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.
Ashton's five-year term as EU foreign policy chief ends at the end of this month, and she had said she would stay on as nuclear negotiator until Nov. 24
Kerry will urge Widodo to maintain the active role in regional foreign policy pursued by the previous Indonesian administration, amid concern that the new president may be more inward-looking
The power station - which feeds a densely populated area with few other power stations - produces 1,360 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough power for 1 million households
The departures are the first cabinet resignations for Abe, who took office in December 2012 for a rare second term, promising to revive Japan's stalled economy and strengthen its security stance
"Nigeria is now free of Ebola," WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz told a news conference in the capital Abuja.
The rebels grabbed the crossing along the kingdom’s southern border earlier this week as they expanded their control in impoverished Yemen
74.3 percent are against the establishment of a Palestinian on the 1967 borders. That number increases if the creation of a Palestinian state would require Israel's withdrawal from the Jordan Valley and if it meant Jerusalem would be divided
Pyongyang admitted in 2002 to kidnapping 13 Japanese citizens and five abductees and their families later returned to Japan
Israel is suffering from an epidemic of violence that must be treated, the country’s President Reuven Rivlin said
Two retired army officers filed a complaint against veteran social campaigner Sulak Sivaraksa over remarks about King Naresuan the Great, a national hero who died in 1605.
Luqman has been fiercely criticizing judiciary for not taking action against rival Geo News, which he accuses of treason
Houthis have been controlling the Yemeni capital Sanaa since September 21, even as they signed an agreement with the Yemeni President
Ankara fails to explain release of suspect wanted in connection with attempted shooting of Danish right-wing writer and critic of Islam, says Minister of Justice
Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that the two buildings had been owned by two Palestinian families who sold them to a broker. The latter, the NGO said, sold the two house to a Jewish settlement association
Over 7,000 Palestinians are currently languishing in prisons throughout Israel, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs.
Tensions flared between Algeria and Morocco after Morocco accused its eastern neighbor of shooting on ten civilians on its shared border with Algeria, seriously wounding one of them