WORLD

Blast kills at least 21 in Pakistan vegetable market, says official

শনিবার, ২১ জানুয়ারী ২০১৭
21 January 2017 An explosion in a busy vegetable market killed at least 21 people on Saturday in Pakistan's remote northwestern tribal region, an official said, in an attack jointly claimed by the Pakistani Taliban and a branch of the sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

About 40 others were wounded in the blast in Kurram region, near the border with Afghanistan, said Sajid Hussain Turi, member of the National Assembly from the region.

"We received 21 bodies of the local tribal people killed in the blast," Turi said, adding that there would be a mass funeral followed by a demonstration over the attack.

Spokesmen for the Pakistani Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al Alami said the two groups coordinated the attack together.

Mohammad Khurassani, a spokesman for the Mehsud faction of the Pakistani Taliban, said the attack was to avenge Tuesday's killing of the leader of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Asif Chotoo, by police in the eastern province of Punjab.

Ali bin Sufyan, spokesman for LeJ's Al Alami faction, told Reuters his group had coordinated the attack with the Pakistani Taliban. The Al Alami militants in the past have claimed to have coordinated attacks with Middle East-based Islamic State's branch in Pakistan, including the November bombing of a Muslim shrine that killed 52 people, but the group also allies with the Taliban.

 

Asia on Christmas alert as police foil two suspected bomb plots

শনিবার, ২৪ ডিসেম্বর ২০১৬
24 December 2016 Security forces across Asia were on alert on Friday ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays, as police in Australia and Indonesia said they had foiled bomb plots and Malaysian security forces arrested suspected militants.

Australian police said they had prevented attacks on prominent sites in Melbourne on Christmas Day that authorities described as "an imminent terrorist event" inspired by Islamic State.

The announcement came after an attack in Berlin in which a truck smashed through a Christmas market on Monday, killing 12 people. The suspect was killed in a shoot-out with police in Milan on Friday, Italy's interior minister said.

In Indonesia, where Islamic State's first attack in Southeast Asia killed four people in Jakarta in January, at least 14 people were being interrogated over suspected suicide bomb plots targeting the presidential palace in Jakarta and another undisclosed location, police said.

Anti-terrorism police killed three suspects in a gunfight on Wednesday on the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta.

Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, would deploy 85,000 police and 15,000 military staff for the Christmas and New Year period, police said.

7 killed as IS militants attack Jakarta in first Indonesia strike

Moderate Indonesian Muslim groups were helping authorities secure Christmas celebrations amid heightened religious tension after the Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, went on trial on a charge of blasphemy against Islam, which he denies.

Hardline group Islamic Defenders Front swept into shopping centres in the city of Surabaya, in East Java, last week to make sure Muslim staff was not forced by employers to wear Santa hats or other Christmas gear.

In West Java, a group stopped a Christmas event as it was being held in a public building rather than in a church.

In Jakarta, about 300 volunteers from Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia's biggest moderate Muslim group, will join police in overseeing security.

"The focus is against terrorism, especially in Jakarta and Bali, because these are the traditional targets," Indonesia police chief Tito Karnavian told reporters.

The largely Hindu island of Bali, famed for its temples and beaches, suffered Indonesia's most serious militant attack, in 2002, when 202 people were killed, most of them foreigners, by bombs at a bar.

Warnings, patrols

In the Pakistani city of Lahore, where 72 people were killed in an Easter Day bombing targeting Christians this year, police said 2,000 Muslim volunteers had been trained to help with security.

"A three-layer security will be arranged around every church in Lahore," said Haider Ashraf, the city's deputy inspector general of police.

He said and CCTV cameras were monitoring churches and other gathering places for Christians, who make up about 1 percent of Muslim-majority Pakistan's 190 million people.

Police in Muslim-majority Malaysia, where Islamic State claimed responsibility for a grenade attack on a bar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in June, said this week they had arrested seven people for suspected links to the militant group.

Police will monitor transport hubs, entertainment centres and tourist spots.

"We try not to have too much physical presence in public and focus more on prevention," deputy home minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said. "People should feel free to enjoy their holidays."

The US embassy in India warned this week of an increased threat to places frequented by foreigners.

In mostly Muslim Bangladesh, where a militant group killed 20 people, most of them foreigners, at a Dhaka cafe in July, police would be patrolling near churches, an officer said.

Mostly Buddhist Thailand plans to have more than 100,000 police on patrol until mid-January, police said, adding it was an increase from last year, without giving details.

Thai deputy national police spokesman Kissana Phathancharoen said no intelligence pointed to a possible attack but "we will not let our guard down".

Multi-ethnic Singapore, a major commercial, banking and travel hub that is home to many Western expatriates, will deploy police at tourist and shopping areas. Police said bags may be checked.

 
 

Berlin police assume truck was deliberately driven into Christmas market

মঙ্গলবার, ২০ ডিসেম্বর ২০১৬
20 December 2016 Berlin police said on Tuesday that investigators assume the driver of a truck that ploughed into a crowd at a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12 people and injuring 48 others, did so intentionally in a suspected terrorist attack.

into people gathered around wooden huts serving mulled wine and sausages at the foot of the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church, which was left as a ruin after World War Two, in the heart of former West Berlin on Monday evening.

"Our investigators assume that the truck was deliberately steered into the crowd at the Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz," police said on Twitter.

"All police measures related to the suspected terrorist attack at Breitscheidplatz are progressing at full steam and with the necessary diligence," police said.

Holiday revels end in carnage

The incident evoked memories of an attack in Nice, France in July when a Tunisian-born man drove a 19-tonne truck along the beach front, mowing down people who had gathered to watch the fireworks on Bastille Day, killing 86 people. That attack was claimed by Islamic State.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere had previously said there were indications that the incident in Berlin was an attack.

 
 

CIA says Russia intervened to help Trump win White House: Washington Post

শনিবার, ১০ ডিসেম্বর ২০১৬

10 December 2016 The CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help President-elect Donald Trump winthe White House, and not just to undermine confidence in the US electoral system, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

Citing US officials briefed on the matter, the Post said intelligence agencies had identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, to WikiLeaks.

The officials described the individuals as people known to the intelligence community who were part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and reduce Clinton's chances of winning the election.

"It is the assessments of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favour one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected," the Post quoted a senior US official as saying. "That's the consensus view."

The Post said the official had been briefed on an intelligence presentation made by the Central Intelligence Agency to key US senators behind closed-doors last week.

The CIA, in what the Post said was a secret assessment, cited a growing body of evidence from multiple sources. Briefers told the senators it was now "quite clear" that electing Trump was Russia's goal, the Post quoted officials as saying on condition of anonymity.

In October, the US government formally accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.

President Barack Obama has said he warned Russian President Vladimir Putin about consequences for the attacks. But Russian officials have denied all accusations of interference in the US election.

A CIA spokeswoman said the agency had no comment on the report.

Trump has said he is not convinced Russia was behind the cyber attacks. His transition team issued a statement on "claims of foreign interference in US elections" on Friday but did not directly address the issue.

The hacked emails passed to WikiLeaks were a regular source of embarrassment to the Clinton campaign during the race for the presidency.

The CIA presentation fell short of a formal US assessment by all 17 US intelligence agencies, the Post said. A senior US official said there remained minor disagreements among intelligence officials about the assessment because some questions are unanswered, it said.

Intelligence agencies did not have specific intelligence showing the Kremlin directed the individuals to pass the hacked emails to WikiLeaks, another senior official told the Post. The actors were "one step" removed from the Russian government rather than government employees, the official said.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said in a television interview that the Russian government was not the source of the emails, the Post said.

 
 

Voted for Trump, but now they think of impeachment

রবিবার, ১৩ নভেম্বর ২০১৬

13 November 2016 Gripped by panic and anger at Donald Trump's win in the presidential election, Americans now want to know "how to impeach a president".

They relied on Google, the giant search engine, to know how to get rid of Trump-president elect through impeachment. The result: Google searches for "how to impeach a president" has increased by around 5000 percent hours after Hillary Clinton conceded the race on Tuesday.

Also read: 3,500 lawsuits to follow Trump into White House

This is unprecedented in the history of American democracy. Trump has yet to get officially elected as the president. He has won the majority Electoral College votes and electors are supposed to cast their votes on December 19 for Trump to make him the president.

The impeachment issue has been much talked about following prediction of some law professors and political analysts to this regard. All of the predictors, in their defence, cited the lawsuits Trump now faces.

USA Today in an investigative report on Thursday said Trump has been party to some 4,000 lawsuits over the last 30 years and is currently facing 75 active lawsuits.

Just two weeks before Election Day, at least 75 of the 4,000-plus lawsuits involving Trump and his businesses remain open according to an ongoing, nationwide analysis of state and federal court records by USA Today.

The number of unresolved cases is unprecedented for a presidential candidate, according to political scientists and historians.

"He would not be entitled to immunity, and could be required to give depositions or even testify in open court. That could chew up time and expose a litany of uncomfortable private and business dealings to the public," said USA TODAY report.

The cases are civil and not criminal; they could result, at worst for Trump, in large fines, but not jail time. Still, convictions of illegal activity could provide ammo for those seeking to impeach the president-elect, according to a report by International Business Times.

Christopher Peterson, a law professor at the University of Utah, said he found evidence to charge Trump with fraud and racketeering - felonies within state and federal laws.

He claimed that Trump University was unaccredited and taught students get-rich-quick schemes.

"Trump is set to go on trial in three weeks over his now-defunct Trump University, potentially taking the witness stand weeks before his inauguration," claimed Prof Peterson.

The lawsuit, filed in 2010, claims Trump University gave seminars across the country that were like infomercials, pressuring people to spend $35,000 for mentorships.

It has been the biggest fraud case brought by students who claim they were deceived by Trump University's marketing. The case is set to start on 28 November in San Diego.

Before the election, Trump has also been accused of soliciting charitable donations without the proper approvals. Washington Post in a report claimed to have found evidence that he used Trump Foundation money in ways that could benefit him personally, which is against the law.

New York state attorney-general Eric Schneiderman earlier said his office was investigating whether the Trump Foundation charity is complying with state law.

During the electoral campaign, the New York Times in an investigative report said it had received some of Trump's tax documents and found that Trump had been in a position to avoid federal income taxes for 18 years.

The Internal Revenue Service is auditing Mr Trump's taxes.

Interestingly, Peterson came up with the claim before the election. In a 23-page article, he explained why Congress should impeach Trump over these claims.

'In the United States, it is illegal for businesses to use false statements to convince consumers to purchase their services,' said Peterson.

The US Constitution states that presidents may be impeached if they are convicted of "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

The process is kicked off by a vote by the House of Representative and is followed by a formal impeachment trial in the Senate.

Only two presidents have been at the centre of the impeachment process in the House, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Johnson and Clinton were acquitted by the Senate and remained in office.

Richard Nixon resigned on 9 August 1974 ahead of an almost-certain impeachment in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

Political historian Prof. Allan Lichtman was one of the few professional prognosticators to call a Trump win has also come up with another prediction: Trump will be impeached.

Like Peterson, Lichtman also made the prediction before the election.

Political analyst David Brooks also wrote in the New York Times on November 11 suggesting that a Trump impeachment or resignation was “probably” in the cards sometime within the next year.

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, who in July correctly predicted Trump would win the presidency, now said Trump’s first term will end in either his resignation or impeachment.

“Here’s what’s going to happen, this is why we’re not going to have to suffer through four years of Donald J. Trump, because he has no ideology except the ideology of Donald J. Trump,” Moore said Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“And when you have a narcissist like that, who’s so narcissistic where it’s all about him, he will, maybe unintentionally, break laws. He will break laws because he’s only thinking about what’s best for him.”

Almost immediately after Trump's election, multiple petitions for his impeachment appeared online.

Impeachment is most commonly employed when a leader commits crimes while in office, but, historically, have also been a consequence of convictions for crimes committed before the official has taken office, according to the Congressional Research Service, said a report by International Business Times (IBT) on Thursday.

In 1997, for example, the Supreme Court established that the president “is subject to the same laws that apply to all citizens” when it heard the arguments in a case alleging that Clinton had sexually harassed Arkansas state employee Paula Jones before he assumed the presidential office.

House representatives used the case, along with his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, as a basis for his impeachment in 1998.

Impeachment can also be used simply as a response to “behavior incompatible with the function and purpose of the office,” according to the Congressional Research Service, which would likely include activities like fraud, discrimination and other offenses Trump has allegedly committed, said the IBT report.

But is it possible to impeach Trump by the Congress dominated by Trump's own Republicans Party?

So, it is unlikely Trump will face a preemptive impeachment.

But political historian Lichtman predicted that Trump would eventually be impeached by a Republican Congress that would prefer a President Mike Pence, someone whom establishment Republicans know and trust," wrote Peter W. Stevenson for The Washington Post on Thursday citing his conversation with Lichtman

 
 

From Trump Tower to White House

বুধবার, ০৯ নভেম্বর ২০১৬
09 November 2016 The US has got its first president, who has never held a public office or served the military.

The controversial billionaire was considered an unlikely nominee for the Republican presidential candidate.

But Donald Trump has pulled off a stunning upset on Wednesday and clinched the White House after a campaign which has been unusually bitter.

The businessman

Donald Trump was born in Queens, New York on June 14, 1946, the fourth of the five children born to Mary Anne McLeod and New York real estate magnate Fred Trump.

He attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and began work in real estate with “a small loan of $1 million dollars” from his father, before joining the family company.

Trump took control of the company in 1971.

He shifted business from selling residential units in Brooklyn and Queens to more glamorous projects in Manhattan, like the transformation of the Commodore Hotel to the Grand Hyatt and the construction of the 68-storey Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.

Other properties bearing Trump’s name followed, including Trump Towers in Mumbai, Istanbul and Manila.

Trump has tried to expand into developing hotels and casinos. The endeavour has resulted in the business filing for bankruptcy four times.

From 1996 to 2015 Trump owned the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants and since 2003 has been best known for his reality television show ‘The Apprentice’, where contestants competed for a management position in the Trump organisation.

‘The Apprentice’ ran 14 seasons, during which Trump was reportedly paid $213 million by producers at the NBC. The Trump brand also adorns merchandise ranging from men’s wear to bottled water.

Forbes magazine estimates Trump’s net worth at $3.7 billion. Trump has repeatedly insisted he is worth $10 billion.

The husband and father

Trump has been married thrice. His first marriage, to Czech athlete and model Ivana Zelnickova led to a 1990 divorce heavily covered by tabloids.

The couple had three children – Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric – who have helped their father run the family business and have played important roles in his campaign.

 
 

FBI clears Clinton in email review two days before election

সোমবার, ০৭ নভেম্বর ২০১৬
07 November 2016 The FBI said on Sunday it stood by its earlier finding that no criminal charges were warranted against Democrat Hillary Clinton for using a private email server for government work, lifting a cloud over her presidential campaign two days before the US election.

FBI Director James Comey made the announcement in a letter to Congress, saying the agency had worked "around the clock" to complete its review of newly discovered emails and found no reason to change its July finding.

"During that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state," Comey said. "Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July."

A law enforcement source told Reuters the decision closed the FBI probe of Clinton's email practices.

Comey informed Congress of the newly discovered emails more than a week ago, throwing the race for the White House into turmoil and helping to erode Clinton's lead over Republican candidate Donald Trump in the final stretch before Tuesday's vote.

"We're glad this issue is resolved but for the record, this could easily have been learned before 1st letter was sent," Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon wrote on Twitter.

At a rally in Michigan, Trump questioned the thoroughness of the FBI review and said he was confident the issue would not go away.

"The investigation will go on, the rank-and-file special agents won't let her get away with her terrible crimes," he told supporters in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

Clinton did not mention the FBI email decision during campaign appearances in Ohio and New Hampshire.

US stock index futures rose more than 1 percent after the FBI announcement, suggesting Wall Street was poised to end its longest skid in more than three decades. The US dollar also jumped in Asian trading against the yen, euro and Swiss franc.

US Treasury futures dropped and Tokyo's Nikkei share average opened up 1.31 percent. Global financial markets slipped last week as opinion polls showed the presidential race tightening.

Democrats not letting Comey off hook

The latest emails were discovered as part of a separate probe of former Democratic US Representative Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Weiner is the target of an FBI investigation into illicit text messages he allegedly sent to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.

Federal investigators got a warrant to examine the emails to see if they were related to the probe into Clinton's private server. Democrats reacted angrily to Comey's intrusion into the race and demanded quick action in examining the emails.

"I am very grateful to the professionals at the FBI for doing an extraordinary amount of high-quality work in a short period of time," Comey said on Sunday.

But Democrats did not let Comey and the FBI off the hook. US Senator Dianne Feinstein of California said Sunday's announcement made Comey's earlier letter "even more troubling" and called for the Justice Department to review its procedures to prevent similar actions to influence future elections.

"By confirming that the new emails were meaningless, today's letter underscores the irresponsibility of Director Comey's original letter," Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said.

Republicans kept up their criticism of Clinton despite Comey's announcement.

"She simply believes she's above the law and always plays by her own rules," House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement, arguing that Clinton's use of a private email server "compromised our national security."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus said that while the probe had not led to criminal charges, it produced evidence that Clinton broke the law and "repeatedly lied to the American people about her reckless conduct."

News of the renewed probe had appeared to fuel a recent slide in Clinton's poll numbers. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Clinton with a 5 percentage point lead over the New York businessman nationally - 44 percent to 39 percent support - while races in the swing states of Florida and North Carolina shifted from favoring Clinton to being too close to call.

The Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project estimates that Clinton has a 90 percent chance of winning the election.

 
 

China's secretive stealth fighter unveiled in flyby debut

মঙ্গলবার, ০১ নভেম্বর ২০১৬

01 November 2016 Two of China's secretive J-20 warplanes swept over a gasping crowd at the Zhuhai air show on Tuesday, potent symbols of Beijing's aspirations to military might.

The fighters were not announced on the schedule and appeared in the sky just after a colourful aerobatics show by the People's Liberation Army Air Force.

With no fanfare but an abrupt announcement by the master of ceremonies, the dark, powerful jets rumbled side by side over the sun-baked spectators. Two minutes later one blasted vertically into the sky and the jets were gone.

Swift and heavily armed, the warplanes represent a leap forward in China's ability to project power in Asia and compete in capabilities with the United States.

Beijing is seeking to modernise and upgrade its military both to protect its borders and project power into regions such as the South China Sea, a resource-rich strategic waterway where it has disputes with several neighbours.

This year's Zhuhai exhibition, the largest ever, features an array of new made-in-China military technology including assault vehicles, anti-aircraft missile systems, unmanned drones, and fighter jets.

China's only international aerospace expo, it serves as a stage for Beijing to flex its muscle before an audience of cheering citizens and foreign guests from 42 countries including Russia, Pakistan and Britain.

It also has become a key platform for top global aerospace firms to hawk their wares for a share of the booming aircraft market in the world's second-largest economy.

China is projected to become the world's largest aviation market by 2024, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Boeing and Airbus are in a heated competition to win Chinese customers for their aircraft, while homegrown national champions COMAC and AVIC aim to capture market share for Chinese firms.

President Xi Jinping has declared aerospace one of the target industries for his "Made in China 2025" plan to make the country's firms capable of dethroning foreign competitors in high-value manufacturing and services.

On Monday the president of China's state aerospace company AVIC -- maker of the J-20 jet -- said in Zhuhai that the firm had annual overseas earnings exceeding 80 billion yuan ($11.8 billion) and declared its "sacred mission" to serve the country, carry out the strategic plan of the Communist party, and "closely unite around the core leadership of comrade Xi Jinping".

 
 

Trump gains on Clinton despite furor over women, election comments: Reuters/Ipsos poll

শনিবার, ২২ অক্টোবর ২০১৬

22 October 2016 Donald Trump gained on Hillary Clinton among American voters this week, cutting her lead nearly in half despite a string of women accusing him of unwanted sexual advances and the furor over his disputed claims that the election process is rigged, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.

The survey also showed that 63 percent of Americans, including a third of Republicans, believe the New York real estate mogul has committed sexual assault in the past, though the Republican presidential candidate has denied the recent accusations.

Clinton, the Democratic former secretary of state, led Trump 44 percent to 40 percent, according to the October 14-20 poll, a 4-point lead, with the November 8 election fast approaching. That compared with 44 percent for Clinton and 37 percent for Trump in the October 7-13 poll released last week.

Clinton's lead also shrank in a separate four-way poll that included alternative party candidates: 43 percent supported her, while 39 percent supported Trump, 6 percent supported Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, and 2 percent supported Jill Stein of the Green Party.

Support for Clinton had been mostly rising in the seven-day tracking poll since the last week of August, when the candidates were about tied.

The latest reading showed that Trump's deficit narrowed to what it was before a video surfaced on October 7 featuring him bragging about groping and kissing women. Several women have since accused him of making unwanted sexual advances in separate incidents from the early 1980s to 2007.

Trump has denied the allegations, calling them "totally and absolutely false."

The latest poll included a separate series of questions that asked people what they thought of Trump's conduct around women. It found 63 percent of American adults, including 34 percent of likely Republican voters, agreed with the statement "I believe Donald Trump has committed sexual assault in the past."



Reuters contacted a few of the poll respondents who said they felt that Trump had "committed sexual assault" but were still supporting his candidacy. Their answers were generally the same: Whatever Trump did with women in the past is less important to them than what he may do as president.

"I’m embarrassed that our country can’t come up with better candidates, to be honest with you," said Evelyn Brendemuhl, 83, of Hope, North Dakota. But "he’ll appoint more conservative judges, and she’s (Clinton) pro-abortion, and I’m not for that."

Gary Taylor, 59, a Republican from Colorado said his support stemmed mostly from a desire to see "something different than the last eight years" in the White House.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English in all 50 states. It included 1,640 people who were considered likely voters, given their voting history, registration status and stated intention to vote. It has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 3 percentage points, meaning results could vary by that much either way.

The poll questions on Trump's unwanted sexual advances scandal were asked of 1,915 American adults, including 546 likely Republican voters. It had a credibility interval of 3 percentage points for all adults and 5 points for Republican voters.

 
 

Suicide bomber kills 31 at Baghdad Shi'ite gathering: police

শনিবার, ১৫ অক্টোবর ২০১৬

15 October 2016 A suicide bomber today detonated an explosive vest in the middle of a Shi'ite Muslim gathering in Baghdad, killing at least 31 people and wounding about 30, police and medics said.

The explosion went off inside a tent filled with people taking part in Shi'ite Ashura rituals, mourning the killing of Prophet Mohammad's grandson Hussein in the 7th century.

Some people were also there to mourn the death of a local resident, said authorities.

The tent was set up in a crowded market in the city's northern al-Shaab district.

 
 

Syria crisis: Putin cancels Paris visit

মঙ্গলবার, ১১ অক্টোবর ২০১৬

11 October 2016 Russian President Vladimir Putin will not visit Paris next week or meet his French and German counterparts for separate talks on the Syria crisis, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today.

"The President made the decision to cancel his visit," Peskov told a conference call with reporters. "The President noted that he is ready to visit Paris at a time convenient for (French President) Hollande. We will wait for this convenient time to come."

Putin's cancellation is the latest deterioration in ties between Moscow and the West after Russia vetoed a French-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution on Syria.

Paris' growing anger at events in the rebel-held areas of Syria's Aleppo had led them to reconsider whether to host Putin on Oct. 19.

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande today said it was vital to continue talking to Russia despite major differences with Moscow on Syria, but there was no point discussing unless talks were "frank and firm".

"With Russia, France has a major disagreement on Syria and the Russia veto on the French resolution at the UN Security Council has prevented the cessation of bombings and enablement of a truce," Hollande said in a speech at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

"I consider it is necessary to have dialogue with Russia, but it must be firm and frank otherwise it has no place and it is a charade. I'm ready to meet President Putin if we can make progress on peace."

 
 

Scottish, French, Dutch-born scientists win Nobel chemistry prize

বুধবার, ০৫ অক্টোবর ২০১৬

05 October 2016 Jean-Pierre Sauvage, J Fraser Stoddart and Bernard Feringa won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for work on the design and synthesis of molecular machines, the award-giving body said on Wednesday.

"They have developed molecules with controllable movements, which can perform a task when energy is added," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement awarding the 8 million Swedish crown ($931,000) prize.

Chemistry is the third of this year's Nobel prizes after the medicine and physics laureates were announced on Monday and Tuesday.

The prize is named after dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.

 
 

Japanese scientist wins 2016 Nobel medicine prize

সোমবার, ০৩ অক্টোবর ২০১৬

03 October 2016 Yoshinori Ohsumi won the 2016 Nobel prize for medicine or physiology for his discovery of mechanisms for degrading and recycling cellular components, the award-giving body said on Monday.

"Ohsumi's discoveries led to a new paradigm in our understanding of how the cell recycles its content," the Nobel Assembly at Sweden's Karolinska Institute said in a statement in awarding the prize of 8 million Swedish crowns ($933,000).

 

Yoshinori Ohsumi, a professor of Tokyo Institute of Technology is pictured in Tokyo, Japan, March 25, 2015 in this photo released by Kyodo/via REUTERS

"His discoveries opened the path to understanding ... many physiological processes, such as in the adaptation to starvation or response to infection," the statement added.

The prize for Physiology or Medicine is the first of the Nobel prizes awarded each year. Prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel. ($1 = 8.5776 Swedish crowns)

 
 

India, Pakistan NSAs agree to reduce tensions

সোমবার, ০৩ অক্টোবর ২০১৬

03 October 2016 After close to three weeks of escalating bilateral tension, India and Pakistan's National Security Advisors have finally talked with each other and agreed to attempt defusing tension on the Line of Control (LOC), Indian news portal reported quoting Pakistan's Geo TV today.

Sartaj Aziz, advisor on foreign affairs to the Pakistan prime minister, confirmed that Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Khan Janjua spoke about the fraught state of India-Pakistan relations in recent weeks, according to The Times of India.

"Both officials stressed on the need to establish contact to reduce tensions along the Line of Control," said Sartaj Aziz, according to The News International, which reported that Doval and Janjua spoke today.

At the same time, Aziz said that while Pakistan wants to reduce tensions on the LoC, India wants to do the opposite, to take attention away from the unrest in Kashmir, reports The Times of India.

He did acknowledge that Pakistan wants to focus on Kashmir. "Pakistan wants to reduce tensions on LoC and focus on Kashmir", Aziz said.

He added that Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif's has told world leaders - during his recent visit to the US - that incidents of border tensions will continue between the two countries.

"The Prime Minister had indicated quite clearly that till the issue of Kashmir was not resolved, tensions across the border would remain," Aziz was quoted as saying according to The Times of India.

He should know.

At least two terrorists and a soldier were killed, and one soldier was injured, when terrorists fired at and lobbed grenades on two military camps in Baramulla in northern Kashmir on Sunday night, four days after India conducted surgical strikes on terror camps across the Line of Control.

The heavily-armed terrorists attacked the two camps, belonging to the Rashtriya Rifles and the Border Security Force (BSF) late last night, leading to a fierce gun-battle with security forces, reports The Times of India.

Last Thursday's surgical strikes by India on terror camps in Pakistan wiped out at least 38 terrorists. The strikes were in retaliation against Pakistan's brazen terror attack on a Brigade headquarters in Uri on September 18. Nineteen soldiers were martyred in that attack.

 
 

Trump in TV event with Clinton, says Putin better leader than Obama

বৃহস্পতিবার, ০৮ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১৬

Donald Trump declared on Wednesday that Russia's Vladimir Putin had been a better leader than US President Barack Obama, as the Republican presidential nominee used a televised forum to argue he was best equipped to reassert America's global leadership.

Trump suggested at the event in which he and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton made back-to-back appearances that US generals had been stymied by the policies of Obama and Clinton, who served as the Democratic president's first secretary of state.

"I think under the leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton the generals have been reduced to rubble. They have been reduced to a point that's embarrassing for our country," Trump said at NBC's "Commander-in-Chief" forum in New York attended by military veterans.

It was the first time Trump and Clinton had squared off on the same stage since accepting their parties' presidential nominations in July for the November 8 election.

Clinton was grilled over her handling of classified information while using a private email server during her tenure at the State Department. FBI Director James Comey had declared her "extremely careless" in her handling of sensitive material but did not recommend charges against her.

"I did exactly what I should have done and I take it very seriously, always have, always will," she said.

Trump's praise of Putin and his suggestion that the United States and Russia form an alliance to defeat Islamic State militants could raise eyebrows among foreign policy experts who feel Moscow is interfering with efforts to stem the Syrian civil war.

"If he says great things about me, I'm going to say great things about him," Trump said of the Russian president. "Certainly in that system, he's been a leader, far more than our president has been."

Trump had called Obama "the founder of ISIS," an acronym for Islamic State, in stump speeches several weeks ago. The statement drew broad criticism, prompting him to take a more disciplined approach to campaigning. He has since picked up ground on Clinton in national opinion polls.

Trump also flirted with revealing what he had been learning in classified intelligence briefings given to him by US officials because he is the Republican nominee.

"There was one thing that shocked me," Trump said. "What I did learn is that our leadership, Barack Obama, did not follow what our experts ... said to do, and I was very, very surprised. ...Our leaders were not following what they recommended."

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump pledged to launch a new US military buildup, saying America was under threat like never before from foes like Islamist extremists, North Korea and China.

DEBATE PREVIEW?

The event offered a prelude to how Clinton and Trump will deal with questions on national security issues in their three upcoming presidential debates later in September and in October.

Clinton began the forum saying her long experience in government as a US senator and secretary of state made her uniquely qualified to serve as president.

She said she had "an absolute rock steadiness" to be able to make tough decisions, a not so subtle dig at Trump, who Democrats say is temperamentally unfit for the White House.

Moderator Matt Lauer doggedly pressed her about her handling of emails from a private server while secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. The issue has raised questions about whether she can be trusted to serve as president.

Clinton said none of the emails she sent or received were marked top secret, secret or classified, the usual way such material is identified.

Appearing in the second half of the hour-long show, Trump faced questions about his fitness for office. Asked if he would be prepared on Day One to be commander in chief, Trump said: "One hundred percent."

Trump quickly abandoned Lauer's entreaties to avoid attacking his opponent and focus on what he would do if elected president in November.

08 September 2016 "She's been there for 30 years," Trump said. "We need change, and we need it fast."The event brought together the meticulously prepared Clinton, 68, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, and Trump, 70, a New York businessman whose brash, freewheeling style has allowed him to dominate the headlines during his campaign.

Clinton said she regretted her decision as a US senator from New York to vote in favor of the much-criticized 2003 Iraq war and that Trump had been in favor of it as well. Trump has condemned the war during his campaign and said he would avoid lengthy conflicts in the Middle East.

On the US intervention in Libya in 2011, Clinton rejected Trump's criticism of her support for the effort as secretary of state.

"Permitting there to be an ongoing civil war in Libya would be as threatening and as dangerous as what we are seeing in Syria," she said.

Trump said Clinton's handling of Libya proved disastrous. Republicans have made much of the fact that the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, was killed in an Islamist attack in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

"She made a terrible mistake in Libya," said Trump.

Clinton said US policies under her leadership at the State Department had helped promote security.

"We made the world safer," she said.

 
 

Singapore jails two Bangladeshis for "financing terrorism"

মঙ্গলবার, ৩০ আগস্ট ২০১৬

30 August 2016 A Singapore court today jailed two Bangladeshis for financing terrorism after detaining them in April on suspicion of planning attacks in their home country. Mamun Leakot Ali, 29 and Zzaman Daulat, 34, were the last to be sentenced of six Bangladeshis who were charged with contributing money for attacks in Bangladesh. The other four were jailed for between two and five years.

READ MORE: Six Bangladeshis charged with terror financing

Mamun, who contributed S$800 ($600) towards financing militant activities, was jailed for two and a half years while Zzaman, who contributed S$200, got two years. The two pleaded guilty after earlier denying the charges.

The sentences were part of the city-state's first ever case of "financing terrorism" and there were no indications the men had planned to carry out attacks in Singapore.

ALSO READ: Four Bangladeshis jailed in Singapore for financing terrorism

Bangladesh, a deeply religious but mostly moderate Muslim-majority country of 160 million people, has faced a series of militant attacks over the past year, the most serious on July 1 when gunmen stormed a cafe in the capital, Dhaka, and killed 20 people, most of them foreigners.

 
 

Turkish bombardment kills 35 civilians in Syria

রবিবার, ২৮ আগস্ট ২০১৬

28 August 2016 Turkish shelling and air strikes killed at least 35 civilians in Syria on Sunday, the fifth day of an incursion against Islamic State group jihadists and Kurdish militia, a monitor said.

"At least 20 civilians were killed and 50 others wounded by Turkish artillery fire and air strikes on Sunday morning at Jeb el-Kussa," a village south of Jarabulus, said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Britain-based group said four local fighters were also killed in the bombardment.

It also reported another 15 civilians killed and 25 wounded, many seriously, in Turkish air strikes near the town of Al-Amarneh, also south of Jarabulus.

The deaths come after Turkey on Saturday suffered its first fatality since launching operation "Euphrates Shield" in Syria, blaming Kurdish militia in a fight for control of the border region.

The Observatory said the bombardment targeted an area south of the former Islamic State group stronghold of Jarabulus, which Turkish-led forces captured on the first day of the incursion.

Jeb el-Kussa is located 14 kilometres (almost nine miles) south of Jarabulus and is controlled by fighters from the area backed by Kurdish forces.

On Saturday, clashes erupted for the first time between Turkish forces backed by tanks, and pro-Kurdish fighters in the town of Al-Amarneh, also south of Jarabulus.

Turkey considers the main armed force of Syria's Kurds, the YPG, to be a branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which is deems a "terrorist" organisation.

Its military intervention has further complicated a conflict that has killed more than 290,000 people and displaced more than half the country's population since March 2011.

 
 

Bomb disposal squad deployed in central England after arrests

শনিবার, ২৭ আগস্ট ২০১৬
27 August 2016 An army bomb disposal team was deployed to an area in Birmingham, central England, on Friday after police arrested five men on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism.

The West Midlands police force said as a result of one of the arrests, an army bomb disposal team had been called in as a precautionary measure to the Lee Bank area of Birmingham.

The Fire Brigade said it had been assisting the police with the operation.

Police said two men, aged 32 and 37, were arrested in the Stoke area of Staffordshire while three others, aged 18, 24 and 28 were arrested in Birmingham, Britain's second-biggest city.

"Police are searching a number of properties in the Stoke and Birmingham areas as part of the investigation; these searches are ongoing," they said in a statement.

"The arrests were intelligence-led and part of an ongoing investigation."

Britain is on its second-highest alert level of "severe", meaning an attack is considered highly likely.

 
 

Scottish cops approve hijab as official uniform

বৃহস্পতিবার, ২৫ আগস্ট ২০১৬

25 August 2016The hijab or the headscarf has been made optional part of Scotland Police's uniform in an attempt to attract more women Muslim recruits to the force, which currently has less black and Asian representation.

Previously officers could wear the religious headscarf with approval but it is now formally part of the police uniform, reports NDTV. Police in Scotland said it is working to make the force "representative of the communities we serve".

Chief Constable Phil Gormley said, "I am delighted to make this announcement and welcome the support from both the Muslim community, and the wider community, as well as police officers and staff."

"Like many other employers, especially in the public sector, we are working towards ensuring our service is representative of the communities we serve," he was quoted as saying by The Sun.

"I hope that this addition to our uniform options will contribute to making our staff mix more diverse and adds to the life skills, experiences and personal qualities that our officers and staff bring to policing the communities of Scotland," he said.A report earlier this year showed just 2.6 per cent of applicants to join Scotland Police were from ethnic minorities. In order to reflect the 4 per cent figure across Scottish society, the force said it would need to recruit an additional 650 ethnic minority candidates.

There are currently six female Muslim officers working for Scotland Police- but none of them wear the hijab either on duty or outside the force, BBC reported.

The most recent figure for the overall strength of the force -- released at the end of June --- was 17,242.

Official figures showed that there were 127 applications from black, Asian and ethnic minority candidates in 2015-16.

 
 

Pak girl, parents drown in latest selfie deaths

মঙ্গলবার, ১৬ আগস্ট ২০১৬

16 August 2016 An 11-year-old girl drowned today after falling into a river while attempting to take a selfie and her parents also died trying to save her, officials said.

The drownings occurred in the Kunhar river that flows through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, at a hilly tourist spot in Beesian village, some 200 kilometres north of Islamabad.

The deep, rocky and fast flowing river is popular for white-water rafting.

“The girl, Safia Atif, was trying to take a selfie along the river when she slipped and fell,” local police official Arshad Khan told AFP, explaining the incident was witnessed by other tourists.

Safia's mother Shazia Atif then jumped in to save her daughter but was swept away.

“Seeing both his wife and daughter drowning, the father Atif Hussain also jumped in to rescue them but he met a similar fate,” Khan added.

“The dead bodies of the mother and daughter have been recovered while we are still looking for the body of Hussain,” he added.

He said the parents were doctors from Punjab and had taken their family to the area on holiday. They are survived by a nine-year-old daughter and six-year-old son who witnessed the event.

“Both of them are in the protective custody of the local administration and they will be handed over to their family members when they arrive,” he said.

The incident was confirmed by other administration officials and family members of the deceased.

One official said the government had put up signs warning people not to go near the river.

“Each year around a dozen people drown here,” he said requesting not to be named.

“This is a tourist spot and people usually come here for picnic and most of them are outsiders who have no idea about the depth of the river,” he said.

 
 

Modi, in address, chides Pakistan and urges Indian unity

সোমবার, ১৫ আগস্ট ২০১৬

15 August 2016 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took aim at supporters of "terrorism" in his Independence Day speech on Monday, ratcheting up criticism of Pakistan while avoiding direct mention of month-long protests in Indian-ruled Kashmir.

Modi also pitched a vision of national unity and progress in his third annual address from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Old Delhi that, at 94 minutes, was the longest delivered by the 65-year-old leader.

Yet it was a broadside against Pakistan, the arch-rival also born out of independence from Britain and partition, that left the strongest impression in a speech that otherwise skirted foreign affairs and focused on his government's own achievements.

"What kind of life is this, inspired by terrorism? What kind of government setup is it that is inspired by terrorism?" asked Modi, who delivered the open-air address amid a security lockdown in the Indian capital.

"The world will know about it and that's sufficient for me."

As Modi spoke, gunmen attacked a police station in Kashmir's summer capital, Srinagar, killing an officer and wounding 10 police and paramilitary troops. Two militants were killed in the ensuing shootout, police said.

The army also said it had foiled an infiltration attempt from Pakistan into North Kashmir, killing three militants.

Kashmir has witnessed violent protests since a July 8 encounter in which the security forces eliminated a commander of Pakistan-based Islamic militant group Hizbul Mujahideen. Until Monday, at least 54 people had been killed and thousands hurt in clashes with the security forces.



Modi met national party leaders on Friday to seek ways to end the worst unrest in Kashmir since 2010.

Both India and Pakistan rule Kashmir in part but claim it in full. The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought two wars since independence 69 years ago over the Muslim-majority region where the Line of Control, or de facto border, still runs roughly where the guns fell silent in 1948.

REPORT CARD

In keeping with earlier speeches, Modi delivered a report card on efforts to improve the lot of ordinary Indians, reeling off achievements in rural electrification, financial inclusion and health provision.

He strongly backed the fight against inflation, endorsing a 4 percent target, within a range of 2 percentage points either way, agreed with Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan.

He barely mentioned his government's latest - and arguably most significant - reform achievement: the passage of a key amendment that clears the way for the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax (GST) next year.

He said only that the GST would "give strength" to the economy, while thanking opposition parties that, after a drawn-out battle, had come on board to pass the amendment unanimously through both houses of parliament.

The GST would unite India's $2 trillion economy and 1.3 billion people into a single market for the first time and, its backers say, boost economic growth and job creation that Modi needs to win a second term at the 2019 general election.

The tradition of delivering the annual address from the steps of the 17th-century Red Fort from where Mughal kings ruled Delhi for two centuries dates back to Jawaharlal Nehru's historic "tryst with destiny" speech of 1947.

Modi, despite a barnstorming campaign that carried him to the biggest electoral landslide in three decades in 2014, has so far failed to touch the rhetorical heights achieved by India's first prime minister.

But, sporting a red, pink and yellow turban, he did indulge in some trademark wordplay to say India was moving from "swaraj", or self rule in Hindi, to "surajya" - good governance.

"One society, one dream, one resolution, one destiny - we proceed in this direction," he said.

 
 

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