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Tue
21
Feb

5 teenagers arrested in UK on terror charges

Scotland Yard have arrested five teenagers aged between 15 and 19 on suspicion of planning to join the Islamic State terrorist group.

"The arrests relate to plans to travel to join a proscribed organisation," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

"Officers from the Scotland Yard Counter Terrorism Command have today, yesterday arrested five males from separate addresses in south, east and west London on suspicion of Preparation of Terrorist Acts, Contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006, the statement said.

A further residential address was searched in Lambeth area of London in connection with the investigation, the Met said.

All five are being questioned at a central London police station. Some youngsters from London have been at risk of fleeing to Syria and other war zones to join the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group.

In 2015, three teenage girls from east London went missing and were believed to have joined ISIS.

Tue
21
Feb

Uber chief Travis Kalanick orders probe into allegations of sexual harassment

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has ordered a probe into allegations of sexual harassment made by a former female employee of the company in the United States (US) against her supervisor.

Kalanick said he has instructed Liane Hornsey, the company's recently hired chief of human resources, "to conduct an urgent investigation".

"There can be absolutely no place for this kind of behaviour at Uber. What's described here is abhorrent & against everything we believe in. Anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired," Kalanick said in a Twitter post yesterday.

Kalanick's response came after the company's former female employer said in a blog post that her manager had sent inappropriate messages to her. The employee had joined Uber as a site reliability engineer in November 2015. She wrote in the blog post that "things started getting weird" a few weeks after she joined her team.

Tue
21
Feb

Nepal To Hold First Local Elections In 20 Years

KATHMANDU: Nepal will hold its first local elections in two decades in May, the government has announced, a key moment in the country's fraught transition to democracy. The Himalayan nation emerged from a brutal decade-long civil war in 2006, which brought the end of the 240-year-old monarchy and transformed it into a republic.

But deep political divides have prevented it from implementing a new constitution that paves the way for elections, but which the minority Madhesi community says leaves them politically marginalised.

"The government has taken a historic decision. The election will be held in a single phase across the country," Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said following a late night cabinet meeting on Monday.

"Election is compulsory for safeguarding all agendas and implementing the constitution for the functioning of democracy."

Tue
21
Feb

Trump picks Lt Gen McMaster as new national security advisor

Washington, Feb 21 (PTI) US President Donald Trump has appointed Lt Gen Herbert Raymond McMaster as his new national security advisor following the ouster of Michael Flynn last week.
Making the announcement at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida yesterday, Trump described McMaster, currently Director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, as "a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience."
Flynn had been forced out by Trump after revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about discussing sanctions with Russias ambassador to the US during the presidential transition. Trump had described this as a matter of trust and not of any wrongdoing.
"I just wanted to announce that Gen H R McMaster will become the national security advisor. Hes a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience. I watched and read a lot over the last two days. He is highly respected by everyone in the military and were very honored to have him," Trump said.

Tue
21
Feb

Russia's ambassador to United Nations dies in NYC at 64

NEW YORK (AP) _ Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died suddenly Monday after falling ill in his office at the mission, Russian officials said.
Churkin, 64, was rushed to NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York, where he died, Russia's deputy UN ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov, told The Associated Press. His cause of death wasn't immediately known.
Churkin had been Russia's envoy at the United Nations since 2006 and was considered Moscow's great champion at the UN He had a reputation for an acute wit and sharp repartee, especially with his American and Western counterparts.
Russia's foreign ministry called Churkin an "outstanding" diplomat and expressed condolences to his friends and family. His death, the day before his 65th birthday, stunned officials at the UN's headquarters.

Tue
21
Feb

1.4 million children could die from famine this year, says UNICEF

Almost 1.4 million children suffering from severe malnutrition could die this year from famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, the UN children’s agency said Monday.

In Yemen, where war has been raging for nearly two years, 462,000 children are suffering from acute malnutrition while 450,000 children are severely malnourished in northeast Nigeria.

Fews Net, the famine early warning system, said some remote areas of Nigeria’s Borno state are already affected by famine since late last year and the disaster is likely to continue as aid agencies are unable to reach those in need.

Drought in Somalia has left 185,000 children on the brink of famine but that figure is expected to reach 270,000 in the next few months, said UNICEF.

In South Sudan, over 270,000 children are malnourished and a famine has just been declared in parts of Unity State in the north of the country, where 20,000 children live.

Tue
21
Feb

Malaysian: No cause of death yet for Kim Jong Nam

KUALA LUMPUR: The cause of death has not yet been determined for the exiled member of North Korea's ruling family who died last week after apparently being poisoned in a Kuala Lumpur airport, officials said Tuesday.

The autopsy showed no evidence of a heart attack in Kim Jong Nam's death, or sign of puncture wounds on his body, Noor Hisham Abdullah, the director general of health, told reporters.

Asked if there was any indication that he had been poisoned, Noor Hisham said medical specimens had been forwarded to experts who can determine the cause of death.

"We have to confirm with the lab report before we can make any conclusive remark," he said.

No family members have come forward to claim the body, he said. The older half brother of North Korea's ruler, Kim had spent most of the past 15 years living in China and Southeast Asia.

Tue
21
Feb

Five dead as plane crashes into Melbourne shopping centre

MELBOURNE: A light aircraft exploded Tuesday in a "massive fireball" with police saying none of the five people aboard survived as it smashed into a shopping centre near the Australian city of Melbourne.
The Beechcraft plane veered just after take-off into the shopping centre, that was still closed, next to Essendon Fields airport.
"Five on the aircraft and looks like no-one has survived the crash," said Victoria police assistant commissioner Stephen Leane.
Victoria premier Daniel Andrews described it as the state's worst air accident in three decades.
The private charter from Essendon, north of Melbourne, to King Island, 55 minutes to the south, came down just short of a major motorway packed with the heavy traffic of early morning commuters.
Live television footage showed burned out wreckage, flames and major damage at the shopping centre and adjacent buildings.

Mon
20
Feb

Male Muslim students excused from shaking hands with women at Australian school

Male Muslim students at a public school in Australia can refuse to shake hands with women to adhere to their faith.

The Hurstville Boys Campus of Georges River College in Sydney recently hosted an awards ceremony at which female presenters were told by the principal that some students would not shake their hands because of their Muslim faith, according to The Australian newspaper.

The New South Wales (NSW) Education Department has confirmed the school had an "agreed protocol" regarding handshaking.

"At the school's 2016 presentation day, the principal explained to invited guests making awards that some Muslim students may place their hand across their chest instead of shaking hands," a NSW Department of Education spokesman said.

Mon
20
Feb

'I am Muslim too': Declare thousands in US rally against Trump's travel ban

Over 10,000 people from various faiths declared 'I am a Muslim too' as they assembled at the iconic Times Square here to express solidarity with the Muslim community and protest against US President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

The rally was co-organised by the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding and the Nusantara Foundation in response to the uncertainty and anxiety created by Trump's now-rescinded executive order to bar citizens from the seven Muslim-majority nations.

The 'I am a Muslim Too' solidarity rally drew several thousand people who raised slogans and held banners of 'Love Trumps Hate' and 'USA, USA' and 'No Muslim Ban'.

Headlined by American entrepreneur and author Russell Simmons and actress Susan Sarandon, the rally on Sunday saw participation by several faith leaders who denounced the divisive political environment in the country and called on Americans to stand up for Muslims facing increasing threat and pressure.

Mon
20
Feb

Explosion At Colombia Bullring Injures Dozens

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA: An explosion injured at least 26 people in the Colombian capital on Sunday, most of them police guarding a bullring that had been targeted by protests on reopening last month, officials said.

"We condemn the attack with explosives. An unacceptable use of violence. We are told police officers are injured. There are no mortal victims," Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo said on Twitter.

The defense ministry said 26 people were injured, two of them civilians and the rest police. The city hall put the figure of injured at 30, saying four were civilians.

Six of them had to undergo surgery and four of the police may lose eyes due to injuries from flying fragments, Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas told reporters after visiting the hospital where they were treated.

The explosion struck near the Plaza Santamaria bullring in the Macarena district.

Mon
20
Feb

Police, Buddhist monks clash at Thai temple

Clashes broke out on Monday at a Thai Buddhist temple after monks resisted orders from authorities to vacate the premises and allow the police to raid the temple in search of its controversial abbot.

At least two policemen were injured in the skirmishes at Dhammakaya Temple in Pathum Thai province, along with several monks and supporters.

The police have been searching the temple for several days for former abbot Phra Dhammachayo, who is facing charges of land encroachment, money laundering and embezzling funds received as donations from a financial cooperative, Efe news reported.

After officials complained of being impeded by worshippers camping at the temple, authorities issued an order demanding that all followers and monks not residing in the compound leave the premises by Sunday.

Mon
20
Feb

’BRICS to promote inclusive, balanced economic globalisation’

China has said this year’s BRICS summit will promote more inclusive and balanced economic globalisation.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had on Sunday said tha the summit, to be held in southeast China’s coastal city of Xiamen in September, will not only contribute to common development of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries, but also promote more inclusive and balanced economic globalisation.

Wang met his South African counterpart Maite Nkoana—Mashabane yesterday in Beijing.

Wang also lauded the close ties between China and South Africa, featuring “profound” political mutual trust and .

“fruitful results” of mutually beneficial cooperation, state—run Xinhua news agency reported today.

“Particularly on issues of major concerns and concerning their core interests, the two countries understand and firmly support each other, incessantly deepening their strategic partnership,”

PTI

Mon
20
Feb

Blast leaves 34 dead in Mogadishu marketplace in Somalia

Somalia’s new president visited victims wounded by the Mogadishu car bomb that today killed 34. President Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those who planned the blast.
The explosion hit a busy marketplace in the western part of the capital, said police Capt Mohamed Hussein.
“It was a horrific and barbaric attack only aimed at killings civilians,” he said from the scene of the blast. Sabriye Abdullahi, an ambulance driver told The Associated Press that some of the injured victims died on their way to the hospitals.
“Many of them suffered extensive third degree burns and others were burned beyond recognition,” he said.
The blast from a car parked near a restaurant went off when shoppers and traders were gathered inside the market, said district commissioner Ahmed Abdulle.

Mon
20
Feb

Ukraine soldier killed in clashes despite ceasefire

Donetsk: One soldier has been killed and another wounded in eastern Ukraine, the army said Monday, as it accused rebels of breaking a new truce deal announced at the weekend.

Ukraine`s military spokesman Leonid Matyukhin said Russian-backed rebels had shelled his troops "on all fronts", resulting in one death and one injury over the past 24 hours.

But a military spokesman from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People`s Republic, Eduard Basurin, told AFP that the truce had largely held since midnight with "almost no attacks."

The fresh clashes cast a shadow over the new ceasefire deal announced after the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France held talks in Munich on Saturday.

The agreement brought renewed hope of an end to 34 months of conflict in which nearly 10,000 people have been killed.

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