The Ugandan government says a rescue mission has become one of recovery at the site of Monday's landslides. Eighteen people have so far been confirmed dead after several villages were swept away on the slopes of a mountain. The exact number of casualties is unknown. The landslides buried houses in mud, and up to 100 people – mostly children – are still missing. Landslides are not unusual for Uganda. Dozens, and sometimes even hundreds, die in similar incidents every year.
A massive blast has leveled several houses in a residential area in the town of Oldham in northern England. A child was found dead and one man suffered severe burns in the explosion, which is believed to have been caused by gas. Around 100 nearby homes have been evacuated. Police say they are treating the explosion as suspicious.
A US Senate panel has unanimously approved the "Magnitsky Act” bill that calls for the imposition of sanctions such as visa bans and asset freezes on a number of Russians implicated in the death of investment lawyer Sergey Magnitsky, as well as those of other alleged human rights abusers. A similar version was passed by a House of Representatives committee earlier this month. The act has yet to be voted on in the full House. And it will come into force only once President Obama has signed it.
A bomb has exploded outside the Tunisian consulate in Tripoli, causing damage but no injuries, a Libyan security official said. "The security cameras showed a car zoom by, carrying four unknown men who threw the bomb at the gate. The Tunisian consulate called us to investigate," said Motassim Billah Abu Hreiba, a police investigator as quoted by Reuters. There is no information on the identity or motive of the attackers.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is planning to attend the meeting on Syria’s escalating conflict which Kofi Annan is attempting to organize in Geneva this weekend, if it takes place. "Sergey Lavrov has officially accepted the invitation to come to the actual meeting in Geneva on Saturday, June 30," said Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin. Russia hopes that the meeting “can provide powerful impetus for political efforts to put an end to the conflict," the diplomat said.
Serbia’s war crimes court has sentenced 14 former Yugoslav Army soldiers and paramilitaries to 128 years in jail for the killings of 70 Croat civilians in 1991.
The court said it had been proven beyond doubt that the defendants were guilty of murdering, mistreating and torturing the civilian population.
Belgrade hopes that the ruling will boost Serbia’s chance of joining the European Union
At least two people were killed and one seriously wounded in protests in the rebel-held northern Mali city of Gao on Tuesday. A hospital official said youths clashed with rebel fighters they accuse of the killing a local councilor, Reuters reports. Tuareg-led rebels, backed by local Al-Qaeda Islamists, seized two-thirds of Mali in the north in early April after a March 22 coup in the southern capital Bamako.
Ankara has sent a military convoy to the Syrian border, according to Turkish media reports on Tuesday. The convoy reportedly includes 15 tanks, and other military vehicles equipped with long-distance guns. Turkey warned on Tuesday that any Syrian military unit approaching its border would be treated as a direct threat. Tensions between the two countries escalated after Syria shot down a Turkish military plane.
An Egyptian court has overturned a government decree allowing the army to arrest civilians. “The court has blocked the decision of the Minister of Justice that gave military and military intelligence officers powers of arrest,” Reuters quoted Cairo administrative court Judge Ali Fikry as saying. The decree was issued by the army-backed interim government before a presidential run-off vote on June 16-17. Rights activists and politicians then accused the ruling generals of reviving an unpopular emergency law that lapsed in May.
Ahmed Shafiq, the loser of the presidential runoff, reportedly left Egypt on Tuesday with most of his family for the United Arab Emirates. Hours earlier the prosecutor general opened an investigation into allegations that Shafiq wasted public funds during his 8-year term as a civil aviation minister, AP said. His campaign team said that Shafiq, who was Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, left for a short visit and would return after a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
An American couple has been detained on suspicion of child trafficking after trying to board a plane with four children, police in Ghana say. “They say the children were adopted,” Comfort Miah, an official with the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, told. “We are investigating to find out if this has been properly granted by a court of proper jurisdiction.” Sol and Christine Moghadam from Irvine, California, traveling with their two biological children and four adopted siblings from Ghana, were stopped on Friday at Accra's airport.
The headquarters of a leading Lebanese TV station have been attacked with burning tires after playing host to a hard-line Sunni Muslim cleric. Sheik Ahmad al-Asser had harshly criticized the country's Shiite Muslim leaders in an interview with Al-Jadeed TV in Beirut. Five masked figures attacked the station on Monday night, firing several shots. There were no casualties, while the building suffered slight damage.
Iraq has suspended plans to close 44 media operations in the country, officials said on Tuesday. The Communications and Media Commission that regulates the news media in Iraq will give the targeted organizations more time to pay outstanding fees and renew lapsed licenses, AP reports. The commission also denied that its previous order to close the outlets, most of them Iraqi, was a crackdown on free media. Critics described the order as “a setback to the freedom of journalism.”
Rebels have taken seven hostages during an attack on a French uranium plant in the Central African Republic, according to officials and witnesses. They say hundreds of rebels attacked the Areva plant on Sunday and looted houses. The rebels, who are part of the Lord's Resistance Army, seized five French nationals and two locals, AP said. The French embassy in Bangui says it is in contact with the hostages.
Thailand will not meet a deadline for a decision on whether to allow the US space agency to use a key air base for an atmospheric study. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Tuesday the Cabinet agreed to have lawmakers debate the NASA project, but only after Parliament reconvenes on August 1, AP reports. The project to study the impact of Asian emissions on clouds, climate and air quality was to have been conducted out of U-Tapao air base in August and September. Some critics believe the project is a threat to Thai sovereignty.
Syrian Olympic Committee head General Mowaffak Joumaa has denied media reports that he has been officially banned from attending the London Games. He dismissed statements that Britain will not grant him a visa as a “fabricated media campaign.” If such a ban was issued, “it would be an honor for me as a Syrian citizen who loves his people and homeland,” he told al-Baath newspaper on Tuesday. Earlier reports said Britain had refused to give Joumaa a visa because of his links to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. About 10 Syrian athletes are due to compete in London, and they will not be banned.
Parts of North Korea are experiencing the most severe drought since record keeping began nearly 105 years ago, according to meteorological officials in Pyongyang. The drought is heightening worries about the country’s ability to feed its people. Two-thirds of North Korea's 24 million people face chronic food shortages, the UN said. South Korean officials also reported the worst drought in more than a century in some areas, AP said. Nearly two months without significant rainfall caused a dangerous drop in water levels at reservoirs.
The expert tasked with investigating human rights abuses in Syria has finally managed to enter the country, the UN said on Tuesday. A spokeswoman confirmed that Paolo Sergio Pinheiro had visited Syria, AFP said. Pinheiro is the president of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria. The expert was tasked last August by the UN Human Rights Council with investigating the situation in Syria. The commission said since then that gross violations “continue unabated” in the country.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that the country’s armed forces “will respond to all violations on the Syrian border.” At an emergency NATO meeting on Tuesday he spoke on the downing of a Turkish jet by Syrian forces. Erdogan described the incident “over international waters” as a “deliberate” and “hostile” act. He also said Syrian helicopters have violated Turkish airspace five times recently, without a Turkish response. Erdogan warned that any Syrian military element that approaches Turkish borders will be regarded as a threat.
Hundreds of African Union and Somali troops have entered a town north of the capital Mogadishu, forcing al-Shabab militants to flee, Somali military officials say. Troops encountered little resistance as they moved into the town of Balad on Tuesday, AP reports. African Union forces kicked al-Shabab out of Mogadishu last August. In May, African Union troops moved into the Afgoye corridor outside of Mogadishu. Al-Shabab's last stronghold is the port city of Kismayo.
The EU embargo on its oil sales will have “a negative impact” on Tehran’s negotiations with six world powers over its nuclear program, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Tuesday. The warning follows the failure of the last round of negotiations in Moscow. The EU sanctions imposed earlier this year take effect on Sunday.
Queen Elizabeth II is beginning a two-day visit to Northern Ireland. The British monarch will meet survivors and relatives of the dead in Enniskillen, where an IRA bomb in 1987 killed 11 Protestant civilians and wounded 63 others. On Wednesday, she is expected to meet with former Irish Republican Army commander Martin McGuinness.
Oman is investigating reports that members of Al-Qaeda fleeing an offensive in neighboring Yemen have crossed into Omani territory. Al-Qaeda elements are infiltrating the territories of the sultanate through Yemen, and “checks are underway to track them down,” Oman newspaper quoted Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Badr bin Hamad al-Busaidi as saying. The US-backed offensive of the Yemeni army has driven an Al-Qaeda-linked group, Ansar al Sharia, from their strongholds in southern Yemen.
News Corp is considering splitting into two companies to separate its publishing assets from its entertainment businesses, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company’s publishing assets include that newspaper, the Times of London and the Australian newspaper, as well as HarperCollins book publishing. The split would carve them off from News Corp's film and television businesses, including 20th Century Fox film studio, Fox broadcast network and Fox News channel. Chairman Rupert Murdoch has previously opposed such a move, which has been discussed for several years.
Israel has started to evacuate Jewish settlers from an unauthorized West Bank outpost after a court ordered that it be dismantled. About 30 families are to leave the outpost on Tuesday, AP said. The rest are expected to leave later this week. The Ulpana residents, who have promised to leave quietly, are moving into temporary housing. Their five apartment buildings will be relocated to a nearby site. The outpost was built on privately owned Palestinian land.
South Korea will halt oil imports from Iran from July 1 due to a European Union ban on insuring shipments of Iranian crude. Crude imports will be suspended because the EU will stop Iranian crude oil imports and will stop offering insurance and reinsurance on Iranian oil imports, South Korea’s ministries of commerce, foreign affairs and finance said on Tuesday. South Korean companies rely on EU companies to insure the shipments.
Eleven people have been killed in two separate explosions in Iraq. The first bomb exploded outside a store northeast of Baghdad, killing five people and injuring three. Six others were killed after another bomb exploded in a minibus, which was carrying a group of football players in the town of Hillah. More than 140 people in Iraq have died this month alone in attacks targeting mainly Shia pilgrims and shrines.
Prosecutors at the International Tribunal of the Hague have requested that former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradijan be sentenced to at least 20 years behind bars on war crimes charges. The same sentence was also sought for his co-combatants, Idriz Balan and Lah Brahimaj. "The lowest sentencing will be 20 years' imprisonment," said prosecutor Paul Rogers. The defense claimed that Haradinaj is innocent. The former Kosovo prime minister and Kosovo Liberation Army commander had been temporarily released after he was found innocent in April 2008. However, the Hague decided to retry him in 2011.
Former president of Paraguay Fernando Lugo, who was ousted from office in a landslide congressional vote, has said that he is aiming to return to power, AP reports. The leftist leader's ouster was not recognized by regional powers like Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela. Lugo called the vote a break with democracy, and rallied his allies at home and abroad to try and prevail. “I want to resist until we regain power, because here there was a parliamentary coup,” he said Monday. “I call on people from the countryside, the youth and all citizens to resist until we are back in the office we unfairly had to leave.” Lugo has symbolically created a parallel cabinet, attacking the legitimacy of the government that replaced him.