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Last update: Thu, 11 Feb 2016 09am

South Asia

World - South Asia

India plane makes emergency landing after bomb call NEW DELHI: An Indian passenger plane was forced to make an emergency landing in the country's western city of Nagpur on Saturday after a hoax bomb threat, GoAir airline said.The GoAir plane, carrying 150 passengers, was en route from the eastern city of Bhubaneshwar to Mumbai when authorities received an anonymous call that a bomb had been planted aboard."Post receiving the bomb threat call, (the aircraft) was diverted to Nagpur," GoAir said in an emailed statement.The passengers were offloaded and airport security searched the aircraft and baggage, the budget airline said.It said "there was no bomb found on board the aircraft" and passengers "are now being boarded" after the plane was authorised to take off again for Mumbai.The carrier said local police were investigating the threat.The National Investigation Agency said on Friday that bomb-making material was also seized in the raids conducted in four different states, amid stepped up security ...

World - South Asia

Rouhani enters Iran election row over barred candidates TEHRAN: Iran's president entered a row over thousands of disqualified election candidates Thursday, taking a barely veiled swipe at a powerful committee that chooses who can run for parliament. Hassan Rouhani's intervention came days after it emerged that only one percent of reformists seeking to become lawmakers had been deemed eligible to contest the ballot on February 26. Reformists have been largely sidelined since the disputed 2009 re-election of hardline conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when ...

World - South Asia

India's Bihar state to reserve 35 percent of government jobs for women PATNA: India's northern state of Bihar has said it will reserve 35 percent of all government jobs for women in a bid to boost women's empowerment in the impoverished region, a government official said on Wednesday.Bihar is one of India's poorest and most under-developed states and social indicators for women are much lower than national averages, according to the 2011 census.For example, female literacy in the largely agricultural state stands at 51.5 percent against male ...

World - South Asia

Iran finds US objections to its missile programme 'bizarre': Zarif DAVOS: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday said US objections to Iran's missile programme, which also came with a fresh wave of sanctions, were "rather bizarre". "I find it rather bizarre that the United States expresses concern over the Iranian missile programme, which is defensive and does not violate any current international regulation," Zarif told an audience in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016 ...

World - South Asia

 Narendra Modi condemns terrorist attack on ‘Bacha Khan University’ Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has strongly condemned the attack on ‘Bacha Khan University’ today. In a message, Narendra Modi posted on his official account Twitter, Unidentified gunmen entered ‘Bacha Khan University’ in Khyber Pakhtunkha’s Charsadda town and opened fire on students and faculty members. At least 20 people have been killed and over 50 injured. The injured have been shifted to District Headquarters Hospital, while emergency has been imposed in all hospitals in Charsadda. ...

World - South Asia

Afghan forces fighting to hold off Taliban in three Helmand districts LASHKAR GAH: The Taliban were threatening on Tuesday to capture three key strategic districts in Afghanistan's province of Helmand as fierce fighting with government forces stoked fears over the Islamist insurgents' gains in their traditional heartland.The arid, semi-desert southern region is a major center of opium cultivation where the Taliban have stepped up pressure on security forces since the withdrawal of international troops from combat last year.The government has sent reinforcements from Kabul to protect ...

World - South Asia

Iran denounces new US sanctions on missile programme TEHRAN: Iran on Monday denounced "illegitimate" new sanctions by the United States on its ballistic missile programme, days after Tehran's historic nuclear deal with world powers was confirmed."Iran's missile programme has never been designed to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons," foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said, according to the ISNA news agency. He added that Tehran saw fresh economic sanctions as "illegitimate".The United States announced new penalties Sunday related to Iran's ballistic missile ...