International

As China locks up Muslims in Xinjiang, it opens its doors to tourists

FROM the expansive dunes of the Taklamakan Desert to the snow-capped peaks of Tianshan, Chinese authorities are selling troubled Xinjiang as a tourist idyll, welcoming travellers even as they send locals to internment camps...

Pakistan anti-terror court grants interim bail to Saeed, his 3 aides

MUMBAI terror attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and his three aides were granted pre-arrest bail on Monday by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan in a case pertaining to the banned outfit’s illegal use of land for its seminary...

Macron showcases Europe military prowess at Paris parade

FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday sought to showcase European military cooperation in the annual Bastille Day parade at a time of growing tensions between Europe the United States..

Major 7.3 quake hits Indonesia

A MAJOR 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit the remote Maluku islands in Eastern Indonesia on Sunday, sending panicked residents running into the streets, but no tsunami warning was issued...

Djokovic clinches 5th Wimbledon title

DEFENDING champion Novak Djokovic claimed his fifth Wimbledon title on Sunday beating eight-time champion Roger Federer 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 13-12 (7/3) in the longest ever final and settled by an historic tie-break...

India imposing tariffs on American products ‘not acceptable’: Trump

 By Lalit K Jha: WASHINGTON PRESIDENT Donald Trump on Tuesday said India has long had a “field day” imposing tariffs on American products, which is “no longer acceptable” to the US. Trump’s terse comment came days after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28 where the two leaders aired their concerns over the bilateral trade disputes and agreed for a meeting of their Commerce Ministers to sort ..

Trump celebrates US Independence Day

WASHINGTONDECLARING that ‘nothing is impossible’ for Americans, President Donald Trump celebrated the Independence Day with an unprecedented display of the country’s military might at a rain-soaked parade but surprised his critics with a speech that was devoid of his trademark political rhetoric, ahead of his 2020 re-election bid. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive at an Independence Day celebration on Thursday in Washington. (AP/PTI)  In one ..

ICJ to deliver verdict on 17th in Jadhav case

 NEW DELHI: THE Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday said it will deliver on July 17 its verdict in the case relating to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in Pakistan. Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India approached the ICJ in May 2017 against Pakistan for denying consular access to Jadhav. India had also challenged the “farcical ..

Saeed, his aides to be held ‘very soon’: Pakistan Police

 By M Zulqernain LAHORE: MUMBAI attacks mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and 12 of his close aides will be arrested ‘very soon’, police said on Thursday, a day after Pakistani authorities booked them for committing multiple offences of terrorism financing and money laundering.  The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Police on Wednesday registered 23 FIRs against 13 leaders of Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD) including Saeed on the charges of terror financing in different ..

Film on Indian-American Sikh bags award

 By Lalit K Jha: WASHINGTON A SHORT film based on the real-life of an eminent Indian-American Sikh, whose campaign forced the US authorities to change their policy towards turban, has won ‘Short of the Year’ award at a prestigious film festival that showcases independent films from around the world. Directed by Jenna Ruiz, the movie titled SINGH was chosen among 100 films submitted for the award in the same category at the Covellite International Film Festival in Montana, ..

Astronomers discover precise location of cosmic radio waves

 MELBOURNE:  IN A first, Australian scientists have determined the precise location of a powerful one-off burst of cosmic radio waves. The discovery was made with Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. A team of researchers made a high-resolution map showing that the burst originated in the outskirts of a Milky Way-sized galaxy about 3.6 billion light-years away.  “This is the big ..

Trump steps into North Korea in historic first

 PANMUNJOM: DONALD Trump stepped onto North Korean soil in a historic first on Sunday as he met Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong Un in a moment of high diplomatic drama on the world’s last Cold War frontier. Moments after becoming the only sitting US President to set foot inside North Korea, Trump brought Kim back over the dividing line for a meeting where they agreed to start working-level talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons. Trump also said he had invited the young leader ..

Money in Swiss banks: India slips to 74th place

  ZURICH/NEW DELHI: UK remains on top spot UK is followed by the US, West Indies, France and Hong Kong in the top five. The top-five countries alone account for more than 50 per cent of the foreign funds parked with the Swiss banks   INDIA has moved down one place to 74th rank in terms of money parked by its citizens and enterprises with Swiss banks, while the UK has retained its top position, as per data released by the central banking authority of the Alpine nation. India ..

Aus PM tweets selfie with Modi; says ‘Kithana acha he Modi!’

 OSAKA: THE bonhomie between Scott Morrison and Narendra Modi was on full display on Saturday when the Australian Prime Minister tweeted a selfie with his Indian counterpart and praised him in Hindi “Kithana acha he Modi!”, a message which went viral. Modi replied to his tweet by saying he was “stoked” about the energy of the India-Australia relations.  “You have made the message go viral by writing Kithana acha he Modi!” the Indian Prime Minister ..

G20 leaders support women empowerment

 OSAKA (Japan):  World economy would get a boost of up to USD 28 trillion by 2025 if women were on an equal economic footing, says Ivanka Trump  Research shows that states with higher female participation are less likely to use violence or military force to resolve international conflict, says Ivanka   GROUP of 20 leaders have joined their host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in showcasing support for helping women close the gap with men in finance and other forms of economic ..

Modi promotes Yoga at G20 Summit

 OSAKA: PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday used the G20 Summit here to promote India’s traditional healing measures, Yoga and his flagship Ayushman Bharat health scheme. Modi, who was in Osaka, Japan for the two-day G20 Summit, also took part in a special session on empowerment of women.  The session witnessed an in-depth dialogue on how to further women empowerment and work towards gender equality. Speaking at the third session of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Prime Minister ..

Trump, Xi agree to restart trade talks

 BEIJING/OSAKA: During the meeting, Trump said it will not add new tariffs on Chinese exports. It has come as a relief in China, which is reeling under continued slowdown of the economy  CHINESE President Xi Jinping and his American counterpart Donald Trump agreed on Saturday to re-launch the stalled negotiations to end the bruising trade war, according to the Chinese State media which said the US will not impose new tariffs on imports from China. The move came as Trump held a ..

Modi holds trilateral meeting with Xi, Putin at G20 Summit

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi held a trilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin here on Friday and discussed global hot-spot issues like terrorism and climate change. Modi, who is in Osaka, Japan for the G20 Summit, hosted Xi and Putin for an informal RIC (Russia-India-China) meeting here. The three countries, in a joint communique of the 16th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia, India and China, strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and ..

US woman who killed her 2 children gets 120 years in jai

A CONNECTICUT woman convicted of killing her two children saying it was God’s plan was sentenced to 120 years in prison without the possibility of parole. LeRoya Moore, 39, was sentenced Thursday, following her conviction in March of two counts of murder for killing her six-year-old daughter, Aleisha, and her seven-year-old son, Daaron, at the family’s home in East Haven in 2015. For each count of murder, she received 60 years.  “It’s a no win today, the sentence ..

EU leaders warn US, China over ongoing trade dispute

 EUROPEAN Union leaders on Friday warned of the damage caused by the ongoing US-China trade dispute to the world economy and urged for rules-based international trade, the media reported. As the world’s Group of 20 economies kicked off their two-day summit in the Japanese port city of Osaka, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the strained relations between Washington and Beijing over trade were “difficult” and contributing to a slowdown in the global economy. ..

Trump blames Democrats for migrants’ deaths

 PRESIDENT Donald Trump appeared to blame current immigration laws – and Democrats’ refusal to change them – for the drowning death of a father and his young daughter as they tried to cross the Rio Grande river to get into the United States.  Photographs of the two migrants, lying face down near the bank of the river, has sparked new outrage and controversy over the current border crisis. Asked about the images, Trump suggested that if Congress fixed the laws, as he ..

Stop destabilising UK,allies: May to Putin

BRITISH Prime Minister Theresa May told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday that normal relations will not be restored until Moscow ends its “irresponsible and destabilising” activity, a Downing Street spokesperson said. The comments came as May met Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan’s Osaka, their first formal face-to-face since the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal last year.  “She told the President that there cannot be a normalisation ..

Temperature in France surpasses 45oC

THE temperature in France surpassed 45 degrees Celsius for the first time on record on Friday as Europe sweltered in an early summer heatwave that has caused several deaths. With France, Spain, Italy and parts of central Europe particularly badly hit by the high temperatures, officials pleaded with people to take common sense precautions. France’s new record temperature of 45.1 degrees Celsius was registered in Villevieille, a village in the southern department of Gard near Montpellier, the ..

55 nations back India for non-permanent UNSC seat

  UNITED NATIONS:  India’s candidature for the two-year term has been unanimously endorsed by the 55-member Asia-Pacific grouping, including China and Pakistan  Each year the 193-member General Assembly elects five non-permanent members for a two-year term   IN A major diplomatic win and testament to its global stature, India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat at the powerful UN Security Council for a two-year term has been unanimously endorsed by the 55-member ..

FATF chief hints at blacklisting Pakistan for terror financing

 WASHINGTON DC: OUTGOING Financial Action Task Force (FATF) President, Marshall Billingslea, has hinted about the possibility of blacklisting Pakistan after the international financial watchdog’s meeting in Paris. “Pakistan had ‘significant’ work to do. With regard to an action plan agreed in June 2018, they are ‘lacking in almost every respect’,” Billingslea said at a press briefing. He added, “Pakistan was cautioned in February at the plenary ..

Modi, Xi, Putin to discuss Trump’s trade war at G20

 By Gaurav Sharma  BEIJING THE leaders of China, India and Russia will meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit later this week in Japan to discuss ways to counter US President Donald Trump’s “protectionist” trade policy and bullying practices. Ahead of President Xi Jinping’s visit to Osaka to attend the summit on June 28-29, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun on Monday said the leader will have a sit-down with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ..

Iranian General warns US against uncontrollable scope of war

 TEHRAN: AN Iranian military commander warned on Sunday that any conflict with Iran would have uncontrollable consequences across the region and endanger the lives of US forces, as tensions between Washington and Tehran have flared after the downing of an American surveillance drone. Major General Gholamali Rashid made the remarks while addressing Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps during a field visit to a command center for Iranian radars and missile systems. The General ..

US launches cyber attack against Iranian systems

 TEHRAN: The cyber attack targeted Iranian Intelligence group’s computer systems used to control missile and rocket launches  THE US has covertly launched a cyber attack against an Iranian Intelligence group’s computer systems on the same day President Donald Trump pulled back on using more traditional methods of military force. The cyber attack, which were approved by Trump on Thursday, targeted computer systems used to control missile and rocket launches that were ..

Modi to lead celebrations of Yoga Day in Ranchi today

  NEW DELHI: TOP Government functionaries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, and other senior BJP leaders will attend International Yoga Day events across the country on Friday. While the Prime Minister will lead the nation in celebrating the occasion by participating in a mega event in Ranchi, Shah will be in Rohtak and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in the national capital. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) working President J P Nadda will perform yoga, ..

2.2 bn people don’t get safe drinking water globally: UN

 NEW YORK:  According to the report, even though 1.8 billion people gained access to basic drinking water services since 2000, there remain vast inequalities in accessibility, availability, and quality of these services  SOME 2.2 billion people around the world do not have access to safely managed drinking water services, while 4.2 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation services, according to a new report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations ..

Kyrgyzstan President gifts traditional hat, coat to Modi

  BISHKEK: KYRGYZSTAN President Sooronbay Jeenbekov has gifted a traditional Kyrgyz hat and a coat to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit here for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit. President Jeenbekov, who met Prime Minister Modi on Friday ahead of the SCO Council of Heads of State meeting, also presented him a ‘Samovar’, a traditional container to heat or boil water.  Prime Minister’s Office shared pictures of Modi wearing the Kyrgyz ..

Switzerland is in process of sharing details of 50 Indians having bank accounts

 BERNE/NEW DELHI: SWISS authorities are in process of sharing details of at least 50 Indian nationals having accounts in Switzerland-based banks, with regulatory and enforcement agencies in the two countries tightening their noose on individuals suspected to have amassed illicit wealth. These individuals largely include businessmen associated with companies, including the dummy ones, in sectors ranging from real estate, financial services, technology and telecom to paints, home decoration, ..

Pak PM Imran Khan trolled for seating gaffe at SCO summit

BISHKEKPAKISTAN Prime Minister Imran Khan broke the diplomatic protocol at the opening ceremony of the SCO summit here when he sat down even as all other leaders, including his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, were standing, an embarrassing gaffe for which he was trolled online.  Imran Khan (circled) remains seated at SCO summit while all other leaders stand. (Twitter)  In a video shared on the official Twitter handle of his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Prime Minister Khan ..

You can soon spend vacation in space for $35,000 per night

  WASHINGTON:  The estimated cost of the journey is USD 58 million for a return trip lasting 30 days at International Space Station, or around USD 35,000 a night.  ANTARCTICA used to be one of the most remote destinations on travellers’ bucket lists, but there will soon be an even more exclusive club to join. Last week, NASA announced its intention to open up the International Space Station to tourists. For the last two decades, astronauts from 18 countries have lived ..

Modi ignores Imran Khan at SCO summit, snubs him by avoiding Pakistan airspace

In tune with national mood, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ignored Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit and chose not to exchange pleasantries with him. Even while flying to Bishkek, Modi did not use Pakistani airspace though Islamabad had indicated that it would allow the Indian leader to fly over Pakistan, an act that is being taken as a snub to Imran Khan.  At the SCO summit, there was no meeting between Narendra Modi and Imran Khan dur..

Modi attends SCO summit, meets Xi, Putin

 BISHKEK: Pak must take ‘concrete action’ against terrorism for peace talks: Modi tells Xi  To mark the establishment of 70 years of diplomatic relations, India and China will both hold 70 programmes, 35 in each country    PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday raised the issue of cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan during his talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping here and said India expects “concrete action” by Islamabad to ..

Russian scribe walks free as drugs charges dropped after outcry

A RUSSIAN investigative journalist walked free late on Tuesday after authorities in Moscow dropped drug charges against him in a rare climbdown by law enforcement following a public outcry. Ivan Golunov, a reporter with independent media outlet Meduza, walked out of the gates of a Moscow police building to cheers from waiting journalist and wept as he thanked supporters.   “This all happened so quickly and thank you for that, that you supported me. I think it somehow influenced the ..

Trump inadvertently reveals more of US-Mexico migrant deal

 United States President Donald Trump revealed on Tuesday that Mexico agreed to take stronger legal action to halt Central American migrants if its initial efforts to stem the flow don’t show results in 45 days. In bright sunshine outside the White House, Trump waved what he said was the text of an agreement Mexican and US officials signed on Friday to avert the application of tariffs on their exports to the United States.  Photographs of the document revealed that Mexico appeared ..

Syria downs Israeli missiles

SYRIAN air defence shot down Israeli missiles targeting the south of the country on Wednesday, State media said, as a monitor reported positions of the regime’s Lebanese ally Hezbollah had been hit. The attack was launched in the early hours of the morning against the Tall al-Hara sector near the Golan Heights, according to official news agency ‘SANA’, which said there had been no casualties. It did not specify what had been targeted.  ‘SANA’ also accused Israel ..

UK Court notes broad consistency in India’s evidence in Nirav Modi case

  By Aditi KhannaA UK High Court judge on Wednesday accepted a broad consistency of evidence put forward by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the Indian Government, in the extradition case against fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi.  Justice Ingrid Simler read out a detailed judgement at the Royal Courts of Justice, in which she upheld a lower court ruling to withhold bail and also summed up the case against Modi - wanted in India as the “principal ..

Doctors conduct remote surgery using 5G technology in China

 BEIJING; Doctors in China have successfully directed surgeons 200 km away to perform a gall bladder surgery using  5G network in a remote area. 5G is the next generation cellular technology with download speeds stated to be 10 to 100 times faster than the current 4G LTE networks.  DOCTORS in China have successfully directed surgeons 200 km away to perform a gall bladder surgery using 5G network in a remote area, official media here reported on Tuesday. The laparoscopic cholecystec..

World Bank retains India’s growth rate at 7.5 pc, China’s rate drops to 6.2 pc

 By Lalit K Jha: WASHINGTON INDIA is projected to grow at 7.5 per cent in the next three years supported by robust investment and private consumption, the World Bank has said. The Bank in its Global Economic Prospects released on Tuesday said that India is estimated to have grown 7.2 per cent in fiscal year 2018/19, which ended March 31. A slowdown in Government consumption was offset by solid investment, which benefitted from public infrastructure spending.  As against a growth ..

China warns citizens against travelling to US

  BEIJING; IN AN unusual move, China on Tuesday issued a travel alert for its citizens visiting the US, warning them of harassment and public security issues in the country as bilateral ties touched a new low amid a spiralling trade war.  The warning came a day after China cautioned its students against going to the US for studies. China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Tuesday issued the travel alert for Chinese tourists travelling to the United States which could hit ..

UAE Govt marks Modi’s swearing-in ceremony by lighting up their iconic National Oil building

ABU DHABIIN an extraordinary gesture, the UAE Government lit up the iconic ADNOC building here on the occasion of the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Council of Ministers to symbolise the close bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two nations.   The flags of India and the UAE and portraits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan were displayed on the facade of the iconic building. The Abu ..

Curiosity rover finds clay cache on Mars: NASA

  WASHINGTON; NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has found the highest amounts of clay minerals ever found during its mission on the Red Planet, the US space agency said. The rover recently drilled two samples at rock targets called “Aberlady” and “Kilmarie” in a region of Mars called the “clay-bearing unit”. Both drill targets were unveiled in a new selfie taken by the rover on May 12, the 2,405th Martian day, or soul, of the mission, NASA said in ..

Creating terrorism-free environment key for regional peace: Modi to Imran

 NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD:  Modi made the remarks in a telephonic conversation after Pakistan PM Imran Khan telephoned him to congratulate Modi on his victory  IN their first telephonic conversation after the Balakot airstrikes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on Sunday that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism was essential for fostering peace and prosperity in the region. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said ..

Imaging black hole was like listening to song on a broken piano: Katie Bouman

WASHINGTONOBSERVING the black hole is like listening to a song being played on a piano with broken keys, says US computer scientist Katie Bouman, who became a global sensation for her role in capturing the world’s first actual image of a black hole.   Bouman, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, was speaking on Thursday before the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the US House of Representatives. She said the computational ..

I M Pei, a pillar of modern architecture, dies at 102

NEW YORKI M PEI, the pre-eminent US architect who forged a distinct brand of modern building design with his sharp lines and stark structures, has died, his sons’ architecture firm said on Thursday. He was 102 years old. The Chinese-born Pei was the mastermind behind the bold Louvre pyramid in Paris, the landmark 72-story Bank of China tower in Hong Kong and Athens’ Museum of Modern Art, works seen as embracing modernity tempered by a grounding in history.   In his adopted ..

100-yr-old mystery of Egyptian desert glass solved

 MELBOURNE: GLASS found in the Egyptian desert was created by a meteorite impact rather than atmospheric airburst, say scientists, unravelling a nearly 100-year-old mystery. The findings, published in the journal ‘Geology’, have implications for understanding the threat posed by asteroids. Researchers from Curtin University in Australia examined tiny grains of the mineral zircon in samples of Libyan desert glass, which formed 29 million years ago and is found over several thousand ..

Jeff Bezos unveils new Moon-lander

 WASHINGTON: SPEAKING about his plans of g etting to the moon by 2024, Amazon and US-based aerospace company Blue Origin Founder, Jeff Bezos unveiled a new Moon-lander called “Blue Moon” along with a smaller rover at the Walter E. Washington Convention Centre here.  “Today, our founder shared our vision to go to space to benefit Earth. We must return to the Moon-this time to stay. We’re ready to support @NASA in getting there by 2024 with #bluemoon,” Blue ..

Zuckerberg rejects call to break up Facebook

 FACEBOOK CEO Mark Zuckerberg has rejected the call for breaking up his company, saying the size of Facebook is actually a benefit to its users and the security of the democratic process.  In an interview with French broadcaster France 2, Zuckerberg dismissed the claim made by his long-time friend and Facebook Co-founder Chris Hughes that it is time to break up Facebook as Zuckerberg has yielded “unchecked power and influence” far beyond that of anyone else in the private ..

Hinduja brothers top UK rich list, Reuben brothers second

  By Aditi KhannaLONDON, May 12 (PTI)  INDIAN-ORIGIN brothers dominate the annual rich list of Britain’s wealthiest, with the Hinduja brothers ranked at No. 1 with a fortune of 22 billion pounds followed by Mumbai-born Reuben brothers in second place with 18.66 billion pounds.  Sri and Gopichand Hinduja, who run the Hinduja Group of companies in the UK, registered a 1.35 billion pounds jump in their fortunes over the previous year to return to the top of the ‘Sunday ..

SL Catholics hold 1st Sunday Mass since attack

  Military forces and police armed with assault rifles are patrolling the streets leading to churches and standing guard outside the compoundsTHE Catholic Church in Sri Lanka has held the first regular Sunday Mass since the Easter suicide bombings of churches and hotels killed more than 250 people. Military forces and police armed with assault rifles are patrolling the streets leading to churches and standing guard outside the compounds. Everyone entering is required to produce identity ..

Pilot lands plane without landing gear in emergency touchdown in Myanmar

A MYANMAR pilot saved the day after his aircraft’s landing gear failed, forcing the jet into an emergency landing with no front wheels on Sunday morning, an official said. The nail-biting touchdown -- in which nobody was injured -- was the second instance of a malfunctioning flight in less than a week within the country.  The Myanmar Airlines flight UB-103 -- an Embraer-190 model -- was grounded at around 9 am in Mandalay (0230 GMT), a city popular among foreign tourists, with all ..

Modi 2nd most followed politician globally

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi has become second most-followed politician in the world with a social media audience of 11,09,12,648 on platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, a study by online visibility management and content marketing SaaS platform SEMrush said on Tuesday...

Plane carrying 143 crashes into Florida river, no casualty

  JACKSONVILLE (US): A CHARTER plane carrying 143 people and travelling from Cuba to north Florida ended up in a river at the end of a runway on Friday night, though no critical injuries or deaths were reported, officials said. A Boeing 737 arriving at Naval Air Station Jacksonville from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with 136 passengers and seven aircrew slid off the runway into the St. Johns River, a NAS Jacksonville news release said. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office ..

Indian family skydives over Amsterdam, sets new record

AN Indian family, including a set of 10-year old twin boys, have set a new record for family skydiving, as they jumped out of a plane over Amsterdam. They are Shital Mahajan-Rane, her husband Vaibhav Rane, both professional..

Europeans feel shunned by US at UN

UNITED NATIONSTHE gloves are off at the United Nations between the United States and their once-close European allies, according to some diplomats. European diplomats complain that Washington has shown little interest in working with them to address global crises and appears indifferent to the prospect of going it alone on the international stage. The 15 members of the Security Council -- five of which are European Union members -- will hold a retreat outside New York, but there is little hope of ..

Pak uses ‘terrorism as tool’ against India: Ex-CIA chief

Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries, says former CIA Acting Director Michael MorellBy Lalit K Jha WASHINGTONPAKISTAN, obsessed with India as a perceived existential threat, has “created terrorist groups to be a tool” in its struggle against India, a former top American spymaster has said. Former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell, in a podcast discussion with Kurt Campbell and Rich Verma on Thursday, alleged that Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world.&nbs..

UN declares Masood Azhar as global terrorist

IN A huge diplomatic win for India, the United Nations on Wednesday designated Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist” after China lifted its hold on a proposal to blacklist him. ..

China to ‘resolve’ issue of listing Azhar as global terrorist by UN

  By K J M Varma: BEIJING CHINA said on Tuesday that “some progress” has been achieved on designating Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN and hoped that the vexed issue will be “properly resolved” but refused to give any timeline. The comments by the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman on Tuesday came days after President Xi Jinping met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan here. China put a technical hold in March on a fresh ..

Indian girl in Dubai gets acceptance letters from 7 top US universities

  DUBAI: IT is a problem of plenty for a Dubai-based Indian girl who has been offered acceptance letters by seven prestigious US-based universities, including Ivy League schools, leaving her surprised as she never expected the variety of choices she has been left with. Simone Noorali, 17, has been offered acceptance letters from the University of California in Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, Emory University, George Town University and George Washington University.  The girl ..

UK security forces hunt for IS ‘crocodile cells’, says report

  By Aditi Khanna; LONDON The UK’s Intelligence services continue to investigate links between one of the Sri Lankan suicide bombers, Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed, and the UK-based extremists since it emerged he had studied in Britain.    BRITAIN’S security forces are on the hunt for so-called “crocodile cells or sleeper cells” of Islamic State (IS) operatives plotting terrorist attacks in the UK and Europe, according to a UK media report. ..

US imposes sanctions on Pak for refusing to take back deportees

  By Lalit K Jha: WASHINGTON  US may withhold visas of Pakistanis beginning with its senior officials  THE US has imposed sanctions on Pakistan after Islamabad refused to take back its citizen deportees and visa over-stayers from America, warning that it may withhold visas of Pakistanis beginning from its senior officials. The State Department on Friday said that consular operations in Pakistan remain “unchanged” as of now but as a result of such a sanction ..

‘About 200 US cos want to move from China to India’

ABOUT 200 American companies are seeking to move their manufacturing base from China to India post the general elections, a top US-based advocacy group has said, observing that there is a fantastic opportunity with firms looking at alternatives to the Communist giant. The US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum’s..

Lanka targets ‘sleepers’ fearing more attacks; toll reduced to 253

  COLOMBO:  SRI Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Thursday that authorities were targeting the “sleepers” who could trigger another round of bombings as police released photos of six suspects, including three women, wanted for their involvement in the attacks and sought information regarding them from the public. Meanwhile, Health Ministry on Thursday night revised the death toll down to 253, from 359, saying the previous figure was due to a calculation ..

IS releases photos of eight suicide bombers involved in Lanka blasts

  COLOMBO:  The faces of seven attackers in the photo are covered while the eighth one, who is believed to be the ring leader, is without a mask  HOURS after the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blasts in Sri Lanka on Sunday that killed 359 people, the terror outfit released a photo of eight suicide bombers involved in the attacks, according to security sources. While eight people were seen in the photo released by Islamic State’s propaganda mouthpiece Amaq ..

India to skip B&R forum in China

  By Gaurav Sharma BEIJING; A TOTAL of 37 countries minus India on Thursday will gather at China’s second edition of the Belt and Road forum, a three-day grand event on the world’s largest connectivity project. The Belt and Road Initiative -- a trillion-dollar project floated by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 -- aims to connect Asia, Africa and Europe through a network of highways, rail lines, ports and sea-lanes.  The sheer vastness of the project and the money ..

India sent alerts to Sri Lanka about possible terror attack

  NEW DELHI: INTELLIGENCE inputs regarding a possible terror attack in Sri Lanka were shared by Indian agencies with their Sri Lankan counterparts earlier this month after the National Investigation Agency completed its probe into an IS-inspired module planning to kill prominent leaders in South India, officials said here.  The input was sent through diplomatic channels to the island nation after a through investigation pertaining to the IS case in Coimbatore was carried out by ..

SL Govt admits ‘major’ Intelligence lapses

SRI Lankan Government on Wednesday admitted that “major” Intelligence lapses led to the horrific Easter Sunday blasts and asked two top security officials to resign, even as the death toll in the coordinated attacks rose to 359 amidst a nationwide manhunt to nab the perpetrators. Nine suicide bombers,..

World’s first malaria vaccine launched

THE world’s first malaria vaccine has been launched in Malawi after concerted efforts of over 30 years to protect children from the deadly disease that claims over 4,35,000 lives globally every year. The World Health Organisation..

Global warming shrank Indian economy by 31%: Study

  BOSTON;  GLOBAL warming has caused the Indian economy to be 31 per cent smaller than it would otherwise have been, according to a Stanford study which shows how Earth’s temperature changes have increased inequalities. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere since 1960s have enriched cool countries like Norway and Sweden, while dragging down economic ..

Over 50 feared killed in landslide at Myanmar jade mine

MORE than 50 people are feared killed after a landslide in northern Myanmar engulfed jade miners while they were sleeping, local police said on Tuesday, the latest deadly accident in a notoriously dangerous industry. Dozens die each..

Islamic State claims Easter Sunday blasts in Sri Lanka

THREE days after the suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Islamic State (IS) on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the devastating Easter blasts that killed 321 people while Sri Lankan Government has said that little-known local Islamic extremist group called National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ) was behind the attacks...

Lanka blasts bring back memories of civil warh

  COLOMBO: AS SHANTHA Prasad carried children wounded in Sri Lanka’s deadly attacks into a Colombo hospital, memories of the country’s deadly civil war flooded back. “I carried about eight wounded children yesterday,” he told AFP on Monday, a day after a string of blasts hit hotels and churches, killing nearly 300 people. “There were two girls aged six and eight, the same age as my daughters,” said Prasad, who helps carry stretchers into the hospital’..

World Earth Day: Saving the planet may cost USD 100 billion per year

  WASHINGTON:  SAVING the diversity and abundance of life on Earth may cost USD 100 billion a year, say scientists who have proposed a policy to prevent another mass extinction event on the planet. There have been five mass extinctions in the history of the Earth. Scientists now estimate that society must urgently come to grips this coming decade to stop the very first human-made biodiversity catastrophe. “The sixth extinction is on our society’s shoulders; it really ..

India raises blacklisting of Masood Azhar with China

INDIA has shared with China “all evidences” of the terrorist activities of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and its chief Masood Azhar, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in New Delhi on Monday as Foreign Secretary ..

Lankan toll 290; 7 bombers involved, 24 held

SEVEN suicide bombers believed to be members of an Islamist extremist group carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter on Sunday, killing 290 people and wounding 500 others..

Modi, world leaders condemn Lankan mayhem

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi called up the President and the premier of Sri Lanka and conveyed heartfelt condolences over the loss of over 207 lives in terrorist attacks in the island nation on Sunday. During his conversations with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Modi..

215 killed in 8 blasts in Lanka

A STRING of eight devastating blasts, including suicide attacks, struck churches and luxury hotels frequented by foreigners in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing 215 people and shattering a decade of peace in the island nation since the end of the brutal civil war with the LTTE...

UK issues travel advisory on Pak, cautions people of violence

 LONDON, Apr 19 (ANI) THE United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on Thursday in an advisory to its citizens planning a trip to Pakistan has urged them to avoid visiting numerous places, including areas located close to the Line of  Control.The UK FCO, in an advisory, said that foreigners may become “direct targets” of the attacks especially in densely populated areas, such as markets, shopping malls and restaurants.“Protests can take place with little ..

NASA telescope spots universe’s 1st molecule

Scientists believe that around 100,000 years after the big bang,helium and hydrogen combined to make a molecule called helium hydride for the first timeWASHINGTON, Apr 19 (IANS) NASA’s airborne observatory has detected the first type of molecule ever formed in the universe.This is the first time helium hydride has been found in the modern universe. Scientists discovered the molecule in our own galaxy using NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), as the aircra..

France pays tribute to Notre Dame firefighters

Over 400 firefighters took part in the 15-hour battle to contain the fire in the historical churchPARIS, Apr 19 (IANS)  FRANCE on Thursday paid a day of tribute to hundreds of firefighters who had put their lives at risk to douse a blaze which devastated Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the country’s landmark symbols.Thousands of people and many elected officials were gathered in front of Paris city hall to say “thank you” to “those who helped save Notre Dam..

Ready for meet with India despite differences over BRI, says China

By K J M VarmaBEIJING, Apr 19 (PTI)  CHINA said on Friday it was ready to hold a Wuhan-style summit meeting with India this year to improve ties, notwithstanding the differences over the trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in which the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a flagship project.   Addressing a media conference here ahead of the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) being held from April 25-27 to showcase China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI..

Hubble marks 29th anniversary with Southern Crab view

Southern Crab Nebula, which exhibits nested hourglass-shaped structures, has been created by interaction between a pair of stars at its centre.The unequal pair consists of a red giant and a white dwarfLONDON, Apr 19 (PTI) TO celebrate the 29th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s launch, NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) have released a breathtaking image of the hourglass-shaped Southern Crab Nebula. The nebula, created by a binary star system, is one of the many objects that Hubble ..

NASA’s new way to defend Earth from asteroids

   WASHINGTON:  Instead of using visible light to spot incoming objects, Mainzer’s team at JPL/Caltech has leveraged a characteristic signature of NEOs -- their heat  NASA scientists have found a simple yet ingenious way to spot tiny near-Earth objects (NEOs) early as they hurtle towards the planet, an advance that may aid the efforts to prevent dangerous impacts. The Chelyabinsk meteor, which was a mere 17-20 metres across, caused extensive ground damage and numerous ..

No April 23 deadline for us in UN to list Masood Azhar as global terrorist: China

By K J M Varma BEIJING: CHINA on Wednesday dismissed reports that the US, UK and France have served it an ultimatum until April 23 to lift its “technical hold” on designating Pakistan-based JeM Chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist but claimed that the vexed issue is “moving towards settlement”.  After the Pulwama attack, a fresh proposal to designate -- Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK a..

Pakistan set to sign USD 6-8 bn bailout deal with IMF: Minister

ISLAMABAD, Apr 16 (PTI) PAKISTAN and the IMF are set to sign a USD 6-8 billion bailout package, Finance Minister Asad Umar has announced, as the cash-strapped country tries to wriggle out from a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple its economy.He said the International Monetary Fund package would ease off pressure from the country’s dwindling foreign reserves. “We have reached an agreement and all the major issues have been settled and documented,” Umar told ..

NASA’s planet-hunting probe spots Earth-sized

WASHINGTON, Apr 16 (PTI) NASA’s latest planet-hunting probe has discovered its first Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting a star 53 light-years away.The Transiting Exoplanets Survey Satellite (TESS) also discovered a warm sub-Neptune-sized world in the same system, according to a study published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.“It’s so exciting that TESS, which launched just about a year ago, is already a game-changer in the planet-hunting business,” said Johanna Teske, Carnegie ..

Novel device creates electricity from snow

The device can work in remote areas because it provides its own power and does not need batteriesLOS ANGELES, Apr 16 (PTI) SCIENTISTS have designed a first-of-its-kind 3D-printed device that can produce electricity from falling snow.The device designed by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the US is inexpensive, small, thin and flexible like a sheet of plastic. “The device can work in remote areas because it provides its own power and does not need batteries,̶..

World’s largest plane completes maiden flight successfully

 LOS ANGELES;  The aircraft has a world-record wingspan of 385 feet, and is 238 feet long. It is wider than any airplane on the planet. It weighs half a million pounds The aircraft is designed to launch rockets into orbits from the air HE world’s largest aircraft, developed by aerospace venture Stratolaunch, completed its first flight test on Sunday. The aircraft is designed to launch rockets into orbits from the air. It is designed to carry into space, and drop, a rocket ..

Astronomers deliver first photo of black hole

A handout photo provided by the European Southern Observatory on Wednesday shows the first photograph of a black hole and its fiery halo, released by Event Horizon Telescope astronomers (EHT). The supermassive black hole is 50 million lightyears away in a galaxy known as M87.    PARIS: ASTRONOMERS on Wednesday unveiled the first photo of a black hole, one of the star-devouring monsters scattered throughout the Universe and obscured by impenetrable shields of gravity. The image ..

India to grow at 7.3 pc in ’19 and 7.5 pc in ’20: IMF

  WASHINGTON: INDIA is projected to grow at 7.3 per cent in 2019 and 7.5 per cent in 2020, supported by the continued recovery of investment and robust consumption, thus remaining the fastest growing major economy of the world, according to the IMF. In 2018, India’s growth rate was 7.1 per cent, as against China’s 6.6 per cent. In 2019, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected a growth rate of 6.3 per cent for China and 6.1 per cent in 2020, according to the latest ..

World’s richest man Bezos retains 75% of Amazon’s stock share in divorce settlement

  WASHINGTON DC:  AMAZON CEO Jeff Bezos will retain control over 75 per cent of his stock in the company and gain voting rights of the remaining shares of his former wife MacKenzie Bezos, under a divorce settlement, the pair said on Thursday. “Grateful to have finished the process of dissolving my marriage with Jeff with support from each other and everyone who reached out to us in kindness,” MacKenzie said on twitter message that was retweeted by Jeff Bezos.  The record ..

Hayabusa2 blasts asteroid to find clues to life’s origin

   TOKYO: A JAPANESE probe on Friday launched an explosive device at an asteroid, aiming to blast a crater in the surface and scoop up material that could shed light on how the solar system evolved. The explosive mission is the riskiest yet attempted by the Japanese space agency’s Hayabusa2 probe that aims to reveal more about the origins of life on Earth. Hayabusa2 successfully released as scheduled the so-called “small carry-on impactor” - a cone-shaped device ..

‘Precarious’ global growth rebound expected in late 2019: IMF chief

GLOBAL growth in 2019 should be even slower than previously expected but a “precarious” rebound later this year is likely, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday. In a speech ahead of next week’s spring meetings with the World Bank, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said..

Nirav Modi intends to appeal for bail in UK High Court

  LONDON: FUGITIVE diamond merchant Nirav Modi, undergoing extradition proceedings in the UK, intends to appeal for bail in the UK High Court after a second bail application was rejected by a lower court in London last week in the USD 1-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which represents the Indian authorities through the extradition process in the UK courts, said the 48-year-old intends to appeal against Judge Emma ..

China launches data relay satellites

 By K J M Varma BEIJING, CHINA has successfully launched the first of its new-generation data relay satellites into orbit that will provide data relay, measurement and control services for its manned spacecraft. The Tianlian II-01 satellite was launched by a Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China’s Sichuan Province Sunday night. As the first satellite to constitute China’s second-generation data relay satellite network, the Tianlian ..

Saudi Arabia hacked Jeff Bezos’ phone, says security chief

    WASHINGTON:   SAUDI Arabia has hacked Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ smartphone and allegedly shared personal information about his extra-marital affair to a media outlet, a veteran securityconsultantatthe tech giant has said. The monarchy was ‘intent on harming Jeff Bezos’ over ‘The Washington Post’ (owned by Bezos) coverage of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi,wroteGavindeBecker in a first-person account published in The Daily Beast ..

‘UK tax fraud gang funded Al-Qaeda in Pak, Afghanistan’

    By Aditi Khanna:   LONDON,   The gang is alleged to have sent 1 per cent of its gains from their elaborate tax fraud to Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where it funded madarasas, training camps and other terrorist activities, according to the leaked files seen by ‘The Sunday Times’ These crimes have reportedly cost the UK taxpayer an estimated 100 million pounds    A BRITISH Asian gang of fraudsters may have been involved in misusing ..