Rebels declare victory in East Ukraine vote on self-rule

BY MATT ROBINSON AND ALESSANDRA PRENTICE DONETSK/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Moscow rebels declared a resounding victory in a referendum on self-rule for eastern Ukraine, with some saying that meant independence and others eventual union with Russia as fighting flared in a conflict increasingly out of control. Organizers in the main region holding the makeshift vote on Sunday said nearly 90 percent had voted in favor. Well before polls closed, one separatist leader said the region would form […]

At least 15 killed in Congo football stadium stampede

(Reuters) – At least 15 people were killed after police fired tear gas in a crowded football stadium in Democratic Republic of Congo, provoking a stampede, according to a police source and a local official. Fans in Kinshasa grew angry on Sunday evening after their local team was defeated 1-0 by a team from the eastern town of Lubumbashi in a heated final, according to Emmanuel Akweti, local minister for the capital’s inner city. “Four policemen […]

ASEAN FMs concerned over China’s growing assertiveness in South China Sea

(Reuters) — Foreign ministers and heads of state of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are facing a test of unity at their summit this weekend as some members express alarm over China’s growing assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea and push for a strong joint statement. Tensions ratcheted up in the past week after China positioned a huge oil rig in an area also claimed by Vietnam, with each country accusing the other of ramming its ships in the […]

South China Sea to top ASEAN Summit agenda

(Reuters) — A surge of tensions in the South China Sea threatens to widen divisions between Southeast Asian nations at a summit this weekend, posing a severe test for host Myanmar as the newly democratic country seeks to manage the region’s growing alarm over China. Leaders and government officials of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) will be attending meetings in Myanmar’s capital, Naypyitaw to discuss regional and international issues starting on Saturday (May 10). However, the routine annual meeting of […]

Turkey’s Erdogan heckles critic, storms out of ceremony

(Reuters) – An angry Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan heckled the head of the country’s bar association on Saturday, accusing him of rudeness for speaking too long and critically at a judicial ceremony, then stormed out of the hall. The dramatic scene underscored how tensions remain high after bitterly contested March local polls and amid expectations Erdogan will seek the presidency in another election in August. Erdogan interrupted a speech in Ankara by Metin Feyzioglu, […]

Thai government supporters rally to ‘defend democracy’

(Reuters) – Supporters of Thailand’s beleaguered government gathered on Saturday on the outskirts of Bangkok, saying they were determined to safeguard democracy as rival anti-government protesters pressed their campaign in the city. Thailand’s politicians have been unable to forge a compromise over a nearly decade-long split between the royalist establishment and a populist former telecommunications tycoon, whose sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, was ousted as prime minister on Wednesday. Her sacking by the Constitutional Court for nepotism […]

North Korea renews threat of nuclear test

(Reuters) – North Korea renewed a threat on Saturday to conduct a nuclear test amid heightened concern that the reclusive state with a stockpile of missiles may set off an atomic device for the fourth time on the path to building a nuclear arsenal. North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said the country was justified in using all available means at its disposal to counter aggressive challenges by the United States andSouth Korea aimed at stifling its sovereignty. […]

Nigerian army posts two divisions to hunt for missing girls

(Reuters) – Nigeria’s Army has posted two divisions to hunt for 200 schoolgirls abducted last month by Islamist rebels in an attack condemned globally including by U.S. first lady Michelle Obama on Saturday. The soldiers are stationed in the border region close to Chad, Cameroon and Niger to work with other security agencies, said General Chris Olukolade, spokesman for the Defence Headquarters. The government of President Goodluck Jonathan has faced criticism for its slow response […]