Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Daily News: Reuters News Headlines - Ukraine wants fugitive president to face Hague court

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 10:14 AM PST
Today's Reuters News Headlines - Yahoo News:

Ukraine wants fugitive president to face Hague court 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 10:14 AM PST
By Timothy Heritage and Natalia Zinets KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's parliament voted on Tuesday to send fugitive President Viktor Yanukovich to the International Criminal Court, while his acting successor expressed concern about "signs of separatism" in Russian-speaking Crimea. A resolution, overwhelmingly supported by parliament, linked Yanukovich, who was ousted by the legislature on Saturday and is now on the run, to police violence against protesters which it said had led to the deaths of more than 100 citizens of Ukraine and other states. With an early presidential election set for May 25, one of Ukraine's most prominent opposition figures, retired world boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko, confirmed he would run. Yanukovich was indicted by the new authorities for "mass murder" on Monday over the shooting of demonstrators in Kiev and is now on the wanted list, having last been seen at Balaclava in Crimea, near Russia's Sevastopol naval base.
Full Story
Top
Gunfire by night becomes new norm in downtown Bangkok 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 07:48 PM PST
A security agent stands under a stage as protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban addresses anti-government protesters in their encampment in central BangkokBy Pairat Temphairojana and Amy Sawitta Lefevre BANGKOK (Reuters) - Shots fired by unknown gunmen on Wednesday rattled parts of the Thai capital where anti-government protesters have set up camp for weeks, with small but occasionally deadly bombs and gunfire fast becoming the new norm in the city. No one was wounded in the shootings in the central commercial area of Bangkok, although five people were killed in weekend violence in the city and the eastern province of Trat, four of them young children. National security chief Paradorn Pattanathabutr said there had been no reported deaths or injuries in the incidents in the early hours of Wednesday. "Recently we have been seeing more incidents like this happening more frequently ... It is noticeable that there are incidents like this every day." The protesters, whose disruption of a general election this month left polarized Thailand in political paralysis, aim to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and erase the influence of her brother, ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, seen by many as the real power in the country.
Full Story
Top
Eyeing Afghan exit, U.S. intensifies campaign against Haqqani militants 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 05:35 PM PST
U.S. troops arrive near the site of an incident KabulBy Missy Ryan and Phil Stewart KABUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has intensified its drive against the Taliban-linked Haqqani network in an attempt to deal a lasting blow to the militants in Afghanistan before foreign combat forces depart this year, according to multiple U.S. officials. The effort is taking on added urgency as the clock ticks down on a NATO combat mission in Afghanistan set to end in December, and as questions persist about whether Pakistan will take action against a group some U.S. officials believe is quietly supported by Pakistani intelligence. The Obama administration has created a special new unit based in Kabul to coordinate efforts against the militant group, according to officials familiar with the matter. It was set up late last year, as part of a new strategy that involves multiple government agencies, The unit, headed by a colonel and known in military parlance as a "fusion cell," brings together special forces, conventional forces, intelligence personnel, and some civilians to improve targeting of Haqqani members and to heighten the focus on the group, the officials said.
Full Story
Top
Pentagon plans work on new missile defense interceptor 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 05:48 PM PST
Undersecretary of Defense Frank Kendall speaks at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in WashingtonBy Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The next U.S. military budget will include funds to overhaul Boeing Co's ground-based missile defense system and develop a replacement for an interceptor built by Raytheon Co, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer said Tuesday, citing "bad engineering" on the existing system. "We've got to get to more reliable systems," Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told a conference sponsored by McAleese and Associations and Credit Suisse.
Full Story
Top
Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox goes dark in blow to virtual currency 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 01:55 PM PST
Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, went dark on Tuesday, with its website down, its Tokyo office empty, and a cryptic comment from its chief executive that the business was at "a turning point."
Full Story
Top
U.S. expels Venezuelan diplomats in tit-for-tat move over unrest 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 11:36 AM PST
By Andrew Cawthorne and Eyanir Chinea CARACAS (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday ordered three Venezuelan diplomats to leave in reprisal for President Nicolas Maduro's expulsion of three American embassy staff accused of fomenting unrest that has killed at least 13 people. Disputes between the ideologically opposed governments in Washington and Caracas were common during the 1999-2013 rule of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez and have continued under his successor Maduro. When it comes to oil, though, pragmatism trumps politics and the United States remains the OPEC member's main export market. The U.S. State Department said in a statement that two first secretaries and a second secretary at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington had been declared personae non gratae in response to Caracas' February 17 move against the three Americans.
Full Story
Top
Pakistan launches new strikes near Afghan border; warns militants 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 02:16 PM PST
By Jibran Ahmed and David Brunnstrom PESHAWAR, Pakistan/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pakistani military launched new air strikes targeting militant hideouts in the North Waziristan tribal region on Tuesday, killing at least 30 people, and a senior government official warned of a big offensive unless the Taliban showed they were serious about negotiations. Pakistani fighter jets have been pounding targets in the region since the government's efforts to engage Taliban insurgents in peace negotiations broke down this month. North Waziristan residents have been fleeing the area on the Afghan border in recent days, anticipating a full-scale military offensive, leaving homes, shops and villages behind and settling in safer areas, such as Bannu, a town on the edge of the region. "The militants had captured a stretch between South Waziristan and North Waziristan and had established training centers where they were also preparing suicide bombers," said one military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Full Story
Top
U.S. home price rise momentum weakens, consumer confidence falls 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 01:46 PM PST
People walk near new single family homes under construction in San MarcosU.S. home price gains slowed in December, according to a closely watched housing survey on Tuesday that underscored a loss of momentum in the housing recovery, while consumer confidence drifted lower this month.
Full Story
Top
Iraqi leaders give conflicting answers on reported Iran arms deal 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 01:43 PM PST
Iraqi soldiers take their positions during a patrol in Sulaiman PekBy Ahmed Rasheed BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi officials gave contradictory accounts on Tuesday about whether or not Baghdad had agreed to buy $195 million worth of arms and ammunition from Iran as reported by Reuters, a deal that if confirmed could damage Iraqi-U.S. relations. The Defence Ministry denied any such deal had been done, while a senior Iraqi government lawmaker who heads parliament's security and defence committee said Baghdad had bought "some light weapons and ammunition" from Tehran. The United States has demanded explanations from Iraq since such a deal would violate U.S. and U.N. sanctions imposed on Iran over its disputed nuclear program. An influential U.S. senator said the sale of 24 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq should be reconsidered until the matter was cleared up.
Full Story
Top
Turkish PM says tapes of talk with son a fabrication 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 10:42 AM PST
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in AnkaraBy Samia Nakhoul and Nick Tattersall ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's Prime Minister accused political enemies of hacking encrypted state communications to fake a phone conversation suggesting he warned his son to hide large sums of money before police raids in a graft inquiry that reached into government. In a dramatic session of parliament after posting of an 11-minute audio tape on YouTube, Tayyip Erdogan described it as a shameless and treacherous "montage". He did not name those he held responsible but made it clear he was talking of a network run by former ally, Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Full Story
Top
Nigerian Islamists kill 59 pupils in boarding school attack 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 10:45 AM PST
The remains of the burned out Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, Nigeria, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Islamic militants killed at least 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on the northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. (AP Photo)By Joe Hemba DAMATURU, Nigeria (Reuters) - Gunmen from Islamist group Boko Haram shot or burned to death 59 pupils in a boarding school in northeast Nigeria overnight, a hospital official and security forces said on Tuesday. "Some of the students' bodies were burned to ashes," Police Commissioner Sanusi Rufai said of the attack on the Federal Government college of Buni Yadi, a secondary school in Yobe state, near the state's capital city of Damaturu. Bala Ajiya, an official at the Specialist Hospital Damaturu, told Reuters by phone the death toll had risen to 59. President Goodluck Jonathan called the attack "callous and senseless murder ... by deranged terrorists and fanatics who have clearly lost all human morality and descended to bestiality".
Full Story
Top
Egypt's liberal party leader voices fears for democracy 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 09:19 AM PST
Hala Shukrallah, the new president of the Dostour liberal party, smiles during an interview with Reuters in CairoBy Asma Alsharif and Mahmoud Mourad CAIRO (Reuters) - The first woman to head a major Egyptian political party said on Tuesday she saw dangers for democracy if Egypt's wildly popular army chief becomes president, without guarantees that he will not be above the law. Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled Egypt's first freely elected president, Mohamed Mursi, in July after mass protests against his rule, and the army-backed authorities have since suppressed the Islamist leader's Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi has won a fervent following in the past eight months. Hala Shokralla, a Coptic Christian, expressed fears that Sisi's popularity would overshadow efforts to lead Egypt to democracy and end political turmoil gripping the country since a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak three years ago.
Full Story
Top
Egypt's new PM says to fight militancy, rebuild economy 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 08:09 AM PST
File photo of Egypt's Housing Minister Mahlab talking during an interview with the media in CairoEgypt's new prime minister said on Tuesday he would seek to eradicate militant violence that has increased since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, hoping improved security will lead to economic recovery. Speaking after his appointment by Adly Mansour, the army-appointed president who has been in office since Mursi's removal in July, Ibrahim Mahlab said he hoped to form his government within three or four days, "We will work together to restore security and safety to Egypt and crush terrorism in all corners of the country," said Mahlab, formerly the housing minister, expressing hope for a recovery in the crucial tourism sector. "Security and stability in the entire country and crushing terrorism will pave the way for investment." Mahlab's appointment followed the surprise resignation of Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi's government on Monday. Mahlab is a civil engineer who was formerly head of one of Egypt's biggest construction firms.
Full Story
Top
Obama prepared to leave no troops in Afghanistan after 2014 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 09:21 AM PST
By Steve Holland and Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has told the Pentagon to prepare for the possibility that the United States will not leave behind any troops in Afghanistan after its troop drawdown at the end of this year, the White House said on Tuesday. Obama said he had given the order to the Pentagon in a phone call on Tuesday to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has refused to sign a bilateral security agreement that the United States insists it must have before agreeing to leave a contingent of troops behind.
Full Story
Top
Home prices rise more than forecast in December 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 06:35 AM PST
People walk near new single family homes under construction in San Marcos(Reuters) - U.S. single-family home prices in December rose slightly more than expected from the previous month, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday. The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 0.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. The 20-city composite index rose 13.4 percent year-on-year. "The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index ended its best year since 2005," David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement.
Full Story
Top
China charges prominent Uighur professor with separatism 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 07:15 AM PST
Guzailai Nu'er, the wife of Ilham Tohti, speaks as she has an interview with Reuters by a phone from window of her house in BeijingBy Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - Authorities in China's restive far western region of Xinjiang have charged a prominent ethnic Uighur professor with separatism, his wife and lawyer said on Tuesday, in a case which has attracted concern in the United States and Europe. Police in Beijing last month detained Ilham Tohti, a well-known economist who has championed the rights of the Muslim Uighur community, who come from Xinjiang. He was subsequently taken to Xinjiang's regional capital Urumqi. Tohti's lawyer, Li Fangping, said that he would try and see his client on Wednesday, but he had so far not been given access.
Full Story
Top
Swiss government warns a minimum wage threatens economy 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 08:37 AM PST
Swiss Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann attends a news conference in BernIntroducing the world's highest minimum wage would hurt Switzerland's competitiveness and lead to job cuts, harming precisely those low-income workers it is designed to help, the Swiss government said on Tuesday. Swiss voters will decide in a popular vote on May 18 if they want to introduce a minimum wage of 22 Swiss francs ($24.73)an hour, or 4,000 francs a month, much higher than in other countries. "The government is convinced it would be wrong for the state to impose a nationwide wage," economy minister Johann Schneider-Ammann told a media conference. A minimum wage of 4,000 francs could lead to job cuts and even threaten the existence of smaller companies, notably in retail, catering, agriculture and housekeeping, Schneider-Ammann.
Full Story
Top
Thai trade slumps alongside tourism as protest violence takes toll 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 04:38 AM PST
Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra leaves the Royal Thai Air Force headquarters after a cabinet meeting in BangkokBy Orathai Sriring and Amy Sawitta Lefevre BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand announced a slump in trade figures on Tuesday with the biggest drop in imports in more than four years in January, as months of anti-government protests extended their economic toll beyond falling tourism numbers. The protesters, whose disruption of a general election this month left Thailand in political limbo, aim to topple caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and erase the influence of her brother, ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, seen by many as the power behind the government. Weeks of unrest, most of it in the capital, Bangkok, have been interrupted by occasional bombs and gunfire, with one blast killing a woman and a young brother and sister in a busy shopping district on Sunday. Thailand is a regional hub for global car makers and a major producer of hard disk drives.
Full Story
Top
Exclusive: Google sets roadblocks to stop distracted driver legislation 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 04:05 AM PST
Google founder Sergey Brin poses for a portrait wearing Google Glass glasses before the Diane von Furstenberg Spring/Summer 2013 collection show during New York Fashion WeekBy Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google is lobbying officials in at least three U.S. states to stop proposed restrictions on driving with headsets such as Google Glass, marking some of the first clashes over the nascent wearable technology. Some eight U.S. states are considering regulation of Google Glass, a tiny computer screen mounted in the corner of an eyeglass frame. So-called wearables such as Google Glass, smart watches and sophisticated health devices may represent the next big shift in technology, just as smartphones evolved from personal computers, and enthusiasts predict billion-dollar markets. Google, which is still testing Glass, charges $1,500 per pair.
Full Story
Top
Former Murdoch CEO Brooks denies knowledge of murdered girl phone-hack 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 06:37 AM PST
Former News International Chief Executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey courthouse in LondonBy Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Rebekah Brooks, former editor of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World newspaper, told a London court on Tuesday she knew nothing about the 2002 hacking of the mobile phone of a murdered schoolgirl and spoke of her "horror" it had occurred. Brooks, 45, who later became chief executive of the British newspaper arm of News Corp., also said she did not know phone-hacking was illegal while she was the paper's editor. The revelation in 2011 that Dowler's phone had been intercepted by the tabloid while the 13-year-old was missing led to widespread public condemnation that caused Murdoch to shut the 168-year-old paper and forced Brooks to resign. Asked whether she had anything to do with a journalist tasking private detective Glenn Mulcaire to hack Dowler's phone, she said: "No I didn't", adding she first learned the News of the World had hacked the phone on July 4, 2011, just days before the paper was shut and she was arrested.
Full Story
Top
China's president braves smog, takes a stroll in old quarter 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 03:58 AM PST
China's President Xi leads his delegation in a meeting with Senegal's President Sall at the Great Hall of the People in BeijingChinese President Xi Jinping surprised Beijing residents by visiting traditional courtyard homes and chatting near a shopping street on Tuesday, drawing praise from social media for mixing in public during a bad bout of smog. Photographs posted online by media showed Xi mobbed by people holding cameras and cell phones as he stood grinning in an alley in Beijing's historic old quarter. Xi was accompanied by Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun, apparently in a bid to dispel speculation in overseas Chinese media that Wang has been implicated in a corruption investigation into retired former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Smog has been thick for the past few days in Beijing and many internet users expressed approval that the president was exposing himself to the same air as everyone else without donning a mask.
Full Story
Top
India to block U.S. trade probes, ready for fight at WTO 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 03:26 AM PST
Indian PM Singh speaks as U.S. President Obama looks on, during their meeting in the White House in WashingtonBy Manoj Kumar NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has decided to block investigations by the United States into its trade policies and patent laws, and prepare for a battle at the World Trade Organization (WTO), a move that could escalate already-strained tension between the two countries. New Delhi is furious about a threat of trade sanctions made by the U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) office over its protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), preference for domestic producers and non-trade barriers. Ahead of a general election, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government does not want to be seen as bowing to U.S. pressure, amid lingering tension over the recent arrest and strip search of a female diplomat in New York suspected of visa fraud. On Wednesday, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) - which represents about 50 U.S. business groups - asked the USTR to designate India a Priority Foreign Country in its 2014 report.
Full Story
Top
Pistorius murder trial can be televised, South Africa judge rules 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 04:47 AM PST
South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius is escorted by police at a Pretoria police stationBy Ed Stoddard JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African judge ruled on Tuesday that the murder trial of Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius can be televised, giving millions around the world direct access to one of the most sensational celebrity trials since O.J. Simpson's. Pistorius, 27, has admitted to shooting his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, at his Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year, but has said it was a tragic accident in which he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder. In a televised ruling in a Pretoria high court, Judge Dustan Mlambo said it was vital that impoverished South Africans who feel ill-treated by the justice system be given a first-hand look at the trial. "Enabling a larger South African society to be able to follow first-hand criminal proceedings which involve a celebrity, so to speak, will go a long way into dispelling these negative and unfounded perceptions." Mlambo attached several conditions, including provisos that no recording be allowed during breaks and that no confidential communication between parties involved in the trial be recorded.
Full Story
Top
Kenya needs better security coordination after Westgate: report 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 05:55 AM PST
Shoppers and shop assistants raise their hands as they are escorted to safety while armed police hunt for gunmen who went on a shooting spree in Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, KenyaBy Joseph Akwiri MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) - A Kenyan parliamentary inquiry has called for a new body to coordinate between intelligence and security agencies after blaming poor communication and inadequate preparations for failures in handling the Westgate shopping mall attack. At least 67 people were killed in September when gunmen from the Somali militant group al Shabaab attacked a luxury shopping mall in the capital, tossing grenades, spraying shoppers with bullets and holding parts of the building for four days. The report by the parliamentary inquiry, seen by Reuters, said security services were warned about an impending attack but "there was general laxity among the police over terror alerts" in the run up to the September 21 raid. Al Shabaab militants have threatened to orchestrate further Westgate-style attacks if Kenyan troops do not withdraw from Somalia where they are battling Islamist insurgents as part of an African Union peacekeeping force.
Full Story
Top
Iran a threat not just to Israel, says Germany's Merkel 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 05:52 AM PST
Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu stands next to German Chancellor Merkel after their joint news conference in JerusalemBy Andreas Rinke JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Germany views Iran as a potential threat not just to Israel, but also to European countries, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday at a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But she stopped short of endorsing her host's demand that Tehran give up all sensitive nuclear projects under any negotiated deal with world powers, and reiterated Berlin's opposition to Israeli settlements on occupied land where the Palestinians seek statehood. Germany is Israel's most important ally in Europe, where the Netanyahu government frets it is losing support given troubled peace talks with the Palestinians.
Full Story
Top
In Ukraine turbulence, a lad from Lviv becomes the toast of Kiev 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 04:26 AM PST
Anti-presidential protester Parasiuk addresses the crowd as opposition leader Klitschko looks on during a rally in KievBy Richard Balmforth KIEV (Reuters) - When the history of the bloody turbulence in Ukraine is written, a 26-year-old who learned combat skills in the army cadets may be recorded as the man who made up Viktor Yanukovich's mind to cut and run. Cars toot a welcome and passers-by press the hand of Volodymyr Parasiuk, a boyish-looking individual who finds it embarrassing to be called a hero. He reserves that title for his comrades and other protesters among the 80 or so people killed on the capital's streets last week in three days of fighting against Yanukovich's police. But after opposition leaders had signed an EU-brokered deal with President Yanukovich to end the conflict, it was Parasiuk who commandeered the microphone on Friday night to turn the crowd against it.
Full Story
Top
Italian marines will still be tried in India: foreign ministry 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 03:14 AM PST
Italian sailors Latorre and Girone wait to board elevator to reach police commissioner's office in KochiTwo Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen will still be tried in India, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday, a day after the government dropped a plan to prosecute the men under a tough anti-piracy law. "They will still be tried in India, under Indian law," foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told Reuters. It is about trying to ensure that those who are charged with crimes against Indian nationals will be held accountable under Indian law." Charges have yet to be filed in the case, not unusual in India's notoriously slow legal system, which spurred Italy to approach the Supreme Court last month demanding a ruling for the marines to return home. Italy also recalled its ambassador to New Delhi last week in protest at the delays.
Full Story
Top
Italy PM Renzi wins confidence vote, pledging tax cuts, reform 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 02:38 AM PST
The Italian Senate is seen before the start of a confidence vote in RomeBy James Mackenzie and Naomi O'Leary ROME (Reuters) - Prime Minister Matteo Renzi won his first confidence vote in parliament, pledging to cut labour taxes, free up funds for investment in schools and pass wide institutional reforms to tackle Italy's economic malaise. Facing parliament for the first time, the 39-year-old Renzi who is Italy's youngest premier, sketched out an ambitious program of change in an hour-long speech delivered in his trademark quickfire style interspersed with occasional jeers from the opposition benches. "If we lose this challenge, the fault will be mine alone," he told the Senate. Backed by his own center-left Democratic Party (PD), the small center-right NCD party, centrists and other minor groups, Renzi won the backing of the upper house by 169 votes to 139 in a vote taken in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Full Story
Top
Budget cuts to slash U.S. Army to smallest since before World War Two 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 01:17 AM PST
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dempsey makes remarks to the press as U.S. Secretary of Defense Hagel listens, at the Pentagon, Arlington) By David Alexander and Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Monday it would shrink the U.S. Army to pre-World War Two levels, eliminate the popular A-10 aircraft and reduce military benefits in order to meet 2015 spending caps, setting up an election-year fight with the Congress over national defense priorities. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, previewing the Pentagon's ideas on how to adapt to government belt-tightening, said the defense budget due out next week would be the first to look beyond 13 years of conflict, shifting away from long-term ground wars like Iraq and Afghanistan. He cautioned, however, that the country needed to be clear-eyed about the risks posed by lower budget levels, which would challenge the Pentagon to field a smaller yet well-trained force that could cope with any adversary, but might not be able to respond simultaneously to multiple conflicts. "Budget reductions inevitably reduce the military's margin of error in dealing with these risks, as other powers are continuing to modernize their weapons portfolios." The cuts come as the Pentagon is attempting to absorb nearly a trillion dollars in reductions to projected spending over a decade.
Full Story
Top
Philippines protests over South China Sea water cannon incident 
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014 12:53 AM PST
The Philippines protested on Tuesday against China's use of a water cannon on Filipino fishermen in disputed waters of the South China Sea warning that the incident would escalate tension. China's chargƩ d'affaires in Manila, Sun Xiangyang, was summoned to hear the Philippines "strongly protest the efforts of China to prohibit Filipino fishermen from undertaking fishing activities in the Philippines' Bajo de Masinloc", said Raul Hernandez, the foreign ministry spokesman. Hernandez, referring to the South China Sea's Scarborough Shoal fishing ground by its Philippine name, said the fishermen had been merely sheltering from bad weather in the area.
Full Story
Top

You received this email because you subscribed to Yahoo! Alerts. Use this link to unsubscribe from this alert. To change your communications preferences for other Yahoo! business lines, please visit your Marketing Preferences. To learn more about Yahoo!'s use of personal information, including the use of web beacons in HTML-based email, please read our Privacy Policy. Yahoo! is located at 701 First Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94089.

No comments:

Post a Comment