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Syria's Assad joins prayers to mark end of Ramadan DAMASCUS: Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was given a warm reception by the faithful on Monday when he joined in Eid al-Fitr prayers in Damascus, to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.Assad took part in prayers at the Al-Kheir mosque, in Muhajarin, near his home in northwest Damascus.State television showed Assad being greeted by Syrian Grand Mufti Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun and, at the end of prayers, being surrounded by scores of well-wishers keen to shake his hand.During the morning, projectiles fired by rebels slammed into parts of Damascus, particularly Muhajrin neighbourhood, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.In his sermon to the people, the mosque's imam, Mohammad As-Sawan, referred to the unrest in the country which has reportedly killed 170,000 people."One thousand three hundred days of crisis have passed over our country, 1,300 days of difficult times, of plotting by enemies and disappointments on the part of out ...

Microsoft says government officials make sudden visit to China offices BEIJING: Chinese government officials made sudden visits to Microsoft Corp's China offices, a Microsoft spokeswoman said on Monday, but declined to give a reason."We aim to build products that deliver the features, security and reliability customers expect and we're happy to answer the government's questions," the spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement, declining to give further information.China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce, which Chinese media reported made the sudden visit on Microsoft offices in ...
UN says 1,100 killed in Ukraine since mid-April GENEVA: At least 1,129 people have been killed and 3,442 wounded in the Ukraine conflict since mid-April, UN monitors in the country said in their fourth monthly report on Monday.UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement that increasingly intense fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions was extremely alarming and the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner on July 17 may amount to a war crime.Copyright Reuters, 2014 ...
Palestinians celebrate Eid in embattled Gaza ISLAMABAD: Thousands of Palestinians in the embattled Gaza strip showed up early Monday to offer Eid al-Fitr prayers in defiance of an ongoing Israeli onslaught against the blockaded enclave.Worshippers flocked to the strip's mosques for the special prayers, which started 6:25am local time (3:25 am GMT), marking the start of the Islamic holiday, Anadolu news agency reported.However, many Palestinians living near the border areas where Israeli troops took positions could not perform the prayers over ...
UNSC calls for 'unconditional' ceasefire in Gaza UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Monday, meeting in an emergency session just after midnight, called for an "immediate and unconditional" ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip.In a presidential statement, the 15-member body expressed strong support for the call by international partners and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for such a ceasefire, and urged all parties to accept and fully implement it into the Eid period and beyond. ...
Dutch, Australian police head for MH17 crash site DONETSK: Dutch and Australian police headed on Monday for the crash site of Malaysian flight MH17 in a fresh bid to reach the insurgent-held east Ukraine location after fierce fighting nearby scuppered their previous attempt, an AFP reporter said.The team departed from rebel stronghold Donetsk where bursts of gunfire rang out on Monday morning and shelling was heard overnight.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...


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