Typhoon kills eight in China

Beijing: At least eight people were killed and two were missing as typhoon Kalmaegi hit China, officials said Saturday.

On Sep 17, a group of 395 students and teachers, who got trapped on the first floor of a school building in Yunnan province, were rescued, Xinhua reported.

Heavy rainfall since Wednesday has flooded 53 counties and cities in Yunnan with over 390,000 people affected, causing an economic loss of 343 million yuan ($55 million).


Modi too shrewd to be derailed by nationalist symbolism: Zakaria

Washington: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is "far too shrewd" to be distracted by nationalist symbolism which would derail his growth agenda and embroil him in unwanted controversies, well known Indian-American journalist Fareed Zakaria suggests.

But Zakaria, who interviewed him for CNN last weekend, also wonders in an opinion piece in the Washington Post if the problem with the new prime minister "turns out to be not that he is too bold but rather that he is not bold enough."

Pakistan says it values China's support for SCO membership

Islamabad: Pakistan Friday said it appreciates China's support for the country's quest to become member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as the group has agreed to expand its membership.

On Thursday Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said his country welcomes and supports India and Pakistan to become new formal members of the SCO at the earliest possible date, Xinhua reported.

The agreement on new members came in a legal document passed at the 14th SCO summit held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan Sep 12.

Spanish PM congratulates Scots for rejecting independence

Madrid : Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Friday congratulated Scotland for the independence referendum result and for its contributions in "respecting legitimacy" which prevented it from the "dangerous consequences" of splitting from the United Kingdom.

Rajoy's remarks came in a video posted by the Spanish government after it was announced that Scottish residents rejected independence.


Outcome of Scotland vote good for 'stronger Europe': European Commission

Brussels : European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso Friday said Scotland's vote to remain in the United Kingdom is good for a more united and stronger Europe.

"I welcome the decision of the Scottish people to maintain the unity of the United Kingdom. This outcome is good for the united, open and stronger Europe that the European Commission stands for," Barroso said in a statement.


Ugandan president fires prime minister

Kampala : Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has sacked Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, a State House statement said here Friday.

The statement said Mbabazi has been replaced by Ruhakana Rugunda, minister of health, Xinhua reported.

"By virtue of the powers vested in the President of the Republic of Uganda by Article 108A(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, I have, with immediate effect, decided to appoint Ruhakana Rugunda as the new prime minister of Uganda," Museveni said according to the statement.


UN urges diplomatic accord on Iran's n-programme

United Nations : UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear programme at an early date.

Ban made the appeal at a meeting Thursday with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, which was held before the resumption of talks in New York between Iran and the six world powers, Xinhua reported.

The talks between Iran and the P5+1 group -- Britain, France, China, Germany, Russia the US -- over the nuclear issue are resuming after a two-month break.


World's religious leaders speak out against extremism

Astana : Religious leaders from around the world at a meeting in the Kazakh capital Astana showed unity to make themselves heard by politicians in a world torn apart by conflicts between civilsations.

The leaders met to prepare for the 5th triennial Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.


Scotland votes 'No' to independence

Edinburgh : The "No" campaign won the Scottish referendum Friday to keep the territory within the United Kingdom.

Chief Counting Officers Mary Pitcaithly and Sue Bruce for the city of Edinburgh announced that 55.42 percent of the Scots voted against call for independence while 44.58 percent voted in favour, Xinhua reported.


Scotland referendum: Time to move forward, says Cameron

London : It is time to move forward, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday after Scotland voted in a historic referendum to stay with the United Kingdom.

“The people of Scotland have spoken. It is a clear result. They have kept our country of four nations together,” Cameron said at 10, Downing Street, after results showed that 55.42 percent of the Scots voted against the call for independence as against 44.58 who were in favour.

“So now it is time for our United Kingdom to come together, and to move forward.”