By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - Hamas said on Wednesday
its relations with financial backer Iran have suffered as a result
of the Islamist group's support of rebels battling Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad, a long-time Iranian ally. Hamas was also once an
Assad ally but last year endorsed the revolt against him in a shift
that deprived the Syrian leader of an important Sunni Muslim
supporter in the Arab world. ...
ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir
Putin expressed concern about U.S. missile defenses and
high-precision weapons on Wednesday, before a speech in which
Barack Obama was expected to call for nuclear arms cuts.
"High-precision conventional weapons systems are being actively
developed ... States possessing such weapons strongly increase
their offensive potential," Putin said without naming any nation or
mentioning the proposals which the U.S. president was expected to
make in Berlin. ...
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A top Kurdish militant commander warned on
Wednesday a fragile peace process had been jeopardized by increased
military activity and a lack of concrete steps by the government,
including the continued detention of Kurdish politicians. Members
of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) began a withdrawal from
Turkish territory to bases in northern Iraq last month, part of a
deal brokered between the state and the group's jailed leader
Abdullah Ocalan earlier this year aimed at ending a conflict that
has claimed 40,000 lives since 1984. ...
By Andrea Shalal-Esa PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. arms makers see
rising foreign demand for fighter jets, missile defense systems and
other weapons as countries modernize their forces and U.S.
officials, facing tighter budgets, encourage allies to invest more
in intelligence gathering and aerial refueling equipment. U.S. Air
Force arms sales doubled from 2005 to 2011 and will likely remain
strong in coming years, a senior Air Force official said at the
Paris air show on Monday. ...
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian troops backed by Lebanese Hezbollah
fighters clashed Wednesday with rebel forces south of a Damascus
suburb that is home to a major Shiite Muslim shrine, in an attempt
to secure the area surrounding the revered site, activists
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Al-Qaida-linked militants detonated
several bombs and breached the main U.N. compound in Somalia's
capital Wednesday, sparking gun battles that killed at least 12
people. A U.N. official said at least three foreigners were
believed to be among the dead.
By William Maclean and Yara Bayoumy DUBAI (Reuters) - Qatar's
hosting of a Taliban office for peace talks with the United States
is the latest in a series of foreign policy gambits stretching over
a decade - some peace-broking efforts, but others, notably in Libya
and Syria, involving armed support. U.S. officials are expected to
meet delegates from the Afghan Islamist insurgency in the Qatari
capital Doha on Thursday to try to advance peace efforts in
Afghanistan, where the United States has battled the insurgents for
12 years. ...
By Jeff Mason and Noah Barkin BERLIN (Reuters) - President
Barack Obama defended U.S. intelligence methods on a visit to
Berlin on Wednesday, telling Chancellor Angela Merkel and wary
Germans that Washington was not monitoring the emails of ordinary
citizens or damaging civil liberties. Obama is popular in Germany
but revelations before the trip that the United States has a covert
Internet surveillance program, codenamed Prism, have caused outrage
in a country where memories of the eavesdropping East German Stasi
secret police are still fresh. ...
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus' deputy government spokesman
says the Cabinet has ratified a preliminary agreement with U.S.
firm Noble Energy and its Israeli partners Delek Drilling and Avner
Oil Exploration on their participation in the development of a
planned natural gas processing facility.
Editor's note: Marc Young is a Berlin-based freelance
journalist covering President Obama's visit for Yahoo! News. Ever
since John F. Kennedy made his legendary “Ich bin ein Berliner”
address almost 50 years ago to the day, Berlin has been a place
where U.S. presidents come when they have something important to
say. In 1963, JFK [...]
The village streets are empty and quiet in the afternoon sun.
Bales of polyethylene film and bundles of plastic jerrycans piled
in courtyards are evidence of how residents normally earn their
living – recycling. But times are hard.
By Ben Blanchard and Michael Martina BEIJING (Reuters) - A top
North Korean diplomat repeated an offer for international talks
over his country's disputed nuclear program during a meeting in
China on Wednesday, saying the denuclearization of the peninsula
was the "dying wish" of North Korea's founder. The Beijing trip by
First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan comes just days after
North Korea offered talks with the United States to ease tension
that spiked this year when the North threatened the United States
and South Korea with nuclear war. ...
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks opened little changed on Wednesday,
holding much of the gains made over the last two days, ahead of a
highly anticipated Federal Reserve statement and news conference.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 11.34 points, or 0.07
percent, to 15,306.89. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed
0.68 points, or 0.04 percent, to 1,651.13. The Nasdaq Composite
Index gained 1.32 points, or 0.04 percent, to 3,483.51. (Reporting
by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
Barack Obama returned to Berlin today, almost five years to the
day from when he delivered his famous "Victory Column"
speech that cemented his reputation as an international rockstar.
Unfortunately, his reception this time is likely to be a lot
different, despite what he said was being "a little more informal
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's president said
Wednesday he will not pursue peace talks with the Taliban unless
the United States steps out of the negotiations, while also
insisting the militant group stop its violent attacks on the ground
after it claimed responsibility for a rocket attack that killed
PARIS (Reuters) - European aerospace group EADS said on
Wednesday the window for a merger with BAE Systems was "closed".
"Considerations about a deal with BAE are water under the bridge;
we have said this time and again, the window is closed," EADS chief
spokesman Rainer Ohler said. The two companies abandoned plans to
forge the world's largest defense company in October amid German
opposition. The Financial Times reported in the headline of an
article on Wednesday that EADS had left the door open to a new
merger attempt with Europe's largest defense group. ...
By Anders Melin BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders
will hold a summit later this month to tackle the growing scourge
of youth unemployment. But there's a problem: the 6 billion euros
they want to use to get to grips with the issue aren't yet
available. Leaders agreed in February that they would set aside the
money from the EU's next long-term budget, which runs from
2014-2020, with the funds going towards a "youth guarantee" of
training or a job within months of education ending. ...
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African state weapons firm
Denel said two of its staff were killed in an attack on Wednesday
on the United Nations compound in the Somali capital Mogadishu. A
spokeswoman for South Africa's largest manufacturer of defense
equipment said the identity of the workers was not yet known. "We
have sent someone to Somalia to inform us from the ground," Vuyelwa
Qinga said. (Reporting by Tosin Sulaiman; Editing by Ed
With a week remaining until the June 25 special election for
John Kerry’s former US Senate seat in Massachusetts, the two
candidates met Tuesday night in a debate that set the tone for the
final days of the campaign: energetic, divisive, and at times
DENVER (AP) — Bob and Barbara Schmidt dashed to their home on a
dirt road in a heavily wooded area northeast of Colorado Springs as
smoke from what would become the most destructive wildfire in
Colorado history filled the air.
OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — FBI agents in suburban Detroit
began a third day of digging Wednesday in the search for the
remains of former Teamsters union leader Jimmy Hoffa, who
disappeared 38 years ago.
(Reuters) - FedEx Corp said on Wednesday it was cutting its
capacity between the United States and Asia, sending its shares
lower on concerns about future growth, even as the world's biggest
air-freight company posted a stronger-than-expected profit. The
company, considered an economic bellwether because of the massive
volume of goods it moves around the world, is still trying to
adjust to increasing demand for cheaper ground transport rather
than pricier but faster air shipping. ...
By Alwyn Scott and Maria Sheahan PARIS (Reuters) - Orders at
the Paris Airshow surpassed $100 billion on Wednesday, as
planemakers Boeing and Airbus cashed in on demand for
fuel-efficient jets and growth in both budget carriers and emerging
markets. Ryanair, Europe's biggest low-cost airline, finalized an
order for 175 Boeing 737-800 aircraft worth around $15.6 billion at
list prices on day three of the aerospace industry's showcase
event, the largest single order ever placed by a European airline
with the U.S. group. ...
BEIJING (AP) — China's new leader Xi Jinping is commanding
wayward Communist Party cadres to purify themselves of corruption,
and he's summed it up in a pithy slogan as Mao Zedong might have
done: Look in the mirror, take a bath.
(Reuters) - Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc said it is
recalling 1,228 of its 2013 Model S cars manufactured between May
10 and June 8 due to a defect in the mounting bracket of the rear
seat. "This reduces our confidence that the left hand seat back
will be properly retained in the event of a crash," Tesla founder
and Chief Executive Elon Musk said in a statement on Wednesday
posted on the company's website. The recall blemishes a clean
public record for the Model S, which received a near-perfect score
from the influential Consumer Reports magazine. ...