Friday 24 January 2020

Six world powers to hold talks with Iran over its nuclear programme

Iran and six world powers will meet in Turkey on April 13-14 for a round of talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday.

A previous meeting in Istanbul in January 2011 ended when the two sides failed to even agree on an agenda. Western diplomats and analysts say that getting Tehran to stop higher-level uranium enrichment will be a priority.

Rebels attack northern Mali city Gao

Rebels yesterday attacked Mali's strategic northern city of Gao, a day after they took the provincial capital of Kidal, witnesses and an official said.

The move deepens the crisis in the landlocked nation at the foot of the Sahara after a coup earlier this month by Malian soldiers angry at the government's handling of the rebellion.

The two towns are major prizes for the Tuareg rebels, who launched an insurgency in January fuelled by the flow of arms from the fall of neighbouring Libya, where many of the rebels had been on the payroll of Muammar Gaddafi.

Gao is around 1,200km from the capital of Bamako, where junior officers overthrew the elected government and claimed power 10 days ago.

17 Yemeni soldiers killed in fighting

At least 17 Yemeni soldiers and 13 suspected al-Qaeda militants were killed in heavy fighting yesterday in the southern provinces. The militants attacked a brigade camp and briefly took control of the camp before the army used aircraft to drive them out.

Swiss will arrest German tax officials

Switzerland has issued arrest warrants for three German civil servants it has accused of industrial espionage by purchasing the bank details of German tax evaders.

In the latest chapter of an ugly dispute over tax evasion that has strained ties between Germany and its southern neighbour, a spokeswoman said the tax collectors could be arrested if they cross the border into Switzerland.

Several German states said in 2010 they had bought compact discs containing Swiss bank data from whistleblowers. That prompted thousands of Germans to declare their financial holdings to avoid risking jail terms.

Tibetan monks set themselves on fire

Two Tibetan monks have set themselves on fire in a west Chinese city in the latest in a wave of self-immolations protesting Chinese rule, a Tibet advocacy group has said.

France detaining 17 terror suspects

A Muslim convert convicted in 2007 on terror-related charges is among 17 people still being held a day after a police sweep of suspected radical Islamists around France.

Willy Brigitte, who'd been arrested in Australia and extradited to France in 2003, was detained north of Paris.

Sunday Independent

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