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9 Rohingya Muslims killed in Myanmar police firing last night
Naypyidaw, Jan 17: At least nine people were killed and 12 others injured during overnight clashes with police trying to clear a protest in restive southwest Myanmar, from where hundreds of thousands of members of the mostly Muslim Rohingya minority have fled an Army campaign. The police fired on the crowd on Tuesday night when the protesters surrounded a police station in Mrauk-U after authorities had banned the public gathering, Efe news reported. The demonstrators were commemorating the loss of the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Mrauk-U, in Rakhine, which in 1785 was occupied by troops from Mandalay, the seat of Myanmar monarchy at the time. The injured were taken to a hospital in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state. Rakhine, one of the poorest states in Myanmar, is also home to the Rohingya community, the victims of an ethnic cleansing campaign led by the Myanmar Army, according to the UN.The alleged persecution has forced more than 700,000 Rohingyas to flee in th...




Palestine issue top priority of Islamic world: Hassan Rouhani
Tehran, Jan 16: Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday said Palestine remains the most important issue for the Islamic world, media reports said. After the collapse of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, the issue of Palestine has regained its importance for the Muslims, Xinhua quoted Rouhani as saying. He made the statement during the opening ceremony of the 13th Session of the Parliamentary Union of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Tehran. The current instability and insecurity gripping the region stem from continued Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, he said.Rouhani urged the Islamic states to unite for the creation of a "calm region and peaceful foreign relations" and said Iran views no country as its "competitor" in the region. "Some countries, however, are following the wrong path and seek to widen the rifts among Muslim nations under the US and Israel's influence," Rouhani said. He c...




UN chief urges world to come together in 2018 to tackle challenges
United Nations, Jan 1: In his New Year message, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for unity among the global community to tackle overwhelming challenges and defend values shared by all."On New Year's Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert, a red alert for our world," said the secretary-general on Sunday, which is the last day of 2017 in some countries but New Year's Day in others."As we begin 2018, I call for unity. We can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values. But we can only do that together," he said, Xinhua reported.Recalling that last year he urged that the year of 2017 be a year for peace, the UN chief noted that unfortunately, in fundamental ways, the world went in reverse.Perils, including deepening conflicts and new dangers emerged, and global concerns over nuclear weapons reached the highest since the Cold War, he added.At the same time, impacts of climate change worsened at an alarming r...




Nothing humane about Jadhav's meeting with family: Sushma
New Delhi, Dec 28: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said the meeting between alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and his mother and wife lacked "humanity" and "goodwill" accusing Pakistan of conducting it as a "propaganda exercise" and "an opportunity to exploit the situation".Sushma Swaraj was making a statement in the Rajya Sabha on the December 25 meeting between death row inmate Jadhav and his wife Chetankul and mother Avanti.The Minister met Jadhav's wife and mother after they returned from Pakistan and spoke to Avanti again on Thursday morning.Sushma Swaraj condemned the way the Pakistani authorities allowed the meeting at the Foreign Office in Islamabad and asked them to change their clothes and shoes, and remove bangles and even their "mangalsutras"."The first thing that Kulbhushan asked his mother was 'what happened to father' after he saw no mangalsutra on his mother."The manner in which the meeti...




After reflection, I have decided not to seek a second four-year term-UN Human Rights Chief
United Nations, Dec 22: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who has openly criticised powerful governments, including the Trump administration, has said he will not seek a second four-year term as it "might involve bending a knee in supplication". The decision by Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, a Jordanian prince and former diplomat, was conveyed in a short statement that was emailed to his staff on Wednesday. His four-year term expires next September, the New York Times reported."After reflection, I have decided not to seek a second four-year term," Al-Hussein wrote. "To do so, in the current geopolitical context, might involve bending a knee in supplication; muting a statement of advocacy; lessening the independence and integrity of my voice - which is your voice." This week Al-Hussein described the US decision to recognize Jerusalem of Israel's capital as "dangerously provocative" and blamed the President's announcement for violence in ...




India joins UN majority, voted against US on jerusalem issue
United Nations, Dec 22: India joined the UN majority in voting for a General Assembly resolution criticising US President Donald Trump's decision to unilaterally declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel and move Washington's embassy there. The resolution that was passed by a two-thirds majority on Thursday demanded Washington comply with Security Council decisions against changing the status of Jerusalem and declared US and Israeli action on the city "null and void". It, however, only expressed "deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem", stopping short of naming the US or condemning it outright. Defying Trump's threats to cut off aid to countries that voted for the resolution, 128 countries voted for the resolution, while nine countries joined the US and Israel in voting against it. An unusually large number -- 35 countries -- abstained, and 21 others were absent, showing that Trump's threats had some effect. US Perm...




Abbas vows East Jerusalem as eternal Palestinian capital
Ramallah/Gaza, Dec 7: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned and rejected on Wednesday the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital, saying the move "violates all international and bilateral resolutions."Abbas made the remarks in a speech aired live on the official Palestinian Television shortly after US President Donald Trump announced his official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and instructed the State Department to begin the process of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.The declaration will not give any legitimacy to Israel in this matter, Abbas said, adding that Jerusalem is eternal Palestinian capital, Xinhua news agency reported.The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent Palestinian state, while Israel wants all Jerusalem to be the eternal capital of the state of Israel."Our national Palestinian cause is at a crossroads after the US decision on Jerusalem," Abbas said."...




UN can't rule out Rohingya genocide: Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein
Geneva, Dec 5: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Tuesday that an act of genocide against Rohingya Muslims by state forces in Myanmar cannot be ruled out.Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein was speaking at a Human Rights Council session in Geneva where he listed alleged abuses against the Rohingyas, including "killing by random firing of bullets, use of grenades, shooting at close range, stabbings, beatings to death and the burning of houses with families inside", the BBC reported.More than 600,000 Rohingyas have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh to escape Myanmar's military crackdown in late August in response to multiple attacks on government posts by Rohingya rebels.Zeid said no Rohingya should be sent back unless there was sustained human rights monitoring on the ground.He condemned the Myanmar authorities for not allowing the UN access to Rakhine and highlighted that due to the lack of transparency, observers were unable to properly gauge the severity of the situation.&qu...




Yemen's ex-President Saleh killed during Sanaa clashes
Sanaa, Dec 5: Reports from Yemen say ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed on Monday in fighting with his former allies.Media controlled by the rebel Houthi movement quoted officials as declaring the "end of the crisis of the treason militia and the killing of its leader".Sources in Saleh's General People's Congress party also confirmed that he was killed during fierce clashes in the capital Sanaa with Houthi militias.A video showed Saleh lying on blanket surrounded by Houthi militias celebrating his death. The short clip aired on a pro-Houthi television channel appears to show Saleh had sustained a head injury, potentially a gunshot wound.Earlier in the day, militias from Yemen's armed Houthi movement blew up Saleh's house in the centre of the capital Sanaa, residents reported.The previous night, Saleh officially announced the dissolution of his partnership with former Houthi militia allies."Zero hour is coming to the battlefield in Sanaa... The country had to be s...




Told Modi privately that country shouldn't be divided on religious lines: Obama
New Delhi, Dec 1: As a debate rages over growing intolerance in the country, former US President Barack Obama on Friday disclosed that he had privately told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that India must not split on sectarian lines and that it must cherish the fact that Muslims here identify themselves as Indians."Particularly in a country like India where you have such an enormous Muslim population that is successful, integrated and thinks of itself as Indian and that is unfortunately always not the case in some other countries where a religious minority nevertheless feels a part of. I think that is something that should be cherished, nurtured and cultivated."And I think that all farsighted Indian leadership recognises that but it is important to continue and reinforce that," he said speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.Obama, who was making his first visit to India after demitting office earlier this year, was reminded of his speech at Siri Fort auditorium ...




Modi hard sells India, Ivanka for equitable laws for women
This is the 8th GES which brings together entrepreneurs, investors and eco-system supporters for mentoring, networking and investment matchmaking. This is the first time that the event is being held in South Asia.Mohammed Shafee, Hyderabad, Nov 28: A three-day international summit of entrepreneurs started here on Tuesday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi hard selling India and inviting investors from across the globe to invest in India taking advantage of a friendly climate while President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka said much remains to be done with regard to equitable laws for women in many developing as well as developed countries."To my entrepreneur friends from across the globe, I would like to say: Come, Make in India, Invest in India - for India, and for the world. I invite each one of you to become a partner in India's growth story. And once again assure you of our whole-hearted support," Modi said while inaugurating the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit here....




Modi voices support for Palestinian cause
New Delhi, Nov 28: On the eve of the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reiterated India's support for the Palestinian cause."On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, I reiterate India's steadfast support for the Palestinian cause," Modi said in a statement."We hope for early realization of a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel," Modi said.In 1977, the UN General Assembly called for the annual observance of November 29 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.In his message, Modi said India was an active development partner of Palestine, engaged in extending technical and financial assistance to improve the lives of the Palestinian people."We will continue to support the development and nation-building efforts of Palestine."To this effect, India has increased training slots fo...




270 killed in Egypt mosque attack
Cairo, Nov 25: At least 270 people were killed and 109 others injured in a gory terror attack on a mosque in Egypt's northern Sinai region on Friday, reported state media, making it one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in the country.The attack on Al-Rawdah mosque, affiliated with Sufi groups, took place during Friday prayers.The assailants planted home-made explosive in the mosque in the town of Bir al-Abd, near Arish, and detonated them as worshipers were leaving after prayers. They also shot at anyone who tried to escape, a security official told Efe news.The gunmen also fired at ambulances transferring the injured to hospital, eyewitnesses said.Pictures from the scene showed rows of bloodied victims inside the mosque. The blasts from improvised explosive devices caused considerable damage to the mosque, said state-run Al Ahram Online.Speaking to state-run Masriya TV, Egyptian Health Ministry spokesman Khalid Mujahid described the incident as a "terrorist attack".One ...




Hasina meets Chinese FM on pragmatic cooperation, Rohingya issue
Dhaka, Nov 19: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi here, with both sides emphasizing their willingness to further deepen pragmatic cooperation, a media report said. During the meeting on Saturday, Hasina congratulated the successful holding of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. She thanked the Chinese side for offering long-term support and aid to Bangladesh's development and construction, Xinhua news agency reported. Chinese President Xi Jinping last year paid a historic visit to Bangladesh while establishing the strategic cooperative partnership between both countries, Hasina said, adding that Dhaka is willing to further deepen pragmatic cooperation with Beijing in all fields. Wang said China is willing to work with Bangladesh to firmly support each other on issues of core interests and major concern and deepen the strategic cooperative partnership. He expressed hope that the two sides coul...




'Over 100 Rohingya killed fleeing Myanmar in two months'
United Nations, Nov 18: More than 100 Rohingya refugees have drowned in shipwrecks and boat capsizes as they fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh, according to a UN official. Stephane Dujarric, the chief UN spokesman, on Friday said that the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has received reports of some 30 improvised rafts, carrying more than 1,000 people arrived in Bangladesh from Myanmar, reports Xinhua news. Unable to pay to cross over to Bangladesh, the spokesman said refugees "are building rafts from whatever materials they can get their hands on" to make the four-hour trip across the Naf River. Recent arrivals told UNHCR that they had been "waiting for more than a month in desperate conditions" on the shores of Myanmar, according to Dujarric.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported approximately 620,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since August 25. "The refugees are mostly living in makeshift ...




Facebook, Google join 'The Trust Project' to fight fake news
San Francisco, Nov 17: In their bid to fight fake news and help readers identify trustworthy news sources, Facebook, Google, Twitter and several media organisations have joined the non-partisan "The Trust Project". "The Trust Project" is led by award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman of Santa Clara University's Markkula Centre for Applied Ethics. Starting from Friday, an icon will appear next to articles in Facebook News Feed. When you click on the icon, you can read information on the organisations' ethics and other standards, the journalists' backgrounds, and how they do their work. "Leading media companies representing dozens of news sites have begun to display 'Trust Indicators'. These indicators, created by leaders from more than 75 news organisations also show what type of information people are reading a" news, opinion, analysis or advertising," the university said in a statement. Each indicator is signalled in the artic...




Twitter to remove verification badge if users flout rules
San Francisco, Nov: Twitter has announced to remove verification badges from users who violate its rules, adding that the micro-blogging platform is reworking on its entire verification system. "We are conducting an initial review of verified accounts and will remove verification from accounts whose behavior does not fall within these new guidelines.  "We will continue to review and take action as we work towards a new programme we are proud of," the official @TwitterSupport account posted late on Wednesday. Earlier this week, Twitter suspended its account verification exercise -- a process that gives public figures on the micro-blogging platform a blue check mark next to their names. The announcement came after people criticised Twitter for verifying the account belonging to the organizer of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one dead in August. Jason Kessler, the organizer of the supremacist rally, was give...




7.3-magnitude quake near Iran-Iraq border kills 147
Tehran/Baghdad, Nov 13: At least 147 people were killed after a powerful earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale struck near the Iran-Iraq border, media reports said on Monday.The quake hit 30 km southwest of Iraqi town of Halabja at 9.20 p.m., on Sunday, near the northeastern border with Iran, CNN quoted the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.It occurred at a depth of 33.9 km, and tremors were felt in Turkey, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon and as far as Pakistan.According to Iran's disaster management organisation, 141 people were killed in Kermanshah province on the Iraqi border, reports the Guardian.More than 850 were injured, the organisation's spokesperson told state media.Most of the victims were from the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 15 km from the border, Iran's emergency services chief, Pir Hossein Koolivand said .The town's main hospital was severely damaged, leaving it struggling to treat hundreds of wounded, state TV reported.Rescuers worked through the night to find people tr...




UN chief demands humanitarian access to Myanmar's Rakhine
United Nations, Nov 11: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday demanded unfettered humanitarian access to Myanmar's northern Rakhine State."We insist on the need to make sure, not only that all violence against this population (of Rohingyas) stops, but also we need to insist on unhindered humanitarian access to all areas of Rakhine State, including the northern part of this region," he told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York, Xinhua reported.The UN chief also demanded the voluntary return of Rohingya refugees who have fled the Rakhine State into neighbouring Bangladesh."We insist on the need to reassert the right of return -- safe and dignifying return, voluntary return -- for all the population that fled to Bangladesh and to the areas of origin -- not to be placed in camps, not having access to the places where they left."Guterres emphasized the importance of addressing the root cause of the problem, which relies largely on the problems related to ci...




UNHCR to get Mother Teresa Award 2017 for social justice
Mumbai, Nov 9: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been named as the recipient of the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice, 2017 as an acknowledgement of its exceptional work worldwide, it was announced here on Thursday.The UNHCR provides humanitarian aid to innumerable people internally displaced by conflicts and helping stateless people all over the world, said Harmony Foundation Chairman Abraham Mathai, which has instituted the only official award in memory of Mother Teresa, who attained sainthood in September 2016."The UNHCR has and continues to showcase to the world the true essence of humanitarianism through the life-changing works it does globally. We salute its committed, compassionate and courageous humanitarian work in dangerous and challenging regions of the world," Mathai told IANS.Referring to Harmony Foundation's theme for 2017 - Compassion Beyond Borders, he said UNHCR epitomizes the theme so beautifully with the sheer brave...




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