International

Trump ready to meet Kim Jong Un

singapore

MNA International Desk: US President Donald Trump agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because Kim is the ultimate decision-maker in his country, a senior administration official said on Thursday. ‘President Trump has made his reputation on making deals,’ the official said in a briefing with reporters after Trump’s agreement to meet Kim at a time and place to be chosen in what would be the first-ever US-North Korea summit. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the message from Kim was relayed orally to Trump by a South Korean delegation in the Oval Office. There was ...

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US Holocaust museum rescinds award to Suu Kyi

US Holocaust

MNA International Desk: The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has rescinded its top award to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi because of her failure to condemn and stop military attacks on her country’s minority Rohingya Muslims, the museum said on Wednesday, reports news agency. The Washington museum’s rescission of its Elie Wiesel Award to Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner, is the latest honour to be retracted over her silence about widespread abuses against the Rohingya. Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy have refused to cooperate with United Nations investigators, fed hate attacks on the Rohingya ...

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Trump’s top economic adviser Cohn quits

cohn

MNA International Desk: Gary Cohn, the top economic adviser to US President Donald Trump and a voice for Wall Street in the White House, said on Tuesday he would resign, a move that came after he lost a fight over Trump’s plans for hefty steel and aluminum import tariffs. The departure of Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, was expected to be finalized in a few weeks and will blow a hole in Trump’s already depleted advisory team at a time when the economy is growing but markets are volatile. Trump said in a tweet on Tuesday night that ...

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Kim ‘wants closer ties’ with South Korea

ties

MNA International Desk: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met senior South Korean government officials for the first time and said it is his ‘firm will to vigorously advance’ inter-Korean ties and pursue reunification, the North’s official news agency said on Tuesday. A 10-member South Korean delegation led by National Security Office head Chung Eui-yong travelled to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, on Monday in hopes of encouraging North Korea and the United States to talk to one another. Washington and Pyongyang have been at loggerheads for months over the North’s nuclear and missile programmes, with U.S. President Donald Trump ...

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Curfew in Kashmir after 4 killed by Indian troops

curfew

MNA International Desk: A curfew has been imposed on parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir to contain protests after Indian troops killed three young civilians and a rebel. Indian army Colonel Rajesh Kalia says militants fired at a checkpoint in southern Shopian area and a shootout with soldiers followed. The Associated Press reports citing the locals, that the three civilians were killed in cold blood. Kashmir is divided between Pakistan and India with both nations claiming the region entirely. Rebel groups demand the region be united under Pakistani rule or as an independent country. Most people in the portion governed by India ...

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Burkina Faso attacks killed 28

Burkina Faso

MNA International Desk: Twin attacks on the French embassy in Burkina Faso and the country’s military headquarters Friday left dozens dead or wounded, security sources said. The apparently coordinated attacks underlined the struggle the fragile West African nation faces in containing a bloody and growing jihadist insurgency. The government said the attack on the military was a suicide car bombing, adding that a regional anti-terrorism meeting may have been the target. Eight members of the armed forces were killed by the blast and the parallel attacks on the French embassy, while 80 were wounded, said Security Minister Clement Sawadogo. The ...

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Donald Trump’s top aide Hope Hicks to quit

Hope Hicks

MNA International Desk: Hope Hicks, one of US President Donald Trump’s longest-serving and most trusted aides, is resigning from her job as White House communications director, a blow to the president, whose inner circle has been depleted by firings and clouded by scandal. The White House announced Hicks, 29, was leaving a day after she spent nine hours in a closed hearing of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Hicks’ decision to leave was not related to her appearance before the panel, ...

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Saudi King Salman sacks military chiefs

Saudi King Salman

MNA International Desk: Saudi King Salman has sacked the military chief of staff and a host of other top commanders, state media said on Monday, in a major shake-up of the defence establishment. The monarch also replaced the heads of the ground forces and air defences, as well as senior officials at the interior ministry, in a series of late-night royal decrees. No official reason was given for the sweeping overhaul, but it comes as the Saudi-led coalition’s military intervention in Yemen against Iran-aligned Houthi rebels nears the end of its third year. Al-Bunyan’s sacking came after he inaugurated a ...

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Ex-journalist becomes Australia’s deputy PM

deputy PM

MNA International Desk: A former regional newspaper editor, Michael McCormack, has been chosen as Australia’s new deputy PM, reported news agency. He replaces Barnaby Joyce as leader of the Nationals, the governing coalition’s junior partner. Mr Joyce resigned on Friday over his affair with a former staffer, after holding the post for two years. Mr McCormack, a relatively unknown conservative, has attracted criticism for a column he wrote in 1993 in which he described homosexuality as “sordid”. As leader of the Nationals, he automatically becomes deputy to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – who heads the Liberal Party. Mr McCormack was ...

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Bombs hit capital of Myanmar’s Rakhine state

bombs

MNA International Desk: Three bombs exploded in different locations around Rakhine’s state capital Sittwe early Saturday morning, including at the home of a high ranking official, Myanmar police told media, adding that no deaths were reported. It is the latest violence to hit Rakhine, which is festering with ethnic tensions and has been roiled by communal violence in the north against the Rohingya and insurgencies in other parts of the state. Bombings in the state capital are rare however. The blasts took place around 4:00am (2130 GMT Friday), the officer said. The extent of the damage was not immediately clear. ...

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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

travel ban

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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