International

Indian SC says no stay on citizenship law for now

Citizenship

MNA International Desk: The Indian Supreme Court on Wednesday made it clear that it will not grant any stay on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) without hearing the Centre and said it may refer pleas challenging the validity of the Act to a larger Constitution bench. A Bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde is hearing a batch of 144 pleas challenging the validity of CAA, including those filed by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. Attorney General of India K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, told the Bench that the government has been given ...

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3 rockets fall inside Baghdad’s Green Zone

Green Zone

MNA International Desk: Three Katyusha rockets fell on Tuesday inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions, Iraqi police sources told Reuters. The three rockets were launched from Zafaraniyah district outside Baghdad, the sources said, adding that two rockets landed near the United States embassy Sirens could be heard across the zone immediately after the rockets made impact. The US has blamed Iran-backed paramilitary groups for a spate of similar attacks in recent months on the Green Zone, but there has never been a claim of responsibility. Tensions in Iraq have risen since the US assassinated Qassem ...

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World’s richest 2,000 people hold more than poorest 4.6 billion combined: Oxfam

richest

MNA International Desk: The world’s richest 2,153 people controlled more money than the poorest 4.6 billion combined in 2019, while unpaid or underpaid work by women and girls adds three times more to the global economy each year than the technology industry, Oxfam said on Monday. The Nairobi-headquartered charity said in a report released ahead of the annual World Economic Forum of political and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland, that women around the world work 12.5 billion hours combined each day without pay or recognition. In its “Time to Care” report, Oxfam said it estimated that unpaid care work by ...

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Vladimir Putin to attend Berlin Conference on Libya

Putin

MNA International Desk: Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed over the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday the Berlin Conference on Libya, which he plans to attend Sunday, the Kremlin said in a statement. According to the statement, the participants at the Berlin event are expected to exchange views on resolving the Libyan crisis, including on the speedy cessation of hostilities, the reconciliation of warring parties and the launch of a broad political dialogue under the auspices of the United Nations (UN). Key agreements will be recorded in the final document of the conference, reports Xinhua citing the statement. ...

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Three African nations reach preliminary deal in Nile dam dispute

preliminary

MNA International Desk: Officials from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan say they have reached a preliminary agreement aimed at clearing the way for the filling and operation of a $5 billion dam project on the Nile River. The foreign ministers and water resources officials of the three countries concluded three days of meetings in Washington Wednesday with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and World Bank President David Malpass. The project, called the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, is around 70 per cent complete and promises to provide much needed electricity for Ethiopia’s 70 million people. However, Egyptian officials are concerned that filing the ...

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Rabab Fatima elected president of UNICEF Executive Board

Rabab Fatima

MNA International Desk: Ambassador Rabab Fatima, Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative (PR) to the United Nations, has been unanimously elected president of the UNICEF Executive Board at elections held Tuesday at the UN Headquarters in New York. Serving alongside her as vice-presidents will be the PRs of Lithuania and Morocco, and DPRs of Brazil and Switzerland, according to a message from the Bangladesh Permanent Mission at the UN. With this election, Bangladesh will be able to contribute further to the work of the United Nations, this time in providing strategic guidance to its agency specialising in children’s causes. Bangladesh was earlier elected ...

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Would love to see a Bangladeshi immigrant as next Infosys CEO: Microsoft boss on CAA

Microsoft

MNA International Desk: Calling India’s controversial new citizenship law ‘sad’, Microsoft boss Satya Nadella said he would love to see a Bangladeshi immigrant succeed in the country’s technology industry. The India-born executive’s comments come amid ongoing, sometimes violent, protests against the law. The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has been criticised as it is seen as discriminating against Muslims. Speaking at a Microsoft event for editors in New York, Mr Nadella said: “I think what is happening is sad, primarily as sort of someone who grew up there… I think it’s just bad,” according to BuzzFeed. “I would love to see ...

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Canadian PM promises ‘justice’ at Iran plane vigil

Canadian

MNA International Desk: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he will seek “justice” for those killed on board a Ukrainian passenger plane downed by Iran. Mr Trudeau spoke in Edmonton, Alberta at a vigil for the 57 Canadians killed in the disaster. The PM promised to pursue answers from Iran, which admitted its military shot down the plane in error, killing all 176 people on board. Iran had previously rejected suggestions that it was to blame, reports the BBC. “This tragedy should have never occurred, and I want to assure you that you have my full support during this ...

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Iranian protesters demand for Khamenei to quit

Khamenei

MNA International Desk: A group of Iranian protesters demanded Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei step down on Saturday after Tehran said that its military had mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian plane, killing all 176 people on board. “Commander-in-chief (Khamenei) resign, resign,” videos posted on Twitter showed hundreds of people chanting, in front of Tehran’s Amir Kabir university. Reuters could not verify the authenticity of the video footage. Iran’s clerical rulers risk a legitimacy crisis as popular anger has boiled up at the way the state handled a passenger plane crash, which the military took three days to admit was ...

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Iran acknowledges accidentally downing Ukrainian jetliner

jetliner

MNA International Desk: Iran announced Saturday that its military “unintentionally” shot down the Ukrainian jetliner that crashed earlier this week, killing all 176 aboard, after the government had repeatedly denied Western accusations that it was responsible. The plane was shot down early Wednesday, hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on two military bases housing US troops in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in an American airstrike in Baghdad. No one was wounded in the attack on the bases. A military statement carried by state media said the plane was mistaken for a ...

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US, Iran both appear to signal desire to avoid further conflict

Iran

MNA International Desk: President Donald Trump on Wednesday tempered days of angry rhetoric and suggested Iran was “standing down” after it fired missiles at US forces in Iraq, as both sides looked to defuse a crisis over the US killing of an Iranian general. Trump said the United States did not necessarily have to hit back after Iran’s attack on military bases housing US troops in Iraq, itself an act of retaliation for the January 03 US strike that killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani. Trump said no Americans were hurt in the overnight attacks. The Pentagon said Iran had launched ...

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176 die as Ukrainian plane crashes after take-off in Iran

Ukrainian

MNA International Desk: A Ukrainian airliner crashed soon after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport in Iran on Wednesday, killing all 176 people aboard, the country’s state television and Ukraine’s leaders said. The Boeing 737 belonging to Ukraine International Airlines crashed near the airport and burst into flames. Ukraine’s embassy in Iran, citing preliminary information, said the plane had suffered engine failure and the crash was not caused by “terrorism”. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said there were no survivors, reports Reuters. “My sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of all passengers and crew,” Zelenskiy said in a statement, ...

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UAE offers five-year visa for tourists

UAE

MNA International Desk: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has unveiled multiple-entry five-year visa system for tourists for the first time. The country took the decision in the first meeting of its cabinet of the year on Monday with an aim to establish the UAE as a ‘major global tourism destination’. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the new visa system would allow tourists multiple entries into the country over five years. The decision is a part of the country’s wider plans to prepare the UAE for the ...

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Bushfire smoke from Australia covers sky of New Zealand’s Auckland

bushfires

MNA International Desk: The heavy smoke from devastating Australian bushfires cloaked Auckland, turning the city’s skyline into eerie orange colour on Sunday afternoon. New Zealand meteorology service MetService forecast that an upper level jet of westerly winds was driving the smoke across the Tasman Sea towards New Zealand. The smoke was expected to arrive Sunday evening and was likely to be largely gone by the morning. It is the second layer of smoke coming from the Australian bushfires, which is cloaking the North Island and upper parts of the South Island. Much of the South Island awoke to sepia skies ...

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British woman found guilty of lying about being gang raped

guilty

MNA International Desk: A Cyprus court on Monday found a British woman guilty of lying about being gang raped by Israeli youths six months ago. In a case closely followed by rights groups, a district court in the town of Paralimni ruled the woman, aged 19 at the time, had lied about being sexually abused by 12 Israeli teenagers. Sentencing was set for Jan. 7. The woman was arrested after police said she withdrew an accusation that the Israeli teenagers raped her in a hotel room at the holiday resort of Ayia Napa in mid-July. She had faced charges of ...

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Truck bomb blast in Somalia claims 76 lives

bomb

MNA International Desk: At least 76 people, including many students, were reportedly killed in a truck bomb explosion at a busy security checkpoint in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Saturday morning. It was one of the deadliest attacks in Mogadishu in recent memory, and witnesses said the force of the blast reminded them of the devastating 2017 bombing that killed hundreds. The death toll from the Saturday’s explosion could rise as scores of people were rushed to hospitals, Somalia government spokesman Ismail Mukhtar sad, reports The Associated Press (AP). Dr. Mohamed Yusuf, director of Madina hospital, said they had received 73 ...

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Cuba gets first prime minister in decades

Cuba

MNA International Desk: Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel has appointed the country’s first prime minister in more than 40 years – the tourism minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz. The post of prime minister was scrapped in 1976 by the then revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. It was reinstated under the rules of a new constitution for the communist-run island passed earlier this year. Mr Marrero, 56, will take on some of the responsibilities that currently fall to the president, reports BBC. “The head of government will be the administrative right hand of the president of the republic,” state-run online news outlet Cubadebate said. ...

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Hong Kong gears up for lunchtime rallies after weekend unrest

Hong Kong

MNA International Desk: Hong Kong protesters geared up for a week of lunchtime rallies on Monday, a day after a mass demonstration showed the anti-government movement can still draw people to the streets even after sweeping recent gains by democrats in district elections. After a rare lull in demonstrations following the polls, police on Sunday fired tear gas to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters as residents chanted “revolution of our time” and “liberate Hong Kong”. Protesters are planning two-hour rallies at lunchtime for the next five days in the Asian financial hub’s central business district, according to online posts. The ...

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Iraqi PM submits resignation amid mounting pressure

resignation

MNA International Desk: Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi submitted his resignation to parliament amid continuing anti-government protests in the capital Baghdad and in southern Iraq. The prime minister announced on Friday he would resign amid mounting pressure a day after more than 40 demonstrators were killed by security forces. The formal resignation came after an emergency cabinet session on Saturday, in which ministers approved the document and the resignation of key staffers, including Abdul Mahdi’s chief of staff, reports Al Jazeera. The Iraqi parliament is scheduled to meet today (Sunday) where legislators will vote on whether to accept Abdul ...

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London Bridge sealed off amid reports of gunfire

MNA International Desk: London Bridge has been cordoned off by police, with a BBC journalist reporting hearing gunfire. BBC reporter John McManus said he saw a group of men involved in a fight on the bridge. Police then arrived and shots were fired, he said. The Met Police confirmed that it was dealing with an incident at London Bridge and advised people near the scene to follow directions from officers on the ground. McManus told the BBC News channel: “Just a few minutes ago I was walking across London Bridge on the south bank to the north bank of the ...

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Ex-president of Maldives sentenced to five years in jail

Maldives

MNA International Desk: A criminal court of the Maldives found former president Abdulla Yameen guilty of money laundering on Thursday and sentenced him to five years in prison, the judge said. Yameen, who drew the Indian Ocean island country closer to China during his tenure, was accused of receiving $1.0 million of government money through a private company as part of a deal to lease a number of tropical islands for hotel development, reports Reuters. The court also slapped a fine of $5.0 million on Yameen, who is under arrest, Judge Ali Rasheed said. A lawyer for Yameen said he ...

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UN conference opens with call to make gender equality a reality

gender

MNA International Desk: Over 500 ministers, senior policymakers, UN officials and civil society from across Asia and the Pacific region on Wednesday gathered in Bangkok to chart out priority actions aiming to support accelerated progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment. The three-day Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on the Beijing+25 Review, jointly organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, will provide a platform for countries to explore policy options and innovative strategies, towards addressing barriers to gender equality and realising women’s rights for ...

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At least 18 people killed in Congo plane crash

Congo

MNA International Desk: Rescue workers pulled 18 bodies from the rubble after a plane crashed into a densely populated neighborhood in the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo shortly after take-off on Sunday. The aircraft, operated by local company Busy Bee, was en route to the city of Beni, about 250 km (155 miles) to the north, North Kivu Governor Carly Nzanzu Kasivita’s office said in a statement. An official from Busy Bee, who asked not to be named, said the 19-seater Dornier 228-200 crashed with 16 passengers and two crew on board. A Reuters witness at ...

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Malaysia arrests 680 suspected members of Chinese online fraud gang

fraud

MNA International Desk: Malaysian authorities have arrested 680 Chinese nationals suspected of operating an extensive online fraud operation cheating people in their homeland, officials said on Thursday. A team of 150 Immigration Department officers raided the suspects’ well-guarded headquarters in the town of Cyberjaya on Wednesday, the director general of the Immigration Department, Khairul Dzaimee Daud, said in a statement. About 100 suspects managed to escape, and some were hurt in the melee, Khairul said. The gang was believed to have operated from the premises for about six months, Reuters reports. “The modus operandi of this syndicate is to target ...

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Ex-defence chief Rajapaksa wins Sri Lanka presidency

chief

MNA International Desk: Sri Lanka’s former wartime defence chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa has won a presidential election that has split the country along ethnic lines. Official results showed Mr Rajapaksa took 52.25 per cent of the vote. His rival Sajith Premadasa had already conceded. Analysts say Mr Rajapaksa was the clear victor in Sinhalese majority areas while Mr Premadasa scored better in the Tamil-dominated north, reports BBC. The election is Sri Lanka’s first since a deadly terror attack in April. Militants linked to the Islamic State group targeted churches and high-end hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, killing more than ...

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Syria bomb attack kills 18

Syria

MNA International Desk: A car bomb exploded Saturday in a northern Syrian town controlled by Turkey-backed opposition fighters, killing at least 18 people and wounding several others, Syrian opposition activists and Turkey’s Defense Ministry said. Northern Syria has been hit by several explosions that have killed and wounded scores of people over the past month. That’s since Turkey began a military operation against Kurdish fighters in the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the bulk of American troops out of northern Syria. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 19 people, including 13 civilians, were killed ...

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Bolivian senator declares herself interim president

Jeanine Áñez

MNA International Desk: Bolivian opposition senator Jeanine Áñez has declared herself interim president of the South American country following Evo Morales’ resignation. Lawmakers from Mr Morales’ party boycotted the session, meaning there was no quorum for the appointment. But Ms Áñez said she was next in line under the constitution and vowed to hold elections soon. Mr Morales condemned the announcement, describing Ms Áñez as “a coup-mongering right-wing senator”. The former president has fled to Mexico, saying he asked for asylum there because his life was in danger. He resigned on Sunday after weeks of protests over a disputed presidential ...

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