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Digest of international news for the week Feb 28- Mar 6, 2015

Baghdad: A series of attacks targeting public places and Shiite militia checkpoints in and north of Iraq’s capital killed 37 people, authorities say.

Beijing: In a move apparently aimed at allaying India’s concerns, the new Sri Lankan government says it will not allow Chinese submarines to dock in its ports while acknowledging that such a docking did take place coinciding with the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit last year.

Los Angeles: A Hindu temple in the US has been vandalised with several windows broken and the word “fear” painted on its wall, the second such incident in America’s Washington state this month.

Thimphu: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar holds talks with Bhutan’s top leadership and called on King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck here as he began his ‘SAARC Yatra’ to firm up India’s ties with members of the grouping while reviewing regional and bilateral cooperation.

Islamabad: LeT operations commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind, is living in relative luxury inside jail with access to internet, mobile phones and visitors despite Pakistan’s protestations that it is cracking down on militants.

Islamabad: A Pakistani court barred the government from booking Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind, in any other case without its permission after his counsel argued that “false” cases might be slapped against him to keep him in jail.

Dhaka: India says it expects to sign two agreements with Bangladesh soon to further boost bilateral trade and commerce as Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar held “constructive” talks with the top leadership here.
Washington: President Barack Obama is committed to denying Iran a nuclear weapon, the US asserts as it pledged its firm support to Israel, saying there will “never be a sunset on  America’s commitment to Israel’s security, amid the latter’s allegations about a potential deal with Tehran.

Islamabad/New Delhi: India and Pakistan appears to be inching towards resumption of dialogue after Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s discussions here, described by both sides as “ice-breaking”.

Washington: Likening Iran to the IS, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asks the US Congress to take a harder line against Tehran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons and stop its march of conquest, subjugation and terror.

Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says it is imperative that the leadership in Pakistan and India should rise to the expectations of their people and the two nations need to start a “new chapter” in ties by working towards resolving all outstanding issues through dialogue.

Dhaka: A Bangladeshi court upheld the arrest warrant issued against opposition leader Khaleda Zia and called her a “fugitive” after the former Premier again failed to appear for the trial in two graft cases involving over USD 650,000 which could see her jailed for life.

Kabul: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar holds talks with Afghanistan’s top leadership here which mainly focused on India’s development projects and the security situation in the war-torn country.

United Nations: With the term of current UN chief Ban Ki-moon set to end in 2016, India has calls for a “more inclusive and transparent” procedure for appointment of the Secretary-General and said the Security Council should recommend more than one candidate to the General Assembly.

United Nations: United Nations has rules out an inquiry into the allegations against former chair of the UN’s panel on climate change Rajendra Pachauri and says a a new head will be elected later this year to replace him.

Peshawar: Over 100 schools in Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were renamed after the students massacred by the Taliban here last year.
Washington/Seoul: US Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert was attacked at a public function in Seoul by a blade-wielding man who slashed him while shouting out demands for a unified Korea, an assault that left the envoy hospitalised with 80 stitches to his face.

Baghdad: The Islamic State group has begun bulldozing the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in Iraq, the government says, in the jihadists’ latest attack on the country’s historical heritage.

Islamabad: Pakistan’s adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz says the recent foreign secretary-level dialogue with India failed to fix a date for the next round of talks.

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