International

Saudi threatens to retaliate against any sanctions

sanctions

MNA International Desk: Saudi Arabia rejected threats to punish it over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, saying the kingdom would retaliate against any sanctions with tougher measures, the official state news agency said. The comments came after US President Donald Trump threatened “severe punishment” for Riyadh if it turned out Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi authorities and a legal resident of the United States, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. “The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, ...

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UK-US considering to boycott Saudi conference

Khashoggi

MNA International Desk: Britain and the US are considering boycotting a major international conference in Saudi Arabia after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, reported news agency. Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, vanished on 2 October after visiting its consulate in Istanbul. The authorities in Istanbul believe he was murdered there by Saudi agents – claims Riyadh has dismissed as “lies”. Donald Trump has said he would “punish” Saudi Arabia if it was responsible. A number of sponsors and media groups have decided to pull out of this month’s investment conference in Riyadh, dubbed Davos in ...

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UN, Israel, Syria agree to reopen Golan crossing point

golan

MNA International Desk: The United States on Friday said the United Nations, Israel and Syria reached an agreement to reopen the Quneitra crossing in the Golan Heights on Monday. “The United States welcomes the re-opening of this crossing, which will allow UN peacekeepers to step up their efforts to prevent hostilities in the Golan Heights region,” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a statement. The UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), with about 1,000 troops, was established in 1974 and monitors a ceasefire line separating Israeli-occupied parts of the Golan Heights from Syria. UNDOF resumed its patrols in ...

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300,000 evacuated as Titli hits India

Cyclone Titli

MNA International Desk: Cyclone Titli made landfall near Gopalpur on India’s east coast, reported news agency. The Odisha state government evacuated more than 300,000 people from five coastal districts on Wednesday while local schools, colleges and childcare centres were ordered closed and fishermen advised not to go out to sea. There were no deaths reported but trees and electricity poles were uprooted, officials told PTI, with roads and makeshift mud-brick houses also damaged. The weather system was expected to curve to the northeast and weaken gradually, India’s weather bureau said.

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Nikki Haley quits as US Ambassador to UN

Nikki Haley

MNA International Desk: Nikki Haley, the first American of Indian descent to hold a cabinet-level position in the US, resigned as Ambassador to the UN on Tuesday and said that despite speculations she was not planning to run for President in 2020. Haley sent her resignation directly to President Donald Trump, who told reporters in the Oval Office that she would be leaving the post at the end of the year after doing ‘an incredible job’, reported news agency. Joined by the former South Carolina Governor in the Oval Office, Trump invited her to come back in a different role. ...

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Trump apologises to Kavanaugh, declares him ‘proven innocent’

Kavanaugh

MNA International Desk: US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sought to put a bruising confirmation battle behind him on Monday at a White House ceremony in which President Donald Trump declared him innocent of sexual misconduct and apologized for the heated process. Kavanaugh, whose bid to join the top US court nearly failed after a California professor accused him of assaulting her when they were in high school, said he would enter his new job without bitterness despite a political fight that he told lawmakers had destroyed his family and his name, reported news agency. ‘The Senate confirmation process was ...

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Interpol chief resigns after detention in China

Interpol

MNA International Desk: The Chinese head of Interpol resigned as Beijing announced Monday he was under investigation for allegedly breaking domestic law, while his wife voiced concern for his life following his disappearance. China had been tight-lipped about the fate of Meng Hongwei, who is also vice minister for public security, since French officials disclosed on Friday that he had been reported missing after leaving France for China last month. His case could tarnish Beijing’s efforts to gain leadership posts in international organisations, but it is also a black eye for France-based Interpol, which is tasked with finding missing people, ...

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Kavanaugh sworn into US SC after divisive fight

Kavanaugh

MNA International Desk: Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in Saturday as US Supreme Court justice following the closest Senate confirmation vote in more than a century, marking a major win for President Donald Trump’s drive to move the country’s political institutions to the right. The Senate voted 50-48 to approve Kavanaugh as protesters rallied across the country against a nominee who has been plagued by allegations of sexual misconduct as a young man and had questions raised over his candor and partisan rhetoric. The prolonged nomination battle has roiled American politics and passions — the vote was disrupted on several occasions ...

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Interpol chief Meng Hongwei disappears

Interpol

MNA International Desk: France has opened an investigation into the disappearance of Meng Hongwei, the Chinese head of the international police agency Interpol. His family have not heard from him since he left Interpol HQ in the French city of Lyon for a trip back to China on 25 September, officials said. “He did not disappear in France,” a source close to the inquiry told news agency. The South China Morning Post quotes a source as saying Mr Meng, 64, was “taken away” for questioning in China, reported news agency. It is not clear why he was being investigated by ...

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UN court orders US to ease Iran sanctions

sanctions

MNA International Desk: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday ordered the US to lift sanctions linked to humanitarian trade, food, medicine and civil aviation imposed against Iran — a move welcomed by Tehran. Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran after pulling out from the 2015 nuclear deal. Siding with Tehran, the ICJ said exports of “humanitarian” goods, such as food and medicines, should be allowed, the BBC reported. US President Donald Trump moved to restore tough sanctions on Iran in May after announcing he was abandoning Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. He said the deal had “failed to ...

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Fire at Kolkata Medical College, 250 patients evacuated

Medical College

MNA International Desk: A massive fire broke out at Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata on Wednesday morning, reported news agency. The fire is said to have started in the Department Of Pharmacy on the ground floor at around 8am. Ten fire engines and a team of Kolkata police officers have rushed to the spot and over 250 patients have been evacuated. According to eyewitnesses, many patients tried to jump out of the hospital windows to save themselves. Several patients with asthma and lung illnesses were rushed to other wards due to smoke, the Kolkata Police said. The oxygen cylinders ...

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Death toll from Indonesia’s quake, tsunami jumps to 1,234

tsunami

MNA International Desk: The confirmed death toll from an earthquake and tsunami on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island has risen to 1,234, from 844, the national disaster mitigation agency said on Tuesday. A 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Friday triggered tsunami waves as high as six metres (20 feet), which swept ashore at the small city of Palu, on the west coast of Sulawesi. Rescuers have yet to reach many affected areas leading to fears the death toll could rise again

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Indonesia readies mass graves as quake toll tops 800

mass graves

MNA International Desk: Mass graves were being readied Monday for hundreds of victims of an Indonesian quake-tsunami as authorities battled to stave off disease and reach desperate people still trapped under shattered buildings. With the death toll already at over 830 and expected to rise further on the devastated island of Sulawesi, there were growing questions about why an early tsunami-warning system had notbeen working for years. The strong 7.5-magnitude quake struck Friday, toppling buildings and sending walls of seawater crashing into Palu, a city of about 350,000. Exhausted survivors scoured make-shift morgues for loved ones, and authorities struggled to ...

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Indonesia searches for survivors after powerful quake, tsunami

tsunami

MNA International Desk: More than 400 people were confirmed killed, many swept away as tsunami waves triggered by a massive earthquake crashed into the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, and authorities expected the toll to rise sharply on Sunday as news arrives from remote areas. Dozens of people were reported to be still trapped in the rubble of a hotel and a mall in the city of Palu, which was hit by waves as high as six meters (20 feet) following the 7.5 magnitude earthquake. With the death toll so far from Palu alone and reports only slowly filtering in from ...

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Death toll rises to 384 in Indonesia after quake, tsunami

tsunami

MNA International Desk: The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi jumped to 384 on Saturday, authorities said, with many of those killed swept away by giant waves as they played on the beach. Strong aftershocks continued to rock the coastal city on Saturday morning after waves up to six metres (18 feet) high swept through the scenic tourist town on Friday, triggered by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake on land. Hundreds of people were preparing for a beach festival to celebrate Palu’s anniversary. The festival was due to start Friday night. Some people climbed ...

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India top court rules ‘adultery no longer a crime’

Adultery

MNA International Desk: Adultery is no longer a crime in India, said the Indian Supreme Court on Thursday. The court junked a 158-year law that punished a man for an affair but not the woman, treating her as her husband’s property, reported news agency. “The husband is not the master of the wife,” said five most senior Supreme Court judges in a constitution bench, unanimously sticking up for gender justice and calling out the Victorian adultery law — Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code — as arbitrary. The law punished a man who has an affair with a woman ...

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Trump, Rouhani exchange threats

Rouhani

MNA International Desk: US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani exchanged taunts at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday with Trump vowing more sanctions against Tehran and Rouhani suggesting his American counterpart suffers from a “weakness of intellect.” Trump used his annual address to the United Nations to attack Iran’s “corrupt dictatorship,” praise last year’s bogeyman North Korea and lay down a defiant message that he will reject globalism and protect American interests, reported news agency. But much of his 35-minute address was aimed squarely at Iran, which the United States accuses of harboring nuclear ambitions and ...

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US accuses Myanmar military of ‘planned and coordinated’ Rohingya atrocities

coordinated

MNA International Desk: A US government investigation has found that Myanmar’s military waged a “well-planned and coordinated” campaign of mass killings, gang rapes and other atrocities against the Southeast Asian nation’s Rohingya Muslim minority. The US State Department report, which was released on Monday, could be used to justify further US sanctions or other punitive measures against Myanmar authorities, reported news agency. But it stopped short of describing the crackdown as genocide or crimes against humanity, an issue that other US officials said was the subject of fierce internal debate that delayed the report’s rollout for nearly a month. The ...

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Maldives opposition leader wins presidential poll

Opposition leader

MNA International Desk: Opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won the Maldives’ presidential election, results showed Monday, a surprise defeat for president Abdulla Yameen following a campaign observers said was rigged in the strongman’s favour. Results released by the Elections Commission early Monday morning showed Solih had secured 58.3 per cent of the popular vote. Celebrations broke out across the tropical archipelago with opposition supporters carrying yellow flags of Solih’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and dancing on the streets. There was no response from Yameen after results were announced. Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Yameen ...

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Death toll from Tanzania ferry accident rises to 209

ferry

MNA International Desk: Tanzanian authorities said the death toll in the ferry that capsized in Lake Victoria on Thursday rose to 209 as more bodies were expected to be pulled off one of Africa’s great lakes. On Friday, Tanzanian President Magufuli announced a four-day mourning period for the victims of the ferry accident. According to sources, the ferry, with a capacity of 101 passengers and 25 tonnes of cargo, capsized at around 1 pm local time Thursday. Tanzanian President Magufuli also ordered the arrest of safety inspectors from the country’s transport regulator, the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority. Preliminary ...

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No rush over N Korea deal: Trump

rush

MNA International Desk: The United States President Donald Trump on Friday said that he won’t rush into any deal with North Korea, reported news agency. Trump tells a rally in Springfield, Missouri, that he received a “beautiful letter” two days ago from Kim. But he’s not saying what the letter said. The president and Kim met in June in Singapore to discuss denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, AP reports. Trump says he has a “very good” relationship with Kim. He notes that North Korea has returned Americans being held there, as well as remains of American service members who went missing ...

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U.S. seeks North Korea denuclearized by 2021

North Korea

MNA International Desk: The United States said it was ready to recommence discussion with North Korea after Pyongyang pledged on Wednesday to take to pieces its key missile facilities and suggested it would close its main Yongbyon nuclear complex if Washington took indeterminate actions. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had invited North Korea’s foreign minister to meet in New York next week, with the plan of completing its denuclearization by January 2021, after a Pyongyang summit between the leaders of the two Koreas. The United States appeared keen to seize on commitments by North Korean leader Kim ...

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Imran in Saudi Arabia on maiden foreign visit

foreign visit

MNA International Desk: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in his first foreign visit since he assumed the country’s top office last month. The two-day trip began exactly one month after Khan assumed office, with Pakistan possibly seeking billions of dollars in assistance from allies as it seeks to avert a balance-of-payments crisis. Khan, who was accompanied by Finance Minister Asad Umar and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, was set to meet Saudi King Salman in the western city of Jeddah, reported news agency. Former cricket great Khan and his cabinet face challenges including a ...

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South Korean leader arrives in Pyongyang for summit

Pyongyang

MNA International Desk: South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in Pyongyang Tuesday for his third summit this year with Kim Jong Un as he seeks to reboot stalled denuclearization talks between North Korea and the United States. Kim welcomed his visitor at Pyongyang’s international airport — where he supervised missile launches last year as tensions mounted — the two men embracing after Moon walked down the steps of his aircraft. Accompanied by their wives, they exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes ahead of a military welcome ceremony as hundreds of people lining the tarmac cheered, waving North Korean flags and ...

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Typhoon slams into China after killing 59 in Philippines

Typhoon

MNA International Desk: Typhoon Mangkhut slammed into mainland China late Sunday after leaving a trail of destruction in Hong Kong and Macau and killing at least 59 people in the northern Philippines, reported news agency. The world’s biggest storm this year felled trees and sent skyscrapers swaying in high-rise Hong Kong, injuring more than 200 people there before making landfall on the coast of Jiangmen city, in southern China’s Guangdong province. Provincial authorities said they evacuated a total of 2.37 million people and ordered tens of thousands of fishing boats back to port before the arrival of what Chinese media ...

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Philippine typhoon havoc claims 25 lives

typhoon

MNA International Desk: At least 25 people were killed as devastating Typhoon Mangkhut hit the Philippines, mostly the in mountainous areas, reported news agency. Landslides in the Cordillera region on the main island of Luzon left 20 people dead and four in nearby Nueva Vizcaya province, a presidential adviser said on Sunday. Another death resulted from a treefall in the province of Ilocos Sur, Francis Tolentino said by telephone. The tally reflected the situation at 9 a.m., said Tolentino, the main disaster response coordinator and an adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte, adding that reports from other areas of northern Luzon, ...

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Florence plows inland, leaving 5 dead

Florence

MNA International Desk: Five people were killed as hurricane Florence mauls the United States East Coast, knocking out power for hundreds of thousands of homes and downing trees. Though Florence’s shrieking winds diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, forecasters said the sheer size of the 350-mile-wide storm and its painfully slow progress across North and South Carolina in the coming days could leave much of the region under water. The dead included a mother and baby who were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina. The child’s injured father was taken to a ...

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