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SOP newswire3

Earth-Sized Tatooine Planets Could Be Habitable - With two suns in its sky, Luke Skywalker's home planet Tatooine in Star Wars looks like a parched, sandy desert world. In real life, thanks to observatories such as NASA's Kepler space telescope, we know that two-star systems can indeed support planets.

UN: Human Rights Must be Protected in Turkey - Ahead of this Sundays plebiscite on proposed constitutional amendments in Turkey that would, among other things, empower the President alone to declare states of emergency and determine the measures to be taken, a group of United Nations human rights experts have reiterated that even under such circumstances, protection of human rights must not be compromised.

UN Condemns Attack on Evacuees in Syria - Condemning todays attack in Rasheedin, western Aleppo, Syria, on some 5,000 evacuees traveling from the besieged towns of Foah and Kefraya to Government-controlled areas, the United Nations has underlined the need to bring those responsible for the violent act to justice.

Officials Release Details of Latest Strikes Against ISIS Terrorists in Syria, Iraq - U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, conducting 12 strikes consisting of 55 engagements against ISIS targets yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

F-35A Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft Arrive in Europe - Combat-ready F-35A Lightning II multi-role fighter aircraft arrived today at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, demonstrating U.S. commitment to NATO allies and European territorial integrity.

Mattis Trip to Make Stops in Middle East, Africa - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will embark April 17 on his fourth trip since becoming secretary. He will to reaffirm key U.S. military alliances, engage with strategic partners in the Middle East and Africa, and discuss cooperative efforts to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terror organizations, according to a Defense Department news release.

Russia Blocks Security Council Action on Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria - With a no vote from permanent member Russia, the United Nations Security Council today failed to adopt a resolution that would have condemned the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria and called on the Government to cooperate with an investigation into the incident.

Extensive Destruction in Western Mosul - Using satellite imagery and local researches, the most recent evaluation confirms that western Mosul has undergone extensive destruction, far greater than in the east, according to a senior United Nations aid official in the country.

Mattis, Turkish Counterpart Discuss Bilateral Military Relationship - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık discussed their nations bilateral defense relationship and the threats posed by terrorism during a meeting at the Pentagon today.

Counter-ISIS Forces Make Gains in Raqqa, Mosul - Coalition and partner forces are edging toward victory in the campaign to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorists in and around Raqqa.

Mother of All Bombs Destroys Khorasan Group Stronghold in Afghanistan - U.S. Forces Afghanistan conducted a strike on an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan tunnel complex in Achin district, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan.

Trump, Stoltenberg Discuss NATO Issues in Advance of May Summit - Following a White House meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg yesterday, President Donald J. Trump praised the alliances accomplishments, its partnership and its support in combating terrorism and confronting other pressing security challenges.

Thousands Dying of Preventable Diseases in Yemen - Despite long-standing humanitarian access restrictions in Yemen, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in the country reported that he has been able to enter Taiz City where, amid some gains, he observed setbacks, particularly as regards the health sector.

400,000 Civilians Trapped in Syria Ghouta - Voicing concern over the impact of deteriorating security and humanitarian situation on the lives some 400,000 people trapped in eastern Ghouta in Syria, a United Nations spokesperson today underlined the need to ensure that humanitarians have unrestricted access to the affected areas.

African Migrants Being Sold in Slave Markets - Hundreds of migrants along North African migrant routes are being bought and sold openly in modern day slave markets in Libya,

Trump Calls Commanders of Ships That Executed Syrian Strike - President Donald J. Trump yesterday made congratulatory calls to the commanding officers of the two Navy destroyers whose personnel executed the April 6 missile strike against the Shayrat Air Base in Syria, according to a White House statement.

Inherent Resolve Strikes Target ISIS in Syria, Iraq - U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, conducting 31 strikes consisting of 99 engagements against ISIS targets yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Mattis: U.S. Missile Strike on Syrian Air Base Was Measured Response - The April 6 U.S. military missile strike that targeted Shayrat airfield in Syria was a measured response to Syrian President Bashar Assad regimes April 4 chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a statement issued today.

UN Agencies in Colombia Stepping Up Response Efforts in Aftermath of Devastating Landslides - Responding to the devastating landslides in Colombia's Mocoa municipality that have claimed at least 300 lives, left more than 370 missing, and destroyed hospitals and infrastructure, United Nations relief agencies have stepped up their response to alleviate humanitarian suffering among the affected people.

UN Concerned by Growing Tensions in Gaza Stemming From Pay Cuts - The United Nations envoy for the Middle East peace process today called for Palestinian unity amid concerns over local pay cuts.


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