Saturday, November 25, 2017
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Lifeline for Merkel as SPD to help form govtGerman leader of the Social Democratic Party Martin Schulz speaks during a press conference in Berlin on Friday. AFP
U-turn

Lifeline for Merkel as SPD to help form govt

Decision lessens chances of fresh poll25 Nov 2017 | 12:39 AM

BERLIN:Germany’s Social Democrats bowed to pressure from across the political spectrum today to help form a new government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, but pledged that party members would have final say on any deal.

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Berlin, November 24

Germany’s Social Democrats bowed to pressure from across the political spectrum today to help form a new government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, but pledged that party members would have final say on any deal.

The turnabout by the centre-left party, which had said it would go into opposition after suffering its worst result in 70 years in a September election, could help avert a disruptive repeat election in Europe’s economic and political powerhouse.

SPD leader Martin Schulz told a news conference that the party leadership had reached the decision out of a sense of responsibility to Germany and Europe after Sunday’s collapse of talks aimed at forming a three-way coalition.

“There is nothing automatic about the direction we are moving in,” Schulz said. “If a discussion results in us deciding to participate in any form whatsoever in the formation of a government, we will put it to a vote of party members,” he said.

Backing for a new government could come in various forms other than a coalition, including a formal agreement not to obstruct a Merkel-led minority government or an informal agreement to tolerate it.

The decision to support a government is a fraught one for party members, who saw four years of constructive participation in a Merkel-led government rewarded by voters with its worst vote share since World War-II.

Over her 12 years in power, Merkel has seen off a succession of coalition partners who then went to endure painful electoral defeats. — Reuters


German President to host talks next week 

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will meet Chancellor Angela Merkel, the head of Bavaria’s conservatives, and the leader of the centre-left Social Democrats on Thursday, his office said on Friday. He played a central role in encouraging the SPD to reverse its pledge to go into opposition. The meeting will include Merkel, SPD leader Martin Schulz and Horst Seehofer, leader of the Christian Social Union, the sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democrats.

Prez Mnangagwa vows to rebuild Zimbabwe, ‘serve all the citizens’

Prez Mnangagwa vows to rebuild Zimbabwe, ‘serve all the citizens’

25 Nov 2017 | 12:39 AM

HARARE:New President Emmerson Mnangagwa, known as the “Crocodile”, laid out a grand vision today to revitalise Zimbabwe’s ravaged economy and vowed to rule on behalf of all country’s citizens.

Pistorius’ sentence doubled to 13 years

Pistorius’ sentence doubled to 13 years

25 Nov 2017 | 12:39 AM

JOHANNESBURG:A South African appeals court increased paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius’ sentence for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to 13 years and five months today.

Cops: Refugees cleared from Australia camp

25 Nov 2017 | 12:39 AM

SYDNEY:The Papua New Guinea police have emptied a shuttered Australian detention camp where hundreds of refugees were holed up in, the police said today, ending a three-week-old standoff.

AIG killed in suicide blast in Peshawar

25 Nov 2017 | 12:39 AM

Peshawar: A suicide bomber on Friday rammed his motorcycle into a vehicle, killing a senior Pakistani police officer and his gunman in Peshawar city, capital of the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

North Korea replaces guards after defection

25 Nov 2017 | 12:39 AM

Seoul: North Korea has replaced dozens of guards and fortified a section of its border with South Korea following the dramatic defection of one of its soldiers last week, a report said on Friday.

By the way...

Norway fund, Unicef form child rights network

25 Nov 2017 | 12:39 AM

Oslo: Norway’s $1-trillion sovereign wealth fund and Unicef have established a network to strengthen children’s rights in the garment and footwear industry.

Trump condemns ‘horrible and cowardly’ mosque attack in Egypt

Trump condemns ‘horrible and cowardly’ mosque attack in Egypt

24 Nov 2017 | 9:52 PM

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump condemned as “horrible and cowardly” a devastating bomb and gun attack on Friday that killed more than 200 people at a mosque in Egypt.

Actor Billy Baldwin accuses Donald Trump of hitting on his wife

Actor Billy Baldwin accuses Donald Trump of hitting on his wife

24 Nov 2017 | 6:23 PM

LOS ANGELES: Actor Billy Baldwin has called US President Donald Trump a “5th degree black belt” sexual harasser.

Azeri ‘Alternative Nobel’ winner barred from going to Sweden

24 Nov 2017 | 5:55 PM

STOCKHOLM: The organisation behind the “Alternative Nobel” says a 2017 prize winner has been barred from leaving her native Azerbaijan to attend the December 1 award ceremony in Stockholm.

China denies closure of key bridge as N Korea pressure tactic

China denies closure of key bridge as N Korea pressure tactic

24 Nov 2017 | 5:54 PM

BEIJING: China on Friday denied reports that the closure of a key border bridge connecting it with North Korea was aimed at punishing the reclusive Communist state for its defiance over its nuclear programme.

At least 235 dead, 109 injured in militant attack on Egypt mosque

At least 235 dead, 109 injured in militant attack on Egypt mosque

25 Nov 2017 | 2:26 AM

CAIRO: At least 235 worshippers were killed and 109 others injured when heavily-armed militants bombed a mosque and opened fire on people attending Friday prayers in Egypt’s restive North Sinai region, in the deadliest terror attack in the country. Egyptian health ministry spokesman Khalid Mujahid described the incident as a “terrorist attack.”

Ireland govt thrown into crisis ahead of key Brexit talks

Ireland govt thrown into crisis ahead of key Brexit talks

24 Nov 2017 | 5:05 PM

DUBLIN: A crisis surrounding Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister was on Friday threatening the country’s minority government and throwing key Brexit negotiations into confusion.

Mnangagwa sworn in as Zimbabwe President

Mnangagwa sworn in as Zimbabwe President

24 Nov 2017 | 4:59 PM

HARARE: Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as Zimbabwe’s new President on Friday in a ceremony at a packed stadium here, marking the end of Robert Mugabe’s 37-year reign. The ceremony took place at the capital’s National Sports Stadium and was attended by dignitaries, including leaders from various African countries.

Pakistan-born man jailed for terror plot in UK

Pakistan-born man jailed for terror plot in UK

24 Nov 2017 | 1:11 PM

LONDON: A 22-year-old Pakistan-born man has been jailed for six years in the UK for preparing acts of terrorism after being arrested in an undercover police operation last year.

AIG killed in suicide blast in Peshawar

AIG killed in suicide blast in Peshawar

24 Nov 2017 | 1:16 PM

PESHAWAR: A suicide bomber on Friday rammed his motorcycle into a vehicle, killing a senior Pakistani police officer and his gunman in Peshawar city, capital of the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

China probes new daycare scandal after 'needle marks' on toddlers

China probes new daycare scandal after 'needle marks' on toddlers

24 Nov 2017 | 10:50 AM

BEIJING: The Chinese Police have launched an investigation into alleged child abuse at a Beijing pre-school after parents found apparent needle marks on toddlers, sparking new outrage days after a scandal at another daycare.

US to send F-22 jets to S Korea in show of force for Pyongyang

US to send F-22 jets to S Korea in show of force for Pyongyang

24 Nov 2017 | 9:54 AM

SEOUL: The US will send F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets to South Korea for a joint drill, reports said today, in a new show of force aimed at Pyongyang.

Trump praises US troops in Thanksgiving message

24 Nov 2017 | 9:39 AM

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump highlighted how the US military was "really winning" since he took office as he spoke to five branches of the military serving overseas via satellite on the occasion of Thanksgiving Day, the media reported.

$60K for homeless man who helped woman

24 Nov 2017 | 2:51 AM

Philadelphia: A New Jersey woman who was helped by a homeless man after she ran out of gas on an interstate in Philadelphia has raised more than USD 60,000 for the good Samaritan.

SPD under pressure to join talks

SPD under pressure to join talks

24 Nov 2017 | 2:51 AM

BERLIN:Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) should reconsider their opposition to joining a new “grand coalition” with Angela Merkel’s conservatives because Europe needs a stable government in Berlin, a senior ally of the chancellor said on Thursday.

Fill Katas Raj temple pond with water in a week: Pak SC to govt

Fill Katas Raj temple pond with water in a week: Pak SC to govt

24 Nov 2017 | 2:51 AM

ISLAMABAD:Pakistan’s Supreme Court today flayed the government for failing to protect the sacred pond in the historic Katas Raj temple complex and ordered to fill it with water in a week even if water has to be carried in water-skins.

B’desh, Myanmar ink Rohingya return deal

B’desh, Myanmar ink Rohingya return deal

24 Nov 2017 | 2:51 AM

YANGON:Bangladesh and Myanmar will start repatriating Rohingya refugees in two months, Dhaka said today, as global pressure mounts over the crisis that has sent more than half a million people fleeing across the border.

Mugabe gets immunity from prosecution

Mugabe gets immunity from prosecution

24 Nov 2017 | 2:51 AM

HARARE:Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe was granted immunity from prosecution and assured that his safety would be protected in his home country as part of a deal that led to his resignation, sources close to the negotiations said on Thursday.

Islamic State beheads 15 of its own fighters

Islamic State beheads 15 of its own fighters

23 Nov 2017 | 10:26 PM

JALALABAD (AFGHANISTAN): Islamic State beheaded 15 of its own fighters due to infighting in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar, officials said, while a separate suicide attack on Thursday tore into a crowd in the provincial capital, Jalalabad, killing at least eight.

Pakistan-born man jailed for terror plot in UK

Pakistan-born man jailed for terror plot in UK

23 Nov 2017 | 9:38 PM

LONDON: A Pakistan-born man was on Thursday jailed for six years in the UK for preparing acts of terrorism after being arrested in an undercover police operation last year.

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe granted immunity as part of resignation deal: Sources

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe granted immunity as part of resignation deal: Sources

23 Nov 2017 | 3:47 PM

HARARE: Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe was granted immunity from prosecution and assured that his safety would be protected in his home country as part of a deal that led to his resignation, sources close to the negotiations said on Thursday.

Notorious gang ‘behead man’ near Washington

Notorious gang ‘behead man’ near Washington

23 Nov 2017 | 1:23 PM

WASHINGTON: An ultra-violent Latino street gang that President Donald Trump has vowed to wipe out beheaded a man and cut out his heart before burying him in a park near the US capital, reports have said.

Iraqi forces launch operation to clear desert bordering Syria of IS

Iraqi forces launch operation to clear desert bordering Syria of IS

23 Nov 2017 | 1:28 PM

BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces launched an operation on Thursday to clear the desert bordering Syria of Islamic State, a final campaign to rid Iraq of the militant group, the military said in a statement.

Cuba, N Korea reject ‘unilateral and arbitrary’ US demands

Cuba, N Korea reject ‘unilateral and arbitrary’ US demands

23 Nov 2017 | 12:52 PM

HAVANA: Cuba’s foreign minister and his North Korean counterpart rejected the United States’ “unilateral and arbitrary” demands on Wednesday while expressing concern about escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, the ministry said.

US suspends official travel to Myanmar's troubled Rakhine

23 Nov 2017 | 12:50 PM

YANGON: The United States temporarily suspended travel for American officials to parts of Myanmar's Rakhine state, the US embassy said on Thursday.

UK Police investigating Kevin Spacey over second sexual assault allegation

UK Police investigating Kevin Spacey over second sexual assault allegation

23 Nov 2017 | 12:37 PM

WASHINGTON DC:Award-winning producer and actor Kevin Spacey is being investigated by the British police over the second assault allegation.

Search for missing Argentine submarine reaches 'critical phase'

Search for missing Argentine submarine reaches 'critical phase'

23 Nov 2017 | 12:17 PM

MAR DEL PLATA, ARGENTINA/BUENOS AIRES: The search for an Argentine navy submarine missing in the South Atlantic for one week reached a "critical phase" on Wednesday as the 44 crew on board could be running low on oxygen, a navy spokesman said.

‘Child marriage’ Bill sparks outrage in Iraq

‘Child marriage’ Bill sparks outrage in Iraq

23 Nov 2017 | 1:25 PM

BAGHDAD: A proposal in Iraq’s Parliament to scrap the minimum age for Muslim girls to marry has stirred outrage among critics who view it as a licence “to rape children”. Conservative Shiite deputies on October 31 proposed an amendment to a 1959 law that set the minimum age for marriage at 18.

Italy says 1,100 migrants rescued from sea in one day

Italy says 1,100 migrants rescued from sea in one day

23 Nov 2017 | 12:13 PM

ROME: About 1,100 migrants from the Libyan coast were rescued from the sea on Thursday, including a woman who gave birth in a rubber boat, the Italian coastguard and monitors said.

PNG police enter abandoned Australian-run detention camp

PNG police enter abandoned Australian-run detention camp

23 Nov 2017 | 12:11 PM

SYDNEY:Police entered an officially-shuttered Australian-run detention camp in Papua New Guinea on Thursday and ordered some 380 asylum seekers occupying it to leave as they carried away food and water the men had stockpiled, three of the men told Reuters.

South Korean students sit college entrance exam, aided by chants, prayers

South Korean students sit college entrance exam, aided by chants, prayers

23 Nov 2017 | 12:20 PM

SEOUL: South Korean students sat for their highly competitive university entrance exam on Thursday, a week after it was postponed for the first time ever because of safety concerns after an earthquake.

Woman raises more than $60,000 for homeless man who helped her

23 Nov 2017 | 12:20 PM

PHILADELPHIA: A New Jersey woman who was helped by a homeless man after she ran out of gas on an interstate in Philadelphia has raised more than $60,000 for the good Samaritan.

Canada data shows 10% of Haitian border crossers get refugee status

Canada data shows 10% of Haitian border crossers get refugee status

23 Nov 2017 | 11:33 AM

TORONTO: Canada has granted refugee status to about 10 percent of the 298 Haitian border crossers whose applications have been processed this year, according to government data released on Wednesday.

US Attorney-General orders review of gun background check system

US Attorney-General orders review of gun background check system

23 Nov 2017 | 1:28 PM

WASHINGTON: US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday ordered a review of a government database used for background checks on gun buyers, after a man who killed 26 people in a Texas church was left off the system despite having a criminal record.

US lawmaker apologises for sexually explicit photo

US lawmaker apologises for sexually explicit photo

23 Nov 2017 | 11:30 AM

CHICAGO: A US lawmaker from Texas apologised on Thursday for an explicit photo released on the internet, saying he had erred in judgement when pursuing consensual sexual relationships with women.

Trump SoHo to shed ‘Trump’ amid reports of sagging business

Trump SoHo to shed ‘Trump’ amid reports of sagging business

23 Nov 2017 | 11:28 AM

NEW YORK: The Trump SoHo hotel is dropping the name it shares with the US president.

American former North Korea detainee found burned to death

American former North Korea detainee found burned to death

23 Nov 2017 | 11:26 AM

LOS ANGELES: Detectives in San Diego are investigating the mystery death of a man who hit the headlines in 2010 when former President Jimmy Carter helped negotiate his release from North Korea.

US judge strikes down Texas measure to limit second-trimester abortions

US judge strikes down Texas measure to limit second-trimester abortions

23 Nov 2017 | 12:10 PM

AUSTIN: A US district judge on Wednesday struck down parts of a Texas law that would ban the most common type of second-trimester abortions in the state, after plaintiffs argued the procedure was safe, legal and necessary for women’s health.

Hariri vows to remain in Beirut, defend Lebanon

Hariri vows to remain in Beirut, defend Lebanon

23 Nov 2017 | 11:24 AM

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Saad Hariri told supporters here on Wednesday that he will remain in Lebanon and defend the nation’s stability.

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