Fidel Castro dies aged 90

The former President of Cuba Fidel Castro has died at the age of 90. Cuba’s incumbent president Raul Castro, announcing the news on television on Friday night, said, “With profound sadness I am appearing to inform our people and our friends across [Latin] America and the world, that today, 25 November 2016, at 10.29pm, Fidel Castro, the commander in chief of the Cuban revolution, died. In accordance with his wishes, his remains will be cremated.” Over half a century ago, Fidel Castro’s militant forces replaced the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and implemented communist rule over...

UN official accuses Myanmar of ‘ethnic cleansing’

A United Nations official has accused Myanmar’s government of carrying out “ethnic cleansing” with military operations in the Rakhine state, which has caused tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to be displaced, following a UN Security Council closed door meeting on the crisis last week. John McKissick who heads the UN refugee agency UNHCR in the Bangladeshi border town of Cox's Bazar told the BBC that Myanmar’s military was engaged in “collective punishment of the Rohingya minority". "Now it's very difficult for the Bangladeshi government to say the border is open because this would further...

US names Syrian commanders responsible for killing and torture of civilians

The US Ambassador to the United Nations in New York Samantha Power named 13 Syrian military commanders that had been involved in killing and injuring civilians since 2011 through air and ground assaults, and detaining and torturing civilians reports Reuters. “The United States will not let those who have commanded units involved in these actions hide anonymously behind the façade of the Assad regime, said MS Power. The US Ambassador added, “Those behind such attacks must know that we and the international community are watching their actions, documenting their abuses, and one day they will be...

Hospitals in Aleppo out of service following heavy airstrikes says WHO

All hospitals in Aleppo have been deemed out of action following days of heavy airstrikes said the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday. The White House national security adviser Susan Riche said the United States condemned “ in the strongest terms” the latest series of air-strikes against hospitals. The eastern part of Aleppo saw intense airstrikes from the Syrian army that started on Tuesday, reports Reuters.

EU and US agree to keep economic sanction on Russia

The US President and European Union (EU) leaders agreed on Friday to keep in place economic sanctions imposed on Russia over its encroachment into Ukraine. The agreement was made by six government heads at an informal summit hosed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, where close transatlantic cooperation between the US and EU was discussed. Incumbent US President Barack Obama urged EU leaders to work on common challenges with the incoming Trump administration “on the basis of the core values that define the United States and Europe as open democracies, said the White House. French...

Russia to withdraw from ICC

Russian president, Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to withdraw Russia from the International Criminal Court (ICC). The decision came after the ICC ruled Russia’s activity in Crimea was an “ongoing occupation”. Russian forces have also been accused of war crimes in Syria in recent months, with Human Rights Watch (HRW) and other groups calling for an ICC investigation. Russia became a signatory of the Rome Statute in 2000, but did not to ratify the treaty – rendering this decision a highly symbolic one. Tanya Lokshina of HRW said, “on a practical level it will not make much difference, but...

Bangladesh considers dropping Islam as state religion

Officials in Bangladesh are considering dropping Islam as the national religion. Dr Abdur Razzak, a member of the ruling Awami League Party, proposed that Islam be removed from the constitution during a discussion organised by the SAARC Cultural Society in Dhaka. “Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony. Here we live with people from all religions and Islam should not be accommodated as the state religion in the Bangladeshi constitution," he said He further added, “I have said it abroad and now I am saying it again that Islam will be dropped from Bangladesh’s constitution when the time...

Colombia given second chance at a peace deal

The Colombian government and the FARC on Saturday signed a modified peace deal, six weeks after the initial deal was rejected through a national referendum. The modified agreement has omitted some controversial benefits initially given to the FARC, such as a provision guaranteeing FARC’s political wing 16 seats in Congress over an eight-year period. Former Colombian president, Alvaro Uribe, is calling for an opportunity for critics and war victims to examine the new agreement. However, current President, Juan Manuel Santos, aims to move quickly with the deal – seeking to get approval through...

Facts prove that cooperation is only way says Chinese Premier to Trump

China and the US will have one of the strongest relationships moving forward, said US President-elect Tump’s office in a statement made shortly after the leaders of the two nations spoke on the phone. A statement from Trump’s presidential transition office said, “During the call, the leaders established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another, and President-elect Trump stated that he believes the two leaders will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward. China’s president Xi Jinping during the call with US President-elect Donal Trump said that...

Myanmar troops fire on Rohingya Muslim areas

The Myanmar government confirmed that troops had fired on villages in Rakhine belonging to Rohingya Muslims, the BBC reported on Sunday. The report corroborates photographs released by Human Rights Watch which shows villages burnt to ground with 430 destroyed buildings. “New satellite images not only confirm the widespread destruction of Rohingya villages but show that it was even greater than we first thought,” Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch said. “Burmese authorities should promptly establish a UN-assisted investigation as a first step toward ensuring justice and security...

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