By Marton Dunai BICSKE, Hungary (Reuters) - Hungarian police halted a train packed with migrants bound for the Austrian border and tried to force them to disembark in a town with a detention camp on Thursday, a confrontation that has become a focus of Europe's migration crisis. After shutting migrants out of the main train station in the capital Budapest for two days, authorities allowed exhausted and confused migrants to board a westbound train. Fearing detention, some migrants banged on windows chanting "No camp! No camp!" One group pushed back dozens of riot police guarding a stairwell to fight their way back on board.
By Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - President Xi Jinping announced on Thursday he would cut troop levels by 300,000 as China held its biggest display of military might in a parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War Two, an event shunned by most Western leaders. China's confidence in its armed forces and growing military assertiveness, especially in the disputed South China Sea, has rattled the region and drawn criticism from Washington. Xi, speaking on a rostrum overlooking Beijing's Tiananmen Square before the parade began, said China would cut by 13 percent one of the world's biggest militaries, currently 2.3-million strong.
By Stephen Kalin DAMIETTA, Egypt (Reuters) - Muslim Brotherhood lawmaker Mohammad al-Falahgi was arrested on terror charges in 2013 and held in prison, but never convicted. Egyptian and international human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, say cases like Falahgi's amount to a little-noticed abuse of human rights under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Human Rights Watch says Egypt is obliged under international law to give detainees the same health care that is available to ordinary citizens.
By Trinna Leong KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - An overloaded wooden boat believed to be carrying dozens of Indonesian illegal immigrants sank off the coast of Malaysia on Thursday, killing at least 14 people, among them 13 women, maritime officials said. The boat, which maritime officials estimated had about 70 people aboard, had left Sabak Bernam in Malaysia's western state of Selangor for Sumatra in neighboring Indonesia when the accident happened. Initial conversations with survivors led officials to believe the passengers were Indonesian, said Muhammad Aliyas Hamdan, an official of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
By Tulay Karadeniz ANKARA (Reuters) - The family of a Syrian toddler whose body washed up on a Turkish beach had been trying to emigrate to Canada after fleeing the war-torn town of Kobani, one of their relatives told a Canadian newspaper on Thursday. A photograph of the tiny body of a three-year old boy washed up in the Aegean resort of Bodrum appeared in newspapers around the world on Thursday, spawning sympathy and outrage at the perceived inaction of developed nations in helping refugees. Urgent action required - A Europe-wide mobilization is urgent," French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Twitter of the boy.
By Parisa Hafezi ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran's Supreme Leader said on Thursday he favored a parliamentary vote on its nuclear deal reached with world powers and called for sanctions against Tehran to be lifted completely rather than suspended, state television reported. President Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist whose 2013 election paved the way to a diplomatic thaw with the West, and his allies have opposed such a parliamentary vote, arguing this would create legal obligations complicating the deal's implementation. "Parliament should not be sidelined on the nuclear deal issue ... I am not saying lawmakers should ratify or reject the deal.
Arsenal's England striker Danny Welbeck willl be out of action for several months after undergoing a knee operation. The 24-year-old, signed from Manchester United on deadline day in September 2014, last played in April, missing both the FA Cup final and end-of-season internationals. Despite hopes Welbeck would be able to recover from bone bruising around the knee, Arsenal announced on Thursday the player had needed an operation and was now set for an extended spell of rehabilitation.
Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarchs, both came to the throne young yet remained a steady presence through eras of dramatic change. Queen Elizabeth will overtake her great-great-grandmother's record of 63 years and 216 days on September 9, a remarkable reign that began in 1952 as Britain rebuilt after World War II. When Victoria was born in 1819, she, like Elizabeth, was thought unlikely to inherit the throne.
BEIJING (AP) — With fighter jets roaring overhead, China's leader presided Thursday over a massive parade of tanks, missiles and troops that displayed growing military might, but also pledged to reduce the army by 300,000 troops in a bid to show that his country poses no expansionist threat. The spectacle through the heart of Beijing commemorated Japan's World War II defeat seven decades ago, with helicopters zooming across the sky in an array forming the number 70, but the event also underlined President Xi Jinping's determination to make China the pre-eminent Asian power.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin was received by Pope Francis for the first time Thursday in what could be seen as a bid to ease tensions raised this year by the signing of a historic first accord between the Vatican and Palestine. The Vatican said the "cordial discussions" addressed "the political and social situation in the Middle East, affected by several conflicts, with special attention to the condition of Christians and other minority groups". Francis stressed the "urgency of promoting a climate of trust between Israelis and Palestinians" as well as "the resumption of direct negotiations" for "an agreement respecting the legitimate aspirations of the two populations".
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned Thursday that the wave of mostly Muslim refugees coming to Europe threatens to undermine the continent's Christian roots -- an idea rejected by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "If you're being overrun, you can't accept" migrants, Orban wrote in German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, adding that most were Muslims, not Christians and criticising the EU's "failed immigration policy". "The majority are not Christians but Muslims.
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina resigned in the face of a corruption scandal that has brought his government to the brink, and arrived at court Thursday morning to hear the charges against him.
On the Serbia-Hungary border (AFP) - For hours a group of Iraqis has been debating the next step as they stand on an abandoned train track that runs from northern Serbia near Kanjiza into southern Hungary, where police wait to take new arrivals to camps for registration. Unlike Syrians for whom Berlin has eased asylum rules, the Iraqis fear that if they first register their claim in Hungary, other EU countries they aim to reach will send them back to Budapest -- in line with the bloc's so-called Dublin regulations. For them, it is safer to choose the legal crossing because they do not know what they might face if they follow a smuggler under Hungary's newly-built border fence aimed at keeping the migrants out.
MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) — In a story Aug. 31 about a defamation trial in Mozambique, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the defendants were found guilty. No verdict was passed by the judge, who said the verdict and sentence will be issued on Sept. 16. AP also erroneously reported that three were on trial. Only two were on trial.
Guatemala's disgraced ex-president Otto Perez Molina came to power in 2012 promising to crack down on crime, but resigned Thursday after a judge issued a warrant for his arrest over allegations of massive corruption. A spreading firestorm had engulfed his administration since April, when investigators blew the lid off what they say was a highly organized system in which businesses could bribe corrupt officials to clear their imports through customs at a fraction of the actual tax rate. The arrest warrant was the final straw for the 64-year-old retired general, who under Guatemalan law would have been automatically removed from office if remanded in custody pending trial.
WALBRZYCH, Poland (AP) — The placid woodlands around this medieval castle town have suddenly become the hottest spot in Poland — as treasure hunters descend on the area in search of a mystery Nazi train said to be laden with gold.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's prime minister, indicted on wide-ranging corruption charges, has called for his case to be resolved quickly.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank is ready to give the eurozone economy a bigger dose of stimulus if turmoil in China and weaker global growth hurt its modest recovery, President Mario Draghi said Thursday.
The family of a Syrian boy whose dead body washed up on a Turkish beach had been trying to emigrate to Canada, a report said Thursday. The bleak image of the lifeless toddler lying face down in the sand has become a poignant image of the plight of Syrian refugees and quickly went viral Wednesday. The Ottawa Citizen reported that the sister of the boy's father -- reportedly the only survivor of the family of four -- were the "subject of a 'G5' privately sponsored refugee application" that Canada's immigration authorities rejected in June.
Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday promised Britain would fulfil its "moral responsibilities" in the migrants crisis but resisted growing pressure at home and abroad to accept a bigger share of Syrian refugees. Cameron said he had been "deeply moved" by images of a three-year-old Syrian toddler found dead on a Turkish beach after a migrant boat sank but he stopped short of making any new commitments. "We do care," Cameron told reporters during a factory visit in northeast England, adding: "I think Britain is a moral nation that always fulfils its moral responsibilities".
China were frustrated 0-0 by Hong Kong in a politically fraught World Cup qualifier on Thursday as Son Heung-Min celebrated his move to Tottenham Hotspur with a hat-trick in South Korea's 8-0 thrashing of Laos. Japan finally got a win under coach Vahid Halilhodzic and Australia shrugged off internal problems to smash five past Bangladesh as Asia's big fish feasted on the region's minnows.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The father of a 3-year-old boy photographed lying dead on a Turkish beach has described how their overloaded boat flipped over in the sea and he quickly realized his sons and his wife had drowned.
China announced it would cut 300,000 troops to streamline its vast army Thursday, at a spectacular WWII anniversary parade where it put its military might on display but pledged to work for world peace. At he presided over an unmistakable show of strength that included the unveiling of "carrier-killer" ballistic missiles, President Xi Jinping vowed the People’s Liberation Army –- the world’s largest -- would be a force for good. With disquiet rising over China's increasing willingness to push its point in an array of territorial disputes, most Western leaders stayed away from the extravaganza in Tiananmen Square, where Chinese troops crushed democracy protests in 1989.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — One day after the World Health Organization confirmed two cases of polio in Ukrainian children, the country's health minister says efforts are underway to import enough vaccine to prevent an outbreak.
Germany and France have agreed that the European Union, facing an unprecedented influx of migrants, should impose binding quotas on the numbers member states take in, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday. "I spoke this morning with the French president, and the French-German position, which we will transmit to the European institutions, is that we agree that ... we need binding quotas within the European Union to share the burden.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. and global stocks rose Thursday as a holiday in China gave investors a break from the recent torrid swings in that country's markets. The European Central Bank said it was willing to provide more stimulus to the region's economy, if needed, helping to send stocks higher there.
The father of a three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach Wednesday whose image shocked the world said his children "slipped through my hands" as their boat was taking in water en route to Greece. It was dark and everyone was screaming," Abdullah Kurdi told Turkey's Dogan news agency of the sinking that also killed his wife and 5-year old child.
The Hague (AFP) - Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda on Thursday told the International Criminal Court he was 'a soldier, not a criminal', breaking his silence for the first time since handing himself over in 2013.
PARIS (AP) — More than 1,000 tractors — and a few cows — descended on Paris on Thursday in a boisterous protest by farmers who blocked highways to express their anger over falling prices for their goods and high taxes.
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will continue to keep its doors open to refugees, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a statement on Thursday, as he urged European countries to take their share of the burden. Turkey has borne the brunt of the humanitarian fallout from the war in neighbouring Syria, taking in around 2 million refugees. It has also become a jumping-off point for many migrants seeking to reach Europe, including a young toddler who drowned this week, making headlines around the world. (Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz, writing by Jonny Hogg)
Canada's trade deficit narrowed to Can$593 million (US$447 million) in July, the government statistical agency said Thursday. Exports increased 2.3 percent to Can$45.5 billion in July, led by foreign sales of passenger cars and light trucks, consumer goods, and aircrafts and parts, according to Statistics Canada. Canada shipped six percent less oil and crude bitumen in the month and 15 percent less refined petroleum energy products abroad.
By Angus McDowall RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's King Salman will meet U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Friday, aiming to push him for more support in Riyadh's efforts to counter Iran after it agreed to a nuclear deal that will relieve Tehran of some international pressure. Despite Saudi disappointment with Obama's push for a nuclear deal with Iran and his lack of direct action against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the U.S. role in Riyadh's war in Yemen shows Washington remains the kingdom's core strategic partner.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A wooden boat crammed with migrant workers who were headed back to Indonesia capsized Thursday off Malaysia's western coast, killing at least 14 people, a maritime official said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended Thursday his high-profile campaign to defeat the Iran nuclear deal after President Barack Obama secured enough backing to keep Congress from blocking it. Netanyahu has repeatedly spoken out strongly against the agreement between Iran and six major powers aimed at rolling back the Islamic republic's nuclear programme, even appearing before Congress in March. On Wednesday, Obama earned sufficient backing in Congress to uphold his veto should lawmakers pass a resolution that disapproves the deal.
Impala Platinum, the world's second biggest platinum producer, announced Thursday that its full-year profit slumped by 58 percent, as the industry suffers from the global decline of commodity prices. The Johannesburg-based company has been hit by China's economic slowdown, which spooked stock markets worldwide in recent weeks and sparked a rout in emerging market currencies. "The recent sharp decline in... prices has compounded the impact of the prolonged strike in 2014, which had a material negative effect on the group's overall financial position," the company said.
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