Nov 052017

WASHINGTON: At least 20 people are dead after a shooting at a Texas church on Sunday, US media reported. ABC News cited a law enforcement official as saying 20 were killed and 30 wounded in the shooting. Other media outlets were citing unnamed officials who gave death tolls as high as 27. The shooting took place at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a small community about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio, reports said. They said the shooter walked into the church shortly before noon — at a morning service that witnesses said was normally attended by some 50 people — and opened fire. A two-year-old was among the wounded, the Dallas Morning News website reported. There were “multiple fatalities and multiple wounded,” according to Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr, NBC News reported. A spokeswoman for Connally Memorial Medical Center in nearby Floresville told Fox News that “we have accepted a number of patients from the shooting.” She gave no number. New timeline in Vegas shooting raises questions on police response Helicopters and emergency personnel were arriving at the scene, and agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were heading to the scene, the bureau said. The shooting comes just over a month after a gunman in Las Vegas, firing down from a hotel room, killed 58 people and wounded hundreds attending an outdoor concert. And it came just over two years after a white supremacist, Dylann Roof, entered a historically black church in Charleston, [Read More…]

Oct 232017
Tillerson Visiting India Presses Pakistan to Step Up Anti-Terrorism Efforts

ISLAMABAD U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is holding talks Wednesday with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders in New Delhi, where tensions between India and Pakistan are expected to be part of the discussions. Tillerson was in Pakistan on Tuesday to urge leaders there to step up their efforts to counter militancy and terrorism. The top U.S. diplomat led his delegation into meetings with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the country’s military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and the head of the spy agency and other top officials. They discussed continued bilateral cooperation and partnership, and expanding economic ties between Pakistan and the United States, said a U.S. embassy statement. “The Secretary reiterated President Donald Trump’s message that Pakistan must increase its efforts to eradicate militants and terrorists operating within the country,” the statement said. To address those concerns, it added, Tillerson outlined Washington’s new South Asia strategy and the vital role Pakistan can play to facilitate a peace process in Afghanistan that can bring stability and security to the region. “Pakistan and the United States share common interests in establishing a stable, peaceful Afghanistan, defeating ISIS in South Asia, and eliminating terrorist groups that threaten both Pakistan and the United States,” the statement quoted Tillerson as telling Pakistani officials. Continuing engagement A separate statement issued by the prime minister’s office quoted Abbasi as underlining the importance of high-level engagements between Pakistan and the United States and expressing satisfaction on the progress made during these interactions [Read More…]

Oct 132017

WASHINGTON: Facebook announced on Friday a new feature to make it easier for users to order meals from nearby restaurants and service providers without leaving the social network. A new “Order Food” feature rolled out for US users lets Facebook users order delivery or takeout from restaurant chains such as Papa John’s and Panera, and on-demand services including and DoorDash. “People already go to Facebook to figure out what to eat by reading about nearby restaurants, and seeing what their friends say about them. So, we’re making it even easier,” read a blog post by Facebook Vice President Alex Himel. Facebook launches portable VR headset “From local spots to national chains, Facebook connects you with old favourites and new discoveries in just a few taps. You can even check out what your friends have to say about a restaurant before you order your food.” Facebook has been testing this feature since last year and is rolling out the service to users in the United States on its desktop, iOS and Android applications, with new partners. The move expands Facebook’s ability to keep users on its platform, with services such as money-transfer, business services and ride-hailing available from its main application or messaging services. The world’s largest social network has more than 2 billion active users. The post Facebook now lets you Order Food too appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Sep 302017
Fourball romp puts US in control of Presidents Cup

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey: A record equalling win for Phil Mickelson helped the United States seize an unprecedented second-day lead against a floundering International team at the Presidents Cup on Friday With an 8-2 lead over captain Nick Price’s Internationals, the Americans are more than halfway to the 15.5 points they need to win the biennial match play competition for a 10th time. Mickelson, the only man to appear in all 12 Presidents Cups, rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole to seal a 1-up victory with Kevin Kisner over Australians Jason Day and Marc Leishman. The United States won four and halved another of the day’s five fourball matches at Liberty National Golf Club, thwarting the Internationals’ bid to bounce back from a two-point opening day deficit. The Americans’ six-point lead is the biggest ever held after two days of the competition, which sees 30 points up for grabs over four days. The US had led by five points at the same stage in three prior editions, most recently in 2007. Leishman and Day had led from the opening hole through the 14th before Kisner squared the match with a birdie at 15 — setting the stage for Mickelson’s heroics. Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman — two Presidents Cup rookies — set the tone for the United States, thumping Charl Schwartzel and Anirban Lahiri 6 & 5 in the first match to finish. Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas then delivered a stinging 3 & 2 victory [Read More…]

Sep 262017
Lahiri has unfinished business at Presidents Cup

JERSEY CITY: It’s been two long years since Anirban Lahiri’s agonizing miss of a short putt on Sunday helped the United States to yet another Presidents Cup victory. The Indian golfer is hoping to make amends when the underdog International team has another go at the mighty Americans this week at Liberty National Golf Club in the 12th edition of the biennial Match Play contest. “I felt like I let the team down, and I feel like I need to go back out there and contribute to the winning cause,” Lahiri said after getting the call from International captain Nick Price. Lahiri had a birdie putt from within four feet to halve his singles match against Chris Kirk at Incheon two years ago — but it lipped out to give Kirk a crucial win in the United States’ 15.5-14.5 triumph. Price believes that kind of experience only makes a player stronger, and he had no hesitation in making the 68th-ranked Lahiri one of his two captain’s picks.“You’ve got to learn to lose before you really appreciate how to win,” Price said. A two-time winner on the European Tour, Lahiri was hampered by injury for much of 2016, but opened this season with a tie for third at the CIMB Classic and posted his best US tour finish to date with a share of second at the Memorial. A top-10 finish at the BMW Championship this month was another sign that Lahiri could be a valuable contributor.“These guys are fired up,” [Read More…]

Sep 212017

TEHRAN: Iran’s supreme leader on Thursday lashed out against US President Donald Trump describing the speech he delivered at the UN this week as full of “gangster and cowboy” rhetoric. “The reason behind the foolish, very ugly, insolent and disorderly speech with cowboy and gangster wording… is their anger (and) desperation,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in reference to Trump and the US administration. In remarks to a top clerical body, the Assembly of Experts, carried by his website, Khamenei described Trump and the US administration as “having no brains”. “The US president’s remarks are not a source of pride for the American nation and the elite of that country should feel ashamed of… having such a president,” Khamenei said. At UN, Trump says US may have to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea The Assembly of Experts is a body of elected clerics that oversees the functions of the supreme leader and has constitutional powers to select and even dismiss the leader. Trump delivered a scathing verbal attack against Iran in his maiden speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. The US president referred to the Islamic republic as a “murderous regime” and a “depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos”. He also called the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, including the United States, an “embarrassment” for Washington. Tensions between Tehran and Washington have increased under Trump’s administration. In 2015, Iran reached an agreement with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US to curtail [Read More…]

Sep 182017

NEW YORK: US President Donald Trump criticized the United Nations for bloated bureaucracy and mismanagement on his first visit on Monday to UN headquarters, calling for “truly bold reforms” so it could be a greater force for world peace. Ahead of his maiden speech to the annual UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump hosted a short event to boost support for changes to the United Nations. “In recent years the United Nations has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement, while the United Nations on a regular budget has increased by 140 percent and its staff has more than doubled since 2000,” Trump said. Trump pushes UN reform as world leaders gather for crisis talks “The United Nations must hold every level of management accountable, protect whistleblowers and focus on results rather than on process,” Trump said. “I am confident that if we work together and champion truly bold reforms the United Nations will emerge as a stronger, more effective, more just and greater force for peace and harmony in the world,” Trump said in his first remarks at the UN in New York since his inauguration as president in January. In a building where long statements are commonplace, Trump spoke for just four minutes. Some 128 countries were invited to attend Monday’s reform meeting after signing on to a US-drafted 10-point political declaration backing efforts by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “to initiate effective, meaningful reform.” Trump says ‘bureaucracy’ holding UN back UN Security Council veto powers Russia [Read More…]

Sep 092017

ANKARA: Turkish security forces have killed 99 Kurdish militants, including a high-ranking one, in operations in southeast Turkey over the last two weeks, the armed forces said on Saturday. Security forces targeted outposts and caves used by the militants for shelter and storage in the southeastern provinces of Sirnak and Hakkari, near the Iraqi border, the military said in a statement. “Ninety-nine terrorists have been neutralised. One is in the so-called leading ranks,” it said. Turkey seeks Pakistan’s help against PKK, IS The outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), considered a terrorist organisation by the United States, Turkey and the European Union, has waged a more than three-decade-long insurgency against the state. The PKK, which seeks autonomy for the largely Kurdish southeast, has bases in the mountains on both sides of the Turkey-Iraq border and is frequently targeted by Turkish security forces. The operations, which were carried out between August 24 and September 7, led to the seizure of 420 kg (925 lbs) of ammonium nitrate, used to make explosives, as well as bombs, guns and rifles, the military said. The post 99 Kurdish militants killed in latest operations: Turkish military appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Sep 062017

WASHINGTON DC: Advanced hackers have targeted United States and European energy companies in a cyber-espionage campaign that has in some cases successfully broken into the core systems that control the companies’ operations, according to researchers at the security firm Symantec. Malicious email campaigns have been used to gain entry into organizations in the United States, Turkey and Switzerland, and likely other countries well, Symantec said in a report published on Wednesday. The cyber-attacks, which began in late 2015 but increased in frequency in April of this year, are probably the work of a foreign government and bear the hallmarks of a hacking group known as Dragonfly, Eric Chien, a cyber-security researcher at Symantec, said in an interview. Leaked intel report shows Russian hackers probed US voting systems The research adds to concerns that industrial firms, including power providers and other utilities, are susceptible to cyber-attacks that could be leveraged for destructive purposes in the event of a major geopolitical conflict. In June the US government warned industrial firms about a hacking campaign targeting the nuclear and energy sectors, saying in an alert seen by Reuters that hackers sent phishing emails to harvest credentials in order to gain access to targeted networks. Chien said he believed that alert likely referenced the same campaign Symantec has been tracking. He said dozens of companies had been targeted and that a handful of them, including in the United States, had been compromised on the operational level. That level of access meant that motivation was “the [Read More…]