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Tijuana- US authorities shut the country's busiest border crossing and fired tear gas into Mexico to repel Central American migrants approaching the border after US President Donald Trump vowed the asylum-seekers would not easily enter the country. Traffic in both directions was suspended at the San Ysidro port of entry between San Diego and Tijuana, US officials said, disrupting trade at the most heavily trafficked land border in the Western Hemisphere. Pedestrian crossings and Mexico-bound vehicle traffic later resumed after being halted for several hours, officials said. Tensions on the border had been rising in recent days, with thousands of Central American migrants who arrived in a caravan camped out in a sports stadium in Tijuana. On Sunday, Mexican police broke up the latest in a series of daily protests, triggering a rush toward the US border. US Customs and Border Protection officers stopped the migrants with a volley of canisters emitting large clouds of gas as US and Mexican government helicopters clattered overhead. The Mexican government said it had retaken control of the border crossing after nearly 500 migrants tried to cross the US border "in a violent manner," and vowed to immediately deport Central Americans who attempt to enter the United States illegally. Trump has raised alarm for weeks about the caravan of Central American migrants as it approached the United States, with its members planning to apply for asylum on reaching the country. The mostly Honduran migrants are fleeing poverty and violence and have said they would wait in Tijuana until they could request asylum in the United States, despite growing US measures to tighten the border. Hundreds of caravan members, including women and children protested peacefully on Sunday with chants of "We aren't criminals! We are hard workers." As they neared the US border, they were stopped by Mexican authorities, who told them to wait for permission. As the morning wore on, and it became clear they would not get permission, people started to express frustration. Military police deployed Groups of migrants, some of them bearing the Honduran flag, broke off and headed toward the border fence, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers gathered on the other side, backed by U.S. military police, San Diego police and the California Highway Patrol. The Americans responded with tear gas after the migrants hit them with projectiles, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said on Twitter. "Border Patrol agents deployed tear gas to dispel the group because of the risk to agents' safety," the statement said. Protesters were caught between the Mexican and US authorities. A young woman fell to the ground unconscious, and two babies cried, tears streaming from the gas, a Reuters witness said. "They want us to wait in Mexico but I for one am desperate. My little girl is sick and I don't even have money for milk," said Joseph Garcia, 32, of Honduras. "I can't stand it anymore." Trump has deployed military forces to the border to support the Border Patrol and threatened on Saturday to close the entire southern border. Military police were sent to the border crossing and military engineers moved barricades as part of the enforcement, the US Northern Command said in a statement on Sunday. "Department of Defense military personnel will not be conducting law enforcement functions, but are authorized to provide force protection for Customs and Border Protection personnel," the statement said. An average of 70,000 vehicles and 20,000 pedestrians cross from Mexico to the United States at San Ysidro each day, according to the U.S. General Services Administration. US officials urged people to use other border crossings farther inland. Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico...
Nov 27 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Mexico City- US President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that migrants at the US-Mexico border would stay in Mexico until their asylum claims were individually approved in US courts, but Mexico's incoming government denied they had struck any deal. Mexico's incoming interior minister said there was "no agreement of any type between the future government of Mexico and the United States.” Olga Sanchez Cordero, also the top domestic policy official for president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador who takes office on Dec. 1, told Reuters that the incoming government was in talks with the United States but emphasized that they could not make any agreement since they were not yet in government. Sanchez ruled out that Mexico would be declared a “safe third country” for asylum claimants, following a Washington Post report of a deal with the Trump administration known as "Remain in Mexico," which quoted her calling it a "short-term solution." The plan, according to the newspaper, foresees migrants staying in Mexico while their asylum claims in the United States are being processed, potentially ending a system Trump decries as "catch and release" that has until now often allowed those seeking refuge to wait on safer US soil. "Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court. We only will allow those who come into our Country legally. Other than that our very strong policy is Catch and Detain. No “Releasing” into the US," Trump said in a tweet late Saturday. "All will stay in Mexico," Trump added in second tweet, that also threatened to close the US southern border if necessary. Jenna Gilbert, managing attorney for the Los Angeles office of Human Rights First, a legal rights organization, said Trump's plan is "outright illegal, and I'm sure the administration will once more see itself in court." Trump has been seeking to block thousands of Central Americans traveling in caravans from entering the United States, and has ordered that immigrants who enter the country illegally from Mexico are ineligible for asylum. That order has been temporary suspended by a US judge. Sanchez, who said the situation of migrant caravans was "very delicate," did not explicitly rule out that Mexico could keep caravan migrants on its soil while their US asylum claims are processed. But she told Reuters that plans to assume "safe third country" status were "ruled out." If Mexico were to assume “safe third country” status, asylum seekers would be required to claim refugee status in Mexico rather than the United States. Migration activists have long argued that Mexico does not have the security conditions to offer safe haven for migrants feeling violence in Central America. The Washington Post article cited Mexican officials and senior members of Lopez Obrador's transition team and said the deal would break with long-standing asylum rules and mount a new obstacle to Central American migrants attempting to seek refuge in the United States from poverty and violence. Alison Leal Parker, US managing director for Human Rights Watch, a New York-based rights organization, said the plan was “a pathetic attempt by the United States to shirk responsibility. Central Americans have faced serious harm in Mexico." The effect, Parker said, would likely "push people fleeing for (their) lives into riskier attempts to find safety, including using criminal human smugglers who will gain power under this new policy.” Mexico's incoming deputy interior minister Zoe Robledo said details of the "Remain in Mexico" scheme were still being worked out. "What we're aiming for is that people leaving their countries due to...
Nov 26 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Sydney- The Labor government in the Australian state of Victoria won an unexpectedly large majority in an election that analysts say is a warning to the country’s ruling conservative government ahead of national polls due in six months. Victoria is Australia’s second most populous state, and the poll is seen as a barometer of voter sentiment towards the nation’s conservative Liberal and National government. The governing coalition has been a minority government since October when they lost their one-seat majority after former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, ousted by conservatives in a party-room coup, resigned. In Victoria, the incumbent Labor government campaigned on big infrastructure projects including rail, roads and schools, while the opposition Liberal Party focused on crime, and law and order. Labor, which went into the election with a one-seat majority in the 88-seat Victorian legislative Assembly, is expected to take up to 55 seats once counting is finished, based on figures from the Victorian Electoral Commission. With just over half the votes counted in the early hours of Sunday morning, the Victorian Electoral Commission website showed Labor leading their Liberal rivals by 42.8 percent to 30.4 percent. By Saturday night the tally was decisive enough for Labor Premier Daniel Andrews to declare victory, although official results will not be announced until all votes are counted. Andrews said on Sunday morning that his victory was a result of delivering on commitments. “Victorians would look at the results and be, well, from our point of view, be very pleasantly surprised at the magnitude,” Andrews said on ABC TV’s “Insiders.” University of Sydney emeritus politics professor Rodney Tiffen said the loss would be a warning to the national Liberal party, and said it could exacerbate the ideological split in the Liberal party over social issues and addressing climate change. “I would think it’s a very bad omen for the Liberals federally,” he told Reuters by telephone. “It continues a sense that they’re on a losing streak.” Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales holds an election on March 23 next year, and a Federal election is due by...
Nov 26 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Dubai- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on Muslims worldwide on Saturday to unite against the United States, instead of “rolling out red carpets for criminals”. Washington in May reimposed sanctions on Tehran, after President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran under which they had been lifted. “Submitting to the West headed by America would be treason against our religion ... and against the future generations of this region,” Rouhani told an international conference on Islamic unity in Tehran, in a speech broadcast live on state television. “We have a choice to either roll out red carpets for criminals, or to forcefully stand against injustice and remain faithful to our Prophet, our Koran and our Islam,” Rouhani said, in an apparent reference to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states which have close ties to Washington. Iran and Saudi Arabia are regional rivals and have supported opposing sides in conflicts in Syria and Yemen and different political factions in Iraq and Lebanon. “We are ready to defend the interests of the Saudi people against terrorism, aggression and the superpowers... and we don’t ask for $450 billion to do it,” Rouhani said, referring to Saudi Arabia’s contracts with the United States....
Nov 25 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Beijing- India and China on Saturday resolved to “intensify” their efforts to achieve a “fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable” solution to the vexed boundary question at an early date as the special representatives of the two countries held “constructive and forward-looking” talks over the issue. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met in Chengdu in southwestern Sichuan province for the 21st round of Special Representatives’ talks. While an early solution would serve the fundamental interests of both countries, the two designated Special Representatives for the border talks also said pending the final solution, the two countries should maintain peace and tranquillity at the borders, ensuring that the dispute does not affect the overall development of bilateral ties. The India-China border dispute covers 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC). China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet. This was the first round of talks for Wang after he succeeded State Councillor Yang Jiechi earlier this year. Wang has become the state councillor, a rank higher than the foreign minister in the Chinese government’s hierarchy. “Recalling the strategic guidance and support to their work provided by the leaders at the Wuhan Summit, the Special Representatives resolved to intensify their efforts to achieve a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the India-China boundary question at an early date,” according to a statement issued by the Indian Embassy in Beijing. They were referring to the outcome of the first-ever informal summit between PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in April this year in Wuhan. They held discussions on various confidence-building measures to promote exchanges and communication between border...
Nov 25 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Jalandhar- In a setback to the Punjabi diaspora in Canada’s Ontario province, Liberal MP from Brampton East Raj Grewal has put in his papers all of a sudden citing “personal and medical” reasons. Grewal, who had assumed office on October 19, 2015, made the announcement via a Facebook post on Thursday evening. At the same time, he also said he was “hopeful” of being able to again represent his constituency sometimes in the future. The resignation was nothing short of a surprise for many since Grewal had already been re-nominated by the Liberal Party as the party candidate for the 2019 federal polls. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will have no choice but to call for a by-election prior to the 2019 poll due to the timing of the resignation. Grewal, it is learnt, was being investigated by the Federal Ethics Commissioner for certain allegations levelled by New Democratic Party MP Charles Joseph. The Liberal MP had courted a controversy after allegedly helping secure invitations for his own “business associate” to attend official events in India during Trudeau’s visit, apparently without clearance from the ethics commissioner. Born on September 11, 1985, Grewal, the son of an airport cab driver, attended the Wilfrid Laurier University from where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business. He completed his MBA at York University’s Schulich School of Business and a degree in law at Osgoode Hall Law School. As an MP, he had been highlighting issues like the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and problems related to immigration, refugees and...
Nov 24 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Peshawar- At least 32 people, including three Pakistani-Sikhs, were killed and more than 40 others injured on Friday when a suicide bomber triggered a powerful bomb blast at a busy market outside a religious seminary in the country’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, police said. According to initial investigation, an improvised explosive device was planted in a bike that was used for transporting vegetables to the popular Friday Market (Juma Bazar) near an imambargah, a Shia religious place, in Orakzai tribal district’s Kalaya area, bordering Afghanistan. “This is a Friday bazaar, where hundreds of people had gathered for groceries,” Deputy Commissioner Khalid Iqbal said. “The ground is then used for Friday prayers as well,” he added. At least 32 people were killed while more than 40 others injured, Dawn news quoted district administration officials as saying. “Three Sikh traders and three children were also among the dead in the Orakzai blast,” Iqbal told PTI. The minority Sikh community in the area was previously displaced by the Taliban that controlled the region prior to the military operation in 2010, Samaa TV reported. Officials said that most of the victims were minority Shia Muslims, who in the past were also targeted in the area. “Three children were among those killed. The remote-controlled bomb was attached to a motorcycle,” officials said. “I was buying vegetables at a distance from bomb site,” Karam Khan, who accompanied an injured person to the hospital in Kohat, said. “There was a huge explosion and I woke up with blood splashed all over the place and there were body parts everywhere,” he said about the gory scene. The area has been cordoned off and investigation into the incident is under way. An emergency has been declared in the region’s hospitals to handle the situation. The explosion in lower Orakzai is the second terror attack in Pakistan on Friday. Earlier this morning, an attack targeting the Chinese consulate in Karachi’s Clifton area was foiled by security forces. Four people, including two security personnel and two civilians were killed in the attack. Three terrorists were also gunned down. Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Orakzai tribal area and said: “My prayers go to the victims & their families”. “Let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind that we will crush the terrorists, whatever it takes,” he said in a tweet. Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari blamed the US failure in Afghanistan for the attack and warned Pakistan to be prepared for more such incidents. She condemned the horrific terror attack. “As the US fails in Afghanistan, Pakistan should be prepared for fallout and we must ensure greater security for our tribal areas especially protection of our people,” she tweeted. No group claimed responsibility of the attack so far but the Taliban militants often carry out such attacks. “Our enemies are not happy with peace in the province,” provincial Chief Minister Mehmood Khan said while condemning the attack. In 2011, 30 people including 10 cops, were killed and over 50 injured when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden van into the building of the Communication and Works Department. Orakzai, a terror hotbed, is one of the seven semi-autonomous tribal regions of Pakistan which has a porus border with...
Nov 24 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Sydney- President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday raised the pitch for fostering trade relations between India and Australia while delivering the keynote address at the daylong Australian Financial Review’s ‘India Business Summit’ in Sydney. “India and Australia have too much at stake to not up their game. There is enormous room for us to be together. Along with investment, bilateral trade has grown but remains below potential. We have had $27.5-billion bilateral trade but that basket must further grow,” said the President, the first head of Indian state to visit the continental nation since Independence. Taking forward the President’s sentiment, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison talked of harnessing bilateral ties with four pillars —education, resources, agriculture and tourism — to bring India to the top tier of its investment partners. He appreciated “An India economic strategy to 2035”, written by Peter N Varghese, former High Commissioner to India. Calling it a blueprint to drive investment over the next 15 years, the 446-page report is aimed at transforming Australia’s relationship with India and taking the economic partnership between the two nations to a new level. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham downplayed the dispute between India and Australia over sugar subsidies, saying that “WTO disputes can take place between friendly nations, but the bigger picture is of greater significance.” The WTO was there for resolving issues in a peaceful manner, and a single issue didn’t have to impale other aspects of the bilateral ties. At the end of the day, he said, Australia stayed committed to developing the Indo-Pacific region, and giving a boost to the Indo-Pacific trade bloc. The WTO, incidentally, will hear the matter on November 26. A week after taking the matter to the WTO, the minister admitted that it was possible to negotiate with India to resolve the issue. Upbeat about Peter Varghese’s report, he said one of its positives was that it looked at ways to better collaborate in the future. Ideally, he said, with improved capability a point could be reached where perhaps the need to offer subsidies in a sector experiencing overproduction stood dissolved. “Our government will be supporting Peter’s 10 short-term and 10 medium-to-long term priorities in principle and taking specific actions. This is a seminal piece of work that will genuinely act as a roadmap for the journey ahead in our bilateral relationship. And Australia is in it for the long haul.” The daylong business summit also saw a series of talks and panel discussions on the challenges and the ways to facilitate economic and cultural bonds between the two democracies. ...
Nov 23 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...