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UN mission welcomes start of Afghan presidential election's audit UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has welcomed the audit of the results of last month's presidential run-off election.The audit, started on Thursday is part of a plan brokered by the United States and agreed to by the two candidates in the run-off, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, who have committed to participating in and abiding by its results. It involves a complete audit of the results of the run-off held on June 14 " roughly eight million ballots " in Kabul with monitoring by national and international observers.UNAMA said in a statement that the process is being conducted by Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission (IEC), under close and extensive supervision led by the UN. The Director of the UN Electoral Assistance Division, Craig Jenness, is in Kabul to supervise the preparations for the unprecedented audit. The IEC is also being assisted by the experts from the ...

India's monsoon rain deficit narrows, enters active phase NEW DELHI: The deficit in India's monsoon rains is expected to narrow next week as the grain bowl in the country's northwest, oilseed areas of central parts and cotton belt of the western region are set to get higher downpours.The monsoon rains were 15 percent below average in the past week, against 41 percent below average rainfall in the previous week, the weather office data showed.On Thursday, the annual rains covered the entire country two ...
Ancient town under water as downpours hit central China BEIJING: One of China’s renowned ancient towns was under water Wednesday as heavy rain hit the centre of the country, with tens of thousands of people evacuated from the area.The old town district of Fenghuang nestles on the banks of a winding river in a picturesque, mountainous part of Hunan province, and boasts stunning Qing and Ming dynasty architecture back hundreds of years.It can attract 30,000 visitors a day and has applied for world heritage ...
India PM, China's Xi pledge stronger ties in first meeting NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on the need to resolve a decades-old border dispute during talks before the BRICS summit in Brazil, a statement said Tuesday. The leaders also pledged to strengthen trade and diplomatic ties during the 80-minute meeting in Fortaleza, their first since nationalist hardliner Modi won landslide elections in May."Both sides emphasised on the need to find a solution to the Boundary Question," the ...
Two dead in fresh Karabakh border clashes: separatists YEREVAN: An ethnic Armenian separatist officer in Nagorny Karabakh and an Azerbaijani soldier died in the latest raid along the disputed region's volatile frontline, the rebel defence ministry said on Saturday.Several other Azerbaijani soldiers were captured in the fighting, breakaway Armenian forces said, although Baku has made no comment on the claims.A 37-year-old Armenian woman, Movses Gasparian, was seriously wounded in the shootout, rebels claimed.At least 18 soldiers have been killed in a surge in ...
Minor tsunami hits northeastern Japan TOKYO: A minor tsunami hit Miyagi prefecture in Japan early Saturday after a strong 6.8-magnitude quake jolted the country's northeastern Pacific coast, prompting advisories for regions including around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. A tsunami of 20 centimetres was observed at 5.12 am (2012 GMT Friday) in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The agency had issued a tsunami advisory for Miyagi as well as neighbouring Fukushima and Iwate prefectures, warning that a ...
Afghan presidential hopeful Ghani backs 'extensive' audit KABUL: Afghan presidential hopeful Ashraf Ghani, who emerged victorious in the preliminary results of his country's runoff presidential election, on Friday backed an extensive audit of the bitterly disputed polls.As he met US Secretary of State John Kerry, Ghani said he and his supporters wanted "to ensure that the election process enjoys the integrity and the legitimacy of the people of Afghanistan and the world. "Therefore we believe in the most intensive and extensive audit ...


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