8 August 2015

Iran seeks Turkey's help in tackling Islamic State

Iranian leader phones his Turkish counterpart
In a phone call to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday sought an alliance between their countries to tackle the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant group. Almost a year after a US-led coalition started air strikes against the group, Ankara has launched a two-pronged airstrike offensive against the Islamic State and Turkish rebel group the Kurdistan Workers' Party. Erdogan had earlier called for more collaboration in the fight against the Islamic State, saying that its continued existence was "dangerous for the Islamic world".

Hundreds feared dead in Mediterranean boat accident

Hundreds of migrants trying to reach Europe from Libya are feared to have drowned after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday. The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees later said that 399 people had been rescued. Seven ships and helicopters belonging to the Italian coast guard were deployed in search-and-resuce operations. According to the UNHCR, 25 out of an estimated 600 migrants on the boat were confirmed dead. More than 2,000 migrants have died this year trying to cross the sea to reach Europe, the International Organisation for Migration has said.

Myanmar seeks aid for flood relief 

At least 69 people have been killed and 260,000 more affected in floods caused by heavy rains in Myanmar. The country has appealed for international assistance to help provide food, temporary shelter and clothing for the affected people. China, Japan and Thailand began donating relief supplies. Floods have affected more than two million people throughout South-East Asia. India, Myanmar and Pakistan are the worst-affected countries.

13 killed by suicide bomber in Saudi Arabia

A suicide bomber killed 13 people on Thursday after he detonated himself in a mosque used by security forces in Saudi Arabia. According to reports, ten security personnel were among those killed in the mosque, located in the region south-western region of Asir. The attack took place weeks after Saudi forces announced the arrest of hundreds of people across the kingdom who are accused of supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Most attacks by the group in Saudi Arabia have targeted mosques used by the Shiite community.

Japan to express remorse over World War II

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday said that he would express remorse over World War II in a statement that will be released later this month. According to reports, Abe is readying his remarks for the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, which ended on August 15 1945, the date Japan announced its surrender to the Allies. “I will express remorse over the past war, our post-war path as a pacifist nation, and how Japan should further contribute to the Asia-Pacific region and the world in the future,” Abe said.

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