By Tom Perry and Angus McDowall BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian government forces and their allies attacked the opposition-held sector of Aleppo on several fronts on Tuesday, the biggest ground assault yet in a massive new campaign that has destroyed a U.S.-backed ceasefire. The United States says the assault on Aleppo is proof that President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and regional allies have abandoned an international peace process to pursue victory on the battlefield after nearly six years of civil war. More than 250,000 civilians are believed to be trapped inside the besieged rebel-held sector of Aleppo, where intensive bombing over the past week has killed hundreds of people, many trapped under buildings brought down by bunker-busting bombs.
By Tommy Wilkes and Drazen Jorgic NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Tensions between India and Pakistan rose on Tuesday as India's leader canceled a visit to a regional summit and Islamabad warned it would treat it as "an act of war" if India revoked a water treaty. India blames Pakistan for a deadly assault on an army base in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir this month that has heightened fears of a new conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors. India says militants sneaked across the de facto border that separates the countries and killed 18 soldiers on Sept. 18, the biggest loss of life for Indian security forces in the region for 14 years.
German police are stepping up protection of Muslim institutions in Dresden after two improvised bombs exploded in the eastern city on Monday evening, one at a mosque and one at an international conference centre. "Even if we so far have no claim of responsibility, we must go on the basis that the motive was xenophobic," Horst Kretzschmar, president of Dresden police, said in a statement. Kretzschmar said three mosques, a Muslim social centre and a prayer room would be given protection immediately.
Planned attacks on sporting events, schools and religious sites on the French Riviera have been foiled since the killings of 86 people on Nice's seaside promenade in July, the city's prosecutor has said. "Several cases have been passed on to the anti-terrorism prosecutor in Paris. It was about religious sites, during certain celebrations, sporting events, stadiums, schools," Prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretre told France 3 television, according to excerpts from a documentary program published on its website on Tuesday in advance of broadcast.
By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will speed up deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system to South Korea given the pace of North Korea's missile tests, and it will be stationed there "as soon as possible," the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia said on Tuesday. Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asia, also told a congressional hearing the United States was in discussions with international partners, including the European Union, to deny North Korea access to international banking infrastructure after its recent nuclear and missile tests.
The number of unsolved crimes in Mexico rose in 2015, with 93.7 percent of all infractions going unreported or uninvestigated, in a fresh blow to government efforts to stem years of drug violence and restore law and order. The survey, published by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) on Tuesday, said the 2015 unsolved crime levels were up 0.9 percent from the year prior. The 2015 figure was the highest since 2013, when the number of unsolved crimes reached 93.8 percent, INEGI said, and the second highest since the survey began in 2010.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An opinion poll on Thursday showed that a minority of Australians support the government's plan to hold a national vote on whether gay marriage should be allowed.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Organizers of a cultural festival in Haiti celebrating the Afro-Caribbean LGBTQ community said Tuesday that it has been called off due to numerous threats of violence and a subsequent prohibition by a government commissioner.
LONDON (AP) — As investors and investigators weigh the damage of Yahoo's massive breach to the internet icon, information security experts worry that the record-breaking haul of password data could be used to open locks up and down the web.
Syria's army took control of a rebel-held district in central Aleppo on Tuesday, after days of heavy air strikes that have killed dozens and sparked allegations of war crimes. In the first advance since announcing plans last week to retake all of the divided city, pro-government troops seized the Farafira district northwest of Aleppo's historic citadel, a military source told AFP. The push follows several days of Syrian and Russian air strikes on rebel-held Aleppo neighbourhoods -- some of the fiercest bombardment of the five-year conflict so far -- after a ceasefire deal brokered by Moscow and Washington collapsed last week.
By Stephanie van den Berg THE HAGUE (Reuters) - War crimes judges on Tuesday sentenced a former Islamist rebel who admitted wrecking holy shrines during Mali's 2012 conflict to nine years in prison, in the first such case to focus on destruction of cultural heritage. Human rights groups and international legal experts hope Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi's case in the International Criminal Court may serve as a deterrent to a kind of devastation that continues to be a feature of global conflicts yet has gone largely unpunished. Al-Mahdi expressed remorse for his involvement in the destruction of 10 mausoleums and religious sites in Timbuktu dating from Mali's 14th-century golden age as a trading hub and center of Sufi Islam, a branch of the religion seen as idolatrous by some hardline Muslim groups.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A must-do bill to prevent the government from shutting down this weekend and to fund the fight against the Zika virus is stalled in the Senate, held up by bipartisan opposition as the clock ticks toward a Friday deadline.
A record 84 million people tuned in to U.S. television networks on Monday night for the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, a huge audience rarely seen on TV in the age of digital streaming and social media. The estimated ratings figure from Nielsen included people watching the raucous face-off across 13 U.S. cable and broadcast networks and public television station PBS. The audience beat the 80.6 million record set by the Jimmy Carter-Ronald Reagan TV presidential debate in 1980 but fell short of the 100 million viewers some analysts had predicted for the event.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Being England manager was the proudest moment of Sam Allardyce's career. He threw it all away after one game because of a series of indiscretions involving undercover journalists, failing to learn from the mistakes of his predecessors.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — On a personal quest to settle Mars, SpaceX founder Elon Musk envisions 1,000 passenger ships flying en masse to the red planet well within the next century, "Battlestar Galactica" style.
Miriam Vanegas had not seen her son for 10 years after FARC rebels took him away into the Colombian wilderness. Now the fighters have signed a peace deal, and she has him back. As the FARC -- the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia -- prepared to approve a historic peace deal signed on Monday, Miriam spotted Pablo Esteban in images filmed at a conference held by the force.
LONDON (AP) — The call to British military security forces came early in the morning, shortly after 1 a.m., and could not be ignored. The informant's message was alarming: Assassins planned to kill the commander of British forces in Palestine the following morning; evasive action was needed.
Serena Williams will headline the Auckland Classic in January, organisers said Wednesday, hailing her appearance as a major coup for the New Zealand tournament. The 22-time Grand Slam winner has never played in the January 2-7 tournament before, preferring to warm-up for the Australian Open at the Hopman Cup in Perth in recent years. Williams, the reigning Wimbledon champion, is currently ranked number two in the world after Angelique Kerber broke her 186-week reign at the top.
LEICESTER, England (AP) — Islam Slimani kept up his hot streak against Porto by scoring Leicester's first-half goal in a 1-0 victory in the Champions League on Tuesday, maintaining the English champions' 100 percent start to Group G.
CHASKA, Minn. (AP) — Ryan Moore had just placed second in the Tour Championship, capping a strong weekend in Atlanta with a narrow playoff loss to Rory McIlroy , when he began to load up his gear in the parking lot about 45 minutes later, a flight home to Las Vegas with his family fast approaching.
An exuberant Hillary Clinton came out swinging against Donald Trump on Tuesday, lashing him as "dangerously incoherent" as her Republican opponent hit the campaign trail hard in battleground state Florida. Clinton's energy suggested she was climbing out of perhaps the worst period of her 15-month campaign, when she blundered by belittling Trump supporters and then was laid up with pneumonia earlier this month. "I felt so positive about it," Clinton told reporters aboard her campaign plane the day after going toe to toe with 70-year-old Trump and frequently forcing her prickly opponent onto the back foot.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced career diplomat Jeffrey DeLaurentis as his choice to become the first U.S. ambassador to Cuba in more than a half-century, a move that sets up a possible fight with congressional critics of Obama's overtures to the communist island nation.
The centerpiece of President Barack Obama's climate change strategy faced a key test on Tuesday as conservative appeals court judges questioned whether his administration overstepped its legal authority under an air pollution law to make sweeping changes to the U.S. electric sector. Twenty-seven states led by coal-producer West Virginia and industry groups are challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan rules before 10 judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
By Irene Klotz GUADALAJARA, Mexico (Reuters) - SpaceX is developing a massive rocket and capsule to transport large numbers of people and cargo to Mars with the ultimate goal of colonizing the planet, company chief and tech billionaire Elon Musk said on Tuesday. Musk outlined his plans for the Mars rocket, capable of carrying 100 passengers plus cargo per voyage, even as SpaceX is still investigating why a different rocket carrying a $200 million Israeli satellite blew up on a launch pad in Florida earlier this month. "You can't create a self sustaining civilization if the ticket price is $10 billion per person," he said during a presentation at the International Astronautical Congress meeting in Guadalajara.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican immigration officials say five gunmen on motorcycles brazenly attacked a government vehicle transporting 25 immigrants and a suspected human trafficker, helping the smuggler and migrants to escape.
By Julia Symmes Cobb and Nelson Bocanegra EL DIAMANTE, Colombia (Reuters) - Veterans of Colombia's FARC guerrilla army could soon be making a living as eco-tourism guides, beef processors or cheese makers under plans by the Marxist group to invest in economic projects once a peace deal takes hold. Vast swathes of rural land abandoned for decades because of war will be open to development, including by ex-fighters from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) working on communal farms and other initiatives funded by the group. President Juan Manuel Santos and top rebel leader Timochenko signed peace on Monday, ending a 52-year-old conflict that killed more than 220,000 people and forced millions more from their homes.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican senators pressed FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday about whether anything more could have been done to prevent recent acts of extremist violence, including the Orlando nightclub massacre and the Manhattan bombing this month. Comey said the FBI admits mistakes when it makes them, but he did not agree that anything should have been done differently or that any red flags were missed.
(Reuters) - French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday he would offer Britain a chance to reverse its Brexit vote by negotiating a new treaty for the European Union with Germany, if he wins presidency in 2017, the Financial Times reported. Sarkozy said the new treaty would focus on reforming the Schengen passport-free zone, restricting the European Commission's prerogatives to a dozen, integrating the eurozone further and halting membership talks with Turkey, according to FT.
MIAMI (AP) — Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was a patron at a Miami River bar and restaurant the same night he and two friends were killed in a boat crash, a spokeswoman for the establishment confirmed Tuesday.
War crimes judges jailed a Malian jihadist Tuesday for nine years for demolishing Timbuktu's fabled shrines, a landmark ruling seen as a warning that destroying mankind's heritage will not go unpunished. In the first such case to focus on cultural destruction as a war crime, the International Criminal Court found Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi guilty of directing attacks on the UNESCO world heritage site during the jihadist takeover of northern Mali in 2012. Mahdi "supervised the destruction and gave instructions to the attackers" who took pickaxes and bulldozers to the centuries-old shrines, presiding judge Raul Pangalangan told the tribunal.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Second-ranked Serena Williams will begin her 2017 season and Australian Open buildup at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, organizers confirmed Tuesday.
ATHENS (Reuters) - A quake measuring 5.4 struck off the coast of the Greek island of Rhodes late on Tuesday, Athens Geodynamic Institute reported, but there were no reports of damage or casualties. The quake's epicenter was at sea, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) off Rhodes and 387 kilometers (240 miles) southeast of Athens. Greece and its surrounding region are often rattled by earthquakes at sea, most causing no serious damage. (Reporting Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Dan Grebler)
LIMA, Peru (AP) — A woman accused of being a witch was burned alive on a bonfire in an indigenous community in a remote part of the country's Amazon rainforest, authorities said Tuesday.
With the Syrian city of Aleppo facing a new regime onslaught and Washington's diplomacy under criticism for failing to halt the carnage, the United States announced a new aid package Tuesday. The State Department said it would release a further $364 million to UN aid agencies and NGOs working to help vulnerable Syrian civilians inside and outside the war-torn country. The latest slice of funding brings the total amount that the United States -- the effort's biggest single donor -- has spent since the war started more than five years ago to $5.9 billion.
Sam Allardyce's departure as England manager was essential to preserve the Football Association's integrity as "guardians of the game", the governing body's senior figures said on Tuesday. FA chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn met with Allardyce at Wembley to seal his fate after damaging newspaper revelations left his position untenable. Allardyce agreed to leave by mutual consent following the Daily Telegraph sting operation that captured him negotiating lucrative speaking engagements in the Far East, as well as making damaging remarks about the FA and a host of other issues, including the banned system of third-party ownership of players.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Pakistan eased to an eight-wicket victory against the West Indies in their third and final Twenty20 international on Tuesday, completing a clean sweep of the series against the world champions.