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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Huge car bomb near embassies in Afghan capital kills or wounds dozens

Up to 20 dead after triple suicide bomb attack at funeral in Kabul (GRAPHIC PHOTOS, VIDEO) Published time: 3 Jun, 2017 12:27 Edited time: 3 Jun, 2017 16:33 Get short URL 06:00 06:00   Afghan policemen arrive at the site of blasts in Kabul, Afghanistan June 3, 2017. © Mohammad Ismail / Reuters AddThis Sharing Buttons Share to Facebook 539 Share to Twitter Share to Reddit Share to StumbleUpon Share to Google+ Share to Tumblr Up to 20 people have been killed and 87 injured in three successive suicide bombings centered around a funeral taking place in downtown Kabul Saturday, reports the TOLO news network. Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and Acting foreign affairs minister Salahuddin Rabbani were both in attendance along with other government officials at the funeral at the time of the explosions. All were unharmed. Speaking at a press conference Saturday evening, Abdullah condemned the bombings and called for calm while an investigation into the attack is carried out. "Three suicide attackers with explosives detonated during funeral prayer as the Imam was leading the prayers and as a result a number of our people have been martyred," Abdullah said. "Considering the current situation in Afghanistan, my request is that people should express their demands and other issues regarding their rights in a way that will not allow the enemies of Afghanistan to take advantage of," he added.  The Taliban denied responsibility for both Saturday's attack and previous attacks this week according to local media. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks. The funeral was reportedly for Salim Izadyar, a protester and son of an Afghan senator, who was shot dead in violent anti-government protests which took place in Kabul Friday. His father Alam Ezadyar is the deputy speaker for the upper house of the Afghanistan Parliament. WATCH MORE: Several protesters killed in clashes with police during Kabul rally Up to five people were killed during the protests according to Afghanistan’s deputy interior minister, as cited by Reuters. Protesters planned a second day of demonstration on Saturday to call for increased security in the capital which has been wracked by violence. Kabul has suffered a number of deadly attacks in recent weeks and the city was still reeling from a bomb blast earlier this week which killed more than 80 people and injured 460 in one of the deadliest attacks in the country in recent history. Kabul’s Garrison Commander, Lt. Gen. Gul Nabi Ahmadzai warned the public to avoid large gatherings and demonstrations at a press conference Friday night, warning of an imminent terrorist threat, citing the ongoing and highly “sensitive security situation.” Afghan Foreign Minister Rabbani warned of “terrorists in the establishment” on Twitter having survived the attack. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani chaired a meeting of high-ranking security officials earlier on Saturday to discuss the deteriorating security situation in the country. He later condemned the attack via the official Afghan government Twitter account. 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Facebook Google Twitter Email ================ Huge bomb blast kills at least 80, wounds hundreds in Afghan capital 49m ago | 01:33 At least 80 dead, 350 wounded in Kabul blast Huge bomb blast kills at least 80, wounds hundreds... X By Mirwais Harooni and Josh Smith | KABUL A powerful bomb exploded in the morning rush hour in the center of Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least 80 people, wounding hundreds and sending clouds of black smoke into the sky above the presidential palace and foreign embassies. The bomb, one of the deadliest in Kabul and coming at the start of the holy month of Ramadan, exploded close to the fortified entrance to the German embassy, killing a security guard and wounding some staff, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Twitter. Basir Mujahid, a spokesman for Kabul police, said it was a car bomb near the German embassy. "But there are several other important compounds and offices near there too," he told Reuters. The blast, which shattered windows and blew doors off their hinges in houses hundreds of meters (yards) away, was unusually strong, with some reports saying it was caused by explosives concealed in a water tanker. A statement from the NATO-led Resolute Support (RS) mission in Kabul said Afghan security forces had prevented the vehicle from entering the heavily protected Green Zone that houses many foreign embassies as well as RS headquarters, suggesting it may not have reached its intended target. A public health official said at least 80 people had been killed and more than 350 wounded. The victims appear mainly to have been Afghan civilians. As well as the German embassy, the French and Chinese embassies were among those damaged, the two countries said, adding there were no immediate signs of injuries among their diplomats. Video shot at the scene showed burning debris, crumbled walls and buildings and destroyed cars, many with dead or injured people inside. At the Wazir Akbar Khan hospital a few blocks away, there were scenes of chaos as ambulances brought in wounded and frantic relatives scanned casualty lists and questioned hospital staff for news. "It felt like an earthquake," said 21-year-old Mohammad Hassan, describing the moment the blast struck the bank where he was working. His head wound had been bandaged but blood still soaked his white dress shirt. TALIBAN DENY RESPONSIBILITY Another lightly wounded victim, Nabib Ahmad, 27, said there was widespread destruction and confusion. ‹ 20/20 Afghan policemen inspect at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 1/20 Afghan officials inspect outside the German embassy after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 2/20 Relatives of Afghan victims mourn outside a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Omar Sobhani 3/20 Relatives of victims listen to hospital officials after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 4/20 Afghan officials inspect outside the German embassy after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 5/20 Afghan officials inspect outside the German embassy after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 6/20 An Afghan policeman past walked next to a damaged vehicle after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 7/20 Afghan men carry an injured man after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Omar Sobhani 8/20 Damaged cars are seen after a blast at the site of the incident in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Omar Sobhani TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY 9/20 Damaged cars are seen after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Omar Sobhani 10/20 Burned vehicles are seen after a blast at the site of the incident in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Omar Sobhani 11/20 Damaged cars are seen at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Omar Sobhani 12/20 Damaged cars are seen after a blast at the site of the incident in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Omar Sobhani 13/20 An Afghan man reacts at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Omar Sobhani 14/20 Smoke rises from the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Hamid Sayedi 15/20 A man holds an injured outside a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 16/20 Men move an injured man to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 17/20 ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH A woman sits outside a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 18/20 Afghan women mourn outside a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 19/20 Afghan women mourn outside a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 20/20 Afghan policemen inspect at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 1/20 Afghan officials inspect outside the German embassy after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail › "I couldn't think clearly, there was a mess everywhere," he said. Later, frenzy broke out outside the hospital as ambulances and police trucks began bringing in the bodies of those killed. Some bodies were burned or destroyed beyond recognition. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the blast. "India stands with Afghanistan in fighting all types of terrorism. Forces supporting terrorism need to be defeated," he said in a tweet. Related Coverage VIDEOLarge explosion rocks Afghanistan's capital Taliban deny responsibility for Kabul blast Kabul blast hurts German embassy staff, kills guard: minister French embassy in Kabul damaged in car bomb attack: minister The Taliban denied responsibility and said they condemned attacks that have no legitimate target and killed civilians. Islamic State, the other main militant group active in Afghanistan, has carried out high profile attacks in Kabul, including an attack on a military hospital in March that killed more than 50 people. However the attack provided another clear demonstration that Ramadan, which began at the weekend, would provide little respite from the violence across Afghanistan. The Taliban have been stepping up their push to defeat the U.S.-backed government and reimpose Islamic law after their 2001 ouster in a Washington-backed invasion. Since most international troops withdrew at the end of 2014, the Taliban have gained ground and now control or contest about 40 percent of the country, according to U.S. estimates, though President Ashraf Ghani's government holds all provincial centers. U.S. President Donald Trump is due to decide soon on a recommendation to send 3,000 to 5,000 more troops to bolster the small NATO training force and U.S. counter-terrorism mission now totaling just over 10,000. The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, told a congressional hearing earlier this year that he needed several thousand more troops to help Afghan forces break a "stalemate" with the Taliban. (Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Emmanuel Jarry in Paris, Ben Blanchard in Beijing and Madeline Chambers and Michelle Martin in Berlin; Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Nick Macfie) ======================================= Wed May 31, 2017 | 1:37 AM EDT Huge car bomb near embassies in Afghan capital kills or wounds dozens ‹ 3/3 ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH A woman sits outside a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 1/3 A man holds an injured outside a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 2/3 Men move an injured man to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 3/3 ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH A woman sits outside a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail 1/3 A man holds an injured outside a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail › Huge car bomb near embassies in Afghan capital... X By Mirwais Harooni | KABUL A powerful car bomb exploded in the center of Afghanistan's capital on Wednesday, killing or wounding dozens of people and sending clouds of black smoke into the sky above the presidential palace and foreign embassies, officials said Basir Mujahid, a spokesman for Kabul police, said several people were killed and wounded in the blast near the fortified entrance to the German embassy. "It was a car bomb near the German embassy, but there are several other important compounds and offices near there too. It is hard to say what the exact target is," Mujahid said. The explosion shattered windows and blew doors off their hinges in houses hundreds of meters (yards) away. A public health spokesman said at least 67 wounded people had been taken to hospitals around Kabul. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. A spokesman for Taliban insurgents said he was gathering information. Violence around Afghanistan has been rising throughout the year, as the Taliban push to defeat the U.S.-backed government and reimpose Islamic law after their 2001 ouster in a Washington-backed invasion. Since most international troops withdrew at the end of 2014, the Taliban have gained ground and now control or contest about 40 percent of the country, according to U.S. estimates, though President Ashraf Ghani's government holds all provincial centers. Related Coverage At least 67 wounded in Kabul car bomb blast: official U.S. President Donald Trump is due to decide soon on a recommendation to send 3,000 to 5,000 more troops to bolster the small NATO training force and U.S. counter-terrorism mission now totaling just over 10,000. The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, told a congressional hearing earlier this year that he needed several thousand more troops to help Afghan forces break a "stalemate" with the Taliban. (Reporting by James Mackenzie; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Federal Budget 2017: Foreign home buyers hit by vacancy tax and restrictions

May 9, 2017 Jennifer Duke This is a modal window. Could not download the video Error Code: PLAYER_ERR_TIMEOUT OK Close Modal Dialog Winners and losers from the 2017 federal budget A look at the winners and losers from the 2017 federal budget handed down by Treasurer Scott Morrison on Tuesday May 9, 2017. (AAP Video) facebook twitter pinterest linkedin print Federal budget: Retirees given $300,000 incentive to downsize Federal budget: First-home buyers get ‘super’ saver scheme Foreign ownership of new developments will be restricted, there will be steeper charges applied to purchases, less favourable tax treatment and charges on those with empty properties, in a raft of measures in the federal budget aimed at taking the sting out of the housing market. One measure to be introduced from Tuesday is for foreign buyers to be slugged a fee for having a property that sits empty for six months or more in a year. Those who don’t have a tenant in their property, or live in it themselves for a lengthy period of time, will be expected to pay an annual charge equal to their foreign investment application fee. Foreign buyers to be slugged a fee for having an empty property for six months or more than a year. Photo: Louise Kennerley This measure will apply to foreign buyers who acquire an interest in residential real estate from May 9. The intention is to encourage foreign owners to rent out their investment properties when they’re not living in them. Critics of foreign investment have long warned about “absentee” property owners leaving floors of empty apartments in inner-city hubs and adding pressure to already tight rental markets. This could take some pressure off Sydney’s tenants, who have experienced rents jump to more than $500 a week for houses and apartments in the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest Domain Group data. The Victorian government also announced penalties for foreign buyers who keep investment properties empty. It remains to be seen how the empty property tax will be enforced, with no data on how many properties are left vacant by offshore buyers and where these homes are located. Another substantial change, and one likely to attract the ire of developers, is a restriction on how many properties in new developments can be sold to foreign buyers. The changes will mean at least 50 per cent of new homes must be sold locally. This cap on foreign investment to a maximum of half the new development will be imposed as a condition on New Dwelling Exemption Certificates – the document provided to developers as a form of pre-approval for foreign buyers. And it’s not the only big change offshore buyers will face. Foreign and temporary tax residents will also be denied any access to capital gains tax exemptions from Tuesday, although anyone who bought properties prior to this date with such exemptions will have them grandfathered until June 2019. The CGT withholding tax rate for foreign tax residents is being lifted from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent and the CGT withholding threshold for foreign tax residents is being dropped from $2 million to $750,000. This means that any time a property worth $750,000 or more is sold, the seller will need to provide a certificate noting they are a resident, or they will face some of their profits being withheld. Debate has raged over the impact on foreign investment in Sydney and Melbourne during the past five years as property prices soared. On some measures, foreign buyers have been responsible for a significant proportion of inner-city apartment-buying activity and this has led to calls for restrictions. State-imposed stamp duties on foreign buyers were introduced in 2016, attracting widespread criticism from property industry pundits.

Factbox: What do we know about BA's computer meltdown?

Factbox: What do we know about BA's computer meltdown? Photo People wait with their luggage at a rebooking zone at Heathrow Terminal 5 in London, Britain May 29, 2017. REUTERS/STEFAN WERMUTH (Reuters) - A computer system failure at British Airways on Saturday forced the airline to ground hundreds of flights, leaving 75,000 passengers stranded as its flight operations, call center and website all went down. The British flag carrier has said the problem was caused by a power supply issue at one of its UK data centers. Below is what we know so far about the IT failure: * BA described the problem as a "power supply issue at one of our UK data centers, which led to an exceptional power surge and caused physical damage to some of the infrastructure on one of our IT systems". A spokeswoman said it was conducting an exhaustive investigation. "We're not going to engage in speculation at the moment," she added. British Airways Chief Executive Alex Cruz said the power surge was so strong it rendered the back-up systems ineffective. BA have declined to give any further details about the cause of the surge or where the back-up systems are located. * Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SEN), which manage the electricity distribution network in the area north of Heathrow where British Airways' headquarters are located, said its services were running as normal on Saturday morning. "The power surge that BA are referring to could have taken place at the customer side of the meter. SEN wouldn't have visibility of that," a spokesman said. When asked for details about what exactly happened, a BA spokeswoman did not elaborate on the statement above about an exceptional power surge. * Cruz told BA's IT workers to focus on solving the problem rather than talking about it to the media. "Guys, either you are part of the team working to fix this or you aren't," he said in a message to staff posted on the company's internal website. "We are not in the mode of 'debriefing on what happened' but rather 'let's fix this mode'." He asked IT staff to report to London's Heathrow or Gatwick airports to help if they could. * Ryanair, one of BA's low-cost rivals, said it kept its IT systems in three different locations to prevent any outage shutting down its operations. "We have three IT locations in different countries across Europe, so if anything does happen, the second one kicks in and the third one will kick in," Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs told reporters as the group reported financial results. "That's what most businesses would do. That's our approach and we've never had a major outage." * The GMB Union said the computer failure stemmed from a 2016 decision to make a number of staff redundant and outsource the work to India in 2016. BA's Cruz rejected the accusation, telling Sky News that the problem stemmed from "local issues around a local data center, which has been managed and fixed by local resources." ADVERTISEMENT The company told a capital markets day in November 2016 that it had reduced its IT suppliers from 20 to four. "From an IT point of view, we go straight to offshore," Bill Francis, head of group IT said. * Gil Hecht, the CEO of Israel-based IT outage prevention firm Continuity Software, said airline IT was "amazingly complex", but carriers would typically deploy layers of protection, with duplicates of every component and server. The challenge was keeping the entire system correctly configured. "Power supply cannot possibly bring down the entire thing, unless something was misconfigured in the first place," he said. "It's very difficult to make sure that every time you configure something in the main system, that you also have updated the secondary systems. "And if you're not 100 percent accurate, then when the main system fails, you can have a huge disaster." (Reporting by Alistair Smout, Paul Sandle, Karolin Schaps and Kate Holton; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Qatar vs SAUDIA relations: US Anti-Iran, Pro-Israel plan divided them

Dr. Madawi Al-Rasheed Twits: KSA guards sacred heritage of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab and will not share him with Qatar. Saudis reclaim the name of their Guru ibn Wahhab as they ask Qatar to change the name of Mosque in Doha. Qatar didn't know that sacred Gurus like Ibn Wahhab are consumed entirely but never shared or appropriated by outsiders. Qatar should change name of ibn Wahab Mosque in Doha. Name only suitable for KSA & ISIS Instituions. Qatar needs Iran to defend its territory against Saudi hegemony. Saudis plan to use US-recruited mercenaries to intimidate Qatar. Supported by USraelis, Pro-Muslim Brotherhood Qatar & Wahhabi Saudis created and sustained ISIS. US Anti-Iran, Pro-Israel plan divided them. Tuesday, May 30, 2017 10:37 AM Qatar deports activist to Saudi, Amensty condemns IncreaseNormalDecrease Saudi Arabian human rights activist al-Otaibi, (Photo: hrw.org) Saudi Arabian human rights activist al-Otaibi, (Photo: hrw.org) Qatar said the deportation took place on May 24 and was based on legal procedures and regional agreements. (Aljazeera/AFP) -- Amnesty International has condemned Qatar’s deportation of Saudi human rights activist to Saudi Arabia. Qatar deported the activist who was on his way to Norway seeking international protection, a watchdog and Norwegian officials said. Qatari authorities confirmed the deportation of Mohammed Abdullah al-Otaibi, 49, but said it had taken place on Wednesday May 24. The official Qatar News Agency (QNA) quoted a foreign ministry source as saying that "the extradition was... based on legal procedures and regional and international agreements relating to the extradition of accused persons and criminals." The Norwegian justice ministry confirmed that a Saudi human rights activist had received a travel permit to Norway as a (UN) quota refugee. The ministry said that al-Otaibi and his wife - who was not deported to Saudi Arabia - were not seeking asylum in Norway but have been processed as United Nations refugees. Mohammed al-Otaibi fled to neighbouring Qatar in March after he faced charges in Saudi Arabia related to his human rights work and was referred to an anti-terrorism court, the [persian] Gulf Center for Human Rights said in a statement. انتقدت الصحف الصادرة في الدوحة، اليوم الثلاثاء، الدول التي تهاجم الأمير القطري تميم بن حمد إذ شدد بعض كتابها على أنه لم يُدل بالتصريحات التي نُسبت إليه، معتبرين أن السعودية والإمارات تنتهجان "أسلوب عصابات" يُعبر عن عصبية قبلية لا تمت إلى الدولة بصلة. ويقول عبد العزيز الخاطر في "الوطن" القطرية، إن "الحملة الإعلامية التي تشنها صحف المملكة العربية السعودية والإمارات العربية المتحدة ضد قطر، في اعتقادي، تضع المنطقة في مرحلة ما قبل الدولة رغم انتماء هذه الدول للمجتمع السياسي منذ أكثر من 50 عاما أو ما يقارب من القرن". ويبدي الكاتب أسفه إزاء ما قال إنه "انحدار مستوى التعامل، من السياسي، إلى ما يشبه الترصد والتجسس، وهو أسلوب أقرب ما يكون إلى أسلوب العصابات، إلى أسلوب ثالث قبلي يُعبر عن عصبية قبلية لا تمت إلى الدولة بصلة". وتشيد ناهد القحطاني في "الراية" القطرية بالأمير تميم، وتنتقد الذين يصرون على إسناد تلك التصريحات إليه، مشيرة إلى أن "هناك من يدير هذه الحملة لضرب اللحمة الخليجية". وتشدد الكاتبة على أنه لو كان الأمير "قد قالها، فإنه لن ينكرها، لأنه لن يقول إلا ما هو مؤمن به، فلا نذكر عبر التاريخ بأن قطر وحكامها قد نقضوا حديثًا بدر منهم، ولا بأنهم قد نقضوا عهدا، ولا بأنهم قد غدروا بأحد غريب كان أم قريب". - See more at: http://www.alalam.ir/news/1975647#sthash.55uh3IYw.dpuf ENGLISH The newspapers in Doha on Tuesday criticized countries attacking Qatari Prince Tamim bin Hamad, stressing that some of his books did not make statements attributed to him, considering that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are pursuing a "gang style" expressing tribal nervousness that has nothing to do with the state. "The media campaign launched by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against Qatar, I believe, places the region in the pre-state stage, despite the fact that these countries have belonged to the political community for more than 50 years or more," said Abdul-Aziz Al-Khater in Al-Watan. Of the century ". The writer expresses his regret at what he said "the decline in the level of dealing, from the political, to a kind of surveillance and espionage, which is closer to the style of gangs, to a third tribal way expressing tribal nervousness did not belong to the state link. Nahed Al-Qahtani praises Qatar's Emir Al-Raya and criticizes those who insist on endorsing those statements, pointing out that "there are those who are running this campaign to strike the Gulf meat." The author stresses that if the prince had said it, he would not deny it, because he would only say what he believed. It is not to be mentioned throughout history that Qatar and its rulers have recently broken a badr of them, or that they have broken a covenant or that they have betrayed a stranger Close mother ". - See more at: http://www.alalam.ir/news/1975647#sthash.55uh3IYwdpuf Share this translation Family of Saudi Wahhabism Founder Disowns Qatar Emir Amid Tensions Descendants of the founder of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi ideology have disowned Qatar's ruling family amid heightened tension between the two Persian Gulf neighbors. According to Saudi Arabia's Okaz newspaper, 200 descendants of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab have denied in a statement claims that the 18th-century cleric was the Qatari emir's great grandfather. The statement has not mentioned the Qatari emir by name but has referred to his construction of a mosque named after Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, demanding that Qatar rename the mosque. Qatar's state mosque, opened in 2011, is known as the Sheikh Mohammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab mosque. "We, therefore, demand that the name of the mosque be changed for it does not carry its true Salafi path," the statement added. Wahhabism is the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia, freely preached by government-backed clerics there, and inspiring terrorists worldwide. Daesh and other Takfiri terror groups use the ideology to declare people of other faiths as “infidels” and then kill them. The development comes in the wake of escalating tensions between Riyadh and Doha since Qatar’s state-run news agency released comments attributed to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on sensitive issues last week. The Qatari emir was quoted as describing Iran as an "Islamic power" and "big power in the stabilization of the region." He was also cited as questioning US President Donald Trump's hostility towards Tehran, speaking of “tensions” between Doha and Washington, praising Hamas resistance movement as “the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people," and threatening to withdraw ambassadors from a range of Middle Eastern countries. The Qatari government communications office was quick to claim that hackers had broken into the QNA website and published the fake news. However, the Qatari state television’s nightly newscast had showed clips of the monarch at an official military ceremony with a scrolling ticker at the bottom of the screen showing the same remarks ---------- Tue May 30, 2017 | 2:04 AM EDT Two Saudi policemen hurt in bombing in restive Shi'ite town: SPA Two Saudi policemen hurt in bombing in restive Two policemen were wounded when a bomb exploded in Awamiya in eastern Saudi Arabia, where many of the country's Shi'ite Muslim minority live, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday. Monday's attack was the second in two weeks targeting security forces deployed to guard workers busy razing the old part of the town, known as al-Musawara, which authorities say has been used by armed fugitives to escape arrest. SPA quoted an interior ministry spokesman as saying that an improvised explosive device went off on Monday morning outside the old quarter of Awamiya, wounding two police officers. They were both taken to a hospital and authorities had begun an investigation, the agency said. ADVERTISEMENT The ministry said on May 16 a soldier was killed and five others were wounded when armed men fired a rocket-propelled grenade at their patrol in Awamiya after authorities began razing the old town. It happened days after a local child and a Pakistani worker were killed. Authorities say a modern district comprising shopping centers, office buildings and green spaces will be built in place of the dilapidated town, which dates back more than 200 years. Awamiya has been a focal point of protests by the Shi'ite minority against what they say is discrimination by the Sunni-ruled kingdom. Saudi Arabia denies discrimination against Shi'ites and accuses Iran of fomenting unrest, a charge Tehran denies. Also In World News North Korea warns of 'bigger gift package' for U.S. after latest test 'Atlanticist' Merkel rams home frustration with Trump after summits Tensions have increased since Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shi'ite cleric convicted of inciting violence, was executed a year ago. United Nations cultural experts slammed Riyadh last week over the razing of the town's old quarter, saying the work erased cultural heritage and violated human rights. (Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Paul Tait) ====================== قطريون يستهجنون نزعة القيادة السياسية في قطر وشن هجومها على المملكة والامارات والبحرين ودول عربية اخرى وتقربها وتزلفها لإيران وحزب اللات. Translated from Arabic by Bing Wrong translation? Country deeply resent tendency of political leadership in Qatar and the attack on Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and other Arab countries and seduced by her flattery and for Iran and LAT party. 380 replies 289 retweets 541 likes Reply 380 Retweet 289 Like 541 Direct message ضاحي خلفان تميم Retweeted مشعل النامي‏ @Meshal_Alnami May 26 More قطر لا يحق لها أن تزعل..فهي لم تذق من بعض وسائل الإعلام سوى "يومين" مما ذاقته دول الخليج طوال 21 عام من قناة الجزيرة Translated from Arabic by Bing Wrong translation? Qatar had no right to get mad. It is the poorest of certain media "days" which tried him for 21 years Gulf of Al Jazeera 133 replies 1,533 retweets 793 likes Reply 133 Retweet 1.5K Like 793 Direct message ضاحي خلفان تميم‏ Verified account  @Dhahi_Khalfan May 26 More كن مع الرياض كان الله معك والا خلك مع قاسم سليماني وحزب اللات ونحن مش معك. رسالة الى عزيز Translated from Arabic by Bing Wrong translation? Stay with Riyadh was Allah with you or stay with Qassem Soleimani LAT party we not with you. A letter to Aziz. More قطر جابت كل الحاقدين على دول الخليج وعينتهم في إعلامها... وسمتنا نحن المرتزقة..خبال Translated from Arabic by Bing Wrong translation? Qatar scoured all the haters on the Gulf-rulers in their flags. We burned us mercenaries 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂. No real name given كانت الجزيرة قبل عشر سنوات محطة ذات تأثير على الناس اليوم محطات التواصل الاجتماعي كشفت المستور يا جزيرة الشقاق...فسقط اعلامك في الهاوية Translated from Arabic by Bing Wrong translation? The island was ten years ago people impact station today social networking stations revealed Mr Stevens, island of discord. It fell to notify you the abyss في الوقت الذي ينضم العالم للوقوف مع السعودية في مواجهة ايران تخرج السياسة القطرية لتنضم الى ايران ضد المملكة..اين الحكمة؟ At the time he joins the world to stand with Saudi Arabia against Iran outside the country to join politics Iran against Saudi Arabia. Where is wisdom?

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Careers Australia goes into voluntary administration after being denied access to new VET scheme

7.30 By Michael Atkin Updated Fri at 12:43pm Email Facebook Twitter WhatsApp Photo 15,000 students face an uncertain future after Careers Australia went into administration. One of Australia's largest vocational education providers, Careers Australia, has been placed into voluntary administration with up to 1,000 staff members stood down immediately without pay. Classes have also been cancelled for 15,000 students at 14 campuses across the country. Late on Thursday night, voluntary administrators David McEvoy and Martin Ford of PPB Advisory sent a letter to all staff which has been obtained by the ABC's 7.30 program. "We do not currently have sufficient funds available to meet payroll and other costs which would allow us to continue trading the Group on a 'business as usual' basis," the letter read. "Accordingly, we hereby confirm you are stood down effective 25 May 2017 whilst we undertake an urgent assessment of the Group." Students were sent a text message at 10:45pm which reads, "All activities of Careers Australia Group are suspended. No classes, no workplaces effective immediately. Further information will be provided." At its height, Careers Australia was raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funding for expensive training courses. But a series of investigations by 7.30 revealed the company was targeting vulnerable students using door-to-door sales brokers offering so-called free computers as inducements to sign up. When that sales tactic was banned by the Federal Government, Careers Australia allegedly moved to telemarketing, online competitions spruiking free iPads, and employment websites to obtain people's contact details without their knowledge. The company denied that people were unaware they were passing on their personal information or that it was engaged in cold calling. The voluntary administrators are David McEvoy and Martin Ford of PPB Advisory. Careers Australia excluded from new VET scheme Photo One of Careers Australia's promotions. Supplied Last month, in a major blow the Federal Government denied the provider access to its new vocational education scheme because of its poor track record, which included the company admitting to breaking consumer law. 7.30 understands Careers Australia appealed the decision but its appeal was rejected, prompting the collapse. Do you know more about this story? Email 7.30syd@your.abc.net.au Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Careers Australia employee said they were furious. "I'm angry for the staff who have worked so hard, but especially for the students who don't know what's going to happen to them," the employee said. "It was awful having to tell them the news today." In a statement, the Federal Education Department said it stood by its decision to refuse Careers Australia's access to the new education scheme based on concerns over the provider's financial performance, governance and poor student outcomes. The Department advises concerned students to continue studying as normal until the administrators make a final decision about the future of the business. 'We've been misled,' says employee The employee accused senior management of keeping the financial woes secret from staff. "We were told it was business as usual at every meeting before this. That's been the company line," the employee said. "[But] we've been misled. Somebody knew this was coming and they didn't give us any warning." The staff member claimed they were told by Careers Australia it was up to administrators to decide whether they continued to have jobs, and they should continue to come in to work as normal. "That's what they're feeding us, but it's a pile of rubbish that it's business as usual, I won't be doing that," the employee said. In a statement, Careers Australia blamed the Federal Government crackdown on the sector for its financial crisis. "Regrettably, due to a number of changes in the education sector, we have had to appoint voluntary administrators. "We are very disappointed that the business has had to make this decision, particularly for the 1,000 staff and 15,000 students affected." Students can contact Careers Australia's Tuition Assurance provider TAFE Directors Australia on 02 9217 3180 or the Department on 1800 020 108.
Total Says to Conclude Iran’s South Pars Gas Deal before Summer News ID: 1420940 Service: Economy May, 27, 2017 - 16:19 زنگنه و مدیرعامل توتال TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The chief executive of Total said the French oil major plans to seal an agreement to develop phase 11 of the huge South Pars gas field in southern Iran soon. Total still plans to conclude the Iran South Pars gas deal before summer, Patrick Pouyanne told journalists on the sidelines of the company's annual general meeting, Reuters reported. The remark came after Pouyanne held talks with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh in Vienna on the sidelines of the OPEC meeting on Friday night. Total signed a heads of agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in November 2016 but said earlier in February that a final decision on the deal hinged on the new US administration renewing sanctions waivers on Iran. The top official with the Total said the signing of US sanctions waivers, among other hurdles, cleared the path for the deal to be signed. Pouyanne added he had met the Iranian oil minister in Vienna on the sidelines of the OPEC meeting. In similar remarks on Saturday, Zangeneh said that Iran will sign a $4 billion deal with the French firm to develop phase 11 of the giant gas field before summer. “The signing of the contract with Total is very close and will be done in less than a month,” Zangeneh told reporters, according to Press TV. The South Pars 11 project will have a production capacity of 1.8 billion cubic feet per day, or 370 000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The produced gas will be fed into Iran's gas network. Total will operate the project with a 50.1% interest alongside Petropars at 19.9% and the Chinese state-owned oil and gas company CNPC at 30%.

Trump’s Paris accord call will be anticlimactic

Fri May 26, 2017 | 2:37 PM EDT Steam billowing from the cooling towers of Vattenfall's Jaenschwalde brown coal power station is reflected in the water of a lake near Cottbus, eastern Germany December 2, 2009. Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski Trump’s Paris accord call will be anticlimactic X By Antony Currie | NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Donald Trump’s looming decision about whether to keep the United States in the Paris climate agreement will be, let's say, anticlimactic. It will be a surprise if the global-warming skeptic who has called the phenomenon a hoax breaks a campaign pledge by sticking with the 2015 agreement. If he pulls out, though, the actual impact on the climate and on global efforts to limit warming will be limited. The accord reached in the French capital 18 months ago among nearly 200 countries should have more than enough momentum even without Washington's support. Even America’s domestic role in efforts to limit global warming is only partially up to the federal government. The Trump administration can enact policies that favor coal over renewable energy or try to overturn clean-air and water programs. At the margin, those initiatives may worsen emissions or slow the rollout of clean energy and other green initiatives. However, a lot of responsibility is devolved to states and cities, many of which have signed up to their own climate goals. The Under2 Coalition, for example, now has 170 members comprising more than a third of the global economy. It was created by the U.S. state of California and Germany's Baden-Württemberg to align sub-national governments with the Paris targets. Companies play an important role, too. The likes of General Motors, Wal-Mart and Apple have committed to use only renewable energy in the future, for instance. Sometimes they take such decisions of their own accord; other times, investors put pressure on them. Fidelity, for example, will now allow portfolio managers to vote for shareholder resolutions on climate-related issues even when company bosses don't support them, Reuters exclusively reported, joining other major U.S. asset managers like State Street and BlackRock. Meanwhile, some 280 investors representing more than $17 trillion in assets just sent a letter to the G7 countries, meeting this weekend in Sicily, urging them to stick by the Paris agreement. That all means a withdrawal by Trump would be largely symbolic. It would come at a cost, though. With public opinion in much of the world going the other way, it would do further damage to America's overseas reputation and its ability to project soft power. It could even hurt the U.S. economy. The renewable-energy sector employs far more Americans than coal, for example. And increasing infrastructure spending to combat climate change could boost G20 economic output by 5 percent, reckons the OECD. Missing out on that would be an odd call from a businessman-president.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Moonsighting for Ramadan 1438

Friday, 26 May 2017: 1438 AH  MUH   SFR   RBA   RBT   JMO   JMT   RJB   SHB   RMD   SHW   ZQD   ZHJ  The Astronomical New Moon (conjunction) is on Thursday May 25, 2017 at 19:44 UT. On May 25, the moon cannot be seen anywhere in the world. On May 26, the moon can be seen with difficulty in South-East Asia, but can easily be seen in Africa and Americas (See visibility curves). On May 27, the moon can be easily seen in the rest of the world. Australia: Not Seen: MCW member Mr Abbas Aly from Imam Hasan Centre, Annangrove NSW reported: On 26th May 2017 (Friday), the moon was not sighted. 1st day of Ramadhan will be Sunday 28th May 2017 Ramadhan Mubarak Not Seen: MCW member Engr Manzoor A Mian from Melbourne, VIC reported: Crescent is not sighted today 26/5/17, Friday anywhere in Australia. It is announced that 1st of Ramadan will start on Sunday 28/5/17. Not Seen: MCW member Imam Abul Qasim Rizvi, Imam Juma Melbourne reported: Moon was not sighted anywhere in Australia (Melbourne,Sydney,Brisbane and Canberra) Therefore tomorrow Saturday 27th May will be the 30th of Shaban inshallah Sunday 28th May will be the 1st Ramadhan Ul Mubarak 1438. Not Seen: MCW member Dr Shabbir Ahmed, President of Qubaa association of Western Sydney, NSW reported: Today is Friday 26th of May. The Hilaal of RAMADAAN 1438 has NOT been sighted anywhere in Australia. Therefore, the month of RAMADAAN will commence from Sunday 28th of May 2017. Not Seen: MCW member Mr Moussa Khalife from Sydney, NSW reported: We didn't sight the moon today even with the binoculars. We kept looking for more than half an hour but unfortunately the moon was not sighted. So tomorrow Saturday 27th of May will be 30th of Shaaban 1438H. Egypt: Not Seen: MCW member Dr Hisham M. Hamed from Cairo reported: On Friday, May 26th, From 6th October City, 29.989922N,30.977140E, some 0.22° of Longitude west of Giza, Egypt, at ~200m above sea level. The masjid was just next to the observation point. This area has much better visibility than the Nile valley, in general. Apparent sunset was at 18:49. There was no sign of the Crescent at that time. The Sun reached a solar depression of 5° at ~19:10, by which time my colleague and I had returned from Maghrib prayer. I then began my observation, knowing that the subsolar limb of the Crescent, i.e it's brightest point was already lower than 3.6°. Despite excellent visibility, and low humidity(~16%), there was NO sign of the Crescent. Temperature was ~34°C, pressure was 1010mb. I ended the attempt at ~19:20. Ghana: Seen: MCW member Mr Baba Abdulai from Tamale reported: Date of sighting is Friday May 26, 2017. The crescent was seen by other people in other places. Confirmed reports came from Zabzugu, Saboba and Bawku. I was speaking on phone to my friend Musah Inusah (a voluntary staff of the Bawku Agric. Office) around 18:42 local time when suddenly he sighted the moon over there in Bawku. He started calling other people to come and see the crescent. Just before completing the report, my uncle Abdul Karim also called me at 18:54 from Yemo-Karaga Yapala, confirming that he too had seen it. Seen: MCW member Mr Malik Salifu Shaban from Garu Bawku reported: The crescent for Ramadan was seen today at Kugrago a suburb of Garu in the Upper East Region of Ghana at 6:30 local time. I was phoned in by Malam Ilyasu, Imam of Kugrago, in Garu. He said all members of the community saw the crescent. Sighting was also confirmed at Sabon Gari, a sector of Garu. The chief Imam of Ghana, Shaikh Nuhu Sharubtu had earlier announced Saturday 27th May 2017 to be the commencement of Ramadan. So Ghana observes fasting on Saturday inshaaAllah. India: Not Seen: MCW member Mr Abdunnafi' Qasimi (Aalim) from Chennai reported: On May 26, 2017, Friday, in Tamil Nadu, the moon was not sighted. Qazi of Tamil Nadu Salahuddin Ayyubi announced that Ramadan begins on Sunday, May 28, 2017 Not Seen: MCW member Mr Yusuf Idara from New Delhi reported: Today Friday 26-May-2017 = 29-Shaabaan-1438 Hijri, the moon of Ramadan-1438 hijri was not sighted. I tried to see the moon at my home from 07:00 pm to 07:30 pm but the moon was not sighted because horizon was too cloudy. Kanpur Rooyat Hilal Committee officially declared that moon was not sighted, therefore, Ramadan will start on Sunday, May 28. Not Seen: MCW member Mr Siddik Nadvi (Nida-e-Haram), from Ahmedabad, Gujrat reported: Today Friday 26th May , 2017 = 29 Shaban 1438 Hijri, we tried to see the crescent of Ramdan 1438 Hijri at our Institute JAMIA KANZUL ULOOM at 6.25 pm to 7.00. The crescent was not seen. Not Seen: MCW member Mr Molvi Iqbalhusen Bokda from Godhra, Gujrat reported: Moon for Ramadan was not seen today on 26th May 2017 (29th Sha'ababn) here at Godhra. Sky was clear. Friends from different places gave negative sighting report. All Hilal committees including Imarate Shariya Bihar, Delhi, Bhopal, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad declared that it will be 30th Sha'aban tomorrow on 27th May. Ramadan will start on 28th May all over India. Indonesia: Not Seen, but seen by CCD Imaging: MCW member Mr AR Sugeng Riyadi from Rowasiya Observatory at Bendo Ketitang Juwiring Klaten Central Java reported: The New (Waxing) Crescent of Ramadhan 1437AH was NOT SEEN on Friday, 26 May 2017 from Rowasiya Observatory at Bendo Ketitang Juwiring Klaten Central Java Indonesia. This event was attend by Team of Rowasiya and Kaukaba, and members of Solo Astro Club. However, the new crescent of Ramadhan 1438 AH was seen by CCD from Banten West Java by Team of LAPAN. The Ministry of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia in the Sidang Isbath decided that Ramadhan 1st, 1438 A.H starts on Saturday, May 27th, 2017. Kenya: Seen: Mr Hussein A Hussein from Mombasa reported: Alhamdulillah the moon has been sighted in Mombasa, Lamu, and almost all parts of Kenya today, May 26 (Friday). Tommorrow its first of Ramadhan and the cheif kadhi has declared so. Seen: MCW member Mr Mahmood Essa from Mombasa reported: I am happy to let you know that we were able to sight the crescent this evening, Friday 26/05/2017 and thus In sha Allaah, tomorrow, Saturday 27/05/2017 will be our first day of Ramadhan. I take this opportunity in wishing all Muslims , a Blessed, Healthy and Happy Ramadhan. Lebanon: Seen w/Binoculars: MCW member Dr Hadi Jaafar reported: I have just seen the moon with a pair of 7*50 binoculars this evening May 26th 2017 in Beirut, Lebanon. First sighting was at 8:00 PM at around 295 degrees from magnetic north. Moon horns between 1 and 6, extremely thin. Despite many attempts, I could not see it with the naked eye. Little haze on the western horizon. Watched it using the binoculars for around 15 minutes, trying to take some photos of it using Nikon SLR, before it faded away behind the red haze. Camera sensor could not capture it. So beautiful. Ramadan Kareem. Mauritius: Seen: MCW member Mr Nissar Ahmad Ramtoola from Port Louis reported: Moon has been sighted in Mauritius tonight Friday 26 May 2017 hence 1st day of Ramadan will be Saturday 27 May 2017. First reported visibility was at St Martin on the west at 6.03pm. Sunset was at 17.38pm and Moonset at 18.29pm. Sky was practically clear with few patches of Clouds. Morocco: Not Seen: MCW member Mr Ehsan H. Hajar from Casablanca reported: On May 26, 2017 (Friday) Meteorological conditions in Casablanca Morocco were not favorable for any sighting, sky was obscured by heavy clouds for the past few days. I was unable to spot any lighted object in the western sky. Habous ministry has announced that Ramadan crescent was seen and tomorrow Saturday will begin Ramadan. Namibia: Seen: MCW member Mr Ahmed Mohamed Barakah from Windhoek reported: on May 26 (Friday) Moon was sighted in numerous areas of windhoek. Ramadaan Mubaruk New Zealand: Not Seen: MCW member Dr Wajid Hussain from Palmerston North reported: The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) has announced that the moon of the month of Ramadan HAS NOT BEEN sighted today. Therefore "The First day of Ramadan will be Sunday the 28 of May" Inshallah. Nigeria: Seen: MCW member Dr Ismaila I. Ahmed from Osi, Kwara State reported: The Hilal of Ramadhan was sighted tonight, 26/05/2017 at Ilorin, Kwara state, Nigeria at about 7.30pm local time. South Africa: Seen: MCW member Mr Rashid Motala from Durban reported: On the evening of Friday 26th May 2017, the Hilaal WAS sighted in South Africa (many locations). Therefore Ramadaan 1438 will commence on Saturday, 27th May 2017 in South Africa. Ramadaan Mubaruk to all. Seen: MCW member Dr Abdurrazak Ebrahim from Cape Town reported: Ramadan Hilaal sighted by naked-eye this Friday (26/5/17) evening in Cape Town at 16:18 LT (sunset 15:47). The 1st day of the Holy month of Ramadan will correspond with the Gregorian 27 May 2017. Spain: Not Seen but Official Announcement is Seen: MCW member Mr Gabriel Jairodín Riaza from Madrid reported: The moon was not seen by naked eye on Friday 26 May 2017, with the horizon mostly cloudy. Announcement: The Islamic Commission of Spain announces that Saturday, 27 May 2017, is the first day of the holy month Ramadan 1438. Sri Lanka: Seen: MCW member Mr Mohamed Shakir from Galle reported: On May 26, Friday the horizon was mostly cloudy and the new moon was not sighted by us today. But according All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ullama the Hilaal (Crescent) for the Month of Ramadhaan 1438 HAS BEEN SIGHTED. Therefore tomorrow will be the 1st day of Ramadhan 1438 in Srilanka. This is exactly as is calculated by us that you can see in the visibility curve. Seen: MCW member Mr Abdurrrahman Razeen from Colombo reported: Today 26-05-2017CE=29-08-1438AH is the sighting day for the month of Ramadan 1438AH in Srilanka. I was in Colombo Grand Mosque.The sky was totally cloudy in Colombo. The parameters at Colombo are Sun set:6:20pm. Moon set:7:01pm. Lag=41minutes. The prediction of the astronomers=Crescent can be sighted if the atmosphere is clear. Hilaal sighting groups was arranged right round the country. A positive sighting report from one of the sighting group was recieved to CGM Hilaal Committee which is situated east coast called Nilaveli. The coordination is Lat-8d 41" Long 81d 11". sunset=6:17pm, Moonsighted at 6:35pm. The orientation was 3-7 o'clock. The crescent was sighted by Moulavi Muaad, Bro. Ramzeen and Bro.Rafeeq. All 3 of them are frequent sighters for the last 2 years. According to my experience this sighting is doubtful but we have to accept it due for their consistent effort in moonsighting every month and their info was almost equal to the parameters. Hence it was decided at the Hilaal Committee conference at CGM which was presided by the CGMH Committee Deputy president Moulana Abdul Hameed (Bahji) along with ACJU and MRCA to complete the proceeding month as 29 days and start the month of Ramadan on 27-5-2017CE. Tanzania: Seen: MCW member Mr Hamza Rijal from Zanzibar reported: The Hilaal for Ramadaan was sighted this evening in Pemba sister island of Unguja at the place called Magumashi Mawe Matatu. The official first day of Ramadhan 1438 AH will correspond with Saturday, 27 May, 2017 in all part of East Africa; include Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. UK: Announcement by 9 Mosques and Centers: Mr Danyal Shoaib from UK sent this report. Zambia: Seen: MCW member Moulana Imtiyaz Misbahi Azhari Imam of Masjid Noor-e-Muhammadi Lusaka reported: On May 26, Friday, the moon was sighted in LUSAKA ZAMBIA. Tomorrow SATURDAY 27th may is 1st Ramadan ul Mubarak Zimbabwe: Seen: MCW member Mr Ayub Mahomed from Harare reported: Moon sighted in Zimbabwe today, 26 May (Friday). Tomorrow Saturday 27 May 2017 is 1st Ramadan inshallah. 1st Day of Ramadan in Different Countries will be added here when information is available May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Afghanistan (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Albania (Follow Saudi) ???? Algeria (Follow May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Angola (follow Turkey) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Armenia (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Australia (Lebanese & Turkish communities follow Saudi) May 28, 2017 (Sunday) Australia (Indian and Pakistani community follow Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Austria (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Azerbaijan (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Bahrian (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Bangladesh (Some areas follow Saudi) ???? Bangladesh (One group - Local Sighting) ???? Barbados (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Belgium (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Bolivia (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Bosnia and Hercegovina (Follow Turkey) ???? Brunei (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Bulgaria (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Burkina Faso (Follow Saudi) ???? Canada (Toronto Hilal Committee) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Canada (FCNA/ISNA - Fiqh Council of North America/Islamic Society of North America) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Chechnia (Follow Saudi) ???? Chile (Local Sighting) ???? China (Following MeccaCalendar.org) ???? China (Local Sighting) ???? Colombia (Follow Chile sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Croatia (Follow Turkey) ???? Dagestan (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Denmark (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Egypt - Moon Born before sunset & moon sets at least 5 minutes after sunset ???? Fiji Islands (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Finland (Follow Saudi) ???? France (UOIF - Union of the Islamic Organizations of France) ???? France (CFCM - French Council of Muslims) Altitude > 5°, elongation > 8° May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Georgia (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Germany (ECFR - European Council for Fatwa and Research - Somewhere on the globe Altitude > 5°, elongation > 8°) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Ghana (Local Sighting) ???? Guyana (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Hungary (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Iceland (Follow Saudi) May 26, 2017 (Friday) India - Hijri Committee of India May 28, 2017 (Sunday) India (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Indonesia (Official Announcement) ???? Indonesia (Local Sighting) ???? Iran (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Iraq (Sunnis Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Ireland (ECFR - European Council for Fatwa and Research - Somewhere on the globe Altitude > 5°, elongation > 8°) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Italy (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Japan (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Jordan (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Kazakhstan (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Kenya (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Kosovo (Follow Turkey) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Kuwait (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Kyrgizstan (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Lebanon (Follow Saudi) ???? Libya (Official Announcement) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Luxembourg (ECFR - European Council for Fatwa and Research - Somewhere on the globe Altitude > 5°, elongation > 8°) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Macedonia (Follow Turkey) ???? Madagascer (Local Sighting) ???? Malawi (Local Sighting) ???? Malaysia (Official Announcement) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Mauritania (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Mauritius (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Montenegro (Follow Turkey) ???? Morocco (Local Sighting) ???? Mozambique (Local Sighting) ???? Namibia (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Netherlands (Follow Saudi) May 28, 2017 (Sunday) New Zealand (Local Sighting or follow Australia) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Nigeria (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Norway (Islamic Council of Norway - follow annoncement from any Muslim country May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Norway (Some follow Saudi) ???? Oman (Local Sighting) ???? Pakistan (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Palestine (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Philippines (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Poland (Calculation) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Qatar (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Romania (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Russia (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Saudi Arabia (Local Sighting - Official Announcement) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Serbia (Follow Turkey) ???? Senegal (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Singapore (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Slovania (Follow Turkey) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) South Africa (Local Sighting) ???? South Korea (Local Sighting) ???? Spain (Union of Islamic Communities of Spain (ucide.org), Islamic Commission of Spain) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Sri Lanka (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Sudan (Follow Saudi) ???? Suriname (News from Guyana if not seen in Suriname) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Sweden (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Switzerland (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Syria (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Taiwan (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Tajikistan (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Tanzania (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Tatarstan (Follow Saudi) ???? Thailand (Announcement) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Togo (Follow Saudi) ???? Trinidad & Tobago (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Tunisia (Criteria of age, or sunset-moonset lag) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Turkey (Possibility of sighting by telescope anywhere OR elongation > 8° & Altitude > 5° anywhere) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Turkmenistan (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) U.A.E. (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Uganda (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) UK (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) UK [Coordinated by Major Islamic Centres and Mosques of London] ???? UK [Wifaaqul ulama), (Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat], OR (Sighting from countries east of UK) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) USA (FCNA/ISNA - Fiqh Council of North America/Islamic Society of North America) ???? USA (Local Sighting) ???? USA [Shi'aas Houston Hilal Committee, Chicago Hilal Committee] May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Uzbekistan (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Yemen (Follow Saudi) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Zambia (Local Sighting) May 27, 2017 (Saturday) Zimbabwe (Local Sighting)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

SA Police and Australian Federal Police arrest SA woman and charge her with terrorism offence

SA Police and Australian Federal Police arrest SA woman and charge her with terrorism offence Meagan Dillon, Sean Fewster, Andrew Dowdell, The Advertiser an hour ago How terrorists’ online tactics are similar to paedophiles’ Security at Sheeran, Seinfeld shows under review Opinion: Distance cannot protect Australia from acts of terror A YOUNG South Australian woman accused of pledging allegiance to terrorist organisation Islamic State had been under police surveillance since she tried to leave the country last year. Ten months after Australian Federal Police first questioned her, the African-born 22-year-old student — whose identity is suppressed — was arrested at a western suburbs TAFE yesterday morning. The Advertiser can reveal the court file supporting the allegations comprises just a half-page of typed paper. Although the woman, who faces up to 10 years in jail, has been charged with knowingly and intentionally being a member of IS, it is understood she will claim she has been wrongly targeted. It is understood she has been charged due to her online interactions with people in Kenya, who she will claim are friends who are not connected with terrorism, but who authorities allege are IS members. On Tuesday her lawyer, Craig Caldicott, criticised the AFP’s approach to the case. He said his client was approached in July, briefed counsel in November but still had yet to be provided with any substantial allegations. Police officers arrest a woman charged with being a member of Islamic State. Picture: AFP The AFP arrest the women in Adelaide's western suburbs on Tuesday. Source: AFP “Clearly this has been a long investigation, but the AFP have had 10 months to pull this all together,” he said. “Yet they were unable to provide any paperwork (on Tuesday), and have claimed in court it’s going to take months to complete their investigations. “She intends to plead not guilty ... she is only 22, she’s shocked and she’s scared, and now she’s been remanded in custody.” The South Australian Joint Counter Terrorism Team started the investigation into the woman, who is an Australian citizen, in July last year when she tried to travel overseas. Her intended destination has not been revealed. Search warrants were executed on Tuesday morning at a property in Adelaide’s western suburbs and the woman was subsequently charged with being a member of the terror group. Family and friends at the western suburbs property declined to comment. The Muslim woman moved from Africa to Australia when she was aged 14. She faced the Adelaide Magistrates Court just before 4pm on Tuesday. She is charged with one count of knowingly being a member of a terrorist organisation. Court documents, viewed by The Advertiser allege she committed the offence between May 23 last year and May 23 this year. In court, Mr Caldicott, for the woman, said he had received “very little information” from prosecutors so far and so could not mount an application for bail. “I’m instructed she intends to plead not guilty to the charges,” he said. Geni Tanda, prosecuting, sought a suppression on the woman’s identity. The South Australian woman is taken to the Adelaide Magistrates Court from the watch-house by security officers. Picture: Greg Higgs “I’m instructed there are several witness statements from civilian witnesses still outstanding,” she said. “If those details are released or identified by the media, witnesses might be reluctant to provide statements to the police. Those statements will form part of the ultimate brief of evidence.” Magistrate Jayanthi McGrath suppressed the accused’s name, address and image and remanded her in custody until August. Authorities stressed the arrest was not linked to the terror attack in Manchester — which has killed at least 22 people and injured 59 — and that there was not an imminent threat in South Australia. They said the woman was not planning any attack. AFP Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Ian McCartney said the arrest highlighted the global nature of terrorism. Play 0:00 / 1:38   Fullscreen Woman arrested with terrorism charges in SA Australian Federal Police arrest the woman before laying charges. Picture: AFP “We will allege in court that she cultivated relationships with Islamic State members,” he said. “We will also allege that she pledged her allegiance to the Islamic State. “The charges we have laid against this person are serious and significant and should not be underestimated.” He said the woman first emerged on police’s radar when she attempted to travel overseas in July last year and she had been monitored up until her arrest on Tuesday. SA Police Deputy Commissioner Linda Williams said the woman was charged with membership of IS, not with planning an attack. “There is no known ongoing threat to the community,” she said. She said if there had been any risk to the community, police would have acted differently. “South Australia Police will continue to work with our partner agencies to ensure the safety of the public, including those from a range of faiths, and I would remind the community that police will not tolerate acts of violence or threats targeting any specific group within our community,” she said. The Adelaide woman charged with terrorism offences enters the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Tuesday. Picture: Greg Higgs. “Our community should feel reassured that this investigation has been thorough and is being fully supported by all responsible agencies.” A neighbour of the charged woman told The Advertiser a large contingent of police had been at her western suburbs home from about 9am to 2pm on Tuesday. “There were a lot of police there most of the day, they were all in civilian clothes not uniforms,” he said. –– ADVERTISEMENT –– “I see them but I don’t know them, I have no idea what it was about. “They are quiet people, I don’t know, people come and go but these days you don’t know who you have as neighbours.” The neighbour was shocked to hear police had arrested the woman for terrorism-related offences. “I was suspecting they were here for drugs or something, but that makes my hair stand up, we have kids and a family,” he said. The SA woman is taken to the Adelaide Magistrates Court by security officers. Picture: Greg Higgs Another neighbour said they had noticed police next door throughout the day but had little previous interaction with the woman or anyone else who lived in the brick home. “I heard something on the news earlier, I saw cars everywhere but didn’t see anything until the police came back out,” he said. “I don’t know, I think it’s just a family in there but yeah, it’s a bit of a shock.” Last year, a western suburbs man, 51, was charged with advocating terrorism by filming demonstrations on how to kill Jewish people — becoming the first South Australian person to be charged with a terrorism-related offence. Last week, his lawyer successfully argued for his identity to remain a secret despite a magistrate revoking secrecy orders surrounding his identity after he formally denied the charges. He was ordered to stand trial at a later date and remanded in custody. Anyone with information about members of the community becoming radicalised is urged to call the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400. Originally published as SA woman ‘intends to plead not guilty’ to terrorism

Monday, May 22, 2017

22 killed in suspected suicide attack at Ariana Grande concert in Britain

Muslim historians claim Abdelkader saved 15,000 Christians, which may be a bit of an exaggeration. But here was a man for Muslims to emulate and Westerners to admire After the Manchester massacre… yes, and after Nice and Paris, Mosul and Abu Ghraib and 7/7 and the Haditha massacre – remember those 28 civilians, including children, killed by US Marines, four more than Manchester but no minute’s silence for them? And of course 9/11… Counterbalancing cruelty is no response, of course. Just a reminder. As long as we bomb the Middle East instead of seeking justice there, we too will be attacked. But what we must concentrate upon, according to the monstrous Trump, is terror, terror, terror, terror, terror. And fear. And security. Which we will not have while we are promoting death in the Muslim world and selling weapons to its dictators. Believe in “terror” and Isis wins. Believe in justice and Isis is defeated. So I suspect it’s time to raise the ghost of a man known as the Emir Abdelkader – Muslim, Sufi, sheikh, ferocious warrior, humanist, mystic, protector of his people against Western barbarism, protector of Christians against Muslim barbarism, so brave that the Algerian state insisted his bones were brought home from his beloved Damascus, so noble that Abe Lincoln sent him a pair of Colt pistols and the French gave him the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour. He loved education, he admired the Greek philosophers, he forbade his fighters to destroy books, he worshipped a religion which believed – so he thought – in human rights. But hands up all readers who know the name of Abdelkader. Close Modal Dialog This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Share: Salman Abedi - what we know about the Manchester attacker Facebook Google+ LinkedIn Pinterest Tumblr Twitter Direct Link Embed Code Salman Abedi - what we know about the Manchester attacker We should think of him now more than ever. He was not a “moderate” because he fought back savagely against the French occupation of his land. He was not an extremist because, in his imprisonment at the Chateau d’Amboise, he talked of Christians and Muslims as brothers. He was supported by Victor Hugo and Lord Londonderry and earned the respect of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III) and the French state paid him a pension of 100,000 francs. He deserved it. When the French invaded Algeria, Abdelkader Ibn Muhiedin al-Juzairi (Abdelkader, son of Muhiedin, the Algerian,1808-1883, for those who like obituaries) embarked on a successful guerrilla war against one of the best equipped armies in the Western world – and won. He set up his own state in western Algeria – Muslim but employing Christian and Jewish advisors – and created separate departments (defence, education, etc), which stretched as far as the Moroccan border. It even had its own currency, the “muhamediya”. He made peace with the French – a truce which the French broke by invading his lands yet again. Abdelkader demanded a priest to minister for his French prisoners, even giving them back their freedom when he had no food for them. The French sacked the Algerian towns they captured, a hundred Hadithas to suppress Abdelkader’s resistance. When at last he was defeated, he surrendered in honour – handing over his horse as a warrior – on the promise of exile in Alexandria or Acre. Again the French betrayed him, packing him off to prison in Toulon and then to the interior of France. Muslim man comforts elderly Jewish woman in symbol of Manchester unity 4 show all Yet in his French exile, he preached peace and brotherhood and studied French and spoke of the wisdom of Plato and Socrates, Aristotle and Ptolemy and Averoes and later wrote a book, Call to the Intelligent, which should be available on every social media platform. He also, by the way, wrote a book on horses which proves he was ever an Arab in the saddle. But his courage was demonstrated yet again in Damascus in 1860 where he lived as an honoured exile. The Christian-Druze civil war in Lebanon had spread to Damascus where the Christian population found themselves surrounded by the Muslim Druze who arrived with Isis-like cruelty, brandishing swords and knives to slaughter their adversaries. Abdelkader sent his Algerian Muslim guards – his personal militia – to bash their way through the mob and escort more than 10,000 Christians to his estate. And when the crowds with their knives arrived at his door, he greeted them with a speech which is still recited in the Middle East (though utterly ignored these days in the West). “You pitiful creatures!” he shouted. “Is this the way you honour the Prophet? God punish you! Shame on you, shame! The day will come when you will pay for this … I will not hand over a single Christian. They are my brothers. Get out of here or I’ll set my guards on you.” Muslim historians claim Abdelkader saved 15,000 Christians, which may be a bit of an exaggeration. But here was a man for Muslims to emulate and Westerners to admire. His fury was expressed in words which would surely have been used today against the cult-like caliphate executioners of Isis. Of course, the “Christian” West would honour him at the time (although, interestingly, he received a letter of praise from the Muslim leader of wildly independent Chechnya). He was an “interfaith dialogue” man to please Pope Francis. Abdelkader was invited to Paris. An American town was named after him – Elkader in Clayton County, Iowa, and it’s still there, population 1,273. Founded in the mid-19th century, it was natural to call your home after a man who was, was he not, honouring the Rights of Man of American Independence and the French Revolution? Abdelkader flirted with Freemasonry – most scholars believe he was not taken in – and loved science to such an extent that he accepted an invitation to the opening of the Suez Canal, which was surely an imperial rather than a primarily scientific project. Abdelkader met De Lesseps. He saw himself, one suspects, as Islam’s renaissance man, a man for all seasons, the Muslim for all people, an example rather than a saint, a philosopher rather than a priest. But of course, Abdelkader’s native Algeria is a neighbour of Libya from where Salman Abedi’s family came, and Abdelkader died in Syria, whose assault by US aircraft – according to Abedi’s sister – was the reason he slaughtered the innocent of Manchester. And so geography contracts and history fades, and Abedi’s crime is, for now, more important than all of Abdelkader’s life and teaching and example. So for Mancunians, whether they tattoo bees onto themselves or merely buy flowers, why not pop into Manchester’s central library in St Peter’s Square and ask for Elsa Marsten’s The Compassionate Warrior or John Kiser’s Commander of the Faithful or, published just a few months ago, Mustapha Sherif’s L’Emir Abdelkader: Apotre de la fraternite? They are no antidotes for sorrow or mourning. But they prove that Isis does not represent Islam and that a Muslim can earn the honour of the world. More about: Manchester attack Islam ================================ Thu May 25, 2017 | 5:18 AM EDT UK police stop sharing information on Manchester attack with U.S. after leaks ‹ 15/15 A woman holds flowers as she takes part in a vigil in central Manchester. Reuters/Darren Staples 1/15 A woman looks at flowers for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester Britain. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth 2/15 Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing Street in London. Reuters/Toby Melville 3/15 Mourners are reflected in balloons as they stand beside floral tributes near the Manchester Arena in central Manchester, Britain, May 24, 2017. Reuters/Jon Super 4/15 A Muslim woman wearing a Union Flag head scarf is seen near the Manchester Arena in central Manchester, Britain, May 24, 2017. Reuters/Jon Super 5/15 People take part in a vigil in central Manchester. Reuters/Peter Nicholls 6/15 Flowers and messages are left for the victims in central Manchester. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth 7/15 Women pay their respects following a vigil in central Manchester. Reuters/Peter Nicholls 8/15 People take part in a vigil in central Manchester. Reuters/Peter Nicholls 9/15 Flowers and messages for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester. Reuters/Darren Staples 10/15 A young woman reacts as she holds a rose while looking at the messages and floral tributes left for the victims of the attack on Manchester Arena, in central Manchester. Reuters/Jon Super 11/15 Women wait to take part in a vigil in central Manchester. Reuters/Darren Staples 12/15 A message is left for the victims in central Manchester. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth 13/15 City council employees move flowers from the townhall in Albert Square to St Ann's Square in Manchester, Britain. Reuters/Peter Nicholls 14/15 Messages and floral tributes left for the victims of the attack on Manchester Arena lie around the statue in St Ann's Square in central Manchester. Reuters/Jon Super 15/15 A woman holds flowers as she takes part in a vigil in central Manchester. Reuters/Darren Staples 1/15 A woman looks at flowers for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester Britain. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth › UK police stop sharing information on Manchester... By Andy Bruce and Kylie MacLellan | MANCHESTER/LONDON British police have stopped sharing information on the suicide bombing in Manchester with the United States, the BBC reported on Thursday, because of fears that leaks to the U.S. media could hinder a hunt for a possible bomb-maker still at large. The row came as police pressed a fast-paced investigation into Monday's bombing, which killed 22 people at a music venue packed with children and raised fears a further attack could be imminent. Troops have been deployed to guard key points and eight people have been arrested. Authorities have said the 22-year-old bomber, British-born Salman Abedi, was part of a network and had recently returned from Libya, where his parents were born. Police chiefs have made clear they are furious about the publication of confidential material in U.S. media, including bomb site photographs in the New York Times, saying such leaks undermined relationships with trusted security allies. "This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorized disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counter-terrorism investigation," a National Counter Terrorism Policing spokesman said in a statement. British Prime Minister Theresa May will raise the issue with U.S. President Donald Trump when she meets him at a NATO summit in Brussels later on Thursday, a government source told Reuters. ADVERTISEMENT The pictures published by the New York Times included remains of the bomb and of the rucksack carried by the suicide bomber, and showed blood stains amid the wreckage. "I think it's pretty disgusting," said Scott Lightfoot, a Manchester resident, speaking outside a train station in the city. He criticized media for publishing such material. "Who's leaking it? Where's it coming from? This is British intelligence at the end of the day, people shouldn't be finding out about this." "BOMB-MAKING WORKSHOP" The Financial Times reported that such images are available across a restricted-access encrypted special international database used by government ordnance and explosives experts in about 20 countries allied with Britain. It said the database was built around a longstanding U.S.-British system. The BBC said Manchester Police hoped to resume normal intelligence relationships soon but was currently furious. The bombing, which took place at the Manchester Arena indoor venue just after the end of a concert by U.S. pop singer Ariana Grande, was the deadliest in Britain since July 2005, when 52 people were killed in attacks on London's transport network. Related Coverage UK PM May to chair emergency committee meeting at 0830 GMT: spokesman UK PM May to raise intelligence leaks with Trump: UK government source UK suicide bomber was in Germany days before Manchester attack: Sky UK stops sharing information on Manchester attack with United States after leaks: BBC The Manchester attack has caused revulsion across the world because it targeted children and teenagers, who make up the bulk of Grande's fan base. The victims ranged from an eight-year-old schoolgirl to parents who had come to pick up their children. U.S. channel ABC News reported that police had found a kind of bomb-making workshop in Abedi's home and he had apparently stockpiled enough chemicals to make additional bombs. British news website The Independent also reported bomb-making materials which could be primed for imminent attacks had been found in the raids following the Manchester bombing. The report said one suspect device was blown up in a controlled explosion. Britain views the United States as its closest ally, and the two countries also share intelligence as part of the "Five Eyes" network which also includes Australia, Canada and New Zealand. After Trump defended his decision to discuss intelligence with the Russians during a White House meeting, May said last week that Britain would continue to share intelligence with the United States. (Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Ralph Boulton) ---------------------- Tue May 23, 2017 | 2:01 AM EDT 3h ago | 01:15 Blast kills at least 19 at concert; suicide bomber suspected Nineteen killed in suspected suicide attack at... X By Michael Holden and Andrew Yates | MANCHESTER, England At least 19 people were killed and 59 wounded in an explosion at the end of a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande in the English city of Manchester on Monday, in what two U.S. officials said was a suspected suicide bombing. Prime Minister Theresa May said the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack. If confirmed, it would be the deadliest militant assault in Britain since four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London's transport system in July 2005. Police responded to reports of an explosion shortly after 10:33 pm (2133 GMT) at Manchester Arena, which has the capacity to hold 21,000 people, where the U.S. singer had been performing to an audience that included many children. A witness who attended the concert said she felt a huge blast as she was leaving the arena, followed by screaming and a rush by thousands of people trying to escape the building. A video posted on Twitter showed fans, many of them young, screaming and running from the venue. Dozens of parents frantically searched for their children, posting photos and pleading for information on social media. "We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming," concert-goer Catherine Macfarlane told Reuters. "It was a huge explosion - you could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out." Ariana Grande, 23, later said on Twitter: "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words." May, who faces an election in two-and-a-half weeks, said her thoughts were with the victims and their families. May and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, agreed to suspend campaigning ahead of the June 8 election. "We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack," May said in a statement. "All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected." May will hold a crisis response meeting on Tuesday. Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said police were treating the blast as a terrorist incident and were working with counter-terrorism police and intelligence agencies but gave no further details on their investigation. ADVERTISEMENT Related Coverage VIDEOBritish police treating deadly concert blast as 'terrorist incident' VIDEODeadly blast at Manchester Ariana Grande concert VIDEOVideo captures chaos at Manchester Arena VIDEOPeople flee Manchester Arena after deadly blast at Ariana Grande concert 'Pls help me...': Frantic parents hunt for missing kids after UK concert blast Chinese President Xi Jinping sent his condolences over the blast to Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Chinese state media reported. SUICIDE BOMBER? There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but U.S. officials drew parallels to the coordinated attacks in November 2015 by Islamist militants on the Bataclan concert hall and other sites in Paris, which claimed about 130 lives. Two U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said initial signs indicated that a suicide bomber was responsible for the blast. "In the absence of conclusive evidence, the choice of venue, the timing and the mode of attack all suggest this was terrorism," said a U.S. counter terrorism official who also spoke on condition of anonymity. Islamic State supporters took to social media to celebrate the blast and some encouraged similar attacks elsewhere. [L8N1IP096] Britain is on its second-highest alert level of "severe", meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was monitoring the situation in Manchester closely but said it had no information to indicate a specific credible threat involving music venues in the United States. British counter-terrorism police have said they are making on average an arrest every day in connection with suspected terrorism. In March, a British-born convert to Islam ploughed a car into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge, killing four people before stabbing to death a police officer who was on the grounds of parliament. The man was shot dead at the scene. In 2015, Pakistani student Abid Naseer was convicted in a U.S. court of conspiring with al Qaeda to blow up the Arndale shopping center in the center of Manchester in April 2009. Related Coverage Islamic State supporters celebrate Manchester attack online, no official claim No indication of threat to U.S. music venues after Manchester blast: U.S. Ariana Grande says she is 'broken' in tweet after Manchester attack Britain suspends election campaign after suspected attack UK police say controlled explosion was precautionary PARENTS' ANGUISH Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, opened in 1995 and is a popular concert and sporting venue. Desperate parents and friends used social media to search for loved ones while the wounded were being treated at six hospitals across Manchester. "Everyone pls share this, my little sister Emma was at the Ari concert tonight in #Manchester and she isn't answering her phone, pls help me," said one message posted alongside a picture of a blonde girl with flowers in her hair. Paula Robinson, 48, from West Dalton about 40 miles east of Manchester, said she was at the train station next to the arena with her husband when she felt the explosion and saw dozens of teenage girls screaming and running away from arena. "We ran out," Robinson told Reuters. "It was literally seconds after the explosion. I got the teens to run with me." Robinson took dozens of teenage girls to the nearby Holiday Inn Express hotel and tweeted out her phone number to worried parents, telling them to meet her there. She said her phone had not stopped ringing since her tweet. "Parents were frantic running about trying to get to their children," she said. "There were lots of lots children at Holiday Inn." For a graphic showing where the blast hit, click: tmsnrt.rs/2rbQAay (Additional Reporting by Alistair Smout, Kate Holton and David Milliken in LONDON, Mark Hosenball in LOS ANGELES, John Walcott in WASHINGTON, D.C., Leela de Kretser in NEW YORK, Mostafa Hashem in CAIRO, and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Nick Tattersall; Editing by Sandra Maler, Toni Reinhold and Paul Tait)

In Bombardier fight, Boeing sees ghost of Airbus ascent

Mon May 22, 2017 | 12:53 PM EDT ‹ 3/3 A logo of jet manufacturer Bombardier is pictured on their booth during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, May 22, 2017. Reuters/Denis Balibouse 1/3 FILE PHOTO: Bombardier's C Series aircrafts are assembled in their plant in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada April 29, 2016. Reuters/Christinne Muschi/File Photo 2/3 FILE PHOTO: Shareholders line up to view Bombardier's CS300 aircraft following their annual general meeting in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada April 29, 2016. Reuters/Christinne Muschi/File Photo 3/3 A logo of jet manufacturer Bombardier is pictured on their booth during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, May 22, 2017. Reuters/Denis Balibouse 1/3 FILE PHOTO: Bombardier's C Series aircrafts are assembled in their plant in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada April 29, 2016. Reuters/Christinne Muschi/File Photo › In Bombardier fight, Boeing sees ghost of Airbus... X By Tim Hepher and Alwyn Scott | PARIS/SEATTLE Two words underpin Boeing's (BA.N) decision to launch a U.S. trade complaint against Bombardier (BBDb.TO), which plunged it into a row with Canada last week: "Never again". Allegations that the Canadian firm dumped newly designed CSeries passenger jets in the United States at a steep loss have threatened a sale of F/A-18 warplanes to Ottawa, sending Boeing scrambling to save the deal. Some analysts say Boeing carelessly put at risk billions of dollars of defense work or pandered to growing protectionism. But decades after Boeing failed to prevent European upstart Airbus gaining momentum with early victories in the United States, people familiar with the company say the strategic importance of defending its core passenger jet business outweighs the diplomatic storm. U.S. industry experts say Boeing and other jetmakers at the time did not take the European consortium seriously enough and allowed their future nemesis to poach U.S. airlines from 1978. Again after the September 2001 attacks in the United States, when Boeing slashed production, Airbus (AIR.PA) filled the vacuum, building up market share and never looking back. For years Boeing insiders have rued that decision, even while battling Airbus at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over mutual accusations of unfair subsidies. While leading in widebody jets, it has seen the narrowbody market – where the industry makes most cash - slip away as Airbus grabbed some 60 percent of new-generation sales. Such a significant imbalance in market share poses serious long-term risk to the loser in the Airbus-Boeing duopoly, because it creates a gap in costs that can't easily be bridged. Now, Boeing sees a second rival entering its domestic market with what it sees as low prices and is determined not to underestimate the threat again, people close to the company say. ADVERTISEMENT "It's a crucial entry market," said a person familiar with Boeing's strategy in taking on Bombardier. "This is the case Boeing might have brought against Airbus 40 years ago. Not taking action at the start led to consequences." On the surface, Boeing's case is about the sale of jets to Delta Air Lines at what Boeing claims were unfairly low prices. Bombardier denies Boeing's estimates of both the price and the cost at which it is able to make its new jet, while critics say Boeing accounting rules allow it to disguise weak pricing. While the high-profile deal ignited Boeing's complaint, executives say Boeing's stance reflects a longer-term concern. Although Bombardier's small narrowbody jet has so far barely scratched Boeing's larger 737 and has suffered a spate of financial problems, the all-new design disturbs a landscape made up mainly by makeovers of existing Airbus and Boeing models. With Airbus still well ahead on narrowbody orders even after a recent lull, Boeing can ill afford to be squeezed on two fronts. Even less so with new players like China arriving. A Boeing spokesman declined to comment. PRECISION TRADE WEAPON Boeing's response marries strategic worries about its narrowbody position with a legal tactic designed to exploit a vulnerability the CSeries has, but global rival Airbus did not. The 110-130 seat CSeries relies mainly for now on the regional jet market, where North America is by far the largest single component and whose airlines therefore decide its future. That hands Boeing the opportunity to make use of a domestic lawsuit ill-suited to its global confrontation with Airbus, but which if successful could deliver a hammer blow to the CSeries. Also In Business News Sterling retreats after Manchester blast, opinion polls, stocks mixed Trump budget plan slashes food stamps, healthcare for poor Trade sources see a second tactical motive for spurning the WTO and filing the industry's first such domestic U.S. case. U.S. anti-dumping cases typically take a year - versus 13 years and counting in its trench warfare against Airbus. That coincides with first delivery of a CSeries to Delta in April 2018. If Boeing succeeds, the jets could be hit from day one with extra duties, blunting Bombardier's competitiveness more quickly and more directly than normal trade sanctions. Still, Boeing faces a headache over what to do about lost fighter sales if Canada makes good on a threat to drop a deal for F/A-18 warplanes in retaliation for Boeing's trade claim. With Boeing's future fighter production in jeopardy as sales run dry, Boeing is anxious to keep its presence in that business long enough to compete for tomorrow's military programs. But without stability in its narrowbody jetliner business, Boeing faces an even deeper concern, since this is the cash cow for many of the company's other activities. Sources says Boeing's defense bosses signed off on bringing the trade case, highlighting the importance attached to the 737. The broader stakes raised by Bombardier's foray into the U.S. market were underscored when China was reported to revive on-off talks to invest in Bombardier. Airbus itself weighed buying the CSeries before talks collapsed in 2015. Whoever wins the trade spat between Bombardier and Boeing, one thing is clear: the small jet from Montreal has made its mark on the strategic calculations of all industry rivals, and now faces a battle for new sales. (Additional reporting by Allison Lampert; Editing by Mark Potter)

At least 19 dead in blast at Ariana Grande concert in British arena

Mon May 22, 2017 | 8:31 PM EDT 39m ago | 00:44 Deadly blast at Manchester Ariana Grande concert At least 19 dead in blast at Ariana Grande concert... X By Jon Super | MANCHESTER, England A blast on Monday night at a concert in the English city of Manchester where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing left at least 19 people dead and about 50 injured in what British police said was being treated as a terrorist incident. Police said they were responding to reports of an explosion and that there were a number of confirmed fatalities and others injured at the arena, which has a capacity for 21,000 people. A witness who attended the concert said she felt a huge blast as she was leaving the arena, followed by screaming and a rush as thousands of people trying to escape. "We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming," concert-goer Catherine Macfarlane told Reuters. "It was a huge explosion - you could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out." Witnesses reported that many children were at the concert. Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, opened in 1995 and is a popular concert and sporting venue. Related Coverage VIDEOVideo captures chaos at Manchester Arena British police say 19 dead, 50 injured in Manchester 'terrorist incident' At least 10 believed dead after Manchester blast: BBC UK bomb disposal team at scene of Manchester incident: Sky News Witness saw 20 to 30 people on the ground following blast in British arena: BBC A spokesman for Ariana Grande, 23, said the singer was "okay". A video posted on Twitter showed fans, many of them young, screaming and running from the venue. Britain is on its second-highest alert level of "severe" meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely. (Reporting by Alistair Smout; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Sandra Maler, Toni Reinhold)