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Rouhani says Iran will not let Trump rip up nuclear deal

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:13:56 +0000

(image) By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday he would not let U.S. President-elect Donald Trump rip up a global nuclear deal, warning of unspecified repercussions if Washington reneges on the agreement. Trump had said during campaigns for the White House that he would scrap Iran's pact with world powers - under which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for lifted sanctions - describing it as "the worst deal ever negotiated". "[Trump] wants to do many things, but none of his actions would affect us," Rouhani said in a speech at University of Tehran broadcast live on state television.



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Top Asian News 9:13 a.m. GMT

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:13:05 +0000

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean President Park Geun-hye will calmly accept impeachment if the opposition-controlled parliament votes for her removal this week, but prefers to resign on her own terms, lawmakers from her party said Tuesday. Chung Jin Suk, floor leader of the conservative ruling party, said after an hour-long meeting with Park that she was willing to accept a now-withdrawn proposal by the party for her to voluntarily step down in April to set up a presidential election in June. The party's chairman, Lee Jung Hyun, who also attended the meeting, said it seemed that Park was hoping lawmakers would accept her resignation rather than push ahead with an attempt to impeach her.



Amnesty slams lasting, forced displacement of Turkey's Kurds

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:09:59 +0000

(image) ISTANBUL (AP) — A human rights group says Turkish authorities have forcibly evicted tens of thousands of people in security operations in a pre-dominantly Kurdish district of southeast Turkey.



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Saudi court sentences 15 to death in Iran spy cell trial

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:05:24 +0000

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced 15 people to death and several others to prison in a case involving an alleged Iranian spy cell.



Korea corporate chiefs deny seeking favors for donations

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:04:22 +0000

(image) By Se Young Lee and Yun Hwan Chae SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean corporate chiefs told a parliamentary panel on Tuesday that they were not seeking favors when they made contributions to two foundations at the heart of a scandal that appears poised to bring down President Park Geun-hye. "It's a South Korean reality that if there is a government request, it is difficult for companies to decline," said Huh Chang-soo, who heads the energy-to-retail GS Group and is also chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries, the main lobby group for the conglomerates known as chaebol. The bosses of conglomerates controlling revenue equivalent to more than half the country's economy were questioned over whether they were pressured by Park or a friend and aide to give money to non-profit foundations, which backed initiatives put forth by Park, in exchange for special treatment.



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South Korea's Park says would wait for court to uphold impeachment

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:04:22 +0000

(image) By Ju-min Park and Jack Kim SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Park Geun-hye, engulfed in an influence peddling scandal, said if she was impeached she would wait for a court to uphold the decision, an official of her party said on Tuesday, signaling a political crisis could drag on for months. Parliament is expected to hold a vote on her on Friday, but even if the opposition wins the two-thirds majority needed for impeachment, the vote must be upheld by the Constitutional Court, a process that could take months. Park met leaders of her Saenuri party and top official Chung Jin-suk later said the president was willing to accept her party's proposal for her to step down in April, but gave no indication that was willing to resign immediately.



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Lawmakers: South Korean leader to accept impeachment outcome

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:59:09 +0000

(image) SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean President Park Geun-hye will calmly accept impeachment if the opposition-controlled parliament votes for her removal this week, but prefers to resign on her own terms, lawmakers from her party said Tuesday.



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China urges U.S. to block transit by Taiwan president

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:58:52 +0000

(image) By Ben Blanchard and Bill Barreto BEIJING/GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - China called on the United States on Tuesday not to let Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen transit there when she visits Guatemala next month, days after President-elect Donald Trump irked Beijing by speaking to Tsai in a break with decades of precedent. China is deeply suspicious of Tsai, whom it thinks wants to push for the formal independence of Taiwan, a self-governing island nation that Beijing regards as a renegade province.



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In a first, Israel denies entry to foreign boycott activist

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:57:45 +0000

JERUSALEM (AP) — In a first such move, Israel has denied entry to a foreign activist involved in efforts to boycott the Jewish state.



British PM joins Gulf summit for post-Brexit trade talks

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:55:30 +0000

(image) British Prime Minister Theresa May is to join Gulf Arab leaders at a summit in Bahrain on Tuesday for talks on trade after Britain's exit from the European Union. Defence ties are also expected to loom high on the agenda as Britain builds a new naval base in Bahrain. Advocacy groups urged May to use the opportunity to raise human rights concerns too.



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French premier steps down to focus on presidential election

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:53:41 +0000

(image) PARIS (AP) — French Prime Minister Manuel Valls stepped down Tuesday to focus on running for president in next year's election and was replaced by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, a man who embodies the fight against Islamic extremism.



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Samsung Group's Lee says to shut group's future strategy office

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:52:51 +0000

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Group leader and founding family heir Jay Y. Lee said on Tuesday he will move to abolish the conglomerate's future strategy office in response to criticism about the office's role in the group's business operations.



Iran president: Trump won't be able to harm the nuclear deal

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:49:53 +0000

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's president says his country will not allow incoming U.S. President Donald Trump to "tear up" Tehran's landmark nuclear deal with world powers.



21,000 Rohingya flee to Bangladesh from Myanmar: IOM

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:46:28 +0000

(image) Around 21,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in recent weeks to escape violence in neighbouring Myanmar, an official of the International Organisation for Migration said on Tuesday. Bangladesh has stepped up patrols on the border to try to stem the tide of refugees fleeing a bloody crackdown by Myanmar's army in the western state of Rakhine since early October.



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Transgender women in India face bias despite laws, says activist

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:44:39 +0000

By Rina Chandran MUMBAI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Transgender women in India face persistent bias that denies them education and jobs despite India having progressive laws for transgender people, according to a leading activist. In a landmark judgment in 2014, India's Supreme Court ruled that transgender people had equal rights under the law, and granted legal status to the third gender.



China sends another 120 army peacekeepers to South Sudan

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:36:22 +0000

BEIJING (AP) — The first 120 troops of a 700-member Chinese U.N. peacekeeping force have departed for South Sudan, deepening China's commitment to the troubled East African nation, where two of its peacekeepers were killed in fighting over the summer.



Saudi court sentences 15 people to death for spying for Iran: Arabiya TV

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:35:16 +0000

DUBAI (Reuters) - A Saudi court on Tuesday sentenced 15 people to death for spying for Iran, Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television reported. The 15 were among 32 people -- comprising 30 Saudi Shi'ite Muslims, one Iranian and an Afghan -- who were detained in 2013 on charges of spying for Iran and went on trial in February. There were no immediate details on the outcome of the trial for the remaining 17 suspects. (Reporting by Omar Fahmy; writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Kevin Liffey)



Asian stocks post biggest daily gain in two weeks

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:32:35 +0000

(image) Asian stocks posted their biggest rise in two weeks on Tuesday and the euro steadied as investors judged the selloff after Italy's referendum to be overdone, with robust U.S. economic data also helping sentiment. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan bounced 0.7 percent, its biggest daily rise since Nov. 22, breaking two days of falls. Korea climbed 1.4 percent while Japan rose 0.4 percent.



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By accident or design, Trump signals tougher China policy

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:31:23 +0000

(image) WASHINGTON (AP) — Whether by accident or design, President-elect Donald Trump is signaling a tougher American policy toward China, sparking warnings from both the outgoing Obama administration and Beijing.



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Cazeneuve named as new French Prime Minister

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:29:24 +0000

(image) PARIS (Reuters) - Bernard Cazeneuve, currently French interior minister, will replace Manuel Valls as the country's new prime minister, President Francois Hollande's office said on Tuesday. "He's a strong personality, with experience of state affairs," said a source in the president's entourage, commenting on Cazeneuve's appointment. Valls is stepping down in order to seek the Socialist Party's nomination to be its presidential candidate in the 2017 election. (Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey; Writing by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Andrew Callus)



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Uganda rebel commander goes on trial at Int'l Criminal Court

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:21:58 +0000

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — One of the most senior commanders in the feared militia of fugitive Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony is going on trial at the International Criminal Court.



Southern Madagascar to suffer drought impact into 2017

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:18:00 +0000

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AP) — Some rain fell in southern Madagascar last week, a rare piece of good news for a drought-hit region where nearly a million people face hunger because of failed harvests. But aid groups warn that more rain is needed for the current crop-planting season to succeed and they expect the dire humanitarian situation to stretch into 2017.



Thai king appoints new members to royal council: palace

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:10:40 +0000

(image) Thailand's new king appointed three new members to his powerful royal advisory council on Tuesday and removed some former members in one of his first acts since taking the throne. King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, 64, was proclaimed king on Thursday, ushering in a new era for the 234-year-old Chakri Dynasty, and reinforcing expectations of institutional stability in financial markets. King Maha Vajiralongkorn appointed three officials to an 11-member panel, known as the Privy Council, the palace said in a statement published on the Royal Gazette website, his first appointments to his main team of advisers.



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Ransomed: The race to free 226 Christian hostages in Syria

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:08:04 +0000

(image) SAARLOUIS, Germany (AP) — Deep inside Syria, a bishop worked secretly to save the lives of 226 members of his flock from the Islamic State group — by amassing millions of dollars from his community around the world to buy their freedom.



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Australia notches 378-5 in 2nd ODI vs New Zealand

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:07:43 +0000

(image) CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Opener David Warner scored a run-a-ball century — 119 from 115 deliveries — to pace Australia to an imposing total of 378-5 after being sent into bat in the second one-day international against New Zealand on Tuesday.



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Group: China's opaque anti-graft probes rife with abuse

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:06:24 +0000

(image) BEIJING (AP) — Torture, solitary confinement and coerced confessions are rife in investigations of Chinese Communist Party officials detained on suspicion of corruption, according to a report issued Tuesday by Human Rights Watch that analyzes one of the most secretive aspects of China's one-party system: the supervision of its own party members.



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Toyota to expand hybrid system development to further cut emissions

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:03:59 +0000

(image) Toyota Motor Corp on Tuesday said it would expand the development of its gasoline-hybrid technology over the next five years to speed up the introduction of lower-emission engines in the face of stricter global emissions standards. In addition to improving the efficiency of its hybrid systems and gasoline engines, Toyota is stepping up the development of longer-range battery-electric cars in a shift from its strategy of promoting hydrogen fuel-cell technology as the future of zero-emission vehicles. Toyota said it would expand personnel on its hybrid technology development team by 30 percent through 2021, by which time it aims to introduce 19 new lower-emission powertrain components made on its recently introduced common manufacturing platform.



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Turkish, US military chiefs meet at Incirlik air base

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:01:43 +0000

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's military says the country's military chief has held talks with his U.S. counterpart during a previously announced visit to an air base in southern Turkey.



China hopes U.S. will not allow transit by Taiwan president

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 07:58:40 +0000

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it hoped the United States would not allow transit by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen when she visits Guatemala next month. China hopes the United States "does not allow her transit, and does not send any wrong signals to 'Taiwan independence' forces", the ministry said in a statement sent to Reuters. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)



Thailand's new king appoints a smaller council of advisers

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 07:54:06 +0000

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's new king named an 11-member council of advisers on Tuesday, bringing in three new officials, including a former army chief and two representatives of the ruling junta.



U.S. military to return some land in Okinawa by year end

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 07:53:44 +0000

(image) By Idrees Ali TOKYO (Reuters) - The United States military plans to return some land in Okinawa to the Japanese government by the end of the year, the largest transfer since 1972, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Tuesday. Resentment over the U.S. military presence surged this year after an American civilian working at a U.S. base, Kenneth Franklin, was arrested over the murder of a 20-year-old Japanese woman, Rina Shimabukuro. Carter made the announcement during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the capital, Tokyo.



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New Zealand police minister says in race for PM

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 07:52:50 +0000

Wellington (Reuters) - New Zealand Police Minister Judith Collins said on Tuesday she will stand as a candidate to replace outgoing Prime Minister John Key, becoming the third Cabinet member to announce their candidacy. Key, who is part-way through a third, three-year term that has been marked by political stability and economic reform, announced his surprise resignation on Monday, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. ...



Indonesian fishermen told to avoid the red zones

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 07:52:48 +0000

Kota Kinabalu: Indonesians in the fishing industry, especially in the east coast, are advised to avoid red zone areas and heed the warning and instruction of the relevant security forces. Republic of Indonesia Consul General to Kota Kinabalu, Akhmad DH.




German factory orders beat forecasts, up strongly in October

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 07:48:01 +0000

BERLIN (AP) — German factory orders were up a far stronger-than-expected 4.9 percent in October compared with the previous month, led higher by orders for cars and vehicle parts.



Iran says UN atomic agency chief to visit Tehran again

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 07:42:11 +0000

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's top nuclear official says the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog will visit Iran later this month.



Renzi to resign after referendum rout, leaving Italy in limbo

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 04:17:33 +0000

(image) By Steve Scherer and Gavin Jones ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced on Monday that he would resign after suffering a resounding defeat in a referendum over constitutional reform, leaving the euro zone's third-largest economy in political limbo. Italy's largely ceremonial head of state, President Sergio Mattarella, told the prime minister to stay on until parliament had approved the 2017 budget. The referendum, intended to change rules to make Italy more governable, was opposed by right-wing and populist parties, including groups that want Italy to ditch the euro.



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Japan PM's Pearl Harbor visit won't be for apology: spokesman

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 04:07:46 +0000

(image) By Kaori Kaneko and Linda Sieg TOKYO (Reuters) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Pearl Harbor this month, the first by a Japanese leader, will not be to apologize for the Japanese attack 75 years ago that drew the United States into World War Two, Abe's top aide said on Tuesday. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the purpose of Abe's Dec. 26-27 visit was to console the souls of those who died in the war. While the lack of an apology could disappoint some U.S. war veterans, Abe hopes the visit will showcase the tight alliance between the former foes.



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U.S. seeks to reassure Beijing after Trump call with Taiwan leader

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 03:58:16 +0000

(image) By Roberta Rampton and Ben Blanchard WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday it had sought to reassure China after President-elect Donald Trump's phone call with Taiwan's leader last week, which the Obama administration warned could undermine progress in relations with Beijing. The statement from a spokesman for U.S. President Barack Obama highlighted concerns about the potential fallout from Trump's unusual call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday, which prompted a diplomatic protest from Beijing on Saturday.



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Indonesia calls on Australia to help with Montara oil spill aftermath

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 03:47:08 +0000

Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer View text version of this page Help using this website - Accessibility statement Join today and you can easily save your favourite articles, join in the conversation and comment, plus select which news your want direct to your inbox. Jakarta: One of Indonesia's most senior ministers has called on Australia to help find a solution to the 2009 Montara oil spill which he says caused lasting negative impacts in one of the country's poorest provinces.




Guests at Malay wedding entertained by lion dance

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 21:36:21 +0000

A couple surprised their guests by featuring a Chinese lion dance performance at their wedding reception in Felda Pasir Besar in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan. Shamsulkahar Alias, a senior unity officer for the Tampin/Rembau district, hired the lion dance troupe from Kuala Pilah for his eldest daughter's wedding to promote multiculturalism among the local community.




8 things you should know about Singapore's wealth gap

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:17:43 +0000

The gap between the wealthy and the poor is widening, and in countries like Singapore it is more and more being recognised as a cause for concern. Wealth inequality in developed countries has risen to a 30-year high, according to a 2015 report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development .




AHTC to upgrade and replace lifts at a cost of S$17.5m over 5 years

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 13:04:16 +0000

The Workers' Party-run Aljunied-Hougang Town Council said it will cost approximately S$17.5 million over five years to upgrade and replace lifts under its care, to be funded mainly through the town council's sinking fund. SINGAPORE: The Aljunied-Hougang Town Council announced on Monday that it will cost approximately S$17.5 million over five years to upgrade and replace lifts under its care.




Jakarta governor's blasphemy hearing set for Thursday

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 08:49:30 +0000

Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as "Ahok," speaks during a campaign event in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. Pic: AP THE highly-anticipated blasphemy trial of Jakarta's inactive governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama will kick off on Thursday, according to local media.




6.0-magnitude undersea earthquake hits eastern IndonesiaThe undersea...

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 04:59:04 +0000

Jakarta, Dec 5: A strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of eastern Indonesia today, US seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. The undersea quake hit about 190 kilometres northeast of Maumere, a holiday destination in Flores, at 09:13 am , at a depth of 522 kilometres, said the US Geological Survey.




6.4 magnitude quake hits Indonesia

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 04:59:03 +0000

Jakarta, Dec 5 - A powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.4 on the Richter scale struck Indonesia early Monday, but was not potential for tsunami, the Meteorology and Geophysics agency said here. The quake struck off East Nusa Tenggara in central Indonesia at 8.13 a.m. local time with the epicentre at 120 km northeast Flores Timur and at a depth of 524 km under sea bed, an official of the agency said.




Police release musician Ahmad Dhani after questioning

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 03:02:11 +0000

JAKARTA: Musician Ahmad Dhani was released after being questioned at the headquarters of the National Police's Mobile Brigade in Depok, West Java, but he remains a suspect for alleged defamation of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. Ahmad Dhani, who is also a deA A puty regent candidate in Bekasi, was arrested at Sari Pan Pacific Hotel on Jalan MH Thamrin, Central Jakarta, on Friday.




Body parts found where Indonesia plane with 13 aboard believed crashed into sea

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 23:04:35 +0000

Forensics experts are working to identify body parts recovered in waters where an Indonesia police plane with 13 people aboard is believed to have crashed on Saturday, authorities said Sunday. The N-28 Skytruck was flying from Pangkalpinang on Bangka Island, east of Sumatra, to Batam Island, near Singapore, Saturday morning when air traffic controllers in Singapore lost contact with the plane.




Dislodged sunbreaker at Tampines had no reinforcement bars; surrounding structures 'safe'

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 21:09:42 +0000

"All the other 73 sunbreakers at Blocks 201A, 201B, 201D and 201E are adequately supported on columns and are safe," says HDB. SINGAPORE: A sunbreaker that dislodged from Block 201E at Tampines St 23 in September had no reinforcement bars, a final investigation report from a professional engineer stated.




Foreign investments in Singapore property at 9-year high

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 17:22:13 +0000

Blocks of high-rise condominiums seen against the skyline of Singapore's central business district. Usage: Photo to be used only with this story.




Singapore may prove a tough nut for China to crack over regional security

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 13:21:10 +0000

As the impounding of Singaporean troop carriers in Hong Kong exposes rising tensions between China and Singapore, the Lion City is unlikely to budge on core security interests concerning Beijing: its military relationship with Taiwan, worries over the South China Sea and its hosting of the U.S. military. Singaporean officials, retired military officers and analysts stress that even while Singapore publicly plays down the spat, its leadership will not easily give in to what it sees as intimidation on matters of national importance.




Jokowi changes tune in handling rally

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 09:36:42 +0000

United in prayer: Indonesians in white robes gathering at the National Monument park and chanting Islamic verses and singing the national anthem, as part of a rally against Jakarta's governor. - AFP JAKARTA: When protesters began to swarm Jakarta, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo left the State Palace to inspect a construction project, raising suspicion that he would again evade the large-scale rally by conservative Muslim groups against Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama over blasphemy allegations.




Indonesians rally for tolerance Indonesians have rallied in the...

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 05:57:25 +0000

Tens of thousands of Indonesians have rallied in the centre of Jakarta, calling for tolerance and unity after massive protests by conservative Muslims against the city's minority Christian governor. The crowds filled a major traffic circle in the heart of the city and sprawled into its main thoroughfares on Sunday.




Indonesians rally for tolerance after blasphemy protests

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 04:04:02 +0000

Indonesians display a large red and white national flag and smaller ones during a rally in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. Thousands of people staged the rally in attempt to demonstrate national unity as religious and racial tensions divide the world's most populous Muslim nation.




Rebels won't surrender Aleppo, rebel official says

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 02:13:28 +0000

Dec 3 Syrian rebel commanders in Aleppo will not surrender eastern Aleppo to government forces, a rebel official said on Saturday, after Russia said it was ready for talks with the United States on the withdrawal of all rebels from the area. "I asked the factions, they said 'we will not surrender'," said Zakaria Malahifji, the head of the political office of the Aleppo-based Fastaqim faction, speaking from Turkey.