Jun 232017
 
Saudi security forces foil attack on Makkah's Grand Mosque: state TV

Saudi security forces foiled an attack on the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Friday, state television Al-Ekhbariya and Al Arabiya TV reported. Al Arabiya said security forces had found two groups of terrorists in Makkah and a third group in the city of Jeddah. The foiled attack targeted worshipers at the mosque, it said. Neither Al Arabiya nor Al-Ekhbariya gave any further details. 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
 
Chants against Saudi royals as Iran marks Jerusalem Day

TEHRAN: Chants against the Saudi royal family and the Islamic State group mingled with the traditional cries of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” at Jerusalem Day rallies across Iran on Friday. The annual show of solidarity with the Palestinians, during which hundreds of thousands of Iranians take to the streets, was launched by the Islamic republic’s late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and is now also marked by its allies across the Middle East. This year’s commemoration coincided with an intensifying battle for influence in the region between Shia Iran and its Sunni arch rival Saudi Arabia, Gulf neighbours which severed diplomatic relations in January 2016. “Death to the House of Saud and Daesh (IS),” the demonstrators chanted. “Death to America”, “Death to Israel”, “Death to the UK”. Iran has been heavily involved in the war against IS in both Iraq and Syria, where it has trained and advised militias to fight the militants. On Sunday, Iran fired six 750-kilometre (470-mile) range missiles at an IS base in eastern Syria, days after the militant group claimed twin bombing and shooting attacks in Tehran that left 17 people dead. Iran nuclear chief urges West to save historic deal On Friday, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards displayed some of the same Zolfaghar missiles used in the strike at Valiasr Square in the heart of the capital, alongside a 2,000-kilometre (1,250-mile) range Qadr missile. Iran’s ballistic missile programme has been the subject of persistent concern in Washington and the target of repeated US sanctions. [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…]

Get Adobe Flash player