International

Record 235mn people will need humanitarian assistance: UN


United Nations: A record 235 million people will need humanitarian assistance next year, a nearly 40 per cent increase on 2020 which is "almost entirely from Covid-19", a top UN official said. In an appeal for $35 billion to meet humanitarian needs next year, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said the...

EU, UK entering ‘last week or so’ of negotiations


London: UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that Brexit negotiations with the European Union (EU) were entering "the last week or so" of "substantive" talks before the transition period ends on December 31. Calling on the EU to accept a "point of principle" on fisheries, one of the sticking points in the talks, Raab seemed to...

Iran blames Israel for killing top nuclear scientist


Tehran: Iran President Hassan Rouhani has blamed Israel for the killing of a top nuclear scientist, and said it would not slow down the country's nuclear program. President Rouhani said his country would respond "in due course" but that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh's killing would not push Iran into making hasty decisions. "Iran's enemies should know that the people...

Fake image row: China refuses to apologize to Australia


Beijing: China has refused to apologize to Australia for posting a controversial doctored image depicting war crimes by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan and instead, accused the latter of trying to "deflect public attention". Even though Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had slammed Beijing for the “outrageous and disgusting slur”, China said that Canberra should be ‘ashamed’...

Pompeo meets Taliban, Afghan negotiators amid stalled talks


Washington: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has met negotiators from the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, amidst signs of progress in their stalled talks and an uptick in violence that threatens to jeopardize the peace push in the war-torn country. This was the first meeting of the top American diplomat with the Taliban...

Made in China drones now in Pak’s jihadi arsenal: Intel


New Delhi: Pakistan-backed terror groups and its Inter Services Intelligence have started using bigger drones to expand its capacity to smuggle arms and ammunition across the border in India’s Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, people familiar with the matter said. Counter-terror officials in Delhi said the terrorist groups and the ISI, which had been using drones...

Indian-origin New Zealand MP takes oath in Sanskrit


Dr Gaurav Sharma, one of the youngest and newly-elected MPs in New Zealand, on Wednesday took oath in Sanskrit in the country's Parliament. Dr Sharma, 33, hailing from Himachal Pradesh's Hamirpur, was recently elected as the Member of Parliament from the Labor Party for Hamilton West in New Zealand. India's High Commissioner to New Zealand and...

Sputnik V to cost lower than Pfizer, Moderna’s Covid vax


Moscow: Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 will cost governments much lower than that of Pfizer's and Moderna's, the official Twitter handle of the world's first registered vaccine against the pandemic said. "Translating pharma lingo: the announced price of Pfizer of $19.50 and Moderna of $25-$37 per dose actually means their price of $39 and $50-$74...

UK bullying row: PM stands by home secy Priti Patel


London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed “full confidence” in home secretary Priti Patel after an inquiry into her alleged bullying behavior with civil servants concluded that she did behave in a way that amounted to bullying. Alex Allan, the UK government’s standards adviser, resigned soon after Johnson stood by Patel, prompting another political row, days...