Bikini-clad Selena Gomez reveals leg scar from complications during her kidney transplant… as she soaks up the sun in Sydney Harbour before playfully MOUNTING her female pal on a boat

Singer, 25, has a scar high up on her inner right thigh from a ruptured artery she had following the kidney transplant that saved her life in September 2017

She was rushed back into surgery to have a vein removed from her right inner thigh to build a new artery and keep the kidney transplant in place

She’s just touched down in Sydney ahead of the Hillsong Church’s Colour Conference – a festival her former beau Justin Bieber attends annually.

But newly-single Selena Gomez was surrounded pals on Monday, as she showed her affections for one female friend in particular on the top deck of a luxury boat in Sydney’s Harbour, playfully mounting her and giggling as they shared an cuddle.

The 25-year-old Texan native showed off her figure in a two-piece bikini, revealing a prominent scar on her inner her right thigh, obtained during a second emergency procedure that followed her 2017 kidney transplant.

Pairing a bright orange bikini top with plain black bottoms, the singing sensation was accompanied by friends on the cruise.

Her former flame Justin Bieber was nowhere to be seen as she laughed and joked with gal pals on the day out.

At one time, Selena was seen crawling over to her friend, and then lying on top of her with arms open, ready for an embrace.

The mischievous brunette then let out a gleeful smile as her friend, who was resting on her back in a black bikini, returned the enthusiastic squeeze.
Though she was clearly besotted with her mate, it was not the same altruistic friend who became Selena’s organ donor in summer 2017.

Actress Francia Raisa gave Selena one of her kidneys in summer 2017, following the singer’s battle with lupus.

Selena, who underwent a kidney transplant in September last year, first showcased her sizable surgery scar while holidaying in Mexico in December.

However Selena was now displaying the mark that the surgery left behind last September.

बुर्का पहने चार महिलाएं मस्जिद के प्रांगण में खेल रही थीं बोर्ड गेम, फोटो वायरल, विवाद

‘हमने तुरंत महिला अधिकारियों को मौके पर भेजा और उन्होंने महिलाओं से ऐसी चीजें जगह की शुचिता को ध्यान में रखते हुए न करने के लिए कहा. महिलाओं ने बात मानते हुए तुरंत इस एरिया को खाली कर दिया था.’

रियाद: मक्का की पवित्र मस्जिद के प्रांगण में बुर्का पहने चार महिलाओं की एक तस्वीर सऊदी अरब में विवादों के घेरे में आ गई है. यह तस्वीर सोशल मीडिया पर वायरल हो रही है. दरअसल बुर्का पहने ये महिलाएं मस्जिद के प्रांगण में कोई ‘बोर्ड गेम’ खेलती नजर आ रही हैं.

इस तस्वीर के वायरल होने के कुछ ही समय बाद सऊदी अरब अथॉरिटी ने एक स्टेटमेंट जारी कर दिया. स्टेपफीड नामक वेबसाइट के हवाले में न्यूज एजेंसी एएनआई ने बताया कि पवित्र मस्जिद की गवर्निंग अथॉरिटी के एक प्रवक्ता के मुताबिक, सुबह 11 बजे पिछले शुक्रवार कुछ सिक्यॉरिटी अफसरों ने चार महिलाओं को सीक्वेंस नामक बोर्ड गेम खेलते देखा. स्टेटमेंट में कहा गया है- हमने तुरंत महिला अधिकारियों को मौके पर भेजा और उन्होंने महिलाओं से ऐसी चीजें जगह की शुचिता को ध्यान में रखते हुए न करने के लिए कहा. महिलाओं ने बात मानते हुए तुरंत इस एरिया को खाली कर दिया था.

स्टेपफीड एक अंग्रेजी वेबसाइट है जिसका कहना है कि यह मामला ‘अरब जगत में ट्रेंड कर रहा है’. हालांकि इंटरनेट पर लोग इसे अलग अलग तरह से ले रहे हैं. किसी ने महिलाओं के यूं बोर्ड गेम खेलने की निंदा की जबकि किसी ने उनका विरोध करने का वालों से असहमति जताई. इसी बीच बता दें कि साल 2015 में मदीना के मस्जिद-ए-नवाबी में कुछ युवा कार्ड्स खेलते हुए पाए गए थे. रिपोर्ट्स थीं कि सुरक्षागार्डों ने उन्हें अरेस्ट कर लिया था

Love at first swipe!Firefighter and maths teacher who fell for each other on Tinder and now have an adorable one-year-old baby girl reveal their tips for finding ‘the one’ online

When you think of dating app, Tinder, long term commitment is not the first thing which springs to mind.

However, for Perth couple, former maths teacher Christie McClennan, 40, and firefighter Adam Fahey, 43, it was love at first swipe.

Thirty minutes into their first date on a Tasmanian beach, the couple knew they had found ‘the one’.

After moving interstate to be together, starting a business named ‘Tinderly’ in honour of their love and travelling around the world, the couple now has an adorable 14-month old baby named Sasha.

Eastern Ghouta: Syrian government forces clash with rebels.

Hours into second attempt at implementing Russian truce, government shelling intensifies in towns near front lines.

Syrian government forces have clashed with rebels on the outskirts of Eastern Ghouta, despite a Russian-sponsored truce that is now in its second day, a war monitor reported.

Since Wednesday morning, during a second attempt at implementing a ceasefire in the besieged enclave, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad‘s forces have been locked in “fierce” fighting with rebels who have been in control of the area since 2013, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

The confrontation is part of a ground offensive launched by the government on Sunday. It has been fighting on multiple fronts in an attempt to penetrate the enclave.

The daily, five-hour “humanitarian pause” is meant to evacuate the injured out of the Damascus suburb and allow humanitarian convoys to deliver food and medicine to some 400,000 people trapped inside.

The first attempt to implement the truce on Tuesday was unsuccessful, as aerial bombardment and artillery fire killed at least four people and injured dozens more.

Indonesia: Christian couple caned for gambling.

Authorities caned a Christian married couple on Tuesday after they were arrested for gambling at an entertainment centre in Banda Acehin Indonesia.

The Aceh Sharia Court sentenced the couple, identified as Dahlan Sili Tongga, 61, and Tjia Nyuk Hwa, 45, to eight and seven lashes respectively for violating provincial laws. The caning took place outside the Babussalam Mosque in Lampaseh Aceh in the city, The Straits Times reported.

The couple was found guilty of violating a jinayat (Islamic bylaw) on gambling.

According to the sharia law, each lash is equivalent to a one-month imprisonment. Hence, it is believed that the couple preferred to receive corporal punishment.

The court also sentenced a 67-year-old man named Ridwan to 22 lashes for allowing gambling to take place on the premises. The authorities confiscated coins, vouchers and cash from him as well.

“This punishment shows our commitment (to implementing sharia). We want to create a deterrent so that other people do not violate sharia,” Banda Aceh Mayor Aminullah Usman said, adding that the caning was deliberately carried out in an open space so that the public could see it.

Aceh is the only province in Indonesia that implements the sharia, although non-Muslims, who are found guilty of committing crimes are regulated under the province’s criminal code such as gambling.

Kate Hudson shares loved-up photo with Danny Fujikawa

Kate Hudson and boyfriend Danny Fujikawa are the cutest! The loved-up couple were pictured cuddling up together in a group photo with Danny’s brother and Kate’s stylist Sophie Lopez on Kate’s Instagram on Thursday, and fans were quick to label Danny “Mr Right”. Kate, who looked relaxed as she posed for the photo, captioned the photo: “Portrait of The Fujikawa’s and Two Ladies #DutchDoorFarewells @sophielopez.” Comments quickly followed, with one writing: “Aww so sweet,” while another said: “This is Mr Right! I can tell.” A third added: “Beautiful! Do they have another single brother?” Another fan simply posted an engagement ring emoji.

Karen Clifton shares picture of husband Kevin amid split rumours

Karen and Kevin Clifton have been keeping mum about the state of their marriage since rumours of a split surfaced late last year but on Wednesday their fans were finally treated to a rare photo of them together and they could not have been more pleased. Strictly Come Dancing‘s Karen delighted her followers with a picture showing the couple dancing together to promote their new dance tour Kevin and Karen Tour 2018. The 35-year-old captioned the shot: “Starting the day off with a kick ball change along w @keviclifton #kevinandkarentour2018.”

Meghan Markle ‘revealed’ as secret author of anonymous Hollywood blog

Could Meghan Markle be the once struggling Hollywood star who penned the infamous blog The Working Actress? A new report by the Daily Mail says there is conclusive proof that the royal-to-be was the author of the honest diary which appeared online between 2010 and 2012. Having correlated events in Meghan’s life with former blog posts and with sources in California, writer David Jones is certain Prince Harry’s fiancée is the secret writer of the controversial diary. If true, Meghan would have written the blog in her late 20s when she was married to Trevor Engelson, before she created her lifestyle blog The Tig and found fame in TV show Suits.

Two shot dead in Zurich, Swiss police see no terror link

ZURICH: Two people died in a shooting in Zurich‘s city centre on Friday that police said did not appear to have any link to terrorism.Police responding to reports of shots fired near the Swiss financial capital’s main railway station shortly after 14:30 (1330 GMT) found one person dead and another gravely wounded. The second person later died, police said in a statement.

After Florida shooting, people are giving up their weapons

About 40% of Americans say they have a gun. Almost 40% of Americans defend their right to have a gun. But on Saturday, Scott Pappalardo sawed his gun into pieces and he’s not the only one.

After the shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida, last week where 17 died people and many more were injured,teenage survivors have rallied under the #Never Again movement to lobby for an end to gun violence.

They are demanding change and some gun owners have heeded the call.

Today’s Doodle Is Dedicated to Cornelia Sorabji’s,India’s first woman advocate

Cornelia was born in Nashik in the erstwhile Bombay Presidency of colonial India on this day in 1866. Her parents Reverend Sorabji Karsedji and Francina Ford were advocates of women’s education and established several girls’ schools in Pune. They encouraged Cornelia to take higher studies, and she went on to become the first woman to be graduated from Bombay University.

Cornelia took up law at the famous Oxford University and it was no easy task. It was a time when universities were reluctant to accept female students. The National Indian Association came to Cornelia’s help. Her English friends petitioned on her behalf to allow her to sit for Civil Laws exam at Somerville College, Oxford. In 1894, she completed her course, but the University didn’t award her a degree. Oxford University started awarding degrees to women only since 1922.

Even after completion of her education, Cornelia was not allowed to plead in courts both in England as well as India. She returned to her homeland and became a legal advisor. She took the cause of purdahnashins, the veiled women who were forbidden to interact with men outside their families. She helped widowed purdahnashins get their rightful share of the property, helped them pursue education and secure employment. She succeeded in pursuing the government to appoint Lady Assistants to the courts to help women litigants.

Cornelia again appeared for LLB examination in Bombay University to obtain a law degree, becoming the first woman graduate from the institution. She cleared the pleader examination in Allahabad High Court in 1899 but she was not acknowledged as a barrister.

Only in 1923 colonial courts opened their doors to women advocates. The next year Cornelia began practicing in Kolkata. In addition to pleading for her clients, she had to fight bias and male domination in courts. Six years later she retired and moved to London. She died on July 6, 1954.

She has published two autobiographies India Calling: The Memories of Cornelia Sorabji, and India Recalled, a biography of her parents, and numerous articles on Purdahnashins.

Hijab-wearing Barbie doll-Doll Modeled After Ibtihaj Muhammad

The maker of Barbie has announced it will sell a doll modeled after Ibtihaj Muhammad, an American fencer who competed in last year’s Olympics while wearing a hijab.

The doll is part of the Barbie “Shero” line that honors women who break boundaries. Past dolls have included gymnast Gabby Douglas and “Selma” director Ava DuVernay.

Muhammad, the first American to compete at the Olympics while wearing a hijab, won a bronze medal in fencing at the 2016 Rio Game.

Today’s Google Doodle is Dedicated to the 131st Anniversary of Hole Punture

Today’s Google Doodle is Dedicated to the 131st Anniversary of Hole Punture.

The origins of the hole punch date back to Germany via Matthias Theel, where two early patents for a device designed to “punch holes in paper” have since[when?] been discovered.[4] Friedrich Soennecken filed his patent on 14 November 1886, for his Papierlocher für Sammelmappen.

hole punch (also known as a hole puncher) is a common office tool that is used to create holes in sheets of paper, often for the purpose of collecting the sheets in a binder or folder. A leather punch, of different construction from one designed for paper, is used for leather goods, cloth, or thin plastic sheeting. Hole punch tools are also made for use on sheet metal, such as aluminum siding or metal air ducts.A typical hole punch, whether a single or multiple hole punch,

This Japan Company Gives Non-Smokers 6 Extra Paid Leaves

One Japanese marketing firm has reportedly offered its non-smoking workers an extra six days of paid leave a year after they kicked up a stink about their smoking colleagues taking too much time during cigarette breaks.

According to a report from the UK’s ‘The Telegraph’, Piala Inc. introduced the system as a way to appease disgruntled employees who believed it took far too long for smoking workers to travel between the company’s 29th-floor head office and the basement smoking area in their Tokyo-based building

“One of our non-smoking staff put a message in the company suggestion box earlier in the year saying that smoking breaks were causing problems,” a Piala spokesperson told ‘The Telegraph’.

“Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate.”

Singapore bans additional cars-there’s no more room for them

Singapore, one of the world’s most expensive places to own a vehicle, will not allow any growth in its car population from February, citing the small city-state’s land scarcity and billions of dollars in planned public transport investments.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it was cutting the permissible vehicle growth rate in the city-state to 0 percent from the current 0.25 percent per annum for cars and motorcycles. The rate will be reviewed in 2020.

Singapore tightly controls its vehicle population by setting an annual growth rate and through a system of bidding for the right to own and use a vehicle for a limited number of years. It is one of the most densely populated nations on the planet and already has an extensive public transport system.

Currently, 12 percent of Singapore’s total land area is taken up by roads, the LTA said. “In view of land constraints and competing needs, there is limited scope for further expansion of the road network,” it said.

Singapore, whose total population has risen nearly 40 percent since 2000 to about 5.6 million now, counted more than 600,000 private and rental cars on its roads as of last year. These include cars used by drivers that work with ride-hailing services such as Grab and Uber, which are becoming increasingly popular.

A mid-range car in Singapore can typically cost four times the price in the United States.

Singapore has expanded its rail network length by 30 percent and has added new routes and capacity to its bus network. The government will continue to invest S$20 billion ($14.7 billion) in new rail infrastructure, S$4 billion to renew, upgrade and expand rail operating assets, and another S$4 billion in bus contracting subsidies over the next five years, the LTA said.

The LTA will keep ……

Generate Electricity From Your Windows Using SolarGaps’ Blinds

If solar panels on the roof offend your aesthetic sensibilities and Tesla’s sun-soaking roof tiles aren’t quite in your budget, then maybe the roof isn’t the right place for you to harvest the sun. SolarGaps allows you to do that from the window instead.

A set of window blinds equipped with solar panels, the rig allows you to harvest sunlight at home without complicated roof installations, so you can supplement your connection to the grid with sustainably-generated power. Since these are just windows blinds, there are no permanent installations, making it a straightforward plug-and-play solution that you can set up and remove at any time.

Each SolarGap look no different than traditional window blinds from afar, although you will notice the presence of photovoltaic cells once you start inspecting up close. Each 10-square foot window area covered by the blinds can generate as much 150W of power, which should be enough to power all the lights in your home, as well as three MacBooks all running at the same time. While they can be opened and closed much like any set of window blinds, it comes with an accompanying app (iOS and Android) where you can adjust them remotely, with options for various automated movements (e.g. it can align itself to maximize sun harvest all through the day). Each set of blind…..

Hydrogen Bomb vs. Atomic Bomb: What’s the Difference?

North Korea is threatening to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean in response to President Donald Trump ordering new sanctions on individuals, companies, and banks that conduct business with the notoriously reclusive country, according to news reports.

Hydrogen bombs, or thermonuclear bombs, are more powerful than atomic or “fission” bombs. The difference between thermonuclear bombs and fission bombs begins at the atomic level. [The 10 Greatest Explosions Ever]

Fission bombs, like those used to devastate the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima during World War II, work by splitting the nucleus of an atom. When the neutrons, or neutral particles, of the atom’s nucleus split, some hit the nuclei of nearby atoms, splitting them, too. The result is a very explosive chain reaction. The bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki exploded with the yield of 15 kilotons and 20 kilotons of TNT, respectively, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

In contrast, the first test of a thermonuclear weapon, or hydrogen bomb, in the United States in November 1952 yielded an explosion on the order of 10,000 kilotons of TNT. Thermonuclear bombs start with the same fission reaction that powers atomic bombs — but the majority of the uranium or plutonium in atomic bombs actually goes unused. In a thermonuclear bomb, an additional step means that more of the bomb’s explosive power becomes available.

First, an igniting explosion compresses a sphere of plutonium-239, the material that will then undergo fission. Inside this pit of plutonium-239 is a chamber of hydrogen gas. The high temperatures and pressures created by the plutonium-239 fission cause the hydrogen atoms to fuse. This fusion process releases neutrons, which feed back into the plutonium-239, splitting more atoms and boosting the fission chain reaction.

Governments around the world use global monitoring systems to detect nuclear tests as par…

Saudi Arabia plans to build a $500 billion mega-city 33 times the sizy of NY City

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter , but falling oil prices have made it more difficult for the country to pay its oil workers.

Now the Saudi Arabian government has come up with a project that could give its economy a boost: a $500 billion mega-city that will connect to Jordan and Egypt and be powered completely by renewable energy.

On Tuesday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the project , called NEOM , at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh. It will be financed by the Saudi government and private investors, according to Reuters.

The business and industrial-focused city will span 10,230 square miles . To put that size in perspective, 10,230 square miles is more than 33 times the land area of New York City.

NEOM’s larger goal is to lessen Saudi Arabia’s reliance on oil exports, which could expand the country’s economy beyond oil, bin Salmon said at the conference. The city will focus on a variety of industries, including energy and water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing, and entertainment. Saudi Arabia hasn’t released a masterplan yet for what it will look like.

The country appointed Klaus Kleinfeld, a former chief executive of Siemens AG and Alcoa Inc, to run the NEOM project. Officials hope that a funding program, which includes selling 5% of oil giant Saudi Aramco, will raise $300 billion for NEOM’s construction.

Looking at your phone while crossing the street could now cost you $99 in Honolulu

Honolulu has been working on a bill for a few months now that aims to get people to stop staring at their phones when crossing streets. The bill got its final stamp of approval from the Mayor at the end of July and, as the New York Times points out, will go into effect starting tomorrow.

Specifically, the bill (viewable here) states that “No pedestrian shall cross a street or highway while viewing a mobile electronic device.” They note that “viewing” here means “looking in the direction of the screen” — so walking with your phone up to your ear still seems to be okay.

The exceptions to the whole bill: people calling 911, and the emergency responders who might need to look at a device while running across the street as part of their jobs.

Youthful male model with incredible body defies the ageing process…but how old is he?

A male model with perfectly chiselled abs and a perfect complexion seems to have found a way to halt the ageing process as he wows fans with his youthful looks.

Without a wrinkle in sight or any extra pounds around the waist, Chuando Tan, from Singapore, could easily pass for a man in his late 20s.

But in fact, Chuando is actually 50 years old.

The Asian model-turned photographer has gathered thousands of fans online, all stunned by his baby-faced snaps.

On Instagram, Chuando has a staggering 227,000 fans, many of whom are desperate to discover the secret to his boyish looks.

Chuabdo has incredible abs for his age (Image: chuando_chuandoandfrey/Instagram)
The model has gathered 227,000 followers on Instagram (Image: chuando_chuandoandfrey/Instagram)

THE SECRET TO LONG LIFE IS FINALLY REVEALED

While Chuando regularly works out, he also claims his bathing habits help him stay looking young.

He claims not bathing late at night or early in the morning help him retain the features of a man half his age.

Chuando also says his love of spicy Hainanese chicken helps too.

(Image: chuando_chuandoandfrey/Instagram)
Chuando reinvented himself as a photographer after years of working as a male model (Image: chuando_chuandoandfrey/Instagram)

Now working as a photographer, he dabbles in the occasional modelling work.

Newsreader swears while falling off chair live on air spilling her drink but just about keeps composure to continue

A newsreader who fell off her chair live on air and swore during a sports bulletin has been hailed as “true pro” for the way she recovered.

Channel Nine sports presenter Erin Molan was off camera when the accident happened while a news segment ran about the Tour de France .

A few moments silence followed before she said: “I’ve just fallen off my chair, no, I am good,” before heroically continuing her report.

When she returned to Australia’s television screens she had a damp patch on her top which hinted at what must have happened.

Channel Nine sports presenter Erin Molan was off camera when the accident happened

Before continuing the bulletin she explained: “I did just fall off my chair but I’m okay I promise.”

Her fall has only seemed to add to army of fans.

Two of her colleagues – Airlie Walsh and Jayne Azzopardi – have applauded her recovery.

Erin Molan very professionally carried on her report despite having a stain on her top

One viewer tweeted: “You’re a true pro! Stacked off the chair and clearly wore your drink but barely missed a beat in your report. Champion effort.”

On Instagram Erin later apologised “if any beautiful children heard my terrified reaction”.

She added: “So… tonight was different. I fell off my chair mid @9newssydney bulletin and in the shock of hitting the ground from 1.5m high I unfortunately used a word that isn’t appropriate.

“I didn’t want to get dressed”: Woman walks unashamedly naked through streets of Bolonga prompting debate

WARNING: NUDITY – The unidentified woman walked brimming with pride and confidence through the city centre of the tourist hotspot as onlookers took photos

A young woman shocked shoppers when she walked through a city centre tourist hotspot completely naked – simply because she claimed she “didn’t want to get dressed”.

The tattooed woman walked proudly through the streets of Bologna, the bustling capital of northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, with a big smile on her face.

When one man asked the brunette whether she had lost her clothes or a bet, she replied: “I didn’t want to get dressed.”

The woman, whose name is not known, walked through the city centre without stopping as amazed onlookers took photos and videos of her on their phones.

She carried a white bag over her shoulder and appeared to be listening to music on her headphones.

The young woman wasn’t phased by people taking her photo (Image: CEN)

The young woman, who had a large tattoo on her chest and another on her right hip, turned and smiled to people staring at her as she continued her walk.

She was seen crossing a busy road in front of the city’s railway station, and in the popular area around Porta Mascarella, a gate in the city’s former medieval walls.

It is not clear whether the woman’s naked walk was a joke or a promotion of some kind – but videos and photographs of her have gone viral on social media.

She was naked except for her bag and shoes (Image: CEN)
The woman smiled as passersby took her photo and filmed her (Image: CEN)

But the ‘stunt’ divided opinions on social media.

Netizen ‘Claudia’ said: “Nice excuse, ‘I didn’t want to get dressed!’, what nonsense people do for a little bit of popularity!!”

Another wrote: “Better a beautiful naked woman than an ugly naked man on the street.”

Someone else posted: “Brave girl! And very beautiful.”

But one user, named Delia, said: “So this is how far we’ve come! And we criticise our ‘guests’… we’re worse than them because we don’t have any excuse.”

दान में मिले हाथों से बेसबॉल खेलने वाला लड़का

एक अमरीकी लड़का दुनिया का पहला बच्चा बन गया है जिसके दोनों हाथ प्रत्यारोपित किए गए हैं.

प्रत्यारोपण करने वाले डॉक्टरों का कहना है कि अब वह बच्चा बेसबॉल बैट आसानी से घूमा रहा है. 10 बरस के ज़ायन हार्वे को नए हाथ मिले हैं और उसके हौंसले को नई उड़ान.

हाथ प्रत्यारोपित करने वाले डॉक्टरों का कहना है कि यह विस्मित करने वाला है.

ज़ायन अब लिख सकता है, खा सकता है, ख़ुद से कपड़े बदल सकता है और बैट भी पकड़ सकता है. ज़ायन को हाथ एक डोनर से मिला है.

मेडिकल जांच से साबित हुआ है कि ज़ायन के मस्तिष्क ने उस हाथ को अपने हाथ की तरह स्वीकार किया है.

‘जिनसे खून का रिश्ता, वही कर सकता है अंगदान’

चीन में बंद होगा क़ैदियों से अंगदान कराना

ज़ायनइमेज कॉपीरइटCHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA

अभूतपूर्व कामयाबी

फिलाडेल्फिया के चिल्ड्रन हॉस्पिटल में ज़ायन का इलाज चला था. डॉक्टर सांद्रा अमराल ज़ायन का इलाज करने वाले डॉक्टरों की टीम में शामिल थे.

उन्होंने बीबीसी से कहा कि ज़ायन की स्थिति में लगातार तेज़ी से सुधार हो रहा है.

उन्होंने कहा, “वह अब बैट घुमा सकता है और अपना नाम भी लिख पा रहा है. उसकी अनुभूति में लगातार सुधार हो रहा है और यह हमारे लिए विस्मित करने वाला है. अब वह अपने मां के गाल पर हाथ से थपकी दे सकता है.”

डॉक्टर अमराल ने कहा, “यह सबूत है कि उसके मस्तिष्क ने नए हाथों को स्वीकार कर लिया है.”

डॉक्टरों की टीम ने इस अभूतपूर्व कामयाब कहानी का ‘मेडिकल नोट्स द लैन्सेंट चाइल्ड एंड एडोलसेंट हेल्थ जर्नल’ में छापा है.

अंगदानः पादरी ने दे दिया अजनबी को अपना गुर्दा

दान में मिले दिल के सहारे पूरे किए 25 साल

ज़ायनइमेज कॉपीरइटCHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA

ज़ायन का नया हाथ

ज़ायन का जन्म दोनों हाथों के साथ हुआ था, लेकिन जब वह दो साल का था तो दोनों हाथ काटने पड़े थे.

ज़ायन के ही शब्दों में, “जब मैं दो साल का था तो दोनों हाथ काटने पड़े थे क्योंकि मैं बीमार था.”

ज़ायन को जानलेवा इन्फ़ेक्शन हो गया था. डॉक्टरों को ज़ायन के दोनों हाथ काटने पड़े थे. ज़ायन की किडनी ने भी काम करना बंद कर दिया था.

दो साल डायलिसिस पर रहने के बाद चार साल की उम्र में ज़ायन की किडनी का प्रत्यारोपण हुआ. किडनी ज़ायन की मां से ली गई थी. इसके चार साल बाद ज़ायन को नया हाथ मिला.

…तो फिर बेरोज़गार हो जाएंगे किडनी चोर

अब तो लैब में ही बन गई किडनी

ज़ायनइमेज कॉपीरइटCHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA

जोखिम

ज़ायन के हाथ की सर्जरी जून 2015 में की गई थी. यह अपने आप में एक बड़ा जोखिम था. हालांकि दोनों हाथों का प्रत्यारोपण की ये पहली घटना नहीं थी.

इससे पहले 1998 में भी हुआ था. यह सबसे कम उम्र में किया गया प्रत्यारोपण है. डॉक्टरों का कहना है ज़ायन उनके लिए मिसाल की तरह है.

जिनमें नए अंगों का प्रत्यारोपण किया जाता है उन्हें जीवन भर एंटी-रिजेक्शन दवाई खानी पड़ती है और इन दवाइयों का बुरा साइड इफेक्ट होता है.

इसका मतलब यह हुआ कि सर्जरी पर जोखिम का साया हमेशा बना रहता है. ज़ायन किडनी के लिए दवाई पहले से ही खा रहा है.

18 महीने बाद इसका मूल्यांकन किया जाएगा. हालांकि ज़ायन के मामले में मेडिकल टीम आश्वस्त है कि उसे इसका फ़ायदा होगा.

क़तर की न्यूज़ एजेंसी को किसने हैक किया?

संयुक्त अरब अमीरात ने मई में क़तर की सरकारी न्यूज़ एजेंसी को हैक किए जाने के आरोपों को ख़ारिज़ किया है.

वाशिंगटन पोस्ट ने अमरीकी ख़ुफिया अधिकारियों के हवाले से कहा कि यूएई ने गुप्त रूप से क़तर के शासकों के ख़िलाफ अपशब्द पोस्ट किए. हालांकि यूएई ने इसे मनगढ़ंत बताया.

इस घटना की वजह से क़तर और उसके पड़ोसी मुल्क़ों के बीच तक़रार शुरू हो गई.

यूएई के विदेश मामलों के मंत्री अनवर गार्गश ने सोमवार को बीबीसी को बताया कि पोस्ट को लेकर आई रिपोर्ट सही नहीं थी.

आरोप

उन्होंने यह भी कहा कि यूएई और पांच अन्य अरब देशों ने फीफा को ऐसा कोई पत्र नहीं लिखा जिसमें क़तर को 2022 वर्ल्ड कप की मेज़बानी से बाहर करने की बात हो.

स्विस न्यूज़ नेटवर्क ‘द लोकल’ के मुताबिक़, शनिवार को एक वेबसाइट पर फीफा के प्रेसिडेंट गियान्नी इन्फैंटिनो के हवाले से एक फ़र्जी ख़बर लिखी गई थी.

क़तर संकट: सरकारी न्यूज़ एजेंसी हैक करने से UAE का इनकारइमेज कॉपीरइटQNA/INSTAGRAM
Image captionइंस्टाग्राम पर शेयर की गई फ़ेक न्यूज़

रूस के हैकर?

वॉशिंगटन पोस्ट ने अमरीकी खुफिया अधिकारी के नाम का ज़िक्र किए बगैर कहा कि हाल ही में सामने आई एक रिपोर्ट से पता चला कि 23 मई को यूएई सरकार के वरिष्ठ अधिकारियों की एक मीटिंग में क़तर की सरकारी मीडिया वेबसाइट को हैक करने की योजना पर चर्चा हुई थी.

इस मामले में क़तर के एक अधिकारी ने कहा कि एजेंसी को किसी अज्ञात ने हैक किया था.

यूएई, सऊदी अरब, बहराइन और मिस्र ने क़तर की मीडिया पर रोक लगा दी थी. दो सप्ताह बाद चारों देशों ने क़तर पर आतंकवाद का समर्थन करने और ईरान से संबंध रखने के आरोप में अपने संबंध तोड़ लिए.

अमरीकी खुफिया अधिकारियों ने वॉशिंगटन पोस्ट को बताया कि यह स्पष्ट नहीं हो पाया है कि यूएई ने क़तर की न्य़ूज एजेंसी खुद हैक की है या किसी अन्य को पैसे देकर ये काम करवाया है.

बीते महीने द गार्डियन की एक रिपोर्ट में दावा किया गया कि अमरीकी केंद्रीय जांच एजेंसी (एफ़बीआई) ने पता लगाया है कि इस हैकिंग के पीछे रूस के फ्रीलांस हैकर्स का हाथ है.

लंदन: ट्रेन का इंतजार कर रही मुस्लिम महिला का हिजाब उतारने की कोशिश

ब्रितानी पुलिस ने बेकर स्ट्रीट रेलवे स्टेशन पर मुस्लिम महिला का हिजाब उतारने की कोशिश को नफ़रत से जुड़ी घटना बताया है.

एक शख़्स ने लंदन के बेकर स्ट्रीट स्टेशन पर अपनी दोस्तों के साथ ट्रेन का इंतज़ार कर रही अनिसो अब्दुलकदीर का हिजाब उतारने की कोशिश की थी.

बाद में पीड़िता ने कथित हमलावर की तस्वीर ट्वीट की और लोगों से अपील की कि तस्वीर को ज़्यादा से ज़्यादा शेयर करें.

ब्रिटिश ट्रांसपोर्ट पुलिस ने पुष्टि की है कि घटना की जांच की जा रही है.

अनिसो अब्दुलकदीर ने ट्वीट किया, “बेकर स्ट्रीट स्टेशन पर इस आदमी ने जबरन मेरा हिजाब खींचने की कोशिश की तो मैंने हिजाब कसकर पकड़ लिया. उसने मुझे चोट पहुंचाई.”

‘हिजाब वाली बेचारी मुसलमान महिला’

कैटवॉक में हिजाब से नाराज़ मुस्लिम महिलाएं

लंदन: ट्रेन का इंतजार कर रही मुस्लिम महिला का हिजाब उतारने की कोशिश

उन्होंने आगे लिखा, “उसने मुझे और मेरी दोस्तों को अपशब्द कहे. उसने मेरी एक दोस्त का सिर दीवार से भिड़ाया और उसके चेहरे पर थूक दिया.”

उनके पोस्ट को 24,000 से भी ज्यादा लोगों ने रीट्वीट किया है.

हिजाब पहनने वालों को बैन कर सकेंगी कंपनी

ट्रंप के अमरीका में हिजाब पहन दिखाई ताकत

ब्रिटिश ट्रांसपोर्ट पुलिस के प्रवक्ता ने कहा कि मामले की जांच नफ़रत फैलाने वाले अपराध के तौर पर की जा रही है.

उन्होंने कहा, ”ऐसा व्यवहार बिल्कुल बर्दाश्त नहीं किया जाएगा. हमें घटना की शिकायत मिली है. जांच की जा रही है.”

नहीं झुका क़तर, जारी रहेंगे खाड़ी देशों के प्रतिबंध

अरब देशों के बीच अलग-थलग पड़े क़तर पर खाड़ी देशों के प्रतिबंध जारी रहेंगे, सऊदी अरब ने ये जानकारी दी है.

क़तर पर ‘आतंकवाद का पोषण’ करने का आरोप लगाते हुए खाड़ी देशों ने पिछले महीन उससे राजनयिक संबंध ख़त्म कर लिए थे और फिर उस पर प्रतिबंध भी लगाए थे.

क़तर को इन देशों की कुछ मांगों की सूची सौंपी गई थी जिन्हें मानने से क़तर ने इनकार कर दिया है.

इन मांगों का जवाब देने के लिए क़तर की समयसीमा बुधवार को ख़त्म हो रही थी.

सऊदी अरब, मिस्र, बहरीन और संयुक्त अरब अमीरात के विदेश मंत्रियों की काहिरा में बैठक हुई जिसमें कहा गया कि उन्हें अफ़सोस है कि क़तर ने उनकी मांगों को ठुकरा दिया है.

क़तर का भविष्य तय करने के लिए अहम बैठक

क़तर को 48 घंटे का अल्टीमेटम

सऊदी अरब, मिस्र, बहरीन और संयुक्त अरब अमीरात के विदेश मंत्रियों की काहिरा में बैठक हुई जिसमें कहा गया कि उन्हें अफ़सोस है कि क़तर ने उनकी मांगों को ठुकरा दिया है.

खाड़ी देशों के विदेश मंत्रीइमेज कॉपीरइटREUTERS

इन देशों के अधिकारियों का कहना है कि क़तर स्थिति क गंभीरता को नहीं समझ रहा है.

सऊदी अरब, मिस्र, संयुक्त अरब अमीरात और बहरीन ने क़तर पर जिहादी गुटों की मदद करने के आरोप लगाए हैं.

क़तर: पड़ोसियों की मांगें मानने का मतलब

इन देशों ने क़तर की नीतियों में बदलाव की मांग की थी. क़तर से अल जज़ीरा न्यूज़ चैनल बंद करने और ईरान से संबंध ख़त्म करने समेत कई मांगें रखीं गईं थीं.

खाड़ी देशों के विदेश मंत्रियों की बैठक से पहले क़तर के विदेश मंत्री शेख़ मोहम्मद बिन अब्दुल रहमान अल थानी ने कहा कि क़तर के साथ संबंध ख़त्म करने का अर्थ है क़तर की घेराबदीं जो साफ़ तौर पर अपमान और आक्रामकता का सबूत है.

उन्होंने कहा, “असहमति का जवाब प्रतबिंध और अल्टीमेटम नहीं हो सकता, बल्कि बातचीत और तर्क हो सकता है. ”

कब क्या हुआ?

  • 5 जून:सऊदी अरब, मिस्र समेत कई अरब देशों ने क्षेत्र को अस्थिर करने का आरोप लगाते हुए राजनयिक संबंध ख़त्म कर लिए थे. क़तर एयरवेज़ के लिए वायु क्षेत्र भी बंद कर दिया गया था.
  • 8 जून: क़तर ने कहा था कि वो अपनी विदेश नीति की स्वतंत्रता का समर्पण नहीं करेगा, अमरीका ने खाड़ी देशों की एकता की अपील की थी.
  • 23 जून: क़तर को 13 मांगों की सूची थमाई गई थी और इन्हें मानने के लिए 10 दिन का समय दिया गया था. इसमें अल जज़ीरा न्यूज़ चैनल बंद करने, तुर्की का सैन्य अड्डा बंद करने, मुस्लिम ब्रदहुड से संबंध ख़त्म करने और ईरान से राजनयिक रिश्ते तोड़ने की मांग की गई थी.
  • 1 जुलाई: क़तर के विदेश मंत्री ने कहा कि खाड़ी देशों को नहीं मानेंगे लेकिन सही परिस्थितियों में बातचीत के लिए तैयार है.
  • 3 जुलाई : सऊदी अरब और उसके सहयोगियों ने मांगे मानने के लिए क़तर को दिया अल्टीमेटम 48 घंटे बढ़ा दिया था.

Afghanistan needs a political settlement’

But relying on Pakistan to broker peace with the Taliban may not work, say experts.

A political settlement with Taliban is the only way to bring about an end to the conflict in Afghanistan, a group of experts who focus on the region said, hours after a blast killed at least 90 people, bringing the war to the doorstep of the tottering U.S.-supported government in Kabul. But relying on Pakistan to broker peace with the Taliban — as the U.S. has been doing for years — may not yield the desired result, and military pressure must compel the insurgents to come to the negotiating table, these experts said.

The U.S. approach to resolving the Afghanistan situation must be narrowly focussed on the conflict and leave out other regional questions, said Ashley J. Tellis, the Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

‘U.S. Policy in Afghanistan: Changing Strategies, Preserving Gains”, a report he co-authored with another expert Jeff Eggers, argues that “regional options — resolving the India-Pakistan conflict, creating a neutral Afghanistan, or squeezing Pakistan — are too difficult to rely on alone.”

Policy review

“Since a counterterrorism-only solution is unlikely to be efficacious, the U.S. should prioritise reaching a political settlement with the Taliban while continuing to bolster the Afghan state and its security forces,” the authors argued.

The Trump administration is reviewing the U.S.’s Afghanistan policy and is likely to announce a new approach in the next few days. The U.S. commander in Afghanistan has asked for a moderate increase in troops levels and the administration is likely to approve an additional 3,000 to 5,000 troops to the existing 84,00. A U.S. military spokesperson in Kabul told the National Public Radio on Wednesday that the additional numbers are required to fill in some gaps in the training and support missions that the U.S. undertake in Afghanistan.

No timeline

Husain Haqqani, Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute, said the U.S. must stop announcing timelines for leaving Afghanistan. “The only way to escape from Afghanistan is to say that we have no intention of leaving. Whatever else you do, don’t put a timeline,” Mr. Haqqani said, recalling a statement by a Taliban leader who said, “we have the time and Americans have the watches”.

“All wars end in a political settlement. But Taliban is not any other group. For them, time is not important and worldly goods are not important,” said Mr. Haqqani.

He said Pakistan’s argument that India was fighting a proxy war against it in Afghanistan was misplaced and exaggerated.

“Stop fantasising that Pakistan would help broker peace with Taliban. Try to talk directly to the Taliban,” he said.

Cyclone Mora hits Bangladesh coast: weather office

The storm made landfall on the coast between Cox’s Bazar and the main port city of Chittagong at 6:00 a.m.

Severe Cyclone Mora hit Bangladesh on Tuesday packing winds of up to 117 kilometres per hour after authorities evacuated hundreds of thousands of people from low-lying coastal villages.

The storm made landfall on the coast between Cox’s Bazar and the main port city of Chittagong at 6:00 a.m. (local time), the Bangladesh Meteorological Department said in a special weather bulletin.

N.Korea fires short-range ballistic missile off western Japan

The North’s nuclear and missile programs are perhaps the biggest foreign policy challenges to the new leaders in Washington and Seoul.

North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan’s maritime economic zone on Monday, officials said, in the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland.

The suspected Scud-type missile launched from the coastal town of Wonsan flew about 450 km, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. It landed in Japan’s exclusive maritime economic zone, which is set about 200 nautical miles off the Japanese coast, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said. He said there was no report of damage to planes or vessels in the area.

North Korea is still thought to be several years from its goal of being able to target U.S. mainland cities with a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile. It has a strong arsenal of short-and medium-range missiles that could hit Japan and South Korea as well as U.S. forces in the region, and it is working to perfect its longer-range missiles.

North Korea’s state-controlled media had no immediate comment. But a day earlier, the North said leader Kim Jong Un had watched a successful test of a new type of anti-aircraft guided weapon system. It wasn’t clear from the state media report when the test happened.

Mr. Kim found that the weapon system’s ability to detect and track targets had “remarkably” improved and was more accurate, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. KCNA cited Mr. Kim as ordering officials to mass-produce and deploy the system all over the country so as to “completely spoil the enemy’s wild dream to command the air.”

The North’s nuclear and missile programs are perhaps the biggest foreign policy challenges to the new leaders in Washington and Seoul.

President Donald Trump has alternated between bellicosity and flattery in his public statements about North Korea, but his administration is still working to solidify a policy to handle its nuclear ambitions.

Monday’s launch was the third ballistic missile launch by North Korea since South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in was inaugurated on May 10. He has signaled an interest in expanding civilian exchange with North Korea, but many analysts say he won’t likely push for any major rapprochement because North Korea has gone too far in developing its nuclear program.

Mr. Moon called a National Security Council meeting Monday morning to discuss the North’s launch. In a separate statement, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff warned North Korea’s repeated provocation would further deepen its international isolation.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who just returned from a G7 meeting in Italy, told reporters that “North Korea’s provocation by ignoring repeated warnings from the international society is absolutely unacceptable.”

The U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement that it tracked a short-range missile for six minutes until it landed in the Sea of Japan.

Mr. Suga, the Japanese Cabinet Secretary, told reporters that the missile fell about 300 km north of the Oki islands in southwestern Japan and 500 km west of Sado island in central Japan.

Mr. Suga said Japanese officials will discuss North Korea with a senior foreign policy adviser to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Yang Jiechi, who is scheduled to visit Japan later Monday. He said China has been increasingly stepping up and using its influence over North Korea and that the two sides will thoroughly discuss the situation.

Besides its regular ballistic missile test-launches, the North carried out two nuclear tests last year — in January and September. Outside analysts believe North Korea may be able to arm some of its shorter—range missiles with nuclear warheads, though the exact state of the North’s secretive weapons program is unknown.

Despite the missile launches, South Korea under Moon has made tentative steps toward engaging the North by restarting stalled civilian aid and exchange programs. It said last week it would allow a civic group to contact North Korea about potentially offering help in treating malaria, the first government approval on cross-border civilian exchanges since January 2016.

22 killed, many injured in Manchester concert blast

“Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have the words,” tweeted singer Grande after the attack.

Twenty-two people were killed and around 60 injured in what police believe is a suicide attack by a person at a concert arena in the northern English city of Manchester overnight. It is the deadliest terrorist attack on Britain since 2005, when bombings on London’s transport system killed 52 people.

Live Lone suicide bomber behind Manchester Arena explosion that left 22 dead

It is the latest attack on a European city after last month’s in Paris, the Westminster incident, the Berlin Christmas Market onslaught and the attack in Nice, France. It comes less than three weeks before Britain’s national election on June 8, and all political parties have paused their campaigning till further notice.

The attack took place late on Monday evening at Manchester Arena, Britain’s largest indoor arena, at the end of a concert of 23-year-old U.S. singer Ariana Grande, when the audience, which included many young children, were streaming out of the venue.

“This was a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society – young people and children out at a pop concert,” said Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who will attend a meeting of COBRA, Britain’s emergency committee, later on Tuesday morning, chaired by the Prime Minister.

“Families and many young people were out to enjoy a concert at the Manchester Arena and have lost their lives,” said Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, and added that significant resources were being deployed into the “fast moving investigation.”

The police said they believed the attack itself was conducted by one man, who was carrying an “improvised explosive device, which he detonated.” They would be investigating whether he was acting alone or as part of a wider network. Over 400 police officers have been deployed after the attack. The police appealied to members of the public to stay away from the area around the attack as first responders dealt with the situation.

Leaders of all political parties swiftly condemned the attack and hailed the work of emergency services. “I am horrified by the horrendous events in Manchester last night. My thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have died or have been injured,” said Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. “A terrible night for our great city,” said Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

“Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have the words,” tweeted singer Grande after the attack.

Police are yet to confirm the names of any who had died but some parents took to social media in a desperate hunt for their children. Members of the public also offered accommodation to impacted people as #RoomForManchester was trending on Twitter.

After India, a son for Jonty in Mumbai

Mumbai Indians fielding coach’s wife gives birth to boy, the couple’s second child in the city

South African cricketing legend and Mumbai Indians fielding coach Jonty Rhodes was blessed with a baby boy on Sunday evening in Mumbai. His wife Melanie opted for a water birth at the Surya Child Care Hospital in Santacruz, where she had delivered their first baby, a girl they named India.

“The baby is healthy and weighs 3.7 kg. The mother is doing very well too,” Dr. Bhupendra Avasthi, paediatrician and founder of the hospital, said. The delivery was carried out by gynaecologist Dr. Ameet Dhurandhar. According to Dr. Avasthi, Melanie walked into the hospital around 5.30 p.m. and immediately went into labour. “The water birth was extremely comfortable for her. She was up and walking around within an hour after delivery,” he said adding the hospital has carried out nearly 40 water births so far.

The couples first baby was born during the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) eighth season. “This time, Mr. Rhodes is away for the final [against Rising Pune Supergiant in Hyderabad]. He is expected to arrived early on Monday,” added Dr. Avasthi. Mr. Rhodes took to Twitter to announce the arrival of his son. “The prize before the prize @mipaltan? Nathan John “plunged” into the world at 6:20 pm on IPL final #poolbirth #earthmother #incredibleindia” the former Proteas fielding genius tweeted.

North Korea: new long-range missile can carry heavy nuke

Kim says more tests coming up, warns of plans to strike U.S. mainland and Pacific holdings.

North Korea said on Monday the missile it launched over the weekend was a new type of “medium long-range” ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead. A jubilant leader Kim Jong Un promised more nuclear and missile tests and warned that North Korean weapons could strike the U.S. mainland and Pacific holdings.

North Korean propaganda must be considered with wariness as Pyongyang has threatened for decades to reduce Seoul to a “sea of fire,” but Monday’s claim, if confirmed, would mark another big advance toward the North’s goal of fielding a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. Some experts, including officials in Tokyo, estimate that Sunday’s launch successfully tested a new type of missile in Pyongyang’s arsenal.

Challenge to Moon

The test is also an immediate challenge to South Korea’s new leader, Moon Jae-in, a liberal elected last week who expressed a desire to reach out to North Korea. Pyongyang’s aggressive push to boost its weapons program also makes it one of the Trump administration’s most urgent foreign policy worries, though Washington has struggled to settle on a policy.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency called the missile a “new ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket,” and said the “Hwasong-12” was “capable of carrying a large, heavy nuclear warhead.”

Mr. Kim Jong Un was said to have witnessed the test and “hugged officials in the field of rocket research, saying that they worked hard to achieve a great thing,” according to KCNA.

It landed in the Sea of Japan

The missile flew for half-an-hour and reached an unusually high altitude before landing in the Sea of Japan, the South Korean, Japanese and U.S. militaries said.

The rocket, “newly designed in a Korean-style,” flew 787 kilometers (490 miles) and reached a maximum altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers (1,310 miles), the North said, and “verified the homing feature of the warhead under the worst re-entry situation and accurate performance of detonation system.”

North Korea is not thought to be able yet to make a nuclear warhead small enough to mount on a long-range missile, though some outside analysts think they can arm shorter range missiles with warheads; each new nuclear test is part of the North’s attempt to build a nuclear-tipped long-range missile.

Kim ‘to deal with US blackmail’

Mr. Kim said the North would stage more nuclear and missile tests in order to perfect nuclear bombs needed to deal with U.S. “nuclear blackmail.”

State media paraphrased Mr. Kim as saying that “the most perfect weapon systems in the world will never become the eternal exclusive property of the U.S., … strongly warning the U.S. should not … disregard or misjudge the reality that its mainland and Pacific operation region are in [North Korea’s] sighting range for strike.”

The launch complicates the new South Korean President’s plan to talk to the North, and came as U.S., Japanese and European navies gather for joint war games in the Pacific.

‘Reckless provocation’

“The President expressed deep regret over the fact that this reckless provocation … occurred just days after a new government was launched in South Korea,” senior presidential secretary Yoon Young-chan said. “The President said we are leaving open the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, but we should sternly deal ith a provocation to prevent North Korea from miscalculating.”

Mr. Moon, South Korea’s first liberal leader in nearly a decade, said as he took his oath of office last week that he’d be willing to visit the North if the circumstances were right.

The U.N. Security Council will hold closed consultations about the launch on Tuesday afternoon, according to the U.N. Mission for Uruguay, which holds the council presidency this month.

US warns of new curbs

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said on ABC television that the United States has been working well with China, Pyongyang’s closest ally, and she raised the possibility of new sanctions against North Korea, including on oil imports.

The Security Council has adopted six increasingly tougher sanctions resolutions against North Korea.

President Donald Trump’s administration has called North Korean ballistic and nuclear efforts unacceptable, but it has swung between threats of military action and offers to talk as it formulates a policy.

While Mr. Trump has said he’d be “honored” to talk with Mr. Kim under favorable conditions, Ms. Haley seemed to rule out the possibility. “Having a missile test is not the way to sit down with the President, because he’s absolutely not going to do it,” she told ABC.

ICBM, not yet

The U.S. Pacific Command said the flight of Sunday’s test “is not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile,” a technology the North is believed to have tested clandestinely by launching rockets to put satellites in orbit.

David Wright, co-director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the missile could have a range of 4,500 kilometers (about 2,800 miles) if flown on a standard, instead of a lofted, trajectory considerably longer than Pyongyang’s current missiles. He said Sunday’s launch — the seventh such firing by North Korea this year — may have been of a new mobile, two-stage liquid-fueled missile North Korea displayed in a huge April 15 military parade.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that the launch was “absolutely unacceptable” and that Japan would respond resolutely.

Flagrant menace for too long: WH

The White House took note of the missile landing close to Russia’s Pacific coast and said in a statement that North Korea has been “a flagrant menace for far too long.”

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said the G-7 summit his country was hosting later this month would discuss how to deal with the risk North Korea’s missile launchings pose to global security.

“It’s a serious problem for global stability and security, and I’m convinced that the upcoming G-7, in friendship, will contribute to resolving this issue,” he said in Beijing.

The launch came as troops from the U.S., Japan and two European nations gather near Guam for drills that are partly a message to North Korea. The USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft supercarrier, is also engaging with South Korean navy ships in waters off the Korean Peninsula, according to Seoul’s Defense Ministry.

India-Pakistan ties may slide further: U.S. intelligence

‘Easing of tension depends on reduction in terror attacks’

The relations between India and Pakistan is likely to deteriorate further in 2017 and the easing of tension will depend on “a sharp and sustained reduction of cross-border attacks by terrorist groups based in Pakistan and progress in the Pathankot investigation,” according to a U.S. intelligence assessment of the security situation in the region.

Daniel R. Coats, Director of National Intelligence, told the U.S. Senate intelligence committee during a hearing on worldwide threat assessment that New Delhi’s growing intolerance to Islamabad’s “failure to curb support to anti-India militants” led to a deterioration in bilateral ties in 2016 and this could worsen in the current year.

Two major terrorist attacks in 2016 by militants crossing into India from Pakistan led to the slide in ties, and the “perceived lack of progress in Pakistan’s investigations into the January 2016 Pathankot cross-border attack” compounded it, according to the American assessment. “Increasing numbers of fire-fights along the Line of Control, including the use of artillery and mortars, might exacerbate the risk of unintended escalation between these nuclear-armed neighbours,” he said.

The assessment of the global security situation under the Donald Trump administration echoes a concern that dominated the previous Obama administration’s south Asia policy — the risk of Islamist terrorists laying their hand on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. “Pakistan’s pursuit of tactical nuclear weapons potentially lowers the threshold for their use. Early deployment during a crisis of smaller, more mobile nuclear weapons would increase the amount of time that systems would be outside the relative security of a storage site, increasing the risk that a coordinated attack by non-state actors might succeed in capturing a complete nuclear weapons,” Mr. Coats told the committee.

India’s military doctrine of cold start that aims to launch low intensity operation into Pakistan, and Pakistan’s declared willingness to respond with tactical nuclear weapons have been under scrutiny of American security strategists for a while. Mr. Obama made a mention of it at his address to the Nuclear Security Summit last year. Officials of the Trump administration have inherited that view of South Asia.

Pakistan-based terrorist groups will present a sustained threat to U.S. interests in the region and continue to plan and conduct attacks in India and Afghanistan, the official told lawmakers. “The threat to the United States and the West from Pakistani-based terrorist groups will be persistent but diffuse. Plotting against the U.S. homeland will be conducted on a more opportunistic basis or driven by individual members within these groups,” he said. Assessing that Pakistan will be able to manage its internal security, the official said anti-Pakistan groups will probably focus more on soft targets. “The emerging China Pakistan Economic Corridor will probably offer militants and terrorists additional targets,” he said.

 Terror supporters

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Treasury blacklisted three persons and an organisation based in Pakistan for supporting terrorists.

A statement by the department said Hayat Ullah Ghulam Muhammad (Haji Hayatullah), Ali Muhammad Abu Turab (Abu Turab), Inayat ur Rahman, and a purported charity managed by Inayat ur Rahman, the Welfare and Development Organization of Jamaat-ud-Dawah for Qur’an and Sunnah, were supporting the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT), the Islamic State, and ISIS – Khorasan.

“These sanctions seek to disrupt the financial support networks of terrorists based in Pakistan who have provided support to the Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIS, and LT for recruitment and funding of suicide bombers and other violent insurgent operations,” said the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control Director John E. Smith.

“The United States continues to aggressively target extremists in Pakistan and the surrounding region, including charities and other front groups used as vehicles to facilitate illicit terrorist activities.”

Floods drive nearly 1,900 from homes in Canada’s Quebec

Flooding caused by unusually persistent rainfall has driven nearly 1,900 people from their homes in 126 municipalities in the Canadian province of Quebec, authorities said on Sunday.

The Canadian military said in a release that approximately 800 additional soldiers were deployed in Quebec on Sunday, joining more than 400 troops already assisting with the flood effort in the province. Ontario also saw flooding.

One of the hardest-hit towns is Rigaud, west of Montreal. Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. said evacuation was mandatory in some areas and firefighters were going door to door to make sure people left their homes.

Montreal became the latest Quebec city to declare a state of emergency after three dikes gave way in the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough, in the north end of the city by the Rivieres des Prairies.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said about 220 people had been moved from their homes. He said officials were prepared to remove people if they refused to comply with evacuation orders.

Canadian Armed Forces Capt. Frederick Lavoie was overseeing 35 army reservists bagging sand and helping to save houses along the river in Pierrefonds.

West of Montreal, the small town of Rigaud issued a mandatory evacuation order and a state of emergency had been in place for several days. Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. told reporters that firefighters would be going door to door to make sure people moved out.

Some federal employees were being advised not to go to work on Monday because of the flooding.

Officials said federal buildings in Gatineau, Quebec, would be closed, and employees who normally get to their offices via the interprovincial bridges in the National Capital Region were being asked not to go to their offices.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said no other province had so far requested military help, but forces personnel, including reserves, were on stand-by across the country.

The situation in Ontario seems to be “generally stabilizing,” although there are many unstable local circumstances, he said.

Trump says looks forward to working with France’s Macron

US President Donald Trump has congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his “big win” in the French presidential election and said he looks forward to working with him, downplaying the tacit support he had offered to the centrist leader’s main rival Marine Le Pen ahead of the polls.

“Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next president of France. I look very much forward to working with him!” Mr. Trump tweeted after the poll results came in.

The White House later issued a statement congratulating the pro-European Union Mr. Macron, who will become France’s youngest-ever leader at the age of 39.

“We congratulate President-elect Macron and the people of France on their successful presidential election,” said Press Secretary Sean Spicer. “We look forward to working with the new president and continuing our close cooperation with the French government,” Mr. Spicer said according to the statement.

Mr. Macron defeated the far-right leader Ms. Le Pen.

Ms. Le Pen’s decisive defeat, with an estimated 35 per cent votes, has put Mr. Trump in a slightly tricky spot after he had indicated support for her ahead of the first round of the polls.

Mr. Trump had tweeted that Ms. Le Pen could benefit from the security fears in France over intermittent terrorist attacks.

He had said a deadly attack against a police officer in the Champs-Elysee in Paris would have a “big effect” on the presidential election and praised Ms. Le Pen, calling her “the strongest on what has been going on in France.”

Though Mr. Trump never endorsed Ms. Le Pen, in an interview to an American news agency he did say that he thought the attack would “probably help” her.

His predecessor Barack Obama had released a video last week backing Mr. Macron.

On Sunday, American lawmakers also joined the White House in congratulating Mr. Macron, a former investment banker whose win in the French polls represented the most significant response from the liberals to the populist and nationalist wave that brought Mr. Trump to power in the November presidential election.

“The French people have chosen hope over fear, chosen to look forward rather than backward. They have rejected the kind of divisive campaigning, assisted by fake news and Russian hacks, that propelled Donald Trump into office in our count,” said House Democratic Whip Steny H Hoyer.

“They have struck a blow for inclusive, tolerant democracy against the tide of extremism and xenophobia.”

Senator Ben Cardin, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, applauded the French people’s rejection of isolationism and embrace of a Europe — “whole, free, and at peace.”

The results, Mr. Cardin said, sent the “strongest possible” message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that his worldview has once again been rejected by European voters.

“In spite of allegations of Russian interference similar to that seen in our country last year, democratic institutions across France proved resilient,” he said.

Boko Haram releases 82 Chibok girls in prisoner swap

No word from the Nigerian presidency on the number of Bok Haram prisoners exchanged.

Boko Haram militants have released 82 schoolgirls out of a group of more than 200 whom they kidnapped from the northeastern town of Chibok in April 2014 in exchange for prisoners, the presidency said on Saturday.

Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) helped secure the 82 girls in “lengthy negotiations”, the presidency said on its Twitter account.

President Muhammadu Buhari will receive the girls on Sunday in the capital Abuja, it said, without saying how many Boko Haram suspects had been exchanged or disclosing other details.

A military source said the girls were currently in Banki near the Cameroon border for medical checks before being airlifted to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. From there they will be flown to Abuja.

The kidnapping was one of the high-profile incidents of Boko Haram’s insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast, now in its eighth year and with little sign of ending. About 220 were abducted from their school in a night-time attack.

More than 20 girls were released last October in a deal brokered by the ICRC. Others have escaped or been rescued, but 195 were believed to be still in captivity before this release.

Vladimir Putin backs investigation into Chechnya ‘gay purge’

Authorities will look into reports of brutality and persecution of those with a “non-traditional sexual orientation”.

President Vladimir Putin has said he will intervene over reports of gay men in the Chechnya region being locked up and tortured.

He told Russia’s human rights ambassador, Tatyana Moskalkova, that he would personally “talk to the prosecutor-general and the interior minister”.

More than 100 gay men were arrested and tortured, at least two killed by relatives and one died in custody, the Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported in April.

It said people had been told to kill gay family members to “wash clean their honour”.

One man told Sky News how he was forced to flee Chechnya after police turned up at his home looking for him, while another said he was electrocuted and beaten.

The Russian leader has now agreed to an investigation into “the well-known information, or rumours” about people “with a non-traditional sexual orientation”.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov attends the dedication ceremony of a new mosque in the Arab Israeli town of Abu Ghosh, west of Jerusalem on March 23 2014.The Chechen government contributed six million dollars to help fund the building of the new Mosque. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman leader of the conservative and Muslim region, has denied the claims but following Mr Putin’s invention said officials would look into it.

However, the rigour of the investigation could be another matter – Mr Kadyrov believes Chechnya does not have any gay people.

“Chechen society does not have the phenomenon called non-traditional sexual orientation: its people have lived for thousands of years according to different rules laid down by Allah,” he said.

REVEALED: North Korea builds secret islands to stealthily launch nuclear missiles

NORTH KOREA has built islands containing secret military facilities to launch nuclear missiles without its enemies knowledge

A total of five islands are now being used to house the facilities in the bays surrounding the city of Sohae, which is the hermit kingdom’s main missile development and testing site.

Some of the islands are natural, while others have been constructed, Damen Cook, lead research associate for geopolitical analysis group, Strategic Sentinel revealed.

Dubbed the “Sohae islands” by the group, he said the North Koreans may be using the islands as alternative launchpads as global intelligence agencies find out more and more about the main facility in Sohae.

Writing in The Diplomat, he said: “As Sohae’s target value rises, the North Korean military may be dispersing its assets into nearby facilities.

“Firing exclusively from Sohae’s resident Tongch’ang-ri Launch Facility during wartime would be a dangerously predictable, amateurish mistake.

“But constructing island launch sites would buck the common and cost-effective practice of building remote Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) pads hidden between mountains.”

 

The empty patches of land on the islands could feasibly be used to launch nuclear ballistic missiles, he said.

He added: “These empty lots could plausibly accommodate a North Korean ballistic missile and the TEL it rode in on.

“These TELs — those vehicles so frequently touted in North Korean military parades, ballistic missiles stacked neatly on top — could disperse from their shelters and onto these various islands during times of heightened tension.”

These latest images were taken in December 2016, with Mr Cook saying some features on the islands would not make them an optimum place for some of North Korea’s missile launchers and some of the structures do not appear to have any blast shield protecting them.

However, he said the construction projects “could have been completed in the intervening time”.

What does Afghan warlord Hekmatyar’s return mean?

Afghanistan’s conflict-weary citizens have cautiously welcomed the return of warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to Kabul.

The leader of Afghanistan’s second-largest militant group, Mr Hekmatyar is an Islamist warlord accused of numerous atrocities during the civil war of the 1990s.

But he has signed a peace deal with the Western-backed Afghan government and says he is abandoning violence.

Afghan leaders say the deal is a step forward for the nation, but how significant is it really and what are Mr Hekmatyar’s plans now?

Will this help the security situation?

So far, no. Mr Hekmatyar’s move to renounce violence seems not to be having any noticeable impact on the battlefield.

The main insurgent groups fighting the Afghan and Nato-led forces are the Taliban and its semi-autonomous Haqqani network, al-Qaeda and recently the so-called Islamic State (IS) group.

Mr Hekmatyar’s forces were involved in sporadic small-scale attacks that were insignificant compared to the Taliban insurgency and they have largely tapered off in recent years.

Half of his Hizb-e-Islami party supported the post-2001 Western-backed Afghan government and the rest remained with him. Some believe this is more a peace accord with a person than with a major political or militant party that is actively involved in the current conflict.

But is there a bigger picture?

Yes. His return is of greater symbolic importance. Mr Hekmatyar is still regarded as a religious figure who led a significant resistance movement against the former Soviet Union occupation of Afghanistan under the banner of jihad.

 

Macron condemns ‘massive’ hacking attack as documents leaked

The campaign of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron says it has been the target of a “massive hacking attack” after a trove of documents was released online.

The campaign said that genuine files were mixed up with fake ones in order to confuse people.

It said it was clear that hackers wanted to undermine Mr Macron ahead of Sunday’s second round vote.

The centrist will face off against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

The documents were leaked on a file sharing website late on Friday and the Macron camp condemned the action just before the official campaigning period ended at midnight (22:00 GMT).

Candidates and the media now face restrictions until the polls close on Sunday evening, meaning Mr Macron cannot issue further statements.

Opinion polls had indicated the former economy minister carried a lead of 20 percentage points or more over Ms Le Pen, the National Front candidate.

What was released?

About nine gigabytes of data were posted online by an anonymous user.

Mr Macron’s En Marche movement said internal campaign documents, including emails and financial data, had been taken in an “act of massive, co-ordinated hacking”.

“The leaked files were obtained several weeks ago by hacking personal and professional email accounts of several officials of the movement,” it said in a statement.

The campaign said the documents showed only legitimate campaign activities.

France’s election commission warned that publication or republication of the leaked information could be a criminal offence.


How did the leaks spread?

The hashtag #MacronLeaks appeared on Twitter on an account used by a US alt-right figure on Friday afternoon – and was reportedly retweeted 87 times in the first five minutes, suggesting the use of automated bots to amplify the signal.

Within 90 minutes, the information had caught the attention of prominent supporters of Marine Le Pen and was further spread by bots.

Some three-and-a-half hours after the initial tweet, #MacronLeaks had been used some 47,000 times and the prominent Wikileaks account played a key role in publicising the hashtag.


Who might be responsible?

That too remains unclear. The Macron camp has not blamed any specific party but said the hack clearly aimed to damage it and undermine French democracy,

It compared it to the leak of Democratic Party emails in last year’s US presidential election that was blamed on Russian hackers.

Wikileaks, which published those emails, posted a link to the Macron documents on Twitter but implied it was not responsible.

Is this unprecedented?

Mr Macron’s team has already been the victim of hacking attacks, for which it has blamed groups based in Russia and Ukraine. It suspects the Kremlin of wanting to help Ms Le Pen, who supports a pro-Moscow foreign policy.

  • Macron campaign servers went down for several minutes in February after attacks apparently originating in Ukraine
  • Last month security experts from the company Trend Micro said that Russian hackers were targeting Mr Macron’s campaign, using phishing emails, malware and fake net domains in an attempt to grab login names, passwords and other credentials of campaign staff

Russia has denied that it is behind attacks aimed at Mr Macron.

On Thursday, the centrist candidate filed a lawsuit over online rumours that he had a secret bank account in the Caribbean.

Mr Macron called the allegations “fake news and lies” and said some of the sites spreading them were “linked to Russian interests”.

Armored military vehicle runs over Venezuelan protester

Sirens blared in the Altamira neighborhood of the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.

Anti-government protesters poured into the streets of this once bustling commercial and residential hub, their young faces obscured by tear-gas masks and bandanas. They hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at riot police who responded Wednesday to the almost daily demonstrations calling for embattled President Nicolas Maduro to step down.
Police in riot gear opened fire with what appeared to be tear gas. A Molotov cocktail sparked a fire atop an armored National Guard vehicle. It backed away from the crowd. Protesters surrounded two members of the security forces.
The armored vehicle, flames spitting from its roof, plowed into the crowd. A young man, his head covered in a white rag, fell in front of the truck. A video camera captured the horror as someone in the crowd yelled, “Son of a —–!”
Interior and justice minister Nestor Reverol told reporters this week that the “lamentable” incident was under investigation. Referring to the protesters as “terrorists,” Reverol said that moments before Yaminne was run over, demonstrators hurled a Molotov cocktail at the armored vehicle, opened the side door and “brutally assaulted” the driver. He showed a video of the assault to make his point.
At least 36 people have died and more than 700 have been injured in protests in the last month, the Venezuelan prosecutor’s office reported. Half the deaths occurred in the capital of a country mired in economic crisis and political instability. The victims included four teenagers, a National Guard member and a police officer.

Trump signs $1 trillion spending bill, keeps government open

To keep the government operating through September, in first major piece of legislation.

President Donald Trump signed his first piece of major legislation on Friday, a $1 trillion spending bill to keep the government operating through September.

The bill was cleared by both houses of the Congress this week and Mr. Trump signed it into law behind closed doors at his home in central New Jersey, well ahead of a midnight Friday deadline for some government operations to begin shutting down.

But other budget battles lie ahead as the White House and Congress hammer out a spending plan for the fiscal year that starts October 1.

Republicans praised $15 billion in additional Pentagon spending obtained by Mr. Trump, as well as $1.5 billion in emergency spending for border security, though not for the wall he has vowed to build along the U.S.-Mexico border to deter illegal immigration, and the extension of a school voucher program in the District of Columbia.

Wants big military build-up

Mr. Trump also wants a huge military build-up matched by cuts to popular domestic programs and foreign aid accounts. He signed the bill despite his objections to numerous provisions included in the measure. One such provision prohibits the Justice Department from using any funds to block implementation of medical marijuana laws by states and U.S. territories.

In a signing statement that accompanied the bill and that laid out his objections, Mr. Trump said he reserved the right to ignore the provision. He held out the possibility that the administration could pursue legal action against states and territories that legalise marijuana for medical use.

Marijuana remains illegal for any purpose under federal law. The White House previously signalled a looming crackdown on recreational pot use.

“I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” Mr. Trump said in the signing statement, a tool that previous presidents have used to explain their positions on appropriations bills.

On Gitmo

Mr. Trump also objects to provision governing the transfer of prisoners held at a U.S. facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But the White House said his objection should not be seen as a shift in policy, but as a statement of his view that the provision could conflict with his constitutional authority and duties in some circumstances.

Mr. Trump said during the presidential campaign that he wanted the detention centre, known as “Gitmo,” kept open. At one point, he pledged to “load it up with some bad dudes.”

Republicans and Democrats, who negotiated the spending bill in recent days had successfully defended other accounts Mr. Trump had targeted for spending cuts, such as foreign aid, the Environmental Protection Agency, support for the arts and economic development grants, among others.

The sweeping, 1,665-page bill also increases spending for NASA, medical research, and the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies.

Mr. Trump took to Twitter earlier this week to complain about the bipartisan process that produced the measure but later changed his tone and began highlighting the spending that was added for the military and for border security. He advocated in one tweet for a “good shutdown” in September to fix the “mess” that produced the bill, but then appeared in the White House Rose Garden hours later to boast that the measure amounted to a big win for him.

In other areas, retired union coal miners won a $1.3 billion provision to preserve health benefits for more than 22,000 retirees. House Democrats won funding to give Puerto Rico’s cash-strapped government $295 million to help ease its Medicaid burden.

Indian-origin couple shot dead in US

WASHINGTON: An Indian-origin couple was killed in the US in an apparent revenge attack by their daughter’s ex-boyfriend who was eventually shot dead in a standoff with police.

Mirza Tatlic, 24, fatally shot Naren Prabhu, a Silicon Valley tech executive, and his wife at their home in San Jose, CBS San Francisco reported.

Prabhu’s daughter, who lives in another state, was not present.

“The suspect had been in a dating relationship with the victims’ adult daughter who was not home,” San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said. “The relationship ended last year. The suspect had a history of domestic violence and there was an active criminal restraining order.”

The incident was reported by the victims’ 20-year-old son.

France election: Le Pen accused of plagiarising Fillon

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has been accused of plagiarising defeated rival François Fillon in a speech she delivered on Monday.

Several sections of her speech in Villepinte, north of Paris, appear to repeat almost word-for-word comments Mr Fillon made in an address on 15 April.

An official of her National Front party said she had made a “nod” to Mr Fillon and it showed she was “not sectarian”.

Ms Le Pen faces centrist Emmanuel Macron in the final round on Sunday.

The similarity in the speeches was pointed out by the Ridicule TV YouTube channel, initially set up by François Fillon’s supporters to attack Mr Macron before the first round of voting that saw Mr Fillon eliminated from the contest.

Ridicule TV said the far right presidential candidate had plagiarised Mr Fillon’s speech “word for word” and set the two speeches side by side, inviting viewers to make up their own minds.

The videos were also posted on Twitter.

Several passages imitated Mr Fillon’s address word-for-word:

  • In Mr Fillon‘s speech, he made specific reference to France’s geography and neighbours. He called the Rhine border with Germany “the most open, the most dangerous, the most promising” but mentioned “a Germanic world we have been so often in conflict with and with which we will yet co-operate in so many ways”
  • Ms Le Pen also called the same border “the most open and the most promising” and also mentioned “a Germanic world we will yet co-operate with in so many ways, as long as we regain the relationship of allies and not of subjects”
  • Both speeches spoke of waiting lists to learn French in Shanghai, Tokyo, Mexico, Rabat and Rome
  • Both speeches used the same quotation from World War One PM Georges Clemenceau
  • At times, the words were almost exactly the same. Mr Fillon said: “France is a history, it is a geography, but it is also a set of values and principles transmitted from generation to generation, as passwords. It is a singular voice addressed to all the peoples of the universe”
  • Ms Le Pen echoed him with: “France is also a set of values and principles transmitted from generation to generation, as passwords. And then it is a voice, an extraordinary, singular voice that speaks to all the peoples of the universe”

The Liberation newspaper said that what was supposed to have been a key speech for the second phase of voting in the election became instead a focus of ridicule for social media users.

But Florian Philippot, deputy chairman of the National Front, told Radio Classique the party had owned up to the similarities and that Ms Le Pen’s speech was “nod-and-a-wink” to Mr Fillon’s speech to “launch a real debate” on French identity.

He earlier told Agence France-Presse that the speech showed “she is not sectarian”.