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DAWN, NEWS PAKISTAN, PAKISTAN TODAY (Pakistan), WASHINGTON POST (U.S.), REUTERS

Worldcrunch

MIRAMSHAH - At least seven people were killed in a reported U.S. drone attack early Wednesday in northeastern Pakistan. The drone fired two missiles at a mud-built house in the tribal region of North Waziristan, which is considered a bastion of Taliban and al-Qaeda linked militants, says Pakistan Today.

No information is yet available about the identity of the victims. according to News Pakistan,

This attack comes at a sensitive moment, as Pakistan’s newly elected government prepares to take office amid growing debate both there and in the United States about the CIA-operated drone program, writes the Washington Post.

Dawn reports that incoming prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who will take power in the coming days, has deemed the drone strikes a "challenge" to Pakistan’s sovereignty, saying Washington must take Pakistani concerns seriously.

A Pakistani Foreign Ministry official condemned all such strikes."Any drone strike is against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan and we condemn it," the official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.

Last Thursday, President Obama, in his most expansive public discussion on drones, defended their targeted killings as both effective and legal. Ahead of the address, writes Dawn, Obama signed new ”presidential policy guidelines” aimed at illustrating more clearly to Congress and the public the standards the US applies before carrying out drone attacks.

Screengrab via YouTube expand=1]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry defended drone strikes during his visit to Ethiopia on Sunday. “The only people we fire at are confirmed terror targets, at the highest level. We don’t just fire a drone at somebody we think is a terrorist,” he said, adding that strikes are ruled out if there could be collateral damage.

The United States was recently identified in a U.N. report as the world’s No. 1 user of targeted killings, according to News Pakistan, mainly because of its reliance on drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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Green

Fading Flavor: Production Of Saffron Declines Sharply

Saffron is well-known for its flavor and its expense. But in Kashmir, one of the flew places it grows, cultivation has fallen dramatically thanks for climate change, industry, and farming methods.

Photo of women harvesting saffron in Kashmir

Harvesting of Saffron in Kashmir

Mubashir Naik

In northern India along the bustling Jammu-Srinagar national highway near Pampore — known as the saffron town of Kashmir —people are busy picking up saffron flowers to fill their wicker baskets.

During the autumn season, this is a common sight in the Valley as saffron harvesting is celebrated like a festival in Kashmir. The crop is harvested once a year from October 21 to mid-November.

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