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Joy turns to horror as bomber kills 63 at Kabul wedding

Kabul: Joy and celebration turned into horror and carnage when a suicide bomber targeted a packed Afghan wedding hall, killing at least 63 people in the deadliest attack to rock Kabul in months, officials and witnesses said Sunday. The blast, which took place late Saturday in west Kabul, came as Washington and the Taliban finalise a deal to reduce the …

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No agreement on forming UNP-led political alliance in Sri Lanka

Colombo: The talks between allies of the United National Party, main party in Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition, to form a broader alliance which will contest the presidential election later this year have ended without an agreement, a party member said on Sunday. Sri Lanka has been wracked by political divisions since an unprecedented constitutional crisis last year, when President Maithripala …

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Tens of thousands flood Hong Kong park for latest rally

Hong Kong: Heavy rain fell on tens of thousands of umbrella-toting protesters Sunday as they marched from a packed park and filled a major road in Hong Kong, where mass pro-democracy demonstrations have become a regular weekend activity this summer. Organisers said they hoped the assembly would be peaceful, which would make for a rare calm weekend in a months-long …

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Afghan positive for peace talks with US

Karachi: The Afghan Taliban has said the killing of its chief Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada’s brother in a blast at a mosque in Pakistan’s troubled Balochistan province will not derail the peace talks with the US. The brother of the Taliban chief was among seven people killed when a powerful bomb ripped through the mosque during Friday prayers in Kuchlak area, …

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‘Bhutanese students have power, potential to do extraordinary things’

Thimphu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday gave a pep talk to the students in Bhutan, saying they had the power and potential to do extraordinary things, which will impact future generations. Addressing the students of the prestigious Royal University of Bhutan here, Modi encouraged the “brightest” Bhutanese youth to work hard and take the Himalayan nation to great heights. …

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Pak snubbed on Kashmir as UNSC consultations end without outcome

PTI United Nations The rare closed-door consultations on Kashmir by the Security Council ended without any outcome or statement from the powerful 15-nation UN organ, dealing a huge snub to Pakistan and its all-weather ally China to internationalise the issue, which an overwhelming majority stressed is a bilateral matter between New Delhi and Islamabad. The informal consultations, requested for by …

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UNICEF calls for investment in education

IANS United Nations A new report by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) calls for urgent investment in education and skills development opportunities for the Rohingya refugees in southeastern Bangladesh. “For the Rohingya children and youth now in Bangladesh, mere survival is not enough,” said UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore on Friday, Xinhua reported.  “It is absolutely critical that they are …

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US cuts Pakistan’s aid by $440 million

IANS Washington The US has cut its aid to cash-strapped Pakistan by $440 million, bringing its commitments to just $4.1 billion. The decision to cut Pakistan’s economic assistance was officially conveyed to Islamabad about three weeks before the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the US, the Express Tribune reported. The aid was disbursed under Pakistan Enhanced Partnership Agreement …

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Trump addresses Taliban deal with senior advisors

IANS Washington The president of the United States met his national security team to discuss peace negotiations with the Taliban, which could lead to the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. “We are working diligently on the path forward in Afghanistan,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Friday, EFE news reported. “In continued close cooperation with …

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Coroner rules that Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself

AFP New York An autopsy on disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein — who was found dead in his jail cell — has concluded that he committed suicide by hanging, a coroner said Friday, answering one of the quesAtions surrounding his death. The ruling comes six days after the 66-year-old, who was accused of trafficking girls as young as 14 for …

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