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Monthly Archives: AUGUST 2016


63 people killed in Pakistan hospital suicide bombing
08.08.16 - TEAM PT
63 people killed in Pakistan hospital suicide bombing



At least 63 people including lawyers and media men were killed and dozens injured in a suicide blast at the Civil Hospital in southwestern city of Quetta in Pakistan on Monday morning.

Graphic video footage from the scene showed bodies strewn on the ground, some smoking, among pools of blood and shattered glass as shocked survivors cried and comforted one another. A large burn mark against white brick appeared to indicate where the explosion occurred.

Nearly 100 lawyers had come to the hospital in the heart of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, after the body of their colleague, prominent attorney Bilal Kasi was brought there.

Kasi was shot and killed by gunmen earlier on Monday, as he was on his way to his office, and the lawyers later gathered at the Quetta Civil Hospital to express their grief.

According to Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS), eight to nine kilograms of explosives were used in the attack.

The injured persons were immediately rushed to Bolan Medical Complex and other nearby hospitals.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the blast and expressed his "deep grief and anguish over the loss of precious human lives" in the attack, in which several senior lawyers were also killed.

"No one will be allowed to disturb the peace in the province that has been restored thanks to the countless sacrifices by the security forces, police and the people of Baluchistan," he said in a statement. 

Sharif asked the local authorities to maintain utmost vigilance and beef up security in Quetta.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either the blast or the shooting. But militant groups in the province routinely target security forces and government installations.




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‘Blacklisted’ US citizen arrested in Pakistan
07.08.16 - TEAM PT
‘Blacklisted’ US citizen arrested in Pakistan



An American citizen who was deported from Pakistan and blacklisted years ago has been arrested upon returning to the country, officials said Saturday.

Matthew Barrett was expelled from Pakistan in 2011, the ministry said in a statement. But he somehow managed to whisk in through the suspected connivance or negligence on part of the immigration officials at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport Islamabad.

Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency officials arrested Mathew Craig Barrett from an Islamabad guest house, said Sarfaraz Hussain, a spokesman for the country's Interior Ministry.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the grant of a Pakistani visa to Matthew Craig Barrett.

The minister has already suspended an assistant director of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), as well as immigration staff that were on duty when Barrett was cleared by authorities at the airport. An interior ministry statement said that action would also be initiated against officials at the Pakistani consulate in Houston, who were responsible for issuing him a visa.

He said Barrett was deported in 2011 after being found in the area of a sensitive installation. He did not elaborate but said, "If someone was blacklisted there should have been something serious."

Barrett, a 33-year-old Alabama native, was arrested May 2011 in the Fateh Jang area near a highly secretive military research facility.




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Rio Olympics open with ceremony both joyous and serious
06.08.16 - TEAM PT
Rio Olympics open with ceremony both joyous and serious



Rio de Janeiro got South America’s first ever Olympic Games off to a happy start last night with an opening ceremony that was as colourful and efficient as the long build-up was dour and in places unsatisfactory.
Ceremony organizers had to make do with a budget that’s a fraction of the amount spent by 2012 Olympics host London. It wasn’t enough; they needed eleventh-hour government funds to make ends meet, breaking Rio 2016’s long-held promise for the event to be privately funded.

Brazil laced its high-energy opening party for the games of the 31st Olympiad with a sobering message of the dangers of global warming. 

Graphic projections of world cities being swamped by rising seas set Rio de Janeiro's otherwise fun and festive gala apart from the more self-congratulatory and lavish celebrations that Beijing and London wowed with in 2008 and 2012. 

The show at the iconic Maracana stadium kicked off Friday evening with a festival of song and dance to celebrate tolerance at a time of global instability, as well as the nature and ethnic diversity of South America’s biggest country.
 
The ceremony, which was televised with a delay in some countries, also featured a reminder about the perils of climate change. Estimates suggest that nearly half the world’s population will tune in to at least part of the four-hour event.

Brazil's interim President Michel Temer declared open the first Games ever in South America. But in a display of the deep political divisions plaguing Brazil, he was jeered by some in the crowd at the famed Maracana soccer stadium.

Brazilian marathon runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, a bronze medallist in Athens in 2004, lit the Olympic cauldron, a small and low-emission model befitting the environmental theme of these Games.

The Indian contingent, led by its flag bearer and the only individual Olympic gold medallist, Abhinav Bindra, who is in his swansong Olympics, entered the stadium as the 95th country. Around 70 Indian athletes (out of 118) and 24 officials took part in the march past, with the male athletes wearing navy blue colour blazer and trousers, and their female counterparts donning blue blazers and traditional Sarees.




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France: Fire in a bar kills 13 people
06.08.16 - TEAM PT
France: Fire in a bar kills 13 people



At least 13 people were killed and six injured in a fire early Saturday during a birthday party at a bar in the northern French city of Rouen, officials said. The blaze was sparked by the candles of a birthday cake, which ignited the polystyrene ceiling of the basement room where the celebrations were taking place.

The victims, local media reports were young people between the ages of 18 and 25, attending a birthday party at the Cuba Libre bar. One of the injured is said to be in a critical condition.
More than 50 firefighters battled the blaze at the bar in the city centre, said French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve.
 
It took firefighters 30 minutes to control the flames. The victims’ bodies were transported to the University Hospital of Rouen.

According to local police, fears the fire may have been an act of terrorism appear to be unfounded. They denied earlier reports that the blaze had been triggered by an explosion.

A tense France is on maximum terror alert after two attacks last month, the latest the killing of a priest in his church outside Rouen. The funeral Mass was held at the Rouen cathedral on Tuesday.




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Emirates airliner from Thiruvananthapuram with 300 onboard crash lands in Dubai
03.08.16 - TEAM PT
Emirates airliner from Thiruvananthapuram with 300 onboard crash lands in Dubai



Dubai international airport, one of the world’s busiest, was forced to suspend operations on Wednesday after an Emirates Airline passenger jet crash-landed and burst into flames on one of its runways.  Authorities said all passengers were evacuated safely.

Dubai-based Emirates said the accident happened around 12:45 p.m. local time as Flight EK521 was arriving from the southern Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram.

There were people from 20 countries among the passengers and crew, including 226 Indian citizens. There were also 24 people from the UK and 11 citizens of the United Arab Emirates.

"All passengers and crew are accounted for and safe,” the airline said.

Following the accident, Emirates airlines said that it is expecting a 4-hour network wide delay.

Footage posted online showed the aircraft sliding along a runway at about 12:45pm local time (9:45am GMT) on one wing with its engine apparently detached, before a section of the right wing apparently exploded. Fuel tanks are located in both wings and the fuselage of modern jets.

Passengers evacuated from an Emirates flight say that minutes before the flight crash-landed at Dubai airport, the pilot made an announcement that he needed to make an emergency landing.

Passengers said the cabin crew opened all the emergency exits of the plane and that all passengers and crew on board the aircraft were evacuated within minutes of the landing.
Dubai International Airport is the hub of Emirates’ worldwide operations. The airline’s rapid growth has turned the facility into the world’s busiest international airport by passenger numbers. The airport is a particularly important hub for travelers going to and from south Asia.

It was not immediately clear what had caused the crash but it appeared that the landing gear on the aircraft failed during landing.




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