• Pope 'slightly indisposed', cancels one event, Vatican says
    Pope Francis waves during the weekly general audience at Vatican on February 26. (REUTERS Photo)   VATICAN CITY, February 27 (Reuters): Pope Francis is slightly indisposed and has cancelled an event at a Rome basilica but is carrying out the rest of his schedule in his residence, the Vatican said on Thursday.   "Because of a slight indisposition, he preferred to stay inside Santa Marta," the Vatican said, referring to the Vatican guest house where the 83
  • Pope leads world's Catholics into Lent at Ash Wednesday rite
    Pope Francis puts ashes on a cardinal's head during a penitential procession on Ash Wednesday in Rome, Italy on February 26. (REUTERS Photo)   ROME, February 26 (Reuters): Pope Francis led the world's 1.3 billion Roman Catholics into the penitential season of Lent, reminding them on Ash Wednesday that everyone will be "dust in the universe" regardless of their status on earth.   The pope presided at a traditional service leading a procession between two
  • Trial of U.S. men accused of killing Italian policeman opens in Rome
    Franco Coppi, lawyer for the family of Mario Cerciello Rega, the police officer who was killed in Rome last year, arrives at criminal court for the trial of the two American teenagers accused of being involved in the killing, in Rome, Italy on February 26. (REUTERS Photo)   ROME, February 26 (Reuters): The trial of two young Americans accused of stabbing an Italian policeman to death last year began in Rome on Wednesday, with the lawyer for the family of the slain
  • Climate activist Thunberg heads growing field of Nobel Peace Prize candidates
    Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg speaks during the Fridays for Future protest in Hamburg, Germany on February 21, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)   OSLO, February 26 (Reuters): Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong and the NATO military alliance are among those tipped for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, following nominations by politicians.   Also on the list, according to the eight members of the United States Congres
  • Bangladesh rethinks plan to move Rohingya refugees to island - minister
    Bangladesh coast guards keep watch in the Thengar Char island in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh on February 2, 2017. (REUTERS File Photo)   DHAKA, February 26 (Reuters): Bangladesh is reconsidering a plan to relocate Rohingya refugees to a flood-prone island located hours by boat from its coast, junior minister for disaster management and relief Enamur Rahman told Reuters on Wednesday.   The proposal to move 100,000 people to Bhasan Char in the Bay of Ben
  • Activists warn over slavery as Mauritania joins U.N. human rights council
    Biram Dah Abeid speaks at the 12th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy in Geneva, Switzerland on February 18, 2020. (Thomson Reuters Foundation File Photo)   DAKAR, February 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Mauritania is backsliding in efforts to eliminate descent-based slavery, an activist and opposition member has warned, as the West African country joined the U.N. Human Rights Council for the first time this week.   Biram Dah Abeid called on
  • Afghan presidential palace cites coronavirus as cause for Ghani inauguration delay
    Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani and German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (not pictured) attend a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan on December 3, 2019. (REUTERS File Photo)   KABUL, February 26 (Reuters): Afghanistan’s presidential palace confirmed on Wednesday that a ceremony to swear in Ashraf Ghani as president has been delayed, but contradicted reasons cited a day earlier by the U.S. government behind the postponement.   The U.S.
  • Trump returns to U.S. as country warily eyes spread of coronavirus
    U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wave as they board Air Force One as they conclude their two day visit to India, at Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi on February 25, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)   WASHINGTON, February 26 (Reuters): President Donald Trump returned to Washington on Wednesday to face increasing concerns over the coronavirus as U.S. public health officials warned Americans to prepare for a possible outbreak and financial markets rem
  • Thai PM, army deny campaigns on social media to target political opponents
    Thai students protest against a court's decision that dissolved the country's second largest opposition Future Forward party, less than a year after an election to end direct military rule, at Mahidol University, outside Bangkok, Thailand on February 25. (REUTERS Photo)   BANGKOK, February 26 (Reuters): Thailand's prime minister and the army denied on Wednesday opposition accusations in parliament that the military targets political opponents and rights activists with o
  • Pomp, praise and a divided legacy as Egypt buries Mubarak
    A supporter of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak reacts as he holds a photo of him outside the main gate of Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi Mosque, where Mubarak's funeral will be held, east of Cairo, Egypt on February 26. (REUTERS Photo)   CAIRO, February 26 (Reuters): Egypt held a military funeral on Wednesday for its former president Hosni Mubarak, bestowing the state's final rehabilitation on the man who ruled for 30 years until he was ousted in disgrac
  • Bosnia war veterans become peace messengers as threats to stability rise
    War veterans Boro Jevtic (L-R), Marko Zelic and Rizo Salkic walk past a house destroyed during the Bosnian War in Maglaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina on February 23, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)   MAGLAJ, Bosnia, February 26 (Reuters): They played football together as young men. Then they fought each other in a 1990s war in three rival Bosnian armies. Now, as the country goes from one crisis to another, the three veterans feel it is their duty to warn of the horrors of war. &nbs
  • At rowdy debate, Democratic rivals warn Sanders nomination would be 'catastrophe'
    Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidates Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders talk before the tenth Democratic 2020 presidential debate at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina, US on February 25. (REUTERS Photo)   CHARLESTON, S.C., February 26 (Reuters): Democratic presidential candidates unleashed withering attacks on Bernie Sanders in a boisterous debate in South Carolina on Tuesday, assailing his ambitious economic agenda and warn
  • "We're fine but bored," says guest in Tenerife hotel in coronavirus lockdown
    A woman looks from a terrace of H10 Hotel, which is on lockdown after novel coronavirus has been confirmed in Adeje, on the Spanish island of Tenerife, Spain on February 25, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)   TENERIFE, Spain, February 26 (Reuters): "Everything is very quiet," says Briton Christopher Betts, one of more than 700 guests spending a second day in lockdown at a four-star Tenerife hotel on Wednesday after four cases of coronavirus were detected there among a group of Ita
  • EU foresees 'very hard' talks with UK on future ties, warns on Irish border
    Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney speaks to media in a count centre, during Ireland's national election, in Cork, Ireland on February 9, 2020. (REUTERS File Photo)   BRUSSELS, February 26 (Reuters): The European Union said on Tuesday talks on post-Brexit ties with Britain would kick off next Monday, but warned that the process would be "very hard" and could fail if London fails to secure the Irish border as previously agreed.   Britain lef
  • Afghan government agrees to postpone Ghani inauguration - U.S.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, US on February 25, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)   WASHINGTON, February 26 (Reuters): Afghanistan's government has agreed to postpone President Ashraf Ghani's inauguration to a second term, the United States said on Tuesday as it declined to recognise competing election victory claims by Ghani and his chief political foe.   The postponement could allo
  • Iranian security official accuses White House of cover-up about missile attack
    Admiral Ali Shamkhani, Iran?s Supreme National Security Council Director, speaks to the media after his arrival at Damascus airport on September 30, 2014. (REUTERS File Photo)   DUBAI, February 26 (Reuters): Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s top national security body, accused the White House on Tuesday of withholding information about an Iranian missile attack on a U.S. base in Iraq.   Shamkhani did not give details in a tweet reacting to accusations
  • Arctic 'doomsday' food vault welcomes millionth seed variety
    Representatives from many countries and universities arrive in the Svalbard's global seed vault with new seeds, in Longyearbyen, Norway on February 25. (REUTERS Photo)   OSLO, February 26 (Reuters) - A vault in the Arctic built to preserve seeds for rice, wheat and other food staples contains one million varieties with the addition on Tuesday of specimens grown by Cherokee Indians and the estate of Britain's Prince Charles.   The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, built
  • Parents' lawsuit accuses Japan of double standard on child 'abductions'
    Parents estranged from their children - plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the Japanese government - pose in front of the Tokyo District Court, Japan on February 26. (REUTERS Photo)   TOKYO, February 26 (Reuters): A group of parents fighting against child "abductions" by their partners accused Japan in a lawsuit on Wednesday of having a double standard in how it treats domestic instances of such incidents, compared to international ones.   Fourteen
  • Turkey will drive Syrian forces back from Idlib posts this week - Erdogan
    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling AK Party during a meeting at the Parliament in Ankara, Turkey on February 26. (REUTERS Photo)   ANKARA, Febraury 26 (Reuters): Turkey plans to push Syrian government forces away from its military observation posts in northwest Syria's Idlib region by end-February, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, despite advances by the Russian-backed government forces.   Erdogan said he hoped th
  • Malaysia's Mahathir and Anwar in new showdown amid turmoil
    Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad arrives to visit jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is recuperating from surgery, at Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on January 10, 2018. (REUTERS File Photo)   KUALA LUMPUR, February 26 (Reuters): Malaysia's decades-old political rivals Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim set out claims to lead the Southeast Asian country on Wednesday after Mahathir's shock resignation as prime minister s