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167 people killed in India monsoon floods

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NEW DELHI — At least 167 people have been killed and more than one lakh people forced to live in relief camps across the Indian state of Kerala after monsoon floods badly hit the state.

While torrential rains, overflowing rivers and a series of landslips have cut off vast swathes of land in the state, the Kochi International Airport has been shut till Aug 26 and Southern Railway and Kochi Metro have suspended their operations.

Tens of thousands of people in the state have been stranded by extensive flooding as the death toll from the torrential monsoon continues to climb, according to officials.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said 167 people have died in the state — more than 100 of them in the last 36 hours — and issued a fresh rain alert for the battered state.

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Rescue efforts have been progressing on a war footing and Mr Vijayan’s office said he had spoken to PM Modi again this morning. Four aircraft and three Coast Guard ships have been brought in to rescue people marooned in areas cut off by vast stretches of water.

The state’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Twitter that 25 boats with members of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were sent to Pathanamthitta, central Kerala, and all the boats, including fishing boats, would be used to expedite rescue operations in flooded areas.

he further warned of a grimmer situation as more rain has been forecast till Saturday. “The Centre has sanctioned more men and material,” Vijayan said after a conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Central leaders.

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Jamal Khashoggi murder tapes were ‘shared’ with multiple countries : Turkey

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ISTANBUL — Turkey has shared recordings related to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to Germany, France and Britain, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday, seeking to maintain international pressure on Riyadh over the killing of Khashoggi.

Erdogan,in the first public acknowledgement of the existence of tapes of the slaying, has said that officials from Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and Britain have listened to audio recordings related to the killing of journalist Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

President Erdogan also told reporters that Saudi Arabia had to act fairly and disclose those responsible for the killing of The Washington Post journalist to rid itself of ‘suspicion’.

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“We gave them the tapes. We gave them to Saudi Arabia, to America, to the Germans, the French, to the British, to all of them,” Mr Erdogan said.

Khashoggi, a critic of de facto Saudi ruler Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate last month in a hit which Erdogan says was ordered at the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.

His killing provoked global outrage but little concrete action by world powers against Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter and a supporter of Washington’s plans to contain Iranian influence across the Middle East.

Agencies

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