Tue, Jun 12, 2018 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

IRAQ

Al-Sadr calls for unity

Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr yesterday called on the public to unite instead of burning ballot boxes and seeking to repeat an election on May 12 that his bloc won. “Stop fighting for seats, posts, gains, influence, power and rulership,” he wrote in an article published by his office, a day after a storage site housing half of Baghdad’s ballot boxes from the election caught fire. “Is it not time to stand as one for building and reconstruction instead of burning ballet boxes or repeating elections just for one seat or two.” Parliament had mandated a full manual recount of the ballots. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday said the fire was a “plot” aimed at the nation’s democracy: “We will take all necessary measures and strike with an iron fist all who undermine the security of the nation and its citizens.”

IRAN

Khamenei clarifies remark

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has sought to clarify his position on Israel after being accused of threatening its destruction. He was quoted late on Sunday by the official Islamic Republic News Agency as saying the Middle East conflict should be resolved through a popular referendum among “`all real Palestinians, including Muslims, Jews and Christians” who trace their roots back to before the creation of Israel. That would seem to include the Palestinians as well as the small community of Jews who lived in the Holy Land before the mass immigration of Jews in the 20th century and the creation of Israel, but not the vast majority of Jewish Israelis.

UNITED NATIONS

Probe of airstrikes urged

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday called for an investigation of air strikes believed to have been carried out by Russian jets in Syria, killing dozens including children. The air attack on the night of June 7 to June 8 targeted the village of Zardana in Idlib Province and left 44 dead including six children, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. In a statement, Guterres expressed “deep concern” about the strikes and called for a “full investigation into the attacks, especially allegations that there was also a second strike targeting first responders, to establish accountability.” Idlib is part of the de-escalation agreement for Syria reached between Turkey, Russia and Iran and urged those guarantors to uphold their commitment.

UNITED KINGDOM

Fellowships for Hawking

Exceptional students in mathematics and physics can compete for research fellowships in honor of physicist Stephen Hawking, who died in March, the government announced yesterday. Up to 10 fellowships are to be awarded each year for the next five years to candidates completing doctoral studies in mathematics, physics and computer sciences, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said. Hawking’s children — Robert, Lucy and Tim Hawking — said they were “thrilled” by the move.

INDIA

Fugitive jeweler in UK

Billionaire jeweler Nirav Modi, wanted over an alleged massive bank fraud, has fled to Britain, where he is seeking asylum, according to a newspaper report yesterday. Modi, 47, is accused of involvement in a US$1.8 billion scam against Punjab National Bank, the nation’s second-largest state-run lender. The Financial Times cited local and British officials as saying that Modi had sought asylum for what he called “political persecution.”

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