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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bongo aims to extend 50-year family rule in Gabon election
Sun, 28 Aug 2016 04:25:44 -0400
By Gerauds Wilfried Obangome LIBREVILLE (Reuters) - Gabon voted on Saturday amid discontent over its failure to raise living standards despite oil wealth, in a poll posing the biggest challenge yet to President Ali Bongo, whose family has run the central African nation for half a century. With state machinery and entrenched patronage networks behind him, Bongo, 57, is likely to be returned, seven years after winning his first election following the death of his father Omar, who ruled for 42 years. Bongo faced nine other candidates - compared with 22 in the last poll - but his main rival was veteran diplomat Jean Ping.


De Kock top-scores as South Africa batsmen flourish
Sun, 28 Aug 2016 04:23:08 -0400
By Mark Gleeson PRETORIA (Reuters) - Quinton de Kock top scored as all South Africa’s batsmen got among the runs in a score of 283 for three on the first day of the second test against New Zealand at Centurion on Saturday. De Kock showed sparkling strokeplay in a brisk 82 as he and Stephen Cook became the first opening pair to feature in a 100-run partnership for South Africa since December 2013. Cook scored 56, Hashim Amla 58 and JP Duminy was 67 not out at the close along with captain Faf du Plessis (13).


Nigeria launches offensive against militants in Delta oil hub
Sun, 28 Aug 2016 04:17:14 -0400
By Tife Owolabi YENAGOA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigeria's military said on Saturday it had launched a new offensive against militants in the oil-producing Niger Delta, killing five and arresting 23. Armed groups have claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on oil and gas pipelines in the southern region, reducing the country's oil output by 700,000 barrels day. "In the course of the operation, five militants that attacked the troops were killed in action, while numerous others were injured and 23 suspects were arrested." There was no immediate reaction from militant groups, which operate from hard-to-access creeks in the swampland.


Half of Germans against Merkel serving fourth term: poll
Sun, 28 Aug 2016 04:12:27 -0400
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's domestic popularity has declined, a poll showed on Sunday, with 50 percent of Germans against her serving a fourth term in office after a federal election next year. A series of violent attacks on civilians in July, two of which were claimed by Islamic State, have focused attention on Merkel's open-door migrant policy, which allowed hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere into Germany last year. The head of Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), Frank-Juergen Weise, told the newspaper that he expects a maximum of 300,000 refugees to arrive in Germany this year.


South Africa's finance minister to be charged for graft -City Press
Sun, 28 Aug 2016 04:10:04 -0400
South Africa Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan may be charged this week for graft, the City Press newspaper reported on Sunday, citing senior sources in the police, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), and the tax service. Thirty witnesses had been lined up to testify against Gordhan and three former officials from the South African Revenue Service (SARS), the paper said. Officials at the NPA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


Kurdish militants fire rocket at civilian airport in Turkey
Sun, 28 Aug 2016 04:06:49 -0400
ISTANBUL (AP) — Kurdish militants launched a rocket-propelled grenade at a civilian airport in southeast Turkey early Sunday, causing minor damage and no injuries, officials and the state-run news agency said.

Shoddy home renovations may have contributed to Italy quake toll
Sun, 28 Aug 2016 04:00:56 -0400
Shoddy, price-cutting renovations, in breach of local building regulations, could be partly to blame for the high death toll from this week's devastating earthquake in central Italy, according to a prosecutor investigating the disaster. As questions mount over the deaths of nearly 300 people, prosecutor Giuseppe Saieva indicated that property owners who commissioned suspected sub-standard work could be held responsible for contributing to the quake's deadly impact. Saieva, who works in the Rieti region between Rome and the quake's epicentre, said the tragedy could not simply be filed away as an unavoidable natural disaster.


10,000th Syrian reaches US this week in resettlement program
Sun, 28 Aug 2016 03:55:52 -0400
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to Jordan says Washington will reach its target Monday of taking in 10,000 Syrian war refugees in a yearlong resettlement program.

Turkish bombardment kills 20 civilians in Syria
Sun, 28 Aug 2016 04:25:59 -0400
Turkish shelling and air strikes killed at least 20 civilians in Syria on Sunday, the fifth day of an incursion against Islamic State group jihadists and Kurdish militia, a monitor said. "At least 20 civilians were killed and 50 others wounded by Turkish artillery fire and air strikes on Sunday morning at Jeb el-Kussa," a village south of Jarabulus, said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It comes after Turkey on Saturday suffered its first fatality since launching operation "Euphrates Shield" in Syria, blaming Kurdish militia in a fight for control of the border region.


Italian museums giving Sunday proceeds to rebuild quake zone
Sun, 28 Aug 2016 03:52:05 -0400
ROME (AP) — Italy's state museums are donating their proceeds Sunday to relief and reconstruction efforts in the area devastated by an earthquake.




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