02152016Mon
Last update: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 03am

World - Europe

Pope to pray for one of Mexico's poorest, most violent cities MEXICO CITY: Pope Francis heads to one of the poorest, most dangerous cities in Mexico on Sunday to celebrate Mass before a crowd of hundreds of thousands that residents hope will give them strength to cope with drug gang violence.A gritty expanse of cinder block homes north of the Mexican capital, Ecatepec has seen a surge in crime in recent years as it expanded to cover surrounding hillsides and became infested with warring drug cartels.Fueled by a weak economy and youth unemployment, gang violence has driven Ecatepec's murder rate to one of Mexico's highest.It is also notorious for the unsolved murders of women, whose bodies have been found abandoned in garbage dumps and tossed in a canal only miles from where Francis will speak on Sunday."We are living through a period of great violence ... May (the pope) give us strength to continue to bear this, to keep struggling against ...


World - Europe

Czech PM says ready to protect Balkan borders in migrant crisis PRAGUE: Central European leaders are ready to help Balkan countries seal their borders with Greece to stem the flow of migrants across the continent, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told Reuters on Sunday.Despite objections from regional powerhouse Germany, which says it would make the situation in Greece more difficult, the so-called Visegrad group will debate the plans on Monday at a summit hosted by Sobotka.He said the European Union's agreements with Turkey to reduce the ...

World - Middle East

Turkey will continue to strike back at Kurdish fighters in Syria, PM tells Merkel ANKARA: Turkey will continue to strike back at Kurdish fighters of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday, despite growing pressure on Ankara to stop the shelling.In telephone talks, Davutoglu told Merkel that Turkey "will not permit the PYD to carry out aggressive acts. Our security forces gave the necessary response and will continue to do so," his office said in a statement.Turkish artillery ...

World - Europe

France's Sarkozy urges party unity, lags behind popular rival PARIS: Former French president Nicholas Sarkozy, struggling to put his re-election bid back on track, urged his conservative party on Sunday to rally behind a programme of curbing immigration, building more jails and cutting taxes.Sarkozy wants his platform, which also includes overhauling labour rules and restoring checks at French borders, to set the party line for the 2017 presidential elections.But his main rivals for November primaries that will choose The Republicans' (LR) candidate for the ...

World - Middle East

US, allies conduct 27 strikes in Syria, Iraq against IS; US military says WASHINGTON: The United States and its allies conducted 27 strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq on Saturday, the Combined Joint Task Force overseeing the operations said in a statement.In Iraq, 25 attacks were carried out near nine cities, six of them near Ramadi, striking Islamic State tactical units and destroying Islamic State staging areas, fighting positions and assembly areas.Near Mosul, 12 strikes hit two separate tactical units and other targets and destroyed ...

World - Middle East

Saudi deploys jets in Turkey for anti-IS fight DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has deployed warplanes to a Turkish airbase in order to "intensify" its operations against the Islamic State group in Syria, a senior Saudi defence official has said."The Saudi kingdom now has a presence at Incirlik airbase in Turkey," Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri was quoted as saying by Al-Arabiya television late on Saturday."Saudi warplanes are present with their crews to intensify aerial operations along with missions launched from bases in Saudi Arabia," Assiri ...

World - North America

Obama enjoins Supreme Court fight in election year RANCHO MIRAGE: President Barack Obama said he would name a new Supreme Court justice to replace Antonin Scalia, slapping down Republican demands for a delay and setting up a monumental election-year fight."I plan to fulfil my constitutional responsibilities," Obama said Saturday, rejecting a chorus of right wing demands that he leave Scalia's replacement to his successor.The conservative justice, appointed to the lifetime post in 1986 by president Ronald Reagan, died unexpectedly in Texas on Saturday, ...