News in Brief
Obama grants $1b to Pakistan
President Barack Obama has signed a massive annual defence policy bill which grants $1 billion to Pakistan for the expenses made by its army in support of the US military operations in war-torn Afghanistan. The National Defence Authorization Act for the fiscal year 2015, signed by Obama on Friday, sets overall defence spending at $578 billion.
North Korea to snub UNSC meet
Afp, United Nations
North Korea said Friday it will not send a representative to a UN Security Council meeting next week to discuss the country's human rights record and calls to refer Pyongyang to the International Criminal Court. The 15-member council will hold its the first-ever meeting tomorrow on the situation in North Korea, despite objections from China -- Pyongyang's key ally -- and Russia.
FBI mishandles US evidence: report
The FBI has mishandled large amounts of evidence in its offices across the United States, The New York Times reported Friday after reviewing an internal report from the investigative force. The FBI has failed to keep close track of the weapons, valuables, money and drugs it keeps as part of its criminal cases, the report said, adding that almost half of the evidence reviewed by an internal investigation had errors. The probe reviewed more than 41,000 pieces of evidence.
BJP against forcible conversions: Amit Shah
BJP President Amit Shah yesterday said his party was against forcible conversions and asked other political parties in the country to support a bill in this regard if they were 'sincere' in their approach to secularism. "BJP is against forceful conversions and that is why we want to bring a law. So-called secular parties should support BJP's move," Shah told reporters here.
Egypt to reopen Gaza crossing today
Egypt is to reopen the Rafah border crossing with Gaza today for the second time in two months to allow those stranded in Egypt to enter the Palestinian territory, officials said. It was shut by Egypt in late October following a deadly bombing in the Sinai Peninsula, reopening briefly at the end of November to allow Palestinians stuck in Egypt to return home.
Four Afghan Gitmo prisoners repatriated
Four Afghans held for more than a decade at Guantanamo Bay have been sent home, the Pentagon said yesterday, edging President Barack Obama closer towards his goal of closing the controversial US military jail. The latest transfers leave 132 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the Pentagon said.