World News

ASEAN warns sea reclamation `may undermine peace`

 Reclamation work in the disputed South China Sea, where China has constructed an airstrip and other structures on coral reefs, threaten to "undermine peace, security and stability" in the region, Southeast Asian leaders warned Monday.

Israel evacuates surrogate-born babies and Israeli parents from Nepal

 Israel began evacuating infants born to surrogate mothers and their Israeli parents from Nepal on Monday, on the return legs of flights sent to provide earthquake relief.

Week of fighting in Iraq`s Ramadi kills 30 police: officer

A week of heavy fighting between security forces and the Islamic State jihadist group in the Ramadi area of Anbar province killed 30 police, a top officer said on Monday.

First Saudi National Guards reach Yemen border zone

The first troops from Saudi Arabia`s National Guard have been deployed on the border with Yemen, official media said late on Sunday.

PM Abe's party eyes revision of Japan pacifist constitution by late 2018

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe`s ruling party wants to revise Japan`s constitution by late 2018 to remove constraints on his defence strategy, a key party lawmaker said, an ambitious target since the charter has not been changed since Americans drafted it after World War Two. 

Japan gets bigger as new coastline emerges

Crowded Japan has got a little bit roomier after a 300-metre (1,000-foot) strip of land emerged from the sea and attached itself to the coast, experts said Monday.

Just four new female mayors defy Japan`s `womenomics`

Local elections in Japan produced just four female mayors of the 222 positions up for grabs, results showed Monday, underlining the challenges for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe`s pledge to put women in 30 percent of senior roles by 2020.

Taiwan nuclear power reactor shut down after fire

One of the two reactors of a nuclear power station in Taiwan was shut down after a fire broke out on Sunday night, the company said on Monday.

Israel invites bids for 77 East Jerusalem settler homes: NGO

Israeli authorities invited tenders on Monday for the construction of 77 homes in settlement neighbourhoods of annexed east Jerusalem, settlement watchdog Peace Now said.

Thailand seizes 3 tons of elephant tusks smuggled from Kenya

Customs officials in Thailand say they've seized 3 tons of ivory worth USD 6 million hidden in tea leaf sacks in what they're calling the second-biggest bust in the country's history.

Islamist rebels say capture army base in Syria's Idlib province

A coalition of Islamist rebels said they seized a Syrian army base in northwestern Idlib province at dawn on Monday after a suicide bomber from al Qaeda`s Nusra Front drove a truck packed with explosives inside and set it off.

`Intense shelling` in flashpoint Ukraine village: OSCE

OSCE observers said Monday they have witnessed the most intense shelling in the flashpoint eastern Ukrainian village of Shyrokyne since fighting began there in mid-February, as well as movement of heavy weapons.

Australian-trained doctor in Islamic State video identified

An Australian-trained doctor who appears in an Islamic State (IS) propaganda video calling for other medical professionals to join him in Syria has been identified as Tareq Kamleh, media reported on Monday.

Crushing re-election extends Kazakh President`s quarter-century rule

Kazakhstan`s President Nursultan Nazarbayev extended his quarter-century rule over the oil-rich, ex-Soviet republic with a crushing 97.7 percent of ballots in an election where opposition parties did not field a candidate, officials said Monday.

Australia pleads for stay in executions, demands Jakarta probe

Australia made a last-minute plea on Monday for a stay in the imminent execution of two Australian drug traffickers in Indonesia, saying reports that their trial had been tainted by corruption needed to be investigated.

South Korea allows first fertiliser aid to North for 5 years

South Korea today approved a private fertiliser shipment to North Korea for the first time in five years, flagging a possible easing of strict sanctions imposed on the North for the sinking of a naval vessel.

Australia urges Indonesia to halt drug executions until graft claims probed

Australia on Monday urged Indonesia to ensure all legal processes have been cleared of corruption before executing two of its nationals, as bribery allegations surfaced regarding their drug smuggling trial.

Thousands beg Australia not to deport autistic Filipino boy

 The mother of an autistic Filipino boy she says faces deportation because he would be a burden to the Australian taxpayer presented a petition Monday signed by tens of thousands of people begging authorities to let him stay.

Defence to launch bid to save Boston bomber from death

Celebrated defence lawyer Judy Clarke will launch her bid Monday to save 21-year-old convicted killer Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty for bombing the Boston Marathon in 2013.

US' Kerry, Iran's Zarif to meet at UN anti-nuclear arms conference

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet US Secretary of State John Kerry at the opening of a UN conference on the global anti-nuclear weapons treaty on Monday, as they try to make progress in talks on a long-term atomic deal.

US should put N Korea back on sponsors of terror list: Report

North Korea has increased its "material support" for terrorist organisations and should be placed back on America's list of nations that are state sponsors of terrorism, a report released today said.

Eight arrested as Hong Kong police pepper spray protesters

Eight people were arrested in Hong Kong late Sunday after scuffles broke out between police and demonstrators during a pro-democracy protest, as tensions rise following the launch of a controversial election roadmap.

Rupert Murdoch says Scottish self rule inevitable ''in next few years''

 Scotland is likely to win self rule in the next few years while the economic divide between the international powerhouse of London and the rest of the United Kingdom will deepen, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch said on Sunday.

Quake warnings of minutes, not hours, are possible, but pricey

Nepal`s record of earthquakes dates to at least the 13th century, with significant temblors striking every 75 years or so. And through all that time, in Nepal as in most seismically active areas, there has been one constant: people in the path of destruction have had no idea when the shaking would start.

Israeli air strike kills four planting bomb at Syria frontier: Source

An Israeli air strike killed four militants on Sunday as they placed an explosive on a fence near Israel`s frontier with Syria in the annexed Golan Heights, an Israeli military source said. 

Over 300 Australians missing in Nepal quake

Over 300 Australians are still missing following the tremors that devastated Nepal, authorities said on Monday.

Banknotes or airport? Singapore mulls Lee Kuan Yew tribute

Lee Kuan Yew International Airport? A banknote with the founding Singaporean leader`s face on it? A new national holiday?

Kazakh President Nazarbayev wins reelection with 97.7 percent: official

Kazakhstan`s President Nursultan Nazarbayev has won re-election with 97.7 percent of the vote in a poll where opposition parties in the oil-rich ex-Soviet republic did not field a candidate, the electoral commission said Monday. 

Saudi strikes botched up an emerging Yemen deal? Says ex-UN envoy
Saudi strikes botched up an emerging Yemen deal? Says ex-UN envoy

Saudi Arabia's decision to launch air strikes in Yemen played spoilsport with an emerging power-sharing deal between the warring factions, suggested former UN envoy Jamal Benomar.

Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died, claims Radio Iran
Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died, claims Radio Iran

In what could deal a severe jolt to the extremist organisation Islamic State, Radio Iran has claimed that ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died.