New Philippine President Duterte vows deadly crime war
Authoritarian firebrand Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the Philippines' president Thursday -- and quickly launched a foul-mouthed vow to wipe out drug traffickers and even urged ordinary Filipinos to kill addicts. Duterte, a lawyer who earned a reputation as an authoritarian figure as mayor of the southern city of Davao over most of the past two decades, said these problems were symptoms of eroding Filipino faith in their leaders.
In Egypt, Sisi's star fades as problems pile up
Hisham Genena, Egypt's erstwhile corruption tsar, settles in a corner. "We can speak freely." It has been a long way down for Genena, a former policeman and judge who was appointed to head Egypt's corruption watchdog in 2012 and is now on trial, accused of defaming the state by exaggerating the scale of public sector graft. "When political parties are absent, NGOs are absent, local media is being crushed, international media too... is that a sign of a healthy environment in which a country can flourish?" Three years after general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted the Muslim Brotherhood, a crackdown that first targeted opposition activists has now turned on establishment figures like Genena to TV presenters and street performers.
Mideast Quartet urges Israel to halt settlement expansion
A much-awaited report by the diplomatic quartet supporting the Middle East process demands that Israel take urgent steps to halt the expansion of settlements in Palestinian territories, the UN envoy said Thursday. Nickolay Mladenov told the Security Council that ongoing Israeli construction in the West Bank was one of three "negative trends" that must be quickly reversed to keep the hope of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal alive. Palestinian incitement to violence and the Palestinian Authority's lack of control over the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip also "severely undermine hopes for peace," Mladenov said.
Turkey defies EU over anti-terrorism laws after Istanbul attack
By Robin Emmott BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Turkey defied pressure from the European Union on Thursday to amend its anti-terrorism laws, saying that a suicide bomb attack at Istanbul airport this week that killed 42 people provided further vindication of its tough stance. The EU repeated its demand that Turkey modify its anti-terrorism laws, saying they limit freedom of expression and allow indiscriminate arrests of activists, but Ankara showed no sign of budging. "Turkey today is fighting against terrorism," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference with senior EU officials, referring to Tuesday's gun and bomb attack by three suspected Islamic State militants.