25 March 2017

Belarus police arrest over 400 protesters; many are beaten

Belarus police push a woman down while detaining an activist during an opposition rally in Minsk, Belarus, Saturday, March 25, 2017. A cordon of club-wielding police blocked the demonstrators' movement along Minsk's main avenue near the Academy of Science. Hulking police detention trucks were deployed in the city center. 
Police in Belarus cracked down hard Saturday on opposition protesters who tried to hold a forbidden demonstration in the capital — a human rights group said more than 400 people were arrested and many were beaten.

The demonstrators had hoped to build on a rising wave of defiance of the former Soviet republic's authoritarian government, led by President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled since 1994.

EU puts pen to paper, signs unity pledge on 60th anniversary

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gets ink on his hands as he signs a declaration with the original 1957 pen of the Rome Treaty during an EU summit meeting at the Orazi and Curiazi Hall in the Palazzo dei Conservatori in Rome on Saturday, March 25, 2017. European Union leaders were gathering in Rome to mark the 60th anniversary of their founding treaty and chart a way ahead following the decision of Britain to leave the 28-nation bloc.
With Britain poised to start divorce proceedings, the 27 remaining European Union nations put pen to paper Saturday in Rome to renew their vows for continued unity in the face of crises that are increasingly testing the bonds between members.

The EU nations marked the 60th anniversary of their founding treaty as a turning point in their history, as British Prime Minister Theresa May will officially trigger divorce proceedings from the bloc next week — a fact that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called "a tragedy."

24 March 2017

Ex-Russian lawmaker shot dead in Kiev; Ukraine blames Russia

A former Russian lawmaker who became a vociferous critic of Moscow following his recent move to Ukraine was shot and killed Thursday in Kiev, prompting harsh words between the two neighboring countries.

Denis Voronenkov, who had testified to Ukrainian investigators and criticized Russian policies after his move to Kiev last fall, was shot dead by an unidentified gunman near the entrance of an upscale hotel in the Ukrainian capital.

23 March 2017

5 dead in vehicle, knife attack at British Parliament

An attacker is treated by emergency services outside the Houses of Parliament London, Wednesday, March 22, 2017. London police say they are treating a gun and knife incident at Britain's Parliament "as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise." The Metropolitan Police says in a statement that the incident is ongoing. It is urging people to stay away from the area. Officials say a man with a knife attacked a police officer at Parliament and was shot by officers. Nearby, witnesses say a vehicle struck several people on the Westminster Bridge.
A knife-wielding man went on a deadly rampage in the heart of Britain's seat of power Wednesday, plowing a car into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament. Five people were killed, including the assailant, and 40 others were injured in what Prime Minister Theresa May condemned as a "sick and depraved terrorist attack."

Lawmakers, lords, staff and visitors were locked down after the man was shot by police within the perimeter of Parliament, just yards (meters) from entrances to the building itself and in the shadow of the iconic Big Ben clock tower. He died, as did three pedestrians on the bridge, and the police officer.

22 March 2017

Israeli archeologists dig up liquor bottles of WWI troops

This undated photo provided by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, shows century-old liquor bottles that belonged to British soldiers in World War I. The Israel Antiquities Authority said Wednesday it was excavating 250,000-year-old flint tools when the archaeologists stumbled upon hundreds of liquor bottles near a building where British soldiers were garrisoned in 1917.
In a search for antiquities, Israeli archaeologists have unearthed a far more modern find — century-old liquor bottles that belonged to British soldiers in World War I.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said Wednesday it was excavating 250,000-year-old flint tools when the archaeologists stumbled upon hundreds of liquor bottles near a building where British soldiers were garrisoned in 1917.

21 March 2017

India gives Ganges, Yamuna rivers same rights as a human

In this Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 file photo, a giant Idol of Hindu goddess Durga suspends from a crane before it is immersed in the River Yamuna during Durga Puja festival in New Delhi, India. A court in northern India has granted the same legal rights as a human to the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, considered sacred by nearly a billion Indians. The Uttaranchal High Court in Uttarakhand state ruled Monday, March 20, 2017, that the two rivers be accorded the status of living human entities, meaning that if anyone harms or pollutes the rivers, the law would view it as no different from harming a person.
Two of India's most iconic rivers, considered sacred by nearly a billion Hindus in the country, have been given the status of living entities to save them from further harm caused by widespread pollution.

The High Court in the northern state of Uttarakhand ruled Monday that the Ganges and the Yamuna rivers be accorded the status of living human entities, meaning that if anyone harms or pollutes either river, the law would view it as no different from harming a person.

20 March 2017

Iran's top leader faults government's progress on economy

In this picture released by official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader on Monday, March 20, 2017, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sits in a session to deliver his message for the Iranian New Year, Iran. Nowruz, a festival to celebrate the new Persian year starts with the spring. Iranians follow the Persian solar year, and this year, they begin the year 1396. A portrait of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini is placed at right.
Iran's supreme leader has suggested Monday that the government has fallen short in its efforts to improve the economy as moderate President Hassan Rouhani prepares to campaign for re-election in May.

"There is a large gap between what has been carried out, and what the people and what we expect," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised address in honor of the Persian New Year, known as Nowruz.

Pakistan and India discuss water dispute

A delegation of Indian experts, headed by P K Saxena, left, holds talks with his Pakistani counter part Mirza Asif Saeed, right, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, March 20, 2017. Pakistani and Indian experts on Monday opened round-table talks in Islamabad over water disputes between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, even as tensions over competing claims to Kashmir remain high.
Pakistani and Indian experts on Monday opened round-table talks in Islamabad over water disputes between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, even as tensions over competing claims to Kashmir remain high.

Pakistan's minister for water and power, Khawaja Asif, welcomed the Indian delegation for the two-day talks, saying he hoped the discussions will move forward in anticipation of continued talks on April 12 in Washington.