World this week
Airstrikes by the Myanmar army killed as many as 100 people, including many children, who were attending a ceremony held by opponents of army rule, according to witnesses, pro-democracy groups and independent media. The military has been increasingly using airstrikes to counter a widespread armed struggle against its rule, which began in February 2021 when it seized power. More than 3,000 civilians are estimated to have been killed since then by security forces.
A witness told AP that a fighter jet dropped bombs directly onto a crowd of people who were gathering at 8am on Tuesday (Apr. 11)for the opening of a local office of the country's opposition movement outside Pazigyi village in Sagaing region's Kanbalu township. About half an hour later, a helicopter appeared and fired at the site, said the witness, who asked not to be identified. Initial reports put the death toll at around 50, but later tallies reported by independent media raised it to about 100.
Syria will reopen its embassy in Tunisia, state media reported, as the country's top diplomat visited Saudi Arabia seeking to restore ties that have been severed for more than a decade. Tunisia has become the latest Arab state to reestablish diplomatic ties with Syria, after cutting off relations in 2012. Tunisian President Kais Saied announced earlier this month that he had directed the country's foreign ministry to appoint a new ambassador to Syria.
His move was reciprocated by the Syrian government, a joint statement from the two countries' foreign ministries said Wednesday, according to Syrian state news agency SANA.
The announcement was the latest in a regional trend of rapprochement with the war-torn country, which has picked up pace since the massive Feb. 6 earthquake in Turkey and Syria, and the Chinese-brokered reestablishment of ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran. A delegation headed by Syria's foreign minister arrived in Saudi Arabia for talks to restore bilateral relations between the two countries.
North Korea conducted its first intercontinental ballistic missile launch in a month, possibly testing a new more mobile, harder-to-detect missile for the first time, its neighbours said, as it extends its provocative run of weapons tests. Japan briefly urged residents on a northern island to take shelter in an indication of its vigilance over North Korea's evolving missile threats. The missile was launched on a high angle from near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang and fell in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan following a 1,000-kilometre (620-mile) flight, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staffs said in a statement.
It described its range as medium or longer. The U.S. National Security Council called it a long-range missile and Japan's government said it likely had an intercontinental range. South Korea's military believes North Korea launched a new type of ballistic missile, possibly using solid fuel, a defence official said on condition of anonymity because of office rules.
The abortion pill Mifepristone will remain available in the US for now but with significant restrictions, including a requirement for in-person doctor visits to obtain the drug, a federal appeals court ruled. The New Orleans-based fifth circuit court of appeals put on hold part of an order by the US district judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Amarillo, Texas, last Friday (Apr. 7) which suspended the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval for the drug while he heard a lawsuit by anti-abortion groups seeking to ban it.
The Biden administration and the maker of the brand, Danco Laboratories, had quickly asked for an emergency stay of that order. The appeals court declined to block portions of Kacsmaryk's order that in effect reinstate restrictions on the pill's distribution, which had been lifted since 2016. The issue may ultimately fall into the hands of the US Supreme Court and its conservative supermajority, which eradicated abortion rights last year by overturning Roe v Wade.
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