2019-07-05 03:58:47 UTC
Jalalabad, Afghanistan (AFP) -- Of all the sad, wrenching things I have seen as a journalist in Afghanistan, Niaz Bibi's house was probably one of the saddest.
At the age of 70, Bibi has found herself as the main parent of some 40 kids -- the children of her three sons and three grandsons who had been killed by the Islamic State. Bibi does the best she can, but she is so poor that they all live in conditions not much better than a jail.
"Have you seen my father?" some of the children asked me when I came to the house. They didn't know their fathers were dead. They thought they were just away somewhere. They looked at their photos and...
Wyoming: It’s Not Ok to Be Gay, Join the KKK
2019-06-30 19:14:57 UTC
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The leaflets distributed by students at a junior high school told pre-teens to “Join the KKK” and that “It’s not OK to be gay.”
In the capital of the state known for the 1998 murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, school officials have worked to respond to the spring incident. They’re holding community meetings and plan to hire a “diversity and cultural awareness” counselor while providing additional employee training.
“We’ve got a pretty good plan to try to work on all of that,” said Boyd Brown, superintendent of Laramie County School District No. 1.
Others aren’t so confident the Cheyenne school dis...
EU, South American Bloc Mercosur Announce World's Largest Free Trade Deal
2019-06-29 01:15:31 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union and South American bloc Mercosur agreed a free-trade treaty on Friday, concluding two decades of talks and committing to more open markets in the face of a rising tide of protectionism.
The two regions launched negotiations exactly 20 years ago and intensified efforts to reach an accord after Donald Trump’s presidential victory led the Europeans to freeze talks with the United States and seek other global trading allies.
As world leaders meet at a G20 summit in Japan, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told a news conference the deal sent a “loud and clear message” in support of open trade...
Mexico to Provide 40,000 Jobs to Migrants
2019-06-28 18:19:59 UTC
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico is finalizing a deal to provide 40,000 factory jobs to migrants in northern states, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday, addressing a key need for the thousands waiting in Mexico as their U.S. asylum cases are decided.
Speaking at his daily press conference, Lopez Obrador said he expected an agreement with factories to be signed next week.
“This agreement is going to be signed, there will be no legal problem,” he said. “We are arranging this so that they can be hired without much processing.”
Mexico’s border states have been inundated with migrants who must often wait weeks to seek U.S....
Steve Jobs Design Chief to Start Own Firm
2019-06-28 00:58:11 UTC
(Reuters) - Jony Ive, a close creative collaborator with Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs whose iPhone and other designs fueled Apple’s rise to become a $1 trillion company, will leave later this year to form an independent design company.
Apple said Ive will continue work on its products at his new venture, but shares fell as much as 1.5% to $197.44 in after-market trading, wiping about $9 billion from the firm’s value.
Ive spent nearly three decades at Apple, playing a leading role in the design of the candy-colored iMacs that helped Apple re-emerge from near death in the 1990s to the iPhone, regarded by many business experts as one...
Drowned Man’s Mother Feels a Hole That “Nobody Can Fill”
2019-06-26 18:04:49 UTC
SAN MARTIN, El Salvador (AP) — The mother of a man who drowned alongside his 23-month-old daughter while trying to cross the Rio Grande into Texas says she feels a hole that “nobody can fill.”
Rosa Ramírez says she begged Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez not to leave, and if he had to, to leave young Valeria with her.
The two were swept away by the current Sunday near Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas. A photo of the discovery of their bodies shows the girl tucked into Martínez’s shirt for protection and her arm draped over his neck.
Ramirez told AP on Wednesday that the image is “tough” and “shocking.” But at the same time ...
Mueller Agrees to Testify Publicly on July 17
2019-06-26 01:55:23 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats say Robert Mueller has agreed to testify publicly July 17 before the House Judiciary and intelligence committees after both panels issued subpoenas to him Tuesday evening.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff say in a joint statement that the special counsel has agreed to testify about the Trump-Russia report he issued in April. The Justice Department declined to comment.
The committees have been in negotiations with Mueller for more than two months about his testimony. But he has been hesitant to testify and speak about the investigation b...
Shocking Images of Drowned Father-Daughter Highlights Migrants’ Deadly Journey
2019-06-25 23:57:20 UTC
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The man and his 23-month-old daughter lay face down in shallow water along the bank of the Rio Grande, his black shirt hiked up to his chest with the girl tucked inside. Her arm was draped around his neck suggesting she clung to him in her final moments.
The searing photograph of the sad discovery of their bodies on Monday, captured by journalist Julia Le Duc and published by Mexican newspaper La Jornada, highlights the perils faced by mostly Central American migrants fleeing violence and poverty and hoping for asylum in the United States.
According to Le Duc’s reporting for La Jornada, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramír...
Japan Eats Whale Despite Environmental Concerns
2019-06-24 04:59:19 UTC
MINAMIBOSO, Japan (Reuters) - Whale cutlets, sliced raw whale, deep-fried whale nuggets, whale bacon and whale jerky feature on the menu at the restaurant Yoko Ichihara runs - and that's just a small sample of the ways Japan eats whale.
Though Japan's government maintains that eating whale is a cherished part of its food culture, nationwide consumption didn't really take off until after World War Two and peaked in the early 1960s before falling as other protein sources became cheaply available.
A 1986 global whaling moratorium made whale a pricey food that rarely appears on family tables or in ordinary supermarkets, with vendors rely...
Euro Hits Three-Month High Against US Dollar
2019-06-24 04:00:44 UTC
TOKYO (Reuters) - The euro rose to a three-month high against the dollar on Monday, as bearish bets on the U.S. currency remained solid on prospects of a near-term interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.
The euro stretched its rally last week, up 1.4%, and advanced about 0.15% to $1.1386 in early Asian trade, its highest since March 22.
The dollar index versus a basket of six major currencies was a shade lower at 96.135, having struck 96.093 on Friday, its lowest since March 21, after the Fed last week opened the door for a potential rate cut as early as next month.
That weighed on the dollar and in turn reinvigorated its counte...
Angela Merkel: There Has to Be a Political Solution on Iran
2019-06-22 21:23:07 UTC
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The international community must seek a political solution on Iran, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had aborted a military strike to retaliate against Tehran’s downing of a U.S. drone.
Speaking at an annual gathering of Protestant churches, Merkel also said the Iran issue would be discussed at next week’s meeting of leaders of the Group of 20 leading economies in Japan, at least at a bilateral level.
“There has to be a political solution (on Iran) and that is what we are working on,” Merkel said.
<I>Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Tom Sims; Ed...
2 Finalists in UK Leadership Race Make Pitch to Tory Members
2019-06-22 20:51:35 UTC
LONDON (AP) — The two finalists in the race to lead Britain’s governing Conservative Party — and become the country’s new prime minister — made their first formal pitches to party members Saturday, both vowing to be the right man to deliver Brexit.
Ex-foreign secretary and former London mayor Boris Johnson, the runaway favorite of Tory lawmakers, faced off with Jeremy Hunt, the current foreign secretary, at a Conservative conference in central England’s Birmingham.
Opening his address with a focus on delivering Britain’s stalled exit from the European Union, Johnson told the audience “We need to get Brexit done” and be prepared to le...
US Abruptly Calls Off Retaliation Strike Against Iran
2019-06-21 05:39:58 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. official said the military made preparations Thursday night for limited strikes on Iran in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but approval was abruptly withdrawn before the attacks were launched.
The official, who was not authorized to discuss the operation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the targets would have included radars and missile batteries.
The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump had approved the strikes, but then called them off. The newspaper cited anonymous senior administration officials.
The White House on Thursday night declined reque...
US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran ‘Using Influence for Bad’
2019-06-22 21:38:00 UTC
The U.S. has ranked near Saudi Arabia and Russia in an international poll of countries which use their global influence for bad purposes.
The Ipsos Mori study for King’s College London of 17,000 people in 24 countries found Iran is most likely to be seen as using its influence for bad at 31%.
This is followed by Russia and Saudi Arabia both on 25%, Israel on 24% and the US on 22%.
Countries seen as most likely to use their influence for good are Germany (32%) and Canada (37%), as well as the UN (35%).
<img alt="Germany_and_canada_strongest_defender_of_the_'unalienable_rights'" src="/system/images/20416/large/Ger...
US Drone Shot Down After Entering Iran’s Airspace
2019-06-20 05:51:04 UTC
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have shot down a U.S. “spy” drone in the southern province of Hormozgan, the Guards’ news website Sepah News said on Thursday.
State news agency IRNA carried the same report, identifying the drone as an “RQ-4 Global Hawk’.
“It was shot down when it entered Iran’s airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in the south,” the Guards’ website added.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) can fly at high altitudes for more than 30 hours, gathering near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather, maker Northrop Grumman says on its websit...
California Governor Calls Treatment of Native Americans Genocide
2019-06-19 05:57:07 UTC
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday apologized to Native Americans for violence and other wrongdoings they suffered during the state’s history and called their mistreatment genocide.
The Democratic governor, in an executive order, called for the creation of a Truth and Healing Council to produce a report before the end of 2024 on the historical relationship between the state and Native Americans.
Newsom delivered the apology during an appearance with tribal leaders at the California Indian Heritage Center near Sacramento, the state capital.
“It’s called a genocide, that’s what it was, a genocide,” N...
US Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks in See of Oman
2019-06-13 21:55:27 UTC
DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two oil tankers were attacked on Thursday and left adrift in the Gulf of Oman, driving up oil prices and stoking fears of a new confrontation between Iran and the United States, which blamed Tehran for the incident.
“It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters without providing explicit evidence to back up the U.S. stance.
“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, rec...
US Weekly Jobless Claims Rise; Imported Inflation Weak
2019-06-13 18:19:18 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, which could add to concerns that the labor market was losing steam after job growth slowed sharply in May.
Other data on Thursday showed import prices fell by the most in five months in May amid a broad decline in the cost of goods, the latest indication of muted inflation pressures. The import deflation supports expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year.
U.S. central bank policymakers are scheduled to meet on June 18-19 against the backdrop of rising trade tensions. Financial markets...
US Ranks Last in the world for Maternity Leave
2019-06-13 18:25:15 UTC
NEW YORK, 13 June 2019 — Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Estonia and Portugal offer the best family-friendly policies among 31 rich countries with available data, according to a new UNICEF repot. Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus, United Kingdom and Ireland rank the lowest. The United States is the only country included in the analysis with no national paid leave policy for mothers or fathers, ranking it the worst for maternity leave.
Produced by UNICEF’s Office of Research – The <a href="https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/sweden-norway-iceland-and-estonia-rank-highest-family-friendly-policies-oecd-and-eu"><em>report</em></a> ranks co...
UK’s Johnson Threatens to Withhold $50 Billion Brexit Payment
2019-06-09 01:46:56 UTC
(Reuters) - Boris Johnson, the leading candidate to succeed Theresa May as Britain’s next prime minister, said he would withhold a previously agreed 39 billion pound ($50 billion) Brexit payment until the European Union gives Britain better exit terms.
The EU has repeatedly said it will not reopen discussion of the Brexit transition deal it reached with May last year, which British lawmakers have rejected three times, prompting May to announce her resignation earlier this month.
May stepped down as leader of the governing Conservatives on Friday.
Johnson, a former foreign secretary in May’s cabinet, is popular with ordinary Conser...
US Economic Growth Continues to Slow
2019-06-07 16:37:19 UTC
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. economy is growing at a 1.4% annualized rate in the second quarter based on data that showed a weaker-than-forecast payrolls growth in May, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow forecast model showed on Friday.
This was a tad slower than the 1.5% pace estimated by Atlanta Fed’s GDP program on Thursday.
US HIRING SLOWS
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. hiring stumbled in May as employers added just 75,000 jobs, a sign that businesses have become more cautious in the face of weaker global growth and widening trade conflicts.
Last month’s modest job gain followed a much healthier increase of 224,000 in Apr...
Hunt for Shoppers: Luxury Brands Raising Stakes on Instagram
2019-06-07 16:10:35 UTC
PARIS (Reuters) - Big-spending luxury brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior are splashing out on everything from dance-fuelled fashion shows to teams of advisers as they target social media platforms in the hunt for young shoppers.
Without the entry barriers of magazine advertising - where a one page glossy ad can cost tens of thousands of dollars - sites like Instagram, a fashionista favorite, have allowed unknown labels to find an audience with canny or eye-catching campaigns.
But big bucks are changing the game as cash rich luxury goods groups like LVMH and Kering hike their social media budgets, giving them vast mea...
Toyota Speeds Up Electric Vehicle Schedule
2019-06-07 15:52:16 UTC
TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp aims to get half of its global sales from electrified vehicles by 2025, five years ahead of schedule, and will tap Chinese battery makers to meet the accelerated global shift to electricity-powered cars.
The change illustrates the breakneck growth in the electric vehicle (EV) market, which is transforming the auto industry, and is also an acknowledgment by Japan’s top car maker that it may not be able to meet demand for batteries on its own.
Toyota is now faced with a higher-than-expected demand for cars that use batteries, rather than gasoline, Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi told a brief...
EU to Create a System to Get Around US Block on WTO
2019-06-06 20:49:33 UTC
BERLIN/GENEVA (Reuters) - The European Union is set to propose creating a shadow system to get around a U.S. block on appeals in disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to a draft proposal circulated to national lawmakers.
U.S. President Donald Trump is blocking appointments to the WTO’s Appellate Body, saying its judges have overstepped their mandate and ignored their instructions. Trump’s critics say he resents their power over U.S. law.
Unless the block is lifted, the world’s top trade court will have only one of its seven members left by December, leaving it unable to hear appeals in international trade disputes...
Democrats Move to Hold Barr, McGahn in Contempt of Congress
2019-06-06 20:32:52 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. House of Representatives committee, seeking to advance probes of President Donald Trump, unveiled a measure on Thursday that would authorize court action to enforce congressional subpoenas of Attorney General William Barr and former White House Counsel Don McGahn over the Mueller report.
The Rules Committee resolution was expected to go to a vote on the House floor on Tuesday, according to Democratic aides. If approved, the measure would put another aspect of the growing confrontation between Trump and House Democrats before the courts.
The resolution also sets the terms for possible court action by othe...