Nelson Mandela leaves $4 million estate to family, staff, ANC

(Reuters) – Former South African president and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela left his $4.1 million estate to family members, the ruling African National Congress, former staff and several local schools, according to a reading of his will on Monday. The will was expected to set off another round of squabbling among members of his large and factious family over the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s financial legacy. Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke said he was not […]

Student kills two in Moscow school in possible revenge attack

(Reuters) – A Moscow high-school student shot a teacher and a police officer dead and held more than 20 other students hostage in a classroom in a possible revenge attack on Monday, days before Russia hosts the Winter Olympics under tight security. The student was disarmed and detained less than two hours after the shooting following negotiations aided by his father, Interfax news agency said. News agencies said he might have been seeking revenge over […]

Japan condemns anti-whaling activists over boat collision

(Reuters) — Japan condemned animal conservationist group Sea Shepherd on Monday (February 3), after the group said one of its vessels was rammed by Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean. Footage released by Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) showed a collision between activists and whalers on Sunday (February 2). ICR, the public face of Japan’s whaling program, said another video showed an inflatable boat deployed by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society dropping a rope across the bow of another of its three […]

Demonstrators disregard Thai poll, vow march to oust PM

(Reuters) – Thai anti-government protesters planned to forge ahead on Monday with efforts to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, a day after a disrupted election that is unlikely to settle the country’s long-running political conflict. The demonstrators blocked balloting in a fifth of the country’s constituencies and say Yingluck must resign and make way for an appointed “people’s council” to overhaul a political system they say has been taken hostage by her billionaire brother and […]

North Korea proposes meeting with South Korea to discuss family reunion issue

  (Reuters) — North Korea proposed to hold a working-level meeting with South Korea to discuss the reunions of families separated since the Korea War that divided the neighbours, the SouthKorean Unification Ministry said on Monday (February 3). “The North Korean side accepted our Red Cross’s (earlier) offer to hold a working-level meeting to discuss the reunion of separated families and proposed to hold a working-level meeting in the northern side of the Panmunjom on February 5 or 6 at a convenient […]

Series of violence in Syria results in 90 deaths

Ninety people, including women and children, were killed in air raids carried out by the Syrian army in the city of Aleppo, adding up to the list of more than a hundred thousand casualties in the nearly three-year civil war. The raids, which targeted opposition strongholds, took place Saturday, CNN reported Sunday. “The situation is very urgent,” an unnamed medical staffer from a field hospital in Aleppo told CNN. “We need U.S. pressure on the […]

Pakistan’s privatization tsar embarks on quest to revive economy

By Mehreen Zahra-Malik ISLAMABAD Sun Feb 2, 2014 6:55pm EST (Reuters) – Mohammad Zubair was on a cruise dinner with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Thailand when he was offered the hardest job of his life: privatizing a huge chunk of the economy while fighting resistance from the opposition and trade unions. When the prime minister left the table, a colleague of former IBM executive Zubair rushed to his side. “Are you mad? Three […]

Three explosions rock Yemeni capital Sanaa

SANAA Sun Feb 2, 2014 6:46pm EST (Reuters) – Three large explosions were heard in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on Sunday, close to the defense ministry, the central bank and the former president’s home, locals told Reuters. “The explosions were followed by heavy gunfire,” a resident in the area said. Residents added that the third explosion occurred near former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s house which is also within close proximity to the French embassy. Security vehicles […]

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman dies from suspected drug overdose

(Reuters) – Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the leading actors of his generation, who won an Academy Award for his title role in the film “Capote,” was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Sunday in what a New York police source described as an apparent drug overdose. Hoffman, 46, was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of his Greenwich Village apartment by police responding to a 911 call, and Emergency Medical Service workers declared […]

China: Japan’s ‘hype’ on air defence zone spreads tension

(Reuters) – China does not feel threatened by countries in Southeast Asia and is optimistic about the situation in the disputed South China Sea, the Foreign Ministry said, warningJapan not to “spread rumors” it plans a new air defense identification zone. China alarmed Japan, South Korea and the United States last year when it announced an air defense identification zone for the East China Sea, covering a group of uninhabited islands at the center of a bitter ownership spat between China and […]

Catalan leader says Spain cannot block independence vote: report

(Reuters) – Spain cannot block a non-binding vote on Catalan independence that could become the basis for negotiations on Catalonia’s future, the president of the northeastern region said in an interview published on Sunday. “If I call a consultation, not to declare the independence of Catalonia nor to break with the Spanish state, but to know the opinion of the citizens of this country, a knee-jerk anti-democratic response from Spain would be pretty bad and disgraceful in the view […]