Sep 292017
Fall out

While refusing to take the blame for Haqqani Network and other alleged militant outfits, Pakistan has reminded the US that these ‘terrorists’ were considered the ‘darlings’ of the White House until a few decades ago. That is the inherent problem with being someone’s darling, you fall out one day. Dr Irfan Zafar (Canada) Click for detailed story

Jul 212017

WASHINGTON DC: White House Spokesperson Sean Spicer resigned on Friday, ending a brief, turbulent tenure that gained global notoriety, after President Donald Trump named adviser and Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci as his top communications official. A White House official said Spicer, 45, had resigned. Spicer’s departure reflected turmoil within Trump’s legal and communication teams amid a widening investigation into possible ties between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, a problem undermining the White House’s policy agenda. Trump spokesperson sparks outcry by comparing Assad to Hitler Parodied memorably on the Saturday Night Live sketch comedy show for his combative encounters with the White House press corps, Spicer became one of the Trump administration’s most recognised figures after taking the job in December. He was sometimes targeted by critics for what they said were false or misleading statements. In recent weeks, Spicer has less frequently taken the lectern in the White House press room. Trump offered Scaramucci, a longtime supporter who has frequently appeared on television to defend him, the White House communications post. The post White House spokesperson Sean Spicer resigns appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Jun 232017
‘Trump Village’ unveiled in India ahead of Modi’s US visit

MARORA (India): A rural Indian settlement with little electricity or running water renamed itself “Trump Village” on Friday in an unusual gesture to the American president ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Washington.A huge billboard declaring “Welcome to Trump Village” in Hindi and English, accompanied with a beaming portrait of the US president, was unveiled in the tiny hamlet officially known as Marora, in the largely agriculture northern state of Haryana.Large posters of Trump adorned with marigold flowers were placed throughout the village of mainly mud-brick houses for a renaming ceremony, which was presided over by village heads and an Indian charity.But despite the bold lettering greeting visitors at the arched village gateway, the name change is not official or sanctioned by the government. The symbolic gesture comes just days before Modi’s first meeting with Trump this weekend at the White House.The water and sanitation group Sulabh, which has been installing toilets in the impoverished settlement, suggested the name change to the local council.Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak said the idea sprang to mind during a recent visit to the US. “I was speaking there and I thought why not in the name of Trump?” Pathak said, adding other villages in the region had also been renamed in recent years.Aziz Ahmed, a villager, said he was sure the new name would stick even without official approval.Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2017 Click for detailed story

Jun 222017
Drone strikes violate Pakistan's sovereignty: FO

US's hardening stance Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria on Thursday said that drone strikes are against Pakistan's sovereignty.During the weekly news briefing, the spokesperson said that Pakistan's policy regarding drone strikes had always been clear, adding that such attacks are "unacceptable".The FO's statement came a day after a Pakistan Air Force JF-17 Thunder jet shot down an unmanned Iranian drone allegedly on a spying mission in Balochistan's Panjgur area.Officials said the drone was shot down after it had ventured "deep inside Pakistani airspace".In a statement released hours after the drone was shot down on Wednesday, the FO said Islamabad had notified Tehran of the development.US's hardening stance During Thursday's briefing, the FO spokesperson refused to comment on foreign media reports that US President Donald Trump's administration was likely to toughen its policy on Pakistan.Instead, the spokesperson said that Pakistan values its relationship with America and would work closely with the Trump administration.Media reports have indicated that the Trump administration is exploring toughening its approach towards Pakistan to crack down on militants allegedly based in Pakistan and launching attacks in Afghanistan.Potential Trump administration responses being discussed include expanding drone strikes, redirecting or withholding some aid to Pakistan and perhaps eventually downgrading its status as a major non-Nato ally, news reports quoting officials said.In March, Washington, announcing the first budget after Trump entered the White House, had proposed a substantial cut in foreign aid to Pakistan.Commenting on the budget cut during the briefing, the FO said that it was an "internal [Read More…]

Jun 162017

NEW YORK: Donald Trump’s tweets antagonise, insult and drive headlines around the world. Now, they’re on display at a tongue-in-cheek presidential Twitter library a stone’s throw from his New York home. Comedy Central’s The Daily Show hosted by Trevor Noah, emboldened by soaring ratings since Trump took office, put together the one weekend only, free of charge pop-up exhibition to lampoon the president and make visitors think. From Friday until Sunday, members of the public are invited to stroll through The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library, soak up some of his most notorious tweets, and fire off one or two of their own from a golden toilet. "The Daily Show Presents: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library", the first of its kind, opens in New York until June 18 — AFP news agency (@AFP) June 16, 2017 “He is a damn fine Twitterer,” South African comedian Noah told reporters. “Never before has a president been so transparent, and at the same time so opaque.” Many Americans may already feel saturated by coverage of the president’s tweets, which have seen him attack Barack Obama, political rivals, London’s mayor and wade in on celebrities’ love lives. But the exhibition seeks to squeeze out every ounce of nuance from Trump’s love for the 140-character medium, his preferred way to communicate with supporters, bypassing traditional media and even his own White House spokespeople. The concept is a play on the US tradition of every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt establishing a post-tenure [Read More…]

May 252017

LONDON: President Donald Trump on Thursday described US intelligence leaks over the Manchester bombing as “deeply troubling” and threatened to prosecute those responsible, after a warning by British Prime Minister Theresa May to keep shared data “secure”. In a statement issued by the White House, as Trump joined May at a meeting of NATO allies, he said: “There is no relationship we cherish more than the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.” The British government has expressed its anger at the release in US media of details from the investigation into Monday’s concert attack, including photographs of parts of the bomb which left 22 people dead, including children. Arriving in Brussels, May warned that intelligence sharing with the United States was “built on trust”. “Part of that is knowing intelligence can be shared confidently and I will make clear to President Trump that intelligence shared with law enforcement agencies must be secure,” she told reporters. Trump presses NATO on spending, terror Visiting the military alliance’s new $1.2 billion headquarters with fellow leaders later, Trump led a moment’s silence for the victims of what he described as “a barbaric and vicious attack on our civilisation”. In his statement, Trump — who was already struggling domestically to stem a tide of damaging leaks from law enforcement agencies — said the information coming out in the US media was “deeply troubling”. “These leaks have been going on for a long time and my administration will get to the bottom of [Read More…]

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