• U.S. special envoy calls for urgent reduction of violence in Afghanistan
    Reuters The U.S. envoy for Afghanistan said on Tuesday that the level of violence there was still too high and the Kabul government and Taliban insurgents must work harder towards forging a ceasefire at their peace talks. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad made his comments ahead of flying to Doha to meet with the two sides. "I return to the region disappointed that despite commitments to lower violence, it has not happened. The window to achieve a political settleme
  • Chechen leader says Macron stance on cartoons inspires terrorists
    MOSCOW, October 27 (Reuters): The leader of Russia's Muslim-majority Chechnya region said on Tuesday that French President Emmanuel Macron was inspiring terrorists by justifying cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad as protected by free speech rights. Ramzan Kadyrov, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, made the comments after France warned its citizens living or travelling in several Muslim-majority countries to take extra security precautions because of anger over
  • Hong Kong police detain three under national security law
    HONG KONG, October 27 (Reuters): Hong Kong police on Tuesday detained three people under the city's contentious national security law on suspicion of publishing content to incite others to secede from China. Police said two men and a woman, aged between 17 and 21, were in custody and an investigation was under way. Authorities did not name the suspects but pro-independence group Studentlocalism said three of its members, including Tony Chung, a former leader of the organ
  • A Picture and Its Story: 'Danger was coming' - lone protester who defied Thai police
    BANGKOK, October 27 (Reuters): Head down, arms spread, one man pushes with all his strength against rows of Thai riot police behind their shields. The Reuters image of the night of Oct. 16, when police tried to use force to disperse protesters, has become one of the most widely published of months of demonstrations to call for the ousting of the government and reforms to the powerful monarchy. For the man in the picture, Anurak Jeantawanich, 52, it was the moment when he tri
  • Europeans refocus on new curbs as COVID surges across continent
    ROME, October 27 (Reuters): European governments moved on Tuesday to set new curbs in motion to try to rein in a fast-growing surge of coronavirus infections and provide economic balm to help businesses survive the pandemic. World leaders face an increasingly difficult task holding the disease at bay while keeping their economies afloat as they pin their hopes on as-yet unproven vaccines. The United States, Russia, France, Sweden, Poland and other countries have registered r
  • U.S. cannot shield Trump from rape accuser's defamation lawsuit, judge rules
    NEW YORK, October 27 (Reuters): A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a U.S. government request to drop Donald Trump as a defendant in a defamation lawsuit by a writer who said the president falsely denied raping her in a Manhattan department store a quarter century ago. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan refused to let the government substitute itself for Trump as a defendant in former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll's lawsuit. A ruling for the governme
  • Erdogan files criminal complaint against Dutch politician Wilders
    ANKARA, October 27 (Reuters): Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has filed a criminal complaint with Turkish authorities against Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders saying that he had insulted him on social media, state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday. Wilders is one of Europe's most prominent far-rightists and has been a key figure in shaping the immigration debate in the Netherlands over the past decade, although he has never been in government. On Saturd
  • Thousands rally in Bangladesh to protest Macron comments in cartoon row
    DHAKA, October 27 (Reuters): Thousands of Muslims took to the streets of the Bangladesh capital on Tuesday to protest against remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron in a row about cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. The dispute has its roots in a knife attack outside a French school on Oct. 16 in which a man of Chechen origin beheaded Samuel Paty, a teacher who had shown pupils the cartoons in a civics lesson on freedom of speech. France has allowed displays of the cartoo
  • COVID's cognitive costs? Some patients' brains may age 10 years
    LONDON, October 27 (Reuters): People recovering from COVID-19 may suffer significant brain function impacts, with the worst cases of the infection linked to mental decline equivalent to the brain ageing by 10 years, researchers warned on Tuesday. A non-peer-reviewed study of more than 84,000 people, led by Adam Hampshire, a doctor at Imperial College London, found that in some severe cases, coronavirus infection is linked to substantial cognitive deficits for months. "O
  • U.N. condemns 'horrific murder' of French teacher
    GENEVA, October 27 (Reuters): The U.N. human rights office on Tuesday condemned the "horrific murder" of French school teacher Samuel Paty who was beheaded this month by a suspected Islamist after he used caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a class on freedom of expression. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet "unequivocally condemns the murder of the school teacher in France", spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a U.N. briefing in Geneva.
  • Belgium's former King meets estranged daughter for first time
    BRUSSELS, October 27 (Reuters): Belgium's former King Albert has met his daughter Delphine for the first time, after she won a seven-year legal battle to prove that he is her father, earning recognition as a princess. The two met Albert's wife, Queen Paola, last Sunday at their royal residence, the Belvedere castle, in the Brussels suburb of Laeken, the royal household said on Tuesday. "This Sunday October 25, a new chapter has opened, filled with emotions, calm
  • Yellow-shirted Thai royalists show support for king
    BANGKOK, October 27 (Reuters): More than 1,000 yellow-shirted Thai royalists demonstrated in support of King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Tuesday, close to where thousands of people marched a day earlier to demand reforms of the monarchy. Youth and student-led protests began in Thailand in July to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha - a former army ruler - and a new constitution, but have increasingly sought curbs on the monarchy's powers. "We wan
  • Alarmed Europe prepares for more COVID pain amid rising discontent
    ROME, October 27 (Reuters): European governments prepared on Tuesday to introduce new restrictions to try to curb a growing surge of coronavirus infections across the continent and provide economic balm to help businesses survive the pandemic. Eight months into the crisis, world leaders face an increasingly difficult task holding the disease at bay while also trying to keep their economies afloat as they wait for a vaccination that should mitigate the contagion. The United S
  • France warns citizens to be cautious as anger seethes in Muslim world over cartoons
    PARIS, October 27 (Reuters): France warned its citizens living or travelling in several Muslim-majority countries to take extra security precautions on Tuesday as anger surged over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. In a sign that some countries want to limit the fallout, Saudi Arabia condemned the cartoons but held back from echoing calls by other Muslim states for a boycott of French products or other actions. The row has its roots in a knife attack outside a French school
  • Trump, Biden vie for votes in battleground Pennsylvania as election nears
    MARTINSBURG, Pa./CHESTER, Pa., October 27 (Reuters): With eight days to go until the U.S. election, President Donald Trump addressed boisterous rallies in Pennsylvania on Monday, while Democrat Joe Biden made a low-key appearance in the state considered crucial to the chances of victory for both men. "We win Pennsylvania, we win the whole ballgame," Trump told a rally in Martinsburg, his third and final event of the day, as he predicted a win in the state despite trai
  • Keeping girls in school seen worth billions to developing nations
    LONDON, October 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Making sure all girls are finishing secondary education by 2030 could boost the gross domestic product (GDP) of developing countries by 10% on average over the next decade, a report said on Tuesday. Every $1 spent on girls' rights and education would generate a $2.80 return - equivalent to billions of dollars in extra GDP, according to the study by rights group Plan International and financial services firm Citi's Global
  • 'Baptism by fire' for newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Barrett
    WASHINGTON, October 27 (Reuters): Newly confirmed conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett faces a barrage of politically fraught cases in her first days on the job, as the court weighs election disputes and prepares to hear a challenge to the Obamacare health law. The Republican-controlled Senate on Monday pushed through the confirmation over Democrats' objections to an appointment so close to the Nov. 3 presidential election. President Donald Trump, who n
  • On the moon, water water everywhere and not a drop to drink (yet)
    WASHINGTON, October 27 (Reuters): The moon lacks the bodies of liquid water that are a hallmark of Earth but scientists said on Monday lunar water is more widespread than previously known, with water molecules trapped within mineral grains on the surface and more water perhaps hidden in ice patches residing in permanent shadows. While research 11 years ago indicated water was relatively widespread in small amounts on the moon, a team of scientists is now reporting the first una
  • UK study finds evidence of waning antibody immunity to COVID-19 over time
    LONDON, October 27 (Reuters): Antibodies against the novel coronavirus declined rapidly in the British population during the summer, a study found on Tuesday, suggesting protection after infection may not be long lasting and raising the prospect of waning immunity in the community. Scientists at Imperial College London have tracked antibody levels in the British population following the first wave of COVID-19 infections in March and April. Their study found that antibody pre
  • Bolivian judge scraps arrest warrant against former leader Morales
    LA PAZ, October 27 (Reuters): A Bolivian judge annulled on Monday an arrest warrant for exiled former president Evo Morales, clearing the way for him to return to his home country without facing the risk of detention. Bolivian prosecutors in December of last year issued the warrant on allegations of sedition and terrorism related to accusations from the interim government that Morales had stirred unrest since resigning. The investigation into the complaint that led to the wa