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||Syria enters year 4 of conflict||(Vatican Radio) As the deadly conflict in Syria enters its fourth year, UNICEF has announced that the Syrian government has promised greater access for aid groups supporting millions of Syrians. In the meantime, the country's state media announced on Friday that the Syrian Parliament has set residency rules for presidential candidates. The move would bar many of President Bashar al-Assad's foes, who live in exile, from the running. Listen to the report by Christopher Wells: 00:01:29:69||14 3 14||Free||View In iTunes|
||Militants attack city in N. Nigeria||(Vatican Radio) In Nigeria, Islamic militants struck the northern city of Maiduguri Friday morning, attacking the main military barracks in an area where children were walking to school and causing panicked residents to flee the area. Al Qaeda-linked Boko Haram has killed thousands in an almost five-year insurgency; 2,000 people were killed in the last six months alone. The number of dead from Friday morning’s attack have not yet been confirmed though many are believed dead and others severely injured. Fr John Bakeni of the Diocese of Maiduguri witnessed this morning’s attack. He told Vatican Radio’s John-Baptiste Munyambibi that people are fearful and frustrated with the continuing violence. Listen to an excerpt from the interview with Fr John Bakeni: 00:02:14:28||14 3 14||Free||View In iTunes|
||Search for assasins ongoing in Venezuela||(Vatican Radio) Venezuelan authorities continue their search of the central city of Valencia, following the shooting deaths of three men including a National Guard Captain. Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro says six people have been arrested in Valencia, as well as weapons and C4 explosives found. The country's Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz, who met with the UN's Human Rights Commission in Geneva, stresses that those responsible for violence will be processed and punished according to the law. She says the official death toll since the troubles flared is 28, with 365 injured. The mayor of Valencia, Miguel Cocchiola, is blaming the shooting incidents on pro-government vigilante groups, known as Colectivos. While the Venezuelan Government insists they are trying to resist a right-wing coup, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is urging them to halt a campaign of terror against their own people. Kerry says a dialogue must be found between the two sides. A laudable aim but, as the arrests and death toll continue to rise, further polarization fuelling festering bitterness makes reconciliation ever harder. Listen to the report by James Blears: 00:01:16:08||14 3 14||Free||View In iTunes|
||US, Russia fail to agree on Ukraine||(Vatican Radio) Talks between United States Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Ukraine Friday ended without an agreement. The talks in London came just two days ahead of a controversial referendum in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula on whether the region should join Russia. After hours of talks, Lavrov said he and Kerry still disagree on how to solve the crisis in Ukraine. In his words, Russia and the U.S. do "not have a common vision." In separate remarks, he said there was a rocky road ahead towards a solution. "I am also satisfied to have this meeting today," he said, adding: "This is a difficult situation we are in. Many things have happened and a lots of time has been lost, so now we have to think what can be done." Lavrov also said that Russia would "respect the will of the people of Crimea" when they vote Sunday on whether to join Russia. The stalemate in discussions came as a setback for Kerry, who had tried to sound upbeat at the start of the talks on the future of Ukraine, where Russian forces control the Crimean Peninsula. The West says time is running out. The U.S. and European Union have threatened Russia with sanctions should the referendum in Crimea go ahead. Actions under discussion reportedly include imposing a visa ban on advisers of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Among the officials who may be refused entry into the U.S. and EU are believed to be the Russian minister of defence, the chief of the presidential staff, the chief of the Russian security council, as well as leaders of Russian energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft. In a separate incident Thursday, Ukraine's influential oligarch Dmytro Firtash was detained in Vienna, Austria, at the request of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Firtash, who worked closely with Russian companies, was detained officially for suspected bribery and setting up a criminal organisation. Ukraine's interim government is also preparing a response to what it views as a Russian armed invasion. On Friday, Parliament approved the creation of a 60,000 strong National Guard to be placed under the authority of the interior ministry. This will absorb the ministry’s controversial Berkut riot police – some 4,000 men – who were linked to recent deadly clashes, which led to the ouster of the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich. Listen to the report by Stefan Bos: 00:02:24:00||14 3 14||Free||View In iTunes|
- Category: News & Politics
- Language: English
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