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Indian school fire toll rises to 20
AFP, Surat
 Indian police on Saturday charged the owners of a private school which turned into an inferno that killed 20 teenagers, some who died jumping from the building in a desperate bid to escape the flames, officials said.
Sixteen of the dead were young women who had been preparing for exams at the tuition centre illegally set up on the top of a commercial building in the western city of Surat, the officials said.

Egypt frees ex-diplomat who called for referendum
AP, Cairo
 An Egyptian rights lawyer says a former diplomat who called for a referendum on Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's government has been released from jail.
Khaled Ali says his client, Masoum Marzouk, was released earlier this week along with four activists.

Maltese navy rescues more migrants
AFP, Valletta
 The Maltese navy said Saturday it had rescued 216 more migrants, including pregnant women and minors, from two small craft in the Mediterranean.
Malta, which was holding a vote for the European Union parliament Saturday, has appealed to the EU for help in dealing with the flow of migrants, which much larger neighbour Italy has begun to turn away.

Ex-US Marine alleges "threats, abuse" in Russian jail
AFP, Moscow
A former US Marine arrested on spying charges in Moscow says he is subjected to abuse and harassment in jail, but a diplomat warned Saturday a potential prisoner swap will not happen before a conviction.
Paul Whelan has been held under arrest in Russia since late December and is accused of being caught red-handed "carrying out an act of espionage".

Mount Everest death toll reaches 10
Agencies ,Kathmandu
The deaths of an Irish and a British climber on Mount Everest took the toll from a deadly week on the world's highest peak to 10, expedition organisers said Saturday.
British climber Robin Fisher, 44, reached the summit Saturday morning but collapsed when he had got just 150 metres back down the slope.

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Pakistan to grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

Pakistan to grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

AFP, New Delhi :Pakistan will grant consular access to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav according to its laws, Pakistan foreign ministry said in a late night statement.The ministry also said

Pence announces sanctions on Iranian-linked leaders in Iraq

Pence announces sanctions on Iranian-linked leaders in Iraq

AP, Washington :Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that the United States is imposing sanctions on the leaders of two Iranian-linked militia groups in Iraq."Let me be clear, the

Somali-born lawmaker brands Trump 'fascist' after rally taunt

Somali-born lawmaker brands Trump 'fascist' after rally taunt

AFP, Washington  :Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar branded Donald Trump a "fascist" on Thursday as the president sought to distance himself from mocking chants of "Send her back!" directed at

UN reaches agreement with Yemen rebels to resume food deliveries

UN reaches agreement with Yemen rebels to resume food deliveries

AFP, United Nations :The World Food Program has reached an agreement in principle with Yemen's Huthi rebels to resume food aid to areas they control, the agency's chief said

News In Brief

Ukraine's President says he backs prisoner swap with RussiaAP, UkraineUkraine's president on Friday outlined the details of an impending prisoner swap with Russia, saying that Kiev is willing to

Merkel criticises Trump comments on congresswomen

Merkel criticises Trump comments on congresswomen

AP, Berlin :German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's comments about Democratic lawmakers of color, saying they run counter to what she considers "the strength

Iran FM at UN accuses US of 'economic terrorism'

Iran FM at UN accuses US of 'economic terrorism'

AFP, United Nations :Iran's foreign minister on Wednesday renewed accusations that the United States was waging "economic terrorism," on a visit to the United Nations during which Washington has sharply

Johnson suggests EU would bear some blame for no-deal Brexit

Johnson suggests EU would bear some blame for no-deal Brexit

Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to be Britain's next prime minister, suggested Wednesday that the EU would bear some responsibility if he took his country out of the bloc without a

Myanmar filmmaker charged over facebook posts about military

Myanmar filmmaker charged over facebook posts about military

Reuters, Yangon :A Myanmar judge on Thursday charged filmmaker Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi for Facebook posts he made about the powerful military, meaning he will stand trial despite concern

US against any country purchasing Russia's S-400 defence system: Pentagon

US against any country purchasing Russia's S-400 defence system: Pentagon

PTI, Washington :The US is keen to make its defence partnership with India stronger, the Pentagon has said, but made it clear that it is against any country purchasing military