An avalanche Monday killed seven Japanese high school students and a teacher on a mountain-climbing outing, and injured 40 more. More than 100 troops were deployed in a major rescue mission after the avalanche hit ski slopes in Tochigi prefecture north of Tokyo. A total of 52 students and 11 teachers from seven high schools were on a three-day mountaineering expedition when disaster struck.
Bulgaria's comeback king Boyko Borisov faced an uphill battle on Monday to build a stable coalition government following an election victory that will see him crowned prime minister for a third time. With nearly all votes counted, his pro-EU centre-right GERB party won Sunday's snap election in the European Union's poorest country with 32.6 percent of the ballot. Official results showed GERB will hold 96 of 240 parliamentary seats -- 12 more than in the outgoing administration.
Hundreds of rebels left their last bastion in Syria's Homs city on Monday, resuming an evacuation expected to be among the largest of its kind under a Russian-backed deal with the government, state media and a monitor said. Heavy fighting between rebel groups and the army further north in Hama province over the weekend had delayed their departure from the city's al-Waer district, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The evacuation began last week with the Syrian government shuttling hundreds of people from the district in Homs, which was an early center of the 2011 uprising that spiraled into war.
By Aleksandar Vasovic and Ivana Sekularac BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia is committed to European Union membership but it will work hard to improve relations with its traditional ally Russia, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told Reuters ahead of a presidential election on Sunday. The poll will test the popularity of Vucic, a frontrunner in the race, as well as his center-right Serbian Progressive Party, economic reforms and a bid to bring the country closer to the EU. "Serbia is on the European path and that is our strategic goal.
By Gwladys Fouche OSLO (Reuters) - Standing Rock Sioux tribe representatives will meet the ethics watchdog for Norway's $915 billion sovereign wealth fund on Monday over a U.S. oil pipeline, a watchdog official said on Monday. On Sunday, Norway's largest bank DNB sold its share of loans funding the Dakota Access oil pipeline, ending its involvement in a project that has faced strong opposition from Native Americans and environmental groups. Norway's soverign wealth fund holds $248 million in bonds of Energy Transfer Partners LP, which is leading the pipeline project.
Dubai's Emaar Malls has offered $800 million to buy Souq.com, the Middle East's largest online retailer, it said Monday, challenging a reported offer by global giant Amazon. "Emaar Malls has submitted a bid of $800 million (736 million euros) for Souq.com in line with the strategy to align e-commerce with physical shopping," Emaar Malls said in a statement. Amazon, which walked away from talks with Souq.com earlier this year, had offered up to $650 million (600 million euros) for the company, according to Bloomberg.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says he and many Democrats and Republicans do not know what evidence House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes is talking about, "suspicious" he is going to the White House to get it.
United Airlines has run into a social media storm after it barred two teenage girls from boarding a flight in Denver because they were wearing leggings. Another girl who was also wearing leggings was allowed to board the flight from Denver International Airport to Minneapolis after she changed, a witness said. A United spokesman Jonathan Guerin told the New York Times that the two girls barred from flying "made an adjustment" to their clothing and were waiting for the next flight to Minneapolis.
By Tom Westbrook SYDNEY (Reuters) - Thousands of Australians fled their homes on Monday as a powerful cyclone bore down on coastal towns in Queensland, where authorities urged 30,000 people to evacuate low lying areas most at risk from tidal surges and winds of up to 300 km per hour (185 mph). Cyclone Debbie is expected to gather strength before making landfall in the northeast state early on Tuesday, with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a category four storm, just one rung below the most dangerous wind speed level. The growing alarm persuaded the state government on Monday to warn some 25,000 people living in parts of Mackay, a city 950 kilometers (590 miles) north of the state capital Brisbane, to head south to higher ground.
Eight people are feared dead and two were in critical condition on Monday after an avalanche hit a group of high school students and teachers climbing in central Japan. It was not immediately clear how many of the victims were students, an official said. The avalanche occurred on Monday morning near a ski slope in Nasu, 160 km (100 miles) north of Tokyo, where 52 high school students and 11 teachers were climbing, a local government official said.
Pakistan has begun building a fence on its disputed 2,500 km (1,500 mile) border with Afghanistan to prevent incursions by militants, Pakistan's army chief said, in a move likely to further strain relations between the two countries. Pakistan has blamed Pakistani Taliban militants it says are based on Afghan soil for a spate of attacks at home in recent months, urging Kabul to eradicate "sanctuaries" for militants. Citing the attacks, Islamabad earlier this month temporarily shut the main crossing points along the colonial-era Durand Line border, drawn up in 1893 and rejected by Afghanistan.
A 6,800-ton South Korean ferry was hoisted to the surface last week nearly three years after it capsized and sank in violent seas off the country's southwestern coast, an emotional moment for the nation as it searches for closure to one of its deadliest disasters. More than 300 people — most of whom were students on a high school trip — died when the Sewol sank on April 16, 2014, touching off an outpouring of national grief and soul searching about long-ignored public safety and regulatory failures.