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Huge wildfire extinguished in Russia

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A huge wildfire, raging in Russia’s far eastern Yakutia region for the past three weeks, has been extinguished, a forest official said on Wednesday.

The wildfire, covering an area of more than 3,000 hectares of woods, was raging in the Lena Pillars Nature Park, a world natural heritage site, since June 28.

Twenty wildfires were reported in Yakutsk, Magadan, Khabarovsk, and Chukotka regions, it said.About 500 firefighters, 46 pieces of equipment and six aircraft were mobilized to fight the fires, it said.

The Far East region has witnessed 1,047 forest fires so far this year, far more than the same period last year.

In recent years, relatively hotter summers in the Russian Far East have created prime conditions for wildfires.Yakutia has so far this year witnessed 109 wildfires, destroying 8,000 hectares of woods.

Middle East

Journalist’s death a mistake: Saudi Arabia

Khashoggi, journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, had been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

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journalist Jamal Khashoggi

New York, Oct 21 : Saudi Arabia on Sunday described as “a mistake” the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, earlier this month.

In an interview with Fox News, Saudi Foreign Minister Abel Al-Jubeir said that this was a “rogue operation”.

“They made a mistake and killed Jamal Khassoggi in the consulate and they tried to cover up for it,” Al-Jubeir said.

Khashoggi, journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, had been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

A joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case on Thursday after searching the residence of the Consul General as well as the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The kingdom acknowledged early Saturday that Khashoggi died in a brawl in its consulate, but did not give any explanation on the cause of his death.

As of now, 18 Saudi suspects have been taken into custody in connection with the incident and two senior Saudi officials fired.

IANS

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Entertainment

Horror film ‘Halloween’ dominates North American box office

“Halloween” received a “B+” rating from moviegoers on CinemaScore and a 80 percent certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Halloween

Los Angeles, Oct 22 : Universal and Blumhouse’s horror film “Halloween” dominated North American box office in its opening weekend with an estimated $77.5 million, scoring the second biggest horror opening weekend of all-time.

The film’s massive three-day debut is only behind the $123.4-million debut of Warner Bros Pictures’ supernatural horror film “It” in 2017, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Halloween” also scored the second biggest October opening weekend ever, only behind Sony’s “Venom” released earlier this month.

Directed by David Gordon Green, “Halloween” is the 11th instalment in the Halloween film series and a direct sequel to the 1978 film of the same name.

“The Blumhouse formula strikes again in spectacular fashion as the venerable and iconic franchise brings back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode to battle the epitome of pure evil in the form of Michael Myers in this 2018 instant hit,” wrote movie analyst Paul Dergarabedian at comScore in an email to Xinhua.

“Halloween” received a “B+” rating from moviegoers on CinemaScore and a 80 percent certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Costing just $10 million to produce, the film earned $14.3 million from 23 overseas markets for a global total of $91.8 million to date, according to studio figures collected by comScore.

Warner Bros.’ romantic drama “A Star Is Born” remained in second place for the third weekend in a row with an estimated $19.3 million, pushing its North American total to $126.37 million to date.

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Middle East

Iran dismisses allegations of meddling in US election

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Iran President

Tehran, Oct 22 : Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday denied allegations of interfering in the US mid-term Congressional elections.

“Iran’s policy is not to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said, reports Xinhua news agency.

In a statement published on the Ministry’s website, Qasemi said that attempts by the US officials to say that Iran had been involved in the US mid-term polls was a false allegation.

“The White House has for sometime been trying to raise allegations against other countries for specific political reasons,” Qasemi added.

US intelligence and law enforcement agencies on Friday claimed that foreign governments, including Iran, would try to influence US upcoming mid-term Congressional vote in November.

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