Friday, August 17, 2018

Italy determined to revoke motorway concession after bridge collapse
By Ilaria Polleschi GENOA | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
- Italy's populist ruling coalition showed a united front on Friday in its push to revoke concessions held by Autostrade per l'Italia to operate toll highways after a bridge it managed collapsed this week, killing at least 38 people. On Thursday, some c ... read..

Trump defends ex-aide Manafort as jury weighs verdict
By Nathan Layne and Karen Freifeld ALEXANDRIA | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
- Weighing in even as a Virginia jury deliberates for a second day, President Donald Trump on Friday called the bank and tax fraud trial of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort "very sad" and described the defendant a "very good person." Manafort' ... read..

Magnitude 6.6 quake hits North East of Raba, Indonesia -USGS
LONDON | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
A magnitude 6.6 offshore earthquake struck the Indonesian archipelago late on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake was located 153 km (95 miles) northeast of Raba at a depth of 564.7 km, it said. There was no immediate report of a tsunam ... read..

Algeria's Bouteflika sacks 2 senior army generals -presidency
ALGIERS | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Friday dismissed two senior generals, the presidency said, a fresh upheaval in the OPEC oil producer's power structure ahead of a presidential election next year. The generals, Said Bey and Lahbib Chentouf, ha ... read..

Trump: Mueller is conflicted, targets Justice official over clearance
WASHINGTON | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he will likely strip Justice Department official Bruce Ohr of his security clearance and complained again that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, leading the investigation into possible Russia meddling in the presid ... read..

Pak minister mentions Kashmir, India talks about terror-free subcontinent
New Delhi [India] | August 17, 2018 9:41:27 PM IST
New Delhi [India], Aug 17 (ANI) Having come to express grief over the death of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Pakistan's interim Minister of Law and Information, Syed Ali Zafar, on Friday, did not forget to mention Kashmir during a med ... read..

Vajpayee was genuine friend, says Israel
Jerusalem | Friday, 2018 9:15:05 PM IST
Condoling the death of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Israel on Friday said that it will always remember him as a genuine friend. ... read..

Ex-employee alleges Tesla staff's involvement in drug trafficking
Washington D.C. [USA] | August 17, 2018 9:41:31 PM IST
A former employee of Tesla on Thursday issued a statement accusing the electric vehicle manufacturer of not informing authorities of the alleged involvement of a number of employees in drug trafficking ring. ... read..

PM-elect Imran Khan vows to bring change in Pakistan
Islamabad [Pakistan] | August 17, 2018 9:11:32 PM IST
Pakistan Prime Minister-elect Imran Khan on Friday pledged to bring a change which according to him "the country was awaiting for last 70 decades". ... read..

Netanyahu questioned again in telecoms case, sees it "collapsing"
JERUSALEM | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Israeli police questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday over a case involving the country's largest telecoms firm, one of three corruption investigations in which he has been named as a suspect. He has denied wrongdoing in all three. Autho ... read..

Merkel says don't expect much from meeting with Putin
By Joseph Nasr BERLIN | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned against expectations that her meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday will produce any breakthrough on the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. Speaking on the eve of talks with the Russian leader, Merkel ... read..

Jury begins 2nd day of deliberations in Trump ex-aide Manafort's trial
By Nathan Layne and Karen Freifeld ALEXANDRIA | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
A jury in Virginia began its second day of deliberations on Friday in the bank and tax fraud trial of President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. The six women and six men met for about seven hours on Thursday without reaching a verd ... read..

Nigerian journalist freed on bail after citing letter from police chief, paper says
LAGOS | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
A Nigerian court on Friday released a journalist on bail after he was arrested following the publication of an article that cited a confidential letter from the chief of police, the reporter's newspaper said. The story, covered by various Nigerian media ... read..

Germany reaches deal on sending back migrants to Greece
BERLIN | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Germany has reached an agreement with Greece to send back migrants to the Mediterranean country if they have already applied for asylum there, a German Interior Ministry spokeswoman said on Friday. Last week Germany and Spain sealed a similar deal on ret ... read..

Juventus coach Allegri still trying to fit the pieces together
MILAN | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri says he is still trying to fit all the new pieces together following a close season spending spree which included the signing of five-time world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo. Allegri confirmed that Ronaldo woul ... read..

Stokes returns to England line-up, Curran dropped
LONDON | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Ben Stokes will start the third test for England against India at Trent Bridge on Saturday just four days after being cleared of affray. England captain Joe Root confirmed on Friday that the all-rounder would be back in the starting eleven at the expense ... read..

Stokes return leaves dilemma for England
LONDON | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
The return of Ben Stokes to the England squad after being cleared of affray has caused a "great headache" for team selectors before the third test against India that begins at Trent Bridge on Saturday. The all-rounder has been welcomed back into the team ... read..

Sidhu in Pakistan for Imran's swearing-in
Islamabad | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Former cricketer and now a minister in Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu arrived in Lahore on Friday to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan as prime minister of Pakistan on Saturday. "I have come to Pakistan on my friend's [Imran] invitation. These are ... read..

Malaysian financier wanted in 1MDB probe says he will not surrender
KUALA LUMPUR | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
A Malaysian financier wanted for his role in the multi-billion-dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB has said he does not expect to get a fair hearing anywhere and will not present himself to any country where his guilt has been predetermined. Low Taek Jho ... read..

EU deplores "brutal treatment" of Ugandan MPs after president's convoy stoned
By Elias Biryabarema KAMPALA | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
European Union diplomats in Uganda on Friday deplored "brutal treatment" of lawmakers arrested over a stoning of President Yoweri Museveni's convoy, and a rights body called for Ugandan authorities to prosecute the perpetrators of the alleged abuses. Go ... read..

Militia threat hampers Ebola fight in Congo as disease kills 44
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Militia violence in Democratic Republic of Congo has prevented aid workers from reaching some potential cases in an outbreak of Ebola that has so far killed 44 people, the World Health Organization said on Friday. At least 1,500 people have been potenti ... read..

Turkey's higher court refuses to release US pastor
Istanbul | Friday, 2018 8:45:07 PM IST
The Third Penal Court in Izmir on Friday rejected an appeal for the release of US pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest during his trial, the media reported. ... read..

Imran Khan elected as 22nd PM of Pakistan
Islamabad [Pakistan] | August 17, 2018 9:41:31 PM IST
Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan was elected as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan after the newly-elected members of the National Assembly (NA) cast their vote on Friday. ... read..

U.N. rights chief condemns Bosnian Serb revoking of Srebrenica report
GENEVA | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Outgoing United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein condemned a decision by the Bosnian Serb parliament to revoke a 2004 report on the Srebrenica massacre and called on lawmakers to reconsider the move which he said will damage reconciliation ... read..

Trump cancels military parade, says he will head to Paris
WASHINGTON | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he had canceled his planned military parade and would instead visit Paris on Nov. 11 to commemorate Veterans Days, after the Defense Department said it had postponed the parade to at least next year. The Republi ... read..

Pakistani lawmakers elect Imran Khan as new prime minister
ISLAMABAD | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Lawmakers in Pakistan's lower house of parliament elected former cricket legend Imran Khan as the country's new prime minister on Friday, paving the way for him to form a coalition government. Khan received 176 votes in the 342-seat National Assembly, sa ... read..

Slovenia's parliament confirms Sarec as PM designate
LJUBLJANA | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Slovenia's parliament approved Marjan Sarec, a comedian turned politician, as prime minister designate on Friday, setting him on track to form a minority government and end the country's longest political stalemate since an election. Sarec, became the EU ... read..

Separatist bid looms over Barcelona attack commemoration
BARCELONA | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Barcelona paid tribute on Friday to the victims of a militant rampage last year which killed 16 people, but a call from victims' families to put aside divisions over independence ambitions for the surrounding region of Catalonia was not heeded by all. On ... read..

Italy determined to revoke motorway concession after bridge collapse -Di Maio
ROME | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
The Italian government is determined to revoke the national concession of toll road operator Autostrade per l'Italia following the collapse of a motorway bridge in Genoa this week, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Friday. "I am saying this cle ... read..

FDA approves Bristol-Myers' Opdivo for small cell lung cancer
Undated | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said on Friday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its treatment, Opdivo, for patients whose lung cancer had progressed even after undergoing chemotherapy and at least one other therapy. The drug competes with Merck & C ... read..

Mexico union boss victory exposes crack in top graft cases
By Michael O'Boyle and Stefanie Eschenbacher MEXICO CITY | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
A Mexican court ruling allowing an ex-union boss to walk free of money laundering charges laid bare a serious flaw in a host of other high-profile corruption trials, officials and experts say, and underscored the challenge facing the incoming government. ... read..

Turkish court rejects U.S. pastor Brunson's appeal for release - Haberturk
ANKARA | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
A Turkish court has rejected an appeal to release American Christian pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest, broadcaster Haberturk said on Friday. Brunson, an Evangelical pastor residing in the coastal province of Izmir, is standing trial in Turkey over ... read..

Netanyahu questioned again in long-running corruption probe
JERUSALEM | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Israeli police questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday over what local media said was a case involving the country's largest telecoms firm, one of three corruption probes in which he has been named as a suspect. Netanyahu, a conservative p ... read..

Germany looks at easing immigration laws to fill skilled labour gaps
BERLIN | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
The German cabinet will soon decide on a proposal to make it easier for skilled workers from outside the European Union to move to Germany to take a job, a paper seen by Reuters shows, as Germany seeks to alleviate chronic labour shortages. Such plans co ... read..

British watchdog says cryptocurrency scams on the rise
LONDON | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Cryptocurrency scams are using images of celebrities and upmarket London addresses to hoodwink consumers into parting with cash, Britain's Financial Conduct Authority said on Friday. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether are not regulated in Britain ... read..

Russia agriculture ministry meets grain exporters on volumes
MOSCOW | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Russia's agriculture ministry said it held a meeting on Friday with grain exporters to discuss export volumes. Traders, including some who were at the meeting, said the ministry will consider curbing 2018/19 exports once they reach 30 million tonnes foll ... read..

Imran Khan elected house leader, to be sworn in PM Saturday
Islamabad | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan was elected leader of the National Assembly on Friday. He will be sworn in the 22nd prime minister of the country on Saturday. Khan, 65, was elected leader of the lower house of Parliament after a vote ... read..

China condoles Vajpayee's death
Beijing | Friday, 2018 7:15:04 PM IST
China on Friday expressed its condolences on the death of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and called him an "outstanding Indian statesman" for his contribution to the Sino-Indian ties. ... read..

Google preparing to launch display-equipped smart speakers
San Francisco | Friday, 2018 6:45:06 PM IST
Google is reportedly preparing to launch a display-equipped smart speaker in a direct competition with Amazon and Alibaba Group Holding in the voice-activated gadgets category. ... read..

Singapore condoles Vajpayee's death
Singapore | Friday, 2018 6:45:06 PM IST
Singapore on Friday condoled former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death describing him as a selfless and visionary leader. ... read..

Recycling human wastewater can promote agricultural sustainability
New York | Friday, 2018 6:45:06 PM IST
Human waste, which is full of nutrients, can be recycled into valuable products that could promote agricultural sustainability and even better economic independence for some developing countries, says a new study. ... read..

China offers Turkey moral support, says can overcome difficulties
BEIJING | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
China offered moral support to Turkey on Friday as Ankara reeled from a currency crisis and U.S. sanctions, saying it believed the country could overcome its "temporary" economic difficulties, in Beijing's first comment on the issue. The Turkish lira has ... read..

US sets up Action Group to pressure Iran
Washington | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
The United States has announced the creation of the Iran Action Group (IAG) to execute the administration's Iran strategy and pressure the country to "change" its behavior. The group will be responsible for directing, reviewing, and coordinating "all asp ... read..

Sikh attacks in US: Sukhbir, Harsimrat appeal for Sushma's intervention
New Jersey [USA] | August 17, 2018 5:41:26 PM IST
In the wake of yet another attack on a Sikh man in the US, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders Sukhbir Singh Badal and Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Thursday appealed to External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj to take up the matter with the US authorities. ... read..

Tunisia says holding passport of Islamist suspect deported by Germany pending probe
TUNIS | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Tunisia has confiscated the passport of a man suspected of being an Islamist militant who once served as Osama bin Laden's bodyguard to prevent him returning to Germany, a judiciary official said on Friday. Germany deported Sami Aidoudi last month but a ... read..

New U.S. training unit in Afghanistan faces old problems
By James Mackenzie CAMP DAHLKE | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Captain Joe Fontana, a team leader with the U.S. army's 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, is part of a new unit but he is working on problems that have been stubbornly familiar to American military advisers in Afghanistan for years. The 1st SFAB was ... read..

Australian court quashes indigenous challenge to Adani mine
SYDNEY | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
An Australian court quashed an indigenous group's bid to block Indian resource conglomerate Adani Enterprises Ltd from developing its controversial Carmichael coalmine on Friday, clearing one of the final legal hurdles to its development. The company is ... read..

Atlantia to hold board meetings after Genoa bridge disaster - source
MILAN | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Italian toll-road group Atlantia has called special board meetings next week to discuss the deadly collapse of a bridge it operates in Genoa, a source said on Friday. Autostrade per l'Italia, the Atlantia unit that manages the stretch of motorway in nort ... read..

London mayor Khan consults disaster planners over no-deal Brexit
LONDON | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
London's mayor Sadiq Khan said on Friday he had asked the organisation that deals with militant attacks and disasters in the British capital to assess the impact of a "no-deal" Brexit on access to medicines and food and on law and order. Khan said he wou ... read..

China says U.S. politicising Confucius Institute shows "lack of self-confidence"
BEIJING | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
China said on Friday the politicising of a Chinese-run cultural organisation by some people in the United States showed "a lack of self-confidence", after the University of North Florida said it would close a campus branch of the Confucius Institute. The ... read..

Engineering study in 2017 warned about Italy bridge stability - reports
MILAN | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
An engineering study commissioned by Italian highway operator Autostrade last year warned about the state of the concrete-encased cable stays that held up a bridge that collapsed this week in Genoa, two Italian newspapers reported on Friday. Autostrade p ... read..

Leftists table bill to nationalise South Africa's central bank, rattle rand
By Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Wendell Roelf JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Opposition firebrand Julius Malema tabled a bill to nationalise South Africa's central bank, rattling markets wary of any threat to the institution's independence. The rand fell more than 1 percent overnight after parliament released details on the bill ... read..

France condoles Vajpayee's death
Paris | Friday, 2018 5:15:07 PM IST
France on Friday condoled the death of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying his name will remain linked to Indo-French friendship as he shaped the strategic partnership that the two countries share. ... read..

Yemeni government and Houthi movement invited to Sept 6 peace talks - U.N.
GENEVA | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
The United Nations has invited the Yemeni government and the Houthi movement that controls most of the north to peace talks in Geneva on Sept. 6, a U.N. spokeswoman said on Friday. U.N. Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths is trying to negotiate an e ... read..

WHO expects more Ebola cases in Congo, can't reach no-go areas
GENEVA | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that it could not be certain that it had identified all people exposed to the deadly Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu region, where insecurity prevents aid workers from reachin ... read..

Nepal Foreign Minister to attend Vajpayee's funeral
Kathmandu | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali on Friday left for New Delhi to attend the last rites of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "Representing the Government and people of Nepal, Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali is leaving for New ... read..

Sikh store-owner stabbed to death in US (Lead)
New York | Friday, 2018 4:15:08 PM IST
A Sikh store-owner has been stabbed to death in the US state of New Jersey, in a third incident targeting the community in the country in the last three weeks. ... read..

Flags in Mauritius at half mast in Vajpayee's honour
Port Louis | Friday, 2018 4:15:08 PM IST
In an unprecedented gesture, the government of Mauritius will fly both the Mauritian and Indian national flags at half mast on Friday in honour of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. ... read..

Muslims gather in Mecca ahead of Haj
Riyadh | Friday, 2018 3:45:06 PM IST
Thousands of Muslims from around the world gathered on Friday in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca ahead of the annual Haj pilgrimage. ... read..

Bhutan King, British HC pay homage to Vajpayee
New Delhi | Friday, 2018 3:45:05 PM IST
Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith on Friday paid their homage to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the BJP office here. ... read..

'US-India ties continue to benefit from Vajpayee's vision'
Washington D.C. [USA] | August 17, 2018 3:41:46 PM IST
Reacting to former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's demise, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the relationship between the two countries continues to benefit from the former's vision, which helped promote expanded coop ... read..

Indians top amongst foreign ascenders in Everest expedition
Kathmandu [Nepal] | August 17, 2018 3:41:40 PM IST
The Department of Tourism of Nepal on Thursday released the number of expedition permits and the number of successful ascends of Mount Everest. ... read..

Japan ministries may have fiddled numbers of disabled employees - media
TOKYO | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Several ministries in Japan may have been inflating for decades the number of disabled people they employ in order to meet quotas, media said on Friday, even as the government imposes levies on private companies that fail to meet theirs. Revelations of a ... read..

Rescuers deal with fire in Italian bridge rubble before day of mourning
By Ilaria Polleschi GENOA | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Rescue workers searched through tons of concrete and steel from the collapsed Genoa highway bridge for a fourth day on Friday as Italians prepared to bury the 38 victims of a disaster that has angered the public and rattled industry. A fire among the rub ... read..

Waterbomber pilot killed fighting Australian wildfires
By Erin Cooper SYDNEY | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
A helicopter pilot died on Friday when his aircraft crashed while waterbombing rare winter bushfires in Australia that have swept across its drought-stricken southeast, police said. About 75 fires are burning across New South Wales state, fanned by dry c ... read..

Japan widens stricter quarantine after China's 2nd African swine fever case
TOKYO | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Japan has widened its stricter quarantine to travellers from China's Henan and Heilongjiang provinces after its Asian neighbour's second case of African swine fever (ASF) was reported in those areas, an official at Japan's ministry of agriculture, forestr ... read..

B'desh Foreign Minister in New Delhi to attend Vajpayee's funeral
Dhaka | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali reached New Delhi on Friday morning to attend the funeral of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The government of Bangladesh has expressed deep shock at the sudden demise of the former Prime Minister of Ind ... read..

Skylark Holdings to reduce plastic straw use by 2020
Tokyo | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Restaurant chain operator Skylark Holdings Co will cut almost all use of disposable plastic straws at all of its group outlets by 2020, officials have said. Skylark will stop distributing plastic straws by the end of this year at its Gusto restaurant chai ... read..

Toddler found after being lost for three days
Tokyo | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
This week's discovery of an uninjured 2-year-old boy who had been missing for three days on an island in western Japan is being called a miracle, with experts remarking that the hot weather and time elapsed since his disappearance had made a safe return s ... read..

Kim Jong-nam murder: 'Enough evidence' for women to go on trial
Jakarta | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Two women who say they were tricked into killing the half-brother of North Korea's Kim Jong-un will go on trial, according to a BBC News report. Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Thuong are accused of smearing the toxic nerve agent VX on Kim Jong-nam's face in Kua ... read..

'Passport to dignity' that schools represent may expire fast
United Nations | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
A lack of funds means that the new school term for over half-a-million Palestinian students could be cut short after just one month, says UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refuge. The agency's 711 schools, providing free basi ... read..

Exploitation of workers hired to clean up toxic Japanese nuke plant?
United Nations | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
A group of United Nations rights experts are urging the Japanese government to urgently protect tens of thousands or workers hired to help decontaminate the Fukushima nuclear plant, who are reportedly being exploited and exposed to toxic nuclear radiation ... read..

Rejection of commission's findings step backwards for B&H
United Nations | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
The Republika Srpska National Assembly in Bosnia and Herzegovina drew concern from the top United Nations expert on the Prevention of Genocide on Thursday, over its decision this week to revoke its endorsement of the 2004 Srebrenica Commission Report ackn ... read..

New South Wales fires: Helicopter crash kills pilot
New South Wales [Australia] | August 17, 2018 3:11:34 PM IST
A helicopter crashed during a firefighting operation in Australia's New South Wales (NSW) on Friday, resultantly killing the pilot. ... read..

Balochistan is not Xinjiang, Baloch leader warns China
Undisclosed location, Balochistan | August 17, 2018 3:11:29 PM IST
Undisclosed location, Balochistan (ANI), Aug 17: Warning China against exploitation of Balochistan's mineral wealth and occupation of Baloch territory, Baloch pro-independence leader Allah Nazar Baloch asserted that the people of Balochistan would not tol ... read..

Indonesian police kill dozens in Asian Games clean-up: Amnesty
Jakarta | Friday, 2018 2:45:06 PM IST
Police in the Indonesian capital have killed dozens of people as part of an escalating crackdown against petty criminals ahead of the Asian Games, in a campaign Amnesty International has described as "unnecessary and excessive". ... read..

Tonga backs down on Pacific plan to pressure China on debt
By Charlotte Greenfield and Jonathan Barrett WELLINGTON/SYDNEY | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Tonga's prime minister on Friday backed down on calls for Pacific island nations to collectively lobby China to forgive their mounting debts, after a source said Beijing had complained about the plan. Tonga is one of eight island nations in the South Paci ... read..

World's top pork firm shuts China slaughterhouse in race to contain deadly swine fever
By Josephine Mason BEIJING | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
China has ordered the world's top pork producer, WH Group Ltd, to shut a major slaughterhouse as authorities race to stop the spread of deadly African swine fever (ASF) after a second outbreak in the planet's biggest hog herd in two weeks. The discovery o ... read..

Afghan president congratulates armed forces for Ghazni victory
KABUL | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
President Ashraf Ghani congratulated Afghanistan's armed forces in Ghazni on Friday for their victory over Taliban insurgents in the strategically important city after clashes that killed at least 150 soldiers and 95 civilians. The Taliban's five-day sieg ... read..

Xiamen Air passenger jet skids off runway in Manila, no casualties
MANILA | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
A passenger plane operated by China's Xiamen Air veered off a rain-soaked runway after landing at Manila's main airport, disrupting flight schedules on Friday due to a temporary runway closure, officials said. All 157 passengers and eight crew aboard the ... read..

In paying homage to Vajpayee, Pakistan pitches for peace
Islamabad | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Pakistan on Friday made a strong pitch for peace with India as it joined the rest of the world and global leaders in paying tribute to Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Dr Mohammad Faisal, spokesman in Pakistan foreign ministry, took to Twitter and share ... read..

NZ bans non-resident foreigners from buying homes
Wellington | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
New Zealand's government is banning non-resident foreigners from buying homes, according to an Euronews report. The new law, which was passed on Wednesday, is part of a plan to bring down house prices and boost home ownership in the country. The move fulf ... read..

Using leprosy metaphors in political rhetoric fuels public stigma
United Nations | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Recent incidents where high-level politicians have used the word 'leprosy' in discriminatory remarks against rivals only contributes to harmful stereotypes surrounding the disease. That's the view expressed by a UN human rights expert who is calling for t ... read..

Hundreds stranded in Manila airport as plane crash lands
Manila | Friday, 2018 1:45:04 PM IST
Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the Manila airport on Friday after a Chinese airline plane crash-landed amid heavy rains, forcing authorities to shut the runway. ... read..

China actively expanding bomber training for US strikes: Pentagon
Washington [USA] | August 17, 2018 1:41:38 PM IST
A new space report by the Pentagon has revealed that Beijing is indefatigably developing long-range bombers and "likely training for strikes" against Washington, DC and its allies in the near future. ... read..

Australia expects free trade deals this year with Indonesia, Hong Kong
SYDNEY | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
The Australian government expects to seal free trade agreements with Indonesia and Hong Kong by year's end, its trade minister said on Friday. Concluding the two agreements would wrap years of talks, which in the case of Indonesia have dragged on since 20 ... read..

Storm Bebinca weakens as it makes landfall in northern Vietnam
HANOI | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Tropical storm Bebinca weakened as it made landfall in northern Vietnam on Friday, flooding some villages in one province but there were no reports of major damage. Vietnam had put thousands of soldiers on standby, readied evacuation plans and ordered ves ... read..

Jin Air's licence intact after 'nut rage' sister's scandal; shares soar
By Heekyong Yang SEOUL | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
South Korea's Jin Air escaped the worst of regulatory wrath on Friday when it was allowed to keep its business licence in the wake of public outrage over the behaviour of members of its founding family. The country's No.2 budget carrier's licence was put ... read..

Mt Everest: 18 Nepali women among 563 climbers
Kathmandu | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
At least 18 Nepali women climbers among 563 persons from 39 different countries successfully reached the summit of the world's highest peak from Nepal side in the last spring season, according to the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture Tou ... read..

UN condemns suicide attack on eduCentre in Afghanistan
United Nations | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
The perpetrators of Wednesday's "heinous" suicide bombing that killed students at an education centre in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, must be brought to justice, the UN Secretary-General has said. Nearly 50 people were killed in the attack which Antnio ... read..

Terror attacks strike people from all walks of life, UN included
United Nations | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
The terrorist attack on UN headquarters in Iraq in 2003 that claimed the lives of 22 people should serve as a reminder that the organization's locally recruited staff often face the greatest dangers in the world's most hostile places, amid increasing atta ... read..

UNHCR official stresses freedom of choice crucial for refugee returns
United Nations | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Refugees should never be pressured to decide if they should return to their home countries, a senior UN official has said. Volker Trk, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection with the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, on Thursday completed a four-day visit t ... read..

Unconscionable to kill aid workers: UN Emergency Coordinator
United Nations | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Remembering all the humanitarians killed in the line of duty just ahead of World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations relief chief on Friday, renewed the call for civilians and aid workers everywhere to be better protected. Each year on 19 August, the wor ... read..

Imran vs Shehbaz: NA to elect new PM today
Islamabad | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
PTI Chairman Imran Khan and PML-N President Mian Shahbaz Sharif are in the fray for election of Leader of the House in the National Assembly, the Dunya News reported on Friday. National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser scrutinised nomination papers of both th ... read..

Imran Khan opts for simple oath-taking ceremony
Islamabad | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has directed to stage the oath-taking event in a simple manner, Dunya News has reported. The guests will be served with tea and biscuits at the oath-taking ceremony to be held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr (President ... read..

Low-carb diets could shorten life, study suggests
New York | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
A low-carb diet could shorten life expectancy by up to four years, a study suggests. Low-carb diets, such as Atkins, have become increasingly popular for weight loss and have shown promise for lowering the risk of some illnesses, says a BBC News report. B ... read..

US threatens more action against Turkey unless pastor freed
Washington | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
The US has threatened to impose more economic sanctions on Turkey if it does not free a detained American pastor, said a BBC News report on Friday. Andrew Brunson has been held in Turkey for nearly two years over alleged links to political groups. The dis ... read..

US military parade ordered by Trump postponed 'to 2019'
Washington | Friday, Aug 17 2018 IST
President Trump's plans for a Veterans Day military parade through the streets of Washington DC have been delayed until at least 2019, a BBC News reported on Friday. Mr Trump was impressed by France's Bastille Day parade on a visit in 2017 and said the US ... read..

Pompeo announces new team for Iran strategy
Washington | Friday, 2018 1:15:06 PM IST
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has unveiled a new team to coordinate the administrations post-nuclear deal approach to Iran and bolster support for the strategy abroad. ... read..

Kamala Harris to make first campaign endorsement
Washington | Friday, 2018 12:45:06 PM IST
Kamala Harris, the first Indian-American to serve in the US Senate, is set to make her first endorsement in an Iowa campaign on Friday, sources said. ... read..

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