Weekly News Wrap: Monday, May 4, 2015
- Nigeria’s military is confident it has Boko Haram cornered, but a final push to clear the Islamist militants from their forest hideouts is being hampered by landmines, it said on Saturday.
- Congo-Brazzaville has banned Muslim women from wearing the full face-veil in public, citing security reasons, an Islamic association said.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Nearly 5,800 migrants have been rescued from boats off the coast of Libya over the past 48 hours, Italy’s coastguard has said.
- A Syrian government helicopter has struck a school with a barrel bomb in the northern city of Aleppo, killing at least seven civilians, including children, a monitoring group has said, as other sources reported higher death tolls.
- A suspected chlorine-gas attack by Syrian government helicopters has killed a child and injured about 40 people in Saraqeb, activists say, in the second attack on the northwestern town in days.
- The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group has claimed responsibility for a late-night car bomb attack in Baghdad that killed at least 13 people, saying it was targeting a Shia armed group.
- Yemeni Houthi rebels called on the United Nations on Saturday to seek an end to Saudi Arabian air strikes against them that they described as blatant aggression against the country.
- South Korea on Monday urged Pyongyang to release four of its citizens being held by the North, including two men who told CNN they spied for the South, and a 21-year-old New York University student.
- North Korea’s titular head of state will travel to Moscow this month instead of the country’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, for ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe, according to state media.
- Twenty-six bodies exhumed at a mass grave in southern Thailand near a camp with suspected links to human trafficking bear no signs of violent death, police said on Sunday, following initial forensic examinations at the site.
- France said on Saturday that “mutual confidence” had been re-established with Germany after German media reported the country’s foreign intelligence agency had helped the United States to spy on French firms and government offices.
- Der Spiegel reports that the US Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany, is a central and indispensible element in Barack Obama’s controversial use of drones in the war against terror.
- Costa Rica has issued an emergency alert after a ship carrying 180 tons of ammonium nitrate sunk off the country’s Pacific coast, releasing the massive amount of toxic cargo into the ocean.
- The death toll from an air strike by U.S.-led forces on the northern Syrian province of Aleppo has risen to 52 including seven children, a group monitoring the conflict said on Saturday.
- Following a string of horrific botched executions, the US Supreme Court is considering a case that could lead to a ban on lethal injections.
- Australia’s police force on Monday defended its involvement in tracking an international drug smuggling network that culminated in the execution of two Australians by firing squad in Indonesia last week.
- Key infrastructure in war-torn Yemen, including water supplies, health services and telecommunications, are on the verge of breaking down due to a major fuel shortage, a United Nations humanitarian official has warned.