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Investigators recommend extending search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight
| Reuters
World

Investigators recommend extending search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight | Reuters

SYDNEY Investigators searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have recommended extending the search by an additional 25,000 sq km (9,650 sq miles), the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said on Tuesday. The current 120,000 sq km (46,330 sq miles) search area in the Indian Ocean is due to be exhausted by January, with no sign of the missing jet.Flight MH370 disappeared in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board, most of them Chinese, en route to Beijing from the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Trump wins U.S. Electoral College vote; a few electors break ranks
| Reuters
World

Trump wins U.S. Electoral College vote; a few electors break ranks | Reuters

By Eric M. Johnson and Jon Herskovitz | SEATTLE/AUSTIN, Texas SEATTLE/AUSTIN, Texas Republican Donald Trump prevailed in U.S

Trump wins U.S. Electoral College vote; some electors break ranks
| Reuters
World

Trump wins U.S. Electoral College vote; some electors break ranks | Reuters

By Eric M. Johnson and Jon Herskovitz | SEATTLE/AUSTIN, Texas SEATTLE/AUSTIN, Texas Republican Donald Trump prevailed in U.S. Electoral College voting on Monday to officially win election as the next president, easily dashing long-shot hopes by a small movement of detractors to block him from gaining the White House.Trump garnered more than the 270 electoral votes required to win, even as at least half a dozen U.S.

U.N. chief fears genocide about to start in South Sudan
| Reuters
World

U.N. chief fears genocide about to start in South Sudan | Reuters

UNITED NATIONS United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday he feared the process of genocide was about to start in South Sudan unless immediate action was taken, renewing his plea for the Security Council to impose an arms embargo on the country."If we fail to act, South Sudan will be on a trajectory towards mass atrocities," Ban told the Security Council.

Truck ploughs into crowd at Berlin Christmas market, nine dead
| Reuters
World

Truck ploughs into crowd at Berlin Christmas market, nine dead | Reuters

By Michael Nienaber | BERLIN BERLIN A truck ploughed into a crowded Christmas market in the German capital Berlin on Monday evening, killing nine people and injuring up to 50 others, police said. German media, citing police at the scene, said first indications pointed to an attack on the market, situated at the foot of the ruined Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church, which was kept as a bombed-out ruin after World War Two.The incident evoked memories of an attack in France in July when Tunisian-born man drove a 19-tonne truck along the beach front, mowing down people who had gathered to watch the fireworks on Bastille Day, killing 86 people. The attack was claimed by Islamic State.The truck careered into the Berlin market at what would have been one of the most crowded times for the Christmas market, when adults and children would be gathering in the traditional cluster of wooden huts that sell food and Christmas goods.Berlin police said nine people were killed"I heard a big noise and then I moved on the Christmas market and saw much chaos...many injured people," Jan Hollitzer, deputy editor in chief of Berliner Morgenpost, told CNN.

New Yorker gets 30 years in prison for 'death ray' plot against Muslims
| Reuters
World

New Yorker gets 30 years in prison for 'death ray' plot against Muslims | Reuters

NEW YORK A white supremacist convicted on charges he planned to use a "death ray" to kill Muslims and President Barack Obama was sentenced on Monday to 30 years in prison, federal prosecutors in New York said.Glendon Scott Crawford, 52, a Navy veteran and a self-proclaimed member of the Ku Klux Klan, was found guilty in August 2015 of conspiring with another man to build a radiation dispersal device, dubbed a "death ray" by tabloids.Crawford is the first person to be convicted under a law barring attempts to acquire or use a radiological dispersal device. Congress passed the statute in 2004 to punish individuals who try to set off a so-called "dirty bomb," which combines radioactive material with conventional explosives.U.S. District Judge Gary Sharpe imposed the sentence at a hearing in Albany, prosecutors said in a statement.

Saudi-led coalition to stop using British-made cluster munitions in Yemen
| Reuters
World

Saudi-led coalition to stop using British-made cluster munitions in Yemen | Reuters

DOHA A Saudi-led Arab coalition will halt its use of British-made cluster munitions in Yemen, the Saudi government said on Monday, after 20 months of war in which thousands of civilians have been killed and injured in airstrikes.In London, British defence minister Michael Fallon confirmed in parliament that the coalition had dropped "a limited number" of UK-supplied cluster munitions in Yemen.Britain, a signatory to the international convention which prohibits use of the munitions, has been investigating whether the coalition dropped the BL 755 munitions in Yemen following an Amnesty International report in May."The government of Saudi Arabia confirms that it has decided to stop the use of cluster munitions of the type BL-755 and informed the United Kingdom government of that," said the Saudi statement, carried by state news agency SPA.It was the first Saudi confirmation of the coalition's use of the cluster munitions.Saudi Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri told Arabiya TV: "BL 755 bombs are used in a limited way and not in residential areas. We do not use the bombs in areas populated by civilians." "This munition was used against legitimate military targets to defend Saudi towns and villages against continuous attacks by Houthi militia, which resulted in Saudi civilian casualties."Assiri said the coalition, which is battling Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen, had not violated international law because it had not signed the cluster munitions convention. Fallon stressed that Britain had sold the munitions to Riyadh in the 1980s, long before the 2008 convention."However, Saudi Arabia has now confirmed it will not further use BL-755 cluster munitions and I welcome that," he said.

Gunman who shot Russian ambassador was off-duty police officer - security sources
| Reuters
World

Gunman who shot Russian ambassador was off-duty police officer - security sources | Reuters

ANKARA The gunman who shot the Russian ambassador to Turkey in an attack at an art gallery on Monday was an off-duty police officer who worked in the Turkish capital, two security sources told Reuters.Russia's foreign ministry earlier confirmed that the ambassador, Andrey Karlov, had died in the attack. Turkish state media earlier reported that the gunman had been "neutralised" following the attack.

Russian ambassador to Turkey dies of gunshot wounds - RIA cites source
| Reuters
World

Russian ambassador to Turkey dies of gunshot wounds - RIA cites source | Reuters

MOSCOW Russia's ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, has died of his wounds after being shot in Ankara, the Turkish capital, Russia's state-run RIA news agency reported on Monday, citing an unnamed source.There was no official confirmation of the news from the Russian Foreign Ministry, which RIA cited as saying Karlov had been taken to hospital. (Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

Syrian rebels prepare to withdraw from Aleppo as truce begins
| Reuters
World

Syrian rebels prepare to withdraw from Aleppo as truce begins | Reuters

By Laila Bassam and Angus McDowall | ALEPPO, Syria/BEIRUT ALEPPO, Syria/BEIRUT Syrian rebels prepared to withdraw from Aleppo on Wednesday after a ceasefire agreement that ended years of fighting in the city and gave President Bashar al-Assad his biggest victory yet after more than five years of war.The agreement was a result of talks between Russia, Assad's main ally, and Turkey, a leading backer of the rebels, a Turkish government official said. The guns fell silent late on Tuesday in Aleppo

Happiness still elusive in Russia, many ex-Soviet states 25 years after USSR - survey
| Reuters
World

Happiness still elusive in Russia, many ex-Soviet states 25 years after USSR - survey | Reuters

By Marc Jones | LONDON LONDON A quarter of a century after the collapse of the Soviet Union, life satisfaction in Russia and other ex-Soviet states remains stubbornly low, and enthusiasm for democracy and open market economics is wavering, a survey published on Tuesday showed.The study found that only 15 percent of Russians think their households have a better quality of life, compared with 30 percent in 2010 when respondents were last asked, and only 9 percent see their finances as better than four years ago.Just over half the respondents from former Soviet states also thought a return to a more authoritarian system would be a plus in some circumstances, the study by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank said.The EBRD, created 25 years ago to invest in former communist countries, questioned households across ex-Soviet bloc for more than a decade for its "Life in Transition" project, polling 51,000 households in 34 countries from Estonia to Mongolia. They did find the "happiness gap" with Western Europe had narrowed, thanks to improvements in central Asia, the Baltic states and central Europe but also because of less satisfaction in parts of Europe, including Germany and Italy

White House - Reversing U.S. opening to Cuba would be harmful
| Reuters
World

White House - Reversing U.S. opening to Cuba would be harmful | Reuters

WASHINGTON The White House said on Tuesday it would be "very damaging" to both Cubans as well as the United States' standing in Latin America if the next administration reverses President Barack Obama's normalization of relations with Cuba."We're seeing real progress that is making life better for Cubans right now. Sustaining this policy will allow for further opening ..

U.S. urges Taiwan to increase defence spending given China threat
| Reuters
World

U.S. urges Taiwan to increase defence spending given China threat | Reuters

By David Brunnstrom | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON Defence spending in Taiwan has not kept pace with the threat posed by China and should be increased, a senior U.S. defence official said on Tuesday, days after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump touched off a storm by questioning American policy over the island.Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Abraham Denmark said the Obama administration's "One China" policy remained unchanged, but he could not predict Trump's intentions when he takes office on Jan

Afghan First Vice President denies abusing rival, West urges investigation
| Reuters
World

Afghan First Vice President denies abusing rival, West urges investigation | Reuters

KABUL Afghanistan's First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum denied on Tuesday accusations that he had beaten and abducted a political rival and threatened him with sexual violence, in a case that sparked Western calls for a full and fair investigation.Dostum, a former warring faction commander with a fearsome reputation and a lingering power base in northern Afghanistan, was witnessed by hundreds of people, according to The New York Times, beating and then ordering his men to detain Ahmad Ishchi at a public sporting event in late November.Ishchi was once a member of the same political faction as Dostum but later fell out with him.Reuters has been unable to confirm independently the accusations made by Ishchi against Dostum."He (Ishchi) was detained by Afghan security forces for allegations of funding the opposition and having a hand in repeated security issues," a spokesperson for Dostum said in a statement, denying any physical or sexual abuse had taken place."For some time there has been a destructive movement by some unknown circles against the First Vice President," it added.Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's office promised a thorough investigation of Ishchi's accusations.While imprisoned by Dostum's men, Ishchi told Reuters he was repeatedly beaten, including by rifles, and threatened with sexual violence. After being held by men loyal to Dostum for five days, Ishchi said he remained for another 10 days with security forces who provided medical aid."NOBODY IS ABOVE THE LAW" Pledging an investigation into Ishchi's claims, Afghan presidential spokesman Haroon Chakhansori said: "For the Afghan government nobody is above the law

Islamic State claims Cairo cathedral bombing
| Reuters
World

Islamic State claims Cairo cathedral bombing | Reuters

By Lin Noueihed and Ahmed Mohammed Hassan | CAIRO CAIRO Islamic State claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a suicide bombing at Cairo's main Coptic cathedral on Sunday that killed at least 25 people.The militant group said in a statement carried by its news agency Amaq that a suicide bomber whom it identified as Abu Abdallah al-Masri had detonated his explosive belt inside the church."Every infidel and apostate in Egypt and everywhere should know that our war ... continues," it said.The Interior Ministry identified the bomber on Monday as 22-year-old student Mahmoud Shafik Mohammed Mostafa, and said he was a supporter of the banned Muslim Brotherhood political movement who had joined a militant cell while on the run from police.In an interview with Reuters, Mostafa's mother said he had been sexually abused in police custody in 2014, but that she had seen no sign that he had been radicalised.In addition to the dead, at least 49 people were wounded when the bomb went off in a chapel adjoining St Mark's Cathedral, Cairo's largest church and seat of the Coptic Christian papacy.President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said four people had been detained and two were on the run.PREVIOUS ARREST Sisi took power in 2013, deposing the Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi, and has since outlawed the Islamist movement as part of a crackdown in which hundreds of its supporters have been killed and thousands jailed. The Interior Ministry said Mahmoud had been arrested in March 2014 for carrying arms during a protest, and freed on bail after two months.

EU conservatives pick Italy's Tajani as candidate for parliament speaker
| Reuters
World

EU conservatives pick Italy's Tajani as candidate for parliament speaker | Reuters

By Francesco Guarascio | STRASBOURG STRASBOURG The European Union's centre-right grouping on Tuesday elected Antonio Tajani as its candidate to replace socialist Martin Schulz as speaker of the European Parliament, a move that could increase calls for a reshuffle of other top EU jobs.Tajani, a former EU commissioner, is a member of the rightist Forza Italia party and a close ally of former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi.The socialists, the second biggest grouping, have said the election of a conservative president would unsettle the EU's balance of power by giving the conservative European People's Party (EPP) the presidencies of all three major EU bodies.Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker runs the executive European Commission and Donald Tusk of Poland chairs EU summits as president of the European Council.

U.S. to halt some arms sales to Saudi, citing civilian deaths in Yemen campaign
| Reuters
World

U.S. to halt some arms sales to Saudi, citing civilian deaths in Yemen campaign | Reuters

By Phil Stewart and Warren Strobel | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON The United States has decided to limit military support to Saudi Arabia's campaign in Yemen because of concerns over widespread civilian casualties and will halt a planned arms sale to the kingdom, U.S. officials told Reuters.The United States will also revamp future training of the kingdom's air force to focus on improving Saudi targeting practices, a persistent source of concern for Washington

U.S. to halt some arms sales to Saudi, citing civilian deaths in Yemen campaign
| Reuters
World

U.S. to halt some arms sales to Saudi, citing civilian deaths in Yemen campaign | Reuters

By Phil Stewart and Warren Strobel | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON The United States has decided to limit military support to Saudi Arabia's campaign in Yemen because of concerns over widespread civilian casualties and will halt a planned arms sale to the kingdom, U.S. officials told Reuters.The United States will also revamp future training of the kingdom's air force to focus on improving Saudi targeting practices, a persistent source of concern for Washington

Four suspected al Qaeda members killed in drone strike in Yemen - officials
| Reuters
World

Four suspected al Qaeda members killed in drone strike in Yemen - officials | Reuters

DUBAI Four suspected members of al Qaeda's Yemen branch, including a local commander, were killed on Tuesday by a drone strike on their vehicle east of the capital Sanaa, local officials said.It was the latest in a series of strikes by pilotless planes, believed to be operated by the United States, in war-torn Yemen.The officials said the vehicle was travelling on a main road between the Marib governorate and al-Jawf when it was attacked.

North Korea rejects U.N. report on abductions, separated families
| Reuters
World

North Korea rejects U.N. report on abductions, separated families | Reuters

By Stephanie Nebehay | GENEVA GENEVA North Korea protested on Tuesday against a U.N.