International News Feed

Obama announces full lifting of Vietnam arms embargo | Politics | Thanh Nien Daily

The United States has fully lifted its ban on weapons sales to Vietnam, President Barack Obama announced on Monday during a visit to Hanoi, unpicking a decades-old embargo on the one-time enemy.
"The United States is fully lifting the ban on the sale of military equipment to Vietnam that has been in place for some fifty years," he said at a joint press conference alongside his Vietnamese counterpart President Tran Dai Quang.
Both countries are warily eyeing China's military build-up in the South China Sea.
But Obama was keen to separate the decision to allow arms sales to the Southeast Asian nation from shared concerns over Beijing's claims to contested waters.
The decision to lift the ban was not based on China... but on our desire to complete what has been a lengthy process moving towards normalization with Vietnam," he said.


Egypt finds belongings, debris from plane crash at sea | Reuters

The Egyptian navy said on Friday it had found the personal belongings of passengers and other debris floating in the Mediterranean, confirmation that an EgyptAir jet had plunged into the sea with 66 people on board.

The military said it had found the debris about 290 km (180 miles) north of the port city of Alexandria and was searching for the plane's black box flight recorders.

Egypt's President Adbel Fattah al-Sisi offered condolences for those on board, amounting to Cairo's official acknowledgement of their deaths.

The defense minister of Greece, which has also been scouring the Mediterranean, said Egyptian authorities had found a body part, luggage and a seat in the sea just south of where the signal from the plane was lost.

Although suspicion pointed to Islamist militants who blew up another airliner over Egypt just seven months ago, no group had claimed responsibility more than 24 hours after the disappearance of flight MS804, an Airbus A320 flying from Paris to Cairo.


Aid begins to flow in after powerful earthquake kills 262 in Ecuador | Fox News

Aid began to flow in Sunday to areas devastated by Ecuador's strongest earthquake in decades and the death toll continued to rise as people left homeless hunkered down for another night outside in the dark.

Officials said the quake killed at least 262 people and injured more than 2,500 along Ecuador's coast. Vice President Jorge Glas said the toll was likely to rise because a large number of people remained unaccounted for, though he declined to say how many.

Much damage was reported in the cities of Manta, Portoviejo and Guayaquil, which are all several hundred kilometers (miles) from the epicenter of the quake that struck shortly after nightfall Saturday.


Russian jet barrel-rolls over U.S. aircraft -

Washington (CNN)A U.S. Air Force reconnaissance plane was barrel-rolled by a Russian jet over the Baltic Sea during a routine flight in international airspace, U.S. European Command said Saturday, but Russia disputed that account.

The incident Thursday occurred when a Russian jet "performed erratic and aggressive maneuvers" as it flew within 50 feet of the U.S. aircraft's wing tip, Danny Hernandez, a spokesman for U.S. European Command, said in a response to a question from CNN.


Obama Had Nice Things to Say About Cuba During Historic Visit – but Read What Fidel Castro Is Now Saying About Him |

After President Barack Obama returned from his visit to Cuba, former Cuban President Fidel Castro ripped the president for his comments about democracy and human rights.

Obama met with current Cuban President Raul Castro, but did not meet with his older brother Fidel.

While in Cuba last week, Obama talked about America’s shortcomings and even compared the Cuban and American revolutions. Obama also praised Cuba’s education and health care systems. But that wasn’t enough to please the former dictator.


Brussels attack investigation: 1 arrested -

(CNN) One person has been arrested after the bloody terrorist attacks in Belgium, though the country's federal prosecutor said that the man believed to have been the third person taking part directly in the Brussels airport attack remains on the run.

Prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw identified Brahim El Barkoui as one of the airport suicide bombers and his brother, Khalid El Bakroui, as the man behind the deadly suicide blast near the Maelbeek metro station.

The metro bombing was actually deadliest, killing at least 20 of the 31 total slain in the two Tuesday attacks. Another 271 people were wounded, the prosecutor said.


FlyDubai Flight 981 plane crash investigators in Russia search for cause of Dubai airliner's nosedive - CBS News

MOSCOW -- A Dubai airliner with 62 people on board nosedived and exploded in a giant fireball early Saturday while trying to land in strong winds in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, killing all aboard, officials said.

Russia's Emergencies Ministry said the Boeing 737-800 operated by FlyDubai was carrying 55 passengers, most of them Russians, and seven crew members of various nationalities. FlyDubai confirmed that there were no survivors and said four children were among those killed.

The powerful explosion pulverized the plane into fragments, but investigators quickly recovered both flight recorders. The cause of the crash wasn't immediately known, but officials and experts suggested a sudden gust of wind could have been a possible reason.


U.S. targets Noureddine Chouchane and ISIS camp in Libya -

(CNN) U.S. warplanes on Friday struck an ISIS camp in Libya where a senior operative in the terrorist group -- Noureddine Chouchane -- was believed to be, a U.S. official told CNN.

Chouchane is believed to have played an instrumental role in two deadly terror attacks in Tunisia last year, one at Tunis' Bardo Museum that killed 23 people and another at a seaside resort in Sousse that left 38 dead. ISIS claimed responsibility for both massacres.

Friday's airstrike targeted Chouchane and the ISIS camp generally, according to the U.S. official.


North Korean rocket puts object into space, angers neighbors, U.S. | Reuters

North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday carrying what it called a satellite, but its neighbors and the United States denounced the launch as a missile test, conducted in defiance of U.N. sanctions and just weeks after a nuclear bomb test.

The U.S. Strategic Command said it had detected a missile entering space, and South Korea's military said the rocket had put an object into orbit.

North Korea said the launch of the satellite Kwangmyongsong-4, named after late leader Kim Jong Il, was a "complete success" and it was making a polar orbit of Earth every 94 minutes. The launch order was given by his son, leader Kim Jong Un, who is believed to be 33 years old.


U.S. student arrested in North Korea for 'hostile act'

North Korea said Friday that it had arrested a American student from the University of Virginia for allegedly "perpetrating a hostile act" against the regime.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency, in a one-sentence dispatch, said only that the 21-year-old student, identified as Otto Frederick Warmbier, had traveled to the North as a tourist but with the real aim of destroying the unity of North Korea with "the tacit connivance of the U.S. government and under its control."