World News (497)

**Give 10 Days To Comply

Four Gulf States that cut diplomatic ties with Qatar have reportedly handed the country a list of 13 demands, including closing Al Jazeera television and reduce relations with Iran.

The Reuters news agency reported that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt had sent Qatar the list and had given the country 10 days to comply with the demands. Reuters cited an official from one of the four Arab countries.

The four Gulf nations on June 5, cut economic, diplomatic and travel ties to Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region, in what was described as the region's worst crisis in decades.

The demands appear designed to quash a two decade-old foreign policy in which Qatar has punched well above its weight, striding the stage as a peace broker, often in conflicts in Muslim lands.

Doha’s independent-minded approach, including a dovish line on Iran and support for Islamist groups, in particular the Muslim Brotherhood, has incensed some of its neighbours who see political Islamism as a threat to their dynastic rule.

The demands, the official said, was handed to Qatar by mediator Kuwait.

Part of the key demands according to the CNN are:

- Shut down the Al Jazeera media network and its affiliates.

- Halt the development of a Turkish military base in the country.

- Reduce diplomatic ties with Iran.

- Cut ties to terrorist organizations.

- Stop interfering in the four countries' affairs.

- Stop the practice of giving Qatari nationality to citizens of the four countries.

The four countries say that the list will become void if Qatar fails to comply in the 10-day period.

The four Arab nations called on Qatar to sever ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Jabhat Fateh al Sham.

Qatar officials say they will respond to the demand, later on Friday.

Doha has since rejected accusations it supports terrorism, calling them "unjustified" and "baseless."

President of the United States, Donald Trump has defended his cabinet pick, saying he prefers rich people in charge of the US economy.

Addressing a group of supporters in Iowa on Wednesday, President Trump said he prefers the wealthy over the poor because they will not go after the nation’s resources.

Trump has what appears to be the wealthiest Cabinet in modern U.S. history, a collection of elites that includes a billionaire heiress, Exxon Mobil’s CEO, a former Goldman Sachs partner and an investor who made millions off underwater mortgages during the financial crisis.

Other rich appointees include Steven Mnuchin, treasury secretary, a former hedge fund manager, and Ben Carson, housing secretary, who made his fortune selling books on his career in medicine and his political ideas.

So far, Mr. Trump’s Cabinet picks have a combined net worth of more than $14 billion, that’s at least 50 times greater than the Cabinet that George W. Bush led.

That sum is way higher than the aggregate wealth of Barack Obama’s Cabinet, which Forbes estimates to be $2.75 billion.

While stating that he likes the rich and poor alike, Trump noted that there were certain positions he did not want the poor to handle

“So I said …. because that’s the kind of thinking we want… because they’re representing the country,” the billionaire president said.

“They don’t want the money. And they had to give up a lot to take up these jobs,” Trump said, making a particular reference to commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor.

Referring to Gary Cohn, his chief economic adviser, Trump said: “This is the president of Goldman Sachs. Smart. Having him represent us, he went from massive paydays to peanuts, to little tiny … I’m waiting for them to accuse him of wanting that little amount of money.

“These are people that are great, brilliant business minds, and that’s what we need, that’s what we have to have so the world doesn’t take advantage of us.

“We can’t have the world taking advantage of us anymore. And I love all people, rich or poor, but in those particular positions I just don’t want a poor person.

“Does that make sense? Does that make sense?

“If you insist I’ll do it but I like it better this way, right?”

Following sustained pressure from shareholders, Travis Kalanick has resigned as the chief executive of Uber, a company he co-founded.

The 40-year-old, with an estimated net worth of US$6.3 billion, as of March 2017, will remain on the board of the firm.

His resignation follows demands from investors for him to step down amid scandals including allegation of sexual harassment against him.

Mr. Kalanick last week said he was going on an indefinite leave of absence following the death of his mother in a boating accident.

Five major Uber investors demanded Kalanick’s immediate resignation in a letter on Tuesday, with the billionaire heeding to their demand, saying he was resigning in the interest of the company.

In a statement released late last night, Kalanick said, “I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight."

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has relieved nephew, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef of his position as heir to the throne of the home of Islam’s holiest sites, and appointed his son Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In what could be described as a major reshuffle, a royal decree was published to effect the change, which implies that 31-year-old Mohammed bin Salman will assume the throne of Saudi Arabia when his father, 81, dies.

The Saudi government’s official news agency reports that the newly-announced crown prince was also named deputy prime minister and maintained his post as defence minister.

The former Crowned Prince, Muhammad bin Nayef was the First Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior of Saudi Arabia. He is also the chairman of the new Council for Political and Security Affairs.

He was born on 30 August 1959 and was also the First Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior of Saudi Arabia.

He is also the chairman of the new Council for Political and Security Affairs.

He was appointed on 29 April 2015, as heir apparent by King Salman. As Crown Prince, he was the first in line to the throne of Saudi Arabia.

However, according to the decree, the former crown prince was also fired from his post as interior minister.

The world should prepare for further heatwaves this year, UN weather agency officials said Tuesday in Geneva.

Parts of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the U.S. have already seen record temperatures for May and June.

The Pakistani city Turbat recorded 54 degrees in late May, the hottest temperature ever seen in Asia, according to the World Meteorological Agency (WMO).

The world record of 56.7 degrees was set in Death Valley in the US in 1913.

“The concern is now that we are close to that record,” WMO meteorologist Omar Baddour told a press conference.

“According to the data we have, we expect to have other heatwaves in many parts of the world,” he said.

According to the WMO, many heat-related deaths can be prevented if authorities: issue public warnings; make sure that vulnerable populations are sheltered; and prepare hospitals for an increase in patients.

In 2003, a heatwave in Europe caused 70,000 deaths, while a short spell of extreme heat in India and Pakistan in 2015 killed 4,000 people.

India has started issuing health advisories and has drawn up effective action plans in recent years, WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis said.

According to official U.S. and European data, between January and May, average global temperatures were the second highest on record, with the record only having been set in 2016.

The 2016 heat spike was fuelled by the El Nino, a weather phenomenon caused by unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean.

This year, weather experts do not expect an El Nino


German international broadcasting Institution, Deutsche Welle (DW), in collaboration with Gerda Henkel Foundation (GHF), has launched ‘African Roots’, a story series for young Africans.

Otto Warmbier, the American student who was released last week from North Korea after nearly a year and a half in detention has died, his parents say.

The 22-year-old University of Virginia student returned to the US last Tuesday, in a coma, with his father saying his son was dehumanized in North Korea.

Mr Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour for attempting to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel.

It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home.  Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20pm,” a statement from Fred and Cindy Warmbier (his parents) said.

“It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost — future time that won’t be spent with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds. But we choose to focus on the time we were given to be with this remarkable person.  You can tell from the outpouring of emotion from the communities that he touched — Wyoming, Ohio and the University of Virginia to name just two — that the love for Otto went well beyond his immediate family.

“We would like to thank the wonderful professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who did everything they could for Otto. Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today.

“When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable — almost anguished.  Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed — he was at peace.  He was home and we believe he could sense that.

“We thank everyone around the world who has kept him and our family in their thoughts and prayers.   We are at peace and at home too.”

A U.S. Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian government warplane after it attacked Washington-backed fighters near ISIS’ de facto capital of Raqqa, the U.S.-led coalition has said.

The US Congress on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to restrain President Donald Trump from any efforts to scale back sanctions against Russia.

The senators voted 97 to 2, which gives them power to strengthen those sanctions against Moscow in retaliation for Kremlin’s alleged interference in the 2016 election and its actions in Syria.

According to the Washington Post, the two senators who voted against the measure were Republicans Rand Paul (Ky.) and Mike Lee (Utah).

U.S Intelligence has repeatedly insisted that Russia meddled in the November 8, 2016 Presidential election, which Trump won.

The U.S President has on countless occasions openly doubted the intelligence community’s finding.

While Trump’s administration has not ordered a rollback of any existing sanctions, lawmakers have been concerned about his conciliatory, and at times even forgiving, rhetoric about Russia, as well as recent moves to give Moscow back control over two diplomatic compounds that the Obama administration reclaimed in late December.

Ariana Grande, the American pop singer is in line to get the honorary citizenship of Manchester after her benefit concert.

The Manchester City Council wanted to hand the 23-year-old singer the honour after she arranged “One Love Manchester” benefit concert to raise money for the victims of the terror attack in May, reports

They are proposing a new system, which would recognize those people who aren’t residents of the city but still make an outstanding contribution to it.

Council leader Sir Richard Leese told BBC News, “(Many people already see Ariana as) an honorary Mancunian. This seems a fitting moment to update the way we recognize those who make noteworthy contributions to the life and success of our city.”

He added, “We’ve all had cause to be incredibly proud of Manchester and the resilient and compassionate way in which the city, and all those associated with it, have responded to the terrible events of May 22 – with love and courage rather than hatred and fear … (Ariana had) exemplified this response.”

The council also said they plan to hold an event to recognise the “great many selfless acts and demonstrations of community spirit in the aftermath of the atrocity.” Grande had re-released her track titled “One Last Time” in aid of Manchester victims.

She decided to re-release the 2014 song as a means of providing funds for those affected by the bombing that killed 22 and injured 119.

Grande’s decision to re-release the song came after she took to the stage in Manchester at the Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground to host her star-studded One Love Manchester benefit concert.

It was held in honour of the victims and all the families that suffered in the aftermath of the bombing that took place moments after Grande had finished her performance on May 22.

For the benefit gig, she was joined by fellow singers including Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Black Eyed Peas, Little Mix, Robbie Williams and more. All artists performed for free, while the costs of the concert were covered by Live Nation.

Culled From The Indian Express

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