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Tue01242017

Last updateTue, 24 Jan 2017 8pm

World News

Rebels say Aleppo evacuation deal is back on

A deal to evacuate the last rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo is back on, a day after a previous agreement fell through. Rebel fighters and civilians in the Syrian city had been due to leave early yesterday, but the truce collapsed. Rebel groups said late yesterday that evacuations would take place in the early hours of today.

There has been no official confirmation so far from the Syrian government or its major ally Russia. But Reuters news agency quoted one Syrian official source this morning as saying that the "operation to organize the departure of gunmen from eastern Aleppo has now started".

Philippines' Duterte admits personally killing suspects

Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte has admitted he personally killed criminal suspects as mayor of Davao. It is the first such admission he has made since becoming president in June, but echoes comments he made in 2015.

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China says Trump's One China comments 'risk Taiwan peace'

Beijing has warned the incoming US administration that any attempt to challenge the "One China" policy could impact on peace in the Taiwan Strait.

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Aleppo evacuation delayed.

The evacuation of rebel-held eastern Aleppo due to start at dawn has been delayed, perhaps until tomorrow, with an opposition official blaming Shi'ite militias allied to President Bashar al-Assad for the hold-up. A ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia, Assad's most powerful ally, and Turkey ended years of fighting in the city and has given the Syrian leader his biggest victory yet after more than five years of war.

UN says 82 civilians shot on the spot in Aleppo

The UN says that Syrian pro-government forces have been entering homes in eastern Aleppo and killing those inside, including women and children. The UN's human rights office said it had reliable evidence that in four areas 82 civilians were shot on sight. Spokesman Rupert Colville further said that they are filled with the deepest foreboding for those who remain in this last hellish corner of eastern Aleppo.  Rebels, who have held east Aleppo for four years, are on the brink of defeat.

New UN Chief sworn in.

António Guterres has sworn in as the ninth and next Secretary-General of the United Nations at a ceremony before the 193-member UN General Assembly. It was administered by the President of the 71st session of the General Assembly Peter Thomson. Guterres has pledged to reposition development at the centre of the Organization’s work and ensure that the UN can change to effectively meet the myriad challenges facing the international community.

He also pointed out the need of UN focusing more on delivery and less on process as well as more on people and less on bureaucracy. Guterres, a former Prime Minister of Portugal and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees took the oath of office following the Assembly’s tribute to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who steps down at the end of this month after leading the global Organization for the past 10 years.

Heavy showers in seas of Bay of Bengal

The Disaster Management Center announces that heavy showers and winds can occur in the Bay of Bengal area due to the VARDAH cyclonic storm. Hence fishing in the Bay of Bengal is risky. The Disaster Management Center requests the people to refrain from fishing and naval activities in Northeastern seas and Mannar Bay areas. The speed of winds will be in between 100 to 120 kilometers per hour.

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Trump on China: Beijing 'seriously concerned' over policy


China says it is "seriously concerned" after President-elect Donald Trump expressed doubts about continuing to abide by the "One China" policy. Under the policy, the US has formal ties with China rather than the island of Taiwan, which China sees as a breakaway province. In a TV interview on Sunday, Mr Trump said he saw no reason why this should continue without key concessions.

Bill English to succeed New Zealand Prime Minister John Key

New Zealand's governing National Party has officially appointed Bill English to succeed John Key as prime minister. It follows Mr Key's surprise resignation last week. Social housing minister Paula Bennett has been named as deputy prime minister. The appointments were confirmed after a meeting of the National Party's caucus. Mr English, currently finance minister and deputy prime minister, will be officially sworn in at Government House in Wellington later today.

Indonesian quake homeless figures soar

Emergency officials say the number of people displaced by the powerful earthquake that hit Indonesia on Wednesday has soared to at least 43,000. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said the scale of the problem was becoming clearer as rescue teams fanned out into the affected areas.

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