Dec 26, 2014

Nasu contractor hired teen for house fallout decontamination work

A construction firm in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture, had hired a high school student under 18 part-time to engage in cleaning of a house garden contaminated by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdowns, the municipal government disclosed Thursday. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s guideline ...

Iraq, Turkey pledge to join hands to fight Islamic State jihadists

Dec 26, 2014

Iraq, Turkey pledge to join hands to fight Islamic State jihadists

Iraq and Turkey on Thursday pledged to join forces to fight Islamic State insurgents who are holding swaths of Iraq and Syria. “ISIS threatens not only Iraq’s and Turkey’s security but the entire region,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi told a joint news conference ...

Syrian peace talks set to take place in Moscow next month

Dec 26, 2014

Syrian peace talks set to take place in Moscow next month

Peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition could be held in Moscow next month, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday. The talks are set to take place sometime after Jan. 20, ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said at a briefing. The first stage of ...

Conflict-hit east Ukraine struggles for festive joy

Dec 26, 2014

Conflict-hit east Ukraine struggles for festive joy

The big tree with the glimmering holiday lights is up but the festive spirit is missing on Lenin Square in the heart of east Ukraine’s rebel stronghold of Donetsk. Hundreds of people huddled in the drizzle for the traditional unveiling of the tree ahead ...

Dec 26, 2014

Israeli girl seriously wounded in West Bank firebomb attack

An Israeli man and his 11-year-old daughter were wounded Thursday when assailants threw a firebomb at their vehicle in the northern West Bank, the army said. A military spokeswoman told AFP the assailants, believed to be Palestinians, threw a Molotov cocktail at the car ...

Saudi women drivers referred to terrorism court

Dec 26, 2014

Saudi women drivers referred to terrorism court

Two Saudi women detained for nearly a month in defiance of a ban on females driving were referred on Thursday to a court established to try terrorism cases, several people close to the defendants said. The cases of the two, Loujain al-Hathloul and Maysa ...

Topless Femen activist grabs Baby Jesus in St. Peter's Square

Dec 26, 2014

Topless Femen activist grabs Baby Jesus in St. Peter's Square

An activist from the feminist group Femen bared her breasts in St. Peter’s Square on Christmas Day and rushed the Nativity scene, grabbing the Baby Jesus figurine. A Vatican police officer wearing a black cape was quick to arrest the blonde activist and wrest ...

Dec 26, 2014

Al-Shabab militants attack AU Somalia base; at least five dead

Gunmen attacked the African Union’s main base in Mogadishu on Thursday, leading to an exchange of gunfire between militants and soldiers that left at least five militants dead, an official with the mission in Somalia said. Somali extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the ...