US (MSM)

Police officer slain by Boston bombers followed dream: brother

By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) – The Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer shot to death by the Boston Marathon bombers had dreamed since childhood of wearing a badge and driving a police cruiser, his brother and father testified on Wednesday. The officer, Sean Collier, died in his police car three nights after the April 15, 2013, attack, when convicted bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, shot him

U.S. top court makes it easier for people to sue the government

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday made it easier for people to sue the federal government by ruling in favor of plaintiffs in two separate cases including one involving a Hong Kong woman who was strip-searched while in immigration detention in Oregon. President Barack Obama’s administration had asked the court to impose a strict deadline for such lawsuits under a law called the Federal

Would-be Reagan assassin faces hearing that could expand freedom

By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. federal judge begins hearings on Wednesday on whether would-be presidential assassin John Hinckley Jr. could get more time outside the mental hospital where he has lived since shooting Ronald Reagan in 1981. Hinckley, 59, has been allowed since December 2013 to leave Washington’s St. Elizabeths Hospital for 17 days a month to stay with his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia. Hinckley shot Reagan

Obama again avoids calling 1915 Armenian killings 'genocide'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to fulfill a campaign promise and use the politically fraught term on the 100th anniversary of the killings this week. Officials decided against it after opposition from some at the State Department and the Pentagon.

U.S. couple found guilty of 'sadistic' Bali suitcase murder

By Trisha Sertori DENPASAR (Reuters) – An Indonesian court found a young U.S. couple guilty on Tuesday of murdering the woman’s mother and stuffing her battered body into a suitcase on the resort island of Bali. Heather Mack and Tommy Schaefer, both from the Chicago area, were arrested last August after staff at a luxury hotel discovered the body of Mack’s mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, in an abandoned suitcase in

U.S. couple found guilty of 'sadistic' Bali suitcase murder

By Trisha Sertori DENPASAR (Reuters) – An Indonesian court found a young U.S. couple guilty on Tuesday of murdering the woman’s mother and stuffing her battered body into a suitcase on the resort island of Bali. Heather Mack and Tommy Schaefer, both from the Chicago area, were arrested last August after staff at a luxury hotel discovered the body of Mack’s mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, in an abandoned suitcase in

Boston bomber's attack 'essence of terror': prosecutor

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) – Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev aimed to terrorize people with his deadly 2013 attack, a U.S. prosecutor said on Tuesday as the government began making its case that he should be sentenced to death for the bombing and its aftermath. Tsarnaev, a 21-year-old ethnic Chechen, was found guilty on April 8 of killing three people and injuring 264 at the marathon finish line

Boston bomber's attack 'essence of terror': prosecutor

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) – Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev aimed to terrorize people with his deadly 2013 attack, a U.S. prosecutor said on Tuesday as the government began making its case that he should be sentenced to death for the bombing and its aftermath. Tsarnaev, a 21-year-old ethnic Chechen, was found guilty on April 8 of killing three people and injuring 264 at the marathon finish line

WORLD (MSM)

Russia lifts ban on missile deliveries to Iran, start oil-for-goods swap

By Gabriela Baczynska MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday paved the way for long-overdue missile system deliveries to Iran and Moscow started an oil-for-goods swap with Tehran, showing the Kremlin’s determination to boost economic ties with the Islamic Republic. The moves come after world powers, including Russia, reached an interim deal with Iran on curbing its nuclear programme and signal that Moscow may have a head-start in

China to free three women activists on bail, fate of others unknown: lawyers

By Sui-Lee Wee BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese authorities have unexpectedly decided to release three women activists, two lawyers said on Monday, after an unprecedented vocal campaign against their detention by the West and China’s rights community. Wei Tingting, 26, Wang Man, 32, Zheng Churan, 25, will be released on bail, Liang Xiaojun and Wang Qiushi, two lawyers involved in the case, told Reuters, citing accounts from family members. Their detention

Iran calls for new Yemeni government, increasing tension with Saudis

By Raushan Nurshayeva ASTANA (Reuters) – Iran on Monday urged the formation of a new Yemeni government and offered to assist in a political transition, comments likely to anger Saudi Arabia, which is backing Yemen’s president against a rebel force allied with Iran. The Houthi advance towards the Yemeni city of Aden forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Riyadh last month and triggered a Saudi-led campaign of air

China to free three women activists on bail, fate of others unknown: lawyers

By Sui-Lee Wee BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese authorities have unexpectedly decided to release three women activists, two lawyers said on Monday, after an unprecedented vocal campaign against their detention by the West and China’s rights community. Wei Tingting, 26, Wang Man, 32, Zheng Churan, 25, will be released on bail, Liang Xiaojun and Wang Qiushi, two lawyers involved in the case, told Reuters, citing accounts from family members. Their detention

Taliban overrun Afghan forces in northeast, killing 18

By Mirwais Harooni KABUL (Reuters) – Dozens of Taliban fighters aided by foreign militants seized Afghan government checkpoints in a previously stable northeastern province, officials said on Monday as the annual spring fighting season began in the 13-year-old war. Afghan officials said government forces later took back the district of Jorm in Badakhshan province but said they need reinforcements from the central government in Kabul. Fighting this year is being

Taliban overrun Afghan forces in northeast, killing 18

By Mirwais Harooni KABUL (Reuters) – Dozens of Taliban fighters aided by foreign militants seized Afghan government checkpoints in a previously stable northeastern province, officials said on Monday as the annual spring fighting season began in the 13-year-old war. Afghan officials said government forces later took back the district of Jorm in Badakhshan province but said they need reinforcements from the central government in Kabul. Fighting this year is being

Iran calls for new Yemeni government, increasing tension with Saudis

By Raushan Nurshayeva ASTANA (Reuters) – Iran on Monday urged the formation of a new Yemeni government and offered to assist in a political transition, comments likely to anger Saudi Arabia, which is backing Yemen’s president against a rebel force allied with Iran. The Houthi advance towards the Yemeni city of Aden forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Riyadh last month and triggered a Saudi-led campaign of air

Spain urges more cooperation to handle attacks, migration

By Adrian Croft BARCELONA (Reuters) – Europe, North Africa and the Middle East need to cooperate more to confront illegal immigration and “terrorist barbarism”, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Monday. Rajoy made the call at a meeting of foreign ministers from the 28 European Union countries and eight countries on the southern rim of the Mediterranean. The meeting comes as southern European countries such as Spain and Italy

Spain urges more cooperation to handle attacks, migration

By Adrian Croft BARCELONA (Reuters) – Europe, North Africa and the Middle East need to cooperate more to confront illegal immigration and “terrorist barbarism”, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Monday. Rajoy made the call at a meeting of foreign ministers from the 28 European Union countries and eight countries on the southern rim of the Mediterranean. The meeting comes as southern European countries such as Spain and Italy

Violence escalates in east Ukraine ahead of talks

Ukraine’s military accused pro-Russian rebels on Monday of using heavy weapons that were meant to have been withdrawn under a ceasefire deal, after one Ukrainian serviceman was killed and six wounded in rebel-held territories. With fighting intensifying once more, the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany were due to meet in Berlin later on Monday to discuss the next steps in implementing a ceasefire agreement signed in the

Violence escalates in east Ukraine ahead of talks

Ukraine’s military accused pro-Russian rebels on Monday of using heavy weapons that were meant to have been withdrawn under a ceasefire deal, after one Ukrainian serviceman was killed and six wounded in rebel-held territories. With fighting intensifying once more, the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany were due to meet in Berlin later on Monday to discuss the next steps in implementing a ceasefire agreement signed in the

Obama meets Raul Castro in highest-level U.S.-Cuba talks in decades

By Matt Spetalnick and Dave Graham PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – President Barack Obama met Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday in the highest-level talks between the two countries in nearly 60 years, and the two men agreed to push ahead on improving relations after decades of hostility. Describing their private meeting as “historic,” Obama said the two countries can now end the antagonism of the Cold War era, although he

Saudi Arabia dismisses Iran calls for Yemen ceasefire

By Mohammed Mukhashaf and Angus McDowall ADEN/RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia dismissed Iranian calls to end air strikes on neighboring Yemen on Sunday as Saudi-led attacks hit a military camp in the Yemeni city of Taiz, killing eight civilians according to a medical source. Riyadh said Tehran should not interfere in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies began air strikes against Iranian-allied Houthi militia fighters over two weeks

Monitor says Syrian army bombs Aleppo school, military denies

A group monitoring the Syrian war said at least nine people including five children were killed in a Syrian army air strike on a school in a rebel-held area of the country’s second city Aleppo on Sunday, though the army denied the report. A Syrian army source told Reuters the army had stepped up attacks on rebels since the insurgents bombarded a government-held residential area in the northwestern city on

Clashes with Taliban take growing toll on Afghan civilians in 2015

KABUL (Reuters) – Ground clashes between Afghan government forces and the Taliban claimed 8 percent more civilian casualties in the first three months of 2015, the United Nations said on Sunday, and the approaching summer could match last year’s deadly record. Since most foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan last year, following more than a decade of inconclusive war against the Taliban ousted from power in 2001, the conflict has intensified

Gunmen attack South Korea embassy in Tripoli, two guards killed

Unidentified gunmen fired shots at the South Korean embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Sunday killing two local security guards, South Korean and Libyan officials said. Militants claiming loyalty to Islamic State said they were behind the attack, according to a statement on social media. The gunmen fired from a car at the embassy compound, killing two security officers who were Libyan government employees and wounding another, Tripoli security

Pope sparks row with Turkey by calling Armenian massacre genocide

By Steve Scherer VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis sparked a diplomatic row on Sunday by calling the massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians 100 years ago “the first genocide of the 20th century,” prompting Turkey to accuse him of inciting hatred. Muslim Turkey accepts that many Christian Armenians died in clashes with Ottoman soldiers beginning in 1915, when Armenia was part of the empire ruled from Istanbul, but

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