Desperate search for Iran firefighters after high-rise collapse
A desperate search was underway Friday for around 20 firefighters trapped for 24 hours under the rubble of a Tehran high-rise that collapsed following a fire. Hopes were fading for the men who were still inside the 15-storey Plasco building when it came down on Thursday. Rescue workers, soldiers and sniffer dogs worked through the night, cutting through steel girders and digging tunnels under the wreckage, but no survivors or bodies had yet been found.
Washington braces for massive protests as Trump becomes U.S. president
By Ian Simpson and Scott Malone WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of law enforcement officers and miles of barriers were in place in Washington on Friday, as officials braced for hundreds of thousands of people planning to celebrate or protest Donald Trump's inauguration as president of the United States. About 900,000 people were expected to pack central Washington, including the grassy National Mall facing the Capitol, where the New York businessman and former reality TV star will be sworn in, and the parade route along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.
Thirty people still missing at Italian hotel buried by massive avalanche
Rescuers dug all night in deep snow and debris in search of some 30 missing people who were staying in a luxury mountain hotel in Italy when an avalanche struck almost two days ago. Officials have confirmed finding two bodies, while Italian media said two more were located overnight. The only survivors so far are two men who were outside the hotel when the avalanche hit.
Gambia leader Jammeh faces noon deadline to hand over power
Long-ruling Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh, who lost elections last month, has until midday Friday to hand over power and agree to leave the country or face military action, regional bloc ECOWAS has said. West African troops entered The Gambia on Thursday to bolster its new President Adama Barrow but the military operation was suspended a few hours later, in favour of a final diplomatic effort to convince Jammeh -- who has refused to quit -- to exit the country. "We have suspended operations and given him an ultimatum," said Marcel Alain de Souza, head of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States.
Chinese growth slows in 2016 with outlook uncertain
Chinese growth hit its weakest rate for more than a quarter-century last year but while Friday's data pointed to stability in the world's number two economy, Beijing faces an uncertain outlook that could see a trade stand-off with Donald Trump. Tighter real-estate policies will turn the sector from a growth driver in 2016 to a drag in 2017, spurring more infrastructure investment to fill the void, Zhao Yang of Nomura said in a note.
Sweden crosses 10-million population thresholdCOPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) ? Swedish authorities say the Scandinavian country on Friday has statistically crossed the 10-million population threshold, saying mainly migration and more birth than deaths contribute to the population growth.
Global shares steady ahead of Trump's inauguration
Global shares were steady in cautious trading Friday ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. China's report that its economy grew at a 6.8 percent pace in October-December was in line ...
Gambian leader told to cede power or be forced out
If Jammeh refuses to leave Gambia by midday the regional troops will force him out, said Marcel Alain de Souza, chairman of the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS. The West African regional force including ...
Rescuers vow to keep searching for Italy avalanche survivors
Rescuers have vowed to keep looking for survivors of a devastating avalanche that buried an Italian mountain hotel, as they begin a second day of searching. Rescue work continued Thursday night but the prospects of anyone being rescued alive looked bleak, with search efforts hampered by heavy snow that blocked access roads to the remote site until the early hours of the morning after the avalanche hit. "We're holding on to hope that there are survivors inside," Deputy Interior Minister Filippo Bubbico told reporters Thursday in the town of Penne, where a camp for rescue workers has been set up.
Scotland will vote for independence in two years - Salmond
Scotland will vote to become independent within two years due to the hardline position being taken by British Prime Minister Theresa May over Brexit, former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond said on Friday. Scotland rejected independence in 2014 by 55 to 45 percent, but current Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon has said Scots are now more likely to want independence after they voted emphatically last June to remain in the EU while the United Kingdom as a whole voted to leave. Sturgeon has submitted a series of proposals on Scotland's position to the UK government, including the option of Scotland maintaining its EU single market links from within the UK.