Cuffed knifeman ‘apologizes’ for holy war assault in China’s Xinjiang

(Reuters) – One of the assailants who carried out an attack in western China that injured four people has apologized and said other members of his group had convinced him to participate in a “holy war”, state media said late on Saturday. The knife attack occurred last Sunday in a crowded chess hall in the city of Hotan in troubled Xinjiang, the traditional home of ethnic Muslim Uighurs. Two of the attackers died from serious injuries, while […]

Poroshenko’s Ukraine peace plan gets limited support from Putin

(Reuters) – Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Saturday voiced limited support for Ukraine’s unilateral ceasefire in its conflict with pro-Russian separatists, but told President Petro Poroshenko there had to be talks with the rebels to prevent the truce collapsing. The Kremlin set out Putin’s view after overnight fighting in Ukraine’s east in which pro-Russian separatists, according to Ukrainian government forces, attacked military bases and customs posts within hours of the ceasefire coming into force on Friday […]

South Korea soldier shoots dead five comrades near border with North

SEÚL (Reuters) – A South Korean conscript soldier shot and killed five of his fellow unit members and injured five others late on Saturday at a guard post near the heavily armed border withNorth Korea, a South Korean official said. The exact circumstances of the incident at the remote guard post were not immediately clear and the official could not provide further details, although there was no indication that North Korea was involved in the incident. The […]

Iraq militants take Syria border post in drive for caliphate

(Reuters) – Sunni fighters have seized a border post on the Iraq-Syria frontier, security sources said, smashing a line drawn by colonial powers a century ago in a campaign to create an Islamic Caliphate from the Mediterranean Sea to Iran.The militants, led by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), first moved into the nearby town of al-Qaim on Friday, pushing out security forces, the sources said on Saturday. Once border guards heard that al-Qaim had […]

Philippines, U.S. to hold naval drills near disputed shoal in South China Sea

(Reuters) – Philippine and American troops are set to hold naval exercises this month near a disputed shoal, which will almost certainly anger China with tension already high in the South China Sea. China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, potentially rich in oil and gas and fisheries. The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan also claim parts of the waters, and China has viewed with suspicion what it sees as U.S. moves to “provoke” tension […]

Battle for Iraq refinery as U.S. hesitates to strike

(Reuters) – Iraqi government forces battled Sunni rebels for control of the country’s biggest refinery on Thursday as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki waited for a U.S. response to an appeal for air strikes to beat back the threat to Baghdad. The sprawling Baiji refinery, 200 km (130 miles) north of the capital near Tikrit, was a battlefield as troops loyal to the Shi’ite-led government held off insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraqand the Levant and […]

Facebook website crashes

  (Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s website was down at 0815 GMT (4.15 a.m. EDT), displaying a message saying “Sorry, something went wrong.” The site said it was working to get the issue fixed “as soon as we can.” The company did not immediately respond to an email seeking comments. (Reporting By Sampad Patnaik in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)