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World - Gabon`s Bongo finds new pep on the campaign trail


Ali Bongo of Gabon, who is running for a second seven-year term in Saturday`s presidential election, has spent more than half his 57 years cruising the corridors of power. Known variously by his initials ABO, Ali B and less flatteringly as `Monsieur Fils` for succeeding his father who ruled Gabon for 40 years, the usually reticent Bongo has emerged as a man on fire during the campaign. In recent weeks the people of Gabon have seen a new side to their president -- one who is relaxed and cracks jokes.


Thursday, August 25, 2016  04:37

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World - Transparency, accountability needed on Saudi air strikes in Yemen: U.N.


GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations human rights office called on Thursday for more light to be shed on the Saudi-led coalition air strikes in Yemen and for violations including attacks on hospitals to be punished. `The coalition shared with us their internal investigation. And our observation as an office (is), we need to see more transparency in terms of these investigations,` Mohammad Ali Alnsour, chief of the Middle East and North Africa section of the U.N. human rights office, told a briefing in Geneva. ...


Thursday, August 25, 2016  12:08

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World - Gabon`s old guard hopes to unseat Bongo dynasty scion


The increasingly disgruntled people of Gabon go to the polls Saturday in a presidential election in which a last-minute opposition pact has robbed incumbent Ali Bongo of a clear run at a second term. Bongo, 57, has long sought to emerge from the shadow of his father, Omar Bongo, who ruled the country of 1.8 million people for 41 years until he died in 2009. The president`s only credible challenger, former senior African Union official Jean Ping, 73, is carrying the flag for the old guard of Bongo senior`s cronies.


Thursday, August 25, 2016  04:58

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World - Jean Ping, former top diplomat out to topple Gabon dynasty


Gabon`s leading presidential challenger Jean Ping is a career diplomat determined to wrest power from the Bongo dynasty in Saturday`s election after serving the family for two decades. Foreign minister of the small oil-rich nation from the late 1990s until being elected to the high-profile post of chair of the African Union (AU) Commission in 2008, he is among a few Gabonese figures to be well-known internationally. The Paris university graduate was one of late president Omar Bongo`s closest and longest-serving ministers, holding a succession of prestigious posts before turning against President Ali Bongo who stepped in after his father`s death in 2009.


Thursday, August 25, 2016  04:52

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World - Iran vessels make `high speed intercept` of U.S. ship: U.S. official


By Idrees Ali WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Four of Iran`s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) vessels `harassed` a U.S. warship on Tuesday near the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. defense official said, amid Washington`s concerns about Iran`s posture in the Gulf and in the Syrian civil war. The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday that two of the Iranian vessels came within 300 yards of the USS Nitze in an incident that was `unsafe and unprofessional.` The vessels harassed the destroyer by `conducting a high speed intercept and closing within a short distance of Nitze, despite repeated warnings,` the official said.


Thursday, August 25, 2016  02:20

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World - Dizzy Roy sets up England win over Pakistan


Jason Roy overcame a dizzy spell to lead England`s charge to a 44-run win under the Duckworth/Lewis method in a rain-marred first one-day international against Pakistan in Southampton on Wednesday. Surrey opener Roy`s quickfire 65 fired England towards an initial victory target of 261 after Pakistan had made 260 for six, captain Azhar Ali top-scoring with 82. Eoin Morgan, the England captain, was 33 not out and Ben Stokes 15 not out.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016  23:13

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World - Firefighters largely control California blaze as other fire threatens historic mansion


By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Firefighters had a Southern California wildfire mostly surrounded on Saturday, allowing thousands of evacuated residents to return to their houses as another fire further north moved perilously close to the historic Hearst Castle, officials said. The Blue Cut fire, named after a narrow gorge where it ignited about 75 miles (120 km) northeast of Los Angeles on Tuesday in an area called the Cajon Pass, has burned more than 37,000 acres (15,000 hectares) and destroyed 105 homes and 213 outbuildings, said fire information officer Mike Lopez. ...


Sunday, August 21, 2016  04:42

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World - Southern California wildfire has burned at least 96 homes: paper


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The so-called Blue Cut fire in Southern California has burned at least 96 single-family homes, said San Bernardino County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig, according to a report on the website of the San Bernardino Sun. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis, editing by G Crosse)


Friday, August 19, 2016  19:38

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World - Firefighters gain ground on Southern California wildfire


By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Firefighters were gaining ground on Friday against a wildfire burning in a Southern California mountain pass that forced tens of thousands of residents to flee their homes and consumed dozens of structures. The Blue Cut fire, named for a narrow gorge near its origin in the Cajon Pass about 75 miles (120 km) northeast of Los Angeles, has blackened 37,000 acres (14,973 hectares) of drought-parched heavy brush and chaparral after breaking out on Tuesday. Officials said firefighters were able to carve containment lines around 26 percent of the blaze as of Friday morning - up from 4 percent a day earlier - in dry, hot and windy weather conditions and treacherous terrain.


Friday, August 19, 2016  19:13

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World - California wildfire challenges fight to stem its progress


By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Firefighters faced searing temperatures and steep terrain on Thursday as they toiled to contain a fast-moving Southern California wildfire that has forced tens of thousands of people from their homes. The so-called `Blue Cut Fire` erupted on Tuesday in the mountainous Cajon Pass northeast of Los Angeles. The fast moving fire grew nearly 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) overnight, fire officials said.


Thursday, August 18, 2016  18:45

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