Turkey withdraws from treaty on violence against women

In this March 8, 2021 photo, protesters chant slogans during a rally to mark International Women's Day in Istanbul. (EMRAH GUREL/AP) ANKARA – President Tayyip Erdogan pulled Turkey out of an international accord designed to protect women, the country’s official gazette said on Saturday, despite calls from campaigners who see the pact as key to […]

Heavy rain, flash flooding batter Australia’s east coast

People stand at a washed-out section of road at Port Stephens 200 kilometers north of Sydney, Australia, March 20, 2021. (MARK BAKER/AP) MELBOURNE – Australia’s east coast was smashed by heavy rains on Saturday, sparking dangerous flash flooding that forced the evacuation of multiple regions as the fast-moving waters unmoored houses, engulfed roads, stranded towns […]

Japan: G7 ministers backed new help for low-income countries

In this Sept 16, 2020 file photo, Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso delivers a speech during a press conference at the Prime Minister's office in Tokyo. (CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) TOKYO – Financial leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations backed a new allocation of special drawing rights at the International Monetary Fund […]

US appeals WTO decision in South Korea trade dispute

In this Sept 21, 2018 photo, a man leaves the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquaters in Geneva. (Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) GENEVA – The United States has appealed against a World Trade Organization recommendation that Washington revise a series of duties imposed on South Korea under the president Barack Obama, a WTO official said on […]

Afghan govt, Taliban agree to accelerate peace talks

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, left, attends an international conference on Afghanistan over the peaceful solution to the conflict in Moscow on March 18, 2021. (PHOTO / AFP) MOSCOW – The Afghan government and the Taliban agreed on Friday to try to accelerate peace talks, at a meeting in Moscow that followed an international conference […]

Citizen extradition: DPRK snaps diplomatic ties with Malaysia

In this file photograph dated March 27, 2017, the flag of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is seen past the barbed wire fencing of the country's embassy in Kuala Lumpur. (MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP) PYONGYANG – The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has announced severance of diplomatic relations with Malaysia after Malaysia's top […]

DPRK vows to freeze out ‘hostile’ US

Protesters hold up a banner as police officers stand guard during a rally against the visit of two senior US officials in Seoul on March 18, 2021. (PHOTO / AFP) The Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Thursday accused the United States of adopting a "lunatic theory", ruling out any engagement with the new administration […]

Iran says to cold test redesigned Arak nuclear reactor

A handout picture provided by Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation on Feb 21, 2021 shows the AEIO chief Ali Akbar Salehi (center) and spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi (center left) meeting with the (unseen) visiting Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the capital Tehran. (PHOTO / AFP) Iran will cold test its redesigned Arak […]

US Defense Secretary Austin on mission to deepen India-US ties

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signs a guestbook during his visit to the National Cemetery in Seoul on March 18, 2021. (KIM MIN-HEE / POOL / AFP) NEW DELHI – Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was urged by a senior US senator to convey Washington’s opposition to India’s proposed purchase of Russian air defense systems as […]

Lebanon Hezbollah chief will back new cabinet if announced Monday

A handout picture provided by the Lebanese photo agency Dalati and Nohra on March 18, 2021, shows Lebanese prime minister-designate Saad Hariri addresses reporters following a meeting with President Michel Aoun at the presidential palace in Baabda, east of the capital. (DALATI AND NOHRA / AFP) BEIRUT – Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on […]

Canadian agency for rule changes after Iran crash report

In this Jan 8, 2020 file photo, rescue teams are seen at the scene of a Ukrainian airliner that crashed shortly after take-off near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran. (AKBAR TAVAKOLI / IRNA / AFP) A Canadian agency on Thursday called for changes to global rules governing air accident investigations, following criticism […]

PM: Armenia to hold early parliamentary election on June 20

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan delivers a speech during a rally of his supporters at Republic Square in downtown Yerevan on March 1, 2021. (ARIS MESSINIS / AFP) YEREVAN – Armenia will hold an early parliamentary election on June 20, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Thursday. Pashinyan confirmed this on Facebook, adding that the […]

US, Russia join in urging Afghan power-sharing

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai (far left) and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (second right) attend an international peace conference in Moscow, Russia, March 18, 2021. (ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO / AP) MOSCOW – Russia and the US are working together to persuade the Afghan government to share power with the Taliban even amid an angry response in […]

Sex consent app proposal sparks criticism in Australia

New South Wales state Police Commissioner Mick Fuller addresses the media during a press conference in Sydney, March 18, 2021 (DEAN LEWINS / AAP IMAGE VIA AP) One of Australia’s top police officers faced criticism on Thursday for suggesting an app that records sexual consent could be used to address a rise in sexual assault […]

Japan judiciary’s conflicting rulings rattle nuclear sector

The file photo dated Feb 21, 2021 shows storage tanks for contaminated water at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which was badly damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture. (PHILIP FONG / AFP) TOKYO – Japanese courts delivered conflicting rulings on two nuclear reactors on […]

UN chief appoints Jean Arnault as personal envoy on Afghanistan

Then United Nations special envoy to Afghanistan, Jean Arnault addresses a press conference in Kabul, July 17, 2004. (PHOTO / AFP) NEW YORK – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday appointed veteran French diplomat Jean Arnault as his personal envoy on Afghanistan and regional issues. The appointment comes a day before Russia, China, the […]

Thai lawmakers reject constitutional amendment bill

Police use water cannons with chemical-laced water to disperse protesters during a rally near the Thai Parliament as lawmakers debate a charter amendment in Bangkok on Nov 17, 2020. (MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP) BANGKOK – Thailand's legislation on constitutional amendment was aborted by members of parliament (MP) and senators on Wednesday. In a third reading […]

Top Turkish prosecutor files case to close pro-Kurdish party

Members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) hold placards reading "HDP not since" during a protest against the detention of HDP members, in Istanbul, on Sept 25, 2020. (PHOTO / AFP) ANKARA – A top Turkish prosecutor filed a case with the constitutional court on Wednesday demanding the closure of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic […]

ROK, US defense chiefs reaffirm denuclearization goal

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (left) poses for a photo with the Republic of Korea's (ROK) Defense Minister Suh Wook during a meeting at ROK's defense ministry in Seoul, March 17, 2021. (PHOTO / AP) SEOUL – The Republic of Korea's (ROK) and the United States' defense chiefs reaffirmed the common goal of the complete […]

Iran’s Rouhani says hardliners obstructing goal to lift sanctions

In this file photo a handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on March 7, 2021, shows Iran's President Hassan Rouhani during a meeting with Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney (not pictured) in the capital Tehran. (IRANIAN PRESIDENCY / AFP) DUBAI – Iran’s pragmatist president accused hardline opponents on Wednesday of obstructing efforts […]

Japan court: Not allowing same-sex marriage ‘unconstitutional’

People wearing face masks take pictures at Odaiba area of Tokyo during the evening hour on July 12, 2020. (PHILIP FONG / AFP) TOKYO – A Japenese district court on Wednesday ruled that not allowing same-sex couples to marry is “unconstitutional”, setting a new precedent in the only G7 nation not to fully recognise same-sex partnership, […]

Israel says anti-rocket Iron Dome system upgraded

A battery of Israel's Iron Dome, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, is pictured in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights near the border with Syria, on Nov 18, 2020. (JALAA MAREY / AFP) JERUSALEM – Israel said on Tuesday it has upgraded its anti-rocket Iron Dome system to intercept additional kinds […]