Digest of international news for week Jan 9 – Jan 15, 2016
Beirut: Russian strikes today on a prison complex run by Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate killed at least 57 people and wounded 30 others, many critically, a monitor said, giving a revised toll.
Islamabad: US Secretary of State John Kerry today called up Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and asked him to find out the truth in the terror attack on the air base in Pathankot.
Colombo: Sri Lanka today began the process of formulating a new Constitution with President Maithripala Sirisena underlining the need for constitutional reforms aimed at achieving reconciliation with the minority Tamil community and preventing another ethnic war.
Coatzacoalcos: A bus carrying amateur football players and fans plunged into a river after careening off a bridge in eastern Mexico today, leaving at least 16 people dead, authorities said.
Washington/Seoul: In a display of military might, the US today flew a nuclear-capable B-52 bomber along with F-16s and South Korean F-15s close to a defiant North Korea, days after Pyongyang claimed it had successfully tested its first hydrogen bomb and ratcheted up regional tensions.
Baghdad: Jihadist gunmen and bombers killed at least 12 people in a busy market area of Baghdad while a double blast at a cafe north of the Iraqi capital claimed another 20 lives.
Islamabad: Pakistan today said that no precondition should be attached for talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, as a key meeting of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US began here to revive the stalled peace process and encourage the militants to end 15 years of violence.
Beijing: President Xi Jinping today directed China’s 2.3 million-member armed forces to strictly follow the orders of the ruling Communist Party and focus on winning wars as he reorganised the military headquarters structure firming up his grip on the world’s largest army.
Istanbul: A suicide bomber affiliated with the Islamic State group detonated a bomb in a historic district of Istanbul popular with tourists this morning, killing at least 10 people – nine of them German tourists – and wounding 15 others, Turkish officials said.
Islamabad: India’s new High Commissioner to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale today arrived in the country with a desire to improve Indo-Pak ties, amidst fresh strains between the two countries in the wake of the Pathankot terror attack.
Beijing: China today downplayed reports about its reservations over the PoK stretch of the USD 46 billion economic corridor it has planned with Pakistan, saying the project would not affect the positions held by the parties to the Kashmir dispute.
Tehran: All 10 US Navy sailors detained by Iran after their two small boats allegedly drifted into Iranian territorial waters around one of Iran’s Persian Gulf islands a day earlier have been freed, the United States and Iran said today.
Jalalabad (Afghanistan): Islamic State jihadists today claimed responsibility for a deadly gun and bomb siege targeting the Pakistani consulate in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad city, in the first attack by the group on the Pakistani government.
Karachi: At least 15 people, mostly security officials, were killed and over 20 others injured today when a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up outside a polio vaccination centre in restive Balochistan’s capital Quetta, the worst attack on the anti-polio campaign in the country.
Tokyo: India and Japan today resolved to deepen their collaboration in the energy sector with Union Minister Piyush Goyal asserting that bringing together the country’s skilled manpower and Japanese technology will create partnerships beneficial for the world.
Washington: The US today designated an Af-Pak based group linked to the Islamic State as a foreign terrorist organisation, slapping a series of sanctions on the outfit and its leaders who are mainly former members of the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban.
Jakarta: Islamic State suicide bombers and gunmen today struck at the heart of the capital of Muslim- majority Indonesia, executing a Westerner and killing a local while blowing up a Starbucks cafe, leaving five attackers dead in the ensuing firing.
Islamabad: The Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary- level talks will not take place as scheduled here tomorrow, Pakistan said today, a development that comes in the wake of uncertainty created by the terror attack on the Pathankot air base.
Rennes (France): One person has been left brain-dead and three others face possibly irreversible brain damage after they took an experimental drug administered to 90 people in France, Health Minister Marisol Touraine and a neurologist said today.
Islamabad: The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) set up by Pakistan to probe the Pathankot attack today decided to seek from India the DNA reports and finger prints of the slain terrorists amid its keenness to expedite the probe, an official said.
Colombo: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today said his government was ready to devolve power to minority Tamils under a new Constitution and vowed to bring to justice all perpetrators of war crimes committed towards the end of the country’s civil war.