Pakistani opposition figures ramped up calls for the fall of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government on Saturday, but failed to attract massive crowds of protesters promised at rallies in the capital. Addressing protesters he had led from the eastern city of Lahore, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan said he would stage a sit-in that would continue until Sharif leaves office, lashing out at the government he claims was elected fraudulently. Meanwhile populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri demanded Sharif's arrest over what he alleged was the murder of his supporters, and called for the installation of an interim national government. "Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif have no right to sit in the government, their cabinets should be dissolved and they should be arrested on murder charges," Qadri said.
Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has strongly backed the naming of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as the new premier and party leader to replace president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a pro-government daily said Saturday. The executive committee of the AKP is due to meet on Thursday to formally agree the successor to Erdogan, who by law must give up both his current posts as premier and party leader when he becomes president on August 28. After giving a speech, Erdogan asked the party members to put forward their nominees for party leader and prime minister in an anonymous poll.
German intelligence listened in on at least one telephone conversation of US Secretary of State John Kerry and has spied on NATO ally Turkey for years, Der Spiegel will report on Sunday. Relations between Germany and the US have been deeply strained by revelations from fugitive US intelligence agent Edward Snowden last year that Washington had conducted intensive spying operations in Germany, including eavesdropping on Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone. Der Spiegel also says the BND has been spying on Turkey since 2009. In its report to be published on Sunday, it says the German government reviews its espionage programme every four years but did not modify its priorities after the scandal over US spying.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took into office promising "a new era of accountability and transparency." Yet after he won a second term last year and as he explores a run for president, his administration stands accused of routinely stonewalling even the most basic requests for public records.
Germany's foreign intelligence agency recorded at least one phone conversation held by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, a German magazine said on Saturday, potentially embarrassing Berlin which has reprimanded Washington for its surveillance. Der Spiegel cited unnamed sources as saying security agents at Germany's BND had intercepted Kerry's words when he was in the Middle East negotiating between Israelis, Palestinians and Arab states last year. In Washington, U.S State Department spokeswoman Laura Seal said in an e-mail concerning the Spiegel report: "We decline to comment." The recording of at least one of Kerry's phone calls seemed to have been immediately deleted, the magazine said in a pre-publication copy of an article. On Friday, German media reported that German security agents tapped a conversation involving Kerry's predecessor, Hillary Clinton, while she was Secretary of State and had not immediately deleted the recording.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are poised to resume indirect talks with Egyptian mediators on reaching a more permanent ceasefire before a current truce expires at midnight on Monday. It got off to a rocky start with Palestinian rocket attacks and retaliatory Israeli air strikes, but Saturday marked a sixth day of quiet following more than a month of fighting that has killed more than 1,960 Palestinians and 67 on the Israeli side. Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams are now expected back in Cairo for fresh talks, which the Palestinians said would begin on Sunday, after consulting their political leaders over the weekend. The European Union welcomed the ceasefire in Gaza and said it was ready to expand a police mission in Rafah, on the border with Egypt, and train Palestinian Authority customs personnel and police for redeployment in Gaza.
Mexico's foreign ministry late Friday protested Texas Governor Rick Perry's deployment of National Guard troops to the southern US border to halt the surge of child migrants. Mexico "reiterates, in a firm and categorical way, its rejection of this measure," read a statement from the foreign ministry. "No circumstance at all or change in border security exists that justifies this measure taken by the state." On Thursday Perry deployed some 1,000 National Guard troops to the border with Mexico.
Suspected ex-rebels from the Central African Republic's Seleka movement massacred at least 34 people in several northern villages over the past three days, an officer in the African peacekeeping force MISCA told AFP on Saturday. One resident who fled, Achille Ketegaza, confirmed that account to AFP, saying: "The attackers arrived by foot and on motorbikes. The Central African Republic has been torn apart by ethnic and religious violence since the Seleka -- an alliance of mostly Muslim groups -- seized power in March 2013. Their leader, Michel Djotodia, was president for nine months before having to step down under strong international pressure after many Seleka fighters refused to disband and carried out atrocities against civilians.
BEIJING (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's address to Hawaii's East-West Center think tank this week drew attention primarily for its focus on the need for a constructive relationship with China to ensure regional peace and stability. However, Kerry touched also on U.S. relationships with five other key players in the region — Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand — some of them locked in contentious disputes with Beijing. He also dwelt at length on the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a free trade pact the U.S. is negotiating with 11 other nations. Here's what Kerry had to say about those overlooked issues, and what it means.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton's split with President Barack Obama over a foreign policy "organizing principle" isn't likely to be the last time differences emerge between the two. How she handles those breaks could be among her biggest challenges to a successful run for president in 2016.