Central Asia - the best personalized free web-based Email en en Central Asia Russia, Saudi Arabia back extension of oil output cuts MOSCOW (AP) — Russia and Saudi Arabia said Monday they want to extend oil production cuts through the first quarter of 2018, in a move the two major producers say would support the market price. Oil prices rose on the announcement that the countries want to extend the deal, which encompasses both nations in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-O... Mon, 15 May 2017 11:13:00 GMT 2017-05-15T11:13:00Z Islamic State group claims attack on Pakistan lawmaker QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — The Islamic State group said it carried out a brazen suicide attack on a Pakistani lawmaker in southwest Baluchistan province on Friday that killed 25 people despite a protracted crackdown on the assortment of militant groups operating in Pakistan. Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, deputy leader of Pakistan's Senate or Upper House of Parliame... Fri, 12 May 2017 15:54:00 GMT 2017-05-12T15:54:00Z NATO chief sees quick decision on joining anti-IS coalition BERLIN (AP) — NATO's secretary-general said Thursday that he hopes for a decision by the time member countries' leaders meet May 25 on whether the alliance formally joins the coalition fighting the Islamic State group. The U.S. under President Donald Trump is keen for a greater emphasis on NATO fighting terrorism. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that all... Thu, 11 May 2017 11:53:00 GMT 2017-05-11T11:53:00Z 8 dead, 20 injured after moderate quake in far western China BEIJING (AP) — A moderate earthquake that struck close to the earth's surface killed eight people and injured more than 20 others in far western China on Thursday, the region's earthquake administration said. The morning quake struck in Taxkorgan county, a remote mountainous area that borders Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan in China's Xinjiang region... Thu, 11 May 2017 03:54:00 GMT 2017-05-11T03:54:00Z Stoltenberg: NATO may send many more troops to Afghanistan LONDON (AP) — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance is considering sending several thousand more troops to Afghanistan, but not in a direct combat role. Stoltenberg said Wednesday that "we have received a request from our military authorities to increase our military presence in Afghanistan with a few thousand troops." He said NATO would decide "on the sc... Wed, 10 May 2017 16:10:00 GMT 2017-05-10T16:10:00Z Syria rejects international forces in safe zones BEIRUT (AP) — Syria on Monday dismissed the idea of foreign forces patrolling four so-called de-escalation zones that are to be established under a deal struck by Russia, Iran and Turkey, suggesting Damascus would agree only to Russian "military police" who are already on the ground. Syria planned to abide by the agreement signed in Kazakhstan last week, ... Mon, 08 May 2017 21:53:00 GMT 2017-05-08T21:53:00Z The Latest: Syrian FM describes Kurdish role as 'legitimate' BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest developments on the war in Syria (all times local): 1:15 p.m. Syria's foreign minister is describing the role of U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds fighting the Islamic State group in Syria as "legitimate." The comment at a news conference in Damascus on Monday is one of the strongest signs of support y... Mon, 08 May 2017 10:18:00 GMT 2017-05-08T10:18:00Z Afghan air force pounds area after death of IS commander KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's air force has pounded Islamic State targets in an eastern province where an Afghan and U.S. military raid last month killed the militant group's top commander, the government said on Monday. The Interior Ministry said the airstrikes killed at least 34 IS fighters over the past 24 hours and destroyed an insurgent-con... Mon, 08 May 2017 10:15:00 GMT 2017-05-08T10:15:00Z Pakistan, Afghanistan dispute toll after clashes QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan said Sunday its forces killed at least 50 Afghan troops and destroyed five checkpoints in clashes along the disputed border two days earlier, while Afghanistan dismissed the account, saying only two border police and a civilian were killed. The two armies traded fire Friday around the Chaman border crossing, which has been... Sun, 07 May 2017 14:10:00 GMT 2017-05-07T14:10:00Z Syria violence kills 4, wounds child despite safe zones BEIRUT (AP) — Violence left at least four opposition fighters dead and a child wounded in central and southern Syria Saturday despite relative calm prevailing across the war-ravaged country after a deal to set up "de-escalation zones" in mostly opposition-held areas went into effect, opposition activists and government media outlets said. The casualties w... Sat, 06 May 2017 17:53:00 GMT 2017-05-06T17:53:00Z Russia-backed Syrian safe zones plan goes into effect BEIRUT (AP) — A deal hammered out by Russia, Turkey and Iran to set up "de-escalation zones" in mostly opposition-held parts of Syria went into effect in the early hours of Saturday. The plan is the latest international attempt to reduce violence in the war-ravaged country, and is the first to envisage armed foreign monitors on the ground in Syria. The United States is not p... Fri, 05 May 2017 22:24:00 GMT 2017-05-05T22:24:00Z The Latest: Russia-backed Syria deal enters into effect BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments regarding Syria (all times local): 12:10 a.m. A Russia-backed deal to set up "de-escalation zones" in mostly opposition-held areas in Syria has come into effect. The implementation of the deal, backed by Turkey and Iran but opposed by Syria's opposition, began at midnight Frida... Fri, 05 May 2017 21:18:00 GMT 2017-05-05T21:18:00Z Pakistan-Afghan border cross-fire kills 15 on both sides QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Backed by artillery, Afghan security forces fired across the border on Pakistani census workers and troops escorting them on Friday, killing nine and drawing a response from the military, Pakistan said. On the Afghan side, officials reported six killed in the incident, a significant escalation of hostilities between the two neighbors. Fri, 05 May 2017 15:02:00 GMT 2017-05-05T15:02:00Z Russia, Iran, Turkey sign on 'de-escalation zones' in Syria BEIRUT (AP) — Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to establish "de-escalation zones" in Syria, signing on to a Russian plan under which President Bashar Assad's air force would halt flights over designated areas across the war-torn country. The agreement, which a Russian delegate said would go into effect on Saturday, is the latest attempt to reduce violence i... Thu, 04 May 2017 18:42:00 GMT 2017-05-04T18:42:00Z The Latest: US cautious about Syria deal struck in Astana BEIRUT (AP) — The latest on the conflict on Syria and the agreement reached on Russia-led talks in Kazakhstan (all times local): 9:10 p.m. The United States says it has "reason to be cautious" about the chances for success of an agreement signed by Turkey, Iran and Russia calling for "de-escalation zones" in Syria. St... Thu, 04 May 2017 18:10:00 GMT 2017-05-04T18:10:00Z Hungarian prosecutors indict 11 men in death of 71 migrants BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Eleven men have been indicted in the case of the deaths of 71 migrants who suffocated in the back of a refrigerated truck in 2015, Hungarian authorities said Thursday. Laszlo Nanasi, chief prosecutor of Bacs-Kiskun County, said the group includes men from Afghanistan, Bulgaria and Lebanon who allegedly smuggled some 1,200 people from the Hungary-Serb... Thu, 04 May 2017 14:49:00 GMT 2017-05-04T14:49:00Z Afghan women fear loss of shelters as funding dwindles KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — As Afghanistan slides back into chaos, with a resurgent Taliban and dwindling international aid, many fear that the country's women's shelters could be forced to close, leaving those who rely on them at the mercy of an often harshly conservative society. Nearly 30 shelters across the country — a legacy of the 2001 U.S.-led invasi... Thu, 04 May 2017 06:17:00 GMT 2017-05-04T06:17:00Z Russia, Turkey agree to support safe-zones in Syria BEIRUT (AP) — The presidents of Russia and Turkey said on Wednesday they support the creation of safe-zones in war-torn Syria as a delegation of Syrian rebels walked out of cease-fire talks with the Damascus government underway in Kazakhstan, citing repeated violations of a similar truce agreed on in December. Meeting in the Russian resort town of Sochi, ... Wed, 03 May 2017 21:25:00 GMT 2017-05-03T21:25:00Z The Latest: Syria 'fully backing' Russia safe zones proposal BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local): 10:40 p.m. Syria's Foreign Ministry says Damascus is "fully backing" a Russian initiative to establish four areas of cease-fire in the war-torn country. The statement was carried by the state-run SANA news agency late on Wednesday. A Syrian rebel deleg... Wed, 03 May 2017 20:39:00 GMT 2017-05-03T20:39:00Z German police probe motives of man who killed fellow Afghan BERLIN (AP) — German police say they're trying to determine a motive for the killing of an asylum-seeker in Bavaria at the weekend, amid reports the suspect — a fellow Afghan — was angered by her conversion to Christianity. The Bild newspaper quoted a sister of the 38-year-old victim claiming the attacker had singled her out after seeing her attend a chur... Tue, 02 May 2017 10:00:00 GMT 2017-05-02T10:00:00Z Taliban announce spring offensive, vow to build institutions ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Afghan Taliban announced the beginning of their spring offensive on Friday, promising to build their political base in the country while focusing military assaults on the international coalition and Afghan security forces. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced the launch of the offensive in an emailed statement that boasted o... Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:29:00 GMT 2017-04-28T15:29:00Z UK marine who killed injured Taliban fighter freed from jail LONDON (AP) — A British Royal Marine commando who fatally shot an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan has been released from prison after his murder conviction was downgraded to manslaughter. Sgt. Alexander Blackman was freed from a prison in southwest England early Friday. Blackman was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years by a militar... Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:10:00 GMT 2017-04-28T11:10:00Z Pakistani Taliban say detained militant used for propaganda ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Pakistani Taliban say the country's top intelligence service is using a captured senior militant to spread propaganda that the militant group is beholden to spy agencies in India and Afghanistan. Pakistan's army released a video late Wednesday showing Ahsanullah Ahsan, a longtime media spokesman for the Taliban and another extremist g... Thu, 27 Apr 2017 17:04:00 GMT 2017-04-27T17:04:00Z IS group, Taliban clash in Afghanistan, dozens killed KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan officials say Islamic State militants have attacked the Taliban in the northern Jawzjan province, igniting heavy clashes in which dozens of fighters were killed. Mohammad Reza Ghafori, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said Wednesday that the fighting, which began the day before, has killed 76 Taliban fighters and 15 from the IS affili... Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:21:00 GMT 2017-04-26T12:21:00Z Olympic champion Germany heads Women's WCup qualifying draw NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Olympic champion Germany has been drawn in a 2019 Women's World Cup qualifying group with Iceland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, and the Faeroe Islands. Only the seven group winners in Europe's qualifying program advance directly to the 24-nation tournament hosted by France. The United States is the defending champion. Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:21:00 GMT 2017-04-25T12:21:00Z Column: Remember when people said boxing was dead? Madison Square Garden was filled with 20,000 boxing fans last month, and they were treated to Gennady Golovkin, Danny Jacobs and a spectacular night of fights. This week, 90,000 fans are expected to jam London's Wembley Stadium for the most significant heavyweight fight in a long time. British Olympic gold medalist Anthony Joshua meets former champion Wladimir Klitschko in a... Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:07:00 GMT 2017-04-24T20:07:00Z Germany charges Afghan teen with Taliban membership BERLIN (AP) — German federal prosecutors say they have charged a 17-year-old Afghan citizen over allegations he joined the Taliban and participated in attacks against security forces. Prosecutors said Monday that Abdullah S.K., whose last name wasn't given in line with privacy laws, faces charges of membership in a terrorist organization, attempted murder and violating weapo... Mon, 24 Apr 2017 16:56:00 GMT 2017-04-24T16:56:00Z Scarponi funeral to take place Tuesday, thousands visit body FILOTTRANO, Italy (AP) — The funeral of former Giro d'Italia winner Michele Scarponi will be on Tuesday in his hometown of Filottrano, near Ancona. Scarponi, who won the Giro in 2011, died after a collision with a van while training near his home on Saturday. He was 37. A service will be held in the town's football stadium and will be o... Mon, 24 Apr 2017 15:58:00 GMT 2017-04-24T15:58:00Z Afghan army chief, defense minister resign following attack KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's army chief and defense minister resigned on Monday, following a Taliban attack over the weekend that struck a northern army base, killing more than 100 military and other personnel, officials said. The attack — the biggest ever by the Taliban on a military base in Afghanistan — involved multiple gunmen and suicide b... Mon, 24 Apr 2017 14:19:00 GMT 2017-04-24T14:19:00Z The Latest: US general suggests Russia arming Taliban WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' visit to Afghanistan (all times local): 10:15 a.m. The top American general in Afghanistan is suggesting that Russia is arming the Taliban. At a news conference with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at his side, Gen. John Nicholson avoided offering specifics ab... Mon, 24 Apr 2017 14:18:00 GMT 2017-04-24T14:18:00Z