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UN says 2014 Palestinian civilian death toll highest since 1967

Gaza warThe long-running conflict with Israel claimed the lives of more Palestinian civilians in 2014 than any year since 1967, the United Nations said Thursday, in a damning report on the humanitarian situation.

A report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) entitled "Fragmented Lives" called for more restraint on both sides.

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Saudi Arabia launches air strikes in Yemen

Audis bomb YemenA coalition led by Saudi Arabia has launched air strikes against Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen, saying it is "defending the legitimate government" of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Saudi jets targeted Houthi positions in the capital Sanaa overnight, along with missile batteries and warplanes.

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Yemen President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi Flees Home As Rebels Close In

Yemen president HadiYemeni security officials say forces allied with Shiite rebels have captured Aden's international airport, hours after the country's embattled president fled his palace home in this southern city.

The airport's takeover cuts off one of the last remaining routes out of Aden for President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. It also makes the fall of Aden into the hands of advancing Shiite rebels known as the Houthis and their allies more imminent.

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Amid rampant waste, Fukushima's frozen wall up in smoke

Fukushima waste and corruptionMore than a half-billion dollars (nearly 200 billion yen) of Japanese taxpayer money has been wasted in the struggle to contain and cleanup the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster, according to a government audit.

Japan’s Board of Audit reported that TEPCO, the company nominally in charge of the crippled facility, along with other construction and utility giants, had operated an insular and insufficiently transparent process that resulted in a lengthy list of massive expenditures on untested tactics and shoddy equipment.

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Jet crashes in Alps with 150 aboard; no survivors expected

German plane crashes in alpsA passenger jet carrying 150 people crashed Tuesday in the French Alps as it flew from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, authorities said. As search-and-rescue teams struggled to get to the remote, snow-covered region, France's president warned that no survivors were expected.

The crash site was at Meolans-Revels, near the popular ski resort of Pra Loup, according to Eric Ciotti, the head of the regional council in southeast France. The site is 700 kilometers (430 miles) south-southeast of Paris. But with mountains all around and few clear trails into the area, access to the crash site was expected to take time.

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Israel accused at UN over Gaza war casualties

GazaThe scale of civilian deaths in Gaza during the 2014 war with Israel puts Israel's adherence to international law in doubt, a UN official has said.

In his annual report, the special rapporteur also said many children were left traumatised by the 50-day conflict.  Israel and its ally the US were both absent from the debate at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

Israel has previously accused the body of being biased against it.

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Modern Singapore's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, dies at 91

Singapore founderLee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first prime minister, died on Monday aged 91, triggering a flood of tributes to the man who oversaw the tiny city-state's rapid rise from a British colonial backwater to a global trade and financial center.

U.S. President Barack Obama described Lee, who ruled Singapore for three decades, as "a true giant of history" whose advice on governance and economic development had been sought by other world leaders down the years.

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