International

UN: 43 Golan peacekeepers seized by Syria militants, 81 Filipinos trapped

(Reuters) – Militants fighting the Syrian army have detained 43 U.N. peacekeepers in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and trapped another 81 in the region, and the world body is working to secure their release, the United Nations said on Thursday. The affected peacekeepers are from the Philippines and Fiji, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters. “During a period of increased fighting beginning yesterday between armed elements and Syrian Arab Armed Forces within the area of […]

Separatists say will allow ‘trapped’ Ukrainian forces to withdraw

(Reuters) – Pro-Moscow rebels fighting in Ukraine said on Friday they would comply with a request from the Kremlin and open up a ‘humanitarian corridor’ to allow the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops they have encircled. It was not clear how the government in Kiev would react to the offer, suggested first by Russian President Vladimir Putin, but the first word from the Ukrainian military was negative. It said in a statement that Putin’s call showed […]

Ebola outbreak reaches Senegal, riots break out in Guinea

(Reuters) – The West African state of Senegal became the fifth country to be touched by the world’s worst Ebola outbreak on Friday, while riots broke out in neighboring Guinea where infection rates are rising fast. The deadly virus has defied efforts by governments to control it, prompting the leading charity fighting the outbreak Medicines Sans Frontiers to call for the U.N. Security Council to take charge of efforts to stop the epidemic. At least […]

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all Syrians displaced: U.N.

(Reuters) – Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, an exodus that began in March 2011 and shows no sign of abating, the United Nationssaid. The record figure is one million refugees more than a year ago, while a further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria, meaning that “almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives”, it said. “The Syrian crisis […]

No criminal charges in fatal gun range shooting by nine-year-old girl

(Reuters) – County law enforcement officials in Arizona said on Thursday no criminal charges are pending after a probe into a gun range incident in which a 9-year-old girl fatally shot her instructor with an Uzi, adding it was “being viewed as an industrial accident.” But state occupational health and safety officials were conducting their own probe of the Monday morning incident that was captured on video at a gun range that caters in part […]

Obama says he does not yet have broad strategy for Islamic State

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he has not yet developed a broad strategy for confronting Islamic State in an acknowledgement that he has not decided whether to launch air strikes against the militant group in Syria. “We don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama told a White House news conference ahead of meeting top national security advisers in the Situation Room about how to proceed against Islamic State. Obama’s decision to begin U.S. surveillance flights […]

Turkey’s Erdogan sworn in as president, consolidates power

(Reuters) – Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey’s president on Thursday, cementing his position as its most powerful leader of recent times in a step opponents fear heralds more authoritarian rule and widening religious influence in public life. Reading the oath of office in a ceremony in parliament, Erdogan vowed to protect Turkey’s independence and integrity, to abide by the constitution and by the principles of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the modern secular […]