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Palestinian forces break up Ramallah protest over Gaza

Palestinian security forces fired stun grenades and tear gas Wednesday to disperse a demonstration in the occupied West Bank opposing Palestinian punitive measures against Hamas-run Gaza, an AFP reporter said. The demonstration in Ramallah, the West Bank city that houses the Palestinian government, came after the Palestinian government temporarily banned public protests. Dozens of Palestinian…

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Karachi’s political powerhouses to fight for NA-247

One of the most hotly contested seats for the National Assembly is NA-247 Karachi South II, which is made up of Defence, Clifton Cantonment Board, Saddar, Karachi Cantonment and Arambagh. NA-247 is made up of areas previously in NA-250. Each party has fielded political powerhouses for the seat. The battle for the seat will be…

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Shehbaz decides not to contest polls from Karachi

  Shehbaz Sharif has taken back his decision to contest the elections from Karachi. He had earlier obtained nomination papers to contest the National Assembly elections from three constituencies in the port city — NA-248, 249 and 250. PML-N leader Mushahid Ullah Khan has confirmed that the party president will not be contesting from Karachi….

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Turkey opposition launches Google ads campaign to target Erdogan

Turkey’s nationalist opposition Iyi Parti (Good Party) has launched a Google advertisement campaign with mischievous slogans targeting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government ahead of June 24 polls. The unprecedented campaign is led by party chief Meral Aksener, who split away from Turkey’s main nationalist group after it formed an alliance with Erdogan. Google searches of…

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Pakistan hands over power to caretaker government as polls loom

Pakistan’s civilian government completed its term Friday for only the second time in the country’s history, with a caretaker administration to take over ahead of polls set for late July. Pakistan has been under direct military rule for nearly half of its 70 year existence, with at least 15 heads of states deposed before completing…

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Lebanon PM in second trip to Saudi Arabia since surprise resignation

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri headed to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for the second time since his shock resignation in the kingdom last year. On November 4, Hariri announced he was stepping down in a televised address from Riyadh, sparking rumours he was being detained against his will. After French mediation, however, he rescinded his…

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Gundogan, Ozil meet German president after Erdogan controversy

Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan met Germany president Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Saturday in a series of clear the air talks following their controversial photos alongside Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Ilkay Gundogan and Mesut Ozil expressed a desire to visit me,” Steinmeier posted on Facebook alongside a picture of him with the Germany stars in…

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Istanbul summit urges international force to protect Palestinians

A summit in Istanbul of Muslim heads of state on Friday called for the creation of an international peacekeeping force to protect the Palestinians, as host Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of “brutality” comparable to the Nazis. The 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — seeking to bridge severe differences within the Muslim…

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Turkey and Israel exchange jibes, expulsions in escalating row

Turkey and Israel on Tuesday ordered envoys to leave in tit-for-tat moves and exchanged bitter accusations as a row over the Israeli army’s killing of dozens of Palestinians threatened a 2016 reconciliation deal. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hit back at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Twitter by calling Israel an “apartheid state” as Ankara…

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N. Korea to destroy nuclear site ahead of US summit: KCNA

North Korea will destroy its nuclear test site later this month, ahead of a summit with the United States, it said Saturday, pledging to blow up its tunnels in front of invited foreign media. US President Donald Trump praised the North’s decision to dismantle the Punggye-ri test site in a ceremony scheduled between May 23-25,…

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NASA plans to send mini-helicopter to Mars

The US space agency said Friday it plans to launch the first-ever helicopter to Mars in 2020, a miniature, unmanned drone-like chopper that could boost our understanding of the Red Planet. Known simply as “The Mars Helicopter,” the device weighs less than four pounds (1.8 kilograms), and its main body section, or fuselage, is about…

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Pre-election violence: Men attack PML-N’s Lyari office

Men threw a hand grenade at the PML-N office in Lyari, followed by firing. A party leader and two others were injured. The office is located at Bizenjo Chowk. Aqil Rehmani, the PML-N leader who was injured, is also the president of the traders union in the area. City SSP Shiraz Nazir said that members…

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China jails ex-top communist official for life term over graft

A former Chinese Communist Party official who was once tipped for a top leadership post was sentenced to life in prison for bribery on Tuesday, the latest senior cadre to fall in President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-corruption crusade. Sun Zhengcai, a former Politburo member and party chief of the southwestern mega-city of Chongqing, was found…

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Iran bans use of popular Telegram messaging app

Iran’s judiciary on Monday banned the hugely popular Telegram messaging app, which the authorities have accused of allowing armed opposition groups to fuel unrest. A judge in Tehran gave “the order to interrupt Telegram”, the judiciary’s Mizan Online news agency said. The move comes on the heels of a recent presidential directive banning all government…

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Why are South Punjab electables leaving PML-N?

With the departure of four more lawmakers on Wednesday, the total number of electables who have left the PML-N to join ‘Junoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz’ has reached 42. SAMAA’s Multan bureau chief Aamir Iqbal explains the political situation in South Punjab after the emergence of a new political front against the ruling party.

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British lawmakers to grill man at centre of Facebook scandal

LONDON: The Russian-American academic who developed an app that allowed political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to farm the data of 87 million Facebook users faces questions Tuesday by British lawmakers. Aleksandr Kogan, who teaches at Cambridge University, will appear before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee to explain his relationship with CA, the…

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George H.W. Bush hospitalized days after wife’s death: office

WASHINGTON: Former president George H.W. Bush was being treated for a blood infection on Monday, hours after laying his wife Barbara to rest, his office said. A statement stressed that Bush, 93, was responding to treatment. He was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital early Sunday, just a day after bidding a final farewell to his…

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Natalie Portman not to accept $2m prize in protest against Netanyahu policies

JERUSALEM: Hollywood actress Natalie Portman said she was backing out of a Jerusalem ceremony where she was to receive a $2 million prize to protest against the policies of Israel’s prime minister. “I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech…

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N.Korea’s Kim promises no more nuclear or missile tests

SEOUL: North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un has announced Pyongyang will carry out no more nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile tests and will shut down its atomic test site, the North’s state media reported Saturday. The declaration, long sought by the US, will be seen as a crucial step in the fast diplomatic dance on…

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Erdogan sends Turkey to snap polls on June 24

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called snap elections for June 24, bringing the polls forward by a year-and-a-half to accelerate the transition to a new system critics fear will lead to one-man rule. The announcement by the strongman leader, who has ruled his country since 2003, upended the political timetable in Turkey…

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Modi faces protests over £1bn deal in UK

London: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Wednesday set to sign £1 billion ($1.42 billion, 1.14 billion euros) of investment deals with Britain during a visit to London, where he was met by hundreds of religious protesters. Modi, in Britain for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, was also expected to confirm the new India-UK…

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