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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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US strike in Somalia killed 60 militants, Pentagon says

This was the deadliest air strike since November 2017 when 100 militants were killed, the statement added.

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The US military says it believes some 60 al-Shabab militants were killed by one of its air strikes in central Somalia on Friday.

The “precision” strike around Harardere did not injure or kill civilians, it added in a statement.

The US said the attack was carried out as part of a joint effort with Somali forces to hit the al-Shabab group.

Al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, has not yet commented.

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Windies coach banned for first 2 ODIs for ICC code breach

The incident took place on Sunday afternoon when Law, following the dismissal of Kieran Powell, went to the TV umpire’s room and made inappropriate comments.

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West Indies coach Stuart Law

Dubai, Oct 16 : West Indies coach Stuart Law has been suspended for his team’s first two One-day Internationals (ODI) against India – on October 21 and 24 – following a breach of the ICC Code of Conduct during the second Test in Hyderabad.

Besides the ban, Law was penalised 100 percent of his match fee and slapped three demerit points. This means his accumulated demerit points reached four within a 24-month period leading to the two-match ban.

Law had previously received a 25 percent match fee fine and one demerit point in May 2017 for a similar transgression during the Dominica Test against Pakistan.

“Law was found guilty of breaching Level 2 Article 2.7 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to ‘Public criticism of, or inappropriate comment in relation to an incident occurring in an international match or any Player, Player Support Personnel, Match Official or team participating in any international match, irrespective of when such criticism or inappropriate comment is made,” an ICC statement read.

The incident took place on Sunday afternoon when Law, following the dismissal of Kieran Powell, went to the TV umpire’s room and made inappropriate comments.

He then walked to the fourth umpire’s area and in the presence of the players, again directed inappropriate comments at the fourth official.

“On Monday, Law admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by ICC match referee Chris Broad and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing,” the statement further read.

The charges were levelled by on-field umpires Bruce Oxenford and Ian Gould, third umpire Nigel Llong and fourth official Nitin Menon.

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Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen passes away

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Image Credit: Mat Hayward/Getty Images

Seattle, Oct 16: Paul Allen, who along with Bill Gates founded Microsoft 43 years ago has passed away, his family announced. He was 65.

In a statement, Allen’s relatives said that the businessman died on Monday afternoon in Seattle, where Microsoft has its headquarters, from non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level,” his sister Jody said in a statement.

“While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend.”

Despite always staying in the shadow of Gates, his partner and friend since they were teenagers, Allen was a passionate lover of computers and a key figure in the creation of Microsoft in 1975.

“Paul Allen’s contributions to our company, our industry and to our community are indispensable. As co-founder of Microsoft, in his own quiet and persistent way, he created magical products, experiences and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world,” CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.

“I have learned so much from him – his inquisitiveness, curiosity and push for high standards are something that will continue to inspire me and all of us at Microsoft,” he added.

According to Forbes magazine, Allen — born in Seattle in 1953 and whose fortune amounted to some $21.7 billion — was the world’s 44th-richest person.

With the money he made from the software company, Allen — together with his sister Jody — founded the Seattle-based Vulcan Inc. conglomerate, which managed his private investments and his philanthropic activities.

“I have the honour to work at Microsoft because of the early work of Paul Allen. Paul has had immeasurable impact on the tech industry and the Seattle community. He will be deeply missed,” tweeted company President Brad Smith.

The Microsoft co-founder was also the owner of a professional football team, the Seattle Seahawks; a pro basketball team, the Portland Trail Blazers; and was the part-owner of a soccer team, the Seattle Sounders.

His philanthropic work includes creating organisations devoted to research such as the Allen Institute for Brain Science, along with the Institute for Artificial Intelligence and the Institute for Cell Science, both of which also bear his name.

IANS

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