China boat sinks in waters north of islets disputed with Japan

(Reuters) – Five Chinese fishermen are missing after a trawler sank on Friday in waters to the north of islands disputed with Japan in the East China Sea in what appeared to be an accident, state media said. The boat sank in the morning, north of the islands, which Chinacalls the Diaoyus and Japan the Senkakus, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing naval sources. The dispute over the Japanese-held islets, where Chinese and Japanese ships regularly engage in a cat-and-mouse game, […]

Ukraine signs trade agreement with EU, draws Russian threat

(Reuters) – Ukraine signed on Friday an historic free-trade agreement with the European Union that has been at the heart of months of violence and upheaval in the country, drawing an immediate threat of “grave consequences” from Russia. Georgia and Moldova signed similar deals, holding out the prospect of deep economic integration and unfettered access to the EU’s 500 million citizens, but alarming Moscow which is concerned about losing influence over former Soviet republics. All three countries have […]

EU leaders unite for WW1 memorial

(Reuters) — European Union leaders commemorated the 100th anniversary of World War One at a solemn ceremony in Belgium on Thursday (June 26) in a show of unity that briefly masked deep disagreement over who should head their most influential institution. At Menin Gate, a memorial to 50,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the battle ofYpres, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stood alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande and other leaders to honour the fallen of what became known […]

Philippine authorities destroy counterfeit goods in anti-piracy campaign

Philippine authorities on Friday (June 27) destroyed seized counterfeit goods in recent raids amid an intensified campaign against piracy and to raise public awareness. Police investigators laid out thousands of confiscated counterfeit sunglasses, DVDs, beauty products, shoes and books inside the Philippine police compound in Manila and flattened them using a steam roller. The Philippine Intellectual Property Rights Office (IPO) reported a total of 6.8 billion pesos (155 million USD) worth of confiscated goods during […]

U.S. takes time to gather data before any attacks on ISIL in Iraq

(Reuters) – U.S. intelligence about the Islamist insurgent offensive in Iraq is improving but it could take weeks to complete a detailed picture of the threat and any possible American air attacks do not appear imminent, U.S. officials said on Thursday. Last week’s announcement that up to 300 U.S. military advisers were being sent to Baghdad and the earlier movement of an aircraft carrier, a cruiser and a destroyer into the Gulf prompted speculation of […]

Malaysia jet passengers likely suffocated, Australia says

(Reuters) – The passengers and crew of the missing Malaysia Airlines (MASM.KL) Flight MH370 most likely died from suffocation and coasted lifelessly into the ocean on autopilot, a new report released by Australian officials on Thursday said. In a 55-page report, the Australian Transport Safety Board outlined how investigators had arrived at this conclusion after comparing the conditions on the flight with previous disasters, although it contained no new evidence from within the jetliner. The […]

Iraq counter-attacks against ISIL with airborne commando assault on Tikrit

(Reuters) – Iraqi forces launched an airborne assault on rebel-held Tikrit on Thursday, landing three helicopters with commandos in a stadium for what appeared to be their boldest counter-attack yet against Sunni insurgents who have rampaged through the north. Eyewitnesses said battles were raging in the city, hometown of former dictator Saddam Hussein, which fell to Sunni Islamist fighters two weeks ago on the third day of a lightning offensive that has given them control […]

Militants take Iraqi gas field town, president calls parliament session

(Reuters) – Militants took a town an hour from Baghdad that is home to four natural gas fields on Thursday, another gain by Sunni insurgents who have swiftly taken large areas to the north and west of the Iraqi capital. Iraq’s presidency said a session of parliament would be held on July 1, the first step to forming a new government that the international community hopes will be inclusive enough to undermine the insurgency. The overnight offensive […]