• Russia, facing widespread criticism, denies bombing civilians in Syria

    By Paul Carrel and Shadia Nasralla MUNICH (Reuters) - France led international criticism of Russia on Saturday for bombing civilians in Syria, a charge Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev rejected as major powers bickered openly just a day after they agreed a pause in combat in Syria. The…

  • Iraq's Sadr calls for technocratic government, swift reform

    Powerful Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said on Saturday the country needed a technocratic government, threatening to quit politics if Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi failed to carry out promised reforms. The remarks by Sadr, whose Al-Ahrar bloc holds 34 seats in parliament and three…

  • U.S. Defence Secretary says UK needs nuclear weapons for 'outsized' world role

    Britain must renew its submarine-borne Trident nuclear weapons system if it is to maintain its "outsized" role in world affairs, U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter said in comments published on Saturday. A decision on replacing the ageing fleet of four submarines which carry nuclear warheads is due…

  • In Pope Francis, weary Mexicans see leader who will speak to their problems

    The pews and the plaza are bustling at Mexico’s most popular sanctuary in the lead-up to Pope Francis’ arrival this week, with parishioners entering the church on their knees and event bleachers awaiting the tens of thousands of faithful who will vie see the pope. Recommended: How much do you…

    Christian Science Monitor47 mins ago
  • Amid big uncertainties, Syria truce deal might mean some relief for civilians

    Despite the many questions swirling around the cessation of hostilities in Syria that was announced early Friday – including whether the truce will even take hold – the plan offers a glimmer of hope for a half million Syrians at risk of going hungry. Just hours after the deal’s announcement, the…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • 'Right to work' is now law of the land in more than half of US states

    West Virginia became the 26th state to adopt a “right-to-work” law on Friday when the state legislature rebuked Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s vetoes of two highly contentious bills. Most lawmakers voted along party lines, with Republicans arguing that the legislation is pro-growth and…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Syria ceasefire proposal inspires cautious relief

    What Secretary of State John Kerry called "a pause" in the fighting is set to begin in one week, with the promise of further talks leading to a cease-fire, David Sanger reported for The New York Times. Recommended: How well do you understand the conflict in Syria? Several ceasefires have been…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Syrian troops capture village near northern city of Aleppo

    BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian state TV and an opposition activist group say government forces have captured another village near Aleppo, tightening the noose around rebel-held parts of the northern city.

    Associated Press20 mins ago
  • Amid multitude of woes, Egypt leader says democracy is back

    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's president said Saturday that his country has established democratic and constitutional rule after years of turmoil following the 2011 uprising, but rights groups say he has presided over an unprecedented crackdown on dissent.

    Associated Press22 mins ago
  • Top Asian News 12:19 p.m. GMT

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama hosts Southeast Asian leaders at an unprecedented summit in California starting Monday as he looks to deepen ties with the region's fast-growing economies. But a nation not invited — neighboring power China — will be the proverbial elephant in the room as…

    Associated Press28 mins ago
  • Officials: 6 Afghan security men killed in Taliban attacks

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban insurgents killed six Afghan security personnel Saturday in two separate attacks, Afghan officials said.

    Associated Press28 mins ago
  • World Baseball Classic qualifying: South Africa into final

    SYDNEY (AP) — Catcher Kyle Botha's bases-loaded double in the sixth inning scored three runs to break open a close game and give South Africa a 9-2 win over New Zealand and a spot in Sunday's final against Australia in a regional World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament.

    Associated Press31 mins ago
  • Israeli troops kill Palestinian who tried to stab soldier: army

    Israeli security forces shot dead on Saturday a Palestinian woman who tried to stab a soldier in the occupied West Bank, Israel's military said. No Israelis were wounded in the attack that happened near the Cave of the Patriarchs in the city of Hebron. A campaign of stabbings, shootings and…

    Reuters36 mins ago
  • Kerry takes aim at Russia over Ukraine and Syria

    MUNICH (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday sharply criticized Russia for its actions in Ukraine and Syria, accusing Moscow of "repeated aggression" in both places.

    Associated Press37 mins ago
  • Syrian army seizes village overlooking rebel areas near Aleppo: state TV

    BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian army has retaken a village that overlooks major rebel-held towns around Aleppo, state television said on Saturday, part of a government campaign to encircle and recaptured insurgent areas of the major northern city. It said the army entered the village of al-Tamura…

    Reuters39 mins ago
  • Saudi Arabia to send planes to Turkey for Islamic State fight: media

    Saudi Arabia will send aircraft to NATO-member Turkey's Incirlik air base for the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was reported as saying on Saturday. Saudi Arabia has resumed its participation in air strikes against Islamic State in recent…

    Reuters41 mins ago
  • Israeli military: Palestinian killed after attacking soldier

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's military says a Palestinian was shot and killed after she pulled out a knife and attacked a soldier on guard near a sensitive West Bank holy site.

    Associated Press44 mins ago
  • Red Cross says delivers medical aid to Taiz in Yemen 'breakthrough'

    The Red Cross said on Saturday it had entered the war-torn Yemeni city of Taiz for the first time since August, delivering three tonnes of life-saving medical supplies to four hospitals treating the wounded. Taiz has been one of the hardest-fought fronts in a war in which local militias and forces…

    Reuters46 mins ago