World Bulletin / News Desk
Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives suffered a crushing defeat on Sunday in an election in Germany's most populous state, exit polls showed, a result which could embolden the left opposition to step up attacks on her European austerity policies.
The election in North Rhine-Westphalia, a western German state with a bigger population than the Netherlands and an economy the size of Turkey, was held 18 months before a national election in which Merkel is expected to fight for a third term.
She remains popular at home for her steady handling of the euro zone debt crisis, but the sheer scale of her party's defeat respresents a heavy blow that could tilt the German political landscape and leave her more vulnerable to domestic critics.
According to an exit poll for public broadcaster ARD, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) won 39 percent of the vote and will have enough to form a stable majority with the Greens, who scored 12 percent.
The two left-leaning parties had run a fragile minority government for the past two years under popular SPD leader Hannelore Kraft, whose decisive victory on Sunday could propel her to national prominence.
Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) saw their support plunge to just 26 percent, down from nearly 35 percent in 2010, and the worst result in the state since World War Two.
The Free Democrats (FDP), a pro-business party that rules in coalition with Merkel's conservatives at the federal level, looked to have made it back into the state assembly, in what many will see as a rebound for the party after a collapse in support in recent years.
The upstart Pirates, a new party that campaigns for internet freedom, continued their strong run at regional level, making it into their fourth straight state parliament, the exit polls showed.
The two had spent three months in Israeli administrative detention
By convening a joint session of parliament, where Sharif has a solid majority, the prime minister seeks to reaffirm that he is fully in control of the situation.
A political crisis in Pakistan means many are watching out for the army's reaction but the army itself is denying any involvement.
The trial comes as civil society groups voice increasing concern over what they say is a rise in the number of criminal defamation cases brought by the military against rights workers and journalists
Although no date has been set for the transfer, the Pentagon in July handed the U.S. Congress a legally required 30-day notice that it intended to transfer the small group of prisoners from the base in Cuba
Mohamed Ali Nasri told reporters in hospital that about five gunmen attacked his house
Police used pepper spray to disperse activists as Hong Kong centre braces for a wave of disruptive protests against China's decision.
Fiji said the group was demanding compensation for three fighters killed in the confrontation with the U.N. peacekeepers, as well as humanitarian assistance to the people of Ruta, and the removal of the organisation from the U.N. list of banned terrorist organisations.
Although Australia is not a NATO member, its troops fought alongside the coalition in Iraq and Afghanistan
More than 2,000 Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh will be allowed back into Myanmar.
The militia said in a statement that was signed by its first deputy head Nouredine Adam that it was not consulted about the selection of the three ministers who should represent it in the new government.
Channel 2 broadcast a video allegedly of the Iranian drone being shot down by Israel's air defense over the Golan Heights.
Oxfam said that mega public-private partnerships are unproven, risky and represent a dubious use of public funds to fight poverty and food insecurity.
Leading Nigerian rights group Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) asked the ICC prosecutor to investigate information that top Nigerian government officials were sponsoring Boko Haram.
Azarakhsh Hafizi, chairman of the Gas Importer’s Association, told journalists in Kabul on Monday that traders were ready to help the government in cutting down the price of this basic commodity.
Earlier, the army spokesman rejected reports saying that the army chief had asked the prime minister to resign.