• in ,

    Atlanta Crews Restore Power To World’s Busiest Airport; Travelers Still Stranded, Flights Canceled

    Power was restored about 12 hours after the initial outage but nearly 1,000 flights were grounded already

    Power was restored to the world’s busiest airport Monday, but thousands of people were still stranded in Atlanta or faced disruptions in Atlanta-bound flights as the problems spread for the pre-Christmas travel chaos.

    The outage at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport hit Sunday afternoon, triggered by a fire in an underground electrical facility that caused heavy damage.

    While the investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing, officials with Georgia Power said they do not suspect sabotage. Instead, they think a switchgear in an underground electrical facility may have failed and caused the blaze. Systems that would have provided backup power also failed, they said, because the circuit cables and switching mechanisms were housed in an area adjacent to and also damaged by the fire.

    Cybersecurity officials with the Department of Homeland Security said Monday that they also do not think the outage was the result of “an attack or other nefarious act.”

    Investigators did not find “a cyber nexus to this event,” DHS officials said, adding that the power failure did not cause any lasting damage to the airport’s communications systems.

    Power was restored about 12 hours after the initial outage, but by then nearly 1,000 flights had been grounded.

    Even with the resumption of air service, delays remain and could take days to clear up. Hartsfield-Jackson is the world’s busiest airport with approximately 2,800 daily departures.

    The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that while the power outage impacted the airport’s terminals, the airport’s control tower did not lose power. Even so, the agency instituted a temporary ground stop, halting air traffic into and out of the airport.

    In a news conference Sunday evening, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed apologized to the thousands of passengers left stranded by the outage. Others were stuck for hours on planes as they sat on the tarmac.

    “We certainly understand that the outage has caused frustration and anger, and we’re doing everything that we can to get folks back home right away,” Reed said.

    In one video, passengers at an airport terminal were seen sitting in the dark as they awaited instructions over the public address system.

    At D.C.’s Reagan National Airport, there were about 300 flight cancellations Monday.

    In Atlanta, as flight operations resumed, there were few people in lines at the airport early Monday.

    Travelers were advised to contact their airline before they head to the airport. Delta is allowing customers to make a “one-time” change without penalties.

    Delta had canceled more than 300 flights for Monday morning. In a Twitter message, Delta said it expected flights in Atlanta to get back to normal by Monday afternoon.

    The Federal Aviation Administration warned at the height of the outage that travelers should expect “limited commercial operations” for Monday at the airport.

    (This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

  • in ,

    Gujarat Election Results 2017 – “Will Become Voice Of Voiceless:” Jignesh Mevani After Gujarat Results

    Click to Play

    Gujarat Election Results 2017: Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, backed by Congress, won in Vadgam

    New Delhi:  Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani, one-third of a troika that challenged the ruling BJP in Gujarat, today ruled out joining any political party after winning his debut election as an independent candidate with Congress support. Calling himself “younger than Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, the 37-year-old lawyer-activist said the Gujarat polls would have nationwide impact and he was ready to gather forces against the BJP on a national level.”He (PM Modi) has a tendency of calling himself a youth even at 67,” he quipped in an interview to NDTV, describing the BJP as a “fascist” party.

    In a contest  that was often close and mostly tough, the BJP today retained Gujarat but missed the century-mark in the 182-member assembly. The Congress went down fighting, winning 80 seats.

    Jignesh Mevani, who, along with Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakor, became the Congress’s key weapons in the Gujarat campaign, won from Vadgam, a constituency that the BJP won last time.

    “My temper has been fabulous, supreme, sublime and devastatingly great,” Mr Mevani said in a breathless stream of hyperboles, describing his reaction to the campaign and his victory after being written off by the BJP.

    “I got immense affection from the people of Vadgam…it was incredible.”

    Alpesh Thakor, 40, who was recruited by the Congress before the elections as a representative of the OBC or Other backward Castes in Gujarat, also won from Radhanpur, one of the state’s largest constituencies.

    Hardik Patel, 23, is the only one who didn’t contest as he is too young to qualify. But the face of the Patel or Patidar campaign for quotas in government jobs and education appeared to have delivered a setback for the BJP in Saurashtra, where the Patidar vote counts.

    All three leaders are seen to have given valuable street power to the Congress, which ended up with its best tally in the state since 1985.

    Mr Mevani felt that compared to Hardik and Alpesh, he needs to cover more ground. “I need to put in more time and energy to fight against forces like the BJP. Me personally, I haven’t been able to catch people’s imagination like Hardik and alpesh across the country. I will try my best to deliver as an MLA…I will try hard to bring together forces against the BJP,” he said, self-critical.

    “No matter how great you are in the streets, you need voice in assembly and parliament. You need clarity that revolution will not happen in the assembly and you still need to be with people on the street. I will become the voice of the voiceless people in the assembly and continue the politics of agitation as well,” he explained.

    The Gujarat result, said Mr Mevani, would have “tremendous impact” on upcoming polls including the 2019 national election. “The BJP was arrogant and talked about 150…it is now in double digits.” he said.

    Mr Mevani’s rival Lavingji Thakor was in the Congress earlier but joined the BJP after he was denied a ticket by the Congress.

  • in ,

    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Analysis

    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Congress had only made gains in 3-4 districts of Saurashtra

    NEW DELHI: 
    That the BJP ended up with 49 per cent of the popular vote in Gujarat demonstrates that there was really no anti-incumbency against the party that had ruled the state for 22 decades, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told NDTV, explaining the party’s lower tally than the 2012 elections to a gap in rural Saurashtra due to “certain agrarian factors”.

    In a two-horse race, a 49 per cent vote and a 7-8 per cent lead margin normally would have resulted in the much wider gap between the BJP and the Congress, Mr Jaitley, who was the BJP’s election in-charge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.

    But when it came down to the number of seats, the party didn’t end up with as many seats as it normally would have, he said, dismissing suggestions from the Congress and others that the BJP was up against a massive anti-incumbency on account of the two decades that it had been in power in the state,

    “If you get a 49 per cent vote share in a state, you can’t really say it is anti-incumbency,” he said.

    It was the conversion of the votes into seats where the BJP wasn’t as successful.

    The BJP won 99 seats in Monday’s election, 16 less than last time. The Congress went down fighting, winning 19 more seats than it had in 2012. But in terms of vote share, the BJP secured 49.1 per cent votes against the Congress 41.4 per cent.

    “I think a hole in the number of seats was created in about three or four districts of rural Saurashtra on account of certain local reasons,” he said.

    “It is really in those districts that we drew a blank,” he said. The party will analyse the reasons but Mr Jaitley said his own assessment was that this happened due to certain agrarian factors. “It could also be related to the fishermen issues,” he added.

    In the BJP’s traditional stronghold of Saurashtra which has 56 assembly seats, the BJP could win only 23 of those seats today compared to 36 in the last election. It lost 13 seats in Saurashtra and three in the rest of the state. The Congress has gained 15 seats in Saurashtra and four in the rest of the state.

  • in ,

    Pakistan Security Advisor Warns Of Possible Nuclear War In South Asia

    Lt Gen (Retd.) Janjua accused US of conspiring with India against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

    Islamabad:  Pakistan’s security czar on Monday said that the stability of the South Asian region hangs in a delicate balance and the possibility of a nuclear war cannot be ruled out. 

    National Security Advisor Lt Gen (Retd.) Nasser Khan Janjua also accused the US of conspiring against the multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with India, The Express Tribune reported. 

    Addressing a seminar on issues of national security in Islamabad, Lt Gen (Retd.) Janjua claimed that India has been stockpiling a range of dangerous weapons and it threatens Pakistan continuously of conventional warfare. “The stability of the South Asian region hangs in a delicate balance, and the possibility of nuclear war cannot be ruled out,” he claimed. 

    The NSA stressed that supporting US forces in the region had given birth to the rise of terrorism inside the country. “As the Taliban grows stronger in Afghanistan, America has started to shift the blame for its failures in the country onto Pakistan,” he said. 

    He also alleged that as part of its policy to counter Chinese influence in South Asia, the US is conspiring against the CPEC along with India. “The US has given India a role in Afghanistan’s political process, giving New Delhi priority over Islamabad, and has opposed the CPEC,” he said. 

    The nearly USD 50 billion CPEC, a flagship project of China’s prestigious One Belt One Road, passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The CPEC links China’s restive Xinjiang region with Pakistan’s Balochistan province. 

    “The US-India alliance has an identical stance on the Kashmir issue, and America frequently gives India preference over Pakistan,” Lt Gen (Retd.) Janjua said. 

    He said Pakistan encountered the menace of terrorism only after it started supporting the operations of US-led forces in Afghanistan. “Pakistan has been battling with security problems for the past forty years. Peace in Afghanistan remains our top priority,” he said. 

     

  • in ,

    Palestinians Slam “Unacceptable” US Veto Of Jerusalem UN Resolution

    Palestine representative at the United Nations argues against the US decision on Jerusalem (AFP)

    Ramallah, West Bank:  The Palestinian government slammed as “unacceptable” Monday a US veto of a draft UN resolution against President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    A spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said the veto was “unacceptable and threatens the stability of the international community because it disrespects it”.

    The 14 other countries on the Security Council voted in favour, but US Ambassador Nikki Haley exercised the American veto.

    Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP in Arabic that the support for the resolution, which included US allies France, Italy and Japan, “showed the (American) isolation. The international community must work now to protect the Palestinian people.”

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately thanked Haley for her stance.
     

    nikki haley un resolution on jerusalem afp

    Nikki Haley moves to veto the UN resolution on Jerusalem (AFP)

    “Thank you, Ambassador Haley,” he posted on his official Twitter account. “Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump. Thank you, Nikki Haley.”

    Nikki Haley, while vetoing the UN resolution, said it was an “insult”. “It won’t be forgotten” she added.

    Trump’s December 6 announcement that he would recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv has faced heavy international criticism.

    Palestinians see the east part of the city as the capital of their future state.

  • in ,

    US Vetoes UN Resolution Rejecting Donald Trump’s Jerusalem Decision

    United Nations:  The United States on Monday vetoed a draft UN resolution rejecting President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, after all 14 other Security Council members backed the measure.

    The veto cast by US Ambassador Nikki Haley highlighted Washington’s isolation over Trump’s announcement that the US embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, effectively ignoring Palestinian claims on the city.

    The policy shift by the Republican president, announced earlier this month, broke with international consensus, triggering protests and strong condemnation.

    Key US allies Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Ukraine were among the 14 countries in the 15-member council that backed the measure asserting that any decisions on the status of Jerusalem “have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”

    “The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy,” Haley told the council after the veto.

    “What we witnessed here today in the Security Council is an insult. It won’t be forgotten,” she said, describing the measure as “one more example of the United Nations doing more harm than good in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
     

    Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter to thank Nikki Haley for vetoing the UN resolution on Jerusalem (AFP)

    Egypt put forward the draft resolution, which insists that Jerusalem is an issue “to be resolved through negotiations” between Israel and the Palestinians and expresses “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem” — without specifically mentioning Trump’s move.

    The United States along with Britain, China, France and Russia can veto any resolution presented to the council, which requires nine votes for adoption.

    ‘Thank you’ from Netanyahu

    “Thank you, Ambassador Haley,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Twitter.

    “On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump. Thank you, Nikki Haley.”

    US Vice President Mike Pence will visit Jerusalem on Wednesday, wading into the crisis over one of the most controversial issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Israel seized control of the eastern part of the city in the 1967 Middle East war and sees all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital. The Palestinians view the east as the capital of their future state.

    The draft resolution had included a call on all countries to refrain from opening embassies in Jerusalem, reflecting concerns that other governments could follow the US lead.

    It also demanded that all member-states not recognize any actions that are contrary to UN resolutions on the status of the city.

    Going back a ‘century’

    Washington’s closest allies, France and Britain, came out ahead of the vote to declare their backing for the measure, which they said was in line with the positions enshrined in previous UN resolutions.

    French Ambassador Francois Delattre praised the Egyptian draft as a “good text” and argued that “without an agreement on Jerusalem, there will be no peace accord” between Israel and the Palestinians.

    The status of the city must be decided through negotiations and “not by the unilateral decision of a third country that would bring us back a century,” said the French envoy.

    Despite outrage over the US decision, the United States “will continue to play an extremely important role in the search for peace in the Middle East,” said British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft.

    Several UN resolutions call on Israel to withdraw from territory seized during the 1967 war and have reaffirmed the need to end the occupation of that land.

    The Palestinians had sought tougher language in the draft resolution that would have directly called on the US administration to scrap its decision, but the final version was softened to draw maximum support.

    Backed by Muslim countries, the Palestinians are expected to turn to the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution rejecting the US decision after the US veto.

    No country has the power to veto resolutions at the 193-nation assembly. 

    While Haley considers “the veto a source of pride and strength, we will show her their position is isolated and rejected internationally,” Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said in Ramallah.

    Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has scrapped a meeting with Pence in protest at the Jerusalem announcement, and will instead head to Saudi Arabia to meet King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

    Turkey meanwhile said it hopes to soon open an embassy to Palestine in East Jerusalem.

    (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

  • in , ,

    Government Extends Timeline For Comments On Data Privacy Till January 31

    The data protection framework will have an impact on privacy of people in the country

    New Delhi:  The government has extended the deadline for public comments on white paper pertaining to data protection framework by a month to January 31, 2018.

    “The last date for submission of response to the white paper is extended up to January 31, 2018,” The Ministry of Electronics and IT said in a note.

    The data protection framework will have an impact on privacy of people in the country.

    The Supreme Court in a judgement on August 24, 2017 declared right to privacy a fundamental right, a far-reaching verdict that could impact a range of life choices of Indians, including food habits and sexual orientation.

    The government had constituted a 10-member committee in July 2017 to recommend a framework for securing personal data in the increasingly digitised economy as also address privacy concerns and build safeguards against data breaches.

    The experts committee formed under Justice B N Srikrishna, a former Supreme Court judge, has sought public feedback on a white paper over data protection framework. It has noted that both public and private sectors are collecting and using personal data on an unprecedented scale and for various purposes.

    It said that while the data can be put to beneficial use, the unregulated and arbitrary use, especially that of personal data, has raised concerns about privacy and autonomy of an individual.

    “Some of the concerns relate to centralisation of databases, profiling of individuals, increased surveillance and a consequent erosion of individual autonomy,” the paper noted.

    It stated that data about an individual like race and religion can be used to discriminate against them.

    “There are also some actions of the state which may threaten an individual’s privacy. For instance, surveillance activities by the government or private organisations can disrupt peace of mind and create chilling effects by making people conform to societal expectations,” the paper said.

    The white paper suggests linking of penalty of firm violating data protection rules to its global turnover.

    “In the context of a data protection law, civil penalties may be calculated in a manner to ensure the quantum of civil penalty imposed not only acts as a sanction, but also acts as a deterrence to data controllers which have violated their obligations under the data protection law,” said the white paper of the experts panel.

    Among various options to calculate penalty, the panel has provisionally suggested that the “highest form of deterrence in relation to civil penalties may be where a per day civil penalty is imposed subject to a fixed upper limit or a percentage of the total worldwide turnover of the defaulting data controller of the previous financial year, whichever is higher”.

    According to the findings of the committee, the IT Act does not appear to prescribe civil penalty provisions specifically for violation of data protection obligations and is limited in applicability.

    Moreover, the quantum of penalty under the provisions of the IT Act appears inadequate and may not act as a deterrence to emerging e-commerce and other technology based players in India.

    (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

  • in , ,

    PM Modi To Visit Cyclone Ockhi Hit Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Lakshadweep Today

    Narendra Modi will visit the cyclone affected areas of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep today (file)

    Thiruvananthapuram:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Lakshadweep,Tamil Nadu and Kerala today to assess the damage caused by cyclone Ockhi, which left a trail of destruction in the two states and the Union Territory. 

    The Prime Minister, on a one-day visit, would review the situation in the aftermath of the cyclone and status of relief operations at Kavaratti, Kanyakumari and Thiruvananthapuram, official sources said. 

    PM Modi would fly to Agatti from Mangaluru at around 7.35 AM and leave for Kavratti. After nearly an hour’s programme, he would return to Agatti and fly to Thiruvananthapuram, official sources in Lakshadweep said. 

    On reaching the state capital at around 1.50 PM, he would take a helicopter to Kanyakumari, where he will meet officials and assess the damage caused by the cyclone. 

    The Prime Minister would also get a first hand report from the affected fishermen, district officials at Kanyakumari told news agency PTI. 

    The prime minister would return to Thiruvananthapuram and visit Poonthura, a nearby fishing village from where some of the deceased fishermen hailed. 

    PM Modi would then meet Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and some of his cabinet colleagues, including revenue minister E Chandrasekharan and Fisheries minister J Mercykutty at the Raj Bhavan, according to sources in the Chief Minister’s office. 

    Chief Secretary KM Abraham would also give a presentation on the calamity and the devastation caused in coastal regions of the state capital, including Poonthura, Vizhinjam, Pozhiyur and Adimalithura. 

    After the meeting, the Prime Minister will leave for Delhi. 

    The Kerala Chief Minister had earlier met Union Home minister Rajnath Singh and sought assistance worth Rs 1,843 crore from the centre. The state also wanted the centre to declare cyclone Ockhi as a national disaster. 

    According to government estimates, 70 people have died so far in Kerala and around 105 people are still missing. Meanwhile, search operations are on for the missing fishermen with the state government seeking support of local boat owners. 

    The government has decided to extend the search operations up to the Goan shores. 

    The cyclone that hit the state on November 29-30 had also caused large-scale damage to crops and property.

     

  • in ,

    The US Government Admits It Studies UFOs. So About Those Area 51 Conspiracy Theories…

    For decades, Americans were told that Area 51 didn’t really exist and that the U.S. government had no official interest in aliens or UFOs. Statements to the contrary, official-sounding people cautioned, were probably the musings of crackpots in tinfoil hats.

    Well, score one for the crackpots.

    The Pentagon has officially confirmed that there was, in fact, a $22 million government program to collect and analyze “anomalous aerospace threats” – government-speak for UFOs.

    As The Washington Post’s Joby Warrick reported, the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program was a rare instance of continued government investigations into a UFO phenomenon that was the subject of multiple official inquiries in the 1950s and 1960s.

    For a specific segment of the population that doesn’t need to Google the terms “Paradise Ranch” and “Cheshire cat airstrip,” it was a eureka moment – the first (of presumably many) alien-related secrets that have slipped out of the clenched jaws of the government.

    The non-Googlers have it easy, it seems: The admission – and the fact that the government spent $22 million on UFO research – gives any out-there theory a patina of credibility.

    But what about the rest of us who have not fully jumped onto the tinfoil-hat bandwagon? What are we to make of 70 years of bizarre stories centered on a secret government base an hour’s drive from the Las Vegas Strip?

    In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower “approved the addition of this strip of wasteland, known by its map designation as Area 51, to the Nevada Test Site,” according to a CIA history of a spy plane declassified in 2013. The area was near the Atomic Energy Commission’s vast, desolate proving grounds and was used to test the high-altitude U-2 reconnaissance plane.

    A parade of top-secret aircraft was tested in the area, according to Reuters, including the A-12 aircraft, a spy plane that flew faster than the speed of sound, and the angular F-117 stealth ground-attack jet.

    But Area 51 quickly became a wire frame for not-quite-verifiable musings about alien life, secret technology and supernatural behavior.

    Gaping holes in out-there theories had an easy explanation: The government is working diligently to keep the real story under wraps.

    The biggest working (conspiracy) theory is that Area 51 is where the U.S. government stored aliens and spacecraft that crash-landed on Earth, particularly the unidentifiable debris discovered by William “Mac” Brazel.

    Brazel, a farmer, discovered metallic rods, pieces of plastic and silvery paper scraps in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. He called the sheriff, who called the military, who carted the debris off in armored vehicles. But the secret was out, and it captured the imagination of the American public.

    The government, the theories go, experimented on the aliens and tried to harness the technology in their ship to manufacture interstellar spacecraft and produce powerful energy weapons. Lab-coated Area 51 scientists also were said to be mulling ways to manipulate or weaponize the weather, travel through time and teleport.

    For decades, people reported seeing strange lights in the desert around Area 51 – presumably alien aircraft taking off or being tested at the government facility.

    Adding fuel to the alien theories, Ray Santilli released a video in 1995 that purported to show an alien autopsy after the Roswell crash.

    The crowd that believed something wasn’t quite right at Area 51 was buoyed by a lawsuit filed by workers at the facility. They reported rashes, respiratory ailments and even deaths related to their jobs.

    Of course, the alien aspects of those theories has crumbled under decades of scrutiny. Some have been explained away by declassified documents; other theories have been outright fabrications.

    The debris Brazel found on his farm was part of a government coverup, for example. It just didn’t involve aliens.

    The Air Force claimed it was using high-altitude balloons to try to detect Soviet nuclear tests. The Air Force said as much, about 50 years after the debris was found, in a 231-page report. Other officials have speculated that the debris came from a crashed nuclear bomber that had broken up over New Mexico. Roswell was, after all, the home of the 509th Composite Group, the atomic weapons unit that bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

    “We do believe that something did happen at Roswell,” one source close to the investigation told Jack Anderson and Michael Binstein in 1995. “Something big. We don’t know if it was a plane that crashed with a nuclear device on it . . . or if it was some other experimental situation. But everything we’ve seen so far points to an attempt on the part of the Air Force to lead anybody that looks at this down another track.”

    Santilli’s autopsy footage was easier to debunk. He admitted that it was a fake (though he maintains that it was based on actual footage).

    And the space around Area 51 was where the United States tested several of its more experimental aircraft as the Cold War raged, adding to its mystery.

    Incidents such as the crash on Brazwell’s farm or the sighting of several bright lights were shrouded in secrecy and half-baked excuses that became fodder for people who believe “the truth is out there.”

    The experimental aircraft may have had something to do with the injuries suffered by the workers, as The Post’s Richard Leiby reported in 1997. They claimed materials, including anti-radar coating and other classified substances, had been burned in open pits on the base.

    Filmmakers took notice of the intrigue. Over the past 70 years, Area 51 has been cemented as a popular science fiction trope.

    Experiments on aliens and their spacecraft was an important plot point in the 1996 summer blockbuster “Independence Day,” in which a U.S. resistance force converges on Area 51 to launch a final battle.

    In the movie “Super 8,” the train crash that motors the plot involves material being transported from Area 51.

    But in the real world, government employees had been poring over their own film, captured by fighter pilots, of possible UFOs.

    Chris Mellon, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence who once worked for the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, said investigators had interviewed pilots who claimed they saw weird things in the air.

    Mellon, who now works with UFODATA, a private organization, described one video of an encounter with an unidentified object to Politico:

    “It is white, oblong, some 40 feet long and perhaps 12 feet thick. . . . The pilots are astonished to see the object suddenly reorient itself toward the approaching F/A-18.

    “In a series of discreet tumbling maneuvers that seem to defy the laws of physics, the object takes a position directly behind the approaching F/A-18. The pilots capture gun camera footage and infrared imagery of the object. They are outmatched by a technology they’ve never seen.”

    The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program generated at least one report, a 490-page volume that describes alleged UFO sightings in the United States and numerous other countries over multiple decades.

    (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

  • in ,

    PM Modi On Poll Wins

    Click to Play

    Gujarat election results 2017: PM Narendra Modi says the election was “unprecedented” for BJP.

    New Delhi:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated Gujarat, which has returned the BJP to power for the sixth time. Gujarat, he said, had proved that the ordinary Indian hungers for development. Hitting out at the opposition Congress, he said, “You may not like the BJP but please do not do anything to derail the country’s development”.

    The dig was at the Congress, which over the last few weeks of shrill and personal campaign, had alleged that the Prime Minister had abandoned the discourse of development in Gujarat. Rahul Gandhi, who had led the Congress campaign from the front, had said that the Prime Minister, having failed to deliver on his promises of development, had focused on attacking the Congress.   

    Without naming the Congress in the 25-minute address to the party workers at the BJP headquarters in Delhi, the Prime Minister ripped into the opposition party. Gujarat, he said, had rejected the casteist agenda of “some people” — the target was the alliance Rahul Gandhi had stitched up with young backward caste leaders Alpesh Thakur and Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani. Both leaders had won.

    “Casteism was so prevalent in Gujarat that it took workers like us 30 years to free Gujarat from its clutches… But some people, out of hunger for power, in the last few months tried to sow the seeds of casteism,” the Prime Minister said.

    The election, he said, was “unprecedented” in the history of the BJP, since any government coming back to power is considered a “huge event”. The party today had wrenched power from the Congress in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh. The results, he said, show that the country was ready for “reform, rewards performance and is keen to be transformed”.

    The BJP victory though, fell far short of the “Mission 150” earmarked by party chief Amit Shah. While the party notched up 92-seats — the minimum needed to win the elections — it failed to cross 100, way behind its 2012 score of 116.

    While claiming that an eight per cent gap between the BJP and Congress’ vote share cannot be scoffed at, Mr Shah, too, attributed the lower numbers of the BJP to “Congress’ caste politics and low level of political discourse”. “When I had said 150 seats, we did not know that the Congress would stoop so low,” the BJP chief said.

  • in ,

    Amtrak Train Derails On Highway Bridge In Washington, Several Killed

    The accident took place between Tacoma and Olympia, the capital of Washington state

    Los Angeles, United States:  An Amtrak passenger train derailed early Monday in Washington state near the city of Tacoma, with one car dropping down onto a busy interstate highway and some injuries reported, officials and witnesses said.

    Amtrak confirmed the accident involving Train 501, which was heading south from Seattle to Portland, Oregon.

    “Multiple” people were killed sending at least one car off a bridge onto a crowded highway, officials said.

    “There are multiple fatalities,” a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Ed Troyer, told reporters near the scene.

    Photographs posted online from the scene showed a long passenger car dangling down onto the highway from an overpass, and other cars also off the rails. 

    The accident took place between Tacoma and Olympia, the capital of Washington state. Service on the line has been recently upgraded and was meant to be quicker, with improvements in tracks and signalling systems.

  • in

    Jacqueline Fernandez: I believe my job is to entertain

    Jacqueline Fernandez was seen expressing her gratitude with a simple tweet to a trade analyst.

    The trade analyst penned an article on the actress and referred to Jacqueline as the Front-runner of commercial cinema.

    The Judwaa 2 actress expressed her gratitude with a little reply to the compliment by the analyst saying, “Just came across this article by @amul_mohan! Thank you so much for your kind words.” Jacqueline Fernandez further added, “I believe my job is to entertain”.

    The actress time and again tries to offer something new to the audience with every film. The hardworking actress learned to pole dance for ‘A Gentleman’ and is currently learning MMA for Race 3.

    Over the years Jacqueline has been entertaining the audience with back to back entertainers each year since 2012 with films such as Housefull 2 and Housefull 3, Race 2, Kick, Dishoom and the recent superhit Judwaa 2.

    The actress had emerged as the franchise favourite with films like Housefull 2, Housefull 3, Race 2, Judwaa 2, her upcoming film Race 3 also rumours have it that she might star in the sequel of Kick.

    Jacqueline has delivered chartbuster songs with her each movie, From ‘Lat Lag Gayi’, ‘Sooraj Dooba Hai Yaaro’, ‘Jumme Ki Raat’, ‘Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan’, ‘Disco Disco’, to her pole dance moves in ‘Chandralekha.’

    Her recent additions ‘Chalti Hai Kya 9 se12’, and ‘Oonchi Hai Building’ Jacqueline Fernandez has entertained the audience with her bodacious moves.

    Jacqueline further added, “If my movies and work promise that, I feel I have succeeded at my job ☺🙏🏼”.

    Jacqueline’s film collection numbers have spoken for her successful tenure at the box office over the years. She is one of the few actresses to have joined the club of five 100 crore movies with Judwaa 2’s success.

    Bagging the much-anticipated Race 3 Jacqueline Fernandez is a testament to being a front-runner in the space of masala entertainers.

    Jacqueline Fernandez has two big commercial films lined up for 2018. One with Dharma productions’ titled Drive and the much anticipated Race 3 with Salman Khan.

    The career graph of Jacqueline Fernandez has seen an upward trend over the years, and the upcoming films of 2018 are expected to raise the bar even higher.

    The post Jacqueline Fernandez: I believe my job is to entertain appeared first on Some Awesome Post.

  • in ,

    Lebanon Arrests Driver Over Murder Of British Embassy Worker

    Rebecca’s body was found dumped on the roadside early the following evening

    Beirut, Lebanon:  Lebanese police on Monday arrested a driver suspected of killing British embassy worker Rebecca Dykes after trying to rape her, according to officials and the national news agency.

    The Lebanese news agency said the Lebanese man, who works as a driver with ride-hailing giant Uber, had confessed to killing the young woman, who was employed at the UK embassy in Beirut.

    Dykes was last seen alive at a party in Gemmayzeh, a Beirut neighbourhood popular with foreign residents, on Friday night and left in the suspect’s car.

    “He picked her up in Gemmayzeh on Friday night, took her to Achrafieh then to the Metn highway and tried to rape her,” the news agency said, referring to an expressway north of Beirut.

    Her body was found dumped on the roadside there early the following evening.

    A senior security official had told AFP that strangulation was the likely cause of death and added that Dykes was found with string tied around her neck.

    The Lebanese news agency said the suspect was tracked down thanks to security cameras and confessed to killing Dykes after she resisted when he sexually assaulted her, it said.

    A senior official in the judiciary said that she had booked her vehicle using the Uber app, whose driver identification and rating system is seen by many, especially women, as offering better safety guarantees than when hailing a cab off the street in Lebanon.

    The driver “tried to rape her and when she resisted he strangled her… took her wallet and threw her in a dumpster,” the official said.

    Such crime is rare in the Lebanese capital, a city which is considered generally safe, including for tourists and foreign residents. A senior official had stressed that the murder was “not politically motivated”.

    A picture of the young woman, who worked at the British government’s Department for International Development (DFID), was on the front pages of many UK papers Monday.

    The British ambassador in Beirut, Hugo Shorter, expressed his grief in a statement and messages of support for her family and colleagues poured in from Beirut’s shell-shocked diplomatic and aid community.

    “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened,” the family said in a statement passed on by the Foreign Office.

    (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

  • in ,

    Gujarat Election Results 2017: Gujarat Election Result

    Gujarat Election Results 2017: PM Modi carpet-bombed Gujarat with close to 34 rallies.

    New Delhi: The BJP has won Gujarat again but was compelled to explain its lower margin of victory as the party stopped just shy of a 100 seats in the 182-member assembly in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah’s home state today. The BJP needed 92 seats for a majority; it has won 99, 16 less than last time. The Congress went down fighting, winning 19 more seats than it had in 2012. The critical Saurashtra region made the difference.

    PM Modi and Amit Shah flashed victory signs and celebrated winning both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh today in a 2-0 verdict against the Congress. When reminded that he had vowed to win 150 seats and sweep Gujarat, Mr Shah said on Monday evening, “When I had said 150 seats, that time we did not know that Congress would stoop so low,” accusing the rival party of “caste politics and a low political discourse.”

    PM Modi, who carpet-bombed Gujarat with close to 34 rallies, said, “The Gujarat elections are an unprecedented election in BJP’s history. Today, if any government returns after five years, it is considered a big win … Any government coming back to power has been a huge event in the last 30 years.”

    Congress president Rahul Gandhi accepted defeat in a tweet, but his party’s senior leaders called it a “moral victory” for the Congress.

     

    bg 1 gfx

     

    bg 2 gfx

    It boiled down to the BJP’s traditional stronghold of Saurashtra, which has 56 assembly seats. The BJP could win only 23 of those seats today compared to 36 in the last election. It lost 13 seats in Saurashtra and three in the rest of the state. The Congress has gained 15 seats in Saurashtra and four in the rest of the state. 
     

    saurashtra gfx

    Saurashtra has a high density of Patels or Patidars, the influential community that has been loyal to the BJP for years but was upset this time over the ruling party not meeting its demand for reservation in government jobs and colleges. Congress President Rahul Gandhi partnered with young Patel activist Hardik Patel, who urged his community to reject the BJP. 

    Saurashtra is also 73 per cent rural. Farmers were another crucial group angry with the BJP and Mr Gandhi focused much of his Gujarat campaign on that voter base. 
     

    saurashtra spl gfx

    17 of the 19 seats that the Congress has gained are rural constituencies, with the BJP continuing to dominate urban centres. Of the 16 seats that the BJP has lost, 14 are rural seats.

    What does not seem to have worked for the Congress is Rahul Gandhi’s attacks on the BJP over new national tax GST, which the Congress chief labelled the “Gabbar Singh Tax” after the iconic Bollywood baddie. The BJP did well in urban centres, including Patel and trader dominated Surat, where the BJP has won 16 out of 17 seats. Only in Vadodara did the Congress make a beginning, going from zero to two seats.
     

    gst gujarat gfx

    Here are the Congress and BJP’s biggest and least gains.
     

    caste matters gfx

     

    caste matters congress gfx
  • in ,

    Indian-Origin Bank Employee Jailed For Money Laundering In UK

    Jinal Pethad set up 105 sham bank accounts for them using false identity documents.

    London:  An Indian-origin Barclays Bank employee from London has been jailed for over six years for his role in a conspiracy to launder over 2.5 million pounds.

    Jinal Pethad used the ‘Dridex’ Trojan malware in the scam, which involved the 29-year-old acting as the “personal bank manager” to money launderers Pavel Gincota and Ion Turcan.

    He set up 105 sham bank accounts for them using false identity documents.

    Pethad pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money between 2014 and 2016 at the Old Bailey court here last week and was sentenced to six years and four months in prison.

    “Jinal Pethad abused his position of trust at the bank to knowingly set up sham accounts for Gincota and Turcan, providing a vital service which enabled them to launder millions,” said Mark Cains from the National Cyber Crime Unit at the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

    “Using his knowledge of the financial system, he made sure the stolen money was not blocked before entering these accounts, and provided the pair with reports to evidence his efforts and maintain the criminal relationship,” he said,adding that the NCA is determined to work with industry and law enforcement partners to target cyber-crime at every level.

    “We are determined to disrupt the flow of illegal money to prevent it funding further criminality,” Cains said.

    Pethad managed the accounts of the launderers to ensure that receipt of the stolen funds was not blocked by the bank’s security processes and that the pair could transfer money between them freely.

    Gincota and Turcan were jailed for the conspiracy in October last year, after an NCA investigation. Pethad was arrested the following month.

    During a search of his home in Edgware, north London, NCA officers recovered over 4,000 pounds in cash, seven luxury watches and three mobile phones, all of which had been used to communicate with Gincota.

    Multiple text messages on one of the phones showed Gincota making arrangements to open new accounts and asking Pethad to change details, such as addresses and security information, on existing ones.

    In one of the exchanges, Gincota asks: “Can I bring 2 guys for open acc pls??? 1-german; 1-france; or 2-france;(sic) who u want? Let me know pls!”.

    A Barclays spokesperson said, “We have worked with and supported the police with this investigation and welcome the outcome of the proceedings. Barclays has a zero tolerance to any unlawful activity and confirms Jinal Pethad was dismissed by the bank.

    “We will always support law enforcement in identifying criminal activity and have no hesitation at all in supporting prosecutions,” it said.

Load More
Congratulations. You've reached the end of the internet.