Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Happening around the world


Egypt’s top military council approves Sisi running for president

Egypt’s top military council has given the army chief, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a green light to run for president, Reuters reported, citing a security source. “The top army officials all endorsed Sisi running for the presidency,” according to the source. Sisi could announce his candidacy within days.

Extremists kill 52 in northeast Nigeria attack – officials

Suspected Islamic extremists used explosives to attack a village in Nigeria’s northeast, killing 52 people and destroying more than 300 homes, AP said, citing security officials. The attackers reportedly planted several explosives at a market near Kawuri village on Sunday. Witnesses say there were more than 50 attackers. Officials blame the Islamic terrorist network Boko Haram, which has killed thousands over four years in Nigeria’s northeast.  Since May, Northeast Nigeria has been under a military state of emergency.

Afghanistan to free 37 prisoners despite US protests

Afghanistan announced Monday that within two weeks it will release the first batch of alleged Taliban prisoners whom the US says are responsible for dozens of NATO and Afghan deaths, AFP said. Earlier Kabul said that a total of 72 detainees held at Bagram Prison near the Afghan capital would be freed due to lack of evidence. The US military force in Afghanistan condemned the news, saying the prisoners were “dangerous insurgents.” US-Afghan relations are strained over a number of issues including President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to sign a pact on Washington’s future military role in the country.

Cambodia police disperse demonstrators in TV channel protest

Cambodian military police used smoke grenades and batons on Monday to quell a protest by demonstrators demanding that a new television channel be allowed to broadcast, Reuters said. At least eight people were wounded, according to witnesses. The demonstration near the Information Ministry breached a ban on public gatherings imposed by the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen. The ministry earlier refused to grant a broadcast license to a new television channel run by a staunch government critic.

Thai protesters won’t negotiate over freeing up access to ministries

Protesters seeking to overthrow Thailand’s government will not negotiate over freeing up access to ministries and state agencies that they have blockaded, Reuters reported protest leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, as saying on Monday. The protesters have blockaded seven big intersections in the capital of Bangkok. Many ministries and other bodies such as the central bank were forced to close their doors, with staff working from home or back-up facilities.

Hackers attack Israeli defense computer – expert

Hackers attacked Israeli computers including one used by the Defense Ministry, an Israeli data protection expert said on Monday. “At the beginning of this month a number of mails were sent to a number of companies in Israel, including security organizations,” AFP quoted Aviv Raff, chief technology officer at Israeli cyber security firm Seculert, as saying on army radio. An attachment that was in the email was infected with a virus, a Trojan Horse, which allowed the attackers to control the computers, Raff said. One of the computers belonged to the Defense Ministry department dealing with civilians in the occupied West Bank. The radio said the attack was “apparently from Gaza” and added that 15 Israeli computers were targeted.

At least 20 killed in Congo arms depot blasts

Explosions from an arms depot near the diamond-mining hub of Mbuji-Mayi have killed more than 20 people, the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo announced. The explosions injured 50 people and destroyed many houses, causing “desolation” in the heart of Congo’s third largest city, AP said, citing the statement. A lightning bolt on Friday reportedly hit the munitions depot of an army barracks outside Mbuji-Mayi and exploding shells hit homes some 6km away.

China ships sail off Tokyo-controlled islands after Abe’s WWI claim

Chinese ships sailed through disputed waters off Tokyo-controlled islands on Monday, AFP reported. Around 9am (00:00 GMT), Chinese coastguard vessels entered the 12-nautical-mile territorial waters of one of the Senkakus, which China claims and calls the Diaoyus, according to Japan’s coastguard. The move came days after Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe compared Sino-Japanese tense relations with the run-up to World War I.

Magnitude 4.9 earthquake hits southeastern Iran

A moderate earthquake has struck southeastern Iran, and no injuries or damage were immediately reported, AP said. An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.9 struck at 6:16am local time Monday (02:46 GMT), some 100km southwest of Zahedan, Iran, according to the US Geological Survey. That area is near Iran’s eastern border with Pakistan.

S. Korea proposes family reunions in February

Seoul on Monday proposed that the rival Koreas restart arranging reunions next month for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, AP reported. North Korea last week agreed to resume the reunions and let South Korea choose dates for the humanitarian program, the latest move in a recent series of conciliatory gestures Pyongyang has taken. Seoul’s Unification Ministry said Monday that it sent a message proposing that the reunions to take place from February 17-22 at a North Korean mountain. About 22,000 North and South Koreans briefly met with their relatives during a period of détente, but family reunions have not been held since October 2010.

Libyan militias release kidnapped Egyptian diplomats

Libya’s deputy foreign minister said Sunday that five Egyptian diplomats and an embassy employee kidnapped by militias in Tripoli have been released. They were abducted by armed gunmen as retaliation to Egypt for the arrest of Shaban Hadia, commander of the Operations Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries, a powerful militia. The kidnappings forced Egypt to evacuate its embassy and Benghazi consulate on Friday, prompting it to once again stress the Libyan central government’s inability to reign in armed groups operating around the country. Deputy Foreign Minister Abdul Razak Al-Grady told Reuters that three of the released are already back home, while another three are on their way back to Tripoli. He did not provide any further details on their release.

Egypt’s interim president promotes army chief to rank of marshal



Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour has promoted the country’s powerful army chief to the top military rank of marshal, state television said. Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi, who led the July 3 coup that ousted the nation’s Islamist president, is expected to step down to become a candidate in Egypt’s coming presidential elections, AP said. As the elections are set to take place before the end of April, al-Sisi has yet to publicly announce his intentions.

Tunisia president signs new constitution


Tunisia president signs new constitution

President Moncef Marzouki and the head of the National Assembly signed Tunisia’s new constitution on Monday, Reuters reported. The constitution was approved by assembly deputies on Sunday evening, which ended months of deadlock. The country’s transition got back on track when ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, agreed to compromise late last year and step down to make way for a technocrat government. It will govern until the vote later this year.

Shots fired at Thai army facility when PM Shinawatra holds meeting



Shots were fired at a Thai army facility in north Bangkok on Tuesday where Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was holding meetings, Media reports two people were injured, said Chumpol Jumsai, an anti-government protest leader. “Someone fired shots. One protester was hurt and the man who fired the shots was hurt, too,” Chumpol said. Yingluck was meeting members of the country’s Election Commission on Tuesday. The commission says the country is too unstable to hold an election on February 2

Nikolay Azarov Ukraine Prime Minister submits resignation


Mykola Azarov.(Reuters / Denis Balibouse)

Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov  submitted his resignation, according to his government’s official website.
The prime minister explained that his move was motivated by  efforts to peacefully resolve the current crisis in the country.
Western diplomats have once again come to Kiev’s Independence Square, the epicenter of protests which have evolved from democratic rallies into violent riots. Ambassadors reportedly met with radical leaders who are now at the core of the demonstrations.
American, Canadian, and European diplomats arrived to  Independence Square – also known as Maidan – on Sunday, the  opposition Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party said in a statement.  The square is the site of ongoing anti-government and pro-EU  protests.
The diplomats also “inspected” the Trade Unions  Building, home to the National Resistance Headquarters. The  so-called “commandants” of Maidan, Batkivshchyna  deputies Andrey Parubiy and Stepan Kubiv, showed that there were  no weapons on the square or in the building, the party’s press  service said in a statement.
The visit followed “disinformation by the Ukrainian  authorities and Russian TV channels about alleged stockpiles of  arms on Maidan,” the statement reads.
The foreign diplomats also reportedly met with the speaker of  Right Sector – a movement uniting several nationalist  organizations – and one of Maidan’s self defense commanders. They  were “convinced that these people posed no threat” and  that the “aggression” only comes from government forces.
Right-wing extremists from Right Sector have been widely involved  in violent clashes with police in Kiev. The group is committed to  ousting the “occupation” government at any cost.
The movement posted “instructions” for their members on  a social networking site on Monday, though the directions looked  more like a military order. The message calls on regional  commanders and their deputies to organize their subordinates in  units, conduct propaganda among the general public, and   “neutralize the anti-Ukrainian bloc” – apparently  referring to government supporters.
Media agencies

Imtiaz Ali launches Tisca Chopra’;s debut book ‘;Acting Smart’;!!

Imtiaz Ali launches Tisca Chopra’;s debut book ‘;Acting Smart’;!! 
Stunning actress, Tisca Chopra recently had a pre-launch event for her 1st book ‘;Acting Smart’; at the Indian Non-Friction Literature festival with director Imtiaz Ali.
We hear that Imtiaz Ali who is a very dear friend of Tisca Chopra not only unveiled the book but has also contributed to a few episodes and anecdotes in the book along with Raju Hirani, Shabana Azmi, Boman Irani and many more.
The event saw Tisca Chopra and Imtiaz Ali talking to the audiences and sharing few of their personal and interesting experiences which they have come across, since Acting Smart is a book for all the cinegoers and movie buffs!!
Also present at the event was Tisca Chopra’;s husband Sanjay Chopra who is also a writer and cheered and supported Tisca throughout the event.
Well, we are sure that Tisca Chopra with her book ၣting Smart⼯b> definitely has a long way to go!

Shailesh Giri
Effective Communication

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