Chancellor Angela Merkel came under renewed pressure from her own conservatives on Friday to stem the flow of refugees into Germany as she heads to a weekend summit of European Union leaders and Turkey's prime minister. Roughly a million refugees and migrants fleeing war and deprivation in the Middle East, Africa and Asia are expected to arrive in Germany this year alone - the majority of those reaching Europe - and local authorities are struggling to cope. Merkel has faced intense pressure from her own conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), to change course on her open-door refugee policy.
Security agents in Gabon are investigating several top civil servants, including an advisor to the president, for illegal trafficking in a precious hardwood, a source close to the government said Friday. Some of the officials have been taken into custody by the General Directorate for Research (DGR) agency in the past week, while others were questioned and later released, the source told AFP. DGR agents this week raided the ministry of water and forests in Gabon's capital Libreville, taking about 10 officials into custody, the source said, asking not to be named.
US contractor Alan Gross says he was mistreated by his captors and felt abandoned by his own government after Cuba arrested him and accused him of spying. In his first major interview since his release last year, Gross said exercise, family memories and humor kept him going though his five-year ordeal. Gross was contracted by the US Agency for International Development to deliver electronics to Jewish groups when he was arrested in Havana in December 2009.
TOKYO (AP) — Global stocks were mostly lower in muted trading Friday, after Wall Street was closed for Thanksgiving, but China's market fell sharply as investigations into the securities industry widened to include two top brokerages.
By Rupam Jain Nair NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited opposition Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi for talks on Friday to break a deadlock over the introduction of a new indirect tax in a bid to put his economic recovery agenda back on track. The face-to-face meeting between the two rivals would be the first since Modi rose to power 18 months ago, and could herald a long-awaited compromise on the proposed goods and services tax (GST), billed as the biggest tax reform since independence. Modi, 65, has raised India's global profile with a series of trips abroad but suffered his biggest setback as prime minister when his nationalist party crashed to defeat in a big state election this month.