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International

1,129 killed in eastern Ukraine crisis: UN report

Geneva/Kiev : At least 1,129 people have been killed and 3,442 others wounded in the violent conflicts in eastern Ukraine since mid-April, the UN said Monday.

According to a report released by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, the conflicts have also displaced over 100,000 people.

It also voices concern over escalating violence in eastern Ukraine, saying that armed groups continue to abduct, detain, torture and execute people in the restive Lugansk and Donetsk regions, Xinhua reported.

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Protect journalists, US tells Sri Lanka

Colombo : The US Monday said it had urged Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to ensure the protection of journalists in the country.

A US embassy statement said it was "deeply concerned by the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of a journalism training session in Colombo over the weekend".

The training was focussed on digital security for Jaffna-based journalists and financially supported by the US government.

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16 killed in Philippines in Islamist militants' attack

Manila : At least 16 people were killed and 13 injured Monday in an ambush staged by members of the militants group Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, an official said.

The official said the victims were aboard two jeeps when they were attacked by some 50 Abu Sayyaf militants in Talipao town in Sulu province, Xinhua reported.

The official said that all the victims were civilians on their way to another area to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday which marks the end of Ramadan.

Abu Sayyaf is an Islamist militant group based in and around Jolo and Basilan.

Fresh EU sanction hinders international security cooperation: Russia

Moscow : Russia Saturday accused the European Union (EU) of curtailing bilateral cooperation over international and regional security issues by imposing new sanction measures against it.

"The new sanction list is a direct indication that the EU countries have chosen the course toward fully phasing out interaction with Russia on international and regional security sphere," Xinhua quoted the Russian foreign ministry as saying in a statement.

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Promote culture of excellence in higher education: President

Raipur : A culture of excellence must be promoted in institutes of higher academic learning in the country, President Pranab Mukherjee said Saturday.

Speaking at the golden jubilee convocation ceremony of Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University here, he said a country like India which has the largest young population in the world, must be better equipped in preparing human resource.

The president said a culture of excellence must be promoted in higher academic institutions and core competencies must be nurtured.

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15 civilians killed in eastern Ukraine

Lugansk : Fifteen civilians were killed and about 60 injured in mortar attacks on Lugansk in eastern Ukraine, media reported Saturday.

Lugansk was under massive mortar and heavy artillery fire from Ukrainian government forces, the press service of the self-proclaimed republic reported citing information from the Lugansk commandant.

People died when houses collapsed, the Novorossia news agency said.

On Friday, five people were killed and two wounded by mortar fire in the eastern Ukrainian city.

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Algerian transport minister to visit AH-5017 crash site

Ouagadougou : Algeria's Transport Minister Amar Ghoul is expected to arrive in Ouagadougou Saturday to visit the site where Air Algeria's flight AH5017 crashed Thursday.

Burkina Faso's Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedraogo Friday said that while in Ouagadougou, Ghoul would hold talks with Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, Xinhua reported.

Flight AH5017 from Ouagadougou to Algiers crashed Thursday in northern Mali with 116 people on board.

None of the passengers who were from 16 nationalities survived.

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Defeated Indonesian presidential candidate challenges results

Jakarta : Prabowo Subianto, the defeated candidate in Indonesia's closest ever presidential election, Friday filed a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court (MK) to challenge the official election results here.

The move is widely seen here as a bid to prolong the political uncertainty in the country.

Tantowi Yahya, spokesman for Prabowo's campaign team, said on a local TV channel that attorneys for the former general had already filed a lawsuit in MK and have appealed to the court to abort the results of the election, Xinhua reported.

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Netherlands to receive 74 more MH17 bodies

The Hague : Two more planes with a total of 74 bodies of the victims of the crashed Malaysia Airline flight MH17 will reach Eindhoven Airport late Friday.

The planes carrying the bodies are expected to land Friday evening followed by a sombre ceremony, a minute of silence and transportation of the coffins in a convoy from Eindhoven to Hilversum, Xinhua reported.

One of the planes will be accompanied by Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans and his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop.

Till Wednesday, 40 bodies were taken to Holland.

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Myanmar's third ethnic summit begins

Yangon : The third Myanmar ethnic summit began Friday in the country's northernmost Kachin state.

The three-day summit of ethnic leaders at the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) came after peace negotiators of the Myanmar government and ethnic armed groups adopted their second draft in Yangon in May, Xinhua reported.

A 16-member Leading Committee for the Third Ethnic Summit, led by chairman of Kayin National Union (KNU), Gen. Saw Mutu Say Poe, was formed Thursday, a day ahead of the summit.

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