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U.S. and Arab allies launch first strikes on fighters in Syria

An Islamic State militant stands next to residents as they hold pieces of wreckage from a Syrian war plane after it crashed in Raqqa, in northeast SyriaBy Phil Stewart and Tom Perry WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) - The United States and its Arab allies bombed Syria for the first time on Tuesday, killing scores of Islamic State fighters and members of a separate al Qaeda-linked group, opening a new front against militants by joining Syria's three-year-old civil war. In a remarkable sign of shifting Middle East alliances, the attacks encountered no objection - and even signs of tacit approval - from President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian government, which said Washington had notified it in advance. U.S. ...

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:27:51 -0400
Afghanistan's Karzai criticizes US, Pakistan in farewell speech

Outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a ceremony commemorating the 2001 assassination of legendary Tajik resistance commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, in KabulBy Kay Johnson and Hamid Shalizi KABUL (Reuters) - Outgoing President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday blamed the United States for Afghanistan's long war in a final swipe at the country that helped bring him to power 13 years ago but towards which he has become increasingly bitter. His farewell speech came days ahead of the swearing in of a new president, Ashraf Ghani, after months of turmoil over a disputed election that ended in a power-sharing deal, yet to be tested, with rival Abdullah Abdullah who will fill the role of chief executive. ...

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:29:07 -0400
Iran's Rouhani says ties with Saudis deserve to be warmer

Rouhani addresses the audience during a meeting in AnkaraBy Stephen Adler NEW YORK (Reuters) - The relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia deserves to be better, though differences between the two oil-producing Middle Eastern states appear to be narrowing, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday. Shi'ite Muslim Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia are enmeshed in a struggle for influence across the Middle East and have supported opposing sides in wars and political disputes in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen. "Our relationship with Saudi Arabia ... ...

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:41:30 -0400
Putin warns Ukraine against implementing EU deal -letter

Russia's President Putin leaves the Life-giving Trinity church in MoscowBy Robin Emmott BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Moscow will curtail Ukraine's access to vital Russian markets if Kiev implements any part of a trade agreement with the European Union, President Vladimir Putin warned in a letter, toughening his stance on a deal at the center of East-West tensions. In a letter to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, Putin warned that even changing national legislation to prepare for the EU-Ukraine trade deal, known as the association agreement, would trigger an immediate response from Moscow. ...

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:54:56 -0400
Iraq PM Abadi retires two top generals after Islamic State conquests

Iraq's new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks to Iraqi lawmakers before submitting his government in BaghdadBAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi retired two senior generals on Tuesday as part of an overhaul of armed forces that collapsed this summer in the face of Islamic State insurgents who seized wide areas of northern and western Iraq. The two commanders had been close allies of Abadi's predecessor Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite Muslim widely blamed for sectarian rule that alienated Iraqi Sunni Muslims and abetted the rise of the ultra-radical Sunni Islamic State insurgency. ...

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:26:24 -0400
Russian MPs back initial proposal to curb foreign media ownership
By Gabriela Baczynska MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian lawmakers gave initial backing on Tuesday to a draft law limiting foreign ownership of Russian media to 20 percent from the existing ceiling of 50 percent, a move critics say will reinforce the dominance of outlets loyal to the Kremlin. With only one vote against the proposal, the draft law passed the first of three readings in the Duma, parliament's lower chamber, with the backing of 434 members. ...
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:00:54 -0400
Azerbaijan nabs 26 alleged militants
BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Authorities in Azerbaijan said Tuesday they have arrested 26 citizens of the ex-Soviet nation accused of joining militants in Syria, including the Islamic State group.
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:11:10 -0400
British radio DJ convicted of indecent assault

Veteran Disc Jockey Dave Lee Travis leaves Southwark Crown Court in London Tuesday Sept. 23, 2014. A jury has found veteran British radio DJ Dave Lee Travis guilty of indecent assault. The 69-year-old Travis, whose real name is David Griffin, was cleared on two other assault charges on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Justin Tallis/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUTLONDON (AP) — Veteran British radio DJ Dave Lee Travis was convicted Tuesday of indecent assault.

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:10:24 -0400
Spain scraps abortion plan, justice chief quits

Anti-abortion activists hold banners reading "Rajoy: Will you betray me?" and "Life is sacred" during a protest in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Anti-abortion activists staged demonstrations in Madrid and other Spanish cities in a bid to pressure the government not to drop plans to introduce a reform that would seriously limit women's chances of having abortions. News reports say the government has decided to scrap the much-promised reform because of the widespread opposition it has roused. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)MADRID (AP) — The Spanish government has scrapped plans to restrict the availability of abortion because there was no consensus for change, the prime minister said Tuesday, in a move that brought the resignation of the justice minister who was in charge of introducing a new law.

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:09:41 -0400
Climate aid needed for 500 million small farmers: researchers
By Chris Arsenault ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As world leaders meet in New York for yet another climate change summit, concerns over wild weather patterns disrupting food supplies are increasingly finding their way to the table. About 500 million farmers in South Asia and Africa need help developing "climate smart agriculture" by 2030 to brace themselves for water shortages and super storms and to mitigate against potential food crises, a coalition of food security groups warned on Tuesday. ...
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:09:23 -0400
Obama admin creates Korean land mine exception
WASHINGTON (AP) — Three months after announcing its intention to largely comply with an international treaty banning land mines, the United States on Tuesday carved out an exception for its stockpile of the weapons on the Korean Peninsula.
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:08:20 -0400
Red Cross says U.S. coalition must uphold rules of war in Syria strikes
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States and its allies must comply with the rules of war in carrying out air strikes on Islamist targets in Iraq and Syria, a senior official of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday. The humanitarian agency is the guardian of the Geneva Conventions that lay down the rules of war, primarily aimed at protecting civilians caught up in armed conflicts. ...
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:08:17 -0400
Militants in Syria, target of airstrikes, a threat to peace: U.N.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Airstrikes by the United States and Arab allies on Islamic State militants in Syria were targeting extremists who pose a serious threat to international peace and security, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday. "I'm aware that today's strikes were not carried out at the direct request of the Syrian government but I note that the government was informed beforehand," Ban said at a joint news conference with French President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of a U.N. conference on climate change. ...
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:08:05 -0400
UK Labour leader lays out vision for the future

CORRECTS DATE Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband speaks at the Labour Party Annual Conference in Manchester England Tuesday Sept. 23, 2014. This is the party's final conference before the general election scheduled for next year. (AP Photo/Owen Humphreys/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUTLONDON (AP) — Britain's opposition leader Ed Miliband has laid out his vision for the country's top job ahead of national elections in 2015, offering a 10-year-blueprint for the future.

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:06:39 -0400
Algerian troops search for kidnapped Frenchman

FILE - In this May 8, 2012 file photo shows the snow capped peaks of the Djura Djura mountains in the rugged Berber-speaking Kabylie region of Algeria , 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Algiers. A splinter group from al-Qaida's North African branch kidnapped a French citizen and said Monday Sept.22, 2014 that it would kill him unless France halts it airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq. In a video that appeared on social media, a masked member of a group calling itself Jund al-Khilafah, or Soldiers of the Caliphate, addressed the threat to French President Francois Hollande and said the hostage would be killed unless the airstrikes were halted within 24 hours. (AP Photo/Paul Schemm, File)ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algerian police and soldiers combed the imposing Djura Djura mountains on Tuesday searching for a kidnapped Frenchman that a security official said had been snatched by a former al-Qaida commander.

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:03:40 -0400
Top Asian News at 4:00 p.m. GMT
BEIJING (AP) — A life sentence given to a moderate Chinese scholar on Tuesday shows the ruling Communist Party is cutting off dialogue on ethnic tensions and could backfire by radicalizing minorities, scholars and analysts said. A court found economics professor Ilham Tohti, an ethnic Uighur Muslim, guilty of separatism and sentenced him to life in prison. It was the most severe penalty in a decade for illegal political speech in China and eclipsed the 11-year jail sentence given Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo on subversion charges.
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:03:02 -0400
Chad considering anti-gay legislation, says group
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Amnesty International says a draft anti-gay bill in Chad represents a backward step for human rights in the country.
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:00:58 -0400
Yemen leader warns of civil war, rebels cry 'victory'

A Yemeni Shiite Huthi anti-government rebel holds a position at an army base which they captured without resistance just hours before the signing a UN-brokered peace agreement in Sanaa on September 22, 2014Sanaa (AFP) - President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi warned Tuesday of "civil war" in Sunni-majority Yemen and vowed to restore state authority as Shiite rebels in apparent near-total control of Sanaa hailed their "victory".

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:00:50 -0400
US clampdown on tax maneuver leaves its mark
NEW YORK (AP) — A handful of companies pursuing overseas deals that could lower their tax rates are under pressure after the U.S. unveiled rules that would make those deals less lucrative.
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:00:34 -0400
Khorasan group was planning 'major' attack: Pentagon

An F/A-18C Hornet coming from Iraq lands on the flight deck of the US navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Gulf on August 15, 2014Washington (AFP) - A US-led military operation against jihadists in Syria struck Al-Qaeda's Khorasan group because it was on the verge of executing "major attacks" against the West, a senior US officer said Tuesday.

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:59:26 -0400
Three killed, including shooter, at UPS facility in Alabama
(Reuters) - Three people were killed, including the gunman, in a shooting on Tuesday at a United Parcel Service Inc facility in Alabama, police said. The shooting occurred at a company facility in the Inglenook neighborhood of Birmingham, said Birmingham Police Captain Jerry Wiley. (Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky, Colleen Jenkins and Letitia Stein)
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:58:54 -0400
UN to leaders: Set 'new course' on climate change
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Challenged by the United Nations chief to set a new course for a warming globe and reverse the rise of heat-trapping gases, world leader after world leader Tuesday made promises of billions of dollars and better care of planet Earth.
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:57:29 -0400
Iran says nuclear suspicions are 'fabricated ambiguities'

The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA flies in front of its headquarters during a board of governors meeting in ViennaBy Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran dismissed on Tuesday as "fabricated ambiguities" suspicions that it has carried out nuclear arms research, a day after it came under renewed Western pressure to help clear up U.N. watchdog concerns about its atomic energy program. Addressing an annual meeting of the 162-nation International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), senior official Behrouz Kamalvandi also said Iran was committed to trying to reach a negotiated solution to its decade-old nuclear dispute with the West. ...

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:57:27 -0400
US warns Ebola could infect 1.4 million by 2015
Washington (AFP) - The number of Ebola infections in Liberia and Sierra Leone could skyrocket to 1.4 million by January 2015, according to a worst-case scenario released by US health authorities Tuesday.
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:56:40 -0400
Countries, companies pledge to end deforestation

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2013, file photo, Brazil's Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira speaks at a news conference on deforestation in the Amazon in Brasilia, Brazil. Despite its critical role in protecting the Amazon rainforest, Brazil will not endorse a global anti-deforestation initiative being announced at the U.N. climate summit, complaining it was left out of the consultation process. A U.N. official disputed that claim. Teixeira said Brazil was "not invited to be engaged in the preparation process" of the declaration. Instead, she said Brazil was given a copy of the text and asked to endorse it without being allowed to suggest any changes. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)NEW YORK (AP) — More than 30 countries set the first-ever deadline on Tuesday to end deforestation by 2030, but the feasibility of such a goal was eroded when a key player, Brazil, said it would not join.

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:52:34 -0400
Pentagon says Khorasan group was nearing attack
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a separate action from the air strikes against the Islamic State group, the U.S. bombed a cell of al-Qaida militants in northwestern Syria after concluding they were close to attacking the U.S. or Europe, Pentagon officials say.
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:51:26 -0400
Salmond warns of 'delay and confusion' on Scotland autonomy

First Minister Alex Salmond, pictured in Edinburgh on September 19, 2014, says it is "essential" that Westminster delivers on its promisesLondon (AFP) - Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond warned on Tuesday that promised new powers for Scotland that may have tipped its referendum on independence were threatened by "delay and confusion" in London.

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:51:06 -0400
French jihadis linked to 2012 Toulouse gunman arrested after return from Syria
By John Irish PARIS (Reuters) - Three Frenchmen, including the brother-in-law of a Toulouse-based al Qaeda-inspired gunman who killed seven people in 2012, were arrested on Tuesday at a Paris airport suspected of having joined Islamic militants in Syria, a French official said. Around 150 militants who fought with rebel groups in Syria and Iraq have returned to France, requiring "massive" resources for surveillance and other security measures to prevent attacks. Thousands of Western volunteers have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join Islamist fighters, notably Islamic State. ...
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:49:29 -0400
South Africa makes nuclear deal with Russia
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa has signed a deal with Russia to get up to eight nuclear reactors built with Russian technology.
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:48:38 -0400
Egyptian-mediated Gaza talks to resume in late October
By Lin Noueihed CAIRO (Reuters) - Israel and the Palestinians agreed on Tuesday to resume talks late next month on cementing a Gaza ceasefire, allowing time for Palestinian factions to resolve internal differences which could threaten the Egyptian-mediated negotiations. Tuesday's meetings began in Cairo around noon under the leadership of Egyptian intelligence, having been delayed for almost three hours while Palestinian factions discussed whether to withdraw in protest over Israel's killing of two Hamas members in Hebron hours before the talks were set to begin. ...
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:46:42 -0400
World trade body cuts forecasts
BERLIN (AP) — The World Trade Organization has sharply reduced its forecast for global trade growth this year, pointing to uneven economic growth in countries including China and the U.S.
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:45:20 -0400
Obama scores coalition victory with Arab strikes

President Barack Obama walks from the podium to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, after speaking about the participation of five Arab nations in airstrikes against militants in Syria, on the South Lawn the White House, in Washington, before heading to the United Nations. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)NEW YORK (AP) — For President Barack Obama, the participation of five Arab nations in airstrikes against militants in Syria marked an unexpected foreign policy victory as he plunges the U.S. deeper into a military conflict in the Middle East that he has reluctantly embraced.

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:44:24 -0400
Rare Warhol paintings headed to NYC auction
NEW YORK (AP) — Elvis Presley. Marlon Brando. Andy Warhol. The A-list trifecta of music, film and art is going on the auction block at Christie's in November.
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:44:16 -0400
Assad backs efforts to fight terrorism
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad said Tuesday he supports any international effort against terrorism, apparently trying to position his government on the side of the U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State group. Damascus said the U.S. informed it beforehand that the strikes were coming.
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:44:03 -0400
Somalia pirates release US-German hostage

At their peak in January 2011, Somali pirates held more than 700 hostagesMogadishu (AFP) - Somali pirates on Tuesday freed a German-American journalist and writer, Michael Scott Moore, two and a half years after he was kidnapped in the war-torn country, officials said.

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:42:18 -0400
US: Strikes on Islamic militants to continue
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Defense Department says airstrikes in Syria and Iraq are the beginning of a "credible and sustainable, persistent" campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy the Islamic State militant group.
Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:39:22 -0400
DJ Travis convicted of indecent assault

Former radio and TV presenter Dave Lee Travis leaves Southwark Crown Court in central London on September 23, 2014London (AFP) - Veteran British DJ Dave Lee Travis was on Tuesday found guilty of indecent assault following a retrial on charges brought by women dating back to the 1990s.

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:39:09 -0400
Britain's opposition Labour leader pitches to be next PM in 'crunch speech'

The leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, Ed Miliband, speaks at the party's annual conference in ManchesterMANCHESTER England (Reuters) - Opposition Labour party leader Ed Miliband cast himself as Britain's prime minister-in-waiting eight months before an election, pledging to wring money from wealthy home owners, hedge funds and tobacco firms to fund better health care. Tuesday's speech, the last he will deliver before a national election in May next year, shifted his party further to the left and away from the center ground, where one of his predecessors, former prime minister Tony Blair, anchored it. ...

Date Posted : Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:39:06 -0400
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