World News

Russia said to send more warplanes to Syria, diplomacy 'on life support'

By Dmitry Solovyov and Ellen Francis MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Russia is sending more warplanes to Syria to ramp up its air campaign, a Russian newspaper reported on Friday, as the United States said diplomacy to halt the violence was "on life support" but not dead yet. Fighting continued to intensify a week into a new Russian-backed Syrian government offensive to capture rebel-held eastern Aleppo and crush the last urban stronghold of a revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that began in 2011. Moscow and Assad spurned a U.S.-Russian brokered ceasefire agreed to this month and launched attacks on rebel-held areas in Aleppo in potentially the most decisive battle in the Syrian civil war.

Philippines' Duterte likens himself to Hitler, wants to kill millions of drug users

By Karen Lema and Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte appeared to liken himself to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler on Friday and said he would "be happy" to exterminate 3 million drug users and peddlers in the country. Although the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama played down the remark, Duterte's comments triggered shock and anger among Jewish groups in the United States, which could create pressure on the U.S. government to take a tougher line with the Philippines leader. U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner on Friday said Duterte's comments, in a rambling speech on his arrival in Davao City after a visit to Vietnam, were "a significant departure" from America's partnership with the Philippines "and we find them troubling." Duterte told reporters that he had been "portrayed to be a cousin of Hitler" by critics.

British PM May says Scotland will have no veto over Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May said she will listen to Scotland's concerns over Britain's exit from the European Union but that the devolved Scottish government will not have a veto over the Brexit negotiations. Scotland wants to have more detail about how the British government plans to leave the EU to prevent a "hard Brexit" that would severely damage the economy, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday. After Britain's vote to leave the EU, Sturgeon said Scotland may seek another independence referendum - something that could split the world's fifth largest economy apart just as it attempts to go it alone outside the European bloc.

Regional SAARC summit postponed amid rising Pakistani-Indian tensions

By Mehreen Zahra-Malik ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) leaders set for Islamabad in November has been postponed indefinitely, the Pakistani government said on Friday, amid rising tension between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. India's foreign ministry had announced on Tuesday that it would skip the meeting, blaming Pakistan for a deadly assault this month on an army base in the disputed Himalayan state of Kashmir. Pakistan denies the accusations.

In ex-Soviet Georgia, pope issues veiled criticism of Russia

By Philip Pullella and Margarita Antidze TBILISI (Reuters) - Pope Francis called for respect for international law and the sovereign rights of nations as he arrived in Georgia on Friday, an implicit criticism of Russia, which keeps troops in two breakaway areas of the ex-Soviet state. Russia, which fought a short war with Georgia in 2008, is one of the few countries that recognize the contested areas of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. Speaking at the welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace, Francis, in a clear reference to the Georgian situation, said relations between states in the region "can never lay aside respect for the sovereign rights of every country within the framework of international law".

Israeli troops kill Palestinian who stabbed guard at West Bank checkpoint

A Palestinian who stabbed and wounded an Israeli security guard at a main military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank that separates Ramallah and Jerusalem, was shot and killed on Friday, police said. The incident occurred hours after world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, attended the funeral of Israeli statesman Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, where Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was also greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Russia risks 'pariah' status: Foreign Secretary Johnson

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Russia was in danger of becoming a pariah nation, as he hit out at alleged "double tap" bombing raids in Syria, hitting aid workers. "They drop one bomb and then they wait for the aid workers to come out, civilian people pulling the injured from the rubble, and then five minutes later they drop another bomb," he told The Sun newspaper. "The world's attitude towards Russia has been hardening and I think people now believe that Russia is in danger of becoming a pariah nation.

David Villa surpasses 20-goal mark, NYCFC beats Houston 2-0

HOUSTON (AP) ? David Villa scored his 20th and 21st goals of the season and New York City FC beat the Houston Dynamo 2-0 on Friday to take the Eastern Conference lead.

Hong Kong leader calls for unity with China as protesters gather

Hong Kong's leader called on the city to unite behind its current political system Saturday in the face of increasing calls for independence from China, as protesters were bundled from the auditorium where he was speaking. Leung Chun-ying was giving an annual address as part of National Day celebrations which mark the founding of the People's Republic of China by Mao Zedong in 1949, after communist forces won a civil war on the mainland. Hong Kong is governed under a semi-autonomous "one country, two systems" arrangement -- a deal made when the city was handed back to China by Britain in 1997.

Top Asian News 2:21 a.m. GMT

ISLAMABAD (AP) ? One of Pakistan's most vicious militant groups has dramatically stepped up its attacks over the past month, striking mosques, Christians and security forces in attacks that have killed more than 60 people in what appears to be a backlash to military operations against it. Ever since it broke away from the Pakistani Taliban in 2014, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar or the Freedom Movement had been carrying out sporadic attacks, often weeks or months apart. But since the beginning of September, it has struck 10 times, including a horrific bombing of a mosque earlier this month that killed 36 people, many of them children.

WTA boss mulling radical format shake-up

Women's tennis boss Steve Simon said he's considering introducing super tie-breakers and no-ad scoring for singles matches in a radical move to shorten them and make them more TV-friendly. The much-criticised season schedule is also in the crosshairs with plans to split the calendar into "premium" events and "pathway" tournaments and reduce the load on players, Simon told AFP. "To think that we don't need to adjust our format so we can play matches that are 60 to 90 minutes in length as opposed to three hours, I think is very short-sighted," he said in an interview at the Wuhan Open in China.

11 dead, 19 still missing in China after typhoon landslides

BEIJING (AP) ? Eleven people have been confirmed dead in two landslides that followed the major typhoon that hit southeastern China several days ago.

Gunmen ambush Mexican military convoy, kill 5 soldiers

Culiacan (Mexico) (AFP) - The sons of imprisoned drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman were probably behind a grenade attack on a military convoy in northern Mexico, killing five soldiers, authorities said.





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