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Turkey launches heaviest air strikes yet on PKK, stoking Kurdish ire

A Turkish F-16 fighter jet takes off from Incirlik airbase in the southern city of Adana, TurkeyBy Humeyra Pamuk and Nick Tattersall ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish jets launched their heaviest assault on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq overnight since air strikes began last week, hours after President Tayyip Erdogan said a peace process had become impossible. The strikes hit six Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets including shelters, depots and caves, a statement from Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's office said. Turkey launched near-simultaneous strikes against PKK camps in Iraq and Islamic State fighters in Syria last Friday, in what Davutoglu has called a "synchronized fight against terror".

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 05:55:53 -0400
Afghanistan calls press conference on Mullah Omar amid rumors of his death
An Afghan government official said on Wednesday that a press conference had been called on the subject of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, amid rumors of his death. The elusive leader of the hardline Islamist movement, which ruled Afghanistan in the late 1990s until it was toppled by a U.S.-led offensive in 2001, has not been seen in public for years, leading to speculation he has been dead for some time. The Taliban has been fighting an insurgency against the Western-backed government in Kabul since its ouster, killing thousands of civilians and security personnel and making significant territorial gains in recent months.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:21:45 -0400
Special Report: Ukraine struggles to control maverick battalions

File photo of activists of the Right Sector political party attending anti-government march in KievBy Elizabeth Piper and Sergiy Karazy KIEV (Reuters) - From a basement billiard club in central Kiev, Dmytro Korchynsky commands a volunteer battalion helping Ukraine's government fight rebels in the east. The exact number, he said, is "classified." In the eyes of many Ukrainians, he and other volunteer fighters are heroes for helping the weak regular army resist pro-Russian separatists. In the view of the government, however, some of the volunteers have become a problem, even a law unto themselves.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 05:27:51 -0400
Israel approves new homes in settlement after demolishing two buildings at site

Jewish settler scuffles with Israeli border police officer near buildings slated for demolition in West Bank Jewish settlement of Beit El, near RamallahIsrael gave final approval on Wednesday for plans to build 300 new homes in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, announcing the move as it carried out a court demolition order against two vacant apartment blocs at the site. Dozens of Jewish settlers have gathered over the past several days at Beit El settlement to protest against the demolition. Israel's Supreme Court ruled the two partially-built dwellings were constructed illegally on Palestinian-owned land.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:17:26 -0400
Fabius, visiting Tehran, invites Rouhani to France

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif arrive for a meeting in TehranBy Sam Wilkin DUBAI (Reuters) - On the first visit to Iran for 12 years by a French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius conveyed an invitation from President Francois Hollande to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani to visit France in November, Iranian media said. If Rouhani accepts, he will be the first Iranian president to make a state visit to France since 1999. Fabius is seeking to smooth over any strains in the relationship created by France's hard line during negotiations that produced a historic nuclear agreement on July 14, and thereby create a climate conducive to stronger economic ties.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 05:33:49 -0400
Israeli drone strike in Syria kills two near frontier: Hezbollah's al-Manar TV
An air strike by an Israeli surveillance plane hit a car in Quneitra province in southwestern Syria, killing two members of a militia fighting alongside the Syrian military, Hezbollah's al-Manar TV reported on Wednesday. The Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah is fighting alongside the Syrian military in the country's civil war.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 05:41:24 -0400
Putin: Russia will oppose international tribunal for MH17
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated that Moscow will veto a U.N. Security Council resolution to set up an international criminal court to prosecute those responsible for shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine a year ago.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 07:13:11 -0400
Michel Platini confirms he will run for FIFA president

FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2014 file photo, UEFA President Michel Platini gestures during a press conference, one day prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying draw in Nice, southeastern France. Michel Platini will run for FIFA president and plans to announce his intentions this week. Two officials familiar with Platini's plans tell The Associated Press that the FIFA vice president has made a decision to try to succeed Sepp Blatter. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Platini has not announced his candidacy. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Michel Platini says he will run in the election to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 07:12:53 -0400
Israel pushing for Pollard to come to Israel after release

FILE - In this May 15, 1998, file photo, Jonathan Pollard speaks during an interview in a conference room at the Federal Correction Institution in Butner, N.C. Lawyers for the convicted spy Pollard say the U.S. has granted his parole and he will be released in November 2015. Pollard, sentenced to life in prison, has served 30 years for spying for Israel. (AP Photo/Karl DeBlaker, File)JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's deputy foreign minister says Israel is making "very great efforts" to lobby for spy Jonathan Pollard to be granted permission to travel to Israel after his upcoming release in November.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 07:09:52 -0400
Migrants storm Eurotunnel in bid to reach England

Trucks blocked at the entrance to the cross-Channel tunnel in Coquelles, northern France o July 29, 2015"Everything happened overnight, and at 6:00 am (0400 GMT), the police still had quite a lot of work to do," said the police source of the latest attempts, adding that "between 500 and 1,000 migrants" were still around the tunnel site. The overnight attempts at storming the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais, northern France, came after some 2,000 bids to enter the site were recorded the night before, in what was described as the "biggest incursion effort in the past month and a half". For several weeks, there have been many attempts by migrants to enter the Eurotunnel premises, with the number of people trying growing significantly in recent days.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 07:06:31 -0400
Germany's HeidelbergCement to buy Italcementi
BERLIN (AP) — Germany's HeidelbergCement AG says it plans to buy Italy's Italcementi, starting with the 1.67 billion euro ($1.85 billion) acquisition of a 45 percent stake.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 07:04:29 -0400
Top Asian News at 11:00 a.m. GMT
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official said Wednesday his government is examining claims that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar is dead. The Taliban could not be immediately reached on the government's comments about Omar, who has been declared dead many times before. Omar, the one-eyed, secretive head of the Taliban and an al-Qaida ally, led a bloody insurgency against U.S.-led forces after they toppled him from his rule in Afghanistan in 2001.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 07:02:20 -0400
Shrinking Dead Sea leaves trail of perilous sinkholes
By Ari Rabinovitch EIN GEDI, Israel (Reuters) - A neglected grove of date palms, their leaves long fallen, trunks drooping in the searing heat at the lowest point on earth, is the latest casualty of a dramatic rise in sinkholes wreaking havoc along the coast of the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is shrinking, and as its waters vanish at a rate of more than one meter a year, hundreds of sinkholes, some the size of a basketball court, some two storeys deep, are devouring land where the shoreline once stood. The date trees line a section of a two-lane desert road - a main north-south artery that cuts through Israel and the Palestinian West Bank - that was shut down six months ago when a gaping hole opened up beneath the asphalt.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:59:12 -0400
Afghanistan examining claim Taliban leader Mullah Omar died

FILE - In this undated image released by the FBI, Mullah Omar is seen in a wanted poster. An Afghan official says his government is examining claims that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar is dead. The Taliban could not be immediately reached for comment on the government’s comments about Omar, who has been declared dead many times before. (FBI via AP, File)KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official said Wednesday his government is examining claims that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar is dead. The Taliban could not be immediately reached on the government's comments about Omar, who has been declared dead many times before.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:52:43 -0400
Bach: Boston failed to deliver on 'promises' to USOC

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Wednesday, July, 29, 2015. Malaysia is hosting the 128th IOC executive board meeting where the vote for the host cities of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and for the 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games will take place.(AP Photo/Joshua Paul)KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach said Boston was firmly to blame for its aborted bid for the 2024 Olympics, saying the city failed to deliver on "promises" made to U.S. Olympic leaders when they selected the Massachusetts capital as the American candidate for the games.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:52:24 -0400
TV depiction of Colombia's only saint angers her devotees

FILE - In this July 11, 2013, file photo, a woman holds up religious articles related to Mother Laura Montoya in the cathedral in Bogota, Colombia. The planned debut Wednesday, July 29, 2015, of a telenovela dramatizing the life of Montoya , Colombia’s only Roman Catholic saint, is shrouded in controversy after devotees of the missionary nun known universally as Madre Laura filed a lawsuit seeking to correct what they say is an unseemly depiction. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara, File)BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — For weeks, billboards on buses and television spots have been announcing what promises to be Colombia's next big prime-time sensation.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:50:29 -0400
Zimbabwe pair due in court for killing Cecil the lion

Much-loved Zimbabwean lion "Cecil", pictured on October 21, 2012, was lured outside the Hwange National Park boundaries by bait and shot by a bow and arrowTwo men were due to appear in a Zimbabwean court on poaching charges Wednesday after a wealthy American dentist killed a beloved lion just outside a national park, sparking criticism around the world. Cecil the lion, a popular attraction among international visitors to Hwange National Park, was lured beyond the reserve's boundaries by bait and killed earlier this month. The hunter was identified as Walter Palmer, a dentist and experienced trophy hunter from Minnesota, who allegedly paid $50,000 for the hunt.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:47:14 -0400
Calais migrants: 2nd night of mass attempts to reach England

A car of the security society of Eurotunnel follows a group of migrants, in Calais, northern France, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. About 2,100 migrants tried to storm the area surrounding the Eurotunnel early Tuesday before being repelled by police, an official in the northern French port of Calais said. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)CALAIS, France (AP) — Migrants rushed the tunnel linking France and England repeatedly for a second night on Wednesday and one man was crushed by a truck in the chaos, deepening tensions surrounding the thousands of people camped in this northern French port city.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:46:31 -0400
Afghan government investigating reports Mullah Omar is dead: spokesman
The Afghan government is investigating reports that Mullah Omar, leader of the Afghan Taliban, is dead, a spokesman for the president's office said on Wednesday. Some of the reports also indicated Mullah Omar's son was in a position to take over the Islamist insurgency that is fighting against Afghanistan's foreign-backed government.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:45:59 -0400
Poland's richest businessman Jan Kulczyk dies at 65

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2004 file photo Jan Kulczyk appears at a special parliamentary commission that examined the deals of the fuel giant PKN Orlen. Kulczyk Holding says Wednesday July 29, 2015, that its founder and president, Jan Kulczyk, Poland's richest businessman, has died from complications after surgery. He was 65. For years, Kulczyk, a lawyer and manager by education, led lists of the richest Poles and was reputed for his courage and imagination in business decisions. He invested in the energy and natural resources sectors in Europe and in Africa, and developed the car sector in Poland. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Jan Kulczyk, Poland's richest man and the founder and president of investment empire Kulczyk Holding, has died from complications following surgery, the company said Wednesday. He was 65.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:45:53 -0400
2 Indians among recipients of 2015 Magsaysay Award

FILE - In this Jan. 1, 2011 file photo, Myanmar's actor Kyaw Thu, right, chats with Myanmar's democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi during her visit to "Kyaw Thu Art Zone" gallery in Yangon, Myanmar. The popular and award-winning actor is among this year's recipients of the Philippines' Ramon Magsaysay Award, often regarded as Asia's equivalent of the Nobel Prize, the award foundation announced in Manila, Philippines, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. Thu, 55, formed a group with a movie colleague that provides free funeral services to help relieve the emotional and financial burden of the poor. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win, File)MANILA, Philippines (AP) — An Indian anti-corruption campaigner and a fellow countryman who recycles clothes for the poor are among this year's recipients of the Philippines' Ramon Magsaysay Award, often regarded as Asia's equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:42:57 -0400
Saudi police officer shot dead in the east of the kingdom
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Authorities in Saudi Arabia say a police officer has been killed in a drive-by shooting in the east of the kingdom.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:37:59 -0400
China auto sales slump hits industry fortunes

In this Tuesday, July 28, 2015 photo, a woman walks past vehicles parked outside of a luxury import car dealership in Beijing. June sales in the biggest car market by number of vehicles sold shrank by 3.4 percent from a year earlier as an economic slowdown deepened and smog-choked cities tried to curb growth in car ownership. Sales growth has steadily declined from 2009’s explosive peak of 45 percent but the latest figures surprised analysts who were forecasting a healthy 7 to 8 percent for this year. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)BEIJING (AP) — General Motors Co.'s $5 billion initiative to create cars for China and other emerging markets comes just as automakers face a collapse in the booming Chinese demand they were counting on to power their growth.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:32:20 -0400
Abou Diaby joins Marseille on free transfer
MARSEILLE, France (AP) — Hoping to revive his injury-hit career, former Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby joined Marseille on a free transfer on Wednesday.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:30:35 -0400
Japan shouldn't cave to foreign pressure on PM war anniversary remarks: aide
By Linda Sieg TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan should not let foreign countries make diplomatic capital out of its wartime past, an aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday, as the author of a landmark 1995 apology urged Abe not to backtrack as it marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two. The conservative Abe has said he upholds past statements including then-premier Tomiichi Murayama's "heartfelt apology" for the suffering caused by Japanese military aggression during the war. Abe's political allies want him to end what they see as an endless cycle of apologies over the war that they believe distracts from Japan's post-war record of peace.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:29:14 -0400
Bahrain makes multiple arrests in wake of deadly bombing

FILE- In this Friday, June 5, 2015 file photo, Bahraini community police officers search worshipers outside a Shiite Muslim mosque ahead of mid-day prayers in Manama. Bahraini authorities say two policemen have been killed and many injured in a bomb attack south of the capital. The Interior Ministry said on its Twitter feed on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 that the officers were killed in a "terror blast" in the largely Shiite community of Sitra. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Bahraini authorities have arrested several suspects in the wake of a deadly bombing targeting police in the strategically important island kingdom.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:28:16 -0400
Israeli strike on Syrian town kills 5 pro-regime forces: monitor

An F-16 fighter jet takes off from the Ramon air force base in the Negev Desert, southern IsraelAn Israeli air strike on a government-held village on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights ceasefire line killed five pro-regime forces on Wednesday, a monitoring group said. "An Israeli plane hit a car inside the town of Hader, killing two men from (Lebanese Shiite group) Hezbollah, and three men from the pro-regime popular committees in the town," said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Hader is a Druze village that lies along the ceasefire line, with the Israeli-occupied portion of the Golan Heights plateau to the west, and the border with Damascus province to the northeast.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:27:07 -0400
Students in Hong Kong warn of erosion in academic freedom
HONG KONG (AP) — Students at Hong Kong's most prestigious university say its academic freedom is under attack in what they maintain is the politically motivated stalling of the appointment of an administrator who supported last year's pro-democracy protests.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:25:09 -0400
Russia security boss: IS recruits come from over 100 nations
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's security chief says the Islamic State group has recruited nationals of more than 100 countries, posing a long-term threat to global stability.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:21:36 -0400
Myanmar's democracy leader runs in Nov. 8 polls to keep seat

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, right, submits her documents for the upcoming general election at an election commission office, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, in outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar's democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday registered for November elections to keep her seat in parliament and challenge the ruling military-backed party. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)THANLYIN, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar's democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday registered for November elections to keep her seat in parliament and challenge the ruling military-backed party.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:21:35 -0400
Sky pay television doubles annual profits

Sky said profit after tax jumped to £1.957 billion ($3.1 billion, 2.76 billion euros) in the year to the end of June compared with £865 million for 2013/14It was the group's first annual results since Rupert Murdoch's media empire brought its stake in British satellite television group BSkyB together with Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia to create a pan-European pay-TV giant. "The past 12 months have been an outstanding period of growth for Sky," chief executive Jeremy Darroch said in the results statement. "Germany delivered its highest-ever customer growth, while Italy maintained its subscriber base in a tough market," Darroch said.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:17:25 -0400
AP PHOTOS: Italy's cowboys show off their skill

Tonino Mastrostefano sorts cattle during the team penning Masseria Cup in Piane Vomano on the outskirts of Notaresco, central Italy, Saturday, June 20, 2015. Italy may be better-known for its soccer skills, but on ranches across the country, cowboys are honing their skills of horsemanship and cattle management, and dreaming of taking on the Americans at their own game. Team penning and ranch sorting is believed to have started as a competitive sport in California in the early 1940s. Since then it has spread to countries with long traditions in cattle breeding throughout South America and Europe. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)PIANE VOMANO, Italy (AP) — Italy may be better-known for its soccer skills, but on ranches across the country, cowboys are honing their skills of horsemanship and cattle management, and dreaming of taking on the Americans at their own game.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:15:17 -0400
Booing has Australian footballer Goodes considering quitting

FILE - In this March 22, 2014 file photo, Australian of the year AFL player Adam Goodes throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the Major League Baseball opening game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket ground in Sydney. Australians tend to laud their champions, so the fact that crowds continue to loudly boo him when he plays for the Sydney Swans in the nation-wide Australian Football League has both concerned and confounded Goodes to the point where he's considering retirement. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)Few athletes have the credentials to challenge Adam Goodes for the mantle of being THE Australian sportsman, which is why a racism debate is raging Down Under.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:09:10 -0400
Israel PM approves 300 settler homes in occupied West Bank

Palestinians walking near the Israeli settlement of Beit El, in the occupied West Bank, on April 7, 2015Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday approved the "immediate" construction of 300 settler homes in the occupied West Bank as his government came under pressure from right-wing Jewish groups. "After consultations in the prime minister's office, the immediate construction of 300 homes in Beit El has been authorised," a statement from Netanyahu's office said, adding that planning for another 504 homes in annexed East Jerusalem had also been approved. According to the statement, the 300 units in the West Bank had been promised three years ago following the demolition of other homes in the Beit El settlement.

Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:03:33 -0400
Australia wins toss and will bat first in 3rd Ashes test
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Australia won the toss and will bat first in the third Ashes test at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 05:57:54 -0400
Turkish President Erdogan in Beijing amid ethnic tensions
BEIJING (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with top Chinese officials Wednesday amid tensions over China's treatment of its Uighur minority and sensitive negotiations surrounding the possible purchase of a Chinese missile system.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 05:56:17 -0400
Iraqi government declares 4-day holiday over severe heatwave
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Council of Ministers has declared a four-day mandatory holiday beginning Thursday as temperatures are set to soar above 50 degrees Celsius (123 degrees Fahrenheit).
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 05:55:06 -0400
23 people missing in Lao military helicopter accident
BANGKOK (AP) — A Laotian army helicopter had an accident shortly after it left the capital and 23 people on board were missing, the Lao News Agency said on Wednesday.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 05:53:24 -0400
Israel OKs settlement building amid standoff with settlers
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli Prime Minister's office said Wednesday it has approved the "immediate construction" of 300 housing units in the West Bank settlement of Beit El and has advanced plans for 504 new housing units in Israeli settlement areas in east Jerusalem.
Date Posted : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 05:50:21 -0400
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