Four Rohingya children killed in landmine explosion

Four Rohingya children were killed in Rakhine, the northern state of Myanmar, in a landmine explosion on Tuesday. Neither the state nor the Arakan Army, an ethnic Rakhine armed group fighting for more autonomy in the region, have accepted responsibility for the attack. Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun of Myanmar’s military claimed that five further children were injured in this incident alongside their teacher. The children and teacher had gone to collect firewood for the village of Kyauk Yan when the landmine was accidentally triggered. However, representatives from the Arakan army have accused...

HRW condemns Indian police for failure to protect JNU students

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned India’s police force following an incident in Delhi in which dozens of masked men and several women, who claimed to be BJP supporters, stormed the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and went on a 3-hour rampage in which over 30 students and teachers were attacked. This follows an instance on 15 December when police stormed Jamia Millia Islamia campus following protests against the Indian citizenship amendment. HRW reports that the police attacked students with lathis (long batons). Videos of the incident at the JNU showed police standing by and allow...

Opposition Libyan forces capture key coastal city

Armed forces in Libya loyal to opposition leader Khalifa Haftar claim to have taken control of Sirte, a key coastal city, as conflict continues to rage in the country. The capture of Sirte marks an important gain to Haftar, who has been staging a military offensive on the capital, Tripoli since April. Tripoli is home to Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). Sirte has been controlled by forces affiliated with GNA since the expulsion of the Islamic State militants in 2016. A local resident of Sirte had told Reuters that they had spotted troops belonging to Haftar’s Libyan...

Pakistan’s PM urges UN to respect Kashmir’s right to self-determination

Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, released a statement yesterday, urging the United Nations to support a free and impartial plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir to support their right to self-determination. In his statement, he stressed the importance of respecting this right to self-determination whilst also casting blame upon India for inaction by the UN Security Council. He further chastised India for human rights abuses and accused the nation of keeping the region under illegal occupation for over 72 years. The Prime Minister stated; “Around 900,000 occupation forces have converted the...

Iraq votes to expel US troops

Following the US assassination of Iran’s chief General, Qasem Soleimani, Iraq’s parliament has voted to expel the approximately 5,200 US troops stationed in their country. The bill was passed through Iraqi parliament on Sunday 170-0 however many of the representatives, particularly Kurdish and Sunni representatives, did not attend the session to vote. The US troops were stationed in Iraq as part of the 2014 mission to support the fight against the Islamic State. The New York Times reports, that the withdrawal of US troops has risen concerns that it will allow for a resurgence of the Islamic...

Spanish board disqualifies Catalan president from office over disobedience conviction

Spain’s electoral board has ordered that pro-independence Catalan presidency Quim Torra be disqualified from being a member of the region’s parliament, meaning he would lose his presidential post. The decision came on Friday, after Torra was last month convicted and banned from holding public office for 18 months for disobedience for failing to remove ‘separatist’ symbols from public building. Torra slammed the board ruling as a "new coup against Catalan institutions." "I will take every step possible against this authoritarian and completely irregular decision," Torra said, announcing that...

English football club charged over sectarian abuse of Irish player

The English Football Association (FA) has charged Barnsley Football Club with sectarian abuse of Stoke FC player, James McClean. The FA has stated that Barnsley FC had not effectively stopped abuse from its supporters. The association saw “abusive and/or insulting words which included a reference, whether express or implied, to nationality and/or religion and/or beliefs" in the match on November 9, 2019. McClean, a Republic of Ireland international, has been a target previously following his stance on refusing to wear a Remembrance Day poppy on his shirt citing his Irish heritage. Read more...

Southern Yemen separatists reject Saudi brokered agreement

Southern Yemen separatists have rejected a peace deal, brokered agreement by Saudi Arabia, known as the Riyadh agreement. The Riyadh agreement would permit the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) to establish a national cabinet but would place armed forces under the controls of Yemen’s government, which is recognised by the international community. The agreement was negotiated in November and would bring an end to the conflict however members of the STC have rejected the deal due to violence in the Shabwa province which they blame on forces loyal to Yemen’s government and Saudi...

At least 631 Iranian protesters killed

Iranian opposition website, Kaleme, has reported that at least 631 people have been killed in protests against the rise in fuel prices which began on 15 November. The actual figure of those who died during the protests has been disputed as Reuters has reported the death toll was closer to 1,500 and Amnesty International has estimated the figure closer to 1,800. These reports have been denied by the Iranian authorities. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has claimed that these accusations are part of a ““very dangerous conspiracy” by foreign enemies. Tehran said in December that...

US president meets Navy Seal accused of war crimes

US President Donald Trump was pictured with a former US Navy Seal who was granted clemency after being committed for war crimes. Chief petty Officer Eddie Gallagher, who had initially been cleared by a military jury of murder but was convicted with posing with the body of a dead teenage Islamic State fighter, was pictured with Trump in Florida last week. The New York Times published excerpts of video interviews that fellow soldiers had with military investigators, where they described Gallagher as “evil” and “toxic”. He was accused of killing civilians, including a small girl in Afghanistan...

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