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Last update: Thu, 05 May 2016 05am

North America

World - North America

US demands South Sudan allow rebel chief's return WASHINGTON: The United States blamed South Sudan's government on Sunday for the latest hold-up in efforts to end its civil war, but warned both sides the world will not tolerate backsliding.Rebel leader Riek Machar had been due to fly to Juba from Ethiopia on Saturday to join a transitional government, but President Salva Kiir's government blocked his flight.He is now due to return on Monday, but US special envoy to South Sudan Donald Booth said repeated delays had called into question both parties' commitment to the agreement."This marks the third time this week that plans for Machar to return ... have been frustrated by one side or the other," the senior diplomat told AFP in Washington."Machar frustrated the first two attempts by a last minute insistence on bringing additional security forces and additional heavy weapons -- RPGs -- with him," he said."Then yesterday it was the government that closed the ...

World - North America

Two-thirds of unimmunized children live in conflict-affected countries: UNICEF UNITED NATIONS: Almost two-thirds of children who have not been immunized with basic vaccines live in countries that are either partially or entirely affected by conflict, UNICEF said ahead of World Immunization Week. "Conflict creates an ideal environment for disease outbreaks," UNICEF Chief of Immunization Robin Nandy said. "Children miss out out on basic immunizations because of the breakdown - and sometimes deliberate destruction - of vital health services. Even when medical services are available, ...

World - North America

Trump campaign rejects charges he is fooling voters BRIDGEPORT: Donald Trump's presidential campaign pushed back Sunday against accusations by rivals in both parties that the celebrity billionaire was a political fraud who was misleading American voters.The Republican frontrunner's new senior advisor Paul Manafort raised eyebrows when he told Republican heavyweights at a closed-door meeting that Trump has been playing a "part" in front of rally audiences and that the role was "evolving" into a more serious, policy-focused one.Likening it to the "Wizard of ...

World - North America

Obama urges reinstatement of Syria ceasefire HANOVER: US President Barack Obama made a plea Sunday for warring parties in Syria to return to peace talks and "reinstate" a ceasefire, as he defended a refusal to establish a safe zone in the country."I spoke to (Russian) President Vladimir Putin early last week to try to make sure that we could reinstate the cessation of hostilities," he told a news conference in Germany.That was the clearest indication yet that the White House believes ...

World - North America

Obama calls on China to increase pressure on N.Korea HANOVER: US President Barack Obama on Sunday urged China to increase pressure on North Korea after another "provocative" weapons test.Speaking after a North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un hailed a submarine-launched ballistic missile test as an "eye-opening success," Obama said: "North Korea continues to engage in continuous provocative behaviour."He added: "We have cultivated cooperation with the Chinese to put pressure on North Korea. Although it is not where we would completely like it to be."The test ...

World - North America

Merkel 'on right side of history' over pro-refugee stance: Obama HANOVER: US President Barack Obama on Sunday leapt to the defence of Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying the German leader, facing fire at home over a record refugee influx, is on the "right side of history". "What's happening with respect to her position on refugees here, in Europe, she's on the right side of history on this," said Obama on his fifth and final official visit to Germany.Lauding Merkel for taking "very tough politics not just ...

World - North America

Foreign experts say Mexico hindered probe of 43 missing MEXICO CITY: Independent investigators issued a scathing report Sunday on the disappearance of 43 Mexican students, accusing the government of obstructing their probe and questioning the role of federal forces in the tragedy.After a year-long investigation ending this month, the foreign experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights were unable to resolve a case that has shocked the international community and sparked protests against President Enrique Pena Nieto.While the mystery remains, the report calls ...