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Are you on Twitter, reporter asks Modi

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St. Petersburg, June 2, 2017: American journalist Megyn Kelly has come under widespread online criticism for asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi — the second-most followed politician on Twitter with over 30 million followers — if he was on the micro-blogging site.

Kelly, 46, met Modi when she had to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin in this Russian city for her new NBC show.

The channel aired a teaser video on Friday morning of the show where Kelly greets Putin and Modi at state party dinner at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg.

Modi tells the American journalist that he had seen a picture of her with an umbrella in St. Petersburg she had posted on Twitter.

The picture Modi referred to had a caption: 

“Ohh really! Did you? Are you on Twitter?” Kelly replied with a broad smile. Apparently taken aback, Modi nodded saying ‘yes’.

Her poser invited an online backlash. The journalist was accused of not doing her homework.

“Sheesh. @megynkelly asks @narendramodi who has 30 million followers if he’s on Twitter. What does it take to get India on the radar screen,” tweeted Alyssa Ayres, a senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations.

“#CluelessAmerican,” Rupa Subramanya wrote.

Modi has 30.3 million followers on Twitter making him the second most followed politician in the world after US President Donald Trump with 31.2 million followers. Overall Modi is ranked at the 35th spot in the list of most followers on Twitter.

American singer and songwriter Katy Perry holds the No.1 spot with over 99 million followers.

IANS

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Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving officially ends

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Riyadh, June 24 : Saudi women can legally get behind the wheel of a car for the first time Sunday as the Kingdom lifts its decades-old ban on women driving.

The change was announced last September and Saudi Arabia issued the first licences to women earlier this month, BBC reported on Sunday.

It was the only country left in the world where women could not drive and families had to hire private chauffeurs for female relatives.

However, the move comes amid an intensified crackdown on activists who campaigned for the right to drive.

At least eight women’s rights activists are being detained and could face trial in a counter-terrorism court and long prison sentences for their activism, human rights group Amnesty says.

They include Loujain al-Hathloul, a well-known figure in the campaign for women’s driving rights.

Amnesty has also called for wider reforms in Saudi Arabia, where women remain subject to male guardianship laws.

Human rights groups in the kingdom have campaigned for years to allow women to drive.

Dozens of women were arrested for driving in Riyadh in 1990 and some Saudi women began posting videos of themselves at the wheel in 2008, and between 2011 and 2014.

Thousands of women could soon take to the roads.

“It is a historic moment for every Saudi woman,” Saudi television presenter said.

She said she was behind the wheel minutes after the end of the driving ban at midnight local time (21:00 GMT Saturday).

“Those days of waiting long hours for a driver are over,” said pharmacy student Hatoun bin Dakhil, 21. “We no longer need a man.”

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President of Zimbabwe survives ‘assassination attempt’ in Bulawayo

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Cairo, June 24:Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has survived an assassination attempt when he was addressing thousands at his ruling ZANU-PF party election campaign rally in the city of Bulawayo on Saturday.

The Zimbabwean president said he narrowly survived an attempt on his life after a explosion at a party rally that injured two of his vice-presidents and several party officials.

He said an object “exploded a few inches away from me – but it is not my time”.

In a message on Twitter, Mnangagwa called the explosion a “senseless act of violence”.

“The campaign has been conducted in a free and peaceful environment, and we will not allow this cowardly act to get in our way as we move towards elections,” he wrote.

Egypt condemns attack

Egypt has condemned the attack on a rally of Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he was addressing an electoral campaign, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The statement on Saturday expressed Egypt’s solidarity “with the Zimbabwean government and people to achieve security and stability in the country”.

“Egypt is comfort with the failure of such a sinful attack and the survival of the Zimbabwean president,” said the statement.

Earlier on Saturday, Egypt condemned a failed attempt to “assassinate” Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during a mass rally in the capital Addis Ababa, which left at least three people dead and more than 160 injured.

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South Korean former PM Kim Jong-pil dies at 92

Before becoming Prime Minister for the first time, the retired military leader and father of two created and ran the Korean Intelligence Agency and later headed the then ruling Democratic Republican Party.

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Seoul, June 23 (IANS) Former South Korean Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil died here on Saturday at the age of 92 while being taken to a hospital.

Kim, considered among the most influential politicians in the country in previous decades, served as Prime Minister on two occasions, between 1971 and 1975, and between 1998 and 2000, Yonhap agency reported.

Born in 1926, Kim graduated from the Korea Military Academy and played an important role in the 1961 military coup led by former President Park Chung-hee, who ruled the country with an iron fist until his assassination in 1979.

Before becoming Prime Minister for the first time, the retired military leader and father of two created and ran the Korean Intelligence Agency and later headed the then ruling Democratic Republican Party.

Besides holding government posts, the influential and conservative politician served as lawmaker on nine occasions until his retirement in 2004.

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