Putin faces isolation over Syria as G8 ratchets up pressure
ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin faced growing isolation on the second day of a G8 summit on Tuesday as world leaders lined up to pressure him into toning down his support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Syria was set to dominate the last day of the meeting in a secluded, heavily guarded golf resort in Northern Ireland, with Putin standing firm on his position that forcing out Assad would be disastrous for Syria and the region.
Suicide bomber kills seven in Shi'ite mosque in Baghdad
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a Shi'ite mosque in the Iraqi capital on Tuesday, killing at least seven worshippers, police said. More than 20 people were wounded in the attack, in the al-Qahira district of northern Baghdad.
Turkish police arrest dozens, PM Erdogan defends security forces
ANKARA/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Police raided addresses across Turkey on Tuesday and detained dozens of people in an operation linked to three weeks of often violent protests against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. Overnight in Ankara, riot police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse hundreds of protesters who had gathered in and around the government quarter of Kizilay.
Afghanistan to kick off Taliban peace talks in Qatar
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan will send a team to Qatar for peace talks with the Taliban, President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday, as the U.S.-led NATO coalition launched the final phase of the 12-year war with the last round of security transfers to Afghan forces. Karzai's announcement was the first possible step forward in the peace process, which has struggled to achieve results despite many attempts, and is likely to be applauded by his Western backers.
Belgian who says she is king's daughter asks him to testify
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A woman who says she is the unrecognized daughter of Belgian King Albert II has summoned the monarch and two of his children to appear in a Brussels court in her bid to prove he is her father, her lawyer said on Tuesday. Delphine Boel, a 45-year-old artist, has repeatedly stated that she is the daughter of the king and has used this as a theme in some of her work.
Lebanese Sunni Muslim politician warns of state collapse
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's main Sunni Muslim political party pleaded with the presidency on Tuesday to prevent "state collapse", blaming the Shi'ite Hezbollah group for dragging the country into the war in neighboring Syria. Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah militants are openly fighting for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as he battles a 27-month-old Sunni-led revolt. Inter-communal violence has spread to religiously-mixed Lebanese cities and border towns.
Arab village in Israel targeted in racial attack
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Vandals daubed "Arabs out" graffiti and punctured tires in an Arab village near Jerusalem on Tuesday, targeting a community widely seen in Israel as a showcase for Jewish-Arab coexistence. Unlike similar attacks that have damaged Arab mosques, homes, vehicles and olive groves, the vandalism took place in an Arab village in Israel popular with Jewish visitors, rather than in a Palestinian community in the occupied West Bank.
Cambodian garment workers charged over strike violence
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Sixteen Cambodian garment workers and union representatives have been charged with inciting violence and damaging property during a strike for higher pay at a factory making clothes for U.S. sportswear company Nike, a lawyer said on Tuesday. Low-cost labor has attracted Western brands to Cambodia and garments now account for around 75 percent of exports from the Southeast Asian country, but strikes over pay and working conditions have become common.
Israel has frozen new building in settlements: minister
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel has frozen nearly all housing starts in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Housing Minister Uri Ariel said on Tuesday, in an apparent bid to help U.S. efforts to revive peace talks with the Palestinians. The step, confirmed several weeks ago by the Israel's anti-settlement Peace Now movement, has had no impact on construction already under way in settlements - projects that have raised Palestinian concern and drawn international condemnation.
Putin, Obama face off over Syria; rebels get Saudi missiles
ENISKILLEN, Northern Ireland/DUBAI (Reuters) - Rebels fought to halt an advance by President Bashar al-Assad's forces into northern Syria on Monday while U.S. President Barack Obama faced a showdown with Russia's Vladimir Putin over Obama's decision last week to arm the insurgents. New evidence emerged of escalating foreign support for the rebels, with a Gulf source telling Reuters that Saudi Arabia had equipped fighters for the first time with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, their most urgent request. Rebels said Riyadh had also sent them anti-tank missiles.