At least five air strikes hit military sites and an area near the presidential palace compound in the Yemeni capital Sanaa at dawn on Sunday while warships pounded an area near the port of the southern city of Aden, residents said. The bombings were the first raids on Sanaa since a Saudi-led alliance said last week it was scaling back a campaign against Iranian-allied Houthi militias, which control Sanaa and have powerful allies in Yemen's factionalised armed forces. Eyewitnesses in Aden said foreign warships pounded Houthi armed positions around the city's main commercial port and dockyard, the first time the port area has been shelled, residents said. In the southern province of Dalea, the militiamen said they had fought for hours to retake several rural districts with the help of Saudi-led air strikes, in fighting which left around 25 of the Houthi forces and six of their own men dead.
Syrian television said on Sunday that Islamist insurgents who seized a key northwestern town had since slaughtered civilians, but monitors of the war said only government supporters had been detained and no one killed. Rebels including al-Qaeda's Syria wing captured Jisr al-Shughour for the first time in the four-year conflict on Saturday, edging closer to Latakia, the coastal province of vital importance to President Bashar al-Assad. "Terrorist groups committed a horrific massacre of civilians after entering Jisr al-Shughour," state television quoted a military source as saying. "No women and children were captured." His monitoring group, which says it collects information from all sides of the conflict, said at least 27 people, mainly insurgents, were killed after Syrian jets bombed Jisr al-Shughour.
The trial of former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, deposed by the army and sentenced to 20 years in jail, was "badly flawed" and appears to have been politically motivated, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday. A court on April 21 convicted Mursi and 12 other Muslim Brotherhood members of violence, kidnapping and torture over the deaths of protesters in 2012. The rise to power of the Brotherhood, a decades-old Islamist movement, after the Arab Spring uprisings polarized Egypt's population and led to months of unrest. The army ousted Mursi in mid-2013 after mass protests against his rule.
By Patrick Nduwimana BUJUMBURA (Reuters) - Police in the Burundian capital used water cannon and tear gas on Sunday to disperse protesters demonstrating against President Pierre Nkurunziza seeking a third term, witnesses said, after the government banned protests for or against the move. Witnesses at the protests said at least one police officer and a protester were injured. Burundi's ruling CNDD-FDD party nominated Nkurunziza as its presidential candidate on Saturday, prompting hundreds of civil society groups to decry the move as a "coup" against the constitution, which limits leaders to two terms in office. "We deplore the way police acted with violence against a peaceful demonstration," said Janvier Bigirimana, a civil society activist.
Reduced to piles of rubble and splintered wood, Nepal's rich cultural heritage has suffered a devastating blow from a massive earthquake that tore through the country, experts said Sunday. In the heart of Kathmandu, many of a cluster of temples and statues built between the 12th and 18th centuries by the ancient kings of Nepal have collapsed, killing scores and trapping others underneath. The nine-storey Dharahara tower, a major tourist attraction in the city's Durbar square with its spiral staircase of 200 steps, was reduced to just its base when the 7.8-magnitude quake struck at lunchtime on Saturday. "I had just bought tickets to climb the tower and was at its base when I felt a sudden shaking," Dharmu Subedi, 36, said from a hospital bed in Kathmandu.
The leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party on Sunday ruled out an informal deal with Scottish nationalists after a May 7 election if his party fails to win an overall majority, something he has previously declined to do. When asked if left-wing Labour would negotiate with the Scottish nationalists after the election, Labour leader Ed Miliband told the BBC: "I'm not interested in deals no." Miliband had already ruled out a formal coalition with the Scottish National Party, but his failure to exclude a looser arrangement - known as a 'confidence and supply' deal - had been seized upon by Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives. I'm not doing deals with the Scottish National Party," said Miliband. Opinion polls have consistently shown that neither the Conservatives nor Labour are likely to win an overall majority in the 650-seat Parliament.