Daily Archives: March 7, 2015

Obama says learned about Clinton's emails from news reports -CBS

(Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
said he learned through news reports that Hillary Clinton used a
personal email account for official business while she served as
his secretary of state, CBS News reported on Saturday.

“I’m glad that Hillary’s instructed that those emails about
official business need to be disclosed,” Obama said, according
to an excerpt of an interview with CBS released by the network.

Clinton, seen as the frontrunner for the Democratic Party’s
presidential nomination in 2016, said on Wednesday she wanted
the State Department to release the emails quickly.

(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Paul Simao)


Source: Newsjyoti

Alaska's famed sled-dog race begins with ceremonial run

JUNEAU, Alaska Sun Mar 8, 2015 4:28am IST

Alex Buetow's team charges down the street beyond the start gate during the official restart of the Iditarod dog sled race in Willow, Alaska, March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder

Alex Buetow’s team charges down the street beyond the start gate during the official restart of the Iditarod dog sled race in Willow, Alaska, March 2, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Nathaniel Wilder

JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) – Alaska’s famed Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race got underway with a ceremonial run in Anchorage on Saturday with dozens of mushers and dog teams beginning a near 1,000-mile (1,609-km) journey through the snowy and sometimes unforgiving wilderness.

This untimed 11-mile (17.7-km) kickoff leg serves as a curtainraiser for a timed competition that commemorates a 1925 mission that delivered diphtheria serum to Nome by sled-dog relay.

The timed portion of the race, which typically lasts nine days or longer, begins Monday in Fairbanks, about 300 miles (482 km) away. Traditionally held in Willow, the timed start was moved to Fairbanks this year to accommodate an alternate trail selected after race officials deemed sections of the traditional path unsafe.

This year’s lineup features 78 mushers, nine more than last year, and six ex-champions, with competitors traveling from as far as New Zealand and Australia for the race, which many Alaskans who have endured long winter nights see as a sign of impending spring.

“This can be the most beautiful time here in Alaska,” race director Stan Hooley said. “It’s a celebration of something that is very good about living in Alaska.”

On Saturday, Canadian Dan Cook, one of 20 rookies in the lineup, kicked things off before a roaring crowd in downtown Anchorage, the state’s largest city.

On Monday, Cook will be the first musher out of the gates for the timed staggered start.

The timed race will take mushers, each pulled by as many as a dozen dogs, through 16 checkpoints toward Nome, on the Bering Sea coast. Officials peg this year’s distance at 968 miles (1,558 km) but that doesn’t factor in topographical changes.

Most races last slightly longer than nine days, though last year’s winner, Dallas Seavey, brought his dogs across the finish line in eight days and 13 hours after facing daunting wind gusts down the home stretch.

Each musher must take one 24-hour rest and two separate eight-hour stops. The winner gets $70,000 and a pick-up truck, and other top finishers receive cash prizes from a purse totaling more than $725,000, the largest since racing began in 1973.

“Maintaining a competitive racing kennel and preparing for this race is an extremely expensive proposition,” Hooley said.

Seavey, last year’s winner, posted his second win in three years. His father Mitch Seavey two years ago at 53 became the oldest musher to win the Iditarod.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst, Cynthia Johnston, Sandra Maler and W Simon)

Source: Newsjyoti India Lifestyle

Morocco's 'Fievres' is surprise winner at African film festival

(Reuters) – “Fievres”, a film by Moroccan director Hicham Ayouch, won the top prize at this year’s FESPACO film festival in Burkina Faso, beating competition that included the Oscar-nominated “Timbuktu”.

FESPACO, which takes place every two years in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, is Africa’s biggest film festival.

“Fievres”, the tale of a tumultuous relationship between a father and his lonely, violent son in a rough French neighborhood, was a surprise winner because not many of those attending the festival had seen it.

This year’s edition of FESPACO was overshadowed by fears of an attack by Islamists, whose occupation of the northern Malian desert town of Timbuktu is the subject of the film with the same name.

“Timbuktu” missed out on an Oscar but had earlier won a string of other international awards, including two at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and seven at the Cesar Awards, France’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Organizers temporarily withdrew “Timbuktu” from the festival due to concerns that its showing might lead to the event being targeted by Islamist groups operating in the region.

That decision was later reversed.

“FESPACO is a platform for everyone to come and express themselves democratically and freely,” said Burkina Faso’s interim president, Michel Kafando.

“Consequently, there was no way we could not show a film that was apparently threatened by terrorism,” he said.

An overnight attack claimed by Islamists killed five people in a bar in the capital of neighboring Mali, a reminder of the threat militants still pose in the region two years after France dispatched troops to fight al Qaeda-linked fighters who occupied Mali’s northern desert.

(Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Paul Simao)


Source: Newsjyoti Entertainment

Morocco's "Fievres" is surprise winner at African film festival

(Reuters) – “Fievres”, a film by
Moroccan director Hicham Ayouch, won the top prize at this
year’s FESPACO film festival in Burkina Faso, beating
competition that included the Oscar-nominated “Timbuktu”.

FESPACO, which takes place every two years in Burkina Faso’s
capital, Ouagadougou, is Africa’s biggest film festival.

“Fievres”, the tale of a tumultuous relationship between a
father and his lonely, violent son in a rough French
neighbourhood, was a surprise winner because not many of those
attending the festival had seen it.

This year’s edition of FESPACO was overshadowed by fears of
an attack by Islamists, whose occupation of the northern Malian
desert town of Timbuktu is the subject of the film with the same
name.

“Timbuktu” missed out on an Oscar but had earlier won a
string of other international awards, including two at this
year’s Cannes Film Festival and seven at the Cesar Awards,
France’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Organisers temporarily withdrew “Timbuktu” from the festival
due to concerns that its showing might lead to the event being
targeted by Islamist groups operating in the region.

That decision was later reversed.

“FESPACO is a platform for everyone to come and express
themselves democratically and freely,” said Burkina Faso’s
interim president, Michel Kafando.

“Consequently, there was no way we could not show a film
that was apparently threatened by terrorism,” he said.

An overnight attack claimed by Islamists killed five people
in a bar in the capital of neighbouring Mali, a reminder of the
threat militants still pose in the region two years after France
dispatched troops to fight al Qaeda-linked fighters who occupied
Mali’s northern desert.

(Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; Writing by David Lewis;
Editing by Paul Simao)


Source: Newsjyoti

Four bombs in Nigeria's Maiduguri city kill at least 50

(Reuters) – Four bomb blasts killed at least 50 people in Maiduguri in Nigeria’s northeast on Saturday in the worst attacks there since Islamist militants tried to seize the city in two major assaults earlier this year.

There was no immediate claim for the bombings but they bore the hallmarks of the Islamist group Boko Haram, which has been waging a six-year insurgency to carve out an Islamic state in Africa’s biggest economy.

President Goodluck Jonathan, who is seeking re-election on March 28, has been heavily criticized for failing to crush the group. The vote was postponed for six weeks from Feb. 14 for security reasons.

Around noon on Saturday, the driver of a motorized tricycle detonated a bomb when the vehicle was prevented from entering a fish market on the Baga road in the west of Maiduguri, market trader Mohammad Ajia said after fleeing the scene.

Another blast hit the busy Monday market shortly afterwards. A car bomb exploded later by a bus station near a Department of State Security (DSS) office, according to a civilian member of a joint task force.

State police commissioner Clement Adoda said via text message there had been four blasts in the city, without elaborating on the location or nature of the fourth explosion.

“We’ve received 50 dead bodies from the blast scenes and 36 injured people,” Salisu Kwaya Bura, Chief Medical Officer of Borno Specialists Hospital, told reporters.

The number of wounded was well above 36 as more had been taken to two other hospitals, a hospital source said.

“Men from the anti-bomb squad came a few minutes after the blast to comb the scene … I saw five mangled bodies being put in vehicles,” Aliyu Musa, a resident near the DSS office, said.

Maiduguri is the capital of Borno state and birthplace of Boko Haram, which has long coveted the city as a capital for the state it wants to create. The militants tried to seize Maiduguri at the end of January and again in early February.

Boko Haram overran a territory the size of Belgium last year, which Nigeria’s ill-equipped army has struggled to take back, and the group gained worldwide notoriety in April when its members kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls.

Since the election delay, Chadian troops cooperating with the Nigerians have reclaimed some important towns in Borno. The army has also been able to push the militants out of some territories in neighboring Adamawa and Yobe states.

On Saturday, Nigeria’s army said it had retaken two more constituencies in Borno state.

“With the capture of Mafa, Marte LGAs (local government areas), and the Chadian troops holding fort in Dikwa, the international route from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Central African Republic is now fully secured,” Colonel Sani Usman said in a statement.

(Additional reporting by Isaac Abrak and Julia Payne in Abuja; Writing by Julia Payne; Editing by David Clarke)


Source: Newsjyoti Top Trending

Cricket-Jamaican Cameron re-elected WICB president

KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 7 Sun Mar 8, 2015 1:18am IST

KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 7 (Reuters) – Embattled Jamaican Dave Cameron has staved off the challenge of former Barbadian player Joel Garner to retain the presidency of the West Indies Cricket Board on Saturday.

Cameron received eight of the 12 votes on offer from affiliates in Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands.

Incumbent vice president Emmanuel Nanthan was also returned to office after turning back Baldath Mahabir by a margin of 8-4.

The WICB election followed weeks of campaigning centred around the abandoned tour of India by the Caribbean side.

The Board of Control of Cricket in India threatened the WICB with legal action costing millions of dollars in damages.

Cameron also faced backlash for a retweet, which criticised Jamaica and West Indies batsman Chris Gayle who failed with the bat in a World Cup match against Pakistan in Christchurch. (Reporting by Kayon Raynor in Kingston, editing by Gene Cherry)

Source: Newsjyoti Cricket

U.S., France 'on same page' over Iran, want stronger deal

French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (L) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speak as they arrive for a meeting at the French Foreign Affairs Ministry in Paris, March 7, 2015.   REUTERS/Etienne Laurent/Pool


(Reuters) – The United States and France sought on Saturday to play down any disagreements over nuclear talks with Iran, saying they both agreed the accord now under discussion needed to be strengthened.

“We are on the same page,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters after talks with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Paris. “If we didn’t think that there was further to go, as Laurent said, we’d have had an agreement already,” Kerry added.

“The reason we don’t have an agreement is, we believe there are gaps that have to be closed. There are things that have to be done to further strengthen this. We know this.”

The aim of the negotiations is to persuade Iran to restrain its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy. Iran, a major oil exporter, wants the sanctions scrapped swiftly, the powers only in phases.

France’s Fabius said on Friday commitments offered by Iran in the nuclear talks with six world powers do not go far enough and more work needed to be done, notably on what he called “volume, checks and duration”.

On Saturday, he made clear that by volume he meant the number and quality of centrifuges Iran might be allowed to operate under any deal. By checks, he meant an inspection and verification regime to ensure Iran does not violate the deal.

“There is still work to be done,” said Fabius, who was also hosting his British, German and EU counterparts in Paris.

France, a U.N. Security Council veto-holder, has long held out for strict terms, linking any loosening of international sanctions on Iran’s oil-based economy to commitments by Tehran to demonstrate that its nuclear work is as peaceful as it says.

The discovery in 2013 that the United States was holding secret talks with Iran was an opportunity for Paris, by saying ‘no’ to a deal, to assert itself internationally and to rebuke Washington for backing down on bombing Syria as punishment for using chemical arms.

It also helped France cement new commercial ties with Gulf Arab states hostile to Iran.

“SOLID AGREEMENT” SOUGHT

“It is a multilateral negotiation, but we want to make sure that our positions are aired,” said Fabius, who stressed several times the need for a “solid agreement”.

U.S. officials privately bristle at what they sometimes see as France’s effort to insert itself into the diplomacy on Iran and other issues. Some other diplomats close to the talks say Washington is rushing into a deal with Iran.

From the outside, it appears as if the negotiations are fundamentally a U.S.-Iranian bilateral discussion, with the other nations briefed and brought in periodically.

As well as the United States and France, the other world powers involved in the Iran negotiations are Britain, China, Germany and Russia.

Kerry this week held three days of talks with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

He plans to meet Zarif again on March 15 ahead of talks with all sides aimed at sealing some form of understanding by the end of March before a final deal in June.

“The next couple of weeks are crucial,” said EU policy chief Federica Mogherini.

(Editing by Gareth Jones)


Source: Newsjyoti Top Trending

Obama to make call to action in Selma anniversary visit

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama board Air Force One for travel to Alabama from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland March 7, 2015.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst


(Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama will call on Americans to carry forward the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement on Saturday during a visit to Selma, Alabama, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a march that sparked the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Obama, the first black U.S. president, will deliver remarks at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where police and state troopers beat and used tear gas against peaceful marchers who were advocating against racial discrimination at the voting booth.

The event became known as “Bloody Sunday” and prompted a follow-up march led by civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

During a trip to South Carolina on Friday, Obama said he planned to focus on the future in his speech.

“Selma is not just about commemorating the past. It’s about honoring the legends who helped change this country through your actions today, in the here and now,” he told a town hall-style meeting.

“Selma is now. Selma is about the courage of ordinary people doing extraordinary things because they believe they can change the country, that they can shape our nation’s destiny. Selma is about each of us asking ourselves what we can do to make America better.”

The anniversary comes at a time of renewed focus on racial disparities in the United States including discrimination among law enforcement against black citizens nationwide.

Obama condemned the Missouri city of Ferguson on Friday for “oppressive and abusive” actions against black residents that were revealed in a U.S. Justice Department report accusing police and court officials of racial bias.

Obama and his family will commemorate the marches and mark the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act during their trip.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Sandra Maler)


Source: Newsjyoti Lifestyle

Alaska's famed sled-dog race to begin with ceremonial run

Alex Buetow's team charges down the street beyond the start gate during the official restart of the Iditarod dog sled race in Willow, Alaska, March 2, 2014.  REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder

Alex Buetow’s team charges down the street beyond the start gate during the official restart of the Iditarod dog sled race in Willow, Alaska, March 2, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Nathaniel Wilder


(Reuters) – Alaska’s famed Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race is due to get underway on Saturday with dozens of mushers and dog teams beginning their near 1,000-mile (1,609-km) journey through the state’s snowy and sometimes unforgiving wilderness.

This untimed 11-mile (17.7-km) ceremonial start serves as a curtain raiser for a timed competition that commemorates a 1925 mission that delivered diphtheria serum to Nome by sled-dog relay.

The timed portion of the race, which typically lasts nine days or longer, begins on Monday in Fairbanks, about 300 miles (482 km) away. Traditionally held in Willow, the timed start was moved to Fairbanks this year to accommodate an alternate trail selected after race officials deemed sections of the traditional path unsafe.

This year’s lineup features 78 mushers, nine more than last year, with competitors traveling from as far as New Zealand and Australia to take part in the race, which many Alaskans who have endured long winter nights see as a sign of impending spring.

“This can be the most beautiful time here in Alaska,” race director Stan Hooley said. “It’s a celebration of something that is very good about living in Alaska.”

The timed race will take mushers, each pulled by as many as a dozen dogs, through 16 checkpoints toward Nome, on the Bering Sea coast. Race officials peg this year’s distance at 968 miles (1,558 km) but that doesn’t factor in topographical changes.

Most races last slightly longer than nine days, though last year’s winner, Dallas Seavey, brought his dogs across the finish line in eight days and 13 hours after fighting off daunting wind gusts down the home stretch.

Each musher must take one 24-hour rest and two separate eight-hour stops. The winner will receive $70,000 and a new pick-up truck, and other top finishers will also receive cash prizes from a purse totaling more than $725,000, the largest since racing began in 1973.

“Maintaining a competitive racing kennel and preparing for this race is an extremely expensive proposition,” Hooley said.

While most mushers call Alaska home, the field features competitors from Norway, France, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Sweden. More than a quarter are rookies.

Seavey, last year’s winner, posted his second win in three years, edging out three-time runner up, Aliy Zirkle, and Seavey’s own father, defending champion Mitch Seavey who two years ago at age 53 became the oldest musher to win the Iditarod.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Sandra Maler)


Source: Newsjyoti Lifestyle

UK's Miliband insists on TV debate, says Cameron "chickening out"

(Reuters) – British opposition Labour leader
Ed Miliband on Saturday accused Prime Minister David Cameron of
trying to “chicken out” of head-to-head televised debates with
him ahead of a national election on May 7 and said he would take
part with or without Cameron.

Broadcasters had proposed three debates, two of them between
the leaders of seven parties and one between just Miliband and
Cameron, the two people most likely to become prime minister
after May 7, but Cameron has rejected their proposal.

Instead, the Conservative leader has said he would take part
in just one debate, with six other party leaders, a stance
widely seen as a tactic to protect his own high personal ratings
and deprive his main rival of publicity.

In a speech at the annual conference of Labour’s Scottish
branch, Miliband said his party had written to the broadcasters
to confirm he would take part in the proposed debates whatever
Cameron did.

Pressure from Miliband and from the broadcasters poses a
dilemma for Cameron, who must decide what would be worse for
him: letting the debates go ahead without him, or backing down
and agreeing to take part after all.

“He says this election is all about leadership, all about
the choice between him and me, and when it comes to a debate
between him and me, he’s running scared,” Miliband said.

“I say to David Cameron … You can try to chicken out of
the debates, but don’t ever again claim that you provide strong
leadership … When all people will see is an empty chair, his
claims of leadership will be exposed as empty.”

Cameron is isolated over the debates issue, with the other
main party leaders saying they are keen to take part.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal
Democrats who have been the junior coalition partners since
2010, on Saturday accused the Conservatives of “arrogance” for
trying to dictate the terms of the debates.

“If David Cameron is too important or too busy to turn up,
if he doesn’t want to defend the record of this coalition
government, then I will,” Clegg told the BBC.

The election is the most unpredictable in decades. Labour
and the Conservatives are neck-and-neck in the polls, the Lib
Dems’ ratings have collapsed since the last election and three
other parties are enjoying a surge in popularity.

If neither of the two main parties wins an outright majority
of seats in parliament’s House of Commons, as seems likely, one
or more of the smaller parties will hold the balance of power
and complex coalition talks will ensue.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing Clelia Oziel)


Source: Newsjyoti