World News

Australia launches first air warfare destroyer

Australia launched HMAS Hobart, the first of three destroyers, at the Port River wharf in Adelaide on Saturday, a milestone for the country`s Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) programme, Australia`s Department of Defence said in a statement.

Fresh air strikes, ground fighting in Yemen

Saudi-led warplanes launched a fresh wave of air strikes across Yemen on Saturday targeting Iran-backed rebels as fighting raged on the ground in the south of the country, witnesses said.

Thai year-old coup imposes superficial calm but little else

Shortly after seizing power in a coup that followed months of debilitating street protests, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha vowed to end Thailand's decade of political upheaval once and for all. In his words, "to bring everything out in the open and fix it."

Salvadoran `voice of voiceless` archbishop Romero to be beatified

Thousands gathered in San Salvador Saturday to celebrate the beatification of Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero, a divisive figure whose defense of the poor and repressed split both his nation and the Church.

11-year-old Indian-American genius graduates from college

 Creating a record of sorts, an 11-year-old Indian-American schoolboy has surprised one and all by graduating from a California college with three associate degrees in maths, science and foreign language studies.

Dozens killed in al Shabaab fighting in Somalia, attack in Mogadishu

Fighting in south Somalia between al Shabaab militants and government forces killed at least 24 people, while a rebel attack in the capital killed three Transport Ministry workers, officials and the group said on Saturday.

Nigeria military says `scores` of Islamists killed, 20 hostages rescued

Nigeria`s military on Saturday claimed the killing of scores of Boko Haram insurgents and the rescue of 20 more hostages during an operation in the notorious Sambisa forest, an Islamist stronghold.

Iraq Sunni leader urges Baghdad road opened to Ramadi displaced

Iraq`s Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Mutlaq, a leading Sunni politician, on Saturday urged authorities to open the road to Baghdad for thousands of displaced from the rebel-seized city of Ramadi.

Syrian dissidents to form new coalition at Cairo meet

A number of Syrian opposition factions will gather in Cairo next month to form a new coalition as an alternative to an exiled West-backed alliance, officials said Saturday.

Nigeria military says 'scores' of Islamists killed

Nigeria's military today claimed the killing of scores of Boko Haram insurgents and the rescue of 20 more hostages during an operation in the notorious Sambisa forest, an Islamist stronghold.

Egypt court acquits 17 in protest that saw mother shot dead

An Egyptian court acquitted 17 people on Saturday over taking part in an unsanctioned demonstration earlier this year that saw a young mother shot to death in downtown Cairo.

Most migrants at Asia sea believed to be Bangladeshis: Australia

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said that Indonesian officials have informed the Australian Government that most of the migrants stranded on the seas are illegal labourers from Bangladesh and not oppressed Muslim Rohingyas.

Couple plan big day as Ireland set to back gay marriage

As hundreds of cheering Irish people waving rainbow flags celebrated Ireland's apparent vote to allow gay marriage on Saturday, one lesbian couple had particular cause to celebrate as they finalise their wedding plans.

China contributing experts, troops to disaster relief drills

China is contributing 600 personnel, including 49 from the military, to multinational disaster relief exercises in Malaysia, the first time it has taken part in such an effort, the Defence Ministry said today.

Egyptian court acquits 17 charged for protest where activist was killed

An Egyptian court on Saturday acquitted 17 people of charges related to a street protest earlier this year, judicial sources said, a rare decision since Egypt introduced a strict protest law in late 2013. 

China`s Xi says Japan friendship `worth cherishing`

China`s President Xi Jinping struck a friendly tone on relations with Japan Saturday, but touched on disputes over history which still add to tensions between the East Asian giants.

Islamic State poised to become 'serious threat' in Libya: UN envoy

The United Nations envoy on Libya says that Islamic State extremists can "become a very serious threat" in the country within months if rival governments fail to reach a unity deal.

Saudi clerics urge calm as village hit by Islamic State seethes

Saudi Arabia`s top Sunni cleric on Saturday branded a deadly attack on Shi`ite Muslims a bid to sow chaos, after villagers targeted in the bombing vented their anger at what they saw as the Sunni-dominated government`s indifference to their safety.

Austria: 5 killed as train hits car at railroad crossing

Police in Austria say five people were killed when their car was hit by a train at a railroad crossing.

China-Taiwan talks seek to maintain momentum for closer ties

Negotiators from Taiwan and China have met for talks on a range of issues in an attempt to maintain momentum for the forging of closer ties in the face of a skeptical Taiwanese public.

Ethiopia readies for elections but outcome not in doubt

Ethiopia, Africa`s second-most populous country, readied Saturday for the first general election since the death of strongman Meles Zenawi, whose successor Hailemariam Desalegn is all but certain to stay in office.

Turkish police injured in clashes over Morsi death sentence

At least 11 Turkish police officers were injured in clashes with Islamist demonstrators in the Kurdish-majority southeast who were protesting the death sentence given by an Egyptian court to former president Mohamed Morsi, the provincial governor said Saturday.

Islamic State fighters enter Palmyra museum: Syria antiquities chief

Islamic State group fighters have entered the museum in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, placing guards at its doors, the country`s antiquities director Mamoun Abdulkarim said Saturday.

Al Shabaab attacks soldiers in south Somalia, two dozen dead

At least 24 people were killed in southern Somalia after fighting between al Shabaab Islamist militants and government forces, residents and the rebel group said on Saturday.

Six missing after fire at guesthouse in southern Germany

Police in Germany say six people are missing after a fire at a guesthouse in Bavaria.

Russia vows `tough` action if Ukraine defaults on debt

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday that his government will adopt a "tough stance" if Ukraine defaults on its debt, which includes a $3 billion loan from Moscow.

Iranian aid cargo boat for Yemen offloaded in Djibouti: UN

United Nations officials in the Horn of Africa port of Djibouti said Saturday they had taken charge of the aid cargo carried by an Iranian boat headed for war-torn Yemen.

Syria`s Assad pays tribute to soldiers despite setbacks

Syria`s President Bashar al-Assad has paid tribute to his army and a group of soldiers who escaped an almost month-long rebel siege, in comments which follow a series of regime losses.

As tensions ease, Cyprus leaders enjoy coffee and cake in capital

Leaders of rival communities in ethnically-split Cyprus shared coffee and cake on Saturday in a symbolic gesture underscoring a thaw in relations over a conflict spanning decades.

Five Italy-bound Tunisian migrants drown, 49 rescued in Mediterranean

The bodies of five Tunisian migrants trying to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa were recovered from the sea Saturday while 49 others were rescued, Tunisia`s coast guard said.