International

Inater national news

Cairo: The trial of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi on charges of inciting the killing of protestors was Wednesday adjourned to Feb 1, after the Islamist leader could not be taken to court due to bad weather.

Morsi was scheduled to appear in the Cairo Criminal Court Wednesday for the second session of his trial, Xinhua reported.

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Washington: The arrest of an Indian diplomat on charges of visa fraud in New York has become a major crisis in US-India relations and a source of contention within the Obama administration, according to an American media report.

"Visa fraud case of Devyani Khobragade roils US-India relations, sparks new legal dispute,' headlined The Washington Post in a news report Tuesday in which the daily described the issue as a major crisis between the two countries.

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New York:  Senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade has berated US Attorney Preet Bharara for publicly disclosing plea discussions underway to resolve the visa fraud case against her, saying it was a "distressingly calculated" move which could further polarise the situation.

Noting that the two sides had agreed not to make public the plea discussions, her lawyer Daniel Arshack gave a strong rejoinder to Mr Bharara who had written to Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn stating that he had outlined reasonable parameters that could resolve the issue.

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Washington: United States Secretary of State John Kerry and his South Korean counterpart, Yun Byung-se, have urged North Korea to start fulfilling its international obligations and commitments starting with the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

"Together, we call upon Pyongyang to start down the path of fulfilling its international obligation and commitments," Kerry said Tuesday at a joint press conference with his South Korean counterpart here.

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United Nations: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said violence during the Bangladesh parliamentary elections was "unacceptable" and appealed to political parties to urgently initiate meaningful dialogue.

"He regrets that the parties did not reach the kind of agreements which could have produced a peaceful, all-inclusive election outcome," a UN statement said Monday.

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Washington: The US Senate Monday confirmed Janet Yellen as the next head of the Federal Reserve, to succeed outgoing Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term ends at the end of this month.

The Senate voted 56-26 to approve the confirmation, with 11 Republicans joining Democrats in voting for Yellen, Xinhua reported.

Yellen, currently the Fed's vice chair, would become the first woman to take the helm of the US central bank in its 100-year history.

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Jerusalem: The health condition of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon is continuing to deteriorate and only "a miracle" will stop the decline, the hospital authorities said Monday.

"We are continuing to describe his condition as a critical life-threatening condition," reported Xinhua citing head of Sheba Medical Center, Ze'ev Rotstein. "Absent anything short of a miracle, his condition will get worse day by day."

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Washington: The US Monday expressed its disappointment at recent parliamentary elections in Bangladesh, calling for fresh and quick polls arranged through dialogue.

"The United States is disappointed by the recent parliamentary elections in Bangladesh," Xinhua quoted State Department spokesperson Marie Harf as saying in a statement.

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Ramallah: US Secretary of State John Kerry proposed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas the return of 80,000 Palestinian refugees to Israel, a well-informed Palestinian official said Monday.

Kerry's proposal on the return of Palestinian refugees was part of his ideas presented to the Palestinian side to reach a framework peace agreement, Xinhua quoted a senior official of the Palestinian government as saying.

Kerry, who is visiting the region, had held talks Friday and Saturday with Abbas in Ramallah.

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Gaza: Hamas said Monday that it is taking steps and gestures towards its Fatah rival, which is led by President Mahmoud Abbas, to pave the way for unity, Xinhua reported.

Ismail Haneya, Hamas' prime minister, said that his government will allow fugitive Fatah members to return to the Gaza Strip, excluding those who face criminal charges, and will release some Fatah members held for security charges.

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