Global Snippets

Former Finance Minister hits out at Congress PM

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has hit out at then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the multi-billion dollar telecom scam.
Chidambaram has said in a recent interview that Singh should have resigned after the scam broke out and then Congress-led government could have tackled the matter better.
“I think 2G (telecom scam) could have been handled differently in the sense that the Prime Minister could have put his foot down and said I am sorry, I will not let you go forward with the first come first serve (FCFS) route,” he said.
Chidambaram added: “Or after licenses had been granted and issue was brought up, he could have said cancel licenses without waiting for the judgment. The government should have canceled all the licenses without waiting for the Supreme Court (judgment).”
The telecom scandal rocked the then Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, with CAG Federal auditor pointing out that the scam led to a loss of U.S. 40 billion dollars to the exchequer.

Fourth victim of Marysville-Pilchuk High School shooting dies

A fourth victim of the recent Marysville-Pilchuk High School shooting in Washington State has died. It is the shooter’s cousin, 15-year-old Andrew Fryberg, according to medical officials at Harborview Medical Center.“Unfortunately, Andrew Fryberg, 15, passed away this evening, November 7, at Harborview Medical Center,”Q13FOX quoted them as saying on Friday. The only survivor of the shooting is 14-year-old Nate Hatch, who is also the shooter’s cousin. He was released home on Thursday. According to the Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary, the accused sent his friends text messages telling them to meet him at the cafeteria, with promises to kill them. His motives are still being investigated.

IMF mission to visit Ukraine Nov. 11-25

The mission of the International Monetary Fund will work in Ukraine from November 11 to 25, TASS reported, citing a statement by Jerome Vacher, IMF representative in the country. The current economic situation in Ukraine will be discussed, as well as the government’s efforts to achieve macroeconomic, financial stability and the resumption of the economic growth. Ukraine officials earlier said the mission will be assessing the country’s “real need [for] further financing.”

Roadside bombs kill 6 people in NW Pakistan

Two roadside bombs, minutes apart, struck a minibus and a motorcycle in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, AP reported. At least six people were killed, according to a government administrator in Pakistan, Meraj Khan. Five passengers in the minivan and the cyclist were killed and four people were wounded in Friday’s blasts in Mohmand tribal region, Khan said. Those dead included members of a local anti-Taliban militia. No one claimed responsibility for the attacks but Pakistani officials has blamed local militants for previous similar attacks in the area.

17 arrested in worldwide drug website bust – Europol

Seventeen people have been arrested in an international crackdown on underground websites selling illegal drugs, AP quoted a top Europol official as saying Friday. The agency’s cybercrimes division coordinated raids in more than a dozen countries on Thursday. In a US operation, the FBI announced the arrest in San Francisco of a man accused of running the Silk Road 2.0 online drug bazaar.

Putin to meet Cameron, Hollande at G20 summit in Australia

President Vladimir Putin will meet with UK Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande during the November 15-16 G20 summit in Australia’s Brisbane, Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said Friday. Putin and US President Barack Obama will have an opportunity to talk on the sidelines of the event, RIA Novosti quoted Ushakov as saying. Over the weekend, meetings are planned between the Russian president and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and also Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in China.

Indian passenger plane hits buffalo, Spicejet airline suspends flights

An Indian airline has suspended flights from a rural airport after one of its planes hit a buffalo on the runway, AFP said. The accident occurred just before takeoff, and none of the 140 passengers and crew on the Spicejet flight was injured. The buffalo was “essentially invisible against a dark background,” the budget airline said. It suspended all flights from Surat Airport in the western Indian state of Gujarat, citing a “growing menace” of stray animals at some airports in India.

Lavrov to meet with Kerry in Beijing on Saturday

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet in Beijing on Saturday, TASS news agency reported. They are expected to meet at the preparatory events for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing on November 8, a Russian Foreign Ministry source said Friday. Lavrov and Kerry last met in Paris on October 14 to discuss a broad range of issues, including events in Ukraine and Iraq. APEC leaders are due to meet in Beijing on November 10-11.

At least 10 blasts hit Fatah houses, cars in Gaza

At least 10 explosions which struck in the space of a few hours before 04:30 GMT hit houses and cars belonging to members of the Fatah movement in Gaza on Friday, AFP said. There were no immediate reports of any casualties from the blasts. They were condemned by both Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’ Fatah and its Islamist rival Hamas, which dominates the Gaza Strip. The stage for commemorations of next week’s 10th anniversary of the death of Palestinian leader and Fatah founder Yasser Arafat was also targeted in the blasts.Israeli death toll rises to 3 after Palestinian attack on pedestrians

An Israeli man who was injured after a Palestinian rammed his car into pedestrians died on Friday, Reuters reported, citing a hospital official. A man of about 20 died at Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem of his injuries, according to the spokeswoman. This takes to three the death toll in the incident, including the assailant shot dead at the scene. The militant Islamist group Hamas claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack at a light rail stop in Jerusalem.

Japan’s regional authorities approve restart of Sendai nuclear plant

Regional authorities in Japan on Friday approved the restart of the idled Sendai nuclear plant of Kyushu Electric Power Co, Reuters said. The move paves the way for a revival of the stalled industry, more than three years after the Fukushima disaster. The two-reactor Sendai plant is located 1,000km southwest of Tokyo in Kagoshima prefecture. On Friday, 38 of the 47 members of Kagoshima’s prefectural assembly backed the restart. The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pushed to restart the fleet of 48 offline reactors.

​6.9 earthquake strikes off Papua New Guinea

Earthquake of magnitude 6.9 strikes off Papua New Guinea 73km NE of Finschhafen, US Geological Survey reports. The quake shook near Kandrian, New Britain at a depth of 60 km. No casualties or damage reported.

53 million email addresses stolen in Home Depot hack

Home Depot announced some 53 million email addresses were stolen when hackers infiltrated its payment system in September, the Wall Street Journal reports. That is in addition to the 56 million credit and debit card accounts that were also compromisedduring the five-month attack on company checkout terminals. As a result, Home Depot cautioned that customers should keep an eye out for email phishing scams that may attempt to gather even more personal or financial data.

​US Coast Guard looking for F-16 reportedly crashed in Gulf of Mexico

The US Coast Guard has undertaken a search and rescue mission following reports that an F-16 has gone missing some 60 – 75 miles off the coast of Panama City, Florida. Tyndall Air Force Base lost communication with the aircraft around 9:15 am on Thursday, during a routine training mission, and the Coast Guard sent out two vessels and two aircraft to begin the search. The incident is currently under investigation, though officials told AP that they suspect the F-16 has crashed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Police prevent radical Jews from praying at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque

Around 150 Jewish extremists marched in Jerusalem to pray near the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, but were prevented by police from reaching Islam’s third holiest site, AFP reports. The shrine is also revered by Jews, who are allowed to enter the compound itself, but are forbidden from praying there for fear of triggering tensions with Muslim worshippers. The protest march took place a day after two hit-and-run attacks by Palestinians saw a policeman killed and soldier seriously injured.

No plans to change rules at Jerusalem Al-Aqsa mosque – Israel

Israel has told King Abdullah of Jordan that there are no plans to change the current rules and customs at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem – the most sacred Jewish site and the third holiest place in Islam. “Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s commitment to preserve the status quo on the Temple Mount as well as Jordan’s special status at the site,” AFP reported a statement from Netanyahu’s office as saying. The statement said the two leaders had talked by phone about the “latest incidents” at the site. On Wednesday morning, Israeli police and Palestinian protesters clashed at the site.

Syrian rebel group says ‘women and kids’ killed in US-led airstrike

Syrian Islamist rebel group Ahrar al-Sham said that civilians were killed in the latest US airstrike on Syria as the anti-ISIS coalition targeted a base near the Turkish border.“The air strikes came last night and hit a number of areas in the liberated Idlib countryside,” the statement said, reported Reuters. Women and children died in the assault according to the group.

Spain’s Supreme Court says it won’t withdraw veto on Catalonia independence vote

Spain’s Supreme Court again rejected the Catalan government’s appeal against a ban on Sunday’s independence poll in the region. Spain’s courts initially rejected the vote for failing to comply with legal standards, such as the creation electoral roll, and independent monitoring, and approval from the rest of the country, and then again when the local government repositioned the poll as a “popular consultation.” According to the ruling, the vote, which would have asked Catalans two questions about the desired degree of independence, will now be suspended for at least five months, though it is unclear if the local government will accept the decision.

Canadian train derails in alleged landside, 1 person missing

A train conductor is missing after a train derailment about 20 kilometers north of Sept-Iles in Canadian province of Quebec, CBC News reports. A landslide allegedly forced the locomotive off the tracks, which run along the Moisie River. The Iron Ore Company of Canada confirmed that the train locomotive, which was transporting empty railcars, was found submerged in the river.

France says conditions not yet met for Mistral warships’ delivery to Russia

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said that the conditions for the delivery of two Mistral warships to Russia have not yet been fulfilled. “Today the conditions have not been met for [the warships’] delivery to Russia,” he told reporters in Serbia. France has come under international pressure to cancel the delivery because of Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis.

US attacks 5 Khorasan targets in Syria with air strikes

The United States says it has destroyed facilities and vehicles belonging to the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Khorasan Grou

WHO-approved Ebola human vaccine trial to begin in Geneva in Nov.10

115 volunteers will begin a human trial of the Canadian VSV-ZEBOV vaccine at the Geneva University Hospital on November 10. The volunteers for the vaccine, which has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation, will be joined by those in Germany and 100 people in Gabon and Kenya in Africa. Early results are expected by the end of the year.

Spain’s central govt warns Catalonia against using public funds for vote

Spain’s central government on Thursday warned the region of Catalonia that it is banned from using public resources to stage a symbolic independence referendum on Nov. 9, AFP said. “Efforts to use public resources to stage the consultation or other actions linked to it could go against the court ruling,” the central government’s representative wrote in a letter to the Catalan government. The letter was also sent to the regional education department which oversees schools where ballot boxes will be installed Sunday.

Israel allows Palestinian farmers to ship produce from Gaza Strip to West Bank

Israel on Thursday allowed Palestinian farmers to ship produce from the blockaded Gaza Strip to the occupied West Bank, Reuters said. For the first time since 2007, the transit is being allowed via Israeli territory. The shipments, which were halted after Hamas won an election and took control of the Gaza Strip seven years ago, are aimed at spurring economic recovery in the enclave, after a seven-week war last summer, Israeli authorities said. A truckload of cucumbers destined for the West Bank was moved through Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing point with the Gaza Strip.

Four‘IS’ supporters’ arrested in Berlin

Around 50 police officers carried out anti-terror raids in Berlin on Wednesday against suspected supporters of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS/ISIL). Four men aged 28 to 37 years old were arrested on suspicion of preparing a serious act of violent subversion, the Local reported. Four apartments in the Schoneberg area of the capital were raided early Wednesday morning. In Stuttgart, 24-year-old Ismail I. admitted in court Wednesday that he had returned to Germany from Syria to buy supplies for IS fighters.

100,000 Belgians march in 1st anti-austerity protest against new govt

Around 100,000 Belgians staged a march through central Brussels on Thursday in protest at the new government’s proposed austerity cuts, Reuters reported. The center-right government, installed a month ago, has pledged to raise the retirement age and limit scope for early retirement. An inflation-linked wage hike due next year will be canceled and the health and social security budgets cut. The unions plan a series of regional strikes every Monday starting November 24, culminating in a national strike December 15.

Palestinian who ran over 3 Israeli soldiers in West Bank ‘turns himself in’ – army

A Palestinian who ran over three Israeli soldiers in the southern West Bank turned himself in, AFP reported, citing an army statement. “The Palestinian suspected of running over the three soldiers last night turned himself into the security forces,” the statement said. It added that the man had been taken for investigation.

Gorbachev to meet Merkel as Germany marks 25th anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall

Former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev is set to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel during his upcoming trip to Germany, RIA Novosti reported. Gorbachev Foundation spokesperson Pavel Palazhchenko also said that the former Soviet leader will make a number of public appearances, and the central event will be the ceremonial meeting dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9. The New Policy Forum, which was created by Gorbachev, is to take place during his trip to Germany.

Dutch experts working at MH17 crash site in E. Ukraine – OSCE

Dutch experts have arrived at the site of the Malaysian Airlines MH17 plane crash in eastern Ukraine, RIA Novosti reported, citing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. They are being accompanied by the observers of the OSCE and Emergencies Ministry employees from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. The experts are currently working near the village of Grabovo, where the plane with 298 people aboard from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in July. The team of Dutch experts arrived in Donetsk on Wednesday to carry out the preparations necessary before the plane wreckage is finally removed.

Criminal case opened in Russia over shelling of school in Donetsk, E. Ukraine

The Russian Investigative Committee (SKR) has opened a criminal case over a shelling of a school in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, where children were killed. The killing is qualified as an international crime that involved the use of illegal methods of warfare, TASS reported, citing SKR spokesman Vladimir Markin. Also on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry’s envoy for human rights and the supremacy of law Konstantin Dolgov said that those responsible for the killing of children in Donetsk are to be punished severely.

Pakistan summons US ambassador as Pentagon says Islamabad supports militants

Pakistan summoned the US ambassador after a Pentagon report alleged that Islamabad supports militant proxies in neighboring India and Afghanistan, AP reported. The Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Pakistani National Security and Foreign Affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz conveyed the complaint to US Ambassador Richard Olson. The US Defense Department’s report, ‘Progress Towards Security and Stability in Afghanistan’, said militants continue to enjoy safe havens in Pakistan. According to Pentagon, the fighters are used as a hedge against Islamabad’s loss of influence in Afghanistan and as a counterweight to India’s superior military.

Hong Kong protesters clash with police in Mong Kok district

Hong Kong protesters clashed with police early on Thursday in the district of Mong Kok that has become a flashpoint for street brawls, Reuters reported. Scuffles between hundreds of protesters and dozens of police armed with batons and shields broke out after 2am local time at one of three remaining demonstration sites, for the first time in more than two weeks. On Wednesday, Regina Ip, a former Hong Kong security chief and a top adviser to the city’s embattled leader, proposed members of the Federation of Students be given seats on the committee, according to a report by broadcaster RTHK. media agencies

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