Japan PM candidates differ on same-sex, women rights issues

TOKYO – Candidates to become Japan’s next prime minister all said they would have better policies to fight the pandemic and reduce the income gap during television debates on Friday, but they were split on diversity issues from same-sex marriage to married couples having separate surnames. Whoever wins the Liberal Democratic Party presidency on Sept. 29 will become prime minister because of the LDP’s majority in the lower house of parliament, and campaigning began in…

"Japan PM candidates differ on same-sex, women rights issues"

Vietnam approves Abdala vaccine as president visits Cuba

HANOI -Vietnam has approved Cuba’s Abdala vaccine for use against the new coronavirus, the government said on Saturday, as the Southeast Asian country is battling its worst outbreak. Abdala becomes the eighth COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Vietnam, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the region, with only 6.3% of its 98 million people having received at least two shots. The announcement came hours after President Nguyen Xuan Phuc left Hanoi…

"Vietnam approves Abdala vaccine as president visits Cuba"

U.S. military says 10 civilians killed in Kabul drone strike last month

WASHINGTON – A U.S. drone strike in Kabul last month killed as many 10 civilians, including seven children, a senior U.S. general said on Friday. “It was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology,” U.S. General Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, told reporters. He added that he now believed that it unlikely that the vehicle hit or those who died were Islamic State militants or posed a direct threat to U.S.…

"U.S. military says 10 civilians killed in Kabul drone strike last month"

Countries’ emissions pledges still fall short of global climate goals, UN says

BRUSSELS – Countries’ latest pledges to cut emissions would fail to avert catastrophic climate change, the United Nations said on Friday, as pressure grows on polluters including China and India to set more ambitious targets before the COP26 summit in November. The U.N. COP26 conference aims to secure more ambitious climate action from the nearly 200 countries who signed the 2015 Paris Agreement and agreed to try to limit human-caused global warming to 1.5 degrees…

"Countries’ emissions pledges still fall short of global climate goals, UN says"

Somalia’s president berates Djibouti for detaining his security adviser

MOGADISHU -Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Friday accused neighbouring Djibouti of illegally detaining his national security adviser, a criticism which appeared linked to a destabilising row between the president and his prime minister. Djiboutian authorities held the adviser, Fahad Yasin, preventing him from travelling to Mogadishu by air, the director of communications in the presidency Abdirashid Hashi said, without providing more details. “Such acts will not help to strengthen our ties between our governments,”…

"Somalia’s president berates Djibouti for detaining his security adviser"

U.S. willing to delay Ethiopia sanctions if violence ends -Blinken

WASHINGTON – The United States would delay sanctions over the Ethiopia conflict if the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation front “cease ongoing hostilities and enter into ceasefire negotiations immediately and without preconditions,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday. “If the parties take immediate steps in this regard, the United States is prepared to delay imposition of sanctions and focus on supporting a negotiated process,” Blinken said in a statement.

"U.S. willing to delay Ethiopia sanctions if violence ends -Blinken"

Regional powers at summit demand U.S. fund Afghan aid

MOSCOW – Russia, China, Pakistan and other regional states called on the United States on Friday to engage with the Taliban and fund aid to Afghanistan, though they also urged the former insurgents to yield power to a more inclusive government. The fate of Afghanistan dominated a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, formed 20 years ago as a talking shop for Russia, China and ex-Soviet central Asian states, but which has lately expanded into…

"Regional powers at summit demand U.S. fund Afghan aid"

Iran joins expanding Asian security body led by Moscow, Beijing

– Iran joined a rapidly expanding central Asian security body led by Russia and China on Friday, calling on the countries in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to help it form a mechanism to avert sanctions imposed by the West. The body, formed in the 2001 as a talking shop for Russia, China and ex-Soviet states in Central Asia, expanded four years ago to include India and Pakistan, with a view to playing a bigger role…

"Iran joins expanding Asian security body led by Moscow, Beijing"

U.S. paves way for more sanctions over Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict

WASHINGTON – The United States on Friday paved the way for further sanctions to be imposed on parties to the conflict in northern Ethiopia, where thousands have been killed and millions are in need of humanitarian assistance. A new executive order allows Washington to take punitive action against those in the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Amhara regional government if they continue to pursue military conflict over negotiations,…

"U.S. paves way for more sanctions over Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict"