Mar 2018
Mar 2018

Putin may have dirt on Trump: CIA ex-chief

Washington, March 22: A former head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John O. Brennan, has said that he thinks Russia might have some kind of compromising information on President Donald Trump.

His remark on Wednesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" set off furious speculation about whether the former spy chief was basing that assertion on inside information.

Brennan, who served as CIA director from 2013 to 2017, speculated that Russians "may have something on him personally" when he was asked if he thought Trump was afraid of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the New York Times reported.

"The Russians, I think, have had long experience with Trump and may have things that they could expose," he said.

Brennan was heading the agency when a dossier surfaced in 2016 claiming the Russians had compromising information on Trump. 

His comments came the day after Trump congratulated Putin in a phone call for his re-election that raised new questions about the President's relationship with Russia.

Brennan also said that his comments were speculation based on Trump's words and deeds as well as how Putin's government operated at home and abroad -- and not on any inside knowledge.

"I do not know if the Russians have something on Donald Trump that they could use as blackmail," he told the New York Times.

"When asked the question, I have pointed out the perplexing submissiveness of Trump towards Putin -- despite continued evidence of malign Russian activities," Brennan said. 

"I do not know why he refuses to call out Russia; that is a question that can only be answered by Trump."

Source: IANS

Mar 2018

Vatican press chief resigns over the doctored letter

Vatican City, March 22: The head of the Vatican's Communications Department resigned on Wednesday after coming under fire for doctoring a letter sent by retired Pope Benedict XVI.

A brief Vatican statement, cited by the BBC, said Pope Francis had "accepted" the resignation of Monsignor Dario Vigano.

It came after the Vatican admitted blurring part of a letter about Pope Francis written by his predecessor, in a picture sent to the media.

The tampering caused controversy amid concern over so-called "fake news".

The row began after Vigano, whose official title was prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for Communication, asked Pope Benedict XVI to write some "dense theology" to be read at a presentation event for a new series of books about Pope Francis.

In his letter, Pope Benedict welcomed the publication of the volumes but said he would not be able to write a reflection because he would not have time to read them.

Vigano read selected passages from the letter at a presentation on March 12. Then journalists received a doctored image of the letter, which blurred out the lines where Pope Benedict explained he would not be reading the books.

In his letter of resignation, Vigano told Pope Francis that although it was not intentional, his actions had "destabilized the complex and great work of reform".

"I think that for me stepping aside would be a fruitful occasion for renewal," he said.

Source: IANS

Maternal Vitamin D deficiency may up autism risk in kids

Sydney, March 21: Kids born to women diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy are more likely to develop autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in later life, a study on rats has found.Autism is a lifelong condition that ranges in severity and impacts ...

IoT security spending to reach $1.5 billion in 2018: Gartner

New Delhi, March 21: The worldwide spending on Internet of Things (IoT) security will reach $1.5 billion in 2018 -- a 28 percent increase from the 2017 spending of $1.2 billion, according to a Gartner forecast on Wednesday.Global spending on IoT security i...

3 astronauts set out for the space station on Wednesday

Washington, March 21: A Soyuz rocket carrying two NASA astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut is all set to blast off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday.The astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel ...

Trump congratulates Putin on re-election, gets slammed

Washington, March 21: US President Donald Trump called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his re-election, leading to fresh criticism of his muted tone towards Moscow amid an ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 US...

Names of 39 Indians confirmed dead in Iraq

New Delhi, March 21:  Of the 39 Indians whose killings in Iraq were confirmed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj here on Tuesday, 27 were from Punjab, four from Himachal Pradesh, six from Bihar and two from West Bengal.According to the External Aff...

Facebook data breach: Where is Mark Zuckerberg?

San Francisco, March 21:  With Facebook getting mired in its biggest-ever controversy following a massive data breach, everyone is asking one question: Where is its CEO Mark Zuckerberg?Not only Zuckerberg has remained quiet so far, Facebook COO Sheryl Sand...

Melania Trump launches campaign against cyberbullying

Washington, March 21:  US First Lady Melania Trump has formally launched her campaign to combat cyberbullying of children and teenagers despite scepticism about the initiative due to the insults that her husband and President Donald Trump regularly broadca...

Apple nearly doubles self-driving fleet in California

San Francisco, March 21: Registering 18 new vehicles since January, Apple has expanded its self-driving car programme rapidly and now has 45 autonomous vehicles registered with California's Department of Motor Vehicles.The company had 27 self-driving cars ...

Myanmar President quits, First Vice President to step in

Yangon, March 21:  Myanmar President U. Htin Kyaw has resigned, it was announced on Wednesday. First Vice President U. Myint Swe will serve as acting President until Parliament elects a new President,The announcement was made by U. Zaw Htay, Director-Gener...

Taipei detects Chinese aircraft carrier in Taiwan strait

Taipei, March 21:  Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning has entered Taiwan's Air Defence Identification Zone, the Defence Minister said on Wednesday, a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping threatened Taiwan with the "punishment of history".Yen Teh-fa told P...