Families in shock as Islamic State lures sons into ‘barbaric madness’

(Reuters) – “Do you know how much it hurts to raise someone and watch them grow and suddenly they’re just gone?” says Ahmed Muthana, 57, a retired electronics engineer in Wales whose two sons Nasser, 20, and Aseel, 17, have gone to fight for Islamic State. Like any father of faraway children, he can easily slip into a reverie, talking about the studious older son who was accepted into medical school and his more rambunctious and athletic […]

All 50 U.S. states feeling freezing temperatures

(Reuters) – Temperatures in all 50 U.S. states dipped to freezing or below on Tuesday as an unseasonably cold blast of weather moved across the country, while heavy snow prompted a state of emergency in western New York. In the U.S. South, states were bracing for a record chill from the Arctic-born cold that swept the Rocky Mountains last week. Every U.S. state, including Hawaii, was bitten by temperatures at the freezing point of 32 […]

U.N. panel calls for Nokor referral to international court

(Reuters) – The U.N. General Assembly committee dealing with human rights on Tuesday called for the U.N. Security Council to consider referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes against humanity. The vote followed a U.N. Commission of Inquiry report published in February detailing wide-ranging abuses in North Korea, including prison camps, systematic torture, starvation and killings comparable to Nazi-era atrocities. The resolution passed by the U.N. Third Committee linked the alleged abuses to […]

Senate narrowly fails to pass Keystone XL pipeline bill

(Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Tuesday narrowly failed to pass a bill that would have approved construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, rejecting a measure the House of Representatives approved last week. The vote count was 59-41 in favor, but 60 “ayes” would have been needed to assure passage. Fourteen Democrats voted for the bill, joining all 45 Republicans who voted to support the pipeline. TransCanada Corp’s $8 billion pipeline would help transport crude oil from […]

Putin says United States will never ‘subdue’ Russia

(Reuters) – The United States wants to subdue Moscow, but will never succeed, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday. “They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense,” Putin said at the end of a four-hour meeting with his core support group, the People’s Front. “No one in history ever managed to achieve this with Russia, and no one ever will,” he said, triggering a wave […]

Hong Kong protesters break into government building as tensions flare again

(Reuters) – A small group of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters broke into the city’s legislature via a side door early on Wednesday, and police stopped others forcing their way in as tensions in the Chinese-controlled city escalated following a period of calm. The flare-up came just hours after court bailiffs managed to clear part of a protest camp in the heart of the city that has been occupied by pro-democracy demonstrators for nearly two months, […]

NATO leader sees ‘serious military buildup’ in Ukraine, urges Russia to pull back troops

(Reuters) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg denounced on Tuesday what he called a serious Russian military buildup both inside Ukraine and on the Russian side of the border and urged Moscow to pull back its troops. Stoltenberg said NATO saw movement of troops, equipment, tanks, artillery and also of advanced air defense systems in violation of a ceasefire agreement. Russia denies providing arms or troops to support a separatist pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine, which began after the removal […]

Mass murderer Charles Manson gets marriage license, state says

(Reuters) – Mass murderer Charles Manson has been granted a marriage license, and would be allowed to wed in prison, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said on Monday. Manson, 80, was issued a marriage license by Kings County, California, where he is serving a life sentence at the California State Prison, Corcoran, corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said. Manson, a charismatic ex-convict who assembled a group of runaways and outcasts into […]

Japan PM to seek fresh mandate for ‘Abenomics’ with snap poll

(Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday that he would call an early election to seek a fresh mandate for his economic policies, and postpone an unpopular sales tax rise, a day after data showed the economy had slipped back into recession. The world’s third-biggest economy unexpectedly shrank for a second consecutive quarter in July-September, a sign the pain from an initial rise in the sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent in April was […]

Palestinians kill four in Jerusalem synagogue attack

(Reuters) – Two Palestinians armed with a meat cleaver and a gun killed four people in a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday before being shot dead by police, the deadliest such incident in six years in the holy city amid a surge in religious conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to respond with a “heavy hand”, and again accused Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of inciting violence in Jerusalem. Abbas condemned the attack, which comes […]

Frenchman seen in Islamic State beheading video

(Reuters) – A Frenchman is believed to have appeared in a video of Islamic State jihadists beheading Syrian soldiers and displaying the severed head of U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig, but a British man denied earlier reports that his medical student son was there too. Sunday’s announcement of Kassig’s death, the fifth such killing of a Western captive by Islamic State, formed part of the video which also showed the beheadings of at least 14 […]