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International

Malaysian plane down in Ukraine, 295 aboard feared killed

Kuala Lumpur/Kiev/Moscow : A Malaysian Airlines flight crashed Thursday in Ukraine near the Russian border, with all the 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board feared to have been killed. There were conflicting reports on how the plane went down, with some suggesting it might have been shot down.

"A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, started descending 50 km before entering Russian airspace, and was subsequently found burning on the ground in Ukrainian territory," Xinhua quoted an Interfax news agency aviation source as saying.

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Major crackdown on paedophiles across Britain; over 600 arrested

London : Police arrested 660 people, including several doctors, teachers, scout leaders, care workers and former police officers during a nationwide crackdown on paedophile networks in Britain, Asian Lite, a newspaper for the British-Asian communities, reported.

The unprecedented six-month operation, coordinated by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and involving 45 police forces across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, exposed the highly organised paedophile network. More than 400 children across the Britain have been safeguarded, the agency said.

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Court declares Netherlands liable for 300 Bosnian Muslim deaths

The Hague : A court in The Hague has found the Netherlands (Holland) liable over the 1995 deportation and deaths of 300 Bosnian Muslim men who were under the protection of Dutch UN peacekeeping Blue Helmets in the enclave of Srebrenica in Bosnia.

The verdict Wednesday came in response to a lawsuit filed last April by the Mothers of Srebrenica Foundation against the Dutch state for its alleged role in the genocide of 7,000 Muslim men and boys in Bosnia in 1995.

China's yuan weakens

Beijing: The value of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, weakened by 29 basis points to 6.1564 against the US dollar in its central parity Thursday, authorities said.

In China's foreign exchange spot market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by two percent from the central parity rate each trading day, reports Xinhua.

The central parity rate of the yuan against the US dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.

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Civil society coalition from TN meets Sushma over urging change in Indian policy towards Sri Lanka

By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,

New Delhi: Members and advisers of Tamil Nadu based ‘Civil Society Coalition for Justice and Peace’ met Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and demanded ‘a change in India’s policy towards Sri Lanka in every sphere’.

Russia rechecks 2018 FIFA World Cup stadiums

Moscow: Three Russian cities are rechecking their existing and prospective stadiums for 2018 FIFA World Cup after the governing body of international football hinted it may cut the number of arenas.

The double check of the construction projects will be held in Volgograd in southern Russia, western exclave of Kaliningrad and Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains, reports Xinhua.

BRICS bank not against IMF: Brazilian president

Brasilia: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Wednesday that the development bank to be set up by the emerging-market bloc of BRICS is not against the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"We don't have the slightest interest in renouncing" the IMF, Rousseff told reporters here after a meeting with visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Xinhua reported.

Hamas agrees on five-hour humanitarian ceasefire

Gaza: The Islamic Hamas movement and Palestinian militant groups agreed late Wednesday to a UN appeal of a five-hour humanitarian ceasefire with Israel Thursday, a Hamas official said.

Hamas and other Palestinian factions agreed to halt rocket firing into Israel for five hours Thursday in response to a proposal by the UN, Xinhua quoted the official as saying on condition of anonymity. He added that the movement "will respond to any Israeli attacks on Gaza during the pause".

Fresh Israeli airstrikes on Gaza kill five more Palestinians

Gaza: Two fresh rounds of Israeli airstrikes on the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis Wednesday evening killed five more Palestinians, including a three-year-old girl, authorities said.

Israeli war jets fired missiles on a house and killed four people, including the girl and a woman. The fifth victim was killed in a separate airstrike on a house in town, a Gaza health ministry spokesperson said.

Swedish court upholds arrest warrant for Assange

Stockholm: A Swedish court Wednesday upheld the arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has stayed in Ecuador's embassy in London for two years to avoid extradition over allegations of sexual assault.

Judge Lena Egelin said Assange was still suspected, with probable cause of sex crimes and therefore, his detention order remains in place, Xinhua reported.

The judge added that the decision could be appealed.

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