• Turkey-Russia spat over downed Russian warplane escalates

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A tug-of-war over a Russian warplane downed by a Turkish fighter jet at the border with Syria escalated Thursday, with Moscow drafting a slew of economic sanctions against Turkey and the Turkish president defiantly declaring that his military will shoot down any new intruder.

    Associated Press 10 mins ago
  • Massive Philippine blaze leaves thousands homeless

    A huge fire that swept through a crowded Manila shanty town has razed more than 800 homes, leaving thousands homeless after they were forced to flee for their lives from the towering flames, officials said Thursday. Residents joined forces with firefighters to battle Wednesday's blaze which spread quickly among the narrow alleys, helping smash down the walls of makeshift houses to allow crews access to the flames. Despite the devastation, no one was killed in the disaster and only four people were injured as they clambered over their homes to escape, authorities said.

    AFP News
  • Syrian paper recounts rescue of downed Russian pilot

    Syrian special forces launched an operation "behind enemy lines" to rescue the surviving crew member of a Russian warplane downed by Turkey, Syria's Al-Watan newspaper reported on Thursday. Al-Atira is an area of Latakia province, around 12 kilometres (eight miles) from the border with Turkey. Syrian forces launched the operation after Turkey downed the Russian jet on Tuesday morning, forcing the two-man crew to eject over rebel-held territory.

    AFP News
  • US Syria sanctions target World Chess chief, IS oil buyer

    The United States slapped sanctions Wednesday on backers of the Syrian regime including a middleman accused of buying oil from the Islamic State group and the Russian head of the World Chess Federation. The Treasury Department singled out four individuals and six entities for their support of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Among those hit was a Syrian businessman called George Haswani, identified as "a middleman for oil purchases by the Syrian regime from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant." The new sanctions also apply to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, a wealthy Russian businessman and long-standing president of the World Chess Federation (FIDE).

    AFP News
  • In Saudi prison, artist facing death says he's no atheist

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A Palestinian artist sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for apostasy was quoted by a local news website Thursday as saying that he is not an atheist and that his case centers around a personal dispute he had with someone.

    Associated Press
  • 'Unprofessional' Jack Grealish dropped by Aston Villa

    Aston Villa have axed midfielder Jack Grealish from the squad for Saturday's match against Watford over his off-the-field behaviour. New manager Remi Garde said 20-year-old Grealish was "not professional" after he was pictured partying following Villa's 4-0 Premier League defeat to Everton last weekend. Grealish has since been training with the under-21 side and would continue to do so, Garde said at a Thursday press conference.

    AFP News
  • Queen Elizabeth makes nostalgic 'homecoming' to Malta

    Queen Elizabeth II arrived in a rainswept Malta on Thursday for a memory-evoking state visit to the Mediterranean island where she lived as a carefree princess in the early 1950s. The 89-year-old monarch and her husband Prince Philip, 94, were given a ceremonial welcome at the presidential palace after returning to the only place outside Britain she has ever called home. Queen Elizabeth, the head of the Commonwealth, is paying a three-day state visit to Malta to coincide with the organisation's biennial summit, but will also revisit old haunts from her time as the newlywed wife of a prominent young naval officer.

    AFP News
  • Singapore team booted out of Malaysian league

    Singapore's Lions XII team has been kicked out of Malaysia's domestic league without explanation after the Malaysian football body decided not to extend its participation. The decision ends a brief but successful stay by the Lions XII, who won the Malaysia Super League in 2013 and the Malaysian FA Cup in May after returning to Malaysian football in 2012. Singapore had earlier departed the football scene in the neighbouring country in 1994 after winning the Malaysian league and cup double.

    AFP News
  • After uproar, German town warms to refugees who took over church

    By Tina Bellon OBERHAUSEN, Germany (Reuters) - When Daniela Handwerk looked out of her window earlier this month and saw the church across the street being emptied out and turned into a refugee shelter, she panicked - and she was not alone. As news of the plan to house 50 refugees in the church and suspend Sunday services spread through this community on the outskirts of Oberhausen, in the Ruhr valley, angry residents pressed church and city officials to reconsider.

  • US Republicans move to dump Trump

    Many say the populist crazy talk is typical of the White House primaries, but Republican frontrunner Donald Trump's increasingly incendiary remarks are leading some conservatives to brand him a "fascist" and party rivals to ramp up attacks against him. Republican experts are warning that Trump could do lasting damage to the GOP, and that his nomination in the party primaries would essentially hand the presidency to Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Establishment conservatives even took the unfathomable step of using the F-word against a member of their own party.

    AFP News
  • Rome banishes centurions, rickshaws over tourist scams

    After two millennia, the last centurions have finally been banished from Rome. As of Thursday men who dress up as soldiers of the ancient empire and offer to pose for tourist snaps in return for cash were banned from the streets around the Colosseum and the rest of the Eternal City. Drivers of bicycle-drawn rickshaws and touts selling bus tours or tickets to historic monuments were also outlawed under a decree issued by city commissioner Francesco Paolo Tronca.

    AFP News
  • The XC90 gets a bad-boy makeover

    Volvo is launching a sportier, more aggressive-looking R-Design version of its flagship SUV. Inside, the seats are finished in black leather, there's a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel plus column-mounted paddle shifts for the transmission. Nick Connor, Managing Director of Volvo Car UK, said: "The launch of the XC90 R-Design makes our premium seven-seat SUV even more distinctive and dynamic than before.

    AFP Relax
  • Malaysian aid volunteer's adorable video to Ellen DeGeneres goes viral

    Malaysian travel blogger Rayyan Haries landed on the island of Lesbos in Greece in October, his mission simple: Operate a volunteer soup kitchen to feed Syrian refugees.

    Yahoo Newsroom
  • #EndofKobe: sun setting on NBA's Bryant

    While Stephen Curry looks forward to more record-breaking exploits on the horizon, the sun is setting rapidly on Kobe Bryant. As a study in contrasting fortunes, it doesn't get much starker than the chasm that separated Curry and the Golden State Warriors as they romped past Bryant and the hapless Lakers on Tuesday. Curry, the reigning NBA MVP, was his usual bewitching self in a 111-77 blowout, scoring 24 points as Golden State entered the record books to seal the longest unbeaten start to a season in history at 16-0.

    AFP News
  • Remains found near Houston may be teen missing for 25 years

    WHARTON, Texas (AP) — Authorities near Houston have uncovered the possible remains of a 15-year-old girl who was missing for 25 years, after the family of a suspect in her death came forward with a tip, sheriff's officials said Wednesday.

    Associated Press
  • Is sharing this unfortunate picture becoming a new Thanksgiving 'tradition'?

    In 2012, a Spider-Man float fell on an Uncle Sam float during the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, created possibly the worst kind of imagery imaginable.

    Yahoo Newsroom
  • Yahoo's CEO is running out of time to turn things around

    Marissa Mayer's nearly four-year attempt to turn around Yahoo needs a turnaround itself, repeating a pattern of futility that has hobbled one of the Internet's best-known companies for the past decade. ...

    Associated Press
  • Vanishing China execs a vexatious mystery for HK market

    The chairman of the Hong Kong arm of one of China's biggest securities companies goes missing. The head of another firm resurfaces after months incommunicado. An executive at a film studio is detained ...

    Associated Press
  • Earthprints - Beijing's super commutes reflect a city bulging at the seams

    The commute for millions of people living in and around Beijing is a daily grind that is ever more time-consuming, costly and crowded as residents dodge, push and elbow their way onto buses and subways. Indeed, expansion over the next 15 years will put the Chinese capital at the centre of a new mega-city, as it integrates with the port city of Tianjin and neighbouring Hebei province, officials say. Given the existing commuter woes in Beijing, some critics are raising questions about urban sprawl and the potential environmental impact of the megacity.

  • South Korea holds state funeral for ex-president Kim Young-Sam

    South Korea on Thursday buried former president Kim Young-Sam, following a snow-swept state funeral for the man whose 1992 election victory brought a formal end to more than 30 years of military rule. Kim's term was bookended by two major events, the first nuclear crisis with North Korea in 1994 and the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, when he accepted a $58-billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund. The hearse was then driven through the streets of Seoul in a long funeral cortege headed by a car carrying a large portrait of the former president.

    AFP News