FORMER UN CHIEF KOFI ANNAN DIES AT 80

AGENCIES|SINGAPORE Former United Nations secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan has died at the age of 80 on Saturday August 18. Two of his close associates informed media that Mr Annan died in a hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of Saturday. In a statement posted on Twitter, the Kofi Annan Foundation and Mr Annan’s family announced that…

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SMARTPHONE SCREENS HARBOUR MORE GERMS THAN A TOILET SEAT: STUDY

AGENCIES|LONDON  If you think toilet seats are the dirtiest ones swarming with germs, look at your smartphone. A research has revealed that smartphone screens have three times more germs than a toilet seat. More than a third of people (35 per cent) have never cleaned their smartphones with wipes, a cleaning fluid or a similar product, according to the…

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PAKISTAN RELEASES 30 INDIAN PRISONERS AHEAD OF INDEPENDENCE DAY

AGENCIES|NEW DELHI Pakistan today released 30 Indian prisoners, including 27 fishermen, from jail as a goodwill gesture ahead of the country’s Independence Day tomorrow. The release of the prisoners “is in line with Pakistan’s consistent policy of not politicising humanitarian issues,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said in a statement. The 30 prisoners being set free also include 27 fishermen, it added. “This…

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FACEBOOK TIGHTENS NOOSE AROUND FAKE ACCOUNTS

AGENCIES|SAN FRANCISCO The world’s largest social media network Facebook on Friday took measures to make it more difficult to run fake or compromised accounts on its platform as it demanded authorization from its users who have a large number of followers in the US. “Today we’re introducing Page publishing authorization starting with people that manage a Page with a large audience…

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INDIA TO INVESTIGATE SUBSIDISED STAINLESS STEEL IMPORTS FROM CHINA

AGENCIES|NEW DELHI India has launched an investigation into subsidised production and export of welded stainless steel pipes and tubes from China and Vietnam, an official notification said. The Directorate General of Trade Remedies, which falls under the trade ministry, said there was “prima facie” evidence of subsidies that were hurting the domestic industry. “The authority finds that there is prima facie evidence…

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NASA TO LAUNCH CAR-SIZED SPACECRAFT PARKER SOLAR PROBE TO STUDY SUN

AGENCIES|WASHINGTON The United States space agency NASA is preparing to launch a probe on Saturday to study the Sun closer than any other human-made object before, revealing mysteries behind the fiery surface. The car-sized spacecraft called Parker Solar Probe is set to lift off on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy, carrying instruments to study the Sun both remotely and…

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NEW DRUGS PUT CANCER INTO “PERMANENT SLEEP”: AUSSIE RESEARCH

AGENCIES|SYDNEY Australian scientists on Thursday said they have discovered a new type of drug that targets specific proteins to arrest the growth and spread of cancer, without the harmful side effects of conventional therapies. The drugs, which put cancer cells into a “permanent sleep” without damaging DNA, have “already shown great promise in halting cancer progression in models of blood and…

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AUSTRALIA CONSIDERING TO CHALLENGE TRADE BARRIERS IMPOSED BY INDIA

AGENCIES|CANBERRA The Australian government is considering launching a World Trade Organization (WTO) challenge against trade barriers imposed by India. Speaking at an Australian Grains Industry conference on August 1, Trade Minister Steven Ciobo described a series of trade tariffs imposed by India as “profoundly disappointing developments.” Since late 2017 the Indian government has introduced a 30 percent tariff on the import of…

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INDIA SECURES RELEASE OF 21 INDIAN FISHERMEN FROM IRAN

AGENCIES|NEW DELHI  India has secured the release of 31 fishermen from Tamil Nadu who were stranded in Iran after their employers in the West Asian nation withheld their passports, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Tuesday. “I am happy to inform that 21 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu who were stranded at Nakhitaghi (Iran) have been released with the efforts…

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PM MODI HOLDS BILATERAL TALKS WITH RUSSIAN PRESIDENT ON SIDELINES OF BRICS SUMMIT

AGENCIES|JOHANNESBURG Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held bilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, and said the friendship between India and Russia is deep-rooted. Modi was meeting Putin after their informal meeting in May in the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi in Russia in May. The two leaders then met on…

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