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News in Brief (15-01-2022)

January 15, 2022 00:00:00

108 civilians killed this year in Tigray airstrikes: UN

GENEVA, Jan 14: At least 108 civilians have been killed so far in January in a series of airstrikes in the war-torn northern Tigray region of Ethiopia, the United Nations said Friday. "We are alarmed by the multiple, deeply disturbing reports we continue to receive of civilian casualties and destruction of civilian objects resulting from airstrikes in Ethiopia's Tigray region. At least 108 civilians have reportedly been killed and 75 others injured since the year began, as a result of air strikes allegedly carried out by the Ethiopian air force," Liz Throssell, a spokeswoman for the UN human rights office, told reporters in Geneva. — AFP

Strong quake shakes Indonesia's capital; no tsunami alert

JAKARTA, Jan 14: A powerful earthquake shook parts of Indonesia's main island of Java on Friday, causing buildings in the capital to sway, but there were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties. Officials said there was no danger of a tsunami. The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.6 quake was located in the Indian Ocean about 88 kilometers (54 miles) southwest of Labuan, a coastal town in Banten province. It was centreed at a depth of 37 kilometers (23 miles), it said. Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said there was no danger of a tsunami. Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on major geological faults known as the Pacific "Ring of Fire." — AP

Japan team carries out world-first spinal cord stem cell trial

TOKYO, Jan 14: A Japanese university said Friday it has successfully transplanted stem cells into a patient with a spinal cord injury, in the first clinical trial of its kind. There is currently no effective treatment for paralysis caused by serious spinal cord injuries, believed to affect more than 100,000 people in Japan alone. Surgeons at Tokyo's Keio University want to study whether induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be used to treat the injuries. iPS cells are created by stimulating mature, already specialised, cells back into a juvenile state. They can then be prompted to mature into different kinds of cells, with the Keio University study using iPS-derived cells of the neural stem. — AFP

Mali junta calls protests against sanctions

BAMAKO, Jan 14: Demonstrations called by the ruling military in Mali against stringent regional sanctions were expected to kick off on Friday amid growing international pressure over delayed elections. Leaders from the West African ECOWAS bloc agreed to sanction Mali last week, imposing a trade embargo and shutting borders, in a decision later backed by the France, the United States and the European Union. — AFP

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