1. PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR, 21 U.N. WORKERS AMONG DEAD IN ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES CRASH
A prize-winning author, a soccer official and a team of humanitarian workers were among those who perished in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302.
Pius Adesanmi, a Nigerian-born professor with the English Language and Literature Department at Carleton University in Ottawa, was among the victims from Canada.
A United Nation spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said, at least 21 staff members were on board.
The staff members included Joanna Toole, a British woman working as a fisheries consultant for the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, and Victor Tsang, a Hong Kong native who worked in Nairobi for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Sunday’s crash, minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa enroute to Nairobi, inflicted a particularly heavy toll on the United Nations, which has large offices in both cities.
The 157 victims, including 149 passengers and eight crew members, came from more than 30 countries. No survivors were reported.
2. AFTER DEFEATING DAESH, SYRIAN KURDS EYE POLITICAL BATTLE
Syrian Kurdish authorities that led the fight against Daesh are prepping up for their next battle: a political struggle to win international recognition for their autonomous region and aid to help it recover from the war.
Daesh’s territorial defeat in Syria marks a critical moment for Kurdish forces who partnered with Washington to fight the jihadists. They now hope Western military allies will lend them political support.
Badran Jia Kurd, advisor to the Kurdish-led administration running north and east Syria said, their victory over Daesh at Baghouz, will herald “a new phase” and there will be efforts and a struggle to gain political legitimacy for this administration towards finding a peaceful solution.
The main Kurdish parties and their allies hold nearly a quarter of the country, which is the biggest chunk outside the hands of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
Their control is underpinned by a large military force, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which the Kurdish YPG militia spearheads.
But while the SDF has developed close ties with the United States, Washington has balked at extending political recognition to the authorities seeking autonomous rule.
3. DISSIDENT REPUBLICAN ‘IRA’ CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR UK LETTER BOMBS
A dissident Republican group calling itself the “IRA” claimed responsibility on Tuesday for letter bombs sent to buildings in London and the University of Glasgow last week.
British police said the claim was allegedly made on behalf of the ‘IRA’.
Police blew up a parcel sent to the University of Glasgow on March 6, and said it was linked to three devices sent to major transport hubs in London the day before.
The group, which calls itself the IRA, is made up of militants opposed to Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace deal.
It is separate and far smaller than the Provisional IRA, which was responsible for almost half of the 3,600 deaths during 30 years of violence and which disbanded after the peace deal.