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International

Tunisia goes to polls for presidential election

London : Voting began in Tunisia Sunday for the first presidential election since the 2011 "Arab Spring" that triggered uprisings across the region.

MOre than 25 candidates are in the fray, but incumbent Moncef Marzouki and anti-Islamist leader Beji Caid Essebsi are widely seen as the favourites, BBC reported.

The election forms part of political changes since the revolution that ousted leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

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Four dead in China earthquake

Bejing : At least four people died after an earthquake measuring 6.3 magnitude on the Richter scale hit China.

The earthquake hit south-west China's Sichuan province, Xinhua reported Sunday.

The quake struck at 4:55 p.m. Saturday, with its epicentre in Tagong town, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

Six of the injured were in a critical condition, while five others suffered severe injuries. The remaining 43 people had minor injuries, according to the government.

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39 injured as earthquake hits Japan

Tokyo : At least 39 people were injured after a 6.7-magnitude quake on the Richter scale hit Japan, media reported Sunday.

The quake hit Nagano City and Hakuba village in Japan, where at least 10 homes collapsed late Saturday, Xinhua reported.

More than 80 people spent the night in an evacuation shelter, following the 6.7-magnitude quake that struck the region at 10:08 p.m. local time Saturday.

The quake was revised to 6.7-magnitude from 6.8, according to the Japan's Meteorological Agency.

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Immunity does not apply to Modi, says American Justice Center in legal brief

US Court directs State Department to respond by December 10th to AJC's "Memorandum of Law" challenging assertions of immunity.

By TCN News,

Report clears Obama administration on Benghazi attack

Washington: A two-year Congressional probe into an attack on a US diplomatic post in Libya's Benghazi city has cleared the Obama administration of accusations of mishandling its response, media reports said Saturday.

The report released Friday by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee found the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the attack, in which ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues were killed, Press TV reported.

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Release Of Al Jazeera journalists will confirm regional realignment

By Saeed Naqvi ,

My crystal ball tells me that the three Al Jazeera journalists, incarcerated in Cairo for the past six months, are about to be released.

The three were part of Egypt's most powerful news bureau during the brief spell of President Mohammad Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood.

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28 killed in Kenya attack

Nairobi: At least 28 people were killed Saturday in an attack on a bus in Kenya's Mandera county, authorities said.

A group of over 100 armed men stopped the Nairobi-bound bus and ordered everyone out at around 5.30 a.m., Xinhua quoted Mandera Deputy County Commissioner Elvis Korir as saying.

"We were told that 100 armed men stopped the bus just after it left Arabia area and all the passengers were asked to come down and divided into two groups of Somalis and non-Somalis," Korir said, adding the non-Somalis were sprayed with bullets.

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Plague kills 40 in Madagascar

Antananarivo: At least 40 people were killed in an outbreak of plague in Madagascar, a media report said Saturday.

The disease may spread rapidly as fleas on the island have been found with high levels of resistance to a leading insecticide, BBC reported citing a World Health Organisation (WHO) warning.

Humans usually develop the bubonic form of the plague (swollen lymph nodes especially occur in the armpit and groin in persons suffering from bubonic plague) after being bitten by an infected flea carried by rodents, the report said.

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Nepal nod for Reliance, Satluj to invest billions of rupees

Kathmandu: The Nepal Investment Board headed by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has given its nod to two prominent Indian groups to invest billions of rupees in cement and hydropower projects.

The NIB cleared the decks for the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group to set up a cement plant, with an annual capacity of 2.3 million tonnes, worth NRs.40 billion.

A report on the downstream and upstream impact of the project will be readied within six months so that other projects or local initiatives would not be affected, said NIB CEO Radesh Pant.

Nisha Desai Biswal headed to India ahead of Obama visit

By Arun Kumar ,

Washington: US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Nisha Desai Biswal is heading to India Monday ahead of President Barack Obama's January visit to join India's Republic Day parade as chief guest.

The State Department announcement of Biswal's trip to India "for internal consultations and bilateral meetings" came shortly after the White House announced Obama's acceptance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invitation.

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