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Australian teenager charged with terror plot

The teenager was charged after Victoria Police and Australian Federal Police personnel launched raids in Melbourne on Friday afternoon, swooping on a house where explosives were found and taken away to be detonated in a nearby park, Sky News Australia reported

 

A 17-year-old Australian boy was charged with terror offences following a raid by police at his home in Melbourne, media reported on Saturday.
 
The teenager was charged after Victoria Police and Australian Federal Police personnel launched raids in Melbourne on Friday afternoon, swooping on a house where explosives were found and taken away to be detonated in a nearby park, Sky News Australia reported.
 
"It will be alleged the teenager was undertaking preparations for planning a terrorist act in Australia," a police official said on Saturday.
 
In Darwin, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the government knows there is a very serious threat.
 
"There have been some raids over the last 24 hours in Sydney and Melbourne. There's been at least one arrest," he said.
 
The teenager is expected to face a closed court on Monday.
 

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Cameron's Conservatives defy predictions, get majority in British polls

Speaking outside No.10 Downing Street after visiting Buckingham Palace, Cameron said he would lead a government for "one nation" and make "Great Britain greater"

 

Defying all predictions and speculation, Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party on Friday secured a simple majority in the 650-member House of Commons, winning 331 seats in the British general election.
 
Ed Miliband's Labour Party has secured 232 seats, the Scottish National Party (SNP) 56, and the Democratic Unionist Party and the Liberal Democrats eight each, BBC reported.
 
The number of Indian-origin members in the new House of Commons remains at 10, unchanged from the previous house.
 
Speaking outside No.10 Downing Street after visiting Buckingham Palace, Cameron said he would lead a government for "one nation" and make "Great Britain greater". 
 
Britain was “on the brink of something special”, he added.
 
Earlier, as the Conservatives marched to a majority, Cameron said the election result was "clearly a very strong result for the Conservative Party", and added the party has had "a very positive response to a very positive campaign".
 
He said the Conservatives published a manifesto squarely for working people, and he hoped to be able to implement it in full.
 
The Conservatives won 331 seats, five more than the magic figure of 326 for a majority in the 650-member House of Commons.
 
In the outgoing house, the Conservatives had 306 seats, Labour 258, Liberal Democrats 57 and the SNP six. 
 
The SNP has made a near-clean sweep with 56 out of a total 59 seats -- recording its most successful general election victory ever. Its previous best was in October 1974, when it won 11 seats. The party won six seats in 2010. 
 
The three seats that slipped through the SNP's fingers in Scotland went to the Conservative Party, Labour and the Lib-Dems each.
 
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, who was at the Emirates Stadium when the Glasgow votes were being counted, told the BBC that Labour has been "losing the trust of the people of Scotland over a period of years".
 
She added: "What we're seeing tonight is Scotland voting to put its trust in the SNP to make Scotland's voice heard, a clear voice for an end to austerity, better public services and more progressive politics at Westminster. That's what we now intend to do."
 
Labour suffered its worst defeat since 1987, losing 40 of its 41 seats in Scotland. Miliband apologised to MPs on losing their seats in the general election, saying that it had been a "very disappointing and difficult night".
 
"This has clearly been a very disappointing and difficult night for the Labour Party, we haven't made the gains we wanted in England and Wales, and in Scotland we have seen a surge of nationalism overwhelm our party," he said after the results were declared in Morley and Outwood, where he lost to Conservative candidate Andrea Jenkyns by 422 votes.
 
In the Liberal Democrats (Lib-Dems) camp, Nick Clegg resigned as the leader after the party fared poorly in the general election, its tally down to eight from 57 in the previous house.
 
Clegg, also Britain's Deputy Prime Minister since 2010, served as the Lib-Dem leader since 2007 and a member of parliament (MP) representing Sheffield Hallam constituency since 2005. 
 
Energy Secretary Ed Davey, Business Secretary Vince Cable and Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander all lost their seats.
 
Clegg said the results were "immeasurably more crushing" than he had feared, but saying it was a "huge honour" to lead the party.
 
"It's simply heartbreaking to see so many friends and colleagues who have served their constituents over so many years abruptly lose their seats because of forces entirely beyond their control," he said.
 
Similarly, UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage also resigned after having failed to gain the seat of Thanet South constituency and his party winning only one seat in the election.
 
Farage served as the UKIP's leader since 2010. 
 
Speaking about his defeat, he insisted he had "never felt happier", with a "weight lifted off my shoulders".
 
Meanwhile, the number of Indian-origin members in the new House of Commons following the general election held on Thursday will remain at 10, unchanged from the previous house, Ray Media reported.
 
All sitting Indian-origin MPs were re-elected bar one. Paul Uppal of the Conservative Party lost the Wolverhampton South West seat in the West Midlands to Rob Marris of the Labour Party.
 
Uppal's loss, though, was compensated for by victory for Rishi Sunak, a Conservative, in Richmond in Yorkshire. This first-time MP was fighting a seat vacated by William Hague, who until last year was Britain's foreign minister. Sunak is a son-in-law of N.R. Narayana Murthy, one of the founders of the Indian software giant Infosys. 
 

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US labels Al Jazeera bureau chief as Al Qaeda member

Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan, a Syrian national based in Islamabad, has covered the Taliban and Al Qaeda throughout his career and has conducted a number of interviews with senior Al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, The Intercept said

 

The US government has labelled Al Jazeera's bureau chief in Pakistan's capital as a member of Al Qaeda and put him on a watch list of suspected terrorists, an online magazine reported.
 
Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan, a Syrian national based in Islamabad, has covered the Taliban and Al Qaeda throughout his career and has conducted a number of interviews with senior Al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, The Intercept said on Friday
 
"A slide dated June 2012 from a National Security Agency PowerPoint presentation bears his photo, name, and a terror watch list identification number, and labels him a 'member of al-Qaida' as well as the Muslim Brotherhood. It also notes that he 'works for Al Jazeera'," the report said.
 
The report said the presentation was among the documents provided by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, who disclosed the agency's mass domestic and global spying programme in 2013.
 
It said Zaidan was cited in the document as an example to demonstrate the powers of Skynet, a programme that analyses location and communication data from bulk call records to "detect suspicious patterns".
 
In a phone interview with the magazine, Zaidan "absolutely" denied that he is a member of Al-Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
In a statement provided through Al Jazeera, he said that his career has spanned many years of work in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and required interviewing key people in the region.
 
A spokesman for Al Jazeera cited a long list of instances where its journalists have been targeted by governments on which it reports.

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