Wednesday, July 24, 2019 | ePaper

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Taliban, US to sit down for peace talks today
Reuters, Kabul
Afghan Taliban representatives and U.S. officials will sit down to two days of peace talks on Wednesday in Qatar but Afghan government officials will not be involved, senior Taliban members said.
The Taliban have rejected numerous requests from regional powers to allow Afghan officials to take part in the talks, insisting that the United States is their main adversary in the 17-year war and that Kabul is a "puppet" regime.

UK minister rules out Brexit process extension
AP, Brussels
A British government minister working on the process of taking the country out of the European Union says the government will not seek to extend the two-year period in which its departure must happen.
Britain leaves the EU on March 29, when the EU treaty's Article 50 governing the procedure times out, but the U.K. parliament still has not endorsed Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal.

20 children injured in Chinese pry school attack
AP, Beijing
A male attacker injured 20 children Tuesday inside a primary school in China's capital, officials said.Three of the children have serious but non-life-threatening injuries, the Xicheng district government said on its social media account, adding that the attack took place at 11:17 a.m.
The suspect was apprehended at the scene and an investigation has been launched, the statement said. All of the injured children are receiving hospital treatment. Authorities did not say what weapon, if any, was used.

UK police get extra powers to control drones
AFP, London
Drone exclusion zones around British airports will be extended and operators made to register under new rules announced after drone sightings wrought havoc at London's Gatwick in the run-up to Christmas. Police will also be allowed to fine users up to £100 (112 euros, $128) for failing to comply when instructed to land a drone, or not showing registration to operate a drone.
The Home Office will also begin to test and evaluate the use of counter-drone technology at airports and prisons after Gatwick and Heathrow, Britain's busiest airport, announced they were investing millions of pounds in such equipment.

3 skiers, 2 hikers dead in Austrian  snow, landslides
AFP, Vienna
Three skiers and two snowshoe hikers have died as heavy snow and avalanches hit Austria, isolating several areas of the mountainous country, authorities said Monday.
Two German skiers lost their lives in avalanches in the western region of Vorarlberg on Sunday, and a Slovenian died in the region of Salzburg, rescue services said. The bodies of two missing snowshoe hikers were discovered Monday as snow caused chaos in parts of the country, blocking roads and shuttering schools.

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Pope urges concrete measures to protect Syrian civilians

Pope urges concrete measures to protect Syrian civilians

AP, Vatican City :Pope Francis has sent Syrian President Bashar Assad a letter expressing his "profound concern" for the humanitarian situation in Syria and in particular the plight of civilians

Iran to meet with nuclear partners amid tanker crisis

Iran to meet with nuclear partners amid tanker crisis

AFP, Tehran  :Iran said Tuesday it will attend an urgent meeting with countries still party to the troubled nuclear deal, as it declared itself the "guardian of security" in the

Trump praises Pakistan's role in ‘progress’ on Afghan peace

Trump praises Pakistan's role in ‘progress’ on Afghan peace

President Donald Trump on Monday hailed Pakistan's help in advancing peace talks in Afghanistan, a marked shift in tone as the United States seeks an accord with the Taliban to

Airstrikes kill 50 civilians in Syria's northwest

Airstrikes kill 50 civilians in Syria's northwest

AFP, Maaret al-Numan (Syria) : Regime and Russian air strikes killed 50 people in northwest Syria on Monday, most of them in a crowded market, a war monitor said, in the

‘South Korea fired hundreds of shots at Russian jet in its airspace’

‘South Korea fired hundreds of shots at Russian jet in its airspace’

Reuters, Seoul  :South Korean warplanes fired hundreds of warning shots at a Russian military aircraft that entered South Korean airspace on Tuesday, defence officials in Seoul said, with Chinese bombers

News In Brief

UAE not leaving war-torn Yemen despite drawdownAFP, DubaiThe United Arab Emirates, part of a Saudi-led military coalition, is not leaving war-torn Yemen despite an ongoing drawdown and redeployment of Emirati

Anger soars over vicious mob attack on Hong Kong protesters

Anger soars over vicious mob attack on Hong Kong protesters

AFP :Anger soared in Hong Kong on Monday over a vicious assault on pro-democracy protesters by suspected triad gangsters that left dozens wounded, a dramatic escalation of the political turmoil

UK leadership favourite Johnson hits more turmoil on last voting day

UK leadership favourite Johnson hits more turmoil on last voting day

AFP :Britain's leadership contest entered its finale Monday with the favourite Boris Johnson facing more defections from ministers over his Brexit plan.The month-long contest between former London mayor Johnson and

Zelensky party heads for absolute majority in Ukraine

Zelensky party heads for absolute majority in Ukraine

AFP :Ukraine's comedian-turned-president Volodymyr Zelensky is set to control an absolute majority in parliament, ushering in a generational shift in the ex-Soviet country's political arena.The 41-year-old became Ukraine's youngest ever

Israeli forces surround demolition-threatened Palestinian homes

AFP . Jerusalem :Israeli forces surrounded a number of Palestinian homes it considers illegal south of Jerusalem early Monday, an AFP journalist saw, ahead of expected demolitions that have drawn