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  • Japanese police raid house of knife attack suspect

    Satoshi Uematsu, suspected of a deadly attack at a facility for the disabled, is seen inside a police car as he is taken to prosecutors at Tsukui police station in Sagamihara, Kanagawa prefecturearaBy Hyun Oh SAGAMIHARA, Japan (Reuters) - Japanese police on Wednesday raided the house of a 26-year-old man suspected of stabbing to death 19 people and wounding dozens at a facility for the disabled in a small town near Tokyo, Japan's worst mass killing in decades. About half a dozen plainclothes police entered the home of Satoshi Uematsu, a former employee of the facility, as reporters and television cameras stood by. Uematsu was earlier sent from a regional jail in Sagamihara town, about 45 km (25 miles) southwest of Tokyo, to the Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office in Kanagawa prefecture.

  • France's Hollande meets religious leaders amid row over attacks security

    French President Hollande speaks with France's Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia, Interior Minister Cazeneuve and Prime Minister Valls after a meeting with the French President and representatives of religious communities at the Elysee Palace in ParisBy Andrew Callus and Chine Labbι PARIS (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande displayed interfaith solidarity with France's religious leaders on Wednesday after two Islamist militants killed a Roman Catholic priest in a church, igniting fierce political criticism of the government's security record. One of the assailants was a known would-be jihadist awaiting trial under supposedly tight surveillance, a revelation that raised pressure over the Socialist government's response to a wave of attacks claimed by Islamic State since early in 2015.

  • Truck bomb blast kills dozens in northeast Syria city: monitors, state TV

    Smoke rises while people gather at a damaged site after two bomb blasts claimed by Islamic State hit the northeastern Syrian city of QamishliBy John Davison BEIRUT (Reuters) - A large truck bomb blast claimed by Islamic State killed nearly 50 people and wounded scores more in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli near the Turkish border on Wednesday, a monitoring group and state television reported. The attack, which hit near a Kurdish security forces headquarters, was the deadliest of its kind in the city for years, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Kurdish YPG militi, which has proved the most effective partner for a U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State, is also involved in fighting the extremists farther west, in Aleppo province.

  • Turkey orders detention of 47 more journalists: government official

    Turkish journalist Nazli Ilicak is escorted by a police officer and her relatives after being detained and brought to a hospital for a medical check in BodrumTurkey ordered another 47 journalists detained on Wednesday, a government official said, part of a widening crackdown on supporters of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of masterminding a failed military coup. "Today's detentions cover executives and some staff including columnists of (the now defunct) Zaman newspaper, the Gulen movement's flagship media organization," the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters. At this point, the reasoning is that prominent employees of Zaman are likely to have intimate knowledge of the Gulen network and as such could benefit the investigation." Critics of President Tayyip Erdogan argue he is using the failed July 15-16 coup as a pretext to muzzle dissent and tighten his grip on power.

  • French ex-commissioner to lead EU Brexit talks

    Barnier addresses a news conference in BrusselsBy Philip Blenkinsop BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A French Gaullist politician who introduced a swathe of European financial regulation following the global financial crisis was appointed on Wednesday to lead negotiations on Britain's withdrawal from the European Union. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker chose Michel Barnier, a former EU commissioner and center-right French foreign and agriculture minister, in a choice that may antagonize Britain's euroskeptic Conservatives.

  • U.N. calls for humanitarian truce in Yemen's Taiz province

    People ride a motorbike past a building destroyed during recent fighting in Yemen's southwestern city of TaizThe United Nations called for a humanitarian truce in the Yemeni province of Taiz after government forces captured a town from Iran-allied Houthi militia in heavy fighting that has spurred allegations of war crimes. The fighting has complicated U.N.-sponsored peace talks, as envoys for the Houthis have delayed responding to U.N. proposals calling for Houthi pullouts from cities they control, including the capital Sanaa, and the creation of an inclusive government. James McGoldrick, the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, voiced alarm at increasing bloodshed in the southwestern Taiz Governorate, particularly the al-Sarari area, and the closure of Taiz city, the regional capital.

  • Baghdad suicide bomb kills 6; province takes on militants

    Civilians clean the scene of a suicide bombing at the northern neighborhood of Shula, Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. A suicide bomber targeted a police checkpoint in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad on Wednesday, killing several people. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)BAGHDAD (AP) — A suicide bomber targeted a police checkpoint in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least six people. South of the Iraqi capital, a provincial council approved a decision allowing authorities to demolish homes of convicted militants and banish their families from the province.

  • Suicide bomber was former Somali MP: Shabaab

    Somali soldiers secure a damaged perimeter wall following twin car bombings near Mogadishu's airport which left 13 deadA former Somali MP who joined the Shabaab group in 2010 was one of two suicide bombers who killed 13 people near a United Nations and African Union base, the militants announced Wednesday. Car bombs driven by suicide attackers exploded on Tuesday morning near Mogadishu's airport, one of which went off 200 metres from the base, killing mainly security staff. Salah Badbado, 53, served in Somalia's parliament from 2004 until 2010, when he declared at a press conference he was leaving politics to join the Somali al-Qaeda affiliate.

  • Romania PM wants plan for NATO multinational brigade
    BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's prime minister has asked ministers to present him with a plan for the formation of a NATO multinational sea and air brigade to be based in Romania.

  • SolarWorld to appeal US court's ruling to pay $793M damages
    BERLIN (AP) — German solar panel-maker SolarWorld says it is appealing a U.S. court's ruling ordering it to pay $793 million in damages to Michigan-based supplier Hemlock Semiconductor Corp.

  • Putin to meet Russia's dope-tainted Rio team

    The decision by the IOC not to ban Russia from the Rio Olympics over state-run doping has divided international sports leaders, with less than two weeks before the opening ceremonyPresident Vladimir Putin will meet members of Russia's Olympic team on Wednesday as the list of its athletes banned from the Rio Games over revelations of state-run doping soared above 100. An AFP journalist at the Kremlin said the athletes to meet Putin included banned track and field stars Yelena Isinbayeva, Sergey Shubenkov and Maria Kuchina, who are barred from competing next month in Rio. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) sparked fierce criticism on Sunday when it resisted a blanket ban in favour of allowing individual sports federations to make the call on which Russians can go to Rio.

  • Actor Roger Moore 'heartbroken' over death of stepdaughter

    FILE - In this Sept.5, 2015, file photo, actor Roger Moore, left, and his wife Kristina Tholstrup pose on the red carpet as they arrive at the Monaco palace to attend the Princess Grace Foundation gala in Monaco. Moore announced the death of Tholstrup's daughter, Christina Knudsen, on social media and his official website Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Christian Alminana, File)Roger Moore has announced the death of his stepdaughter, Christina Knudsen.

  • Pilgrims in Poland readying to welcome Pope Francis

    A pilgrim attends the opening Mass for the World Youth Day, in Krakow, Poland, Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Buses of Polish security forces moved into Krakow on Tuesday as thousands of young people gathered ahead of the arrival of Pope Francis for the major gathering of Catholics from around the world.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)KRAKOW, Poland (AP) — Security was high Wednesday as groups of cheerful young pilgrims from around the globe gathered in the streets of Krakow, in southern Poland, just hours before Pope Francis arrives to join World Youth Day, a major gathering of Catholics.

  • Massive bomb attack kills 44 in Syrian Kurdish city

    People gather at the site of a bomb attack in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli on July 27, 2016 which killed at least 44 people, state media saidAt least 44 people were killed and dozens injured on Wednesday in the deadliest bomb blast to hit the Kurdish-majority Syrian city of Qamishli since the country's war began. Syrian state media gave a toll of 44 dead and 140 injured in the bomb attack, which hit a western district of the city where several local Kurdish ministries are located. The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber who blew himself up inside a truck, Kurdish officials told AFP.

  • India orders four maritime spy planes from Boeing, bolsters navy

    Boeing logo at their headquarters in ChicagoBy Sanjeev Miglani NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India signed a contract on Wednesday to buy four maritime spy planes from Boeing Co for about $1 billion, defense and industry sources said, aiming to bolster the navy as it tries to check China's presence in the Indian Ocean. India has already deployed eight of the long-range P-8I aircraft to track submarine movements in the Indian Ocean and on Wednesday exercised an option for four more, two defense ministry officials and an industry source told Reuters. "It's a follow-on order, it was signed today," a defense ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to make announcements on procurements.

  • MSF fears famine in northeast Nigeria; calls for U.N. food pipeline
    By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Severely malnourished children are dying in large numbers in northeast Nigeria, the former stronghold of Boko Haram militants where food supplies are close to running out, Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Wednesday. The medical charity, also known as Doctors Without Borders, urged the United Nations to set up emergency food transports to the area, where up to 800,000 civilians have been cut off for over a year, it said "The situation is a large-scale humanitarian disaster.... There is a vital need to have a food pipeline in place to save the population that can be saved," MSF general director Bruno Jochum told a news briefing. "We are talking at least about pockets of what is close to a famine." Under military escort, a MSF team delivered some 40 metric tonnes of food last week to Banki, a town of 12,000 near the Cameroon border, including emergency supplies for more than 4,000 children.

  • UK economy grew faster than expected in run-up to EU vote

    UK economy grew faster than expected in run-up to EU voteLONDON (AP) — Britain's economy grew faster than expected in the run-up to the vote to leave the European Union, official figures showed Wednesday — little consolation for a country that is already seeing business activity decline sharply as a result of the referendum's outcome.

  • Ferrari replaces chief technical officer halfway into season

    Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix, at the Hungaroring racetrack, in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, July 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)MARANELLO, Italy (AP) — Ferrari's technical director James Allison has left the team in what was described as a joint decision following a disappointing first half of the Formula One season during which Ferrari failed to win a race.

  • Egypt asks IMF for a 3-year loan amid struggling economy
    CAIRO (AP) — The Egyptian government says it's finalizing talks with the International Monetary Fund on a three-year loan program and is asking for $7 billion a year to finance its economic program.

  • Britain says 'in position of economic strength' for Brexit talks

    British finance minister Philip Hammond has said that the government could unleash a "fiscal response" in his autumn budget update to counter the negative effects of BrexitBritain will enter EU exit talks in a strong position, finance minister Philip Hammond declared Wednesday, after data revealed economic growth unexpectedly accelerated in the run-up to the Brexit referendum. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.6 percent in the second quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a first estimate for April-June, which included the shock EU exit vote towards the end of the period.

  • Top Asian News 10:44 a.m. GMT
    VIENTIANE, Laos (AP) — Daring to take on China in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea, the Philippines went to an international tribunal for justice, and won big. But it turned out to be a pyrrhic victory. Beijing came back with such ferocity and manipulative diplomacy that other Southeast Asian countries that have similar disputes with it are apparently backing down. One by one, their positions became clear at meetings this week of Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asian nations, a gathering that was supposed to unanimously call out China for a host of actions in the resource-rich South China Sea — building artificial islands and military airstrips, sending warships, staging live-firing exercises and shooing away fishermen from other countries.

  • US Marine Corps horse honored for Korean War valor

    Horse Haldalgo, representing life-saving US Marine horse Sergeant Reckless who served with the US Marine Corps during the Korean War, is awarded with the PDSA Dickin Medal watched by Sergeant Mark Gostling in London, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Reckless, who survived one of the bloodiest battles in modern military history, has today been awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal – known as the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross – for her bravery and devotion to duty during the Korean war 1950 until 1953. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)LONDON (AP) — A U.S. Marine Corps horse who served during some of the bloodiest fighting of the Korean War has been posthumously decorated for bravery.

  • Olympics present problem in US qualifying for Ryder Cup

    Bubba Watson practices his chip shot on the practice range during a practice round for the PGA Championship golf tournament at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (AP) — The Olympics has thrown another wrinkle into the golf schedule, this one affecting the American team for the Ryder Cup.

  • Japan PM unveils $266 bn stimulus plan to boost economy

    The government and central bank have come under increasing pressure to do more for the economy as a string of weak readings and sagging business confidence highlight a long-running weakness in Japan's economyJapan's government Wednesday announced a stimulus package worth more than 28 trillion yen ($266 billion) in its latest attempt to fire up the lukewarm economy, with the central bank expected to unveil its own measures this week. Policymakers are under pressure to boost growth as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's 'Abenomics' plan to kickstart the world's number three economy comes under threat from poor data and sagging business confidence. Abe confirmed the new plan Wednesday but gave few details, except to say about half the total would be fiscal measures including government spending.

  • Israeli raid kills Hamas member said to be behind attack

    A house is severly damaged in an exchange of fire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in the West Bank village of Surif, on July 27, 2016Israeli forces fired anti-tank missiles at a house in the West Bank after a shootout overnight, killing a Hamas member accused of a deadly attack on a rabbi, authorities said Wednesday. Several other people were arrested in the hours-long raid in the village of Surif, near Hebron. "After extensive research, we found the hideout of the terrorist who killed Michael Mark," Colonel Roman Gofman, commander of the brigade that led the operation, said in a video distributed by the military.

  • IS says it's behind attack that killed 44 in northern Syria

    In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrians inspect damages after deadly twin bombings struck the town of Qamishli, Syria, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. The bombings struck a crowd in the predominantly Kurdish town in northern Syria on Wednesday, killing and wounding dozens of people, Syria's state-run news agency and Kurdish media reported. State-run TV said a truck loaded with large quantities of explosives blew up on the western edge of the town of Qamishli, followed by an explosives-packed motorcycle few minutes later in the same area. (SANA via AP)DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A twin bombing struck a crowd in a predominantly Kurdish town in northern Syria on Wednesday, killing 44 people and wounding dozens more, Syria's state-run news agency and Kurdish media reported. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

  • Sri Lanka 6-1 at tea after dismissing Australia for 203

    Sri Lankan team members congratulate their bowler Nuwan Pradeep Perera, second left, for the dismissal of Australia's Peter Nevill during day two of the first test cricket match between Sri Lanka and Australia in Pallekele, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka (AP) — Spinners Rangana Herath and Lakshan Sandakan took four wickets each as Sri Lanka dismissed Australia for 203 in its first innings on the second day of the first cricket test on Wednesday.

  • 5 Philippine leaders, often rivals, unite to discuss China
    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The new Philippine leader on Wednesday gathered four past presidents, most of whom have been politically at odds with one another, to discuss a unifying worry: their country's territorial disputes with China.

  • Goodbye Philae: Earth severs link with silent comet probe

    A photo released by the European Space Agency (ESA) in November 2014 shows an image taken by Rosetta's lander Philae on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-GerasimenkoGround controllers bid a final farewell Wednesday to robot lab Philae, cutting communications after a year-long silence with the tiny probe hurtling through space on the surface of a comet. "Today communication with Philae was stopped," Andreas Schuetz of German space agency DLR told AFP from ground control in Cologne. Its batteries depleted, Philae's last succesful communication with Earth was on July 9 last year.

  • California firefighters battle wildfires in hot, windy weather

    Inmate firefighters file off to construct a fire break while battling the Soberanes Fire in Carmel Highlands(Reuters) - Crews battling a deadly wildfire in rugged drought-stricken terrain north of Los Angeles on Wednesday face a second consecutive day of scorching weather and erratic winds that could hinder their efforts. The National Weather Service forecast of near-triple-digit temperatures and 20 mph wind gusts for the area where the so-called Sand Fire, a wildfire that erupted 40 miles north of Los Angeles, has destroyed 18 homes and claimed one life in five days. As of Tuesday night, some 3,000 firefighters hacked through dense brush and chaparral and had extended containment lines around 25 percent of the fire, which has charred 59 square miles since Friday, officials said.

  • Morocco arrests 52 suspected militants, foils several attacks
    Morocco said on Wednesday that it had arrested 52 suspected militants inspired by Islamic State and that it had foiled several attacks in the North African kingdom by seizing weapons and bomb-making materials. It is the largest group arrested in years and the latest of a series of cells that the authorities say they have found plotting attacks inside and outside Morocco. The North African kingdom, an ally of the West against Islamist militancy, has been on high alert since 2014, when IS took control of large swathes of northern Iraq and Syria.

  • Analysis: China emerges more muscular after ASEAN meetings

    FILE- In this July 26, 2016, file photo, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, attends the 23rd ASEAN regional retreat meeting in Vientiane, Laos. Despite the Philippines taking on China in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea and winning big, other Southeast Asian nations with similar disputes who attended this week's meetings are apparently backing down from Beijing. (AP photo/Sakchai Lalit)VIENTIANE, Laos (AP) — Daring to take on China in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea, the Philippines went to an international tribunal for justice, and won big. But it turned out to be a pyrrhic victory.

  • Somalia suicide bomber was ex-lawmaker, al-Shabab claims

    Somali soldiers check the wreckage of a car bomb outside the UN's office in Mogadishu, Somalia, Tuesday, July 26, 2016. A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden car outside the United Nations Mine Action Service offices in Mogadishu, a Somali police official said. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The al-Shabab extremist group says one of the two suicide car bombers who struck in Somalia's capital on Tuesday was a former legislator.

  • Britain plans Β£344m expansion for London City Airport

    A Canadian-Kuwaiti consortium that owns London City Airport announced plans to invest Β£344 million to upgrade the airportThe British government hailed a Β£344 million (410 million euro, $450 million) investment to expand London City Airport on Wednesday as evidence Britain was "open for business" despite its Brexit vote. Finance minister Philip Hammond was at the airport to cheer the announcement by the Canadian-Kuwaiti consortium which owns the airport, a business travel hub located close to Britain's financial centre. The "ambitious growth plans will boost international connections, strengthening the City of London's links to destinations across the world, and send a clear signal that Britain is open for business," he said.

  • Turkey orders 47 newspaper journalists, executives detained
    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Authorities on Wednesday issued warrants for the detention of 47 former executives or senior journalists of Zaman newspaper, allegedly associated with the U.S.-based Muslim cleric who the government says is behind Turkey's July 15 failed coup.

  • Kerry: US avoiding 'confrontation' in sea row

    US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shakes hands with Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay during their meeting at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila, on July 27, 2016US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said Washington wanted to avoid "confrontation" in the South China Sea, after an international tribunal rejected Beijing's claims to most of the waters. Kerry made the remarks after meeting with Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay in Manila where they discussed the Southeast Asian nation's sweeping victory in the arbitration case against China. America's top diplomat said the United States wanted China and the Philippines to engage in talks and "confidence-building measures".

  • France's Barnier to lead Brexit talks

    Veteran French politician and former EU commissioner Michel Barnier to lead the negotiations with Britain on its exit from the blocEuropean Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday appointed veteran French politician and former EU commissioner Michel Barnier to lead the negotiations with Britain on its exit from the bloc. Britain's June 23 vote to quit the 28-nation European Union shocked EU leaders who had bet on a vote to remain but they have since rallied, with France and the Commission leading demands that negotiations should begin as soon as possible. "I am very glad that my friend Michel Barnier accepted this important and challenging task.

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