World News

Senate easily approves Obama’s pick of Senate veteran Baucus as next ambassador to China

WASHINGTON—The Senate easily confirmed longtime Sen. Max Baucus on Thursday to become ambassador to China, handing the job to a lawmaker well-versed in U.S. trade policy but with little expertise about military and other issues that have raised tensions with Beijing. Senators gave final approval to the nomination of the moderate Baucus, D-Mont., by 96-0. …

Former warlord refashions image and launches campaign to succeed Karzai as Afghan president

KABUL, Afghanistan—He has been called a mentor to accused 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the man who welcomed Osama bin Laden to Afghanistan in the 1990s. He was accused of war crimes and atrocities, and even has a terror group named after him in the Philippines. But these days, Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf has refashioned …

SKorean appeal court rules layoffs of Ssangyong Motor workers not valid

SEOUL, South Korea—A South Korean appeal court says the layoffs of 153 employees at Ssangyong Motor in 2009 were unjustified in a belated victory for auto workers who fought pitched battles with riot police at the time. The 153 were among 2,600 workers that Ssangyong tried to shed in 2009, sparking South Korea’s worst labour …

As health care deadline nears, White House and allies scramble to enrol the young and healthy

WASHINGTON—An army of workers and volunteers has fanned out around the country trying to enrol young and healthy people in health insurance now available through President Barack Obama’s signature law. Run largely by groups with close ties to the White House, the on-the-ground effort is based in part on lessons learned from Obama’s two presidential …

Police: Officer, suspect shot to death in Indonesian village believed to be terrorist hideout

PALU, Indonesia—A police officer and a suspected Islamic militant were killed in gunfire Thursday near a mountainous village believed to be a terrorist hideout in eastern Indonesia, local police said. Brig. Gen. Ari Dono Sukmanto, chief of Central Sulawesi police, said another militant suspect was arrested after the unidentified gunmen fired at members of the …

US concerned China is gradually asserting control in disputed Asian waters

WASHINGTON—The U.S. voiced concern Wednesday that China is gradually asserting control in the disputed South China Sea on the basis of vague territorial claims unsupported by international law. Sharpening U.S. criticism of the rising Asian power, Daniel Russel, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, described in congressional testimony a litany of actions by China …

New Turkish Internet restrictions increase concerns over media freedom

ANKARA, Turkey—New Internet restrictions approved by parliament are raising concerns the government is trying to control the flow of information amid a corruption scandal, and a senior European official on Thursday called the measures “a step back” for media freedom. Under the legislation approved Wednesday, the country’s telecommunications authority would be allowed to block websites …

UN report says UAE judiciary under ‘de facto’ control of rulers, calls for torture probe

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates—A United Nations human rights expert said Wednesday that the United Arab Emirates’ judiciary is under the “de facto control” of the country’s executive branch, adding that the government should allow independent investigations into claims of torture if it does not want its image to suffer. The initial findings by the …

US intel chief: Sense of destiny drives China’s aggressive pursuit of territorial claims

WASHINGTON—The chief of U.S. intelligence said Tuesday China’s aggressive pursuit of territorial claims in the seas of East Asia is driven by a sense of historical destiny and is causing great concern among countries in the region. Director of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said China has pursued a very impressive military modernization that …

86 Cambodian factory workers hurt in truck accident

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia—At least 86 workers have been injured in a truck crash on their way to work at factories making garments and sports shoes for famous western brands. The truck carrying 93 workers rolled over after a front tire burst Tuesday morning. Transporting workers in open trucks is common in Southeast Asia. Svay Rieng provincial …

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