Suicide bomber kills three near Kabul cricket stadium: police

An injured boy receives treatment inside a hospital, after a suicide attack at a checkpoint near the main cricket stadium, in Kabul, Afghanistan September 13, 2017. Reuters Top News

A suicide bomber killed three people including a policeman and wounded five others after blowing himself up near a cricket stadium in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, police said. The attacker detonated the bomb after he was stopped at a security checkpoint as he walked towards the stadium where a match was under way.

“The security forces by sacrificing themselves have prevented the attacker from reaching the crowd (inside the stadium) and creating a catastrophe,” police spokesman Basir Mujahid told AFP. Two of the wounded were police officers.

Several ambulances were seen speeding away from the scene, apparently taking the injured to hospital, an AFP reporter said. The blast happened during a cricket match inside the stadium, Farid Hotak, a spokesman for the Afghanistan Cricket Board, told AFP. The game was briefly interrupted, Hotak said, adding “all players and cricket board officials are safe”.

For all the latest , download

More Top News

Young guns close to Xi Jinping may get top roles in PLA: report

Xi Jinping Related News

A number of young Chinese military officers, handpicked by President Xi Jinping, are set to take top positions in the world’s largest military as older generals have either bowed out or been purged in the massive anti-corruption campaign, a media report said on Wednesday. Most of the top generals of the 2.3-million strong People’s Liberation Army (PLA) including vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) Fan Changlong, Defence Minister Chang Wanquan and three other CMC members are set to retire, paving the way for a new generation of generals.

General Fan is the highest ranking military official as he is deputy to 64-year-old Xi who heads the CMC, the overall high command of the PLA. The changes are expected to be finalised in the forthcoming 19th Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) to be held from October 18 here in which Xi himself along with Premier Li Keqiang are expected to get their second five-year tenure ratified.

The PLA, which unlike any other military functions under the CPC but not the government, will be well represented among the over 2,300 delegates who will attend the meeting which sets the policy tone for the next five years. Young guns including Xi’s top military aides are expected to move up the ranks, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

Of the 40 or so military members of the 200-strong elite Central Committee, a key policy of the CPC, seven are expected to keep their seats during the next month’s reshuffle at the Congress, according to a list of delegates announced last week. That would give President Xi more scope to promote younger generals to carry out his goal of overhauling the PLA into a modern military that meets China’s security needs and expanding overseas interests, the report said.

Among the 303 officers who will attend the party’s 19th National Congress are two newly-promoted key generals who hold low-profile military positions. Xi’s long-time aide Major General Zhong Shaojun, who runs the PLA’s day-to-day operations and Lieutenant General Wang Chunning, troop commander in Beijing, the report said.

Young guns from the ground, navy and air forces, the strategic missile troops and paramilitary forces will also have a chance of securing a seat on the Central Committee when they attend the party congress as part of the military delegation, it said. Since he took over power in 2013, Xi – who is regarded as the most powerful leader of China holding the posts of head of the CPC, the military and the Presidency – promoted a number of young generals to various ranks, replacing top generals who were purged in the anti-graft campaign initiated by him.

Over 40 generals, including disgraced former CMC vice-chairmen Guo Boxiong and Xu Caiho were either sacked or arrested on corruption charges in the biggest anti-graft campaign carried out by Xi among the PLA ranks. Guo was jailed in 2016 for life for taking bribes, while Xu died of cancer in custody in 2015 while he was under investigation for graft.

The campaign to weed out corruption had created opportunities for younger officers, said Zeng Zhiping, a military expert at the Nanchang Institute of Technology in Jiangxi. “Older generals are bowing out earlier because of the anti-graft drive and that’s creating openings for the young guns,” Zeng said.

Xi also totally revamped the PLA with plans to retrench three lakh troops and cut the size of the army to a million and to increase the size of the navy to enhance China’s influence abroad.

For all the latest , download

More Related News

Chinese HC acquits five men convicted of murder by lower court

Representational Image Top News

In a rare judgement, a high court in China on Tuesday overturned the convictions of five men by a lower court, including a death sentence, for killing a woman 14 years ago. Miao Xinhua was sentenced to death by the Intermediate People’s Court of Ningde City, Fujian, in August 2005 for killing the woman, while another four persons had received prison terms ranging from three to eight years for destroying the evidence.

The Fujian Higher People’s Court overturned the lower court verdict after it found that the previous convictions were based on insufficient evidence, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. In April 2003, a woman’s dismembered body was found in an abandoned house in Ningde City. Miao, the woman’s former boyfriend, was soon identified as a suspect and detained.

In April 2006, the Fujian Higher People’s Court upheld the lower court verdict but gave Miao a two-year reprieve. As Miao and the other suspects continued appealing, the higher court re-heard the case in July 2017 and revoked the original verdict.

This was the latest murder verdict to be corrected as China works to improve judicial justice and transparency. One high-profile case was that of 18-year-old Huugjilt, who was executed in 1996 for the rape and murder of a woman. He received a posthumous pardon in 2014 after a serial rapist and killer admitted to the crime.

For all the latest , download

More Top News

UN Security Council imposes tough sanctions on North Korea

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to Uruguay’s U.N. Ambassador Elbio Rosselli before a vote to adopt a new sanctions resolution against North Korea during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council at U.N. headquarters, Monday, September 11, 2017. (AP Photo) Related News

The UN Security Council has unanimously passed a US-drafted resolution that imposes strongest sanctions ever on North Korea, including restricting its oil imports and banning textile exports, to curb the reclusive nation’s nuclear programme. The move comes in response to the sixth and largest nuclear test by North Korea on September 3.

“Today, we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. And today, the Security Council is saying that if the North Korean regime does not halt its nuclear programme, we will act to stop it ourselves,” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said as the 15-member UN body yesterday passed the resolution on North Korea. “We are done trying to prod the regime to do the right thing. We are now acting to stop it from having the ability to continue doing the wrong thing,” the Indian-origin diplomat said.

She said the international community was doing that by hitting North Korea’s ability to fund its weapons programme. The US had originally proposed harsher sanctions, including a total ban on oil imports by North Korea. But the vote was passed only after Pyongyang allies Russia and China agreed to the reduced measures.

Noting that oil “is the lifeblood” of North Korea’s effort to build and deliver a nuclear weapon, Haley said the resolution reduces almost 30 per cent of oil provided to the North by cutting off over 55 per cent of its gas, diesel, and heavy fuel oil. “Today’s resolution completely bans natural gas and other oil byproducts that could be used as substitutes for the reduced petroleum. This will cut deep,” she said.

Haley said these are by far the strongest measures ever imposed on North Korea. “They give us a much better chance to halt the regime’s ability to fuel and finance its nuclear and missile programmes. But we all know these steps only work if all nations implement them completely and aggressively,” she said.

When these new stronger sanctions are added to those passed last month, over 90 per cent of North Korea’s publicly reported exports are now fully banned. Moreover, this resolution also puts an end to the regime making money from the 93,000 North Korean citizens it sends overseas to work and heavily taxes, she noted.

This ban will eventually starve the regime of an additional USD 500 million or more in annual revenues, she added. “Beyond the USD 1.3 billion in annual revenues we will cut from North Korea, new maritime authorities will help us stop them from obtaining funds by smuggling coal and other prohibited materials around the world by ship,” Haley said.

The resolution bans all North Korean textile exports. Textile exports – North Korea’s largest economic sector that the Security Council had not previously restricted – earned North Korea an average of USD 760 million in the past three years.

The resolution requires the end of all joint ventures with North Korea. This will not only starve the regime of any revenues generated through such arrangements, it will now stop all future foreign investments and technology transfers to help North Korea’s nascent and weak commercial industries, according to a US factsheet.

For all the latest , download

More Related News

Benjamin Netanyahu slams Iran as he arrives for Latin America visit

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony at the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) Jewish community center, which was bombed in 1994, in Buenos Aires, Argentina September 11, 2017 (Reuters) Top News

Benjamin Netanyahu urged all countries to fight terrorism and singled out Iran as a serial offender as he paid tribute to the victims of two bombings in Argentina on the first trip by an Israeli premier to Latin America. Surrounded by heavy security, Netanyahu held a closed-door meeting with members of Argentina’s Jewish community, estimated to be Latin America’s most numerous with 300,000 members.

He also participated in a ceremony to remember victims of bomb attacks at the Israeli embassy in 1992, and at a Jewish community center in 1994. The embassy attack killed 29 and injured 220, while the community center blast left 85 dead and 300 injured.

Israel blamed the embassy attack on the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah. Argentine investigators accused five former Iranian officials of sponsoring Hezbollah’s attack on the community center but Iran denied involvement. “Iran is the one that was behind of the great attacks in Buenos Aires in the 90s and is the ‘octopus of terror,’ and also Hezbollah that is sending branches (of terror) around the world, arms to Latin America as well,” Netanyahu said, according to a transcript provided by the Israeli embassy.

The Israeli leader, who arrived on Monday, said it is “an obligation for all countries of culture to fight against terrorism … and in particular, against the Iranian terrorism system.” Israel “will continue to act resolutely to countering Iran’s terror and terror in general” along with its partners in Latin America and in North America, he said.

DAIA, an umbrella organization for the country’s Jewish community, welcomed the visit and said it represented a “rapprochement between Argentina and Israel.” But some relatives of victims of the 1994 bombing refused an invitation to the Netanyahu event.

“Netanyahu did not come to commemorate the attack, but to increase business,” said Diana Malamud, who heads a group called Active Memory. “In these 23 years (since the bombing) Israel has been an observer, like any other country,” and did not honestly help “search for the truth” behind the attack, she said.

Argentina’s 1980 Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel was also critical. “Not only is he himself accused of committing crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court for killing civilians, bombing schools, hospitals and Palestinian mosques, but he provides protection to a repressor of the last Argentine dictatorship,” Perez Esquivel said.

Esquivel was referring to Israel’s refusal to extradite Teodoro Anibal Gauto, accused of committing crimes against humanity during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship. Pro-Palestinian and left-wing demonstrators plan to protest today, when the Israeli premier meets Argentine President Mauricio Macri and Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes.

For all the latest , download

More Top News