Category: Asia

Qatar ruler set for landmark visit to Gaza

Ref: The Emir of Qatar is due to arrive in Gaza – the first head of state to visit since Hamas came to power there in 2007.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani is expected to launch a $254m (£158m) construction project to help rebuild the war-torn Palestinian territory.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani

Qatar has become one of Hamas’s main benefactors since the Islamist movement fell out with its long-term ally Syria.

The Palestinian Authority expressed reservations about the emir’s visit.

The Qatari ruler will fly to Egypt and cross into Gaza by car amid tight security. Read more →

Sunil Gangopadhyay dies

Ref: Sunil Gangopadhyay, famous Bengali writer, passed away at the age of 78 in the early hours of Tuesday.

Indian media reported that Sunil breathed his last at his residence in Kolkata around 2am and that he was suffering from various ailments for quite a while.

Sunil – a poet, novelist, short-story writer, journalist and columnist – was born in Bangladesh’s Faridpur district on Sep 7, 1934. He left for Kolkata along with his family at the age of four and did his masters from Kolkata University in 1954.
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Afghanistan’s government ‘could collapse’ after 2014 – report

Ref: A new report on Afghanistan warns that the departure of Nato forces in 2014 could be followed by the government’s collapse and even civil war, unless steps are taken now.

Afghanistan's government 'could collapse' after 2014

Afghanistan’s government ‘could collapse’ after 2014

The International Crisis Group (ICG) says the Afghan police and army are unprepared for security responsibility.

It added that polls in two years’ time would be “plagued” by fraud unless the state acted to ensure a clean vote. Read more →

SKorea and India sign nuclear deal

South Korea’s ambitions to enter the Indian energy market have received a big boost as the two countries signed a civil nuclear deal.

The agreement will allow South Korea to export its nuclear energy technology to India.

The deal comes at a time when India has been struggling to keep up its energy supply to meet the increased demand in wake of its rapid expansion.

South Korea is the ninth country to sign a nuclear deal with India.

“We look forward to Republic of Korea becoming one more partner in the development of civil nuclear energy in India,” said Sanjay Singh, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, India.

Syrian govt adopts multipartism: report

Ref: Syria’s government has adopted a draft law authorising multipartism in a move that could end the decades-old monopoly on power of President Bashar al-Assad’s Baath party, a report said on Monday.

The law was adopted by the government during the night, the official SANA news agency reported.The government “adopted a draft law regarding political parties in Syria as part of a programme of reform aimed at enriching the political life, creating a new dynamic and allowing for a change in political power,” SANA said.

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Sonia visits Bangabandhu museum, joins conference

President of India’s Congress party Sonia Gandhi has visited the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in the city’s Dhanmondi area.

Arriving in Dhaka on Sunday night, she went to the museum at around 9:15am on Monday. Read more →

China bullet train accident toll up to 32

At least 32 people died when a high-speed train smashed into a stalled train in front of it in China’s eastern Zhejiang province on Saturday, state media said, raising new questions about the safety of the fast-growing rail network.

The accident occurred on a bridge near the city of Wenzhou after the first train lost power — possibly after being hit by lightning — and a following bullet train crashed into it, the official Xinhua news agency said. Read more →

Sonia Gandhi arrives Dhaka tonight

Sonia Gandhi, president of India’s ruling Congress party, will arrive in Dhaka Sunday night on a 24-hour visit to attend an autism conference and receive a posthumous award on behalf of former Indian premier Indira Gandhi.

Her tour holds a special significance as it takes place ahead of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s official visit here on September 6-7. Read more →

Senior aide to Karzai assassinated

Ref: A group of armed men have killed a senior adviser to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and a member of the parliament in a daring attack in the capital, Kabul.

Initial reports about the fate of Jan Mohammad Khan, the Karzai aide, and Mohammad Hashim Watanwal, the parliamentarian, were conflicting, but a senior government official confirmed to Al Jazeera that both men have been killed and the attack is ongoing.

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Mumbai blasts probe: Man dies after questioning

Ref: Faiz Usmani, who was questioned by Mumbai police in connection with Wednesday`s Mumbai blasts, has died in hospital. He was sent home a day after questioning.

His family alleges that Faiz died after being tortured by the police. But the preliminary medical report has confirmed that Faiz`s death was natural and that he died due to hypertension.

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