International

Saudi king visits Indonesia with huge entourage, tons of gear

JAKARTA (AFP) - Cheering crowds welcomed King Salman Wednesday as he began the first visit by a Saudi monarch to Indonesia for almost 50 years, seeking stronger economic ties with the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country. The king -- who is accompanied by about 1,000 people, including princes and ministers -- disembarked from his plane using an escalator as he arrived at an airport in Jakarta, the latest stop on an Asian tour. The 81-year-old was greeted by President Joko Widodo and Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a Christian who is standing trial for blasphemy. Crowds of flag-waving schoolchildren lined…
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International

US probing whether Al-Qaeda number two killed in Syria

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The American government is investigating whether Al-Qaeda’s number two has been killed in Syria, an official told AFP Tuesday, amid reports of a US strike in or around Idlib. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that agencies were working to confirm whether Abu Khayr al-Masri is dead, in what would be a major counterterrorism coup for Donald Trump early in his presidency. Al-Masri is a son-in-law of Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden and is believed to be deputy to the group’s current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. "Certainly if the reports are true it would be…
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International

Trump softens immigration stance, takes measured tone in speech

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump told Congress on Tuesday he was open to immigration reform, shifting from his harsh rhetoric on illegal immigration in a speech that offered a more restrained tone than his election campaign and first month in the White House. Trump, in a prime-time address to a country that remains divided over his leadership, set aside disputes with Democrats and the news media to deliver his most presidential performance to date, seeking to regain the confidence of Americans rattled by his leadership thus far. The president’s speech was long on promises but short on specifics on…
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International

Blasts, gunfire rock Afghan capital

KABUL (AFP) - Explosions and gunfire echoed through Kabul in two separate Taliban assaults on security compounds Wednesday, officials said, as the insurgents ramp up attacks before the start of their annual spring offensive. At least one person was killed and 35 others wounded in the carnage, which underscores rising insecurity in Afghanistan as the resurgent Taliban escalate their winter campaign of violence. A suicide car bomber struck an Afghan police precinct in western Kabul and a gun battle ensued, a security official said, in what appeared to be a complex ongoing attack. Minutes later a suicide bomber blew himself…
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International

People dying, starving from deadly drought in Somalia

Somalia is on the brink of its second famine in six years, with drought already killing people in the north and crisis looming on a catastrophic scale, the United Nations said on Thursday. "In six months, we’ll be facing a catastrophe and a famine on a scale we cannot imagine, if we don’t act right now," the ’s humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq, said in a press conference in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. "We have the first anecdotal evidence of deaths, in Somaliland in particular, as a result of the drought," he said, referring to the semi-autonomous…
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Pakistan

Suspicious foreigner detained in Islamabad’s Red Zone

Police have detained a suspicious foreigner in the federal capital’s Red Zone on Wednesday. According to police, Marcel Deutsch, a German national, was rounded up near Serena Hotel. He has been moved to Secretariat Police Station for interrogation. Police further said that Marcel wanted to go to Indian embassy. Apparently, his travel documents seem authentic.
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Pakistan

Honor for Lahore to host PSL event, says Shehbaz Sharif

Chief Minister of Punjab (CM) Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday has chaired a high-level meeting to review law and order situation and security plan for Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore due on March 5. During the meeting, Shehbaz Sharif has instructed the security forces to ensure foolproof security while directives have also been issued to deploy police officers at mosques, imam bargahs, churches and other worship places. “It is an honor for Lahore to host PSL event", he added. He said that Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Bajwa are providing their…
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Pakistan

Rawalpindi: COAS meets Turkish CGS, discusses regional security

RAWALPINDI (Web desk) - Turkish Chief of General Staff General Hulusi Akar called on Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi on Wednesday. Matters related to regional security were discussed. Army Chief emphasized the need to further enhance the existing military cooperation between the two brotherly Armed Forces. He said that enhanced Pakistan-Turkey cooperation will have positive impact on regional security. The visiting dignitary acknowledged Pakistan s efforts in fight against terrorism and appreciated launching of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad for elimination of terrorism from Pakistan.
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Pakistan

Pakistani man separated from family, to be deported from India over illegal stay

While separating from family, a 32-year-old Pakistani man has been decided to send back from India over illegal stay. According to details, Akbar Durrani met Indian woman on internet in 2011 after which both tied knot and settled in Madhya Pradesh. Akbar Durrani was sent to jail when he appealed for long term visa following expiration of his tourist visa. The concerned authorities have decided to deport him to Pakistan without his wife and two-year-old child.
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