Syria conflict: Red Cross ‘alarmed’ over Qusair
2 June 2013 Last updated at 06:50 GMT
The Red Cross has expressed alarm over the situation in the besieged Syrian town of Qusair, and has appealed for immediate access to deliver aid.
Thousands of civilians are believed to be trapped in the town, which lies close to the border with Lebanon.
The battle for control between pro-government forces and rebel fighters has made medical supplies, food and water scarce, the Red Cross says.
Russia has also reportedly blocked a UN “declaration of alarm” on Qusair.
The draft Security Council declaration, which was circulated by Britain, voiced “grave concern about the situation in Qusair, and in particular the impact on civilians of the ongoing fighting”.
Frightened to return: A Fukushima father’s story
Rates of thyroid problems in children near the nuclear plant are high
DAVID MCNEILL SUNDAY 02 JUNE 2013
Like most fathers, Yoji Fujimoto frets about the health of his young children. In addition to normal parental concerns about the food they eat, the air they breathe and the environment they will inherit, however, he must add one more: the radioactive fallout from a nuclear disaster.
Three days after meltdown began at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on 11 March 2011, Mr Fujimoto moved his two daughters, then aged four and three, to safety hundreds of kilometres away. Last December, the eldest of the two was diagnosed with adenoidal cysts, the prelude to a type of cancer that often strikes the salivary glands. “I was told by the doctor that it’s very rare,” he says.
Malaysia’s election reform a ‘band-aid’ remedy: Bersih
June 2, 2013 – 2:05PM Lindsay Murdoch
South-East Asia correspondent for Fairfax Media
The head of Bersih, the organisation campaigning for clean elections in Malaysia, has criticised reform of the country’s Election Commission, a move aimed at healing deep divisions following last month’s disputed elections.
Ambiga Sreenevasan said the reforms announced by prime minister Najib Razak at the weekend were like “fixing a gaping wound by using band aid remedies” and would not work.
Ms Ambiga said the commission has lost the confidence of the public and its top officials should resign or be removed and replaced with “commissioners of the highest integrity and courage.”
Government crackdown on Turkey protests draws condemnation
Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters have taken to the streets in Turkey. The demonstrations have raised international concern after the government’s harsh crack down on the protesters.
Riot police backed by armored vehicles and helicopters fired tear gas and water canon in Istanbul and Ankara for a second day on Saturday during Turkey’s fiercest anti-government protests in years.
The unrest was sparked by the government’s planned reconstruction of an Ottoman-era barracks to house shops or apartments on Istanbul’s Taksim Square, a longtime hub of political protest.
Suspected Islamist militants attack Niger prison
2 June 2013 Last updated at 03:25 GMT
Gunmen have attacked the main prison in Niger’s capital, Niamey, killing at least two guards, officials say.
They are thought to be members of the Islamist militant group, Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao).
Officials said several inmates were overpowered and detained after what appeared to be an attempted breakout.
The attack comes days after Mujao said it was behind suicide bombings at a military base and a French-operated uranium mine which killed 25 people.
Car sharing: The next big thing in traffic-clogged Mexico City?
Carrot is the country’s first car share initiative with 8,500 members in Mexico City. Some studies show the introduction of shared cars will reduce the overall number of drivers on the road.
By Lauren Villagran, Correspondent / June 1, 2013
Residents of this traffic-clogged capital warmed quickly to the city’s bike-share program, Ecobici. Now a new effort called Carrot wants people to share cars, as well.
Mexico City public transportation has improved enormously over the past decade, with the addition of bus rapid transit, a new metro line, bike lanes, and Ecobici. But the city sprawls in every direction, and public transport isn’t always close or convenient. Many who can afford it own a car (or two).
Diego Solorzano, a young entrepreneur, launched Carrot last June as an alternative, something “in between public transport and private transport,” he says.