• Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani

Turkey said yesterday it would allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to reinforce fellow Kurds in the Syrian border town of Kobani, while the United States air-dropped arms for the first time to help the defenders resist an Islamic State assault. Washington said the arms had been supplied by Iraqi Kurdish authorities and had been dropped near Kobani, which came under Islamic State attack in September and is now besieged to the east, west and south, and bordered to the north by...

Ebola Crisis

WFP warns of food shortages

Countries hit by an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus face food shortages, a United Nations body said yesterday, adding that China had donated $6 million to its relief effort. The World Food Programme (WFP) said supplies in the worst-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been threatened at many levels. "Farmers are abandoning their crops and livestock as they seek areas they perceive as safer away from exposure to the virus," the WFP said in a statement issued...

News Analysis

Is coalition era over in India?

Has the victory of India's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in state legislature polls in Maharashtra and Haryana on its own set the ball rolling for end of coalition politics that has been in vogue in India for nearly two decades? As BJP seized power in Haryana on its own for the first time and emerged as the single largest party for the first time in Maharashtra where it had earlier played second fiddle to its erstwhile ally Shiv...

Indonesia's Widodo sworn in as president

Indonesia's Widodo sworn in as president

Joko Widodo, Indonesia's first leader from outside the political and military elite, was sworn in as president yesterday and reached out to political foes to seek support for his ambitious reform agenda. After the inauguration, Widodo capped his remarkable rise from an upbringing in a riverside slum by travelling through the streets of the...

Opinion Poll

Three-quarters of Israeli oppose Palestinian state

A poll has found that 75% of Israeli Jews oppose the creation of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders if it means withdrawing Israeli troops from the Jordan Valley. The survey, conducted by a rightwing thinktank headed by a political ally of the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, makes for stark reading, contradicting previous polls showing up to 60% of Israelis in favour of a two-state solution. However, the poll confirms the argument that Israeli support for a Palestinian state...

Japan PM loses two female ministers over cash scandals

Japan PM loses two female ministers over cash scandals

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suffered a double setback yesterday with the resignations of two female cabinet ministers over claims they misused political funds, dealing a blow to his proclaimed gender reform drive. Industry minister Yuko Obuchi and justice minister Midori Matsushima quit after days of allegations that they had misspent money in what...

Duchess of Cambridge expecting baby in April

Duchess of Cambridge expecting baby in April

Prince William and his wife Kate's second child, who will be fourth in line to the British throne, is due in April, an official statement said yesterday. "Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in April 2015," said a statement from the couple's...

Climate negotiators urged to 'build bridges'

Climate negotiators urged to 'build bridges'

The UN's climate chief urged country negotiators yesterday to "build bridges" at talks in Bonn towards a new, global pact that received fresh endorsement from world leaders last month. The six-day forum must lay the foundations for the annual round of ministerial-level UN talks to be held in Lima in December, Christiana Figueres told delegates as the meeting opened. Lima, in turn, must pave the way to a historic pact in Paris in December 2015 that will for the first time apply to 195 nations, rich and poor alike. Figueres said a September 23 climate summit...

News in Brief

Sri Lanka will hold a presidential election in January, almost two years ahead of schedule, in which Mahinda Rajapakse will seek a third term, the information minister said yesterday. An early election had been widely expected. But the remarks by minister Keheliya Rambukwella were the first confirmation that Rajapakse was seeking a fresh mandate after removing the two-term limit on the presidency soon after winning re-election in 2010. "The presidential election will be held in January," Rambukwella said at a public meeting in the district of Kandy.

Published Date: October 20, 2014
ISIS suffers heavy losses in battle for Kobane

The Islamic State (ISIS) group was taking heavy losses in the Syrian battleground of Kobane yesterday as Iraqi forces fought the jihadists buoyed by US backing for top government security appointments. US Secretary of State John Kerry said the appointment of defence and interior ministers after weeks of delay was a "very positive step forward" in the fightback against ISIS in Iraq, which Washington has made its priority. But US-led warplanes launched 11 air strikes near Kobane on Saturday and yesterday,...