Seven siblings perish in UAE house fire

Dubai: Seven brothers and sisters aged between five and 13 died of smoke inhalation in a house fire in the United Arab Emirates on Monday, police said. Hundreds of fires are reported each year across the UAE, despite attempts by authorities to curb such incidents, but casualties are rarely reported. Police in the eastern emirate of Fujairah said the mother awoke at dawn to the smell of a fire in her house. “When rescue teams arrived at the house, the seven children were found dead: three sons and four daughters…

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Japan’s crown prince to bring global view to Chrysanthemum Throne

TOKYO: Japan’s Oxford-educated crown prince, Naruhito, looks set to bring a more global outlook to the ancient imperial institution while carrying on Emperor Akihito’s legacy of promoting peace and reconciliation with Asia when he ascends the throne in 2019. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet on Friday signed off on an April 30, 2019 date for the octogenarian Akihito’s retirement – the first abdication by a Japanese monarch in two centuries. Akihito, who turns 84 on Dec. 23, has spent much of his nearly three decades on the throne trying to…

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Trump publicly defends Trump Jr: ‘Most people would have taken that meeting’

Donald Trump has defended his son in public over his meeting with a Russian lawyer last year, telling a press conference in Paris “most people would have taken that meeting” and ignoring questions about whether offers of political assistance from potential agents of foreign governments should be reported to the FBI. Pre-empting the New York Times, which first reported the meeting, Trump Jr this week released emails in which he appeared eager to accept information from the Russian government that could have damaged Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. An intermediary had told Trump Jr the…

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Yemen hunger crisis leaves refugee chief ‘shocked to the bones’

One of Europe’s most experienced diplomats has said he was “shocked to the bones” by the hunger he saw in Yemen. Jan Egeland, the current head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, condemned “this gigantic failure of international diplomacy” and said that only 3 million people out of the 7 million people who were starving had been fed last month. “Men with guns and power inside Yemen as well as in regional and international capitals are undermining every effort to avert an entirely preventable famine,” he said, “as well as the…

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Turkey police helicopter crash kills 12

ISTANBUL: A Turkish police helicopter crashed on Tuesday in a mountainous region in the east of the country, killing 12 people on board including police officers and a judge, the interior minister said. Speaking to journalists in a televised statement, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the crash was an “accident that appears to have been caused by weather conditions”. “Any other outside factor is out of the question,” he said, ruling out that the helicopter had come under attack. The Sikorsky helicopter, whose passengers included seven policemen, one judge and…

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White House-GCHQ row reveals a leader willing to alienate allies to save face

Spencer Ackerman in New York Friday 17 March 2017 16.58 GMT Last modified on Friday 17 March 2017 18.00 GMT The extraordinary public rebuke by the United States’ closest surveillance partner has revealed an emerging characteristic of Donald Trump’s White House: a willingness to antagonize even its allies instead of admitting error. GCHQ, the UK surveillance mammoth intimately linked to the National Security Agency (NSA), has taken public exception to an allegation repeated from the White House podium that, if true, would probably shatter the Five Eyes intelligence alliance so dear to…

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