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LIVE! Obama commutes sentence of WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning

08:13  Obama commutes sentence of WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning:  United States President Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who is serving 35 years behind bars for giving classified US data and documents to Wikileaks, allowing her to go free nearly three decades early.

According to the commutation granted on Tuesday, Manning would now be released on May 17.

The transgender soldier has been lodged in prison after being convicted in August 2013. She also attempted suicide twice last year.

The White House said after Othe commutation, Manning, a military analyst, would now be released on May 17, 2017. She was sentenced to 35 years of imprisonment on charges of illegally obtaining and passing on the classified documents to WikiLeaks.

According to the White House, Manning’s offences included one specification of wrongful and wanton publication to the internet intelligence belonging to the United States, five specifications of stealing, purloining or knowingly converting US government records.

It also included six specifications of wilful communication of information relating to the national defence, one specification of wilful communication of information in unlawful possession; and one specification of wilful communication of information relating to the national defence by exceeding authorised access to a US government computer.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has welcomed the decision, while calling for an end to a ‘war on whistleblowers’.

He said Manning should never have been convicted and described her as ‘a hero, whose bravery should have been applauded not condemned’.

However, the White House ruled out a similar commutation to Edward Snowden, who is currently on a political asylum in Russia. — PTI

Photograph: Reuters


00:25  Court to deliver verdict in arms act case against Salman today:  

A court in Jodhpur will today pronounce its verdict in the case under Arms Act against actor Salman Khan.

This is one of the four cases against the actor. While the Rajasthan High Court has acquitted him in two cases of poaching of chinkara, trial in the third case of alleged poaching of two blackbucks is on. 

Khan and his sister Alveera arrived in Jodhpur on tuesday evening. He will be appearing in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

Besides the cases of poaching of endangered antelopes under Wildlife (Protection) Act, a case under sections 3/25 and 3/27 of the Arms Act was filed against Khan for allegedly keeping and using the fire arms with expired licence in the poaching of blackbucks in Kankani near Jodhpur on October 1-2, 1998.

Arguments by both the sides in this case were completed on January 9, after which magistrate Dalpat Singh Rajpurohit reserved the judgement for January 18 directing the actor to be present in the court. 

The case had reached the stage of judgement earlier on February 25, 2014 but sudden appearance of an undecided prosecution application before the trial court, moved by the then prosecution counsel in 2006 put off the verdict for two flat years. 


00:22  New York Times study calls for rapid change in newsroom:  

The New York Times has deftly adapted to the demands of digital journalism, but it needs to change even more quickly, according to an internal report that recommends the company expand training for reporters and editors, hire journalists with more varied skills and deepen engagement with readers as a way to build loyalty and attract the subscriptions necessary to survive.

The report, released to The Times newsroom on Tuesday, is the culmination of a year of work by a group of seven journalists who were asked by Dean Baquet, the executive editor, to conduct a review of the newsroom and determine a blueprint for its path forward. 

Titled ‘Journalism That Stands Apart’, and known internally as the 2020 report, it provides a set of broad principles to accelerate the pace of transformation while maintaining a commitment to high-quality journalism.

The report comes at a particularly sobering time for the legacy media industry. 

Read the report HERE

00:21  How Donald Trump just sent the US Dollar diving:  

The US dollar dipped after Donald trump raising a red flag over the currency’s rise. 

The dollar first rose after Trump’s election win thanks in part to an idea the president-elect would increase infrastructure spending. But on Tuesday, the US Dollar Index slid 1.2% to 100.35 and hit a low it hasn’t since early December. 

The index measures the greenback relative to a basket of six other major world currencies. The dip comes after Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that the US dollar was “too strong.” 

Trump, revisiting a well-worn argument, said that the strong dollar came in part due to China holding its currency, the yuan, down.

“Our companies can’t compete with them now because our currency is too strong. And it’s killing us,” he told the Journal.


00:20  Full speech: What China’s Xi told the world at Davos:  

Chinese President Xi Jinping at the World Economic Forum in Davos: 

“World history shows that the road of human civilization has never been a smooth one, and that mankind has made progress by surmounting difficulties. No difficulty, however daunting, will stop mankind from advancing. When encountering difficulties, we should not complain about ourselves, blame others, lose confidence or run away from responsibilities. We should join hands and rise to the challenge. History is created by the brave. Let us boost confidence, take actions and march arm-in-arm toward a bright future.”

Read his complete speech HERE

00:19  Obama appoints 2 Indian-Americans to senior admin positions:  

Less than 100 hours before demitting office, outgoing US President Barack Obama has appointed two Indian-Americans to key administration positions.

While Maneesh Goyal has been made Member of the J William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, D J Patil has been named as Member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council. 

Both the announcements came along with several other last days appointments made by the outgoing president. 

“I am proud that such experienced and committed individuals have agreed to serve the American people in these important roles. I know they will serve the American people well,” Obama said. 

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest defended Obama’s decision to make last minute appointments. 

Source: Rediff