• Breakthrough in quest for Ebola vaccine

    AFP News - 8 hours ago

    An Ebola test vaccine provided blanket protection in a field trial in Guinea, researchers said, possibly heralding "the beginning of the end" for the devastating West African outbreak that has killed thousands. The serum was 100 percent effective after a week in more than 7,600 people inoculated, according to results published in The Lancet medical journal and hailed as "extremely promising" by World Health Organization (WHO) chief Margaret Chan. The world was "on the verge of an effective Ebola vaccine," the UN's health agency said in a statement. More »Breakthrough in quest for Ebola vaccine

  • Pacific trade talks fail to end in TPP deal

    AFP News - 8 hours ago

    Delegates negotiating a vast Pacific free-trade agreement failed to reach a final deal after several days of intense talks in Hawaii, in a setback to US President Barack Obama. "After more than a week of productive meetings we've made significant progress and will continue on resolving a limited number of remaining issues, paving the way for the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations," Froman told a press conference. The negotiators were "more confident than ever that the TPP is within reach," he said, adding that the Pacific Rim countries involved would continue to have bilateral discussions to try and iron out their remaining differences. More »Pacific trade talks fail to end in TPP deal

  • Italy's anti-establishment Five Star party ready to govern

    AFP News - 8 hours ago

    Italy's anti-establishment Five Star party, founded in 2009 by former comedian Beppe Grillo, is itching to govern and has a man primed for the top job. The movement celebrated a shock success in 2013's general election when it snapped up a whopping 25.5 percent of the votes, becoming the second biggest political force behind the centre-left Democratic Party. "Today we are ready, much more than in 2013," Luigi di Maio, one of Five Star's most prominent members, told AFP. More »Italy's anti-establishment Five Star party ready to govern

  • Firefighter dies as thousands battle California wildfires

    AFP News - 9 hours ago

    A firefighter died while battling one of the 18 large wildfires raging in California, its governor said, declaring a state of emergency. About 8,000 firefighters have been deployed across the state, said the California National Guard, which has been called into action. "California's severe drought and extreme weather have turned much of the state into a tinderbox," California Governor Edmund Brown said in a statement. More »Firefighter dies as thousands battle California wildfires

  • Australia says will continue push for MH17 prosecution

    AFP News - 11 hours ago

    Australia vowed Saturday no let up in its quest to prosecute those who shot down flight MH17 over Ukraine, saying Russia's veto of a UN resolution raised further questions about its involvement. Moscow Wednesday vetoed a move to establish a special tribunal to try those responsible, while Angola, China and Venezuela abstained. All 298 passengers and crew on board the Boeing 777 were killed when the Malaysia Airlines plane was blown out of the sky over Ukraine during a routine flight between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur on July 17 last year. More »Australia says will continue push for MH17 prosecution

  • Philippines Haiyan rebuilding 'inadequate', says UN

    AFP News - 12 hours ago

    The Philippines has not done enough to rebuild after Super Typhoon Haiyan, as thousands remain in shanties without power or water for nearly two years, a United Nations representative said Saturday. Many storm survivors in the central region have had to endure relocating to evacuation camps up to three times since Haiyan struck in 2013, and the sub-standard housing leaves them vulnerable to future typhoons, said Chaloka Beyani, UN special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons. "While the government is to be commended in terms of its immediate responses, its attention to ensuring sustainable durable solutions for IDPs (internally displaced persons) remains inadequate to date," Beyani said in a statement posted on the UN website. More »Philippines Haiyan rebuilding 'inadequate', says UN

  • South Korea exports down for seventh straight month in July

    AFP News - 12 hours ago

    South Korea's exports shrank in July for a seventh straight month due to sluggish global demand and low oil prices, government data showed Saturday. More »South Korea exports down for seventh straight month in July

  • Zimbabwe look to build on India shock against Kiwis

    AFP News - 13 hours ago

    Zimbabwe plan to tap into the renewed energy that sparked a victory over India recently as they take on an under-strength New Zealand side in a three-match one-day international series that starts on Sunday. After sleepwalking their way through a one-day series whitewash at the hands of India, Zimbabwe came to life in the final match of the tour as a fresh desire drove them to a 10-run victory in a Twenty20 match. While New Zealand will be without regular captain Brendon McCullum, new-ball bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee, and top all-rounder Corey Anderson, Zimbabwe coach Dav Whatmore says his team need to repeat the energy from their last game to have a chance. More »Zimbabwe look to build on India shock against Kiwis

  • Hillary Clinton healthy, quite wealthy: campaign statements

    AFP News - 15 hours ago

    Hillary Clinton is healthy and "fit to serve" as US president, her doctor affirmed, as the Democratic White House frontrunner also revealed details about her family's substantial personal wealth. Tax data released by Clinton's campaign show she and husband Bill Clinton, the former president, paid a massive $57.5 million in taxes since 2007. Physician Lisa Bardack of Mount Kisco Medical Group in New York said Clinton, 67, was enjoying a healthy lifestyle and has fully recovered from the effects of a concussion suffered in 2012 -- an incident which had prompted questions about her health. More »Hillary Clinton healthy, quite wealthy: campaign statements

  • Angelina Jolie, Suu Kyi meet women garment workers in Myanmar

    AFP News - 15 hours ago

    Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie met women garment workers in Myanmar on Saturday with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to learn more about their working conditions, as part of her first visit to the country. The Oscar-winning star, who is also a special envoy for the United Nations’ refugee agency, arrived in Myanmar on Wednesday, meeting President Thein Sein in the capital Naypyidaw and survivors of sexual violence in war-torn northern Kachin state. On Saturday she met Suu Kyi at her residence in Yangon after which the pair visited women from Myanmar's largely female textile industry workforce at their living quarters in Hlaing Tha Yar, a town on the western outskirts of the city. More »Angelina Jolie, Suu Kyi meet women garment workers in Myanmar

  • Migrants 'attacked' at sea between Greece and Turkey

    AFP News - 16 hours ago

    Migrants trying to sail from Turkey to Greece are increasingly reporting being attacked by gunmen trying to prevent them from reaching Europe, according to multiple sources. The reports came as the UN's refugee agency on Friday said Greece's infrastructure was falling "far short" of the needs of the 109,000 migrants who have arrived in the country this year, fleeing war, poverty and persecution. An international NGO, which did not wish to be named, has launched an investigation after several witnesses reported being attacked en route from Turkey to Greece, with some saying they were robbed and others saying the motors from their boats were stolen. More »Migrants 'attacked' at sea between Greece and Turkey

  • Palestinian toddler burned to death in 'settler' arson attack

    AFP News - 16 hours ago

    A Palestinian toddler was burnt to death in an arson attack by suspected Jewish settlers on homes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, sparking clashes in which a teenager was shot and died Saturday. The Friday arson attack, which also critically wounded the toddler's parents and brother, stoked running tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, sparking protests by hundreds of people and sporadic clashes. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the firebombing "an act of terrorism in every respect" and made a rare telephone call to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. More »Palestinian toddler burned to death in 'settler' arson attack

  • Debris brings MH370 mystery 'closer' than ever to answers

    AFP News - 17 hours ago

    Plane debris that washed up on an Indian Ocean island is from a Boeing 777, Malaysian authorities said Friday, making it almost certainly the first piece of wreckage recovered from missing flight MH370. If confirmed by analysis of the wing part -- which was being flown to Paris on Friday night from the French island of La Reunion -- the discovery would mark the first breakthrough in a case that has baffled aviation experts for 16 months. This could be the convincing evidence that MH370 went down in the Indian Ocean," Malaysia's deputy transport minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told AFP. More »Debris brings MH370 mystery 'closer' than ever to answers

  • 11 killed in Colombia military plane crash

    AFP News - 17 hours ago

    The crash on Friday of a Colombian airforce plane has killed 11 people officials said, blaming the accident on mechanical problems. Earlier in the day, President Juan Manuel Santos had announced that 12 people died in the mishap, but officials walked that figure back a short time later. Santos, in a Twitter message, expressed "regret" over the deadly accident and offered condolences to the families of those who died. More »11 killed in Colombia military plane crash

  • US cable says Pinochet told of army involvement in teens' burning

    AFP News - 17 hours ago

    The burning alive of two teenagers by a Chilean military patrol in 1986 was directly reported to Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, but he refused to accept it, according to US documents declassified Friday. The documents' release comes as the murder of 19-year-old Rodrigo Rojas and attempted murder of 18-year-old Carmen Gloria Quintana nearly 30 years ago is finally coming to trial in Chile. Rojas and Quintana were picked up by soldiers July 2, 1986 at an anti-government protest and allegedly beaten, doused with gasoline and left for dead on the outskirts of Santiago. More »US cable says Pinochet told of army involvement in teens' burning

  • Boeing to study plane debris as MH370 probe advances

    AFP News - 18 hours ago

    Boeing said Friday it will send a technical team to France to study plane debris that authorities increasingly believe is from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared in March 2014. "At the request of civil aviation investigating authorities, Boeing will dispatch a technical team to assist in analyzing the part found on Reunion Island," the company said in a statement. More »Boeing to study plane debris as MH370 probe advances

  • Nigeria attacks kill 16 as force chief promises to crush Boko Haram

    AFP News - 18 hours ago

    A female suicide bomber and Boko Haram gunmen killed 16 people in Nigeria as the commander of a new multinational force tasked with fighting the Islamists pledged on Friday to crush the insurgency "very soon". Major General Iliya Abbah's appointment in an Abuja ceremony as chief of the 8,700-strong force came as a woman bomber on a tricycle killed six people in a busy market in Maiduguri, the largest city in Nigeria's restive northeastern Borno state. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who won the election in March this year on a promise to defeat the jihadists, said Friday the new task force would "lead to the speedy defeat and elimination of Boko Haram", according to a statement. More »Nigeria attacks kill 16 as force chief promises to crush Boko Haram

  • Mexico village reels after truck tragedy

    AFP News - 18 hours ago

    A rural village in northern Mexico is reeling after a truck lost control and crushed into a crowd of pilgrims, with six of the 26 dead related to one devastated farmer. Around 10 of the dead were from Santa Rosa, a village of modest homes surrounded by fields of corns and beans so remote that cellphone connection is weak. One man, Jesus Solis Garza, lost two children, a grandson and three nephews in the tragedy. More »Mexico village reels after truck tragedy

  • Zimbabwe seeks US hunter's extradition for killing lion

    AFP News - 18 hours ago

    Zimbabwe on Friday called for the extradition of Walter Palmer, as AFP learnt that the Minnesota dentist and trophy hunter had posed for a photograph next to the body of Cecil the lion. Palmer paid $55,000 for the hunt earlier this month in which he shot the lion with a powerful bow and arrow outside Hwange national park in western Zimbabwe. As worldwide outrage over the shooting swelled, French actress and animal activist Brigitte Bardot described Palmer as a "serial killer" who deserved "exemplary punishment". More »Zimbabwe seeks US hunter's extradition for killing lion

  • French police foil '1,000 bids' to cross Channel

    AFP News - 18 hours ago

    French police said they had prevented more than 1,000 desperate attempts by migrants to get into Britain via the Channel Tunnel Friday, as London vowed further measures to tackle the crisis. "More than 1,000 attempts were thwarted last night, with around 30 arrests," the source said, adding there were no reports of migrants injured in their bid to enter the undersea tunnel linking France and Britain. France has sent 120 additional police officers to the northern port city of Calais to stem the crisis, as the number of deaths since June reached 10. More »French police foil '1,000 bids' to cross Channel

  • Demirtas the 'Kurdish Obama' faces his biggest test

    AFP News - 19 hours ago

    Turkey's charismatic Kurdish leader Selahattin Demirtas, who led his party to a remarkable breakthrough in June 7 legislative polls, is facing the biggest test of his career as Ankara cracks down on militant Kurds. Demirtas, 42, known as the "Kurdish Obama" for his silky rhetorical skills, guided his Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) to 80 seats in the polls and prevented the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) from winning an overall majority. Deimrtas has made a dangerous personal enemy in Erdogan, who was clearly infuriated by the HDP's success in the elections which blocked his own dream of creating a more powerful presidency in Turkey. More »Demirtas the 'Kurdish Obama' faces his biggest test

  • Ukraine court permits self-rule for pro-Russia rebels

    AFP News - 19 hours ago

    Ukraine's highest court on Friday allowed parliament to vote on Western-backed constitutional amendments aimed at stemming daily bloodshed by giving pro-Russian insurgents partial autonomy in the separatist east. The idea of granting at least three years of self-rule to rebellious parts of Ukraine's industrial war zone has struck a note of disquiet among many lawmakers and much of the Kiev media. Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority on July 16 to ask Ukraine's constitutional court to rule whether such changes to the basic law were legal. More »Ukraine court permits self-rule for pro-Russia rebels

  • Al-Qaeda in Syria attacks US-trained rebel base

    AFP News - 20 hours ago

    Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate launched a fierce assault on the headquarters of a US-trained rebel group Friday, while claiming responsibility for capturing members of the "moderate" force earlier this week. Seven rebels died defending the base, which Al-Nusra failed to capture, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It called on rebels to come to its aid in defending the base, and demanded that Al-Nusra stop "spilling the blood of Muslims." Al-Nusra accused Washington of recruiting "forces from what it calls 'the moderate opposition'... to undergo a training and rehabilitation programme run by the Central Intelligence Agency. More »Al-Qaeda in Syria attacks US-trained rebel base

  • Germany suspends treason probe against blog after protest storm

    AFP News - 21 hours ago

    Germany's chief prosecutor on Friday suspended a treason probe against Internet security bloggers that had sparked a storm of protest from journalist and politicians. Harald Range said "in view of the great good of freedom of the press and expression" he would let the investigation rest, the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported online. News of the probe against the blog Netzpolitik.org -- Germany's first treason case against media since the 1960s -- had sparked a wave of indignation and expressions of solidarity. More »Germany suspends treason probe against blog after protest storm

  • Ex-Fukushima execs to be charged over nuclear accident

    AFP News - 22 hours ago

    A trio of former executives from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant will be indicted over the 2011 accident, a judicial review panel decided Friday, paving the way for the first criminal trial linked to the disaster. The decision is the latest in a tussle between legal authorities and the public over who should take responsibility for the tsunami-sparked reactor meltdowns that forced tens of thousands from their homes in the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. The trio are former Tokyo Electric Power chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, then-vice president Sakae Muto and former vice president Ichiro Takekuro. More »Ex-Fukushima execs to be charged over nuclear accident

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