Nepal halts printing of books with revised maps

KATHMANDU: Nepal has stopped the distribution of a new text book that includes the country’s revised political map showing three strategically-important Indian areas as part of its territory, saying there were a number of factual errors in it, according to a media report on Tuesday. India has already termed as untenable the “artificial enlargement” of the territorial claims by Nepal after its Parliament unanimously approved the new political map of the country featuring Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura areas which India maintains belongs to it. A Cabinet meeting on Tuesday instructed the Ministry of Education not to distribute and print any more copies of the text book meant for class IXth to XIIth as there were some reservations from the Ministry of Land Management and Cooperatives and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Kathmandu Post reported.

Nobel prize ceremony scaled down

COPENHAGEN: The award ceremony for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, traditionally held at the Oslo city hall on December 10, will instead be held in scaled-down form at the city’s university because of the coronavirus outbreak. “It is a strange and challenging year in many ways. We experience the same thing as many others, namely that things must be done in a new way,” Olav Njoelstad, the director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the body that oversees the Nobel Peace Prize, told Norway broadcaster NRK on Tuesday. Ceremonies for the other prizes — physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine and literature as well as the economic prize — will be awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, on the same day. Organisers also have scheduled smaller ceremonies because of the pandemic.

98 Afghan civilians killed in two weeks of Taliban attacks

KABUL: Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry has said that at least 98 civilians were killed and 230 others wounded in Taliban attacks in 24 provinces in the last two weeks as violence has increased in the country amid the ongoing peace efforts. “The Taliban has inflicted the casualties on our countrymen in 24 provinces and the most casualties have been in Takhar and Nangarhar provinces,” TOLO News quoted Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian as saying on Monday.  Security source told TOLO News that an average of at least 30 security forces have been killed on a daily basis in Taliban attacks in the last two weeks and 50 members were killed in just 24 hours. The Taliban has however, rejected the figures provided by the Ministry. 

2 die in Jakarta floods

JAKARTA: At least two people were killed, 20 others injured and one person reported as missing after flash floods and landslides lashed the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and its surrounding areas, disaster agency officials said on Tuesday. Due to torrential rains since Monday, a river has overflowed and submerged surrounding areas in the capital which was recently put under a partial Covid-19 lockdown, spokesman of National Disaster Management Agency Raditya Jati said. In West Java province’s Sukabumi district, flash floods killed two people with one remaining missing, and the search mission is underway, Ramli Prasetio, press officer of the Jakarta Search and Rescue Office, told Xinhua news agency.

Six Pak banks named in global money laundering list

ISLAMABAD: At least six Pakistani banks have been named in an investigation on the role global banks play in money laundering, which make up to at least $2.5 million. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and Buzzfeed News carried out an investigation and found that at least 29 suspicious transactions worth about $2.5 million related to Pakistani banks, that may have been used for money laundering. The six banks are Allied Bank, United Bank Limited (UBL), Habib Metropolitan Bank, Bank Alfalah, Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan and Habib Bank Limited. As per the investigation, all of 29 suspicious transactions were done during the year 2011 and 2012.