05042016Wed
Last update: Wed, 04 May 2016 04am

South Asia

World - South Asia

Explosions rattle central Kabul following Kerry's visit KABUL: Several explosions rang out in central Kabul Saturday night, shortly after the US Secretary of State John Kerry left the Afghan capital following an unannounced visit to call for the Taliban to re-enter peace talks.Authorities were not immediately able to comment on the nature of the blasts nor on whether they had claimed any casualties, but Taliban insurgents frequently attack government and military installations in the city."We heard several explosions, but we don't know what caused them," a police official told AFP on condition of anonymity.Kerry's visit came as Kabul desperately tries to bring the insurgent group back to the negotiating table to end their conflict which began in 2001. Buoyed by a series of victories on the battlefield, the Islamist group have so far refused to talk until their conditions are met, including the departure of 13,000 foreign soldiers from Afghanistan."We discussed our shared goal of launching peace ...

World - South Asia

Kerry sees no fixed term on Afghan government agreement KABUL: US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday the political deal that led to the formation of Afghanistan's national unity government in 2014 had no set expiry date, despite widespread assumptions it will end in September.Under the terms of the September 2014 agreement, a loya jirga, or special assembly, was expected to be held within two years to amend the constitution. However Kerry, who oversaw the deal that created the government now led ...

World - South Asia

Sri Lanka PM says Chinese port project 'not a threat' HONG KONG: A port project being built in Colombo by the Chinese is not a threat, Sri Lanka's prime minister said Saturday amid concerns Beijing is trying to boost its influence in the Indian Ocean.The $1.4 billion "Port City" represents the biggest single foreign investment received by the island, adding 233 hectares (575 acres) of real estate in the congested capital.But it is controversial, as Beijing has been accused of seeking to develop facilities around ...

World - South Asia

Indian politician beaten to death after election rally KOLKATA: Armed assailants beat to death an Indian politician whose party is contesting elections in the country's east as he returned home from a campaign rally, police said on Saturday.Joydeb Jana, a mid-ranking leader of West Bengal state's ruling Trinamool Congress party (TMC), was attacked by armed men late Friday after addressing a campaign rally in West Midnapore district."(Jana) was found murdered by some unknown assailants," Anuj Sharma, West Bengal additional director general of police, ...

World - South Asia

Afghan lawmakers confirm key government posts amid infighting KABUL: Afghan lawmakers approved government nominees as interior minister and attorney general on Saturday, offering a boost to a struggling administration that has been undermined by infighting since it was formed following a disputed election in 2014. Parliament voted to confirm Interior Minister Taj Mohammad Jahid, a former army general, and Attorney General Mohammad Farid Hamidi, formerly a member of the Human Rights Commission, avoiding a major embarrassment for President Ashraf Ghani.The two new appointees ...

World - South Asia

Mallya skips ED summon, for the third time Vijay Mallya, the chairman of the debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines, will not appear as he was supposed to before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday.The liquor baron has sought another extension till the end of May, in connection with an alleged money laundering probe involving more than INR 9,000 crore in loan fraud.According to Business-Standard, last week, the agency investigating the case issued their third and last summon, asking the UB Group chairman to appear on ...

World - South Asia

India PM blames 'act of fraud' for deadly bridge collapse NEW DELHI: Indian leader Narendra Modi said Thursday a fatal flyover collapse in Kolkata was "an act of fraud" and accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of corruption at a state election rally. Modi, campaigning for his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said the collapse was the result of corrupt practices under Banerjee's ruling Trinamool Congress state government. "A huge bridge collapsed and what did these people say -- an act of God. ...