US authorities are increasing deportations of illegal migrants along the US border, as a top Obama administration official defended the White House's handling of a flood of undocumented children. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson told NBC television's "Meet the Press" that officials have reduced the "turnaround times" for migrants illegally entering the country along the Mexican border. "I believe we're going to stem this tide," said Johnson, who added that President Barack Obama's administration is also intensifying efforts to discourage migrants, including thousands of unaccompanied children, from making the dangerous and difficult overland journey to the United States. There is a deportation proceeding that has commenced against illegal migrants -- including children," the domestic security chief said.
Kuwait riot police on Sunday fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of opposition protesters who were demanding the release of a detained opposition leader. Witnesses said riot police armed in armoured vehicles fired tear gas and stun grenades at the protesters as soon as they marched toward a courts complex in the capital Kuwait City, forcing them to flee. Police also chased them into narrow streets of Kuwait City markets to ensure they do not reach the courts complex, where opposition leader Mussallam al-Barrak is scheduled to face trial on Monday. The protesters, a number of whom were treated for inhaling gas, had earlier rejected appeals by police officers not to march.
The opposition Syrian National Coalition said Sunday that regime forces are preparing to launch a major assault on rebel-held areas of the northern city of Aleppo. The group's leadership, meanwhile, was meeting in Istanbul to elect a successor to SNC chief Ahmad Jarba. "The military situation is very difficult, the siege of Aleppo has become a reality," coalition spokesman Luay Safi said on the group's website. "Syrian troops are preparing to invade Aleppo," he said.
The British government faced growing calls on Sunday for a national inquiry into alleged child abuse that may have involved lawmakers in the 1970s and 1980s, after it emerged that 114 files relating to the accusations were missing. The allegations of child abusers in Westminster centre on a dossier given to the interior ministry in 1983 by Geoffrey Dickens, a Conservative MP and campaigner against child abuse. On Sunday, Britain's Home Office revealed that in total, 114 files relating to child abuse allegations were "presumed destroyed, missing or not found". The Home Secretary of the time Leon Brittan, forced to defend his handling of the Dickens dossier, said he had handed all relevant information onto officials for investigation.
A suicide bomber detonated explosives inside a cafe in a predominantly-Shiite neighbourhood in west Baghdad on Sunday evening, killing at least four people, security and medical officials said. The blast was a rare bombing in recent days in the Iraqi capital, which has endured a tense calm as security forces and militants have focused their resources north and west of Baghdad, with a jihadist-led offensive having overrun swathes of five provinces. Iraqi forces initially wilted when faced with the insurgent onslaught, which began late on June 9, but have since performed more capably, albeit with few gains in offensive operations.
Brasília (AFP) - Playing second fiddle to the injury woes of soccer star Neymar and the host country's bid for World Cup glory, Brazil on Sunday kicked off its campaign for October 5 general elections. Opinion polls make leftist President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party (PT) favorite to win a second term, albeit in a likely run-off, leaving rivals Social Democratic candidate Aecio Neves and Socialist Eduardo Campos trailing. With the passing of Saturday's deadline the candidates can take to the streets to press flesh and hold functions, as well as campaign online. A poll last week showed Rousseff with a 38 percent share, up four points, with the World Cup -- which has generally passed off successfully -- giving her an apparent boost.
Libya's electoral commission announced Sunday it was scrapping the results from 24 polling stations due to fraud in a parliamentary election contested at 1,600 stations in June. An investigation has been launched and those responsible for the alleged fraud will be put on trial, said commission chief Imed al-Sayeh. Sayeh was speaking at a news conference to announce preliminary results for the June 25 election, which was marred by a poor turnout, violence and the murder of a leading women's rights activist. Authorities had hoped the poll would ease the political turmoil and rising lawlessness gripping Libya since its 2011 revolution which ousted longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
Nine out of 10 people identified in a large cache of online conversations intercepted by the National Security Agency were ordinary Internet users and not foreign surveillance targets, a news report says. Nearly half of the surveillance files were of United States citizens or residents, The Washington Post said of its four-month investigation of the trove of NSA-intercepted electronic data provided by fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The revelations are likely to rekindle criticism in the US and abroad of US surveillance techniques and especially the NSA's vast data sweeps, and came after German authorities said they had arrested a suspected double-agent accused of spying for the United States.
Russian President Vladimir Putin "can be dangerous" and will always push other political leaders as far as he can, former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton told a German newspaper Sunday. "A man like Putin always goes to the limits. "His latest aggression in Ukraine must be answered with a joint reaction by the West," she said in an interview published to coincide with the Berlin launch of her book "Hard Choices".
Deportations are being stepped up of illegal migrants along the US border, a top Obama adminstration official said Sunday, defending the White House's handling of a flood of undocumented children. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson told NBC television's "Meet the Press" that officials have reduced the "turnaround times" for migrants illegally entering the country along the Mexican border. There is a deportation proceeding that has commenced against illegal migrants -- including children," the domestic security chief said. The immigration issue has gained new urgency in the United States after 52,000 unaccompanied minors crossed illegally into the US via America's southern border since October.
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday defended a government decision to raise fuel prices as the authorities also slapped higher taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, state media reported. The authorities late Friday decided to slash state subsidies on petrol and diesel, sparking anger among taxi drivers and others affected by the rising costs. Police arrested two people on Sunday after dispersing a protest by fishermen angered by the fuel price hike in the coastal city of Rosetta, state media reported.
A top U.S. official said on Sunday the U.S. border is not open to illegal entry into the country, but acknowledged the government does need to be sensitive to the tens of thousands of migrant children flowing into detention centers. "We have to do right by the children, but at the end of the day, our border is not open to illegal migration and we will stem the tide," Jeh Johnson, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. Johnson said that the government administers deportation proceedings to illegal migrants seized at the border, including children. "We are looking at ways to create additional options for dealing with the children, in particular, consistent with our laws and our values," Johnson said.
A black South African soldier who died nearly a century ago during World War I was on Sunday reburied alongside 600 of his white compatriots at the South African war memorial in northern France. Private Myengwa Beleza was one of the first black South African soldiers to be killed in France during the 1914-1918 war. He was among some 25,000 other black South Africans who had volunteered to serve as part of the Native Labour Corps. Beleza died on November 27, 1916 and was buried in a civilian cemetery at the port city of Le Havre as South Africa's white minority government did not allow black soldiers to be buried at the memorial.
German ministers on Sunday called for a swift response from the US to allegations of spying by a suspected double agent, which have raised fears of fresh tensions between the two allies. "I expect now for everyone to assist in the speedy clarification of the accusations, and quick and clear statements, also by the US," Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told Bild newspaper in comments released ahead of Monday's edition. Hot on the heels of revelations last year that the NSA allegedly tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile, the latest reports of US spying by a German foreign intelligence service employee have sparked anger among some politicians. Germany's federal prosecutor general confirmed last week that a man had been arrested Wednesday on suspicion of acting for a foreign intelligence service, but did not specify which one.
A Sudanese daily newspaper that was allowed to resume publishing in March after a ban of nearly two years has been seized, its chief editor said on Sunday. National security agents confiscated the entire print run, about 23,000 copies, of Al-Tayar's Saturday edition, its editor Osman Mirghani told AFP. According to Mirghani, the security agency said it seized the edition because Al-Tayar wrote about Investment Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail's anger at delays in the government's national dialogue. "This is what we wrote," Mirghani said.
An Italian engineer working in Libya was kidnapped at the weekend, the foreign ministry in Rome said Sunday, while two other Europeans were reported missing in the same attack. "We can confirm that one of our citizens has been kidnapped," a spokesperson at the Italian foreign ministry said. According to Italian media Marco Vallisa and two co-workers from Bosnia and Macedonia disappeared from a coastal town in the west of Libya on Saturday. Bosnia's foreign ministry said one of its citizens was missing "without being able to confirm immediately if he was kidnapped", while Macedonian officials had no information on the reports.