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Chicago-London's first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, voiced support for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Thursday, warning that anti-Muslim views like those espoused by Republican Donald Trump "plays into the hands" of Islamic State. During a stop in Chicago on his first visit to the United States, Khan said he was "a big fan" of Clinton and hoped she would win the presidential election in November. "She's arguably the most experienced candidate to run to be the president," Khan told reporters following a speech to more than 250 academics, diplomats and business people. "As the father of two daughters, I think the message it sends when the most powerful politician in the world is a woman is phenomenal, and hope she wins," said Khan, who as mayor of London is arguably one the most influential member of his faith in western Europe. Immediately after taking office in May, Khan tangled with Trump over his proposed ban on allowing Muslim immigrants and refugees into America, deriding his plan as "ignorant." During his roughly 45-minute speech before the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Khan did not mention Trump by name but attacked the positions the New York developer has staked, such as tightening Muslim immigration into the United States. "I think to suggest somehow that Muslims aren't welcome in the USA, to suggest somehow that being a Muslim isn't compatible with being western, unintentionally plays into the hands of daesh or so-called ISIS," Khan said. Trump has offered an evolving stance on Muslim immigration into the United States since his original December 2015 call for a ban on Muslims entering the country. Earlier this summer, he voiced support for limiting the ban to only countries with known terrorist links. Last month, he appeared to moderate somewhat on an outright ban by touting the idea of the United States undertaking "extreme vetting" of incoming Muslim immigrants, refugees or...
Sep 16 2016 | Posted in : International News | No Comment | read more...
Washington-  Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton today expressed serious concern about Russia's apparent tampering with the US election, implying that an adversarial foreign power is actively trying to elect her Republican rival Donald Trump. "We are facing a very serious concern. We've never had a foreign adversarial power be already involved in our electoral process with the DNC hacks. We've never had a nominee of one of our major parties urging the Russians to hack more," Clinton told reporters travelling with her on her new campaign plane. When pressed about whether she believed the Russians were actively trying to elect Trump to the Oval Office, Clinton took a long pause before responding. "I think it's quite intriguing that this activity has happened around the time Trump became the nominee," she conceded. "I think it's quite intriguing that this activity has happened around the time [Donald] Trump became the nominee. And look, he very early on allied himself with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's policies," she alleged. Some US media outlets have reported the American intelligence agencies are investigating potential Russian interference in US elections. This was first reported by The Washington Post. She described this as a credible report. The investigation is being coordinated by the US director of national intelligence, the daily said. This shows that the US need to be "on guard to protect our electoral system at all levels and we have to make it clear that we're not gonna let anyone interfere with decisions of the American people," Clinton said. "The fact that our intelligence professionals are now studying this, and taking it seriously raises some grave questions about potential Russian interference with our electoral process," she...
Sep 06 2016 | Posted in : International News | No Comment | read more...
Colombo-UN chief Ban Ki-moon today said the Sri Lankan government needs to do much more to redress the "wrongs of the past" and to restore the "legitimacy and accountability" of key institutions such as the judiciary and security services after decades of bloodshed with the LTTE. The UN Secretary-General, however, welcomed the efforts made by the government of President Maithripala Sirisena, who had come to power on a pledge of reconciliation and reform after defeating Sinhala-strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2015. Ban welcomed the symbolic steps taken by the government to build bridges among communities, including the decision to sing the national anthem in Sinhala and Tamil on Independence Day in February this year for the first time since the 1950s. "These steps have built confidence and trust, and strengthened transparency and accountability," Ban said. But there was “still much work to be done in order to redress the wrongs of the past and to restore the legitimacy and accountability of key institutions, particularly the judiciary and the security services,” the UN chief said. “More can and should be done to address the legacy of the past and acknowledge the voices of the victims,” he said while delivering a lecture on 'Sustaining Peace and Achieving Sustainable Development Goals' here. He said this was “critical for reconciliation, and for ensuring respect for human rights of all Sri Lankans, without regard for ethnicity, religion and political affiliation.” In his meeting with Sirisena yesterday, Ban expressed his support to the government's reform programme as well as its reconciliation efforts with the minority Tamils. The UN chief said Sri Lanka's young population is its "biggest asset" and the future success of the nation depended on them. Ban, on his second visit to Sri Lanka since 2009 when the Sri Lankan troops defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), said the country was "still in the early stages of regaining its rightful position in the region and the international community"....
Sep 03 2016 | Posted in : International News | No Comment | read more...
Washington-In a major boost to bilateral strategic ties, India and the US have signed a crucial logistics defence pact that will enable their militaries to use each other’s assets and bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, making joint operations more efficient. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter signed the ‘Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement’ (LEMOA) and said it would facilitate opportunities for “practical engagement and exchange”. LEMOA facilitates the provision of logistical support, supplies and services between the US and Indian militaries on a reimbursable basis and provides a framework to govern them. This may include food, water, billeting, transportation, petroleum, oils, lubricants, clothing, medical services, spare parts and components, repair and maintenance services, training services, and other logistical items and services. “They agreed on the importance (that) this framework will provide to facilitate innovative and advanced opportunities in defence technology and trade cooperation. To this end, the US has agreed to elevate defence trade and technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with its closest allies and partners,” said a joint statement after the pact was signed. According to the statement, the defence ties between the two countries are based on their “shared values and interests” and their “abiding commitment to global peace and security”. Parrikar, at a joint news conference with Carter after the two leaders held talks at the Pentagon on Monday, made it clear that “there is no provision for any base or any sort of activities to set up a base in India”. “It (LEMOA) doesn’t have anything to do with the setting up of base. It’s basically logistics support to each other’s fleet, like supply of fuel, supply of many other things which are required for joint operations, humanitarian assistance and many other relief operations. “So, it basically will ensure that both navies can be supportive of each other in the joint venture operations we do, exercises we do,” Parrikar told reporters. LEMOA is a very substantial enabler of the two countries to work together, the US Defence Secretary said. Carter said the agreement would make joint operations between their militaries logistically easier and more efficient. “What it does is make possible and make easier operating together when we choose to. It doesn’t by itself-- those agreements--those are the things that the two governments would have to agree on a case-by-case basis. But when they do agree, this is an agreement that makes it all go so much more smoothly and efficiently,” Carter explained. “It is fully mutual. In other words, we grant one another completely equal access and ease under this agreement. It’s not a basing agreement of any kind, but it does make the logistics of joint operations so much easier and so much more efficient,” he said. Parrikar also indicated that India is not in a hurry to sign two other foundational agreements which America had been pushing for the past several...
Aug 30 2016 | Posted in : International News | No Comment | read more...
Washington-Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in her most forceful attack on rival Donald Trump said he has helped the “radical fringe” take over the Republican Party and the tycoon’s rise was a broader story of advance of hardline, right-wing nationalism around the world. “He is taking hate-groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous,” she said at an election rally in Nevada. Clinton, 68, alleged Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. She highlighted Trump and his advisers’ embrace of a hate movement — the disturbing “alt-right” political philosophy. This “alt-right” brand is embracing extremism and presenting a dystopian view of the US, Clinton said, which should concern all Americans regardless of party. Clinton argued that the 70-year-old’s embrace of the ideology, cemented by hiring the former head of a leading “alt-right” website Breitbart.com as his campaign CEO, dovetails with a troubling history of hateful behaviour. She said Trump was sued by the US Department of Justice for racial bias in the 1970’s and started his presidential campaign calling Mexicans criminals, drug traffickers and rapists. The Democrat nominee contrasted Trump’s divisiveness with her vision of the US that is stronger together. She stopped short of calling Trump and his advisers outright racist. Clinton’s comments coincide with a surprising shift in Trump’s strategy. The controversial billionaire has suggested he might revisit his call to deport 11 million immigrants in the United States illegally. But Clinton said a man with a history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids “should never run our government or command our military”. “So no one should have any illusions about what’s really going on here. The names may have changed. Racists now call themselves ‘racialists.’ White supremacists now call themselves ‘white nationalists.’ The paranoid fringe now calls itself ‘alt-right.’ But the hate burns just as bright.[...] this isn’t just about one election. It’s about who we are as a nation. It’s about the kind of example we want to set for our children and...
Aug 26 2016 | Posted in : International News | No Comment | read more...
Gaziantep-An Islamic State group suicide bomber as young as 12-year-old attacked an outdoor Kurdish wedding party in southeastern Turkey, killing at least 51 persons and wounding dozens of others, the Turkish president said today. The bombing late last night in Gaziantep, near Turkey’s border with Syria, was the deadliest attack in Turkey this year. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking live on national television in front of Istanbul’s city hall, said the attacker was aged between 12 and 14. He said 69 persons were wounded, with 17 of them in a critical condition. “It was clear that Daesh had such an organisation in Gaziantep or was attempting to make room for itself in recent times,” Erdogan said, using an alternative acronym for the IS. “Many intensive operations were conducted, are being conducted. Of course our security forces will be conducting these operations with even greater intensity.” A bus driver who shuttled some of the guests from Siirt to Gaziantep said that he couldn’t believe the party was targeted. “This was a wedding party. Just a regular wedding party,” Hamdullah Ceyhan told Anadolu. The attack was deplorable....
Aug 22 2016 | Posted in : International News | No Comment | read more...
Washington-Donald Trump has vowed not to use classified information for political campaigning as the controversial billionaire received his first intelligence briefing by FBI in the capacity of Republican presidential nominee. As per the US laws, presidential nominees of the Democratic and Republican parties receive classified presidential briefings which prepares them for presidency if elected. Given some of his rhetoric in the past, his opponents have urged the US Government not to provide him with intelligence briefing. However, the FBI went ahead with its well established tradition of providing classified briefings to the GOP candidate, which happened at the FBI office in New York. Trump was accompanied by two of his confidants New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn. The briefing that reportedly lasted for more than two hours was led by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. While there was no word, these classified intelligence briefings normally includes threats to the US and other security issues. It is not secret intelligence briefings which includes operational intelligence....
Aug 19 2016 | Posted in : International News | No Comment | read more...
ki Orlando-In a rare show of humility by the boastful billionaire, Donald Trump is acknowledging that his presidential campaign faces challenges and could ultimately fall short. The Republican presidential nominee is straying from his signature bravado as he campaigns in the battleground state of Florida, even telling a gathering of evangelical ministers yesterday he's "having a tremendous problem in Utah." The same day, the reality show star acknowledged that his lack of political correctness could cost him the election if Americans reject his blunt approach. "We're having a problem," Trump told the ministers, adding that the next president could get to nominate up to five high-court justices. "It could cost us the Supreme Court." After trouncing 16 challengers in the Republican primary, Trump is encountering worrying signs as his campaign moves into the general election. Democrat Hillary Clinton's lead over Trump in national polls has widened in recent days, while a growing number of fellow Republicans have declared they won't support their own party's nominee. Trump's exercise in self-awareness is a marked departure from his usual tenor on the campaign trail, where for months at rallies he would tick through poll numbers showing him winning as if they were sports scores of his favorite team. "We're going to win so big," Trump told a roaring crowd one month ago at the Republican National Convention. Even while working to restore confidence in his campaign, Trump appeared to court controversy anew when he said that he was open to trying Americans suspected of terrorism at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba. Asked specifically about US citizens, Trump said he didn't like that President Barack Obama and others wanted to try them in traditional courts rather than military commissions at Guantanamo...
Aug 13 2016 | Posted in : International News | No Comment | read more...