Sunday 25 February 2018

Convoy of Russian aid trucks stuck 
at Ukrainian border as talks drag on

Hundreds of trucks in a Russian aid convoy waited yesterday near the Ukrainian border as procedures drag on for allowing them into eastern Ukraine to help civilians, amid fighting between Ukrainian forces and separatists.

Ukrainian officials are concerned that the mission could be a guise for Russia to send in equipment for the rebels. But Russia and Ukraine reached an agreement under which the trucks could enter with Red Cross accompaniment if Ukrainian border guards approve the cargo.

Ukrainian officials reiterated the claim that their forces had destroyed most of a column of Russian military vehicles that had entered eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

Russia sharply denied that any such incursion had taken place and said it was looking into what it called unconfirmed reports that Russian military vehicles had been destroyed by artillery.

Liberia opens centre for Ebola patients

Authorities in Liberia opened a new centre to treat Ebola patients in the capital Monrovia yesterday, underscoring that the crisis is far from under control.

The UN health agency said the Ebola outbreak may last another six months. At least 1,145 people have died across Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria, and that may "vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak".

Liberia has recorded most deaths (413) in the area.

Police defend handing of Richard case

Police investigating an allegation of child abuse against Cliff Richard have defended their handling of the case as new potential witnesses came forward.

South Yorkshire Police admitted it had "worked with" the BBC, which broadcast live footage of detectives arriving at the singer's home last Thursday with a search warrant.

One dead as 35 found in ship container

Police in England launched a "homicide investigation" after 35 suspected immigrants - mostly from the Indian subcontinent - were found in a shipping container at the Port of Tilbury in Essex.

The stowaways, adults and children, were found in a container that arrived on a ferry from Belgium. One man died and the others were taken to three hospitals.

'Germans listened in on Kerry's calls'

Germany's foreign intelligence agency eavesdropped on calls made by US Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton, Der Spiegel reported yesterday.

The respected news weekly reported that the German spy agency - the BND - tapped a satellite phone conversation Kerry made in 2013, as part of its surveillance of the Middle East. They also recorded a conversation between Clinton and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan a year earlier.

The magazine said the calls were collected accidentally, and that the three officials weren't directly targeted.

Muslim rebels kill 34 villagers

Muslim rebels in Central African Republic have killed at least 34 people over the last week in a series of attacks on remote villages. The violence comes as the country awaits the arrival of a UN peacekeeping mission next month.

Bid to free abducted Red Cross staff

The International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan is trying to secure the release of five of their staff members who were abducted in west Herat province.

The employees were travelling by road last Friday when they were detained by a local armed group.

Sunday Independent

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