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Fireworks as opening ceremony starts for 2018 Winter Olympics

PYEONGCHANG: The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening ceremony got under way in freezing temperatures and a spirit of rapprochement on Friday after the arrival of the highest level North Korean delegation ever seen in the South. Fireworks lit up the sky over the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, where North Korea’s all-female cheering squad were among the crowd,…

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Trump denies ‘racist slur’ that provoked outrage

NEW YORK: US President Donald Trump on Friday appeared to deny he insulted Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” but admitted in a tweet that he used “tough” language during a discussion about an immigration deal with lawmakers. “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the…

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Britain: one country, four nations

LONDON: Britain, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is made up of four nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The kingdom comprises the island of Great Britain — surrounded by the North Sea, the Channel, the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean — and the northeast part of the island…

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UAE minister says Trump travel ban not anti-Islam

US President Donald Trump’s travel ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations is not anti-Islam, the United Arab Emirates foreign minister said on Wednesday. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, whose country like neighbouring Saudi Arabia is a close ally of Washington, said it was “wrong to say” that the decision by the new US administration…

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Emerging nations see benefits, problems with Internet

WASHINGTON: People in emerging economies see the Internet as a good thing for education and the economy, but worry about its impact on morality, a global survey showed Thursday. The Pew Research Center survey showed a median of 64 percent of respondents in 32 emerging and developing nations say the Internet is a positive for…

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Nation celebrates Quaid-e-Azam’s birth anniversary

KARACHI: The nation is celebrating today 139th birthday of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah across the country with passion and feelings of gratitude for the Father of the Nation, Samaa reported. Various ceremonies will be held across the country to pay tribute to the great leader and highlight his achievements. A change of guard ceremony held…

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Rich nations' failure to take Syria refugees 'shocking': Amnesty

BEYROUTH, Liban: Wealthy nations have only taken in a “pitiful” number of the millions of refugees uprooted by Syria's war, placing the burden on the country's ill-equipped neighbours, Amnesty International said Friday. In a statement ahead of a December 9 donors' conference in Geneva, the London-based rights group blasted as shocking the failure of rich…

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Rugby-France ready to start with 'roast beef' in Six Nations

LONDON: France will miss out on a starter and skip straight to 'roast beef' for their opening game in the 2014 Six Nations, coach Philippe Saint-Andre said on Wednesday.After finishing with the wooden spoon for the first time since 1999 last year, the French team might have hoped for an easier opening game to assert…

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United Nations reports 'dramatic' progress in fight against AIDS

LONDON: The global rate of HIV infection and the number of AIDS-related deaths have been dramatically reduced, thanks to expanding access to treatment, the United Nations said in a report issued on Monday.In its annual update on HIV, which it said now infects around 35.3 million people worldwide, UNAIDS said deaths from AIDS and HIV…

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Battles rage in Syria ahead of talks at the United Nations

BEIRUT: Syrian warplanes struck rebel-held areas and clashes between militants and government forces continued unabated on Wednesday, residents and opposition groups said, while key powers met to forge a deal that would eliminate Syrian chemical weapons.Activists said President Bashar al-Assad's air force hit the neighborhood of Berze, a northeastern part of central Damascus, where rebels…

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Syria asks the United Nations to stop U.S. strike

BEIRUT: Syria has asked the United Nations to prevent “any aggression” against Syria following a call over the weekend by U.S. President Barack Obama for punitive strikes against the Syrian military for last month's chemical weapons attack.Washington says more than 1,400 people, many of them children, were killed in the world's worst use of chemical…

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Kumar earns India Tri-Nations final spot against Sri Lanka

NEW DELHI: A four wicket spell from Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped India beat Sri Lanka by 81 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis method on Tuesday to set up a re-match in the final of the Tri-Nations competition in Port of Spain.The result means host nation, West Indies, were eliminated from the competition while India, who picked up…

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World Bank to help developing nations cope with rising rates: Kim

WASHINGTON: The head of the World Bank said on Tuesday that the global lender stands ready to help developing countries cope with a rise in interest rates as a result of the U.S. Federal Reserve's plan to scale back its stimulus program.”There's a tremendous amount of concern about what could happen,” World Bank President Jim…

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Asian nations say ready to act on asset bubbles

GREATER NOIDA, India: Asian nations must be on guard against excessive risk taking and asset bubbles fed by central bank efforts to boost economic growth, major regional economies including Japan and China have said.Central banks in countries including Japan, the United States and Britain have been pumping out cheap money which has driven investors to…

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United Nations says Syria conflict a humanitarian catastrophe

UNITED NATIONS: Syrian families have been burned in their homes, people bombed waiting for bread, children tortured, raped and murdered and cities reduced to rubble in Syria's two-year-old war that has sparked a humanitarian catastrophe, the United Nations said on Thursday.The bleak assessment by top U.N. humanitarian officials motivated the Security Council, which has been…

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Nations gather for final U.N. arms trade treaty negotiations

UNITED NATIONS: Negotiators from around 150 countries gather in New York on Monday for a final push to hammer out a binding international treaty to end unregulated conventional arms sales, a pact that a powerful US pro-gun lobby is urging Washington to reject.Arms control campaigners and human rights advocates say one person every minute dies…

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United Nations removes Osama bin Laden from sanctions list

UNITED NATIONS: Almost two years after his death at the hands of U.S. special forces in Pakistan, a U.N. Security Council committee has removed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden from its sanctions list, although an order freezing any assets of the extremist remains in place.Bin Laden had been subjected to a travel ban and asset…

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Ghana win and Niger draw in sluggish Nations Cup

PORT ELIZABETH: Ghana took a significant step towards the quarter-finals and Niger secured their first ever point as the African Nations Cup continued to unfold like a slow-moving drama rather than a Hollywood thriller on Thursday.The only goal on the sixth day of the tournament came from a Ghanaian penalty in their 1-0 win over…

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Terrorist attacks soar, India among most affected nations – study

NEW YORK: The number of terrorist attacks each year has more than quadrupled in the decade since September 11, 2001, a study released on Tuesday said, with Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan the most affected.The number of annual deaths in attacks, however, peaked in 2007 — the height of the Iraq conflict — and has been…

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As nations haggle, global carbon cut targets get impossibly deep

DOHA: As the nations of the world struggle in Doha to agree even modest targets to tackle global warming, the cuts needed in rising greenhouse gas emissions grow ever deeper, more costly and less likely to be achieved.U.N. talks have delivered only small emissions curbs in 20 years, even as power stations, cars and factories…

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Developing nations push rich on climate targets ahead of talks

BEIJING: Talks on a new climate change treaty in Qatar next week will not advance unless rich countries promise more ambitious cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, four major developing nations said.The four nations, Brazil, China, India and South Africa -known in climate talks as the BASIC bloc – released a joint ministerial statement late on…

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