Weekend:  Chance of Precipitation: Fri: 40% / Sat: 40% / Sun: 40%.

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'Monstrous' violence in Syria as government excludes Aleppo from truce

A civilian evacuates a baby from a site hit by airstrikes in the rebel held area of Aleppo's al-Fardous districtBy Lisa Barrington BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria called local truces near Damascus and in a northern province on Friday but no halt to combat on the main battlefield in Aleppo, after a surge in fighting the United Nations said showed "monstrous disregard" for civilian lives. The French charity Medecins sans Frontieres, which supported the hospital, said on Friday the death toll had risen to at least 50, including six medics. A Syrian military source said Aleppo was excluded from the newly announced truces "because in Aleppo there are terrorists who have not stopped hitting the city and its residents ... There are a large number of martyrs in Aleppo which is why the situation is different there".

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 12:53:05 -0400
Strike on Afghan hospital last year not a war crime: U.S. military

A sign commemorates 14 medical personnel who were killed when an American airstrike destroyed the Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital in Kunduz, AfghanistanBy Idrees Ali WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. military investigation has concluded that a deadly 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 a number of factors, including human errors. Forty-two people were killed and 37 were wounded during an Oct. 3 strike that destroyed a hospital run by the international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres. "The investigation concluded that certain personnel failed to comply with the rules of engagement and the law of armed conflict, however, the investigation did not conclude that these failures amounted to a war crime," General Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters on Friday.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 12:56:51 -0400
How France sank Japan's $40 billion Australian submarine dream

An employee looks at the propeller of a Scorpen submarine at the industrial site of the naval defence company and shipbuilder DCNS in La MontagneBy Tim Kelly, Cyril Altmeyer and Colin Packham TOKYO/PARIS/SYDNEY (Reuters) - In 2014, a blossoming friendship between Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe looked to have all but sewn up a $40 billion submarine deal. Then French naval contractor DCNS hatched a bold and seemingly hopeless plan to gatecrash the party. Almost 18 months later, France this week secured a remarkable come-from-behind victory on one of the world's most lucrative defense deals.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 10:12:47 -0400
China denies request for Hong Kong visit by U.S. carrier group: Pentagon

File photo of aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis transiting the Strait of HormuzBy David Brunnstrom and Greg Torode WASHINGTON/HONGKONG (Reuters) - China has denied a request for a U.S. carrier strike group led by the USS John C. Stennis to visit to Hong Kong, the U.S. Defense Department said on Friday, amid heightened tensions over China's territorial claims in the South China Sea. A Pentagon spokesman, Commander Bill Urban, said a U.S. warship, the USS Blue Ridge, was currently in Hong Kong on a port visit and the United States expected that to continue.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 11:51:37 -0400
North Korea sentences Korean American to 10 years hard labor

A man, who identified himself as Kim Dong Chul, previously said he was a naturalised American citizen and was arrested in North Korea in October, attends a news conference in PyongyangBy Jack Kim SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea's Supreme Court on Friday sentenced a Korean American man to 10 years hard labor 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. Weeks earlier North Korea sentenced American Otto Warmbier to 15 years hard labor in March for trying to steal a propaganda banner.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 11:28:08 -0400
Iran asks U.N. chief to intervene with U.S. after court ruling

United Nations Secretary General Ban arrives to a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif at U.N. headquarters in New YorkBy Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Iran asked U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday to convince the United States to stop violating state immunity after the top U.S. court ruled that $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be paid to American victims of attacks blamed on Tehran. Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote to Ban a week after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, calling on the Secretary-General to use his "good offices in order to induce the U.S. Government to adhere to its international obligations." Zarif's appeal comes amid increasing Iranian frustration at what they say is the failure of the United States to keep its promises regarding sanctions relief agreed under an historic nuclear deal struck last year by Tehran and six world powers.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 02:00:27 -0400
Thousands march in Yemen to call for cease-fire

SANAA, Yemen (AP) Thousands of Yemenis took to the streets on Friday to call for an end to the fighting in the country's conflict.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 13:32:01 -0400
Burkina to reissue warrant for ousted leader Compaore

President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso during a press conference in Vienna on June 14, 2013Judges in Burkina Faso will reinstate an international arrest warrant for ex-president Blaise Compaore, who fled the country after a popular uprising in 2014, the military prosecutor said Friday. Burkinabe authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in December for his alleged role in the mysterious 1987 killing of his comrade, ex-president Thomas Sankara.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 13:28:15 -0400
U.N. chief open to helping in Iran-U.S. dispute over assets

By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations on Friday suggested it would be willing to assist in a dispute between Tehran and Washington after Iran requested U.N. help in convincing the United States to stop what the Islamic Republic has described as violations of state immunity. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday to ask him to intervene with his "good offices" after the top U.S. court ruled that $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be paid to American victims of attacks blamed on Tehran.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 13:20:36 -0400
Bellew to fight Makabu for vacant WBC cruiserweight title

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) Tony Bellew will fight Ilunga Makabu for the vacant WBC cruiserweight title at Everton's Goodison Park stadium on May 29.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 13:19:53 -0400
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