Keir Starmer pledges “national renewal” after Labour’s electoral victory

Keir Starmer, the Prime Minister-elect, pledged on Friday to kickstart a “national renewal” in the UK after his Labour party emerged victorious over the ruling Conservatives in the general election. Following his party’s securing of a parliamentary majority, Starmer delivered a triumphant victory speech in London.  “Today we start the next chapter — begin the work of change, the mission of national renewal and start to rebuild our country,” Starmer said in a triumphant victory […]

Tourists evacuated, flights cancelled as hurricane Beryl targets Mexico

By Ivan SHAW CANCÚN, Mexico, July 5, 2024 (AFP) – Tourist resorts in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula girded Thursday for a hit from Hurricane Beryl, which is still packing ferocious winds after slamming Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. After dropping to a Category 2, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said late Thursday that Beryl had restrengthened to a Category 3, with winds of 185 kilometers (115 miles) per hour ahead of an expected landfall early […]

Philippines, Japan eye signing key defense pact amid China tensions

By Pam CASTRO MANILA, July 5, 2024 (AFP) – The Philippines’ military chief said Thursday he hoped a key defence pact with Japan allowing for the deployment of troops on each other’s territory will be signed at security talks next week. Japanese Defence Minister Minoru Kihara and Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa are set to meet their Philippine counterparts in Manila on Monday. The Philippines and Japan — longtime allies of the United States — have […]

No holiday for Biden as debate crisis cleanup continues

By Lucie Aubourg and Michael Mathes WASHINGTON, July 5, 2024 (AFP) – While Americans were celebrating the July 4 holiday with fireworks and feasts, President Joe Biden on Thursday continued to face explosive fallout from his debate against Donald Trump that has left many Democrats hungry for a replacement. The 81-year-old has struggled since last week’s debate to tamp down panic among his party, but he won the backing Wednesday of Democratic governors who gathered […]

Philippines says it agrees with China to ‘de-escalate’ South China Sea tensions

By Pam CASTRO MANILA, July 2, 2024 (AFP) – The Philippines and China agreed on Tuesday to “de-escalate tensions” over the South China Sea, Manila said, following a violent clash in the disputed waters last month. Manila and Beijing have a long history of maritime territorial disputes in the hotly contested waterway but last month’s incident was the most serious in a number of escalating confrontations. Chinese coast guard personnel wielding knives, sticks and an […]

Category 5 Hurricane Beryl pummels Caribbean, hurtles towards Jamaica

By Chandan KHANNA BRIDGETOWN/ST. GEORGE’S, Barbados, July 2, 2024 (AFP) – Hurricane Beryl was Tuesday hurtling towards Jamaica as it strengthened into a record top-level Category 5 storm after sweeping across several islands in the southeastern Caribbean. Dumping heavy rain and unleashing devastating winds, Beryl was described as a “potentially catastrophic” storm by the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). One person was killed in the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the country’s government said, while […]

Nearly 100 killed in stampede at India religious gathering

LUCKNOW, India, July 2, 2024 (AFP) – Nearly 100 people were crushed to death at a Hindu religious gathering in northern India on Tuesday, with many others injured, a senior government official said. A large crowd had gathered near the city of Hathras for a sermon by a popular preacher but a fierce dust storm sparked panic as people were leaving. Many were crushed or trampled, falling on top of each other, with some collapsing […]

URGENT: Hurricane Beryl makes landfall on Grenada island of Carriacou: US tracker

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, July 1, 2024 (AFP) – Beryl, the first hurricane of the 2024 Atlantic season, slammed into the Caribbean island of Carriacou, which is part of Grenada, on Monday as a powerful Category 4 storm, the National Hurricane Center said. “The eye of #Beryl has made landfall on Carriacou Island,” the NHC wrote on X, warning residents in a separate bulletin of “life-threatening conditions” and that “winds will rapidly increase within the eyewall.” This […]

Supreme Court rules on Trump immunity claim, delaying trial

By Chris Lefkow WASHINGTON, July 1, 2024 (AFP) – The US Supreme Court ruled Monday that Donald Trump enjoys some immunity from prosecution as a former president, a ruling that will likely delay his trial for conspiring to overturn the 2020 election. The 6-3 decision split along ideological lines comes four months ahead of the presidential election in which Trump is the Republican candidate to take on Democrat Joe Biden. The historic case was the […]

US military raises alert level for Europe bases: reports

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2024 (AFP) – The US military has raised the alert level of several bases in Europe to its second-highest level, multiple American media outlets reported Sunday. The American bases, located across Europe, were raised to the “Charlie” alert level, ABC News and CNN reported, both citing unnamed officials. That level is ordered when “an incident occurs or intelligence is received indicating some form of terrorist action or targeting against personnel or facilities […]

UK govt, British Airways sued over 1990 Kuwait hostage crisis

LONDON, June 30, 2024 (AFP) – Passengers and crew of a British Airways flight who were taken hostage in Kuwait in 1990 have launched legal action against the UK government and the airline, a law firm said Monday. People on BA flight 149 were taken off the Kuala Lumpur-bound plane when it landed in the Gulf state on August 2 that year, hours after Iraq’s then leader Saddam Hussein invaded the country. Some of the […]

N. Korea fires two short-range ballistic missiles, Seoul says

SEOUL, July 1, 2024 (AFP) – North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Monday, South Korea’s military said, a day after Pyongyang warned of “fatal consequences” following major joint exercises in the South. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the military had detected two launches, the first at 5:05 am (2005 GMT) and the second around 10 minutes later. “The short-range ballistic missile launched at around 05:05 flew approximately 600 km (372 miles),” […]