US, Russia forge deal on Syrian weapons
Medical officers deserting Pak army
Suicide bombing at Iraq funeral kills 26
Lanka train moves into LTTE bastion
Suicide blast kills 3 Afghan civilians
Taliban killed author for being ‘Indian spy’
Nepal, India to speed up power trade
New York/Geneva, Sept 14
The deal was hammered out after nearly three days of intensive talks in Geneva between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Kerry outlined a six-point framework under which Syria must hand over a full list of its stockpile within a week and allow "immediate, unfettered access" to its chemical sites.
Inspectors must be on the ground by November and the stockpiles should be removed or destroyed by mid-2014, he told reporters at a joint press conference with Lavrov after wrapping up their talks.
However, President Obama warned Bashar al-Assad's regime against using the talks as a "stalling tactic".
"And since this plan emerged only with a credible threat of US military action, we will maintain our military posture in the region to keep the pressure on the Assad regime," he said in his weekly address.
"If diplomacy fails, the US and the international community must remain prepared to act," said Obama, who had been pushing for military intervention in Syria till Russia unveiled its surprise initiative to bring the chemical stockpile under international watch.
After Russia this week proposed its plan, Damascus filed an application to join the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention easing fears of a US-led military strike.
The US holds the embattled regime of President Bashar al-Assad responsible for killing over 1,000 civilians in an alleged chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb on August 21. The Syrian Government denies the allegations.
Kerry and Lavrov said if Syria failed to comply with the agreement, which must be finalised by the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, then a UN resolution would be sought under Chapter VII of the UN charter, which allows for the use of force.
"Providing this framework is fully implemented, it can end the threat these (chemical) weapons pose not only to the Syrian people but also their neighbours," Kerry said, referring to the deal he and Lavrov have worked out.
Kerry too said the US President reserves the right to use military force in Syria. "There's no diminution of options." — PTI
Force still an option
Since this plan emerged only with a credible threat of US military action, we will maintain our military posture in the region to keep the pressure on the Assad regime. If diplomacy fails, the US and the international community must remain prepared to
Since this plan emerged only with a credible threat of US military action, we will maintain our military posture in the region to keep the pressure on the Assad regime. If diplomacy fails, the US and the international community must remain prepared to act.— Barack Obama, us president
Islamabad, September 14
After having graduated from the Army Medical College and commissioned in the Pakistan Army's Medical Corps, these officers when sent to countries like the US, the UK and Australia never came back, The News daily reported.
The Surgeon General of the Pakistan Army has formally approached the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) with the first batch of deserter officers to de-notify their registration.
The PMDC has also been asked to get the registration of these deserters cancelled in the countries of their present residence, the report said quoting sources.
"The actual number of these deserters is said to be quite high but the army authorities have so far communicated the names of 10 officers," it said.
The report says the first case dates back to 1995 and that a majority of the deserters are Majors.
Most of them were sent abroad for higher education or training on government expense but they opted not to come back and started practising medicine in those countries. — PTI
Mosul, September 14
The attack was one of several to strike predominantly Sunni Arab northern Iraq, beset by growing instability in recent months as anti-government protests have combined with spillover from neighbouring Syria’s years-long civil war to give militant groups increased room to manoeuvre.
The bomber blew himself in the town of Baashiqah, just outside the main northern city of Mosul, killing 26 persons and wounding 46.
He targeted the funeral for a member of the Shabak minority who had died of natural causes, officials said.
The 30,000-strong Shabak community mostly lives near the Turkish border.
They speak a distinct language and largely follow a faith that is a blend of Shiite Islam and local beliefs, and are frequently targeted in attacks by Sunni militants linked to Al-Qaeda. — AFP
Colombo, September 14
President Mahinda Rajapaksa launched the 'Yal Devi' (The Queen of Jaffna) train that started from Omanthai with Rajapaksa on board and arrived in the former LTTE headquarters of Kilinochchi 30 minutes later.
The service resumed after over two decades during which the LTTE attacked the Colombo-Jaffna train twice in the course of the Sri Lankan civil war.
In January 1985, the train was blown up, killing 28 soldiers and injuring over a 100 passengers.
Another attack by the LTTE in 1990 saw the complete abandonment of services.
The restoration of the railway track destroyed by the protracted conflict began in 2009 after the military defeat of the LTTE.
Indian engineering firm Ircon International was awarded the $185-million contract to restore the 62 km-long track route between Omanthai and Kilinochchi.
The first phase of restoration saw the track being repaired between Vavuniya and Omanthai.
The train would next be extended up to Jaffna. —PTI
* In January 1985, the Colombo-Jaffna train was blown up, killing 28 soldiers and injuring over a 100 passengers *
Another attack by the LTTE in 1990 saw the complete abandonment of services
* In January 1985, the Colombo-Jaffna train was blown up, killing 28 soldiers and injuring over a 100 passengers
* Another attack by the LTTE in 1990 saw the complete abandonment of services
Suicide blast kills 3 Afghan civilians
Kandahar, September 14 The attacker prematurely triggered a bomb packed inside his vehicle before he got close to an international military convoy on patrol in the Daman district of Kandahar province. Three civilians were killed — two children and a woman. Seven men were wounded. — AFP
Kandahar, September 14
The attacker prematurely triggered a bomb packed inside his vehicle before he got close to an international military convoy on patrol in the Daman district of Kandahar province. Three civilians were killed — two children and a woman. Seven men were wounded. — AFP
Kabul, September 14
"We killed Sushmita Banerjee because she is an Indian spy," the group's spokesman Qari Hamza told The Daily Beast, the online home of Newsweek magazine.
He admitted that his men kidnapped, harshly interrogated, and then killed her. "We took her from her house, investigated her for three hours and then left her dead," he said.
Banerjee, 49, was married to Afghan businessman Jaanbaz Khan and recently moved back to Afghanistan to live with him.
She was killed by militants in eastern Paktika province of Afghanistan last week.
Banerjee's book "Kabuliwalar Bangali Bou" (A Kabuliwala's Bengali Wife), about her escape from the Taliban in 1995, became a bestseller in India and was made into the Bollywood film "Escape From Taliban" in 2003.
The memoir focused on her life in Afghanistan with her husband and her escape from the militants. — PTI
Kathmandu, September 14
A proposal for finalising a detailed project report for the Pancheshwar project figured during the two-day meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Technical Standing Committee, which was held here after a gap of two years.
However, the two sides were unable to reach a decision on finalising the detailed project report, said a press release issued today by Nepal's Department of Energy.
India and Nepal reached an initial agreement to develop the Pancheshwar project on the Sarada river some 15 years ago though work could not move forward due to the political instability in Nepal.
The Joint Technical Standing Committee, whose meeting concluded yesterday, also discussed the establishment of a Pancheshwar Development Joint Authority to expedite work on the venture.
The panel agreed to expedite work on power trade, a cross-country transmission line, energy banking and exchanging information on a flood control mechanism.
The two sides reviewed the ongoing construction of dams on Bagmati, Kamala and Lalbakaiya rivers. They also discussed matters related to head regulator of the Tanakpur Barrage under the Mahakali Treaty and irrigation facilities in Chadani Dodhara area.
The Saptakoshi High Dam Multipurpose project, study of Sunkoshi-Kamala diversion project and Koshi and Gandak projects also figured in the talks.
The two sides also reviewed progress made in bilateral water resources projects and discussed issues related to water resources, electricity, flood forecasting and flood control. — PTI
Little progress on Pancheshwar
India and Nepal reached an initial agreement to develop the Pancheshwar project on the Sarada river some 15 years ago though work could not move forward due to the political instability in Nepal