CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 26, 2013 |
The leader of the Tibetan government in exile is in Los Angeles this week, and although his administration is not officially recognized by the U.S. or any other regime, Tibetans living here have done their best to mark his visit with all the pomp afforded a visiting head of state. On Sunday, they greeted him at Los Angeles International Airport with white scarves and flowers. Later, a line of shiny black cars, each festooned with a Tibetan flag, ferried him to a reception at a nearby church.
August 21, 2013 |
TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has an unprecedented plan to boost economic growth and shore up his country's shrinking labor force - help more women return to work. About two-thirds of Japanese women leave the workforce after the birth of their first child. Most do not return for years, if ever. It's a major reason the employment rate of Japanese women is one of the lowest in developed economies, particularly among those married and well-educated. Abe's government wants to change that situation for women such as Saori Tachibana.
August 13, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won Mali's presidential election after his rival conceded defeat late Monday in a rare gesture that won praise around the continent. Soumaila Cisse, the opposition candidate, urged Malians to accept the result even as he told reporters at a news conference in Bamako, the capital, he believed there were serious irregularities and incidents of ballot-box stuffing. Cisse said he had not made plans to challenge the result. In Africa's emerging democracies, elections are often flawed and results disputed.
August 1, 2013 |
MADRID -- At a special session of parliament on Thursday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy denied accepting bribes, refused to resign or call early elections, and heaped blame for a corruption scandal on a former close colleague now behind bars. Rajoy struck a sometimes combative tone in the nearly six-hour debate, which he had hastily called during a vacation period amid threats by opposition leaders to introduce a censure motion against him. The ruling conservatives have a large enough majority to likely stay in power, but Rajoy was nevertheless under pressure to answer bribery allegations that have been dogging his party and distracting from efforts toward economic recovery.
August 1, 2013 |
ROME - Italy's high court on Thursday upheld a conviction of tax fraud and a four-year prison sentence for Silvio Berlusconi, the first time that the media mogul and three-time prime minister has received a definitive conviction and sentence in his 20-year dominance of Italian politics. The verdict may signal the unwinding of Berlusconi's colorful political career and could also undermine Italy's fragile coalition government. The court declined to rule on a five-year ban on political office that Berlusconi had been handed by a lower appeals court, sending the matter back to the lower court for reconsideration.
August 1, 2013 |
ATHENS - Greece's Parliament last month approved the first official culling of the country's bloated public sector. The move, opposed by government workers but viewed by many economists as long overdue for an indebted economy, will push 25,000 civil servants into a "mobility scheme," giving them eight months to find work in another state department or get fired. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the young Harvard-cum-Stanford educated economist who fills the country's least coveted government job - as minister of administrative reform, a stuffy-sounding title that puts him in the thick of controversy - spoke last week to The Times about efforts to pare back public employment, the controversial closure of the state broadcaster and the tough austerity measures demanded by international lenders.
July 31, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Zimbabweans voted Wednesday in an election that international critics say has no hope of being free or fair. President Robert Mugabe, the country's only leader in its 33-year history since independence from Britain, dismissed the fear that the country could once again be headed for a disputed result. "I'm sure that people will vote freely and fairly. There's no pressure being exerted on anyone," the 89-year-old Mugabe told reporters after casting his vote.
July 25, 2013 |
LONDON - Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Thursday promised two investigations of the deadly train derailment in northwestern Spain, with suspicion focusing on excessive speed as the cause of the disaster that has left at least 80 people dead, including an American, and scores more injured. "We have lived through a terrible accident … which I fear will remain in our memory for a long time," a somber Rajoy told reporters after visiting the site of Wednesday's derailment near the Christian pilgrimage town of Santiago de Compostela in the Galicia region.
July 22, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Afghan parliament voted to sack the nation's interior minister Monday, blaming him for growing security problems as local forces take greater responsibility for the country's security. But the official, Ghulam Mujtaba Patang, fought back in a news conference a few hours later. He is expected to remain in office on an interim basis after President Hamid Karzai referred the matter to the nation's Supreme Court. Karzai said in a statement that parliament had the right under the Afghan Constitution to vote no confidence in the interior minister.
July 17, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - North Korean officials on Wednesday called for Panama to release the crew members of a cargo ship being detained while authorities search it for Cuban missile components and other war materiel. North Korea's Foreign Ministry said the crew should be released because Panamanian authorities were looking for drugs, but had not found any, according to news reports. The Chong Chon Gang container ship remained docked on the Caribbean coast of Panama on Wednesday. Jose Raul Mulino, Panama's security minister, said in a TV interview that his country was awaiting the arrival of experts from the U.S. and Britain who could evaluate the “enormous quantity of armaments” involved.