Tokyo, Sep 6 (AP/UNB) — A major Japanese airport flooded by a typhoon will partially reopen Friday.
Kyodo news agency said domestic flights at Kansai International Airport will resume Friday. The report cited Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as saying Thursday that international flights will restart when the airport is ready.
The airport in western Japan is one of Japan's busiest and is a gateway for Asian tourists visiting Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. The closure had raised concerns about impacts on tourism and the economy.
Typhoon Jebi blew across the middle of Japan's main island on Tuesday, causing 11 deaths and damage in and around Osaka.
One of the two runways and part of a terminal building at the Kansai airport were flooded, and the bridge connecting the airport to the mainland was damaged.
Manila, Sep 6 (AP/UNB) - A Philippine town mayor who was linked by the president to illegal drugs was fatally shot in his office Wednesday in the latest brazen attack on local officials.
Four gunmen barged into the Ronda municipality's town hall in Cebu province early Wednesday and repeatedly shot Mayor Mariano Blanco, who was sleeping in his office, police said. The men fled in a van.
A police report said the gunmen ordered two watchmen to lie on the ground at gunpoint, rushed to the town hall, and then "a burst of gunfire was heard from the mayor's office." The watchmen later found Blanco dead and notified the police.
President Rodrigo Duterte had included Blanco in a list of officials allegedly linked to illegal drugs. The mayor had denied any wrongdoing and had been alternately sleeping in his office and his nearby house after reportedly receiving death threats, officials said.
Last year, Blanco was stripped of control over the local police due to his alleged links to illegal drugs. Blanco's nephew, Ronda Vice Mayor and lawyer Jonah John Ungab, was shot and killed in his car by motorcycle-riding men in February after attending a court hearing for a client, a suspected drug lord, in central Cebu city.
Investigators were trying to determine whether Blanco's killing was related to a local political rivalry, a personal feud or his alleged links to the drug trade, police said, without elaborating.
Attacks on local officials by motorcycle- and car-riding assassins have continued despite concerns raised by a national association of town and provincial officials which has sought additional security.
In July, Mayor Antonio Halili was fatally shot in the heart while singing the national anthem at a flag-raising ceremony in Tanauan city, south of Manila, in an assault by gunman positioned on a nearby hill. The shooting was captured on cellphone videos which were posted online, prompting police to order tighter security.
The next day, the mayor of northern General Tinio town was killed in an SUV by motorcycle-riding assassins.
The killers of both mayors, among several who have been slain under Duterte, remain at large.
The killings have taken place alongside a national anti-drug crackdown ordered by Duterte that has left more than 4,500 mostly poor drug suspects dead in the last two years. Duterte has denied condoning extrajudicial killings but has openly threatened drug suspects, including officials and policemen involved in the drug trade, with death.
Kabul, Sep 6 (AP/UNB) — Twin bombings at a wrestling training center in a Shiite.
neighborhood of Afghanistan's capital on Wednesday killed at least 20 people, including two reporters, and wounded 70, Afghan officials said.
Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said a suicide bomber struck at the center and then a car bomb went off nearby.
Sediqullah Tawhidi, a senior member of the Afghan journalists federation, said a reporter and a cameraman working for Tolo TV were among those killed, and that another local TV reporter was wounded.
No one immediately claimed the attacks, but they bore the hallmarks of the country's Islamic State affiliate, which has carried out a wave of deadly bombings against minority Shiites. The Sunni extremists of IS view Shiites as apostates deserving of death.
Gen. Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, said at least seven police were among those wounded in the car bomb explosion.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a roadside bomb killed a district police chief and another policeman in the northern Badghis province, according to Jamshid Shahabi, spokesman for the provincial governor.
No one claimed the attack, but Shahabi said it was likely carried out by the Taliban, who are active in the province and frequently target security forces and government officials.
Afghan forces have struggled to combat both the Taliban and IS since the U.S. and NATO formally ended their combat mission in 2014.
Washington, Sep 6 (AP/UNB) — Diplomats urged Venezuela on Wednesday to allow humanitarian aid into the country to alleviate an economic crisis that has caused hundreds of thousands of desperate people to flee the crumbling oil state.
At a special meeting of the Organization of American States, member nations described the exodus of Venezuelans to neighboring countries as a migrant crisis "without precedent" in the Western Hemisphere.
Delegates from Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and the United States called on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to accept food and medical supplies for his country's most vulnerable people and allow international aid groups to work in the country. Maduro has rejected multiple offers made by groups to deliver aid, painting it as part of a plan to destabilize his socialist government.
"The situation in Venezuela is not a natural disaster, but is entirely man made," said Alexis Ludwig, the deputy U.S. representative to the OAS. "President Maduro should unconditionally allow international food and medical assistance to reach the neediest in Venezuela."
According to the United Nations, more than 1.6 million Venezuelans have left their homeland since 2015 to escape severe shortages of food and medicine and inflation that the IMF estimates will reach 1 million percent this year. South American countries have said that outflow is putting a strain on their social services and that violence has broken out in some communities between Venezuelan migrants and residents who blame them for unemployment and crime.
OAS secretary general Luis Almagro called on Latin American countries to "share the burden" posed by Venezuelan immigration. He said they should grant legal status to Venezuelan migrants while working to integrate them socially and economically.
The regional group also recommended that member nations take measures aimed at preventing xenophobic attacks.
Member nations urged Venezuela to provide passports and other travel documents to Venezuelan citizens who want to leave. Thousands of Venezuelan migrants are currently travelling throughout South America without passports and keeping track of them has become difficult for authorities.
A Venezuelan diplomat at the meeting ignored these requests, saying that the discussion on Venezuela's migrant crisis is part of a U.S.-led plot to justify an invasion of his country.
"They want to depict us as a failed state, that has become a problem for the region," said Samuel Moncada, the Venezuelan ambassador to the OAS. "The OAS has become a forum of aggression toward Venezuela."
Venezuela said in April that it was quitting the OAS, but the process could take up to two years.
In June, OAS members approved a resolution saying that Maduro's re-election was plagued by irregularities and that it had broken with Venezuela's constitutional order.
United Nations, Sep 6 (AP/UNB) — Iran's foreign minister sharply criticized President Donald Trump Wednesday for abusing the U.S. presidency of the Security Council this month by holding a meeting on Iran's international activities during the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. in late September.
Mohammad Javad Zarif was responding in a tweet to U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley's announcement Tuesday that Trump will chair a meeting to address "violations of international law and general instability Iran sows throughout the entire Middle East region."
She accused Iran of supporting terrorism and destabilizing activities in Lebanon, Yemen and Syria.
Zarif tweeted that Trump "plans to abuse presidency of SC to divert a session — item devoted to Palestine for 70 yrs — to blame Iran for horrors US & clients have unleashed across M.E. (Middle East)."
He also accused Trump of violating a 2015 U.N. Security Council resolution, number 2231, that endorsed the Iran nuclear deal. The president withdrew the United States from the nuclear accord between Iran and six major powers in May.
Zarif said "@realDonaldTrump is violating it & bullying others to do same."
Under Security Council rules, Iran can speak at the Sept. 26 meeting that Trump will chair, but Zarif and Iran's U.N. Mission did not indicate whether it would participate. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to attend the General Assembly's ministerial session, along with Zarif.
The mission said in a press release that despite the fact that Iran is in compliance with all its nuclear obligations under the 2015 deal according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, "the U.S. not only unilaterally and unlawfully withdrew from the accord, but also now openly invites all U.N. member states to either violate or ignore resolution 2231 or face punishment."
The mission called Israel's occupation of Palestine "the main cause of all conflicts in the Middle East" and accused the U.S., Israel's most important supporter, of rendering the Security Council "ineffective in discharging its duty to end the illegal occupation."
Iran called the Sept. 26 council meeting "a further attempt by the U.S. to divert attention away from Israeli brutalities and to remove the issue from the council agenda; however, such actions are doomed to fail."
Answering U.S. criticism of "the so-called destabilizing role of Iran in the region," the Iranian mission called the United States "a menace to Middle Eastern security with its destabilizing, unilateralist policies and military interventions based on false claims."
It pointed to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, its presence in Afghanistan, "the illegal occupation" of nearly one-third of Syria, and its part in the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iranian-backed Houthi Shiite rebels in Yemen, which has been accused of killing civilians.
The mission noted that Iran was in "the forefront" of defeating the Islamic State extremist group which it claimed was created and supported by the U.S. and its regional allies.