International

Spain warns Catalan leader ahead of independence showdown

  

Pns: BARCELONA: The Spanish government warned Catalonia's separatist leader on Tuesday not to do anything "irreversible", just hours before a possible declaration of independence that could send shockwaves through Europe, reports AFP. Whether or not Catalan president Carles Puigdemont will follow through on his threat to announce a full breakaway -- defying the central government and Spanish courts -- is still a mystery.But the Spanish government issued a sharp warning to...

Mass cholera vaccinations begin in Rohingya camps

  

Pns: The United Nations launched one of its biggest ever cholera vaccination drives in the vast refugee camps of southeast Bangladesh Tuesday amid fears of an outbreak among nearly a million Rohingya now living there. Thousands of Rohingya men and women lined up in intense heat at makeshift health centres on Tuesday, many with young children in their arms, to receive the oral vaccine against the disease.The UN is working with the Bangladesh government to vaccinate 650,000 people...

Richard H. Thaler wins 2017 Nobel Economics Prize

  

Pns:University of Chicago’s Richard H. Thaler, one of the founders of behavioral finance, was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics for shedding light on how human weaknesses such as a lack of rationality and self-control can ultimately affect markets. The 72-year-old “has incorporated psychologically realistic assumptions into analyses of economic decision-making,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement on Monday.“By exploring the consequences of limited...

Miss Wheelchair World in Warsaw seeks to change attitudes

  

Pns: A Polish organization had held the first international edition of a beauty pageant for women in wheelchairs in an effort to change people's perceptions about people with disabilities. A woman from Belarus was the winner of the Miss Wheelchair World in Warsaw on Saturday evening. The first runner-up was from South Africa and the second runner-up from Poland.The event was organized by the Only One Foundation, which was founded by two disabled women seeking to break down...

Rohingya militants say ceasefire to end on October 9

  

Pns: Rohingya militants whose attacks triggered an army crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state unleashing a huge wave of refugees said Saturday their one-month ceasefire would end in two days, but added they were open to peace if the government reciprocated. In a statement released through its Twitter account, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) said its unilateral truce would end at midnight on October 9."The humanitarian pause was conducted in order to enable humanitarian...

Amnesty accuses ASEAN regional body of 'failing' Rohingya

  

Pns: Southeast Asian leaders must take urgent steps to address grave human rights violations against the Rohingya in Myanmar, Amnesty International said in a letter sent to the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) today. The letter, signed by directors of 13 Amnesty offices across the Asia-Pacific region, called for an emergency ASEAN summit to deal with the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State.ASEAN’s only response to...

Lack of access to Myanmar's Rakhine state 'unacceptable': UN

  

Pns: The lack of humanitarian access granted by Myanmar's government to Rakhine state, where more than half a million Rohingya Muslims have fled violence, is "unacceptable", the UN said Friday. "The access we have in northern Rakhine state is unacceptable", the head of the United Nations humanitarian office, Mark Lowcock, told reporters in Geneva.A small UN team visited the crisis-wracked region in majority Buddhist Myanmar in recent days and described witnessing "unimaginable"...

Anti-nuclear campaign ICAN wins Nobel Peace Prize

  

Pns: Nuclear disarmament group ICAN won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its decade-long campaign to rid the world of the atomic bomb as nuclear-fuelled crises swirl over North Korea and Iran. "The organisation is receiving the award for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons," said Norway's Nobel committee president Berit...

Rohingya started new Rakhine fires: Myanmar army chief

  

Pns: Rohingya militants have set fire to houses in Rakhine state in recent days to intensify the exodus of the Muslim minority, the office of Myanmar's commander-in-chief said Thursday, in an apparent rebuke to fresh accusations of arson by the army. More than 500,000 Muslim Rohingya have run from communal bloodshed in Myanmar in the last six weeks and numbers are again rising.This week Bangladesh reported 4-5,000 civilians crossing the border each day after a brief lull in...

Kazuo Ishiguro wins the Nobel prize in literature

  

Pns: The English author Kazuo Ishiguro has been named winner of the 2017 Nobel prize in literature, praised by the Swedish Academy for his “novels of great emotional force”, which it said had “uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”. With names including Margaret Atwood, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o and Haruki Murakami leading the odds at the bookmakers, Ishiguro was a surprise choice. But his blue-chip literary credentials return the award to more familiar...

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