Last Updated : 23-04-2014 21:48

 
 

World

Fighting cuts access to Damascus airport, flights suspended

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Syrian rebels battled forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad just outside Damascus on Thursday, cutting access to its international airport, and Dubai-based Emirates airline and EgyptAir stopped flights to the Syrian capital.

Day of reckoning for Cameron and British press

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Prime Minister David Cameron faces a no-win dilemma on Thursday when a far-reaching inquiry into British newspapers delivers its verdict on how to curb the excesses of the country's notoriously aggressive press.

Chinese police plan to board ships in disputed seas

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Police in the southern Chinese island province of Hainan will board and search ships which enter into what China considers its territorial waters in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Thursday, a move which could raise tensions further.

Pakistan doctor in bin Laden case starts hunger strike

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The Pakistani doctor who helped the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) hunt down Osama bin Laden started a hunger strike in his jail cell this week to protest against his living conditions, prison officials said on Thursday.

Iran's nuclear stockpile grows but not yet in "danger zone"

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An increase in Iran's higher-grade uranium stockpile is worrying but may arise from a bottleneck in making reactor fuel rather than a bid to quickly accumulate material that could be used for nuclear weapons, diplomats and experts say.

Greece, markets satisfied by EU-IMF Greek debt deal

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The Greek government and financial markets were cheered on Tuesday by an agreement between euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund to reduce Greece's debt, paving the way for the release of urgently needed aid loans.

Syria launches air strikes as combat rages in Damascus

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Syrian war planes attacked towns in the country's north and east and killed at least five civilians in a strike on an olive oil press as fighting raged in the capital Damascus on Tuesday, opposition activists said.

Egypt's Mursi to meet judges over power grab

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Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi will meet senior judges on Monday to try to ease a crisis over his seizure of new powers which has set off violent protests reminiscent of last year's revolution which brought him to power.

Euro zone, IMF to seek Greece deal, debt write-off main problem

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Euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund will seek to unfreeze the second bailout package for Greece on Monday, but they first need to agree if some of the official loans to Athens might eventually be forgiven to cut Greek debt.

Syrian rebels take airbase in slow progress toward Damascus

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Syrian rebels said on Sunday they had captured a helicopter base east of Damascus after an overnight assault, their latest gain in a costly battle to unseat President Bashar al-Assad that is drawing nearer to his seat of power.

Mursi draws fire with new Egypt decree

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Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi triggered controversy on Thursday by issuing a decree likely to lead to retrials of Hosni Mubarak and his aides but which was compared to the ousted leader's autocratic ways.

EU nations far apart on budget but summit grinds on

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European leaders will resume gruelling EU budget negotiations shortly amid signs that a deal may be out of reach.

World powers want new nuclear talks with Iran quickly

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Six world powers agreed on Wednesday to seek renewed talks with Iran as fast as possible, reflecting a heightened sense of urgency to resolve a long rift over Tehran's disputed nuclear activity and avert the threat of war.

Congo rebels reject call to leave Goma

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Rebels in eastern Congo on Thursday rejected regional calls to withdraw from the city of Goma and threatened to press an advance until President Joseph Kabila agrees to peace talks.

Syrian jets blast rebels in Damascus suburb

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Syrian warplanes bombed a Damascus suburb on Wednesday in a push to dislodge rebels from a stronghold that threatens President Bashar al-Assad's hold on the capital, opposition activists said.

Hamas-Israel ceasefire takes hold but mistrust runs deep

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A ceasefire between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers took hold on Thursday after eight days of conflict, although deep mistrust on both sides cast doubt on how long the Egyptian-sponsored deal can last.

Gaza shakes, Israelis killed as Clinton seeks truce

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Israeli air strikes shook the Gaza Strip and Palestinian rockets struck across the border as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks in Jerusalem in the early hours of Wednesday, seeking a truce that can hold back Israel's ground troops.

Obama urges restraint in tense Asian disputes

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U.S. President Barack Obama urged Asian leaders on Tuesday to rein in tensions in the South China Sea and other disputed territory but stopped short of firmly backing allies Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam in their disputes with China.

World pressure for Gaza truce intensifies

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The U.N. chief called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton headed to the region with a message that escalation of the week-long conflict was in nobody's interest.

Tensions flare over South China Sea at Asian summit

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Japan warned on Monday that a row over the South China Sea could directly influence "peace and stability" in Asia as the Philippines publicly disagreed with Cambodia over the contentious territorial issue at a regional summit.

U.S. soldier to hear charges for 2009 Iraq shootings

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A U.S. soldier accused of killing five fellow servicemen at a military combat stress center in Baghdad in 2009 will face an arraignment at a military base in Washington state on Monday, preparing the way for a trial that could result in the death penalty.

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Living there for a long time
Video: BBS at Rishad’s office
Video: Playing with paper rockets
Avurudu at Polhena Beach
Living there for a long time
Video: BBS at Rishad’s office
Video: Playing with paper rockets
Avurudu at Polhena Beach