GERMANY
Merkel condemns rising anti-Semitism

Germany has a moral duty to fight rising anti-Semitism, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday in an emotional speech at a Berlin synagogue to mark the 80th anniversary of a Nazi campaign of attacks on Jews.

Merkel told Jewish leaders that violence against Jews, blamed on far-right militants or Muslims, was growing in Germany eight decades later.

“Jewish life is blossoming again in Germany — an unexpected gift to us after the Shoah,” she said, using the Hebrew word for the Holocaust. “But we are also witnessing a worrying anti-Semitism that threatens Jewish life in our country.”

Germany and Austria on Friday marked Kristallnacht, a wave of killings of Jews and looting and destruction of property launched on Nov. 9, 1938. The name refers to the broken glass that littered streets outside synagogues and Jewish shops and homes.

— Reuters

TURKEY
25 soldiers wounded in live-fire accident

Twenty-five Turkish soldiers were wounded in the southeastern province of Hakkari in an accident that occurred during the firing of heavy ammunition, the Defense Ministry said Friday, adding that seven soldiers were still unaccounted for.

The 25 wounded were transferred to a hospital and are being treated, the ministry said, adding that an investigation had been launched into the accident.

The accident occurred at a base in Hakkari’s Semdinli region, which is near the borders with Iran and Iraq, the Hakkari governor’s office said in a statement.

Turkey has in recent months carried out airstrikes on bases of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, especially against its stronghold in the Qandil mountains, where Ankara has also threatened to carry out a ground offensive.

— Reuters

SRI LANKA
Parliament dissolved amid growing crisis

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved Parliament on Friday and called for fresh elections amid a deepening political crisis.

The government printer published a notification signed by Sirisena announcing the dissolution of Parliament effective at midnight Friday.

Sri Lanka has been in a political crisis since Oct. 26, when Sirisena fired his prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and replaced him with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Wickremesinghe has insisted his firing is unconstitutional. He has refused to vacate his official residence and demanded that Parliament be summoned to prove he has support among its members.

There were also calls both locally and internationally to convene Parliament to end the impasse.

— Associated Press

Floods kill 9 in Jordan, force visitors to high ground in Petra: Flash floods caused by heavy rain across Jordan killed eight people and forced hundreds of tourists to seek higher ground in the kingdom's ancient city of Petra, government officials and official media said. About two dozen people were hurt and dozens more evacuated from their homes in several areas of the kingdom as floodwaters rose. Amateur video posted online showed a powerful torrent rushing through the steep, narrow canyon through which visitors reach the Treasury, the main attraction of Petra, an ancient trading hub carved from rose-colored rock. Friday's floods came just two weeks after 21 people, many of them middle school students, were killed in a flash flood near the Jordanian shore of the Dead Sea.

Brother of Boris Johnson quits British government: Jo Johnson, the younger brother of Boris, resigned from British Prime Minister Theresa May's government, calling in a withering critique for another referendum to avoid her Brexit plans unleashing a crisis. Quitting as a junior transport minister, Johnson called May's Brexit plans delusional and said he could not vote for the deal she is expected to unveil in Parliament within weeks. "Britain stands on the brink of the greatest crisis since the Second World War," said Johnson, a former Financial Times journalist who voted to stay in the E.U. in the 2016 referendum. He called it the worst failure of statecraft since the 1956 Suez Canal crisis. Boris Johnson, who pushed for Brexit, also has decried May's plans.

— From news services