World News | WRHL World News 2016-02-10T10:32:07Z World News Russia, pressed to end Syria bombing, proposes March truce By Michelle Nichols, Tom Perry and Humeyra Pamuk UNITED NATIONS/DAMASCUS/ONCUPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - World powers pressed Russia on Wednesday to stop bombing around Aleppo in support of a Syrian government offensive to recapture the city and a Western official said Moscow had presented a proposal envisaging a truce in three weeks' time. Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing for a ceasefire and more aid access to Aleppo, where rebel-held areas are being cut off and the United Nations has warned a new humanitarian disaster could be on the way. Aid workers said on Wednesday the water supply to Aleppo, still home to two million people, was no longer functioning. North Korea satellite not transmitting, but rocket payload a concern: U.S. By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A satellite put into orbit by North Korea at the weekend does not appear to be transmitting, but it is worrying that the rocket that took it there delivered twice the payload of Pyongyang's previous launch, the head of the U.S. Army's Missile Defense Command said on Wednesday. "If you look at the previous launch and the payload it put into orbit … just the increase in weight is I think an important factor," Lieutenant-General David Mann told a seminar on Capitol Hill organized by the Hudson Institute think tank. "I don't think it's transmitting as we speak, but it does reflect a capability that North Korea is trying to leverage in terms of its missile technologies," he said. With fewer U.S. troops in Afghanistan, pressure grows for more air strikes By James Mackenzie KABUL (Reuters) - Pressure is growing on the U.S. military to do more to help Afghan forces repel the threat posed by Taliban militants, and commanders in Washington and Kabul agree that enhanced air power may be where it can make the most difference. With fewer American soldiers on the ground and their rules of engagement limited, the outgoing commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, believes broader authorization of force is the best way of supporting stretched local troops. Female suicide bombers kill over 60 people in northeast Nigeria: officials Two female suicide bombers killed more than 60 people at a camp for people displaced by an insurgency of the jihadist Boko Haram group in the northeast Nigerian town of Dikwa, military and emergency officials said on Wednesday. The attack occurred 85 km (50 miles) outside the capital of Borno state, centre of the seven-year insurgency, they said. The two female suicide bombers sneaked into an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp and detonated themselves in the middle of it, emergency officials and the military source said. Damascus expects tough but short battle for Aleppo By Laila Bassam and Tom Perry DAMASCUS (Reuters) - The Syrian government expects a tough battle for Aleppo, the city that has become the focal point of the country's long civil war, but is confident of victory and says it won't be a long fight.     Damascus aims to seal the border with Turkey, a major sponsor of the insurgents fighting President Bashar al-Assad, and to retake rebel-held areas of what was Syria's biggest city and industrial hub before the conflict began in 2011.     "These battles are not easy, but the day will come, God willing, when all Aleppo - its rural areas and the occupied part of the city - will return to state authority," Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said in an interview on Wednesday. The government assault helped to derail already struggling Geneva peace talks this month. North Korea executes army chief of staff: South Korean media North Korea has executed its army chief of staff, Ri Yong Gil, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday, which, if true, would be the latest in a series of executions, purges and disappearances under its young leader. The news comes amid heightened tension surrounding isolated North Korea after its Sunday launch of a long-range rocket, which came about a month after it drew international condemnation for conducting its fourth nuclear test. A source familiar with North Korean affairs also told Reuters that Ri had been executed. Russia proposes March 1 ceasefire in Syria; US wants it now MUNICH (AP) — Russia has proposed a March 1 ceasefire in Syria, U.S. officials said Wednesday, but Washington believes Moscow is giving itself and the Syrian government three weeks to try to crush moderate rebel groups. Hong Kong leads fresh Asia market sell-off Hong Kong stocks plunged more than four percent to a more than three-year low Thursday, leading another sell-off across Asian markets and extending a global rout fanned by worries over the world economy. Comments from Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen virtually confirming the bank will not lift interest rates next month put further pressure on the beleaguered dollar, while the ongoing supply glut saw oil prices sink below $27 a barrel. Dealers continued their flight to safe investments that has played out across trading floors from Asia to the Americas this week as they fret about a possible global recession. Republican White House field narrows as campaign moves south Two more Republicans have ended their White House runs, whittling down the field as the party's remaining candidates and Democrat Hillary Clinton look to blunt the momentum of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders down south. Trump and Sanders -- two political outsiders with vastly different ideologies, but who have a common campaign credo of speaking what they say is truth to power -- served notice in the Granite State on Tuesday with their resounding victories. Panel denies parole to Sirhan, assassin of Robert F. Kennedy SAN DIEGO (AP) — Sirhan Sirhan was denied parole Wednesday for fatally shooting Robert F. Kennedy after a confidante of the slain senator who was shot in the head forgave him and repeatedly apologized for not doing more to win his release. Doctors stage second strike in English hospitals Thousands of junior doctors at English hospitals staged a second strike into Thursday against proposed new conditions and pay rates for working unsociable hours. Junior doctors -- all medics below consultant level -- were providing only emergency care during the 24-hour strike, which runs from Wednesday until 8:00am (0800 GMT) Thursday. Nearly 3,000 operations have been postponed, National Health Service (NHS) England said. ARU chief desperate to keep Pocock Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver says he is open to star backrower David Pocock taking a sabbatical and is not ruling out any option that allows him to retain top players. The No. 8, who recovered from two knee reconstructions in two years to play a stunning role for Australia at the World Cup last year, is considering a one-year break from rugby to study in England. "David Pocock is one of the world's best players, if not the world's best player, but suffice to say we are very eager to keep him in Australian rugby," he said on the ARU website late Wednesday. HSBC accused of supporting Mexican drug cartels in lawsuit MEXICO CITY (AP) — Four families have sued global bank HSBC in federal court in Texas alleging that the bank permitted Mexican drug cartels to launder money and thereby provided material support to terrorists. Top Asian News 2:47 a.m. GMT SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean workers on Thursday began shutting down a jointly run industrial park in North Korea, a move that will end, at least temporarily, the Koreas' last major cooperation project as punishment over Pyongyang's recent rocket launch. It was unclear how long the shutdown at the industrial complex in the border city of Kaesong would last, or even how long it would take South Korean companies to close down. Pyongyang has yet to comment, but Seoul said that North Korean workers did not report to work at Kaesong on Thursday. The shutdown is one of Seoul's strongest available punitive measures and will hurt impoverished North Korea's finances. Australian cuts to climate change research may hit drive into Asia By Jarni Blakkarly SYDNEY (Reuters) - Funding and job cuts at Australia's climate change research body could undermine the country's goal of dominating the Asian premium food market by placing farmers at a disadvantage to U.S. and European competitors. Australia's extreme weather means farmers rely heavily on climate change forecasts from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to mitigate the impact of bushfires, cyclones and droughts. Australian farmers need the best data and predictions," said former chief of CSIRO marine research Tony Haymet. Hong Kong, Seoul stocks sharply lower after holidays SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stocks shuddered again Thursday, led by sharp drops in Hong Kong and South Korea, which were catching up to global market turmoil after being shut for Lunar New Year holidays. Seoul: N. Korean leader Kim had his military chief executed SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had his military chief executed for corruption and other charges, a South Korean official said Thursday. South Koreans begin shutting down factory park in North Korea, part of Seoul's punishment for North Korean rocket launch SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Koreans begin shutting down factory park in North Korea, part of Seoul's punishment for North Korean rocket launch. Western Sydney fined, points suspended over fan misbehavior SYDNEY (AP) — Football Federation Australia has fined Western Sydney Wanderers 50,000 Australian dollars ($35,600) and imposed a suspended competition point deduction following the misbehavior of fans who lit flares during last weekend's A-League match at Melbourne Victory. Mexico opens qualifying with 6-0 victory over Puerto Rico FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Maribel Dominguez scored three goals and Mexico defeated Puerto Rico 6-0 to open the CONCACAF women's Olympic qualifying tournament on Wednesday. U.S., South Korea, Japan boost data-sharing in response to North Korea threat WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top military officers from the United States, South Korea and Japan said they agreed at a meeting on Wednesday to step up information-sharing and coordination of security efforts in light of increasing North Korean nuclear and missile threats. The three chiefs of defense issued a joint statement calling North Korea's fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and Sunday's "long range missile launch" direct violations of U.N. resolutions and "serious provocations against the international community. ... US, allies target North Korea finances after rocket test The United States and its Asian allies tightened the economic screws on North Korea Thursday with the US Senate adopting fresh sanctions and South Korean firms abandoning a joint industrial park that helped fund Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme. The unilateral moves, which also included Japanese sanctions, came with UN Security Council members still stalled on how far to go in punishing the North for its latest nuclear test and long-range rocket launch. Following Seoul's surprise decision to shut down the Kaesong industrial zone in North Korea, hundreds of South Korean trucks crossed the border Thursday morning to retrieve finished goods and equipment from the factories there. Bird recalled for Australia in 1st test v New Zealand WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Fast bowler Jackson Bird will play his first test since 2013 for Australia in the series opener starting Friday, when New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum will be lining up for his 100th consecutive test match. Turkey's Erdogan lambasts US over support for Syrian Kurds Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan bitterly attacked ally the United States over its support for Syrian Kurdish groups, as they seized an airport near Aleppo and sought to build ties with Russia. In an impassioned and sometimes angry address, Erdogan accused Washington of creating a "pool of blood" in the region by working with Kurdish groups Ankara lists as terror organisations. The US has been supporting Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in their fight against Islamists in Syria, but Turkey considers them to be terror groups allied to Kurdish rebels on its soil. Australian deputy prime minister announces retirement CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's deputy prime minister announced his retirement Thursday, with the prime minister likely to announce a cabinet reshuffle before elections due this year. Concern over health of Guantanamo prisoner in 9/11 case MIAMI (AP) — Amnesty International has taken up the cause of a Guantanamo prisoner who is said to be in declining health as he awaits trial for his alleged role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. Colombia's FARC vow to end use of child soldiers Colombia's FARC rebels have promised to end recruitment of child soldiers, in a fresh bid to seal a peace deal ending a half-century conflict. At talks in Cuba, the leftist guerrilla group had already pledged to stop recruiting fighters under 17, but the Colombian government said that did not go far enough. International authorities and rights groups define any member of a force under the age of 18 as a child soldier. Ozzie Guillen to manage in native Venezuela next winter CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Ozzie Guillen, who led the Chicago White Sox to the 2005 World Series title, has been hired to manage the La Guaira Sharks of the Venezuelan Winter League next offseason. Lauren Jackson to wait until March to decide on Rio Games MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Former WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson will wait until March to make a final decision on whether to play in her fifth Olympics for Australia. Kukushkin upsets 5th-seeded Denis Kudla in Memphis Open. MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin upset fifth-seeded Denis Kudla 6-1, 7-5 on Wednesday in the second round of the Memphis Open. U.S. can still hit climate goals despite Supreme Court pause, White House says By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House vowed Wednesday that the United States would still meet international commitments to cut carbon emissions, seeking to allay concerns that the Supreme Court might take away one of its main weapons against climate change. The court dealt a blow on Tuesday to the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, which would steer electricity plants away from burning coal to cleaner fuel sources, delaying its implementation until all legal challenges are decided. AFL players to appeal bans in Essendon supplements scandal MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The 34 players suspended from the Australian Football League amid the Essendon supplements scandal are set to appeal sanctions imposed after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in favor of a World Anti-Doping Agency challenge to an initial decision to clear the group. AFL players appeal CAS doping ruling Thirty-four Australian Football League (AFL) players Thursday instructed their lawyers to appeal a Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling banning them for doping offences. The court decision upheld a World Anti-Doping Agency appeal against an AFL tribunal ruling last March that cleared the players after examining the club's player supplements and sports science programme. The AFL Players' Association (AFLPA) said its legal team had instructed Swiss lawyers to lodge the appeal papers with the Swiss Federal Supreme Court later on Thursday. Daughter of Peru's disgraced Fujimori leads presidential poll Keiko Fujimori, daughter of disgraced ex-president Alberto Fujimori, is leading among candidates for Peru's April 10 presidential election, a poll showed Wednesday. The lawmaker, who is polling at 39 percent, is well ahead of her closest rival, Julio Guzman, who has 20 percent of the vote, according to the Datum poll published in the dailies Peru 21 and Gestion. Following behind were economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (13 percent), billionaire Cesar Acuna (nine percent) and former president Alan Garcia (five percent), according to the survey, which was conducted February 5-8 and has a margin of error of 2.8 percent. Love gets an earlier start on knowing Ryder Cup team PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. Ryder Cup team traditionally starts to take shape at the Memorial when the top players are invited to one of the cottages at Muirfield Village to be fitted for uniforms. Davis Love III wants to get an earlier start in his second stint as captain. Australian charged with sex attack on 2 backpackers on beach ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Two female backpackers from Europe were savagely attacked on a remote Australian beach by a traveling companion they had met hours earlier, police said on Wednesday. Thiem, Almagro into quarterfinals in Argentina BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria reached his second quarterfinals of the young season when he defeated qualifier Gastao Elias of Portugal 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-3 in the Argentina Open on Wednesday. Turkey, Greece seek NATO mission in Aegean: German official Turkey and Greece have agreed to ask for a NATO mission to monitor refugee flows in the Aegean Sea and combat people smugglers, a senior German government official said late on Wednesday. "Turkey and Greece are both asking NATO to develop an overview of the situation with the national coastguards and Frontex," the German official said, referring to Europe's border protection agency. Struggling to stop refugees streaming into Greece despite a deal between Ankara and the European Union to combat the flood, Germany and Turkey surprised partners this week by saying they would raise the issue with NATO. Salvador high court orders civil prosecution of ex-president SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — El Salvador's Supreme Court ordered a lower tribunal to open a civil prosecution Wednesday against former President Mauricio Funes for possible illicit enrichment. Ski jumping the latest event to step to the plate at Fenway BOSTON (AP) — Olympic silver medalist Devin Logan pictures herself standing atop the 140-foot ski jump that towers over Fenway Park's Green Monster, hitting her jump and then coming to a stop right about where a batter would stand. WRHL 2016-02-11T03:32:07Z