BRUSSELS More than three times as many migrants were tracked entering the European Union by irregular means last month than a year ago, official data showed on Tuesday, many of them landing on Greek islands after fleeing conflict in Syria. While the increase recorded by the European Union's border control agency Frontex may be partly due to better monitoring, it highlighted the scale of a crisis that has led to more than 2,000 deaths this year as desperate migrants take to rickety boats. Italian police said they had arrested eight suspected human traffickers that they said had reportedly forced migrants to stay in the hold of a fishing boat in the Mediterranean as 49 of them suffocated on engine fumes.
BEIRUT Lebanese authorities detained a hardline Sunni Islamist cleric wanted for attacks on the Lebanese army as he tried to flee the country on Saturday, security officials said. Sheikh Ahmed al-Assir, a Lebanese citizen, was arrested at Beirut airport as he tried to depart using a forged passport, the officials said. The National News Agency said he wanted to travel to Egypt
BEIRUT Lebanese authorities have detained a hardline Sunni Islamist leader wanted for militant activity, including attacks on the Lebanese army, a senior security official said on Saturday. The Lebanese National News Agency reported that Ahmed al-Assir was detained at Beirut airport as he was trying to leave the country. (Reporting by Laila Bassam; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
SEOUL North Korea on Saturday demanded that the South halt anti-North propaganda broadcasts via loudspeakers along the border or face military action, a day after it denied Seoul's accusation that it planted landmines that wounded two South Korean soldiers.
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey Six people were killed and eight wounded on Friday as violence between Kurdish militants and Turkish soldiers flared up again in Turkey's southeast, security sources and the military said. Fighting between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the military has broken out almost daily over the last month. The PKK has been hitting military targets after Ankara resumed air strikes on PKK camps in northern Iraq in what it calls a "synchronised war on terror".
ACCRA Doctors in Ghana decided on Friday to strike for two more weeks, their union said, in a protest that is emptying hospitals and posing a stiff challenge to the government of President John Mahama. Doctors are refusing to see out-patients or admit new in-patients, despite pressure from government, religious and cultural leaders to go back to work. They want better pay and conditions, a problem for a government that is trying to cut a large budget deficit in order to stick to the terms of a $918 million aid programme from the International Monetary Fund
NEW YORK The man who shot and wounded a firefighter after setting his home ablaze in a standoff with New York authorities is dead, police said on Friday.
TIANJIN, China A senior Chinese official defended fire fighters who initially hosed water on a blaze in a warehouse in northeast China where volatile chemicals were stored, a response foreign experts said could have contributed to two huge blasts that killed 54 people. More than a dozen firefighters were among those killed by the massive explosions at the busy port in Tianjin city on Wednesday night, state media said. About 700 people were injured, 71 seriously.
HAVANA U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry travels to Cuba on Friday to raise the U.S. flag at the recently restored American embassy in Havana, another symbolic step in the thawing of relations between the two Cold War-era foes
EDGARTOWN, Mass. The White House on Thursday released a list of six books President Barack Obama will be reading over his vacation in Martha's Vineyard
LONDON Britain said on Thursday it would make a formal protest to Ecuador over its decision to provide asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in its London embassy and so prevent his extradition to Sweden over alleged sex crimes. "Ecuador must recognise that its decision to harbour Mr Assange more than three years ago has prevented the proper course of justice," British Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire said in a statement
GENEVA Libya's warring factions agreed on Wednesday to end the political crisis and military conflict in the country within weeks, the United Nations said at the end of two days of peace talks in Geneva. Libya is split between two governments backed by armed factions fighting each other, with Islamic State and other armed groups exploiting the resulting security vacuum. Highlighting the risk that the U.N.
NEW YORK If the United States walks away from the nuclear deal with Iran and demands that its allies comply with U.S. sanctions, a loss of confidence in U.S.
ANKARA Turkey said on Tuesday it had agreed with the United States on terms for setting up a "safe zone" inside northern Syria as part of their campaign against Islamic State militants, but the U.S. State Department denied there was any such agreement. The two NATO allies have been working on plans to provide air cover for Syrian rebels and to sweep Islamic State from land along the Turkish border.
NEW YORK If the United States walks away from the nuclear deal struck with Iran last month in Vienna and demands that its allies comply with U.S. sanctions, the dollar may soon cease to be the world's reserve currency, the top U.S
BRASILIA The president of Brazil's Senate, Renan Calheiros, said on Monday that impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff was not a priority and warned that seeking her removal in Congress would "set the country on fire." Calheiros spoke to reporters after meeting with Finance Minister Joaquim Levy to discuss the government's fiscal austerity plan.
FERGUSON, Mo. Authorities declared a state of emergency in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday in an effort to quell a repeat of the violence that erupted during demonstrations overnight to mark the police shooting of an unarmed black man one year ago. The order was issued for the St
RICHMOND, Va. A former Soviet army officer accused of being a Taliban fighter was found guilty on all counts on Friday by a federal jury in Richmond, Virginia, a court official said
LONDON The head of Iran's elite military Quds Force, who is subject to a United Nations travel ban, has met senior Russian officials in Moscow, an Iranian official said on Friday.
LONDON The head of Iran's elite military Quds Force, who is subject to a United Nations travel ban, has met senior Russian officials in Moscow, an Iranian official said on Friday. Qassem Soleimani, chief of the force which is an overseas arm of the Revolutionary Guards, has been subject to an international travel ban and asset freeze by the U.N. Security Council since 2007.