Obama says China would not take Change in US Policy on Taiwan Lightly

By Roberta Rampton and Jeff Mason WASHINGTON, Dec 16 – President Barack Obama said on Friday it was fine for President-elect Donald Trump to review Washington’s “one-China” policy toward Taiwan, but he cautioned that a shift could lead to significant consequences in the U.S. relationship with Beijing. “For China, the issue of Taiwan is as

[ Read More ]

France Pushes U.N. Security Council Action on Aleppo

By Michelle Nichols and John Irish UNITED NATIONS/PARIS, Dec 16 – France said on Friday it is pushing for the United Nations Security Council to ensure the evacuation of Aleppo is coordinated by international observers, that humanitarian aid is allowed in to the Syrian city and that hospitals are protected. French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre

[ Read More ]

Under Pollution Alert, Beijing Orders 1,200 Factories to Shut or cut Output

BEIJING, Dec 17 – Beijing’s city government has ordered 1,200 factories near the Chinese capital, including an oil refinery run by state oil major Sinopec and a Cofco food plant, to either shut or cut output following its highest possible air pollution warning. Environmental authorities issued a red alert that started on Friday night and

[ Read More ]

U.N. Chief Urges Israeli Lawmakers to Reconsider Settlement Bill

By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS, Dec 16 – Outgoing United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday urged Israeli lawmakers to reconsider a bill to legalize Israeli settlement homes on private Palestinian land as Arab states mull putting forward a Security Council resolution on settlements. The Palestinians want an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza

[ Read More ]

Trump Promises Syria ‘Safe Zones’, Obama says no Easy fix

By Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton ORLANDO/WASHINGTON, Dec 16 – U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Friday his administration would build “safe zones” to try to help civilians trapped in Syria’s bloody conflict, an idea that President Barack Obama said would be too hard to enforce. Trump and Obama spoke separately of the conflict after

[ Read More ]

Turkey to set up Camp for Aleppo Evacuees in Syria

By Umit Ozdal CILVEGOZU, Turkey, Dec 16 – Turkey plans to set up a camp inside Syria to host people evacuated from the city of Aleppo but will continue to take the sick and wounded to Turkish hospitals, officials said on Friday. Two potential sites, around 3.5 km (2 miles) inside Syria, have been identified

[ Read More ]

U.S. Offers $25 Million Reward for Information on Daesh Leader

WASHINGTON, Dec 16 – The United States on Friday more than doubled its previous reward for information on Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, offering $25 million for information that would help locate, arrest or convict the head of the jihadist group. The U.S. State Department’s Rewards for Justice program previously offered $10 million for information

[ Read More ]

Germany Arrests Turkish Man Suspected of Spying for Turkey

BERLIN, Dec 16 – German police have arrested a 31-year-old Turkish man who is suspected of providing information on Kurds living in Germany to Turkish intelligence agencies, the German federal prosecutor’s office announced on Friday. The arrest could exacerbate tensions between NATO partners Germany and Turkey, which has accused Berlin of harboring militants from the

[ Read More ]