Politicians in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region say the negotiations to form a new government have reached a dead end. Over five months have passed since Kurdistan’s parliamentary election results were announced. The opposition Change Movement won the second place. But its members say the winning Kurdistan Democratic Party wants continue its historical coalition with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan to continue.
Second largest lake in the Middle East, after Caspian Sea and the sixth largest salt water lake n the planet, is drying up. Uremia Lake is located on Iran’s Northwest. It is internationally protected area as both a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a Ramsar Site. In addition Iranian Department of Environment has registered most of the lake as a National Park. Urmia Lake is situated close to Iran’s 10th most populated city with the same name. Today, the lake is to its lowest water levels ever recorded. Iranian officials talk about the main reason behind the lake going dry.
Cartoons displaying the challenges of modern life; illustrations that aim at opening the eyes of the public towards what man has done to his own existence and his planet. A collection comprising the works of international cartoonists from Iran and across the world is put on display at Tehran’s Imam Ali art museum. The works have been chosen among some of the best items sent to Tehran for the 4th international city complexities cartoon contest. Most illustrations refer to cultural, social and environmental problems facing citizens of large cities.
Lebanese and Syrian Christians have breathed a sigh of relief after the release of a group of Syrian and Lebanese nuns who were kidnapped by foreign-backed insurgents in the Syrian town of Maalula last December.
It’s a visit that many believe comes too late. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has traveled to the famine-hit areas of the country’s Sindh Province after the deaths of at least 128 children due to famine. However, officials claim 67 death cases of children have been reported from the area which is located in the desert. The country’s Prime Minister voiced his concern over the situation and announced a relief package.
The number of traineeships being offered in the European Union has sky-rocketed since the economic crash. Employment ministers meeting in Brussels have agreed on new measures to better protect trainees but the European Commission says regulations to guarantee good working conditions should have been included.
A new report by Italy's main farmers association Coldiretti has found that meat and fish consumption in Italy has plummeted to a record low since 1981. Coldiretti says the economic crisis has changed consumers' eating habit. In other words, they either consume less healthy food or buy cheaper food which is often of poor quality.
Since the fall of the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, Tunisia has been through a deep economic crisis. The dictator fled to Saudi Arabia after smuggling over 25 billion dinars from state fund. A sum which the authorities still claim is enough to adjust the economy.
Arab foreign ministers backed up acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas in rejecting a demand by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. The US had asked Abbas to make the concession as part of the so-called peace process.
A rash of suicides is gripping the US’ Native American population. Despite relatively small numbers nationwide, tribal members may experience up to eight suicides a year in Native American communities.
Ukraine’s ousted president accuses the United States of backing what he calls a bandit regime in his country. Victor Yanukovych-- has given a media statement from Rostov-ondon in southern Russia, saying that Washington does not have the right to fund extremists in Ukraine. He urged the international community not to support what he described as an unconstitutional junta in Ukraine. Yanukovych said the presidential election set for May 25 is an illegitimate vote. He insisted that he never fled his country, and promised to return. Yanukovych said he remains Ukraine's legitimate president and commander-in-chief.
The United Nations has called for independent investigations into drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. A report by the United Nations Human Rights Council demanded a probe into drone attacks in several countries, including Afghanistan and Yemen. In a 21-page report, the UN special rapporteur on human rights, Ben Emmerson, said the U-S drone strikes in Afghanistan and Yemen increased in 2013. He added that drone attacks accounted for 40 percent of the total number of civilian fatalities in Afghanistan in 20-13, a threefold rise compared to 20-12. He also said states have an obligation to conduct prompt, independent, and impartial fact-finding inquiries and to provide detailed explanations of the results.
Russian protesters have rallied in solidarity with the people of Ukraine’s embattled Crimea region. The rally is underway in Moscow. The demonstrators say the Crimean people should be allowed to decide their own future. Residents of the Black Sea Peninsula will go to the polls on March 16th to decide whether to join Russia or remain part of Ukraine. The United States and the European Union have already rejected the upcoming referendum as illegitimate. Meanwhile, Speaker of the Crimean legislature Vladimir Konstantinov says opinion polls indicate that more than 80 percent of Crimean people favor joining Russia. Moscow has become embroiled in a standoff with the United States and its allies over the unfolding political crisis in Ukraine.
Scotland’s first minister has criticized the British government over withholding information on a radiation problem at a nuclear site. Alex Salmond, in a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, has demanded an apology for failing to inform Scotland about the radiation at a nuclear submarine test reactor. The minister has accused London of disrespecting the people of Scotland by not alerting them for almost two years. The reaction follows a recent revelation by Britain's defense secretary that a naval test reactor operating in Scotland was found to have a small internal radiation leak. Philip Hammond said the low level of radioactivity at Dounreay was detected in 20-12. The Scottish government says it was notified of the situation only before Hammond's revelations.
Three UN-mandated international investigators have launched a probe into human rights violations in the crisis-hit Central African Republic. The probe comes amid fears of genocide and ethnic cleansing in the country against Muslims. The group will spend two weeks in the country and tries to speak with the victims, and witnesses. The head of the group, Bernard Acho Muna, insists that the impunity of the perpetrators of the crimes should be ended. The conflict in the C.A.R. erupted after Christian militias launched coordinated attacks on the mostly Muslim Seleka group, which toppled the government last March. Christian militias, however, have been targeting the Muslim population as a whole.
The Israeli prime minister says Iran was behind a shipment of weapons which the Israeli army allegedly seized in the Red Sea. Benjamin Netanyahu made the comment while touring the Eilat naval base along with Israeli minister of military affairs Moshe Ya'alon. Tel Aviv earlier claimed that its naval forces had raided the ship and seized dozens of rockets from Iran bound for the Gaza Strip. Iran denied the claims, describing them as failed lies. A high-ranking Iranian military commander also dismissed the allegations, saying they are Israel's dirty psychological operation against the Islamic Republic. World leaders have shown little reaction to the raid, signaling suspicion over the claim. In Gaza, Hamas has rejected Israel's claims, calling them a dangerous move aimed at justifying the seven-year blockade on the Gaza Strip.
Amid the growing tension between the West and Russia over Ukraine, the U-N Security Council is holding one more session to discuss the crisis. The meeting at the Security Council is the fifth in the last ten days but it has so far failed to adopt a common position on the Ukrainian crisis. Monday’s meeting also comes ahead of a scheduled referendum in Ukraine’s autonomous region of Crimea to decide whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia. The vote is regarded as illegal by both Kiev and the West. The U-S has also expressed its opposition saying it would view the result of referendum as illegitimate. Meanwhile, ahead of the voting in Crimea, billboards are seen emerging in support of the region’s bid to join Russia. They also urge people to defend the region and warn them against living under the rule of QUOTE Ukraine’s Fascist government.