By Gopal Sharma | KATHMANDU KATHMANDU Nepal's national unity is under attack and its people must act to save it, former King Gyanendra said on Wednesday, in some of his most critical political comments since being toppled by a parliamentary vote eight years ago.A specially elected Constituent Assembly dominated by Maoist former rebels ended Nepal's 239-year-old monarchy in 2008 and turned the impoverished country of 28 million people into a republic.Political parties are still haggling over creating federal states under a new constitution prepared last year, with the Madhesi ethnic minority demanding an autonomous state in the southern plains bordering India. This is opposed by some upper caste Brahmins living in the hills of the mainly Hindu nation.More than 50 people died during protests in the Madhes, also known as the Tarai, last year while demanding a greater say for the Madhesi community in the government. "Social goodwill among Nepali people is being erased and relentless efforts are being made to break the feeling of unity between Tarai (plains), hills and Himal (mountains)," Gyanendra said in a statement.
By Yeganeh Torbati and David Alexander | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON The United States on Tuesday sought to downplay its absence from talks on the Syrian conflict among Russia, Iran and Turkey in Moscow, saying it was not a "snub" and did not reflect a decline of U.S. influence in the Middle East.However, President Barack Obama's decision to offer only limited support to moderate rebels has left Washington with little leverage to influence the situation in Syria, especially after Moscow began launching air strikes against rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad
BUENOS AIRES Argentina and Britain agreed on a framework to identify the bodies of dozens of unknown Argentine soldiers buried on the disputed Falkland Islands, Argentina's Foreign Ministry said in on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON Donald Trump pounced on a reported comment from Bill Clinton, the former president and husband of his Democratic rival in the Nov. 8 election, in an usual exchange on Tuesday between future and former U.S. presidents.Clinton, whose wife, Hillary, lost last month's election after spending millions of dollars more than her Republican rival, was spotted at a bookstore near the couple's hometown a suburb of New York City earlier this month
ERBIL, Iraq Six people were killed in a bomb attack on the offices of an Iranian Kurdish opposition group in northern Iraq late on Tuesday, Iraqi Kurdish security sources said.The explosion targeted the offices of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) in Koy Sanjak, east of Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdish region. Clashes opposed in June and July PDKI fighters and Iranian Revolutionary Guards in northwestern Iran, leaving several dead on both sides.
By Joel Schectman | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON The U.S.
CAIRO Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack in which a truck ploughed into crowds in a Christmas market and killed 12 people."The executor of the operation.. in Berlin is a soldier of the Islamic state and he executed the operation in response to calls to target nationals of the coalition countries," the militant group's AMAQ news agency said on Tuesday.
By Michelle Martin and Sabine Siebold | BERLIN BERLIN German authorities on Tuesday released a Pakistani asylum-seeker suspected of driving a truck into a Berlin Christmas market and killing 12 people due to a lack of evidence and the interior minister said the real perpetrator may still be on the run.The truck smashed into wooden huts serving mulled wine and sausages on Monday evening at the foot of the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church, one of west Berlin's most famous landmarks. Forty-five people were injured, 30 severely.The Chief Federal Prosecutor's Office said in a statement it had been unable to prove that the suspect had been in the cabin of the truck at the time of the attack and said he had denied any involvement.Earlier, Die Welt newspaper quoted an unnamed police chief as saying: "We have the wrong man. And therefore a new situation.
By Angus McDowall and Maria Tsvetkova | BEIRUT/MOSCOW BEIRUT/MOSCOW As President Bashar al-Assad's army closed in on the last rebel enclave in Aleppo on Tuesday, Russia, Iran and Turkey said they were ready to help broker a Syrian peace deal. The Syrian army used loudspeakers to broadcast warnings to insurgents that it was poised to enter their rapidly diminishing area during the day and told them to speed up their evacuation of the city.Complete control of Aleppo would be a major victory for Assad against rebels who have defied him in Syria's most populous city for four years.Ministers from Russia, Iran and Turkey adopted a document they called the "Moscow Declaration", which set out the principles that any peace agreement should follow.
By Angus McDowall and Maria Tsvetkova | BEIRUT/MOSCOW BEIRUT/MOSCOW As President Bashar al-Assad's army closed in on the last rebel enclave in Aleppo on Tuesday, Russia, Iran and Turkey said they were ready to help broker a Syrian peace deal. The Syrian army used loudspeakers to broadcast warnings to insurgents that it was poised to enter their rapidly diminishing area during the day and told them to speed up their evacuation of the city.Complete control of Aleppo would be a major victory for Assad against rebels who have defied him in Syria's most populous city for four years.Ministers from Russia, Iran and Turkey adopted a document they called the "Moscow Declaration", which set out the principles that any peace agreement should follow. At talks in the Russian capital, they also backed an expanded ceasefire in Syria."Iran, Russia and Turkey are ready to facilitate the drafting of an agreement, which is already being negotiated, between the Syrian government and the opposition, and to become its guarantors," the declaration said.The move underlines the growing strength of Moscow's links with Tehran and Ankara, despite the murder on Monday of Russia's ambassador to Turkey, and reflects Russian President Vladimir Putin's desire to cement his influence in the Middle East and beyond.Russia and Iran back Assad while Turkey has backed some rebel groups.
KUALA LUMPUR Malaysian police said on Tuesday they have arrested seven people, including four foreigners, for suspected links to the Islamic State (IS) militant group and for planning attacks in Malaysia and abroad.Authorities in Muslim-majority Malaysia have revoked the passports of scores of citizens identified as having left the country to join Islamic State and police reported this year that 18 Malaysians had been killed fighting for the group in Syria, and another seven were killed carrying out suicide attacks.A grenade attack on a bar on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, in June was the Islamist group's first successful assault in the country.Police said in a statement their latest arrests were made between Nov. 3 and Dec
By Saliou Samb | CONAKRY CONAKRY Senegal authorities have arrested a Guinean soldier linked to a 2009 massacre in Conakry where at least 150 people were killed and dozens of women raped, a Senegalese security source said on Tuesday.The source said Lieutenant Aboubacar "Toumba" Diakite, who witnesses say played a key role in the massacre at a Conakry stadium, was arrested in Dakar on Monday.The Sept. 28, 2009, incident in Guinea's capital is seen as one of the worst acts of repression in West Africa's recent history and Human Rights Watch called the arrest a breakthrough in the bid to bring justice.In that incident, security forces opened fire on pro-democracy protestors who had gathered at the stadium to put pressure on then junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara not to stand at an election the following year.
By Tim Cocks and Aaron Ross | KINSHASA KINSHASA Security forces shot dead several protesters who had gathered in the streets of Kinshasa on Tuesday to demand that Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila step down after his mandate expired overnight. Scattered protests started on Tuesday, and opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi called on the Congolese people to peacefully resist Kabila, who has remained in power beyond his constitutional mandate with no election to pick a successor. Gunfire crackled in several districts of the capital Kinshasa, a city of 12 million, as measures to thwart dissent raised fears of bloody repression.
By Eric M. Johnson and Jon Herskovitz | SEATTLE/AUSTIN, Texas SEATTLE/AUSTIN, Texas Republican Donald Trump prevailed in U.S
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.
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.
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 YORK A self-proclaimed 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 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, which combines conventional explosives, such as dynamite, with radioactive material. Congress passed the statute in 2004 to punish individuals who try to set off a so-called "dirty bomb."U.S
By David Morgan | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON The U.S. Electoral College meets on Monday to officially confirm Republican Donald Trump as the next president, a vote that is usually a formality but that has taken on extra prominence after an unusual and particularly acrimonious election campaign.At meetings scheduled in every state capitol and the District of Columbia, the institution's 538 electors, chosen by state parties, will cast official ballots for president and vice president.The votes will be counted during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6
ZURICH Three people were hurt in a shooting at an Islamic centre in central Zurich on Monday, the Blick newspaper reported. Zurich police confirmed some people had been hurt in the vicinity of the centre, but gave no more details