EU starts legal action against Poland over court reform

BRUSSELS – The European Union said Saturday it has launched legal action against Poland’s right-wing government over a new law it fears will undermine the independence of the country’s common courts. The move is part of escalating EU pressure on Poland over what Brussels sees as a threat not just to Warsaw’s democratic standards but […]

US says will work with allies after Russia sanctions anger EU

WASHINGTON – Washington vowed Saturday it would it “work closely with our friends and Allies” after US lawmakers passed sanctions on Russia that upset some European nations fearful that it could hit their businesses. Congress passed a bipartisan package targeting Russia, Iran and North Korea on Thursday, with President Donald Trump later agreeing to sign […]

Nearly 840,000 remain displaced outside Mosul : IOM

GENEVA – The UN migration agency said Friday it estimates that 839,118 individuals (139,853 families) remain displaced following heavy fighting to retake the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. IOM staff working around Mosul said “thousands of people remain buried under the rubble,” following the liberation of the northern Iraq city from Islamic State (IS) forces […]

Pakistan PM quits after court orders disqualification

ISLAMABAD – Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Friday quit as prime minister after the Supreme Court disqualified him over corruption charges. The court had ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan to de-notify Nawaz Sharif as member of the Parliament. In a formal reaction to the court’s verdict, the spokesman for the ruling party Pakistan Muslim […]

Thais mark new King’s birthday with monks, stamps

BANGKOK – Monks lined the streets and glittering commemorative stamps were issued on Friday as Thais marked the 65th birthday of King Maha Vajiralongkorn- his first as monarch of the politically febrile nation. Vajiralongkorn took the throne late last year after the death of his deeply revered father, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who commanded a cult-like following […]

President Xi’s envoy to attend Iranian president’s inauguration ceremony

BEIJING – As the special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, He Lifeng, head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, will attend the inauguration ceremony of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Aug. 5. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang made the announcement on Friday. Noting that He will attend at the invitation […]

Sri Lanka to sign China port deal despite protests

COLOMBO – Sri Lanka will proceed with the billion-dollar sale of a deep sea port to China despite protests in an effort to slash its foreign debt, the prime minister said Friday. Hambantota port straddles the world’s busiest east-west shipping route and several countries, including neighboring India, had raised concerns China could use it for […]