London attacker released last year after terrorism offences, prompting recriminations

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LONDON       -       The 28-year-old British man who killed two people in a stabbing spree on London Bridge before police shot him dead had been released from prison after a previous conviction for terrorism offences, prompting recriminations ahead of an election.

Wearing a fake suicide vest and wielding knives, Usman Khan went on the rampage on Friday afternoon at a conference on criminal rehabilitation beside London Bridge. He was wrestled to the ground by bystanders and then shot dead by police.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has called a snap election for Dec. 12 and is due to host NATO leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump next week, said it was a terrorist attack and that Britain would never be cowed. Khan, whose family is from Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, was convicted in 2012 for his part in an al-Qaeda-inspired plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange. He was released in December 2018 subject to conditions.

“This individual was known to authorities, having been convicted in 2012 for terrorism offences,” Britain’s top counter-terrorism police officer, Neil Basu, said in a statement. “Clearly, a key line of inquiry now is to establish how he came to carry out this attack.”

Two people - a man and a woman - were killed in the attack. In addition, a man and two women were injured and remain in hospital, Basu said.

Queen Elizabeth sent her sympathies to those affected by the attack. “I have been saddened to hear of the terror attacks at London Bridge,” she said. “We send our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to all those who have lost loved ones and who have been affected by yesterday’s terrible violence.”

Britain’s opposition Labour Party, which trails the ruling Conservatives in opinion polls, criticised the government’s record on crime on Saturday as police continued their investigation. “There are big questions that need to be answered,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the most senior opposition politician in Britain in a position of power, told Sky News.

“One of the important tools judges had when it came to dealing with dangerous, convicted criminals... was their ability to give an indeterminate sentence to protect the public,” he said. “(That) was taken away from them by this government.”

During the 2017 election campaign, London Bridge was the scene of an attack when three militants drove a van into pedestrians and then attacked people in the surrounding area, killing eight people and injuring at least 48.

Islamic State said its fighters were responsible for that attack, but the British authorities have cast doubt on those claims. The 2017 attack focused attention on cuts to policing since the governing Conservatives took power in 2010.

Junior interior minister Brandon Lewis defended an independent decision taken a few weeks ago to lower Britain’s terrorism threat level, but said sentencing rules needed to be reviewed. “It is right that we do have to look again at the sentencing system around these kinds of violent crimes... We will want to move very swiftly,” he said.

Friday’s attack, just 13 days before an election that could decide the fate of Britain’s exit from the European Union, prompted political leaders to scale back campaigning. The campaign so far has focused on Brexit and the health service but is likely to include crime over the coming days as Johnson, who praised the bravery of bystanders who tackled the attacker, seeks to limit the fallout from the incident. “This country will never be cowed, or divided, or intimidated by this sort of attack,” he told reporters in Downing Street late on Friday.

 

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NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours. And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice. This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet. While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers. The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers.

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Original Text

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours. And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice. This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet. While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers. The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

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NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag.According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected.The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours.And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice.This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too.Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights.They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required.Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet.While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights.The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers.The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

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Original Text

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight from Zurich to Slovenia was delayed on Sunday after the Air India Boeing 747 that was to fly as AI One developed a snag. According to sources, the president drove to Zurich airport where a last-minute glitch on the 26-year-old jumbo jet (VT-ESO) was suspected. The VVIP returned to his hotel and AI aircraft engineers immediately started working on the aircraft "Khajuraho".During this time, an AI Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector with a schedule departure time of 1.15 pm (local time London) as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as alternate AI One to be flown to Zurich for the President’s journeys if needed.Luckily AI engineers rectified the jumbo jet which then flew President Kovind to Slovenia with a delay of a few hours. And AI 130 flew to Mumbai at 2.30 pm (local time London) from Heathrow without requiring to fly as alternate AI One to Zurich, say sources.Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from where AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice. This overseas trip of President Kovind first made news when Pakistan on September 7 denied permission for it to fly over its airspace from India to Europe and back.The B747 took a longer route to Europe when it left last Monday (Sept 9) and will take the longer route back home too. Now India is not going to seek clearance for VVIP flights to use Pakistan airspace till relations between he two countries improve.AI has been using over 25-year-old B747s as Air India One for long haul VVIP flights. They are used for commercial flights when not needed for VVIP flights and are retrofitted for them when required. Converting a passenger B747 into a VVIP aircraft takes about 12 days.By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft when first of the two Boeing 777s currently being retrofitted in the US with the most most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM will join the VVIP fleet. While the first is expected in December, the second one may arrive a month later, say sources.Given their ultra hi-tech security and communications systems — at par with Air Force One — they cannot be used for regular flights. The over 26-year-old Boeing 747s are perfectly safe to fly but due to their advanced age, they are fuel guzzlers. The four-engine jumbo jets cannot fly longhaul routes like India-US nonstop and do so with a stop in Europe, something the twin-engine B777 has been doing for AI for years

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NEW DELHI: An inter-ministerial panel on fintech has suggested legislative changes be made to enable fixed deposits (FDs) and other financial instruments to be issued in dematerialised form as it is customer-friendly and secure.The Steering Committee headed by the economic affairs secretary also suggested that the department of financial services (DFS) and Reserve Bank of India may examine the suitability of virtual banking system in the Indian context.The panel, which submitted its report to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, said dematerialisation of financial instruments is customer-friendly given the wide reach of mobile technologies and also leads to disaster resilience and speedy recovery. the report said.Necessary suitable amendments to enable dematerialisation of financial instruments such as FDs and other deposits of the Post Offices, other forms of small savings certificates issued, Gold Deposit Certificates issued under GMS, Sovereign Gold Bonds, etc.may be undertaken, it said.Pending changes in laws and regulations that may be required to enable depositories to store all financial assets, the information pertaining to the assets may be stored in repositories so that consumers can access this information through a single window, it said.With regard to virtual banking, it said the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has recently issued guidelines for setting up virtual banks and is examining applications for virtual banking licences.The Committee recommends a thorough review of the PPI system with a view of considerably liberalising its use with adequate non-monetary limits safeguards to enable expansion of fintech, it said.It noted that there is an urgent need to reduce the costs of KYC to promote financial inclusion among the weaker sections.

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