International

Woman’s arms found in Russian historian’s bag

Russian

MNA International Desk: A well-known Russian historian has confessed to murdering his lover, his lawyer says, after he was found in a river with a backpack containing a woman’s arms. Oleg Sokolov, 63, was drunk and fell into the river as he tried to dispose of body parts, Russian media said. Police then found the decapitated body of Anastasia Yeshchenko, 24, at his home in the city of St Petersburg. Prof Sokolov is a Napoleon expert who has received France’s Légion d’Honneur, reports the BBC. Prof Sokolov reportedly told police he had killed his lover during an argument and had ...

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Bolivian president Evo Morales resigns after protests over disputed election

Evo Morales

MNA International Desk: Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Sunday (local time) he was resigning to ease violence that has gripped the South American nation since a disputed election, but he stoked fears of more unrest by saying he was the victim of a “coup” and faced arrest. Video footage showed clashes on the streets of La Paz and some buildings on fire Sunday night after the military called on Morales to step down and allies deserted him following weeks of protests since the October 20 election. Morales, in power for nearly 14 years, said in televised comments earlier that ...

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Babri mosque dispute: Hindus get disputed land for temple

Ayodhya

MNA International Desk: The disputed land in Ayodhya will be given to a government run trust for the building a temple and Muslims will be given a five-acre “suitable” plot in the town, India’s Supreme Court announced on Saturday. A five-judge constitution bench delivered a unanimous verdict, NDTV reports. The verdict was read out by a five-judge constitution bench. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who retires on November 17, decided the date of the verdict in consultation with four other judges. The five-judge constitution bench headed by the Chief Justice heard the case for 40 days. The other members ...

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China launches BeiDou satellite

BeiDou

MNA International Desk: China sent a new satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) into space from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province at 1:43 am Tuesday. Launched on a Long March-3B carrier rocket, it is the 49th satellite of the BDS satellite family and the 24th satellite of the BDS-3 system. It also marked that a total of three BDS-3 satellites have been sent into the inclined geosynchronous Earth orbit. The launch was the 317th mission for the Long March series of carrier rockets. The new satellites and the carrier rocket were developed by the China ...

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World’s biggest trade pact shapes up without India

India

MNA International Desk: Although India pulled out at the last minute, China and 14 other countries agreed in Bangkok this week on plans for what could become the world’s biggest trade agreement – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, Chinese premier Li Keqiang and Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha shake hands at the third Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) summit in Bangkok, Thailand, November 4, 2019. Reuters They aim to sign it next year to start freeing up trade between members that include the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian ...

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Taj Mahal gets air purifier amid severe air pollution

Taj Mahal

MNA International Desk: As north India battles severe levels of pollution, authorities have deployed an air purifier at the Taj Mahal to save the iconic 17th-century marble mausoleum. The air purifier van deployed by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has capacity to purify 1.5 million cubic metre air in eight hours within a 300 metre radius, reports NDTV. “Looking at the developing situation and consistent deterioration in air quality, a mobile air purifier van has been deployed at the west gate of the Taj Mahal,” Regional Officer of UPPCB Bhuvan Yadav said. Pollution around the white marble mausoleum ...

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Airbnb bans ‘party houses’ after five die in Halloween shooting

Airbnb

MNA International Desk: Airbnb has said it will ban “party houses” after a mass shooting at a California home rented through the company left five people dead. CEO Brian Chesky said in a tweet the company would take steps to “combat unauthorised parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct”. “We must do better, and we will. This is unacceptable,” Mr Chesky added. Three people died at the house, in the city of Orinda, near San Francisco, and two more died later in hospital, the BBC reported. The house was reportedly booked under a pretence for a small ...

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EU agrees to Brexit extension to 31 January

Brexit

MNA International Desk: The EU has agreed to extend Brexit until 31 January 2020, according to a tweet from the European Council president. Donald Tusk said the bloc would allow for a so-called “flextension” – meaning the UK could leave before the deadline if a deal was approved by Parliament. It comes as MPs prepare to vote on proposals by Boris Johnson for an early general election on 12 December. The SNP and Lib Dems have also proposed an election on 9 December. The draft text of an agreement for the 27 EU ambassadors – seen by the BBC – ...

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Indian capital’s air quality falls to “severe” category

air

MNA International Desk: The air quality in the Indian capital plummeted to “severe” category on Monday morning, post the festival of lights “Deepawali” when people indulged in bursting firecrackers. According to the Air Quality Index (AQI) released by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the overall air quality in Delhi stood at 463 at 9:00 a.m. local time on Monday. At 7:00 a.m. local time, Delhi’s overall AQI stood at 506, and even touched 999 at around 4:00 a.m. local time, according to SAFAR. The gradual improvement in air quality was attributed to slow winds ...

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$1.84m diamond stolen from Japan jewelry fair

diamond

MNA Business Desk: Japanese police are investigating a 200 million yen ($1.84 million) diamond allegedly stolen from an international jewelry trade show near Tokyo. The 50-carat diamond was last seen sitting inside a glass showcase at 5 pm Thursday. An hour later, just after closing time, the diamond was gone and the jewelry case was unlocked, according to police. Police said Saturday they suspect the alleged theft took place sometime in the final hour of the crowded exhibit at Yokohama, near Tokyo. The sparkly stone, exhibited by a company in Saitama, north of Tokyo, was the only item missing. Nobody ...

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39 bodies found inside lorry container in England

bodies

MNA International Desk: The bodies of 39 people have been found in a lorry container in Essex in England. Police were called by the ambulance service shortly before 01:40 BST after the discovery at Waterglade Industrial Park in Eastern Avenue, Grays. The lorry driver, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, has been arrested on suspicion of murder. Essex Police said the lorry travelled from Bulgaria and entered the country via Holyhead, Anglesey, on Saturday, the BBC reported. Early indications are that 38 adults and one teenager have died, the force said. Ch Supt Andrew Mariner said officers were trying to ...

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India, Pakistan sign pact on cross-border temple visits

Pakistan

MNA International Desk: India and Pakistan signed an agreement on Thursday allowing Indian pilgrims to cross the border to a Sikh shrine in Pakistan, rare cooperation between the nuclear-armed rivals at a time of tension and clashes elsewhere on their frontier, reports Reuters. The pact will introduce visa-free access from India to the Pakistani town of Kartarpur, home to a temple that marks the site where the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, died. “Today is a day of celebration,” Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal told a signing ceremony in Kartarpur. Prime Minister Imran Khan will formally open the border ...

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India, Pakistan set to sign pilgrim corridor pact amid Kashmir tension

Pakistan

MNA International Desk: India and Pakistan are set to sign an agreement on Indian pilgrims visiting a Sikh shrine in Pakistan, rare cooperation between the nuclear-armed neighbours at a time of tension that has brought exchanges of fire on their disputed border. The pact will introduce visa-free access from India to the Pakistani town of Kartarpur, home to a temple that marks the site where the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, died. India’s foreign ministry said in a statement late on Monday an understanding had been reached on most issues and India was prepared to sign the agreement on Wednesday. ...

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India, China can together unlock potential

China

MNA International Desk: It is widely acknowledged that China and India are playing pivotal roles in regional and global affairs in the 21st century. Indeed, both countries have taken comparable stances or approaches to many critical policy areas, such as international trade and global governance reform, on intergovernmental platforms. As emerging economies and the two most populous countries, China-India cooperation can affect the livelihood and welfare of 2.7 billion people. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held in 2017 ushered in a new era of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. New Delhi’s pursuit of a New India ...

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Modi cancels Turkey visit over Erdogan’s remarks on Kashmir

Modi

MNA International Desk: The Indian government has decided to call off a proposed visit by the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Turkey’s capital Ankara. The decision was taken as part of a number of measures showing the Indian government’s displeasure over Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last month. During the speech, Erdogan criticised India’s move to abrogate Article 370 of the constitution that provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Supporting Pakistan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said that it is imperative to solve the problem through “dialogue on the ...

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Brexit: Commons set for knife-edge votes on deal

Brexit

MNA International Desk: MPs are debating the PM’s Brexit deal, amid uncertainty about whether the decisive vote on it will go ahead. The PM is trying to convince MPs to support the agreement he secured with the EU, in Parliament’s first Saturday session in 37 years. Mr Johnson told MPs “now is the time to get this thing done”, saying any delay beyond 31 October would be “corrosive”. But MPs will debate a proposal that could delay Brexit again until all the necessary UK legislation is passed. Commons Speaker John Bercow has chosen an amendment that, if passed, would require ...

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UK PM agrees ‘great’ new Brexit deal with EU

Brexit

MNA International Desk: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that Britain and the European Union had agreed a “great” new Brexit deal and urged lawmakers to approve it at the weekend, reports Reuters. “We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control,” Johnson said in a tweet. “Now parliament should get Brexit done on Saturday so we can move on to other priorities like the cost of living, the NHS, violent crime and our environment.” DUP SAYS NO TO JOHNSON’S DEAL Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party said on Thursday its position on Brexit had not changed and it ...

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Babri Masjid case: Hearings end, verdict reserved

mosque

MNA International Desk: The daily hearings in the decades old temple-mosque dispute in Ayodhya came to an end at the Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon after 40 days, reports NDTV. The verdict in the case – which has dominated politics and the headlines for decades – is expected to come before November 17, when Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who is leading the five-judge constitution bench hearing the case, is slated to retire. The judges had been sticking to a strict timeline after attempts to sort out the case through mediation failed. Over the last weeks, they have extended the timing ...

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Huge moment for Ethiopia as Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace prize

Ethiopia

MNA International Desk: Ethiopia found itself in the global spotlight for all the right reasons after Abiy Ahmed, its young, dynamic prime minister was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Awarded since 1901 for outstanding contributions to peace, the 2019 prize recognised Abiy’s “efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea”, announced the Norwegian Nobel Committee. At the same time, Amnesty International’s secretary-general Kumi Naidoo said the award reflected the “critical work Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has done to initiate human rights reforms in Ethiopia after decades ...

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Banerjee, Duflo, Kremer win Nobel Prize in economics

Nobel Prize

MNA International Desk: Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer were awarded the Nobel Prize in economics of this year on Monday for research on alleviating global poverty. Indian-born Abhijit Banerjee is an American citizen while Esther Duflo is French-American. Michael Kremer is also from the US. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in a press release, said the trio pioneered an approach to poverty reduction that was based on carefully designed experiments that sought answers to specific policy questions, report CNN and NDTV. Abhijit Banerjee, 58, was born in India and has a PhD from Harvard University. He is ...

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Saudi king approves US military deployment

Saudi

MNA International Desk: Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince have approved the deployment of additional US troops and equipment, after an attack last month on the kingdom’s oil facilities, state news agency SPA reported on Saturday. The United States announced a deployment of about 3,000 troops to the Gulf state, including fighter squadrons, an air expeditionary wing and air defence personnel, amid heightened tensions with Saudi’s arch-rival Iran. President Donald Trump said the Saudis had agreed to pay for the deployment. The SPA report said only that it came in the context of “historic relations and (a) well-established partnership” between ...

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US Homeland Security chief resigns

Homeland

MNA International Desk: The acting head of US Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan, has resigned after six months in the post. In a tweet, President Donald Trump said Mr McAleenan wanted to spend more time with his family. He said his replacement would be named next week. Mr McAleenan, 48, is the fourth person to serve as the head of Homeland Security during Mr Trump’s tenure. He has overseen the president’s tough policies aimed at curbing immigration across the Mexican border. However, analysts have described a turbulent relationship between the two and Mr McAleenan has criticised the tone of the immigration ...

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Global praise for China’s efforts to reduce poverty

China's

MNA International Desk: China’s achievements in combating poverty over the past 70 years are unprecedented, experts worldwide have said as the country continues to celebrate its weeklong National Day holiday. In the past 70 years, China has lifted over 800 million people out of poverty, which is the greatest poverty reduction feat in history, said United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last month in a message conveying his best wishes on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Former UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces said China’s poverty reduction work provides an example ...

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Taliban meet US peace envoy for first time since ‘dead’ deal

Taliban

MNA International Desk: The Taliban met with a US envoy in the Pakistani capital, a Taliban official said Saturday, the first such encounter since President Donald Trump announced a month ago that a seemingly imminent peace deal to end Afghanistan’s 18-year war was dead. The official offered few details of Friday’s meeting between peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the movement that was ousted in 2001 by the US-led coalition. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the news media. US ...

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EU official says Johnson’s Brexit offer ‘can’t fly’

Brexit

MNA International Desk: Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s last ditch Brexit proposal “can’t fly” because it an unworkable move backwards that leaves Britain and the European Union far apart, a senior European Union official said on Thursday. Just 28 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU, both sides are positioning themselves for a delay or else a disorderly no-deal Brexit. Johnson says he wants a deal but insists there can be no delay to Brexit beyond October 31. The cool reception from Brussels to Johnson’s proposal indicates just how far apart the two sides are on the ...

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Britain expresses ‘regret’ for killing Maori 250 years ago

Maori

MNA International Desk: The British government on Wednesday expressed “regret” that British explorers killed some of the first indigenous Maori they met 250 years ago, but stopped short of issuing a full apology. British High Commissioner Laura Clarke met with Maori tribal leaders in the town of Gisborne in New Zealand marking the anniversary of Captain James Cook and the crew of his ship Endeavour arriving in 1769. Clarke’s words held historic significance but fell short of the full apology that some had sought from the British royal family. Soon after Cook and his crew arrived, the sailors feared they ...

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China celebrates 70th founding anniversary today

China

MNA International Desk: China is holding a grand celebration, followed by a military parade and mass pageantry at Tian’anmen Square in Beijing today (Tuesday) on its National Day, marking the 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). More than 100,000 people will take part in a mass parade to show the PRC’s unity and strength. The parade will include people from all walks of life and all ethnic groups, like – workers, farmers, teachers, students, doctors, civil servants, and square dance lovers, representing different aspects of society. “The mass pageantry and military parade will last for about ...

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