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Air strikes kill at least 80 in deadliest bombings of Yemen war

By Mohammed Ghobari CAIRO (Reuters) - Saudi-led air strikes killed at least 80 people near Yemen's border with Saudi Arabia and in the capital Sanaa on Wednesday, residents said, the deadliest day of bombing in over two months of war in Yemen. Iranian-backed Houthi rebels seized Sanaa last September and then thrust into central and south Yemen. Seeing the Houthi advance as a bridgehead for Irani

Queen Elizabeth sets in motion Britain's EU referendum plan

By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Queen Elizabeth set in motion on Wednesday the new government's plans for an in-out referendum on staying in the European Union, but left open questions about when it will be and what changes to the EU the government wants beforehand. Prime Minister David Cameron, who says he would prefer to stay inside a reformed EU but isn't "ruling anything out" i

U.S., South Korea, Japan seek to raise pressure on North's nuclear program

The United States and two key Asian allies discussed how to increase pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear program and will urge China to help bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table, officials said. The talks in Seoul follows a test of what the North said was a submarine-launched ballistic missile earlier this month, which if true, could mean progress in the reclusive state's milita

Malaysia detains 12 police in people-smuggling camps probe

By Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Twelve Malaysian police officials have been held on suspicion of links to people-smuggling camps where authorities have uncovered nearly 140 graves believed to hold the bodies of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh, a government minister said on Wednesday. Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar was speaking the day after police forensic

Islamic State shoots dead 20 in Palmyra amphitheatre: monitor

Islamic State militants shot dead around 20 men in an ancient amphitheatre in the Syrian city of Palmyra on Wednesday, accusing them of being government supporters, a group monitoring the conflict said. Reuters was unable to independently confirm the report from the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The hardline Sunni militants took control of the central city, also known as Tad

France warns Iran over nuclear deal as deadline nears

By Parisa Hafezi and John Irish ANKARA/PARIS (Reuters) - France warned on Wednesday it was ready to block a final deal between Iran and the six major powers unless Tehran provided inspectors access to all installations, including military sites. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, last week ruled out international inspection of Iran's military sites or access to nuclear scientists und

THE LATEST: US must fight to extradite 6 FIFA officials

ZURICH (AP) — The Latest on FIFA developments:

Colombian rebel peace negotiator among dead in military raid

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Leftist rebels in Colombia are claiming that one of their envoys to peace talks with the government has been killed during a military raid.

New flood warning for Houston as death toll rises

By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The National Weather Service issued a new flash flood warning on Wednesday for Houston where storms have left five people dead and turned neighborhoods into lakes in the fourth most-populous U.S. city. At least 18 people have been killed in Texas and Oklahoma from storms on the Memorial Day weekend that caused record floods, destroying hundreds of homes,

U.S. forecaster predicts below-average 2015 Atlantic hurricane season

(Reuters) - The Atlantic hurricane season will be below-average this year due to cooler seas and a strong El Niño effect, the U.S. government weather forecaster said on Wednesday. Hurricane season officially runs June 1 through Nov. 30, although this season's first storm, Tropical Storm Ana, came ashore in South Carolina earlier this month. In an average year, the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the G

UK government announces EU referendum in Queen's Speech

Prime Minister David Cameron's government formally announced Wednesday it will hold a referendum on whether Britain should leave the EU in a policy speech read by Queen Elizabeth II on Westminster's grandest day. Outlining the newly-elected government's plans for its first year, the 89-year-old queen, in a crown and ceremonial dress, confirmed Britain would face further austerity to cut its defi

Top Asian News at 4:30 p.m. GMT

UKHIYA, Bangladesh (AP) — The traffickers spun stories that were unimaginable to their listeners, many who hailed from tiny Bangladeshi villages where almost no one earns more than a few dollars a day. First, there would be the boat: A huge boat where people could spread out comfortably, where the food would be plentiful and delicious. They would be treated with decency while on board and at the e

Finance to protect forests must meet local needs: experts

Madagascar has 7 million hectares of rainforest under protection as of this month, but stopping the poor people who live near those areas from illegally cutting down rosewood trees remains a challenge. "Most... say we are spending a lot of money to protect the environment instead of spending money to help them find something to eat," said Ralava Beboarimisa, the southeast African island nation's e

Germany wants UK in EU, but warns of limits on concessions

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Germany's foreign minister says Berlin wants the United Kingdom to stay in the European Union, but warns there are limits to how far other EU countries can go to accommodate British demands for change in the bloc.

Coalition raids on rebels in Yemen capital kill 36

Saudi-led coalition warplanes killed 36 soldiers on Wednesday when they targeted a rebel troop headquarters in the Yemeni capital as the United Nations tried to reschedule postponed peace talks. The coalition campaign of air strikes against Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels and allied forces loyal to former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh began on March 26 in an effort to restore UN-backed President Abe

Electrical failure paralyzes Belgian air traffic

BRUSSELS (AP) — A power failure at a control center paralyzed most of air traffic in and over Belgium for much of Wednesday and caused chaos at Brussels airport because of delays, detours and cancellations of flights.

Alberto Contador keeps Giro lead, Sacha Modolo wins stage 17

LUGANO, Switzerland (AP) — Alberto Contador maintained his grip on the overall lead of the Giro d'Italia, while Sacha Modolo won a bunch sprint at the end of the 17th stage on Wednesday for his second victory in this year's race.

Deaths from major heatwave sweeping India top 1,100

More than 1,100 people have died in a blistering heatwave sweeping India, authorities said Wednesday, as forecasters warned searing temperatures would continue. Southern India has borne the brunt of the hot, dry conditions and many of the victims are construction workers, elderly or homeless people unable to heed official advice to stay indoors. In the worst-hit state of Andhra Pradesh nearly 90

Finland picks populist EU-skeptic as new foreign minister

HELSINKI (AP) — Finland's next prime minister Juha Sipila said Wednesday that he has chosen the head of the populist, anti-bailout Finns Party to be foreign minister in a new three-member ruling coalition, the first time the maverick EU-skeptic party is in the government.

Floods in northwest Romania leave 1 dead, dozens evacuated

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Officials in Romania say flooding in the country's northwest has killed at least one person, damaged homes and forced emergency evacuations.

EU asks member states to admit 40,000 asylum seekers

The EU on Wednesday asked its member states to admit 40,000 asylum seekers from Syria and Eritrea landing in Italy and Greece, which have been overstretched by an influx of migrants. The emergency proposal, which comes atop another one to resettle in member states some 20,000 Syrian refugees, is in response to a surge in migrants making the dangerous crossing over the Mediterranean. Both Rome an

Kurdish party committed to peace talks whatever Turkish poll outcome

By Ayla Jean Yackley ANTALYA, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey's Pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) said on Wednesday June elections would lack legitimacy if a threshold for parliamentary representation deprived it of representation, but it would remain a partner in peace talks with militants. The fate of the HDP, which hopes to cross the 10 percent national vote threshold to enter parliament

Burundi urges citizens to donate money to pay for elections

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Burundi's government is asking Burundians to donate money to pay for elections as some foreign donors warn of aid cuts if President Pierre Nkurunziza runs for a third term, a presidential spokesman said Wednesday.

Islamic State suicide attacks in Iraq's Anbar kill 17 troops

BAGHDAD (AP) — Islamic State extremists unleashed a wave of suicide attacks targeting the Iraqi army in western Anbar province, killing at least 17 troops in a major blow to government efforts to dislodge the militants from the sprawling Sunni heartland, an Iraqi military spokesman said Wednesday.

Israeli air force chief unfazed Egypt may get Russia's S-300

By Dan Williams HERZLIYA, Israel (Reuters) - The chief of Israel's air force on Wednesday played down worries voiced by some fellow officials about the possibility of Egypt acquiring advanced Russian-made air defenses. The Russian news agency TASS said in March Egypt would receive the Antey-2500 missile system, an S-300 variant, and put the value of the contract at more than a billion dollars. Nei

APNewsBreak: Quartet Mideast envoy Tony Blair resigns

JERUSALEM (AP) — Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday stepped down as the international community's Mideast envoy, officials said, leaving a post that began with great promise but which struggled to deliver dramatic changes in its quest to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

UN targets zero hunger in a generation as numbers fall

The number of hungry people around the world has dropped below 800 million for the first time since the UN started counting, the Food and Agriculture Organisation said in an annual report on Wednesday. "The near-achievement of the MDG hunger targets shows us that we can indeed eliminate the scourge of hunger in our lifetime," said FAO director general Jose Graziano da Silva. In the developing wo

North Korean couple taken by Libyan Islamic State stronghold

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — A spokesman of a local Libyan city council says a North Korean couple has been abducted near the stronghold of the country's Islamic State affiliate.

Serbian Premier Vucic in landmark visit to Albania

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The leaders of Serbia and Albania sought to mend their thorny relations Wednesday during the first visit to Albania by a Serb prime minister.

Top FIFA officials detained in corruption raids

Swiss police detained several FIFA leaders in a dawn raid Wednesday as part of a twin corruption inquiry that rocked world football's governing body two days before its leader Sepp Blatter seeks a new term. Two FIFA vice-presidents were among seven people arrested at a luxury Zurich hotel. All now face deportation to the United States on charges of accepting more than $150 million in bribes.

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