ഇസ്താംബൂള്: പുതുവത്സരാഘോഷങ്ങള്ക്കിടെ തുര്ക്കിയിലെ ഇസ്താംബൂളിലെ നിശാക്ലബ്ബിൽ സാന്താക്ലോസ് വേഷധാരികള് നടത്തിയ വെടിവെപ്പിൽ പോലീസ് ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥനുള്പ്പടെ 39 പേര് കൊല്ലപ്പെട്ടു.40ഒാളം പേർക്ക് പരിക്ക്.മരിച്ചവരിൽ 19 പേർ വിദേശികളാണ്. ഒര്ട്ടാക്കോയ് മേഖലയിലെ റെയ്ന നിശാക്ലബ്ബിലാണ് പുലര്ച്ചെ 1.30 ഓടെ അക്രമികള് വെടിയുതിര്ത്തത്.
സംഭവ സമയത്ത് ക്ലബ്ബില് എഴുനൂറ് പേരുണ്ടായിരുന്നു.തീവ്രവാദി ആക്രമണമാണെന്നാണ് നിഗമനം
U.S.-backed Syrian militias vowed on Thursday to drive Islamic State (IS) from the city of Manbij and surrounding areas in northern Syria and urged civilians there to stay away from militant positions that would be targeted in the campaign.The Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance, including the powerful Kurdish YPG militia, thrust into IS-held territory near the Turkish border this week. The attack is backed by U.S.-led air strikes and U.S. special forces on the ground.“We confirm that this campaign will continue until the liberation of the last inch of the land of Manbij and its rural areas,” said a joint statement in the name of the SDF and allied Manbij Military Council.
The statement was read out on the banks of the Euphrates River by Manbij Military Council commander Adnan Abu Amjad.“We urge our people in the city of Manbij to stay away from all centers and positions where the Daesh terrorists are present because they will be military targets for our forces. We call on them to take measures to ensure their safety,” he said.“We also call on our people in Manbij to offer support and help to our forces,” said Abu Amjad. He said the Manbij military council represented all the area’s ethnic groups, which he listed as Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen and Circassians.The statement said control would be handed to a civilian council after the town was freed.“Oh brave people of Manbij, our forces are coming to liberate you from the shackles of the Daesh terrorist torturers,” it said.
Thousands of U.S.-backed fighters have opened a major new front in Syria’s war, launching an offensive to drive IS out of a swathe of northern Syria that it uses as a logistics base.The operation, which began on Tuesday after weeks of quiet preparations, aims to choke off the group’s access to Syrian land along the Turkish border that the militants have long used to move foreign fighters back and forth to Europe.A Kurdish source, speaking on condition of anonymity to Reuters in Beirut, predicted the Syrian militias would reach Islamic State-held Manbij within days, after advancing to within 10 km (6 miles) of the town.It was too early to say how the battle for Manbij would go, the source said, but added that IS defenses on the west bank of the Euphrates River had collapsed at the start of the campaign.
The council due to manage the city’s civilian affairs was set up on May in the town of Sarrin, said Sheikh Farouk al-Mashi, head of the council. Sarrin was captured by the YPG from Islamic State last year.Speaking to Reuters from Syria, he said IS had launched a campaign of arrests and had tried to cut communications in Manbij in the run-up to the assault.“The detentions are currently in Manbij city, but they told us five minutes ago they are also detaining people in the rural areas too,” he said.
Naser Haj Mansour, an adviser to the SDF general command, told Reuters that IS was still putting up a fight: “In general, the progress is at a good pace and performance, keeping in mind that Daesh still has the capability to fight.”The SDF has launched two other offensives in the last week in nearby Raqqa province, which is where Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa city is located. Raqqa city is not a target in the operations currently underway.One of the offensives in Raqqa province is targeting the town of Tabqa, which Mansour described as extremely important because it is a major IS arsenal.
The identities of some 22,000 Islamic State jihadists have been revealed in a cache of documents, according to media reports on Thursday, although analysts cast doubt on their authenticity.The information, which some experts said would deal a blow to the ISIS group, was reportedly included in forms featuring 23 questions which new recruits had to fill out in order to be accepted into the group.
The documents contain details like names, dates of birth and phone numbers for people from 51 countries including from Britain, northern Europe, the Middle East, north Africa, the United States and Canada.If the documents are proved to be genuine, experts said they could help intelligence services around the world track down people who have travelled to countries such as Syria and Iraq to join ISIS.
\\\"What\\\'s important now is that the authorities can look at how this information can be used in the fight against Daesh and if it can then we would welcome that,\\\" British Prime Minister David Cameron\\\'s spokeswoman told reporters at a daily briefing.She said the government was not aware of the story before the reports came out.
The size of the cache was revealed by Britain\\\'s Sky News television following German media reports earlier this week about a questionnaire which new ISIS recruits from Germany had to fill in.The documents on German suspects are believed by authorities there to be authentic and German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said they would help \\\"a better understanding of the structures\\\" of ISIS.
He said it would also pave the way for \\\"faster, clearer investigations and higher prison sentences\\\".Richard Barrett, formerly a senior figure in Britain\\\'s MI6 overseas intelligence service, said the leak would be \\\"an absolute gold mine of information of enormous significance and interest\\\".
But leading experts pointed out mistakes and uncharacteristic language in the forms.\\\"There would be big alarm bells for me, because when I\\\'ve seen inconsistencies like that in the past they\\\'ve been on really shoddily-made forgeries,\\\" Charlie Winter, a researcher at Georgia State University, told AFP.The Arabic name for \\\"The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,\\\" ISIS\\\'s previous nomenclature, is written in two different ways, including one that is not consistent with past practice.
Files documenting the deaths of ISIS militants use the words \\\"date of killing\\\" instead of the typical jihadist term \\\"martyrdom.\\\"Romain Caillet, an independent jihadism expert, also noted that some documents feature a second, circular logo not previously used on ISIS files.Syrian opposition news website Zaman al-Wasl said there were thousands of repetitions in the leaked documents and the names of only 1,700 people could be identified in the 22,000 documents.
Contacted by AFP, a spokesman for Britain\\\'s Home Office said the ministry would not not comment on national security issues.Sky reported that a disillusioned former member had handed over the documents on a memory stick that had been stolen from the head of the group\\\'s internal security police.
Questions on the documents include asking recruits their blood type, mother\\\'s maiden name, \\\"level of sharia understanding\\\" and previous experience, it said.
Names on the list include Reyaad Khan, a 21-year-old British jihadist who Britain\\\'s government said was planning attacks on Britain before being killed by a British drone in Syria last year.
The unruly comedian who founded Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement is no longer whipping crowds into a frenzy at political rallies, but 5-Star, against all predictions, has proved it can outlive its creator.
Beppe Grillo’s fiery rhetoric, which almost got the movement into power in a 2013 national election, frightened off many moderate voters and his retreat to the theatrical stage the following year marked 5-Star’s coming of age, not its demise.It paved the way for a more serious makeover that has appealed to the center of Italian politics, positioning the party a close second to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party and favorite to win the mayor’s job in Rome on Sunday.
Scepticism was widespread when Grillo, now 67, announced he was stepping back in a blog portraying himself as Forrest Gump, the slow-witted, athletic character played by Tom Hanks in the eponymous 1994 movie.Grillo and the movement he founded in 2009 were seen as virtually the same thing. His supporters, elected to parliament with no political experience, were known simply as “Grillini,” meaning “little Grillos”.
“I’m pretty tired, as Forrest Gump would say,” he wrote in November 2014 beneath a mock-up of himself as Gump telling an enthusiastic group of followers he will stop running to and fro across the United States.Most commentators assumed it was another of his jokes, but Barbara Lezzi, an influential 5-Star senator, said the blog post did not take its parliamentarians by surprise.“Beppe had come to see us several times in the Senate and let us know what he had in mind,” she said. “He always wanted the movement to be able to stand on its own feet.”
Grillo set up a more formal leadership structure, with a five-member committee, or “directorate,” approved by an online poll, taking over day-to-day running of the movement.“5-Star is evolving from a ‘movement’, made up of followers of a charismatic leader into a ‘party’ with an organization and an internal structure,” said Raffaele De Mucci, a political science professor at Rome’s LUISS university.
“Rome will be a fundamental test if its mayor is elected, because it offers the chance to disprove the theory that it is too inexperienced to govern.”Its candidate Virginia Raggi, a softly-spoken, 37-year-old lawyer, is about as far from Grillo, personality-wise, as is possible and while she adheres to his anti-establishment message, her campaign is focused on everyday city issues such as transport and rubbish collection.
Many of the party’s ideas appeal to left and right-wing voters alike, something that sets 5-Star apart from other European anti-system parties such as the leftist Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain, or the far-right National Front in France.But its progress has been anything but smooth since its 2013 breakthrough. It has had setbacks at European and local elections and been so beset by internal divisions that 37 of its original 163 parliamentarians have left to join other parties.
It is widely criticized for an alleged lack of internal democracy and, in the handful of towns and cities it controls, several of its inexperienced mayors have run into trouble.So why has its appeal continued to grow?Weak economic and jobs growth, and a stream of corruption scandals affecting the established parties have certainly helped. Its trademark call for “honesty” in public life continues to resonate, and remains its chief asset.
But analysts say it has outgrown its image as purely a party of protest and its proposals are now also being taken seriously.These include universal income support for the poor, tougher penalties on white collar crime and tax evasion, building more prisons, closing down or privatising many publicly owned companies and cutting taxes for small businesses.
It wants to cut state generous pensions that are not fully funded by contributions and says the Bank of Italy should be owned by the state instead of the private banks it supervises.Most controversially, it proposes a referendum on whether Italy should remain in the euro zone, though it has sharply cut its anti-euro rhetoric since Grillo’s role declined and now seldom addresses the issue. “We have other priorities at the moment,” said senator Lezzi.
The party’s support comes mainly from the young and well-educated, data shows, while it has little following among pensioners. It gets a generally hostile press in Italian media.“They dismiss us as populist as a way to avoid discussing our proposals,” said Luigi Di Maio, the 29-year-old deputy speaker of the Chamber of Deputies who is tipped to be 5-Star’s candidate for prime minister at the next election, due in 2018.
“We are not populist. Our policies, from welfare to spending cuts and justice reform, are detailed and fully funded.”Grillo maintains a behind-the-scenes role as “guarantor” of the party’s internal rules. Its new, less aggressive leaders like Di Maio, offer voters a more reassuring public face.
Francesco Galietti, of Rome-based consultancy Policy Sonar, said 5-Star will have trouble maintaining its anti-establishment image if it assumes more positions of power.“Italy’s establishment has a long history of making peace with odd political bedfellows and if it tires of Renzi it may well seek to favor the normalization of the 5-Star Movement,” he said.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected Exxon Mobil Corp’s <XOM.N> appeal of a $236 million judgment against the oil company in a case brought by the state of New Hampshire over groundwater contamination linked to a gasoline additive.The justices left in place the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling upholding the judgment by a jury that in 2013 spurned Exxon’s claims that the contamination linked to its fuel additive was not its fault but rather the fault of the local gas stations and storage facilities that spilled it.Exxon argued in its appeal that its due process rights were violated because New Hampshire had not proved the company’s liability for the alleged pollution at each individual site.
The additive at the center of the case is called methyl tertiary butyl ether, or MTBE. It is an oxygen-containing substance that was added to gasoline to promote more complete combustion and reduce air pollution.It was one of several additives that had been recommended by regulators to reduce emissions but has now largely been phased out of the U.S. fuel supply because of the hazard it poses to groundwater.
New Hampshire’s lawsuit against Exxon, headquartered in Irving, Texas, dates back to 2003.State officials called the $236 million judgment the largest MTBE-related verdict since states and other agencies began making claims for remediation and other damages. Exxon said in court papers it is the largest-ever jury verdict in New Hampshire.In 2014, Exxon also appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court a $105 million jury verdict in favor of New York City over MTBE contamination, but the court declined to hear the case.
It was David Cameron’s biggest gamble and he was convinced he would win. Now, the British leader’s closest rival – in the EU referendum, in the Conservative Party and in the country – is the frontrunner to take his job.Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, a victory for the populist cause, may be a defining moment for Britain and the European project. On Friday, it sent shares and the sterling currency sharply lower amid warnings of damage to the economy.The one man to ascend is Boris Johnson, the former London mayor and schoolmate of Cameron’s who became the household name of the “Out” campaign even as the prime minister battled for “In”.With Cameron’s announcement that he will resign after the British public voted against him, Johnson is now the strongest candidate to replace him.
But the moment of victory is fraught with challenges – first he will have to convince Conservative lawmakers to back him and then persuade the party’s largely eurosceptic wider membership, who may challenge what his critics call a record of changing his views to suit his audience.For Cameron, the turning point came in February when Johnson, a politician who has built a broad appeal beyond the ruling Conservative Party, threw his support behind the “Out” campaign in what several sources say was a calculated move to boost his chances of replacing the prime minister.
Cameron gave in to vocal eurosceptics in his party in early 2013 to put Britain’s EU membership to the public vote. It was an attempt to bury the question of Britain’s EU membership that has bedevilled successive governments.Initially, Cameron thought he could woo Johnson to his side. A friend and former colleague of Johnson said the former mayor could have been guaranteed a position in Cameron’s cabinet – or group of top ministers – had he agreed to campaign alongside the prime minister.Instead he lent his support, and with it his broad popularity among voters, to the “Leave” campaign.
“He is such an asset to that campaign, he made it optimistic, energetic and positive,” the friend told Reuters.Aides to the prime minister said Cameron believed he could have easily won the fight to keep Britain in the EU if he had had the support of Johnson, who used his position as mayor of London between 2008 and 2016 to broaden his appeal beyond the Conservative Party by supporting gay rights and immigration.
The prime minister already had the weight of expert opinion in big business, entertainment and sport from across the country and beyond. These groups had been carefully polled and aides had held numerous focus groups that indicated that the “out” campaign could win only 42 percent of the vote by arguing solely on immigration.The aides, and Cameron himself, had campaigned for Johnson’s support, but while the prime minister and the former mayor had “always got on pretty well”, their’s was essentially a political relationship, the friend said.
“They had a relationship when they could afford to be quite ballsy with each other because they were close,” the friend said, pointing to their shared background – both were educated at the elite Eton school and knew each other at Oxford University.Like almost every politician, Johnson is ambitious, the friend said. And if his backing of the “Leave” campaign was not entirely unexpected, it was frustrating, according to a former Cameron aide who also spoke on condition of anonymity.That frustration boiled over in parliament a day after Johnson declared his hand and criticized the prime minister’s new deal with the EU of a “special status” for Britain that Cameron thought should bolster his case for remaining.
After rubbishing a suggestion made by Johnson and others in the “Out” campaign that a vote to leave could prompt a deeper renegotiation of Britain’s ties with the block, Cameron said:“I am not standing for re-election. I have no other agenda than what is best for our country.”His aides deny it was an attack on Johnson, but for dozens of eurosceptic Conservatives and others who were undecided over which way to turn, it seemed to contradict Cameron’s pledge to be respectful of those who disagreed with him.
Andrew Bridgen, a senior Conservative lawmaker who campaigned for Britain to leave, described the exchange as akin to a “pub brawl” when “you hit the biggest, most dangerous-looking bloke as hard as you can and hope he doesn’t get back up again”.The “Out” campaign, instead, stole the initiative with the beginning of “purdah” – a four week period when the government is banned from making announcements that could sway the vote, he said.“It’s unfortunate that the prime minister and chancellor (finance minister) put themselves at the front and center of the Remain campaign so the collateral political damage is really quite immense,” Bridgen said.
He added that when it comes to negotiating Britain’s departure from the EU, the talks must be led by one of the leaders of the “Leave” campaign – possibly justice minister Michael Gove, someone Cameron had counted as a close friend according to sources close to the prime minister and leading Conservatives.Cameron, who announced his resignation with tears in his eyes outside his residence at 10 Downing Street, will stay on until October, earning a little time to try to smooth the transition in the Conservative Party.
But with his party’s right-wing in the ascendance, a new leader is expected to come from the eurosceptic camp, potentially putting paid to secure his legacy as a “moderniser” of the party and his much hoped for succession of George Osborne, the finance minister.Johnson, whose persona as a ‘buffoon’ can charm and repel in equal measure, is at the front of the pack.But his gamble – abandoning his support of immigration to win more support from the Conservative Party which will elect its next leader, and new prime minister – may undermine his wider popularity.“The only damage could be to his personal integrity and a sacrifice of his appeal beyond the typical Conservative Party member,” said a friend.There was evidence of that difficult road on Friday morning. As Johnson left his north London residence to make his first statement since the referendum result, he was booed and jeered by Londoners who may have once supported him.