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October 18, 2017 15:22 UTC
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, weakened by poor election results, started talks Wednesday to forge an unlikely governing coalition from a motley crew of parties that span the political spectrum. If the initial talks Wednesday go well, all sides will meet jointly on Friday to open negotiations that could form a government by perhaps January in the biggest EU economy. The delicate negotiations come as Merkel, long seen as Europe’s most influential leader, is increasingly described as a lame duck, past the zenith of her power in what is widely expected to be her final term. “Up until two years ago Merkel appeared untouchable,” the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper wrote. Her power, too, is on the wane.”“If the CDU had any kind of challenger waiting in the wings, Merkel would have reason to worry.”
October 18, 2017 15:11 UTC
Tillerson, however, stopped short of saying whether the United States would take any action against Myanmar's military leaders over an offensive that has driven more than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims out of the country. "We really hold the military leadership accountable for what's happening," said Tillerson, who said the United States was "extraordinarily concerned" by the situation. Tillerson said Washington saw Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, as "an important emerging democracy," but the Rohingya crisis was a test for the power-sharing government. He said the United States would remain engaged, including ultimately at the United Nations "with the direction this takes." The European Union and the United States have been considering targeted sanctions against Myanmar's military leadership.
October 18, 2017 15:00 UTC
US-backed forces combed the ruins of Raqqa for survivors and bombs Wednesday, after retaking the Syrian city from Islamic State group jihadists and dealing their dreams of statehood a fatal blow. A lightning final assault by the Syrian Democratic Forces on Tuesday saw jihadist defences collapse faster than expected and the SDF claim a landmark victory in the three-year fight against IS. SDF fighters flushed jihadist holdouts from Raqqa’s main hospital and municipal stadium, wrapping up a more than four-month offensive against what used to be the inner sanctum of IS’s self-proclaimed “caliphate”. It had been believed than up to 400 mostly foreign IS fighters remained in the city, prepared for a bloody last stand in their final redoubts. Yet the sequence that followed the announcement on Sunday of the operation’s final phase gives few clues as to their fate.
October 18, 2017 14:48 UTC
For instance, Bangladesh will not allow users to send out money abroad via PayPal, due to the central bank’s arcane foreign exchange rules. Sajeeb Wazed Joy, ICT adviser to the prime minister, will inaugurate the PayPal services from Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka. State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak said freelancers would benefit from the services when asked about PayPal operating in Bangladesh. San Francisco-based Xoom, a member of the PayPal family since 2015, launched its money transfer service to Bangladesh in 2015 in collaboration with Social Islami Bank. PayPal will eventually be available through all banks, said a deputy general manager at the Bangladesh Bank Payment System Department.
October 18, 2017 14:37 UTC
Chevron Bangladesh has renegaded on a decision taken five months ago to quit the country and now wants to continue its operations in three gas fields, sources from Bangladesh Oil and Gas Corporation (Petrobangla) have said. However, both Chevron and Petrobangla are yet to make any official announcements regarding the former’s plans to continue operations under new terms. “The Chevron official only came to meet and discuss some issues,” Petrobangla Chairman Faizullah told the Dhaka Tribune. “The Bangladesh government never wanted Chevron to close their operations and leave,” another Petrobangla director said. Sources said Chevron also wants to sell gas to Petrobangla under the PSC at $3 per Mcf (1,000 cubic feet), instead of the current $2.76 rate.
October 18, 2017 14:15 UTC
On Tuesday, Trump appeared to embrace the deal struck by Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and Democratic Senator Patty Murray as “a short-term solution so that we don’t have this very dangerous little period,” apparently referring to possible premium spikes in the wake of his recent decision to cut off subsidy payments to insurance companies. But in a tweet on Wednesday he took a different tack on the bill, which would continue the cost-sharing subsidies that lower premiums for lower-income Americans, writing: “I am supportive of Lamar as a person & also of the process, but I can never support bailing out ins co’s who have made a fortune w/ O‘Care.”
October 18, 2017 13:52 UTC
Leaders of the ruling Awami League have advised Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda to speak carefully as there is a possibility of misinterpreting his remarks or misquoting him by certain quarters. On Sunday, during the commission’s meeting with main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, CEC Huda said its founder Ziaur Rahman “re-established multi-party democracy” in the country. Huda, however, lavished praise on the incumbent Awami League government as well for nine minutes before the start of polls dialogue with the party. He said the Awami League was behind all the success of Bangladesh. “Even the Election Commission enjoyed full freedom during the Awami League period,” he said.
October 18, 2017 13:41 UTC
Police said they arrested the 21 in a drive on a flat at a building in Dhania of Kadamtali on Wednesday evening. Kadamtali Police Station OC MA Jalil said two other women were also taken to the police station from the flat. The two said they had come to the flat on a visit. Police could not confirm the names and posts of the Chhatri Sangstha members. "We are working on the issue," OC Jalil said.
October 18, 2017 13:07 UTC
A man was arrested at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Tuesday after airport security found six rounds of bullets in his carry-on luggage. The detainee, Abul Hossain Miah, 56, was later shown arrested and sent to court, said Sub-Inspector Abu Sayeed of Airport police station. Later police showed him arrested under Section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and sent him to court. The sub-inspector said Abul claimed that he had a licensed firearm and the bullets were for that firearm, and he had a receipt for them. It is to be noted that other than the security personnel, no one is allowed to carry firearms and ammunition inside the airport premises.
October 18, 2017 12:56 UTC
A Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber rammed a car into a police truck in the southwestern city of Quetta on Wednesday, killing at least seven people, police said. The attack killed five police officials and two passers-by on the outskirts of the city of Quetta, police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said. Bugti said the truck carrying the police officials was on its way to the city to drop them at their posts when the suicide bomber rammed into the vehicle. The Pakistani Taliban, an umbrella organisation of various militant groups within Pakistan, and loosely allied to the Afghan Taliban, issued a statement claiming responsibility. A suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State at a Sufi Muslim shrine this month killed 22 people and wounded more than 30.
October 18, 2017 12:56 UTC