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Brahimi says he could work around Iranian absence from Syria talks

GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran remains a sticking point in plans for a conference to end the conflict in Syria, international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Friday, with the United States still refusing to agree to Iran's presence when talks begin on Jan 22.


Company’s regional offices send aid to typhoon victims

IN light of Super Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda) that struck the Philippines’ central region, Panasonic Group of Companies in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa region are contributing approximately US$145,000 to support relief efforts.


EU to decide on action in Central African Republic in January

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will decide next month on a joint operation in the Central African Republic in support of a French military intervention to stabilise a country racked by sectarian violence, French President Francois Hollande said on Friday.


Russia blocks U.N. statement condemning Syrian attacks-diplomats

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia blocked a U.N. Security Council statement on Thursday that would have condemned the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for recent missile and "barrel bomb" attacks on civilians, including children, U.N. diplomats said.


Ethiopia says arrests five suspects in football match bomb plot

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopian police have arrested five more people suspected of plotting suicide bombings during Ethiopia's World Cup qualifying match against Nigeria in October, security officials said on Thursday.


Iran and Russia helping Syrian aid effort - European officials

GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran and Russia have used their influence on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government to get visas for U.N. aid workers and improve access for convoys in Syria, but much remains to be done, senior European officials told Reuters on Thursday.


'Ghost of Rwanda' haunts as U.S. envoy visits Central African Republic

BANGUI/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Neighbour turning on neighbour, villages razed to the ground, hundreds of victims shot or hacked to death with machetes.


UN General Assembly condemns Syria, Iran, North Korea for rights abuses

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday condemned Syria for widespread human rights abuses and expressed concern about such violations in Iran and North Korea, but it welcomed pledges by Iran's president to improve in some areas.


U.N. heads, EU call for humanitarian ceasefire in Syria

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The heads of the U.N. and European Union aid agencies called on Wednesday for a "humanitarian ceasefire" in Syria to allow convoys to deliver help to areas that aid workers cannot reach.


U.S. raises aid to $86 million for typhoon-ravaged Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines (Reuters) - The United States will provide an additional $25 million in humanitarian aid to the Philippines for typhoon relief, raising to $86 million its assistance to its major ally, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.