World News Briefs -- February 21, 2018



BBC: Syria war: Eastern Ghouta bombing 'catastrophic'

A doctor working in the Syrian rebel enclave of the Eastern Ghouta says the situation is "catastrophic" - and he believes the international community has abandoned the people living there.

"We don't have anything - no food, no medicine, no shelter," Dr Bassam told the BBC. "We don't have bread. We don't have anything."

"Maybe every minute we have 10 or 20 air strikes," Dr Bassam said.

Three days of bombing in the area has reportedly killed nearly 300 people.

The Syrian military says it is trying to liberate the area from terrorists - but it has also been accused of targeting civilians.

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MIDDLE EAST

Doctors forced to use expired drugs as 300 die in Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Russia denies role in deadly air strikes on Syria's Eastern Ghouta.

Military action against Syria still on the table, Jim Mattis and Rex Tillerson say.

Turkey says whoever helps Kurd militia in Syria is 'legitimate target'.

UN: Food aid to Palestinian refugees will end soon.

Netanyahu aide agrees to implicate PM over corruption claims – reports.

Bahrain: Five years in jail for Nabeel Rajab's tweets.

ASIA

South Korean presidential adviser: Many hurdles ahead to resolving North Korea issue.

North Korean media slams Pence amid reports of canceled secret meeting. North Korea canceled planned meeting with Pence.

Report: North Korea mine struggling as sanctions squeeze regime.

North Korea's Kim Yo-jong baby rumours fascinate South.

After Kim Jong-un's sister, South Korea prepares for Ivanka Trump visit.

Grenade on Sri Lanka bus injures 19; military rules out attack.

Trudeau "assures" India Canada won't support Sikh separatists. Canada downplays rift with India over Sikh issue.

AFRICA

Al-Shabaab plundering starving Somali villages of cash and children.

DRC: Thousands flee amid surge in 'horrific violence'.

'I inherited a broke country', says new Liberian president.

5 South African officers killed in police station ambush.

Qatar and Chad restore relations, first since blockade.

South Africa hikes sales tax in 'tough' post-Zuma budget.

Cape Town's Day Zero pushed back, but authorities say drought threat still real.

EUROPE

Pro-Brexit Tory MPs set out demands in letter to Theresa May.

Man who says he was a Russian 'troll' arrested after going public.

German prisons: 150 dangerous Islamists need deradicalizing, say police.

Accusations about Berlusconi's ties to Sicilian mafia revived.

Bulgaria and Romania push to join EU's Schengen Area.

Germany deports more rejected Afghan asylum seekers.

Macron's MPs: New immigration bill 'betrays French values'.

AMERICAS

Billy Graham: Influential US evangelist dies at 99.

Trump-Russia inquiry: lawyer who worked with Manafort pleads guilty to lying to FBI.

Florida shooting survivors rally for stricter gun controls.

'It's becoming impossible': Venezuelans flee as crisis deepens.

Brazil's Congress approves military intervention in Rio.

Venezuela raised $735mn on launch of oil-backed ‘petro’ cryptocurrency – Maduro.

Land fight could grant thousands of indigenous Americans new rights in Canada.

Justin Trudeau dismisses suggestions of India 'snub', criticised in Canada for 'family vacation'.

Peru coach plunges off Pan-American Highway killing dozens.

Pope's investigator meets Chile sex abuse victims.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Russia, Pakistan form anti-terror military cooperation commission.

IS-run terror camps used to recruit Afghan youth, says CIS Anti-Terrorism Center chief.

Pentagon: First Gitmo transfer under Trump could happen 'soon'. U.S. misses deadline to repatriate detainee who pleaded guilty.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

BP says world's oil consumption will peak in late 2030s.

Plastic bans worldwide will dent oil demand growth, says BP.

Text of revised Pacific trade deal released.

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