Trump blames bad Russia ties on FBI ‘witch hunt’

US President Donald Trump, left, chats with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on November 11, 2017 in Danang, Vietnam. (AFP)
Updated 16 July 2018
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Trump blames bad Russia ties on FBI ‘witch hunt’

  • ‘Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of US foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!’
  • US special prosecutor Robert Mueller last week indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking computer servers belonging to Trump’s 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton

HELSINKI: US President Donald Trump set the scene for his summit with Vladimir Putin on Monday by blaming the chill in relations with Moscow on the investigation into Russian interference in his election victory.
“Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of US foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” Trump tweeted, referring to US special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s probe.

Last week, Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking computer servers belonging to Trump’s 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton and her Democratic Party, then leaking private emails to damage her campaign.
Trump has furiously denied his campaign colluded in the alleged interference, and has generally denounced the special investigation as a “witch hunt” promoted by his enemies to delegitimize his victory.
At the same time, the US leader has promised to bring up the issue on Monday at his summit with Putin in Helsinki.


Delhi braces for pollution with emergency plan

Updated 15 October 2018
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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.