UN official in Gaza cries on camera

A spokesman of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main UN body in Gaza, burst into tears on camera when asked by an Arab news station to explain the scale of civilian suffering.

“There are times when tears speak more eloquently than words. Mine pale into insignificance compared with Gaza’s,” Chris Gunness said.

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India-US indispensable partners of 21st century: John Kerry

U.S Secretary of State John Kerry said that US and India can and will be indispensable partners of the 21st century, at the fifth Indo- US Strategic Dialogue here today.

“US and India can and will be indispensable partners of the 21st century. We share a clear understanding on where we began. Moment has never been more right to deliver on our (US-India) relation. Together we have the opportunity to help India meet its challenges,” said Kerry.

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ICC CEO Richardson lauds Kallis for contribution to international cricket

International Cricket Council ( ICC) Chief Executive and former Proteas wicketkeeper Dave Richardson has thanked all-rounder Jacques Kallis for his contribution to the sport.

In a statement, Richardson was quoted by Sport24, as saying that Kallis will be remembered for his consistency with both bat and ball in all formats of the game for a long time.

Richardson described Kallis as one who will go down as one of the greatest all-round cricketers in the history of the game.

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Guerrillas snatch security guard’s weapon

Separatist guerrillas Friday snatched the weapon of a guard posted for the security of a judge here, an official said.

“Militants snatched the service weapon of a guard posted on protection duty with a district and sessions judge,” a police official told IANS.

“The incident occurred at the residence of the judge in the city outskirts,” the officer added.

The incident comes a day after guerrillas shot at a private security guard in the city from close range, injuring him critically. The shooting took place in Kaka Sarai area, barely a kilometre away from Friday’s weapon snatching.

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15 killed, 233 injured in Taiwan gas leak explosions

At least 15 people, including fire fighters, were killed and 233 injured in gas leak explosions that hit Taiwan’s Kaohsiung city Thursday.

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu said that the incident was the worst of its kind in recent decade, Xinhua reported.

The island’s fire-fighting authority said gas leaks were reported in the city’s Cianjhen district at around 9.00 p.m. Thursday, leading to multiple explosions that affected an area as large as three square kilometres.

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Israel confirms 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza

Israel confirmed Friday it has accepted a proposal for a 72-hour ceasefire with Hamas, which starts at 0500 GMT.

“Israel has accepted the U.S./UN proposal for a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire beginning 8.00 a.m. Friday (local time),” Xinhua quoted a senior Israeli official as saying while requesting anonymity.

Earlier, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry announced Thursday that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire beginning Friday, during which time Israelis and Palestinians would enter talks in Cairo on a durable truce.

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Mexico, California to build new border crossing

Mexico and the US state of California agreed Thursday to build a new vehicle border crossing to help boost trade, Mexican authorities said.

Vice Minister Raul Murrieta Cummings and the secretary of the California Transportation Agency, Brian P. Kelly, signed a memorandum of understanding to build and put into operation the Otay II-Otay Mesa East International Border Crossing, Xinhua quoted Mexico’s Communications and Transportation Ministry as saying.

The objective is to “spur trade exchange between Mexico and the state of California”, the minister added.


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Offensive on Gaza big gamble for Israelis: Hamas

The Islamic Hamas movement said Thursday that the continuation of the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip is a big gamble for the Israelis.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to resume the military operation is “a gamble that pushes the Israeli army to the unknown”, Xinhua quoted Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhhoum as saying in a statement.

Netanyahu is waging the war to stay in power “driven by regional and international allies that pushed him to a losing battle the consequences of which are unknown”, Barhoum added.

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Assad vows persistent fight against ‘terrorism’ in Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Thursday that his administration’s war against terrorism is a “battle of existence”, state media reported.

Assad made the remarks in a speech marking the 69th anniversary of the Syrian army, during which Assad stressed that there would be no leniency in fighting terrorism.

“Today we are more determined to stand in the face of the terrorist and colonial schemes of sedition and defragmentation that target Syria and the entire region,” Xinhua quoted Assad as saying.

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Hamas accepts UN-proposed ceasefire in Gaza

Islamic Hamas movement and other Palestinian factions accepted early Friday a UN-proposed ceasefire for 72 hours with Israel, a senior Hamas official said.

Izzat al-Resheq, member in Qatar based-Hamas politburo and closed to Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, confirmed the three-day humanitarian truce deal on his personal Facebook page, Xinhua reported.

“Responding to the United Nations calls and putting in considerations our people’s circumstances, the Palestinian factions accepted a mutual humanitarian ceasefire for 72 hours,” al-Resheq wrote.

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Tintu fails to qualify for women’s 800m final

Indian athlete Tintu Luka failed to qualify for the women’s 800 metres final at the Commonwealth Games here Thursday.

The 25-year-old could only manage to finish seventh out of eight competitors in the first semi-final which was won by Kenya’s Eunice Sum in two minutes and 1.38 seconds at the Hampden Park Stadium.

Tintu led the race for a brief period towards the start but ran out of steam as all but one athlete overtook her with the Kerala girl finishing the race in 2:03.35.


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Explosion hits Chinese chemical plant

An explosion ripped through a chemical plant in China’s Jiangsu province Thursday evening. There was no immediate casualty.

The blast occurred in Changzhou City at 7.50 p.m. after a fire started at around 6 p.m. in the chemical plant of Yanjin Shihua Co. Ltd., Xinhua quoted authorities as saying.


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China urges US not to interfere in sovereignty

China Thursday urged the US to stop interfering into Chinese sovereignty after the State Department voiced concern over indictment of a former college teacher named Ilham Tohti.

Tohti was prosecuted for separatism in Xinjiang Uygur region Wednesday.

“Ilham Tohti violated Chinese law, and his case is being processed in accordance with the law,” Xinhua quoted Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Qin Gang as saying in response to a question from the press.

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27 killed in violence across Iraq

At least 27 people were killed and as many injured in the violence witnessed in different parts of Iraq Thursday in the form of clashes and bomb attacks, police said.

Four policemen were killed and 11 wounded in Salahudin province when several roadside bombs detonated near their patrol on main road in Ishaqi area, some 110 km from Baghdad, Xinhua quoted a police soure as saying.

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China lifts military controls delaying flights

China’s civil aviation authority has decided to abort control measures from Friday in place for flights in the country’s eastern, central and southern regions while a military exercise goes on in southeast coastal areas.

After flight delays attributable to the controls, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said flights in these regions will return to normal operation once the controls are removed, Xinhua reported.

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UAE provides $544 mn for needy West Bank families

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has provided two million Dirham (544 million dollars) in aid to more than 4,400 needy families in the West Bank during holy month of Ramadan.

The aid was provided through country’s aid fund Human Appeal International (HAI).

The 4,400 beneficiary families are based in the cities of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Qalqilya and Tulkarem and Tobas, Xinhua reported.

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China accuses US over military reconnaissance

China Thursday accused the US of regular reconnaissance by naval ships and aircraft in Chinese waters and airspace.

“Vessels and aircraft of the US military have for a long time carried out frequent reconnaissance in waters and airspace under Chinese jurisdiction, which seriously affects China’s national security and could easily cause accidents,” Xinhua quoted defence ministry’s spokesperson Geng Yansheng as saying at a monthly briefing.

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Commonwealth Games medals tally

England are leading medals table with 44 gold, 40 silver and 39 bronze in the 20th Commonwealth Games.

India are now fifth with a tally of 47 medals, including 13 gold, 20 silver and 14 bronze.

Country Gold Silver Bronze Total

England 44 40 39 123

Australia 36 36 41 113

Canada 22 13 25 65

Scotland 14 13 16 43

India 13 20 14 47

New Zealand 13 11 15 39

South Africa 11 10 15 39

Nigeria 8 6 1 25

Jamaica 7 4 7 118

Kenya 5 6 2 13

Wales 4 10 14 28

Malaysia 4 6 5 15

Singapore 4 1 1 6

Cyprus 2 4 2 8

Cameroon 1 3 3 7

Papua New Guinea 1 1 0 2

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Iran denies agreement on Arak, Fordow n-sites

Tehran and the six world powers have not made any agreement on Iran’s heavy water nuclear power plant of Arak and the underground bunker of Fordow uranium enrichment establishment, a senior Iranian nuclear negotiator said here Thursday.

“In principle, no agreement has been made on any topics pertaining to the nuclear issues of Iran yet. And the difference over Arak heavy water reactor and Fordow uranium enrichment are still in place,” said negotiator Abbas Araqchi.

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