International

India, Pakistan set to sign pilgrim corridor pact amid Kashmir tension

Pakistan

MNA International Desk: India and Pakistan are set to sign an agreement on Indian pilgrims visiting a Sikh shrine in Pakistan, rare cooperation between the nuclear-armed neighbours at a time of tension that has brought exchanges of fire on their disputed border. The pact will introduce visa-free access from India to the Pakistani town of Kartarpur, home to a temple that marks the site where the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, died. India’s foreign ministry said in a statement late on Monday an understanding had been reached on most issues and India was prepared to sign the agreement on Wednesday. ...

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India, China can together unlock potential

China

MNA International Desk: It is widely acknowledged that China and India are playing pivotal roles in regional and global affairs in the 21st century. Indeed, both countries have taken comparable stances or approaches to many critical policy areas, such as international trade and global governance reform, on intergovernmental platforms. As emerging economies and the two most populous countries, China-India cooperation can affect the livelihood and welfare of 2.7 billion people. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held in 2017 ushered in a new era of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. New Delhi’s pursuit of a New India ...

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Modi cancels Turkey visit over Erdogan’s remarks on Kashmir

Modi

MNA International Desk: The Indian government has decided to call off a proposed visit by the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Turkey’s capital Ankara. The decision was taken as part of a number of measures showing the Indian government’s displeasure over Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last month. During the speech, Erdogan criticised India’s move to abrogate Article 370 of the constitution that provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Supporting Pakistan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said that it is imperative to solve the problem through “dialogue on the ...

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Brexit: Commons set for knife-edge votes on deal

Brexit

MNA International Desk: MPs are debating the PM’s Brexit deal, amid uncertainty about whether the decisive vote on it will go ahead. The PM is trying to convince MPs to support the agreement he secured with the EU, in Parliament’s first Saturday session in 37 years. Mr Johnson told MPs “now is the time to get this thing done”, saying any delay beyond 31 October would be “corrosive”. But MPs will debate a proposal that could delay Brexit again until all the necessary UK legislation is passed. Commons Speaker John Bercow has chosen an amendment that, if passed, would require ...

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UK PM agrees ‘great’ new Brexit deal with EU

Brexit

MNA International Desk: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that Britain and the European Union had agreed a “great” new Brexit deal and urged lawmakers to approve it at the weekend, reports Reuters. “We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control,” Johnson said in a tweet. “Now parliament should get Brexit done on Saturday so we can move on to other priorities like the cost of living, the NHS, violent crime and our environment.” DUP SAYS NO TO JOHNSON’S DEAL Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party said on Thursday its position on Brexit had not changed and it ...

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Babri Masjid case: Hearings end, verdict reserved

mosque

MNA International Desk: The daily hearings in the decades old temple-mosque dispute in Ayodhya came to an end at the Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon after 40 days, reports NDTV. The verdict in the case – which has dominated politics and the headlines for decades – is expected to come before November 17, when Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who is leading the five-judge constitution bench hearing the case, is slated to retire. The judges had been sticking to a strict timeline after attempts to sort out the case through mediation failed. Over the last weeks, they have extended the timing ...

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Huge moment for Ethiopia as Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace prize

Ethiopia

MNA International Desk: Ethiopia found itself in the global spotlight for all the right reasons after Abiy Ahmed, its young, dynamic prime minister was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Awarded since 1901 for outstanding contributions to peace, the 2019 prize recognised Abiy’s “efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea”, announced the Norwegian Nobel Committee. At the same time, Amnesty International’s secretary-general Kumi Naidoo said the award reflected the “critical work Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has done to initiate human rights reforms in Ethiopia after decades ...

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Banerjee, Duflo, Kremer win Nobel Prize in economics

Nobel Prize

MNA International Desk: Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer were awarded the Nobel Prize in economics of this year on Monday for research on alleviating global poverty. Indian-born Abhijit Banerjee is an American citizen while Esther Duflo is French-American. Michael Kremer is also from the US. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in a press release, said the trio pioneered an approach to poverty reduction that was based on carefully designed experiments that sought answers to specific policy questions, report CNN and NDTV. Abhijit Banerjee, 58, was born in India and has a PhD from Harvard University. He is ...

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Saudi king approves US military deployment

Saudi

MNA International Desk: Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince have approved the deployment of additional US troops and equipment, after an attack last month on the kingdom’s oil facilities, state news agency SPA reported on Saturday. The United States announced a deployment of about 3,000 troops to the Gulf state, including fighter squadrons, an air expeditionary wing and air defence personnel, amid heightened tensions with Saudi’s arch-rival Iran. President Donald Trump said the Saudis had agreed to pay for the deployment. The SPA report said only that it came in the context of “historic relations and (a) well-established partnership” between ...

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US Homeland Security chief resigns

Homeland

MNA International Desk: The acting head of US Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan, has resigned after six months in the post. In a tweet, President Donald Trump said Mr McAleenan wanted to spend more time with his family. He said his replacement would be named next week. Mr McAleenan, 48, is the fourth person to serve as the head of Homeland Security during Mr Trump’s tenure. He has overseen the president’s tough policies aimed at curbing immigration across the Mexican border. However, analysts have described a turbulent relationship between the two and Mr McAleenan has criticised the tone of the immigration ...

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Global praise for China’s efforts to reduce poverty

China's

MNA International Desk: China’s achievements in combating poverty over the past 70 years are unprecedented, experts worldwide have said as the country continues to celebrate its weeklong National Day holiday. In the past 70 years, China has lifted over 800 million people out of poverty, which is the greatest poverty reduction feat in history, said United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last month in a message conveying his best wishes on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Former UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces said China’s poverty reduction work provides an example ...

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Taliban meet US peace envoy for first time since ‘dead’ deal

Taliban

MNA International Desk: The Taliban met with a US envoy in the Pakistani capital, a Taliban official said Saturday, the first such encounter since President Donald Trump announced a month ago that a seemingly imminent peace deal to end Afghanistan’s 18-year war was dead. The official offered few details of Friday’s meeting between peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the movement that was ousted in 2001 by the US-led coalition. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the news media. US ...

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EU official says Johnson’s Brexit offer ‘can’t fly’

Brexit

MNA International Desk: Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s last ditch Brexit proposal “can’t fly” because it an unworkable move backwards that leaves Britain and the European Union far apart, a senior European Union official said on Thursday. Just 28 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU, both sides are positioning themselves for a delay or else a disorderly no-deal Brexit. Johnson says he wants a deal but insists there can be no delay to Brexit beyond October 31. The cool reception from Brussels to Johnson’s proposal indicates just how far apart the two sides are on the ...

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Britain expresses ‘regret’ for killing Maori 250 years ago

Maori

MNA International Desk: The British government on Wednesday expressed “regret” that British explorers killed some of the first indigenous Maori they met 250 years ago, but stopped short of issuing a full apology. British High Commissioner Laura Clarke met with Maori tribal leaders in the town of Gisborne in New Zealand marking the anniversary of Captain James Cook and the crew of his ship Endeavour arriving in 1769. Clarke’s words held historic significance but fell short of the full apology that some had sought from the British royal family. Soon after Cook and his crew arrived, the sailors feared they ...

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China celebrates 70th founding anniversary today

China

MNA International Desk: China is holding a grand celebration, followed by a military parade and mass pageantry at Tian’anmen Square in Beijing today (Tuesday) on its National Day, marking the 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). More than 100,000 people will take part in a mass parade to show the PRC’s unity and strength. The parade will include people from all walks of life and all ethnic groups, like – workers, farmers, teachers, students, doctors, civil servants, and square dance lovers, representing different aspects of society. “The mass pageantry and military parade will last for about ...

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Former French president Jacques Chirac dies at 86

Jacques Chirac

MNA International Desk: Jacques Chirac, the former French president whose later years were blighted by corruption scandals, has died aged 86. Mr Chirac served two terms as French president and took his country into the single European currency, reports BBC. One of his major political reforms was to cut the presidential term of office from seven to five years. He was seen as the focus of opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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US urges Myanmar to create conditions for safe Rohingya repatriation

Rohingya

MNA International Desk: The United States has urged Myanmar to create the conditions that would allow for “voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable” returns of the Rohingya, based on the informed consent of those who have been forcibly displaced. The US also encouraged the government of Myanmar to work with the government of Bangladesh to facilitate the use of the Burmese curriculum to teach Rohingyas in Bangladesh. This will help facilitate the reintegration of Rohingya youth who choose to return to Myanmar, according to US Department of State. The US made the fresh call while announcing more than $127 million in ...

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Time for Iran to take steps to reduce tensions: Macron

Iran

MNA International Desk: The path to reduce tensions in the region has become smaller and the moment has come for Iran to help defuse the crisis, France’s president told his Iranian counterpart on Monday, his office said in a statement. Emmanuel Macron and Hassan Rouhani talked for more than 90 minutes shortly after Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel laid the blame for a Sept 14 attack on Saudi oil facilities squarely on Iran. “The president said that in the current situation, the path of de-escalation was narrow, but more necessary than ever, and that ...

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Open your eyes: UN envoy to Suu Kyi

Suu Kyi

MNA International Desk: A UN human rights expert has implored Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to ‘feel with her heart before it is too late’, saying that even if Rohingyas wished to return they have little to go back to. Yanghee Lee, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, told the Human Rights Council on Tuesday the situation in Myanmar was of extreme concern, and was not what she and others had hoped to see nearly four years after the election of the National League for Democracy. “I’d like to ask the State Counsellor ...

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Colombia plane crash kills seven

Colombia

MNA International Desk: A small plane crashed near the southwestern Colombian city of Popayan on Sunday (local time), killing seven of the nine passengers aboard, the city’s mayor and the country’s civil aviation authority said. The incident occurred just a few minutes after the aircraft, owned by a small local company, took off from the airport in Popayan, a city of about 270,000 surrounded by mountains. The other two passengers were injured and were being treated at a hospital, Popayan Mayor Cesar Gomez said. Photographs on social media showed parts of the airplane scattered atop houses in the area. Gomez ...

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Aerospace, nuclear deal likely between China, Russia

Russia

MNA International Desk: China and Russia are expected to reach a number of deals when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits Russia next week, Gao Feng, spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Thursday. Gao said the deals will include trade, investment, digital economy, agriculture, technology, aerospace and nuclear energy. “The trade cooperation of the two countries is speeding up, and continues to strive for high-quality development,” Gao said. Li will visit Russia from Monday to Thursday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced earlier, and it is widely believed that his visit will further strengthen and broaden the China-Russia strategic ...

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Brexit: MPs willing to go to court to enforce delay

Brexit

MNA International Desk: British MPs, including Tories expelled from the party, are preparing legal action in case the PM refuses to seek a delay to Brexit. A bill requiring Boris Johnson to ask for an extension to the UK’s departure date to avoid a no-deal Brexit on 31 October is set to gain royal assent. But the PM has said he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than ask for a delay. Now MPs have lined up a legal team and are willing to go to court to enforce the legislation, if necessary. The cross-party bill – which requires ...

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Pakistan would not use nuclear weapons first: Imran Khan

Pakistan

MNA International Desk: Pakistan would not use nuclear weapons first, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday, amid tensions with arch-rival India after New Delhi revoked the special status of its part of the disputed Kashmir region. “We both are nuclear-armed countries. If these tensions increase, the world could be in danger,” Khan said, addressing members of the Sikh religious community in the eastern city of Lahore. “There will be no first from our side ever,” he said. The foreign ministry’s spokesman subsequently said on Twitter that the comments were being taken out of context and did not represent a ...

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Myanmar army says it will punish soldiers in Rohingya atrocities probe

army

MNA International Desk: Myanmar’s army will court-martial soldiers after a new finding in an inquiry into atrocities in Rakhine state, from which more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled a 2017 army-led campaign the United Nations says was executed with “genocidal intent”. On Saturday, the website of Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing said a military court that visited the northern state found soldiers had shown “weakness in following instructions in some incidents” at a village said to have been a Rohingya massacre site. In 2018, the Associated Press news agency reported the existence of at least five graves of Rohingya in the ...

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Queen approves Boris Johnson’s request to suspend parliament

Boris

MNA International Desk: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has approved an order from the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to suspend country’s parliament from the second week in September until 14 October – just 17 days before the scheduled date of Brexit on Halloween. Approval was given at a session of the Privy Council in Balmoral on Wednesday despite letters from opposition leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson requesting urgent meetings with the Queen to urge her to withhold it, reports independent.co.uk. However, opponents of a no-deal Brexit have accused Boris Johnson of a “coup” against parliament, after it was announced that ...

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Macron delivers breakthrough on Iran at tense G7 summit, but little else

Macron

MNA International Desk: French President Emmanuel Macron paved the way at a G7 summit for a diplomatic solution to the standoff between Washington and Tehran over a 2015 nuclear deal, but there was little else to show from a meeting at which allies were sharply divided. Macron, host of the summit of seven industrialised nations that ended on Monday in the French seaside resort of Biarritz, said that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had told him he was open to a meeting with US President Donald Trump. Trump told a news conference before heading home that it was realistic to envisage ...

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Trump moves to ease tensions over China, Iran

Trump

MNA International Desk: US President Donald Trump on Monday offered an olive branch to China after days of intense feuding over trade and opened the door to diplomacy on Iran, easing tension on the last day of a strained G7 summit. The leaders of the world’s major industrialized nations, meeting in the French coastal resort of Biarritz, look set to reach an agreement on how to help fight the Amazon forest fires and try to repair the devastation. While they are not expected to leave with a more comprehensive set of agreements or even a joint communique, Trump and his ...

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