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Sri Lanka's president calls snap election in bid to end power struggle
The country has been engulfed by a political crisis over the ousting of its prime ministerSri Lanka has plunged deeper into crisis after president Maithripala Sirisena called a snap election, leaving the country facing a further two months of damaging political paralysis with a pair of bitter rivals claiming to run his government.In what opponents condemned as an illegal move, Sirisena dissolved the country’s parliament on Friday in a gamble that a new election will secure backing for his preferred candidate as prime minister, over an ousted premier who has refused to leave. Related: Sri Lanka's sacked prime minister refuses to leave as crisis deepens Related: Sri Lankan political crisis could lead to bloodbath, says speaker Related: Sri Lanka crisis: activists fear end of human rights investigations Continue reading... [...]
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Russia hosts talks between Taliban and Afghan peace council
Meeting furthers Kremlin’s drive to be seen as international broker of peace Russia has hosted talks with Taliban delegates and members of Afghanistan’s high peace council, as the Kremlin seeks a role as peace broker between Islamist rebels and the US-backed government in Kabul.The meeting on Friday demonstrated Moscow’s renewed aspirations in Afghanistan almost 30 years after the Soviet Union withdrew its battered forces. Related: Konstantin Kilimnik: elusive Russian with ties to Manafort faces fresh Mueller scrutiny Continue reading... [...]
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Sahitya Aaj Tak: A festival of ideas 
Sahitya Aaj Tak: A festival of ideas  [...]
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Voters will politically hang PM Modi in 2019 elections: Sanjay Nirupam
Voters will politically hang PM Modi in 2019 elections: Sanjay Nirupam [...]
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'I did it for every single girl': the first Afghan woman to scale Mount Noshaq
Conquering Afghanistan’s highest peak was once unthinkable for Hanifa Yousoufi. Then she joined a climbing group, braving frostbite and the Taliban to strike a blow for gender equalityIn a quiet corner of Kabul, a dozen young women welcome their friend back from the summit of Afghanistan’s highest mountain. Like many Afghan women, Hanifa Yousoufi had always been made to believe, growing up, that she shouldn’t go to school or play sport. Yet the 24-year-old has become the first Afghan woman to climb Mount Noshaq.The young women gathered here are among the 70-strong cohort meeting six days a week to learn the art of climbing, something many never imagined they would have a chance to do. Related: 'I want to empower Afghan women': female prosecutor on a lonely mission Continue reading... [...]
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Mirzapur, Sacred Games and India's new wave of mafia TV
The Indian screen gangster – long a staple in Bollywood – has evolved in recent years, with Netflix and now Amazon Prime tapping in to the country’s interest in crime storiesThe launch of Amazon Prime’s gangster saga Mirzapur marks another milestone in the evolution of the Indian screen gangster. The TV series will go head-to-head with season four of Netflix’s Narcos, providing rich pickings for those wanting to see the grittier side of life outside the western world.Telling the story of a crime dynasty ruling the town of Mirzapur in the dusty outlaw hinterland of Uttar Pradesh – a vast Indian state with more than 200 million people, which has long been synonymous with violence and corruption – the show is the latest to feed India’s perennial appetite for seeing the raw underbelly of its society on the big screen and on TV. Related: Sacred Games: can Netflix's Mumbai mob drama turn India on to TV? Continue reading... [...]
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Sadhvi Prachi compares Congress with Mughals, calls Rahul fake brahmin
Sadhvi Prachi compares Congress with Mughals, calls Rahul fake brahmin [...]
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Firecrackers from Diwali celebrations shroud Delhi in toxic smog
Density of fine pollutants was nearly 1,665 in one part of the city – the safe limit is 25Pollution in the Indian capital Delhi exceeded the safe limit by 66 times on Thursday, shrouding the city in toxic fumes the morning after millions of firecrackers were burst for the Hindu festival Diwali.Delhi government monitors showed the density of fine pollutants — small enough to evade the body’s natural defences and breach the blood-brain barrier — reached 1,665 in Anand Vihar, a central neighbourhood. The World Health Organisation’s safe limit for pollutants that size is 25. Related: Outdoor air purifiers and inside play: Delhi gears up for annual pollution fight Related: Delhi's air pollution is now so bad it is literally off the chart Continue reading... [...]
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Pakistan blasphemy case: Asia Bibi remains in jail despite acquittal
A week after conviction was overturned, sparking violent protests, Christian farm labourer is still in custodyAsia Bibi, the Christian farm labourer whose blasphemy case has triggered violent protests and assassinations in Pakistan, is still in prison a week after the country’s supreme court overturned her conviction.Her husband and children are living at a secret address in Pakistan in fear of their lives, and have made repeated appeals to the international community to help secure the whole family’s safety. Continue reading... [...]
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Diwali muhurat trading: Markets make minor gains, gold loses sheen
Diwali muhurat trading: Markets make minor gains, gold loses sheen [...]
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Faizabad district will now be called Ayodhya, Yogi Adityanath announces in Diwali speech
Faizabad district will now be called Ayodhya, Yogi Adityanath announces in Diwali speech [...]
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CBI Director Alok Verma replies to CVC, denies charges by deputy Rakesh Asthana
CBI Director Alok Verma replies to CVC, denies charges by deputy Rakesh Asthana [...]
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Facebook admits it has not done enough to quell hate in Myanmar
Report commissioned by internet giant finds the company failed to stop platform being used to incite violenceFacebook has said a human rights report it commissioned on its presence in Myanmar showed it had not done enough to prevent its social network from being used to incite violence.The report by San Francisco-based nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) recommended that Facebook more strictly enforce its content policies, increase engagement with both Myanmar officials and civil society groups and regularly release additional data about its progress in the country. Related: Facebook struggling to end hate speech in Myanmar, investigation finds Continue reading... [...]
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Rs 55 crore cash, jewellery and liquor seized ahead of elections in Telangana
Rs 55 crore cash, jewellery and liquor seized ahead of elections in Telangana [...]
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Myanmar: imprisoned Reuters journalists launch appeal
Guilty verdict in June was widely condemned; appeal says trial ‘ignored compelling evidence of police set-up’ Lawyers in Myanmar have filed an appeal on behalf of jailed Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were imprisoned for reporting on the military’s violence against the Rohingya, on the basis that the court’s ruling was “wrong”.In June, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were sentenced to seven years for breaching the country’s official secrets act after they were accused of being in possession of secret documents. Related: Myanmar: pleas for release of Reuters journalists mount Continue reading... [...]
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Gandhi scholar quits Indian university after nationalist pressure
New institute faced pressure from Hindu nationalists after appointing Ramachandra GuhaAn Indian biographer of Mahatma Gandhi will no longer teach at a university in the independence leader’s home state after the institute came under pressure from critics including Hindu nationalist student groups complaining his work was “anti-national”.Ramachandra Guha, an Indian public intellectual whose works have covered cricket, the environment, contemporary Indian history and the life of Gandhi, had been announced in September as the newest faculty member at Ahmedabad University in Gujarat state.Due to circumstances beyond my control, I shall not be joining Ahmedabad University. I wish AU well; it has fine faculty and an outstanding Vice Chancellor. And may the spirit of Gandhi one day come alive once more in his native Gujarat. Related: Gandhi 1914-1948 by Ramachandra Guha review – the Mahatma as a liberal icon Continue reading... [...]
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Utah mayor killed in Afghanistan while serving with the national guard
Brent Taylor died in ‘insider attack’ in Kabul – another US service member is being treated for wounds, officials saidThe mayor of a Utah city was killed in an attack in Afghanistan while he was serving with the state’s national guard, the Salt Lake Tribune and other media reported. Related: Afghanistan: US service member killed in 'apparent insider attack' Continue reading... [...]
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Manoj Tiwari, BJP men clash with AAP workers during Delhi's Signature Bridge inauguration
Manoj Tiwari, BJP men clash with AAP workers during Delhi's Signature Bridge inauguration [...]
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Afghanistan: US service member killed in 'apparent insider attack'
Another was wounded in the incident in Kabul, Nato-led Resolute Support mission saidA member of the US armed forces was killed and another was wounded on Saturday in an apparent insider attack in the Afghan capital Kabul, the Nato-led Resolute Support mission said. Related: Pentagon confirms US general shot in Afghanistan Taliban attack Continue reading... [...]
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Man-eating tiger shot dead in India after high-profile hunt
Tiger known to hunters as T1 and as Avni to wildlife lovers had killed more than a dozen in two yearsA man-eating tiger that claimed more than a dozen victims in two years has been shot dead in India, officials say.One of India’s most high-profile tiger hunts in decades ended on Friday night when the mother of two 10-month-old cubs – known to hunters as T1 but Avni to wildlife lovers – was shot dead in the jungles of Maharashtra state. Continue reading... [...]
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Bihar energy secy bats for special status for state
Bihar energy secy bats for special status for state [...]
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Asked about film's delay, Rajnikanth drops hint about party launch, draws cheer
Asked about film's delay, Rajnikanth drops hint about party launch, draws cheer [...]
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Displaced villagers in Myanmar at odds with UK charity over land conservation
Karen people in Tanintharyi region fear project to protect 800,000-acre area will cut them off from ancestral landsA British conservation charity has become embroiled in a row with villagers displaced by civil war in Myanmar over plans to protect pristine forests housing wild Asian elephants, tigers and sun bears.Fauna and Flora International (FFI) is helping to finance the $21m (£15.8m) ridge to reef project, which is led by the UN’s development programme and aims to protect up to 800,000 acres of the country’s south-eastern Tanintharyi region from threats like poachers, loggers and palm oil companies. Continue reading... [...]
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Pakistan works to stop Asia Bibi leaving after blasphemy protests
Administration accused of signing Bibi’s ‘death warrant’ in deal with hardlinersPakistan’s government has been accused of signing the “death warrant” of Asia Bibi after it said it would begin the process of preventing her leaving the country.Bibi, a Christian farm labourer, was acquitted of blasphemy on Wednesday. She had spent eight years on death row after she drank from the same cup as a Muslim, prompting false allegations that she insulted the prophet Muhammad. Related: The release of Asia Bibi is a small step towards a more open Pakistan | Kunwar Khuldune Shahid Continue reading... [...]
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Pakistan's 'father of the Taliban' killed in knife attack
Maulana Samiul Haq killed at his home in Rawalpindi, his son saysThe prominent Pakistani cleric Maulana Samiul Haq, known as the “father of the Taliban”, has been killed in a knife attack at his home in Rawalpindi.Haq’s son, Hamidul Haq, said his father was alone in his bedroom when he was attacked by an assailant, who escaped undetected. Continue reading... [...]
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Bollywood's #MeToo reckoning: 'We thought it would take 20 more years'
India’s leading film festival struck several controversial films from its lineup to make room for female-directed features and address a mood of change. But will it halt harassment on set?Introducing the recent series opener of India’s top-rated talk show, Koffee With Karan, the director-producer-personality Karan Johar championed Bollywood’s new-found “girl power”: 12 months of successes – such as the taut spy thriller Raazi and the raucous bridal comedy Veere di Wedding – that were led and authored by women. His guests, accordingly, were distaff royalty: reigning queen Deepika Padukone, newly radiant after surviving January’s trial-by-fire film Padmaavat, and beaming princess Alia Bhatt, Raazi’s immensely talented young lead. Reclined on Johar’s Nortonesque couch, Bhatt was offered a cuddly Sophie’s choice between her much-Instagrammed cats and beau Ranbir Kapoor; Padukone raised a suggestive eyebrow after asked what she first notices in a man.If the show’s peppy tone was enjoyable, it felt strangely removed from the grim claims emerging on social media from women occupying the film industry’s lower ranks. India’s #MeToo movement – initiated in early October and gathering rapid pace online – cast a looming shadow over this week’s Jio MAMI Mumbai film festival, the event’s 20th. As creative director Smriti Kiran told me at the festival’s bustling Juhu hub: “#MeToo started to escalate two weeks before the festival, and we are one of India’s leading festivals, so everybody was looking at us. They wanted us to take responsibility. We wanted to take responsibility.”We're fighting for basic things: respect; don't pounce on me; don't ogle, it's rude … We need to get the basics right. Let's get to ground zero Related: In India, women are no longer prepared to stay silent | Rana Ayyub Continue reading... [...]
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Indian Navy to induct women as sailors
Indian Navy to induct women as sailors [...]
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Bengaluru stares at beer shortage, govt denies rumours
Bengaluru stares at beer shortage, govt denies rumours [...]
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