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Last updateThu, 24 May 2018 8pm

World News

US says no role for Assad following Syria gas 'attack.

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad should have no role in a future Syria, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says. Signalling a shift in US policy, he called for "a political process that would lead to Assad leaving". His remarks follow a suspected chemical attack in Syria, which US President Donald Trump called a "disgrace to humanity". The BBC's North America editor says Mr Trump is now mulling his options and military action could be imminent.

Premier Turnbull to discuss with Modi on collaboration between India and Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today said he will use his first trip to India to further strengthen the bilateral ties and discuss with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the "enormous opportunities" for collaboration in areas like trade and security. Turnbull will arrive in New Delhi on Sunday on a four-day visit to India.

He said he will discuss the enormous opportunities for collaboration between Australia and India with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The meeting would strengthen relationship even further for the benefit of both nations.

UN calls emergency talks after Syria 'gas attack.'

The UN Security Council is to hold emergency talks after an alleged chemical attack in Syria left dozens of civilians dead and wounded. The release of chemicals in a rebel-held town in Idlib province brought furious international reaction.

Officials in Damascus deny opposition and Western claims that they used chemical weapons. Russia's defence ministry said a Syrian air strike had hit a rebel ammunition store that included chemical weapons.

Sri Lanka condemns suicide attack on Russian train.

President Maithripala Sirisena condemned the attack at Saint Petersburg, Russia last evening that caused 11 deaths. In a message the President said Sri Lanka condemns the incident at Saint Petersburg which caused deaths and injuries to many in Russia. He also expressed his condolences to the affected families.


'Chemical attack' in Idlib kills 58 in Syrian conflict.

At least 58 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town in north-western Syria, a monitoring group says. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that strikes on Khan Sheikhoun by Syrian government or Russian jets had caused many people to choke. Later, aircraft fired rockets at local clinics treating some of the survivors, medics and opposition activists said. The Syrian government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons.

Trump backs Sisi as he seeks to 'reboot' US-Egypt ties.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is visiting the White House for the first time since he led the military's overthrow of his predecessor in 2013. US President Donald Trump said he was "very much behind" Mr Sisi, whose deadly crackdown on dissent was criticised by the Obama administration. Mr Sisi declared his deep appreciation for Mr Trump's "unique" personality. US officials have said Mr Trump is seeking to "reboot" the countries' bilateral relationship at the talks.

Ex-South Korean president Park Geun-hye arrested in corruption probe.

Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been arrested and taken into custody over a corruption scandal that led to her dismissal. The 65-year-old was driven to a detention centre south of Seoul after a court approved her arrest. She is accused of allowing her close friend Choi Soon-sil to extort money from companies, including Samsung, in return for political favours. Ms Park, who was removed from office earlier this month, denies the claims.

Trump signs order undoing Obama climate change policies.

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order rolling back Obama-era rules aimed at curbing climate change. The president said this would put an end to the "war on coal" and "job-killing regulations". The Energy Independence Executive Order suspends more than half a dozen measures enacted by his predecessor, and boosts fossil fuels. Business groups have praised the Trump administration's move but environmental campaigners have condemned it.

Cyclone Debbie: 'Monster' storm batters Australia

A powerful cyclone has pummelled the north-east Australian coast, causing major damage, torrential rain and power cuts to tens of thousands of homes.
Cyclone Debbie made landfall between Bowen and Airlie Beach in Queensland as a category four storm, whipping up gusts of 263km/h (163 mph).
It is moving inland as a category three but could cause damage for hours yet. One serious injury has been reported.
PM Malcolm Turnbull told parliament he had activated a disaster response plan.
The extent of Cyclone Debbie's devastation may not be known for some time, authorities said.
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said: "We are going to get lots of reports of damage, and sadly I think we will also receive reports of injuries, if not death."

World nuclear ban 'not realistic', says US ambassador to UN.

A worldwide nuclear ban is simply not "realistic", the US ambassador to the UN has said, as nearly 40 countries stayed away from talks on the subject. The US, Britain and France were among the countries that skipped a UN meeting to discuss a new treaty. More than 120 others endorsed a plan for a legally binding nuclear ban.

But US envoy Nikki Haley said national security required nuclear arms because of "bad actors" who could not be trusted. She told reporters that there is nothing anyone want more for his family than a world with no nuclear weapons. But things have to be realistic," 

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