Meghalaya CM bats for more sea routes with Bangladesh

Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Sunday favoured more sea routes via Bangladesh to promote trade and business in India's north-eastern states.

"With increased bilateral relations between both countries, there is need for utilising the proximity of sea route via Bangladesh to promote trade and business in north-eastern India," Sangma said while addressing the Bangladesh Investment & Policy Summit 2016 in Dhaka.

India welcomes Nepal constitution amendments

New Delhi: India on Sunday welcomed the two amendments passed by Nepal's parliament as "positive developments".

"We regard the two amendments passed yesterday (on Saturday) by the Nepali parliament as positive developments," external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said.

"We hope that other outstanding issues are similarly addressed in a constructive spirit," he tweeted.

'West didn't know what to do in Afghanistan'

By Vikas Datta

Jaipur: The western intervention in Afghanistan was flawed from the very start in its rationale, goals and implementation, which accounts for why their over a decade long military involvement ended without securing peace in the country, and may have made it more dangerous, says British journalist Christina Lamb who has been covering the region for nearly three decades.

"The Western powers never knew what they wanted to do in Afghanistan.

Chess forbidden in Islam, rules Saudi grand mufti

London : Saudi Arabia's grand mufti Sheikh Abdullah al-Sheikh has said that playing chess is forbidden in Islam, a British newspaper reported on Thursday.

Responding to a question on a television show in which he issues fatwas (religious decrees) after listening to viewers' questions, Sheikh said playing the board game is "haram" (forbidden) as it encourages gambling and is a waste of time, The Guardian reported.

He claimed that the game was "included under gambling" and was "a waste of time and money and a cause for hatred and enmity between players".

14 Indian diaspora students picked to compete in top US science contest

New York: Fourteen students from the Indian diaspora have been selected to compete for $1 million in prizes at the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search Competition this year by fielding high-level projects ranging from cancer vaccines to complex mathematical theories.

They are among the 40 US high school students who made it to the finals of the competition sponsored by Intel Corporation and conducted by the Society for Science & the Public.

Dalit scholar's suicide an indictment of BJP's Hindutva agenda, say Indian Americans

By TCN News

Washington: The Indian American Muslim Council, an advocacy group aimed at safeguarding India's pluralist and tolerant ethos, expressed shock and outrage over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad University. Vemula and four other members of Ambedkar Students Association were victimised and subjected to relentless harassment by the University officials, said the Council.

Modi condemns Pakistan university attack

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday condemned the terror attack at the Bacha Khan University in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

"Strongly condemn the terror attack at Bacha Khan University in Pakistan. Condolences to families of the deceased. Prayers with the injured," Modi tweeted.

At least 15 people, including four gunmen, were killed when terrorists stormed the university campus earlier on Wednesday, Dawn reported citing sources from the Edhi Foundation emergency assistance service.

IS releases 270 out of 400 kidnapped in Syria

Damascus: The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group released 270 out of the 400 people it had kidnapped when its militants stormed a town in Syria's eastern province of Deir al-Zour earlier this week, a monitor group reported on Wednesday.

The 270 released people were kids under 14, and men over 55 years old, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It added that 130 men between the age 15 and 55 were still held by the IS militants, who will interrogate them on charges of cooperation with the Syrian government in the town of Bughailiyeh.

Oral nutrition supplement may lower death rate in elderly

New York : Specialised oral nutrition supplement can lower by as much as 50 percent the death rate in older malnourished patients with a heart or lung disease, results from a new clinical trial reveal.

Results of the American study showed a significantly lower (50 percent) death rate for patients who received the specialised nutrition supplement.

Also, one life could be saved for every 21 patients who received the specialised nutrition supplement, the researchers at Texas A&M University, in the US, estimated.

A letter to Rohith Vemula from a young Muslim

Mahtab Alam for

Dear Rohith,