18
Friday
October 2019
10:15 PM IST
News Headlines
Mentally-unstable man jumps inside lion enclosure in Delhi zoo, escapes unhurt        BSF jawan killed, 1 injured in firing by Bangladeshi troops along border in West Bengal        At least 35 people killed in bus accident in western Saudi Arabia        UK, EU hail new Brexit deal, but Parliament sign-off hangs in balance        Nearly 100 people injured in Catalonia unrest on Wednesday: Medics        Indo-Pak bilateral ties subject to approval from PMs of both countries: Ganguly        Aiden Markram ruled out of Ranchi Test with wrist injury        Indian challenge ends at Denmark Open        Aussie cricketer Watson apologies for 'illicit' social media posts        India's performance was no match to atmosphere at Salt Lake: Chhetri        High-level Indian, Bangladeshi delegations to meet next week        Adani Wilmar launches ready-to-cook ''Khichdi''        US House passes Hong Kong 'Democracy Act'        India halved its poverty rate since 1990s: World Bank        Senior Odisha BJP leader Damodar Rout quits party        Play school security guard arrested for sexually harassing toddler        What craziness has taken over UP govt: Priyanka on decision to remove home guards        Crime branch freezes Rs 18 crore in Maradu flat builders accounts        ODI rankings: Injured Smriti Mandhana loses number one spot        Indian cricket will continue to prosper under Ganguly undoubtedly: Laxman        
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International News
Trump blames Iran in tanker blasts, says sea lane not at risk
 
Washington: US President Donald Trump on Friday rejected Tehran''s denial it was behind mysterious explosions on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, saying the incident had Iran "written all over it". As US-Iranian tensions soared, Trump dismissed previous threats by Tehran that in case of conflict it could block the Hormuz Strait -- a narrow seaway vital to the world''s oil supplies. "They''re not going to be closing it," he said in an interview on Fox News television. Speaking hours after the US military released grainy footage it said showed an Iranian patrol boat removing an "unexploded limpet mine" from one of the tankers, Trump was emphatic. "Iran did do it," Trump told the "Fox and Friends" show. "You know they did it because you saw the boat.

I guess one of the mines didn''t explode and it''s probably got essentially Iran written all over it. You saw the boat at night, successfully trying to take the mine off -- and that was exposed," he added. Iran rejects the US accusations. It labelled the attacks "suspicious" as Iran''s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rebuffed overtures by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to open talks with Trump. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that the US had "immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence." He accused Washington of seeking to "sabotage diplomacy" as Abe visited Iran. One of the targeted vessels is owned by a Japanese company while the other was Norwegian-operated. Iran has repeatedly warned in the past that it could block the Hormuz Strait in a relatively low-tech, high-impact countermeasure to any attack by the US.

Doing so, would disrupt traffic of oil tankers between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, which leads to the Indian Ocean and global export routes. "If the hostility of enemies increase, we will be able to do so," Iran''s armed forces chief of staff, Mohammad Bagheri, told semi-official ISNA in April. Trump played down the threat. "It''s not going to be closed, it''s not going to be closed for long and they know it. They''ve been told in very strong terms," Trump told Fox News. Oil prices have surged in response to the geopolitical tension. Saudi Arabia''s energy minister Khalid al-Falih said the kingdom was monitoring the situation with "great concern," the Saudi SPA news agency said. Al-Falih "called upon the international community to assume its joint responsibility and take firm action to secure maritime traffic in the region''s waterways." Saudi Arabia, a close US ally, is a bitter regional rival of Iran.

China called for all sides to "resolve the conflict through dialogue," while the European Union called for "maximum restraint." Russia, which has close, even if sometimes strained links to Iran, warned through its foreign ministry against "hasty conclusions." The oil tankers that came under attack were 10 nautical miles apart and headed to Asia when they were struck by explosions in the early daylight hours Thursday after passing through the Strait of Hormuz some 25 nautical miles off Iran''s southern coast. The Front Altair carrying naphtha, a refined petroleum product, and owned by the Oslo-listed company Frontline was hit by three explosions, according to Norwegian officials, and remained ablaze into Thursday. Explosions also struck the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, which was loaded with methanol, but the fire on board was soon extinguished. One crew member suffered minor injuries and the ship was on Friday heading towards the UAE port of Khor Fakkan.

There was no claim of responsibility for the blasts, which struck both tankers at the waterline. Iran said its navy rescued several dozen crew members from the two vessels, while the US Navy said it had picked up 21 from the Kokuka Courageous. Iran''s English-language Press TV aired footage of rescued crewmen from the Front Altair, saying they are all in "full health." "Everything is OK," said one of the vessel''s "chief officers", presenting himself as Russian and thanking Iran for its "hospitality." Press TV said 11 of the crew were Russian, 11 Filipino and one Georgian. The crew of the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous saw a "flying object" before a second blast on board, the operator''s head said Friday. Washington has dispatched the destroyer USS Mason to the scene "to provide assistance," CENTCOM said in a statement while Oman said it sent two navy vessels to assist.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday''s tanker explosions were "the latest in a series of attacks" he blamed on Iran or its "proxies", including Yemeni rebel missile strikes which wounded 26 civilians at a Saudi airport on Wednesday. A Saudi-led coalition which is fighting the rebels it accuses of being Iranian proxies said its air defenses had intercepted a new rebel attack on an airport in the Islamic kingdom on Friday. The US has also accused Iran over May 12 attacks on four tankers anchored in the Gulf of Oman off the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah. The preliminary findings of a five-nation investigation indicated a state actor was responsible but stopped short of naming Iran. The US called Thursday for the UNSC to confront the "clear threat" posed by Iran. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meanwhile called the US a "serious threat to global stability" as he attended an international forum in Kyrgyzstan.


At least 35 people killed in bus accident in western Saudi Arabia
UK, EU hail new Brexit deal, but Parliament sign-off hangs in balance
Nearly 100 people injured in Catalonia unrest on Wednesday: Medics
US House passes Hong Kong 'Democracy Act'
India halved its poverty rate since 1990s: World Bank
Russia's Putin arrives in UAE on first visit since 2007
Syria offensive to continue until 'objectives achieved': Erdogan
Japan looks for missing as typhoon kills as many as 56
Syria regime steps in to halt Turkish assault on Kurds
Kurds ''may be releasing'' IS prisoners in Syria to get US involved: Trump
Multiple arrests in Hong Kong as "flashmob" protests hit pro-Bejing targets
Typhoon leaves as many as 33 dead as Japan continues rescue
Heavy rain, winds lash Tokyo as powerful typhoon hits Japan
At least four dead in NYC shooting: police
Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel peace prize
Iran tanker hit by suspected missile strikes off Saudi coast
First man to conduct spacewalk, Alexei Leonov, dies
Man arrested on terror charges after stabbings at UK shopping centre
N Korea threatens to resume nuke, long-range missile tests
Total of 109 terrorists killed since beginning of Turkey''s offensive in Syria: Erdogan
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
My craft is a huge area of anxiety for me: Swara Bhasker
 Mumbai: Several acclaimed films and a decade later, Swara Bhasker still finds herself panicking befo  
Ordinary doesn't satisfy me, says Bhumi Pednekar
Shah Rukh Khan keen on making a 'hit kind' of film
Navya Nair Surprised with Her Son's Birthday Gift: Watch Video
KERALA NEWS
Scribe's death:Kerala IAS officer's suspension extended
 Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has extended the suspension of IAS officer Sriram Venkitar
Kerala's CPI to discuss Vedas and Marxism in seminar
Kerala Assembly session from Oct 28
Rs 10,000-crore investments to flow into Kerala from Dubai
NATIONAL NEWS
Mentally-unstable man jumps inside lion enclosure in Delhi zoo, escapes unhurt
 New Delhi: A 25-year-old mentally-unstable man leapt into the enclosure of a lion at the Delhi zoo o
Senior Odisha BJP leader Damodar Rout quits party
Play school security guard arrested for sexually harassing toddler
What craziness has taken over UP govt: Priyanka on decision to remove home guards
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