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World - China says U.S. human rights report biased

A U.S. congressional commission`s criticism of China`s human rights record did not `accord with the facts`, the Chinese government said on Friday, the latest friction over a long-running thorn in relations. The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China said on Thursday that it saw in China `a disturbing deterioration in human rights and rule of law conditions that pose a direct challenge to U.S. national interests and U.S.-China relations`. The report comes weeks after Chinese President Xi Jinping`s state visit to Washington, during which U.S. President Barack Obama laid out concern over human rights.

Friday, October 09, 2015  12:18


Asia-Pacific - Bao Zhuoxuan, Detained Rights Lawyer`s Son, Is Said to Disappear in Myanmar

Mr. Zhuoxuan, the son of Wang Yu, a lawyer who was detained in Beijing in July, was taken from a guesthouse in Mong La, a rights campaigner said.

Friday, October 09, 2015  13:57


World - Ousted Rome mayor warns of mafia return

Rome`s mayor cried foul on Friday after being forced to resign over an expenses row and warned the Italian capital could succumb once more to organised crime. Ignazio Marino, 60, stepped down late Thursday over a scandal centred on 20,000 euros ($22,600) of restaurant bills settled with a city hall credit card over the course of his 28 months in office. `If the bills hadn`t turned up, at some point they would have said I wear socks with holes in them or they would have planted cocaine in my pockets,` Marino said in an interview with La Stampa daily.

Friday, October 09, 2015  12:42


Europe - EU must improve Russia ties - Juncker

The EU must restore a `practical relationship` with Russia and not let the US `dictate` that policy, the European Commission chief says.

Friday, October 09, 2015  11:42


World - Sotheby`s to auction Picasso`s `La Gommeuse`

London (AFP) - A rare Pablo Picasso painting from the collection of US tycoon Bill Koch that will be sold on November 5 was shown in London for the first time on Friday.

Friday, October 09, 2015  16:05


World - Family mourns Nigerian pilgrim who fled Boko Haram but died in Haj crush

By Garba Muhammad KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Three years after his family fled their northeastern Nigerian home to escape threats from Boko Haram militants, Mudasir Gambo must have thought his luck had changed when he won a ticket to attend the annual haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. Nearly two weeks after the worst disaster to strike the pilgrimage for 25 years, more than 50 mourners were gathered at the Gambo family`s modest three-bedroom house, moving by turns from a communal compound outdoors to pray inside for Gambo, who had been on his first trip outside Nigeria when he died. Uba Mana, a spokesman for the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, said on Thursday that 99 pilgrims from the west African country died, 42 were hurt and 215 were missing.

Friday, October 09, 2015  11:06


World - Clashes in Guinea ahead of Sunday`s presidential vote

Guinea`s president vowed to press ahead with Sunday`s election, dismissing opposition calls for a delay as clashes broke out in the capital ahead of the hotly contested vote. Opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo again demanded the presidential vote be postponed to allow international monitors to investigate claims of vote rigging, including that minors have been listed on the electoral rolls. Incumbent President Alpha Conde earlier dismissed calls for the elections to be postponed, telling several reporters, including AFP, that the electoral commission is `perfectly within its rights to fix the date of the election`.

Friday, October 09, 2015  08:43


Top Stories - California agency votes to ban SeaWorld orca breeding

Commission OKs expansion of tanks SeaWorld uses for killer whales but bans breeding.

Friday, October 09, 2015  06:37


World - EU heating strategy draft favors renewables and district heating

By Geert De Clercq PARIS (Reuters) - The European Commission is working on a strategy to reduce energy wasted in heating homes and offices, prompting concern among utilities which fear it will reduce their power sales. Early next year, the Commission plans to formulate recommendations on heating and cooling with a view to update EU energy legislation and possibly draft new directives. In five `issue papers`, seen by Reuters, the Commission presents options for a heating and cooling policy more focused on renewable energy and district heating systems that bring hot water into homes via underground pipelines.

Thursday, October 08, 2015  17:20


World - Obama apologizes for Afghan hospital attack, MSF demands independent probe

By Stephanie Nebehay and Daniel Bases GENEVA/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Medecins Sans Frontieres on Wednesday demanded an independent international commission to investigate the deadly U.S. bombing of its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, and President Barack Obama apologized to the medical charity. MSF, or Doctors Without Borders, which deems the attack a war crime, urged Obama to consent to a humanitarian commission established under the Geneva Conventions, even though neither the United States nor Afghanistan were signatories to the commission.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015  20:05

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