Friday, May 22nd

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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.


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.


Woman killed by mob in Kabul was innocent: investigator

kabul killlingA woman killed by an angry mob in front of police in the Afghan capital last week for allegedly burning a copy of Islam's holy book was wrongly accused, Afghanistan's top criminal investigator said on Sunday.

Mobile phone footage circulating on social media shows police at the scene did not save the 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul in broad daylight on Thursday.


Japan, U.S. commemorate 70th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima

Iwo Jima rememberedOn Saturday, veterans and officials joined the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of one of the most iconic battles of World War II: The Battle of Iwo Jima.

About 22,000 Japanese and nearly 7,000 Americans died in the five-week battle in the nearly 8-square-mile island in the Pacific. The ceremony was held at the Reunion of Honor memorial, built in 1985 for the 40th anniversary of the battle.


Russia moves to stop same-sex spouses receiving UN staff benefits

Russia moves to stop same sex benefitsRussia is attempting to stop the United Nations extending staff benefits to same-sex spouses.

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, announced in July 2014 it would recognise same-sex marriages among its 43,000 staff worldwide, allowing them to receive the same benefits as their heterosexual counterparts. Before the change of policy, UN workers’ personal status was determined by the laws of their country of nationality.


Yemen soldiers killed in suspected Al-Qaeda raid

Yemen soldiers killedAl-Qaeda fighters have captured the capital of a province in southern Yemen, killing about 20 soldiers, local officials and residents said, just hours after suicide attacks on mosques in the capital Sanaa during Friday prayers killed 137 and wounded hundreds more.

Fighters from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) were forced to withdraw late on Friday night from Houta after holding it for several hours, the officials and residents said. Two army brigades then entered the city, the capital of Lahj province. There were no reports of any casualties on the side of the fighters.


Yemen crisis: More than 100 die in attacks on Sanaa mosques

Yemen mosque bombingSuicide bombers have attacked two mosques in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, killing at least 126 people and wounding many others, reports say.

Worshippers were attending noon prayers at the Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques when at least four attackers struck.  The mosques are used mainly by supporters of the Zaidi Shia-led Houthi rebel movement, which controls Sanaa.


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