first_imgLacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games View comments NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers KUALA LUMPUR- A total of 409 foreigners were picked up and a passport-forging syndicate masterminded by a Pakistani man was busted in the first ever large-scale joint operation led by Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Ter­rorism Division.ADVERTISEMENT NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul MOST READ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Most residents cooperated when the authorities came knocking, with documents in hand for verification.Those who ignored the knocks soon had their doors and locks broken.Some units where the occupants refused to cooperate were found to be full of foreigners with incomplete papers or none at all.Police also detected fake passport makers and seized some RM54,000 along with 70 passports, including 67 Indian passports, and a machine used to forge Immigration stickers.Resident Annuar Amin, 43, said he was shocked to see dozens of suspects tied up at the apartment courtyard as they awaited processing.“I was about to go back upstairs, but I saw people being rounded up,” he said.“Then I heard loud noises, so I decided to just wait below until everything was over.”DCP Ayob said the 409 foreigners detained were brought to Bukit Aman for further screening.“They were from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Myanmar, Oman, Yemen and Nigeria, among others,” he said.“We held those suspected of being involved in terrorism activities. The others were handed over to Immigration for offences under their jurisdiction. Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo About 200 law enforcement officers hit the streets yesterday to nab foreigners linked to international terror groups, those without valid documents and those suspected of illegal activities.Counter Terrorism Division head Deputy Comm Datuk Ayob Khan later confirmed that the operation was held as part of preparations for the 2017 SEA Games, which starts on Aug 19.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsConcentrating on the city centre around Jalan Masjid India, security personnel in full tactical gear were not only armed but also equipped with radionuclide identification devices (RID) to detect radioactive material.Counter Terrorism Division offi­cers, along with their comrades from other units such as the Special Action Unit, General Operations Force Tiger Platoon and Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department, took part. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Other agencies involved were the Immigration Department, Atomic Energy Licensing Board, National Registration Department and Interpol.Weekenders flooding the streets were initially shocked to see such a huge deployment of manpower.Public buses were also stopped for checks and in one instance, a Nigerian man ran so fast to escape that bystanders commented that he was faster than Usain Bolt.Police personnel managed to catch him, although it took five of them to overpower him.In a raid on the Menara City One condominium in Jalan Munshi Abdullah, multiple enforcement teams made their way from the top and lowest floors simultaneously, with armed officers at stairwells to block escape routes.ADVERTISEMENT “(The op) is focused on the Klang Valley. Our top goal is to nab foreign terrorist elements.“We are being proactive in dealing with possible threats.,”DCP Ayob also said the operation did not detect any radioactive ma­­terial, but his division will continue to use RID in future operations.“Given that terrorists are beco­ming more creative in using radioactive devices, we have to be equipped with the right tools,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Sparring partner Malignaggi slams ‘scumbag’ McGregor Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremonylast_img read more

first_imgRangers boss Gerrard won’t keep Ejaria from returning to Liverpoolby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveRangers boss Steven Gerrard won’t hold onto Ovie Ejaria against his will.The on-loan Liverpool midfielder could seek a return to Anfield in January.Asked what was behind the issue, Gerrard said: “That’s what I’m going to try and find out during the conversations. “At times, he has looked fantastic but I think his form has dipped slightly in the last couple of days, so I need to find out.”Ovie is a very quiet kid, he doesn’t give you much. I might have to dig deep to try and find out what’s going on. “He’s a young kid, he’s living away from his family. There might be other stuff going on in his life that I’m not aware of yet.”The reality is he’s a Liverpool player and Liverpool have almost got to take charge of this.”Yes, we’ve got a loan situation with Ovie but we wouldn’t keep a kid who was unhappy. I wouldn’t stand in any kid’s way whether he was signed with us or on loan.”I want players here who are committed and want to help and want to play here.” TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

first_imgAvery johnsons smiles at alabama podium.avery johnson alabamaAvery Johnson turned in a pretty decent season in his first year as head coach of Alabama men’s basketball, leading the rebuilding Crimson Tide to an 18-15 record and an NIT berth. Johnson was previously a pretty successful NBA head coach, leading the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA Finals in 2006, competing against great head coaches like the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich.After his first season in Tuscaloosa, Johnson thinks there are some pretty significant similarities between Alabama’s Nick Saban and Popovich, two of the great coaches ever in their respective sports. He discussed those similarities on ESPN’s Mike & Mike this morning. SEC Country transcribed the interview:“You look at Coach Saban, look at all the guys that are going in the first round this year,” Johnson told the show Monday morning. “Those guys, every single day — I’ve been on the practice field with those guys — Coach Saban gets after them really hard. But they listen, they take it and all of those guys are very competitive. Coach Saban and Coach Popovich, they have a lot in common.”…“They’re both about habits, and habits are formed in practice,” Johnson said. “When you look at what happens in the game, it’s a direct reflection on the discipline and details that their teams perform with in practice. Both guys are very, very competitive — I don’t think either of them wants to lose a game of checkers or chess — and they have a high level of expectation every single day with everything that they do.”At first glance, Saban and Popovich don’t seem that similar, but they definitely share a bunch of traits the more you think about it.[SEC Country]last_img read more

first_imgYaounde: A military court in Cameroon on Tuesday handed a life sentence to the head of the country’s Anglophone separatist movement, Julius Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, in a move that analysts said could inflame the 22-month-old revolt. Ayuk Tabe, a charismatic leader widely deemed as a moderate in the separatist movement, was convicted with nine others of charges including “terrorism and secession”, the state’s lawyer, Martin Luther Achet, said. They were given life terms. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe sentences were confirmed by a lawyer for the separatists, Joseph Fru, who added the 10 had also been fined 250 billion CFA francs (USD 422 million, 381 million euros). Fru condemned what he called a “parody of justice” and said the defendants refused to recognise the right of the military tribunal in Yaounde to try them. Their lawyers have yet to say whether they will file an appeal. Ayuk Tabe, a 54-year-old computer engineer by training, is the first self-proclaimed president of “Ambazonia” — a breakaway state declared in October 2017 in two English-speaking regions of the central African country. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe government responded with a military crackdown. Attacks by both sides have left 1,850 dead, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank, while the UN says 530,000 people have fled their homes. English-speakers account for about a fifth of Cameroon’s population of 24 million, who are majority French-speaking. Anglophones are mainly concentrated in two western areas, the Northwest Region and the Southwest Region, that were incorporated into the French-speaking state after the colonial era in Africa wound down six decades ago. Anglophones have chafed for years at perceived discrimination in education, law and economic opportunities at the hands of the francophone majority. Ayuk Tabe is part of the political branch of the separatist group that supports dialogue with 86-year-old President Paul Biya , who has been in power for 36 years. But the influence of moderates waned in 2017 as Biya rejected demands for autonomy and radicals in the movement gained the ascendant. In January 2018, Ayuk Tabe was arrested with 46 other separatists in the Nigerian capital Abuja. They were then handed over to Cameroon, and the trial of Ayuk Tabe and the nine others began in late December. In March this year, the extradition was ruled illegal by a Nigerian court. In late May, Ayuk Tabe said he was willing to take part in talks with the government, provided this took place abroad and the government released all people who had been detained since the start of the anglophone crisis. But Tuesday’s sentencing could crush any chance of dialogue, analysts said. A specialist at the ICG said the move “risks worsening the security situation in the anglophone zone in the coming weeks.” “It could radicalise part of the separatists who had been seeing a sign of hope in the fact that the leaders had not yet been sentenced.” Cameroon’s main opposition part, the Social Democratic Front (SDF), which is opposed to anglophone secession, also said the sentence worsened the breakaway crisis. “Ayuk Tabe has much clout among anglophones. His sentencing will make the resolution of this crisis more complicated,” its spokesman, Denis Nkenlemo, said.last_img read more

first_imgLeona Lewis will help fundraise for the Hopefield Animal Sanctuary this month when she takes part in the charity’s sponsored walk on October 21.Leona is a trustee and patron of the British animal sanctuary, which has been caring for sick, mistreated and unwanted animals since 1983.The event will take place in Weald Park in Essex. To find out more, and to donate to Leona’s fundraising page, click here.last_img

first_imgTORONTO – The United States has arrested and charged the chief executive of cybersecurity firm Phantom Secure, alleging the Vancouver-area businessman has conspired to provide drug traffickers with modified BlackBerry smartphones to evade law enforcement.Vincent Ramos of Richmond, B.C., was arrested March 7 in Bellingham, Wash., near Seattle, and faces criminal charges filed with a U.S. district court in San Diego, Calif. Those records are sealed.The U.S. Justice Department announced the charges Thursday following a years-long undercover operation that included several American, Australian and Canadian agencies including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.Authorities continue to seek four other suspects from various countries.They allege that Phantom Secure, which bills itself as “the world’s most trusted communication service,” advertised its products as impervious to decryption and guaranteed that evidence on a device could be destroyed remotely if it was compromised.The Department of Justice said the case is the first time the U.S. government has targeted a company and its principals “for knowingly and intentionally conspiring with criminal organizations by providing them with the technological tools to evade law enforcement and obstruct justice while committing transnational drug trafficking.”The Canadian Press hasn’t been able to contact Ramos or his lawyer for comment. None of the charges against Ramos have yet been proven in court.However, the Phantom Secure website has a notice that says it’s a “law-abiding company” that was founded to provide businesses and people the opportunity to communicate in private in this modern technological age.Ramos faces charges of racketeering conspiracy, also known as RICO conspiracy, and conspiracy to aid the distribution of narcotics. Both carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.A partially blacked-out affidavit by an FBI special agent and attached to the warrant to arrest Ramos, alleges that Phantom Secure devices and services were “specifically designed to prevent law enforcement from intercepting and monitoring communication” and its corporate structure was set up to “obstruct, impede, and evade law enforcement.”It alleges the company’s marketing material promotes Phantom Secure’s technical team modifies BlackBerry handsets by removing the microphone, GPS navigation, camera, internet and messenger service and then installs encryption software on an email program routed to servers in countries such as Panama.“According to law enforcement sources in Australia, Canada and the United States, Phantom Secure devices are used by the upper echelon members of various transnational criminal organizations to communicate with their criminal compatriots and conduct the illegal activities of the organization,” the affidavit said.The affidavit also includes a transcript of an exchange between an undercover RCMP agent posing as a drug trafficker and an unidentified Phantom Secure employee who wiped supposedly incriminating data from a modified BlackBerry.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: Continuing crackdown on terror financers, security agencies have identified 13 people, including Hizbul Mujahideen founder Syed Salahuddin, Hurriyat leaders and businessmen, who are allegedly providing funds to terrorists and stone pelters at the behest of Pakistan spy agency ISI, officials said Sunday. The Centre has started seizing properties belonging to terror financiers in a big way. Thirteen individuals and their properties have been identified by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and action has been initiated, they said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “Individuals identified during these investigations have been found providing money to all major terrorist groups like LeT and Hizbul Mujahideen as also Hurriyat leaders, separatists and stone-pelters in Jammu and Kashmir,” a senior government official said. Funds were provided to the leadership of Kashmir-based terrorist groups for misguiding, motivating and recruiting local youths to militant ranks. Operational activities of terror groups, including attacks on security forces, camps and convoys, are also being financed, the official said, adding money obtained through these channels are being used by major secessionist formations, especially the Hurriyat Conference. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday These funds are used for maintaining Hurriyat’s top leadership and a massive propaganda machinery to arouse disaffection among the people of Jammu and Kashmir against the Centre. It is also being utilised to spread false information through media contacts, newspapers and social media, the official claimed. The official said these are in turn used to instigate and lure misguided youths to resort to anti-India activities, violent street protests and stone pelting on security forces at encounter sites. Extensive use of such funds is being made to finance institutions such as select mosques, madrasas and organisations like recently banned Jamat-e-Islami(JeI)(J-K), for focusing on subverting locals, another official said. In the first strike, action was initiated to attach a plush bungalow of Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali in Gurgaon, the official said. He is, at present, lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail. Watali is allegedly a major conduit for funnelling terror finances into India, the official said. Documents seized by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) indicate that he was receiving money from Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed, Salahuddin, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Pakistan High Commission here, the official claimed. Watali is known to have important sources of Hawala financing operating out of Dubai. Besides him, another 10 leaders were brought into the multi-agency action on terror funding. The ED has zeroed in on proceeds of such crime and begun action to freeze and seize such assets. The ongoing investigation in the first phase has determined and quantified assets valued at over Rs7 crore as proceeds of terror funding crimes, the official said. The 13 identified individuals include Mohd Yusuf Shah alias Syed Salahuddin, who through Hizbul, has been actively involved in creating unrest in Kashmir and other parts of India, according to a document prepared by security agencies. Being a resident of Jammu and Kashmir, Salahuddin has a wide network of local sympathisers, who act on his instructions and collect funds sent by him to fuel secessionist activities, it said. Hafiz Saeed, self-styled chief of Pakistan-based Jamaat-ul- Dawaa, and other separatist leaders of the state, including members and Hurriyat cadre, have been raising, receiving and collecting funds domestically and from abroad through various illegal channels like Hawala, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in J-K. The document said Aftab Ahmad Shah alias Fantoosh, a Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) founder member, was spokesperson and legal advisor to the Hurriyat (Mirwaiz faction). During a search at his residence in Srinagar, NIA seized various incriminating documents and during interrogation, Shah confessed that his charter of duties included monitoring incidents, issuing statements, arranging meetings and conferences. Shah, son-in-law of TeH separatist leader Syed Geelani, was closely associated with JeI (J-K). The 13 individuals also include Mohammed Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Akbar Khanday, Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Saifullah and Nawal Kishore Kapoor Khan, self-styled chairman of National Front, an organisation affiliated to Hurriyat, was part of the Muslim Jaanbaaz Force and earlier involved in various militant activities, the document said. Dar was JKLF-R chairman and is a terrorist involved in criminal and anti-national activities since 1990. He received arms training in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in 1989-90.Khanday is a JeI(J-K) member and trusted lieutenant of Geelani. He knew of anti-India protests in the Valley. Kalwal, a former militant trained in PoK, is a key fund raiser for stone pelters.He collects funds on behalf of Hurriyat and spearheads protests, the document said. Bhat, a former Hizbul militant, went to PoK for arms training and was involved militancy cases.He is a trusted aide of Geelani and was aware of systems of fund collection and distribution by the Hurriyat leader to operatives, who indulged in anti-India activities. He has visited the Pakistan High Commission here with Geelani several times, it said. Kapoor, Watali’s close associate, remitted Rs 5.6 crore to Watali for which he has not been able to produce any document.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: Enforcement Directorate told a Delhi court on Thursday that Christian Michel, the alleged middleman arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper scam, and other accused received 42 million euros as kickbacks in the deal.The probe agency, in its 3,000-page supplementary charge sheet also named David Syms, Michel’s alleged business partner, and two firms owned by them– Global Trade and Commerce Ltd and Global Services FZE — as accused. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’In its first charge sheet, filed against Michel in June 2016, ED had alleged that Michel and others received EUR 30 million (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland. Special Judge Arvind Kumar said he will decide on whether to take cognisance of the ED’s supplementary charge sheet and to summon the accused on April 6. ED’s special public prosecutors D P Singh and N K Matta told the court that British nationals Syms and Michel through their firms had received the money without undertaking any work against the receipt of such amount. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe money was received by the firms to execute the 12 helicopters deal but no helicopters were bought, ED said. “The money was paid by Westland Group companies to these two firms. The money was then routed to different companies and individuals. This was done through these two firms in which both (Michel and Syms) of them are directors… Syms’ bank statement records showed that substantial amount has been credited to it,” ED said. The agency said that this money trail completed the missing link in the total EUR 70 million trail of the AgustaWestland deal which was being investigated by it. ED said that EUR 28 million was routed through the other channel by co-accused lawyer Gautam Khaitan, Rajeev Saxena and his wife Shivani and their firms. It had earlier alleged, in the charge sheet, that companies owned by Saxena and his wife — Interstellar Technologies, Mauritius, UHY Saxena, Dubai, Matrix — have received proceeds of crime from Global Services FZE. ED had claimed that Michel had entered into 12 contracts through two of his firms with Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland, Westland Helicopters, UK and so on. Michel, extradited from Dubai in December last year, was one of the three middlemen being probed in the case, besides Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, by the ED and the CBI. On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Italy-based Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore by it for securing the deal. The CBI on September 1, 2017, had filed a charge sheet in the case in which Michel was named as one of the accused.last_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON– The United States condemned Monday deadly terrorist attacks in the southern Russian city of Volgograd and offered its full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games.“The United States condemns the terrorist attacks that struck the Russian city of Volgograd and sends deepest condolences to the families of the victims with hopes for the rapid healing of those wounded,” said White House National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.Stating that the US stands in solidarity with the Russian people against terrorism, she said, “The US government has offered full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games, and we would welcome the opportunity for closer cooperation for the safety of the athletes, spectators, and other participants.” Tens of people were killed in bomb attacks in Russia’s Volgograd city on 29th and 30th of December.last_img read more

The NCAA women’s tournament bracket is out, and the Connecticut Huskies have a 52 percent chance to capture their 12th national championship and seventh undefeated season under coach Geno Auriemma, according to our March Madness predictions.This would be their fifth championship in a row and their third championship since last losing a game of any sort, on Nov. 17, 2014 — 847 days ago. If they win this tournament, that run will extend to over 1,000 days before they have another chance to lose next fall.Their 107 consecutive wins is already a record for NCAA basketball, and it’s moving up the ranks of the longest streaks in all of college sports. They recently passed North Carolina’s record streak in women’s soccer of 103 consecutive wins from 1986 to 1990, and they are in striking distance of Penn State’s record 109 wins in women’s volleyball from 2007 to 2010. (Though the Huskies are still a long way from the longest win streak in college sports: Trinity College men’s squash team had 252 consecutive wins from 1998 to 2012 that included 13 national championships.)VIDEO: A No. 16 seed will win, but don’t bet on it The Huskies’ chance of winning this year’s tournament is not what it has been in the past, though. It’s well down from the 70 percent chance we gave them at the start of the tournament last year, and the 74 percent chance we gave them the year before — both of which, to be honest, felt a little low.This year, there’s good reason to think they really do have a lower probability of winning. After losing team stars Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck — who were the first, second and third overall picks in the WNBA draft last year — it would have been reasonable to expect their performance to drop a bit. And it has — though the Huskies managed to stay undefeated, they haven’t been quite their dominant selves. They carried a 75-game win streak into this season, having won every game by double digits. But they opened the year with a 2-point victory over Florida State (who’s now a No. 3 in its region) and two other wins this season have come by 6 and 3 points — the latter to unranked Tulane, whom they had beaten in January by 44! Related: Hot Takedown Hot Takedown’s March Madness Special The Huskies are scoring fewer points per possession on offense and allowing more points per possession on defense than they did a year ago — though they are first and second, respectively, in those categories this season anyway.Their biggest obstacle is probably that some of the other contenders are stronger than they have been in the last few years. Baylor (23 percent chance to win, according to FiveThirtyEight’s predictions) is the next strongest team on paper, and the Lady Bears are in UConn’s neighborhood for both offensive and defensive efficiency — although they have looked vulnerable of late (such as when losing to West Virginia last week). The Huskies have played all three other No. 1 seeds (Baylor, South Carolina and Notre Dame) this season and won all three games by 11. Another threat might be No. 3 Maryland, who is in UConn’s region, have had a UConn-class offense this year and have only lost to the Huskies by 6 and 10 in their past two meetings. Two vanilla losses may not look like something to hang your hat on, but against this powerhouse — even in its mildly weakened form — that’s about as good as it gets.Check out our March Madness predictions. read more