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US to Give $32mn in Aid to Rohingya
New York, Sep 21: The US will provide a humanitarian aid package worth $32 million to the Rohingya Muslim minority who have fled violence in Myanmar and crossed into neighbouring Bangladesh, the State Department announced.The funding "reflects the US commitment to help address the unprecedented magnitude of suffering and urgent humanitarian needs of the Rohingya people," said the State Department's Acting Assistant Secretary Simon Henshaw on Wednesday at the ongoing UN General Assembly here.He added that the US hoped its contribution would encourage other countries to provide more funding as well, reports CNN.The aid package comes a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke with Myanmar de facto leader of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi and "welcomed the Myanmar government's commitment to end the violence in Rakhine state and to allow those displaced by the violence to return home," according to the State Department.Tillerson "urged the Myanmar government and m...




Over 200 Killed As Massive Earthquake Rocks Mexico
Mexico City, Sep 20: A powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake has struck Mexico, killing more than 200 people, leaving many trapped under collapsed buildings and sending people flooding into the streets for the second time in just two weeks.At least 217 people died in Mexico City -- the country's capital -- and in the states of Puebla, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Morelos, officials said. Previously, authorities had said that as many as 248 people had died in the Tuesday's disaster. The death toll was later revised, CNN reported.The earthquake shook central Mexico at about 2.15 p.m. (local time) on Tuesday and had a magnitude of 7.1, the US Geological Survey said. Its epicentre was 4.5 km east-northeast of San Juan Raboso and 55 km south-southwest of the city of Puebla, in Puebla state.It came less than two weeks after a massive 8.1-magnitude quake hit the country on September 7 and killed nearly 100.President Enrique Peña Nieto said 22 bodies were found in the debris of an elementary school...




Aung San Suu Kyi Breaks Silence, Condemns Violence
Nay Pyi Taw, Sep 19: Breaking her silence over the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday said she and her government "condemn all human rights violations and unlawful violence" in the country and does not fear global scrutiny on the situation in Rakhine state.The de facto leader made the remarks in her first national address over the Rakhine violence that has seen 415,000 Rohingya Muslims flee into Bangladesh since August 25. Suu Kyi said she felt "deeply" for the suffering of "all people" in the conflict, and that Myanmar was "committed to a sustainable solution... for all communities in this state".Suu Kyi, who decided not to attend the UN General Assembly in New York later this week, said she was "aware of the fact that the world's attention is focused on the situation in Rakhine" and that Myanmar "does not fear international scrutiny", CNN reported.The leader said she neverth...




UN Chief Urges Suu Kyi to Halt Offensive Against Rohingyas
United Nations, Sep 17: Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has "a last chance" to halt an Army offensive that has forced thousands of the Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said.Guterres told the BBC on Saturday night that Suu Kyi had a last chance to stop the offensive."If she does not reverse the situation now, then I think the tragedy will be absolutely horrible, and unfortunately then I don't see how this can be reversed in the future."The Secretary General reiterated that the Rohingya should be allowed to return home.He also said it was clear that Myanmar's military "still have the upper hand" in the country, putting pressure "to do what is being done on the ground" in Rakhine state where the crisis broke out on August 25 when Rohingya rebels attacked police checkposts and killed 12 security personnel.Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is facing growing criticism over the Rohingya issue....




Panama Verdict: Pakistan SC Dismisses Sharifs' Review Petitions
Islamabad, Sep 15: In a massive setback to Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistan Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the review petitions filed by the deposed Prime Minister and his children against the July 28 Panama Papers judgment.A five-judge SC bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had taken up the petitions seeking review of the court's ruling which disqualified Sharif and ordered the the filing of corruption cases against him and his children -- Hussain, Hassan and Maryam Nawaz, son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar."For the reasons (to be) recorded later, all these review petitions are dismissed," Justice Khosa announced. The reasons will be revealed later in a detailed order, the Dawn online reported.With the rejection of the review petitions, Sharif's disqualification as a member of the Parliament remains valid. The Sharif family and Dar will now face corruption cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau in the accountability court.S...




US Congress Urges Trump to Condemn White Supremacists
Washington, Sep 13: The US Congress has urged President Donald Trump in a joint resolution to publicly condemn white supremacists and other hate groups and address the threats posed by them.The Senate and House of Representatives unanimously adopted the resolution on Tuesday, which was the first congressional response to the violence on August 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia, Efe news reported.On that day, a neo-Nazi killed a woman and injured at least 20 others when he drove a vehicle into a group of counter-protesters who were demonstrating against the white supremacists in Charlottesville.The resolution condemned "the racist violence and domestic terrorist attack", and rejected white nationalism, white supremacy, and neo-Nazism "as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States".The Congress also urged Trump to "speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-...




Help Rohingyas 'Regardless of Politics': UN to India
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has estimated that 370,000 Rohingya refugees have fled into Bangladesh since August 25.  Arul LouisUnited Nations, Sep 13: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wants Rohingya refugees helped "regardless of politics," his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Tuesday in reply to a question about India's policy on those fleeing Myanmar.Dujarric said that the reports about Rohingya's plight and pictures of them fleeing were heart-rending and these are very vulnerable people and deserved to be helped.His remarks came after India had taken strong exception to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein's criticism of India for wanting to deport Rohingya refugees."I deplore current measures in India to deport Rohingyas at a time of such violence against them in their country," Dujarric said in Geneva on Monday."By virtue of customary law, its ratification of the International Covenant...




US Senate Approves Resolution Condemning White Supremacist Groups
Washington, Sep 12: The US Senate has passed a resolution condemning white supremacist organisations and urging President Donald Trump to speak out against hate groups, the media reported.The resolution introduced last week cleared the upper chamber by unanimous consent on Monday night, reports The Hill magazine.The resolution formally gained the backing of 57 senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, before it passed.The Senate measure formally condemns "the violence and domestic terrorist attack" that occurred last month around a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.In addition to urging Trump and the administration to publicly push back against hate groups, the resolution urged Trump and his Cabinet to "address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States".According to the resolution, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Homeland Security should investigate "all acts of violence, intimidat...




Violence Against Rohingyas in Myanmar Textbook Example of Ethnic Cleansing: UN Body
IndiaTomorrow.net, Geneva, Sep 12: "Because Myanmar has refused access to human rights investigators the current situation cannot yet be fully assessed, but the situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Monday.   His 23-page report on human rights issues in 40 countries, submitted before the 36th session of the Human Rights Council here on Monday, starts with what is going on with Rohingyas in Rakhine state of Myanmar for the last two weeks.   "In Myanmar, another brutal security operation is underway in Rakhine State - this time, apparently on a far greater scale...The operation, which is ostensibly in reaction to attacks by militants on 25 August against 30 police posts, is clearly disproportionate and without regard for basic principles of international law. We have received multiple reports and satellite imagery of security forces and local militia burnin...




UNSC approves tough new sanctions against North Korea
Arul Louis,United Nations, Sep 12: The UN Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously approved a fresh round of tougher sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. But the measures sought by the US were blunted by China and Russia highlighting the powerful influence that Beijing and Moscow with their veto powers wield against Washington internationally when America cannot act unilaterally.On Monday, the UNSC, however, condemned Pyongyang for its "flagrant disregard" of its previous resolutions, and demanded that it immediately suspend its ballistic missile and nuclear programmes.The sanctions caps oil exports, bans all textile exports, restrict future employment of North Koreans abroad, allow countries to inspect ships going and coming from North Korea but without using force, and add more weapons-related items and technologies to the list of items prohibited for transfer to Pyongyang.It also froze the assets of three government agencies, ...




India to Myanmar: Handle Situation in Rakhine state with Restraint, Focus on Welfare of Civilians
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, Sep 10: Alarmed at the huge outflow of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in neighbouring Bangladesh and its likely spillover in its own territory, India on Saturday clearly spoke on the issue of violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, asking the regime to handle the issue with ‘restraint and maturity'.   "India remains deeply concerned about the situation in Rakhine State in Myanmar and the outflow of refugees from that region," said India's External Affairs Ministry in a statement Saturday evening.   "We would urge that the situation in Rakhine State be handled with restraint and maturity, focussing on the welfare of the civilian population alongside those of the security forces. It is imperative that violence is ended and normalcy in the State restored expeditiously," the ministry said.   Media reports say the government has spoken on the issue only after Bangladesh High Commissioner Syed Muazzem Ali met...




Arab Parliament Calls For Action on Rohingya 'Genocide'
Cairo, Sep 8: The Speaker of the Arab Parliament has called on international organisations to take immediate action to end the suffering of Rohingya Muslims.In a statement, Mishaal Al Salami on Wednesday called on the UN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take urgent and immediate action to stop the "massacre" of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar's Rakhine state and bring the perpetrators to the International Criminal Court for "committing crimes against humanity".Expressing regret over the continued killing of innocent civilians, Al Salami stressed that what is happening in Myanmar against the Rohingyas is a "systematic ethnic and religious cleansing", especially of women and children, and the world stands as an "eyewitness".The Speaker expressed deep sorrow and concern about the international silence on these grave violations, which include genocide and ethnic cleansing as violati...




US Condemns Murder of Gauri Lankesh
New Delhi, Sep 6: The US Embassy here on Wednesday condemned the murder of senior Kannada journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh."The U.S. Mission in India joins advocates of press freedom in India and world-wide in condemning the murder of respected journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru," the Embassy said in a statement."We offer our sincere condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Ms. Lankesh," it stated.Lankesh was shot dead by unidentified assailants at her residence in Bengaluru on Tuesday night. She was editor of popular Kannada tabloid 'Lankesh Patrike'.The Karnataka government on Wednesday said a Special Investigation Team will probe the killing of Lankesh, even as protests erupted across the state condemning the murder.The Union Home Ministry has also sought a detailed report from the Karnataka government on the incident. (IANS)




Death Toll of Egyptian Pilgrims in Mecca Rises to 57
Cairo, Sep 5: Three more Egyptian pilgrims died during Haj in Saudi Arabia's Mecca on Tuesday, raising the total death toll among Egyptian pilgrims to 57, said the Egyptian Health Ministry.The head of Egypt's medical Haj mission, Ahmed al-Ansary, has been coordinating with the Saudi authorities to issue death certificates for the dead pilgrims, Xinhua news agency reported.The ages of the dead varied from 60 to 85, he said in a statement.Saudi Arabia started on Wednesday the Haj pilgrimage of 2017, with the participation of more than two million pilgrims, including 1.8 million foreigners, according to the Saudi authorities.Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam and one of the most important rituals for Muslims worldwide. Every Muslim must perform it at least once in a lifetime if affordable.Saudi Arabia announced tight security during the Haj season as it banned over 400,000 illegal pilgrims from entering Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims, for not having Haj permits.The government sa...




123,000 Rohingyas have Crossed Into Bangladesh: UN
Dhaka, Sep 5: At least 123,000 Rohingyas have crossed the border into Bangladesh fleeing violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state, a UN official said here on Tuesday.Joseph Surjamoni Tripura, the UNHCR spokesperson in Bangladesh, told Efe news agency that the recently arrived refugees -- more than 30,000 arrived in a 24 hour period -- are staying in makeshift camps.According to UN sources, only 6,000, out of the 123,000, are staying with family members in refugee camps in Cox's Bazar district.The influx of Rohingyas, who are denied citizenship by Myanmar and sparingly given refugee status by Bangladesh, had accelerated earlier on Tuesday.In the Teknaf area, boats continue to arrive with Rohingya refugees reaching the coast through the Bay of Bengal, reports Efe news.Unlike in land border crossings like Ghum Dhum, local authorities in Teknaf did not try to stop the influx, despite border guards on Monday sending back more than 2,000 Rohingyas from the Saint Martin island.The latest exodus be...




Modi, Xi Agree Doklam-Like Incident Must Not Recur
Gaurav Sharma, Xiamen (China), Sep 5: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday discussed the Doklam border row which ended last month and agreed that such incidents should not recur.This was the first one-on-one meeting between Modi and Xi after the over two-month-long military stand-off between the armies of the two countries at Doklam in the Sikkim section of the border.In more than one hour bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit which ended on Tuesday, both leaders discussed the need to maintain peace and tranquility in their winding border."I think one of the important points which was made in the meeting was that peace and tranquility in the border areas was a prerequisite for the further development of the bilateral relationship," Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said here.He said both the leaders agreed that "more efforts should be made to really enhance and strengthen the mutual level of trust between t...




Indonesia Asks Mymanmar to Protect Rohingya Muslims
Bangkok, Sep 5: Indonesia on Monday asked Mymnamar to protect its Rohingya Muslim minority even as protests continued in the archipelago nation over their persecution and a radical Sunni group engaged in sectarian violence in the country opened registration to send volunteers to Myanmar to defend them.Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met her Myanmar counterpart and de facto head of the country's government, Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and the head of the country's armed forces Min Aung Hlaing at Naypyidaw on Monday and urged the protection of the Rohingya community.Marsudi told Suu Kyi that in order to check the crisis, the Myanmar security forces should act with restraint, protect civilians without discrimination on religion or ethnicity and allow humanitarian aid, reported Efe, citing Indonesia's Antara agency which quoted official sources about what transpired at the meeting.Marsudi asked Myanmar to allow Indonesia, the International Red Cross and other members of...




87,000 Rohingya Migrants Arrive in Bangladesh: UN
Dhaka, Sep 4: At least 87,000 Rohingya Muslim migrants arrived in Bangladesh last week from Myanmar, a UN official said here on Monday.The official told Efe news that 81,000 migrants were currently lodged in makeshift shelters and the remaining 6,000 settled with relatives in the permanent refugee camps in Cox's Bazar district.Thousands continued to arrive at the border, some of them with gunshot wounds, fleeing sectarian violence in Myanmar's northwestern Rakhine state.On August 25, the Myanmar Army began an operation following armed assaults on several police posts by hundreds of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) rebels.Hundreds of people, mostly Rohingyas, were killed during the attacks and the government response later.International organisations have reported claims of human rights violations and summary executions allegedly carried out by the Myanmar army.On Friday, the UN expressed deep concern at reports about violence committed by the security forces in Myanmar and made an...




Myanmar Blocks All UN Aid to Civilians: Report
Nay Pyi Taw, Sep 4: Myanmar has blocked all UN aid agencies from delivering vital supplies of food, water and medicine to thousands of civilians at the centre of a violent military campaign in Rakhine state, a media report said on Monday.The world body halted distributions in the state after militants attacked government forces on August 25 and the Army responded with a counter-offensive that has killed over 400 people including militants and civilians, the Guardian report said.The Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Myanmar told the daily that deliveries were suspended "because the security situation and government field-visit restrictions rendered us unable to distribute assistance", suggesting authorities were not providing permission to operate."The UN is in close contact with authorities to ensure that humanitarian operations can resume as soon as possible," it said, adding "Aid was being delivered to other parts of Rakhine state."In the deadly v...




Over 2,600 Homes Burned in Myanmar's Rakhine
Yangon, Sep 2: More than 2,600 houses have been burned down over the past week in the Rohingya-majority areas of the country's northwest, the Myanmar government said on Saturday, in one of the deadliest outbreaks of violence involving the Muslim minority in decades."A total of 2,625 houses from Kotankauk, Myinlut and Kyikanpyin villages and two wards in Maungtaw were burned down," the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar reported.The Myanmar officials blamed the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which is said to be defending Rohingya Muslims, for the fires in Rakhine villages. The group claimed responsibility for last week's coordinated attacks on Army posts, which led to further clashes and a major clampdown by the country's military forces.The Rohingya Muslims fleeing the violence to Bangladesh, however, insist that a campaign of arson and killings by the Myanmarese Army aimed at forcing them out of the country is responsible for the carnage and destruction in the are...




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