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Iran nuclear talks in endgame, negotiators push on sticking points

Austrian President Fischer Foreign Minister Kurz and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif attend a bilateral meeting in ViennaBy John Irish and Louis Charbonneau VIENNA (Reuters) - A year and half of nuclear talks between Iran and major powers were creeping towards the finish line on Friday as negotiators wrestled with sticking points including questions about Tehran's past atomic research. Iran is in talks with the United States and five other powers - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia - on an agreement to curtail its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. "We are coming to the end," said a senior Western diplomat, who added there was no plan to carry on for long past next Tuesday.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 08:36:21 -0400
Tsipras dismisses Europe's warnings to Greece on vote

Men prepare voting booths ahead of the referendum at a high school, which will be used a polling station in AthensBy Lefteris Karagiannopoulos and George Georgiopoulos ATHENS (Reuters) - Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rejected European warnings that Greeks will be deciding on their future in the euro zone in a referendum on Sunday, saying negotiations would continue for a better deal with international creditors after the vote. In a televised address on Friday, Tsipras said a report by the International Monetary Fund which arguing that Greece's massive public debt could not be sustained without significant writedowns vindicated his advice to reject the lenders' terms. "On Sunday what is at stake is not Greece's membership of Europe, what is at stake is whether blackmail will lead us to accept the continuation of a policy which the lenders themselves recognize is a dead end," he said.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:53:42 -0400
Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen cities kill 16: Houthis

A boy carries his sister near the collapsed house of Yemen's late prime minister Ghanim after it was hit by a Saudi-led air strike in SanaaWarplanes from a Saudi-led coalition bombed targets in Yemen on Friday, residents said, and sources in the country's dominant Houthi militia reported at least 16 people were killed. The coalition has been bombarding Iran-allied Houthi forces and allied army units since March in a campaign to restore exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power. Houthi sources said six people including a woman and a child were killed and six wounded in a dawn air strike on the al Jaraf neighborhood of the capital Sanaa.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:17:29 -0400
Dutch seek U.N. tribunal to prosecute downing of Malaysian plane

Members of a group of international experts inspect the territory at the site where the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed, near the village of HraboveBy Anthony Deutsch THE HAGUE (Reuters) - The Dutch government is lobbying its political allies for the establishment of a U.N. tribunal to prosecute suspects in the downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane over territory held by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine a year ago, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Friday. Rutte said a U.N. tribunal would give "the best guarantee of cooperation from all countries" in seeking justice for the families of the 298 victims, most of whom were Dutch passengers aboard flight MH17. Malaysia, one of five countries on a Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team probing the crash, told the United Nations Security Council on Thursday it plans to push for a U.N.-backed tribunal, even as Russia described the move as premature, diplomats said.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:24:00 -0400
Turkey reinforces Syria border, PM says no incursion planned

Turkey's Prime Minister Davutoglu addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party at the Turkish parliament in AnkaraBy Orhan Coskun ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey has deployed additional troops and equipment along part of its border with Syria as fighting north of the city of Aleppo intensifies, security sources said, but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were no immediate plans for any incursion. Ankara has mooted the creation of a 'secure zone' on Syrian territory due to concerns about Syrian Kurd advances and the presence of Islamic State militants, as well as the possibility of a fresh wave of refugees fleeing conflict. Security sources and officials in the capital Ankara said the Turkish army had stepped up security, also sending in special forces, due to the heavy fighting.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:55:36 -0400
Hungary's asylum bill blow to refugee protection: Council of Europe, U.N

A barbed wire is seen in front of a European Union flag at an immigration reception centre in BicskeThe United Nations and the Council of Europe both criticized Hungary's planned changes to its asylum rules on Friday, saying they would harm asylum-seekers' right to seek safety there and put them at risk. The European human rights watchdog said the legislation would strike a blow to refugee protection in Hungary if adopted in its current form. The right-wing government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban wants to shorten the time frame for screening asylum claims and to reject claims from those migrants who on their journey from Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq have already passed through safe countries without requesting asylum.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 08:46:04 -0400
Gasoline thefts in Mexico result in shortages at the pump
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's state oil company says it is working to resupply gas stations in several states after days of shortages caused by an increase in fuel thefts from pipelines.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:16:31 -0400
U.S. Treasury guarantees bond issue by Jordan, rare form of aid
The purpose of the bonds, according to the U.S. government agencies, was to "provide critical services to its citizens as it hosts nearly 630,000 Syrian refugees." But no one at State, Treasury or USAID would say exactly how the $1.5 billion would be used or what specific projects it would fund, either for the refugees or the Jordanians. The guarantee means that if Jordan defaults on the bonds, U.S. taxpayers would have to repay both the principal and interest. It also means that Jordan, which is rated B1 by Moody's Investor Service, was able to issue the bonds at rates ranging from 2.578 percent to 3 percent.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:15:41 -0400
UN rights body backs call for accountability in Gaza war

In this Tuesday, June 23, 2015, photo, Israeli youth build a bonfire next to a bomb shelter, during preparation to celebrate their Bar Mitzvah, in Kibbutz Beeri, southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip. A year after the Gaza war, the community in southern Israel, long battered by rockets from the Hamas-run territory next door, has slowly recovered and is even seeing a quiet boom. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)BERLIN (AP) — The U.N.'s top human rights body backed calls Friday for accountability in last year's conflict in Gaza, in which hundreds of Palestinian civilians and six Israeli civilians were killed.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:15:41 -0400
Lion cubs stuck at Gaza border en route to Jordan shelter
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A pair of lion cubs are stuck at a Gaza-Israel border crossing en route to a Jordan animal sanctuary, after being kept for a year by a family in crowded Gaza.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:15:16 -0400
Scientists convinced European heat waves boosted by climate change
By Laurie Goering LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As Germany and Spain sweated and London sweltered through its hottest July day on record this week, scientists said it is "virtually certain" that climate change is increasing the likelihood of such heat waves in Europe. In real-time data analysis released on Friday, a team of international climate scientists from universities, meteorological services and research organizations said the kind of heat waves hitting Europe this week – defined as three-day periods of excessive heat – are becoming much more frequent in the region. In De Bilt in the Netherlands, for example, a heat wave like the one forecast for the next few days would have been a roughly 1-in-30-years event in the 1900s, according to the scientists.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:14:55 -0400
PM urges Greece to vote 'No' as support slips away

A man plasters a poster on a wall in Athens that reads, "We vote NO to the agreement"Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday urged voters to ignore European scaremongering and vote 'No' in this weekend’s referendum as polls showed support swinging behind the 'Yes' campaign. Huge rival rallies are expected in central Athens late Friday to galvanise support for each side in Sunday's plebiscite. The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), which provided funds to eurozone countries in difficulty, said however it won't demand immediate repayment of its Greek loans worth 145 billion euros ($160 billion).

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:14:29 -0400
The Latest: Bencic beats Mattek-Sands at Wimbledon

Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States prepares for the singles match against Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Friday July 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)LONDON (AP) — The latest from Wimbledon (all times local):

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:13:50 -0400
Could searchers' sonars have missed wreckage of Flight 370?

FILE - In this March 22, 2014 file photo, flight officer Rayan Gharazeddine on board a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion, searches for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in southern Indian Ocean, Australia. Amid mounting frustrations over the expensive, so-far failed search for vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, questions by experts about the competence of the company leading the search are growing, including whether crews may have passed over the sunken wreckage without even noticing. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Amid rising frustrations over the expensive, so-far fruitless search for vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, experts are questioning the competence of the company in charge, including whether crews may have passed over the sunken wreckage without even noticing.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:12:57 -0400
U.N. calls on Israel, Palestinians to prosecute Gaza war crimes
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations human rights body called on Israel and the Palestinians to prosecute alleged war crimes committed in the 2014 Gaza war and to cooperate with the International Criminal Court's preliminary investigation. The U.N. Human Rights Council debated the issue days before the first anniversary of Israel launching "Operation Protective Edge" in response to rockets fired by militants in the Hamas-ruled enclave into Israel.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:09:31 -0400
Greece: Poll shows 2 sides neck and neck before referendum

A member of the Communist-affiliated PAME labor union shouts slogans at the police during an anti-austerity protest calling to "Vote NO" outside of the in central Athens, on Friday, July 3, 2015. Greece braced for more chaos on the streets outside its mostly shuttered banks Thursday, as Athens and its creditors halted talks on resolving the country's deepening financial crisis until a referendum this weekend. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The brief but intense campaign in Greece's critical bailout referendum ends Friday, with simultaneous rallies in Athens supporting "yes" and "no" answers to a murky question in what an opinion poll suggests could be a very close vote.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:06:35 -0400
Radioactivity detected in 2 places at Czech nuclear plant
PRAGUE (AP) — An official says low radioactivity has been unexpectedly detected in two places outside one of the two reactors at a Czech nuclear power plant.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:06:20 -0400
Militants fire rocket into southern Israel: army
Militants fired a rocket into southern Israel on Friday, the Israeli military said, causing no casualties, and media reports said the rocket was fired from Sinai. Israeli Army Radio said the rocket was fired from the Sinai peninsula, where Egyptian forces have fought fierce battles with Islamic State in the past few days. The Israeli military, however, said it was still checking whether the rocket was fired from Sinai or the Gaza Strip.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:06:10 -0400
Rosberg stamps authority on F1 practice sessions

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg drives during the second practice session at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on July 2, 2015 ahead of the British Formula One Grand PrixNico Rosberg stamped his authority on Fridayâ s preparations for this weekendâ s British Grand Prix by clocking the fastest time in both free practice sessions while Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton struggled to find any rhythm. The 30-year-old German clocked a best time of one minute and 34.155 seconds in the afternoon to wind up three-tenths of a second ahead of the two Ferraris of Finn Kimi Raikkonen and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany. Hamilton was a further tenth of a second adrift back in fourth after a ragged day that saw him fighting for balance and pace in a gusty wind and intermittent hot conditions in front of his home fans at Silverstone.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:05:22 -0400
Vietnam Communist Party chief to make first US visit
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — The powerful head of Vietnam's Communist Party will travel to the United States for the first time next week, and said he expects President Barack Obama will visit Vietnam later this year.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:03:47 -0400
Top Asian News at 3:00 p.m. GMT
UNPHA, North Korea (AP) — North Korean farmers work to pump underground water into parched fields. Instead of rice seedlings standing in flooded paddies, the baked earth is cracked. A big lake that used to supply surrounding farmland with water is almost completely dry. There has been almost no rain in this part of the country, an hour's drive from the capital Pyongyang and one of the country's main rice-growing regions, according to farmers and local officials interviewed by The Associated Press. While the situation in this area visited by the AP looks grim, it is unclear how severe the drought is in the rest of the country.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:02:45 -0400
The Latest: Fund: Greek default to spark severe consequences

A member of the Communist-affiliated PAME labor union shouts slogans at the police during an anti-austerity protest calling to "Vote NO" outside of the in central Athens, on Friday, July 3, 2015. Greece braced for more chaos on the streets outside its mostly shuttered banks Thursday, as Athens and its creditors halted talks on resolving the country's deepening financial crisis until a referendum this weekend. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The latest news on Greece's financial woes and its upcoming referendum on Sunday (all times local):

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:00:51 -0400
Islamist alliance in battle for Syria's Aleppo

Syrian men help an injured person following a reported barrel bomb attack by Syrian government forces that hit an open market in the northern city of Aleppo on June 3, 2015A new Islamist rebel alliance, including Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, was locked in a fierce battle Friday to seize government-held areas of Aleppo, the divided former economic capital. Once a powerhouse of industry, Aleppo has been devastated by years of fighting between regime forces and a succession of rebel groups. Clashes raged overnight as the Islamist alliance, which calls itself Ansar al-Sharia, sought to take control of the air force intelligence headquarters in Zahra, on Aleppo's northwestern outskirts, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:59:26 -0400
Ecuador, first stop on Pope tour, highlights environment exhortation

Pedestrians are reflected in a shop window which shows an image of Pope Francis in La PazBy Girish Gupta QUITO (Reuters) - It is one of the most biodiverse nations on earth, boasting the Amazon rainforest, Andean mountains and the Galapagos Islands, where Charles Darwin formulated his theory of evolution. "This century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems," warned the Pope, who arrives in the capital Quito on Sunday on the first stop of a tour also including Bolivia and Paraguay. Ecuador's leftist leader, Rafael Correa, who won election in 2006 in part on a promise to preserve the country's unique biodiversity, is under fire from environmentalists who say he gives a greater priority to business.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:58:56 -0400
Jamaica's Blue and John Crow Mountains make UNESCO list
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Jamaica's lush Blue and John Crow Mountains have become the island's first UNESCO World Heritage site.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:58:38 -0400
Uber suspends controversial UberPOP service in France

The UberPOP service has been banned in France following nationwide protests by taxi driversAfter a spate of violent protests and the arrest of two bosses, Uber finally suspended its controversial low-cost UberPOP private driver service in France on Friday, six months after it was banned. "Uber has decided to immediately suspend UberPOP in France," the US company said in a statement, adding that it was waiting to see the outcome of a legal appeal against the ban, due by September. UberPOP puts customers in touch with private drivers at budget prices.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:54:18 -0400
Rosberg beats teammate Hamilton in practice at British GP

German Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg watches technicians during the first training session for the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Friday, July 3, 2015. The British Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday July 5. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)SILVERTSONE, England (AP) — Nico Rosberg posted the fastest times in practice for the British Grand Prix on Friday as championship-leading teammate Lewis Hamilton struggled in the second session.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:52:40 -0400
Court rejects bid by victims' kin to clear Lockerbie bomber
LONDON (AP) — Judges have ruled that relatives of people killed in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland cannot launch an appeal on behalf of the only man convicted of the attack.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:49:38 -0400
Obama to host head of Vietnam communist party

Vietnam Communist Party's Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong (pictured centre) will meet US President Barack Obama at the White House next weekThe head of Vietnam's Communist Party will make a first-ever visit to the White House next week, meeting President Barack Obama on the 40th anniversary of the end of the war between the two nations. Nguyen Phu Trong will become the first General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party to visit the United States and the White House, diplomats and officials said. Obama and Trong will hold talks Tuesday and discuss ways to improve ties that were normalized 20 years ago between the former foes, the White House said Friday.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:48:42 -0400
Kyrgios, Gasquet into Wimbledon last 16

Australia's Nick Kyrgios beat Canada's Milos Raonic in four sets in the Wimbledon third round on July 3, 2015Australia's controversial Nick Kyrgios and Frenchman Richard Gasquet set up a Wimbledon last-16 clash after knocking out last year's semi-finalists Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov on Friday. Kyrgios, who famously defeated Rafael Nadal in 2014 when he was ranked 144 in the world, avenged his quarter-final loss of 12 months ago to Raonic with a 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 third round victory over the seventh seed. The 20-year-old Kyrgios hit 34 aces and blasted 61 winners.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:20:28 -0400
AP PHOTOS: Surfing takes Brazilian kids out of Rio slum

Cristiano Gomes 'Xuxu' leaves Rocinha slum on his way to Sao Conrado beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, May 21, 2015. Before he learned how to surf at the school, his “life was pretty bad,” he says. He would juggle for spare change from motorists at the busy highway intersection at the base of the Rocinha shantytown. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — It's dawn and barefoot boys are hustling down the inclined alleys of Rio de Janeiro slums, surfboards under their arms. They're heading to nearby Sao Conrado and Arpoador beaches, where they catch waves and momentarily leave their impoverished lives behind.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:45:39 -0400
Obama to host Vietnam's Trong at White House Tuesday
President Barack Obama will hold talks with Vietnam Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong at the White House on Tuesday, the White House said on Friday. Trong will be Vietnam's first party general secretary to visit the United States. "The President looks forward to discussing with General Secretary Trong ways to strengthen further the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership, reflecting on the accomplishments of the past 20 years since the normalization of bilateral diplomatic relations," the White House said in a statement.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:42:13 -0400
Ugandan bill targeting civic groups raises alarm
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A bill seeking to regulate the operations of civic groups in Uganda has drawn alarm from activists who say it will hamper their operations and might be used to target those seen as opposed to the government of the country's long-serving leader.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:36:04 -0400
Slovak agency: Russian spies increase activities in EU, NATO
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia's spy agency says Russian agents have significantly increased their activities in Slovakia and all other NATO and European Union countries in connection with the crisis in Ukraine.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:28:02 -0400
Wimbledon at standstill for Tunisia massacre victims

Military personnel participate in a minute's silence at Wimbledon in memory of the victims of the June 26, 2015 Tunisia attacksThe Wimbledon tennis championships fell silent on Friday to commemorate the victims of the Tunisia beach massacre, with tens of thousands of spectators coming to a standstill. Play was delayed at the tournament in London to observe Britain's national minute's silence at midday (1100 GMT) to remember the victims of the gun attack a week ago, who were chiefly British. Normally, play gets under way on the outside courts at 11:30 am, but Wimbledon officials put back the start until 12:15 pm to accommodate the silence.

Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:27:40 -0400
7-year-old wounded in firefight in Mexico dies
CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) — Authorities in a northern Mexican state bordering Texas say a 7-year-old boy shot this week by a suspected criminal gang has died.
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:23:11 -0400
Drone attack on al Qaeda in Yemen kills four: witnesses
SANAA (Reuters) - A drone attacked an army base held by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in southeastern Yemen in the early hours of Friday, killing four suspected militants, witnesses said. The base is near al-Mukulla, a port city which has been the target of several drones attacks in recent weeks including one that killed Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the leader of AQAP, one of the most active branches of the al Qaeda militant network. ...
Date Posted : Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:17:29 -0400
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