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More than 148 people were killed in bombings claimed by the IS militants group in Syria, the deadliest attacks to date in the regime's coastal heartland.

Seven near-simultaneous explosions targeted bus stations, hospitals and other civilian sites in the seaside cities of Jableh and Tartus, which until now had been relatively insulated from Syria's five-year war. The attacks on strongholds of president Bashar al-Assad's regime came as is faces mounting pressure in Syria and Neighbouring Iraq, where a major offensive to retake the militants held city of Fallujah is underway. One hundred people were killed in Jableh and another 48 in Tartus to the south, including children, said the Syrian observatory for human rights monitor. Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said they were "without a doubt the deadliest attacks" on the two cities since the start of the war. Un secretary-general ban KI-Moon condemned the terrorist attacks. The un chief also took note with great concern of the escalating military activity in many areas in and around Damascus. He reminded all parties to the cessation of hostilities of their duty to abide by its terms, in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolution 2268. Moreover, he called on all member states to take immediate, collective and decisive action to bring the tragedy unfolding in Syria to an end.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced that Washington will fully lift an embargo on sales of lethal arms to Vietnam, underlining warming relations between the former foes.

Obama made the announcement during a joint news conference with his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi, saying the sale of arms would depend on Vietnam's human rights commitments, and would be made on a case-by-case basis. I can also announce that the United States is fully lifting the ban on the sale of military equipment to Vietnam that has been in place for some 50 years. As with all our Defense partners, sales will need to still meet strict requirements, including those related to human rights. But this change will ensure that Vietnam will have access to the equipment that it needs to defend itself and remove a lingering vestige of the cold war U.s. President stressed that disputes in the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully and not by whoever "throws their weight around. Obama also touched on the human rights issue, and say Vietnam has made modest progression...

 

India signed 12 agreements with Iran, including a pact to operate a strategic port in Chabahar on the Persian Gulf Nation's southern coast.

The agreements signed after delegation-level talks between visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran. The port of Chabahar on the southern Iranian coast is aimed at boosting connectivity with Afghanistan and central Asia. According to Indian media the port will allow India to transport goods to Afghanistan and central Asia using a sea-land route. India will help develop the port and invest 500 million us dollars. In the next phase, India plans to build a 500-km railway line between Chabahar and Zahedan.

 

Turkey became the first country to host world humanitarian summit in Istanbul, gathering representatives from most of the UN member states.

The summit comes as the Syrian civil war enters its sixth year, and Europe faces the worst refugee crisis since World War II as global social inequality has reached a peak amid a rising world population. Hosted by Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, world leaders of United Nations member states, including German chancellor Angela Merkel and us Vice-president Joe Biden, are set to gather in turkey’s biggest city during the summit. During the summit, attended by 125 of the UN’S 193 member states, at least 50 heads of government will announce several commitments to reduce humanitarian disasters. In his opening speech at the two-day summit, ban called on the participants to make concrete commitments in five areas conflict prevention and resolution, strengthening the protection of civilians, leaving no one behind, ending humanitarian need and ensuring funding for humanitarian actions. He also called on all the parties to make efforts in halving the number of internally displaced people by 2030. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan Criticised the international community saying that world’s current humanitarian system has been inadequate to meet mankind's urgent needs. Speaking at the UN'S first world humanitarian summit in Istanbul, Erdogan said, “if a system could not provide malaria covers, which are worth a few dollars, or simple vaccinations and watch thousands of children die, then, there is a problem in that system." Erdogan told the summit that turkey now expects a fair sharing of the refugee burden reiterating that his country is hosting the highest number of refugees in the world. Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam international, who will address government leaders at the summit, said in a statement that "leaders at the world humanitarian summit must make concrete commitments that deliver real change for civilians facing disaster and conflict." Oxfam international is an international federation of 18 humanitarian Organisations "working together with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries. MSF announced on may 5 that it would pull out of the summit because of a "lack of hope" and it would "address the massive needs" caused by violence against its medical staff in conflict areas including Syria, Yemen and south Sudan.

 

Austria's new president has vowed to listen to the people's "fear and anger" after his far-right opponent narrowly missed out on a landmark victory.

Independent Alexander van Der Bellen beat the freedom party's Norbert Hofer by just 31,000 votes among the 4.64 million cast in election. In his victory speech, president van Der Bellen, a pro-EU candidate backed by the greens, said he accepted that many people believed that they were not being heard. He said he would "work towards winning the trust of Norbert Hofer's voters" and try to be "a non-partisan president for all the people in Austria". Alexander van Der Bellen is the first environmental activist to become Austrian president. He is a chain-smoker and left-leaning liberal committed to the EU. He is the son of aristocratic refugees from Russia's 1917 Bolshevik revolution. First they escaped from Pskov to Estonia, and then in 1940 they fled the soviet occupation - the communist takeover of the Baltic States. The family settled in Austria's tyrol region. Alexander grew up in Kaunertal and does not speak Russian. His surname harks back to Dutch ancestry. He studied economics at the University of Innsbruck and was later appointed professor at Vienna University. He retired from academia in 2009. He was elected to parliament for the greens in 1994, and from 1997-2008 was the party's spokesman.

 
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