News Desk

Jun 232017
 

Saudi security forces on Friday foiled a terror plot to target the Grand Mosque in Makkah, the security spokesperson of the Kingdom’s interior ministry said. According to security forces, the bid to target worshippers at the mosque was planned by three terrorist groups, two of which were based in Makkah and a one based in Jeddah. The first terror plot was foiled in the Assila district of Makkah, while the second was thwarted in Ajyad al Masafi neighbourhood. Top Saudi cleric ‘blesses’ Trump-Muslim summit Al Arabiya news reported that a suicide bomber, who was hiding in a house in the Ajyad neighborhood, had opened indiscriminate fire on security officials, after he was asked to comply with calls to turn himself in. The suicide bomber later blew himself up after the forces tried to arrest him. Five members of the security forces were injured in the blast. Security forces also arrested five suspects, including a woman, who are currently being interrogated. The post Saudi security forces foil terror plot on Grand Mosque appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Jun 232017
 

A Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report sent directly to former US president Barack Obama contained details of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct instructions to the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 US election and help elect Donald Trump, The Washington Post has reported. In a detailed investigative article published on Friday, the Post laid bare the shortcomings of the Obama administration in responding to Russia’s threat against American democracy and revealed the existence of a CIA report which told of Putin’s “direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the US presidential race,” and the Russian president’s directives to ensure that Trump win over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The Post reveals that the CIA’s report on Putin’s directive to elect Trump over Clinton came “from sourcing deep inside the Russian government” and was considered too sensitive to be shared in the President’s Daily Briefing. Russians targeted 21 election systems, US official says Many in the Obama administration fear the former president did not do enough to stop Russian interference, for fears that any action on his part would be seen as tipping the scales in favour of Clinton, who had served in his cabinet. Instead, Obama left his successor a secret program that could be used to retaliate against the Kremlin—which was left entirely up to Trump to implement. The Post, however, reports that the Obama administration felt the retaliation effort was undermined by the incoming Trump administration. President Trump has been reluctant to even admit Putin was responsible for last year’s attack on the [Read More…]

Jun 232017
 

The identity of the famously anonymous and beloved British street graffiti artist, Banksy, may have finally been revealed. In a podcast earlier this week, British DJ Goldie was discussing the commodification of graffiti when he referred to Banksy as “Robert” possibly confirming the long-standing speculation that the anonymous artist is Robert Del Naja of the band Massive Attack. Goldie, then, paused and dropped the subject instantly. Del Naja, one of the founding members of the trip hop group, is himself an acclaimed graffiti artist, one whom Banksy has claimed to take inspiration from in the past. The clandestine nature of Banksy is in stark contrast to the global acclaim of his street artwork. Based in London, Banksy boasts a worldwide portfolio, featuring murals infused with provocative politics. Banksy ‘s identity revealed thanks to mathematics From corruption to war to revolution, Banksy, whose street work spans over two decades, applies artistic license to inject a hint of irony, even comedy, into his artistic statements on international affairs. In March of this year, the artist opened an elaborate boutique art hotel in Bethlehem, West Bank, where ornate decor brought life to lavish murals. In 2015, the performer opened “Dismaland,” an abandoned, dismal dystopia in south-west England, where a burnt Minnie Mouse billboard and crashed Cinderella carriage are just a couple of the grim takes on the classic childhood amusement park. Last year, an investigative journalist justified the suspicion behind Del Naja’s involvement with Banksy, noting many of the artist’s work appeared in locations and dates [Read More…]

Jun 232017
 

Senator Babar Awan announced on Friday he is joining Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), thereby ending his two-decade-long association with the PPP. “I had a challenge confronting me whether to remain a senator for another year or join the country’s real opposition party,” Awan told media persons at his residence in Islamabad. He was accompanied by PTI chief Imran Khan and senior PTI leaders. “Allah guided me towards the right path. And today after 21 years long association, I announce to resign from basic membership of PPP,” he said. He added that he had submitted his resignation with the Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani. He claimed that Imran Khan would be the next prime minister. Awan served as law minister during the previous tenure of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). But he parted ways with the party following his differences with Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. Babar Awan set to join PTI today Awan recently got close to the PTI chief, becoming one of his attorneys in the Panamagate case. Reacting to this development, a PPP spokesperson said Awan had parted ways with the party the day he refused to testify before the Supreme Court in favour of former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. The spokesperson said Awan had revealed his true colours during the NRO Implementation case. “Awan can best be exemplified as a political turncoat in contemporary politics of Pakistan,” the spokesperson said. He reminded that Babar Awan was among those who had distributed sweets when Bhutto was hanged and a [Read More…]

Jun 222017
 

Acting Saudi ambassador in Islamabad Marwan bin Rizwan said Saudi-led 41-nation Islamic military alliance is against terrorism, and not against any specific country, Radio Pakistan reported. “If Qatar abides by the 2014 agreement, the Saudi-Qatar relationship can improve,” he said while talking to reporters in Islamabad on Thursday. The boycott of Qatar, he said, can be ended if it accepts the Saudi demands. Pakistan will remain neutral in Saudi-Qatar row: Aziz On Wednesday, the Pakistan government had categorically said it would not take any sides in the recent political stand-off between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. “Pakistan does not want to interfere in other countries’ matters and will stick to its non-partisan policy on the Middle East issue,” Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs. Saudi military alliance: Pakistan seeks to find a middle ground Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and the United Arab Emirates announced on June 5 they were severing diplomatic ties with Qatar after accusing it of supporting terrorism. Moreover, in principle, Islamabad had agreed to be part of the Islamic Military Alliance against Terrorism (IMAT). The post Military alliance not against any specific country, says Saudi envoy appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Jun 222017
 

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yaldarim reiterated his support for Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir, a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who is on an official visit to Turkey, thanked the premier on Turkish support to Pakistan in various international fora. COAS met Turkish PM. PM reiterated Turkish support for Pakistan's stance on Kashmir. COAS expressed Pak's sp to Turkey’s position on Cyprus. pic.twitter.com/pVNNfpiZbu — Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) June 22, 2017 According to the military’s media wing, both discussed matters related to regional security and commonality of challenges facing the two brotherly countries. Muslim countries can contribute towards global peace: Erdogan PM Yaldarim appreciated the positive role that Pakistan plays in the region as well as in the larger Muslim world. “Pakistan and Turkey share same stance on many issues and Pakistan supports Turkey’s position on Cyprus as well as its efforts against terrorism of all hue and colour,” the army chief said. The post Turkey reiterates support for Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Jun 212017
 
Venezuelan football fan gets record for most FIFA World Cup tournaments attended

The Holy Grail of football is the FIFA World Cup tournament held once every four years and if you would ask any die-hard football fan their ultimate dream would be to attend the event once in their lifetime. But for Venezuelan businessman Hely Garagozzo, it has now become a ritual tradition. Garagozzo has now attended a whopping nine of the tournaments in a row beginning in 1982 when it was held in Spain to the last in Brazil. This unique feat has been acknowledged by the Guinness World Records for the most FIFA World Cup tournaments attended by an individual. The Venezuelan estimates he has traversed over 231,000 kilometres to attend these matches, which is the equivalent of 5.67 full circumnavigations of the Earth. Bodla breaks world record for most punches in an hour Despite the main attraction always being the football itself, he has been able to see many interesting sites along the way such as the Roman Coliseum, Iguazu Falls, ground zero in Hiroshima, and the Berlin Wall. “It’s the magic of football that transcends the field and transforms into a culture,” he said. Hely carries a large Venezuelan flag to every game he goes to, which can sometimes cause him to stand out in the crowd. “A lot of people know me as the guy with the flag,” he joked. In addition to the nine World Cups, he also attended the Under-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2013 as well as the Under-20 World Cup in Egypt [Read More…]

Jun 212017
 

Pop star Zayn Malik has disclosed that he was once detained by US airport security for three hours when travelling with his former band One Direction, according to The Independent. Malik, a British Muslim, said that he was subject to “further processing” and extra checks when travelling to America, all because of his name and appearance. “The first time I came to America, I had three security checks before I got on the plane; first they said that I’d been randomly selected, and then they said it was something to do with my name, it was flagging something on their system,” the 24-year-old told the Evening Standard. The situation, however, escalated when the band reached the country. Shah Rukh Khan detained at US airport once again “When I landed, it was like a movie,” said Malik. “They kept me there for three hours, questioning me about all kinds of crazy stuff. I was 17, my first time in America, jet-lagged off the plane, confused. The same thing happened the next time too.” Malik said he could see why the extra security was necessary. “I understand the level of caution that needs to be taken, especially now, in the light of certain events at home,” he says. “I don’t think there’s any benefit to getting angry – it’s something that comes with the climate. I understand why they’ve got to do it,” he added. Pakistani Fulbright scholar denied entry into US despite valid visa The star, who is arguably the most [Read More…]

Jun 212017
 

Social media was taken by a storm after a “failed hug” picture of US Senator Marco Rubio and first daughter Ivanka Trump surfaced online. Ivanka: Who are you again? Rubio: I'm Marco. Ivanka: Pollo? pic.twitter.com/my9g2EpCwe — Kermanetherunner (@KermaneB) June 20, 2017 Senator Rubio, who met Ivanka at the Capitol to discuss tax reform and parental leave, gave a hilarious twist to the controversy by launching a Twitter investigation. “Just left Intel comm and informed meeting today with Ivanka Trump blowing up Twitter over alleged failed hug! Investigating. Will respond soon.” Picture of Pope Francis with Trump family is making the internet go wild Just left Intel comm & informed meeting 2day with @IvankaTrump blowing up twitter over alleged failed hug! Investigating. Will respond soon — Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 20, 2017 Two minutes later, he found proof: an unclassified “photographic evidence”. We believe we have our own unclassified photographic evidence that will shed greater details on this incident. — Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 20, 2017 He added that he and his team were trying to obtain footage of the meeting to further elaborate on the issue. We are also attempting to acquire multi-angle video which we believe will provide greater insight into this important matter. — Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 20, 2017 Then came an appeal by the Republican senator to people who were happened to be around the Senate carriage entrance at the time of the encounter in question. If you were filming at the Senate carriage entrance today between [Read More…]

Jun 212017
 

Adviser to PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said Pakistan will not take any sides in the recent stand-off between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. “Pakistan doesn’t want to interfere in other countries matters and will stick to its non-partisan policy on the Middle East issue,” he briefed the Senate’s committee on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, according to Express News. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and the United Arab Emirates announced on June 5 they were severing diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing the Gulf state of supporting terrorism. Saudi king appoints son as crown prince in major reshuffle Commenting on former army chief Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif’s appointment in the Saudi-led military alliance, Sartaj said he had gone to head the group “in personal capacity”. However, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif had earlier confirmed that Gen Raheel was given the NOC by the government to lead the military alliance against terrorism. According to sources, the government in principle agreed to be part of the Saudi initiative if its sole purpose was to fight terrorism and extremism. The final decision, however, will be taken once the terms of reference of the alliance are finalised. The post Pakistan to stay neutral in Saudi-Qatar rift: Sartaj Aziz appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

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