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Nation & World


Trump expands anti-abortion ban to all US global health aid

President Donald Trump has massively expanded the ban on providing federal money to international groups that perform abortions, or provide abortion information, to all organizations receiving U.S. global health assistance. Trump's memorandum reinstituting the policy directs top U.S. officials for the first time to extend the anti-abortion requirements "to global health assistance furnished by...
Key points in the Syria statement issued in Astana

Key points in the Syria statement issued in Astana

Russia, Turkey and Iran, who sponsored the first face-to-face meeting between Syria's armed opposition and Syrian government in Kazakhstan this week, issued a joint statement at the conclusion of the talks Tuesday announcing their intention to establish a trilateral mechanism to ensure full compliance with a cease-fire for Syria in place since Dec. 30. Here are key points in the agreement: CEASE-FIRE...

South Sudan ambassador dismisses rift with Ethiopia

South Sudan's ambassador to Ethiopia is dismissing reports that relations are strained between the two countries after President Salva Kiir visited Egypt and met with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo earlier this month. South Sudan's Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, James Pitia Morgan, made the remarks after some Ethiopian and South Sudanese media outlets reported that South Sudan...

France's presidential hopeful Macron pushes for Syria talks

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron says his country needs a more "balanced" policy toward Syria. During a visit to Lebanon on Tuesday, the 49-year-old centrist said he wants France to talk to "all parties," including the regime of President Bachar Assad. Macron met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Beirut. He says a political solution...
Germany: Social Democrats leader won't run for chancellor

Germany: Social Democrats leader won't run for chancellor

The leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party said Tuesday he won't stand as the party's candidate for chancellor in this fall's national election, shaking up the political landscape on the same day the country's president confirmed the election will be held Sept. 24. SPD head Sigmar Gabriel told Der Stern magazine that he believed his party would have better chances if someone else stood as its...
With Trump's swearing-in, Israel pushes ahead on settlements

With Trump's swearing-in, Israel pushes ahead on settlements

Israel announced plans Tuesday to build 2,500 more settler homes on the West Bank, moving to step up construction just days after the swearing-in of Donald Trump brought to power a U.S. administration seen as friendly to the settlement movement. "We are building — and we will continue to build," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote in a Facebook post. White House spokesman...
The Latest: Settler leader welcomes new West Bank homes

The Latest: Settler leader welcomes new West Bank homes

The Latest on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after Israel announced the construction of 2,500 new settler homes in the West Bank (all times local): 6 p.m. A leader of the West Bank settlement movement has welcomed Israel's approval of 2,500 West Bank housing units. Oded Revivi, the chief foreign envoy of the Yesha Council, said in a statement Tuesday he hoped the announcement "is just the...

EDF approves closure of France's oldest nuclear plant

French utility giant EDF has approved plans to shut down the country's oldest nuclear plant after pressure from neighboring Germany and environmental activists. The board of state-run Electricite de France voted Tuesday to start the process of closing the two reactors at the 39-year-old Fessenheim plant, near the German border. Unions oppose the move. According to an EDF statement, the board approved...
All 6 dead in helicopter crash in central Italy

All 6 dead in helicopter crash in central Italy

A helicopter ferrying an injured skier off the slopes slammed into a mountainside in central Italy Tuesday, killing all six people aboard in a new tragedy to hit a region already hobbled by a series of earthquakes, paralyzing snowfall and a deadly avalanche. Some of the dead had recently been helping out with the recovery effort from the nearby Jan. 18 avalanche, colleagues said. The helicopter smashed...
EU to Trump: Trade barriers, building walls 'doomed to fail'

EU to Trump: Trade barriers, building walls 'doomed to fail'

The European Union on Tuesday told President Donald Trump that his "America First" and protectionist trade policies are "doomed to fail" and said the kind of trade deals like the one he scuttled with the Asian Pacific countries "are a handy scapegoat." Instead of protectionism, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said the EU — the world's biggest trading bloc...
What Trump's trade and geopolitical moves mean for China

What Trump's trade and geopolitical moves mean for China

With his rejection of an Asian trade pact, U.S. President Donald Trump has tackled the first in a promised series of far-reaching policy changes that could inadvertently give China room to assert itself as a regional leader and worsen strains over the South China Sea and Taiwan. The U.S. departure from the Trans-Pacific Partnership could help President Xi Jinping's effort to cast Beijing as a champion...
Syrian aid conference appeals for $8 billion in aid

Syrian aid conference appeals for $8 billion in aid

As talks between Syrian factions and the government concluded in Kazakhstan, U.N. agencies and non-governmental groups at an aid conference in Finland appealed Tuesday for more than $8 billion in funding to help millions of displaced people inside Syria and those who have fled the conflict to neighboring countries. The U.N. refugee agency is seeking $4.63 billion in new funding to help at least 4...

Germany arrests 2 brothers suspected of extremism

German authorities have arrested two German-Moroccan brothers suspected of being members of the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front extremist groups. Federal prosecutors said the two men, who were only identified as 25-year-old Rachid B. and 24-year-old Khalid B. in line with German privacy laws, were arrested Tuesday near the western city of Bonn. Prosecutors alleged both men traveled to Syria in 2013...
With Trump's swearing-in, Israel pushes ahead on settlements

With Trump's swearing-in, Israel pushes ahead on settlements

Israel announced plans Tuesday to build 2,500 more settler homes on the West Bank, moving to step up construction just days after the swearing-in of Donald Trump brought to power a U.S. administration seen as friendly to the settlement movement. "We are building — and we will continue to build," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote in a Facebook post. White House spokesman...
Egypt's el-Sissi says he is alarmed by high divorce rates

Egypt's el-Sissi says he is alarmed by high divorce rates

Egypt's president said Tuesday he was alarmed by his country's high divorce rate, suggesting a ground-breaking legislation to delegalize divorces verbally declared by Muslim men to their spouses, the latest foray by the general-turned-president into thorny social and cultural issues in the most populous Arab nation. In a televised address during a ceremony marking Police Day, President Abdel-Fatteh...
The Latest: Italy helicopter crash kills all 6 aboard

The Latest: Italy helicopter crash kills all 6 aboard

The Latest on rescue efforts at Italian hotel struck by an avalanche (all times local): 3: 10 a.m. Officials say a helicopter ferrying an injured skier off the slopes crashed into a central Italian mountainside and killed all six people aboard, in the latest tragedy to hit a region slammed by recent earthquakes, heavy snowfall and an avalanche. Television footage and photographs from the scene showed...

Police in Sweden probe rape reportedly aired on Facebook

Three men have been arrested in Sweden on suspicion of participating in a group rape that was streamed live on a closed Facebook group, Swedish authorities said Tuesday. Police spokeswoman Lisa Sannervik said the investigation into "a serious sexual offense" was in a preliminary phase and she could not provide further details. No charges have been pressed. Sannervik said a teenager and two...
French internet censorship rose sharply in 2016

French internet censorship rose sharply in 2016

French authorities ordered the blockage or removal of more than 2,700 websites in 2016, Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux said Tuesday, a spike in censorship that some critics in the tech industry fear will do little to snuff out extremist content online. Le Roux told a cybersecurity conference in the northern French city of Lille that his government has requested blocks for 834 websites and that 1...
The Latest: UK to introduce Brexit legislation 'within days'

The Latest: UK to introduce Brexit legislation 'within days'

The Latest on the British Supreme Court ruling on Brexit (all times local): 12:50 p.m. Britain's Brexit secretary says Prime Minister Theresa May's government will introduce a bill to Parliament within days after losing a Supreme Court case Tuesday on whether lawmakers need to have a say on Britain's exit from the European Union. David Davis responded to the Supreme Court ruling in a statement before...

Saudi Arabia warns destructive computer virus has returned

Saudi Arabia is warning that a computer virus that destroyed systems of its state-run oil company in 2012 has returned to the kingdom, with at least one major petrochemical company apparently affected by its spread. Suspicion for the initial dispersal of the Shamoon virus in 2012 fell on Iran as it came after the Stuxnet cyberattack targeting Tehran's contested nuclear enrichment program. It wasn't...

Saudi Arabia warns destructive computer virus has returned

Saudi Arabia is warning that a computer virus that destroyed systems of its state-run oil company in 2012 has returned to the kingdom, with at least one major petrochemical company apparently affected by its spread. Suspicion for the initial dispersal of the Shamoon virus in 2012 fell on Iran as it came after the Stuxnet cyberattack targeting Tehran's contested nuclear enrichment program. It wasn't...
The Latest: US welcomes attempt to reduce violence in Syria

The Latest: US welcomes attempt to reduce violence in Syria

The latest developments on Syria following two-day talks in Kazakhstan between the Damascus government and rebel factions (all times local): 8 p.m. The U.S. says it has seen the announcement from Russia, Turkey and Iran on their intent to establish a mechanism to enforce a cease-fire in Syria and welcomes actions that de-escalate violence in the country. U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner...
Polanski abandons plan to preside over French Oscars

Polanski abandons plan to preside over French Oscars

Filmmaker Roman Polanski has abandoned plans to preside over the French equivalent of the Oscars, after protests from France's women's rights minister and feminist groups prompted by decades-old U.S. sex charges against him. It's a surprising setback for the 83-year-old director, a Holocaust survivor who is widely respected in France and whose film career has continued to flourish since he settled...
Iraqi PM: Eastern Mosul 'fully liberated' from Islamic State

Iraqi PM: Eastern Mosul 'fully liberated' from Islamic State

Iraq's prime minister on Tuesday declared eastern Mosul "fully liberated" from Islamic State group militants after a day of fierce fighting and more than three months after a massive U.S.-backed operation to retake the city began. Iraqi forces drove Islamic State militants from one of their last bastions in the eastern half of the city, while aid groups expressed concern for the estimated...
NATO, Pentagon chiefs discuss military budgets, terrorism

NATO, Pentagon chiefs discuss military budgets, terrorism

NATO's chief and new U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis have discussed military spending and combating terrorism, the source of criticism of the alliance by President Donald Trump. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's office said Tuesday that the two men "agreed on the fundamental and enduring value of NATO for the security of both Europe and North America." In a phone call, they looked...
UK government loses Brexit case, must consult Parliament

UK government loses Brexit case, must consult Parliament

Britain's government warned lawmakers not to try to "thwart the will of the people" after the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Prime Minister Theresa May must seek the approval of Parliament before starting the formal process of leaving the European Union. The 8-3 decision forces the government to put a bill before Parliament, giving members of the House of Commons and the unelected House...
Push to save Pacific Rim trade deal after US exits TPP pact

Push to save Pacific Rim trade deal after US exits TPP pact

U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as promised, is prompting other member countries to seek ways to salvage the trade pact. Leaders of some of the 11 other nations involved in the initiative said they hope to push ahead with the agreement in some form, with or without the U.S. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Tuesday he had discussed...
Toll from Italy avalanche climbs to 17 as hopes diminish

Toll from Italy avalanche climbs to 17 as hopes diminish

Hopes faded Tuesday that any more survivors of the devastating avalanche that buried an Italian resort hotel would be found after the death toll more than doubled to 17, with 12 people still unaccounted for. As Italy's central Abruzzo region and its rescue crews coped with the ongoing emergency, a second tragedy unfolded nearby when an emergency helicopter crashed at an Apennine ski resort, killing...
Toll from Italy avalanche climbs to 16 as hopes diminish

Toll from Italy avalanche climbs to 16 as hopes diminish

Hopes faded Tuesday that any more survivors of the devastating avalanche that buried an Italy hotel would be found after the death toll more than doubled to 16. Meanwhile, Italy's central Abruzzo region and its rescue crews were faced their second tragedy in a week when a helicopter crashed at a nearby ski resort, killing six people. The twin disasters, which followed a series of earthquakes and weeks...

Wealthy Romanian businessman jailed for bribing judges dies

Dan Adamescu, one of Romania's richest and controversial businessmen serving a prison sentence for bribery, has died. He was 68. Daughter-in-law Adriana Constantinescu told Romania TV that Adamescu died Tuesday in a private hospital where he had been transferred from prison for treatment for an infection. In May, Adamescu was sentenced to four years and four months in prison for instructing his lawyer...

Romanian businessman jailed for bribing judges dies

Dan Adamescu, one of Romania's richest businessmen who was serving a prison sentence for bribery, has died. He was 68. Daughter-in-law Adriana Constantinescu told Romania TV that Adamescu died early Tuesday in a private hospital where he had been transferred from prison for treatment for an infection. The paper he owned, Romania Libera, said he had been in an induced coma since December 2016 and was...
Syria powerbrokers endorse cease-fire deal at talks

Syria powerbrokers endorse cease-fire deal at talks

Russia, Iran and Turkey presented a united front at the conclusion of two days of talks in Kazakhstan between the Syrian government and the armed opposition, pledging support for the country's shaky cease-fire and a joint mechanism to ensure compliance. They did not specify how that would work, and continued differences among the warring sides as well as rebel infighting back home threatened to quickly...
Kyrgyz court confirms life sentence for journalist

Kyrgyz court confirms life sentence for journalist

A court in Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday upheld a life sentence for an ethnic Uzbek journalist in a case that has drawn international criticism. Azimzhan Askarov was convicted in 2010 for stirring up ethnic hatred, a charge related to ethnic unrest in the south of Kyrgyzstan in 2010 when more than 450 people, mostly ethnic Uzbeks, were killed and tens or even hundreds of thousands were displaced. The majority...
Trump moves to pull US out of big Asia trade deal

Trump moves to pull US out of big Asia trade deal

Charting a new American course abroad, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership on Monday, using one of his first actions in office to reject a centerpiece of Barack Obama's attempts to counter China and deepen U.S. ties in Asia. Trump's move on trade aimed to fulfill a central campaign promise even as he appeared to be fixated on re-litigating...
Push to save Pacific Rim trade deal after US exits TPP pact

Push to save Pacific Rim trade deal after US exits TPP pact

Several countries expressed hope Tuesday that the Trans-Pacific Partnership could be salvaged, after President Donald Trump's decision on a U.S. withdrawal from the trade pact left its future in serious jeopardy. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull acknowledged Trump's move was a massive blow to the 12-nation agreement, but suggested other countries, such as China, may help fill the void left...
China's birthrate rises after one-child policy loosened

China's birthrate rises after one-child policy loosened

The number of births in China has risen nearly 8 percent in the year after the government loosened its unpopular one-child policy. China's National Health and Family Planning Commission said this week that 17.86 million children were born last year, an increase of 1.31 million from 2015. Nearly half of the children born were to couples who already had a child, the commission said. China enacted its...
Trump in Asia: Region poised for change as new era dawns

Trump in Asia: Region poised for change as new era dawns

People across Asia are poised for a potentially dramatic change in relations with Washington under President Donald Trump after decades with the United States as a major military and economic presence. The clues Trump has given about his foreign policy are a break with former President Barack Obama's "pivot to Asia," which re-emphasized American engagement in the region. In one of his first...
Trump in Asia: Region poised for change as new era dawns

Trump in Asia: Region poised for change as new era dawns

People across Asia are poised for a potentially dramatic change in relations with Washington under President Donald Trump after decades with the United States as a major military and economic presence. The clues Trump has given about his foreign policy are a break with former President Barack Obama's "pivot to Asia," which re-emphasized American engagement in the region. In one of his first...
White House opens door to cooperation with Russian in Syria

White House opens door to cooperation with Russian in Syria

The Trump administration on Monday opened the door to cooperating with Russia "or anyone else" to combat the Islamic State group in Syria, suggesting it could reverse a previous refusal to coordinate military action with Moscow as long as it backs the Syrian government. "I think if there's a way that we can combat ISIS with any country, whether it's Russia or anyone else, and we have...

Sinn Fein chooses new leader O'Neill for Northern Ireland

Michelle O'Neill has been named as the new leader of the Sinn Fein party in Northern Ireland. The party said Monday she will replace Martin McGuinness, who resigned in early January due to ill health. O'Neill has been serving as health minister for Sinn Fein. She will now assume the role of party leader. The 40-year-old from County Tyrone called her new post "a huge honor." She will be the...

Greek island mayors say refugee overcrowding too high

The mayors of five eastern Greek islands used to limit the movement of refugees and migrants have called on the European Union to ease the restrictions amid continued problems created by winter weather and overcrowding. The mayors of Lesbos, Chios, Leros, Samos and Kos met in Athens Monday with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to make the request in person to move migrants to mainland Greece. Under a...
Austrian official: suspect potentially dangerous radical

Austrian official: suspect potentially dangerous radical

Austrian police urged Vienna residents Monday to be on heightened alert for suspicious objects and activities as they hunted for possible associates of a suspected Islamic radical who they say might have been planning a bomb attack. A 12-year-old boy was among those questioned. Briefing reporters along with other senior law enforcement representatives, Konrad Kogler, Austria's top security official...
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