News in Brief — 8th April– 19:30 GMT
1) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that the war in Syria has provided a breeding ground for extremists, who are spreading like a cancer around the world. Ban urged a radical rethink of ways to curb the global terrorist threat. He said that heavy-handed responses have sometimes been counter-productive.
2) Syrian forces and their allies press ahead with their battle against Daesh terrorists in the eastern oil-rich province of Dayr al-Zawr. Heavy fighting is underway in the airport area to flush the terrorists out of the region. The ISIL has been battling to take control of the military airport in the province.
3) Iraqi forces have flushed Daesh terrorists out of the center of the strategic western city of Hit in Anbar province. A military commander says operations are still underway, expressing hope that the province will be fully liberated within days. ISIL terrorists overran Hit in 2014.
4) US Secretary of State John Kerry says retaking the city of Mosul from ISIL terrorists is a top priority, but operations are at an early stage. Kerry also said ISIL terrorists have not been on the offensive for months. He made the comments during a visit to Iraq, after talks with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
5) Two Armenian soldiers are killed in fresh clashes with Azerbaijani forces in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region despite a ceasefire. The two sides are exchanging blames over the ceasefire breach, which is the worst violence since a truce was agreed on between the two sides on Tuesday.
6) Thousands of General Electric employees from across Europe have protested in Paris against the company’s planned job cuts on the continent. Protesters were outraged by the company’s plans to cut 6,500 jobs in Europe after acquiring Alstom’s power business in November 2015. Alstom is a French multinational rail transportation company.
7) At least two people have been shot dead at a military base in Texas. The Bexar County Sheriff said the shooting occurred at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. The base is the home of the US Air Force’s basic training program. Authorities say the attack might be a murder-suicide, but further investigations are underway.
8) Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro threatens to seek a constitutional amendment to slash the opposition-led legislature’s term. Addressing his supporters in Caracas, Maduro acused the opposition of approving an illegal law without consulting anyone. The amnesty law could pave the way for Maduro’s political rivals to be released from jail.