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DNA Morning Must Reads: VVIP chopper scam lands ex-IAF chief SP Tyagi in jail; Russia helped Trump win White House; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. VVIP chopper scam lands ex-IAF chief SP Tyagi in jailCBI arrested the ex-air chief, his cousin in Rs 3,726-crore AgustaWestland scam. Read more.2. With massive I-T raids held across country, CBDT seeks more manpower”It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favour one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” the The Washington Post quoted a senior US official as saying. Read more.3. CIA says Russia intervened to help Donald Trump win White House: Report​Trump initially declined to accept his withdrawal. Read more.4. Junior Hockey World Cup: Samajwadi Party ‘goons’ threaten Japanese team in UPIt came as a shock to the Japanese team, having lost its second consecutive game to Spain 1-4 on Friday, as they were going back to their hotel from the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium. Read more.5. ATS sketches mystery man who recruited Thane youth for ISISATS identified the man who is believed to have indoctrinated Maharashtra youth to join IS as Ali. Read more.

Trump touts foreign contacts, says transition going ‘so smoothly’ | Reuters

By Doina Chiacu

WASHINGTON President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday denounced reports of disorganization in the team overseeing his transition to the White House in January, singling out the New York Times for saying world leaders have had trouble getting in touch with him. Trump took to Twitter to list several world leaders he had spoken with since his upset victory in the Nov. 8 presidential election. The Republican real estate magnate said he had received and taken “calls from many foreign leaders despite what the failing @nytimes said. Russia, U.K., China, Saudi Arabia, Japan.” “Australia, New Zealand, and more. I am always available to them. @nytimes is just upset that they looked like fools in their coverage of me,” Trump continued.The Times, a frequent target of Trump’s Twitter blasts, said on Tuesday that U.S. allies were “scrambling to figure out how and when to contact Mr. Trump” and blindly dialling in to Trump Tower in New York to try to reach him.The newspaper said Trump, who has never held public office, was working without official State Department briefing materials in his dealings with foreign leaders. “The failing @nytimes story is so totally wrong on transition,” he tweeted, without specifying what it was in the article that was incorrect. “It is going so smoothly. Also, I have spoken to many foreign leaders.” Trump has mostly stuck to normal practise for a U.S. president-elect with the order in which he has spoken to foreign leaders since his surprise election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.But some of his contacts have stretched the limits of the usual protocol, leaving some U.S. allies rattled about Trump’s foreign policy instincts and priorities.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, an army general who seized power three years ago, appears to have been the first leader to speak to Trump after the election, ahead of closer allies like the leaders of Britain and Germany.Sisi’s office called Trump last Wednesday and the incoming U.S. president told him it was “the first international call he had received to congratulate him on winning the election.”

Trump also has talked on the phone in recent days to the leaders of Britain, Germany, Turkey and other allies. But a phone call on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which the two men agreed to aim for “constructive cooperation,” raised eyebrows among Democrats and traditionalist Republicans worried about a resurgent Moscow.Trump also met Britain’s anti-EU Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage at Trump Tower last weekend, way ahead of any meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday will be the first foreign leader Trump meets with as president-elect. They will hold talks in New York and an adviser to Trump said the Republican would reaffirm the U.S-Japan alliance, despite campaign rhetoric that raised questions about it.

In a tweet on Tuesday night Trump had said he was “the only one who knows who the finalists are” for appointed positions in his administration, which takes over on Jan. 20.When Trump’s son, Eric, entered Trump Tower in New York on Wednesday morning he was asked by reporters if any positions would be announced on Wednesday and responded, “Likely.”Despite fevered speculation, Trump has yet to say who will fill Cabinet positions such as secretary of state, treasury secretary or defence secretary. His team said this is not unusual and is in line with the timing of the transition of Barack Obama to the White House after he won the presidency in 2008.On the ground floor of the State Department, more than a dozen empty conference rooms await Trump’s transition team. State Department officials said Trump’s team had not yet contacted the department’s counsellor, Kristie Kenney, who is overseeing the transition there.As of Wednesday morning, the Trump team also had not contacted the Pentagon about the transition, officials said.Trump denied he was trying to get security clearance for his children and son-in-law, which would allow them access to classified government information. (Additional reporting by Susan Heavey, Idrees Ali and Lesley Wroughton in Washington and Emily Stephenson in New York; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Bill Trott)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Nov 17, 2016 00:30 IST

Appreciate your friendship towards India: PM Modi congratulates Donald Trump

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Wednesday, PM Modi reached out to president-elect Donald Trump after his historic victory. He wrote on Twitter: “Congratulations @realDonaldTrump on being elected as the 45th US President. We appreciate the friendship you have articulated towards India during your campaign, @realDonaldTrump.” Meanwhile the US Ambassador to India Rich Verma released a statement that said: “And it’s something, I’m sure, that can be appreciated by all of us here – from both the oldest democracy in the world, and the largest democracy in the world. The ties that bind our two countries together are built on our shared democratic values, and go beyond the friendship of the American President and the Indian Prime Minister. They go beyond the economic and people-to-people ties. The U.S.-India relationship is vitally important, it is bipartisan, and it is only growing stronger. Here’s to another four years of robust U.S.-India Dosti.” Earlier, US Consul General to Mumbai Tom Vadja said: “While the resident of the White House changes every four or eight year, our American values don’t change, those core values of democracy, pluralism, human rights, economic opportunities and the pursuit of a secure peaceful world. Indians too cherish the same values. That lies at the heart of the partnership. Indians and Americans are profoundly interconnected by bonds of family, business, and commercial ties, science, research and more than a 1,30,000 student exchanges that are ongoing at this time. US presidency under Donald Trump, a confessed big fan of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is most likely to boost Indo-US strategic relationship with a special emphasis on defence ties and counter-terrorism cooperation.Trump, 70, had recently described India as “a key, and key strategic ally” and looks forward to deepening the diplomatic and military cooperation that is the shared interest of both countries. The billionaire businessman who has lauded economic policies of Modi had said he wants to work with him. At an event in New Jersey less than a month from now, Trump had promised to the Indian-American community in him India would find a true friend at the White House. “I am a big fan of Hindu and I am a big fan of India. If I am elected president, the Indian and Hindu community would have a true friend at the White House,” he had said at an event organised by the Hindu Republican Coalition. Trump said he appreciated “great friend India in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism.”India has experienced firsthand “brutality of terror” in the past “including the mayhem in Mumbai,” he said and described the 2008 Mumbai terror attack and that on Indian Parliament in 2001 as “absolutely outrageous” and terrible. “We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism. We will stand soldier-to-soldier in this fight. This is so important in the age of ISIS,” he said. “India’s is the world’s largest democracy and is a natural ally of the US. Under a Trump Administration, we are going to become even better friends. In fact, I will take the word even out because we are going to be best friends. I look forward to working with Prime Minister Modi, who has been very energetic in reforming the economy and bureaucracy. Great man. I applaud him,” he said.”I look forward to doing some serious bureaucratic trimming right here in the US, believe me we need it most,” Trump said. “Your great Prime Minister has been a pro-growth leader for India. He has simplified the tax code, cut the taxes and the economy is strong growing at 7 per cent year. Excellent,” he said. On the eve of the November 8 general elections, a key military advisor to the Trump said that India will have an important role to play in the Trump Administration s Asia Pacific policy of “peace through strength.””This is a country that shares our values, this is a country that shares a lot of geo-political interest and I think, his (Trump s) work is going to be continuing the tradition of Bush Administration which made a lot of progress in that regard,” Alexander Gray, a military advisor and author of several of the ambitious defence policies of Trump, said. “We (a Trump Administration) would be looking to strengthen not just the cultural and economic aspect, but also on the defence side there is so much common ground with India. At a time when India s foreign policy is changing because of China and Pakistan, because of Islamic terrorism, we need to be there to greet them with open arms. I think, the Trump Administration is ready to do that,” Gray said.

US Presidential Elections 2016: Consul General says change of leadership won’t affect Indo-US ties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a stunning result, billionaire businessman Donald Trump beat seasoned politician Hillary Clinton in the knife-edge polls on Wednesday, defying odds to become the 45th US President after starting off as a rank political outsider.While the US counted votes to determine the next occupant of the White House, the US Consulate in Mumbai organised a breakfast event at Hard Rock Café for the media and others. The vote count was displayed on giant screens across the popular pub and a carnival-like atmosphere descended as the denizens had a gala time and learned more about the US democratic process. There were mock votes, selfie booths and a sumptuous breakfast as dhoklas jostled with bacon for attention on the table.Consul General Tom Vajda addressed the gathering and thanked individuals for participating in the process. He spoke about the electoral process, the importance of democracy, an unprecedented campaign and what the change in leadership might mean for Indo-US relations.Uncle Sam memorabilia at the event He said: “This is the US’ 58th Presidential Election and campaigns have been heated. Citizens can take to the ballot box and choose their own leadership. But elections aren’t about a candidate or a party. They are manifestation of our trust in the democratic process. To sustain our values, to guarantee our central rights as citizens and to ensure that every citizen has an equal voice through the voting process.”He added that a woman nominee and a political outsider showed the change in aspirations of Americans in the nation’s leadership. He said: “A lot of things made this process unique. This is the first time in history there has been a female candidate leading one of the parties as a presidential nominee so this is an inspiring evolution in our society and the aspirations of Americans in our leadership. It’s also the first time in 60 years since Eisenhower was elected in ’52 that a major party candidate is a nominee who has never served in electoral office. This reflects the desire among Americans for an outsider to go to Washington and handle the challenges. Whichever candidate ends up the winner, there’s a strong historical current that runs through this campaign.”He also added that any change in leadership wouldn’t affect Indo-US relationships. He said: “Many of you here, also in, India are wondering how the relationship will go. In a word, I think it will be (defined by) continuity.” He said: “While the resident of the White House changes every four or eight year, our American values don’t change, those core values of democracy, pluralism, human rights, economic opportunities and the pursuit of a secure peaceful world. Indians too cherish the same values. That lies at the heart of the partnership. Indians and Americans are profoundly interconnected by bonds of family, business, and commercial ties, science, research and more than a 1,30,000 student exchanges that are ongoing at this time.So, as we gather to observe and think about the US elections, I personally can’t help but reflect on the share linkages and shared commitment to these principles between the United States and India will sustain our bilateral partnership and certainly will transcend the change in leadership that might occur.”It was heartbreak for Democratic nominee Clinton, who was hoping to become the first woman president of the US, as Trump edged past her in a see-saw battle which he clinched by winning 288 electoral college votes to Clinton’s 215.To win the presidential election, a candidate needs 270 of the 538 electoral college votes. The 70-year-old business tycoon’s strong showing in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Texas and North Carolina helped him pull-off a win which proved most pollsters wrong.

US welcomes India’s prominent role in the world and in tackling global problems: WH official

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The US welcomes more prominent and effective role played by India on a wide range of global problems from climate change to maritime security, a top White House official has said”We welcome India not just because it is consequential because we share and often promote norms about a rules based order,” Peter Lavoy, the White House’s point person for South Asia, told a Washington audience.”The US welcomes more prominent and effective role that India is playing on a wide range of world problems from climate change and global health to peace keeping, maritime security and cyber governance.”He said that the US-India partnership has come a long way in the past eight years, but the best is yet to come.”We are handing over to the next team, a major defence partnership with India,” he said as he highlighted the vibrant dimensions of the Indo-US relationship.”First a growing convergence on regional issues. Second deepening cooperation on defense trade and third broadening in security partnership,” said Lavoy, Senior Director for South Asia at the National Security Council (NSC), said in his remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).During the past six years of Obama Administration, he said there has been growing convergence of views of the risks, threats and opportunities.”In part this convergence has come apart as we made monumental efforts to overcome specific areas of mistrust,” he said, adding that over the years the two countries have built habits of co-operation in discussing the challenge they face.Three regions where this co-operation has gained momentum are Afghanistan, Asia Pacific and Africa, he said.Maritime security is the key area of co-operation between the two countries.Over the last few years, the US has significantly increased its consultations with India on their shared interest in Afghanistan, he said.India, he said has played an important role in the collective effort of bringing stability and prosperity to that war-torn country, committing more than USD 2 billion in assistance.The Commander of US forces in Afghanistan now regularly travels to New Delhi to exchange views with Indian leaders, he said.Lavoy said it is fair to say that the US India defense relationship has matured in the last eight years than any period in US history.

Trump says ‘shackles’ are off, assails U.S. House speaker, McCain | Reuters

By John Whitesides and Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON Presidential candidate Donald Trump angrily lashed out at U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and other “disloyal” Republicans on Tuesday and vowed to campaign in whatever style he wants now that the party establishment has largely abandoned him.Trump condemned the Republicans who have backed away from his White House run in a barrage of stinging Twitter posts, deepening a dramatic rift in the party over his struggling campaign.”It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to,” Trump said on Twitter, adding he would engage Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on his own terms.Describing “disloyal” Republicans as more difficult than Clinton he said, “They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win – I will teach them!”A string of Republicans have distanced themselves from Trump since a 2005 video surfaced on Friday showing him bragging crudely to a reporter about groping women and making unwanted sexual advances.Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, told party lawmakers on Monday he was breaking with Trump and would not campaign for him, all but conceding Clinton would win the Nov. 8 election. The move angered some Trump supporters, although Ryan said he would not withdraw his endorsement of the New York businessman.Trump slammed Ryan as a “very weak and ineffective leader” and complained in another tweet that it was hard to do well with “zero support” from Ryan and others. He also took aim at U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, who said on Saturday that he could not vote for Trump.”The very foul mouthed Sen. John McCain begged for my support during his primary (I gave, he won), then dropped me over locker room remarks,” Trump said. There was no immediate reaction from McCain, who secured his primary election win in August. Trump, whose campaign has been marked for months by controversies over both his policies and his brash style, has slipped further behind Clinton in opinion polls.A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken after a Sunday’s debate and released on Tuesday showed Clinton with a 9-point lead on Trump, winning 46 percent of likely voters compared to Trump’s 37 percent.

Many Republicans are worried his chaotic campaign could hurt their chances of holding majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate in next month’s election, and will inflict long-term damage on the party.PARTY REVOLT
In an extraordinary party revolt, nearly half of all 331 incumbent Republican senators, House members and governors have condemned Trump’s lewd remarks on the video, and roughly one in 10 have called for him to drop out of the race, a Reuters review of official statements and local news coverage indicates.Unlike Ryan, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told RNC members on Monday that the committee, the party’s leadership and fundraising arm, still backed Trump, two RNC members told Reuters.

Trump’s vice presidential running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, reinforced his support in television interviews on Monday.New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a former rival for the White House who has became a close ally of Trump, also reaffirmed his backing although he called Trump’s comments in the 2005 video “completely indefensible.” Trump, 70, who has portrayed himself as tough on national security, released a hard-hitting television advertisement on Tuesday featuring footage of Clinton, a 68-year-old former secretary of state, stumbling last month after leaving a service commemorating the Sept. 11 attacks. Her campaign said she had been diagnosed a few days earlier with pneumonia.”Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the fortitude, strength or stamina to lead in our world,” the ad’s narrator says. “She failed as secretary of state. Don’t let her fail us again.

Both Trump and Clinton headed to the key battleground state of Florida on Tuesday.Ahead of her Florida rally with former Vice President Al Gore, Clinton told a Miami radio station that Trump had “insulted everyone.””People need to understand what’s at stake in this election,” she told WMBM.The White House said on Tuesday that Trump’s remarks about groping women in the video amounted to sexual assault. President Barack Obama had found the comments repugnant, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Air Force One.The Reuters/Ipsos State of the Nation project released on Monday estimated that Clinton had at least a 95 percent chance of winning the 270 Electoral College votes needed to become president. The polling did not capture reaction to Trump’s performance in Sunday’s debate or Friday’s news reports on the video.Clinton, the first woman to be picked as a presidential nominee by a major U.S. party, tried to focus on issues that could win over undecided women voters on Tuesday, proposing to expand the child tax credit so more low-income families can benefit and to increase by $1,000 a year the tax credit available to families for each child up to age 4. (Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu and Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Frances Kerry)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

dna Morning Must Reads: Political battle in UP overtakes surgical strikes; highlights of MadeByGoogle event and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Political battle overtakes surgical strikes; parties speak in different voicesThe rare political consensus seen immediately after the surgical strikes across the LoC has started falling apart at the seams. The Opposition fear that it could burnish the BJP’s image ahead of the forthcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Punjab. Read more2. Dadri lynching case: Mohammed Akhlaq’s murder accused dies of kidney and respiratory failureOne of the accused in the infamous Dadri lynching case died Dadri lynching case died on Tuesday of kidney and respiratory failure at a hospital in New Delhi. Read details3. MadeByGoogle event: Pixel smartphones, Daydream VR and other key announcementsAt San Francisco, Google announced its new line of hardware – Pixels smartphones, Daydream VR, Google Home, Google WiFi, and Chromecast. We take a look at all new the new products, in detail. Read more4. Film piracy bigger issue than artistes’ ban: CBFC chief Pahlaj NihalaniThe ban on Pakistan artistes is not the real issue. It’s not another film personality or a military man saying that, but the chief of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) himself. Read his exclusive interview with dna.5. With 613,830 signatures, White House petition seeking to declare Pak ‘terror sponsor’ creates recordMore than 50,000 new signatures have been added to the final count of the White House petition seeking to designate Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, making it the most popular US petition so far. Read more

White House applauds India’s ratification of climate deal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The White House has applauded India’s ratification of the Paris Agreement, saying the move would bring the two countries closer than ever to achieve climate change goals.”After the United States joined in September, India’s joining represents the fulfillment of that shared objective and a significant step towards the Paris Agreement entering into force this year,” Ned Price, spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council told PTI yesterday, a day after India ratified the climate deal.”Full implementation of this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change, and pave the way for more progress in the coming years. We applaud India’s action in moving us ever closer to achieving this goal,” Price said.”In June of this year, during his visit to Washington, Prime Minister Modi and President Obama discussed their shared vision for a rapid entry into force of the Paris Agreement this year,” he added.Last December, more than 190 countries adopted the Paris Agreement. At least 55 countries representing minimum 55 percent of global emissions need to formally join the agreement before it comes into force.The State Department too lauded India and described the step as “fantastic news.””We welcome this. This is fantastic news. India, like many countries, has been working to complete its domestic process as quickly as possible. We are very encouraged,” the State Department Spokesperson, Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters yesterday.

India pulls out of Saarc: US calls for de-escalation in Indo-Pak political discourse

Washington: The US has called for “de-escalation of the political discourse” between India and Pakistan amid the war of words between the two nations after Uri terror attack that prompted New Delhi to pull out of the Saarc Summit in Islamabad in November.

The state department also said it would continue to put pressure on them to respond to those groups who are seeking safe haven on Pakistan’s borders.

Representational image.  AFP

Representational image. AFP

“What we have said it many times from the podium – is we want to see closer and normalisation of relationship between India and Pakistan,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said told reporters at his daily news conference.

“It would benefit the region. We want to see the de-escalation in the political discourse between the two countries and greater communication and coordination between them,” Toner said.

At the same time, the State Department refrained from commenting on India’s decision to pull out of the Saarc Summit.

“I would refer you to the Government of India to comment on their decision not to attend this meeting,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said.

He said it is not for the US to “offer a prescription” to de-escalate tension between the two South Asian neighbour.

“It is in mutual interest for both the countries to put aside tensions and establish more normal channels of communication,” the deputy spokesperson said.

“While we have seen Pakistan make progress on some of the terrorist groups operating within its own borders and carrying out attacks within its borders, we continue to put pressure on them to respond to those groups who are seeking safe haven on Pakistan’s borders,” Toner added.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the US have continued to “encourage India and Pakistan to find ways to resolve their differences, not through violence, but through diplomacy.”

“We have condemned violence, particularly terrorist attacks,” he said.

He was responding to a question on India’s decision not to attend the Saarc Summit in Islamabad in November citing continuous cross-border terrorism by Pakistan against India.

White House lauds PM Modi’s announcement on ratification of Paris agreement

Washington: The White House on Wednesday lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s announcement that India would ratify the Paris agreement on climate change on 2 October, saying this is another example of his courageous leadership.

PM Narendra Modi. GettyImages

PM Narendra Modi. GettyImages

“We welcome the actions from the Indian government. It is just another example of the courageous leadership that Prime Minister Modi has shown on this issue. And that’s to his credit,” the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference on Tuesday.

“He (Modi) recognises how important it is for India to be a leader in the international community on this issue. And he’s making good on that priority, and he deserves a lot of credit for that.”

“And I know that the President, when he met with Prime Minister Modi earlier this month in Laos, had an opportunity to thank him for his leadership on this issue,” Earnest said.

The US President Barack Obama met the Prime Minister in Laos early this month on the sidelines of the Asean Summit.

India’s ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change is expected to bring the agreement closer to be being enforced.

It can take effect only once 55 countries, representing 55 percent of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions, ratify it.

So far, 60 countries have done so, including the largest emitters, the US and China, fulfilling the first condition.

India’s ratification would bring it closer to 52 per cent, World Resources Institute said.

“We have not put a firm deadline for ratification of the climate agreement, other than to say we expect the agreement to enter into force by the end of this calendar year.

I don’t know if it will be done by the first week in November,” he said when asked about the upcoming UN meet on climate change in Morocco in the first week of November.

“However, as important as the Paris climate agreement is, and how significant it is that this agreement is going into effect within a year’s time, it’s only a starting point.”

“And the President is hopeful that the significance of this agreement is not that it solves the problem of carbon pollution once and for all, but rather it serves as a template to mobilise the international community to take coordinated, substantial steps to addressing this problem,” he said.

“It sets up a mechanism whereby every five years’ countries consider the commitments that they can make to further fight carbon pollution.”

“And the impact of this agreement is one that is likely to be seen only after it’s been in place for a substantial period of time.”

“And we’ve been able to see the progress the country, that the world, that the planet makes in confronting this challenge, and as the world continues to more effectively cooperate to confront this shared threat,” Earnest said.

Clinton campaign hits Trump for seeing Brexit as boon to his business | Reuters

WASHINGTON Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign accused Donald Trump on Sunday of caring more about how Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union would benefit his financial bottom line than how it would impact the U.S. economy.

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook acknowledged parallels between the populist anger and anti-establishment fervor that fueled the Brexit vote and Trump’s rise to the nomination, but said the Republican candidate’s reaction showed he was not fit to occupy the White House.

“Hillary Clinton looks at this through the lens of how it’s going to affect middle-class families, Donald Trump through the lens of how it will help his bottom line,” Mook said on “Fox News Sunday.”

In a national television ad released on Sunday, the Clinton campaign featured the wealthy real estate developer’s comments on Friday that the fall of the British currency after the Brexit vote could mean more business for his golf course in Turnberry, Scotland, where he was speaking.

“Every president is tested by world events, but Donald Trump thinks about how his golf resort can profit from them,” said the 30-second ad.

Paul Manafort, campaign chairman for Trump, rejected the Clinton charge and said Trump was more in sync with the global economic frustration exemplified by the Brexit vote. In contrast, the Clinton ad showed her campaign’s “tone deafness” by focusing on things the American people did not care about, he said.

“The American people care about what is going to happen to their lives, about change. And the issues of Brexit, this kind of phony ad, doesn’t address those things,” Manafort said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”


Global stock markets nosedived on Friday and economic experts warned of a potential global recession after the shocking British vote to pull out of the European Union. As the terms of the exit became mired in turmoil over the weekend, markets prepared for the possibility of more pain on Monday.

The unexpected outcome quickly reverberated through the Nov. 8 race for the White House on Friday. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, called Brexit a model for his insurgent campaign, while Clinton, his likely Democratic rival, said the uncertainty underscores the need for “calm, steady, experienced leadership.”

Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the Brexit vote highlighted global anxieties about economic stagnation and immigration.

“The genius of what’s happened with the candidacy of Donald Trump is he’s given voice to that, just as was given in the UK,” Corker, who has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick for Trump, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

He said he thought Trump’s appearance at his golf course in Scotland after the Brexit vote “was one of his best events” and his comments about the British currency and what it would mean for his businesses were just “an anecdotal statement” about its effects.

“He was giving an example, which is obvious, that when the currency fluctuates, as it does, more Americans are going to be able to travel to the U.K. more cheaply,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said the Brexit vote showed people were tired of being dictated to by “unelected bureaucrats in Brussels,” and said there were parallels in the United States.

“You see the same thing here. We have had a regulatory rampage over the last six years. A lot of the people the president has put on these boards and commissions in his government are pursuing policies that we haven’t passed in Congress,” McConnell said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who built his White House campaign against Clinton around populist proposals to eradicate income inequality, remove big money from politics and rein in Wall Street, said the Brexit vote encapsulated many of those concerns.

“What ordinary people are saying is ‘hey, give us an economy that works for all of us, not just the people on top,’ and I think that is to a significant degree what this Brexit vote was about,” Sanders said on CNN.

(Additional reporting by Caren Bohan and Julia Harte; Editing by Mary Milliken)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Hope Obama’s successor takes India-US ties further: White House

Washington: The White House hopes that the outgoing US President Barack Obama’s successor would understand the significance of India-US ties and take it further.

“Hopefully, the President’s successor in the oval office will be somebody who recognises how important it is to build on the strong US-India relationship that’s been established under the leadership of President Obama and Prime Minister Modi,” the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.

Representational image. News 18

Representational image. News 18

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, was just at the White House a couple of weeks ago.

“That gave both leaders an opportunity to spend time together and to, not just deepen their personal relationship, but actually strengthen the relationship between our two countries,” he said in response to a question.

“In the seven months that the President has remaining in office, I’m confident that he will continue to work closely with Prime Minister Modi to advance our shared goals,” he said.

Earnest said there is a shared commitment between India and the US to fight against terrorism.

“There is a shared commitment to the idea that using violence or threat to accomplish a political goal, goes against everything that we believe in,” he said.

“It goes against everything that we stand for and it is a testament to the world’s two largest democracies that we are committed to resolving our differences — our political differences through a political process, that something is messy, that sometimes is less than efficient, that sometimes takes longer than it should,” he noted.

“But a commitment to resolve our differences peacefully and in the context of an established political process and the rule of law, is something that binds the United States and India as the commitment to these principles is important,” Earnest said.

“That is why the United States and India have been able to work effectively to combat terrorism and we obviously value that a counter-terrorism relationship between our two countries and our cooperation on those issues has been enhanced under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and as a result of the effective working relationship between Prime Minister Modi and President Obama,” the White House Press Secretary said.

MTCR in hand, Modi, Obama to now put pressure on China over NSG

India received a major diplomatic boost on Tuesday, with members of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a key anti-proliferation grouping, agreeing to grant it membership. However, it still faces stiff opposition from China for an entry into the elite nuclear trading club, the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG).Sources said that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barrack Obama will coordinate to convince the Chinese leadership on the need for giving India access to nuclear materials at the G-20 summit scheduled in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The US president supported India’s candidature for NSG, saying it requires technology. It is believed that US-based Westinghouse will sign a deal with Nuclear Power Corporation of India by June 2017 for six nuclear reactors in India.Obama, while welcoming Modi, also talked about the necessity of concluding the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Modi pledged to ratify the agreement, but called for climate justice and help from the US and other countries to help India in clean energy.Modi, who held a two-hour-long talk with Obama in Washington, the seventh since he assumed office, called for a regime of climate justice. “Discussed with Modi how to bring Paris Climate Agreement into force as quickly as possible,” said Obama.India, US Export-Import Banks will work together for a competitive financing package for nuclear reactors. “Obama extended support to MTCR and NSG… will always be grateful,” Modi said. Obama said they also discussed regional security issues and decided to work together on cyber security issues.While there was no word on issues like logistical support and other defence-related agreements, the joint statement after the bilateral meeting indicates rejuvenated ties between the two nations, with the US not only backing India’s geopolitical ambitions, but also investing in the nation, with an aim to tap the $500- million Indian market.Indicating massive amount of investment from the US in India, Modi said: “India is a young country, with a population of 800 million beneath the age of 35. Our partnership with the US will immensely help,” Modi said. According to sources, Obama has assured massive amount of US investments, which would, in turn, create massive job opportunities in India.The deadline for the members of the 34-nation MTCR to raise objections to India’s entry expired on Monday without any objection.Analysts here believe that with India committing itself to join the Paris climate change deal this year, it would provide a “significant global momentum” towards the implementation of the agreement.”Both countries are committed to working together and with others to promote the full implementation of the Paris Agreement to address the urgent threats posed by the climate change,” the White House said after the Oval Office meeting between Obama and Modi.Modi and Obama also resolved to work together at the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) assembly to reach a successful outcome in addressing greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation.”Further, the two countries will pursue, under the leadership of the G20, to promote improved heavy-duty vehicle standards and efficiency in accordance with national priorities and capabilities,” the White House said.With 300 million people living without electricity and vast resources of coal, India needs financial commitments for an uninterrupted nuclear fuel supply for its reactors to switch over from fossil fuels.

India, US to work together for world peace: Prime Minister Modi

Washington: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India and the US will work together for peace and security in the world as US President Barack Obama stressed that wider cooperation between the two major democracies of the world will be helpful for developing countries.

Washington : Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks as US President Barack Obama looks on during their joint press briefing in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Tuesday. PTIWashington : Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks as US President Barack Obama looks on during their joint press briefing in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Tuesday. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama looks in the Oval Office of the White House. PTI

“India has made a name for itself as the fastest growing economy in the world,” Modi said in a joint address to media with Obama following bilateral talks in the Oval Office of the White House.

“We (India and the US) will work together for the world’s peace and security,” the Prime Minister said.

He said the two sides discussed a range of issues of cooperation from business and technology to governance.

“India and the US have been cooperating on global issues such as nuclear security, global warming and terrorism,” Modi said.

He also thanked Obama for his support to India’s membership in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Obama said India and the US were the largest democracies in the world.

“Our wider cooperation will be helpful for developing countries of the world,” he said.

“India is a young country and and we are aware of the talent it has. We will continue to work together in the future too.

This is be the seventh meeting between Modi and Obama as Prime Minister and President.

Modi arrived here on Monday from Switzerland on his second bilateral visit to the US after his trip in September, 2014. Prior to Switzerland, he visited Afghanistan and Qatar.

The Prime Minister is visiting the US at the invitation of Obama, who in the last year of his presidency is inviting a few world leaders with whom he shared a “close and productive working relationship”.

Obama: discussed with Modi how to speed enactment of climate pact | Reuters

WASHINGTON President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that he and visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed how to ensure a worldwide agreement forged in Paris to curb climate change could be enacted swiftly.

“We discussed how we can, as quickly as possible, bring the Paris agreement into force,” Obama told reporters during a meeting with Modi at the White House.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Editing by Franklin Paul)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Combative Trump says he raised $5.6 million for vets, bashes media | Reuters

NEW YORK Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday detailed $5.6 million in contributions he raised for military veterans, and sharply criticized the news media for questioning him for months about what happened to the money.

At a combative news conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan, the billionaire accused the media of failing to give him credit for raising the funds at an event in January in Iowa.

“The press should be ashamed of themselves,” he told reporters gathered before him. “You make me look very bad. I’ve never received such bad publicity for doing a good job.”

He called an ABC News reporter at the event, Tom Llamas, “a sleaze” and described Jim Acosta of CNN as “a real beauty.”

Trump’s tirade flew in the face of the hopes of some Republican leaders who want him to tone down his rhetoric and become more magnanimous now that he has sealed the Republican presidential nomination for the Nov. 8 election.

Trump, whose bellicose language has been a trademark of an insurgent candidacy that has upended the Republican Party, has shown no signs of doing so.

While Trump has long had an adversarial relationship with the media, the donations to veterans touched a raw nerve with him. Reporters have been persistently questioning whether he in fact raised all the money he said he had in January and why it had taken so long to hand donations over to veterans groups.

The Washington Post said Trump only handed over a personal donation of $1 million last week — four months after announcing it — once the newspaper started asking questions about the money.

Trump said the coverage of his veterans group donations had been close to libelous. Asked whether he would keep his adversarial stance with reporters if elected president, Trump said: “Yeah, it’s going to be like this.”

A reporter told Trump he seemed resistant to the kind of scrutiny that comes with the office of U.S. president.

But Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush, said the news media should stop fretting about how Trump treats them.

“My advice to the press: Stop interviewing yourselves about Trump’s attack on the press. Don’t worry about it. Just do your jobs and be fair,” he said.


The campaign of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton sought to take advantage of Trump’s discomfort by holding a conference call with reporters to accuse him of hypocrisy over veterans’ issues.

John Douglass, a retired Air Force general and Clinton backer, raised Trump’s disparagement a year ago of U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona, a war veteran. Trump had said McCain, a former Vietnam prisoner of war, was not a hero because he got captured.

“For him to disparage that service is despicable and disgraceful,” Douglass said.

Clinton leads Trump by 11 percentage points in the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll. According to the May 27-31 survey of likely voters, 46 percent support the former U.S. secretary of state while 35 percent back Trump.

California Governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday endorsed Clinton for the Democratic nomination, saying it was the only way to “stop the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump.”

The New York real estate mogul in Tuesday also bristled at the possibility that Republicans opposed to him might run a third-party candidate as an alternative to Trump or the expected Democratic nominee Clinton.

He said a leader of that effort, Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard magazine, “looks like such a fool.”

“Let me tell you these people are losers,” said Trump, adding that a third-party candidacy would guarantee Clinton wins the White House and deny Republicans the chance to put conservatives on the Supreme Court.

“What you’re going to do is lose the election for the Republicans and therefore you lose the Supreme Court,” he said.

Trump read out a list of veterans’ organizations that had received money from the January event, which he attended instead of participating in a Fox News-sponsored candidates’ debate. He said the money was benefiting 41 groups and that the total of cash raised could climb as more comes in.

He turned the microphone over briefly to Al Baldasaro, a Trump supporter and a veteran from New Hampshire who also skewered the news media, saying reporters should “get your head out of your butt, focus on the real issues.”

(Additional reporting by Amanda Becker and Doina Chiacu; Writing by Steve Holland; Editing by Alistair Bell)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

PM Modi to meet Barack Obama, address US Congress next month

US President Barack Obama will meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington next month to discuss security and other issues and the Indian leader will be granted the rare honor of addressing both houses of Congress.The White House said Obama and Modi will discuss economic growth, climate change, clean energy, and security and defense cooperation during their June 7 meeting.It will be Modi’s fourth trip to the United States since he became prime minister in 2014.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The visit will highlight the deepening of the US-India relationship in key areas,” the White House said in a statement on Friday. The two countries’ partnership is seen as critical in Washington, which is seeking to counterbalance China’s increasing power.Modi will address a joint meeting of the US Congress, an opportunity extended to few foreign leaders, the day after the White House meeting, US House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a tweet.The invitation is a sharp turnaround for Modi, who was once barred from the United States over massacres of Muslims. Last year there were only two joint addresses to Congress – by Pope Francis and by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, another important US ally in Asia.In 2005, then-US President George W. Bush’s administration denied Modi a visa, citing a 1998 US law barring entry to foreigners who have committed “particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in sectarian riots in Gujarat in 2002 when Modi had just become the state’s chief minister. Modi has denied any wrongdoing, and India’s Supreme Court n 2010 ruled there was no case.Obama, who has adopted a “pivot to Asia” strategy and is keen to encourage a greater Indian military role in East Asia, quickly dismissed the issue by inviting Modi to the White House as soon as he called to congratulate him on winning the 2014 election.The United States is also keen to encourage greater business and trade with India.Progress has been only gradual, but in late March, the chief executive of US nuclear reactor maker Westinghouse Electric said he expected to sign a deal in June to build six reactors in India after marathon negotiations that began more than a decade ago.The deal would be the first nuclear commercial power project since the United States and India agreed in 2008 to cooperate in the civil nuclear arena. Westinghouse is owned by Japan’s Toshiba Corp.

Discussion underway on PM Modi’s potential US visit, confirms White House

Indian and American officials are holding discussions on a potential visit of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US, the White House has said.”I know that there been some discussion about the potential of Prime Minister Modi visiting Washington and visiting the White House,” the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference on Friday. At this point of time, there is no “update” on those discussions, he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day earlier, the US India Business Council (USIBC) announced that Modi would address its annual gala in Washington on June 7. The Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan has invited Modi to address a joint meeting of the US Congress on June 8. Prime Minister’s Office has not made any conformation of these meetings yet.If it happens, this would be Modi’s fourth visit to the US and third to Washington after he became the Prime Minister in May 2014. His earlier visits were in September 2014 (Washington Dc and New York), September 2015 (New York and Silicon Valley) and March-April 2016 (Washington DC).

In talks with Indian officials on Narendra Modi’s US visit: White House

Washington: The White House is in talks with Indian officials on Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s proposed visit to the US, a presidential spokesman said on Thursday after House of Representative Speaker Paul Ryan announced that Modi has been invited to address a joint meeting of the Congress on 8 June.

PM Narendra Modi. AFP

PM Narendra Modi. AFP

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, however, did not indicate if a final decision has been taken in this regard or if the formal invitation to Modi by President Barack Obama has been sent.

Obama, he said, “enjoys his relationship” with Modi.

“The President appreciates the important role played by Prime Minister Modi in the success of Paris Summit on Climate Change last November,” he said.

“The White House has been in close touch with a range of Indian officials to discuss a potential visit by Prime Minister Modi to Washington. We’re still engaged in those discussions. Obviously the President has a strong working relationship with Prime Minister Modi,” Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.

“President Obama has complemented the important role that Prime Minister Modi played in Paris in ensuring the successful completion of the Paris climate talks. The President had a long meeting with Prime Minister Modi in the context of that international meeting,” he said.

Modi participated in the Nuclear Security Summit that was convened in Washington just last month, he noted.

“And of course, President Obama at the beginning of last year had an opportunity to be the guest of honour at India’s Republic Day celebration. That obviously was a memorable visit for the President and he was the first President to be so honoured,” Earnest said.

“They obviously have a strong working relationship and, you know, we’re in conversations with them about scheduling a visit,” the presidential spokesman said.

Modi, who was invited by President Barack Obama for a bilateral visit when he was here for the nuclear summit, will be the fifth prime minister of India to address a joint meeting of Congress, and the first since 2005.

Earlier, Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh (19 July, 2005), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (14 September, 2000), PV Narasimha Rao (18 May, 1994) and Rajiv Gandhi (13 July, 1985) addressed the joint meeting of the US Congress.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, US NSA Rice discuss bilateral issues in Washington

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar has met with US National Security Adviser Susan Rice and discussed a wide range of bilateral issues including cooperation on climate change, trade and defence.”Rice and Jaishankar affirmed their commitment to deepening bilateral cooperation on climate change, trade, and defence,” spokesman of the National Security Council of the White House Ned Price said on Wednesday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They also discussed critical follow-on to the Paris Agreement, progress in civil-nuclear cooperation, ongoing support for India’s membership in the multilateral export control regimes, next steps in the Global Health Security Agenda, and opportunities for expanded security and counter-terrorism cooperation, Price said in a statement.The Indian Foreign Secretary is on a visit to Washington and expected to meet the Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken today. The visit of the foreign secretary comes wherein speculation is rife that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit the United States in early June. However, there has been no official word from either New Delhi or the White House in this regard.Last week, a bipartisan group of four powerful American lawmakers in a letter urged Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan to invite Modi to address a joint meeting of the US Congress during his visit to Washington which according to them is expected to be on June 7 and 8. “The visit will represent Prime Minister Modi’s fourth trip to the United States in two years, highlighting the robust nature of US-India relations. The number of reciprocal visits by the two leaders is unprecedented and hopefully portends the beginning of a new norm in the bilateral relationship,” said Ronak D Desai, a fellow at New America and an affiliate at the Belfer Center’s India and South Asia Program at Harvard University.”Prime Minister Modi’s trip to the United States is an opportunity for the two countries to continue focusing on those areas of mutual convergence, include defense, energy cooperation, and disaster management. At the same time, it should allow both leaders to frankly address ongoing irritants in the relationship and ensure these challenges do not fundamentally undermine the strategic logic underlying the US-India partnership,” Desai said.

Modi in US: Nuclear security must remain abiding national priority, says PM

Nuclear security must remain an abiding national priority, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said, insisting that all countries must completely adhere to their international obligations.”Nuclear security must remain an abiding national priority. All States must completely abide by their international obligations,” Modi said in his intervention during a White House dinner hosted by US President Barack Obama that formally kicked off the two-day Nuclear Security Summit.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi was seated next to Obama during the White House dinner which was attended by heads of States of more than 20 countries in the US capital for the fourth edition of the Nuclear Security Summit.Praising the US President for his initiative on nuclear security, Modi said Obama’s legacy must endure.”By putting spotlight on nuclear security, Obama has done great service to global security,” he said.Dwelling at length on the threat posed by terrorism to the world, the Prime Minister said the Brussels attacks show how real and immediate the threat is to nuclear security from terrorism.Outlining three contemporary features of terror that the world should focus on, Modi said today’s terrorism uses extreme violence as ‘theatre’.”Second, we are no longer looking for a man in a cave, but we are hunting for a terrorist in a city with a computer or a smart phone. Third, state actors working with nuclear traffickers and terrorists present the greatest risk,” he said.Noting that terror has evolved, Modi said terrorists are using 21st century technology, “but our responses are rooted in the past”.The reach and supply chains of terrorism are global, but genuine cooperation between nation states is not, Modi said.”Drop the notion that terrorism is someone else’s problem and that ‘his’ terrorist is not ‘my’ terrorist.”Terrorism is globally networked. But, we still act only nationally to counter this threat,” he told the international community.

The road to sedition: Search for ‘anti-national’ or ‘sedition’ on Google maps points to JNU

A search on Google Maps with the key words ‘anti-national’ or ‘sedition’ leads one to Jawaharlal Nehru University  (JNU) in New Delhi.

A report in Hindustan Times said that professor and students at the University were not pleased with this bizarre development adding that they will take up the matter with Google.

The report showed how different people at JNU reacted to this. Some were offended by what seems like glitch on Google’s part, while some chose to laugh it off, but most of the students interviewed felt that Google should take it down as soon as possible.

Screenshot of Google Maps locating JNU for the keyword 'antinational'.

Screenshot of Google Maps locating JNU for the keyword ‘antinational’.

JNU has been in the eye of the storm since it’s student body’s president, Kanhaiya Kumar along with other students including  Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were accused and arrested for sedition. All three are out on bail. Kanhaiya has already launched an attack against the BJP  government.

The JNU situation, while not as volatile anymore, may get raked up again after Google’s blunder.

However, this is not the first time Google maps has made a faux pas. In May 2015, a search for ‘nigger king’ or ‘nigger house’ on Google maps landed on the White House. Google was quick to issue an apology saying  ‘inappropriate results’ have been surfacing on Google and that they will fix it immediately.

Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa announces Rs 318 crore Pongal gift pack for 1.91 crore PDS card holders

“This step by me will benefit 1.91 crore families and will help the poor people celebrate the Pongal festival with pomp and fervour,” she said.

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Delhi HC to AAP: Why can’t you restrict odd-even scheme to a week?

However, the Delhi government has claimed success of the odd-even scheme. It said that the cut in vehicular emission due to rolling out of the odd-even scheme has resulted “definitive decline” in levels of PM2.5 pollutants.

dna Web Team

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