Hizbollah chief 'was killed by extremists'
BEIRUT • The Lebanese militant group Hizbollah declared that Mustafa Amine Badreddine, the senior commander who died in Syria last week, was killed in an artillery attack by insurgents whom the group has been fighting for the past four years.
Hizbollah said in a statement last Saturday that the killing has increased their determination to fight against the extremists.
No insurgent group has taken responsibility for the attack.
NEW YORK TIMES
Kerry in Saudi Arabia for talks over Syria
JEDDAH (Saudi Arabia) • United States Secretary of State John Kerry held talks in Saudi Arabia yesterday to secure its support ahead of a potential showdown with Russia at talks on the Syrian conflict.
After the meeting, Mr Kerry will head to Vienna which this week will host the international contact groups engaged in efforts to halt fighting in Syria and Libya.
Riyadh is the key backer of rebels fighting to overthrow Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, and Mr Kerry is keen to keep the opposition on board with a shaky ceasefire in force since February.
17 French ex-ministers decry sex harassment
PARIS • Seventeen French former ministers vowed yesterday to "systematically denounce" sexual harassment, days after an investigation was opened into multiple claims against former deputy parliamentary speaker Denis Baupin.
"We will no longer keep quiet," said the former ministers - all women - including current International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, former health minister Roselyne Bachelot and former housing minister Cecile Duflot, in a statement published by the Journal du Dimanche weekly paper.
Their cross-party stand comes after French judges opened an investigation into multiple claims of sexual harassment against Mr Baupin last week, a move which experts welcomed as an end to the "omerta" around alleged abuse by politicians.