KABUL - Thousands of Afghan elders, community leaders and politicians gathered on Friday to debate whether the government should release 400 hard-core Taliban prisoners, a move that would likely quickly clear the path for peace talks.
- Countries and international organisations have lined up to help Lebanon after a massive warehouse explosion sent a blast wave across Beirut, killing at least 145 people and injuring nearly 5,000.
MADRID/DUBAI - Former Spanish king Juan Carlos has been staying at Abu Dhabi’s exclusive Emirates Palace Hotel since leaving Spain aboard a private jet on Monday under a cloud of financial scandal involving Saudi Arabia, newspaper ABC said on Friday.
DUBAI/BEIRUT - Beirut’s blast destroyed Lebanon’s only large grain silo, with plans for another in the country’s second biggest port Tripoli shelved years ago due to a lack of funding, the U.N.’s FAO, Tripoli port director and a regional grain expert told Reuters.
LE HAVRE, France - A gunman who took six people hostage in a bank in northern France on Thursday surrendered to elite police after a six-hour operation to free his captives.
BEIRUT - The death toll from the Beirut port explosion has risen to 154, state news agency NNA cited Lebanon’s health minister as saying on Friday.
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia on Friday charged former finance minister and senior opposition leader Lim Guan Eng with corruption for seeking a bribe on a $1.5 billion infrastructure project.
BRUSSELS: The European Union announced Thursday that it had released 33 million euros to finance emergency aid for Lebanon and mobilized material resources, including an Italian hospital ship, to help relief efforts in Beirut after this week's devastating explosions.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey’s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) is among those searching for survivors in Beirut after a massive blast in the city killed 100 people and injured nearly 4,000, and Ankara has offered to build a field hospital and help as needed.