BlackBerry to ask regulators to probe report on returns
TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry said on Friday it would ask securities regulators in Canada and the United States to probe a report about retail return rates for its new Z10 smartphone that it called "false and misleading." The Canadian company, which has pinned its turnaround hopes on its new BlackBerry 10 line, said return rates were at or below its forecasts and in line with industry norms.
U.S. tells North Korea new missile launch would be "huge mistake"
SEOUL (Reuters) - Secretary of State John Kerry warned North Korea on Friday it would be a "huge mistake" to launch a medium-range missile and said the United States would never accept the reclusive country as a nuclear power. Addressing reporters after talks with South Korea's president and leaders of the 28,000-strong U.S. military contingent in the country, Kerry also said it was up to China, North Korea's sole major ally, to "put some teeth" in efforts to press Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
Sudan's Bashir in first South Sudan visit since split
JUBA (Reuters) - Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Friday he wanted normal ties with his nation's old adversary South Sudan on his first visit there since southern secession in 2011. The neighbors agreed in March to resume cross-border oil flows and ease tension that has been permanent since South Sudan's independence in July 2011 following a 2005 treaty which ended decades of civil war.
Venezuela election to test Chavez's socialist legacy
CARACAS (Reuters) - The late Hugo Chavez's self-declared socialist revolution will be put to the test at a presidential election on Sunday that pits his chosen successor against a younger rival promising change in the nation he polarized. Most opinion polls give his protege, acting President Nicolas Maduro, a strong lead over opposition challenger Henrique Capriles thanks to Chavez's endorsement and the surge of grief and sympathy over his death from cancer last month.
Italy "wise men" urge reform to help break political deadlock
ROME (Reuters) - A panel of "wise men" named by Italy's president proposed sweeping political and economic reforms on Friday, but there was little sign they would achieve the aim of creating a consensus program to unite feuding political parties. Italy has been left with a caretaker government for 45 days since an inconclusive election gave no party enough seats in parliament to govern alone, while personal enmity among faction leaders has made it all but impossible to agree a coalition.
Iraq mosque bombing kills seven worshippers
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A bomb explosion killed at least seven people and wounded 25 in front of a Sunni Muslim mosque in Iraq's Diyala province as worshippers were leaving after Friday prayers, police and medics said. A surge of attacks by Sunni Islamists have targeted Shi'ite Muslims this year in growing sectarian confrontation, although officials say insurgents also hit Sunni religious sites as part of their campaign.
Hurdles for U.N. team on standby to probe Syria chemical arms
THE HAGUE (Reuters) - A team of U.N.-led experts is on standby in Cyprus waiting for the go-ahead to investigate allegations of chemical weapons attacks in Syria, but the mission has been held up by diplomatic wrangling over their powers and how to keep them safe. The team of at least 15 investigators includes analytical chemists, able to collect and test suspected samples, and World Health Organisation experts on the medical effects of exposure to toxins, who could examine alleged victims.
Some 50,000 flee Sudan into Chad after Darfur clashes
N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Some 50,000 Sudanese have fled into southeastern Chad in the past week following fresh tribal conflict in the restive Darfur region, U.N. and Chadian officials said on Friday. Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, said the fighting had spread as each side received reinforcements from tribal allies and had become more violent, with entire villages being razed.
Ministers' wealth list to expose France's "caviar left"
PARIS (Reuters) - An inventory of French ministers' assets could set off a storm when it goes public on Monday, exposing a handful of millionaires in the Socialist government as the nation endures spending cuts and rampant unemployment. For the first time in France, President Francois Hollande is publishing a list of bank deposits and property held by all 38 ministers as he scrambles to stem public fury over his ex-budget minister's disclosure he lied about a secret Swiss bank account.
Yemen shake-up positive but could shield officers from the law: HRW
DUBAI (Reuters) - Human Rights Watch on Friday applauded this week's shake-up of Yemen's army and security leadership but expressed concern that putting key figures into diplomatic posts would make it harder to call them to account for potential past crimes. President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi on Wednesday removed the son of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, Brigadier General Ahmed, from his post as commander of the elite Republican Guard and appointed him ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.