The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

Iran:  $1.7bn was not ransom:  Reinforcing White House claims the $1.7 billion cash payment to Tehran in January was not a ransom, the Iranian government stated Monday the payment from from Washington was owed since the freezing of Iranian assets after the country’s 1979 revolution.

The $1.7 billion, $400 million and $1.3 billion in interest was an asset Iran kept in the U.S. to purchase military hardware.

Iranian official, Ali Shamkhani, said the payment was not related to the freeing of hostages or the JCPOA.

ISIS defaces historic site in Syria:  Similar to their destruction of the ancient city of Palmyra, Islamic State terrorists have looted and destroyed the Assyrian-era Tal Ajaja archaeological site.

The cultural hub of the Assyrian Empire, the site is home to priceless artifacts from a site which has never been fully excavated. Although numerous artifacts have long since been placed in museums, it is believed militants discovered statues and cuneiform tablets and then either trafficked or destroyed them.

Pakistan suicide bomber kills 70:  A suicide bomb exploded in Quetta, Pakistan, on Monday, killing 70 and injuring over 100.

The Islamic and the Taliban both claimed responsibility for the blast.

The attack targeted a hospital which was crowded with mourners accompanying the remains of a local attorney assassinate earlier in the day.

Authorities expect the death toll to rise.

Gunmen kidnap American, Australian off Kabul street:  One American and one Australian were kidnapped off the street in Afghanistan by four gunmen on Sunday.

Both men are believed to be academics holding positions at Kabul University.

The U.S. State Department released a statement saying it had no information on the matter and the Australian embassy would not comment.

No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction.

UN appeals for ceasefire in Aleppo:  The UN has asked warring parties to agree to a ceasefire to rush humanitarian aid to the besieged city of Aleppo in Syria.

Humanitarian groups and aid workers fear fresh water supplies are so low the risk of disease is threatening close to 2 million citizens.

Although running water is nearly nonexistent and electrical power is limited, the largest concern among aid groups is the threat of airstrikes on medical facilities and the shortage of medical personnel.

Despite hundreds of thousands of bottled water rushed to the area, some 300,000 children in eastern Aleppo are threatened with having no fresh water.

 

[RT News] [Reuters] [CNN]