NEWS OF THE DAYAfghan new president Ashraf Ghani will head to China next week for a three-day visit, his office said in a statement Tuesday, his first trip abroad since being sworn in last month. Ghani will be accompanied by a high ranking Afghan government delegation for his first overseas trip since he took office in late September following a prolonged political stand-off over the results of the fraud-tainted presidential election.
BEIJING: The powerful Youth League of China’s ruling Communist party has opened a poll on possible sanctions against Hong Kong celebrities who support the city’s pro-democracy demonstrators—including boycotts, bans and Internet censorship. The former British colony’s vibrant film and music scenes have made its performers stars on the mainland. But celebrities including actors Chow Yun Fat and Anthony Wong have reportedly praised the protesters, who are labelled as criminals by Beijing. “Which way would you choose to resist these unscrupulous artists?” the Communist Party’s Youth League asked readers of its official microblog, naming several celebrities including Wong. “Call for ‘Occupy Central’ artists to be banned from performing or broadcasting in mainland China”... more ›
WASHINGTON: North Korea has freed one of three Americans detained in the isolated country, and in a surprise move allowed a Pentagon plane to land in Pyongyang on Tuesday to fly him home. Jeffrey Fowle, who was arrested earlier this year and is in apparent good health, ï¿½has been allowed to depart the DPRK,ï¿½ White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, adding the 56-year-old was already on his way home. North Korea said Wednesday that ï¿½criminalï¿½ US detainee Jeffrey Fowle was freed on the orders of leader Kim Jong-Un following ï¿½repeated requestsï¿½ from President Barack Obama. Meanwhile, US Secretary... more ›
PHILADELPHIA: Malala Yousafzai, the child rights activist and youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, received the Liberty Medal Tuesday and pledged her $100,000 award to education in her homeland Pakistan. Yousafzai won the annual prize from the National Constitution Center for her ï¿½courage and resilience in the face of adversity and for serving as a powerful voice for those who have been denied their basic human rights and liberties,ï¿½ the NCC said. The 17-year-old gave a speech outlining her desire to see 57 million children out of school given the right to an education, speaking less... more ›
New Delhi: Two Shiv Sena leaders reportedly met the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) think-tank in New Delhi late on Tuesday night, TV reports said on Wednesday, triggering speculation over whether the erstwhile allies were close to joining hands and forming a coalition government in Maharashtra. Sena leaders Anil Desai and Subhash Desai left for Mumbai early on Wednesday and are likely to meet party chief Uddhav Thackeray, the reports added. The development came amid signs that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was ready to soften stand on the issue of offering support to the BJP to form a government. The BJP, which has bagged 122 of the 288 seats in Maharashtra in the... more ›
ISLAMABAD: Supporters of a leading cleric in Pakistan are ending a two-month sit-in in the capital, Islamabad, to demand PM Nawaz Sharif’s resignation. Tahirul Qadri said his party was taking the protest to other cities instead. He launched his campaign in August, saying he wanted revolutionary change in how Pakistan was run. Another opposition leader, ex-cricketer Imran Khan, said his supporters would keep protesting in Islamabad until Sharif resigned. Qadri has provided the bulk of the crowds in Islamabad but numbers have been thinning since September. Imran Khan has already expanded his protest by holding huge anti-government rallies in Karachi and other major cities of Punjab province. Struggling to sustain his... more ›
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