Guinea-Bissau's Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira presented his new government Friday, less than two weeks after the president vowed to fight poverty and bring stability to the impoverished West African nation. Pereira's 16-minister cabinet is dominated by members of President Jose Mario Vaz's African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), a decree published in the capital Bissau showed. The 57-year-old Vaz is Guinea-Bissau's first elected leader since the army mutinied in 2012, plunging into chaos a state already in the grip of powerful cocaine cartels and beset by political violence.
A group of 46 Indian nurses held "against their will" in a part of Iraq seized by Islamic militants returned home on Saturday to an emotional reunion with their families. The relatives, clutching bouquets and hoisting "Welcome Home" banners, thronged the nurses as they emerged into the airport in the southern Kerala state city of Kochi, tearfully embracing them. They had been moved from Saddam Hussein's hometown to the militant-held city of Mosul on Thursday "against their will", the Indian foreign ministry has said. Circumstances surrounding the nurses' release remain unclear and the foreign ministry said it could not divulge details.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki remains many Iraqis' top choice to lead the country even though militants have overrun large swathes of territory and his domestic and international support is eroding. A June 13 statement by the country's most senior Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, calling on Iraqis to join state forces battling jihadists, has helped rally Iraq's majority Shiites around Maliki and bolstered his image as a bulwark against a perceived Sunni takeover. "I think support for him has gone up," said student Abbas Saadeq, 21, citing what he saw as backing for the prime minister from Iraq's most senior Shiite clerics, or marjaiya. Posters of the heavy-jowled leader still crowd Baghdad's skyline and checkpoints after April's parliamentary election, which his State of Law coalition dominated despite a litany of attacks in the run-up to the poll.
A U.S. House of Representatives panel said on Friday it should not have to comply with a federal regulator's demand for documents sought for an insider-trading probe involving the staff director of a subcommittee and a lobbyist. The House Ways and Means Committee argued in a court filing that U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in New York should deny the Securities and Exchange Commission's attempt to subpoena documents from the committee and its healthcare subcommittee staff director Brian Sutter. The SEC went to court June 20 to enforce subpoenas it issued as it sought information related to a probe into whether Sutter leaked material nonpublic information about Medicare reimbursement rates to Mark Hayes, a lobbyist at Greenberg Traurig LLP. The committee's filing called the SEC subpoena "a remarkable fishing expedition for congressional records." It said the U.S. Constitution shields the panel and Sutter from being compelled to testify or produce documents.
An exiled Ethiopian opposition leader with British citizenship has been extradited to Addis Ababa "for slaughter", an opposition group claimed on Friday. Andargachew Tsige, secretary general of Ginbot 7 -- labelled a terrorist organisation under Ethiopian law -- was arrested while in transit through Yemen last month. Tsige is Ethiopian born with British citizenship. "We are aware of reports that he may now be in Ethiopia and we are urgently seeking confirmation from the relevant authorities given our deep concerns about the case."
More than six million children affected by the Syria conflict desperately need humanitarian aid, the UN's children's agency said Friday, with the number in need rising by a third in a year. UNICEF is warning that despite the spiralling numbers the organisation may have to consider cutting some vital services because of a lack of funding. "That's an astonishing number and it's one that is rising very, very fast," UNICEF spokesman Simon Ingram told reporters in Geneva. The organisation has so far only received 37 percent of the $770 million (566 million euros) it needs to cover its services until the end of the year for Syrian children both inside the country and living as refugees in neighbouring countries.
Police in Kuwait warned Friday they will deal firmly with any violence by protesters after two nights of confrontations with activists demanding the release of a detained opposition leader. "The interior ministry affirms that any form of violence or riot will be dealt with firmly... and will continue to prevent such practices by using force," a ministry statement said. Thousands of opposition activists staged noisy protests the previous two nights after the public prosecutor remanded prominent opposition leader Mussallam al-Barrak for 10 days pending trial on charges of insulting the judiciary. The protesters marched on the central jail southwest of Kuwait City amid violent incidents with police using stun grenades and tear gas to disperse angry youths who blocked a major highway and other roads and stoned riot police.
Madagascar's Prime Minister Roger Kolo has vowed to stamp out corruption after revealing that 40 percent of his country's budget is lost to graft. "The independent anti-corruption bureau, created in 2004, will be restructured and the second national stage of the fight against corruption will be adopted soon," said Kolo, who was named prime minister in April. According to Madagascar's 2014 Finance Act, its national budget should be 940 million euros ($1.3 billion).
President Barack Obama on Friday called America's legacy as a country of immigrants part of the nation's "DNA," as members of the military community were sworn in as citizens at the White House. At a Fourth of July event marking the 238th anniversary of American independence, Obama praised the newly minted citizens -- some two dozen active duty military, their spouses, veterans, and reservists -- who "remind us that America is and always has been a nation of immigrants." The president's remarks came with the country embroiled in a tense debate over how to stanch an influx of undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America, among them thousands of minors, who have flooded across the border into the US in recent months. "That's what makes America special.
A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle at a security forces position north of Baghdad on Friday, killing 15 people, police and a doctor said. The attack south of the sensitive shrine city of Samarra in Salaheddin province, where militants have overrun the state capital and a swathe of other territory, also wounded 25 people. Samarra, 15 kilometres (nine miles) north of where the attack took place, is home to the revered Shiite Al-Askari shrine, which was bombed in February 2006, sparking a bloody Sunni-Shiite sectarian war.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — A young, energetic urban mayor reshapes the political landscape and spurs talk of higher office. Six or seven years ago in New Jersey, that description would have applied to Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Now it describes Steven Fulop, the ex-Marine and ex-Wall Streeter who has shaken up the status quo in Jersey City and fueled speculation about larger ambitions.
Greek police fired tear gas to disperse dozens of Golden Dawn supporters protesting outside an Athens court where the neo-Nazi party's leader was appearing on Friday. Chanting "Fatherland, honour, Golden Dawn," the crowd attacked police and photojournalists outside the Supreme Court, an AFP journalist said. Three photojournalists were hit by Golden Dawn supporters whilst trying to take pictures of the scuffle with police. "You are not welcome here," the demonstrators shouted at the journalists in English, a practice often used by Golden Dawn, whose members are no longer invited to appear on television.
Four suspected Egyptian Islamists were killed preparing explosives on Friday, and a teenager was shot dead in clashes between Muslim Brotherhood protesters and police, security officials said. In Cairo, a 15-year-old died of birdshot wounds during clashes between Islamist protesters and police in the poor neighbourhood of Matariya, a day after two people including a policemen were killed in violence. Islamists staged protests on Thursday to mark the first anniversary of the military ousting president Mohamed Morsi. The small protests were quickly quashed by police.
Russia's parliament passed a bill on Friday requiring Internet companies to store Russians' personal data inside the country in an apparent move to pressure sites such as Facebook and Twitter into handing over user information. Introducing the bill to parliament this week, MP Vadim Dengin said "most Russians don't want their data to leave Russia for the United States, where it can be hacked and given to criminals." "Our entire lives are stored over there," he said, adding that companies should build data centres in Russia. The bill would increase pressure on social networking services which do not have offices in Russia and have become a vital resource for anti-government groups.