Philippines' Duterte mulls leaving international court

Published: Thursday, November 17, 2016 @ 4:23 AM
Updated: Thursday, November 17, 2016 @ 4:21 AM


            FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2016, file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the Philippine Economic Forum in Tokyo. Duterte, who has lashed out at U.S. President Barack Obama for criticizing his deadly crackdown on drugs, said his ties with the United States are likely to improve under Donald Trump, but that he is also excited to meet Russian leader Vladimir Putin at an upcoming Asia-Pacific summit. Duterte made upbeat remarks about both the president-elect and Putin at a news conference late Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 in Manila. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he might follow Russia's example and withdraw from the International Criminal Court, where his critics say he could be charged over the thousands killed in his war on drugs.

In a statement before flying to Peru to attend the annual summit of Asia-Pacific leaders, Duterte also said the United Nations has been unsuccessful in stopping wars. He said if China and Russia decide to create a new world order, he would be the first to join them and leave the U.N., which he said is dominated by the U.S.

"You know, if China and Russia would decide to create a new order, I would be the first to join," he said, adding that he would quit the U.N.

U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said the U.N. is aware of reports that Duterte is considering withdrawing his country from the ICC but that the world body has not yet received any formal communication from the Philippines. He urged them and other nations to reconsider.

Duterte also criticized the global agreement to fight climate change, saying there are no penalties for violators and it is not clear which industrialized countries will contribute money to support developing countries' efforts against global warming. He said that was the reason why President-elect Donald Trump does not want the U.S. to spend on fighting climate change.

During his campaign, Trump said he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris pact on climate change.

The foul-mouthed Duterte said that like Russia, he might withdraw from the ICC "because we the small ones are the only ones being beaten up," but nothing has been done for the thousands of children and women dying in bombings in Syria and Iraq.

Duterte is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the sidelines of the summit in Lima. He requested for the bilateral meeting because he wants to meet and be friends with Putin, whom he said was his idol.

Human rights advocates have criticized Duterte's anti-drug campaign that has left more than 4,000 suspected addicts and pushers dead since July. They said the killings can be a basis to charge him for crimes against humanity before the Netherlands-based court.

Duterte said he has intentionally used foul language — including calling Obama a "son of a bitch" — because Obama has trivialized the Philippines' drug problem when there are already around 4 million Filipinos addicted to drugs. The country has a population of more than 103 million.

Manchester attack: What we know about suspected suicide bomber Salman Abedi 

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 12:39 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 3:18 PM

British authorities on Tuesday identified the suicide bomber who blew himself up outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, as 22-year-old Salman Abedi.

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Greater Manchester police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins confirmed Abedi’s identity Tuesday, but declined to comment further, citing the need for the coroner to confirm the identity.

Authorities said Abedi detonated a suicide bomb near one of the entrances to the Manchester Arena on Monday, just after an Ariana Grande concert wrapped up. The attack killed 22 people and injured 59 others, officials said.

Here’s what we know:

Abedi was a British man of Libyan origin who was born in 1994Politico Europe reported.

Abedi was known to British authoritiesaccording to CBS News. The news organization did not elaborate on what brought Abedi to the attention of authorities.

Abedi was born in Manchester to Libyan emigrantsThe Telegraph reported. He was the second youngest of four children.

Police arrested one of Abedi's brothers in connection to the attack, according to Politico Europe. Greater Manchester police said they arrested one person in connection with Monday’s attack in south Manchester following the bombing. One other person was arrested at the Arndale Centre, although authorities said it was not immediately clear whether the person was connected with the bombing.

Abedi lived at a home 3.5 miles from Manchester Arena, according to The New York Times. A law enforcement official told the newspaper that Abedi's ID was found at the scene of the bombing.

Rouhani wins re-election as Iran’s president

Published: Saturday, May 20, 2017 @ 5:19 AM

According to state TV, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left , has won re-election, defeating Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, a former attorney general.
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According to state television, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has won re-election, CNN reported Saturday. Rouhani defeated conservative challenger Ebrahim Raisi.

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"The National Media (IRINN) congratulate the victory of Mr. Hassan Rouhani in the presidential election," Iranian state media channel IRINN announced in an on-screen news ticker.

Rouhani won 57 percent of the vote, or 23,549, 616 votes, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said.

Rouhani, a moderate, was a key architect of the 2015 nuclear deal with the United States, the European Union and other partners and his first term was marked by an emergent international engagement.

More than 40 million Iranian voters flocked to polling stations Friday, and by Saturday morning more than 25 million votes had been counted, according to the head of Iran's Interior Ministry State Elections Committee.

No sitting President has failed to win a second term since 1981 and Rouhani's engagement with the outside world resonated with voters who have disliked the country's isolation., CNN reported.

Princess to give up royal status to marry commoner

Published: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 @ 7:48 AM

A Japanese princess is deciding love over royalty. 

Princess Mako, who is the oldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, will marry her former college classmate and in doing so, will become a commoner after the ceremony.

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The princess’ now-fiance, Kei Komuro, was sighted as he left the law office where he works, but would not speak to reporters other than to say, “Now is not the time for me to comment, but I want to speak at the right time.”

Currently there are four people in line for the throne: Akihito’s two sons who are in their 50s, his brother who is in his 80s and his 10-year-old grandson, The Telegraph reported.

Mako graduated from International Christian university and went on to get a masters degree from the University of Leicester. She has been working as a museum researcher.

No wedding date has been set, but the official announcement of an impending marriage has a ritual behind it. 

First a public announcement will be made, then a date will be set, and finally the couple will make a formal report to the emperor and empress, The Telegraph reported.

Prince William: 'Nobody should be bullied for their sexuality'

Published: Saturday, May 13, 2017 @ 10:37 AM

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 17:  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends a reception at the British Embassy during day one of their visit on March 17, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Ian Vogler - Pool/Getty Images)
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Prince William offered a message of support for the LGBT community Friday evening at the British LGBT Awards.

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The Duke of Cambridge, who was named "straight ally of the year" for the British lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, spoke via a video message, according to the BBC. In the brief video, he talks about how he's become passionate about "protecting from bullying, particularly online." He said he's "encountered a number of tragic stories about LGBT young people who have sadly felt unable to cope with the abuse and discrimination they face in their lives."

Prince William concluded: "It is 2017, and nobody should be bullied for their sexuality, or for any other reason."