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Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels, Russia starts drill near border

By Aleksandar Vasovic and Alexei Anishchuk SLAVIANSK, Ukraine/ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - U krainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday as they closed in on the separatists' military stronghold in the east and Russia launched army drills near the border in response, raising fears its troops would invade. Under an international accord signed in Geneva last week, illegal

Israel suspends peace talks after Palestinian unity bid

By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel on Thursday suspended U.S.-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians in response to President Mahmoud Abbas's unexpected unity pact with the rival Islamist Hamas group. The negotiations had appeared to be heading nowhere even before Wednesday's reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian groups plunged them deeper into crisis. The United Stat

Three Americans killed in Kabul hospital attack

Three Americans were killed on Thursday when a security guard opened fire at a Kabul hospital funded by a U.S. Christian charity, the latest in a spate of attacks on foreign civilians in Afghanistan. A fourth American was wounded, the Afghan Health Ministry said. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for similar attacks this year, but made no comment about Thursday's shooting. Those killed inc

Chemical weapons watchdog weighs chlorine attack probe in Syria: sources

By Anthony Deutsch AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The head of the global chemical weapons watchdog overseeing the destruction of Syria's toxic stockpile is considering launching a fact-finding mission on his own initiative to investigate reports of chlorine gas attacks there, sources said. Syria became a member of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) last year as part of a deal

U.N. Security Council asks for inquiry into South Sudan massacre

By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations Security Council asked for an urgent investigation on Thursday into the ethnic massacre of hundreds of people in South Sudan's oil hub Bentiu and expressed its willingness to "take additional measures" if there are more attacks on civilians. The 15-member council said in a statement it wants U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for hu

Boy and girl on Korean ferry drowned with life jackets tied together

By James Pearson and Meeyoung Cho SEOUL (Reuters) - A boy and girl trapped in a sinking South Korean ferry with hundreds of other high school students tied their life jacket cords together, a diver who recovered their bodies said, presumably so they wouldn't float apart. Captain Lee Joon-seok, 69, and other crew members who abandoned ship have been arrested on negligence charges.

WWF condemns oil search in Africa's oldest national park

Environmental campaigners WWF on Thursday condemned moves by British firm Soco International to start searching for oil in part of Africa's oldest national park. WWF said that Soco was on Saturday scheduled to start seismic testing in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga park, home to 3,000 species including the endangered gorillas immortalised by the film "Gorillas in the Mist". "WWF cond

South Africa's ombudsman listed on Time's top 100

Time magazine named South Africa's hard-hitting ombudsman as one of the world's 100 most influential people Thursday, providing high-profile recognition of her work investigating President Jacob Zuma as he fights for re-election. Thuli Madonsela in March found that some of the $23 million of taxpayers' money spent on "security upgrades" to Zuma's private home were "unlawful" and she ordered the

Internet governance debated in Brazil

SAO PAULO (AP) — An international two-day conference on Internet governance is drawing to a close in Brazil as government officials, academics and technical experts from some 90 countries debate how the Internet should be run.

London school says students abused by US teacher

LONDON (AP) — A British private school said Thursday that images of between 50 and 60 of its students were found on the computer drive of an American suspected child predator who killed himself last month.

US unwilling to give up Mideast peace process yet

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. isn't ready to write off Mideast peace negotiations as failed, even after Israel broke off talks with Palestinian leaders who are trying to create a coalition government with the Hamas group.

'Al-Qaeda's librarian' denies recruiting jihadists in Spain

A Saudi man dubbed "Al-Qaeda's librarian" on Thursday denied belonging to the organisation and recruiting jihadists for the group over the Internet during a Madrid court appearance. Police detained Mudhar Hussein Almalki in March 2012 in the eastern city of Valencia where he had been living, accusing him of running an online forum dedicated to "recruiting and indoctrinating 'terrorists'." Spanis

John XXIII's brief papacy made big mark for church

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope John XXIII left his imprint on humanity and the Catholic Church he led for fewer than five years, helping propel him to sainthood on Sunday. Here are some highlights, in deeds and words:

South Korea ferry disaster may cloud Obama visit

TOKYO (AP) — When President Barack Obama arrives in South Korea on Friday, he will be thrust anew into the role of consoler in chief in a time of crisis, a responsibility he has become all too accustomed to in the United States.

US awards $4M to help Haitians hurt by drought

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The American government has awarded $4 million to help Haitian families hurt by a drought in the Caribbean nation's northwest.

Russia's Putin calls the Internet a 'CIA project'

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called the Internet a CIA project and made comments about Russia's biggest search engine Yandex, sending the company's shares plummeting.

Rescue teams search for DR Congo train crash survivors

Rescue teams and medics on Thursday attempted to save survivors trapped in the mangled wreckage of a train that flew off the rails in the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing at least 57. "A special crane with a team specialised in derailments arrived on site at 11:00 pm (2100 GMT Wednesday) to lift up the wagons," health ministry official Felix Kabange Numbi said, after visiting the remote acc

US protests Iran's election to UN NGO committee

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power protested the election of repressive regimes including Iran to the U.N. Committee on Non-governmental Organizations which deals with civil society groups accredited to the United Nations.

France to send four Rafale fighter jets on Baltic security duty

France will send four Rafale fighter jets to Poland next week as part of a show of NATO commitment to Central Europe and the Baltic states, which have been rattled by the escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The four warplanes will be sent to Malbork in northern Poland on April 28 on a double mission: to train the Polish air force and stand ready for air patrols over the Baltic state

Thousands flee fighting in Sudan's Kordofan

Khartoum (AFP) - Thousands of people have fled renewed fighting in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, adding to hundreds of thousands uprooted by conflict in the Darfur region this year, the UN said on Thursday.

Ukraine launches operation against insurgents

SLOVYANSK, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian forces launched an operation Thursday to drive pro-Russia insurgents out of occupied buildings in the country's tumultuous east, prompting new threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Angry Muslims in Central African Republic call for partition

By Emmanuel Braun BAMBARI, Central African Republic (Reuters) - In this dusty town at the heart of the Central African Republic, many angry Muslims advocate a simple solution to the threat of religious violence from Christian militias terrorizing the country's south: partition. Bambari lies near the dividing line separating Central African Republic's Christian south - where mobs have lynched hun

S.African mum charged with murdering three children in London

A South African woman was charged on Thursday with murdering her three severely disabled children at their home in London, police said. Tania Clarence, 42, was arrested after the bodies of a four-year-old girl and two three-year-old boys were found on Tuesday evening. Neighbours said that Clarence, a graphic designer, and her husband Gary, who works at banking group Investec, had four children,

Ukraine foreign minister: Ready to fight Russia

PRAGUE (AP) — Ukraine's foreign minister has blasted the Russian decision to start military maneuvers along their border and said Thursday his country will fight any invading troops.

Officials: Camilla's brother's death an accident

NEW YORK (AP) — The death of the Prince of Wales' brother-in-law in New York City has been ruled an accident.

Mexican vigilantes search caves for cartel leader

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Members of a self-defense group in western Mexico are searching an extensive cave system in the hunt for the last fugitive leader of the Knights Templar drug cartel.

Timbuktu's storied mausoleums to rise from ruins

TIMBUKTU, Mali (AP) — Roofs are torn off, mud bricks are strewn about and walls barely rise from the desert dunes where Timbuktu's storied mausoleums once stood and are now in ruins. Islamic radicals swept in and tore them apart as totems of idolatry, along with other symbols of the fabled city.

Top Asian News at 6:00 p.m. GMT

TOKYO (AP) — As trade negotiators struggled to overcome their differences, President Barack Obama on Thursday rejected suggestions that an Asia-Pacific trade deal is in danger and urged the U.S. and Japan to take bold steps to complete an agreement that is key to his agenda in the region. Illustrating the difficulties at hand, the top Japanese negotiator said Thursday that talks at his level had c

Police capture fugitive in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Police in Puerto Rico have captured a fugitive who was wanted in connection with a quadruple homicide.

Ukraine gives Russia 48 hours to explain exercises

Ukraine has asked Moscow, under European OSCE security arrangements, to explain and give details of its military exercises near the border within 48 hours, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. In a statement in response to remarks by the Russian defense minister earlier in the day announcing exercises linked to tension in Ukraine, the ministry said Russia was trying to influence Kiev's efforts t


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