MOSCOW: Russian authorities have extended US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden’s Russian residency permit by three years, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
Snowden’s residence permit has been extended “until 2020”, said ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
She had previously indicated on Facebook that Snowden’s permit had been extended by two years, using a phrase that can be ambiguous in Russian.
Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena confirmed to RIA Novosti state news agency that the Russian immigration service in early January extended Snowden’s permit by three years, while he has already spent more than three years in the country.
Kucherena added that if Snowden ends up staying in Russia for five years, he will be able to apply for Russian citizenship.
“This will be legally possible in the near future,” Kucherena said.
The former National Security Agency contractor shook the American intelligence establishment to its core in 2013 with a series of devastating leaks on mass surveillance in the US and around the world.
The announcement came as outgoing US President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of army private Chelsea Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for handing classified US documents to WikiLeaks. Snowden was not on Obama’s list of commutations or pardons.
Snowden has been living in exile in Russia since the summer of 2013, ending up in the country after spending weeks in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.
He was initially granted permission to stay in Russia for one year amid the rapid deterioration in Moscow’s relations with Washington.
Kucherena said Snowden “has quite an active life, he travels and visits the provinces, he works”.
The revelations from the documents he leaked sparked a massive row over the data sweeps conducted by the United States domestically and in allied nations, including of their leaders.
Snowden welcomed the action on Manning’s sentence, writing on Twitter: “Let it be said here in earnest, with good heart: Thanks, Obama.”
Asked about Snowden’s possible future given Obama’s decision, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Wednesday that “this isn’t a question for the Kremlin, we don’t have any information on what Mr Snowden is doing.”
A day before his departure from the White House as the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama made farewell calls to the leaders of India and Afghanistan.
In a telephone call to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday, Obama urged him to continue the power sharing arrangement negotiated by his administration.
A readout released by the White House said Chief Executive Officer Dr Abdullah Abdullah also joined in the conversation between Obama and the Afghan president.
“The president encouraged both leaders to continue their shared efforts to enhance national unity and support a lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan,” the readout said.
“President Obama expressed his deep appreciation for the steadfast partnership between the United States and Afghanistan.”
He commended the leaders for their commitment to the Afghan people and applauded the national unity government’s efforts to reduce corruption and support the rule of law.
In his call to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Obama discussed the progress in making India a major defence partner of the US, a process started by his administration.
He expressed his gratitude for the ‘partnership’ and reviewed with Modi joint efforts of cooperation “including defence, civil nuclear energy, and enhanced people-to-people ties”, the White House said.
“Both leaders discussed the progress they have made on shared economic and security priorities, including recognition of India as a major defence partner of the United States and addressing the global challenge of climate change.”
A high-rise building in Tehran engulfed by a fire collapsed on Thursday, killing at least 30 firefighters and injuring some 75 people, state media reported.
The disaster struck the Plasco building, an iconic structure in central Tehran just north of the capital’s sprawling bazaar.
Iran’s state-run Press TV announced the firefighters’ deaths, without giving a source for the information. Local Iranian state television said 30 civilians were injured in the disaster, while the state-run IRNA news agency said 45 firefighters had been injured.
Firefighters battled the blaze for several hours before the collapse. Police tried to keep out shopkeepers and others wanting to rush back in to collect their valuables.
However, witnesses said some people had slipped through and gone back in.
The building came down in a matter of seconds, shown live on state television, which had begun an interview with a journalist at the scene. A side of the building came down first, tumbling perilously close to a firefighter perched on a ladder and spraying water on the blaze.
A thick plume of brown smoke rose over the site after the collapse. Onlookers wailed in grief.
Tehran’s mayor, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, said rescuers were trying to dig through the rubble to reach those trapped inside.
Among those watching the disaster unfold was Masoumeh Kazemi who said she rushed to the building as her two sons and a brother had jobs in the garment workshops occupying the upper floors of the high-rise.
“I do not know where they are now,” Kazemi said, crying.
In a nearby intersection, Abbas Nikkhoo stood with tears in his eyes.
“My nephew was working in a workshop there,” he said. “He has been living with me since moving to Tehran last year from the north of the country in hopes of finding a job.”
Jalal Maleki, a fire department spokesman, earlier told Iranian state television that 10 firehouses responded to the blaze, which was first reported around 8am
The Iranian military sent units to help with the disaster, state television reported.
Several embassies are located near the building. Turkey’s state-run news agency, reporting from Tehran, said the Turkish Embassy was evacuated as a precaution, though it sustained no damage in the collapse.
The Plasco building was an iconic presence on the Tehran skyline.
The 17-story tower was built in the early 1960s by Iranian Jewish businessman Habib Elghanian and named after his plastics manufacturing company. It was the tallest building in the city at the time of its construction.
Elghanian was tried on charges that included espionage and executed in the months after the 1979 Islamic Revolution that brought the current ruling system to power a move that prompted many members of the country’s longstanding Jewish community to flee.
The tower is attached to a multistory shopping mall featuring a sky-lit atrium and a series of turquoise-colored fountains. It wasn’t immediately clear if the mall was damaged.
DAVOS: Russia is the main danger to the “liberal” world order, US Vice President Joe Biden told the Davos elite on Wednesday, in his final speech before leaving office.
US Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech on the second day of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday.—AP
US Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech on the second day of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday.—AP
Biden used the big stage of the World Economic Forum in the posh Swiss resort to warn of threats posed by the Kremlin two days before Donald Trump’s administration takes over in Washington.
Though he also mentioned China and threats from the Middle East, his attack on Vladimir Putin’s Russia was a direct warning to Trump, who is accused of cosying up to the Russian president.
“The greatest threat … springs from the external actors who equate their success on fracturing the liberal international order,” Biden said. “I’m not going to mince words, this movement is principally led by Russia,” added the 74-year-old, who used the Davos forum to promote his signature campaign against cancer.
Biden laid down his assessment a day after China’s President Xi Jinping gave a landmark speech at Davos that stressed his commitment to globalisation, in contradiction to Trump’s protectionist approach.
Putin is “working with every tool available to them to whittle away at the edges of the European project,” Biden told the Davos audience, who gave him a standing ovation as he came on stage.
Putin is “testing the faultlines among Western nations” and working to return the world to a system “defined by spheres of influence”. “We even saw it in the cyber intrusions against political parties and individuals in the United States,” he said, after a US intelligence report that Russia worked to tip the election in Trump’s favour. “Again, their purpose is clear, to collapse the liberal international order,” Biden said.
Biden also gave a heated defence of Nato after Trump on Monday slammed the US-led military alliance as “obsolete”. “The single greatest bulwark for our transatlantic partnership is the unshakable commitment of the United States to all our Nato allies,” Biden said. “An attack on one is an attack on all. That can never be called into question.”
Biden also had strong words for the world’s richest one percent, hugely represented in the Davos audience. “The top one percent are not carrying their weight,” he said, urging them to invest in education.
He also echoed Xi in warning against protectionism but stressed “that globalisation has not been an unalloyed good”. “It has deepened the rift between those racing ahead at the top and those struggling to hang on in the middle, or falling to the bottom,” he said.
Biden assured his audience that he would continue to fight for liberal values.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he has been questioned about holiday tookup with aghan khan.
investigation into the vacation could hurt Trudeau who came to power in 2015.
Trudeau is the most popular and recent prime minister , has taken a hit with electorate amid allegations he broke the rules .
He take a private helicopter to bell island a Bahamas resort owned by Agha khan.
It was a private vacation with a personal friend he told to the news in Fredericton.
I am answering questions that the ethics commissioner has for us on hat .
Trudeau did not elaborate the discussion with Dawson .
if the ethics commissioner rules against him
Trudeau could face a small a small fine.
Trudeau said he has known agha khan since childhood.
Trudeau is currently on a cross country tour,
Trudeau though that there is not immediate danger since the next election is not until october 2019 and both main opposition parties lack permanent leaders.
Nigerian state official said that air force fighter jet is on a mission that was against boko haram extremist has mistakenly bombed a refugee camp , killing more than hundred 100 refuges and aid workers.
Borno state goverment official is helping to co ordinate the evacuation of the wounded.
Maj Gen kucky Irabor military commander confirmed the accidental bombardment in the northwast Rann.
General said that the wounded are nigerians working for the doctors withour border and the international commitee of the red cross.
First time nigerian military has admitted a mistake
Malaysian airlines flight mh370 search has been called off by leaving unsolved mysteries of the world.
Three years this airplane was vanished and till now no part of this airplane found.
Despite the most modern technology of the world and the skilled professional are unable to find the airplane.
This jet disappread from kaula lampur to beijing.
THe news were that this airplane has been hijacked or reroute but since there was no evidence at all about this.
Deep water specialist scoured the occean floor at depths upto several thousand meteres before giving up the search.
Malaysian airlines has been suspended this search has thorough and comprehensive.
Relatives lashed out after this annoucement and to further proceed the search which cost $135 million
The end of search which has a joint operation of Australia china and malaysia was flagged months ago.
Authorities saying that absense of significiant information there was nothing more to go on
Spain king met with Saudi king during a visit coinciding with talks to sell Spanish warships.
Felipe is 48 and lunch hosted by salam 81 who decorated him with the cordon of king abdul Aziz, the highest Saudi honor for a foreigner .
They further discussed relations of two friendly nations and how to be merge in various fields.
They also discussed the situation about middle east
Felipe arrived late on Saturday.
Spanish minister said Minister Alfonso Dastis works minister inigo would accompany Felipe during the visit.
Spanish media linked this trip to sell Avante 200 corvettes for $2.1 billion.
Spain is the largest arm supporter in this world while Saudi is one of the biggest arms buyer in the region.
A saudi led coalition began to air strikes over Yemen almost 2 years ago.
Riyadh feared the the houthis would seize all Yemen and movie in to the orbit of Shia Iran, Sunni Saudi Arabia regional rival.
But air camping has faced criticism from rights groups over civilian casualties.
This year Saudi budget allocates 191 billion rivals for military.
97 billion riyals to pay for naval bases.
Rights groups said that Spanish sale to warships to Saudi would be illegal under international law.
Al Shoula a Spanish consortium is building a high speed railway across the desert to link the holy cites of Makkah and Median.
Afghan official said that the militant islamic group had kidnapped 14 clerics who were teachign at the school and two administrators.
Muhammad Asif Shiwari,spokesman provincial education department said three armed gun man took place over this weekend.
No one has claimed responsibility till now including Is.
Meanwhile IN northen afghanistan baglan province ,gunmen who shot and killed the senior government official.
Jet plane crashed on Monday in residential area outside the main airport in krygyztan.
The crash has killed 27 people, Emergency minstry said
Boing 747 crashed outside the manas Airport.
The people have been killed who are in the residential area adjacent to the airport.
Report od the dead people are 37 according to emergency officials.
15 children inclusing 6 are in the hospital.
Images of the crash show that the nose was stuck in the brick house.
The plane crash damaged 15 building in the village,said by crisis management centre at the emergencies.
The plane belonged to Istanbul based cargo the company ACt said the fault was unknown.
Turkey condolense on the incident meeting with kyrgyz counterpart.
Manas has been considerably expanded since the United stated began to operate a military installation at the manas airport for operations in Afghanistan.
Amnericans troops vacated the base and handover it to the krygyz military in 2014.
i woke up because of the bright red light , an injured survivor said.
i could’nt understand what was happgning the walls were tearing apart and i take action to save my son so that the debris could not fall on him.
More than 1000 rescue workers rushed at the place .
krgyz emergency situations said the it was foggy at Manas and when the plane came down the wheather was not critical.
Till now no flight recorder has been found.
Earlier reports show that the jet belonged to Turkish Airlines.
Somehow Turkish airlines claimed that no incident has been happen to turkish airlines cargo.
Mexican resort of playa del carmen , a shooting have been reported in two clubs
during the close night of BPM electronic festival.
The people who were present at that time they told that they have heard the shots and they claim that 5 people could have been killed.
But there has been no confirmation yet.
Another shooting were reported at jungle.
Thes festival is popular in USA and united kingdom.
THE BPM festival ran for 10 days and more than 375 musicians , DJS and artists
China makes war
In addition Chinese textbooks currently date the Chinese people war of resistance against Japanese aggression to july 7,1937 and the event which came to full scale invasion is the event of Marco polo.
Moreover The new guidelines delivered to all the schools and universities that push back tehe start date of the Mukden incident of sept 18 1931,after which Tokyo forces occupied Manchuria in north eastern china.
Above all The initial years of Japanese were the part of same whole .
Ministry said that the change was intended to strenthen patriotic education.
70th anniversary of Japan second world war with a military parade happen in Beijing.
State media did not mention the roles of allies or the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In fact Course material include fully reflect how the Chinese communist party was strength dring the war
And highlight how the Chinese people were not afraid of the intense adversity.
Speaking at press ,foreign ministry spokesperson lu kung said the change would help younger generations remembers their past.