areas vulnerable to flooding to safety by moving them to higher floors," the Louvre said in a statement.

      Only hours before, the museum had played down the threat to its vast underground stores which are fitted with anti-flood pumps and sealed waterproof doors.

      But as the Seine swelled to more than five metres above its usual levels, and burst its banks in places, its management decided to close its galleries

  11. Turkey's Erdogan says U.S.-backed Syrian force largely Arab, in tacit approval...

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday a U.S.-backed offensive against Islamic State in northern Syria was largely being carried out by Arab rather than Kurdish fighters, in a sign of tacit approval for the operation near Turkey's borders.

    The Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance, including the Kurdish YPG militia, thrust into Islamic State-held territory around the city of Manbij this week, backed by U.S.-led air strikes and U.S. special forces on the ground.

    Turkey views the YPG as a terrorist organization and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, which has waged a three-decade insurgency for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey's own southeast. It resents U.S. support for the YPG.

    Ankara, bent on preventing territorial gains by the Kurdish militia near its borders, has previously said it would not tolerate the YPG crossing west of the Euphrates River, into the area where the U.S.-backed operation is now underway.

    "What we have been told is that the YPG will predominantly act as a logistical force here and the main force will be Arabs," Erdogan told a news conference during a trip to Kenya......REUTERS

  12. Abschuss von Flug MH17...Crew-Angehörige verklagen Malaysia Airlines...

    Angehörige der Besatzung der vor zwei Jahren über der Ostukraine abgeschossenen Malaysia-Airlines-Maschine verklagen die Fluggesellschaft. Der Vorwurf: das fahrlässige Überfliegen eines bekannten Kampfgebietes.

    Knapp zwei Jahre nach dem Abschuss eines malaysischen Flugzeugs über der Ukraine verklagen Angehörige der Besatzung die Fluggesellschaft. Sie werfen Malaysia Airlines eine fahrlässige Durchführung des Flugs MH17 über einem Gebiet vor, in dem bekannterweise ein bewaffneter Konflikt herrschte. Das teilte einer der Anwälte der Kläger mit. Die Familien von sechs Mitgliedern der Crew reichten die Zivilklage demnach am Donnerstag (Ortszeit) bei einem Gericht in Malaysias Hauptstadt Kuala Lumpur

  13. Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov asserted that Moscow calls for a durable truce on the entire Syrian territory, the duration of which will not confine to the month of Ramadan...

    Bogdanov said in press statements on Thursday “We’re saying it’s important to impose peace once and for all and to create more suitable conditions for a resumption and conduct of negotiations and for tapping a political solution.”

    “More than that, we speak in favor of starting earlier than Ramadan and never stopping (the truce),” Bogdanov added.

  14. Coalition drops ammo to Syrian rebels fighting ISIS...

    Coalition aircraft dropped ammunition to Syrian rebels fighting ISIS in northern Aleppo as they try to prevent the extremists from entering the town of Marea, a monitoring group said on Friday.

    “The coalition airplanes dropped, in the last 24 hours, ammunitions, light weapons and anti-tank weapons to rebels in Marea,” Syrian Observatory for Human Rights chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

    He said it was the first time the coalition had made such a drop to rebel fighters other than the Kurds, although a US defense official denied this.

    The official confirmed the drops, but said they did not include light weapons or anti-tank weapons.

    ISIS fighters swept through rebel-held territory in a shock offensive in Aleppo province late last month, cutting off the main road between Marea and Azaz -- two main rebels bastions in the province.

    The ISIS advance forced thousands to flee towards the northern frontier with Turkey.

    The United Nations said it was “deeply concerned over the fate of an estimated 8,000 Syrians trapped by fighting around the towns of Marea and Sheikh Issa”.

    An unknown number of people are unable to flee due to fighting and the closure of the main road between Marea and Azaz, it added.

  15. About 250 people have been rescued from a migrant boat that has capsized in the Mediterranean sea, Greek officials say...

    A coast guard spokesman said four ships were involved in the operation, with helicopters on their way.

    Hundreds of migrants were "in distress" in the water. The boat was found in international waters, 75 nautical miles south of the Greek island of Crete.

    An improvement in weather conditions has led to an upsurge in the numbers of boats crossing the Mediterranean.

    The UN said this week that more than 2,500 people had died in 2016 trying to make the journey towards Western Europe.

    1. IOM says capsized boat with 700 migrants left from Egypt...

      The capsized boat carrying 700 migrants, who are being rescued in international waters south of the island of Crete, left from the Egyptian city of Alexandria, said the International Organization for Migration, or IOM, on Friday.

      "Our reports say that the boat left Alexandria in Egypt with 700 people on board and 250 have been rescued," confirmed the IOM spokesman in Geneva, Joel Millman, to EFE.

  16. Brexit: "Ne jouons pas avec l'avenir de nos enfants", prévient Cameron ...

    A trois semaines du référendum sur le Brexit au Royaume-Uni, le Premier Ministre, David Cameron, a défendu le maintien de son pays dans l'Union européenne. C'était la première des huit soirées consacrées au débat. Le chef du gouvernement conservateur n'a pas été ménagé.

    "Ne jouons pas avec l'avenir de nos enfants", a souligné le Premier ministre britannique David Cameron au moment de descendre dans l'arène télévisée.

    David Cameron est allé au combat et, de l’avis des observateurs, le premier ministre a vaillamment défendu sa cause. Mis à rude épreuve, le chef du gouvernement n’était face à aucun adversaire politique, il a refusé de débattre avec les figures pro-Brexit recrutés pour la plupart dans son propre parti. Il a d’abord été malmené par un intervieweur particulièrement coriace, ensuite par des électeurs qui lui ont adressé des reproches tous azimut. “Parfois, l’Union européenne me rend fou”, a concédé le Premier Ministre. Le chef du gouvernement a tenté de persuader ses concitoyens des dangers d’un Brexit pendant près d’une heure. Selon lui, "Si nous sortons du marché unique comme le souhaitent les pro-brexit, nous allons porter préjudice à notre économie. Cela détruirait des emplois. Le pays serait appauvri. La livre baisserait. Le cout de la vie augmenterait. Il y aurait moins d’investissements. Ce serait une décision masochiste pour le pays."

  17. Israel-Palestinian two-state solution in 'serious danger': Ayrault...

    French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault warned Friday that hopes of a two-state solution in the Israel-Palestinian conflict were in "serious danger" without a peace process on the table.

    "We have chosen to extend a hand to the Israelis and the Palestinians. We hope that they accept it," Ayrault said after an international meeting on the crisis held in Paris in the absence of the two parties.

    French President Francois Hollande opened the summit saying that after decades of failed negotiations the Israelis and Palestinians must make the 'courageous' choice for peace.

    Hollande added that a solution had to involve the "whole region", but in the end it was up to the Israelis and

  18. France on Friday called on Russia to pressure Syria to allow humanitarian aid to reach besieged areas, as the Security Council met to discuss plans for airdrops of food and medicine...

    "The top priority is to get those who have influence over Damascus, starting with Russia, to strongly increase their pressure on the regime," French Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters as he headed into the closed meeting.

  19. Syria conflict: Troops 'cross into IS-held Raqqa province'...

    Syrian troops have crossed into Raqqa province, nearing the capital of so-called Islamic State, activists say.

    The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said heavy Russian air strikes had helped the offensive. There is no Syrian or Russian confirmation.

    A US-backed alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters started a campaign in May to expel IS militants from land north of Raqqa.

    IS seized the city in 2013 from rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

    The jihadist group quickly established its headquarters there and began imposing its vision of a state, implementing a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

    It proclaimed a "caliphate" in 2014....BBC

  20. Lavrov renews call to urgently separate “moderate opposition” from Jabhat al-Nusra...

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged the soonest separation of “moderate opposition” from Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization in Syria.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Lavrov discussed the situation in Syria during a telephone conversation with his US counterpart John Kerry, made upon the latter’s initiative, emphasizing “the urgency of the separation of ‘moderate’ opposition from Nusra Front militants, as it had been promised by the United States long ago.”

    The Ministry’s statement added that “Lavrov expressed concern about attempts to delay the resumption of political negotiations under various pretexts, which was displayed clearly in a briefing at the UN Security Council on Syria on June 3.”

    On Friday, Lavrov and Kerry discussed during a telephone call ways of separating what is called by the United States “moderate opposition” from Jabhat al-Nusra as well as issues of fighting ISIS terrorist organization and ways of cutting off supplies to terrorists represented in the continued flow of fighters and arms across the Turkish border.

  21. USS Harry Truman launches airstrike against Islamic State from the Mediterranean Sea...

    The USS Harry S. Truman conducted airstrikes against the Islamic State from the Mediterranean Sea on Friday.

    A senior defense official told Fox News that F/A-18 Hornet combat jets deployed from the U.S. Navy carrier, flying over Turkey and conducting airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria.

    The strike marks the first launched by the United States from the Mediterranean since Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, as Naval air strikes have typically been launched from carriers in the Persian Gulf.

    "This is showing the U.S. Navy can conduct flight operations [against ISIS] from other locations, not just the [Persian] Gulf," the official told Fox News of the air

  22. EU vows to scale up clean energy innovation ...

    The European Union (EU) said on Friday it had joined Mission Innovation, a global initiative on clean energy, becoming its 21st member, and vowed to scale up clean energy innovation.

    Before the EU joined, Mission Innovation included major world economies such as the United States, China, India, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Britain. Between the members, the group represents 58 percent of the world population and over 80 percent of global clean energy research budgets. They've pledged to double their government investment in clean energy research and innovation over the next five years.

    The EU joined Mission Innovation at the group's inaugural ministerial meeting in San Francisco on June 1 and 2, saying the initiative cohered perfectly with its own upcoming research, innovation and competitiveness strategy.

    "The European Commission is honored to be part of Mission Innovation. Scaling up clean energy innovation is key to the success of the European Energy Union and to the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change," said Maros Sefcovic, European Commission vice-president responsible for the Energy Union.

    The EU funds clean energy under the EU research and innovation program Horizon 2020, under which around 10 billion euros (11.3 billion U.S. dollars) funding is expected to be allocated to clean energy.....

  23. Fourteen people were missing Saturday night after a boat capsized on a lake in China's southwest Sichuan province, state news agency Xinhua reported...

    The leisure vessel, which could seat 40, had been carrying 18 passengers when it capsized on Bailong lake in Guangyuan city due to strong winds, Xinhua quoted the local government as saying in a statement.

    Rescuers managed to save four people and were continuing to search for fourteen others, the agency said.

    In June last year a cruise ship sank in a storm on the Yangtze river, killing 442 people, in China's worst shipping disaster for more than six decades.

  24. The Swiss appear to have voted down a plan for the government to pay citizens a guaranteed income whether or not they are employed...

    The proposal would have forced the government to pay each citizen the equivalent of nearly 1,800 euros, or about $2,045, each month.

    Critics called the unconditional national income a "Marxist dream," though it was proposed as a means of addressing poverty and inequality, Sky News reported.

    Partial voter results showed 78 percent of Swiss voters opposed the measure in a national referendum

  25. A car bomb attack targeting a police bus has killed seven officers and four civilians in central Istanbul...

    It was the fourth major attack in Turkey's largest city this year.

    No group has claimed it, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed to the involvement of Kurdish militants....BBC

  26. President Bashar al-Assad vowed Tuesday to fight on in what he called Syria's war against terrorism, showing no sign of compromise in his first major address since peace talks broke down in April...

    Assad said he would win back "every inch" of Syria and said Aleppo would be a graveyard for the hopes and dreams of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, a major sponsor of the insurgents battling to topple him.

    "Our war against terrorism is continuing," Assad said in a speech to parliament broadcast by state TV. "As we liberated Tadmur [Palmyra] and before it many areas, we will liberate every inch of Syria from their hands. Our only option is victory, otherwise Syria will not continue."

  27. Some 20 civilians were killed and 40 others were injured in mortar attacks on residential neighborhoods in Aleppo city in the last 24 hours, the Russian Center coordinating the cessation of hostilities agreement in the country said...

    Terrorist groups have breached the cessation of hostilities agreement 643 times since it came into effect on 27 February 2016.

    The center, based in Hmeimim, explained in a statement on Wednesday that terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra and the so-called “Ahrar al-Sham” shelled the two residential neighborhoods of al-Midan and al-Mouhafaza in Aleppo city with mortar rounds, leaving 20 people dead and 40 others injured....

  28. EgyptAir plane EN route from Cairo to Beijing, made an emergency landing in Uzbekistan after Egyptian authorities received an anonymous message about an explosive device on Board the aircraft, reports RIA Novosti...

    According to recent reports, the crew members and passengers of the plane were evacuated and the plane visiting specialists.

    It is reported that on Board were 17 crew members and 118 passengers.

  29. Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) filed a legal challenge Wednesday to last month's presidential election that it lost closely to an independent candidate, a court spokesman said...

    "Challenge to the presidential election runoff by (FPOe leader) Heinz-Christian Strache filed," Christian Neuwirth, spokesman for Austria's constitutional court, said on

  30. The United States said Tuesday that Bashar al-Assad’s vow to recapture “every inch” of Syria was discouraging and urged Russia and Iran to pressure their ally into respecting a ceasefire...

    The Syrian leader made the threat in his first address to a newly-installed parliament in Damascus, calling into question his commitment to a UN-led peace process and a truce between government and opposition forces.

    “We have no choice but victory,” he said, to applause from a parliament elected under civil war conditions in a vote that Washington and Assad’s other international critics have not recognized as legitimate.

    US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the belligerent speech was unsurprising and dubbed it “vintage Assad,” adding that Washington would call on Russia, its co-chair of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), to restrain its ally....AFP

  31. Génocide arménien: "Plan d'action" contre l'Allemagne, la Turquie réagit...

    Ankara prépare un "plan d'action" contre l'Allemagne après le vote par le Bundestag d'une résolution reconnaissant le génocide des Arménien par l'Empire ottoman, a annoncé mercredi le porte-parole de la présidence turque, sans autre détail.

    "Des travaux sur les mesures à prendre (...) sont en cours avec les parties concernées, à commencer par notre ministère des Affaires étrangères. Ils préparent un plan d'action", a déclaré Ibrahim Kalin lors d'une conférence de presse à Ankara retransmise en direct par la chaîne d'information NTV. "Lorsqu'il sera achevé, il sera soumis à notre Premier ministre, à notre président de la République", a poursuivi Ibrahim Kalin, sans autre dé

  32. Japan protests to China over ship in disputed waters...

    Japan has lodged a protest with the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo, after a Chinese ship sailed close to contested islands in the East China Sea.

    Japan administers the uninhabited Senkaku islands, which China also claims under the name Diaoyu islands.

    Russian naval ships were also spotted in the area at the same time, Japanese local media said.

    In 2012, relations between Japan and China deteriorated after Japan bought the islands from a private owner.

    The islands are important because they are close to key shipping lanes, offer rich fishing grounds and lie near potential oil and gas reserves.

    Reacting to the incident, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed "serious concern" at a news conference, saying it would escalate tensions.

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told his government to work closely with the US and other countries to deal with this, Mr Suga said....BBC

  33. UN chief «shocked» that Hamas welcomed the terrorist attack in tel Aviv...

    The press service of the United Nations issued a statement that UN Secretary General ban Ki-moon shocked by the fact that the leaders of Hamas welcomed the terrorist attack in tel Aviv and even staged a celebration on this occasion, the Associated Press

  34. Syrie: Washington met Moscou au défi de se charger des largages d'aide ...

    Les Etats-Unis ont suggéré mercredi à la Russie de se charger du largage aérien d'aide humanitaire en Syrie si Damas continue de freiner l'approvisionnement en nourriture et médicaments vers les villes assiégées.Un porte-parole du département d'Etat américain a accusé la Russie de ne pas respecter son engagement, pris lors de la rencontre du Groupe international de soutien à la Syrie (GISS) en mai, de convaincre Bachar al-Assad d'autoriser les largages humanitaires de l'ONU en Syrie.

    "Nous sommes évidemment déçus, pour ne pas dire plus", a dit Mark Toner à la presse, précisant que le chef de la diplomatie américaine John Kerry s'était entretenu avec son homologue russe Sergueï Lavrov.

    "Mais vous parlez de moyens aériens et de permission, or la Russie dispose de moyens aériens en Syrie et a reçu l'autorisation du gouvernement syrien pour voler", a-t-il ajouté.

    Mettre Moscou face à sa promesse d'aider les civils syriens victimes du conflit

    Aux journalistes qui lui demandaient s'il suggérait ainsi que la Russie se charge des largages aériens d'aide humanitaire en Syrie, Mark Toner a répondu qu'il s'agissait bien d'une suggestion.

    "Ils sont présents sur le terrain avec des moyens aériens en Syrie et sont capables de mener ce type d'opérations", a-t-il souligné

  35. Forces aligned with Libya's new unity government advanced on the eastern and southern outskirts of the Islamic State stronghold of Sirte on Wednesday, taking control of at least one military camp, security sources said..

    The brigades, who are based in the western city of Misrata, launched their counter-offensive against Islamic State last month, pushing the militants back along the coastal road to the west of Sirte and saying they intended to recapture the city.

    The brigades are aligned with the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), which has been trying to establish its authority over Libya's competing political and armed factions since arriving in Tripoli in March.

    After a lull in fighting at the start of the week, clashes resumed in Sirte on Wednesday and the brigades edged forward, capturing the Taqrift military camp, security sources said.

    The brigades' media office said in statements on social media that they had also captured the Al-Jalet military camp and the Au Hadi roundabout immediately south of Sirte, though this could not immediately be confirmed.

    A hospital spokesman in Misrata said at least six brigade members had been killed and 30 wounded in the clashes....REUTERS

  36. МИД Болгарии: Россия проиграла экономическое соревнование с Европой и военное с НАТО...

    Глава МИД Болгарии Даниел Митов считает, что "Россия проиграла экономическое соревнование с Европой и уступила в военной конкуренции с НАТО". Соответствующее заявление болгарский дипломат сделал в четверг в рамках круглого стола, на котором обсуждались позиции России и Запада.

    "С начала распада Советского Союза Россия пытается восстановить свою роль мировой силы, для чего ведет активную внешнюю политику, которая часто опережает ее экономические возможности. Россия уже проиграла как экономическое соревнование с Европой, так и военную конкуренцию с НАТО", - полагает Митов.

    Глава болгарского МИД утверждает, что Центральная и Восточная Европа превратились в арену, где "конкурируют амбиции Востока и возможности Запада".

    "Европа должна создавать обстоятельства, а не быть их заложником", - подчеркнул дипломат.

  37. France Euro 2016: Hollande warns unions against disrupting tournament...

    French President Francois Hollande has warned against attempts to disrupt Euro 2016 with strike action, as the football tournament gets under way.

    France has been in the grip of industrial action, mainly over reforms to labour law.

    Train drivers are threatening to strike on a line serving the Stade de France in St Denis just outside Paris, where France play Romania in the first match.

    Meanwhile, a brawl in Marseille led to two England fans being arrested.

    Tear gas was fired and police in riot gear were on the streets after the incident outside a pub shortly before midnight on Thursday. England play Russia in the city on Saturday.
    'Just not normal'

    Football fans arriving in Paris and several other cities this week have been greeted by the sight and smell of uncollected rubbish sacks as trade unionists blockade incinerators.

    The country is also on high alert since the jihadist attacks on Paris in November - one of them at the Stade de France - and is recovering from flood damage in central and northern regions....BBC

    1. Euro 2016: France kick off tournament amid security, strike and weather fears...

      Euro 2016 kicks off on Friday when hosts France face Group A opponents Romania at the Stade de France amid an unprecedented security operation.

      France remains under a state of emergency after last November's attacks on Paris, when 130 people were killed.

      More than 90,000 police, soldiers and private guards will be deployed at the tournament, with seven million fans expected to visit the 10 host venues.

      The US and British governments have both warned fans they could be at risk.

      But organisers Uefa and French authorities insist they have done everything possible to keep the 2.5 million spectators expected at the 51 matches safe.....

  38. Russia: We will respond to entry of U.S. naval vessel into Black Sea...

    The Russian Foreign ministry said Moscow would respond to a U.S. naval ship's entry into the Black Sea with unspecified measures, saying it and other deployments were designed to ratchet up tensions ahead of a NATO summit, the RIA news agency reported.

    Russian state media reported that the USS Porter, a U.S. naval destroyer, entered the Black Sea a few days ago on a routine deployment, a move it said raised hackles in Moscow because it had recently been fitted with a new missile system.

    U.S. Navy officials told reporters on Wednesday the U.S. military would also have two aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean this month ahead of a July NATO summit in Warsaw as Washington sought to balance Russian military activities.

    "Of course, this does not meet with our approval and will undoubtedly lead to response measures," RIA cited Andrei Kelin, a senior Foreign Ministry official, as saying about the USS Porter's

  39. Southern California Earthquake Felt in Los Angeles, San Diego...

    Residents across Southern California were woken early Friday by a 5.1-magnitude earthquake that rocked the region.

    The United States Geological Survey said the earthquake struck around 60 miles northeast of San Diego and 110 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles at 1:05 a.m. local time (4:05 a.m. ET).

    The quake, which struck at a depth of less than 1 mile, was followed by three nearby aftershocks over the next three minutes measuring between magnitude 2.8 and 3.5, according to the USGS. Another two aftershocks of similar magnitudes were recorded over the next 40 minutes.

    The epicenter was around 13 miles north of Borrego Springs, which has a population of around 3,500. The local police department told NBC News there was no reports of

  40. MH370: de nouveaux débris retrouvés en Australie et à Madagascar? ...

    De nouveaux débris du MH370, cet avion disparu de la Malaysia Airlines, auraient été retrouvés sur l'île de Madagascar, mais aussi en Australie, à Kangaroo Island, non loin d'Adelaide, rapporte vendredi la BBC.

    Blaine Gibson, l'amateur qui a déjà récolté d'autres débris possibles au Mozambique au cours de ses recherches sur le vol mystère, aurait cette fois mis la main sur de nouveaux débris à l'ouest de Madagascar, une île bordant le continent africain.

    Il a déclaré qu'il avait envoyé des photos des éléments, qui s'apparentent à une fenêtre d'avion, à l'agence australienne qui coordonne les recherches ainsi qu'aux autorités de Madagascar. Il est également prêt à leur confier les pièces.

    Selon un porte-parole de ce bureau, une autre enquête est actuellement menée sur des débris retrouvés sur l'île australienne de Kangaroo Island qui pourraient également provenir du Boeing disparu.

    Les images de la chaîne Channel 7 montrent des fragments sur lesquels sont inscrits les mots "Caution no step".

    L'Australie coordonne les recherches du MH370, ce Boeing disparu le 8 mars 2014 peu après son décollage de Kuala Lumpur et dont le sort, ainsi que celui de ses 239 passagers, demeure une énigme.

    D'autres débris ont été retrouvés à La Réunion, à Madagascar, au Mozambique, en Afrique du Sud et à l'île Maurice.

  41. The government of Argentina ordered to stop free broadcasts of the Spanish edition of Russia Today channel on its territory. The decision caused dissatisfaction of the Russian authorities...

    Russian TV channel received a notice that in 60 days the free public network will cease its broadcast. The transmitting RT will be available in cable networks.

    In 2014, President Vladimir Putin and President Aregntina Cristina Fernandez Yes, Kircher during the teleconference opened broadcasting RT became the first foreign TV channel in Argentina’s state broadcasting network.

    But recently, the presidential election won right politician Mauricio Macri. In early June, he informed the Russian side that it intends to release the digital frequency for those signals requested by a province of Argentina. This is not the first step – recently it was decided to cease the broadcasting of the Venezuelan TV channel Telesur, and his frequency to transfer the province of Tierra del Fuego.

    Chairman of the State Duma of Russia Alexei Pushkov reacted strongly to this decision and wrote on Twitter: «as soon as the head of Argentina became the protege of the United States, they decided to bring «Russia Today» from NAT th broadcast. And not to defend our market from their meat?» Some commentators noted that the Makri — «protege» is not so much US, how much Israel and its «lobby».

    The Ambassador of Russia in Argentina Victor koronelli, in turn, said that the decision to stop broadcasting RT is not consistent with the spirit of relations between the two countries reached the level of full-scale strategic partnership, reports RIA «Novosti».

  42. A new poll shows that a majority of British voters want Great Britain to leave the European Union with less than two weeks before the upcoming referendum...

    The survey of 2,000 voters, conducted by ORB for the British newspaper The Independent, showed that 55 percent of voters favor Britain leaving the EU, while 45 percent favor staying in the union.

    The number of voters in favor of leaving the EU increased by 4 percent since The Independent's most recent poll in April. The nationwide referendum will be held June 23.

    According to the poll, 78 percent of voters in favor of leaving the EU answered that they will definitely vote in the referendum verses 66 percent of those who favor remaining in the EU.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his concern about the referendum, saying the decision is "bigger than a general election," during a Buzzfeed Facebook Live event...

  43. La grève des pilotes d'Air France perturbe peu le trafic aérien...

    Au lendemain du coup d'envoi de l'Euro de football, des pilotes d'Air France entament leur première journée de grève pour défendre leurs salaires. Seuls 25 % d'entre eux participent au mouvement social.

    Faute d'accord entre les syndicats et la direction, la grève des pilotes d'Air France débute bien samedi 11 juin. Environ 25 % d’entre eux participaient au mouvement de grève pour défendre leurs rémunérations, et non pas 70 % comme l'affirme le principal syndicat de pilotes, a assuré le PDG de l'entreprise, Frédéric

  44. China, EU hold high-level strategic dialogue ...

    China and the European Union (EU) held their sixth high-level strategic dialogue in Brussels on Friday, with both sides pledging to further cooperation in various areas.

    The event was co-chaired by visiting Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

    China sees the EU as a comprehensive strategic partner for mutual benefit, Yang said, adding that deepening China-EU relations was not only in line with both demands on economic and social development, but also conductive to global peace, stability and economic recovery.

    The two sides agreed to implement the consensus reached by both leaders at the 17th China-EU Summit held in June last year that enhances synergy between their development strategies, and deepens cooperation on trade, investment, infrastructure connectivity, digitization, legal affairs, and facilitation of people-to-people exchanges, Yang said.....

  45. Germany's Foreign Ministry has warned lawmakers with Turkish roots against travelling to the country for now because their safety cannot be guaranteed, the magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday...

    A resolution in the German parliament this month declaring the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces a genocide has added to tensions between Berlin and Ankara.

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said that the 11 lawmakers of Turkish origin who voted for the resolution should be given blood tests, and has accused them of having "tainted blood" and of being terrorists.

    The leader of Germany's Green party, Cem Oezdemir, who pushed for the resolution, has also received death threats....REUTERS

  46. Lavrov reiterates need to separate so-called moderate opposition from Jabhat al-Nusra...

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed the need for Washington to promptly separate the so-called “moderate opposition” from Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization in Syria.

    This came in a phone call between Lavrov and US State Secretary John Kerry on Monday during which they discussed the situation in Syria, including the possibility of Russian-US cooperation in combating terrorism, in addition to the issue of preventing the provision of supplies for terrorists in Syria through the border with Turkey.

    Lavrov also offered condolences to Kerry over the recent shooting committed by a member of ISIS at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which claimed the lives of 50 civilians and injured 53.

  47. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland seek NATO enhance air defense forces (PVO) in their territory to counter the threat from Russia. About it, on Monday, June 13, according to Reuters...

    “We need to stop the possible aggression from the air. We are discussing the question of the establishment of a regional system of air defense medium-range together with the Latvians, Estonians and poles”, —said the Minister of defense of Lithuania Juozas Olekas.

    In turn, the commander of the Estonian defense forces, Lieutenant General Riho Terras said that “the issue of the protection of the airspace need to be solved together with the NATO partners”.

    This initiative will be discussed at a meeting of NATO defence Ministers, which will be held June 14-15 in Warsaw.

    On 30 April it became known that the military command unit intends to place four battalions, or about 4 thousand troops in Poland and the Baltic States in the framework of NATO’s efforts to strengthen the frontier with Russia.

    Moscow has repeatedly stated about the absence of any aggressive plans against any country-member of NATO.

  48. Fighting Reported on Eritrea-Ethiopia Border ...

    Residents of a town on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border reported hearing sounds of heavy fighting Monday, as both countries accused each other of launching an attack.

    The fighting appeared centered on the Eritrean town of Tsorona, which was a flashpoint during the two countries' border war between 1998 and 2000.

    Speaking to VOA's Horn of Africa Service, farmers on the Ethiopian side of the border said they heard gunfire early Sunday morning followed by the sounds of shelling and other heavy weaponry later in the day. They said gunfire continued into Monday.

    There were no immediate reports of

  49. The prominent newspaper The Sun is calling on its readers on Tuesday to vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, or EU, in the referendum to be held on June 23, to get rid of what it calls a "dictatorial Brussels"...

    In an editorial that dominated its cover, the daily tabloid newspaper warns that remaining in the EU will harm the country, with increased immigration and lower wages for the British population.

  50. French police arrested at least 58 people in Paris on Tuesday as student groups and unions once again marched against contested labour reforms...

    Tens of thousands of people rallied in the French capital and across the country as unions and student groups refused to yield in a months-long labour row.

    French unions said 1 million protesters had converged in Paris, while police offered a much lower estimate for participation: between 75,000 and 80,000 people.

    Law enforcement authorities said that “several hundred masked individuals” had thrown objects at riot police shortly after the march started in the south of

  51. China spy ship 'shadowing' U.S., Japanese, Indian naval drill in Western Pacific...

    A Chinese observation ship shadowed the U.S. aircraft carrier John C. Stennis in the Western Pacific on Wednesday, the carrier's commander said, as it joined warships from Japan and India for drills close to waters Beijing considers its backyard.

    The show of U.S. naval power comes as Japan and the United States worry China is extending its influence into the Western Pacific with submarines and surface vessels as it pushes territorial claims in the neighboring South China Sea, expanding and building on islands.

    China has been angered by what it views as provocative U.S. military patrols close to the islands. The United States says the patrols are to protect freedom of

  52. US President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet the Dalai Lama in private at the White House despite Chinese objections...

    China has denounced meetings between foreign leaders and the exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, whom the country considers a separatist.

    The pair, who have met several times before, will talk behind closed doors in the White House Map Room.

    A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman condemned Wednesday's meeting.

    "If the United States plans this meeting, it will send the wrong signal to Tibet independence and separatist forces and harm China-US mutual trust and cooperation," said Lu Kang...BBC

  53. Forces conspiring against Syria not interested in combating terrorism...

    Assistant Foreign and Expatriates Minister Ayman Sosan affirmed on Wednesday that the way to combat terrorism is clear, but the forces conspiring against Syria are not interested in fighting terrorism because they actually provided it with all forms of political, military, and financial support.

    In a meeting with a delegation of expatriates from Syrian communities in America and other countries headed by Zubaida al-Qadiri, Sosan pointed out that the presence of American, French, and German troops on Syrian territory is a flagrant violation of Syria’s sovereignty and contradicts the most basic rules of international law.

    Sosan briefed the delegation on the terrorist aggression imposed to Syria by the forces of hegemony and their regional tools in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar which form the main supporters of terrorist groups and which seek to topple the states in the region and control their resources and wealth.

    In turn, the members of the delegation expressed pride in the legendary steadfastness of the Syrian people and the heroism of the Syrian Arab Army, affirming their readiness to provide everything that would enhance the steadfastness of their motherland.

  54. Le quotidien La Dernière Heure affirme s'être procuré une note interne de la police circulant dans plusieurs services. Celle-ci informe d'un risque d'arrivée possible de terroristes en provenance de Syrie...

    Ils pourraient perpétrer des attentats en France et en Belgique.

    Des types de lieux sont même cités: centre commercial, restaurant fast-food et commissariat. La note précise que ces hommes pourraient déjà avoir des armes en leur possession.

    Le directeur de l'Ocam (Organe de coordination pour l'analyse de la menace en Belgique) a relativisé en indiquant que son organisme recevait toutes sortes d'informations, le plus souvent brutes.

    À l'heure actuelle, il a déclaré qu'il n'y avait pas de raison de remonter le niveau de menace, établi à 3 sur une échelle de 4.

  55. Iraqi Peshmerga Appeal for More Weapons for Anti-IS Fight ...

    Backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, Iraqi Kurdish fighters known as Peshmerga have been at the front lines of the war against Islamic State extremists.

    But Peshmerga commanders all along the frontline of northern Iraq have one familiar refrain: they say they their weapons are just not good enough.

    "Out of four heavy machine guns on the front line, usually just one of them is working, when one is broken, we fix it, then another one breaks down and we have to fix that, over and over. Even our light weapons are old," said Peshmerga General Saeed Hazhar.

    As Kurdistan is part of Iraq, the Peshmerga should technically receive their materiel from the Iraqi government. But the fighters here say Baghdad is not sending them what they need.

    They claim a lot of their better weapons have been captured from Islamic State fighters, who took the weapons from the U.S.-supplied Iraqi army when they fled the area in 2014.

    The U.S. Defense Department denies there's a

  56. Brexit would shake EU, require concerted response: German FM...

    A British vote to leave the European Union would shake the bloc and require a concerted effort to ensure its stability, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told a news conference with the French foreign minister on Wednesday.

    Steinmeier said he and his French counterpart both hoped that Britons would vote to stay in the EU in the June 23 referendum. "That would be the right decision to make," he said. "A vote to leave would shake the union."

  57. A mass held in memory of Syriac genocide at Mar Gregory Cathedral for Syriac orthodox in Damascus....

  58. Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards killed 12 Kurdish rebels near the Iraqi border in clashes in which three Guards were also killed, an Iranian news agency reported on Thursday...

    Wednesday evening's fighting took place in Oshnavieh in the northwest, the Tasnim news agency said, citing a statement from the Guards.

    Two separate groups of rebels had slipped across the border to carry out acts of "sabotage" and "create insecurity among the population", it added.

    Oshnavieh lies around 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the border with the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

    Iran's top police officer, General Hossein Ashtari, said the fighters killed were members of PJAK -- the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, an Iranian Kurdish group with close links to Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    "A large quantity of arms and ammunition was seized from this terrorist group," Ashtari told Tasnim.

    The incursion comes days after five Kurdish rebels and five jihadists were killed, along with a police officer, in separate clashes in the northwest and southeast of Iran....AFP

  59. An MP is in a critical condition after she was shot and stabbed during an attack in her constituency...

    Eyewitnesses said Jo Cox, 41, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, was left bleeding on the ground by her attacker. A man also suffered slight injuries.

    A 52-year-old man was arrested near Market Street, Birstall, West Yorkshire Police said. The MP holds a weekly advice surgery nearby.

    Ms Cox's assistant confirmed she had been attacked....BBC

  60. Medical aid charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says it will no longer take funds from the European Union in protest at its migration policy...

    MSF singled out the EU's deal with Turkey under which Turkey agreed to take back any migrants who crossed the sea to Greece in smugglers' boats.

    The number of migrants - many from war-torn Syria - to Europe is at its highest level since World War Two.

    The charity received $63m (£44m) from the EU and its members last year....BBC

    1. MSF refuse les fonds européens pour dénoncer la politique migratoire de l'UE ...

      C'est un geste fort et un message clair : l'ONG Médecins sans Frontières ne veut plus de l'argent européen pour mener ses projets partout dans le monde. A partir d'aujourd'hui, MSF n'acceptera plus les fonds des institutions européennes et de ses pays membres pour dénoncer la politique migratoire de Bruxelles.

      Une politique de dissuasion, plus de protection

      Dans le collimateur de MSF : l'accord européen signé avec la Turquie il y a bientôt trois mois. Il permet à Bruxelles de renvoyer des réfugiés arrivés illégalement sur les îles grecques vers la Turquie. Derrière cette accord "de la honte", MSF y voit une logique que l'Union européenne veut imposer ailleurs, comme la semaine dernière, avec les pays africains. Une politique de dissuasion plutôt que de protection.

      Médecins Sans Frontières ne veut pas être complice de cela. Brice de le Vingne, directeur des opérations chez MSF explique: "L'année dernière, nous avons dépensé 31 millions d'euros dans la crise des réfugiés en Europe. MSF a supporté des camps à Idomeini, nous avons fait du sauvetage en mer à Lesbos avec plusieurs bateaux."

  61. Iraqi forces take Falluja government building from Islamic State...

    Iraqi forces recaptured the municipal building in Falluja from Islamic State militants, the military said on Friday, nearly four weeks after the start of a U.S.-backed offensive to retake the city an hour’s drive west of Baghdad.

    The ultra-hardline militants still control a significant portion of Falluja, where the conflict has forced the evacuation of most residents and many streets and houses remain mined with explosives.

    A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition backing Baghdad’s quest to recover large swathes of western and northern Iraq from Islamic State told Reuters that government forces were “close (to the building) but don’t have control yet”.

    A military statement said the federal police had raised the Iraqi state flag above the government building and were continuing to pursue insurgents.

  62. Rio state declares 'public calamity' over finances...

    The Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro has declared a financial emergency less than 50 days before the Olympics.

    Interim Governor Francisco Dornelles says the "serious economic crisis" threatens to stop the state from honouring commitments for the Games.

    Most public funding for the Olympics has come from Rio's city government, but the state is responsible for areas such as transport and policing.

    Interim President Michel Temer has promised significant financial help.

    The governor has blamed the crisis on a tax shortfall, especially from the oil industry, while Brazil overall has faced a deep recession.

    The measure could accelerate the release of federal emergency funds.

    Rio state employees and pensioners are owed wages in arrears. Hospitals and police stations have been severely affected....BBC

  63. Putin Pushes for Economic Cooperation While EU Renews Sanctions ...

    As Russian President Vladimir Putin told an international audience Friday in St. Petersburg that Russia wants to improve its ties with Europe and the United States, the U.S. and European Union renewed a raft of economic sanctions on Moscow for another year.

    At Russia's annual St. Petersburg Economic Forum, Putin said the sanctions — enacted after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 — are damaging to Russian-European relations. He said Russia is willing to improve business ties with Europe, but said Europe must meet it halfway.

    Russia's economy is suffering from a years-long slump, hit first by the worldwide economic downturn and then economic sanctions and plunging oil prices.

    In retaliation for the sanctions, Russia has placed bans on some food imports from the

  64. The European Union has significantly eased restrictions on flights to Europe for Iranian airline Iran Air...

    In connection with the state of technical base of airlines on the background of international sanctions, the EU banned the airline to use on European routes any aircraft except a-10 Airbus A300 and two Airbus A310.

    After the lifting of sanctions and conducted in April by the new audit, the Commission authorized the airline to use all the fleet except the Boeing 747-200, Boeing 747SP and Fokker 100.

    In parallel, the European Commission has lifted a ban on flights to Europe for Indonesian airlines Lion Air, Citilink and Batik Air, and all airlines based in Zambia.

  65. Chinese President Xi Jinping paid homage to the Chinese martyrs killed in the NATO bombing of the former Chinese embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in May 1999, after arriving here Friday for a state visit to Serbia...

    As the first public event of the visit, Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan joined Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, Parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and all other cabinet members in paying silent tribute to the martyrs.

    Leaders of the two countries laid wreaths to a new cenotaph erected on the site where the destroyed embassy once stood. Engraved with "Honor Martyrs, Cherish Peace," the cenotaph was set up by the Chinese government on Friday.....

  66. Bangladesh Hindu teacher's attacker killed in shootout...

    A suspected Islamist militant was killed on Saturday in a shootout, police said, days after he critically wounded a Hindu college teacher in the latest attack on minority groups.

    Ghulam Faijullaha Fahim, 19, who was in police custody, was shot when officers took him with them to help capture his associates, said Sarwar Hossain, police chief of Madaripur, 70 km (44 miles) south of the capital, Dhaka.

    "He was caught in crossfire that erupted after miscreants started shooting at the police," he said, adding that Fahim was dead on arrival at a

  67. Turkish border guards fire on fleeing Syrians killing 8: monitor...

    Eight displaced Syrians, including four children, were killed by Turkish border guards while trying to flee their war-torn country Sunday morning, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    The National Coalition umbrella opposition group -- based in Istanbul and backed by Turkey -- gave a higher toll of 11 killed and condemned the "terrible tragedy."

    Turkey has repeatedly denied accusations of its security forces firing on Syrians trying to cross the frontier, which has been closed for several months.

    But the Observatory has recorded numerous incidents this year, and said Sunday's toll was among the highest.

    The Britain-based Observatory said the group of eight had been displaced by fighting around the northern Syrian town of Manbij, held by the Islamic State group and under attack by US-backed forces.

    They fled northwest towards Idlib province and the border, but were killed "when Turkish border guards opened fire on them as they tried to cross into Turkey," said the Observatory.

    It said that four of those killed were children, adding that eight people were wounded, some of them critically....

  68. Syrie: 3 morts dans un attentat lors d'une commémoration du massacre assyrien ...

    Trois personnes ont été tuées dimanche quand un kamikaze s'est fait exploser dans une ville du nord-est de la Syrie lors de la commémoration du massacre des Assyriens par les Ottomans, a affirmé à l'AFP une source de sécurité.

    La ville de Qamichli a été secouée par plusieurs attentats similaires, dont certains ont été revendiqués par le groupe ultraradical Etat islamique (EI)....AFP

  69. The number of refugees around the world is at its highest level ever recorded, the United Nations refugee agency reported...

    In the new annual report released to commemorate World Refugee Day, the agency said the number of refugees globally has reached 65.3 million mark for the first time in history. That number includes refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced by the end of 2015. The record number was a jump of an additional five million people since 2014.

    The refugee level is also the highest since World War II, creating a new "climate of xenophobia" that has boosted support for far-right groups and anti-immigrant policies, the UN refugee chief said.

    Turkey has the largest number of refugees with 2.5 million people, followed by Pakistan and Lebanon. More than half of the world's refuges are escaping Syria, Afghanistan and

  70. Normalization of ties between Israel, Turkey 'a matter of days': report...

    'We have finalized almost every single aspect of the negotiations,' unnamed Israeli official quoted as saying

    The talks between Israel and Turkey regarding the normalization of ties are nearing completion and the sides will formally announce the rapprochement later this week, senior Israel officials told the Ynet website on Sunday.

    “We have finalized almost every single aspect of the negotiations, there are only a few details outstanding, but 95% of the agreement is there. It should be a matter of days,” the source was quoted as saying.

    NATO member Turkey was a key regional ally of Israel until the two countries fell out in 2010 over the deadly storming by Israeli commandos of a Turkish aid ship, the Mavi Marmara, bound for

  71. North Korea (DPRK) is ready to deliver a strike on the American bases in the region in case of provocations, a representative of the DPRK National Defense Commission (NDC) said in a statement released by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Monday...

    According to him, the US facilities, including the Anderson Air Force Base on Guam where B-52Hs bombers are deployed and naval bases for nuclear submarines "have long been put into the range of the Korean People’s Army precision strike."

    The statement was issued in connection with calling of the US nuclear-powered submarine USS Mississippi capable of mounting a nuclear attack, at South Korea’s port of Busan on June 13, as well as over the US Air Force strategic exercise on the Guam base that involved the B-52 strategic bombers. Such provocative actions against North Korea, the NDC representative said, "increase the threat of a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula."

    "The current situation confirms the importance of the course for the parallel development of the economy and strengthening of the nuclear deterrent, approved by the Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK)," said the Commission, headed by North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un.....more:

  72. The Islamic State has detailed information on dozens of U.S. military facilities around the world, including in South Korea, according to Seoul's intelligence agency...

    The National Intelligence Service said Sunday the group also known as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL has encouraged its followers to launch attacks on the bases, CNN reported.

    The list includes military headquarters belong to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In South Korea, civilians are being targeted, Seoul's spy agency stated.

    U.S. Forces Korea stated on Monday the security of U.S. military installations is a top

  73. At least 14 foreigners died as a result of suicide bombing attacks in Kabul...

    According to local media, a suicide bomber blew himself up near a minibus in which there were security guards from Nepal.

    The explosion killed at least 14 people.

    According to the Ministry of internal Affairs of Afghanistan, all the dead were citizens of Nepal.

    Responsibility for the attack claimed by the Islamist Taliban.

  74. Heavy rains have left 22 people dead and 15 others missing in south China since Saturday, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters (SFDH) said on Monday...

    Storms have hit most of southern China since Saturday, pushing water levels in rivers to dangerous levels and forcing the evacuation of 267,800 people.

    Some 10,500 houses collapsed and 324,000 hectares of crops have been damaged. Combined losses have been estimated in the region of 7.34 billion yuan (1.12 billion US dollars).

    Torrential rain is forecast to continue in south China over the next three days, prompting the SFDH to launch a level-IV emergency response, the least severe warning in the flood control authority's four-level response regime.

  75. Syrian government forces advanced to within six miles (10 kilometers) of the ISIS-occupied Tabqa air base in the northern part of the country on Sunday, part of a push to try to unseat the extremist group from its de facto capital, Raqqa...

    Government forces recaptured the nearby Thawra oil field from ISIS militants, according to a Syrian journalist Eyad al-Hosain, who is embedded with the army.

    Activists said Sunday’s government assault was accompanied by an aerial campaign on the town of Tabqa, five miles north of the air base.

    The activist group, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, which smuggles news out of ISIS-held territory, reported that fighter jets struck the town with cluster munitions, killing at least 10 civilians.

    The Tabqa base, 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Raqqa, holds strategic and symbolic value in the government campaign on the ISIS capital.

    It was the last position held by government forces in Raqqa province before ISIS militants overran it in August 2014, killing scores of detained soldiers in a massacre they documented on video.

    Raqqa itself became the militants’ first captive city.

  76. Lebanon’s Hezbollah is prepared to send additional troops to war-torn Syria to help the Assad regime fight armed opposition groups, a leading Hezbollah official said Monday...

    "In these circumstances, we should increase our troop strength in Syria," Nabil Qaouk, head of Hezbollah’s executive board, said while delivering an address in southern Lebanon.

    "We have no hesitation about doing this," he

  77. Encuesta en Gran Bretaña muestra favoritismo a permanecer en la UE ...

    El asesinato de la legisladora Jo Cox, la semana pasada, habría inclinado la balanza en favor de mantener a Gran Bretaña en la Unión Europea.

    La campaña en Gran Bretaña para el referéndum sobre la salida del país de la Unión Europea está en su fase final, mientras encuestas muestran un triunfo de la campaña para permanecer en la unión.

    Eso sería un posible indicador de cómo el asesinato de la legisladora Jo Cox, opuesta a la salida de la Unión Europea, por parte de un presunto extremista de derecha puede estar inclinando la balanza en favor de mantener el status

  78. Oil prices jumped further on Monday in volatile markets thanks to a weaker US dollar and easing expectations that Britain would vote to exit the European Union, dealers said...

    At about 1100 GMT, world benchmark contract Brent North Sea crude for delivery in August was up 84 cents to $50.01 a barrel.

    US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for July delivery won 75 cents to $48.73 a barrel compared with Friday's close.

    Oil prices had already begun rebounding on Friday after heavy falls last week -- and rose further Monday in line with surging equity markets.

    "The recovery is attributable primarily to the general market environment," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch....AFP

  79. The USA will publish the first F35 fighter jet purchased by Israel...

    On Tuesday, June 21, on the company Lockheed Martin in Fort worth, Texas (USA) presents the first plane F35, acquired by Israel. According to the agreement between the two countries, signed in February 2015, Israel will acquire 14 aircraft F35 while retaining the right to purchase a further 17 machines of the same type. The newspaper «Israel a-Yom» reported that Israel will receive 33 fighter.

    The presentation of the aircraft will be attended by the defense Minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, on an official visit to the United States, as well as representatives of the defense ministries of Israel and the United States and the company Lockheed

  80. Jordanie: six soldats tués dans l'attentat à la frontière syrienne ...

    Six gardes-frontières jordaniens ont été tués et 14 autres blessés mardi dans un attentat à la voiture piégée contre leur position à la frontière syrienne, a indiqué à l'AFP une source des services de sécurité.

    "Six soldats sont tombés en martyr et 14 autres ont été blessés dans l'attaque terroriste", a indiqué cette source sous couvert de l'anonymat, faisant état d'un "bilan provisoire".

  81. Japan, South Korea on Alert for North Korea Missile Launch ...

    North Korea appears to have deployed a ballistic missile to its east coast, but there are no signs of an imminent launch, according to an unnamed government source.

    Japan's military is on alert for a missile launch, and their navy and anti-missile Patriot batteries have been instructed to shoot down any projectile headed for Japan, according to a government source.

    The missile is presumed to be an intermediate-range Musudan missile, similar to one the North unsuccessfully tried to test launch three times in April. Another launch, most likely of the Musudan, failed in

    1. Japan orders defense forces to intercept N. Korea missile...

      Defense Minister Gen Nakatani ordered the Self-Defense Forces on Tuesday to prepare to intercept any ballistic missiles launched toward the country from North Korea, a government source said, amid signs Pyongyang may be preparing for such a launch.

      North Korea has deployed what appears to be a Musdan intermediate-range missile to its east coast, South Korean military sources said.

  82. Crude oil prices turned lower early Tuesday following a truce brokered with Nigerian oil bandits, amid pleas from the British prime minister to stay in the EU...

    Crude oil prices in May rebounded sharply as outages from Canada and Nigeria threatened to upend a market moving back toward balance following at least two years of a tilt toward the supply side. Nigerian crude oil production is at multi-year lows because of militant threats, though Nigerian media reported a truce was brokered between the government and a group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers.

    Crude oil prices have been fluid as broader pressures ripple through financial markets because of concerns about a Thursday referendum on British membership in the European Union. Oil moved back above $50 per barrel Monday, after jumping 4 percent in Friday

  83. U.S. aircraft carrier docks in Crete after Islamic State battles...

    The USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier arrived in Crete on Tuesday, giving its 5,500 crew members a Greek island break after seven months at sea and over 2,000 missions launched against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria.

    The U.S. Navy extended the Truman's deployment by one month to "keep the pressure" on Islamic State until the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier arrived to take over, Vice Admiral James Foggo, commander of the Navy's Sixth Fleet, told Reuters....REUTERS

  84. Syria renewed call upon the UN Security Council and the UN Resolution 1540 Committee to shoulder the mandated tasks to guarantee that terrorist organizations active in Syria and all over the world will not obtain weapons of mass destruction and to question states backing terrorism, SANA reported...

    ”There are still significant gaps utilized by terrorists for obtaining weapons of mass destruction as to use them in their criminal targets,” Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari said Monday before the formal open consultations on the comprehensive review of implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).

    Al-Jaafari pointed out to the direct involvement of some UN member states’ governments in supplying terrorist groups with chemical weapons or materials for producing them and the involvement of other states, some of which claim things yet practice the opposite on the ground in terms of turning a blind eye to serious violations representing a threat to the world peace and security, whose dimensions are not restricted to a certain geographic area, particularly that ISIL terrorist organization seeks to boost its presence at the international arena through terrorist acts with simple capabilities in many of the UN member

  85. Libyan forces 'make gains' in Sirte...

    Government-backed forces in Libya have made their largest gains yet into so-called Islamic State (IS) territory in Sirte city since their offensive began in May, officials say.

    Troops advanced more than 1km (0.6 miles) into areas previously held by IS, re-taking residential districts.

    Dozens of soldiers and IS fighters were reportedly killed.

    Sirte is IS's most significant stronghold in Libya. It has been under IS control since February 2015....BBC

  86. Libya's unity government forces said Tuesday they were preparing for a final assault on the ISIS group's stronghold of Sirte, after repelling multiple counter-attacks from the surrounded militants...

    "Despite apparent calm along the fronts, our intelligence network is in full swing in preparation for the decisive battle," forces loyal to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) said in a statement.

    Anti-ISIS forces launched an operation to retake Sirte -- the hometown of late dictator Muammar Qaddafi -- last month and quickly surrounded the extremists.

    ISIS hit back with string of suicide car bombings in a bid to break the encirclement.

    According to the pro-GNA forces statement, fighters were targeting ISIS-held areas of Sirte with heavy artillery as well as with "daily" air strikes....AFP/

  87. Lightning in Indian states 'kills 79'...

    At least 79 people have been killed by lightning strikes in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, officials say.

    Fifty three people died in Bihar. Ten people were killed in the eastern state of Jharkhand, and at least 16 died in Madhya Pradesh.

    Most of the people who died were working on farms during torrential rains on Tuesday, reports said.

    Lightning strikes are common in India during heavy monsoon rains.

    In Bihar, the deaths occurred in Nalanda, Aurangabad, Rohtas, Purnea, Munger, Gaya, Saharsa, Bhagalpur, Banka and Kaimur.

    At least 2,000 people have died in lightning strikes in India every year since 2005, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

    India receives 80% of its annual rainfall during the monsoon season, which runs between June and September....BBC

  88. Les syndicats français opposés à la loi travail ont finalement "obtenu le droit" de manifester jeudi à Paris sur un parcours défini par le ministre de l'Intérieur et demandé à François Hollande de les recevoir "très rapidement"...

    Un parcours proposé par le ministre de l'Intérieur

    "Après des discussions serrées avec le ministre de l'Intérieur (Bernard Cazeneuve), les organisations syndicales et de jeunesse ont obtenu le droit de manifester à Paris sur un parcours proposé par le ministre de l'Intérieur, ainsi que l'autorisation de manifester le 28 juin selon des modalités à déterminer", a déclaré le leader de la CGT Philippe Martinez, qui lisait un communiqué commun des sept syndicats opposés à la loi travail réunis au siège de la

  89. Paris: France would see Britain's exit from the European Union as "irreversible" if the Leave camp wins Thursday's referendum, President Francois Hollande said...

    "It is the future of the European Union... That is at stake," Hollande said on Wednesday, warning that a Brexit would put Britain at "very serious risk" of losing access to the bloc's single market.

    Hollande was speaking at a joint news conference with Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico, whose country will take over the EU's rotating presidency on July 1.

    "It's more than the future of the United Kingdom that is at stake, it's the future of the European Union," Hollande said.

    A Brexit would "necessarily have extremely serious consequences," he added.....AFP

  90. Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain said Thursday that his country firmly supports China's principles and positions on issues concerning the South China Sea as well as Taiwan and Tibet...

    He made the remarks while meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Tashkent.

  91. Indonesian leader visits South China Sea islands on warship...

    President Joko Widodo visited remote Indonesian islands on a warship Thursday in an apparent show of force after clashes with Chinese vessels and as fears grow Beijing is seeking to stake a claim in the area.

    Widodo led a high-level delegation including the foreign minister and armed forces chief to Indonesia's Natuna Islands in the South China Sea, arriving at a navy base before being escorted to the warship as fighter jets buzzed overhead and navy vessels performed manoeuvres off the coast.

    He was due to host a cabinet meeting on the warship, which last week detained a Chinese trawler accused of operating illegally in Indonesian waters....AFP

  92. Erdogan suggests UK-style referendum on Turkey EU bid...

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested Turkey could hold a referendum over whether to continue its long-stalled accession process to join the European Union.

    Angrily lashing out at the bloc's treatment of Ankara, Erdogan said Turkey could hold a referendum along the lines of the plebiscite in Britain, where voters are deciding Thursday whether to stay in the European Union or leave.

    His comments were the first time the Turkish strongman had raised the prospect of holding a referendum on Turkey's EU bid. He had previously repeatedly insisted that full membership of the European Union was Turkey's strategic aim.

    "We can stand up and ask the people just like the British are doing," Erdogan said late Wednesday at a speech in Istanbul, quoted by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

    "We would ask 'Do we continue the negotiations with the European Union or do we end it?' If the people say 'continue,' then we would carry on," Erdogan by AFP

  93. An armed man wearing a mask is reported to have opened fire at a cinema complex in western Germany...

    German media report that at least 20 people have been injured in the attack in Viernheim, near Frankfurt.

    They say the gunman is inside the complex and surrounded by armed police.

    It is unclear whether he is alone or if he has taken hostages.....BBC

    1. A gunman who police shot dead Thursday after he took hostages at a German cinema appeared to have been a "disturbed man," the interior minister of the state of Hesse said...

      The gunman had a rifle or "long gun" and special forces intervened and shot him, interior minister Peter Beuth told the Hesse state parliament. There was no evidence that anyone besides the gunman was injured or killed, Beuth added.

      A police spokeswoman also confirmed the gunman had been shot and said nobody was injured.

  94. Ms Le Pen hailed the UK vote, placing a union jack flag on her Twitter page and tweeting: "Victory for freedom. As I've been saying for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and other EU countries."..

    She is the front-runner among candidates for the presidential election in 2017 but opinion polls suggest she would lose a run-off vote.

    Last Friday, Ms Le Pen had told a gathering of far-right parties in Vienna: "France has possibly 1,000 more reasons to want to leave the EU than the English."

    She said the EU was responsible for high unemployment and failing to keep out "smugglers, terrorists and economic migrants".....BBC

  95. The results of the referendum in the UK has caused panic on global markets, falling oil prices and a sharp rise in gold prices...

    In the far East index the Tokyo stock exchange NIKKEI 225 fell by 7.92%, Hong Kong Hang Seng – on 4,57%, South Korean KOSPI 200 – 2.88% and the Australian ASX 200 is 3.17%.

    In Europe, there are falls in all major markets. Frankfurt’s DAX index fell almost 10%, the Paris CAC – 6.7%.

    The price of oil fell by 4.8% to 47.7 USD per barrel, while gold prices rose by 5.07% to 1327,2 dollars per ounce.

  96. British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday announced his intention to resign in the wake of a historic referendum which saw the UK quit the European Union in defiance of his warnings of economic pain...

    Speaking outside the Prime Minister's residence at Ten Downing Street in London, Cameron promised to try to "steady the ship" over the next months, but called for "fresh leadership" to be installed by the beginning of the Conservative Party Convention in October.

    "I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination," Cameron

  97. ISIL Takfiri terrorists have reportedly kidnapped as many as 900 people from a Kurdish city in the northeast of the Syrian border province of Aleppo...

    The abductees were spirited away from 15 villages and a township in the city, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday.

    Some of the abductees, the UK-based monitor said, have been transferred to the Kurdish town of Qabaseen in the province’s

  98. Pope Francis departed from his prepared text Friday to use the word "genocide" to describe the mass killings of Armenians in 1915, a description that infuriated Turkey when he said it a year ago...

    In an address to Armenia's president and the diplomatic corps, Francis used the Armenian term "Metz Yeghern" (the great evil), but then added to his prepared text "that genocide" to refer to what he also called "the first of the deplorable series of catastrophes of the past century."

    There was no immediate reaction from Turkey, which last year promptly recalled its ambassador to the Vatican after the pope used the "genocide" term. The envoy was kept away for 10 months....REUTERS

  99. Catalan separatists on Friday intensified their calls for a referendum on breaking away from Spain after Britain voted to leave the European Union and Scotland said another independence vote was likely...

    "While Scotland prepares to discuss a second referendum with the EU, we should say without fear that the time for OUR referendum has also arrived," Jordi Sanchez, president of the Catalan National Assembly, a pro-independence organisation, tweeted.

    Separatists in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia have for years lobbied for an independence referendum like the one held in Scotland in 2014, which resulted in a vote to remain in the United Kingdom....AFP

  100. At least 20 people, including an eight-year-old boy and a toddler, have died in flooding in West Virginia, according to state officials...

    Heavy storms and flooding have caused widespread damage throughout the state, said Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.

    A state of emergency was declared in 44 of the state's 55 counties.

    Rescue efforts were under way for about 500 people trapped in a shopping centre while officials continued to search for others stranded in devastated areas.

    The flooding has destroyed more than 100 homes and knocked out power for thousands after a storm system dumped nine inches of rain on parts of the state....BBC

  101. Israel and Turkey reached a deal on Sunday aimed at ending years of acrimony and restoring normalised ties that soured after a deadly 2010 raid on an aid flotilla, an Israeli official said...

    The Israeli official speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP the deal had been reached but details would not be officially announced until Monday. Negotiations were said to have been held in Rome, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu landed for talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday.

    There were multiple reports in Israeli media that a deal could be announced as early as Sunday, though officials were declining to speak publicly on the talks.

    Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Sunday afternoon, citing a senior Israeli official, that an agreement was expected to be announced within hours and that negotiating teams were meeting in the Italian capital.

    Speculation that the highly anticipated deal was close came six years after an Israeli raid that killed 10 Turkish activists as an aid flotilla sought to run the blockade on the Gaza Strip....AFP

    1. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Monday that Israel has agreed a deal to thaw relations with Turkey and said it would be a huge boost for the economy...

      Speaking in Rome after talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Netanyahu told reporters: "I think it's an important step here to normalize relations."

      Earier, an Israeli official had said Israel and Turkey reached a deal on Sunday to normalize ties that soured in 2010 after a deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish aid ship heading to Gaza.

      Negotiations were said to have been held in Rome, where Netanyahu landed for talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday.

      Netanyahu said he would lay out the deal in detail later in the day, but said it "has immense implications for the Israeli economy, and I use that word advisedly".

      "And I mean positive, immense implications," he said.

      Kerry also hailed the deal as a "positive step"......

  102. A total of 3,324 migrants were rescued off Libya Sunday in 26 different operations, the Italian coastguard said, bringing to more than 10,000 the total saved since Thursday.

    There were no reports of confirmed or suspected casualties after the operations to pick up migrants packed on to 25 rubber dinghies and one wooden boat, all of which were rescued less than 35 miles from the Libyan coast...AFP

  103. Falluja: Iraq PM Haider al-Abadi hails recapture from ISIS...

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has urged all Iraqis to rejoice, after the recapture of the city of Falluja from Islamic State (IS) fighters.

    It came after the army said it had seized the last IS stronghold in the city, 50km (30 miles) west of Baghdad.

    Mr Abadi appeared on television outside Falluja's main hospital, waving an Iraqi flag.

    He said the security forces would soon raise the flag in Mosul in the north - the biggest Iraqi city held by IS.

    "Today our troops liberated Falluja while at the same time our troops are currently fighting in Mosul," he said.

    "There is no place for Isis [IS] in Iraq. We will chase them everywhere. As we promised to raise the flag high in Falluja, we will raise it in Mosul soon with the will of our heroes. I call on Iraqis to celebrate this day."...BBC

    1. Le Premier ministre irakien Haider al-Abadi s'est rendu dimanche à Fallouja, libérée des djihadistes quelques heures plus tôt par les forces gouvernementales, où il a appelé les citoyens à "célébrer la victoire"...

      "J'appelle les Irakiens où qu'ils soient à sortir et célébrer" la victoire, a-t-il déclaré à la télévision publique devant l'hôpital de la ville, un drapeau irakien autour du cou.

      "Nous hisserons bientôt le drapeau irakien à Mossoul", a-t-il ajouté en référence à la deuxième ville du pays, dernier bastion du groupe Etat islamique (EI) en Irak vers lequel tous les regards sont désormais tournés.

      Située à une cinquantaine de km seulement de Bagdad, Fallouja avait été la première cité d'Irak à tomber aux mains de l'EI en janvier 2014. Les djihadistes avaient ensuite mené une offensive éclair leur permettant de mettre en déroute l'armée irakienne et de conquérir de vastes régions à l'ouest et au nord de la capitale Bagdad, esquisse d'un "califat" autoproclamé à cheval sur l'Irak et la Syrie.

  104. Austrian far-right figure warns of 'Auxit' vote within a year...

    The European Union should avoid any moves towards political "centralization" or else Austria could hold a referendum on membership of the bloc within a year, a far-right candidate who almost won the country's presidential election said.

    Norbert Hofer of the anti-immigration Freedom Party narrowly failed to become the European Union's first far-right head of state in Austria's presidential run-off last month. His party has, however, challenged that result and a ruling is pending.

    Britain's Brexit vote last week to leave the European Union has emboldened populist, anti-EU parties across the continent, including the Freedom Party (FPO) and France's National Front, which called on Friday for a "Frexit"

  105. Lebanon: Christian village hit by multiple suicide attacks...

    At least five people have been killed and 13 others wounded in a multiple suicide bomb attack in a village in eastern Lebanon, reports say.

    Four bombers blew themselves up in Qaa, a predominantly Christian village, close to the Syrian border, officials said.

    The Hezbollah TV station al-Manar put the death toll at six. It is not clear who carried out the attack or why.

    Sectarian tensions in Lebanon have been stoked by the civil war in Syria.

    Al-Manar news agency blamed so-called Islamic State for the attack. The jihadist group has carried out bombings in Lebanon in the past, but has not said whether it was behind Monday's blasts....BBC

  106. Britain should act quickly to leave the European Union, to limit uncertainty that is rattling investors, the European Union's digital economy commissioner has said...

    A two-year process to quit the European Union will begin when Britain's prime minister invokes Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron could do that when he meets the EU's other 27 national leaders in Brussels tomorrow, EU officials have said.

    But in the aftermath of Britain's vote to leave the EU, Mr Cameron said on Friday he would resign in October and that he would leave it to his successor to start the process - a decision criticised by Guenther Oettinger, the EU commissioner for digital economy and society.

    "Every day of uncertainty prevents investors from putting their funds into Britain, and also other European markets," Mr Oettinger told the Deutschlandfunk German radio station.

    "Cameron and his party will cause damage if they wait until October."....

  107. Syria’s main opposition alliance is conveying serious concerns over Iran’s campaign of recruiting and training thousands of Afghan men to fight in Syria...

    Officials in Afghanistan confirmed Sunday they have received a letter expressing the concerns from the Syrians.

    The letter urges President Ashraf Ghani to take urgent steps to stop religiously-motivated exploitation of Afghans and discourage them from becoming part of the Syrian conflict, a government official told VOA on condition of anonymity. He did not provide any other details.

    Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Shakeb Mustaghani told VOA that not only through this letter, but through other previous reports, the government is fully aware of activities of Afghans in Syria....

  108. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has apologized to Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over Ankara's downing of a Russian military jet last year that shattered ties, the Kremlin said Monday...

    "The head of the Turkish state in his message expressed his sympathy and deepest condolences to the family of the dead Russian pilot and said sorry," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

    He added that Erdogan said he wanted to do "everything possible for the restoration of the traditionally friendly relations between Turkey and Russia."

    The Kremlin then released a statement citing Erdogan as saying Ankara "never had the desire and the intention" to down the Russian jet.

    "I want to once again express my sympathy and deep condolences to the family of the dead Russian pilot and I say sorry," the statement quoted Erdogan as saying.

    Turkey's military said the Russia Su-24 bomber was shot down by two of its F-16s after it violated Turkish airspace 10 times within a five-minute period and numerous warnings.

    Russia however said no warning had been given and that the aircraft did not violate Turkish airspace.

    Putin branded the act as a "stab in the back" by "accomplices of terrorists.".....

    1. It would take more than a few days to mend Russia’s relations with Ankara, the Kremlin said on Tuesday after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan expressed regret over the downing of a Russian military plane last year...

      Russian President Vladimir Putin had said an apology from Erdogan was the condition for repairing relations between the two countries, which were poisoned when the Russian jet was shot down near the Syrian-Turkish border in November.

      After writing to Putin to voice his regret over the incident, Erdogan said he now believed that Ankara would normalize relations with Moscow “rapidly.”

      The Kremlin was more cautious on Tuesday.

      “One should not think it possible to normalize everything within a few days, but work in this direction will continue,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with

  109. UK must 'clarify' stance says European Commission...

    European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has urged UK to "clarify its position" on Brexit as soon as possible.

    He told the European parliament that Britain and the EU remained friends but it needed to state its position to avoid uncertainty.

    PM David Cameron is to meet European Union leaders for the first time since the UK voted to leave later on Tuesday.

    He is stepping down to allow his successor to conduct exit negotiations.

    Mr Cameron has said it will be up to the next prime minister when to trigger the formal method by which a country leaves the EU, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty....BBC

  110. Brexit: le sort incertain des fonctionnaires britanniques européens...

    Quel sort attend les fonctionnaires britanniques européens, une fois le Royaume Uni sorti de l'UE ? Malgré un message rassurant du président de la Commission européenne, Jean-Claude Juncker, leur avenir est incertain, surtout pour ceux qui comptaient faire carrière.

    "D'après notre statut, vous êtes des +fonctionnaires de l'Union+. (...) Vous avez laissé vos +chapeaux+ nationaux à la porte lorsque vous êtes entrés dans cette institution. Aujourd'hui, cette porte ne se referme pas sur vous", a promis dès vendredi M. Juncker, dans une lettre en anglais, français et allemand.

    Une promesse qui n'a pourtant pas dissipé les craintes de Robert, un Britannique marié à une Française et qui travaille dans les institutions européennes à Bruxelles: "Je vais envoyer les papiers pour acquérir la nationalité française", explique-t-il sous couvert de l'anonymat.

    Le code du travail des fonctionnaires européens a de quoi, en effet, inquiéter les Britanniques: Selon l'article 49, "Le fonctionnaire ne peut être démis d'office de ses fonctions que dans le cas où il cesse de satisfaire aux conditions fixées à l'article 28 point a)" qui stipule: "Nul ne peut être nommé fonctionnaire s'il n'est pas ressortissant d'un des Etats membres, sauf dérogation accordée par l'autorité investie du pouvoir de nomination"......

  111. Corée du Nord: exercices trilatéraux sans précédent entre Séoul, Tokyo et Washington...

    Séoul, Tokyo et Washington ont participé mardi à des exercices militaires trilatéraux sans précédent visant à contrecarrer la menace de tirs de missile de la Corée du Nord, qui a qualifié ces manoeuvres au large de Hawaii de "provocation militaire".

    Elles sont intervenues moins d'une semaine après l'essai réussi par Pyongyang d'un missile à moyenne portée susceptible, selon la Corée du Nord, de frapper les bases militaires américaines dans le Pacifique.

    L'exercice trilatéral prévoyait notamment une simulation de suivi d'un tir balistique pour tester les systèmes antimissiles Aegis utilisés par les Etats-Unis et ses alliés asiatiques. "Aucun missile n'a été tiré, mais tous les participants ont pu renforcer leur interopérabilité, leurs canaux de communication, leur collecte de données", a indiqué dans un communiqué le commandement américain du Pacifique.

    L'importance de cet exercice est également à apprécier du fait de la participation conjointe du Japon et de la Corée du Sud, deux voisins dont la longue brouille diplomatique a miné les efforts américains pour présenter un front uni face à

  112. Cameron says Britain will not turn back on EU...

    Expressing regret and sadness over Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday the country would not turn its back on Europe and would instead build the strongest ties it could.

    At what he said would be his last EU summit, Cameron told a news conference that as a democrat he had accepted the will of the people and other leaders had also respected the choice in a mood “of sadness and regret”.

    “I threw myself in head, heart and soul to keep Britain in the European Union and I didn’t succeed,” he said. “And when you lose you have to say right I’ve lost that argument, I’ve lost that ... debate and it’s right to hand over to someone else who will take the country forward.

    “Now of course I am sad about that, but frankly I’m more concerned about Britain getting its relationship right with Europe.”

    He stressed Britain would leave the European Union, seeking to quash suggestions it could avoid a Brexit or preserve access to the bloc’s prized single market if it curbed flows of migrant workers from the EU.

    “If you want the full benefits of the single market, you’ll have to be part of every part of it,” he

  113. North Korea sent 2,100 GPS jamming signals to South...

    North Korea has sent more than 2,100 GPS jamming signals to the South since 2010, a South Korean parliamentarian said Wednesday.

    Jun Hyeon-hee, a member of the major opposition Minjoo Party, said the interference signals, 2,143 in total, caused disruptions for aircraft in South Korea, local newspaper JoongAng Ilbo reported Wednesday.

    The data from South Korea's Ministry of Transportation also indicated in 2012 disruptions caused four planes to delay landing, and that the first confirmed case of a GPS signal disturbance took place on Aug. 23, 2010.

    There appears to be a correlation between the interferences and U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises, according to the

  114. China's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday an arbitration court hearing the dispute between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea has no jurisdiction and that Manila's unilateral lodging of the case is against international law...

    The ministry, in a lengthy statement, added that China would not accept any forced dispute resolution.

  115. Following Turkey's rapprochement with Israel earlier this week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan late on Wednesday hit out at the group that in 2010 broke Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, resulting in a deadly raid by the Israeli military, an incident that precipitated the crisis between the two countries...

    "When you set sail you need to ask me. Did you ask the prime minister before you embarked on a humanitarian mission from Turkey to Gaza?" the leader was quoted by the Haaretz daily as

  116. Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi has defended the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, which sparked the largest protests of his presidency and was declared unconstitutional last week...

    He said on Wednesday that “the state will present all documents and evidence,” adding “we have to nothing to hide.”

    The transfer, announced during an April visit by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abduaziz, alongside billions of dollars in Saudi aid, ignited street protests, with critics accusing the government of selling off sovereign territory. Last week a court struck down the transfer in a rare public rebuke of el-Sisi’s government.

    The government is appealing the ruling. It says the islands of Tiran and Sanafir were always Saudi, but were placed under Egyptian protection in 1950. Sisi had previously refused to discuss the matter.

    In April this year, Saudi Arabia and Egypt signed agreements to specify maritime borders, allowing both countries to benefit from maritime zones that were previously

  117. The European Union agreed Thursday to open a new negotiating chapter with Turkey on its long-stalled bid for membership of the bloc, an EU source said...

    The decision was part of an EU agreement in March to speed up accession talks in return for Turkey helping to control the massive inflow of migrants, mostly fleeing Syria, which overwhelmed the bloc last year.

    The EU source gave no further details, with a formal statement expected shortly after a meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and top bloc officials in Brussels.

    Muslim-majority Turkey formally launched its membership bid in 2005 and since then the EU has opened 15 chapters out of the 35 required to join the bloc.

    So far, however, only one chapter has been completed, with disagreements over Turkey's human rights record a cause for concern in many EU states and blocking progress.

    The new chapter, number 33, covers finance and budget affairs.

    Under the March agreement, the EU also agreed to boost aid to Turkey to cope with millions of refugees on its territory and to speed up visa liberalisation.

  118. Suicide bomber attacks Afghan security convoy, kills 40 policemen...

    A suicide bomber blew himself up near the Afghan capital on Thursday, killing as many as 40 police officers.

    Further details were not immediately known.

    This one of the devastating attacks on Afghan security forces in recent months.

  119. Three suspected ISIS suicide bombers who killed 43 people in a gun and bomb attack at Istanbul airport this week were from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, a Turkish government official said on Thursday...

    The attack on Europe’s third-busiest airport was the deadliest in a series of suicide bombings in Turkey this year.

    The three bombers opened fire to create panic outside, before two of them got inside the terminal building and blew themselves up. The third detonated his explosives at the entrance. A further 239 people were

  120. Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl, the architect of German reunification and a leading driver of European integration, said the EU must allow Britain time to sort itself out after its referendum vote to leave the bloc...

    Kohl, now 86 and in poor health, also told Germany's mass-selling daily Bild in its Thursday edition that the EU should show greater respect for national and regional identities in Europe and not impose too much standardization on member states.

    Bild did not directly quote Kohl in its interview, which was headlined "Helmut Kohl - Europe needs to pause for breath", but paraphrased him as saying it would be "a giant mistake" to slam the doors on Britain....REUTERS


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