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Germany's top court tells lawmakers to recognize 'third gender. Image credit - thelocalde

World

The government had to act after Germany's highest court ruled last year that people must be allowed to register as neither male nor female, ordering authorities to create a third identity or scrap gender entries altogether.

The German parliament has approved a third gender option for official records that will allow people to be registered as "diverse."

This undated handout photo provided by the French police, shows Cherif Chekatt, the suspect in the shooting in Strasbourg, France, Dec. 11, 2018.

World

Cherif Chekatt, 29, is the suspected gunman who killed three and injured another 13 during a shooting in Strasbourg on Tuesday, ...

The suspect in a deadly shooting in France has been killed after a standoff with police, French officials said.

Senate votes to stop US support for Yemen war, condemns Saudi crown prince. ABC News

World

It’s the first time the Senate has voted to withdraw forces from a war Congress didn't approve.

The US Senate voted Thursday to withdraw U.S. military assistance for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen in a 56-41 vote, a sharp rebuke to President Donald Trump for his steadfast defense of the kingdom despite bipartisan outrage over the alleged Saudi role in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

STRASBOURG, France, Dec 11 (Reuters) – A gunman on a security watchlist killed at least two people and wounded at least 11 others.

World

Secular France has been grappling with how to respond to both homegrown jihadists and foreign militants following attacks in Paris, Nice, Marseille and beyond since 2015.

A gunman on a security watchlist killed at least two people and wounded at least 11 others near the picturesque Christmas market in the historic French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday evening before fleeing.

Jamal Khashoggi’s Last Words Revealed In Transcript: ‘I Can’t Breathe’ (CNN)

World

Turkish sources told Reuters a bone saw was used to dismember the journalist.

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi repeatedly told his killers “I can’t breathe” during his final moments in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, CNN reported on Monday.

Nearly 1,400 arrests in French 'yellow vest' protests as government offers dialogue

World

Some 125,000 people across France donned yellow safety jackets to rally against President Emmanuel Macron and the high cost of living. In Paris, armored vehicles and thousands of police contained the demonstrators.

More than a thousand people were arrested across France on Saturday as police clashed with "yellow vest" demonstrators in the fourth week of anti-government protests.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's chief financial officer (CFO). Image credit - BBC

World

At a hearing Friday in Vancouver, a Canadian prosecutor argued that Meng — who has spent most of the past week at a women's detention facility in a suburb of Vancouver — should be denied bail pending possible extradition to the United States because she was a flight risk.

With many questions still unanswered, governments in both the United States and China appear to be working to limit the fallout from the arrest of a top Chinese technology executive and its possible impact on trade negotiations.

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe. AP Photo

World

The backpedaling by President Emmanuel Macron's government appeared designed to calm the nation, coming three days after the worst unrest on the streets of Paris in decades.

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on Tuesday announced a suspension of the controversial fuel tax increases planned for January 1 in a move aimed at bringing an end to weeks of violent "Yellow Vest" protests against the tax.

© AFP | A demonstrator holds a French flag as they walk amid the tear gas during a protest of Yellow Vests (Gilets jaunes) against rising oil prices and living costs, on December 1, 2018, in Paris.

World

The so-called "Yellow Vest" anti-government protests that have swept France over the last fortnight were sparked initially by a rise in taxes on diesel.

The French government is organising emergency meetings to respond to the wave of violence that broke out across the country over the weekend as part of the ‘Yellow Vest’ movement.

Mexican Air Force Presidential Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner is pictured at a hangar before is put up for sale by Mexico's new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City, Mexico December 2, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

World

The $218 million presidential jet acquired in late 2012 is one of 60 government planes that will be sold, in addition to 70 helicopters, said Urzua.

The big, luxurious airplane used to ferry Mexico’s former president around the globe is about to fly away permanently in one of the first moves by the new president to rid the country of what he has derided as a towering symbol of excess.

Global efforts to thwart climate change far off course, UN says. Reuters image

World

With only a single degree Celsius of warming so far, the world has seen a crescendo of deadly wildfires, flooding, heatwaves and hurricanes.

Humanity is falling further behind in the race against climate change. On Tuesday, the UN reported the first rise in CO2 emissions in four years.

Ukraine-Russia tensions rise as Kiev warns of 'full-scale war'. Image credit - newswires

World

"Maybe I won't have the meeting. Maybe I won't even have the meeting," he said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday warned of the threat of "full-scale war" and said Russia had sharply increased its military presence on their shared border as tensions escalate between the ex-Soviet neighbours.

People queue to cast their votes at a polling station inside a temple during local elections and referendum on same-sex marriage, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan November 24, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

World

In the run-up to the election, Tsai and her government have repeatedly said China is attempting to sway election results with its “political bullying” and “fake news”, accusations Beijing denies.

Taiwan began voting on Saturday in local elections, a key test of support for the island’s pro-independence ruling party ahead of presidential polls in just over a year, and will also hold a referendum on same-sex marriage.

Interpol Elects South Korean As President, Passing Over Russian Candidate. Image credit - Newswires

World

Russia said clear outside pressure had been exerted on the vote but it did not dispute the voting process.

International police body Interpol elected Kim Jong-yang of South Korea as president on Wednesday, beating a Russian national whose candidacy had raised concerns in Europe and the United States about the risk of Kremlin interference.

FILE PHOTO: Eric Honselman opens a shed which holds 75,000 bushels of corn he was forced to store after his regular bins were filled to capacity with corn and soybeans on the family farm in Casey, Illinois, U.S., October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Weinraub

World

U.S. farmers planted 89.1 million acres of soybeans this year, the second most ever, expecting China’s rising demand to give them better returns than other bulk crops.

U.S. farmers finishing their harvests are facing a big problem - where to put the mountain of grain they cannot sell to Chinese buyers.

© Kemal Aslan, Reuters | Saudi public prosecutor Saud Al Mojeb leaves the Saudi consulate in Istanbul Oct. 30, 2018.

World

He said 11 out of 21 suspects have been indicted and that their cases will be referred to court, while the investigation with the remaining suspects will continue in order to determine their role in the crime.

Five Saudi officials face the death penalty for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, but Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was not involved in the prominent journalist’s killing, the kingdom’s public prosecutor said Thursday.

File image - North Korea President, Kim Jong-un

World

The new satellite images come at a pivotal moment for nuclear talks, days after North Korea canceled the latest meeting between Pompeo and his North Korean counterpart Kim Yong Chol.

Newly-released commercial satellite imagery suggests North Korea is continuing to develop ballistic missile sites at more than a dozen locations, amid stalled discussions over the country's nuclear weapons program between North Korea and American diplomats.

Merkel says she will step down as German chancellor at end of term in 2021

World

The move sets in motion the process for the CDU to settle on and groom Merkel's successor. It caused the euro to fall briefly and German government bond yields rose.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she would not seek re-election as party chairwoman and that her fourth term as chancellor would be her last, heralding the end of a 13-year era in which she has dominated European politics.

Indonesian plane crashes into sea, all 189 on board feared dead. Image credit - Blangladesh Post

World

Indonesia is one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets, but its safety record is patchy. If all aboard have died, the crash will be its second-worst air disaster since 1997, industry experts said.

An Indonesian airliner crashed into the sea on Monday, with the likely loss of all 189 people on board, as it tried to return to Jakarta minutes after take-off.

Thai Leicester City owner, four others, were on crashed helicopter. Image credit - mole-.-my

World

According to witnesses, the helicopter just cleared the top of the stadium before it started to spin. It then plummeted to the ground and burst into flames.

Leicester City soccer club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, a Thai tycoon, was among five people who were in a helicopter which crashed in a ball of flames after a Premier League match on Saturday, a source close to the club said.

Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, was killed on October 2 after a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork before marrying his Turkish fiancee. Picture: AFP

World

“There has been a declaration that he has been killed, but where is the body?” Erdogan said. “You must show it.”

Twenty-four days after a team of Saudi agents killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, U.S. and Turkish officials are still asking the question: Where’s the body?

In change of tack, Saudi Arabia says Khashoggi's murder 'premeditated'

World

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said on Thursday the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate was premeditated, reversing previous official statements that the killing was unintended.

File image - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani

World

"I don't think that a country would dare commit such a crime without the protection of America."

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia would not have murdered prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi without American protection, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

© Faisal Nasser, Reuters | Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Emerati Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum in Riyadh.

World

Prince Mohammed told a major investment conference in Riyadh that Saudi Arabia and Turkey would work together “to reach results” on a joint investigation into the killing.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman promised on Wednesday that the killers of Jamal Khashoggi would be brought to justice, in his first public comments since the journalist’s murder sparked international condemnation.

File image - Russian President Vladimir Putin.

World

Russia has called Trump’s decision to quit the 1987 treaty, which eliminated both countries’ land-based short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles from Europe, dangerous. Trump has ...

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would be forced to target any European countries that agreed to host U.S. nuclear missiles following Washington’s withdrawal from a landmark Cold war-era arms control treaty.

Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S. President Donald Trump on 14 March

World

Trump said the killing and subsequent cover-up by Saudi Arabia were “a total fiasco.”

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday Saudi authorities staged the “worst cover-up ever” in the killing of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi this month, as the United States vowed to revoke the visas of some of those believed to be responsible.

Trump spoke hours after Turkey’s president, Tayyip Erdogan, dismissed Saudi efforts to blame Khashoggi’s death on rogue operatives. Erdogan urged Riyadh to search “from top to bottom” to uncover those behind Khashoggi’s death in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, an incident that has sparked global outrage and strained relations between Riyadh and Washington.

For Saudi Arabia’s allies, the question will be whether they believe that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has painted himself as a reformer, has any culpability.

Trump said the killing and subsequent cover-up by Saudi Arabia were “a total fiasco.”

“There should have never been an execution or a cover-up, because it should have never happened,” Trump told reporters. He said he had spoken on Monday with the crown prince who denied having anything to do with Khashoggi’s killing.

Earlier, Trump said the Khashoggi matter was handled badly by Saudi officials.

“Bad deal, should have never been thought of. Somebody really messed up. And they had the worst cover-up ever,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Khashoggi, a critic of the crown prince, was a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist.

Trump’s comments in recent days have ranged from threatening Saudi Arabia with “very severe” consequences and mentioning possible economic sanctions, to more conciliatory remarks highlighting the country’s role as a U.S. ally against Iran and Islamist militants, as well as a major purchaser of U.S. arms.

Trump did not give his views on who was ultimately responsible. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States had identified some of the Saudi government and security officials it believed were involved in Khashoggi’s murder and would take appropriate actions including revoking U.S. visas.

The U.S. State Department said 21 Saudis would have their visas revoked or be made ineligible for U.S. visas. Another official said the vast majority of the group had U.S. visas.

“As we continue to develop our understanding of the individuals that were responsible for this, not only those who executed it but those who were connected to it, the world should know that we intend to hold those individuals accountable when we develop this fact set,” Pompeo told reporters.

Pompeo also said the State Department was looking into whether sanctions could be applicable for those found to be involved.

“These penalties will not be the last word on this matter from the United States,” Pompeo said, although he emphasized as have other senior U.S. officials, the importance of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. “Neither the president nor I are happy with this situation.”

The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment on the U.S. measures.

As the crisis unfolded over the past three weeks, Saudi Arabia changed its tune on Khashoggi. Riyadh initially denied knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate before saying on Saturday he was killed in a fight in the consulate, an account met with skepticism from several Western governments, straining their relations with the world’s biggest oil exporter.

Saudi Arabia has detained 18 people and dismissed five senior government officials as part of an investigation into Khashoggi’s death. One of those fired includes Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide who ran social media for Prince Mohammed. According to two intelligence sources, Qahtani ran Khashoggi’s killing by giving orders over Skype.

Turkish security sources say that when Khashoggi entered the consulate, he was seized by 15 Saudi intelligence operatives who had flown in on two jets just hours before.

ERDOGAN VOW
Erdogan on Tuesday stopped short of mentioning the crown prince who some U.S. lawmakers suspect ordered the killing.

“The Saudi administration has taken an important step by admitting to the murder. From now on, we expect them to uncover all those responsible for this matter from top to bottom and make them face the necessary punishments,” Erdogan said in a speech in parliament.

“From the person who gave the order, to the person who carried it out, they must all be brought to account,” Turkey’s president said.

Turkish sources have said that authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting the killing. Erdogan made no reference to any audio recording.

A Saudi Cabinet meeting chaired by King Salman said Riyadh would hold to account those responsible for the killing and those who failed in their duties, whoever they were.

Turkish investigators searched a Saudi consulate vehicle in Istanbul that contained two suitcases and other items, according to broadcaster CNN Turk. It was not clear what was in the suitcases.

‘BRUTAL MURDER’

Trump said he would work with the U.S. Congress to determine the U.S. response to the Khashoggi matter.

“In terms of what we ultimately do, I’m going to leave it very much - in conjunction with me - up to Congress,” Trump said, adding he would like a bipartisan recommendation.

CIA Director Gina Haspel, in Turkey to investigate the death of Khashoggi, has sought to hear the purported audio recording of his torture and murder, four sources familiar with her mission told Reuters on Tuesday.

A host of Western executives and governments have pulled out of a high-profile Saudi investment summit that started on Tuesday because of the Khashoggi affair.

Erdogan said the killing was planned from when Khashoggi, 59, first went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Sept. 28 to obtain documents necessary for his marriage. He was told he would need to return later to collect the documents.

A day before Khashoggi’s death, agents arrived from overseas and began to scout locations, including the Belgrad Forest near Istanbul and the city of Yalova to its south, Erdogan said. Police have searched both areas for evidence of Khashoggi’s remains, Reuters has reported.
On the day Khashoggi arrived for his appointment and was later killed, the hard disk in the consulate’s camera system was removed, Erdogan said.

“Covering up a savage murder like this will only hurt the human conscience. We expect the same sensitivity from all parties, primarily the Saudi Arabian leadership,” he said.

“We have strong signs that the murder was the result of a planned operation, not a spontaneous development.”

 

Source: Reuters

Jamal Khashoggi

World

Three major European powers - Germany, Britain and France - pressed Saudi Arabia to provide facts to back up its earlier explanation of a fight, while Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would not export arms to Saudi Arabia while the current uncertainty over Khashoggi’s fate persisted.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday called the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its Istanbul consulate a “huge and grave mistake”, but sought to shield its powerful crown prince from the widening crisis, saying Mohammed bin Salman had not been aware.

Human rights activists and friends of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi hold his pictures during a protest. Image credit - CNBC

World

A round-up of international reaction following Saudi Arabia's explanation for dissident journalist's killing.

 After weeks of denials, Saudi Arabia for the first time confirmed that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

Saudi Arabia admits Khashoggi died in consulate, fires two senior officials

World

Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, went missing after entering the consulate on Oct. 2 to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage.

Saudi Arabia said on Saturday that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has died, and said it fired two senior officials over the incident that has provoked an international outcry and strained relations between Riyadh and the West.

Rescuers carry an injured victim of a blast at a college in the city of Kerch. Image credit - News wires

World

There were no immediate clues as to his motive in mounting such an attack, which recalled similar shooting sprees carried out by students in U.S. schools.

At least 17 people were killed and dozens injured at a college in the Black Sea region of Crimea on Wednesday when a student went through the building shooting at fellow pupils before killing himself, Russian law enforcement officials said.

Hassan Rouhani: US seeking regime change in Iran

World

“In the past 40 years there has not been a more spiteful team than the current U.S. government team toward Iran, Iranians and the Islamic Republic,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast on state TV.

The United States is seeking “regime change” in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, adding that the current U.S. administration is the most hostile that the Islamic Republic has faced in its four decades.

Nadia Murad, left, and Denis MukwegeVincent Kessler / Reuters

World

"It is important to see the suffering of women, to see the abuses, and to achieve that, it's also important that women leave the concept of shame and speak up."

A Congolese gynecologist and an Iraqi Yazidi woman who spoke out about her abuse at the hands of Islamic State militants were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, commending their work highlighting sexual violence as a weapon of war.

Gunmen attack Iran military parade, killing civilians and troops. Reuters photo

World

"Of the four terrorists, three were sent to hell at the scene, while the fourth who had been wounded and arrested went to hell moments ago due to his severe wounds," Shekarchi told state television.

Militants shot dead at least 24 people including women and children at a military parade in southwestern Iran on Saturday, state media reported, in a rare attack the government blamed on a US ally in the region.

China to penalize $60 billion of U.S. imports in tit-for-tat move

World

The tit-for-tat measures are the latest escalation in an increasingly protracted trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

China and the United States plunged deeper into a trade war on Tuesday after Beijing added $60 billion of U.S. products to its import tariff list in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s planned levies on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. File image courtesy of Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

World

The new sanctions target China-based Yanbian Silverstar Network Technology Co, its North Korean chief executive Jong Song Hwa, and a Russian-based sister company, Volasys Silver Star,...

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on a China-based tech firm, its North Korean CEO and a Russian subsidiary, accusing them of moving illicit funding to North Korea in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General Passes Away

World

After stepping down from the United Nations, he continued to work tirelessly in the cause of peace through his chairmanship of the Kofi Annan Foundation and as chair of The Elders, the group founded by Nelson Mandela. He was an inspiration to young and old alike.

Former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Prize winner, Mr. Kofi Annan, has passed away at the age of 80.

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