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Saudis blame Iran for drone attack amid calls for US strikes

Dubai, May 17 (AP/UNB) — Saudi Arabia accused Tehran of being behind a drone strike that shut down a key oil pipeline in the kingdom, and a newspaper close to the palace called for Washington to launch “surgical” strikes on Iran, raising the specter of escalating tensions as the U.S. boosts its military presence in the Persian Gulf. Concerns about ... Read More »

Ganga is shifting away from Patna

by Hridayesh Joshi “In last 20 years Gangaji has moved too far from here, perhaps our sins have caused this. We pollute it so much and dig its heart (for mining) day and night. This was bound to happen,” said Chandru Rai, a 72-year-old resident of Patna, who often comes to the ghats of the stretch of Ganga river that flows along the ... Read More »

Satellite images show no major damage to ‘sabotaged’ ships

Dubai, May 14 (AP/UNB) — Four oil tankers anchored in the Mideast were damaged by what Gulf officials described as sabotage, though satellite images obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday showed no major visible damage to the vessels. Details of the alleged sabotage to two Saudi, one Norwegian and one Emirati oil tanker on Sunday remained unclear, and Gulf ... Read More »

Connecticut man accused of threatening to kill Trump

New Haven, May 12 (AP/UNB) — A Connecticut man has been indicted on charges that he threatened to kill President Donald Trump and sent letters he claimed contained anthrax. Gary Joseph Gravelle of New Haven faces charges including conveying false information about an explosive and threats against the president. Authorities say 51-year-old Gravelle last year sent letters addressed to Trump, ... Read More »

Myanmar asked to give humanitarian access to conflict zones

Dhaka, May 10 (UNB) – The UN human rights body has called on the government of Myanmar to immediately grant humanitarian access to all conflict zones, including northern Rakhine State where restrictions on humanitarian access is exacerbating the suffering of civilians. “Continued human rights violations, collective punishment and impunity will only fuel the conflict between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan ... Read More »

Pyongyang launches two projectiles from NE province: Seoul

The launch took place at 1630 KST from DPRK’s North Pyongan Province: JCS Oliver Hotham North Korea on Thursday afternoon test-fired at least one projectile, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) announced, the country’s second such test in less than a week. The projectile was launched at around 1630 KST from Sino-ri in the DPRK’s North Pyongan Province in ... Read More »

Chinese envoy to BD defends BRI against ‘debt traps’ debate

Dhaka, May 8 (UNB) – Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Zhang Zuo on Wednesday defended its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) against charges that it creates debt traps saying the BRI partners will now have a better understanding. He said China and other participating parities have formulated a “debt crisis analysis framework” and this will be very helpful for project financing ... Read More »

Myanmar frees Reuters reporters jailed for Secrecy Act crime

Yangon, May 7 (AP/UNB) — Two Reuters journalists who were imprisoned for breaking Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act over reporting on security forces’ abuses of Rohingya Muslims were pardoned and released Tuesday. The convictions of Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, had drawn condemnation from rights groups, Western governments and press associations, and the two journalists had garnered several ... Read More »

India prepares for ‘extremely severe’ Bay cyclone

New Delhi, (AP/UNB) — Indian authorities have evacuated hundreds of thousands of people along the country’s eastern coast ahead of a cyclone moving through the Bay of Bengal. Meteorologists say Cyclone Fani could bring “extremely severe” wind and rain when it hits the Indian state of Odisha on Friday. Officials say Fani could be the worst storm since 1999, when ... Read More »

UK defense chief fired over Huawei leaks, denies role

London, May 2 (AP/UNB) — British Prime Minister Theresa May summarily fired Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson Wednesday after an investigation into leaks from a secret government meeting about the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. He denied any involvement in the leak. An investigation was launched last week after newspapers reported that Britain’s National Security Council, which meets in private, had agreed ... Read More »

UK defense chief fired over Huawei leaks, denies role

London, May 2 (AP/UNB) — British Prime Minister Theresa May summarily fired Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson Wednesday after an investigation into leaks from a secret government meeting about the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. He denied any involvement in the leak. An investigation was launched last week after newspapers reported that Britain’s National Security Council, which meets in private, had agreed ... Read More »

Maoist rebels kill 15 police commandos, driver in India

New Delhi, May 1 (AP/UNB) — Maoist rebels on Wednesday attacked a van carrying police commandos in the insurgents’ stronghold in western India and killed 15 officers and their driver, officials said. The rebels triggered a land mine blast in the forested Gadchiroli area in Maharashtra state as the vehicle was passing through, police officer Sharad Shelar said. Sheler said ... Read More »

Renewables to become the norm for the Caribbean

KINGSTON, Apr 29 2019 (IPS) – Jamaica and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are embracing renewable energy as part of their plans to become decarbonised in the coming decades. The Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, has committed the island nation to transitioning to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. “I believe that we can do better. Jamaica has sunshine ... Read More »

Refugees threatened, attacked in Sri Lanka: HRW

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government should take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of South Asian refugees and asylum seekers from violence. Since the April 21, 2019 Easter Sunday bombings by alleged Islamist militants on churches and hotels that killed more than 250 people, angry crowds have threatened and assaulted primarily Muslim South Asian migrants. Sri Lankan authorities, as ... Read More »

Mozambique cyclone victims Forced to trade sex for food: HRW

The Mozambique authorities should urgently investigate and appropriately prosecute alleged sexual exploitation of Cyclone Idai victims by local officials, Human Rights Watch said today. Hunger and destruction caused by the cyclone have left hundreds of thousands of women vulnerable to abuse. Victims, residents, and aid workers told Human Rights Watch that local community leaders, some linked to the ruling Frelimo party, demanded money from ... Read More »

Oil spill in canal as tankers derail, skide of track in Ctg

Chattogram, Apr 29 – Oil spilled into a canal after a freight oil tanker train carrying furnace oil derailed and the tankers skidded off the track in Egaromile area of Hathazari upazila on Monday afternoon. Md Ruhul Amin, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Hathazari, said three tanks of the furnace oil-laden train veered off the tracks around 3pm. One of ... Read More »

New study says universe expanding faster and is younger

Washington, Apr 29 (AP/UNB) — The universe is expanding faster than it used to, meaning it’s about a billion years younger than we thought, a new study by a Nobel Prize winner says. And that’s sending a shudder through the world of physics, making astronomers re-think some of their most basic concepts. At issue is a number called the Hubble ... Read More »

Future of Rohingya refugees in BD ‘hangs in the balance’

At the end of a joint visit to the country, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, head of UN migration agency (IOM) António Vitorino, and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, reiterated their commitment to find safe and sustainable solutions for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, as well as helping them to make a safe and dignified return home. Since August 2017, nearly 900,000 minority ... Read More »

Lost in the Cyberworld? The Enigmatic Mr Assange

STOCKHOLM / ROME, Apr 23 2019 (IPS) – Trump´s electoral success was preceded by a rise of chauvinistic politics in most of Europe, paired with electoral triumphs of far-right candidates in several other countries. A development accompanied by revelations of corrupt leaders laundering and transferring illegally obtained money, aided by financial institutions finding the means to do so. The world seems ... Read More »

Belt & Road Forum begins in Beijing: 37 countries attend

Dhaka, April 24 – A three-day second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) began in Beijing on Thursday. Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun left Dhaka for Beijing on Wednesday to attend the BRF, said an official. Under the Belt and Road Initiative framework, China wants to share its development experiences with other countries and improve connectivity between ... Read More »

People in a Mumbai waste-filled slum barely make it to 40

by Apekshita Varshney • Every day, 9000 metric tonnes of waste goes to the 134-hectare Deonar dumping ground in Mumbai. • The life expectancy of people living around the dumping ground hovers at 39 years, as against an urban life expectancy of 73.5 years in the state. • Better implementation of solutions, political will, stronger leaders and citizen responsibility is ... Read More »

Myanmar lawmaker: 50 believed dead in mudslide at jade mine

Naypyitaw, Apr 24 (AP/UNB) — More than 50 people are believed to have died in a mudslide at a jade mining site in northern Myanmar, a lawmaker representing the area said Tuesday. Tin Soe said three bodies have been recovered and 54 people remain missing after the accident Monday night in the Hpakant area of Kachin state. “The rescue process ... Read More »

Arab League pledges $100M a month to Palestinian Authority

Cairo, Apr 22 (AP/UNB) — The Arab League has pledged $100 million per month to the Palestinian Authority to make up for funds withheld by Israel because of payments made to the families of Palestinian attackers and prisoners. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the Arab League in Cairo on Sunday as part of a diplomatic effort to rebuff the Trump ... Read More »

Blasts in 2 Sri Lanka churches on Easter Sunday: 50 hurt

Sri Lanka, Apr 21 (AP/UNB) — At least 138 people were killed and hundreds more hospitalized from injuries in near simultaneous blasts that rocked three churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, a security official told The Associated Press, in the biggest violence in the South Asian country since its civil war ended a decade ago. ... Read More »

Gunmen shoot 13 people dead at eastern Mexico family party

Mexico City, April 20 (Xinhua/UNB) — Gunmen shot dead 13 people at a party on Friday night in the city of Minatitlan in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz, local media reported. Seven men, five women, and a child were killed, according to local officials, and four others were injured in the attack. Unidentified assailants arrived at a family reunion ... Read More »

Mali violence: PM and entire government resigns

Dhaka, Apr 19 (UNB) – The prime minister of Mali and his entire government have resigned, following an upsurge of violence in the country, reports BBC.  On Wednesday, a motion of no confidence was submitted as MPs blamed Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga for failing to handle the unrest. Last month, scores of herders were killed by a rival ethnic ... Read More »

Kremlin says Kim Jong Un will visit Russia this month

Moscow, Apr 18 (AP/UNB) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will visit Russia later this month, the Kremlin said Thursday, in a meeting that offers President Vladimir Putin an opportunity to emerge as a broker in the long-running nuclear standoff and raise Russia’s profile in regional affairs. The Kremlin said in a brief statement Thursday that Kim will visit ... Read More »

North Korea test fires new tactical guided weapon

North Korea has demanded the removal of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from nuclear talks, accusing him of “talking nonsense” and being “reckless”. A senior foreign ministry official said that further talks would be “lousy” if Mr Pompeo was involved, asking that he be replaced by someone “more careful”. It comes after North Korea said it had tested a ... Read More »

Shooting at Australia nightclub leaves 1 dead, 1 critical

Melbourne, Apr 14 (AP/UNB) — A drive-by shooting outside a popular Melbourne nightclub in Australia early Sunday left one man dead, another critically wounded and two others injured, police said. Police said shots were fired from a car into a crowd standing outside the two-story Love Machine club, hitting three security guards at the nightclub and one patron. Police appealed ... Read More »

Sudan army removes al-Bashir, rejects his extradition

Cairo, Apr 13 (AP/UNB) — The Sudanese military on Friday swiftly replaced the country’s transitional leader linked to the Darfur genocide after street rallies against him and said that it wouldn’t hand over ousted President Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court, where he faces charges of crimes against humanity. Thousands of jubilant protesters celebrated in the streets after Defense ... Read More »