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Showing posts from February, 2018

Maldives deports international lawyers who travelled to study impact of emergency

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Law Asia, a regional lawyers’ association, said it had sent four members in response to an open invitation the government issued two days after President Abdulla Yameen imposed a state of emergency. The Maldives detained and deported a group of international lawyers who travelled to the troubled honeymoon islands to study the impact of emergency rule, their organisation said Wednesday. Law Asia, a regional lawyers’ association, said it had sent four members in response to an open invitation the government issued two days after President Abdulla Yameen imposed a state of emergency. That followed a Supreme Court order, later rescinded, to release political prisoners and reinstate sacked lawmakers — a move that would have cost Yameen his majority in parliament. The President has overseen a major crackdown on dissent in recent years, jailing a series of prominent critics including the opposition leader and sacking MPs who defected from the ruling party. Earlier this month, Yameen sacked t…

Scrapping presidential term limit will take China back to Mao era, says veteran editor

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The Communist Party of China has proposed the removal of a clause in the Constitution that limits a president to two consecutive terms, which means Xi will likely continue after completing his second term. The proposal to scrap the two-term limit for the presidency and pave the way for an unlimited tenure for President Xi Jinping will take China back to the “Mao era”, a veteran journalist has said, indicating the cult of personality and power that grew around the iconic leader Mao Zedong during his nearly three-decade rule between 1949 and 1976. “I had no idea that such a change of term would be possible and learnt about it from the Xinhua (official news agency) report. The cancellation of the term of office is a matter of personal interest to every Chinese citizen. We think it is going back to the Mao era,” Li Datong, the former editor of the influential China Youth Daily whose open letter criticising the move created ripples online, said in an interview. On Sunday, the Communist Par…

Hassan Rouhani says Iran ‘ready’ for talks with Arab neighbours

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The Iranian President said the country is ready to talk to neighbours, without the presence of foreigners. President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday said Iran is ready to discuss regional security issues with its Gulf Arab neighbours as long as foreign powers are kept out of any potential talks. “We don’t need foreigners to guarantee the security of our region,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast on state television. “When it comes to regional security arrangements, we are ready to talk to our neighbours and friends, without the presence of foreigners,” he added. “We are, have been and always will be good neighbours,” Rouhani said, addressing Gulf Arab countries including Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia. Rouhani was speaking in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas overlooking the Gulf -- a flashpoint of tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The two powers, who severed diplomatic ties in January 2016, have taken opposing sides in wars in Syria and Yemen. Shiite-dominated Iran is the…

Syria condemns any use of chemical weapons, says it has no stocks

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Syria declared on Wednesday that it had no chemical weapons arsenals Syria declared on Wednesday that it had no chemical weapons arsenals and said that “terrorist groups” in the country including al-Nusra and Daesh had obtained some stocks. Hussam Edin Aala, Syria’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, condemned the use of chemical weapons anywhere and rejected what he called “false allegations” made by some countries against his government. “Syria cannot possibly be using chemical weapons because it very simply has none in its possession,” Aala told the United Nations-sponsored conference on disarmament in Geneva. Resources : Hindustan Times

Donald Trump nomination for Nobel Peace Prize possibly a fake

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US president Donald Trump was nominated for his “ideology of peace by force” by an American who did not want his identity revealed, according to Peace Research Institute of Oslo. Has Donald Trump really been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize? The Norwegian Nobel Institute said on Wednesday it had filed a police report after receiving a seemingly fraudulent nomination for the US president. “We have good reason to believe that a nomination we received concerning Trump has been falsified,” Nobel Institute director Olav Njolstad told AFP. He refused to provide further details, saying it was for the police to give more information. Each year, nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize must be submitted by January 31. Among those entitled to propose names are members of parliament and government, former laureates and some university professors. While the list of candidates is kept secret for at least 50 years, those who nominate are, however, allowed to disclose their choice. The Peace Researc…

Saudi Arabia reshuffles military, promotes woman at labour ministry

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King Salman replaced the heads of the ground forces and air defences, as well as senior officials at the interior ministry, in a series of late-night royal decrees on Monday. Saudi Arabia has replaced some of its top military officers in a series of personnel changes that elevate a younger generation, bring a woman into a senior government job and tighten Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s grip on power. In a reshuffle announced late on Monday, the military chief of staff, air defence and land forces heads and senior defence and interior ministry officials were removed. Tamadur bint Youssef al-Ramah became deputy labour minister, a rare high-level job for a woman in the deeply conservative kingdom. The crown prince, who at 32 is also defence minister and heir apparent, has promised reforms to wean Saudi Arabia off oil exports, create jobs and open up Saudis’ cloistered lifestyles. Since rising to prominence three years ago, he has also removed a number of apparent rivals to the throne…

Chinese project in Pakistan’s Gwadar port shackled by heavy security

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“Nobody will come and invest in this climate of fear,” said Muhammad Zafar Paracha, director at the Pakistani partner of MoneyGram International Inc. For the thousands of attendees it was meant to be a conference to showcase China’s flagship Belt and Road project in Pakistan -- the port in southwestern Gwadar that gives Beijing access to the Arabian sea. In the evenings the almost 8,000 delegates were wowed with cultural shows and a firework display at the newly opened five-story Gwadar Exhibition Centre which was host to about 100 companies last month. Yet what really caught the attention of some investors were the hundreds of Pakistani troops patrolling the roads and guarding high-end hotel lobbies. “Nobody will come and invest in this climate of fear,” said Muhammad Zafar Paracha, director at the Pakistani partner of MoneyGram International Inc. With national elections due in July, Pakistan’s government is keen to trumpet the commercial viability of the deep seaport in the once sle…

Apple is said to plan giant iPhone and a lower-priced model

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Apple, which is already running production tests with suppliers, is expected to announce the new phones this fall. Apple Inc. is preparing to release a trio of new smartphones later this year: the largest iPhone ever, an upgraded handset the same size as the current iPhone X and a less expensive model with some of the flagship phone’s key features. With the new lineup, Apple wants to appeal to the growing number of consumers who crave the multitasking attributes of so-called phablets while also catering to those looking for a more affordable version of the iPhone X, according to people familiar with the products. Apple, which is already running production tests with suppliers, is expected to announce the new phones this fall. The plans could still change, say the people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal planning. Despite months of breathless hype, the iPhone X hasn’t sold as well as expected since its debut last year. Apple sold 77.3 million iPhones in the final quarter of …

No evidence of IS presence in Kashmir, but have to investigate claim: Police

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The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the killing of constable Farooq Ahmed Yatoo in Srinagar’s Soura locality on Sunday. The Jammu and Kashmir police on Tuesday said although there is no evidence of the presence of the terror group Islamic State (IS) in Kashmir, its claim that it killed a policeman in Srinagar on Sunday has to be investigated. “The claim (of the killing of the policeman) is on their (Islamic State's) website. There is no perceivable presence of the Islamic State on the ground in Kashmir but it (the claim) needs to be investigated further,” director general of state police SP Vaid said over phone. “It could be possible that an individual militant, influenced by the Islamic State, carried out the attack. We are investigating it. But there is no evidence to suggest any presence of the outfit in the Valley,” he added. Reportedly, the IS has said through its news platform, Amaq News Agency, that it successfully carried out the killing of constable Farooq Ah…

24 hours later, Lucknow back to square one

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Several departments pooled in their resources to spruce up the city for the two-day UP Investors’ Summit which ended on Thursday. Ironically, 24 hours later, things were back to square one.Several departments pooled in their resources to spruce up the city for the two-day UP Investors’ Summit which ended on Thursday. Roundabouts were cleaned , encroachments on crossings removed, street lights changed, special LED strings rolled on street light poles, roads and drains repaired and streets swept clean. Ironically, 24 hours later, things were back to square one. Encroachments sprang up again at Hussadiya crossing, Patrakarpuram, Vibhutikhand and near Shaheed Path and dividers, painted black and white just two days back, once more sported pan masala stains. “Lucknowites don’t take pride in preserving the assets which the state government creates for them,” said additional municipal commissioner PK Srivastava, who was closely monitoring the sanitation on roads and decking up Lohia Path for…

Death toll from Somalia bomb blasts rises to 45, Al Shabaab claims responsibility

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Two car bombings killed 45 people in the Somalian capital Mogadishu. The death toll from twin car bomb blasts in the Somali capital late on Friday has risen to 45 from the initially reported 18, a senior government official said on Saturday. Al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the attack near the president’s residence and a hotel close by. “The death toll from last night’s blasts has risen to 45, and 36 others were injured,” the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters. “At least 15 people including a military officer and a local official died outside the palace last night. And more than that were injured. They were mostly palace guards and guards of officials who were at the scene. The death toll may rise,” Major Mohamed Abdullahi told Reuters on Saturday. “At the hotel, at least 21 died. So the total I have is 36 dead and more others injured.” Reuters pictures showed at least five vehicles destroyed outside the hotel, whose perimeter wall was par…

Gang members suspected of killing 5 South African cops shot dead in gunfight near church

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The shoot-out erupted when police hunted down the armed gang that is alleged to have stormed a police station in Eastern Cape province and killed five officers and a retired soldier. Seven suspects accused of killing five South African policemen were shot dead by officers in a bloody gunfight outside a church, according to investigators. The shoot-out erupted when police hunted down the armed gang that is alleged to have stormed a police station in Eastern Cape province and killed five officers and a retired soldier on Wednesday. “The group which uses a church as a hiding place was cornered inside the church premises,” the Hawks police investigative unit said in a statement. “A gun battle between suspects and police ensued which left seven suspects dead and a task force member injured in the legs.” It added that 10 other suspects were arrested, while some escaped the scene near Ngcobo, the town where the policemen were killed. Local media said the shoot-out had occurred outside the Ma…

105 girls missing after Boko Haram school attack, claim parents

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Heavily armed jihadists stormed a boarding school in the remote town in Nigeria, forcing terrified students to flee into the surrounding bush. More than 100 girls are missing after a Boko Haram attack on a school in northeast Nigeria earlier this week, parents told AFP on Friday. Parents in Dapchi, in Yobe state, said had they set up a support group after Monday’s raid, which has revived memories of the 2014 abduction of more than 200 girls in Chibok. “Our first step was to compile a comprehensive list of all the missing girls. So far, we have compiled the names of 105,” said Bashir Manzo, the chairman of the newly created group. Heavily armed jihadists stormed the boarding school in the remote town, forcing terrified students to flee into the surrounding bush. But with many girls failing to return home, fears are growing that dozens of the girls have been kidnapped. Hopes were raised on Wednesday evening, when the spokesman for Yobe state governor Ibrahim Gaidam confirmed the abducti…