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13th-Sep-2018

News in brief

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Syria war displacement this year worst ever: UN
AP, Beirut
The UN Commission of Inquiry says Syria this year has witnessed levels of internal displacement not seen before in the seven-year conflict.
The agency said in a report released Wednesday that over 1 million Syrian men, women and children have been displaced so far this year "with most now living in dire conditions."

Indian nuns demand arrest of bishop accused of rape
AP, Kochi, India
A group of Catholic nuns is holding a public protest in south India, demanding the arrest of a bishop whom one nun accused of rape.
The nuns, members of the order the Missionaries of Jesus, began their protest last week, gathering with dozens of supporters along a crowded street in Kochi, a coastal city in the Indian state of Kerala. India is overwhelmingly Hindu but Kerala has a large Catholic population.

2 Thai army rangers killed in ambush
AP, Hat Yai, Thailand
Thai police said suspected Muslim insurgents ambushed a unit of patrolling army rangers in southern Thailand, killing two and wounding four, in the region's latest violence.
Six army rangers were patrolling a street in Pattani province on three separate motorcycles Tuesday night when they were attacked by an unknown number of gunmen, said police Lt. Col. Sarawut Nucharong, deputy investigator of a local police station in Pattani.

Pope intends to visit Japan in 2019
AFP, Vatican City
Pope Francis announced on Wednesday he intends to visit Japan in 2019, becoming the first pontiff to do so since John Paul II nearly 40 years ago.
"I would like to communicate my intention to visit Japan next year," the pope told a group of Japanese visitors at the Vatican. "I hope to be able to fulfil this wish."

Taliban ready for second round of talks with US
AP, Islamabad
The Taliban are ready for a second round of talks with the U.S., possibly this month, which is likely to focus on prisoner exchanges, confidence building measures, and ways to move from back-door meetings to formal negotiations, said Taliban officials in separate interviews in recent days.
Speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media, Taliban officials recounted details of a meeting held in July with Alice Wells, Washington's top envoy to the region.

UN envoy moves to revive Yemen talks
AFP, United Nations
 The UN envoy for Yemen said Tuesday he will seek to revive talks between the Saudi-backed government and Huthi rebels after a first bid for negotiations on ending the war failed to get off the ground.
Meetings aimed at preparing formal peace talks were to begin last week in Geneva, but the Huthis refused to leave Sanaa to attend the consultations until a series of demands were met.