By Stephen Kalin and Maher Chmaytelli EAST OF MOSUL/BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - An elite unit of the Iraqi army paused its week-long advance on Mosul as it approached the city's eastern edge on Tuesday, waiting for other U.S.-backed forces to close in on Islamic State's last major urban stronghold in Iraq. Seeking to relieve pressure on their forces controlling the northern Iraqi city, Islamic State fighters who have waged counter attacks across the country battled Iraqi troops in the desert town of Rutba, 450 km (280 miles) to the southwest. On the ninth day of the offensive on Mosul, government forces and allied Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are still fighting their way toward the city's outer limits, in the early stages of an assault which could become the biggest military operation in Iraq in over a decade.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte hit out at the United States on Tuesday, saying he did not start a fight with Washington and it could forget about a military agreement between both countries if he were to be in power longer. Duterte said he was against the presence of any foreign troops in his country and the United States could "forget" an Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the Philippines, if he stayed longer, without elaborating. The United States, he said, should not treat the Philippines "like a dog with a leash", adding to confusion about the future the longtime allies' ties.
The United Nations has abandoned plans to evacuate patients from besieged rebel-held east Aleppo which it had hoped to accomplish during a three day lull in fighting last week, blaming all parties to the conflict for obstructing efforts. "The evacuations were obstructed by various factors, including delays in receiving the necessary approvals from local authorities in eastern Aleppo, conditions placed by non-state armed groups and the government of Syria's objection to allowing medical and other relief supplies into the eastern part of the city," U.N. Under-Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator Stephen O'Brien said in a statement on Monday. "I am outraged that the fate of vulnerable civilians – sick and injured people, children and the elderly, all in need of critical and life-saving support – rests mercilessly in the hands of parties who have consistently and unashamedly failed to put them above narrow political and military interests," he said.
By Gul Yusufzai QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Middle East-based Islamic State on Tuesday said fighters loyal to their movement attacked a police training college in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, in a raid that officials said killed 59 people and wounded more than 100. Pakistani authorities have blamed another militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), for the late-night siege, though the Islamic State claim included photographs of three alleged attackers. Hundreds of trainees were stationed at the facility when masked gunmen stormed the college on the outskirts of Quetta late on Monday.
By Colin Packham and Jonathan Barrett SYDNEY (Reuters) - Four people were killed on Tuesday on a river rapids ride at Australia's biggest theme park, police said, after a malfunction threw two of the victims off the seemingly innocuous ride and left the other two trapped inside. "One of the rides sustained a malfunction, causing two people to be ejected from a ride, and the other two were caught inside," Gavin Fuller, an official of Queensland Ambulance, told reporters.
By Venus Wu HONG KONG (Reuters) - The president of the Hong Kong legislature on Tuesday delayed the swearing-in of two pro-independence lawmakers and temporarily banned them from attending meetings, an unprecedented move that follows weeks of pressure from factions loyal to Beijing. The promotion of independence has long been taboo in the former British colony, governed under the "one country, two systems" principle since its return to Communist Party-ruled China in 1997. Activists advocating various forms of greater autonomy for Hong Kong, from self-determination to outright independence, gained one in five votes in the city-wide Legislative Council election in September.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Militant attacks in Pakistan have killed hundreds of people over the past three years, including many schoolchildren. On Tuesday, authorities were investigating a brazen attack overnight in the Baluchistan provincial capital of Quetta where gunmen stormed a police academy, killing 61 people, mostly police cadets and recruits.
A group of about 20 workers began on Tuesday to slowly destroy the Calais "Jungle" camp structures using sledgehammers and by hand, according to a Reuters reporter at the scene, who also saw two small bulldozers waiting nearby. The demolition of the camp was scheduled to take place as part of government plans to clear it.
Top Asian News 1:30 p.m. GMT
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Militants wearing suicide vests stormed a Pakistani police academy in the southwestern city of Quetta overnight, killing 61 people, mostly police cadets and recruits, and waging a ferocious gunbattle with troops that lasted into early hours Tuesday. The four-hour siege — one of the deadliest attacks on Pakistan's security forces in recent years — also wounded 123, mainly police trainees but also some paramilitary troops, according to Wasay Khan, a spokesman for the elite Frontier Corps. Some of the wounded were reported to be in critical condition. The assault caught many of the recruits asleep in their dorms and forced cadets and trainers to jump off rooftops and run for their lives to escape the attackers....
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:30:49 -0400
A Syrian Kurd leader in France on Tuesday accused Turkey of waging attacks on Kurdish forces trying to recapture Raqa, the Islamic State group stronghold in Syria. "With its artillery and aircraft, the Turkish army is taking advantage of the media and international community's focus on Mosul to massively attack Syrian Kurds to stop them taking Raqa," Khaled Issa told a news conference in Paris. Issa, the representative of Syrian Kurds in France, said that in their preparations to retake Raqa, the US-backed Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had "liberated" several villages occupied by the jihadists to the northeast of the devastated Syrian city of Aleppo.
In this photo by Sakchai Lalit, people buy lockets with the image of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok. The king's death after a reign of 70 years has triggered an intense outpouring of grief in Thailand, and people have been quick to purchase items or partake in activities such as alms-giving to honor his memory. Bhumibol died on Oct. 13 at age 88.
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Militants wearing suicide vests stormed a Pakistani police academy in the southwestern city of Quetta overnight, killing 61 people, mostly police cadets and recruits, and waging a ferocious gunbattle with troops that lasted into early hours Tuesday.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Dozens of Islamic State fighters struck at dawn, storming government and security compounds in and around the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk last week, in a coordinated assault more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the front lines of the Mosul offensive.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Formula One could be on its way out of Malaysia after the country's sports minister said "we should stop hosting" the grand prix and the chief of the Sepang International Circuit implied the dominance of Mercedes had stripped the sport of its excitement.
Russia: West hypocritical on Aleppo, doing similar in Mosul
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Western outrage over a Russian bombing campaign in the Syrian city of Aleppo is hypocritical because Western governments are carrying out a similar operation in the Iraqi city of Mosul....
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:25:38 -0400
Paris (AFP) - French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday urged the US-led coalition backing the offensive against Islamic State jihadists in Mosul to prepare for the aftermath of the city's fall, including returning fighters.
Adidas stops financial aid to Germany's anti-doping agency
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German sporting goods maker Adidas says it is stopping financial aid to the national anti-doping agency as of the end of the year....
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:23:38 -0400
Israeli army: Man wounded by gunfire from Egypt
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says an Israeli man has been shot and wounded by gunfire emanating from neighboring Egypt....
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:22:43 -0400
British Airways says flight diverted to Vancouver after crew unwell
A British Airways flight from San Francisco to London was diverted to Vancouver after members of the cabin crew became unwell, the airline said on Tuesday. British Airways spokeswoman Michele Kropf said that 25 crew were admitted to local hospitals as a precaution but had now been discharged. "The flight from San Francisco diverted to Vancouver after members of the cabin crew became unwell....
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:22:36 -0400
Situated near the slopes of the hills that circle the Ethiopian capital's southern flank, Jemo is a colossal condominium complex, completed in 2010 and comprising over 10,000 apartments. When it opened, Jemo was the largest such housing site in the city, and today is home to some 50,000 people, many of whom work several miles away in the city center. "It is too far from Addis," he says.
Brazil probe past gang rape attack of same woman
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian authorities are investigating whether the victim of a gang rape was previously attacked by the same drug gang....
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:20:15 -0400
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanians are celebrating the 95th birthday of their former king, Michael, the nation's last sovereign and one of the last surviving heads of states from the World War II-era.
Small radioactive leak at Norwegian nuclear reactor
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Norwegian authorities say there has been a small leak of radioactive iodine at a nuclear reactor in Halden, in southern Norway....
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:09:20 -0400
Heathrow expansion 'not right thing to do': foreign minister Johnson
Building a third runway at Heathrow Airport is not the right thing to do and risks fuelling a clamor for a fourth runway to be built in future, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Tuesday after the government approved the expansion. Johnson, who was previously mayor of London, has been a vocal opponent of plans to expand Heathrow for years....
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:06:57 -0400
If the American voter had to choose between Republican nominee Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton based on their energy policies alone, the presidential election would still be a remarkable drama, amounting to the biggest referendum on global climate change since the term was coined. How the country decides on Nov. 8 will have far-reaching implications for the price of electricity and gas at the pump, as well as the future of the U.S. energy industry, which employs about 10 million people. Trump's vision is an America where oil derricks pump furiously again, coal miners get back to work, and the country puts its own economy ahead of foreign nations worried about the effects of fossil fuels on sea levels, droughts, and storms.
The Philippines' police chief on Tuesday reprimanded officers and some senior generals for raising concerns with journalists about the country's war on drugs, telling subordinates to talk to him instead - if they were brave enough. Asked to comment on a Reuters Special Report published on Monday that highlighted widespread discrepancies in statistics related to President Rodrigo Duterte's drugs crackdown, Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa appeared irked at police and took a swipe at journalists for what he called "unfair" reporting. "Tell our men, the officers who had said this, if they had balls, they should talk to me." Dela Rosa, whose nickname means "rock", said officers with grievances should tell their commanders or go to a panel dedicated to hearing internal complaints.
South Africa's Zuma says Gordhan charges a concern for all
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South African President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday that fraud charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan were a concern for "all of us" and that he had never discussed the case with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Zuma was responding to questions in the upper house of parliament about the charges against Gordhan, which analysts and the finance minister's supporters have said appear to be a ploy to remove him from office. The NPA has said the charges are not politically motivated. ......
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:00:32 -0400
BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on the developments in Iraq where an operation by Iraqi forces and their allies to retake the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is no in its second week (all times local):
Leak at nuclear reactor in Norway is contained: operator
A leak at a small nuclear reactor in Norway has been contained, with no injuries sustained and no expected environmental damage outside the facility, the reactor's operator and the country's Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) said on Tuesday. The leak at the research reactor operated by the Institute for Energy Technology, located in a mountain cave in the middle of Halden in southern Norway, began on Monday at 7.45 a.m. ET but the regulator said it was not alerted until Tuesday. The crew of the reactor was evacuated after the leak was detected but some staff later returned to assess the cause and extent of the accident, the NRPA said....
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 08:59:14 -0400
Prosecutor indicts Kosovo crime ring led by ex-lawmaker
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — An international prosecutor on Tuesday charged a group of Kosovo Albanians and Serbs, including a former lawmaker, with organizing a crime ring involved in money laundering, bribery, fraud, abuse of power and tax evasion....
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 08:56:40 -0400
Rights group: torture reports after failed coup in Turkey
ISTANBUL (AP) — A human rights group said Tuesday that Turkish police have tortured or ill-treated detainees following the failed coup attempt in July, a claim that Turkish officials deny....
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 08:56:26 -0400
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican on Tuesday published guidelines for Catholics who want to be cremated, saying their remains cannot be scattered, divvied up or kept at home but rather stored in a sacred, church-approved place.
Ireland's parliament could be in a position to decide on whether to hold a referendum to repeal restrictive abortion laws by the end of next year if a citizens' assembly recommends a vote should be held to widen access. Regulations in the once stridently Catholic Ireland are among the strictest in the world and Prime Minister Enda Kenny this month called together 99 members of the public to advise government on the politically-divisive issue.
MILAN (AP) — Residents in a town on Italy's Adriatic coast are blockading a hostel to prevent the arrival of 12 female migrants, one of them pregnant, who were to be housed there, in a sign of growing tension amid persistent migrant arrivals.
UK transport minister promises timely consultation on Heathrow expansion
Britain will conduct the required public consultation on expanding Heathrow Airport in a "timely" fashion, transport minister Chris Grayling said on Tuesday after a government decision to build a new runway at the west London site. "There will be a full and proper consultation," Grayling said. Grayling also said the government would be publishing new evidence relating to the air quality implications of the project in the coming days....
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 08:50:05 -0400
U.N. concerned about 'collective punishment' of Arabs in Kirkuk
The United Nations voiced concern on Tuesday that Kurdish authorities had forced 250 displaced Sunni Arab families to leave Kirkuk after an Islamic State attack on the Kurdish-controlled city, calling the move "collective punishment". Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, told Reuters in an interview that the action came days before an expected mass exodus from the northern Sunni city of Mosul, where an offensive by Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, is underway against Islamic State. "We were informed that two days after the attack by ISIL or Daesh, the Kirkuk authorities announced that they will be expelling the (displaced Sunni Arab) civilian population and just a few hours after the announcement we understand that around 250 civilian families felt they had no choice but to leave," Grande said....
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 08:42:30 -0400