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Category: World News

British pound tumbles as UK election gamble fails

9 June, London: The pound plunged Friday as Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives lost its parliamentary majority in Britain’s general election, fuelling political uncertainty just days before the start of Brexit talks. Sterling slumped in early morning deals to a seven-week low of $1.2636, while the euro hit a seven-month peak at 88.59 pence. However, that propelled the London stock market higher as the weaker pound boosts multinational companies that earn in currencies other than sterling. Investors also brushed off news of a monthly rise in industrial output. May had called Thursday’s snap vote in a bid to boost...

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Blast at Indian firecracker factory kills 12: official

8 June, New Delhi: An explosion at a fireworks factory in central India on Wednesday killed 12 workers and injured 10 others, some with serious burns, an official said. Dozens of employees managed to escape unhurt but firefighters spent two hours bringing the major blaze under control in Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh state. “It’s unclear what caused the blast,” local administrative chief Bharat Yadav told AFP from the accident site. “Maybe there was some security or procedural lapse. We have launched an inquiry into the matter.” Workplace accidents are common in India, where poor safety standards and lax...

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Qatar investigation finds state news agency hacked: foreign ministry

8 June, Qatar : A preliminary investigation has confirmed that Qatar’s state news agency was hacked, and false statements attributed to the country’s ruler were posted that helped ignite a rift with other Gulf states, the Qatari foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and several other countries cut their ties with Doha on Monday in part because of comments posted briefly on the Qatar News Agency’s website on May 23. The article quoted Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani as cautioning against confrontation with Iran, as well as defending the Palestinian group Hamas...

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Trump appears to support isolation of Qatar

7 June, Washington: US President Donald Trump Tuesday linked Arab moves to isolate Qatar to his recent Middle East trip, showing little sympathy for the plight of the Gulf emirate despite its role as a hub for US military operations in the region. “During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!” Trump wrote on Twitter. Saudi Arabia and several Arab allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar on Monday, accusing the...

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100,000 children in extreme danger in Mosul, trapped behind Islamic State lines: U.N.

6 June, Baghdad: About 100,000 children are trapped in extremely dangerous conditions in the remaining Islamic State-held enclave in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the United Nations said on Monday. Children were being used as human shields by the insurgents or were caught in the crossfire of the battle, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) said in a statement. Some had been forced to take part in the fighting. Hospitals and clinics had come under attack, it said. “We are receiving alarming reports of civilians including several children being killed in west Mosul,” UNICEF said. “Some were reportedly...

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Trump and Hillary trade jabs in Twitter skirmish

2 June, Washington: President Donald Trump has taken a swing on Twitter at one of his favorite punching bags, Democrat Hillary Clinton — and his former presidential rival has hit back with her own zinger. The trouble started Wednesday when Clinton raised questions over whether Trump’s campaign was linked to the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. Speaking at a technology conference in California, Clinton said Russia’s government “could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided” by Americans with polling data. Clinton was referring to the hacking of her...

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345 civilians killed in Iraq violence in May: UN

2 June, Baghdad: Violence, terrorist acts and armed conflicts across Iraq killed a total of 345 civilians and wounded 446 others in May, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said on Thursday. A UNAMI statement said figures of casualties do not include security members, as the Iraqi military declined to give information about casualties among the troops. Previous figures of security members’ casualties were questioned by the Iraqi military as “inaccurate,” while UNAMI responded that “the military figures were largely unverified.” Most of the civilian casualties occurred in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, where 160 were killed...

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Trump’s use of private cellphone raises security concerns

31 May, WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has been handing out his cellphone number to world leaders and urging them to call him directly, an unusual invitation that breaks diplomatic protocol and is raising concerns about the security and secrecy of the U.S. commander in chief’s communications. Trump has urged leaders of Canada and Mexico to reach him on his cellphone, according to former and current U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the practice. Of the two, only Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken advantage of the offer so far, the officials said. Trump also exchanged numbers with French...

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China, Japan hold fourth round of high-level political dialogue

30 May, Tokyo: Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Japanese National Security Advisor Shotaro Yachi co-chaired the fourth round of high-level political dialogue between the two countries on Monday. Yang said at the meeting that China-Japan relations are currently at an important juncture with both new opportunities and outstanding challenges as this year marks the 45th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations. The two sides should remind themselves of their original intention for normalizing ties, take history as a mirror while facing to the future, and push for the continuous enhancement of bilateral relations based on the...

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Trump says to decide position on Paris climate deal next week

28 May, Taormina, Italy: President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he will make a decision next week on whether the United States will abide by the 2015 Paris agreement on cutting global carbon emissions. “I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!” Trump tweeted from the G7 summit in Sicily, where he had been pressed by US partners to commit to a framework aimed at stemming global warming....

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