Orthodox delegation stays away from pope's Mass
TBILISI, Georgia (AP) ? Pope Francis' efforts to improve relations with the Georgian Orthodox Church suffered a public setback Saturday after the patriarchate decided not to send an official delegation to his Mass and repeated that Orthodox faithful cannot participate in Catholic services.
Mi Jung Hur birdies 18th to take LPGA Tour lead in ChinaBEIJING (AP) ? Mi Jung Hur birdied the par-5 18th hole for a 6-under 67 and a one-stroke lead over Brooke Henderson on Saturday in the Reignwood LPGA Classic.
Russian jets pound Aleppo as fighting rages inside city
Russian war planes struck rebel held areas north of Aleppo on Saturday as the army shelled the besieged old quarter in a major offensive, rebels and a monitoring group said. The air strikes focused on major supply lines into rebel-held areas - the Castello Road and Malah district - while fighting raged in the Suleiman al Halabi neighborhood, the front line to the north of Aleppo's Old City. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group that monitors the war, reported heavy bombardment by government forces and "back and forth" fighting in the Suleiman al-Halabi neighborhood.
Philippines' Duterte defiant over 'slaughter' call
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte refused to back down Saturday over his stated desire to slaughter millions of people, as global condemnation built against him likening his crime war with Hitler's efforts to exterminate Jews. Facing a fierce international backlash, Duterte's spokesman released a statement insisting the president did not want to be compared with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler but confirmed he was prepared to kill three million people in his crime war. "We do not wish to diminish the profound loss of six million Jews in the Holocaust," presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
Russia said to send more warplanes to Syria, diplomacy 'on life support'
By Dmitry Solovyov and Ellen Francis MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Russia is sending more warplanes to Syria to ramp up its air campaign, a Russian newspaper reported on Friday, as the United States said diplomacy to halt the violence was "on life support" but not dead yet. Fighting continued to intensify a week into a new Russian-backed Syrian government offensive to capture rebel-held eastern Aleppo and crush the last urban stronghold of a revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that began in 2011. Moscow and Assad spurned a U.S.-Russian brokered ceasefire agreed to this month and launched attacks on rebel-held areas in Aleppo in potentially the most decisive battle in the Syrian civil war.
New India-Pakistan salvos as UN chief offers to mediate
Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fresh fire across their border Saturday as UN chief Ban Ki-moon offered to mediate between the nuclear-armed neighbours following an alarming spike in tensions. Two days after Indian troops carried out a series of strikes across the Pakistani side of their dividing line in disputed Kashmir, officials said there had been cross-border skirmishes further south. "There was small arms fire and mortar shells fire from across the border in Akhnoor sector which lasted for around two hours," Pawan Kotwal, a top civilian official in India's Jammu and Kashmir state, told AFP.
Defense ministers discuss defusing South China Sea incidents
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) ? Countries need to look for practical ways to defuse incidents in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, Singapore's defense minister said.
China paper says U.S., South Korea will 'pay the price' for planned missile system
The United States and South Korea are destined to "pay the price" for their decision to deploy an advanced missile defense system which will inevitably prompt a "counter attack", China's top newspaper said on Saturday. Tension on the Korean peninsula has been high this year, beginning with North Korea's fourth nuclear test in January, which was followed by a satellite launch, a string of tests of various missiles, and its fifth and largest nuclear test last month. In July, South Korea agreed with the United States to deploy the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to protect against any North Korean threats.
California toughens rape laws after infamous Stanford case
California's governor has signed a measure mandating prison time for people who rape unconscious or intoxicated victims, the fallout in the case of an ex-Stanford student athlete that sparked widespread outrage. Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation Friday, just weeks after 21-year-old Brock Turner, formerly on the Stanford swim team, was released from jail. Turner served just three months of his six-month sentence for raping an intoxicated and unconscious 22-year-old woman behind a dumpster at a fraternity house.
Clemson-Louisville highlights trio of top 10 matchupsThe fifth week of the college football season offers arguably the best lineup of games since the opening weekend. With so many top 10 teams facing each other, this week could provide some clues on which teams have legitimate College Football Playoff aspirations.