Qatar diplomatic crisis: No end in sight
RIYADH • Bahrain sees no resolution in sight to a diplomatic row between Qatar and its neighbours, which cut diplomatic and trade ties with the tiny Gulf Arab state nearly a year ago, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa told Alsharq Alawsat newspaper yesterday.
Qatar said late on Saturday it was banning products originating from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, which had severed travel and trade ties with the state last June, alleging it was backing Iran and supporting terrorism.
Qatar denies this and says the boycott is an attempt to impinge on its sovereignty and rein in its support for reform.
Call for N. Ireland to ease abortion laws
DUBLIN • Pressure mounted yesterday for British-ruled Northern Ireland to liberalise its strict abortion laws after a historic referendum in the neighbouring Republic of Ireland overturned its ban.
A traditionally Catholic country, Ireland voted by a landslide to ditch its strict abortion laws in a referendum that Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said lifted decades of stigma and shame. More than 66 per cent of voters backed repealing the constitutional ban on terminations.
British lawmakers said Northern Ireland, where abortions are only allowed if the physical or mental health of the mother is at severe risk, should now follow suit.
Lightning strike causes flight delays
LONDON • London's Stansted airport delayed, diverted and cancelled some flights yesterday after a lightning strike on an aircraft fuelling system during storms that unleashed more than 64,000 thunderbolts.
British skies were lit up by the electric storms overnight and there were reports of flooding and homes left without power after torrential rain.
Stansted is London's third-busiest airport and is a key hub for the discount airline Ryanair, which said that its customers could get a full refund.