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Found 91 results

  1. Smoke bellows after a suicide car bomb blast attacked a military convoy in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, Afghanistan November 15, 2015 Reuters/File KANDAHAR: A car bomber attacked a NATO convoy in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Sunday, killing one civilian and wounding four others but without causing casualties among international forces, officials said. Qudratullah Khushbakht, a spokesman for the Kandahar governor, said the attack happened on the airport road, killing a woman and wounding four other people. However a spokesman for the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said there had been no injuries among troops in the convoy. ?We can confirm a suicide bomber attempted an attack on a patrol in Kandahar, Afghanistan, earlier today. However, there were no fatalities or injuries sustained by coalition forces,? the spokesman said in an emailed statement.
  2. Police officers stand guard outside the closed New York Port Authority Subway entrance following a reported explosion, in New York City, US on December 11, 2017. ? Reuters The online video?s message was clear: Supporters of Daesh (Islamic State) who could not travel overseas to join the militant group should carry out attacks wherever they were in the United States or Europe. Bangladeshi immigrant Akayedullah, 27, followed those instructions on Monday when he tried to set off a homemade bomb in one of New York?s busiest commuter hubs, in an attack that illustrates the difficulty of stopping ?do-it-yourself? attacks by radicals who act alone. While harder to stop than attacks coordinated by multiple people - whose communications may be more easily monitored by law enforcement or intelligence agencies - they also tend to do less damage. Akayedullah was the person most seriously wounded when his bomb ignited but did not detonate in an underground passageway linking the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Times Square subway station; three others sustained lesser injuries. ?They tend to be less organised and less deadly,? said Seamus Hughes, a former adviser at the US government?s National Counterterrorism Centre. ?That?s because you?re dealing with more, for lack of a better word, amateurs.? The do-it-yourself style of attack is on the rise in the United States, according to research by the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, where Hughes is deputy director. The United States has seen 19 attacks perpetrated by Daesh-inspired people since the group declared a ?caliphate? in June 2014 after capturing broad swathes of land in Iraq and Syria. Of those, 12 occurred in 2016 and 2017, almost twice as many as in the two preceding years. ?You?re going to see continued numbers of plots and, unfortunately, attacks,? Hughes said. Akayedullah began immersing himself in Daesh propaganda as early as 2014, three years after he arrived in the United States as a legal immigrant, according to federal prosecutors who charged him with terrorism offenses. They said in court papers that his computer records showed that he viewed Daesh videos urging supporters of the group to launch attacks where they lived. Experts said the success of Western allies in retaking most of Daesh?s territory could inspire more attacks out of anger or vengeance. ?No group has been as successful at drawing people into its ideology as Daesh,? Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray said in congressional testimony last week. ?Through the internet, militants overseas now have access into our local communities to target and recruit our citizens.? National security analysts generally divide such perpetrators into three broad categories. Some attackers act at the direction of a group, like the Daesh-backed militants who carried out coordinated attacks in Paris in 2015, killing 130; others have some limited contact with an organisation but act largely on their own. A third type has no communication with a group but engage in violence after being radicalised by online propaganda. It is easier for trained, battle-hardened Daesh fighters to travel from the Middle East to Europe than for them to reach the United States. That helps explain why US attacks have largely been the work of ?self-made? militants, said Brandeis University professor and radicalisation expert Jytte Klausen. ?In these recent cases, we?ve seen very few indications that there was any type of direct training,? Klausen said. Self-directed perpetrators are the hardest for investigators to identify. Their ranks appear to include Akayedullah, as well as two other recent New York attackers: Ahmad Rahimi, the man who injured 30 with a homemade bomb in Manhattan in September 2016, and Sayfullo Saipov, the Uzbek immigrant accused of killing eight by speeding a rental truck down a bike lane in October. While that type of attacker typically is less destructive, there are important exceptions. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols killed 168 people, and Omar Mateen gunned down 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando last year. ?A single individual or two can still create a lot of damage,? said Max Abrahms, a professor at Northeastern University who studies terrorism. ?But they?re not able to wage sustained terrorist campaigns.?
  3. File photo/Reuters The US Department of Justice has caught one of the people involved in creating the Mirai botnet, a network of infected electronics equipment used to knock major websites offline in massive 2016 cyber attacks, according to court papers. Paras Jha has agreed to plead guilty to computer-crimes charges in the case, according to federal court documents unsealed in Alaska on Tuesday. The Mirai botnet was used to infect large numbers of internet-connected devices including webcams and video records, which were then turned into a digital army of bots that launched a series of attacks on websites and Internet infrastructure. Those attacks included one in October 2016 on an internet infrastructure firm known as Dyn that disrupted access to major Internet firms including Twitter, Paypal and Spotify.
  4. ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described on Saturday Israel as a ?state of occupation? which used ?terror? against the Palestinians, as he stepped up his criticism of the US recognition of Jerusalem as its capital. Erdogan has been bitterly opposed to the decision of US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has called a summit of Islamic countries on December 13 in Istanbul. ?Israel is a state of occupation,? Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul, referring to Israel?s continued occupation of the West Bank and settlement building. ?And now they are making use of terror and are bombing young people and children.? Retaliatory Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip killed two militants from Palestinian group Hamas before dawn, bringing to four the number killed since Trump announced the move. Erdogan, who regards himself as a champion of the Palestinian cause and an opponent of any perceived global injustice against Muslims, described Jerusalem as the ?apple of our eye? and a ?red line? for Muslims. He said that the American decision was ?null and void? for Ankara. ?Trump seeks to move forward by saying ?there we go, I did it, it?s done!?. I?m sorry but... being strong does not give you such a right.? ?The leaders of major countries have a mission to make peace. Not unleash conflicts. On Saturday, Erdogan continued to play a central role in diplomatic efforts in the crisis, telephoning French President Emmanuel Macron and Lebanese President Michel Aoun, the presidency said. Last year, Turkey and Israel ended a rift triggered by Israel?s storming in 2010 of a Gaza-bound ship that left 10 Turkish activists dead and led to a downgrading of diplomatic ties. The two sides have since stepped up cooperation, particularly in energy, but Erdogan has repeatedly been bitterly critical of Israeli policy. Last week he warned that Turkey?s reaction ?could go as far as? cutting relations with Israel, but he made no reference to this in his latest speech.
  5. US President Donald Trump with British Prime Minister Theresa May/File photo WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump publicly upbraided British Prime Minister and ostensible ally Theresa May late Wednesday, rebutting her criticism of anti-Muslim propaganda in a diplomatic row between the two leaders. Plunging headlong into a high-profile spat with one of America´s closest international partners, Trump suggested May focus on defending the United Kingdom rather than criticizing him. "@theresa_may, don´t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!" he tweeted, after an earlier tweet with the same message used the wrong Twitter handle for May. Trump had drawn fierce condemnation at home and abroad earlier in the day for retweeting three incendiary anti-Muslim videos posted by the deputy head of a British far-right group who has been convicted of a hate crime. May said through a spokesperson that Trump was "wrong" to promote the "hateful narratives" of the group, British First. Trump´s interventions in British politics have strained the so-called "special relationship." He has infuriated British authorities with his tweets on terrorism in Britain, including highly publicized run-ins with London´s Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan. Khan on Wednesday described Britain First as "a vile, hate-fuelled organisation whose views should be condemned, not amplified." Before Trump´s latest missive, the White House had scrambled to limit the fallout, saying that even if the anti-Muslim videos were misleading, the president was pointing out a real problem. "The threat is real, and that´s what the president is talking about," said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders. ´Never the wrong time´ Deputy spokesman Raj Shah also defended Trump´s actions: "It´s never the wrong time to talk about the security and safety of the American people. Those are the issues he was raising in his tweets this morning." One of the videos falsely claims to show a Muslim beating up a Dutch boy on crutches. The Dutch embassy in Washington took the unusual step of publicly criticizing a sitting US president on Twitter. "@realDonaldTrump Facts do matter. The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands. He received and completed his sentence under Dutch law." Another video is described as showing a mob pushing a teenager off a rooftop, without any context -- it appears to be footage filmed during unrest in Egypt in 2013. A man was executed for his role in the teen´s death. The third video allegedly depicts a Muslim smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary. All three videos were originally posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First, which hailed Trump for his support. "THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, DONALD TRUMP, HAS RETWEETED THREE OF DEPUTY LEADER JAYDA FRANSEN´S TWITTER VIDEOS!" the group tweeted in triumph. "DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF HAS RETWEETED THESE VIDEOS AND HAS AROUND 44 MILLION FOLLOWERS! GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP! GOD BLESS AMERICA!" Fransen was found guilty last year of a hate crime after hurling abuse at a Muslim woman wearing a hijab. Britain First, which was formed in 2011 and is known for picketing outside mosques, has run and lost in several British and European parliament elections. ´Abhorrent, dangerous´ Brendan Cox, widower of MP Jo Cox who was murdered by a right-wing extremist last year, said: "Trump has legitimized the far right in his own country, now he´s trying to do it in ours. "Spreading hatred has consequences & the president should be ashamed of himself," he said. Trump´s behavior renewed calls for May to revoke an invitation for the American president to make a state visit. David Lammy, a lawmaker for Britain´s opposition Labour Party, said: "The president of the United States is promoting a fascist, racist, extremist hate group whose leaders have been arrested and convicted. "He is no ally or friend of ours," he said. Trump 'wrong' to retweet anti-Muslim videos: Downing Street 'British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right' Conservative Minister Sajid Javid said Trump had "endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that hates me and people like me. He is wrong and I refuse to let it go and say nothing." Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said the retweets were "abhorrent, dangerous and a threat." Added Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: "UK has a proud history as an open, tolerant society & hate speech has no place here." Trump´s Twitter posts Wednesday were part of an early morning burst in which he again dismissed CNN as "Fake News" and insisted the US economy was in "record territory" by many measures.
  6. A civil defence member wears an oxygen mask following a sarin gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib, Syria, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah/Files UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council will vote Friday on a last-ditch bid to salvage a UN-led investigation tasked with identifying those behind chemical weapons attacks in Syria, diplomats said. The council will vote at 6:15 PM (2315 GMT) on a Japanese draft resolution that would extend the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) for 30 days, to allow time for negotiations on a compromise.
  7. United Nations headquarters in New York. Photo: File NEW YORK: The UN Security Council was expected to vote, probably on Friday, on a 30-day extension of a UN-led investigation of chemical weapons attacks in Syria to allow for negotiations after Russia vetoed a renewal of the probe. Japan on Thursday presented a draft resolution that would give the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) another 30 days as the United States and Russia work to reach a compromise on the future of the panel. Russia earlier cast its 10th veto on Syria at the council, blocking the one-year extension of the JIM as proposed in a US-drafted resolution that won 11 votes. A Russian-drafted resolution fell short of the nine votes required for adoption, garnering just four votes in favour. The joint UN-Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) panel was set up by Russia and the United States in 2015 and unanimously endorsed by the council, which renewed its mandate last year. The expert team is tasked with determining who is responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Russia has sharply criticised the JIM after its latest report blamed the Syrian air force for a sarin gas attack on the opposition-held village of Khan Sheikhun that left scores dead. The attack on April 4 triggered global outrage as images of dying children were shown worldwide, prompting the United States to launch missile strikes on a Syrian airbase a few days later. Syria has denied using chemical weapons, with strong backing from its main ally Russia. US Ambassador Nikki Haley assailed the veto as a "deep blow", saying: "Russia has killed the investigative mechanism which has overwhelming support of this council." "By eliminating our ability to identify the attackers, Russia has undermined our ability to deter future attacks." The Japanese move, however, revived hope that the JIM could be salvaged. The draft text obtained by AFP would renew the JIM mandate for 30 days and task UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with submitting to the council in 20 days "proposals for the structure and methodology" of the panel. Japan had requested a vote for Thursday, but diplomats said it was more likely that the council would consider the measure on Friday. A resolution requires nine votes to be adopted at the council, but five countries ? Russia, Britain, China, France and the United States ? can block adoption with their veto power. United Nations Security Council. Photo: File Flawed probe Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the investigation of the Khan Sheikhun attack suffered from "fundamental flaws" and that the US-drafted resolution was "geared toward entrenching the inherent flaws of the JIM." In its draft, Russia had insisted the panel's findings on Khan Sheikhun be put aside to allow for another "full-scale and high-quality investigation" by the JIM. The Russian veto came as the United Nations was preparing to convene in Geneva on November 28 a new round of talks to end the six-year war and underscored deep divisions over Syria. Eleven of the council's 15 members voted in favor of the US-drafted resolution, while Egypt and China abstained. Bolivia joined Russia in voting against the measure. Russia, China, Bolivia and Kazakhstan voted in favour of the Russian draft, while seven countries opposed it. Four countries abstained: Ethiopia, Senegal, Egypt and Japan. French Ambassador Francois Delattre said the Russian veto was a blow to international efforts to curb the use of chemical weapons. "Let there be no doubt: we have unleashed a monster here," said Delattre. Previous reports by the JIM have found that Syrian government forces were responsible for chlorine attacks on three villages in 2014 and 2015, and that the Islamic State group used mustard gas in 2015.
  8. CENTCOM Commander General Joseph L Votel and army chief General Qamar Bajwa on Thursday - ISPR RAWALPINDI: United States Central Command (CENTCOM) chief General Joseph L Votel called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday. According to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the discussion of the two commanders focused on the regional security situation with regards to Afghanistan, Pak-Afghan border management and Pakistan?s positive contributions towards peace and stability in the region. "COAS said that peace in Afghanistan is more important for Pakistan than any other country," stated the ISPR, adding that the army chief also reiterated that Pakistan has done its best despite constraints and shall continue efforts for the sake of its future, in line with aspirations of Pakistani people. "However, the same was not being reciprocated as evident from the continued attacks from across the border," the army said in its statement. The CENTCOM chief appreciated and acknowledged Pakistan Army's contributions and Pakistan?s sacrifices in the war against terror, the ISPR concluded.
  9. National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) head Ciaran Martin. Image Courtesy: The Telegraph via Simon Williams LONDON: Russia has launched cyber attacks on the UK media, telecoms, and energy sectors in the past year, Britain's cybersecurity chief said Wednesday, amid reports of Russian interference in the Brexit referendum. "Russia is seeking to undermine the international system. That much is clear," Ciaran Martin, head of Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), said at a technology conference in London, according to his office. "Russian interference, seen by the NCSC over the past year, has included attacks on the UK media, telecommunications and energy sectors," Martin said. The centre has coordinated the government's response to 590 significant incidents since it was created in 2016, though it has not detailed which were linked to Russia. Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accused Moscow of "seeking to weaponise information" in order to "sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions". Russia's cyber activities include "deploying its state-run media organisations to plant fake stories and photo-shopped images", she said in a speech. The scathing criticism was rejected by Russia's foreign ministry, which accused May of trying to distract the British public from problems at home. Parliamentary probes Moscow's alleged attempts to influence last year's referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union are part of investigations underway in London. On Wednesday, May told lawmakers that parliament's intelligence and security committee would be looking into Russian interference. Meanwhile, parliament's digital, culture, media, and sports committee has requested data from Twitter and Facebook on Russia-linked accounts and aims to interview social media executives at the British embassy in Washington early next year. Damian Collins, the committee chairman, said it was "beyond doubt" that Russia had interfered in UK politics. He said there was a pattern of behaviour of Russian organisations seeking out opportunities to create division, unrest and instability in the West. "Foreign organisations have the ability to manipulate social media platforms to target voters abroad," Collins told AFP. "This is seriously organised buildings of hundreds of people engaged in propagating every day fake news through social media," he added. "It is one of the biggest threats our democracies face and we have to be serious about combatting it." But May's spokesman emphasised that "There has been no evidence of successful interference in our electoral processes." Pro-Brexit 'bots' Researchers at Swansea University in Wales, working with the University of California, Berkeley, looked at 18,000 Twitter users who had registered in Russian but were tweeting in English around the time of the referendum. Russian-related accounts put out around 45,000 Brexit tweets on June 23 and 24, of which 13,180 were at least six words long, Swansea researcher Tho Pham told AFP. "The massive number of Russian-related tweets were only created a few days before the voting day, reached its peak during the voting and result days then dropped immediately afterwards," the research paper said. They were posted by both "bots" and humans, with the majority of the posts pro-Brexit. Bots spreading misinformation into the echo chambers of social media "might lead to the case that bots could shape public opinions in negative ways", the paper concluded. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Edinburgh, who examined 2,752 accounts suspended by Twitter in the United States, found that 419 were operating from the Russian Internet Research Agency and attempting to influence British politics, The Guardian reported. Professor Laura Cram, the university's neuro-politics research director, told the newspaper they tweeted about Brexit 3,468 times ? mostly after the June 23 referendum. The content overall was "quite chaotic and it seems to be aimed at wider disruption. There's not an absolutely clear thrust. We pick up a lot on refugees and immigration", she said.
  10. A French soldier stands guard under the Eiffel Tower ? as France officially ended a 'state of emergency' regime, replacing it with the introduction of a new security law ? in Paris, France, November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/Files PARIS: Two years after militants killed 130 people in coordinated attacks across Paris, French officials say there remains an unprecedented level of ?internal? threat from both within and outside the country. With Daesh losing ground in Iraq and Syria, hundreds of French citizens ? and in some cases their children ? have started to return to France, leaving the government in a quandary over how to deal with them. For the first time as president, Emmanuel Macron will pay tribute on Monday to the victims of the mass shootings and suicide bombing that took place across Paris and in the city?s northern suburb of Saint-Denis on November 13, 2015. The attacks ? the deadliest on French soil since World War Two ? prompted the country to strike back, joining international military operations targeting Daesh and other extremist groups in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and elsewhere. There has also been the passage of more stringent French legislation, with the most recent law ? effective this month ? giving police extended powers to search properties, conduct electronic eavesdropping, and shut mosques or other locations suspected of preaching hatred. Conservative politicians say the regulations don?t go far enough, while human rights groups express alarm, saying security forces are being given too much freedom to curtail rights. Macron ? often parodied for his ?on the one hand, on the other hand? policy pronouncements ? has emphasized the need to balance security and liberty. While he has ended the state of emergency brought in after the attacks, heavily armed soldiers still patrol the streets of Paris daily, and barely a week goes by without a police operation to round up suspects. 'More disappointed than sorry' According to the interior ministry, extraordinary measures have helped intelligence agencies thwart more than 30 attacks in the last two years. Last week, the police arrested nine people and another was apprehended in Switzerland in a coordinated counter-terrorism operation. ?What worries us are plans for terrorist attacks prepared by teams that are still operating in fighting zones in Syria and Iraq,? Laurent Nunez ? the head of France?s internal intelligence agency DGSI ? told French daily Le Figaro in a rare interview. The risk of a home-grown attack also remains strong, with a risk of more attacks from isolated individuals using ?low-cost? methods ? such as cars or knives ? to kill, he said. The hypothesis of a car bomb attack or suicide bomber cannot be excluded either although his services had not uncovered any such plan, he said. Of particular concern is what to do about hundreds of French citizens who went to fight with Daesh and may now seek to return home, now that the militant group has lost nearly all the territory its self-proclaimed caliphate ruled in Syria and Iraq. Visiting Abu Dhabi last week, Macron said those returning would be studied on ?a case-by-case? basis. ?Some of them will be coming back (by their own means), others will be repatriated and some, in specific circumstances, will be facing trial with their families in the countries where they are currently, Iraq in particular,? he said. ?A majority doesn?t want to come back to France given the legal proceedings they face upon their return. But some women, widows, with their children, are inclined to travel back,? French prosecutor Francois Molins said. ?We should not be naive. We are dealing with people who are more ?disappointed? than ?sorry.'?
  11. Former CIA chief John Brennan hit back at Donald Trump on Sunday, saying the president should be "ashamed" after he attacked as "political hacks" the intelligence leaders who concluded Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Photo: AFP WASHINGTON: Former CIA chief John Brennan hit back at Donald Trump on Sunday, saying the president should be "ashamed" after he attacked as "political hacks" the intelligence leaders who concluded Russia meddled in the 2016 election. "Considering the source of the criticism, I consider that criticism a badge of honour," Brennan told CNN?s State of the Union, where he appeared alongside former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. "I found it particularly reprehensible that on Veterans Day Donald Trump would attack and impugn the integrity and the character of Jim Clapper, who served in uniform for 35 years," said the ex-CIA chief. "I think it?s something Mr Trump should be ashamed of," he added.
  12. Posters depicting Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, who has resigned from his post, are seen in Beirut, Lebanon, November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/Files BEIRUT: The party of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri ? who unexpectedly quit a week ago while in Saudi Arabia ? denounced on Saturday attacks against the kingdom and Iranian intervention in Arab countries. Hariri?s Future Movement political party said it stands by him and was ?waiting impatiently for his return to Lebanon to handle his national responsibilities in leading this stage?. Hariri?s shock resignation ? in a broadcast from Riyadh last week ? has plunged Lebanon into crisis and thrust it back into the forefront of regional rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
  13. So far, three hotels, all beachfront resorts in Mexico, have been pinpointed in the warning system-Reuters NEW YORK: Women?s anti-violence groups on Thursday welcomed a new warning system on the online travel site TripAdvisor Inc that shows which hotels are believed to have been sites of sexual assault. The giant booking site, which claims hundreds of millions of online visitors each month, said it will measure hotel safety based on users? post and news media reports. Hotels where there have been incidents will be designated on the online listing, the Needham, Massachusetts-based company said. So far, three hotels, all beachfront resorts in Mexico, have been pinpointed in the warning system, which began on Wednesday. TripAdvisor lists 1.9 million hotels and other lodging options in 49 countries. ?Anything that gives honest information to the public is always a very good thing,? Ebony Tucker of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. A third of all women experience violence at some point in their lives, and that figure is twice as high in some countries, according to the United Nations, where leaders recently launched a global anti-violence effort campaign. The move by the travel site also comes amid heightened awareness of sexual harassment as accusations have been mounting against a multitude of public figures. A spokesman for TripAdvisor said more hotels are expected to be designated as the site?s staff assesses user reviews. However, the company says it does not fact-check the reviews, which could pose a problem for participating hotels, said Suzanne Markham Bagnera, an assistant professor at Boston University?s School of Hospitality Administration. ?Without having that verification process, it can create an impact for your business,? she said. The designations will remain on a hotel?s TripAdvisor web page for up to three months and may be renewed or removed based on decisions by TripAdvisor staff, the company said. The warning system is a sign of increased recognition in the hospitality industry of a need to protect against sexual assault and harassment, said Maya Raghu, spokeswoman for the National Women?s Law Center in Washington. She said a US labor union campaign has been pushing for laws to protect hotel workers from sexual harassment by guests. Some US hotels have equipped housekeepers with panic buttons. ?There are several different trends that are happening right now that are perhaps forcing the travel and hospitality industry to address this issue,? she said. ?I?m glad (TripAdvisor) are taking this issue seriously,? she said. TripAdvisor was criticized last week after USA Today reported it had repeatedly deleted posts from a user who said she was raped by a security guard at a Mexico resort. TripAdvisor apologized to the women in a public statement.
  14. US President Donald Trump holds sample tax forms as he promotes a newly unveiled Republican tax plan with House Republican leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, US, November 2, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria WASHINGTON: Republican lawmakers on Monday began revising their proposed overhaul of the US tax code, as Democrats pointed to the loss of popular deductions as proof the legislation was an assault on the middle class. A draft bill unveiled last week by Republicans in the House of Representatives, if enacted, would be the biggest restructuring of the tax system since the 1980s and the first major legislative victory of the Trump presidency. Although Republicans generally support the bill?s broader themes, including a sharp cut in the corporate income tax, there are rumblings of dissent over other elements, including repeal of the deduction for state and local income tax (SALT) payments. New York, California, and other high-tax states would be hard hit by the removal of that deduction, a fact seized upon by Democrats to bolster their argument that Trump?s plan is a gift to the wealthiest Americans and the corporate sector. ?There are a lot of people expecting a tax cut who will be big losers under this bill,? Representative Bill Pascrell of New Jersey ? a Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee ? said as the tax-writing panel convened to consider the bill. The White House argues that tax cuts are needed to boost economic growth and create jobs. The linchpin of the plan is the reduction of the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent and the establishment of a 25 percent tax rate for ?pass-through? businesses, which currently pay income tax rates as high as 39.6 percent. An analysis of the plan released on Monday by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that the wealthy would be the biggest beneficiaries, while more than one-quarter of taxpayers would see a tax hike over 10 years. The top 1 percent of earners ? with annual incomes of more than $730,000 ? would receive a $37,000 tax cut, representing 22 percent of the total tax cut for individuals in 2018. By 2027, they would get 50 percent of the total benefit, according to the analysis. With Democrats united in opposition to the plan, Republican defections from a few traditionally Democratic-leaning states could be enough to torpedo it in the House. Republican Representative Kevin Brady ? the chairman of the House tax-writing panel ? pledged that lawmakers would have a chance to propose changes to the bill. ?Let me assure you this is the beginning of the tax reform process,? he told the committee. Brady has already agreed to retain the deduction for property tax payments up to a cap of $10,000 as part of a SALT compromise and has said he would be open to raising it. In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Brady said another change would be a ?carried interest? provision that lengthened to two years the time assets need to be held in order to be eligible for a lower tax rate. Carried interest is a share of an investment fund?s profits ? typically about 20 percent beyond the return guaranteed to investors ? that goes to the general partners of private equity, venture capital, and hedge funds. Under current law, high-income fund partners pay the long-term capital gains rate of 20 percent on their carried interest income, instead of the 39.6 percent individual tax rate that applies to the ordinary wage income of high earners. President Donald Trump promised to close the loophole, which has benefited some of Wall Street?s wealthiest financiers. Eyes on Senate Securing congressional passage of the tax plan is critically important to Trump, who has yet to get major legislation through Congress since taking office in January, including a healthcare overhaul he promised as a candidate last year. Investors are adding to the pressure. The expectation of deep tax cuts has helped fuel a stock market rally during Trump's time as president, with the broad S&P 500 index up about 14 percent. The Senate ? where Republicans have a 52-48 majority ? is developing its own version of the tax legislation, which would have to eventually be reconciled with the House version before it is sent to Trump for signing. Several Republican senators have said they would have a problem voting for any tax bill that significantly increased the deficit. The House bill is projected to add $1.5 trillion over 10 years to the $20 trillion national debt. Fitch Ratings said on Monday that the House bill could add to the fiscal strain in some states and local jurisdictions by limiting their tax-raising flexibility. Republican leaders are pushing for the House to vote on a revised tax bill before the US Thanksgiving holiday on November 23. They have said a draft Senate bill could be ready at the end of this week. The Republican tax plan was devised without Democratic input. The last major tax restructuring, Republican former President Ronald Reagan?s 1986 overhaul, received significant input and support from Democrats.
  15. Afghan forces have suffered soaring casualties since NATO forces ended their combat mission in late 2014. Photo: REUTERS KABUL: Taliban insurgents, some wearing night-vision goggles, killed 22 Afghan policemen in separate attacks on checkpoints over the weekend in the latest blow to the country's beleaguered security forces. Militants wearing the googles launched a pre-dawn assault on a police post in Khan Abad district in the northern province of Kunduz on Sunday and killed 13 officers, said provincial police chief Abdul Hamid Hamidi. Only one policeman survived the attack, he told reporters. The attackers destroyed the checkpoint and stole a Humvee, according to district governor Hayatullah Amiri. On Saturday Taliban fighters killed nine policemen and wounded two others stationed at checkpoints in Ghazni, the capital of the southeastern province of the same name, said provincial governor´s spokesman Mohammad Arif Noori. Twelve of the militants were killed and four wounded, Noori said. The Taliban claimed the attacks in statements to media. The insurgents have stepped up attacks on security installations as they seek to demoralise police and troops and steal equipment to fuel the insurgency. The militants have acquired "dozens" of armoured Humvees and pickup trucks in recent years, defence ministry deputy spokesman Mohammad Radmanesh told AFP recently. Some of those vehicles have been used in suicide attacks on police and military bases with devastating effect. Afghan forces have suffered soaring casualties since NATO forces ended their combat mission in late 2014.
  16. Soldiers of Afghan National Army (ANA) keep watch at a checkpost in Logar province, Afghanistan February 16, 2016. ? Reuters FILE KARACHI: Another high-profile terrorist, involved in attacks on Pakistani security forces, was killed in Afghanistan late Tuesday, according to Afghan security forces. Zar Wali, who was associated with outlawed Laskar-e-Islam (LeI) and went by the alias Chamto, was killed in a raid in Naziyan area of Nangarhar province, the Afghan security forces said. The deceased was a sniper for the militant group. 22-year-old Army officer martyred in Khyber Agency Terrorists fired from across the border at Pakistani post in Rajgal, martyring Lt Arsalan Alam: ISPR Security sources informed Geo News that Zar Wali was involved in the killing of four army personnel, including Lieutenant Arsalan Alam, in Khyber Agency. The 22-year-old officer embraced martyrdom, along with three soldiers, in a cross-border terrorist attack in the agency's Rajgal valley on Sept. 23. Terrorists had fired on the newly-established Pakistani border post in Rajgal, martyring Lieutenant Arsalan, who was commanding the post when he got hit, the Inter-Services Public Relations had said in a statement. Zar Wali's killing comes a week after the United States killed chief of another banned militant outfit in Afghanistan. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar chief killed in Afghanistan drone strike It was reported on Tuesday that the Umar Khalid Khurasani chief was critically injured in a drone attack Omar Khalid Khorasani, chief of banned militant group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), was killed in a drone attack in Afghanistan's Paktia province on October 18. In July, Pakistan welcomed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) decision to include JuA in the list of entities subject to travel bans, arms embargos and freezing of assets. The JuA based in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan has been involved in a series of terrorist attacks inside Pakistan. Pakistan proscribed the group in 2016.
  17. Russia on Tuesday vetoed a US-drafted resolution that would have extended for a year the mandate of a panel investigating who is behind chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Photo: AFP file Russia on Tuesday vetoed a US-drafted resolution that would have extended for a year the mandate of a panel investigating who is behind chemical weapons attacks in Syria. It was the ninth time that Russia has used its veto power at the Security Council to block action targeting its Syrian ally.
  18. Hackers have succeeded in infiltrating some targets, including at least one energy generator, and conducting reconnaissance on their networks-Reuters The US government issued a rare public warning that sophisticated hackers are targeting energy and industrial firms, the latest sign that cyber attacks present an increasing threat to the power industry and other public infrastructure. The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in a report distributed by email late on Friday that the nuclear, energy, aviation, water and critical manufacturing industries have been targeted along with government entities in attacks dating back to at least May. The agencies warned that hackers had succeeded in compromising some targeted networks, but did not identify specific victims or describe any cases of sabotage. The objective of the attackers is to compromise organizational networks with malicious emails and tainted websites to obtain credentials for accessing computer networks of their targets, the report said. US authorities have been monitoring the activity for months, which they initially detailed in a confidential June report first reported by Reuters. That document, which was privately distributed to firms at risk of attacks, described a narrower set of activity focusing on the nuclear, energy and critical manufacturing sectors. Department of Homeland Security spokesman Scott McConnell declined to elaborate on the information in the report or say what prompted the government to go public with the information at this time. ?The technical alert provides recommendations to prevent and mitigate malicious cyber activity targeting multiple sectors and reiterated our commitment to remain vigilant for new threats,? he said. The FBI declined to comment on the report, which security researchers said described an escalation in targeting of infrastructure in Europe and the United States that had been described in recent reports from private firms, including Symantec Corp. ?This is very aggressive activity,? said Robert Lee, an expert in securing industrial networks. Lee, chief executive of cyber-security firm Dragos, said the report appears to describe hackers working in the interests of the Russian government, though he declined to elaborate. Dragos is also monitoring other groups targeting infrastructure that appear to be aligned with China, Iran, North Korea, he said. The hacking described in the government report is unlikely to result in dramatic attacks in the near term, Lee said, but he added that it is still troubling: ?We don?t want our adversaries learning enough to be able to do things that are disruptive later.? The report said that hackers have succeeded in infiltrating some targets, including at least one energy generator, and conducting reconnaissance on their networks. It was accompanied by six technical documents describing malware used in the attacks. Homeland Security ?has confidence that this campaign is still ongoing and threat actors are actively pursuing their objectives over a long-term campaign,? the report said. The report said the attacker was the same as one described by Symantec in a September report that warned advanced hackers had penetrated the systems controlling operations of some US and European energy companies. Symantec researcher Vikram Thakur said in an email that much of the contents of Friday?s report were previously known within the security community. Cyber-security firm CrowdStrike said the technical indicators described in the report suggested the attacks were the work of a hacking group it calls Berserk Bear, which is affiliated with the Russian Federation and has targeted the energy, financial and transportation industries. ?We have not observed any destructive action by this actor,? CrowdStrike Vice President Adam Meyers said in an email.
  19. A projection of cyber code on a hooded man is pictured in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. Photo: Reuters The US government issued a rare public warning about hacking campaigns targeting energy and industrial firms, the latest evidence that cyber attacks present an increasing threat to the power industry and other public infrastructure. The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in a report distributed via email late on Friday that the nuclear, energy, aviation, water and critical manufacturing industries have been targeted along with government entities in attacks dating back to at least May. The agencies warned that hackers had succeeded in compromising some targeted networks, but did not identify specific victims or describe any cases of sabotage. The objective of the attackers is to compromise organizational networks with malicious emails and tainted websites to obtain credentials for accessing computer networks of their targets, the report said. US authorities have been monitoring the activity for months, which they initially detailed in a confidential June report first reported by Reuters. That document, which was privately distributed to firms at risk of attacks, described a narrower set of activity focusing on the nuclear, energy and critical manufacturing sectors. Homeland Security and FBI representatives could not be reached for comment on Saturday morning. Robert Lee, an expert in securing industrial networks, said the report describes activities from two or three groups that have stolen user credentials and spied on organizations in the United States and other nations, but not launched destructive attacks. ?This is very aggressive activity,? said Lee, chief executive of cyber-security firm Dragos. He said the report appears to describe groups working in the interests of the Russian government, though he declined to elaborate. Dragos is also monitoring other groups targeting infrastructure that appears to be aligned with China, Iran, North Korea, he said. The hacking described in the government report is unlikely to result in dramatic attacks in the near term, Lee said, but he added that it is still troubling: ?We don?t want our adversaries learning enough to be able to do things that are disruptive later.? The report said that hackers have succeeded in infiltrating some targets, including at least one energy generator, and conducting reconnaissance on their networks. It was accompanied by six technical documents describing malware used in the attacks. Homeland Security ?has confidence that this campaign is still ongoing and threat actors are actively pursuing their objectives over a long-term campaign,? the report said. Government agencies and energy firms previously declined to identify any of the victims in the attacks described in June?s confidential report.
  20. German ambassador Martin Kobler (left) and Federal Minister for Interior Affairs Ahsan Iqnal. Photo: Twitter ISLAMABAD: Links of current terrorist attacks have been found with anti-social elements across the western border, said Federal Minister for Interior Affairs Ahsan Iqbal during a meeting with German ambassador Martin Kobler on Friday. While discussing the security situation of the region, Iqbal said peace and stability in Afghanistan is important for Pakistan. However, he added, Pakistan wants peace be restored in Afghanistan through dialogue. Moreover, the interior minister said Pakistan has paid a high price in its fight against terrorism. ?The tribal areas have been cleared of terrorists.? He added all the countries of the region should join hands to fight terrorism. Regarding partnership with Pakistan and commending the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Kobler said Germany was interested in investing in the projects. In a tweet, Kobler said CPEC is an opportunity for Pakistani and German companies and that it could improve cooperation between both the countries. Besides discussing the security situation of the region during their meeting, Iqbal and Kobler spoke about partnership between Germany and Pakistan for upgrading technology.
  21. NEW YORK: Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan says US President Donald Trump is "jealous" of the NFL and trying to soil its image in "personal" attacks in an interview with USA Today published Thursday. The 67-year-old Pakistani-born American billionaire, who also owns English football club Fulham, spoke at NFL owners meetings in New York, where team owners and players met to discuss Trump´s call for the league to force all players to stand for the pre-game playing of the US national anthem. "This is a very personal issue with him," Khan told the newspaper, calling Trump "a divider, not a uniter" and noting Trump´s failed 2014 bid to purchase the NFL´s Buffalo Bills. "He has been elected President, where maybe a great goal he had in life -- to own an NFL team -- is not very likely," Khan said. "So to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it´s very calculated." Khan, who purchased the Jaguars in 2011 for $760 million, linked arms with players during the US anthem in September in the days after Trump first spoke out against NFL players kneeling in protest during the anthem, calling for them to be fired. Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the protest kneel move last year to raise awareness of racial inequality and social injustice issues in the wake of several fatal police shootings of unarmed African-Americans. Trump has accused players of insulting the flag, the nation and its soldiers by kneeling for the anthem while players have steadfastly denied any such motives. Many teams have interlocked arms in unity during the anthem with some players kneeling at games across the league, using the very freedoms the US flag represents. Khan said the NFL issue is a lesser one compared to the ethic and religious insults and remarks Trump has uttered since starting his run for office. "Let´s get real," Khan told USA Today. "The attacks on Muslims, the attacks on minorities, the attacks on Jews -- I think the NFL doesn´t even come close to that on the level of being offensive. "Here, it´s about money, or messing with -- trying to soil a league or a brand that he´s jealous of." Trump tweeted Wednesday in the wake of the NFL refusing to require players stand during the anthem that the league was showing "total disrespect" for the nation. The NFL remains the most popular US sports league and the world´s richest sports league at $3.2 billion in total income, it´s 32 teams averaging $2.5 billion in value. The Dallas Cowboys are valued at a league-high $4.8 billion with a Bills at a low of $1.6 billion in Forbes magazine´s list of team worth published last month. Khan was among seven NFL team owners who made financial contributions to Trump, donating $1 million to his inauguration fund, a move he says he does not regret. "I have no regrets in life," Khan said. "This ugly, toxic side sours the whole experience."
  22. PESHAWAR: The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Wednesday confirmed the death of Umar Mansoor who was the mastermind behind the Army Public School (APS) and Bacha Khan University attacks in Pakistan. Umar Mansoor was the TTP?s commander in Peshawar and Dara Adam Khel. Reports that he had been killed were circulating months earlier as well, at the time the TTP did not confirm or deny whether he was dead or alive. Details regarding when, where and how Umar Mansoor died were not given by the banned organization's spokesman. Usman Mansoor is said to have replaced Umar as the TTP?s new commander in Peshawar. A Reuters report from 2014 stated that Umar Mansoor was educated in Islamabad and later at a seminary. He worked as a labourer in Karachi before he joined the TTP in 2007. He is said to have close ties to Mullah Fazlullah who was behind the attack on Malala Yousufzai.
  23. [embed_video1 url= style=center] KARACHI: The mystery of Karachi knife attacks remains unresolved with legal complications restricting transfer of the suspect to the megapolis from Gujranwala, who believed to be involved in a series of incidents that sparked fear in Karachi. At least 15 women were injured in attacks by a knife-wielding man n Karachi between September 25 to October 5. Later, there had been no clue as to where did the suspect go. With seven different cases registered, police in Karachi began connecting the dots, leading to a suspect, Wasim, involved in similar incidents in Sahiwal, Punjab, who got out on bail a month and a half ago. Police claims to nab mastermind of Karachi knife attacks 'Waseem was arrested in a joint operation with the Punjab police,' DIG East Sultan Khowaja said However, it has become difficult for the Karachi Police to bring suspect, arrested from Gujranwala, to Karachi for not following the protocols. Sources said the Karachi Police managed to get the suspect nabbed by CIA Punjab, without bringing the matter in the notice of Punjab Home Department. The Karachi Police is unable to bring the suspect to the megapolis for they have not yet submitted a formal request to the Punjab Home Department seeking his transit remand. Moving the suspect from Punjab to Karachi remains out of question without a transit remand. On the other hand, Wasim denies involvement in Karachi knife attacks and claims that he has never been to the megapolis in his life. The attacker, who has succeeded in evading arrest so far, has posed a challenge to the authorities and caused a scare among the public after repeated attacks by a sharp object. 'Suspect a thin man, aged 20-29' Karachi police released pictures ? screengrabs from the CCTV footage ? of the suspect earlier this month wherein the assailant can be seen riding a motorcycle moments before attacking one of the victims. "The suspect appears to be a thin man, aged 20-29," DIG East Sultan Khawaja said, adding that "he appears to be 5 feet, 7-9 inches tall" and usually rides a red motorcycle.
  24. A general view shows the scene of an explosion in KM4 street in the Hodan district of Mogadishu, Somalia, October 14, 2017. REUTERS/Feisal Omar MOGADISHU: More than 300 people died after twin bomb explosions in Mogadishu, an official said on Monday, as locals packed hospitals in search of friends and relatives caught up in Somalia?s deadliest attack in a decade. geo_embedgallery The death toll has steadily risen since Saturday, when the blasts - for which no organization had claimed responsibility by Monday morning - struck at two busy junctions in the heart of the city. ?We have confirmed 300 people died in the blast. The death toll will still be higher because some people are still missing,? Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of the city?s ambulance service, told Reuters on Monday. Aden Nur, a doctor at the city?s Madina hospital, said they had recorded 258 deaths while Ahmed Ali, a nurse at the nearby Osman Fiqi hospital, told Reuters five bodies had been sent there. Nur said 160 of the bodies could not be recognized. ?(They)were buried by the government yesterday. The others were buried by their relatives. Over a hundred injured were also brought here,? he told Reuters at the hospital. Some of the injured were being evacuated by air to Turkey for treatment, officials said. Locals visiting their injured relatives or collecting their bodies filled every available space in Madina hospital. Somali government forces secure the scene of an explosion in KM4 street in the Hodan district of Mogadishu, Somalia October 15, 2017. REUTERS/Feisal Omar ?My last time to speak with my brother was some minutes before the blast occurred. By then he told me, he was on the way to meet and was passing at K5,? Halima Nur, a local mother, told Reuters, referring to one of the junctions that was struck. ?I am afraid he was among the unrecognized charred bodies that were buried yesterday. I have no hope of getting him alive or dead. But I cannot go home.? Deadliest since insurgency began Saturday bomb attacks were the deadliest since militant group al Shabaab began an insurgency in 2007. Neither it nor any other group had claimed responsibility, but al Shabaab, which is allied to al Qaeda, stages regular attacks in the capital and other parts of the country. The group is waging an insurgency against Somalia?s UN-backed government and its African Union allies. The militants were driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 and have been steadily losing territory since then to the combined forces of AU peacekeepers and Somali security forces. But Al Shabaab retains the capacity to mount large, complex bomb attacks. Over the past three years, the number of civilians killed by insurgent bombings has steadily climbed as al Shabaab increases the size of its bombs. Some of those seriously injured in Saturday?s bombing were moved by ambulance to the airport on Monday morning to be flown to Turkey for further treatment, Nur added. Workers unloaded boxes of medicine and other medical supplies from a Turkish military plane parked on the tarmac, while Turkish medical teams attended to the cases of injuries moved from the hospital for evacuation.
  25. [embed_video1 url= style=center] KARACHI: A man who claimed to have been injured in an 'attack' by a knife-wielding suspect inflicted self-injury, said police on Monday. Noman, the arrested suspect, injured himself with a sharp object after his employer ? a mineral water company ? refused his leave application, SSP East Dr. Samiullah Soomro said. "All of Noman?s [earlier] statements were false," Dr. Soomro said. "He injured himself with a sharp object after his weekend plans were disrupted because his employer rejected his leaves request." The man, whose appearance was similar to the description of the knife-wielding criminal, who has attacked women in the metropolis, was picked up for interrogation on Sunday after he was admitted to a private hospital for treatment of wounds which doctors said appeared to have been self-inflicted. Police grill man injured in Karachi knife attack The man claimed he was attacked by a wanted knife-wielding motorcyclist a day earlier He was handed over to local police after he took a lie-detector test and was thoroughly interrogated, the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) said. "The man will be released after he records a statement with the police," Dr. Soomro said, adding that four more suspects were arrested on Monday. Fifteen women in the metropolis have been attacked since September 25 when the first incident was reported. The suspect, who has posed quite a challenge to the authorities, remains at large, evading arrest and baffling authorities after a fresh spate of knife attacks on women, concentrated mainly in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar and Gulshan-e-Iqbal areas. Knife-attacker strikes again after police arrest 16 suspects Another woman was attacked with a sharp object in Karachi?s Pehlwan Goth vicinity late Thursday The police have numerous theories, including copycat attacks and an organised group operating within the city. 'Thin man, aged 20-29' Karachi Police released pictures ? screengrabs from the CCTV footage ? of the suspect Saturday night, wherein the assailant can be seen riding a motorbike moments before attacking one of the victims. geo_embedgallery Hunt for Karachi knife attacker handed over to CTD The case that has left citizens questioning their safety was handed over to the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD). A case team is deployed to work on ways to capture the suspect, sources say. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Friday claimed that the suspect had been identified and was believed to be the same person who was behind similar attacks in Punjab?s Chichawatni area, where 50 women were injured in knife attacks over three years since 2013.