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.


Ukrainian cabinet appoints acting PM

Kiev : The Ukrainian cabinet Friday appointed Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman as acting prime minister, one day after Arseny Yatsenyuk announced his resignation from the post.

Groysman will serve as acting prime minister until parliament elects a new interim head of the cabinet, Xinhua reported citing the government's press service.

According to the Ukrainian Constitution, only parliament has the power to dismiss the prime minister by voting within 10 days after receiving a written resignation request.


Typhoon Ramassun toll 62 in China

Beijing : The number of people killed in typhoon Rammasun in China has escalated to 62 with 21 missing, officials said Friday.

Rammasun is the strongest typhoon to hit China in four decades and has affected more than 11 million people in the southern coastal provinces of Hainan, Guangdong, Yunnan and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Xinhua reported.

A total of 862,000 people have been evacuated and some 261,000 are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

The typhoon has caused direct economic losses of 38.48 billion yuan ($6.25 billion).


UN hails Central African Republic ceasefire

United Nations : The UN Security Council welcomed a ceasefire signed by warring armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR).

In a statement Thursday, members of the council called on all parties to immediately implement the pact, Xinhua reported.

"The members of the Security Council underlined that this agreement is a first step in a wider political process in the CAR of ensuring durable peace, respect for human rights, protection of civilians and the rule of law," the statement said.


US House panel supports lawsuit against Obama

Washington : The US House Rules Committee Thursday approved a resolution allowing the full House to vote on authorising a lawsuit against US President Barack Obama, accusing him of abusing executive authority.

The 7-4 vote was split along partisan lines, just as the vote in the full chamber is sure to be. A vote by the whole House is expected next week, Xinhua reported.

The lawsuit has further spawned a fierce debate between the House Republicans and the federal government.


Algeria confirms missing aircraft crashed in Mali

Algiers : Algeria Thursday confirmed that the missing flight AH 5017 of Air Algeria with 116 people on board crashed in Mali, media reports said.

"We can confirm that the plane crashed in Malian territory and there are rescue teams that are close to the wreck," Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra was quoted as saying by the APS news agency, according to Xinhua.

The minister made the statement at a press conference in Algiers, after the signing of the roadmap of peace negotiations between Malian government and rebel groups based in northern Mali.


Missing Air Algerie plane probably crashed: French minister

Paris : The missing Air Algerie plane from Burkina Faso to Algiers, which had French nationals comprising almost half of the 110 passengers aboard, "probably" crashed, French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius said Thursday.

"Despite intensive search efforts no trace of the aircraft has yet been found. The plane probably crashed," Fabius was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

"If the disaster is confirmed, it is a major tragedy that hits our nation," he added.


Ukrainian PM announces resignation

Kiev : Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk announced his resignation Thursday over parliament's "ineffectiveness" after two political parties withdrew from Ukraine's ruling coalition.

"I am announcing about my resignation due to the collapse of the coalition and blocking of the government initiatives," Yatsenyuk told parliament.

He said the break-up of the ruling coalition meant the parliament was unable to work in a proper way and pass the laws needed for normal functioning of the economy, Xinhua reported.


Nigeria twin blasts toll rises to 110

Lagos : The toll from the twin bomb attacks in Nigeria's Kaduna State Wednesday has risen to 110, with more injured victims being rushed to hospital for treatment, a humanitarian aid official said Thursday.

Abubakar Zakari Adamu, a spokesperson for the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) told reporters that 13 out of the severely injured victims succumbed in the hospitals.

A Xinhua reporter in the state learned that hundreds of people travelling through the north central state have been stranded following the 24-hour curfew imposed Kaduna city.

Norway on alert over terrorist threat

Oslo : The Norwegian anti-terror police Thursday said they had been informed of a planned terrorist attack against the country.

At a hastily-convened press conference, Alana Bjoernland, chief of Norway's anti-terror police agency PST, announced that suspects associated with a terrorist organisation in Syria plan to launch an attack in Norway in a few days.

The PST received the information from usually reliable sources, but is uncertain about where and when an attack would take place, Xinhua reported citing Norwegian news agency NTB.