Angela Merkel wins fourth term

fourth term

MNA International Desk: Chancellor Angela Merkel clinched a fourth term in Germany’s election Sunday, but her victory was clouded by the entry into parliament of the hard-right AfD in the best showing for a nationalist force since World War II. Merkel, who after 12 years in power held a double-digit lead for most of the campaign, scored around 33 percent of the vote with her conservative Christian Union (CDU/CSU) bloc, according to preliminary results. It was their worst score since 1949. Its nearest rivals, the Social Democrats and their candidate Martin Schulz, came in a distant second, with a post-war ...

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Merkel seeks 4th victory as Germans vote in federal election


MNA International Desk: Germans vote in a national election on Sunday that is likely to see Chancellor Angela Merkel win a historic fourth term and a far-right party enter parliament for the first time in more than half a century. Merkel’s conservative bloc is on track to remain the largest group in parliament, opinion polls showed before the vote, but a fracturing of the political landscape may well make it harder for her to form a ruling coalition than previously. With as many as a third of Germans undecided in the run-up to the election, Merkel and her main rival, ...

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Acid attack injures 6 in London

acid attack

MNA International Desk: An acid attack in east London injured at least six people on Saturday, with police saying they had arrested one man, although they did not believe the incident was terror related. Police said they were called just before 8pm (1900 GMT) to the Stratford Centre, close to London’s Olympic Stadium, following reports of a group of males spraying what was believed to be a noxious substance. London Ambulance Service tweeted that they had treated at least five patients after sending paramedics and a fleet of ambulances. The injuries were believed to have been sustained in different locations, ...

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US gives additional $32m aid for Rohingyas


MNA International Desk: The United States is providing an additional nearly $32 million in humanitarian assistance to address the urgent needs of Rohingya fleeing violence in Rakhine State of Myanmar to Bangladesh, as well as internally displaced persons in Rakhine State, and host communities in Bangladesh. The United States announced this support during the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, reports news agency. Among other priorities, one of the primary themes of this year’s General Assembly is bolstering support for humanitarian assistance to ongoing emergencies, in particular for refugees and the communities that host them. The ...

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Powerful quake killed 250 in Mexico


MNA International Desk: At least 248 people were killed when a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico on Tuesday, including 21 children crushed beneath an elementary school that was reduced to rubble. The destruction revived horrific memories in Mexico on the anniversary of another massive quake in 1985, the disaster-prone country’s deadliest ever. One of the most gut-wrenching scenes was at the Enrique Rebsamen primary school on Mexico City’s south side, whose three floors collapsed into one, trapping students and teachers inside. Emergency workers found a teacher and a student alive beneath the rubble and are trying to get them out, ...

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Myanmar ready to take back refugees: Suu Kyi

US Holocaust

MNA International Desk: Myanmar’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi says the country is ready to welcome back ‘verified’ refugees who have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh. “We are prepared to start the verification process at any time,” Suu Kyi said on Tuesday, in her first address since the start of the latest military crackdown in Rakhine state. “As our national security adviser has assured Bangladesh, and which I can confirm now, we are ready to start the verification process at any time and those who have been verified as refugees from this country will be accepted without any problems and ...

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BJP suspends woman leader for supporting Rohingyas

woman leader

MNA International Desk: The Assam unit of the BJP has suspended a minority woman leader of its executive committee for voicing support for Myanmar’s Rohingya refugees. A few days back, Benezir Arfan had uploaded a post on Facebook requesting people to attend a fast in protest against the treatment meted out to Rohingyas by the Myanmar government. Arfan was the party’s face in its anti-triple talaq campaign in the state; she herself is a triple talaq victim. On Thursday, BJP’s state unit general secretary Dilip Saikia sent a letter to Arfan suspending her from the party with immediate effect and ...

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Myanmar army chief urges unity over Rohingya issue

army chief

MNA International Desk: Myanmar’s army chief has urged the country to unite over the “issue” of the Rohingya, a Muslim group he says has no roots in the country, and which his troops are accused of systematically purging. “They have demanded recognition as Rohingya, which has never been an ethnic group in Myanmar. Bengali issue is a national cause and we need to be united in establishing the truth,” reads a post on Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s official Facebook page. There were 93 clashes in the violence of extremist Bengalis that started to break out on Aug 25, it ...

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Last chance for Suu Kyi: UN Chief


MNA International Desk: Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has ‘a last chance’ to halt an army offensive that has forced hundreds of thousands of the mainly Muslim Rohingya to flee abroad, the UN head has said. Antonio Guterres told the BBC that unless she acted now, ‘the tragedy will be absolutely horrible’. The UN has warned the offensive could amount to ethnic cleansing. Myanmar says it is responding to last month’s deadly attacks by militants and denies it is targeting civilians. The military launched its operation after the attacks on police in the northern Rakhine state. The ...

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Mohammed Mursi sentenced to 25 years

Mohammed Mursi

MNA International Desk: An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced ousted president Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood to 25 years in prison in a final ruling over a case accusing him of spying for Qatar, reported news agency. Mursi, democratically elected after Egypt’s 2011 revolution, was overthrown in mid-2013 by then-general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now the president, following mass protests against his rule. He was immediately arrested. Egypt’s Court of Cassation reduced Mursi’s sentence in the Qatar case to 25 years in its final ruling, from an original 40 years. Mursi is already serving a 20-year sentence after being convicted ...

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IS group claims London subway attack


MNA International Desk: The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a packed London subway train the same day that injured at least 29 people. “The bombing on a metro in London was carried out by a detachment of the Islamic State” group, it said in a statement published by its Amaq propaganda agency. Authorities said the incident was caused by an improvised explosive device that had been left inside a bucket in a supermarket cooler bag on a busy subway car. Twenty-nine people were injured, most suffering flash burns, but no one was killed — unlike ...

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School fire kills 25 people in Malaysia

25 people

MNA International Desk: A fire at an Islamic boarding school killed at least 25 people, most of them students, in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur after breaking out in a dormitory early on Thursday morning, reported news agency. The fire at Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah, a “tahfiz” boarding school where students learn to memorise the Koran, was reported around 5.40 a.m. local time (2140 GMT Wednesday), according to a statement from the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department. The blaze began in the sleeping quarters on the top floor of the three-storey school building, the statement said. Two wardens and 23 ...

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Al Qaeda warns Myanmar over Rohingya


MNA International Desk: Al Qaeda militants have called for support for Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, who are facing a security crackdown that has sent about 400,000 of them fleeing to Bangladesh, warning that Myanmar would face ‘punishment’ for its ‘crimes’. The Islamist group behind the Sept 11, 2001, attacks on the Untied States issued a statement urging Muslims around the world to support their fellow Muslims in Myanmar with aid, weapons and ‘military support’. “The savage treatment meted out to our Muslim brothers … shall not pass without punishment,” al Qaeda said in a statement, according to the SITE monitoring group. ...

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Aung San Suu Kyi to skip UN assembly

Aung San Suu Kyi

MNA International Desk: Myanmar’s national leader Aung San Suu Kyi will not attend the upcoming UN General Assembly because of the Rohingya crisis, her office said on Wednesday. The exodus of refugees, sparked by security forces’ fierce response to a series of Rohingya militant attacks, is the biggest problem Suu Kyi has faced since becoming Myanmar’s leader last year. Critics have called for her to be stripped of her Nobel peace prize for failing to do more to halt the strife. In her first address to the UN General Assembly as national leader in September last year, Suu Kyi defended ...

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UN imposed new sanctions on N Korea


MNA International Desk: The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea, slapping a ban on textile exports and restricting shipments of oil products to punish Pyongyang for its sixth and largest nuclear test. With backing from China and Russia, the council adopted a US-drafted sanctions resolution just one month after banning exports of coal, lead and seafood in response to North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the tough new measures were a message to Pyongyang that “the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea,” but she ...

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Trump, Erdogan discuss regional security

regional security

MNA International Desk: US president Donald Trump spoke by telephone Saturday with Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan and discussed working more closely with its NATO ally to improve regional security, reported news agency. “President Trump emphasised the common commitment of the United States and Turkey to work together to increase regional stability,” a White House statement said. The phone call came amid a backdrop of deteriorating relations between Washington and Ankara, NATO allies whose relations have soured over the US decision to arm Kurds in Syria to fight Islamic State. Turkey regards the Kurdish militias as “terrorists.” Turkey has also repeatedly ...

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Mexico quake death toll rises to 61


MNA International Desk: Police, soldiers and emergency workers raced Friday to rescue survivors from the ruins of Mexico’s most powerful earth quake in a century, which killed at least 61 people. In the southern region hit hardest by the quake, emergency workers looked for survivors — or bodies — in the rubble of houses, churches and schools that were split down the middle, spilling their innards onto the ground. President Enrique Pena Nieto said 45 people were killed in Oaxaca, 12 in Chiapas and four in Tabasco. But the death toll could be over 80, according to higher figures reported ...

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Outspoken Indian journalist shot dead

shot dead

MNA International Desk: Senior Kannada journalist and social activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead on Tuesday night by unidentified men at her residence, police said. She was 55. “She was shot dead from a close range at her house in Rajarajeshwari Nagar (in the suburbs) around 8 p.m. as she was entering the house,” Bengaluru Police Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar told reporters. “A total of seven bullets were fired out of which four missed the target and hit the wall of the house. Three bullets had hit her—two in her chest area and one in the forehead,” he said. Her ...

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US warns ‘massive’ response to N Korea nuke test


MNA International Desk: The United States warned Sunday it could launch a massive military response to threats from North Korea following Pyongyang’s provocative detonation of what it claimed was a miniaturized hydrogen bomb, reported news agency. The comments from defense secretary Jim Mattis came after President Donald Trump called an emergency meeting of his national security advisers to discuss what an unexpectedly powerful nuclear test was said to exceed in magnitude the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. Mattis told reporters: “Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive ...

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Myanmar steps up Rohingya crackdown, 400 killed

Rohingya refugees

MNA International Desk: About 400 people have died in fighting that has rocked Myanmar northwest for a week, new official data show, making it probably the deadliest bout of violence to engulf the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority in decades. Around 38,000 Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar, United Nations sources said, a week after Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts and an army base in Rakhine state, prompting clashes and a military counteroffensive. The army says it is conducting clearance operations against “extremist terrorists” and security forces have been told to protect civilians. But Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh say a ...

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Mumbai building collapse kills seven


MNA International Desk: About seven people killed and 15 were injured as a multi-storeyed residential building collapsed near J.J. Hospital in south Mumbai trapping many on Thursday, reported news agency. The cause of the crash is not known yet. According to the Fire Brigade, the building had two wings which have completely collapsed. The injured rescued were rushed to the J.J. Hospital. Ten fire engines, two JCBs, cranes and other machineries were deployed to clear the massive heap of rubble and extricate the victims underneath. This is the first major building collapse after Tuesday’s deluge in the city, and the ...

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UK asks UN to discuss Myanmar violence


MNA International Desk: Britain has asks for the UN Security Council to meet on Wednesday to discuss escalating deadly violence between Rohingya insurgents and Myanmar security forces in Rakhine state, Britain’s UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said on Tuesday. ‘Need to address long-term issues in Rakhine, urge restraint by all parties,’ Rycroft posted on Twitter. A series of coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents on security forces in the north of Myanmar’s Rakhine state on Friday has triggered a fresh exodus to Bangladesh of Rohingya Muslim villagers trying to escape the violence, reports the Reuters. The meeting is expected to take place ...

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Blast near Kabul US embassy killed 1

US embassy

MNA International Desk: An explosion occurred on a busy shopping street near the heavily-fortified US embassy in central Kabul Tuesday, officials said, killing at least one and injuring eight. “An explosion has happened near Massoud Square in Kabul. We have no more details yet,” Najib Danish, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s interior ministry, told to news agency. An official in the ministry added that the blast happened outside a bank at a time when many security forces personnel were expected to be collecting their salaries ahead of this week’s Eid holiday. The blast occurred around 10:00 am (0530 GMT) on a ...

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Guru Ram Rahim awaits sentencing

Ram Rahim

MNA International Desk: Rape convict Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh will be sentenced on Monday at 2:30pm. at a special court near Rohtak town in Haryana. The quantum of sentence will be done in a court being specially set up inside the District Jail premises in Sunaria near Rohtak, 70 km from Delhi, where Ram Rahim was brought and lodged after his conviction. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court judge Jagdeep Singh, who had on Friday held the Dera chief guilty of rape and criminal intimidation of the two female disciples in 2002, will ...

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Ceasefire halts Syria-Lebanon border fight


MNA International Desk: A ceasefire took effect on Sunday in an Islamic State pocket straddling the Syria-Lebanon border, where the jihadists have been fighting the Lebanese army on one front and Hezbollah with the Syrian army on the other. The Lebanese army announced that a ceasefire in its own offensive took effect at 7:00am local time but did not mention a ceasefire on Syria’s side of the frontier. Hezbollah and the Syrian army announced a ceasefire in their assault against Islamic State in Syria’s western Qalamoun region, reported news agency. The fighting began a week ago when the Lebanese army, ...

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High security alert in India’s Haryana


MNA International Desk: Affected areas in Haryana and Punjab on Sunday morning were peaceful as security forces remained on high alert, officials said. Curfew was withdrawn in Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh, which saw the maximum violence on Friday after the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape and sexual exploitation case by the CBI special court. Curfew was withdrawn in Kaithal town of Haryana while it was relaxed in Sirsa, 260 km from here. The death toll in the violence has risen to 36. As many as 30 persons died in Panchkula and six ...

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Hurricane Harvey lashes US Gulf Coast

Hurricane Harvey

MNA International Desk: Hurricane Harvey lashed the US Gulf Coast with powerful winds and driving rain Friday before making landfall in Texas with a force not felt on the US mainland since 2005. President Donald Trump heeded Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s call to declare a “disaster” zone in the state in order to speed federal aid to the millions of Americans in harm’s way both there and in Louisiana. The arrival of the storm—which was packing sustained winds of 130 miles (215 kilometers) an hour—was the first major domestic challenge for Trump, who the White House said would head to ...

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