News-hungry, patriotic crowds had been massing for hours outside newspaper offices in Vienna when emperor Franz Joseph's "To My Peoples!" proclamation of war against Serbia finally came on the evening of July 28, 1914. Special editions were ripped out of newspaper sellers' hands, and in Vienna at least, nationalistic songs were sung late into the summer night, triumphant speeches were made and thousands thronged the streets. "Maybe people didn't think it would be over by Christmas, but the feeling was that it would be done by mid-1915," historian and Austrian Military Museum (HGM) director Christian Ortner told AFP. "But Vienna was playing a game of very high risks."
Pacific island leaders will renew calls for meaningful action on climate change at a regional summit opening in Palau on Tuesday, amid fears rising seas will swamp their low-lying nations. Many of the 15 nations represented at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) lie barely a metre (three feet) above sea level, and regard themselves as the frontline of climate change, an issue they say threatens their very existence. While emissions controls and carbon footprints can seem like abstract concepts in the climate debate, Palau President Tommy Remengesau said Pacific island nations were already facing the reality of global warming.
By Kevin Drawbaugh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama could act without congressional approval to limit a key incentive for U.S. corporations to move their tax domiciles abroad in so-called "inversion" deals, a former senior U.S. Treasury Department official said on Monday. By invoking a 1969 tax law, Obama could bypass congressional gridlock and restrict foreign tax-domiciled U.S companies from using inter-company loans and interest deductions to cut their U.S. tax bills, said Stephen Shay, former deputy assistant Treasury secretary for international tax affairs in the Obama administration.
Jalila Ayyad's widower George still had a black eye and bloodstains on his shirt as he processed ahead of her coffin, hours after the air strike that destroyed their home. Jalila, 60, was the first Christian casualty of a bloody Gaza war. The simple coffin -- white with a black cross -- was carried reverently down the marble stairs of the cemetery, and into the chapel of the Saint Porphyrius Greek Orthodox church in Gaza City. "She died under the rubble," said Jalila's nephew, Fuad Ayyad.
Fracking will be allowed in British national parks in "exceptional circumstances", according to government guidelines announced on Monday as new bidding for exploration licenses opens. The extraction of shale gas through the controversial technique in national parks, world heritage sites and areas of outstanding natural beauty would only be granted in "exceptional circumstances", ministers said. "The new guidance published today will protect Britain's great National Parks and outstanding landscapes, building on the existing rules that ensure operational best practices are implemented and robustly enforced," business and energy minister Matthew Hancock said.
Nigeria's northern city of Kano on Sunday cancelled celebrations to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan after two bomb attacks blamed on the Islamist group Boko Haram. At least five people were killed and eight were injured in a bomb attack on a Catholic church in a mainly Christian area of the city, the largest in Nigeria's north, police said. "We suspect an IED (improvised explosive device) that was thrown from across the road" at the church in Kano's Sabon Gari district, which has previously been targeted by Boko Haram, he added.
Yaoundé (AFP) - Suspected Boko Haram militants on Sunday kidnapped the wife of a senior Cameroonian minister and a traditional leader in attacks in the far north of the country that left at least six dead. Cameroon sent warplanes and elite troops from its Rapid Intervention Battalion to stop the fighters after two attacks in Kolofata, close to the Nigerian border, said a regional police source. Another source close to the local police force, who asked to remain anonymous, said Boko Haram had "kidnapped many people," adding: "There was the sultan, the wife of the deputy prime minster and several police officers". Four civilians and two police officers were killed in the attacks on the residence of Amadou Ali, the deputy prime minster in charge of parliamentary relations, and the sultan of Kolofata, Seiny Boukar Lamine, said the source.
Egypt and several western states on Sunday urged their citizens to leave Libya amid spiralling violence after two weeks of fighting in the capital Tripoli left 97 people dead. Washington evacuated its embassy staff on Saturday, with Secretary of State John Kerry warning the mission had faced a "real risk" from fierce fighting between armed groups for control of Tripoli's international airport. Another 38 people, mostly soldiers, were killed in 24 hours of fighting between the army and Islamists in the eastern city of Benghazi, military and medical officials said on Sunday, a further sign of the chaos plaguing the North African nation. The Tripoli clashes, the most violent since the overthrow of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, started with an assault on the airport by a coalition of groups, mainly Islamists, which has since been backed by fighters from third city Misrata.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal demanded Israel lift its blockade of Gaza and warned that Palestinians cannot coexist with their neighbors while their land is occupied, in an interview broadcast Sunday. Asked by veteran interviewer Charlie Rose whether he could foresee living beside Israelis in peace, Meshaal said only a future Palestinian state could decide whether to recognize the Jewish state. "When we have a Palestinian state then the Palestinian state will decide on its policies.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif conducted a hefty round of telephone diplomacy late Sunday to rally support and humanitarian aid for Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip. He spoke with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and regional leaders, stressing that the priority was to get food and medical aid into areas worst hit by Israel's military offensive, Iran's official IRNA news agency said.
Inside Ashraf al-Qudra's cramped office in Shifa hospital, the phone never stops ringing, with news flooding in of the latest victims of Israel's devastating 20-day military operation. With over 1,060 people killed and more than 6,000 wounded, counting the dead is a full-time occupation for the 41-year-old spokesman for Gaza's emergency services. "Doctor Qudra, there are many many dead and injured in a shelling on Shuhada hospital!" exclaims a breathless assistant.
Pro-Russian rebels in east Ukraine are turning to Soviet World War II posters to spread their message of fighting against Ukrainian "fascists" in a part of the world that was flattened by Nazi troops. Dozens of posters have sprung up on the main roads in and around Donetsk, a rebel-held industrial city and commercial hub for eastern Ukraine. "We have put up about 100 of them," said Yelena Nikitina, the minister of information of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic government. "We Will Win!" read another poster featuring a picture of a mediaeval Russian knight, the Russian general Alexander Suvorov who fought against Napoleon and a Bolshevik fighter from the 1917-1922 Russian Civil War.
The United States on Sunday released satellite images to bolster its claim that Russian artillery has fired across the border into Ukraine, targeting government forces in support of separatist rebels. The four images, prepared by the office of the Director of National Intelligence and forwarded to reporters by the State Department, show sections of the Russia-Ukraine frontier. Two show what the US government alleges are Russian batteries on its own territory -- one group of multiple rocket launchers and another of self-propelled howitzers. A third picture shows what Washington alleges is Russian-supplied heavy weaponry being fired by separatists from within Ukraine.
The new leader of Spain's main opposition Socialist Party vowed Sunday during his inaugural speech to lead the party back to power and get the crisis-hit country "back on track". Pedro Sanchez, a 42-year-old economist who was virtually unknown only a few months ago, said Spain was "exasperated, angry, hurt" after six years of "unprecedented" economic crisis during a speech to an extraordinary party congress in Madrid. "We are standing up again to get Spain back on track," he said to the applause of some 3,000 party delegates at the congress. Sanchez replaces veteran politician Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, 62, who stepped down in May after the Socialists suffered their worst-ever election showing in a European Parliament vote.