Iran: Flash floods kill at least 17 in and around Shiraz



At least 17 people, including three children, were killed and as many as 68 were injured in heavy flooding in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz on Monday, state TV reports.

Heavy rains resulted in flooding in the southern region around the city as well.

Footage shows people being swept away by the tides as cars try to maneuver through the flooded streets.

The flooding comes during the Iranian New Year, meaning thousands have been affected, including tourists.

Restrictions: NO Access Israel Media/Persian Language TV Stations Outside Iran/Strictly No Access BBC Persian/VOA Persian/Manoto-1 TV/Iran International

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UK: Cabinet meets amid rumours of bid to oust PM May



Cabinet ministers met at 10 Downing Street in central London on Monday as UK Prime Minister Theresa May offered an update on the progress of her Brexit withdrawal agreement.

The likes of Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt were all in attendance.

The meeting comes during a spell of uncertainty for May after rumours were published indicating her cabinet were seeking to oust her as PM.

May had invited leading Eurosceptics from her party to her country residence, Chequers, over the weekend, apparently to address the rumours.

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LIVE: AIPAC Policy Conference 2019: Monday morning general session



The morning general session of The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference 2019 takes place in Washington DC on Monday, March 25.
The forum is held annually and includes the presence of activists, members of Congress and Israeli and American policymakers.

LIST OF SPEAKERS:
- Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute.
- Mike Pence, Vice President, United States of America
- Lt. Gen (res.) Benny Gantz, leader of Israel Resilience Party
- Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City
- Nikki Haley, Former US Ambassador to the UN

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Russia: Kemerovo commemorates shopping mall fire victims one year on



Hundreds gathered to commemorate the 60 people who were killed in the Kemerovo shopping centre blaze one year ago, in the Siberian city on Monday.

People laid flowers, toys and candles at the scene of the fire, where a memorial stone has been erected, voicing solidarity and support for those affected by the tragedy.

Sixty people, including 37 children, were killed in the fire which engulfed the shopping mall in Kemerovo on 25 March 2018.

According to the Russian Investigative Committee, the source of the blaze was located on the top floor where several cinema halls and children's playgrounds with attractions are located.

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LIVE: Theresa May holds Cabinet meeting at Downing Street



Ruptly is live from outside 10 Downing Street in London on Monday, March 25, as UK Prime Minister Theresa May is holding a Cabinet meeting to discuss the next steps on Brexit.

The meeting takes place ahead of May’s statements in the House of Commons, set to occur later in the day. The Prime Minister is expected to update the Members of Parliament on the latest negotiations to her withdrawal plan with the EU.

The EU-27 agreed on Thursday, March 21 to delay Brexit until May 22 if MPs approve Theresa May's withdrawal plan next week. If they do not, there will be a shorter delay until April 12.

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Russia: Lebanese President Aoun arrives in Moscow for Putin talks


Japan: Torch made from salvaged metal unveiled for 2020 Paralympic Games



The torch design for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games was unveiled in the Japanese capital on Monday, exactly one year before the flame is due to arrive from Greece.

Designer Tokujin Yoshioka said the design was inspired by children following a visit to a school in Fukushima, which was greatly affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The theme of the Tokyo 2020 Games is reconstruction from the 2011 disaster.

The pink gold torch features the 'sakura' or cherry blossom, with five petals cut into its head to mirror the five Olympic rings.

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LIVE: Lebanon’s Aoun lands in Moscow ahead of meeting with Putin



Lebanese President Michel Aoun is landing in Moscow on Monday, March 25, ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Tuesday, March 26, Aoun and Putin are meeting to discuss the further development of Russian-Lebanese trade, as well as economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation. They will also exchange opinions on topical international and regional matters.

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Israel: Six wounded after 'Gaza rocket' blows Mishmeret house to smithereens



A rocket allegedly launched from the Gaza Strip injured at least six people after hitting a house in Mishmeret, a town 30km (19mi) north of Tel Aviv, on Monday morning.

According to the Israeli police, the rocket hit the house, setting off a fire and destroying part of the house.

"When the Israeli government pays protection to the Hamas, this is what happens and the Hamas are increasing their pressure on Israel as time goes by," said Labour MP Omer Bar-Lev.

The attack triggered sirens at around 5:20am local time, according to the army.

No groups or individuals have claimed responsibility for the incident so far.

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Damsel in a dress! Thousands of men doll up for Hindu festival in Kerala



Thousands of Indian men dressed as women flocked to Chavara's Kottankulangara Devi Temple in Kerala on Sunday, for the final days of the famed Chamayavilakku festival.

Men wearing sarees, garlands and elaborate make-up took part in the ritual at the Hindu temple sacred to the goddess Durga Bhagavathy.

The festival participants walked around the temple, offering prayers to the presiding deity while holding traditional lamps with five wicks.

The Chamayavilakku ritual takes place on the final two days of the 19-day-long festival.

The annual festival is reportedly host to the largest congregation of Kerala's transgender community.

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Israel: IDF publish video after 'rocket from Gaza' hits home near Tel Aviv



A rocket allegedly launched from the Gaza Strip injured at least six people after hitting a house in Mishmeret, a town 30km (19mi) north of Tel Aviv, on Monday morning.

Footage published on Twitter by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) shows the house partially collapsed and firefighters working amid the rubble to look for survivors.

The attack triggered sirens at around 5:20am local time, according to the army.

No groups or individuals have claimed responsibility for the incident so far.

Mandatory credit: Israel Defense Forces, @IDF

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Cuba: Prince Charles makes historical royal visit



The royal couple touched down at the airport for the latest stop on their 12-day tour of the Caribbean and were greeted by Cuba's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ana Teresita Gonzalez.

They participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial of Cuba's national hero, essayist and poet Jose Marti, before heading to an official dinner hosted by the country's president.

It's the first trip by a member of the British royal family to Cuba after the country's 1959 socialist revolution.

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USA: Pro-Palestinian groups protest outside AIPAC Conference



The march began at the White House and ended in front of the Washington Convention Center, the same venue where the AIPAC conference began that day.

A number of organisations were behind the protest, including Jewish Voice for Peace, the If Not Now Movement and Al-Awda: the Palestine Right of Return Coalition.

Those present expressed criticism for AIPAC's influence over US foreign policy in the Middle East, namely lobbying for support of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver a keynote address on Tuesday, after meeting with US President Donald Trump.

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Israel: Sirens blare near Tel Aviv after suspected Gaza rocket attack



The warning sounds can be clearly heard over a video published on the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) official Twitter page

Israeli officials said six people were wounded after a house was hit in Mishmeret, a town north of Tel Aviv.

The building was reportedly struck shortly after the Israeli military activated air raid sirens in the area.

No Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

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