Suspects planned bigger attack, say Spain police

Barcelona: Suspects in Spain’s twin terror attacks had been planning an even bigger assault than the deadly car rampages they carried out, police said, as distressing details emerged of families torn apart in the horror. A 35-year-old Italian was among 14 killed, mowed down in front of his wife and young children in Barcelona when a driver rammed his van through crowds on the busy Las Ramblas boulevard on Thursday,

Trump strategist back to journalism after ouster

Washington: Hours after he left the White House as its chief strategist, Stephen Bannon today returned to Breitbart News as its executive chairman, a position he held before joining the Trump campaign last year to help him attain the presidential victory. Breitbart, seen as a news outlet having right-wing leanings, said Bannon had returned as executive chairman on Friday afternoon and had chaired the company’s evening editorial meeting. “The populist-nationalist

Drone sale to India would cement bilateral ties with US

Washington: The US decision to sell 22 Sea Guardian drones to India at an estimated cost of USD 2 billion will create around 2,000 jobs in the US and “cement” bilateral ties, an American executive involved in the deal has said. “This should be viewed as a significant step in cementing the US-India bilateral defence relationship,” Vivek Lall, chief executive US and international strategic development, General Atomics, told the Atlantic

Lebanon army begins offensive against IS

Beirut: The Lebanese army announced today the start of an offensive against the Islamic State (IS) group close to the Syrian border in the east of the country, where jihadists have been operating for several years. “In the name of Lebanon, in the name of kidnapped Lebanese soldiers, in the name of martyrs of the army, I announce that (this) operation…. has started,” said army chief General Joseph Aoun.

Iraq for next offensive against ISIS: US commander

Baghdad: Senior US military leaders said today Iraqi forces are largely set for their next major campaign against Islamic State extremists after closing out the wrenching nine-month battle to retake the city of Mosul. Lt Gen Stephen Townsend, the top US commander in Iraq, said he sees the Iraqi assault on the IS-held area of Tal Afar “unfolding relatively soon”. The upcoming fight follows weeks of Iraq regrouping troops and

Strong 6.4 quake hits off Fiji: US monitor

Wellington: A strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck off Fiji today, US seismologists said, but it was considerably deep and there were no reports of damage or injury. The offshore quake hit at 3:00 pm (0200 GMT) and was centred around 287 kilometres (178 miles) east of Suva, at a depth of 538 kilometres, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not immediately issue any warnings.

Prepared for any eventuality, US warns N Korea

Washington: The US has warned North Korea that it was prepared to meet any eventuality and will take “immediate specific actions” if Pyongyang launches a missile attack against it or its allies. The US’ strong assertion comes days after President Donald Trump pledged to answer further aggression from North Korea with “fire and fury”. Speaking at a news conference jointly addressed by US Defence Secretary James Mattis, Japanese Foreign minister

Hindu, Sikh Americans denounce Virginia violence

Washington: Hindu and Sikh Americans have condemned the violence unleashed by white supremacists during a rally in Virginia in which a woman was killed and the subsequent remarks by US President Donald Trump in which he blamed both sides for it. A woman was killed and 19 were injured when a car ploughed into a crowd of counter-protesters at Charlottesville. “What our country witnessed this past weekend in Charlottesville, violently

There will be no war on Korean peninsula: Moon

Seoul: There will be no war on the Korean peninsula, South Korean President Moon Jae-In said today, saying Seoul effectively had a veto over US military action in response to the North’s nuclear and missile programmes. “All South Koreans have worked so hard together to rebuild the country from the ruins of the Korean War,” Moon told a press conference marking his first 100 days in office. “I will prevent

Religious freedom under attack in Pakistan: US

Washington: Religious freedom is under attack in Pakistan where minorities like Sikhs, Christians and Hindus remained concerned over government’s inadequate action to address forced conversions to Islam. Members of religious minority communities said that there continued to be inconsistent application of laws safeguarding minority rights and enforcement of protections of religious minorities at both the federal and provincial levels by the federal Ministry of Law, Justice, and Human Rights and its

'Models used in N Korea missiles made for Russia'

Kiev: Ukraine’s space agency said yesterday that an engine type reportedly used in North Korean missiles was made at a Ukrainian factory, but solely for use in space rockets supplied to Russia. The development came after an expert report published yesterday said Pyongyang’s recent rapid progress in developing a long-range missile appeared to have come after it refurbished rocket engines procured from a plant in the former Soviet Union. These