US & Canada – Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency The largest news and information source in Afghanistan Sat, 24 Jun 2017 17:48:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Trump committed to defeat ISIS and Taliban: White House Tue, 09 May 2017 10:39:21 +0000 Read the full article...]]> The White House says President Donald Trump wants to make sure that the Taliban group and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group are defeated in Afghanistan.

In response to a question regarding the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, the White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, said “Well, I think number one, he wants to make sure that we defeat ISIS — that is something that is in our national security interests — and to make sure that we protect our people, but does so in a responsible, smart way.”

Spicer further added “I mean, he’s talked about not projecting where he’s going and what he’s going to do to let the enemy know ahead of time, and part of that guidance that his national security team is giving him are different pieces that you’re talking about. “

“How do we achieve those key outcomes?  How do we do what’s in the country’s best interest and utilize our military and our treasure to the best of our ability?  That is something that we’re continuing to work on and do, and that’s part of what he is getting briefed on and is implementing,” he added.

He did not disclose further information regarding the indications by the officials regarding Pentagon’s plan to send several thousand additional troops to Afghanistan.

However, he said President Trump wants to make sure that we do what we can to win.  “And that’s why he charged the generals and other military advisors and national security team to come up with a plan that can get us there,” he said.

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Trump’s national security Michael Flynn resigns over Russian contacts Tue, 14 Feb 2017 05:26:32 +0000 Read the full article...]]> The National Security Adviser of the US President Donald Trump has resigned, reportedly over his contacts with the Russian officials.

According to reports, Michael Flynn, resigned on Monday night in the midst of a raging controversy about his contacts with the Russians.

A White House official has confirmed reports regarding the resignation of Mr. Flynn.

Retired Army General Keith Kellogg was named acting national security adviser to replace Flynn.

Flynn reportedly called Vice President Mike Pence on Friday to apologize for misleading him about his conversation with the Russia ambassador in November.

According to the resignation letter of Flynn, he cited the “fast pace of events” for “inadvertently” briefing “the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding [his] phone calls with the Russian Ambassador.”

“Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador,” he wrote in the letter.

Flynn further added “I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served President Trump, who in just three weeks has reoriented American foreign policy in fundamental ways to restore America’s leadership position in the world.”

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Donald Trump sworn in as 45th President of the United States Sat, 21 Jan 2017 05:21:27 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Donald John Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States during a ceremony on Friday.

Speaking to thousands of people who participated in the ceremony, Trump vowed “I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never, ever let you down.”

During his 16-minute address, Trump further added that America will start winning again and vowed that his administration will bring back jobs to the American people.

He admitted that “We will face challenges, we will confront hardships, but we will get the job done.”

Trump reiterated to protect borders from immigration and international trade, insisting that “Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.”

Thousands of protesters also gathered in the capital but the vast majority of the demonstrations reportedly passed peacefully.

However, sporadic violence broke out as demonstrators smashed shop windows and burned a limousine, while police officers in riot helmets responded with tear gas, according to the New York Times.

More than 200 people were arrested. Liberal groups prepared for a women’s march on Saturday that they said could draw hundreds of thousands.

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US designates Osama bin Laden’s son a specially designated global terrorist Fri, 06 Jan 2017 06:47:52 +0000 Read the full article...]]> The United States designed the son of Osama bin Laden’s son a special designated global terrorist, the State Department said Thursday.

“The Department of State has designated Hamza bin Laden as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a serious risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. As a result of this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Hamza bin Laden has any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him,” a statement by the State Department said.

The step was apparently taken after Hamza bin Laden, son of Usama bin Laden, was officially announced by al-Qa’ida senior leader Ayman al-Zawahiri as an official member of the group.

The statement further added “In this 2015 audio message from al-Zawahiri, bin Laden called for acts of terrorism in western capitals. On July 9, 2016, al-Qa’ida issued another audio message from Hamza bin Laden threatening revenge against the United States and warned Americans they would be targeted in the United States and abroad.”

The State Department said “Specifically, in 2015, bin Laden called for lone offender attacks against U.S., French, and Israeli interests in Washington, D.C.; Paris, France; and Tel Aviv, Israel. Additionally, in 2016, bin Laden called on Saudi Arabian-based tribes to unite with al-Qa’ida’s affiliate in Yemen to wage war against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

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Trump hails Putin for declining to retaliate against US move to expel diplomats Sat, 31 Dec 2016 04:33:33 +0000 Read the full article...]]> President-elect Donald Trump has hailed the Russian President Vladimir Putin for declining retaliation against the latest moves by the Obama administration to expel diplomats.

The Russian President declined to respond to Obama administration’s move after the country’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov suggested that several US diplomats should be expelled from Russia.

However, Putin said chose not to act and invited the children of U.S. envoys to a New Year’s celebration held at a concert hall on the grounds of the Kremlin.

In the meantime, the Russian leader reserved the right to respond to the US move in the future, a decision which was welcomed by President-elect Donald Trump.

“Great move on delay (by V. Putin),” Mr. Trump wrote. “I always knew he was very smart!” Trump said in a Twitter post on Friday.

The Obama administration decided to expel 35 Russian diplomats by imposing new sanctions on Russian intelligence agencies after the Department of State said the diplomats were intelligence operatives.

The US officials are saying that the diplomats were involved in cyber attacks to interfere with the presidential election, an allegation which Russia has rejected.

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Zalmay Khalilzad in Donald Trump’s List for US Secretary of State Sat, 12 Nov 2016 18:58:43 +0000 Read the full article...]]> zalmay-khalilzad-donald-trumpReports have emerged regarding the possible picks in Donald Trump’s administration less than a week after he was elected as the new US President.

A list of the possible picks for the cabinet and other key posts has been handed over to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, which include a host of corporate consultants and lobbyists in addition to independent experts.

According to The New York Times, the former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and the former commander of the US forces in Afghanistan Stanley A. McChrystal are among the possible picks for the post of Secretary of State.

The picks for the post include John R. Bolton Former United States ambassador to the United Nations under George W. Bush, Bob Corker Senator from Tennessee and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Newt Gingrich Former House speaker.

Khalilzad has served as the US Ambassador to Afghanistan from November 2003 to June 2005 under the George W. Bush administration and moved to Iraq in 2005 to serve as the US Ambassador until April 2007.

He has also served as the US Ambassador to the United Nations until late June 2009.

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Donald Trump edges closer to victory in US presidential election Wed, 09 Nov 2016 03:23:54 +0000 Read the full article...]]> trump-clintonThe Republican presidential runner Donald Trump is getting closer to to the US presidential election by receiving more electoral votes as compared to his rival Hillary Clinton.

Tٰrump has received 244 electoral votes and will require 26 more votes to win the election.

Earlier, Trump was ahead by about 2% as more than 90% of the votes were in.

Currently Trump is having 244 electoral votes while Hillary Clinton is having 215 electoral votes. The candidates will require 270 electoral votes to clinch the White House.

This comes despite Hillary Clinton started leading and going ahead of the rival Donald Trump by receiving 197 few hours earlier.

Earlier Reuters reported that Clinton had more options to reach 270, with Trump needing a virtual sweep of about six toss-up states to win.

But the paper said a Trump win in those four states would make it nearly impossible for Clinton to clinch the White House.

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Election polls open as Clinton and Trump seek to make history Tue, 08 Nov 2016 13:32:39 +0000 Read the full article...]]> us-electionThe poll stations have opened in the United States as the American people have started casting votes to elect the next President of the country.

According to the reports, the voting at 6am on Tuesday y in Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Virginia, with the rest of the country due to get started later in the day.

The Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and husband Bill earlier turned up to their local voting booth in Chappaqua, New York.

Hillary Clinton and her rival candidate Donald Trump took part in a hectic schedule of last-minute campaign events into the early hours of Tuesday with reports suggesting Clinton’s lead over Trump had widened to 3.2 percent.

The voting process marks the end to a bitter campaign as Clinton and Trump presented radically different visions of how to lead the US.

Clinton earlier said she looked forward to a “hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America”, however Trump spoke of a “magnificent chance to beat the corrupt system”.

The result is expected to emerge at 9 Pacifict Stand Time (PST), equivalent to 5:00 GMT.

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Michael Jackson earned $825 million in 2016, more than any living celebrity Sat, 15 Oct 2016 10:06:23 +0000 Read the full article...]]> michael-jacksonAmerica’s Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, has topped Forbes’ list of the highest-paid dead celebrities in 2016, raking in $825 million (A$1.083 billion) in pretax earnings.

According to New York Post, Jackson’s earning is the biggest haul of any celeb in the past year, living or dead.

According to the paper, Jackson’s huge payday was largely due to the sale of his half of the Sony/ATV music-publishing catalogue, which included a library of Beatles songs and fetched $750 million (A$984 million) in March.

The Forbes has reported that Jackson  originally purchased the catalogue in 1985 for $47.5 million (A$62 million) and sold a 50 per cent stake to Sony for $115 million (A$150 million) in 1995.

The still-living celebrities who topped their own Forbes list this year had earnings that paled in comparison, like Dr. Phil ($88 million, highest-paid TV-show host), Kevin Hart ($87.5 million, highest-paid comedian), Diddy ($62 million, highest-paid hip-hop act) and Sofía Vegara ($43 million, highest-paid TV actress), according to New York Post.

The other celebrities joining Jackson in the list of richest dead celebrities included Peanuts creator Charles Schultz at No. 2 ($48 million), golf legend Arnold Palmer ($40 million) and Elvis Presley ($27 million).

Michael Jackson was born on 29th August 1958 and died at the age of 50 on 25th June 2009 due to overdose and homicide.

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Donald Trump vows to jail Hillary Clinton if he wins elections Mon, 10 Oct 2016 04:57:40 +0000 Read the full article...]]> donald-trump-vows-to-jail-hillaryThe US Presidential runner Donald Trump has vowed to jail Hillary Clinton if he is elected the US President as he slammed her for operating a private email server when serving as US Secretary of State.

Trump also attacked the former US President Bill Clinton for his treatment of women by trotting out three women who say the former President sexually assaulted and a woman who was raped by one of Hillary Clinton’s former clients.

The Republican candidate also added that he would appoint a special prosecutor to look into his Democratic rival’s email use because she had endangered national security during her tenure as President Barack Obama’s chief diplomat from 2009-2013.

The two presidential runners were talking during a debate in a contentious town-hall which uickly turned into an acrimonious discussion of a 2005 video that emerged on Friday in which Trump was heard using vulgar language and talking about groping women without consent.

Insisting that President Bill Clinton had done worse to women, Trump said he was embarrassed by the video but dismissed it as “locker room talk.”

Hillary refused to respond to Trump’s comments during the debate about Bill but she responded that Trump’s comments showed he was unfit for the White House.

“He has said the video doesn’t represent who he is but I think it’s clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is,” Clinton said.

In regards to the use of private email while serving as Secretary of State, Clinton admitted that was a mistake and took responsibility for it.

“For using a personal e-mail account. Obviously, if I were to do it over again, I would not. I’m not making any excuses. It was a mistake,” she stated.

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Aga Khan wins Global Citizenship prize for his commitment in advancing pluralism Fri, 23 Sep 2016 05:03:03 +0000 Read the full article...]]> aga-khan-awardHis Highness the Aga Khan, Imam of the worldwide Shi’a Ismaili community and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, was awarded the inaugural Adrienne Clarkson prize Global Citizenship for his his commitment in advancing pluralism.

Clarkson, Canada’s former governor general, earlier said that when picking a recipient for the new award in her name she was looking for an international figure who models the qualities of a good citizen and who makes the lives of others better.

“He has become a light in much of the world’s conflicting darkness, Clarkson remarked as she was speaking of the Aga Khan’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life of millions of people from around the world at a time when poverty and displacement from war and natural disasters are ravaging many of the world’s underprivileged regions.

In his turn Aga Khan emphasized on the need to respect the immense diversity of ethnicities, of languages and of cultures, of faiths, of philosophies.

“What we learned from the very start was that advancing our development agenda, we would be required to respect the immense diversity of ethnicities, of languages and of cultures, of faiths, of philosophies. In short, we learned to embrace the values of Global Citizenship,” he said

However he observed that “One enormous challenge, of course, is the simple fact that diversity is increasing around the world. The task is not merely learning to live with that diversity, but learning to live with greater diversity with each passing year.”

Acknowledging an increasing frustration concerning the pluralism story, Aga Khan noted that the challenge was that as we become aware of the diversity of the world we live in and come into contact with people who are different than us, difference becomes a source of conflict rather than an opportunity.

“We talk sincerely about the values of diversity, about living with complexity. But in too many cases more diversity seems to mean more division; greater complexity, more fragmentation, and more fragmentation can bring us closer to conflict,” he added.

In other parts of his speech, Aga Khan said the growing challenge to pluralistic values does not happen only when people move physically from one place to another, adding that technology and media, while seemingly bringing us together, often pull us apart, feeding ignorance and insularity.

“We often hear in discussions of Global Citizenship that people are basically alike. Under the skin, deep in our hearts, we are all brothers and sisters – we are told – and the secret to a harmonious world is to ignore our differences and to emphasize our similarities,” Aga Khan said, adding that “What worries me, however, is when some take that message to mean that our differences are trivial, that they can be ignored, and eventually erased. And that is not good advice. In fact, it is impossible.”

He also added “Pretending that our differences are trivial will not persuade most people to embrace pluralistic attitudes. In fact, it might frighten them away. People know that differences can be challenging, that disagreements are inevitable, that our fellow-humans can sometimes be disagreeable.”

According to Aga Khan too often people think that embracing the values of Global Citizenship means diluting or compromising one’s own bonds to country or peoples. However, he said this is not the case, emphasizing that “the call of pluralism should ask us to respect our differences, but not to ignore them, to integrate diversity, not to depreciate diversity. The call for cosmopolitanism is not a call to homogenization. It means affirming social solidarity, without imposing social conformity. One’s identity need not be diluted in a pluralistic world, but rather fulfilled, as one bright thread in a cloth of many colours.”

Aga Khan concluded his speech at the event by offering his thoughts to the future of Global Citizenship, insisting that challenges, in sum, will be many and continuing.

“A short list might include these strengths: a vital sense of balance, an abundant capacity for compromise, more than a little sense of patience, an appropriate degree of humility, a good measure of forgiveness, and, of course, a genuine welcoming of human difference,” he said.

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Angelina Jolie files for divorce from Brad Pitt Wed, 21 Sep 2016 08:50:07 +0000 Read the full article...]]> angelina-jolie-divorce-brad-pittOne of the famous American actresses Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from husband Brad Pitt, putting an end to one of Hollywood’s highest profile marriages.

According to reports, Angelina has filed the divorce from Brad Pitt due to irreconcilable differences.

Court documents have revealed the pair pair separated on September 15, two years and one month after they married in August 2014.
Jolie is seeking physical custody of their six children and asking the court to grant Pitt visitation.

“This decision was made for the health of the family. She will not be commenting, and asks that the family be given its privacy at this time,” Robert Offer, Angelina Jolie’s attorney has said.

Jolie has reportedly asked for physical custody of their six children, with Pitt allowed visitation rights. She is not asking for spousal support. The date of separation is listed as 15 September.

In a statement to People magazine, Pitt said “I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”

They originally met on the set of the action comedy Mr and Mrs Smith and were also seen on screen together in 2015’s By the Sea, a drama about an ailing marriage, written and directed by Jolie.

While Mr and Mrs Smith was warmly received by critics and a commercial hit, making $478m worldwide, By the Sea was less of a success.

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Vladimir Putin arrested in a supermarket in Florida Thu, 01 Sep 2016 03:06:32 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Vladimir Putin arrestedVladimir Putin has been arrested in a supermarket in the Florida State of United States due to misbehavior, it has been reported.

However, this is not the Russian President but an American man who has a similar name as the Russian leader.

Reports regarding the arrested of Putin went viral in the media as well as the Russian media as the State-owned Sputnik covered the story but interestingly with a photograph of President Putin featured in the story.

According to local media reports in the United States, the American Vladimir Putin was arrested after cops responded to a report that a man was screaming at employees at the grocery store in Florida.

Putin told police he had missed his ride, which would never happen to the other Putin, according to CNN.

According to a police report, he also refused to give officers his name. We can’t imagine why.

West Palm Beach Putin, which is a really great alias he should consider, was charged with resisting and/or obstructing an officer without violence.
No word on whether he’s retained a lawyer.

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Facebook plans to provide internet to 4 billion people with solar plane Fri, 22 Jul 2016 06:07:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Facebook plane

The first successful test flight of a high altitude solar plane was conducted by Facebook as the company plans to provide internet to 4 billion people in remote parts of the world.

“After two years of engineering, I’m proud to announce the successful first flight of Aquila — the solar-powered plane we designed to beam internet to remote parts of the world. Here’s the video from our first flight,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.

The plane, Aquila drone, which at cruising speed uses same wattage as three hairdyrers, uses lasers to beam internet to remote regions.

It has the wingspan of an airliner but weighs less than a car. When cruising it consumes just 5,000 watts – the same as three hairdryers or a powerful microwave.

Zuckerberg said “The flight took place before dawn in Yuma, Arizona. Our original mission was to fly Aquila for 30 minutes, but things went so well that we decided to keep the plane up for 96 minutes. We gathered lots of data about our models and the aircraft structure — and after two years of development, it was emotional to see Aquila actually get off the ground.”

“But as big as this milestone is, we still have a lot of work to do. Eventually, our goal is to have a fleet of Aquilas flying together at 60,000 feet, communicating with each other with lasers and staying aloft for months at a time — something that’s never been done before,” Zuckerberg said. “To get there, we need to solve some difficult engineering challenges.”

According to Zuckeberg, the challenges include, weight, power, control, speed, altitude, load, and communications.

“Over the next year we’re going to keep testing Aquila — flying higher and longer, and adding more planes and payloads. It’s all part of our mission to connect the world and help more of the 4 billion people who are not online access all the opportunities of the internet,” Zuckerberg added.

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British man arrested for attempting to murder Donald Trump Tue, 21 Jun 2016 09:49:13 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Briton Donald Trump murder attemptA British man has been arrested for attempting to murder the US Presidential candidate Donald Trump, it has been reported.

The 20-year-old Michael Steven Sandford tried to grab a police officer’s gun at a rally in Las Vegas and has confessed that he was attempting to murder Donald Trump.

He appeared before a judge in Nevada and was remanded in custody until a hearing on 5 July and was charged with with an act of violence “on restricted grounds”

According to the reports, Sandford tried to seize the gun after saying he was seeking Mr Trump’s autograph at Saturday’s rally.

Sandford has told investigators he had been planning the assassination for a year, including spending time on a firing range in recent days, and was convinced he would die in the attempt.

Court Documents say Mr Sandford acknowledged he knew he would only be able to fire one or two rounds, and expected to be killed during an attempt on Mr Trump’s life.

According to the prosecutors, the suspect also suffered from a form of autism with his mother saying he had a history of mental health problems

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50 killed, 53 wounded in an attack on gay nightclub in Florida Sun, 12 Jun 2016 08:29:57 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Orlando gay nightclubAt least 50 people were killed and 53 others were wounded in an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando State of the United States early on Saturday morning.

The incident took place around 2 am in Pulse Cub located in Florida city with the city police calling it one of the worst shootings in US history.

Earlier, video a footage was shared on social media which showed several people being treated at the scene.

“Shooting at Pulse Nightclub on S Orange. Multiple injuries. Stay away from area,” Orlando police department said on its account on Sunday

A eyewitness in the club who managed to flee has written on his Facebook page that he “made it out just barely as we started to hear fire being shot” and “people are screaming that people are dead”.

Another witness, Ricardo J. Negron Almodovar, said “I was there. Shooter opened fire at around 2:00am.”

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter and Pinterest accounts hacked Tue, 07 Jun 2016 12:36:10 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Mark ZuckerbergThe Twitter and Pinterest accounts of the Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg were taken over by the hackers in recent days, it has been reported.

According to a person familiar with the matter, the password of Zuckerberg had apparently appeared last month in a database of more than 100 million usernames and passwords stolen in 2012 from LinkedIn Corp.

The person further added that Zuckerberg appears to have reused the same password he used in his linkedIn account to log into Twitter and Pinterest, llowing hackers to take over those accounts.

A collective that calls itself OurMine boasted that it had broken into a handful of his social media accounts, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. Screengrabs posted by Engadget showed the hackers notifying Zuckerberg of the breach using his own Twitter account. Bold move.

“We are just testing your security,” the tweet read.

However, Facebook has said in a statement that Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram accounts had not been breached.

“No Facebook systems or accounts were accessed. The affected accounts have been re-secured using best practices,” the statement read.

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Muhammad Ali dies at the age of 74 in US hospital Sat, 04 Jun 2016 04:28:07 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Muhammad Ali diesThe American boxing legend Muhammad Ali has died at the age of 74 in a US hospital, sources close to his family have said.

According to the local NBC News, Ali died Friday at a Phoenix-area hospital, where he had spent the past few days being treated for respiratory complications.

The report further added that Ali had suffered for three decades from Parkinson’s Disease, a progressive neurological condition that slowly robbed him of both his legendary verbal grace and his physical dexterity.

A funeral service is planned in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.

Earlier reports emerged that Ali was close to death as he was hospitalized this week for a respiratory ailment with a source close to his family saying Ali is ‘extraordinary grave. It’s a matter of hours.’

He was previously hospitalized for several days in December 2014 and January 2015 after suffering a severe urinary tract infection initially thought to be pneumonia.

Although weakened by illness, Ali has continued to loom large on national stage as he recently waded into the nation’s political fight after GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested banning all Muslims from entering the U.S.

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Boxing legend Muhammad Ali in ‘Grave Condition in Phoenix Hospital Sat, 04 Jun 2016 03:04:41 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Muhammad AliThe American boxing legend and former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali was close to death in a Phoenix-area hospital on Friday, it has been reported.

Sources close to his family have said Ali was hospitalized this week for a respiratory ailment.

Family spokesman Bob Gunnell has said that Ali, 74, was in fair condition, but media reports have said he was in rapidly failing health.

However, another source has said the health condition of Ali is ‘extraordinary grave. It’s a matter of hours.”

“It could be more than a couple of hours, but it’s not going to be much more. Funeral arrangements are already being made,” the sources quoted in a report by Reuters further added.

The 74-year-old has reportedly suffered from Parkinson’s disease for more than three decades and has kept a low profile in recent years.

The Radar Online website reported on Friday that Ali had been placed on life support, citing “an insider.”

He was previously hospitalized for several days in December 2014 and January 2015 after suffering a severe urinary tract infection initially thought to be pneumonia.

Although weakened by illness, Ali has continued to loom large on national stage as he recently waded into the nation’s political fight after GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested banning all Muslims from entering the U.S.

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Couple got married in front of 1,100 guests who were all cats Sat, 21 May 2016 17:21:53 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Canadian couple marry in front of catsA couple in United States got married in an unusual ceremony attended by 1,100 guests but they were all cats, it has been reported.

The couple, Louise Veronneau and Dominic Husson, tied the knot outside the city of Parlier in California State of the United States on Tuesday.

Originally from Canada, the couple met in Montreal and decided to get married an animal sanctuary called Cat House on the Kings, in front of 1,100 cats.

Both Louise and Dominic have a passion for animals and the decision to marry in an animal sanctuary was taken after Louise visited the sanctuary based in California back in 2012.

According to reports, the sanctuary is home to 24,000 cats and 7,000 dogs since it opened 24 years ago.

Louise fell in love with the sanctuary after her visit and decided to return with a wish to get married in the same sanctuary.

“I feel in love, I feel in love with the work Lynea and her team is doing for the cats and the rescuing,” she was quoted as saying in a report by The Independent.

Dominic said “We are both animal lovers and it was easy. She is a great person, that is why I married her.”

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14-year-old schoolboy rejects $30 million offer for his vending machine idea Mon, 16 May 2016 10:05:24 +0000 Read the full article...]]> US schoolboy vending machine ideaA 14-year-old schoolboy in United States has rejected an offer of $30 million from a healthcare company for his vending machine idea.

Alabama State of United States came up with the idea of a first aid kit dispensing vending machine says he has turned down a substantial buyout offer.

He is planning to sell the machines for $5,500 each and has already raised $100,000 in angel investment, according to CNN Money Program.

Taylor has said he worked on the idea to solve the problems of the kids who are getting hurt while playing in the parks.

“Every time I’d travel for a baseball tournament in Alabama, I’d notice that kids would get hurt and parents couldn’t find a band-aid,” he said. “I wanted to solve that.”

The machine will supply prepackaged first-aid kits for dealing with issues like sun burns, cuts, blisters and bee stings (they run from $5.99 to $15.95).

The customers can also buy individual supplies like band-aids, rubber gloves, hydrocortisone wipes and gauze pads, which cost $6 to $20.

According to reports, six Flags theme park has already put in an order for 100 machines.

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CIA ‘live tweets’ to mark five-year death anniversary of Osama bin Laden Mon, 02 May 2016 05:44:33 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Osama bin LadenThe decision by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to live-tweet the military operation that culminated in the death of Osama bin Laden “as if it were happening today” has been criticized by online users.

The criticisms followed after CIA shared details of the mission and intelligence that led to America’s most wanted man being found, with majority of the audience reacting negatively.

The series of tweets included complete with diagrams of the compound that the al-Qaida leader was killed in – marked five years since “Operation Neptune Spear”.

ICA also tweeted an illustration of the compound where Bin Laden was hiding and the features that led to its discovery including “trash burned not collected”.

The CIA announced to its 1.33m followers on Twitter that it would be tweeting the raid on Sunday using the hashtag #UBLRaid.

One of the Twitter users called the move “grotesque and embarrassing” while others posted memes and gifs of people rolling their eyes and putting their heads in their hands.

Bin Laden was killed on 2 May 2011 after a raid on his compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan by United States Navy Seal commandos.

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Woman jailed for 100 years in Colorado for attempted murder of unborn baby Sun, 01 May 2016 14:08:46 +0000 Read the full article...]]> woman jailed for 100 years in Colorado

A woman has been sentenced to a total of 100 years in prison in the western US state of Colorado for attempted murder of unborn child, it has been reported.

The woman was found guilty during a court hearing for cutting a seven-month-old foetus from the womb of an expectant mother.

The convict, Dynel Lane, was found guilty by a jury for trying to kill Michelle Wilkins in March 2015 in the Denver suburb of Longmont and was also convicted of the unlawful termination of a pregnancy, according to Independent.

According to the report, the baby was later named Aurora who did not survive the attack.

The prosecutors had asked for the maximum sentence of 188 years for the brutal killing but judge Maria Berkenkotter said the sentence was justified by the brutality of the attack, which she described as performing a caesarean with a kitchen knife.

The 28-year-old victim was lured by Lane to her apartment by creating a Craigslist ad for maternity clothes and hit her over the head with a lava lamp and stabbed her in the neck with the broken glass.

She then cut Ms Wilkin’s abdomen, removed the unborn baby and left the victim for dead, according to the court hearing.

According to the prosecutors, the convict could not be charged with the murder of the baby because there was no evidence the fetus lived outside the womb.

Colorado Republicans introduced legislation that would have allowed such a murder charge, but it was rejected by Democrat politicians, according to Independent.

To date 38 US states have made the killing of a foetus a homicide despite objections from abortion-rights supporters.

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US, Saudi sanction alleged fundraisers for al-Qaeda, Taliban Fri, 01 Apr 2016 09:49:37 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Department of TreasuryThe United States and Saudi Arabia have jointly sanctioned four individuals and two organizations, alleged of fundraising for terrorism in South Asia and Middle East.

The U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday that the sanctioned individuals and organizations have ties across Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, adding that they provide money for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and other Afghan extremist groups.

The joint action targeted James Alexander McLintock and his Pakistan-based Al-Rahmah Welfare Organisation, Abdul Aziz Nuristani and his Pakistan-based Jamia Asariya Madrassa, Naveed Qamar and Muhammad Ijaz Safarash.

McLintock is accused of providing funds to extremists under the false guise of helping orphans.

The sanctions freeze any property they have within US jurisdiction and bans Americans from doing business with them.

“From terrorizing local populations to exploiting charities and religious institutions, al-Qaida, the Taliban, and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba have a long history of inflicting violence on Americans and our allies throughout South Asia and the Middle East,” said Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the Department of Treasury.

“Today’s action marks yet another step in Treasury’s efforts to financially cripple terrorist financiers and demonstrates the United States’ and Saudi Arabia’s shared resolve to target those who support terrorism.”

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Major U.S. cities, airports on high alert after IS-claimed attacks in Brussels Wed, 23 Mar 2016 04:36:19 +0000 Read the full article...]]> New YorkAdditional security measures have been taken at a number of major U.S. cities and airports after a deadly attack –claimed by the Islamic State (IS)—left over 130 people killed and wounded in Belgium’s capital Brussels.

New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are among the cities which beefed up their security although officials said there were no specific threats to the United States.

According to Reuters, large numbers of uniformed police officers and National Guard troops dressed in battle fatigues and carrying rifles patrolled New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Several U.S. carriers – Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N), United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL.N) and American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O) – said they canceled or rerouted flights as a result of the Brussels attacks.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference that terrorists want to create chaos but they would be responded.

“What the terrorists want is for us to change our ways,” he said. “We refuse to change who we are. We are going to respond to their efforts to create chaos by showing them order, by showing them our society functioning, our city functioning.”

Following the attack, the US state department also issued a warning to Americans that the terrorist groups might carry out more attacks.

“Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants and transportation,” said the warning.

Multiple explosions hit Zaventem airport and a metro station in Brussels on Tuesday leaving at least 34 killed and over 100 wounded.

IS which controls swathes of land in Iraq and Syria later claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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Osama Bin Laden’s will shows he left $29 million for al-Qaeda Wed, 02 Mar 2016 08:48:59 +0000 Read the full article...]]> OsamaIn his handwritten will, al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden claimed he had about $29 million in personal wealth, CBS news reports.

The will was released Tuesday in a batch of more than 100 documents seized in a May 2011 raid that killed bin Laden at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The first materials from the raid were released in May 2015. Among that trove was a list of what was on Bin Laden’s bookshelf when Navy SEALS raided his compound, as well as an al-Qaeda job application.

The al Qaeda leader planned to divide his fortune among his relatives, but wanted most of it spent to conduct the work of the Islamic extremist terror network behind the Sept. 11 attacks.

The threat of sudden death was on his mind years before the fatal raid in Pakistan.

“If I am to be killed,” he wrote in a 2008 letter to his father, “pray for me a lot and give continuous charities in my name, as I will be in great need for support to reach the permanent home.”

The letters were included in a batch of documents released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. They address a range of topics, including fractures between al Qaeda and al Qaeda in Iraq, which eventually splintered off into what is now known as the Islamic State; and bin Laden’s concerns about his organization’s public image and his desire to depict it as a united network.

In another letter, addressed to “The Islamic Community in General,” bin Laden offered an upbeat assessment of progress in his holy war since 9/11 and of U.S. failings in Afghanistan. The letter is undated but appears to have been written in 2010.

“Here we are in the tenth year of the war, and America and its allies are still chasing a mirage, lost at sea without a beach,” he wrote.

“They thought that the war would be easy and that they would accomplish their objectives in a few days or a few weeks, and they did not prepare for it financially, and there is no popular support that would enable it to carry on a war for a decade or more. The sons of Islam have opposed them and stood between them and their plans and objectives.”

Bin Laden sought to portray the U.S. as hopelessly mired in an unwinnable war in Afghanistan. In an undated letter that appears to have been written in the 2009-2010 period, he compared the American combat position to that of the Soviet Union in the final years of its occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

“America appears to be hanging on by a thin thread. Due to the financial difficulties,” he wrote.

“We need to be patient a bit longer. With patience, there is victory!”

Beginning last summer, the CIA spearheaded an interagency review of the classified documents under the auspices of the White House’s National Security Council staff. Representatives from seven agencies combed through the documents.

“This was no easy feat as members of the task force dedicated themselves over a long period of time working in an intelligence community facility to review and declassify as many documents as possible,” said Brian Hale, a spokesman for the national intelligence director.”

The review is ongoing, with the next release expected later this year.

Shortly before his death, bin Laden hailed the overthrow and death of Libya’s strongman leader Moammar Gadhafi.

In a Feb. 25, 2011 letter addressed “to our people in Libya,” bin Laden said al Qaeda had triumphed over Gadhafi.

“Praise God, who made al-Qa’ida a great vexation upon him, squatting on his chest, enraging and embittering him, and who made al-Qa’ida a torment and exemplary punishment upon him, this truly vile hallucinating individual who troubles us in front of the world!” he wrote.

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Obama says US will ‘destroy’ ISIS Sat, 27 Feb 2016 12:00:46 +0000 Read the full article...]]> obamaConceding that the fight against Islamic State remains “difficult”, President Barack Obama today said the US will “destroy” the barbaric terror group and asserted that ending the Syrian conflict would be the key in this endeavour, the Economic Times reports.

“This fight against ISIL will remain difficult. But we’ll continue to draw on all elements of our national power, including the strength of our communities and our values as Americans. And I’m confident that we will prevail,” Obama said, using another acronym for the Islamic State.

“We will destroy this barbaric terrorist organisation and continue to stand with those around the world who seek a better, safer future,” he said in his weekly address.
Obama said the mission to destroy IS remains difficult, and the situation in Syria and Iraq is “incredibly complex.”

In Syria, US commandos are working with anti-IS fighters including a largely Kurdish group called the Syrian Democratic Forces to defeat the group.

“ISIL is entrenched, including in urban areas. It uses innocent civilians as human shields. Despite these challenges, I can report that we’re making progress. And this week, I directed my team to continue accelerating our campaign on all fronts,” he said.

The US president said that the 66-member coalition, including Arab partners, continues to grow stronger, and more nations are making more contributions in the fight.

“In Iraq, ISIL has now lost more than 40 per cent of the areas it once controlled. In Syria, a coalition of local forces is tightening the squeeze on ISIL’s stronghold of Raqqa. As we bomb its oil infrastructure, ISIL’s been forced to slash the salaries of its fighters,” Obama said.

“Thanks to the work of many nations, the flow of foreign terrorist fighters into Syria finally appears to be slowing. In short, in Syria and Iraq, ISIL’s territory is shrinking, there are fewer ISIL fighters on the battlefield, and it’s harder for them to recruit and replenish their ranks,” he said.

Obama noted the only way to deal IS a lasting defeat is to end the civil war and chaos in Syria upon which it thrives.
A UN-backed ceasefire between the regime and the rebels entered into effect at midnight last night, under an agreement reached Monday between Russia and the US. It’s the first major ceasefire in the civil war that has lasted almost five years.

“We’re not under any illusions. There are plenty of reasons for skepticism. Even under the best of circumstances, the violence will not end right away. But everyone knows what needs to happen,” he said.

“All parties must end attacks, including aerial bombardment. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach areas under siege. Much will depend on whether the Syrian regime, Russia and their allies live up to their commitments. The coming hours and days will be critical, and the world is watching,” Obama said.

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Twitter suspends 125,000 ISIS-related accounts Sat, 06 Feb 2016 07:06:04 +0000 Read the full article...]]> TwitterThe social media website Twitter has suspended has suspended 125,000 accounts related to the terrorist group of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Twitter put out a blog post on Friday describing efforts it has taken to “combat violent extremism,” claiming that the platform has suspended “over 125,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts primarily related to ISIS” since mid-2015.

“Like most people around the world, we are horrified by the atrocities perpetrated by extremist groups,” Twitter said on its policy blog.

“We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism and the Twitter rules make it clear that this type of behavior, or any violent threat, is not permitted on our service.”

On top of that, Twitter has added more personnel to look at any accounts reported for threatening or promoting terrorism, and is also “leverag[ing] proprietary spam-fighting tools to surface other potentially violating accounts for review by our agents.”

Twitter is also partnering with anti-extremist organizations, and has been cooperating with law enforcement “when appropriate.” According to the company, it has since seen “this type of activity shifting off of Twitter.”

This comes after the United States and other governments urged social networks to take more aggressive steps to root out activity aimed at recruiting and planning violent acts.

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Obama says attack on one faith is attack on all faiths Thu, 04 Feb 2016 05:39:32 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ObamaIn a bid to promote inter-faith harmony, the United States President Barack Obama visited a mosque in Baltimore for the first time since he became the President seven years ago.

Barack Obama held a session of meeting with the Muslim leaders during the visit and criticized the media and Hollywood, which he said portrayed Muslims in a narrow way

Speaking on the occasion, he said that Muslims are important section of American community which played key role to make United States a great country. The mosques are part of the American story as well, he added.

Obama took on such comments, and asked Christians to see “an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths.”

“We cannot be bystanders to bigotry,” he added.

In 2009, a freshly elected Obama traveled to Cairo to call for a “new beginning” with the Muslim world.

Much of Obama’s foreign policy agenda has focused on improving ties with Muslim nations, from making a nuclear deal with Iran to ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the effort has been stymied by continued confrontation with jihadist groups and military strikes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

Obama restated his case that organizations like the Islamic State group pervert Islam and do not represent the vast majority of Muslims.

The president offered “two words that Muslim-Americans don’t hear often enough, and that is ‘thank you’.”

On the occasion Obama also told participants that he was not the first US President to be called as a Muslim but the opponent of Jefferson also called him a Muslim. So I know I am in a good company, he said.

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Lt. Gen. Nicholson nominated to assume charges of International forces in Afghanistan Thu, 28 Jan 2016 04:33:27 +0000 Read the full article...]]> NicholsonThe Pentagon announced on Wednesday it had selected Lieutenant General John “Mick” Nicholson, the current head of NATO’s Allied Land Command, and a veteran of multiple deployments in Afghanistan has been chosen as the new commander of international forces in Afghanistan.

“He understands the importance and complexity of our mission in Afghanistan,” Pentagon’s Press Secretary Peter Cook said during the press briefing, having served previously as chief of staff of operations for the International Security Assistance Force, ISAF, and US Forces Afghanistan.

Nicholson commanded the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment as well as the 82nd Airborne Division, Cook added.

Nicholson, whose selection must be confirmed by the Senate, would replace General John Campbell, who has commanded US and international forces in Afghanistan for the past 18 months and is expected to retire.

The transition comes amid growing concern about the security situation in Afghanistan, where Taliban militants have caused large numbers of casualties among Afghan troops and Islamic State affiliates locally known as Daesh have made some inroads.

They are trying to establish a regional base in the eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan which is on the border with Pakistan.

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Four people killed in Canada school shooting Sat, 23 Jan 2016 06:57:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> crime-canada-shootingFour people have been killed and two others wounded in a shooting that involved a school in the small Saskatchewan community of La Loche in northern Canada.

The country’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed grieve over the incident.

“We all grieve with and stand with the community of La Loche and all of Saskatchewan on this tragic day. This is every parent’s worst nightmare.” Trudeau said from Davos, Switzerland, where he is attending the World Economic Forum.

The school in which the incident took place on Friday was sealed off and one suspect was seen taken into custody by security forces.

Kevin Janvier told AP that his 23-year-old daughter and a teacher were among those killed by the shooter.

“He shot two of his brothers at his home and made his way to the school,” Janvier was quoted as saying. “I’m just so sad.”

Earlier reports published stated a higher number of casualties but late in the day police revised down the number of dead from five.

In a media briefing, Maureen Levy the Chief Superintendent of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said that chaos in the immediate wake of the shooting made some of the early information unreliable.

“In incidents such as this there is a lot of information going back-and-forth very quickly,” Levy said.

Despite Canada’s relatively strict gun controls, there are still occasional shootings at schools, universities and colleges in the country.

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U.S. eyes sanctions on 12 Iranian firms over ballistic missile program Thu, 31 Dec 2015 05:49:45 +0000 Read the full article...]]> missileThe United States is eyeing on imposing sanctions on some Iranian firms and individuals over the country’s ballistic missile program.

Reuters news agency citing report from the Wall Street Journal states that the potential sanctions would target about 12 companies and individuals in Iran, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for their suspected role in developing Iran’s ballistic-missile program.

According to the report, U.S. officials have said the Treasury Department retains a right under July’s landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers, including Washington, to blacklist Iranian entities suspected of involvement in missile development, the Journal said.

“We’ve been looking for some time‎ at options for additional actions related to Iran’s ballistic missile program based on our continued concerns about its activities, including the October 10th launch,” a U.S. official has been quoted as saying on condition of anonymity.

“We are considering various aspects related to additional designations, as well as evolving diplomatic work that is consistent with our national security interests,” the official said, on condition of anonymity.

Diplomats have said it was possible for the sanctions committee to blacklist additional Iranian individuals or entities over the missile launch. But they said Russia and China, which have opposed the sanctions on Iran’s missile program, might block any such actions.

The sanctions would prohibit U.S. or foreign nationals from conducting business with the companies. U.S. banks would also be required to freeze any assets the companies or individuals hold inside the American financial system.

Among those targeted would be UAE-based Mabrooka Trading Co LLC and its founder, Hossein Pournaghshband, for aiding Iranian state companies in acquiring carbon fiber for Iran’s missile program, the newspaper said, citing a Treasury statement, according to Reuters.

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Facebook founder vows to “fight to protect the rights” of Muslims Thu, 10 Dec 2015 10:26:28 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ZuckerbergFacebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to “fight to protect the rights” of Muslims on Facebook following a week of ‘hate’.

The remarks by Zuckerberg followed by sustained attacks from the US Presidential runner Donald Trump who called for a total ban on Muslim immigration to the United States.

Through a short message on his page on Wednesday to support the Muslim community, Zuckerberg said “I want to add my voice in support of Muslims in our community and around the world.”

He said it is important to support Muslims in the face of rising Islamophobia because “attacks on freedom for anyone will hurt everyone”.

Zuckerberg further added “After the Paris attacks and hate this week, I can only imagine the fear Muslims feel that they will be persecuted for the actions of others. As a Jew, my parents taught me that we must stand up against attacks on all communities. Even if an attack isn’t against you today, in time attacks on freedom for anyone will hurt everyone.”

“If you’re a Muslim in this community, as the leader of Facebook I want you to know that you are always welcome here and that we will fight to protect your rights and create a peaceful and safe environment for you. Having a child has given us so much hope, but the hate of some can make it easy to succumb to cynicism. We must not lose hope. As long as we stand together and see the good in each other, we can build a better world for all people,” the Facebook founder said.

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US soldiers with genital wounds expected to get penis transplant Sun, 06 Dec 2015 18:47:33 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Doctors in United States are expecting to perform a rare penis transplant surgery on a young soldier who sustained horrific genital injury in Afghanistan in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion, it has been reported.

The surgery which is considered as unprecedented in United States is expected to be performed in the next couple of months by surgeons in Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, according to a report published in New York Times.

With only two transplants reported globally so far, including a successful and failed surgery, the doctors are expecting to develop urinary function, sensation and, eventually, the ability to have sex by attaching the organ which will come from a deceased donor.

The decision to perform the surgery comes as nearly 1,367 US military service members have sustained genital wounds while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 to 2013.

According to the Department of Defense Trauma Registry, the wounds include partial and total dismemberment of the penises or testicles and the victims were all reported to be under 35 years old who sustained injuries mainly by homemade bombs, commonly called improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

At least 60 transplants are expected to be performed after doctors were given permission by Johns Hopkins with the results to be monitored by the university as the surgery is considered as experimental and the decision to make the surgery standard will be taken afterwards.

Bleeding, infection and the possibility that the medicine needed to prevent transplant rejection will increase the odds of cancer are said to be among the risks of the surgery.

According to the doctors, only the penis will be transplanted, not the testes, where sperm are produced, which mean that the recipient will have his own genetic child and not the offspring of the donor if he becomes a father.

However, the case will be vice versa with the recipients who will receive both the penis and testicle.

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ISIS claims responsibility for California attack as investigation spreads to Pakistan Sat, 05 Dec 2015 11:43:18 +0000 Read the full article...]]> AppleMark

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) which is also known by the Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility of an attack that left 14 people killed in San Bernadino city of California.

IS said in an online broadcast that Wednesday’s attack on a social services agency party was carried out by

“Two followers of Islamic State attacked several days ago a center in San Bernadino in California, opening fire inside the center, leading to the deaths of 14 people and wounding more than 20 others” said al-Bayan, the group’s Iraq-based daily broadcast, on Saturday.

Meanwhile, investigation into the incident has spread to Pakistan, birth country of one of the suspects.

Tashfeen Malik had moved from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia with her family 25 years ago before landing in the United States last year with a new American husband.

According to two Pakistani officials, Tashfeen Malik was from the Layyah district of southern Punjab province.

Reports suggest that intelligence officials questioned members of Malik’s family, including her uncle, Javed Rabbani, the brother of her father, Gulzar.

Rashfeen Malik was the wife of another suspect of the carnage Syed Rizwan Farook, the US-born son of Pakistani immigrants.

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US shooting spree leaves 14 killed, 17 wounded Thu, 03 Dec 2015 05:55:36 +0000 Read the full article...]]> shooting-114 people were killed and 17 others wounded after three heavily armed masked gunmen opened indiscriminate fire on people gather at a center for disabled in San Bernardino city of the state of California on Wednesday.

The shooting commenced inside the Inland Regional Center, which regulates group homes serving the developmentally disabled, at about 11:00 a.m., local time.

Law enforcement officials said the gunmen “came prepared,” covered in their protective gear and clad with assault rifles and escaped after carrying out the massacre.

As security forces were searching the area to look for the suspects, in the afternoon, they came across a dark SUV, similar to what shooters used to flee.

Every window of the SUV, except for the windshield, had been peppered with bullets.

Then a roadside shootout followed leaving two suspects killed, including a man and a woman, and an officer wounded.

A third suspect was arrested during the search operation.

An FBI official, David Bowdich, said he is not sure whether this was an act of terrorism or not.

“I am still not willing to say that we know that for sure. We are definitely making some movements that it is a possibility. We are making some adjustments to our investigation. It is a possibility, but we don’t know that yet, and we’re not willing to go down that road yet,” he said.

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Facebook CEO is giving away 99 % of his website’s shares as charity Wed, 02 Dec 2015 04:54:39 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla are seen with their daughter named Max in this image released on December 1, 2015. REUTERS/Courtesy of Mark Zuckerberg/Handout

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of ‘Facebook’ is giving away a massive portion of his wealth of as charity.

Zuckerberg, the tech leader, announced this on Tuesday to mark the birth of his first child, named Max, and honor the occasion.

He also announced the formation of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which he said will “join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation.”

Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, had framed the announcement as a letter written to their child Max.

“For your generation to live in a better world, there is so much more our generation can do,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges.”

The tech leader said that Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will focus on “personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.”

“We will give 99% of our Facebook shares — currently about $45 billion — during our lives to advance this mission,” the letter further stated. “We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others.”

According to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Zuckerberg owns 419 million Facebook shares. At Tuesday’s closing price of $107.12 per share, Zuckerberg’s pledge to give away 99 percent of these shares to his newly formed initiative is worth $44.3 billion. Zuckerberg will keep $449 million worth of shares of the company he founded, along with a majority of Facebook’s B shares, which provide voting rights in the company.

The Giving Pledge was started by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and another American business magnate, investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett. Zuckerberg has said that Bill Gates was his hero growing up.

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Volunteer firefighter receives ‘extensive’ face transplant in US Tue, 17 Nov 2015 18:07:07 +0000 Read the full article...]]> extensive face transplant USA man in United States has received the ‘most extensive face transplant today’ after he suffered a full and scalp burn during a mission to extinguish fire in a house.

According to New York University Langone Medical Center, the surgery lasted 26 hours and started on August 14, involving more than 100 doctors, nurses and staff members.

The 41-year-old volunteer firefighter Patrick Hardison was injured in September 2001, coincidentally just days before the 9/11 attacks when he entered a burning home on a rescue search, when its roof collapsed on him, leaving him with disfiguring burns across his entire face, head, neck, and upper torso.

He lost his eyelids, ears, lips, and most of his nose, as well as his hair, including his eyebrows, New York University Langone Medical Center, said adding that after enduring more than 70 surgeries in Mississippi and elsewhere, Patrick was still unable to return to a normal life. He was brought to Dr. Rodriguez’s attention by a member of his church and fellow firefighter, who wrote to the doctor describing Patrick’s situation.

Branded as the first of its kind performed in New York State, surgery provided for the transplantation of a donor’s eyelids and “blinking mechanisms,” which helped Hardison immensely since he was in danger of losing his eyesight.

The donor has identified as 26-year-old New York artist and competitive bicyclist David Rodebaugh who died after a biking accident in Brooklyn.

Hardison was able to blink on the third day after surgery and sitting up in a chair within a week’s time, the Medical Center said.

It also added that Hardison is returning to the routines of daily life independently after three months.

Hardison said “I used to get started at all the time, but now I’m just an average guy.”

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American woman who dropped out of university at 19 is now worth $9 billion Mon, 16 Nov 2015 19:20:06 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Elizabeth HolmesAn American woman is worth $9 billion after she started a biotech company, 12 years after she dropped out of Stanford University School of Engineering.

The 31-year-old Elizabeth Holmes has made headlines with her company – Theranos, which plans to revolutionise venipuncture by offering 200 blood tests through just the prick of a finger.

With a usual dressing of a black turtleneck similar as Steve Jobs, Ms Holmes was named by Forbes the world’s first self-made billionaire and president Barack Obama made her a US ambassador for global business.

She was also brought on the board of fellows of Harvard Medical School, besides appearing in Time’s list of the year’s 100 of most-influential people.

In a report by New York Times magazine, she was described as a character that may be changing “the health-care paradigm as we know it”.

According to the Forbes, Ms Holmes, then 19-year-old, started the company in early 2004 which was a Silicon Valley start-up with a non-Silicon Valley focus on an integral, but staid part, of the health care experience, the blood test.

Based on work that she had been doing in an Stanford lab on testing blood for the SARS virus, she concluded that she could adapt technology to allow for multiple tests to be run on much smaller quantities of blood than the conventional tests did and a quicker and more efficient turn around of results (to doctors and patients).

However, Theranos story started to come apart on October 16, when Wall Street Journal revealed in a report that of the 200 tests which the company boasts, only the herpes test used microsample technology.

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Nine reportedly killed as US plane crashes in residential area Wed, 11 Nov 2015 06:49:48 +0000 Read the full article...]]> plane crashNine people have reportedly lost lives after a small plane they were traveling in clipped electrical and telephone wires, crossed a busy street and plowed into a residential building Tuesday in Akron city of Ohio.

Soon after the crash, the small privet jet caught fire and those inside badly burned, officials said.

State Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Haymaker told reporters that the small business jet can carry as many as 10 passengers, in addition to the pilot and the co-pilot but “due to the severity of the fire,” it would be some time before it could be determined how many people were aboard the crashed Hawker H25.

Reports suggest that at least nine people including its crew were onboard when Hawker H25 crashed.

No casualties were reported on the ground and the building was reportedly empty by the time of the crash.

“Obviously, the situation could have been worse, granted, if anybody was home,” Haymaker said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was on its final approach to Akron Fulton International Airport when it crashed into a building about 3 p.m. ET.

Officials have not identified the cause of the crash but the National Transportation Safety Board has assigned a team for investigation.

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Op-Ed: Maryam Monsef’s Success Belongs Both to Afghans & Canadians Sat, 07 Nov 2015 11:38:37 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Maryan Monsef Candian Minister

Op-Ed by: Farkhunda Zahra Naderi

I am pleased that within a month, Maryam Monsef has successfully, not only surprised Afghans, but Canadians as well and indeed she thoroughly deserves it!

I am sure that the fact that Maryam Monsef was trusted by her constituency to become a MP, and by her political party to go beyond that achievement and be elected as a Minister was because:As a Canadian citizen she was both active and talented, and she was qualified in terms of her skills, experience and education. I also believe that the significance of being an Afghan was also an encouraging factor that enhanced her qualifications. Therefore, I am personally truly thankful to the Canadian people, and especially to the Liberal Political Political Party for respecting her strenuous journey as an Afghan refugee to Canada, where her efforts, hard work, talent and willingness, for brining a positive change in Canada were strengthened by their political support.

On a global basis Maryam Monsef’s presence in Canadian Politics represents all the refugees, but in particular she represents Afghanistan. For some, to those outside of Canada she is merely a Canadian but within the country, she will always be an Afghan Canadian.

Maryam Monsef, with her priviliged Canadian identity will always represent the talent and tireless work of all Afghan girls. She is the principal lobbyist for Afghanistan’s support, not only in Canada, but worldwide.

Maryam Monsef is not detached from Afghanistan. Let us not forget that she bore the sorrow of losing her father, the shock of war and the images of her destroyed home at the age of 11 from Afghanistan to Canada. Therefore, she knows what the impact of war is better than any other Canadian, through her Afghan roots. Thus, through her Canadian knowledge and Afghani experience, she understands the importance of the development of the democratic institutions to attain a better human community. Therefore, I am very optimistic that she will be successful in the chosen ministry.

Afghan people, especially Afghan women living inside Afghanistan, must not forget that Maryam Monsef whilst in Canada, did not remain an Afghan only by reason of her birth place, and by her past 11 years experience of war in Afghanistan, but by her continuous efforts and dedication to continually supporting Afghan women from Canada, is evidence of her fight for a better Afghanistan! She defined her success in Canada by her passionate efforts to support Afghan girls.

In spite of the fact that various challenges try to occupy our time on a daily basis in Afghanistan, yet, as an Afghan women politician, I can feel somewhat awkward in remaining indifferent, and not to celebrate Maryam Monsef’s political success from afar, in some lines of my writings here in my personal page, where I know with the Canadian structure of politics and their boundaries, that she is representing Afghans in Canada and that she has been supporting Afghanistan throughout her active life.

Maryam deserves recognition, love and respect, from her native land, where she was forced by the onset of war, to abandon her home and become a refugee. Maryam is a supreme lobbying image, not only for vulnerable Afghan women, but for Afghanistan in general, alongside her Canadian responsibilities.

I believe that all Afghans either in Afghanistan or in any other part of the world, should be proud of her achievements, and look forward to her further support in Afghanistan during this time, where Afghans voices are silent.

Afghan Politician Farkhunda Zahra NaderiFarkhunda Zahra Naderi is an ex Afghan parliamentarian and rights activist. She fought for women rights and gender equality since 2007. She lobbied for participation of a female member in high council of Afghanistan Supreme Court.

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Afghan-Canadian appointed as Canadian cabinet minister, less than a month after becoming an MP Thu, 05 Nov 2015 06:22:07 +0000 Read the full article...]]> MonsefAn Afghan-Canadian who recently won a seat in Canadian parliament has been appointed as a minister to the country’s cabinet, less than a month after becoming an MP.

The announcement of the appointment of Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef, based on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise of gender parity and diversity, was made on Wednesday.

Monsef will be serving as Minister of Democratic Institutions, a new title for Minister for Democratic Reform, and will be responsible for following through on the Trudeau government’s commitment to reform Canada’s “first past the post” electoral system.

Monsef migrated to Canada with her family about 20 years ago and became a member of Canadian parliament on October 19 by winning the most votes among her peers from Peterborough-Kawartha District of Ontario province.

On her official ‘facebook’ page, Monsef has thanked PM Trudeau for the trust.

“I am honoured to serve Canadians as Minister of Democratic Institutions alongside an excellent team from coast to coast to coast and incredibly grateful for the trust that has been placed in me by our Prime Minister. I look forward to getting to work on my new portfolio and serving the people of Peterborough-Kawartha as their voice in Ottawa,” Monsef writes in a post on her page.

After fleeing the terror and oppression of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Maryam Monsef and her family went to Canada 20 years ago.
She graduated from Trent University with a Bachelor of Science, she has worked with a number of organizations including Trent University, Fleming College, Peterborough Economic Development, the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough and the New Canadian Centre on initiatives which assisted both individuals, and our community, in reaching their full potential.

She has been a member of over thirty community based action committees, served on numerous boards, and is a highly sought after speaker on topics such as leadership, youth, women and community action.
Maryam co-founded the Red Pashmina Campaign, which has raised over $150,000 for women and girls in Afghanistan, while also recognizing local women of impact.

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Afghan-Canadian wins seat in Canadian Parliament Wed, 21 Oct 2015 05:41:08 +0000 Read the full article...]]> MP-elect Maryam Monsef greets her supporters after winning the Peterborough-Kawartha seat. Her campaign manager, former cabinet minister Andy Mitchell, is to her right. Lance Anderson


An Afghan who migrated to Canada with her family about 20 years ago won a seat in the parliament of Canada.

Maryam Monsef now a member of Liberal Party of Canada received the most votes among her peers from Peterborough-Kawartha District of Ontario province.

She has posted a message on her facebook account about her victory stating that: “I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude today. And then to start my day seeing that even our next generation of voters cast their student “ballots” for ‪#‎realchange? All I can say is Thank you. Thank you to each and every one of you. Now, let’s get to work–there is so much to be done.”

After fleeing the terror and oppression of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Maryam Monsef and her family went to Canada.
She graduated from Trent University with a Bachelor of Science, she has worked with a number of organizations including Trent University, Fleming College, Peterborough Economic Development, the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough and the New Canadian Centre on initiatives which assisted both individuals, and our community, in reaching their full potential.

She has been a member of over thirty community based action committees, served on numerous boards, and is a highly sought after speaker on topics such as leadership, youth, women and community action.
Maryam co-founded the Red Pashmina Campaign, which has raised over $150,000 for women and girls in Afghanistan, while also recognizing local women of impact.

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Richard Olson appointed as U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Fri, 16 Oct 2015 10:58:37 +0000 Read the full article...]]> OlsonRichard Olson who is currently serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan has been appointed as the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP), states a statement released by the State Department.

He is replacing Dan Feldman who concluded his tenure on September 18.

Thursday’s press release further states that Olson will assume his responsibilities on November 17 and will be responsible for developing and implementing U.S. policies and programs for stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Ambassador Olson will assume his responsibilities as SRAP on November 17, after concluding his service as the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan. As were his predecessors, Ambassador Olson will be responsible for developing and implementing policies and programs that support U.S. national security interests in promoting stability and increasing prosperity in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Olson brings extraordinary experience in Afghanistan and Pakistan to his new position.

Prior to his three years of service as the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Olson served as the Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs at U.S. Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan, from 2011 to 2012, during which time he oversaw all U.S. non-military assistance programs and support for the Afghan government.

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5,500 U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2016 Thu, 15 Oct 2015 11:25:14 +0000 Read the full article...]]> 091130-F-9171L-362 U.S. Army soldiers with the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 5th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and Afghan National Army soldiers conduct a combined patrol in the village of Shabila Kalan, Zabul, Afghanistan, on Nov. 30, 2009. DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

U.S. Army soldiers

President Barack Obama has decided to keep 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016.

The original plan was to draw-down its troop numbers from 9,800 to about 1,000 by the end of 2016 but military leaders argued that Afghan National Security and Defense Forces and the country’s security institutions still need U.S. assistance to combat terrorism and maintain security.

But according to senior administration officials, cited by AP, Obama would outline plans to maintain the current force of 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through most of next year, then draw down to 5,500 troops in 2017, at a pace still to be determined by commanders.

The officials have talked to AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly ahead of the president’s announcement.

On Wednesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter also said that they are not leaving Afghanistan but an adjustment to the current plan is under consideration.

“The narrative that we’re leaving Afghanistan is self-defeating. We’re not. We can’t, and to do so would not be to take advantage of the success had to date,” Carter said at a luncheon hosted by the Association of the US Army Sustaining.

“It’s not a question of whether, but how to continue the mission in Afghanistan, and last week, it became clear that our NATO allies feel the same way, as they told me. Many of my counterparts made a point of reaffirming their commitment, too,” he said. “When I submit my 2017 budget, I will include critical financial support to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces to help it sustain its force levels of 352,000 troops in 2017 and beyond.”

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Pentagon: U.S. not leaving Afghanistan, mulling adjustments to the current plan Thu, 15 Oct 2015 04:32:47 +0000 Read the full article...]]> carterThe US Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter has said that they are not leaving Afghanistan and such a narrative is “self-defeating”.

“The narrative that we’re leaving Afghanistan is self-defeating. We’re not. We can’t, and to do so would not be to take advantage of the success had to date,” Carter said at a luncheon hosted by the Association of the US Army Sustaining on Wednesday.

The current US plan is to draw-down its troop numbers from about 10,000 to a crew of only about 1,000 by the end of 2016.

But Carter said that the US is in the process of formulating options for 2016 and beyond, and make adjustments to the planned American presence based on current circumstances.

 “It’s not a question of whether, but how to continue the mission in Afghanistan, and last week, it became clear that our NATO allies feel the same way, as they told me. Many of my counterparts made a point of reaffirming their commitment, too,” he said. “When I submit my 2017 budget, I will include critical financial support to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces to help it sustain its force levels of 352,000 troops in 2017 and beyond,” he said.

Carter praised the army’s work with Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and security institutions to become fully capable of maintaining security in their country.

He said thanks in large part, to the Army’s work through ‘Resolute Support’, Afghan forces have proven themselves to be very capable fighters who are able to provide security in Afghanistan. They performed admirably through two tense elections, clearing operations in northern Helmand and countering the Taliban’s spring offensive, the defense secretary said. That said, Taliban advances in parts of the country underscore the reality that this is, and remains, a difficult fight.

“We understand that Afghanistan still needs assistance, and Resolute Support is working closely with the ANDSF and Afghan security ministries to ensure that they’re prepared to set the conditions for Afghan-led stability in this vital region,” Carter said. “No one can do this better than the Army, which has learned a lot about counterterrorism operations, local forces training and related operational skills over the course of two wars, and is best equipped to establish a lasting and effective platform in Afghanistan.”

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US to compensate victims of Kundoz hospital bombing with “condolence payments” Sun, 11 Oct 2015 09:27:44 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Kundoz4Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook on Saturday announced compensation of “condolence payments” to the wounded victims and the families of 22 people killed in a US airstrike that hit a hospital of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in northern Kundoz province.

Peter said in a statement that the compensation will be handled through the existing Commanders’ Emergency Response Program in Afghanistan, and if necessary additional authority will be sought from Congress.

“If necessary and appropriate, the administration will seek additional authority from the Congress,” he said, adding that the payments will go to “civilian non-combatants injured and the families of civilian non-combatants killed as a result of U.S. military operations.”

Earlier this week, President Obamba apologized to the head of the Doctors Without Borders after NATO and U.S. forces commander in Afghanistan said that the airstrike was a mistake.

In his testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee last week, Gen. John Campbell said that the decision to conduct the airstrike was made within the US chain of command.

“To be clear, the decision to provide aerial fires was a US decision made within the US chain of command,” he said, adding that “A hospital was mistakenly struck. We would never intentionally target a protected medical facility.”

Including 12 staffers of MSF, 22 people were killed and 37 others wounded in the airstrike.

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President Obama says full investigation launched into Kundoz incident Sun, 04 Oct 2015 05:00:23 +0000 Read the full article...]]> WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08:  U.S. President Barack Obama answers reporters' questions during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House June 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama called the last-minute announcement to talk about the domestic and international economies and encourage Congress to pass his "paid-for ideas" on job creation.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


United States President Barack Obama has said that full investigation has been launched into the incident that took place in northern Kundoz province of Afghanistan.

President Obama in a statement released by his office on Saturday extends his condolences to the family and loved ones of the victims of the incident.

“On behalf of the American people, I extend my deepest condolences to the medical professionals and other civilians killed and injured in the tragic incident at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz.”

According to the statement, President Obama is waiting for the result of the investigation.

“The Department of Defense has launched a full investigation, and we will await the results of that inquiry before making a definitive judgment as to the circumstances of this tragedy.  I have asked the Department of Defense to keep me apprised of the investigation and expect a full accounting of the facts and circumstances. Michelle and I offer our thoughts and prayers to all of the civilians affected by this incident, their families, and loved ones.”

President Obama has also renewed his commitment to support Afghan National Security Forces to secure their country.

“We will continue to work closely with President Ghani, the Afghan government, and our international partners to support the Afghan National Defense and Security forces as they work to secure their country.”

The international medical organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said Saturday that 19 people were killed and 37 wounded in coalition air strike conducted at their hospital in Kundoz province.

Out of them, 12 were MSF staff members and seven patients. The 37 wounded include 19 staff members of MSF.

Meanwhile, the US forces in Afghanistan say that the air strike was carried out against insurgents who were directly firing upon U.S. service members advising and assisting Afghan Security Forces in the city of Kundoz.

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US includes IS-Khorasan into latest terror watch-list Wed, 30 Sep 2015 06:50:41 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ISIS-mass-explosion-in-KhorasanThe United States has announced the inclusion of the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan IS-Khorasan in latest terror watch-list.

The State Department issued a statement on Tuesday regarding the designation of 10 individuals and five groups, imposing sanctions against key IS leaders and financial figures.

It also amended the designations of two additional groups as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.

The Treasury Department also announced sanctions against 15 IS figures, including supporters and facilitators.

The latest watch-list includes groups and individuals from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Indonesia and other countries. They also include four British and three French nationals.

A senior official in the Obama administration said the fight against IS was a global fight and that made not only US actions important but also actions by UN and other countries around the world.

IS or Daesh which was operating in Iraq and Syria for years emerged in Afghanistan and Pakistan months before under the name of the ‘Province Khorasan’

Most of the leaders of the group are former Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commanders including its leader Hafiz Sayed Khan. The group is trying to establish a foothold in the region.

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Saudi prince arrested on charges of sexual assault in US Fri, 25 Sep 2015 11:02:49 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Saudi prince arrested in Los AngelesA Saudi prince has been arrested by police in United States on charges of sexual assault, it has been reported.

The 28-year-old Majed Abdulaziz Al Saud was arrested on Wednesday after he tried to force a worker at a Beverly Hills estate to perform oral sex.

Los Angeles police Officer Drake Madison quoted by local media said Al Saud was arrested on Wednesday afternoon but was released on a $300,000 bond the next day.

The Los Angeles Times and KCBS-TV reported that the prince did not have diplomatic immunity.

Numerous people were interviewed by police after a bleeding woman was seen by a neighbour screaming for help as she tried to scale the huge estate’s surrounding wall.

The neighbour told the Times that the $37m property, in one of the most exclusive enclaves in the world, has been rented for weeks at a time by foreign nationals over the past year.

The Saudi officials have not commented regarding the incident so far as the prince is expected to be in court on 19 October.

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NASA discovers planet very similar to Earth in the Milky Way Thu, 23 Jul 2015 17:34:16 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Earth 2 found in the Milky Way

The United States government agency for civilian space program, aeronautics and aerospace research – National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced Thursday that a planet very similar to Earth has been discovered in the Milky Way by their Kepler space telescope.

Named Kepler-452b, the planet could well have liquid water on the surface and could host alien life with NASA saying if plants were transferred there they would likely survive due to ‘substantial opportunity’ the planet could host for life.

Located in its star’s habitable zone – the region where life-sustaining liquid water is possible on the surface of a planet, Kepler-452b is said to be about 60% bigger than Earth.

It is about 1,400 light years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. “Today, and thousands of discoveries later, astronomers are on the cusp of finding something people have dreamed about for thousands of years – another Earth,” NASA said through a statement.

Kepler researcher Jon Jenkins quoted by CNN said while it’s a bit farther from its star than Earth is from the sun, its star is brighter, so the planet gets about the same amount of energy from its star as Earth does from the sun. And that sunlight would be very similar to Earth’s.

Jenkins further added that Kepler-452b could have a thicker atmosphere than Earth’s, as well as active volcanoes if the assumptions of planetary geologists are correct.

According to Jenkins it takes 385 days for the planet to orbit its star, very similar to Earth’s 365-day year, NASA said. And because it’s spent so long orbiting in this zone — 6 billion years — it’s had plenty of time to brew life.

“That’s substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet,” he added.

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White House praised Afghan security forces for professionally responding to recent Kabul attack Wed, 24 Jun 2015 06:57:56 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Principal Deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest speaks to the media during his last briefing before taking over as press secretary, Friday, June 20, 2014, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Josh Earnest

The White House has praised Afghan National Security Forces for professionally quelling the recent terrorist attack on Afghan Parliament.

Josh Earnest, White House spokesman said that Afghan security forces limited the lose of a very dangerous attack.

He said that suppressing the attack in a very short spin of time indicates improvement of the capacity and ability of Afghan security forces.

Citing the attack on Parliament, Earnest said that the attack indicates that Taliban militants are still able to carry out precise attacks.

The Taliban attack on Afghan Parliament took place on Monday.

It began with a suicide car bomb detonation at the front gate of the parliament and later a group of militants armed with heavy and light weapons started shooting at the parliament.

But Afghan security forces were able to quell the attack in less than an hour. One Afghan soldier killed six militants who were trying to enter to the parliament and more likely carry out a carnage inside.

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One person killed, 16 wounded after gunmen opened fire at block parties in U.S. Sun, 21 Jun 2015 04:29:10 +0000 Read the full article...]]> us

One person was killed and 16 other wounded after gunmen opened fire at block parties in the US states of Michigan and Pennsylvani on Saturday night.

The first incident took place in Detroit city of Michigan where one person was killed and nine others wounded.

Asst. Police Chief Steve Dolunt confirmed the incident. He said a 20-year-old man was killed and nine others wounded, one is announced to be in critical condition.

The second incident took place at around 10 pm, about an hour later from the first incident, in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania state.

A man carrying a shotgun opened fire at a block party leaving seven people critically wounded.

Lt. John Walker, a police officer in the city said that it looks like the gunman randomly fire at any in the way.

“It was just a terrible situation,” Lt. Walker said.

Two children aging 2 a 10 were among the victims of the incident. The other victims are between 15 to 25 years of age.

No further details had been released by the time this report was filed.

These attacks come three days after a gunmen killed nine people in a black church in the U.S. state of Carolina.

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More than 10,000 ISIS fighters killed in coalition campaign Wed, 03 Jun 2015 08:58:05 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ISISUnites States says that more than 10,000 militants belonging to the Islamic State or Daesh have been killed in the aerial campaign of international coalition formed against them in past nine months.

After a meeting of representatives of the coalition countries in Paris, Antony Blinken the Deputy Secretary of State said that there are remarkable achievements against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

“We have seen a lot of losses within Daesh since the start of this campaign, more than 10,000,” Blinken said on France Inter radio, using a mildly derogatory term for Islamic State. “It will end up having an impact.” He is quoted by Reuters as saying.

He said that the campaign was estimated for three years and it is nine months into it.

“At the start of this campaign (we) said it would take time,

“We have conceived a three-year plan and we’re nine months into it.” Blinken said.

After the rapid advancement of Daesh in Iraq and Syria, United States formed an international coalition against the militant group in September 2014.

Around 40 countries have reportedly joined the coalition which is air striking the militant positions in Iraq and Syria.

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John Kerry hospitalized after cycling accident in France Sun, 31 May 2015 10:07:56 +0000 Read the full article...]]> kerry

United States Secretary of State John Kerry has been hospitalized after a cycling accident in France.

John Kerry, 71, received probable injuries to his right leg and was flown Geneva’s main hospital for treatment. Though, he is announced to be in a stable condition.

The incident took place near Scionzier in France where he has been holding talks with Iranian foreign minister over the disputed nuclear program of the country.

State Department spokesman confirmed today’s incident with Secretary of State John Kerry but said that he did not lose consciousness.

“Secretary Kerry is stable and likely suffered a leg injury. He did not lose consciousness,” John Kerby said.

It is yet unknown as how long John Kerry will spend on bed or whether his injuries will further delay the ongoing negotiations with Iran over the country’s long disputed nuclear program.

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Nine people killed, 18 wounded as bikers clashed in U.S. Mon, 18 May 2015 04:45:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> bikerNine people were killed and 18 others wounded after a clash erupted between rival motorcycle gangs in the Texas state of the U.S. on Sunday.

The incident occurred at a busy shopping center of Waco city along Interstate 35 shortly after noon when there is a large crowd.

Officials said eight people died at the crime scene while another breathed last at the hospital.

Sgt. Patrick Swanton from Waco police said that 18 others who are under treatment at the hospital are being stabbed or shot.

 He said “This is probably one of the most gruesome crime scenes I’ve ever seen in my 34 years of law enforcement.”

The police officer added that at least five rival gangs had gathered at Twin Peaks for a meeting which ended in a deadly clash.

Sgt. Patrick Swanton said that additional police were assigned in the area because of the advance knowledge of the gangs coming and causing issues here.

“We’ve been made aware in the past few months of rival biker gangs … being here and causing issues,”

“Apparently the management (of Twin Peaks) wanted them here and so we didn’t have any say-so on whether they could be here or not,” he said.

Dozens of members of the biker gangs have been arrested from the site after the incident.

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Afghan girl awarded the Madeleine K. Albright Award Wed, 13 May 2015 10:20:00 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Afghan girlKhalida Noori, 24, an Afghan girl who is fighting for women’s right in restive Kandahar province, the birthplace of Taliban, has been awarded the Madeleine K. Albright Award in the United States.

Noori received the award through America’s National Democratic Institute (NDI), which recognizes the contribution of outstanding women in advancing democracy and political participation of women across the globe.

Noori runs the Worker Women Social Organization (WWSO), a grassroots group based in Kandahar, which provides educational opportunities for girls and women and then find them jobs in governmental organizations.

She says several women have been graduated from WWSO who are now the earning hands of their respective families.

Senator Barbara Mikulski, a U.S senator talked about the importance of involving women in the politics “As Madeleine Albright and the leaders of NDI know so well, when we share our stories, whether in Congress or Kandahar, we inspire women everywhere to fight for opportunity. Every culture responds to a passionate message. Every community can be changed. But first, it takes the power of the one to organize the many.”

First lady Rula Ghani who attended the ceremony said that the women are among the strongest women who with very limited means strive to make better life for themselves and their families

“They live under very difficult circumstances.  Yet, with very limited means, these women are striving to make a better life for themselves and their families.  They are the glue that keeps society together, they are the conscience that goads the leaders onto the right path.  They are hardworking, persistent, resourceful, and they are tough. If they need support and help it is not because they are weak or clueless but because they are strong and will put every little bit of support to good use.”

Worker Women Social Organization (WWSO) president said she will use the $25,000 grant to raise females in Kandahar to join the next generation of the political leaders of Afghanistan.

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U.S. announces $20 million bounty on top ISIS leaders Wed, 06 May 2015 10:00:19 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Main-ISISRewardUnited States has announced a bounty of $20 million for information leading to whereabouts of four top Islamic State leaders.

Senior American officials say the four ISIS leaders who are wanted dead or alive are the top leaders in the extremist organization who have allowed tortures, child maiming, rapes and murders.

ISIS extremist group has carried out atrocities in the areas they seized in Iraq and Syria.

State Department through its “Reward for Justice” program on Tuesday offered up to $7 million for information on Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, up to $5 million each for Abu Mohammed al-Adnani and Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili and up to $3 million for Tariq Bin-al-Tahar Bin al Falih al-‘Awni al-Harzi.

In the picture from left to right is Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli identified as a senior ISIS official who originally joined Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani a “senior leader and official spokesman”, Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili a battle field commander in northern Syria and Tariq Bin-al-Tahar Bin al Falih al-‘Awni al-Harzi ISIS’s commander for the border region between Turkey and Syria.

State Department says that Tariq Bin-al-Tahar Bin al Falih al-‘Awni al-Harzi, al-Harzi is also believed to be heading the suicide bombing division of ISIS.

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ISIS claim responsibility for US attack Tue, 05 May 2015 10:33:49 +0000 Read the full article...]]> US-shooting (1)Islamic State or Daesh claimed responsibility for the latest attack outside a cartoon contest on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Texas State of the United States.

ISIS’s official radio on Tuesday called the two attackers as their “brothers” and soldiers”.

One of the attackers identified as Elton Simpson had posted an ominous tweet before the attack associating themselves as loyal to “Amirul Momineen”, a name IS now refers to their leader. The tweet also stated “May Allah accept us as mujahideen.”

A soldier was wounded in the attack but Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi were killed in the return fire in Dallas suburb of Garland on Sunday.

The event was hosted by the New York-based American Freedom Defense to offer a prize of $10,000 for the person who draws best picture of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

]]> 0 Gunmen killed outside cartoon contest on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in US Mon, 04 May 2015 03:11:47 +0000 Read the full article...]]> US shootingAt least two people were shot dead in Texas – a state in the southern part of the United States on Sunday evening, the authorities said.

The incident in the Dallas suburb of Garland took place after two armed men opened fire on a security officer outside of a provocative contest for cartoons depictions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

According to reports, a police officer was initially shot by the gunmen at the scene but details were not available on his or her condition.

The two gunmen drove up in a car and began shooting a police officer outside the event led by prominent conservatives who are critical of Islam, according to the officials.

The officials further added that the suspects, who were both armed, were shot and killed after Garland police officers returned fire.

The contest was hosted by the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative that would award $10,000 for the best cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Around 350 drawings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was submitted to the contest which was reportedly attended by about 200 people.

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Russian hackers obtained Obama unclassified emails Sun, 26 Apr 2015 16:59:36 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Obama emails accessed by Russian hackers

Some of President Barack Obama’s emails were accessed by hackers from Russia after they managed to penetrate into the computer system of White House last year.

According to a report by New York Times, the hackers were able to read some of Obama’s unclassified emails in a breach which was significantly more intrusive than originally thought.

The hackers also managed to penetrate into the unclassified system of the US Department of State however they failed to access the closely guarded servers that control the message traffic from Mr Obama’s BlackBerry, which he or an aide carries constantly.

It is yet not clear how many emails were accessed by the hackers but the officials quoted in the report by the Times said some highly sensitive information including schedules, email exchanges with ambassadors and diplomats, and debates about policy and legislation may have also been obtained.

The hacking which reportedly took place in October last year led to a partial shutdown of the White House email system.

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Obama takes responsibility on US and Italian hostages death in drone strike Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:09:45 +0000 Read the full article...]]> obamaThe US President Barack Obama has said he takes full responsibility for the drone strike which led to the loss of lives of American and Italian hostages.

The White House said Thursday that the two hostages were accidentally killed in a drone strike against al Qaeda terrorists near the Durand Line.

The hostages were identified as American Warren Weinstein and Italian national Giovanni Lo Porto who were held by the militants since 2011 and 2012.

The White House said “No words can fully express our regret over this terrible tragedy.”

“Warren and Giovanni were aid workers in Pakistan devoted to improving the lives of the Pakistani people,” Obama said.

He also added “As president and as commander in chief I take full responsibility for all our counterterrorism operations, including the one that inadvertently took the lives of Warren and Giovanni.”

Obama said the mission was “fully consistent” with guidelines for conducting counterterrorism missions in the region and that there had been no information to show that the two hostages were being held in the targeted compound.

An American al Qaeda member, Ahmed Farouq, was killed along with another prominent al Qaeda member and US citizen in the same operation.

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Chile on “red alert” amid huge volcanic eruption Thu, 23 Apr 2015 11:31:19 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ChileA volcanic eruption south of Chile is sending ash and smoke several kilometers into the air, prompting red alert in the country.

The Calbuco volcano is spitting mushroom-shaped cloud of smoke into the sky on the horizon in the Los Lagos region, southern Chile.

Government has announced “red alert” in the country which means that the eruption is a fact and the risk that substantial amounts of ash will end up in the atmosphere is severe which is now visible from about 200 kilometers.
Emergency services fear that the smoke column from the eruption may collapse which can cause a super hot wave of gas and rocks spreading from the volcano can reach a speed of up to 200 to 300 Kilometers per hour.

Evacuation from nearby areas continues and so far around 4,000 people have been shifted to safer locations.

In addition, schools in the area are closed, and the airport located in the area has suspended operations because of much volcanic ash in the air that can endanger aviation.

Chile is second country in the word for having largest chain of volcanoes.

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ISIS threatens to burn America in another 9/11-style attack Mon, 13 Apr 2015 11:14:02 +0000 Read the full article...]]> new isis video warns to burn americaThe Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group has warned to ‘burn America’ in another 9/11-style attack by releasing another propaganda video.

ISIS calls on supporters to attack the US on its own soil in the latest video which is 11 minute long and titled “We will Burn America”.

Featuring several mass beheading including the execution of of U.S. journalist James Foley and the horrific burning of Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh, the video claims the US citizens’ sense of safety is a “mirage”

The subtitles of the video reads “By Allah’s willing, the fear will spread among them again soon. Here it is America now losing billions still to make sure their country is safe. But today, it’s time for payback.”

While showing the footage of the planes hitting the World Trade Centre in September 2001, it is claimed in the video that the militants “are much more stronger and they have more resources (than) before. Thus they are able to burn (the) United States again.”

Other incidents related to the ISIS terrorist group are also featured in the video including the massacre of four civilians and policeman in French and murder of corporal Nathan Cirillo, at Ottawa’s Parliament Hill.

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Unschooled Afghan girl is now one of Canada’s brightest lights Mon, 13 Apr 2015 08:20:59 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Somaya AmiriFrom a miserable life to one of brightest lights of Canada; the story of a teenager Afghan girl who was unable to attend school due to fears of persecution by the Taliban militants but now she is among the 20 Canadian students sent to France to learn more about the First World War battle.

The 17-year-old Somaya Amiri went to Canada in October 2011 unable to speak English and having never attended school.

The decision by her family not to allow her to attend school was mainly due to fears that she could be attacked by the Taliban insurgents.

She is now visiting France to learn more about the First World War battle that saw the Canadian army push back the Germans over four blood-soaked days from April 9 to 12, 1917.

Growing up in war-torn Afghanistan, understandably, she didn’t know much about the First World War, much less Canada’s role in it before a Grade 11 social studies class.

Amiri told The Huffington Post Canada before departing for France “I knew about other wars, like the Soviets, mujaheddin and Taliban, those kind of wars mostly in my area. But not much about World War One or Two.”

“There’s a huge impact when you are affected by war more than when you just learn about it from textbooks. Just living in a country I had to leave because of the consequences of war, there’s a huge difference,” she added.

Amir said she applied for the Vimy Pilgrimage Award because of her background.

“I’m from a war-torn country and it’s really important for me to educate myself and learn what is my responsibility as a leader in this generation. The things that happened in the past feel ongoing,” she said, adding that “A lot of these things are still happening, a lot of hatred is still continuing.”

Amiri was born in Behsud district of central Wardak which is a relatively volatile province in central Afghanistan with instability still persistent. Just this month, 31 members of Amiri’s Hazara community were kidnapped.

“Until you are put in a very tough circumstance you don’t realize how strong you are, how much you can stretch and how diverse experiences make you appreciate what you have now,” she said.

Amiri said “Living in Afghanistan, I was like a whole different person. Coming to Canada, you find different parts of your identity and you learn how to become a stronger person and overcome challenges and hardships.”

She also worked with a school counsellor to apply for a grant to start an adult-free afew months after arriving in Canada – after-school English Welcome Club.

“For me, it was so strange. How is this even possible? In my country you could never do something like that at such a young age. When she suggested it to me, I was just fascinated,” Amiri added.

Amiri was one of 30 students to land a Loran scholarship, a $100,000 award for students who match academic success with service and leadership. The prize can be applied to any university she chooses.

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Mother let new husband rape teen daughter because she wanted another child Tue, 07 Apr 2015 10:07:03 +0000 Read the full article...]]> mistyAn infertile woman has been jailed in the Pennsylvania state of the United States after she got her new husband to repeatedly rape her 15-year-old daughter because she wanted another child.

The 33-year-old woman will serve in the jail for the abuse in which she “coached” the pair on the best positions to conceive, and held her daughter’s hand “the first few times” throughout 2013.

According to the court hearing Machinshok planned to tell friends and family that the teenager got pregnant with a stranger at a house party in their home town of Wilkes-Barre.

She met husband Gary, 29, on a website called Online Booty Call, according to a report by MailOnline.

The man is also accused of abusing the girl’s 11-year-old sister, who is also in foster care, with prosecutor Nancy Violi saying rape came to light when one of the girl’s friends alerted a teacher who called police.

Mr. Machinshok has admitted the abuse of the girl’ sister but he will not be charged over that crime because of a plea deal.

Violi called the crime ‘the most heinous’ she had dealt with in 14 years on the job.

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Facebook in world’s first divorce case Mon, 06 Apr 2015 17:37:31 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Facebook in divorceA US woman has been granted permission by a judge in Manhattan Supreme Court to file for divorce from her elusive husband via a Facebook message.

The 26-year-old woman was named Ellanora Baidoo who is a nurse by profession with the woman’s lawyer saying the ruling was made by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper.

Baidoo’s husband Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku will be served with the divorce summons via a private Facebook message, according to a report by the New York Daily News.

The report further added it will be repeated once a week for three consecutive weeks or until “acknowledged” by Ellanora Baidoo’s hard-to-find husband.

According to Andrew Spinnell, Baidoo’s lawyer, the couple married in 2009 in a civil ceremony but the relationship began to unravel when the defendant reneged on his promise to a traditional Ghanaian wedding ceremony as well.

Blood-Dzraku has only been in touch with his wife via phone and Facebook, the ruling says.

Spinnel said the first Facebook message went out to the husband last week. “So far, he hasn’t responded,” he added.

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Barack Obama says he will still visit Kenya Sun, 05 Apr 2015 08:53:32 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Barack ObamaBeside the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab militant group’s threats of carrying out more deadly attacks like the one that left 147 people killed at Kenay’s Garissa University College on Friday, US President Barack Obama says he will still visit Kenya later this year.

US President Barack Obama while talking on the phone to his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday expressed his condolences over the “heinous terrorist attack”.

Barack Obama says in a statement “Words cannot adequately condemn the terrorist atrocities that took place at Garissa University College, where innocent men and women were brazenly and brutally massacred,”

Barack Obama says he is still visiting Kenya in July for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

Al Shabaab militants on Thursday stormed the campus of Garissa University College in Kenya leaving 147 people killed and 79 others wounded in the attack that lasted for about 13 hours.

Officials said when militants burst into the campus of Garissa University College they separated non-Muslims from Muslims and massacred the non-Muslims.

Al Qaeda-Al Shabaab militants claiming responsibility for the attack said that the attack was in response to Kenya’s military presence in Somalia alongside African Union peacekeepers for fighting against them.

Al Shabaab has warned of waging a long war against Kenya and running its cities “red with blood.”

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American man missing at sea rescued after 66 days Fri, 03 Apr 2015 06:32:09 +0000 Read the full article...]]> louisAn American man whose sailboat damaged at sea 66 days before was rescued on Thursday. The man says he survived by eating raw fishes at sea and drinking rain water.

Louis Jordan went missing at sea 200 miles off North Carolina on January 29 was picked up by a passing ship and airlifted to dry land on Thursday.

A helicopter from the US Coast Guard then airlifted him to a hospital in Norfolk, Virginia for medical care.

Jordan was celebrating his miraculous rescue and told his family that he was catching fishes with his hans from the sea and eating them.

Louis Jordan’s father Frank Jordan told reporters that he did not know what caused the boat to break down but his son was looking in good spirit when he briefly met him.

Frank Jordan said his son was praying the whole time and he had a strong religious believe.

“He told me on the phone that he was praying the whole time, so I believe that sustained him a great deal,” he said.

Norma Davis, Louis Jordan’s mother said it was a miracle for them.

“To us it’s just a miracle. We’re just so thrilled that he was found alive.” she said.

According to the US media reports the sailboat had turned over and Luis, 37, was on it for over two months.

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Mother kills toddler son in US then blames devil for killing Tue, 31 Mar 2015 11:31:00 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Latisha-FisherA mother has killed her toddler son in Midtown New York and later blamed devil for killing.

Police officers said Latisha Fisher, 35, took her 20-months old son Gavriel Ortiz-Fisher to the bathroom of burger bar suffocated him and later blamed devil for killing.

According to the police officers the incident took place yesterday at around 02:25 PM (local time).

Witnesses say a woman walked into the toilet after the queue began to grow longer and customers and employees became concerned. When the woman got into the toilet Fisher, the child’s mother, told the woman that she is putting her son to sleep.

“I put (hand) my over his mouth to put him to sleep.” She told the woman.

Restaurant staff says that is when restaurant workers broke into the toilet to try to save the child but by the time they got in the child was unconscious and rushed to hospital where he later died.

Police say Fisher later blamed devil for the killing.

The Daily Mirror, a British national daily news paper, who has published the report quotes Latisha Fisher’s mother Merial Fisher as saying that it is hard for her to believe. “It’s hard, it’s really unbelievable. I know my daughter loves her son.” Merial Fisher is quoted as saying.

“I don’t know what happened. It’s just so sad. He was such a happy baby.” She adds.

Latisha Fisher who also has another son of 12 years was arrested by security forces and put in jail who is not awaiting charges.

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Obama mistakenly refers to President Ghani as ‘President Karzai’ Wed, 25 Mar 2015 06:59:23 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Obama and Ashraf GhaniThe US President Barack Obama on Tuesday referred to his counterpart Mohammad Ashraf Ghani as ‘President Karzai’ in what is said to be a high-profile slip of the tongue.

President Obama was speaking during a press conference with President Ghani to annouce his plan to slow the drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan.

Gesturing towards President Ghani, Obama said the U.S. will maintain 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through the end of 2015 “in part so that President Karzai – who has taken on the mantle of commander-in-chief in a way that we have not seen in the past from an Afghan president – can do a serious review.”

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s term ended in 2014 following a controversial presidential election which led to the formation of the government of national unity.

Karzai became one of the main critics of the US-led war against terrorism and repeatedly slammed the U.S. for its role in Afghan civilian casualties.

Karzai also refused to sign the bilateral security agreement between Kabul and Washington which was endorsed by majority during a gathering of the tribal elders in late 2013.

He laimed America had attempted to undermine the Afghan government, and even suggested the U.S.-led forces could “leave” the country.

The agreement was signed soon after Ghani took office as the new president of Afghanistan and played a key role to mend the ties between the two nations.

President Ghani has routinely lauded the partnership between Washington and Kabul and thanked American troops and “the American taxpayer” for their role in the reconstruction and stability of the country.

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US investigating fresh ISIS threat Sun, 22 Mar 2015 09:08:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ISUnited States is investigating the fresh threat of the Islamic State or ISIS of killing 100 of its soldiers.

An official from the defense department of the United States has told media on the condition of anonymity that they are looking into the threat.

“I can’t confirm the validity of the information, but we are looking into it.”, he has told media.

ISIS recently posted names and addresses of about a hundred United States soldiers online whom they have threaten to kill for taking part in the operations against the insurgent group.

The information was posted on a website linked to ISIS and the group who has posted the information claims to be the Islamic State Hacking Division.

The group says that they have received the information by hacking servers and databases but officials say most of the data was on public domain.

According to the message the group has asked its supporters in the US to take final steps against those on the list.

The United States is leading a coalition against the Islamic State in which there are around 40 countries. The coalition has been conducting air strikes on ISIS positions in Syria and Iraq.

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Mystery woman voice heard to rescue child: Police Officers Tue, 10 Mar 2015 09:03:05 +0000 Read the full article...]]> accidentPolice officers in the US state of Utah say they heard a soft mysterious voice of a woman calling to rescue the child after the vehicle overturned into the river.

Four police officers have said that when they arrived at the scene they heard mysterious soft sounds of a woman calling to save the child even the mother of the child was dead.

The incident took place Utah State of the United States where the driver of the vehicle who is also the mother of the child accidentally left the road and overturned the vehicle into the Spanish Fork River.

14 hours after the incident, the 18 months old baby girl was found alive in the rear passenger seat but her 25 year old mom Lynn Groesbeck was found dead in the driver’s seat after the vehicle fall into the river.

The baby was taken to Salt Lake City hospital in critical condition but doctors later announced that she was out of danger.

When the crash took place there was no one around so the accident was not reported but the next day a fisherman found the car in the river and informed the authorities.

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Man arrested in the US says he planned to kill President Obama Sat, 07 Mar 2015 05:49:17 +0000 Read the full article...]]> OhioA man who was arrested in January on terrorism charges in the Ohio state of the United States says he planned to kill President Barack Obama.

He has told a local TV channel during his interview from the prison that if he would have not been arrested, he would have gone to Washington to kill President Barack Obama.

“I would have put it to Obama’s head, I would have pulled the trigger, then I would unleash more bullets on the Senate and House of Representative members, and I would have attacked the Israeli embassy and various other buildings.” Christopher Lee Cornell told local TV channel from the prison.

The reason he said was because according to him President Obama wants to wage war against Islamic States “the continued American aggression against our people and the fact that America, specifically President Obama, wants to wage war against Islamic State.” he told the TV channel during the interview, a part of which was aired last night.

He further said in the interview that “They might say I’m a terrorist, but you know we see American troops as terrorists as well, coming to our land, stealing our resources and killing our people, raping our women.”

He also said that they (Islamic State) is everywhere in the United States “We’re here in Ohio. We’re in every state,” he said. “We’re more organized than you think.”

“There will be many, many attacks.” He warned.

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Barack Obama – Road To 2016 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 05:56:37 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Obama and ModiAuthor: S.Mubashir Noor

Pakistan should start praying for a Republican win in the next US Presidential Elections. In his last year or so in charge, President Obama’s priorities are legacy building, and the 2016 Democratic defense of the White House. His snubbing Pakistan on this latest Southeast Asia trip is ominous.

From now till election day, whatever Obama says or does is less about him, and more about how his party wants to run the race. Hillary Clinton is the likely Democratic nominee, and Obama owes her husband Bill his second term in office.

Former President Clinton’s humdinger of a speech, at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, tore the Romney-Ryan ticket to shreds. Afterwards, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos said on CNN, “This convention is done. This will be the moment that probably reelected Barack Obama.”

In an interview with India Today before his visit, Obama gushed about how “the stars are aligned” for both India and the US to become “true global partners.” His tone became solemn however when adding “safe havens within Pakistan are not acceptable and that those behind the Mumbai terrorist attack must face justice.”

Clearly the US now views India as a mature global player, while Pakistan remains the problem child. Obama even compared 9/11 New York to 26/11 Mumbai, citing the commitment of both countries to preserve their way of life. No hats were tipped to acknowledge the thousands of civilian and military casualties in Pakistan, for a war essentially concocted in the Pentagon.

Responding to a White House press conference question about Obama ignoring Pakistan, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes stated “frankly, that’s in the interest of all the three countries.” How is slighting the foot-soldiers in their global war on terror in their best interest, one wonders? That said, how do you ‘do more’ with the morale tank on empty?

Obama’s been on a roll since 2014. After five indifferent years as top dog, he finally got his act together. Oil prices dropped to $2 a gallon for the first time since the 2008 financial crises. Similarly unemployment figures fell below 6%, a full year faster than the GOP’s economic pontiff, Ronald Reagan.

The stock markets also rebounded to post all-time highs, boosting the working American’s nest-egg. With key economic indicators peaking at the right time, the Democrats look good for reelection.

On the foreign policy front, Obama worked two magic acts to help Hillary out. First, he ‘magically’ made Pakistan & Afghanistan start working together to route the Taliban. Two neighbors locked in an endless game of ‘chicken’ somehow saw the bigger picture. Teddy Roosevelt’s ‘big stick’ no doubt proved persuasive.

A Hillary Clinton seriously scarred by the Ben Ghazi blowback, can ill-afford another national security gaffe on her watch. To become President, she needs focus on the Clinton brand, not her failings as Secretary Of State.

Furthermore, Obama ‘magically’ undercut the 2016 Republican dream-ticket, by normalizing relations with Cuba. This firmly puts the Cuban-American voting bloc in the blue column. Coincidentally, 70% of these voters live in Florida, home to both Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio. Both are the GOP’s pride and joy, and neither will have it easy carrying their home state, a litmus test for winning nationwide.

Goodwill from this act is also likely to solidify the national Latino vote. Traditionally Democrat, its the fastest growing demographic in the US due to high birth and migration rates. Hillary needs them to win or compete in three major races; California, Texas and Florida. Obama won Florida by a razor thin margin in 2012, he’s set Hillary up to do better.

If elected, Hillary Clinton, forced to resign as Secretary of State after Ben Ghazi, will be out for blood. Pakistan, accused of serial two-facedness, is the convenient whipping boy. Obama has set her narrative in motion, and a lot more admonishment is in store should she become President.

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Pro-ISIS website claims American hostage Kayla Mueller killed Sun, 08 Feb 2015 04:35:32 +0000 Read the full article...]]> US hostageA Pro-ISIS website claims that Kayla Mueller an American hostage being held in Syria has been killed in a Jordanian airstrike.

The Guardian, a British newspaper quots a Pro-ISIS or IS website as stating that the air strike was conducted in Raqqa city on Friday where rockets hit a compound in which the hostage was being kept.

The Guardian states that a statement has been issued on this website showing pictures of a destroyed building claiming to be the building destroyed in Friday’s airstrike.

Bernadett Meehan, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council told media that they still have not seen proof to support the claim.

Kayla Mueller, 26, an aid worker from Arizona states of the United States was kidnapped in Syrian city of Allepo after leaving a hospital in August 2013.

This airstrike is reported after Jordan’s King Abdullah II vowed harsh response for the burning of his pilot Lieutenant Moath Al-Kasasbeh by ISIS fighters.

He vowed to enhance his country’s role in the ongoing operation against ISIS.

ISIS recently released a video in which a person they are burning is claimed to be the Jordanian pilot Moath Al-Kasasbeh who was captured close to Raqqa city last year.

Lieutenant Moath Al-Kasasbeh was participating in the air operations being conducted against on ISIS positions in Syria when his fighter jet went down, but ISIS claimed they had shot the fighter jet.

After the burning of Al-Kasasbeh, as an apparent revenge Jordanian government executed two ISIS prisoners and four more are said to be executed.

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ISIS warns White House and Obama in new video Wed, 28 Jan 2015 04:52:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> IS ThreatIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in a new video warns White House of reaching there.

This video which is received and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a fighter of ISIS in Arabic language says ” Know, oh Obama, that will reach America, Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House, and transform America into a Muslim Province.”

White house has not commented on the report yet.

ISIS has also warned killing Japanese and Jordanian hostages if Jordan does not free Sajida Al Rishawi held by Jordan government for the past nine years.

Al Rishawi was arrested on suspension involvement in deadly attacks in Amman that left 57 people dead.

She later convicted his involvement in the attack.

ISIS in a video yesterday threatened that Jordanian government has 24 hours to release Al Rishawi in exchange for hostages.

ISIS which controls large areas in Iraq and Syria try to spread to the world.

Yesterday ISIS claimed shaping Khorasan in a video published on twitter by one of the spokesman of ISIS.

They also named a Hafiz as their commander for Khorasan and a Abdul Marouf his assistant.

Khurasaan is the old name of Afghanistan.

Khorasan included parts of Pakistan, Iran and other neighboring countries.

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Facebook website suffered temporary outage Tue, 27 Jan 2015 06:54:26 +0000 Read the full article...]]> facebook-inc-news-feed

Facebook, one of the world’s most popular social networking sites, faced a temporary outage due to unknown reasons on Tuesday.

The website refused to refresh, and multiple attempts led to the error message — “This website is not available.”
This is the second time Facebook is crashing during the past eight months. The site had went down for at least 15 minutes on 19th June last year.

The image sharing platform owned by Facebook – Instagram has also went down. ‘We’re aware of an outage affecting Instagram and are working on a fix. Thank you for your patience,’ Instagram said in a statement.

In the meantime, the service of the Facebook website was restored in about 40 minutes but there were no words regarding the reason that led to the outage.

According to reports, Facebook has about 1.25 billion users and Instagram has about 300 million.

In the meantime, reports suggest that Chat app AIM and dating app Tinder were also hit by the outage.

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Obama vows to hunt terrorists from “Pakistan to the streets of Paris” Wed, 21 Jan 2015 06:14:15 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ObamaThe US President Barack Obama has vowed to to relentlessly hunt down terrorists from “Pakistan to the streets of Paris”.

Speaking during his sixth State of the Union address Obama said “We stand united with people around the world who’ve been targeted by terrorists – from a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris.”

“We will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks,” Obama said, adding that “We reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we’ve done relentlessly since I took office, to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to us and our allies.”

Obama called on Congress to approve new war powers against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group.

He argued that US military leadership in Iraq and Syria is stopping ISIL from advancing, but asked lawmakers “to show the world that we are united in this mission” with a war authorisation vote.

“Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group,” Obama said.

In the meantime, the Republican lawmakers have said they are prepared to work with him to pass such a measure, if he sends a proposal up to Capitol Hill.

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Story of America’s most lethal sniper on screen Tue, 20 Jan 2015 04:20:22 +0000 Read the full article...]]> American sniper

A new Hollywood movie “American Sniper” had the best January opening ever by collecting a massive $90.2 million and receiving six Oscar nominations, including Best Actor and Best Movie.

The war drama directed by Clint Eastwood which is about post-traumatic stress and death and war and sadness and is based on the true story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle who had served four tours in Iraq and was called the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.

Kylye claimed 255 kills over six years, with 160 of them officially confirmed by the Pentagon.

American Sniper stars Bradley Cooper which cuts back and forth between Kyle’s time in the field and his home life with wife Taya (Sienna Miller) and their two children.

Kyle was gunned down at the age of 38 in February 2013 at a shooting range in his native Texas by Eddie Ray Routh, a Marine veteran allegedly suffering from PTSD.

“American Sniper” star Bradley Cooper told FOX News “it became quite a responsibility to tell the story” after Kyle was killed last year at a shooting range in Texas. He also said he hopes the film will provide insight into the lives of soldiers and their families.

“It was a keyhole into that life,” Cooper said. “One thing that we were able to do was explore this man’s life and this woman’s life and their children and their family and in doing so hopefully get just a nugget, a kernel of truth, that people who actually have gone through it and are going through it can relate to it and not feel alone.”

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ISIS (Daesh) hacks Twitter account of US Central Command Mon, 12 Jan 2015 18:20:42 +0000 Read the full article...]]> On-Site-02-GAL

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group has hacked the twitter account of the US Central Command on Monday.

The hacking report was followed after a CENTCOM Twitter feed said “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate continues its CyberJihad.”

A list of Army Generals and adresses associated with was also published through the Twitter account of CENTCOM.

Col. Patrick Ryder, a spokesperson for the US Central Command, has confirmed the compromise and said the military is “taking appropriate measures to address the matter.”

The YouTube account of the US Central Command was also apparently hijacked by the ISIS supporters after pro-ISIS videos were uploaded.

The apparent infiltration came as the US President Barack Obama prepared to outline new proposals on cyber security.

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Pakistani extremist fought to sentence Facebook founder to death Fri, 09 Jan 2015 11:49:35 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Mark-Zuckerberg1The Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Facebook social media Mark Zuckerberg has said that a Pakistani extremist fought to sentence him to death.

In an online statement issued a day after 12 people were shot dead by extremists at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo magazine, Zuckberg said “A few years ago, an extremist in Pakistan fought to have me sentenced to death because Facebook refused to ban content about Mohammed that offended him.”

Charlie Hebdo has in the past published cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, causing furore among the Muslims and its offices were firebombed in 2011. The newspaper has also been poking fun at popes and presidents.

At least two police officers and four cartoonists of the magazine were among those killed following the attack. It is believed the gunmen were angered by irreverent depictions of the Prophet Muhammad of Charlie Hebdo.

In the meantime, Zuckerberg expanded on why Facebook refused to censor content about Prophet Muhammad and said “We stood up for this because different voices — even if they’re sometimes offensive — can make the world a better and more interesting place.”

“Facebook has always been a place where people across the world share their views and ideas. We follow the laws in each country, but we never let one country or group of people dictate what people can share across the world,” he added.

Zuckerberg also added “Yet as I reflect on yesterday’s attack and my own experience with extremism, this is what we all need to reject — a group of extremists trying to silence the voices and opinions of everyone else around the world.”

He promised not to let that happen on Facebook and vowed to build a service where everyone can speak freely without fear of violence.

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US Ex-President H.W. Bush taken to hospital for shortness of breath Wed, 24 Dec 2014 04:43:15 +0000 Read the full article...]]> BushUnited States former president George Herbert Walker Bush was taken to Texas’s Houston hospital late Tuesday after shortness of breath.

Officials say George H. W. Bush 90, was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

H.W. Bush had experienced bronchitis-related cough and other health issues. He was also unable to use his legs.

George H. W. Bush who is the last living president of the United States has served as United State’s 41 presidents from 1989-1993 and succeeded by Ex-president Bill Clinton.

Since 1997 he and President Clinton were involved in Humanitarian activities.

After Bill Clinton, Bush’s eldest son became the 43rd president of the United States.

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US developes first ever self-guiding bullets Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:44:50 +0000 Read the full article...]]> self-guiding bulletAccording to reports, the Teledyne Scientific & Imaging LLC is developing bullets that can change direction after they have been fired.

The .50-caliber bullet is developed under the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program and behest of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The EXACTO program released a new footage of their self-guiding bullets in action after a series of successful tests conducted year.

“The objective of the EXACTO program is to revolutionize rifle accuracy and range by developing the first ever guided small-caliber bullet,” DARPA officials quoted by Stars and Stripes said.

The officiasl further added “The EXACTO .50-caliber round and optical sighting technology expects to greatly extend the day and nighttime range over current state-of-the-art sniper systems.”

How that is done remains a tightly held secret. However, the Tech Generation Magazine, reported that the bullet gathers in-flight information through the optical sensors on the surface of its nose and transmits the data to internal electronic systems responsible for interpretation.

The bullet changes its direction with a series of fins located along it’s exterior with the help of the data.

It has been reported that the bullet has met accuracy standards from a distance of 1.2 miles.

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FY 2015 bill expands fight against IS Sat, 13 Dec 2014 05:49:58 +0000 Read the full article...]]> White HouseLawmakers approved an annual defense policy bill on Friday that authorizes American training for Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting Islamic State rebels and sets overall defense spending at $577 billion, including $64 billion for wars abroad.

The Senate passed the legislation and sent it to President Barack Obama to sign into law. The House of Representatives last week endorsed the measure, which sets defense policy and authorizes spending levels for the 2015 fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, but does not actually appropriate funding.

The bill approves a Pentagon base budget of $496 billion, in line with Obama’s request, plus nearly $64 billion for conflicts abroad including the war in Afghanistan. It also authorizes $17.9 billion for Energy Department nuclear weapons work.

The measure formally endorses the Pentagon’s plan to vet, train and equip a moderate Syrian opposition military force to fight Islamic State rebels, defend the Syrian people and promote conditions for a negotiated end to Syria’s civil war.

The U.S. military program to train and assist Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State militants also was authorized.

The bill takes new steps to control personnel costs, which consume about half the Pentagon budget, essentially approving a year’s worth of proposed long-term reforms but delaying further action until hearing in February from a congressionally appointed commission on military compensation.

The measure increases co-pays on most prescription drugs by $3, reduces the military housing allowance by 1 percentage point and remains silent on military pay hikes, thus allowing the Pentagon to implement a proposed 1 percent raise. In the past, Congress often approved pay raises above levels recommended by the Pentagon but did not do so this year.

The bill rejects a number of Pentagon efforts to retire or curtail weapons systems the department insists it can no longer afford to maintain because of budget cuts intended to trim projected defense spending by nearly $1 trillion over a decade.

The measure bars retirement of the A-10 Warthog close air support plane, beloved by ground troops because of its ability to fly low and destroy enemy tanks. The Air Force wants to retire the fleet to cut costs and retrain maintenance personnel to work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

It also prohibits inactivation of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, a step being studied for budgetary reasons, and authorizes funding to begin an overhaul and refueling of the ship.

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US beefed up security ahead of scheduled release of CIA report Tue, 09 Dec 2014 06:06:45 +0000 Read the full article...]]> White HouseThe US has stepped up security of US facilities around the globe including the embassies ahead of a long-delayed report into the CIA’s interrogation of suspects following the 9/11 attack at world trade center.

The report scheduled to be released, will be the first report put in public about CIA’s use of torture on captives in secret detention facilities in Asia and Europe.

“There are some indications that the release of the report could lead to a greater risk that is posed to US facilities and individuals all around the world,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

He further stated that “The administration has taken the prudent steps to ensure that the proper security precautions are in place at US facilities around the globe,”

The White House, however, did not give a specific time of the release for the report.

The full report which some 6, 200 pages will remain classified but 480-page report scheduled to be released is believed to be covering the treatment of around 100 suspects arrested on terrorism charges by the US operatives between 2001 and 2009.

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World’s oldest two-faced cat dies at the age of 15 Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:36:21 +0000 Read the full article...]]> two faced catThe world’s oldest two-faced cat with a record in Guinness World Records has died at the age of 15 in the United States.

Named Frank and Louie, the cat had two mouths, two noses and three eyes but one brain.

Believed to be the oldest Janus cat in the world, Frank and Louie died due to a cancer. He had made it into the 2012 edition of Guinness World Records as the longest-surviving so-called Janus cat.

Jenus cats almost never survive as they suffer from a rare congenital disorder known as craniofacial duplication.

The cat was adopted by Martha Stevens in 1999 when he was brought into a local vet clinic to be put down where she was told by veterinarian that the cat would die within three or four days.

But the pet survived due to careful nursing. “I tube-fed him until he was three months old because I was afraid he wouldn’t be able to eat,” she told The Telegram of Worcester.

Ms Stevens further added that she would be ready to give another Janus cat a home if one was in need.

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European Parliament voted at Google break up Sat, 29 Nov 2014 05:54:23 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Google to be broken up in EuropeThe European Parliament members have voted that the Google should be broken up, as it favours its own services in search results, BBC reported.

US trade bodies and politicians have expressed their objection and disagreement at the vote.

Google has almost covered 90% of the market share for search in Europe and its rivals have asked Margarethe Vestager, the European Union commissioner who will take the final decision, to investigate the following four areas:

  • The manner in which Google displays its own vertical search services compared with other, competing products
  • How Google copies content from other websites – such as restaurant reviews – to include within its own services
  • The exclusivity Google has to sell advertising around the search terms people use
  • Restrictions on advertisers from moving their online ad campaigns to rival search engines

Many believes that the Commission may not order for the company break-up, as there has never been such an order before.

This comes as Google’s rivals had lodged an anti-competitive case in 2010.

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Canada pledges $500m in development aid to Afghanistan by 2017 Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:33:28 +0000 Read the full article...]]> CanadaThe government of Canada has pledged over $500 million in development to Afghanistan by 2017.

Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Consular of Canada has said the aid would be spent by 2017 in the development sector.

In an interview with The Oslo Times at the ‘High-level Symposium on Women’s Rights in Afghanistan’ in Oslo, Minister Yelich, said Afghanistan is a country of focus for Canada

She said Canada is among the lead donors of the Independent Afghan Human Rights Commission and insisted that women’s rights remains at the core of Canadian efforts in Afghanistan.

“When it comes to the United Nations policies we are focused on the implementation of the resolution 1325, in an effort to eliminate violence against women,” Minister Yelich added.

She also added “Just today we want to invest and we are investing over $6 million on the National Democratic Institute. This money is for those who are trying to have a fair election and in an effort to increase women participation in elections.

Whether we are talking about members of parliament fulfilling their mandate in accordance to women participation criterion or providing necessary resources for women in parliament, these are places where this budget can be used.”

she also hailed the national unity government under the leadership of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and CEO Dr. Abdullah Abdullah for their commitment to make sure that women’s rights are considered and to recognize the important role that women can and do play in the social, political and economic spheres.

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Canadian FM strongly condemns suicide attack in Paktika province Mon, 24 Nov 2014 09:24:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]> John BairdThe Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird condemned a suicide attack which targeted a volleyball match in eastern Paktika province on Sunday.

“Canada condemns in the strongest terms the suicide attack that took place at a volleyball match in eastern Afghanistan, reportedly killing dozens of people and injuring scores more,” Foreign Minister John Baird said following a statement.

He said “On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my deepest sympathies to the victims’ families and friends, and wish a swift recovery to those injured.”

“This heinous attack was clearly meant to target innocent civilians who had gathered to watch the sporting event. Afghan civilians continue to bear the devastating impact of this ongoing campaign of terror,” Baird added.

He also added “Canada stands by the Government of Afghanistan as it strengthens its efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms in order to bring peace and prosperity to all Afghans.”

The incident took place around 4:30 pm local time in Yahya Khel district after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a gathering attended by hundreds of match spectators.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

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Obama’s $858 billion tax-cut plan heads to the House Thu, 16 Dec 2010 07:00:39 +0000 Read the full article...]]> (Reuters) – A deal that President Barack Obama struck with Republicans to extend tax cuts for nearly every working American and spur job growth moves to the U.S. House of Representatives for passage as early as Thursday.

Many of Obama’s fellow Democrats in that chamber strongly oppose the measure as favoring the wealthy, and are still angry with him for cutting the deal with Republicans without them.

“We have a situation where we have a proposal before us that gives 6,600 families in America $25 billion and holds the rest of the provisions in the bill, (such as) low-income tax cuts, hostage to that blackmail,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday, referring to a provision on the estate tax.

Still, most analysts believe the deal, which has already received overwhelming bipartisan approval in the Senate, will pass the House with substantial backing from Republicans and some Democrats.

The legislation would extend for two years income tax cuts enacted under Republican former President George W. Bush, with Democrats backing off their earlier fervent opposition to extending the cuts for the richest Americans. The Bush-era cuts are due to expire at the end of 2010 unless Congress acts.

The measure would also prevent a spike in taxes on capital gains and dividends, renew long-term unemployment insurance and provide new tax relief for students, working families and businesses.

House Democrats are becoming more resigned to passage of the $858 billion package. Experts predict the measures will probably boost economic growth but add to the $1.3 trillion budget deficit, which has unsettled the bond market.

Most of the 255 House Democrats may oppose the overall tax package, but it is expected to be approved with overwhelming support among the chamber’s 179 Republicans.


Obama on Wednesday called on the House to approve the bill “as soon as possible” to avoid tax increases across the board in January.

Many economists predict the tax package could add up to 1 percentage point to economic expansion next year, due partly to a one-year cut in the payroll tax and removal of uncertainty about taxes in general.

Obama’s current position on taxes contrasts sharply with his position earlier this year when he and his fellow Democrats fought against renewing tax reductions for the wealthiest Americans — those with household incomes above $250,000 — while supporting continued cuts for middle-class taxpayers.

At the time, they said that with budget deficits at record levels, the United States could not afford to give the tax breaks to the wealthiest.

But with Republicans drawing a line in the sand on the issue and scoring major victories in November 2 congressional elections — taking control of the House and making gains in the Senate — Obama acquiesced on tax cuts for upper-income Americans.

Democrats did win their desired extension of unemployment benefits, which were expiring for millions of people shut out of jobs in the lackluster economy.

Particularly irksome to Democrats is a provision raising the exemption threshold for the estate tax from $3.5 million in 2009 to $5 million, and cutting the estate tax rate from 45 percent to 35 percent.

Democrats will likely try to change the tax bill with an amendment on the estate tax, though Representative Earl Pomeroy, the Democrat sponsor of a steeper estate tax proposal, told Reuters it was “unclear” if such a vote would pass.

He said Democrats will try because “some things are worth fighting for.” He then noted: “I will say this. … People want to get home and you know sometimes, heading to the gate is a pretty powerful impetus to pass packages.”

(Reporting by Kim Dixon; editing by Todd Eastham)

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Richard Holbrooke, veteran US diplomat, dies Tue, 14 Dec 2010 04:22:03 +0000 Read the full article...]]> (BBC) – Veteran US diplomat Richard Holbrooke has died following a second round of surgery to treat a torn aorta.

He fell ill on Friday while meeting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

He was President Barack Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The presidents of both nations had called to wish him well, prior to his death.

Mr Obama called the 69-year-old, who was known for bringing warring leaders to the negotiating table, a “true giant of American foreign policy”.

Mr Holbrooke was meeting Ms Clinton at the US state department on Friday morning when he collapsed.

He was rushed to the US capital’s George Washington University Hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair a tear in his aorta – the largest artery in the human body, which carries oxygenated blood from the heart.

Mr Holbrooke’s death comes as the Obama administration prepares to make public its latest review of US policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan later this week.

‘Foreign policy giant’

Following the news of his death, Mr Obama said: “Michelle and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Richard Holbrooke, a true giant of American foreign policy who has made America stronger, safer and more respected.

“He was a truly unique figure who will be remembered for his tireless diplomacy, love of country, and pursuit of peace.”

Ms Clinton also paid tribute to Mr Holbrooke’s service, saying the US had lost “one of its fiercest champions and most dedicated public servants”.

“He was one of a kind – a true statesman – and that makes his passing all the more painful,” she said in a statement.

Beginning with a foreign service posting in Vietnam in 1962, the veteran diplomat served under every Democratic president from John F Kennedy to Mr Obama.

But it was his role in Europe, helping bring to an end the war in Bosnia, that solidified his reputation as an important figure in foreign policy.

Nicknamed “the Bulldozer”, the veteran diplomat once said he had no qualms about “negotiating with people who do immoral things”, if it served efforts for peace.

“He’s a bulldog for the globe,” United Nations Foundation president Tim Wirth once said.

Mr Holbrooke was named by Mr Obama as his special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan shortly after the president took office in January 2009.

Since moving into that position under the Obama administration, he had led the difficult task of pushing Kabul and Islamabad to work together against al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.

Mr Holbrooke, a New York City native, also served as the US ambassador to the United Nations and to Germany, as well as the assistant secretary of state.

BBC diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall says Mr Holbrooke was famous for his blunt speaking behind the scenes, despite his handshakes and careful courtesy in public.

Never afraid to bulldoze his way to a solution, our correspondent says, he got them all, Serb, Croat and Bosnian, to sign an accord in 1995.

“He was a remarkable man, a remarkable public servant and someone who contributed enormously to the cause of a more peaceful and just world,” said former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Analysts had said the veteran diplomat could one day serve as a future secretary of state.

Mr Holbrooke’s deputy, Frank Ruggiero, is expected to stand in for him in the interim.

Source: BBC News

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Gates says Afghan strategy works Thu, 09 Dec 2010 06:15:18 +0000 Read the full article...]]> (BBC) – US Defence Secretary Robert Gates says he is “convinced” that the US strategy in Afghanistan is working.

After visiting US bases in Afghanistan over two days, Mr Gates said the goal of pulling American troops out of major combat roles by 2014 could be met.

He admitted that Nato and Afghan forces were suffering more casualties but said the security situation had improved.

US President Barack Obama has set July 2011 as the date to begin withdrawing forces from Afghanistan.

But the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, has said that he might advise President Obama to delay the exit plan.

“I will go back convinced that our strategy is working and that we will be able to achieve key goals set out by President Barack Obama last year,” Mr Gates told a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on Wednesday.

“The bottom line is that in the last 12 months we’ve come a long way, making progress that even just in the last few months has exceeded my expectations,” he added.

Mr Gates said that coalition and Afghan forces were suffering more casualties “but there is no denying that the security climate is improving”.

“The sacrifices of Afghan and coalition troops are achieving greater safety and security for both our nations,” he added.

Support for the war in Afghanistan is waning in the US and other troop-contributing countries as the death toll continues to rise.

The number of foreign troops killed since the 2001 invasion is reported to have passed 2,000.

Source: BBC

]]> 0 US criticises Wikileaks release Mon, 29 Nov 2010 11:06:55 +0000 Read the full article...]]> (BBC) – The US has strongly criticised the release by the website Wikileaks of thousands of extracts from US diplomatic messages.

Among the revelations is a report Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah urged the US to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, said the US authorities were afraid of being held to account.

But the White House said the release was “reckless” and put the lives of diplomats and others at risk.

One Republican congressman called for Wikileaks to be designated a terrorist organisation.

Peter King, a member of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, said the latest release “manifests Mr Assange’s purposeful intent to damage not only our national interests in fighting the war on terror, but also undermines the very safety of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan”.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s foreign ministry condemned what it called “the irresponsible disclosure of sensitive official documents”.

The US Department of Defence says it is making its computer systems more secure to prevent future leaks.

Computer hacking

Wikileaks has only posted some 200 of the 251,287 messages it says it has obtained. However, the entire bundle of cables has been made available to five publications, including the New York Times and the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

The leaked cables by US diplomats posted overseas contain blunt appraisals of their host governments, and unflattering pen portraits of world leaders.

US officials are said to have described Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as feckless, vain and ineffective, sharing a close relationship with “alpha dog” Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is said to be thin-skinned and authoritarian, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is described as risk-averse.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is referred to as “extremely weak” and susceptible to conspiracy theories.

One US diplomat was said to be shocked at the “rude behaviour” of the British queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, when abroad.

Meanwhile, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya always travels with a “voluptuous blonde” Ukrainian nurse, according to one of the cables.

Concerns aired include the security of Pakistani nuclear material that could fall into the wrong hands, allowing militants to make an atomic weapon.The widespread use of computer hacking by China’s government is also reported.

Other issues reportedly covered in the cables are:

  • Iranian attempts to adapt North Korean rockets for use as long-range missiles
  • Corruption in Afghanistan with concerns heightened when a senior official was found to be carrying more than $52m (£33m) in cash on a foreign trip
  • Bargaining to empty the Guantanamo Bay prison camp – including Slovenian diplomats being told to take in a freed prisoner to secure a meeting with President Barack Obama
  • Germany being warned in 2007 not to enforce arrest warrants for CIA officers involved in an operation in which an innocent German citizen with the same name as a suspected militant was abducted and held in Afghanistan
  • US officials being instructed to spy on the UN leadership by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
  • Alleged links between the Russian government and organised crime
  • Yemen’s president talking to General David Petraeus (while he was responsible for US military operations in Central Asia and the Middle East as head of US Central Command) about attacks on Yemeni al-Qaeda bases and saying: “We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours”
  • Faltering US attempts to prevent Syria from supplying arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon

Shedding light on wars?

The leaked embassy cables are both contemporary and historical, and include a 1989 note from a US diplomat in Panama City musing about the options open to Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega and referring to him as “a master of survival” – the author apparently had no idea that US forces would invade a week later and arrest Noriega.

In a statement, the White House said: “Such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government.

“President Obama supports responsible, accountable, and open government at home and around the world, but this reckless and dangerous action runs counter to that goal.”

A former state department official told the BBC the leaked messages were unlikely to affect relations with US allies.

“No wikileak is going to fundamentally or in any deterministic way alter the relationship that the United States has with any of its allies in the Middle East or elsewhere,” said the ex-diplomat, Aaron Miller.

No-one has been charged with passing the diplomatic files to the website but suspicion has fallen on US Army private Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst arrested in Iraq in June and charged over an earlier leak of classified US documents to Mr Assange’s organisation.

The cables release was the third mass Wikileaks release of classified documents since it published 77,000 secret US files on the Afghan conflict in July, and 400,000 documents about the Iraq war in October.

Wikileaks argues the release of the documents has shed light on the wars, including allegations of torture and reports that suggest 15,000 additional civilian deaths in Iraq.

Source: BBC

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Obama receives 12 stitches to lip Sat, 27 Nov 2010 05:14:23 +0000 Read the full article...]]> (BBC) – President Obama was treated in the White House doctor’s office following the game at Fort McNair

US President Barack Obama has been given 12 stitches after he was hit in the lip during a basketball game.

Mr Obama was inadvertently struck by someone’s elbow during the game on Friday morning, the White House said.

The US president was treated in the doctor’s office of the White House following the game at Fort McNair, in Washington DC.

Later, Mr Obama was seen at the White House holding what appeared to be an ice pack to his lip.

“After being inadvertently hit with an opposing player’s elbow in the lip … the president received 12 stitches today, administered by the White House Medical Unit,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

Mr Obama was given a local anaesthetic while receiving the stitches, he added.

“The medical unit that treated Obama used a smaller filament than typically used, which increases the number of stitches but makes a tighter stitch and results in a smaller scar,” added Mr Gibbs.

Mr Obama was playing basketball with his personal aide Reggie Love – who played basketball for Duke University – and other members of his family on what is the thanksgiving holiday in United States.

He was photographed in a grey T-shirt and jogging bottoms leaving the basketball facility, holding his bottom lip.

A few hours later, reporters who had gathered on the White House driveway for the arrival of the Christmas Tree saw the president in an upstairs window, pressing what appeared to be a cold compress against his mouth.

The president has been a long time player of the sport, and has even been seen to take to the court with Cabinet members.

Source: BBC News

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US nuclear transport agents seen ‘in drunken incidents’ Tue, 23 Nov 2010 08:11:16 +0000 Read the full article...]]> (BBC) – US agents who drive nuclear weapons around the country were involved in 16 alcohol-related incidents in two years, the energy department has said.

One was arrested for public drunkenness and two were held after an incident at a bar while on overnight missions.

The incidents “indicate a potential vulnerability in [a] critical national security mission”, an energy department report said.

A spokesman noted agents had never had a fatal accident or radiation leak.

Extended missions

In a newly released report, the Department of Energy’s inspector general’s office said it had launched an investigation after hearing complaints of alcohol abuse among agents in the Office of Secure Transportation (OST).

OST agents drive nuclear weapons, weapons components and nuclear materials around the country, and are trained to defend the shipments from attack and sabotage.

Investigators discovered 16 “alcohol-related incidents” from 2007 to 2009. Two flagged up as especially worrisome occurred while the agents were on “secure extended missions”, during which the convoy vehicles are secured overnight en route and the agents check into hotels.

The Office of Secure Transportation has about 600 trained security agents.

In 2007, investigators found, an agent was arrested for public intoxication; in 2009, two were handcuffed and held by police “after an incident at a local bar”.

“OST management took what appeared to be appropriate action in these cases,” investigators wrote. “However, in our judgment, alcohol incidents such as these, as infrequent as they may be, indicate a potential vulnerability in OST’s critical national security mission.”

Investigators declined to make formal recommendations.

“[The] Office of Secure Transportation maintains a highly trained, highly professional force that has safely and securely transported nuclear materials more than 100 million miles (161 million km) without a single fatal accident or any release of radiation,” said Damien LaVera, a spokesman for the energy department’s National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA).

“Of hundreds of agents, the report identifies just two cases involving NNSA personnel being intoxicated while on overnight stops during official missions.”

The NNSA stressed that there had been no instances of agents drunk-driving while on duty.

Source: BBC News

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US Concerned Over Haqqani Network Activities Fri, 12 Nov 2010 08:20:30 +0000 Read the full article...]]> The US is concerned over the activities of Haqqani network in Afghanistan, the US senator John McCain said at a press conference in Kabul on Wednesday

The United States republican Senator John McCain along with 3 American senators arrived to the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday and met with the Afghan president Hamid Karzai.

Mr McCain said he will also talk with Pakistani authorities about the activities of Haqqani network and that Afghanistan should not turn into a safe haven for terrorists.

“We are also concerned about the fact that the Haqqani network continues to operate with impunity and we will be going to Pakistan and raising that issue with Pakistani leadership, including Gen. Kayani,” senator McCain said.

Mr McCain once again emphasised that the United States was concerned over widespread corruption in Afghanistan and is doing its best to have achievements in fight against administrative corruption.

“We are concerned with continuing corruption at all levels of government. We know that without addressing this issue, that long term success is jeopardised,” he added.

These senators said that US will not withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by 2011, but it will make the decision based on the conditions on the ground.

“Every time I come back here is I am troubled by the extent to which the July 2011 date is misunderstood or whatever. The withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan is based on the conditions on the ground. We are not going anywhere until the job is done,” the US senator, Joseph Lieberman told reporters.

The American senators also talked with the Afghan president Hamid Karzai about the withdrawal date of the US forces from Afghanistan and other related issues.

The senators also participated in Veterans Day ceremony held in the US embassy in Kabul on Thursday morning.

The Veterans Day is an annual United States holiday in which military veterans are honoured.
Source: Tolo News

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US new jobs figure beats expectations Sun, 07 Nov 2010 10:17:21 +0000 Read the full article...]]> (BBC) – The US unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.6% in October, but 151,000 jobs were created, the Labor Department has said.

The new jobs figure is much higher than analysts had expected amidst the sluggish recovery of the economy.

But the unemployment rate has now been at the current level for three months.

US President Barack Obama called the increase in jobs “encouraging news”, adding that there was still much more to be done.

“I am open to any idea, any proposal, any way we can get the economy growing faster so that people who need work can find it faster,” he said.

The US Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday it would pump $600bn (£373bn) into the US economy to boost the speed of recovery.

High unemployment was named as one of the reasons for the intervention.

The October unemployment rate itself was in line with Wall Street forecasts.

“We still have the unemployment rate steady so this isn’t going to affect the Fed thinking too much at this point,” said economist Sean Incremona at 4Cast Ltd in New York.

Private sector gains

The net gain of 151,000 jobs was the first increase since May.

US stock index futures surged on the announcement, while the dollar strengthened against the euro and yen.

There were 41,000 jobs shed in September, according to revised figures.

The private sector added 159,000 jobs in October, while the state cut 8,000 positions.

Since the beginning of the year, 874,000 new jobs were created in the US, after huge job losses in 2008 and 2009.

“This month’s data is one of the rare months since the recession in which employment growth has been strong enough to keep pace with population growth,” said Owen James, an economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

The Republican Party, which took control of the House of Representatives in Tuesday’s congressional elections, was helped by voters’ anger over high unemployment.

Nearly 15 million people are registered as unemployed and the lack of jobs was a key issue for many voters who punished President Obama’s Democrats.

Source: BBC

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Mexico Gulf drug cartel leader Ezequiel Cardenas killed Sat, 06 Nov 2010 05:01:01 +0000 Read the full article...]]> (BBC) – A leader of Mexico’s powerful Gulf drug cartel has been shot dead by security forces in a town near the US border, the Mexican military says.

Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, known as “Tony Tormenta”, was killed in the city of Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville in Texas.

He is the brother of former Gulf cartel leader Osiel Cardenas, who was extradited to the US in 2007.

Residents in Matamoros spoke of a shoot-out lasting for several hours.

Three suspected gunmen and two marines were also killed in the gun battle, according to federal security spokesman Alejandro Poire.

Cardenas, 48, had been indicted in the US on drugs charges, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration was offering a reward of up to $5m for his arrest.

He was accused of smuggling tonnes of drugs across the US/Mexico border in the course of the past decade.

Friday’s operation involved several hundred Mexican soldiers and marines, and local residents were trapped in shops and schools for extended periods.

Bridges across the international border into Texas were closed briefly, as the military used firearms and grenades to tackle suspected cartel members.

Lucrative routes

The Mexican police and army are struggling to control armed cartels in a number of areas of the country.

Several groups are trying to control lucrative drug smuggling routes into the US.

More than 28,000 people have died in the drugs war since Mexican President Felipe Calderon ordered the army into the fight in 2006.

The policy has had some successes, but that has not led to a decline in the number of killings, or the level of kidnappings, extortion and human trafficking that the gangs also engage in
Source: BBC

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US Expands its Embassy in Afghanistan Thu, 04 Nov 2010 11:36:04 +0000 Read the full article...]]> The US ambassador in Kabul said expansion of the US embassy to some Afghan provinces will cost $511 million which “is an indication for a long term commitment”

Karl Eikenberry, the US Ambassador to Afghanistan said the extension of the US Embassy will be beneficial ensuring security, and improving economy in the country.

Expansion of the US embassy is included the construction of consulates in Kabul, Herat and Balkh provinces and it is believed that the projects will provide job opportunities for more than 600 Afghans.

A funding of $40 million is allocated to Afghan construction companies to run the projects.

Mr Eikenberry said the need for expansion of the US embassy in Afghanistan is the long-term commitment of the US government to Afghanistan.

“Now although United States embassy projects by law anywhere in the world must be awarded to the United States contractors,” He said. “It’s estimated that these projects will infuse over $150 million into the local economy right here in Kabul through the employment of local Afghan workers and sub-contractors to the purchase of local materials which we put a priority on.”

He said that the construction of US embassy consulates in Kabul, Herat and northern Balkh provinces has begun.

He said: “Let me conclude by just saying this, it is very substantial the United Sates’ investment and construction in its Kabul embassy here, in the Mazar and Herat consulates, is an indication as I said at the start is an action, is a deed, that you can take as a long-term commitment of the United States government to the government of Afghanistan.”

The projects will be ready for use until summer of 2014, he said.
Source: Tolo News

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