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Sher Bahadur Deuba elected Nepal PM

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Sher Bahadur Deuba

Kathmandu, Jun 6 : Sher Bahadur Deuba, a veteran politician known for his close ties with India, was today overwhelmingly elected the prime minister of Nepal for the fourth time, taking over the reigns of the country at a time the Himalayan nation navigates through a political turmoil.

Deuba, the president of Nepal’s oldest party, the Nepali Congress, was elected the 40th prime minister of the country’s young democracy, following a voting in the parliament, during which he secured 388 votes out of a total of 558 votes cast.

He was the only contender in the election.

The 70-year-old succeeds Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, who last month resigned to honour a power-sharing deal.

Deuba is likely to form a small Cabinet tomorrow which will be expanded in a few days and some of the Madhesi parties are also likely to join the coalition.

He takes over at a crucial time in the politics of Nepal, which is holding the first local-level polls in 20 years, but one that is being resisted by Madhesi people. The inhabitants of the southern Terai region who share cultural ties with Indians have been demanding more political representation.

Deuba, who was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2016, is said to enjoy the confidence of prominent Indian leaders, and that could potentially aid him in arresting the growing disenchantment among the Madhesi community.

He played a key role in amending Nepal’s new Constitution promulgated in September 2015 to address the demands of Madhes-based political parties. Deuba also played a key role in bringing the parties on board for the second phase of local-level elections, now scheduled for June 28.

Deuba, who has been elected to the parliament from far- western Dadeldhura district, has promised to amend the new Constitution to fulfil the demands of the Madhesi people.

During Deuba’s previous term as prime minister in 1996, Nepal and India signed the historic Mahakali Treaty for shared utilisation of the waters of the river by the same name.

Deuba served as the prime minister from 1995 to 1997, from 2001 to 2002, and from 2004 to 2005.

Nepal’s then king Gyanendra Shah took power through a coup detat in October 2002 and removed Deuba from the post.

But he had to restore him in 2004 after weeks of street protests. Deuba was again removed from power by the king in 2005, when he was also imprisoned on charges of corruption.

Addressing the parliament before the voting today, Deuba said he would accord priority to complete the local polls and conduct provincial and parliamentary elections by March next year.

He said he would also prioritise the amendment of the Constitution to address the demands of Madhesi people. “My other priorities will be economic reforms and rapid development of the country and for that I would focus on developing infrastructure such as electricity, transportation and irrigation,” he said.

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Heavy rains, landslides kill 5 in Sri Lanka

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sri lanka heavy rains landslides
People look at the rough sea on a bridge as rainy clouds gather above during the monsoon period in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 21, 2018. (Image Credit- Reuters)

Colombo, May 21: At least five people have been killed and seven are missing as heavy rains and strong winds caused havoc in Sri Lanka, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said on Monday.

The deaths were reported from the eastern district of Trincomalee and in the lower central hills of Badulla, Xinhua news agency reported.

Three people were killed by lightning, one perished in a landslide, while the fifth death was the result of a fallen tree, said DMC officials.

Over 9,000 people were affected by the adverse weather while hundreds of families were evacuated from their homes as the Meteorology Department warned of more rains in the coming days.

DMC spokesperson Pradeep Kodippili said five major rivers were at spill level and those living in low areas were evacuated to safer levels.

He said floods were also reported from the Ratnapura district in the Sabaragamuwa province and a landslide warning had been issued for Kalutara, Kegalle, Ratnapura, Badulla, Nuwara Eliya, Galle and Kurunegala.

“The police and tri forces are all on standby and assisting in relief efforts. We request the people in low areas to move to safer locations,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sri lankan Education Ministry said schools in the rain affected areas in Sabaragamuwa province will remain shut on Monday and Tuesday.

Sri lanka is facing its annual southwest monsoon, with the Meteorological Department warning of more rains in several districts across the country in the coming days.

“Very heavy falls, about 150 mm, can be expected at some places in Sabaragamuwa, Western provinces and in Galle and Matara districts,” the Meteorological Department said.

Over 200 people were killed and 78 people missing when the southwest monsoon caused severe floods and landslides across Sri lanka in 2017.

IANS

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Germany wants to strengthen multilateralism with China: Merkel

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said her country wants to strengthen multilateralism with China and she is looking forward to her visit to China next week.

Merkel will visit China next Thursday and Friday at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. It will be her first trip to China after re-election and the 11th as the German chancellor, Xinhua news agency reported.

Merkel said in a podcast published on Saturday that as Germany and China have agreed on regular political dialogue and intergovernmental consultations, she went to China to conduct these talks on average once a year.

Germany and China have carried out very close cooperation within G20, Merkel said, adding that during her upcoming visit the two sides will talk about bilateral relations, rule of law, China’s development, economy and other international affairs.

“We want to strengthen multilateralism. And that will play a role in our discussion,” said Merkel.

Merkel will also visit Shenzhen, an economic hub in China’s southern Guangdong Province.

“I am glad that I’m going to Shenzhen this time as well. I have regularly visited provinces in China, not just the capital. I am again and again aware of the dynamics and the extent to which China is developing,” Merkel said.

The German Chancellor said she was very interested in visiting Shenzhen where China’s economic opening-up began and where there are many German companies.

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Royal Wedding: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle marry at Windsor Castle

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prince harry Meghan Markle

New Delhi, May 19: It’s the most anticipated wedding of the year: Prince Harry married US actress Meghan Markle in a ceremony at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle here on Saturday (May 19).

prince harry Meghan Markle

Meghan became the first royal bride to walk herself up the aisle at a royal wedding. She was met halfway by Prince Charles, the Duke of Cornwall, who walked her down the aisle of the Quire of the chapel. Her father Thomas Markle was unable to attend due to health issues.

The marriage between Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne, and Meghan, an American actor who lived for years in Toronto, has drawn intense interest worldwide.

Among the 600 celebrity guests invited to the St. George Chapel were internationally acclaimed Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney, David and Victoria Beckham, Elton John, Tom Hardy, James Corden, James Blunt and Carey Mulligan among others.

Tennis star Serena Williams and rugby star Jonny Wilkinson were also present.

The ceremony took place in presence of Queen Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Philip, Prince William, his wife Catherine, Prince Harry’s uncle, Earl Spencer; the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson; and Catherine’s sister Pippa Middleton.

Watch all the Live Updates of Royal Wedding here: 

Here comes the beautiful royal bride:

Handsome groom:

Harry and Markle becomeDuke and Duchess of Sussex on their Wedding Day: Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the dukedom on her grandson in the morning, with his wife-to-be automatically becoming a duchess. Prince Harry’s titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.

“The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales. His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel,” according to the royal statement.

“Prince Harry thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex,” it said.

The couple will wed at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

People flocking the streets to welcome the bride and groom.

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