Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday brushed aside criticism from US President Barack Obama of his speech to Congress, in which he warned Washington was paving the way to a nuclear-armed Iran. The White House was infuriated by Netanyahu's address Tuesday to a joint session of the US Congress, where he laid out Israeli concerns at an emerging world deal with Iran on its nuclear programme. Obama, who refused to meet Netanyahu during his 48-hour visit to Washington, dismissed the speech as containing "nothing new," saying the Israeli leader "did not offer any viable alternatives".
Burkina Faso's interim parliament has approved an anti-corruption law, one of two pieces of legislation required by the World Bank before it will release $100 million in budget support. The National Transitional Council (CNT), which was established after a popular uprising forced veteran leader Blaise Compaore to stand down late last year, is charged with guiding the West African nation to elections later this year. The World Bank had said the law and a new mining code that has yet to be passed, are essential reforms and among those demanded by protesters who took to the streets in October, forcing Compaore to quit after nearly 30 years in power. The World Bank has provided around $300 million in support to Burkina Faso in each of the last four years.
Thirty-two miners in eastern Ukraine were missing and feared dead Wednesday following an explosion at a coal mine in the rebel-held city of Donetsk. The blast took place at Zasyadko mine in the separatist hub of Donetsk, near the city's war-wrecked airport. The chairman of Ukraine's parliament, Volodymyr Groysman, announced 32 miners killed in what he called a "terrible tragedy". A spokesman for the Trade Union of Coal Miners in Ukraine told AFP that two bodies had been brought to the surface so far.