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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Turkey returns Syrian fire on fourth day of escalating tension in Mid-East

Turkey returned fire after Syrian mortar bombs landed in a field in southern Turkey yesterday, the day after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned Damascus that his country would not shy away from war if provoked. It was the fourth day of Turkish retaliation for firing by Syrian forces that killed five Turkish civilians on Wednesday.

The exchanges are the most serious cross-border violence in Syria's conflict, which began as a pro-democracy uprising but has evolved into a civil war with sectarian overtones. They highlight how the crisis could destabilise the region.

Cricketer leads Pakistan peace event

Imran Khan led hundreds of cars, buses and trucks out of Pakistan's capital Islamabad yesterday in a peace convoy to one of the country's militant-infested tribal regions.

He was joined by activists from America, Clive Stafford Smith of the death penalty campaign group Reprieve and Lauren Booth, Cherie Blair's half-sister, to highlight the plight of hundreds of people killed by CIA drones. Hundreds more vehicles joined the convoy along the road, ahead of a rally planned in South Waziristan.

Suspect killed in French terror raids

FRENCH anti-terrorism forces investigating the firebombing of a kosher grocery store carried out raids in cities nationwide yesterday, and one suspect was killed in a shootout, officials said. At least seven people were arrested, according to a government statement.

Police union official Mohamed Douhane told the television network BFM that a suspect in the eastern city of Strasbourg opened fire when police arrived and they returned fire, killing him.

'Reduce UK abortion limits' -- Hunt

BRITAIN'S new health secretary has said he favours reducing the limit for women to have abortions from 24 weeks of pregnancy to 12, sparking criticism from opposition lawmakers and women's rights activists.

Jeremy Hunt, who took up the job just a few weeks ago, said he believed that 12 weeks was "the right point", telling the Times newspaper in an interview published yesterday: "It is just my view about that incredibly difficult question about the moment that we should deem life to start."

North Korean kills superiors, defects

A NORTH Korean soldier killed two of his superiors yesterday and defected to South Korea across the countries' heavily armed border in a rare crossing that prompted South Korean troops to immediately beef up their border patrol, officials said.

The soldier shot his platoon and squad leaders before crossing the western side of the Demilitarised Zone around noon, a defence ministry official said, citing the soldier's statement after he was taken into custody by South Korean border guards. The official said the motive behind the defection was unclear.

Hundreds rally for fired SA strikers

HUNDREDS of striking South African workers rallied in in a soccer stadium near the platinum-belt hub city of Rustenburg yesterday to press Anglo-American Platinum to revoke its decision to fire 12,000 wildcat strikers amid a wave of labour strife sweeping Africa's largest economy.

Nearly 50 people have been killed since August in labour conflict in the crucial mining sector, and President Jacob Zuma's ruling ANC is struggling to quell some of the worst social unrest since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Sunday Independent

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