Monday, February 9, 2015

News emanate

Australian PM survives leadership spill motion

The Australian Liberal Party voted to keep PM Tony Abbott as the leader of the party on Monday, with 61 to 39 members voting against a leadership spill motion. Earlier, Liberal Party members called for what was effectively a no-confidence vote against Abbott after weeks of backdoor discussion. The prime minister reportedly sought to solve the leadership crisis by pledging to support a $20 billion tender for South Australian shipbuilder ASC. Abbott has come under a barrage of criticism lately, ranging from how he has handled the nation’s economic problems to granting an Australian knighthood to Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip.

​Jordan Air Force carries out 56 raids in 3 days on ISIS targets

The head of Jordan’s Air Force says they have made 56 raids in three days targeting Islamic State strongholds in the northeast of Syria, according to Reuters. The missions were carried out in response to the brutal killing of a Jordanian pilot, who was burned alive by the militant group on February 3. “We achieved what we aimed at. We destroyed logistics centers, arms depots and targeted hideouts of their fighters,” General Mansour al Jbour, head of the Jordanian Air Force, told a news conference.

​21 police officers detained in Turkey wiretapping probe

A Turkish court ordered the arrest of 21 police officers on Sunday for their involvement in the illegal wiretapping of politicians, civil servants and business men, according to the Dogan News Agency. The move is part of President Tayyip Erdogan’s ongoing campaign against his archrival, cleric Fethullah Gulen, and his supporters. Erdogan has accused US-based Gulen of attempting to set up a parallel state. Last December, a Turkish court issued a warrant for the cleric’s arrest and revoked his passport.

Referendum on same-sex couples rights fails in Slovakia

A Slovakian referendum intended to strengthen bans on same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption failed on Sunday due to low turnout, the country’s election commission reported. Less than a half of 50 percent of eligible voters required for a valid ballot cast their votes, with the turnout being just 21.4 percent. A large majority of those who took part in the referendum supported the country’s existing constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman, which bans same-sex marriages and adoptions. The referendum in the eastern European country with a predominantly Catholic 5.4 million population was initiated by the “Alliance for family” organization. Gay rights activists have been reportedly trying to encourage people to boycott the vote, and welcomed its outcome.

Middle East Quartet calls on restart of Israel-Palestine talks

The “Quartet” of Middle East peace mediators urged a prompt resumption of talks between Israel and the Palestinians after Sunday’s meeting in Munich, Reuters reported. “The Quartet underlined the importance of the parties resuming negotiations as soon as possible,” a group comprising the US, EU, United Nations and Russia said in a joint statement. Talks collapsed last April with the Palestinians slamming ongoing construction of Jewish settlements in occupied territory and Israel decrying attempts to bring Hamas, which officially denies Israel’s right to exist, into the Palestinian government.

Ukrainian journalist accused of treason and espionage – family

The Ukrainian Security Service has detained an independent Ukrainian journalist, Ruslan Kotsaba, after he said he wasn’t ready to join the army because he “would have to kill his countrymen.” The journalist has been accused of treason against the state and espionage, Kotsaba’s wife revealed on Facebook. According to Mrs Kotseba, police searched their house and the journalist’s personal belongings were seized. Kotseba revealed his stance on military service in a video clip published in his YouTube channel in mid-January, saying that the “Kiev authorities are not worthy of being obeyed.”

Air Asia X flight forced to turn back to Kuala Lumpur after malfunction

The pilots of an Air Asia X flight from Kuala Lumpur to Jeddah were forced to abort the journey and turn back to Malaysia Sunday, Air Asia’s CEO Tony Fernandez said.Fernandez said in a text message to AFP that one of the auto-thrusters was not working properly, and that although it was ok to fly the pilots took the precaution of turning back. Flight tracking websites showed flight D7172 flying wide circles over the Strait of Malacca to burn off fuel, which was described by Fernandez as “routine”. The incident comes after Air Asia flight QZ8501 went down in stormy weather in late December between Surabaya in Indonesia and Singapore killing all on board.

Moscow demands copies of ‘Russian soldiers IDs’ shown in Munich

Kiev hasn’t provided Moscow with copies of documents it describes as proof of Russian military presence in Ukraine, said Viktor Sorokin, director of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) department within the Russian Foreign Ministry. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko showed the audience at the Munich Security Conference several passports on Saturday, saying they belonged to Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine. “We asked the Ukrainian side to give us copies of the documents containing last names, because such IDs, as were shown yesterday, could easily be bought. There’s no real proof, as of today, the Ukrainian side has not been able to give us the copies of these documents,” Sorokin said, as cited by RIA Novosti.

​26yo US female aid worker ‘sentenced to death’ by ISIS last year – activist

The American hostage Kayla Mueller, seized by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militants in Syria in 2013, was initially given a “life sentence” but was then told she would be executed, Muslim activist Mauri Saalakhan said. The militants claimed the 26-year-old hostage from Prescott, Arizona, was killed in a Jordanian fighter jet airstrike on Friday. Earlier her family had received threats of her execution, though US authorities couldn’t confirm this information. Mueller volunteered in the Syrian war zone, as well as in India, Israel and Palestine, and was the last known American held hostage by IS.

40 homes destroyed in Northern California wildfire

Heavy winds fanned a wildfire that swept through two small towns at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains on Friday. Up to 150 people had to be evacuated as 39 houses burnt down in Swall Meadows and one in the town of Paradise. The blaze came under control when rain started to fall in the area. “We had to take defensive positions to protect as many structures as we could while protecting ourselves,” said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Capt. Liz Brown. “We did what we could.” The state of California is suffering historic drought, making timber that fueled the wildfire extremely dry.

​Kerry gives Iran end of March nuclear deadline

The US Secretary of State John Kerry has held two talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Munich. The pair discussed Tehran’s nuclear program, as Kerry “reiterated our desire to move toward a political framework by the end of March,” a senior US official said, AFP reports. After missing two previous deadlines, the group known as the P5+1 – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States, set a March 31 deadline for a political agreement.

​Russian convoy delivers aid to eastern Ukraine

Russia has sent yet another aid convoy to provide humanitarian support for the people of Donetsk. “All the trucks have passed through customs and have started to head for Donetsk and Lugansk,” said the deputy head of the national center for crisis situations for the Russian Emergencies Ministry, Oleg Voronov. More than 170 lorries are bringing 1.8 tons of aid, which include food and building materials. The Russian Emergencies Ministry has made deliveries of more than 16,000 tons in aid since August.

​12 miners kidnapped in Mexico

A group of around a dozen workers at the Canadian mine, Media Luna, were driving in a car near the Mexican city of Cocula, when they were attacked and kidnapped, RIA-Novosti reported on Sunday. Officials have made no comments on the situation so far. According to the general prosecutor’s office, it wasn’t far from Cocula in western Mexico, where the remains of 43 students, who disappeared last September, were discovered.

Liberal Party get over with the spill motion

9 02 2015
Earlier today, I welcomed to the Parliament the men and women held in the Lindt Cafe as well as the families of Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson.
The Parliament has declared its deep repugnance towards terrorism in all its forms; and affirmed its unity and resolve to protect our citizens and our democratic freedoms.
The Liberal Party has dealt with the spill motion and now this matter is behind us.
We are absolutely determined to work for you, the people, who elected us.
We want to end the disunity and the uncertainty which destroyed two Labor governments, and give you the good government that you deserve.
We think that when you elect a government, when you elect a prime minister, you deserve to keep that government and that prime minister until you have a chance to change your mind.
So, the focus now is once more on jobs, families, a stronger economy and a secure nation.
We do face many challenges.
At heart, we are a highly successful country, justifiably proud of what we’ve achieved.
In essence, we are a strong economy with so much creativity and dynamism, and the challenge for government is to work with you, not against you.
I love this country, and I will do my best to help our country to succeed.
As you know, two of my colleagues have called for a leadership spill of the two senior positions in our Party. They’ve called for a spill of my position as leader and they’ve called for a spill of Julie Bishop’s position as Deputy.
The first point to make is that they are perfectly entitled to call for this, but the next point to make is that they are asking the Party Room to vote out the people that the electorate voted in in September 2013.
It was great to speak with Paul Murray about our plans for 2015. Our focus this year will be jobs, families, a stronger economy and a secure nation – that’s what people want.
Over the summer, I’ve been talking to hundreds of Australians from all walks of life – in the street, on the beach, in cafes, even at the pub; and I’ve been talking with my colleagues. Read more…
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Govt to infuse Rs. 6,990 crore in nine public sector banks

9 02 2015

Feb 7
Government will infuse Rs. 6,990 crore in nine public sector banks including SBI, Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Punjab National Bank (PNB) for enhancing their capital and meeting global risk norms.
This is the first tranche of capital infusion for which the government had allocated Rs. 11,200 crore in the budget for 2014-15.
Among the beneficiaries, SBI leads the pack with a capitalization of Rs. 2,970 crore, followed by BoB Rs. 1,260, PNB Rs. 870 crore and Canara Bank Rs. 570 crore.
The finance ministry in a press release said, the capital infusion has been decided based on the performance of the bank.

30 killed in clashes between football fans in Egypt

9 02 2015
Feb 9
In Egypt, at least 30 people have been killed while several others injured in stampede and clashes between the supporters of rival teams in Cairo yesterday. The incident took place ahead of a game between Egyptian Premier League clubs Zamalek and ENPPI at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo. Health authorities said most of the deaths took place due to suffocation and stampede.
Interior ministry said police had to use tear gas to disperse members of the Ultras White Knights fans as they tried to attend the game without buying tickets and were engaged in clashes. Only 10,000 supporters were allowed to attend the match since a league crowd ban had been in place after the Port Said tragedy in 2012 , which left 74 fans of Ahly dead. Meanwhile, Egypt’s cabinet has suspended the football league competition for an indefinite period after the latest tragedy. It said that fans failed to adhere to the safety procedures required to enter the stadium.

Singapore President meets President Mukherjee, PM Modi

9 02 2015
Feb 9
President of Singapore Dr. Tony Tan Keng Yam was accorded a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan today. President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed Dr Yam and his wife Mrs. Mary Tan at the forecourts of Rashtrapati Bhavan. He was also given a Guard of Honour there. Later Dr Yam laid a wreath at the Samadhi of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat.
The visiting dignitary met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and discussed issues of mutual interest. President Pranab Mukherjee is hosing a banquet in the honour of the Singapore President.
Dr Yam who is on a four day visit to India arrived in New Delhi yesterday to attend the golden jubilee celebration of India-Singapore relations.
AIR correspondent reports that Singapore is one of India’s major trade and investment partner. Bilateral trade expanded after the conclusion of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, CECA from 6.65 billion dollars in 2004-05 to 25.2 billion in 2011-12. However it declined to 19.27 billion dollars in 2013-14.
Singapore emerged as the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment, FDI into India in 2013-14 with 5.98 billion dollars accounting for about 25 per cent of FDI inflows. Banking, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and information technology have been the focus of such portfolio investments, besides investments in ports, airports and infrastructure projects.

Black Money: Prosecution launched against 60 account holders;

9 02 2015
Govt to probe new names, says Arun Jaitley
Feb 9,  1:26 PM
NDA government easy stand on black money and dilly dialing the issue has dearly cost-ed and their non-perforamce at Local self government and state machinery with same pace  and system snail pace for the convenience of few pockets made Delhitesto look for alternate in politics and made the electoral battle tense for the saffrons.  There is no change in governance space of the national capital most of intellectuals in the seminars boldly claim the Modi magic is still to be practically absent. PM tall claims and his intentions may have the aspiration for the people across the sacred land but his stern action is awaited to bring citizen centric  orbit move which remains static from last couple of years. Hopefully the tough electoral battle  by activist group which still has no authentic leaders or spokesperson in their two year old political outfits has taken the centre from bull horn on issue of citizen welfare electric,water,housing  etc. Delhi citizen are in peel of laughter of this amateur politicians neither activist nor adorable manager of governance.
FM from deep slumber takes stride sub-consciously and peddle the way to improve his and party image. Million dollar Q Is saffron bandwagon ready? Opportunity once missed difficult again to gain.
Thus Finance Minister Arun  Jaitley today said that Centre has put in vigorous efforts towards digging black money during the last six to seven months. Talking to media on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi , Mr. Jaitley said sixty prosecutions have been launched of those who have stashed money in foreign banks.
He said most of the names revealed in the list in a English daily today are known to the government. He said, some new names have been revealed, whose veracity will be checked by authorities. The Finance Minister said, assessment of 350 account holders have been done and the rest will be completed by 31st of next month.
He said, Mr Jaitley also said that he had met top Swiss authorities in Davos, and agreed with them that admission by assessees will be considered as additional evidence.

Sixth Annual Heads of Mission Conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

9 02 2015
President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee Sunday onFebruary 8, 2015 met delegates to the Sixth Annual Heads of Mission Conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Addressing the Ambassadors and High Commissioners who head India’s Missions abroad, the President said India demonstrated dynamism and bold leadership by inviting leaders of SAARC countries to attend the swearing-in of the new Government in May last year. That initiative must be followed through to its logical conclusion through incisive diplomacy even as we remain firm in protecting our security and putting in place impregnable security mechanisms.
The President said the one adage which never goes stale in international politics is ‘You can choose your friend but not your neighbour’. A strong message was conveyed to our neighbours that the region must decide whether to live in perpetual tension or understanding. Our initiatives in the neighbourhood must be followed up with concrete steps to consolidate and make permanent the advances we make in our relations.
Speaking on the issue of the global war on terrorism, the President said we have in recent days witnessed the horrific killings of innocent hostages in Syria, the attack on the media in Paris and the tragic killing of school children and their teachers in Peshawar. Terrorism is today an industry of evil. It is not just a threat to peace and security but an attack on humanity as a whole and civilization as we understand.
The President said India is one of the oldest victims of terrorism. There is no good terrorism or bad terrorism. Terrorism respects no religion, ideology or nation. It is no longer a debating issue. The international community must assert itself and tackle the problem by taking concerted, coordinated and determined action. This great menace and challenge to human values should be faced firmly and squarely through international cooperation. The President called upon India’s Ambassadors and High Commissioners to apply themselves to how this challenge can be addressed and to come up with ideas on how to mobilize the world to take concrete action that will mitigate and end this menace.
The President said last eight months have seen new vigour and dynamism in India’s foreign policy. President Barak Obama was our honoured guest for Republic Day. The visit was of substantive importance and not just symbolic. We also had visits by President Putin of Russia and President Xi Jinping of China recently. We were able to strike a deal in the WTO that enabled progress in trade liberalisation without comprising on our freedom to take measures essential for our food security. The Prime Minister has been personally reaching out to the Indian diaspora.
Having entered the Parliament in 1969 and served as External Affairs Minister twice, the President said he has worked with many generations of Foreign Service officers. He was aware that the jobs of HoMs is not easy. He understood their difficulties. He was aware of how they have proved their mettle at times of crises and never let the Government down. The President recalled the role played by Missions during evacuation of Indian citizens from foreign countries affected by war and turmoil. He pointed out that Indian Missions have extended assistance to even people from neighbouring countries on such occasions.
The President India’s diplomats have shown exemplary courage, skill and willingness to help our people. The tasks of an HoM are exacting but he had no doubt that every one of them would live up to the high expectations that India had of them. He was confident they will do their utmost to ensure that India’s flag continues to fly high.

General Mansour al-Jbour:”We are determined to wipe them from the face of the Earth.”

9 02 2015
Jordan has nearly fifty five raids in three days of air strikes targeting a stronghold of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, the country’s air force commander has said.
Jordain air force launched the bombing raids on the Syrian city of Raqqa, an ISIL stronghold. This massive raid started after  Thursday  ISIL released video showing the killing of a Jordanian pilot held hostage by the group.
“We achieved what we aimed at. We destroyed logistics centres, arms depots and targeted hideouts of their fighters,” General Mansour al-Jbour, the head of the Jordanian air force, said on Sunday.
Jbour said that 20 percent of the total sorties against the armed group made by the US-led coalition had been conducted by Jordan.
The sorties have led to the “degrading” of nearly 20 percent of the group’s capabilities, he said.
“We are determined to wipe them from the face of the Earth.”
ISIL recently released a video showing them burning the Jordanian pilot, Moaz al-Kassasbeh, to death while he was trapped in a cage.
In comments published on Saturday, Hussein al-Majali, Jordan’s interior minister, told the state-run al-Rai newspaper that his country would go after ISIL fighters “wherever they are”.
The heightened confrontation has raised concerns about possible ISIL attacks in Jordan.
Jordan’s Petra news agency reported on Sunday that John Allen, US President Barack Obama’s special envoy in the fight against ISIL, said that a new ground offensive led by Iraqi forces, with the support of US-led coalition forces, will soon begin targeting ISIL.
Allen added that “we are preparing 12 Iraqi military brigades that we are training as a prelude to the offensive”. Media agencies

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