PHNOM PENH Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday that he might not "be around" until the end of his term, and that, after winning the presidency at 71, he had found out late in the day that "I don't need it at my age".The previous day he had told a gathering of business leaders in the Philippines that he suffered from back pains, migraines and Buerger's disease, a cause of blockages in the blood vessels, associated with smoking during his youth.On Tuesday, Duterte told a cheering crowd of a few thousand expatriate Filipinos in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh: "I am old ... This is my last hurrah -- after this, 77 -- I am not sure if I will still be around by the end of my term."Duterte, who will be 77 at the end of his six-year term in 2022, is the oldest person to be elected president in the Philippines since the post-war period.He added that he had "found out very late" that he did not need the presidency at his age."It's not a question of having regrets, none at all, because I entered into it," he said, before adding: "I realize now - I do not need it at this time of my life. But I tell you, I take pleasure at the end of the day, that's the only consolation, I have a job, I am doing something right." Duterte had told the business leaders on Monday that he had no fear of being removed from power or assassinated because of opposition to the rising death toll in his anti-drugs campaign.Since July 1, about 5,000 people have died in his crackdown, a key plank of his May election campaign.
By Katy Migiro NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Kenya needs to brace itself for worsening drought in 2017, the United Nations said on Tuesday, using a new early warning system that predicts the availability of forage for animals in the country's arid livestock-dependent north.People and animals' lives are at risk because they have not had a chance to recover from drought in 2014 as rains were also poor in 2015 and 2016, the U.N.
WASHINGTON The U.S. State Department has given its approval for a possible $1.7 billion military sale to Kuwait for the recapitalization of 218 M1A2 tanks and related equipment, services and training, a Pentagon agency said on Tuesday.The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, in a statement, said the contractors involved included General Dynamics Corp, Raytheon Co, Meggitt PLC, Northrop Grumman Corp, Lockheed Martin Corp and Honeywell International Inc, among others. (Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Paul Simao)
By Gabriela Baczynska | BRUSSELS BRUSSELS The European Union will not pay towards rebuilding post-war Syria if Moscow and Damascus leave no space in the future for opposition to President Bashar al-Assad's government, according to a draft joint statement from the EU's 28 leaders. For weeks, Syrian, Russian and Iranian firepower has pounded rebels - including those backed by the West and Turkey - in what was their main urban stronghold of Aleppo. On Tuesday, thousands of people fled the city with rebel defeat seemingly imminent.Establishing full control over Aleppo would mark government forces' biggest battlefield victory yet in the conflict that has raged for nearly six years, killing more than 300,000 people.But, even if the rebels are defeated, the EU says no peace can hold in Syria as Damascus would face years of guerrilla warfare and the country could fall apart if power is not decentralised or devolved to give the opposition a role
By Steve Holland | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON President-elect Donald Trump announced Exxon Mobil Corp Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson as his choice for U.S. secretary of state on Tuesday, despite concerns from lawmakers in both political parties over the oilman's ties to Russia.Tillerson's experience in diplomacy stems from making deals with foreign countries for Exxon, the world's largest energy company, and Trump praised him as a successful international dealmaker who leads a global operation."He will be a forceful and clear-eyed advocate for America's vital national interests and help reverse years of misguided foreign policies and actions that have weakened America's security and standing in the world," Trump said in a statement.Tillerson has been chief executive of Exxon Mobil since 2006 and, like Trump, has never held public office.
By Doina Chiacu and Gina Cherelus | WASHINGTON/NEW YORK WASHINGTON/NEW YORK Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson, the front-runner to be named secretary of state in President-elect Donald Trump's administration, faces a struggle getting confirmed by U.S. senators concerned about his close ties to Russia.Trump said on Twitter on Monday he would name his pick as secretary of state on Tuesday morning, and Fox News, citing unnamed sources, said it would be Tillerson.Lawmakers from both major parties have raised questions about Tillerson and former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, who has been mentioned as a possible No
By Joseph Ax The recount effort by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein in three U.S. states came to an end on Monday, after weeks of legal wrangling yielded only one electoral review in Wisconsin that favoured Republican winner Donald Trump.A federal judge in Pennsylvania rejected Stein's request for a recount and an examination of that state's voting machines for evidence of hacking in the Nov
By Kylie MacLellan | LONDON LONDON Britain will need a transitional trade agreement with the European Union, and the government should set out plans for it before beginning formal divorce talks with the bloc, members of parliament's upper house said on Tuesday.Prime Minister Theresa May plans to trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, beginning the two-year withdrawal period, by the end of March and wants to seek a unique deal with the EU rather replicate any existing third-country agreements.
By Ivana Sekularac and Kole Casule | SKOPJE SKOPJE Veteran leader Nikola Gruevski's nationalist VMRO-DPMNE won 51 out of 120 seats in Macedonia's parliament in a snap poll on Sunday that is expected to end a two-year long crisis that brought his government down. The nationalists are now in a good position to form a government with their old partner, the Albanian DUI despite their losses. Overall, Albanian ethnic minority parties lost out to the social democrats, suggesting an easing of ethnic strains.Preliminary results issued by the State Election Commission showed opposition Social Democrats had won 49 seats in the election, brought about by Gruevski's resignation over a wiretapping scandal.Albanian voters in Macedonia shifted towards the Social Democrats in significant numbers for the first time since a 2001 interethnic conflict
By Hilary Russ | NEW YORK NEW YORK Traffic jams could afflict New York City’s heavily travelled West Side Highway for three years as a multibillion-dollar train tunnel is built under the Hudson River, draft proposals obtained by Reuters show, feeding concern about an area already disrupted by massive real estate development.The draft, obtained from a transportation sector source, reveals for the first time the actual work necessary to begin building the massive tunnel linking New York and New Jersey. It represents a marquee component of Amtrak's $24 billion Gateway Project to repair and expand the heart of the critical and lucrative U.S
AMMAN Sixty people were killed, including civilians and fighters, when the Syrian army stormed several rebel-held areas of Aleppo on Monday, a war monitoring group said.The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said they were killed by gunfire or shelling as troops took the neighbourhoods of Fardous, Bustan al Qasr and Zibdiya.
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Nordic companies, highly dependent on supply chains in Asia, lag behind international standards in guaranteeing children's rights, according to a report by an international rights group. The study of 300 of the Nordic region's largest companies by Global Child Forum found companies scored below the global average on a combination of issues including child labour, charitable initiatives for children, and accountability."Nordic countries are small, open economies that are highly dependent on supply chain operations, especially in Southeast Asia where child labour is a concern," Global Child Forum said in a statement on Monday. Fiona Rotberg, research director at the rights group, said despite the reputation of the Nordic region's companies for innovation and social responsibility, the majority of companies fell short in policies to combat child labour.
MOSCOW Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that talks with the United States on Syria were at a dead-end, according to Interfax news agency.
DIYARBAKIR A Turkish fighter jet crashed near an airport in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir on Monday, security sources said, adding that the pilot had ejected himself.Ambulances were rushed to the area, sources said.
LAHORE, Pakistan Thousands of protestors stormed a mosque belonging to the minority Ahmadi sect in Pakistan's Punjab province on Monday, firing at worshipers and wounding several before police dispersed the attackers, police and an Ahmadi spokesman said. A procession of around two thousand Sunni Muslims marking the birthday of Islam's Prophet Mohammad entered the Ahmadi mosque despite resistance by police, hurling stones and bricks and firing weapons.
BISHKEK Kyrgyzstan has voted in favour of constitutional changes boosting the power of its government, the Central Election Commission said on Sunday, citing preliminary results of a national referendum.The commission said that with most ballots counted in the Central Asian nation of six million, about 80 percent of voters had supported the package of constitutional amendments proposed by allies of President Almazbek Atambayev. Voter turnout was about 42 percent.The amendments include provisions granting more powers to the prime minister and the government, which is dominated by members of Atambayev's Social Democratic party
BEIRUT The United States and Russia on Sunday tabled a proposal to rebels in Aleppo that would offer safe passage from the city for fighters, their families and other civilians, three opposition officials with Aleppo rebel groups told Reuters.The rebel groups in Aleppo have yet to respond to the proposal, the officials said. The proposal promised rebel fighters a "secure" and "honourable" withdrawal from the city, they said.
By Thomas Mukoya | KIMANA, Kenya KIMANA, Kenya Under the shadow of a snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, hundreds of Maasai boys brave the morning chill to take part in a ritual that marks their coming of age.But those vying to become a 'moran', or warrior, in the biennial 'Maasai Olympics' were not there to hurl their spears at lions as their ancestors did. Instead, the would-be morans, their cheeks smeared with ochre, hurled their javelins deep into the veldt in the Sidai Oleng Wildlife Sanctuary in Kenya's southern Rift Valley.With a throw of 55.7 meters, the competition was won by 20-year-old Tipape Lekatoo from Mbirikani Manyatta village
BISHKEK Kyrgyzstan has voted in favour of constitutional changes boosting the power of the executive, the Central Election Commission said on Sunday, citing the preliminary results of a national referendum.The commission said that with most ballots counted, about 80 percent of voters had supported the package of constitutioinal amendments proposed by allies of President Almazbek Atambayev.
WASHINGTON U.S. President-elect Donald Trump questioned whether the United States had to be bound by its longstanding position that Taiwan is part of "one China" and brushed aside Beijing's concerns about his decision to accept a phone call from Taiwan's president."I fully understand the 'one China policy,' but I don't know why we have to be bound by a 'one China policy' unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade," Trump said on an interview with Fox News Sunday.The congratulatory call that Trump accepted from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was the first such contact with Taiwan by a U.S. president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of "one China."Taiwan is one of China's most sensitive policy issues, and China generally lambastes any form of official contact by foreign governments with Taiwan's leaders.