UN says 28,000 flee drive to retake Iraq’s Tikrit

March 6, 2015 10:55 am

BAGHDAD: Some 28,000 people have fled the Tikrit area as Iraqi forces battle the Islamic State jihadist group in a massive offensive aimed at retaking the city, the UN said Thursday. The involvement of Shiite militiamen in the operation, which … Read more »

China ups military budget to $141B

March 5, 2015 10:28 pm

BEIJING: China unveiled a fresh double-digit spending boost for its military on Thursday with a 10.1 percent increase in 2015, as it is embroiled in a series of territorial disputes with its neighbors. Beijing plans to raise its military spending … Read more »

US ambassador slashed, bloodied in Seoul attack

March 5, 2015 10:27 pm

SEOUL: The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was recovering from surgery on Thursday after being slashed on his face and arm in Seoul the same day by a blade-wielding activist opposed to ongoing US-Korean military drills. The United … Read more »

Sydney drug syndicate smashed

March 5, 2015 10:27 pm

SYDNEY: Australian police on Thursday said they had smashed an international criminal syndicate in a joint operation with Colombia, seizing more than 480 kilograms (1,058 pounds) of drugs hidden in lemonade bottles and flower boxes. “We are cutting the head … Read more »

Australia floats prisoner swap for Indonesia pair

March 5, 2015 10:26 pm

SYDNEY: Australia on Thursday proposed a prisoner swap with Indonesia in an 11th-hour bid to save two drug smugglers facing execution, while voicing “deep concern” about Jakarta’s international reputation if they are killed. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the ringleaders … Read more »

34 dead in Syria rebel attack on spy offices

March 5, 2015 10:26 pm

BEIRUT: Syrian rebels launched a fierce attack on an intelligence headquarters in Aleppo, leaving at least 34 dead, days after the opposition rejected a United Nations ceasefire plan for the city. At least 20 members of regime security forces and … Read more »

Libya seeks UN nod for arms purchase

March 5, 2015 10:25 pm

UNITED NATIONS, United States: Libya urged the UN Security Council on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) to approve a request for military purchases as it struggles to combat Islamic State extremists and protect its oil fields. The internationally-recognized government, one of … Read more »

No thaw in Iran-US ties in nuclear talks

March 5, 2015 10:25 pm

WASHINGTON D.C.: The United States ruled out on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) any suggestion that talks with Iran over its nuclear program are signs of warming relations between two countries whose diplomatic ties collapsed 35 years ago. Iran and the … Read more »

Police in US town that ‘targeted blacks’ walks

March 5, 2015 10:25 pm

WASHINGTON D.C.: The US Justice Department said on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) it will not prosecute the white policeman who shot dead unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, but in a damning report found the local force systematically targeted … Read more »

Australia PM suggests MH370 search could be scaled back

March 5, 2015 10:24 pm

SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday suggested the search for missing Flight MH370 may be scaled back, while expressing hope the jet would be found a year after it vanished. The Malaysia Airlines plane disappeared en route from … Read more »