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Hundreds of Sikhs rally in London against India

LONDON: Hundreds of Sikh separatists and their supporters gathered in London's Trafalgar Square on Sunday to demand a referendum on an independent homeland to be carved out of India. They brandished banners reading "Free Punjab, End Indian occupation", "Punjab Referendum 2020 for Khalistan" and "We will re-establish Punjab as an independent country". The protest was organised by the US and Canada-based group Sikhs for Justice, and drew people from all over the world, many of them chanting "Khalistan". Read More: In a…

Hundreds of Indonesian couples ring in the new year at mass wedding

JAKARTA: Hundreds of Indonesian couples celebrated New Year’s Eve on Sunday night by tying the knot in a mass wedding in the capital Jakarta. Nearly 450 couples gathered in a large tent in the city center just hours before midnight to pray with their families before signing marriage certificates. Government officials oversaw each brief ceremony. “We wanted an unforgettable experience and we’re so happy that we decided to participate today,” said Hartiningish, a 38-year-old East Javanese bride, while a live band played…

Tesla fired hundreds of employees in past week

Luxury electric vehicle maker Tesla fired about 400 employees this week, including associates, team leaders and supervisors, a former employee told Reuters on Friday. The dismissals were a result of a company-wide annual review, Tesla said in an emailed statement, without confirming the number of employees leaving the company. “It’s about 400 people ranging from associates to team leaders to supervisors. We don’t know how high up it went,” said the former employee, who worked on the assembly line and did not want to be…

Bangladesh holding hundreds in secret jails: HRW

DHAKA: Bangladesh has secretly detained hundreds of people, including scores of opposition activists, many of whom have later been killed, a rights group said Thursday. The Human Rights Watch report, released days after the alleged abduction of a high-profile government critic, said security agencies were removing people with “no regard” for the rule of law. Hundreds of people have been detained and held in secret locations since 2013, including at least 90 last year, it said. “Bangladesh security forces appear to have…

Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails launch mass hunger strike

RAMALLAH: Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails launched a hunger strike on Monday following a call from leader and prominent prisoner Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian Authority official said. Issa Qaraqe, head of prisoners affairs for the Palestinian Authority, said that “around 1,300 Palestinian prisoners” were participating in the hunger strike and the number could rise. The Palestinian Prisoners Club NGO put the number at 1,500. Israeli prison service spokesman Assaf Librati said that 700 prisoners had announced…

Hundreds leave Syria rebel district under deal: state media

DAMASCUS: Hundreds more Syrian rebels and their families left the last opposition-held neighbourhood of the central city of Homs on Saturday, Syria’s state news agency said. SANA reported that at least 242 rebels had left Waer along with their families under a deal granting them safe passage to opposition-held territory elsewhere in the country. Homs provincial governor Talal Barazi told SANA up to 400 rebels and their relatives were expected to leave by the end of the day, with evacuations continuing each week until…

Hundreds of immigrants arrested in ‘routine’ US enforcement surge

US federal immigration agents arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least four states this week in what officials on Friday called routine enforcement actions. Reports of immigration sweeps this week sparked concern among immigration advocates and families, coming on the heels of President Donald Trump's executive order barring refugees and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim nations. That order is currently on hold. "The fear coursing through immigrant homes and the native-born Americans who love…

Hundreds of US Marines land in Norway, irking Russia

OSLO: Some 300 US Marines landed in Norway on Monday for a six-month deployment, the first time since World War Two that foreign troops have been allowed to be stationed there, in a deployment which has irked Norway's Arctic neighbor Russia. Officials played down any link between the operation and Nato concerns over Russia, but the deployment coincides with the US sending several thousand troops to Poland to beef up its Eastern European allies worried about Moscow's assertiveness. Soldiers from Camp Lejeune in North…

India orders hundreds of porn sites blocked

NEW DELHI: India has ordered hundreds of porn sites blocked citing "objectionable" content, a government official said Monday, kicking off an angry row about freedom of speech in the world's biggest democracy.