IMF chief faces investigation in corruption case

Paris : International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde has been put under investigation in France for "negligence" after being questioned for hours in a corruption case, judicial sources said Wednesday. She denied wrongdoing.

Lagarde, 58, however, said she will continue as IMF director, a post she holds since July 2011, a French media report said.


Fiji military to stay away from politics

Suva : Fiji's military will support the elected government and accept the outcome of the 2014 general election, the Fijian military commander said Wednesday.

Addressing military personnel who have just returned from the UN mission in Syria, Brig. Gen. Mosese Tikoitoga urged the 196 officers and others to remain apolitical at all times, Xinhua reported.

"We should not be involved in any political party activities nor should we be participating in any political party activities," he said.


Divided Sri Lanka haunts a man at the wheels (Book Review)

By M.R. Narayan Swamy,

Title: Noon Tide Toll; Author: Romesh Gunesekera; Publisher: Penguin Books: Pages: 237; Price: Rs.299

How does Sri Lanka fare after the end of a quarter century of ethnic conflict? Vasantha ferries visitors all around the island in a van bought with savings after retiring early. The road journeys are as much an eye opener to the Sri Lankan driver as much to the men and women he transports - mainly foreigners and Sri Lankans now settled abroad. The still bruised north, the Sinhalese south and the now carefree Colombo come alive as Romesh Gunesekera, a gifted writer, uses Vasantha to take readers from one spot to another, from one saga to another.

Israeli air strikes kill four in Gaza: Medics

Gaza: Israel's massive air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip Tuesday killed four Palestinians, including two electricity workers, medics said.

Gaza health ministry's spokesperson Ashraf al-Qedra told reporters that an Israeli war jet bombed a car in Gaza city's neighbourhood of al-Tuffah, killing two people in the vehicle, Xinhua reported.

He also said two Palestinian workers, who worked for the Gaza electricity corporation, were killed when an Israeli war jet missile struck their car in northern Gaza Strip refugee camp of Jabalia.

Obama approves air surveillance of IS in Syria

Washington:US President Barack Obama has authorised surveillance flights over Syria in a move to gain intelligence on the activities of Islamic State (IS) Sunni militant group, BBC reported Tuesday.

He had approved over the weekend reconnaissance flights by unmanned and manned aircraft, officials here said.

The Bashar al-Assad-led Syrian government Monday said it would work with the international community in the fight against IS. Western governments have, however, so far rejected suggestions that they collaborate with the Assad government.

Toll in Japan landslides hits 63

Tokyo : The toll in rain-triggered landslides in the Japanese city of Hiroshima rose to 63 Tuesday, while 25 people remained missing.

Three more people were confirmed dead Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 63, Xinhua reported citing the Hiroshima prefectural police as telling the Japanese media.

About 2,800 rescuers continued their efforts in searching for survivors seven days after downpours triggered the mountainside disaster.


WHO: Ebola killed 120 health workers

Geneva : More than 120 health workers have died of Ebola across west Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, claiming the epidemic had affected an "unprecedented number of medical staff".

Japanese PM set to reshuffle cabinet

Tokyo : Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Tuesday said he would reshuffle his cabinet Sep 3, the first time since 2012 when he took office.

"I would like to make fresh changes as we enter the second chapter of Japan's recovery featuring national security and regional economies," Xinhua quoted Abe as saying at a meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Regarding the reshuffle, Abe said he intends to retain Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, Finance Minister Taro Aso and Economics Minister Akira Amari.


Myanmar rebels urged to work for nation's development

Nay Pyi Taw : Myanmar President U Thein Sein has urged rebel groups to work for the development of the nation, officials said Tuesday.

In a meeting with leaders of armed groups from the Shan state, U Thein Sein guaranteed development of education, healthcare services and rehabilitation programmes in the ethnic areas, Xinhua reported.

The Shan ethnic leaders reaffirmed their commitment to safeguarding the sovereignty of the country and to promote a dialogue for peace.


Indian-American named to key post in US island territory

New York: Indian-American lawyer Reena Patel has been named civil division chief in the attorney general's office in the Northern Mariana Islands, one of the five inhabited US island territories.

Officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), it consists of fifteen islands in the western Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines.

Patel's appointment was announced recently by the territory's acting Attorney General Gilbert Birnbrich.