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.
Yoshimasa Hayashi, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the ruling upheld the notion of "the sustainable use of whales as a resource".
Last week, Rohingya Vision reported that a pregnant Rohingya woman was killed at the hospital by nurses on the doctor's demands.
Pro-Russian separatists occupying public buildings in eastern Ukraine reacted to an international accord to defuse the crisis by saying they would not agree to leave the sites before other major conditions were met.
Israeli police said that the move has been taken upon an intelligence tipoff about Palestinian plans to stage demonstrations following the prayers.
The avalanche hit the most popular route to the mountain's peak and three Nepali guides were injured and some people may be missing
"We don't attack any country and don't want war but we will firmly confront any aggression against Iran," Iranian President said
Opponents of Indian rule in Kashmir have been arrested as the state prepares to go to the polls in India's national elections.
Military police in the Brazilian state of Bahia reach a deal to end a two-day strike which was accompanied by a surge in murders, violence crime and theft.
On Wednesday, UKAWA members walked out of a Constituent Assembly (CA) session, charging that the draft is promoting segregation instead of enhancing unity and warning that the charter-drafting process could lead to social unrest.
After a meeting at a Saudi airbase, the foreign ministers agreed to stay away from backing organizations or individuals that threaten the security and stability of GCC member states as well as refrain from supporting what they called "hostile" media.
Building the radar base on the island, which is much closer to China than to Japan's main islands, could extend Japanese monitoring to the Chinese mainland and track Chinese ships and aircraft
Twenty eight passengers are officially listed as dead, 179 have been rescued and 268 are missing, presumed trapped in the stricken vessel
Ding Jiaxi was sentenced to three-and-a-half years, Zhao Changqing got a two-and-a-half year sentence and Li Wei and Zhang Baocheng got two-year terms, the Haidian court in Beijing said on its microblog
The U.S. official said the phone conversation touched on Obama's April 23-25 visit to Japan, talks on the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) multilateral trade deal, and Ukraine
Friday's attack is the latest in a string of vandalism incidents in Arab villages over the past several months.
Conservationists recent asked the government to declare ongoing elephant and rhino poaching as a national disaster.