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Separatists and unionists tied for support ahead of Catalan elections: poll

Sun, 11/26/2017 - 09:38

Pro-independence parties may fail to retain an absolute majority of seats in the Catalan parliament in regional elections next month, a poll published on Sunday showed, with pro-unity parties poised to increase their vote share. Failure to win a majority in the regional parliament would be a blow for Catalan separatists who have billed the Dec. 21 election as a de-facto plebiscite on Madrid's decision to impose direct rule on the wealthy region last month. Following Spain's worst political crisis in decades, the sacking of the secessionist Catalan government in October has a eased tensions for the moment, although victory for the pro-independence camp in December would plunge the northeast region back into uncertainty.

Powerful blast rocks Chinese port city, two dead

Sun, 11/26/2017 - 08:46

An explosion so powerful it was heard several kilometres away killed two people and injured over 30 in China's port city of Ningbo on Sunday while toppling several disused buildings, authorities and residents said, but there was no word as to the cause. Local authorities said two people died and two were seriously injured, while state media said more than 30 people were treated in hospitals in Ningbo, just south of Shanghai and one of China's largest ports. Authorities on Sunday night still had not announced a suspected cause of the explosion, which took place around 9:00am (0100 GMT) in a relatively new residential area in northern Ningbo marked by rows and rows of towering housing blocks.

Woman's emotional post after getting birthday flowers from dead father shared thousands of times

Sun, 11/26/2017 - 08:06

Bailey Sellers’ father Michael died when she was just 16 but before his death he arranged for flowers to be sent to her on every birthday until she was 21 with a personalised message. “Well this is my 21st birthday flowers and the last.

New conspiracy theorist claims to have proof Apollo moon landing was fake

Sun, 11/26/2017 - 06:30

The first American walked on the moon almost 50 years ago, but some people still believe it never happened.

In final verdict, UN court to rule in Bosnian Croats appeal

Sun, 11/26/2017 - 05:45

UN judges on Wednesday deliver their last ever verdict for war crimes committed in the 1990s Bosnian conflict, in the appeal case of six former Bosnian Croat political and military leaders. The appeals verdict comes a week after the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) jailed top Bosnian Serb ex-commander Ratko Mladic for life on 10 charges of genocide and war crimes, and will draw the curtain on more than two decades of work.

Welcome to paradise: Hawaiian cat sanctuary

Sun, 11/26/2017 - 05:00

This Hawaiian cat sanctuary has created an incredible island paradise for the state’s stray cats.

Families of India terror victims angry at militant's release

Sun, 11/26/2017 - 04:56

MUMBAI, India (AP) — As the Indian city of Mumbai commemorated the 2008 terror attacks that left 168 people dead, relatives of the victims said Sunday that they're angry Pakistan has released a militant linked to the massacre.

Ivanka Trump 'snubbed' by Rex Tillerson over India visit

Sun, 11/26/2017 - 03:50

Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, has reportedly snubbed Ivanka Trump by refusing to send a high level diplomatic team for her upcoming visit to India. The first daughter is due to lead a US delegation on a trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad next week, which will be her highest profile moment representing the United States so far. She is attending at the invitation of Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, and intends to promote backing for women in business. But the visit became a catalyst for growing tensions between the White House and Mr Tillerson, who was said to be against "bolstering" Ms Trump's position on the world stage, CNN reported. White House officials were said to have privately accused Mr Tillerson, America's top diplomat, of failing to support Ms Trump. Rex Tillerson and President Donald Trump Credit: Reuters He was said to feel that Ms Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, both senior advisers to President Donald Trump, had "stepped all over" him during the first 10 months of the Trump administration. The entrepreneurship summit was attended in previous years by President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry. This year the State Department is sending no official higher than the level of deputy assistant secretary. Mr Tillerson was said to have insisted that only he and his top staff could approve even the smallest details of the travel plan. "They won't send someone senior because they don't want to bolster Ivanka," a senior State Department official told CNN. "It's now another rift between the White House and State Department at a time when Rex Tillerson doesn't need any more problems with the president." A State Department spokesman said: "The Department is committed to supporting women's economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, and the summit is a prime opportunity to showcase the importance of these themes." The row came as Mr Tillerson came under fire from disgruntled officials in his own department. According to the New York Times he refused to meet the State Department's chief of security for nine months despite repeated and urgent requests, and then saw him for only five minutes. Mr Tillerson, the former former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, has made clear his intention to cut bureaucracy in the department but critics have accused him of leaving a diplomatic "vacuum" with many posts unfilled. In recent weeks Democrats on the House Foreign Relations Committee accused him of presiding over an "intentional hollowing-out of our senior diplomatic ranks" including an "exodus of more than 100 senior Foreign Service officers".

Great White Shark Attacks California Spear Fisherman Off Pebble Beach

Sun, 11/26/2017 - 01:03

A man spear fishing with his father off Pebble Beach in California was attacked by a great white shark and suffered major bite wounds to his right thigh.

Mother Of Vegas Survivor Pleads With Lawmaker To Change Gun Laws

Sat, 11/25/2017 - 23:58

More than a month after 58 people died and more than 500 were wounded in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, the mother of one of the survivors of the Las Vegas massacre is reminding local lawmakers that part of the solution lies with them.

Chinese police detain woman suspected of abusing children

Sat, 11/25/2017 - 21:25

BEIJING (AP) — Authorities in China detained a woman suspected of abusing children at a Beijing kindergarten run by a U.S.-listed company in a case that has caused nationwide anger.

The Navy Now Has a New Way to Kill Russian, Chinese or North Korean Submarines

Sat, 11/25/2017 - 21:25

Lockheed will deliver about 250 torpedoes over the next five years. The Mk 48, which is a heavy weapon launched under the surface, is quite different than surface launched, lightweight Mk 54 torpedo fired from helicopters, aircraft and surface ships. The Navy’s Mk 48 torpedo is also in service with Australia, Canada, Brazil and The Netherlands.

Funeral held for US border agent whose death not explained

Sat, 11/25/2017 - 20:58

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Family, friends and law enforcement officers converged on an adobe Catholic church in El Paso, Texas, Saturday to mourn a Border Patrol agent whose death last weekend in the rugged and remote Big Bend area has not been explained.

Iran says it will increase missile range if Europe threatens Tehran

Sat, 11/25/2017 - 20:52

The deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned Europe that if it threatens Tehran, the Guards will increase the range of missiles to more than 2,000 kilometres, the Fars news agency reported on Saturday. France has called for an “uncompromising” dialogue with Iran about its ballistic missile programme and a possible negotiation over the issue separate from Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Iran has repeatedly said its missile programme is defensive and not negotiable. "If we have kept the range of our missiles to 2,000 kilometres, it’s not due to lack of technology. ... We are following a strategic doctrine," Brigadier General Hossein Salami said, according to Fars. "So far we have felt that Europe is not a threat, so we did not increase the range of our missiles. But if Europe wants to turn into a threat, we will increase the range of our missiles.” Members of the Revolutionary Guard marching in Tehran Credit: AFP The United States accused Iran this month of supplying Yemen’s Houthi rebels with a missile that was fired into Saudi Arabia in July and called for the United Nations to hold Tehran accountable for violating two UN Security Council resolutions. Iran has denied supplying Houthis with missiles and weapons. The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said last month that Iran’s 2,000-kilometre missile range could cover "most of American interest and forces" within the region, and Iran does not need to extend it. Gen Mohammad Ali Jafari  Credit: AP Gen Jafari said the ballistic missile range was based on the limits set by the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is the head of armed forces. Iran has one of the Middle East’s largest missile programmes and some of its precision-guided missiles have the range to strike Israel. The United States says Iran’s missile programme is a breach of international law because the missiles could carry nuclear warheads in the future. Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons and says its nuclear programme is for civilian uses only. The United States has imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, saying its missile tests violate a UN resolution that calls on Tehran not to undertake activities related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Pope can help but Rohingya 'have to go back': Cardinal

Sat, 11/25/2017 - 20:19

The top Catholic official in Bangladesh hopes Pope Francis's visit there and to Myanmar will bolster moves to alleviate the Rohingya refugee crisis that has put the neighbouring nations in the global spotlight. Despite last week's deal to return to Myanmar some of the hundreds of thousands of people housed in the world's largest refugee camp, on the Bangladesh side of the border, Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario warns that the situation remains both explosive and tough to resolve. "I am hopeful the Rohingya can be returned to Myanmar," D'Rozario, the Archbishop of Dhaka, told AFP in an interview ahead of Francis's visit.

Cuba honors Fidel Castro one year after his death

Sat, 11/25/2017 - 20:07

With little fanfare, Cuba on Saturday commemorated the first anniversary of the death of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro as it prepares to move into the post-Castro era. The most important commemoration will be held at nightfall at Havana University, where Castro often delivered his lengthy and fiery speeches. The Union of Communist Youth has organized a "political-cultural evening" marking the "physical death" of El Comandante.

Vladimir Putin signs law designating Western media as 'foreign agents'

Sat, 11/25/2017 - 19:26

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law on Saturday new measures allowing authorities to list foreign media outlets as "foreign agents" in response to what Moscow says is unacceptable US pressure on Russian media. The new law has been rushed through both Russian houses of parliament in the last two weeks. It will now allow Moscow to force foreign media to brand news they provide to Russians as the work of "foreign agents" and to disclose their funding sources. A copy of the law was published on the Russian government's online legislation database on Saturday, saying it entered into force from the day of its publication. Russia's move against American media is part of the fallout from allegations that Russia interfered in last year's US presidential election in favour of Donald Trump. US intelligence officials have accused the Kremlin of using Russian media organisations it finances to influence U.S. voters, and Washington has since required Russian state broadcaster RT to register a US-based affiliate company as a "foreign agent". Alex Salmond launches his show on RT Credit: PA The Kremlin has repeatedly denied meddling in the election and said the restrictions on Russian broadcasters in the United States are an attack on free speech. The Russian Justice Ministry last week published a list of nine US-backed news outlets that it said could be affected by the changes. It said it had written to the US government-sponsored Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), along with seven separate Russian or local-language news outlets run by RFE/RL.

Police Seek Answers On Central London's Black Friday Panic

Sat, 11/25/2017 - 13:50

Police are still investigating an incident that triggered panic near Oxford Circus, one of the London’s busiest Tube stations, on Friday.

Pakistan government calls in army after police, Islamists clash

Sat, 11/25/2017 - 13:47

By Asif Shahzad and Kay Johnson ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's government on Saturday called on the army to help clear a sit-in by Islamist hard-liners blockading the capital after police clashed with activists and religious protests spread to other cities. Protesters said four of their activists had been killed, but police said there had been no deaths. Television footage showed a police vehicle on fire, heavy curtains of smoke and fires burning in the streets as officers in heavy riot gear advanced.

President Mnangagwa pledges new era in Zimbabwe

Sat, 11/25/2017 - 13:42

Zimbabwe's new President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed sweeping change at his swearing in on Friday, pledging to fight poverty and corruption after Robert Mugabe's shock resignation.