US Embassy

US to pause issuing non-immigrant visas in Russia: US Embassy

Washington will halt the issuance of all non-immigrant visas in Russia for nine days from Wednesday and will thereafter reduce visa operations. The US embassy in Moscow said this today, citing the Russian government-imposed cap on its staff levels. An embassy statement said, all non-immigrant visa operations across Russia will be suspended on August 23. 

Operations will resume in Moscow on the 1st of next month. Visa operations at the US consulates will remain suspended indefinitely. It said, all scheduled appointments for visa applicants will be cancelled.

Russia last month slashed the US diplomatic staff in the country by 755 employees to 455 - the same number Moscow has in the United States - in a retaliatory move against new sanctions passed by the US congress.

Las Ramblas Van Attack

Cambrils shooting: Police shot dead 4 terror suspects after Las Ramblas van attack

In Spain, at least 13 people were killed and 100 injured in a terror attack after a van rammed into a crowd of pedestrians on Barcelona's Las Ramblas tourist area last evening. The president of Spain's Catalonia region Carles Puigdemont, confirming it a terror attack, said that police have arrested two people in this connection. Police said, the driver was still on the run. The Police has cordoned off the area around the incident and requested the closure of local metro and train stations.

Hajj Pilgrims

Saudi Arabia's King orders Qatar border to reopen for hajj pilgrims

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has ordered that the border with Qatar be reopened to allow pilgrims to carry out their annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Official state media said today the decision represents the first step forward since a diplomatic crisis began when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5.

Sierra Leone Mudslides

More than 400 killed in Sierra Leone mudslides and flooding

In Sierra Leone, the death toll has crossed over 400 in the mudslides caused by heavy rain on Monday. President Ernest Bai Koroma said that his country needs "urgent support now" for thousands of people affected by flash flooding and mudslides in and around the capital Freetown.

Talking to news persons yesterday, he said the disaster "was overwhelming". The Red Cross estimates that more than 600 people are still missing.

Syria Suicide Blast

Syria suicide blast kills 23 near Jordan border

At least 23 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a suicide blast in southern Syria near the border with Jordan. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bomber detonated an explosive belt yesterday at a base used by Jaish al-Islam near the Nasib border crossing. It said, most of the killed were from Jaish al-Islam.

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said, dozens were wounded in the blast, including 20 in critical condition. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but media reports suggests that jihadists linked to the Islamic State group have attacked rebels in southern part of the country.