Weekly News Wrap: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
- Sudan has accused a peacekeeping force in Darfur of killing seven civilians in three separate incidents last week, threatening to exacerbate the government’s strained relations with the international mission.
- Nearly 15,000 Burundians have fled into Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo since mid-March, United Nations and Rwandan officials said on Friday, amid growing fears of violence in the run-up to a presidential election on June 26.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Israel fired on seven United Nations schools during the 2014 Gaza war, killing 44 Palestinians who had sought shelter at some sites, while Palestinian militants hid weapons and launched attacks from several empty U.N. schools, a U.N. inquiry found.
- The humanitarian situation in Yemen has become catastrophic, relief officials said on Monday, as Saudi-led aircraft pounded Iran-allied Houthi militiamen and rebel army units for a second day, dashing hopes for a pause in fighting to let aid in.
- Israel invited bids on Monday to construct 77 new homes in two settlements on occupied land in East Jerusalem, drawing a swift Palestinian condemnation.
- Foreign fighters have taken control of villages in the Kunduz province of northern Afghanistan.
- Chinese nuclear experts have warned that North Korea may already have 20 nuclear warheads and the capability to produce enough weapons-grade uranium to double its arsenal by next year, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday his heart ached for women who were forced into prostitution by the nation’s military during World War Two, and he stood by previous Japanese leaders’ apologies for the country’s wartime history.
- Malaysia is steering clear of criticizing China’s actions in the South China Sea at a meeting of Southeast Asian leaders next week (ASEAN), a draft end-statement seen by Reuters shows, despite a push by the Philippines to denounce Beijing’s reclamation work.
- Top European Union officials met the Ukrainian leadership on Monday for talks on deepening trade links and efforts to bring peace to Ukraine, but worsening violence in the separatist-minded east clouded the summit.
- Armenia marked the centenary on Friday of a mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks with a simple flower-laying ceremony attended by foreign leaders as Germany became the latest country to respond to its calls for recognition that it was genocide.
- A former Romanian president has acknowledged approving the CIA’s request for a site in Romania, but said he would have refused had he known how it would be used.
- There is no military solution to migrants drowning in the Mediterranean, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said on Sunday, as European leaders search for ways to manage the flow of people leaving North Africa in rickety boats.
- European efforts to save the lives of migrants drowning in the Mediterranean must involve search and rescue operations near the shores of Libya, Amnesty International said on Saturday as hundreds more people arrived in Italy from North Africa.
- U.S.-led forces targeted Islamic State militants in Syria with five air strikes from Sunday to Monday morning and conducted 26 strikes against the group in Iraq, the U.S. military said.
- Air strikes by the U.S.-led coalition in Syria have killed 2,079 people, including 66 civilians, since the start of the aerial campaign against Islamic State militants last September, a group monitoring the war said on Thursday.
- Russian hackers who penetrated sensitive parts of the White House computer system last year read President Barack Obama’s unclassified emails, the New York Times reported on Saturday, quoting U.S. officials.
- Australian ties with Indonesia have become strained after nine drug traffickers met their families for what could be the final time at an Indonesian maximum security prison on Tuesday, as Jakarta rejected international pleas for clemency and ordered their executions to proceed, possibly within hours.
- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday urged Myanmar to address the citizenship status of Rohingya Muslims in the country’s western Rakhine state ahead of a general election scheduled to be held later this year.
- Europe must urgently set up an effective rescue operation for migrants at sea and commit to receiving significantly higher numbers of refugees, top U.N. officials and the International Organization for Migration said on Thursday.