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Mandela, the 20th century colossus, dies at 95

Nelson Mandela, who became one of the world’s most beloved statesmen and a colossus of the 20th century when he emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to white minority rule in South Africa, has died. He was 95. South African President Jacob Zuma made the announcement at a news conference late Thursday, saying “we’ve lost our greatest son.” His death closed the final chapter in South Africa’s struggle to cast off apartheid, leaving the world with indelible memories of a man of astonishing grace and good humor. Rock concerts celebrated his birthday. Hollywood stars glorified him on screen. And his regal bearing, graying...

Thai police no longer use force to defend protesters

Thai police have allowed opposition protesters through barricades outside the government and metropolitan police headquarters, sharply easing tensions after two days of violent clashes aimed at ousting Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The reason for the sudden thaw in hostilities on Tuesday was not immediately clear but it came after police said they would no longer use force to defend their Bangkok headquarters from thousands of anti-government protesters who marched on the high-profile target. Demonstrators were allowed to approach the perimeter fence of Government House with no resistance from security forces. Dozens of protesters also streamed into the police building where they were seen shaking hands with officers. ...

India concerned over Bangladesh buying submarines from China

India is concerned with Bangladesh’s decision to order to buy two submarines from China. There are also indications that Chinese submarines have been sneaking into Indian territorial waters in the Bay of Bengal undetected. These developments have led to the Eastern Naval Command seeking more presence in the Bay of Bengal region. “Why would Bangladesh need submarines? This decision by the government there and the ongoing strife in the country is a matter of concern for us. We also suspect that Chinese submarines are sneaking into Indian territorial waters in the Bay of Bengal region, though none has been detected as yet. This is reason enough for greater naval presence in the region. At the moment, India isn’t really prepared fo...

Indian economy hit by Bangladesh violence, rupee slump

Due to political turmoil in Bangladesh and depreciation of rupee against the dollar, trade decline between the India’s northeastern states and  its eastern neighbour has enormously affected the Indian economy, officials and traders said. With the depreciation of the Indian rupee against the dollar and political turmoil in Bangladesh, trade between the northeastern states and India’s eastern neighbour has been enormously affected, officials and traders said. indo-banglaAccording ...

Pakistan eager to introduce visa-free travel to India

Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif has once again indicated that his country is eager to introduce visa free travel to India and he is ready to strengthen ties with the neighbour. On Sunday, Sharif made a strong plea for resuming peace ties with India on immediate basis, saying: “We must aim to dismantle visa requirement between the two countries.” Talking to the local media in Lahore, the seasoned politician said that the Indian media could play an important role in this regard. According to him, the Indian media persons should try to convince the leadership in New Delhi to sit together with the Pakistani leaders in an attempt to resolve outstanding bilateral issues.

Iran, world powers reach deal in nuke talks

Iran struck a historic deal Sunday with the United States and five other world powers, agreeing to a temporary freeze of its nuclear program in the most significant agreement between Washington and Tehran in more than three decades of estrangement. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani endorsed the agreement, which commits Iran to curb its nuclear activities for six months in exchange for limited and gradual sanctions relief, including access to $4.2 billion from oil sales. The six-month period will give diplomats time to negotiate a more sweeping agreement. It builds on the momentum of the public dialogue opened during September’s annual U.N. gathering, which included a 15-minute phone conversation between President Barack Obama and moderate-leaning Rouhani, who was elected in June. ...