World News

Israel tests US-backed missile shield as Iran nuclear talks churn

A new Israeli air defence system being developed in partnership with the United States met all its objectives in a series of recent live interception tests, US and Israeli officials said Wednesday, putting it on course for deployment by next year.

Turkey arrests 9 British nationals seeking to cross to Syria: Army

Turkey has arrested nine British nationals on the Syrian border as they sought to illegally cross over from Turkey, the army said on on Wednesday.

Iraq minister says Tikrit massacre burial sites found

Iraqi forces which retook Tikrit from the Islamic State group found burial sites on Wednesday believed to hold victims of a June massacre in which hundreds of army cadets were executed.

Iran nuclear talks still `productive`, progress being made: White House

The White House on Wednesday said progress was still being made in crunch nuclear talks with Iran, but warned the United States would walk away if negotiations stall.

Yemen Houthi fighters backed by tanks reach central Aden

 Houthi rebels and allies backed by tanks pushed on Wednesday into central Aden, the main foothold of fighters loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, witnesses said, despite more than a week of air strikes by Saudi-led coalition forces.

White House says Iran nuclear talks still 'productive'

The White House on Wednesday said progress was still being made in crunch nuclear talks with Iran, but warned the United States would walk away if negotiations stall.

Islamic State expands in Damascus, al Qaeda vows sharia for city
Islamic State expands in Damascus, al Qaeda vows sharia for city

Islamic State fighters seized most of a Palestinian camp on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus on Wednesday, nearing President Bashar al-Assad`s seat of power.

Mexico oil platform fire kills four, 300 evacuated

Mexican state-run oil company Pemex said at least four people died after a fire broke out on a production platform in the Gulf of Mexico early on Wednesday, sparking the evacuation of around 300 workers.

Boko Haram uses children as human bombs, commits "heinous crimes": UN

 Boko Haram Islamist militants in northern Nigeria are using children as human bombs and targeting women and girls for particularly horrific abuse, including sexual slavery, the United Nations human rights chief said on Wednesday.

Explosion at Yemen factory kills at least 25: Report

An explosion at a dairy factory in Yemen`s Hodaida port killed at least 25 workers, medical sources said, with conflicting accounts attributing the blast to an air strike by a Saudi-led alliance or to a rocket landing from a nearby army base.

Turkey vows to find "dark forces" behind Istanbul hostage-taking

Turkey`s justice minister said on Wednesday two militants who seized an Istanbul prosecutor had "held a gun to the nation" and vowed to find the "dark forces" behind them, after all three died in a police rescue attempt.

Gulf countries in tough UN talks with Russia on Yemen

Gulf countries are locked in tough negotiations with Russia on a UN draft resolution to impose an arms embargo and sanctions on Yemen, diplomats said Wednesday.

China offers over $1 bn in grants to Sri Lanka after port project halt

China has pledged over $1 billion in new grant money to Sri Lanka after a Chinese luxury real estate project in the capital Colombo was suspended, a Sri Lankan government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Boko Haram will know the strength of our collective will: Nigeria Prez

Nigeria's president-elect Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday vowed tough action against Boko Haram and pledged reconciliation and inclusive government, in a speech after his dramatic election win.

Female bomber killed in Istanbul police HQ clash: Official

Turkish security forces today shot dead a female assailant armed with bombs and a gun after she and an accomplice sought to attack the police headquarters in Istanbul, reports said.

One dead, 16 injured in Mexico oil rig fire: Official

A fire erupted on an offshore oil platform of Mexico's Pemex energy firm today, killing at least one worker, injuring 16 and forcing 300 to be evacuated.

IS enters Palestinian camp in Damascus; Jordan closes border

Islamic State militants infiltrated a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus today and were clashing with a Palestinian group, the deepest foray yet by the extremist group into the Syrian capital, seat of President Bashar Assad's power, according to opposition activists and Palestinian officials.

Israel tests US-backed missile shield as Iran nuclear deadline looms

A new Israeli air defence system being developed in partnership with the United States has passed advanced tests, the Israeli Defence Ministry said on Wednesday, putting it on course for possible deployment by next year.

Vatican signs deal with Italy in bid to tackle tax evaders

The Vatican said Wednesday it had signed an agreement to share financial information with Italy in a bid to stamp out tax evasion within the once-secretive city state.

Lufthansa chief visits crash area as 'cabin video' emerges

The heads of Lufthansa and Germanwings paid their respects Wednesday near the crash site of the plane that slammed into the French Alps, following reports that a video has emerged showing the final terrifying seconds in the cabin.

Tikrit victory boosts Iraq fight to eradicate IS

Iraq vowed Wednesday to reclaim the entire country from jihadists after having liberated the city of Tikrit, its biggest boost yet in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Yemenis fleeing war arrive in Somalia: UN

Refugees fleeing war-torn Yemen have arrived by boat in almost equally violent Somalia, the United Nations said on Wednesday in a surprising reversal of a decades old trend which saw Somalis escaping to Yemen.

Palestinian economy chief tasked with Gaza rebuilding quits

The Palestinian official tasked with the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following a devastating 50-day war with Israel has resigned, following criticism of the pace of work.

2,000 evacuated after underground fire in London

 More than 2,000 people were evacuated on Wednesday from buildings in central London as toxic smoke filled the streets after an underground fire near London School of Economics.

Operation Phutkal subsides threat of river blockade in Ladakh

The threat of sudden bursting of an artificial lake made by month-long blockade on a river in Zanskar valley of Ladakh region has subsided today, after the flood water streamed down a channel created under 'Operation Phuktal' by the Army.

High-stakes Iran nuclear talks in nail-biting extension
High-stakes Iran nuclear talks in nail-biting extension

Rollercoaster talks aimed at stopping Iran getting a nuclear bomb went into extra time today with Tehran insisting it won't be rushed into a bad deal that falls short of meeting its key demands.

Jonathan has nothing to fear from me: Nigeria`s Buhari

Nigeria`s president-elect Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday sought to reconcile past differences with incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, extending a hand of friendship to his beaten election opponent.

Britain's Labour makes election pledge on job security

British opposition leader Ed Miliband on Wednesday promised a clampdown on "zero-hours contracts" and greater job security -- a hot-button election issue despite the country's strong economic recovery.

Israel to force African migrants to '3rd country'

Israel is set to force illegal African migrants to choose between leaving to a "safe third-party" country in Africa or face imprisonment, the interior ministry said.

UAE airlines say no safety concerns after air traffic `incident`

UAE carriers Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways said Wednesday an investigation is underway after two of their planes apparently flew too close to each other, but that safety was never jeopardised.