Beijing issues alert for heavy air pollution

Beijing, Jan 24 (IANS) Beijing has issued a yellow alert for heavy air pollution that took effect from Sunday, local authorities said. A series of measures will be taken from Sunday, including the suspension of a number of outdoor construction operations, and halting or restricting production by manufacturing companies, according to the municipal air pollution […]

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Pakistan to get 5G by 2022-23: Report

Islamabad, Jan 24 (IANS) The Pakistan government is developing a comprehensive roadmap aimed at making 5G internet services commercially available to consumers in 2022-23, a media report said on Sunday. In an annual report, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said the roadmap is targeted at auctioning “spectrum for 5G services in fiscal year 2023”, The […]

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3 injured in Kabul blast

Kabul, Jan 24 (IANS) Three civilians were injured as a blast struck a vehicle in Kabul on Sunday, a police spokesman said. “The blast occurred at 8.12 a.m. local time in Police District 8 injuring three civilians,” the spokesman told Xinhua news agency. The official did not provide more details, saying investigation is underway. The […]

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Int’l working group reiterates backing for Libyan ceasefire deal

Tripoli, Jan 24 (IANS) The International Follow-Up Committee for Libya Security Working Group has reiterated their full and continued commitment to the implementation of the war-torn country’s ceasefire agreement. “They reiterated their commitment to facilitating the work of the 5+5 JMC (Joint Military Commission), through enhanced cooperation and their continued support to the political process,” […]

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3 rockets fired at Baghdad airport

Baghdad, Jan 23 (IANS) The Iraqi military said on Saturday that three rockets were fired at the Baghdad airport, just three days after the capital city witnessed two back-to-back suicide bombings. The rocket attack took place late on Friday night, Xinhua news agency quoted the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command as saying […]

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13 killed in Philippines shootout

Manila, Jan 23 (IANS) At least 13 people were killed, including a police officer, and four others injured on Saturday during a shootout in the Philippines’ Maguindanao province, according to authorities. In a statement, the authorities said the shootout erupted when the police went to the hideout of a fugitive in Sultan Kudarat town at […]

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SL grants approval for Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine’s emergency use

Colombo, Jan 22 (IANS) Sri Lankan authorities on Friday granted approval for the emergency use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, Minister for Pharmaceutical Production and Regulation Channa Jayasumana said. Jayasumana said the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) had granted the approval for the emergency use of the British vaccine while several other vaccines were also […]

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5 killed in Baghdad market suicide blast

Baghdad, Jan 21 (IANS) At least five people were killed and 10 others injured on Thursday in a suicide blast at a marketplace in Baghdad, an Iraqi Interior Ministry source confirmed. A suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt in Bab al-Sharji area, and another blast followed a few minutes later, the source told Xinhua news […]

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Palestine’s Abbas congratulates Biden

Ramallah, Jan 21 (IANS) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas congratulated Joe Biden for his inauguration as the new President of the US and Kamala Harris as the Vice President. On Wednesday, Abbas expressed his “deep wishes for President Biden and Vice President Harris to succeed in confronting the big challenges”, Xinhua news agency quoted state media […]

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Israeli leaders congratulate Biden

Tel Aviv, Jan 21 (IANS) Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have congratulated Joe Biden as he was sworn in as the 46th president of the US. Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, Rivlin said: “Congratulations to President Joe Biden, 46th President of the United States, and to Vice President Kamala Harris. The […]

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Syria demands immediate withdrawal of US forces

Damascus, Jan 21 (IANS) The Syrian government has demanded the “immediate and unconditional withdrawal” of US forces from the war-torn country due to their “hostile practices”. In a statement issued on Wednesday the Foreign Ministry condemned what it called the “hostile practices” of the US forces in northeastern Syria, reports Xinhua news agency. It accused […]

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Pak values relations with EU: FM Qureshi

Islamabad, Jan 21 (IANS) Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Islamabad greatly valued its relations with the European Union (EU), which are based on shared values and common objectives of peace, prosperity and development. The Pakistan-EU relationship has strengthened steadily over the years and is pursued through sound institutional mechanisms and dialogue processes, […]

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Turkey starts vaccination at nursing homes

Istanbul, Jan 20 (IANS) Turkey started vaccinating citizens residing or working in nursing homes against Covid-19 on Tuesday, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Wednesday. Speaking at a meeting with the provincial health directors on Monday, Koca said the vaccinations would also cover people in disabled care centres and care homes, as well as […]

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Afghan President, NATO chief discuss peace talks

Kabul, Jan 19 (IANS) Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held a phone conversation during which they discussed the peace talks between the Kabul government and the Taliban, an official statement said here on Tuesday. The two sides on Monday discussed “the Afghan peace process and NATO’s continued support for […]

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UAE temporarily suspends visa-free deal with Israel

Tel Aviv, Jan 19 (IANS) The Israeli Foreign Ministry has announced that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has temporarily suspended a visa-exemption deal with the Jewish state, citing coronavirus fears. In a statement on Monday, Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat said that the UAE government has notified its Israeli counterparts that the implementation of the agreement […]

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S.Korea to extend social-distancing rules

Seoul, Jan 16 (IANS) South Korea on Saturday announced its decision to extend the tightened social-distancing rules for two more weeks until the end of January amid an unabated Covid-19 resurgence. The Seoul metropolitan area, which covers the capital city, its surrounding Gyeonggi province and Incheon, will be placed under the second-highest Level 2.5 social-distancing […]

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Pak schools to reopen from Jan 18

Islamabad, Jan 15 (IANS) Pakistan Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood on Friday confirmed that grades 9-12 will resume from January 18 as planned, while primary classes will reopen nationwide from February 1. While briefing the media after a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Mahmood said grades 1-8 will begin on February 1, […]

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Indonesia starts massive Covid-19 vaccination drive

Jakarta, Jan 15 (IANS) Indonesia launched its massive Covid-19 vaccination program with health workers as the main priority group, a day after President Joko Widodo received the first shot developed by China’s biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech. On Thursday morning, a mass vaccination was held at state-run Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital in central Jakarta, Xinhua news agency […]

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Pak records highest jump in Covid-19 cases

Islamabad, Jan 14 (IANS) Pakistan reported its biggest jump in novel coronavirus cases in nearly a month as infections in Sindh rose by 1,769 in the past 24 hours, official data revealed on Thursday. Data issued by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) showed that 3,097 people tested positive for Covid-19 across the country […]

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Indonesian Prez Widodo receives Chinese Covid-19 vaccine

Jakarta, Jan 14 (IANS) Indonesian President Joko Widodo received the Covid-19 vaccine shot developed by China’s biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech. The president, widely known as Jokowi, is the first Indonesian vaccinated to show that the vaccine is safe, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday. After the president, the Indonesian military chief, the national police chief […]

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Protests in Yemen’s Aden as currency value slashes

Aden, Jan 14 (IANS) Scores of Yemeni people took to the streets in the country’s southern port city of Aden protesting against the sharp deterioration of their national currency. In different neighbourhoods of Aden, protesters burned tyres and blocked main roads, forcing many business stores to shut down. The protest organisers demanded the newly power-sharing […]

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Indonesia extends ban on foreign visitors

Jakarta, Jan 11 (IANS) The Indonesian government on Monday decided to extend its travel restrictions for foreign nationals for two more weeks due to Covid-19 concerns, a Minister said. At a press conference here, Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said that the government on Monday started implementing stricter restrictions on community activities for two weeks, reports […]

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4 killed in B’desh cylinder blast

Dhaka, Jan 11 (IANS) Four people were killed and 20 injured after a gas cylinder exploded on Monday inside a community kitchen in Gazipur on the outskirts of Bangladesh capital Dhaka, according to an official. Kabirul Alam, an officer of local Kaliakoir fire service station, told the media that “a woman along with three men […]

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Libyan committee presents plans on constitutional basis for polls

Tripoli, Jan 11 (IANS) The Legal Committee of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) presented proposals on constitutional basis for this year’s general elections during its virtual meeting with UN officials. “The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum’s Legal Committee held a virtual session today, during which the Committee’s members presented their proposals regarding the constitutional basis […]

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Iraqi prez warns against foreign interference in Iraq’s internal affairs

Baghdad, Jan 11 (IANS) Iraqi President Barham Salih warned against any foreign interference in Iraq’s internal affairs and urged respect for Iraq’s sovereignty. Salih’s comments came during his meeting with the head of the Hashd Shaabi forces Falih al-Fayadh, according to a statement by the Presidency’s media office released on Sunday, Xinhua news agency reported. […]

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Blast kills 3 in Kabul

Kabul, Jan 10 (IANS) At least three people were killed and another person was injured in a blast in Kabul on Sunday, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Tareq Arian said. The blast, according to the official, took place at 8.30 a.m. in Police District 8, Xinhua news agency reported. Arian said that the victims included Zia […]

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11 killed, 14 missing in Indonesia landslides

Jakarta, Jan 10 (IANS) Eleven people were killed, 17 injured and 14 others were reported missing as landslides struck Indonesia’s West Java province, a senior disaster agency official said on Sunday. Heavy downpours triggered the landslides at Cihanjuan village of Sumedang district at about 4 p.m. on Saturday, burying eight people, head of Emergency Unit […]

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Iraq warns of reimposing curfew

Baghdad, Jan 10 (IANS) The Iraqi Ministry of Health has warned of reimposing a nationwide curfew if there was an increase in new coronavirus infections due to the non-compliance of citizens with the protective measures. Health teams have spotted non-compliance and resumption of social customs such as shaking hands, hugging, and kissing like situation before […]

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Indonesian airliner crashes into waters off Jakarta with 62 aboard, including 10 children (Ld)

Jakarta, Jan 10 (IANS) Indonesia’s Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has confirmed the crash of a Boeing 737-500 plane of an Indonesian airlines with 62 people on board that lost contact with the air traffic controller. At a virtual press conference held on Saturday evening, the minister said the Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182 heading from […]

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Kim Jong-un urges US to end hostile policy

Seoul, Jan 9 (IANS) North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has urged the US to end its hostile policy towards Pyongyang, state media reported on Saturday. In the report, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Kim made the remarks at the ongoing eighth Congress of the ruling Workers’ Party, reports Xinhua news agency. Kim […]

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France to host summit for nature protection

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) Organised by France, in cooperation with the UN and the World Bank, the ‘One Planet Summit’ for biodiversity on January 11 aims to advance the protection of nature, organisers said on Saturday. French President Emmanuel Macron, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and World Bank Group President David Malpass are organising the […]

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Preparations continue for mass vaccination: Turkish prez

Istanbul, Jan 9 (IANS) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the mass vaccination process against the Covid-19 pandemic would soon start. Speaking to reporters in Istanbul after Friday prayers, Erdogan said that Turkey’s Health Ministry has been continuing its works to launch the vaccination process in line with a calendar, Xinhua news agency reported. “Currently, […]

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Prominent HK pro-democracy activist arrested

Hong Kong, Jan 8 (IANS) Joshua Wong, a prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist, was arrested on Friday over “subverting the state power” under the national security law which China imposed in the city last year. Opposition politician Tam Tak-chi was also arrested along with Wong, who was the head of disbanded Demosisto — a pro-democracy […]

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Bilawal re-elected as PPP Chairman

Islamabad, Jan 8 (IANS) Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has been re-elected unopposed as Chairman of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for another four years, the media reported on Friday. In a statement on Thursday, the party’s media office said that Bhutto-Zardari’s re-election was confirmed after intra-party elections at the federal level were held in Karachi on […]

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Japan PM declares state of emergency in Tokyo

Tokyo, Jan 7 (IANS) Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Thursday declared a state of emergency in the Tokyo metropolitan area, which also included the Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, authorising tougher measures to fight a recent Covid-19 resurgence. The state of emergency will come into effect on Friday until February 7, Xinhua news agency […]

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Beijing records coldest morning in over 50 years

Beijing, Jan 7 (IANS) The mercury dipped to minus 19.6 degrees Celsius in Beijing on Thursday as a strong cold wave swept the city, marking the coldest morning in the Chinese capital since 1966. The Nanjiao station, located in Beijing’s Daxing District, is a national-level meteorological station founded in 1912, reports Xinhua news agency. Its […]

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Pak hails resumption of Afghan peace talks

Islamabad, Jan 7 (IANS) Pakistan has welcomed the resumption of the second round of the Afghan peace talks in Qatar between representatives of the Kabul government and the Taliban, which commenced after a three-week break. In a statement, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said that the two teams have made significant progress by finalising the rules […]

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Kim Jong-un vows to boost defence capabilities

Seoul, Jan 7 (IANS) At a rare Party Congress, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged to strengthen Pyongyang’s military capabilities, a state media report said on Thursday. According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) report, Kim made the remarks on the second-day session of the eighth ruling Workers’ Party Congress on Wednesday. The report […]

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UN envoy, Yemeni President meet in Riyadh

Sanaa, Jan 7 (IANS) UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths met with President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, state media reported here. During the meeting on Wednesday, they discussed a UN-brokered plan to push forward peace in Yemen, Xinhua news agency quoted the state media report as saying. Griffiths […]

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6 Taliban killed in Baghlan operation: Officials

Baghlan, Jan 6 (IANS) At least six Taliban were killed and four others were wounded during an operation in northern Baghlan, local officials said. The operation was launched on the Baghlan-Samangan highway on Tuesday to clear the highway from “Taliban”, said Mohammad Wais Samimi, the provincial police chief, TOLO news reported. “The enemies have been […]

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Dozens held in largest crackdown on Hong Kong opposition

Hong Kong, Jan 6 (IANS) Hong Kong has arrested dozens of pro-democracy activists and politicians, accusing them of trying to “overthrow” the city’s government. The group, arrested under a controversial new security law, were involved in an unofficial “primary” vote to select opposition candidates ahead of the postponed 2020 elections, the BBC reported on Wednesday. […]

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PDM poses no threat to govt: Imran

Islamabad, Jan 5 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the the 11-party PDM opposition alliance poses no threat to his government. Addressing the meeting of his spokespersons on Monday, Khan said: “The PDM has almost lost and died its own death, so it is no more a threat to the government.” The […]

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