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Tuesday 25 April 2017
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Category: International Affairs

We value investments by Indian companies: US on H-1B visa issue

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Days after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley raised the issue of restrictions on H-1B visa with his American counterpart Steven Mnuchin, the US has said that it greatly values investments by Indian...

Ivanka Trump heads to Berlin for women’s conference

Ivanka Trump addresses the Forbes annual Most Powerful Women Summit 2016 at The Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point Wednesday morning, Oct. 19, 2016, in Dana Point, Calif. (Sam Gangwer/The Orange County Register/SCNG via AP)

Ivanka Trump’s advocacy for women and girls will take her to a women’s conference in Berlin Tuesday, in an international outing she hopes will build global support for investment in women’s...

US president Donald Trump backs away from demand for border wall money

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

President Donald Trump stepped back Monday from demanding a down payment for his border wall in must-past spending legislation, potentially removing a major obstacle to a bipartisan deal just days...

UN chief vows to stand up against anti-Israel bias

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers remarks regarding Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin in the U..N. Security Council, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations since 2006, died suddenly after falling ill at his office at Russia's U.N. mission Monday. He was the longest-serving ambassador on the Security Council, the U.N.'s most powerful body. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres sought to reassure international Jewish community leaders that he would stand up against any perceptions of anti-Israel bias at the world organization. Guterres...

Donald Trump denounces anti-Semitism on Israel Holocaust day

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump looks up while hosting a House and Senate leadership lunch at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

President Donald Trump vowed to wipe out anti-Semitism in a message to mark Israel’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Day after his administration was criticised for past statements about the genocide....

American monitor killed after land mine blasts vehicle

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A land mine blew up a vehicle carrying an OSCE monitoring team in the separatist Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine on Sunday, killing an American observer and wounding two European members of the...

Brexit supporter Donald Trump now pitches for ‘strong Europe’

President Donald Trump meets with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Once a supporter of Britain’s decision to leave the EU, President Donald Trump has now said a “strong” Europe is “very, very important” for the US. “Yes, a strong Europe is very, very...

US prosecutors weighing charges against WikiLeaks: Reports

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Two media reports say US prosecutors are preparing or closely considering charges against the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, including its founder Julian Assange, for revealing sensitive government...

Paris attack: IS group claims Champs-Elysees shooting on police officers

In this image made from video, police attend the scene after an incident on the Champs-Elysees with Arc de Triomphe in background in Paris, Thursday April 20, 2017.  French media are reporting that two police officers were shot Thursday on the famed shopping boulevard. (AP Photo)

An attacker with an automatic weapon opened fire on police on Paris’ iconic Champs-Elysees, killing one officer and seriously wounding two others before police shot and killed him. The Islamic...

New Zealand toughens requirements for skilled immigrants

FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2017, file photo, New Zealand Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse, left, smiles as he interacts with refugee students during his visit to the UNHCR Tzu Chi Education Centre in Selayang, outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. New Zealand announced Wednesday, April 19, 2017, that it is introducing tougher requirements for skilled overseas workers as it tries to control immigration numbers that have reached an all-time high. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

New Zealand announced Wednesday that it is introducing tougher requirements for skilled overseas workers as it tries to control immigration numbers that have reached an all-time high.The changes come...

Venezuela: 2 dead, over 400 arrested in anti-government demonstrations

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At least two persons have died in the anti-government demonstrations in Venezuela that saw more than 400 people arrested, according to the country’s Criminal Forum. While some 57 persons have been...

Bomb explodes outside Eurobank office in Athens

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A bomb has exploded outside a Eurobank branch in the centre of the Greek capital city in Athens, police has confirmed. There were no casualties, a media report said. The bomb was placed at the door...

North Korean mock-up birthday video shows missiles blowing up US

A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014.   REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

North Korea put on a musical show to mark the birthday of founding father Kim Il Sung, which ended with a mock-up video of missiles engulfing the United States in flames, prompting cheers from the...

In Mosul, Iraqi snipers track jihadists around the clock

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A few hundred metres from an iconic mosque in west Mosul, Iraqi sniper Salah al-Zuheiri has his eye glued to his scope as he searches for Islamic State group jihadists.Iraqi forces are battling to...

California professor on paid leave for anti-Trump tweet

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the National Republican Congressional Committee March Dinner in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2017.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Fresno State University in California says an American history professor who tweeted that President Donald Trump “must hang” will be on paid leave for the rest of the semester. The university...

US Vice-President Mike Pence heads to Japan, turns focus to trade with key ally

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence looks at the North side from Observation Post Ouellette in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), near the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, South Korea, Monday, April 17, 2017. Viewing his adversaries in the distance, Pence traveled to the tense zone dividing North and South Korea and warned Pyongyang that after years of testing the U.S. and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, "the era of strategic patience is over." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is traveling to Japan for talks expected to focus largely on trade with America’s anchor ally in the region. Concluding a visit to South Korea, Pence told business...

US to hold UN human rights meeting after deal with Russia

The new U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, addresses a Security Council meeting of the United Nations, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

US Ambassador Nikki Haley was determined to hold a Security Council meeting on the importance of human rights to international peace and security and it will happen on Tuesday but only after the US...

China says US wants diplomatic solution to North Korea standoff

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has made a new appeal for calm on the Korean Peninsula and says he believes the United States would prefer a diplomatic resolution to the standoff. Wang told...

President Erdogan announces victory, opponents plan challenge

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President Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in a referendum on Sunday to grant him sweeping powers in the biggest overhaul of modern Turkish politics, but opponents said the vote was marred by...

Taiwan says ready to review Chinese activist’s asylum request

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Taiwan said on Monday it was prepared to review a petition for asylum from a Chinese activist who left his tour group in Taiwan without notice last week. Local media reported on Sunday that Zhang...

U.S. successfully tests upgraded nuclear bomb

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The United States has successfully tested the latest upgrade to its B61, sending General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon multirole fighter to drop the intermediate yield strategic and tactical...

South Korea begins candidate registration for Presidential election

Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye smiles as she is greeted by supporters upon her arrival at her private home in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, March 12, 2017. Park expressed defiance toward the corruption allegations against her as she vacated the presidential palace and returned to her home on Sunday, two days after the Constitutional Court removed her from office. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

South Korean authorities on Saturday began the official registration of candidates contesting the upcoming presidential election. After the two-day registration, the official campaign period for the...

‘Mother of all bombs’ killed at least 90, say Afghan officials

This photo provided by Eglin Air Force Base shows the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb. The Pentagon says U.S. forces in Afghanistan dropped the military's largest non-nuclear bomb on an Islamic State target in Afghanistan. A Pentagon spokesman said it was the first-ever combat use of the bomb, known as the GBU-43, which he said contains 11 tons of explosives. The Air Force calls it the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb. Based on the acronym, it has been nicknamed the "Mother Of All Bombs." (Eglin Air Force Base via AP)

The number of Islamic State fighters killed by a massive US bomb in eastern Afghanistan has nearly tripled to at least 90, Afghan officials said today. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb...

United States’ first female, African-American Muslim judge found dead in Hudson River

FILE- In this April 30, 2013 file photo, Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam looks on as members of the state Senate Judiciary Committee vote unanimously to advance her nomination to fill a vacancy on the Court of Appeals at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. The New York City Police Department confirmed that Abdus-Salaam's body was found on the shore of the Hudson River off Manhattan on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

A groundbreaking black jurist who became the first Muslim woman to serve as a US judge was found dead in New York’s Hudson River on Wednesday, police said. Sheila Abdus-Salaam, a 65-year-old...

South Africa postpones President’s no-confidence vote

South African President Jacob Zuma arrives for the official announcement of the munincipal election results at the result centre in Pretoria, South Africa August 6, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

South Africa’s parliament has decided to postpone a debate and a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, officials said. The decision on Wednesday followed a request by the opposition...

In abrupt shift, Donald Trump warms to China and NATO, sours on Russia

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

After less than three months in office, President Donald Trump has abruptly shifted his stance on an array of foreign policy issues from the US relationship with Russia and China to the value of the...

UN Security Council will vote Wednesday on Syria gas attack probe: US

A civil defence member breathes through an oxygen mask, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

The UN Security Council will vote today on a draft resolution demanding that the Syrian government cooperate with an investigation of the suspected chemical attack last week in Idlib province, US...

Kansas Republican wins congressional seat in special election

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, file photo, voters walk through a polling station in Dallas. Republican-controlled state legislatures around the country, such as in Texas, are taking steps to tighten voting laws, which critics say is an attempt to suppress Democratic voters. The moves come as President Donald Trump promotes unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and after a congressional committee voted to eliminate an independent election commission. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Kansas Republican and state treasurer Ron Estes on Tuesday defeated Democrat civil rights attorney James Thompson to win a Congressional seat in a race that became an unlikely testing ground of an...

Ivanka influenced Syria missile strike decision: Eric Trump

FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2016 file photo, Ivanka Trump, daughter of President-elect Donald Trump, arrives at Trump Tower in New York. Nordstrom shares sunk after President Trump tweeted that the department store chain had treated his daughter “so unfairly” when it announced last week that it would stop selling Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessory line.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

Following President Donald Trump’s assertion that the horrific images from a chemical weapons attack in Syria forced him to authorize a missile strike last week, it has come to light that his...

Jaffna    District’s Anita breaks her own record in National Open pole Vault Championship

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Anitha representing Jaffna district broke her own record and established a new record, in Pole vault in the Women’s open conducted by the National Athletic federation.  In the National Pole Vault...

North Korea fires missile into Sea of Japan

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Nuclear-armed North Korea Wednesday fired a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, South Korea and the US military said, days after Pyongyang warned of retaliation if the global community ramps up...

British PM Theresa May visits Saudi Arabia, chooses not to wear headscarf

British Prime Minister Theresa May is escorted by Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan, upon their arrival to Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Fayez Nureldine/Pool

British Prime Minister Theresa May chose not to cover her head during her visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. While some have criticised the British PM for being disrespectful, May’s stand is being...

US President Donald Trump blames Assad, Obama for chemical attack in Syria

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Confronted by one of his first foreign crises, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday split the blame for Syria’s worst chemical weapons attack in years between its Russian-backed leader and former...

US Homeland Security announces steps against H1B visa fraud

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the National Republican Congressional Committee March Dinner in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2017.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The US Department of Homeland Security announced steps on Monday to prevent the fraudulent use of H1B visas, used by employers to bring in specialized foreign workers temporarily, which appeared to...

Survivors sought after Colombia mudslide kills 262

In this handout photo released by the Colombian National Army, soldiers and residents work together in rescue efforts in Mocoa, Colombia, Saturday, April 1, 2017, after an avalanche of water from an overflowing river swept through the city as people slept. The incident triggered by intense rains left at least 100 people dead in Mocoa, located near Colombia's border with Ecuador. (Colombian Army Photo via AP)

Rescuers clawed through mud and timber searching for survivors of a mudslide in southern Colombia that killed 262 people, including 43 children, and left relatives desperately seeking loved...

St Petersburg subway blast kills 11; police defuse second bomb

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A bomb blast tore through a subway train deep under Russia’s second-largest city Monday, killing 11 people and wounding more than 40 in a chaotic scene that left victims sprawled on a smoky...

Britain expresses regret over “disturbance” during Saudi aide’s London visit

Major General Ahmed Al Asiri, spokesman for the Arab Coalition attends a press briefing at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London, Britain November 3, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Britain has expressed regret to Saudi Arabia after what it described as a “disturbance” during a visit by an aide to Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to London last week. Activists...

Donald Trump presses China on North Korea ahead of Xi talks

President Donald Trump about the health care overhaul bill, Friday, March 24, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. rump says he would be willing to reopen negotiations for a health care bill with Democrats if the Affordable Care Act fails.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

U.S. President Donald Trump held out the possibility on Sunday of using trade as a lever to secure Chinese cooperation against North Korea and suggested Washington might deal with Pyongyang’s...

Colombia mudslides kill 254, including 43 children

ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUALS COVERAGE OF SCENES OF DEATH OR INJURY The body of a woman identified as Katherine Valencia is pictured after flooding and mudslides caused by heavy rains in Villagarzon, Colombia April 2, 2017. REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga

Devastating mudslides in the Colombian town of Mocoa killed at least 254 people, 43 of them children, President Juan Manuel Santos said, in yet another sharp rise in the death toll. Santos, who...

Removing Assad no longer a priority – US

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The US representative to the United Nations has said that the US is no longer prioritising the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters on Thursday “we...

Israel approves first new West Bank settlement in 20 years

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Israel has approved the building of the first new settlement in the occupied West Bank in more than two decades. A statement issued after a meeting of the country’s security cabinet said the...

Turkey ends Euphrates Shield military campaign in Syria

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Turkey says it has “successfully” ended its seven-month Euphrates Shield military campaign in northern Syria. But Prime Minister Binali Yildirim did not rule out new military operations...

Mosul battle: Iraqi forces edge closer to key mosque

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Iraqi forces say they are pushing into the Old City of Mosul and closing in on a key mosque despite fierce resistance from Islamic State (IS) militants. Federal police chief Lt-Gen Raed Jawdat said...

Trump signs order undoing Obama climate change policies

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President Donald Trump has signed an executive order rolling back Obama-era rules aimed at curbing climate change. The president said this would put an end to the “war on coal” and...

Mosul battle: US ‘may be responsible’ for civilian deaths

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A US army general has said coalition forces “probably” played a role in the 17 March air strike on west Mosul which may have killed more than 100 people Lt Gen Stephen Townsend said the...

IS conflict: Syria force pauses assault for dam checks

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US-backed Syrian fighters paused their offensive near the Tabqa dam on Monday to let engineers check it and fix any damage affecting operations. The Syrian Democratic Forces alliance is battling...

Cyclone Debbie: ‘Monster’ storm makes landfall in Australia

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A powerful cyclone carrying winds of up to 263km/h (163 mph) has reached the coast of Queensland, Australia. More than 25,000 people were urged to evacuate ahead of Cyclone Debbie. The category four...

United Airlines under fire for ‘barring girls wearing leggings’

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United Airlines has been heavily criticised on social media after two girls were reportedly barred from flying for wearing leggings. The incident happened on a flight from Denver to Minneapolis on...

Mosul offensive: Iraq denies air strike caused civilian deaths

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Iraq’s military has cast doubt on reports that an air strike by the US-led coalition caused the deaths of dozens of civilians in west Mosul. Instead it blamed explosive booby-traps set by...

Syria rebels ‘take control’ of IS-held airbase near Raqqa

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US-backed Syrian rebels say they have taken full control of a key airbase held by the Islamic State group near its stronghold, Raqqa. Talal Sello, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF),...