Mexico City, June 25 (AP/UNB) — The man and his 23-month-old daughter lie face down in shallow water along the Matamoros, Mexico, bank of the Rio Grande across from Brownsville, Texas.
His black shirt is hiked up his chest with the girl's head tucked inside, and her arm draped around his neck suggesting she clung to him in her final moments.
The searing photograph this week of the two drowned migrants at the border highlights the perils faced by the surge of mostly Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty and hoping for asylum in the U.S.
The two were swept away by the current and their bodies discovered Monday morning hundreds of yards away.
Indonesia, June 25 (AP/UNB) — An Indonesian military spokesman said Tuesday that any use of child soldiers by Papuan independence fighters would be a violation of human rights that implicates both the rebels and state institutions.
The Associated Press reported last week that the long-simmering armed conflict between Indonesia's military and the West Papua Liberation Army involves indigenous teenagers and boys who appear barely adolescent.
The military's spokesman in easternmost Papua, Muhammad Aidi, said in a statement that if armed Papuans have involved children in the conflict it would show they're a "wild, uncivilized" group.
"If there are two or more parties in conflict, all parties are obliged to provide protection to children, women and the elderly," he said.
The Indonesian military itself has been accused of killing civilians and other serious human rights violations in Papua since it became part of Indonesia in the early 1960s. More recently, Amnesty International said in a report last year that Indonesia's police and military are responsible for at least 96 unlawful killings in the Papua region since 2010 and condemned a near total absence of justice for the mainly indigenous victims.
Aidi also said if the state is failing to enforce the law against serious violations within its territory "it means that state institutions have committed human rights violations."
Under international law, a child is anyone under 18 and the use of individuals under 15 in conflicts is a war crime. Nearly 170 countries including Indonesia have ratified a U.N. treaty that obliges governments to stop military recruitment of anyone under 18 and to work toward ending the military exploitation of children by state and non-state armed groups.
Aidi said last week that anyone under 18 who attacked Indonesian security forces with arms would not be spared.
"The threat is the same as adults who can kill us with their guns," he told AP.
Nineteen people were killed by West Papua Liberation Army fighters in December, sparking a police and military crackdown in the remote central highlands that has displaced thousands of civilians.
The Papuan fighters have never been well armed but have battled Indonesia since it took control of the mineral-rich region from the Dutch in 1962. Papuans, who had declared their independence the year before, see Indonesians as invaders who cemented control with a sham referendum at the end of the 1960s.
Indonesian officials say the territory, which is ethnically and culturally distinct from the rest of the country, is rightfully Indonesia's under international law because it was part of the Dutch East Indies empire that is the basis for Indonesia's modern borders.
Jerusalem, June 25 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he expects Russian President Vladimir Putin to arrive in Israel later in 2019, a sign to strengthen ties between the two countries.
Netanyahu made the remark at the start of a meeting with Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in Jerusalem.
The prime minister said that Putin is expected to arrive later this year to lay the cornerstone for a memorial to the Siege of Leningrad, and to launch the events of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz.
At the start of their meeting, Netanyahu thanked Patrushev for the increasing security ties between their countries.
He also reiterated his position that Israel will not allow Iran to establish military bases in Syria, next to the disputed border with Israel. "We will do everything to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons," he added.
Patrushev arrived in Israel on Sunday for a rare tripartite security meeting that will be held on Tuesday with U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, Head of Israel's National Security Council Meir Ben Shabat, and Netanyahu.
The Israeli Prime Minister's Office said the talks will focus on the future of the operations of Israel, the United States and Russia in relation to Iran and Syria.
Patrushev said the meeting will focus on ensuring a long-term political agreement in Syria. According to the Russian news agency Interfax, he said the talks will include discussion on "positive steps that can be taken" in Syria and other Middle East countries.
Netanyahu and Putin have held regular phone talks and meetings in Moscow as part of the coordination between the two countries' militaries over their actions in Syria.
Both Russian and Israeli armies coordinate their moves in Syria to avoid clashes. Russian forces fight alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's army and Israel's air force has carried out hundreds of air strikes, saying the attacks aim at Iranian and Hezbollah targets.
Dhaka, Jun 25 (UNB) - More than 400 schools in the Malaysian state of Johor are closed after 75 students experienced breathing difficulties and vomiting, reports the BBC.
Schools in the industrial area of Pasir Gudang have been shut until Thursday as authorities investigate the latest air pollution incident to hit the state.
In March about 4,000 people - mostly children - fell ill after chemical waste was illegally dumped in a river.
Authorities say the incidents are not linked.
More than 100 primary and secondary schools as well as 300 private kindergartens were among those ordered to be temporarily shut this week, reported state news agency Bernama.
Johor Chief Minister Dr Sahruddin Jamal said 75 students from 15 schools had complained of breathing difficulties and started vomiting. He said they had all been taken to hospital.
Dr Sahruddin had earlier told reporters it was not clear what had caused the latest bout of illness.
However, he said it was not linked to a previous pollution case in March which saw 111 schools shut and thousands of people ill after inhaling toxic fumes from the nearby Kim Kim river.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad vowed on Tuesday that "stern action" would be taken against those behind the incident.
He said the latest incident should not have "happened again... after the previous incident".
In March, thousands suffered breathing difficulties, chest pain and vomiting after up to 40 tonnes of chemical waste was illegally dumped into parts of the river.
Fire and rescue officials identified at least 15 different types of chemicals, including the colourless and extremely poisonous hydrogen cyanide.
Malaysia later charged three people - two Malaysians and one Singaporean - in connections with the incident.
"All waste from the Kim Kim [river] has been disposed," Dr Sahruddin said, according to news outlet The Malay Mail. "The cause of the latest case is still under investigation."
Singapore, Jun 25 (AP/UNB) — Drones buzzing around Singapore's Changi Airport have caused 63 flights to be delayed or diverted in the past week, triggering an investigation and raising questions about the motives of the offenders.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said Tuesday that 18 flights at the airport were delayed and seven were diverted the night before "due to bad weather and unauthorized drone activities."
It had earlier confirmed drones were seen flying near the airport last Tuesday and Wednesday. That caused the intermittent closure of a runway, delaying 37 flights and diverting one arriving plane to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
"A multi-agency team including the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Changi Airport Group, Singapore Armed Forces and the Singapore Police Force was activated for the search and locate operations," the regulator added.
Investigations are ongoing. No details on the number of drones involved and the perpetrators have been provided by the authorities.
Shortly after news broke of the drone activity at the airport, Singapore's defense ministry posted a photograph of a soldier pointing a jammer gun at a "rouge drone" on Facebook.
While the photo wasn't taken at Changi, it hinted at the anti-drone technologies that may be used to track down offenders.
Drones are largely controlled by operators via a radio control link, on a frequency that's similar to Wi-Fi. A jammer gun temporarily disables this connection.
"In absence of a control link, most drones are designed to switch into 'fail-safe' mode, and may either attempt to return to its original location or immediately land," said Foong Shaohui, an associate professor who researches unmanned systems at the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
"It would be possible to identify the operators by analyzing the information stored in the drone" such as pictures and flight data, he added.
Some observers said the incursions, which happened on two occasions and less than a week from each other, could signal the involvement of more sophisticated groups.
Mark Yong, chief executive of Garuda Robotics, took the vast media coverage on the dangers of flying drones around the airport into account.
"Since this is a repeat event... there is a good chance that this is not an accidental airspace intrusion or an ignorant drone operator," he said.
Unauthorized drone activity is dangerous around airports because of the risk of collision with planes that are taking off and landing.
Drones cannot be flown within 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of airports or military bases in Singapore without a permit. The offence carries a maximum penalty of a year's jail term and a fine of 20,000 Singapore dollars.
Changi Airport is among the world's busiest. It handled a record 65.6 million passengers last year, but its executives have named rising fuel prices and trade tensions as challenges going forward.