Pro-abortion rights Irish PM confident amid high referendum turnout

By Padraic Halpin and Graham Fahy DUBLIN, May 25 : Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said he was quietly confident that a strong early turnout in Ireland’s abortion referendum on Friday would favour those seeking change in what two decades ago was one of Europe’s most socially conservative countries. Opinion polls suggest voters in the once […]

U.N. urges Saudi-led coalition to speed Yemen imports, avoid starvation

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA, May 25 : The United Nations aid chief urged the Saudi-led military coalition that controls Yemen’s ports to expedite imports of food and fuel supplies, warning that a further 10 million Yemenis could face starvation by year-end. Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations, with some […]

EU to sanction more Venezuelan officials, call for new vote

By Robin Emmott BRUSSELS, May 25 : The European Union is considering imposing economic sanctions on 11 Venezuelan officials in June following President Nicolas Maduro’s re-election which the bloc said was not free or fair, EU diplomats said on Friday. The travel bans and asset freezes would be on top of the seven senior Venezuela […]

Sri Lanka accepts $1 bln, 8-yr syndicated loan from China Dev Bank

By Shihar Aneez COLOMBO, May 25 : Sri Lanka has accepted an eight-year China Development Bank $1 billion syndicated loan to repay loans maturing this year, two top Finance Ministry officials said on Friday. The bank was chosen from among four bidding for the loan, which the government plans to use towards repaying other loans, […]

Norway hopes for bilateral UK trade talks during Brexit transition

By Gwladys Fouche and Alister Doyle OSLO, May 25 : Norway hopes to open bilateral trade talks with Britain before London’s transition period to leave the European Union ends in 2020, as Brussels seems willing to show some flexibility on the question, the Norwegian foreign minister said on Friday. The non-EU country is keen to […]

Spain’s PM Rajoy under growing threat over party graft case

By Julien Toyer MADRID, May 25 : Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was threatened with no-confidence motions and demands for a snap election on Friday over a graft trial involving members of his party in which a judge cast doubt on his testimony. Rajoy said he would fight off a no-confidence vote and serve his […]