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Thousands shelter as "screaming, howling" Cyclone Debbie hits north Australia

Thousands shelter as "screaming, howling" Cyclone Debbie hits north Australia
Written by Louis Downey on 2017-03-28


SYDNEY Howling winds, heavy rain and huge seas pounded Australia's northeast on Tuesday, damaging homes, wrecking jetties and cutting power to thousands of people as Tropical Cyclone Debbie tore through the far north of Queensland.Wind gusts stronger than 260 km per hour (160 mph) were recorded at tourist resorts along the world-famous Great Barrier Reef as the storm made landfall as a category four,...(Read More)

Hong Kong chooses new Beijing-backed leader amid political tension

Hong Kong chooses new Beijing-backed leader amid political tension
Written by Louis Downey on 2017-03-26


HONG KONG A Beijing-backed civil servant, Carrie Lam, was chosen to be Hong Kong's next leader on Sunday amid accusations that Beijing is meddling and denying the financial hub a more populist leader perhaps better able to defuse political tension.The majority of the China-ruled city's 7.3 million people have no say in deciding their leader, who is chosen from among several candidates by a 1,200-person...(Read More)

London attacker Khalid Masood was a 52-year-old criminal with militant links

London attacker Khalid Masood was a 52-year-old criminal with militant links
Written by Louis Downey on 2017-03-24


BIRMINGHAM, England Before he killed at least four people in Britain's deadliest attack since the 2005 London bombings, Khalid Masood was considered by intelligence officers to be a criminal who posed little serious threat.A British-born Muslim convert, Masood had shown up on the periphery of previous terrorism investigations that brought him to the attention of Britain's MI5 spy agency. But the...(Read More)

North Korea missile test fails, U.S. and South say, as tensions simmer

North Korea missile test fails, U.S. and South say, as tensions simmer
Written by Louis Downey on 2017-03-22


SEOUL A North Korean missile appeared to have exploded on Wednesday just after it was launched, the U.S. and South Korean militaries said after detecting the latest in a series of weapons tests by the nuclear-armed state that have alarmed the region.The launch attempt was made from near the city of Wonsan, on North Korea's east coast, the same place from where it launched several intermediate-range...(Read More)

How much is an Afghan life worth? That depends

How much is an Afghan life worth? That depends
Written by Louis Downey on 2017-03-20


WASHINGTON In March 2014, the U.S. military paid an Afghan man just over $1,000 to compensate for killing his civilian son in an operation near the border with Iran, according to U.S. military records released to Reuters.   Six months later, another Afghan father was given $10,000 by the U.S. military after his child, also a civilian, was killed in an American-led military operation in...(Read More)

Need to avoid civilian deaths weighs on minds of U.S. forces in Mosul battle

Need to avoid civilian deaths weighs on minds of U.S. forces in Mosul battle
Written by Louis Downey on 2017-03-18


QAYYARA WEST AIRFIELD, Iraq As the battle for Mosul moves to the narrow streets and densely packed houses of the Old City, U.S. artillery gunners and helicopter pilots supporting Iraqi forces face an age-old problem – how to avoid killing civilians.They place their faith in precision missiles which can hit their target with great accuracy. But human instinct also comes into play against an Islamic...(Read More)

Dutch PM Rutte on course for big victory over far-right Wilders

Dutch PM Rutte on course for big victory over far-right Wilders
Written by Louis Downey on 2017-03-16


AMSTERDAM The Netherlands' center-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte was on course for a resounding victory over anti-Islam and anti-EU Geert Wilders in an election on Wednesday, offering huge relief to other EU governments facing a wave of nationalism."It appears that the VVD will be the biggest party in the Netherlands for the third time in a row," a beaming Rutte told cheering supporters at a post-election...(Read More)

North Korea warns of

North Korea warns of 'merciless' strikes as U.S. carrier joins South Korea drills
Written by Louis Downey on 2017-03-14


SEOUL North Korea warned the United States on Tuesday of "merciless" attacks if an aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson, which is joining South Korean forces for exercises, infringes on its sovereignty or dignity.North Korea, which has alarmed its neighbors with two nuclear tests and a string of missile launches since last year, said the arrival of the U.S. strike group was part...(Read More)

Netherlands bars Turkish ministers as rally dispute escalates

Netherlands bars Turkish ministers as rally dispute escalates
Written by Louis Downey on 2017-03-11


ANKARA/ROTTERDAM The Netherlands barred Turkish ministers from speaking in Rotterdam on Saturday in a row over Ankara's political campaigning among Turkish emigres, leading President Tayyip Erdogan to brand its fellow NATO member a "Nazi remnant".The dispute escalated into a major diplomatic incident in the evening, as Turkey's family minister was prevented by police from entering the Turkish consulate...(Read More)





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