4 dead after cargo plane crashes in Kenya capital

News4u-News Desk-Four people have been killed when a cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff at the international airport in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, a police official said on Wednesday.

The Fokker 50 aircraft transporting the mild stimulant known as Khat to the Somali capital, Mogadishu, crashed into a residential building after taking off from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport early on Wednesday, said Joseph Ngisa, the airport’s head of police investigations.

Preliminary investigations found the plane was flying low after takeoff and might have hit an electrical pole before crashing in the Embakasi area of the city, Ngisa said.

The plane took off at 4.15 am and crashed two minutes later after radioing the control tower to say the plane didn’t gain height, he said.

No one on the ground was harmed, and the four bodies of those in the plane were recovered, Ngisa said.

The Kenya National Disaster Operation Center said on Twitter that all the victims were male, and they included the flight engineer as well the pilot and two crew members.


cargo plane crashes in Kenya capital

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Thailand deports ex-resistance leader to Laos

News4u-News Desk-Thai officials and rights groups say a former leader of an ethnic Hmong resistance group that fought for the US in Laos during the Vietnam War has been deported to his homeland despite concerns that he will face persecution.

Thai Immigration Police officials said on Wednesday that Moua Toua Ter was sent back to Laos on 13th June after being held in Bangkok since March.

Moua Toua Ter was part of a CIA-backed Hmong guerrilla army that fought against communists in what was dubbed the “secret war.”

After the communist takeover in 1975, he led a rag-tag band of Hmong resisters in the jungles of northern Laos. He fled to Thailand in 2006.


Moua Toua Ter

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Half of Americans can’t go a day without cell phone: survey

News4u-News Desk-A whopping 47 per cent of Americans admit they wouldn’t last more than one day without their cell phone, according to a new survey.

When ranked by importance to daily life, mobile phones rank higher than TV and coffee for most, the survey found.

The Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report was based on telephone surveys of 1,000 smartphone users.

The report found that for 91 per cent Americans their mobile phone is very important, just as important as their car (91 per cent) and deodorant (91 per cent); and significantly more important than television (76 per cent) and coffee (60 per cent).

Of those ages 18 to 24, 88 per cent said their mobile phones are more important than the internet, deodorant, and their toothbrush, ‘TG Daily’ reported.

The research found that majority (85 per cent) of respondents check their smartphone at least a few times a day and 35 per cent said they check it constantly.

The study also found that if their phone is unexpectedly taken away, nearly four in five (79 per cent) respondents would be willing to give up alcohol or chocolate to get it back.

Only 7 per cent of respondents said checking a mobile phone during meal times was most annoying when asked about other people’s mobile phone usage.

Thirty-eight per cent said they found people who check mobile phones while driving annoying.


Half of Americans can’t go a day without cell phone

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US gifts four Acrow bridges to Nepal Army

News4u-News Desk-The US on Wednesday gifted four Acrow bridges, worth USD 6.7 million, to the Nepal Army for use during natural disasters.

Acrow bridges are built from ready-to-assemble components whose length can be changed accordingly to meet a wide range of uses, a statement released by the US Embassy said.

The bridges will be important for keeping open the line of vital supplies during a disaster.

“The bridge can be used as temporary detours or permanent movable bridges. The bridge design allows it to be changed in length and width with minimal equipment and it can also be transported by truck,” the statement said.

The last consignment of the bridges arrived in Nepal on June 30.

Five Nepal Army personnel attended a week-long training course for the assembly and maintenance of the bridges at the Acrow facilities in New Jersey, USA.

They will impart training to other Nepal Army personnel also.

“The US stands ready to assist the Government of Nepal in its disaster risk reduction and preparedness activities by helping develop disaster response capabilities in various agencies,” US Ambassador to Nepal Peter W Bodde said during the handing over ceremony.


Acrow bridges

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Nearly 200 arrested big Hong Kong democracy rally

News4u-News Desk-Hong Kong police have arrested nearly 200 people after tens of thousands of residents joined a massive march to push for democracy.

Anger at mainland China has never been greater after Beijing warned recently it holds the ultimate authority over the freewheeling capitalist enclave despite promises to allow a high degree of autonomy after British rule ended in 1997.

Police said 196 people were arrested for unlawful assembly and preventing police from carrying out their duties.

Police said 98,600 people joined the rally at its peak, while organisers estimated the size at 510,000.

Participants had hoped to surpass the 500,000 that turned out in 2003 for the city’s biggest-ever demonstration to protest against a planned anti-subversion law.


Nearly 200 arrested big Hong Kong democracy rally

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Malaysia police hunt 5 terror suspects amid crackdown

News4u-News Desk-Malaysian police said on Wednesday they were looking for a university lecturer and four others allegedly involved in terror activities and now believed to be hiding in the Philippines as it cracks down on suspected militants.

The announcement comes as authorities express concern about youths in the Muslim-majority country being radicalised and recruited to fight in hotspots such as Syria.

Police said the five wanted men, believed to be in the southern Philippines, included an Islamic studies lecturer and a stationary shop owner at Universiti Malaya, one of the country’s biggest universities.

Three of the men are suspected to be involved in recruiting and sending militants to the group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has seized parts of Iraq and Syria, police said in a statement.

Two others are believed to have been part of an extremist group in eastern Malaysia and have now joined Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern Philippines, police added.

They released photos of the suspects.

Universiti Malaya said in a statement that the 36-year-old lecturer, Mahmud Ahmad, had been absent and could not be contacted for four weeks, vowing “full cooperation” with the police.

Malaysian police have arrested more than a dozen people in recent months suspected of involvement in Islamic militant activities and intending to send fighters to war-torn Syria.

In neighbouring Muslim-majority Indonesia, dozens are also believed to have joined the procession of jihadists to Syria and Iraq, sparking fears they will revive sophisticated militant networks when they return and undermine a decade-long crackdown that has crippled the most dangerous cells.


Malaysia police hunt 5 terror suspects amid crackdown

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UN experts call on Sri Lanka to stop religious hatred

News4u-News Desk- Three UN experts on Wednesday asked Sri Lankan government to take urgent steps to stop frequent racial and faith-based hatred and violence against Muslim and Christian communities by hardline Buddhist groups.

In a statement, they said Muslims and Christians are subjected to hate speech, discrimination, attacks and acts of violence throughout the country frequently.

More than 350 violent attacks against Muslims and over 150 attacks against Christians have been reported in the last two years, they said.

This violence is fuelled by the atmosphere of impunity, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Heiner Bielefeldt said.

Impunity and inadequate response from the police and judicial authorities aimed at protecting the lives, physical security, the property and places of worship of these communities may encourage further attacks and a risk of spiralling violence, he warned.

The Government must end the violence and put in place urgent protective measures to ensure the personal security of all individuals belonging to religious minority communities living in the country, Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsk said.

The Special Rapporteur on extra judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, called on authorities to take urgent and firm measures to bring the perpetrators of killings to justice, and ensure the immediate adoption of robust protective measures.

They say that hate statements by Buddhist extremist groups have contributed to spread a climate of fear among Sinhala Buddhists, who constitute the majority population in Sri Lanka, and resentment towards minorities.


UN experts call on Sri Lanka to stop religious hatred

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Iraq PM offers amnesty to turn tide of offensive

News4u-News Desk- Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki offered a general amnesty on Wednesday in a rare conciliatory move to undercut support for militants whose offensive has overrun swathes of territory and threatens to tear Iraq apart.

The offer comes after a farcical opening to the new parliament, despite international leaders urging Iraq’s fractious politicians to unite to help combat insurgents, as the military struggles to seize the initiative on the ground.

International leaders have warned Iraq’s politicians there was no time to waste, while the head of a powerful jihadist group that led the militant advance urged skilled professionals to flock to help its newly proclaimed pan-Islamic state.

Maliki’s surprise move, made in his weekly televised address, appeared to be a bid to split the broad alliance of jihadists, loyalists of executed dictator Saddam Hussein and anti-government tribes that has captured large chunks of five provinces, displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

“I announce the provision of amnesty for all tribes and all people who were involved in actions against the state” but who now “return to their senses”, excluding those involved in killings, Maliki said.

It was not immediately clear how many people the amnesty could affect, but analysts have said some form of political reconciliation will be necessary to convince Sunni Arabs angry with the Shiite-led government to turn against their co-religionists and jihadists.

The vast majority of Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority do not actively support the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group spearheading the offensive, but analysts say anger over perceived mistreatment by the authorities means they are less likely to cooperate with the security forces.

Maliki’s announcement came a day after an eagerly awaited opening to the Council of Representatives descended into chaos and ended in disarray as lawmakers traded heckles and threats.

So many Sunni and Kurdish deputies stayed away after a break meant to soothe soaring tempers that the quorum was lost and a speaker could not be elected, as constitutionally required.

Under a de facto agreement, the premier is a Shiite Arab, the speaker Sunni Arab and the president a Kurd.

Presiding MP Mahdi Hafez said the legislature would reconvene on July 8 if leaders were able to agree on senior posts.


Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki

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Paes-Stepanek in Wimbledon quarters

News4u-Sports Desk-Veteran Leander Paes advanced to the men’s doubles quarterfinals of Wimbledon Championships after the Indian ace and his Czech Republic partner Radek Stepanek pulled off a hard-fought win on Wednesday.

The fifth seeded Indo-Czech duo prevailed over The Netherlands’ Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau of Romania 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-5 in a match that lasted a little less than three hours at court number 3.

Paes and Stepanek started with a win, clinching the first set 6-4 in just 39 minutes, but their opponents struggled their way back as they stretched the second set to tie-breaker before winning it to draw level.

However, the experienced pair found its rhythm back soon after and grabbed the next two sets, in 40 and 44 minutes each, to seal the third round match in its favour.

The Indo-Czech duo committed just two unforced errors to the six made by their opponents though Rojer and Tecau had more winners in 24. The victorious pair won 50 per cent of their points on the break.

Partnering Cara Black, Paes had earlier lost his mixed doubles match to Eric Butorac and Timea Babos.

Earlier, Rohan Bopanna and Andrea Hlavackova saved all three break chances they faced against British team of Colin Fleming and Jocelyn Rae to progress to the pre-quarterfinals of the mixed doubles event.

The seventh seeded Indo-Czech team brushed aside the spirited challenge of their unseeded opponents 6-4 7-5 in one hour and nine minutes in the second round.

Bopanna and Hlavackova broke their rivals one time in each set to record the win.

Meanwhile, Sania Mirza and Horia Tecau, seeded sixth, were leading 4-3 in the opening set of their mixed doubles second round contest against Mate Pavic and Bojana Jovanovski when rain forced suspension of play.


Paes-Stepanek in Wimbledon quarters

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Pre-monsoon showers cool North India

News4u-News Desk-Pre-monsoon rainfall on Wednesday lashed parts of northern India, bringing relief to wide swathes of the region even as weather officials in Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh said that conditions appeared favourable for the advancement of monsoon in these states.

Thundershowers in Delhi brought respite from the hot and humid conditions and gave the city a taste of the onset of the rainy season although the MeT department said it would need to study data before declaring the arrival of monsoon in the national capital.

As the city received 4mm rainfall between 8:30 A.M. and 5:30 P.M., the weatherman said “the winds were no doubt like monsoon ones and they were also flowing from the Bay of Bengal”.

But BP Yadav, the IMD Director, said, “We will take data from our weather stations in western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan and study the rainfall and wind patterns before declaring the arrival of monsoon (in Delhi).”

The rain pulled the mercury down with the day temperature on Wednesday recorded at 36.6 degrees Celsius, which is normal for this time of the year. The minimum was at 25.5 degrees or two notches below normal. Humidity in air fluctuated between 60 and 85 percent.

Punjab and Haryana, too, received rainfall which brought temperatures down with conditions appearing favourable for the advancement of monsoon in the twin agrarian states.

Moderate to heavy rainfall hit Ambala, Patiala and the Union Territory of Chandigarh on Wednesday morning.

“Monsoon has entered some parts of Punjab and Haryana and the conditions for its advancement are favourable,” said Chandigarh MeT Director Surinder Pal.

Chandigarh received 58.8mm rainfall while Ambala in Haryana got showers measuring 43.1mm.

The showers inundated some low-lying areas in the twin states with several city roads waterlogged in Chandigarh. Pre-monsoon rainfall also occurred in Rajasthan where Kajuwala recorded rainfall of 40mm in the last 24 hours.

Bikaner, Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts got 10-30mm rain. Monsoon is expected to hit the state by July 6 or 7.

The mercury fell by one to three degrees across Rajasthan, including in Ajmer, Chittorgarh, Pilani, Udaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur and Barmer, where the maximum was recorded between 35.6 and 39.5 degrees. Kota was the hottest place in the state with a maximum of 40.8 degrees.

The onset of the South West Monsoon was normal in Uttar Pradesh with conditions tipped to remain favourable for its advancement in the remaining parts of the state.

Moderate to rather heavy rain or thundershowers took place at isolated places in UP.

Basti received 100mm rainfall followed by Nazibabad (70mm), Turtipar, Hata (60mm each) and Ayodhya, Kakardarighat, Birdghat (50mm each).


Pre-monsoon showers cool North India

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