North Korea asks embassies to consider moving diplomats out
LONDON/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea warns it could not guarantee the safety of diplomats after next Wednesday and has asked embassies to consider moving staff out of the country, European diplomats said, amid high tension on the Korean peninsula. The requests came on the heels of declarations by the secretive state that real conflict was inevitable, because of "hostile" U.S. troop exercises with South Korea and U.N. sanctions imposed over the North's latest nuclear weapons test.
Canada posts worst monthly job losses in more than four years
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada posted its worst monthly jobs loss in more than four years in March, another sign the economy is struggling to cope with weak foreign markets and a strong Canadian dollar. Canada shed 54,500 positions in March, more than wiping out the 50,700 jobs that were added in February, Statistics Canada said on Friday. Market operators had expected a modest gain of 8,500 jobs.
Two adults dead in Canada daycare shooting, police say
GATINEAU, Quebec (Reuters) - A shooting at a daycare center near Ottawa on Friday left two adults dead, one of them the gunman, but police said all 53 children at the center were unharmed. Police said they received a call for help Friday morning after shots were fired in the Montessori daycare center in Gatineau, Quebec, just across the Ottawa River from the Canadian capital.
France wants to keep 1,000 soldiers in Mali permanently
BAMAKO/PARIS (Reuters) - France has proposed keeping a permanent force of 1,000 French troops in Mali to fight armed Islamist militants, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Friday. Fabius, on a visit to Bamako, said France was pushing ahead with plans to reduce its 4,000-strong military presence from the end of this month but planned to keep a combat force in Mali to support a future U.N. peacekeeping mission.
No deal in sight on final day of Iran nuclear talks
ALMATY (Reuters) - Iran enters a second day of talks with world powers on Saturday no closer to resolving a nuclear dispute that has led to sanctions on its oil exports and talk of a new Middle East war. The final day of negotiations is unlikely to achieve more than a willingness to keep talking, after Iran responded on Friday to a limited offer to ease sanctions with a proposal of its own that puzzled Western diplomats and which Russia said raised more questions than answers.
Guatemalan president rejects testimony linking him to war crimes
GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemalan President Otto Perez on Friday labeled as "a lie" testimony given during the trial of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt that implicated Perez in atrocities carried out by the military during the country's 1960-1996 civil war. Giving evidence at Rios Montt's trial, a former army engineer said on Thursday that Perez commanded soldiers who burned down homes and killed unarmed civilians during a particularly bloody phase of the war.
Mauritania says holding Canadian linked to suspected militants
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The North African nation of Mauritania says it has detained a Canadian citizen linked to two other Canadians who died while fighting with militants during an attack on a natural gas plant in Algeria in January. The confirmation that Mauritania is holding the man, Aaron Yoon, follows a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation report that, before his arrest, Yoon had studied the Koran there with unidentified Americans and Europeans.
Magnitude 5.6 quake hits near Vladivostok, Russia: USGS
(Reuters) - A magnitude 5.6 quake struck near Vladivostok, in Russia's far east near the border with China and North Korea, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Friday. The quake hit on Saturday morning local time, 54 miles west-southwest of the major Pacific port of Vladivostok, at a depth of 356 miles, the USGS said.
Colombian prosecutor's court challenge threatens peace talks
BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's top prosecutor on Friday filed a legal challenge to a law that paved the way for ongoing peace talks, a move that could undermine government efforts to end five decades of war. President Juan Manuel Santos drew up a legal framework last year that led to peace negotiations with Latin America's biggest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. The bloody conflict has killed tens of thousands and caused damage to the Andean nation's economy.
Italy pardons U.S. pilot convicted in CIA rendition case
ROME (Reuters) - Italy's president on Friday pardoned a U.S. Air Force officer convicted of kidnapping an Egyptian Muslim cleric who was taken away for interrogation on a CIA "rendition" flight. Such covert flights were among the tactics used to wage the "War on Terror" under the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush, after the 9/11 attacks. They have been condemned by human rights groups as a violation of international agreements.