Tuesday, April 13, 2021


US not involved in Iran nuclear facility incident: White House

WASHINGTON: The White House said that the United States was not involved in a recent attack on Iran's Natanz nuclear facility.
We, of course, have seen the reports of the incident at the Natanz enrichment facility. The US was not involved in any manner. We have nothing to add on speculation about the causes or the impacts," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during the daily briefing on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ontario schools suspend in-person learning as Covid-19 cases soar

OTTAWA: Ontario, Canada's most populous province, announced that all schools will stay closed indefinitely to in-person learning as Covid-19 cases continue to surge in the province.

Twitter to set up its 1st African presence in Ghana

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter will set up its presence in Africa, with building a team in Ghana, its CEO jack Dorsey has announced.
In a tweet late on Monday, Dorsey said: "Twitter is now present on the continent. Thank you, Ghana and Nana Akufo-Addo (Ghanaian President)".

Suu Kyi demands in-person meeting with lawyers

NAY PYI TAW: Myanmar's former de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was ousted and detained following the February 1 coup, has again demanded a face-to-face meeting with her lawyers at a court hearing held online.

Conflicts kill 65 in Afghanistan

KABUL: At least 65 people were killed in clashes and terrorist attacks in Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, an independent war monitoring group said on Monday.

Iran blames Israel for attack on nuke facility

TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday described the cyberattack on the Natanz nuclear facility as an act of terrorism and blamed Israel for it.

Cyclone-related deaths in Indonesia reach 177

JAKARTA: The death toll from the floods and landslides triggered by tropical cyclone Seroja in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara province has increased to 177 with 45 still missing, the National Disaster Management Agency said.

Over 30 fines issued over illegal London house party

LONDON: More than 30 fines were issued to people attending an illegal house party in London, local media reported.
Police arrived at the address in Dover Street, Mayfair, in London at 12.52 a.m. on Sunday and found a large number of people inside playing music and drinking alcohol, Xinhua news agency quoted the Evening Standard newspaper as saying in a report

US policeman who pepper sprayed Army officer fired

WASHINGTON: A policeman from the US state of Virginia who pepper sprayed an Army officer at a traffic stop last year has been fired, an official statement confirmed.

Afghans call for ceasefire during Ramadan

KABUL: Afghans from all walks of life are calling for ceasefire to be observed in Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which starts on Tuesday.

6.1-magnitude quake kills 8 in Indonesia

JAKARTA: At least eight people were killed and 39 others injured when an earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale jolted Indonesia's East Java province, the National Disaster Management Agency said.V

UNHCR proposes new resettlement plan for refugees in Kenyan camps

NAIROBI: The United Nations refugee agency said it has shared with Kenya a proposed set of sustainable and rights-based measures aimed at identifying solutions for refugees living in camps in Kenya.

Covid-19 variants spread leads to surge of new cases in Canada

OTTAWA: The rapid spread of more contagious Covid-19 variants is believed to have driven a devastating third wave in Canada.  As of Saturday afternoon, a total of 30,108 variant of concern cases have been reported across Canada, including 28,624 B.1.1.7 variants, 1,133 P.1 variants and 351 B.1.351 variants, according to CTV.

12 injured in B'desh mosque attack

DHAKA: At least 12 people were injured in an attack staged by members of the Hefazat-e-Islam militant outfit at a mosque in Bangladesh's Gaibandha district.

Visa application services: Restart status update (April 2021)

NEW DELHI: With borders opening sporadically in step with vaccination drives in various regions, the last quarter has witnessed intermittent activity for the international travel community. VFS Global, one of the world's leading visa services organisations updates you on the re-openings of visa application centres in India.

Putin mourns late UK Prince Philip

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a message to Queen Elizabeth II to express his "deep condolences" on the death of her husband, Prince Philip.

Iran nuclear deal talks resume in Vienna

VIENNA: The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal, resumed talks here again, with the lifting of sanctions on Iran and nuclear implementation measures on top of the agenda.

Nepal's opposition parties begin talks to unseat PM Oli

KATHMANDU: Nepal's primary opposition party, the Nepali Congress has begun talks with the Nepal Communist Party-Maoist Centre and the Janata Samajbadi Party to unseat Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and form a coalition government under its leadership.

US state to allow carrying guns without permit

WASHINGTON: Tennessee will become the latest US state where residents will be allowed to carry guns without a permit after Governor Bill Lee signed an "open carry" bill, a local media report said.

Pak Army reviews LoC situation in Corp Commander Conference

ISLAMABAD: Top commanders of the Pakistan Army held a Corps Commander Conference (CCC) to review the overall security situation with a detailed review of the situation at the Line of Control (LoC) after the recent agreement of a ceasefire between New Delhi and Islamabad.

US Defence Secretary to visit Germany

WASHINGTON: US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit Germany next week as part of a foreign tour that will also take him to Israel, the UK and the NATO headquarters in Belgium.

Cautious optimism prevails in India-Pak ties

ISLAMABAD:Pakistan and India relations may have hit a small bump with the recent decision by the Imran Khan-led government to refrain from importing cotton and sugar from New Delhi and reopening the trade, a decision approved and then disapproved within 24 hours after deference by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) and the federal cabinet; experts still believe that there is a positive and cautious optimism in Islamabad that the defrosting in relations with India is still holding ground.

Queen Elizabeth II's consort, Prince Philip passes away

LONDON: Prince Philip, the consort of UK's Queen Elizabeth II, passed away on Friday, the Buckingham Palace announced. He was 99.

Japan to impose emergency measure in Tokyo

TOKYO: Japan is set to extend a semi-state of emergency over the Covid-19 pandemic to Tokyo and two other prefectures due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, the government said on Friday.

US state to allow carrying guns without permit

WASHINGTON: Tennessee will become the latest US state where residents will be allowed to carry guns without a permit after Governor Bill Lee signed an "open carry" bill, a local media report said.

US expresses concern over Tigray crisis

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden's National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan expressed US concern over the crisis in the Tigray region to Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, the White House said.

US must pay UN dues of peacekeeping budget: Ex-officials

WASHINGTON: Three retired senior officials of the US Department of State have urged the current administration to pay the arrears the country owes to the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping budget.

Putin supports building good ties with Washington

MOSCOW:Russian President Vladimir Putin prefers to establish good relations with the United States despite Washington's "aggressive policy," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Criticism of armed forces punishable by law in Pak now

ISLAMABAD: Pakistans National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior has approved a Bill that would punish those who intentionally criticise the countrys armed forces.

Criticism of armed forces punishable by law in Pak now

ISLAMABAD: Pakistans National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior has approved a Bill that would punish those who intentionally criticise the countrys armed forces.

Pak National Assembly Speaker's Afghanistan visit delayed

ISLAMABAD: The visit of the Speaker of Pakistan's National Assembly Asad Qaiser to Afghanistan has been postponed due to security threat, a top official said here on Thursday.

US urges India, Pak to hold table talks

ISLAMABAD: The US Department of State has called on both India and Pakistan to hold direct talks and resolve pending issues with an aim to normalise relations.
Refraining to comment on the recent approval and then cancellation by Pakistan to import sugar and cotton from India, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the US supports direct dialogue between the nuclear-powered neighbours.

US, Iraq agree to redeploy coalition forces

WASHINGTON: The US and Iraq have agreed to redeploy the remaining Washington-led coalition combat troops outside the war-torn country to contribute in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) terror group, an official statement said.

Hefazat preacher arrested in B'desh

DHAKA: Rafiqul Islam Madani, a preacher of the Hefazat-e-Islam militant outfit in Bangladesh, has been arrested on charges of anti-state speech and inciting chaos.The 28-year-old Madani, also known as 'Shishu Bokta' or child preacher, was arrested on Wednesday night by a team of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the elite force of Bangladesh Police, from his ancestral home in Netrokona's Purbatola area.

No lockdown despite surging cases in Brazil: Bolsonaro

BRASILIA: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stood firm in his opposition against a nationwide lockdown despite a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths.
There will be no nationwide lockdown," Bolsonaro said on Wednesday in Chapeco, a city in the southern state of Santa Catarina where, like many other parts of Brazil, hospital service has collapsed since February due to a new wave of the pandemic.

Working to conclude IDA replenishment by December to help reduce global poverty'

WASHINGTON: World Bank Group President David Malpass said that the bank is working to conclude the International Development Association's twentieth replenishment (IDA20) by December to help reduce global poverty.

Biden supports Jordan's king, affirming two-state solution

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden spoke with Jordan's King Abdullah II to voice US support for his leadership and affirmed the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

G20 calls on IMF to prepare for new SDR allocation

WASHINGTON: Finance officials from the Group of 20 (G20) major economies called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to prepare for a new allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) while agreeing to extend debt relief for the world's poorest countries through the end of 2021

US seeks to increase scale of climate finance: Yellen

WASHINGTON: The US is seeking to increase the scale of climate finance and working with the international community to tackle climate change, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Tuesday.

All US adults eligible for Covid-19 vaccine by April 19: Biden

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that all American adults will be eligible for Covid-19 vaccine by April 19.
Biden announced the new timetable after his visit to a vaccination site in Alexandria, Virginia, moving up his original deadline of May 1 by nearly two weeks, the Xinhua news agency reported.