Shutdown hits Janakpur demanding Modi visit

By Anil Giri,

Kathmandu : A shutdown affected normal life in Janakpur in Nepal Friday after 22 political parties announced a strike protesting against the cancellation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the town revered by Hindus and Buddhists.

Life was thrown out of gear due to the 'bandh' called by the parties demanding that Modi visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, as well as Janakpur as he had announced in August.

Patient with Ebola symptoms being monitored in New York

New York: A person showing symptoms of Ebola has been subjected to medical tests at a New York hospital, after returning from the Ebola-hit country of Mali.

The patient, who has not been publicly identified, has been put in quarantine in New York's Bellevue Hospital, according to official sources.

Medical personnel are performing tests to determine if the patient has Ebola and the results are expected soon, an official statement said Thursday.


UNSC resolution includes policing in UN peacekeeping operations

United Nations: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously adopted a resolution to include policing in UN peacekeeping operations and special political missions.

The UNSC "resolves to include, as appropriate, policing as an integral part of the mandate of (the) UN peacekeeping operations and special political missions, and to give clear, credible, and achievable mandates for policing-related activities," said the resolution, according to a Xinhua report Thursday.


Over 4,000 killed in eastern Ukraine conflict: OSCE

Vienna : More than 4,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands of people have been injured in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the special envoy of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said Thursday.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to leave the war-hit region, OSCE chairperson Heidi Tagliavini told a session of the OSCE Permanent Council, adding that the prospects of settling the crisis were rather "clouded".

The crisis remained very dangerous both for the stability of the region and for Europe, she said.


Colombian rebels to release abducted general

Havana : Colombian officials and leftist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have agreed to release Brig. Gen. Ruben Dario Alzate and four other people who were abducted by the guerrillas, Cuban and Norwegian representatives said.

"They will be released as soon as possible," Rodolfo Benitez and Rita Sandberg, respective representatives of peace process guarantor countries Cuba and Norway, said in a statement Wednesday.


Britain lauds inclusion of Libyan groups in terror list

London : British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has welcomed the UN Security Council's decision to put Libya's Ansar Al Sharia Benghazi (AAS-B) and Ansar Al Sharia Derna (AAS-D) in the list of terrorist organisations.

Both groups have links with Al Qaeda and are responsible for acts of terror in Libya, including bomb attacks, kidnappings, and murder, said Hammond in a statement issued by the government Wednesday.

Sri Lanka announces 2015 presidential election

Colombo : Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Thursday signed the proclamation declaring the presidential election next year, the president's office said.

The president, who took power in 2005, is seeking a third term in office, two years ahead of completing his second term.

Cabinet spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said Rajapaksa had been nominated by the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), according to Xinhua.

He said the SLFP was unanimous in its decision despite opposition from some coalition members.


South Korea warns of stern response to North's n-threat

Seoul : South Korea Thursday warned North Korea, saying that it would face a stern response from the international community if it conducts another nuclear test.

If North Korea "takes such actions as the threat of nuclear test that worsens situations further, it will face a stern response from the international community as the action obviously violates the UN Security Council's resolution", Xinhua reported citing a statement by South Korea's foreign ministry.


Terrorism can hamper fertility

London : A significant study has revealed that on average, terrorism decreases fertility - reducing both the expected number of children a woman has over her lifetime and the number of live births occurring during each year.

"Besides illuminating another far-reaching effect of terrorism, the relationship between terrorism and fertility will be critical to understand when policymakers attempt to deal with other demographic transitions and security concerns," said Claude Berrebi from Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Reaching n-deal with Iran before deadline difficult: US

Washington : US Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken has told lawmakers that it will be "difficult" for Washington and other powers to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran before next Monday, the deadline set for finalising the negotiations.

"Right now, I think it's going to be difficult to get to where we want to go. It's not impossible," Blinken, President Barack Obama's pick to be deputy secretary of state, said at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination hearing Wednesday.