Texas Tech University shooting: Police officer killed, campus on lockdown, student suspect apprehended


Lubbock (Texas): The student suspected of killing a Texas Tech University police officer has been apprehended after a SWAT team operation. The university was on lockdown for an hour after the school announced that an officer was shot dead.

The suspect is believed to be 19-year-old student Hollis Daniels. A statement from the managing director of the Office of Communications and Marketing for TTU, Chris Cook, explained that “an officer was conducting a student welfare check on Monday night on the campus when they found drugs and drug paraphernalia located in one person’s room.”

The officer then “arrested the student and took them down to the police station for a standard debriefing,” adding that the student “pulled a gun and shot the officer in the head,” and then fled on foot. Earlier, the CNN quoted university spokesman Jonathan Seaborn, as confirming the death of the police officer. The school had urged the students to shelter in place. The shooting was reported at the Texas Tech University Police Department on 8:23 p.m. on Monday.
The university campus was on a lockdown for an hour thereafter. A tweet posted on the university’s Twitter account had earlier said, “A shooting has been reported at TTU Police Department. Shooter is at large. The campus is on lockdown. Take shelter.” BY AGENCY 

Saudis call on Myanmar to allow Rohingya Muslims to return

Riyadh: A top Saudi relief official called Thursday for Myanmar to take back Rohingya refugees and let them live in peace.
Dr. Abdullah al-Rabeeah, former health minister and now leading the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, said major global powers need to press Myanmar to stop its violent expulsion of the Muslim ethnic minority into Bangladesh.
“What I want from our allies like the US and UK and the international community, I think it’s time to put pressure on the Burma or Myanmar government to allow those refugees to go back and live in peace and get their rights,” he said.
Rabeeah, on a stop in Washington before talks Friday at the United Nations on Yemen, said Saudi Arabia was already pumping aid in for the 422,000 Rohingyas who have been driven out of Myanmar’s westernmost Rakhine state to Bangladesh since August 25.

The aid is going mostly into Bangladesh but also through Indonesia and Malaysia, he said.

“We are working heavily to help the refugees in Bangladesh,” he said.

Bangladesh said earlier Thursday that it had treated more than 2,350 Rohingya refugees injured as they fled Myanmar, including bullet and machete wounds and trauma from landmines.


Mexico earthquake: All Indians are safe, says Sushma Swaraj

New York: In the wake of high magnitude tremors jolting Mexico yesterday, External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said that that all Indians in Mexico are safe.

The earthquake has claimed 200 lives and caused severe infrastructural damage. Swaraj made this announcement after talking to India’s Ambassador to Mexico Muktesh Pardeshi. “I have spoken to our Ambassador in Mexico. All Indians are safe,” she tweeted.
New York: In the wake of high magnitude tremors jolting Mexico yesterday, External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said that that all Indians in Mexico are safe.

The earthquake has claimed 200 lives and caused severe infrastructural damage. Swaraj made this announcement after talking to India’s Ambassador to Mexico Muktesh Pardeshi. “I have spoken to our Ambassador in Mexico. All Indians are safe,” she tweeted.

Category 5 hurricane Maria hits Dominica island

Washington: The “potentially catastrophic” Category 5 hurricane Maria, the strongest storm on record to make landfall in Dominica, is battering the Caribbean island, and is on course directly hit Puerto Rico, the first time in 85 years, the media reported.

A statement from the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said that its record-topping winds reached 160 miles per hour when it made landfall at 9.15 p.m. on Monday night, reports CNN.  It was so powerful that it tore the roof off the residence of the country’s leader.  “My roof is gone,” Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit posted on Facebook.

“I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding.”  Later, he said: “I have been rescued.”  After Dominica, Maria will move towards Puerto Rico as an “extremely dangerous major hurricane, and a warning has been issued”, CNN quoted the NHC as saying.  Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rossello has declared a state of emergency ahead of the landfall expected on Wednesday.

US President Donald Trump has issued an emergency declaration for the American territory for federal assistance to augment the island nation’s storm-response initiatives.  Puerto Rico housing authorities said there are 450 shelters able to take in 62,714 evacuees, and up to 125,428 in an emergency situation.   If Maria strikes the island as forecast, it will be “more dangerous than Hugo and Georges”, the Centre said.

Hurricane Hugo killed five people in Puerto Rico in 1989, and Hurricane Georges caused more than $1.7 billion in damage to the island in 1998.  The storm will affect parts of the Leeward Islands and the British and US Virgin Islands for next couple of days.  Maria comes after the catastrophic hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on August 25 resulting in massive floods and deaths of 83 people.   Harvey was followed by Irma, the most intense storm in the Atlantic. It hit the Caribbean islands on August 30, leaving a trail of destruction through Puerto Rico, Cuba and Florida and killed 82 people.

Ivanka Trump meets Sushma Swaraj, discusses women entrepreneurship

New York: US President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump today met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly session here.

Ivanka, who would be leading American delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in India in November, discussed about women’s  entrepreneurship and workforce development in the two countries. “We had a great discussion on women’s entrepreneurship, the upcoming #GES2017 and workforce development in the US and India,” Ivanka said in a tweet after the meeting.

Sushma Swaraj meets Sheikh Hasina; no discussion on Rohingyas
India and the US will co-host the GES in Hyderabad from November 28 to 30. The GES is the preeminent annual gathering of emerging entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders from around the world. Ivanka, 35, took to twitter to express her respect for Swaraj, whom she described as the “charismatic” foreign minister.

“I have long respected India’s accomplished and charismatic Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, and it was an honor to meet her today,” Ivanka said. Swaraj discussed “Women Empowerment” and Ivanka’s forthcoming visit to India, the Indian Embassy here said in a tweet.

During her week-long stay here, the minister, leading a high-powered Indian delegation, is expected to hold about 20 bilateral and trilateral meetings with leaders attending the session. Swaraj is scheduled to leave for India, a day after her address to the UN General Assembly on September 23.

Theresa May wins major Brexit vote in Parliament

London: British MPs today voted in favour of a bill to end the UK’s membership to the European Union, a reprieve for Prime Minister Theresa May who hailed the “historic decision”.

Lawmakers voted by 326 to 290 in favour of backing the EU Withdrawal Bill, which will now go forward for further scrutiny by MPs.

The bill is aimed at overturning the 1972 European Communities Act, which took the UK into the then European Economic Community (EEC).

It will convert all existing EU laws into UK law to ensure there are no gaps in legislation on Brexit day, scheduled for March, 2019.

May averted a rebellion within her own Conservative party during the post-midnight vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill, which resulted in her government securing a victory at the end of the bill’s second reading debate in the Commons.

“Although there is more to do, this decision means we can move on with negotiations with solid foundations and we continue to encourage MPs from all parts of the UK to work together in support of this vital piece of legislation,” May said at the end of the tough vote.

Tory party backbenchers have warned May that their support on the bill, which will end the supremacy of EU law in the UK, is not unconditional and have demanded a series of amendments to the bill as it progresses to the next stage in the parliamentary process before becoming law.

It will now receive a line-by-line scrutiny in its committee stage. The government claims it needs the power to be able to make minor technical changes to ensure a smooth transition.

“The House of Commons has rightly backed this crucial piece of legislation, giving its support to an orderly exit and helping to provide certainty to businesses, organisations and individuals up and down the country,” said Steve Baker, junior minister in the UK’s Department for Exiting the European Union (EU).

However, those opposed to the bill fear it gives ministers the power to make changes to laws during the process without consulting MPs.

“This bill is an affront to parliamentary democracy and a naked power grab by government ministers. It leaves rights unprotected, it silences parliament on key decisions and undermines the devolution settlement,” said Kier Starmer, the Opposition’s shadow Brexit secretary.

“Labour will seek to amend and remove the worst aspects from the bill but the flaws are so fundamental it’s hard to see how this could ever be made fit for purpose,” the Labour MP said.

His party had largely decided to vote against the bill but seven of Labour’s MPs defied party leader Jeremy Corbyn to back the government on the bill, saying it supports the will of the British people who voted for Brexit in the June 2016 referendum. A number of Labour MPs also abstained from the vote in defiance of the party’s official stand.

The Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson, Tom Brake, said MPs who backed the bill should feel “ashamed”. “This is a dark day for the mother of parliaments,” he said.

MPs also voted on Tuesday in favour of the government’s proposed timetable for debating Brexit legislation – by 318 votes to 301 – guaranteeing 64 hours of debate over eight days. Both votes came as the UK government released it latest paper on Brexit strategy, which proposes to continue contributing troops and military assets to EU operations after Brexit as part of closer defence cooperation with the economic bloc.

The paper also offers to agree joint foreign policy positions with Brussels, including cooperating on international sanctions against states or terrorist organisations.

“After we leave the European Union we will continue to face shared threats to our security, our shared values and our way of life,” said UK Brexit minister David Davis.

“It’s in our mutual interest to work closely with the EU and its member states to challenge terrorism and extremism, illegal migration, cyber crime, and conventional state-based military aggression,” he said.

It is the sixth position paper by the UK government in its talks with Brussels and hopes to push the EU towards opening negotiations on the future of UK-EU relations post- Brexit.

Three Rohingya refugees killed in explosion near Myanmar-Bangladesh border

Dhaka: At least three Rohingya refugees were killed and one injured after a landmine explosion near Myanmar’s border with Bangladesh, on Sunday. A security official said the explosion took place at Bandarban’s Naikhongchhari border in Bangladesh, while the refugees were fleeing from the Rakhine state, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

Meanwhile, Myanmar has rebuffed a ceasefire declared by Muslim Rohingya militants, declaring simply that it did not negotiate with terrorists. The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) took to Twitter to announce the truce in a statement, in which it urged “all humanitarian actors” to resume aid delivery to “all victims of humanitarian crisis irrespective of ethnic or religious background” during the ceasefire period, which runs until October 9.

The ARSA also urged Myanmar to “reciprocate this humanitarian pause” in fighting. The spokesman for Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi, however, said on Twitter: “We have no policy to negotiate with terrorists.” Myanmar says its security forces are carrying out clearance operations to defend against the ARSA, which the government has declared a terrorist organisation.

Rohingya, described by the United Nations as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012. According to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, at least 270,000 Rohingya refugees have fled from the violence affected Myanmar’s Northern Rakhine state and sought refuge in Bangladesh where the limited shelter capacity is already exhausted.

Amid a dramatic increase in the number of refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar’s Northern Rakhine state, UNHCR called for urgent action to address the root causes of the recent surge in violence, so that people are no longer compelled to flee and can eventually return home in safety and dignity.

The alarming Rohingya crisis
“In the last two weeks an estimated 2,70,000 Rohingya refugees have sought safety in Bangladesh. The limited shelter capacity is already exhausted. Refugees are now squatting in makeshift shelters that have mushroomed along the road and on available land in the Ukhiya and Teknaf areas,” said a UNHCR said, in a briefing in Geneva.

Myanmar troops launched a crackdown in the Rakhine state in response to attacks on three border posts on October 9 that killed nine police officers, since then many Rohingya Muslims have tried to move into Bangladesh illegally. Accusations by Rohingyas and rights groups of raping women, torching houses and killing civilians during their operations has been denied by Myanmar and the military. Rohingyas are not recognised by Myanmar as its citizens and are called Bengali by them.

Syrian refugee crisis: 305 Syrian migrants reach Cyprus; 313 are stopped in Turkey

Nicosia: Cyprus police arrested a 36-year-old man today for allegedly driving one of two boats that brought3 05 Syrian refugees to the Mediterranean island’s northwestern coast. Another 29-year-old man was also taken into custody on suspicion of migrant trafficking. Police spokesman Michalis Ioannou said the 202 men, 30 women, and 73 children arrived about midnight in what is thought to be the largest number of migrants to reach Cyprus in a single day. He said they departed from Mersin, Turkey, yesterday.

The passengers reported paying up to USD 2,000 each to smugglers for the trip. Some with relatives in Cyprus have expressed a desire to remain, while others want to go to Germany or Scandinavia. Among those waiting for the migrants at a reception center in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia was Ammar Hammasho. The 35-year-old Syrian said he felt both joy and relief at seeing his four small children and wife behind the center’s-chain-link fence after fearing for their safety during the trip. Hammasho came to Cyprus a year ago from the Syrian city of Idlib where he said his home was destroyed by airstrikes that killed one of his children.

“It’s getting worse,” Hammasho told The Associated Press. “Everyone on either side is telling their own lies.” In Turkey, the coast guard stopped an unnamed fishing boat carrying 93 Syrians and one Afghan migrant today off the coast of Istanbul on the Black Sea. The authorities also caught an alleged Turkish smuggler. Turkish authorities also announced late yesterday that coast guard boats had prevented two separate migrant landings in the Black Sea. In one, 68 Syrians and two Iranians were stopped in a sailboat with an alleged Turkish smuggler east of Bulgaria.

North Korea warns United States of ‘greatest pain’ over fresh sanctions
In the other, Turkish coast guard intercepted 149 Syrianmigrants and two Ukrainians thought to be smugglers in a fishing boat east of Romania. The migrants and suspects were brought to the northwestern Kirklareli province in Turkey for processing. Turkey and the European Union signed a deal in March 2016to curb the flow of migrants to Greek islands on the Aegean sea. A million people crossed the sea in the year before the agreement, with hundreds drowning along the way.

Death toll from Mexico earthquake rises to 90

Mexico City: The death toll from the massive earthquake, which rocked southern Mexico has risen to at least 90. The maximum number of the fatalities have occurred in the Oaxaca State, the local media reports say. The powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake triggered a 1-meter-high tsunami on Thursday, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The quake was felt as far away as Mexico City and Guatemala City. Thereafter, in a televised address on Friday evening, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto declared three days of national mourning and promised that the government will help rebuild, citing the earthquake was bigger than a 1985 earthquake in the country that killed thousands.

BRICS Summit 2017: PM Modi suggests 10 commitments for leadership in global transformation

Xiamen: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday suggested 10 commitments to be made by the BRICS nations, including counter-terrorism efforts, for their role in global transformation.

Speaking at the Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries in the course of the 9th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit here, Modi said that the bedrock of India’s development agenda laid in the notion of “sabka saath, sabka vikaas” (collective effort, inclusive growth).

Stating that India has mapped each of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to its own development programs and scheme, he said: “Our programs are geared to accomplish these priority goals in a time-bound manner. To cite just one example, our three-pronged approach of providing a bank account to the unbanked, providing a biometric identity to all, and using innovative mobile governance solutions, has enabled direct benefit transfers to almost 360 million people for the first time.”

Stating that the BRICS nations represented half of humanity, he said that for the bloc to play a role in global transformation, it should follow the “10 noble commitments”.

BRICS Summit: PM Modi gives blueprint for next decade, leaders condemn terrorism
“Creating a safer world by organised and coordinated action on at least three issues: counter-terrorism, cyber security, and disaster management;” Modi said.

The Prime Minister called for creating a greener world by taking concerted action on countering climate change, through initiatives such as the India-initiated International Solar Alliance.

Another suggestion was for creating an enabled world by sharing and deploying suitable technologies to enhance efficiency, economy, and effectiveness. Reiterating his vision for a digital economic and financial system, Modi called for creating an inclusive world “by economic mainstreaming of our people including in the banking and financial system”.

“Creating a digital world by bridging the digital divide within and outside our economies.

“Creating a skilled world by giving future-ready skills to millions of our youth.”

Modi also called for creating a healthier world: by cooperating in research and development to eradicate diseases and enabling affordable health care for all.

BRICS nations commit to enhance cooperation on health matters
In creating an equitable world, he said the BRICS nations should provide equality of opportunity to all, particularly through gender equality. In terms of a connected world, he suggested enabling of free flow of goods, persons, and services. He also called for creating a harmonious world “by promoting ideologies, practices, and heritage that are centered on peaceful coexistence and living in harmony with nature”.

“Through these agenda points and action on them, we will be contributing directly to the welfare of the global community in addition to welfare of our own people.

“And in this, India stands ready as a willing and committed partner to enhance cooperation and support each other’s national efforts,” Modi added.

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