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  • North Korea fires submarine-launched ballistic missile towards Japan

    Passengers walk past a TV screen broadcasting a news report on North Korea's submarine-launched ballistic missile fired from North Korea's east coast port of Sinpo, at a railway station in SeoulBy Ju-min Park and Jack Kim SEOUL (Reuters) - A North Korean submarine fired a ballistic missile on Wednesday that flew about 500 km (311 miles) toward Japan, a show of improving technological capability for the isolated country that has conducted a series of launches in defiance of UN sanctions. The missile was fired at around 5:30 a.m. (2030 GMT) from near the coastal city of Sinpo, where satellite imagery shows a submarine base is located, officials at South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Defence Ministry told Reuters. The projectile reached Japan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) for the first time, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a briefing, referring to an area of control designated by countries to help maintain air security.




  • Quake brings down buildings in central Italy, at least 10 believed killed

    Magnitude 6.2 quake rattles Rome, central ItalyBy Steve Scherer ACCUMOLI, Italy (Reuters) - A strong earthquake brought down buildings in mountainous central Italy early on Wednesday, trapping residents and sending others fleeing into the streets, with at least 10 people believed killed. The worst affected towns were believed to be Accumoli, Amatrice, Posta and Arquata del Tronto. Two bodies were removed from the debris in the small town of Amatrice.




  • Turkish military, U.S.-led coalition launch operation to sweep Islamic State from Syria town

    A Turkish soldier stands guard on the Turkish-Syrian border in KarkamisBy Humeyra Pamuk and Umit Ozdal ISTANBUL/KARKAMIS, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkish special forces units and jets supported by warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition launched an operation in northern Syria on Wednesday to wipe out Islamic State militants along the border with Turkey, Turkish officials said. The Turkish army began firing artillery rounds into the Syrian border town of Jarablus at around 0100 GMT (0900 ET) and Turkish and U.S. warplanes pounded Islamic State targets with airstrikes as part of the operation, Turkish military sources said. It was the first time warplanes from NATO member Turkey have struck in Syria since November, when Turkey shot down a Russian jet near the border, and the first known incursion by Turkish special forces since a brief operation to relocate the tomb of Suleyman Shah, a revered Ottoman figure, in February 2015.




  • Thai junta rules out link between latest bombings and earlier deadly attacks

    Thai soldiers inspect the scene of a car bomb blast outside a hotel in the southern province of PattaniBy Panarat Thepgumpanat and Pracha Hariraksapitak BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's military government said on Wednesday there was no connection between two bombings overnight that killed one person in the southern town of Pattani and a wave of deadly attacks on popular tourist spots in the south this month. One Thai person was killed and 30 wounded when two bombs exploded late on Tuesday at the Southern View Hotel in the coastal town of Pattani, less than two weeks after a wave of as yet unexplained bombings hit seven provinces in the south. No group has claimed responsibility for those bombings, which killed four and wounded dozens, including foreign tourists.




  • Japan, China, South Korea to urge North Korea to stop provocation

    Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida reads a statement after a trilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se in TokyoBy Kiyoshi Takenaka and Xiao Yu TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan, China and South Korea agreed to urge North Korea to refrain from provocation and follow U.N. Security Council resolutions, after its latest missile launch towards Japan early on Wednesday. Foreign ministers from the three Asian neighbours also sought to soothe their often-testy relations, and have reached an understanding on a trilateral summit meeting in Japan this year, a Japanese official said. "We have confirmed that we will urge North Korea to exercise self-restraint regarding its provocative action, and to observe the U.N. Security Council's resolutions," Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told a news conference after hosting the meeting with his Chinese and South Korean counterparts.




  • Special Report: Massacre reports show U.S. inability to curb Iraq militias

    An Iraqi Shi'ite fighter fires artillery during clashes with Islamic State militants near FallujaBy Ned Parker and Jonathan Landay WASHINGTON(Reuters) - Shi’ite militias in Iraq detained, tortured and abused far more Sunni civilians during the American-backed capture of the town of Falluja in June than U.S. officials have publicly acknowledged, Reuters has found. More than 700 Sunni men and boys are still missing more than two months after the Islamic State stronghold fell. The abuses occurred despite U.S. efforts to restrict the militias' role in the operation, including threatening to withdraw American air support, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials.




  • China repeats opposition to anti-missile system in South Korea
    BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his South Korean counterpart on Wednesday that China is "resolutely opposed" to the U.S. deployment of an advanced anti-missile system in South Korea, China's foreign ministry said. China hopes South Korea and China can meet each other half way and find an appropriate resolution that both sides can accept, Wang added. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)

  • Rare endangered primate spotted in Vietnam

    A group of langurs gather on a mountain slope in northern VietnamA new group of critically endangered primates has been spotted in Vietnam, raising hopes the rare creatures may not be wiped out in the next decade as scientists had feared. The Delacour's langur, black and white with a full face of whiskers, is indigenous to Vietnam, but their numbers have dwindled in recent years because of poaching and mining activity in the country's northern forests. A team of scientists from Fauna and Flora International spotted a group of about 40 of the primates, mostly juveniles and infants, bringing their total population to less than 250.




  • Animal charity removes 15 animals it rescued from Gaza zoo
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — An international charity has removed 15 animals rescued from the Gaza Strip's main zoo, dubbed "the worst in the world."

  • Colombia's war victims urge forgiveness as society splits over peace deal
    By Anastasia Moloney BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Kidnapped and kept in chains for more than seven years in a jungle camp controlled by Colombia's FARC rebels, Alan Jara knows how hard it is to forgive and reconcile with the past. One of countless victims in Colombia's five-decade war, Latin America's longest, Jara was released by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2009. Jara eventually decided to forgive his captors.

  • Clinton in eye of Trump storm over charity donors

    Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cheer during a rally at the Travis County Exposition Center on August 23, 2016 in Austin, TexasDonald Trump stepped up his attacks on Hillary Clinton as her campaign battled to silence suggestions that donors to her family's charity paid for access when she was America's top diplomat. The Democratic nominee, looking to make history as America's first female commander-in-chief, is polling well ahead of her Republican rival but has hit choppy waters this week as the Trump campaign has fought to rebound from a series of damaging self-inflicted wounds. "Hillary Clinton is totally unfit to hold public office," Trump told a rally in Austin, Texas interrupted several times by protesters.




  • Top Asian News 6:15 a.m. GMT
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A North Korean ballistic missile fired from a submarine Wednesday flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) in the longest flight by that type of weapon, Seoul officials said, a range that can place much of South Korea within its striking distance. Seoul officials condemned the launch as an "armed protest" against the start of annual South Korean-U.S. military drills that North Korean calls an invasion rehearsal. The launch was also the latest in a series of missile, rocket and other weapon tests by North Korea, which is openly pushing to acquire a reliable weapon capable striking targets as far away as the continental U.S.

  • Myanmar names Kofi Annan to head panel on Rohingya Muslims
    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar's government has set up an advisory panel headed by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to find "lasting solutions" to the conflict in Rakhine state, where human rights groups have documented widespread abuses against the minority Rohingya Muslims.

  • China says opposes anything that causes Korean tensions
    BEIJING (Reuters) - China opposes North Korea's nuclear missile program as well as any words or deeds that cause tension on the Korean peninsula, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a meeting with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts on Wednesday. The comments were carried on the website of China's foreign ministry. They follow North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile from a submarine earlier on Wednesday that flew about 500 km (310 miles) towards Japan. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Paul Tait)

  • India probes damage caused by French submarine data leak

    File photo of a Scorpene-class diesel-electric submarine in Port Klang outside Kuala LumpurBy Matt Siegel and Sanjeev Miglani SYDNEY/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India is investigating damage caused to French Scorpene submarines that are being built in the country, the defense ministry said on Wednesday, after the leak of documents relating to the vessel's combat capabilities. The leak, which was first reported in The Australian newspaper, contains more than 22,000 pages outlining the secret capabilities of six submarines that French builder DCNS has designed for the Indian Navy. The massive leak has also raised doubts about the security of DCNS's submarine project in Australia where it won a A$50 billion ($38.06 billion) contract to build the next generation of submarines.




  • Five dead as powerful quake shakes Italy

    A man reacts to his damaged home after a strong earthquake hit Amatrice on August 24, 2016A powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck central Italy in the early hours of Wednesday, devastating mountain villages and leaving at least five people dead. As dawn broke, residents and emergency services were scrambling to rescue people trapped in rubble. Fabrizio Curcio, the head of Italy's civil protection service, classed the quake as "severe".




  • Saudi Arabia foils attack on Shiite mosque in Qatif: media
    DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi security forces have foiled a planned suicide attack on a mosque in the Qatif region in eastern Saudi Arabia, where many Shi'ite Muslims live, al-Arabiya news channel and other Saudi media reported early on Wednesday. The Saudi-owned satellite channel said security forces killed a man who was wearing an explosive belt and arrested another. Both men were not Saudi citizens, al-Arabiya said. Saudi media said the interior ministry was expected to issue a statement on the attack soon. ...

  • Thai junta's opponents staggered by support for status quo

    In this Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, photo, student activist Rangsiman Rome talks to Associated Press reporters during an interview in Bangkok, Thailand. Opponents of the junta that took over Thailand two years ago are at a loss following an election that strengthens the military’s hand in politics for years to come. This month’s vote carried with it an implicit message: After a decade of political turmoil, the electorate values the forced stability the military has imposed far more than democracy and freedom of speech. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)BANGKOK (AP) — In the two years since Thailand's army seized control of this Southeast Asian nation in a coup, pro-democracy activist Rangsiman Rome has repeatedly risked jail time to do something few here have done: speak out against the junta.




  • 5 things to know about the next Olympics in Tokyo

    Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike waves the Olympic flag upon arrival at Haneda international airport in Tokyo, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. The Olympic flag arrived in Tokyo, host of the next 2020 Summer Games. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)TOKYO (AP) — The countdown to the 2020 Olympics began Wednesday with the arrival of the Olympic flag in Tokyo from Rio de Janeiro. The contrast between the two host cities couldn't be starker. Instead of samba in the streets, there will be robots and self-driving cars. Five things to know about the next Summer Games:




  • Turkey in cross-border operation to free IS-held Syrian town

    Turkey in cross-border operation to free IS-held Syrian townANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's and the U.S.-backed coalition forces on Wednesday launched an operation to clear a Syrian border town from Islamic State militants, the office of the Turkish prime minister said.




  • Quake brings down buildings in central Italy, at least 10 believed killed

    People stand by a road following a quake in AmatriceBy Steve Scherer ACCUMOLI, Italy (Reuters) - A strong earthquake brought down buildings in mountainous central Italy early on Wednesday, trapping residents and sending others fleeing into the streets, with at least 10 people believed killed. The worst affected towns were believed to be Accumoli, Amatrice, Posta and Arquata del Tronto. Two bodies were removed from the debris in the small town of Amatrice.




  • Turkish police launch raids targeting Islamic State in Istanbul: media
    ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish counter-terror police launched dawn raids targeting Islamic State members across Istanbul on Wednesday, the Dogan news agency said, as Turkish forces launched an operation in northern Syria to wipe out militants along the border. Dogan said arrest warrants had been issued for many suspects ahead of the Istanbul police operation, which included a raid on an address in the Pendik district on the Asian side of the city. (Reporting by Ayla Jean Yackley; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

  • North Korea test-fires sub-launched missile close to Japan

    A submarine ballistic missile is launched at an undisclosed location in North Korea on April 23, 2016North Korea on Wednesday test-fired a submarine-launched missile 500 kilometres (around 300 miles) towards Japan, marking what weapons analysts described as a clear step forward for its nuclear strike ambitions. The flight distance, which was tracked by South Korea's military Joint Chiefs of Staff, far exceeded any previous SLBM tests, suggesting significant progress in technical prowess. A proven SLBM system would take North Korea's nuclear strike threat to a new level, allowing deployment far beyond the Korean peninsula and a "second-strike" capability to retaliate in the event of an attack on its military bases.




  • Recordings of tiger sounds aim to help save wild population

    In this May 11, 2016, photo, a tiger roars as he sits in a nonpublic area at the Milwaukee County Zoo. The zoo is one of at least 20 nationally who are helping The Prusten Project capture audio of tigers. Organizers are building a computer program with the zoo audio to be used to build a computer program that will be used when they start recording tigers in the wild next year. The program is expected to identify tigers by their voices, which will help determine more accurate population numbers so organizations know where to focus protection efforts. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)MILWAUKEE (AP) — Tigers use a grunt-like snort called chuffing as a greeting, short roars for intimidation and long roars to find mates.




  • Myanmar's peacock: a national symbol dying off in the wild

    Rampant poaching and habitat loss under decades of military rule have slashed Myanmar's peacock populationEmbraced by kings and freedom fighters alike, Myanmar's peacocks have long been a national symbol of pride and resistance -- but they are becoming ever harder to spot in the wild. Ornithologist Thet Zaw Naing is worried. Every year that goes by, Myanmar's national bird becomes a less familiar sight.




  • 1 killed, 29 wounded as 2 bombs hit southern Thailand

    Thai bomb squad officers examine the wreckage of a car after an explosion outside a hotel in Pattani province, southern Thailand, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Two bombs exploded late Tuesday near a hotel in insurgency-wracked southern Thailand. (AP Photo/Sumeth Panpetch)PATTANI, Thailand (AP) — Two bombs exploded near a hotel in insurgency-wracked southern Thailand, killing one employee and wounding 29 people, police and hospital officials said Wednesday.




  • The Latest: 2 bodies recovered from rubble in Italian quake

    A post office is engulfed by rubbles in Arcuata del Tronto, central Italy, where a 6.1 earthquake struck just after 3:30 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. The quake was felt across a broad section of central Italy, including the capital Rome where people in homes in the historic center felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. (AP Photo/Sandro Perozzi)AMATRICE, Italy (AP) — The Latest on the earthquake in central Italy (all times local):




  • Source of submarine document leak 'from overseas': Indian defense ministry
    India's defense ministry said on Wednesday that the source of secret documents detailing the capabilities of the French-designed Scorpene submarine being built for the Indian navy appeared to be "from overseas and not from India". Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said earlier the security breach appeared to have been the work of hackers. The leak, first reported in The Australian newspaper, contains more than 22,000 pages outlining the secret combat capability of six submarines that DCNS of France has designed for the Indian Navy.

  • Japan, China, S. Korea ministers slam N. Korea missile test

    Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, center, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, left, and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se pose for the photographers before their trilateral meeting in Tokyo, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. The foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea have criticized North Korea's fresh missile launch just hours earlier in the day. (Katsumi Kasahara/Pool Photo via AP)TOKYO (AP) — The foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea criticized North Korea's latest submarine missile test on Wednesday during their annual talks that were held amid lingering frictions over territorial disputes and wartime history.




  • The ANSA news agency says two bodies have been pulled from the rubble of quake-hit Amatrice in central Italy
    ROME (AP) — The ANSA news agency says two bodies have been pulled from the rubble of quake-hit Amatrice in central Italy.

  • Frenchman shouts 'Allahu Akbar' as he stabs UK woman to death in Australia: police
    By Matt Siegel SYDNEY (Reuters) - A 29-year-old Frenchman shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) as he stabbed a British woman to death and wounded two people at a backpackers' hotel in northern Queensland, police said on Wednesday. The man was in Australia on a valid tourist visa and had no known links to radical groups such as Islamic State, which has urged its followers to attack civilians with knives or other readily available weapons, police said. "Initial inquiries indicate that comments which may be construed of being of an extremist nature were made by the alleged offender," Queensland Police Service Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski told reporters.

  • India says submarine document leak 'a case of hacking'
    NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's defense minister said documents relating to the French Scorpene submarine being built in the country appeared to have been hacked, after an Australian newspaper reported a leak of thousands of pages detailing the vessel's top-secret capability. "I understand there has been a case of hacking, we will find out what has happened," Manohar Parrikar told reporters. The submarines are being built at a state-run shipyard in Mumbai in collaboration with France's DCNS Group. (Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Douglas Busvine)

  • Uproar as Australian state bans greyhound racing

    Dog owners parade their greyhounds before a race at Wentworth Park in Sydney, in 2014Greyhound racing has been outlawed in Australia's most populous state despite fierce resistance from dog owners, with the New South Wales opposition leader dubbing the ban a "cruel ambush" of working class people. The ban, which will take effect from July 1st 2017, was passed in an overnight session by the New South Wales parliament in Sydney, state Premier Mike Baird said. Although opposed by the dog racing industry and sparking heated debate within his right-leaning coalition government, the ban is intended to save thousands of dogs.




  • Turkey launches operation to free IS-held Syrian town

    A Turkish army tank and an armored vehicle are stationed near the border with Syria, in Karkamis, Turkey, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. Turkish media reports say Turkish artillery on Tuesday launched new strikes at Islamic State targets across the border in Syria, after two mortar rounds, believed to have been fired by the militants, hit the town of Karkamis, in Turkey's Gaziantep province. Hurriyet newspaper and other reports said the mortar rounds were fired from IS-held Jarablus, Syria.(IHA via AP)ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's military and the U.S.-backed coalition forces on Wednesday launched an operation to clear a Syrian border town from Islamic State militants, Turkey's prime minister's office said.




  • Refugee who made it returns with drone to halt drownings

    Thousands of refugees landed by boat on the shores of Greek island Lesbos last yearStanding on a pebbled beach on the Greek island of Lesbos, Mehdi Salehi searches for a good spot to set his drone loose. Fifteen years after fleeing his home to escape the Taliban, this drone expert wants to help others like him survive the perilous crossing of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas that has claimed thousands of lives. Founded by Salehi, "Drones for Refugees" is a project designed to enable rescuers to swiftly locate and reach migrant boats in difficulty, slashing time to reach them in a way that can mean the difference between life and death.




  • China unveils 2020 Mars rover concept: report

    A view from the 'Kimberley' formation on Mars, taken by NASA's Curiosity roverChina has unveiled illustrations of a Mars probe and rover it aims to send to the Red Planet at the end of the decade in a mission that faces "unprecedented" challenges, state media said on Wednesday. China, which is pouring billions into its space programme and working to catch up with the US and Europe, announced in April it aims to send a spacecraft "around 2020" to orbit Mars, land and deploy the rover. Zhang Rongqiao, chief architect of the project, said Tuesday they were targeting July or August of that year for the launch, the Xinhua news agency reported.




  • British man accused in Bali police death confesses to fight

    Indonesian police officers escort murder suspect David Taylor, second from right, to an investigator's room at a local police station in Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. Indonesian police have arrested an Australian woman and a British man in connection with the alleged murder of a police officer in the tourist resort of Bali. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)BALI, Indonesia (AP) — A British man arrested in the killing of a police officer on the tourist island of Bali confessed to bashing the Indonesian man with a beer bottle and leaving him unconscious, police said Tuesday. His lawyer said he didn't realize the officer would die.




  • American yacht Comanche out of Sydney to Hobart 2016

    Supermaxi yacht Comanche leads the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, on December 26, 2015American yacht Comanche will not defend the Sydney to Hobart title as its owners focus on their other race boat, the team has confirmed. The supermaxi, which is co-owned by Netscape founder Jim Clark and his model wife Kristy, was second fastest to finish the 628-nautical-mile race down Australia's east coast in her 2014 debut. Comanche came back in 2015 to win line honours, taking two days, eight hours, 58 minutes and 30 seconds to complete the gruelling course.




  • Mayor of quake-hit Italian town of Accumoli says family of four trapped under debris without any signs of life
    ROME (AP) — Mayor of quake-hit Italian town of Accumoli says family of four trapped under debris without any signs of life.


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