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Thursday 30 March 2017
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Category: International Affairs

Trump signs order undoing Obama climate change policies

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President Donald Trump has signed an executive order rolling back Obama-era rules aimed at curbing climate change. The president said this would put an end to the “war on coal” and...

Mosul battle: US ‘may be responsible’ for civilian deaths

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A US army general has said coalition forces “probably” played a role in the 17 March air strike on west Mosul which may have killed more than 100 people Lt Gen Stephen Townsend said the...

IS conflict: Syria force pauses assault for dam checks

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US-backed Syrian fighters paused their offensive near the Tabqa dam on Monday to let engineers check it and fix any damage affecting operations. The Syrian Democratic Forces alliance is battling...

Cyclone Debbie: ‘Monster’ storm makes landfall in Australia

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A powerful cyclone carrying winds of up to 263km/h (163 mph) has reached the coast of Queensland, Australia. More than 25,000 people were urged to evacuate ahead of Cyclone Debbie. The category four...

United Airlines under fire for ‘barring girls wearing leggings’

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United Airlines has been heavily criticised on social media after two girls were reportedly barred from flying for wearing leggings. The incident happened on a flight from Denver to Minneapolis on...

Mosul offensive: Iraq denies air strike caused civilian deaths

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Iraq’s military has cast doubt on reports that an air strike by the US-led coalition caused the deaths of dozens of civilians in west Mosul. Instead it blamed explosive booby-traps set by...

Syria rebels ‘take control’ of IS-held airbase near Raqqa

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US-backed Syrian rebels say they have taken full control of a key airbase held by the Islamic State group near its stronghold, Raqqa. Talal Sello, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF),...

Trump blames Democrats for failed healthcare bill

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US President Donald Trump has blamed Democrats for the failure of his healthcare bill. The bill was withdrawn on Friday because it did not have enough support to pass in Congress. Speaking to the...

London attack: Police appeal for information on Khalid Masood

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Police are appealing for information as they try to establish whether Westminster attacker Khalid Masood acted alone or was directed by others. They said the investigation would focus on...

IS leaves trail of destruction in Syria’s Palmyra

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The BBC’s Lyse Doucet says the trail of destruction left by Islamic State militants in Palmyra extends beyond the ancient Syrian city’s famous Roman-era ruins. She finds the city council...

London attack: Khalid Masood identified as killer

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Police have identified Khalid Masood as the man who carried out the Westminster attack, as the death toll rose to five. Masood, 52, was born as Adrian Elms in Kent and was shot dead by police. He had...

US healthcare bill: Trump issues Friday vote ultimatum

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US President Donald Trump has demanded a make-or-break Friday vote on a new health care bill in the House of Representatives. The American Healthcare Act is intended to replace parts of President...

IS conflict: US airlift backs new assault near Raqqa stronghold

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US-led coalition aircraft have for the first time carried out an airlift of allied fighters battling the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) in Syria. The Pentagon said members of the Syrian Democratic...

London attack: World leaders show solidarity

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Leaders of countries affected by recent terror attacks have voiced solidarity with the UK after the deadly attack near the Houses of Parliament. A lone attacker was shot dead after he used a car to...

Guatemala youth gangs kill three police officers

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The authorities in Guatemala say there has been a series of attacks on police officers after riot police stormed a youth detention centre on Monday. Interior Minister Francisco Rivas said three...

Syria conflict: Rebels launch fresh Damascus assault

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Rebels and allied jihadists have launched a new attack in east Damascus, two days after Syrian government forces repelled an initial assault. A rebel official said they had retaken ground in the...

Pakistan asks Facebook to help fight blasphemy

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Pakistan says it has asked Facebook to help investigate “blasphemous content” posted on the social network by Pakistanis. Facebook has agreed to send a team to Pakistan to address...

Britain’s GCHQ agency denies wiretapping Donald Trump

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Britain’s communications intelligence agency GCHQ has issued a statement denying it wiretapped Donald Trump during the US presidential campaign. The unusual move by the agency came after White...

Great Barrier Reef survival relies on halting warming, study warns

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Australia’s Great Barrier Reef can be saved only if urgent steps are taken to reduce global warming, new research has warned. Attempting to stop coral bleaching through any other method will...

Trump travel ban: US judge blocks new executive order

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A federal judge in Hawaii has blocked President Donald Trump’s new travel ban, hours before it was due to begin after midnight on Thursday. US District Judge Derrick Watson cited...

Syria conflict: Jets deliberately bombed Damascus spring – UN

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UN human rights experts say the Syrian air force deliberately bombed a spring outside Damascus in December, cutting off the water supply for 5.5 million people living in and around the city. The...

Donald Trump tax: Leaked 2005 document reveals $38m bill

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US President Donald Trump paid $38m (£31m) in tax on more than $150m (£123m) income in 2005, a leaked partial tax return shows. Two pages of the tax return were revealed by US TV network MSNBC but...

Egypt extracts torso of ‘Pharaoh Ramses II’ statue from mud

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The torso of a huge statue, possibly 3,000 years old, has been lifted from the ground in Egypt. It could depict a famous pharaoh. The statue’s giant head and other fragments were extracted from...

Brexit bill: Parliament clears way for talks with EU

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Parliament has passed the Brexit bill, paving the way for the government to trigger Article 50 so the UK can leave the European Union. Peers backed down over the issues of EU residency rights and a...

Syria war: 2016 was the worst year for Syrian children, says Unicef

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Syria’s children “hit rock bottom” in 2016, with more killed than in any other year of the civil war, Unicef has said. At least 652 children died – 255 of them in or near a...

IS fighters left in Mosul will die, says US envoy McGurk

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Any so-called Islamic State (IS) fighters left in Mosul will die in the Iraqi city, a US envoy co-ordinating the offensive has said. Brett McGurk, the senior US official in the counter-IS coalition,...

Park Geun-hye: Court ousts South Korea’s scandal-hit president

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South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye has become the country’s first democratically elected leader to be forced from office. Judges unanimously upheld Parliament’s decision to...

IS conflict: US sends Marines to support Raqqa assault

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The US has sent 400 additional troops to Syria to support an allied local force aiming to capture the so-called Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. They include Marines, who arrived in the past few...

Mosul battle: Troops retake main government office

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Iraqi forces say they have retaken the main government offices in Mosul as the offensive continues to oust the so-called Islamic State (IS) group. The advance could pave the way for an attack on the...

China calls on N Korea to suspend missile and nuclear tests

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China has proposed that North Korea suspend its tests of missile and nuclear technology to “defuse a looming crisis”. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that in exchange, the US and South...

Mosul battle: New Iraqi push on IS-held city centre

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Iraqi forces have launched a new push in their battle to capture western Mosul from so-called Islamic State. Several neighbourhoods have been captured since the US-backed operation began on 19...

Pilot of crashed Syrian jet rescued in Turkey

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The pilot of a Syrian military aircraft that crashed near the border between Syria and Turkey has been found alive and taken to a hospital, officials say. The Syrian pilot ejected before the crash,...

Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak acquitted over 2011 protester deaths

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Egypt’s top appeals court has acquitted former President Hosni Mubarak of conspiring in the killing of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising. Mr Mubarak was sentenced to life in...

Palmyra: Syrian forces ‘completely retake’ IS-held town

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Syrian government forces and their Russian backers have completely recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from so-called Islamic State (IS) militants, the two allies say. The army and other...

Palmyra: Syrian forces ‘enter’ IS-held town

Syrian government forces have entered the ancient city of Palmyra, pushing back militants from so-called Islamic State (IS), activists say. The troops and their allies, backed by Russian air strikes,...

Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions met Russian ambassador

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions met Russia’s ambassador twice during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign last year, the US government has confirmed. Mr Sessions, a senator at the time,...

Yemen conflict: Red Cross appeals for access to key port

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Aid workers say fighting in Yemen has made it virtually impossible to ship humanitarian supplies to a key harbour when the country is at risk of famine. The International Committee of the Red Cross...

Israel’s Netanyahu criticised over 2014 Gaza war preparations

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former defence officials have been criticised by an inquiry into their conduct during the 2014 Gaza war. A report by Israel’s state comptroller...

Syria war: Russia and China veto sanctions

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Russia and China have vetoed a UN resolution to impose sanctions on Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons. It is the seventh time Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution to...

Syria al-Qaeda leader ‘targeted in strike on car’

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The deputy leader of al-Qaeda was the target of an air strike in the Syrian province of Idlib on Sunday, according to unconfirmed reports. It is not clear whether Abu al-Khayr al-Masri survived the...

Trump lays out hike in military spending

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US President Donald Trump is seeking to boost defence spending by 10% in his proposed budget plan for 2018. The blueprint will increase defence spending by $54bn (£43bn) but seeks to recoup that sum...

Mosul battle: Kurdish reporter Shifa Gardi killed in Iraq

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A Kurdish reporter has been killed while covering on the battle for Mosul in Iraq. Shifa Gardi, who worked for Iraqi Kurdish channel Rudaw, was killed by a roadside bomb as she covered the advance of...

Syria: Twin attacks on Homs security bases kill dozens

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Gunmen and suicide bombers have attacked security bases in Homes, western Syria, killing at least 32. State TV said the local head of military intelligence was among the dead and some reports say...

Millions without water in Chile capital, Santiago

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Rainstorms and landslides in Chile have contaminated a major river forcing the authorities to cut off drinking water to four million people in the capital, Santiago. Officials said the water supply...

Libya’s eastern authority freezes women’s travel ban

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The authorities in eastern Libya have ordered a temporary freeze on a controversial travel ban on Libyan women under the age of 60. The directive, which came into force last weekend, was widely...

Syria war: Arab-Kurdish fighters enter IS-held Deir al-Zour province

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A US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab rebels has advanced into territory held by so-called Islamic State (IS) in Deir al-Zour province, eastern Syria. Kurdish military sources said the Syrian...

Jean-Claude Juncker: UK faces hefty Brexit bill

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has warned the UK it faces a “very hefty” bill for Brexit.  He promised two years of “tough negotiation”, when discussions...

Dozens of migrants drown off Libya

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The bodies of 87 African migrants have washed ashore in the Libyan city of Zawiya, in the latest drowning tragedy to hit the region. It is believed they were trying to cross the Mediterranean to...

Israeli soldier gets 18 months for killing wounded Palestinian attacker

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An Israeli soldier who killed a wounded Palestinian attacker in a high-profile case that split opinion across the country has been jailed for 18 months. Sgt Elor Azaria was found guilty of...

Mosul offensive: Iraqi army battles for outskirts of IS city

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Iraqi government forces have moved closer to the southern outskirts of western Mosul, on the second day of a fresh offensive against so-called Islamic State. The outlying village of Abu Saif, which...