World news

Russian jets pound Aleppo as U.S. clings to diplomacy

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Russian war planes struck rebel held areas north of Aleppo on Saturday as the army shelled the besieged old quarter in a major offensive, rebels and a monitoring group said. Russia was reported on Friday to be sending more warplanes to Syria to ramp up its air campaign as the United States said it had not yet given up on finding a diplomatic resolution. The latest strikes come 10 days into a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive to capture rebel-held eastern Aleppo and crush the last urban stronghold of a revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that began in 2011.

China paper says U.S., South Korea will 'pay the price' for planned missile system

The United States and South Korea are destined to "pay the price" for their decision to deploy an advanced missile defense system which will inevitably prompt a "counter attack", China's top newspaper said on Saturday. Tension on the Korean peninsula has been high this year, beginning with North Korea's fourth nuclear test in January, which was followed by a satellite launch, a string of tests of various missiles, and its fifth and largest nuclear test last month. In July, South Korea agreed with the United States to deploy the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to protect against any North Korean threats.

Philippines' Duterte likens himself to Hitler, wants to kill millions of drug users

By Karen Lema and Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte appeared to liken himself to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler on Friday and said he would "be happy" to exterminate 3 million drug users and peddlers in the country. Although the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama played down the remark, Duterte's comments triggered shock and anger among Jewish groups in the United States, which could create pressure on the U.S. government to take a tougher line with the Philippines leader. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a news conference following a meeting Southeast Asian defense chiefs in Hawaii that he personally found Duterte's comments "deeply troubling", though the matter wasn't discussed at the meeting.

German government believes Trump would ravage U.S. economy: Spiegel

Germany's economy ministry believes a Donald Trump presidency would severely damage the U.S. economy, according to an internal memorandum reported by Der Spiegel magazine on Saturday. The ministry expects "shrinking gross domestic product, fewer jobs and higher unemployment," in the United States if the Republican candidate were to implement his campaign pledges, the magazine cited the memo as saying. Trump, a billionaire businessman seeking his first public office, has proposed tax cuts worth $4.4 trillion and wants to curb government regulation and take a tougher stance on negotiating trade deals.

Indians disclose $10 billion in hidden wealth in tax evasion amnesty

A government amnesty targeting tax evasion in India has prompted tens of thousands of suspected tax dodgers to disclose nearly $10 billion in undeclared income, the finance minister said on Saturday. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent out about 700,000 notices earlier this year to suspected evaders to coax them to declare hidden income and assets, known as "black money" in India, promising they would not be pursued by authorities if they came clean and paid a penalty. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters the four-month scheme that closed on Friday had led to 64,275 declarations, resulting in a provisional 652.5 billion rupees ($9.8 billion) in undisclosed wealth.

Suspected suicide car bomb rams restaurant in Somali capital - police

A suspected suicide car bomb hit a restaurant in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday, killing at least three people, a police officer and local official said. Residents said the restaurant was frequented by members of the national security forces. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Islamist group al Shabaab has launched many similar attacks in Mogadishu in the past in its bid to topple the Western-backed government.

Thousands of Indians declare $9.5 billion in black money

NEW DELHI (AP) ? India's finance minister says tens of thousands of Indians have declared a total of $9.5 billion in black money as part of a one-time opportunity to come clean under a government scheme.

Top Asian News 11:54 a.m. GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) ? As the body count mounts in the Philippines' deadly war on drugs, and its combative president's rhetoric plumbs new depths, the mood in Washington toward a key Asian ally is hardening. Influential U.S. lawmakers are warning that the extra-judicial killings in the drug war ? President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday compared it to the Holocaust ? could affect American aid. And while the Obama administration maintains that its 65-year-old alliance with the Philippines remains "ironclad," a senior U.S. diplomat is cautioning Duterte against more anti-U.S. posturing. "I think it would be a serious mistake in a democratic country like the Philippines to underestimate the power of the public's affinity for the U.S.

Pakistan bans Bollywood films as Kashmir tensions rise

Indian films have been banned in cinemas across Pakistan as tensions between Islamabad and nuclear-armed rivals New Delhi over recent scuffles in the disputed Kashmir region spilled into the world of Bollywood and celebrity. The tit-for-tat retaliation came after Pakistani actors and technicians were banned from working on Bollywood sets by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA). Tensions have been simmering for months between India and Pakistan, but were dangerously ratcheted up Thursday when India claimed it had carried out "surgical strikes" across the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border in disputed Kashmir.

South African universities say academic year is in peril

JOHANNESBURG (AP) ? South African protesters lob rocks at security guards at one of the continent's leading universities. Police fire rubber bullets at students on another campus. Vice-chancellors warn that students might not be able to finish the academic year if a national dispute over financing higher education is not resolved soon.

Russia warns against US attack on Syrian forces

MOSCOW (AP) ? Russia has warned the United States against carrying out any attacks on Syrian government forces, saying it would have repercussions across the Middle East.

Hamilton scorches to record Malaysia GP pole

Lewis Hamilton blitzed his rivals in qualifying Saturday to secure pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The reigning world champion clocked the fastest lap ever recorded at the 5.543km circuit in 1min 32.850sec. It could have been faster," said Hamilton, who has consistently outpaced his rival Rosberg all week.

Local Muslims wary of Hungary's anti-migrant referendum

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) ? Muslims in Hungary say they are wary of the government's anti-migrant referendum which they say has boosted xenophobic feelings.





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