Last update: Sun, 01 May 2016 10pm

General News: World


Turkey's leaders on Friday celebrated the 100th anniversary of a famous victory by the Ottoman army in World War I against Allied forces in today's Iraq, as the authorities place greater emphasis on the pre-Republican history of the country. The surrender by a British-led force at the garrison in Kut al-Amara (Kut in modern Iraq) is seen as the last Ottoman victory of the war which ended in the defeat of the Empire and its German allies.
A deadly US air strike in Afghanistan last year that destroyed a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders did not amount to a war crime but was caused by human error, equipment failure and other factors, a US military report released on Friday concluded. Forty-two people were killed and 37 were wounded during an October 3 strike that destroyed the hospital run by the international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), known as Doctors Without Borders in English.
An Australian woman working for a charity in Afghanistan has been kidnapped, the country's foreign minister said Friday. Julie Bishop said Canberra was working to secure the release of Katherine Jane Wilson, but insisted Australia does not pay ransoms for hostages. Wilson, who also uses the first name Kerry, was grabbed in the city of Jalalabad, close to the border with Pakistan, on Thursday, a government official in the area told AFP.
North Korea's Supreme Court on Friday sentenced a Korean American man to 10 years hard labour for subversion, North Korean media reported, in the latest conviction of a foreigner for crimes against the isolated state. Kim Dong Chul, 62, was arrested in North Korea in October and had admitted to committing "unpardonable espionage" including stealing military secrets, the North's official KCNA news agency reported earlier.
China and Russia on Friday rapped US plans to put a missile defence system on the Korean peninsula, less than 24 hours after Pyongyang twice tested projectiles thought to be capable of reaching American territory. A series of missile tests and nuclear blasts by North Korea have pushed Seoul into talks with Washington about deploying the US's sophisticated Theater High Altitude Area Defence System (THAAD), which fires projectiles to smash into enemy missiles.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is ready to help settle a dispute between Iran and the United States on Tehran's frozen assets, but only if both countries make that request, a UN spokesman said Friday. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on Ban to use his "good offices" to press the United States to release all frozen assets in US banks, in a letter sent Thursday.
Voting was extended Friday in second round elections for almost a quarter of the seats in Iran's parliament, a crucial showdown between reformists and conservatives seeking to influence the country's future. The polls will decide who has the most power when lawmakers are sworn in next month, opening or potentially closing a politically delicate path to even limited social and cultural change in the Islamic republic.