World

Celebrities boycott Brunei-owned hotels over sharia law
Monday, May 5, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: Celebrities including Virgin group founder Richard Branson have vowed to boycott a hotel chain linked to Brunei's sultan after he introduced a controversial Islamic penal code in his country. Brunei's all-powerful Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah announced last Wednesday that he would push ahead with the sharia law that will eventually include tough penalties such as death by stoning....

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Pro-Russian groups control over 12 east Ukraine towns
Friday, May 2, 2014

KIEV, May 2: Pro-Kremlin rebels, who the West say are backed by Moscow, are holding more than a dozen towns and cities in east Ukraine.
 
The places where the insurgents are most active are:
 
Slavyansk
...

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Ukraine in assault on rebel-held town, raising stakes
Friday, May 2, 2014

SLAVYANSK: Ukraine's army Thursday launched what insurgents said was a full-scale military assault on the flashpoint town of Slavyansk, raising the stakes in the stand-off with Russia, which has vowed "catastrophic consequences" if Kiev stepped up operations. Gunfire and explosions were heard near the rebel-held town and a spokeswoman for the insurgents in control of Slavyansk claimed their fighters had shot down an Ukrainian helicopter....

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Malaysia releases preliminary report on MH370
Thursday, May 1, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia on Thursday made public a preliminary report on Flight MH370 and other data that marks its most extensive release of information on the missing airliner to date, nearly two months after its mysterious disappearance. The brief five-page report, which was submitted earlier to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ...

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Votes being counted but new Iraq govt months away
Thursday, May 1, 2014

BAGHDAD: Vote counting was under way Thursday following Iraq's relatively peaceful elections, but with results not due for weeks and parties bitterly divided, forming a new government is expected to take months. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is seeking a third term in power, has said he is "certain" of victory but to retain the top job he must court disaffected parties within his own Shiite...

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IMF throws 'helpless' Ukraine $17-bn lifeline
Thursday, May 1, 2014

KIEV: The International Monetary Fund has thrown a $17-billion lifeline to recession-wracked Ukraine, whose president has admitted that authorities are powerless to prevent pro-Russian militants over-running the east of the country. The Washington-based IMF said that $3.2 billion would be available immediately, as the West tries to shore up the government in Kiev which has put its armed forces on "full combat alert" amid fears of a Russian invasion....

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Malaysia to release initial MH370 report tomorrow
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 30: Malaysia will release a preliminary report tomorrow on the disappearance of flight MH370 nearly two months after it went missing, according to a transport ministry official.
 
Malaysian media reported Transport and Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein as saying today that the report would be made public but gave no other details.
 
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Korean captain says warnings over ferry ignored
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

SEOUL, April 30: A probe into South Korea's ferry disaster has heard that warnings over the ship's seaworthiness were ignored, prosecutors said today, as rescuers worked to recover the bodies of more than 90 people still missing.
 
The confirmed death toll from the accident two weeks ago stood at 210, with 92 unaccounted for, the coastguard said, as divers pushed deeper into the submerged vessel's interior in their search for bodies....

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Brunei ruler says sharia penal code to start Thursday
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: The Sultan of Brunei announced that a controversial new penal code featuring tough Islamic criminal punishments that has been criticised by UN human rights officials would be phased in from Thursday.
 
"Today... I place my faith in and am grateful to Allah the almighty to announce that tomorrow, Thursday May 1, 2014, will see the enforcement of sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases," Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said in a speech....

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Polls open in Iraq parliamentary election
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

BAGHDAD: Polls opened Wednesday in Iraq's first parliamentary election since US troops withdrew, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki seeking a third term in power amid the country's worst violence in years. Voters began streaming into election centres nationwide from 7:00 am (0400 GMT), with polling due to end at 6:00 pm (1500 GMT), as more than 9,000 candidates compete for 328 seats in parliament....

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