Sunday, June 9, 2013

Super Srikanth Stands Tall in Thailand
 
Bangkok, Thailand: In a sensational performance worthy of a true champion, GoSports Foundation's Kidambi Srikanth displayed great maturity and resolve as he clinched the Men's Singles title at the SCG Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold event earlier today. Seeded 13th in the tournament, Srikanth powered his way through the seasoned veteran and top seed Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand - ranked number 7 in the world - in straight sets, 21-16, 21-12
 

GoSports Foundation has been supporting Kidambi Srikanth for the past 2 years. Since January 2012, this is Srikanth's second title in an international competition (the first came in June last year, when he won the Maldives Open). His world ranking has been consistently improving, as is his national ranking. He is currently ranked number 61 in the world (in June 2012, his world ranking was 143). With his victory in the Thailand Open, 20-year-old Srikanth is positive that he can achieve more success in international competitions. By the end of 2013, Srikanth aims to be ranked within the top-45 in the world.

मन्दिरों को तोडने के विरुद्ध आन्दोलन का शंखनाद
हिंदू धर्मस्थल सुरक्षा समिति के गठन की घोषणा
नई दिल्ली, जून 09,13। दिल्ली सरकार की धार्मिक कमेटी द्वारा मन्दिरोंगुरुद्वारों व अन्य हिंदू धर्मस्थलों को तोड़े जाने सबन्धी दिल्ली उच्च न्यायालय को की गई संस्तुति के विरोध में हिंदू संगठनों का गुस्सा आज सातवें आसमान पर था। विश्व हिन्दू परिषद दिल्ली द्वारा बुलाई गयी बैठक में मंदिरों की रक्षार्थ एक संयुक्त समिति की घोषणा भी की गयी। राजधानी के सभी धार्मिकसामाजिक एव सांस्कृतिक संगठनों के प्रमुखों की उपस्थिति में विहिप दिल्ली के अध्यक्ष श्री स्वदेश पाल गुप्ता ने श्री बृजमोहन सेठी की अध्यक्षता में हिंदू धर्मस्थल सुरक्षा समिति के गठन की घोषणा की। समिति के नवनियुक्त महामंत्री व हिंदू महासभा के अध्यक्ष श्री चंद्रप्रकाश कौशिक तथा विहिप प्रांत मंत्री व समिति के संयोजक श्री रामपाल सिंह यादव ने वरिष्ठ संतों के समक्ष संकल्प व्यक्त किया कि राजधानी दिल्ली के किसी एक मंदिर की ईंट को भी हिलाने का दुस्साहस सरकार ने किया तो हम दिल्ली के तख्तो-ताज को भी उखाड़ फ़ेंकेंगे।
 बैठक की विस्तृत जानकारी देते हुए विहिप दिल्ली के मीडिया प्रमुख श्री विनोद बंसल ने बताया कि दिल्ली सरकार की धार्मिक कमेटी द्वारा दर्जनों हिंदू धर्मस्थलों को तोड़े जाने की संस्तुति के विरुद्ध दक्षिणी दिल्ली के रामकृष्ण पुरम स्थित विश्व हिंदू परिषद के अंतर्राष्ट्रीय मुख्यालय में बुलाई गयी बैठक में आज संत समुदाय ने भी अपने ओजस्वी व्यक्तव्य द्वारा दिल्ली सरकार को होश में आने की अपील की। मंदिरों के उचित प्रबंधनउन्हें कानूनी व अन्य प्रकार की सहायता की आवश्यकता के साथ उनकी रक्षार्थ हिंदू संगठनों का एक संयुक्त बोर्ड बनाये जाने का सुझाव भी आया। अंत में मंदिर विध्वंसकों से लोहा लेने के लिये हिंदू धर्म स्थल सुरक्षा समिति का गठन किया गया। इसकी कोर कमेटी की पहली बैठक कल सायं बजे पहाड़गंज स्थित उदासीनआश्रम में रखी गयी है। इस बैठक में समिति के संरक्षक महंत नवल किशोरदासकार्यकारी अध्यक्ष सरदार उजागर सिंहश्री जय भगवान गोयलश्री रजनीश गोयन्का तथा अधिवक्ता एस डी बिंदलेश सहित सभी पदाधिकारी भाग लेंगे।   
 बैठक में तय किया गया कि मामला दिल्ली उच्चन्यायालय के विचाराधीन होने के कारण वरिष्ठ अधिवक्ताओं की एक टोली इसके कानूनी पक्ष पर विचार कर कार्यवाही करेगी। दूसरी ओर दिल्ली सरकार व संबंधित विभागों को अपना ज्ञापन देने समिति के प्रतिनिधि जायेंगे साथ ही यदि सरकार बाज़ नहीं आयी तो दिल्ली के कोने कोने से हिंदू धर्मावलम्बियों का हुजूम उमड़ेगा। वैठक में अखिल भारतीय मन्दिर प्रबन्धन समिति के अध्यक्ष अनिल गुप्ताराष्ट्रवादी शिव सेना के अध्यक्ष जय भगवान गोयलसनातन धर्म प्रतिनिधि सभा के भूषण लाल पाराशरसांस्कृतिक गौरव संस्थान के विनोद चौपडाराष्ट्रीय चेतना मंच के मोती लाल गुप्ता,ओम सांई बाबाविहिप प्रान्त उपाध्यक्ष दीपक कुमार,संदीप आहुजा, हिन्दू सेना के विष्णु गुप्ता सहित अनेक संस्थाओं व धर्म स्थलों के प्रमुख उपस्थित थे।



-- 
 
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विनोद बंसल
मीडिया प्रमुख
विश्व हिन्दू परिषद इन्द्रप्रस्थ 
संपर्क: 9810949109
अणु डाक:ivhpmedia@gmail.com

 

June 09,2013

North and South Korea sit down for official talks

Representatives of North and South Korea met for talks on Sunday at Panmunjom in a bid to  normalize diplomatic relations that have been overshadowed by tensions on the Korean peninsula. The representatives of the neighboring countries are to discuss the prospect of restarting joint economic projects and exchange programs that have been suspended after North Korea threatened the south with pre-emptive nuclear strikes. The working level discussions are to set a base for higher-level talks between cabinet ministers planned for next Wednesday in Seoul. On Thursday, North Korea opened the communication channel with South  Korea in order to agree on the time and place of  the bilateral meeting. The two Koreas last held working talks in February 2011, however the countries have not met on a ministerial level since 2007.

Benghazi clashes death toll rises to 28

28 killed and another 60 injured as death toll from armed clashes between protesters and government affiliated Libyan militia in Benghazi, Libya has risen,  AFP reports citing health officials.  The clashes erupted near the building of the former Libya shield brigade headquarters in the eastern city of Benghazi on Saturday evening. The protesters demanded the disbandment of the armed militias and the revival of full-fledged armed forces. According to witnesses, in response to the stones thrown from the crowd the  militia opened fire. Libyan authorities still cannot solve the problem of disarming combat units after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. Some of them agreed to move under the control of the authorities, but there is still a significant number of fighters who are subject only to their field commanders, which creates serious tension in the country.

No survivors found after boat with 60 migrants capsized in the Indian Ocean

Nine bodies have been recovered in the Indian Ocean from a capsized boat that was carrying up to 60 asylum seekers, said Australian authorities. No survivors have yet been found as two ships and two planes resume the search for survivors. The boat was headed for Christmas Island, an Australian territory 500 kilometers south of Jakarta, Indonesia, said Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokeswoman Jo Meehan. The submerged hull of the boat was spotted by the crew of a search plane on Friday.

NSA files leak investigation report

National Security Agency has filed an investigation report into the leakage of classified information concerning the agency's real-time online surveillance program, according to the intelligence chief's office, Reuters reports. "A crimes report has been filed," said Shawn Turner, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.The probe would focus on British and US newspapers including The Guardian and The Washington Post. On Thursday, the two newspapers published articles about a secret NSA program PRISM which collected information from such Internet companies as Apple, Facebook and Google. The program was allegedly aimed at fighting terrorism.


News on June 08, 2013

FSA demands weapons to take part in Geneva peace talks - report

The Syrian opposition will not attend the proposed peace conference in Geneva unless its forces receive new supplies of weapons, said a top rebel military commander. “If we don’t receive ammunition and weapons to change the position on the ground, to change the balance on the ground, very frankly I can say we will not go to Geneva,” Free Syrian Army commander General Salim Idris said  in a telephone interview to New York Times.“There will be no Geneva.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry after a meeting in May announced that they plan to bring together, for talks  in Geneva, the two sides of the Syrian conflict, President Bashar Assad’s government and the Syrian opposition. The aim of the conference was to facilitate a solution through a political dialogue of the ongoing civil war in Syria. The Syrian government had confirmed its participation in the talks.

Bolivia plans to shoot down all aircraft entering its airspace illegally

Bolivia will pass a law that enables the military to shoot down small aircrafts over its airspace usually used by drug traffickers to smuggle cocaine, said the country’s Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra. "The law will apply to civil, domestic and foreign aircrafts  that enter Bolivia’s  airspace (illegally),”  said Saavedra as quoted by local media. In the coming days Bolivia’s President Evo Morales plans to submit the bill to the country’s parliament. President Morales is a former cocaleros, coca leaf grower, and still heads one of the country’s unions on production of coca leaves. He is a supporter of the legalization of the coca plant ,but not its derivatives, and has spoken in the plant’s defense at various international forums. Bolivia is one of the leaders in the production of coca leaf along with Colombia and Peru.

11 killed in clashes between protesters, militia in Libya – reports

At least eleven people have been killed and over 30 injured in clashes between protesters and government affiliated Libyan militia in the eastern city of Benghazi, Reuters reports, citing a doctor at a local hospital. The protesters gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Libya Shield brigade to demand the disbanding of militias who have yet to lay down their weapons nearly two years after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. The brigade is made up of former opposition fighters who say they are aligned with the country’s Defense Ministry.

France bans nationalist group over leftist activist murder

France has banned a far-right group, the Revolutionary Nationalist Youth (JNR), allegedly linked to the death of a left-wing student in a Paris street brawl, reports AFP. The JNR leader Serge Ayoub denied the group had anything to do with the murder of 18-year-old Clement Meric, who died after a clash on Wednesday between skinheads and left-wing activists. Five suspects aged between 19 and 32 were detained over the incident. The 20-year-old skinhead suspected of striking the fatal blow said he did not intend to kill, a police source said. Meric’s death was condemned by politicians and prompted protests in Paris and other major cities to protest. 

Russia to send $10 mln to aid Syrian refugees

Russia will contribute $10 million to help Jordan and Libya address the problems of Syrian refugees, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday. The money will be sent to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the ministry said, adding that Russia is among the 20 top world donors continuously aiding the people of the crisis-stricken country. The UN humanitarian agencies have recently made an appeal to provide billions of US dollars to help millions of Syrians inside and outside their country, including $1.4 billion for the OCHA-led humanitarian efforts inside Syria and $2.9 billion for the UNHCR-led plan to help refugees in the surrounding regions.

Sudan orders stoppage of South Sudan oil

Sudanese President Omar Hassan Bashir ordered the country’s oil minister to halt cross-border oil flows from South Sudan effective from Sunday, state radio reported. The move was prompted by the South’s alleged support for the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), a rebel alliance seeking to oust President Bashir. In March, the two countries, which separated after decades of war, agreed to resume crude exports from the landlocked south through Sudan to the Red sea upon resolving a dispute over transit fees. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan’s Minister of Information, told Reuters Juba had not been informed of the decision.

Russian journalists come under fire from Syrian militants

A Russian TV crew has come under fire from Syrian opposition militants at the Golan Heights on the Israel-Syria border. A correspondent for state broadcaster VGTRK and his team were ambushed while on the way to a checkpoint where UN peacekeepers are stationed and where a Syrian observation point is located. The journalists’ car was driving along with Syrian army vehicles when the column was fired at from two sides of the road. The attackers were shooting primarily at the civilians, reports Russian Vesti TV channel. Following a 15-minute battle, the journalists with the help of the Syrian military managed to get to the checkpoint.

Pakistani govt summons US envoy over renewed drone strikes

The Pakistani government summoned the US envoy to voice their protest after a US drone strike killed nine people in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border.  The attacks “are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the country’s foreign ministry said. The June 7 drone strike is the first since Nawaz Sharif took over as Pakistan's prime minister and demanded an immediate halt to the attacks. At the end of May, the Pakistani Taliban's second-in-command Wali-ur-Rehman and six others were killed in a similar US strike.

‘Insider attacks’ kill 4 more intl soldiers in Afghanistan

Four NATO troops were killed in two separate attacks in Afghanistan on Saturday. A man wearing an Afghan army uniform shot and killed three international soldiers working with him in the country’s east, according to AP. Another ‘insider attack’ took place in western Farah province, where an attacker with a grenade killed an Italian soldier, local officials said. Saturday’s deaths bring the number of international troops killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of June to 16. Earlier in the week, seven Georgian soldiers were killed in the country's south when a suicide bomber detonated a truck filled with explosives at a base in Helmand, where 1,500 Georgian troops are stationed.

Five dead in Iraq car blasts

Two car bombs in Iraq have killed five people and injured 20, AP reported, citing local authorities. On Saturday, an explosion rocked a Shiite Baghdad neighborhood – a commercial street in the al-Ameen district – killing four people and wounding 18 others. Another attack targeted an Iraqi police convoy in the northern city of Mosul. One policeman was killed and two others were injured in the blast. The UN warned earlier that the country was on the verge of a new sectarian war, as the death toll in May was the highest since 2008: Over 1,000 people were killed and 2,300 wounded in a single month.

French president claims eurozone crisis is over

French President Francois Hollande told Japanese business leaders that the eurozone debt crisis is over, though he admitted Europe needed to bolster its efforts to promote growth and competitiveness. His comments, delivered on the last day of his visit to Japan, were intended to boost mutual investment between the two states. When asked about China, Hollande stressed Paris should not be asked to choose between Tokyo and Beijing as they were both important regional powers. Japan has previously expressed concerns about French exports to China, which include equipment with potential military applications.

1 dead, 28 injured in Polish school bus crash in Germany

One died and 28 were injured after a school bus carrying children from Poland to France drove off the highway and turned over in the German state of Bavaria near Ingolstadt. The children's teacher died, and two sustained serious injuries and are undergoing surgery, the Polish consul-general in Munchen said on Saturday. There were 43 passengers and two drivers in the bus at the time of the accident.

US and China to join forces on cyber-security

The first stage of US-China talks on hot-button issues in bilateral relations have ended, and no landmark decisions were announced. After over two hours of talks, US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping said the two nations agreed to closer cooperation on issues of cyber-security, and to improve military ties. Ahead of the talks, Washington repeatedly blamed Beijing for hacking attacks against US intelligence and industries.

Airplane crash-lands in Rome, 3 injured

An Airbus A320 flying from Bucharest has crash-landed at Fiumicino International Airport in Rome, according to AFP. The plane's landing gear mechanism was broken. Three of the 165 people on board suffered minor injuries. The crash-landing has led to temporary delays in departures at Fiumicino.

US Secretary of State urges Georgia to join NATO

In a phone conversation on Saturday between John Kerry and Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, the US Secretary of State expressed hope that Tbilisi would continue to integrate into the Euro-Atlantic region and eventually become a full member of NATO. Kerry proposed to hold more talks soon to discuss the development of a strategic partnership between the US and Georgia. The US Secretary of State also expressed condolences to the Georgian people over the death of seven Georgian soldiers in a bomb blast in Afghanistan on June 6.

Ousted Egyptian President Mubarak’s trial adjourned until June 10

The second hearing in the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been adjourned until June 10. The 85-year-old is accused of inciting the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ousted him. He also faces corruption charges. Mubarak had previously been sentenced to life imprisonment last year, a ruling which was overturned in an appeal by the former strongman. A number of former security officials are also on trial for the killing of protesters, all of whom have pleaded 'not guilty.'

Siberia helicopter crash kills 5

Rescuers have found the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed in Russia’s Far East two days ago, killing four crew members and one passenger, the Emergency Situations Ministry has said. The Mi-8 aircraft was discovered in the Khabarovsk region. The military has opened a probe into the investigation, as the craft belonged to the flying club of an armed forces voluntary association.

Syrian govt forces claim wresting Qusayr from rebel control

Syrian regime forces have retaken control of the strategic southern city of Qusayr from rebel forces, who confirmed to Reuters that they had been routed from the city after fierce fighting with government troops supported by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters. The White House condemned the Assad government’s assault on the city for “killing untold numbers of civilians” and “depending upon Hezbollah and Iran to do its work for it in Qusayr.”

Russia sends humanitarian aid to Kenya

Russia’s Emergency Ministry has dispatched an Il-76 cargo plane carrying 31 tons of humanitarian aid to the Kenyan capital Nairobi, as part of an aid program launched by the government of the Russian Federation.

Mandela back in hospital for lung infection

Former South African President Nelson Mandela has been admitted to hospital in Pretoria and is in “serious but stable condition,” the presidential press office said. Mandela has been in and out of hospital over the past year with recurring lung infections, and was recently released from hospital in April after a 10-day stint caused by pneumonia.

France bans right-wing rally in Toulouse after Paris killing

Authorities in the city of Toulouse, France, have banned a right-wing youth parade, fearing a “serious risk to public order” following the killing of a left-wing student in Paris by skinheads. The evening march celebrates the victory of the city’s Christian army against Muslims in 721. Clement Meric, an 18-year-old student, died in hospital on Thursday after being attacked by skinheads in Paris, sparking a wave of protests and calls for the government to ban extreme right-wing organizations.

UN to send food aid to N. Korea

The UN is preparing to send 206,800 tons of food aid to North Korea, Yonhap news agency reported. Aid prepared by the World Food Program (WFP) will be directed to 2.4 million undernourished people – 1.9 million children and 500,000 pregnant women. The budget of the program is $137 million. A comprehensive assessment conducted by the aid group has found that up to 80 percent of North Korean families are suffering from undernourishment, mainly due to a lack of protein in their diets.

New setback in Brazil's Olympics preparations as stadium closes for repairs

Rio de Janeiro's Joao Havelange stadium, which is scheduled to host the athletics during the 2016 Olympic Games, is to be shut for 18 months while the roof is repaired after it was revealed that winds over 63kph could pose a risk to spectators. A committee appointed by the city told reporters on Friday that a number of issues had been found with the stadium’s roof structure, including broken and twisted supports. The stadium was built six years ago, and closed in March due to damage. This latest issue comes soon after another future Olympics stadium in northern Brazil, the Fonte Nova Arena in the state of Bahia, suffered a partial collapse of its roof. That stadium was inaugurated in April.

Bus fire kills 47 in China, dozens more hurt

A bus fire killed 47 people Friday and injured dozens more in Xiamen, a port city in southeastern China. Investigators speculated that because traces of gasoline were found on the bus, the blaze appeared to be set intentionally. Witnesses told local media that they heard explosions after the fire had been burning for ten minutes. Bombings and arson have become increasingly common in China, where people often trigger explosives as a means of settling a personal vendetta or make a political statement. 

Comrade Artemio, last of the Shining Path rebels, sentenced to life in prison

A Peruvian court sentenced Florindo Flores, also known as Comrade Artemio, to life in prison after finding him guilty of terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering. Flores was the last of the Shining Path rebels, who waged a bloody campaign trying to convert Peru into a Communist nation. Presiding judge Clotilde Cavero said Flores “ordered the execution of a number of civilians, police and soldiers” before being apprehended last year in a drug compound. Flores denied he was a terrorist but described himself as a “revolutionary” during the six-month trial. He was also ordered to pay a $183 million fine. 


North and South Korea agree to meeting at border truce village

South Korea's Unification Ministry has announced that North Korea agreed on Saturday to Seoul's proposal to hold talks at Panmunjom, the site of a former village along the two countries' border and the location of previous discussions. The announcement comes as relations continue to thaw following months of increased military tensions between the two countries. Both Koreas have said they will explore reopening the joint industrial complex at Kaesong, where 123 South Korean factories employed 53,000 North Korean workers in an important symbol of cooperation. Kaesong was shuttered a month ago when North Korea withdrew all of its workers.

Army general suspended for ignoring sexual assault claims

A two-star US Army general commanding troops in Japan has been suspended after allegations that he failed to investigate sexual assault accusations. Maj. Gen. Michael T. Harrison was suspended by Army chief of staff Gen. Ray Odierno only months after the Pentagon announced Harrison had been selected to become deputy commander of US Central Command in Kuwait. No details regarding Harrison’s actions, or lack thereof, were made public. An Army spokesman told the Associated Press that, by suspending Harrison, the Army was leaving the possibility open that he would be reinstated to the promotion in Kuwait. Word of Harrison’s suspension comes as top military commanders have been under political pressure to crack down on the sexual assault epidemic that has plagued the Armed Forces in recent years. 

Pakistan’s new prime minister responds to first US drone strike of his term

A drone strike conducted by the US in northwest Pakistan has killed seven and wounded three, according to a security official who spoke with Reuters. In his inaugural speech to Pakistan’s parliament, newly elected prime minister Nawaz Sharif called for an immediate cessation of American drone strikes in the country. Last month, president Obama announced plans to scale back drone strikes in the region, only deploying the unmanned weapons when a threat was “continuing and imminent.” On Wednesday, NBC News presented analysis of classified documents demonstrating that the CIA did “not always know” who it was targeting in Pakistan during drone strikes.

Prosecutor fired for posing as woman, harassing witnesses on Facebook

Aaron Brockler was fired from his position as a Cleveland-area prosecutor after reportedly admitting he posed as a defendant’s ex-girlfriend in order to manipulate trial proceedings. Brockler, 35, was preparing to try Damon Dunn for aggravated murder when he decided to falsify a Facebook account and contact Dunn’s former lovers, who were to be called as trial witnesses. Brockler then initiated chat sessions with the women and tried to get them to change their story about Dunn’s alleged crime, thereby discrediting them in court. Both exes complained they were being harassed on the social network site, at which point investigators traced the fake Facebook accounts to Brockler’s office computer. 

Obama chief of staff, Senators Feinstein and McCain travel to Guantanamo Bay prison

President Obama‘s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, along with Senators Feinstein and McCain traveled to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on Friday to review the current situation and discuss steps towards closing the detention facility. Both McCain and Feinstein have supported the closing of the prison at Guantanamo, though the House of Representatives voted on tuesday in support of keeping the detention center open. The trip comes several weeks after the president reaffirmed a 2008 campaign promise to shut down the facility. On Friday, it was revealed that the prison’s medical team is presently force-feeding 41 of the facility’s 166 prisoners, with a total of 104 detainees now participating in the ongoing hunger strike. “We intend to work, with a plan by Congress and the Administration together, to take the steps necessary to make that [closing] happen,” said the trio via statement following their tour.
News around the world June 07,2013

Suspected Ohio kidnapper Ariel Castro indicted on 329 counts

Ariel Castro, the man accused of kidnapping three Ohio teens and holding them captive for a decade, was indicted on 329 criminal counts on Friday. Castro, 52, faces two counts of aggravated murder for purposely killing unborn children, 139 counts of rape, and 177 counts of kidnapping for abducting Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. Prosecutors said that because the indictment only covers the period from August 2002 to February 2007, more charges could be filed. The Cleveland district attorney’s office has yet to announce whether it will seek execution. Castro is scheduled to be arraigned, where he will be allowed to enter a plea, next week.

19:43

'Russian Facebook' founder cleared of criminal charges after traffic probe

Russian police identified Pavel Durov, 28, the founder of the country's most popular social networking site VKontakte (In Contact), as  the driver of a car that ran over a policeman injuring him.  However, the Russian investigators decided to drop criminal charges in the case due to the lack of malicious intent. The incident happened in Saint Petersburg close to Vkontakte's offices on April 5. Durov was behind the car that hit the policeman and dragged the officer a short distance at a low speed. Previously, his spokesman denied that Durov was the driver of the car.  Vkontakte  is the leading Russian social network with over 42 million active users, often drawing comparisons to Facebook.

19:18

Seven killed in Pakistan in suspected US drone strike

Seven militants were killed in a suspected US drone strike in the northwestern Pakistani tribal region on Friday night, Pakistani intelligence officials told AP on condition of anonymity. Two missiles reportedly hit a village compound in the Shawal area along the border dividing the North and South Waziristan tribal regions. The suspected strike comes only a week after the recently elected Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lashed out against the US drone program in a statement, and asked US embassy officials to deliver the complaint to Washington. It also comes as the United Nations are expecting a “significant reduction” of the controversial strikes by the US, as said by the UN’s rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson.

17:48

UNSC to hold emergency talks on peacekeeping mission in Golan Heights

UN  Security Council is to hold closed-door emergency talks on the UN peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights, including the decision by Austria to withdraw its soldiers from the mission amid escalating violence in Syria. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his regret concerning Austria’s decision. The UN council has strongly condemned the “intense” fighting in the Golan Heights and the attack that injured two UN peacekeepers on Thursday.  Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed his concerns on the situation in Syria after the aggravation of the conflict in the Golan Heights during a telephone conversation with the UN Secretary General on Friday, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry. The UN peacekeeping  mission responsible for monitoring the 1974 disengagement agreement between Syria and Israel has come under increasing attacks in recent months.

14:57

Cambodia outlaws denial of Khmer Rouge atrocities

Cambodia on Friday banned the denial of atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge regime with a new law that outlaws statements denying crimes by the communist regime that ruled from 1975-79, which killed an estimated 2 million people. The legislation, similar to laws covering Holocaust denial in Germany and France, was proposed by strongman leader Prime Minister Hun Sen. The move came after a recording emerged of an opposition leader apparently excusing the Khmer Rouge from responsibility for running a notorious torture prison during their rule, AFP said. The opposition described the law as a political attack weeks ahead of national polls.

14:29

Investigators to ask court to extend detention of 'Russian Breivik’

Investigators plan to ask a court next week to extend the detention of Dmitry Vinogradov, who shot and killed six people in his office last November, the Moscow Investigative Committee Department said Friday. The probe was completed and the defendant had began to study the case materials, RIA Novosti quoted committee spokesperson Sergey Stukalov as saying. Vinogradov, 29, a Moscow lawyer, shot his colleagues at the office of the pharmaceutical company where he worked, killing three men and two women and wounding a fourth man, who later died in hospital. Before the shooting, he posted a message on social media about his homicidal plans and his hatred for the human race.

13:29

At least 20 dead in southeast China bus fire

A bus fire killed at least 20 people and injured 30 others in the southeast Chinese city of Xiamen on Friday, Xinhua reported. The mass transit bus burst into flames at around 6:30pm local time Friday, according to an official from the Xiamen municipal government.

12:20

At least 9 dead as Iraq bomber hits Iranian pilgrims

A suicide bomber rammed his car into a bus carrying Iranian Shia Muslim pilgrims in Iraq on Friday, killing at least nine people, police said. The attack in Muqdadiya, 80km northeast of Baghdad, targeted a convoy of three buses carrying Iranian pilgrims, who often visit Iraq's Shia shrines in the south of the country, Reuters reported. "When the buses passed, a white car driving very fast came out of an alleyway and hit the second bus, and I saw that bus burst into flames," said Ahmed Ferhan, an Iraqi man injured in the blasts.

11:36

Half of Syrians will need aid by end of year – UN

The UN expects that 10.25 million Syrians – half of the country’s population – will need humanitarian aid by the end of 2013 at a cost of more than $5 billion, UN humanitarian agencies said on Friday. The new forecasts, part of an updated Syria response plan, include a more than doubling of the refugee population to 3.45 million from 1.6 million currently, spread across Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, Reuters reported. But the UN forecasts no increase in the number of Syrians within the country who will need aid between now and the end of the year, with that figure put at 6.8 million. The UN World Food Program (WFP), which has delivered 500 million meals in Syria so far this year, expects its weekly costs to rise from almost $20 million now to $36 million after September. It says it has a funding shortfall of about $725 million.

11:19

Suspected killer of 6 in Russia’s Belgorod found sane by experts

Sergey Pomazun, the man charged with killing six people in Russia’s Belgorod Region, has been found sane, Russian Investigative Committee (SK) spokesperson Vladimir Markin said Friday. More than 50 expert examinations will be conducted as part of the criminal investigation, including genetic, trace evidence, forensic, medical, ballistic, biological and several others, Markin told Itar-Tass. Pomazun has undergone an expert outpatient forensic, psychiatric and psychological examination.

10:42

Russia, US to discuss Syria chemical arms use

Russia and the US will soon hold Security Councils-level talks on the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Friday. “I think such contacts will take place within the upcoming days, but the Foreign Ministry does not handle this issue,” Itar-Tass quoted the diplomat as saying. The two countries hold regular consultations on the issue, Bogdanov added.

10:15

Bosnian police free officials, foreigners besieged by parliament protests

Some 1,500 lawmakers, civil servants and foreign nationals have been freed from the parliament building after police special forces broke a siege by protesters demanding action on a new ID law. Nearly 3,000 people formed a chain around the Bosnian Parliament on Thursday, trapping those attending an investment meeting inside. The protesters demanded a new law on personal ID numbers after the old one lapsed in February, leaving all babies born since without personal documents. The demonstrators were persuaded to back down due to the foreigners trapped inside.

09:10

French president Hollande calls Japan 'China'

French President Francois Hollande, who was on a visit in Tokyo on Friday, confused his Japanese hosts with the Chinese. During a press conference Hollande, speaking in French, referred to the Algerian hostage crisis in January in which 10 Japanese nationals died. He said he had "expressed the condolences of the French people to the Chinese people," AFP reported. The president made no attempt to correct his mistake. A female interpreter rendered the sentence as it had been intended, but at least one Japanese journalist with knowledge of French picked up on the error.

08:42

18 killed as bus rolls down gorge in northern India

A bus in northern India has rolled nearly 150 meters down a gorge, killing 18 people and injuring 14, police said.  The accident occurred Friday some 310km north of New Delhi. Police officer Khajana Ram said that seven injured people have been hospitalized at Solan, a town in Himachal Pradesh state, and some were seriously hurt. Many of the victims were students of local colleges. The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

08:21

Moscow mayoral election slated for September 8

The Moscow City Duma on Friday set September 8 as the date for the snap election of the Moscow mayor. Both party-affiliated and independent candidates will be nominated during a 30-day period starting on June 12. All candidates have to gather at least 6 percent of signatures of municipal deputies. Incumbent mayor Sergey Sobyanin, who was appointed by the president, resigned on June 5, explaining that all Muscovites should elect the mayor. He also said he would run for the position.


Japan sets up national security council

Japan’s government approved legislation on Friday to set up a national security council amid North Korean missile threats and a territorial dispute with China. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pursued the formation of a Japanese version of the White House's National Security Council to centralize information-gathering and speed up decision-making. “We have put in place a structure that allows Japan to comprehensively monitor the country's security,” Reuters quoted Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga as saying on Friday. Parliament is expected to approve the bills in its current session, which ends on June 26.


Suicide bomber kills 7 Georgian soldiers in southern Afghanistan

A suicide bomber detonated a small truck loaded with explosives in southern Afghanistan on Friday, killing seven Georgian soldiers, coalition forces and Georgian officials said. The incident took place on Thursday evening in the Nawzad district of the battlefield province of Helmand, Reuters reported. After the incident, the death toll of Georgian soldiers serving in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan rose to 30. On May 13, three soldiers from the ex-Soviet state were killed in a similar attack in Helmand.


N. Korea to reopen hotline with Seoul

Pyongyang said it would reopen a Red Cross hotline with South Korea on Friday, and invited officials from Seoul for talks over the weekend. On Thursday, North Korea proposed talks to normalize commercial projects, including a joint industrial zone it shut down in early April. "We appreciate the fact that the South side promptly and positively responded to the proposal made by us for holding talks between the authorities of both sides," the North's KCNA news agency quoted a spokesperson for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea as saying. Pyongyang stopped responding to calls on the Red Cross hotline in March, and another hotline used by military officials remains closed.


French president demands immediate release of journalists captured in Syria

The French journalists missing in Syria must be freed as soon as possible, French President Francois Hollande said while on an official visit to Japan. "I demand the immediate release of these journalists because they do not represent any state. These are men who have worked so the world can get information. Journalists must be treated as journalists,” Hollande said. Italian journalist Domenico Quirico has also been missing in Syria since early April, though he is reportedly alive.

Gujarat - 69% Engg Seats Vacant, Education Rate 2% Gujarat 8% Students in India – 0.6% Clear AIIMS Test October18 , 2017  (C)  Ravinde...