Category Archives: world

Indian police investigate New Year sex attacks

Afp

There is “credible” evidence that gangs of men sexually assaulted women at a New Year’s Eve celebration in Bangalore, Indian police said Wednesday, adding they have filed a criminal case over the incident.

Praveen Sood, the police commissioner of Bangalore city, said an inquiry had been set up into allegations women attending the Saturday night celebrations were chased, groped, molested and robbed.

The announcement followed a public outcry over comments by a local minister blaming the attacks in the southern city — an IT hub considered relatively safe for women — on “western dress”.

Indian police have set up an inquiry into allegations that women in Bangalore were molested after viewing footage from CCTV cameras

Indian police have set up an inquiry into allegations that women in Bangalore were molested after viewing footage from CCTV cameras ©STR (AFP/File)

“We did not waste any time,” Sood told reporters, saying police had registered a criminal case without waiting for a complainant.

“The police teams are working, we are sure we will catch the culprits.”

Additional police commissioner Hemant Nimbalkar told AFP the case had been filed against unnamed persons for sexual harassment, illegal confinement and forcefully attempting to disrobe.

Police officers have been sifting through footage from at least 45 CCTV cameras installed in the city centre where hundreds of revellers had gathered to celebrate the new year.

India has been shamed in the past by shocking levels of sexual assault against women, notably in December 2012 when a student was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi and later died of her injuries.

Indians took to social media to condemn the latest incident, dubbed “night of horror”.

” only shows how casual it is to molest women” tweeted Falguni Vasavada-Oza.

“How easy it is to grope! How vulnerable is safety! How deep is (d) hierarchy.”

Video footage circulated on social media showed women screaming for help.

The attacks in Bangalore have drawn comparison with last year’s mass sexual assaults at New Year’s celebrations in the German city of Cologne, where police were also accused of losing control.

Trump’s North Korea red line could come back to haunt him

WASHINGTON In three words of a tweet this week, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump vowed North Korea would never test an intercontinental ballistic missile.

“It won’t happen!” Trump wrote after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Sunday his nuclear-capable country was close to testing an ICBM of a kind that could someday hit the United States.

Preventing such a test is far easier said than done, and Trump gave no indication of how he might roll back North Korea’s weapons programs after he takes office on Jan. 20, something successive U.S. administrations, both Democratic and Republican, have failed to do.

Former U.S. officials and other experts said the United States essentially had two options when it came to trying to curb North Korea’s fast-expanding nuclear and missile programs – negotiate or take military action.

Neither path offers certain success and the military option is fraught with huge dangers, especially for Japan and South Korea, U.S. allies in close proximity to North Korea.

The Republican president-elect complained in a separate tweet that China, North Korea’s neighbor and only ally, was not helping to contain Pyongyang – despite China’s support for successive rounds of U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang.

While many critics, including within President Barack Obama’s administration, agreed China could press North Korea harder, the State Department said it did not agree with Trump’s assessment that China was not helping.

Experts said Trump’s tough stance toward Beijing on issues from trade to Taiwan could prove counterproductive in securing greater Chinese cooperation.

James Acton, co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program at Washington’s Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank, said that with his North Korea tweet, Trump had drawn a red line he could later be judged by, like Obama’s 2012 warning to Syria over the use of chemical weapons.

“This was a foolhardy tweet for Trump to send given the enormous challenges of constraining North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. I think this could be something that comes back to haunt him.”


THREE OPTIONS

U.S. officials, who did not want to be identified, said that if ordered, the U.S. military had three options to respond to a North Korean missile test – a pre-emptive strike before it is launched, intercepting the missile in flight, or allowing a launch to take place unhindered.

One official, who did not wish to be named, said there were risks with pre-emptive action, including the possibility of striking the wrong target – or North Korean retaliation against regional allies.

Arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis questioned whether U.S. missile defenses could shoot down a test missile, absent a lucky shot, and said destroying North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs would be a huge and risky undertaking.


Lewis, at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, said it would require “a large military campaign … over a fairly substantial period of time.”

He noted that North Korea’s main nuclear and missile test sites were on different sides of the country and factories that supplied them were scattered over several provinces.

“There’s a warren of tunnels under the nuclear site. And an ICBM can be launched from anywhere in the country because it’s mobile. You might as well invade the country,” Lewis said.

Republican U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, writing on cnn.com, said he hoped Trump’s administration would impose “secondary sanctions” on firms and entities that help North Korea’s weapons programs, many of which were in China.

‘PERIOD OF SERIOUS SANCTIONS’

While Trump has not detailed his policy approach to North Korea, an adviser to his transition team told Reuters he believed “a period of serious sanctions” had “to be a major part of any discussion on the options available here.”

State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday the United States had not ruled out additional sanctions, but added: “Let’s not get ahead of where we are.”

Victor Cha, who was an aide to former Republican President George W. Bush, said he believed Trump was serious about not letting North Korea have nuclear-capable ICBMs that could threaten the U.S. mainland.

“How to stop this is of course difficult. It’s a combination of diplomacy (to get a freeze), sanctions (Chinese ones and Treasury), moving more military assets to the region for extended deterrence, strike options, and integrated missile defense. That’s what would be on my menu,” he said.

Frank Jannuzi, a former State Department official who heads the Mansfield Foundation Asia dialogue forum, said Trump’s vow could prove as hollow as Obama’s pledge not to tolerate North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

“I worry … that it only emboldens the North, because they see it for what it is: empty talk,” he said. “It lays down a red line. … We don’t seem prepared to back up.”

He said North Korea had long defied U.S. and U.N. sanctions to pursue its nuclear and missile programs, and added: “One hundred and forty characters from Donald Trump aren’t going to change that.”

(Additional reporting by Idrees Ali in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)


Turkey extends emergency rule to maintain purge of Gulen supporters: deput…


ANKARA Turkey’s parliament voted overnight to extend emergency rule by three months in a move which the government said was needed to sustain a purge of supporters of the U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused of orchestrating July’s failed coup, state media said.

Emergency rule, first imposed in Turkey after an attempted putsch on July 15 and then extended in October, enables the government to bypass parliament in enacting new laws and to limit or suspend rights and freedoms when deemed necessary.

The extension, effective from Jan. 19, comes as Turkey reels from a series of attacks by Islamist or Kurdish militants, most recently on Sunday when a lone gunman shot dead 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub during New Year celebrations.

Ankara accuses Pennsylvania-based preacher Fethullah Gulen and his supporters, whom it terms the Gulenist Terror Organisation (FETO), of being behind the July coup attempt. Gulen denies the allegations.

“The purge of FETO from the state has not been completed. We need the implementation of emergency rule until FETO and all terror groups have been purged from the state,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said in parliament ahead of the vote.

More than 41,000 people have been jailed pending trial in connection with the attempted coup out of 100,000 who have faced investigation. Some 120,000 people, including soldiers, police officers, teachers, judges and journalists, have been suspended or dismissed since the coup, although thousands of them have since been restored to their posts.

(Reporting by Gulsen Solaker; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall)