International

100 girls missing after Boko Haram school attack

Boko Haram

MNA International Desk: More than 100 girls were missing on Wednesday, two days after a Boko Haram attack on their school in northeast Nigeria that has raised fears of a repeat of the 2014 Chibok kidnapping that shocked the world. Islamist militants stormed the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Dapchi, Yobe state, on Monday evening. Locals initially said the girls and their teachers fled. But fears have been growing about the whereabouts of the students, and one schoolgirl who escaped said it was likely they were taken by Boko Haram fighters. “We have every reason to suspect that they ...

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Israel, Iran Clash Over Nuclear Threat at Munich

nuclear

MNA International Desk: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed that Iran is just years away from having a nuclear bomb. Under pressure back home and facing possible corruption charges, Netanyahu took to the stage at the Munich Security Conference Sunday to deliver a warning about the security of the Middle East region, accusing Iran of posing an existential threat. “The nuclear agreement with Iran has brought the countdown, has begun the countdown to an Iranian nuclear arsenal in little more than a decade. And the sanctions relief that the deal provided has not moderated Iran. It’s not made them ...

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Plane crash kills 66 in Iran

plane

MNA International Desk: An Iranian commercial plane, carrying 66 passengers, crashed in a foggy, mountainous region of southern Iran on Sunday, killing all people on board. An Aseman Airlines ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short-distance regional flying, went down near its destination of the southern Iranian city of Yasuj, some 780 kilometers (485 miles) south of the Iranian capital, Tehran, news agency reports quoting Iran’s state media. Aseman Airlines spokesman Mohammad Taghi Tabatabai told state TV that all on the flight were killed. The plane carried 60 passengers, including one child, and six crew members. Due to foggy condition, ...

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Florida school shooting kills 17

Florida

MNA International Desk: 17 people were killed in the United States after a gun man opened fire at a high school campus in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday. The suspect has been named as Nikolas Cruz, 19, and is a former student at the school who had been expelled, reported news agency. As the attack unfolded students were forced to hide as police swooped in on the building. It is one of the deadliest school shootings since 26 people were killed at a Connecticut school in 2012. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters Cruz killed three people outside the school, ...

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Jacob Zuma resigned as President

Jacob Zuma

MNA International Desk: Jacob Zuma resigned as President of South Africa on Wednesday, reluctantly heeding orders by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to bring an end to his nine scandal-plagued years in power. In a 30-minute farewell address to the nation, 75-year-old Zuma said he disagreed with the way the ANC had shoved him towards an early exit after the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as party president in December, but would accept its orders. ‘I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect,’ Zuma said. ‘Even though I disagree with the ...

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Australian deputy PM under fire over extramarital affair

affair

MNA International Desk: Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said on Tuesday that he did not break any parliamentary rules while conducting an extramarital affair with a former staffer as he faced down calls for his resignation. Joyce, a practicing Catholic who has campaigned on “family values” and has been married for 24 years, is expecting a child with his former press secretary Vikki Campion. Joyce is under immense pressure for failing to declare his relationship with his former staffer when she was given two highly paid positions working for the ruling coalition government. Australia’s ministerial code of conduct requires ...

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Russia looks for body fragments after 71 dies from plane crash

crash

MNA International Desk: Emergency workers in Russia searched snow-covered fields outside Moscow on Monday, looking for body fragments and clues after a fatal plane crash a day earlier killed all 71 people on board. President Vladimir Putin has ordered a special commission to investigate what caused the AN-148 plane operated by Saratov Airlines to crash outside Moscow shortly after taking off for the city of Orsk in the Orenburg region, about 900 miles (1,500 km) southeast of the capital. Among the possible causes investigators are looking into are weather conditions, human error and the plane’s technical condition. The plane’s crew ...

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Human rights activist Asma Jahangir dies

Asma Jahangir

MNA International Desk: Renowned senior lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir passed away in Lahore on Sunday, Dawn News reported. She was 66. The family told Dawn News that she suffered from cardiac arrest and was shifted to a hospital, where she passed. Known for her outspoken nature and unrelenting pursuit for human rights — as well as for remaining undaunted in the face of extreme pressure and opposition — Jahangir will be remembered as a champion for the disenfranchised and for her services towards building a democratic and more inclusive Pakistan. She became a democracy activist and was ...

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Hong Kong bus accident killed 18

Hong Kong

MNA International Desk: At least 18 people were killed and dozens injured when a double-decker bus ovseturned in Hong Kong on Saturday evening. Photographs on local media websites showed the bus lying on its side with its roof torn off by a road near the town of Tai Po in the northern New Territories, reported news agency. It appeared to have slid on its side and hit a lamppost which cut through the front of the vehicle. Rescuers were attempting to reach passengers trapped in the wreckage, although police were unable to say how many were still inside the bus. ...

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Trump blocks release of democratic Russia memo

charity

MNA International Desk: President Donald Trump is refusing to declassify a high-profile memo written by Democratic lawmakers about the Russia probe. In a letter to the chair of the House Intelligence Committee Friday, White House counsel Don McGahn says the memo “contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages.” The Democrats’ memo aimed to counter a Republican-drafted one the president declassified and released. FBI chief Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a separate letter indicated that releasing this material would present concerns for the “protection of intelligence sources and methods, ongoing investigations and other similarly sensitive information.” ...

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Death toll rises to 9 in Taiwan quake

Taiwan

MNA International Desk: Aftershocks hampered rescue efforts on Thursday as emergency personnel combed through collapsed buildings in search of survivors after a powerful earthquake killed at least nine people near Taiwan popular tourist city of Hualien. Nervous residents endured a series of aftershocks, including a 5.7 quake late on Wednesday and smaller tremors early on Thursday. The coastal city of Hualien was hit by a magnitude 6.4 quake just before midnight (1600 GMT) on Tuesday that killed nine people and injured 265. Four buildings collapsed, officials said, and about 62 people were still missing. It was initially feared as many ...

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4 dead, 145 missing in Taiwan quake

missing

MNA International Desk: Rescuers combed through the rubble of collapsed buildings on Wednesday, some using their hands as they searched for about 145 people missing after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck near the popular Taiwanese tourist city of Hualien overnight. At least four people were killed and 225 injured in the quake that hit near the coastal city just before midnight (1600 GMT) on Tuesday, officials said. The latest figures from government data indicated 145 people were missing. Many of those were believed to be still trapped inside buildings, including a military hospital, after the quake hit about 22 km ...

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Maldives declares state of emergency

emergency

MNA International Desk: Maldives President Abdulla Yameen on Monday declared a state of emergency, ordered security forces into the supreme court and arrested a former president, in moves the opposition called a ‘purge’ in the Indian Ocean island nation. Maldives police also arrested Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another Supreme Court judge on Tuesday, dramatically escalating the legal battle with the archipelago’s top court. Police said in a Twitter message they had arrested Saeed and Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed ‘for an ongoing investigation’. They gave no details about the allegations or charges against the two judges. The president has ...

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N Korea’s top official to visit South

South

MNA International Desk: North Korea’s ceremonial head of state will visit the South this week and attend the Winter Olympics opening ceremony as the divided peninsula witnesses a rare thaw after a year of high tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme. Kim Yong-Nam will technically be the most senior official from the North ever to travel to the other side of the Demilitarized Zone that has for decades divided the two Koreas, reported news agency. His trip will be the diplomatic high point of the rapprochement between the two Koreas triggered by the Pyeongchang Olympics in the South, which have their ...

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Suicide bomber kills 11 soldiers in Pakistan

suicide

MNA International Desk: At least 11 soldiers were killed and 13 injured in a suicide attack near an army base in northern Pakistan on Saturday. Attacks have decreased sharply in the picturesque Swat Valley but can cause alarm in a region where Pakistani Taliban insurgents took partial control in 2007, before being ousted two years later in a major military operation hailed as an important blow against Islamist violence, reported news agency. Swat was the first sizeable region outside Pakistan’s lawless tribal regions bordering Afghanistan to fall to the militants. More than 2,000 Taliban fighters have been driven out of ...

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Myanmar denies new mass graves in Rakhine

attacks

MNA International Desk:  Myanmar denied on Friday that there were mass graves in a village in troubled Rakhine state, where a military crackdown on insurgents has triggered the flight of nearly 690,000 minority Rohingya Muslims to neighbouring Bangladesh. The Associated Press has reported it had confirmed the existence of more than five previously unreported mass graves in the village of Gu Dar Pyin, through interviews with survivors in refugee camps in Bangladesh and through time-stamped cellphone videos. The Myanmar government’s Information Committee, part of the office of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, said in a statement on its Facebook ...

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6,900 Syrians shield from US deportation

Syrians

MNA International Desk: Some 7,000 Syrians can live another 18 months in the United States as the Trump administration has extended temporary protection for them. They were shielded from deportation under a humanitarian programme, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), reported news agency. Since 2011, Syria has been embr54oiled in a civil war that has caused millions to flee and hundreds of thousands of deaths. Protections were set to expire for Syrians on 31 March, but with the extension will now last at least another 18 months. The president has cancelled TPS programmes for various countries in recent months, affecting immigrants from ...

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FBI’s deputy director stepping down

deputy

MNA International Desk: The FBI’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, is stepping down after President Donald Trump accused him of being a Democratic partisan, a government source confirmed Monday. McCabe is stopping work immediately but will remain on the FBI payroll until March to obtain retirement benefits, the source confirmed. McCabe, 49, was expected to leave sometime early this year when he became fully eligible for a pension, after two decades in the bureau. The New York Times reported that McCabe had hoped to stay active in his position up to his retirement, but was pressured to leave earlier by FBI ...

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5 killed in attack on Kabul military base

Kabul

MNA International Desk: Five militants targeted a military base in Kabul Monday – just two days after an attacker driving an ambulance packed with explosives killed more than 100 in the Afghan capital. Monday’s assault started before daybreak, at 5 a.m. local time, when an attacker detonated his suicide vest at the entrance of the military base, near the Marshal Fahim Military Academy in the west of Kabul, Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense told. The assault dragged on for five hours during which another suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest. Another two were killed by the Afghan ...

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Afghan blast death toll rises to 95

toll

MNA International Desk: The casualty toll from Saturday’s ambulance bomb attack in the Afghan capital Kabul reached at least 95 dead and 158 wounded, a health ministry official said. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the blast, a week after it claimed an attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul in which more than 20 people were killed. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, a week after it claimed an attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul in which more than 20 people were killed. Buildings hundreds of metres (yards) away were shaken by the force of the explosion, ...

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Saudi Prince Alwaleed expects to be released

Prince Alwaleed

MNA International Desk: Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, detained in the kingdom’s sweeping crackdown on corruption said on Saturday that he expected to be cleared of any wrongdoing and be released from custody within days. Prince Alwaleed was speaking in an exclusive interview with Reuters at his suite in Riyadh’s opulent Ritz-Carlton hotel, where he has been confined for over two months along with dozens of other suspects. It was the first time the prince, one of the nation’s most prominent businessmen, has spoken publicly since his detention. Prince Alwaleed said he was continuing to maintain his innocence ...

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US diplomat Richardson quits Rohingya panel

Richardson

MNA International Desk: US diplomat Bill Richardson has resigned from an international panel set up by Myanmar to advise on the Rohingya crisis, saying it was conducting a “whitewash” and accusing the country’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi of lacking “moral leadership”. Richardson, a former Clinton administration cabinet member, quit as the 10-member advisory board was making its first visit to western Rakhine State, from where nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled in recent months. “The main reason I am resigning is that this advisory board is a whitewash,” Richardson told Reuters in an interview, adding he did not want ...

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Kentucky school shooting leaves 2 dead

Kentucky

MNA International Desk: A teenage boy opened fire with a handgun at a Kentucky high school early Tuesday, killing two fellow students and wounding more than a dozen people in the latest mass shooting to hit the United States. The unnamed 15-year-old student, now in custody, is alleged to have carried out the attack at Marshall County High School in Benton, a small town in western Kentucky. Two students of the same age died of gunshot wounds, while 12 other people were shot and five suffered other injuries during the shooting, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said. The suspected shooter was ...

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US shutdown ends as Congress passes bill

hutdown

MNA International Desk: The US government partial shutdown is ending after Republicans and Democrats voted for a temporary funding bill. The Democratic leadership agreed to back the bill after accepting promises from Republicans for a debate later on the future of young illegal immigrants. President Donald Trump, who signed the bill on Monday evening, took a swipe at Democrats. It is the fourth temporary measure since October because Capitol Hill cannot agree a longer-term budget. The spending bill passed the Senate by 81-18 and the House of Representatives by 266-150 earlier on Monday. The so-called continuing resolution keeps the government ...

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Govt services closed as working week begins in US

US

MNA International Desk: Hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be unable to report for work on Monday, as the US Senate struggles to end a government shutdown. The shutdown began at midnight on Friday, when lawmakers failed to agree on an extension to federal funding. Efforts to reach a compromise ahead of the working week failed late on Sunday. A vote to end the shutdown was postponed until midday (17:00 GMT) on Monday, meaning many federal government offices will remain closed. The Senate held a rare session throughout the weekend, in an attempt to reach an agreement ahead of ...

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5 killed in Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel attack

Intercontinental Hotel

MNA International Desk: Gunmen killed at least five people and wounded eight others in an attack on Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel, an official said Sunday, as the eleven hours-long siege continued. Afghan security forces were still trying to clear the landmark hilltop hotel with at least one attacker on the loose, a security source said. Dramatic images broadcast on Afghanistan’s Tolo News showed thick black smoke and flames billowing from the top floor of the hotel. At least one person could be seen climbing over a top-floor balcony using bedsheets to escape, before losing his grip and plunging to the ground. ...

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US Government shuts down amid scrambled fund deal

government

MNA International Desk: The US federal government shut down at midnight Friday as senators continued to scramble to reach a deal to fund the government. This is the first modern government shutdown with Congress and the White House controlled by the same party, and it comes on the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Trump’s White House however immediately blamed Democrats for the shutdown. “Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement moments before midnight. “We will ...

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