Robert Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan faces parole board again

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, USA (Reuters) — Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Democratic presidential candidate Robert Kennedy in 1968, faces a California parole board for the 15th time on Wednesday (February 10). Sirhan, 71, will have a suitability hearing at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility near San Diego, the California Board of Parole Hearings said on its website. The Palestinian-born Sirhan is serving a life sentence for gunning down Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los […]

Turkey’s Erdogan lambasts US over support for Syrian Kurds

ANKARA, Turkey (AFP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday bitterly attacked ally the United States over its support for Syrian Kurdish groups, as they seized an airport near Aleppo and sought to build ties with Russia. In an impassioned and sometimes angry address, Erdogan accused Washington of creating a “pool of blood” in the region by working with Kurdish groups Ankara lists as terror organisations. The US has been supporting Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union […]

Russian air strikes in Syria ‘directly enabling’ IS: US

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Russian air strikes in and around the city of Aleppo against opponents of the Syrian regime are benefitting the Islamic State group, a senior US official charged Wednesday. “What Russia’s doing is directly enabling ISIL,” Brett McGurk, President Barack Obama’s special envoy to the coalition fighting the group in Syria and Iraq, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee. US Secretary of State John Kerry has taken the lead over the past […]

Female suicide bombers kill over 60 people in northeast Nigeria -officials

DIKWA, Nigeria (Reuters) — Two female suicide bombers killed more than 60 people at a camp for people displaced by an insurgency of the jihadist Boko Haram group in the northeast Nigerian town of Dikwa, military and emergency officials said on Wednesday (February 10). The attack occurred 85 km (50 miles) outside the capital of Borno state, centre of the seven-year insurgency, they said. It took place on Tuesday (February 9), but a breakdown in […]

Kurds, allies seize key air base in north Syria: monitor

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AFP) — Kurdish forces backed by Arab rebel groups captured a strategic air base and the adjacent town in northern Syria from rival anti-government factions overnight, a monitoring group said early Thursday. The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and its Arab allies expelled Islamist and other rebel fighters from the Minnigh air base and adjacent town, north of Syria’s second city Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP. The advance comes […]

Japan announces fresh N. Korea sanctions after rocket launch

  TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Japan announced fresh sanctions against North Korea on Wednesday for its latest rocket launch, including a total ban on shipping from the country and barring Pyongyang’s nationals from entering. Japan’s announcement comes after the UN Security Council strongly condemned Sunday’s rocket launch and agreed to move quickly to impose new sanctions of its own. “We have decided to take firm sanction steps,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters of the […]

Researchers in Singapore develop test kit for Zika virus

  (Reuters) — Researchers in Singapore have developed a test kit for the Zika virus that could be used in hospitals soon. Global health officials have said the virus has been linked to severe birth defects in thousands of babies in Brazil, and is rapidly spreading internationally. On Wednesday (February 10) China confirmed its first case in a man who had recently travelled to South America, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Masafumi Inoue at […]

Three killed, one missing in Indonesia military plane crash

(Reuters) — An Indonesian military aircraft crashed into a house in a densely populated area in Malang on Wednesday (February 10), leaving two civilians and a pilot dead and one technician missing, local media reported. The Brazilian-made aircraft Super Tucano took off from Abdurrahman Saleh military base in East Java province, five kilometres away from the crash site, for a flight simulation training exercise, according to local media. “I felt a tremble and people started […]

S. Korea beefs up border propaganda broadcasts to North

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — South Korea’s military said Wednesday it had stepped up border propaganda broadcasts targeting North Korean soldiers in protest at Pyongyang’s widely-condemned rocket launch. The army since last month has blasted across the heavily-fortified border a mix of news, propaganda messages and K-pop music using giant banks of loudspeakers, in response to Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test on January 6. It deployed more loudspeakers — mounted on moving vehicles — along the […]

Ten dead as commuter trains collide in Germany

BAD AIBLING, Germany (AFP) — German authorities were on Tuesday investigating how two commuter trains collided head-on, leaving at least ten dead and dozens injured, despite having been fitted with automatic braking systems to prevent accidents. Media reports said human error was to blame for the high-speed crash near the southern spa town of Bad Aibling, where one of the trains sliced into the other, ripping a hole in its side. Rescuers were still searching […]

South Korean parliament passes resolution denouncing the North’s rocket launch

SEOUL, South Korea (Reuters) — South Korea’s parliament on Wednesday (February 10) passed a resolution condemning North Korea’s rocket launch. The resolution urged North Korea to stop its provocations such as a long-range missile launch as well as a nuclear test and become a responsible member of the international community, according to the National Assembly. It also called for the South Korean government to work with the international society so that strong sanctions can come […]

Even staple food demonstrates Nigeria’s economic vulnerability

IBADAN, Nigeria (AFP) — Cassava, the starch rusty-coloured root that is a staple in Nigeria, is a paradigm of the problem the import-dependent nation now faces as the plunge in oil prices crimps the economy. The root is used to make “eba” and “fufu” — filling pastes that are beloved dishes in Nigerian homes — but there are a myriad of uses for cassava, including making flour and beer. The problem — and opportunity — […]