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U.S. general says cannot rule out larger ground role in Iraq

Hagel and Dempsey testify at a hearing about the IS on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The most senior U.S. military officer raised the possibility on Tuesday that American troops might need to take on a larger role in Iraq's ground war against Islamic State militants, but the White House stressed they would not deploy on a combat mission. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there was no intention now to place American military advisers on the ground in direct combat. U.S. assistance is taking other forms, including air strikes. ...

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 19:00:02 -0400
Polls show Scottish opponents of independence with slight lead ahead of vote

People pass some 'Yes' graffiti on the Royal Mile in EdinburghBy Guy Faulconbridge and Alistair Smout EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Scottish supporters of staying in the United Kingdom are 4 percentage points ahead of secessionists with just a day to go before Scots vote in an independence referendum, three different opinion polls showed. The United Kingdom's fate remains uncertain as the three surveys - from pollsters ICM, Opinium and Survation - showed support for Scottish independence at 48 percent compared to 52 percent backing union. The polls found 8 to 14 percent of Scotland's 4. ...

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 19:14:12 -0400
Brazil's Rousseff slips in poll ahead of October election

Combination file pictures of Brazil's presidential candidates Silva of the Brazilian Socialist Party and Rousseff of the Workers' PartyBRASILIA (Reuters) - President Dilma Rousseff has lost ground to her main challenger, Marina Silva, less than three weeks before Brazil's presidential election, which will likely be decided in a close second-round runoff, a poll showed on Tuesday. The survey by the Ibope polling firm said support for Silva, a renowned environmentalist, has remained unchanged at 43 percent, but Rousseff has slipped two percentage points to 40 percent since the previous poll last week. The gap is within the margin of error of the poll and the two are considered in a statistical tie. ...

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:10:16 -0400
Chinese envoy says North Korea's Kim Jong Un may visit Beijing: Yonhap

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the October 8 Factory in PyongyangSEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could go to China on his first foreign trip since taking power, China's ambassador to South Korea said on Wednesday, according to a report from South Korea's Yonhap news agency. The 31-year-old leader assumed power after his father, Kim Jong Il, died suddenly in 2011. China is North Korea's closest ally and main benefactor. "I think that a visit from Kim Jong Un might materialize sometime in the future," Chinese Ambassador Qiu Guohong was quoted by Yonhap as saying at a forum in Seoul. ...

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:55:21 -0400
Ukraine ratifies EU deal, offers special status to rebels

Ukraine's President Poroshenko clasps hands with Prime Minister Yatseniuk after a ratification of a landmark association agreement with the European Union during a parliament session in KievBy Richard Balmforth and Pavel Polityuk KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine ratified a sweeping agreement with the European Union on Tuesday - an issue at the heart of the Russia-West crisis over its future - and sought to blunt the independence drive of Russian-backed separatists by offering them temporary and limited self-rule. ...

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 11:08:09 -0400
Fijians head to polls for first post-coup general election

Election poster for Bainimarama can be seen in the rear window of a taxi as a man gestures from the doorway of a local gymnasium in the Fiji capital of SuvaBy Malakai Veisamasama SUVA (Reuters) - Voters in Fiji headed to the polls on Wednesday for the first time in eight years, following a decision by the South Pacific island nation's military junta that the time was right for a transition back to democratic rule. Fiji, a tropical idyll about 3,200 km (2,000 miles) east of Australia, has suffered four coups since 1987, the latest in 2006 led by former army chief Voreqe "Frank" Bainimarama, whose Fiji First Party had a strong lead heading into the general election. ...

Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:58:42 -0400
Separatists in Quebec, Scotland share lessons

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 30, 1995 file photo, police watch a fire burn underneath a "Oui" pro-separatist sign after federalists won the Quebec independence referendum. Quebec has always been apart from the rest of Canada by keeping French as its first tongue. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Tom Hanson)MONTREAL (AP) — Quebec's separatists are watching closely this week to see if the Scottish independence movement has learned from their failed attempts to break away from Canada. And it could be rejuvenated if Scotland breaks away from the United Kingdom.

Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 01:16:01 -0400
Bangladesh top court commutes death sentence of a senior Islamist
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh top court commutes death sentence of a senior Islamist.
Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 01:08:06 -0400
Chinese minority scholar on trial for separatism

In this Feb. 4, 2013 photo, Ilham Tohti, an outspoken scholar of China's Turkic Uighur ethnic minority, speaks during an interview at his home in Beijing, China. Tohti was set to go on trial on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 on separatism charges in the country's far western region of Xinjiang. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)URUMQI, China (AP) — A scholar from China's Muslim Uighur minority community who often criticized the country's ethnic policies was set to go on trial Wednesday on separatism charges in the far western region of Xinjiang.

Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 01:06:24 -0400
Top Asian News at 5:00 a.m. GMT
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean border guards arrested an American man who they believe was attempting to swim across the border into rival North Korea, a South Korean defense official said Wednesday. The man was arrested Tuesday night at a river near the Korean Demilitarized Zone, part of a restricted military area, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to office policy. He said investigators are questioning the man about the purpose of his apparent attempt to enter North Korea but gave no further details.
Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 01:03:07 -0400
Tycoon buys 30 Rolls-Royce cars for Macau hotel
HONG KONG (AP) — A Hong Kong tycoon has placed the biggest ever order for Rolls-Royce cars, agreeing to buy 30 Phantoms for his luxury Macau hotel-resort.
Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:54:55 -0400
Lava flows from Philippine volcano; thousands flee

FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2014 file photo, smoke billows from the crater of Mayon volcano, one of the country's most active volcanoes, in Albay province about 550 kilometers southeast of Manila, Philippines. The Philippines' most active volcano has belched out lava fragments as big as a bus that rolled one kilometer (half a mile) down its slope, prompting authorities to start forcibly evacuating thousands of villagers, officials said Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' most active volcano has sent more huge lava fragments rolling down its slopes in an ongoing gentle eruption that has prompted authorities to evacuate thousands of villagers, officials said Wednesday.

Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:48:00 -0400
Top general: US ground troops possible in Iraq

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the first in a series of high-profile Capitol Hill hearings that will measure the president's ability to rally congressional support for President Barack Obama's strategy to combat Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria, in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. Obama last week outlined his military plan to destroy the extremists, authorizing U.S. airstrikes inside Syria, stepping up attacks in Iraq and deploying additional American troops, with more than 1,000 now advising and assisting Iraqi security forces to counter the terrorism threat. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON (AP) — American ground troops may be needed to battle Islamic State forces in the Middle East if President Barack Obama's current strategy fails, the nation's top military officer said Tuesday as Congress plunged into an election-year debate of Obama's plan to expand airstrikes and train Syrian rebels.

Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:44:33 -0400
Wildfire rips through 150 homes in Northern California

Handout photo of fire supression at Happy Camp Complex fire in the Klamath National ForestBy Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fire crews in California battled on Tuesday to halt the advance of wildfire that has already destroyed about 150 homes, lapped at rural schools and caused power outages that left an evacuation shelter without electricity, authorities said. The day-old blaze, one of about a dozen major fires raging across the drought-parched state, prompted authorities to order the evacuation of about 1,000 households in and around the Northern California town of Weed, which has a population of about 3,000. ...

Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:32:53 -0400
Torch arrives in Incheon, countdown almost over

China's star swimmer Sun Yang waves as he arrives for Asian Games at Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. The games will be held in the South Korean western city from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4.(AP Photo/Yonhap, Han Jong-chan) KOREA OUTINCHEON, South Korea (AP) — The Asian Games torch is arriving in host city Incheon on Wednesday, which means the countdown is almost complete.

Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:29:26 -0400
Australia promises $6.4 million to fight Ebola
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia announced on Wednesday it will immediately provide an additional 7 million Australian dollars ($6.4 million) to help the international response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:25:11 -0400
Bayern Munich host familiar foes Manchester City

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski during a Bundesliga match in Munich on September 13, 2014Munich (Germany) (AFP) - For the fifth time in four years, European giants Bayern Munich and Manchester City will play each other in the Champions League group stages.

Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:17:34 -0400
Cesc is just Fab for Costa, says Mourinho

Chelsea's Diego Costa (2nd L) celebrates with Cesar Azpilicueta (2nd R) and Cesc Fabregas (R) after scoring during the Premier League match against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on September 13, 2014London (AFP) - Jose Mourinho has hailed Cesc Fabregas as the driving force behind Chelsea striker Diego Costa's blistering start to the season.

Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:12:02 -0400
Weakened Odile heads over Mexico toward Arizona

Mexican and foreign tourists arrive at an Air Force hangar in Mexico City after being airlifted out of the hurricane-ravaged resort area of Los Cabos by the Mexican armed forces, in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. Travelers are being flown free of charge to airports in Tijuana, Mazatlan, Guadalajara and Mexico City to catch connecting flights and, in the case of foreigners, receive consular assistance. (AP Photo/Christian Palma)MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's government airlifted thousands of stranded foreign tourists out of the hurricane-ravaged resort of Los Cabos, as a weakened Odile headed over the Gulf of California Wednesday on a path toward the U.S. state of Arizona.

Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:04:31 -0400
Brazil election may change diplomatic direction

Marina Silva, presidential candidate of the Brazilian Socialist Party, PSB, left, and Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, presidential candidate for re-election of the Workers Party (PT), look on, prior to a presidential debate organized by Brazil's Bishops Confederation in Aparecida, Brazil, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. Brazil will hold general elections on Oct. 5. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)SAO PAULO (AP) — More than a decade of Workers Party rule has seen Brazil prioritize ties with its leftist regional neighbors, from helping muscle socialist Venezuela into the Mercosur trade bloc to financing a billion-dollar transformation of an industrial port in Cuba.

Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:02:50 -0400
AP PHOTOS: Citizen patrols help police in Bolivia

In this Sept. 5, 2014 photo, police officers ride their bicycles while patrolling a street in El Alto, Bolivia. Police Col. Feliz Rocha, who oversees the citizen brigade in El Alto, recognized that neither Bolivia nor El Alto have the number of police they need. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)EL ALTO, Bolivia (AP) — The women and men march in formation across a local school yard on weekends, training as citizen volunteers in this city's fight against crime.

Date Posted : Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:02:28 -0400
Poachers turn gamekeeper to guard Rwandan gorillas

A mountain gorilla in a thicket at the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda on September 3, 2014Kinigi (Rwanda) (AFP) - For four decades Leonidas Barora was a renowned hunter, tracking animals in the lush forests of Rwanda. Now he only fires arrows to impress tourists, and to help protect the wildlife.

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:53:41 -0400
Mexico readies airlift of tourists stranded by hurricane

Damaged aircraft are seen at the international airport of San Jose del Cabo, on September 15, 2014, after hurricane Odile swept through Mexico's Baja California peninsulaCabo San Lucas (Mexico) (AFP) - Mexican military and commercial airplanes began to airlift tourists stranded in the Los Cabos resorts after Hurricane Odile left luxury hotels and communities in tatters.

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:41:48 -0400
Truck crashes into bus stop in China, killing 8
BEIJING (AP) — A freight truck lost control and crashed into a bus stop in a northern Chinese city, killing eight people and injuring six others, state broadcaster China Central Television said Wednesday.
Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:41:48 -0400
S. Korea detains US man in waters near border
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean border guards arrested an American man who they believe was attempting to swim across the border into rival North Korea, a South Korean defense official said Wednesday.
Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:39:20 -0400
Polls on eve of referendum suggest Scots to vote 'No'

Pro-Union 'No' supporters rally in Edinburgh on September 16, 2014, ahead of the referendum on Scotland's independenceEdinburgh (AFP) - Opinion polls on the eve of Scotland's historic referendum suggest voters will narrowly reject independence, as the rival camps battle on, aware the result remains too close to call.

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:34:31 -0400
New Mexico to get share of Tropical Storm Odile

Piedad Velazquez carries her puppy across a river bed on her way to check on neighbors whose trailer home was pushed away by flood water and high winds during Hurricane Odile in Los Cabos, Mexico, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. Hurricane Odile blazed a trail of destruction through Mexico's Baja California Peninsula that leveled everything from ramshackle homes to big box stores and luxury hotels, leaving roads and entire neighborhoods as disaster zones. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Severe weather from the tropical storm that has caused flooding across Mexico's Baja California peninsula could bring around 7 inches of rain to parts of already flood-damaged areas of New Mexico.

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:18:14 -0400
Hurricane Edouard weakening, moving away from U.S. coast: NHC

Three images of Edouard are shown as it transitions into a hurricane, from September 12, to September 13 and as a hurricane on September 14 in the Atlantic Ocean(Reuters) - Hurricane Edouard, the first major hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, is weakening and accelerating north-eastward, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Tuesday. Edouard was about 495 miles (795 km) east-northeast of Bermuda with maximum sustained wind of 90 mph (150 kph), NHC said. (Reporting by Anupam Chatterjee in Bangalore; Editing by Anand Basu)

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:15:01 -0400
Man accused of trying to aid Islamic State group
ROCHESTER, New York (AP) — An upstate New York man accused of plotting to kill members of the U.S. military and others faces new charges that he tried to aid the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.
Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:08:59 -0400
Seven police dead in Colombia ambush

A member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrillas seen near Montealagre on February 15, 2013Bogota (AFP) - At least seven police officers were killed and seven wounded when gunmen from the FARC rebel group ambushed their convoy in remote northwestern Colombia, officials said.

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:01:47 -0400
Mexico airlifts tourists after Hurricane Odile
The Mexican government prepared to begin airlifting tens of thousands of stranded tourists out of the hurricane-ravaged resort area of Los Cabos on Tuesday, as residents picked up the pieces of shattered, flooded homes.
Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:59:09 -0400
Japan nuclear plants not affected by strong quake
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan Atomic Power Co and Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) reported no irregularities at their three nuclear plants in eastern Japan following a magnitude 5.6 quake that hit north of Tokyo on Tuesday. A Japan Atomic official said there have been no irregularities at the 1.1-gigawatt Tokai Daini plant, which has been shut since March 2011. A Tepco spokeswoman said there has been no irregularities at Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant, wrecked by the March 2011 quake, and Fukushima-Daini plant, which has been shut since March 2011. ...
Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:54:10 -0400
Quake strikes northeast of Tokyo, no reports of serious damage
TOKYO (Reuters) - An earthquake with preliminary magnitude of 5.6 shook buildings in eastern Japan, including the capital Tokyo, on Tuesday but there were no reports of serious damage. The earthquake was centered in Ibaraki Prefecture, just northeast of Tokyo, Japan's Meteorological Agency said. The depth of the earthquake was 50 km and there was no risk of a tsunami, it added. Japan Atomic Power Co and Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) reported no irregularities at their three nuclear plants in eastern Japan. A Japan Atomic official said there have been no irregularities at the 1. ...
Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:54:10 -0400
Scientists' colossal squid exam a kraken good show

colossal squidWELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — It was a calm morning in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea, during the season when the sun never sets, when Capt. John Bennett and his crew hauled up a creature with tentacles like fire hoses and eyes like dinner plates from a mile below the surface.

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:50:48 -0400
Ashley-Cooper and Genia return for Wallabies

Australia's Adam Ashley-Cooper (R) is tackled by New Zealand's Aaron Cruden during their rugby union Test match in Sydney on August 16, 2014Sydney (AFP) - Adam Ashley-Cooper has recovered from injury and Will Genia and Benn Robinson were recalled Wednesday to the Wallabies squad for their Rugby Championship tour of South Africa and Argentina.

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:23:54 -0400
Venezuelan protesters discuss explosives in video
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Two Venezuelan activists recently deported by Colombia have surfaced in a video that purportedly shows them discussing plans to stockpile weapons and launch attacks on government targets in apparent attempt to destabilize President Nicolas Maduro's rule.
Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:23:07 -0400
Obama's Ebola response: Is it enough and in time?

President Barack Obama speaks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. Obama traveled to the CDC, to address the Ebola crisis and announced that he is sending 3,000 American troops to West Africa nations fight the spread of the Ebola epidemic. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama declared Tuesday that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa could threaten security around the world, and he ordered 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the region in emergency aid muscle for a crisis spiraling out of control.

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:14:22 -0400
Fijians go to polls after 8 years of military rule

In this Nov. 7, 2013 photo, Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama eats cake at the opening of a picnic park, in Suva, Fiji. Thousands of Fijians are eagerly awaiting their first chance to vote in nearly eight years Wednesday in an election that promises to finally restore democracy to the South Pacific nation of 900,000. Yet plenty of questions remain about how far military ruler Bainimarama has tilted the outcome in his favor. Bainimarama is running as a candidate and polls indicate his party is by far the most popular of the seven registered. (AP Photo/Nick Perry, File)WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Thousands of Fijians got their first chance to vote in eight years Wednesday in an election that promises to finally restore democracy to the South Pacific nation of 900,000.

Date Posted : Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:52:55 -0400

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