Ukraine rebels ignore Putin call to delay self-rule vote

(Reuters) – Pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine ignored a public call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone a referendum on self-rule, declaring they would go ahead on Sunday with a vote that could lead to war. The decision, which contradicted the conciliatory tone set by Putin just a day earlier, caused consternation in the West, which fears the referendum will tear Ukraine apart. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said Russia was heading […]

Thai graft agency rules against ex-PM Shinawatra as ‘red shirts’ head for Bangkok

BY AMY SAWITTA LEFEVRE (Reuters) – Thailand’s anti-graft agency indicted former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for negligence on Thursday, a ruling that came a day after a court threw her out of office and could kill off any hopes she has of staging an electoral comeback. Thousands of her loyalists were converging on the capital as the National Anti-Corruption Commission’s announced its decision to press ahead with charges related to a financially ruinous state rice-buying […]

China blames Vietnam for sea collisions, but calls for talks

BY BEN BLANCHARD AND NGUYEN PHUONG LINH (Reuters) – China accused Vietnam on Thursday of intentionally colliding with its ships in the South China Sea, but called for talks to end a bitter row sparked by Beijing’s parking of a giant oil rig in contested waters. A senior foreign ministry official in Beijing demanded that Vietnam withdraw its ships after its southern neighbor asserted that Chinese vessels used water cannon and rammed eight of its vessels at the weekend […]

Putin: Ready to talk solutions

Vladimir Putin says he’s ready to discuss resolutions to Ukraine’s conflict. Security forces loyal to the interim government in Kyiv have gained fresh ground in their efforts to take back Ukraine’s east from separatists.   At a meeting in Moscow Wednesday with Didier Burkhalter (left in photo), 2014 chairperson of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) said he would discuss options for ending Ukraine’s conflict. Clashes have killed […]

Thai Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong to be new prime minister

(Reuters) – Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan is to be Thailand’s prime minister in place of Yingluck Shinawatra, who was forced to step down by the Constitutional Court on Wednesday along with several ministers after being found guilty of violating the constitution. “The cabinet has decided that Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan will carry out duties in place of Prime Minister Yingluck,” Justice Minister Pongthep Thepkanjana told a news conference. Thailand has had an acting government since Yingluck dissolved the lower […]

Maritime disputes heat up between China, Philippines and Vietnam

China has found itself embroiled in two separate incidents surrounding maritime disputes. In the South China Sea, Vietnam’s navy tried to stop Chinese oil drilling, while Filipino police detained a Chinese fishing boat. Tensions threatened to flare between China and the governments in Vietnam and Philippines on Wednesday over existing maritime disputes in the oil- and natural gas-rich South China Sea. The Vietnamese government reported on Wednesday that one of its ships had hit a […]

Illegal alcohol kills at least 33 in Kenya

(Reuters) — At least 33 people in Kenya died on Monday night and Tuesday morning from drinking illegal liquor, medical officials said on Tuesday (May 06). Some 45 have been hospitalised and several have gone blind. Those victims who made it to the hospitals alive were seen writhing in pain. The victims came from eastern and central counties of Embu, Kitui and Kiambu. In Kiambu County, where nine people died, police said they were still looking for more victims and […]

Chinese Foreign Ministry urges Philippines to release ship and crew

(Reuters) –China has demanded the Philippines release a Chinese fishing boat and its crew seized in the disputed South China Sea on Wednesday (May 7), the latest flare-up in the oil and gas-rich waters that are claimed wholly or in part by six nations. Philippine authorities said a maritime police patrol apprehended a Chinese fishing boat around 7 a.m. on Tuesday (2300 GMT May 6) off Half Moon Shoal in the Spratly Islands on the South China Sea. The boat has 11 crew and police found […]