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Thursday, June 23rd, 2016


Turkey says normalisation deal depends on Israel

ANKARA – Turkey said Wednesday that reaching a deal to normalise relations with Israel downgraded after a 2010 Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish vessel depended on steps taken by the Jewish state. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey had made its demands crystal clear ahead of upcoming talks – while insisting that Ankara’s relationship with Palestinian militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, was not a condition in the talks. Two of Turkey’s key conditions for normalisation – an apology for the deadly 2010 raid and compensation – were largelyRead More

US Democrats stage sit-in to demand action on guns

WASHINGTON – US Democrats staged a rare sit-in Wednesday in the House of Representatives, demanding that the Republican-led body vote on gun-control legislation following the Orlando nightclub massacre. “We have to occupy the floor of the House until there is action,” Democratic Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon who marched with Reverend Martin Luther King Jr in the 1960s, said before he and dozens of colleagues sat down on the carpeted well of the chamber. The dramatic action came just as the House presiding officer moved to declare theRead More

EU agrees new border force to tackle migrant crisis

BRUSSELS – The European Union has reached agreement to set up a new border and coastguard force that could intervene in front-line countries like Greece and Italy to curb the influx of migrants. Negotiators for the 28 EU member states and the European Parliament said Wednesday they had endorsed a proposal from the European Commission, the bloc’s executive, to set up the force by the summer. The parliament is expected to vote on the issue in a key committee next week, and if it clears that hurdle, to act onRead More

Japan, Russia talks on elusive WWII peace treaty

TOKYO – Japan and Russia on Wednesday held talks aimed at resolving a territorial dispute dating back to World War II, which has prevented the neighbours from signing a peace treaty formally ending wartime hostilities. The two countries have diplomatic relations but ties have been strained by a dispute over four islands, known in Japan as the Northern Territories and in Russia as part of the Kuril Islands. Chikahito Harada, Japan’s special envoy for Japan-Russia relations, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov met in Tokyo for the one-day meeting.Read More

Time over for Afghan refugees: Aziz

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan yesterday said Afghan refugees’ presence in Pakistan was not viable now. The comments came amid tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan over the border issues. Pakistan has erected a gate at the Torkham border and plans more but Kabul is raising hue and cry against the step. A visit by Afghan deputy foreign minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai this week could not yield any results but the two sides are again expected to meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit– scheduled for June 23-24 to hammerRead More

Terrorists silence a Sufi

KARACHI – One of country’s best known Sufi musicians was target-killed in Karachi on Wednesday, triggering an outpouring of grief over what police described as an “act of terror”. Amjad Sabri, aged around 45, was travelling by car from his home in the city’s eastern Korangi area to a television studio for a Ramazan programme, when a motorcycle pulled up alongside the vehicle and two attackers opened fire, Farooq Sanjarani, a police officer said. Officials said two gunmen shot at the windscreen of Sabri’s car as it drove off aRead More