Barca to use Coutinho tactics for Pogba

first_imgBarcelona are planning to employ the same tactics used to sign Phillipe Coutinho from Liverpool for Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, according to BristolLive.The midfielder has had a frosty relationship with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho which he led to him being dropped to the bench for their second UEFA Champions League clash against Sevilla last season over both legs.Pogba is reportedly keen to leave the club after Jose Mourinho also criticized him after winning the World Cup.ole gunnar solskjaer, manchester unitedReport: Up to seven first team players out for United George Patchias – September 13, 2019 Manchester United have some serious injury problems with up to seven first-team players out.This Saturday, United have a Premier League clash with Leicester City….Barcelona are currently odds on favorite to sign Pogba ahead of Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain and the Spanish champions are planning to use the same strategy they employed with Phillipe Coutinho last summer for Pogba.Manchester United have no interest in selling their star player but Barca are prepared to wait till January to get their man as they did with Liverpool and Coutinho last season.The Catalan club have already signed Arturo Vidal from Bayern Munich but are keen to bolster their midfield options with the addition of Pogba as they look to mount an all-out offensive on the UEFA Champions League.last_img read more

Pochettino thrilled with Spurs 20 win at Arsenal

first_imgTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino hailed their “amazing victory” over rivals Arsenal in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday nightSpurs defeated Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium to book a place in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup after goals from Son Heung-min and Dele Alli.And Pochettino, who left out Harry Kane in one of four changes for the game, was delighted to get his first win at Arsenal’s own backyard.“I feel so happy, very pleased. It’s my first victory at the Emirates and the first clean sheet for Tottenham (at the Emirates),” Pochettino told the club website.“The performance was very solid and at the end we got what we wanted, to be in the semi-finals and now we prepare for Chelsea in the semi-finals.“It was a tough game, a derby, you need to play differently because there are a lot of emotions. It was so competitive. Arsenal have a very good team. The game was very exciting.“It was an amazing victory for us, for our fans. They enjoyed it a lot. A few weeks ago when we lost here they suffered a lot and this is a moment to enjoy.”Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…Spurs will now compete in semi-finals of the competition for the first time since the 2014/15 campaign.Pochettino’s men will face Chelsea in the next round, who ironically were the ones who beat them in the 2015 final.“It’s an important thing to be in the semi-final,” continued Pochettino.“It’s our fifth season and (we’ve been in) four semi-finals. Remember, we played the final against Chelsea (League Cup, 2015), another semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup (2017) and Manchester United in the FA Cup (2018).“We are close. The effort is massive and the most important thing is to be there, competing and trying and one day maybe we will get the reward we deserve.”The first leg between Spurs and Chelsea will take place on January 7 at Wembley.last_img read more

Revenue Department stationed in northern TCI

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Mother charged with murder of her young son Child dead and man arrested on Taylor murder Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 27 Oct 2015 – North and Middle Caicos are getting some tailor made service from the Revenue Department which will fly in so that paying government bills or making enquiries will be easier. The officers are there since Monday and will be in the two islands until this Friday. District Commissioner, Cynclair Musgrove said: “The District Commissioner’s Office and the Communities of North & Middle Caicos welcome the Revenue Department as we are striving to continue improving service delivery and further assist the Officers with improving customer education and voluntary compliance in North & Middle Caicos.” The team will be stationed at the DCs office in Bottle Creek, North Caicos. Among the tasks: inspections and audits, service delivery improvements and registering businesses. Musgrove says the scheduled visits will be an ongoing service. Related Items:bottle creek, cynclair musgrove, north and middle caicos, revenue department Recommended for you PNP Administration leaders serve Elderly in New Year’s Partylast_img read more

All hands on deck Royal Bahamas Defence Force marines summoned to HQ

first_img Related Items:#HurricaneIrma, #magneticmedianews, rbdf August 30th – One Year since Hurricane Irma named Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, September 5th, 2017 – Nassau –  The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is calling for all hands on deck and members were asked to report for duty, that includes marines on study leave also.  It was explained that all vacation leave for the RBDF has been cancelled and members are to report to headquarters at the Coral Harbour base this morning.  Even those on study leave are called back in as The Bahamas braces for an encounter with a possible Category 5 hurricane, by the time Irma reaches our shores on Thursday. By Deandrea Hamilton Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Bahamas joint effort recovers more bodies of Haitian migrants FortisTCI announces bid to hike electricity bills, cites record $42m response to hurricanes as destabilizinglast_img read more

DAs office releases bodycam footage of four officerinvolved shootings

first_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — In a move to achieve transparency with the public when it comes to officer-involved shootings, the DA released findings concerning four officer-involved shootings that took place over the last several months.Perhaps the most remarkable shooting discussed is one that happened in Chula Vista last year when an officer was stabbed numerous times in the head.Last September officers responded to a call of a suspect hurling concrete bricks at a neighbor.When officers entered the suspect’s house he immediately started stabbing Officer David Sachs who was in the fight for his life. Sachs, a Police Cross-Fit Competition champion, then physically overpowered the suspect, reached for his weapon and shot the suspect, thus ending the stabbing attack.Had this officer not been in such great physical shape, this story could have had a much different ending. Posted: June 29, 2018 Updated: 6:43 PM DA’s office releases body-cam footage of four officer-involved shootings June 29, 2018center_img John Soderman John Soderman, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Pet recovery specialist reunites lost pets with owners through nonprofit

first_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- Millions of dogs are lost or stolen across the country every year, but there’s one woman in town using her gift to make sure every missing pet makes it home with their family.She called herself a Pet Recovery Specialist, but Babs Fry is like a detective.“It’s all about details,” said Babs Fry, Pet Recovery Specialist. “It is really no different than a private investigator. It is canvasing, gathering information and then taking experience.”She’s a detective that helps find lost pets and reunites them with their owners, like Anika, a 2-year-old Rottweiler. She was rescued in December of last year.It’s no job for the weary. She fields a dozen calls a day, some from across the country. She’s available at all hours of the day and night and she doesn’t charge her customers a dime.In town, she’s known as “Bring ‘Em Home Babs” and that’s what she does. She brings them home to their family.When a dog goes missing, she said you’ve gotta think like a dog.“A lot of times I’ll look at a map and collect data based on the location and where the dog was last seen or went missing from and add that into a plot from what I see on a geographical map,” said Fry.It might feel like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack, but she said don’t lose hope.Dogs like patterns. Fry will gather crucial details, like times the dog was seen, direction the dog went and recent sightings. That’s how she figured out Anika’s routine or her safe place.“She was running a specific way on a specific street and had been seen in lady’s yard at the bottom of the hill,” said Fry. “We were able to determine through watching and observation that she was ducking down on that hill from someone else’s hill.”Once this pattern is established, she strategically placed a trap to safely catch Anika. That’s when her secret came in handy — Rotisserie chicken. She said this is the key to luring a dog.“Place the trap where the wind would basically catch the smell of both food and the broth and carry that in her path, so she would get that smell and it would lure her to it,” said Fry.Now Anika gets a second chance at life. Fry is a volunteer and she does this for free. In the end when you look in Anika’s big brown eyes, she said it’s worth it. It always is.“I always get choked up,” said Fry. “I pay it forward. Somebody did this for me. That really is what makes this worth it. I’ve been on the tail end of the sleepless nights, of the not sleeping for days on end, of thinking there was no way I’d see a dog again.”Fry created a non profit and hopes to train assistants with her knowledge and skills so more pets and family members are saved.If you have a lost pet or need some advice, you can reach Babs Fry at 619-249-2221. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter February 20, 2019 Posted: February 20, 2019center_img Pet recovery specialist reunites lost pets with owners through nonprofit , last_img read more

Time Inc Digital Revenues Up 20 Million Offsetting Weakness in Print

first_imgNEW YORK — Roughly 40 people — Time Inc. publishers, presidents, editors, and PR directors along with members of the press—gathered on the second floor of the Time and Life Building Wednesday for Time Inc.’s “Digital Showcase,” where Time Inc. EVP John Squires told the crowd that the division’s digital revenues were up $20 million year over year. That growth is led mostly by Sports Illustrated and CNNMoney, he said, with digital revenue contributing about 15 and 20 percent to their respective bottom lines. Despite the digital revenue growth, Time Inc.’s overall first quarter revenues were relatively flat, falling slightly from $1.048 billion in first quarter 2007 to $1.045 billion this year. Quick acceleration online is the way the company is moving, Squires said, echoing Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes’ comments during a quarterly conference call that digital growth rates for the company’s magazines could “overcome what may be the flatness in print over time.” ‘Upshot’ Time Inc. saw a “big upshot” from online video at the end of last year and early this year, Squires said, which contributed to overall digital growth. To date, CNNMoney is seeing just under 19 million video streams a month, up from an average of 1 million last year, and is looking to compete with television networks like CNBC, maybe more so than its online counterparts. According to Nielsen VideoCensus from March, the title’s online video platform makes up 54 percent of its entire category which includes MSN Money, Forbes.com, TheStreet.com and Wall Street Journal Digital. Its competitive advantage, according to CNNMoney.com’s SVP Jonathan Shar, is its investment in a twelve-person team dedicated to video production, many of whom held high-level positions in television. The videos, in fact, are often streamed on CNN, contributing to the network’s money and finance coverage. “As video distribution online grows, consumers expectations will rise and we have to be ready to play in that world,” said Squires. ‘Hair Tool’ Success InStyle.com has seen monthly video streams rise from 70,000 in February to now more than 600,000 and is planning to launch a redesigned video channel in the second quarter 2008. Other plans for InStyle digital include an upcoming relaunch of InStyleWeddings.com and a new, sponsored mobile WAP application launching in July 2008. Its popular Hollywood Hair Tool—which allows users to virtually try on celebrity hair styles—will be joined by a similar tool for makeup in June. When the hair tool launched in August of last year, overall page views for the site increased within two months from 38 milion to 52 million.last_img read more

Appropriations Committee Asks for Detailed Analysis of Infrastructure Needs in BRAC Study

first_imgCiting its concern about the Pentagon’s repeated calls for a new BRAC round, the House Appropriations Committee directs DOD to provide a comprehensive assessment of its infrastructure needs.“Though the committee is not endorsing or precluding another BRAC round, it is interested in more detailed information that would help lead Congress to make an informed decision on that question,” states the committee report accompanying the fiscal 2016 military construction-veterans affairs spending measure that was released Tuesday.The committee requests DOD provide by Dec. 31, 2015, a comprehensive inventory of military installations as well as:a description of the infrastructure necessary to support ongoing defense activities;a discussion of categories of excess infrastructure and infrastructure capacity, and “the secretary’s  targets for the reduction of such excess capacity”;an assessment of the excess infrastructure and the value of retaining certain excess infrastructure to support surge or reversibility requirements; andan analysis of the economic impact of the closure or realignment of installations to reduce excess infrastructure.To determine the extent of excess capacity, the department should consider:the anticipated continuing need for and availability of installations outside the United States, along with the potential for future restrictions on their use; andany efficiencies that may be gained from joint tenancy by more than one branch at an installation or by reorganizing two or more installations into a single facility.The analysis would require a certification from the defense secretary regarding the need for the closure or realignment of installations. The committee also asks the secretary to certify that “every recommendation for closure or realignment of military installations in a round of closures and realignments will result in annual net savings for each of the military departments within six years” after a new round begins.The committee’s request mirrors very closely language in the House version of the FY 2015 defense authorization bill. That provision, which was viewed as a possible first step toward congressional approval of the department’s request for a new BRAC round, was struck from the compromise version of the policy bill, however.In this case, the request for an assessment of DOD’s infrastructure needs may not be as significant since the Appropriations Committee is not responsible for authorizing a BRAC round, but it seems to signal that the committee’s military construction-veterans affairs panel believes a strong case could be made for a future round.The committee report for the milcon spending bill can be found on its website. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Garmins new Fenix 6 GPS watch sports solar charging to extend battery

first_img HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Now playing: Watch this: See It The Cheapskate The best smartwatches and fitness trackers for new graduates Share your voice $520 at HP Sarah Tew/CNET $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Wearable Tech Post a comment Sarah Tew/CNET Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. 0 $999 Turo: Save $30 on any car rental I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. 6 Amazon Garmin,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. $60 at Best Buy Comments Best Buy Rylo $6 at Tidal $299 at Amazon DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Sarah Tew/CNET See at Turo Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Garmin Vivosport melds the fitness band with the smartwatch Read Google Home Hub review 17 Photos hereO GPS Watch $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express See at Amazon Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) $59 at eBay Sprint Sarah Tew/CNET Turo Share your voice What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. $999 Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Boost Mobile Apple iPhone XS Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Read the Rylo camera preview $999 The Fenix 6 series starts at $599. Garmin Garmin on Thursday introduced its new Fenix 6 series of multisport GPS watches. The watches in the collection have Garmin’s largest round display, a rugged design and features like Power Manager for longer battery life. The Fenix 6X Pro Solar also offers solar charging, with a transparent solar charging lens that can use the sun’s energy to extend battery life. Garmin says the battery on the Fenix 6X Pro Solar, in smartwatch mode, can last for 21 days, plus an additional three days when utilizing the solar charging. It has a 1.4-inch display, which Garmin says is 36% bigger than previous Fenix 5X watches.The Fenix 6 and 6X models appear to be largely the same, but with the 6X having a 1.4-inch display and the 6 with a 1.3-inch display. Sapphire editions are also available for these models, along with new nylon QuickFit bands and silicone color options.All of the watches come with topographic maps, ski maps for over 2,000 resorts, and maps of 41,000 golf courses, Garmin said. The Fenix 6 watches can also store up to 2,000 songs and come with Garmin Pay. In addition, the watches track heart rate, as well as underwater heart rate for swimming, and have a Body Battery energy monitoring feature. Garmin says Body Battery gathers data from stress, heart rate variability, sleep and activity to show your body’s energy level and help you decide when to schedule workouts and rest times. The Fenix 6 watches start at $599, with the final price depending on the straps and finishes you pick. The Fenix 6X Pro Solar starts at $999. Tags Chris Monroe/CNET The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) See It $210 at Best Buy JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). 1:51 Preview • Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsMore to come! Note: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. See It $999 Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Angela Lang/CNET CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) See it Read DJI Osmo Action preview $155 at Google Express Read the AirPods review Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Tags Read Lenovo Smart Clock review DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XRlast_img read more

ITC Replaces TCS as Indias Most Admired Company

first_imgAmerican business magazine Fortune has ranked Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) Limited first among the top 45 most admired Indian companies for the year 2014, replacing 2013 topper Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Limited.The tobacco conglomerate has replaced the 2013 topper and IT giant, TCS, which has slipped down to the sixth position this year, making way for ITC that was on the third position earlier, PTI reported.Fortune has brought out a list of 45 most admired companies in India for 2014 and has placed ITC at the top along with the top four Larsen and Turbo, Hindustan Uniliver (HUL), Maruti Suzuki and State Bank of India (SBI) in descending series.Maintaining last year’s record, SBI and HUL remained among the top five, however, Infosys lost its position (fourth) to Maruti Suzuki in 2014 list.19 new companies including Cognizant, Idea Cellular, GMR Infra, Abbott Pharma, Shapoorji Pallonji and BSES Rajdhani Power Limited have made their way to this year’s list.The list has been further divided into sectors including power, telecom and pharma. Apollo Hospitals, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited and Vodafone India has been ranked first in their respective sectors — pharma and healthcare, power, and telecom sectors.Fortune partnered with Philadelphia’s global management consulting firm Hay Group to bring out the final list of 45 companies. These were selected based on response from top industry executives after conducting a survey of over 1,500 companies.This is Fortune’s third list since it started to list most admired Indian companies in 2012.last_img read more

Jackie Shroff on playing Salman Khans father in Bharat I am aware

first_imgJackie Shroff on playing Salman Khan’s father in BharatVarinder Chawla/IANSJackie Shroff, who is just 10 years older than Salman Khan, will be seen playing the latter’s father in upcoming movie Bharat. However, Jackie has no qualms in playing Salman’s father as he considers him a kid.Jackie said that although there is not much age difference between him and Salman, he has no issue in playing his father in Bharat.”I am aware that the age gap is only 10 years. We started our careers almost around the same time, but I don’t have any problem playing his father. I have always treated Salman like my bachcha. Even today, he is like a kid to me,” the senior actor told Mid-Day.Justifying his stand, Jackie further said that he had played Aamir Khan’s father in Dhoom 3, and he has no apprehension in taking up such roles.”I played Kareena Kapoor’s father in Yaadein in 2001, and a few years back, I did it with Aamir Khan in Dhoom 3 (2013). If the character is good and I am convinced about it, other factors don’t matter to me,” the 62-year-old actor said.Salman and Jackie had worked together in films like Bandhan, Kyon Ki, Veer, Kahin Pyaar Na Ho Jaaye. He had mostly played Salman’s friend or elder brother, but this is the first time Jackie will be seen as his father.Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, Bharat also features Katrina Kaif. Teaser of the movie had received positive response from the viewers, and now fans are eagerly waiting for the trailer that will be released in April.Meanwhile, Salman has another highly anticipated film titled Inshallah. What makes this film more special is the fact that the superstar has collaborated with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali after two decades. Also it will bring the fresh pairing of Salman and Alia Bhatt.last_img read more

Dr Reddys leads Indian charge of 130 billion Chinese pharma market stocks

first_imgRaghavendra NDr Reddy’s Laboratories is leading an Indian charge of the $130 billion Chinese pharma market, which is the world’s second largest. The likely liberalisation of the market by the Chinese regulator CFDA will benefit Indian pharma companies that have a solid presence in China, which is the world’s second largest pharma market, a report by Edelweiss Group says.Dr Reddy’s, which maintains a robust presence in China through a joint venture, is evolving a strategic plan to increase its revenue from the current $100 million. The company plans to achieve this by introducing new products and including more segments.The market has responded positively to the report with pharma stocks continuing their strong rally in the National Stock Exchange (NSE). Nifty Pharma sectoral benchmark hit a high of 9,278.70 after opening at 9,193.30. The index that benefited from the strong showing of Glenmark, Lupin and Aurobindo Pharma closed at about 9,263, up about 83 points or 0.91 per cent. Dr Reddy’s surged to an intraday high of 2792.55 from the previous close of 2765.20 to close 4.80 or 0.17 per cent up at 2,770.The company will strengthen its presence by scaling up the joint venture business and increasing the number of “dossier submissions and entries into new therapeutic areas,” MV Ramana, CEO, branded markets (India and emerging markets) of Dr Reddy’s, told Financial Express. According to Edelweiss, Dr Reddy’s, the largest foreign player in China, is poised to benefit from regulatory changes in the country. Dr Reddy’s plans to launch about 60 products and improve revenue significantly over the next seven to eight years, according to the report. PixabayThe company’s strong local partnerships have helped it commercialise some of the imported brands, the report says. The company’s revenue in FY18 was $100 million, with the help of its Canada-based joint venture Kunshan Rotam Reddy.”The size and growth of the market, our long presence and also the recent changes in China’s regulatory framework make this an attractive space for Dr Reddy’s. In terms of market size and expanded generic opportunity, China is the second largest pharma market with $130 billion in size, and generics form 65 per cent of the hospital market. About 22 per cent of the market is with off-patent innovators. While shortening the market access and reimbursement timelines for innovative drugs, China intends to replace the off-patent innovators with high-quality generics that opens up this share of the market to generic firms,” Ramana said.Dr Reddy’s US/EU portfolio mostly comply with Chinese regulations, while additional China-specific studies might be required in the case of some. “While in the past five years, we have had some good pipeline of filings, the plan is to scale this up and file a good number of dossiers in next few years,” he said.The Edelweiss report states that a growing Chinese pharma market and a relaxed Chinese drug regulator, CFDA, are likely to attract many Indian generic players. The relaxed norms may allow Indian companies to file their USFDA-approved products in China and get CFDA approval within months in the normal course. Among the drugs in demand, the most prominent are those for obesity, diabetes, respiratory illness and cancer.”While the regulations have been aligned with International Council of Harmonisation (ICH), there are China-specific requirements, which could pose challenges. Dr Reddy’s will continue to work to build strong regulatory capability and build on our experience to increase the probability of success for any new filing,” the report quoted Ramana as saying.last_img read more

Asian Stocks Weaken to 112 Year Lows on China Data

first_imgAsian shares fell within sight of a fresh 1-1/2 year low while commodity currencies such as the Malaysian ringgit fell further on Monday after Chinese data highlighted a deepening slowdown in demand in the world’s industrial powerhouse.News of another monthly decline in Chinese exports – its biggest fall in four months – and a collapse in producer prices shows how China’s faltering industrial demand has hit global trade and sent emerging market assets reeling.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged lower and held near a 1-1/2 year low hit last month. It has fallen 16 percent since May.”The markets are beginning to price in structurally lower growth in China and an end to the so-called commodity super-cycle,” said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.While economists have long predicted a slowdown in the pace of China’s economic expansion after years of turbocharged growth, investors have been taken aback by the scale of the slowdown and the impact it has had on emerging markets.In the six months to May, world trade volumes have shrunk by around 4 percent annualized, a pace of decline that hasn’t been seen since the global recessions of 2001 and 2009, according to BNP Paribas economists. Much of that decline this year has been caused by a sustained slowdown in China.Emerging market equities have been among the hardest hit as companies struggle to deal with the China factor.Year to date, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan index is down nearly 7.5 percent in U.S. dollar terms compared to a flat performance from its U.S. counterpart, according to Thomson Reuters data.Though early days yet, corporate earnings in Asia have so far only confirmed that trend.Of the nearly 32 percent of the companies in MSCI Asia-ex Japan index reporting results so far, more than half have led to downgraded estimates for their earnings per share, according to Credit Suisse strategists.China’s slowdown comes at a particularly sensitive time for emerging markets as expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will end nearly a decade of its zero interest rates soon have gained momentum in recent weeks, dealing a further blow to emerging market currencies and commodities.Malaysia’s ringgit hit at a 17-year low as its foreign exchange reserves fell below the $100 billion mark while leveraged funds have increased their short bets on other commodity-linked currencies such as the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar in recent days.Recent data have confirmed the economic recovery underway in the United States.The U.S. Department of Labor said on Friday employers added 215,000 jobs in July, only slightly below a Reuters poll while the unemployment rate held at a seven-year low of 5.3 percent, with signs that wages were beginning to pick up.On Wall Street the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.3 percent, hitting a six-month low. The S&P 500 shed also about 0.3 percent.Prospects of higher U.S. interest rates have made the dollar more attractive to investors with the U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback’s performance versus a basket of currencies, rising after the U.S. jobs data o 98.334, its highest since late April, before turning lower. On Monday, it stood at 97.670.The euro traded at $1.0957 while the yen was 124.35 to the dollar.Oil prices kept sliding on the global slowdown, a U.S. gasoline glut and a rise in the U.S. oil rig count.Crude futures prices fell to fresh multi-month lows early on Monday. Brent fell to $48.26 per barrel, not far from a six-year low of $45.19 hit in January.The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB Index plumbed fresh lows not seen since 2003 with a year-to-date decline of nearly 14 percent.last_img read more

SBI tops debit card transactions in April

first_imgReuters fileState Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, reported debit card transactions worth Rs 11,720.73 crore in April, which is a 31 percent share of the market, according to data from the Reserve Bank of India.SBI logged over 8.33 crore POS (Point of Sale) transactions using debit cards during the month of April, even as it has grown market share in debit card spends over the last six months. The number of transactions far outstripped the onsite and offsite transactions of HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank which were around 3.52 crore and 3.27 crore respectively.The country’s biggest lender reported debit card transactions worth Rs 11,720.73 crore in April, notching up a share of over 31%, according to RBI data. In October, the share was a shade under 30%.In contrast, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank saw their market shares drop over the six-month period following the note ban in November. Both banks were trailing SBI in April with debit card transactions worth Rs 4,818.66 crore and Rs 4,671.62 respectively.While the April data was definitely miles ahead of the October data, it paled in comparison with the record digital transactions seen in January – in the wake of demonetisation-fuelled bank deposits — across public and private sector banks with SBI’s market share at just 25.3 percent.At the end of April, SBI had nearly 35 crore debit cards while HDFC Bank has 2.39 crore debit card holders and 3.7 crore card holders for ICICI Bank.last_img read more

Air India flights delayed as ground staff on strike in Mumbai over

first_imgAir India is facing turbulent times ReutersEight domestic and 16 international flights were delayed today at Mumbai’s Chattrapathi Shivaji International Airport after transport workers went on a strike on Wednesday night over Diwali bonus. They are also angry at the firing of a few employees and have demanded their reinstatement. The workers were contract workers of  Air India Air Transport Services Limited. The ground staff help in checking-in the passengers, transporting the bags and cleaning the aircraft.”All Air India flights are being hit. Some like the Mumbai-Bangkok flight AI 330 are still on the ground,” said a source told Times of India.”Due to a sudden industrial situation at Mumbai by AIATSL employees, some flights have got delayed. We are assessing the situation and all efforts are being made to minimise delays or disruption. Air India staff have been called from home to help with passenger check-ins,” an Air India spokesperson said.The official went on to say, “Air India’s permanent employees have been deputed to normalise the flights. Only early morning flights from Mumbai for delayed by 2 hours.”last_img read more

Many Rohingyas crossing are sick thousands more seeking to flee

first_imgRohingya people walk towards the makeshift shelter near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Cox’s Bazar. ReutersRohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh from escalating violence in Myanmar face the growing danger of sickness and attempts by the Bangladesh authorities to send them home, despite a United Nations plea that they be allowed to seek shelter.A series of coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents on security forces in the north of Myanmar’s Rakhine state on Friday has triggered a fresh exodus to Bangladesh of Muslim villagers trying to escape the violence.At least 109 people have been killed in the clashes in Myanmar, according to the government, most of them militants but including members of the security forces and civilians.The United Nations Security Council will meet behind closed doors on Wednesday, at the request of Britain, to discuss the situation in Myanmar.Bangladesh border guards told Reuters they had sent about 550 Rohingya back across the Naf river that separates the two countries since Monday, despite an appeal by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for Dhaka to allow Rohingya to seek safety.Border patrols were also trying to block people from crossing the frontier.The treatment of about 1.1 million Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar has become the biggest challenge for national leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been accused by Western critics of not speaking out on behalf of a minority who have long complained of persecution.The Rohingya are denied citizenship in Myanmar and classified as illegal immigrants, despite claiming roots there that go back centuries.The violence marks a dramatic escalation of a conflict that has simmered since October, when a similar, but much smaller, series of Rohingya attacks on security posts prompted a fierce military response dogged by allegations of human rights abuses.The top U.N. human rights official, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, called on Myanmar on Tuesday to ensure its security forces refrained from using disproportionate force, adding that the political leadership had a duty to protect all civilians “without discrimination”.“This turn of events is deplorable. It was predicted and could have been prevented,” he said.Myanmar’s National Security Adviser Thaung Tun said at a news conference that Myanmar had come under attack and had the full right to defend itself. He added that “security personnel have been instructed to make sure that innocent civilians are not harmed”.NO MAN’S LANDBangladesh is already host to more than 400,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar since the early 1990s. Dhaka has asked the U.N. to pressure Myanmar over its treatment of the Muslim minority, insisting it cannot accept any more.Still, more than 8,700 have registered in Bangladesh since Friday, the U.N. said.Hundreds of new arrivals milled around the entrance of the Kutapalong makeshift camp, the biggest unofficial refugee camp on the Bangladesh side of the border. Village elders said many of the Muslim hamlets near the border were empty, and said troops and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists had set fire to homes.Around another 4,000 people were stranded in the no man’s land between the two countries near Taung Bro village, where temporary shelters stretched for several hundred metres on a narrow strip between the Naf river and Myanmar’s border fence.Reuters reporters saw women, some carrying children and the sick, fording the river, which at that location is less than 10 metres wide. Bangladeshi border guards permitted about half a dozen people at a time to cross to access a pile of donated medicines.“We came here out of fear for our lives, but we can’t cross. So we don’t know what to do,” said Aung Myaing, from Taung Bro Let Way village, standing knee-deep in the river.When asked about insurgents he said: “We didn’t see them, we have no relation to them. But Myanmar doesn’t distinguish between the terrorists and civilians. They are hunting all the Rohingya.”Many Rohingya trying to enter Bangladesh were sick and at least six have died after making the crossing, an aid worker said, adding that fear of being caught and sent back meant some refused to seek help.EVACUATIONAn army source in Rakhine told Reuters that troops were hunting down insurgents across the region, clearing landmines and evacuating non-Muslims and government staff.The government continued a mass evacuation of thousands of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists from the area, where they are a minority, to larger towns, police stations and army bases.“All the people want to follow the army to get out of here. We have no cooking oil, we have no vegetables, we only have rice and people are in poor health,” Maung Thein Hla, a Rakhine resident stranded in the village of Taman Thar, told Reuters.Satellite imagery analysed by New York-based Human Rights Watch showed widespread burnings in at least 10 areas in northern Rakhine since the Friday raids, the group said.Home Affairs Minister General Kyaw Swe said construction materials imported by international aid groups to northern Rakhine, such as steel pipes, have been used by insurgents to make weapons.“We have found out that those things were used in handmade mines and handmade cartridges when it got to extremists and (were used to) attack our security forces,” said Kyaw Swe at a news conference.The U.N. and international aid groups evacuated all “non-critical” staff out of the area after Suu Kyi’s office repeatedly published pictures of World Food Programme energy biscuits allegedly found at an insurgent camp and after it said it was investigating aid groups support for the insurgents in one incident.The army source said the militants had produced a large number of landmines and were ambushing troops before quickly vanishing into the forests and mountains.“This is their region. Any village can be their base camp – any mosque can be their headquarters,” he said. “We cannot distinguish who are insurgents or who are villagers.”last_img read more

Pakistan raises Kashmir in UNSC

first_imgPakistan has brought up the Kashmir issue in the UN Security Council, accusing it of “selective implementation” of its resolutions.”Nothing undermines the credibility of the council more than selective implementation of its resolutions,” Pakistan’s permanent representative Maleeha Lodhi said on Tuesday during a session on its working methods.”The council should therefore periodically review implementation of its resolutions, especially on longstanding issues like the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” she added. “Failure to enforce its own resolutions undercuts not just the council’s standing in the world, but the UN as well.”Her reference was to a 1948 council resolution that called for a plebiscite to determine the future of Kashmir, while also demanding the withdrawal of Pakistani “tribesmen” who entered the state.India has said that the “tribesmen” were Pakistani troops who tried to annex Kashmir.Given Pakistan’s refusal to withdraw its troops, India could not hold hold a plebiscite and New Delhi maintains that by participating in the elections in the state the Kashmiri people have exercised their democratic rights integrating with India.Other council resolutions relating to Kashmir were about a commission to oversee the plebiscite and, in 1957, on a UN representative mediating between the two neighbours.India also maintains that under the 1972 Simla Agreement signed by prime minister Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was then the president of Pakistan, the two countries have agreed to sort out their disputes between themselves without the intervention of third parties.In 2010, the council removed Kashmir from its list of unresolved international disputes.At the beginning of every year, Pakistan also asks the Council to keep alive the question of the Hyderabad’s integration with India based on a telegram from Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan Siddiqi Asaf Jah VII asking it to keep India out of the princely state. The Nizam, however, withdrew the complaint after the princely state’s integration into India.Two other issues it attempts to revive in its annual ritual are resolutions relating to the 1965 India-Pakistan rar and the 1971 Bangladesh war of independence.last_img read more

Trump defiant despite rising outrage over border separations

first_imgIn this photo provided by US Customs and Border Protection, people who`ve been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, sit in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, Sunday, 17 June, 2018An unapologetic president Donald Trump defended his administration’s border-protection policies in the face of rising national outrage over the forced separation of migrant children from their parents. Calling for tough action against illegal immigration, Trump declared the US “will not be a migrant camp” on his watch.Images of children held in fenced cages fueled a growing chorus of condemnation from both political parties, four former first ladies and national evangelical leaders. The children are being held separately from parents who are being prosecuted under the administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy for illegal border crossings.Trump on Monday falsely blamed Democrats – the minority party in Washington – for obstructing legislation to fix the situation. In fact, it was Trump’s administration that broke with longstanding practice of processing migrant families in civil, rather than criminal, proceedings that allow families to be held together.”I say it’s very strongly the Democrats’ fault,” Trump said Monday as his administration rejected criticism that the policy has resulted in inhuman and immoral conditions.Homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said, “We will not apologise for the job we do or for the job law enforcement does, for doing the job that the American people expect us to do.”In an appearance before the National Sheriffs’ Association in New Orleans, Nielsen said: “Illegal actions have and must have consequences. No more free passes, no more get out of jail free cards.”Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after attorney general Jeff Sessions announced the new “zero-tolerance” policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution. Prior procedure had limited prosecution for many family entrants, in part because regulations prohibit detaining children with their parents since the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are.The policy change was meant to deter unlawful crossings – and Sessions issued a warning last month to those entering the US illegally that their children “inevitably for a period of time might be in different conditions.”The current holding areas have drawn widespread attention after journalists gained access to one site Sunday. At a McAllen, Texas, detention center hundreds of immigrant children wait in a series of cages created by metal fencing. One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets.Audio of sobbing children calling out for their parents dominated the discussion Monday. “Papa! Papa!” one child is heard weeping in an audio file that was first reported by the nonprofit ProPublica and later provided to The Associated Press.Administration officials said they do not like the family separations either – calling it the result of legal loopholes – but insist migrants who arrive illegally simply won’t be released or loosely kept track of.”The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” Trump declared. “Not on my watch.”Sessions, on Monday, echoed the administration’s defense of the zero tolerance policy, and called on Congress to act.”We do not want to separate parents from their children,” he said. “If we build the wall, if we pass legislation to end the lawlessness, we won’t face these terrible choices.”Mindful of the national outcry, lawmakers in both parties rushed Monday to devise a targeted legislative fix. But the White House signaled it would oppose any narrow fix aimed solely at addressing the plight of children separated from their parents under the immigration crackdown. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump’s priorities, like funding a border wall and tightening immigration laws, must also be fulfilled as part of any legislation.”We want to fix the whole thing,” she said. “We don’t want to tinker with just part of it.”The national debate over the family separation policy comes as Republican lawmakers are growing ever more concerned about negative effects on their re-election campaigns this fall. Trump is to travel to Capitol Hill Tuesday for a strategy session on upcoming immigration legislation.Underscoring the sensitivity of the issue, language curbing the taking of immigrant children from parents held in custody will be added to the House’s conservative immigration bill, a House GOP aide said Monday, A similar provision is already in a compromise GOP immigration measure between party conservatives and moderates, with the House expected to vote on both late this week.The administration is hoping to force Democrats to vote for the bills or bear some of the political cost in November’s midterm elections.White House officials have privately embraced the border policy as a negotiating tactic to win votes for legislation to fulfill the president’s pledge to build a border wall and to tighten the nation’s immigration laws.Trump’s commitment to the current policy showed no sign of faltering as voices of outrage and condemnation grew louder and more diverse.In Massachusetts, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker reversed a decision to send a state National Guard helicopter to the southern border, citing what he called the administration’s “cruel and inhumane” policy of separating children from their parents.The Rev. Franklin Graham, a longtime Trump ally, called the policy “disgraceful.” Several religious groups, including some conservative ones, have pushed to stop the practice of separating immigrant children from their parents. The Mormon church said it was “deeply troubled” by the separation of families and urged national leaders to find compassionate solutions.Former first lady Laura Bush called the policy “cruel” and “immoral,” and said it was “eerily reminiscent” of the US internment of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II.On Capitol Hill, Republicans joined Democrats in calling for an end to the separations. Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton called for an immediate end to this “ugly and inhumane practice,” adding, “It’s never acceptable to use kids as bargaining chips in political process.” Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts said he is “against using parental separation as a deterrent to illegal immigration.” And GOP Rep. Mike Coffman warned, “History won’t remember well those who support the continuation of this policy.”last_img

Female student set on fire for accusing madrasa principal of rape attempt

first_imgAlim examinee Nusrat Jahan receives burn injuries at Sonagazi of Feni on Saturday. Photo: Prothom Alo A female student, 18, was allegedly set on fire at an examination centre in Sonagazi of Feni.The incident took place at the Songazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa centre in Feni on Saturday morning.The victim’s brother Mahmudul Hasan Noman said the Arabic first paper examination was scheduled to be held on Saturday morning. He accompanied his sister to the centre at Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa. Several students and office assistant Mostafa barred him from entering the centre. He left the centre after dropping off his sister.Earlier on 27 March, principal Siraj Ud Daula was sued allegedly for abusing the victim after calling her into his room. In connection with the incident, the principal is now in jail in a case filed against him. A group of students demonstrated demanding release of the principal while another group formed a human chain demanding his punishment.Quoting his sister, Noman said a section of students backed by principal Siraj Ud Daula took her to the rooftop of the madrasa and asked her to withdraw the case filed against the principal. As she remained silent, three students held her hands while another poured kerosene on her and set her on fire. They fled the scene immediately.As she cried out for help, teachers, students and locals took her to Sonagazi Upazila Health Complex and later shifted her to Feni Sadar Hospital. The physicians there sent her to the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital for better treatment.Sadar hospital resident medical officer Abu Taher told Prothom Alo that 70 to 80 per cent of her body was burnt. After the primary treatment, she has been sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.Madrasa teachers and officials, however, declined to make any comment over the incident. Upazila secondary education officer Nurul Amin told Prothom Alo that he was preparing to send question papers to the exam halls at the time of incident. Hearing her screams, he came out of the room and found the burnt examinee. He informed the higher authorities of the matter.UNO Sohel Parvez, Sonagazi circle assistant police super Saikul Ahmed Bhuiyan, officer-in-charge Moazzem Hossaion, among others, visited the spot.Moazzem Hossain said police had taken the incident seriously and were investigating it. He said the police would identify those who were involved in the incident after the investigation.last_img read more

Tensions surge as US accuses Iran of attacking tankers

first_imgStill image taken from a US military handout video purports to show Iran`s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) removing an unexploded limpet mine from the side of the Kokuka Courageous Tanker on 13 June. Photo: AFPThe United States accused Iran of carrying out attacks that left two tankers ablaze in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, escalating tensions across the region and sending world oil prices soaring.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that Washington will defend its forces and allies in the region, and the United States pressed its case as the UN Security Council met to address the incident — the second in a month in the strategic sea lane.With tensions spiraling between Iran and the United States, the European Union called for “maximum restraint” as UN chief Antonio Guterres warned the world cannot afford a major confrontation in the Gulf.Iran labelled the apparent attacks as “suspicious,” as its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rebuffed overtures by visiting Japanese leader Shinzo Abe to open talks with US president Donald Trump.But Pompeo said there was strong evidence of Iran’s culpability, after the US Navy said it had spotted an unexploded magnetic limpet mine stuck to the hull of one of the vessels.The US top diplomat said that in region only Iran had the ability to undertake such an operation.”It is the assessment of the United States that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks,” Pompeo announced.”This is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication,” he said.Explosions off Iran coastThe two vessels were struck by explosions in the early daylight hours Thursday after leaving the Strait of Hormuz and traveling around 25 nautical miles off Iran’s southern coast headed toward Asia.The Norwegian-owned Front Altair ethanol tanker was hit by three explosions, according to the Norwegian Maritime Authority, and continued to burn late Thursday.Explosions also struck the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, which was loaded down with methanol, but the fire on board was soon extinguished.There was no claim of responsibility for the blasts, which struck both tankers at the waterline.Iran said its navy rescued several dozen crew members of the two vessels, while the US Navy said it had picked up 21 from the Kokuka Courageous.Washington has dispatched the destroyer USS Mason to the scene “to provide assistance,” the US Central Command said in a statement.Series of attacksPompeo called Thursday’s tanker explosions “the latest in a series of attacks” he alleged were undertaken by Iran or its “proxies,” including, he said, a missile attack against a southern Saudi Arabia airport by the Iran-aligned Huthis in Yemen on Wednesday.”Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran,” he said.The United States has accused the Islamic republic over 12 May attacks on four tankers anchored off the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah, just at the entrance of the Hormuz Strait.Pompeo said Iran was lashing out because of the impact of US and international sanctions, but said it had no right “to attack innocent civilians and engage in nuclear blackmail.””The United States will defend its forces, interests and stand with our partners and allies to safeguard global commerce and regional stability,” he warned.The US also called Thursday for the UN Security Council to confront the “clear threat” posed by Iran, as the council met behind closed doors to hear a briefing on Washington’s assessment that Tehran was responsible.Oil prices jumped at the threat of open conflict at the Hormuz chokepoint, through which transit some 15 million barrels of crude oil every day, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of imports for the Gulf countries.In London, the Brent benchmark jumped 2.2 per cent to $61.31 a barrel, while in New York, the US crude standard West Texas Intermediate, also rose 2.2 per cent, to $52.28.”We are in a dangerous moment in the region with this emerging pattern of attacks,” said Elizabeth Dickinson, senior analyst with International Crisis Group.”Any miscalculation or misunderstanding risks a spiral toward more direct confrontation,” she told AFP.Abe in TehranThe latest incident came as Abe was on an unprecedented visit to Tehran, seeking to defuse tensions.”It is essential that Iran plays a constructive role in building solid peace and stability in the Middle East,” Abe told a joint news conference with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.”Today, tension is rising in the Middle East. Some experts point out that the conflict might be triggered accidentally,” he said.Supreme Leader Khamenei rejected Abe’s overture, saying: “We have no doubt in your goodwill and seriousness, but regarding what you said the US president told you, I don’t consider Trump as a person worthy of exchanging messages with.”In Washington, Pompeo said the United States aimed to bring Iran back into negotiations — “at the right time” — over its nuclear program and regional activities.But Trump dismissed the idea of early talks.”I personally feel that it is too soon to even think about making a deal. They are not ready, and neither are we!” he tweeted.last_img