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At least 800 people are reported to have died in due to intense heatwave sweeping India, with temperatures reaching 48C in some parts of the country. Most deaths have taken place in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, where authorities say more than 550 people have died in the last four to five days. Another 215 have died in the neighboring state of Telangana, AFP reported. “The majority of the victims are people who have been exposed to the sun directly, usually aged 50 and above and from the working classes,” said P Tulsi Rani, special commissioner of Andhra Pradesh’s

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After a civilian was killed and two others injured today when unidentified armed men opened fire at a Telecom franchise shop in Sopore district of North Jammu and Kashmir, Amnesty International has condemned this direct attack on civilians. Mohammad Rafiq, 26, died in hospital after sustaining bullet injuries. The two injured men are being treated. All three were employed with a franchise of the government-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The attack happens after a few warning posters were found in the town asking telecom operators to stop functioning in the area. “This kind of deliberate attack on

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The Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a prominent human rights body based in Kashmir, has condemned the attack on the BSNL office in Sopore today, in which one civilian died and two others are injured. In a statement issued here, the group said that it is unclear who is behind this attack. “In the last 25 years of insurgency and counter insurgency operations many civilians have been targeted. In almost all the attacks on civilians the police has failed to conduct credible investigations to hold the killers accountable,” the statement read. The JKCCS has produced several reports about

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German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner with his wife Eliese Steiner today called on National Conference President Dr. Farooq Abdullah at his residence in Srinagar to discuss various initiatives that are aimed at enhancing cooperation and understanding between India and Germany. The German Ambassador highlighted the cooperation between the people of the two countries and underlined the need for continued multi-faceted ties between the two nations and their people. Ambassador Steiner spoke about the enormous Tourism potential of J&K and said this was one of the most beautiful places he had ever visited. Dr. Farooq Abdullah welcomed the German Ambassador’s

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A suicide bomber has attacked a Shiite mosque in Qatif province in Saudi Arabia, killing and wounding several people. An activist told the AFP news agency that at least four worshippers were killed, while a source told the Reuters news agency that there appeared to be at least 30 casualties in the attack. Reuters reported, there was a huge explosion at the Imam Ali mosque in the village of al-Qadeeh. “We were doing the first part of the prayers when we heard the blast,” one worshipper told Reuters. The blast occurred after the Friday prayers at the Imam Ali mosque

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Irish voters on Friday go to vote on the world’s first constitutional referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage. Over 3 million voters were invited to cast votes to decide whether or not gay marriage would be legal. voting will close around 10 PM local time. The results will be declared on Saturday. Voters will be asked to vote Yes or No on whether or not same sex marriage will be made legal in a country where an estimated 84 percent of Ireland’s population identifies as Catholic. Polls have predicted that a majority of voters will support amending the country’s constitution to

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Indian Minister of State for Parliamentary Affair, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday  caused a stir by declaring that those who cannot survive without eating beef, should go to Pakistan. The union minster in Narendra Modi’s government made the comments responding to a question by India Today Group consulting editor Rajdeep Sardesai  at ‘Manthan’ conclave organised by TV channel Aaj Tak. He said “If you can’t resist eating or sell beef, you should go to Pakistan or any other Arab country. There is no place for you in India.” All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, leader Asaduddin Owaisi who was also present at the panel

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Indian defense minister Manohar Parrikar, who will begin his two day visit to Jammu and Kashmir has said Hurriyat G Leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani should declare himself an Indian, if he wants to get a passport. Parrikar made the comments at the ‘Manthan’ conclave organised by TV channel Aaj Tak. “If he wants to apply for a passport, he will have to fill the form and declare he is Indian, that will be the first round of victory… all separatists should be made to apply for a passport,” he said. The External Affairs Ministry has rejected the passport application

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Photograph by Shahid Tantray Coalition partners in Jammu and Kashmir, BJP-PDP are again at loggerheads over Hurriyat (G) leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s request for a passport. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said that she will make sure Geelani gets a passport to be able to visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia. Mehbooba Mufti told reporters, “I believe that no government can, on humanitarian grounds, deny a father the right to meet his daughter.” However, PDP’s coalition partner in the state BJP said that Geelani should first acknowledge that he is an Indian and “apologise” for his anti-national views if he

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Philippines has also come forward to help Rohingya and Bangladeshi boatpeople, who have been turned away by its Southeast Asian neighbours. “Let us not fall short of providing humanitarian relief and assistance that is asked of us, as we pride ourselves to be a compassionate and hospitable people,” Senator Paolo Aquino said in a statement. The statement came after Philippine Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on Monday that the country has an obligation to admit and protect asylum seekers, even when the refugees do not have documents to prove their status. “If there are boat people who come to

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