UPDATED: Clean-up, rescue efforts in Japan as typhoon toll nears 70

by Kyoko HASEGAWA TOKYO, Japan (AFP) –Rescuers in Japan worked into a third day on Tuesday in an increasingly desperate search for survivors of a powerful typhoon that killed nearly 70 people and caused widespread destruction. Hagibis slammed into Japan on Saturday night, unleashing fierce winds and “unprecedented” rain that triggered landslides and caused dozens of rivers to burst their banks. By Tuesday morning, national broadcaster NHK put the toll at nearly 70, with more […]

Ecuador counts cost of deadly protests after deal

by Santiago PIEDRA SILVA QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — Ecuador began counting the cost Monday of 12 days of indigenous fury against fuel hikes that left seven protesters dead and severely dented President Lenin Moreno’s austerity program. Moreno and indigenous leaders reached an agreement Sunday after the president pledged to withdraw subsidy cuts, known as Decree 883, that had more than doubled fuel prices. The cuts were part of an austerity package to obtain a $4.2 […]

Trump: US troops leaving Syria will ‘remain in region’ to prevent IS revival

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — President Donald Trump said Monday that US troops withdrawing from Syria would remain in the region to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State group. “United States troops coming out of Syria will now redeploy and remain in the region to monitor the situation and prevent a repeat of 2014, when the neglected threat of ISIS raged across Syria and Iraq,” Trump said in a statement, using an acronym for […]

UPDATED: Japan searches for survivors as Typhoon Hagibis death toll hits 56

  by Shingo ITO / Sara HUSSEIN Agence France Presse TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Tens of thousands of rescuers worked into the night Monday to find survivors of a powerful typhoon in Japan that killed at least 56 people, as fresh rain threatened to hamper their efforts. Typhoon Hagibis crashed into the country on Saturday night, unleashing high winds and torrential rain across 36 of the country’s 47 prefectures, triggering landslides and catastrophic flooding. The […]

Six dead as roof collapses on Peru costume party

  LIMA, Peru (AFP) — At least six people died and 40 were injured after a hailstorm caused a roof to collapse on a costume party in central Peru, authorities said. Around 1,000 people were in the building at the time of the accident on Sunday, according to local media. Some are still trapped in the rubble and five of the injured are in a serious condition, police said. The incident occurred during a local […]

New Zealand creates unit to target, ‘disrupt’ online extremism

  WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AFP) — New Zealand will establish a team of investigators dedicated solely to tackling online extremism, as it moves to address failures exposed by the Christchurch mosques massacre, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday. Ardern has led global efforts to force technology firms to clamp down on extremist material since a lone gunman killed 51 Muslim worshippers in March, streaming part of the atrocity on Facebook. But she said the attack, […]

Attempts to split China risk ‘smashed’ bodies: Xi

BEIJING, China (AFP) — President Xi Jinping has warned that any attempts to split China would result in “bodies smashed and bones ground to powder”, amid four months of anti-Beijing unrest in Hong Kong. Xi issued the dire message during a weekend visit to Nepal, according to a foreign ministry statement released on Sunday. “Anyone who attempts to split any region from China will perish, with their bodies smashed and bones ground to powder,” Xi […]

Kurds announce deal with Damascus as Turkey pushes deep into Syria

by Delil Souleiman QAMISHLI, Syria (AFP) — Syria’s Kurds on Sunday announced a groundbreaking deal with Damascus on a Syrian troop deployment near the border with Turkey, as Ankara pressed a deadly cross-border offensive that has sparked an international outcry. The announcement came as the United States ordered the withdrawal of almost its entire ground force in Syria. Defence Secretary Mark Esper said the move to withdraw 1,000 US troops came after Washington learned that […]

Terror probe after mass stabbing at UK shopping center

  by Lindsey PARNABY with James PHEBY in London MANCHESTER, United Kingdom (AFP) — Police arrested a man on terror charges Friday after a mass stabbing at a shopping center in Manchester, northwest England, that left five people injured. The man in his 40s was “lunging and attacking people” with a large knife in the Arndale shopping center, Police Chief Russ Jackson said. The attack comes two years after Manchester was rocked by a suicide […]

Up to 35 dead as Typhoon Hagibis slams Japan

by Harumi OZAWA / Miwa SUZUKI TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Tens of thousands of rescuers worked through the pre-dawn hours Monday to reach people trapped by landslides and floods in Japan caused by a powerful typhoon that has killed up to 35, officials and local media said. Typhoon Hagibis moved away from land on Sunday morning, but while it largely spared the capital, it left a trail of destruction in surrounding regions. More than 100,000 […]

Ecuador protest talks set for Sunday as capital locks down

by Katell ABIVEN / Hector Velasco QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — A first meeting between Ecuador’s president and indigenous leaders will take place on Sunday, the United Nations said, after Lenin Moreno ordered a curfew and military control in the capital to try to quell deadly, anti-austerity protests. The rolling demonstrations have left six people dead and nearly 2,100 wounded or detained, according to authorities, with protesters on Saturday targeting a television station and a newspaper […]

Turkey assault could displace 400,000 in Syria: UN

  GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — Turkey’s deadly assault on Kurdish positions in northeastern Syria has forced 130,000 people to flee their homes, the UN said Sunday, adding it was preparing for that figure to more than triple. “We have moved into a planning scenario where up to 400,000 people could be displaced within and across the affected areas,” Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the UN humanitarian agency OCHA told AFP in an email, adding that […]