Iraq lifts ban on international flights to Kurdish airports

BAGHDAD, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday lifted a ban on international flights to two airports in Erbil and Sulaimaniyah in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.A statement by his office said that Abadi signed a decree to lift the ban after receiving positive response from the Kurdish local authorities "to restore the federal authority in

India's two budget airlines cancel 65 flights over "faulty engines"

India's two budget private airlines -- IndiGo and GoAir -- cancelled as many as 65 domestic flights Tuesday after the country's civil aviation regulator grounded 11 A320 Neo aircraft for "faulty engines."While IndiGo has cancelled 47 flights, the remaining flights have been scrapped by GoAir.An Indigo Airlines' cabin crew member goes over safety guidelines during a flight. (Photo: Reuters)"IndiGo has

Explosion targets Palestinian PM's convoy while visiting Gaza

GAZA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- An explosion went off Tuesday morning near the convoy of Palestinian Prime Minster Rami Hamdallah who was paying a visit to Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources said.The blast occurred shortly after the convoy entered Gaza, but no injuries were reported, said the sources.Hamdallah, accompanied by Palestinian intelligence chief Majid Faraj, visited Gaza, controlled by the Islamic

Microsoft women filed 238 discrimination and harassment complaints: court documents

Women at Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) working in US-based technical jobs filed 238 internal complaints about gender discrimination or sexual harassment between 2010 and 2016, according to court filings made public on Monday.File photo: The Microsoft logo is shown on the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California, US, June 13, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)The figure was cited by plaintiffs suing Microsoft for

US defense secretary pays surprise visit to Kabul

The US Defense Secretary James Mattis paid an unannounced visit to Afghan capital Kabul on Tuesday, a local television channel 1TV reported.The Pentagon chief, according to the media outlet, would meet Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to exchange views on matters relating to mutual interests, including the war on terror and the peace process in Afghanistan.Mattis will also meet the

S.Korean president's envoy meets Japanese PM over DPRK, U.S. visits

(Photo: CRI)South Korean President Moon Jae-in's special envoy on Tuesday met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo to explain the result of his visit to Pyongyang and Washington last week, the Blue House of South Korea said.Suh Hoon, director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), had a meeting with Abe for about an hour in Tokyo, accompanied by

Trump doesn't set age for guns, defers on arming teachers

(Photo: AP)President Donald Trump said Monday that he is “watching court cases and rulings” before taking action on raising age limits for purchasing some firearms, arguing that there is “not much political support (to put it mildly).”Trump’s tweet came after his White House put out a plan to combat school shootings that doesn’t increase the minimum age for purchasing assault

Latest nor'easter could dump a foot or more of snow

Winter-weary New Englanders are preparing for blizzard conditions, more than a foot of snow and high winds as the third major nor’easter in two weeks bears down on the Northeast.The National Weather Service on Monday issued a blizzard warning for much of the Massachusetts coast, a winter storm warning for most of New England and a winter weather advisory for

Levine fired by Met after it finds evidence of sexual abuse

James Levine, whose 46-year career at the Metropolitan Opera established him as a towering figure in classical music, was fired by the company on Monday after an investigation found evidence of sexual abuse and harassment.Levine made his Met debut in 1971 and became one of the signature artists in the company’s 135-year history, conducting 2,552 performances and ruling over its

Tillerson visits Chad and gets an earful about US travel ban

(Photo: AP)On an unlikely visit to dusty and desolate Chad, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday told the African nation’s citizens they’re welcome in the United States. It wasn’t enough to overcome a Trump administration travel ban that Chad’s top diplomat declared an injustice.Tillerson’s message of growing US cooperation with Chad, a key counterterrorism partner, was overshadowed by palpable

Judge declines motion to dismiss charge against Rose McGowan

(Photo: AP)A judge on Monday refused to dismiss a drug-possession charge against actress Rose McGowan after prosecutors said they have additional evidence to bring forward.McGowan’s lawyers have suggested the drugs may have been planted by agents hired by disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein to discredit her for making sex assault accusations against him. She was charged with felony drug possession

Trump hails GOP candidate in special PA election

(Photo: AP)The Latest on the Pennsylvania special election in the 18th Congressional District (all times local):11:20 a.m.President Donald Trump is highlighting a Pennsylvania newspaper’s endorsement of the Republican candidate in Tuesday’s special election for a US House seat.Trump tweeted Monday about the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s backing of state lawmaker Rick Saccone for Congress. Trump says Saccone “will be much better for

1968 LA school walkout protesters see link to Parkland teens

(Photo: AP)Participants in a 1968 Los Angeles high school walkout to protest dropout rates and paddle beatings for speaking Spanish that ended up prompting a wave of Mexican-American youth activism say they hear echoes of their demonstrations in the voices of outraged students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people died in a mass shooting.“Just

French couturier Hubert de Givenchy dies at 91

(Photo: AP)French couturier Hubert de Givenchy, a pioneer of ready-to-wear who designed Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” has died at the age of 91.The house of Givenchy paid homage to its founder in a statement as “a major personality of the world of French haute couture and a gentleman who symbolized Parisian chic and elegance for

No love match for Germany in Merkel's third grand coalition

German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU) Horst Seehofer and leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Olaf Scholz present signed coalition deal during a ceremony in Berlin, Germany, March 12, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)Chancellor Angela Merkel and her partners met to formally sign their agreement on a new

US warns it may act on Syria as onslaught against Ghouta grinds on

Smoke rises from the besieged Eastern Ghouta in Damascus, February 27. (Photo: Reuters)US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned on Monday that Washington “remains prepared to act if we must,” if the U.N. Security Council fails to act on Syria, as the Syrian army’s onslaught in astern Ghouta continued unabated.The United States asked the Security Council to demand

Trump promising consumers digital-age health care approach

(Photo: AP)A smartphone app that lets Medicare patients access their claims information. Giving consumers a share of drug company rebates for their prescriptions. Wider access to websites that reliably compare cost and quality of medical tests.The Trump administration is taking a pragmatic new tack on health care, with officials promising consumer friendly changes and savings in areas from computerized medical

Trump: 'Steel and business' at stake in House election

(Photo: AP)President Donald Trump invoked “steel and business” Monday as he and his son made a final push to sway voters in a special election for a Pennsylvania House seat that will reverberate nationally.Trump has already visited the district twice to try to buoy Republican Rick Saccone. On the last day before voting, Trump weighed in again as Saccone tried

Longtime Dow Chemical chief Andrew Liveris to depart

(Photo: AP)The longtime chief executive of Dow Chemical, who led the company through the financial crisis, a merger with rival DuPont and the planned disassembly of the entire enterprise, is stepping down.Andrew Liveris announced two years ago he’d retire by mid-2017, but that was delayed until the company named a successor to head its materials-science division, one of three companies

US pushes UN to demand truce in Syria's east Ghouta, Damascus

The United Nations Security Council meets on Syria at the U.N. headquarters in New York, US, March 12, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)The United States pushed the United Nations Security Council on Monday to demand a ceasefire in Damascus and rebel-held eastern Ghouta, where Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces say they are targeting “terrorist” groups who are shelling the capital.The United Nations

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