World News

Obama urges critics to `pass a bill` on immigration

Obama urged Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform as he used his weekly address Saturday to again defend his unilateral action shielding millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

USD 139 mn deal reached in school molestation case

The Los Angeles Unified School District will pay USD 139 million to end all remaining litigation involving an elementary school teacher convicted of committing numerous counts of lewd conduct against his students, according to the settlement announced.

China to shut down 6,900 wells

About 6,900 wells, which meet a quarter of Beijing's urban water supply, would be shut down gradually in the next five years by authorities in a bid to check the receding groundwater level.

Israeli strike threat `diplomatic card` against Iran: Experts

 Despite Israeli threats of a strike on Iran if world powers fail to halt its nuclear drive at talks entering an endgame in Vienna, experts see the sabre-rattling as largely diplomatic brinkmanship.

Punitive Israeli house demolitions a `war crime`: HRW

 Human Rights Watch called on Israel Saturday to stop razing the homes of Palestinians accused of attacking Israelis, saying the practice can constitute a war crime.

Italy arrests doctors in baby milk bribes scandal

Italian police placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding in exchange for kickbacks including luxury holidays.

Time to act on energy security, Biden tells EU

US Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday told Europe it was time to act on improving its energy security, warning of Russia`s "track record" in using energy supplies as a weapon.

Deadlocked Iran nuclear talks enter cliffhanger final weekend

Iran and world powers appeared set on Saturday for a fresh round of cliffhanger nuclear talks in a bid to break the deadlock two days ahead of a deadline.

Biden meets Erdogan seeking to ease strains on Syria

 US Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday meets Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan aiming to ease strains over the crisis in Syria and persuade Turkey to step up its support for the coalition against Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

Five killed in Afghanistan attack

At least five people were killed and seven injured in an attack in Afghanistan, the authorities said Saturday.

Bin Laden son-in-law's lawyer is heading to prison

An attorney for Osama bin Laden's son-in-law has been sentenced to 18 months in prison on tax charges.

American, Israeli companies selling high-tech surveillance devices to most repressive govts

A British watchdog group has said that American and Israeli companies are selling top surveillance technology and devices to some of the world`s most repressive governments.

5.8 magnitude quake hits China`s Sichuan province: USGS

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck China`s southwestern province of Sichuan on Saturday, the US Geological Survey said.

14 injured in London 5-star hotel gas explosion

At least 14 people have been injured in what is suspected to be a gas explosion at a 5-star hotel in central London, officials said.

Al Qaeda flays ISIS for declaring expansion of Islamic caliphate

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an affiliate of al Qaeda in Yemen, has released a video condemning the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi`s declaration of expanding Islamic caliphate as illegitimate. 

Kiev says Russia has 7,500 troops in Ukraine

Ukraine`s defence minister said Saturday that Russia has 7,500 troops in the east of the country, where pro-Moscow separatists have been fighting government troops for months.

Four soldiers, civilian killed in eastern Ukraine: Officials

Four Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and 10 others wounded in unrest in the east during the past 24 hours, security officials in Kiev said Saturday.

Officials prepare for Ferguson grand jury decision, urge calm

Police and protest organizers laid the groundwork on Friday for steps to avert street violence once a St. Louis-area grand jury decides whether to indict the white police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August.

Al-Shabab militants kill 28 in Kenya bus: Police
Al-Shabab militants kill 28 in Kenya bus: Police

Al-Shabab militants from Somalia hijacked a bus in Kenya's north and killed 28 non-Muslims on board after they had been singled out from the rest of the passengers, police officials said on Saturday.

FBI arrests two would-be Ferguson bomb suspects: Law enforcement source

Two men suspected of buying explosives they planned to detonate during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, once a grand jury decides the Michael Brown case, were arrested on Friday and charged with federal firearms offenses, a law enforcement official told Reuters.

Thick fog closes highways, airport in China

A heavy fog shrouded many parts of China`s Shandong province Saturday, closing highways and delaying flights, authorities said.

Gunmen execute 28 on Kenya bus near Somalia border: Police

Gunmen seized a bus in northeastern Kenya near the Somali border early Saturday and executed 28 non-Muslim passengers, police said, blaming the attack on Shebab Islamic extremists.

Opposition boycott overshadows Bahrain election

Voting began on Saturday in Bahrain`s first legislative elections since a failed pro-democracy uprising in 2011, with the opposition boycotting the polls in the tiny Gulf monarchy.

Indonesia's new president causes a buzz by flying economy

Indonesia's new President Joko Widodo caused a stir this weekend by opting to fly economy class to watch his son's high school graduation in Singapore, drawing both praise and criticism online.

Philippines bans some foreign journalists over APEC Bali incident

The Philippines said on Saturday it had banned certain foreign journalists from the country over an incident last year, when President Benigno Aquino was taunted by a group of Hong Kong reporters during a visit to Indonesia.

Peru court denies ex-president Fujimori house arrest

Former Peru president Alberto Fujimori`s request to serve the remainder of his 25-year prison sentence under house arrest has been rejected, judicial authorities said Friday.

Obama signs order expanding US Afghanistan role: Report
Obama signs order expanding US Afghanistan role: Report

US President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing a broader military mission in Afghanistan in 2015 than originally planned, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

Ailing Thai King unable to meet ministers

Thailand`s revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej missed a planned meeting with two government ministers, palace officials said, amid ongoing public concern over the state of the ailing 86-year-old`s health.

Islamic State militants sell girls, force them to convert their religion: 15-year-old teen who escaped IS clutches
Islamic State militants sell girls, force them to convert their religion: 15-year-old teen who escaped IS clutches

Describing the brutal life under Islamic State a 'nightmare', a 15-year-old girl, who escaped the militant group's clutches, on Saturday revealed that she and many girls like her were forced to change their religion and marry the militants.

Indonesia`s new President causes a buzz by flying economy

 Indonesia`s new President Joko Widodo caused a stir this weekend by opting to fly economy class to watch his son`s high school graduation in Singapore, drawing both praise and criticism online.