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Myanmar’s ousted leader Suu Kyi appears in prison uniform in court

Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in court on Friday wearing a white top and a brown wraparound longyi that is the typical uniform for prisoners in the Southeast Asian country, a source with knowledge of the court proceedings said.

Nobel laureate Suu Kyi, 76, was sentenced this month to four years in jail for incitement and breaching coronavirus regulations by a court. Her sentence was later reduced to a two-year term of detention in her current, undisclosed location.

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It was the first time Suu Kyi, who is known for wearing elegant traditional outfits sometimes with a flower in her hair, has been seen in a prison uniform in court and it was unclear if it signaled a broader change in how she and other senior officials on trial were being treated.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the coup against Suu Kyi’s democratically elected government led to widespread protests and raised international concern about the end of tentative political reforms following decades of military rule.

The verdicts were the first out of nearly a dozen cases against Suu Kyi that carry combined maximum sentences of more than 100 years in prison. Suu Kyi denies all charges.

A former mayor of the capital, Naypyitaw, Myo Aung, who is also on trial, was also seen in court in a prison uniform on Friday, said the source who asked not to be identified.

The wraparound sarong, known as a longyi, are traditional outfits worn by both men and woman in Myanmar.

In remarks published on Tuesday, military ruler Min Aung Hlaing said in state media that Suu Kyi and ousted President Win Myint would remain in the same location during their trials and would not be sent to prison.

Suu Kyi, the daughter of the hero of Myanmar’s independence, spent years under house arrest for her opposition to military rule but was freed in 2010 and led her National League for Democracy party to a landslide victory in a 2015 election before being arrested after the Feb. 1 military coup.

Her trial in Naypyitaw has been closed to the media and Suu Kyi’s lawyers have been barred from communicating with the media and public.

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UN aims to transfer 6,750 Ethiopians trapped in war-torn Yemen

The UN migration agency said Tuesday it aims to help transfer at least 6,750 Ethiopian migrants from war-torn Yemen to their home country in the coming months. It appealed for $7.5 million to assist their return.

The International Organization for Migration said it has transferred more than 600 migrants, including 60 unaccompanied children, to Ethiopia on three flights so far this year. More flights were planned between Yemen’s southern port city of Aden and the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, it added.

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“Migrants transiting through or stranded in Yemen are some of those most affected by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country,” said Christa Rottensteiner, IOM’s chief of mission in Yemen.

Yemen’s civil war has not prevented migrants from entering the country, desperate to make their way to neighboring Saudi Arabia to find jobs as housekeepers and construction workers.

Last year, around 27,700 migrants embarked on the arduous journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen, according to the IOM.

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Saudi foreign minister says some progress in talks with Iran

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that there had been some progress in talks with Iran but “not enough” and that the Kingdom’s hands remain outstretched to Tehran.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have held five rounds of talks hosted by Baghdad.
“We have made some progress but not enough,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud told a World Economic Forum panel. “Our hands are stretched out.”
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“We continue to encourage our neighbors in Iran to lean into what can be a very, very important sea change in our region,” he said, adding that a “new era of cooperation” in the region could deliver benefits for all.
Saudi Arabia and Iran, which severed ties in 2016, launched direct talks last year as global powers moved to salvage a 2015 nuclear pact with Iran, which Gulf Arab states had seen as flawed for not addressing regional security concerns.
The nuclear talks have been on hold since March.
Prince Faisal said if a deal is reached it would “be potentially a good thing if it’s a good deal” and reiterated Riyadh’s stance that Tehran’s regional activities should be addressed.
Asked whether Riyadh was pleased by elections in Lebanon in which Iran-backed Hezbollah and its allies lost their parliamentary majority, Prince Faisal said: “This may be a positive step, but it’s too early to tell.”
He said it would depend on whether there would be real political reform “that re-imposes the authority of the state” and combats corruption as well as real economic reform.
Lebanon’s ties with Saudi Arabia, formerly a major donor to Beirut, had been damaged over what the Saudi foreign minister has said was the growing influence of Hezbollah in the country.
Asked why Riyadh has rebuffed US calls to raise oil production, Prince Faisal said Saudi Arabia does not expect an immediate shortage of oil and only a certain shortage of oil products.
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Three Turkish soldiers killed in Iraq: Defense ministry

Three Turkish soldiers serving in northern Iraq as part of operations against Kurdish militants were killed Tuesday, the defense ministry announced.

Another four soldiers were wounded during fighting, said the ministry statement, which did not say where the clash took place.

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Turkey’s official news agency Anadolu said the Turkish soldiers had clashed with fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara and its western allies say is a terrorist organization.

The PKK has training camps and bases in autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan and has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, a conflict that has killed 40,000 people, many of them civilians.

Ankara has launched a series of operations against PKK fighters in Iraq and Syria, the latest one in northern Iraq beginning in April.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey would soon launch a new military operation into northern Syria which he said was designed to create a 30-kilometre (19-mile) “security zone” along border.

Since 2016, Turkey has also launched three offensives into northern Syria against the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Syrian-Kurdish group it considers to be part of the PKK.

Turkey wants to use these security zones to keep Kurdish militants at a safe distance – and to house some of the 3.7 million Syrian refugees currently sheltering inside its own borders.

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