- Exclusive: Vatican and China in final push for elusive deal on bishops
By Lisa Jucca and Benjamin Kang Lim ROME/HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) - Representatives from the Vatican and China are expected to meet before the end of the month in Rome in an effort to finalize a deal on the ordination of bishops on the mainland, a move aimed at ending a longstanding dispute, according to Catholic Church sources familiar with the negotiations. The Church sources also told Reuters that China is preparing to ordain at least two new bishops before the end of the year and these appointments would have the blessing of the Vatican. A person with ties to the leadership in Beijing confirmed that these ordinations would go ahead.
- Turkish Red Crescent says sending aid for 10,000 to Iraq's Mosul
By Ercan Gurses and Tuvan Gumrukcu ANKARA (Reuters) - The Turkish Red Crescent is sending trucks of aid to northern Iraq with enough food and humanitarian supplies for 10,000 people displaced by fighting in Mosul, the president of the agency said on Friday. Iraqi and Kurdish forces have seized territory around Mosul in recent days in preparation for a long-anticipated offensive on the last major stronghold held by Islamic State in Iraq. "In the first stage, we are sending this aid to the nearly 30 villages around Mosul that have been liberated.
- Leading tattoo artists help wounded Israelis with scars
- Sweden's Ericsson posts Q3 loss, cites worsening industry
Swedish mobile networks company Ericsson said Friday that the decline across the industry has accelerated, contributing to a third-quarter loss for the company of 233 million kroner ($26.3 million). The ...
- Truce holds in Aleppo but UN delays evacuations
The UN said Friday that security concerns had forced it to delay planned evacuations from Syria's Aleppo, despite a truce that was largely holding for a second day in the ravaged city. The unilateral "humanitarian pause" in the Syrian government's Russia-backed assault on the opposition-held east of the city was intended to allow civilians and rebels to leave.
- General Electric profit falls 20% on weak oil earnings
- Indian bank authorities say 3.2 million debit cards hacked
NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian banks are scrambling to contain the damage after more than 3.2 million debit cards may have been hacked.
- IS attacks Iraq city of Kirkuk, power plant amid Mosul fight
KIRKUK, Iraq (AP) — Islamic State militants armed with assault rifles and explosives attacked targets in and around the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk early Friday, in an assault that appeared aimed at diverting Iraqi security forces from a massive offensive against the IS-held city of Mosul.
- The Latest: Iraqis clear bombs, face snipers east of Mosul
IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — The Latest on the developments in Iraq where Iraqi forces and their allies launched a major offensive this week to retake Mosul, the country's second-largest city from the Islamic State group (all times local):
- Russians seek answers to central Moscow GPS anomaly
MOSCOW (AP) — Joggers, taxi drivers, players of Pokemon Go and senior Russian officials are seeking answers as to why mobile phone apps that use GPS are malfunctioning in central Moscow.
- Germany reports scary clown incidents, fights hoaxes
BERLIN (AP) — German police say a man has been attacked by a person in a clown costume wielding a baseball bat, while a woman was accosted separately by a man in a clown mask with a chain saw.
- UK public finances worsen, adding to Hammond's headache
By William Schomberg and David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's public finances showed a much bigger than expected deficit in September, a setback for finance minister Philip Hammond as he prepares to deliver the country's first budget plans since the Brexit vote. Investors are nervous about the prospect of an acrimonious British departure from the European Union, and Friday's figures may limit Hammond's ability to cushion the blow of the referendum result via higher spending or tax cuts. Britain ran a budget shortfall - excluding state-owned banks - of 10.6 billion pounds ($13.0 billion) last month, 14.5 percent higher than the deficit in the same month last year, the Office for National Statistics said.
- Congo security forces killed dozens in anti-government protest -U.N
By Aaron Ross KINSHASA (Reuters) - Congolese state security services shot, burned, beat and hacked to death at least 48 civilians and reportedly hired thugs to attack protests last month against the extension of President Joseph Kabila's mandate, the United Nations said on Friday. The death toll of the two days of violence in the capital Kinshasa, which also included four police officers killed by protesters and one other civilian, was higher than during the 2011 electoral process, the U.N. Joint Human Rights Office in Congo (UNJHRO) said in a report. Democratic Republic of Congo's government spokesman and justice minister could not be immediately reached for comment and a police spokesman said he had not yet seen the report.
- Philippines says just doesn't want to be dependent on the U.S. and West
The Philippines will not renege on treaties and agreements with established allies even as it pulls away from dependence on the United States and the West, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesperson said on Friday. Ernesto Abella said Duterte's announcement that Manila would "separate" from the United States was a "restatement of his position on charting an independent foreign policy". Duterte wanted to "separate the nation from dependence on the U.S. and the West and rebalance economic and military relations with Asian neighbors," like China, Japan and South Korea, Abella said in statement.
- Islamic State takes 550 families to be human shields in Mosul: U.N.
GENEVA (Reuters) - Islamic State militants have taken 550 families from villages around Mosul and are holding them close to Islamic State locations in the Iraqi city, probably as human shields, a spokeswoman for the U.N. human rights office said on Friday. U.N. spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani, citing "corroborated information" from the area, said the office was also investigating reports that Islamic State militants had killed 40 civilians in one village. (Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Catherine Evans)
- The Latest: Serbia denies politics involved in aid for Syria
- UK says there are no plans to alter Calais border agreement
The Le Touquet agreement which allows British officials to check passports in France and vice versa is working and there are no plans to change it, Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said on Friday. The Guardian newspaper reported on Friday that France's Alain Juppe, who is on course to win the centre-right's presidential ticket and favourite to win power in next year's national election, said he would seek to overturn the treaty, which effectively pushes the British frontier to Calais in northern France.
- British American Tobacco offers to buy Reynolds in $47B deal
LONDON (AP) — British American Tobacco offered Friday to buy Reynolds American Inc. in a $47 billion cash-and-stock deal that would create the world's largest publicly traded tobacco company and bring together brands like Camel, Dunhill, and Newport.
- Dollar hits seven-month high, global stocks set for weekly rise
Global stocks were set for their first weekly gain in four weeks on Friday and the dollar rose to its highest since March, as the euro came under pressure after the European Central Bank shot down talk of tapering its easy money stance. The euro hit its lowest against the dollar since March after the ECB left its ultra-loose policy unchanged on Thursday but kept the door open to more stimulus in December. ECB President Mario Draghi also doused recent market speculation that the central bank had discussed winding down its 1.7 trillion euro asset-buying programme.
- Jailed Ukrainian filmmaker 'staying' in Russia
MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine says Russia is refusing to hand over jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit terror attacks by a Russian military court in 2015 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
- Socialists' meeting could end Spain's 10-month govt impasse
MADRID (AP) — Spain's Socialist party is preparing for a crucial weekend meeting that could help end the country's near 10-month political impasse by allowing the rival conservative Popular Party to form a minority government.
- France's Le Pen: could she win?
From Brexit to the rise of Donald Trump, 2016 has been a humbling year for political forecasters. In France, could they be wrong again in writing off the far-right's prospects in next year's presidential election? Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's National Front, certainly thinks so.
- Court: Iraqi cleric Mullah Krekar can be extradited to Italy
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — An Iraqi-born cleric can be extradited to Italy, which suspects him of enticing recruits to fight in Iraq and Syria, a Norwegian court said Friday.
- Professors strike for 3rd day at 14 state universities
- EU leaders scramble to salvage free trade pact with Canada
The European Union's attempt to finalize a massive free trade deal with Canada remained in limbo Friday, with the tiny Belgian region that's holding up the pact saying its objections had not yet been sufficiently ...
- UK Conservatives hold Commons seat vacated by ex-PM Cameron
- South Africa's withdrawal rocks International Criminal Court
South Africa announced Friday that it is withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, dealing a major blow to a troubled institution set up to try the world's worst crimes. South Africa's decision followed a dispute last year when Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir visited the country for an African Union summit despite facing an ICC arrest warrant over alleged war crimes. Justice Minister Michael Masutha told reporters in Pretoria that the court was "inhibiting South Africa's ability to honour its obligations relating to the granting of diplomatic immunity".
- Typhoon Haima lashes China; death toll up in Philippines
BEIJING (AP) — Typhoon Haima barreled into southern China on Friday after hammering the northern Philippines with ferocious wind and rain, triggering flooding, landslides and power outages and killing at least 13 people.
- U.S. mall investors set to lose billions as retail gloom deepens
NEW YORK (Reuters/IFR) - The dramatic shift to online shopping that has crushed U.S. department stores in recent years now threatens the investors who a decade ago funded the vast expanse of brick and mortar emporiums that many Americans no longer visit. Some $128 billion of commercial real estate loans - more than one-quarter of which went to finance malls a decade ago - are due to refinance between now and the end of 2017, according to Morningstar Credit Ratings. Wells Fargo estimates that about $38 billion of these loans were taken out by retailers, bundled into commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and sold to institutional investors.
- EU drops sanctions threat against Russia over Syria
EU leaders backed down on Friday from an explicit threat of sanctions against Russia over the bombing of Aleppo but warned that they would consider "all available options" if atrocities in Syria continue. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi demanded that any mention of possible punitive measures against Moscow over the Syrian carnage should be removed from a statement issued after a summit in Brussels. The climbdown underscored the deep divisions between the 28 European Union leaders as they tried to thrash out a long-term strategy on their increasingly bellicose eastern neighbour.