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Warsaw-Britain’s outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron set a July 18 vote for parliament to decide on renewing Britain's nuclear deterrent, in a surprise move seemingly timed to underscore London's commitment to European security at a NATO summit. Political divisions about whether to replace the Trident submarines, backed in principle by parliament in 2007, have raised questions about Britain's standing as a world power, amplified by Britain's vote to leave the European Union. Speaking at a NATO summit, Cameron said it was time to put "beyond doubt" the decision on the renewal of the ageing fleet of four submarines carrying nuclear weapons. “Today I can announce that we'll hold a parliamentary vote on July 18 to confirm members of parliaments' support for the renewal of a full fleet of four nuclear submarines capable of providing around-the-clock cover,” Cameron told a news conference. Cameron also defended his decision not to leave a new British leader to call the vote, which is expected to pass because of strong support from the governing Conservative party. The centre-left Labour Party had been a supporter of renewal but its new leader, far-left veteran lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn, an anti-war campaigner, is opposed to the plans. The Scottish Nationalist Party wants Britain's Scotland-based Trident submarines scrapped. “The nuclear deterrent remains essential in my view, not just to Britain's security, but as our allies have acknowledged here today, to the security of the NATO alliance,” said Cameron. Cameron made the announcement as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation underlined the importance of its nuclear deterrent in the summit's final statement, toughening the language of a communique two years ago, in an indirect warning to Russia....
Jul 10 2016 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
LONDON-British Prime Minister Tony Blair told US President George W. Bush eight months before the 2003 invasion of Iraq “I will be with you, whatever”, and relied on flawed intelligence and legal advice to go to war, a seven-year inquiry concluded on Wednesday. It strongly criticised Blair on a range of issues, saying the threat posed by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction had been over-hyped and the planning for the aftermath of war had been inadequate. Blair responded that he had taken the decision to go to war “in good faith”, that he still believed it was better to remove Saddam, and that he did not see that action as the cause of terrorism today, in the Middle East or elsewhere. “The intelligence assessments made at the time of going to war turned out to be wrong. The aftermath turned out to be more hostile, protracted and bloody than we ever imagined,” the former prime minister told reporters. “For all of this, I express more sorrow, regret and apology than you will ever know.” The only Labour PM to win three general elections, Blair was in office for 10 years until 2007 and was hugely popular in his heyday, but Iraq has severely tarnished his reputation and legacy. The inquiry report, about three times the length of the Bible, stopped short of saying the war was illegal, a stance that is certain to disappoint Blair's many critics. “We have, however, concluded that the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for military action were far from satisfactory,” said John Chilcot, the inquiry’s chairman. Blair said the report should exonerate him from accusations of lying, which have been made by relatives of some of the 179 British soldiers who died in the conflict. “The report should lay to rest allegations of bad faith, lies or deceit,” he said....
Jul 07 2016 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Istanbul¸Turkey jailed 17 suspects on Tuesday, mostly foreigners, over last week's suicide bombing at Istanbul's main airport, which President Tayyip Erdogan described as the work of Islamic State militants from the ex-Soviet Union. The arrests bring the total number of people jailed pending trial to 30 over the triple suicide bombing at Ataturk Airport, which killed 45 people and wounded hundreds. It was followed by major attacks in Bangladesh, Iraq and Saudi Arabia in the past week, all apparently timed for the run-up to Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the Ramadan holy fasting month. "The incident is of course completely within the framework of Daesh, a process conducted with their methods," Erdogan told reporters after praying at an Istanbul mosque at the start of the holiday. Daesh is an Arabic acronym for Islamic State. Three bombers opened fire to create panic outside the airport before two of them got inside and blew themselves up. The third militant detonated his explosives outside at the entrance to the international arrivals terminal. "There are people from Dagestan, from Kyrgyzstan, from Tajikistan," Erdogan said, referring to a mainly Muslim province of Russia's North Caucasus region, and two former Soviet states in Central Asia. "Unfortunately, people from neighbouring northern Caucasus countries are involved in this business." The 17 remanded in custody early on Tuesday included 11 foreigners. All were accused of "membership of an armed terrorist organisation", the private Dogan news agency said. Thirteen others were jailed on Sunday, including three foreigners. The state-run Andolu news agency said last week that two of the bombers were Russian nationals. One government official has said the attackers were Russian, Uzbek and Kyrgyz nationals. Moscow says that thousands of Russian citizens and citizens of other former Soviet states have joined Islamic State, travelling through Turkey to reach Syria. Russia fought two wars against Chechen separatists in the North Causcasus in the 1990s, and more recently has fought Islamist insurgents in Dagestan. Russia and Turkey have been at odds over Moscow's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Turkey's backing of rebels opposed to him, especially since last year when Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the border. But recent weeks have seen a thaw in relations between the two countries, with both citing a need to bury their differences to fight the common Islamic State foe. The pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper has said the organiser of the attack was suspected to be a Chechen double-amputee called Akhmed Chatayev. He is identified on a United Nations sanctions list as an Islamic State leader responsible for training Russian-speaking...
Jul 06 2016 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
London-Nigel Farage, who campaigned for Britain to leave the European Union, on Monday quit as the leader of the anti-immigrant UKIP party, saying he wanted his “life back” as he has fulfilled his political ambition of ‘Brexit’. Farage, 52, said he has done his bit for the cause of Britain leaving the 28-member economic bloc. "I have never been and never wanted to be a career politician," said Farage, who was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for UK Independence Party in 1999. "I now feel that I've done my bit, that I couldn't possibly achieve more," he told reporters. "I feel it’s right that I should now stand aside as leader of UKIP." Farage, who led a separate grassroots campaign to convince voters of a 'Brexit', had made numerous speeches in the wake of the result to declare June 23 Britain's "Independence Day”. He was at the heart of some of the biggest controversies during the campaign, including an anti-immigration poster of refugees flocking to enter southern Europe, which was dubbed as a "vile" by both the 'Remain' and 'Leave' camps. He has quit as UKIP leader twice before — in 2009 over party infighting and in 2015 after failing to become an MP. But on both occasions decided to stay. He, however, insisted today that "I won't be changing my mind again, I promise you". "The victory for the 'Leave' side in the referendum means that my political ambition has been achieved," he said. "During the referendum campaign, I said 'I want my country back'... now I want my life back, and it begins right now." He said UKIP was instrumental in winning the referendum for the Leave campaign, championing the issue of immigration, and insisted it would continue as a party in its current form. UKIP would continue to stop "weakness or appeasement from the British government" when it comes to negotiating Brexit with the economic bloc, the anti-immigrant party leader said. He said he now wants a cross party team to negotiate the UK's exit from Brussels but he said the most important thing was that the team knows how to win the best deal. "An absolute priority is to bring in business people," he added. Farage has had two stints as leader of the Eurosceptic party since 2006. The race will now begin to find his successor. Possible candidates include deputy leader Paul Nuttall, immigration spokesman Steven Woolfe and culture spokesman Peter Whittle. Farage declined to endorse a successor, saying: "May the best man or woman win." UKIP has a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, three representatives in the House of Lords, and 22 MEPs, making it the largest UK party in the European Parliament. Britain voted to leave the economic bloc in a historic referendum on June 23, in which 52 per cent Britons sided with Brexit to 48 per cent supporting UK within the EU. A political turmoil has gripped Britain since the vote. Prime Minister David Cameron, who campaigned in favour of the UK remaining in the EU has announced he will resign following the loss. A leadership contest is underway to replace him....
Jul 05 2016 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Washington-The US Supreme Court on Thursday dealt President Barack Obama a harsh defeat, splitting 4-4 over his plan to spare millions of immigrants in the country illegally from deportation and give them work permits, leaving intact a lower-court ruling blocking the plan. The court, with four conservative justices and four liberals, appeared divided along ideological lines in a case brought by 26 states to block Obama’s 2014 executive action on immigration that bypassed Congress. The 4-4 ruling was possible because there are only eight justices following the death in February of conservative Antonin Scalia.
Jun 24 2016 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Chandigarh-Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said yoga is not a religious practice and people must embrace it for a better mental and physical health without any religious consideration. The Prime Minister led around 30,000 yoga enthusiasts at Capitol Complex here in performing yoga asanas to mark the second International Day of Yoga. Addressing the gathering, Modi announced two yoga awards--one international and another national--for excellent contribution in the field of yoga internationally and nationally, respectively, to be given on International Day of Yoga. Some 150 Divyangs, a term coined by Modi for the differently abled, were assisted in performing yoga asanas. After the 45-minute event amid tight security arrangements, the PM also mingled with yoga enthusiasts, including Divyangs. Students, defence, PAP and ITBP personnel were among the...
Jun 21 2016 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Lima- Former Wall Street executive Pedro Pablo Kuczynski held a narrow lead in Peru's presidential election with partial results showing him less than 1 percentage point ahead of Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of an imprisoned former authoritarian leader. With 91 per cent of all votes counted on Monday, Kuczynski - known in Peru by his initials PPK - had 50.32 per cent support while Fujimori trailed on 49.68 per cent. The gap had narrowed slightly from the previous count. Fujimori had long been the favorite to win the election, but Kuczynski caught up with her in the final days of the campaign as Peruvians weighed the authoritarian legacy of her father former president Alberto Fujimori and fresh scandals involving her close advisers. Final results in what appeared to be Peru's closest election in at least three decades were expected later on Monday. Mariano Cucho, the head of the electoral office ONPE, urged Peruvians to wait "with calm and prudence" for the final numbers, saying votes had not been counted from Peruvians living abroad. They account for 3.86 percent of the electorate. Ballots from some far-flung provinces had also not yet been counted, and about 1.5 per cent of the expected total were being reviewed again due to lack of clarity. Peru's Select Stock Index opened little changed, as the policies of both candidates were considered favorable to investors. The sol currency strengthened 0.3 per cent. A sample review of ballots by Ipsos polling company gave Kuczynski a 1 percentage point lead over Fujimori. GfK polling firm also gave him a slight advantage. Many Peruvians credit Alberto Fujimori with defeating violent Shining Path rebels and building schools and hospitals in rural areas when he was president in 1990-2000. But his authoritarian style divided the country and he is now serving a 25-year sentence for corruption and human rights abuses. Kuczynski, a 77-year-old former prime minister, investor and World Bank economist, portrayed himself as an honest and experienced leader who would clean up corruption, ensure every town in Peru has piped water and revive economic growth that has slowed on weaker prices for Peru's mineral exports. Despite endorsing Fujimori during her first presidential bid in 2011, Kuczynski swept up the support of her critics  and stepped up attacks against her in the final days of campaigning. “We want a democratic country, a country committed to dialogue!" a jubilant Kuczynski said as he waved to supporters from a...
Jun 07 2016 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Paris,-Striking railway workers disrupted transport throughout France just 11 days before Euro 2016, as President Francois Hollande refused to back down over a labour dispute that has sparked months of protests. The transport strike adds to problems still being caused by last week's blockade of fuel depots which left motorists queuing at many petrol stations. The rolling train strike called by the powerful CGT union affected around half of national and regional train services. That will be followed by a strike on the Paris Metro network from Thursday and Air France pilots have voted in principle for a lengthy strike at some point in June, when Euro 2016 is in full swing. The protests and strikes have cast a shadow over the European football championships, which are expected to attract millions of foreign visitors to France when the tournament kicks off on June 10. Neighbouring Belgium also faced growing disruption Tuesday from a public sector workers' strike. But despite three months of stoppages and sometimes violent demonstrations against labour reforms, Hollande again refused to bend to the unions' demands to scrap the legislation. The measures, which would make it easier to hire and fire employees, “will not be withdrawn”, a defiant Hollande told Sud Ouest newspaper. “The text assures the best performance for businesses and offers new rights to employees,” he said. “I consider it necessary to see it through to its conclusion.” Hollande said that despite the predicted transport chaos, the biggest threat to Euro “remains terrorism”. Meanwhile, the France's government moved on Tuesday to calm protests against labour law reform, announcing a pay rise for school teachers and pledging to speed up reorganisation talks at the SNCF railways. The Socialist government of Prime Minister Manuel Valls is urging the hardline CGT union that is leading a rail strike to propose ways out of the confrontation over a labour reform bill that will make hiring and firing easier. President Francois Hollande says he will not back down on key provisions of the proposed reform. Some 90,000 police and security teams are being mobilised to keep fans safe during a month-long soccer fiesta. France remains under emergency rules after attacks in which Islamist militants killed 130 people in Paris last...
Jun 01 2016 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...