1 INDEX QATAR REGION ARAB WORLD 2 6, , COMMENT 26, 27 BUSINESS 1 7, CLASSIFIED 8 16 SPORTS 1 12 BUSINESS Page 1 INTERNATIONAL GULF Doha Bank imports record gold SPORT Page 1 Bolt, Gatlin flex muscles ahead of blockbuster clash 16, % TIMESLatest Figures DOW JONES QE NYMEX 11, % SUNDAY Vol. XXXVI No August 23, 2015 Dhul-Qa da 8, 1436 AH www. gulf-times.com 2 Riyals % published in QATAR since 1978 In brief ARAB WORLD Crisis Over 50 killed in Syria missile strikes At least 50 bodies were retrieved from buildings levelled to the ground after Syrian army missiles hit residential areas in the rebelheld northeast of Damascus yesterday, rescue workers They said more bodies were believed to be under the rubble of buildings occupied by dozens of families in the city of Douma, about 15km northeast of Damascus, with dozens of victims taken to field hospitals, many seriously wounded. Rescue workers said 20 bodies were identified. A further 32 victims remained unidentified. Page 12 BRITAIN Accident Seven dead as jet crashes at air show A jet aircraft ploughed into several cars on a busy road near an air show in southern England yesterday, killing at least seven people, police The vintage Hawker Hunter fighter jet crashed onto the A27 road, close to an airport in Shoreham where the air show was taking place, near the south coast city of Brighton. All those who died were on the road at the time of the crash, police said, adding that it was possible more bodies might be found overnight and today. The pilot is in a serious condition in hospital. Page 17 AFGHANISTAN Unrest Kabul car bomb claims 12 lives At least 12 people including three US civilian contractors were killed yesterday when a suicide car bomber struck a Nato convoy, officials said, underlining the precarious security situation in the Afghan capital. The Taliban denied responsibility for the blast, which struck outside a civilian hospital in Kabul following a wave of fatal bombings earlier this month that rattled the city. The piercing explosion in a crowded residential neighbourhood reverberated around Kabul and left a trail of devastation. Page 23 EAST ASIA Military Koreas agree second round of crisis talks North and South Korea agreed to a second round of talks today after marathon, night-long negotiations fell short of resolving a crisis that has pushed them to the brink of armed conflict. The two sides called a recess in the early hours of the morning after nearly 10 hours of discussions and agreed to meet again at 3pm to narrow down differences, said South Korea s presidential spokesman Min Kyung- Wook. Page 16 A man holds two children after crossing Greece s border into Macedonia near Gevgelija, yesterday. Thousands of migrants stormed across Macedonia s border. Refugees break into Macedonia as crisis deepens Police and army sealed border on Thursday; fired tear gas and stun grenades to drive crowds back Gevgelija, Macedonia Thousands of migrants stormed across Macedonia s border yesterday, overwhelming security forces who threw stun grenades and lashed out with batons in what became a futile bid to stem their flow through the Balkans to western Europe. Some had spent days in the open with little or no access to food or water after Macedonia on Thursday declared a state of emergency and sealed its borders to migrants, many of them refugees from war in Syria and other conflicts in the Middle East. By nightfall, just a couple of hundred people remained in a rainsoaked no-man s land. Riot police were also present, but some migrants appeared to simply stroll over the border to a hoard of buses that had Italian navy rescues 3,000 migrants The Italian navy rescued 3,000 migrants aboard more than a dozen boats in the Mediterranean yesterday after receiving requests for help from 22 vessels, the coast guard Operations are continuing and it is still unclear where the people will be taken, a spokesman Europe is struggling to cope with record arrived at the town of Gevgelija. There was no official word that Macedonia had abandoned its bid to keep them out, with authorities saying they would continue to enforce a regime of rationed access despite the even greater pace of arrivals from the other side in Greece. In this Europe, animals are sleeping in beds and we sleep in the rain, said 23-year-old Syrian woman Fatima Hamido on entering Macedonia. I was freezing for four days in the rain, with nothing to eat. Thirty-two-year-old Saeed from Syria said of the blocked border: We know this was not Macedonia and the Macedonian police. This was the European Union. Please tell Brussels we are coming, no matter what. Migrants had been pouring across the border into Macedonia at a rate of some 2,000 per day, en route to Serbia then Hungary and Europe s Schengen zone. Some 50,000 arrived on Greek shores in July alone by boat from Turkey. The surge in numbers had overwhelmed Gevgelija, testing the patience influx of refugees as migrants flee war in Middle Eastern countries such as Syria. The Mediterranean has become the world s most deadly crossing point for migrants. More than 2,300 people have died this year in attempts to reach Europe by boat, according to the International Organisation for Migration. Page 18 of a conservative government that faces an election in April and has for years been thwarted in its efforts to join the European Union and Nato by a dispute with Greece over Macedonia s name. The government lashed out at Greece, as an EU member, for letting the migrants through and in some cases aiding their passage by chartering ships to take them from inundated Greek islands to the mainland. On Friday, riot police fired tear gas and stun grenades to drive back angry crowds, in the latest flare-up in a migration crisis that has brought ripples from the conflicts of the Middle East to Europe s shores. Some 600 were allowed through overnight, squeezing onto a dawn train north to the Serbian border. But more kept arriving on the Greek side, converging on a filthy, chaotic strip of frontier with little sign of an organised aid effort. Some Greeks sold sandwiches and drinks to those prepared to pay. A man with a generator charged 1.5 euros to charge mobile phones. Tired, angry and wet, one part of the crowd pushed through police lines, while others ran through open fields several kilometres from the bulk of police. Some small children were separated from their parents; people collapsed or staggered across with bloodied faces. For many Macedonians, the crisis has echoes of 1999, when hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians took shelter in refugee camps on Macedonia s northern border during a war in neighbouring Kosovo, then a province of Serbia. India-Pakistan peace talks collapse hours before start New Delhi/Islamabad Peace talks between India and Pakistan collapsed yesterday hours before they were scheduled to start, as the two countries were unable to overcome deep-rooted mutual mistrust. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan s Nawaz Sharif agreed to the talks when they met in Russia last month. But the countries failed at the last minute to agree the agenda for the meeting of their national security advisers (NSAs), due to start today, with Pakistan accusing India of imposing preconditions. Pakistan pulled out after India s foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, said the talks would not take place if Pakistan s NSA Sartaj Aziz did not drop plans to meet separatists from the disputed region of Kashmir. Swaraj also said India would only discuss terrorism-related issues, whereas Pakistan wanted a wider agenda that would, among other things, discuss the Kashmir question. Pakistan said talks cannot be held on the basis of the preconditions set by India. We have come to the conclusion that the proposed NSA level talks between the two countries would not serve any purpose, Pakistan s foreign ministry said in a statement. It is not reasonable for India to now assume the right to decide unilaterally that from now onwards, other issues will be discussed after terrorism has been discussed and eliminated. Earlier yesterday, Aziz said that by setting conditions India had virtually cancelled the talks. India called Pakistan s decision unfortunate. New Delhi has for years accused Pakistan of backing separatists in India s part of Kashmir. Pakistan denies the allegations. In August last year, India called off planned meetings between the countries foreign secretaries. The prospects of the long-awaited talks had been clouded in recent weeks by a series of militant attacks and border skirmishes. Swaraj said there has been 91 ceasefire violations since the meeting between the premiers. But the divergence of talking points was one of the main stumbling blocks: Indian official sources had said they wanted to provide proof that militants were getting support from over its western border, while Pakistan wanted the talks to be broader and include issues on Kashmir. Aziz said he was planning to present India s NSA Ajit Doval three dossiers on what he called the Indian intelligence wing s involvement in promoting terrorism in Pakistan. Pakistan earlier said it was never expecting the talks to lead to any breakthrough and the purpose was only to reduce tensions between the neighbours. Pages 20, 23 Hollande thanks Obama over US train heroes Paris French President Francois Hollande on Saturday offered his "heartfelt thanks" to his US counterpart Barack Obama for the "exemplary conduct" shown by three US citizens who overpowered a suspected militant gunman on a packed Amsterdam-Paris train, the Elysee Their actions helped prevent "an extremely serious" incident, Hollande's office said in a statement. The two presidents, speaking by phone late yesterday afternoon, "renewed their determination to work together to fight against violence and terrorism on all fronts," it added. Hollande will greet the train heroes at the Elysee Palace tomorrow morning, a source close to his office Armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, an automatic pistol, nine cartridge clips and a box-cutter, the attacker opened fire on board a highspeed Thalys train just after it crossed from Belgium into northern France on Friday evening. But the attack was quickly stopped when two off-duty US servicemen and their friend charged the gunman and restrained him. A British passenger also assisted in subduing the man. Meanwhile, Obama called the three Americans and congratulated them on their "extraordinary bravery," the White House Spencer Stone, Aleksander Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler tackled, disarmed and subdued the assailant. Page 19 Medical Commission services at new workers clinic soon By Joseph Varghese Staff Reporter Workers waiting for treatment at the new health centre yesterday. The Medical Commission services at the new Workers Health Centre at Mesaimeer, will be operational from next month, Gulf Times has learnt. There is a separate building for the Medical Commission behind the Workers Health Centre, which had a soft opening yesterday. The Medical Commission services include X-ray and blood test. The official opening of the Workers Health Centre is expected to be held later. Since the workers clinic at Fereej Abdul Aziz in Doha closed, we started today. The Supreme Council of Health (SCH) and the Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) will hold a special ceremony later to officially inaugurate the centre, an official The Workers Health Centre has about 150 medical staff including doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff. The facility is being jointly operated by the SCH and the QRC. A large number of workers were seen waiting for the services at the centre right from early morning. Situated near the Religious Complex and beside the Barwa apartment complex at Mesaimeer, the Workers Health Centre is a very spacious one with arrangements for treatment under several specialties. There are 20 special clinics within the Workers Health Centre for treating various diseases as well as a 24x7 emergency clinic. The facility will be working in two shifts. Over 40 doctors are available at the clinic daily. More than 80 male nurses are employed in the clinic daily, in addition to the other paramedical staff. The official also told that the Workers Health Centre will have all the facilities provided by the health centres under the Primary Health Care Corporation. In addition, ambulance services will be provided by the Hamad Medical Corporation. An SCH official had earlier disclosed that the Workers Health Centre will be able to treat about 32,000 workers a month. The health centre is established as part of a plan to open five workers health centres across the country and QRC had entered into an agreement with SCH to operate all of them for workers.
2 2 QATAR Ashghal delivers 22 new schools to SEC DI gets ready for first batch of students QNA Doha The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has delivered 22 schools and 11 kindergartens in Doha and the suburbs to the Supreme Education Council in preparation for the academic year. Ashghal President Engineer Nasser Ali al-mawlawi toured the new buildings of Omar Bin Al Khattab Independent School for boys, one of the schools that have been handed over to the Supreme Education Council (SEC). The president was accompanied by Engineer Lahdan Saqr al-mohannadi, Director of Buildings Affairs and Engineer Abdulhakim al-hashemi, head of Educational Projects Section along with the Buildings Affairs staff. On the occasion, Engineer al- Mawlawi said: We are pleased to deliver this new set of schools and kindergartens to the SEC before the start of the new academic year to receive students. We are also proud that the authority is annually handing over educational facilities before the start of every academic year. He added that the authority handed over 21 schools and kindergartens to the SEC at the beginning of the academic year and 20 educational facilities at the beginning of the academic year, in addition to schools that have been handed over in previous years. Engineer al-mawlawi added: The delivery of educational facilities in accordance with the Ashghal President Engineer Nasser Ali al-mawlawi, accompanied by other Ashghal and school staff, tours the Omar Bin Al Khattab Independent School for boys. schedules and required specifications is a testament to the concerted efforts, co-operation and continuous co-ordination between the Public Works Authority and the SEC to provide educational infrastructure and contribute to the development of this important sector to serve the citizens and residents The total cost of the new batch of schools exceeded QR1.6bn. Speaking about the designs and specifications of the new educational facilities, Engineer Lahdan Saqr al-mohannadi, Director of Buildings Affairs and Manager of Buildings Design Department commented: The designs, specifications and construction of schools is given great significance by the state and its leaders, as the State of Qatar attaches great importance to developing its education sector. The School Director, Hasan Ajran Albouainain said: The new school building as well as the equipment and the availability of halls and outdoor spaces dedicated to academic, research and even leisure activities will have a significant impact on the students performance and this is our goal. He added: In the addition to the building s location which is a rather large residential area, the school is characterised by the availability of large service areas and parking spots, which can accommodate a large number of staff, parents and guardians. Additionally, the school meets all educational regulations for safety and security which in turn promotes a stimulating and safe learning environment. The construction of these educational facilities follows the standard design model for schools. The standard type of schools comprises of 25 classrooms to accommodate about 650 students, as well as various facilities including science, languages and IT laboratories, as well as sports and art halls, multipurpose halls, gyms, libraries and classrooms in addition to external spaces such as shaded parking spaces, playgrounds and services buildings. The kindergartens will have 12 classrooms to accommodate 240 children, shaded playing and activity areas, music, languages and computer rooms, in addition to a library, classrooms and external spaces comprising shaded parking spaces, green areas and services buildings. The Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (DI) is finalising the preparations to receive its first group of master s students this October. The logistical, administrative, and academic units at the Doha Institute, in collaboration with the admissions office, have finalised preparations and procedures necessary to launch the academic year , said Dr Hend al-muftah, vice president for Administration and Finance at DI. Dr al-muftah also said that the preparations include organising a number of events and orientations to guide the new students and brief them with all the information to start the academic year. These activities are aimed to offer the best services to the students and are based on specific foundations, programmes, and dates to facilitate a smooth and effective process of joining the Institute, she The Admissions Office at DI had announced student acceptances for the academic year , including 28 Qatari nationals who will be joining 9 academic programmes at DI s School of Social Sciences and Humanities and the School of Public Administration and Development Economics. The DI had received 903 applications from across the Arab world, around 125 of which were extended offers of admissions.currently, a total of 42 students were accepted at the School of Public Administration and Development Economics, and 83 at the School of Social Sciences and Humanities. The DI attracted students with outstanding academic record from universities from across the Arab world, said Dr al-muftah. Selections were made according to an applicant s exceptional undergraduate record, mastery of both the Arabic and English languages and expected contributions to society upon graduation. She also said that more than 40 university professors in various disciplines have joined the DI. The DI has attracted an elite group of academics and researchers from some of the best universities in the world, she Call for applications for the academic year will be announced during the first semester of study Designated as a not-forprofit, private institution, the DI is operated exclusively for educational, research and public service purposes. It was founded in 2014, as an autonomous legal entity, by the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies. It is licensed as a national institution of higher education by the Supreme Education Council of Qatar. Programmes of study will be offered at the master s degree level in its two schools of School of Social Sciences and Humanities and School of Public Administration and Development Economics.
3 QATAR 3 Al Jaber Opticians raffle draw winners Five grand winners and 10 cash back winners were selected by Al Jaber Opticians at a raffle draw at its City Center Doha branch. The event was officiated by Ministry of Economy and Commerce s department controller Jassim. Al Jaber s top management team and employees were present. All the prizes shall be claimed from Al Jaber Opticians City Center Doha branch (phone number or ). The list of winners is available on Al Jaber Opticians Facebook page. Commercial Bank announces more summer loan campaign winners Commercial Bank has announced the 11th pair of winners of its summer campaign, offering customers the best deals for personal, vehicle and mortgage loans. Obaid Zakir Hussain and Nourhan Nabil Mohamed Elhusseiny, the winners, had entered the weekly prize draw by taking a personal loan from Commercial Bank. They each won travel vouchers worth QR15,000 to spend however they choose and to any destination they desire, the bank said in a statement. There have been two winners every week throughout the campaign, with customers participating in it by taking a personal, vehicle or mortgage loan during the campaign period. During Commercial Bank s summer loan campaign, customers enjoyed personal loans with repayment rates as low as 3.99% reducing interest rate (equivalent to 2.15% flat interest rate), vehicle loans as low as 1.99% flat interest rate (equivalent to 3.69% reducing interest rate) and mortgage loans with repayment rates starting from just 3.99% reducing interest rate (equivalent to 2.15% flat interest rate), the statement noted. All these loans came with the added benefits of a payment holiday up to six months for Qataris and up to three months for expatriates, same-day approvals and dedicated banking support 24 hours a day. Dean Proctor, EGM chief consumer and private banking, said: Commercial Bank continues to offer exceptional value for its customers. To give our customers even more benefits over the summer months, we offered two customers the chance to win travel vouchers worth QR15,000 every week until the end of this campaign. I would like to pass on my congratulations to the campaign winners.
4 4 QATAR Toyota Camry vehicles recalled Qatar-Turkey relations hailed The Ministry of Economy and Commerce has announced a free recall campaign of Toyota Camry vehicles made during to upgrade the smart stop system, which slows down the vehicle gradually towards a complete stop while pressing the brake pedal continuously notwithstanding whether the accelerator pedal is stuck or not. The campaign is jointly conducted in co-ordination with Abdallah Abdulghani and Bros Company, the authorised distributor of Toyota vehicles in Qatar. The Minister of National Defence of Turkey, Vecdi Gonul, visited the Qatari embassy in Ankara yesterday, in response to an invitation by Qatar s ambassador to Turkey, Salem bin Mubarak al- Shafi. During the visit, the Turkish Minister hailed the advanced level of bilateral relations between Qatar and Turkey, praising the positive role played by the State of Qatar in dealing with regional developments. Talks during the meeting also dealt with bilateral relations. Students during the field trip to Souq Waqif. NU-Q course offers high school pupils insight into media Local high school students graduated from the Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) Summer Media Programme this month, offering budding local media enthusiasts an overview of journalism, advertising and public relations, with an emphasis on culture, politics and sport. Students took part in an activity filled schedule that offered live experiences in breaking news and crisis communications challenges, learning how to speak at a press conference, a field trip to Souq Waqif, as well as writing and editing a 1,000- word feature article. The Programme, now in its sixth year, is a unique opportunity for young people interested in a career in media, or simply those desiring a better understanding of how media works through first-hand experience using popular digital platforms. We saw a great response for this year s Programme, particularly from young Qataris that made up more than half of the class, said NU-Q dean and CEO Everette E Dennis. This year s class presented some extraordinary work exploring topical issues such as gender gaps in the workforce and challenges in audience attendance at Qatar sporting events. The two-week course offered 25 high school students valuable exposure to the inner workings of media and communication fields. This year, two guest speakers from Al Jazeera spoke to students, including NU-Q alumna Amna al-saadi who described her journey to journalism, including how her time spent at the 2010 Summer Media Programme and her four years at NU-Q helped her to achieve her goals and prepare her for the work place. Hasan Patel, senior executive of communications also described the importance the Communications and PR department, answering questions and giving students valuable insight into his role within the global news agency.
6 6 QATAR HMC offers internship for newly qualified nurses Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has introduced a programme that is helping newly qualified nurses make the transition from the classroom to the clinical environment. The HMC Preceptored Internship Programme supports newly graduated nurses from the University of Calgary-Qatar (UCQ) by helping them successfully move from university to the professional world. Preceptorships are short-term relationships between new graduates, known as interns, and experienced nurses who have completed a specialised programme that supports them in creating a safe learning environment to practise theory, clinical skills and decision making. As interns make the transition from student to staff nurse, role modelling and reflective practice are used to encourage and enhance learning and professional development. The 12-month programme is helping new graduates develop practical nursing knowledge and clinical competences. Jacqueline Sullivan, director of nursing (Education) at HMC, says: The intern programme promotes communication and leadership skills resulting in independence and confidence in the workplace. Nurse educators and preceptors are working collaboratively with interns to strengthen their clinical skills and enhance their application of critical thinking to nursing practice. Each month, new graduates enrolled in the programme attend lectures to assist them in developing the skills and competencies to translate scientific evidence learned in the university setting into general practice and clinical decision making. Jamila Hassan, a staff nurse at Hamad General Hospital s Paediatric Medical Day Unit, is a graduate of UCQ s bachelor of nursing programme and is currently enrolled in the HMC Preceptored Internship Programme. She says the programme is a unique opportunity to apply the theory learned in the classroom to real-world nursing experiences with patients. The internship at HMC has been really effective in helping us transition from the educational to the professional environment, which requires a lot more responsibility and autonomy. The professional environment is not as controlled as the educational one and this programme provides the opportunity to have handson experience with patients who have various requirements which we must manage, said Hassan. The programme is part of HMC s commitment to delivering the safest, most effective and most compassionate care to each and every patient and is helping new graduates successfully make the transition to the work setting through greater preparation and more realistic expectations. Jamila Hassan Ooredoo, Vodafone launch Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus Intertec Galaxy Note 5 launch event Ooredoo and Vodafone simultaneously launched in the Qatar market yesterday the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. Both companies are offering the Galaxy Note 5 32GB for QR2,799 (in gold and black for Ooredoo) and the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus 32GB for QR3,099. Vodafone said the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus 64GB will retail at QR3,399. The Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and Galaxy Note 5 is expected to deliver a host of new features, including a faster charging time (full charge within 90 minutes), advanced video options such as video collage and 4K video recording, and a slimmer, sleeker design. Designed with the most advanced S Pen on the market and next-level wireless charging technology, the Galaxy Note5 is set to raise productivity to new heights, while the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus delivers the ultimate multimedia experience. Ooredoo, an official partner of Samsung phones in Qatar, said the new devices are available now in Qatar at Ooredoo shops and on its online store, the Ooredoo eshop. Customers looking to purchase a Samsung Galaxy Note5 or a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus can check Vodafone s eshop through note5 to get updates on the sales of the phablets. To take advantage of the company s 4G+ network, Ooredoo said it is offering a free 15GB data card to all customers who purchase one of the devices. This is the latest in a surge of device launches for Ooredoo in 2015, as we continue to expand our portfolio and offer a range of devices that excel using Ooredoo s SuperNet, the telecom network According to Vodafone, the company will be offering customers its Vodafone Advantage, which translates to fantastic data offers, worry-free data transfer, and unmatched trade up services with the purchase of Galaxy Note5 and Samsung S6 Edge Plus. The newly-launched Samsung Galaxy Note5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. For data, Vodafone postpaid customers will get 15GB of free data per month for three months, while Vodafone prepaid customers will get 6GB of free data for three months. For data transfer, Vodafone will assist all customers to transfer their contacts, videos, and photos from their old phone to their new phablet for free through Vodafone Red Box. Furthermore, customers trading their old handsets with a new Galaxy Note5 or Galaxy S6 Edge Plus will enjoy great value for their old phone and receive an instant discount, Vodafone With a 5.7 screen, the Galaxy Note5 is the latest addition to a category that Samsung pioneered in 2011 with the original Galaxy Note, the large-screen phone. On the new Note, the large Quad HD Super Amoled screen is the window to an unparalleled set of productivity tools such as SideSync, along with much refined S Pen capabilities to better serve the major multitasker. According to Vodafone, it is also preparing to launch the devices at its retail stores in Villaggio Mall, Landmark Mall, City Center Mall, Lulu, Msheireb, Al Nasr, Al-Gharrafah, Al Fourusiyah, Al Wakrah, The Pearl, Ezdan Mall, Al Shafi, and Old Airport. Full details of Ooredoo s plans, pricing, and offers are available at For more information on Samsung, visit com/ae. Customers can also check prices of the latest device launches at Intertec Group, the authorised distributor of Samsung mobiles and tablets has officially introduced the Galaxy Note 5 in Qatar Market. Key accounts manager Nilabh Singh, retail manager Deepak Jayaram, group marketing assistant manager Midhun Joseph and showroom sales crew attended the function in Al Nasr showroom on Thursday. The launch as well as the first sale ceremony took place at all Intertec outlets in Qatar on the same day. Qatar National Library to hold Back to School event Qatar National Library (QNL), member of Qatar Foundation is organising an open event for children aged 4 to 11 years and their families to mark the beginning of the academic year. The Back to School event will take place on August 27 at the Education City Clubhouse from 4pm to 6pm, and will include many activities to develop the children s abilities and unleash their creativity through storytelling, arts, crafts, and much more. QNL is inviting all families in Qatar to participate in this event, which is part of Qatar Foundation s mission to foster an engaged, progressive society. By sharing valuable information and cultivating creativity, QNL continues to support Qatar Foundation s commitment to unlock human potential for future generations, said Gihan Mohsen Baraka, head of Library Relations and Communications at QNL. It does this by providing access to a wealth of resources through its exceptional selection of online databases, regular training programmes, and social engagement initiatives. The aim of this Back to School event is to bring together the children of Qatar and give them an opportunity to develop their creative abilities and skills with their families, said Carol Mitchell, head of Children s Services at QNL. They will get to learn new arts and crafts, including creating their own personalised pencil cases, and listen to exciting stories and songs. We believe education should be fun and that is what this event is about. This is QNL s first Back to School event and one of many other social events taking place at Education City that QNL organises and participates in year-round to spread knowledge, nurture imagination, cultivate creativity, and preserve the nation s heritage for the future. In addition to organising and partnering in local community events, QNL also participates in regional initiatives, programmes, and international exhibitions and conferences. The local community events include monthly book discussion events, online databases trainings, lectures, and children s events. QNL recognises that children are the leaders of the future. They need to be equipped with the necessary resources, knowledge, and skills to preserve the nation s heritage, while driving their community into the future. Therefore, QNL provides access to a wealth of digital resources for young people through its children and teen collections. Free access is available by registering at
8 8 REGION Dozens dead in battle for Yemen city A spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross says violence in Taez on Friday killed 80 people Sanaa Dozens of people, mostly civilians, have been killed in fighting and air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen s rebel-held third city Taez, seen as the gateway to recapturing the capital. Backed by the coalition, loyalists of exiled President Abd- Rabbu Mansour Hadi have recently made sweeping advances against the Iran-backed Shia rebels known as Houthis. They retook the southern port and second city Aden last month, and have seized four additional southern provinces in their advance towards Taez, some 330km south of Sanaa. But as combat raged in Taez, the loyalists were hit by a different foe in Aden. Al Qaeda fighters suspected of having entered the city several weeks ago were blamed for blowing up a building used by the secret police. They were also said to have taken up positions in several strategic parts of the Tawahi district, where the bombing took place. Rima Kamal, spokeswoman in Yemen for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said violence in Taez on Friday had killed 80 people. My colleague was told that by noon yesterday, there were 50 killed; in the evening it went up to 80. These are figures we are receiving from various sides, she Doctors Without Borders said on Friday that 65 civilians had been killed and several wounded in bombing runs in Taez s Salah neighbourhood. The rebel-controlled Saba news agency said the raids had killed 63 civilians and wounded 50. Taez has been the scene of fighting for months, but clashes intensified in mid-august as the loyalists pushed north after consolidating gains in the south. Kamal said yesterday that civilians are suffering on multiple fronts. There was an overwhelming number of civilians killed yesterday. She said shelling and clashes were ongoing, with residents saying fighting around a presidential palace in Taez had killed three civilians. In Aden, a bomb destroyed the secret police headquarters early yesterday, residents said, in an attack one official blamed on Al Qaeda. The four-storey building in Tawahi collapsed under the force of the blast, which was heard across the city. The official said the attack, which caused no casualties, was carried out by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He claimed AQAP militants had entered Aden just two weeks after it was retaken from the rebels on July 17. These elements have since (the start of) August destroyed or removed secret police files in Aden, the official Security sources said they had also taken up positions at four buildings in Tawahi but had not set up checkpoints or begun patrolling. These included a building belonging to the navy, another to the intelligence service, a presidential residence and the Gold Mohur hotel. Loyalist forces control the city s air and sea ports, as well as security headquarters, but their remit further afield is limited because so many police have fled Aden. General Ali Nasser al-akhsha, an aide to the interior minister, said the extremists are beginning to appear in the open, but we are going to clear them out as quickly as possible. Elsewhere, a Saudi Apache helicopter crashed, killing both pilots, in the Jazan region on the border with Yemen, the coalition said yesterday On Friday night, the Houthis said they had shot down an Apache in the same area. A handout picture released by the official website of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shows him and Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan (centre) during the Defence Industry Day ceremony to unveil the surface-to-surface Fateh 313 missile yesterday in Tehran. Iran unveils a new missile, says strength key to peace Agencies Tehran Iran s President Hassan Rouhani unveiled the country s latest domestically produced surface to surface missile yesterday, saying such weapons are necessary for defence in the Middle East. The Fateh (Winner) 313 ballistic missile has a 500km range and features more advanced sensors and technology, according to Sepah News, the website of Iran s powerful Revolutionary Guards. It was rolled out little more than a month after Iran and world powers concluded a deal that requires Iran to curb key parts of its nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of economic sanctions. The missile was displayed as part of Defence Industry Day, an annual event that showcases Iran s hardware. A weak country incapable of confronting and defending against the military power of its neighbours and enemies cannot claim to seek peace, the president said in a televised speech, citing the need for diplomacy and military efforts to stand side by side. Iran s strategy is based on defence and deterrence. The first line is diplomats and the second line is generals. Diplomats should be backed by generals. If they fail, it is the generals turn to come forward. Several versions of the Fateh missile have been produced in the past few years. The 313 model has been successfully tested and is scheduled for mass production, the Sepah News report Iran s ballistic missile programme was a contentious issue in the talks that led to the nuclear deal in Vienna on July 14. To ensure a lifting of sanctions Iran must implement changes to its atomic activities and guarantee they are for energy and medical purposes. Iran has always denied seeking a nuclear bomb. However critics of the nuclear deal in Tehran said that a recent UN resolution regarding missiles, albeit a non-binding measure, placed unacceptable curbs on Iran s military capabilities. The latest UN Security Council resolution adopting the nuclear agreement bars Iran from owning missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads. It also stipulates that transfer to Iran of ballistic missile technology during the next eight years will be subject to the approval of the council. The US has said it would veto such requests. Iran has one of the largest missile programmes in the Middle East. In our aerospace industry we have various ballistic missiles with different ranges under production, Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan said on Friday. Tehran slams US threats of military action Agencies Tehran The fevered partisanship of US politics is damaging the country s foreign policy, Iran said yesterday, hitting out at threats of military action against it should nuclear diplomacy ultimately fail. The comments in Tehran came after US President Barack Obama said in a letter that all options remain on the table against Iran. Iran and six world powers led by the US struck a deal last month on Tehran s disputed nuclear programme but it is undergoing a bruising review in Congress and has yet to be implemented. Political partisanship and competition have taken US foreign policy hostage, foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said, calling Obama s remarks repetitive and baseless. Iran, Britain won t appoint ambassadors Iran and Britain will not exchange ambassadors for now despite the reopening of their respective embassies, Tehran said yesterday. British and Iranian sources said on Thursday that British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond will visit Iran to reopen its embassy in Tehran today, four years after it was closed following attacks by protesters. Even after the reopening of the embassies, they will be run by managers, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht Ravanchi told the Isna news agency. The embassy managing directors, who since 2011 have been working from their respective home countries, are now on the ground again ahead of the reopening, with some issues still to clear up, including compensation payments to Britain. London has decided to reopen its Tehran embassy following last month s agreement between Iran and six world powers to restrict Iran s nuclear activities in return for the lifting of economic sanctions and the ending of diplomatic isolation. These claims are showing the uncertainty and depth of confusion of American officials in determining their national interests, Afkham said, according to the official Irna news agency. The US president said in a letter to Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat who has announced his support for the deal, that the agreement is good for America, Israel and the Middle East in general. We have a wide array of unilateral and multilateral responses that we can employ if Iran fails to meets its commitments, Obama All of the options available to the United States including the military option will remain available through the life of the deal and beyond, he added. Israel, which Iran does not recognise as a state, has been the biggest opponent of the nuclear deal, claiming that it paves the way to Tehran obtaining a nuclear bomb. Obama has said the deal does precisely the opposite, and Iran denies seeking an atomic weapon. If Congress chooses to reject the deal, Obama will still be able to veto the move as long as Republicans fail to obtain a two thirds majority against it. Iran recently shot down a surveillance drone on its western border, the state news agency said yesterday, without specifying the nationality of the aircraft. After spotting the drone, our air defence system missiles shot it down, Farzad Fereidooni, commander of an anti-aircraft system in Kermanshah province was quoted as saying by Irna. Asked if it belonged to the United States, a spokesman for US Central Command said: The Department of Defence can confirm all of its remotely piloted aircraft are accounted for. In recent years, Iran has downed US surveillance drones and what it claimed to be an Israeli spy drone.
10 10 ARAB WORLD Beirut trash protest turns violent Demonstrators try to pull down barricades in an attempt to storm parliament and security forces retaliate with teargas and water cannons Beirut At least 16 people were injured yesterday when clashes erupted in central Beirut between Lebanese security forces and demonstrators calling for a solution to weeks of uncollected rubbish. Thousands of protesters rallied to protest against the government s inability to clean up the capital and other parts of Lebanon where the streets are overflowing with rubbish. Organised by the You Stink campaign, the demonstrators gathered in Riad al-solh Square near the parliament building and chanted slogans against the government and political leaders. Some protesters threw water bottles and firecrackers at security forces who had set up barricades and barbed-wire to prevent people from approaching parliament, an photographer Demonstrators tried to pull down the barricades in an attempt to storm parliament and security forces retaliated with teargas and water cannons. Some protesters were also beaten with batons. There are now at least 16 people who are wounded in total, a Red Cross official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. He could not specify how many were in critical condition or what types of injuries they had sustained. Earlier, Red Cross spokesman Iyad Munzer said at least one person was in a critical condition, and that ambulances were responding to reports of more injured. In an online statement, Lebanon s Internal Security Forces said more than 35 ISF members and a number of protesters were wounded during the dispersal of the protest. Shots were heard in the city centre, but it was not immediately clear if this was live fire, blanks, or rubber bullets. Most of the protesters left when the demonstrations turned violent, the photographer said, but hundreds regrouped in central Beirut and continued chanting. Protest leader and activist Assaad Thebian, speaking to Lebanon s LBC news network, called on protesters to remain in Beirut s central Martyrs Square until five demonstrators who had been arrested were released. In comments to the Al Jadeed television network, Interior Minister Nuhad Mashnuq said he had ordered security forces to hold their fire. He pledged that those who had fired on protesters would be held accountable. The You Stink campaign has staged several protests calling for a comprehensive solution to the waste problem which erupted after Lebanon s largest landfill closed on July 17. Since then, some municipalities have collected rubbish but then disposed of it at illegal dump sites. Security forces clash with protesters following a demonstration organised by the You Stink campaign against the ongoing trash crisis in Beirut yesterday. Two Fatah members killed in Lebanon refugee camp clashes Ain al-hilweh Two people were killed and 15 wounded in fierce clashes yesterday at Lebanon s largest refugee camp near the southern port of Sidon, Palestinian officials and medics The fighting in Ain al-hilweh involved Islamist militants and members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas s Fatah movement. Two members of Fatah were killed and six other members were wounded in the fighting, a Fatah official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Local medical sources said 15 people both civilians and fighters had been wounded, some critically. A Palestinian security official said the fighting erupted when Islamist militants shot at Abu Ashraf Armoushi, a Fatah military official, as he attended a funeral. The fighting turned into street battles, with Ain al-hilweh s narrow alleyways ringing to the sound of gunfire and rockets. The clashes took place mostly near the camp s northern entrance, and dozens of fearful families fled to mosques in nearby Sidon. By early evening, the warring sides had agreed to a fragile ceasefire, another Palestinian official Residents flee Ain al-hilweh due to the clashes yesterday. The impoverished Ain al-hilweh has gained notoriety as a refuge for extremists and fugitives and for the settling of scores between factions. By long-standing convention, the army does not enter the Palestinian refugee camps, leaving the factions themselves to handle security. Yesterday, Lebanese soldiers called in reinforcements and tightened security around the camp s four main entrances, allowing in only ambulances. Tensions between Islamists and Fatah have risen in recent months in Ain al-hilweh. In July, two people were killed in clashes between the two sides. More than 450,000 Palestinians are registered in Lebanon with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees. Most live in squalid conditions in the country s 12 official refugee camps. Abbas quits as head of PLO s top body Ramallah Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas resigned yesterday as head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation s executive committee in a bid to force new elections for the top body, an official Wassel Abu Yussef said that more than half of the 18-member committee had also stepped down. The resignation of the president of the executive committee Mahmoud Abbas and more than half of its members has created a legal vacuum, and therefore the Palestine National Council has been asked to meet in one month to elect a new executive committee, Yussef Yussef added, however, that the resignations will take effect only when the PNC meets. The PNC, or Palestinian parliament, has 740 members who live in the Palestinian territories and in the diaspora. It has not met in nearly 20 years. The executive committee is the PLO s highest decision-making body and acts on behalf of Palestinians in the occupied territories and the diaspora, Abbas chairs a PLO executive committee meeting in Ramallah yesterday. namely in the peace process with Israel. In 1993, Abbas, then executive committee secretary general, signed the Oslo autonomy accords on behalf of the Palestinians. Yussef said that before the resignations were announced, the executive committee elected chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat as its secretary general. That move came after Abbas suspended another key member, Yasser Abed Rabbo, as secretary general. It was not immediately clear why Abed Rabbo, a veteran PLO figure, had been sidelined.
12 12 ARAB WORLD Egypt court sentences top Islamists to life in jail A member of the Syrian Red Crescent searches for victims in the rebel-held area of Douma, east of Damascus, following shelling and air raids by Syrian government forces yesterday. New regime attacks kill civilians near Damascus The Syrian Revolution General Commission, an activist group, says women and children were among those killed Beirut Shelling and air raids by Syrian government forces killed at least 20 civilians and wounded or trapped 200 yesterday in rebel-held Douma east of Damascus, a monitoring group The latest deaths came just six days after regime air strikes killed more than 100 people, sparking international condemnation of one of the bloodiest government attacks in Syria s war. At least 20 civilians were killed in the heavy shelling and air attacks since (Saturday) morning on Douma, said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. He said around 200 more were either wounded or still trapped under rubble, and that the death toll was expected to rise. The Syrian Revolution General Commission, an activist group that publishes daily updates on the country s conflict, said women and children were among those killed. Wounded and dead are still being removed from under the rubble, the SRGC said in an e- mailed statement. The Local Co-ordination Committees activist network said yesterday s bombardment struck four adjacent buildings. Photographs published online by a local activist group called the Douma Co-ordination Committee depicted a young, bloodied child being carried across a field of concrete rubble. In the pictures, volunteers searched through crumbling buildings, some missing entire walls, hoping to find survivors. A child caked with blood and dust lay in a field clinic, his eyes half-open as a medic tended to him. By early evening yesterday, the group also began publishing the names and pictures of the dead on Facebook. Douma is part of the rebelheld Eastern Ghouta area, which is regularly targeted by regime shelling and bombardment and has been under a suffocating siege for nearly two years. Yesterday, government air strikes also hit the Eastern Ghouta town of Harasta, where troops loyal to embattled President Bashar al-assad were clashing with Islamist rebels, the Britain-based Observatory Syria s national news agency Sana said shelling by terrorists near Harasta had wounded four people. It said takfiri terrorists were based in Douma and Harasta. The government refers to all groups opposed to it as terrorists. According to Abdel Rahman, Eastern Ghouta is the largest and most important rebel bastion near Damascus. It is largely controlled by the powerful Jaish al-islam rebel group, but Al Qaeda s Syrian affiliate, Al Nusra Front, also has a presence there. Last Sunday, at least 117 people mostly civilians were killed in government air raids on Douma, the Observatory Their deaths were denounced by global powers as well as rights groups, which lambasted the Assad regime s indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Human Rights Watch urged the United Nations to impose an arms embargo on the Syrian government after last Sunday s attacks, which the rights group said demonstrated the regime s appalling disregard for civilians. But Damascus has insisted it is waging war against terrorism, with Foreign Minister Walid Muallem defending last week s attacks. He said many of the terrorists use civilians as human shields, so what is claimed about massacres in Douma or elsewhere is fabricated news. The deaths in Eastern Ghouta come two years after a chemical weapons attack on the area killed hundreds of people and was largely blamed on the government. Also yesterday, the family of celebrated archaeologist Khaled al-assaad, who was executed by the extremist Islamic State group earlier this week, fled to safety from the ancient city of Palmyra. Syrian antiquities head Mamoun Abdulkarim said Assaad s wife and three sons including the current director of antiquities in Palmyra, Walid al-assaad reached the government-held city of Homs yesterday. Cairo Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and several other prominent Islamists were sentenced to life in prison yesterday for murder and inciting violence, judicial sources said, part of an ongoing crackdown on the outlawed group. Badie has faced numerous trials and has accumulated two death sentences and five sentences to life in prison in separate cases, which still may be appealed. Yesterday s sentencing related to an attack on a police station in the city of Port Said in 2013 in which five people were killed. The attack was part of a wave of violence that swept across Egypt after the army removed elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi from power in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule. Senior Brotherhood leader Mohamed El-Beltagy, Islamist cleric Safwat Hegazy, and 16 others were also sentenced to life in prison, 28 to ten years in prison and 68 acquitted. Another 76 people were given life sentences in absentia. Charges ranged from murder and inciting violence to stealing weapons and destruction of public and private property. After hearing their sentences, the defendants defiantly flashed the four-finger Rabaa sign synonymous with the Brotherhood s 2013 sit-ins and chanted down with military rule from inside a cage in the courtroom. Since deposing Mursi, the authorities have held mass trials for thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, with hundreds receiving death sentences or lengthy prison terms. Mursi was sentenced to death in June over a mass jailbreak in This has drawn criticism from activists and rights groups at home and abroad. The Egyptian government says the judiciary is independent and that it never intervenes in its work. The government deems the Brotherhood a terrorist group. The Brotherhood, Egypt s oldest opposition movement dating back decades, says it remains committed to peaceful activism. President Abdel Fattah al-sisi approved an anti-terrorism law this month that sets up special courts. Human rights groups say the law uses security threats as a pretext to curtail political freedoms won in a 2011 uprising. Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie stands behind bars during the sentencing in Cairo yesterday. Syrian woman gets journalism award Washington A Syrian-based journalist who has trained citizen reporters in the war-ravaged country has been named the recipient of the 2015 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism, organisers said yesterday. The prize from Reporters Without Borders and Agence France-Presse was awarded to Zaina Erhaim, who lives and works in Aleppo, Syria. Over the last two years, Erhaim has trained about 100 citizen reporters from inside Syria, approximately a third of them women, in print and TV journalism, and helped establish new, independent newspapers and magazines in the country. The 30-year-old Erhaim is also the Erhaim: honoured Syria project co-ordinator for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), an international organisation that supports journalists in countries undergoing conflict, crisis or transition. The work of some of her students has been published in major international news outlets. Zaina Erhaim is a force multiplier of journalistic values in a country torn by violence and irrationality, said Camille Mackler, the Peter Mackler Award s project director. We salute her courage, upholding professional ethics and bringing them to the service of those left to write history. David Millikin, s director for North America, said Erhaim embodies the ideals which the Peter Mackler Award was created to honour. He added that Erhaim has done extraordinary work both in training local residents and journalists who have become nearly the only first-hand source of news on the Syrian conflict and in supporting Syrian women living under siege. With the award, we pay tribute to the courage of those in Syria who fight for the freedom of information, added Delphine Halgand, director of Reporters Without Borders USA. Sudan conflicts will end in 2016: Bashir Khartoum President Omar Hassan al-bashir said on Friday that conflicts roiling Sudan s Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions would end in 2016, the day after he offered rebels a two-month ceasefire to join a national dialogue. Bashir, who is wanted on war crimes charges related to the conflict in Darfur, has been pressing efforts to launch a national dialogue he announced last January to address Sudan s myriad problems. The year 2016, God willing, will be the end of the insurgency and the security problems in Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur, Bashir said at a meeting of the shura council of his ruling National Congress Party. Khartoum has been battling rebels in Darfur since 2003, and the Sudan People s Liberation Army- North (SPLA-N) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile since In his speech, Bashir said that the insurgency in Darfur has ended and that the remnants were sheltering in Libya and South Sudan, an allegation Sudanese officials have made previously.
13 AFRICA 13 Somalia blasts kill at least 18 Agencies Mogadishu At least 18 people were killed in Somalia yesterday in two bomb attacks carried out by suspected Shebaab militants in the south of the country and the capital Mogadishu, officials In the first attack, a suicide bomber drove a vehicle laden with explosives into a base on the outskirts of the southern city of Kismayo, where African Union peacekeepers from Kenya as well as Somali government soldiers are stationed. In a second attack late yesterday, at least four civilians died when a car bomb went off near a police station in Mogadishu, officials A minibus loaded with explosives was detonated inside the training part of the military camp, Mohamed Abisalad, a Somali military official in Kismayo, Fourteen soldiers were confirmed dead and more than 20 wounded, he added. Witnesses said the wounded soldiers were admitted to Kismayo s main hospital. Eyewitness Adan Hussein also said at least 10 soldiers died in the attack. In the Mogadishu attack, police official Abdullah Osoble said four people were killed and at least 10 others were wounded when a car bomb went off near a police station and also a settlement used by displaced persons. The Al Qaeda-affiliated Shebaab said it carried out the Kismayo attack, and said the death toll was significantly higher than reported claiming that 100 apostate militia, the term it uses for Somali government troops, died. The Shebaab said in a statement the attack was carried out by one of the brave Mujahedeen suicide attackers who drove his vehicle through the enemy inside a training camp and detonated. The Islamists are fighting to overthrow the internationallybacked government in Mogadishu. Shebaab has lost control of most of it territories to African Union troops in recent years but has stepped up attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere. A woman walks past the scene of the car bomb attack in Mogadishu yesterday. Plans agreed for combined force against Boko Haram N Djamena Military chiefs from the Lake Chad region have finalised details of the deployment of a joint force to fight Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram, designating three command posts in Nigeria and Cameroon, military sources said yesterday. At a two-day meeting in N Djamena, which concluded late on Friday, military commanders from Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin agreed to accelerate the deployment of the 8,700-strong force, which will have its overall command centre in the Chadian capital. A disjointed campaign by Nigeria, Chad and Niger swept Boko Haram out of the towns of northeast Nigeria earlier this year but the group, which has sworn allegiance to Islamic State, has killed hundreds of people in the last three months in those three countries, as well as neighbouring Cameroon. Regional governments have since dragged their heels in establishing the integrated task force, supposed to start operations on July 31. We have finalised the details of the deployment of troops, said one officer who took part in the meeting. The force commanders will inspect the sites of the barracks in the coming days. The military sources said the two command posts for the joint force in Nigeria would be in Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad, and in Gambaru, on the border with Cameroon. The third command post would be established further south in the Cameroonian town of Mora, on the other side of the border from the Nigerian settlement of Gwoza, where Boko Haram formerly had its headquarters. The chiefs of staff also ordered officers seconded to the headquarters of the force in N Djamena to report immediately to their posts, as it was almost ready to become operational. Boko Haram has killed and kidnapped thousands of people in a six-year campaign to carve out an Islamic state from northeast Nigeria. Red Cross workers hurt in CAR clashes Libreville Two Red Cross workers were injured in sectarian clashes in the Central African Republic that have left at least 10 people dead, the aid group said yesterday. The violence in the central region of Bambari broke out following the death of a young Muslim who was beaten by armed individuals identified as (Christian) antibalaka militants. On Thursday an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team and its leader as well as volunteers from the Central African Red Cross went to evacuate the wounded and the dead when they were attacked by demonstrators, ICRC spokesman Germain Mwehu The local leader, who is of European origin, and a Central African Red Cross volunteer were slightly injured with a knife but their lives are not at risk, Mwehu added. This attack on aid workers is very serious, said Mwehu. We hope this is an isolated act. The Central African Republic descended into bloodshed after a 2013 coup against long-time leader Francois Bozize that unleashed a wave of violence in the former French colony, pitting Christian anti-balaka militias against Muslim Seleka rebels. Driven from power in January 2014 following an international military intervention, the former Seleka rebel coalition had based its top commanders in Bambari, an area that has regularly been shaken by sectarian violence ever since. Yesterday tensions were subsiding in Bambari, though improvised barricades were still blocking access to certain neighbourhoods. Young demonstrators, from both the Muslim and Christian communities, erected the barriers to protect themselves from gunfire and keep militia fighters from their neighbourhoods.
14 14 AMERICAS Autopsy: Victim shot in the back by officer Autopsy shows teen died from a single gunshot that entered his back and struck his heart St Louis A black teenager shot and killed by white St Louis police officers this week died from a single gunshot that entered his back and struck his heart, a medical examiner said on Friday, which appears to contradict the police account of the shooting. News of the preliminary results of an autopsy escalated tensions that had flared after Wednesday s killing of Mansur Ball-Bey, as protesters and family of the slain 18-year-old questioned police accounts that he pointed a gun at officers. In angry clashes on Wednesday night, officers in riot gear fired tear gas and more protests followed on Thursday night. Fresh protests are planned in the area of the shooting, according to social media posts by activists. St Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said that additional officers would be available for the weekend in anticipation of further protests. He said he had met Governor Jay Nixon and the Missouri Highway Patrol to arrange for state assistance if needed. Late on Friday St Louis s elected prosecutor, Circuit Attorney Jennifer M Joyce, said her office would begin investigating now, rather than waiting until police turn over the results of their own investigation. She assured St Louisans at a news conference that her investigation would be independent from the one the St Louis police are conducting. I don t work for the police chief, said Joyce. I don t work for the mayor. I am elected separately. When police have committed a crime, I hold them accountable. Less than two weeks ago the St Louis area was flooded with protesters from across the country marking the anniversary of the August 9, 2014, killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in nearby Ferguson, Missouri. Brown s death was one of a series of police killings of unarmed black men and teens across the United States that sparked a newly energised civil rights movement under the banner Black Lives Matter. Autopsy results show a bullet struck Ball-Bey in the upper right of his back, hitting his heart and an artery next to it, said St Louis Chief Medical Examiner Michael Graham. The autopsy findings appear to contradict the version of the shooting given by police, who said two officers shot at Ball-Bey when he pointed a gun at them as he fled a home where police were A boy holds a sign at the corner of Walton and Page in St Louis, Missouri. The St Louis police on Wednesday fatally shot Mansur Ball-Bey, a black teenager who they say pointed a gun at them, and later faced angry crowds, reigniting racial tensions first sparked by the killing of an unarmed black teen in another Missouri town a year ago. serving a search warrant. Police said Ball-Bey dropped his weapon and continued running after he was shot. The position and track of the bullet, which did not exit Ball- Bey s body, show that he was not turned toward officers when he was shot, Graham The shot would have killed him nearly instantly, making it difficult if not impossible for him to keep running, though if he was running there would have been some forward momentum, Graham Graham said it was impossible to tell from the autopsy whether Ball-Bey was slightly turned, or was twisting his torso toward officers when he was shot. There are so many variables, said Graham. But he certainly wasn t facing, his chest wasn t facing the officers. The results of the autopsy are preliminary and evidence was still being gathered, Dotson said, but he said one witness had corroborated officer accounts that Ball-Bey had a gun. The complete truth takes time to put together, he told a press conference. We must let the physical evidence lead us to our conclusions. Police said they had recovered a gun, which they determined was stolen, though they do not know if Ball-Bey s finger prints were on it, Dotson Jermaine Wooten, an attorney representing Ball-Bey s family, told CNN on Friday that no witnesses had seen the teenager with a gun. Wooten said that Ball-Bey did not live in the community and was visiting relatives but not at the house where police were serving the warrant, he He never had a gun. He did not point back toward the officers, Wooten told CNN. He said Ball-Bey could not have run more than a few feet after being shot, which contradicts police statements. A report containing evidence gathered in Ball-Bey s shooting will be turned over to the city attorney and the US Attorney in St Louis for review, police officials Antonio French, a St Louis Alderman and prominent voice in the black community, called for the circuit attorney of St Louis to conduct a simultaneous investigation of the shooting. A police officer guards the door of a scene of a shooting at a federal building in the Manhattan borough of New York. Gunman slays guard at federal building New York A gunman shot and killed a security guard at a federal building in Lower Manhattan on Friday before killing himself, and investigators are seeking a motive, police The suspect entered the building just after 5pm (2100 GMT) and immediately shot the guard with a handgun, police He then walked further into the building toward an elevator when he encountered another employee, said James O Neill, chief of department for the New York Police Department. The gunman then shot himself in the head. Police identified the gunman as Kevin Downing, a 68-yearold former federal employee from Fort Lee, New Jersey. The New York Daily News said that he was a retired Army Reserve captain outraged over being fired by the Department of Labour. Police said that the motive of the shooting was unknown, and the investigation was in its earliest stages. At this point there is no indication of a nexus to terrorism, O Neill The building houses an immigration court and a US Veterans Health Administration services office. The guard, Idrissa Camara, 53, of New York, worked for FJC Security Services, which holds a contract with the Department of Homeland Security, said FJC spokesman Michael McKeon. Camara, who was armed, died at a hospital, he said in an ed statement. Camara had worked for the company two years. He had been scheduled to leave at 4pm but agreed to stay for extra duty, McKeon Camara, who had a wife and family, knew that building better than anyone else, he Company records showed no link between Camara and Downing, McKeon More than 3,000 US sailors switch aircraft carriers Los Angeles The US Navy sent two aircraft carriers to San Diego for a complicated switch-over in which the crews of the two nautical giants change ships. About 3,000 troops were affected by the move, which started August 10, with the bulk of the crews from the USS George Washington and the USS Ronald Reagan switching ships. In naval parlance, such a change of personnel is called a hull swap. The process was set to last 10 days. The USS Ronald Reagan will relieve the USS George Washington as the Navy s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan, the Navy The George Washington will go to Newport News, Virginia, for a mid-life refuelling complex overhaul, following a deployment around South America. Each aircraft carrier has a crew of about 3,500 sailors and civilians. Some 1,500 personnel from each vessel was involved in the operation. It was the first changeover of its scale since 2008, in an operation involving the USS George Washington and the USS Kitty Hawk. This US Navy photo released on Friday shows Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS George Washington (CVN 73) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) pierside at Naval Air Station North Island while conducting a hull swap. So far the swap has been a little stressful but it hasn t been too bad, said Ronika Peeples, who was being moved from the Washington to the Reagan. I m actually happy to be back on the Ronald Reagan, I love the ship, it s so clean, it s so neat, everything is well put together. Another aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, will return to San Diego, its new home port, in the fall. Mistrial for North Carolina cop who killed unarmed man Charlotte, North Carolina A North Carolina judge declared a mistrial on Friday when a jury deadlocked in the trial of a white police officer charged in the death of an unarmed black man. Randall Kerrick, 29, faced a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the September 2013 death of Jonathan Ferrell, 24, a former Florida A&M football player who had wrecked his car on a dark road and was seeking help when he encountered officers. Ferrell ran and Kerrick opened fire at point-blank range and killed him. Kerrick s case is one of a number in the United States in which a white police officer has been accused of using unjustified force against an unarmed black man. The killings have touched off a nationwide debate on race and policing. Charlotte city officials agreed in May to pay Ferrell s family $2.25mn in a civil settlement for wrongful death. The jury of seven whites, three blacks and two Hispanics was split 8-4, though Judge Robert Ervin did not reveal which way they were leaning. The jury began deliberating on Tuesday afternoon after two weeks of testimony. Soon after the mistrial was announced, a small group of protesters blocked traffic outside First women to pass US Army s Ranger School speak out Judge rules government must swiftly release immigrant children A US federal judge has ordered the government to swiftly release immigrant children held at detention centers, affirming a July ruling that said some minors who crossed the border illegally were being detained in violation of a long-standing settlement. The ruling by US District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles gave the administration of President Barack Obama until October 23 to comply with her order to release hundreds of unauthorised immigrant children, and in some cases their mothers, without unnecessary delay. Last year, more than 68,000 children traveling without a parent entered the country. The federal government has held unaccompanied children, or children caught with a parent, in special facilities. The federal government has also taken steps to release unaccompanied immigrant children from border detention centres, often to a family member living in the United States. Last month, Gee ruled the Department of Homeland Security was keeping children at detention centres in violation of a 1997 classaction settlement that said juveniles under the age of 18 cannot be held for more than 72 hours. If a parent was caught with his or her child, authorities could justify keeping the adult in custody if the person is a significant flight risk or poses a safety concern, the ruling the Mecklenburg County courthouse. They lay face down on the pavement with hands clasped behind their backs. We have to stop killing our children, Ferrell s mother, Georgia, told reporters outside the courthouse as about 40 demonstrators crowded the entrance. The family s attorney, Christopher Chestnut, urged people to petition the North Carolina Attorney-General s Office to retry the case. Witnesses testified that Ferrell walked to the nearby home of Sarah McCartney after the accident and pounded on the door seeking help. McCartney thought Ferrell was trying to break in and called 911. A dashboard camera video shows Ferrell walking toward police, then running to his left and off screen as Kerrick yells three times: Get on the ground! As the two men fell into a drainage ditch, Kerrick fired 12 shots, 10 of which hit Ferrell. Fort Benning The first women to pass the grueling training course at the US Army s elite Ranger School said on Thursday that they hoped their success would open doors for women seeking jobs in frontline combat. Lieutenant Shaye Haver and Captain Kristen Griest graduated on Friday as the first women combat leaders to pin the coveted Ranger tag on their uniform, trained to become infantry leaders. The US military is currently considering opening up roles in previously male-only units to women, including some frontline infantry and Special Forces roles. Appearing before the news media for the first time since they emerged battered but grimly triumphant from the Florida swamps after months of training, the young officers hoped their example would influence the debate. I do hope that we ve been able to inform that decision as to what they can expect from women in the military, that we can handle things physically and mentally on the same level as men and that we can deal with the same stresses in training that men can, said Griest, 26. Ranger School takes at least 61 days to complete and in some cases, if sections are repeated, many more. Griest took four months to qualify, training for 20 hours a day and carrying 90 pounds (41kg) of kit and weapons. But she never thought of giving up. I never seriously considered it. I definitely had low points, particularly in the swamps in Florida, she But I never actually thought anything was going to be too difficult that it was worth leaving the course. Haver, an Apache attack helicopter pilot, admitted that she had thought about quitting, but that the shared experience of the men and women around her kept her going. There s a point that you hit along the way, doesn t matter where it is, it s different for everybody, said Haver, 25. But the ability to look around to my peers and see that they were sucking just as bad as I was kept me going and I m pretty sure that they could probably say the same thing. Along with the two women, 94 men will graduate from Ranger School this week. A lot of the time, you couldn t tell the difference between the men and women, said Colonel David Fivecoat, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade. Many others dropped out, and among those who passed, some admitted to doubting their female comrades chances. I was sceptical until we got to the mountain, said Second Lieutenant Michael Janowski, recalling the arduous second stage of the course in the remote highlands of Georgia. I was struggling, he admitted. I asked if anyone could take some overweight. Shaye took some of the weight. I had no more scepticism from that point. The progress of the women has been closely monitored by the military community, where the prospect of female forces in combat is still a divisive issue. The exclusion of women from combat roles has stymied the careers of some female officers as it can in practice prevent them from reaching high ranks where combat experience is considered indispensable. Supporters point out that many women have already been exposed to the rigours of combat in recent conflicts insurgencies with blurred front lines and fared well. Haver gives a thumbs-up when she and Griest meet up with a group of West Point women graduates after Ranger school graduation at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. In Afghanistan, the US Marines set up units called Female Engagement Teams to patrol in areas where they could engage with and try to win the trust of civilian women. Women make up about 15% of US Army personnel. Since the decision to open some combat positions to women, about 111,000 posts out of some 331,000 previously closed have been opened, according to the Defence Department. But the armed services the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy can still request that women be barred from specific jobs and the door has yet to be opened for women in infantry combat roles. They have until the start of next year to decide whether to maintain the ban.
15 ASEAN 15 First Lady of Cambodia s Khmer Rouge dies at 83 Ieng Thirith, a French-educated revolutionary who was 83 when she died, was one of the few women in the Khmer Rouge leadership behind the horrors of the Killing Fields era. Laos The former first lady of Cambodia s murderous Khmer Rouge regime died yesterday, according to a UN-backed tribunal, without victims ever seeing her face trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Ieng Thirith, a French-educated revolutionary who was 83 when she died, was one of the few women in the leadership of the communist movement behind the horrors of the Killing Fields era. She was among just a handful of suspects charged by Cambodia s UNbacked war crimes court, but was freed in 2012 when the case against her was suspended after the court ruled she was unfit to stand trial due to progressive dementia. Family ties helped her reach the upper echelons of power in a murderous totalitarian regime that tore children from parents and husbands from wives. The sister-in-law of late Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, she served as the regime s social affairs minister alongside her husband, former foreign minister Ieng Sary. She had been hospitalised this year in Thailand with heart, bladder and lung problems. She passed away in a former Khmer Rouge stronghold on the Thai border where many regime leaders settled after they were ousted by the Vietnamese. The accused passed away at approximately 10.30am (0330 GMT) on 22 August in Pailin, Cambodia, the UNbacked tribunal said in a statement. She was released under a regime of judicial supervision. She remained under judicial supervision until her death, the statement from the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) added. Her body will be cremated on Monday evening, her son Ieng Vuth told by telephone from Pailin, adding his mother had died from cardiac arrest. Though the charges against her were never dropped, the suspension of the case against Ieng Thirith was a bitter blow to many who survived the regime, blamed for up to two million deaths. The Khmer Rouge wiped out nearly a quarter of the population through starvation, forced labour and execution, in a bid to forge an agrarian utopia. Now that Ieng Thirith has died, a little part of justice has also died with her, Chum Mey, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge s brutal Tuol Sleng, told. Her husband Ieng Sary, with whom she had four children, died in 2013 aged 87, before a verdict was delivered in his trial. Born Khieu Thirith, the daughter of a well-off judge, she recounted earlier that she was initiated into politics by her future husband when they were classmates at high school in Phnom Penh, according to court documents. She attended university in Paris where she majored in Shakespearean studies and became the first Cambodian to gain a degree in English literature. The glamour of Paris soon gave way to revolutionary yearnings with Ieng Sary s increasing involvement in radical Marxism. After returning to Cambodia in 1957 with her husband, she worked as a professor before opening an English school. By the mid-1960s she was devoting herself entirely to her revolutionary activities with her husband, operating from the Cambodian jungles along the border with Vietnam. The couple, along with Pol Pot and his wife Khieu Ponnary, would become the ideological centre of a nascent communist movement that unleashed unprecedented destruction in the late 1970s. Ieng Thirith was not a member of the regime s powerful standing committee but did sit on its council of ministers, according to court documents. As social affairs minister, she oversaw the regime s tight control of medicine supplies. Ieng Thirith was personally and directly involved in denying Cambodians even the most basic of healthcare during the regime s years in power, said Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia which researches the atrocities. She ordered purges of suspected traitors in her ministry who were sent to re-education camps, and was aware of the regime s killing of perceived enemies, according to court documents. She allegedly participated in the regime s regulation of marriage including its orchestration of mass forced marriages and remained a staunch defender of the Khmer Rouge long after its demise in the 1990s. She was arrested in 2007, along with her husband, and refused to co-operate with the court, consistently denying responsibility for the regime s crimes. In an outburst in court in 2009 she told her accusers they would be cursed to the seventh circle of hell. A small number of top Khmer Rouge leaders have been convicted, including Brother Number Two Nuon Chea, 88, and ex-head of state Khieu Samphan, 83. Brother Number One Pol Pot died in 1998 without ever facing justice. Thai police probe CCTV showing second bag drop Bangkok Thai police yesterday said they were investigating new security camera footage showing a man dropping a package into a canal as the hunt for those behind Monday s deadly Bangkok bomb blast entered its fifth day without arrests. CCTV video widely circulated by local media yesterday showed a man in a blue t- shirt kicking the package off a footbridge in the same spot where a device exploded on Tuesday without injuries. That second blast intensified anxiety in an already rattled city, following Monday s bomb attack on a religious shrine in Bangkok s commercial heart that cut down 20 people and wounded scores more. Authorities have not ruled out a link between the two explosions. The shrine bomb killed mostly ethnic Chinese tourists from across Asia, and has left police scrambling to find the assailants. National police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri confirmed that the new footage was being examined to decide whether the man dropping the package into the water near Saphan Thaksin pier was a suspect. We have to verify the information, he told told adding the situation was still confusing. The unverified footage is time-stamped just a few minutes after Monday s blast, which struck at 18.55pm (1155 GMT). It shows the man in the blue t-shirt carrying something heavy in a plastic bag. He goes to the side of a footbridge, places the bag down and then uses his mobile phone. Around a minute later he pushes the bag into the canal with his foot, kicking up a visible splash of water. The following day, shortly after 1:00 pm on Tuesday, an explosion went off in the canal, which is near a popular tourist pier, sending people scurrying for cover but causing no injuries. Until now the search for the perpetrator of Monday s attack has focused on a primary suspect in a yellow t-shirt seen placing a heavy rucksack under a bench at the shrine. Moments later the blast struck, scattering body parts, glass and debris over a bustling Bangkok shopping district. Asked whether the man in the blue t-shirt and the yellow t-shirt could be the same perpetrator, Prawut said: It s likely the two men are different. A junta spokesman said 56 people remained in hospital on Saturday. Many are known to have suffered horrific injuries. At a Catholic church shaped like a Thai temple less than 10 minutes from the blast site, around two dozen worshippers attended a memorial service for Di Wu Chengi, a Christian Chinese mainlander who was killed in the blast. Wailing could be heard coming from inside the church as the congregation sang the hymn Nearer my God to thee. We are all here because we feel sorry not only for Di Wu Chengi but also for society experiencing violence, a priest told members of the congregation according to an reporter at the scene. The loss of his life is a witness to the fact that violence is not an answer, he added. With no-one claiming responsibility for the bombing, rumours and speculation have swirled in Thailand over the country s worst single mass casualty attack in living memory. The potential perpetrators named by police and experts alike include international jihadists, members of Thailand s southern Malay-Muslim insurgency, militants on both sides of Thailand s festering political divide and even someone with a personal grudge. Bangkok is in the grip of a decade-long political crisis that has been punctuated by violence, albeit mostly shootouts and small grenade or pipe bomb attacks. On one side stands the military, backed by the middle class and elite. On the other, the rural and urban poor loyal to populist politician Thaksin Shinawatra, toppled in a 2006 coup, and his sister Yingluck who was forced out of office days before the current junta seized power last year. Thaksin s eldest son said he had more than doubled the reward offered by police for the capture of the main suspect by putting up nearly $200,000. The total reward money on offer from both police and private citizens now stands at around $335,000. Vehicles pass by a digital billboard showing the sketch of a man suspected to be the bomber in central Bangkok. Thai police yesterday said they were investigating new security camera footage showing a man dropping a package into a canal. Reward for information on bomb suspect trippled Bangkok Thai authorities have tripled to $85,000 a reward for information leading to the arrest of the main suspect in the country s worst ever bombing. The reward for information leading to his arrest was raised to 3mn baht, a police spokesman Initial speculation that the plot could be the work of an international terror network has for now been set aside. We still have no information on international terror groups and think there is no link to international terrorism, Somyot Pumpanmuang said after attending a multi-faith prayer ceremony outside a shopping centre near the shrine in central Bangkok. What is clear is that it was intended to discredit the government, destroy confidence and make tourists scared and not travel to Thailand, he told reporters. Asked about his suggestion that at least 10 plotters were probably involved, Somyot said there might only have been two. The Erawan shrine, dedicated to a Hindu deity, is hugely popular with tourists from China. But the government has said Chinese tourists were not believed to have been specifically targeted. Announcements about the investigation have been broadcast in both Mandarin Chinese and English. Damage to the tourist industry will not help the military government in its efforts to revive a flagging economy. Police have stepped up patrols in the city. Police are asking anyone who is in that CCTV footage to come forward, Somyot MH370 debris exposes divisions over air crash investigations Wing part from missing MH370 in hands of French judiciary; civil investigators fear safety work could be compromised; tensions emerged after Germanwings disaster Paris Air crash investigators risk being sidelined in a tussle to unlock the secrets of lost flight MH370, fuelling concerns that their role in making flying safer could be diminished. By drifting on to Reunion Island, the barnacled remains of a Boeing wing part from the Malaysia Airlines jet have given the upper hand to a French judicial investigation, exposing for the second time this year how civil crash investigations struggle to compete with police-led probes. For decades, reconstructions of disasters by specialist safety investigators have been seen as crucial to making aviation safer, with accident rates at historically low levels. But in dozens of countries, notably France, they exist in uneasy co-habitation with separate criminal inquiries. Simmering tensions over the sharing of evidence between civil and judicial investigators came into the open after the crash of a Germanwings jet into the French Alps in March. They are under scrutiny again after Indian Ocean currents deposited the flaperon from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight into the hands of judges investigating the suspected manslaughter of four French citizens out of 239 people on board. How France handles both cases could have a wider impact given its influence over aviation safety worldwide and the similarity between its civil-law system and most other jurisdictions. Its BEA safety investigation board is regularly called in to look at incidents because France is home to Airbus, which makes up 42% of the world jetliner fleet. Criminal investigation should not compromise the important role that air accident investigation plays in keeping flying safe, said Kevin Hiatt, safety chief at the International Air Transport Association, the trade association for airlines. Supporters of the French system of parallel investigations say it prevents cover-ups, supports families and benefits from stronger powers of discovery. Concerns about judicial interference may cut little ice with MH370 families who have been frustrated at the apparent lack of results from the civil investigation into the disappearance of the Kuala Lumpur to Beijing flight. This kind of closed, unjust, and totally inefficient investigation is really hard for me to understand, said Jiang Hui, a Chinese man whose mother was aboard Flight MH370. Civil crash investigators follow UN guidelines from the International Civil Aviation Organization. Their sole aim is to help prevent future accidents by finding out causes. The idea has never been to establish who is the bad guy, for the simple reason that it does no good when it comes to improving safety, said Paul- Louis Arslanian, former director of France s BEA air safety investigation agency. It is better to understand why errors were committed and what prevented this being identified. It is a rare example of an industry being granted a global remit to ensure its safe development. But the 70-year-old system must reckon with modern demands for stricter corporate liability and the social media storm generated by every crash. Add to this the fact that human factors have become a priority as technology reduces mechanical vulnerabilities, and experts say the pressure to cast blame is greater than ever. While families wait for clues about the missing jet, 17 months after MH370 mysteriously vanished, the flaperon risks being submerged once again by jurisdictional in-fighting. It was recovered by the gendarmerie on the French island, a military force accountable to French judges leading the criminal probe and not to the BEA or its Malaysian counterparts. Relations between the gendarmerie and BEA have been prickly for years and hit a new low hours after the Germanwings crash that killed 150 people. In an unprecedented move, the BEA s current director was summoned to police offices to face questions about the speed at which it had shared just-deciphered cockpit recordings, according to several people familiar with the incident. The BEA has defended its handling of Germanwings evidence. Those tensions are fresh in the minds of those now handling the MH370 investigation. While prosecutors have pledged to share their findings in due course, a judicial source stressed the flaperon would remain under judicial control. Experts from several international agencies were allowed to witness its inspection but only after a delay of several days and under a judge s supervision, and not on BEA premises. However you paint it, it gives the impression that the BEA and other investigators are working for the judiciary, said another former air crash investigator. It is a power struggle and in the long term it may be damaging for credibility of crash investigators generally. Malaysia played down any conflict between the judicial probe and its own civil investigation, of which the BEA is part. They will go hand in hand. There s no clear distinction between their report and our report. Whatever they find they will add onto our investigation later, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told. But experts say it is a further setback for the Southeast Asian nation which struggled to establish an independent investigation in the face of criticism, only to see the first physical piece of evidence fall into the possession of French judges who have been asserting primacy over air accidents. That may in turn heap pressure on a landmark EU law designed to preserve a balance between judicial and civil probes. I get worried when I see that we are not advancing as quickly as we should, that we are going backwards or trampling on the confidence that should exist between different parties, said Arslanian, one of the architects of the 2010 regulation. For now the trust between national and international partners is there, but you have to keep building it every day. The debate about the blurring of judicial and civil roles could complicate efforts to improve safety by openly discussing problems in everyday operations. A lot of aviation professionals are fearful that by being frank to technical investigators they could end up in court, said Andreas Mateou, an Airbus A320 training captain and co-author of Flying in the Face of Criminalization. The risk is that they will just fly on autopilot and share as little as possible.
16 16 AUSTRALASIA/EAST ASIA PRACTICE PARADE ANOTHER ATTACK NO CASUALTIES STAR-STRUCK COOL TREAT Surfer bitten by shark off Australian beach 9 injured in east China chemical plant blast Australians set stargazing record at university event People s Liberation Army soldiers attend a training session for a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II at a military base in Beijing. A shark attacked a surfer yesterday on a beach that has been the site of several other attacks so far this year, police The 38-year-old was surfing on a bodyboard off Lighthouse Beach near Port Macquarie, 380km north of Sydney, yesterday afternoon when the shark struck. He was bitten on the left leg, stomach and back before fellow surfers could get him to the beach. He was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said in a statement. The attack comes a week after the state government ordered experts to examine a sudden increase in shark attacks this year off the north coast of New South Wales. An explosion at a chemical plant in east China late yesterday injured nine people with 150 firefighters battling the resulting blaze, state media reported. The blast comes after 121 people were killed in massive explosions last week at a hazardous goods storage facility in the northern port city of Tianjin. The incident yesterday occurred at a plant in Huantai county near the city of Zibo in Shangdong province, Xinhua news agency said, citing the official Sina Weibo microblog account of the Zibo public security bureau. Firefighters from neighbouring cities were heading to help tackle the blaze. No deaths have been reported, Xinhua An Australian university said yesterday it had set a world record for the most people stargazing from one place, with hundreds of professional and amateur astronomers turning to the heavens. Organiser Brad Tucker said more than 1,800 people were officially counted as having taken part in the event at the Australian National University campus in Canberra on Friday evening, after initially forecast poor weather held off. All those who took part were using telescopes, binoculars or some other device with a high-power lens to study the night sky for 10 minutes at the same time. Tucker said the event demonstrated that when it came to astronomy, every one can do it. A rhesus macaque eats fruit contained in an ice block at the Tobu Zoo in Miyashiro, Saitama prefecture, north of Tokyo, after the zoo gave ice blocks for animals to cool down on a hot summer day. Korea rivals scramble to defuse tense standoff Japan govt protests Medvedev s Iturup visit Tokyo/Iturup Seoul North and South Korea sat down yesterday to urgent top-level talks, seeking some way out of an escalating crisis that has pushed both their militaries to the brink of an armed conflict. The talks in the border truce village of Panmunjom began shortly after the expiration of a North Korean deadline for Seoul to halt loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts across the border or face military action. Despite scepticism that Pyongyang would follow through on its threat, the ultimatum raised border tensions to their highest level for years, with the North re-positioning artillery units and South Korean and US fighter jets flying simulated bombing runs. The dialogue in Panmunjom, where the Korean War ceasefire was signed, offers a chance for both sides to step back, although analysts said finding a workable compromise would be difficult. Seoul has refused to turn off the loudspeaker broadcasts until Pyongyang apologises for mine blasts this month that maimed two South Korean soldiers on border patrol. North Korea denies any responsibility for the blasts and has accused the South of fabricating evidence of its involvement. It s not easy to see a simple way out where neither side loses face, said Dan Pinkston, Korea expert at the International Crisis Group in Seoul. It ll be interesting to see if the North can bring something to the table - possibly a resumption of North-South family reunions - that will allow the South to turn the loudspeakers off, Pinkston The four delegates - two from each side - include the South Korean president s national security adviser, Kim Kwan-Jin, and the man widely seen as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un s number two, Hwang Pyong-So. The two men last met in October when Hwang, who is vice chairman of the North s top military body, the National Defence Commission, led a delegation on the highest-level visit to the South for years. Those talks ended with an agreement on resuming a high-level dialogue, South Korean National Security Adviser Kim Kwan-jin (right), South Korean Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo (second right), Secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers Party of Korea Kim Yang Gon (second left), and the top military aide to the North s leader Kim Jong Un Hwang Pyong-so (left) shake hands during the inter- Korean talks at the truce village of Panmunjom. which never actually got off the ground. According to South Korea s presidential Blue House, the request for talks came from the North, despite its aggressive rhetoric and military posturing of recent days. On the orders of Kim Jong-Un, the North Korean People s Army (KPA) has been in a fully armed, wartime state since Friday, while the foreign ministry in Pyongyang warned yesterday that the situation had reached the brink of war and was hardly controllable. The international community has long experience of North Korea s particularly aggressive brand of diplomatic brinkmanship, and the request for talks will confirm for many that this has largely been another exercise in attention-seeking by Pyongyang. For the moment, there has been little sense of panic among ordinary South Koreans who have become largely inured over the years to the North s regular - and regularly unrealised - threats of imminent war. But the military has been on maximum alert, and US and South Korean jets flew simulated bombing sorties around midday yesterday in a clear show of defiance and force. Thousands of South Korean civilians living on frontline border islands or near military propaganda units were evacuated from their homes to underground shelters as a preventive measure. Technically, the two Koreas have been at war for the past 65 years, as the Korean conflict ended with a ceasefire that was never ratified by a formal peace treaty. Kim Jong-Un s order to move to a war footing came after an exchange of artillery fire on Thursday that claimed no casualties but triggered a dangerous spike in cross-border tensions. On Friday, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye appeared on television, wearing army fatigues and telling top military commanders that further North Korean provocations will not be tolerated. The situation is being closely watched, with UN chief Ban Ki-moon calling for restraint from both sides and the US urging Pyongyang to avoid further escalation. There are nearly 30,000 US troops permanently stationed in South Korea, and the US military s top officer yesterday reiterated Washington s commitment to the defence of its ally. A call for calm and restraint also came from China, the North s main diplomatic protector and economic supporter. Ties between Beijing and Pyongyang have become strained, and China will be keen to avoid any regional flare-up as it seeks to attract world leaders to Beijing next month for a three-day celebration of Japan s defeat in World War II. Japan yesterday lodged a protest over Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev s visit to one of four disputed Pacific islands which have strained ties between the two countries since the end of World War II. The decades-old argument over the territory, claimed by both states, could set back Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe s efforts to court resource-rich Russia and keep the door open to dialogue, despite the Ukraine crisis. The islands are known in Russia as the Southern Kuriles and referred to as the Northern Territories in Japan. Russia seized them in the last days of World War II and the dispute has kept the two countries from signing a formal peace treaty since. After Medvedev visited Iturup island yesterday, senior Japanese foreign ministry official Hajime Hayashi lodged the protest with the Russian ambassador, the ministry Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will delay a visit to Russia planned for the end of August, the Nikkei business daily said, but did not elaborate. Japan had been hoping for a visit this year by Russian President Vladimir Putin for summit talks with Abe, Kyodo news agency While on the island, Medvedev said Japan s attitude would not stop more such visits. Our position is simple: We want to be friends with Japan, Japan is our neighbour. We have a good attitude towards Japan, but this shouldn t be linked in any way with the Kurile islands, which are part of the Russian Federation, he Therefore we have made visits, we are visiting and we will make visits to the Kuriles. Medvedev emphasised economic development plans for a region potentially rich in oil and gas and invited foreign investors. If it will be our neighbours the Japanese that s not bad. If it will be Korean or Chinese friends, that s also not bad, he Whoever comes first will get benefits. Island nations say climate talks failure not an option By Annie Banerji, Jaipur Two of the world s most vulnerable low-lying island nations, Kiribati and Tuvalu, have said failure at upcoming climate talks in Paris is not an option as rising sea levels threaten their very existence. The Pacific island nations say they have been forced to consider such nuclear options as buying land abroad to grow food and preparing their people to migrate as the seas slowly claim their homelands. But as representatives of Pacific island nations met in Jaipur in the western Indian desert state of Rajasthan this week, the message was clear - world leaders meeting in Paris in December must deliver on expectations of a historic deal to combat global warming. Failure is not a fallback position, it is not an option, we cannot have it as an option. We must get success, Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga told in an interview. We may be able to run away, we may be able to purchase land in other places, maybe Australia, New Zealand. But that won t stop climate change, it will not stop the cause of climate change. It will not assure the people of Tuvalu that they will be safe there. Sopoaga said climate change was now enemy number one for Tuvalu, nine coral atolls that are home to about 11,000 residents. Scientists predict Tuvalu and Kiribati, which are little more than a metre above sea level, could disappear in the coming decades. Both nations already suffer from a range of problems linked to climate change, including more intense storms like the one that devastated Vanuatu earlier this year and salination of ground water, which makes it impossible to grow crops. The situation is so dire that Kiribati is considering relocating the entire population, or building man-made islands to rehouse them. For us we think that things have progressed, have advanced too much, it s too late for us, Kiribati s special envoy Teekoa Luta told in Jaipur, where representatives of 14 Pacific nations held talks on Friday. Paris we hope will buy us some time, but we are not Kiribati special envoy Teekoa Luta (left) and Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoga speak to in Jaipur. positive that anything that is achieved in Paris, the outcomes would be in time for us. The UN conference in Paris will seek to crown a six-year effort by 195 nations with a post pact on curbing greenhouse gases. But Luta said her tiny nation of 100,000 people was already struggling to cope with the fallout from climate change. Our resources are constrained, our institutional capacity to cope with our health problems are constrained, she We spend most of our budget fixing the (natural) damages month after month and then we don t have money to spend on health, education and (other) social services. Kiribati recently called for a global moratorium on building new coal mines and expanding existing ones - a move Luta said she hoped that major economies including India would eventually support. Luta said Kiribati is already beginning to train its people with skills so that in the event that they have to migrate, that they migrate with dignity and do not become a liability to the receiving country. The former British colony has also bought 2,000 hectares of land in Fiji to farm if salt-water pollution means it can no longer produce crops. We re talking about relocation and there are ideas that maybe we should try making floating islands... People will sometimes think that we re crazy but I think we become desperate at times, and therefore have all these crazy options, Luta Both nations said they were working to counter rising water levels by building sea walls and planting mangroves, but that only global cooperation in Paris could save them. We need to have this Paris agreement because otherwise there won t be any survival processes to save the people on these islands, Sopoaga We do it now together or we all fall.
17 BRITAIN 17 Seven die after jet crashes at British air show Millions wrongly given in foreign student loans DPA London A military jet taking part in a British air show plunged to the ground yesterday and crashed into a busy road in southern England, killing seven people and injuring 15. The South East Coast Ambulance Service confirmed the seven fatalities and posted on Twitter: Thoughts are with the families and loved ones. It said that one person had serious, life-threatening injuries and was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital. An additional 14 people were treated for minor injuries. West Sussex police said a number of helicopters were deployed to evacuate the casualties to hospital. Police advised all drivers to avoid the A27 road for the rest of the day, and said it had been closed in both directions following the crash of the Hawker Hunter jet. The Air Accident Investigation Bureau was at the site. The plane crashed just 400m away from families who were watching the Shoreham Airshow near Brighton, local radio station Splash FM reported. Videos posted on social networks showed the jet attempting a loop and then crashing and bursting into flames. The Press Association quoted witnesses as describing the jet flying low near the ground and then seeing a huge ball of fire and black smoke. Youths assault Sports Direct staff Two shop workers at a Sports Direct store in east London were allegedly assaulted by a group of youths on Friday afternoon. The pair were hit by a group of men at the shop in the Gallions Reach Shopping Park, Beckton, just before 4pm, it is claimed. Police were called to reports of an attack at the store and found two workers suffering from serious injuries. Four men, aged between 14 and 22, have been arrested on suspicion of assault in connection with the incident and were being held in custody. In a statement, a spokesman for Scotland Yard said: Police were called to Gallions Reach Shopping Park, Armada Way, Beckton at 3.45pm (on Friday) to reports of an assault. Officers attended and found two members of store staff had been assaulted. Four males aged between 14 and 22 years were arrested in connection with the investigation and taken to an east London police station. Enquiries continue, the spokesman added. Evening Standard London Foreign students pocketed millions of pounds of taxpayers money which was wrongly given to them in loans and grants because of inadequate checks and only a tiny proportion have been made to pay the money back. Just 280,000 of the 2.45mn which was mistakenly handed out to students has been clawed back two years after the problem was first uncovered, it has been revealed. Yesterday the Student Loans Roles of warfare Right: Historical re-enactors re-create the Battle of Tewkesbury as part of an anniversary event for the Battle of Bosworth, near Market Bosworth in central Britain. The Battle of Bosworth took place in 1485 during the Wars of the Roses between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. King Richard III was defeated by Henry Tudor marking the end of Plantagenet rule and the beginning of the Tudor dynasty. Below, right: A historical re-enactor in a living history camp prepares his costume. Below: A historical re-enactor poses for a photograph. Company (SLC) insisted that it was still actively tracking down the funds and had not written off any debt despite no deadline being set for recouping the money. A spokesman told the Press Association: We work with each individual customer to ascertain their personal circumstances and agree a repayment plan specific to them, ensuring that all repayments plans are affordable and sustainable for the customer and will not cause them financial hardship. The government has been severely criticised by public spending watchdogs for ignoring warnings that a rapid expansion in higher education colleges could lead to financial abuse. Over three years from 2010, loans and grants paid to students at alternative providers which get no direct state funding rocketed from 50mn to 675mn. But until September 2013, the SLC relied solely on the word of students that they had lived in the UK for the three years needed to qualify for maintenance support. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills suspended payments and ordered 23 colleges to halt recruitment amid fears Police station in Surrey evacuated over device seized on Friday A police station in Surrey was evacuated yesterday afternoon after officers seized a device which sparked a major security alert. Staines Police station was closed after police ruled that property seized from an address on Friday could be dangerous. Motorists were also advised to avoid the area after Kingston Road was closed as part of the investigation. There were reports that the seized device was an unexploded World War II bomb, but this could not immediately be confirmed. the system was being abused. An emergency review of more than 11,000 applications found that half could or would not provide it and that 992 had been given the money before the stricter checks were imposed. Of the 5.4mn thought to have been wrongly paid, 1.8mn has since been deemed to be legitimate claims the number of ineligible students falling from 992 to 766, the SLC Around 1.11mn of 1.15mn in tuition fee loans has been clawed back directly from 136 alternative colleges, which receive indirect public funding through the payments. A spokeswoman for the force said the station was evacuated just after noon yesterday. She said: We seized some property that was taken to Staines Police station (on Friday). We have evacuated staff and officers there. The device requires further examination. But of the 2.45mn in the hands of individual students in 23 countries including a large number from Romania the SLC said that it had so far been able to recover 278,427. Some 98 have handed back the full amount of their grants and just eight have repaid all the money loaned to them. A push to increase diversity in higher education including increasing the maximum tuition loan fee available from 3,375 to 6,000 were announced in 2011 and helped fuel a rapid expansion of places concentrated across a relatively small number of colleges. An east London schoolgirl who was radicalised by Islamic State (IS) propaganda provided by her deceitful parents must be removed from her home for her own safety, a judge has The intelligent, educated, ambitious 16-year-old from Tower Hamlets, who has already attempted to travel to Syria to become a jihadi bride, has been bombarded with pictures of beheadings, material on bomb making and how jihadists should hide their identity, the High Court heard. Justice Hayden, sitting at the court in London, said the girl, who can only be referred to as B, was suffering psychological and emotional harm through exposure to extremism of a kind similar to that seen in sex abuse cases. He said that B was one of a number of cases within the borough where intelligent young girls highly-motivated academically had been captured and seduced by the belief that travelling to Syria to become what are known as jihadi brides is a somewhat romantic and honourable path for them and their families. He said that, after B was removed from a flight to Turkey in December 2014 and made a It was supposed to benefit English students but claims for support from other EU nationals soared from 7,000 in 2010/11 to 53,000 in 2013/14. The SLC has put special recovery arrangements in place to actively recoup repayment from individuals ineligible for student finance, a spokeswoman said, adding that collecting repayments is one of the SLC s key business priorities and we are focused on collecting every pound of taxpayer money that is owed. The Evening Standard has contacted the TaxPayers Alliance for comment. Girl radicalised by parents must be removed from home, says judge Evening Standard London ward of court, her parents had appeared to co-operate with police and social workers to stop her and her siblings accessing online terrorist propaganda. But in June this year counter-terrorism officers carried out a protracted search of the family home and discovered a plethora of electronic devices, including those belonging to the father, containing Islamic State material which showed the parents had carried out a consummately successful deception of the authorities. Commenting on the girl s welfare, the judge said: I can see no way in which her psychological, emotional and intellectual integrity can be protected by her remaining in this household. The farrago of sophisticated dishonesty of the parents makes this entirely unsustainable. Drawing an analogy with sex abuse cases, the judge added: The violation contemplated here is not of the body but it is of the mind. It is every bit as insidious and I do not say that lightly as it involves harm of a similar magnitude. The girl has requested that she be allowed to remain at home, even if that means being tagged, but the judge ruled yesterday that only a safe and neutral environment free from the powerful and pernicious influences of jihadi propaganda could now protect the teenager s wellbeing. Nearing record, Queen Elizabeth shows no sign of stepping aside By Michael Holden, London After 63 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II next month becomes Britain s longest-ruling monarch but there is little prospect of her stepping aside, as other ageing European crowned heads have done, in favour of her son, Charles. Those close to Elizabeth who on September 9 takes the longservice record from her greatgreat-grandmother Queen Victoria say that the 89-year-old has no intention of succumbing to the European fashion for abdication. That means Prince Charles, 66, already a record-holder himself as Britain s longest-serving heir apparent, will have to wait longer still until he becomes king. I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family, Elizabeth said in a 21st birthday broadcast to the nation in The milestone of overtaking Victoria has already prompted speculation as to whether Elizabeth might step aside. When asked if abdication were a possibility, a senior palace source told : Life means life. The religious overtones to a British coronation are deeply symbolic for Elizabeth, who as queen is Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The queen won t abdicate, she must not abdicate, there s absolutely no reason for her to abdicate and indeed constitutionally and religiously she cannot abdicate: she is an anointed queen, royal historian Hugo Vickers told. Margaret Rhodes, the queen s cousin and a friend since childhood, believes that she will never break her commitment to the nation. The vows that she made on coronation day are something so deep and so special that she would not consider not continuing to fulfil those vows until the day she dies, Rhodes told the BBC in The abdication in 1936 of the queen s uncle Edward VIII for reasons of love rather than old age proved traumatic enough, plunging the monarchy into a constitutional crisis that put her reluctant father on the throne. In the Netherlands and Spain, long-standing monarchs have in recent years given up their thrones, saying that they needed to pass on the mantle to a younger generation. The Dutch Queen Beatrix announced shortly before her 75th birthday in January 2013 that she would abdicate in favour of her son Willem-Alexander. I am not stepping down because the tasks of the function are too great, but out of the conviction that the responsibilities of our country should be passed on to a new generation, she In June last year, Spain s oncepopular King Juan Carlos abdicated at the age of 76 in favour of his son Felipe after a series of corruption scandals in the royal family. A new generation is quite rightly demanding to take the lead role, he In Britain, though, there is little demand for Elizabeth to go, nor any clamour for Charles to be king. If anything, the opposite may be true. Charles, who has been groomed from birth to one day be king, is less popular than his mother: in a poll in April, 53% said they liked him compared to 77% who liked the Queen. Only 19% of Britons wanted a republic, compared to 70% who supported the monarchy. Even keen republicans such as Labour member of parliament Paul Flynn say that the monarchy is safe while Elizabeth remains on the throne but question its future under Prince Charles. This one, I ve come to terms with, it will be delayed for little while. It is questionable whether the most likely end of the monarchy will come with Charles, Flynn told. In contrast to the strict political neutrality observed by Elizabeth, Charles has spoken out about issues from the destruction of historical buildings to organic farming and Vladimir Putin s annexation of Ukraine. Critics said letters Charles had written to ministers, some of which were published in May against the wishes of the government and royal family, showed a desire to meddle in everything from the supply of equipment for Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth meet veterans as they leave a Service of Commemoration at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in central London on August 15 to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ (Victory over Japan) Day. British troops fighting in Iraq to the fate of the Patagonian Toothfish. Supporters said the letters showed Charles was speaking up on issues Britons cared about. Professor Philip Murphy, director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and an expert on the monarchy, said that Charles s view of himself as a spokesperson for the common man was dangerous. The public may not tolerate that for very long and certainly political leaders might not, he told. Some commentators have suggested that only serious illness could prompt Elizabeth to hand over to Charles, particularly if she were to lose her 94-year-old husband Prince Philip, although even then a regency is thought more likely. I don t think abdication is entirely off the cards, royal biographer Robert Lacey told. Some, like Flynn, suggest on the death of the queen there should not only be a referendum on the monarchy but also on whether the crown should pass to Charles s son Prince William, who is 33. I think it would be a popular choice to have a referendum on skipping a generation, said Flynn who dismissed the current system for head of state as first past the bed post. Prince William and Prince Harry, the children of Charles and Princess Diana, his first wife who died in a Paris car crash in 1997, are the most popular members of the family, liked by 79% of the British public. Murphy said for many Britons, there were plenty of more pressing concerns than reform of the monarchy. There s a sense of if it ain t broke, don t fix it, he As it stands, republicans or those wanting constitutional change, will have a long wait. Asked in 2012 whether the queen should abdicate or if the throne should skip a generation, Prime Minister David Cameron replied: I think both those things are out of the question.
18 18 EUROPE Royals join march urging action on climate change DPA Stockholm Swedish Crown Princess Victoria and Norway s Crown Princess Mette- Marit joined a march in Norway yesterday in support of action against global warming. The two royals met near the Norwegian border town of Halden, and then walked about 6km through a nature area to a bridge that spans the Elgafossen waterfalls on the southern border between the two Nordic neighbours, organisers On the bridge, Mette-Marit handed a bottle of water to Victoria to mark the continuation of the march through Sweden. About 300 people accompanied the two royals. Among them were two bishops from Sweden and Norway, whose dioceses are adjacent to the border. Similar events are underway in other parts of the world, and their final destination is Paris, which hosts a UN climate summit in November. Anne Marie Hallden, secretary general of Norwegian Church Aid, said that supporters of the initiative have walked about 60,000km in Norway since June. The march started in the Svalbard Archipelago, off northern Norway. Crown Princess Victoria (left) of Sweden receives a bottle of water from Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway. Italy coastguards rescue another 2,200 migrants Rome Italy s coastguard co-ordinated yesterday the rescue of 2,200 migrants in the Mediterranean after receiving distress calls from more than 20 overcrowded vessels drifting in waters off Libya. One of the biggest single-day rescue operations to date was ongoing as nightfall approached. It was unclear how many people remained in danger. Initial estimates had put the total number of people on board the stricken ships at up to 3,000. Two navy ships, the Cigala Fulgosi and the Vega, picked up, respectively, 507 and 432 migrants from two wooden boats in danger of sinking just off Libya, the navy The coastguard said its patrol boats had safely boarded just under 300 people from three different inflatable dinghies. Another 1,003 rescued migrants and refugees were reported to be headed for Italian ports on other boats as the wave of new arrivals triggered increasingly virulent attacks on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi s handling of the migration crisis. This must a joke. We are using our own forces to do the people smugglers business for them Turkey detains over 400 migrants trying to cross to Greece Istanbul Turkish security forces have detained 435 migrants and Syrian refugees along with three suspected people smugglers, before they embarked on an attempt to cross the Aegean Sea to Greece, reports said yesterday. There has been an upsurge this summer in the numbers of refugees and migrants using shaky vessels to make the crossing, sparking a humanitarian crisis for the European Union. The latest arrests in the district of Ayvacik on the Aegean in the Canakkale region of western Turkey appear to have been made even before they put to sea to try to reach the Greek island of Lesbos. Of those detained, 345 are Syrians, 64 from Afghanistan, 19 from Myanmar and seven from Syrian migrants walk past Greek and European flags as they head towards the town of Mithimna on Lesbos island, after arriving in an inflatable boat from Turkey yesterday. Pakistan, the official Anatolia news agency said, adding that police were acting on a tip-off. Three suspected people smugglers - all Turkish nationals were also detained. Two boats, two outboard motors and a large numbers of life jackets that were to have been used in the crossing were also seized. Turkish officials say that the security forces have been detaining thousands of migrants around the Aegean seeking to cross to Europe every week this summer. Many have been trying to make the short crossing from the Turkish resort of Bodrum to the Greek island of Kos in the southern Aegean. Far from striking out independently, they rely on the services of people smugglers who coordinate the enterprise, paying around $1,200 a head for the risky crossing. Migrants besieging Hungary: president and ensure we are invaded, said Maurizio Gasparri, a senator for Silvio Berlusconi s centre-right Forza Italia party. At least 31 German police officers were hurt in scuffles with about 600 protesters, many hurling bottles and stones, angry about the arrival of asylum seekers in an eastern German town in the early hours of yesterday, police In one of the country s biggest demonstrations against the influx of refugees, police in Heidenau, near Dresden, used pepper spray on right-wing demonstrators who were trying to stop busloads of asylum seekers reach their accommodation. The outbreak of violence by right-wing radicals followed a peaceful demonstration of some 1,000 people against the roughly 250 refugees, said police. In the end, the police brought the situation under control. The buses with the asylum seekers were led to the... shelter, Dresden police said in a statement. Media reported that the violence erupted after far-right radicals, many belonging to the National Democratic Party (NPD), who are inspired by Hitler s Nazis, took over the demonstration. Television pictures showed people carrying banners with the slogan Stop the asylum flood! and shouting Foreigners out! Matteo Salvini called on the government to park the migrants on disused Italian oil rigs off Libya. Politicians quickly condemned the violence. Sometimes you don t want to be a foreigner in our country. But neither do you want to be a German. I am ashamed of these racists in Heidenau, Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth Responding to the riot, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said: There is zero tolerance for xenophobia or racism. Germany is struggling to cope with a surge in the number of asylum seekers and politicians have warned about growing xenophobia. Help them, rescue them and take care of them: but don t let them land here, the leader of the anti-immigration Northern League wrote on his Facebook page. The rescued migrants included a batch of 311, including a new-born baby, who were on a boat belonging to humanitarian group Doctors without Borders (MSF) which is expected to dock in Vibo Valentia in Calabria, according to port authorities there. A further 370 had been picked up by the Italian customs police and were headed for Messina in Sicily while some 322, according to Italian media, were on the Norwegian boat Siem Pilot, part of the European Union s Triton mission. Just over 170,000 migrants and refugees from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia landed at Italy s southern ports in 2014 after being rescued in the Mediterranean, while the total for 2015 has already topped 104,000. A further 135,000-plus have landed in Greece since January and more than 2,300 people have died at sea while trying to make it to Europe. In the first half of the year alone, 150 shelters were attacked. The area around Dresden, also home to the anti-islam and anti-immigration PEGIDA movement, has been a hotspot. Conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the wave of asylum seekers is the biggest problem Europe faces. Germany expects the number of asylum seekers arriving to quadruple this year to 800,000 from last year. Cities are struggling to find accommodation and want more money to cope. Police in Palermo, Sicily, announced yesterday that they had arrested six Egyptian nationals on suspicion of people smuggling following the rescue of a stricken boat on August 19. Testimony from the 432 migrants on board suggest the vessel had been packed with more than 10 times the number of people it was designed for, with many of the passengers, including a number of women and children, locked below decks. They had each paid the traffickers 2,000 ($2,200) for the passage from Egypt to Italy, according to statements given to police. On board, the crew were reported to have demanded further payment to allow those locked in the hold to come up temporarily for air. Humanitarian organisations say that the surge in the numbers of people trying to reach European Union countries is the result of conflicts or repression in Africa and the Middle East. They have called on European governments to shoulder more of the burden of absorbing the wave of asylum seekers and to help create safer routes for them to reach Europe. Riot over refugees leaves 31 police hurt Berlin Police stand guard while asylum seekers are seen on a staircase in front of a former home furnishings store in Heidenau. The right-wing political party NPD organised a protest against bringing the asylum seekers to the facility on Friday. Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, a Social Democrat (SPD) said in a podcast yesterday that it was unacceptable for a country like Germany to let tent cities spring up and to fail to provide decent medical care. Germany, which has relatively liberal asylum laws, is taking in more refugees than any other European country, many from war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq. More than a third of these come from southeastern European countries like Albania and Serbia. Turkish captain killed in clashes with militants Diyarbakir Kurdish militants armed with rocket launchers and assault rifles killed a Turkish army captain in an attack on a military outpost in the southeast late on Friday, the latest in clashes which have brought a peace process to the brink of collapse. Security sources said Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants attacked the outpost in the southeastern province of Sirnak around 9.30pm (1830 GMT), prompting an hour-long firefight. The captain in charge of the outpost died of his injuries in a military hospital hours later. Turkey has launched more than 400 air strikes against PKK camps in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey since late July, in what it says is a response to mounting attacks on police officers and soldiers. Ankara, the United States and European Union all consider the PKK a terrorist organisation. Kurdish activists accuse Turkey of launching the military campaign in a bid to stifle Kurdish political gains in Turkey and territorial ambitions in northern Syria, where groups allied to the PKK have been battling Islamic State insurgents. Ankara denies these accusations. The violence comes at a difficult time for the Nato member, which faces a snap election in November after the ruling AK Party lost its majority in a June parliamentary poll for the first time since coming to power more than a decade ago. It has also left in tatters a ceasefire agreed two years ago with the PKK as part of efforts to end a conflict in the predominantly Kurdish southeast which has killed some 40,000 people over the past three decades. Neither the government nor the PKK have called an official end to the peace process, but there are concerns that much of the violence is being perpetrated by youth groups and factions which will be difficult to bring back under control. More than 50 members of the security forces have been killed in attacks since mid-july and close to 200 wounded, according to the government. Turkish media reports have put the PKK s death toll at several hundred, although the casualty figures are difficult to independently verify. The military said in a statement yesterday that 12 PKK members had been killed in operations in Sirnak unrelated to the attack on the outpost. It also said 29 militants had been killed in air strikes in northern Iraq on Thursday and Friday. DPA Budapest Hundreds of thousands of immigrants are besieging Hungarian borders, President Janos Ader said on Thursday in Budapest. Who could have thought 10 years ago that... a great migration would begin and hundreds of thousands of migrants would besiege Hungarian borders, Ader told a new class of army recruits. Hungary is the entry point to the European Union for refugees and migrants taking the so-called Balkan route, from the Middle East via Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and Serbia. The country registered 86,000 irregular migrants in the first seven months of 2015, with the rate of arrivals expected to accelerate. Though Hungary is merely a transit country for refugees many of whom eye Germany and other rich countries in the West as destinations Prime Minister Viktor Orban has launched a strong campaign against the migrants. The authorities are presently completing a protective fence along the border with Serbia, promising to curb the inflow of migrants. In September, the parliament is expected to pass legislation introducing tough measures, including up to four years in prison, for people who illegally cross the border. Poroshenko announces new weapons for military Poroshenko delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the handing over of heavy military equipment to Ukrainian forces in northeastern town of Chuguev, in the Kharkiv region. DPA Kiev Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced new weapons for the nation s military, despite renewed efforts at finding peace in the war-torn east of the country. By the end of the year, the army should be equipped with 400 extra vehicles and additional military equipment for the fight against pro-russian separatists, he said at a meeting with soldiers in the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv. Ukrainian military and rebels reported mutual shelling yesterday and several people were injured. Ahead of peace negotiations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in Berlin tomorrow, Poroshenko gave little hope of a rapid solution to the conflict. The military threat from the East will be our focus for the coming decade, he warned. Ukraine sees Russia as an aggressor in the conflict. Kiev says Moscow has supported the rebels with weapons and fighters, but the Kremlin denies the allegations. Poroshenko stressed that the need to modernise and equip the military with new weapons was a priority. Ukraine has long called for arms shipments from the West, but governments in the European Union and the US have rejected the demands.
19 EUROPE 19 Latest attack shows impossibility of tracking all potential terrorists Paris The thwarted attack by a gunman on a train between Amsterdam and Paris has underlined the difficulty faced by intelligence services in tracking the unprecedented numbers of potential jihadists, experts say. The 26-year-old Moroccan suspect in Friday s shooting, who was overpowered by two US servicemen and other passengers before he could kill anyone, was first flagged to Spanish authorities as a potential extremist and intelligence sources said he had travelled to Syria. In a timely interview published on the same day as the attack, Alain Grignard, a senior member of Belgium s counter-terrorism police unit, said the terrorist threat has never been higher in all the years I ve been working. It boils down to mathematics and it s all linked to the Syria dynamic, Grignard told CTC Sentinel, the in-house journal of the US military academy at West Point. There s no way of knowing the exact numbers but I can tell you with certainty that at least 300 have travelled that s the number we have sufficient evidence to bring charges against. At least 100 have returned to Belgium, but we are under no illusions that there aren t more we don t know about. It s impossible to do surveillance on everybody. It s a point driven home by terrorism expert Raffaello Pantucci, of the Royal United Services Institute in London. The authorities know about a lot of people but not which ones will actually launch an attack, he It s a very resourceintensive job. You need three shifts with several people, and equipment and vehicles, to watch someone 24 hours a day. Intelligence agencies just aren t big enough to do that for everyone. A Spanish counter-terrorism source said the Moroccan suspect in Friday s attack had lived in Spain for a year before moving to France and visiting Syria in Grignard said the number of terrorism suspects had mushroomed in recent years. To give you an idea of the scale of the challenge, in the past two years we ve charged more people with terrorism offences than in the 30 years before that, he Our approach in Belgium is to detain everybody suspected of fighting with terrorist groups in Syria when they return to Belgium. We interrogate them and charge them if we have evidence. But in lots of cases we do not have enough evidence. Brussels, where the suspect boarded the train, is thought to have the highest per capita number of people in Europe leaving to fight in the Middle East. The threat was underlined when Belgian police busted a jihadist cell linked to the Islamic State group in January, thwarting an alleged plot to attack police. But France has the highest overall numbers joining the jihad, with the government reporting that 843 had left for Syria as of May more than half of them unknown to authorities at the time of their departure. It s the perennial problem of how you prioritise between serious concerns, said Pantucci. Plus there s the Schengen free movement it s very easy for people to move around. Intelligence agencies in different countries are getting better at talking to each other, but they may make different assessments of individuals and put their priorities in different areas. As if to underline the obstacles to intelligence-sharing, the initial revelations about Friday s attack have brought conflicting accounts from France and Spain. Spanish authorities told he travelled from France to Syria and back last year, but French officials said they were never informed of this. Although jihadist profiles vary greatly, one of the key trends in Grignard s view has been an increasing number who come from inner-city gang backgrounds. Young Muslim men with a history of social and criminal delinquency are joining up with the IS as part of a sort of supergang, he told CTC Sentinel. He cites the cell broken up in January who were radicalised very quickly, and when they came back from Syria they had no fear of death. Two militants were killed in the raid. When our commandos launched their raid it took the suspected terrorists one second to switch from chatting between themselves to opening fire. These guys had maybe more experience in gun battles than our own commandos. Here in Belgium and across Europe we are now reviewing how we do these kind of raids, said Grignard. There is also a limit to how much security can be mounted, particularly around trains. Airplanes leave from a specific place you can build a security apparatus around it, said Pantucci. It s just not possible to do that with trains. You would have to do that at every station from large terminals in Paris to small towns in rural France. And if you create more barriers, you cause big crowds and that just creates a new target. French train attacker is a known militant A photo taken by a passenger with a smartphone through the window of a Thalys train shows police detaining the suspect on the platform at the main train station in Arras. How the attacker was overpowered Paris The men who helped overpower and subdue a gunman after he opened fire on a packed train between Amsterdam and Paris have given a blow-by-blow account of the incident. I saw a guy entering the train with an AK (Kalashnikov rifle) and a handgun and I just looked over at Spencer and said Let s go, go, said off-duty US serviceman Alek Skarlatos in a Skype interview shown on France 24 and other TV stations. Skarlatos, a 22-year-old member of the National Guard in Oregon who recently returned from service in Afghanistan, was travelling with Spencer Stone, who is in the US Air Force. (Spencer) jumped up and I followed behind him by about three seconds. Spencer got to the guy first, grabbed the guy by the neck, and I got the handgun away from the guy and threw it and then I grabbed the AK that was at his feet. The gunman, who was known to French and Spanish counterterrorism officials and is said to have travelled to Syria last year, had boarded the busy Thalys train in Brussels. Spencer ran a good 10m to get to the guy, and we didn t know that his gun wasn t working or anything like that, said Skarlatos in a separate interview shown on France s BFMTV and other stations. Spencer just ran anyway and if anyone would ve gotten shot, it would ve been Spencer for sure. The attack began around 5.50pm (1550 GMT) when a French passenger discovered the gunman in a toilet with a Kalashnikov slung over his shoulder. The passenger who wanted to access the toilets in carriage 12, came across an individual with a Kalashnikov over his shoulder, said French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve in a statement to reporters. He courageously tried to tackle him before the attacker fired several shots, he added. It was shortly after that the US servicemen charged the gunman, along with their friend, student Anthony Sadler, who said that the attacker didn t stand a chance. He didn t say anything. He was just telling us to give back his gun: Give me back my gun! Give me back my gun!, said Sadler in the BFMTV interview. The trio were joined by 62-year-old British consultant Chris Norman, who helped subdue the man. I was sitting at the front of the carriage, said Norman in the same interview. I came in at the end of it all and I guess just helped to get the guy under control. We ended up by tying him up. During the process, the guy actually pulled out a cutter and started cutting Spencer. He cut Spencer behind the neck. He nearly cut his thumb off. Spencer held him. We eventually got him under control. Mobile phone footage from inside the train and played on several TV stations shows the suspect, a skinny man wearing white trousers and no shirt, flattened on the floor of the train with his hands and feet tied behind his back. It could have been a real carnage, no question about that, said Norman. Stone then went to help a Franco-American passenger who had been shot in the shoulder during the fight. I m just real proud of my friend that he reacted so quickly and so bravely, said Sadler. Even after being injured (Stone) went to go help the other man who was bleeding also. Without his help, he would have died. The guy was bleeding from his neck profusely. The gunman was arrested when the train with 554 passengers aboard stopped at Arras station in northern France about 10 minutes later. Both Stone and the other injured passenger were taken to hospital, where they are said to be recovering well. (Spencer) is in good spirits. He s in disbelief that it happened, Sadler told BFMTV. I m just a college student, he added. I came to see my friends for my first trip to Europe and we stop a terrorist. It s kind of crazy. Paris/Madrid A gunman overpowered by passengers on a train in France is known to European authorities as a suspected Islamist militant if the identity he has given is correct, France s interior minister said yesterday. Two people were wounded in the struggle to subdue the Kalashnikov-toting attacker aboard the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris late on Friday. Two US servicemen, one of whom suffered knife wounds, were among the passengers who stopped the gunman. Cazeneuve said the man s identity was not confirmed, but if he was telling the truth he is a 26-year-old man of Moroccan nationality identified by the Spanish authorities to French intelligence services in February 2014 because of his connections to the radical Islamist movement. The man the Spanish authorities had under surveillance left Spain for France in 2014, travelled to Syria, and then back to France, a Spanish counter-terrorism source said yesterday. In Spain, he lived in the southern port of Algeciras and appeared to have stayed in the country for about a year, the source Cazeneuve did not mention any visit to Syria or France, only A day ago he was just another tourist on a train. Yesterday, US Airman First Class Spencer Stone was recovering from knife wounds in a hospital in France, being thanked for foiling what the French government called an attempted terrorist attack. Stone was touring Europe with two friends he grew up with in California. The three men in naming Spain and Belgium as the suspected militant s places of residence, this year and last. He said inquiries in collaboration with other European authorities should establish precisely the activities and travels of this terrorist. French newspaper Le Voix du Nord said the suspect may have had connections to a group involved in a suspected Islamist shooting in Belgium in January. The Belgian government confirmed an inquiry but would not comment further. French authorities have been on high alert since January, when 17 people were killed in shootings by Islamist militants in and around Paris. The attacker was armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and an automatic pistol, both with accompanying ammunition clips. He also had a box cutter knife. Cazeneuve said the struggle started when a Frenchman on his way to the toilet tried to stop the man entering a carriage. The wounded US serviceman, airman Spencer Stone of Lajes Air Base, Azores, was expected to be treated at a specialist hospital for people with hand injuries in the northern French city of Lille. Among the other passengers who helped stop the attacker were Stone s friends: National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos and another American, student Anthony Sadler. Skarlatos had returned last Police officers stand on the platform at the Zuid-Midi railway station in Brussels yesterday, a day after a shooting occurred on board of an Amsterdam-Paris Thalys train. month from a tour of duty in Afghanistan and the three were on holiday together in Europe. Cazeneuve said the other wounded person was of Franco- American nationality, hit by a bullet while seated. Authorities said on Friday night that a French actor had also been hurt. We were stuck in the wrong place with the right people, the actor, Jean-Hugues Anglade, was quoted as saying on BFMTV. Wrong place, right people heroes of thwarted attack By Morade Azzouz, Lille, France their 20s helped overpower a Kalashnikov-toting suspected Islamist militant on a high speed train heading for Paris from Amsterdam. Among the other heroes of the night-time drama was a Frenchman on his way to the toilet who was first to tackle the assailant as he entered the carriage, and a 62-year-old Briton who still had blood spattered over his shirt as he spoke to journalists on Friday night. But it may have been Stone, 23, of Lajes Air Base, Azores, who took the biggest risk. He was the first one to jump on him, he s the one who got cut up... none of us are injured but Spencer took a few injuries and he just had no fear, 23-year-old student Anthony Sadler, told. That s our friend so once we saw him go we had to go and join him... we couldn t have just left US serviceman Spencer Stone waves as he departs the Clinique Lille Sud, which specialises in hand injuries, in Lesquin, France. everybody die like that. It was a crazy situation, said Sadler, a student at Sacramento State University. Sadler said everything happened very fast as the attacker, armed with an automatic pistol and a box cutter as well as the AK-47 assault rifle, appeared to try to clear his weapon which seemed to be jammed. One passenger was hit by a bullet, and was in a serious but stable condition, authorities Stone was due to be released from hospital later in the day. I woke up to basically people ducking and then I was, like, Why is everybody ducking? and then, when I turned round to look, he, the gunman, had just entered the car with the AK and then I was, like: This is really happening, Sadler We just all ran back there and we tried to do whatever we could to try and beat him up so he didn t shoot anybody. He pulled out a box cutter and cut Spencer a couple of times but beside that we just tried to do whatever we could. The third member of the group, 22-year-old National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, said that the vacation was partly to celebrate his return from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. The men s fathers were thankful things turned out well. A guy comes back from Afghanistan and he has to fight a battle on vacation on a train in It s miraculous, he added. President Barack Obama hailed the passengers as heroes: It is clear that their heroic actions may have prevented a far worse tragedy. The gunman was transferred yesterday to the Paris region from Arras in northern France where the incident took place. Cazeneuve said under the terms of his arrest the man can be held for four days without being charged. France, Emanuel Skarlatos said of his son, a college student who works at a Costco retail store as well as serving in the National Guard. Speaking with by telephone from his home in Roseburg, Oregon, he said that Skarlatos and Stone were as close as brothers, having grown up together in Carmichael, California. They trusted each other where one wouldn t back down if the other was getting his butt kicked, Skarlatos We re still trying to wrap our heads around it, but we re proud of him, Anthony Sadler s father, also named Anthony, told by phone. He said the three boys had known each other since middle school. The elder Sadler, a 57-yearold pastor at Sacramento s Shiloh Baptist Church, said: We re very, very thankful to God that he was not hurt or killed. The shooting took place on a Thalys high-speed train. The Franco-Belgian state transport group runs international trains linking France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. All four countries are part of the Schengen area through which people travel without the need for passports and security checkins. Experts have long said the trains are a potential target for attacks. Anthony Sadler (left), Alek Skarlatos, and British national Chris Norman (right), who is living in France, hold their medals as they sit in a restaurant after a brief ceremony in the town of Arras, northern France, on Friday. Asked if his son would continue his European trip, Sadler said No, the trip is over... that s enough. He ll be returning home as soon as possible. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, President Francois Hollande and US President Barack Obama hailed the train passengers as heroes. As a show of gratitude, the head of SNCF French railways said his company would organise a visit to France for the Americans families, should they want to come. Briton Chris Norman, who helped the Americans overpower the gunman, said: Without Spencer we d all be dead. French movie actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, star of international hits Betty Blue and Nikita, who was also on the train, was quoted as saying by BFMTV: We were stuck in the wrong place with the right people. It s miraculous.
20 20 INDIA Hyderabad zoo tiger escapes, sparks panic IANS Hyderabad Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj gestures during a press conference in New Delhi yesterday. Visitors to Nehru Zoological Park here ran helter-skelter as a tiger escaped its enclosure yesterday. The Royal Bengal tiger jumped off a 3m deep moat in the evening when it was being shifted to another enclosure, scaring hundreds of visitors. Zoo authorities swung into action to evacuate the premises and closed all the gates. After an hour long effort, the officials tranquilised the big cat and shifted to the enclosure. The authorities had a sigh of relief as the tiger was caught before it caused any harm. However, the incident sent panic among weekend visitors in the sprawling zoo. Deputy Commissioner of Police V Satyanarayana visited the zoo. He told reporters that no one was injured. Zoo officials ordered an inquiry into the incident, which has raised a questions about the safety measures. One of the largest zoo in India, Nehru Zoological Park is spread over 380 acres. The zoo, which celebrated its golden jubilee in 2013, is home to some of the most exotic birds and animals in mostly open enclosures in near natural ambiance. On an average, 1.5mn people visit the zoo annually. Talk terror, nothing else, Sushma tells Pakistan IANS New Delhi Prospects for NSA talks between India and Pakistan looked increasingly bleak yesterday as Pakistan insisted it will take up the core issue of Kashmir while India said that Islamabad must abide by the agenda agreed to at Ufa and only discuss terrorism. Pakistani National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz, who is slated to travel to India today for the talks, said at a press conference in Islamabad that he is willing to come for the talks but Kashmir would be on the table and he would also speak with the Kashmiri separatists. A few hours later, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at a press conference that Aziz was welcome to come to India to meet his counterpart Ajit Doval, but the agenda has to remain within what was agreed to at Russia s Ufa on July 10 between both their prime ministers. She said the mandate for the NSA talks was to discuss terrorism related issues only and Aziz should stick to it, and there was no space for the Hurriyat in talks as per the Simla Agreement inked between both countries earlier. Pakistan is saying that Kashmir is the core issue, but that was not said at Ufa. In Ufa, it was decided that all outstanding issues including Kashmir... but first let us discuss terrorism and violence, she Aziz said that he is waiting for my press conference. I am answering - please keep to the Simla and Ufa agreements signed by both our countries. As per the Simla agreement spirit, there can be no third party in talks, and the Hurriyat cannot be included. As per the Ufa spirit, don t increase the agenda. And do come, you are welcome. She denied that India was laying any preconditions for the NSA talks, as alleged by Pakistan, and said if Pakistan sticks to its stand of raking up Kashmir at the NSA parley and Aziz meets the Hurriyat, Toh baatchit nahin hogi (then there will be no talks). Sushma Swaraj also said that what Aziz read at his press conference from the Ufa talks between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif was the preamble of the joint statement signed by both countries and not the operative part, which said there will be three meetings - between the NSAs to discuss terrorism, talks between the Border Security Force and Pakistani Rangers chiefs, and between the DGMOs. She contended Pakistan was running away from the talks as India has caught a Pakistani terrorist alive after the Udhampur attack. We have a zinda aadmi (live person) as proof and that is why he is running away; But we are saying Specific information on Dawood in Pakistan : Rajnath Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said yesterday that the government had specific information about Mumbai blasts accused Dawood Ibrahim s presence in Pakistan. He said India had made its stand on terrorism plain and clear and it was now Pakistan s turn to react. Speaking at a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party workers in New Delghi, the former Uttar please come for talks; we will give you proof. If he gives dossiers we will give him a zinda aadmi, she Pakistan denies the man in custody is a Pakistani national. She said the operative part of the July 10 Ufa talks was that terrorism and talks cannot go together, and that a productive dialogue can be held only in an atmosphere free from terrorism and violence. Pradesh chief minister said Dawood was in Pakistan for sure and even the Pakistan government was aware that the coordinates of the dreaded terrorist were available with India. Stating that Dawood was on top of the most wanted list in India, he said Pakistan needed to understand that it has to act and not just dish out assurances which were not working on the ground. Sushma Swaraj claimed that after the Ufa talks there was lot of criticism of Sharif when he returned and Pakistan decided to do something to wriggle out of the talks. The atmosphere for the talks soured over Pakistani high commission (embassy) in India inviting the Jammu and Kashmir separatist leaders to meet Aziz ahead of the NSA talks. Civilians join OROP protest IANS New Delhi The protest over the delay in the implementation of the One Rank One Pension scheme continued yesterday for the 69th day, with three veterans observing an indefinite fast for nearly a week. Yesterday was the sixth day of the indefinite hunger strike by retired Colonel Pushpender Singh and former Havildar Major Singh, and the fifth day for retired Havildar Ashok Chauhan. Yesterday, 80 widows from Haryana also joined the relay fast. Spokesperson for the Indian Ex-Servicemen Front Col Anil Kaul (Retd.) told IANS that the medical parameters of the three veterans were stable and their health was fine. A motorbike rally supporting OROP was also taken out yesterday by a citizens group - Citizens For Forces - with placards supporting the veterans. Support also poured in the form of monetary assistance and other things with NGOs, individuals and organisations coming forward to back the veterans. However, there was no message from the government to the veterans. The ex-servicemen are hoping to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and have sought help from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for this. Another militant outfit may ink peace deal: Tripura CM West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, federal Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal, former cricketer Sourav Ganguly and former footballer Chuni Goswami take part in the Mohun Bagan Club celebrations in Kolkata. Mohun Bagan fetes footballing legends IANS Kolkata Legendary Indian footballers Karuna Bhattacharya and 1962 Asian Games gold medallist Arumainayagam were awarded the Mohun Bagan Ratna yesterday, a prize given to the greats of the game who have earlier donned the green and maroon shirts. The awards were given on Mohun Bagan s 125th anniversary celebrations at the Netaji Indoor stadium here. While Arumainayagam hugged his 1962 teammate and former India football captain Subimal Chuni Goswami on stage after receiving a scarf and a memento, Bhattacharya was awarded posthumously with his son taking the award. A galaxy of other sports stars were present at the ceremony, including ex-india cricket skipper Sourav Ganguly and legendary hockey player Gurbux Singh. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and federal Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal were also present at the mega event. Due to an acute financial crunch, Mohun Bagan had to postpone their celebrations from last year to yesterday. Founded in 1889, Mohun Bagan was the first Indian team to win a football tournament that was played in India, defeating East Yorkshire Regiment 2-1 to win the 1911 Indian Football Association Shield. The feat triggered patriotic feelings and aided the country s fight to gain independence from British rule. Junior footballers and cricketers including Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla, fast bowler Mohammed Shami and Wriddhiman Saha - presently touring Sri Lanka were also felicitated. By Sujit Chakraborty, IANS Agartala Sarkar... hopeful After the NSCN (IM), one more banned militant group in northeastern India - the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) - may give up arms and sign a peace pact with the government, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said yesterday. Officials of union home ministry, central intelligence bodies and Tripura government have already held two rounds of talks during the past six months with the NLFT in Delhi and Shillong, Sarkar told IANS. We are ready to continue the peace talks with the NLFT. However, their concrete and specific conditions, demands and issues are yet to be submitted to the government. Under the Indian constitution, we are ready to hold talks on any issues of the NLFT, said Sarkar, who also holds the home portfolio. According to the chief minister, there are at least 16 NLFT camps in neighbouring Bangladesh and the outfit has around 80 cadres with roughly 100 sophisticated arms. The NLFT also has accounts in Bangladeshi banks, Sarkar said, adding that the Bangladesh government and its security forces had helped a lot in cracking down against various extremists outfits of northeast India. The NLFT reportedly had recently approached the union home ministry to involve former Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) supremo Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl and former Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga in the ongoing peace process and dialogue with the government. To a question about the involvement of Hrangkhawl and Zoramthanga, the chief minister said: We have been saying that Hrangkhawl has a link with the militant outfits, now it was proved with the NLFT s proposal to the MHA (the federal home ministry). If Hrangkhawl has no link with the militant outfit, why has the NLFT suggested his involvement in the talks? With this NLFT proposal, Hrangkhawl is trying to send a message to the underground outfit that he was with them, Sarkar added. At the instance of then-prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Hrangkhawl had signed a tripartite peace accord with the central and Tripura governments on August 12, 1988, before around 450 men of the outfit surrendered. Subsequently, the TNV merged with a tribal-based Tripura Upajati Juba Samity political party and formed the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) in Sarkar remained non-committal about Zoramthanga, a former underground leader of the Mizo National Front that had turned into a political party. Zoramthanga has been instrumental in brokering peace deal between the union government and the NSCN (IM) and was also involved in talks with ethnic Mizo groups in Manipur. Praising the accord signed between the NSCN-IM (National Socialist Council of Nagaland- Isak-Muivah) and the central government on August 3, Sarkar demanded the immediate disclosure of its contents and the government s commitment. The views of the Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang which appeared in the media, are ambiguous. His clear views on the accord would be very important, Sarkar The chief ministers of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, all ruled by the Congress, have also demanded that the provisions of the accord be disclosed. Sarkar, who has been the Tripura chief minister for more than 17 years, said during the past two years, 12 extremist-related incidents had occurred in the state in which four people were killed, two injured and 18 people abducted. Of the 18 kidnapped people, 16 were released by the rebels. There is no militancy-related incident so far this year. A significant number of militants have surrendered to the government in the recent past, he added. The NLFT and another outfit All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF), banned in 1997 by the union home ministry, have been demanding secession of Tripura from India. But as most ATTF cadres have surrendered, the group is almost non-existent now.
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