Reports in the New York Times criticizing the Pakistan army and the powerful intelligence agency is a "direct attack" on Pakistan's security, the army spokesman said on Saturday. Major General Athar Abbas, the Pakistan army's chief spokesman, repeatedly criticized the Times' reporting and said it was part of a calculated plan by "unnamed officials" to "weaken the state." "This is a direct attack on our security organization and intelligence agencies," he told Reuters in a rare on-the-record in-person interview. "We consider ISI as a strategic intelligence organization, the first line of our defense." The U.S.-Pakistan relationship has been on a downward spiral since last year, but the decline accelerated after the killing of two Pakistanis by a CIA contractor in Lahore in January and the U.S. raid to kill Osama bin Laden, which Pakistan complains it was not told about and says was a breach of its sovereignty. Abbas was responding specifically to a July 8 editorial that said there was … [Read more...] about Reports in the New York Times criticize the Pakistan army
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The edge of Hurricane Irene hit New York late Saturday, bringing torrential rain, freshening winds and fears of widespread flooding after killing at least eight people in its run up the US east coast. The first hurricane to hit the Big Apple in a generation swept in overnight, accompanied by lightening, reports of tornados and deafening rainfall. The city was a ghost town after 370,000 people were told to evacuate flood-prone areas, including near Wall Street and at Coney Island. Subway trains, buses and the famous Staten Island ferry were all shut down Saturday. "The edge of the hurricane is finally upon us," Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a press conference, adding that "the time for evacuations is over." "At this point, if you haven't evacuated, our suggestion is you stay where you are," he said. "Nature is a lot stronger than the rest of us." Packing winds of up to 85 miles (140 kilometers) an hour, Irene was a deadly category one storm when it made landfall at 8:00 am (1200 GMT) … [Read more...] about Hurricane Irene tears into New York
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said there is mounting evidence that Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Wells Fargo and Co (WFC.N) and other banks violated the terms of a settlement designed to end mortgage servicing abuses. Schneiderman - who has said he plans to sue Bank of America and Wells Fargo for failing to live up to their obligations under the deal - said other states had found similar problems. "Several other states have identified similar recurring deficiencies by the participating servicers," Schneiderman said in a letter dated May 23 to the monitor for the settlement, former North Carolina Banking Commissioner Joseph Smith. The letter was obtained by Reuters on Friday. The $25 billion settlement was brokered last year between five banks and 49 state attorneys general. The other banks are JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N), and Ally Financial Inc (GKM.N). The banks agreed to provide relief to homeowners and comply with a set of servicing standards … [Read more...] about New York claims more proof of bank mortgage abuses
Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the United States, battered the nation's eastern seaboard on Tuesday, swamping New York City streets with record levels of floodwater, blacking out power to millions of people and bringing transportation to a halt through much of the region. Photo: Reuters >> Massive storm Sandy in pictures >> At least 7 dead, 6 missing in Son Tinh powerful storm At least 13 people were reported killed in the United States by Sandy, which dropped just below hurricane status before going ashore in New Jersey on Monday, according to officials and media reports. More than 1 million people across a dozen states were under orders to evacuate as the massive system continued to plow westward. One disaster forecasting company predicted economic losses could ultimately reach $20 billion, only half insured. The storm also slowed the presidential campaign at a key time ahead of next week's vote and closed U.S. markets for two days. Sandy, … [Read more...] about New York paralyzed as Sandy slams into eastern U.S.
A man is confronted by New York police officers as they clear the 'Occupy Wall Street' protest camp from Zuccotti Park in the early hours of Tuesday. Police wearing helmets and carrying shields evicted protesters with the Occupy Wall Street movement early on Tuesday from the park in New York City's financial district where they have camped since September, dismantling their tent city and arresting about 70 people. Authorities declared that the continued occupation of Zuccotti Park -- which had become a sea of tents, tarps and protest signs with hundreds of demonstrators sleeping there -- posed a health and safety threat. Police spokesman Paul Browne said that about 70 protesters were arrested in the park during the nighttime operation for defying orders to leave and several more were arrested nearby, although most left voluntarily. About a dozen protesters had chained themselves together and another two had chained themselves to trees before being cut loose and removed, Browne … [Read more...] about New York police evict anti-Wall Street protesters