Israel denies killing Palestinian lecturer in Malaysia's capital

Israel’s defence minister Avigdor Lieberman dismissed claims that Israel’s Mossad spy agency was responsible for the killing of a Palestinian lecturer in Malaysia. Mr Lieberman suggested that the Palestinian lecturer Fadi al-Batsh was killed in an internal dispute, adding, “This man was no saint and he didn’t deal with improving infrastructure in Gaza – he was involved in improving rockets accuracy. We constantly see a settling of accounts between various factions in the terrorist organisations and I suppose that is what happened in this case.” Malaysia’s deputy prime minister Amhad Zahid...

European leaders push to ease US sanctions on Russia

European states are working together in an attempt to persuade the US administration to ease sanctions targeting Russia, due to concerns that the restrictions will impact manufacturing activity across the continent. The initiative, led by Paris, outlines increasing concern over consequences that the US sanctions on Russia could have on key EU industries. A French official warned that he sanctions which have crippled Russian aluminium producer Rusal, would have a “direct and major impact on the provisioning of key products” and that a number of industrial plants in Europe were threatened with...

Palestinian lecturer shot in Malaysia, Hamas alleges assassination

A Palestinian lecturer was shot dead in Malaysia’s capital on Saturday morning reports Reuters. “Two men on a motorcycle fired ten shots at the victim killing him on the spot,” said Kuala Lumpur police chief Mazlan Lazim in a statement. Speaking to Reuters Palestine’s ambassador to Malaysia Anwar Al Agha said, the victim was Palestinian lecturer Fadi al-Batsh but declined to say if he was a member of Hamas. When contacted by Reuters, officials in Israel declined to comment. A Hamas statement said al-Batsh was “assassinated at treacherous hands on Saturday. As he walked for the dawn prayers.”

Human Rights Watch accuses Iraq of destroying war crimes evidence

Human Rights Watch has accused Iraqi officials of disposing of war crimes evidence. In a statement released Thursday the rights group said on March 29 2018 government workers removed 80 bodies from a damaged house, raising suspicions of a cover-up of killings of possible Islamic State suspects. Days later, the house had been burned. “Given the serious abuses in the final weeks of the battle against ISIS in Mosul’s Old City, this site and the bodies should have been preserved as potential evidence for forensic investigators. Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi promised to investigate these possible...

Security Council requests study into role of UN peacekeeping mission in resolving conflict in Liberia

The UN Security Council has asked the Secretary-General to study the role played by the United Nations peacekeeping mission in resolving conflict in Liberia. The UN Mission in Liberia closed last month after nearly 15 years during which the country was at civil war for 14 years. Earlier this year President George Weah succeeded Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in what is described as the first peaceful transfer of power between democratically elected leaders in 71 years. A peace and national building plan submitted by the UN Secretary-General will continue to be implemented in partnership with the...

British opposition leader backs Yorkshire's power devolution proposals

The Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, has backed a devolution document submitted by 18 local authorities in Yorkshire that outlined proposals for devolved powers to a collective administration, reports BBC. The ‘One Yorkshire’ proposals called for the government to devolve responsibility and funding matters including transport budgets, franchised bus services and adult skills funding to create a Yorkshire Combined Authority. In response to the proposals, Mr Corbyn said, “"There is I think a growing consensus of pretty well all of the local authorities in Yorkshire that a One Yorkshire way...

EU threatens further sanctions on Venezuela over improper election environment

The European Union in a statement on Thursday threatened further sanctions on Venezuela if recently called elections were deemed unfair reports Reuters. The EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro had called presidential elections without consensus on required “conditions for a credible and inclusive electoral process.” Venezuela’s government has called presidential elections in May, despite opposition parties threatening to boycott the process due to improper circumstances around the elections. The country’s most popular opposition leaders have...

US envoy reiterates calls on Myanmar to release journalists covering Rohingya issue

The US ambassador at large for international religious freedom called on Myanmar to release journalists jailed for covering the plight of Rohingya Muslims, reports Reuters. US envoy Sam Brownback, speaking in Bangladesh, said, “The journalists should be released who are in jail in Myanmar.” Brownback was speaking on whilst on a trip to see first hand the plight of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, have been detained in Myanmar since December. Several countries including Canada, Britain and other European countries as well as the United Nations...

ISCI declares Myanmar’s violence against Rohingya a genocide

The International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) has declared Myanmar’s state violence against Rohingya Muslims a genocide, in its latest report this week. The ISCI, based in London, said in a press release that its latest report “presents irrefutable evidence of the final stages of genocide; mass annihilation and symbolic enactment, both of which remove the victim group from the country’s collective history”. “The parallels between the situation in Myanmar and other genocides are stark,” said Professor Penny Green from Queen Mary’s School of Law and Director of ISCI. “The treatment of the...

Exiled Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont meets with Catalan MPs in Berlin

The exiled Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, met with over 30 representatives from his JuntsxCat party in Berlin to discuss future strategy, reports Deutsche Welle. Following the state court’s refusal to grant Spain’s request for the extradition of Mr Puigdemont on the charge of rebellion, the Catalan leader met with 30 out of 34 of the party’s members of parliament. Speaking to reporters, the JuntsxCat party spokeswoman, Anna Grabalosa said, “It’s the only way we can stay together for a few hours to talk about the situation in the country, the last news. We also talked about the next...

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