• Friday, July 25, 2014

World

Kerry reaches out to Hamas allies

Gaza Crisis

Kerry reaches out to Hamas allies

US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday spoke to his counterparts in Qatar and Turkey, which support the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, as he pressed for a Gaza ceasefire. Kerry -- who is in Egypt, which has drafted a truce proposal for the Israel-Hamas conflict -- spoke by phone with the foreign ministers of...

West 'losing sympathy' for Israel, warns Britain

Philip Hammond, the new Foreign Secretary, was to tell Benjamin Netanyahu that the West is becoming less sympathetic to Israel's cause, it has been reported. Hammond has called for an urgent ceasefire to end the conflict in Gaza, where the death toll on both sides has now risen to 775. Last night he met with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and promised to push for a “stable solution” in the region that would allow Israelis and Palestinians to “live in peace...

Iraq Crisis

New president elected

New president elected

Kurdish politician Fuad Masum became the new president of Iraq yesterday, in a step towards forming a new government that visiting UN chief Ban Ki-moon said must be inclusive for the country to survive. A June onslaught on Sunni Arab areas north and west of Baghdad led by the jihadist Islamic State group has...

France announces $14.8m Gaza aid

President Francois Hollande yesterday announced a $14.8 million aid package to the besieged Gaza Strip, where an Israeli military offensive has left more than 700 people dead. An advisor to Hollande said the humanitarian aid, eight million of which will be given to the Palestinian Authority and the remainder to UN bodies and NGOs working in Gaza, was approved after a meeting with non-governmental organisations working in the strife-torn region.

US, Russian airlines resume flights to Israel

US and Russia yesterday said they were resuming flights to Israel, two days after suspending traffic along with other major airlines over security concerns. In the United States, the FAA yesterday lifted its two-day ban on US airlines flying into or out of Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel's only international hub. Russia's largest airline, Aeroflot, said late Wednesday it was resuming flights to Israel.

ISIS orders FGM for all women

Jihadists in Iraq have ordered that all women between the ages of 11 and 46 must undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), which could affect up to four million women and girls in the war-ravaged country, a UN official said yesterday. The UN's second most senior official in Iraq, Jacqueline Badcock, said, "It is a fatwa (or religious edict) from ISIS, we learnt about it this morning. We have no precise numbers." The Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of...

Outrage after execution lasts 2 hours in US

Outrage after execution lasts 2 hours in US

America's death penalty debate raged yesterday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Convicted killer Joseph Wood gasped and snorted during the 117 minutes it took him to die Wednesday after he was injected with a relatively untested combination of the sedative midazolam and painkiller hydromorphone, witnesses and his lawyers said. It marked the third time so far this year that a US inmate took more than the usual 10 minutes to die by lethal injection. Wood, who was convicted for the 1989 murders of his girlfriend Debbie Dietz and her father Gene, finally died...

Rivlin replaces Perez as Israeli president

Rivlin replaces Perez as Israeli president

Far-right hawk Reuven Rivlin was sworn in as Israel's 10th president yesterday at a formal ceremony in parliament which saw elder statesman Shimon Peres stepping down. "In prayer, in awe and humility, on your behalf and at your command, I come to faithfully fulfil my role as 10th president of the state of Israel,"...

Oddly enough

Indian teen had 232 teeth!

Indian teen had 232 teeth!

Surgeons in Mumbai have removed 232 teeth from the mouth of an Indian teenager in what they believe may be a world-record operation, the hospital said yesterday. Ashik Gavai, 17, sought medical help for a swelling on the right side of his lower jaw and the case was referred to the city's JJ Hospital,...

EU expands Ukraine sanctions list: source

The European Union will add to its sanctions list 15 Ukrainian and Russian individuals and 18 entities over their role in the Ukraine crisis, an EU source said yesterday. The source said the 18 entities will be made up of nine companies and nine institutions, such as the local authorities set up by pro-Russian rebels that have proclaimed independence in eastern Ukraine. The ambassadors from the 28 member states were following through on a decision taken by EU leaders last week...

Ukraine in trouble as PM resigns

Ukraine in trouble as PM resigns

Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk yesterday resigned in a shock move in protest at the disbanding of the ruling parliamentary coalition, plunging the strife-torn nation into political uncertainty. "I announce my resignation in connection with the dissolution of the parliamentary coalition and the blocking of government initiatives," a furious Yatsenyuk told parliament. Yatsenyuk said the "government and the prime minister must resign" after the withdrawal of several parties triggered the break up of the European Choice parliamentary majority in a move that paved the way for long-awaited early legislative elections. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov called on deputies to put forward immediately a candidate for a temporary premier "until parliamentary elections are held." Early...

Show proof of missile claims over MH17

A senior Russian official yesterday called on the United States to prove its claims that the Malaysian passenger airliner shot down last week was hit by a missile fired from rebel-held territory in Ukraine. "They've said US intelligence has technical data and satellite photos which show that the missile was launched from rebel-held territory. The question is where is this data", Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said in an interview with Russia-24 television. US officials have in recent days said that...

Expel Putin's daughter

Expel Putin's daughter

Her father has been blamed by many for the death of 193 Dutch citizens. So for Maria Putin, who lives in a smart suburb of The Hague, relations with her neighbours must be more than a little strained right now. The 28-year-old is reported to have resided in the Netherlands for several years with Dutch...

Poland hosted secret CIA prisons: report

Europe's top human rights court condemned Poland yesterday for hosting secret CIA prisons, saying Warsaw knowingly abetted unlawful imprisonment and torture of two Guantanamo-bound detainees. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in favour of a Palestinian and a Saudi national locked up in a US "black site" for several months in Poland in 2002-2003 before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay, where they are still being held. The Polish government "enabled the US authorities to subject the applicant to torture and...

Syria chem agents being destroyed: OPCW

Around 700 tonnes of Syria's chemical agents have been delivered to specialised destruction facilities in Britain, Finland and the US, the watchdog in charge of the mission said yesterday. "All 1,300 metric tonnes of chemicals removed from Syria by the international maritime operation have been delivered to destruction facilities outside the country," the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a statement. The remaining around 600 tonnes of Syria's declared chemical arsenal is currently being destroyed aboard a...

News in Brief

Myanmar invites MSF back to Rakhine Afp, Yangon Myanmar yesterday invited Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to resume work in Rakhine state, which is gripped by a severe health crisis nearly five months after the medical aid group was ejected from the region. The ministry of health has requested MSF to return to the unrest-plagued western state, where hundreds of thousands of people have been left with almost no access to healthcare after authorities told the group to leave in late February.   Norway...