World

Nearly 900 killed in ethnic violence in Congo in mid-December: UN

GENEVA: At least 890 people are believed to have been killed in ethnic violence in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo last month, the United Nations human rights office said on Wednesday. The toll doubles an estimate provided on Monday by a local priest and a civil society activist who said that at least 400 people had been killed in bloodshed...

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IS counterattack in east Syria leaves 32 dead: monitor

BEIRUT: Militants defending their last bastion in eastern Syria used the cover of bad weather to launch a deadly counterattack against a Kurdish-led force, a war monitor said Tuesday. The Islamic State group was unable to hold on to the positions they attacked but the assault killed 23 members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and also left nine...

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Thousands protest controversial citizenship bill in India’s Assam

Thousands in northeastern India protested on Monday against a proposal to grant citizenship to religious minorities in the region, except Muslims, with critics attacking the bill as prejudiced and a sop to Hindus before elections. Protesters burned copies of the legislation in angry marches across Assam state, where millions have settled in recent decades after fleeing neighbouring Muslim-majority nations. Activists...

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Modi plans jobs quota for India’s ‘upper caste poor’

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government announced plans Monday to set aside a quota of government jobs for poorer members of India's upper caste, months before what looks set to be a challenging re-election bid. India already "reserves" jobs for impoverished and disadvantaged lower castes for civil service jobs and college places, but this has caused resentment among other...

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Myanmar’s civilian, military leaders vow to ‘crush’ Rakhine rebels

YANGON: Myanmar government leader Aung San Suu Kyi discussed insurgent attacks on Myanmar police on Monday in a rare meeting with the military chief, and her administration called for the armed forces to “crush” the rebels, a government spokesman said. Fighting between government forces and the rebel Arakan Army in the western state of Rakhine has displaced thousands of people...

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Afghan Taliban wants venue change in talks with US

PESHAWAR: The Taliban will not attend planned peace talks with the United States in Saudi Arabia this month, and want to shift the venue to Qatar, Taliban officials said on Sunday, seeking to fend off Riyadh’s push to include the Afghan government in talks. The upcoming negotiations, the fourth in a series aimed at ending the 17-year war in Afghanistan,...

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No casualties as 6.6-magnitude earthquake hits Indonesia

JAKARTA: An earthquake with a revised magnitude of 6.6 struck 174 kilometres (108 miles) north-northwest of the city of Ternate in Indonesia’s Molucca islands on Sunday, followed by a series of aftershocks, but with no tsunami risk, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. The quake hit at a depth of 60.5 kilometres and was followed by aftershocks of a magnitude...

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Harold Brown, US defence chief who built then strove to contain nuclear weapons, dies at 91

WASHINGTON: Harold Brown, an advocate of nuclear arms control who as President Jimmy Carter’s defence secretary tried but failed to win US Senate approval of a key treaty with the Soviet Union, has died at age 91, the think tank where he worked said. Brown, a native New Yorker, was the first scientist to take the helm of the large...

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3 dead, 4 injured in California bowling alley shooting

A late-night fight at a coastal Los Angeles suburban bowling alley turned deadly on Friday night, killing three men and injuring four. The Torrance Police Department responded to calls of “shots fired” at the Gable House Bowl, in Torrance, California, shortly before midnight. Multiple victims were found with gunshot wounds inside Gable House Bowl, which is described on its website...

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Donald Trump slams ‘disgraceful’ Democrat’s profane impeachment vow

A Democratic congresswoman kicked off her term with an expletive-laced vow to impeach Donald Trump, testing her party's discipline and earning a chiding on Friday from the United States president. As a clip of Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib's animated comments circulated widely on social media, Trump tartly dismissed the threat of impeachment, while the newly elected Democratic House Speaker Nancy...

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China tests its own most powerful ´Mother of All Bombs´

China has tested its most powerful non-nuclear weapon, dubbed the "Mother of All Bombs" by official media in a reference to a US munition used in Afghanistan. In a short video published on the website of state arms manufacturer Norinco, the massive bomb drops on to a plain and produces a gigantic ball of fire and black smoke. On social...

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US House passes bills to end shutdown, ignoring Trump veto threat

WASHINGTON: The new US House Democratic majority on Thursday approved two measures that would end a two-week partial government shutdown, but an impasse remains as the bills provide no money for President Donald Trump's border wall. Trump has threatened a veto of the legislation that would fund homeland security operations until February 8 and several other agencies through September because...

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Trump mocks Indian PM for library in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday mocked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for funding a library in Afghanistan, suggesting it was of no use. Trump brought up India´s aid during a rambling press appearance at a cabinet meeting as he defended his push for the United States to invest less overseas. While stating that he got along with Modi,...

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One dead, 15 injured after women enter flashpoint India temple

One person was killed and at least 15 injured in violence across southern India´s Kerala state which broke out after two women defied traditionalists to enter one of Hinduism´s holiest temples, police said Thursday. Clashes were reported across the state after the two women activists, escorted by police, entered the Sabarimala temple in a surprise pre-dawn operation on Wednesday. The...

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Indian father and son battle for billion-dollar empire

Vijaypat Singhania thought he was keeping his billion-dollar Indian textile empire in the family when he gifted control of the Raymond Group to his son Gautam three years ago. But their relationship has disintegrated spectacularly since, with the father accusing the son of cheating him out of a exclusive apartment and of unceremoniously kicking him out of the company offices....

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Tear gas fired as dozens of migrants try illegal crossing to US

US Border Patrol agents used tear gas and pepper spray to counter rock-throwing migrants when a group of about 150 tried to illegally cross the border from Mexico, leading to 25 arrests, the agency said on Tuesday. It is the second time since November that border officers have used tear gas during an attempted mass migrant crossing in the San...

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Afghan Taliban says ‘post-occupation’ discussed with Iran

The Taliban discussed Afghanistan s "post-occupation situation" with Iran in their latest meeting, the group said Tuesday, as Tehran makes a more concerted and open push for peace ahead of a possible US drawdown. The remarks come after Iran confirmed Monday that the Taliban had visited Tehran for a second round of talks in just a few days that are...

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