• U.S. to put murderer to death as spate of federal executions continues
    Reuters The U.S. government plans to execute William LeCroy, a convicted rapist and murderer, on Tuesday, the sixth in a spate of federal executions after a long hiatus in capital punishment. The Department of Justice says it will kill LeCroy using lethal injections of pentobarbital, a barbiturate, at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT) at its execution chamber in Terre Haute, Indiana. Under President Donald Trump, who took office in early 2017 and has long been an outspoken advocate for ca
  • As Afghanistan peace talks stutter, U.S. says violence levels too high
    WASHINGTON, September 22 (Reuters): The level of violence in Afghanistan is unacceptably high and the United States expects further setbacks during talks, the Special Representative for Afghanistan said on Tuesday, as the Afghan government and Taliban remain far apart on even the most basic issues 10 days into talks meant to end two decades of war. "By any measure, current levels of violence are too high," U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad told a Hou
  • Brazil's Bolsonaro defends environmental record in speech to U.N.
    BRASILIA, September 22 (Reuters) - Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro rejected international criticism on Tuesday of his government's environmental policies and his handling of the world's second-most deadly coronavirus outbreak after the United States. In a pre-recorded speech to a remote session opening the United Nations General Assembly, the far-right leader, who has repeatedly downplayed the gravity of the virus, lamented the more than 137,200 COVID-19 deaths in Braz
  • UK PM Johnson set to win vote on Brexit treaty-busting powers
    LONDON, September 22 (Reuters): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to win a parliamentary vote on Tuesday on laws which give him the power to break the Withdrawal Agreement struck with the European Union last year. Johnson's Internal Market Bill aims to ensure Britain's four nations can trade freely with each other after Brexit. Ministers say that will require breaking the EU exit treaty to protect Northern Ireland unless stalled talks with Brussels make a brea
  • Airlines call for COVID-19 tests before all international flights
    PARIS, September 22 (Reuters): Global airlines on Tuesday called for pre-departure COVID-19 testing for all international passengers to replace the quarantines they blame for exacerbating the travel slump. Rapid and affordable antigen tests that can be administered by non-medical staff are expected to become available in "coming weeks" and should be rolled out under globally agreed standards, the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said during a
  • Woman suspected of sending ricin-filled envelope to White House to appear in court
    Washington, September 22 (Reuters): A woman arrested by U.S. authorities on suspicion of sending a ricin-filled envelope to the White House and to five other addresses in Texas will appear before a federal court in Buffalo, New York, later on Tuesday. U.S. authorities arrested a woman on the Canada-U.S. border on Sunday, at the so-called Peace Bridge that runs between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo. She is due to make her initial appearance at U.S. District Judge H. Kenneth Schr
  • 'We do our best': fuel shortages make Yemen doctors' lives even harder
    SANAA, September 22 (Reuters): In the Yemeni capital Sanaa, Mohammed al-Ghazaaly's kidney dialysis machine often cuts out due to an escalating fuel shortage in the country's north. When the electricity generator runs out of diesel, nurse Mohammed al-Hattamy turns the blood-filtering machines by hand to prevent clots. "We try to do our best," Hattamy said. Northern Yemen, controlled by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement since it ousted the Saudi-backed
  • Angered by Arab-Israel ties, Palestine quits chairing Arab League sessions
    RAMALLAH, West Bank/GAZA, September 22 (Reuters): Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal relations with Israel. Palestinians see the accords that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed with Israel in Washington a week ago as a betrayal of their cause and a blow to their quest for an independent state in Israeli-occupied territor
  • Russia says world's largest nuclear icebreaker embarks on Arctic voyage
    MOSCOW, September 22 (Reuters): A nuclear-powered ice breaker Russia says is the world's largest and most powerful set off on Tuesday on a two-week journey to the Arctic as part of Moscow's efforts to tap the region's commercial potential. Known as "Arktika," the nuclear icebreaker left St. Petersburg and headed for the Arctic port of Murmansk, a journey that marks its entry into Russia's icebreaker fleet. Russian state firm Rosatomflot has called t
  • U.N. experts, activists seek probe of Philippines drug war killings
    GENEVA, September 22 (Reuters): U.N. rights experts and activists called on Tuesday for launching an international investigation into unlawful killings in the so-called war on drugs in the Philippines and for the International Criminal Court to step up its preliminary probe. Sanctions should be slapped on officials responsible for inciting killings or failing to prevent them, said Agnes Callamard, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. Cal
  • COVID 'firepower': Britain imposes 6-month curbs against second wave
    LONDON, September 22 (Reuters): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and ordered bars and restaurants to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of COVID-19 with restrictions lasting probably six months. After government scientists cautioned that deaths may soar without urgent action, Johnson stopped short of another full lockdown as he did in March but said further action could be taken if the disease was not s
  • Vatican steps up opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide
    VATICAN CITY, September 22 (Reuters): The Vatican doubled down on its opposition to euthanasia on Tuesday, calling it an "act of homicide" that can never be justified or tolerated. A new document, issued as more countries consider legalising euthanasia or assisted suicide, said legislators and politicians who support such laws are "accomplices". Catholic healthcare workers must never give active or passive collaboration and governments the right to consci
  • Revealed: the darkness behind the beauty of Britain's great houses
    LONDON, September 22 (Reuters): Feted for their fine architecture and often used as lavish backdrops for period movies, Britain's great estates came under the spotlight on Tuesday for a darker reason: their links to colonialism or slavery. The National Trust, which runs some 300 heritage buildings, said about a third of them had past owners who had profited from slavery, opposed its abolition, been involved in colonial expansion or administration or promoted imperialism.
  • Pakistani banks named in global money laundering list
    ISLAMABAD, SEPTEMBER 22 (IANS): At least six Pakistani banks have been named in an investigation on the role global banks play in money laundering, which make up to at least $2.5 million. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and Buzzfeed News carried out an investigation and found that at least 29 suspicious transactions worth about $2.5 million related to Pakistani banks, that may have been used for money laundering. The six banks are Allied Bank, Uni
  • Pakistani court rules deadly 2012 blaze was arson, sentences two to death
    KARACHI, Pakistan, September 22 (Reuters): Pakistan's deadliest industrial fire, which killed more than 260 garment factory workers in 2012, was a case of arson and not an accident, a court ruled on Tuesday as it sentenced two former political party activists to death for starting it. The Anti-Terrorism Court found that the men set the factory ablaze because the owners did not give in to their extortion demands and pay them money. The fire at Ali Enterprise, a multi-stor
  • Taiwan president praises 'heroic' pilots who intercepted Chinese jets
    PENGHU, Taiwan, September 22 (Reuters): Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen praised on Tuesday the "heroic performance" of air force pilots who have been intercepting Chinese jets that have approached the island, as its armed forces held drills to simulate repulsing an attack. Tension between China and the democratic island Beijing claims as sovereign Chinese territory have spiked to their highest in years, with Taiwanese fighters jets scrambling to intercept the Chinese ai
  • U.S. and UAE eye December goal to agree on F-35 deal: sources
    WASHINGTON, September 22 (Reuters): The United States and the United Arab Emirates hope to have an initial agreement on the sale of F-35 stealth fighter jets to the Gulf state in place by December, as the Trump administration studies how to structure a deal without running afoul of Israel. Sources close to the negotiations said the goal is to have a letter of agreement in place in time for UAE National Day celebrated on Dec. 2. Any deal must satisfy decades of agreement with
  • China sentences Xi critic to 18 years for graft
    BEIJING, September 22 (Reuters): China sentenced a former property executive who once called President Xi Jinping "a clown" to 18 years in prison for graft, a court said on Tuesday, in what some critics called an especially harsh sentence amid an ongoing clampdown on dissent. Ren Zhiqiang, the former chairman of Huayuan, a state-owned real estate group, was convicted for illegal gains totalling 112 million yuan ($16.5 million), according to a notice on the website of
  • Australia saves 25 stranded pilot whales, rescue efforts continue
    SYDNEY, September 22 (Reuters): Rescuers set free around 25 whales on Tuesday that were marooned on a sandbar off the remote west coast of Tasmania in one of Australia's worst beaching events, and hope to save more in coming days. Government scientists said about 90 of the 270-strong pod of pilot whales have died since they were spotted from the air in shallow water off the rugged coastline on Monday. Footage showed large numbers of the animals prone on a wide sandbar at
  • Jailed Kurdish politician handed another year for insulting Turkey's Erdogan
    ANKARA, September 22 (Reuters): A former Kurdish parliamentarian jailed in Turkey on terrorism charges has been handed an additional prison term for insulting President Tayyip Erdogan, two of her lawyers said. Sebahat Tuncel was sentenced last week to 11 months and 20 days for calling Erdogan an enemy of Kurds and women in a speech in 2016, comments one of her lawyers defended as legitimate criticism of a political opponent. Tuncel had served in Turkey's parliament