Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
Afghanistan's two presidential rivals agreed Saturday to an audit of every vote cast in last month's disputed election to try to end a bitter standoff that raised fears of violence and ethnic unrest. The agreement between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah came at the end of two days of frantic negotiations brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry. The deadlock over the run-off vote to choose a successor to outgoing President Hamid Karzai plunged Afghanistan into political crisis and dented US hopes of a smooth transfer of power as Washington seeks to withdraw all its troops by late 2016.
Chancellor Angela Merkel lamented on Saturday the breakdown in trust between Germany and the United States amid a spying row that saw the CIA chief in Berlin expelled from the country. "Here we obviously have different points of view and we need to talk to one another," Merkel said, adding that she had "naturally hoped for a change" in Washington's behaviour. The shock move to kick out the US intelligence chief on Thursday followed the emergence of two alleged spying cases within days of each other, re-igniting German fury already on a low boil from another spying scandal last year in which it was revealed that Washington was monitoring Merkel's phone. A week earlier, a 31-year-old German BND foreign intelligence service operative had been arrested on suspicion of having sold over 200 documents to the CIA.
The Israeli army warned Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip to "leave their homes for their own safety," the military said in a statement on Saturday night. "Tonight we will send messages to northern Gaza residents urging them to leave their homes for their own safety.