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World in brief June 13 2018

SYRIA: A US-led coalition bombing raid killed four people today and injured one in the village of al-Hardan in north-eastern Hasakeh province.

The international coalition has been criticised for killing civilians in its air strikes.

President Bashar al-Assad recently demanded that all foreign forces leave Syria, threatening to use force if necessary.


BRAZIL: The Pope’s special envoy has been blocked from delivering a handwritten letter from Francis to jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Pope Francis has previously condemned “state coups sponsored by conservative media,” referring to Brazil’s right-wing coup administration.

Lula is currently jailed on trumped-up corruption charges but remains ahead in opinion polling for October’s presidential elections.


GERMANY: Investigations are under way after a Tunisian national was arrested on suspicion of preparing to carry out a chemical attack in Germany.

Court officials revealed yesterday that specialists are analysing unknown substances found in the man’s home after he was arrested in Cologne on Tuesday.

Experts suggested a possible terrorist attack would be aimed at drinking water, food or the logistics network.


SOUTH AFRICA: Pretoria is to honour the centenary of the birth of  anti-apartheid liberation leader Nelson Mandela in a new series of coin and bank notes.

Images of the former president will appear on the five-rand coin and the R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 banknotes for a limited period.

The South African Reserve Bank made the announcement yesterday to “avoid confusion and unnecessary speculation.”


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