Monday, February 29, 2016

ApriRabbia kratos international News in brief (April 2016)

Defense ministers from the US-led coalition against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) discussed the possibility of a Syrian ground incursion two weeks ago in Brussels, but have not made a decision, an aide to Saudi Arabia's defense minister told Reuters on Monday.

"It was discussed two weeks ago in Brussels," Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri said in a telephone interview from Riyadh. "It was discussed at the political level but it wasn't discussed as a military mission," he said........US-led coalition discussed possible Syria ground incursion, Saudi official says


  1. 10 key Libya cities lend support to UN-backed unity govt...

    Ten Libyan cities that were under control of the non-recognized government of Tripoli have broken away and pledged their support to the UN-backed government, one of the municipalities announced online Thursday.

    The news is a major blow to the unrecognized authority in Tripoli that is refusing to give up power.

    The announcement came in a statement on the official Facebook page of the Sabratha municipality, after a meeting between representatives from the 10 coastal cities in the west of Libya located between Tripoli and the border with Tunisia.

    The statement called on all Libyans to "support the national unity government" and welcomed the arrival of prime minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj along with several members of his cabinet to the capital.

    The group also asked the internationally recognized government to "put an immediate end to all armed conflicts across Libya"....AFP

  2. Turquie: Erdogan demande le soutien européen contre les séparatistes kurdes ...

    Le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan a appelé jeudi à Washington les pays européens à soutenir la campagne de son gouvernement contre les séparatistes kurdes, après un attentat à la voiture piégée qui a fait sept morts dans le sud-est de la Turquie.

    Son intervention devant le cercle de réflexion Brookings a été marquée par des heurts opposant des services de sécurité turcs à des manifestants et des journalistes.

    "Nous ne pouvons plus tolérer ça", a déclaré Erdogan à propos de l'attentat. "Les pays européens et les autres pays, j'espère, peuvent voir le véritable visage derrière ces attentats", a déclaré le président turc, venu dans la capitale américaine pour participer au sommet sur la sûreté nucléaire organisé par Barack Obama.

    Sept policiers turcs ont été tués et au moins 27 personnes ont été blessées dans un attentat à la voiture piégée jeudi à Diyarbakir, la plus grande ville du sud-est de la Turquie à majorité kurde, une attaque attribuée aux séparatistes kurdes.

    Erdogan a estimé jeudi que le monde entier devait s'unir pour combattre le terrorisme, affirmant que les Kurdes étaient aussi dangereux que les combattants du groupe terroriste État

  3. North Korea Launches Another Suspected Missile ...

    South Korean media say North Korea has fired a suspected ballistic missile off its east coast in the latest of several tests this year, signifying an increased level of tension between Pyongyang, Seoul and South Korea's Western allies.

    South Korea's Yonhap news service said the surface-to-air missile launched into the Sea of Japan at midday Friday.

    South Korea's Defense Ministry confirmed the report to the French news agency, but said its range and precise trajectory could not be confirmed. It said the launch came from the eastern city of

  4. Hope fades for survivors as India flyover toll hits 25...

    The death toll from a collapsed flyover in eastern India rose to 25 on April 1, after emergency workers toiled through the night to find any remaining survivors trapped under huge slabs of concrete and metal girders.

    But emergency authorities said there was little hope of finding any more survivors after pulling almost 100 people from under the rubble of the road that collapsed onto a busy street in Kolkata on March 31, crushing cars and pedestrians.

    "The rescue operation will not stop until all the blocks of concrete and iron girders have been cleared," said deputy police commissioner Akhilesh Chaturvedi as he announced the toll had risen to 25.

    "Nearly 300 rescuers, including army and disaster management personnel, are working around the clock to clear the rubble."

    The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) however said there was little hope of finding any more survivors under the rubble of the flyover, which had been under construction since 2009.

    It was unclear what caused the sudden collapse, but police have registered a preliminary case against the contractor....AFP

  5. Sarkisian Says Karabakh Has Nothing to do with Azerbaijan’s Territorial Integrity...

    During a presentation at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government on Wednesday, President Serzh Sarkisian said that Nagorno-Karabakh has nothing to do with the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, the presidential press service reported.

    “All those who view Nagorno Karabakh in the context of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, indirectly support the harsh policy of Stalin “divide and rule” that caused suffering and misfortune to millions,” said Sarkisian.

    “Since the first day of independence we have been struggling for peace and security. The question of self-determination of the people of Nagorno Karabakh, which was regularly raised during the Soviet era, transformed into the bloodiest war of post-Soviet era in 1990s. The people who made use of the international and domestic Constitutional right were met with weapon, force, and ethnic cleanings. 22 years have passed since the ceasefire of 1994, but even today Armenians living on the state border of Armenia and different parts of Nagorno Karabakh are still under the threat of fire. It goes without saying that Azerbaijani regime serves this conflict to approving the problems in its own country,” Sarkisian said, while providing a brief synopsis of the Artsakh [Арцах] conflict.

    “I believe you are familiar with this behavior from the theory of international relations. This is the reason the Azerbaijani authorities spare no efforts to maintain tension on the border, and presumptuously boast about it. They publicly blame the mediators for inaction and glorify themselves in front of their own people, labeling the Minsk Group proposal aimed at reinforcement of security on the contact line as strange and get surprised at it. The word “occupation” is often used in the context of Karabakh. I don’t wish to go back to historical backgrounds, but I will just make a small remark. Those who use the word ‘occupation’ often forget that Karabakh itself was under occupation for 70 years,” referring to Joseph Stalin’s forceful integration of Karabakh into Azerbaijan in 1921......

  6. Serbia's Prime Minister accused the U.N. Yugoslav war crimes court Friday of being "political" and failing to reconcile the Balkans, a day after radical Serb leader Vojislav Seselj was acquitted...

    Premier Aleksandar Vucic said reconciliation had been one of the main goals of court, set up to try crimes during the 1990s Balkan conflicts, but "there is no doubt that The Hague tribunal has not fulfilled this goal".

    "Many verdicts have actually shown that this tribunal acted mainly as a political court, not a legal institution," he said, also referring to Seselj's trial as "political".

  7. Somalia al-Shabab: US drone strike targets militant chief...

    The US military says it has targeted a vehicle carrying three al-Shabab militants in a drone strike in Somalia.

    A Pentagon spokesman named the main target as Hassan Ali Dhoore, accused of organising recent bomb attacks in which US personnel were killed.

    US officials say they are still assessing the results of the strike near Jilib, which is close to the border with Kenya.

    Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda affiliate, is waging an armed insurgency in Somalia....BBC

  8. Obama says he would like to reduce US nuclear arsenal...

    President Barack Obama has said he would like to further cut the US nuclear arsenal, admitting he has concerns about efforts to modernise America's most deadly weapons.

    "My preference would be to bring down further our nuclear arsenal," he told reporters at the end of a Nuclear Security Summit he hosted in Washington.

    Mr Obama, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in his first year in office for his commitment to non-proliferation, was responding to a question about updates to the US arsenal.

    He was asked if there was a risk that US rivals like Russia and China would feel compelled to expand their stockpiles if America improves the lethality of its own.

    "I think it's a legitimate question, and I am concerned," Mr Obama said.

    "Here's the balance that we've had to strike. We have a nuclear stockpile that we have to make sure is safe and make sure is reliable."

  9. Azerbaijan said Saturday that Armenian forces killed 12 of its soldiers and shot down a helicopter as fierce fighting erupted between the arch-foes over the disputed Nagorny Karabakh region...

    "Twelve Azeri servicemen were killed in action and a helicopter was shot down by Armenian forces," Azerbaijan's defense ministry said in a statement, also claiming that Azeri forces took control of "two strategic heights and a village" in Karabakh.

    Azeri forces "took control of the strategic Lala-Tepe height," the ministry added. "Heights near the village of Talysh as well as Seysulan village (in Karabakh) were also liberated."

    Threatening Armenia with "crushing strikes," the ministry claimed that "more than 100 Armenian soldiers were killed, six Armenian tanks and 15 artillery ordnances were destroyed."

  10. Mass Grave Found in Syria's Palmyra...

    Officials in Syria say the army has found a mass grave in Palmyra.

    Authorities say the grave contained at least 40 bodies, including women and three children. Some of the bodies had been beheaded.

    The army captured Palmyra from Islamic State militants Sunday.

    Palmyra, coined as the "bride of the desert," used to attract tens of thousands of tourists every year.

    IS took the city from government forces in a matter of days in May 2015 and later demolished many famous Roman-era monuments in the UNESCO world heritage

  11. Türkei bestellte Botschafter schon drei Mal ein...

    Der türkische Präsident Erdogan geht nicht nur gegen die Pressefreiheit im eigenen Land vor - er interveniert auch zunehmend gegen deutsche Publikationen. Der deutsche Botschafter sei in diesem Jahr bereits drei Mal einbestellt worden, berichtet "Der Spiegel".

    Die türkische Regierung hat offenbar öfter diplomatisch gegen deutsche Publikationen interventiert als bislang bekannt. Nach einem Bericht des Magazins "Spiegel" musste sich der deutsche Botschafter Martin Erdmann bereits dreimal in diesem Jahr im türkischen Außenministerium

  12. Austria wants to deploy soldiers on Italy border, defense minister says...

    Austria plans to deploy soldiers at the Brenner border with Italy to stem an expected increase in migrants trying to get to northern Europe, Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil told a German newspaper on Saturday.

    Austria, which has broken ranks with Germany in handling Europe's migrant crisis by imposing border restrictions, has previously said it is preparing to introduce tighter controls if needed. But the minister's choice of words appears to have intensified the discourse.

    "As the EU's external borders are not yet effectively protected, Austria will soon ramp up strict border controls. That means massive border controls on at the Brenner (Pass), and with soldiers," Doskozil told Die Welt daily.....JPOST BY REUTERS

  13. Turkey launches new artillery strikes on ISIS in Syria...

    Turkish armed forces on Saturday launched artillery strikes on ISIS positions in Syria, reports said.

    Turkish artillery fired shells from howitzers positioned in its border region of Kilis against ISIS targets in settlements around the town of Azaz in northern Syria, the Dogan news agency said.

    A fragile ceasefire backed by Turkey has taken effect in Syria, but the deal does not apply to territory held by the ISIS group and Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

    This was the the first time there had been reports of Turkey striking ISIS in Syria since early March.

    The report said the artillery strikes were carried out following air raids in the same region by the US-led coalition against ISIS....AFP

  14. Migrants sent back from the Greek island of Lesbos have begun arriving in Turkey under a controversial EU scheme aimed at closing the main route by which a million people poured across the Aegean Sea to Greece in the last year...

    Under the deal Turkey will take back all migrants and refugees who enter Greece illegally, including Syrians, in return for the EU taking in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey.

    Two Turkish-flagged passenger boats carrying 131 migrants arrived in the Turkish town of Dikili this morning.

    A coastguard official on the Greek island of Chios said 66 people, most of them Afghans, were also sent to Turkey on a third boat.

    The aim of the EU-Turkey deal is to discourage migrants from perilous crossings, often in small boats and dinghies, and to break the business model of human smugglers who have fuelled Europe's biggest migration wave since World War II.

    A few hours after the first boat of returnees set sail from Lesbos, Greek coast guard patrol vessels rescued at least two dinghies carrying more than 50 migrants and refugees, including children and a woman in a wheelchair, trying to reach the island.

    A group of 47 mainly Pakistani men were also intercepted by the Turkish coast guard and taken to a holding centre next to Dikili's port........

  15. Irak: 12 morts dans trois attentats suicide et des tirs d'obus ...

    Douze personnes ont été tuées lundi dans trois attentats suicide visant les forces de sécurité dans et au sud de Bagdad et des tirs d'obus sur un secteur proche de la capitale, selon des responsables des services de sécurité et de santé.

    Ces attaques ont également fait au moins 54 blessés, a-t-on ajouté.

    Un kamikaze a visé un point de contrôle conjoint de la police et l'armée dans le nord de Bagdad tandis que les deux autres ont attaqué les forces paramilitaires progouvernementales du Hached al-Chaabi sur une rue du secteur de Machahda, au nord de la capitale, et dans un restaurant au sud de la ville méridionale de Nassiriya. Ces attentats ont fait 10 morts et 47 blessés.

    Des tirs d'obus de mortier ont en outre touché des maisons à Abou Ghreib, à l'ouest de Bagdad, tuant deux personnes et blessant 7

  16. Turkey's Erdogan says no room for dialog in Kurdish conflict remains...

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday the time for peace talks with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is over and vowed to stamp out the three-decade insurgency.

    Militants must either surrender or they will be "neutralized," Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara that was broadcast live by state TV channel TRT.

    The PKK abandoned its two-year ceasefire in July, reviving a conflict that has claimed more than 40,000 lives since 1984.

    Since July, almost 400 soldiers and police and several thousand militants have been killed, according to government figures. Opposition political parties say between 500 and 1,000 civilians have also died in the fighting, centered in towns and cities in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast.

  17. ISIS ‘use mustard gas’ in Deir Ezzor airport attack ...

    ISIS militants attacked Syrian army troops with mustard gas in an offensive against a Syrian military airport in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor that borders Iraq, state media said on late Monday.

    Syrian state media did not disclose how many casualties were sustained in the latest drive by the fundamentalist militants to capture the heavily defended airport located south of Deir Ezzor city, whose main neighborhoods are under the militants control.

    "The terrorists fired rockets carrying mustard gas," a statement said on state owned Ikhbariyah television station.

    Deir Ezzor is a strategic location. The province links ISIS 's de facto capital in Raqqa with its fighters in Iraq.

    Reuters could not independently verify the media

  18. Syrian rebels advance against Islamic State near Turkish border...

    Syrian rebels were closing in on a town near the Turkish border held by Islamic State on Tuesday after seizing numerous villages from the group in the area, rebels and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    The rebels involved in the offensive include factions fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army that have been supplied with weapons via Turkey. They are advancing towards the IS-held town of al-Rai.

    A sustained rebel advance near the Turkish border would erode Islamic State's last foothold in an area identified by the United States as a priority in the fight against the group.

    Rebels who have previously struggled to make sustained gains against IS in the area have mobilized several thousand fighters for the attack, rebel sources said. An alliance of rebel groups formed for the offensive includes the Turkish-backed Sultan Murad and Failaq al Sham

  19. Cessez-le feu au Haut-Karabakh, après quatre jours de combats qui ont fait 64 morts...

    Après des combats qui ont fait 64 morts dans le Haut-Karabakh, l'Azerbaïdjan et les séparatistes arméniens ont conclu un cessez-le-feu. À Vienne, le groupe de Minsk devait tenter mardi de trouver une issue à ce conflit vieux de plus de 20 ans.

    Après quatre jours de combats, les séparatistes arméniens du Haut-Karabakh et l'armée azerbaïdjanaise ont conclu un cessez-le-feu, mardi 5 avril.

    "Les opérations militaires ont été stoppées mardi à 12 h (8 h GMT)", a indiqué le ministère azerbaïdjanais de la Défense dans un communiqué qui a suivi une annonce similaire des autorités séparatistes du Haut-Karabakh.

    De violents combats avaient eu lieu ces quatre derniers jours dans cette région disputée du Caucase, faisant aux moins 64 morts, majoritairement des soldats azerbaï

  20. Turkey should consider stripping citizenship from supporters of terrorism, President Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday, adding that the government had "nothing to discuss with terrorists."...

    His comments, in a speech to a group of lawyers in the capital Ankara, come after he ruled out Monday a revival of peace talks with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). He has vowed to stamp out the conflict in the mainly Kurdish southeast, at its deadliest in two decades, once and for all.

    "We need to be decisive to take all the necessary measures including stripping of citizenship for terror organisation supporters," he said in comments broadcast live on television.

    "This state has nothing to discuss with terrorists. That business is over.".....REUTERS

  21. The next transfer of migrants to Turkey from Greece under a controversial deal with the EU has been postponed until later this week at Athens' request, a Turkish official said Tuesday...

    "It has been postponed to Friday" from Wednesday after the first transfer of over 200 migrants took place on Monday, the official told AFP. "Greece could not send the people. Everything is ready here but we received a message from the Greek side," added the official, asking not to be named.

  22. The US military is considering pulling troops from a base in the northeastern part of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, partly because of the increasing threat from Islamic State group jihadists, CNN reported Tuesday...

    The Obama administration may order the movement of some US and international troops into the southern Sinai, and is discussing such a move with Egypt and Israel, CNN said.

    The two Middle East countries signed a peace deal in 1979, agreeing that a Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) mission would monitor compliance.

    Some 700 US troops are part of that mission, CNN said.

    Most of the peacekeepers are stationed at El-Gorah camp, near the Gaza Strip.

    Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis declined to confirm or deny the CNN

  23. An Air Self-defense Force jet with six people on board disappeared off the radar in southwest Japan on Wednesday afternoon, public broadcaster NHK reported...

    The U-125 aircraft left a base in Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu, at 1:15 p.m., NHK said, citing the defense ministry and other sources.

    Contact with the plane was lost 2:35 p.m. when it was 10 kilometers north of the Kanoya base, NHK said, adding helicopters were sent to search for it.

  24. An Iraqi Shiite paramilitary group said it will join government forces preparing to fight ISIS for Mosul despite objections of politicians who fear this could instigate sectarian bloodshed in the mostly Sunni Muslim city...

    A much-touted government offensive to retake Iraq’s largest northern city two years after its seizure by the Sunni Islamist insurgents has made a faltering start, casting doubt on the army’s ability to do so without more ground support.

    The campaign will require the participation of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a coalition of mostly Shiite Muslim militias, said a spokesman for Asaib Ahl al-Haq, one of its most powerful factions.

    “We think the battle to liberate Mosul will be huge, complex; it will be about guerrilla warfare in built-up areas, which only PMF fighters are good at ..., as forces may be fighting house to house, room to room,” the spokesman, Jawad al-Talabawi, said in an interview on Wednesday in Baghdad.

    In an opinion column published in the New York Times on March 27, Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri made a plea to keep the PMF out of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh

  25. Deportations resume from Greece to Turkey...

    A second group of deported migrants has arrived by ferry in Turkey from Greece as part of an EU deal to reduce the numbers reaching Europe.

    The boat carrying 45 Pakistanis left the Lesbos port of Mytilene for Izmir despite protesters' efforts to stop it.

    Three demonstrators who dived into the harbour were fished out by coastguards.

    Some 200 mainly Pakistanis were deported on Monday under an EU deal with Turkey, the main transit route for undocumented migrants.

    However, the returns process was interrupted as asylum applications surged in Greece....BBC

  26. Turkey says reconciliation agreement with Israel to be finalized 'very soon'...

    Turkey and Israel are one step closer reaching a reconciliation agreement, with Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday saying that "progress" has been made and the deal will be finalized "very soon".

    Turkish and Israeli negotiating teams met in London on Thursday for another round of rapprochement talks.

    "The teams made progress towards finalizing the agreement and closing the gaps," according to a statement by Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    "The deal will be finalized in the next meeting which will be convened very soon," the statement

  27. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Baghdad on a previously unannounced visit that marks his first trip to Iraq since 2014...

    Kerry traveled from Bahrain to Iraq Friday for talks with officials including Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Kurdistan regional government Prime Minister Nechrivan Barzani.

    “The secretary will underscore our strong support for the Iraqi government as it addresses significant security, economic and political challenges,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby.

    He will also discuss the multi-national coalition’s ongoing support for Iraqi-led efforts to defeat Islamic State, said Kirby in a statement.

    The trip comes as Iraqi-led forces push to re-take the northern city of Mosul, which fell to Islamic State militants in

  28. Turkey's parliament approved on Friday (Apr 8) an agreement enabling Ankara to repatriate Pakistani migrants, as people continue to be sent to Turkey from Greece as part of an EU deal to stem mass migration to Europe...

    Pakistani migrants are among those that have already been sent back to Turkey under the deal.

  29. Palestine seeks resolution against Israeli settlements...

    The Palestinians have given Arab nations a proposed UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as an obstacle to peace, the Palestinian UN Mission said Thursday.

    The draft resolution was immediately condemned by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “is taking a step that will push negotiations further away” to end the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    The Palestinians refused to provide any details of the text, but said the Security Council has unanimously agreed that Israeli settlements are illegal and it is their responsibility to act on this assessment and adopt a resolution on settlements.

    They recalled the Security Council’s 14-1 vote on a resolution on settlements in February 2011. It was defeated by a US veto. That resolution would have condemned “illegal” Israeli settlements and demanded an immediate halt to all settlement

  30. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (KCNA) had conducted a successful test of a new engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)...

    DPRK’s Central News Agency (KCNA) said Saturday that the country’s Leader Kim Jong Un supervised the successful test, pointing out that the engine was ignited at Kim’s command and released a fiery blast, and the test showed the indigenously designed rocket fulfilled all required conditions.

    “Now we can mount an ever more powerful nuclear warhead on a new intercontinental ballistic rocket and put the den of evil in the United States within our strike range,” Leader Kim said in a comment over the test, KCNA reported.

    The test was conducted at the country’s missile station near its west coast where in February it launched a long-range rocket that put an object into space orbit and was supervised by Kim, KCNA said.

    The UN Security Council imposed early March a series of sanctions against Pyongyang after the latest placed in February a satellite in the Orbit for research purposes and tested a hydrogen bomb test in January.

  31. In the shelling of Aleppo by the Syrian rebels killed 18 civilians. 61 yet one person received injuries of varying severity...

    About it reported in the information Bulletin of the Russian Center for reconciliation of the warring parties in the Syrian Arab Republic, published on the website of the Ministry of defense of the Russian Federation.

    The militants of the Islamic state and “dzhebhat EN-Nusra” continued armed provocations against government troops and Kurdish militia in Aleppo and its suburbs. During the day on the telephone hotline of the Center for reconciliation has received phone calls from residents of the village of FOIA (province of Idlib) with information about three mortar attacks from the settlement Binnie. Wounded one local resident............

  32. Syrian mediators reached an agreement Friday for the release of some 300 cement workers kidnapped by the ISIS, a monitor said, but it was unclear exactly how many were freed...

    ISIS abducted the employees on Monday from Al-Badia cement factory outside the town of Dmeir, around 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Damascus.

    Local figures from Dmeir mediated a deal with ISIS on Friday to let the workers go free, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    The Britain-based monitor said that in effect, some 170 workers would be freed as others had already managed to escape.

    The Observatory later said that most of those kidnapped had finally reached their homes late

  33. Israel sharpens Turkey travel warning over 'immediate threats'...

    Israel on April 8 reissued and accentuated a warning to its citizens to avoid Turkey over the "immediate risks" of attacks, weeks after three Israelis were killed in an Istanbul suicide bombing.

    "Following a situational assessment, we are reiterating and sharpening the high level of threat in Turkey," the counter terrorism bureau said.

    Its warning came hours after the Turkish foreign ministry announced "progress towards finalizing the agreement" on restoring ties with Israel, a day after both sides held talks in London.

    "There are immediate risks of attacks being carried out in the country, and we stress the threat applies to all tourism sites in Turkey," Israel's counter terrorism bureau said in a statement.

    It called on all Israelis to avoid visiting Turkey and urged Israeli tourists there to leave "as soon as possible," defining the threat as level 2 -- "concrete and high" -- the same as in its previous warning from March

  34. Greece's coast guard says at least five migrants have drowned in the eastern Aegean Sea after a small plastic boat capsized...

    The five victims, four women and a child, were found around dawn Saturday northeast of the Greek island of Samos, close to the Turkish coast. A coast guard spokeswoman says there were also five survivors: two women, two men and a child.

    The spokeswoman spoke on customary condition of anonymity. She says the coast guard has no information about the ages and nationalities of the migrants or the children's gender.

    The survivors, who are in a state of shock, told authorities a total of 11 people were aboard the 3.5-meter boat....AP

  35. Kerry in Afghanistan to Support Kabul's Unity Government ...

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Afghanistan on a previously unannounced visit signaling continuing U.S. support for the country’s national unity government.

    Kerry arrived in the Afghan capital one day after he made a brief unannounced visit to Baghdad to meet government leaders and assure them of staunch U.S. support.

    The top U.S. diplomat last visited Afghanistan in August

  36. U.S. space firm SpaceX on Friday successfully landed the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean after launching a cargo ship to the International Space Station...

    "The 1st stage of the Falcon 9 just landed on our Of Course I Still Love You droneship," the California-based company said via Twitter.

    It's the first time SpaceX has been able to stick a landing on a droneship after four previous such attempts ended in failure.

    It also achieved one successful soft landing on a land-based pad at Cape Canaveral in December last year.
    [Xinhua ]

  37. Russia defends selling arms to both Azerbaijan and Armenia...

    MOSCOW: Russia's prime minister has defended Moscow's policy of selling arms to both Armenia and Azerbaijan, whose military forces have faced off in a sharp escalation of fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh.

    Speaking in an interview broadcast Saturday, Dmitry Medvedev said if Russia stopped selling arms, other suppliers would soon step in and this could destroy the balance of forces in the Caucasus region.....AP.....

  38. The United States embassy in Turkey on Saturday warned American citizens of "credible threats" to tourist areas in Istanbul and the resort city of Antalya, a day after Israel warned of "imminent risks" of attacks...

    "The US Mission in Turkey would like to inform US citizens that there are credible threats to tourist areas, in particular to public squares and docks in Istanbul and Antalya," read the emergency travel warning published on its official website.

  39. Brussels bombers planned second attack on Paris...

    The planners behind last month's bombings in Brussels which killed 32 people had initially planned to hit France for a second time but struck closer to home as investigators made arrests among key suspects, Belgian prosecutors said.

    Investigations into the 13 November Paris attacks which killed 130 people showed many of the attackers lived in Belgium, including key suspects Salah Abdeslam and Mohamed Abrini who evaded police for four months after November's killings.

    Abrini was arrested on Friday and admitted to having participated in the Brussels airport bombings.

    He has been charged with terrorist murders, prosecutors said.

  40. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced his resignation Sunday in the wake of a months-long political crisis that has paralysed the government and frozen the release of vital Western aid...

    "Having done everything to ensure stability and make a smooth transition of power possible, I decided to step down from the post of prime minister of Ukraine," the 41-year-old pro-Western cabinet chief said in a weekly television address.

    The tough-talking prime minister's decision comes barely two months after he survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote in his government, and after just over two years in the post.

    He said President Petro Poroshenko's party had already nominated parliament speaker Volodymyr Groysman to succeed him and that he would not stand in the way.

    "From today onwards, I see my goals in a broader light than just heading the government," said

  41. At least 18 soldiers were killed and more than 50 wounded in a shoot out between government soldiers and Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippines, officials said Sunday...

    A Moroccan bomb maker and the militant leader's son were among the militants dead, at least 20 rebels were believed to have been wounded, the military officials said. Four soldiers were

  42. Iran says Russia delivers first part of S-300 air defense system...

    Russia has sent the first part of its S-300 air defense missile system to Iran, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency on Monday.

    Russia says it canceled a contract to deliver S-300s, among the world's most capable air defense systems, to Iran in 2010 under pressure from the West. But President Vladimir Putin lifted that self-imposed ban in April 2015 following an interim nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

    Israel strongly opposes the supply of the system to Iran, which does not recognize the Jewish state.

  43. Israel has carried out dozens of strikes in Syria, says Netanyahu...

    Israel has launched dozens of strikes in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on April 11, acknowledging for the first time such attacks against suspected arms transfers to Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas.

    Though formally neutral on Syria's civil war, Israel has frequently pledged to prevent shipments of advanced weaponry to the Iranian-backed group, while stopping short of confirming reports of specific air operations.

    Visiting Israeli troops in the occupied Golan Heights near the frontier with Syria, Netanyahu said: "We act when we need to act, including here across the border, with dozens of strikes meant to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining game-changing weaponry."

    Netanyahu did not specify what kind of strikes Israel had conducted in Syria. He also gave no timeframe or other details regarding the strikes......

  44. Russian Coordination Center: Syrian army avoids civilian casualties and residential areas damaging...

    The Russian Center for Coordinating and Observing the Cessation of
    Hostilities in Syria has affirmed that the Syrian Arab Army uses artillery and Air Force in a precise way to avoid civilian casualties and damaging infrastructure and residential houses.

    Head of the center, which is based in Hemiemim airport, Lt. Gen. Sergei Kuryalenko told reporters Monday that terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization continue launching attacks against Aleppo and Syrian Army positions at the
    south-west of Aleppo countryside since 3 April till date, pointing out that the Syrian Army killed more than 250 armed terrorists of Jabhat al- Nusra, destroyed two of their tanks and other military equipment during Army’s facing those terrorists......

  45. Afghan Taliban announce 'spring offensive'...

    The Taliban announced the start of their warm-weather fighting season on Tuesday, vowing "large-scale attacks" in the 15th year of their war against the U.S.-backed Afghan government.

    In an email to media, the militants said the spring offensive had begun at 5 a.m. They dubbed the campaign "Operation Omari" in honour of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, who died three years ago. The statement said waging jihad against American invaders is a holy obligation.

    It said this year's campaign will incorporate suicide attacks, assassinations, and other tactics aimed at undermining the enemy's

  46. Bomb attack hits Aden despite Yemen ceasefire...

    Up to four people killed in suicide bombing near football stadium in Yemen’s Aden as a UN-brokered ceasefire entered its second day and taken hold in Yemen on Tuesday.

    Forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, the Shiite Houthi militias who drove his government out of the capital, and the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen last year all pledged to honor the truce that took effect at midnight on Sunday.

    The UN special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, called the ceasefire “a first step in Yemen’s return to peace”.

    “This is critical, urgent and much needed. Yemen cannot afford the loss of more lives,” he said.

    Extremist militants including from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the powerful Yemeni branch of the extremist network, have exploited the conflict to seize territory and gain

  47. Boko Haram's use of child bombers has increased over the last year with one in five suicide attacks now done by children, the UN's child agency says...

    Girls, who are often drugged, were behind three-quarters of such attacks committed by the militant Islamist group in Cameroon, Nigeria and Chad.

    It is an 11-fold increase with four attacks in 2014 compared to 44 the next year, including January 2016.

    The change in tactics reflects the loss of territory in Nigeria by the

  48. SIS took control Tuesday of most of a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus, seizing territory held by Syria's Al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front, a Palestinian official told AFP...

    "(ISIS) began attacking positions of its former ally Al-Nusra and took control of 60 percent of the camp," the Palestine Liberation Organization chief in Damascus, Anwar Abdel Hadi, said....AFP

  49. Curfew Announced in Indian Kashmir as Clashes Erupted...

    Angry residents clashed with police in Indian Kashmir Wednesday, one day after three civilians were killed when soldiers fired on protesters.

    Soldiers fired at the protesters on Tuesday as they stormed an army bunker and set it on fire in the northern town of Handwara, near the de facto border dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan, police and witnesses said.

    Two protesters were shot dead and a woman working in a nearby field later died of a bullet wound. Another injured protester was in critical condition in hospital, said Kashmir's director general of police K. Rajendra.

    A curfew was imposed in parts of Kashmir including the main city of Srinagar on Wednesday amid fears of violent protests, as separatist leaders opposed to Indian rule called for a general strike over the

  50. U.S. military says using cyber capabilities against Islamic State...

    The U.S. military is dropping "cyber bombs" on Islamic State for the first time as part of a stepped-up coordinated effort that has put increasing pressure on the militant group, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said on Tuesday.

    "Those guys are under enormous pressure. Every time we have gone after one of their defended positions over the last six months, we have defeated them. They have left, they have retreated," Work told reporters on a military plane en route to a Colorado air base.

    He said U.S. and coalition forces were putting pressure on Islamic State from all directions, using every possible military capability, including cyber attacks, to defeat the group.

  51. Colonisation de la Cisjordanie: Israël approuve plus de 200 logements ...

    Le gouvernement israélien a approuvé des plans pour plus de 200 nouveaux logements dans des colonies isolées de Cisjordanie occupée, a indiqué jeudi l'organisation anti-colonisation la Paix maintenant.

    Le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu et le ministre de la Défense Moshé Yaalon ont demandé à l'administration civile israélienne en Cisjordanie d'approuver des plans pour au moins 229 nouveaux logements dans plusieurs colonies isolées de Cisjordanie occupée, a indiqué à l'AFP la porte-parole de l'organisation, Hagit Ofran.

  52. Russian jets ‘aggressively’ pass US warship...

    A Russian military jet came within a few feet of a US destroyer in international waters in the Baltic Sea during a series of “aggressive” overflights, US officials said Wednesday.

    Russian aircraft repeatedly buzzed the USS Donald Cook this week, including an incident Tuesday in which a Russian Su-24 flew just 30 feet (nine meters) above the ship in a “simulated attack profile,” said the US military’s Europe Command (EUCOM).

    “We have deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian flight maneuvers,” EUCOM said in a

    1. USS Donald Cook missile destroyer was about 70 kilometers from the Russian sea base as Sukhoi Su-24 of the Russian Air Force was above it, spokesman of the Russian Defense Ministry Maj.-Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday...

      "On April 13, crews of Sukhoi Su-24 planes of the Russian air force made planned training flights above the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea," he said. "The route of the Russian aircraft crossed the area where the USS Donald Cook was - about 70 kilometers from the Russian Naval base."

      According to the ministry, the flights of Russian Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft over the Baltic sea were performed in accordance with international rules. Having discovered the US destroyer in the Baltic Sea, the warplanes turned away from the vessel observing all safety measures.

      "Spotting the ship within the visibility zone, the Russian pilots turned their aircraft away from the vessel fully observing the safety measures," Konashenkov noted.

      The ministry added that "all flights of aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces are performed strictly in accordance with the international regulations on the use of airspace over neutral waters."......

  53. Die geplante Grenzkontrollen am Brenner schlagen in Italien immer höhere Wogen...

    Nun äußerte sich auch der sonst eher zurückhaltende italienische Präsident Sergio Mattarella dazu und sprach sich klar gegen mögliche Grenzkontrollen am Brenner ausgesprochen. "Mauern werden uns nicht schützen. Barrieren, die Europa trennen, sind eine Last, die unseren Weg erschweren", sagte Mattarella am Mittwochabend bei einem Treffen mit seinem deutschen Amtskollegen Joachim Gauck im Rahmen eines italienisch-deutschen Gipfeltreffens in Turin.

    "Eine Abkehr vom Schengen-Abkommen wäre für uns alle Selbstverstümmelung. Wir müssen Lösungen für die Tausenden von Menschen finden, die vor Krieg, Gewalt und Verwüstungen flüchten und an den Toren Europas anklopfen", kommentierte Mattarella.

  54. S. Korea's ruling party fails to regain majority in parliamentary election...

    S. Korea's ruling party fails to regain majority in parliamentary election....

  55. Poland thinks EU refugee quota plan is 'dead', minister says...

    Poland cannot take in the 7,000 refugees it agreed to accept and thinks the plan to distribute 120,000 migrants across the European union is "dead", its deputy foreign minister was quoted as saying on Thursday.

    Konrad Szymanski told the newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna that few of the 28 other EU countries would implement the quota system agreed at a Brussels summit in late September over vehement objections from four ex-communist east European states.

    Poland's previous government reluctantly accepted Poland's assigned quota and the new conservative government that won a general election in late October initially agreed to respect it despite its own criticism of the plan....REUTERS

  56. Turkey's main opposition party supports bid to strip MPs of immunity...

    Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) will support draft legislation by the ruling party that would strip lawmakers of their immunity from prosecution, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said on Wednesday night.

    President Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called for deputies of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) to face prosecution, accusing them of being an extension of the outlawed militant group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

    Kilicdaroglu told broadcaster CNN Turk his party would support the proposal, even though he said it would be contrary to the constitution.....REUTERS

  57. The United States is "very concerned" about reports of a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive near the country's second city Aleppo, a senior administration official in Washington told AFP Thursday...

    "Such actions could well violate the cessation of hostilities, which has held for nearly seven weeks but has been under increasing pressure in recent weeks," the official said, reiterating a call for Russia to "cease any provocative actions in Syria."

    Syrian government fighters, rebels and extremists are battling for control of swathes of Aleppo province....AFP

  58. Clinton took responsibility for the chaos in Libya...

    Former first lady Hillary Clinton during the debates, the contenders for the US presidency from the Democratic party on 14 April took responsibility for the chaos that reigned in Libya after the intervention of the United States in 2011, when she served as Secretary of state.

    “We are in a very difficult situation,” she said. Libya did not want the USA restored order in the country, but it itself could not provide, he said.

    Her opponent in the debates Bernie Sanders accused Clinton is that she supported “regime change” in Libya, while the authorities had no plan for further action.....

  59. Officials say Afghan forces have repelled attack on Kunduz...

    Officials say Afghan forces have repelled a Taliban assault on the northern city of Kunduz, which the insurgents had briefly seized last year.

    Gen. Qasim Jangalbagh, the provincial police chief, said Saturday that security in Kunduz city has improved and that the Taliban were defeated in other parts of Kunduz province.

    Abdul Wasay Basil, spokesman for the provincial governor, said sporadic gunbattles are still underway in the Khanabad and Dashti Archi districts.

    The Taliban attacked Kunduz early Friday, setting off hours of fighting. Afghan officials say more than 40 militants and four Afghan forces were killed.

    The Taliban held Kunduz for three days last year before being driven out by a two-week counteroffensive aided by U.S.-airstrikes. It was their biggest foray into an urban area since 2001.

  60. Russia 'more dangerous than IS' says Poland foreign minister...

    Russia is more dangerous than the Islamic State group, Poland's Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told reporters Friday during a visit to Slovakia.

    "By all evidence, Russia's activity is a sort of existential threat because this activity can destroy countries," said Waszczykowski, who was speaking in a debate on the future of NATO at the annual Globsec security forum in Bratislava.

    "We also have non-existential threats like terrorism, like the great waves of migrants," he added, according to Poland's PAP news agency.

    He described the Islamic State group as a very serious threat but added that "it is not an existential threat for Europe".

    Waszczykowski also called for NATO to approve the deployment of troops on the alliance's eastern border at its upcoming July summit due to be held in Warsaw.

    "This will be a symbol of the determination to defend the eastern flank. We can discuss the scale of this deployment," he said...AFP...

  61. Ukraine finds Russian 'soldiers' guilty of waging war ...

    A Ukrainian court has convicted two alleged Russian special forces soldiers of crimes including terrorism and sentenced them to 14 years in jail.

    The pair - Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Alexandrov - were captured in eastern Ukraine last May.

    Russia denies sending troops to the region and has said the men were volunteers who had left active service...BBC

  62. Ecuador in desperate search for survivors of deadly quake...

    Rescuers in Ecuador clawed through collapsed buildings Monday as they scrambled to find survivors of a powerful earthquake that killed 272 people, injured thousands, and caused widespread coastal destruction.

    President Rafael Correa said the death toll will "certainly" rise in the 7.8-magnitude quake that struck the small, oil-producing South American nation late Saturday.

    The quake, the most powerful to strike Ecuador in decades, shattered hotels and homes along its Pacific coast popular with tourists and reduced several towns to

    1. Séisme en Equateur: le bilan passe à 413 morts, des villes "détruites"...

      Le violent séisme qui a frappé la côte Pacifique de l'Equateur samedi soir a fait au moins 413 morts, selon un nouveau bilan annoncé lundi soir par les autorités.

      "Pour l'heure, nous comptabilisons 413 morts", a indiqué le ministère en charge de la coordination de la Sécurité. Le précédent bilan provisoire de ce tremblement de terre de magnitude 7,8 faisait état de 350 décès.

      Plus de 230 personnes seraient toujours portées disparues, vraisemblablement piégée ou enterrée dans des bâtiments qui se sont effondrés lors de la

  63. Le violent séisme qui a frappé la côte Pacifique de l'Equateur samedi soir a fait 350 morts, selon un nouveau bilan annoncé lundi par le ministre de la Sécurité Cesar Navas...

    "Malheureusement nous devons informer qu'il y a environ 350 personnes décédées, le nombre de blessés aussi a augmenté", a déclaré le ministre à la chaîne Teleamazonas, alors qu'un précédent bilan provisoire faisait état de 272 décès et plus de 2000 blessés.

  64. One person was killed and another wounded when four rockets hit the southeastern Turkish town of Kilis near the Syrian border on Monday, security sources said...

    Kilis, just across from an area of Syria controlled by ISIS, has been a frequent target of rocket fire in recent weeks.

    Separately, Dogan News Agency reported that Turkish military fired artillery into Syria after a mortar landed near an army outpost in the southern Hatay province.

  65. Several people have been killed and dozens injured in a suicide attack near the government buildings in the Afghan capitol of Kabul Tuesday morning...

    A suicide bomber detonated a bomb in his car in a residential neighborhood near the ministry of defense, military compounds and other buildings during rush hour, interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

    More than 40 injured people had been taken to Kabul hospitals, the BBC is reporting.

    Gunfire still being heard has been reported.

    The Taliban has claimed responsibility and the exact number of dead and injured are not known at this point. A Taliban spokesman said the militant group was conducting its "spring offensive."

  66. France inks deals worth $2 billion with Egypt...

    France signed several deals worth about 2 billion euros ($2.26 billion) with Egypt during a visit by French President Francois Hollande to Cairo, the French president’s office said on Monday.

    The deals included a satellite communications contract agreed upon following discussions between the two presidents and their defense ministries, the Elysee said.

    The military telecommunications satellite is expected to be built by France’s Airbus Space Systems and Thales Alenia Space.

    French energy Engie firm said earlier that it also signed LNG and renewable energy contracts during the visit.

  67. Head of the Syrian government delegation to Geneva stressed that the current talks in the Swiss capital could continue despite the withdrawal of Riyadh-backed opposition group...

    Chief negotiator in Damascus delegation, Bashar al-Jaafari said on Tuesday the talks can continue with other opposition groups.

    The High Negotiations Committee (HNC), which was formed in Saudi Arabia, did not hold a monopoly among opposition groups," Jaafari told Reuters.

    "If they want to boycott, they can boycott. It's not a big problem for us because they are not the only representatives of the Syrian opposition," he said.

    The HNC on Monday postponed indefinitely formal negotiations, under the pretext that the Syrian government is ‘violating the ceasefire in Syria.’
    "The arguments used by the Saudi group are not convincing," Jaafari

  68. Russia Wednesday accused the Saudi-backed Syrian opposition of employing blackmail by suspending its participation in peace talks in Geneva...

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said the tactics deployed by the High Negotiations Committee showed it was not capable of reaching a deal and could not be the sole representative for the opposition at the talks.

    "The Geneva forum should be a 'workshop' for agreeing on the outlines of Syria's future secular statehood and for determining the ways of reaching that, but not an 'eastern bazaar' with elements of crude blackmail in respect of the international community," the ministry said in a statement.

    "By issuing ultimatums, the Riyadh group, it seems, is trying to mask the fact it has no concrete and realistic proposals."....Reuters

  69. Coral bleaching hits 93% of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef...

    Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is suffering its worst coral bleaching in recorded history with 93 percent of the World Heritage site affected, scientists said Wednesday, as they revealed the phenomenon is also hitting the other side of the country.

    After extensive aerial and underwater surveys, researchers at James Cook University said only 7 percent of the huge reef had escaped the whitening triggered by warmer water temperatures.

    “We’ve never seen anything like this scale of bleaching before,” said Terry Hughes, convenor of the National Coral Bleaching Task Force.

    The damage ranges from minor in the southern areas — which are expected to recover soon — to very severe in the northern and most pristine reaches of the 2,300-km-long (1,430-mile-long) site off the east

  70. La nouvelle secousse qui a frappé l'Equateur, quatre jours après le séisme le plus meurtrier d'Amérique latine depuis 2010, compliquait la tâche des secouristes dans le nuit de mercredi à jeudi, tandis que l'espoir de retrouver des survivants s'amenuisait...

    Selon les autorités locales, cette secousse, dont la magnitude a été évaluée à 6,1 par l'Institut américain de géophysique (USGS), est une réplique du séisme de magnitude 7,8 qui a dévasté la côte Pacifique de l'Equateur samedi soir, faisant au moins 525

  71. White House concerned by Russia's military moves in Syria ...

    The United States said on Thursday it was concerned about reports that Russia is moving more military equipment into Syria to bolster President Bashar al-Assad, with a truce in tatters and peace talks in meltdown.

    A U.S. official separately said Russia has been repositioning artillery to northern Syria - a move that may suggest the Syrian government and its allies are preparing another assault on the divided city of Aleppo.

    The arrival of Russian reinforcements would risk driving the war into an even higher gear after the effective collapse of the truce and U.N.-led peace talks in Geneva aimed at ending a five-year war that has killed at least 250,000 people.

    Russia’s defense ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

    U.N. special envoy Staffan de Mistura will on Friday assess whether Geneva talks can go on with the main opposition negotiators refusing to participate and combatants accusing each other of breaking the six-week-old ceasefire.....Reuters

  72. Israel blocks off West Bank, Gaza ahead of Passover...

    Israel has announced the closure of all points of entry between the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Israeli territory on Friday and Saturday for the Jewish holiday of Passover.

    The blockade was decided after "an evaluation of the security situation", a military spokesperson told AFP without giving specifics.

    According to Israeli media reports, security services have "warnings, although not concrete," of plans to carry out terror attacks during the holiday.

    The closure will begin at 12:00 am on Friday and is expected to end at 11:59 pm on Saturday, the army said, subject to a "situational assessment."

    Palestinians' movement between the West Bank, Gaza, and Israeli territory will be limited to "humanitarian, medical, and exceptional cases," during the two-day closure, according to an IDF

  73. Turquie: 4 universitaires, 2 journalistes et la liberté d'expression en procès...

    Quatre universitaires turcs accusés de "propagande terroriste" sont appelés à la barre vendredi lors d'un procès qui illustre pour leurs soutiens les atteintes aux libertés sous le président Erdogan, au moment où sont également jugés deux célèbres journalistes.

    Les quatre universitaires turcs accusés sont poursuivis pour avoir lu en public et signé une pétition dénonçant les "massacres" commis par les forces de sécurité turques pendant des opérations contre les rebelles du Parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK) dans plusieurs villes sous

  74. Migrant flow from Turkey to Greece picking up again - IOM...

    Migrants in boats are landing in Greece at the rate of about 150 a day from Turkey after a hiatus, indicating that the "hermetic sealing" of this route to Europe appears to be over, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Friday.

    "The arrivals in Greece which were down to literally zero this month are beginning to creep back up. In the last three days we had 150 people arriving each day... It does show that route might be picking back up," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva news briefing.

    "It could be the weather, it could be any number of things, it could be that smugglers are getting more creative."

  75. Victims of terrorist attacks backed by Iran can collect nearly $2 billion in Iranian funds, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday...

    The court ruled 6-2 that Congress had not exceeded its authority when it passed a law aimed at securing such restitution from funds held in a New York bank.

    The ruling ends a long quest by more than 1,000 victims of terrorist attacks sponsored by Iran, including family members of 241 U.S. Marines killed in the 1983 barracks bombing in Lebanon. The attack was blamed on Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia backed by Iran......

  76. China cautioned the United States to be discreet in its words and deeds regarding the South China Sea after U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken questioned China's intentions over its land reclamation project...

    Blinken said on Thursday during his visit to Vietnam that China's land reclamation project and increasing militarization of the outposts fuel regional tension and the United States will continue to sail, fly, and operate anywhere that international law allows.

    The deployment of necessary defense facilities on islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands falls under China's sovereignty and the country is exercising its rights of self-protection and self-defense granted by international law, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a regular news briefing.

    China has always respected and supported countries in exercising freedom of navigation and flight in the South China Sea in line with international law, Hua said......

  77. The United States said Friday it would buy heavy water from Iran despite angry claims at home that it has already gone too far in granting Tehran nuclear sanctions relief...

    Officials said the purchase would cost $8.6 million, even as Republican lawmakers pressed for Iran to be excluded from any use of the US dollar or financial system.

    The deal was announced as Secretary of State John Kerry was to meet his Iranian counterpart to discuss ways of ensuring Tehran benefits from the nuclear deal it signed last year.

    Kerry was to see Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the United Nations as the agreement came under sustained attack from critics in both countries....AFP

  78. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and top EU officials are visiting a migrant camp on the Turkish-Syrian border, as they seek to bolster a controversial EU-Turkey deal...

    The delegation is inspecting living conditions at the Nizip camp, home to some 5,000 migrants.

    However, rights groups have criticised the visit as "sanitised".

    They also question the legality of the deal, which deports to Turkey migrants who do not obtain asylum in Greece.

    They argue that Turkey is not a safe place to return people....BBC

  79. South Korean media say North Korea has fired what appears to be a ballistic missile from a submarine toward the sea...

    The report comes just hours after North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun published a statement saying South Korean President Park Geun-Hye should make her "funeral shroud."

    The United Nations imposed a set of new and stronger sanctions on North Korea in response to Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test in January, and a ballistic missile test the following month.

  80. Six étrangers liés à l'État islamique arrêtés par la police turque ...

    Six ressortissants étrangers soupçonnés d'être liés au groupe terroriste État islamique (EI) et qui préparaient un attentat contre "des dignitaires de l'Etat" ont été arrêtés par la police turque dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi à Konya, dans le centre de la Turquie, ont annoncé les autorités locales.

    Ce coup de filet est intervenu à quelques heures de l'arrivée de la chancelière allemande, Angela Merkel, et du président du Conseil européen, Donald Tusk, dans la province turque de Gaziantep (sud-est), qui borde des territoires contrôlés par l'EI en

  81. US President Barack Obama says he is to send up to 250 additional military personnel to Syria to support local militias in the fight against so-called Islamic State (IS)...

    The new deployment will bring to 300 the number of US forces in non-combat roles in Syria.

    Speaking in Hannover, President Obama said the troops would not lead the fight on the ground against IS.

    Instead, they will provide training to local forces....BBC

  82. Tchernobyl: 30 ans après le pire accident nucléaire de l'histoire ...

    Le nom de Tchernobyl restera pour toujours lié au risque nucléaire. Le 26 avril 1986, le réacteur n°4 de cette centrale ukrainienne éclatait. Il ne s’agissait pas d’une explosion nucléaire proprement dite, mais elle va projeter dans l’atmosphère plusieurs tonnes d’uranium. Un nuage radioactif se formera au-dessus de la centrale puis se répandra sur l’Europe entière. C’est le plus grave accident nucléaire de l’histoire.

    Le 26 avril 1986, les ingénieurs de la centrale de Tchernobyl se livrent à un test de sécurité sur le réacteur numéro 4. L‘expérience tourne mal. Le réacteur échappe à tout contrôle et explose. Une immense colonne de poussière radioactive est projetée vers le ciel. Dans les années 80, l’Ukraine fait partie de l’Union soviétique. Fidèle à sa doctrine du secret, le gouvernement de Moscou va d’abord essayer de dissimuler la catastrophe, mais il n’y parviendra pas bien

  83. Serbie: la large victoire de Vucic confirmée...

    La large victoire du Premier ministre serbe de centre-droit Aleksandar Vucic aux législatives anticipées de dimanche se confirmait lundi après le dépouillement de la quasi-totalité des bulletins de vote, a annoncé la commission électorale.

    Après le dépouillement de 97,46% des bulletins de vote, le Parti du progrès (SNS, centre droit) de M. Vucic a obtenu 48,25%, très loin devant le Parti socialiste (SPS) avec 11,01%, a annoncé la Commission électorale. Le SPS était l'allié d'Aleksandar Vucic dans la coalition du précédent gouvernement.

    Selon la commission électorale, si ce score se confirmait, le SNS aurait 131 des 250 députés.

    Le Parti radical (SRS, extrême droite) du tribun pro-russe Vojislav Seselj arrive en troisième position avec 8,05%. Pour son retour au Parlement, l'extrême droite aurait 21 siè

  84. At least 15 people were killed on Monday and 80 others were wounded when a car bomb exploded near a Shiite shrine in the southern outskirts of the Syrian capital, according to Syrian television and medical officials...

    Meanwhile, an eyewitness said that ambulances and rescue teams immediately headed to the explosion site, located in the Sayida Zeinab district, adding that the security forces cordoned off the area to prevent more attacks.

  85. Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has ruled that the detention of asylum seekers and refugees on Manus Island is unconstitutional...

    Australia sends asylum seekers to the Manus Island detention centre under its offshore processing policy.

    The five judges on the Supreme Court's bench ruled this breached section 42 of Papua New Guinea's constitution, which guarantees personal liberty.

    The court said "all steps" should be taken to end the "illegal" detention.

    Currently around 850 men are held on the island, around half of whom have been judged genuine refugees.....BBC

  86. Justin Trudeau says he is outraged to hear that Canadian hostage John Ridsdel has been killed by terrorists in the Philippines, and is vowing to hunt down those responsible...

    “This was an act of cold-blooded murder and responsibility rests solely with the terrorist group that took him hostage,” the prime minister said during a brief press conference in Alberta on Monday.

    Trudeau said the safety of Canadians is a top priority and vowed to work with the Philippines and other allies “to pursue those responsible for this heinous act.”

  87. Turkey should have a religious constitution, parliament speaker Ismail Kahraman said Monday, in comments that will likely add to concerns of creeping Islamization under the ruling AKP party...

    “As a Muslim country, why should we be in a situation where we are in retreat from religion?” state-run news agency Anatolia quoted him as saying.

    “We are a Muslim country. As a consequence, we must have a religious constitution,” the AKP lawmaker told a conference in Istanbul.

    “Secularism cannot feature in the new constitution.”

    Critics accuse President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted AKP of eroding the secular values laid by modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk since it took power in

  88. France said Tuesday it was ready to help Libya's new unity government with maritime security as the fledgling administration seeks to assert its authority over the chaos-wracked country...

    "We must wait until the prime minister (designate Fayez al-Sarraj) tells us what security measures he is planning on taking and what he is hoping to get from the international community to ensure Libya's maritime security. We are ready" to help, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France's Europe 1 radio.

    His remarks came a week after the European Union offered "concrete" support to Libya's unity government to boost the economy and security, including training for the Libyan coastguard to stem the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean.....AFP

  89. L'armée russe a acheté cinq dauphins et refuse d'expliquer pourquoi ...

    Dans sa longue liste d'achats, derrière les missiles, armes, munitions, avions de chasse ou blindés, le ministre russe de la Défense Sergueï Choïgou a ajouté une nouvelle ligne quelque peu inhabituelle : mammifères marins.

    Des dauphins plus exactement. Oui, l'armée russe a fait l'acquisition de dauphins.

    Destination : la Crimée

    Au nombre de cinq, trois mâles et deux femelles, pour la modique somme de 350 000 roubles par animal, soit environ 4700 euros le mammifère.

    Et ce ne sont pas n'importe quels dauphins, des dauphins "aux dents intactes, de longueur moyenne et sans mucus au niveau de leur évent". Bref, des mammifères en bonne santé.

    Pas de déclaration officielle quant à l'usage qui sera fait de ces animaux. Ce que l'on sait, c'est qu'ils seront transportés à partir du 1er août vers un centre d'entraînement militaire pour les mammifères marins à Sébastopol, port d'attache de la Flotte russe de la mer Noire en Crimée, selon les documents publiés par le gouvernement russe lors de l'appel d'offres lancé au début du mois de

  90. Iran Tuesday summoned Switzerland's ambassador, who represents Washington's interests in Tehran, to protest a court ruling that $2 billion of frozen Iranian assets be used to compensate American victims of "terror"...

    The US Supreme Court ruled last week that Iran must hand the sum to survivors and relatives of people killed in a 1983 bombing in Beirut and other attacks allegedly blamed on Iran....AFP

  91. Canada: Several human rights groups have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking him to cancel the $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia...

    “To provide such a large supply of lethal weapons to a regime with such an appalling record of human rights abuses is immoral and unethical,” says the letter signed by representatives of Amnesty International Canada, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, and other agencies.

    “The government has had every opportunity to uphold this position, but has chosen not to. We therefore ask the government to rescind the export permits, ensuring that this deal does not go ahead unless and until relevant human rights concerns have been resolved.”

  92. The United States Embassy to Turkey warned its citizens on Tuesday about terrorist threats to tourist areas in Turkey.

    "The US government continues to receive credible indications that terrorist groups are seeking opportunities to attack popular tourist destinations throughout Turkey," the embassy in Ankara said in a statement to US citizens on its website on April 26.

    "Foreign tourists in Turkey have been explicitly targeted by terrorist organizations, and advises US citizens to be mindful of the potential for danger in crowded public areas and at popular tourist destinations," the US embassy said in a statement.

    The US Embassy in Ankara issued a security warning to US citizens in Turkey on April 9 this year, saying that there are credible threats to tourist areas in Istanbul and Antalya.

    Turkey has been hit by four suicide bombings already this year, two in capital Ankara and two in Istanbul.
    [Xinhua -]

  93. Austria may build a 400-metre border fence at its Brenner crossing with Italy, the police chief for the province of Tyrol said on Wednesday, according to the Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper...

    Whether the fence is built would depend on Italy's willingness to cooperate, Helmut Tomac told a news conference, the newspaper reported. A spokesman for Tyrol's police said he could not immediately confirm the report.

    Austria has already started building work at the border to enable controls to be implemented if numbers of migrants arriving there make it necessary.

  94. Iraqi forces renewed their offensive toward the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul on Wednesday, pushing their way into villages on the southeastern outskirts of the city under cover of heavy coalition airstrikes...

    The offensive had stalled out for several weeks after Iraqi forces met stiff resistance after managing to retake just three out of an original target of eight villages from Islamic State

  95. EE.UU. alerta sobre amenazas terroristas en Turquía ...

    Estados Unidos emitió una nueva advertencia a sus ciudadanos sobre "indicaciones veraces" de amenazas terroristas en áreas turísticas en Turquía.

    Un mensaje en la página web de la Embajada de Estados Unidos indica que Washington continua recibiendo informes de que grupos terroristas "están buscando oportunidades de atacar populares sitios turísticos en toda Turquía".

    Desde julio la nación árabe ha sido blanco de seis mortales ataques suicidas con bomba, cuya autoría ha sido reclamada por militantes kurdos o atribuída al grupo Estado Islámico.

    Dos judío-estadounidenses, un ciudadano israelí y un iraní murieron en un ataque de ISIS en la principal avenida peatonal de Estambul el mes pasado. En enero, 12 turistas alemanes perecieron en un ataque en el distrito histórico de la

  96. UN chief Ban Ki-moon hit out Thursday at what he called "increasingly restrictive" refugee policies in Europe as the continent faces its worst migrant crisis in decades...

    "I am concerned that European countries are now adopting increasingly restrictive immigration and refugee policies," Ban said in a speech to the Austrian

  97. Members of the French parliament voted on Thursday to lift the anti-Russian sanctions...

    The resolution was adopted at the session of the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly. A total of 55 MPs voted in its favor and another 44 lawmakers voted against the document.

    The vote was attended by only a part of the 577 MPs. The resolution is advisory and non-binding for the French leadership.

    "Despite the ruling majority’s opposition, the draft was backed by many colleagues at the parliament and should be perceived by the government very seriously," said Nicolas Dhuicq, a member of the Republicans party and the parliamentary commission on national defense and armed forces......

  98. Turkish journalists sentenced to two years in jail for reprinting Charlie Hebdo cover...

    A Turkish court sentenced two journalists to two years in jail for blasphemy on Thursday, their newspaper said, after they reprinted a controversial cover from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo above their columns last year.

    The judgement is likely to inflame concerns about freedom of expression in Turkey, where opposition newspapers have been seized and a number of journalists have been sued for insulting President Tayyip Erdogan.

    Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya, columnists for Cumhuriyet daily, had faced jail terms of up to 4-1/2 years for "insulting religious values" after they reprinted the caricature of the Prophet Mohammad following the January 2015 attacks on Charlie Hebdo in

  99. North Korea has sentenced a 62-year-old US naturalized citizen, who was originally born in South Korea, to 10 years' jail and hard labor for spying, the BBC reports...

    Kim Dong-chul allegedly confessed in Pyongyang last month, with reporters present, apparently admitting that he was in the pay of South Korean intelligence officers.

    Kim was arrested last October. At the time, the US State Department declined to comment on the matter, saying that to do so could interfere with getting Kim released.

    Pyongyang has accused Kim of being in possession of a USB stick loaded with military and nuclear secrets when he was

  100. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he expected the United States would meet a goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees before the end of the year despite delays and opposition from critics concerned about security implications...

    As Europe grappled with Syrians fleeing the country’s civil war last autumn, Obama promised to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of fiscal year 2016. But the State Department reported on March 31, halfway into the fiscal year, that only 1,285 Syrians had been admitted into the United States.

    “We’re going to keep on pushing,” Obama said when asked on Thursday whether the goal would be achieved.

    Obama’s promise has come under fire from Republicans concerned that violent militants could come into the United States posing as refugees.....REUTERS


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Δημοσιεύτηκε από Geo Kok στις Τρίτη, 9 Φεβρουαρίου 2021
Δημοσιεύτηκε από Geo Kok στις Παρασκευή, 5 Φεβρουαρίου 2021

Δημοσιεύτηκε από Geo Kok στις Πέμπτη, 28 Ιανουαρίου 2021

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