Military postures to start rolling back in South, North Korea – defense ministry

AUGUST 25 (Reuters) — South Korean defense ministry said on Tuesday (August 25) both North and South Korea would begin rolling back heightened military postures at noon (0300 GMT), after the two Koreas reach reached agreement early on Tuesday to end a standoff involving an exchange of artillery fire. Under the accord reached in the very early hours of Tuesday after more than two days of talks, North Korea expressed regret over the recent wounding […]

Islamic State militants blow up temple in ancient city of Palmyra

Islamic State militants on Sunday (August 23) blew up the temple of Baal Shamin, one of the most important sites in Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra, said Maamoun Abdul Karim, the country’s antiquities chief. The temple bombing would be the first time the insurgents, who control swathes of Syria and Iraq and captured Palmyra in May, damaged monumental Roman-era ruins. A week ago, the militants beheaded Khaled Asaad, an 82-year-old scholar who worked for more […]

Chinese and Russian vessels gather at designated waters for joint training

  (Courtesy CCTV) — Chinese and Russian naval soldiers, who are taking part in the nine-day Joint Sea-2015 (II) drill, gathered at designated waters on Sunday and started the joint training. Chinese and Russian vessels left Vladivostok on Sunday morning ahead of schedule for the relevant waters. The order of departure was given on Saturday night in accordance with the plan of the drill and weather condition. “The directing team gave the order at night, […]

Bangkok bomber suspect may still be in the country – police chief

  (Reuters) — Thailand’s police chief Somyot Poompanmuang said on Monday (August 24) Bangkok bomber suspect might still be in the country, a week after a blast killed 20 people including foreigners. The blast last Monday at one of the capital’s most famous shrines, packed with Asian visitors, will inevitably dent the tourist industry, one of the economy’s few bright spots. Economic woes could undermine the military government as it steers the country towards an […]

South Korea prepared to deter North Korea’s provocations

South Korean Defence Ministry on Monday (August 24) said their position is to deter North Korea’s provocation, as the isolated state had deployed twice the usual artillery strength at the border and had around 50 submarines away from base, the South’s ministry said. Top officials from North and South Korea negotiated through a second straight night and into Monday morning in a marathon bid to defuse tensions that have brought the peninsula to the brink […]

Typhoon Goni lashes out at southern Japanese islands

AUGUST 24 (Reuters) — Typhoon Goni lashed the southern islands of Ishigaki, Okinawa prefecture on Monday (August 24) registering wind gusts of up to 255.6 kilometers an hour (158.8 miles an hour) – the strongest on record, local media reported. The typhoon, called Typhoon 15 in Japan, knocked out power on the tropical resort island as 21,500 homes were left without electricity overnight, Japanese media said. Japanese media footage showed traffic lights and even small […]

Explosion rocks warehouse at US military base in Japan

AUGUST 24 (Reuters) — An explosion rocked a warehouse at a U.S. military base in Sagamihara, Japan, but there were no reports of injuries, Japanese fire officials said on Monday (August 24). The local fire department said it received a call just after midnight of an explosion at the warehouse where it said “dangerous material” is stored and sent firefighters. It added that the fire had subsided and there was no danger of it spreading […]

Double happiness as giant panda gives birth to twins in U.S.

  (Reuters) — Giant panda Mei Xiang, a star tourist draw in the U.S. capital, gave birth to a pair of cubs hours apart on Saturday (August 22), the National Zoo said. Mei Xiang gave birth to her first cub at 5:34 p.m. (2134 GMT) after her water broke about an hour beforehand, zoo officials said. About four and one-half hours later, at 10:07 p.m., a second cub arrived and appeared healthy, the zoo said. […]

Italian navy rescues more than 100 migrants in Mediterranean

(Reuters) — Some 111 migrants were rescued from a deflating rubber dinghy in the Mediterranean on Saturday (August 22), the Italian coast guard said, releasing video footage of the rescue operations. The footage released by the coast guard on Sunday (August 23) showed the migrants waving as coast guard officers approached them. Some migrants could be seen holding up the deflated front of their rubber dinghy while officers signalled to the those waving to stay […]

North, South Korean envoys agree to resume high-level talks to end stand-offs

(Reuters) — Aides to the leaders of North and South Korea on Sunday (August 23) agreed to resume high-level talks, after almost ten hours of a rare meeting. Senior politicians of North and South Korea held talks at the Panmunjom truce village straddling their border on Saturday (August 22) and into the early hours of Sunday, raising hopes for an end to a standoff that put the rivals on the brink of armed conflict. “During […]

Chilean university student discovers new planet some 300 light years away

AUGUST  21(Reuters)  A 25-year-old doctorate student in Chile has discovered a new planet which orbits a red star twice the size of the Sun, located 293 light years from Earth. Maritza Soto Vasquez, an Astronomy student at the University of Chile, said that she had happened upon the planet by coincidence, whilst studying the red star, known as “HD 110014”, which she knew already had one planet in its orbit known as “HD110014 b”. It […]

U.N. concerned as tensions rise between North and South Korea

AUGUST 21 (Reuters) — The United Nations (U.N.) Secretary General’s associate spokesperson, Eri Kaneko, told reporters on Thursday (August 20) that the U.N. is closely following tensions between North and South Korea. “On the exchange of artillery fire that we saw reports of today, is that we are closely following the developments with serious concern and we will revert as the situations evolves,” Kaneko said. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his troops onto […]