By Lidia Kelly and Alissa de Carbonnel MOSCOW/SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin rebuffed a warning from U.S. President Barack Obama over Moscow's military intervention in Crimea, saying on Friday that Russia could not ignore calls for help from Russian speakers in Ukraine. After an hour-long telephone call, Putin said in a statement that Moscow and Washington were still fa
The protests aimed at bringing down Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra have been going on for four months and are taking a toll on the economy, with consumer confidence at a 12-year low. The political uncertainty is unnerving consumers and the violence is scaring tourists away from Bangkok. Surapong Techruvichit, president of the Thai Hotels Association, said the occupancy rate had plunged to 20
By Noah Barkin BERLIN (Reuters) - After one of her first encounters with Vladimir Putin in 2002, Angela Merkel joked to aides that she had passed the "KGB test" by staring straight into his eyes without averting her gaze. Unlike presidents in Washington - George W. Bush claimed to have gotten a glimpse of Putin's soul and Barack Obama promised to "reset" relations with Russia - the German chance
China has expressed its "deep concern" to North Korea after South Korea said a Chinese airplane had crossed the path of a rocket launched by the isolated state, China's foreign ministry said on Friday. On Thursday, South Korea's defense ministry said a Chinese civilian plane had "passed as the ballistic missile (from North Korea) was in the course of descending". The plane was flying from Toyko's
By Mehreen Zahra-Malik ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's cities are unsafe from Islamist militant attacks due to their porous security, the country's defense minister said after suicide bombers and gunmen killed 11 people in an assault on a court in the capital earlier this week. Carried out by a splinter group of the Paksitani Taliban, the attack will complicate the government's efforts to open
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (Reuters) - A Malaysian court convicted opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy on Friday, upholding the government's appeal of his acquittal two years earlier in a ruling that his supporters said was politically influenced and aimed at ending his career. The court of appeal ruled that Anwar had anal intercourse with his male aide in 2008, a crime in the Muslim majority cou
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A former girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius has testified at the double-amputee runner's murder trial that their relationship ended when he cheated on her with Reeva Steenkamp, the woman he fatally shot last year.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The International Criminal Court has convicted a rebel leader of charges including murder and pillage during a deadly attack on a village in eastern Congo, but acquitted him of rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's state news agency says an appeals court has found opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim guilty on sodomy charges, overturning his earlier acquittal.
LONDON (AP) — The enforced inclusion of No. 8 Ben Morgan for the injured Billy Vunipola was the only change in the England run-on side for the Six Nations showdown with Wales at Twickenham on Sunday.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — International Criminal Court convicts rebel in deadly 2003 attack on eastern Congo village.
Russia's lower and upper houses of parliament on Friday pledged to vote into law the result of a "historic" March 16 referendum in the Ukrainian region of Crimea on becoming part of Russia. The speakers of both the State Duma and Federation Council strongly implied that ratification would receive fast-track rubber-stamp approval if Crimeans -- as is widely expected -- vote to become part of Russ
Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Friday NATO's decision to curb its cooperation with Moscow showed a "biased and prejudiced approach" over Ukraine. "We see as extremely dangerous attempts to bring in the 'NATO factor' to Ukraine, where the situation is complex and delicate as it is, as it creates additional tension and undermines the prospects for settling the situation," the ministry said in a s
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan provincial official says a motorcycle bomb was remotely detonated in a crowded market in the country's south, killing five people and wounding eight.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's prime minister has threatened drastic steps to censor the Internet, including shutting down Facebook and YouTube, where audio recordings of his alleged conversations suggesting corruption have been leaked in the past weeks, dealing him a major blow ahead of this month's local elections.
MUMBAI, India (AP) — World stock markets were muted Friday as investors turned cautious ahead of the release of a key U.S. employment report and Chinese economic indicators.
TOKYO (AP) — North Korean voters will make a choice Sunday when they elect a new national legislature, but not for a candidate. The ruling elite have already done that for them, and there's only one per district. They get to vote "yes" or "no." Virtually all pick "yes."
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — German President Joachim Gauck is to visit a village in northwestern Greece where German troops massacred dozens of villagers during World War II, as part of a three-day trip to the country combining talks with politicians with efforts to bring closure to the wounds from the German wartime occupation of Greece.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A neighbor of Oscar Pistorius testifying in his murder trial said Friday that the bangs he heard after a woman's screams on the night of Reeva Steenkamp's shooting were likely too quick to be the sounds of a cricket bat on a door, as the star athlete's defense team claims.
Crimea's parliament has the right to hold a referendum on the region's future status and if its people vote to join Russia, Russia's upper house of parliament will support their decision, the assembly's speaker said on Friday. Dismissing suggestions that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine, Valentina Matviyenko supported the decision by parliament in Ukraine's southern region on Thursday to hold
TOKYO (AP) — North Korean voters will make a choice Sunday when they elect a new national legislature, but not for a candidate. The ruling elite have already done that for them, and there's only one per district.
GOSPORT, England (AP) — Two lines of trenches face off across No Man's Land. A soldier marches, rifle in hand, along a ditch. These are instantly familiar images of World War I — but this is Britain, a century on and an English Channel away from the battlefields of the Western Front.
Hong Kong (AFP) - Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung was jailed for six years for money laundering Friday, after a Hong Kong trial that put the mysterious fortune of the hairdresser-turned-businessman under intense scrutiny.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Japan's second largest automaker said Friday it remains optimistic about Southeast Asia's auto market despite political turmoil in Thailand, one of the region's key car manufacturers.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — In a surprising move after Russia flexed its military might in the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine's new leadership has reached out to oligarchs for help — appointing them as governors in eastern regions where loyalties to Moscow are strong.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - There will be no war between Russia and Ukraine, the speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament said on Friday. "It's complete nonsense, it absolutely does not reflect our intentions, the feelings of empathy and the pain we feel for the Ukrainian people," said Valentina Matviyenko, head of the Russian Federation Council. "We are absolutely sure that there will never be a war
By Mehreen Zahra-Malik ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan could launch a full-scale military operation against Pakistani Taliban insurgents in the tribal areas near the Afghan border as early as this month, the defense minister said, warning insurgents against violating a ceasefire. Dashing chances of a peace deal with the Pakistani Taliban, gunmen burst into a courtroom in Islamabad on Monday, killin
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The ACT Brumbies overcame the loss of flanker David Pocock to a season-ending injury, coming from 13-3 down to beat the Hurricanes 29-21 in Super Rugby on Friday.
MANDRA, Pakistan (AP) — Amna Bhatti has spent half a century shaping mud into bricks in a huge kiln south of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. She started by paying off her parents' debt and now she's on to her late husband's. She'll probably spend the rest of her life here. Bhatti was 10 when she started working at the kiln to pay off her parents' debt. Now, at 60, she is paying off the 250,000 r
Turkey's embattled prime minister has warned that his government could ban popular social media networks YouTube and Facebook after a raft of online leaks added momentum to a spiralling corruption scandal. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already tightened his government's grip over the Internet, generating criticism at home and abroad about rights in the EU-hopeful country. "There are new steps we will