Showing posts with label World News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World News. Show all posts

Johnson Faces a Brexit Showdown With Parliament On Saturday

Brexit Deal

In an extraordinary Saturday sitting, the first since 1982, parliament will vote on approving Johnson’s deal. Britain is due to leave the EU on Oct. 31. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a Brexit showdown with parliament on Saturday after clinching a last-minute divorce deal with the European Union that his Northern Irish allies oppose.


Johnson, whose Conservative Party has no majority in the 650-seat House of Commons, will face a deeply divided parliament where his opponents are trying to force both a delay to Brexit and another referendum. Other options include collapsing his government so that others can take control of Brexit negotiations.

Parliament will sit from 0830 GMT on Saturday Oct. 19 - the first time since April 3, 1982 when it discussed the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands. Johnson will make a statement to lawmakers, after which there will be a 90-minute debate and then a vote. The final vote is intended to meet one part of the criteria for ratifying the exit deal. Legislation would then need to be passed by Oct. 31 in order to complete the ratification.

Johnson said he had agreed a “great” new Brexit deal. He is framing Saturday’s vote as a choice between his deal or a no-deal exit. Others say the choice is more complex. If the deal is approved, Johnson can proceed with his plan to leave the EU on Oct. 31. If it is rejected, he may seek approval to leave the EU without a deal on Oct. 31.

The Democratic Unionist Party said it could not support the deal. The opposition Labour Party, the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats have all said they will oppose it. If Johnson loses a vote on a deal and does not get approval for no deal by Saturday, he is required by law to write a letter to the EU requesting more negotiating time, delaying Brexit until Jan. 31, 2020.


The government has said both that it will comply with this law and that Britain will leave the EU on Oct. 31 whatever happens. Johnson has not explained how he plans to take these two apparently contradictory steps.


Lawmakers will try to amend the wording of the motion which is voted upon to change its meaning. These so-called amendments need to be approved by a vote in parliament, which would take place before a vote on approving the final text of the motion. So far three have been submitted, and more could be added on Saturday. The speaker has discretion over which ones he thinks lawmakers should be able to debate and vote upon.

Amendment A
This has been submitted by a cross-party group of lawmakers. Its effect would be to withhold approval for a deal until legislation implementing the deal has been passed by parliament. This could require a delay to Brexit if the legislation cannot be passed before Oct. 31.

Amendment B
This changes the vote from being about approving Johnson’s deal, to being about cancelling Brexit altogether. It seeks lawmakers’ approval to revoke the ‘Article 50’ notice that notified the EU of Britain’s intention to exit.

Amendment C
This calls for lawmakers to reject Johnson’s deal and request a delay to Brexit in order for a general election to be held. A group of Labour lawmakers who favour a second referendum could put forward an amendment calling for approval of any deal to be subject to another public vote. If passed, this would not be binding on the government, but would be hard to ignore and would be a big step forward for the long-running campaign for a new vote.

The prime minister needs the support of 320 lawmakers to be certain of victory in the 650-seat parliament. This number is lower than a simple majority of 326 because seven Irish nationalist Sinn Fein party members do not sit or vote, three deputy speakers do not vote, and the speaker, John Bercow, votes only in the event of a tie. There are also four “tellers” who help count votes, but do not vote themselves. However two of the tellers must support the deal and two must be against. This means that if the vote in favour of the deal is 318 or above, Johnson has won. He could win with fewer votes if there are abstentions.

If there is a tied vote, the speaker casts the deciding ballot. Parliament’s website states that in the event of a tie: “The Speaker casts his vote according to what was done in similar circumstances in the past. Where possible the issue should remain open for further discussion and no final decision should be made by a casting vote.”

Conservative Party
Johnson’s party does not have a majority in parliament and is not united about the best plan on Brexit. There are 288 Conservative seats and most would be expected to vote with the prime minister. But there is a faction of committed Brexiteers who could rebel if they feel the deal does not provide a satisfactory break from the EU. Lawmakers in that group, who can number as many as 80 but have a hard core of around 28, are unlikely to vote as a single bloc and are difficult to predict.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)
Its 10 lawmakers are also pivotal to Johnson’s chances of success. The party is allied with the Conservatives under a formal arrangement, but the DUP says it cannot support the Brexit deal. The DUP’s decision is expected to influence some of the Brexit-supporting Conservatives’ votes.

Conservative Exiles
Johnson expelled 21 Conservatives from his party in September because they did not support his plan to leave the EU on Oct. 31, with or without a deal. Another, former cabinet minister Amber Rudd, quit the party over Brexit and also sits as an independent. Some could support his deal, others are more likely to reject it and back a delay to hold a second referendum.

Labour Party
Labour has 244 members of parliament.Leader Jeremy Corbyn said he could not support the deal, and he will order his lawmakers to vote against it. Asked whether he would put forward a motion of no-confidence to try to bring down Johnson on Saturday, Corbyn said the weekend was a time to discuss the Brexit deal and other issues would be for next week.

Labour Rebels
Labour rebels are crucial to Johnson’s hopes of getting a deal approved. A small number of Labour lawmakers are explicitly pro-Brexit and have supported previous attempts to back a deal.
Another larger group of around 20 Labour rebels who want Britain to leave the EU with a deal could also back Johnson, depending on the final terms.

Other Parties
Most remaining lawmakers are expected to vote against a deal. They are made up of 35 Scottish National Party members, 19 Liberal Democrats and the rest from smaller parties or independents. The SNP and Liberal Democrats said they opposed the deal. Some independents are likely to vote for it.

Parliament rejected an earlier Brexit deal, negotiated by Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May, three times.Jan. 15 - Government lost by 230 votes when parliament voted 432-202 against the deal. March 12 - Government lost by 149 votes when parliament voted 391-242 against the deal. March 29 - Government lost by 58 votes when parliament voted 344-286 against the deal

President Donald Trump wants to meet whistleblower in Ukraine

President Donald Trump wants to meet whistleblower in Ukraine

The whistleblower filed a complaint over the contents of the conversation back in August, saying President Donald Trump had tried to get a foreign power to interfere in a US election for his own gain.

“Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called ‘Whistleblower,’ represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way,” President Donald Trump tweeted.

President Donald Trump has been relatively quiet this weekend but in a series of evening tweets he also blasted Democratic lawmakers and the media as he railed against the impeachment inquiry launched last week.

That probe was triggered by the release of a rough transcript of a July phone call in which President Donald Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a potential Democratic candidate in the 2020 US election.He also enlisted his attorney general and personal lawyer to help in that effort.


He also said the de facto leader of the congressional inquiry, Adam Schiff, lied to Congress last week about what President Donald Trump said to the president of Ukraine and should be punished.


“His lies were made in perhaps the most blatant and sinister manner ever seen in the great Chamber,” President Donald Trump tweeted. “He wrote down and read terrible things, then said it was from the mouth of the President of the United States. I want Schiff questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason,” he wrote.

China Reels Out Patriotic Films As The Communist Party Prepares To Celebrate 70 Years In Power

China reels out patriotic films as the Communist Party prepares to celebrate 70 years in power
Highlighting the link between the Communist Party and its use of movies to further its ideology, an official at the then-State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television told industry representatives in December 2017 that movies should serve the purpose of “promoting the prosperity of socialist culture and realizing the Chinese dream” as defined by Xi’s thought.

China is reeling out a string of patriotic films as the Communist Party prepares to celebrate 70 years in power amid challenges to its authority from the unrest in Hong Kong and an economy weakened by the trade war.

China has historically used movies to instill ideology and patriotism, the goal of the latest releases is to reinforce nationalism, Chinese pride and aid President Xi Jinping’s drive to bring the party, and the country, in line. The campaign comes at a time when Beijing is looking for ways to resolve Hong Kong’s protests, as well as shore up economic growth.

At least three movies featuring the accomplishments of ordinary Chinese opened in mainland theaters Monday, the eve of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The country is set to celebrate its National Day on Tuesday.

Beijing would expect the vignette on Hong Kong’s return to rally Chinese around the world to recognize that the special administrative region is of course Chinese territory, and it would contrast with those in the city holding up American or British flags, said Rosen. “So the timing and the intended audience are related to the events in Hong Kong, but not just Hong Kong since it’s also the 70th anniversary, of course,” he said.

“My People, My Country,” directed by seven of China’s best-known filmmakers, is a collection of stories of citizens in proud moments of the nation’s history. “The Climbers” chronicles the first Chinese team that scaled Mount Everest in 1960, and “The Captain” is the story of pilots who used their skills to save a passenger aircraft from disaster.
“Definitely there’s an importance, and they are definitely going to push” these movies, said Sean Tierney, a Hong Kong-based film critic. The three movies are “too red to fail” at China’s box office, he said.


Months of protests, triggered by a controversial extradition bill, have turned into the biggest crisis for Beijing’s rule over the former British colony since it returned to China in 1997. The rallies against the now-withdrawn legislation have gradually morphed into a pro-democracy, anti-Beijing movement, with universal suffrage among the key protester demands.

The protracted trade war with the U.S. has also hurt the $13.6 trillion economy. It has hit consumer spending, factory output and the jobs market, with growth headed for the slowest pace in almost three decades.

Highlighting the link between the Communist Party and its use of movies to further its ideology, an official at the then-State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television told industry representatives in December 2017 that movies should serve the purpose of “promoting the prosperity of socialist culture and realizing the Chinese dream” as defined by Xi’s thought.

In 2017, “Wolf Warrior 2” -- a movie about a renegade officer in China’s special operations force who single-handedly rescues hundreds of Chinese nationals from a war-torn country in Africa -- racked up about $800 million in ticket sales, making it the country’s top grossing film ever. “Operation Red Sea,” out the following year about a military squad saving compatriots from terrorist attacks in a fictitious Arab country, was the fifth-highest.

Spreading national pride, about 70 cinemas across mainland China will screen the National Day celebratory activities live on Tuesday, according to state media Xinhua News Agency. The main event would be the grand military parade through the capital, featuring tanks, troop carriers and columns of goose-stepping soldiers in an 80-minute procession past Tiananmen Square. While a movie like “My People, My Country” may barely register with the residents of Hong Kong, given the mood, it’s likely to score well in the mainland.

Maoyan, a local ticketing platform, said the films have already exceeded 1 billion yuan ($140 million) each in collections, including pre-sales, an amount considered a benchmark for a blockbuster, according to Stanley Rosen, a professor at the University of Southern California. “My People, My Country” had grossed 2 billion yuan, Maoyan said.
Midnight Flag

Sales could also be bolstered by bulk ticket purchases by government organizations for their members, said Rosen, who’s been tracking China’s movie industry and its relationship with the government for more than a decade.

The gulf between expectations for the film in Hong Kong and in the mainland also shows the challenge Beijing faces in winning over hearts and minds in the city. Britain’s handover of Hong Kong’s sovereignty to China on July 1, 1997 is one of the seven big moments in the film “My People, My Country.”

The segment features a policewoman and a watchmaker whose stories intertwine heading into handover day, when China’s flag must be raised right at midnight. “It cannot be delayed for one second,” characters in the segment repeatedly say.

President Ram Nath Kovind Accepts The Resignation Of The Chief Justice Of Madras High Court



President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted the resignation of the Chief Justice of Madras High Court, VK Tahilramani, after the Supreme Court Collegium transferred her to the Meghalaya High Court. In a notification late on Friday, the Union Law Ministry said the resignation has been accepted with effect from the afternoon of September 6.

The Madras High Court has reserved orders on the maintainability of a petition, filed by an advocate, challenging the transfer. Justice Vineet Kothari, the seniormost Judge of Madras High Court will officiate as the Chief Justice.Chief Justice of Meghalaya AK Mittal is yet to take over as the Chief Justice of the Madras HC in place of Justice Tahilramani as per the resolution of the SC collegiums.


The SC Collegium passed a resolution, deemed as an administrative order, to transfer her to the Meghalaya HC on August 28. Subsequently, she requested a reconsideration of that but, it was turned down.Her transfer to a much smaller HC had raised eyebrows since she happens to be the senior-most Judge among the High Court judges. While the sanctioned strength of Madras HC is 75 Judges, it is just three for Meghalaya HC. So she put down her papers, apparently upset over her transfer.

Having tendered her resignation to the President with a copy of the same to the Chief Justice of India on September 6, Justice Tahilramani, abstained from work since then and the cases posted before the Bench headed by her were placed before other Judges. She had first informed of her decision to quit to her brother and sister judges during a dinner on the same night. She had already started moving out her belongings from the official residence in Chennai.

Having been a Judge for nearly two decades, Justice Tahilramani is due to retire on October 2, 2020. As such, the transfer has evoked criticism among the legal fraternity. Lawyers across the state boycotted court proceedings on September 10, condemning the transfer and to press for rescinding the same. A representation from a section of lawyers was also sent to the CJI and the SC collegiums to withdraw the ‘arbitrary and undemocratic’ transfer.

She was elevated as a Judge of the Bombay High Court in June 2000 and appointed Chief Justice of the Madras HC, one of the three chartered High Courts in the country, in August 2018. Earlier, she had officiated twice as the acting CJ of Mumbai High Court.

Food and Drug Administration Detects Salmonella Bacteria In Sambhar Samala food Sold in US

Food and Drug Administration Detects Salmonella Bacteria In Sambhar Samala  food Sold in US

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has detected Salmonella bacteria in Sambhar Samala  food sold in US. Consumption of food contaminated with salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses.

The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrohea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product.

The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrohea may be so severe that the patient requires hospitalisation. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe symptoms.

In the consequences of the above , after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) detected the salmonella bacteria in the MDH brand ‘sambar masala’, the company is withdrawing at least three lots of the product from the shelves.

MDH Sambhar Samala brand is produced by R Pure Agro Specialities and distributed by the House Of Spices (India), the product was tested by the FDA through a certified laboratory and found positive for salmonella.

The recalled MDH sambar masala was distributed in northern California retail stores, House Of Spices (India) said in a statement.

The recall was initiated after it the FDA discovered that the salmonella contaminated products were distributed. “Consumers who have purchased the MDH SAMBAR MASALA, 3.5 oz (100g) are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund,” House Of Spices said in the statement issued last week.

President Jair Bolsonaro Undergoes Surgery For The Fourth Time


President of Brazil that went for surgery for the fourth time after being stabbed

The President of Brazil , President Jair  Bolsonaro underwent surgery for the fourth time after being stabbed in the stomach one year ago at political campaign rally.

Bolsonaro underwent surgery on Sunday to repair an abdominal hernia, his fourth operation since being stabbed in the stomach a year ago at a campaign rally, his doctors said.


The operation at Sao Paulo’s Vila Nova Star hospital lasted more than five hours, the medical center reported in a statement signed by his surgeon, Antonio Luiz Macedo.


Bolsonaro is expected to spend five days in hospital and should be able to travel by plane after a week, Macedo said.

Vice President Hamilton Mourao temporarily assumed the powers of the presidency on Sunday and will remain in office at least until Thursday, a presidential spokesman said.


Bolsonaro was stabbed on September 6, 2018 at a campaign rally in the state of Minas Gerais by a 41-year-old man, who was found to be delusional and psychologically unfit for trial.


The assailant, Adelio Bispo de Oliveira, is being held in the psychiatric unit of a maximum security prison

He said a significant part of Bolsonaro’s intestine had to be removed after it had become strongly attached to the abdominal wall. Doctors used a mesh implant to strengthen muscle tissue, Macedo added. He said about 10 percent of patients who undergo such abdominal surgery develop a hernia, but that while there was a chance of a new hernia, it was unlikely.


“The procedure was a success,” Macedo’s statement said, adding that the president was recovering and in stable condition.

Mail Carrier Killed And 22 Injured Following A Shooting In Odessa

International news for today

A mail carrier was among the seven people between the age range of 15 and 57 killed on Saturday in which 22 others were also injured plus a toddler at a local car dealership following a shooting in Odessa, Texas, US. US Postal Service officials said in a statement Sunday that they were “shocked and saddened” by the events, but were “especially grieving the loss of our postal family member.”

Mail carrier Mary Granados was alone in her US Postal Service truck when she was shot and killed by a gunman who hijacked the white vehicle amid his frenzy of violence. Mary Granados, 29, was among seven people between the ages of 15 and 57 killed Saturday. Another 22 were injured including a toddler.

He’s not exactly clear, but it appears one shot hit the engine, another struck the driver’s side window and a third a rear window. Some shattered glass punctured his left shoulder, causing him to bleed a lot and go to a nearby hospital. He said he’s physically OK but bewildered by the experience. “This is my street instincts: When a car is approaching you and you see a gun of any type, just get down,” Munoz, who moved from San Diego about a year ago to work in oil country, according to report. “Luckily I got down. Sure enough, I hear the shots go off. He let off at least three shots on me.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the 17-month-old girl is recovering but faces surgery on Monday to remove shrapnel from her right chest. She also suffered injuries to her face. Abbott says the mother texted: “Her mouth is pretty bad, but will heal and can be fixed. Thankfully it doesn’t seem like her jaw was hit. Just lips, teeth and tongue...We are thanking God for healing her and appreciate continued prayers.”


Daniel Munoz, 28, who also was injured, recalled the harrowing tale of coming into the path of the gunman, who was later killed by officers. Munoz was in his car on the way to meet a friend for a drink, when he yielded to a car coming off Interstate 20. He immediately noticed what he feared to be a barrel of a rifle in the hands of the driver.

“I’m just trying to turn the corner and I got shot — I’m getting shot at?” Munoz said. “What’s the world coming to? For real? I’m just over here minding my own business, getting my own gas.”

65 Migrants From Bangladesh and Sri Lanka Wandering in Veracruz


The Mexican authorities reported that the federal police found 65 severely dehydrated and hungry migrants from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka wandering on a highway in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

The migrants reported they set out April 24 from an airport in Qatar and flew to Turkey and Colombia. From there, they moved through Ecuador, Panama and Guatemala before reaching Mexico.

Once in Mexico, the migrants said, they boarded boats and travelled on the Coatzacoalcos River, though it is not clear why.

The river does not lead anywhere near the U.S. border.

This was reported on Thursday by the federal Public Safety Department that the migrants recounted a long, complicated trip in a bid to reach the U.S. border.

Nine Victims Were Deceased and 16 More Victims Hospitalized in Dayton

Ohio

According to the report, nine victims were deceased and consequently, approximately 16 more victims hospitalized right now in unknown conditions in a mass shooting early Sunday in Dayton, Ohio, police said, adding that the assailant was shot dead by responding officers.

The suspect had opened fire on the street firing “a long gun with multiple rounds.” Police were working to identify the shooter and the FBI were on scene to provide any necessary assistance, he said.

The incident occurred shortly after 1:00 am in the popular bar and nightlife Oregon district of the city, Police Lieutenant Colonel Matt Carper said. “We had one shooter that we are aware of and multiple victims,” he told reporters. “The shooter is deceased, from gunshot wounds from the responding officers,” he said, adding no police were injured.

Further more, Carper said Oregon was “a very safe part of downtown” Dayton and very popular with visitors. “Fortunately we had multiple officers in the immediate vicinity when this incident started so there was a very short timeline of violence, for that we’ve very fortunate.


Moreso, “It’s a very tragic incident and we’re doing everything we can to investigate it and try to identify the motivation behind this,” said Carper.“We’re still interviewing obviously a lot of witnesses as well as officers to determine if anyone else was involved,” he said.

18 Reported Dead And Many Injured In Texas Walmart Shooting


As many as 18 people were killed and dozens more were injured, and one male suspect is in custody, after a mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on Saturday morning, officials said. The wounded ranged in age from a 2-year-old child to an 82-year-old victim.

A 21-year-old man was taken into custody after police responded within six minutes to a report of an active shooter at the Cielo Vista Mall. The suspect, who was captured on surveillance video entering the Walmart, has been identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius.

The document was shared on 4Chan, an online forum where users can post anonymously. Within it, the suspect denounces Hispanic people in Texas, cites concerns about losing American jobs to automation and criticizes both political parties. The text includes a reference to the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand, which left 51 people dead.

According to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, three of those killed were Mexican citizens. Mexican Consul General Mauricio Ibarra, who is based in El Paso, told Mexican authorities that six of those injured were Mexican citizens.

El Paso Police Department Sgt. Robert Gomez said that "we have ruled out multiple shooters," adding, "We have no information ... about what the motive is."

The shooting began in the parking lot outside the Walmart, an eyewitness said. Police Chief Greg Allen referenced a document allegedly left behind by the suspect. He said the shooting may have a "nexus" to a hate crime but declined to elaborate. He said police are considering capital murder charges.

Sergeant Robert Gomez, a police spokesman, said he thinks most of the victims were shot at the Walmart in the shopping complex. He said the store was packed with as many as 3,000 people during the busy back-to-school shopping season.

Earlier, El Paso police tweeted they had received reports of "multiple shooters" but they later said they did not believe there was more than one gunman. Police also said reports of a shooting at another location were "false."

The suspect was considered "a troubled youth" and described as a loner. Authorities are treating a document allegedly written by the gunman as evidence.



Trump Clears the Air on Kashmir Issue

News


Donald Trump, while answering a question from a reporter at the White House about his earlier offer to mediate on Kashmir issue, said: “If they wanted somebody to intervene and I spoke to Pakistan about that… I spoke frankly with India about it… if they wanted me to I would certainly intervene”. India on Friday once again underlined the bilateral nature of Kashmir issue with Pakistan and told the US in “clear terms” that any discussion on the subject will happen only with Islamabad. New Delhi’s comment comes just hours after US president Donald Trump once again stressed that he would “certainly intervene” if “they” asked. It was, however, not clear if “they” was used for India or Pakistan, or both.

Trump first made the offer, with the claim about Modi, on June 22 in response to a public appeal from the visiting Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan in joint remarks at the White House.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is in Bangkok attending the ASEAN summit, tweeted that he had conveyed New Delhi’s intent to his US counterpart Mike Pompeo.“Have conveyed to American counterpart @SecPompeo this morning in clear terms that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally,” Jaishankar wrote.

With that, both sides decided to move on. A senior state department official took pretty much the same line at briefing for reporters Wednesday on Khan’s recent visit. “The US ability to encourage a constructive dialogue between India and Pakistan whether on Kashmir or other bilateral issues will be a function of Pakistan taking sustained and irreversible steps against militants and terrorists on its territory,” the official said. But it seems President Trump did not get an update on his offer, and was still waiting for response. When asked by a reporter Thursday, Trump replied with question: “Have they accepted the offer or not?” When told they had not, he said, “Well it’s really up to Prime Minister Modi.”


India denied Modi had ever asked Trump to mediate and reiterated known Indian position that all issues with Pakistan can only be resolved bilaterally and after Pakistan stops supporting terrorism. The state department followed up, and reiterated old US position, and one very different from Trump, that India and Pakistan should resolve their differences bilaterally and that the United States stands ready to assist.

US Security Officers Confiscated A Missile Launcher At A Washington-area


The launcher was found “early this morning” at Baltimore/Washington International airport, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein tweeted. The US transport security officers confiscated a missile launcher from a checked bag at a Washington-area airport on Monday, with a Texas man saying it was a souvenir from Kuwait.

The “man said he was bringing it back from Kuwait as a souvenir. Perhaps he should have picked up a keychain instead!” she wrote. The TSA issued a statement on the incident, saying that “the man, a resident of Jacksonville, Texas, told officials that he was an active military personnel.”

“Fortunately the item was not a live device. It was confiscated and handed over to the state fire marshal for safe disposal. The man was permitted to catch his flight,” TSA said.

The statement included images of what appears to be the launch tube for a Griffin missile, which manufacturer Raytheon says is a “precise, low-collateral-damage weapon for irregular warfare operations.”

It “has a proven track record for successful rapid integration on land, sea and air platforms,” according to Raytheon. But the TSA said that the missile’s launcher cannot, however, be integrated into luggage: “Military weapons are not permitted in checked or carry-on bags.”

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed and title has been altered.)

One Of The Presidential Candidates Of The US Democratic Party Sues Google


Tulsi Gabbard, one of the presidential candidates of the US Democratic Party, has sued Google for at least $50 million accusing the company of meddling with her campaign. Gabbard’s alleges that the search engine suspended her campaign’s advertising account for six hours following the first Democratic debate, EnGadget reported on Thursday. “In the hours following the 1st debate, while millions of Americans searched for info about Tulsi, Google suspended her search ad account w/o explanation. It is vital to our democracy that big tech companies can’t affect the outcome of elections,” a tweet from Gabbard’s official account read.


Google’s discrimination against our campaign reveals the danger of their dominance and how the dominance of big tech over public discourse threatens core American values,” another one of the presidential candidate’s tweet read. However, according to Google a spokesperson, its automated systems flag unusual activity from advertisers, like a sudden increase in spending.

Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign team also believes that its emails were being placed in Gmail spam folders at “a disproportionately high rate” compared to other Democratic contenders. Gabbard’s campaign team also believes that its emails were being placed in Gmail spam folders at “a disproportionately high rate” compared to other Democratic contenders.

The company says that in this case its system triggered a suspension that was pulled back in a short while. For now, Gabbard has filed a lawsuit against Google, details about which still remain unclear. According to the lawsuit, she sides with Senator Elizabeth Warren in the call for large tech companies to be broken up. While this lawsuit may not go anywhere, it is believed to be the first time a presidential candidate has sued a major tech firm, the report said. Gabbard is a military veteran serving as the US Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district since 2013. She is also the first Hindu member of the United States’ Congress.



Iranian Oil Tanker Seized Off The Spanish Coast


The Iranian oil tanker ‘Grace 1’ was seized off the Spanish coast earlier this month by British marines and Gibraltar police. A team of the Indian High Commission in London met the Indian crew and staff on board VLCC Grace 1 on Wednesday, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said.

Giving an update on 18 Indians on board the British oil tanker Stena Impero which was seized last week by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in the Strait of Hormuz for what Tehran called alleged violation of international maritime rules, he said India has called for their early release and repatriation. “We have sought access. We hope we are granted (access) very soon. We continue to impress upon Iranian authorities to release them so that they can be repatriated,” Kumar said.

“Crew’s morale is high. Assured all assistance for early release. HCI London will facilitate necessary travel document and related arrangements,” the minister tweeted. MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, at a media briefing, said India had sought consular access which was granted on Wednesday and a three-member team visited and met all the 24 crew members.

“What we saw was that the crew members were very calm, very composed, and there was no sense of panic. They had been in regular touch with their family members. We had assured them that the government of India will undertake all the necessary steps to ensure their early release and repatriation,” Kumar said.

Indian officials have met the 24 Indian crew members who were on board shipping vessel ‘Grace 1’, which was detained by Gibraltar police authorities, and assured them that the government will take necessary steps to ensure their release and repatriation, the External Affairs Ministry said.

VESSEL, CARRYING NO CARGO, WAS TAKEN TO THE IRANIAN PORT

Cargo sheep

The vessel, carrying no cargo, was taken to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. It will remain there with its 23 crew - 18 of them Indians - while the accident is investigated, Iranian news agencies quoted the head of Ports and Maritime Organisation in southern Hormozgan province, Allahmorad Afifipour, as saying.

Britain on Saturday denounced Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf as a “hostile act” and rejected Tehran’s explanation that it seized the vessel because it had been involved in an accident. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards posted a video online showing speedboats pulling alongside the Stena Impero tanker, its name clearly visible.

Troops wearing ski masks and carrying machine guns rappelled to its deck from a helicopter, the same tactics used by British Royal Marines to seize an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar two weeks ago. Friday’s action in the global oil trade’s most important waterway has been viewed in the West as a major escalation after three months of confrontation that has already taken Iran and the United States to the brink of war. It follows threats from Tehran to retaliate for Britain’s July 4 seizure of the Iranian tanker Grace 1, accused of violating sanctions on Syria.


British Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt called the incident a “hostile act”. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he had expressed “extreme disappointment” by phone to his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif. Britain also summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires in London. A spokesman for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Brigadier-General Ramezan Sharif, said Tehran had seized the ship in the Strait of Hormuz despite the “resistance and interference” of a British warship which had been escorting it. No British warship was visible in the video posted by the Guards.


In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Britain said the tanker was approached by Iranian forces when it was in Omani territorial waters exercising its lawful right of passage, and the action “constitutes illegal interference.” “Current tensions are extremely concerning, and our priority is to de-escalate. We do not seek confrontation with Iran,” the letter said. “But it is unacceptable and highly escalatory to threaten shipping going about its legitimate business through internationally recognised transit corridors.”


Zarif told Hunt that the ship must go through a legal process before it can be released, Iran’s ISNA news agency reported. The strait, between Iran and the Arabian peninsula, is the sole outlet for exports of most Middle Eastern oil, and the seizure sent oil prices sharply higher. The United States, which tightened sanctions against Iran in May with the aim of halting its oil exports altogether, has been warning for months of an Iranian threat to shipping in the strait. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he also discussed the situation with Hunt, his British counterpart.


“We talked about what they’ve seen, what they know, and how they’re beginning to think about how they will respond,” Pompeo said in an interview with the Washington Examiner that was published on Saturday by the State Department. “Iran is in a place today that they have taken themselves.” Another oil tanker, the Mesdar, was also boarded by Iranian personnel on Friday and temporarily forced to divert toward Iran, but later was allowed to continue on its route through the strait. On Saturday Algeria’s APS news agency said the Mesdar was owned by Algeria’s state oil company Sonatrach. France, Germany and the European Union joined Britain in condemning the seizure.


The three big European countries are signatories to a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that Washington undermined by quitting last year, setting Iran’s already fragile relations with the West on a downward spiral. Under the pact, Iran agreed to restrict nuclear work in return for lifting sanctions. The European countries opposed the Trump administration’s decision to abandon the agreement last year, but have so far failed to fulfil promises to Iran of providing alternative means for it to access

“Just spoke to ... Zarif and expressed extreme disappointment that having assured me last Saturday Iran wanted to de-escalate situation, they have behaved in the opposite way,” Hunt wrote on Twitter. “This has to be about actions not words if we are to find a way through.”Earlier he said London’s reaction would be “considered but robust” and it would ensure the safety of its shipping.


On Friday, Hunt said the solution would be found via diplomacy and London was “not looking at military options.” Britain’s government said it had advised British shipping to stay out of the Hormuz area for an interim period. During the past three months of escalation, the United States and Iran come as close as ever to direct armed conflict. In June, Tehran shot down a U.S. drone and President Donald Trump ordered retaliatory air strikes, only to call them off just minutes before were to have been carried out. The vessel had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia and suddenly changed course after passing through the strait.

The United States has blamed Iran for a series of attacks on shipping around the Strait of Hormuz. Tehran has rejected the allegations. Washington also said it had this week downed an Iranian drone near where the Stena Impero was seized. The United States is sending military personnel and resources to Saudi Arabia for the first time since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

  • (Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Dubai, Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt, Johnson Irish in Paris, Stephen Addison in London, Michelle Nichols in New York, and Lesley Wroughton in Washington; Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by John Stonestreet, Peter Graff and Will Dunham)