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Ukraine accuses Russia of 'undisguised aggression' as rebels advance

Piece of a mortar projectile is pictured on a road near the airport in Donetsk,By Pavel Polityuk and Polina Devitt KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Monday of "direct and undisguised aggression" which he said had radically changed the battlefield balance as Kiev's forces suffered a further reverse in their war with pro-Moscow separatists. In the latest in a string of setbacks in the past week, Ukraine's military said it had pulled back from defending a vital airport in the east of the country, near the city of Luhansk, where troops had been battling a Russian tank battalion. Poroshenko said in a speech there would be high-level personnel changes in the Ukrainian armed forces, whose troops fled a new rebel advance in the south which Kiev and its Western allies say has been backed up by Russian armored columns. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called on Sunday for immediate negotiations on the "statehood" of southern and eastern Ukraine, blamed Kiev's leadership for refusing to enter into direct political talks with the separatists.

Date Posted : Mon, 01 Sep 2014 22:02:53 -0400
Pakistan PM chairs joint parliament session as crisis deepens

Anti-government protesters pull a rope to remove container barricade during the Revolution March in IslamabadBy Syed Raza Hassan ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a joint session of parliament on Tuesday as a deepening crisis over violent protests demanding his resignation prompted fears of an army intervention. It is a rebellion against the state of Pakistan," Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar told parliament. ... They are not revolutionaries, they are intruders and terrorists," he said of the protesters. Pakistan has been in turmoil since mid-August when tens of thousands of protesters led by Imran Khan, a former hero cricket player, and outspoken cleric Tahir ul-Qadri flooded into the capital Islamabad refusing to leave unless Sharif resigns.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:20:26 -0400
Hong Kong pro-democracy group says support fizzles: Bloomberg

A pro-democracy activist is detained by the police during a confrontation in Hong KongHONG KONG (Reuters) - A Hong Kong pro-democracy movement that has threatened to blockade the financial district to protest against Beijing ruling out full democracy for the city said support for the group has dwindled, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. "The number of people joining us will not be as big as we expect, because of the very pragmatic thinking of Hong Kong people," Occupy Central with Love and Peace founder Benny Tai told Bloomberg. ...

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:50:54 -0400
Philippines Congress dismisses impeachment motions against Aquino

Philippine President Aquino delivers his fifth SONA during the joint session of the 16th Congress at the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Quezon city, metro ManilaLawmakers allied with Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday threw out three impeachment motions in the House of Representatives, the first political challenge to the popular leader in four years. The impeachment motions stemmed from Aquino's controversial economic stimulus fund, which the Supreme Court declared partly illegal in July, and a new military agreement with the United States. Voting 54-4, the justice panel in the lower house of Congress declared the complaints "insufficient in substance", dismissing the three motions only after two hearings. "This is a terrible day for the Filipino people," said Neri Colmenares, a left-wing member of Congress.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:36:36 -0400
Ebola threatens food security in West Africa: FAO

Health workers wearing protective clothing prepare themselves before to carrying an abandoned dead body presenting with Ebola symptoms at Duwala market in MonroviaROME (Reuters) - The world's worst Ebola epidemic has put harvests at risk and sent food prices soaring in West Africa, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Tuesday, warning the problem would intensify in coming months. The FAO issued a special alert for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three countries most affected by the outbreak, which has killed around 1,550 people since the virus was detected in the remote jungles of southeastern Guinea in March. ...

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 03:06:06 -0400
Malaysian law professor charged in crackdown on dissent
By Stuart Grudgings KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian prosecutors charged a high-profile law professor with sedition on Tuesday for an opinion he voiced on a political crisis that occurred five years ago, extending a recent crackdown on dissent from opposition politicians to academia. Lawyers said the charge against Azmi Sharom, a lecturer at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur and who writes a regular newspaper column, could have a chilling effect on freedom of speech as the government wavers on its pledges to expand civil liberties. Four opposition politicians have been charged and another convicted this year under the Sedition Act, a relic of the British colonial era intended to keep a tight lid on racial tensions and social unrest in the multi-ethnic country. Four sedition charges have been pressed in the past nine days.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:55:40 -0400
British 'jihadist' mum threatens to behead Christians: reports

An image grab taken from a propaganda video released on March 17, 2014 by the Islamic State's Al-Furqan Media allegedly shows IS fighters raising their weapons as they stand on a vehicle mounted with the trademark jihadist flag in IraqA middle-aged British mother-of-two and former rock band member has joined jihadists in Syria and wants to behead Christians with a "blunt knife", British media reported. The reports identified the woman as Sally Jones, 45, from Kent in southeast England, and said she now goes by the name Sakinah Hussain, or Umm Hussain al-Britani. Security experts estimate that hundreds of Britons have gone to the Middle East to join the Islamic State (IS) militant group, the most brutal to emerge out of Syria's bloody civil war and the most successful. The well-funded group controls large swathes of Syria and Iraq and has proved adept at using social media to boost its profile, attract recruits and terrify enemies with images of mass executions and battlefield victories.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:25:35 -0400
US military attacks al-Shabab in Somalia

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2008 file photo, armed al-shabab fighters on pickup trucks prepare to travel into the city, just outside Mogadishu, in Somalia. U.S. military forces targeted the Islamic extremist al-Shabab network in an operation Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 in Somalia, the Pentagon said. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File)MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — U.S. military forces attacked the extremist al-Shabab network in Somalia Monday, the Pentagon said, and a witness described ground-shaking explosions in a strike that reportedly targeted the group's leader.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:55:18 -0400
Commission rejects London mayor's plan for airport
Britain's Airport Commission has rejected a plan to build a four-runway airport in the Thames Estuary, describing it as more problematic and more expensive than other options. The commission said Tuesday ...
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:55:15 -0400
Dethroned Myanmar beauty queen blasts pageant boss

May Myat Noe, Myanmar's first international beauty queen, winner of the 2014 Miss Asia Pacific World, sits with her crown that she allegedly ran away with, during a press conference in Yangon, Myanmar Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. The dethroned beauty queen from Myanmar said she won't return her $100,000 worth crown until the pageant's organizers apologize for calling her a liar and a thief. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A dethroned beauty queen from Myanmar said Tuesday she won't return her bejeweled $100,000 crown until pageant organizers apologize for calling her a liar and a thief.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:55:05 -0400
Tropical Storm Dolly forms off Mexico's coast
MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Dolly has formed off Mexico's coast over the Bay of Campeche.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:54:33 -0400
Putin comment on 'taking Kiev in 2 weeks' taken out of context: aide
A reported comment by President Vladimir Putin that Russia could capture Ukraine's capital Kiev within two weeks was taken out of context, Itar-Tass news agency quoted a Kremlin foreign policy aide as saying on Tuesday. It quoted Yuri Ushakov as saying that whether or not those words were spoken, the quote "was taken out of context and had a totally different meaning". Italy's La Repubblica reported this week that Putin told European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in a telephone conversation: "If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks".
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:54:16 -0400
Austria takes harder line on Russia as EU sanctions loom
Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann took a tougher line on Russia's role in Ukraine on Tuesday, blasting Moscow's "deception and salami tactics" in the conflict and saying Austria was prepared to pay the price of tougher sanctions. It was a significantly harder line from neutral Austria, which until now has been reluctant to hit Russia hard with economic sanctions designed to punish what Western leaders have called unacceptable Russian behavior. "If it is necessary to defend freedom and international law, then Austria will be in the forefront." Austria had been walking a careful line between showing solidarity with European Union peers and keeping the lines of communication open with Moscow, with which it has traditionally had good political and business ties.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:54:01 -0400
Attacks kill 3 Afghan policemen, 4 soldiers
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Attacks in Afghanistan have killed three policemen and four Afghan soldiers, officials said Tuesday.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:53:41 -0400
WC finalists Germany and Argentina renew rivalry

Gemany's head coach Joachim Loew , left, talks to Manuel Neuer, center, and Thomas Mueller during an open training session ahead of the friendly soccer match between Germany and Argentina on Wednesday in Duesseldorf, Germany, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)BERLIN (AP) — Germany and Argentina clash again 52 days after contesting the World Cup final, albeit with less at stake when the sides meet for a friendly in Duesseldorf.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:50:03 -0400
Iran unveils new surface-to-air missile, radars
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran on Tuesday unveiled a new surface-to-air missile and two radar systems it claims will boost the country's defense capabilities.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:40:58 -0400
Dengue fever strikes models in Japan

A worker sprays insecticide at the Yoyogi park, central Tokyo, believed to be the source of the mosquito-borne dengue fever, on August 28, 2014A worsening outbreak of dengue fever in Japan has claimed its first celebrities -- two young models sent on assignment to the Tokyo park believed to be its source. The details emerged as the government said Tuesday that at least 34 people have now caught the disease, which has not been seen in Japan for seven decades apart from cases contracted overseas. The two women -- Saaya, 20, and Eri Aoki, 25 -- were sent to Yoyogi Park last month for the Saturday variety show on which they appear, the Nikkan Sports said. The revelation that the two beauties had succumbed to the mosquito-borne disease provided fodder for the self-referencing TV shows that fill daytime schedules in celebrity-obsessed Japan.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:36:51 -0400
Australian dad accused of abusing Thai-born twins
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian man has been charged with sexually abusing twin girls he fathered several years ago to a Thai surrogate mother in another case that casts a harsh light on Thailand's beleaguered surrogacy industry.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:33:41 -0400
Top Asian News at 8:30 a.m. GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels holding 45 Fijian peacekeepers hostage have issued a set of demands for their release, including the extremist group's removal from a U.N. terrorist list and compensation for the killing of three of its fighters in a shootout with international troops, an official said Tuesday. The Nusra Front seized the Fijians on Thursday in the Golan Heights, where a 1,200-strong U.N. force monitors the buffer zone between Syria and Israel. The rebels also surrounded two Filipino units, but those U.N. troops escaped over the weekend.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:32:20 -0400
British activist goes on trial in Thailand for defamation

British activist Andy Hall answers reporters' questions as he arrives for a hearing at a court in Bangkok on September 2, 2014The defamation trial of a British activist began Tuesday in Bangkok after he co-authored a report alleging widespread labour abuses in Thailand's food industry, a prime supplier of cheap foodstuffs to Western supermarkets. Andy Hall, 34, faces jail if convicted over lawsuits brought by Thai fruit processor Natural Fruit, after his report levelled accusations of forced and child labour, unlawfully low wages and long hours at one of its factories. Natural Fruit is a major supplier to the European drink market. Defamation is a criminal offence in Thailand and Hall, whose passport has been confiscated by Thai authorities pending the trial, could be jailed for up to a year if found guilty.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:27:28 -0400
Pakistan parliament meets over political crisis

Pakistani paramilitary troops stand guard during a clash between police and protesters in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. Anti-government protesters stormed Pakistan’s state television building Monday, forcing the channel briefly off the air as they clashed with police and pushed closer to the prime minister’s residence. The violence comes as part of the mass demonstrations led by cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri and opposition politician Imran Khan that demand Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resign. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's lawmakers held an emergency session Tuesday over the political crisis roiling the country as thousands of anti-government protesters remained camped out in front of the parliament building, demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resign.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:21:49 -0400
Clashes between Islamists, rivals in Libya kill 31

FILE - In this Saturday, May 17, 2014 file photo, Libyan Gen. Khalifa Hifter addresses a press conference in Benghazi, Libya. Clashes concentrated around Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi's Benina airport between a group of Islamist militias called The Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council and rival fighters loyal to renegade Gen. Khalifa Hifter’s killed more than 30, a Libyan security official said Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. Hifter’s jets pounded Islamists’ positions while militiamen responded with artillery. (AP Photo/Mohammed el-Shaiky, File)CAIRO (AP) — Fierce clashes in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi between Islamist militiamen and rival forces loyal to a renegade general have killed 31 fighters on both sides, a security official said Tuesday.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:18:13 -0400
Court halts ridesharing service Uber in Germany
BERLIN (AP) — A court has issued an injunction barring ridesharing service Uber from operating in Germany, the latest shot in a fight with the country's taxi drivers.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:18:06 -0400
Philippine House rejects Aquino impeachment
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine House of Representatives' justice committee on Tuesday rejected three impeachment complaints against President Benigno Aquino III, killing the challenges.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:12:32 -0400
Putin's aide confirms '2 weeks to Kiev' remark

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting on development of the Russian Far East issues in Yakutsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday called on Ukraine to immediately start talks on a political solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)MOSCOW, Russia (AP) — A Russian official is complaining that EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso breached confidentiality when he quoted President Vladimir Putin as saying Moscow could take over Kiev in two weeks if it wished.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:10:36 -0400
London FTSE up 0.33% at open

The FTSE 100 index was up 0.33 percent at 6,847.51 points in early dealsLondon's benchmark FTSE 100 index rose at the start of trading on Tuesday following gains in key Asia markets, where Tokyo jumped as the yen sank against the dollar. The FTSE was up 0.33 percent at 6,847.51 points. The Nikkei was the stand-out major performer as the dollar edged towards the 105-yen level not seen since the start of the year, with analysts suggesting dealers are betting on the Bank of Japan to loosen monetary policy.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:07:04 -0400
Top Asian News at 8:00 a.m. GMT
BANGKOK (AP) — When the young Thai woman saw an online ad seeking surrogate mothers, it seemed like a life-altering deal: $10,000 to help a foreign couple that wanted a child but couldn't conceive. Wassana, a lifetime resident of the slums, viewed it as a nine-month solution to her family's debt. She didn't ask many questions.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:02:14 -0400
Modi promises red carpet for Japan firms in India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers a speech during his lecture at the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. Modi is currently on a five-day visit to Japan. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)TOKYO (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is wooing Japanese businesses with a promise of "red carpet" treatment rather than the bureaucratic red tape that India is notorious for.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:01:14 -0400
Syrian rebels issue demands for captive UN troops

Philippine Armed Forces Chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang gestures as he talks about "the greatest escape" of Philippine troops deployed as UN Peacekeepers in the Golan Heights while being besieged by a rebel faction in Syria, during a forum with foreign correspondents Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 at suburban Mandaluyong city, east of Manila, Philippines. Catapang said that a U.N. peacekeeping commander in the Golan Heights should be investigated for allegedly asking Filipino troops to surrender to Syrian rebels who had attacked and surrounded their camp. Catapang further said he advised the 40 Filipino peacekeepers not to lay down their arms, and they defied the U.N. peacekeeping commander's order. Instead, they staged a daring escape from the Golan camp over the weekend, ending a tense, dayslong standoff.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)BEIRUT (AP) — Al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels holding 45 Fijian peacekeepers hostage have issued a set of demands for their release, including the extremist group's removal from a U.N. terrorist list and compensation for the killing of three of its fighters in a shootout with international troops, an official said Tuesday.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:00:32 -0400
Parents of tumour boy held in Spain as sympathy grows

Spanish police stand guard as a police van carrying the parents of cancer patient Ashya King, 5, arrives at the courthouse in Madrid on September 1, 2014Brett and Naghemeh King sparked an international manhunt after removing five-year-old Ashya, who has a brain tumour, from hospital last week over their fears that he was not receiving the right care. The couple were detained on a European arrest warrant near Malaga in southern Spain on Saturday and their son, who only recently underwent surgery and requires special feeding equipment, has been hospitalised in southern Spain. The judge also ordered an urgent medical report into the condition of Ashya, who has a medulloblastoma tumour. The boy is currently being treated at a nearby children's hospital and is said to be in a stable condition.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 03:59:00 -0400
3 Chinese inmates kill guard, break out of jail
BEIJING (AP) — Three prisoners including a death row inmate killed a guard, donned police uniforms and escaped in a rare jailbreak in northeastern China early Tuesday, prompting a manhunt that later recaptured two of the men, state media said.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 03:49:59 -0400
Tensions as exiled Lesotho PM's expected return Tuesday uncertain

Soldiers walk inside the Makoanyane Barracks in Maseru on September 1, 2014Gunfire and power cuts rekindled tensions in Lesotho's capital Maseru overnight, as the expected return to the mountain nation of the exiled prime minister appeared uncertain following an apparent coup. An aide to Tom Thabane told AFP on Tuesday that the 75-year-old was unlikely to return to the country Tuesday as planned, after regional mediators brokered a road map to ease the country's political crisis. "We are still in Johannesburg. There is a possibility that we may not arrive in Lesotho today," Samonyane Ntsekele said in a phone interview, without giving details on the delay.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 03:47:19 -0400
9 steps a Japanese man took to 16 surrogate babies

In this Aug. 26, 2014 photo, Police Col. Decha Promsuwan, an investigator in a surrogacy scandal involving a Japanese businessman, shows documents during an interview at Lumpini police station in Bangkok,Thailand. Wassana, a young Thai woman, answered an online ad offering $10,000 for surrogate mothers and is now embroiled in the case of a mysterious Japanese man, Mitsutoki Shigeta, who police say fathered at least 16 children through surrogates. The case has captivated Thailand and is at the center of a growing scandal over commercial surrogacy, an industry that thrived on semi-secrecy and legal loopholes that the country's military government now vows to ban. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)BANGKOK (AP) — Police say Japanese businessman Mitsutoki Shigeta followed nine key steps on his path to fathering 16 surrogate babies in Thailand, born starting in June 2013. It's unclear whether he went through all of the steps for every baby; four are in Cambodia and the rest remain in Thailand. Here's how he did it:

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 03:45:32 -0400
Surrogate offers clues into man with 16 babies

In this Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 photo, Wassana stands in a rented room in Bangkok,Thailand. When the young Thai woman saw an online ad seeking surrogate mothers, it seemed like a life-altering deal: $10,000 to help a foreign couple who wants a child but can't conceive. Wassana, a lifetime resident of the slums, viewed it as a nine-month solution to her family’s debt. She didn't ask many questions. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)BANGKOK (AP) — When the young Thai woman saw an online ad seeking surrogate mothers, it seemed like a life-altering deal: $10,000 to help a foreign couple that wanted a child but couldn't conceive.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 03:41:46 -0400
Top Asian News at 7:30 a.m. GMT
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Ahead of a joint session of parliament, Pakistan's prime minister and army chief held marathon meetings Monday over violent anti-government protests that could force the premier of this nuclear-armed country to resign. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif again vowed he would not step down under duress, even as protesters briefly took over the country's state-run television broadcaster and battled security forces in the streets. But the pressure from three days of violent protests on Sharif has intensified amid reports — later denied by the military — that the country's powerful army chief advised him to resign.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 03:32:14 -0400
S. Korea soldiers charged with homicide over death
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Military prosecutors have charged four soldiers with homicide over the hazing death of a young army conscript in April, South Korea's Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 03:28:14 -0400
British rights activist faces libel trial in Thailand

British rights activist Andy Hall speaks to the media as he arrives for his trial at the Phra Khanong Provincial Court in BangkokThe trial comes as civil society groups voice increasing concern over what they say is a rise in the number of criminal defamation cases brought by the military against rights workers and journalists in an attempt to silence them. The military has ruled in Thailand since a May 22 coup. Tuesday's trial concerns the first of four cases brought against Andy Hall, 34, by Natural Fruit Co. Ltd, one of Thailand's largest pineapple processors and a major supplier of fruit drinks to the European market, to go to court. Natural Fruit accuses Hall of libel in a report published in 2013 that he helped author for Finnwatch, a Finland-based watchdog group.

Date Posted : Tue, 02 Sep 2014 03:25:35 -0400
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