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Sajith Premadasa named Lanka Opposition leader

Colombo: Sajith Premadasa, the United National Party (UNP) leader who lost to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the presidential election, was named on Thursday as the Leader of the Opposition in the Sri Lankan Parliament.  Following a meeting of the party’s parliamentary group held on Thursday, the party leader and ex-prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe agreed to nominate Premadasa, 52, in his …

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Only ‘trusted vendors’ participate in future 5G networks: US

Washington: The US has urged all countries to ensure that only “trusted vendors” participate in any part of their future 5G networks as the Trump administration stepped up its pressure against Chinese telecom giants, citing a potential security threat and possible misuse of data. Asserting that 5G networks will form the backbone of future economies and critical infrastructure, State Department …

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Nirav Modi to appear in UK court on Jan 2, 2020

PTI London Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, fighting extradition to India on charges over the nearly US$ 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case, was further remanded in custody at a hearing on Wednesday and asked to appear via videolink on January 2. Modi appeared for his regular 28-day “call-over” appearance from London’s Wandsworth prison at Westminster …

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Colombo objects to UK’s Tory party manifesto

PTI Colombo The Sri Lankan government has conveyed its displeasure to the UK’s ruling Conservative Party for their election manifesto that refers to a two-state solution for the island nation over its decades-long conflict with the Tamil minority community. The manifesto states that the party is proud of the peace-building and humanitarian efforts around the world, particularly in war-torn or …

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In nations rich and poor, climate-related disasters on uptick

AFP Madrid Japan, the Philippines and Germany top a list of countries worst hit by climate-enhanced extreme weather last year, with Madagascar and India close behind, researchers said on Wednesday. Flood-inducing rains, two deadly heat waves, and the worst typhoon to hit Japan in a quarter century — all in 2018 — left hundreds dead, thousands homeless and more than …

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US Congress passes Uyghur bill

PTI Washington/Beijing The US Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill seeking a tough response from the Trump Administration over reports of mass detention centres in China’s Muslim-majority Xinjiang province, prompting Beijing to threaten possible retaliation. The US House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which among other things, proposes that America redirects resources to address the …

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Iran’s President says innocent protesters should be freed

AFP Tehran Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday called for the release of innocent people who were arrested during nationwide protests against a fuel price hike last month. Demonstrations erupted in Iran on November 15 against the unexpected decision to raise the price of petrol by as much as 200 per cent. Iran has yet to give overall figures for …

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TN techie helps NASA find Vikram lander on Moon

Washington: Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander, which crashed on the surface of the Moon in September, has been has been found by NASA, the US space agency confirmed on Tuesday, lauding a Chennai-based techie who helped it trace the debris of India’s ambitious lunar mission by spending hours comparing before and after images of the landing site. NASA’s confirmation came nearly three …

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30,000 animals to be sacrificed at Nepal temple festival

Kathmandu: Nepal’s Gadhimai temple is all decked up for a five-yearly sacrificial ritual that will see over 30,000 animals, including buffaloes, sacrificed over two days at a massive slaughterhouse set up at the temple premises, ignoring protests by animal rights groups and an apex court order. Gadhimai, located in Bariyapur 100 km from Kathmandu, comes alive every five years when …

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2010s hottest decade in history: UN

Madrid: This decade is set to be the hottest in history, the United Nations said Tuesday in an annual assessment outlining the ways in which climate change is outpacing humanity’s ability to adapt to it. The World Meterological Organization said global temperatures so far this year were 1.1 degrees Celsius (two degrees Farenheit) above the pre-industrial average between 1850-1900. That …

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