UK opens new Department for International Trade (DIT) in Tamil Nadu

The British government opened up a new office for the Department for International Trade (DIT) in Chennai today, as it looks to expand links across the region. British Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, Bharat Joshi, opened the new centre and said that the UK's “ties with India have never been stronger”. “Our new Prime Minister’s visit next month to open the India-UK TECH Summit with Prime Minister Modi is another milestone in this key relationship and reflects India’s importance as a strategic partner,” he added. UK Prime Minister Theresa May's visit to India will be her first outside of...

Civilians and US troops killed in heavy Afghan fighting

At least 30 civilians have been killed by an alleged NATO air strike in northern Afghanistan where heavy fighting with the Taliban has seen the death of two US soldiers. Local Afghan officials in the city of Kunduz blamed NATO air strikes for the deaths, after angry protestors brought bodies of the dead to the governor's office, reports the BBC . The New York Times reported 22 bodies were brought into Kunduz hospital including 14 of them children and four women. One of the protestors, 55-year-old labourer Taza Gul told the BBC: "I am heartbroken. I have lost seven members of my family. I want...

Pro-Kurdish politicians arrested by Turkey over 'terrorism'

The leaders of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP) and at least 10 other MPs have been arrested by Turkish authorities over charges linking them to “terrorist propaganda” on Friday. Those arrested included HDP leaders Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ in early morning raids that also saw internet services cut off to the Kurdish southeast. The Turkish government has accused the HDP of being the political wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which for decades has been fighting for a separate state. Commenting on the arrests, Turkey's Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said...

English and Scottish FA to defy Fifa ban and wear poppies on Armistice day

The Football Associations of England and Scotland have confirmed that they will defy the ban on players wearing poppies when the teams meet on Armistice Day. The world football’s governing Body Fifa prohibits political, religious and commercial messages on shirts. However, the chief executive of the English Football Association FA Martin Glenn told the BBC that the players from both sides would wear the poppy symbol, and were willing to accept any punishment. Speaking at Prime Minister’s questions, British Prime Minister Ms Theresa May added to the debate stating, “"Our football players want...

UN Sec-Gen sacks commander of UN peacekeeping forces in South Sudan for failure to protect civilians

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sacked the commander of the peacekeeping forces in South Sudan following a damning report that accused the UN forces of failing to protect civilians during outbreaks of violence in July. The report of the UN special investigation found that a lack of leadership in the UN mission, culminated in a “chaotic and ineffective response” during the heavy fighting South Sudan that killed dozens of people this summer. Peacekeepers abandoned their posts and failed to respond to pleas from aid workers under attack, reports Reuters. The UN Secretary General’s...

Rwanda accuses 22 French army officers of genocide

The Rwandan government this week named 22 French senior military officials accused of aiding in the planning and execution of genocide in 1994. According to Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide, the French officers were involved as both perpetrators and accomplices. Acts said to be perpetrated in Rwanda included the establishment of tools for genocide, leading in acts of torture and concealing crimes committed by the Juvénal Habyarimana regime. The statement also included the names of 3 officers from Paris believed to be involved in crimes. “As supreme commander of the...

Turkey rejects criticism for detention of opposition newspaper editor

Turkey’s prime minister rejected criticism for the detention of senior journalists at an opposition newspaper, adding that he would not be brought to heel by international threats. Speaking in parliament today about EU criticism Binali Yildirim said, “We don’t care about your red line. It’s the people who draw the red line. What importance does your line have? We have no problem with press freedom. This is what we can't agree with our European friends. They always bring up press freedom when we take steps in our fight against terrorism.” The United States and European Parliament both voiced...

UK re-elected to serve 3 year term on UN Human Rights Council

The United Kingdom was voted to on to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the term January 2017 to December 2019, on Monday. The decision came following an eleven month campaign by the to secure another term as a voting member of the Human Rights Council. Speaking in New York today, the British Human Rights Minister Baroness Anelay, said, “I am delighted that the UK has been re-elected to serve a further three year term on the Human Rights Council. The UK has been a strong advocate of the vital work the Council since its inception, and we are honoured to continue to serve as a...

Northern Ireland likely to seek special status with EU after Brexit

Northern Ireland could have a different relationship to the European Union’s single market compared to the rest of the United Kingdom following its exit from the EU, said the leader of the British province. Northern Ireland’s First Minster Arlene Foster has repeatedly said she wants to avoid having a “hard border” with customs checks with the Republic of Ireland. Speaking to Reuters on Saturday, Ms Foster said that Northern Ireland may seek a special status in relation to either the customs union or the EU’s single market. Speaking at her annual party conference, Ms Foster said, “Because of...

ICC prosecutor ‘deeply concerned’ over extrajudicial killings in the Philippines

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said she was “deeply concerned” over the spate of extrajudicial killings that have taken place in the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte came in to power earlier this year. Fatou Bensouda said she was "deeply concerned about these alleged killings and the fact that public statements of high officials of the republic of the Philippines seem to condone such killings". Almost 3,000 people are thought to have been killed since Mr Duterte launched a crackdown on the drug trade in June. As many as 1,566 suspects have died in police...

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