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Freedom in the air

Crisis

UN calls for fresh Libya talks to end crisis

The United Nations mission to Libya Wednesday said it will call fresh talks between warring factions in an attempt to end months of violence and political deadlock in the country. UN Special Representative Bernardino Leon will lead the new round of negotiations on December 9, the organisation's Libya mission said in a statement. It did not say where the talks would take place or who would take part. The UN's push for dialogue came as the United States and key allies said...

21 killed as Syrian army bombs northern town

21 killed as Syrian army bombs northern town

At least 21 people were killed and around 100 wounded when Syrian army planes bombed a town in northern Syria that is controlled by Islamic State militants, a group monitoring the war said on Sunday. Syrian military helicopters dropped barrel bombs and warplanes launched air strikes on al-Bab which lies northeast of the city...

Ebola Crisis

US modifies quarantine guidelines after uproar

US health authorities yesterday issued new guidelines for health workers returning from Ebola-hit nations after a firestorm of criticism over state quarantine restrictions, including from the UN chief. The enforced quarantine in New Jersey of a US nurse who had come home after treating patients in Sierra Leone sparked controversy -- and accusations from the woman that her rights had been violated. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday urged active monitoring of those at risk following stints...

JCD Reels from Infighting

Crisis not over even after series of talks

The crisis in Chhatra Dal seems to be far from over as senior BNP leaders yesterday failed to convince the aggrieved JCD leaders on its new central committee. In a meeting with rebel JCD leaders, BNP Dhaka city unit Convener Mirza Abbas and Jubo Dal President Moazzem Hossain Alal offered the student leaders posts in the party's front organisations. Rejecting the offer, the JCD leaders demanded scrapping of the new JCD committee and forming a new one comprised of dedicated and...

Cuba leads fight against Ebola

As the official number of Ebola deaths in west Africa's crisis topped 4,000 last week – experts say the actual figure is at least twice as high – the UN issued a stark call to arms. Even to simply slow down the rate of infection, the international humanitarian effort would have to increase massively, warned UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “We need a 20-fold resource mobilisation,” he said. “We need at least a 20-fold surge in assistance – mobile laboratories, vehicles,...

Pak protests ease as rival leaders seek negotiated settlement

Pak protests ease as rival leaders seek negotiated settlement

Pakistan's protest leaders demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation prepared to resume talks with the government on Wednesday, reviving hopes for a negotiated solution to a crisis that has shaken the coup-prone nation. Protests turned deadly last weekend, with thousands trying to storm Sharif's house, in an outburst of violence which has prompted fears...

US, Iran, longtime enemies, now potential partners

US, Iran, longtime enemies, now potential partners

It's the fog of diplomacy. For years, Iran has been an archenemy of the United States. Now, with alliances blurred in the Mideast, the two countries are talking about how to stop an offensive in Iraq by al-Qaida-inspired insurgents. How is it that adversaries that haven't trusted each other for 35 years could cooperate on...

Russia warns over Ukraine talks

Russia warns over Ukraine talks

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says any armed action by Ukrainian authorities in the east of Ukraine could undermine forthcoming talks. He made the comments after pro-Russian militants stormed a police headquarters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk on Sunday. The US has condemned Russia's role in "inciting" trouble in eastern Ukraine. Four-party talks involving...

Putin calls Obama to discuss Ukraine

Putin calls Obama to discuss Ukraine

Russia's Vladimir Putin has telephoned President Barack Obama to discuss the US proposal for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine. Obama suggested that Russia put a concrete response in writing, the White House said in a statement. According to the Kremlin, Putin suggested examining how the situation could be stabilised. Russia's annexation of Crimea...

TIB report biased: Law minister

TIB report biased: Law minister

Law Minister Anisul Huq today termed a Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) report on quorum crisis at the ninth parliament as "biased" and "unexpected". The minister's remark came shortly after TIB revealed a report saying that quorum crisis during the ninth parliament caused the country waste of time worth over Tk 104 crore. When journalists pointed out a TIB observation that the parliament can be effective if all political parties take part in the election, the minister said the January 5 parliamentary election was held in the same fashion as the December 29, 2008 election. "But the opposition attended the parliament for only 70 days. So, this study is biased. Such a report...

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