Widodo comfortably ahead in early results of Indonesia polls


MNA International Desk: Early results from Indonesia’s election on Wednesday showed President Joko Widodo with a comfortable lead, in line with opinion polls that had predicted the low-key reformist was heading for a second five-year term. Private pollsters data based on a partial count of samples from polling stations showed that Widodo was winning more than half of the vote and his challenger, former general Prabowo Subianto, was more than 10 percentage points behind him. One of the pollsters, the Jakarta-based CSIS, showed Widodo with 56.7 percent and Prabowo at 43.3 percent, after just over half of the votes were ...

Read More »

Sudan President al-Bashir steps down


MNA International Desk: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was forced to step down by the military on Thursday, after three decades of autocratic power, and moves were under way to form a transitional council to run the country, Sudanese sources said. Government sources and the minister of production and economic resources in North Darfur, Adel Mahjoub Hussein, told Dubai-based al-Hadath TV that Bashir had stepped down and consultations were taking place to form a ruling military council, reports Reuters. Sudanese sources told Reuters Bashir, 75, was deposed by the army and was at the presidential residence under “heavy guard”. The military ...

Read More »

Malpass ne World Bank president


MNA International Desk: David Malpass, US President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the World Bank, won unanimous approval from the institution’s executive board on Friday, continuing the 73-year tradition of an American running the world’s largest development lender. The bank said that Malpass, the US Treasury’s undersecretary for international affairs, will start his new role on Tuesday as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings get underway. Malpass, a former Bear Stearns and Co chief economist who advised Trump’s 2016 election campaign, was the sole candidate. Previous World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, who left in January to ...

Read More »

Christchurch mosque attacker to face 50 murder charges: Police


MNA International Desk: The Australian man arrested over New Zealand’s mosques shooting massacre will face a total of 50 murder charges and 39 attempted murder charges when he appears in court on Friday, police said. Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with one murder the day after the attack on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15 and was remanded without a plea. Fifty people were killed and dozens wounded as they attended Friday prayers by a lone gunman armed with semi-automatic weapons. The gunman broadcast his attack live on Facebook. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the ...

Read More »

Comedian Zelenskiy leads Ukraine polls


MNA International Desk: A comedian who’s never held political office tops the public opinion polls ahead of Ukraine’s presidential election, but even he appears to be falling far short of enough support to win in the first round. Ukrainians on Sunday will choose from among 39 candidates for a president they hope can guide the country of 42 million out of troubles including endemic corruption, a seemingly intractable war with Russia-backed separatists in the country’s east and a struggling economy. President Petro Poroshenko is seeking another term, but a poll released Friday by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology showed ...

Read More »

US Golan Heights decision “forerunner” for Israel-Palestine peace plan: Russia

Golan Heights

MNA International Desk: Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the U.S. decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights may come as a forerunner of Washington’s “Deal of the Century” on the Israel-Palestine issue. “We are only beginning to get the reaction of the European Union that is somewhat shocked by what their NATO partners are doing with international law and directly in the region, as we have not yet started discussing the main surprise, ‘the Deal of the Century’ that Washington promises. Maybe this is a forerunner of the surprise in store for all of us,” ...

Read More »

NZ orders top-level inquiry into Christchurch mosque massacres


MNA International Desk: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday ordered an independent judicial inquiry into whether police and intelligence services could have prevented the Christchurch mosque attacks on March 15. Ardern said a royal commission — the most powerful judicial probe available under New Zealand law — was needed to find out how a single gunman was able to kill 50 people in an attack that shocked the world. “It is important that no stone is left unturned to get to how this act of terrorism occurred and how we could have stopped it,” she told reporters. New ...

Read More »

US Senate votes to end supporting Saudi-led Yemen war


MNA International Desk: The US Republican-led Senate has approved a bill to end US support for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition war in Yemen. The bipartisan vote was 54 to 46, and is a rebuke to US President Donald Trump’s support of Saudi Arabia and its leader despite recent tensions. Trump has vowed to veto the resolution should it pass through the Democrat-led House, reports BBC. The war in Yemen started in 2015 and has left thousands of Yemenis dead and millions more starving. The US sells weapons used by the Saudis and its military provides logistical and intelligence support to ...

Read More »

US to mandate Boeing 737 MAX 8 design changes


MNA International Desk: The United States will mandate that Boeing Co implement design changes by April that have been in the works for months for the 737 MAX 8 fleet after a fatal crash in October but said the plane was airworthy and did not need to be grounded after a second crash on Sunday. An Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 bound for Nairobi crashed minutes after take-off on Sunday, killing all 157 aboard and raising questions about the safety of the new variant of the industry workhorse, one of which also crashed in Indonesia in October, killing 189 people. ...

Read More »

DPRK preparing missile launch: BBC


MNA International Desk: Satellite images of a facility near Pyongyang suggest that North Korea may be preparing to launch a missile or a satellite. The increase in activity is around a site known as Sanumdong, where North Korea assembled most of its ballistic missiles and rockets, reports BBC. It comes after reports earlier this week that North Korea’s main rocket launch site at Sohae had been rebuilt. Work to dismantle Sohae began last year but stopped as US talks stalled. On Friday US President Donald Trump said he would be disappointed if North Korea was to resume weapons testing. “I ...

Read More »

US senators criticizes Saudi crown prince for going rogue

crown prince

MNA International Desk: Retired General John Abizaid, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Saudi Arabia, defended the US-Saudi relationship on Wednesday as lawmakers accused the kingdom of a litany of misdeeds and criticised its crown prince as going “full gangster.” Senators at Abizaid’s confirmation hearing including Trump’s fellow Republicans as well as Democrats condemned the kingdom’s conduct in the civil war in Yemen, heavy-handed diplomacy and rights abuses. Among those were the torturing of women’s activists and a US citizen and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Abizaid called for accountability for the murder of Khashoggi, a ...

Read More »

Pakistan arrests key suspects of Kashmir attack


MNA International Desk: Pakistan authorities have arrested dozens of suspects, including brother of the leader of the outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammad group, that India has blamed for the February 14 suicide bombing in Indian Kashmir, said Interior Ministry. The attack killed at least 40 troops. That bombing last month triggered a dangerous escalation that last week pushed Pakistan and India close to an all-out war over Kashmir. In Tuesday’s statement, the ministry says 44 suspects were arrested, including prominent members of the outlawed militant group. Among those arrested was Mufti Abdul Rauf, the brother of the group’s leader, Masood Azhar, reports AP. ...

Read More »

Trump plans to end India’s preferential trade facility


MNA International Desk: US President Donald Trump said on Monday he intends to end India’s preferential trade treatment under a programme that allows $5.6 billion worth of Indian exports to enter the United States duty free, reports Reuters. Trump, who has vowed to reduce US trade deficits, has repeatedly called out India for its high tariffs. “I am taking this step because, after intensive engagement between the United States and the Government of India, I have determined that India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India,” Trump said ...

Read More »

Washington wants to know if Pakistan used F-16


MNA International Desk: The United States said on Sunday it was trying to find out if Pakistan used US-built F-16 jets to down an Indian warplane, potentially in violation of US agreements, as the stand-off between the nuclear-armed Asian neighbors appeared to be easing. Pakistan and India both carried out aerial bombing missions this week, including a clash on Wednesday that saw an Indian pilot shot down over the disputed region of Kashmir in an incident that alarmed global powers and sparked fears of a war. A Pakistan military spokesman on Wednesday denied Indian claims that Pakistan used F-16 jets. ...

Read More »

China welcomes delay on US tariff increase


MNA International Desk: China said on Saturday that it welcomed the release of language from the United State Trade Representative’s office (USTR) delaying a scheduled hike in US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. In a statement posted on the website of the Ministry of Commerce, citing an unidentified official at China’s State Council Tariff Commission, China said that it was aware of the USTR’s announcement to maintain tariffs at 10 percent until further notice, and welcomed the step. The USTR released language to delay a scheduled hike in tariffs on Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 ...

Read More »

Trump, Kim starts their second summit


MNA International Desk: US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Hanoi on Wednesday for their second summit, with the US president rejecting any suggestion he was walking back on US demands for North Korea’s denuclearisation. Kim and Trump shook hands and smiled briefly in front of a row of their countries’ flags at the Metropole hotel in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, reports Reuters. Trump told reporters he thought the talks would be very successful, and asked if he was “walking back” on denuclearisation, said “no”. At their historic first summit in Singapore last June, ...

Read More »

Trump & Kim reach Vietnam for their second summit


MNA International Desk: US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un both reached Vietnam on Tuesday, the eve of their second summit at which they will tackle how to implement a North Korean pledge to give up its nuclear weapons. Trump flew into the capital Hanoi on Air Force One, touching down just before 9 p.m. (1400 GMT), reports Reuters. Kim arrived by train early in the day after a three-day, 3,000 km (1,850 mile) journey from his capital, Pyongyang, through China. He completed the last stretch from a border station to Hanoi by car. The two ...

Read More »

Trump delays tariff hike on Chinese products


MNA International Desk: President Donald Trump has said he would delay an increase in US tariffs on Chinese goods thanks to “productive” trade talks and that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet to seal a deal if progress continued. Sunday’s announcement was the clearest sign yet that China and the United States are closing in on a deal to end a months-long trade war that has slowed global growth and disrupted markets. Trump had planned to raise tariffs to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports into the United States if ...

Read More »

Assam liquor death toll rises to 150


MNA International Desk: At least 150 people have died and about 200 people have been hospitalized after drinking tainted liquor in two separate incidents in India’s remote northeast, authorities said Sunday. The victims of one of the most deadly bootleg liquor-related incidents in India were mostly tea plantation workers in Golaghat and Jorhat districts in Assam state, said Himanta Biswa Sharma, the state’s health minister, reports AP. Assam is India’s largest tea-producing state, with more than 1,000 plantations producing more than 50 percent of Indian tea. The workers consumed the tainted liquor laced with methyl alcohol, a chemical that attacks ...

Read More »

UN Sec Gen Guterres mourns deaths in Chawkbazar fire


MNA International Desk: United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed deep shock at the loss of lives in the deadly fire that broke out in Chawkbazar area of Old Dhaka. “I would like to express my condolences to you, and to the Government and people of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, for the loss of life and destruction caused by the devastating fire in the Chawkbazar area of Dhaka on February 20,” Guterres said in a message sent to President Abdul Hamid on Saturday. The condolence message was sent to Abdul Hamid through the Bangladesh Mission to the ...

Read More »

Saudi Crown Prince eyes on ‘good things’ from India tour

Crown Prince

MNA International Desk: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a warm welcome in India Wednesday, with Riyadh eager to demonstrate it is not an international pariah after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October. The killing of Khashoggi, a fierce critic of the prince, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul tarnished the image of the kingdom and the prince, who is staging a high-profile Asian tour to demonstrate he still has allies. Prince Mohammed predicted “good things” will come out of talks with Indian leaders as he started a landmark visit to the world’s largest democracy Wednesday, ...

Read More »

16 states sue Trump over border wall emergency


MNA International Desk: Sixteen US states sued President Donald Trump’s administration Monday over his decision to declare a national emergency to fund a wall on the southern border with Mexico, saying the move violated the constitution. The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California, said the president’s order was contrary to the Presentment Clause that outlines legislative procedures and the Appropriations Clause, which defines Congress as the final arbiter of public funds. The move had been previously announced by Xavier Becerra the attorney general of California who said his state and others had legal standing because they risked losing ...

Read More »

Kashmir tensions hike, 7 killed in fighting


MNA International Desk: Four Indian soldiers, two suspected militants and a civilian were killed in a gunbattle in disputed Kashmir on Monday, officials said, further escalating tensions in the restive region. Another soldier was wounded in the gun battle, which came after a local Kashmiri militant rammed an explosive-laden van into a paramilitary bus on Thursday, killing at least 40 soldiers in the worst attack against Indian government forces in Kashmir’s history. The fighting erupted early Monday after government forces surrounded a village in the southern Pulwama area on a tip that militants were hiding there, security officials said. As ...

Read More »

18 killed in deadliest attack on Indian security forces


MNA nternational Desk: At least 18 Indian security personnel were killed in a suicide attack on a convoy near the main city of Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir. Police told the BBC that a car filled with explosives rammed a bus carrying the officers to Srinagar, the capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, BBC reports. The Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammad has said it carried out the bombing. It is the deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir in two decades. The blast took place on the heavily guarded Srinagar-Jammu highway about 20km (12 miles) from Srinagar city. “It’s not yet clear how many ...

Read More »

Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ convicted in US

El Chapo

MNA International Desk: The world’s most infamous cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who rose from poverty in rural Mexico to amass billions of dollars, was found guilty in a US court on Tuesday of smuggling tons of drugs to the United States over a violent, colorful, decades-long career. Jurors in federal court in Brooklyn convicted Guzman, 61, head of the Sinaloa Cartel, on all 10 counts brought by US prosecutors. Richard Donoghue, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said he expected Guzman to receive life without parole when sentenced on June 25. “It is a ...

Read More »

US lawmakers reach probable deal to break government shutdown


MNA International Desk: US congressional negotiators on Monday reached a tentative deal to try to avert another partial government shutdown on Saturday, but congressional aides said it did not contain the $5.7 billion President Donald Trump wants for a border wall. “We reached an agreement in principle” on funding border security programs through Sept 30, Republican Senator Richard Shelby told reporters. “Our staffs are going to be working feverishly to put all the particulars together,” Shelby said. Neither he nor three other senior lawmakers flanking him provided any details of the tentative pact. But it was far from clear if ...

Read More »

BD’s assistance for military training, agriculture sought by CAR


MNA International Desk: Central African Republic (CAR) has sought Bangladesh’s cooperation, especially in the fields of military training and agriculture, according to a report on UNB. Central African Republic Defence Minister Marie-Noëlle Koyara sought the cooperation when a goodwill delegation from Bangladesh Army, led by Major General Mohammad Mashud Razzaq, paid a courtesy call on her at her office at Bangui on Friday. During the meeting, Koyara expressed her gratitude and satisfaction over the activities of Bangladesh contingents that have been performing responsibilities under the MINUSCA (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic) since October 2014. “Members of Bangladesh ...

Read More »
Scroll Up