Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cooperation highlighted at 16th ASEAN

Leaders pose for group photo before attending EAS in Brunei

16th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus Three Summit (APT) opened here Thursday with the leaders pledging to further enhance their cooperation in a wide range of areas so as to contribute to an East Asia Community.
Bruneian Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who now chairs the 10-nation bloc, said in his opening remarks that the APT countries aim to ensure economic recovery, financial stability and to deepen links amongst the countries in order to strengthen regional cooperation towards building an East Asia Community.
He highlighted measures by the countries to strengthen regional surveillance mechanism and financial safety net, saying it will contribute to enhancing financial stability, ensuring sustainable economic growth and further deepening the integration of the East Asia region.
Hassanal, meanwhile, called for further cooperation between the APT countries, in enhancing regional supply chain with the focus on development of small and medium enterprises in the region, encouraging all relevant stakeholders’ involvement and fully utilizing existing means to support the efforts.
He also called a timely and successful conclusion of negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership ( RCEP) on the socio-cultural aspect, adding the countries should strengthen people-to-people ties through education, exchanges and tourism.
Hassanal said all sides have to address challenges and step up efforts in key areas of common interest such as health-related issues, including emerging infectious disease and pandemic preparedness and response.
Collaborations on the APT emergency rice preserve, energy security and disaster management and connectivity should also be improved, according to the sultan, who added the APT should utilize the East Asia Forum and the network of East Asia think tanks for a better cooperation.
In an address to the summit, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang spoke highly of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation, saying it has played an important role in stabilizing the region’s economy and made significant contribution to the economic growth of East Asia and the world at large.
He said the countries should remain committed to maintaining peace and stability in the region, firmly adhere to the principles of mutually beneficial cooperation and common development, and give top priority to economic development and people’s well-being, so as to ensure the East Asia cooperation will stay on the track of sound growth.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye said at the summit that she hopes the APT will serve as an opportunity to make the vision of mechanism more concrete and actionable.
She said South Korea will take an active part in the process of building a peaceful and prosperous East Asian Community, adding it is critically important for all sides to translate specific plans into actions.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated his goal of creating an open, vigorous East Asia rich in innovation, saying innovative and concrete results have been achieved.
He added that the APT is an important regional cooperation framework, along with Japan-China-ROK trilateral cooperation and the East Asia Summit, and hopes for further development of regional cooperation.
Inaugurated in 1997, the APT comprises all 10 ASEAN member states and China, South Korea and Japan with its main focus on economic cooperation. As of now, the APT has become the major pillar of East Asia cooperation. Media agencies 

Integral Global News



​US top nuclear admiral fired over gambling scandal

Vice Admiral Tim Giardina, the deputy commander of US nuclear forces, was relieved duty on Wednesday as the military investigates allegations of counterfeit chips used by the Giardina at an Iowa casino, the Navy announced. The Navy said Giardina was being reassigned to the navy staff pending the results of the investigation. Giardina’s fall from strategic command also resulted in demotion to a two-star admiral. The admiral was suspended as the top commander at Strategic Command earlier in September, after the Navy found out that he was involved in a casino scandal in June that involved “a significant monetary amount” of counterfeit gambling chips

Group adopts section of Utah highway to get close to nearby NSA data facility

A group opposed to government surveillance have adopted a section of highway that goes through a National Guard base that holds the NSA’s data storage center in Utah, the Associated Press reported. A strip of Route 68 was awarded to “Restore the Fourth,” made up of opponents to National Security Agency surveillance programs. The group says it will carry picket signs protesting the programs as they pick up litter, said a Utah organizer for the group. “They have been very unkind to anyone who tries to come close or bring cameras,” Lorina Potter said. “One of the major reasons we decided to do this was to bring visibility to the fact this data center has eroded and invaded every part of our 4th Amendment rights.” The $1.7bn facility, set to open soon, will store intercepted telecommunications from around the world.

Ex-police officer opens fire on federal courthouse in West Virginia

A former police officer with an assault-type rifle opened fire at a federal courthouse in Wheeling, West Virginia Wednesday before he was shot by security officers, US Marshals said. The gunman was killed and an officer was hurt by shattered glass, but no other injuries were reported. The shooter’s identity was not disclosed but the West Virginia Metro News reported he was formerly employed as a Wheeling police officer. Witnesses said he fired roughly 20 shots from a parking lot across the street before he was hit by bullets from courthouse security officers and local police. Authorities refused to speculate on a possible motive.
Americans’ view of Republican Party hits record low
A mere 28% of Americans currently view the Republican Party favorably, down a full ten points from 38% in just a month according to a new Gallup poll. While only 43% of Americans viewed the Democratic Party favorably, the Republicans were given the lowest rating for either party since Gallup began asking the question in 1992. The poll was conducted October 3 – 6, after the federal government shutdown began on October 1 over a budget funding feud sparked by GOP opposition to Obamacare. Currently sixty-two percent of Americans view the Republican Party unfavorably, while 49% see the Democratic Party unfavorably, and approximately one in four see both parties unfavorably.
Italy to hold state funeral for 300 refugees killed in boat accident
Italy plans to hold a state funeral for over 300 African migrants who died after their boat capsized near the island of Lampedusa last week. The tragedy occurred when a fire broke out on board, creating a panic. Prime Minister Enrico Letta and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso have paid tribute to the perished. European officials have pledged funds, an additional €30 million, for migrants in Italy, and are considering new ways to prevent other tragic accidents in the future. Italy’s Lampedusa is just over 110 kilometers (70 miles) from Tunisia, which makes it a popular destination for migration from North Africa.

Exit Polls Azerbaijan’s president Aliyev wins third term 

Exit polls suggest that Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, has won a third five-year term by a landslide in Wednesday’s vote, AP reports. The survey, conducted by the independent Prognosis polling company, showed Aliyev taking nearly 84 percent of the vote. The study of 40,500 voters claimed a margin of error of less than 1 percentage point. The main opposition candidate, historian Jamil Hasanli, was trailing behind with about 8 percent, followed by eight other contenders. The opposition has already called the current election “the dirtiest ever,” speaking of numerous violations and fraud. Aliyev has ruled the oil-rich ex-Soviet nation since 2003, succeeding his father, Heydar Aliyev.

More than 100 killed in Cambodia floods

At least 104 people have died in recent floods caused by heavy rains and the Mekong River overflowing its banks, a Cambodian disaster relief official said Wednesday. Floods in the past several weeks have affected some 1.5 million people in 17 of the country’s 24 provinces, according to management committee spokesman Keo Vy. The Cambodian Red Cross says more than 21,700 families have left their homes due to flooding.

Pakistan’s ex-president Musharraf to be bailed

Pervez Musharraf has been granted bail in a case involving the death of a separatist leader, a lawyer representing Pakistan’s former president has said. The move paves the way for Musharraf’s release as he has been granted bail in other cases against him as well. Wednesday’s ruling means Musharraf is free once the paperwork has been completed, AP quoted lawyer Ahmad Raza Qasuri as saying. Musharraf, who returned from exile in March, ran into legal trouble in several court cases that stemmed from his time in office and was ordered detained.

Around 60 killed in Central African Rep. clashes

Around 60 people have been killed in sectarian clashes in Central African Republic between local militias and former rebels, Reuters reported, citing witnesses and a local official. The country has descended into chaos since mostly Muslim Seleka rebels from the north seized the capital Bangui in March, ousting President Francois Bozize. The new transitional government has failed to stem the violence, prompting the UN Security Council to consider intervening to restore order.

Morsi to go on trial Nov 4 on charges of incitement to killing

Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi will go on trial on November 4 on charges of incitement to the killing of opponents while he was in office, the Cairo Appeals Court announced Wednesday. Morsi, 62, will be tried before a criminal court for allegedly inciting his supporters to kill at least 10 people, use violence and unlawfully detain and torture anti-Morsi protesters, AP said. Fourteen other members of the Muslim Brotherhood will be tried along with him. The Morsi case dates back to December 4, 2012, when at least 100,000 protesters gathered outside the presidential palace, protesting a decree he issued to protect his decisions from judicial oversight and a disputed draft constitution. The next day, supporters of Morsi sparked street battles that left at least 10 dead. Opponents then said that Morsi relied on organized mobs to suppress the sit-in.

Nobel Prize for chemistry awarded to Karplus, Levitt, Warshel

Three US scientists won the 2013 Nobel Prize for chemistry on Wednesday for laying the foundations for development of computers to understand complex chemical processes from the purification of exhaust fumes to photosynthesis. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said when awarding the prize of $1.25 million, that Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel had pioneered the use of computer models that mirror chemical reactions, Reuters reported. The work helps in complex processes such as the development of drugs. Karplus, a US and Austrian citizen, researches at the University of Strasbourg and Harvard University. Levitt, a US and British citizen, is at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Warshel, a US and Israel citizen, is a professor at the University of Southern California.

Australia PM Abbott announces terror attack compensation in Bali

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday announced a scheme to compensate Australian victims of overseas terror attacks and their families. Eighty-eight Australians were among those killed in the attacks by Islamist militants on a nightclub and bar on the party strip of Kuta on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. Abbott laid a wreath at the site of the 2002 Bali bombings after his attendance at a summit in Indonesia. He said victims of overseas terror attacks and their next of kin could apply for AU$75,000 (US$70,700) in compensation, in a scheme he said would cost the government about AU$30 million.

Tehran rejects conditions for joining Syria peace conference

Iran rejects any conditions for taking part in a peace conference on Syria, media reports say. The US earlier suggested that Tehran back a call for a transitional government in Damascus. “If our participation is in the interest of achieving a solution, it will be unacceptable to set conditions for inviting the Islamic Republic of Iran, and we accept no conditions,” Press TV quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham as saying.

Greenpeace head writes to Putin, wants bail for detained activists

The head of Greenpeace offered on Wednesday to move to Russia and stand as guarantor for the release on bail of 30 people who were charged with piracy after an action against Prirazlomnoye drilling rig in the Pechora Sea. The offer was made in a letter written by Kumi Naidoo to President Vladimir Putin that was sent on Wednesday, Reuters reported. A Russian court has refused bail to four of the detainees. “I would offer myself as a guarantor for the good conduct of the Greenpeace activists, were they to be released on bail,” Naidoo wrote, requesting an urgent meeting with Putin. Presidential aide Dmitry Peskov said that such letter has not been received by the Kremlin.

Convictions of top officers over coup plot upheld in Turkey

Turkey’s appeals court upheld convictions on Wednesday of top retired military officers for leading a plot to overthrow Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government a decade ago, Reuters reported. The court overturned convictions of dozens of less prominent defendants among more than 300 officers sentenced last September in the ‘Sledgehammer’ conspiracy.

Russian court upholds ruling on detention of Greenpeace activist Dolgov

The regional court in Russia’s Murmansk region rejected an appeal by lawyers against the arrest of Greenpeace activist Roman Dolgov. A lower court in Murmansk earlier remanded Dolgov into custody for two months after an action against Prirazlomnoye drilling rig in the Pechora Sea, the southeastern part of the Barents Sea. Russian investigators allege the Arctic Sunrise vessel seized by Russian border guards was involved in maritime piracy.

Doctors differ on Argentine president Fernandez’ recovery

Surgeons are offering widely different views on how long it might be for Argentine President Cristina Fernandez to retake control of a government, AP reported. She is recovering from surgery to relieve pressure on her brain. Many Argentines have expressed concern at her being sidelined only three weeks before congressional elections. Also, a US Supreme Court rejection of an Argentine appeal makes another debt default more likely.

Rare amoeba found in Louisiana water system

A rare amoeba that caused the August death of a child in south Louisiana has been found in five locations in a north Louisiana water system, according to the US Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC confirmed the presence of the Naegleria fowleri amoeba in five places in DeSoto Parish Waterworks District No. 1, which is one of 14 water systems in the parish, the state Department of Health and Hospitals said Tuesday. There are no known current cases of illness related to the discovery in DeSoto or elsewhere in Louisiana.

President Aliyev eyes 3rd term in Azerbaijan presidential poll

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev looks certain to extend his rule in the former Soviet republic for a third straight term in an election on Wednesday, Reuters reported. In the decade since Aliyev succeeded his father, Azerbaijan has enjoyed a boom that raised living standards. The country has courted Western countries drawn by its strategic location and oil and gas reserves.

139 arrested in China’s Xinjiang for urging jihad

China has arrested 139 people in Xinjiang for allegedly spreading jihad, state-run media said Wednesday. Police have “handled an increasing number of cases in which individuals have posted or searched for religious extremist content on the internet,” the reports say. In the two months to the end of August, 139 people were arrested for “spreading religious extremism including jihad.” Chinese authorities have warned of growing religious extremism in the far-western region, home to Muslim Uighurs.

Lawyers file lawsuit against UN over Haiti cholera epidemic

Human rights lawyers said Wednesday they were filing a lawsuit against the UN with a New York court seeking compensation for Haitian victims of a cholera epidemic. The UN said earlier this year that it would not pay hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation claimed by cholera victims in impoverished Haiti, Reuters reported. The epidemic, blamed on UN peacekeepers, has killed over 8,300 people and sickened more than 650,000 since October 2010.

Afghan Taliban says Pakistan still keeping former No. 2 Baradar in jail

The Afghan Taliban said Wednesday Pakistan has not freed their former second-in-command, Mullah Baradar, as promised. “He still spends his days and nights in prison, and his health condition… is getting worse day by day,” Reuters quoted Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid as saying. Baradar is seen by many in Afghanistan as the key to restarting peace talks with the Afghan Taliban.

At least 60 Tibetans injured as China police clash with protesters – reports

At least 60 Tibetans were injured after Chinese police fired into a crowd of protesters, the BBC reports, citing rights group Free Tibet and US-based Radio Free Asia. The shooting reportedly occurred on Sunday in Biru county, as villagers demanded police free a man who led separate protests in September after Tibetans refused to fly China’s flag outside their homes. In a separate incident, a high-profile Tibetan monk who co-founded the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the West and maintained contacts with Beijing was killed. Three Tibetans who confronted Tarap Shetrup Akong, a British national, at his residence in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu on Tuesday and stabbed him to death along with his nephew and a driver, were detained and reportedly admitted carrying out the killings.

10 people killed in Bangladesh garment factory fire

A fire has killed 10 people at a garment factory in Bangladesh about six months after a factory building collapse that killed 1,100 people. The cause of the fire at the Aswad garment factory in Gazipur outside Dhaka was not immediately known, AP reported. The fatalities included the general manager, Rashiduzzaman Mandal. The fire was doused early Wednesday after firefighters labored 10 hours to bring it under control. Some 170 workers were inside the factory when the fire started and most were able to escape. Authorities and global clothing companies earlier pledged to improve safety standards in Bangladesh’s garment industry.

Justice Dept. asks for delay in NSA court case because of shutdown

Based on the government shutdown, the US Department of Justice has asked a federal court to delay a case that will reveal more information about the NSA’s surveillance operations, the Associated Press reported. The case involves demands of Yahoo Inc. to offer up customer data. Government lawyers have said they will disclose secret documents on National Security Agency spying programs in the case. The Justice Department appealed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to pause proceedings because all agency employees are not allowed to work during the shutdown except in emergencies involving safety of human life or protection of property.Media agencies

Gutta moves court against BAI’s life ban threat

Jwala Gutta moves court against BAIUpdated on : 10-10-2013 12:12 PM
Embattled shuttler Jwala Gutta on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court against the Badminton Association of India (BAI) after its disciplinary committee recommended a life ban on her for an alleged code of conduct breach in the Indian Badminton League. 
“We decided to go ahead with legal action in the case and accordingly filed a petition in the Delhi High Court today,” Jwala’s father Kranti Gutta told a news agency. 
The BAI had ruled out considering Jwala for selection in any international event in the next one month, pending a decision by the three-member committee that was formed on Monday by President Akhilesh Das Gupta. 
It means the Commonwealth Games gold medallist won’t be able to play in Denmark and French Open. 
Jwala’s coach Syed Mohammad Arif had advised the top shuttler to file a defamation suit against BAI for going to press without issuing her a ban notice. 
The Sports Minister Jitendra Singh also said today that he can look into Jwala’s dispute with the BAI if she approaches him. 
The BAI’s disciplinary committee had recommended a life ban on Jwala for trying to stop some players of her franchise Delhi Smashers from playing a match against Banga Beats in the recent Indian Badminton League. 
BAI demanded an “unconditional apology” from the feisty shuttler to reconsider her case. 
With the BAI mounting pressure, Jwala had a series of meetings yesterday with her IBL franchise Krrish Delhi Smashers and lawyers here to chalk out the next course of action. 
The three-member disciplinary panel comprises Indian Olympic Association (IOA) joint secretary Anandeshwar Pandey, Luge Federation of India president Deepa Mehta and Swati Shukla, a former associate of the Commonwealth Games Organising committee. 
The committee is awaiting an answer from Jwala within a week. 
The controversy had erupted during the August 25 tie when Delhi Smashers threatened to pull out against Banga Beats over the last-minute replacement of injured singles player, Hu Yun of Hong Kong with Denmark’s Jan Jorgensen. 

President Obama Explains the Shutdown

The White HouseWednesday, October 9, 2013
President Obama Explains the Shutdown
Yesterday, eight days into the Republican government shutdown, President Obama spoke from the White House about the need for Republicans in Congress to stop threatening another recession just to sabotage Obamacare, stop demanding ransom just for doing their jobs, and just vote to reopen the government. He talked about the toll this shutdown is already taking on our country and the economy, and warned against the dire consequences of a default if Congress doesn’t act to prevent an economic shutdown.
Keeping the government running and paying the nation’s bills aren’t bargaining chips or a matter of negotiation – they’re a fundamental part of Congress’s job. Here’s how the President put it yesterday:
“If you’re in negotiations around buying somebody’s house, you don’t get to say, ‘Well, let’s talk about the price I’m going to pay, and if you don’t give the price then I’m going to burn down your house.’ That’s not how negotiations work…. In the same way, members of Congress — and the House Republicans in particular — don’t get to demand ransom in exchange for doing their jobs. And two of their very basic jobs are passing a budget and making sure that America is paying its bills.”
Watch: President Obama's statement on the government shutdown
As the President has made clear — and the press has reported — the government could be reopened, today, with the votes of reasonable Republicans and Democrats if Tea Party Republicans would allow a simple yes-or-no vote on a Senate-passed compromise bill to fund the United States government. It’s time for Congress to just vote and end this government shutdown now.
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