Qatar’s Al-Jazeera faces widescale cyber attacks in wake of latest UAE rift

“Al Jazeera Media Network under cyber attack on all systems, websites & social media platforms,” it said on Twitter.


A later statement from the broadcaster said the attack occurred after a fortnight of increased cyber activities, aimed at its network.

“Today, we’ve noticed a significant increase in cyber attempts targeting our users and systems,” read the statement.

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“Our teams have been working diligently to ensure all of our users are protected and systems are operating normally.”

Following the initial reports of a cyber attack, some viewers in the region said they could no longer receive Al-Jazeera television.

Al-Jazeera, one of the largest news organisations in the world, has long been a source of conflict between Qatar and its neighbours, who accuse the broadcaster of bias and fomenting trouble in the region.

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The alleged cyber attack comes during a time of heightened tensions in the Gulf, which has seen Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and other allies cut ties with Qatar.

They severed relations over what they said is Doha’s alleged financing of extremist groups and its ties to Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional arch-rival.

Long-running tensions broke out into the open last month after Qatar claimed its state news site was hacked by unknown parties who posted “false” statements attributed to the emir in which he speaks favourably of Iran and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

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The remarks were widely reported as true across the region.

Earlier this month, Qatar said the FBI was helping it investigate the source of the alleged hacking.

Subsequently there was a media report suggesting that Qatar had been targeted by Russian hackers – a claim dismissed by Moscow.

WATCH: UAE’s Minister for Foreign Affairs on Qatar rift

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Loss proves India not invincible: Kohli

India captain Virat Kohli says his team are not invincible after the defending champions allowed Sri Lanka to chase down a target of 322 to win a pulsating Champions Trophy match at The Oval.


India, inspired by Shikhar Dhawan’s superb 125, racked up a healthy total of 6-321 but Sri Lanka knocked off the runs with eight balls left to leave Group B wide open.

All four teams in the section have two points going into the last round of games in which India play top-ranked South Africa on Sunday and Sri Lanka meet Pakistan on Monday.

“I think Sri Lanka played really well,” Kohli told a news conference following his team’s seven-wicket loss.

“The other teams are also champions and that needs to be kept in mind. We are not invincible.”

India had beaten Sri Lanka in 14 of their last 17 one-day internationals, including the last five.

India’s bowlers struggled to contain the Sri Lankan batsmen, however, as Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis shared a second-wicket partnership of 159 before captain Angelo Mathews steered his team home with a composed unbeaten 52.

“We all felt we had enough on the board at the halfway mark,” Kohli said.

“We trusted our bowlers, but they (Sri Lanka) were pretty good on the day. Kept their momentum going and executed their shots really well. Our bowlers bowled decently, but they batted really well.”

Kohli blamed poor execution as India’s bowlers took only one wicket, the other two Sri Lankan wickets coming from run-outs as they achieved the highest successful run chase in the tournament’s history.

“There is always hindsight when you don’t win games. As I said we bowled decently well, but the execution wasn’t quite there,” added Kohli, who was out for a duck to complete a bad day for one of the world’s leading batsmen.

“Obviously, there is food for thought but you have got to give credit to other teams as well. You don’t take any team lightly. It’s going to be like this throughout the tournament and we don’t expect anything less.”

Arrest made in Melbourne anti-terror raids linked to siege

A man has been arrested and a fake shotgun found during dawn counter-terrorism raids in Melbourne linked to the Brighton siege.


About 150 state and federal police and ASIO agents raided properties around the city in a bid to find out who gave Yacqub Khayre the gun he used to kill a man and injure three police officers on Monday.

Properties in Ascot Vale, Glenroy and Gladstone Park were raided on Friday about 5am, with a 32-year-old man taken into custody and two others, aged 31 and 51, interviewed.

“I want to make perfectly clear, we haven’t yet uncovered anybody with links to terrorism who are associated with the offender from the Brighton attack,” Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton told reporters on Friday.

“We believe these persons may be involved in the provision of firearms in respect to this matter that were used by the offender.

“They are not persons of national security interest. They are, however, persons who are known to us through their criminal history.”

Australian Federal Police (AFP) attend an address at Ascot Vale, Melbourne, Friday, May 9, 2017. (AAP)AAP

Entry was forced at the Ascot Vale flat, which had no one inside, and police are currently searching it for evidence.

At a second raid in Glenroy, five people were in the house and police took a 32-year-old man into custody, where he is currently being interviewed by the Joint Counter Terrorism Team.

He suffered a graze to his face during the arrest, police say.

Police are speaking to a father and son in relation to the Gladstone Park raid, where the imitation shotgun was found.

The raids relate to “aiding and abetting commission of engagement into terrorist acts”.

A witness said at least 20 police had been “running around” on a major road, including Special Operations Group officers.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the raids are connected to the siege in which Khayre shot and killed Chinese-born Kai Hao and held an escort hostage before dying in a hail of bullets.

“We’re obviously limited in what we can say, we don’t want to put any of our operational staff in harm’s way by speaking about these matters, but they are in connection with the terrible tragic events of Monday in Brighton,” Mr Andrews told Sky News.

At least half a dozen officers remain at the Ascot Vale unit bagging items as evidence, while AFP officers are at a property in Flemington.

Others officers are inside the home on Churchill Ave, putting evidence into bags.

A crime scene has been established around a black Toyota Celica without number plates and a blue Mazda 3, while a police helicopter hovers above Flemington.

Victorian Premier on Brighton Raids

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Chimps are not people: New York court

Chimpanzees do not deserve the same rights as people, a New York state appeals court has unanimously concluded before refusing to order the release of two of the animals to a primate sanctuary.


The 5-0 decision by the Appellate Division in Manhattan on Thursday is the latest defeat for the Nonhuman Rights Project and its lawyer Steven Wise in a long debate over whether caged chimpanzees are actually legal “persons” entitled like humans to bodily liberty.

Tommy and Kiko, the chimpanzees in question, are held by private owners in upstate New York.

Citing experts like British primatologist Jane Goodall, the Nonhuman Rights Project said chimpanzees and humans share many behavioural, cognitive and social capabilities.

It said this entitled chimpanzees to many of the same rights, including against improper detention, and sought “habeas corpus” relief to win freedom for Tommy and Kiko.

But the shared capabilities “do not translate to a chimpanzee’s capacity or ability, like humans, to bear legal duties, or to be held legally accountable for their actions,” Justice Troy Webber wrote for the appeals court.

“While petitioner’s avowed mission is certainly laudable, the according of any fundamental legal rights to animals, including entitlement to habeas relief, is an issue better suited to the legislative process,” Webber wrote.

Thursday’s decision upheld rulings by state Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe in Manhattan.

The Nonhuman Rights Project was not immediately available for comment.

Wise also tried unsuccessfully to win the release of the chimpanzees Hercules and Leo from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. They later moved to Louisiana after the school decided to stop using them for research.

Tommy’s and Kiko’s cause drew support from Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe in a friend-of-the-court brief.

According to the decision, Tribe suggested that nonhuman animals could face legal duties, citing a “long history, mainly from the medieval and early modern periods, of animals being tried for offenses such as attacking human beings and eating crops.”

Webber, however, said none of the cited cases were recent or from New York, and that chimpanzees’ inability to defend themselves or take sufficient responsibility explains why those that kill or seriously injure humans are not prosecuted.

‘Lies, plain and simple’: Comey says Trump fired him to undermine FBI Russia investigation

During almost three hours of blockbuster sworn testimony to a Senate panel, Comey described himself as “stunned” by Trump’s “very disturbing” and “very concerning” behavior during several private meetings.


Expanding on the bombshell statement released on the eve of his appearance, Comey said the president asked him for “loyalty” during a White House dinner and to lay off former national security advisor Mike Flynn — who is under criminal investigation — imploring Comey to “let this go.”

“It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation,” he told senators. “I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted. That is a very big deal.”

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Detailing private talks with a sitting president, which under normal circumstances would never see the light of day, Comey said he took painstaking notes of the extraordinary encounters for fear Trump might “lie” about the meetings.

Comey indicated that it was now up to a high-powered special prosecutor to determine whether the president’s behavior constituted an obstruction of justice, a potentially impeachable offence.


Trump avoided directly responding to the explosive accusations, defiantly telling supporters at a religious event in the capital: “We are going to fight and win.”

But the White House hit back angrily at Comey.

“I can definitely say the president is not a liar and frankly am insulted by that question,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

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Easing months of speculation Comey did confirm that Trump was not personally the subject of a counterterror or criminal probe when he left the FBI last month.

The probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election has ensnared close aides of the president and has vast-ranging political and geopolitical implications.

Watch: Comey concerned Trump ‘may lie’

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‘Lies, plain and simple’

After solemnly raising his right hand and vowing to tell the whole truth, a visibly aggrieved Comey kicked-off his testimony with a bid to set the record straight about the state of the bureau he led until he was sacked last month.

“Although the law requires no reason at all to fire an FBI director, the administration then chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the work force had lost confidence in its leader,” he charged.

“Those were lies plain and simple,” Comey said, firing a shot of tension through hearing room 216 of the Senate’s Hart building, which stood silent except for the shutter clicks of a phalanx of photographers, there to capture this moment of pure political theater.

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Thursday’s hearing started with a call for unity of purpose.

“We are here because a foreign adversary attacked us right here at home. Plain and simple,” said Senator Mark Warner, the ranking Senate Intelligence Committee, in opening remarks.

“Not by guns or missiles, but by foreign operatives seeking to hijack our most important democratic process — our presidential election.”

But the pretence of bipartisanship soon fell away.


Democrats are intent on determining whether Trump’s actions amounted to obstruction of justice, while Republicans have zeroed in on Comey’s admission he assured the president he was not personally an FBI investigation target.

Republicans also pounced on Comey’s admission that he leaked personal notes on his meetings with Trump to prompt the naming of a special prosecutor to lead the Russia probe.

That prompted Trump’s son Donald junior to describe Comey sarcastically as a “classy guy.”

SO TRUE: He was more than willing to leak something against @realDonaldTrump but not something that exonerates him? Classy guy 苏州美甲培训学校,长沙SPA,/UqTtp3b6Nm

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) 8 June 2017

A private lawyer for Donald Trump denied Comey’s bombshell allegations, and suggested the ousted lawman should be prosecuted for leaking “privileged information.”

The president, said Marc Kasowitz, “never told Mr. Comey ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty’ in form or substance,” rejecting a key allegation made by the sacked FBI director before a Senate panel Thursday.

Rejecting key parts of Comey’s damning testimony while claiming others as a win for the president, Kasowitz also suggested Comey may face prosecution.

“Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he leaked to friends his purported memos of these privileged conversations, one of which he testified was classified.”

“We will leave it the appropriate authorities to determine whether this leaks should be investigated along with all those others being investigated.”

WATCH: Trump’s lawyer disputes Comey claims

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‘Very disturbing’

Trump abruptly fired Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on May 9, admitting later that the Russia probe was on his mind at the time. 

In his written statement, Comey described his mounting discomfort in the weeks leading up to his dismissal as Trump pulled him aside in one-on-one encounters and in phone calls to press him on the probe into Trump campaign associates and possible collusion with a Russian effort to tilt the 2016 vote in the Republican’s favor.

At a private White House dinner on January 27, just days after the billionaire took office, Comey said Trump appeared to want to “create some sort of patronage relationship” with him.

“The president said, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.’ I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed,” Comey said.


In an Oval Office tete-a-tete the following month Comey said Trump pressed him to drop the FBI investigation into Flynn, who had been fired for lying to the vice president about his unreported conversations with the Russian ambassador.

And he described trying to insulate himself and the FBI from political pressure in the weeks before Trump fired him, as the president complained about the Russian probe and labeled it “fake news.”

RELATED READINGTrump ‘vindicated’ by Comey

Networks and cable news stations provided blanket coverage of the hearing, and a number of bars in Washington were opening early, with TVs tuned to live broadcasts of the hearing — one of them offering free drinks every time Trump tweets about Comey.

At Shaw’s Tavern where the menu featured an FBI breakfast of French Toast with maple syrup, hundreds watching fell silent as Comey entered the hearing.

‘There’s been so much media hype, it’s good to actually hear this from the source,’ said Sadie Cornelius, 33. “It’s good to hear the facts.”

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Democrats have been quick to draw parallels with the Watergate scandal, when president Richard Nixon, facing impeachment for obstruction of justice, was forced to resign in 1973.

But the White House and Trump’s allies have sought to put a positive spin on Comey’s revelations.

“The president feels completely and totally vindicated. He is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda,” said Marc Kasowitz, hired by Trump as his personal lawyer to deal with issues linked to the Russia investigation, after Comey’s statement was released.

Ryan says ‘Trump is new to all this’

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