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Ayodhya tense as thousands of Hindus gather near demolished Babri Masjid site

AYODHYA: Over 200,000 people are expected near the site where a Hindu mob in 1992 pulled down a 16th-century mosque, Babri Masjid, sparking deadly religious riots that killed some 2,000 people in one of India’s worst communal violence since the partition in 1947. More than 900 extra police and a large number of paramilitary, including elite commandos, have been stationed at Ayodhya, said Vivek Tripathi, spokesman for the Uttar Pradesh police. “We’re monitoring the entire town by CCTV and drone cameras,” Tripathi said.…

‘Smile and nod’: Latin American leaders brace for tense Trump visit

WASHINGTON/LIMA: US President Donald Trump, who has disparaged Latin American countries over immigration, narcotics and trade, heads to the region this week for a summit that diplomats say is likely to be awkward and tense. Trump will arrive in the Peruvian capital, Lima, on Friday for the Summit of the Americas with an agenda of encouraging commercial ties and urging allies to take a hard line on Venezuela, according to US officials who briefed reporters on the trip. But the US president’s divisive rhetoric and…

Erdogan insists Turkey wants EU membership

VARNA, Bulgaria: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday insisted Turkey still wanted to become a member of the European Union ahead of a potentially stormy summit with EU chiefs seeking to repair an increasingly fractured relationship. European Union President Donald Tusk and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker will talk with Erdogan at the Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Varna with a litany of problems clouding their discussions. Topic expected to be high on the agenda include the crackdown in Turkey after…

Indian state tense as Jayalalithaa Jayaram critically ill

CHENNAI: Scuffles broke out Monday outside the hospital where one of India’s most popular political leaders Jayalalithaa Jayaram is on life support after suffering a cardiac arrest.   Hundreds of police had to hold back supporters of the chief minister of the southern state of Tamil Nadu when they tried to break through the barricades outside the hospital after media reports - later denied - that she had died. Doctors treating the 68-year-old former film star, who enjoys an almost god-like status in Tamil Nadu, say she…