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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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Jordan retakes lands leased by Israel in 1994 peace accord

Jordan retakes lands leased by Israel in 1994 peace accord

AP, Amman :Jordan's King announced Sunday that his country is retaking "full sovereignty" over two pieces of land leased by Israel, reflecting the cool relations between the neighboring countries as

Divisions rife as Germany marks 30 years since Berlin Wall fell

Divisions rife as Germany marks 30 years since Berlin Wall fell

AFP, Berlin :Germany on Saturday marks 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall that ushered in the end of communism and national reunification, as the Western alliance that

Pompeo slams Iran 'intimidation' of IAEA inspector as 'outrageous'

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Iranian beauty queen wins asylum in Philippines

Iranian beauty queen wins asylum in Philippines

AFP, Manila :An Iranian beauty queen sought by Tehran on criminal charges has been granted political asylum in the Philippines, an official said Friday, ending a three-week standoff at Manila

Hundreds of Indian Sikhs begin historic crossing into Pakistan

Hundreds of Indian Sikhs begin historic crossing into Pakistan

AFP, Dera Baba Nanak :The first of hundreds of Indian Sikh pilgrims began a historic pilgrimage to Pakistan on Saturday, crossing through a white gate to reach one of their

UN experts call Morsi's death in Egypt 'arbitrary killing'

UN experts call Morsi's death in Egypt 'arbitrary killing'

AFP, Geneva :An independent panel of United Nations experts said Friday the death of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in June could amount to "a state-sanctioned arbitrary killing"."Morsi was held

NASA unveils its first electric airplane - a work in progress

NASA unveils its first electric airplane - a work in progress

Reuters, California :NASA, most prominent for its many Florida-launched exploits into space, showcased an early version of its first all-electric experimental aircraft, the X-57 "Maxwell," on Friday at its lesser-known

News In Brief

Five Mexican police officers killed in ambushAFP, MexicoAt least five police officers were killed after they were ambushed in a small community nestled in the highlands of the state of

Ukraine foes to pull back troops ahead of Russia summit

Ukraine foes to pull back troops ahead of Russia summit

AFP, Ukraine :Ukraine's army and Kremlin-backed separatists are set Friday to complete the last phase of a troop pullback in the war-torn east in a key step towards a

Saudi King hosts CIA chief after spying on Twitter users charges

Saudi King hosts CIA chief after spying on Twitter users charges

AFP, Riyadh :Saudi Arabia's King Salman hosted the Central Intelligence Agency's director Thursday, state media said, after three people were charged in the United States with spying on Twitter