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Al-Shabab attack on Mogadishu hotel kills 35

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At least 35 people were killed and dozens more wounded when armed gunmen stormed a hotel in Somalia’s Mogadishu and a suicide car bomb attack .
The gunmen took an undetermined number of guests hostages inside the hotel and kiled  many people by indiscriminating fire at everyone they could see.
The hour-long siege  ended and the security forces had retaken control of the building
The car-bomb blast came about 4:30 p.m. and produced a large column of smoke over the Nasa-Hablod Hotel in Mogadishu, frequented by politicians and sporadic gunfire continued to be heard in the hours after the explosion.
Islamist extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the hotel attacks in Mogadishu  that began with a car bomb at the entry gate .”We have eneded the seige  the last remianing militants were killed on the top floor” police captain Mohamed Hussein said
Initially, nine people, including several hotel security guards, had been reported killed and later in the day this figure was raised to 18, but police officer Abdullahi Gardhere, who was on the scene, confirmed to EFE that the fatalities numbered 35.
The Al Shabaab jihadist group in 2012 announced its affiliation with Al Qaeda and its fight to install an Islamic state under Sharia law in Somalia.

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Twitter bans Russia-linked accounts following US indictments

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TWITTER

San Francisco, July 15 :In response to the US’ indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers for hacking into the Democrats’ emails during the 2016 presidential campaign, Twitter has banned accounts for both Moscow-linked DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0.

They were “connected to a network of accounts” that had already been shut down for violating rules, a Twitter spokesperson told Engadget of the suspensions on Saturday.

At the same time, Twitter was aware that the shutdowns were considered overdue and the indictments just formalised the connections, the company added.

“We’re reviewing our policies in light of this and expect to make updates soon,” Twitter told The New York Times in a separate statement.

“We recognise that to promote healthy conversation we need to be responsive to ways the platform is being misused and we are committed to that here and everywhere,” the company added.

It’s not certain what those changes might be.

However, Twitter has faced more than a handful of accusations that it only belatedly recognised the threat of electoral interference on its platform, with bot purges, candidate labels and other anti-manipulation tactics only coming after the 2016 US presidential vote.

This may be an acknowledgment that it needs to be more proactive in dealing with accounts linked to hacking and other criminal activity, especially when politics are involved.(IANS)

 

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UK Minister Andrew Griffiths resigns over ‘sexting’ exposé

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London, July 15: Andrew Griffiths, the minister for small business in the United Kingdom, also a prominent supporter of Pakistan, resigned from the government after being found to have sent more than 2000 text messages of a sexual nature to two female constituents.

He is a former chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, a UK-based forum, which he used to push Pakistan’s position on Kashmir.

The 47-year-old minister, after resigning, released a statement apologising for his inappropriate behavior.

Across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat,  Griffiths reportedly sent more than 2,000 messages in three weeks to  two barmaids: Treharne and another woman.

Treharne said she “always asked him about his interests” but that the conversation “always turned back to sex”.

The Guardian quoted the minister’s statement as saying, “I am deeply ashamed at my behaviour which has caused untold distress to my wife and family, to whom I owe everything, and deep embarrassment to the prime minister and the government I am so proud to serve.”

He added, “I tendered my resignation as parliamentary under secretary of state for small business on Friday night.”The minister, a former chief of staff to Prime Minister Theresa May, said that he would be seeking professional help to address the issue of sending sexually explicit texts to the women of his constituency.

He said, “I do not seek to excuse my behaviour and will be seeking professional help to ensure it never happens again. In time I hope to earn the forgiveness of all those who put their trust in me and that I have let down so terribly. The prime minister and the government she leads will continue to have my full support.”
The Guardian, quoted the Sunday Mirror as terming the content of Griffiths’ messages as ‘depraved’.

The Sunday Mirror said, “In a string of texts Griffiths called himself “Daddy”, promised money if he received racy images and described perverted and rough sex he claimed to have had with other women.”

He is a former Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, a forum he used to push Pakistan’s position in Kashmir in the United Kingdom.

Griffiths, MP for Burton, and Theresa May’s chief of staff in opposition between 2004 and 2006, told the Mirror he was “deeply ashamed”.

His behaviour had caused “untold distress” to his wife and family to whom he “owed everything”, he said.

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Trump blames Obama for Russian hacking

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Donald Trump

Washington, July 15 : US President Donald Trump blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama for not taking action to prevent the alleged Russian hacking attack into the computer networks of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC)  to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a bilateral summit on July 16 in Helsinki, in which the two leaders are expected to discuss the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, arms control, and Russia’s suspected meddling in the 2016 US election.

On Friday, a Grand Jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for participating in efforts to infiltrate those computer networks to obtain damaging information about Clinton and the DNC, which was then dumped online.

“The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration,” Trump said on Twitter.

This is the first time that the president has commented on the indictments presented Friday by Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.

“Why didn’t they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?” Trump said.

The accused hackers allegedly spread computer viruses through the email accounts of DNC and Clinton campaign staffers and volunteers, obtaining passwords that allowed them to access information.

The hackers then reportedly posed as US activists and used Facebook and Twitter to spread the information they obtained.

The Russian government has repeatedly denied that it had any role in the DNC and Clinton campaign hacking.

 

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