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.
Sierra Leone, the country worst-affected by the disease, has reported nearly 12,000 cases and more than 3,000 deaths since the epidemic was declared a year ago.
"The Israeli occupation has agreed to extend a direct natural gas pipeline to operate Gaza's power plant," Haniyeh said in a Friday sermon delivered at a Gaza mosque.
The leading tribes in Yemen said on Friday that they backed a Saudi-led military campaign against the Houthi.
Saad asserted that the army had sent reinforcements and was planning to send more troops to the restive area to secure the elections
An East Africa regional bloc on Friday signed two agreements with international partners to provide support for "drought resilience" activities.
Al-Shabab gunmen fought their way into a popular hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Friday, trapping government officials inside, police said. "Al Shabaab fighters are on the top of the building and inside the hotel," Major Ismail Olow , a police officer, told Reuters. "Some government officials are inside the hotel."
Digital magazine "Haqiqah" aims to combat Internet presence of extremist groups, such as Daesh.
"Internal and international flights heading to and from southern airports in the kingdom have gradually resumed since dawn Friday," Saudi's civil aviation authority said in a statement.
Iran and six powers demand mutual concessions in tense nuclear talks with end-March deadline for preliminary deal and full deal would follow by end of June.
Opposition forces also seize control of 15 regime security points and besiege central area of Idlib, opposition officials say.
Output rose threefold since 2010 with exports go to 60 countries, including U.S, Saudi Arabia
"We are hoping the decision would lead to more stable relations with Egypt," Abu Zuhri told The Anadolu Agency on Friday.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is opposed a two-stage agreement in the ongoing nuclear negotiation with the US and EU representatives, rejecting a US daily claim to the contrary, said an Iranian source close to the negotiation team in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The group that began in Germany who started in Montreal 3 months ago have organised a walk in Montreal this weekend. Many are against the group with an anti-PEGIDA protest set to take place at the same time and place as the PEGIDA demonstration, on Saturday at 4 p.m.
The Nigerian army said it destroyed the headquarters of Boko Haram after capturing the northeastern town of Gwoza from the nsurgent group.
Morocco has had F-16 warplanes stationed in the United Arab Emirates since it began taking part in coalition air strikes on militants in Iraq and Syria.