Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Aniruddha Dhar, New Delhi
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres on Thursday said war in itself is a crime, and an “absurdity in the 21st century”. He made the statements during his visit to sites in Ukraine where Russian troops have been accused of committing war crimes.
Speaking to reporters in Bucha, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Guterres urged Russia to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) on investigations into war crimes.
“I appeal to the Russian Federation to accept to cooperate with the International Criminal Court,” the UN chief could be heard saying in a video shared by news agency AFP.
Guterres also took to his Twitter account to post a picture of himself in Bucha, and captioned it as “War is evil”. This is his first visit to the strife-torn east European nation since the Russian invasion started on February 24.
During his visit to Borodianka, a ruined town northeast of Kyiv, Guterres said, “I imagine my family in one of those houses that is now destroyed and black. I see my granddaughters running away in panic.”
In Bucha, at least 20 bodies in civilian clothes, with some of them having their hands tied, were found earlier this month. Ukraine has accused retreating Russian troops of committing war crimes by executing the civilians. The discovery has since impacted peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv.
The UN chief, meanwhile, reached Kyiv on Wednesday, following talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. At the meeting, Guterres reiterated calls for both Moscow and Kyiv to work together to establish “safe and effective humanitarian corridors in war-torn Ukraine”.
Guterres is scheduled to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky later in the day, and hold talks with him.
China’s Baiyun International Airport is expected to cancel about 1,100 flights on Thursday after one of the airport employees reportedly received an unclear COVID-19 PCR test result amid the surge in coronavirus cases in the country. According to the VariFlight flight information provider, the airport is expected to operate about 100 flights on Thursday, with almost 90 per cent of flights cancelled.
China’s Twitter-like microblogging platform, Weibo, on Thursday announced it would start to display users’ IP locations on their account pages and when they post comments, the latest effort by the government to tighten restrictions on the already heavily censored site. The official reason given by Weibo was that the new rule combat “bad behaviour” online. The notice was posted on Weibo’s official account on Thursday and had logged over 200 million views by evening.
The family of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has received a death threat and bullet in the mail for the second time this week, the police said Thursday. According to an Israeli official familiar with the matter, the target of the threats was Bennett’s 17-year-old son. Bennett, who leads a small nationalist party, has come under heavy criticism from Israeli hard-liners who accuse him of abandoning his ideology.
Datchinamurthy was arrested in 2011 and convicted of trafficking about 45 grams (1.6 ounces) of heroin into Singapore. Fellow Malaysian Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam was also on death row for over a decade before he was hanged on Wednesday. Singapore’s government says its use of the death penalty for drug crimes is made clear when people enter the country.
US biotech firm Moderna said in a statement Thursday it had submitted a request for an emergency use authorization in the United States for its Covid vaccine for children aged six months to under six years. Children under six are the only age group that has yet to gain access to a Covid-19 vaccine in the United States and most countries.