HRW urges Pakistan to halt torture, killings
Human Rights Watch on Monday accused Pakistan’s police of routinely carrying out extra-judicial killings, torture and arbitrary arrests, and called on Islamabad to implement urgent reforms of its under-resourced forces. The findings were contained in a new report based on interviews with more than 30 police officers and 50 victims or witnesses of abuse across three of the country’s four provinces. In addition to noting habitual rights violations – including more than 2,000 so-called ‘encounter’ killings in 2015, which are often believed to have been staged – the report said police often found themselves in thrall to powerful individuals who subvert the law for their own purposes. — AFP, Islamabad

170 bodies recovered so far in migrant boat disaster
President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said on Monday that Egyptians must join hands with his government to prevent a repeat of the tragedy that struck last week when a Europe-bound boat carrying hundreds of migrants sank in the Mediterranean off the Egyptian coast, with the loss of at least 170 lives. In his first public comments on the incident, el-Sissi said the government could not alone safeguard the country’s porous land and sea borders. ‘As a state, along with its institutions, we are concerned and committed to safeguarding our borders and prevent this, but society must contribute to the effort so this is never repeated.’ — AP, Cairo

‘Snake on a train’ halts Japan bullet express
A Japanese bullet train was forced to make an emergency stop on Monday after a snake was found slithering between the seats, local media reported. A passenger spotted the 30 centimetre serpent poking between a gap in the seats, prompting the train, travelling between Tokyo and Hiroshima to stop and allow police to capture the slippery stowaway. Despite its menacing appearance, the brown snake was not believed to be poisonous and no injuries were reported, according to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, speculating that the reptile could be a juvenile ratsnake. — AFP, Tokyo

Calais migrant camp to be razed by year-end: Hollande
French president Francois Hollande said Monday the sprawling ‘Jungle’ migrant camp in Calais would be dismantled by the end of this year under a plan to spread asylum seekers around the country. ‘I have come to Calais to confirm the decision that I took with the government… to dismantle (the camp) definitively, entirely and rapidly, that means by the end of the year,’ Hollande said on his first visit to Calais as president. Hollande called on British authorities to help in assisting the migrants, most of whom are desperate to reach Britain. — AFP, Calais

Global court takes up Timor, Australia sea border row
An international arbitration court agreed Monday to take up a decade-long maritime border dispute between Australia and East Timor which cuts through lucrative oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea. The Permanent Court of Arbitration ‘held that it was competent to continue with the arbitration process’ initiated by East Timor against Canberra in April, the court based in The Hague said in a statement. — AFP, The Hague

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