ടെഹ്റാൻ: വടക്കൻ ഇറാക്കിലെ സെമ്നാനില് ട്രെയിനുകൾ കൂട്ടിയിടിച്ച് 43 പേര് മരിച്ചു.ട്രെയിനിന്റെ നാലു കോച്ചുകളാണ് അപകടത്തിൽ തകർന്നത്. കൂട്ടിയിടിയെത്തുടർന്നു കോച്ചുകൾ കത്തുന്നതിന്റെ ദൃശ്യങ്ങൾ ഇറാൻ സ്റ്റേറ്റ് ടെലിവിഷൻ പുറത്തുവിട്ടിരുന്നു.
ടെഹ്റാനിൽനിന്നും 400 കിലോമീറ്റർ അകലെ ഷാഹ്റൂദ് നഗരത്തിലെ കാഫ്ത് ഖാൻ സ്റ്റേഷനിലായിരുന്നു അപകടം. സ്റ്റേഷനിൽ നിർത്തിയിട്ടിരുന്ന ട്രെയിനിലേക്കു മറ്റൊരു ട്രെയിൻ ഇടിച്ചുകയറുകയായിരുന്നുവെന്ന് ദൃക്സാക്ഷികൾ പറഞ്ഞു. അപകടത്തെപ്പറ്റി സർക്കാർ അന്വേഷണം ആരംഭിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്.
Jihadi militants in Syria including al Qaeda are mobilizing again for all-out war against President Bashar al-Assad, taking advantage of the collapse of peace talks to eclipse nationalist rival insurgents that signed on to a faltering truce.
Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch, the Nusra Front, was excluded from a ceasefire put in place in February and from peace talks that followed. The talks broke up last month, with Assad’s government and foes blaming each other for military escalation.
After lying low in the early days of the truce, Nusra has re-emerged on the battlefield as the diplomacy has unraveled, spearheading recent attacks on pro-government Iranian militias near Aleppo, Nusra commanders and other rebels say.
In the latest expansion of its profile, it and other groups have revived the Jaish al-Fatah, or the army of conquest, a military alliance of disparate Islamist rebel groups that won big victories against government forces last year.
Nusra’s resurgence could undermine the Western-backed rebel groups that signed up to the truce and attended the peace talks, and gives Assad’s government and its Russian and Iranian backers more reasons to press on with a war during which they have hit insurgents of all stripes.
“Jaish al-Fatah has returned, but this time in strength, and our goal is to spread to the major fronts in Syria,” said Abu Shaimaa, a Nusra Front commander, speaking to Reuters from rebel-held Idlib province, of the revival of the Islamist rebel alliance.
“We ask God that with Jaish al-Fatah’s return, the victories will also return,” added Zaher Abu Hassan, head of a Jaish al-Fatah media organization in Idlib.
The Islamist rebels still face the challenge of overcoming their own rivalries. One senior insurgent source said that while Jaish al-Fatah had made a comeback in one area, talks were still underway to relaunch the alliance more widely.
“In southern Aleppo, yes there is an operations room, but the goal is (to repeat it) on all the active fronts,” he said.
The insurgency against Assad is a patchwork of factions ranging from groups linked to al Qaeda or inspired by it, to those with a nationalist agenda that fight under the banner of the Free Syrian Army. Some of these groups have received military aid from the United States, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.
The Islamic State group, which broke away from al Qaeda, is in conflict with both other insurgent groups and Damascus as it fights for its self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq. It has lost territory in recent months but still controls much of eastern and northern Syria.Last year the Islamist rebel factions that formed Jaish al-Fatah put aside rivalries to drive the Syrian government out of Idlib province before thrusting into the areas near the coastal mountains that form the heartland of Assad’s Alawite sect. That advance helped prompt Russia’s decision to send its air force to bomb on behalf of Assad, tipping the war his way with the help of Iranian reinforcements on the ground.Rebel sources gave differing accounts on how far the groups in Jaish al-Fatah had gone toward reviving the alliance, particularly on the extent of the involvement of Ahrar al-Sham, a powerful group widely believed to be backed by Turkey.
Ahrar al-Sham, an important component of the alliance last year, had backed the political track but has steadily distanced itself from U.N.-led diplomacy that failed to secure a full halt to air strikes, adequate aid deliveries, or a prisoner release.Ahrar al-Sham and the Nusra Front, both powerful in northwestern Syria, joined forces in an attack that resulted in the capture of a government-held Alawite town in Hama province on May 13, though not operating under the Jaish al-Fatah banner.The May 6 capture of another town, Khan Touman south of Aleppo, from pro-government Shi’ite militias including Iranians was openly attributed to Jaish al-Fatah, with rebels identifying Nusra and another group, Jund al-Aqsa, as the leading forces.
Insurgent sources said Nusra Front and its allies had deployed to southern Aleppo from nearby Idlib, one of their strongholds, to stave off attempted government advances that threatened to splinter rebel-held areas in two.Hardline Sunni Islamist Sheikh Abdullah al-Mohaisany, a Saudi national, has meanwhile been on a new recruitment drive in Idlib. At one rally, captured in a video posted on YouTube, he urges all males over the age of 15 to join the jihad.A resident of the area where the rally was held said around 300 youths had volunteered that day, and they would be funneled into Jaish al-Fatah factions.
Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has also weighed in on Syria in a voice message, lambasting the political process and urging jihadists to unite. His remarks were interpreted as a directive for the group to focus more of its attention on Syria.FSA groups that played a prominent role in the diplomatic process launched this year with U.S. and Russian blessing say they still have the upper hand over Nusra in important areas, notably the city of Aleppo itself, and areas of southern Syria near the border with Jordan.
FSA groups have been battling Islamic State at the Turkish border in recent weeks, while also fending off three government offensives just north of Aleppo, said Zakaria Malahefji, politburo chief of one such group, Fastaqim.They say they will not return to peace talks until the situation improves on the ground. Reflecting the dim prospects for diplomacy, no date for talks emerged from an international meeting on Tuesday.Another FSA commander said the prominent role played by the Nusra Front in recent battles was “a dangerous indicator” of where the war was headed if diplomacy failed completely.
The commander, a senior opposition official speaking on condition of anonymity, said Nusra had seized the moment to demonstrate its value to the insurgency and the futility of diplomacy.“There is talk about the restructuring of Jaish al-Fatah, particularly after the victory in Khan Touman,” he said. “The lack of a political horizon and aid, or anything that brings relief to the people, raises the chances of the formation of Jaish al-Fatah and the alliance with Nusra.”
Noah Bonsey, a senior analyst with International Crisis Group, said the re-emergence of Jaish al-Fatah was an indicator of the political climate in the opposition and its realization that the cessation of hostilities was not sustainable.The resumption of fighting was good for Nusra, he added: “This is giving them credibility, whereas the cessation appeared to be diminishing their credibility and highlighting real rifts between Nusra and the rest of the rebellion.”Much of the opposition believed “that the regime and the Iran-backed militias were able to benefit from it, and that they need to join Nusra in reasserting offensive pressure”, he said.
A Pennsylvania toll booth was the site of a botched robbery Sunday in which a retired state trooper shot and killed two people before dying nearby in a gunfight with other troopers. Clarence Briggs, 55, who retired as a trooper four years ago, was identified as the man shot by Pennsylvania troopers at the Fort Littleton exchange in Fulton County, reported the Allentown Morning Call.
Turnpike worker Danny Crouse, 55, and security guard Ronald Heist, 71, were killed at the toll booth complex. A Pennsylvania State Police news release said that the incident happened just before 7 a.m. Sunday.
Authorities told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Briggs confronted Crouse and a female employee at gunpoint and ordered them both inside a turnpike office building. Briggs and Crouse struggled when he tried to tie up the two and Briggs fled with Crouse chasing him.
Heist, a former police officer working for the Schaad Detective Agency, left the passenger side of a fare collection van that drove up and joined Crouse in confronting Briggs, That is when Briggs fired and killed both men, along with firing shots at the van, according to the Post-Gazette.Special: Melissa McCarthy Stuns Hollywood by Dropping 55 lbs in 40 Days
\\\"The driver of the fare collection vehicle was able to flee on foot,\\\" state police said. \\\"Briggs then gained access to the fare collection vehicle and drove it a short distance across State Route 522 to an area where his car was parked. Briggs attempted to unload money from the fare collection vehicle to his car.\\\"
Troopers arrived on the scene and one exchanged gunfire with Briggs, killing him at the scene, state police said.The Morning Call said Briggs and his wife, Donna, had filed for personal bankruptcy in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg on March 9. They listed between $100,001 and $500,000 in credit card, student loan, mortgage and vehicle loan debt, along with having three vehicles.
Kochi: The High Court Wednesday stayed the appointment of former DGP Vinson M Paul as Chief Information Commissioner by the UDF government in the state.The court passed the order on a petition challenging recommendations made by the committee for appointment of Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners on the ground that no proecedure was followed by the panel.The appointment of five other commissioners has also been stayed.
Following the petition, Justice Mohammed Mustaq had directed the government to produce the file leading to recommendations of the committee under Section 15(3) of RTI Act of Kerala.
Petitioner S Somanathan Pillai alleged that the committee followed no procedure and recommended personnel without assessing the merit of candidates and on political considerations and whims and fancies.The selection panel, comprising Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Industry Minister P K Kunhalikutty and opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, had met in February to shortlist the CIC and five Information Commissioners.The name of Paul was recommended to the Governor with dissent from Achuthanandan.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hailed his Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for the poor-friendly general budget that will also fulfil their dream of owning a house.
\\\"Ask a common man, ask a poor man. They have a dream to own a house… and the government can help them fulfil that dream,\\\" Modi said in his post-budget comments which were televised on national TV.
Modi said the government in its budget has laid emphasis on \\\"strengthening the houses sector and give a house to poor\\\" in India.
\\\"Through this budget, the housing sector will be strengthened and this will boost our dream of \\\'Housing for All\\\'.\\\"
In his budget speech in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley said the government will provide assistance to those looking to purchase their first homes.
The finance minister announced deduction for additional interest of Rs.50,000 per annum for loans up to Rs.35 lakh sanctioned in 2016-17 for first time home buyers, where house cost does not exceed Rs.50 lakh.
The government also proposed to provide relief to millions of families living in rented houses in the country. \\\"Deduction for rent paid will be raised from Rs 20,000 to Rs 60,000 to benefit those living in rented houses,\\\" Jaitley said.
Modi also said that the general budget was focused on the development of agriculture, farmers, women and rural areas.
\\\"The budget clearly calls for electrifying all villages thus giving an impetus to rural infrastructure,\\\" he said in his comments.
Three years after the election of Pope Francis, Roman Catholic conservatives are growing increasingly worried that he is quietly unravelling the legacy of his predecessors.Francis\\\' popularity with most Catholics, and legions of non-Catholics, has given him the image of a grandfatherly parish priest who understands how difficult it sometimes is to follow Church teachings, particularly those on sexual morality.
Conservatives worry that behind the gentle facade lies a dangerous reformer who is diluting Catholic teaching on moral issues like homosexuality and divorce while focusing on social problems such as climate change and economic inequality.Interviews with four Vatican officials, including two cardinals and an archbishop, as well as theologians and commentators, highlighted conservative fears that Francis\\\' words and deeds may eventually rupture the 1.2 billion member Church.
Chatter on conservative blogs regularly accuses the Argentine pontiff of spreading doctrinal confusion and isolating those who see themselves as guardians of the faith.\\\"Going to bed. Wake me up when this pontificate is over,\\\" Damien Thompson, associate editor of the British weekly The Spectator and a conservative Catholic commentator tweeted last month.
Thompson was among conservatives stung by a freewheeling news conference Francis gave on a flight home from Mexico.In it, he stirred up the U.S. presidential debate by criticising Republican candidate Donald Trump\\\'s immigration stance and made comments that were interpreted as an opening to use contraceptives to stop the spread of the Zika virus.
They were the latest in a line of unscripted utterances that have left many conservatives feeling nostalgic for the days of Francis\\\'s two predecessors, Benedict and John Paul, who regularly thundered against contraception, homosexuality and abortion.
\\\"Every time this happens I wonder if he realises how much confusion he is causing,\\\" said a conservative Rome-based cardinal who took part in the conclave that elected Francis three years ago and spoke on the condition of anonymity. He would not say if he voted for Francis because participants in conclaves are sworn to secrecy.Another senior official, an archbishop in an important Vatican ministry, said: \\\"These comments alarm not only tradition-minded priests but even liberal priests who have complained to me that people are challenging them on issues that are very straight-forward, saying \\\'the pope would let me do this why don\\\'t you?\\\'\\\"
Francis first shocked conservatives just months after his election on March 13, 2013, when he said \\\"Who am I to judge?\\\" about Catholic homosexuals who were at least trying to live by Church rules that they should be chaste.
He caused further upset when he changed Church rules to allow women to take part in a male-only Lenten service, ruled out any campaigns to convert Jews and approved a \\\"common prayer\\\" with Lutherans for joint commemorations for next year\\\'s 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.
An important crossroads in the conservative-progressive showdown is looming and might come as early as mid-March. It could reveal how far this politically astute pontiff wants to transform his Church.
Francis is due to issue a document called an Apostolic Exhortation after two years of debate and two major meetings of bishops to discuss the family - the Vatican\\\'s way of referring to its policies concerning sex.
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The exercise, which began with an unprecedented poll of Catholics around the world, boiled down in the end to one hot-button issue - whether divorced Catholics who remarry outside the Church can receive communion at the central rite of Mass.Conservatives say any change would undermine the principle of the indissolubility of marriage that Jesus established.
At the end of the synod last year, Francis excoriated immovable Church leaders who he said \\\"bury their heads in the sand\\\" and hide behind rigid doctrine while families suffer.The gathering\\\'s final document spoke of a so-called \\\"internal forum\\\" in which a priest or a bishop may work with a Catholic who has divorced and remarried to decide privately and on a case-by-case basis if he or she can be fully re-integrated.
That crack in the doctrinal door annoyed many conservatives, who fear Francis\\\' upcoming document may open the flood gates.It is difficult to quantify Catholic conservatives. Liberals say they are a minority and reject conservative assertions that they are the real \\\"base\\\" of the Church.\\\"The overwhelming majority of Catholics understand what the pope wants to do, and that is to reach out to everyone,\\\" said another cardinal close to Francis.
Regardless of what their actual numbers might be, conservatives have big megaphones in social media.\\\"It really has gotten more shrill and intense since Francis took over because he seems to get only positive feedback from the mainstream media. Therefore in the strange logic of (conservative) groups, he is someone who is immediately suspect if only for that,\\\" said the Catholic blogger Arthur Rosman.
One of the leading conservative standard bearers, Ross Douthat, the Catholic author and New York Times op-ed columnist, has expressed deep worry about the long-term repercussions of the issue of communion for the divorced and remarried.\\\"It may be that this conflict has only just begun,\\\" Douthat said in a lecture to American conservatives in January. \\\"And it may be that as with previous conflicts in Church history, it will eventually be serious enough to end in real schism, a permanent parting of the ways.\\\"