World News

How Iran closed the Mosul ‘horseshoe’ and changed Iraq war

BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq In the early days of the assault on Islamic State in Mosul, Iran successfully pressed Iraq to change its battle plan and seal off the city,…

Rebels seek ceasefire with Syrian army closer to retaking Aleppo

BEIRUT Syrian rebels in besieged eastern Aleppo called on Wednesday for an immediate five-day ceasefire and the evacuation of civilians and wounded, but gave no indication they were…

Italy passes 2017 budget, paving way for PM Renzi’s resignation

ROME The Italian parliament on Wednesday gave its final approval to the government’s 2017 budget, which has irked the European Union, paving the way for Prime Minister Matteo…

About 40 people feared dead in Pakistan plane crash

PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD, Pakistan A plane carrying about 40 people crashed on the slope of a mountain in northern Pakistan on Wednesday, with witnesses on the crash site saying there…

Kremlin says exit deal for Aleppo rebels still on agenda

MOSCOW The Kremlin said on Wednesday that a potential U.S.-Russia deal to allow Syrian rebels to safely leave Aleppo was still on the agenda, but that no talks…

China calls Iowa governor Branstad ‘old friend’ after report of ambassador pick

BEIJING/SHANGHAI China said on Wednesday the governor of the U.S. state of Iowa, Terry Branstad, was an “old friend” after a report that he had accepted an offer…

Armed groups take control of Libyan town near oil ports: officials

BENGHAZI, Libya Armed groups took control on Wednesday of the Libyan town of Ben Jawad, close to some of Libya’s major oil ports, as forces loyal to the…

News

Weakened Merkel embarks on tough election campaign

Germany’s ruling conservatives may have re-elected Angela Merkel as their leader once again, but they…

AT&T defends Time Warner megadeal to skeptical lawmakers

AT&T (Sao Paolo: ATTB34.SA – news) argued Wednesday its $85 billion megadeal for Time Warner…

India unexpectedly keeps rates unchanged even as cash crunch roils economy

By Suvashree Choudhury and Rafael Nam MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s central bank unexpectedly kept its…

Pakistan plane with 37 passengers ‘disappears’

A Pakistani plane carrying 37 passengers lost contact on Wednesday on a domestic flight from…

Ghana votes in tight election amid economic slump

Ghanaians voted Wednesday in tight presidential and parliamentary polls that are seen as a litmus…

Nearly 100 killed, hundreds hurt as quake strikes Indonesia’s Aceh

PIDIE JAYA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Nearly 100 people were killed and hundreds injured in Indonesia…

Airline chief arrested after Colombia plane crash

Bolivian officials arrested the head of LAMIA Airlines on Tuesday after a crash involving one…

The Latest: Syria military gains ground in Aleppo’s Old City

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local): 10:10 a.m.…

Frantic rescue after quake kills dozens in Indonesia’s Aceh

MEUREUDU, Indonesia (AP) — A strong undersea earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Aceh province early on Wednesday,…

Syria army takes all of Aleppo Old City: monitor

Syrian government forces control all of Aleppo’s historic Old City after rebel fighters withdrew in…

US News

On 75th anniversary, U.S. veterans recall Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

LOS ANGELES/HONOLULU It has been 75 years, but U.S. Navy veteran James Leavelle can still recall watching with horror as Japanese warplanes rained bombs down on his fellow…

Jury selected in accused South Carolina church shooter’s federal trial

CHARLESTON, S.C. A jury was seated on Wednesday in the federal death penalty case against avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof, who is accused of gunning down nine black…

Ohio lawmakers pass ‘heartbeat’ abortion legislation

CLEVELAND Ohio lawmakers approved a bill that bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks after conception, clearing the way for one…

Information glut no problem for most Americans: survey

WASHINGTON Most Americans do not see “information overload” as a problem for them despite the explosion of internet data and images, according to a Pew Research Center survey…

Ohio lawmakers pass ‘heartbeat’ abortion legislation

CLEVELAND Ohio lawmakers approved a bill that bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks after conception, clearing the way for one…

Authorities identify all but one of 36 Oakland fire victims

OAKLAND, Calif. Authorities in Oakland, California, said on Tuesday they had identified all but one of the 36 victims whose bodies were pulled from the debris of a…

Trump lays out non-interventionist U.S. military policy

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. President-elect Donald Trump laid out a U.S. military policy on Tuesday that would avoid interventions in foreign conflicts and instead focus heavily on defeating the Islamic…

Queen of clubs

In the tiny group of gamblers who have become top players at both blackjack and poker, there is only one woman. In her own words, Cat Hulbert describes…

Trump aide Michael Flynn Jnr out after ‘Pizzagate’ tweets

Trump aide Michael Flynn Jnr out after ‘Pizzagate’ tweets

Image copyright AP Image caption Michael Flynn Jnr (L) with his father, retired Lt Gen Michael Flynn Snr (R), at Trump Tower in New York One of Donald…

Politics

‘Detailed’ Brexit plan demanded by Labour ahead of vote

Image copyright Reuters Labour will demand the government publishes a “pretty detailed” negotiating plan when MPs debate the UK’s Brexit strategy later. MPs are expected to vote…

Theresa May ‘clear-eyed’ over Iran threat

Image copyright PA Image caption Theresa May is on a three-day visit to Bahrain Theresa May will say she is “clear-eyed” about the threat posed by Iran…

Lib Dems fined £20,000 by watchdog over undeclared payments

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg resigned in 2015, after the party kept just eight of the 57 seats won in 2010 The…

Brexit: MPs to vote on Article 50 timetable

Image copyright Reuters MPs are set to vote for the first time on the government’s plan to trigger Brexit by the end of March next year. Prime…

Theresa May ‘clear-eyed’ over Iran threat

Image copyright PA Image caption Theresa May is on a three-day visit to Bahrain Theresa May will say she is “clear-eyed” about the threat posed by Iran…

Stalking: New orders planned to give quick protection

Image caption Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has announced the new orders New stalking protection orders will be introduced to better protect victims at the earliest possible stage,…

Travel Advice

Burundi

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to: all areas within 1 km of the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo Cibitoke and…

New Caledonia

Some recent security incidents have led to roads being blocked or closed on safety grounds by local authorities. If this happens you should keep moving where it’s…

Chad

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to: areas within 30km of all borders, except for the capital N’Djamena (where the FCO advise against…

Nicaragua

In the aftermath of Hurricane Otto, which passed into the Pacific Ocean in the early hours of Friday 25 November 2016, you should expect disruption to travel…

Cameroon

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to: Far North province within 40km of the border with Nigeria’s Adamawa state in Cameroon’s North and…

Eritrea

The FCO advise against all travel within 25km of Eritrea’s border with Ethiopia. Tensions between Eritrea and Ethiopia are high. See Local travel The FCO advise against…

All Sports

Craig Joubert retires from refereeing 15s

Experienced Test referee Craig Joubert has announced his retirement from refereeing 15-a-side rugby to take up a role developing the next generation of elite…

Lions coaching set-up named

Steve Borthwick, Andy Farrell and Rob Howley will assist Warren Gatland for the Lions tour of New Zealand next summer. Farrell and Howley were…

Sale register Denny Solomona for Champions Cup

Sale have registered Denny Solomona ahead of the upcoming Champions Cup double header with Saracens. The Sharks are yet to officialise the signing of…

Billy will be back in even better shape says Brits

Schalk Brits is confident Billy Vunipola will come back an even stronger force thanks to the Saracens rehabilitation programme that has swung into action…

Jeremy Guscott: Eddie’s challenge has made Youngs world class 

The performance by Ben Youngs is up there with his very best for England and proves that Eddies Jones’ mind games can turn   good…

Brendan Gallagher: Yes, I have to admit it, England do have momentum right now

For many years I hated the word momentum, used in a rugby context, and tied myself in knots avoiding it – but just occasionally…

Sport UK

Dario Gradi to answer FA questions over ex-Chelsea scout Heath

Image copyright PA Crewe Alexandra football director Dario Gradi is to be interviewed by the FA over claims he “smoothed over” a complaint of sex assault by…

Sendings-off and bat restrictions planned after MCC world committee meeting

Australia’s Glenn McGrath was jokingly shown a red card by umpire Billy Bowden during the first ever Twenty20 international in 2005 after he pretended to bowl underarm…

‘Less guilt’ for Arsenal after winning group

Media playback is not supported on this device Arsenal top Champions League group Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says he will feel “less guilt” if his side get…

Jennings to open for England in fourth Test against India

Keaton Jennings made seven centuries in the County Championship last season, more than any other player Durham batsman Keaton Jennings will become Alastair Cook’s latest opening partner…

Caddie dies at Dubai Ladies Masters

The event is being played at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai A caddie has died after collapsing on the 13th fairway during the first round of the…

George North: Urgent concussion review meeting over Northampton winger’s head injury

George North featured for Wales in their recent autumn international series An urgent meeting was being held on Tuesday to assess the incident which left Wales and…

Sport US

Injured Rose was ’50-50′ for HK Open defence

Hong Kong (AFP) – Justin Rose on Wednesday said he had been close to pulling out of this week’s Hong Kong Open title defence after a back…

Play stopped at Ladies European Tour event after caddie dies

(Reuters) – The first round of the Dubai Ladies Masters golf tournament was suspended on Wednesday after the death of a caddie on the course, the Ladies…

Tiger must prove he is over chipping yips: Jacklin

By Tony Jimenez LONDON (Reuters) – Former world number one Tiger Woods must prove he has overcome the “chipping yips” in order to fully challenge golf’s elite…

Golf: Injured Rose was ’50-50′ for HK Open defence

Hong Kong (AFP) – Justin Rose on Wednesday said he had been close to pulling out of this week’s Hong Kong Open title defence after a back…

Golf-Tiger must prove he is over chipping yips – Jacklin

By Tony Jimenez LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Former world number one Tiger Woods must prove he has overcome the “chipping yips” in order to fully challenge…

Spurs rally, roll toward NBA history on the road

Los Angeles (AFP) – The San Antonio Spurs erased an early 10-point deficit to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-91 and extend their perfect record on the road…

Ezspk opinion

Brexit, the big decision. Written in March 2016

A European ‘Brexit’ (The UK leaving the European Union)  In the run up to the 2015 election, it was impossible to follow the political campaigns of all…

Health

Australian court approves intersex child’s surgery

Image copyright Thinkstock A five-year-old Australian child born genetically male will grow up as a sterilised female after a court agreed to her having surgery. The child,…

‘Exercise boosts men’s sperm count’

Image copyright Thinkstock Doing at least half an hour of exercise three times a week may boost men’s sperm count, say scientists. Men who took up running…

Australian court approves intersex child’s surgery

Image copyright Thinkstock A five-year-old Australian child born genetically male will grow up as a sterilised female after a court agreed to her having surgery. The child,…

‘Exercise boosts men’s sperm count’

Image copyright Thinkstock Doing at least half an hour of exercise three times a week may boost men’s sperm count, say scientists. Men who took up running…

Pfizer fined record £84.2m for overcharging NHS

Drugs giant Pfizer has been fined a record £84.2m by the UK’s competition watchdog for overcharging the NHS for an anti-epilepsy drug. Image copyright Getty Images Image…

Caesarean births ‘affecting human evolution’

Image copyright Thinkstock Image caption In the UK, about one in four babies is born by Caesarean The regular use of Caesarean sections is having an impact…