Reuters : International (449)

Exclusive: Taiwan president says phone call with Trump can take place again

TAIPEI - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said a direct phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump could take place again and she urged the self-ruled island's political rival China to step up to its global responsibility to keep the peace as a large nation.

UK police arrest man with knives near PM's office in anti-terrorism operation

LONDON - Armed British officers arrested a man carrying knives near Prime Minister Theresa May's office in London on Thursday on suspicion of preparing an act of terrorism.

Israel strikes arms depot near Damascus airport: sources

AMMAN/BEIRUT - Israel struck an arms supply hub operated by the Lebanese group Hezbollah near Damascus airport on Thursday, targeting weapons sent from Iran via commercial and military cargo planes, Syrian rebel and regional intelligence sources said.

'End the injustice!': Plea by Venezuelan official's son stirs nation

CARACAS - The son of Venezuela's pro-government human rights ombudsman has surprised the crisis-struck nation by publicly calling on his father to end "injustice" amid major protests against the leftist administration.

Russian intelligence ship sinks off Turkey's Black Sea coast

ISTANBUL - A Russian naval intelligence ship sank off Turkey's Black Sea coast on Thursday after colliding with a vessel carrying livestock and all 78 personnel on board the navy ship were evacuated, Turkish officials said.

Jets bomb two hospitals in Syria's Idlib: medics, witnesses

AMMAN - Jets believed to be Russian or Syrian hit two hospitals in rebel-held Idlib province on Thursday following several other strikes on medical facilities in northwestern Syria in recent weeks, residents, medical workers and activists said.

Exclusive: U.N. criticizes Myanmar plan to resettle Rohingya in 'camp-like' villages

YANGON - The United Nations' refugee agency has criticized a Myanmar government plan to resettle Rohingya Muslims displaced by recent violence in "camp-like" villages, saying it risks stoking tensions, according to a document seen by Reuters.

Iran's Rouhani defends his economic record ahead of May election

ANKARA - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani defended his economic record on Thursday, three weeks ahead of Iran's presidential election, and called for further engagement with other countries as the key to economic growth.

Le Pen fishes for worker support as polls narrow in French presidential vote

PARIS/LE GRAU DU ROI - Marine Le Pen took to the sea on Thursday, promising to protect fishing jobs if she beats Emmanuel Macron, her pro-EU, centrist rival whose commanding poll lead has narrowed.

British police arrest man reportedly with knife near UK ministries

LONDON - British police said on Thursday a man had been arrested and armed officers were seen on Whitehall, the street home to numerous government ministries in central London, with a BBC reporter saying two knives had been seen.

Russian intelligence ship sinks off Turkey's Black Sea coast: authorities

ISTANBUL - A Russian naval intelligence ship sank off Turkey's Black Sea coast on Thursday after colliding with a vessel carrying livestock and all 78 personnel on board were evacuated, Turkey's coastal safety authority said.

Exclusive: Taiwan president says phone call with Trump can take place again

TAIPEI - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said another direct phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump could take place again and she urged the self-ruled island's political rival China to step up to its global responsibility to keep the peace as a large nation.

Abbas turns screw on Hamas by cutting Gaza's electricity

GAZA - With the prospect looming of a Middle East peace initiative by a new U.S. administration more sympathetic to Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to turn the screw on the Hamas group that has kept Gaza out of his control for a decade.

Le Pen, Macron spar as French presidential race narrows slightly

PARIS - Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen took a fishing-boat ride on Thursday as two polls suggested the underdog had made a more impressive start to the last lap of campaigning than the favourite, centrist Emmanuel Macron.

Philippines' Duterte says pointless discussing South China Sea woes at summit

MANILA - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday it was pointless discussing Beijing's contentious activities in the South China Sea at this week's Southeast Asian summit, and no one dared to pressure China anyway.

Turkey's Erdogan to be named candidate for AKP leadership on May 21: official

ANKARA - Turkey's ruling AK Party will name President Tayyip Erdogan as a candidate for its leadership at an extraordinary congress on May 21, a senior AKP official said on Thursday.

Togo-flagged ship collides with Russian vessel, 78 evacuated: Turkish official

ISTANBUL - A Togo-flagged ship collided with a Russian intelligence vessel near Turkey's Black Sea Coast on Thursday, and some 78 crew members had been evacuated from the Russian ship, a Turkish coastal safety official told Reuters.

Iraqi paramilitaries shut more Islamic State escape routes to Syria border

ERBIL, Iraq - Iraqi paramilitary units captured the northern province of Hatra on Thursday, cutting off several desert tracks used by Islamic State to move between Iraq and Syria, the military.

Libya lacks plan to prevent more migrants crossing to Europe - EU officials

VALETTA - Libya's U.N-backed government has no clear plan to help prevent more migrants reaching Europe's shores this summer, European Union officials said on Thursday, citing confused requests for equipment to patrol its shores.

Israel strikes Iran-supplied arms depot near Damascus airport

AMMAN/BEIRUT - Israel struck an arms supply hub operated by the Lebanese group Hezbollah near Damascus airport on Thursday, Syrian rebel and regional intelligence sources said, targeting weapons sent from Iran via commercial and military cargo planes.

Estonia says Russia may put troops in Belarus to challenge NATO

VALETTA - Estonia's defense minister said on Thursday that Russia may use large-scale military exercises to move thousands of troops permanently into Belarus later this year in a warning to NATO.

Asylum-seekers fleeing U.S. may find cold comfort in Canada's courts

TORONTO/WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Migrants who applied for asylum in the United States but then fled north, fearing they would be swept up in President Donald Trump's immigration crackdown, may have miscalculated in viewing Canada as a safe haven.

China welcomes U.S. saying it's open to talks on North Korea

BEIJING/SEOUL - China on Thursday welcomed an apparently softer tone by the United States on the North Korean nuclear and missile crisis but stressed its opposition to a U.S. missile defense system being deployed in South Korea.

Israel strikes Iran-supplied arms depot near Damascus airport: sources

AMMAN/BEIRUT - Israel struck an arms supply hub operated by the Lebanese group Hezbollah near Damascus airport on Thursday, Syrian rebel and regional sources said, targeting weapons regularly sent from Iran via commercial and military cargo planes.

Exclusive: Taiwan president says phone call with Trump can take place again

TAIPEI - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said a direct phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump could take place again and urged the self-ruled island's political rival China to step up to its global responsibility to keep the peace as a large nation.

Macron slower off mark than Le Pen in last French election lap: poll

PARIS - Far-right leader Marine Le Pen has made a more impressive start than favorite Emmanuel Macron to the last lap of the French presidential election, a poll showed on Thursday.

Philippines' Duterte says pointless discussing South China Sea row at summit

MANILA - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said it was pointless discussing Beijing's contentious activities in the South China Sea at this week's summit of Southeast Asian leaders, and no one dared to pressure China anyway.

Merkel warns Britons: don't delude yourself over Brexit

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Britons on Thursday not to delude themselves that they would continue to enjoy EU rights after Brexit and insisted the bloc would only agree on future ties with London after they have nailed down a deal to leave.

China flags global naval role after new carrier launch

SHANGHAI/BEIJING - China needs to raise its military capabilities to protect its growing overseas interests, its foreign minister said following the launch of China's first domestically built aircraft carrier, while vowing not to pursue expansionism.

UK could join U.S. action in event of new Syria chemical attack: Johnson

LONDON - Britain would find it difficult to refuse a request for military assistance in Syria from the United States if President Donald Trump decided to take action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over chemical weapons use, foreign minister Boris Johnson said.

Palestinian Authority halts its payments for Israeli electricity for Gaza: Israel

JERUSALEM - The Palestinian Authority told Israel on Thursday it will no longer pay for the electricity Israel supplies to Gaza, Israeli officials said, a move that could lead to a complete power shutdown in the territory whose two million people already endure blackouts for much of the day.

Pope heads to Egypt with Christians in retreat across Middle East

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis flies to Cairo on Friday, less than a month after church bombings killed 45 people in two Egyptian cities as part of a concerted campaign by Islamist militants to rid the Middle East of Christians.

Israeli strike hits Iranian arms supply depot in Damascus: source

AMMAN - An Israeli strike on Thursday hit an arms supply hub operated by the Lebanese Hezbollah group near Damascus airport where regular supplies of weapons from Tehran are sent by commercial and military cargo planes, a regional intelligence source said.

Hong Kong police arrest more political activists: parties

HONG KONG - Hong Kong police arrested nine democracy activists on Thursday over a November protest outside Beijing's representative office in the city, opposition parties said, in what one of the activists said was a campaign to stifle opposition.

South Korea, U.S. warn of punishment for North Korea; U.S. stresses sanctions

SEOUL/WASHINGTON - South Korea and the United States agreed on Thursday on "swift punitive measures" against North Korea in the event of more provocation, although the United States signaled sanctions and diplomatic pressure were its priorities for now.

Macron campaign for French presidency off to slower start than Le Pen: poll

PARIS - Fewer French voters believe centrist Emmanuel Macron got off to a good start in the last lap of France's presidential election than far right leader Marine Le Pen, a poll showed on Thursday.

Large blast and fire at Damascus airport: Syrian Observatory

BEIRUT - A large explosion hit in the area of Damascus International Airport followed by a fire in the same place early on Thursday the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said.

Push for South China Sea code stirs ASEAN suspicions about Beijing's endgame

MANILA - China's support for finalizing a code of conduct in the hotly contested South China Sea is generating some hope in Southeast Asia of settling disputes, but those working out the terms remain unconvinced of Beijing's sincerity.

U.S. says strategy on North Korea centers on sanctions, open to talks

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration said on Wednesday it aimed to push North Korea into dismantling its nuclear and missile programs through tougher international sanctions and diplomatic pressure, and remained open to negotiations to bring that about.

U.S., South Korea agree THAAD deployment going smoothly: South Korea

SEOUL - South Korean and U.S. national security advisers agreed on Thursday that the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile defense system was moving ahead smoothly, South Korea's presidential office said.

Trump gives Pentagon power to reset Iraq, Syria troop limits

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump has given the military the authority to reset a confusing system of troop limits in Iraq and Syria that critics said allowed the White House to micro-manage battlefield decisions and ultimately obscured the real number of U.S. forces.

China flags global naval role after new carrier launch

SHANGHAI - China needs to raise its military capabilities to protect its growing overseas interests, its foreign minister said following the launch of China's first domestically built aircraft carrier, but he vowed not to pursue expansionism.

Brazil lawmakers pass labor bill in bittersweet victory for Temer

BRASILIA - Brazil's lower house of Congress on Wednesday approved the main text of a bill to relax the country's restrictive labor laws, a main plank of President Michel Temer's efforts to bolster investment and pull the economy out of its worst recession ever.

U.S. says strategy on North Korea centers on sanctions, open to talks

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration said on Wednesday it aimed to push North Korea into dismantling its nuclear and missile programs through tougher international sanctions and diplomatic pressure, and remained open to negotiations to bring this about.

Paraguay's lower house rejects presidential re-election amendment

ASUNCION - Paraguay's lower house of Congress on Wednesday rejected a constitutional amendment that would have allowed for presidential re-election, ending a month-long political crisis that aroused violent protests.

Poll shows smaller lead for British PM's Conservatives: The Times

LONDON - British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party holds a 16-point lead over the main opposition Labour Party ahead of a national election on June 8, an opinion poll showed on Wednesday, a smaller lead than other polls have suggested.

Brazil's Senate passes bill prosecutors view as curbing graft probes

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO - Brazilian Senators, two dozen of whom are being investigated for corruption, pushed through a bill on Wednesday that many prosecutors and judges say curbs their ability to carry out probes, mainly those targeting the politicians themselves.

Venezuela to withdraw from OAS, denounces campaign by Washington

CARACAS - Venezuela said on Wednesday it was withdrawing from the Organization of American States, deepening the diplomatic isolation of the socialist-run nation that is already out of step with Latin America's steady shift to the right.

Venezuela death toll hits 29, protesters battle security forces

CARACAS - Venezuelan security forces fired scores of tear gas volleys and turned water cannons on rock-throwing protesters on a bridge in Caracas on Wednesday as the death toll from this month's anti-government unrest hit at least 29.

Front-runner unexpectedly withdraws from Canada Conservative Party race

OTTAWA - The front-runner in the race to become the next leader of Canada's Conservatives dropped out on Wednesday mere hours before the final televised debate, stunning party insiders and throwing the contest open to two remaining favorites.