Geneva, Sep 17 (AP/UNB) — Myanmar's envoy to the top U.N. human rights body says his country rejects any move to bring the issue of alleged rights violations against ethnic Rohingya Muslims to an international legal forum.
Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun insisted Myanmar's government will "never tolerate any violation of human rights to anyone" and is "capable of addressing the issue of accountability."
He was responding Tuesday to a report presented a day earlier by a special U.N. fact-finding mission that called for Myanmar to be held responsible for alleged genocide against the Rohingya.
The report chronicled human rights violations by security forces and said counterinsurgency operations against Rohingya in 2017 included "genocidal acts." It said the operations killed thousands of people and caused more than 740,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh.
Kabul, Sep 17 (AP/UNB) — A suicide bomber on a motorcycle targeted a campaign rally by President Ashraf Ghani in northern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing at least 24 people and wounding 31, officials said. Ghani was present at the venue but was unharmed, according to his campaign chief.
Just hours later, an explosion struck near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul but details on that blast were not immediately known.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. The violence comes as Afghanistan faces presidential elections on Sept. 28. The Taliban have warned that polling stations and election campaigns would be targeted.
In Tuesday's suicide attack, the bomber rammed his motorcycle packed with explosives into the entrance of the venue where Ghani was campaigning on the outskirts of the city of Charakar in northern Parwan province.
There were many women and children among the casualties, said Dr. Qasim Sangin, a local official.
Wahida Shahkar, spokeswoman for Parwan's governor, said the rally had just begun when the explosion occurred.
Firdaus Faramarz, spokesman for the Kabul police chief, said there was no immediate information about casualties in the Kabul blast, which took place near Massood Square, a deeply congested intersection in the center of Kabul. NATO and U.S. compounds are located nearby as are several Afghan government ministries.
Campaigning for the Afghan elections resumed last week after President Donald Trump declared that the U.S.-Taliban talks which have been going on for months in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar are over.
Most presidential candidates had suspended their campaigns while negotiations were taking place and as the U.S. peace envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, said a deal was all but signed.
Trump's tweets at the beginning of September declaring the deal and the talks were "dead" launched the war-battered nation on an election campaign.
Ghani, who had been sidelined during much of the talks between Khalilzad and the Taliban, resumed campaigning immediately and had been steadfast in his demand that presidential polls should take place.
Khalilzad and some of Ghani's rivals, however had talked of establishing an interim administration to run the country while a peace deal was implemented.
In the aftermath of the scrapped talks, Afghans braced for what many expected to be an increase in violence.
The Taliban have opposed the elections and have refused to meet with representatives of Ghani's government for talks. They have also refused to agree to a cease-fire.
But it was two attacks in Kabul in recent weeks that caused Trump to halt the negotiations with the Taliban, including one that killed two NATO soldiers, one of whom was an American. Another U.S. soldier died in combat in Afghanistan on Monday.
Dhaka, Sept 17 (UNB) - A young man who found a wallet containing €2,000 (£1770; $2200) in cash on the street in Rome refused a reward after returning it to its owner, reports BBC.
Mossan Rasal, a 23-year-old Bangladeshi citizen, went directly to the police after spotting the item on the pavement in the Italian capital on Friday.
It was then arranged for the owner to collect the wallet from Mr Rasal.
He was thanked for his honesty but said "I did not do anything exceptional," adding: "That money wasn't mine."
"I didn't know the amount because I didn't count it, I just took everything to the [police] station," Mr Rasal told Italian daily La Repubblica on Sunday.
"It was about being honest, as my family taught me to be," he added.
The wallet also contained several credit cards, a driver's license and personal identification papers, police said.
Mr Rasal, who runs a small stall in central Rome, has been living in the city for seven years. He said that he would be happy if the owner of the wallet, a local businessman, now visited his stall and became a regular customer.
Seattle, Sept 17 (AP/UNB) — Bill and Melinda Gates aren't backing down from honoring India Prime Minister Narendra Modi despite concerns about human rights abuses in the disputed Kashmir region.
A dozen people, some wearing "Free Kashmir" T-shirts, with the Justice For All coalition delivered 100,000 petition signatures to the Gates Foundation's Seattle headquarters on Monday, asking the world's largest private nonprofit not to honor Modi's Swachh Bharat Mission, a sanitation initiative that improved access to toilets.
Javed Sikander, a demonstrator in Seattle who said he is a former Microsoft employee, spoke of his admiration for the Microsoft co-founder, calling Bill Gates and his namesake foundation an inspiration.
"That is all the more reason we're so disappointed that the foundation would honor a person who is clearly committing human rights violations in India," Sikander said.
Modi's Hindu nationalist-led government presented an order in Parliament on Aug. 5 revoking the autonomy of India's only Muslim-majority state. It has imposed tighter controls on India's side of Kashmir, including limiting internet access, mobile and landline phones and cable TV in the disputed region home to 12.5 million people.
The Gates Foundation in a statement said it respects the petitioners' views, but Modi will receive its annual Goalkeepers Global Goals Award for providing 500 million people in India safer sanitation.
"We work on the specific issues where we believe we can have the greatest impact for the world's poorest," the Gates Foundation statement said.
The Gates Foundation's annual event focusing on global inequality on September 24 and 25 coincides with the UN General Assembly gathering and has drawn big-name politicians and celebrities, from Barack Obama to Ed Sheeran.
However, the Gates Foundation confirmed actors Jameela Jamil and Riz Ahmed have dropped out of their event. Jamil, who stars on the U.S. sitcom "The Good Place" hinted at the geopolitical tensions but declined to say specifics in a post on Twitter.
Modi will be in the U.S. next week to receive the foundation's award.
The prime minister will also attend a rally with President Donald Trump in Houston.
The White House said Trump will use the "Howdy, Modi! Shared Dreams, Bright Futures" event to "emphasize the strong ties between the people of the United States and India" and reaffirm the two countries' strategic partnership.
Congo, Sept 17 (AP/UNB) — Police in Congo say 36 people are missing after a boat sank on the Congo River east of the capital, Kinshasa.
The national police said Sunday that about 76 people were rescued after the accident near the Mambutuka locality about 80 kilometers (49 miles) outside Kinshasa.
The boat had been traveling from Balibambi in Mai-Ndombe province to the capital.
The cause of the accident is not immediately known. Boats in the vast nation of Congo are usually overloaded with passengers and cargo, and official manifests don't include all those aboard.
The overcrowding makes it common for boats to capsize.
Road infrastructure in the vast Central African nation is often poor.