Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza won't back down on his bid for a third term in power, a spokesman said Tuesday, dismissing calls by protesters who have clashed with police for three days. "We won't back down, that is out of the question," presidential communications chief Willy Nyamitwe told AFP, blaming demonstrators for the violence and accusing some of them of carrying guns.
Schmidt, AFP's South Asia photo chief, and Kathmandu bureau chief Ammu Kannampilly had just reached Everest base camp on assignment Saturday when an avalanche -- triggered by the 7.8-magnitude quake that has killed more than 4,310 in Nepal -- thundered down the mountain. "I said I need to find my camera and he just handed it over to me, encased basically in a block of snow.
BUJUMBURA (Reuters) - Burundi told diplomats on Tuesday to stay neutral in a political crisis sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to stand for a third term, a move that sent protesters onto the streets for three days. "In such a situation, the Burundi government asks you to observe diplomatic neutrality," the first deputy president, Propser Bazombanza, told a meeting with ambassadors from the United States, Europe and African nations in Bujumbura. ...
Iranian forces boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship in the Gulf on Tuesday after patrol boats fired warning shots across its bow and ordered it deeper into Iranian waters as it was traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, the Pentagon said. The ship, the MV Maersk Tigris, initially ignored Iranian patrol boats that ordered it deeper into Iranian territorial waters but complied after the vessels fired several warning shots, U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren said. No U.S. citizens were aboard the cargo ship, Warren said.
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Supreme Court is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land.
By Richard Valdmanis BOSTON (Reuters) - The older brother of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was transformed from a heavy drinker and drugs user into someone obsessed with Islam after returning from a trip to Russia in 2012, witnesses said on Tuesday. The 21-year-old ethnic Chechen was convicted this month of killing three people and injuring 264 in the bombing, and shooting dead a police officer three days later alongside the older brother, Tamerlan. Rogerio Franca, who lived near the Tsarnaev family in Cambridge, Massachusetts, told jurors Tamerlan was a partier before his trip to Russia but transformed into someone more closely resembling a devout Muslim when he returned. "Most of the time he was drunk, most of the time he was high," Franca said of Tamerlan before his trip.
By Elvina Nawaguna WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The debate over gay marriage in America, one of the leading social issues of this era, played out on the sidewalks outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday as the nine black-robed justices weighed the arguments inside. The gay marriage supporters, who outnumbered those who were opposed, sang the U.S. national anthem to try to drown out the demonstrator's voice. Gay marriage supporters included Shelly Bailes, 74, and Ellen Pontac, 73, a lesbian couple who met on a blind date 41 years ago and married in California six years ago. Pontac carried a sign with the message "Life feels different when you're married." Reacting to the demonstrators against gay marriage, Bailes said: "It's very sad that people have to hate in order to show how they feel.
A riot in Baltimore, US, sparked by the death of a black man in police custody, is the latest outpouring of anger at perceived police racism. Rioting erupted Monday after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Baltimore man who died of severe spinal injuries eight days after he was detained by city police. FERGUSON, Missouri: On August 9, a white police officer kills an unarmed black teenager, aspiring college student Michael Brown, 18, unleashing sometimes violent protests and heavy-handed police tactics. A later decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson prompts riots in Ferguson and raises tensions from New York to Seattle with thousands taking to the streets.
Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said an Iranian "force" seized a U.S. cargo ship after opening fire on it in the Gulf on Tuesday and directed it to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. A Pentagon spokesman said Iranian forces had boarded a Marshall Island-flagged vessel, the MV Maersk Tigris, in the Gulf. He said it was traveling through the Strait of Hormuz when the incident occurred. There was no immediate word from Iranian officials.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday on whether the Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, with a majority of the nine justices firing skeptical questions at a lawyer asking them to legalize gay marriage nationwide. Five justices including a possible swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy, and a member of the court's liberal wing, Justice Stephen Breyer, asked lawyer Mary Bonauto why the high court should change a definition of marriage that has existed for millennia, rather than allowing American voters to decide. The oral arguments, scheduled for 2-1/2 hours, continued and were expected to end about 12:30 p.m.. A lively crowd estimated at more than 1,000 people, with those favoring legalized gay marriage outnumbering those opposed, gathered outside the white marble courthouse as the justices heard arguments in the case, known as Obergefell v. Hodges.
By Ian Simpson and Warren Strobel BALTIMORE (Reuters) - Baltimore residents on Tuesday began to clear the wreckage of rioting and fires that erupted after the funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died in police custody, while the city's mayor defended local law enforcement's light initial response. Acrid smoke hung over streets where violence broke out just blocks from Freddie Gray's funeral and spread through much of the poor West Baltimore neighborhood. Gray's death gave new energy to the public outcry that flared last year after police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, New York City and elsewhere. "It's a very delicate balancing act, when we have to make sure that we're managing but not increasing and escalating the problem," Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told reporters on Tuesday.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) ? Fifteen video games that have engrossed gamers for untold hours were named finalists Tuesday for the new World Video Game Hall of Fame.
NEW YORK (AP) ? Lifetime says it's joining in the 'Full House' revival with a behind-the-scenes movie of the long-running family sitcom.
After their weekend derby disappointment, Juventus will need favours from elsewhere if they are to secure a fourth consecutive Serie A title in front of their own fans on Wednesday. Fourteen points clear at the top of the table with six matches remaining, Massimiliano Allegri's side entertain Fiorentina at the Juventus Stadium knowing a win will see them confirmed as champions provided nearest rivals Lazio slip up at home to Parma. A draw could also be enough for the Bianconeri to clinch their 31st scudetto this midweek, but only if Lazio, Roma and Napoli all fail to win, with the latter not in action away to Empoli until Thursday. In the last week, Juve have gone from the high of winning through to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in 12 years to the low of losing 2-1 to city rivals Torino, their first defeat in the so-called 'Derby della Mole' since 1995.
There are no indications so far that any U.S. ship is being directed by Iranian forces into an Iranian port, a U.S. official told Reuters on Tuesday. The official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity to discuss the situation, said the United States was still working to get clarity on the situation after Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said an Iranian "force" seized a U.S. cargo ship in the Gulf on Tuesday and directed it to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.
WASHINGTON (AP) ? On a trip to Australia in 2012, Hillary Rodham Clinton lavished praise on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, calling it the "gold standard" in efforts to create open and fair trade.
Indonesia geared up to execute eight foreign drug convicts by firing squad after midnight Tuesday, despite a firestorm of international criticism and heartrending last-ditch pleas by the condemned prisoners' families. Ambulances were seen carrying coffins to Nusakambangan prion island, where Indonesia puts condemned prisoners to death, and embassy officials and religious counsellors also made their way to the site late Tuesday as the clock ticked down to the executions. Relatives of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, the Australian ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" heroin trafficking group, wailed in grief as they headed to the island, and one relative collapsed. Please don't take my son," said Sukumaran's mother Raji, in a tearful plea after visiting him.
Entertainment giant Live Nation said Tuesday it was buying a controlling stake in Bonnaroo, one of the most influential US music festivals, in the latest consolidation in the booming industry. The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, established in 2002 in rural Tennessee, is known for its selection of indie rock and Americana artists as well as its round-the-clock films and laid-back camping atmosphere. Live Nation, which also runs Ticketmaster, said that it would take a controlling interest in Bonnaroo but the two sides did not disclose financial terms. Live Nation will also own a share of the Bonnaroo property -- known to fans as "The Farm" -- where it said it will invest in improvements.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Part way into oral arguments, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday fired skeptical questions at a lawyer who was asking the nine justices to legalize gay marriage nationwide. Five justices including a possible swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy, and a member of the court's liberal wing, Justice Stephen Breyer, asked lawyer Mary Bonauto why the high court should change a definition of marriage that has existed for millennia, rather than allowing American voters to decide. The hearing continued and was expected to end about 12:30 p.m. (1630 GMT). ...
NEW YORK (AP) ? The musicals "An American in Paris" and "Fun Home" each received a leading 12 Tony Award nominations on Tuesday, showing two very different sides of this Broadway season.
By Noah Browning and Angus McDowall DUBAI/RIYADH (Reuters) - The frontlines of Yemen's messy civil war have barely moved after weeks of Saudi air strikes and fighting between rival factions, but behind the scenes there are faint signs of shifts that could alter the balance on the ground. At stake is the stability and political future of a country that is home to al Qaeda's most active international wing, has become a theater of rivalry between top regional powers Saudi Arabia and Iran, and sits on main shipping routes. "By reading the map of all Yemen's battles and military clashes, both the air strikes and the internal Yemeni battles, one can see that the front is in the same place it was the day it all started, and neither side could push its advantage," political activist Bushra al-Maqtari wrote in the al-Araby al-Jadeed newspaper on Sunday. The Houthi militia and allied army units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh still hold central and southern areas they seized in late March and early April, but have failed to quash resistance from forces backing the exiled government.
By Nita Bhalla NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Hundreds of thousands of Nepali migrants working in Gulf States must be allowed to return home after a massive earthquake devastated their impoverished nation, a trade union group said on Tuesday. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), which has 176 million members globally, said it had written to the Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates governments to ask them to suspend a sponsorship system which prevents the free movement of workers. The system has long been criticized by human rights groups and trade unions who have likened it to a form of modern day slavery, where employers take workers' passports and use possession to keep them there or extort a large fee before allowing them to leave. "We call upon the Gulf States, which rely so heavily on cheap and exploited labor from Nepal, to show compassion and immediately suspend the kafala restrictions which are stopping Nepalese people returning home for bereavement and to help reconstruct the country," said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow in a statement.
Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling hopes Greece's new negotiating team will make faster progress in debt talks with international creditors and that negotiations do not go back to square one, he said on Tuesday. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reshuffled the negotiating team after a meeting with euro zone finance ministers last week brought little progress. The switch appeared to shunt Athens Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis to a less active role in negotiations. Schelling told reporters before a cabinet meeting that he learned of the move only via media reports but that it was "in order" for Tsipras to change the team, adding that "it just has to be quick...I hope we don't start again at zero." "We hope...that the Greek government now gets out of the headlines, that they concretely back up measures with laws, valuations and schedules," he said.
The head of the Eurogroup said on Tuesday that a recent shakeup of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' negotiating team would not by itself resolve the impasse between Greece and its creditors. "The Greek government gambled that if it negotiated with us the ECB would open its cashier windows, relax its rules," Jeroen Dijsselbloem said, referring to the European Central Bank.
Brash and unrepentant for lecturing Europe on the evils of austerity, Yanis Varoufakis rose to instant hero in Greece when he became finance minister in January. Three months on, Greeks are unemotionally accepting his relegation to the sidelines. His loss of the leading role in negotiations with Greece's creditors is a price that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras seems ready to pay to break an impasse with the EU and IMF over securing an aid deal that Greeks badly want. After Varoufakis infuriated his euro zone peers and failed to achieve progress in the talks, Tsipras reshuffled his negotiating team on Monday, effectively downgrading Varoufakis to a less active role.
By Renee Maltezou and Deepa Babington ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday he was confident of an outline deal with international creditors within two weeks, after shaking up his negotiating team and sidelining his finance minister who has infuriated euro zone partners. Tsipras also said he would have to resort to a referendum if lenders insisted on demands deemed unacceptable by his leftist government, elected to scrap austerity. Athens is weeks away from running out of cash, and talks with EU and IMF lenders on more aid have been deadlocked over their demands for Greece to implement reform measures, including pension cuts and labor market liberalization. Greek financial markets and the euro rallied on Monday on hopes that the relegation of Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, a Marxist academic prone to lecturing his euro zone peers, would improve prospects for an early deal to avoid a default that might lead to a Greek exit from the currency area.
"The government will table a bill to allow citizens to voluntarily declare their deposits abroad," Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told reporters after meeting Swiss officials in Athens. A portion of the money has fled to Swiss banks. Varoufakis said that once the bill is passed by parliament, a political agreement will be signed between Greece and Swiss authorities to exchange information on Greek deposits held in Swiss banks.
Hungry and desperate villagers rushed towards relief helicopters in remote areas of Nepal Tuesday, begging to be airlifted to safety, four days after a monster earthquake killed more than 5,000 people. I want to get out of here!" said Sita Gurung, 24, whose home had been wrecked. As the Himalayan nation's Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said getting help to remote areas was a "major challenge", aid finally began reaching areas that had to fend for themselves since Saturday's 7.8-magnitude quake. In a televised address late Tuesday, Koirala declared three days of national mourning for the 5,057 people known to have perished in Nepal alone.
The Dutch government said on Tuesday the United Nations has asked it to coordinate international teams searching for survivors of the earthquake in Nepal for the time being. "We have an experienced team in place, and so we have been asked to coordinate" said Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Pim van Strien. The Dutch have sent a team of 62 urban search and rescue experts, along with 8 dogs, to assist in Nepal. Experts say the chances of finding survivors trapped under rubble are declining by the hour, three days after the devastating quake struck the mountainous country, killing thousands.
Navinder Sarao, the British trader accused of helping provoke the 2010 Wall Street "flash crash", is due to appear in a London court on Wednesday after failing to raise the bail needed to secure his release from custody, a court official said. Sarao, 36, who traded from his parents' modest home in west London, has been charged by the Justice Department with wire fraud, commodities fraud and market manipulation over a period of several years but told a hearing last week he would fight extradition. He was granted bail provided he produced a surety of just over 5 million pounds and met other conditions, but an official at London's Westminster Magistrates' court said on Tuesday he had been unable to raise the cash and would return for a "lack of surety hearing".
WASHINGTON (AP) ? A top CIA manager who had been removed from his job last year for abusive management has been named to a senior role in the agency department that conducts drone strikes.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he wants to pass a "sensible" bipartisan bill giving Congress the right to review an international nuclear agreement with Iran but made clear he expects lawmakers to introduce a wide variety of amendments to the legislation. I still expect to see a robust amendment process," McConnell said in a Senate speech before debate on the bill began on Tuesday. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 19-0 last week for a compromise version of the Iran Nuclear Review Act in a rare display of bipartisan unity in the deeply divided Congress. Many Republicans worry that Democratic President Barack Obama is so eager to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran that he will allow the Tehran government to develop a nuclear weapon.
GENEVA (Reuters) - The number of people displaced by the violence in Yemen has more than doubled from the previous estimate of 150,000 on April 17, the U.N. humanitarian agency OCHA said on Tuesday. Fuel stocks are running dry, stopping water processing plants that supply residents in the capital Sanaa as well as food distribution by humanitarian agencies, which have fed almost 500,000 people in the past two weeks, OCHA said. (Reporting by Tom Miles; editing by Dominic Evans)
CILICAP, Indonesia (AP) ? Ambulances carrying coffins arrived Tuesday at a prison island and relatives paid final visits to their condemned loved ones as Indonesia announced it will execute eight foreigners and one Indonesian man for drug crimes, despite an international outcry and pleas for mercy.
By Sanjeev Miglani and Rupam Jain Nair JHARIBAR/SINDHUPALCHOWK, Nepal (Reuters) - People stranded in remote villages and towns across Nepal were still waiting for aid and relief to arrive on Tuesday, four days after a devastating earthquake destroyed buildings and roads and killed more than 4,600 people. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala told Reuters the death toll could reach 10,000, as information of damage from far-flung villages and towns has yet to come in. "It is a challenge and a very difficult hour for Nepal." In Jharibar, a village in the hilly Gorkha district of Nepal close to the quake's epicenter, Sunthalia dug for hours in the rubble of her collapsed home on Saturday to recover the bodies of two of her children, a 10-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son.
By Tiemoko Diallo and Souleymane Ag Anara BAMAKO (Reuters) - Tuareg rebels shot at U.N. peacekeepers outside the town of Timbuktu in northern Mali on Tuesday in a sign of growing tensions that threaten a fragile peace process, the U.N. mission in the West African country said. The violence comes a day after pro-government armed groups seized Menaka, another northern town, from the separatists during fierce fighting that ended months of relative calm. A spokesman for Mali's U.N. mission, known as MINUSMA, said the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), which groups together the various separatists movements, claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack on the peacekeepers.
By Patrick Nduwimana and Njuwa Maina BUJUMBURA (Reuters) - Police fired tear gas and shot in the air to disperse hundreds of people protesting in the outskirts of Burundi's capital on Tuesday against President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term. Two protesters have been killed and more than 250 people arrested since protests erupted on Sunday, Burundi's police chief André Ndayambaje told local media earlier in the day. The United Nations on Tuesday said Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has sent Said Djinnit, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, to Burundi for talks with Nkurunziza and the opposition. Activists say Nkurunziza and his ruling CNDD-FDD party are breaking two-term limits set out in constitution and the Arusha peace agreement that ended the civil war and has been credited with containing Burundi's ethnic rifts.
BERLIN (AP) ? A cousin of German collector Cornelius Gurlitt has appealed a court's rejection of her challenge to his will, which bequeathed his vast art trove to a Swiss museum.
BALTIMORE (AP) ? National Guardsmen fanned out across the city, police with riot shields blocked streets, and firefighters doused smoldering blazes Tuesday after looting and arson erupted in Baltimore following the funeral of a black man who died in police custody.