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Taliban peace deal ‘when, not if’: Ashraf Ghani

WASHINGTON: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani voiced confidence Monday on reaching a peace deal to end the Taliban insurgency — but warned Pakistan's alleged meddling risked sparking long-term hostility. "I feel that it is now not a question of if, but when," Ghani said of a peace agreement in a wide-ranging appearance by video at Johns Hopkins University, where he was...

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Palestinian teen martyred by Israeli army: ministry

A Palestinian teenager has died after being shot by Israeli forces last month during protests and clashes along the Gaza border, the health ministry in the enclave said. Saheeb Abu Kashef, 16, died late on Saturday after being shot on August 3 east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, according to the ministry. An Israeli military spokesman has...

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Foreign Minister Qureshi, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani discusses bilateral ties

SATURDAY: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi arrived in Kabul on a one-day official visit today where he met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Upon his arrival at the Presidential Palace, Qureshi was received by his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani. The latter noted that establishing peace was as important for Pakistan as Afghanistan. "Our challenges are similar and we have to...

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South Korea launches its first missile-capable submarine

South Korea launched its first ever missile-capable attack submarine on Friday, despite a recent diplomatic thaw with the nuclear-armed North. The $700 million, 3,000-tonne Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine is capable of firing both cruise and ballistic missiles and the first of three planned diesel-electric boats to go into service in the next five years. It represented a "leap forward in...

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European court rules against Britain over mass surveillance

Europe´s top rights court ruled Thursday that Britain´s programme of mass surveillance, revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden as part of his sensational leaks on US spying, violated people´s right to privacy. Ruling in the case of Big Brother Watch and Others versus the United Kingdom, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, said the interception of journalistic material...

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US voices concern on China’s Muslim crackdown in Xinjiang

WASHINGTON: The US State Department on Tuesday expressed deep concern over China’s “worsening crackdown” on minority Muslims in the Xinjiang region, as the Trump administration considered sanctions against Chinese senior officials and companies linked to allegations of human rights abuses. Discussions have gained momentum within the US government over possible economic penalties in response to reports of mass detentions of...

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Global hunger levels rising due to extreme weather, UN warns

UNITED NATIONS: World hunger rose in 2017 for a third consecutive year, fuelled by conflict and climate change, the United Nations warned on Tuesday, jeopardizing a global goal to end the scourge by 2030. Major U.N. agencies said in an annual report Tuesday that the number of hungry people facing chronic food deprivation increased to 821 million in 2017 from...

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Workers still search for 9/11 remains, 17 years on

Seventeen years later, more than 1,100 victims of the hijacked plane attacks on the World Trade Center have yet to be identified. But in a New York lab, a team is still avidly working to identify the remains, with technological progress on its side. Day in, day out, they repeat the same protocol dozens of times. At first, they examine...

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TIME magazine highlights plight of pellet gun victims in IoK

NEW YORK, Sept 10 : A mass-circulation U.S. magazine has published an article focusing international attention to the horrifying injuries, including blinding, inflicted on thousands of Kashmiri protesters by the Indian security forces using the deadly pellet guns in occupied Kashmir. TIME magazine also published photographs taken by an award-winning Italian photo/journalist of some of the victims who lost their...

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Ban cheese imports? Pakistan discusses outside-the-box ideas to avoid IMF bailout

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani economic advisors discussed banning imports of luxury cars, smartphones and cheese in a wide-ranging strategy session on how to avoid seeking a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a senior government advisor said. While no decisions were made, the floating of radical measures to tackle Pakistan’s ballooning current account deficit by the newly formed Economic Advisory Council...

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Donald Trump cuts $25 million in aid for Palestinians in East Jerusalem hospitals

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has ordered that $25 million earmarked for the care of Palestinians in East Jerusalem hospitals be directed elsewhere as part of a review of aid, a State Department official said on Saturday. Trump called for a review of US assistance to the Palestinians earlier this year to ensure that the funds were being spent in...

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South Sudan plane crashes with about 20 on board

JUBA: A 19-seater plane crashed into a lake in the centre of South Sudan on Sunday, a regional official told AFP, adding "many on board are feared dead". "We have not yet established full details of the airline but what we know it is a 19-seater plane coming from Juba to Yirol this morning," said regional information minister for the...

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Egyptian court awards death sentence over 2013 sit-in

CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Saturday issued death sentences for 75 people, including prominent Islamist leaders, and jailed more than 600 others over a 2013 sit-in which ended with the killing of hundreds of protesters by security forces. The sentencing concluded the mass trial of some 700 people accused of offences including murder and inciting violence during the pro-Muslim Brotherhood...

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U.S. sends Iran messages ‘every day’ to begin negotiations: Iran president

GENEVA  - The United States constantly sends messages to Iran to begin negotiations, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday in a speech broadcast on state television. Tensions ramped up between Iran and the United States after President Donald Trump pulled out of a landmark nuclear deal with Iran in May and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic last month....

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Mattis makes unannounced visit to Afghanistan

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis landed in Kabul on Friday for an unannounced visit to war-torn Afghanistan, adding his weight to a flurry of diplomatic efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. His trip comes a little more than a year after President Donald Trump unveiled a revamped strategy for Afghanistan that saw him commit thousands of additional...

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New book by Woodward says Trump wanted Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad assassinated

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump wanted to have Syrian President Bashar al-Assad assassinated last year but his defense secretary ignored the request, according to a new book that depicts top Trump aides sometimes disregarding presidential orders to limit what they saw as damaging and dangerous behavior. Excerpts from the book, Fear: Trump in the White House, written by famed Watergate...

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Donald Trump to chair ‘Security Council’ meeting on Iran

UNITED NATIONS: US President Donald Trump will chair a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Iran this month to spotlight its “violations of international law” during the annual gathering of world leaders in New York, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said on Tuesday. The United States, which holds the council presidency for September, has unsuccessfully pushed the UNSC to call...

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