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UAE contingent takes part in R-Day parade

Author: 
AFP
Fri, 2017-01-27
ID: 
1485460745161518500

NEW DELHI: Motorbike stunt riders and herds of camels wowed the crowds gathered in New Delhi Thursday to celebrate Republic Day, an annual showcase of India’s military hardware and cultural diversity.
After the US and French presidents attended the last two events, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, was this year’s chief guest as everyone from bagpipe-playing troops to schoolchildren paraded along the landmark Rajpath boulevard.
The day marks the adoption of the country’s constitution on Jan. 26, 1950 following independence from Britain in 1947.
The nearly 100-minute parade displayed India’s latest weaponry, including missiles and Indian-manufactured radar systems, along with elaborate floats representing the country’s different states and union territories.
A contingent of border guards rode into town on camels, wearing colorful caparisons fitted with round mirror pieces, and were greeted with loud cheers from spectators.
The arrival of the camels followed a show by stuntmen from military units, some of whom balanced themselves precariously on ladders on the back of moving motorbikes.
A military contingent from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) led the march down Janpath and the parade concluded with a fly-past by Indian fighter jets.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wore a pink turban and was seen chatting with guests inside a bullet-proof enclosure.
Al-Nahyan is the second Arab leader to attend the function after late Saudi King Abdullah, as India eyes financial investments and energy security from the region.
More than 50,000 security personnel were deployed in the capital to prevent any possible attack.
In his televised Republic Day speech on Wednesday night, President Pranab Mukherjee said India’s strength lay in its religious and cultural diversity.
Critics say India is witnessing an increasingly strident brand of Hindu nationalism since Modi came to power in 2014.
“More than the unison of ideas, a healthy democracy calls for conformity to the values of tolerance, patience and respect for others,” said Mukherjee, a member of the main opposition Congress Party and whose position is largely ceremonial.
“Our tradition has always celebrated the argumentative Indian not the intolerant Indian.”

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Pakistan bans top TV preacher over hate speech

Author: 
AFP
Fri, 2017-01-27
ID: 
1485460745141518200

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s media watchdog Thursday accused a prominent television preacher of hate speech and banned his hugely popular show, silencing the high-profile host after years of controversy.
Aamir Liaquat Hussain, a charismatic star criticized in 2013 for giving out babies to childless couples live on prime-time television, had been accused of inciting hate against supporters of five progressive activists who disappeared earlier this month.
He was told his program on Bol News had been ended “with immediate effect” and prohibited from appearing on the channel “in any manner” even in old footage, with Bol warned it would lose its license if it did not comply.
Hussain was also prohibited from delivering “any hate speech” or branding anyone an infidel or a traitor on any other channel, according to the statement from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).
It said the decision came after Hussain had been monitored for several weeks, and that it had received “hundreds” of complaints about his repeated violations.
Rights activist Jibran Nasir, who has spearheaded some of the demonstrations over the missing bloggers and is among those maligned by Hussain, tweeted that a police complaint had also been made.
“Pemra did its job & we should be glad about it but our real job is still left. We can rejoice when the missing come back home. Back to work!” he wrote.
The five bloggers were reported missing from various cities in Pakistan early this month, raising fears of a crackdown.
Human Rights Watch said their near simultaneous disappearances raised concerns of government involvement, which officials and intelligence sources have denied.
A virulent social media campaign painting the missing as blasphemers has triggered a flood of threats despite denials from their worried families.
The charge, which carries the death penalty, is hugely sensitive in deeply conservative Pakistan, where even unproven allegations have stirred mob lynchings and murder. Hussain, a former lawmaker, is no stranger to controversy.
Under military ruler Pervez Musharraf, he was forced to resign as junior religious affairs minister because of his views on the controversial blasphemy laws.
In 2013, he was unrepentant about the storm over his Ramadan show, which saw him give babies away to childless couples, denying the move was a ratings stunt. “People love me, that is why they watch me. Through television we spread the message of tolerance,” he told AFP at the time.

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Pakistan bans top TV preacher over hate speech

Author: 
AFP
Fri, 2017-01-27
ID: 
1485460745141518200

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s media watchdog Thursday accused a prominent television preacher of hate speech and banned his hugely popular show, silencing the high-profile host after years of controversy.
Aamir Liaquat Hussain, a charismatic star criticized in 2013 for giving out babies to childless couples live on prime-time television, had been accused of inciting hate against supporters of five progressive activists who disappeared earlier this month.
He was told his program on Bol News had been ended “with immediate effect” and prohibited from appearing on the channel “in any manner” even in old footage, with Bol warned it would lose its license if it did not comply.
Hussain was also prohibited from delivering “any hate speech” or branding anyone an infidel or a traitor on any other channel, according to the statement from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).
It said the decision came after Hussain had been monitored for several weeks, and that it had received “hundreds” of complaints about his repeated violations.
Rights activist Jibran Nasir, who has spearheaded some of the demonstrations over the missing bloggers and is among those maligned by Hussain, tweeted that a police complaint had also been made.
“Pemra did its job & we should be glad about it but our real job is still left. We can rejoice when the missing come back home. Back to work!” he wrote.
The five bloggers were reported missing from various cities in Pakistan early this month, raising fears of a crackdown.
Human Rights Watch said their near simultaneous disappearances raised concerns of government involvement, which officials and intelligence sources have denied.
A virulent social media campaign painting the missing as blasphemers has triggered a flood of threats despite denials from their worried families.
The charge, which carries the death penalty, is hugely sensitive in deeply conservative Pakistan, where even unproven allegations have stirred mob lynchings and murder. Hussain, a former lawmaker, is no stranger to controversy.
Under military ruler Pervez Musharraf, he was forced to resign as junior religious affairs minister because of his views on the controversial blasphemy laws.
In 2013, he was unrepentant about the storm over his Ramadan show, which saw him give babies away to childless couples, denying the move was a ratings stunt. “People love me, that is why they watch me. Through television we spread the message of tolerance,” he told AFP at the time.

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Bangladesh anti-coal protest turns violent

Author: 
AFP
Fri, 2017-01-27
ID: 
1485460745121517900

DHAKA: Clashes erupted in Bangladesh’s capital Thursday as police fired tear gas at hundreds of campaigners protesting against a massive coal-fired power plant they say will destroy the world’s largest mangrove forest.
Witnesses said Shahbagh Square, Dhaka’s main protest venue, turned into a battleground as police used water cannon and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at hundreds of left-wing and environmental protesters.
“There were some 200 protesters. We fired tear gas at them after they threw bricks at us. We also used water cannon,” Maruf Hossain Sorder, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told AFP.
Local television stations and an AFP correspondent at the scene said police also fired rubber bullets at the protesters. At least four people were injured, according to private Jamuna Television.
Campaigners have been protesting for the last three years against the under-construction plant which is 14 kilometers (nine miles) north of Sundarbans forest, part of which is a UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) world heritage site.
Experts from both Bangladesh and India — part of the forest also lies in eastern India — say the project could critically damage the unique forest, which is home to endangered Bengal tigers and Irrawaddy dolphins.
In November, more than 20,000 people joined a similar protest against the 1,320 megawatt plant after UNESCO urged Bangladesh to halt construction of the plant.
UNESCO said there was a high chance pollution from the plant would “irreversibly damage” the Sundarbans which acts as a barrier against storm surges and cyclones that have killed thousands in impoverished coastal villages.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has defended the project and rejected concerns about it as politically motivated. She said the plant was needed to provide power to the impoverished south.
The website of the mass circulation Bengali daily Prothom Alo said protest marches were also held in other key areas in the capital although there were no reports of any violence.

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Bangladesh anti-coal protest turns violent

Author: 
AFP
Fri, 2017-01-27
ID: 
1485460745121517900

DHAKA: Clashes erupted in Bangladesh’s capital Thursday as police fired tear gas at hundreds of campaigners protesting against a massive coal-fired power plant they say will destroy the world’s largest mangrove forest.
Witnesses said Shahbagh Square, Dhaka’s main protest venue, turned into a battleground as police used water cannon and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at hundreds of left-wing and environmental protesters.
“There were some 200 protesters. We fired tear gas at them after they threw bricks at us. We also used water cannon,” Maruf Hossain Sorder, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told AFP.
Local television stations and an AFP correspondent at the scene said police also fired rubber bullets at the protesters. At least four people were injured, according to private Jamuna Television.
Campaigners have been protesting for the last three years against the under-construction plant which is 14 kilometers (nine miles) north of Sundarbans forest, part of which is a UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) world heritage site.
Experts from both Bangladesh and India — part of the forest also lies in eastern India — say the project could critically damage the unique forest, which is home to endangered Bengal tigers and Irrawaddy dolphins.
In November, more than 20,000 people joined a similar protest against the 1,320 megawatt plant after UNESCO urged Bangladesh to halt construction of the plant.
UNESCO said there was a high chance pollution from the plant would “irreversibly damage” the Sundarbans which acts as a barrier against storm surges and cyclones that have killed thousands in impoverished coastal villages.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has defended the project and rejected concerns about it as politically motivated. She said the plant was needed to provide power to the impoverished south.
The website of the mass circulation Bengali daily Prothom Alo said protest marches were also held in other key areas in the capital although there were no reports of any violence.

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Petronas boosts capacity at Malyasian LNG complex

State-run Petronas subsidiary Petronas LNG 9 Sdn. Bhd. (PL9SB) has
started commercial operations of the ninth LNG liquefaction train at the
Petronas LNG Complex (PLC) in in Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia.


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Airbus And Uber In The Race For Flying Cars

France-based company Airbus is moving to the skies in a whole new way. As a leader in the airline industry, Airbus is constantly researching ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Their latest venture is an autonomous flying car that will be used to circumvent gridlocked streets. CEO Tom Enders announced his company’s plans at the 2016 DLD conference in Munich, claiming they would have a prototype ready to fly a single passenger by the end of this year. Project Vahana is being developed under a division of Airbus named A^3…


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Duterte wants to hang rogue cops behind Korean’s murder

Author: 
Reuters
Fri, 2017-01-27
ID: 
1485460264581424400

MANILA: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to South Korea on Thursday after policemen killed one of its citizens, then said he wanted to hang rogue police and send their heads to Seoul.
He called again for the death penalty to be reinstated so that he could hang 20 criminals a day.
Duterte promised the toughest punishment for those behind the kidnapping and killing of businessman Jee Ick-joo inside the national police headquarters in October.
“I will see to it that they are sentenced to the maximum,” he said of the policemen. “You give that power to me back again, I will execute them… I’ll hang them in one day, 20 of them — 20 a day.”
He added: “You sons of bitches, you policemen. You will suffer. I can maybe send your heads to South Korea.”
The death of the South Korean comes as the Philippine police face growing criticism from rights groups and some lawmakers, who say cover-ups and abuses of police power are rampant.
Duterte’s critics, however, say he is to blame for creating a culture of impunity by promising to protect police on the front lines of his war on drugs.
The police accused of kidnapping and killing Jee were anti-narcotics officers.
Capital punishment has been a priority for Duterte, whose allies introduced a death penalty bill in Congress on June 30 last year, the same day as his inauguration.
The draft, which is still being debated, says existing laws are no deterrent and had “emasculated” the criminal justice system. The death penalty was repealed in 2006 following pressure from church groups.
A Senate investigation into Jee’s killing began on Thursday with police chief Ronald dela Rosa, a close ally of Duterte, saying he was “overcome by shame.”
“All indications point to an elaborate web of criminal activity by some police personnel operating under the cover of legitimate police operations,” he told the hearing.

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