News in English

Talks open on Syria’s civil war / IS claims Texas attack / Burundi crisis deepens / Child soldiers in CAR “to be freed” / Italy agrees broad political reform / Le Pen senior suspended from NF / The weather


Talks open on Syria’s civil war

The rights group Amnesty International has accused Syrian government forces of committing unthinkable atrocities in the northern city of Aleppo. Amnesty says the Syrian army is using barrel bombs on rebel held areas, forcing civilians to live underground to escape the bombardment. A new round of United Nations backed consultations on Syria’s four year civil war has begun in Geneva. UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said the Amnesty report was a timely reminder of the situation in Syria: “While we are trying to see whether there is any narrowing of the gap between the various components of this conflict, the conflict in its own brutality is still continuing.”

IS claims Texas attack

The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack on an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in the US state of Texas on Sunday. An Islamic State radio news bulletin said the two gunmen were IS followers. Both suspects were shot dead after opening fire at the exhibit. US authorities say the FBI had one of the gunmen, Elton Simpson, under surveillance since 2006.

Burundi crisis deepens

Burundi's constitutional court has ruled that president Pierre Nkurunziza may run for a third term in office. Nkurunziza's candidacy has plunged Burundi into its worst political crisis since a 13-year civil war between Tutsi and Hutu ended in 2006.

Child soldiers in CAR “to be freed”

The United Nations children's agency UNICEF says armed factions in the Central African Republic have agreed to free all child soldiers and other children who may be used as workers or sex slaves. The deal covers an estimated 6,000 to 10,000 children.

Italy agrees broad political reform

Italy's parliament has approved wide ranging electoral reform, guaranteeing any party that wins over 40 percent of the vote a majority of seats in the lower house of parliament. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi says the reform will give Italy greater political stability.

Le Pen senior suspended from NF

France's far-right National Front has suspended the membership of its founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and will call a party meeting expected to strip him of his title of honorary chairman. Le Pen has said he no longer wants anything to do with the current National Front leader, his daughter Marine Le Pen, who has sought to strip him of party positions over anti-Semitic and racist remarks.

The weather

Sunny over most of the country, with scattered thunderstorms in the west toward evening. Top temperatures 23 to 31 degrees.