ISIS may plan Istanbul like attack in US: CIA

ISIS may plan Istanbul like attack in US: CIA

AP6_29_2016_000005A

The Islamic State terror group may carry out a terror attack similar to the one at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, CIA Director John Brennan has said.

The despicable attack at Istanbul’s international airport that killed dozens and injured several certainly bears the “hallmarks” of the Islamic State’s depravity, Brennan said here yesterday.

“We’ve seen ISIL (Islamic State) carry out and incite an array of terrorist attacks in the region, directly, indirectly and I would be surprised that ISIL is not considering carrying out these attacks in the near abroad as well as the far abroad,” he said.

“And the United States, as we well know, is leading the coalition to try to destroy as much of this poison, inside of Syria and Iraq, as possible. So it would be surprising to me that ISIL is not trying to hit us, both in the region as well as in our homeland,” Brennan said while to replying to a question at the Council on Foreign Relations, a top American think-tank.

“I think what you see in the propagation of their material, they have a magazine, Dabiq, that goes out that says exactly that. It exhorts individuals to do it.”

“So if anybody here believes that, you know, the US homeland is hermetically sealed and that Daesh or ISIL would not consider that, I think-I would guard against that,” he added.

Brennan said global instability is one of the defining issues of the time, and its implications are hard to overstate.

“As instability spreads, extremists and terrorists are finding sanctuary in ungoverned spaces. Energy supplies are being disrupted. Political reform is suffering as too many governments opt for authoritarian measures at the expense of democratic principles and respect for human rights,” the CIA official said.

As many as 42 people were killed and hundreds wounded yesterday after suicide attackers armed with guns and bombs attacked Istanbul’s busy Ataturk Airport, apparently targeting Turkey’s crucial tourism industry. The government blamed the attack on Islamic State extremists but there was no immediate confirmation from the group. Read More

Favourability ratings of Clinton, Trump increased: Gallup survey

Favourability ratings of Clinton, Trump increased: Gallup survey

1463540161-9412

The favourability ratings of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have increased since they clinched the presidential nominations of the respective Republican and Democratic parties, a Gallup survey said on Thursday.

Since clinching nomination in early June, Clinton’s favourable ratings among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents have gone up slightly to 71%, compared with 68% in April and May, the survey said.

68-year-old Clinton’s image is now partly restored to what it was at the start of the year when 74% of Democratic viewed her favourably.

Trump has also maintained higher favourable ratings among Republicans and the party leaders since he emerged as the sole Republican candidate in May compared with earlier in the year.

Trump’s favourable ratings among Republicans averages 64% so far in June, the same as in May but higher than the 54% to 56% in the three prior months.

His current favourable ratings also exceed the average 61% he earned from this partisan group in January, the survey noted.

Clinton, 68, and Trump, 70, have each lost ground over the course of 2016 among independents who lean toward neither party.

“Because of this, the candidates’ national favorable ratings have stayed still or declined slightly, despite recent improved ratings from their own partisans,” it said. Read More

Britain’s Theresa May launches bid to succeed PM Cameron post Brexit

Britain’s Theresa May launches bid to succeed PM Cameron post Brexit

1467253585-8952

Interior minister Theresa May vowed to unite Britain as she launched her bid to succeed David Cameron as prime minister with a letter to The Times, the newspaper has reported.

The Conservative leader resigned in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in a June 23 referendum that sent shockwaves through the continent.

Like Cameron, May supported remaining in the bloc but played a low-key and conciliatory role in the campaign that has seen her tipped as a unifying figure.

In her letter to The Times, May announced a “mission to make Britain a country that works for everyone,” according to the broadsheet yesterday.

“If you’re from an ordinary, working-class family, life is just much harder than many people in politics realise,” May wrote.

The appeal to working-class voters by the vicar’s daughter was aimed at her main rival for the leadership, the Latin-quoting former mayor of London and prominent “Leave” campaigner Boris Johnson, who projects a more upper-class image.

Cameron promoted May, 59, to Home Secretary following his 2010 election victory and she kept the role after his 2015 re-election.

Known as a hardliner on immigration, May’s stern demeanour and wardrobe of sober suits have drawn comparisons with 1980s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Cameron’s successor is expected to take office in early September. Read More

Read More Topics:

After Brexit, UN ‘more important’ to Britain: UK diplomat

Post Brexit, London must relinquish euro business: Francois Hollande

EU leaders tell Britain to exit swiftly, market rout halts

Barack Obama does not see major, cataclysmic changes after Brexit

China pulls up chief negotiator for limited global support for anti-India position at NSG

China pulls up chief negotiator for limited global support for anti-India position at NSG

1465389104-15851390

The Chinese leadership has pulled up Wang Qun, its lead negotiator and Director General of the Arms Control Division at the Foreign Ministry, for failing to drum up significant global support for China’s position in Seoul which blocked India’s entry into the NSG.

Highly placed Western and Chinese sources said that Wang Qun had told Beijing that at least one third of the NSG nations would endorse China’s position. However, the position was totally in the reverse, with as many as 44 nations backing India and China only having the support of four nations.

Beijing now fears that the fallout of the NSG outcome could have an impact on a crucial verdict expected soon from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in a case brought by the Philippines concerning China’s territorial reclamation activities in the South China Sea.

As things stand, Beijing’s stance flies in the face of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of which it is a signatory. China’s big fear now is India could use the same ploy that Beijing used in Seoul at the NSG plenary and back The Hague Court’s decision which is likely to go against China.

Highly-placed sources said that the global support for India’s position at the NSG could well be leveraged by New Delhi to back the enforcement of The Hague Judgment – a scenario which could isolate China and could even trigger its exit from UNCLOS.

Informed sources said the focus now shifts from the NSG to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague where a judgment is expected, which when enforced, could force China to give up land in favour of the Philippines. Read More

Virat Kohli promotes a healthy lifestyle; launches Stepathlon Kids

Virat Kohli promotes a healthy lifestyle; launches Stepathlon Kids

Launch of  Stepathlon Kids

After launching his apparel line under the Wrogn brand name and investing in FC Goa in the (football) Indian Super League, Indian cricket Test captain Virat Kohli has now partnered with Stepathlon Lifestyle, a wellness-promoting entity, to launch Stepathlon Kids, a company dedicated to children’s fitness programmes.

This venture will also mark Stepathlon’s entry into the business to consumer space. The company will also receive operational support from Cornerstone Sports and Entertainment, a sports celebrity management company.

The new firm, through an annual ‘30 Day Race’ around a virtual world, will urge children to take 15,000 steps a day, in a bid to have a healthy lifestyle and to create long-term positive behaviour. According to a study commissioned by the World Health Organization in 2014, as many as 22 per cent of children in India are obese and facing health issues. Stepathlon Kids will be focused on building children’s holistic health – encouraging of physical activity and educating them on nutrition, exercise, stress and more. Kohli will play a role in creating widespread awareness. Read More

7th Pay Commission: Cabinet approves big pay hike for government employees

7th Pay Commission: Cabinet approves big pay hike for government employees

1451472761-0442

The union cabinet, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, a move which will boost consumption by putting extra disposable income in the hands of the central government’s 4.7 million employees.

The Seventh Pay Commission (7th CPC) had recommended a 23.5 per cent increase in pay, pension and allowances under a ‘business as usual’ scenario. It had envisaged an increase in pay of Rs 39,100 crore, increase in allowances of Rs 29,300 crore and increase in pension of Rs 33,700 crore, taking the total financial impact for 2016-17 to Rs 1.02 lakh crore.

The pay panel revisions are in force retrospectively from January 1, 2016.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said before the budget that he would provide Rs 1.1 lakh crore and the budget documents showed that Rs 1.06 lakh crore has been provided for.

The centre is likely to provide additional details later in the day at a post-cabinet media briefing. It is not yet known if the Government Employees has cleared 7th CPC recommendations in-toto or if there are some changes.

As per the initial reports, the minimum pay has been set at Rs 18,000 per month while the maximum pay has been capped at Rs 2.5 lakh per month.

Jaitley is facing massive spending commitments this year not only due to the 7th CPC payout but also in infrastructure and agricultural sectors.

Read More Topics:

How the 7th Pay Commission will benefit govt employees

Military seethes at Pay Commission suggestions

Before roll out of Seventh Central Pay Commission, 20 civil services seek fair representation

Brazil launches Olympic anti-terrorism campaign

Brazil launches Olympic anti-terrorism campaign

rio-olympics-1466107910-051710

Brazil has launched an awareness campaign designed to foil terror plots during the RioOlympics in August.

“It’s a simple, informative campaign without calling for hysteria,” defence ministry official Luiz Felipe Linhares said in a statement on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The South American country is not a traditional terrorist target and the government hopes the initiative will reduce Rio’s vulnerability to possible attacks.

The campaign involves the distribution of brochures, posters and booklets explaining how to identify people engaging in suspicious activity, officials said.

“Our country has never faced this type of threat so we need to make sure that people are more alert,” Brazilian defence force anti terrorism chief, Mauro Sinott said.

“The message that we want to pass on is that if you think a certain situation is suspicious, it is because it is in fact suspicious.”

Earlier this month the government said Brazil’s intelligence agencies were working alongside counterparts in the US, Britain, France, Israel and Russia to counter the threat of terrorism.

Brazil will also deploy tens of thousands of troops in Rio’s streets to ensure the safety of athletes, officials, residents and an estimated 600,000 foreign visitors during the August 5-21 Games.

In total, there will be 85,000 security personnel – including armed forces, police and security agents – patrolling the city. Read More