05052016Thu
Last update: Thu, 05 May 2016 11pm

South Asia

World - South Asia

India says 330 million people suffering from drought NEW DELHI: About 330 million people are suffering from drought in India, the government has said, as the country reels from severe water shortages and desperately poor farmers suffer crop losses.One of the government's most senior lawyers PS Narasimha told the Supreme Court that a quarter of the country's population, spread across 10 states, have been hit by drought after two consecutive years of weak monsoons.Narasimha said the government had released funds to affected regions where a crippling shortage of rainfall has forced the rationing of drinking water to some communities.As summer hits India, reports of families and farmers in remote villages walking long distances to find water after their wells dried up have dominated local media.Narasimha gave the figures on Tuesday, after an NGO filed a petition asking the top court to order Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to step up relief to the hardest-hit areas.The figures come as ...

World - South Asia

India accused of flipflop on Koh-e-Noor diamond NEW DELHI: India's government was accused Wednesday of reversing its stance on the Koh-e-Noor diamond, after vowing to reclaim the priceless gem just days after the solicitor general said it was gifted to Britain.The 108-carat Koh-e-Noor gem, which came into British hands during the colonial era, is the subject of a historic ownership dispute and has been claimed by at least four countries including India.But India's Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar surprised many on Monday when ...

World - South Asia

UN chief condemns Taliban attack in Kabul THE HAGUE: UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday strongly condemned a Taliban suicide truck bombing in central Kabul which left 30 people dead and hundreds injured."I would like to express my deepest condolences for the victims and their families and friends," the UN secretary general said at a press conference during a visit to The Hague."I condemn strongly these terrorist attacks," he said, adding "there's no justification whatsoever (for) attacking civilian people as well as ...

World - South Asia

China's Xi tells Party to go online to ease public concerns: Xinhua BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called on Communist Party officials to use the internet to better understand citizens and address their grievances, said state media, as an economic downturn sparks popular frustration.The party should be patient with internet users, resolve difficulties and correct erroneous opinions in a timely manner, said Xi, according to Xinhua.The government is embracing the internet as a key space in which to shape public discourse, an increasingly pressing issue ...

World - South Asia

Three burnt to death in India over human sacrifice rumours NEW DELHI: Three members of an Indian family burnt to death after a mob locked them in their house and set it on fire following rumours of their involvement in human sacrifices, police said Tuesday.Ten men have been arrested over the incident on Sunday in underdeveloped Jharkhand state when hundreds of villagers armed with sticks and other sharp weapons targeted the family, an officer said."There was a rumour that they had kidnapped children for sacrifice, ...

World - South Asia

Iran urges oil producers to keep discussing freeze, says it can't sign up DUBAI: Iran urged other oil producers on Monday to continue talks on an output freeze to prop up crude prices, but insisted it was justified in not freezing its own output.Iranian OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebilli was speaking to his oil ministry's Shana news agency after talks on Sunday between producers in Doha collapsed when Saudi Arabia demanded that Iran join a freeze. Iranian representatives were not present at the talks."We support cooperation between OPEC ...

World - South Asia

Japan will not release oil products from national reserves: official TOKYO: Japan has no plans to release oil products from its Strategic Petroleum Reserves after earthquakes left more than 40 dead and damaged infrastructure on the southern island of Kyushu, a senior industry ministry official told Reuters on Monday.The quakes have had no impact on oil processing and shipments at refineries and refiners hold sufficient oil supplies, the official said.Road shipments of fuel and other products have suffered delivery delays, because blocked roads in parts ...