Around the Globe

Around the Globe

Merkel resumes coalition talks with SPD

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will put her reputation as Europe’s consummate consensus-builder on the line on Wednesday, when she launches a second bid to form a coalition government after weeks of sniping between its would-be partners. Seeking a fourth term in office, Merkel saw her authority weakened in a national election in September, when support for her conservatives was eroded by the far right.

North Korea’s Kim says ‘open to dialogue’ with South Korea, will only use nukes if threatened

Kim Jong Un on Monday warned the United States that he has a “nuclear button” on his desk ready for use if North Korea is threatened, but offered an olive branch to South Korea, saying he was “open to dialogue” with Seoul.

After a year dominated by fiery rhetoric and escalating tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, Kim used his televised New Year’s Day speech to declare North Korea “a peace-loving and responsible nuclear power” and call for lower military tensions on the Korean peninsula and improved ties with the South.

35.03 million tonnes rice procured

The government has procured 350.28 lakh tonnes of rice in the current marketing season so far, according to official data.

The rice procurement target for the current season (October-September) has been fixed at 375 lakh tonnes. In the previous year, total rice procurement had surpassed the target at 381.06 lakh tonnes.

Procurement is undertaken by state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies for the central pool to meet the requirement of food security law. Rice is purchased at the minimum support price (MSP).

Job landscape looks lacklustre

The year 2017 was a year of disruption for Indian job landscape, but hiring scenario looks glossy in the new year with likely addition of 2 lakh jobs in the IT (information technology) industry, experts say.

The Indian job market is in a state of flux, thanks to rising adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), and according to experts, upskilling is the only way employees will be able to survive this transitory phase.

South Korea seizes second ship suspected of providing oil to North Korea

South Korean authorities have seized a Panama-flagged vessel suspected of transferring oil products to North Korea in violation of international sanctions, a customs official said on Sunday.

The seizure was the second to be revealed by South Korea within a few days, as the United Nations steps up efforts to squeeze essential oil supplies to the reclusive North following its nuclear or ballistic missile tests.

Blast at Afghan news agency in Kabul kills dozens

A suicide attack on an office of the Afghan Voice news agency and a neighbouring Shi‘ite cultural centre in the capital Kabul killed dozens on Thursday, officials and witnesses said, with many of the victims students attending a conference.

Interior Ministry deputy spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said at least 40 people had been killed and 30 wounded in the blast, the latest in a series to have hit media organizations in Kabul.

Muhajirs in US welcome Trump's move to put Pakistan on notice

A group of Muhajirs in the US has lauded the Trump administration for putting Pakistan “on notice” for “harbouring” terror groups.

The term ‘Muhajir’ is used to describe the Urdu-speaking immigrants who left India in 1947 and came to Pakistan. A large chunk of them settled in the Sindh province.

US Vice President Mike Pence, during an unannounced trip to Afghanistan to assess the ground realities in the war-torn country, said that President Donald Trump has put Pakistan on notice for providing safe havens to the Taliban and other militant groups.

North Korean missile experts face sanctions

The United States announced sanctions on two of North Korea’s most prominent officials behind its ballistic missile program on Tuesday, while Russia reiterated an offer to mediate to ease tension between Washington and Pyongyang.

The new US steps were the latest in a campaign aimed at forcing North Korea - which has defied years of multilateral and bilateral sanctions - to abandon a weapons program aimed at developing nuclear-tipped missiles capable of hitting the United States.

China, Pakistan to look at including Afghanistan in $57 billion economic corridor

China and Pakistan will look at extending their $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday, part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road plan linking China with Asia, Europe and beyond.

China has tried to position itself as a helpful party to promote talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan, both uneasy neighbours ever since Pakistan’s independence in 1947.

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