2 injured in fire at Trump Tower

Trump Tower

MNA International Desk: Two people were injured in a brief early-morning fire near the top of Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan as the city’s workday rush began, the New York Fire Department said on Monday. US President Donald Trump was in Washington at the time. One firefighter was hospitalised with nonlife-threatening injuries and a building worker, who had an injury that was initially described as serious, was treated at the scene and declined further medical attention, the Fire Department said. Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons, said on Twitter that it was a small electrical fire in the cooling ...

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Bannon backs off comments about Trump’s son


MNA International Desk: President Donald Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon on Sunday backed away from derogatory comments ascribed to him about Trump’s son in a new book that sparked White House outrage and could threaten Bannon’s influence as a would-be conservative power broker. Bannon, ousted from the White House in August, was quoted in ‘Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,’ by journalist Michael Wolff, as saying a June 2016 meeting with a group of Russians attended by Donald Trump Jr. and his father’s top campaign officials was ‘treasonous’ and ‘unpatriotic.’ The president responded by saying Bannon had lost ...

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11 Saudi princes detained over utility bills protest

utility bills

MNA International Desk: Saudi Arabian authorities have detained 11 princes after they gathered at a royal palace in Riyadh in a rare protest against the government suspending payment of their utility bills, the public prosecutor said on Saturday. Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, has introduced reforms that include reducing energy subsidies, introducing value-added tax and cutting some perks to royal family members to try to cope with a drop in crude prices that has caused a budget deficit estimated at 195 billion riyals ($52 billion) in 2018. The princes had gathered on Thursday at Qasr al-Hokm palace demanding ...

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Hamas, Islamic Jihad call on PLO to withdraw Israel recognition

Islamic Jihad

MNA International Desk: Islamic Hamas movement and Islamic Jihad in Gaza on Friday called on the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) to withdraw its recognition of Israel. Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesmen in Gaza, said that the PLO ‘should immediately withdraw its recognition of the Israeli entity’, reported news agency. He also called on the Palestinian National Authority to stop security coordination with Israel. The PLO recognised Israel and signed Oslo peace agreements in 1993 throughout an exchange of letters between Palestinian and Israeli leaders, where Israel recognised the PLO as the representative of the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Khader Habib, the senior ...

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At least 11 dead from cold in US


MNA International Desk: At least 11 people died of cold in the United States as a prolonged stretch of strikingly bitter cold enveloped much of the country and buried some places under a record amount of snow even as a powerful winter storm was forecast to hit the eastern US. The bombogenesis—an area of low pressure that drops significantly in 24 hours—will result in what’s known as a ‘bomb cyclone’. And the bomb cyclone, expected to strike on Thursday, will likely dump 6 to 12 inches of snow in New England, which will be driven by 64 to 96 kmph ...

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US accuses Pakistan of playing ‘double game’


MNA International Desk: The United States accused Pakistan on Tuesday of playing a ‘double game’ on fighting terrorism and warned Islamabad it would have to do more if it wanted to maintain US aid. ‘They can do more to stop terrorism and we want them to do that,’ White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. The White House said it would likely announce actions to pressure Pakistan within days, shortly after U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said at the United Nations that Washington would withhold $255 million in assistance to Pakistan. ‘There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a ...

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Pakistan summons meeting over Trump tweet


MNA International Desk: The Pakistan civil and military leadership is to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday over US President Donald Trump’s tweet that accused Islamabad of “lies and deceit”. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will chair the huddle to discuss the future course of action, the media wing of the PM’s Office said. The meeting will be attended by Foreign Minister, Interior Minister, Minister for Defence, services chiefs besides, senior civil and military officers. Trump on Monday accused Pakistan of giving safe heaven to the militants that US hunts in Afghanistan, saying: “The US has foolishly given Pakistan more ...

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12 killed in Costa Rican plane crash

Costa Rican

MNA International Desk: A Costa Rican plane crashed into woodland off a popular tourist beach on Sunday, killing 10 US citizens and two local pilots, the Costa Rican government said. The accident occurred in the mountainous area off the Punta Islita beach town in the province of Guanacaste, about 230 km (140 miles) west of the capital of San Jose. Enio Cubillo, director of Costa Rica’s civil aviation agency, said the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft operated by local company Nature Air had crashed minutes after take-off, but that officials had not yet determined the cause of the crash. The ...

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Nepal bans solo climbers from Mount Everest

Mount Everest

MNA International Desk: Nepal has banned solo climbers from scaling its mountains, including Mount Everest, in a bid to reduce accidents, an official said Saturday. The cabinet late Thursday endorsed a revision to the Himalayan nation’s mountaineering regulations, banning solo climbers from its mountains — one of a string of measures being flagged ahead of the 2018 spring climbing season. Experienced Swiss climber Ueli Steck lost his life in April this year when he slipped and fell from a steep ridge during a solo acclimatisation climb to Nuptse, a peak neighbouring Everest. The ban is likely to anger elite solo ...

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Supermarket blast injures 10 in Russia


MNA International Desk: A homemade bomb blast at a supermarket in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg injured 10 people Wednesday, reported news agency. “According to preliminary information, an explosion of an unidentified object occurred in a store,” Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said in a statement. The blast was caused by a “homemade explosive device with the power equivalent to 200 grammes of TNT filled with lethal fragments,” she said. “The investigation is looking at all possible causes of what happened,” she said, adding that a probe for attempted murder had been launched. “Ten people have been hospitalised, their ...

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US sanctions two N.Korean missile experts


MNA International Desk: The United States announced sanctions on two North Korean officials behind their country’s ballistic missile program on Tuesday, while Russia reiterated an offer to mediate to ease tensions between Washington and Pyongyang. The new US steps were the latest in a campaign aimed at forcing North Korea – which has defied years of multilateral and bilateral sanctions – to abandon a weapons program aimed at developing nuclear-tipped missiles capable of hitting the United States. The US Treasury named the officials as Kim Jong Sik and Ri Pyong Chol. It said Kim was reportedly a key figure in ...

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Russia bars Navalny from presidential election

presidential election

MNA International Desk: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was barred on Monday from running in next year’s presidential election after officials ruled he was ineligible to take part due to a suspended prison sentence he says was trumped up. The decision by the central election commission was widely expected as election officials had repeatedly declared Navalny would be ineligible to run. Twelve members of the 13-member commission voted to bar Navalny. One member abstained, citing a possible conflict of interest. Navalny, 41, who polls show would struggle to beat incumbent Vladimir Putin in the March election, said he would appeal ...

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Storm death toll rises to 200 in Philippine


MNA International Desk: Rescuers in the Philippines searched on Sunday for survivors of a storm that triggered floods and landslides and killed about 200 people, left scores missing and thousands homeless, most of whom apparently ignored warnings to move to safety. The Philippines is battered by about 20 typhoons a year and warnings are routinely issued, but the level of destruction wrought by tropical storm Tembin on the southern island of Mindanao from late on Friday came as a surprise. Disaster officials said 159 people were listed as missing while about 70,000 had been forced from their homes. Soldiers and ...

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Philippines mall fire kills 37


MNA International Desk: Thirty-seven people were believed killed in a fire that engulfed a shopping mall in the southern Philippine city of Davao, local authorities said on Sunday. A Bureau of Fire Protection commander at the scene said the chances of the 37 surviving were “zero”, Paolo Duterte, Davao’s vice mayor, who is also the president’s son, wrote in a Facebook post. The blaze started at the four-storey NCCC Mall on Saturday morning and people were trapped inside, including at a call centre on the top floor, Ralph Canoy, a police officer in the district, told AFP. Canoy said the ...

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UN puts new sanctions on N Korea

new sanctions

MNA International Desk: With China’s backing, the UN Security Council on Friday slapped new sanctions on North Korea that will restrict oil supplies vital for Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programmes. The council unanimously adopted a US-drafted resolution that also orders the repatriation of North Korean workers sent abroad to earn revenue for Kim Jong-Un’s regime. It is the third raft of sanctions imposed on Pyongyang this year and comes as the United States and North Korea show no signs they are willing to open talks on ending the crisis on the Korean peninsula. US president Donald Trump Friday hailed the ...

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Theresa May’s deputy Damian Green resigns

Damian Green

MNA International Desk: British Prime Minister Theresa May’s most senior minister, Damian Green, has resigned at her request after an internal investigation found that he had made misleading comments about pornography found on computers in his parliamentary office. The resignation of one of her most trusted allies, who helped pacify her deeply divided party, is a serious blow for May as she navigates the final year of tortuous Brexit negotiations before Britain’s exit in March 2019. Green was appointed in the wake of her disastrous bet on a June snap election which lost her party its majority in parliament. Green, ...

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UNGA to meet on Jerusalem status

Islamic Jihad

MNA International Desk: The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will hold a rare emergency special session on Thursday at the request of Arab and Muslim states on US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, sparking a warning from Washington that it will “take names.” Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour said the General Assembly would vote on a draft resolution calling for Trump’s declaration to be withdrawn, which was vetoed by the United States in the 15-member UN Security Council on Monday. The remaining 14 Security Council members voted in favor of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did ...

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3 killed, 100 injured in US train derailment


MNA International Desk: An Amtrak passenger train traveling on a new route for the first time derailed Monday in Washington state, killing at least three people as cars plunged off a bridge onto a busy highway at the height of morning rush hour, officials said. The train, which was carrying 77 passengers and seven crew, derailed in DuPont about halfway between Tacoma and the state capital Olympia on a curve that passes over busy Interstate 5 at about 7:40 am (1540 GMT). Several other carriages of the 14-car train also ended up on the highway, shutting down a key section ...

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CIA helped to foil terror attack in Russia

terror attack

MNA International Desk: Russian president Vladimir Putin telephoned US president Donald Trump on Sunday to thank him for information that allowed Russia to prevent a terror attack on its soil, Interfax news agency quoted the Kremlin as saying. Information provided by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) allowed Russian law-enforcement agencies to prevent a planned attack on the Kazansky Cathedral in Russia’s second city of St Petersburg, and arrest the plotters, reported news agency. Putin, in his phone call with Trump, said Russia would alert US authorities if it received any information about any attack being planned on the United States, ...

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Interpol refused to issue red corner notice on Naik

Interpol refused

MNA International Desk: After Interpol refused to issue a red corner notice (RCN) against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said it will submit a fresh request. ‘NIA’s request for Red Notice against Zakir Naik was not accepted by Interpol as chargesheet had not been filed when the request was submitted to the Interpol headquarters. Now NIA will submit a fresh request to Interpol as chargesheet has already been filed in the NIA court concerned in Mumbai,’ an NIA official said. In a statement, Naik’s spokesperson said: ‘Interpol has cancelled red corner notice on Dr Naik ...

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Israeli troops kill 4 Palestinians

Israeli troops

MNA International Desk: Israeli troops shot dead four Palestinians and wounded 150 others with live fire on Friday, medical officials said, as protests over US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital entered a second week. Most of the casualties were on the Gaza Strip border, where thousands of Palestinians gathered to hurl rocks at Israeli soldiers beyond the fortified fence. Medics said two protesters, one of them wheelchair-bound, were killed and 150 wounded. In the occupied West Bank, another area where Palestinians are seeking statehood along with adjacent East Jerusalem, medics said two protesters were killed and ...

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Peru opposition party demands resignation of President

opposition party

MNA International Desk: The rightwing opposition party that controls Peru’s Congress said it wants President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to resign by the end of Thursday and allow Vice President Martin Vizcarra replace him, the party’s spokesman said. Daniel Salaverry, the spokesman for the Popular Force party, told a press conference that Kuczynski could no longer hold office after Brazilian builder Odebrecht reported having transferred $4.8 million to companies linked to him. Kuczynski has previously denied any links to Odebrecht. On Wednesday, he denied wrongdoing but did not deny the transfers took place. Cabinet members were shocked to learn on Wednesday ...

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OIC calls to recognise Jerusalem as Palestinian capital


MNA International Desk: Muslim leaders condemned US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday and called on the world to respond by recognising East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who hosted the summit of more than 50 Muslim countries in Istanbul, said the US move meant Washington had forfeited its role as broker in efforts to end Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “From now on, it is out of the question for a biased United States to be a mediator between Israel and Palestine, that period is over,” Erdogan said at the ...

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US ready for North Korea talks without preconditions


MNA International Desk: The US is ready to open nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea, without preconditions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said on Tuesday. ‘Let’s just meet and let’s talk about the weather if you want,’ he said on Tuesday at a policy forum in Washington,’ reported news agency. His statement appeared to shift the US position away from previous demands that North Korea must first disarm. North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons technology has led to heavy US-led sanctions against the regime. Diplomatic relations between the two nations have been strained by recent North Korean missile tests, ...

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Subway bomber wounds self in New York city

New York city

MNA International Desk: A Bangladeshi man set off a homemade pipe bomb strapped to his body in a crowded New York City commuter hub during the morning rush hour on Monday, officials said, immediately calling it an attempted terrorist attack. The suspect, Akayed Ullah, 27, was taken to a hospital after suffering burns from the explosive device, which was attached to his body with Velcro and zip ties and did not fully ignite, officials said. The blast, which occurred around 7 a.m. (1200 GMT) in a busy underground passageway between the subway station underneath the Port Authority Bus Terminal and ...

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South Korea imposes sanction on N Korea


MNA International Desk: South Korea says it has added several North Korean groups and individuals to its sanction list as part of efforts to cut off funding for the North weapons programs. South Korea’s government says the sanctions on 20 North Korean groups and 12 individuals took effect Monday. Seoul is among the first to respond to North Korea’s Nov. 29 missile launch with fresh sanctions. The government says it hopes its move will prompt the international community to do likewise. U.S. President Donald Trump’s U.N. ambassador has been urging the world to cut trade and diplomatic ties with Pyongyang. ...

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Iraqi PM declares ‘end of war against IS’


MNA International Desk: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory in a three-year war by Iraqi forces to expel the Islamic State jihadist group that at its height endangered Iraq’s very existence. “Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I therefore announce the end of the war against Daesh (IS),” Abadi told a conference in Baghdad. “Our enemy wanted to kill our civilisation, but we have won through our unity and our determination. We have triumphed in little time,” he said, hailing Iraq’s “heroic armed forces”. As the authorities announced a public holiday on Sunday “to ...

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