China floods leave more than 100 dead or missing: report

BEIJING, China (AFP) — Flooding in China’s Yangtze river basin has left 112 people dead or missing in recent days, media said Tuesday, with more damage feared from a typhoon expected to land within days. Some 16 million people have been affected by heavy rains that have left vast areas under water near the Yangtze, China’s longest river, the Beijing News cited the civil affairs ministry as saying. Water levels in Taihu Lake, close to […]

Australian PM brushes off calls to quit

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull Tuesday rejected calls for him to resign after the weekend’s disastrous election, as senior government figures pleaded against infighting. Three days after polls closed the result is still too close to call, with Turnbull’s Liberal/National coalition and the opposition Labor each short of the 76 seats needed to govern, raising the prospect of a hung parliament. On Monday, Labor leader Bill Shorten urged the prime minister to […]

China must ready for military conflict in South China Sea: state media

BEIJING, China (AFP) — Beijing must prepare for “military confrontation” in the South China Sea, state-run media said Tuesday, as it began naval drills in the area ahead of an international tribunal ruling over the maritime dispute. China asserts sovereignty over almost all of the resource-rich strategic waterway despite rival claims from Southeast Asian neighbors — raising tensions with the United States, which has key defense treaties with many allies in the region. On Tuesday, […]

Odd jobs in Istanbul for young Syrians who dreamed big

by Marisol RIFAI ISTANBUL, Turkey (AFP) — Receptionist, waiter, hairdresser, pastry-seller: these are the jobs of the ambitious young Syrians who abandoned their dreams in Damascus to start from scratch in Istanbul. In Fatih, a densely-packed neighborhood that serves as a hub for Arabs in Turkey’s biggest city, the traces of home are everywhere. The delicate scent of Aleppo’s famous soap floats out of storefronts, mingling with the enticing aromas of the pistachio and almond […]

Japanese victims of Dhaka siege arrive home

TOKO, Japan (AFP) — The bodies of seven Japanese nationals killed in a bloody restaurant attack in Dhaka were returned home early Tuesday on a government plane. The aircraft landed shortly before 6:00 am (2100 GMT Monday) carrying the victims’ remains and bereaved family members, who had been earlier taken to the upmarket cafe in the Bangladeshi capital where militants killed 20 hostages at the weekend. The coffins, draped in white sheets, were lowered to […]

Clinton blasts Trump over ‘anti-semitic’ tweet

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton blasted Donald Trump on Monday after her Republican rival posted a “blatantly anti-Semitic” tweet. Clinton’s criticism came after Trump tweeted a picture of Clinton on Saturday that described her as corrupt and featured stacks of money and a six-pointed star. “Donald Trump’s use of a blatantly anti-Semitic image from racist websites to promote his campaign would be disturbing enough, but the fact that it’s […]

Obama celebrates US military, daughter’s 18th birthday on July 4 holiday

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US President Barack Obama celebrated the country’s military as well as his daughter Malia’s 18th birthday at the White House to mark America’s Independence Day holiday on Monday. “We all know that our freedoms are dependent on an incredible group of men and women in uniform and their families who look out for us every single day,” Obama said. “For those in our military who could not attend, we just […]

Obama to campaign with Clinton in bid to reset race

by Michael Mathes CHARLOTTE, United States (AFP) — President Barack Obama hits the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton on Tuesday for the first time in the 2016 White House race, seeking to give her a boost in her showdown with Donald Trump. The Democratic duo travel to Charlotte, North Carolina for a rally, the first in a series of high-profile events that Clinton hopes will energize voters, particularly minorities who remain enamored with the president, […]

Drought kills Paraguay’s thirsty alligators

GENERAL DIAZ, Paraguay (AFP) — A drought in northern Paraguay has driven thousands of thirsty alligators to crowd around lakes and wells, scaring off cattle from the dwindling water sources, environmentalists and locals say. Parched leathery corpses of the reptiles lie on the cracked earth near the Pilcomayo River where the borders of Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia meet. The Chaco region is suffering its worst drought in 19 years, Public Works Minister Ramon Jimenez Gaona […]

China offers Philippines talks if South China Sea court ignored – China Daily

THE official China Daily reported that, China is ready to start negotiations with the Philippines on South China Sea-related issues if Manila ignores an arbitration ruling expected next week on their long-running territorial dispute. The China daily said negotiations between china and the Philippines could cover “issues such as joint development and cooperation in scientific research if the new government puts the tribunal’s ruling aside before returning to the table for talks”. China’s main, government-run […]

Multiple suicide blasts hit Saudi Arabia; four killed

  by Ian Timberlake RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) —  At least four people died in suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia on Monday following attacks elsewhere in the region before the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the three attacks one of which, at the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, left four members of the security forces dead and others wounded. Since late 2014 Saudi Arabia has […]

S.Korean selfie tourist dies in Peru waterfall: police

PERULIMA, Peru (AFP) — Peruvian police pulled a South Korean tourist dead from under a waterfall in the Amazon jungle, days after he fell in while taking a photo of himself, police said Monday. The man, 28-year-old Kim Jongyeob, slipped and fell 500 meters (1,640 feet) under the waterfall in northeastern Peru last Wednesday, a local police official said. “The tourist was found dead, submerged seven meters deep in the lake where into which the […]