Weekly Global Newscast | April 15 - April 21, 2019

Asia

Taliban-Afghanistan Peace Talks Postponed Over Delegation Row

The talks between the Taliban and Afghan government that were scheduled to be held in Qatar on Friday, have been postponed after a disagreement over who should attend. A list of about 250 people of Afghan government’s delegation was announced by the government of Qatar which was questioned by Taliban because of its huge size.

Analysis

‘Soon after the list’s release, the Taliban’s main spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said in a statement that the Qatari hosts had made it clear “both in written and verbal form” that no one at the conference would be representing the government, and that any official who was there would be participating in a personal capacity. “The creators of the Kabul list must realize that this is an orderly and prearranged conference in a faraway Gulf country and not an invitation to some wedding or other party at a hotel in Kabul,” Mr. Mujahid said, alluding to the large number of participants.’ Mujib Mashal reported for The New York Times.

Sri Lanka Easter Bombings Kill at Least 290

A series of explosions rocked Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday leaving almost 290 dead and more than 500 injured. The explosions mainly targeted the Churched holding Easter services. Most of the dead are believed to be Sri Lankans but according to officials about 30 people from other countries have also been killed.

Analysis

‘The St. Anthony’s Shrine blast left a scene of broken bodies, billowing black smoke and splintered wood. “It was a river of blood,” said N. A. Sumanapala, a shopkeeper near the church who said he had run inside to help. “Ash was falling like snow,” he said. “I saw limbs and heads. There were children, too.” ’ wrote Dharisha Bastians for The New York Times.

‘The prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, condemned the “cowardly” attacks and urged people to remain “united and strong”. He convened Sri Lanka’s top military officials at an emergency meeting of the national security council.’ reported Haroon Siddique for The Guardian.’

Middle East & North Africa

Iraq Summit Brings Together Rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran

A summit organized by Iraq brought the two Middle Eastern rivals together. Damaged by more than 3 decades of war, Iraq is now representing itself as a Mediator among its neighbor countries who are often at odds with each other due to several issues like Syrian Civil war and US sanctions against Iran etc.

Analysis

‘Iraqi parliament speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi hosted the summit, which brought together lawmakers from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Jordan, and Kuwait. “Today, Iraq is building a promising strategic partnership with all neighbouring countries without any reservations or favouring any party,” said al-Halbousi. The New Arab reported.

Sub Saharan Africa

IS Claims Its First Attack in Democratic Republic of Congo

Islamic State on Thursday, April 18, claimed its first attack, which killed Congolese soldiers in an attack in Kamango near the border between Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, in Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday and declared it the “Central African Province” of their Caliphate.

Analysis

‘Earlier this month, President Felix Tshisekedi was quoted in news reports as saying he expected that the Islamic State might try to bolster its presence in the region following the destruction of its self-proclaimed caliphate centered in Syria and Iraq. “It’s easy to see how the defeat of Daesh, the Islamic State, in Syria and Iraq could lead to a situation where these groups will now come to Africa and take advantage of widespread poverty and chaos,” Mr. Tshisekedi was quoted as saying.’ Steve Wembi wrote for The New York Times.

Europe

Notre Dame Fire Pledges Inflame Yellow Vest Protesters

The pledges made for the Notre Dame fire inflame yellow vest protestors as they march against economic inequality while criticizing donations by billionaires to restore burned cathedral.

Analysis

‘”These [protests] are very important for social justice,” said Jean-Baptiste Redde at the Saturday protest on Republique Square in central Paris. “We have to help the poor, the disabled people, those who don’t have roofs to live under. It’s important to hold on.” Hundreds were arrested and dozens injured as violence broke out between demonstrators and police.’ reported Jabeen Bhatti and Rebecca Rosman for Al Jazeera

Americas

US Cracks Down on Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela

The Trump administration has intensified its crackdown on Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela on Wednesday overruling the Obama’s Administration policy and announcing new restrictions and sanctions against the three countries.

Analysis

‘Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US will enforce a controversial provision of the decades-old trade embargo on Cuba that will allow US citizens to file lawsuits in US federal court against businesses that operate on property seized by the Cuban government during the revolution — the first administration to do so since the law’s creation in 1996. Pompeo said Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, also known as the Libertad Act, would be implemented in full effective May 2. He had already informed Congress of the decision, he said. “Any person or company doing business in Cuba should heed this announcement,” Pompeo said in remarks at the State Department. “Implementing Title III in full means a chance at justice for Cuban Americans who have long sought relief from Fidel Castro and his lackeys seizing property without compensation.” Jennifer Hansler reported for CNN.

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