International

Cuba plane crash: Black box found

black box

MNA International Desk: A black box from a Boeing passenger jet that crashed in Cuba, killing 110 people and wounding three others, has been found and is in “good condition,” Cuban Transport Minister Adel Yzquierdo said Saturday. “We should receive the other one in the next few hours,” he told state media. The two black boxes — the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder — will be key in determining what caused the crash of the plane, a 39-year-old Boeing 737-200 that plummeted to the ground on Friday just after take-off on a domestic run to the east ...

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Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim released from jail

Anwar Ibrahim

MNA International Desk: Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim was freed from jail after receiving a royal pardon. Malaysia’s new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sought a pardon for Anwar, which was granted on Wednesday morning. Once seen as a potential future leader, he had been jailed on charges of sodomy and corruption after falling out with the government. Mahathir has promised to step aside for Anwar to become prime minister within two years. The politician was jailed for a second time three years ago on what he said were trumped-up sodomy charges, reports news agency. For years he had been heading Malaysia’s ...

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Israeli forces kill 41 in Gaza protests

targets

MNA International Desk: Israeli forces killed at least 41 Palestinians along the Gaza border on Monday as angry protesters demonstrated at the frontier hours on the day the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem, reported news agency. It was the highest Palestinian death toll in a single day since a series of protests dubbed the “Great March of Return” began at the border with Israel on 30 March, and since the 2014 Gaza war. The health officials said 900 Palestinians were wounded, about 450 of them by live bullets. Tens of thousands streamed to the coastal enclave’s land border ...

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Indonesia suicide bombings at churches kill 6

churches

MNA International Desk: Suicide bombers suspected to be from an Islamic State-inspired group killed at least nine people and wounded 40 in attacks on Christians attending Sunday morning services at three churches in Indonesia’s second-largest city of Surabaya, security officials said. Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, has seen a recent resurgence in homegrown militancy inspired in part by Islamic State. Wawan Purwanto, communication director at Indonesia’s intelligence agency said Islamic State-inspired group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) was believed to be behind the bombings. JAD is an umbrella organization on a US State Department ‘terrorist’ list that is estimated to ...

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Najib Razak banned from leaving country

Najib Razak

MNA International Desk: Malaysia’s scandal-hit former prime minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor were Saturday banned from leaving the country, the immigration chief said, after the shock election loss of Najib’s coalition. “The immigration department has just now blacklisted Najib and Rosmah from leaving the country,” Mustafar Ali, director-general of the immigration department, told news agency. Najib said in a tweet: “I have just been informed by the immigration department of Malaysia that my family and I are not allowed to go abroad. I respect the decision and I will remain in the country with my family.” The ...

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Mahathir to become world’s oldest elected leader

Mahathir

MNA International Desk: Mahathir Mohamad will become the world’s oldest elected leader, after a shock victory in Malaysia’s election. The former PM, 92, came out of retirement and switched to the opposition to challenge his former protege Najib Razak, who has been beset by corruption allegations. His historic win has ousted the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which has been in power since independence in 1957. Mr Mahathir said his coalition would “restore the rule of law”. Mr Najib has not yet commented on his dramatic loss. Official results showed the opposition Pakatan Harapan – the Alliance of Hope – had ...

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Trump’s decision to come on Iran nuclear deal

nuclear

MNA International Desk: U.S. President Donald Trump will announce on Tuesday whether he will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal or stay in. It will also clear if US administration will work with its European allies who say the deal has successfully halted Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Trump has consistently threatened to pull out of the 2015 agreement because it does not address Iran’s ballistic missile program or its role in wars in Syria and Yemen, and does not permanently prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons. A senior U.S. official close to the process said France, Germany and Britain had ...

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East Africa flood kills hundreds

East Africa

MNA International Desk: Weeks of torrential rain after a long drought have turned from blessing to curse in East Africa, killing hundreds of people and displacing hundreds of thousands of others. In Kenya, which had suffered from three failed rainy seasons, 120 people have died in two months, including eight who were swept off a bridge in a flashflood Thursday night outside the capital, reported news agency. The Red Cross appealed for $5 million (four million euros) to help those affected. Since early March, “112 people have lost their lives countrywide,” Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet told a press ...

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Dust storm kills 40 in India

dust storm

MNA International Desk: At least 40 people were killed as dust storm, thunder showers lashes over Rajasthan in India in early hours of Thursday. Several houses and electricity polls collapsed and trees were uprooted in the Matysya region in the early hours of Thursday, reported news agency PTI. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje expressed her condolences to the families affected and directed authorities to extend aid to the victims, reported enws agency. The government has announced compensation of Rs 4 lakh for the family members of the deceased, Rs 2 lakh to those with 60 per cent injuries and Rs ...

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Over 60 killed in Nigeria suicide blasts

MNA International Desk: Suicide bombers killed more than 60 people at a mosque and a market in northeast Nigeria on Tuesday, in a twin attack bearing the hallmarks of Boko Haram and a day after US president Donald Trump pledged greater support to fight the Islamist militants. The blasts, said to have been carried out by young boys, happened shortly after 1:00pm (1200 GMT) in Mubi, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the Adamawa state capital, Yola. Imam Garki, from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said a joint assessment with the police and Red Cross found that 26 people ...

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Paris police arrest over 200 in May Day riot

MNA International Desk: Hundreds of masked and hooded anarchists smashed shop windows, torched cars and hurled cobblestones at riot police on Tuesday, hijacking a May Day rally by labour unions against President Emmanuel Macron’s economic reforms. Riot police used teargas and water cannon to disperse the protesters. Paris police chief Michel Delpuech said more than 200 demonstrators had been arrested and four people were lightly injured in the clashes, including a police officer. ‘I condemn with absolute firmness the violence that took place today and derailed the May Day processions,’ tweeted Macron, who was on a visit to Australia. ‘Everything ...

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Pakistani-origin Sajid Javid appointed new UK minister

MNA International Desk: British Prime Minister Theresa May appointed a former banker of South Asian origin as interior minister on Monday, trying to draw a line under an immigration scandal threatening her authority as she negotiates Brexit. Sajid Javid, the son of immigrants from Pakistan, replaces Amber Rudd, who quit as Home Secretary after acknowledging she had ‘inadvertently misled’ parliament by denying the government had targets for the number of illegal migrants Britain deports. British ministers have struggled for two weeks to explain why some descendants of the so-called ‘Windrush generation’, invited to Britain from its former colonies to plug ...

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Kabul blasts kill at least 21

Kabul

MNA International Desk: Two blasts hit the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday, killing at least 21 people, including a photographer for French news agency AFP, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility, officials said. The photographer, Shah Marai, was among a group of journalists caught in the second explosion as they were reporting on the initial blast. The attacks came just a week after a blast at a voter registration centre killed 60 people, in the wake of warnings by security officials against the risk of increasing attacks ahead of parliamentary elections planned in October. Monday’s first explosion in ...

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Israel army kills 3 Palestinians

Palestinians

MNA International Desk: Israeli troops fatally shot two Palestinians who infiltrated the country from Gaza and attacked soldiers with explosives Sunday night, and in a separate incident killed another Palestinian who tried to breach the border, the military said. Another Palestinian was detained in the latter incident, and two more were caught trying to cross the border in a third case, the military said. The Gaza border has been tense in recent weeks, with the Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza urging mass Palestinian protests there every Friday as part of a weeks-long campaign against a decade-old blockade of ...

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Trump welcomes ‘historic’ Korea summit

rush

MNA International Desk: US president Donald Trump on Friday hailed the “historic” summit between the two Koreas, saying that “good things” are happening on the peninsula ahead of his own highly anticipated meeting with the North’s leader Kim Jong Un. “After a furious year of missile launches and Nuclear testing, a historic meeting between North and South Korea is now taking place,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!” he tweeted. Kim met Friday with South Korean President ...

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At least 10 killed in Indonesia oil well fire

oil well

MNA International Desk: At least 10 people have been killed and dozens more injured after a fire at an illegal oil well in Indonesia’s Aceh province, authorities said Wednesday. An oil spill sparked a huge blaze about 1.30am (1830 GMT Tuesday) in a residential area that torched at least three houses and was still out of control mid-morning. “The fire is still soaring high and has not yet successfully been extinguished,” Saiful, head of Aceh’s Ranto Peureulak subdistrict, said. At least 10 bodies have been recovered and the death toll is expected to rise, police said, while injured victims were ...

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Van plows into Toronto crowd, killing 10

Toronto

MNA International Desk: At least 10 people have died after a man plowed a white rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in Canada’s biggest city Toronto on Monday, in what police dubbed a “deliberate” attack. The incident took place in broad daylight around 16 kilometers (10 miles) from a conference center hosting a meeting of G7 ministers, but officials said they had no evidence of a link to the event. “The actions definitely looked deliberate,” Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told journalists. Police arrested a suspect at the scene—who police identified later as 25-year-old Alex Minassian from a northern ...

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16 Maoists killed in India’s Maharashtra

Maharashtra

MNA International Desk: In the biggest crackdown on Maoists in four decades in Maharashtra, security forces on Sunday gunned down at least 16 Maoists, including some women, in the state’s Gadchiroli district, an official said. Among those killed were at least a couple of high-ranking unit commanders, identified as Vijender N. Rauthu, 51, and Dolesh Madi Atram, 36. Both carried big cash rewards on their heads and were wanted for many serious crime, ranging from murders, arson, attacks on security forces and kidnappings. Around 7:00am, a C-60 squad of police commandos had launched a combing operation when they were attacked ...

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India approves death penalty for child rapists

child rapists

MNA International Desk: India’s government on Saturday approved the death penalty for child rapists, after the gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl and a series of other horrific sexual assaults caused nationwide outrage. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a cabinet meeting to pass the measure Saturday on his return from the Commonwealth summit, reported news agency. Protests have erupted across India in recent days over the rape and killing of the young Muslim girl by a group of Hindu men in Jammu and Kashmir state, increasing pressure on Modi to take action, AFP reports. The attack sent out ...

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Israeli troops kill 4 more Palestinians

Palestinians

MNA International Desk: Israeli troops shot dead four Palestinians on the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, bringing to 35 the death toll in recent weeks among Palestinian protesters demanding the right to return to their former homeland. Gazans used catapults and sling-shots to launch stones at Israeli forces, and some Palestinians brought wire-cutters to cut through the border fence, ignoring leaflets dropped by the Israeli military warning residents not to approach the frontier. The deaths included a 15-year-old boy shot dead in northern Gaza, Palestinian health officials said, adding that 156 people were wounded by Israeli gunfire. UN Middle East envoy ...

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Castro rule nears end in Cuba

Cuba

MNA International Desk: Cuba is poised for the end of an era on Thursday as President Raul Castro steps down, formally handing power to his long-time deputy Miguel Diaz-Canel and thereby ending his family’s six-decade grip on the island. The silver-haired Diaz-Canel, 57 — a top Communist Party figure who has served as first vice president since 2013 — will become the island’s first leader born after the 1959 revolution, and the first in 60 years who is not named Castro. Between them, father of the nation Fidel and his younger brother Raul made the Caribbean island a key player ...

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Former US first lady Barbara Bush dies

Barbara Bush

MNA International Desk: Former US first lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday at the age of 92, triggering an outpouring of praise for the matriarch of a Republican family once at the apex of American politics. “A former first lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday on 17 April 17 at the age of 92,” said a statement from the office of George HW Bush. They were married for 73 years. Barbara Bush has long been considered the rock at the centre of one of America’s most prominent political ...

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Myanmar to free over 8,000 prisoners

prisoners

MNA International Desk: Myanmar’s new president said on Tuesday over 8,000 prisoners will be freed in an amnesty, a move the government said would bring about humanitarian support amid the country’s political reforms after decades of military rule. The presidential pardon, signed by newly-elected President Win Myint, said the move was aimed to bring peace as part of celebrations of the Myanmar new year. It did not specify when the amnesty would take place, reported news agency. ‘To bring peace and pleasure to people’s heart, and for the sake of humanitarian support, 8,490 prisoners from respective prisons will be given ...

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Air strikes cripple Syria chemical weapons program: US

chemical weapons

MNA International Desk: Western powers said on Saturday their missile attacks struck at the heart of Syria’s chemical weapons program, but the restrained assault appeared unlikely to halt Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s progress in the 7-year-old civil war. The United States, France and Britain launched 105 missiles overnight in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in Syria a week ago, targeting what the Pentagon said were three chemical weapons facilities, including a research and development centre in Damascus’ Barzeh district and two installations near Homs. The bombing was the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and his superpower ...

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Taj Mahal’s stone pillars collapse

pillars

MNA International Desk: A violent storm has destroyed two ancient pillars at the entryways to the Taj Mahal, an official said Thursday, underscoring the fragility of the centuries-old marble monument to love. The four-metre high sandstone minarets topped by ornate spires were left in chunks after being felled by strong winds late Wednesday. “Two decorative pillar collapsed last night amid high-velocity winds. One of the pillars stood at the royal gate, and the other at the southern gate,” an official from the Archaeological Survey of India told media. None of the four white marble minarets surrounding the Taj-or the spectacular ...

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Algeria military plane crash kills 257

Algeria

MNA International Desk: Algeria suffered its deadliest ever air catastrophe Wednesday when a military plane crashed after takeoff, killing 257 people on board, mostly army personnel and their family members. Hundreds of ambulances and dozens of fire trucks with sirens wailing rushed to the scene of the crash, in an uninhabited area where one person was injured on the ground by debris. Firefighters extinguished the blaze and security forces set up a cordon to prevent journalists and onlookers from approaching. Witnesses who had been working in nearby fields told news agency that the plane had burst into flames before it ...

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FBI raids office of Trump’s personal lawyer

personal lawyer

MNA International Desk: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Monday raided the offices and home of US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, law enforcement sources said, in a dramatic new development in a series of probes involving close Trump associates. Cohen’s lawyer, Stephen M. Ryan, said that US prosecutors conducted a search that was partly a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller. Mueller is investigating whether members of Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia during the US presidential election. Trump has called the probe a ‘witch hunt’ and denied any collusion. The raid could ...

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