• Ukraine reports polio outbreak, first cases in Europe since 2010: WHO

    AFP News - 4 hours ago

    Two polio cases have been confirmed in western Ukraine, the first to be recorded in Europe since 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. A 10-month-old baby and a four-year-old child were diagnosed with the polio virus in Ukraine's southwestern Zakarpattya region, which borders four European Union member states, after paralysis associated with the disease was detected, the Ukrainian health ministry had said on Tuesday. "It's the first polio case in Europe since 2010," WHO spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer told AFP. More »Ukraine reports polio outbreak, first cases in Europe since 2010: WHO

  • Millions strike in India over 'anti-labour' reforms

    AFP News - 5 hours ago

    Millions of workers across India went on strike Wednesday in protest at planned labour law reforms, the biggest show of strength by trade unions since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office. All India Trade Union Congress secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said the response had been "magnificent" and estimated over 150 million workers participated in the strike, although this could not be independently confirmed. "This strike is a reminder to the government that it must consult the millions of employees (affected) before changing the labour laws," striking bank worker Amit Khanna told AFP in New Delhi. More »Millions strike in India over 'anti-labour' reforms

  • Italy ready to impose border controls to help Germany

    AFP News - 5 hours ago

    Italy is ready to impose identification checks at Brennero on the border with Austria to help Germany ease the flow of migrants into Bavaria, the northern province of Bolzano said Wednesday. Rome was ready to "reactivate" controls just as it did for the G7 in June, as "a temporary measure to allow Bavaria to reorganise and face the emergency", a statement from the province said. Bolzano, in the German-speaking Alto Adige region in northern Italy, said Bavaria had asked for "logistical support". More »Italy ready to impose border controls to help Germany

  • First Dane in space begins long trip to repositioned ISS

    AFP News - 5 hours ago

    The first Dane in space accompanied by 26 custom-made figurines from Danish toymaker Lego blasted off from Kazakhstan on Wednesday as part of a three-man team on an unusually long two-day mission to the International Space Station. The trip by the Soyuz spacecraft is scheduled to last two days instead of the usual fast-track six hours since the ISS has raised its orbit to avoid space debris. The trio launched on schedule at 0437 GMT from the same launchpad in Kazakhstan used by Yuri Gagarin on his historic entry into the cosmos in 1961. More »First Dane in space begins long trip to repositioned ISS

  • Trial of Congolese rebel opens with gruesome images

    AFP News - 5 hours ago

    Harrowing pictures of bodies littering a banana plantation Wednesday marked the start of the trial of warlord Bosco Ntaganda, accused of running a campaign of terror in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Nicknamed "The Terminator," Ntaganda denied 18 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity as he stood in the dock at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Ntaganda is accused of orchestrating hundreds of deaths in savage ethnic attacks in the northeastern DR Congo in 2002-2003, as well as recruiting and the rape of child soldiers within his own rebel army. More »Trial of Congolese rebel opens with gruesome images

  • Kurdish leader says Turkey polls impossible amid security crisis

    AFP News - 5 hours ago

    The leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party in Turkey said Wednesday it was "impossible" to hold snap polls in November because of the surge in violence between security forces and Kurdish rebels. More »Kurdish leader says Turkey polls impossible amid security crisis

  • Tropical forests in trouble in SE Asia, west Africa: analysts

    AFP News - 6 hours ago

    New satellite data reveals a rapid loss of tropical forests in Cambodia, parts of west Africa and Madagascar, and the Gran Chaco region of South America, analysts said Wednesday. Overall the world last year lost some 18 million hectares (45 million acres) of tree cover -- equivalent to two Portugals -- more than half of it in the tropics, the World Resources Institute (WRI) said. "The analysis identifies a truly alarming surge in forest loss in previously overlooked hotspots," said Nigel Sizer, global director of the WRI's forest programme. More »Tropical forests in trouble in SE Asia, west Africa: analysts

  • Balkan migrants take desperate steps to 'prove' asylum claim

    AFP News - 6 hours ago

    With Europe struggling with a record influx of refugees, would-be migrants from the Balkans are taking desperate measures to 'prove' their lives are threatened in the hope of securing a successful asylum claim. Since January, more than 300,000 refugees and migrants have made their way to Europe's shores, UN figures show, many of them risking their lives to flee war and persecution in the Middle East and Africa. In Germany, official figures show 79,000 Serbians, Kosovans and Albanians sought asylum in the first seven months of the year, up from 19,500 in the same period in 2014, making them the second largest group after Syrians. More »Balkan migrants take desperate steps to 'prove' asylum claim

  • Car bomb kills 10 in Syria regime bastion Latakia

    AFP News - 6 hours ago

    Ten people were killed and dozens wounded on Wednesday in a rare car bombing in the Syrian city of Latakia, the coastal bastion of President Bashar al-Assad, state media said. "Terrorists detonated a car laden with many explosives at noon (0900 GMT) in Hamam square in Latakia, killing 10 people," the official SANA news agency reported. Latakia, the heartland of the minority Alawite sect to which the Assad clan belongs, has been largely spared the violence that has wracked Syria since an uprising against regime rule erupted in March 2011. More »Car bomb kills 10 in Syria regime bastion Latakia

  • Hong Kong activists plead not guilty over democracy protest

    AFP News - 6 hours ago

    Hong Kong pro-democracy student leader Joshua Wong pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of inciting unlawful assembly over protests last year that triggered more than two months of paralysing street rallies in the city. Wong, the teenage face of the "Umbrella Movement", was charged along with fellow student leaders Nathan Law and Alex Chow last week, almost a year after the protest, in a move activists described as a "political prosecution". The charges relate to a protest in September last year that led up to widespread protests that blocked major highways and streets in the southern Chinese city. More »Hong Kong activists plead not guilty over democracy protest

  • Turkish connection probed in Bangkok bomber search

    AFP News - 7 hours ago

    The hunt for a group behind the Bangkok bombing focused Wednesday on an emerging link with Turkey as Thai police issued an arrest warrant for a Turkish national for possessing "war materials". Police named the latest suspect as Emrah Davutoglu, the husband of Thai national Wanna Suansan, the only other suspect to be publicly identified. "He is Turkish," national police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri told reporters adding that the charge he was wanted for was "possession of war materials". More »Turkish connection probed in Bangkok bomber search

  • US calls for release of Chinese rights activists

    AFP News - 7 hours ago

    The United States urged China to release a dozen human rights activists and religious figures it said were detained before a planned meeting with a visiting US diplomat. International religious freedom envoy David Saperstein said the activists -- including respected human rights lawyer Zhang Kai, pastors and other Christian figures -- were held during his August 20-28 trip to China. "These detentions fit into the disturbing pattern of state intimidation of public interest lawyers, Internet activists, journalists, religious leaders," Saperstein told reporters. More »US calls for release of Chinese rights activists

  • Ukraine ceasefire undermined, EU extends sanctions

    AFP News - 7 hours ago

    Two civilians were killed Wednesday in eastern Ukraine, undermining fresh efforts to end continuing violence as the European Union extended sanctions against individuals deemed responsible for the conflict. In a fresh bid to restore peace, Ukrainian government and separatist representatives last week agreed to seek to end ceasefire violations from Tuesday as children began school term. Two civilians were killed and four soldiers wounded, said military spokesman Andriy Lysenko. More »Ukraine ceasefire undermined, EU extends sanctions

  • Migrant crisis threatens Europe's Schengen borderless area

    AFP News - 7 hours ago

    As European countries grapple with record numbers of desperate refugees and migrants clamouring to enter Europe, the continent's cherished system of borderless travel is increasingly at risk, officials and analysts say. German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued an unusually sober warning this week that the passport-free Schengen zone -- hailed as a success story -- was under threat if the European Union did not agree a common asylum policy. With Hungary sealing off its main train station to stop asylum-seekers moving across the EU and Italy saying it was ready to reimpose border controls, observers fear the genie is out of the bottle and there will now be a rush to restore internal frontiers. More »Migrant crisis threatens Europe's Schengen borderless area

  • Communist Party takes star role in China's war parade

    AFP News - 9 hours ago

    The undoubted star of China's giant military parade marking 70 years since Japan's World War II defeat -- and countless television shows on the conflict -- will be the ruling Communist Party, celebrating a victory historians say was largely won by others. It will all be overseen by President Xi Jinping -- head of the People's Liberation Army, the ruling party and the government -- in what commentators say is an effort to bend history to bolster the Party's legitimacy. The parade aims to dramatise "this idea that without the Communist Party, there would be no new China", said Willy Lam, an expert on Chinese politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. More »Communist Party takes star role in China's war parade

  • Turkey transfers British Vice News reporters to new jail

    AFP News - 9 hours ago

    Turkey has transferred two British journalists and their Iraqi translator who were arrested this week on terror charges to a new jail in the southern city of Adana, legal sources said Wednesday. The three, reporting for US-based media outlet Vice News, were detained on Monday and remanded in custody in the mainly Kurdish southeastern city of Diyarbakir in a case that has caused international concern. The three have now been transferred to a jail in Adana, the head of the Diyarbakir bar association Tahir Elci and legal sources told AFP. More »Turkey transfers British Vice News reporters to new jail

  • Shear factor - giant Australian sheep in need of a haircut

    AFP News - 10 hours ago

    Australian animal welfare officers Wednesday put out an urgent appeal for shearers after finding a huge sheep with wool so overgrown its life was in danger, with a national champion set to take on the challenge. The very woolly merino sheep was spotted wandering on its own near Mulligan Flats, a grassy woodland just outside the national capital Canberra, by bushwalkers who alerted local RSPCA officers. "It's definitely one of the biggest sheep we've ever seen," said Tammy Ven Dange, head of the RSPCA in the Australian Capital Territory, adding that the as-yet-unnamed animal was "four to five times its normal size". More »Shear factor - giant Australian sheep in need of a haircut

  • World on track for warming 'far above' 2C target: analysts

    AFP News - 10 hours ago

    Inadequate national targets for curbing climate-altering greenhouse gases meant emissions would be "far above" the level required to stave off disastrous global warming, analysts warned Wednesday. "The climate targets so far submitted to the UN by governments collectively lead to global emissions far above the levels needed to hold warming to below 2 C," said a CAT statement. Including major emitters China, the United States and the 28-member European Union, the pledges cover some 65 percent of global emissions, and 43 percent of the world population. More »World on track for warming 'far above' 2C target: analysts

  • Fresh volatility shakes Asian, European markets

    AFP News - 11 hours ago

    A fresh round of volatility shook Asian and European stocks on Wednesday as further evidence of slowing growth in China's economy cast a cloud over global markets. In early European trading London, Paris and Frankfurt tried to stage a rebound from a painful sell-off Tuesday, only to turn lose the gains by late morning. More »Fresh volatility shakes Asian, European markets

  • Gunmen kidnap 18 Turks in Iraq capital

    AFP News - 11 hours ago

    Gunmen kidnapped at least 18 Turkish employees of a company building a football stadium in Baghdad on Wednesday, officials said, but it was not immediately clear who was holding them. Dozens of Turks have been kidnapped in Iraq by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group over the past 18 months and later released, but the latest abductions took place in Sadr City, a stronghold of Shiite paramilitary forces. "Eighteen Turkish citizens working for a construction company in Baghdad have been kidnapped," Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters. More »Gunmen kidnap 18 Turks in Iraq capital

  • 'At least 50 dead' in Shebab attack on AU base: Western sources

    AFP News - 12 hours ago

    At least 50 African Union soldiers are believed to have been killed and another 50 are missing after Shebab militants overran a military camp in southern Somalia on Tuesday, according to Western military officials. The attack on the camp in Janale, 80 kilometres (50 miles) southwest of Mogadishu in the Lower Shabelle region and manned by Ugandan troops, now ranks as one of the deadliest yet against AMISOM troops. "It is assessed that at least 50 AMISOM troops died," said a briefing note sent to diplomats by Western military officials and seen by AFP. More »'At least 50 dead' in Shebab attack on AU base: Western sources

  • Tsipras and Varoufakis: a messy split for Greece's double act

    AFP News - 12 hours ago

    Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Varoufakis shared a vision once, but the double act of the Greek debt drama's most colourful characters now appears well and truly over. When Tsipras swept to power as prime minister in January, hiring maverick economist Varoufakis as his finance minister, both vowed to stand up to Athens' much-loathed creditors and bring an end to the austerity they blamed for strangling the Greek economy. The polls on September 20 will be "quite sad and fruitless", Varoufakis told Australian broadcaster ABC. More »Tsipras and Varoufakis: a messy split for Greece's double act

  • Mexico asks Austria lab to test missing students' clothes

    AFP News - 12 hours ago

    Mexican authorities delivered on Tuesday clothing and objects linked to last year's disappearance and presumed massacre of 43 students to an Austrian laboratory in a new bid to identify the victims. The 53 items were handed over to the University of Innsbruck, which has only managed to confirm the identity of one of the students among 17 sets of charred remains sent by Mexico late last year. The pieces of clothing and other objects were sent to Austria on a request by international experts of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, which has been conducting its own investigation into a case that caused international outrage. More »Mexico asks Austria lab to test missing students' clothes

  • Turkey confirms 18 construction workers kidnapped in Baghdad

    AFP News - 12 hours ago

    Turkey on Wednesday confirmed that 18 Turkish construction workers have been kidnapped by unknown individuals in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. "Eighteen Turkish citizens working for a construction company in Baghdad have been kidnapped," Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters. "We are in close contact with the Iraqi (interior) ministry and hope the incident will end positively." The Iraqi authorities had earlier said gunmen had abducted at least 17 Turkish employees of a company building a football stadium in the Shiite-dominated Sadr City area of north Baghdad. More »Turkey confirms 18 construction workers kidnapped in Baghdad

  • N. Korea warns Seoul over twisting peace deal

    AFP News - 12 hours ago

    North Korea on Wednesday accused the South of misrepresenting their agreement to defuse tensions and warned the hard-won deal was being undermined by claims Pyongyang had made an apology for border landmine blasts. The explosions maimed two South Korean soldiers on patrol last month and triggered a crisis that brought the rivals to the brink of armed conflict. According to the six-point deal, the North "expressed regret" over the incident, but the NDC spokesman said Pyongyang was merely offering condolences to the victims. More »N. Korea warns Seoul over twisting peace deal

Pagination

(1000 stories)