No UN inquiry now on Pachauri allegations, Ban praises Pachauri's 'critical' leadership

United Nations: There is no move by the UN now to hold an inquiry into the allegations against Rajendra Pachauri who has resigned as the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric told reporters Tuesday.

Answering a reporter's question if the UN planned its own inquiry, Dujarric said, "We've seen the press reports of the case, and I understand the case is being investigated by national authorities. And that's where it stands."


Nine killed in Czech shooting

Prague: A shooting in the eastern Czech Republic town of Uhersky Brod left at least nine people dead Tuesday, media reported.

An armed man reportedly burst into a restaurant in the town, some 300 km southeast of Czech capital Prague, and opened fire.

Some 20 people were thought to have been in the restaurant at the time of the attack, BBC reported.

According to some reports, the killer was detained shortly after the shooting, while other reports said the shooter was dead.

This was the third shooting attack on European cities and towns in the last two months.


IS kidnaps 56 Christians in Syria

Damascus: The Islamic State (IS) militants Monday kidnapped 56 Syrian Christians of Assyrian minority in Al-Hasakah province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Assyrians were abducted from the town of Tal Shamiram in the countryside of the predominantly-Kurdish city of Hasaka, Xinhua reported.

Tens of other Assyrians were also taken into captivity by the IS in the town of Tal Hurmos, adjacent to Tal Shamiram, according to the London-based watchdog group.

Israel cuts power to Palestinian territories over unpaid debt

Jerusalem: Israel's Electric Company (IEC) on Monday cut power supply to two Palestinian cities in the West Bank for nearly an hour, due to an unpaid debt by the Palestinian Authority.

The power supply to the town of Jenin and Nablus was cut for 45 minutes on Monday over an unpaid debt of two billion shekels (nearly $500 million) by the Palestinian Authority and the east Jerusalem Electric Company.

Gandhi statue to be unveiled in Britain's Parliament Square

London : A statue of Mahatma Gandhi will be unveiled in Britain's prestigeous Parliament Square in London next month, a media report said Monday.

The memorial will be unveiled March 14 and will stand alongside those of Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela. The Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust has given one million pounds (over $1.5 million) for the sculpture.

Gandhi will be the first Indian, and the only person never to have been in public office, to be honoured with a statue in the square, BBC reported.

Greek programme must be realistically funded: EU commissioner

Paris : European Union (EU) Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici Monday said the reform programme that will be submitted by the Greek government has to be ambitious, but also realistically funded, and the commitments made by the country, not only the current government, must also be taken into account.


Five killed in Nigeria market attack

Nairobi: At least five people were killed and 30 others injured Sunday in a suicide attack staged by a woman at a market in the northeastern Nigerian town of Potiskum, witnesses said.

The attack came about 1.25 p.m. when the terrorist blew herself up at the market entrance after getting into a dispute with the guards who were attempting to search her at the security checkpoint.


Indian-American professor gets top US chemistry award

New York: Purnendu Dasgupta, a Jenkins Garrett professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Arlington, has been awarded the 2015 American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry J. Calvin Giddings Award for Excellence in Education.

The national award recognises a scientist, who has enhanced the professional development of analytical chemistry students, developed and published innovative experiments, designed and improved equipment or teaching labs and published influential textbooks or significant articles on teaching analytical chemistry.

Boko Haram renews attack in Nigeria, 21 killed

Abuja: At least 21 people were killed as suspected Boko Haram fighters renewed armed attacks on three villages in northeast Nigerian state of Borno, witnesses and security sources said.

Militants stormed the villages Friday near Chibok Town, where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted 10 months ago in the southern part of Borno State, shooting sporadically, Dauda Ali, a Chibok resident who witnessed the attack, told Xinhua via telephone.

US woman detained in Germany for allegedly assisting Al Qaeda

Berlin: A US woman, accused of providing assistance to the members of Al Qaeda terrorist group with clothing, first-aid equipment and donations, has been arrested in the southwestern German town of Heilbronn.

Police in the federal state of Baden-Wurttemberg and Stuttgart prosecutors said in a joint statement issued Friday that the arrest took place Feb 10, in compliance with an order issued by authorities in the US.

US investigators accuse the woman, 42, of providing support to Al Qaeda from mid-2013 until earlier this year, in collaboration with others.