Inater national news

Washington: The US has said that it supports Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stating that he is the elected leader of Pakistan and asked various political parties in the country to resolve their differences peacefully.

"Yes, we still do. He (Sharif) is the elected leader, "State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters.


Ramallah: An estimated 7.8 billion dollars are needed for the Gaza Strip to reconstruct after being destroyed during the 50-day Israeli offensive on the coastal enclave, a senior Palestinian official said Thursday.

"The direct and indirect losses resulted from the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip reached 4.4 billion dollars," Xinhua quoted Mohamed Ishteyah, director of the Palestinian Economical Council for Development and Reconstruction, as telling in a news conference in Ramallah.


Cape Town: For the third time in a row, South Africa has refused to grant a visa to the Dalai Lama for attending World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates here next month, fearing that the Tibetan spiritual leader's trip would jeopardize relations with China.

The Dalai Lama's representative in South Africa, Nangsa Choedon, said that Department of International Relations and Co-operation officials had informed her over phone that the Tibetan spiritual leader would not be granted a visa, the Independent Online reported.


London: British Prime Minister David Cameron Thursday said he does not rule out joining the air strikes the US was carrying out in Iraq against the strongholds of the Islamic State group, but said it was not a current priority.

Cameron told reporters during the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) summit that his main strategy was helping groups fighting on the ground like the Peshmerga Kurdish forces.

"I certainly don't rule anything out. We should pursue our national interests," he said.


Baghdad: Militants of the Islamic State (IS) group Thursday kidnapped 50 men from a village in Iraq's northern province of Kirkuk, a security source said.

The incident occurred in the afternoon when Islamic State militants attacked the Sunni Arab village of Tal Ali, some 60 km from Kirkuk, stormed houses in the village and kidnapped 50 male residents, Xinhua quoted the source who requested anonymity.


Cardiff: Western leaders meeting for a NATO summit in Wales Thursday criticised Russia for its "destabilising" influence on the crisis in Ukraine.

NATO and Britain warned that pressure on Russia would be raised if it did not change course in eastern Ukraine, BBC reported.


New Delhi: Unesco on Thursday called on all governments to strengthen the safety of journalists after Sunni militant group Islamic State (IS) beheaded second American journalist Steven Scotloff.

"I condemn deeply the execution of Steven Scotloff," said Irina Bokova, Unesco director-general, in a statement.

Scotloff, a 31-year-old, Florida-based freelance journalist, who had gone missing in northern Syria over a year ago, was executed on September 3, two weeks after the IS beheaded American photo journalist James Foley.


New Delhi/London: Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has announced the creation of a South Asian branch of his group to "raise the flag of jihad" in the Indian sub-continent, causing concerns.

In a 55-minute video posted online, Zawahari -- who succeeded Osama bin Laden after he was killed in Pakistan -- also pledged renewed loyalty to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, BBC reported.


United Nations: US President Barack Obama will convene a Security Council summit on "growing and dangerous phenomenon" of foreign terrorist fighters, American envoy to the UN Samantha Power said Wednesday.

The summit will be held on Sep 25, with attendance of heads of state and government, who holds the rotating council presidency for this month.


Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko agreed on a ceasefire regime in the eastern Ukraine, Mr. Poroshenko’s office said on Wednesday.

The agreement was the result of a telephone conversation in which both leaders agreed on steps to create peace, it said.

Mr. Putin’s office confirmed that both Presidents had spoken by phone, but it did not mention a ceasefire.