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Drunk man tries to divert Russian plane, forcing emergency landing

8 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Moscow: Russian police detained a drunken man who threatened the crew of a passenger plane flying on Tuesday from a Siberian city to Moscow, forcing it to land shortly after take-off. The Russian Investigative Committee said that the man told the Aeroflot crew that he was armed and demanded the diversion of the plane after it had taken off from the Siberian city of Surgut. The plane landed in the city of Khanty-Mansiysk, about 230 kilometers (145 miles) to the west. The plane stood on the runway in Khanty-Mansiysk for more than an hour before law enforcement officials went onboard. The airport was evacuated and the area cordoned off. Aeroflot said no one was hurt. The investigators said the man has been identified as a Surgut resident who has a past conviction for property damage. He will now face charges of hijacking. In another drunken incident, an IndiGo flight 6E-767 which was bound for Hyderabad from Indira Gandhi International Airport was forced to abort its take..
                 

Pakistan court temporarily halts 26/11 Mumbai attack case hearing

11 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Islamabad: A Pakistani court has temporarily halted the hearing of the 2008 Mumbai attack case to let the prosecutor produce more witnesses. Ten Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists had sailed into Mumbai from Karachi and carried out coordinated attacks, killing 166 people and injuring over 300 in November 2008. The trial, underway in an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan against seven activists, has made little headway in more than 10 years as the Pakistani establishment has been claiming lack of enough evidence against them.  A divisional bench of Islamabad High Court, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani, on Tuesday conducted hearing on a petition by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) seeking a stay on anti-terrorism court proceedings. The Express Tribune reported that the court initially granted one week stay in the trial of the Mumbai attack case to let the prosecutor summon some of the 19 witnesses for testimony.During the hearing, FIA prose..
                 

Four held in New York state for 'plotting' against Muslims

16 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
New York: Three men and a teenage boy have been arrested and charged for an alleged plot against a small Islamic community in New York state, police said. The suspects have been accused of possessing homemade bombs and firearms, and planning to attack Islamberg, founded by a Pakistani cleric in the 1980s. The three men -- Andrew Crysel, 18, Vincent Vetromile, 19, and Brian Colaneri, 20 -- were due to appear in court on Wednesday. All were charged with criminal possession of a weapon and conspiracy. A 16-year-old boy is also facing charges, the police said, adding that at least three of them served together as boy scouts. Investigators say the group, based in the city of Greece in the northwest of the state, made at least three improvised explosive devices using duct tape and large jars and cylinders containing nails and other projectiles. They were found in the 16-year-old's home, a police officer added. Some 23 firearms were also found at various locations. The alleged plot was rev..
                 

Ships carrying Indian crew catch fire off Russia, 10 killed

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Moscow: At least 10 people were killed in a fire that broke out onboard two ships, both carrying Indian crew, near the Kerch Strait that separates Crimea and Russia, according to emergency officials. Preliminary information said the fire broke out on Monday night due to the failure of a fuel pump being used to transfer fuel between the two vessels -- Candy and Maestro -- in violation of security regulations governing such maneuvers, reports Efe news. According to Russia's TASS news agency, Candy had a crew of 17 -- eight Indian nationals, nine Turkish citizens. While the Maestro carried a crew of seven Indians, seven Turkish and an intern from Libya. A spokesman from Russia's Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport told TASS on Tuesday that 12 people have been rescued so far and there were no chances to find any more survivors. "As of 6 a.m., the status of the operation has been reclassified to search from rescue because there is no hope to find survivors. "The fire on ships..
                 

Pakistan shares draft agreement on Kartarpur Corridor with India

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Lahore: Pakistan on Monday said that it has shared a draft agreement on the Kartarpur Corridor with India and invited New Delhi to "urgently" send a delegation to Islamabad to "negotiate and finalise" the proposal. The proposed agreement aims at facilitating travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Darbar Sahib Kartarpur Gurudwara in Narowal, nearly 4 km away from Gurdaspur border on the Indian side. "The draft agreement between the two governments has been shared with New Delhi through the Indian High Commission in Islamabad," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said in a statement.  The move is in line with Pakistan's policy of promoting inter-faith harmony and religious tolerance and Mohammad Ali Jinnah's vision of a peaceful neighbourhood, he added. Pakistan has appointed Director-General (South Asia and SAARC) as the focal person on its side and requested India to designate its focal person soon. Pakistan also invited India to "urgently send a ..
                 

Google Doodle honours Noble Laureate Lev Landau

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
New Delhi: The Google Doodle on Tuesday honoured Soviet theoretical physicist and Noble Laureate Lev Davidovich Landau, who won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physics for his research into liquid helium's behaviour at extremely low temperatures. Born in Baku, Azerbaijan on January 22 in 1908, Landau's work covered all branches of theoretical physics, ranging from fluid mechanics to quantum field theory. "Described by classmates as a 'quiet, shy boy,' young Landau was brilliant at Math and science, but struggled in relating to his classmates," Google said in its post. Enrolling in the Physics Department of Leningrad University, his first publication titled "On the Theory of the Spectra of Diatomic Molecules" was already in print when he was just 18. Completing his PhD at 21, Landau earned a Rockefeller fellowship and a Soviet stipend which allowed him to visit research facilities in Zurich, Cambridge, and Copenhagen, where he had the opportunity to study with Nobel Laureate Niels Bohr. Elec..
                 

This photo of Bill Gates has gone viral, here is why?

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the world's second richest man, having a net worth more than 90 billion USD, and he is known to be one of the most humble human beings in the world. The internet witnessed his act of humility recently when the billionaire was seen waiting in a line outside a fast-food store in the United States for burger and fries. The picture was clicked by an admirer and shared on Facebook that went viral. Mike Galos, a Microsoft Alumni, recently shared a picture of the billionaire on Facebook with a caption, "When you're worth about $100,000,000,000, run the largest charity in the history of the world and stand in line for a burger, fries, and Coke at Dick's like the rest of us..." In the picture Bill Gates, wearing a red sweatshirt and a pair of jeans, hands in his pockets was seen standing in a queue at a joint. In spite of being the second richest man in the world, Gates patiently waited for his turn to buy burgers and fries just like the rest. ..
                 

Donald Trump: Protection to immigrants in return of wall funds

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Washington: US President Donald Trump launched a new plan to end a government shutdown, which has been ongoing for nearly a month, by offering protection from deportations for some undocumented immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion for constructing a wall on the US-Mexico border. The Democrats, however, rejected the deal as a "non-starter" and called on Trump to open the government before negotiations on immigration could start. Trump offered that he would give protection from deportation for young people brought to the country illegally as children (Dreamers) and also extend it to those with temporary protected status (TPS) after fleeing countries affected by natural disasters or violence. The president also called for $800 million in "urgent humanitarian assistance" and $805 million for drug detection technology to help secure US ports of entry. Trump proposed a slew of measures to increase border security, including an increase in law enforcement, saying he was offering a "commo..
                 

Bomb blast rocks Syrian capital; kills three and wounds nine people

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Damascus: A bomb blast hit the capital of war-torn Syria on Sunday and a "terrorist" was arrested, state media said, in a rare attack in the city that has been largely insulated from violence. The explosion came as another bomb in the northern city of Afrin killed three people and wounded nine others, according to a war monitor, on the first anniversary of a Turkish offensive on the Kurdish-majority region. Also on Sunday Israel said it intercepted a rocket fired from Syria after Damascus accused the Jewish state of carrying out air raids on the south of the country. State news agency SANA said a "bomb blast" had hit southern Damascus "without leaving any victims". "There is confirmation of reports that a terrorist has been arrested," it said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor reported, however, a "huge explosion" near a military intelligence office in southern Damascus that left a number of people dead and wounded. "The explosion took place near a sec..
                 

BuzzFeed's Donald Trump report not accurate: Mueller's office

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Washington: Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office has disputed a BuzzFeed News story as "not accurate", after the outlet reported that President Donald Trump had directed his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. "BuzzFeed's description of specific statements to the Special Counsel's Office, and characterisation of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen's Congressional testimony are not accurate," Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller's office, said in a statement on Friday night. It's highly unusual for the special counsel's office to provide a statement to the media, outside of court filings and judicial hearings, about any of its ongoing investigative activities. In response, BuzzFeed said in a statement: "We are continuing to report and determine what the special counsel is disputing. We remain confident in the accuracy of our report."Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief at BuzzFeed, echoed the outlet's statement, saying: "We stan..
                 

Pakistan's human hair en route China

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Islamabad: Pakistan has exported to China over 100,000 kg of human hair valued at USD 132,000 over the last five years. The Ministry of Commerce and Textile told the National Assembly that 1,05,461 kg of human hair was exported to China in the last five years, the Dawn reported. Demand for human hair has increased in China due to growth in the makeup industry. The other reason for the increase in the export of human hair is that there is no demand for wigs in Pakistan, said AM Chauhan, a prominent beautician. He said another reason was that the local production of hair accessories has declined recently. He said in the past, locals would make hair extensions, moustaches, beards and wigs by hand, but the local artisans have now lost the market to the Chinese makeup industry. Exporters buy hair at an average rate of Rs 5,000 or Rs 6,000 per kg, Chauhan added. High quality hair is also exported to the US and Japan as they have high demand for hair from their entertainment industrie..
                 

Donald Trump alleges Pelosi being controlled by 'radical left'

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Washington D.C.: US President Donald Trump on Saturday alleged that House Speaker and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is being controlled by the "radical left", as he reiterated his demand for building a wall along the US-Mexico border to prevent the flow of illegal aliens and massive smuggling of drugs. "Well, I hope that Speaker Pelosi can come along and realise what everybody knows, that no matter who it is, they know that walls work. We need walls. Whether it's personal or not, it's not personal for me," Trump said at the White House before leaving for Dover Airforce Base for the return of remains of four Americans killed in Syria this week. He will also visit the families. Trump was responding to questions about the unprecedented partial government shutdown that Saturday entered a record 29th day. The shutdown because of the sharp differences between the Trump-led Republican party and the Pelosi-led opposition Democrats has resulted in throwing out of some 800,000 federal govern..
                 

Sharif not completely well, says special medical board

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Lahore: A special medical board that examined Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Kot Lakhpat jail here has said that "he is not completely well" and more tests are required before suggesting treatment for him. The medical board comprising Shahid Hameed, Sajjad Ahmed and Hamid Khalil of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Lahore, had thoroughly examined Sharif and had his necessary tests done on Wednesday at the jail, where he is serving a seven years jail sentence in a corruption case. Sharif, 69, has been serving a seven-year jail term in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills graft case. A medical report released on Friday said that Sharif had "vague symptoms" of pain in both of his arms. "Vague symptoms of pain in Sharif's both arms particularly at night and numbness of toes. He is on dual antiplatelets, beta blocker, amlodipine, ARB'S and stains with anti-diabetics treatment," the medical report said. Earlier, the ex-premier's daughter Maryam Nawaz h..
                 

Saturn's 'young' rings are only 100 million years old

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
London: Saturn's spectacular rings are very young - no more than 100 million years old, when dinosaurs still walked the Earth, scientists using data from the Cassini spacecraft have found. Precise measurements of Cassini's final trajectory allowed scientists led by Sapienza University of Rome in Italy to make the first accurate estimate of the amount of material in Saturn's rings, weighing them based on the strength of their gravitational pull. The finding, published in the journal Science, show that the rings are relatively recent, having originated less than 100 million years ago and perhaps as recently as 10 million years ago. Their young age puts to rest a long-running argument among planetary scientists. Some thought that the rings formed along with the planet 4.5 billion years ago from icy debris remaining in orbit after the formation of the solar system, researchers said. Others thought the rings were very young and that Saturn had, at some point, captured an object from the K..
                 

Illegally-kept crocodile mauls Indonesian to death

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
An Indonesian woman has been mauled to death by a crocodile in Sulawesi after she fell into its enclosure. Deasy Tuwo, 44, had reportedly been feeding the 700-kg reptile when the incident happened at the pearl farm where she worked. The crocodile is thought to have bitten off her arm and most of her abdomen in the January 10 incident, the BBC reported on Thursday. According to the report, the crocodile was kept illegally at the farm. Hendriks Rundengan from the North Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Agency said officials had tried to visit the facility several times in the past to remove the crocodile but had not been allowed in. The police were trying to track down a Japanese national who owns the farm and the crocodile. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibili..
                 

Belarus model in Thai sex case being deported: police

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Thai officials say they are deporting a Belarusian model who claimed last year that she had evidence of Russian involvement in helping elect Donald Trump president. The woman along with several others pleaded guilty this week in a case related to holding a sex training seminar in Thailand. Thailand's immigration police chief said the group would board a plane to take them out of Thailand around noon Thursday. Veshukevich and seven co-defendants were charged with soliciting and conspiracy and were given suspended 18-month prison terms. The group had said that they were conducting a class on sexual relationships. While in custody, Veshukevich claimed to have recordings of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska talking about interference in the 2016 U.S. election, but never released them. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndica..
                 

India condemns Kabul terror attack

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Kabul: India on Tuesday strongly condemned the terror attack in the Afghan capital Kabul which took place on Monday in which four people, including an Indian national, were killed and scores of them were injured."India strongly condemns the horrific terror attack in which an Indian national and many others lost their lives," the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement. "We express our sincere condolences to the families of the victims of this cowardly attack and wish early recovery to the injured," it stated. The Indian Embassy in Kabul was taking steps to repatriate the mortal remains of the Indian national, it said. India strongly condemns the horrific terror attack in Kabul yesterday in which an Indian national and many others lost their lives. pic.twitter.com/DmN8iRbVKA — India in Afghanistan (@IndianEmbKabul) January 15, 2019 India called for the perpetrators of the attack and those who provide them shelter to be brought to justice expeditiously. Four p..
                 

Donald Trump inaugural committee spent $ 10,000 on makeup for aides

8 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
US President Donald Trump's inaugural committee spent $10,000 on makeup for his aides, thousands of dollars on room service orders and plane tickets for the leader's inauguration, the media reported. The details were revealed in a report in The New York Times on Monday about Trump's inaugural committee's allocation of funds when he took office in January 2017. It said $10,000 was spent on makeup for 20 aides at an evening event. There was another $30,000 in per diem payments to contract staff members. The Times also reported that the committee covered contract staff members' room service orders, plane tickets and taxi rides, among other things. The collective bill at the Trump International Hotel totalled more than $1.5 million, according to the report. The committee raised a record $107 million for the inauguration, about twice as much as former President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush raised for their inaugurations. Most of the funds raised were reportedly spe..
                 

Theresa May demands no delay in Brexit results

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday said that she was looking forward to quick results over Britain's withdrawal from the European Union (EU) while opposing a second referendum over the issue. Al Jazeera quoted the British Prime Minister, who was addressing a gathering at a factory in the northern city of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, as saying: "What is important is that we deliver on the result of the referendum." The Prime Minister also added that if the Parliamentarians tried to reject her deal of exiting the EU, then they would have to either leave without making a deal or not leave EU at all. The British parliamentarians are set to vote on the government's deal on Tuesday (January 15). In 2016, over 50 per cent of the UK electorate voted to leave the EU, following which the British government had triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, beginning the country's process of exiting the European bloc. According to the withdrawal agreement, the UK is scheduled to leave the ..
                 

Cargo plane crash in Iran kills 15, leaves 1 survivor

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Tehran: A decades-old Iranian Boeing 707 military cargo plane reportedly carrying meat from Kyrgyzstan crashed on Monday while trying to land west of Iran's capital, killing 15 people on board and leaving a sole survivor, authorities said. The crash of the jetliner marked just the latest aviation disaster for Iran, which hoped to replace its aging fleet under terms of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. But instead, President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the accord in May scuttled billions of dollars in planned sales by Airbus and Boeing Co. to the Islamic Republic, only increasing the danger for passengers in Iran planes. The aircraft, which bore the paint scheme of the Iranian air force's Saha civilian airline, was making emergency landing around 8:30 am Monday at Fath Airport, an airfield controlled by Iran's powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guard. The plane skidded off the runway, crashed through a perimeter fence and into a residential neighbourhood. Iranian state te..
                 

Afghan official: Gas cylinder blast leaves 9 dead in Kabul

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
An Afghan official says at least nine people were killed when a gas cylinder exploded in Kabul. Wahidullah Mayar, spokesman for the Public Health Ministry, says several people were also injured in the late Saturday explosion inside a residential house in the Afghan capital. Such incidents are common in Afghanistan, especially during the bitterly cold winters. Last week, a fire that began at a gas station in Kabul, spread overnight to a nearby apartment complex, killing three people and causing much damage. Authorities said 42 suffered burns and other injuries. A gas-filled tanker parked at the station caught fire, causing the blaze to spread quickly. A police investigation is still under way into that incident. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability f..
                 

Nawaz Sharif's health worsens, daughter says doctors denied access

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
The health of Pakistan's jailed former premier Nawaz Sharif has deteriorated, his daughter claimed on Friday, alleging that authorities are not letting his cardiologists examine him at the Lahore jail. Maryam Nawaz said that Sharif, who has been serving a seven-year jail term in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case, is suffering from a pain in his arm, "which is most likely to be angina". A jail spokesman, however, said jail doctors examined Sharif thoroughly and his health is fine. "Nawaz Sharif is in good health," he said. Taking to Twitter, Maryam complained that Sharif''s cardiologists "have been trying to get access to him all day but (the) permission (has) not (been) granted". "He needs to be examined by the doctors who are privy to his complicated medical history," Maryam said. Sharif, 69, had undergone an open-heart surgery about three years ago in London. Maryam, who had visited her father in the jail on Thursday, said his father had a "com..
                 

Pakistan Army test fires long-range air defence weapon system

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Pakistan Army on Thursday test fire the recently inducted long range air defence weapon system, LY-80. The firing by the air defence weapon system was displayed during the concluding day of the two-week event of Exercise Al Bayza-2019. Pakistani Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan witnessed the display of its fire power capability at air defence firing ranges near Karachi. "Hallmark of the event was first ever fire by recently inducted Long Range Air Defence Weapon System LY-80. Induction of LY-80 has realised the concept of a comprehensive, layered and integrated air defence capability with enhanced lethality," the army spokesman said. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthine..
                 

Donald Trump skips WEF meet over shutdown

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
President Trump has cancelled his planned trip to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, Switzerland, citing the "intransigence" of the Democrats on his funding request to build a controversial wall along the US-Mexico border. Trump was scheduled to attend the five-day Davos Summit which will begin from January 21. "Because of the Democrats intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation, I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. My warmest regards and apologies to the @WEF!" Trump tweeted. He has demanded $5.7 billion from the Congress to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border. The Democrats who support border security measures, argue that constructing a wall is not the best use of taxpayers' money. The WEF, an annual gathering of the world's political and financial elite, is typically an event American presidents avoid. Trump was the first president to atten..
                 

Midwife tells you why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have a baby bo

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
The Duke and the Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting their first child in Spring this year. Amanda Bude, who is a midwife from Groovy Babies has said that Markle may give birth to a baby boy. According to her, the way a pregnant woman carries a baby can help in determining the baby's gender. According to a report in India Today, Bude spoke to local media and said that if one is carrying "wide and low" and has gained weight only around the abdomen, then it's a girl and if one is carrying it "high and pointy," then it's likely to be a baby boy. She furthur spoke about the predictions being made about Meghan's baby bump, and said that it's different for every woman because everybody's body is as unique as a fingerprint. She also mentioned that a uterus is usually pear-shaped for the first birth but becomes more "apple-shaped" for subsequent births, hence these factors can also affect the way a baby bump looks. On a different note, Meghan has also beco..
                 

US lawmakers, friends mark 100 days since Khashoggi murder

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
US lawmakers from both parties, friends of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi and press freedom groups on Thursday marked 100 days since the Saudi dissident's assassination. Featuring a portrait of Khashoggi against a back drop of American flags, the ceremony began with a moment of silence. "The murder of Khashoggi is an atrocity and an affront to humanity," said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during the event in Washington. Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who lived in the US, was killed in October at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he had gone to pick up paperwork needed for his upcoming marriage to his Turkish fiancee. Over three months later, his body's whereabouts remain unknown. Turkish and US officials accuse Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of orchestrating the killing -- an allegation Saudi authorities categorically refute. In Washington, US President Donald Trump's response to Riyadh -- a key trade partner -- provoked outrage among lawmaker..
                 

Opposition leader Tshisekedi wins presidential vote in Congo

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Congo opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi has won the long-delayed presidential election, the electoral commission announced early Thursday, as the vast country braced for possible protests over alleged rigging. Tshisekedi, who received more than 7 million votes, or 38 per cent, had not been widely considered the leading candidate and is relatively untested. The son of late opposition leader Etienne, who pursued the presidency for many years, he surprised many last year by breaking away from an opposition effort to unite behind a single candidate. Some observers have suggested that President Joseph Kabila's government sought to make a deal as hopes faded for a win for ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who received more than 4 million votes. It is not immediately clear whether opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, who had vowed to clean up Congo's widespread corruption and led in polling, will contest the results.The constitutional court has 14 days to validate them. Fayu..
                 

MPs debate Plan B as Brexit deal sees May-day

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
British MPs on Wednesday began five days of debate ahead of a historic delayed vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, a day after giving her a stinging blow aimed at preventing Britain from crashing out of the bloc with no agreement. Lawmakers will vote next Tuesday on the agreement that May has negotiated with the EU over the last 18 months, which faces daunting opposition as the clock ticks down before Britain leaves the European Union. The prime minister has warned rebels in her own party that defeat will lead to a no-deal Brexit, or no departure from the bloc at all. But in a major setback that presages likely defeat in next week's vote, MPs approved an amendment that will curtail the government's tax powers in case of a no-deal Brexit. David Lidington, May's effective deputy, called the House of Commons defeat "inconvenient" yet ineffectual and insisted the government remained focused on winning approval for May's plan. "We are focused on getting any possible vote i..
                 

Australia considers asylum for Saudi woman deemed refugee

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Australia will assess runaway Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun for settlement after the United Nations on Wednesday deemed her a refugee. The Department of Home Affairs confirmed in a statement that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees had referred 18-year-old Alqunun to Australia for consideration for refugee settlement. Alqunun arrived in Bangkok on a flight from Kuwait on Saturday, and planned to continue to Australia, for which she held a tourist visa. But after being detained by Thai authorities, she refused to board a flight back to Kuwait, barricading herself in a hotel room. After publicising her case via social media, saying she feared for her safety if made to return home to her family, she was placed in the care of UNHCR workers as her bid for refugee status was considered, leading to her referral to Australia on Wednesday afternoon. "The UNHCR has referred Ms Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun to Australia for consideration for refugee resettlement," Australia's Home Affairs Depar..
                 

Mark Zuckerberg gears up for debates on public forums

14 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said his personal challenge for 2019 will be to "host a series of public discussions about the future of technology in society - the opportunities, the challenges, the hopes, and the anxieties". "Every few weeks I'll talk with leaders, experts, and people in our community from different fields and I'll try different formats to keep it interesting. These will all be public, either on my Facebook or Instagram pages or on other media," Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post on Tuesday. He said the engagements will all be public, "either on my Facebook or Instagram pages or on other media". Famed analyst Brian Wieser with Pivotal Research warned on Monday that Facebook should brace itself for another tough year as its revenue growth faces risk due to increased scrutiny of the platform's usage by marketers. Scrutiny of Facebook increased manifold last year since it revealed how a London-based political consultancy, that worked for US President Donald Trump's ..
                 

Chinese military equips troops in Tibet with mobile howitzers

14 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
After the recent induction of light weight battle tank in Tibet bordering India, the Chinese military has equipped its troops stationed at the Himalayan plateau with new vehicle-mounted howitzers to improve their combat capability, official media here reported on Tuesday. China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) stationed in Tibet Autonomous Region has been equipped with mobile howitzers which aims to boost the troops' high-altitude combat capability to improve border security. Chinese military analysts said that the new equipment would be the PLC-181 vehicle mounted howitzer. The equipment was used in an artillery brigade in Tibet during the 2017 China-India stand-off at Doklam. The induction of the mobile howitzers followed the move by the PLA to put into service the light weight battle tank, which was tested by its military during exercises in Tibet held at the peak of the Doklam standoff. The Type 15 has an engine capable of 1,000 horsepower and is significantly lighter than the PL..
                 

Donald Trump mulls wall of steel for border

14 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
With no breakthrough in sight, President Donald Trump will argue his case to the nation on Tuesday night that a "crisis" at the US-Mexico border requires the long and invulnerable wall he's demanding before ending the partial government shutdown. The talks over ending the shutdown have been at an impasse over Trump's demand for the wall. He has offered to build the barrier with steel rather than concrete, billing that as a concession to Democrats' objections. They "don't like concrete, so we'll give them steel," he said. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers face missed paychecks as the shutdown drags through a third week. Trump's Oval Office speech will be followed by his visit to the southern border on Thursday to highlight his demand for a barrier. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that he will use the visit to "meet with those on the front lines of the national security and humanitarian crisis." The administration is also talking about declaring a nat..
                 

Sharks force closure of Sydney beaches

14 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Sydney: Two popular Australian beaches have been temporarily closed after sharks were spotted nearby, one of which was just metres from shore, within what was supposed to be a shark free area. Local residents at Brighton Le Sands beach in Sydney spotted a three-metre shark, cruising around within a netted area which is intended to keep bathers separating from wildlife, Xinhua reported on Wednesday. Children were swimming in the area not long before the alarm was raised and made it from the water unharmed, while police responded by closing the beach and posting warning signals. Earlier on Tuesday, a four-metre great white shark was spotted at Tamara beach by a drone. Authorities said that the predator was chasing a seal which led it towards the shore. The popular Sydney swim spot, which is just around the headland from the world famous Bondi Beach, was temporarily closed until the shark was chased out to sea by lifeguards. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International an..
                 

Donald Trump to 'address nation' on border crisis

15 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
US President Donald Trump will "address the nation" on Tuesday over the ongoing "humanitarian and national security crisis" on the country's southern border, two days before his scheduled trip to the region. Trump made the announcement in a tweet late Monday night, reports CNN. "I am pleased to inform you that I will address the nation on the humanitarian and national security crisis on our southern border. Tuesday night at 9 p.m.," the President tweeted. The tweet comes as the government shutdown begins its third week, with Trump and congressional Democrats at an impasse over the President's demand for nearly $6 billion in federal funding to build a wall on the southern border. A White House official said Trump wants to make his case about the government shutdown and wall funding in advance of Thursday's border trip. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced on Monday morning that Trump will head to the US-Mexico border to "meet with those on the front lines of the natio..
                 

Saudi woman won't be deported: Thailand

15 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
An 18-year-old Saudi woman seeking asylum has left Bangkok airport "under the care" of the UN refugee agency, a Thai official said on Monday, following her desperate plea against deportation. "She is allowed to stay... she is under the care of the UNHCR now," said immigration chief Surachate Hakparn. "She left the airport with the UNHCR." A Thai court had earlier on Monday rejected an attempt to block her deportation after she said she feared for her life after escaping an abusive family. The 18-year-old said she had planned to travel to Australia and seek asylum there, and feared she would be killed if she was repatriated. The incident comes against the backdrop of intense scrutiny of Saudi Arabia over its investigation and handling of the shocking murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year, which has renewed criticism of the kingdom's rights record. Human rights lawyer Nadthasiri Bergman filed an injunction to block her deportation but it was rejected by Bangkok's criminal cou..
                 

Man charged with murder in Houston girl's death

16 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
A black man was arrested and charged with murder in the killing of a 7-year-old black girl in a drive-by shooting that authorities said Sunday appeared to be a case of mistaken identity, not a racially motivated attack, as her family feared. Jazmine Barnes' family had described the gunman in the Dec 30 slaying as a white man driving a red pickup, and believed race played a role in the shooting. But acting on a tip received by a civil rights activist, the sheriff's department zeroed in instead on Eric Black Jr, a 20-year-old black man who admitted he was driving a dark-coloured SUV from which a passenger opened fire, authorities said. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez cautioned that authorities were still investigating, but said: "At this point, it does not appear it was related to race." Gonzalez said authorities have identified the second suspect, who is also black, but would not say whether the person was in custody. Chris Sevilla, Jazmine's father, said in a brief telephone intervi..
                 

'Bikini hiker' freezes to death after ravine fall

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Taipei: A Taiwanese hiker, known for posting her bikini selfies from summits conquered, has died after falling into a 65-feet deep ravine during a solo trek. Gigi Wu tragically froze to her death following the fall, as the 36-year-old, could not be saved by emergency services due to foul weather, people magazine reported. She was embarking on a 25-day solo hike when she stumbled down the deep ravine in Central Taiwan's Yushan Mountain, Taiwan News reported. Due to the impact of the fall, Wu sustained injuries to her leg and was unable to move, the report added. Despite her many calls for help, emergency responders were not able to immediately reach her as weather conditions were extremely dangerous. Nearly 28 hours later, Wu was airlifted out but was pronounced dead, officials told the media. The popular social media figure is thought to have died of hypothermia, the BBC reported. She was extremely popular and messages on her Facebook pages paid rich tributes to her for being an insp..
                 

Pope Francis visit to CentAm highlights church ministry to migrants

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Guatemala City: When Pope Francis visits Panama this week, he arrives not only as the first Latin American pontiff to visit Central America but as perhaps the world's most prominent advocate for migrants at a time when migration has become a pressing political issue in the region and elsewhere. The Argentine-born son of Italian immigrants has long held the issue dear to his heart and has signaled that it will be a central theme during the trip, which comes as the latest caravan of Central Americans is wending its way toward the US-Mexico frontier and President Donald Trump's promised border wall has led to the longest government shutdown in the country's history. Francis' emphasis on fundamental Christian teaching about welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked and feeding the hungry has been a breath of sustenance for those involved in efforts to aid migrants in Central America and Mexico, where Catholic priests, nuns and laypeople have taken the lead on attending to migrants amid ..
                 

Top US senator urges meeting between Donald Trump and Imran Khan

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Islamabad: Leading US Senator Lindsey Graham vowed Sunday to urge President Donald Trump to meet Imran Khan to boost Washington's Afghanistan peace efforts, calling the Pakistani prime minister an "agent of change". The Republican -- an influential ally of Trump -- made the comments in Islamabad after meeting with the Pakistani leader, saying Khan was a "new partner" who could potentially help with a peace deal in Afghanistan. "I'm going to urge him (Trump) to meet with the prime minister as soon as practical," Graham told reporters, saying he believed Khan and Trump would "hit if off" because they have "similar personalities". "Prime Minister Khan is the agent of change that I've been looking for," he added. Ties between Washington and Islamabad have soured recently, with US officials repeatedly accusing Pakistan of turning a blind eye to or even collaborating with the Afghan Taliban, which launch attacks in Afghanistan from alleged havens along the border between the two countries. ..
                 

Death toll reaches 85 in Mexico fuel pipeline fire horror

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Tlahuelilpan: People in the town where a gasoline explosion killed at least 85 people say the section of pipeline that gushed fuel has been a habitual gathering site for thieves, repeatedly damaged and patched like a trusty pair of jeans. "It was the popular tap," said Enrique Cerron, 22, who lives near the field. "You could pass by at 11 or 12 in the morning and see people filling up here." On Friday, amid countrywide fuel shortages at gas stations as the government attempts to stem widespread fuel theft, this particular section of pipeline had come back into service after being offline for nearly four weeks when somebody punctured the line again. Word quickly spread through the community of 20,000 people that gas was flowing. Come one, come all. Hundreds showed up at the spigot, carrying plastic jugs and covering their faces with bandanas. A few threw rocks and swung sticks at soldiers who tried to shoo them away. Some fuel collectors brought their children along. Tlahuelilpan is a ..
                 

Thousands march across US to protest against Donald Trump

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Washington D.C. and in nearly 300 other US cities in the third annual Women's March to protest against the policies of President Donald Trump and to stand up for women's rights.Organisers had hoped to see hundreds of thousands of attendees, the kind of turnout that made the first march held a day after Trump was sworn in as President on January 20, 2017, a seminal moment in the protest movement, reports The Washington Post.But Saturday's march appeared to attract only thousands, mirroring lower turnout at marches in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia and other cities.The main event kicked off at Freedom Plaza near the White House, where the organisers set up a stage and the along Pennsylvania Avenue, which connects the White House to the Capitol.Many participants wore pink wool hats and carried posters with the most varied messages, such as "Take care of your own uterus", "We demand equality for all", and "Without Hermione, Harry (P..
                 

George W Bush treats Secret Service staff to pizza

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Washington: Former US President George W Bush delivered pizzas to his unpaid Secret Service personnel and called for the partial government shutdown to end. "@LauraWBush and I are grateful to our Secret Service personnel and the thousands of Federal employees who are working hard for our country without a paycheck," he captioned an image showing himself delivering pizzas on Instagram on Friday. "And we thank our fellow citizens who are supporting them." The former leader bought his staffers at least six pizzas, according to the Instagram post. "It's time for leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown," he said.       View this post on Instagram @LauraWBush and I are grateful to our Secret Service personnel and the thousands of Federal employees who are working hard for our country without a paycheck. And we thank our fellow citizens who are supporting them. It’s time for leaders on both sides to put pol..
                 

White House: Trump to meet Kim Jong-un again in late February

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Washington: US President Donald Trump will hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in late February on dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes, the White House has announced The two leaders had met on June 12 last year in Singapore for the first summit. The White House, however, did not identify a location for the second setting between the two leaders. The announcement came after Trump met with North Korean envoy, Kim Yong Chol, on Friday for a discussion that included talk about Kim Jong-un's unfulfilled pledge to dismantle his country's nuclear weapons programmes. President Trump sat down with Kim Yong Chol, a high-level official in North Korea's Communist government, in the Oval Office, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said. "President Donald J Trump met with Kim Yong Chol for an hour and a half, to discuss denuclearization and a second summit, which will take place near the end of February. "The president looks forward to meeting with Ch..
                 

Two monks shot dead as violence flares in Thailand's deep south

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Bangkok: Gunmen in Thailand's deep south shot dead two Buddhist monks and wounded two others inside a temple, police said on Saturday, capping a week of deadly violence as the prime minister vowed to "punish" those who were responsible. Black-clad assailants carrying rifles crept into Rattanaupap temple in Narathiwat province near Malaysia's border on Friday evening and started firing, local superintendent, Pakdi Preechachon told AFP. "The attack took place at around 7:30 pm (1230 GMT) when an unknown number of gunmen dressed in black entered the temple through a rear area via a creek," Pakdi said. "Two monks were shot dead at the temple while two others were wounded." Since 2004 clashes between ethnic Malay-Muslim rebels and the Buddhist-majority Thai state that annexed the region a century ago have killed nearly 7,000 people, mostly civilians of both faiths. The death toll in the south dropped to a record low last year as Thailand's junta tightened its security web but violence has ..
                 

Donald Trump-Nancy Pelosi row grounds tour to war zone

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Washington: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday cancelled her plans to travel by commercial plane to visit US troops in Afghanistan, saying President Donald Trump had caused a security risk by talking about the trip. It was the latest twist in what has become a Washington game of brinkmanship between Pelosi and Trump, playing out against the stalled negotiations over how to end the partial government shutdown. Earlier in the week, Pelosi had asked Trump to reschedule his State of the Union address, citing security issues at a time when the Homeland Security Department and other agencies remain unfunded. Trump responded by cancelling the military plane that was to have carried Pelosi and a congressional delegation to Afghanistan on the previously undisclosed troop visit. Trump suggested she travel by commercial plane instead. Trump had belittled the trip as a "public relations event" even though he had just made a similar warzone stop and said it would be best if Pelosi remained in W..
                 

No entertainment on PIA flights to Jeddah, Madina

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
The Pakistan International Airlines has banned in-flight entertainment for pilgrims travelling to Jeddah and Madina and will only play Quranic verses and naats for them, an official of the national carrier said Thursday. The decision was taken "in light of the peoples' sentiments," said PIA spokesman Mashhood Tajawar. "The decision to play Quranic verses and naats (recitation of poetry praising the Prophet) during taxing and landing for flights to Jeddah and Madina has been taken in light of the peoples sentiments," Tajawar said. He added that the impression that the PIA has banned music on all routes is incorrect. "This is only for Jeddah and Madina as people go there for a holy journey. Therefore, playing music/songs on these routes is not appropriate," Tajwar said. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, a..
                 

Nairobi attackers 'eliminated' in 20-hour siege

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Wednesday that all Islamists who had stormed an upmarket hotel complex had been "eliminated" after an almost 20-hour siege that left at least 14 dead. "I can confirm that... the security operation at Dusit complex is over and all the terrorists eliminated," Kenyatta said in a televised address to the nation. "As of this moment, we have confirmation that 14 innocent lives were lost to the... terrorists, with others injured." Police sources and a mortuary official had previously reported 15 dead. Kenyatta said 700 civilians had been rescued throughout the siege, but did not clarify if people were still hiding in the complex. It was not immediately clear how many attackers there were in total. CCTV footage broadcast on local media showed four black-clad, heavily armed men entering the complex on Tuesday afternoon. At least one of them blew himself up at the start of the attack. A police source said two attackers had been shot dead Wednesday morning a..
                 

Theresa May suffers biggest ever defeat in Parliament over Brexit deal

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
In the biggest defeat for a sitting British government in history, Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce deal to leave the EU was overwhelmingly rejected by MPs, triggering a no-confidence motion against her government and leaving the country with no plans for Brexit on March 29. The crushing defeat Tuesday threw the government and and its plan for Brexit into crisis. May's bid to get the Withdrawal Agreement, struck between London and Brussels, was rejected by 432 votes to 202 - a majority of 230, the biggest defeat ever suffered by a British premier in modern history. Within minutes after the defeat, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party moved a motion of no-confidence against the May government to be held on Wednesday. Britain is set to exit the 28-member European Union, which it joined in 1973, on March 29. With just over two months to go until the scheduled departure, Britain is still undecide on what to do. Hardline Brexiteers and Remainers opposed the agreement for di..
                 

Indian man, 27 Thai women arrested over fake-marriage scam in Thailand

8 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Bangkok: An Indian man and 27 Thai women have been arrested in Thailand for their alleged involvement in fake marriages registration scam that permits Indians to get residential visas in the country, authorities said, over a month after 10 Indian men were held on the same charges. The 35-year-old Indian man, Wikrom Layerhi, was arrested on charge of being a broker to arrange for Thai women to register fake marriages with Indian nationals, the National daily reported. The arrested women were hired for 8,000 to 10,000 bahts each, adding that these women never stayed with the Indians with whom they had registered their marriages, Lt. Gen. Surachate Hakpal, Immigration Bureau Chief and Deputy Head of the Technology Crime Suppression Centre, said on Monday. The arrest was made following a long investigation, and 27 Thai women have also been taken into custody, he added. One of the women is 70 years old and has a family, including children, Surachate said. In December, 10 Indian men and 2..
                 

Forty injured in Kabul truck bomb blast

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
40 people have been injured in a powerful truck bomb explosion that rocked the Green Village compound here on Monday, a place mostly habited by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and foreigners. Tolo News quoted the Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) as confirming that at least 40 people were wounded in the blast and have been shifted to hospitals for medical treatment. Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish further added that the explosion which took place in Kabul's Police Division 9, damaged many houses near that area. However, the local police did not report any deaths so far. Investigations are still underway. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also, download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get the latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day m..
                 

Watch video: Female bus driver saves lost baby crying, running barefoot

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
This Milwaukee bus driver's story is going viral online for her heroic gesture as she went above the call of duty when she stopped the bus to save a toddler. Irena Ivic, the bus driver, was driving on a freeway overpass when she spotted a barefoot toddler running on the road, Milwaukee County Transit System spokesman Matt Sliker said. The child was only wearing a red onesie and a diaper and was quickly walking to an intersection. "I'm just grateful I was in the right place at the right time," Ivic said at a commendation ceremony held in her honor on Thursday. When she saw the toddler running barefoot and underdressed on a cold day, Ivic stopped the bus and picked the toddler up and carried her to the bus, where passengers gathered in disbelief. "Oh my God. Oh my God. I am shaking," Ivic said in the video as she sat down with the toddler in the driver's seat. Watch the video below that was shared by a user online.       View this post on Instagram #Repost..
                 

Saudi girl welcomed in Canada

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
The 18-year-old Saudi girl, Rahaf Alqunun, who fled her family from Kuwait to Thailand, has landed in Canada after being granted asylum in the nation. Hailing Alqunun as a "very brave new Canadian", Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland welcomed her at Toronto airport on Sunday, reported Al Jazeera. Talking to media at the airport, Freel and stated that granted asylum to Alqunun was part of Canada's "policy of supporting women and girls around the world." "It's obvious that the oppression of women is not a problem that can be resolved in a day, but rather than cursing the darkness we believe in lighting a single candle. Where we can save a single woman, a single person that's a good thing to do," Freeland stated. On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that Canada had accepted a request from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to grant asylum to Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, who was fleeing her parents and has alleged abuse from family. The..
                 

Four killed in gas explosion at Paris bakery

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
At least four people, including two firefighters, died and dozens were injured after a gas leak led to an explosion at a bakery in central Paris on Saturday, emergency services said. The blast took place at 9.10 a.m. (local time) at the bakery on Rue de Trevise in the 9th arrondissement of the French capital as firefighters were responding to reports of the leak, CNN reported. "The human toll is heavy -- 12 people seriously injured, of which three are firefighters," prosecutor Rémy Heitz told reporters before the police confirmed the four fatalities. "At this stage, we can tell the origin of the explosion is accidental, a gas leak, but we should remain prudent as an ongoing investigation will determine the causes of this," he said. According to officials, five people were in a critical condition. An additional 24 people were also injured by the blast, but not critically, said a spokesman for the Paris Fire Brigade. The explosion caused windows to shatter in the vicinity and..
                 

Two security guards stab Chinese national, steals Rs 3 million rupees

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Two security guards have been arrested from interior Sindh province on the charge of stabbing a Chinese national and stealing Rs 3 million rupees other valuables from him in Karachi. DIG South, Sharjeel Karim Kharal told the media that the guards were arrested on Friday from near the town of Jamshoro. "They had attacked the Chinese national with knives in a neighbourhood of Defence Housing Society and robbed him of Rs 3 million and other valuables on Thursday," he said. Kharal said the guards worked for a private security agency and were detailed at the residence of the Chinese national, Shi Qingpu, who was residing in Karachi while being engaged in private business. The two accused attacked Shi at his residence on Thursday night, stabbed him and made away with the cash and valuables, the DIG said. "The two guards were arrested at Jamshoro toll plaza after fleeing from Karachi," he added. The injured foreigner was admitted to a private hospital in Clifton. Senior police officials m..
                 

United Nations: Human rights violations in North Korea 'serious'

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
A senior UN official warned on Friday it would be a "missed opportunity" if diplomatic talks with North Korea this year did not address human rights, urging Seoul and Washington to highlight the issue. The impoverished but nuclear-armed nation stands accused by United Nations investigators of "systematic, widespread and gross" human rights violations that range from rape, torture, extrajudicial killings to running political prisoner camps. Pyongyang calls such accusations anti-regime propaganda. A second meeting between Kim and Trump is expected soon. "It will be a missed opportunity if in 2019 human rights is not addressed by all the parties, including more importantly the government of DPR Korea," said Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the North, using the North's official name. The human rights situation remained "serious" in the isolated country, he told reporters in Seoul, despite last year's diplomatic developments. The Argentine lawyer called o..
                 

Donald Trump dubs fake new media 'Opposition party'

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
US President Donald Trump has described the "fake new media" as the "Opposition party" and accused them of working with Democrats for regularly referring to the situation at the border as a "manufactured crisis". His remarks came as the Democrats refused to allocate funding for a proposed controversial wall along the US-Mexico border. Trump has asked for USD 5.6 billion from Congress to construct the border wall, which he said is crucial to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and smuggling of drugs into the country. "Democrats have refused to listen to the border agents and they say this is a manufactured crisis. That's their new soundbite. All over I turned the television--you know, I call it the opposition party. It's called the fake news media," Trump said during a border security and immigration roundtable in Texas on Thursday. He was referring to the allegation of the opposition Democrats that Trump has manufactured the crisis on the border to build the wall. Addressing border se..
                 

Donald Trump walks out of shutdown talks

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Negotiations between Donald Trump and the Democrats to end a partial government shutdown have collapsed after the president stormed out of a crucial meeting as the opposition leaders stuck by their refusal to allocate $5.7 billion for his controversial US-Mexico border wall. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer accused Trump of slamming his hand on the table before he exited the White House meeting, as he ignored their pleas to reopen the federal government. The Democrats are refusing to allocate the money, arguing that a wall would be costly and ineffective. Mexico has rejected Trump's demand to pay too. The standoff triggered a partial government shutdown on December 22, shuttering nine federal departments and several smaller agencies and forcing some 8,00,000 workers to go on unpaid leave or work without pay. The shutdown entered its 19th day on Wednesday, making it the second-longest in history after the 21-day shutdown in 1995-96. The presi..
                 

Canadian faces retrial in China drug case next week

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
A Canadian man who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for drug smuggling in China will face a retrial on Monday, which could hand him a harsher sentence and further strain ties between Beijing and Ottawa. In a statement posted on its website, the northeastern Dalian Intermediate People's Court said Thursday that Robert Lloyd Schellenberg's new trial is scheduled for 8:00 am (0000 GMT) on January 14, but gave no further details. China exercises a zero-tolerance policy towards drug trafficking, and has handed death sentences to foreigners found guilty of smuggling large quantities of illicit drugs. The case comes as Beijing and Ottawa remain embroiled in a diplomatic row triggered by Canada's December 1 arrest of a senior executive from Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei wanted in the United States. In what observers see as an act of retaliation, China later detained two Canadians -- a former diplomat and a business consultant -- on suspicion of engaging in activities that "enda..
                 

Pakistan SC: No Indian content on television

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Pakistan's Chief Justice Saqib Nisar on Wednesday said that the Supreme Court will not allow Indian content to be shown on Pakistani TV channels as it "damages our culture". Chief Justice Nisar made the remarks while hearing an appeal filed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) against a high court's decision to ban the broadcast of Indian content on TV channels in Pakistan, Dawn reported. Pemra's counsel Zafar Iqbal Kalanauri informed the three-member bench, led by the chief justice, that foreign content had been banned on court orders before a high court issued a stay order against it. Saleem Baig, the chairman of the Pemra, told the court that 65 per cent of the content shown on Filmazia channel is foreign and that the number at times goes as high as 80 per cent, the paper said. At this, the chief justice said, "we will not allow Indian content to be aired on (Pakistani) channels". Pemra counsel informed the chief justice that "Filmazia is not a news channel..
                 

Australian police arrest man over suspect embassy packages

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Australian police have arrested a 48-year-old man for allegedly sending dozens of suspicious packages to embassies and consulates around the country, officials said on Thursday. Federal police said the man was arrested at his home in rural Victoria state late Wednesday, hours after several consulates in Melbourne received the suspicious packages. They alleged that the man had sent 38 parcels in all to consulates and embassies in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. Police have so far recovered 29 of the packages and identified "all intended recipients". They said there was no "ongoing threat to the general public" from the remaining nine. The suspect was due to appear in a Melbourne court later Thursday morning to face charges of sending dangerous materials through the post. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, police said. On Wednesday, emergency services raced to a string of diplomatic facilities in Melbourne which had received packages containing suspected hazard..
                 

All Indians bust out of Rs 36 crore poker tournament in the Bahamas

14 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
The great Indian poker hope of winning the Rs 36 crore stake at Bahamas has folded. All the eight Indians and several Indian-origin players have been busted out of the tournament organised by online leader Pokerstars. The last Indian-origin person fighting for the top slot, Ajay Chabra, bowed out on Tuesday evening on day three as only 38 players were left in the fray from the original 1,039 who had entered the Rs 25,000 buy-in tournament in Bahamas -- taking the prize pool to $26,45 million. Six others, apart from the winner would get over a million each. The money would be paid in descending amounts to players who ranked up to 181. The leader, after day three play, was Scott Baumstein of the US who had amassed $4.24 million chips. But there could still be a lot of changes in the run up to the final minute of the game over the next two days. According to Aditya Agarwal, brand ambassador of Pokerstars, it takes a cool mental state to reach the top level in a five-day tournament. Aga..
                 

Edouard Philippe: France to ban participation in unauthorised protests

14 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Monday announced plans to ban participation in unauthorised demonstrations as the government scrambles to try to end weeks of violent "yellow vest" protests. Seven weeks into an anti-government rebellion marked by weekly clashes in Paris and other French cities, Philippe said the government would back a "new law punishing those who do not respect the requirement to declare (protests), those who take part in unauthorised demonstrations and those who arrive at demonstrations wearing face masks." He also announced plans to ban known "troublemakers" from taking part in demonstrations, in the same way known football hooligans in the past had been banned from stadiums. "That measure worked well," he said, referring to the stadium ban. In future, Philippe said, the onus would be on "the troublemakers, and not taxpayers, to pay for the damage caused" to businesses and property during the protests, which began peacefully in mid-November over taxes bu..
                 

Trump calls Indian-origin police officer killed in US 'national hero'

14 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday described an Indian-origin policeman, Ronil "Ron" Singh who was recently killed in California as national "hero". He said that America's heart broke the day the young officer was "savagely murdered" in cold blood by an "illegal alien". Corporal Singh(33), of the Newman Police Department was shot and killed during a traffic stop on December 26 allegedly by an illegal immigrant. Trump spoke on Thursday with the family members and law enforcement colleagues of Singh, a native of Fiji who joined the force in July 2011. "America's heart broke the day after Christmas when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien (who) just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country," Trump said. The Californian police have arrested 33-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico identified as Gustavo Perez Arriaga on charges of killing Singh.&nbs..
                 

Queen Elizabeth has been using same handbag for 50 years!

14 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
New Delhi: Queen Elizabeth's everlasting love for her Launer handbag has come to the forefront by an article published by the Mirror UK, written by the Acting Audience Editor, Zoe Forsey. Forsey, in her article titled "Queen has been using the same handbag for 50 years - including a very special outing", also divulged that the Queen has been using the Launer handbag for about 50 years, which remains one of her essentials and favorites. According to the article published in the Mirror on January 8, the Queen carries her handbag for every big occasion including official engagements, presidential visits, and other key events. The bag even made an unexpected appearance in a portrait she sat for in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle in 2018. Express quoted artist Benjamin Sullivan talking about the handbag in the portrait, in an article written by Royal Correspondent Richard Palmer on January 8 as saying, "It was almost happenstance that it was placed there. It's where she put it an..
                 

World Bank head quits, Donald Trump likely to determine successor

15 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has announced that he is stepping down as the head of the premier anti-poverty institution putting the likely choice of its future leadership in the hands of US President Donald Trump, a sceptic of international development. Trump's role is expected to reinvigorate challenges to Washington's monopoly on appointing the Bank's head. Announcing his decision on Monday, Kim said in a tweet: "It's been the greatest privilege I could have ever imagined to lead the dedicated staff of this great institution to bring us closer to a world that is finally free of poverty." Kim, 59, who is dropping out 19 months into his second term on February 1, would be joining a private company and focus on infrastructure investments in developing countries, the Bank said. The Bank's CEO Kristalina Georgieva will become the interim president till a successor to Kim is appointed. As the largest shareholder, the US by tradition appoints the head of the Bank, while Europeans de..
                 

China executes kindergarten knife attacker

16 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
China has executed a farmer who attacked several children with a knife at a kindergarten in a southern Chinese city two years ago, state media reported Monday. Yan Pengan was executed last Friday for slashing young children at the school in the Guangxi Zhuang region, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Yan went to the kindergarten with a kitchen knife in January 2017 and attacked 12 children, seriously injuring four of them. A teacher fended off the attack and called for help as Yan fled the scene. He later surrendered himself to local authorities. Knife attacks targeting schoolchildren are not uncommon in China. Last October, a knife-wielding woman injured 14 children at a Sichuan province kindergarten. In April 2017, a man killed nine middle school students as they were returning home in one of the country's deadliest knife attacks in recent years. The suspect in that case, who was later executed, had told police he was exacting revenge because he had been bullied when he at..
                 

Saudi woman held at Bangkok airport pleads for asylum

16 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
A Saudi woman being held at Bangkok airport on Monday appealed for asylum and for other passengers to help protest her looming deportation, in desperate tweets from the hotel room where she barricaded herself. The incident comes against the backdrop of intense scrutiny of Saudi Arabia over its investigation and handling of the shocking murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year, which has renewed criticism of the kingdom's rights record. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun told AFP she ran away from her family while travelling in Kuwait because they subjected her to physical and psychological abuse. She said she had planned to travel to Australia and seek asylum there, and feared she would be killed if she was repatriated by Thai immigration officials who stopped her during transit on Sunday. The 18-year-old said she was stopped by Saudi and Kuwaiti officials when she arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport and her travel document was forcibly taken from her, a claim backed by Human Rights Watch. She..
                 

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Earthquake of 6.1-magnitude jolts Indonesia

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Jakarta: An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale rocked East Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia on Tuesday, but was not potential for tsunami, the country's meteorology and geophysics agency said.There was no initial report of damage, the agency said. The quake had epicentre at 103 km southwest of Sumba Barat district of the province and a depth of 10 km under sea bed, official in charge of meteorology and geophysics agency, Aziz Sugiarso said."For this quake, there were no signs of a tsunami to occur so that we did not issue a warning for that," he told Xinhua."We have not got any damages or casualty triggered by the quake," he said.Nine minutes after the quake, an aftershock of 5.2-magnitude struck off the province, the official said. Indonesia is prone to quake as it lies on a vulnerable quake-impacted zone so called "the Pacific Ring of Fire". Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also, download the new mid-day Android a..
                 

One Indian among 8 arrested in Nepal for drug peddling

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Kathmandu: An Indian man is among eight persons arrested from different parts of Nepal on Sunday for possessing contraband drugs, police said here." The man identified as Rajesh Mahato, a resident of Sonbarsa area in Bihar, was arrested from Malangawa town in Nepal's Sarlahi district during a security check. Police also arrested a teenaged boy and a woman from Kathmandu, both of whom run pharmacies, for possessing contraband drugs. In a similar incident, police arrested a man from Parsa district near Nepal¿India border and recovered contraband drugs from his possession while he was returning from India. Meanwhile, three people were arrested from Itahari area in Sunsari district and an 18-year-old boy was arrested from Malangawa area in Sarlahi district for possessing contraband drugs. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a thir..
                 

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Bolivian bus plunges into ravine, killing 13, injuring 26

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
La Paz: Bolivian authorities say a bus rolled over on a mountain road in the southern part of the Andean country, then tumbled 100 meters (330 feet) into a ravine, killing at least 13 people and injuring 26 more. Local media said four of the dead were part of a soccer delegation from Argentina that was in Bolivia to participate in a festival in the Sucre region. Police said Sunday's crash happened in Cieneguillas, a town in the Tarija region south of La Paz. The accident came a day after a highway accident in another part of southern Bolivia in which two buses collided head-on, killing at least 22 people and injuring 37. Deadly bus crashes are common in Bolivia's highlands where narrow highways often wind next to steep precipices. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsib..
                 

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Kenya police arrest wife, father of hotel suicide bomber

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Nairobi: Kenyan police have arrested the wife and father of a man identified as the suicide bomber in an attack on Nairobi's Dusit hotel complex that left 21 dead, a police source said Saturday. The attacker, one of five Al-Shabaab militants who stormed the complex on Tuesday, was identified as 25-year-old Mahir Khalid Riziki, who grew up in Mombasa. "The wife of the suicide bomber is now in our custody. She will help us understand her husband's last moments and his movement, his story in latest years and his very last movements," a senior police official said on condition of anonymity. "She was arrested in Mombasa and has been brought to Nairobi for further questioning," he added. His father was also arrested. "In the course of investigation of this nature, close family members of such people are crucial because they hold crucial information," the source said. The official said Riziki was identified through mobile phone communication, and that he had communicated with one of the othe..
                 

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Amazon Bestseller: The Future for Investors: Why the Tried and the True Triumph Over the Bold and the New - Jeremy J. Siegel

2 years ago  
Shopping / Amazon/ Financial Books  
                 

Theresa May refuses to rule out 'no-deal' exit

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
London: British Prime Minister Theresa May scrambled to put together a new Brexit strategy after MPs rejected her EU divorce deal, and insisted she could not rule out a potentially damaging "no-deal" split. The world's fifth-largest economy is grasping for solutions that could smooth its planned departure from the bloc. Governments across Europe are triggering plans to avoid logjams at ports and airports when trade barriers go up should London fail to find a Plan B. The government held talks with MPs from rival parties after narrowly surviving a confidence vote brought on by the crushing defeat over her old deal with Brussels. But Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, called the talks a "stunt" and refused to meet May until she ruled out the possibility of Britain crashing out without any future arrangements in place.May will present her new approach to the House of Commons on Monday. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke ..
                 

Donald Trump: Location of next summit with Kim Jong-un chosen

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Washinton DC: US President Donald Trump said Saturday that the location has been decided for his next summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, around the end of February. "We picked a country," Trump told reporters, without giving more details. A Vietnamese government source earlier told AFP that "logistical preparations" were underway to host the encounter, most likely in the capital Hanoi or coastal city of Danang. The White House on Friday confirmed that the second Trump-Kim meeting would occur next month, following a rare visit to Washington by a senior North Korean general. Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol, a right-hand man to the North Korean strongman, met Trump at the White House on Friday for an unusually long 90 minutes as the countries seek a denuclearization accord that could ease decades of hostility. On Saturday, Trump said a "lot of progress" has been made on the issue. Kim Jong Un and Trump first met in June in Singapore, where they signed a vaguely worded documen..
                 

Philippines' richest man Sy dies at 94

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Manila: The Philippines' wealthiest man Henry Sy, who rose from being a penniless Chinese immigrant to leading a multi-billion dollar business empire, died on Saturday, his conglomerate has announced. The 94-year-old, from the Chinese city of Xiamen, founded the Philippines' largest shopping centre chain. He had a net worth of USD 19 billion as of Friday, according to Forbes.com magazine. "Henry Sy... passed away peacefully in his sleep early Saturday morning. There are no further details at the moment," his SM group said in a statement to AFP. Sy put up his first shoe store in downtown Manila in 1956, a business which later grew into a diversified empire with interests in property, banking, mining, education, and health care among others. In recent years he has turned over the day-to-day running of his businesses to his children although he remained chairman emeritus of SM Investments, one of the country's largest conglomerates. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, Interna..
                 

France to try 14 over 2015 Paris attacks

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Paris: French anti-terror judges have recommended that 14 people be tried in connection with the January 2015 jihadist attacks in and around Paris, a judicial source told AFP Friday. The attacks against the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, a police woman in the nearby suburb of Montrouge, and a Jewish supermarket killed 17 people and marked the start of a wave of jihadist attacks in France. Eleven people are in custody suspected of assisting in the attacks, while another three are wanted by police. Under French law, they can appeal the decision to send them to trial. The trial, whose date will be determined at a later date, will come more than four years after brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi killed 12 people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015. The next day a policewoman was gunned down just outside Paris, while another gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, took hostages at a Jewish Hyper Cacher shop, four of whom were killed. All three attackers were killed ..
                 

Queen Elizabeth's husband Prince Philip escapes unhurt in car crash

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
London: Britain's Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, miraculously escaped unhurt in a terrifying accident when a Land Rover the 97-year-old duke was driving flipped onto its side after a collision with another car. The Duke of Edinburgh emerged unharmed but two women in a Kia were injured in the accident near the Queen's Sandringham estate on Thursday. Pictures from the scene showed Tata Motors' Land Rover laying on its side with debris scattered around it. It has been suggested that the royal was dazzled by sunlight at a T-junction and his vehicle hit the Kia, which was also reportedly carrying a baby. Witnesses said the duke was 'conscious but very, very shocked and shaken' as he was pulled out from the wreckage of his overturned Land Rover, the Sun reported. The driver of the Kia suffered cuts, while the passenger sustained an arm injury, police said. Both were treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. The Press Association reported that there was a passe..
                 

Imran Khan won't be able to complete 5-year term, claims Zardari

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari has claimed that Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government will not be able to last the full term of five years.Dubbing Khan as a 'selected prime minister', Zardari once again said that nobody accepted the results of the general elections and that the cricketer-turned-politician will not be able to complete the stipulated tenure, Geo News reported.Zardari said that "the prime minister is not from the general public and he will not return to them."'Now that you are a selected prime minister, learn something,' he said.  Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remov..
                 

One in three UN workers sexually harassed in last two years

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
One in three staff and non-staff personnel at the UN experienced sexual harassment in the last two years, said a new report released by the world body. The confidential survey obtained information on sexual harassment across the United Nations system and related entities globally. The survey was completed by 30,364 staff and non-staff personnel from across 31 entities, representing a 17 per cent response rate overall. The survey 'Safe Space: Survey on Sexual Harassment in our Workplace' found that one in three (33 per cent) respondents reported that they had experienced at least one instance of sexual harassment in the last two years. Overall, 10,032 out of the total 30,364 respondents (33 per cent) had experienced an incident of sexual harassment in the last two years. In a letter to the UN staff, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that the response rate overall was "moderately low." Guterres underscored that since taking office, he has emphasised his personal commitment to..
                 

Al-Shabab extremists claim deadly attack on Nairobi hotel

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Extremists stormed a luxury hotel in Kenya's capital on Tuesday, setting off thunderous explosions and gunning down people at cafe tables in an attack claimed by Africa's deadliest Islamic militant group. Witnesses reported seeing several bodies. "It is terrible. What I have seen is terrible," said Charles Njenga, who ran from a scene of blood, broken glass, burning vehicles and pillars of black smoke. Al-Shabab - the Somalia-based group that carried out the 2013 attack at the nearby Westgate Mall in Nairobi that left 67 people dead - claimed responsibility for the carnage at the DusitD2 hotel complex, which includes bars, restaurants, offices and banks and is in a well-to-do neighbourhood with many American, European and Indian expatriates. Authorities sent special forces into the hotel to flush out the gunmen.  Late Tuesday night, about eight hours after the siege began, Interior Minister Fred Matian'i said that all of the buildings affected by the attack had been secured and..
                 

Donald Trump sends letter to Kim Jong-Un

8 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
US President Donald Trump has sent a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, an informed familiar with the ongoing denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang, told CNN. The letter comes as the two sides negotiate details of a second meeting between the two leaders. It was flown to Pyongyang and delivered by hand, the source said on Monday night. According to the source, North Korea's former intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol -- one of Pyongyang's top negotiators -- could visit Washington to finalise details of the upcoming summit. CNN had previously reported that US scouting teams visited Bangkok, Hanoi and Hawaii as they search for a location for the second summit. Last week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in threw his support behind another Trump-Kim meeting, saying it would be a turning point "that will firmly solidify peace on the Korean Peninsula". During his visit to Beijing last week, Kim said that Pyongyang will make efforts for the second summit with the US..
                 

Saudi teenage girl fleeing from her family arrives in Canada

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Tired but smiling, an 18-year-old Saudi woman who said she feared death if deported back home arrived on Saturday in Canada, which offered her asylum in a case that attracted global attention after she mounted a social media campaign. "This is Rahaf Alqunun, a very brave new Canadian," Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said arm-in-arm with the Saudi woman in Toronto's airport. Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun smiled broadly as she exited an airport arrival door sporting a Canada zipper hoodie and a UN High Commissioner for Refugees hat, capping a dramatic week that saw her flee her family while visiting Kuwait and before flying to Bangkok. Once there, she barricaded herself in an airport hotel to avoid deportation and tweeted about her situation. On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would accept Alqunun as a refugee. Alqunun flew to Toronto via Seoul, South Korea, according to Thai immigration Police Chief Surachate Hakparn. Alqunun tweeted two pictures from her plan..
                 

Lion Air jet crash: Indonesia finds cockpit voice recorder

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Navy divers have located the cockpit voice recorder of a Lion Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea in October, Indonesian officials said Monday, in a possible boost to the accident investigation. Ridwan Djamaluddin, a deputy maritime minister, told reporters that remains of some of the 189 people who died in the crash were also discovered at the seabed location. "We got confirmation this morning from the National Transportation Safety Committee's chairman," he said. A spokesman for the Indonesian navy's western fleet, Lt Col Agung Nugroho, said divers using high-tech equipment found the voice recorder beneath 8 meters (26 feet) of seabed mud. The plane crashed in waters 30 meters (98 feet) deep. The 2-month-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet plunged into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off from Jakarta on October 29, killing everyone on board. The cockpit data recorder was recovered within days of the crash and showed that the jet's airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on its last fou..
                 

Gas leak causes explosion in Paris

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Two firefighters were killed and dozens injured after a gas leak led to an explosion at a bakery in central Paris on Saturday, emergency services said. The blast took place at 9.10 am (local time) at the bakery on Rue de Trevise in the 9th arrondissement of the French capital as firefighters were responding to reports of the leak. "The human toll is heavy — 12 people seriously injured, of which three are firefighters," prosecutor Rémy Heitz told reporters before the police confirmed the fatalities. "At this stage, we can tell the origin of the explosion is accidental, a gas leak, but we should remain prudent as an ongoing investigation will determine the causes of this," he said. According to officials, five people were in a critical condition. An additional 24 people were also injured by the blast, but not critically, said a spokesman for the Paris Fire Brigade. The explosion caused windows to shatter in the vicinity and glass to rattle over a larger area, while si..
                 

Canada offers asylum to Saudi woman who fled alleging abuse by family

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
An 18-year-old Saudi woman who said she was abused by her family and feared for her life if deported back home left Thailand on Friday night for Canada, which has granted her asylum, officials said. The fast-moving developments capped an eventful week for Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun. She fled her family while visiting Kuwait and flew to Bangkok, where she barricaded herself in an airport hotel to avoid deportation and grabbed global attention by mounting a social media campaign for asylum. Her case highlighted the cause of women's rights in Saudi Arabia, where several women fleeing abuse by their families have been caught trying to seek asylum abroad in recent years and returned home. Human rights activists say many similar cases go unreported. Alqunun is flying to Toronto via Seoul, South Korea, according to Thai immigration Police Chief Surachate Hakparn. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed his country had granted her asylum. "That is something that we are pleased to do beca..