World News

AirAsia QZ8501: Search resumes for missing flight after anxious relatives spend night in crisis centre

The search resumed at dawn for an AirAsia flight that went missing while flying from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore yesterday with 162 people on board. Indonesian officials remained hopeful of locating the Airbus 320-200 quickly but said it was too early to detect any of the electronic “pings” from the jet’s black box recorder. “We have resumed the search ...

Turkish foreign relations harmed by Erdogan’s domestic moves

Controversial moves at home could harm Turkey’s relations with the West, especially its neighbours in the European Union. Before ending up as the victor of last August’s presidential race, Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to increase the powers of the Turkish head of state. But the borderline between boosting authorities and maintaining an authoritarian leadership style is not fully clear. Erdogan ...

The art (and pitfalls) of diplomatic gift-giving

Christmas shoppers who struggled to buy something for the man who has everything should spare a thought for those whose daily job is finding the right gift for the world’s most powerful leaders. Forget Santa’s workshop in the North Pole — year round the elves of the State Department’s busy protocol office have to select and wrap thoughtful gifts as ...

Russia hopes to host Syria talks in January

Russia plans to host delegations from the Syrian opposition in late January, possibly followed by a visit by regime representatives that could bring the two sides together for talks, the foreign ministry said Thursday. Members of the Syrian opposition are expected in Moscow “after January 20th,” Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters. “We expect this group to include ...

Faithful flock to Bethlehem for Christmas

Several thousand Christian pilgrims on Wednesday flocked to the biblical town of Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations at the traditional birthplace of Jesus, lifting spirits after a year of conflict and failed peace efforts. The central Manger Square was decked out in white and yellow lights and a towering Christmas tree. On a cool, clear night, there was a carnival atmosphere: Vendors hawked corn, ...

Historic shift as Obama ends isolation of Cuba

President Barack Obama announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba Wednesday and declared an end to America’s “outdated approach” to the communist island in a historic shift aimed at ending a half-century of Cold War enmity. “These 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked,” Obama said from the White House. “It’s time for a new approach.” As ...

US urges caution as Palestinians bid for UN vote

The United States called for caution on Tuesday as Palestinians seek to push their hopes for statehood to the top of the UN agenda ahead of Israeli elections. Top US diplomat John Kerry said nothing should be allowed to get in the way of preparations for the March polls, as the Palestinians threaten to submit a draft text Wednesday to ...

Pakistani Taliban storm school, kill 141

Militants stormed an army-run school in Pakistan Tuesday, killing at least 141 people, almost all of them children, in the country’s bloodiest ever terror attack. Survivors described how the insurgents went from room to room shooting children as young as 12 during the eight-hour onslaught at the Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar. The attack, claimed by ...

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