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‘G20: Welcome to hell’

German police have clashed with protesters holding a rally against the summit of the world’s major economies, known as G20. The violence took place in the city of Hamburg where the meeting is set to take place on Friday. German police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowds of people. A number of protesters have been arrested. Demonstrators are calling on the world to make Hamburg a focal point of resistance against what they call the old and new capitalist authorities. They are also pushing the G20 leaders for action on climate change and to address economic disparities. Some protesters are even demanding the dissolution of the G20 itself so that the United Nations becomes the platform for such discussions. The protests, dubbed “G20: Welcome to Hell”, will continue until Saturday.

UNICEF warns about Yemen

The United Nations Agency for children has warned that around ten-million children in Yemen are in need of urgent medical assistance. In a statement, UNICEF said most children in Yemen were lacking basic medical care, adequate nutrition and suitable sanitation. The statement added that the UN body was working with local authorities and aid organizations across the war-torn country to help as many children as possible. Meanwhile the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen says aid groups are pulling resources from the fight against malnutrition to battle the Cholera outbreak. Jamie McGoldrick was speaking in the capital Sana’a.

US-led coalition kills hundreds in Syria

A British-based monitor says US-led coalition airstrikes have killed at least 224 civilians in Syria’s Raqqah over the past month. The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the victims include 38 children and 28 women. The US and its allies have been bombarding Daesh’s positions in Syria since 2014. The coalition has however been repeatedly accused of targeting civilians in the war-hit nation. It has so far failed to achieve its declared aim of eliminating Daesh.

The Qatar dispute

Saudi Arabia and its regional allies say Qatar’s refusal of their demands is an indication of “Doha’s links to terror groups”. In a joint statement, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE said they would take political, economic and legal steps against Qatar. Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary James Mattis, in a phone call with his Qatari counterpart, called for de-escalation of tensions between Persian Gulf Arab states. Saudi Arabia and its allies severed their diplomatic ties with Doha last month, accusing it of supporting terrorism and criticizing its relationship with Iran. They then presented a list of demands to Doha to comply with, in exchange for the end of anti-Qatar measures. Doha rejected the demands, saying his country would not bow to demands that violate its sovereignty.

Syria slams Turkey

Syria has slammed Turkey’s recent incursion into the country’s northern province of Aleppo as a breach of the international law. In two letters to the U-N Secretary General and the Head of the Security Council, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said the aggression made Turkey a “main partner” in terrorism. It also noted that targeting Syria posed a serious threat to the regional and international security and stability. The ministry also criticized the silence of the Security Council toward such practices. Turkish troops have recently carried out new incursions in several areas inside Syrian territory, mainly in Azaz, Jibrin and Ekhtrin in northern Aleppo. Damascus has repeatedly condemned such incursions as a breach of the Syrian sovereignty.

State of emergency extended in France

In France, the parliament has voted to extend the country’s state of emergency for the sixth time since it was declared following Paris terror attacks in 2015. French lawmakers voted 137 in favor to 13 against, to extend the measure until November. The emergency state gives security forces greater freedom to carry out raids and surveillance. It also allows authorities to restrict the movement of people and vehicles at specific times and places. French President Emmanuel Macron vowed in May to end the state of emergency sometime in autumn. The measure was originally put in place in November 2015, shortly after terrorists killed 130 people in attacks in and around Paris. The emergency state has drawn criticism from rights campaigners.

Prison riot in Mexico

A prison riot has left over two dozen inmates dead in Mexico’s southern state of Guerrero. The riot took place at the Las Cruces federal prison. Bodies were found scattered in different sections of the jail with some having their throat slit. There were reports of gunshots in the building’s maximum-security wing. Authorities said rivalry between the feuding groups triggered the bloodshed. They have ordered an investigation into the incident. Mexican jails are usually overcrowded and the inmates have excess freedom. Contraband weapons and drugs sneak into the prisons due to lack of proper control.

US flyover over South China Sea

Two US bombers have flown over South China Sea despite China’s territorial claims over the disputed region. The two B1Bs had trained with Japanese jet fighters over the neighboring East China Sea before their flight on Thursday. China has for a number of times objected to the US military presence in the disputed area, calling it a serious political and military provocation. Washington, however, treats the region as international territory. The recent US flight comes after North Korea confirmed testing its first intercontinental missile. The Trump administration has asked Beijing to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

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