Weekly News Highlights: Top 6 stories from May 29 to June 4

Weekly News Highlights: Top 6 stories from May 29 to June 4

From left to right: In the top row, Syrian Civil Defense members search for survivors amid rubble after reported air strikes on Idlib, and migrants after arriving in Crete on a boat May 31. In the middle row, smoke rises from clashes near Fallujah in Iraq, and late professional boxer Muhammad Ali. In the bottom row, Paris street submerged after floods, and Turkish youth protesting against German vote recognizing Armenian genocide. Cover credit: The Guardian (collage)

From left to right: In the top row, Syrian Civil Defense members search for survivors amid rubble after reported air strikes on Idlib, and migrants after arriving in Crete on a boat May 31.
In the middle row, smoke rises from clashes near Fallujah in Iraq, and late professional boxer Muhammad Ali.
In the bottom row, Paris street submerged after floods, and Turkish youth protesting against German vote recognizing Armenian genocide.
Cover credit: The Guardian (collage)

A breakdown of what happened last week around the world:

1. Europe floods

Heavy rains across Europe left major European cities like Paris under water. France declared a state of natural catastrophe after its capital and most of its northern cities were hit and destroyed by floods. The Louvre museum has closed its doors to remove artworks at risk.

France has also been in a state of emergency since the terrorist attacks on the capital in November last year.

Parts of Germany and Austria were also affected by the floods. A total of 12 people died of the floods. 

2. Death of Ali

World boxing champion and social change advocate Muhammad Ali died Saturday of "septic shock due to unspecified natural causes," according to a family spokesperson. He was 74.

3. Syrian conflict

Airstrikes across Syria Wednesday killed at least 42 civilians. Syrian rebel group Ahrar al-Sham's main training camp in the province of Idlib was bombed by unknown jets, causing the death of a large number of fighters.

The Syrian army entered the provincial boundary of Raqqa after advancing in a major offensive against ISIS militants. In Aleppo, Islamist militant group Nusra Front continued to attack Syrian army positions.

The Syrian regime has approved aid to 12 besieged towns, the U.N. confirmed Friday, and the Red Cross said the first aid convoy since 2012 has entered the besieged town of Daraya.

4. Migrant crisis

A Libyan navy spokesman said at least 133 bodies of asylum seekers have been retrieved after their boat capsized off Libya's shores.

More than 340 people were rescued in Greece, but nine bodies were found from a boat thought to have been carrying 700 migrants to Italy.

5. Fight against ISIS

U.S.-backed Kurdish forces battling ISIS captured 16 villages from them Wednesday and continued to advance. Iraqi forces also made advances against ISIS in Fallujah, where tens of thousands of civilians are believed to be trapped.

In Germany, three Syrians were arrested on suspicion of plotting a terror attack on behalf of ISIS, according to German officials.

6. Armenian genocide vote

Germany's parliament recognized in a vote Thursday the 1915 mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide. The recognition angered Turkey whose president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, recalled the ambassador to Berlin, saying that his country will never accept Armenian genocide "blackmail," and that Germany's resolution on an Armenian genocide seriously damaged relations.

Also in the news:

  • Pope Francis revealed a new church law to deal with pedophile priests, after victims demanded the removal of Catholic bishops from office if they fail to sack known child abusers.
  • OPEC failed to reach an agreement on oil production levels in Vienna Thursday.
  • Chad's former military ruler Hissene Habre was found guilty of crimes against humanity by a Senegal court, according to the BBC.
  • Iran is set to sign a $3 billion power plant deal with Turkish companies.
  • Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry accused the Armenian army of 20 shelling incidents in the past 24 hours.
  • French Open: Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray to win his first French Open singles title, while Garbine Muguruza beat Serena Williams in the women's final.
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