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Japan PM seeks verdict on 'Abenomics' in snap election

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his party's lawmakers raise their fists as they pledge to win in the upcoming lower house election in TokyoBy Linda Sieg and Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved parliament's lower house on Friday for a snap election on Dec. 14, seeking a fresh mandate for his struggling "Abenomics" revival strategy just two years after he returned to power promising that "Japan is Back". Abe had vowed to revive the economy with a mix of hyper-easy monetary policy, government spending and reforms, while moving ahead with plans to rein in Japan's massive public debt. ...

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:58:17 -0500
Islamic State targeted in 30 air strikes by U.S., allies

A U.S.-led coalition aircraft flying over Kobanii, as seen from near the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian borderWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies have staged 30 air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq since Wednesday, the U.S. Central Command said on Friday. The 23 strikes in Iraq included six near Baiji that hit Islamic State buildings, vehicles and tactical units while buildings, vehicles, a guard post and two tactical units were destroyed near Sinjar in four air strikes, Central Command said. Similar targets were destroyed or damaged west of Kirkuk, near Mosul and Ramadi and in Tal Afar. ...

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:05:32 -0500
U.S. Biden voices support for Ukraine, denounces Russia's Putin

Ukraine's President Poroshenko and U.S. Vice President Biden smile as they arrive at a news conference in KievBy Alessandra Prentice KIEV (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Friday condemned Russia's behavior in Ukraine as "unacceptable" and urged Moscow to abide by a September peace deal and pull military forces out of the country. Addressing himself rhetorically to Russian President Vladimir Putin after holding talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Biden said: "Do what you agreed to do, Mr. Putin." The high-level U.S. ...

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:38:22 -0500
Islamic State attacks Iraq provincial capital: officials

Militant Islamist fighters waving flags, travel in vehicles as they take part in a military parade along streets of Syria's northern Raqqa provinceBy Raheem Salman and Dominic Evans BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State fighters attacked a government complex in the heart of an Iraqi provincial capital on Friday, local officials said, in an apparently coordinated effort to seize full control of the city. Gunmen fired from rooftops at buildings in Ramadi housing the Anbar governorate offices and police headquarters, while security forces and tribal fighters tried to prevent the militants from advancing. "Mosques are asking anyone who can carry weapons to confront the attackers," provincial council member Hathal Fahdawi told Reuters. ...

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:56:51 -0500
Iran, U.S., French officials to leave nuclear talks as deadline looms

French Foreign Minister Fabius, EU envoy Ashton, U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and Britain's Foreign Secretary Hammond sit a a table during talks in ViennaBy Jonathan Allen and John Irish VIENNA (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will leave the nuclear talks with six world powers on Friday and return to Tehran for top level discussions four days before a deadline for a final agreement expires. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will also return to Paris later on Friday for consultations on the Iranian nuclear issue, U.S. and French officials said. ...

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:17:54 -0500
In blow to PM Cameron, Britain's anti-EU UKIP party wins second parliamentary seat

Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), speaks at his local party headquarters in Rochester, southeast EnglandBy William James and Andrew Osborn ROCHESTER/LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives lost a second parliamentary seat to the anti-EU UKIP party on Friday, an embarrassing defeat heralding a possible fragmentation of Britain's two-party system in next year's national election. ...

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 06:59:09 -0500
Top Asian News at 3:30 p.m. GMT
TOKYO (AP) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved the lower house of Japan's parliament on Friday, forcing an early election in an apparent bid to shore up support for his scandal-plagued government so he can pursue his policy goals. His ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which has been in power for most of the post-World War II era, may lose some seats but is likely to retain a solid majority with its coalition partner in the 480-seat lower house.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:32:54 -0500
China unexpectedly cuts rates to support economy
BEIJING (AP) — China's central bank unexpectedly slashed interest rates on Friday to shore up the world's No. 2 economy, joining a growing list of major economies that are trying to bolster growth amid a global slowdown.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:26:39 -0500
New bird flu cluster identified in Netherlands
AMSTERDAM (AP) — Dutch authorities Friday said they will slaughter poultry at a cluster of three farms after new cases of bird flu were found in the town of Kamperveen, in the third outbreak in the Netherlands this week.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:21:19 -0500
German art collector's cousin claims inheritance
BERLIN (AP) — A cousin of the late German collector Cornelius Gurlitt is laying claim to his priceless art trove, raising the possibility of a legal battle as a Swiss museum that Gurlitt named as his heir prepares to announce whether it will accept the collection.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:14:50 -0500
French investigate HSBC over possible tax dodging
PARIS (AP) — HSBC bank was placed under formal investigation in France over services it offered to clients required to pay taxes in France, just days after the private banking branch was charged in Belgium with organized fiscal fraud.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:13:05 -0500
Hamilton on top after opening Abu Dhabi practice

Mercedes's British driver Lewis Hamilton drives during the first practice session at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on November 21, 2014 ahead of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand PrixAbu Dhabi (AFP) - World championship leader Lewis Hamilton emphasised his superiority when he topped the times again ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in Friday's second practice for this weekend's decisive Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:12:26 -0500
Guyana eases ban on travelers from West Africa
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — The South American country of Guyana is easing a general ban on travelers from West African nations that had been enforced amid Ebola fears.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:09:21 -0500
Hamilton 1, Rosberg 2 in both Abu Dhabi practices

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the first practice session at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. The Emirates Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Lewis Hamilton edged Formula One title rival Nico Rosberg in the both practice sessions Friday for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:08:17 -0500
UK police spied on reporters for years, docs show

Freelance video journalist James Parkinson, 44, and freelance photographer Jess Hurd, 41, react during an interview at their home in east London Friday, Nov. 21 2014. The pair are among six British journalists who are suing London’s Metropolitan Police and Britain’s Home Office over police surveillance of journalists’ movements. (AP Photo/Raphael Satter)LONDON (AP) — In January, freelance video journalist Jason Parkinson returned home from vacation to find a brown paper envelope in his mailbox. He opened it to find nine years of his life laid out in shocking detail.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:07:24 -0500
US stocks jump early after rate cut from China
U.S. financial markets surged in early trading Friday as investors cheered a surprise interest rate cut in China and a hint of further stimulus for Europe from the head of the region's central bank. The rally extended gains from a day before, pushing the major market indexes further into record territory.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:07:12 -0500
Bandits in Guinea steal suspected Ebola blood

In this photo taken Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, a woman walks past an Ebola health care center, rear, to be used for screening for Ebola virus patients at the border village of Kouremale, Mali, between Mali and Guinea. On Mali's dusty border with Ebola-stricken Guinea, travelers have a new stop: Inside a white tent, masked medical workers zap incomers with infrared thermometer guns and instruct them to wash their hands in chlorinated water. (AP Photo/Baba Ahmed)CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — It was a highway robbery but the bandits got more than they bargained for when they stopped a taxi van in Guinea and made off with blood samples that are believed to be infected with the deadly Ebola virus.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:05:38 -0500
Shakib ton, wickets lead Bangladesh to 1st ODI win
CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (AP) — Shakib Al Hasan struck 101 and claimed 4-41 to steer Bangladesh to a facile 87-run win over Zimbabwe in the opening one-day international of the five-match series on Friday.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:05:17 -0500
AP PHOTOS: 'Most generous' Myanmar's giving cycle

In this Nov. 19, 2014 photo, a resident waits in front of her wooden shack to offer food to Buddhist monks as they wind through the streets in Hlaing Tharyar, northwest of Yangon, Myanmar. In its latest World Giving Index, the U.K.-based Charities Aid Foundation said Myanmar shared the top spot with the United States. The foundation ranked countries based on the percentage of people who said they had donated money, volunteered or helped strangers in the month before they were surveyed. It attributed Myanmar’s giving to the charitable traditions of Theravada Buddhism. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)HLAING THARYAR, Myanmar (AP) — "The food cart is coming!" the hungry little boy shouts, his face lighting up.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:04:46 -0500
Club owner under attack over controversial remarks

Wigan Athletic's new manager Malky Mackay and Chairman Dave Whelan background pause, during a press conference at the DW Stadium, in Wigan, England, Wednesday Nov. 19, 2014. Wigan was condemned by English football's anti-discrimination organization for hiring Malky Mackay as its manager on Wednesday while he is still under investigation for offensive comments. Since August, the English Football Association has been looking into a dossier from Mackay's time as Cardiff manager, including text messages he acknowledged were "completely unacceptable, inappropriate." (AP Photo/PA, Barrington Coombs) UNITED KINGDOM OUTMANCHESTER, England (AP) — The owner of an English soccer club is being investigated by the Football Association after making controversial comments about Jewish and Chinese people, sparking a backlash from community leaders and sponsors on Friday.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:04:43 -0500
Another French minister resigns over suspected ethics breach
PARIS (Reuters) - A French junior minister stepped down on Friday after he was accused in a preliminary investigation of favoring relatives in the award of public contracts. Kader Arif handed his resignation from the veterans affairs portfolio to Socialist President Francois Hollande to be able to fully cooperate with the investigation conducted by a state prosecutor, the president's office said in a statement. ...
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:59:33 -0500
Giraffes on a plane? Most Wanted list released

FILE - In this Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012 file photo, a giraffe walks past an Acacia tree, their principal source of food, at Crescent Island Wildlife Sanctuary on Lake Naivasha, Kenya. The international police agency Interpol on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 began a Most Wanted campaign of suspects who have carried out such environmental crimes as wildlife trafficking, illegal fishing, illegal logging and trading in ivory, including a man who allegedly paid for the transport of live giraffes and impalas by military plane from Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania to be delivered to Qatar. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Have you seen a man who loaded live giraffes into a Tanzanian military plane for delivery to Qatar? If so Interpol would like to speak with you.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:57:17 -0500
Yemen minister gives award to persecuted Jews
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen's culture minister, who was recently honored for her work combatting extremism and discrimination against women, says she is giving her award to Yemen's dwindling Jewish population.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:53:05 -0500
Runaway Ukrainian billionaire given Serb passport
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia says it will revoke its citizenship granted to Ukrainian businessman Sergei Kurchenko, sanctioned by the European Union and wanted in his country on embezzlement charges.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:51:17 -0500
Biden urges Russia to uphold east Ukraine truce

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, left, shakes hands with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden during a meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Biden is also visiting Turkey and is the latest in a stream of U.S. officials who have traveled to Turkey to urge Ankara to step up its role in fighting Islamic State militants in neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — U.S. Vice President Joe Biden criticized Russia on Friday for its role in eastern Ukraine, urging Moscow to uphold a cease-fire in the war-torn region as he visited Kiev on the anniversary of the country's anti-government protests.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:49:15 -0500
Pope keeps leaders in place for next family synod
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has appointed the organizers for a second big Catholic Church meeting on family issues, keeping in positions of power the same clerics who drafted a revolutionary welcome to gays and divorced Catholics that was ultimately shot down by other bishops.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:48:36 -0500
Stenson leads McIlroy by 2 at Euorpean Tour finale
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Henrik Stenson birdied two of his closing three holes to seize a two-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and two others in the second round of the World Tour Championship on Friday.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:39:55 -0500
Hong Kong democracy activists protest outside British consulate

Pro-democracy activists demonstrate outside the British consulate in Hong Kong, on November 21, 2014Hong Kong (AFP) - Dozens of protesters gathered outside Hong Kong's British consulate Friday, accusing the former colonial power of failing to pressure China to grant free elections in the city and protect freedoms guaranteed in a joint treaty.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:36:43 -0500
Bomb kills 2 soldiers in northwest Pakistan
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A bomb attached to a motorcycle struck an army vehicle in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing two soldiers, a police official said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Hours later, Pakistani jets killed 22 militants in a troubled northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:33:47 -0500
Image of Asia: Indonesian leader's personal trip

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as "Jokowi", left, and his wife Iriana, right, congratulate his son Kaesang Pangarep, center, after attending the graduation ceremony for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme of his son, at the Anglo Chinese School (International), in Singapore, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Jokowi flew to Singapore to attend the graduation of his youngest son, Kaesang Pangarep. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)In this photo by Wong Maye-E, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as "Jokowi," and his wife Iriana congratulate their son Kaesang Pangarep, who received an international baccalaureate diploma at the Anglo Chinese School (International) in Singapore. The president attended Friday's ceremony after flying in economy class on a commercial flight from Jakarta. At the school, he also posed with VIPs and took selfies with other graduates. Cabinet Secretary Andi Widjojanto said Widodo chose not to take the presidential plane because it was a personal trip.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:31:44 -0500
Yemen ends mutiny inside elite paramilitary unit
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The Yemeni government has ended a mutiny by officers suspected to be loyalists of the country's ousted leader against the top commander of an elite paramilitary unit.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:29:40 -0500
Police search Indian guru's ashram after arrest

Controversial religious leader Sant Rampal stands by the door of a police van as he is brought to a court, surrounded by police personnel in Chandigarh, India, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Indian police arrested the 63-year-old self-styled Hindu guru at his sprawling ashram in the northern part of the country, ending a days-long standoff in which six people died and hundreds were injured. He is wanted for questioning in a 2006 murder case, but has repeatedly ignored orders to appear in court. (AP Photo/Kapil Sethi)NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian police on Friday searched the sprawling ashram of a guru who was arrested on suspicion of murder and criminal conspiracy after a deadly siege at his fortress-like compound.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:28:16 -0500
Narco culture surrounded slain Miss Honduras

A portrait of slain beauty queen Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, lays next to flowers and her Miss Honduras sash on her coffin during a wake held outside the family home in Santa Barbara, Honduras, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Grieving family members laid to rest the Honduran beauty queen and her sister Sofia, after the women were shot to death in what police say was a jealous rage by the sister's boyfriend. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)SANTA BARBARA, Honduras (AP) — Maria Jose Alvarado expected some difficult questions about her country at the Miss World pageant in London, so the 19-year-old beauty queen enlisted a teacher to help her prepare.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:26:33 -0500
Iran has 'huge' amount to gain from any nuclear deal: Britain

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond arrives for nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna on November 21, 2014Vienna (AFP) - Iran has a "huge" amount to gain if it can show sufficient flexibilty and agree a nuclear accord with world powers, Britain's foreign secretary said Friday as a deadline loomed.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:26:27 -0500
Kerry to leave nuke talks, Iran ponders next step

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, front left, former EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, rear second left, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, wait for the start of closed-door nuclear talks on Iran in Vienna, Austria, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)VIENNA (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry decided Friday to pull back from nuclear talks in Vienna, leaving Iran's foreign minister to ponder an apparent new proposal from Washington meant to bridge differences standing in the way of a deal with less than four days to deadline.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:23:09 -0500
Strong undersea earthquake hits eastern Indonesia
TERNATE, Indonesia (AP) — A strong undersea earthquake hit off the coast of eastern Indonesia on Friday, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage and officials said it was unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:22:20 -0500
Merkel: Palestinian recognition not right path

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and the Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles Michel, left, address the media during a joint press conference as part of a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel has underlined Germany's opposition to recognizing a Palestinian state after lawmakers elsewhere in Europe backed such a move.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:20:22 -0500
Russian FM: politics must not affect oil decisions

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, welcomes Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's foreign minister said Friday that political issues should not influence decisions on global oil production, even as the country's economy takes a hit from falling oil prices.

Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:17:30 -0500
Pakistan draws 2nd test with New Zealand
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Pakistan survived an unexpected top-order collapse to draw the second test with New Zealand after being set a tricky target of 261 in 72 overs on the last day Friday.
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:11:05 -0500
U.N. nuclear agency says to discuss site access offer with Iran
By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear agency said on Friday it would discuss an Iranian offer for access to a region where explosives experiments may have taken place, but that it was not as straightforward as suggested by Tehran. Iran told a board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Thursday it would let the IAEA visit the western Marivan region to prove that allegations about its suspected atomic bomb research were wrong and baseless. ...
Date Posted : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:10:04 -0500

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