World News | WRHL World News 2014-09-14T11:02:19Z World News U.S. sees Middle East help fighting IS, Britain cautious after beheading By Will Dunham and Andrew Osborn WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) - Washington said countries in the Middle East had offered to join air strikes against Islamic State militants and Australia said it would send troops, but Britain held back even after the group beheaded a British hostage and threatened to kill another. Secretary of State John Kerry has been touring the Middle East to try to secure backing for U.S. Sweden votes for minority left government, far right surges By Simon Johnson and Johan Sennero STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's centre-left Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven emerged as victor in Sunday's general election after a voter backlash against tax cuts and trimmed welfare by a centre-right government, but faced challenges forming a strong coalition as he fell short of a parliamentary majority. The Nordic region's biggest economy and one of the few star performers in Europe now faces a weak minority government with a possible political impasse as the anti-immigrant far right emerged as the third biggest party to hold the balance of power. Lofven's Social Democrats and two other opposition parties, the Greens and Left, garnered 43.7 percent of the vote, against 39.3 percent for Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's coalition. Now Sweden has answered that we need a change." After all but two of 5,837 voting districts had been counted, the three centre-left parties - who have not as yet created a formal bloc - won 158 parliamentary seats, short of the 175 needed for a majority. NATO countries have begun arms deliveries to Ukraine: defense minister Ukraine's defense minister said on Sunday that NATO countries were delivering weapons to his country to equip it to fight pro-Russian separatists and "stop" Russian President Vladimir Putin. Valery Heletey told a news conference he had discussed weapons deliveries in bilateral meetings with NATO defense ministers during a NATO summit in Wales on Sept. 4-5. NATO officials have said it will not send "lethal assistance" to non-member Ukraine but member states may do so. Obama to detail plans on Ebola offensive on Tuesday: WSJ President Barack Obama is expected to detail on Tuesday a plan to boost his country's involvement in mitigating the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. The outbreak has now killed upwards of 2,400 people, mostly in Liberia, neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone as poorly resourced West African healthcare systems have been overrun. The move would come just days after Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf appealed to Obama for urgent aid, saying that without it her country would lose the fight against the disease. Bulldoze or preserve? Croatia ponders fate of notorious prison By Zoran Radosavljevic GOLI OTOK Croatia (Reuters) - The clear blue waters of the Adriatic and the happy cries of tourists visiting Goli Otok (Barren Island) off Croatia's coast help obscure its dark past as a hard-labour detention camp for political prisoners in formerly communist Yugoslavia. Planners were due to start debating what to do with it on Monday, weighing a pile of proposals from building a memorial to wiping out all trace of the notorious jail and bulldozing the site for new developments. ... China police detain 24 after anti-incinerator protest: newspaper Chinese police detained 24 people for disturbing social order during a protest on Saturday against a proposed trash incinerator in southern China, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported. Wild Chinese sturgeon on brink of extinction: state media The wild Chinese sturgeon is at risk of extinction, state media reported, after none of the rare fish were detected reproducing naturally in the polluted and crowded Yangtze river last year. One of the world's oldest living species, the wild Chinese sturgeon are thought to have existed for more than 140 million years but have seen their numbers crash as China's economic boom brings with it pollution, dams and boat traffic along the world's third-longest river. For the first time since researchers began keeping records 32 years ago, there was no natural reproduction of wild Chinese sturgeon in 2013, according to a report published by the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences. No eggs were found to have been laid by wild sturgeons in an area in central China's Hubei province, and no young sturgeons were found swimming along the Yangtze toward the sea in August, the month when they typically do so. 2 men charged over $68 million drug haul in Sydney SYDNEY (AP) — Two Canadian-Vietnamese dual citizens have been charged with smuggling heroin and methamphetamine worth 75 million Australian dollars ($68 million) hidden in a consignment of frozen fish fillets shipped from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, officials said Monday. Paris conference to plan fight against Islamic State Senior figures from a US-led coalition are to meet in Paris on Monday to discuss how to defeat Islamic State jihadists, as the latest shocking beheading of a Western hostage strengthened their resolve. Prime Minister David Cameron vowed on the eve of the conference that Britain will hunt down those responsible for the gruesome killing of hostage David Haines, describing them as the "embodiment of evil". Haines was the third Western hostage to be beheaded by the militants in less than a month. Islamic State (IS) released a video Saturday showing his killing and issued a death threat against another British captive, Alan Henning. Top Asian News at 3:30 a.m. GMT TOKYO (AP) — Reaching the century mark remains a relative rarity for humans, but it is increasingly less so, and perhaps nowhere more than in rapidly aging Japan. The number of Japanese who are at least 100 years old, known as centenarians, has reached 58,820, according to the latest government estimate, released every September to mark Respect-for-the-Aged Day, a national holiday that falls on Monday. Hearing planned amid Chinese incinerator protests BEIJING (AP) — Officials in a southern Chinese town where a proposed garbage incinerator drew thousands of protesters over the weekend say no firm plans have been made for the plant's location and that a public hearing will be held on the issue. AP appoints Dharapak as Asia-Pacific photo editor BANGKOK (AP) — Charles Dharapak, a veteran photographer who has spent the past decade chronicling the activities and travels of U.S. presidents and American political campaigns, has been named Asia-Pacific regional photo editor for The Associated Press. Crews gain ground against southern California wildfire Authorities in southern California lifted an evacuation order on Sunday evening as firefighters made headway to contain a wildfire that forced hundreds of people to flee their homes as it swept through drought-stricken woods southeast of Los Angeles. More than 1,000 firefighters backed by nine helicopters worked around the clock to contain the Silverado Fire, which broke out Friday morning in the Cleveland National Forest and spread rapidly on Saturday due to a heat wave in the state. "We are at 20 percent containment, but that number should start going up rapidly now." A mandatory evacuation order affecting some 217 homes in and around Silverado Canyon, a gorge in the Santa Ana Mountains, was lifted on Sunday evening, Orange Country Cheriff's Department officials said. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries, and the blaze had so far left 1,600 acres (647 hectares) charred as of Sunday, authorities said. Samsung accuses LG execs of damaging its products SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics Co. has accused senior executives from rival LG Electronics Inc. of vandalizing its washing machines at stores in Germany earlier this month and has asked for an official investigation. Powerful Hurricane Odile bears in on Mexico's Baja CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) — A powerful Hurricane Odile closed in on the resort area of Los Cabos on Sunday night as Mexican authorities evacuated vulnerable coastal areas and readied shelters for up to 30,000 people. UN chief urges C.African ceasefire, political transition UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged all sides in the Central African Republic's unrest "to put an immediate end" to fighting and advance the political transition. As African-led peacekeeping forces (MISCA) transferred authority to the United Nations mission (MINUSCA), Ban urged "all Central African stakeholders to sustain their commitment to an inclusive political process to ensure the successful completion of the country's transition." Sunday's "transfer of authority marks the successful completion of MISCA's mandate and the beginning of MINUSCA's military and police action in the Central African Republic," Ban said in the statement. Australian PM governs from tent as he keeps vow to Aborigines Australian premier Tony Abbott shifted his office to a tent in an isolated Aboriginal community Monday, keeping a promise made when he came to power despite having just committed troops to the fight against Islamic State. "Obviously, if there are dramatic new developments I can move if needs be," he said during a round of morning radio and television interviews, a day after committing 600 troops to a multinational strike force against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. Aborigines, who number about 500,000 of a total population of 23 million, are the most disadvantaged Australians, suffering disproportionate levels of disease, imprisonment and social problems as well as lower educational attainment, employment and life expectancy. Abbott, who used to volunteer in indigenous communities before becoming prime minister, said he wanted to give Aborigines his full attention "to gain a better understanding of the needs of people living and working in those areas". UN condemns killing of Chadian peacekeeper in Mali A UN peacekeeper from Chad was killed and four others injured when their vehicle struck a landmine in northern Mali on Sunday, officials said. The killing brought swift condemnation from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and in a UN Security Council declaration. "These attacks will not alter the determination of the United Nations to support the Malian people in their search for peace," Ban's spokesman stressed. In a unanimous declaration, the UN Security Council also condemned the attack "in the strongest terms," and called for a prompt investigation. Post-war counseling awaits Gaza children going back to school By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - Some 500,000 children returned on Sunday to school in the Gaza Strip, where many will be given psychological counseling before regular studies begin after a devastating 50-day war between Palestinian militants and Israel. The opening of the school year had been delayed for three weeks because of damage to more than 250 schools and the use of about 90 U.N. educational facilities as shelters for tens of thousands of residents displaced by fighting, the United Nations and local authorities said. "The top priority now is making sure that after a period of psychosocial support, including the use of theater for development techniques, our students can return to their regular curricula," said Pierre Krähenbühl, head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which runs more than 200 Gaza schools. He said UNRWA has employed over 200 counselors who would engage with the approximately 240,000 students in its schools, with a transition to standard studies scheduled in a week. 'Dangerous' hurricane eyes Mexico Pacific resorts Hurricane Odile swirled menacingly toward Mexico's Los Cabos resorts on Sunday, forcing authorities to evacuate high-risk areas and open shelters as the powerful storm threatened to thrash the Pacific coast. The "dangerous" category three storm in the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale packed 205 kilometer (125 mile) per hour winds as it approached the Baja California peninsula, according to the US National Hurricane Center. "All preparedness actions to protect life and property should be rushed to completion," the Miami-based center said, warning that the hurricane could produce life-threatening floods and mudslides. Four-meter (13-foot) waves crashed on the beaches and intense rains lashed Los Cabos, which is known for its high-end hotels. Race for votes as Scotland referendum enters home straight The "Yes" and "No" camps raced to win over undecided voters just days before a historic poll on Scottish independence, with top bands playing a gig urging a vote for leaving Britain. Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II reportedly made her first comment on the referendum. British media said the 88-year-old monarch told an onlooker after attending church near her Balmoral estate in the Scottish Highlands on Sunday: "Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future." As Scotland enters the most decisive week in its recent political history, opinion polls suggest the outcome of Thursday's referendum will be extremely close. Japan: More and more, a land of centenarians TOKYO (AP) — Reaching the century mark remains a relative rarity for humans, but it is increasingly less so, and perhaps nowhere more than in rapidly aging Japan. Sweden shifts to left in parliamentary election STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden's Social Democrats were poised to return to power after a left-leaning bloc defeated the center-right government in a parliamentary election Sunday that also saw strong gains by an anti-immigration party. Rains in China kill 19, thousands evacuated BEIJING (AP) — Heavy rains in China's southwest have killed at least 19 people and left 20 missing, with tens of thousands of people evacuated due to flooding, state media reported Monday. UN: 1 Chadian peacekeeper dead in northern Mali BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — A U.N. military vehicle struck a land mine Sunday in the volatile Kidal region of northern Mali, killing a Chadian soldier and wounding four other peacekeepers, a spokesman for the U.N. mission in the West African country said. Isner, Querrey win; US beats Slovakia in Davis Cup HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) — John Isner and Sam Querrey won their singles matches Sunday as the U.S. completed a 5-0 sweep of Slovakia in the Davis Cup World Group playoff. Mayweather says he isn't evading Pacquiao Boxer Floyd Mayweather, fresh off his lopsided victory over Marcos Maidana, denied he is trying to safeguard his undefeated record by avoiding Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather has admitted he handpicked opponents in the past but says there is nothing unscrupulous about not fighting Pacquiao, one of the few fighters who can match the American's hand speed. "I am not ducking or dodging no opponent," said Mayweather, who turns 38 in February. "If a Pacquiao fight presents itself then let's make it happen." Federer, Swiss into Davis Cup final vs France Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka each have Grand Slam singles titles, and Olympic gold together in doubles. Now they've got the chance to win Switzerland's first Davis Cup. Whale huddle braces for clash over Japanese hunting Nations square off in Slovenia this week over the fate of hundreds of whales in the crosshairs of Japanese and Greenland hunters accused of sidestepping a commercial killing ban. The stage is set for fiery debate among International Whaling Commission (IWC) members, touching on issues of national sovereignty, aboriginal rights and the conservation of Earth's bounty. Trigger issues are Tokyo's plans to relaunch its Antarctic whale hunt despite a ruling of the UN's highest court, and a bid for Greenland's subsistence whaling quota to be enlarged. "We are dealing with some contentious issues and the positions of the countries at the meeting remain far apart," Ryan Wulff, deputy United States commissioner to the IWC, told AFP. Penske to field V8 Supercar team for Ambrose JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — Team Penske said Sunday night it has partnered with Dick Johnson Racing to form a V8 Supercar team that Marcos Ambrose will drive for in 2015. Dapper online gambler heading Sweden's rising far right Jimmie Aakesson has lifted Sweden's far-right party from obscurity to an emerging parliamentary force, with the dapper 35-year-old seeking to position himself as a kinder, gentler sort of anti-immigration leader. An exit poll by public broadcaster SVT on Sunday gave his Sweden Democrats (SD) 10.5 percent of the vote, doubling their tally from the last election four years ago. Singapore's air pollution index rises to unhealthy level: government website Singapore's air pollution rose to levels classified as "unhealthy" on Monday, the government's National Environment Agency said on its website ( The 3-hour Pollution Standards Index (PSI) in the city-state rose to as high as 113 at 6 a.m. local time (1800 EDT), and edged down to 111 in the latest reading an hour later. A PSI reading above 100 indicates that air pollution has reached an "unhealthy" level. Singapore's PSI level hit a record high of 401 in June 2013, when smoke from forests burning in Indonesia engulfed the city. Horschel caps amazing run with FedEx Cup ATLANTA (AP) — Just three weeks ago, Billy Horschel had every reason to start looking ahead to next season. Anti-euro party celebrates gains in eastern Germany Germany's fledgling anti-euro party celebrated election gains in two eastern states Sunday, in a show of strength that spells a growing threat for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives. "We are the force that's renewing the political landscape," said a jubilant Bernd Lucke, leader of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which wants Europe's biggest economy to scrap the euro and return to the Deutschmark currency. His nascent party, which was only formed early last year, won 10.6 percent of the vote in Thuringia state and 12.2 percent in Brandenburg, according to provisional results. The results came two weeks after the AfD also entered parliament in the eastern state of Saxony with almost 10 percent support. Australia contributing planes for anti-IS campaign CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Terrorists will use Australia's deployment of troops and war planes to the Middle East as an excuse to target Australians, Prime Minister Tony Abbott warned on Monday. Governments hold key to unlocking billions for social good: G8 report By Astrid Zweynert LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Governments can unleash billions of dollars to tackle social problems more effectively if they take bold steps to reduce barriers to investing for both profit and social good, a task force set up by the world's richest nations said on Monday. In its first report, the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force calls on governments to make tax and regulatory reforms to catalyze the market in investments that generate social or environmental benefits alongside financial returns. "This is not about increasing or reducing public expenditure, but helping government to benefit from innovation and private sector capital in order to achieve more impact with the money it has," Ronald Cohen, the chair of the year-old task force, said in a statement. The report highlights the potential of so-called "impact investing" to help solve some of society's most pressing issues, such as caring for children and the elderly, community regeneration, financial inclusion, housing and prisoner reoffending. Several Arab countries offer to join air campaign on Islamic State, say U.S. officials By Jason Szep PARIS (Reuters) - Several Arab countries have offered to join the United States in air strikes against Islamic State targets, U.S. The officials declined to identify which countries made the offers. From orphanage to power -- the rise of Sweden's likely new leader Sweden's likely new prime minister, Social Democrat leader Stefan Loefven, may have little experience in national politics but this consensus-seeking trade unionist has overcome bigger obstacles before. Put into an orphanage by his mother as an infant, he has had his critics in his short time as opposition leader. Yet others see the former welder as a man more in touch with "the real Sweden". "I have other relevant experience from working in industry and from leading a large trade union," he told AFP just ahead of the vote. WRHL 2014-09-15T04:02:19Z