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Syria rejects US claims on chemical weapon use

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Damascus, Feb 4: The Syrian Foreign Ministry has rejected the US claims about the Syrian government using chemical weapons in the war as “lies.”

The ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the US remarks about the use of chemical weapons in the Eastern Ghouta region of the east of the capital Damascus are “false claims”, Xinhua news agency reported.

Such allegations were timed to undermine the efforts to resolve the Syrian war through a peaceful settlement between the Syrians without foreign interventions, it noted.

The Syrian government reaffirms its position against the use of chemical weapons, and Syria has handed over all its chemical arsenals to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the ministry said.

The US and its allies are “desperately” searching for a pretext to target Syria, following the success of the Syrian army in its war against terror-designated militant groups across Syria, it pointed out.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis recently threatened Syria with a military action if hard evidence is found to back up the claims of another sarin attack in Syria.

Last month, activists claimed the Syrian forces used chlorine in an attack on the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus, causing 21 people to suffer from breathing difficulties.

In April last year, the US struck a military base in central Syria with more than 50 Tomahawk missiles, in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack by the government forces on a rebel-held town in the northwestern province of Idlib.

The Syrian government denied the accusations, saying it’s rebels who mounted the attack to frame the government and draw in a military action from the US.

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Protests over Putin’s plans to hike retirement age

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Russia protest over pension age

Moscow, Sep 22 (IANS) Members and supporters of Russia’s Communist Party took to the streets of the capital on Saturday to protest unpopular pension reforms planned by President Vladimir Putin.

Putin took measures to soften his proposed hike in retirement age in August by limiting the increase for women to 60 — up from 55 — instead of the initial suggestion of 63, Efe news reported.

But the change of plan has so far failed to quell protests against it. He stood by plans to raise men’s retirement age from 60 to 65.

Protesters held signs emblazoned with slogans such as “Putin Lies”. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov also spoke at the rally.

The changes have been given a preliminary green-light by the State Duma, Russia’s lower parliament, but have provoked widespread outrage. An opinion poll showed that about 90 per cent of Russians were against increasing the retirement age.

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Ready to boost anti-terror cooperation with Iran: Putin

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Moscow, Sep 23 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, over a deadly terrorist attack and reaffirmed readiness to intensify counter-terror cooperation, the Kremlin said on Saturday.

“We are outraged by this bloody crime. Hopefully, everyone involved will be held liable,” Putin said in his telegram to Rouhani, which was published by the Kremlin, Xinhua news agency.

At least 24 people were killed in a terror attack in a military parade in the southern Iranian Ahvaz city on Saturday, official IRNA news agency reported.

This incident is another proof of the need for “uncompromising war on any manifestations of terrorism,” Putin said.

“I would like to confirm our readiness to further enhance cooperation with our Iranian partners in the fight against this evil,” he said.

The President offered condolences to the relatives and friends of those killed in the attack and wished a speedy recovery to those injured, according to the Kremlin.

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Watch Prince Harry stealing samosa at Meghan Markle’s event

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New Delhi, Sep 22: Prince Harry was caught on camera sneaking samosas from her wife’s Meghan Markle’s cookbook event. 

The Duke of Sussex had hosted an event at Kensington Palace to mark the launch her book “Together: Our Community Cookbook” on
Thursday and in the quirkiest way her husband was seen stealing Indian Snack ‘Samosas’.

The British television network, ITV shared a video on the @itvnews Twitter account on September 20.

In the video, Harry can be seen trying to hide the samosa as he caught red-handed. Later, he smiled and casually walked away checking his surroundings.

Meghan’s book features recipes from a group of women whose community was affected by the Grenfell Tower fire that claimed more than 70 lives.

As the video went viral, Twitterati’s just can’t stop laughing at the Royal Prince’s cheeky act.

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