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Myanmar accuses Bill Richardson of 'personal attack' as row deepens
War of words continues as Aung San Suu Kyi claims US diplomat was dropped from Rohingya advisory panel, while he says he quitMyanmar has deepened its row with US diplomat Bill Richardson, saying it made the decision to dump him from an advisory panel on the Rohingya crisis and accusing the veteran politician of a “personal attack” on Aung San Suu Kyi in his stinging resignation letter.The war of words has heaped embarrassment on the Burmese leader whose star as a rights defender continues to plummet over her failure to speak out for the Rohingya in the face of overwhelming evidence of the Muslim minority group’s suffering. Related: Aung San Suu Kyi lacks 'moral leadership', says US diplomat as he quits Rohingya panel The Rohingya are Muslims who live in majority-Buddhist Myanmar. They are often described as "the world's most persecuted minority".  Continue reading... [...]
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Aung San Suu Kyi lacks 'moral leadership', says US diplomat as he quits Rohingya panel
Bill Richardson claims Myanmar advisory board is a ‘whitewash’ and a ‘cheerleading squad for the government’Bill Richardson, the veteran US diplomat, has resigned from an international panel on the Rohingya crisis, calling it a “whitewash” and accusing the country’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi of lacking “moral leadership”. Richardson, a former Clinton administration cabinet member, quit as the 10-member advisory board was making its first visit to Rakhine state, from where nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled in recent months. Related: Aung San Suu Kyi once called for a free press. Now, fake news haunts the dead | Rossalyn Warren Related: 'I miss them so much': Myanmar's lost Rohingya children plead for their parents Related: The Guardian view on Myanmar: telling the truth about the Rohingya | Editorial Continue reading... [...]
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No front row seat for Congress president Rahul Gandhi at Republic Day parade
No front row seat for Congress president Rahul Gandhi at Republic Day parade [...]
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Chinese army to India: Draw lessons or Doklam can repeat
Chinese army to India: Draw lessons or Doklam can repeat [...]
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'Now is not the time': violence forces refugees to flee Afghanistan again
Political rhetoric about country’s safety dismissed after study shows 72% of returnees forced into renewed flightAlmost three-quarters of Afghan refugees who return home are forced to flee again due to violence, according to a survey that found the vast majority of displaced families do not receive aid assistance.The study, commissioned by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, comes after a deadly attack on Save the Children’s office in Jalalabad on Wednesday, which killed three, wounded 26 and forced the organisation to temporarily close its Afghan operations. Related: UN accused of failing Afghan refugees 'forced' to return home from Pakistan Continue reading... [...]
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Padmaavat: Indian cinemas brace for violence as Bollywood epic opens
Rumours that film features love scene between queen and her Muslim conqueror leads to blanket security at premiereThe Bollywood epic Padmaavat opens in cinemas across India on Thursday under blanket security after months of fierce protests. Related: Indian film Padmavati sparks protests over 'Hindu-Muslim romance' Related: Hindu activists threaten to torch UK cinemas in Bollywood film row Continue reading... [...]
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Afghanistan: attack on Save the Children office in Jalalabad
At least one dead and 14 injured, officials say, in latest attack targeting foreign charityFour gunmen have stormed the Save the Children office in Jalalabad, killing at least one person and wounding 14 in the latest attack on a foreign charity in Afghanistan.The attackers detonated a car bomb outside the office at about 9am on Wednesday before using rocket-propelled grenades to blast their way inside.#JalalabadAttack: still sporadic gun-fire is exchanging b/w ANDSF and attackers, pic.twitter.com/fesAUPy4PY Continue reading... [...]
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Gunfire follows car bomb explosion in Jalalabad, Afghanistan – video
The aftermath of a bomb blast outside the Save the Children office in the eastern city of Jalalabad. A government spokesman said 11 people were being treated in hospital for their injuriesAfghanistan: gunmen storm Save the Children office in Jalalabad Continue reading... [...]
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Directorate S by Steve Coll review – the US v al-Qaida and the Taliban
This sequel to Ghost Wars might well become the definitive account of the CIA and America’s secret wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan“No man who has read a page of Indian history will ever prophesy about the Frontier. We shall doubtless have trouble there again.” So wrote Lord Curzon, then viceroy, in 1904. The British were by then a little weary of the burdens of empire; they were having trouble with the tribespeople of the Frontier, who seemed uninterested in the sort of governance the colonialists wished for them. The smugly racist Curzon blamed it on the “fanaticism and turbulence” that “ferment in the blood” of the Pashtun. The neocolonialists of today cannot explain things away so easily. As Steve Coll documents in Directorate S, the current war has for ever altered the fates of all three countries involved – the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan – and, after 15 years, there is no end to the “trouble” in sight.Directorate S, from which the book gets its title, lies buried deep in the bureaucracy of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), Pakistan’s spy agency. Ensconced thus, the directorate works to “enlarge Pakistan’s sphere of influence in Afghanistan”. It goes about this task, Coll explains, by supplying, arming, training and generally seeking to legitimise the Taliban, the AK-47 toting terrorists who took over Afghanistan in 1992, stringing up decapitated corpses in town squares and shoving women into the confines of their homes. Nobody paid much attention then, and perhaps never would have, had the Taliban not become host to Osama bin Laden. Continue reading... [...]
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Lalu Prasad is people's hero, will appeal conviction in HC, says Tejashwi Yadav
Lalu Prasad is people's hero, will appeal conviction in HC, says Tejashwi Yadav [...]
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Beyond Republic Day show, ASEAN can help India take on China in Southeast Asia
Beyond Republic Day show, ASEAN can help India take on China in Southeast Asia [...]
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WATCH: Man attempts stupid selfie stunt, train knocks sense into him
WATCH: Man attempts stupid selfie stunt, train knocks sense into him [...]
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US military fails to tackle sexual abuse of children by Afghan allies, report finds
Two-thirds of those interviewed by US government watchdog aware of child sexual assaults by Washington-backed Afghan security forcesThe US military showed little interest for years in tackling widespread sexual abuse of children by Afghan security forces it still funds and trains, according to a newly declassified report by a US government watchdog. The exact scale of the problem remains unclear due to a lack of guidance on how to respond to suspected cases, a lack of training on how to report them, and in some cases reluctance to do so for fear of reprisals, said the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (Sigar) in the report. Related: Afghanistan funds abusive militias as US military 'ignores' situation, officials say Continue reading... [...]
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Pakistani police chief denied flight amid hit squad accusations
Rao Anwar accused of leading a hit squad reportedly responsible for 250 extra-judicial killingsA Pakistani police chief accused of leading a hit squad reportedly responsible for 250 extra-judicial killings was prevented from boarding a flight out of the country on Tuesday as investigators probed the death of an aspiring model the police chief claimed to be a member of the Taliban. Dozens of families have come forward since the killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud, 27, to claim that Rao Anwar and his lieutenants murdered their relatives over a 10-year reign in the biggest policing district of Karachi, Pakistan’s business capital. Continue reading... [...]
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Indian education minister dismisses theory of evolution
Scientists condemn Satyapal Singh for saying ‘Darwin’s theory is scientifically wrong’India’s minister for higher education has been condemned by scientists for demanding the theory of evolution be removed from school curricula because no one “ever saw an ape turning into a human being”.Satyapal Singh stood by his comments on Monday, saying his ministry was ready to host an international conference where “scientists can come out and say where they stand on the issue”. Continue reading... [...]
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How disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs in Office of Profit case has put Kejriwal at crossroads
How disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs in Office of Profit case has put Kejriwal at crossroads [...]
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Used to Sena's threats, says Fadnavis on Uddhav Thackeray announcing end to alliance with BJP
Used to Sena's threats, says Fadnavis on Uddhav Thackeray announcing end to alliance with BJP [...]
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US air wars under Trump: increasingly indiscriminate, increasingly opaque
Lack of transparency over looser rules of engagement is hallmark of administration, writes Julian BorgerThe escalating air war in Somalia is part of a global pattern of an ever broader and unfettered use of air power that has it roots in the Obama administration but which has been spurred on and expanded under Donald Trump.In the first year of his presidency, Trump has gone out of his way to claim credit for the defeats inflicted on Islamic State, attributing it to his loosening of constraints on his generals. Continue reading... [...]
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Pakistani student kills school head in blasphemy law row
Boy had argued with college principal after missing classes to attend protestsA Pakistani student shot and killed his school principal in a dispute that stemmed from the student missing classes to attend rallies supporting strict blasphemy laws. Sareer Ahmed, the principal of the private Islamia College in the northern town of Charsadda, had an argument with one of his students for missing a number of classes. The student then shot the principal on campus, police chief Zahoor Afridi told Reuters. Related: Student's lynching sparks rare uproar in Pakistan over blasphemy killings Continue reading... [...]
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Unions reach $2.3m settlement on Bangladesh textile factory safety
Landmark deal means multinational apparel brand will pay up following delays over fixing hazards at its factoriesUnions representing Bangladeshi textile workers have reached a landmark $2.3m settlement with a multinational apparel brand after it was accused of delays in remedying life-threatening hazards at its factories. The settlement was agreed after a two-year arbitration process under the legally binding Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety. The accord was set up in the wake of the fatal collapse of the Rana Plaza textile factory complex in 2013, which killed 1,135 people in what is considered the world’s worst textile industrial disaster. Related: Police and fear stalk the streets of Dhaka as clothes workers fight for more than £54 a month Continue reading... [...]
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Rohingya Muslims' repatriation to Myanmar postponed
Delay comes amid fears that members of abused minority will be coerced into leaving BangladeshThe gradual repatriation of more than 650,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees to Myanmar from Bangladesh has been postponed amid widespread fears that refugees would be forced to return against their will, a Bangladeshi official has said.“The main thing is that the process has to be voluntary,” said Abul Kalam, the refugee and repatriation commissioner. He added that paperwork for returning refugees had not yet been finalised and transit camps had yet to be built in Bangladesh. The Rohingya are Muslims who live in majority-Buddhist Myanmar. They are often described as "the world's most persecuted minority".  Continue reading... [...]
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Pakistan Rangers stonewall India's attempt to broker peace at the border
Pakistan Rangers stonewall India's attempt to broker peace at the border [...]
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Budget 2018: Why Arun Jaitley can afford to tax super-rich farmers and raise Rs 25,000 crore
Budget 2018: Why Arun Jaitley can afford to tax super-rich farmers and raise Rs 25,000 crore [...]
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Arrested IM terrorist Qureshi had been living in Nepal with fake documents
Arrested IM terrorist Qureshi had been living in Nepal with fake documents [...]
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Kabul hotel attack: guests 'sprayed with bullets as they ran'
Witnesses describe scenes of terror at Intercontinental hotel during attack that killed at least 18 including 14 foreignersWitnesses to a terrorist rampage at a luxury Kabul hotel have described guests being sprayed with bullets as they ran, whole floors engulfed in flames and a security team that fled “without a fight” from gunmen in army uniforms.Thick smoke billowed from Kabul’s Intercontinental hotel on Sunday as Afghan and western security forces regained control of the building after a 14-hour siege involving dozens of hostages including foreigners. Some guests tried to escape the carnage and a later fire by using bed sheets to climb down from balconies. Continue reading... [...]
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Taliban claim responsibility for Kabul hotel attack – video report
At least 18 people have been killed in an attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan. Gunmen, who were reportedly wearing suicide vests, entered the hotel on Saturday evening and began shooting before taking a number of staff and guests hostage. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attackKabul hotel attack: guests 'sprayed with bullets as they ran' Continue reading... [...]
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Budget 2018: Why salaried income tax payers have a strong case for standard deduction
Budget 2018: Why salaried income tax payers have a strong case for standard deduction [...]
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Several people killed after gunmen attack luxury hotel in Kabul
Afghan special forces kill two of the four attackers and surround building as night fallsSeveral people were killed and at least six wounded when four gunmen attacked Kabul’s famous Intercontinental hotel on Saturday.The gang reportedly also took hostages from among staff and guests, and set the building ablaze. Related: Its dreams of a caliphate are gone. Now Isis has a deadly new strategy | Hassan Hassan Continue reading... [...]
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