02092016Tue
Last update: Tue, 09 Feb 2016 02am

World - Europe

Moscow slams UN chief for Syria comments MOSCOW: The Russian foreign ministry on Monday criticised UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon over his claim that Russian air strikes in Syria had undermined last week's peace talks to end the country's five-year war."We have always considered and continue to consider that comments from the chief administrator of an global organisation ... should remain impartial and objective," the ministry said in a statement.Ban had "practically" accused Russia of leading to the collapse of the talks, it added."This is clearly not what happened."UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura last week suspended attempts to begin a dialogue between President Bashar al-Assad's regime and the opposition, as Russia pressed its bombing campaign in the war-torn country.Ban told Britain's The Financial Times newspaper last week that "aerial bombing continued" when the talks began, making it "extremely difficult" for negotiations to take place.Washington had also accused Moscow of being "partly" responsible for torpedoing the ...


World - North America

Magnitude 6.3 earthquake hits off Papua New Guinea: USGS SYDNEY: A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea's Bougainville Island early Tuesday, US seismologists said, with no immediate tsunami warning issued. The quake hit some 96 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of Panguna at 0019 GMT, according to the US Geological Survey.The epicentre was 104 kilometres southwest of the larger town of Arawa also on Bougainville Island and USGS said it was 30 kilometres deep, which is considered shallow.The seismologists had ...

World - Africa

Congolese ex-army chief to run for president BRAZZAVILLE: A former Congolese army chief and presidential advisor announced Monday he plans to run in the March 20 election and challenge President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has been in power in Congo-Brazzaville for more than 30 years."I will be a candidate... I felt called to by the people and I decided to cross the Rubicon," General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko told AFP by phone from Bangui."I know the country well, its challenges and its history," ...

World - Europe

France to probe new child rape allegations in C. Africa PARIS: French investigators will probe new allegations by young children of sexual abuse by French soldiers in the Central African Republic, a judicial source said Monday.The allegations were made to UN investigators last month by a sister and brother, now aged seven and nine, the source said.The children described being forced to perform oral sex on unidentified soldiers in exchange for water and biscuits in 2014, adding that other children were abused in the same ...

World - Europe

UK warns EU exit could mean migrant camps on south coast LONDON: A British EU exit could mean thousands of migrants landing on Britain's shores "overnight", the government said on Monday, stepping up the rhetoric in the campaign ahead of a referendum on membership.Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said a "Brexit" could undermine a Franco-British bilateral agreement that allows Britain to carry out border checks on French soil, stopping many migrants."Should Britain leave the EU there's no guarantee those controls would remain in place," Cameron's spokesman ...

World - Europe

Pope says he angered Merkel with comments on Europe VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis has revealed that he received an angry phone call from German Chancellor Angela Merkel after he compared Europe to a "barren woman", in an interview published Monday.In a speech to the European Parliament in November 2014, Pope Francis delivered a withering attack on a "haggard" Europe which he said is "now a 'grandmother', no longer fertile and vibrant."In an interview with Italy's Corriere della Sera, Francis said he had received an ...

World - North America

Canada to end air strikes in Iraq, Syria February 22 OTTAWA: Canada announced Monday it will end air strikes targeting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and bring home its six fighter jets on February 22.In doing so, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is going against public opinion.The Liberal leader had pledged during the campaign prior to legislative elections last year to end the air strikes, which he described Monday as being good for achieving "short-term military and territorial gains" but not for "long-term ...