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Khawaja Asif leaves for Russia on 4-day visit

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has left for Russia on a four-day official visit at the invitation of his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. During his stay in Moscow, Khawaja Asif is expected to hold talks with Sergey Lavrov on the entire spectrum of bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual…

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Trump says Russia succeeding in sowing US discord

President Donald Trump said Sunday that Russia was succeeding beyond its “wildest dreams” in sowing US discord but refrained once more from directly challenging Moscow on its election meddling. In a flurry of tweets, Trump blamed former president Barack Obama for failing to stop Russia while accusing the FBI of spending “too much time trying…

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US indicts 13 Russians for election interference

WASHINGTON: The US special prosecutor investigating Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election on Friday indicted 13 Russians for allegedly running a secret campaign to tilt the vote, prompting claims of vindication from President Donald Trump. The indictment — which includes the first charges laid by special counsel Robert Mueller for election interference — detailed…

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Trump says ‘no collusion’ after Russians indicted for election meddling

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Friday held up the indictment of 13 Russians — and no Americans — for meddling in the 2016 election as vindication that his campaign team did not collude with Moscow. “Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for president,” Trump tweeted,…

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American double standards on Syrian and Iraqi chemical weapons

By Jawad Akram It was the month of March in 2003, when United States (U.S.) launched offensive against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq accusing him of possessing a large stockpile of Chemical Weapons. It was a fact that Iraq had already used chemical gas in Iran-Iraq war and also in its restive Kurdish region, long…

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US intel chiefs say Russia meddling threatens 2018 vote

NEWS DESK: US intelligence chiefs said Tuesday that Russian attempts to meddle in US politics are continuing unabated — and pose a threat to mid-term congressional elections in November, reported AFP. They also said North Korea’s nuclear program poses a potential “existential threat” to the United States, and that the time is nearing for Washington…

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Trump offers Putin condolences over plane crash

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday to offer his condolences after a deadly plane crash near Moscow, a White House official said. The call between the two leaders — who are at the center of an FBI investigation into Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US election —…

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Five points that may catch your interest in Berlin Film Festival

BERLIN: The Berlin film festival, Europe’s first major cinema showcase since the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal roiled the industry, starts Thursday with 400 new movies slated and a controversy of its own brewing. US filmmaker Wes Anderson will kick off the race for the Golden Bear top prize with the animated feature “Isle of…

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Winter Olympics 2018: Banned Russians withdraw last-minute Swiss appeal

LAUSANNE: Dozens of Russian athletes banned from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics withdrew on Friday their last-minute appeal to a Swiss court aimed at allowing them to compete in the Games. Earlier, 47 Russians implicated in doping lost a final appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which sought to overturn the International Olympic Committee’s…

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Russia orders warplanes in Syria to fly higher after jet shot down – Izvestia

MOSCOW: Russia has ordered its warplanes in Syria to fly higher to avoid being shot down by shoulder launched anti-aircraft missiles after one of its jets was shot out of the sky on Saturday, the Izvestia daily reported on Monday. The reported policy change came after Syrian rebels shot down a Russian SU-25 plane on…

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FIFA World Cup 2018 to see footballs made in Pakistan’s Sialkot

ISLAMABAD: The Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Alexey Dedov confirmed that Sialkot-made footballs will be used in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which is slated for later this year.  Pakistanis will have their special moment of joy when they see footballs made in their own country being used to score goals in the international-level event. The…

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Russian pilot killed after plane downed over Syria

SARAQIB: A Russian pilot was killed Saturday in fighting with Islamists after his warplane was downed over northwest Syria, Russia’s defence ministry and a monitor said. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a powerful jihadist-dominated alliance said, on an affiliated media channel it had shot down the plane but made no mention of the pilot. “We were…

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CIA Director Pompeo defends meetings with Russian spy chiefs

WASHINGTON: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo on Thursday defended talks he had at CIA headquarters last week with Russian spy chiefs at a time of strained ties between Washington and Moscow and political squabbling over allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, reported Reuters. A U.S. intelligence official, speaking on condition…

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U.N. calls on Russia, Iran and Turkey to break Syria aid deadlock

GENEVA: A United Nations humanitarian task force has been unable to make deliveries to desperate Syrians for the past two months as President Bashar al-Assad’s government has withheld approval for aid convoys, the U.N. humanitarian adviser said on Thursday. Before they can move into besieged areas or across front lines, the convoys require letters from…

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Sports court lifts life bans of 28 Russians accused of doping

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND: The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Thursday lifted life bans on 28 of the 43 Russians accused of doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, meaning some could still compete at this month’s Pyeongchang Games. Sport’s top court ruled there was “insufficient” evidence that the athletes had benefited from a system of…

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CIA director expects Russia will try to target U.S. mid-term elections

WASHINGTON: CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Russia will target U.S. mid-term elections later this year as part of the Kremlin’s attempt to influence domestic politics across the West, and warned the world had to do more to push back against Chinese meddling. Russia has been accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and…

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Netanyahu flies to Moscow for talks on Syria with Putin

JERUSALEM – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Moscow on Monday to discuss Israeli concerns about any expansion of Iran’s military foothold in Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I will discuss with President Putin Iran’s relentless efforts to establish a military presence in Syria, which we strongly oppose and are also taking action against,”…

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Trump warns Erdogan to avoid clash between U.S., Turkish forces

U.S. President Donald Trump urged Turkey on Wednesday to curtail its military operation in Syria and warned it not to bring U.S. and Turkish forces into conflict, but a Turkish source said a White House readout did not accurately reflect the conversation. Turkey’s air and ground operation in Syria’s Afrin region, now in its fifth…

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Britain sets up unit to combat fake news

LONDON: Britain announced Tuesday it was setting up a new national security unit to combat “disinformation”, just weeks after Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of using fake news to undermine Western institutions. “We are living in an era of fake news and competing narratives,” the prime minister’s spokesman said. “The government will respond with…

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Cyberwarfare with Russia ‘now greater threat than terrorism’, warns British Army chief

NEWS DESK: Enemy states using hybrid “weapons” ranging from assassinations and cyber attacks to the use of fake news and corruption now pose a greater threat to the UK and the West than terrorism, the head of the British Army has warned, reported The Independent. Vladimir Putin’s Russia is the “arch exponent” of this form…

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Assad regime promotes Syria as a ‘tourist’ destination

DAMASCUS: It is over a year since Bashar al-Assad’s regime, with the help of Russian air strikes and barrel bombs, pounded the rebel-held east of Aleppo into submission. Buildings were flattened, those who survived were left terrorised, hungry and filled with despair, and the stench of dead bodies rose up from the rubble as families…

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