Saturday, June 30, 2018

World News Briefs -- June 30, 2018

Sputnik: UN warns of 'catastrophe' as 160,000 flee southern Syria push

Number of displaced people jumps amid UN alarm at reports of fleeing civilians being forced to pay for safe passage.

The United Nations has warned of a looming "catastrophe" in southern Syria, as it raised the number of people fleeing a fierce government offensive aimed at retaking rebel-held areas to 160,000.

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the UN's high Commissioner for human rights, said in a statement on Friday that there was a "grave risk that intensified fighting will see many civilians trapped", condemning "[how] civilians in Syria continue to be used as pawns by the various parties".

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Syrian forces press offensive in south as rebels consider truce terms and civilians flee. Syrian government offensive uproots 120,000, UN warns of catastrophe. Syria: southern towns surrender to Assad forces after thousands flee home.

UN asking warring parties in Syria's Deraa to cease hostilities.

Talks with Russia over Deraa peace deal collapse: Syrian rebels.

Russia sets no deadlines for withdrawal of its taskforce from Syria, says top diplomat.

Aid agencies warn cholera and catastrophe loom in Yemen.

Post-Saddam Iraq faces parliamentary vacuum for first time.

Iraq hangs 13 'IS' prisoners as PM Haidar al-Abadi calls for 'just retribution'.

Iran urges foreign firms to resist US sanction 'threats'.

Iran's leaders seek ways to defend economy from U.S. sanctions.

Protests at Gaza border leave two Palestinians dead.

Qatar blockade case to appear before UN's highest court.


Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani ends ceasefire with Taliban.

Jim Mattis tries to ease Japan's worries about North Korea talks.

North Korea likely making more nuclear bomb fuel despite Trump-Kim talks, report says.

Pompeo addresses North Korea denuclearization in call to China. China must keep up North Korea sanctions, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells counterpart Wang Yi.

Australia warns of cold war-style espionage as it passes law banning covert foreign interference in politics.

Maldives opposition unites to challenge Yameen.

Sri Lanka moves navy unit to Chinese-run port.


African Union leaders set to meet to review free trade, crises.

UN central Mali G5 military base bomb and grenade attack leaves six dead.

Four Mali soldiers killed by landmine.

Ethiopia, Eritrea and the hope for lasting peace.

Ethiopia to remove OLF, ONLF and Ginbot 7 from terror list.

South Sudan ceasefire violated hours after taking effect. South Sudan opposition accuses government of breaking ceasefire.

100 feared dead after migrant ship sinks off Libya coast.

HRW warns of government repression in advance of DRC elections.

Defence in Burkina Faso failed coup trial slams lack of evidence.


EU extends economic sanctions against Russia.

Migrant crisis: Italy minister Salvini closes ports to NGO boats.

Chancellor Merkel confirms bilateral migrant agreements with Spain and Greece.

EU leaders agree on screening centers to ease migrant crisis.

Quit the EU for better trade deal, Trump reportedly told Macron.

Poland's Jaroslaw Kaczynski renews call for German WWII reparations.

US ambassador to Estonia quits over Donald Trump's EU comments.

Germany's BND spy agency employed Heinrich Himmler's daughter.

10 Chinese-owned vineyards in Bordeaux seized by French police in fraud inquiry.

First great white shark in decades spotted near Spain's Balearic Islands.


Obrador holds commanding lead ahead of Mexico elections Sunday.

Thousands in US march against immigration policy.

Pence tells Central American leaders to respect U.S. borders.

Migrant crisis overshadows Mike Pence's Central America tour.

Trump says he's cut his Supreme Court short-list down to five candidates including TWO women and he'll announce a nominee July 9 – but he doesn't plan to ask any of them about Roe v. Wade.

Canada hits US with retaliatory tariffs: 'We will not back down'. Canada 'will not back down' over US metals tariffs.

Trump, Trudeau discuss trade, economic issues over phone call.

Quebec court extends suspension of law banning face veils.

Jamaica to boost security after murders of returning expats .

Heat wave scorches U.S. Midwest and East.


Sahel anti-terror force vows to fight on after suicide attack on HQ.

Iraq executes 12 for terrorism after IS captives found dead.

Civilian death cases in coalition strikes against ISIS reopened after ‘War of Annihilation’ report.

Lafarge cement giant in terrorist funding probe.


World stocks up slightly Friday, but down for June as U.S. trade policy unnerves investors.

Kuwait pumps up oil output as part of OPEC, Russia plan.

Trump claims Saudi Arabia has agreed to boost oil production amid turmoil.

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