IRAQ

Group: Civilians not protected

A recent spike in civilian casualties in Mosul suggests the U.S.-led coalition is not taking adequate precautions to prevent civilian deaths as it battles the Islamic State militant group alongside Iraqi ground forces, Amnesty International said Tuesday. The human rights group’s report follows acknowledgement from the coalition that the U.S. military was behind a March 17 strike that residents have said killed more than 100 civilians. The report also cites a strike Saturday that it said killed “up to 150 people.” The U.S.-led coalition said it was investigating. Evidence gathered in Mosul “points to an alarming pattern of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes which have destroyed whole houses with entire families inside,” the report stated. It said failure to take precautions would be “in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.”

CANADA

Pot legalization in works

Canadians should be able to smoke marijuana legally by July 1, 2018, a senior government official said Monday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government will introduce legislation to legalize recreational marijuana the week of April 10 and it should become law by July next year, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to lack of authorization to discuss the legislation.

CUBA

Castro’s sister dies at 78

Agustina del Carmen Castro Ruz, the youngest sibling of Fidel and Raul Castro, died Sunday in Havana. She was 78. Agustina Castro suffered complications from a recent surgery following a fractured hip, sister Juanita Castro said. Agustina Castro was the youngest of seven siblings that included Fidel and Raul. She never served in the Cuban government and kept a low profile, unlike her brothers, who collectively have run the country for nearly 60 years, and Juanita, who is a prominent member of the Cuban-American activist community in South Florida.

JORDAN

Leaders gather for summit

Arab leaders “realize the urgency” of tackling long-running regional crises, from war to high unemployment, Jordan’s foreign minister said Monday after chairing a meeting of his counterparts from the region. Ayman Safadi said he and his colleagues endorsed more than a dozen policy resolutions, including several on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that are to be adopted Wednesday by heads of state of the 22-member Arab League at their annual gathering. Despite calls for unity, Arab League member states remain divided on key issues, including the six-year-long civil war in Syria.

Compiled from wire reports