Indian PM Modi spent more than twice as much as Manmohan Singh did on foreign travel in half the time

Indian PM Modi spent more than twice as much as Manmohan Singh did on foreign travel in half the time

A reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha (the Upper house of parliament) revealed that in the past four years, the Prime Minister’s foreign visits have cost the exchequer INR 1,484 crore (US$ 258.8 million). In contrast, Mr. Modi’s predecessor, Manmohan Singh, INR 642 crore (US$ 93.3 million), less than half this amount in the nine years that he was Prime Minister.

Hundreds killed in Bangladesh’s anti-drugs drive by Rapid Action Battalion

Hundreds killed in Bangladesh’s anti-drugs drive by Rapid Action Battalion

Hundreds of people have been killed in Bangladesh since the government launched a crackdown on drugs in May, according to a local rights group, fueling fears that the country is following the brutal lead of the Philippines,Rights groups say they are extrajudicial killings carried out by police. “It is unprecedented in Bangladesh. So many people have been killed in such a short period of time,” Sheepa Hafiza, executive director of an organization called Ain o Salish Kendra, told AFP.

Tourist arrivals in Maldives up by 10.5% in the first six months of this year

Tourist arrivals in Maldives up by 10.5% in the first six months of this year

The Maldives Tourism Ministry on Wednesday has said that over 726,000 tourists had visited the island country till June this year, recording a 10.5 percent growth compared to the same period last year. A total of 93,786 tourists visited during the month of June with China, Germany, Britain, Italy and India being the top five markets. Over 127,000 Chinese tourists have visited the Maldives so far this year. Over 127,000 Chinese tourists have visited the Maldives so far this year, reports Xinhua.

OPEC to give Maldives US$ 40 million for infrastructure projects including sanitation

OPEC to give Maldives US$ 40 million for infrastructure projects including sanitation

The Maldives is to get a US$40 million (MVR616.8 million) concessional loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development, the government said Monday as a minister took a swipe at the European Union for approving targeted sanctions because of worsening rights in the country. The loan will be used for harbour construction, airport building and setting up sewage systems.

Yameen disregards EU warning: Says imprisoned opposition leaders won’t be released

Yameen disregards EU warning: Says imprisoned opposition leaders won’t be released

Maldives’ embattled President Abdulla Yameen won’t risk peace and stability in the country by releasing jailed opposition leaders which he said remains essential for continued development. Speaking during a ceremony held to mark the completion of a sewerage system project in Haa Dhaal Atoll Nolhivaram island, President Yameen said “freeing criminals” would undermine the stability in the country and could plunge the nation into further chaos.

India re-affirms Indo-Pacific grouping is not aimed at containing China

India re-affirms Indo-Pacific grouping is not aimed at containing China

India on Friday reaffirmed that its Indo-Pacific strategy is not aimed at China’s containment. During the second India-China Maritime Affairs Dialogue held in Beijing, the Indian delegation led by Pankaj Sharma, Joint Secretary (Disarmament and International Security Affairs) in the Ministry of External Affairs, cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks at the Shangrila dialogue in Singapore in June to support his contention.

UN arrives at agreement on improved ways of managing migrants but US stays out

UN arrives at agreement on improved ways of managing migrants but US stays out

The United Nations on Friday completed an agreement on improved ways to handle the global flow of migrants — a pact particularly notable because it was boycotted by a huge and influential member, the United States. The agreement — the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration — was negotiated at a time that the conversations about migration and refugees have grown increasingly divisive in much of the Western world.

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