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Last updateWed, 18 Oct 2017 8pm

World News

Hurricane Irma: Florida to re-open storm-ravaged Keys

Parts of the Florida Keys, the low-lying islands which bore the brunt of Hurricane Irma when the category-four storm struck on Sunday, are to re-open. Entry is being restricted to residents and business owners as work continues to clear roads and check the state of bridges linking the islands.


The US senate committee opposes a proposal to reduce foreign aid for Sri Lanka.

Citing the geographical and strategic location of the island, a US Senate committee has opposed the Trump Administration's proposal of a drastic 92 per cent cut in US aid to Sri Lanka. The Senate Committee said in its report, that The Committee recognises and supports the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to advance democracy and the rule of law, and encourages further steps to address the underlying causes of the armed conflict by promoting justice and reconciliation. Last week during a Congressional hearing, lawmakers had expressed concern over massive cut in US aid to Sri Lanka.
A US lawmaker was quoted saying, "while we're forming a large Millennium Challenge Corporation compact with Sri Lanka, we will focus on economic activities. We are concerned that by changing course so drastically, we want to make sure that we're not throwing away the investments we've already made in Sri Lanka, which will leave a gap in the democracy and governance programs Sri Lanka badly needs, and will potentially force the closure of our USAID mission".

Bangladeshi Prime Minister urges Myanmar to take back Rohingya refugees

Bangladesh's prime minister has urged Myanmar to take back hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in Rakhine state. Speaking as she visited a refugee camp, Sheikh Hasina urged Myanmar to view the situation with humanity, saying innocent people were suffering.


New malware detected in India

A new malware named Xafecopy Trojan has been detected in India which steals money through victims mobile phones. Xafecopy Trojan is disguised as any other useful app and operates in the same way. Once the app is activated the Xafecopy malware clicks on web pages with Wireless Application Protocol Billing, which is a form of mobile payment that charges costs  directly from the users mobile phone. Experts at Kaspersky lab have found traces showing that cyber criminal gangs promulgating other Trojans are sharing the malware code among themselves.  [courtesy: PTI]

North Korea slapped with new UN sanctions.

China and Russia have joined a unanimous UN vote to impose new sanctions on North Korea after its sixth and largest nuclear test. The council voted 15-0 to back the US-drafted sanctions resolution banning exports of coal, lead and seafood. Pyongyang has claimed to have developed a hydrogen bomb and has continuously threatened to strike the US. North Korea is already under UN sanctions to force the leadership to curtail its weapons programmes.

Total oil ban not to be included in UN resolution

A UN Security Council sanctions resolution to be put to a vote today will place a ceiling on crude oil exports to North Korea instead of a complete oil embargo. It remains unclear whether China and Russia will support the resolution. Both countries have veto rights and are cautious about strong sanctions. The United States last week circulated a draft resolution among the Security Council member nations after the North's 6th nuclear test on September 3rd.

UK's Hurricane Irma response was not late

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has insisted the UK was "not late" in its response to help British overseas territories hit by Hurricane Irma.
Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr show, he said the government's response had been "as good as anybody else's".
Two senior MPs and residents of the Caribbean islands have criticised the response after the storm struck.
Some 500 UK troops have been sent to Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, and British Virgin Islands (BVI).
Asked about reports of looting in the region, Sir Michael said there had been a "security issue" in the BVI.(BBC)

The Foreign Minister is scheduled to meet the Indian Prime Minister today.


Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Assignments Tilak Marapana who is on a two day official visit in India will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. He will also meet his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj for discussions on a range of bilateral issues aimed at further strengthening the India-Sri Lanka partnership

Hurricane Irma causes devastation in the Caribbean.

Hurricane Irma has caused widespread destruction across the Caribbean, reducing buildings to rubble and leaving at least 10 people dead. The small island of Barbuda is said to be "barely habitable". Officials warn that St Martin is almost destroyed, and the death toll is likely to rise. Irma is a category five hurricane, the highest possible level. It is currently north of the Dominican Republic, heading towards Turks and Caicos. The low-lying Turks and Caicos islands are said to be at risk of a storm surge, with the possibility of destructive waves up to 6 meters higher than usual.

Switzerland prepared to perform mediator task to help resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis.

Swiss president Dorris Leuthard says that ‘neutral Switzerland’, is prepared to perform as a mediator to help resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis. She further states that Swiss troupes were deployed on the demarcation zone between North and South Korea and Switzerland had a long history of neutral diplomacy. She added that the US and China must fulfil their responsibility by playing a decisive role in negotiations.

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