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Digest of international news for week Dec 26, 2015 – Jan 1, 2016


Islamabad: At least 89 people were injured in Pakistan today when a powerful earthquake measuring 6.9-magnitude on Richter Scale jolted several parts of the country including areas bordering Afghanistan.

Dhaka: The Islamic State terrorist group today claimed responsibility for a suicide attack at a packed mosque of minority Ahmadi community during Friday prayers in northwestern Bangladesh, in which 10 people were wound

Beijing: China today welcomed the surprise meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Lahore, saying improvement in Indo-Pak ties is significant for regional peace, stability and development.


Dhaka: A Bangladeshi court today ordered a probe whether a sedition charge could be imitated against former prime minister and opposition leader Khaleda Zia over her alleged “slanderous comments” concerning martyrs of the 1971 liberation war against Pakistan.
Beijing: China today adopted its first counter-terrorism law that grants overarching powers to security agencies, allows the military to venture overseas on counter-terror operations and requires technology firms to give sensitive data like encryption keys to the government.

Islamabad/Kabul: Pakistan’s powerful army chief General Raheel Sharif today held wide-ranging talks with Afghanistan’s top leadership on ways to revive stalled peace talks with the Taliban and agreed to hold a quadrilateral meeting between Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US early next month on a comprehensive road map for “meaningful peace.


Kabul: A Taliban bomber detonated an explosives-packed vehicle near Kabul airport today, killing one civilian in an attack targeting a NATO convoy the day after Pakistan’s army chief visited the city to try to revive peace talks.

Maiduguri (Nigeria): At least 80 people were killed today when Boko Haram Islamic extremists struck the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri for the first time in months with rocket-propelled grenades and multiple suicide bombers, witnesses said.

Islamabad: Pakistan is in negotiations with the US to procure the latest F-16 fighter jets and by 2020 it will phase out some of its old combat aircraft, including Mirage, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said today.


Peshawar: A young Taliban suicide bomber today blew himself up outside a crowded government office in Pakistan’s restive northwest, killing at least 26 people and injuring nearly 60 others, in one of the deadliest attacks since the Peshawar school carnage that left over 150 dead.
Kathmandu: Around 100 people were today injured in Nepal’s historical Janakpur town as agitating Madhesis clashed with security personnel, less than two weeks after the country’s first woman President escaped unhurt in a similar showdown over the controversial new Constitution.
Islamabad: The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan will meet on January 14-15 to prepare a schedule of meeting for the comprehensive dialogue, Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said today though he cautioned against “unrealistic expectations” from the talk.


Frankfurt: Global economic growth will be “disappointing and patchy” in 2016, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, wrote in an article published in the German business daily Handelsblatt today.

Karachi: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today said it is “high time” India and Pakistan set aside their hostilities even as he expressed confidence that the spirit of goodwill generated by his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s visit to Lahore will persist.


Dhaka: Bangladesh has recalled its High Commissioner in Pakistan amid the diplomatic spat between the two countries over the 1971 war crimes trial and Islamabad’s withdrawal of a “terror-linked” diplomat from Dhaka.

Dhaka: A Bangladesh court today sentenced two students to death and awarded various jail terms to six persons including outlawed Ansarullah Bangla Team chief for killing activist Ahmed Rajib Haider, the first of a string of brutal murders of secular bloggers.


Dubai: A huge fire ripped through a luxury Dubai hotel, injuring 16 people, just a few hours before the emirate celebrated the new year with a spectacular fireworks display nearby.

United Nations: With the start of the new year, the UN today ushered in the ambitious 2030 Sustainable Development Goals that aim to end poverty, hunger and assure gender equally while building a life of dignity for all over the next 15 years.

Beijing: Couples in China are now allowed to have two children as the new family planning law came into effect from today, ending the world’s most populous country’s controversial one-child policy amid concerns over an ageing population and shrinking workforce.

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