Mortar shell hits parliament building
A mortar shell exploded on Monday afternoon on the roof of Iraq's parliament building in the Green Zone compound in Baghdad, causing no injuries, a lawmaker said.
"The shell landed almost above the office of the parliament speaker," said Sabah al-Saadi, a parliamentarian, adding that there was minor damage to the roof.
Al-Saadi was inside the building attending a committee meeting with other lawmakers when the mortar shell hit.
An April 12 suicide bombing in the parliament building's dining hall killed one lawmaker.
The blast on Monday was part of a sharp increase in recent weeks of mortar attacks on the Green Zone, which houses the US embassy, the Iraqi parliament and other government offices. The compound, on the banks of the Tigris River, is surrounded by cement walls and patrolled by US and Iraqi soldiers as well as private security guards.
Amid the almost daily mortar barrages, people living inside the area have been questioning whether it truly is safe.
New Zealand police have begun a homicide investigation after human remains were allegedly found stashed in suitcases that were bought at an auction in the country's largest city Auckland. Read New Zealand welcomes back first cruise ship since Covid-19 pandemic began Residents at a home in South Auckland called police last Thursday after making the grisly discovery, police official Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua confirmed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Tuesday of whipping up tensions in Asia, describing a visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a "thoroughly planned provocation". In a speech to a Moscow security conference, Putin also cited the AUKUS security pact between Australia, Britain and the United States as evidence of Western attempts to build a NATO-style bloc in the Asia-Pacific region.
China on Tuesday said the docking of a Chinese missile and spacecraft tracking ship in the southern Sri Lankan port of Hambantota for replenishment will not affect the security interests of any country and should not be “obstructed” by a third party, in an apparent reference to India. The docking of the ship comes a day after India handed over a Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft to the Sri Lanka Navy. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin then reiterated the point.
China will discourage abortions and take steps to make fertility treatment more accessible as part of efforts to boost one of the world's lowest birth rates, its National Health Authority said on Tuesday. China's fertility rate of 1.16 in 2021 was far below the 2.1 OECD standard for a stable population and among the lowest in the world. Technology such as IVF is typically very expensive in China and not accessible to unmarried women.
Against the backdrop of growing concerns in India over a Chinese surveillance vessel's visit to Hambantota port, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has said China will not be allowed to use the facility for “military purposes”. Both India and the US had expressed concerns about the call by the vessel, used by the People's Liberation Army to track satellites and ballistic missiles.