Saturday, May 16, 2015

Junichrome agencies News in brief (June 2015 - A)

Despite major new setbacks in Iraq, the US military command leading the fight against Islamic State militants insisted Friday that its strategy is working and that the militants' takeover of a key oil refinery and a government compound are fleeting gains feeding an IS propaganda machine................US plays down IS militants' gains in Iraq


  1. NSA surveillance powers to lapse as Senate fails to reach deal...

    The National Security Agency is losing its authority to collect Americans' phone records in bulk, after Republican Senator Rand Paul stood in the way of extending the fiercely contested programme in an extraordinary Sunday session in the Senate.

    But that program and several other post-Sept. 11, 2001 counter-terror measures look likely to be revived in a matter of days. With no other options, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reluctantly embraced a House of Representatives-passed bill that would extend the provisions that expire Sunday at midnight, while remaking the bulk phone collections program.

    Although the lapse in the programs may be brief, intelligence officials warned that it could jeopardize Americans’ safety. But civil liberties groups applauded as Paul, who is running for president, forced the expiration of the once-secret program made public by NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Critics have called the program an unconstitutional intrusion into Americans’ privacy.

    The Senate voted 77-17 to move ahead on the House-passed bill, the USA Freedom Act, which would require the government to search records maintained by phone companies.

    The White House backs the House bill. “The Senate took an important — if late — step forward tonight. We call on the Senate to ensure this irresponsible lapse in authorities is as short-lived as possible,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.

    But the Senate adjourned without final action on the bill after Paul said he would assert his prerogative under Senate rules to delay a final vote for several days.

    “This is what we fought the revolution over, are we going to so blithely give up our freedom?” Paul said. Fellow Republicans exited the chamber en masse when he stood up to speak.

    Sen. John McCain complained to reporters that Paul places “a higher priority on his fundraising and his ambitions than on the security of the nation.”............

  2. Saakashvili said he has no ambitions for premiership in Ukraine...

    Georgia’s former President Mikhail Saakashvili, who has recently been appointed governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, said on Sunday he did not plan his new position as a stepping stone to the Ukrainian prime minister’s office.

    "Stuff and nonsense! I have no political ambitions in Ukraine," he told the 112 television channel. He said he wanted to return to Georgia to take part in political processes in his homeland after the "Odessa project."

    "When I am successfully through with this project in Odessa… When it is over, well, it cannot be over… When we develop it I will be glad to return home to Georgia to continue my Georgian activities," he said.

    Saakashvili said his deprivation of the Georgian citizenship would not keep him from returning to his homeland.

    "Even if Georgia’s current president takes a decision to deprive me of Georgian citizenship, it will not be an obstacle for my future return to my homeland, for by the moment of my return to Georgia the nation itself will take a decision to revoke my deprivation of citizenship and to abandon criminal cases against me," he said in an interview with the Tbilisi-based Imedi television company. He did not say when he would return to Georgia but noted "it will happen much earlier than some might think."

    In late 2014, while in Kiev Saakashvili said he would return to Georgia in 2015.

    On May 30, Ukraine’s President Pyotr Poroshenko appointed the former Georgian president governor of the Odessa region and granted him Ukrainian citizenship......TASS

  3. Ukraine conflict taking heavy toll on economy says IMF...

    Ukraine's economy is likely to shrink by a worse-than-expected 9% in 2015, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to the country has concluded.

    The continuing conflict in the east of the country "took a heavier-than-expected toll on the economy in the first quarter of 2015", IMF mission chief Nikolay Gueorguiev said.

    Ukraine's inflation rate will hit 46% by the end of the year, he said.

    But Ukraine's commitment to economic reform "remains strong", the IMF added.

    Cash-strapped Ukraine has agreed a $17.5bn (£11.5bn) bailout programme with the IMF, and is hoping that the latest $2.5bn tranche of credit will be made soon.

    But the IMF will only release the money if it is satisfied the government is serious about reforming its beleaguered economy, which has been crippled by high energy costs, endemic corruption, and the conflict with pro-Russia separatists in the east of the country.........BBC

  4. Egypt has started on Sunday to demolish headquarters of the country's former ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) in central Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square where mass protests ended ex-President Hosni Mubarak's almost 30-year rule more than four years ago...

    The government announced that the undertaking to raze the 15-storey building, set ablaze by protestors during the 2011 anti-government demonstrations, has begun.

    The Egyptian cabinet made the decision to take dismantle the deserted structure in April, without detailing how it is going to use the land once the demolition is completed.

    Many in the country consider the burned building a symbol of the social unheaval that first started in Tunisia, and then spread across the Middle East, resulting in a series of downfall of governments in the region.

    Inside the Egyptian government, officials have also differed over what to do with the edifice.

    Mubarak, who headed the NDP, held meetings with party members and issued statements from this headquarter, has recently been acquitted of charges of corruption and cleared of responsibility for the killing of protesters during the 2011 revolution.

    The NDP was dissolved by court order in April 2011 and its assets were seized by the state.

  5. Netanyahu demands Palestinians stop anti-Israel ‘campaign’, return to negotiations ‘without preconditions’...

    Facing diplomatic pressure over his anti-Palestinian state rhetoric, Israel’s PM made a surprise commitment to a two-state solution, demanding that Palestinians stop their “campaign to delegitimise Israel” and start negotiations “without preconditions.”

    “I remain committed to the idea that the only way we can achieve a lasting peace is through the concept of two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish nation state of Israel,” Netanyahu said after talks with visiting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.............

  6. Solar Impulse plane to make unscheduled landing in Japan because of bad weather...

    A solar plane attempting to fly around the world without a drop of fuel plans to make an unscheduled stop Monday night in Nagoya, Japan, because of bad weather.

    Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg took off from Nanjing, China, on Sunday on what was to be the longest leg of the journey, a five-day, 8,175-kilometre (5,079-mile) flight to Hawaii.

    Instead, the Solar Impulse 2 will land in Nagoya in central Japan, according to the website and Twitter feed for the

  7. France, Germany raise concerns over EU migrant redistribution plan...

    France and Germany raised concerns on Monday over a European Commission plan to redistribute migrants reaching Italy and Greece, saying it must take better account of efforts they have already taken to receive asylum-seekers.

    The European Commission proposed last week to share out 40,000 Syrian and Eritrean migrants reaching Italy and Greece to other European Union member countries, with Germany and France in line to take nearly 40 percent of the migrants between them.

    The interior ministers of France and Germany said in a joint statement they were ready to study the Commission's proposal, based on a fair distribution of migrants.

    "This temporary relocalization mechanism must be founded on two principles of equal importance: responsibility and solidarity. We believe that the balance between these two principles has not yet been reached in the proposal presented by the Commission," they said........REUTERS

  8. EU-Kommissar Oettinger: "Athen bezahlt seit Wochen keine Rechnungen mehr"...

    Die Kasse der griechischen Regierung ist nach Einschätzung von EU-Kommissar Oettinger fast leer – Lieferanten und Handwerker würden nicht mehr bezahlt. Für Zugeständnisse stellt er aber

  9. Irak: attentat suicide contre une base de la police, 37 morts...

    (Belga) Au moins 37 personnes ont été tuées lundi dans un attentat suicide mené à l'aide d'un véhicule blindé piégé contre une base de la police au nord-ouest de Bagdad, ont rapporté des sources policières et médicales.

    Selon des officiers, l'attaque a visé une base de la police située entre Samarra et le lac Tharthar, au nord-ouest de la capitale irakienne. Un médecin a fait état d'au moins 37 corps, en majorité des membres des forces de sécurité, transportés à l'hôpital de Samarra. (Belga)

  10. An Iranian airline that acquired nine passenger jets in defiance of US sanctions will begin using them on international routes this week, the Fars news agency reported on Monday...

    Mahan Air, which is blacklisted by Washington, acquired eight second-hand Airbus A340s and one Airbus A321 in early May. The US Treasury imposed sanctions on two firms based in Iraq and the United Arab Emirates on suspicion of helping the purchase.

    The A340s will start flying from Tehran to Dubai and Istanbul within two days, and will later be used for long-haul journeys, Fars reported.

    Tehran-based Mahan Air could not be reached for comment.

    The US Treasury department last month said Mahan Air had a "blockable interest" in the planes, meaning they could be subject to an asset freeze, raising the possibility that US officials may attempt to have them seized at airports outside Iran.

  11. Israeli police remove Jewish protesters at Jerusalem holy site...

    Israeli police say they forcibly removed dozens of Jewish protesters trying to prevent a Christian ritual from taking place at a holy site revered in both religions.

    Police spokeswoman Luba Samri says the skirmish took place Monday at a site revered by Jews as the tomb of the biblical King David and by Christians as the site of Jesus' Last Supper.

    On Sunday, dozens of Jewish protesters also attempted to block Christian prayer there for the holiday of Pentacost.

    A status-quo arrangement permits Christian prayer at the site on specific holidays. The Vatican is lobbying Israel for more access to the site, which fundamentalist Jewish Israelis oppose.

    The Custodia of Terra Santa, a Vatican representative in Jerusalem, said the events were "grave."

  12. China committed to upholding peace, stability in South China Sea ...

    China is committed to upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea, Sun Jianguo, a senior Chinese military official, said Sunday in his keynote speech to the Shangri-La Dialogue, while calling on relevant countries to work together in the same direction.

    Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), said China has always kept in mind the large picture of maritime security in the South China Sea, and at present the situation there is on the whole peaceful and stable.

    Sun said, "In spite of the sufficient historical and legal evidence and its indisputable claims of rights and interests, China has exercised enormous restraint, making positive contributions to peace and stability of the region and the world at large."

    His comments came a day after U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said at the ongoing dialogue that the United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate in the region wherever international law allows, and called for "an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by all claimants" in the South China Sea..............

  13. White House: Iran nuclear talks can continue despite Kerry's injury ...

    The White House is confident it can still pursue Iran nuclear talks despite US Secretary of State John Kerry's injury over the weekend, a spokesman said on Monday.

    Kerry left Europe for the United States earlier on Monday after breaking his leg in a cycling accident on Sunday.

    "We do continue to believe that we have the time and resources necessary to pursue, and hopefully complete, the Iran negotiations," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing. He added that Kerry would continue to play a critical role in the talks, although it was unclear exactly what his capacity to participate would be in the coming weeks. by Reuters

  14. Georgia ex-leader Saakashvili gives up citizenship for Ukraine...

    Georgian ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili says he is giving up Georgian citizenship as he becomes governor of Ukraine's Odessa region.

    Mr Saakashvili told the BBC a Georgian passport meant "guaranteed imprisonment" there as the authorities pursued criminal charges against him.

    The ex-leader was appointed unexpectedly by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Saturday.

    He is credited with radical reforms in Georgia but accused of abuse of power.

    Mr Saakashvili left Georgia after his term as president ended in 2013. He denies the charges against him, which he says are politically motivated......BBC

  15. A small cruise ship carrying more than 450 people sank overnight in the Yangtze River during a storm in southern China, and eight people have been rescued, the state broadcaster CCTV reported Tuesday....

    Rescue work was underway but low visibility due to fog was hampering the search, CCTV said. The boat was travelling from Nanjing upstream to the southwestern city of Chongqing when it sank Monday night in Hubei province, the report said.

    The official Xinhua News Agency quoted the captain and chief engineer, who were both rescued, as saying the ship sank quickly after being caught in a cyclone. The Communist Party-run People's Daily said the ship sank within two minutes.

    CCTV said the four-level ship was carrying 406 Chinese passengers, five travel agency employees and 47 crew members. It sank in the Damazhou waterway section, where the river is 15 metres (about 50 feet)

  16. Some passengers are still alive inside a ship that capsized in China's Yangtze River on Monday night, the microblog of the official People's Daily newspaper said...

    The ship carrying 458 people sank during a storm and only 12 people had been rescued so far, state media reported on Tuesday, in what could be one of China's worst disasters for years.

  17. Gläubiger setzen Athen die Pistole auf die Brust..

    Die Gläubiger Athens sind am späten Montagabend in Berlin zu einem Krisen-Gipfel zusammengekommen. Sie wollen Athen nach "Welt"-Informationen einen allerletzten Kompromissvorschlag

  18. Das griechische Rentensystem gilt als eines der teuersten in Europa. Athens Geldgeber fordern deshalb Kürzungen, die Regierung schloss das bislang kategorisch aus. Nun deutet sich offenbar Bewegung an...

    Griechenland geht im Schuldenstreit offenbar einen wichtigen Schritt auf seine Geldgeber zu. Wie die "Welt" aus dem Umfeld von Verhandlungsteilnehmern erfuhr, signalisiert Ministerpräsident Alexis Tsipras, auch über Pensionskürzungen und ein späteres Renteneintrittsalter sprechen zu wollen. Einen konkreten Vorschlag hätten die Griechen allerdings noch nicht eingereicht, hieß

  19. Russian planes fly near US warship in Black Sea...

    Russian warplanes have made several close passes in recent days over a US destroyer sailing in the Black Sea, the Pentagon said.

    Russian state media reported that the USS Ross was acting "aggressively".

    The US Department of Defense, however, said the ship was "well within international waters at all times, performing routine operations".

    The US Navy released video on Monday of a Russian plane passing as close as 500 metres to the USS Ross......BBC

  20. Israel accuses U.N. of recognizing ‘Hamas links’ ...

    Israel berated the United Nations on Monday after it allowed a Palestinian non-governmental organization that it said is linked to Hamas to be heard at the world body.

    The U.N. committee on non-governmental organizations voted 12 to 3 in favor, with three abstentions, of recognizing the British-based Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) as a permanent NGO with access to the world body's many fora.

    The Israeli mission to the United Nations said in a statement that the PRC "promotes anti-Israel propaganda in Europe" and that senior PRC members have ties to other organizations that transfer funds to

  21. German FM to ‘Israel’ from Gaza: Lift Gaza Blockade...

    The German foreign minister called Monday for the Zionist entity to lift the blockade of Gaza in return for Palestinian security reassurances during a visit to the beleaguered coastal enclave.

    Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived in Gaza on Monday at the head of a delegation of 60 German officials intending to review several projects as well as recent developments in the blockaded and war-torn enclave.

    During a press conference in Gaza's seaport, he said that the enclave is in need of economic aid and investment that would only come if ‘Israel’ opened the crossings, according to Maan news agency.

    He added, however, that opening the crossings would be difficult to achieve “if rockets were still being fired from Gaza into Israel.”............

  22. Kerry focused on Iran talks despite broken leg...

    US top diplomat John Kerry remains focused on nailing down a nuclear deal with Iran and plans to join the final negotiations in late June despite breaking his leg in a cycling accident, officials said Monday.

    The globe-trotting Kerry landed in Boston from Geneva on a military C-17 plane accompanied by his personal doctor late Monday.

    He then headed to Massachusetts General Hospital, and a surgical procedure to set his leg was scheduled for Tuesday morning, his spokesman John Kirby said....AFP

  23. Obama: U.S. committed to support MH17 investigation...

    The United States remains committed to support the Dutch in the investigation of flight MH17 downed in eastern Ukraine in July 2014, according to U.S. President Barack Obama.

    "I continue to make the solemn commitment to support the Dutch in the investigation of the Malaysia Airlines tragedy, and to make sure that not only is the truth brought forward, but there’s accountability for what took place," Obama said after a meeting with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands on Monday.

    "We've had the opportunity to discuss the shared work that we do through NATO in making sure that the transatlantic relationship stays strong. We discussed the continuing challenges in Ukraine and the importance of making sure that the Minsk agreement moves forward," he added, according to the White House Office of the press secretary.

  24. La police française évacuait mardi matin un campement de fortune installé en plein Paris, où vivaient depuis des mois environ 350 migrants originaires principalement du Soudan mais aussi d'Erythrée, de Somalie ou d'Egypte...

    Échoués sous le métro aérien, dans le nord de la capitale, après un parcours souvent chaotique, ces migrants, des hommes seuls pour la plupart, mais aussi des familles avec enfants, survivaient dans des conditions d'hygiène très dégradées.

    Vers 6H30 (04H30 GMT), ils ont été rassemblés dans le calme au centre d'un périmètre de sécurité, en attendant de grimper dans une dizaine de bus, chargés de les conduire vers des centres d'hébergement de la région parisienne, a constaté une journaliste de l'

  25. An Egyptian court Tuesday postponed its final ruling on ousted president Mohamed Mursi, who was sentenced to death along with dozens more over a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising...

    The court said it would also announce on June 16 its verdict against the ex-president and 18 other defendants in a separate case of espionage.

    On May 16 Mursi and more than 100 others were sentenced to death after being convicted of plotting jailbreaks and attacks on police during the uprising more than four years ago that overthrew president Hosni

  26. Was, wenn die Griechen nicht zahlen?...

    Nein - noch ist nicht D-Day. Denn selbst wenn die Griechen die IWF-Rate am Freitag schuldig bleiben, zieht das nicht automatisch den "Grexit" nach sich. Allerdings: Es könnten Tage folgen, wie die Eurozone sie noch nie erlebt hat. Ein paar Szenarien.

    Warum guckt alle Welt so gebannt auf diesen Freitag?

    Weil dann die nächste griechische Tilgungsrate an den Internationalen Währungsfonds (IWF) fällig ist, rund 300 Millionen Euro. In den vergangenen Wochen hatte es immer wieder geheißen, dass der Regierung in Athen das Geld dafür fehlt.

    Und, fehlt es?

    Zuletzt scheint sich innerhalb der Gläubigergruppe aus EU, EZB und IWF der Eindruck verfestigt zu haben, dass die Griechen liquide genug sind, um die Rate zahlen zu können. So zumindest schildern es Insider. Daneben wäre laut IWF-Statuten übrigens auch ein Zahlungsaufschub denkbar.

    Warum dann die Aufregung?

    Weil es eine Frage ist, ob die Griechen zahlen können - und eine andere, ob sie überhaupt zahlen wollen. Die Regierung in Athen wird ihre Verpflichtungen nur so lange erfüllen, wie sie sich einen Vorteil davon verspricht. Zur Erinnerung: Bereits im Vorfeld der IWF-Raten am 9. April und am 12. Mai hatten die Griechen angekündigt, nicht zu zahlen, es dann aber doch getan..............

  27. A key Syrian rebel group in the international fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has reportedly threatened to quit the U.S.-led train and equip program for not being allowed to target the regime...

    Mustapha Sejari, one of the rebels already approved for the U.S. training program, told the Daily Beast that he and his 1,000 men are on the verge of withdrawing from the program.

    “The issue: the American government’s demand that the rebels can’t use any of their newfound battlefield prowess or U.S.-provided weaponry against the army of Bashar al-Assad or any of its manifold proxies and allies, which include Iranian-built militias such as Lebanese Hezbollah. They must only fight [ISIL], Washington insists,” the Daily Beast reported May 31.

    “[My men] don’t want to be beholden to this policy because it can be used against them in Syria—that they’ve betrayed the revolution and now they’re just mercenaries for the coalition forces,” Sejari, a founding member of the Revolutionary Command Council,

  28. Iraq coalition winning against IS, says US...

    Iraq and its allies are pursuing "the winning strategy" to combat Islamic State in Iraq, US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said.

    Mr Blinken said air strikes and supporting Iraqi forces was the right way to tackle the IS threat.

    Ministers from 20 countries debated the issue in Paris - though Russia, Iran and Syria were absent.

    Iraq's prime minister said other countries had a duty to support it in its struggle against IS.

    Haider al-Abadi earlier called the advance of IS a "failure" of the world.

    But at a news conference with Mr Blinken and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius following the talks, Mr Abadi said he had received fresh commitments of help from allies.

    IS has recently made gains in Iraq despite US-led coalition air strikes...........

  29. Iraq PM says allies not doing enough to counter Islamic State...

    Iraq's prime minister on Tuesday accused the international coalition fighting Islamic State of not doing enough to tackle the group, and said important members such as Saudi Arabia are not curbing the flow of foreign fighters to his country.

    Western and Middle Eastern countries in the coalition are meeting this week in Paris. Part of their agenda is to persuade the Iraqi government to repair its relationship with Iraq's Sunni minority.

    The meeting follows the Iraqi government's biggest military setback in nearly a year. On May 17, Islamic State seized Ramadi from the weakened Iraqi army. The capital of the overwhelmingly Sunni Anbar province is just 90 km (55 miles) west of

  30. Athen lässt sich nicht erpressen...

    Die Geldgeber Griechenlands dringen nach monatelangem Streit über die Reformauflagen für neue Kredite auf einen Durchbruch. Eine überraschend am Montagabend bei Kanzlerin Angela Merkel in Berlin zusammengekommene Spitzenrunde pochte darauf, dass "mit großer Intensität" nach einer Lösung gesucht wird. Unter den Geldgebern gibt es Überlegungen, der griechischen Regierung ein finales Angebot zu machen und eine Entscheidung in Athen zu erzwingen. Erste Reaktionen aus Griechenland fielen negativ aus: Arbeitsminister Panis Skourletis sagte, er sehe keinen Spielraum mehr für Kompromisse. Entscheidend ist nun der Kurs von Regierungschef Alexis Tsipras, der innenpolitisch unter starken Druck steht.......,1471908,30849856.html

  31. Does Greece Have a Diabolical Plan B?...

    Perhaps the most baffling thing about the current Greek crisis is the sheer stubbornness of the country's leaders: Don't they understand they are committing economic suicide by refusing to make more concessions to the country's creditors? What are they playing at?

    Hans-Werner Sinn, president of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich and an adviser to the German government, has a chilling answer to this question. In his view, every day that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis maintain their irritating good cop-bad cop routine, the euro area digs itself deeper into a financial hole, which is what the Greeks want. The way it does that, according to Sinn, is by funding Greek capital flight, which the Tsipras government intentionally allows........

  32. Grecia, Tsipras presenta il piano ai creditori....L’obiettivo è un surplus dello 0,8% per il 2015. L’Ue: buon segno, ma ancora non ci siamo...

    Qualcosa si muove sul fronte greco. Nella notte il primo ministro Alexis Tsipras ha consegnato ai creditori internazionali una proposta di accordo che ha definito «realistica». «Abbiamo consegnato un piano realistico - spiega - per far uscire la Grecia dalla crisi, non stiamo aspettando che loro facciano una proposta». Nella bozza di accordo (47 pagine) inviata da Atene è indicato l’obiettivo di un surplus primario per il 2015 dello 0,8% e dell’1,5% per il 2016; e per l’Iva tre aliquote al 6%, 11% e 23%. .


    Il premier greco ribadisce che ora la «decisione spetta alla leadership politica dell’Europa» e si dice convinto che i leader europei saranno realistici. La reazione ufficiale dell’Ue è improntata alla cautela: «Il lavoro tecnico sui negoziati prosegue, ancora non ci siamo», afferma la portavoce dei commissari Ue Moscovici e Dombrovskis spiegando che in queste ore le istituzioni e la Grecia si stanno scambiando «molti documenti», ed è «un buon segno»

  33. El partido Republicano intenta bloquear los fondos para abrir una embajada estadounidense en Cuba...

    La bancada del Partido Republicano en la Cámara de Representantes de los Estados Unidos presentó hoy un proyecto de ley de financiación del Departamento de Estado para 2016 que bloquea la financiación para abrir una nueva embajada en

  34. Griechenland: Dijsselbloem warnt vor zu viel Optimismus...

    Griechenland und die Geldgeber feilen an einer Lösung für die Schuldenkrise. Eine Einigung noch in dieser Woche hält Eurogruppenchef Dijsselbloem für

  35. A Scandinavian fishing trawler has approached the coasts of Portugal on its way to break a nine-year siege on the Gaza strip, amid warnings from the Israeli authorities, the activist group behind the ship has said...

    Marianne, the Scandinavian trawler, is expected to arrive in Lisbon, Portugal at 3pm (GMT) on Wednesday, docking for two weeks in Lisbon port, media co-ordinator of the Ship to Gaza organisation Staffan Granér told Ahram Online in a phone conversation from Sweden.

    The Scandinavian boat, which set sail from Sweden on 10 May, aims to converge with other boats from Greece, Norway, Italy, Canada, South Africa, Spain and Turkey to form the third Freedom Flotilla since 2010 to attempt to bring humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territory under

  36. The Russian maker of the Buk air defence missile system said Tuesday that it has concluded that Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was downed by an older version of the missile, which isn't in service with the Russian military but is in Ukrainian arsenals....

    Controversy continues over who shot down the plane last summer over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard. Ukraine and the West suspect it was destroyed by a Russian surface-to-air missile fired by Russian soldiers or Russia-backed separatist rebels fighting in the area. Russia denies that.

    Mikhail Malyshevsky, an adviser to the director general of the missile maker, state-controlled Almaz-Antei consortium, said at a news conference Tuesday that its analysis was based on photographs of the wreckage available to the public. He said the holes in the plane's parts were consistent with a specific type of Buk missile and its

  37. Palestinian NGO denies Hamas ties, threatens Israel with legal action...

    The British-based Palestinian Return Center on Tuesday threatened Israel's U.N. mission with legal action after the Jewish state accused it of having ties to the Palestinian militant group Hamas, an allegation the group said was false.

    The Israeli accusations came after a United Nations committee that oversees non-governmental organizations voted to approve U.N accreditation for the PRC, which Israel's mission said was not only linked to Hamas but promoted "anti-Israel propaganda in Europe."

    "We announce that PRC is considering legal action against the Israeli delegation at the U.N.," the group said in a statement circulated to the 19-member U.N. Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations.

    "Such allegations and defamation where we are described as terrorist and affiliated to Hamas are dangerous, baseless and will have negative ramifications on our work and members," the group added.....REUTERS

  38. US-Kongress stimmt für Reform der NSA-Spionage...

    Der US-Kongress hat eine Reform der Spionage durch den Geheimdienst NSA verabschiedet. Es ist die umfassendste NSA-Reform seit den Enthüllungen des Whistleblowers Edward Snowden vor rund zwei Jahren.

    Mehr als zwei Jahre nach den Enthüllungen des Whistleblowers Edward Snowden hat der US-Kongress eine Reform des Spionagegesetzes für den Geheimdienst NSA verabschiedet. Der Senat stimmte mit 67 zu 32 Stimmen für ein entsprechendes Vorhaben. Präsident Barack Obama hatte bereits angekündigt, das Gesetz zu unterzeichnen, sobald es seinen Schreibtisch

  39. US President Barack Obama signed into law on Tuesday landmark legislation passed by Congress just hours earlier putting an end to the government's bulk telephone data dragnet....

    US President Barack Obama signed into law on Tuesday legislation passed by Congress earlier in the day reforming a government surveillance programme that swept up millions of Americans’ telephone records.

    Reversing security policy in place since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the bill ends a system exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The spy agency collected and searched records of phone calls looking for terrorism leads but was not allowed to listen to their content.

    Passage of the USA Freedom Act, the result of an alliance between Senate Democrats and some of the chamber’s most conservative Republicans, was a victory for Obama, a Democrat, and a setback for Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.........

  40. Grexit: Die EZB steckt in der Griechenland-Falle ...

    Die Griechenland-Gläubiger ringen um ein letztes Angebot an Athen. Dabei steht auch für die EZB viel auf dem Spiel. Bei einem Euro-Austritt Griechenlands droht in Frankfurt ein gewaltiger Milliardenverlust.

    .......Für alle Seiten steht viel auf dem Spiel: Griechenland droht im Falle des Euro-Austritts (Grexit) wirtschaftliches Chaos – den Euro-Ländern der komplette Verlust von Hilfskrediten in Höhe von fast 200 Milliarden Euro. Doch auch in der Bilanz der Europäischen Zentralbank (EZB) könnte ein Grexit dramatische Spuren hinterlassen: Ihr drohen Verluste von 115 Milliarden Euro. Sie resultieren hauptsächlich aus dem sogenannten Target-System, das den Zahlungsverkehr innerhalb der Euro-Zone regelt.

    Im Target-System werden die Kapitalbewegungen der Euro-Zone gemessen. Es funktioniert praktisch wie ein automatischer Kredit, den sich die Notenbanken untereinander gewähren. Überweist zum Beispiel ein Kunde Geld an seinen Lieferanten aus einem anderen Euro-Land, so hat die Notenbank aus dem Land des Lieferanten eine Target-Forderung. Nationale Zentralbanken mit negativem Target-Saldo haben Verbindlichkeiten gegenüber dem Euro-System. Aktuell liegt das Target-Defizit der griechischen Notenbank bei 98,8 Milliarden Euro.

  41. Grecia no pagará al Fondo Monetario Internacional sin un nuevo acuerdo ...

    "Si no hay perspectiva de un acuerdo con los acreedores internacionales para el viernes o el lunes, Grecia no pagará al Fondo Monetario Internacional", ha anunciado Nikos Filis, portavoz de Syriza en el Parlamento griego.

    Este 5 de junio Grecia debe devolver al FMI unos 300 millones de euros. Sin embargo, según las declaraciones del portavoz de Syriza, el pago de esta parte y de otras de la deuda no va a suceder sin un acuerdo con los acreedores.

    Para el país heleno en junio llega el momento crítico, ya que este mes el Gobierno debe pagar un total de 1.600 millones de euros.

    El primer ministro griego, Alexis Tsipras, se reunirá en Bruselas con el presidente de la Comisión Europea, Jean Claude Junker, para discutir la propuesta de los acreedores internacionales elaborada por la Comisión Europea, el Banco Central Europeo y el Fondo Monetario Internacional.

    Anteriormente Tsipras había presentado un programa de reformas con una serie de concesiones de su Gobierno, según lo expuso, y ahora la decisión depende de los líderes

  42. Hezbollah has seized ground from insurgents near the Lebanon-Syria border, the group said on Wednesday, widening its joint offensive with the Syrian army to try to clear the area of militant groups including al-Qaida's Syrian wing...

    The Iran-backed Lebanese group said in a statement its fighters had seized three hilltops in the mountainous area east of the Lebanese town of Arsal, the target of an incursion last August by the al Qaida-linked Nusra Front and Islamic State.

    Hezbollah fighters were now advancing towards a strategically important peak, it said..........

  43. The world economy risks being bogged down in a low-growth spiral unless measures are taken to spur demand and incite businesses to boost their stubbornly sluggish investments...

    That's the conclusion of the latest economic forecast from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Paris-based body made up of 34 of the world's most developed countries.

    In its biannual checkup on the world's economic health, the OECD has slashed its forecast for the U.S. economy, where winter blizzards in the Northeast and port disruptions on the West Coast caused a first quarter economic

  44. La BCE "veut que la Grèce reste dans la zone euro", déclare Draghi

    L'institution monétaire a laissé ses taux directeurs inchangés mercredi. Son directeur, Mario Draghi, a dit qu'il voulait que la Grèce reste dans la zone euro mais qu'il fallait "un accord solide".

    Pas de surprise ce mercredi à Francfort. La Banque centrale européenne (BCE) a laissé ses taux directeurs inchangés. Son directeur, Mario Draghi, a expliqué que les mesures de politique monétaire adopté par l'Institut d'émission "ont contribué à un large assouplissement des conditions monétaires" et que leur pleine mise en oeuvre apportera "le soutien nécessaire à l'économie de la zone euro." Et, pour faire bonne mesure, il ajouté que l'institution était "vraiment loin" d'envisager mettre une terme à cette politique monétaire ultra-accommodante, qui passe notamment par des rachats massifs de dette.

    Evoquant le cas de la Grèce _ alors que l'hypotèse d'un défaut n'est toujours pas exclue _ il a déclaré

  45. Lage in Ostukraine eskaliert: Mindestens 15 Tote...

    Trotz des Minsker Friedensplans hat die Ukraine bei Gefechten im Kriegsgebiet Donbass schwere Waffen wieder an die Frontlinie gebracht. Das Militär habe Artillerie eingesetzt, "die sich bis dahin nach den Minsker Vereinbarungen im Hinterland befand", teilte der Generalstab in Kiew am Mittwoch mit. Die Ukraine habe ihre internationalen Partner vorher informiert.

    Die prorussischen Separatisten hätten beim Ort Marjinka mit rund 1.000 Kämpfern angegriffen, hieß es. Bei den Friedensgesprächen im weißrussischen Minsk Mitte Februar hatten sich die Konfliktparteien geeinigt, schweres Kriegsgerät abzuziehen. Aber fast vier Monate danach eskaliert die Lage in der Kriegsregion erneut. Die prorussischen Aufständischen in Donezk berichteten am Mittwoch von mindestens 15 Toten und 60 Verletzten bei Beschuss durch die ukrainische

  46. Gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead two members of Egypt’s tourism and antiquities police force on a road near the Giza pyramids on Wednesday, security sources said, in a rare attack near a tourist site...

    No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Islamist militants bent on toppling the Cairo government have in the past killed hundreds of police and soldiers, usually at checkpoints and barracks or police stations.

    Attacks have increased since then army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi after mass protests in 2013 against his troubled year in office.

    A shift towards attacks on softer tourist and economic targets could undermine Egypt’s efforts to win back foreign tourists scared away by political and economic turmoil since a 2011 uprising which ousted veteran autocrat Hosni

  47. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday released a press statement after his meeting with New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully alleging that Iran was continuing to operate its nuclear program while world powers are preparing to resume negotiations with the Islamic Republic...

    "There are reports that show Iran is continuing to increase its nuclear arsenal while continuing to negotiate," part of the statement read.

  48. U.S. intelligence officials are warning about the growing use of encrypted communication and private messaging by supporters of ISIS...

    The officials told a House committee Wednesday that such modes of communications are complicating law enforcement efforts to keep tabs on extremists and terror suspects.

    John Mulligan, the deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said in his prepared remarks that one of the two men involved in an attempted terror attack in Garland, Texas urged fellow ISIS supporters before the shooting to move their communications to private Twitter messages.

    Michael Steinbach, the head of the FBI's counterterrorism division, said changing technology is outpacing laws that allow the FBI to intercept communications.
    Associated Press

  49. Grèce: "La proposition des créanciers sera la base des discussions"...

    Une proposition de réformes faite au gouvernement grec par les trois institutions avec qui Athènes négocie servira de "base" aux discussions, et pas une liste présentée par la Grèce, a indiqué mercredi le ministère des Finances allemand.

    "J'ai la nette impression que la liste (préparée par la Grèce) ne sera pas la dernière solution au problème", a dit à Berlin Martin Jäger, porte-parole du ministre des Finances Wolfgang Schäuble.

    La Commission européenne, le Fonds monétaire international (FMI) et la Banque centrale européenne (BCE) se sont entendus lundi pour présenter leurs propres propositions et celles-ci, attendues d'un jour à l'autre, constitueront "la base des discussions qui comptera à nos yeux", a-t-il dit au cours d'une conférence de presse régulière du

  50. L'Ukraine dénonce une "offensive majeure" des rebelles, Moscou blâme Kiev...

    Les séparatistes prorusses de l'est de l'Ukraine ont déclenché mercredi, selon Kiev, une "offensive majeure" contre les positions ukrainiennes, laissant craindre une nouvelle escalade du conflit, alors que la Russie dénonçait en retour des provocations

  51. Israel raids Gaza, Islamic state sympathizer claims rocket fire...

    Israel retaliated on Thursday for rockets fired at it from Gaza with bombing raids against three militant training camps, and a radical Islamist group sympathetic with Islamic state claimed responsibility for the attacks on Israel.

    Witnesses and medics said the predawn attacks on two camps belonging to Hamas Islamists who dominate in Gaza and the Islamic Jihad group caused some damage but no casualties.

    The Israeli military confirmed the strikes saying that in response to rocket fire it "struck three terror infrastructures in the Gaza Strip," and added that "hits were confirmed."

    The rockets aimed at the Israeli city of Ashkelon and town of Netivot were the second such launchings at Israel in the past week, marking an escalation since a hiatus in cross-border fire since a 50-day Israeli war with Hamas ended with an Egyptian-brokered truce in August.....REUTERS

  52. Krisentreffen in Brüssel endet ohne Durchbruch...

    Wieder treffen sich Spitzenpolitiker, um im Griechenland-Drama Fortschritte zu machen. Wieder heißt es, man sei sich nähergekommen. Eine Lösung wird es aber „weder heute noch morgen“ geben. Die Hängepartie geht weiter.

    Bei einem Brüsseler Treffen zur Griechenland-Krise hat es erste Annäherungen gegeben. „Die Diskussionen werden in den nächsten Tagen weitergehen. Umso mehr man spricht, desto näher kommt man einer Lösung“, sagte der griechische Regierungschef Alexis Tsipras am frühen Donnerstagmorgen in Brüssel. Der linksgerichtete Politiker hatte zuvor mit EU-Kommissionspräsident Jean-Claude Juncker und Eurogruppenchef Jeroen Dijsselbloem Kompromisslinien im Schuldenstreit ausgelotet.

    Die Begegnung zwischen Juncker und Tsipras dauerte knapp fünfeinhalb Stunden. Dijsselbloem war nicht die ganze Zeit anwesend. Die Kommission sprach von einem „guten, konstruktiven Treffen“.

    Nach dem Treffen melden sich die europäischen Konservativen zu Wort. Griechenlands linksgerichteter Premier Alexis Tsipras müsse seinen internationalen Geldgebern Zugeständnisse machen. „Das Grundprinzip der Eurorettungspolitik bleibt auch bei Griechenland in Kraft. Das bedeutet für Tsipras, dass er Wahlversprechen wird räumen müssen“, sagte der Chef der konservativen Europäischen Volkspartei (EVP) im Europaparlament, Manfred Weber (CSU), der Deutschen Presse-Agentur in Brüssel. „Er hat den Menschen zu viele Hoffnungen, zu viele leere Versprechen gemacht“, kritisierte Weber.

    Weber bekräftigte zugleich, dass auch die internationalen Geldgeber einen Kompromiss suchten. Entscheidend sei, ob Tsipras seinen Bürgern sage, dass weitere Reformen nötig seien, beispielsweise bei den Renten oder auf dem Arbeitsmarkt............

  53. De plus en plus de migrants arrivent dans l'UE par la Turquie...

    De plus en plus de migrants clandestins arrivent en Europe par la Turquie et la Grèce et les passages par "la Méditerranée orientale" ont augmenté de plus de 500% en début d'année, selon Frontex, l'agence européenne chargée des frontières extérieures de l'espace Schengen.

    "Depuis le 1er janvier, on a eu au total environ 100 000 franchissements irréguliers de la frontière extérieure de l'Union européenne, contre 40 000 sur la même période de l'an dernier", a indiqué mercredi le patron de Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, lors d'une rencontre avec des journalistes à Paris.

    Une "très forte pression sur la frontière hongroise"

    Cela s'explique pour une part par "un afflux très important de Kosovars" entre janvier et mars, avec une "très forte pression sur la frontière hongroise". Mais "deux routes d'immigration sont aujourd'hui particulièrement importantes: celle de la Méditerranée centrale, allant de la Libye vers le sud de l'Italie, et celle de la Méditerranée orientale allant de la Turquie vers la Grèce", a-t-il ajouté. Dans le cas de cette dernière, l'évolution des arrivées est spectaculaire avec, a-t-il noté, une explosion de "+550% pour la route passant par la mer Egée"

  54. First refugees from Australian detention camp arrive in Cambodia...

    The first asylum seekers from a remote South Pacific detention center arrived in Cambodia on Thursday under a controversial Australian resettlement scheme that critics say amounts to dumping refugees and shirking international obligations.

    The three Iranians and one Rohingya, a mostly stateless Muslim minority residing in Myanmar, are the only ones among 677 detainees on Nauru island to so far take up a resettlement offer struck between the two countries last September.

    Phnom Penh will receive A$40 million ($40 million) in additional aid under the resettlement deal, which has been condemned by rights groups and opposition lawmakers.

    Australia failed to establish a similar resettlement deal with Malaysia, when Australia's High Court ruled it unconstitutional.

    Australia has vowed to stop asylum seekers sailing from Indonesia reaching its shores. It intercepts boats at sea and ships asylum seekers to camps in impoverished Papua New Guinea and Nauru, where they are often held for long periods.

    Airport officials confirmed a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying the four refugees had landed in the capital Phnom Penh mid-morning...........REUTERS

  55. Libya's major city restricts foreigners' entry amid ISIS attacks...

    Local authorities of Libya's third largest city of Misrata announced on Wednesday new measures restricting the entry of foreigners to the city amid escalating attacks by Islamic State (IS) group.

    "Foreigners must obtain work permits and have local sponsors," a source with Misrata's Local Council told Xinhua.

    The procedures would be enforced due to threats posed by IS affiliates who intensified their attacks on vital sites and military locations of the city, the source explained.

    Misrata has been targeted with suicide bombings several times. On Sunday, a suicide attack on the city's western gate killed five people and injured six others.

    An IS affiliate claimed on Twitter responsibility for Sunday's attack and identified the bomber as a Tunisian national.............

  56. Mubarak to be retried over killings of protesters...

    An appeals court in Egypt has ordered former President Hosni Mubarak to stand trial again over the killing of protesters in 2011.

    Mubarak was cleared in a retrial in November 2014 after originally being jailed for life over the death of 800 people during the revolution.

    He was separately convicted of corruption and sentenced to three years in jail earlier this year......BBC

  57. An Egyptian court ruled on Thursday to have former president Hosni Mubarak retried over a case involving the killing of protesters in 2011, accepting an appeal against his acquittal last November...

    The court accepted the public prosecution's appeal, filed last December, against the court ruling that acquitted Mubarak in the case of killing protesters in 2011.

    The retrial, the second for Mubarak over the protester killing case, was scheduled for Nov. 5.

    Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for conspiring in murdering 239 demonstrators, but an appeals court ordered a retrial which, after several postponements, was held last November and resulted in his acquittal.

    The 86-year-old former president is serving a three-year prison term on a separate graft charge after being convicted in May 2014. He has been in detention since April 2011.

  58. Germany's Merkel open to EU treaty changes for UK...

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the EU may have to consider treaty change if that is what it takes to keep the UK in.

    She is confident that conditions can be created for the UK to stay in and she is "not losing sleep" over it, she said in an exclusive BBC interview.

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron aims to renegotiate the UK's EU membership terms, ahead of an in/out referendum.

    "I'm optimistic that if we all want it, we'll find a good solution," she said.

    "It's not about losing sleep over this, but about doing our work and creating the necessary preconditions for Britain to remain in the EU."....BBC

  59. Turquie : incidents entre nationalistes et kurdes à 4 jours du scrutin...

    La police est intervenue jeudi dans l'est de la Turquie pour mettre un terme à de violents affrontements entre de jeunes nationalistes et des partisans du principal parti kurde à quatre jours des élections législatives, ont annoncé les autorité

  60. Russia’s ban on imports of fishery products from Latvia will do a telling blow to this sector of the Latvian economy, with a risk of bankruptcies and redundancies, Imants Cirulis, the head of the Latvian association of fish producers said on Thursday...

    "The stuff of many enterprises is on annual leaves now," he said. "Add to it the season of equipment repairs. This pause will be long for many producers but we’ll yet have to see how long and for whom because those of them who sold more than a half of their produce to Russia will have a hard time.

    "In the worst situation, many of them won’t be able to resume production operations at all," he said. "People will become redundant and the enterprises will be unable to meet their financial obligations," Cirulis said.....TASS

  61. China-based hackers suspected in massive data breach involving U.S. gov't agency...

    China-based hackers are suspected of breaking into the computer networks of the U.S. government personnel office and stealing identifying information of at least 4 million federal workers, American officials said Thursday.

    The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that data from the Office of Personnel Management and the Interior Department had been compromised.

    "The FBI is conducting an investigation to identify how and why this occurred," the statement said.

    The hackers were believed to be based in China, said Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine

  62. U.S. government hacked; feds think China is the culprit...

    A spokesman from the Chinese Embassy in Washington objected to U.S. government allegations that a massive hack on U.S. government employee data originated from China.

    "Cyberattacks conducted across countries are hard to track and therefore the source of attacks is difficult to identify. Jumping to conclusions and making hypothetical accusation is not responsible and counterproductive," said Zhu Haiquan.

    "Cyberattack is a global threat which could only be addressed by international cooperation based on mutual trust and mutual respect," he said...........CNN

    1. China probed as cyber attack hits 4 million US federal workers...

      Hackers broke into US government computers, possibly compromising the personal data of 4 million current and former federal employees, and investigators were probing whether the culprits were based in China, US officials said on Thursday.

      In the latest in a string of intrusions into U.S. agencies’ high-tech systems, the Office of Personnel Management suffered what appeared to be one of the largest breaches of information ever on government workers. The office handles employee records and security clearances.

      A U.S. law enforcement source told Reuters a “foreign entity or government” was believed to be behind the cyber

  63. France: 4ème nuit de troubles à Tourcoing, voitures incendiées...

    Douze personnes ont été interpellées dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi à Tourcoing, dans le nord de la France, après trois nuits de violences urbaines à la suite de la mort accidentelle d'un homme poursuivi par la police, selon les autorité

  64. Η Ουκρανία χρειάζεται «μόνο αμυντικά όπλα για να προστατεύσει την επικράτειά της», αναφέρει στην ετήσια ομιλία του προέδρου της χώρας, Πέτρο Ποροσένκο στο κοινοβούλιο...

    Το Κίεβο έχει συνάψει συμφωνίες με 11 χώρες σχετικά με την προμήθεια θανατηφόρων όπλων, σύμφωνα με μία αναλυτική αναφορά στην ετήσια ομιλία του Πέτρο Ποροσένκο.

    «Η Ουκρανία συμφώνησε με 11 χώρες για την προμήθεια όπλων, συμπεριλαμβανομένων και θανατηφόρων όπλων. Σημαντική πρόοδος σχετικά με το θέμα έχει γίνει από τον κύριο σύμμαχό μας, τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες», σημειώνει το έγγραφο.

    Επίσης, η ίδια αναφορά τονίζει ότι η Ουκρανία χρειάζεται «μόνο αμυντικά όπλα για να προστατεύσει την επικράτειά της από την επιθετικότητα».

    Στις 13 Μαΐου, ο αναπληρωτής εκπρόσωπος του ΝΑΤΟ Κάρμεν Ρομέρο δήλωσε ότι η συμμαχία δεν μπορεί να αντιμετωπίσει το ζήτημα της αποστολής όπλων στην Ουκρανία. Το θέμα πρέπει να συζητηθεί από τα κράτη σε διμερή βάση......

  65. Hamas fighters killed in Gaza tunnel collapse...

    A member of the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas died Friday when a smuggling tunnel collapsed in the Gaza Strip near the Israeli border, Hamas and medical sources said.

    The sources did not say why the tunnel, located in eastern Shejaiya in northern Gaza, collapsed.

    A statement from Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of de facto Gaza rulers Hamas, said a member was killed in the collapse of "a resistance tunnel".

    Hamas has created a network of underground tunnels that enable the movement of arms and fighters throughout the coastal Palestinian territory. Some extend into Israel, and were used to carry out attacks during the July-August 2014 war with the Jewish state.

    The Israeli army did its best to destroy the tunnel network during the 50-day conflict, but it says that Gaza militant groups have since resumed work on the infrastructure.

    The Egyptian army has destroyed some 1,600 tunnels on its border with Gaza, used primarily to smuggle goods into the Palestinian enclave, since having ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

    A spokesman for the Gaza health ministry said two others were "moderately injured" in the tunnel collapse.

    A Palestinian source said the collapse ocurred while militants were conducting "resistance-related activities," a possible reference to weapon transfers or

  66. Migrant arrivals in Greece 6 times higher than last year...

    The United Nations refugee agency says an estimated 42,000 migrants have reached Greek shores since the start of the year - six times more than in the same period last year and almost as many as those arriving in Italy.

    The number is close to the total arriving in Greece for the full year 2014. Most were from war-torn Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Eritrea, UNHCR said.

    The agency said Friday it is sending extra staff to assist authorities in Greece's eastern Aegean Sea islands, where an average 600 people have been arriving every day this year in small, unseaworthy craft.

    Italy received 46,500 as almost 90,000 people crossed the Mediterranean from January-May, and at least 1,850 died or went missing.

  67. Ukraine's Poroshenko says rebels ousted from Maryinka...

    Ukraine's president says his forces have ousted pro-Russia rebels from the eastern town of Maryinka and captured 12 "saboteurs", including one Russian.

    Petro Poroshenko's claim has not been independently confirmed.

    Heavy fighting erupted on Wednesday in Maryinka and Krasnohorivka, west of rebel-held Donetsk.

    The opposing sides have accused each other of shattering February's Minsk ceasefire, requiring them to withdraw heavy weapons from the frontline.

    The Donetsk rebel leader spoke of huge losses in the Ukrainian army.

    Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the self-styled "Donetsk People's Republic", said the Maryinka fighting had left about 400 Ukrainian troops dead and up to 1,000 wounded.

    "This was a counter-attack. If we had attacked, we would have captured Maryinka," he said on Friday.

    Quoted by Russia's RIA Novosti news agency, he said 15 rebel fighters had been killed and 30 wounded......BBC

  68. Turquie: 2 morts dans deux explosions à un meeting du parti kurde...

    Deux personnes ont été tuées vendredi à Diyarbakir, dans le sud-est de la Turquie, dans deux explosions d'origine indéterminée survenues lors d'une réunion de campagne du principal parti kurde à deux jours des élections législatives, a annoncé un ministre

  69. Russia, China block UN Libya sanctions...

    Russia and China on Friday opposed a US-led request to impose sanctions on two Libyans accused of obstructing UN talks on forming a national unity government, diplomats said.

    Britain, France, Spain and the United States had sought the measures to shore up efforts by UN envoy Bernardino Leon to clinch a political deal before the start of Ramadan on June 17.

    The four countries asked that a global travel ban and an assets freeze be imposed on Abdul Rahman Swehli, a politician from Misrata, and Othman Maliqta, commander of the Zintani Qaqa brigade.

    A new crucial round of talks is opening in Rabat on Monday.

    The UN sanctions committee had given the 15 members of the Security Council until 1900 GMT to raise objections.

    Russia and China spoke out and said they would not back the proposed sanctions, diplomats

  70. Giant U.S. government hack may be first step in pursuit of bigger state secrets...

    The government is worried that hackers who raided more than 4 million federal employment files will use their loot to pry into more-secure computers and plunder secrets about the U.S. military, economic strategy or foreign relations.

    Federal officials said Friday the cyberattack appeared to have originated in China, but they didn't point fingers directly at the Chinese government. The Chinese said any such accusation would be "irresponsible and unscientific."

  71. India and Bangladesh to sign territory swap deal...

    Bangladesh and India are to sign a historic agreement to simplify their border by exchanging more than 150 enclaves of land.

    India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will ratify the deal with his counterpart Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka.

    Thousands of Bangladeshis inhabit more than 50 enclaves in India, while Indians live in around 100 areas within Bangladesh.

    The countries will now swap territories and residents can choose where to live.

    Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali described the agreement as "a historic milestone in the relationship between the two neighbouring countries".....BBC

  72. Saudi troops among those killed in Yemen border clashes...

    Four Saudi soldiers and dozens of Yemeni rebels were killed during a fresh rebel offensive near the border on Saturday as Saudi Arabia said it shot down a Scud missile that was fired into its territory.

    Forces loyal to Yemen's former president attacked "several locations" on the Saudi border, the Saudi-led coalition said on Saturday, as momentum gathered towards UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva.

    Huthi Shiite rebels, who are allied with forces loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, confirmed on Friday they would attend talks in Geneva aimed at ending weeks of war that has cost more than 2,000 lives.

    The Geneva meeting, provisionally set for June 14, would be the first significant effort to stop the fighting, which has led to what the United Nations called a catastrophic humanitarian

  73. Saudi Arabia shot down a Scud missile fired into the kingdom by Yemen's dominant Houthi group and its army allies on Saturday, according to the Saudi state news agency, in a major escalation of two months of war...

    In the first use of a Scud in the conflict, the missile was fired early Saturday morning at the city of Khamees al-Mushait in the kingdom's southwest and was intercepted by two Patriot missiles, a statement by the Saudi-led Arab military coalition

  74. ISIS militants have used chlorine as a weapon and are recruiting highly trained technicians in a serious bid to develop chemical weapons, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop warned...

    In a speech to an international forum of nations that works to fight the spread of such weapons, Bishop said the rise of militant groups such as ISIS, also known as Daish, posed "one of the gravest security threats we face today."

    "Apart from some crude and small scale endeavours, the conventional wisdom has been that the terrorist intention to acquire and weaponise chemical agents has been largely aspirational," Bishop told a meeting of the Australia Group in Perth. The speech Friday was posted online.

    "The use of chlorine by Daish, and its recruitment of highly technically trained professionals, including from the West, have revealed far more serious efforts in chemical weapons development," she said.

    "Daish is likely to have amongst its tens of thousands of recruits the technical expertise necessary to further refine precursor materials and build chemical weapons," Bishop said.

    The comments follow allegations by Iraqi Kurdish authorities that they have evidence that ISIS used chlorine gas against their peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq in

  75. An Egyptian court on Saturday annulled a lower court’s decision to consider Hamas a terrorist organization...

    The final verdict was issued by an appellate court based on a petition by the Egyptian government.

    “We welcome the verdict and consider it an important and positive step,” Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan told Anadolu Agency.

    On Feb. 28, a lower Egyptian court had designated Hamas as a “terrorist” organization over claims that the group had carried out terrorist attacks in Egypt through tunnels linking the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip.

  76. Warships rescue thousands off Libya coast...

    European warships and coast guard vessels have rescued more than 2,000 migrants off the coast of Libya.

    The Malta-based, Migrant Offshore Aid Station, said it coordinated the operation along with Italian, Irish and German ships.

    Italy's coastguard could not confirm the numbers, but said it was trying to help around a dozen other vessels.

    The HMS Bulwark, a British Royal Navy ship, is also making its way towards Libya to assist with the situation.............

  77. Mexique : au moins huit morts dans des affrontements avant les élections...

    A la veille d'un scrutin législatif et local, des affrontements entre membres de milices d'auto-défense ont fait au moins huit morts dans le sud du Mexique. Le gouvernement a déployé des forces de l'ordre pour garantir la sécurité du scrutin.

    Alors que les Mexicains sont appelés aux urnes pour désigner dimanche 7 juin 500 députés fédéraux, neuf gouverneurs ainsi que 900 conseils municipaux, des affrontements ont fait au moins huit morts samedi dans le sud du pays.

    Un journaliste de l’AFP a constaté la présence de huit corps, dont l'un aperçu sur les lieux de la fusillade, les sept autres devant des habitations proches, à Xolapa, dans l'Etat du Guerrero, l’un des plus violents du Mexique. Selon une source du gouvernement loca, le bilan pourrait s’élever à 16 victimes.

    Ces violences ne semblent toutefois pas liées aux élections locales et législatives de ce week-end, mais à des tensions entre membres de milices d'auto-défense pour une dispure autour du contrôle d'un territoire. Ces groupes sont autorisés parmi les communautés indigènes pour faire respecter l’ordre public........

  78. Israel launches air strike on Gaza after militant rocket salvo...

    Israeli aircraft struck the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday in response to a rocket fired from the Hamas-controlled territory that hit southern Israel, the Israeli military said.

    The militant rocket landed in open ground and caused no damage or injuries, the army said. No casualties were reported in Gaza following the air strike, which struck a Hamas training facility.

    An Israeli army spokesman's statement said the air strike was aimed at "terror infrastructure in the Northern Gaza Strip. Hits were confirmed."

    Sporadic rocket fire from Gaza in recent weeks has broken a lull in cross-border violence since a 50-day Israeli war against Hamas ended with an Egyptian-brokered truce last August.

    Air raid sirens sounded throughout Ashkelon, a city about 10 km (6 miles) north of Gaza with a population of about 120,

  79. A mourning ceremony was held Sunday for nearly 400 deceased of a capsized cruise ship on the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei Province...

    Ship horns wailed in grief as hundreds of people stood at the accident site and mourned during a three-minute silent tribute to the victims at around 9 a.m. Sunday, the seventh day after the tragedy.

    According to Chinese tradition, the seventh day after one's death is an occasion for the deceased's relatives to mourn the passing of their loved one.

    The 2,200-tonne Eastern Star was carrying more than 450 people on an 11-day trip along China's longest river when it capsized near Jianli on Monday night.

  80. Obama and Merkel firm on Russia sanctions...

    The US and German leaders say sanctions on Russia must stay until it implements a deal to end fighting in Ukraine.

    President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks as the G7 summit of economic powers began in southern Germany.

    Moscow is the target of European Union and US sanctions over its role in support of Ukrainian rebels.

    Russia has been excluded from what was previously known as the G8, since the annexation of Crimea last year......BBC

  81. G7 leaders urge tough line on Russia at start of summit...

    Leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) industrial nations backed a tough line toward Moscow at the start of a summit in the Bavarian Alps, with U.S. President Barack Obama urging the gathering to stand up to Russian aggression in Ukraine.

    Host Angela Merkel greeted Obama in the idyllic Alpine village of Kruen under blue skies, surrounded by locals in traditional dress, drinking beer and eating white sausage and pretzels.

    The German chancellor was hoping to secure commitments from her G7 guests to tackle global warming ahead of a major United Nations climate summit in Paris in December. The German agenda also foresees discussions on global health issues, from Ebola to antibiotics and tropical diseases.

    But the crises in Ukraine and Greece seemed likely to overshadow the discussions at Schloss Elmau, a luxury Alpine hotel near the Austrian

  82. White House backs Israel over air strike on Gaza...

    The White House reaffirmed on Sunday its support for Israel's right to defend itself after Israeli aircraft struck the Gaza Strip in retaliation for a series of Palestinian rocket attacks.

    "Clearly the U.S. stands with the people of Israel as they defend their people and their nation against these kind of attacks," White House spokesman Josh Earnest, accompanying President Barack Obama at a G7 summit in Germany, told reporters.

  83. Referendum in Luxemburg: Ausländer dürfen wohl weiter nicht wählen...

    Ausländer in Luxemburg dürfen wohl weiterhin nicht an nationalen Wahlen teilnehmen. Der europäische Kleinstaat hatte das Wahlrecht für Ausländer bei seinen Bürgern zur Abstimmung gestellt.

    Bei einer Volksabstimmung in Luxemburg zeichnet sich ein klares Nein zum Ausländerwahlrecht auf nationaler Ebene ab. Laut der Auszählung in 50 Prozent der Wahllokale stimmten am Sonntag rund 77,6 Prozent der Luxemburger gegen das "Einwohnerwahlrecht", das die Regierung des liberalen Premiers Xavier Bettel vorgeschlagen

    1. Luxembourg Rejects Voting Rights for Foreign Nationals ...

      Voters in Luxembourg Sunday rejected the idea of giving voting rights to foreign-born residents.

      About 80 percent of voters cast a "no" ballot in a referendum even after Prime Minister Xavier Bettel urged them to support the move. He said it would enhance Luxembourg's democracy and diversity.

      Many Luxembourgers who voted ‘no’ said they feared losing political and economic influence to foreign-born nationals, who make up close to half of the tiny, but wealthy country's population.

      Had the referendum approved the move, Luxembourg would have become the first European Union member to grant foreign nationals who are not citizens the right to vote in national elections.

  84. An ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged world powers on Sunday to recognize Israel's 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights, saying Syria no longer functions as a country that could reclaim the strategic plateau....

    The remarks by Education Minister Naftali Bennett appeared aimed at capitalizing on global debate over how to handle Syria's de facto break-up during a four-year-old insurgency, as well as at undermining support for Palestinian statehood on other land Israel occupied in the 1967 Six-Day War......Reuters

  85. Families of Nepalese civilians killed in U.S. helicopter crash want compensation...

    The families of the five Nepalese who were killed in a U.S. military helicopter crash last month while on an earthquake relief mission are seeking compensation from the U.S. government.

    Family members gathered at the Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital on Monday and said they want money for the families of the five villagers who were killed when helicopter crashed May 12 while delivering aid in northeastern mountains.

    Nepal's army confirmed only last week that the helicopter was also carrying the five local villagers in addition to the six U.S. marines and two Nepalese soldiers who were killed in the

  86. EU: No Iran nuclear deal without UN probe of past...

    The European Union is telling Iran to cooperate with a stalled UN probe of suspicions that it worked on atomic arms if the country wants a nuclear deal that will see removal of sanctions.

    The cautionary EU statement comes ahead of a June 30 target date for such an agreement.

    It was obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its delivery at a meeting of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency that opens today.

    Iran denies any work on — or interest in — nuclear arms and has fended off IAEA demands for cooperation with its investigation.

    The EU statement says getting to the bottom of the allegations "will be essential" to a nuclear deal. Iran also would have to accept limits on its present nuclear activities.

  87. Turkey’s Christian minority will be represented in the Turkish parliament in greater number after a long absence as four members of the community will become deputies after the June 7 elections...

    The results of the parliamentary election, one of the most critical and closely fought in years, ended the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) 13-year one-party rule, while also propelling four members of the Christian minority to the legislature.

    Markar Esayan, an Armenian-Turkish journalist for the pro-AKP daily Yeni Şafak, entered the parliament on an AKP ticket as the 12th candidate from Istanbul’s second election area.

    Selina Doğan, from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), was elected as the first deputy candidate from the second election area of the CHP’s Istanbul list. Doğan, who is of Armenian origin, practices law as an attorney.

    CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said while introducing Doğan as a candidate that her candidacy was an important message for the world.

    “We do not want division in this society. We want to grow and develop together,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in early April.

    Two Christians will also enter parliament from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) ticket, one from Istanbul and the other from the southeastern province of

  88. Election results shake Turkish markets...

    As election results indicated the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party was the winner of Sunday's general election, the Turkish lira hit record low against the dollar and the stock exchange plummeted about 10 percent on Monday.

    The lira fell to 2.799 against the dollar in early hours of trading, then fell back to about 2.78 on Monday morning.

    The Turkish stock exchange Borsa Istanbul plummeted 8.15 percent in opening session. Then it recovered a little to a loss of about 6.10 percent in early trading

  89. Scale of migrant crisis in Mediterranean 'biblical'...

    The Irish Naval Service has said the number of migrants being rescued in the Mediterranean is "biblical" in proportion.

    Close to 6,000 people were saved by European rescue vessels in the area over the weekend.

    Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Commander Brian Fitzgerald, who is based at naval headquarters in Haulbowline, Co Cork, said while the numbers involved were immense, they were within the parameters predicted by Italian authorities......

  90. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday no party had won a mandate to govern alone in a parliamentary election and urged all political parties to work towards preserving an environment of confidence and stability in the country...

    "Our nation's opinion is above everything else," Erdogan said in a statement released by his office, his first public comments on Sunday's vote.

    "I believe the results, which do not give the opportunity to any party to form a single-party government, will be assessed healthily and realistically by every party."

    Erdogan's hopes of assuming executive powers suffered a major setback on Sunday when the ruling AK Party he founded failed to win an outright majority for the first time. by Reuters

  91. La Russie et le climat seront des priorités pour les membres du G7 ...

    Une conférence de presse a clôturé le G7 qui a réuni les puissances mondiales, mais sans la Russie. Sans surprises, la question russe a tenu une grande place dans la déclaration finale, mais le climat, en prévision de la conférence de Paris,n'a pas été oublié

  92. The Kremlin regrets that the G7 summit has made no calls on all the signatories of the Minsk-2 agreements to comply with them, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday...

    "We have paid attention to the line towards linking the sanctions affairs with Russia’s compliance with the Minsk agreements," Peskov said in comments to the summit that is underway in Germany.

    "Here we have also repeatedly stressed that one has just to read these Minsk agreements and once again refresh one’s memory about them in order to probably understand who has to comply with the Minsk agreements," he said.

    "In this case, we have not heard any calls on those who should be committed to them. Unfortunately, we have not yet heard such calls," Peskov stressed.

  93. US-Präsident Barack Obama: Ich glaube, dass es bei Griechenland dringend geboten ist, eine Lösung zu finden...

    Griechenland muss endlich mit den Reformen ernst machen. Auch damit das Land wieder wachsen kann. Die Griechen müssen jetzt harte politische Entscheidungen treffen. Wir werden mit allen weiter

  94. Bulgarian head of state President Rossen Plevneliev used the June 8 ceremony of the unveiling of a controversial statue of Tsar Samuil in Sofia to call for the 10th century Bulgarian ruler’s bones to be transferred to Bulgaria from their current place in a Greek museum...

    “Our generation has the historical responsibility for the remains of Tsar Samuel to be returned to Bulgaria. The Bulgarian state should not rest until his bones are returned to Bulgaria,” Plevneliev said.

    Plevneliev, noting that in October 2014 he had the opportunity to venerate the remains of Samuil, which for the occasion were taken out to be put on display at the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki, said that the return of the bones to Bulgaria “would be a symbolic act of historic reconciliation between the Bulgarian and Greek people”

  95. US strategy on Iraq 'not yet complete' - Obama...

    The US does not yet have a "complete strategy" for helping Iraq regain territory from Islamic State (IS), President Barack Obama has said.

    He said the Pentagon was reviewing ways to help Iraq train and equip its forces.

    But Mr Obama said a full commitment to the process was needed by the Iraqis themselves.

    He had earlier met Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Germany.

    IS has recently made gains in Iraq despite US-led coalition air strikes....BBC

  96. Although they haven’t affirmed full, official recognition of a Palestinian state, Greek officials recently started referring to “Palestine.” The country’s prime minister actually used the term “State of Palestine” in a tweet Monday that was later deleted...

    “At the Greek Foreign Ministry, we decided to issue instructions throughout the Greek public administration for the uniform use of the term ‘Palestine’ when we refer to our friendly country,” Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said Monday during a meeting with his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki.

    “Palestine is a country that is in our hearts, in our minds,” Kotzias said at the Foreign Ministry in Athens. “It has followed us since the years of our adolescence and youth as a dream of freedom, democracy and rights.”

    During a press conference with al-Maliki, Kotzias referred to his guest as “His Excellency, the foreign minister of Palestine” and promised to create a “Friends of Palestine” group in the European Union..........

  97. Exclusive footage from Iraq's second city of Mosul reveals how Islamic State wields power over people's everyday life, a year after it was captured...

    Secretly-filmed videos obtained by the BBC's Ghadi Sary show mosques being blown up, abandoned schools, and women being forced to cover up their bodies.

    Residents said they were living in fear of punishment according to the group's extreme interpretation of Islamic law.

    They also described IS preparations for an expected government offensive...........

  98. An earthquake shook central Greece early on Tuesday and was felt as far away as the capital, Athens, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, Greek authorities said...

    The quake of 5.2 magnitude occurred at 0109 GMT (09.09 ET), the Athens Geodynamic Institute said on its website. Its epicenter was 5 km (3 miles) deep near the city of Chalkida on Evia island.

    "It was certainly felt, but so far we have not received any calls for assistance," a Greek fire brigade official in Athens said.

    Greece is often rattled by earthquakes, most causing no serious damage.

  99. At least 40 people have died of sun stroke over the past few days in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, said officials on Monday...

    Meanwhile, the national capital Delhi registered an average of 42 degrees Celsius on Monday, and hot weather was also reported in many other parts of the country despite the arrival of the Monsoon rains in south India last weekend.

    At least 2,360 have died of heat wave across the country since late May, mostly in southeastern India, said officials.

    A delay of the arrival of the Monsoon which hit the country's southern state Kerala last weekend was partially blamed for the unusual heat waves, but experts say the climate change and global warming are the major factors for the extreme weather conditions here.

    Indian Meteorological Department predicted rains or thundershowers in a few places in the next 24 hours, but the heat is not expected to see any relief in coming days.

  100. Egypt summoned the US ambassador in Cairo to show displeasure at Muslim Brotherhood figures coming to Washington for a private conference, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday...

    One source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said US officials did not intend to meet the group although they had met some Brotherhood figures that came to Washington in January.

    In January, the State Department said its officials met a group of visiting Egyptian former parliamentarians, including former members of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood's political wing. The Brotherhood was banned by an Egyptian court in 2013 after Mursi was

  101. Fuel depot blazes in Ukraine, explosion kills firemen: minister...

    A powerful explosion killed a number of firemen on Tuesday as they fought to control a blazing fuel depot which had burned through the night outside the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, the interior minister said.

    At least nine tanks storing mainly gasoline at the depot in Vasylkiv, 30 km (19 miles) from Kiev, were on fire sending a huge pall of smoke over the surrounding area.

    A huge fire-fighting operation was in action involving 62 fire-fighting units and three trains which had delivered equipment and water supplies to the area, emergency services said.

    "There was an explosion at a fuel depot. Huge. Firemen have been killed. Emergency services are marshalling all their resources, the minister, Arsen Avakov, tweeted.

    Emergency services said at least five workers had been injured.

    The fire began in one fuel tank and spread to others.....REUTERS

  102. "Gigantesque" incendie d'un dépôt pétrolier en Ukraine, civils évacués...

    Plusieurs pompiers sont morts dans l'incendie "gigantesque" d'un dépôt pétrolier près de Kiev, qui ne cesse de se propager, a indiqué le service des situations d'urgence. Le feu s'est déclaré lundi soir dans un réservoir de 900 m3 du dépôt et s'est ensuite propagé aux réservoirs voisins. Les autorités ukrainiennes ont commencé à évacuer les civils de la

  103. ISIS militants have seized a power plant west of the Libyan city of Sirte which supplies central and western parts of the country with electricity, the group and a military source said Tuesday....

    "The plant ... was taken," ISIS said in a message on social media, adding that the capture of the plant meant that the militants had driven their enemies out of the entire city.

    Forces loyal to the self-declared government that controls the capital Tripoli pulled out of the plant after ISIS attacked it Tuesday morning. Three soldiers were killed in the attack, the military source said.

    ISIS has exploited the general turmoil and security vacuum in Libya, where two governments are vying for power four years after the ousting of Moammar Gadhafi, to build up a presence in several cities....REUTERS

  104. Syria conflict: Rebels seize major army base in Deraa...

    Rebels in Syria say they have captured a major army base in the south of the country.

    The Southern Front, an alliance of rebel groups, announced that the base, known as Brigade 52, was "liberated" in an attack on Tuesday morning.

    The base, outside the town of Harak, is one of the largest in Deraa province.

    Officials have not commented, but if confirmed its fall would be the latest in a string of defeats suffered by the government in the past three months.....BBC

  105. Libye : les deux Parlements rivaux réunis au Maroc pour des pourparlers "décisifs"...

    Après des mois de dialogue infructueux, le Maroc accueille depuis lundi une rencontre entre factions libyennes rivales visant à arracher une solution politique à la guerre civile qui fait rage dans le pays depuis près d’un an.

    C'est une réunion cruciale qui s'est ouverte, alors que la Libye continue à sombrer dans le chaos. Lundi 8 juin au soir, les Parlements rivaux libyens ont entamé une nouvelle session de négociations à Skhirat, au Maroc. Un nouveau projet d'accord, qui intègre les dernières remarques des parties, a été remis aux deux délégations. Elles devront le soumettre à leur Parlement respectif, avant d'espérer revenir au Maroc "en début de semaine prochaine" pour conclure, a indiqué Bernardino Leon, l'émissaire onusien.

    "Tout ce que je peux vous dire pour le moment c'est que la réaction est positive", a déclaré ce dernier à la presse, ce mardi, à propos de la quatrième mouture du projet d'

  106. George W. Bush erred in seeking to institute democracy in Iraq over a decade ago, his secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, said earlier this week...

    In an interview with The Times of London, Rumsfeld openly broke with his former boss, telling the newspaper that he was apprehensive over the administration’s plans following the removal of Saddam Hussein from power.

    “I’m not one who thinks that our particular template of democracy is appropriate for other countries at every moment of their histories,” Rumsfeld told The Times. “The idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to me unrealistic. I was concerned about it when I first heard those words.”

  107. A military plane crashed Tuesday in the northwestern province of Yalova in Turkey, private Dogan News Agency reported....

    The plane, which took off from Taskopru airbase in Yalova for a training task, broke down and crashed during an emergency landing in a fruit garden in the region, according to the report.

    The two pilots survived with minor injuries as they ejected out of the plane, said the report, adding that a crane is currently clearing the wreckage.

    An investigation into the cause of the plane crash is underway, said the report.

  108. Iran has told the UN Security Council that Saudi-led air strikes have twice hit close to its embassy in Yemen and warned of "serious consequences" if more such bombings occur...

    Iran's ambassador to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshroo said in a letter released Tuesday that the embassy in Sanaa suffered severe damage during air strikes on May 25 and that this followed a similar attack on April 20.

    "I would like to warn that a repetition of similar air strikes close to my country's diplomatic representation in the future can have serious consequences, including for the safety and security of Iranian diplomats in Sanaa," Khoshroo wrote in the letter to the 15-member council.

    The Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes on Yemen on March 26 to push back an offensive by Iranian-backed Shia Houthi rebels who had seized Sanaa and were advancing on the southern city of Aden......AFP

  109. Governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region Mikhail Saakashvili said on Tuesday he plans to reinforce Ukraine’s border with the unrecognized republic of Transdniestria....

    "We have two major tasks - to reinforce the border and curb corruption. Drug and weapons trafficking across this border mean nothing good," he told a news conference in Odessa.

    He pledged Ukraine would take efforts to "restore lawfulness along the line of contact." "We have a presidential programme that provides financing for border reinforcement measures," he said. "It is quite realistic to fulfil it after we curb corruption in all power bodies. No barbed wire will help if a customs or border office overlooks contraband. Everything is pointless in this case."....

  110. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Tuesday encouraged Ukrainian leaders to keep working on restructuring their debt, saying IMF loans require everyone to make a "shared sacrifice."...

    Lew met in Washington Tuesday with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko. Both came to Washington to push the IMF to release the second installment of a $17.5 billion loan to Ukraine's struggling economy.

    The IMF always demands that recipients of loans make sometimes painful economic reforms before paying out the

  111. Obama weighs sending several hundred more U.S. troops to Iraq: officials...

    The Obama administration is considering setting up a new military base in Iraq's Anbar province and is closing in on a decision to send several hundred more trainers and advisers to help Iraqi forces in the fight against Islamic State militants there, U.S. officials said on

  112. Members of a UN peacekeeping mission engaged in "transactional sex" with more than 225 Haitian women who said they needed to do so to obtain things like food and medication, a sign that sexual exploitation remains significantly underreported in such missions, according to a new report obtained by The Associated Press...

    The draft by the Office of Internal Oversight Services looks at the way UN peacekeeping, which has about 125,000 people in some of the world's most troubled areas, deals with the persistent problem of sexual abuse and exploitation.

    The report, expected to be released this month, says major challenges remain a decade after a groundbreaking UN report first tackled the

  113. Egypt militants fire rockets towards Sinai airport...

    Sinai Province, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s Egypt affiliate, fired rockets on Tuesday at the direction of an airport in Sinai used by multinational peacekeeping forces, security sources said, adding that there were no casualties reported.

    The group claimed responsibility for the attack on several Twitter accounts linked to it.

    Details of the attack were not immediately clear with some security sources saying the rockets fell inside the airport and others saying they fell

  114. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that many families have left the affected areas in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, due to damage to homes and fear of continued airstrikes, a UN spokesman said Tuesday. But he added that figures related to displacement have not been verified....

    "Over the past week, two vessels carrying supplies to support humanitarian operations arrived at the Port of Hudaydah, including 7,000 metric tonnes of food supplies and over 450 metric tonnes of other aid supplies," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

    In addition, 43,000 metric tonnes of fuel were delivered by commercial carriers to that port as well as Salif, he said.

    "Humanitarian organizations reported that Hudaydah seaport is increasingly congested with long delays due to lack of manpower, fuel and sufficient telecommunications," he said. "There are currently at least six ships waiting at sea to dock and off-load, with extended delays posing risks to any perishable goods aboard those aid ships."

    "Onward distribution from the port remains challenging due to insecurity and restrictions on movement, he said. "One humanitarian partner reports that insecurity and fighting postponed implementation of cash transfer programming to 400 families in Hajjah Governorate."

    UN-brokered peace talks are due to take place in Geneva on June 14 aimed at ending weeks of conflict which have killed more than 2, 000 people..........

  115. Egypt suicide bomber targets Luxor temple...

    A suicide bomber blew himself up on Wednesday at the ancient Egyptian temple of Karnak in Luxor, a southern city frequented by millions of tourists every year, security officials said.

    A senior interior ministry security source later told the state news agency MENA that no tourists were injured in the attack.

    But the officials said police foiled two other suicide attacks also targeting the sprawling Nile-side temple, a tourist attraction that rivals the pyramids at Giza, near

  116. Despite the deadlock, Greece has just successfully auctioned almost €3bn of short-term debt...

    That doesn’t solve its funding crisis, though. This money will be used to repay other short-term debt which matures

  117. China has assembled a team of 60 investigators to look into last week's river cruise ship sinking following orders from President Xi Jinping to find the cause of the country's worst maritime disaster in nearly seven decades...

    Just 14 people survived the capsizing of the Eastern Star on the evening of June 1 as the ship was carrying 456 people, many of them elderly tourists, on a cruise to the Yangtze River port of Chongqing.

    Authorities have attributed the sinking to a freak storm that generated tornado-like winds, but also have placed the surviving captain and his first engineer in police

  118. US Assures Israel of Military Assistance Over Iran Threats ...

    The outgoing chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, sought to reassure Israel of continued U.S. military assistance in the face of the growing security threat posed by Iran.

    In Jerusalem, Dempsey said the U.S. will help Israel improve its air and missile defenses, as well as cyber and maritime

  119. Islamic State clashes with rivals in eastern Libya, 20 dead ...

    At least 20 fighters were killed in clashes in eastern Libya between Islamic State and another Islamist force that later declared jihad against its hardline rival, residents and medical sources said on Wednesday.

    Fighting erupted in the city of Derna after a leader in the Islamist umbrella group Majlis al-Shura was killed, apparently for refusing to swear allegiance to Islamic State's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to

  120. ‘Libya doesn’t have time,’ says UN envoy, urging parties to make political draft ‘a final one’...

    Amid “very encouraging signs” in the United Nations-facilitated Libyan political dialogue, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on the North African nation today said that “time has come to make an agreement” and if possible, before or at the beginning of Ramadan, which begins on 17 June.

    “We now have a draft.This draft provides solution for most of the challenges we have been facing and will be facing in the coming months,” Bernardino León said at a press conference in Berlin today.

    “The principles of inclusion, balance and consensus are there, at every step, at every institution and the principle that no side, no actor will be able to impose its views on the other,” he told reporters.

    Delegations of the Libyan political talks are currently in Germany’s capital for UN-led discussions hosted with senior officials from a number of States, including the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom. The five permanent members of the Security Council are sending a “very strong message” of unity and support to Libya, Mr. León said.

    “We can continue working for months and for years and maybe to reach a perfect agreement. But Libya doesn’t have the time. Because the people of Libya cannot continue the situation of humanitarian disaster […] there are displaced people in their own country,” he added..........

  121. Tsipras: „Europa versteht, dass Griechenland Wachstum braucht“...

    Nach dem Krisentreffen mit Merkel und Hollande in Brüssel sieht Griechenlands Ministerpräsident eine Annäherung im Schuldenstreit. Berichte über einen Kompromissvorschlag der Bundesregierung werden aber umgehend

  122. Schuldenstreit mit Griechenland: Neuer Gipfel - gleiches Ergebnis...

    Kanzlerin Merkel, Frankreichs Präsident Hollande und der griechische Ministerpräsident Tsipras suchten in der Nacht nach einem Ausweg aus dem Schuldenstreit - offenbar wieder vergeblich. Unterdessen stuft Standard and Poor's Griechenland noch weiter herab.

    Zwei Stunden haben sie zusammengesessen, Griechenlands Regierungschef Alexis Tsipras und das europäische Führungsduo Angela Merkel und François Hollande. Die Teilnehmer verließen das Ratsgebäude in Brüssel kurz nach Mitternacht ohne eine Bewertung ihres Gesprächs. Ein Sprecher der Bundesregierung teilte nur knapp mit, der "Meinungsaustausch über den Stand der Gespräche zwischen der griechischen Regierung und den drei Institutionen" habe in konstruktiver Atmosphäre

  123. Lebanese and American officials gathered Wednesday to mark the delivery of more than 200 anti-tank missiles the United States says will help Lebanon's army defend its borders against terrorists...

    The 200 US-made TOW-II missiles and launchers, valued more than $10 million, were delivered in late May as part of a joint US-Saudi effort to support Lebanon's army, said US ambassador to Lebanon David Hale.

    "We are absolutely committed to making sure that the army has the capacity to be the sole defender of Lebanese territory and its borders, and is answerable to the state and to the Lebanese people through the state," he said.

    Lebanese soldiers fired artillery, drove through the hills of the Bekaa Valley, and flew over the area in helicopters.

    The four-year civil war in neighbouring Syria has seen violence spill over into Lebanon.....AFP

  124. Australia PM Tony Abbott urges regional action against ISIS...

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has urged Asia Pacific nations to fight jihadist groups, saying Islamic State (IS) has global ambitions.

    At a conference in Sydney on countering terrorist propaganda, he said IS was a death cult with far-reaching tentacles.

    Australia says more than 100 of its citizens are fighting with militant jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq.

    Last year, Australia raised its threat level to high and has conducted a series of counter-terrorism raids....BBC

  125. The United States supports Ukraine’s efforts to counter Russian aggression and build an open government, says Washington’s envoy to the United Nations...

    “My msg to people of Ukraine—US stands w/you as you fight on two fronts: countering Russian aggression and building an open, responsive govt,” Samantha Power tweeted during a visit to Kyiv, where she arrived Wednesday for meetings with Ukrainian officials.

    Power, known as a staunch supporter of Ukraine at U.N. Security Council meetings, met with Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, with whom she discussed the implementation of a cease-fire deal between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine at a time of renewed hostilities between the warring

    1. Washington's U.N. envoy accused Russia Thursday of spinning "outright lies" on Ukraine designed to hide its direct involvement in the conflict in the east...

      "The focus on Ukraine in the Security Council is important, because it gives me the chance - on behalf of the United States - to lay out the mounting evidence of Russia's aggression, its obfuscation, and its outright lies," Samantha Power said in an address to a crowd of several hundred people in Kiev.

  126. Islamic State says blows up two warplanes at seized Libyan base...

    The militant group Islamic State said on Thursday it had blown up two warplanes at an air base it seized near the central Libyan city of Sirte.

    The group published pictures on social media that it said showed the two destroyed two military aircraft parked in front of a hangar.

    The Islamist rebel fighters seized Sirte's military and civilian airport two weeks ago, expanding the area it controls by exploiting a security vacuum in oil-producer Libya, where two governments are vying for power.

    The militants had earlier this week seized a power plant in a western suburb of Sirte, completing a gradual takeover of the city that it began in

  127. "Das Spiel ist vorbei. Athen muss realistisch werden"...

    Eine Annäherung zwischen Griechenland und seinen Gläubigern ist trotz weiterer Gespräche nicht in Sicht. EU-Ratspräsident Donald Tusk nennt ein entscheidendes Datum im Streit um die

  128. Griechenlands Schuldenkrise: Endlose Posse...

    Griechenland ist ein gescheiterter Staat. Ein „Grexit“ wäre für alle Beteiligten und Betroffenen schmerzhaft, aber die Folgen wären

  129. Eklat bei Verhandlungen mit Griechenland...

    In der dramatisch gewordenen griechischen Schuldenkrise gab es am Donnerstag einen neuen Rückschlag. Die IWF-Delegation hat die Verhandlungen mit griechischen Unterhändlern in Brüssel abgebrochen und ist abgereist. Statt einer Annäherung gab es laut dem IWF-Sprecher Gerry Rice noch immer „bedeutende Differenzen“. Kurz danach reiste auch die Delegation aus Griechenland (BR)

  130. Co-pilot who crashed Germanwings flight had vision problems: prosecutor...

    Fearing he was going blind, the co-pilot who slammed a Germanwings jet into the Alps took sick days at work, upped his dosage of an antidepressant, and reached out to doctors, but they didn't tell his employer they thought he was unfit to fly because of German privacy laws, a French prosecutor said Thursday.

    Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin presented new details of his criminal investigation into the case after meeting in Paris with many grieving relatives of the 150 people who died on the Germanwings flight co-piloted by Andreas Lubitz.

    The March 24 crash, blamed on Lubitz, has put a spotlight on possible mental health issues involving flight

  131. Colombia's FARC rebels step up infrastructure attacks, kill three police...

    Colombia's FARC rebels shot dead three police officers on Thursday and brought down an energy pylon, cutting off power to half a million people in the country's south, the military said, as the Marxist group steps up attacks amid stumbling peace talks.

    Members of the FARC, or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, opened fire on the three police officers patrolling a stretch of the southwestern Pan-American Highway on Thursday and detonated explosives a few kilometers away on the same road.

    The 8,000-strong FARC lifted a unilateral ceasefire about three weeks ago and has since hit almost daily at roadways, power networks and crude oil trucks and pipelines, polluting water supplies in the rebels' southwestern

  132. Australia PM Abbott dodges migrant boat payment allegations...

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott has refused to deny reports that an Australian navy ship paid the crew of a migrant boat to turn back to Indonesia.

    But Mr Abbott said Australia had developed "incredibly creative" approaches to stopping asylum boats from reaching Australia.

    Australia's immigration and foreign ministers have denied allegations a payment was made to the crew.

    But Indonesia's foreign ministry has said it is "very concerned".
    'Saw with my own eyes'

    Police in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara province said earlier this week that they had detained the captain and crew of a boat on people-smuggling charges in late May........BBC

    1. L'Australie paierait des passeurs pour débarquer les migrants dans un autre pays...

      L'affaire fait scandale en Australie : les autorités auraient payé des passeurs pour qu'ils stoppent leur bateau chargé de migrants. Le capitaine aurait alors changé la destination prenant finalement le cap d'une île à l'est de l'Indonésie. Le Premier ministre australien refuse pour le moment de démentir les

  133. Airstrikes destroy part of Yemen's UNESCO heritage site...

    Saudi-led airstrikes targeting Shiite rebels and allied forces destroyed historic houses in the Old City of the capital, Sanaa, a UNESCO world heritage site, killing at least five civilians and burying others under the rubble.

    Warplanes dropped missiles early Friday morning. While the missiles apparently didn't explode, their impact destroyed at least three houses and caused cracks in surrounding houses which are cemented to each other. The houses are one of the most popular and historic tourist attractions in the city.

    Online activists posted pictures from the damaged portion of the city, next to men digging for survivors from under the debris..........

  134. Israeli military prosecutors closed an investigation into the killing of four Palestinian children in an Israeli airstrike on the coast of Gaza during last summer’s war....

    An Israeli army statement said Thursday that “the probe has been closed after a full criminal investigation.”

    When the investigation opened last year, Foad al-Khafsh, head of the Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies, told Anadolu Agency at the time: “The Israeli army’s investigation into war crimes is nothing but a deception to the world. This deception aims to beautify the face of a killer state in front of the world.”

    “Palestinian authorities must present the Israeli war crimes folders to the international courts so that they can investigate Israel and present its leadership to the courts,” he added.

    Last summer, Israel launched an offensive on the Gaza Strip killing hundreds and destroying thousands of homes.

  135. Euroländer bereiten Griechenland-Pleite vor... Kein Wille - kein Weg? ...

    Jetzt wird's ernst: Die Euro-Staaten bereiten sich auf eine griechische Staatspleite vor. Dabei soll ein "Grexit", also ein Ausstieg Griechenlands aus dem Euro, verhindert werden. An eine Einigung mit Griechenland glaubt kaum noch jemand - außer in Athen.

    Und noch ein Versuch: Am Samstag wollen sich griechische Regierungvertreter in Brüssel mit den Gläubigern treffen. Man habe einen Gegenvorschlag im Gepäck, hieß es, und: Man sei einer Einigung näher denn je. Ein ziemlich exklusiver Blick auf die Dinge.
    Vorbereitung auf das Schlimmste

    Denn die Euroländer gehen mittlerweile vom Schlimmsten aus. In Bratislava berieten die Finanzstaatssekretäre der Mitgliedsstaaten, wie sich die Eurozone auf eine griechische Staatspleite Ende Juni vorbereiten kann. Mit einem Ergebnis bei den Verhandlungen über die griechischen Schulden rechnet hier niemand mehr: "Das würde einen Fortschritt innerhalb von Tagen voraussetzen, der innerhalb mehrerer Wochen nicht erreicht wurde", zitiert Reuters eine mit den Gesprächen vertraute Person.

    Wie genau sich die Staaten vorbereiten wollen, ist noch nicht klar. Auf jeden Fall aber soll offenbar ein "Grexit", also das Ausscheiden Griechenland aus dem Euro, vermieden werden...........

  136. Oil Prices Fall As Dollar Gains from Greece Woes ...

    Oil prices fell Friday with the dollar rising as traders grew concerned about Greece's troubled debt negotiations, traders said.

    US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in July dropped 55 cents to $60.22 a barrel compared with Thursday's close.

    Brent North Sea crude for July eased 34 cents to stand at $64.77 in London afternoon deals.

    Oil prices turned "bearish after the dollar's rally against the euro on Greek debt worries weighed on demand for commodities", United Overseas Bank said in a market commentary......AFP

  137. Armed men storm Tunisian consulate in Libya, take staff hostage...

    Armed men on Friday stormed the Tunisian consulate in the Libyan capital Tripoli, taking 10 staff hostage, Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry said.

    In a statement, the ministry denounced "the intrusion of an armed group in the offices of the Tunisian consulate in Tripoli”, calling it a “blatant attack on Tunisian national sovereignty and a flagrant violation of international laws and diplomatic norms”.

    The government in Tunis said a crisis cell had been established in the wake of the kidnapping.

    Security forces sealed off the area around the consulate, banning journalists from the site and barring them from taking pictures, an AFP correspondent

  138. Second hack exposed sensitive military and intelligence officer data...

    Hackers linked to China have gained access to the sensitive background information submitted by intelligence and military personnel for security clearances, U.S. officials said Friday, describing a cyberbreach of federal records dramatically worse than first acknowledged.

    The forms authorities believed may have been stolen en masse, known as Standard Form 86, require applicants to fill out deeply personal information about mental illnesses, drug and alcohol use, past arrests and bankruptcies. They also require the listing of contacts and relatives, potentially exposing any foreign relatives of U.S. intelligence employees to coercion. Both the applicant's Social Security number and that of his or her cohabitant is required.

    In a statement, the White House said that on June 8, investigators concluded there was "a high degree of confidence that ... systems containing information related to the background investigations of current, former and prospective federal government employees, and those for whom a federal background investigation was conducted, may have been exfiltrated."

  139. Attack by Colombian FARC rebels kills two police officers, civilian...

    Marxist rebels killed two Colombian police officers and a civilian in the country's southwest, the government said on Friday, as the guerrillas continue to increase attacks against infrastructure and the armed forces.

    Coronel Alfredo Ruiz, traveling in a police vehicle in Narino, near the border with Ecuador, was shot after a roadside bomb was detonated near his car. A patrolman and a passing civilian also died.

    "The coronel and the patrolman were killed by gunshots," General Rodolfo Palomino, director of the national police, said.

    The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, who have been in peace talks with the government for 30 months, have recently intensified their offensive after calling off a unilateral ceasefire.

    The 8,000-strong FARC lifted the ceasefire three weeks ago and has since hit almost daily at roadways, power networks and oil trucks and pipelines, polluting water supplies in the rebels' southwestern

  140. The U.S. said Friday that it is concerned about the human rights record of Syrian Kurdish fighters after a recent offensive in northeast Syria forced thousands of Arabs and Turkmens to flow into Turkey...

    “We're trying to obtain more information about what's happening on the ground,” said State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke. “We have raised with the PYD [Democratic Union Party] our concerns about their human rights record, including intimidation of rival Kurdish political parties in the past.”

    The PYD’s military wing known as the YPG, with the help of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, carried out operations in the northeast Syrian cities of Tel Abyad and al-Hasakah to push back Daesh.

    Since the operations began two weeks ago, almost 15,000 civilians from adjacent villages and towns have crossed the border into Turkey’s southeastern Sanliurfa province, official sources told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

    Turkish officials said the refugees are Syrian Arabs or Turkmens rather than

  141. Egypt has opened its borders with the Gaza Strip for the first time in months...

    The Rafah border crossing opened Saturday morning and will operate for three days, allowing Palestinians to travel in both directions. Maher Abu Sabha, head of Gaza's crossing, says 15,000 people have applied to exit.

    Rafah is Gaza's only gateway to the outside world with no Israeli control. Egypt has kept it mostly closed since the militant Hamas group seized control of the coastal strip in 2007. The closure worsened after Egypt's military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member, in 2013. Hamas is an offshoot of the Brotherhood.

    Egypt has opened the Rafah crossing in both directions only five days this year. Last month, it allowed the return of Palestinians stranded in Egypt.

  142. California’s water board, facing a devastating four-year drought, on Friday curtailed some longstanding water rights for agriculture and other uses in Northern and Central California for the first time in nearly 40 years, officials said...

    The curtailment affects more than 100 so-called senior water rights holders, including water districts and farmers of commodities such as almonds, pears and grapes, with most of those located near the Sacramento River, the State Water Resources Control Board said in a statement.

    The order will impose limits on water use by these rights holders for irrigation and provision of livestock, and marks the first time since a drought in the late 1970s that California has curtailed water diversions to senior water rights holders in the state, the board statement said.

    California’s water rights system is based on a “first in time, first in right” principle that gives priority to water users who first made claims. So-called junior rights holders face cutbacks in times of drought before restrictions are placed on those with more seniority.

    The state is cutting back distribution of water amounting to 1.2 million acre feet per year in a move centered on the San Joaquin and Sacramento river watersheds and in the delta formed by the confluence of those rivers, said board spokesman Tim Moran........REUTERS.....

  143. Varoufakis hofft, dass die Gläubiger nur bluffen...

    Unmittelbar vor neuen Verhandlungen in Brüssel warnt Juncker vor verheerenden Folgen eines "Grexit". Tsipras signalisiert Bereitschaft für einen schwierigen Kompromiss. Und Varoufakis vertraut

  144. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday he would not put state secrets at risk in the country's nuclear negotiations, becoming the latest senior official to express reservations about intrusive inspections sought by world powers...

    "Iran will absolutely not allow its national secrets to fall into the hands of foreigners through the Additional Protocol or any other means," Rouhani said in a televised news conference, referring to a mechanism that would allow for more intrusive inspections of Iranian sites by Reuters

  145. Hundreds flee to Turkish border amid battle between ISIS, Kurds...

    Hundreds of Syrian refugees poured into a Turkish-Syrian border crossing Saturday, fleeing intense fighting as Syrian Kurds closed in on an Islamic State-held town -- the only passageway linking Turkey with the extremist group's stronghold of Raqqa.

    Some 13,000 refugees have already crossed into Turkey in the last 10 days, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Hundreds more could be seen Saturday on the Syrian side of the Akcakale border crossing, waiting to cross into Turkey.

    A statement by the main Syrian Kurdish fighting force, known as the YPG, said its fighters have encircled the Islamic State-held town of Suluk, a few kilometres southwest of the strategically important town of Tal

  146. Pentagon: Costs Rise in US Battle Against ISIS ...

    U.S. officials have used many words to describe the terror group known as Islamic State, including "brutal," "nimble" and "resilient."

    As the United States approaches the one-year anniversary of the start of airstrikes against Islamic State, officials may also need to add the word "costly."

    According to numbers released this week by the Defense Department, the U.S. has spent $2.74 billion on counter-IS operations between August 8, 2014, and June 4, 2015, for an average of $9.1 million a day.

    The U.S. Air Force has incurred the vast majority of the cost, 67 percent, followed by the Navy at 16 percent.

    More than half of the cost, about $1.5 billion, has gone toward keeping U.S. planes in the air, with another $646 million going toward munitions.......

  147. Britain pulls out spies as Russia, China crack Snowden files - report...

    Britain has pulled out agents from live operations in "hostile countries" after Russia and China cracked top-secret information contained in files leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the Sunday Times reported.

    Security service MI6, which operates overseas and is tasked with defending British interests, has removed agents from certain countries, the newspaper said, citing unnamed officials at the office of British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Home Office (interior ministry) and security services.

    The United States wants Snowden to stand trial after he leaked classified documents, fled the country and was eventually granted asylum in Moscow in

  148. Statement by Spokesperson on the severe floods in Georgia...

    "The European Union stands in full solidarity with Georgia in this hour of need. Our thoughts are with the victims and those who are affected by the deadly floods in Tbilisi caused by the heavy rainfalls that hit the country over the past two days. The Emergency Response Coordination Centre is closely monitoring the developments. We are in contact with Georgian authorities and are ready to deploy assistance to help the country in the aftermath of this disaster that claimed lives, caused severe damage to the infrastructure in the capital and disrupted the basic services in the city."

    1. At least 12 people died and several are missing as a result of heavy rainfall and floods overnight in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, Georgian news agencies reported on Sunday...

      Heavy rainfall turned the Vere river flowing through Tbilisi into a torrent that swept away dozens of buildings and cars.

      "Dozens of families remain homeless as their houses were destroyed or damaged in the capital. They are some victims," vice mayor of Tbilisi Irakly Lekvinadze told reporters, adding that a preliminary estimate put damages at $10 million.....AP....

  149. An organization of former Israeli soldiers dedicated to shedding light on the dark side of the country's military is coming increasingly under fire, roiling a country in the grips of a battle against the burgeoning threat of international isolation and boycotts...

    The group, Breaking the Silence, says that without its work, stories of improper or even illegal behavior against Palestinians would remain hidden from an Israeli public that reveres the military. But the group has come under attack from legislators who threaten its funding and say it could help turn Israel into a pariah state.

    Since its founding in 2004, Breaking the Silence has collected the testimonies of more than 1,000 veterans in a bid to expose the underbelly of the decades-old occupation of the West Bank. It has taken those accounts to audiences in Israel and around the world, including a recent 10-day photo exhibit in Zurich,

  150. North Korea fires three short-range missiles into Sea of Japan...

    North Korea fired three short-range ship-to-ship missiles off its eastern coast into the Sea of Japan on Sunday, according to South Korea.

    The North “fired three KN-01 missiles from its eastern border town of Wonsan between 4:21 p.m. and 4:47 p.m. today,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

    Each of the missiles flew about 100 kilometers and landed in the sea, the report

  151. Immigration: Rome menace l'Europe d'un "plan B" si elle n'est pas aidée par l'UE...

    Le Premier ministre italien Matteo Renzi a menacé dimanche de mettre en place un "plan B" qui ferait surtout "mal à l'Europe" si l'Italie n'est pas mieux soutenue par l'UE pour faire face à l'afflux de migrants

    L'Italie se débat pour accueillir des vagues successives de migrants et la situation s'est envenimée avec ses voisins européens au cours des derniers jours lorsque les migrants ont été refoulés aux frontières avec la France et l'

    1. La propuesta de la UE para distribuir en el bloque a los miles de refugiados es "una provocación"...

      El primer ministro italiano, Matteo Renzi, reaccionó con dureza a la propuesta de la Unión Europea para repartir entre sus miembros a las decenas de miles de refugiados que semana tras semana llegan a las costas de Italia y piden asilo político, una situación que ha saturado completamente la infraestructura de ese paí

  152. Palestinians reject findings of Israel Gaza report...

    The Palestinians on Sunday rejected Israel’s claims that it did not target civilians in the 2014 Gaza war in which nearly 2,200 people were killed, most of them civilians.

    “Israel’s decision to deny having targeted civilians in Gaza is the logical extension of what it did in the Gaza Strip,” Ihab Bseiso, a spokesman for the Palestinian government in Ramallah, told AFP.

    He dismissed the report saying the Palestinians would only accept conclusions from an international inquiry, such as the one which is to be published by the U.N. Human Rights Council on June

  153. A top Islamist militant who ordered a deadly attack on an Algerian gas plant two years ago has been killed in a US air strike, Libyan officials say.

    Mokhtar Belmokhtar and other fighters were killed in the operation in the eastern city of Ajdabiya, a statement from Libya's government said.

    However, there have been incorrect reports of his death in the past.

    The Pentagon has confirmed Belmokhtar was the target of a strike but has not said if he was killed.

    "We are continuing to assess the results of the operation and will provide more details as appropriate," said Pentagon Spokesman Steve Warren.....BBC

  154. L'armée américaine a tué le djihadiste Mokthar Belmokhtar dans la nuit de samedi à dimanche lors d'une frappe aérienne en Libye, a annoncé dimanche le gouvernement libyen reconnu. L'Algérien était à la tête d'Al-Mourabitoune, un groupe lié à Al-Qaïda...

    Le Pentagone avait annoncé un peu plus tôt avoir mené une frappe contre une cible "terroriste liée à Al-Qaïda" en Libye. "Nous évaluons les résultats de l'opération et fournirons des informations supplémentaires quand cela s'avérera approprié", avait déclaré dans un communiqué son porte-parole, Steve Warren, ne fournissant aucun détail supplémentaire. "Le gouvernement libyen dans l'est de la Libye confirme que les avions de chasse américains ont mené des frappes aériennes la nuit dernière lors d'une mission qui a eu pour conséquence la mort du terroriste Belmokhtar", a souligné le gouvernement

  155. Yemen rivals begin Geneva peace negotiations...

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with a Yemeni government delegation on Monday, kicking off peace talks held in Geneva, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

    The talks had been scheduled to start on Sunday but the United Nations announced they would go ahead in Geneva on Monday.

    Representatives of the exiled and internationally-recognized government of President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi flew to Geneva on Saturday. Meanwhile, a delegation of five militia representatives, including two Houthis and two members of ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh's party left the capital Sanaa for Geneva on Sunday.

    The Houthi delegation had been delaying its departure over differences with the UN on formalities linked to the talks, sources had told Al Arabiya

  156. China to Simplify Entry Rules for Taiwan Visitors ...

    China will make it easier for Taiwanese to visit, state media reported Monday, in the latest appeal to voters ahead of crucial presidential elections on the island in January.

    Rule changes will remove the need for Taiwanese visitors to apply for entry permits, the reports said, citing comments by top government adviser Yu Zhengsheng at a weekend China-Taiwan forum.

    Travel passes issued by Beijing to Taiwanese will be converted from passport-like documents to a basic computer readable card, the reports said.

    China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province and doesn't recognize passports issued by the self-governing island democracy, which split from the mainland amid civil war in

  157. U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon opened political talks on Yemen on Monday by calling for a humanitarian ceasefire of at least two weeks to mark the start of the holy month of Ramadan, as well as local ceasefires and withdrawal of armed groups from cities....

    "Today Yemen's very existence hangs in the balance. While the parties bicker, Yemen burns," Ban said.

    He said that one of the parties, the Houthis, had not yet arrived at the talks but that he expected them later on Monday.

  158. Sudan President heading home after genocide charges...

    President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan left South Africa and his plane is scheduled to land back home Monday night, Sudan's official news agency said, as the leader dodged a South African judge's effort to prevent his departure because an international court wants him arrested.

    The International Criminal Court's charges against al-Bashir stem from reported atrocities in the conflict in Darfur, in which 300,000 people were killed and 2 million displaced in the government's campaign, according to United Nations figures.

    In Geneva, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the ICC's authority must be respected and its decision

  159. Greece migrants demand better conditions, faster registration...

    Hundreds of Syrian and Iraqi refugees, including women and young children, have staged a protest on the eastern Greek island of Lesvos, demanding better living conditions, the faster processing of their registration and to be housed separately from Afghan arrivals after a fight broke out in one of the island's camps.

    The refugees said the fight broke out Monday, and that police who intervened beat both groups indiscriminately. About 300 people marched to the island's main port of Mytilene to protest, and authorities eventually moved them to a second camp a few hours later.

    Lesvos has been bearing the brunt of a huge influx of migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa crossing from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands.


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