Crowds cheer queen on last day of Jubilee
London–Pealing church bells and crowds cheering “God save the queen!” greeted Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday as she arrived for a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral on the last of four days of Diamond Jubilee celebrations honoring her 60 years on the throne. Poignantly, the queen was without Prince Philip, her husband of 64 years, who was hospitalized on Monday for treatment of a bladder infection.
SCO Culture moot to set tone for cooperation among member states
Beijing—Pakistan said Tuesday that the Culture Ministers meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will set the tone for future co-operation among the countries of the region. “Pakistan stands committed to this objective and I assure you that you will not find us lagging behind in the culmination of this objective” said Federal Secretary Ministry of National Heritage and Integration Asaf Ghafoor while addressing the 9th Cultural Ministers Meeting of the SCO here.
Syria permits UN aid workers to enter 4 provinces
Geneva—Syria’s government has agreed to a written deal with the United Nations and other international organizations that would allow aid workers and supplies to enter four hard-hit provinces, U.N. officials announced Tuesday. The agreement with Damascus and representatives of the government in Geneva should allow convoys with supplies and aid workers from nine U.N. agencies and seven other non-governmental organizations to enter Daraa, Deir el-Zour, Homs and Idlib within days, said John Ging of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Azerbaijan troops killed in Armenia border clash
Azerbaijan—Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said Tuesday that five of its soldiers were killed in clashes with Armenian troops alongside the border separating the two countries, deepening tensions between the two former Soviet nations. The ministry said in a statement that exchanges of gunfire have been reported over the last two days at numerous points along Azerbaijan’s western border. Armenia had said earlier that three of its soldiers died in the clashes. Azerbaijan and Armenia have for two decades been at odds over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory, which lies within Azerbaijan, but was taken over by Armenia during a six-year war that killed about 30,000 people and displaced 1 million.
China tells US to stop reporting Beijing’s bad air
Beijing—China told foreign embassies Tuesday to stop publishing their own reports on air quality in the country, escalating its objections to a popular U.S. Embassy Twitter feed that tracks pollution in smoggy Beijing. Only the Chinese government is authorized to monitor and publish air quality information and data from other sources may not be standardized or rigorous, Wu Xiaoqing, a vice environmental minister, told reporters.