Families of Sydney siege victims visit memorial

Sydney : The families of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, who were killed in the Sydney cafe siege, visited a makeshift memorial in Martin Place Thursday.

Relatives of Dawson looked visibly shaken as they hugged each other and read cards left by thousands of well-wishers, Xinhua reported.

Dawson, 38, a barrister and mother-of-three, along with Lindt Chocolate Cafe manager Johnson, 34, were pronounced dead after the 16-hour siege which ended early Tuesday.


UN secretary general calls for international mobilisation against terror

By Arul Louis ,

United Nations: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for “mobilising all resources and political will” to fight terrorism in the wake of the massacre of 132 school children in Pakistan and said he will consider measures to help that country combat extremism.

Answering a reporter's question at his year-end press conference here Wednesday about the attack, Ban said that terrorism was a problem spreading to several countries and those affected by it needed help.

US, Cuba restoring ties very positive: UN chief

United Nations: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday heralded restoration of ties between the US and Cuba as "positive news", thanking leaders of both countries for "the very important step".

"The news is very positive. I would like to thank President Barack Obama of the United States and President Raul Castro of Cuba for taking this very important step towards normalising relations," said Ban at a press conference here, Xinhua reported.


Toll in Indonesia's landslide reaches 79

Jakarta : Rescuers have recovered 79 bodies after a landslide in Banjarnegara district in Indonesia's Central Java and are searching for at least 29 more people who remain missing, officials said here Wednesday.

Five people were still undergoing treatment at a nearby hospital for serious injuries and nine others for minor injuries, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency, told Xinhua over phone.


Obama to sign Russia sanctions bill

Washington : US President Barack Obama intends to sign into law a bill that will ratchet up sanctions on Russia and provide additional assistance to Ukraine, the White House said Tuesday.

At a regular briefing, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest expressed the administration's concerns about the legislation because "it includes some sanctions language that does not reflect the consultations that are ongoing".


Was a 17-hour agonising wait: Sydney hostage's father

Kolkata: It was an agonising 17-hour wait for the parents of Puspendu Ghosh, who was trapped by a gunman in the hostage drama at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney Monday.

"At around 8.15 a.m. Monday I was told by one of his colleagues that my son was in the cafe when the gunman took hostage those inside. He told me to watch the news on television, and said they were in touch with the police in Sidney," said Puspendu's father Pushpal Kumar Ghosh.


Kenya suspends licenses of over 500 NGOs

Nairobi : Kenya Tuesday it has suspended licenses and freezed bank accounts of 510 NGOs, 15 of which have been accused of having ties with terrorist groups and money laundering.

Apart from those 15, the rest were suspended for alleged accounting irregularities, such as failing to submit audited annual reports, said a statement by the NGO Coordinating Council (NGOCC).

Some of the organisations suspended are of great international importance, such as Doctors without Borders and Intervida, according to the list offered by the government.


Toll in Indonesia landslide rises to 51

Bangkok : The toll in last week's landslide in central Java region of Indonesia has reached 51 with another 57 people still missing even as search and rescue operations continued, media reported Tuesday quoting a government agency.

The spokesperson for the country's National Agency for Disaster Management, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 43 bodies of victims of the landslide in Jemblung, in central Java, had been identified and handed over to their families, according to the Jakarta Globe newspaper.


World's oldest crocodile turns 114

Johannesburg : Henry, the world's oldest crocodile, turned 114 Tuesday and will be the star at a birthday bash with balloons and cake for all well-wishers.

Henry's party is being held at "Crocworld" in the South African city of Scottsburgh where employees of the nature reserve briefed Efe news agency on the reptile's life story.

Henry was born in 1900 and began his life as a source of terror for one of the tribes in Botswana which inhabits a delta area on the Okavango River, said centre director Martin Rodrigues.


Nepal condemns school attack in Pakistan

Kathmandu : The Nepal government is shocked to learn of the terrorist attack on a school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar Tuesday that tragically resulted in the killing and injury of a large number of innocent people, mostly students, the ministry of foreign affairs said.

At least 126 people, mostly children, were killed in the deadly attack carried out by the Taliban in Peshawar.