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Last updateMon, 24 Jun 2019 2pm

World News

Cuba nominates Castro replacement Miguel Díaz-Canel

Cuba's parliament has picked Raúl Castro's right-hand man, Miguel Díaz-Canel, as the sole candidate to succeed him, ending the family's long rule.Mr Castro took over as president from his ailing brother Fidel in 2006. An improvement in relations with the US which began under Barack Obama has been partially reversed since Donald Trump entered the White House.
Mr Castro is expected to remain a powerful influence in the communist state even after he steps down.The National Assembly has voted on the nomination but the result will not be announced until Thursday, when he is expected to formally pass the presidency to Mr Díaz-Canel.

CIA chief, made secret trip to North Korea.

CIA director Mike Pompeo travelled to Pyongyang for a secret meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, US media report.
The meeting to prepare for direct talks between US President Donald Trump and Mr Kim took place over Easter weekend, unnamed officials said.
Mr Trump had earlier alluded to high-level direct talks with Pyongyang.
But this unexpected and clandestine meeting would mark the highest level US contact with North Korea since 2000.

Chemical inspectors enter Syria's Douma, amid concerns for probe

International investigators entered the Syrian town that was hit by an alleged chemical attack, after days of delay and warnings by Western powers that crucial evidence had likely been removed. The suspected April 7th gas attack on Douma, near Damascus, reportedly left more than 40 people dead, and was blamed by Western powers on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


NYT and New Yorker win joint Pulitzer for Weinstein exposé

The New York Times and New Yorker magazine have won a joint Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on sexual harassment allegations in Hollywood. The reports brought down film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct and rape


EU warns Syria of further sanctions, calls on Russia, Iran to act.

The European Union yesterday called for Russia and Iran to help stop more chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government, warning of fresh economic sanctions. "The EU calls upon all countries, notably Russia and Iran, to use their influence to prevent any further use of chemical weapons, notably by the Syrian regime," the EU said in a statement. It said the EU had imposed Syrian sanctions in July 2017 and March this year and was "always ready to consider imposing further measures as appropriate".

Western powers strike Syria targets

The United States, Britain and France carried out a wave of punitive strikes against the Syrian regime today, in response to alleged chemical weapons attacks in Douma.
As Donald Trump embarked on a White House address to announce the action, explosions were heard in the Syrian capital Damascus, signalling a new chapter in the brutal seven-year Civil War. The Pentagon listed three targets that had been struck.
However, Syrian state television said, government forces had shot down more than a dozen missiles. The Syrian government's main ally, Russia, issued a statement through its US ambassador saying, "such actions will not be left without consequences".
The UN's Secretary General: Antonio Guterres warned about the dangers of an escalation over Syria saying, "the Cold War is back, with vengeance"

UN chief says Cold War is back

The UN's secretary general has said the Cold War is "back with a vengeance". Antonio Guterres also warned about the dangers of escalation over Syria. The US and its allies are considering launching missile strikes against Syria after a suspected chemical attack, an action which Russia - whose forces are there supporting the government- has said would risk starting a war. Russia has accused the UK of faking an attack, an allegation Britain dismissed as a "grotesque, blatant lie".

Russia warns of war, over Syria strikes

Russia has warned the US that launching air strikes in response to a suspected chemical attack in Syria, could spark a war between the two countries. Western powers are thought to be preparing for strikes, but Russia, a Syrian ally, opposes such action. Moscow's UN Ambassador: Vassily Nebenzia says, the immediate priority is to avert the danger of war. He accused Washington of putting international peace 'at risk', and said the situation was "very dangerous".

Syria rebels give up Ghouta, in major win for regime

Rebels in Syria's Eastern Ghouta surrendered their heavy weapons, while their leader left the enclave, signalling the end of one of the bloodiest battles of Syria's seven-year Civil War. The Syrian flag was raised above the central mosque in Douma, the site of an alleged chemical attack that sparked outrage and threats of Western military action.


Algeria military plane crash: 257 dead near Algiers

Officials say an Algerian military plane has crashed near the capital killing 257 people on board. The aircraft came down just after taking off from Boufarik military airport, west of Algiers. An inquiry is under way into the cause of the crash - Algeria's worst-ever air disaster. The government has declared three days of national mourning. Most of the dead are army personnel and their families, the defence ministry says. Ten crew members also died. Passengers from Western Sahara, a disputed territory annexed by Morocco after Spain withdrew in 1975, were among the fatalities.

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