Ouattara urges military to desert Gbagbo

Yamoussoukro, April 01: Ivorian president-elect has called on the country’s military to join him as the deadline set for incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo to quit expires.

Ivorian president-elect Alassane Ouattara addressed the military on national television saying, “To all those who are still hesitating, whether you are generals, superior officers, officers, under-officers, rank-and-file soldiers, I ask you to put yourself at the disposal of your country and thereby return to legality. There is still time to join your brothers-in-arms, the Republican Forces,” Reuters reported.

Iran to open 3rd phase of Kish oil bourse

Tehran, April 01: Iran is set to inaugurate the third phase of oil bourse on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf for trade in crude and petrochemical products with vast opportunities for foreign companies.

The third phase of the oil stock exchange will be within the next few days on the island and one of the perks of the new phase is that it will be a venue for transactions of crude oil and petroleum products, IRNA quoted the Head of Iran’s Securities and Exchange Organization Ali Sale Abadi as saying on Thursday.

‘Iran to notch up highest growth in 2015’

Tehran, April 01: A Goldman Sachs report on global economics indicates that Iran is forecast to reach the highest economic growth between 2015 and 2025 and join the world’s largest economies.

The report titled “Global Economics Paper No: 153”, issued by the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. on March 28, 2007, says 11 emerging economies dubbed as “N-11” countries, including Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam and the Islamic Republic are expected to notch up striking economic growth rates between 2015 and 2025.

Kuwait emir accepts cabinet resignation

Kuwait, April 01: The emir of Kuwait has accepted the resignation of the cabinet after parliament had asked to quiz three ministers belonging to the ruling al-Sabah family.

The ministers — all members of the ruling Sabah family — submitted their resignation to Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed al-Ahmed al-Sabah early on Thursday.

The cabinet quit to avoid lawmakers efforts to impeach three ministers over a variety of allegations including financial corruption and failure to perform their assigned duties.

Yemenis pay tribute to killed protesters

Sanaa, April 01: Tens of thousands of Yemenis have once again taken to the streets to pay tribute to those killed in anti-regime protests as more soldiers defect to the opposition.

The anti-regime protesters on Thursday thronged the streets of capital Sana’a marching toward Change Square to commemorate dozens of people killed in weeks of protests and called for the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Tens of thousands also took to the streets in the town of Ibb, 190 kms southwest of Sana’a, calling for Saleh’s ouster.

US-led airstrikes kill dozens in Libya

Tripoli, April 01: Dozens have died from US-led airstrikes in Libya as running battles persist between revolutionary forces and government troops on the outskirts of Brega.

Opposition forces have returned fire with rockets and rocket-propelled grenades to shelling by forces loyal to ruler Muammer Gaddafi in the eastern oil city of Brega. This is as the opposition tries to prevent the government from retaking nearby Ajdabiya The Guardian reported.

The clashes come one day after Gaddafi’s forces recaptured the eastern oil town of Ras Lanuf and forced the opposition to flee further east.

Another top Libyan official resigns

Tripoli, April 01: A senior Libyan official has announced that he is giving up his job as the regime of embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi is trembling at the highest levels.

Ali Abdessalam Treki, the president of the General Assembly of the United Nations, said in a statement on Thursday that he will not represent crisis-hit Libya at the UN, AP reported.

“We should not let our country fall into an unknown fate,” he said. “It is our nation’s right to live in freedom, democracy and a good life.”

Japanese distrust official media

Tokyo, April 01: Lack of clarity in Japan’s official news outlets about the nuclear crisis after the massive quake and tsunami, has driven people to find information on the internet.

Reports by Japan’s official news agencies about the explosions in the reactors of the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant were sometimes delayed and contradictory.

This lack of clarity caused the Japanese people to lose their trust in the reports released by the country’s main news agencies.

UK ex-MP jailed over expenses scandal

London, April 01: An appeals court has found former British Labor MP Jim Devine guilty for fixing his parliamentary expenses and sentenced him to spend 16 months in jail.

“Mr. Devine also set about defrauding the public purse in a calculated and deliberate way,” Justice Saunders said at the appeals court that ruled against Devine.

Devine is guilty of two counts of fixing accounts worth £8,385 in February. He is the third British MP who has been sentenced over the expenses scandal after one year and a half in prison.

‘Bahrain enlisting Pakistani forces’

Manama, April 01: Bahrain is reportedly recruiting former Pakistani troopers and anti-riot experts to aid in its crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Leading Pakistani daily The News wrote on Tuesday that the Bahrain National Guard (BNG) had recently visited Pakistan with the end in sight.

The visit had followed advertisements, titled “Urgent Requirement: Manpower for Bahrain National Guard,” in two daily Urdu newspapers.

Strikes could lead army to run prisons

London, April 01: Justice Secretary Ken Clarke is seeking to secure authorization from Downing Street to announce the winning bidders to take over the HMP Birmingham and HMP Buckley Hall in Rochdale as well as the new “super-sized” HMP Featherstone 2 in Wolverhampton.

The Prison Officers Association (POA) is now calling on prisons personnel to go ahead with a strict work to rule in case of a government announcement, expected before the end of the week.

This comes as 500 prison officers joined last week’s anti-cuts march by the Trades Union Congress.

Syrian pres. orders probe into deaths

Damascus, April 01: Syrian president has ordered to form a committee to probe the deaths of a number of civilians and security forces in the cities of Dara’a and Latakia, a report says.

Bashar al-Assad has ordered the Head of the High Judiciary Council on Thursday to form a committee to investigate the deaths of over 60 people during two weeks of unrest in the two cities.

The committee will conduct its work according to the valid laws and is entitled to turn to whoever it deems fit for help in the mission assigned to it, he said.

UAE’s first satellite launch postponed

Abu Dhabi, April 01: The UAE’s first satellite launch was postponed Thursday due to technical reasons.

The launch of Yahsat 1A, Abu Dhabi’s first of two high-powered satellites, was scheduled from French Guiana Thursday morning, but had to be postponed, said Mohammed Al-Za’abi, the CEO of the Al Yah Satellite Communications Co.

The reasons for the postponement were not detailed.

Burglars break through shop wall, loot cash

New Delhi, April 01: Burglars broke into a cloth shop in west Delhi and decamped with over Rs.35 lakh in cash kept in a safe there, police said Thursday.

“The burglary came to light Thursday morning at Tayal Cloth House located in KJ1 Block in Rajapuri area in Dabri when the shop owner Khusiram Tayal found one wall broken of the shop broken and cash missing from a safe,” said a senior police officer.

35 tonnes of tobacco seized in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, April 01: At least 35 tonnes of tobacco has been seized from an unlicensed shop in Abu Dhabi, a top official said Thursday.

Abu Dhabi municipality officials made the seizure at a tyre shop. A total of 700 sacks, each weighing 50 kg, were seized in addition to 20 barrels of raw tobacco.

Tobacco processing, wrapping and grinding equipment were also confiscated.

Khalifa Al Romaithi, director of public health, said the shop was engaged in an unlicensed business.

Rahul Gandhi visits Pinjore gardens

Chandigarh, April 01: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, probably attracted by the serene environs of the famous Yadvindra Gardens in adjacent Pinjore town, Wednesday stayed overnight at a guest-house overlooking the sprawling Mughal-era park, which he visited Thursday, a police officer said.

Gandhi drove to Pinjore after witnessing India triumph over Pakistan in the high-voltage World Cup semifinal at Mohali Wednesday night.

He stayed at a semi-deluxe double-bed accommodation overlooking the gardens, the police officer told IANS.

Provident fund scam accused judges get bail

Ghaziabad, April 01: A CBI court here granted bail to six judges accused in the provident fund (PF) scam case and adjourned the hearing to April 13.

The CBI lawyer opposed the bail but the protest was set aside. Agreeing with the defence lawyers’ plea the court of Special CBI judge Additional District Judge A.K. Singh granted bail to the accused judges.

One killed, 6 injured in post-Mohali revelry clash

New Delhi, April 01: Revelry over India’s Mohali World Cup semifinal win against Pakistan turned ugly and led to a fight between two groups and the death of a young man in the capital, police said Thursday.

A 26-year-old-man died and six people were injured in Krishna Nagar area of east Delhi, police said.

“Gaurav, a driver with power company BSES, was killed while six — Abhisekh (17), Kuldeep Tomar (26), Akshay (29), Neeraj, (19), Shivam (16) and Sanjeev (45) – were injured,” said a senior police officer. Abhisekh is younger brother of Gaurav.

Emergency-like situation in Tamil Nadu: Karunanidhi

Chennai, April 01: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi Thursday came down heavily on the Election Commission (EC), saying that an emergency-like situation was prevailing in the state and wondered whether there was any rule of law.

“I wonder whether there is rule of law in the state. The police catches even a person carrying Rs.10 and questions him whether he is carrying cash to bribe voters,” he said while addressing a huge election rally in Erode, around 340 km from Chennai, without naming the poll panel.

Chhattisgarh announces judicial probe into Dantewada arson

Raipur, April 01: Amid rising protests, Chhattisgarh Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar Thursday announced a judicial probe into alleged atrocities by policemen in three villages in Dantewada district this month.

Kanwar made the announcement in the state assembly and said a judicial probe will make matters clear on what happened with tribal civilians in insurgency-riddled Dantewada district.

Delhi Police gears up to nab public tipplers

New Delhi, April 01: After instances of people drinking in public places and on the roads here Wednesday night after India’s World Cup semifinal win against Pakistan, Delhi Police are gearing up to prevent a recurrance of this ahead of Saturday’s final in Mumbai.

“Drinking in public is a nuisance with a serious potential to result in brawls and quarrels causing serious injuries, death and damage to public and private property. This affects the peace and tranquility of the area and creates problems in maintaining law and order,” said a senior police officer.

Police detonate mail bomb outside Greece prison

Athens, April 01: Greek police Thursday detonated a mail bomb at the entrance of a maximum security prison in this capital city, a media report said.

Bomb experts conducted a controlled explosion of the padded envelope addressed to the governor of Korydallos prison, where alleged members of an armed anarchist group are on trial, Xinhua reported.

Authorities found the package suspicious after scanning it, police said.

No group claimed responsibility for the bomb, but police said the parcel had Italian stamps and an address in the neighbouring country.

10 hurt as US Navy jet explodes

New York, April 01: Ten US Navy sailors were injured when a fighter jet exploded on the deck of an aircraft carrier in San Diego, California, officials said Thursday.

The F/A-18C Hornet burst into flames on board the John C. Stennis carrier, Xinhua reported.

The sailors were working on the flight deck of the carrier during a training exercise when the jet’s engine exploded. The pilot was unhurt.

The jet was from the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 based at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station near San Diego.

Four of the wounded sailors were airlifted to a navy hospital.

YRF launches new youth film studio Y-Films

Mumbai, April 01: Yash Raj Films Thursday launched a new youth film studio Y-Films, which would showcase a fresh crop of directors and stars.

“Y-Films promises to deliver kick ass films of the youth, by the youth, for the youth and be the platform for new talent, both on screen and behind the scenes, who will challenge, change, break and set new rules of story telling,” Ashish Patil, head of Y-Films said at the launch.

Y-Films is ready with three films – “Luv Ka The End” and “Virus Diwan” directed by Bumpy and “Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge” directed by Nupur Asthana”.

Nehra may have to sit out final

Mumbai, April 01: India may have to take the field in Saturday’s Cricket World Cup final against Sri Lanka here without left arm pacer Ashish Nehra who has fractured the middle finger of his right hand, according to team media manager Ranjib Biswal.

The official said Nehra sustained the injury while fielding during Wednesday’s semifinal against Pakistan at Mohali, where he finished with figures of 2/33.