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Gunmen kill 59 in attack on police academy in Pakistani city of Quetta

Barriers are raised to allow a police truck into the Police Training Center after an attack on the center in QuettaBy Gul Yusufzai QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - At least 59 people were killed and more than 100 wounded when gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed a Pakistani police training academy in the southwestern city of Quetta and took hostages, government officials said on Tuesday. Most of the dead were police cadets. Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, home minister of Baluchistan province, of which Quetta is the capital, said the gunmen attacked a dormitory inside the training facility while cadets rested and slept.

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:45:00 -0400
San Diego to South China Sea: U.S. Navy tested new command in latest challenge to China

Guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur operates in the South China SeaBy Tim Kelly TOKYO (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy destroyer that sailed near Chinese-claimed islands in South China Sea last week was under orders from the Third Fleet headquarters in San Diego, a first aimed at bolstering U.S. maritime power in the region, two sources said. The USS Decatur on Friday challenged China's "excessive maritime claims" near the Paracel Islands, part of a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which Beijing has territorial disputes with its neighbors. It was the first time such a freedom of navigation operation has been conducted without the Japan-based Seventh Fleet in command and was a test of changes aimed to allow the U.S. Navy to conduct maritime operations on two fronts in Asia at the same time, two sources told Reuters.

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:17:25 -0400
Islamic State steps up counter-attacks as fighting edges closer to Mosul

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter aims to fire during a battle with Islamic State militants at Topzawa village, near BashiqaBy Maher Chmaytelli and Stephen Kalin BAGHDAD/BARTELLA, Iraq (Reuters) - Islamic State expanded its attacks on Monday against the army and Kurdish forces across Iraq, trying to relieve pressure on the militant group's defenses around Mosul, its last major urban stronghold in the country. About 80 Islamic State-held villages and towns have been retaken in the first week of the offensive, bringing Iraqi and Kurdish forces closer to the edge of the city itself - where the battle will be hardest fought. The Mosul campaign, which aims to crush the Iraqi half of Islamic State's declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria, may become the biggest battle yet in the 13 years of turmoil triggered by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and could require a massive humanitarian relief operation.

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:15:31 -0400
Philippines' Duterte softens stance toward U.S. before Japan visit

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte interacts with reporters during a news conference upon his arrival from a four-day state visit in China at the Davao International Airport in Davao cityBy Linda Sieg and Kiyoshi Takenaka TOKYO (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte softened his remarks about a "separation" from long-time ally the United States on the eve of a visit to Japan, a country worried about Manila's apparent pivot away from Washington and toward China. "The alliances are alive," Duterte told Japanese media in Manila on Monday, Kyodo News reported.

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:02:33 -0400
China says has political promise from West on graft fight

A Chinese national flag flies in front of Beijing Telegraph Building on a hazy morning in central BeijingChina has been given a political promise by Western countries that they will not become havens for corrupt fugitives, a senior official told state television, though he offered no assurances to assuage concerns about mistreatment of suspects. China has vowed to pursue an overseas search dubbed Operation "Fox Hunt" for corrupt officials and business executives, and their assets, part of President Xi Jinping's war on deep-seated corruption. It has been pushing for extradition treaties but Western countries have been reluctant to help, not wanting to send people to a country where rights groups say mistreatment of suspects is a concern.

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:19:42 -0400
Venezuela, opposition announce dialogue as standoff worsens

Demonstrators clash with riot police during a rally to demand a referendum to remove Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in San CristobalBy Diego Or and Anggy Polanco CARACAS/SAN CRISTOBAL, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuela's socialist government and the opposition on Monday announced talks for the weekend to deal with a political standoff that has intensified since the suspension of a referendum drive to remove President Nicolas Maduro. "At last we are installing a dialogue between the opposition and the legitimate government," Maduro said from Rome after a meeting with Pope Francis, who urged him to alleviate Venezuelans' suffering during a brutal economic crisis. The opposition says the unpopular Maduro is an inept autocrat who must leave office before the crisis worsens.

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:21:26 -0400
Six die in fire at Malaysian hospital

Seven people were trapped by the fire inside the second-floor intensive-care unit of the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Bahru, bordering Singapore, the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department said on its official Twitter account. It was unclear what started the fire, or whether the casualties were patients or hospital staff.

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:38:40 -0400
Report: Gunmen still control metals mined for modern gadgets

FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2012, file photo, a Congolese miner sifts through ground rocks to separate out the cassiterite, the main ore thats processed into tin, in the town of Nyabibwe, eastern Congo, a once bustling outpost fueled by artisanal cassiterite mining. A new report released Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, shows violent, armed groups still exert control over pick-and-shovel miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo, despite years of efforts by local reformers, Western activists and multinational companies like Apple and Intel that use minerals from the region in their products. Conditions are better for miners in some areas, but armed groups still threaten the gold sector. (AP Photo/Marc Hofer, File)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Violent gunmen still menace pick-and-shovel miners in eastern Congo, a new report finds, despite years of efforts to loosen their grip by local reformers, Western activists and companies like Apple and Intel that use minerals from the African region in their products.

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:30:49 -0400
U.N. envoys urge Myanmar to probe killings, arrests in Muslim-majority region

Police forces prepare to patrol in Maungdaw township at Rakhine stateBy Simon Lewis YANGON (Reuters) - U.N. human rights experts have called on Myanmar to investigate allegations that security forces have killed unarmed civilians, burned villages and made arbitrary arrests in a Muslim-majority region where a crackdown has followed attacks on border police. Aid agencies say up to 15,000 people, believed to be mostly Rohingya Muslims, have been displaced since armed men launched coordinated attacks on three posts along the northwestern border with Bangladesh on Oct. 9. The government, which is led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, has characterised the response of security forces as a carefully targeted sweep of northern Rakhine State's Maungdaw Township in search of the perpetrators.

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:25:08 -0400
Company climate change plans too weak to meet Paris goals - survey

Plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by big companies represent only a quarter of the amounts needed to limit global warming under targets agreed last year by almost 200 nations, a study showed on Tuesday. "More companies are acting, but still have a long way to go," said Paul Simpson, chief executive of London-based CDP, an independent group which tracks companies' performances and was formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project. About 85 percent of 1,089 major companies which responded to a CDP survey said they have set goals for lowering greenhouse gas emissions as part of a drive to slow climate change and avert downpours, heatwaves and rising sea levels.

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:15:30 -0400
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