People were wondering what had happened to the "Indignants", the protesters who swamped Spanish squares in 2011 to demand political change. The protests may have lessened, but just when Spain was least expecting it, the Indignants have surged back -- not in the streets but in the polls. Although they still have a long way to go to really trouble Spain's establishment, the result took many observers by surprise since opinion polls had forecast only a two or three percent vote share for the party. It was particularly impressive since the party was only officially formed four months ago, and contributed to the decline of the mainstream Socialist party, whose leader, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, resigned in the aftermath.
Suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen riding on the back of a motorbike shot dead a Yemeni intelligence officer in the south of the country on Saturday, a security official told AFP. The officer was killed on the spot and the attackers fled the scene, said the source blaming Al-Qaeda for the killing. A cheap form of transport frequently replacing taxis in the impoverished country, motorbikes have become a tool for hit-and-run shootings that have killed dozens of officials in recent years. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), seen by Washington as the network's deadliest franchise, has been blamed for most of the motorbike attacks on the security forces despite never claiming them.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The report this week confirming that 1,700 veterans were "at risk of being lost or forgotten" at a Phoenix hospital was hardly the first independent review that documented long wait times for some patients seeking health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs and inaccurate records that understated the depth of the problem.
Portugal's prime minister on Saturday vowed to overcome the "huge frustration" posed by the constitutional court's rejection of austerity measures in Lisbon's 2014 budget. Portugal's highest court on Friday turned down three out of four measures brought in by the centre-right government as part of ongoing cutbacks after the country exited an international bailout two weeks ago. We will announce at the appropriate time how we will overcome this huge frustration," said Pedro Passos Coelho. The decision by Portugal's constitutional court is expected to cost Lisbon between 500 and 800 million euros ($670 million-$1 billion), according to media estimates.
Riot police on Saturday arrested two women as a small group of gay rights activists tried to stage a rally in central Moscow dedicated to Conchita Wurst, the bearded Austrian transvestite who won this year's Eurovision song contest. Officers chased away the handful of other activists who gathered for the unsanctioned rally, held in a central Moscow square and symbolically named after the Eurovision winner. The two women were holding a rainbow flag when they were arrested shortly after a Lada car adorned with rainbow flags raced along a nearby street with Wurst's signature song, "Rise Like A Phoenix," blaring out at full volume. President Vladimir Putin has made traditional family values and patriotism a key plank of his third term's agenda, but has denied that gays are mistreated.
The United States Saturday backed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plans to reshape the role of Japan's little-used military, in the strongest comments of support yet from Tokyo's major ally on the move. Abe told the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore Friday that Japan would become a more active player in maintaining regional security, as he sets about altering the Self Defence Forces' rules of engagement. Pentagon chief Hagel told the forum the United States "supports" Abe's effort to "reorient its Collective Self Defense posture toward actively helping build a peaceful and resilient regional order". To complement Japan's efforts, the United States and Japan "have begun revising our defense guidelines for the first time in nearly two decades," Hagel told fellow defence chiefs, senior military officials, diplomats and security experts attending the annual conference.