News In Brief


German far-right party ahead in east before regional votes
Reuters, Berlin
The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has taken the lead in the east of the country ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), just a month before regional elections there, an opinion poll showed on Sunday.
The AfD is favoured by 23% of voters in the former east, ahead of the CDU on 22%, the far-left Linke on 14%, the Greens on 13% and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) on 11%, according to a poll in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

US still seeks allies in Gulf maritime coalition
AP, Sydney
Senior U.S. leaders expressed confidence that they will be able to convince allies to help protect shipping in the Persian Gulf area against Iranian threats, but they provided no new details Sunday on which nations may be willing to participate.
Speaking at a meeting between U.S. and Australian leaders, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he has already gotten a good response from allies and some announcements could be expected soon. And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that a lot of conversations are taking place.

UN food agency, Yemeni rebels reach deal to restore aid
AP, Cairo
The U.N. food agency and Yemen's Houthi rebels say they have reached an agreement to resume food deliveries to rebel-controlled parts of Yemen after suspending the aid in June.
The partial suspension of aid to Yemen's capital, Sanaa, began amid accusations the rebels were diverting the food aid. The rebels have accused the WFP of sending expired food to Yemen. World Food Program spokesman Herve Verhoosel told The Associated Press Sunday that the agreement is "an important step towards safeguards that guarantee the accountability of our humanitarian operation in Yemen."

8 killed in Yemeni forces clash with al-Qaida
AP, Sanaa
Yemeni officials and tribal leaders said security forces were pursuing al-Qaida militants Saturday in the southern Abyan province, leaving at least seven extremists and one soldier dead.The fighting came a day after al-Qaida attacked and overran a military camp in the same province, killing at least 20 soldiers.
The troops chasing the militants through the mountainous areas of al-Mahfad district are part of a force trained by the United Arab Emirates, a member of the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi rebels since 2015.

Jakarta hits by major power blackout
Reuters, Jakarta
Indonesia's capital Jakarta and some neighbouring provinces on Java island have been hit by a major electricity outage after problems at a number of power stations on Java, the country's state power company PLN said in a statement on Sunday.
The mass rapid transit system has also had to evacuate passengers from trains after the power outage, the company that operates the system said in a statement.