International

23
Jan
Syria's warring factions agree to talks, as Al Qaeda leader urges rebels to unite

Delegations representing the Syrian regime and its main Western-backed opposition have reportedly agreed to start direct talks when negotiations resume on Friday.  Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Sky News that he had held discussions with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and the Syrian National Coalition's Ahmed Jarba after a contentious first day of talks Wednesday that featured accusations of wrongdoing from both... [read news]

28
Dec
Turkey: PM Erdogan vows to fight on amid corruption row

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will not step down amid corruption allegations that have forced the resignations of three ministers. The ministers' sons were among dozens of people detained as part of a wide-ranging corruption probe. Turkey's army has said it does not want to get involved in political arguments, in response to rumours of a coup plot. On Friday police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up protests in... [read news]

19
Dec
Dennis Rodman lands in North Korea to train basketball team, news agency says

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Thursday, the country's state-run media reported. Rodman was there for his latest round of controversial "basketball diplomacy" in a country ruled by one of the world's most repressive regimes. The former player and a documentary crew were scheduled to spend four days helping to train a team of North Korean basketball players for a January exhibition in Pyongyang. That January 8... [read news]

16
Dec
EU can help resolve Ukraine concerns about trade deal, diplomat says

The European Union can help resolve some of the financial concerns that have prevented Ukraine from signing a landmark trade deal, its top diplomat said Monday, as tens of thousands of protesters kept up demonstrations over fears that Kiev would be moving closer to neighbor Russia. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters in Brussels, Belgium, that she believed the bloc could work with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych... [read news]

13
Dec
North Korea executes Kim Jong Un's uncle

North Korea announced Thursday it had executed the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un, declaring him  a traitor who tried to overthrow the state. The announcement came only days after Pyongyang announced through state media that Jang Song Thaek -- long considered the country's No. 2 power -- had been removed from all his posts because of allegations of corruption, drug use, gambling, womanizing and leading a "dissolute and depraved life." State... [read news]

12
Dec
Ukraine leader intends to sign EU deal, diplomat says

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych intends to sign a deal on closer European Union ties, the bloc's top diplomat has said, after weeks of mass protests that have rattled the Eastern European country. Ukrainian protesters, angry about the government's decision last month to spurn a free-trade agreement with the European Union in favor of closer economic ties with Moscow, have stood their ground in Kiev's Independence Square, or Maidan... [read news]

11
Dec
EU 'must stop paying Gaza officials' - auditors

European auditors say the EU should stop paying the salaries of thousands of Palestinian civil servants in the Gaza Strip who are not going to work. The auditors examined about 1bn euros (£840m; $1.3bn) of EU spending in Gaza between 2008 and 2012. They called for a major review, saying money spent on civil servants there should go to the West Bank instead. Many Gaza civil servants had not worked since the Islamist movement Hamas came to... [read news]

10
Dec
Obama, world leaders eulogize Mandela at massive memorial

President Obama implored the thousands of people gathered in a stadium and millions watching around the world on Tuesday to continue Nelson Mandela's mission of erasing injustice and inequality. In a speech that received thunderous applause at FNB stadium and a standing ovation, Obama called on people to apply the lessons of Mandela, who emerged from 27 years in prison under a racist regime, embraced his enemies when he finally walked to... [read news]

09
Dec
Ukraine protesters in tense stand-off in central Kiev

Ukrainian riot police are taking up positions near Kiev's City Hall, where thousands of anti-government protesters have massed. More police are being bussed in, the BBC's Steve Rosenberg says, with priests urging them not to use force. The tense stand-off follows weeks of demonstrations after a government U-turn on a free trade deal with the EU. President Viktor Yanukovych said a short while ago he would hold talks involving the opposition on... [read news]

08
Dec
South Africa holds 'day of prayer' to honor Mandela

Across South Africa, the faithful filled churches, synagogues, and mosques for a national day of prayer and reflection Sunday before a week of events culminating in the funeral of Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at the age of 95.  The country's current President, Jacob Zuma, attended services at the Bryanston Methodist Church in Johannesburg after urging South Africans to attend communal events to celebrate the life of the... [read news]


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