In what will be one of India’s most keenly watched Lok Sabha elections, the only declared prime ministerial candidate is pitted against many more hopefuls.**With the Congress shying away from naming a nominee for the top post, BJP’s Narendra Modi is the only prime ministerial choice of any political party. The Bharatiya Janata Party named Modi in September last
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Now it’s personal.By upping the ante with his threat to isolate Russia with sanctions over Crimea, Barack Obama risks setting off a cycle of confrontation with Vladimir Putin. And despite his reluctance to play Cold War-style chess with the Russian president, a degeneration into a new great power rivalry cannot be ruled out.
SIMFEROPOL (AFP) - Ukraine braced Saturday for new pro-Russian protests in the tense eastern city of Donetsk after Moscow threatened to stop crucial gas supplies to the country, further escalating hostilities with the West.
Donetsk, a focal point of the crisis engulfing Ukraine since the protests that toppled president Viktor Yanukovych,
BEIJING (AFP) - As world leaders scramble to shape events in Ukraine, China has stood by unable even to articulate its stance, exposing its muddled approach to foreign affairs despite its fast-growing global interests and stature, analysts say.
Beijing can partly blame the lag on its rapid ascent into the top tier of international heavyweights. But it faces huge pressure to
BEIJING (AFP) - China’s foreign minister on Saturday said his country will vigorously defend its sovereignty, declaring there was “no room for compromise” with Japan over territory or history.
“We will never bully smaller countries yet we will never accept unreasonable demands from smaller countries,” Wang Yi, the minister of foreign affairs, told reporters.
MANILA (AFP) - Over 10,000 people gathered in the Philippine capital on Saturday in a bid to set a world record for the largest formation of the gender symbol for “woman”, as part of International Women’s Day.
The event, sponsored by the government’s commission on women and the local bottler of Coca-Cola, brought together 10,168 men and women who formed the
NEW DELHI (AFP) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai has become a father again at the age of 56 after his wife gave birth to their third child in India, according to an embassy statement sent to AFP Friday.
A baby girl was delivered at a private hospital in the New Delhi satellite town of Gurgaon earlier this week, the statement said.
RIYADH (AFP) - Saudi Arabia listed the Muslim Brotherhood and two Syrian jihadist groups as terrorist organisations Friday, and ordered citizens fighting abroad to return home within 15 days or face imprisonment.The move represents a major escalation against the Brotherhood of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and indicates rising concern in Riyadh over the potential risks to domestic security of
ANKARA (AFP) - Turkey’s embattled prime minister has warned that his government could ban popular social media networks YouTube and Facebook after a number of online leaks added momentum to a spiralling corruption scandal.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s proposals to tighten the government’s grip over the Internet have generated criticism at home and abroad about rights in the EU-hopeful country.
WASHINGTON, (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday called on Thailand to investigate “politically-motivated” attacks, denouncing the deaths of several children as “horrifying.”
“As allies and close friends of the Thai people, we are profoundly saddened by the deaths and injuries that have shaken the country,” Kerry said in a statement.
PUTRAJAYA, (AFP) - The Philippine government and Muslim rebels will sign a peace deal to end one of Asia’s longest and deadliest insurgencies “by the end of March”, Malaysia’s prime minister said Friday after meeting his Filipino counterpart.
Prime Minister Najib Razak said President Benigno Aquino invited him to witness the ceremony when “the comprehensive agreement is due to be signed
NEW DELHI, (AFP) - The head of India’s giant Sahara group surrendered to police Friday, two days after the Supreme Court ordered his arrest over delays in repaying billions of dollars illegally collected from small investors.
Subrata Roy “wilfully submitted himself” to police in Lucknow, capital of northern Uttar Pradesh state where the group has its headquarters, Sahara’s executive director told
WASHINGTON, (AFP) - Syrian activists Friday called for the brother of an opposition delegate to the Geneva peace talks to be released after he was snatched from a Damascus suburb by Syrian security services.
Mahmoud Sabra, the brother of Mohammed Sabra, was arrested on his way home in Jaramana on February 20 only days after the second round of peace talks aimed
QUETTA, (AFP) - A bomb blast on Saturday killed at least three paramilitary soldiers and wounded six others in Pakistan’s restive southwestern province of Baluchistan, officials said.
The roadside bomb hit a patrol vehicle around 200 kilometres (miles) south of Quetta on a main road linking Baluchistan to the port city of Karachi.
WASHINGTON, (AFP) - US lawmakers on Friday announced a caucus to fight for the rights of the Ahmadi minority, which has faced attacks in Pakistan and elsewhere in the Islamic world.
The creation of a caucus -- a group in the US Congress that shares an agenda -- is primarily symbolic in itself but lays the groundwork for lawmakers to be more active.