Tens of thousands of people joined an anti-government rally in Sanaa on Monday in response to a call by Shiite rebel commander Abdulmalik al-Huthi, an AFP journalist reported. The protesters assembled in Change Square then paraded in the centre of the capital, where supporters of the rebels, who are known as Huthis or Ansarullah, had converged during the morning after travelling from outside the capital. A tight security cordon was thrown up around Sanaa, with increased security along the main roads, though no incidents had been reported by the middle of the day. The demonstrators chanted slogans against the government, which has struggled to manage the political transition since the ouster in 2012 of veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange indicated Monday he would leave Ecuador's embassy in London "soon" but his organisation played down the comment, saying he would not depart until there was an agreement with Britain's government. A pale and bearded Assange, who sought asylum at the embassy two years ago, told a press conference that WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson had said he could "confirm that I am leaving the embassy soon." His comments came after British media reported, quoting a WikiLeaks source, that he was suffering from the potentially life-threatening heart condition arrhythmia and had a chronic lung complaint as well as high blood pressure.
World oil prices fell sharply on Monday, handing back pre-weekend gains on easing supply worries in both Ukraine and Iraq, dealers said. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in September dropped $1.01 to $96.34 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for October sank $1.25 to $102.28. "It became apparent on Friday just how nervously the market reacts to geopolitical risks: reports of the alleged destruction of an armed Russian convoy by Ukrainian troops on Ukrainian territory pushed Brent up by one US dollar," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.
By Scott Malone PROVIDENCE R.I. (Reuters) - The man who ran Providence, Rhode Island, for 22 of the past 50 years is convinced that his hometown needs him again and isn't going to let a little thing like the five years he spent in prison on a racketeering conviction stand in his way. In 1984 he pleaded guilty to assaulting an acquaintance and in 2002 he was convicted of racketeering conspiracy after a sting operation on corruption in city government, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation had nicknamed "Operation Plunderdome." Cianci, who is running as an independent, has a reasonable shot at coming out on top of what is expected to be a three-way race, joining a long line of U.S. politicians to win back voters' support after scandal, according to political analysts. "It's easier to make a comeback at the local level," said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics and a veteran political analyst. We're quick to forgive." NOT GOING TO HIDE Cianci, now 73, was convicted in 2002 of racketeering for overseeing a city government in which officials solicited bribes and engaged in extortion and mail fraud.
Thailand's economy grew 0.9 percent in the second quarter, dodging recession after the military ended months of political deadlock with a coup and promised to unshackle spending. The junta, under coup-leading Army Chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha, has pegged its legitimacy to improving the economy after months of political protests froze government spending, scared off tourists and battered consumer spending. Between April and June the economy crept back to life with 0.9 percent growth after shrinking a revised 1.9 percent in the preceding three months, the National Economic and Social Development Board reported.
Television channel Libya Awalan (Libya First), close to dissident general Khalifa Haftar, said: "Military planes bombarded various positions" near Tripoli. Haftar has been conducting an operation against militant groups who have held sway in the eastern city of Benghazi since the fall of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. New skirmishes between the rival militias raged in Tripoli on Friday and Saturday, with grad missiles and artillery used but there were no immediate reports of casualties. Libya's newly-elected parliament, meeting in the eastern city of Tobruk to avoid the Tripoli violence, called last Wednesday for foreign intervention to protect civilians.
Security forces in war-torn South Sudan have shut one of the country's main independent radio stations and arrested its news editor after it broadcast rebel views, the station said Monday. The Juba-based Bakhita Radio, run by the Roman Catholic Church as part of a network of community-run stations, was shut Saturday after reporting on renewed fighting between rebels and government. News editor Ocen David Nicholas is in "detention for balancing a news story" and the station remained closed Monday, Bakhita said in a statement. Radio director Albino Tokwaro has since written a letter of apology to security forces "for broadcasting opposition's views", added the station, one of the most popular in the capital.
Kenya's internationally funded anti-terrorism police have carried out a series of killings and "enforced disappearances" following a string of attacks in the country, Human Rights Watch said Monday. "Kenyan counter-terrorism forces appear to be killing and disappearing people right under the noses of top government officials, major embassies, and the United Nations," said HRW's deputy Africa director Leslie Lefkow. The unit receives funding from the United States and Britain, HRW added, with Washington providing $19 million (14 million euros) in 2012. HRW said it had documented evidence of "at least 10 cases of killings, 10 cases of enforced disappearances, and 11 cases of mistreatment or harassment of terrorism suspects," with strong evidence of a police involvement.
A policeman was killed and another seriously wounded in northern Egypt on Monday when gunmen in a parked car fired at patrolling officers, a security official said. Jihadist groups have regularly launched attacks on police and soldiers since the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July last year by former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now president of Egypt.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on Monday ordered National Guard troops to help police restore order in Ferguson, the town shaken for days by race riots. Ferguson has endured protests and violence since a white police officer shot dead Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, on August 9. Nixon issued his executive order after police late Sunday fired tear gas and rubber bullets to rioters after looting broke out, and after they were fired upon and attacked with Molotov cocktails. "Given these deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson, I am directing ... the Missouri National Guard" to assist police "in restoring peace and order to this community."
The death toll in the war-torn Gaza Strip rose above 2,000 Monday, the health ministry said as more people injured in over a month of fighting with the Israelis succumbed to their wounds. The toll, which had stood at 1,980, jumped up after a number of people died from their injuries in hospitals across Gaza, as well as in Cairo and Jerusalem where they had been taken for treatment. Medics also retrieved another body from under the rubble in the battered Shejaiya district east of Gaza City, where it had lain for more than three weeks, the statement said.
Police hurled tear gas and marched on protesters late Sunday in Ferguson, the St Louis suburb wracked by race riots since police shot dead an unarmed black teenager. Some of the youths carried signs protesting police brutality. Police dispersed the protest after rioters threw Molotov cocktails at officers,the St. Louis County Police said on Twitter. The city has endured days of violence since a white police officer on August 9 shot dead Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old.
Japan's government said Monday it was investigating a video posted online that appears to show a kidnapped Japanese man being roughly interrogated by Syrian militants. The video, which surfaced over the weekend, shows a man who identified himself as Haruna Yukawa lying on the ground with blood trickling down his face as his apparent captors question him. The man, with matted brown hair and wearing a black T-shirt stained by dust and sweat, offered brief responses to questions posed in English about why he was in Syria and the reason he was carrying a gun. Japan's foreign ministry said it was trying to verify the man's identity through its embassy in violence-wracked Syria, which is now operating out of neighbouring Jordan.