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Philippines typhoon toll hits 81, expected to rise

MANILA: The death toll in the Philippines from Typhoon Mangkhut has climbed to 81 and could hit triple digits as searchers dig through a landslide where dozens are presumed dead, authorities said Wednesday. Mangkhut swamped farm fields in the nation’s agricultural north and smashed houses when it tore through at the weekend with violent winds and heavy rains. Since then...

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India declares conditional ceasefire in Kashmir during Ramadan

Indian government on Wednesday announced a conditional ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir against militants during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. “Decision (has been) taken to help peace loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment,” the Indian Home Ministry announced on its official Twitter account, using an alternate spelling for Ramadan. However, the statement mentioned that the Indian forces...

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North Korea suspends talks with South, warns on Trump-Kim summit following air drills

SEOUL: North Korea suspended high-level talks with South Korea scheduled for Wednesday due to US-South Korean military exercises and warned that a summit next month between its leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump could be in jeopardy. North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency called the US-South Korean “Max Thunder” air combat drills, which it said involved...

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Turkey and Israel expel ambassadors over Gaza violence

ANKARA: Turkey and Israel expelled each other’s senior diplomats on Tuesday in a dispute over the killing by Israeli forces of 60 Palestinians a day earlier during protests on the Gaza border Turkey told Israel’s ambassador to leave the country on Tuesday after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians during protests on the Gaza border against the opening of the U.S....

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Gaza toll rises to 60 as fresh protests against Israel gather

Palestinians were gathering Tuesday for fresh protests along the Gaza border, a day after Israeli forces killed dozens there as the US embassy opened in Jerusalem on what was the conflict's bloodiest day in years. Palestinians on Tuesday marked the Nakba, or "catastrophe", commemorating the more than 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled in the 1948 war surrounding Israel's...

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North Korea will never fully give up nuclear weapons: top defector

SEOUL: North Korea will never completely give up its nuclear weapons, a top defector said ahead of leader Kim Jong Un’s landmark summit with US President Donald Trump next month. The current whirlwind of diplomacy and negotiations will not end with "a sincere and complete disarmament" but with "a reduced North Korean nuclear threat", said Thae Yong-ho, who fled his...

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Nisar differs with Nawaz, says India remained stubborn related to Mumbai Attacks probe

ISLAMABAD: Former Interior Minister Chauhdry Nisar Ali Khan has spoken out after his party leader and ousted premier Nawaz Sharif allegedly took the line of Indian narrative, saying that 'State' was complacent enough, which could not stop 'non state actors' from executing 'Mumbai Attack', in 2008. However today, in a statement he released did not condemn Nawaz, but for records...

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BJP refuses ‘ceasefire’ appeal by CM Mehbooba Mufti for Ramzan in disputed IoK

PDP ally BJP today opposed the idea of unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir by the Centre. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti yesterday said that the all-party meeting, called to discuss the situation in Kashmir, had agreed that the Centre should consider announcing a ceasefire in Kashmir during the forthcoming holy Muslim month of Ramadan. But the BJP chief spokesperson for Jammu and...

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Trump says Kim summit set for June 12 in Singapore

US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take place in Singapore on June 12. "We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!" Trump said in a tweeted announcement. The location and date of the summit -- the first ever between a sitting US...

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Mahathir Mohamad, 92, back as Malaysia’s Prime Minister

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad has never lost an election campaign. He maintained that record and created another one on Thursday when, at 92, he was set to be sworn in as the world’s oldest elected leader. “Yes, yes, I am still alive,” a sprightly looking Mahathir said at a 3 AM news conference in which he claimed victory over...

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Gulf Arab allies jubilant at U.S. withdrawal from Iran deal

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies welcomed President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from a nuclear agreement with Iran after years of warning that it gave their arch-rival cover to expand its regional influence. The quick embrace of Trump’s announcement on Tuesday reflects a sense of vindication by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,...

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Donald Trump to unveil decision on Iran nuclear deal tonight

WASHINGTON/ANKARA: President Donald Trump will announce on Tuesday whether he will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and a senior US official said it was unclear if efforts by European allies to address Trump’s concerns would be enough to save the pact. Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the deal, which eased economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran...

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Punjab govt forms JIT to investigate attack on Ahsan Iqbal

LAHORE: Punjab government on Monday has formed five-member Joint Investigation team (JIT), to probe the attack on Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Newsone reported. According to a notification, District inspector general of investigation branch will head the five-member JIT. The JIT will include SSP Gujranwala Khalid Bashir Cheema, Counter Terrorism Team Gujranwala SP Faisal Gulzar Awan and one official each of the...

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Spy agency NSA collects triple of US phone records: report

WASHINGTON: The US National Security Agency (NSA) collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a US intelligence agency report released on Friday said. The sharp increase from 151 million occurred during the second full year of a new surveillance system established at the spy agency after US...

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Nobel literature prize will not be awarded this year

COPENHAGEN, Denmark  The Nobel Prize in literature will not be awarded this year following sex-abuse allegations and other issues that have affected the public image of the Swedish Academy that selects the winner. The academy said Friday the 2018 prize will be given in 2019. The decision was made at a weekly meeting in Stockholm a day earlier, on the...

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Trump says ‘retainer’ to lawyer covered porn star payment

President Donald Trump on Thursday said that the reimbursement to his personal lawyer for hush money paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels was done through a monthly retainer and “had nothing to do with the campaign”. On Twitter, Trump said that his personal attorney Michael Cohen received a monthly retainer “from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two...

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US court holds Iran responsible for abetting 9/11 attacks, orders payment of billions of Dollars

A judge in the US has issued a default judgement requiring Iran to pay more than $6bn to victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed almost 3,000 people, court filings show. Monday's ruling in the case - Thomas Burnett, Sr et al v. The Islamic Republic of Iran et al - finds "the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and...

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