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Government bombing of Damascus suburbs kills more than 100

Added: 21.02.2018 21:59 | 0 views | 0 comments

BEIRUT (AP) — Government forces bombed the northeastern suburbs of the Syrian capital for a second straight day on Tuesday, killing more than 100 people and raising the specter of a full-scale offensive that could spell catastrophe for the nearly 400,000 residents trapped under siege.


Seized, but not ceased: Banned charities pose challenge for Pakistan

Added: 21.02.2018 21:34 | 0 views | 0 comments

The vast network of Islamist charities taken over last week by Pakistan's government includes a horse-breeding stable, a fleet of 4x4 trucks, a swimming academy, martial arts classes and tens of thousands of staff and volunteers. Islamabad hopes that by seizing control of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) charities, which the United States says are terrorist fronts, it can stave off being included this week on a global watchlist of country's deemed to be doing too little to curb militant financing.


Syria's Child Death Toll Prompts Scathing 1-Sentence Statement From UN Agency

Added: 21.02.2018 21:34 | 0 views | 0 comments

The United Nations agency that helps the world’s needy children issued a terse statement on Tuesday about the escalating death toll in Syria as pro-government forces hammer rebel-held areas.


Duterte slammed for barring Philippine news site from his events

Added: 21.02.2018 21:29 | 0 views | 0 comments

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's move to ban a critical news website from covering the presidential palace is a threat to press freedom, rights and media groups said on Wednesday. Rappler, set up in 2012, is among a clutch of Philippine news organisations that have sparred with Duterte over their critical coverage of his drug war which the government says has claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 suspects. Human rights groups charge that thousands more have been killed by shadowy vigilantes.


Trump’s 90-day plan for opioids has failed – here’s a better one

Added: 21.02.2018 21:28 | 0 views | 0 comments

Deaths caused by accidental drug overdoses in the US now exceed those from motor vehicle incidents and guns. The government has been all talk and little action


Time for the UK to stop dithering and add folic acid to bread

Added: 21.02.2018 21:28 | 0 views | 0 comments

With yet more evidence in favour of fortifying flour with folic acid to help avoid serious birth defects, it's time the government acted, says Geoffrey Webb

Tags: UK, Government

Turkey 'opens fire on Syrian regime forces' coming to the aid of Kurds in Afrin

Added: 21.02.2018 21:24 | 0 views | 0 comments

Turkish forces shelled a column of pro-Assad regime fighters as they tried to join with Kurdish forces resisting a Turkish incursion into northern Syria, Turkey’s resident Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. The regime has been saying for days that it would dispatch fighters to support the Kurds as they battle to keep Turkey from taking control of the Kurdish-held pocket of Afrin. The confrontation pits the Turkish army and allied Syrian rebel groups directly against the military alliance backing the government of President Bashar al-Assad, further scrambling northwest Syria's already messy battlefield. Mr Erdogan described the convoy as being made up of "terrorists" acting independently. He said Turkish artillery fire had forced it to turn back, although the Kurdish militia denied this. "Unfortunately, these kind of terror organisations take wrong steps with the decisions they take. It is not possible for us to allow this. They will pay a heavy price,” he said.  Syrian television had earlier shown the group of fighters passing through a checkpoint that bore the insignia of the Kurdish security force, some chanting "one Syria, one Syria", and driving further into Afrin. Pro-regime fighters drive past a banner of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan Credit: GEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images Ankara's month-old offensive is aimed at driving the Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as a big security threat on its border, from Afrin. The YPG hailed the arrival of the pro-government forces - which included militias allied to Assad but not the Syrian army itself - and said they were deploying along the front line facing the Turkish border. It made no mention of a deal that a Kurdish official said on Sunday had been struck with Assad's government for the Syrian army itself to enter Afrin. Erdogan said he had previously reached an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Assad's main international backers, to block Syrian government support for the YPG fighters. He described the pro-government fighters coming to the YPG's aid as Shi'ite militias, and said they would pay a heavy price. YPG media adviser Rezan Hedo denied Erdogan's assertion that the convoy had turned back under Turkish artillery fire, but he gave no details on its size or composition. A Britain-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said one convoy had entered Afrin while another turned back. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his forces had driven back regime troops Credit: Pool Photo via AP Earlier on Tuesday, Erdogan said he had received Putin's agreement to block a Syrian government deployment in Afrin. Turkey and Russia have supported opposite sides throughout the war, with Moscow the closest ally of Assad and Ankara one of the principal supporters of rebels fighting to overthrow him. However, in recent months Turkey has lent support to a Russian-led effort to end the war with most population centres in the hands of Assad's government. Ankara said last month it sought Moscow's agreement before launching the Afrin assault. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday the Afrin crisis could be resolved through direct negotiations between Damascus and Ankara. Assad's other main ally, Iran, is more closely involved than Russia with the militias that back the Syrian government on the ground, such as those who entered Afrin on Tuesday. The Turkish offensive has made gains along almost all the border area with Afrin, pushing several km (miles) into Syria and seizing villages. But the YPG still holds most of the region including its main town, also called Afrin.

US: North Korea canceled meeting with Pence at last minute

Added: 21.02.2018 21:19 | 0 views | 0 comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence was all set to hold a history-making meeting with North Korean officials during the Winter Olympics in South Korea, but Kim Jong Un's government canceled at the last minute, the Trump administration said Tuesday.

Syria's Ghouta residents "wait to die" as more bombs fall

Added: 21.02.2018 21:09 | 0 views | 0 comments

Residents of Syria's eastern Ghouta district said they were waiting their "turn to die" on Wednesday, amid one of the most intense bombardments of the war by pro-government forces on the besieged, rebel-held enclave near Damascus. Emily Wither reports.


Democrats want $300 million to fight possible Russia election tampering

Added: 21.02.2018 20:49 | 0 views | 0 comments

U.S. Democratic leaders called on Congress on Wednesday to give the Federal Bureau of Investigation $300 million to fight foreign efforts to interfere in congressional and state elections in November, amid growing concerns about potential Russian influence on the polls. Citing warnings from intelligence agencies that Russia is trying to influence the upcoming vote, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi asked that the additional funds be included in a bill to fund the government which Congress aims to pass by March 23.


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