International

Inater national news

Pakistan to form special anti-terrorism force

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said a special counter-terrorism force (SCTF) would be formed soon in the country's Punjab province.

Sharif said this while chairing a meeting Friday where he was given a presentation on the special force to counter terror, the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) reported.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab Inspector General (IG) Khan Baig and officials of various law enforcement agencies also attended the meeting.

Maldives cancels presidential poll over political impasse

Male: The Maldives Elections Commissioner Fuad Thaufeeq called off his country's presidential poll just an hour ahead of voting Saturday, citing technical wrangling over the electoral list by two candidates and lack of support from police.

The issue over when the next round will be held will now go back to the Supreme Court for deliberations, Xinhua reported.

Hasina proposes all-party interim government for polls

Dhaka: With a few days left for the current parliament's term to end, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Friday proposed an all-party interim government during the election time.

"We want to hold the election with participation of all parties. My proposal to the opposition party is that we can form an all-party election-time government," Hasina, who heads the ruling Awami League, said in a televised address to the nation Friday evening.

No 'official notification' from Saudi Arabia on UNSC seat: Ban

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Friday noted Saudi Arabia's reported decision to not to sit on the UN Security Council next year despite winning a two-year term.

The UN chief, however, said he was yet to receive any official notification. "I have not received any official notification in this regard."

24 killed, 90 injured in Iraq bombings

Baghdad: At least 24 people were killed and about 90 wounded in separate incidents of violence in Iraq Thursday.

According to police, separate car bombing incidents left at least nine people killed and 29 injured here in the Iraqi capital city.

Five people were killed and 15 injured when two car bombs exploded near a popular restaurant in central Baghdad's Alwaya area, reported Xinhua citing a police source.

Government shutdown cost Pentagon $600 mn: Officials

Washington: The partial US federal government shutdown has cost the Pentagon at least $600 million worth of productivity, Pentagon top financial officer said Thursday.

Robert Hale, the comptroller of the Defense Department, said at a news conference that the losses were due to lost productivity during the 16-day shutdown which furloughed more than 400,000 Defense Department civilian employees at its height, Xinhua reported.

Thailand floods: Death toll rises to 68

 AFP

Bangkok: The death toll in the month-long floods in Thailand has climbed to 68, the interior ministry said Thursday.

The monsoon-induced floods have ravaged 359 districts in 46 provinces. They still rage in 93 districts of 22 provinces, affecting some 230,000 households, said Chatchai Promlert, director general of the ministry's Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department.

The northeastern provinces of Prachin Buri and Chachoengsao are the worst hit, Xinhua reported.

Six militants killed in Egypt

Al-Arish (Egypt): Egyptian security forces on Thursday killed six suspected militants who were allegedly planning to attack a checkpoint near Al-Arish Airport in lawless North Sinai, eyewitnesses were quoted as telling state news agency Mena.

Two local residents were injured in cross-fire between security forces and the suspected militants and were taken to Al-Arish general Hospital, Egyptian daily Al-Ahram said citing Mena.

Geneva II likely to be held Nov 23-24: Syrian deputy PM

Moscow: The Geneva II conference on resolving the Syrian conflict will be held tentatively Nov 23-24, Syria's Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said Thursday.

“On November 23-24,” he said at a media meet here in response to a question about the possible rescheduling of the conference to late November or early December this year.

Iran must be judged by its actions, not words: Israel

 Iran flag

Jerusalem: The world must judge Iran's intentions by its actions and not by its "presentations" at the latest talks on its disputed nuclear programme, a senior Israeli official said Thursday.

"Iran will be judged by its actions and not by its presentations," the official said on condition of anonymity, in remarks just hours after world powers wrapped up two days of talks which the United States described as showing a new level of "seriousness".