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Belgium's Wallonia region: No breakthrough in CETA talks

Minister-President of Wallonia Paul Magnette attends a CETA meeting in Belgium. Credit: Reuters

The premier of Belgium's Wallonia region Paul Magnette has told his region's parliament that no breakthrough has been made in talks over the planned EU-Canada free trade deal.

Although all 28 EU governments support the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Belgium's French-speaking Wallonia region opposes it, meaning the country as a whole cannot give assent.

Wallonia maintains that CETA poses a threat to farmers and to welfare standards.

Mr Magnette said talks on Friday had yielded some developments, but pointed out that contention still remains over an independent court system to resolve disputes.

Critics say the court system can be exploited by big business to unduly influence public policy.

CETA is expected to take centre stage is the EU leaders' summit, which is currently underway in Brussels.

  1. Wales

Pupils remember the Aberfan disaster on 50th anniversary

The pupils of Afon Taf High School, in Merthyr Tydfil, held a special service to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster this morning.

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

After a morning assembly, the children laid 144 yellow roses in the River Taff - one for every child and adult who perished in the disaster 50 years ago today.

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales
Credit: ITV Cymru Wales


IS 'likely using abductees as human shields' in Mosul

Iraqi forces are intent on recapturing the city of Mosul Credit: Reuters

Fighters with so-called Islamic State are likely using villagers from areas around Mosul as human shields, a spokeswoman for the UN human rights office has said.

Citing "corroborated information" from the area, Ravina Shamdasani said that IS had abducted 550 families from villages around Mosul and are holding them close to IS locations in the Iraqi city.

She said the UN human rights office was also investigating reports that IS fighters had killed 40 civilians in one village.


MP: Russian airstrikes on Aleppo 'making situation worse'

Damaged buildings in the rebel held besieged al-Sukkari neighbourhood of Aleppo. Credit: Reuters

Russian airstrikes on the besieged city of Aleppo are "shameful" and "making the situation worse", an MP has said.

Speaking during a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council called by London to set up a special inquiry into violations, Tobias Ellwood, Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, said: "Russia, you are making the situation worse, not solving it.

"This is shameful and it is not the action or leadership that we expect from a P5 nation," he said, referring to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the UK, China, France, Russia and the US.

Russia's delegation is to speak later in the debate.

Schoolboy witness saw Aberfan victims buried alive

"He saw what he described as a big wave of muck, higher than a house, coming over the railway embankment and heading straight towards him."

ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn recalls the harrowing testimony of a young witness of the Aberfan disaster.

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Aberfan villagers pay their respects at memorial garden

The people of Aberfan have paid their respects to the 144 victims of the 1966 coalslide disaster at the Welsh village's memorial garden.

All generations attended to observe a minute's silence at 9.15am as the nation paused on the 50th anniversary of the tragedy.

Those old enough to remember the disaster were joined by younger generations brought up in the village forever changed by the tragedy.
The village turned out to honour the lives of the 116 children and 28 adults killed at Pantglas Junior School.
People of all generations took time out to attend in the close-knit Valleys community.
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