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Ten killed in suicide attack near Afghan capital

Afghan policemen keep watch near the site of a suicide bomb attack in KabulKABUL (Reuters) - A suicide attack on a bus carrying staff from an appeal court killed 10 people and wounded four on Wednesday west of the Afghan capital, Kabul, an interior ministry spokesman said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came as the Taliban confirmed their former leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour had been killed in a U.S. drone strike and would be succeeded by his deputy, Haibatullah Akhunzada. (Reporting by Mirwais Harooni; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Wed, 25 May 2016 02:38:25 -0400
U.S.-backed Syrian alliance launches new attack near Islamic State capital

Islamic State billboards are seen along a street in RaqqaBy Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - A U.S.-backed alliance of Syrian militias launched a new offensive against Islamic State fighters near their de facto capital of Raqqa city on Tuesday, a monitoring group and an official said. The Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance is the main Syrian partner for the U.S.-led alliance battling the Islamic State group that controls large areas of northern and eastern Syria. Aided by U.S.-led air strikes, the YPG has driven Islamic State from wide areas of northern Syria over the last year or more, though its advances have recently slowed.

Tue, 24 May 2016 16:06:40 -0400
Afghan Taliban appoint new leader after Mansour's death

Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour is seen in this undated handout photographBy Mirwais Harooni and Jibran Ahmad KABUL/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Afghan Taliban named one of former leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour's deputies to succeed him on Wednesday, after confirming Mansour's death in a U.S. drone strike at the weekend. Mansour will be replaced by Haibatullah Akhunzada, who was named in a United Nations report last year as the Taliban's former chief justice, said Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban's main spokesman, in the statement. Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of a feared network blamed for many high-profile bombs attacks in Kabul in recent years, and Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, will serve as deputies.

Wed, 25 May 2016 03:07:38 -0400
Greece starts moving migrants from squalid border camp

Protestors hold a banner on a highway during a police operation to evacuate a makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of IdomeniBy Phoebe Fronista and Fedja Grulovic IDOMENI, Greece (Reuters) - Greece sent in police and bulldozers on Tuesday to knock down tents and relocate hundreds of migrants who had been stranded for months in a squalid makeshift camp on the border with Macedonia. Several busloads of people, most of them families with children, left the sprawling expanse of tents at Idomeni to move to state-run centers further south. By the latest count, at least 8,000 people were camped at Idomeni in difficult, overcrowded conditions with poor sanitation, ignoring previous calls by the government to leave.

Wed, 25 May 2016 02:18:11 -0400
Vietnamese dissident a reluctant tourist during Obama visit

Nguyen Quang A watches TV at his home in Hanoi, VietnamBy Martin Petty HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnamese dissident Nguyen Quang A spent much of Tuesday as a tourist with plainclothes cops - eating fish noodle soup, visiting a temple and a fortune teller returning home just as President Barack Obama took off from Hanoi aboard Air Force One. "It was a compulsory tour," joked Quang A, 69, a well-known critic of the Communist Party who is famous for creative stunts of his own to make Vietnam's leaders pay more than lip-service to political inclusiveness. Quang A, a former IT entrepreneur, was one of more than 100 Vietnamese who tried to run as independents for last weekend's election to the parliament, which is tightly controlled by the Communist Party.

Wed, 25 May 2016 02:11:30 -0400
Australia immigration policy threatens to hijack election agenda

Protesters occupy Australian PM Turnbull's electoral office demanding end to policy of offshore detention in Sydney suburb of Edgecliff, AustraliaBy Matt Siegel SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's election agenda focusing on jobs and growth is at risk of being hijacked by the country's harsh immigration policy and controversial network of offshore detention camps for asylum seekers. Canberra has vowed to stop refugees sailing from Indonesia and Sri Lanka and landing on its shores, instead intercepting boats at sea and holding those on board in camps in far-flung Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Now Turnbull, who ousted conservative Tony Abbott in a party coup last year promising a more progressive agenda, is facing calls of xenophobia for refusing to condemn his immigration minister's claims that refugees will steal Australian jobs and strain the social safety network.

Wed, 25 May 2016 02:05:10 -0400
Afghan Taliban appoint new leader after deadly drone strike

A photo released by the Afghan Taliban in 2015 is said to show Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour, who died in a US drone strike this monthThe Afghan Taliban on Wednesday announced Haibatullah Akhundzada as their new chief, elevating a low-profile religious figure after officially confirming the death of Mullah Mansour in a US drone strike. Akhundzada, who was one of two deputies under Mansour, is seen as a unifying figure in an increasingly fragmented militant movement, though it remains unclear whether he will be in favour of talks aimed at ending the 15-year insurgency. "Haibatullah Akhundzada has been appointed as the new leader of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) after a unanimous agreement in the shura (supreme council), and all the members of shura pledged allegiance to him," the insurgents said in a statement.

Wed, 25 May 2016 03:06:26 -0400
Evacuation of Idomeni refugee camp continues for 2nd day

ATHENS, Greece (AP) Greek authorities have begun for a second day moving people out of the sprawling Idomeni refugee camp on the country's northern border with Macedonia.

Wed, 25 May 2016 03:04:50 -0400
Top Asian News 6:58 a.m. GMT

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (AP) Wrapping up a historic visit to Vietnam, U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday praised the country's next generation of leaders for being more conscious of the environment than previous generations and urged them to "do something about" climate change. During his final public event here, Obama basked in the admiration of hundreds of young leaders who participated in a town hall-style event and prefaced some of their questions to him with praise about his leadership and his "inspiring speeches." Obama used a question about preserving a Vietnamese cave from development to pivot to climate change, one of his top issues as president.

Wed, 25 May 2016 02:59:02 -0400
Group of 7 seeks way forward for aging, faltering economies

FILE - In this May 24, 2016 file photo, a man puts a banner of the G7 Summit at International Media Center in Ise, Mie Prefecture, central Japan. Leaders of the Group of Seven rich nations will undoubtedly voice unity over fighting terrorism, pandemics and tax evasion at their summit in Japan starting on Thursday, May 26. Finding a consensus on how to breathe life into their sluggish economies is proving more elusive. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)TOKYO (AP) Leaders of the Group of Seven rich nations will undoubtedly voice unity over fighting terrorism, pandemics and tax evasion at their summit in Japan this week. Finding a consensus on how to breathe life into their sluggish economies is proving more elusive.

Wed, 25 May 2016 02:58:51 -0400
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