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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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China condemns Modi’s visit to disputed region


MNA International Desk: China’s foreign ministry on Saturday condemned Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the disputed north-eastern border state of Arunachal Pradesh, saying it “resolutely opposes” activities by Indian leaders in the region. Modi’s visit was part of a series of public meetings in the region aimed at garnering support for his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of Indian elections due by May. Despite recent efforts to improve bilateral ties in both countries, disputes over the mountainous Indo-China border – which triggered a war in 1962 – and the region that China claims as southern Tibet have ...

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Trump may meet Kim in Vietnam


MNA International Desk: US president Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would hold his second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on 27-28 February, while giving himself credit for averting a major war on the Korean Peninsula. In his annual State of the Union address to Congress, Trump said much work remained to be done in the push for peace with North Korea, but cited the halt in its nuclear testing and no new missile launches in 15 months as proof of progress. “If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would ...

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Maduro warns White House to be ‘stained with blood’

White House

MNA International Desk: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has warned Donald Trump he will leave the White House “stained with blood” if he insists on pursuing what he called a “dirty” imperialist conspiracy to overthrow him. “Stop. Stop, Trump! Hold it right there! You are making mistakes that will leave your hands covered in blood and you will leave the presidency stained with blood,” Maduro warned during a combative interview with the Spanish journalist Jordi Évole. “Why would you want a repeat of Vietnam?” He also rejected European calls for elections, saying: “We don’t accept ultimatums from anyone. I refuse to ...

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Maduro seeks early parliament vote amid Venezuelans protest


MNA International Desk: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro proposed early parliamentary elections on Saturday, seeking to shore up his crumbling rule after a senior general defected to the opposition and tens of thousands thronged the streets in protest at his government. As domestic and international pressure on Maduro to step down mounts, a senior air force general disavowed him in a video that circulated earlier on Saturday, expressing his allegiance to parliament head and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido. The military’s support is crucial for Maduro, who is deeply unpopular, largely due to an unprecedented economic crisis that has prompted an ...

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Three women creates challenge for Modi in India’s election


MNA international Desk: Three powerful women politicians, each from a very different section of Indian society, may pose a big threat to the chances of Prime Minister Narendra Modi winning a second term in a general election due by May. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, part of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has ruled India for much of the time since its independence from the British in 1947, joined the struggle in January, when the opposition Congress party made her its face in the nation’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. Two other senior female politicians – the firebrand chief minister of West Bengal ...

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Unemployment hit 45-year high in 2017-18 in India


MNA International Desk: An official survey that has been withheld by the government shows India’s unemployment rate rose to a 45-year high during 2017-2018, the Business Standard newspaper reported on Thursday, delivering a blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi just months before what is expected to be a closely fought general election. The assessment by the National Sample Survey Office conducted between July 2017-June 2018, showed the unemployment rate stood at 6.1 percent, the highest since 1972-73, the newspaper reported. The report said that joblessness stood at 7.8 percent in urban areas compared with 5.3 parts in the countryside. The ...

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Suu Kyi’s party disputes with military over constitution


MNA International Desk: Myanmar’s ruling party clashed with military lawmakers on Tuesday as it proposed steps towards changing the constitution, its biggest challenge in nearly three years to the army’s power over politics as enshrined in the charter. Military members of parliament, clad in green uniforms, rose to their feet and stood in silence as parliament voted to approve the first stage of a proposal to form a committee on amending the constitution, reports Reuters. The proposal could foment tension between the army and Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), who have been at loggerheads over the ...

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Record number of tourists visit Thailand in 2018


MNA International Desk: Thailand saw a record 38.27 million tourists in 2018, up 7.5 per cent from the previous year, the Tourism Ministry said on Monday. The ministry expects the number of tourist visiting the country this year to increase by 7.5, reports Reuters. The country’s December tourist arrivals were 3.85 million, the tourism ministry said in a statement. For 2019, the ministry expects 41.1 million tourists to spend 2.21 trillion baht (53.15 billion pounds). The number of visitors from China – Thailand’s biggest source of tourist – is projected to rise 11 per cent to 11.69 million, it said. ...

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Supreme Court of Pakistan to review Asia Bibi’s blasphemy acquittal


MNA International Desk: Pakistan’s Supreme Court will on Tuesday begin a review of its own acquittal of a Christian woman charged with blasphemy, a verdict that sparked days of Islamist protests and threats and chaos across the country. Asia Bibi, who spent eight years on death row, has been in hiding since the Supreme Court freed her in October, with religious hardliners calling for her death and putting pressure on the government to prevent her from leaving the country. Most reviews of Supreme Court verdicts are dismissed immediately, but the politically sensitive nature of the case has added an extra ...

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Thousands protest on Australia Day


MNA International Desk: Tens of thousands of people rallied across Australia on Saturday calling for the abolition of the Jan 26 national holiday in protests showing a deep division over a festivity intended to celebrate the birth of modern Australia. While Australia Day marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the “First Fleet” of British ships at Sydney Cove, many indigenous Australians, who trace their lineage on the continent back 50,000 years, regard it as “Invasion Day”. “Today marks the start of colonization and the start of genocide and you name it,” said Jayden Riley, 17, who was marching ...

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Brazil dam collapse leaves 7 killed, 150 missing


MNA International Desk: At least seven people were killed and some 150 others missing when a dam collapsed at an iron-ore mine in southeast Brazil. Emergency teams rescued scores of trapped people by helicopter, officials say. The break caused a sea of muddy sludge to spread across rural areas of Brumadinho, in Minas Gerais state, burying buildings and vehicles, reports BBC. The accident comes just over three years since a dam burst in another town in Minas Gerais, killing 19 people. Many of the missing are workers who were having lunch in the dam’s cafeteria which was buried by the ...

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Malaysia named Sultan Abdullah new king


MNA International Desk: Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was named Malaysia’s new king on Thursday, replacing Sultan Muhammad V who abdicated unexpectedly after just two years on the throne, according to AP. Sultan Muhammad V, 49, resigned Jan. 6 as Malaysia’s 15th king, cutting short his five-year term in the first abdication in the nation’s history. No reason was given, but it came after he reportedly married a 25-year-old former Russian beauty queen in November. The keeper of the ruler’s seal, Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, said the Conference of Rulers elected Sultan Abdullah on Thursday under a unique rotating monarchy ...

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Four charged in anti-Muslim bomb plot in New York


MNA International Desk: Three men and a teenager have been arrested after planning to bomb a Muslim community in upstate New York, and investigators have recovered three homemade bombs and nearly two dozen guns, authorities said on Tuesday. The alleged plot was uncovered after a student at Odyssey Academy, a school in Greece, New York, showed a classmate a photograph of another student and said, “He looks like the next school shooter, doesn’t he?” Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan told reporters at a news conference. The remark was reported to school security, which along with local police interviewed both the ...

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Ethiopia pardons 13,000 accused of treason or terrorism


MNA International Desk: Ethiopia has pardoned more than 13,000 people in the past six months who had been charged with or convicted of treason or terrorism, state-affiliated media said on Tuesday. The previous government had said around 30,000 people including students, opposition leaders, journalists and bloggers were in detention following widespread protests that broke out in 2015. After the reformist Abiy Ahmed became prime minister in April and began defusing long-standing tension with neighbouring Eritrea, a six-month amnesty was introduced for those held under provisions of an anti-terrorism law that critics say has criminalised dissent. “A total of 13,200 people ...

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End ‘no-deal brinkmanship’: Corbyn tells May


MNA International Desk: Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, will reiterate on Monday his willingness to talk to Prime Minister Theresa May on ways to break the deadlock over Brexit but not while the government wastes money on “no-deal brinkmanship”. After seeing her deal to leave the European Union resoundingly defeated in parliament last week, May has opened talks with lawmakers from all parties to try to find a way to move forward with Brexit. She is due to return to parliament on Monday to outline her plans, but with just weeks before Britain is due to leave ...

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Trump offers ‘compromise’ to end govt shutdown


MNA International Desk: US President Donald Trump has set out new plans on his Mexican wall project to try to end a partial government shutdown lasting more than four weeks. One of his “compromises” was on so-called Dreamers – who entered the US illegally when young. He still wants $5.7bn (£4.5bn) to fund the wall. Democrats have refused to fund it and ahead of the speech had already rejected the expected concessions. The shutdown, the longest in history, has affected 800,000 federal workers. The president started by saying the US had a proud history of welcoming migrants, but that the ...

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Belarusian model claiming Trump info arrested in Moscow


MNA International Desk: A Belarusian model who claimed last year that she had evidence of Russian interference in the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president was arrested immediately upon her arrival in Moscow on Thursday following deportation from Thailand. Moscow police said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies that Anastasia Vashukevich was detained in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on charges of inducement to prostitution along with three people deported alongside her. Vashukevich, who has been in a Thai prison since February last year, was given a suspended sentenced on Tuesday and ordered to be deported after she pleaded ...

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Pompeo’s North Korea counterpart reaches Beijing


MNA International Desk: North Korea’s top envoy involved in talks with the United States arrived in Beijing on Thursday and is thought to be en route to Washington, South Korean news agency Yonhap said on Thursday. US and South Korean media previously quoted unidentified sources as saying US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean official Kim Yong Chol were expected to meet in the US capital on Friday to discuss a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Kim arrived at Beijing airport on Thursday on an Air Koryo flight from Pyongyang ...

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Canada hires guard for Saudi teen’s safety


MNA International Desk: Amid threats to the safety of Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed, who was granted asylum in Canada, the Toronto agency helping her has hired a security guard to ensure “she is never alone” as she starts a normal life, its executive director said on Tuesday. Mohammed, 18, made international headlines after she barricaded herself in an airport hotel room in Thailand’s capital Bangkok to avoid being sent home to her family due to fears of being harmed or killed. The family denies any abuse. The teen has received multiple threats online that have made her fear for her ...

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Thailand election to be postponed again


MNA International Desk: Thailand’s long-delayed general election to end military rule will have to be postponed from its February 24 date and will likely be held in March, two officials in the Election Commission said on Tuesday. The Election Commission of Thailand has not announced the postponement, but two senior election officials told Reuters it was impossible to hold the polls on Feb. 24, as announced last month. The military junta that has ruled for nearly five years had earlier suggested a one-month delay because of scheduling clashes with the coronation of the king in May. “The February 24 election ...

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Trump threatens Turkey with economic devastation


MNA International Desk: President Donald Trump threatened Turkey with economic devastation if it attacks a US-allied Kurdish militia in Syria, weakening the Turkish lira and prompting sharp criticism from Ankara on Monday. Relations between the two NATO allies have been strained over US backing for the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey views as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that is waging a decades-long insurgency on Turkish soil. A diplomatic crisis last year, when Trump imposed sanctions on two of President Tayyip Erdogan’s ministers and raised tariffs on Turkish metal exports, helped push the Turkish lira to a ...

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Italian ex-militant Battisti caught in Bolivia


MNA International Desk: Cesare Battisti, an Italian sought by Rome for four murders attributed to a far-left group in the 1970s, was in Bolivia and will be extradited to Brazil and then likely to Italy, a senior aide to Brazil’s new president said Sunday. Italy has repeatedly sought the extradition of Battisti, who has lived in Brazil for years under the protection of former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), now in prison for corruption. “Italian terrorist Cesare Battisti was detained in Bolivia (Saturday night) and will be soon brought to Brazil, from where he will probably be ...

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Saudi teenager Rahaf got asylum in Canada

MNA International Desk: Canada has granted asylum to an 18-year-old Saudi woman, Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, who fled her family saying she feared for her life and Thai officials confirmed that the teen was en route to Toronto. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had asked Canada to take in Rahaf, reports Reuters. The teen grabbed international attention this week after she barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room in Thailand to resist being sent home to her family, which denies any abuse. “Canada is a country that understands how ...

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