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Friday News Roundup - International

Indian Prime Minister and leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party Narendra Modi gestures during a roadshow in Varanasi on April 25, 2019. Tens of thousands of people packed the streets  as he stepped up campaigning in the country's marathon election.
Indian Prime Minister and leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party Narendra Modi gestures during a roadshow in Varanasi on April 25, 2019. Tens of thousands of people packed the streets as he stepped up campaigning in the country's marathon election.

Authorities are trying to learn if ISIS masterminded the devastating series of bombs set off in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

New York Times South Asia bureau chief Jeffrey Gettleman told us yesterday that the Sri Lankan intelligence agencies had warnings about a potential terrorist attack, but failed to notify churches about the threat.

— 1A (@1a) April 24, 2019

Hear more about what we learned — and what we still need to find out about what happened in Sri Lanka.

This week, Bloomberg reported that President Donald Trump told Libyan opposition leader Khalifa Haftar that he backed Haftar’s attack on the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

The White House said Bloomberg’s characterization of the communication between Hafter, Trump and National Security Advisor John Bolton was inaccurate but did not provide any further details.

More from their story:

Haftar, who has enjoyed the support of Russia, France and Saudi Arabia in addition to Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, controls much of Libya’s east and south. He launched a campaign to take the capital earlier this month. Sarraj, who is backed by former colonial power Italy and other European countries, has said talks with Haftar cannot begin until his forces are withdrawn to pre-offensive lines.

Haftar has claimed his offensive is intended to combat Islamist terrorism in Libya. The EU called on Haftar to stop his advance on Tripoli in an April 11 statement that didn’t name him, after France and some other members objected.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters on Friday that “the military solution is not what Libya needs.

And a new report by the United Nations found that for the first time, American and Afghan forces killed more civilians than the Taliban and other insurgents in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. The report covers the first quarter of this year, and it notes that 581 civilians were killed and 1,192 were wounded during that time period in total.

The conflict is in its 18th year and The Times reports that “military operations escalated as both sides sought leverage in peace talks between the United States and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this week as well.

The BBC reports that Putin said “North Korea’s leader was ‘fairly open’ and had ‘talked freely on all issues that were on the agenda.'”

NBC analyzed the meeting this way:

After years of isolation, Kim has appeared more eager to reach out in recent years, partly because he has achieved the ultimate bargaining chip: an intercontinental ballistic missile theoretically capable of carrying out a nuclear strike on the U.S. mainland.

What are the implications of this meeting for the American relationship with North Korea?

This week, climate change activist Greta Thunberg spoke to the British Parliament.

Here’s part of what she said:

But perhaps the most dangerous misconception about the climate crisis is that we have to “lower” our emissions. Because that is far from enough. Our emissions have to stop if we are to stay below 1.5-2C of warming. The “lowering of emissions” is of course necessary but it is only the beginning of a fast process that must lead to a stop within a couple of decades, or less. And by “stop” I mean net zero – and then quickly on to negative figures. That rules out most of today’s politics.

We break down the biggest news headlines from around the world.

GUESTS

Edward Luce, Chief U.S. columnist and commentator, Financial Times; his latest book is “The Retreat of Western Liberalism”; @EdwardGLuce

Anne Gearan, White House correspondent with a focus on foreign policy and national security, The Washington Post; @agearan

Ravi Agrawal, Managing editor, Foreign Policy; former New Delhi bureau chief, CNN; @ravireports

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

© 2019 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.

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