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.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will return to their countries for consultations on the Iran nuclear issue
Earlier this month, the state-run New Vision newspaper reported that an audit had been carried out at the Uganda Wildlife Authority that had revealed the loss of the ivory.
Boehner said House Republicans intend to fight the president's action, which was announced on Thursday, but did not detail a course of action.
Plans to resettle refugees in Cambodia questioned over country's poor record
Biden, in a statement to the press alongside Poroshenko, said Russian behaviour was a "flagrant violation of the bedrock principles of the international system."
Kiir arrived in Cairo on Friday at the head of a high-level delegation that includes the ministers of foreign affairs, electricity, irrigation, oil, education, health, communication, sports and culture.
Supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi appeared to support calls for planned mass protests on November 28, initiated by Egypt's pro-Morsi Salafist Front
Spain wants Gibraltar airport, which sits on the disputed land, to be excluded from EU aviation law until the debate is resolved.
Pakistan sees the latest round of Chinese investments as key to its efforts to solve power shortages that have crippled its economy.
Two presidential candidates appear to be the frontrunners in the upcoming polls – interim President Moncef Marzouki and Beji Caid Essebsi, who served as parliament speaker under Ben Ali.
Poverty in European Union 'extremely challenging' as almost half of Europeans outside bloc face poverty, according to reports
Israeli forces fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron.
In an audio message on websites, al AQAP's military commander Qassim al-Raymi called the Houthis "the new rented gun for the enemies of Islam".
The city centre remains under the control of Iraqi government forces but outlying neighbourhoods have been seized by the fighters.
The SEC cited a lack of publicly available information about their operations and separately warned that "con artists" may be soliciting investors and claiming to be developing Ebola treatments.
Prejudice against the Muslim minority is widespread in Myanmar, which says many have no right to citizenship, despite having lived in the area for generations.