International News

Haitians starving

The UN agency, which is launching an US$84 million appeal to help stave off extreme malnutrition and deaths in an already fragile Haiti, is blaming the emerging crisis on the El Niño weather phenomenon. Already blamed for some of the worst drought conditions around the globe, the weather event has left some Haitian farmers facing up to 70% crop losses and has doubled the number of food insecure people in the country since September.
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They pulled a trump card

Donald Trump served notice on Tuesday to those who have refused to take his 2016 White House campaign seriously: The celebrity real-estate developer and former reality show host is no joke.
While Trump had been expected to win New Hampshire’s nominating contest, he swamped the Republican field by almost 20 points, demonstrating that his passionate, anti-establishment supporters could be relied on to show up and vote when it counts.
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No new trial for paedophile priest

A federal judge refused to grant a new trial for a Pennsylvania priest who claimed federal prosecutors wrongly withheld evidence in his sexual tourism case.
The 70-year-old priest, Joseph Maurizio, was convicted in September on charges he had sex with poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras.
US District Judge Kim Gibson of Johnstown rejected his appeal, clearing the way for Maurizio to be sentenced on March 2, barring further appeals.
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Turkey fears migrant influx

The Turkish government fears that fierce fighting in Syria's Aleppo province will spark the arrival of up to 600 000 refugees at its border in a "worst case scenario", Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday.
"The worst-case scenario that could happen in this region in the short term would be a new influx of 600 000 refugees at the Turkish frontier," Kurtulmus told journalists following a cabinet meeting.
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Aleppo basement schools face bombardments and burnout

At the unofficial schools run by Syrian activist group Kesh Malek in opposition-held districts of Aleppo, the children don't go outside to play during breaks in case a barrel bomb should drop from the sky.
With 110 teachers, most of them new to the profession, the organisation runs seven schools serving around 3 000 children in the divided and war-ravaged city.
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Martelly leaves office

President Michel Martelly made his farewell speech to Haiti as he departed office on Sunday with no successor yet chosen because a runoff election was delayed for a second time last month amid violent protests and deep suspicions about vote rigging.
In a nearly 20-minute speech before a joint session of Parliament, Martelly said his "biggest regret is that the presidential election was postponed". Addressing the Haitian people, he said he worked as hard as he could to improve the country and was "ready to answer before the court of history".
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Race to save over 120 buried after Taiwan quake

Rescuers raced Sunday to free more than 120 people buried under the rubble of an apartment complex felled by an earthquake in southern Taiwan that left 24 confirmed dead, as an investigation began into the collapse.
The death toll rose as emergency workers dug for survivors of the 6.4-magnitude quake that toppled the 16-storey complex of almost 100 homes in the city of Tainan on Saturday.
Officials said an investigation had been launched as questions were raised over the safety of the residential blocks in the complex.
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Kim Jon Un launches ballistic missile

North Korea's launch of a long-range ballistic missile on Sunday is a destabilising and provocative action that violates UN Security Council resolutions, the US government said.
"We condemn today's launch and North Korea's determination to prioritise its missile and nuclear weapons programmes over the well-being of its people," National Security Advisor Susan Rice said in a statement.
The US is fully committed to the security of the region, and will "defend ourselves and our allies and respond to North Korean provocations," Rice said.
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shot of the day

MONKEY BUSINESS: A farmer pushes her bicycle transporting kumquat trees for sale along a road in Hanoi as the Vietnamese prepared to celebrate the Lunar New Year, or Tet. The Vietnamese mark the Lunar New Year, this year the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese Zodiac, along with many countries in East Asia, today. PHOTO: NAMPA/AFP Read more about shot of the day

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Sweden disagrees with UN panel on Assange

Sweden said it did not agree with a UN panel which ruled Friday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s stay in Ecuador’s London embassy amounted to “unlawful detention”.
“The government does not agree with the assessment made by the majority of the Working Group,” the foreign ministry said in a letter to the panel, adding that the body does not have the right to “interfere in an ongoing case handled by a Swedish public authority”.
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