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LIVE! Symbolic 'Doomsday Clock' moves closer to midnight

08:34  Symbolic ‘Doomsday Clock’ moves closer to midnight:  

Comments by US President Donald Trump on nuclear weapons and climate change have helped make the world less safe, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists warned today, moving its symbolic “Doomsday Clock” 30 seconds closer to midnight.

The clock — which serves as a metaphor for how close humanity is to destroying the planet — was last changed in 2015, from five to three minutes before midnight.

It is now set at two and a half minutes to midnight, amid concerns about “a rise in strident nationalism worldwide, President Donald Trump’s comments on nuclear arms and climate issues, a darkening global security landscape that is colored by increasingly sophisticated technology, and a growing disregard for scientific expertise,” said a statement by the group of scientists and intellectuals, including 15 Nobel laureates.

The clock was last set this close to midnight in 1953, marking the start of the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Thursday’s reset was the first since 2015.

The bulletin cited nuclear volatility, especially as the United States and Russia seek to modernise their atomic arsenals and remain at odds in war-torn countries such as Syria and Ukraine.

08:21  Border Patrol chief out day after Trump border fence decree:  

The chief of the Border Patrol has left the agency that’s in charge of securing America’s borders with Mexico and Canada.

According to a US official and a former official, Border Patrol agents have been told that Mark Morgan is no longer on the job. It’s not immediately clear whether Morgan resigned or was asked to leave.

The US official wasn’t authorised to discuss the move before a public announcement and spoke on condition of anonymity. The former official asked not to be identified before a government announcement. 

Morgan’s departure comes a day after President Donald Trump announced plans to build a wall at the Mexican border and hire 5,000 Border Patrol agents.

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08:20  Visa ban: Trump non-committal on Pakistan:  

US President Donald Trump has defended his plan to limit the entry of people from several Muslim countries, saying it was necessary as the world is “a total mess”, even as he was non-committal on whether nations like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia would be on the list of the proposed visa ban.

When asked about countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia figuring in the list, he said, “You’re going to see. You’re going to see. We’re going to have extreme vetting in all cases. And I mean extreme. And we’re not letting people in if we think there’s even a little chance of some problem.” 

“We are excluding certain countries, but for other countries, we’re going to have extreme vetting. It’s going to be very hard to come in,” Trump told ABC News, refusing to be pinned down on which countries he was talking about. 

Trump denied that it was a ban on Muslims. “No it’s not the Muslim ban, but it’s countries that have tremendous terror,” he said.

“Right now, it’s very easy to come in. It’s going to be very, very hard. I don’t want terror in this country. You look at what happened in San Bernardino. You look at what happened all over. You look at what happened in the World Trade Center, OK? I mean, take that as an example. People don’t even bring that up,” he said.

Asked if he was concerned this would anger Muslims around the world, he said, “Anger? There’s plenty of anger right now. How can you have more?”.

“The world is a mess. The world is as angry as it gets. What, you think this is going to cause a little more anger? The world is an angry place. All of this has happened. We went into Iraq. We shouldn’t have gone into Iraq. We shouldn’t have gotten out the way we got out. The world is a total mess. The world is a mess,” the President said. 

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08:19  IndiGo says Twitter account ‘compromised’, probing matter:  

Private carrier IndiGo has claimed that its Twitter account was “compromised” and it is investigating the matter.

“Our handle was compromised @8:32pm on 26 Jan 2017. Our team is investigating the matter. We have taken precautionary actions,” IndiGo said in a tweet.

The airline’s team is investigating the matter, it said. 

The budget airline, which started in 2006, now has a fleet of 126 aircraft today and currently operates flights on 41 destinations, including 36 domestic and five international. 

08:18  What’s making news now:  

* BJP leaders Mukhtar Naqvi and Bhupendra Yadav to meet EC officials in Lucknow today. The BJP alleges that state administration is adopting partisan approach.

* Delhi: 20 trains delayed, 9 rescheduled and 1 cancelled due to fog

* People gather for Mauni Amavasya puja in Allahabad

* PM Modi to address a rally in Jalandhar and Rahul Gandhi to address a rally in Amritsar.

* Meghalaya governor V Shanmuganathan has resigned: Raj Bhavan sources.

* Criminal carrying an award of Rs 50,000 on his head arrested in Delhi by Police late last night after exchange of gunfire.

08:18  Good morning…

Source: Rediff