Foreign articles

At least 27 missing after New Zealand mine explosion

At least 27 missing after New Zealand mine explosion

WELLINGTON: Desperate efforts to reach at least 27 coal miners missing after an explosion tore through an underground mine in New Zealand stalled Friday as fears of another blast frustrated rescue attempts.
Police said the explosion at the coal mine on the South Island’s west coast appeared to have crippled the mine’s ventilation system but locals said they were were drawing hope from the rescue of 33 miners in Chile last month. Two miners survived the blast at the Pike River

US forces will stand by Afghans after 2014 handover

LISBON: President Barack Obama pledged on Friday that US forces would stand by Afghanistan even after NATO-led troops hand control of the fight against Taliban insurgents to Afghan forces in 2014.
Far from the dusty battlefields of Afghanistan, where more than 2,200 Allied troops have fallen in a vicious nine-year-old war, Obama and NATO leaders flew in to Lisbon for a two-day summit to set a handover date.
“We’ll announce that the transition to Afghan responsibility is

Taliban should join Afghan peace talks, says Karzai

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday urged the Taliban to join talks to bring peace to the war-torn country, despite the insurgents’ leadership ruling out negotiations.
“On this holy day of Eidul Azha I once again call on those compatriots who are unhappy, I request them to join the peace efforts,” Karzai said in a statement to mark the festival.
Karzai has previously appealed to the Taliban to come to the negotiating table and low-level commanders are said to

Nepal reinforces peacekeepers after Haiti riots

KATHMANDU: The Nepalese army on Tuesday said it had reinforced protection of its peacekeepers in Haiti after they were attacked by crowds angry over a cholera outbreak blamed by some on the soldiers.
Two people were killed in the riots on Monday.
Nepal, which has more than 1,000 soldiers working with the United Nations mission in Haiti, said “false rumours” that its soldiers were to blame for the cholera could have been the reason they were targeted.
“We are concerned.

UK’s Prince William to marry long-term girlfriend

LONDON: Britain’s Prince William is to marry his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton next year, Buckingham Palace said on Tuesday.
William, 28, the elder son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, and Middleton, 28, became engaged while on holiday in Kenya. “The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton,” Charles’s office said in a statement. “The wedding will take place in the spring or

Over 100 dead foetuses found in Thai temple: police

BANGKOK: The bodies of more than 100 human foetuses, apparently from an illegal abortion clinic, were discovered inside a Buddhist temple in central Bangkok, Thai police said on Tuesday.
The corpses, wrapped in plastic bags and newspaper, were found by a member of temple staff in a mortuary storage area.
“There are more than 100 plastic bags with foetal corpses inside hidden in the storehouse of a temple,” said Police Colonel Metee Rakphan.
“We assume that they were

Newly freed Suu Kyi ‘ready for dialogue’

YANGON: Myanmar’s newly freed Aung San Suu Kyi was “ready for dialogue” with the regime, her lawyer said Monday, as the democracy icon knuckled down to the task of rebuilding her weakened party.
The 65-year-old spent several hours at her National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters in meetings with regional party members, ending her first day back at work in years with a trip to a Yangon monastery.
Suu Kyi was freed from house arrest on Saturday, less than a week after

Berlusconi government hit by resignations

ROME: Four ministers resigned from the Italian government on Monday, escalating a political crisis in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s coalition that could last for weeks.
The four — Europe Minister Andrea Ronchi, Deputy Economic Development Minister Adolfo Urso and two junior ministers – are supporters of speaker of parliament Gianfranco Fini, a former ally of Berlusconi turned rival.
Fini’s Future and Freedom movement announced the pull-out in a statement.

Search for Mladic not confined to Serbia: prosecutor

BELGRADE: UN war crimes prosecutor Serge Brammertz said Monday that Serbia was not the only territory considered in the search for Ratko Mladic but insisted that the key to his arrest lies in Belgrade.
“The main working hypothesis is that the solution to his arrest is in Belgrade, but of course operational activities are not only concentrated on Serbia but are logically also into other areas,” Brammertz told a press conference after meeting with Serbian war crimes prosecutor

At least eight dead in Shanghai high-rise fire

SHANGHAI: At least eight people died as fire engulfed a Shanghai high-rise building Monday, sending panicked residents stumbling over each other as they fled and spreading thick smoke over China’s commercial hub.
The 28-storey building in one of the most densely-populated districts of the city of nearly 20 million people was under renovation when the blaze broke out around lunchtime. Spectacular bright orange flames could be seen enveloping the scaffolding and spreading to the

Grand mufti calls terrorism ‘un-Islamic’

LAHORE: Terrorism is forbidden in Islam and such acts should not be reciprocated in any term, Mufti-e-Azam Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah said while delivering the haj sermon on Monday.
Delivering the sermon to pilgrims assembled around Mt Arafat to perform a key ritual of haj, Mufti Azam said God Almighty called the Muslims as the best Ummah on the face of the earth, and he whoever killed a Muslim deliberately would be sent to hell.
He said Islam condemned any act that

Suu Kyi urges freedom of speech in Myanmar

YANGON: Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for freedom of speech in army-ruled Myanmar on Sunday and urged thousands of supporters to stand up for their rights and not lose heart, indicating she might pursue a political role.
“Democracy is when the people keep a government in check. I will accept the people keeping me in check,” she said in her first major address since being freed from seven years of house arrest a day earlier.
Suu Kyi could give Myanmar a strong

Karzai wants US to cut back Afghan military operations

WASHINGTON: Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants the US military to scale back the visibility and intensity of its operations in Afghanistan and end night raids that he said incited people to join the Taliban insurgency, The Washington Post reported.
“The time has come to reduce military operations,” Karzai told the Post in an interview. “The time has come to reduce the presence of, you know, boots in Afghanistan … to reduce the intrusiveness into the daily Afghan life.” The

Prince William flies to Afghanistan as Britain remembers war dead

LONDON: Prince William flew into Afghanistan on Sunday for a surprise visit to honour Britain’s war dead, as the Queen led the nation in remembrance here in central London.
The Prince attended a Remembrance Sunday service earlier in the morning at Camp Bastion, Helmand province, and laid a wreath before flying home. Back in London, Queen Elizabeth II led the nation in a two-minute silence at 1100 GMT to remember the fallen, and laid a wreath at the Cenotaph memorial.

Obama says will push for START in ‘lame duck’ congress

YOKOHAMA: US President Barack Obama said on Sunday he would push hard to get the US congress to approve a new START weapons treaty with Russia and stressed the former Cold War foes were now cooperating closely on key issues.
Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also discussed a possible veto by Russian foe Georgia of Russia’s entry to the World Trade Organisation, which Obama has backed under his administration’s “reset” policy to repair US-Russia ties.

Israel okays immigration of 8,000 Ethiopians

JERUSALEM: The Israeli cabinet on Sunday voted to bring to the country some 8,000 Ethiopians who claim Jewish descent, saying they are living in conditions of disease and hunger.
“There are about 8,000 women, men and children living in the most severe humanitarian conditions,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet session.”We have a moral commitment as Jews, as the People of Israel, to find a solution.”
Israel began bringing Ethiopia’s Jewish community

Airbase attacked, 10 killed in Afghan market bombing

KABUL: The Taliban launched a pre-dawn attack on a NATO base in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, triggering a firefight with foreign and Afghan forces that left eight militants dead.
Another 10 people, including three children, were killed in a motorcycle bombing in a market in a remote area of northern Afghanistan in an attack apparently targeting a local pro-government militia leader. The Taliban, which often exaggerates details of its attacks and foreign casualties, said 14