International news of the week
Bangkok: After a brief lull in anti-government protests against embattled Thai Premier Yingluck Shinawatra, chief protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban called for a major rally in Bangkok on March 29 to demand reforms before the country holds a fresh election.
Kuala Lumpur: India today deployed two long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft in the Indian Ocean to help trace the Malaysian plane that mysteriously went missing over two weeks ago, carrying 239 people on board.
Kuala Lumpur: The missing Malaysia Airlines plane with 239 people on board, including five Indians, crashed in remote southern Indian Ocean with no survivors and their families have been informed, Prime Minister Najib Razak announced today, 17 days after the jet vanished mysteriously.
Kiev: Ukraine today ordered its outnumbered troops to withdraw from Crimea following the peninsula’s lightning seizure and annexation by Russia in response to the fall in Kiev of a pro-Kremlin regime.
Beijing: China asked Malaysia to make its officials part of a probe into the mysterious crash of a Malaysian airliner in the Indian Ocean even as Beijing decided to send a special envoy there to seek more information.
The Hague: India warned that nuclear terrorism and clandestine proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including attempts by “non-state actors”, pose a serious threat to global peace and any breach in nuclear security could undermine public confidence in atomic energy.
Washington: The G7 group of top economic powers have kicked out Russia from the powerful G8 over its annexation of Crimea and threatened to impose far-reaching sanctions if Moscow continued its incursion into Ukraine.
Cairo: Egypt’s army chief and Defence Minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi today resigned from his post to run for president in an election he is expected to win easily.
Islamabad/Peshawar: The banned Pakistani Taliban today agreed to continue its ceasefire after holding first-ever direct talks with government negotiators at an secret location in the restive tribal region of North Waziristan.
Kuala Lumpur/Perth: In the “most credible lead” so far in the multination hunt for the crashed Malaysian airliner, 122 objects were spotted in remote southern Indian Ocean by French satellite that could possibly be debris of the ill-fated plane that went missing 18 days ago.
United Nations: The UN General Assembly today adopted a resolution reaffirming Ukraine’s territorial integrity and calling as illegal the referendum that led to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in a vote from which India abstained.
Islamabad: The chief judge in Pervez Musharraf’s treason trial dramatically stormed out of the courtroom in “disgust” after repeatedly being accused of bias against the former Pakistani military dictator but later clarified that he was not recusing himself from the case.
Bangkok/Perth: A Thai satellite has spotted hundreds of floating objects in southern Indian Ocean that could possibly be the debris of the crashed Malaysian plane, even as bad weather today grounded multination aerial search for the aircraft’s wreckage.
Perth: The search for the crashed Malaysian jet today dramatically shifted 1,100 km further northeast in the Indian Ocean and multiple objects were spotted in the new area with fresh radar data suggesting the plane flew faster and ran out of fuel more quickly than estimated.
Colombo: An elated President Mahinda Rajapaksa today ordered the release of all 98 Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody for alleged poaching, a day after India abstained from voting on a US-backed UN resolution censuring Colombo on its human rights record.