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At least 24 migrants die as boat sinks in Black Sea near Istanbul
World

At least 24 migrants die as boat sinks in Black Sea near Istanbul

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Rescuers pulled 24 bodies from the sea at the mouth of Istanbul's Bosphorus strait on Monday and rescued seven people after the sinking of a boat carrying migrants including children, the Turkish Coastguard Command said. Tens of thousands of migrants from Africa, the Middle East and beyond crowd into often unsafe boats each year and thousands of them drown in their efforts to enter the European Union through coastal states. The boat, which capsized, was loaded with 42 Afghan illegal migrants, including 12 children and seven women, along with a Turkish captain, the Hurriyet news website reported.

Russia demands publication of recordings from downed flight MH17
World

Russia demands publication of recordings from downed flight MH17

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is demanding to know why international investigators have yet to publish the black box data from a Malaysian airliner that was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July, a deputy defence minister said in an interview published on Saturday. Moscow blames Ukraine for the disaster, in which all 298 passengers and crew were killed

MH17 black boxes will go to UK for analysis, says Malaysian minister
World

MH17 black boxes will go to UK for analysis, says Malaysian minister

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Black boxes from the Malaysian jetliner downed over eastern Ukraine will be sent to a lab in the United Kingdom, said Malaysia's deputy transport minister on Tuesday. "The procedure is to have the black boxes sent to the nearest lab that is authorized by the ICAO for analysis," Aziz Kaprawi told Reuters, referring to the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Investigators face tough task in Ukraine plane inquiry
World

Investigators face tough task in Ukraine plane inquiry

BERLIN/GENEVA (Reuters) - As international investigators head to rebel-held eastern Ukraine to piece together what - and who - caused a Malaysian airliner to plunge into the steppe, securing evidence in the middle of a war zone is a major challenge. Proving what happened beyond doubt and to the satisfaction of the warring parties may already be all but impossible, after local people and rebel fighters have spent 24 hours sifting and moving debris and bodies and Ukraine and Russia make detailed allegations against each other and argue over the black boxes. In principle, all sides support a call, backed by Russia and other world powers in the U.N

McDonald's workers protest low wages, more than 100 arrested
World

McDonald's workers protest low wages, more than 100 arrested

REUTERS - Police on Wednesday arrested more than 100 demonstrators seeking better pay for McDonald's workers as protesters swarmed the fast-food chain's corporate campus near Chicago to demand a minimum wage of $15 an hour and the right to unionize.

Putin says will be hard to work with Ukraine's new leaders
World

Putin says will be hard to work with Ukraine's new leaders

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday it will be hard for Russia to build relations with Ukrainian leaders who come to power while fighting persists in the country's east. In the latest in a string of comments from Moscow casting doubt on the legitimacy of a presidential election scheduled for Sunday, Putin also said it would be more logical for Ukraine to hold the vote after a referendum on a new constitution. Russian officials have suggested the vote will not be legitimate without an end to hostilities between government forces and pro-Moscow separatists and implementation of a road map to resolve the crisis in the former Soviet republic.

Dozens arrested in New York child pornography bust
World

Dozens arrested in New York child pornography bust

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two police officers, a Little League coach, and a mother were among 71 people arrested across the New York City-area in the largest-ever roundup of people who share child pornography online, federal and local law enforcement said Wednesday. The 70 men and one woman came from all five boroughs of New York City and the surrounding suburbs, including New Jersey and Long Island, and range in age from their 20s to 50s, authorities said

Mali army launches offensive against separatist northern town
World

Mali army launches offensive against separatist northern town

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Mali has launched a military offensive on Wednesday to retake control of a northern Tuareg separatist stronghold, the government said, and witnesses reported intense fighting with machine gun and heavy weapons fire. The clashes threaten efforts to find a peaceful solution to the long cycle of Tuareg rebellions in the desert north. It also upsets plans by France and several West African countries to combat Islamist militants operating elsewhere in the region

Ousted Egyptian leader Mubarak gets 3 years jail for embezzling millions
World

Ousted Egyptian leader Mubarak gets 3 years jail for embezzling millions

CAIRO (Reuters) - Deposed former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was sentenced on Wednesday to three years in prison for embezzling millions in public funds for lavish renovations to family properties. The verdict may please some Egyptians who lived through three decades of autocracy under Mubarak before a 2011 uprising toppled him. But business executives still loyal to him remain influential and rights groups say the abusive security practices of his era remain alive and well today with another former military man set to win a presidential election next week

As Putin looks east, China and Russia sign $400-billion gas deal
World

As Putin looks east, China and Russia sign $400-billion gas deal

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China and Russia signed a $400-billion gas supply deal on Wednesday, securing the world's top energy user a major source of cleaner fuel and opening up a new market for Moscow as it risks losing European customers over the Ukraine crisis. The long-awaited agreement is a political triumph for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is courting partners in Asia as those in Europe and the United States seek to isolate him over Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. Commercially, much depends on the price and other terms of the contract, which has been more than a decade in the making

Iranians arrested for "Happy" video freed - social media
World

Iranians arrested for "Happy" video freed - social media

DUBAI (Reuters) - Six Iranians arrested for appearing in a video singing along to an American pop song were released on Wednesday, one day after being detained for what police called their "obscene" behaviour, one of them said in an online posting. In the clip, the three women and three men dance and lip synch to Pharrell Williams' "Happy", imitating the official video of the international hit. The women are not wearing headscarves, as demanded by Iran's Islamic law.

Nigerian Islamists extend killing spree in northeast - police
World

Nigerian Islamists extend killing spree in northeast - police

MAIDUGURI Nigeria - Suspected Nigerian Islamist militants killed 17 people in a remote northeastern village on Tuesday night, hours after a bomb killed 118 people in the central city of Jos, police said on Wednesday. Militants opened fire on Alagarno village and razed several houses to the ground, a source at police headquarters told Reuters

Food distribution under way for 60,000 in Syria's Aleppo - Red Cross
World

Food distribution under way for 60,000 in Syria's Aleppo - Red Cross

GENEVA (Reuters) - The Red Cross said on Wednesday it begun a major distribution of emergency rations on both sides of the battle lines around the divided northern Syrian city of Aleppo, its first since October. Syria's government finally gave approval this week for the plan, submitted in January, to feed 60,000 displaced people in rural areas, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer said. "We have a major food distribution ongoing in Aleppo

Syria calls for help rebuilding health system wrecked by "terrorists"
World

Syria calls for help rebuilding health system wrecked by "terrorists"

GENEVA (Reuters) - Syria's government begged the world for help on Wednesday to rebuild a healthcare system it said had been destroyed by "terrorists", despite reports by U.N. officials that Syrian government forces were largely to blame for the damage. In a speech to ministers from World Health Organization member countries, Syrian Health Minister Saad al-Nayef said his government was "doing its utmost" to save lives.

Russian tycoon to fight $4.5 bln divorce for "10 more years"
World

Russian tycoon to fight $4.5 bln divorce for "10 more years"

GENEVA (Reuters) - A Russian tycoon whose estranged wife wo a $4.5 billion divorce ruling this week, one of the costliest in history, will appeal against the judgment and the case will take another decade at least, his lawyer said on Wednesday. Dmitry Rybolovlev, who made much of his fortune with the 2010 sale of his stake in fertiliser company Uralkali, spent six years in legal wrangling with wife Elena but the case is long from over, according to lawyer Tetiana Bersheda.

Clashes erupt in Libyan capital after air chief backs rogue general
World

Clashes erupt in Libyan capital after air chief backs rogue general

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Explosions and fighting erupted in Libya's capital in Wednesday, killing at least two people after the top air commander signalled support for a renegade general who is campaigning to dissolve parliament and wipe out Islamists. It was not immediately clear who was behind the fighting, but the government has become increasingly alarmed by signs of growing support for General Khalifa Haftar.

Putin tells Crimean Tatars their place is in Russia
World

Putin tells Crimean Tatars their place is in Russia

SOCHI Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin promised on Friday to help improve the lives of Crimean Tatars, but signalled that members of the Muslim minority must accept their future lies with Russia after Moscow annexed their Black Sea homeland from Ukraine.

Raul Castro's reforms fail to end Cuba's chronic shortages
World

Raul Castro's reforms fail to end Cuba's chronic shortages

HAVANA (Reuters) - In a land where the potato is scarce, black marketeers peddle tubers in hushed tones, like drug dealers on a big city street corner. A months-long reduction in the beer supply has made Cubans cranky. Worse still, some lovers have struggled to find condoms.

Putin marks Victory in Crimea as Ukraine violence flares
World

Putin marks Victory in Crimea as Ukraine violence flares

SEVASTOPOL (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin flew in to Crimea on Friday, marking the Soviet victory in World War Two and proclaiming the success of the peninsula's seizure from a Ukraine that Russia says has been taken over by fascists. In east Ukraine, where pro-Moscow rebels plan a referendum on Sunday to follow Crimea in breaking from Kiev, several people were reported killed in the port of Mariupol, one of the bloodiest clashes yet between Ukrainian forces and separatists.

Multi-ethnic Odessa wrestles with legacy of day of killing
World

Multi-ethnic Odessa wrestles with legacy of day of killing

ODESSA Ukraine (Reuters) - Odessa: the very name conjures up an archetypal melting pot, a balmy oasis of tolerance and diversity, as well as a tsarist port of imperial grandeur, immortalised in film. But can a city forever associated with a massacre of civilians more than a century ago now avoid becoming known as the place where Ukraine's regional unrest sparked into nationwide conflict?