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

By 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.


Digital mass surveillance must be independently checked: UNHRC

Geneva : United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay Wednesday warned the dangerous practice of digital mass surveillance must be subject to independent checks and balances.

A "disturbing lack of transparency" has been witnessed in governmental surveillance policies and practices, including private sector companies, to provide sweeping access to information and data relating to private individuals without the latter's knowledge or consent, Xinhua reported citing a report released by Pillay's office as saying.


117 illegal miners arrested in South Africa

Johannesburg : The South African police Wednesday confirmed the arrest of 117 illegal miners after a multi-sectoral raid on the unlawful mines in Mpumalanga province in the eastern part of country.

The police said the illegal miners were from Lesotho after the specialised team consisting of Bomb Squad, Tactical Reaction Team (TRT), Public Order Policing, Crime Intelligence, K9, Airwing and National Intervention conducted the sting operation, Xinhua reported.


Activists target only large firms with good reputation?

New York : Large companies with prominent brand images and good corporate reputations are more vulnerable to be "named and shamed" by activists than their less prominent counterparts, says a study.

"Companies that had all of these characteristics were nearly guaranteed to be a target of activism," said Tim Bartley, lead author of the study and associate professor of sociology at the Ohio State University in the US.


Nepal's oldest Communist party gets new leadership

Kathmandu : Khadga Prasad Oli has been elected the new president of Nepal's oldest Communist party CPN (UML), party officials said here Wednesday.

The election was held during the ninth general convention of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) that kicked off here July 3, Xinhua reported.

Oli, 62 and a former deputy premier of the country, defeated his rival Madhav Kumar Nepal, a former prime minister and a general secretary of the CPN (UML) for 15 years, by a mere 44 votes.