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Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Indian prime minister, dies at 93
Hindu nationalist started India-Pakistan nuclear arms race then began peace processThe three-time Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a Hindu nationalist who set off a nuclear arms race with Pakistan but later reached across the border to begin a groundbreaking peace process, has died aged 93. His death was announced on Thursday by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences hospital, where Vajpayee had been undergoing treatment for more than two months for a kidney infection and chest congestion. Related: Boost for Modi as BJP wins state election outside heartland Related: Can Imran Khan fulfil Pakistan’s voters’ hopes and keep the generals at bay? Continue reading... [...]
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One year on, a million Rohingya refugees still fear for their lives | Rushanara Ali
The people packed into the largest refugee camps in the world urgently need our help to rebuild their lives in safetyThis month marks the first anniversary of the mass flight of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh following attacks carried out by the Myanmar military in which thousands were killed. It also marks the peak of the monsoon season in Cox’s Bazar, where almost a million Rohingya people are now living in the largest refugee camps in the world.The 2017 attacks by the Myanmar military were described by the UN high commissioner for human rights as “textbook ethnic cleansing”. He also said of the military campaign: “You cannot rule out the possibility that acts of genocide have been committed.” Related: Myanmar authorities planned genocide against Rohingya, rights group claims Related: Myanmar not ready for Rohingya to return, Red Cross chief says Continue reading... [...]
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Facebook's failure in Myanmar is the work of a blundering toddler
The social network ploughs its way through the world and deals with the consequences later. In Myanmar, that strategy has had deadly consequencesWhen Facebook invited journalists for a phone briefing on Tuesday evening to talk about its progress in tackling hate speech in Myanmar, it seemed like a proactive, well-intentioned move from a company that is typically fighting PR fires on several fronts.But the publication of a bombshell Reuters investigation on Wednesday morning suggested otherwise: the press briefing was an ass-covering exercise. Related: Facebook struggling to end hate speech in Myanmar, investigation finds We hope Facebook is committed to solving these problems – not just band-aid solutions while public scrutiny is high Related: One year on, a million Rohingya refugees still fear for their lives | Rushanara Ali Continue reading... [...]
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India aims to send astronauts into space by 2022, Modi says
If successful, India would be fourth country to conduct manned space missionIndia will send an astronaut into space by 2022, the country’s prime minister has claimed during an annual independence day speech.Narendra Modi announced the target from the ramparts of the 370-year-old Red Fort in Delhi on Wednesday morning. “We have decided that by 2022, when India completes 75 years of independence, or before that, a son or daughter of India will go to space with a tricolour [Indian flag] in their hands,” he said. Related: Spacewatch: India loses contact with communications satellite Continue reading... [...]
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Atal Bihari Vajpayee's funeral to take place at Smriti Sthal tomorrow
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's funeral to take place at Smriti Sthal tomorrow [...]
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I will come back: Amit Shah shares Vajpayee's poem to lead BJP tributes
I will come back: Amit Shah shares Vajpayee's poem to lead BJP tributes [...]
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Suicide bomber kills 48 after targeting Kabul education centre
In second atrocity in 24 hours bomber on foot blows himself up, bringing day’s death toll to 92 At least 48 people have died after a suicide bomber targeted an education centre in a minority Shia area of western Kabul, in the latest assault in Afghanistan’s war-weary capital.“We can confirm the attack was caused by a suicide bomber on foot,” said police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai. “The bomber detonated himself inside the education centre.” Related: Civilian deaths in Afghanistan at record high, UN says Continue reading... [...]
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Diversity of responses to Israel boycott movement | Letters
Readers react to a long read article on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movementThanks so much for running Nathan Thrall’s comprehensive article on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (‘Something needs to happen’, Journal, 14 August). I greatly appreciated its fair treatment of the BDS movement, its histories, strategies, and Israeli counterstrategies.Unfortunately, one area where it came up short was in not portraying the vibrant and growing Jewish support for BDS, propagating a myth that Jewish communities worldwide are united against it. This is simply not correct. My organisation, Jewish Voice for Peace, for example, endorsed the BDS call in 2015 after many years of supporting settlement boycotts. We have only continued to grow at an even faster pace since then, now boasting over 16,000 dues-paying members, over 70 chapters across the US, and over 250,000 online supporters. In the global context, just a few weeks ago, over 40 Jewish organisations on five continents published an unprecedented joint letter defending the BDS movement against accusations of antisemitism and affirming its legitimacy as a tactic. The piece would have been greatly improved by acknowledging the complexities of Jewish communal responses to the BDS movement.Rebecca VilkomersonJewish Voice for Peace Continue reading... [...]
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Boy who saluted Indian flag in viral flood photo faces deportation
Nine-year-old, but not his mother, left off list of citizens published in Assam crackdownA child who appeared in a photograph that went viral last year saluting the Indian flag in chest-deep flood water has been declared a foreigner and could be deported as part of a government drive to root out illegal immigrants.Haider Ali Khan appeared in a photograph with his teacher and two others on 15 August last year, India’s 70th independence anniversary, showing the group saluting the Indian tricolour. Related: Assam's list: Indian state preparing to deport tens of thousands of 'foreigners' Continue reading... [...]
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How Delhi's rising heat and a love of concrete caused a deadly water crisis
Reports warn it could run out of groundwater by 2020. Has Delhi run out of time to reverse years of mismanagement and unchecked urbanisation?It’s about 4pm on a muggy monsoon day in Wazirpur, a low-income urban village in Delhi. A group of 30 women are lined up in the 34C heat (93F) behind an assortment of empty coolers, buckets, petrol containers – anything they can store water in once the government tanker arrives.“We’ve been here since 10am,” says 55-year-old Gudi. “You never know if the tanker will come or not – we come here every day and wait.”We never imagined someone would die over water … This has become normalWhen we started getting all these supplies from distant places or tube wells ... we forgot about our local resourcesOur national water policy is a fine document. But nothing got put into practice on the ground Related: Heat: the next big inequality issue People have no other option. You can talk to them [about why illegal borewells are bad]. But are you giving them any alternative? Related: What would a heat-proof city look like? Continue reading... [...]
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Facebook struggling to end hate speech in Myanmar, investigation finds
Misinformation has lead to violent attacks against Rohingya but report says company has been slow to respondFacebook’s efforts to crack down on hate speech in Myanmar, which has contributed to violent attacks against the minority Muslim population, have been inadequate, according to a Reuters investigation.The social media company has faced warnings from human rights groups and researchers that its platform was being used to spread misinformation and promote hatred of Muslims, particularly the Rohingya, since 2013. As Facebook has grown its user base in the country to 18 million, hate speech has exploded, but the company has been slow to respond to the growing crisis. Related: Myanmar: UN blames Facebook for spreading hatred of Rohingya Related: If Silicon Valley won't stop fake news, we will | Damian Collins Continue reading... [...]
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Witnesses describe deadly suicide attack on Kabul education centre – video
In the aftermath of a suicide attack on a Kabul education centre, which killed at least 48 people, witnesses spoke of the long wait for emergency services to help with the victims of the blast. There was no immediate claim of responsibility and the Taliban denied involvementSuicide bomber kills 48 after targeting Kabul education centre Continue reading... [...]
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Bomb exlpodes in Bihar home, four children severely injured
Bomb exlpodes in Bihar home, four children severely injured [...]
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How close is Isro to achieving man-in-space dream?
How close is Isro to achieving man-in-space dream? [...]
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Stolen Buddha statue to return to India after being found in UK
Twelfth-century sculpture missing for almost 60 years was spotted at antiques fairA 12th-century statue of Buddha stolen from India nearly 60 years ago is to be returned to the country after it was discovered at a trade fair in the UK.The bronze sculpture was one of 14 statues ransacked from the Archaeological Museum in Nalanda, eastern India, in 1961. Continue reading... [...]
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Facebook buys rights to show La Liga games in India
Company signs exclusive three-year agreement to screen all 380 Spanish top-flight football matches across south Asia Facebook has bought the rights to show Spanish top-flight football in the Indian subcontinent in the latest move by a US technology company into sports rights.The company has signed an exclusive agreement to show La Liga games featuring Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and other stars for the next three years. The deal will allow Facebook to show all 380 matches for the new season, which starts on Friday, to users in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Related: The inside story of Facebook’s biggest setback | Rahul Bhatia Continue reading... [...]
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Crows recruited to pick up trash in Paris amusement park
Crows recruited to pick up trash in Paris amusement park [...]
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Army jawan Aurangzeb gets Shaurya Chakra posthumously
Army jawan Aurangzeb gets Shaurya Chakra posthumously [...]
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More British troops are being sent to Afghanistan – to appease Trump | Simon Jenkins
Why is no politician of any party brave enough to challenge the UK’s continued involvement in this distant and hopeless war?Four hundred and forty British troops are about to leave for Afghanistan to help fight the Taliban. Could someone explain why? It is now four years since British troops “left” that country, after 13 long years and £40bn of fighting, culminating in defeat in Helmand. In 2014, Nato formally ended its retaliation for Afghanistan harbouring Osama bin Laden. It said it would withdraw and leave a new Afghan government to its own devices.Yet not one British politician – Conservative or Labour – can bring themselves to challenge Britain’s continued involvement in this war; including this month’s doubling of troop numbers. All are afflicted with that old post-imperial tic, wanting to punch above their weight, set the world to rights, not seem weak in public? Afghanistan is not a defence policy, it is a rash, a virus, a disease of misused power. Related: The US and Afghanistan: can’t win the war, can’t stop it, can’t leave Continue reading... [...]
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Tea-20: Amit Shah's new gameplan for Lok Sabha 2019 elections
Tea-20: Amit Shah's new gameplan for Lok Sabha 2019 elections [...]
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Taliban hails 'helpful' US talks as boost to Afghan peace process
White House diplomacy efforts are proving successful, says member of militant groupFresh hope has been injected into the Afghan peace process after Taliban officials said groundbreaking preliminary talks with the US last month were “very helpful” and that another round will take place in Doha in September.Four Taliban members met Alice Wells, a senior US state department official, at a hotel in the Qatari capital on 23 July for the first face-to-face talks in seven years. Continue reading... [...]
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Landmark Caspian Sea deal signed by five coastal nations
Convention seen as vital to break Iran’s sense of economic isolation after US sanctions Vladimir Putin met the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, on Sunday at the close of a dramatic week in which each had been threatened with punishing economic sanctions by the US.But they were not meeting to publicly agree a united response to the act of “economic warfare”, as Russia described the sanctions. The two presidents were in the small Kazakh coastal city of Aktau to sign a legal convention on the Caspian Sea. Related: Iran ambassador: Trump's sanctions violate UN security council resolution Related: 'A matter of life and death': Iranians despair as US sanctions bite Continue reading... [...]
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Arrest of Shahidul Alam is an attack on rights in Bangladesh | Letters
Signatories including Joseph Stiglitz and Binayak Sen condemn the treatment of photojournalist Shahidul Alam The arbitrary arrest by Bangladeshi police of Shahidul Alam, an internationally recognised photojournalist, has outraged the world community (Photographer arrested over ‘provocative comments’, 7 August; Editorial, 9 August) and must be rectified immediately. This action is in serious breach of conventions of international human rights, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the international covenant on civil and political rights, and the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights.Alam has been detained by the police. The one and only reason he was arrested is that he gave an interview to al-Jazeera in which he expressed views critical of the Bangladeshi regime’s brutal repression of public demonstrations in Dhaka, and had allegedly posted equally critical statements on Facebook. Continue reading... [...]
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Bhopal hostel rape case: Fourth case filed against hostel owner
Bhopal hostel rape case: Fourth case filed against hostel owner [...]
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Kerala floods kill dozens with 36,000 evacuated
Indian tourist hotspot hit by severe rains that led authorities to open 27 reservoirsFlash floods in Kerala have killed 37 people and displaced around 36,000 according to Indian officials after heavy monsoons led to landslides and overflowing reservoirs across the southern state.Kerala, famed for its pristine palm-lined beaches and tea plantations, is battered by the monsoon every year but the rains have been particularly severe this season. Continue reading... [...]
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Three police offers killed by gunmen in Pakistan
Two more were wounded, while six people were injured in a separate suicide bombingGunmen killed three police officers in an overnight attack, while a suicide bomber wounded three Chinese engineers and three paramilitary guards in a separate incident, Pakistani officials say.Faizullah Faraq, a spokesman for the local government of the northern Gilgit-Baltistan territory, says one of the gunmen who attacked the police post was killed in the ensuing shootout late on Friday. Another two police officers were wounded in the attack. Continue reading... [...]
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Gita Mittal becomes first woman to be sworn in as J&K Chief Justice
Gita Mittal becomes first woman to be sworn in as J&K Chief Justice [...]
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27 Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy
27 Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy [...]
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