By Kylie MacLellan and William James LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will quit the EU single market when it leaves the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday in a decisive speech that set a course for a clean break with the world's largest trading bloc. Setting out a vision that could determine Britain's future for generations and the shape of the EU itself, May answered criticism that she has been coy about her strategy with a 12-point plan for what has been dubbed a "hard Brexit". May promised to seek the greatest possible access to European markets but said Britain would aim to establish its own free trade deals with countries far beyond Europe, and impose limits on immigration from the continent.
The world needs China and the United States to have a stable and cooperative relationship, Chinese President Xi Jinping told U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, just days before new uncertainty looms with Donald Trump taking office as president. Meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Xi told Biden that he "positively appraised" his efforts to increase friendship and mutual understanding between the two countries, China's Foreign Ministry said late on Tuesday.
By Andrew Osborn and Vladimir Soldatkin MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Moscow was ready to talk to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's new administration about nuclear weapons and Syria, saying the two countries could together solve many of the world's problems. Lavrov, speaking days before Trump's inauguration, used an annual news conference to flag potential areas of cooperation and to belittle what he described as malicious attempts to link Trump to Russia in a negative light.
By Ju-min Park and Se Young Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee arrived at a prosecutor's office in Seoul on Wednesday en route to a court hearing, where a judge will decide whether he should be arrested over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that has rocked South Korea. The 48-year-old Lee, wearing a dark overcoat and purple necktie, did not answer questions from reporters as he entered the special prosecutor's office, from where he was due to be driven to the Seoul Central District Court. A special prosecutor on Monday said it would seek a warrant to arrest the third-generation leader of the country's largest conglomerate on suspicion of bribery, embezzlement and perjury.
By Lanre Ola MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigeria's air force killed at least 52 people and injured 120 in an air strike on a refugee camp in the country's northeast on Tuesday, a spokesman from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said after the military earlier disclosed the strike was meant to target Boko Haram militants. MSF said the strike occurred in Rann in Borno state, the epicentre of the jihadist group's seven-year-long bid to create an Islamic caliphate. Nigerian General Lucky Irabor, a regional military commander, located the incident at Kala Balge, a district that includes Rann.
The U.S. military said on Tuesday it carried out air strikes in Syria against Islamic State targets of interest to both Washington and Ankara near the town of al-Bab, following Turkish criticism of insufficient U.S. support for its ground offensive. U.S. Air Force Colonel John Dorrian, a Baghdad-based spokesman for the U.S.-led military coalition battling Islamic State, counted four strikes in recent days against Islamic State targets that he said were in both countries' "mutual interest." "We saw a window of opportunity where it was in our mutual interest to get those targets destroyed," Dorrian said, adding the targets were identified by working with Turkey.
By Alisa Tang BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Thai transgender activist Nada Chaiyajit completed her undergraduate studies in August, and two months later, school officials told her 12 classmates - all men - that their graduation certificates were ready. Instead, in a landmark case, she petitioned her school to issue her documents according to the gender identity she has chosen, on the basis of her rights rather than mental illness.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said Tuesday that the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba will still be open when President Barack Obama leaves office, conceding that a core campaign promise will go unfulfilled.
Gambia's Yahya Jammeh declared a state of emergency Tuesday just two days before he was due to step down, as British and Dutch travel agencies scrambled to evacuate thousands of tourists. Jammeh, who has ruled The Gambia with an iron fist for 22 years, initially acknowledged opponent Adama Barrow as the victor in December elections, but later rejected the ballot count as flawed and lodged a complaint with the country's Supreme Court.
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's Transport Minister Darren Chester said on Wednesday that experts will continue analyzing data and scrutinizing debris washing ashore from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in a bid to narrow down where it crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. But Chester declined to specify what kind of breakthrough would convince officials to resume the search for the missing airliner that was suspended this week after almost three years. "When we get some information or data or a breakthrough that leads us to a specific location, the experts will know it when they see it," he told reporters in the southern city of Melbourne.
By Laura Zuckerman SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Thirty pronghorns, close cousins to antelope, died while crossing a frozen river in south central Idaho, in a very rare event for the sure-footed mammals, state wildlife managers said Tuesday. About 500 pronghorns, which look like small deer and are famed for being the fastest land animal in North America, were seeking to cross the frozen Snake River near a wildlife refuge in Idaho on Sunday when part of the herd began slipping and falling on the ice, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Roughly 200 of the pronghorns, so named for the short, forked horns on their heads, had successfully crossed the stream before a group of 47 became stranded on the ice, prompting hundreds of others to turn back to shore. Idaho wildlife managers mounted a rescue mission on Monday, by which time just 36 pronghorns remained on the ice sheet.
ROME (AP) — A Rome court on Tuesday convicted eight former South American political and military leaders in the disappearance and deaths of 23 people of Italian origin during the crackdown on leftists and intellectuals by the region's military dictatorships.
TOKYO (AP) — Caroline Kennedy is stepping down Wednesday after three years as U.S. ambassador to Japan, where she was welcomed like a celebrity and worked to deepen the U.S.-Japan relationship despite regular flare-ups over American military bases on the southern island of Okinawa.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday resisted a major cabinet reshuffle despite his waning poll numbers as he named Greg Hunt the new health minister to replace Sussan Ley, who resigned last week amid an expenses scandal. Ley resigned from her cabinet position after it was revealed she claimed expenses for a visit to Australia's Gold Coast where she purchased an investment property. Hunt, who previously served as Australia's minister for industry and innovation, is Turnbull's first major cabinet appointment since he assumed office just over a year ago.
By Kieran Guilbert MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The International Red Cross (ICRC) vowed on Tuesday to continue delivering aid in northeast Nigeria after about six of its workers were among an estimated 50 people killed in a botched attack on a refugee camp in Islamist militants' heartland. The Nigerian government said the air force bombing of the camp in Rann in Borno state, the heart of the Boko Haram's seven-year-old bid to create an Islamic caliphate, was a "regrettable operational mistake". Regional military commander General Lucky Irabor said it was too early to determine the cause of the error, adding that aid workers from the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)and the ICRC were injured.
SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Group scion Jay Y. Lee appeared at the special prosecutor's office on Wednesday en route to a court hearing where a judge will decide whether to issue an arrest warrant over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that has engulfed the administration of President Park Geun-hye.
South Korea's finance minister said on Wednesday it was "not yet time" to discuss what impact the arrest of Samsung leader Jay Y. Lee would have on the economy if it happens. Jay Y. Lee, the 48-year-old leader of Samsung Group, is due to appear at a court hearing on Wednesday morning where a judge will decide whether to issue an arrest warrant over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that has engulfed South Korea.
LONDON (AP) — WikiLeaks said President Barack Obama may have saved Chelsea Manning's life by granting clemency to the former Army intelligence analyst Tuesday. But the secret-spilling site said little about founder Julian Assange's promise that he would agree to extradition to the United States if Manning got clemency.
China plans to invest about 170 billion yuan ($24.81 billion) in roads in the conflict-prone far western region of Xinjiang, the official China Daily reported on Wednesday. Hundreds have died in recent years in unrest in Xinjiang, blamed by Beijing on Islamist militants who want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan. China will also invest 8.1 billion yuan in constructing railways and 4.8 billion yuan in civil aviation projects, both up 50 percent from last year, the paper reported Zhang Chunlin, director of the Xinjiang Development and Reform Commission saying.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The committee seeking to land the 2024 Summer Olympics for Los Angeles would stage archery at a new football stadium, mountain biking in a regional park and modern pentathlon at a stadium, with all three locations away from the downtown core.
France is considering a UN Security Council draft resolution that would set up a sanctions regime for Mali to target opponents of a peace deal signed 19 months ago, the ambassador said Tuesday. The peace accord signed in June 2015 between the Malian government and rebels ended years of fighting in the north, but its implementation has been piecemeal. Mali regained control of the north after a French-led military intervention in January 2013 drove out jihadists, but insurgents remain active across large parts of the region.
By Liz Hampton HOUSTON (Reuters) - Energy Transfer Partners has filed a motion to bar the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from initiating an environmental study for its controversial Dakota Access pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe in North Dakota. Energy Transfer Partners requested on Monday that a U.S. District Court judge for the District of Columbia stop the Corps from initiating the environmental impact statement process until a ruling has been made on whether the company already has necessary approvals for the pipeline crossing. The Corps said it would publish a notice in the Federal Register on Wednesday stating its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the requested easement at Lake Oahe.
The US-led coalition has conducted four strikes near the Syrian town of Al-Bab, a significant move that will help Turkish forces fighting the Islamic State group there, a US official said Tuesday. "These strikes were the result of continued cooperation with Turkey, and we saw a window of opportunity where it was in our mutual interests to get those targets destroyed," coalition spokesman Colonel John Dorrian said. Among the targets destroyed in this week's strikes near Al-Bab included IS tactical vehicles and a tactical unit.
An affable and canny Italian politician, Antonio Tajani on Tuesday snagged the European Parliament's top job in a comeback of sorts for his mentor Silvio Berlusconi. Formerly a journalist with Italy's Rai television and Il Giornale newspaper, Tajani is a founding member of Berlusconi's Forza Italia. Tajani strictly follows Berlusconi's dress code and style: dark suit, discreet tie, firm handshake and fresh breath.
By Carmel Crimmins DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Donald Trump's comments about NATO being "obsolete" reflect how the world has changed, but should not be interpreted as meaning that it needs to be consigned to history, a senior adviser to the U.S. president-elect said on Tuesday. Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday that Trump's comments had aroused concern across the 28-member alliance. Trump, who is due to be sworn in on Friday, criticized NATO for not defending against terrorist attacks.
US President Barack Obama on Tuesday commuted the sentence of transgender soldier Chelsea Manning, who is serving 35 years behind bars for handing classified US documents to WikiLeaks. Obama pardoned 64 people and commuted the sentences of 209 others, including Manning, in one of his final acts as president. Manning was convicted in August 2013 of espionage and other offenses after admitting to leaking 700,000 sensitive military and diplomatic classified documents to WikiLeaks.
New York (AFP) - The dollar tumbled Tuesday after President-elect Donald Trump said the American currency was too strong, while the pound rallied after British Prime Minister Theresa May released her Brexit blueprint.
By Ange Aboa ABIDJAN (Reuters) - At least two soldiers were killed in fresh unrest in Ivory Coast's capital and gunfire erupted in other cities on Tuesday, signaling further upheaval inside the security forces just as it seemed the government had settled a mutiny in the army. Ivory Coast has emerged from a 2002-2011 crisis marked by two civil wars as one of the world's fastest-growing economies, but over the past two weeks it has struggled to cope with a public sector strike and growing tensions in the military. Tuesday's unrest appeared to have started in the capital Yamoussoukro, just hours after the government began paying bonuses to former rebel fighters now serving in the army in line with a deal to end their mutiny earlier this month.