The Archbishop of Canterbury has been asked by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres to be a member of a new high-level advisory board on mediation. Most Rev Justin Welby will join 17 other global leaders and experts to provide the Secretary-General with advice on mediation initiatives and back specific mediation efforts around the world. Archbishop Welby said in a tweet that he was "honoured to join UN Secretary General's board on mediation". The group, which includes the President of Chile, former President of Finland and former President of the Republic of Nigeria, bring together an extensive range of experience, skills, knowledge and contacts to assist the Secretary-General.


George Galloway is facing the threat of bankruptcy in a bitter feud with the former parliamentary aide who once complained that she had to buy his underwear. Aisha Ali-Khan, a Muslim women’s rights activist, has issued a petition to bankrupt the former MP, according to records at the Bankruptcy Court. Ms Ali-Khan has been engaged in a long-running dispute with Mr Galloway. Last year she accepted costs and damages, believed to be a five-figure sum, to settle a libel battle over his allegation that she had used his home for trysts. He issued a public apology in a statement read by his lawyer in the High Court. Bankruptcy Court records show that Mr Galloway applied last month to set aside a statutory demand for payment made by Ms Ali-Khan, of Keighley, West Yorkshire. Her petition to make him bankrupt was filed on Monday.


GAZA CITY, Gaza — When Hamas announced this week it would accept demands from rivals Fatah in a bid for Palestinian reconciliation, it was the latest in months of shifts for the terrorist group. Faced with isolation, the weakening of a key ally and a humanitarian crisis, Hamas has reached out to former allies and old enemies. Beyond its Palestinian reconciliation steps, which many analysts view with skepticism, the group which runs the Gaza Strip has rebuilt bridges with Iran and turned to Egypt for help. An improvement of relations with Iran has unlocked millions of dollars in aid, but left Israelis worried it makes a new round of conflict more likely. Concerning Egypt, Hamas wants Cairo to open its border with the Gaza Strip, but has been pressed to take steps toward Palestinian reconciliation in return.