World News

Wife makes plea for jailed China rights lawyer to Xi

The wife of a prominent Chinese human rights lawyer arrested in June has written an open letter to President Xi Jinping pleading for his release, voicing concern over the "inhuman torture" he faced in prison.

Myanmar peace talks to resume

 Peace talks between the Myanmar government and ethnic leaders will resume this week despite escalating clashes in the country`s Shan state, officials said Friday.

Indonesian President lays out reform agenda

 Indonesian President Joko Widodo has unveiled an economic agenda, which includes plans to boost domestic production, spur growth and improve the fiscal balance.

Uber driver in Boston charged with kidnapping and rape

A driver for ride-sharing company Uber in Boston was charged with the kidnapping and rape of a woman who used the service earlier this month.

Man drives car into headquarters of Spain's ruling party

A Spanish businessman drove a car containing a gas cylinders into the headquarters of Spain`s ruling People`s Party on Friday, triggering a major police alert, official spokesmen said.

For North Korea's cyber army, long-term target may be telecoms, utility grids

The hacking attack on may have been a practice run for North Korea`s elite cyber-army in a long-term goal of being able to cripple telecoms and energy grids in rival nations, defectors from the isolated state said.

Mount Sinjar siege broken, claim Iraqi Kurds
Mount Sinjar siege broken, claim Iraqi Kurds

Iraqi Kurds claimed Thursday to have broken a siege on a mountain where Yazidi civilians and fighters have long been trapped as the US said air strikes killed several Islamic State leaders in recent weeks.

New US sanctions law could undermine relations with Russia: Lavrov

New US legislation authorising sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis could undermine relations between Moscow and Washington for a long time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying on Friday.

Women may be allowed to join British infantry by 2016

 In a first, women could be allowed to serve in the British infantry units by 2016, a media report said Friday.

Thailand faces worst drug situation in Asean

 Thailand faces the worst drug situation among all Asean nations and efforts to rehabilitate addicts have failed, Justice Minister Paiboon Khumchaya has said.

In dealings with the West, Erdogan holds all the cards

President Tayyip Erdogan`s tightening grip on power is likely to meet little more than symbolic resistance from the West next year, as Turkey`s G20 presidency and the fight against Islamic State trump concerns about a slide towards authoritarianism.

Pakistani PM, Army Chief meet over security

 Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met the Army Chief, General Raheel Sharif, Friday at the army headquarters in Rawalpindi to discuss national security.

Colourful Australian MP's adviser charged over bizarre kidnap plot

A senior media adviser for Australian lawmaker and mining magnate Clive Palmer, whose party holds the balance of power in the upper house Senate, was charged on Friday over the kidnapping of a bank executive on an Indonesian island.

''Thailand now a drugs hub''

Thai Justice Minister Paiboon Khumchaya has said that the country has the worst drug situation among all ASEAN members.

Kenya passes anti-terror law

Kenyan lawmakers have passed the amendments proposed in the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill by two parliamentary committees amid a shouting match, name calling, blows and drama pitting the country`s two coalitions against each other.

Malaysia charges Australian mum with drug trafficking

An Australian mother-of-four was charged in Malaysia with the capital crime of drug trafficking on Friday, but her lawyers insisted she was innocently duped into carrying a bag that appeared to contain only clothing.

US Marine in Philippine murder case makes first court appearance

A United States Marine accused of killing a transgender Filipino appeared in a Philippine court for the first time on Friday, as his lawyers sought the suspension of the trial, in a case that could test the strength of security ties between the two allies.

Dalai Lama's star waning in the West, says Chinese official

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is drawing less and less attention in the West and manages to win eyeballs only with pointless suggestions that his title will die out with him, a top Chinese official told state media.

Pilot jailed over China air crash disaster

 The pilot of a passenger plane, which crashed in northeast China four years ago resulting in the death of 44 passengers, was today sentenced to three years in prison for violating rules.

Vietnam `Rat King` helps rice farmers fight costly vermin

Grinning widely, Tran Quang Thieu brandishes the day`s haul: 10 kilos of rats caught in rice paddies near Hanoi. A menace to Vietnam`s rice crop, the vermin are regularly trapped -- and sometimes eaten.

In Serbia`s remote east, ancient `gold rivers` still offer hope

Since ancient times the "gold rivers" of a rural corner of eastern Serbia have drawn prospectors hoping to strike it rich by teasing the precious metal from the area`s waterways.

Conflicting loyalties among Afghans at Mullah Omar`s mosque

 At the mosque where Mullah Omar founded the Taliban movement 20 years ago, villagers are weighing up whether to side with the insurgents or the government as the United States ends its long war in Afghanistan.

Gulf of Guinea: Africa`s new pirate paradise

A year after vowing to banish buccaneers from their waters, countries in the Gulf of Guinea -- the new epicentre of piracy in Africa -- are struggling to get their act together.

Eight children killed in Australia in reported mass stabbing

 Eight children have been killed and a woman injured, police said on Friday, during what media outlets reported was a mass stabbing in Australia`s tropical northern city of Cairns.

South Korea far-left party dissolved for `backing North Korea`

South Korea`s nascent far-left political party was disbanded Friday in a rare decision by the constitutional court which condemned it as a pro-North Korean group.

China's top judge urges swift, severe sentences in Xinjiang

China must crack down "harshly and quickly" on cases involving terror attacks, national security and social stability in its restive region of Xinjiang, the country`s top judge said, in comments likely to further worry rights groups and exiles.

Russia is a strategic problem for the EU: Tusk

Russia`s approach to Ukraine and to the European Union is a challenge to the 28-nation bloc, which does not make European leaders too optimistic, but rather realistic, the new president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, said on Thursday.

China to set up satellite, radar network to strengthen maritime power

China will set up an offshore observation network, including satellite and radar stations, to strengthen the country`s maritime power, the official China Daily reported on Friday, in a move that could exacerbate tensions in the region.

Leaked CIA document reveals setbacks of targeted killings

The US government`s program to capture and kill insurgent leaders can backfire, a leaked CIA report said Thursday, citing "limited" results in Afghanistan in particular.

US-Cuba ties thaw, White House open to Castro visit

A US visit by Cuban President Raul Castro is a possibility, the White House said Thursday, a day after he and US President Barack Obama announced a historic bilateral rapprochement.