By Minami Funakoshi and Kiyoshi Takenaka ISE-SHIMA, Japan (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe protested to U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday about the killing of a young woman in Okinawa which has reignited resentment of the heavy U.S. military presence on the southern Japanese island. Obama, joining Abe ahead of a Group of Seven summit, expressed regrets over the killing for which a U.S. base worker has been charged. "As Japanese prime minister, I protested sternly to President Obama over the recent incident in Okinawa," Abe told a news conference, flanked by the president ahead of a Group of Seven summit meeting starting on Thursday.
By Maria Tsvetkova and Pavel Polityuk MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian military pilot Nadiya Savchenko arrived home to scenes of jubilation on Wednesday after her release by Russia in a prisoner swap and she promptly offered to fight again for Kiev in its conflict with pro-Russian separatists. Savchenko's handover, in return for two Russian prisoners - had been demanded by the West and was cast as a humanitarian gesture by Russian President Vladimir Putin a few weeks before the European Union decides whether to extend sanctions against Russia imposed over its support of the rebels. Savchenko, 35, barefoot - it was unclear why - and wearing a T-shirt depicting the Ukrainian coat of arms, emerged from the terminal at Kiev's Boryspil airport to cries of "hero" from a crowd of supporters, among them her sister and mother.
By Jibran Ahmad PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Islamic legal scholar appointed leader of the Afghan Taliban on Wednesday, was not the obvious choice when senior members of the militant movement gathered to appoint a new "emir". The "shura", or leadership council, was convened in haste after leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan on Saturday, presenting the Taliban with their second succession in less than a year. Unlike a similar meeting held last July, when an important faction walked out in protest, delegates agreed on the choice of Akhundzada, said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
By Maher Chmaytelli BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's top Shi'ite Muslim cleric urged government and allied Shi'ite militia forces fighting to retake Falluja from Islamic State militants to spare trapped civilians amid reports of a budding humanitarian crisis in the city. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's appeal reflected concerns that a large civilian death toll in the battle for the mainly Sunni Muslim city could kindle increased sectarian strife in Iraq. The Baghdad government has been led by Shi'ites since the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein, a member of the Sunni minority.
The Latest on France's strikes and protests against the government's labor reforms (all times local): 10:30 p.m. Residents in the English Channel port city of Le Havre have mixed feelings about the crippling ...
By Ahmed Aboulenein CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt has asked European firms to help search for the black boxes of an EgyptAir plane that crashed on May 19 in deep water in the Mediterranean Sea, the airline's chairman and French diplomatic sources said on Wednesday. Nearly a week after EgyptAir flight 804 crashed with 66 people on board, including 30 Egyptians and 15 from France, investigators have no clear picture of its final moments. EgyptAir chairman Safwat Musallam did not name the French and Italian companies involved but told a news conference they were able to carry out searches at a depth of 3,000 meters.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The husband of a woman gunned down at a historic black church in Charleston with eight other people said Wednesday he won't be at peace until the man charged in the slayings is put to death.
The sun beats down on a flat sea as a gentle breeze blows up from the Libyan coast but the Mediterranean idyll is soon to be shattered for the crew of migrant rescue ship the MS Aquarius. "We are going to take on a full load today," predicts Alexander Moroz, the Belarusian captain of the vessel chartered by the charities SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to help the search and rescue operation in the waters between Italy and Libya. The Aquarius was one of 23 vessels deployed to help stricken migrant boats and by nightfall the Italian coastguard had counted 3,000 people rescued, bringing the total to 5,600 over the course of 48 hours.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concluded an accord Wednesday to appoint nationalist Avigdor Lieberman as defence minister in an alliance Washington said raised "legitimate questions" over his government's commitment to a two-state solution. The Yisrael Beitenu party of Lieberman, a bearded and stocky former foreign minister, will add five lawmakers to Netanyahu's previously wafer-thin majority if the coalition deal is given parliamentary approval as expected. The two men, who have in the past been bitter rivals, announced the deal at a ceremony at parliament, with Lieberman pledging to be "balanced" and saying he was committed to "responsible, reasonable policy".
PARIS (AP) — As if ordering room service, Andy Murray's latest unheralded French Open tormenter requested that a can of Coke and a Mars bar be brought to him right there on Court Philippe Chatrier for sustenance during their five-setter.