International

‘Love jihad’ inquiry: India’s Supreme Courts upholds annulment of controversial marriage

In a much hyped up case, the Indian Supreme court has annulled the marriage of a 24-year-old woman to a Muslim man in Kerala forcing her to resume living at her parents’ house. According to the Guardian, Akhila Ashokan, who converted to Islam from Hinduism, prefers to be known as Hadiya. She became a Muslim after meeting her husband Shafin Jahan. Both were studying medicine in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Her marriage and conversion from Hindu faith angered her family following which her father filed a petition in the Kerala High Court against the marriage, demanding his daughter‘s return. The…
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International

Saudi Makkah hotel evacuated after fire

A hotel in the Saudi Arabian city of Makkah, where two million Muslims will perform the annual hajj pilgrimage, was evacuated Monday after a fire broke out, the civil defence service said. Civil defence spokesman Nayef al-Sharif said no casualties were reported in the fire, which was sparked by a faulty air conditioning unit on the eighth floor of a hotel in the Azaziyah district of Makkah. All 600 residents, most of whom had come from Turkey and Yemen for the hajj pilgrimage, were evacuated and have since returned to the hotel, Sharif said. The hajj draws Muslims from around…
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International

South Asia floods claim more than 750 lives

More than 750 people have died in floods across South Asia, officials said Monday, with monsoon rains also causing the deaths of hundreds of animals, including rhinos and a tiger. The human toll is steadily rising across India, Nepal and Bangladesh following the latest in a series of deluges since August 10, as the annual monsoon hits the north and east of the region. Nearly 50 bodies were found overnight in Bihar, in India’s east, taking the number of dead there to 253, a state disaster official told AFP. In Nepal, 143 people have died and 30 remain missing after…
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International

One dead after van hits people at Marseille bus stop

One person was killed and another seriously injured in the southern French city of Marseille on Monday after a van ploughed into people at two different bus stops, police sources, adding that the suspected driver had been arrested. Marseille’s prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux said that investigators had no "element pointing to a terrorist attack" and that the driver was believed to suffer from "psychiatric" problems. "He was found with a letter from a psychiatric clinic and we are leaning towards treating it as a mental health case," Tarabeux told AFP. The vehicle first drove at speed towards a bus stop in…
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International

India says China stand-off will end ‘soon’

ndia’s home minister said Monday he believed a border stand-off with China would end soon, after new footage emerged showing border guards from both countries fighting on a disputed patch of land in the Himalayas. Indian and Chinese soldiers have for more than two months been facing off on a disputed tract of land known as Doklam that India says is Bhutanese territory and China claims for itself. Some analysts have said the dispute amounts to the worst crisis in relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbours in decades. On Monday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said India wanted peaceful relations with…
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International

North Korea slams upcoming joint US-South military exercises

- North Korea warned Sunday that the United States will be "pouring gasoline on fire" by conducting an annual war game in the South next week amid heightened tensions between Pyongyang and Washington. Combative rhetoric between the nations spiked after Pyongyang tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) last month that appeared to bring much of the US within range, sparking an intense warning by President Donald Trump that Washington could rain "fire and fury" on the North. Pyongyang then threatened to fire a salvo of missiles towards the US territory of Guam -- a plan that leader Kim Jong-Un last…
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International

Greece: Immigrants finding refuge in books

The brightly coloured minivan that pulls into Athens’ food market, drawing a group of refugees around it, is not carrying something edible. The contents – hundreds of books – are there to satisfy a different sort of hunger. For tens of thousands of refugees stuck in Greece for the past two years after European states shut their borders in rapid succession, survival is no longer an issue. Instead, boredom and creeping despair about their future are their new enemies as they wait for months, even years, for their applications to relocate elsewhere in Europe to be processed. Now, at least…
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International

Cambridge University Press comes under fire for giving in to Chinese censorship requests

Cambridge University Press, one of the most respectable and oldest publishing houses has come under fire by academics throughout the world for bowing down to China’s demands of press has been accused for agreeing to eliminate politically sensitive articles from its Chinese website. According to the Guardian, the publishing house has blocked access to the readers from hundreds of academic articles. Cambridge University Press (CUP) argued that it had to comply with the request from the Chinese authorities, to avoid its other publications from getting barred. The official website of CUP confirmed the eliminated list of blocked articles that were…
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International

Defence firms eye billion-dollar chance for ‘made in India’

India has drawn up a shopping list for tens of billions of dollars of foreign fighter jets, armoured vehicles, submarines and helicopters but it will only sign the cheques if they are made in India. The world’s largest defence importer has announced a new policy inviting foreign defence manufacturers to set up shop as minority partners in India. It initiated the bidding process for submarines in July. Such deals would boost job creation and bring key defence technologies into India. Foreign companies say the opportunity is too good to miss. Europe’s Airbus Group, angling to sell its Panther helicopters, has…
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International

Iraq begins battle to retake Tal Afar, IS bastion near Mosul: PM

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced early Sunday the start of a battle to retake Tal Afar, a key Northern Iraqi bastion of the Daesh group and one of their last remaining strongholds in the region. The announcement comes a month after the capture by Iraqi forces of second city Mosul further east in a major blow to the militants. In a televised speech, Abadi, dressed in military uniform and standing in front of an Iraqi flag and map of the country, announced "the start of an operation to free Tal Afar". "I am saying to Daesh that there’s no…
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