• Wednesday, August 20, 2014

World

Iraq target IS bastions

Iraqi forces launched a string of attacks on Sunni militants yesterday, including at Saddam Hussein's hometown Tikrit, as US President Barack Obama declared his firmest commitment yet to targeting jihadists. Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency yesterday said it was poised to mount a massive aid operation for 500,000 Iraqis driven from their homes by jihadist rebels. "In response to the deteriorating situation in northern Iraq, UNHCR is this week launching one of its largest aid pushes aimed at helping close to...

Qaeda, IS are Islam's 'enemy No 1

Qaeda, IS are Islam's 'enemy No 1

Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh yesterday blasted al-Qaeda and Islamic State jihadists as "enemy number one" of Islam, in a statement issued in Riyadh. "The ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism... have nothing to do with Islam and (their proponents) are the enemy number one of Islam," the kingdom's top cleric said. He cited jihadists from the Islamic State, which has declared a "caliphate" straddling large parts of Iraq and Syria, and the global al-Qaeda terror network. "Muslims are the main victims of this extremism, as shown by crimes committed by the so-called Islamic State, al-Qaeda and groups linked to them," the mufti said, quoting a verse in the Quran...

Ukraine Crisis

Poroshenko to meet Putin on Aug 26

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko will meet with top EU officials in Belarus next week. Poroshenko's office said leaders would use the August 26 meeting to discuss ways to stabilise the situation in eastern Ukraine, energy security and Kiev's new trade deal with the European Union, which Russia has opposed. The news came as Ukraine yesterday said that fighting had erupted in the heart of the major rebel stronghold of Lugansk as government forces pressed on...

West preventing ICC to open Gaza probe

West preventing ICC to open Gaza probe

The international criminal court has persistently avoided opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza as a result of US and other western pressure, former court officials and lawyers claim. In recent days, a potential ICC investigation into the actions of both the Israel Defence Forces and Hamas in Gaza has become a...

Ebola Crisis

84 people died in last 3 days: UN

The Ebola virus killed 84 people in just three days, bringing the global death toll to 1,229, the World Health Organization said yesterday. The death toll, which passed the 1,000-mark over a week ago, soared higher from last Thursday to Saturday. The number of confirmed infections jumped by 113 over the three days, bringing the total number of cases to 2,240, the UN health agency said. The epidemic, which has hit four west African nations since it broke out in Guinea at...

Pakistan anti-govt protesters march on parliament

Pakistan yesterday sent troops to boost security in Islamabad's government district, as opposition politician Imran Khan and a populist cleric led protesters marching on parliament in a high-stakes bid to depose the prime minister. Khan, the former cricket star who leads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party, and preacher Tahir-ul-Qadri say last year's general election was rigged and have demanded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resign. Thousands of their followers have rallied in Islamabad over the past five days to demand Sharif quit,...

Probe Into Alleged War Crimes

Lanka to refuse entry to UN investigators

Lanka to refuse entry to UN investigators

Sri Lanka will not grant visas to UN investigators probing war crimes allegedly committed during the island's decades-long separatist conflict, President Mahinda Rajapakse said yesterday. Sri Lanka has refused to accept the authority of the UN Human Rights Council, which voted in March to investigate allegations that the military killed 40,000 civilians in the final months of the separatist war in 2009. But it is the first time that Rajapakse has said UN investigators will not be allowed into the country, effectively barring them from face-to-face access to Sri Lankans wanting to testify. "We will not allow them into the country," said Rajapakse, who is under international pressure to cooperate with the...

Congress denied opposition status

Congress denied opposition status

Sonia Gandhi-led Congress party's demand for being given the status of Leader of the Opposition to its parliamentary group chief in the Lok Sabha was rejected by parliament Speaker Sumitra Mahajan yesterday. "I have gone by rules and tradition," Mahajan told the media on her decision not to recongnise the Congress leader in Lok...

'Iron Lady of Manipur' freed

'Iron Lady of Manipur' freed

An Indian court yesterday ordered the release of a woman who has staged a 14-year-long hunger strike to protest human rights abuses in the country's remote northeast, her lawyer said. Irom Sharmila, known as the Iron Lady of Manipur for her unwavering and non-violent protest, has spent years in judicial custody over her fast,...

News In Brief

48 militants killed Pakistan airstrikes Afp, Khar Air strikes targeting suspected Tailban hideouts in a restive tribal district of northwest Pakistan killed 48 militants yesterday, the military said, as six civilians died in a roadside bomb attack. The armed forces have since June been waging an assault to wipe out strongholds of the Pakistani Taliban and other militants in North Waziristan and other tribal areas, killing at least 600 insurgents according to the military.       India's death-row sisters seek last-ditch reprieve Afp, Mumbai Two Indian...