• Friday, October 24, 2014

World

US, Iraq draw up ground attack plan against ISIS

US, Iraq draw up ground attack plan against ISIS

The United States and Iraq are drawing up a campaign plan for offensive operations by Iraqi ground forces to gradually reclaim towns and cities that have been occupied by ISIS, according to a senior US official. The report came as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights yesterday said US-led air strikes in Syria have...

UN rights body calls for open polls in HK

The United Nations Human Rights Committee called on China yesterday to ensure universal suffrage in Hong Kong, including the right to stand for election and not be subject to vetting. The panel of 18 independent experts, who monitor compliance with an international treaty on civil and political rights, agreed the move at a meeting at which they voiced concern at Beijing's plan to vet candidates in the former British colony. The committee agreed on "the need to ensure universal suffrage, which...

Canada Parliament Shooting

Sergeant-at-arms hailed as 'hero'

Sergeant-at-arms hailed as 'hero'

Just moments after he gunned down Canadian Parliament shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, heroic sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers was seen calmly walking through the halls, gun in hand. The 58-year-old RCMP veteran has been hailed a hero after putting a swift stop to the attacker's hail of gunfire after he shot dead a soldier and then stormed...

China, Iran seek closer military ties: Officials

China wants to have closer military ties with Iran, the Chinese defence minister told the visiting head of the Iranian navy yesterday, state media reported, reaffirming diplomatic links despite controversy over Iran's nuclear plans. Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan told Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari that the two armed forces have seen "good cooperation on mutual visits, personnel training and other fields in recent years", China's official Xinhua news agency reported. "Exchanges between the two navies have been fruitful...

Sectarian attack kills 8 Shias in Pakistan

Eight Shia members of Pakistan's ethnic Hazara minority were killed, and one wounded, yesterday, after gunmen opened fire on a bus in the volatile province of Baluchistan, police said. No one immediately claimed responsibility. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a radical Sunni militant group, has carried out many gun and bomb attacks on Hazaras in the past. The men were returning from a vegetable market when gunmen intercepted the bus. "Two gunmen boarded the bus and shot the men," police officer Imran Qureshi told Reuters. All...

We 'made wrong calculations'

Military leaders failed to calculate the magnitude of the conflict in Afghanistan, the former head of the British army has told the BBC. Gen Sir Peter Wall said they thought they had a "reasonable force" for their limited objectives, but he now admits they got it wrong. In 2004, the Army was still engaged in the conflict in Iraq and its leaders admit they were aware that they did not have the resources to fight in more than one campaign for...

Don't malign Muslims for wrongdoing of a few

Don't malign Muslims for wrongdoing of a few

The Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee has made use of Diwali by disseminating messages that she perhaps was waiting to deliver following reports of sporadic incidents of communal disturbance in the State. On Wednesday, she inaugurated Kali Puja in various areas and said that her government will not tolerate any attempt to...

Pakistan court lifts ban on ARY News

A Pakistani court yesterday ordered the media regulatory authority to restore transmission of a news channel supportive of anti-government protests organised by cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan and a populist cleric. ARY News, a popular station, was ordered off the air for 15 days on Monday by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) for "maligning honourable courts and judiciary". The channel's management approached the Sindh High Court on Tuesday to lift the suspension and a judge issued a stay order, allowing...

Foreign maids endure abuse in UAE: HRW

Foreign maids from impoverished countries endure physical, sexual and emotional abuse in the United Arab Emirates, trapped by a system that denies them protection, an international rights group said yesterday. Human Rights Watch called on the UAE to reform a restrictive visa system and pass a labour law for domestic workers to stop the abuses. "We already bought you. You don't have the right to complain," Filipina Marelie Brua said in a video interview with HRW, recounting her former employer's words. Brua...

Colossal volcanic eruption could destroy Japan: Study

Colossal volcanic eruption could destroy Japan: Study

Japan could be nearly destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption over the next century, putting almost all of the country's 127 million-strong population at risk, according to a new study. "It is not an overstatement to say that a colossal volcanic eruption would leave Japan extinct as a country," Kobe University earth sciences professor...

Climate Change

EU eyes new green energy targets

An EU summit was scheduled to get under way shortly in Brussels yesterday aiming for agreement on carbon emission cuts that could make Europe a global leader again in climate policy. The European Commission has proposed a 40% cut in CO2 emissions by 2030. The EU also aims to boost the use of renewable energy to 27% in the total energy mix. Europe's reliance on Russian gas has become a hot topic because of the Ukraine crisis, besides the climate impact...

Another man tries to breach White House

A suspect who climbed over the White House fence Wednesday was nabbed by Secret Service agents and dogs, a spokesman for the elite agency said. The individual was immediately taken into custody on the north lawn of the White House by Secret Service officials. The fence climber was identified as 23-year-old Dominic Adesanya from Marlyand. He was unarmed at the time of his arrest. Video on local media appeared to show a man being intercepted by officers before he had a chance...

Nigeria's Boko Haram 'abducts more girls'

Dozens of women and girls from two villages in Nigeria's north-eastern Adamawa state have been abducted by suspected militants, residents said. The abductions have not been confirmed by the authorities, but residents say they took place a day after the military announced it had agreed a ceasefire with the Boko Haram group. The government hopes the Islamist group will free more than 200 girls seized in April as part of negotiations. Boko Haram has not confirmed the truce. Following Friday's ceasefire announcement,...

Dumped by boyfriend, she spends entire week in KFC

Dumped by boyfriend, she spends entire week in KFC

A lovesick Chinese woman dumped by her boyfriend spent an entire week in a KFC eating chicken wings. Depressed Tan Shen, 26, from Chengdu, in China's southwest Sichuan Province, decided she needed some fried comfort food to get over her ex. She stopped off at a KFC near a train station by her home, but...

Somalia gets its first ATM

Somalia's capital Mogadishu now has its first-ever ATM bank machine -- and it dispenses U.S. dollars. The machine was installed in late September in the upscale Jazeera Palace Hotel, which is located 300 meters from Aden Adde International Airport in the south-west of the city. The hotel's general manager said that he had seen people using the new machine but it had not been widely adopted. "Most of the customers were not aware there is an ATM in Somalia". While a great...

News In Brief

Irish senate calls for recognition of Palestine Afp, Dublin Ireland's upper house of parliament Wednesday passed a motion calling on the Dublin government to recognise the state of Palestine in a symbolic move that is unlikely to change policy. The vote is the latest boost for Palestinian authorities campaigning for international recognition, coming after a similar vote by the British House of Commons.       Gunmen kill 30 in new C Africa attacks: UN Afp, Bangui Gunmen have killed at least 30 people in fresh attacks...

Ottawa shooting (Video)

Ottawa shooting (Video)

Police in Canada have released video showing how a lone gunman stormed into Canada's parliament on Wednesday. Minutes before, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, had shot dead a soldier at Ottawa's war memorial near parliament. Zehaf-Bibeau was ultimately shot dead by Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers. He was not on a list of known high-risk travellers, but had links to extremist elements, police said. He had recently applied for a passport and intended to travel to Syria.