Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Over 126, mostly students, klilled in Taliban attack on school
PESHAWAR, Dec 16 (Agencies): At least 124 students were among 126 people killed today when heavily-armed Arabic speaking Taliban suicide attackers stormed an army-run school, shooting from classroom-to-classroom and taking several hostages using them as human shield in Pakistan's volatile Peshawar city. A group of 8-10 suicide attackers wearing paramilitary Frontier Corps uniforms entered Army Public School on Warsak Road around 10.30 (local time) and started indiscriminate firing, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said. Official sources said that so far 124 students, one female teacher and one army personnel were killed in the attack. At least 122 others have been injured. In one of the most gruesome attacks in recent years against children anywhere in the world, the mi...
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British PM condemns Taliban attack on Peshawar school
LONDON, Dec 16 (Agencies): British Prime Minister David Cameron today condemned the gruesome attack on an army-run school in Pakistan in which more than 100 people, mostly students, were killed by Taliban militants. "The news from Pakistan is deeply shocking. It's horrifying that children are being killed simply for going to school," he said in a Downing Street statement. A group of 8-10 suicide attackers wearing paramilitary Frontier Corps uniforms entered Army Public School on Warsak Road in Pakistan's volatile Peshawar city and started indiscriminate firing, killing more than 100 people, including 84 students. About 500 students and teachers were believed to be inside the school at the time of attack. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman claimed that its six suicide bombers att...
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6 dead in US shootings, hunt on for suspect
NEW YORK, Dec 16 (Agencies): A gunman has killed six people and seriously wounded another in a series of shootings near the northeastern US city of Philadelphia, authorities said, as police hunted for the suspect. All seven victims have a "familial relationship" to the suspect, identified as 35-year-old Bradley William Stone, said prosecutors in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania yesterday. Police said Stone -- possibly wearing military fatigues -- should be considered "armed and dangerous." No possible motive was given for the shootings. One of the dead is believed to be a woman who was killed in her house in the middle of the night. Her neighbour told local media the suspect then left the home with her children. ABC television affiliate WPVI earlier said the suspect was believed to be...
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82 including foreignors executed in Saudi in 2014
RIYADH, Dec 16 (Agencies): Two Saudis were beheaded today for drug trafficking and murder, official media reported, bringing to 82 the number of executions this year. The sentence against Abdulrahman bin Bakheit al-Lugmani was carried out in the western city of Mecca, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency. He had been convicted of smuggling a large quantity of amphetamines, it said. The second execution was in Eastern Province. Mehdi al-Mahmoud had been convicted of shooting dead another man following a dispute, the ministry said. According to an AFP tally, 82 Saudis and foreigners have been beheaded in the kingdom this year, with more than two thirds of the executions carried out over the past four months. There were 78 executions last year. Sa...
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UK Imams unite against online extremists
LONDON, Dec 14 (Agencies): Ten leading imams in the UK have joined hands to counter online Islamist extremist propaganda that has led to a number of British Muslims being recruited by the dreaded Islamic State (IS) militant group. The imams –- from some of the notorious recruiting grounds for IS -– condemned Internet companies for letting the web become a "safe haven" for terrorists. The religious leaders represent cities such as London, Leicester, Leeds, Lancashire, the West Midlands and Buckinghamshire. They warned that the failure to stamp out "readily available" extremist content on social media sites is "undermining" community cohesion. IS has used social media to recruit foreign fighters in the Middle East, and for propaganda. According to The Sunday Times, this group is spearh...
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Abe re-elected as Prime Minister despite low turnout
TOKYO, Dec 14 (Agencies): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won comfortable re-election today in a snap poll he had billed as a referendum on his economic policies after early success faded into a recession. But a low turnout from unenthusiastic voters beset by a heavy snowfall across much of the country could cast doubt on the endorsement he will claim for "Abenomics" -- his signature plan to fix the country's flaccid economy. Media exit polls shortly after voting finished showed his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior partner Komeito had swept the ballot, with an unassailable two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament that will give them the power to override the upper house. TV Asahi said the pairing had won 333 of the 475 seats, while TBS put the figure ...
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18 dead, nearly 90 missing in Indonesian landslide
JEMBLUNG, Dec 13 (Agencies): A mudslide set off by torrential rains rushed down hills into a village in central Indonesia and swept away scores of homes, killing at least 18 people and leaving 90 others missing, officials said today. About 105 houses were swept away by the landslide late Friday in Jemblung village in Central Java province's Banjarnegara district, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. Hundreds of rescuers, including soldiers, police and residents, dug through the debris Saturday with their bare hands, shovels and hoes, while others used bamboo to carry black body bags containing corpses. About 420 residents were evacuated to temporary shelters. Crying relatives watched in horror as residents and rescuers pulled out mud-caked...
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No problems if India engages with Russia: US
WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Agencies): The US has said it has no problem with India's engagement with Russia, but cautioned that it was not the right time to have trade deals with Moscow because of a series of international sanctions against it. "It does not mean that India should not engage with Russia," a senior State Department official said when asked about the official US statement in the last few days that this is not the time to do business with Russia. "We engage with Russia on Iran. We engage with Russia on a range of issues," the official said, requesting anonymity. US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov yesterday discussed over phone the situation in the Middle East, including recent developments in Israel, the West Bank and the region, as well as...
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China asks British MP's not to badger over Hong Kong
BEIJING, Dec 11 (Agencies): China today asked UK lawmakers to stop badgering it over the refusal in granting visas to some of them to visit Hong Kong, in the backdrop of ongoing pro-democracy protests in the former British colony. "Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs. China firmly opposes the interference of any country, institution or individual in any form in Hong Kong affairs," Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing. He was reacting to reports from London stating that senior lawmakers consider China's refusal to allow them to visit Hong Kong last month as an insult to Britain and called on the government to react more strongly, including formally summoning China's ambassador over the issue. "I would like to reiterate that the Chinese ce...
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Resolution in US senate to honour Satyarthi, Malala
WASHINGTON, Dec 11 (Agencies): In acknowledgement of their efforts to end the financial exploitation of children and to ensure the right of all children to an education, a US Senate resolution has been introduced to recognise Nobel laureates Kaliash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai as "symbols of peace." Introduced by Senator Tom Harkin, the resolution says Satyarthi has personally rescued more than 82,000 children from the worst forms of child labour; and Malala has promoted education for girls in Pakistan since she was 11 years old and is an advocate for worldwide access to education. According to the resolution, which has been sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for necessary action, Satyarthi, 60, has endured threats on his life as a result of such rescue efforts; and the T...
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India likely to improve economic growth to 6.3% in 2016: UN
UNITED NATIONS, Dec 11 (Agencies): India's economic growth is expected to improve to 6.3 per cent in 2016 with the country leading economic recovery in South Asia, according to a United Nations report. The UN World Economic Situation and Prospects 2015 (WESP) report, launched here yesterday, also said India is likely to make progress in implementing economic policy reforms and help provide support to business and consumer confidence. It said global economic growth is forecast to continue increasing over the next two years, despite legacies from the financial crisis continuing to weigh on growth, and the emergence of new challenges, including geopolitical conflicts such as in Ukraine, and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The global economy is expected to grow 3.1 per cent in 2015 and ...
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Richard Rahul verma confirmed as next US Ambassador to India
WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Agencies): Richard Rahul Verma was today unanimously confirmed as the next US Ambassador to India by the Senate, making him the first-ever Indian-American to hold the post. 46-year-old Verma's nomination was approved by the Senate by a voice vote, reflecting a sense of bi-partisan support to the Indo-US ties and showing his popularity among Senators across the aisle. The Senate raced through his nomination process ahead of more than 50 ambassadorial nominations to make sure that he is in New Delhi when US President Barack Obama travels to India to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade on January 26. Verma, who quietly played an important role in the Congressional passage of civil nuclear deal with India, had advocated for strong Indo-US ties when in the admi...
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Kailash Satyarthi, Malala Yousafzai receive Nobel Peace Prize
OSLO, Dec 10 (Agencies): India's Kailash Satyarthi received the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 today, sharing it with Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel laureate, for their work on promoting child rights in the troubled sub-continent, where millions are deprived of their childhood and education. "Satyarthi and Yousafzai are precisely the people whom Alfred Nobel in his will calls 'champions of peace'," Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Thorbjorn Jagland said in his speech before awarding them the prize. "A young girl and a somewhat older man, one from Pakistan and one from India, one Muslim, the other Hindu; both symbols of what the world needs: more unity. Fraternity between the nations!" he added. Satyarthi, 60, who gave up his job as an electrical engineer to r...
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New nuclear plants, military cooperation high on agenda: Putin
MOSCOW, Dec 10 (Agencies): Terming the ties with India as a "privileged strategic partnership", Russian President Vladimir Putin tonight disclosed that construction of new nuclear plants besides military and technical cooperation was high on the agenda during his visit to New Delhi. Seeking to dispel the perception that Russia-India ties had lost some warmth, Putin described India as a "reliable and time-tested partner" although he spoke of a "gradual transition from the producer-consumer model to joint development and production of advanced weapons systems". Dismissing concerns in India about military cooperation between Russia and Pakistan, the President said "we have held talks on Russia's possible assistance in improving effectiveness of counter-terrorism and anti-drug operations". ...
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