International

End ‘no-deal brinkmanship’: Corbyn tells May

Corbyn

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

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

model

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

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

Saudi

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

postponed

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

Turkey

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

Battisti

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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Donald Trump storms out of talks on shutdown

Trump

MNA International Desk: US President Donald Trump stormed out of talks with Democratic congressional leaders on Wednesday over funding for a border wall with Mexico and reopening the government, complaining the meeting at the White House was “a total waste of time.” On the 19th day of a partial government shutdown caused by the dispute over the wall, a short meeting that included Trump, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer ended in acrimony with no sign of a resolution. “Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time,” Trump wrote ...

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UN refers Saudi teen to Australia for refuge

Australia

MNA International Desk: The United Nations has asked Australia to consider refugee resettlement for an 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled to Thailand saying she feared her family would kill her, the Australian government said on Wednesday. The teenager, Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, arrived in Bangkok on the weekend appealing for asylum. Australia said it would consider resettling her if the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) deemed her a refugee. “The UNHCR has referred Ms Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun to Australia for consideration for refugee resettlement,” Australia’s Department of Homeland Security said in an email. The department said it would consider the ...

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Kim visits China posing alarm to US talks

Kim

MNA International Desk: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is visiting China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, only days after warning he may take an alternative path if the United States does not ease sanctions and pressure on his isolated country. The visit, confirmed by North Korean and Chinese state media, will likely lead to Kim’s fourth summit with Xi in the last year and comes amid plans for a second summit with Trump aimed at denuclearising the Korean peninsula. Kim held three summits last year with Xi, his most important ally, before and after summits with ...

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WB President Kim resigns unexpectedly

President

MNA Editorial Desk: World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim unexpectedly resigned on Monday, more than three years before his term ends in 2022, amid differences with the Trump administration over climate change and the need for more development resources. Kim, appointed twice by former US President Barack Obama for five-year terms, had pushed financing for green energy projects and largely dropped support for coal power investments, but had avoided public clashes with the Trump administration, which has made reviving the US coal sector a priority. Just last month, the World Bank announced it would double its investments to fight ...

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Top Venezuelan Supreme Court judge flees to US

Supreme

MNA International Desk: Former Venezuelan Supreme Court Justice Christian Zerpa has fled to the United States to protest President Nicolas Maduro’s second term that will begin with his inauguration this week, the onetime Maduro backer told a Miami broadcaster on Sunday. The latest defection from the crisis-stricken OPEC nation’s government comes amid growing international pressure on Maduro over his new term, which resulted from a broadly boycotted 2018 vote dismissed by countries around the world as a sham. “I’ve decided to leave Venezuela to disavow the government of Nicolas Maduro,” Zerpa said in an interview with EVTV, which is broadcast ...

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France’s ‘yellow vest’ protesters return to streets

Paris

MNA International Desk: Rioters in Paris torched motorbikes and set barricades ablaze on the upmarket Boulevard Saint Germain on Saturday, as protests against high living costs and the perceived indifference of President Emmanuel Macron turned violent on the fringes. The latest “yellow vest” marches began peacefully but degenerated in the afternoon as protesters threw missiles at riot police blocking bridges over the Seine. Officers fired tear gas to prevent protesters crossing the river and reaching the National Assembly. One riverboat restaurant was set ablaze and a policeman was wounded when he was hit by a bicycle hurled from a street ...

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One killed after women enter India temple

enter

MNA International Desk: One person was killed and at least 15 injured in violence across southern India’s Kerala state which broke out after two women defied traditionalists to enter one of Hinduism’s holiest temples, police said Thursday. Clashes were reported across the state after the two women activists, escorted by police, entered the Sabarimala temple in a surprise pre-dawn operation on Wednesday. The Supreme Court in September overturned a decades-old ban on women of menstruating age—deemed as those between 10 and 50 — setting foot inside the gold-plated Sabarimala temple. Several women activists have made unsuccessful attempts to reach the ...

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Landslides kill at least 15 in Indonesia

landslides

MNA International Desk: Indonesian rescue teams were searching for victims of a series of landslides that killed at least 15 people on New Year’s Day, officials said, after a year of natural disasters killed thousands. At least 20 people were missing after landslides during heavy rain buried 30 houses in Sukabumi regency, West Java.  “Loose soil is a danger to rescue teams that are working in the field,” said disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.  Heavy rain had forced rescuers to suspend the search on Tuesday.  Indonesia is a disaster-prone archipelago that in 2018 suffered its deadliest year in ...

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Dazzling Sydney kicks off global 2019 celebration

Sydney

MNA International Desk: Australia’s largest city Sydney put on its biggest-ever fireworks display in a spectacular welcome to the New Year, kicking off a wave of celebrations for billions around the world. A record amount of pyrotechnics as well as new fireworks effects and colours lit up the city’s skyline for 12 minutes and dazzled the more than 1.5 million spectators who packed the harbour front and parks. An earlier thunderstorm did not dampen the spirits of revellers who camped out at vantage points, some since the early hours of the morning. To mark the international year of indigenous languages ...

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Earthquake of 6.9 strikes off Philippines

MNA International Desk: An earthquake of 6.9 magnitude struck off the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Saturday and hazardous tsunami waves were possible on parts of the coasts of the Philippines and Indonesia, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, from the earthquake, which the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said struck 193 km (120 miles) east of the Philippine city of General Santos, at a depth of 60 km (37 miles). “Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within 300 km (186 miles) of the epicentre along the coasts of ...

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Russia to host tri-nation summit on Syria

Syrian

MNA International Desk: Russia said Friday it will host a three-way summit with Turkey and Iran on the Syrian conflict early next year, after foreign minister Sergei Lavrov voiced scepticism about an announced withdrawal of US forces. “It’s our turn to host the summit… around the first week of the year. This will depend on the schedules of the presidents” of the three countries, deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov was cited as saying by news agency. The last meeting between Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Iran’s Hassan Rouhani and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan took place in Iran in September. Lavrov refused to ...

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Trump makes surprise visit to US troops in Iraq

US troops

MNA International Desk: President Donald Trump made a surprise Christmas visit to US troops in Iraq on Wednesday, his first trip to a conflict zone nearly two years into his presidency and days after announcing a pullout of American troops from neighbouring Syria. Trump was looking for some positive headlines after several days of turmoil over his decisions to withdraw the 2,000 US troops in Syria, pull out half of the 14,000-strong contingent in Afghanistan, and push out Defence Secretary James Mattis two months earlier than planned for criticising his policies. Accompanied by first lady Melania Trump and speaking at ...

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IS claims Tripoli suicide attack

Tripoli

MNA International Desk: Suicide attackers stormed the Libyan foreign ministry in the capital Tripoli on Tuesday, killing at least three people including a senior civil servant in an attack claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group, reported news agency. Twenty-one other people were wounded in the attack, authorities said. A car bomb exploded near the ministry, prompting security forces to rush to the scene, said special forces spokesman Tarak al-Dawass. A suicide bomber then blew himself up on the second floor of the building while a second attacker died when a suitcase he was carrying exploded, he said. A third ...

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Death toll from Indonesia tsunami rises to 281

death toll

MNA International Desk: The death toll from an Indonesian tsunami has risen past 280 with more than 1,000 people injured. The tsunami struck Sunda Strait coastal areas along western Java and southern Sumatra islands without warning in the darkness Saturday night. A disaster agency spokesperson, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said 281 people were killed and 1,016 others injured. Fifty-seven people were missing but that number was expected to rise. The waves that swept terrified people into the sea followed an eruption and possible landslide on Anak Krakatau, one of the world’s most infamous volcanic islands. Dramatic video posted on social media ...

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Indonesia Tsunami: Death toll rises to 168

Indonesian

MNA International Desk: A tsunami killed at least 168 people and injured hundreds on the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra following an underwater landslide believed caused by the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano, officials and media said on Sunday, reported news agency. Hundreds of homes and other buildings were “heavily damaged” in the tsunami which struck along the rim of the Sunda Strait. Authorities warned residents and tourists in coastal areas around the Sunda Strait to stay away from beaches and a high-tide warning remained in place through till Dec. 25. On Dec. 26 in 2004, an Indian Ocean tsunami ...

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Nepal bus crash claims 23 lives

nepal

MNA International Desk: Twenty three people were killed and 14 other injured in a road accident in western Nepal when a bus carrying school students and teachers back from a botanical field trip plunged into a gorge. The students were aged mostly between 16 and 20. Two teachers and the driver also died in the accident early evening on Friday in a remote area. The vehicle was carrying 37 people, with 22 killed at the scene and another in a nearby hospital. Fourteen people were treated for injuries, reported news agency. Road accidents are relatively common in Nepal because of ...

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‘Thousands’ of EU diplomatic cables hacked

diplomatic cables

MNA International Desk: The EU announced an urgent investigation Wednesday after hackers with possible links to China accessed thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables. In the latest embarrassing data breach to hit a major international organisation, the New York Times reported that hackers using similar techniques to the Chinese military gained entry to EU communications. The cables from European Union diplomatic missions around the world reveal anxiety about how to handle US president Donald Trump as well as concerns about the behaviour of China, Russia and Iran. The leak, discovered by cybersecurity firm Area 1, recalls the publication by Wikileaks of ...

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Trump to shut down charity accused of illegality

charity

MNA International Desk: US president Donald Trump has agreed to close down his personal charity, the Trump Foundation, the New York attorney general said Tuesday, accusing it of engaging in a “shocking pattern of illegality” to advance his political and business interests. The Trump Foundation would be dissolved and its remaining assets distributed to other charities under her supervision, attorney general Barbara Underwood said in a statement. Underwood said there had been a “shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation — including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and wilful self-dealing, and much more.” “This amounted to ...

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