FBI chief defends agency amid blistering attack by Trump

FBI Director Christopher Wray appears before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington on Thursday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 07 December 2017
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FBI chief defends agency amid blistering attack by Trump

WASHINGTON: FBI Director Chris Wray says President Donald Trump has never gone outside the chain of command to communicate with him directly, and has never asked him to pledge his loyalty to him.
Wray also says Trump has not spoken to him about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Former FBI Director James Comey has said that Trump asked him for his loyalty and spoke to him one-on-one multiple times.
Comey has said that during one of those private conversations, Trump told him he hoped he’d consider ending an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian diplomat.
Wray on Thuirsday have an impassioned defense of his agency against Trump.
During a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Wray was asked to respond to Trump’s weekend tweets calling the FBI a biased institution whose reputation is in “tatters.”
Wray says, “The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of brave men and women working as hard as they can to keep people they will never know safe from harm.”
He says the bureau’s agents and analysts are “decent people committed to the highest principals of integrity and professionalism and respect.” And he says the agency is respected by its law enforcement partners.
It is Wray’s strongest defense yet of the agency he has led for four months.


Delhi braces for pollution with emergency plan

Updated 6 min 54 sec ago
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Delhi braces for pollution with emergency plan

  • Under the new strategy, restrictions on construction sites and traffic will be imposed depending on the air quality

NEW DELHI, India: Delhi’s biggest coal power plant was set to shut down Monday as a new emergency plan to improve air quality in one of the world’s most polluted cities came into force, Indian officials said.
Under the new strategy, restrictions on construction sites and traffic will be imposed depending on the air quality in the megacity of some 20 million people.
When the air is classed as “poor,” as it was on Monday, authorities will ban the burning of garbage in landfills as well as fire crackers and certain construction activities.
When the air is “very poor” diesel generators will be halted, parking fees hiked and more public transport provided. “Severe” measures include closing brick kilns.
When it reaches “severe+,” a new category, authorities will stop the entry of trucks except those with essential goods and regulate the number of cars on the road.
The Badarpur thermal plant was due to permanently close on Monday because of its high contribution to pollution in the city.
Smog spikes during winter in Delhi, when air quality often eclipses the World Health Organization’s safe levels.
Cooler air traps pollutants — such as from vehicles, building sites and farmers burning crops in regions outside the Indian capital — close to the ground.
Authorities in the sprawling city attempted to implement similar measures last winter but to little avail.
This is partly because authorities are powerless to prevent some sources of pollution.
“Our aim is to stop the air quality from deteriorating further though certain factors are out of our control such as crop burning, wind speed and lack of public transportation,” environment authority official Bhure Lal said.