International

February on course to break many global heat records

FEBRUARY is on course to break a record number of heat records, meteorologists say, as human-made global heating and the natural El Nino climate pat- tern drive up temperatures on land and oceans around the world, media reported. A little over halfway into the shortest month of the year, the heating spike has become so pronounced that climate charts are entering new territory, particularly for sea-surface tem- peratures that have persisted and accelerated to the point where expert observers are struggling ..

Japan slips into recession, becoming the 4th-largest economy

JAPAN’S economy is now the world’s fourth-largest after it contracted in the last quarter of 2023 and fell behind Germany. The Government reported the economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.4% in October to December, according to Cabinet Office data on real GDP, though it grew 1.9% for all of 2023. It contracted 2.9% in July-September. Two straight quarters of contraction are considered an indicator an economy is in a technical recession. Japan’s economy was the second largest until 2010, when it was ..

Pak parties eager to form Government after split verdict

THE three main political parties in Pakistan on Sunday intensified their efforts for the formation of a coalition Government after it became clear that the coup-prone country faced a hung Parliament after general elections marred by allegations of rigging. The general elections were held on Thursday, but the unusual delay in the announcement of results vitiated the atmosphere as several parties cried foul and some resorted to protests. Former Prime Minister and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo ..

Violence mars Pak polls, 7 killed

VOTING concluded across Pakistan on Thursday in an election marred by sporadic violence and connectivity issues after the Government suspended mobile and internet services to foil terror attacks. At least six security personnel were killed and seven others injured on Thursday in two separate attacks by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan's restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces, officials said. In the first incident, unidentified gunmen set off a bomb and then opened fire at a vehicle ..

A day before Pak polls At least 30 killed,52 injured in twinblasts in Balochistan

AT LEAST 30 people were killed and 52 others injured on Wednesday in two devastating bomb blasts targeting election offices in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province, a day before the general elections in the coup-prone country. In the first incident, a powerful blast outside the office of Independent candidate Asfandyar Khan Kakar in Pishin district killed 20 people and wounded 30 others. Less than an hour later, another bomb blast took place outside the election office of a Jamiat-Ulema Islam-Pakistan ..

Awami League nears victoryHasina set for 4th term as PM

BANGLADESH Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to secure a record fourth straight term as her Awami League party was on Sunday leading in most of the seats in the general elections marred by sporadic violence and a boycott by the main Opposition BNP and its allies. Hasina won the Gopalganj3 seat for the eighth time since 1986. She bagged 249,965 votes while her nearest rival M Nizam Uddin Lashkar from the Bangladesh Supreme Party secured just 469 votes, bdnews24 reported...

JAPAN QUAKE TAKES TOLL OF 55 LIVES

A SERIES of powerful earthquakes that hit western Japan have left at least 55 people dead and damaged thousands of buildings, vehicles and boats. Officials warned on Tuesday that more quakes could lie ahead. Aftershocks continued to shake Ishikawa prefecture and nearby areas a day after a magnitude 7.6 temblor slammed the area. Damage was so great that it could not immediately be assessed. Japanese media reports said tens of thousands of homes were destroyed. Government spokesperson Yoshimasa Hayashi ..

TSUNAMIWARNINGSJapan issues alert afterquake of 7.6 magnitude

  ■ By Yuri Kageyama TOKYO,   JAPAN issued tsunami alerts and ordered evacuations following a series of earthquakes on Monday that started a fire and trapped people under rubble on the west coast of its main island.The Japan..

Reuven Azar Israel’s new envoy to India

     By Harinder MishraJERUSALEM,  Israeli Government on Sunday approved the appointment of Reuven Azar as the new ambassador to India. Azar, who is in his late 50s, will also serve as the non-resident ambassador to Sri ..

CLOCK FOR 10,000 years

BILLIONAIRE Jeff Bezos has invested Rs 350 crore or $42 million to build a clock that will last 10,000-years and will tick just once a year, according to a report. The 500 feet tall clock, designed by computer scientist and inventor Danny Hillis, is located inside a mountain in Texas, Fox News reported. The 10,000-year clock with a solar synchroniser, a pendulum, a chime generator, and a series of gears and dials, uses the Earth’s thermal cycles to power itself. The Clock is engineered to require ..

Himalayas need help: UN chief

WARNING of a potential catastrophe in the Himalayas where the glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, UN chief Antonio Guterres on Saturday said, the ongoing annual climate talks here must respond to the needs of the developing nations, especially the vulnerable mountain countries that need urgent help. Almost 240 million people depend on the glaciers and 10 major rivers, such as Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra, originating in the Himalayas. Another billion people living downstream of these rivers ..

Israel shifts offensive tocrowded southern Gaza

AS VIDEOS of Palestinians celebrating with the freed terrorists have gone viral, despite Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s instructions to police to employ “an iron fist” to prevent such glorification, Israel on Saturday pounded targets in the crowded southern half of the Gaza Strip and ordered more neighbourhoods designated for attack to evacuate, driving up the death toll even as the United States and others urged it to do more to protect Gaza civilians...

‘Matter of concern’ India on US accusing Indian in foiled plot to kill Pannun

INDIA on Thursday described as a “matter of concern” the US charging an Indian national with conspiring to kill a Sikh separatist on American soil, and asserted that a high-level probe committee will investigate all aspects of the case. India has constituted a probe team to investigate allegations relating to the foiled plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Sikh extremist and known to be an American and Canadian citizen. On Wednesday, US federal prosecutors charged Indian national Nikhil Gupta of ..

Fifth day of truce Israel, Hamas agreement seems only a matter of time before war resumes

A TRUCE between Israel and Hamas entered its fifth day on Tuesday, with the militant group promising to release more civilian hostages to delay the expected resumption of the war and Israel under growing pressure to spare Palestinian civilians when the fighting resumes. The sides agreed to extend their truce through Wednesday, with another two planned exchanges of militant-held hostages for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. But Israel has repeatedly vowed to resume the war with “full force” to destroy ..

Milestone ISRO’s AstroSat detects more than 600 gamma-ray bursts over 8 yrs

INDIA’S AstroSat space telescope has achieved a significant milestone by detecting more than 600 Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB), each marking the death of a massive star or merging of neutron stars. “The detection of the 600th GRB is a great demonstration of the continued undiminished performance of Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI) eight years after launch, and well after its design lifetime,” Dipankar Bhattacharya, the principal investigator for CZTI, said. Dubbed as mini big-bangs, GRBs are the most ..

ExtendING ceasefire Israel, Hamas extend truce for 2 more days

ISRAEL and Hamas agreed to extend their ceasefire for two more days past Monday, the Qatari Government said, bringing the prospect of a longer halt to their deadliest and most destructive war and further exchanges of militant-held hostages for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. The announcement, made by Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid Al Ansary in a post on X, came on the final day of the original four-day truce between the warring sides. Qatar, along with the United States and Egypt, has ..

Centre asks States to review healthcare readiness

THE Union Health Ministry has advised States to immediately review public health preparedness in view of recent reports indicating a surge in respiratory illness in children in northern China. In a statement on Sunday,the ministry said it has decided to proactively review preparatorymeasures against respiratory illnessesasa matter of abundant caution. “This is noted to be important in view of the ongoing influenza and winter season that results in an increase in respiratory illness cases...

Fragile truce Back on track Israel-Hamas war

THE fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas appeared to be back on track on Sunday after the release of a third group of militant-held hostages including 14 Israelis, in a third set of releases under a cease-fire deal. Red Cross representatives transferred the hostages out of Gaza late on Sunday. Some were handed over directly to Israel, while others left through Egypt. ..

TEMPORARY CEASEFIRE 4 days: Hamas to release 50 hostages in exchange of 150 Palestinian detainees

ISRAEL and Hamas agreed on Wednesday to a temporary four-day ceasefire to allow the release of 50 hostages held by the militant group in Gaza in exchange for 150 Palestinian detainees and the entry of humanitarian aid into the besieged territory. The deal, once implemented, will be the first major diplomatic breakthrough and pause in fighting since the war began after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7. The announcement comes amid a strong assertion from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that ..

Israel agrees to 4-hour daily pauses

THE White House said, Israel has agreed to put in place four-hour daily humanitarian pauses in its assault on Hamas in northern Gaza starting on Thursday, as the Biden administration said it has secured a second pathway for civilians to flee fighting. President Joe Biden had asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to institute the daily pauses during a Monday call. US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that the Israelis had committed to announcing each four-hour window at ..

Israel kills Hamas attack Mastermind

THE Israel Defence Forces (IDF) on Tuesday announced that it has killed Hamas commander Wael Asafa, one of the masterminds of the October 7 attack. In a post on X, the military said: “The IDF eliminated Wael Asefa, Commander of Hamas’ Deir al-Balah Battalion. Asefa aided in the dispatch of thousands of terrorists to assault, abduct and murder Israeli civilians on October 7th.”..

Israeli forces cut off North Gaza

ISRAELI forces severed northern Gaza from the rest of the besieged territory and pounded it with intense airstrikes overnight into Monday, as the Palestinian death toll from a month of fighting passed 10,000. An even bloodier phase is expected as Israeli troops push into the dense confines of Gaza City. Palestinians held a mass funeral for dozens killed a day earlier in strikes in the south, where Israel has told civilians to seek refuge though it has continued to strike targets all across the coastal ..

‘Nuclear attack on Gaza, an option’

AN ISRAELI minister from the far-right Otzma Yehudit party on Sunday said that dropping an atomic bomb on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip was “an option”, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to suspend him from Government meetings indefinitely. In a radio interview, Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu said that “there are no non-combatants in Gaza” and providing humanitarian aid to the Strip would constitute “a failure”. When asked if there are no non-combatants in Gaza in his ..

Russia tests Bulava missile

THE Russian military on Sunday reported a successful test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile designed to carry nuclear warheads from a new nuclear submarine. The report comes as tensions are soaring between Russia and the West over the fighting in Ukraine. Adding to those tensions, President Vladimir Putin last week signed a Bill revoking Russia’s ratification of a global nuclear test ban in a move that Moscow said was needed to establish parity with the US...

Militants storm Pak Air Force training base

NINE heavily armed terrorists attacked a Pakistan Air Force training base in Punjab province early Saturday and all of them were “sent to hell”, the Army said, a day after 17 soldiers were killed in three separate terror strikes in the country. The Mianwali Training Air Base of Pakistan Air Force was attacked by nine terrorists, the Pakistan Army said in a statement, confirming that some damage was done to three already phased-out non-operational aircraft during the attack. The military confirmed ..

Hamas leader’s home in Gaza Attacked

ISRAEL’S military hit the family home of the exiled leader of Hamas on the outskirts of Gaza City with an airstrike Saturday and pressed ahead with attacks across in the besieged enclave where a humanitarian crisis is rapidly worsening. With food, water and the fuel needed for generators that power hospitals and other facilities running out, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged an immediate cease-fire to allow aid in. “The humanitarian situation in Gaza is horrific,” Guterres said late on Friday ..

Successful rescue One captive held by Hamas freed

ISRAELI ground forces attacked Hamas militants and infrastructure on Tuesday in northern Gaza, which the military said some 8,00,000 people have fled since the war began more than three weeks ago, even as warplanes continued to strike from end to end of the sealed-off territory. Buoyed by the first successful rescue of a captive held by Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected calls for a ceasefire and again vowed to crush the militant group’s ability to govern Gaza or threaten Israel ..

DESPERATE Thousands loot UN aidwarehouses in Gaza

THOUSANDS of people broke into aid warehouses in Gaza to take flour and basic hygiene products, a UN agency said on Sunday, in a mark of growing desperation and the breakdown of public order three weeks into the war between Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers. The Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza on Sunday said, over 8,000 Palestinians have been killed since war broke out on October 7. It said that the toll has risen to 8,005 Palestinians, including more than 3,300 minors and over 2,000 women. ..

Israel agrees to delay Gaza invasion

ISRAEL has agreed to delay the invasion of Gaza as of now, media reports said. The US military officials are trying to convince Israel against carrying out a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip in response to Hamas’s October 7 attacks, CNN reported. American officials advised the IDF against a counter-invasion, with the fear it could “endanger hostages, civilians, and further inflame tensions in the region”, Jerusalem Post reported. Instead, the IDF was urged to deploy a “combination of precision airstrikes ..

It’s not only our right,asserts Israel.. it’s our duty to destroy Hamas

ISRAELI Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told the UN Security Council that the proportionate response to the October 7 attack is “a total destruction to the last one” of the militants. “It is not only Israel’s right to destroy Hamas. It’s our duty,” he said. Cohen also dismissed calls for “proportionality” in the country’s response to Hamas’ surprise attacks during the UN..

Resign Thunders Israel

UN SECRETARY-GENERAL Antonio Guterres’s comment to the Security Council that attacks by Hamas “did not happen in a vacuum” angered Israel, which called for the UN chief’s resignation and apology. Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Eli Cohen, who participated in a Security Council ministerial meeting on the Israel-Gaza situation here, was scheduled to meet Guterres later Tuesday afternoon in the UN headquarters cancelled his meeting with Guterres after remarks by the UN chief to the Security Council ..

$400 mn ADB loan for India’s urban reform agenda

THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 400 million loan to support the Indian Government’s urban reform agenda for creating high-quality urban infrastructure and efficient governance systems. The programme also envisages integrated urban planning reforms to control urban sprawls and foster systemic and planned urbanisation through enhancing entire ecosystem of legal, regulatory, and institutional reforms along with capacity building of ULBs and community awareness, ADB said...

Israel bombs Militant hide-outs in Gaza, Syria, occupied West Bank

ISRAELI warplanes struck targets across Gaza overnight and into Sunday, as well as two airports in Syria and a mosque in the occupied West Bank allegedly used by militants, as the two-week-old war with Hamas threatened to spiral into a broader conflict. Israel has traded fire with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group on a near-daily basis since the war began, and tensions are soaring in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Israeli forces have battled militants in refugee camps and carried out two airstrikes ..

Aid trickles into besieged Gaza

THE border crossing between Egypt and Gaza opened on Saturday to let a trickle of desperately needed aid into the besieged Palestinian territory for the first time since Israel sealed it off in the wake of Hamas' bloody rampage two weeks ago. Gaza's 2.3 million Palestinians, half of whom have fled their homes, are rationing food and drinking dirty water. Hospitals say they are running low on medical supplies and fuel for emergency generators amid a territory-wide power blackout. Israel is still launching ..

Hamas frees 2US hostages

TWO American citizens held hostage by Hamas since October 7 have been released, US President Joe Biden announced on Friday, assuring that his Government would fully support the duo in their recovery and healing process. Biden thanked the Governments of Qatar and Israel for their partnership in securing the release of the two hostages -- a mother and her teenage daughter. Soon thereafter, Biden spoke over the phone with the two released hostages and their family. “One of the reasons Hamas moved on ..

Israel pounds Gaza

ISRAEL bombarded the Gaza Strip early on Friday, hitting areas where Palestinians had been told to seek safety, and it began evacuating a sizable Israeli town near the border with Lebanon, the latest sign of a potential ground invasion of Gaza that could trigger regional turmoil. Palestinians in Gaza reported heavy airstrikes in Khan Youni, a town in the territory’s south, and ambulances carrying men, women and children streamed into the local Nasser Hospital. The hospital, Gaza’s second largest, ..

Evidence Points to North Korean weapons in Hamas hands

HAMAS fighters likely fired North Korean weapons during their October 7 assault on Israel, a militant video and weapons seized by Israel show, despite Pyongyang’s denials that it arms the militant group. South Korean officials, two experts on North Korean arms and an ‘Associated Press’ analysis of weapons captured on the battlefield by Israel point toward Hamas using Pyongyang’s F-7 rocket-propelled grenade, a shoulder-fired weapon that fighters typically use against armored vehicles. The evidence ..

500 Killed in Gaza hospital blast Israel denies hand, blames misfired militant rocket

DOCTORS in Gaza City faced with dwindling medical supplies performed surgery on hospital floors, often without anaesthesia, in a desperate bid to save badly wounded victims of a massive blast that killed civilians sheltering in a nearby hospital amid Israeli bombings and a blockade of the territory. The Hamas militant group blamed the blast on an Israeli airstrike, while the Israeli military blamed a rocket misfired by other Palestinian militants. At least 500 people were killed, the Hamas-run Health ..

ISRAELI BOMBINGS BATTER GAZA

ISRAEL on Tuesday bombed areas of southern Gaza where it had told Palestinians to flee ahead of an expected invasion, killing hundreds of people. Reacting to Israel’s bombing, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday warned that nobody would be able to stop Muslims around the world and “resistance forces” if Israel continues bombing Gaza, reports said. Meanwhile, an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon landed in northern Israel. Meanwhile, mediators struggled to break a deadlock over ..

HAMAS HOLDS 199 ISRAELIS HOSTAGE Release them: UN Chief

THE Israeli military says Hamas and other Palestinian militants are holding 199 hostages in Gaza, higher than previous estimates. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, a military spokesman, said on Monday that the families have been notified. He did not specify whether that number includes foreigners, or say who is holding them. Meanwhile, UN chief Antonio Guterres has called on Hamas to immediately release all hostages without conditions and urged Israel to allow rapid and unimpeded access to humanitarian aid ..

2.3 million GAZA civilians STRUGGLE FOR FOOD WATER SAFETY

GAZA’S 2.3 million civilians faced a deepening struggle for food, water and safety on Sunday and braced for a looming invasion a week after Hamas militants launched a deadly assault on Israel. While hundreds of thousands sought to heed Israel’s order to evacuate the North, others huddled at hospitals there. Israeli forces, supported by a growing deployment of US warships in the region, positioned themselves along Gaza’s border and drilled for what Israel said would be a broad campaign to dismantle ..

54 killed in suicide blast in Balochistan

A POWERFUL suicide blast ripped through a mosque in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province on Friday, killing at least 54 people and injuring over 100 others who were preparing to celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, police said. Hours later, another blast at a mosque in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu city killed at least four people and injured 12 others. At Mastung, the explosion occurred near Madina Mosque on Al Falah Road in the Mastung district when people had gathered in large numbers to mark ..

Jaishankar, Blinken discussties amid Nij jar killing row

INDIA and the US have emphasised the continued importance of bilateral cooperation in areas like defence, space and clean energy as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Secretary of State Antony Blinken and exchanged notes on global developments, amid a simmering diplomatic row between India and Canada over the killing of a Khalistani separatist. Jaishankar is currently on a five-day official trip to Washington DC. Jaishankar on Friday said that the Canadian allegations..

Indian dressageteam canters to1st Asian Games gold

INDIA’S dressage team cantered to its first ever Asian Games gold and only second in this discipline in the history of the sport with the quartet of Sudipti Hajela, Divyakriti Singh, Vipul Hriday Chheda and Anush Agarwalla living up to expectations, here on Tuesday. The Indian quartet was performing well in the selection trials as their scores either matched or were better than the Asian Games medal winners from the previous editions. It was more about the colour of medal they would win and they ..

China commences Asian Games with foul play against India

INDIA has lodged strong protests with China over its denial of accreditation for the Hangzhou Asian Games to some of the Indian sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh, and asserted that New Delhi reserves the right to take “suitable measures” to safeguard its interests. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Friday said as a mark of India’s protest against China’s discriminatory behaviour, Union I&B and Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur has cancelled his scheduled visit to China ..

Canada-based gangster Sukhdul Singh killed in gangwar in Winnipeg

GANGSTER Sukhdul Singh alias Sukha Duneke, one of Punjab’s most wanted criminals, was killed in the Canadian city of Winnipeg by unidentified people, sources said on Thursday. “It is believed to be the result of inter-gang rivalry,” a source said. The killing of the Canada-based gangster, who had at least 18 cases against him including those for murder, attempt to murder and robbery, took place on Wednesday night Canada time, the sources said. The development comes at a time when India and Canada ..

India hands over G20 presidency gavel to Brazil

AS CURTAINS came down on the G20 Summit on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a virtual session of the bloc around the end of November to take stock of the suggestions and decisions made at the leaders’ summit. At the concluding session, Modi handed over the gavel and offered best wishes to Brazil for the next presidency. Brazil will officially take over the mantle of the presidency of the elite grouping on December 1 this year. ..

Simulated N-attacks on S Korea: N Korea

NORTH Korea said on Thursday its latest missile launches simulated “scorched earth” nuclear strikes on South Korea and that it’s also been rehearsing an occupation of its rivals’ territory in the event of conflict. Pyongyang has previously tested nuclear-capable missiles and described how it would use them in potential wars with South Korea and the US But the North’s disclosure of detailed war plans reaffirmed its aggressive nuclear doctrine to intimidate its opponents, as it escalates its protest ..

Centre refutes China’s claim of Modi-Xi meeting taking place at India’s initiative

THE Centre on Friday refuted China’s claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg happened at New Delhi’s request, saying that there was a “pending request from China’s side for a bilateral meeting”. A pending request for a bilateral meeting was there from the Chinese side, Government sources said. They further added that both the leaders, however, had an “informal conversation” at the Leaders Lounge during the BRICS Summit ..

Japan’s Fukushima N-plant begins releasing treated radioactive wastewater into sea

THE tsunami-wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant ‘s operator says it began releasing its first batch of treated radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean on Thursday —acontroversial step,butamilestoneforJapan’s battlewiththegrowingradioactive water stockpile. In a live video from a control room at the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings showedastaffmember turn onaseawater pump with a click of a mouse, marking the beginning of the controversialprojectthatisexpected to last for decades. ..