• Friday, October 31, 2014

World

Sri Lanka steps up search for landslide victims

Sri Lanka steps up search for landslide victims

Sri Lankan soldiers yesterday stepped up their search for 100 people feared buried alive in a landslide at a tea plantation, but there was little hope of finding any survivors. Hundreds of troops using heavy diggers clawed through tonnes of mud that buried scores of tin-roofed homes at the picturesque plantation in the island's...

Myanmar Elections

President calls talks with parties, army

Myanmar's president has called an unprecedented summit of army top brass and political rivals including Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party, politicians said yesterday, a year ahead of crucial elections. The talks, scheduled for today in the capital Naypyidaw, are the first of their kind in the country as it attempts to emerge from the shadow of decades of outright military rule. Experts say the meeting marks a critical juncture with the 2015 elections seen as a key test of democratic...

Curb anti-nat'l forces

With the violence hit area in Birbhum made out of bounds, BJP yesterday stepped up its attack on Trinamool Congress government saying instead of stopping Opposition, it should use its energy for “curbing anti-national forces” working in West Bengal. BJP national vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who was leading a three-member party team to Makra in Birbhum district where TMC and BJP supporters clashed leading to death of 3 persons last Monday, said the state Home department has asked them not...

Pak army steps up Taliban offensive

Twenty-nine people were killed and thousands of civilians forced to flee Pakistan's northwestern region of Khyber, the military said yesterday, as it stepped up a two-week-old offensive against Taliban militants in the area. Meanwhile, a suspected US drone strike killed at least five militants in a Pakistani tribal region bordering Afghanistan yesterday, with local villagers saying the dead included of a senior Arab commander. U.S. drone strikes have escalated this month, hitting targets in tribal areas several times a week, but...

Gandhi dynasty flounders 30 yrs after Indira killing

Gandhi dynasty flounders 30 yrs after Indira killing

When Indira Gandhi was gunned down by her bodyguards on October 31, 1984, the instant elevation of her son Rajiv to the post of prime minister appeared to confirm her family's status as India's natural-born rulers. But three decades on from the assassination of India's 'Iron Lady', even members of her Congress party are beginning to question whether they may now have to look beyond the Nehru-Gandhi clan for survival. After a crushing defeat in May's general election, things hit a new low this month when Congress trailed in third place in two state polls with Rahul Gandhi -- the dynasty's latest scion -- having all but disappeared from view. "Indira Gandhi...

Amelia Earhart's plane debris found!

Amelia Earhart's plane debris found!

An aluminium patch found on a remote Pacific atoll in 1991 has been identified by researchers as a piece of Amelia Earhart's lost aircraft, and could help solve the mystery of what happened to the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Researchers at The International Group of Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) believe the patch was fitted onto Earhart's plane during her eight-day stay in Miami, 1937, her fourth stop during her attempt to circumnavigate the Earth at the equator. “We don't understand how the patch got busted out of [the plane] and ended up on the island where we found it, but we have the patch, we have...

'Execution for watching soap operas'

'Execution for watching soap operas'

North Korea has reportedly publicly executed up at least 50 people this year, including several party officials for watching soap operas. According to South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS), Pyongyang has purged about 10 officials from Kim Jong-un's Workers' Party for watching South Korean soaps. The officials, who also faced charges of bribery and womanising,...

Fake Obama robs store

A man wearing a Barack Obama mask turned up at a Dunkin' Donuts in Massachusetts on Tuesday night – before waving a gun around and proceeding to rob the store. What initially may have appeared to be an early Halloween costume was actually a cunning disguise that completely hid the robber's facial features. The incident happened in the town of Salem just after 8:00pm, WMUR-TV reported. The gun appeared real and the suspect left with a wad of cash less than...

War on ISIS

Iraqi Kurds enter besieged Kobane

Heavily armed Iraqi peshmerga forces reached the Turkish border yesterday and a first small party entered the town of Kobane as they prepared to join fellow Kurds battling jihadists. The 10 fighters briefly entered Kobane to coordinate with Kurdish militia who have been holding off an assault by jihadists of the so called Islamic State (ISIS) group for six weeks, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Turkey's Firat news agency said they returned to the town of Suruc on the...

Burkina Faso parliament set on fire

Burkina Faso parliament set on fire

Angry demonstrators went on the rampage in Burkina Faso yesterday, setting parliament ablaze in a surge of violence that forced the government to scrap a vote on controversial plans to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. The United States and former colonial power France voiced alarm over the unrest gripping the...

Closure of Al-Aqsa mosque 'declaration of war': Abbas

Closure of Al-Aqsa mosque 'declaration of war': Abbas

Israel yesterday ordered the closure of the Al-Aqsa compound to all visitors in an unprecedented move, drawing a furious response from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, who described it as "a declaration of war." Earlier, Israeli police shot dead a Palestinian suspected of an assassination attempt on a hardline campaigner for Jewish prayer rights at...

Secularists win Tunisia vote

Tunisia's secular Nidaa Tounes won landmark parliamentary elections, results showed yesterday, beating Islamists in a vote that raised hopes of a peaceful transition in the birthplace of the Arab Spring. Sunday's election has been hailed as a victory for democracy in the North African nation, which touched off the so-called Arab Spring when protests drove longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power in 2011. Tunisians hope the election, and a presidential vote on November 23, will provide much-coveted stability,...

Ebola may hit China

China is "vulnerable" to the deadly Ebola outbreak due to the soaring number of Chinese working in Africa and poor infection control at home, a co-discoverer of the virus warned yesterday. Belgian microbiologist Peter Piot also said experience with other viral outbreaks showed that airport screening was largely ineffective, and repeated his earlier criticism of the World Health Organisation's initially "slow" response to the crisis. China is Africa's largest trading partner and Beijing's diplomatic footprint across the continent has expanded hugely...

Don't bully me

Don't bully me

Saying she will not be bullied by politicians, a Maine nurse is giving the state an ultimatum: Lift her Ebola quarantine by yesterday or she will disregard the restrictions and go to court. The saga of nurse Kaci Hickox illustrates how US states are struggling to protect against the virus without resorting to overzealous...

Signs of progress in EU, Ukraine, Russia gas talks

Hopes of a breakthrough rose yesterday as the EU opened the latest round of talks aimed at persuading Russia to resume gas deliveries to war-torn Ukraine in time for winter. The EU-brokered talks in Brussels came as Kiev said pro-Moscow rebels killed another seven of its soldiers in eastern Ukraine and Russia vowed to recognise elections organised by separatist rebels in the region on Sunday. Against a broader backdrop of geopolitical tensions, Nato warned it was "vigilant" in the face of...

10 hours of walking in NYC as a woman

10 hours of walking in NYC as a woman

A video that shows a woman being pestered by men on the streets of New York has gone viral, sparking renewed debate about harassment endured by women and minority groups. The two-minute video shows actress Shoshana B Roberts walking silently in jeans and a T-shirt through Manhattan as man after man greets her with...

News in Brief

News in Brief

Film director Roman Polanski was questioned by Polish prosecutors yesterday on a US arrest warrant for sex offences, but allowed to walk free. The maker of "The Pianist" and "Chinatown" has been sought by the American police since 1978 after he fled the country before he could be sentenced for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.