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Former Portuguese president Soares no more



Lisbon, Jan 8 : Former Portuguese President Mario Soares died at the age of 92, two weeks after he was admitted to a hospital in Lisbon.

Soares on Saturday died of respiratory complications that left him in a profound coma at Red Cross hospital in Lisbon since December 13 last year, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sores was widely known in Portugal as one of the founding fathers of the country’s democracy after a bloodless coup on Apirl 25, 1974, when the dictatorship of Oliveira Salazar was overthrown.

He served as president from 1986 to 1996 and prime minister from 1976 to 1978 and from 1983 to 1985.

He also served as foreign minister and an MP of the European Parliament. When he served as minister of foreign affairs he negotiated the Portuguese entry in what is today the European Union.

Born in December 7, 1924, in Lisbon, Soares was a law graduate at Lison University and later became a lawyer. He was one of the founders and the first leader of the currently ruling Socialist Party headed by Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

Prime Minister António Costa has declared a three-day national mourning from Monday for Soares.

“Today we lost the one who was so often the face and the voice of our freedom. Mario Soares was a man who throughout his life fought for freedom, he did it against the dictatorship, suffering prison, deportation and exile,” Costa said.

“The loss of Mario Soares is the loss of someone who would have been irreplaceable in our recent history. We owe him a lot and we will remain forever eternally grateful,” he added.

A state funeral for Soares will be held in Lisbon on Tuesday. Costa, who is on an official visit to India, will be absent from the funeral, but he has sent his condolence to Soares’ family.


North Korea suspends nuclear, ballistic missile testing



North Korean Kim Jong un

Seoul, April 21: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Saturday announced the immediate suspension of nuclear and long-range missile tests.

“From April 21, North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” Efe quoted Kim as saying.

According to the report, North Korea will also close a nuclear test site in the country’s northern side in a bid to guarantee transparency in suspending nuclear tests.

Having established a nuclear deterrent, North Korea can now turn to overhauling its economy, Kim said.

Pyongyang’s decision comes ahead of Kim’s April 27 summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the demilitarized zone that divides the two countries.

The last bilateral talks between the leaders of North and South Korea took place 11 years ago.

US President Donald Trump, who accepted Kim’s proposal for a meeting after months that saw the two men trade insults and threats, praised the announcement from Pyongyang.

“North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World — big progress! Look forward to our Summit,” Trump said in a tweet.


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DJ Avicii dead at 28



Madrid, April 21: World-renowned Swedish DJ and electronic music producer Avicii was found dead in Muscat, Oman, his agent said on Friday. He was 28.

“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” Efe quoted Diana Baron as saying.

“The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time,” Baron said. “No further statements will be given.”

Bergling had struggled with health problems, some caused by excessive drinking and was hospitalized for 11 days in 2012 for treatment of acute pancreatitis.

In early 2016, he announced his temporary retirement from touring, citing a desire to “explore other interests.”

“To me it was something I had to do for my health,” Bergling told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016, adding that he had taken on board “too much negative energy” from the music scene.

Avicii achieved global fame in 2011 with the release of his smash hit “Levels,” which was followed by other chart sensations, such as “Wake Me Up” and “Hey Brother”.

He was known for his collaborations with other artists, including Coldplay, David Guetta, Lenny Kravitz, Robbie Williams and Rita Ora.

In 2014, he teamed up with Carlos Santana, Wyclef Jean and Alexandre Pires on the official FIFA World Cup anthem, “We Will Find a Way”.


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IMF expects India’s role to expand in Indo-Pacific region



International Monetary Fund

United Nations, April 21: The International Monetary Fund expects India’s role in the Indo-Pacific region’s development to continue to expand because of its robust growth, but it has to carry out more trade reforms, Ken Kang, the deputy director in IMF’s Asia Pacific Department said on Friday.

“Given our robust growth forecast where we see India’s growth rising from 7.4 per cent in 2017-18 to 7.8 per cent in 2019, we do expect India’s role in the region to continue to expand,” he said at a news conference in Washington.

“That being said, India does have room to expand its export orientation and to reduce further trade and non-trade barriers,” he added.

“The statutory tariff rate in India is relatively high at about 15 per cent, and higher than those in the rest of the region,” he added. “So there is room to do more on trade reform.”


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