Weekly News Wrap: Monday, May 25, 2015
- Fighting in south Somalia between al Shabaab militants and government forces killed at least 24 people, while a rebel attack in the capital killed three Transport Ministry workers and a lawmaker, officials and the group said on Saturday.
- An unidentified gunman on Wednesday shot at United Nations vehicles in Mali’s capital Bamako and targeted a house where U.N. staff were staying, wounding a guard, the world body said.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Iraqi forces recaptured territory from advancing Islamic State militants near the recently-fallen city of Ramadi on Sunday, while in Syria the government said the Islamists had killed hundreds of people since capturing the town of Palmyra.
- Saudi forces and Yemen’s Houthi militia traded heavy artillery fire which destroyed part of the main border crossing between the two countries overnight, residents said on Sunday, an escalation of the two-month war.
- Hezbollah is fighting across all of Syria alongside the army of President Bashar al-Assad and is willing to increase its presence there when needed, the leader of the Lebanese Shi’ite movement said on Sunday.
- A group of activists have made a rare crossing of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing North and South Korea in a move aimed at promoting peace and reconciliation on the divided peninsula.
- Malaysia’s police chief said on Monday that 139 graves believed to contain the remains of migrants were found near the country’s border with Thailand, and that some graves contained more than one body.
- The EU has criticised Russian President Vladimir Putin for enacting a law banning what Moscow deems to be undesirable non-government organisation.
- A Greek government minister has said that Athens will not be able to repay the IMF on schedule next month, reiterating previous warnings by officials during tense talks on reaching a bailout deal with the country’s creditors.
- Seventy Afghan and Iraqi migrants were rescued from a packed boat off the southeastern coast of Italy and brought to shore on Sunday, Italy’s coast guard said.
- The people of Ireland backed same-sex marriage by a landslide in a referendum that marked a dramatic social shift in a traditionally Catholic country that only decriminalized homosexuality two decades ago.
- The Dutch government on Friday agreed to introduce a partial ban on the wearing of the full-face veil in public places, the Home Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
- The European Commission is set to propose next week that 40,000 asylum seekers who have arrived by boat in Italy and Greece should be relocated across the continent in response to what it considers an emergency situation in both countries.
- One police officer was killed and two more were wounded in a bombing by Colombia’s FARC rebels on Sunday in the first attack by the group since it called off a unilateral ceasefire during peace talks with the government.
- The German government declined to comment on a report that U.S. intelligence agencies were reviewing their cooperation with German counterparts and had dropped joint projects due to concerns secret information was being leaked by lawmakers.
- Russia’s foreign ministry has warned its citizens traveling abroad of the risks posed by U.S. law enforcement bodies and special services, which it said were hunting for Russians around the world.
- Cuba and the United States reported making progress toward restoring diplomatic relations following two days of talks and pledged on Friday to continue informal negotiations in the coming weeks.
- Australia on Monday moved to increase cooperation between its security agencies against the threat of Islamic State group militants by appointing two new counterterrorism coordinators.
- Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is at its lowest May level since records began in the 1980s.
- The United Nations, the European Union and African nations urged Burundi’s government and the opposition on Sunday not to let violence derail dialogue, after an opposition politician was shot dead and some groups said they were boycotting talks.
- A United Nations commission on Friday adopted revised rules on the treatment of prisoners in what human rights organizations hailed as a landmark deal to update 60-year-old international standards.
- United Nations talks to end the conflict in Yemen have been postponed just four days before they were due to begin, a UN official told AFP news agency.