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    Daraa province: cradle of Syrian revolt
    25.04.18
    AFP

    Syria's southern province of Daraa, which could be the regime's next target after its bloody reprisal of Eastern Ghouta, is the birthplace of the uprising which erupted in 2011. This agricultural region lies south of Damascus and also shares borders with Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. - First spark - In early March 2011 more than a dozen Daraa youths, influenced by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, scribbled slogans hostile to President Bashar al-Assad on the wall of their school. The regime reacted brutally, jailing them, and according to activists, torturing the boys. The repression...

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    Philippines to deport Australian nun who angered Duterte
    25.04.18
    AFP

    The Philippines on Wednesday ordered the deportation of an elderly Australian nun who angered President Rodrigo Duterte, accusing her of engaging in illegal political activities outside of her missionary work. Sister Patricia Fox, 71, who was briefly detained last week, would be the second foreigner who has spoken out against Duterte's policies to be kicked out as the government hits back against critics of his human rights record. The Philippine immigration service said it had cancelled the missionary visa of Fox, a long-time Manila resident who said she joined a recent fact-finding mission to investigate alleged human rights abuses against...

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    Israel scraps plan to expel African migrants
    24.04.18
    AFP

    Israel announced on Tuesday it has abandoned controversial plans to expel African migrants who entered the Jewish state illegally, after failing to find a country willing to host them. The plan had targeted some 42,000 migrants of Eritrean and Sudanese origin currently living in Israel and denied refugee status. Government legal advisers informed the Supreme Court of the plan's cancellation after certain unspecified countries refused to host the migrants, a government source said. "At this stage, the possibility of removal to a third country is no longer relevant," the advisers said in a statement. Prime Minister...

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    At UN, Colombia's president says drugs is main threat to peace
    24.04.18
    afp

    Delivering a swansong address to the United Nations, Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos called Tuesday for a shift in the global approach to drug trafficking, which he described as the main threat to peace. Santos, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an end to the decades-old conflict with FARC rebels, spoke at a UN meeting on sustaining peace ahead of elections on May 27 to choose his successor. "Today, drug trafficking continues to be the main threat to peace," said Santos, who is due to step down in August after serving eight years in office. "If we want to protect peace in Colombia, in the region and in the world, we need to change the global strategy to overcome...

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    Armenia opposition leader Pashinyan says 'ready to lead' country
    24.04.18
    afp

      Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan on Tuesday said he was ready to lead the country after the resignation of Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian following eleven days of protests against his rule. "Yes of course we are ready to lead our country," Pashinyan said at a news conference in Yerevan, after being asked whether he was ready to steer the government of the ex-Soviet South Caucasus country. "If people will bestow on me this responsibility, I'll assume the responsibility," Pashinyan said. On Wednesday morning the 42-year-old leader of the Civil Contract party is set to meet the acting head of government Karen Karapetyan to discuss the transfer of...

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    Eighteen killed in Nigerian church by suspected herdsmen
    24.04.18
    afp

    Two priests were among at least 18 people killed in a dawn attack on a church in central Nigeria, police said on Tuesday.  Around 30 suspected herdsmen attacked Mbalom community in the volatile region killing the worshippers and the two priests, said Benue state police commissioner Fatai Owoseni in the state capital of Makurdi.  "They attacked the venue of a burial ceremony and also attacked the church where the two reverend fathers were holding mass," said Owoseni.  "We were able to recover 16 bodies from the scene of the attack and those of the two priests."  Worshippers were gathered for the daily 5:30 am (0430GMT) service at St. Ignatius Catholic church when they heard...

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    Karadzic insists he sought 'peace' in Balkans war
    24.04.18
    AFP

    Convicted criminal Radovan Karadzic on Tuesday accused Bosnian Muslims of "declaring war" on Serbs, insisting at his appeal before a UN tribunal that he had worked for peace in the Balkans. The prosecution's case against him was "upside down, the wrong way up," Karadzic insisted, on the second and final day of his appeal in The Hague. The once-feared Bosnian Serb leader is urging the judges to throw out his 2016 conviction for war crimes and genocide, and either acquit him or order a new trial. "Nothing in these proceedings that was alleged is true," he said in an animated personal address to the judges, saying it meant "that the...

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    Karadzic insists he sought 'peace' in Balkans war
    24.04.18
    AFP

    Convicted criminal Radovan Karadzic on Tuesday accused Bosnian Muslims of "declaring war" on Serbs, insisting at his appeal before a UN tribunal that he had worked for peace in the Balkans. The prosecution's case against him was "upside down, the wrong way up," Karadzic insisted, on the second and final day of his appeal in The Hague. The once-feared Bosnian Serb leader is urging the judges to throw out his 2016 conviction for war crimes and genocide, and either acquit him or order a new trial. "Nothing in these proceedings that was alleged is true," he said in an animated personal address to the judges, waving his hands for...

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    Yemen rebels vow to avenge coalition killing of political head
    24.04.18
    afp

    Yemen's Huthi militias vowed Monday to avenge the killing of their top political leader in what they said was a Saudi-led coalition air strike, the highest-ranking rebel to die in the three-year conflict. Saleh al-Sammad, head of the Huthis' supreme political council, was "martyred" last Thursday in the eastern province of Hodeida, the Iran-allied rebels said via their Saba news agency. Sammad's death is a major blow to the Shiite rebels who have been fighting forces of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi backed by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia. The most senior rebel to have been killed since the coalition intervened in March 2015, his name was on a Saudi list of 40 Huthi...

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    C. African president urges disarming armed groups
    24.04.18
    afp

    The Central African Republic's President Faustin-Archange Touadera told the United Nations on Monday he wants to "accelerate" the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of members of armed groups. "I have instructed my government to work toward reducing the harm and threat of armed groups in the Central African Republic, by accelerating the implementation of the disarmament, reintegration and repatriation program," he said at a meeting concerning the peace process in his country. Such an operation would require "necessary reforms of the security sector for the reconstitution of national defense forces and interior security forces," Touadera added. His comments come as the...

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    On appeal, Karadzic slams 'myths' about Bosnian war
    23.04.18
    AFP

    Once-feared Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic Monday urged UN judges to throw out his war crimes convictions, angrily denying he was behind a campaign of ethnic cleansing and murders in the Balkans conflict two decades ago. Addressing the start of a two-day appeal hearing, Karadzic, 72, fiercely denounced what he called "myths" about the permanent removals or expulsions of Bosnian Muslims and Croats during the 1992-95 war. In March 2016, he was sentenced to 40 years behind bars for the bloodshed committed during the conflict which killed 100,000 people and left 2.2 million others homeless during the death throes of the former...

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    Karadzic urges UN judges to throw out war crimes conviction
    23.04.18
    AFP

    Once-feared Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic Monday urged UN judges to throw out his war crimes convictions, angrily denying he was behind a campaign of ethnic cleansing and murders in the Balkans conflict two decades ago. Addressing the start of a two-day appeal, Karadzic, 72, fiercely denounced what he called "myths" about the permanent removals or expulsions of Bosnian Muslims and Croats during the 1992-95 war. In March 2016, he was sentenced to 40 years behind bars for the bloodshed committed during the conflict which killed 100,000 people and left 2.2 million others homeless as the former Yugoslavia was going through its death...

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