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Anti-Semitism in Europe akin to 1930s: Jewish leader
A prominent Jewish figure urged the United States to beware surging anti-Semitism in Europe and warned that seven decades after World War II Jews on the continent are having to look over their shoulders once more. World Jewish Congress (WJC) president Ronald Lauder told a congressional committee in Washington that the United States could not sit by quietly, with events such as the recent attack ...
Turkey unveils Great Synagogue as Jewish population fades
By Ayla Jean Yackley EDIRNE, Turkey (Reuters) - When the domes of Edirne's abandoned Great Synagogue caved in, Rifat Mitrani, the town's last Jew, knew it spelled the end of nearly two millennia of Jewish heritage in this Turkish town. As a boy, Mitrani studied Hebrew in the synagogue's gardens and, in the 1970s, dispatched its Torah to Istanbul after the community shrank to just three families ...
Israel says to release Palestinian tax funds, US welcomes
Israel said Friday it will release hundreds of millions of dollars in tax funds it has withheld from the Palestinian Authority as a punitive measure. The United States swiftly welcomed the move, which could help disarm tensions with Washington and the international community after a polarising Israeli election campaign. "We welcome the decision of the prime minister of Israel to release withheld ...
Israel 0-3 Wales
Live radio commentary, text updates, images and social media as Wales play Israel in their Euro 2016 qualifier. Kick-off at 17:00 GMT.
EU weighs new methods to coax Israel back to peace talks
BRUSSELS (AP) ? The European Union is assessing new ways to push Israel back to the peace negotiating table with the Palestinians for a deal based on a two-state solution, working in tandem with the United States, EU officials say.
By Sami Aboudi and Mohammed Mukhashaf ADEN (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's navy evacuated dozens of diplomats from Yemen on Saturday and the United Nations pulled out international staff after a third night of Saudi-led air strikes trying to stem advances by Iranian-allied Houthi fighters. Residents reported heavy clashes between the Houthis and mainly Sunni tribal fighters in the south of the country, while the air campaign sought to stall a fresh offensive by the Shi'ite Muslim group on Aden from the east. Riyadh's intervention, a surprise move from a conservative monarchy better known for flexing its muscle in oil markets than through military might, is planned to last a month but could extend for five or six, a Gulf diplomatic source said. He said satellite imagery had shown in January that the Houthis had repositioned long-range Scud missiles in the north, close to the Saudi border and aimed at Saudi territory.
By Tim Cocks and Bate Felix ABUJA (Reuters) - Gunmen killed at least 15 people including an opposition politician near polling stations in northeast Nigeria on Saturday, casting an ominous shadow over the closest electoral contest since the end of military rule in 1999. The tense race pits President Goodluck Jonathan against former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari for the favor of an electorate divided along a complex mix of ethnic, regional and in some cases religious lines. Islamist Boko Haram insurgents launched several attacks on voters in the northeast, killing three in Yobe state and three more in Gombe state, police said. The militants, who are trying to revive a medieval Islamic caliphate in religiously mixed Nigeria, reject democracy and their leader Abubakar Shekau has threatened to kill those who go to vote.
The Bild newspaper published an interview with a woman who said she had a relationship in 2014 with Andreas Lubitz, the man French prosecutors believe locked himself alone in the cockpit of the Germanwings Airbus on Tuesday and steered it into the French Alps, killing all on board. "He did it because he realized that, due to his health problems, his big dream of working at Lufthansa, of a having job as a pilot, and as a pilot on long-distance flights, was nearly impossible." "He never talked much about his illness, only that he was in psychiatric treatment," she told the paper, adding they finally broke up because she was afraid of him. He became upset about the conditions we worked under: too little money, fear of losing the contract, too much pressure." A Lufthansa spokesman declined to comment. The company and its low-cost subsidiary Germanwings took out full-page advertisements in major German and French newspapers on Saturday, expressing "deepest mourning".
By Mariam Karouny BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamist groups including al Qaeda's Nusra Front have seized the city of Idlib for the first time in Syria's civil war, fighters and a monitoring group said on Saturday. By taking Idlib, capital of a northwestern province of the same name, hardline Islamist insurgents now control a second province after Raqqa, the stronghold of the Islamic State group which has been the target of U.S.-led air strikes. Sunni Islamist groups have formed an alliance which includes Nusra, the hardline Ahrar al-Sham movement and Jund al-Aqsa, but not Islamic State, their rival.
LOVELAND, Colo. (AP) ? A national movement that counts on painters, dancers and musicians to help revitalize downtowns is coming to this Colorado city as the first residents prepare to move into new low-income apartments built for artists and their families.
The two characters in Venezuelan playwright Virginia Urdaneta's new play come together doing something that real people in her homeland spend long hours doing, across the country, every day: waiting in line to buy scarce products from barren supermarket shelves. As the South American oil giant has gone from boom to bust in recent years, shortages, violent crime and the temptation to move abroad have become inescapable markers of Venezuelans' daily reality. The trend is an antidote to Venezuela's mainstream theater scene. "Venezuela is living a moment of pure absurdity.
Wall Street investors may find little reason to make big moves next week as they await monthly U.S. jobs data and any news that could change expectations for the first interest rate hike in almost a decade. The Labor Department report is due on Friday, when the stock market will be closed for Good Friday, leaving investors unable to trade on the data until the following week. In the meantime, investors will continue adjusting to lowered earnings forecasts for the first quarter and the uncertain direction of the dollar. Stocks have trended downward since rallying on the Federal Reserve's March 18 statement, in which it suggested a less-aggressive approach to raising interest rates than investors had expected.
By Nandita Bose CHICAGO (Reuters) - Best Buy Co Inc plans to close some stores and consolidate its operations in Canada, the U.S. electronics retailer's second-largest market, in a move that will hurt earnings this year, the company said on Saturday. The retailer said it will close 66 of its Future Shop brand stores in Canada and convert 65 of them to Best Buy brand stores. The move to a single brand will cut 500 full-time and 1,000 part-time jobs, and cost the company about US$200 million to US$280 million in restructuring charges, Best Buy said. Best Buy also said it plans to spend C$200 million (US$160 million) to improve its online operations in Canada, increase staffing at remaining stores, and launch a range of home appliances, among other initiatives.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday that the country should not focus on its economic growth rate only, reiterating China's push for a more sustainable, higher-quality expansion. Chinese leaders have announced an economic growth target of around 7 percent for this year, below the 7.5 percent goal in 2014 and the slowest rate in a quarter-century. Analysts anticipate further interest rate cuts in China this year.
By Ann Saphir and Michael Flaherty SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled that the U.S. central bank will likely start raising borrowing costs later this year, even before inflation and wages have returned to health, but emphasized the return to normal interest rates will be gradual. A downturn in core inflation or wage growth could force the Fed to delay the first increase to borrowing costs since 2006, the central bank's chief said on Friday, but policymakers should not wait for inflation to near the Fed's 2-percent goal before tightening monetary policy. The Fed has held short-term borrowing costs near zero since December 2008. After the first rate increase, Yellen said, a further, gradual tightening in monetary policy will likely be warranted.