NEWS OF THE DAYGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Russian president Vladimir Putin in a telephone call Friday to throw his weight behind a quick resolution of an ongoing gas dispute with Ukraine as winter looms. In the latest talks between the two leaders on the crisis in Ukraine, Merkel also underlined that upcoming elections in areas of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists must respect national law.
BRUSSELS: European leaders have struck a broad climate change pact obliging the EU as a whole to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40 percent by 2030. But key aspects of the deal that will form a bargaining position for global climate talks in Paris next year were left vague or voluntary, raising questions as to how the aims would be realised. As well as the greenhouse gas, two 27 percent targets were agreed – for renewable energy market share and increase in energy efficiency improvement. The former would be binding only on the EU as a whole. The latter would be optional, although it could be raised to 30percent by a review... more ›
MONROVIA: International commitments to combat Ebola in West Africa are “grossly inadequate” and tens of thousands could be dead in just one region of Liberia by mid-December if aid is not hugely increased, disease experts have said. Official figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that there have been nearly 10,000 cases and 4,868 deaths from Ebola so far, but difficulties in reporting mean that the figures considerably underestimate the true scale of the crisis. In the first study to apply mathematical models of disease spread to the unprecedented outbreak, experts from Yale University and Liberia’s health ministry predicted that, in the worst-case scenario, there could be 113,000 cases and 67,000 deaths... more ›
OTTAWA: There is no evidence so far that a gunman who attacked Canadaï¿½s capital had links to Middle Eastern Islamist extremists, the government says. Foreign Minister John Baird told the BBC that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was ï¿½certainly radicalisedï¿½ but not on a list of high-risk individuals. Zehaf-Bibeau killed a soldier at Ottawaï¿½s war memorial before being shot dead in the nearby parliament building. Police have released video showing how the gunman stormed parliament. It has also emerged that Prime Minister Stephen Harper hid in a cupboard in parliament for about 15 minutes during Wednesdayï¿½s attack as MPs sharpened flagpoles... more ›
MURSITPINAR: A bid by Islamic State fighters to seize the flashpoint Syrian border town of Kobane has stalled, American officials said, with the help of air strikes reported to have killed over 500 jihadists. US and allied aircraft have flown nearly 6,600 sorties in the air war against the Islamic State (IS) group and dropped more than 1,700 bombs, the American military said Thursday. The latest tally was released one month since the US-led coalition extended its air campaign from Iraq into Syria in a bid to counter the advance of the jihadists. The effect of the open-ended air campaign remains the subject of debate, with the White House saying the militants... more ›
TALLINN: Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that 1,300 Free Syrian Army fighters would join Kurds in defending the key Syrian border town of Kobane from an assault by Islamic State jihadists. The Syrian Kurds have ï¿½accepted 1,300 people from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and they are holding talks to determine the transit route,ï¿½ Erdogan told reporters in Estoniaï¿½s capital Tallinn. ï¿½I have just been informed that the number of (Iraqi Kurdish) peshmerga (to be sent to Kobane) was reduced to 150ï¿½ from a previously agreed 200, he added. Erdogan said Thursday that 200 Iraqi... more ›
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