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World - Australia`s NSW state election set to greenlight blockbuster energy sell-off

By Byron Kaye SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Australian state of New South Wales is expected to re-elect its conservative government on Saturday, endorsing the country`s largest ever privatization, the partial sale of a state-owned electricity network worth around A$17 billion ($13 billion). Electricity privatization has been a divisive issue in the country`s most populous state for two decades, but opinion polls suggest the state premier Mike Baird has won over voters with his promise to use the proceeds to fund road and rail projects to ease congestion in traffic-choked Sydney. With a population of more than 7 million, New South Wales (NSW) accounts for nearly a third of Australia`s national economy with gross domestic product expected to pass A$500 billion in the 2014/15 financial year. Some of the world`s biggest infrastructure investors including State Grid Corp of China [STGRD.UL] and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing`s Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd have lined up to bid for the NSW power asset, as have several of Australia`s top investment funds, according to local media.

Friday, March 27, 2015  04:44


World - U.S. drops graphic anti-Islamic State leaflets over Syria`s Raqqa

The United States has dropped tens of thousands of graphic leaflets southwest of the Syrian city of Raqqa aimed at discouraging Islamic State recruitment, officials said on Thursday. The grisly, cartoon-style leaflets show recruits lining up to be shoved into a meatgrinder and is part of what the Pentagon formally calls `Military Information Support Operations,` or MISO, meant to influence thinking on the battlefield. The Pentagon said a U.S. Air Force F-15 warplane dropped about 60,000 of the leaflets on March 16. `The message of this leaflet is that if you allow yourself to be recruited by Daesch (Islamic State), you will find yourself in a meat grinder,` said Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren.

Friday, March 27, 2015  02:16


Business - Great, now 3D printed rifles can fire 7.62mm NATO rounds

In 2013, Defense Distributed created the world`s first 3D printed handgun, the .38-caliber Liberator. The following year, they unveiled an AR-15 receiver capable of firing hundreds of 5.56mm rounds without ...

Friday, March 27, 2015  01:02


Business - Exclusive: Headhunter contacts Morgan Stanley`s Fleming about CEO job at BNY Mellon

By Lauren Tara LaCapra and Svea Herbst-Bayliss NEW YORK/BOSTON (Reuters) - At the prompting of at least one director of Bank of New York Mellon Corp, an executive recruiting firm has come up with a list of potential candidates to replace embattled CEO Gerald Hassell, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.     At least one of the candidates, Gregory Fleming, who runs wealth and investment management at Morgan Stanley, has been contacted by the recruiting firm Spencer Stuart to gauge his interest in the job at the world`s largest custody bank, according to the two individuals and two additional sources. The overture to Fleming does not appear to represent an official search effort by BNY Mellon`s full 15-member board, which has so far supported Hassell despite rising pressure from activist investors concerned by his performance. In a statement that it attributed to its board of directors, BNY Mellon said: `The Board is not conducting a search and fully supports our CEO. Any suggestion to the contrary is completely false.` A spokesman for BNY Mellon said that Hassell was not available to comment.

Thursday, March 26, 2015  23:30


World - UN creates watchdog for albino rights after surge in attacks

The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday decided to appoint an expert to investigate abuses suffered by albinos, who have faced a surge of attacks in east Africa. The resolution, presented by Algeria on behalf of the group of African states, comes after UN rights chief Zeid Ra`ad Al Hussein earlier this month decried a steep hike in attacks on albinos in east Africa. In the past six months, at least 15 people with albinism in Tanzania, Malawi and Burundi have been abducted, wounded, killed or escaped being kidnapped, his office said. The UN has warned that the surge in Tanzania could be linked to looming general and presidential elections in October 2015, as political campaigners may be turning to influential sorcerers to improve their odds.

Thursday, March 26, 2015  23:11


Europe - Court Blocks Jihadist Website Used to Recruit Turks to Islamic State

The court said that the website, Takva Haber, and its affiliate video site, Takva Tube, were spreading “terror propaganda.”

Wednesday, March 25, 2015  17:20


World - Turkish video alleges spy aided UK girls en route to Syria

By Humeyra Pamuk ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A Turkish broadcaster on Friday released what it said was footage of an alleged spy working for a country in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State helping three British school girls enter Syria via Turkey. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier said a spy who assisted the London school girls, now believed to have reached territory inside Syria controlled by Islamic State, had been caught and was a Syrian national. Islamic State seized large parts of Syria and Iraq last June, cementing their rule with a militant interpretation of Islamic law, and is drawing sympathizers from many countries to support their fight. Footage apparently shot on a mobile phone and released by broadcaster A Haber on its website, shows a man helping three girls unload luggage from a taxi in southeastern city of Gaziantep and then helping them into a silver minivan.

Friday, March 13, 2015  17:07


World - British girls were helped into Syria by spy from U.S.-led coalition

By Tulay Karadeniz ANKARA (Reuters) - A spy who worked for a country in the U.S.-led coalition that is fighting Islamic State had helped three British girls to cross into Syria to join the militants and has been caught, the Turkish foreign minister said on Thursday. The minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, told broadcaster A Haber in an interview: `He was caught. It turned out to be someone who works for the intelligence of a country from the coalition.` He didn`t say which country the spy was working for, but said it was not the European Union or the United States. A European security source familiar with the case of the three girls said the person in question had a connection with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) spy agency.

Thursday, March 12, 2015  18:42


World - Turkey detains spy for helping British girls join IS

Turkey on Thursday said it had detained an intelligence agent working for one of the states in the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State (IS) for helping three British teenage girls cross into Syria to join the jihadists. The surprise revelation by Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu appeared aimed at deflecting sustained criticism from Western countries that Turkey is failing to halt the flow of jihadists across its borders. He was someone working for the intelligence (service) of a country in the coalition,` Cavusoglu told the A-Haber channel in an interview published by the official Anatolia news agency. A Turkish government official told AFP that the agent was arrested by Turkey`s security forces 10 days ago, and added that the person was not a Turkish citizen.

Thursday, March 12, 2015  16:11


World - Turkey says spy detained for helping British girls join IS

Turkey on Thursday said an intelligence agent working for one of the states in the US-led coalition had been captured for helping three British teenage girls cross into Syria to join Islamic State (IS) jihadists. He was someone working for the intelligence (service) of a country in the coalition,` Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the A-Haber channel in an interview published by the official Anatolia news agency.

Thursday, March 12, 2015  13:58

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