FIFA World Cup 2018: Russia jails Pussy Riot members for pitch invasion during final match

Moscow: Russia has jailed four members of Pussy Riot feminist punk group for 15 days after they invaded the pitch during the World Cup final dressed in police uniforms. A Moscow court sentenced Veronika Nikulshina, Olga Kuracheva, Olga Pakhtusova and Pyotr Verzilov to 15 days in police cells and also banned them from visiting sports events for three years, Mediazona court news site reported last night.

They were found guilty of “grossly violating the rules for spectators’ behaviour” and given the maximum punishment possible under the charge. Verzilov is the founder of Mediazona website, which reports on trials of rights activists.

The four ran onto the pitch at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium on Sunday and briefly halted play in the second half of the match between France and Croatia, watched by President Vladimir Putin and world leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron.

Pussy Riot immediately posted messages on social media claiming responsibility for the protest and issuing a list of six political demands. “Let all political prisoners free,” said the first. Others included an end to arrests at peaceful rallies and to “allow political competition in the country”.

Pussy Riot is most famous for performing an anti-Putin protest song in a central Moscow church in February 2012. Three of the group’s members were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” at a trial that attracted global media attention and drew protests from rights groups. Group members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were released after serving 22 months of their two-year sentences. The other convicted member Yekaterina Samutsevich was given a suspended sentence.

Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin one-day-summit costs over Rs 2 crore for food and hospitality!

Washington DC: US President Donald Trump’s recently-concluded summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Finland was a costly affair. The US State Department made a lot of new purchase orders specifically for the summit.

According to federal documents, the hotel bill was a staggering $128,681.39 (Around Rs 88.12 lakh) and tech support was $100,972.50 (Around Rs 69.15 lakh), which also included an additional $12,000 (Rs 8.21 lakh) alone for laptop/printer rentals, reported TMZ.

Interestingly, Trump, who is well-known for criticising media time and again, spent a hefty amount of $52,703.38 (Around Rs 36.23 lakh) on feeding them.

The US government spent $15,913.35 (Around Rs 10.94 lakh) on Secret Service’s ballistic glass installation and removal. Also, a $56,000 (Around Rs 38. 50 lakh) was shelled by the government for paying the airport hangar rental fee. The US government in total spent a whopping $302,124.62 (Around Rs 2.07 crore) for a one-day summit.

JuD chief launches poll campaign as Sharif’s imprisoned

Lahore : As former Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, sits behind bars, Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed openly campaigns for the country’s upcoming general election.

Saeed inaugurated several offices in Lahore and canvassed for the candidates of Milli Muslim League (MML) contesting the elections, scheduled for July 25.

On his arrival at Iqbal Town in a huge caravan comprising motorcycles, jeeps and trucks, he received a rousing welcome and people showered rose petals on him.

While Sharif and daughter, Maryam, have been sent to jail on corruption charges, a designated terrorist, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, is not only free but actively seeks votes for the polls, targeting India and the US.

Saeed’s son, son-in-law and 13 women are among 265 JuD candidates contesting on Allaha-u-Akbar Tehreek (AAT) platform on national and provincial assemblies seats across Pakistan. Saeed, carries a bounty of US $10 million for his role in terror activities, is himself not contesting the election.

Addressing his supporters, Saeed praised the audience for their support to MML. He said, “MML will make Pakistan country of Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam Mohd Ali Jinnah. This black chapter will be coming to an end now and world will see new enlightened chapter.”

Other senior leaders of JuD also addressed the meetings. Mohammad Yaqub Sheikh, candidate of NA-125 stated Saeed fielded MML candidates for revival of the ideology of Pakistan, service to humanity, freedom of Kashmir and the challenges being faced by Pakistan.

Jai Prakash University made history again,Result of B.Ed publised after four days of the examination

Rakesh Kumar Gupta /Chhapra: Jai Prakash University, who has been fooling the country over its maladministration and examination, has finally created a history by leaving its infamy, behind the fact that everybody is wow. After a big level examination, Publication of the result in four days is extremely difficult.                                                                                                                                                                But Harikesh Singh, the current Vice Chancellor of Jai Prakash University, has done this. The Final Result of B.Ed on July 14. The last test of B.Ed was held on July 10. The final result of B.Ed can be seen on the website from Tuesday. After this, in just four days, the result has given pleasure to the examines.   Before this, the final result of B.Ed was published in 10 days. The last examination of B.Ed was held on April 23. It was published on May 3.                                                                                     During the conversation with Rakesh Kumar Gupta, the Chief Editor of Bihar News Live, Harikesh Singh, the current Vice Chancellor of Jai Prakash University, said, "Now I understand the operation of the exams. Thus the result of the examinations are being given on time, This pious work of interest has been supported by all sections of the University. ".                                                                                                                                                                          In the final year examination of B.Ed (session 2016-18) at the University of Jaiprakash, 89.80%students have passed. Examination Director Dr. Anil Kumar Singh said that 1491 students of 15 B.Ed colleges under the university were admitted in 1339 while 144 students failed.Apart from this, they were absent and expelled.   PRO   Dr Harishchandra of the University told that the University has set a record in the whole of Bihar in issuing the results of B.Ed, the result of the Vice Chancellor Professor Harikesh Singh has been published on the fourth day.

US President Donald Trump arrives in Scotland amid protests

Glasgow: US President Donald Trump has arrived in Scotland as thousands of people gathered to protest against his visit. The President and First Lady Melania Trump touched down at the Prestwick Airport at 10.10 p.m. on Friday after completing his two-day working trip to the UK, reports the BBC.

Upon his arrival Trump was received by Scottish Secretary David Mundell, who said he was “pleased to greet Trump on behalf of the UK government”. Trump, whose mother was Scottish, will spend the weekend at his Turnberry golf resort in Ayrshire in what has been described as a private visit. He is not expected to meet First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who has been a vocal critic of the president. Sturgeon is slated to lead thousands of marchers at the Pride Glasgow march on Saturday.

Protesters filled George Square in Glasgow ahead of his arrival, the BBC reported. Shortly after Trump’s arrival at Turnberry a power paraglider was spotted flying close to the resort with a banner which said “Trump: Well below par”. A “national demonstration” will gather outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Saturday, with protesters walking to the Meadows for a “carnival of resistance”. The carnival will feature the giant Trump Baby balloon, which has been banned from both Turnberry and the Scottish Parliament.

Huge numbers of protesters also marched through the streets of London as Trump met Prime Minister Theresa May and the Queen earlier on Friday. Trump has often spoken of his love for Scotland and its people and had been a regular visitor to the country for many years, but this is his first trip since becoming president. He will leave Scotland on Sunday from where he will travel to Finland where he is slated to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, daughter Maryam arrested over conviction in corruption case

Lahore/Islamabad: Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam were shifted to Adiala jail in Rawalpindi today after they were arrested on their return to the country following the conviction in one of the three corruption cases against the powerful political family, weeks before the July 25 polls.

Sharif and Maryam were shifted to Adiala jail in separate armoured vehicles escorted by police. According to jail manual, they can be medically examined at jail hospital. Maryam is expected to be moved later to Sihala Rest House which has been declared as sub-jail. Initially it was said that the duo will be shifted by a helicopter, but the idea was dropped due to darkness.

The plane carrying Sharif, the supremo of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz, and Maryam landed at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal Airport at 9:15 IST, nearly three hours late from the scheduled arrival. According to an airport official, the father-daughter duo surrendered before a team of the country’s anti-graft body  – The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) –  without any resistance. A special plane later carried Sharif and Maryam to Islamabad. The plane landed at New Islamabad International airport in Islamabad.

The accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir issued judicial warrants against Sharif and Maryam without their mandatory presence in the court. NAB had requested the court to condone their presence due to security reasons. The judge accepted the argument and deputed a local magistrate to visit the convicts to record their arrest and allow NAB to hand them over to the jail authorities. The Etihad Airways flight EY243 arrived in Lahore from Abu Dhabi. Earlier, Sharif and Maryam flew to the UAE capital from London, where Sharif’s wife Kulsoom, suffering from throat cancer, is battling for her life.

Sharif reportedly refused to sit in the vehicle of the Rangers to get to the airport terminal. Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials took their passport for immigration.  According to media reports, dozens of security officials entered the plane after it landed and asked other passengers to leave. The duo’s passports were seized by a three-member FIA team, and both were permitted to meet Begum Shamim Akhtar, Sharif’s mother, in the Haj Lounge.

The two were convicted on July 6 in the Evenfield properties case linked to  the Sharif family’s ownership of four luxury flats in London.  Both Sharif, 68, and Maryam, 44, have been sentenced by an accountability court to 10 and 7 years in prison respectively. The Sharif family is now facing two more corruption cases in the accountability court – Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investments – in which they are accused of money laundering, tax evasion and hiding offshore assets.

Sahrif and Maryam were later sent on a special private plane bound for Islamabad International Airport.  Upon landing at the Islamabad airport, they will either be flown to Adiala Jail or driven to Attock Jail, Dawn newspaper reported.  Around 10,000 police officers have been deployed across the city to maintain law and order. The Punjab government has suspended mobile and internet services in Lahore. Sharif’s PML-N party, led by its President and Sharif’s younger brother Shahbaz, today managed to take out a rally despite imposition of section 144 that bars assembly of more than five people.

Earlier, media reports and an official of the Civil Aviation Authority had said their plane was diverted to Islamabad to avoid any law and order situation in Lahore as a large number of the PML-N workers were heading in hundreds of vehicles to the city to cheer up their leader. The rally kicked off at the Lohari Gate in the afternoon and could manage to proceed a few kilometers as party workers struggled to remove cargo containers on their way.

Close to the airport, Sharif’s supporters clashed with police which otherwise did not stop them from removing containers. “It appears the Punjab caretaker government had reached a deal with the of PML-N withdrawing thousands of policemen to give a free hand to reach close to the Lahore airport and wind up the rally,” a senior police officer told PTI. “We  have orders from our top command not to take action against the PML-N rally participants,” he said.

The PML-N workers joined in the rally from different points in Lahore. Talking to reporters before reaching the airport, Shahbaz said “a sea of people” has turned up today to give historic reception to Sharif. “The people of Lahore has given a verdict ahead of July 25 polls,” he declared. “I am thankful to the people of Lahore for coming out in such a huge number,” he said, adding that the people have rejected the decision of the court to convict Sharif and Maryam.

Speaking to the BBC at Abu Dhabi airport as he waited to change planes, Sharif said: “What credibility will these elections have when the government is taking such drastic action against our people and this crackdown is taking place all over the country?” In a video message, tweeted by Maryam, the former premier urged his followers to stand with him and “change the fate of the country”. “The country is at a critical juncture right now,” a grim looking Sharif said. Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court last year in the Panama Papers case.

Thai Cave Rescue: From fun trekking to nightmare, the story of a nerve-wracking mission

One of the most extraordinary and dramatic rescue missions in living memory. Twelve members of a Thai soccer team and their coach who had been trapped inside the cave after they took a hike inside were finally rescued on Tuesday (July 10) from a cave in Thailand.

Thailand celebrated the successful mission to free 12 boys and their football coach from a cave, with the nation heaping praise on the rescue team as the triumphant tagline “Hooyah” pinballed across social media. The nerve-shredding three-day mission ended on Tuesday after four boys and the coach emerging from the cave which had held them captive for 10 days.

Where was the Thai soccer team stuck?

The 12 boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach Ekaphol “Ake” Chantawong from the Wild Boars soccer team were reported missing, on June 23. They had gone in to explore the complex Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand, on the border of Myanmar, after soccer practice. A day later, on June 24, handprints and footprints were found in the cave and it is believed the group had to retreat into the cave’s tunnel system and were trapped by the flooding rain.

The Rescue operations

Each of the boys, ages 11 to 16 and with no diving experience, was guided out by a pair of divers in the three-day high-stakes operation. The route, in some places just a crawl space, had oxygen canisters positioned at regular intervals to refresh each team’s air supply.

The first rescue operation began on Sunday (July 8) as five Thai Navy Seals and 13 foreign divers entered the cave, and four boys were rescued. The second rescue operation began on July 9 and four more boys were rescued. And the third rescue operation, which was the last, was conducted on July 10. In the third rescue attempt, four more boys and their coach were rescued, which marked as an end to the rescue operation.

What was the rescue process?

Each child was fitted with a full face mask for the dive. Most, if not all, of the children, have never swum before, so they were accompanied by two divers. One diver cradled the child underneath and a second diver swam behind.

The difficulties

Authorities mulled ideas such as drilling holes into the mountain or waiting months until monsoon rains ended so they could walk out, with the rescue chief at one point dubbing the efforts to save them “Mission Impossible”. With oxygen levels in their chamber falling to dangerous levels and monsoon rains threatening to flood the cave above the ledge where the boys were sheltering, rescuers decided on the least-worst option of having divers escort them out through the tunnels.

The escape route was a challenge for even experienced divers. The boys had no previous diving experience so the rescuers trained them how to use a mask and breathe underwater via an oxygen tank.

Navy Seal personnel loses life

On July 6, former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan, 37, died while trying to set up an airline for the boys. He passed out from lack of oxygen while returning from the boys’ chamber.

Elon Musk help refused

The dramatic Thai cave rescue gathered support from all over the world. American space entrepreneur and billionaire Elon Musk, on July 10, during rescue operation offered to help the rescuers. He offered his prototype Mini-sub to help for rescuing stranded soccer team. But Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osatanakorn rejected to take help from Musk and said: “Although his technology is good and sophisticated, it’s not practical for this mission.” The dreams of Elon Musk of becoming real-life Tony Stark (Iron Man) was shattered, but he also defended his stance and wrote on Twitter, “The former Thai provincial governor (described inaccurately as “rescue chief”) is not the subject matter expert. That would be Dick Stanton, who co-led the dive rescue team.”

FIFA World Cup 2018 final and Manchester United invitations

The football’s governing body FIFA had invited the players of Wild Boars to see the FIFA World Cup final, which will be held Russia’s Moscow in Luzhniki Stadium. However, after the rescue of 12 Thai boys from the cave, the team was instructed to stay in the hospital for at least seven days.

Manchester United tweeted an invitation just after the news that all had been rescued which said “#MUFC is relieved to learn that the 12 footballers and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand are now safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected. We would love to welcome the team from Wild Boars Football Club and their rescuers to Old Trafford this coming season.”

(Inputs from Agencies)

IS releases picture of Baghdadi’s slain son brandishing rifle

Kabul: The Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan and Pakistan released a picture of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s son Hudhayfah al-Badri, who was killed in an operation in Syria earlier this month.

Taking to Twitter handle, a terrorism research group posted the image, showing al-Badri carrying a rifle. “(CGI) #IslamicState supporter poster depicting Hudhayfah al-Badri, son of Abu Bakr #Baghdadi killed by #Russian military” On July 3, the IS’s propaganda agency, Amaq, announced that al-Badri was killed by the Russian and Syrian military forces in an operation in Homs, according to several media reports.

Little is known about Al-Baghdadi, who has been reported killed or injured. However, he is widely believed to be alive. Although the terror group has been driven out from major parts of Syria and Iraq, it still maintains a presence near the Iraqi-Syrian border.

Eleven people from Alaska plane crash saved

Los Angeles: A plane carrying 11 people crashed today on a mountainside in Alaska, officials and rescuers said, but there were no deaths. “It was reported that 11 people from the plane crash are alive, but have injuries,” the US Coast Guard said in a statement following the incident near the southeasternmost city of Ketchikan.

The De Havilland DHC-3T Turbo Otter floatplane was carrying 10 passengers and a pilot, according to CBS-affiliated TV station KTVA, citing rescuers.

The channel said 10 people were injured as it hit the side of Mount Jumbo at a height of around 2,000 feet (600 metres), and were all in a stable condition.

Authorities say the pilot radioed shortly before 9:00 am and the Coast Guard dispatched two helicopter crews to the area, around 65 km southwest of Ketchikan.

All 11 people rescued were hoisted from the crash site and taken to a staging area to be moved to the city for medical treatment.

Trump nears decision on replacement for SC Justice

Berkeley : President Donald Trump is nearing a decision on a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy after a weekend of deliberation at his New Jersey golf club.

A person with knowledge of the president’s thinking said today that Trump has not yet communicated a final choice. The person, who was not authorised to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Trump has spent the weekend discussing his options with allies amid frenzied last-minute lobbying. Trump will announce his pick at 9 pm (local time) tomorrow from the White House. Savoring the suspense, Trump has sought to keep people guessing in the final hours, hoping to replicate his successful announcement of Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The White House hoped to keep the details under wraps until he rolls out his pick from the East Room. Top contenders for the role are federal appeals judges Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman. The White House has been preparing information materials on all four, who were part of a longer list of 25 names vetted by conservative groups.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Roy Blunt of Missouri said today that they believe any of the four could get confirmed by the GOP-majority Senate.

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