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Obama vows to destroy ISIS to overcome terrorism threat
In a rare address from his Oval office, President Barack Obama pledged to overcome the threat of terrorism by destroying ISIS with a relentless, strong and smart campaign that is consistent with American values.
 
"The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it," Obama said Sunday night in a prime-time address four days after a Pakistani origin couple shot dead 14 people and wounded 21 others in San Bernardino, California to leave Americans unnerved.
 
"We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us," he said, using an alternate acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as he urged Congress to take action on several fronts.
 
At the same time, he asked Americans not to turn against Muslim friends and neighbours and turn the conflict with ISIS into a war against Islam.
 
It was only the third time that Obama was addressing the nation from his office in the White House to reflecting the gravity of the situation.
 
He last spoke from the Oval office in August 2010 to discuss the end of US combat operations in Iraq and a few months earlier on June 15 to talk about the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
 
The San Bernardino attacks were perpetrated by Syed Farook, 28, who was born in Chicago to Pakistani parents and raised in Southern California and Tashfeen Malik, his Pakistani wife who had pledged allegiance to the leader of ISIS online.
 
Taking note of the fact that Malik had came to the US in 2014 on a fiancee visa, Obama said he had "ordered the Departments of State and Homeland Security to review the visa programme under which the female terrorist in San Bernardino originally came to this country."
 
Urging "high-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice," he said: "We constantly examine our strategy to determine when additional steps are needed to get the job done."
 
He said that so far, there was no indication that the attack was directed by a terrorist organization overseas or that they were part of a larger conspiracy at home.
 
"But it is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalisation, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West," he said. "This was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people."
 
Obama said the terror threat has evolved since the days of the 9/11 attacks, but did not announce major changes to his plans to fight ISIS.
 
He outlined a four-pronged strategy: hunt down terrorist leaders in every country where they are; provide training and equipment to Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting ISIS on the ground; stop ISIS operations, financing and recruiting; and establish a ceasefire and political resolution to the Syrian civil war.
 
"Our success won't depend on tough talk or abandoning our values or giving into fear. That's what groups like ISIL are hoping for. Instead we will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless, and by drawing on every aspect of American power," he said.
 
Finally, focusing on what the country would not do, Obama reiterated a pledge to avoid a "long and costly ground war" in Iraq or Syria and implored Americans not to turn on all Muslims.
 
He called it the "responsibility of all Americans of every faith to reject discrimination," religious tests for entrance to the country or proposals to treat Muslim Americans differently.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Judiciary will protect India's core values: CJI
A strong and independent judiciary was capable of protecting people from attacks on the inclusive values of Indian society, Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur said on Sunday.
 
CJI Thakur, who took charge as India's top judge on Sunday, also asserted that there would not be any tolerance towards corruption and deviant behaviour in the judiciary, and stressed that the task of finding suitable people to be appointed judges to fill vacant posts was not an easy task. 
 
He also endorsed the Delhi government's decision to allow only even and odd numbered cars to ply in Delhi on alternate days from January 1 in a bid to curb rising air pollution.
 
"As the head of the institution that upholds the rule of law and protects the constitution, the right of all sections of people will be protected," the CJI said in his first media meet after assuming charge.
 
"Our existence is itself based on tolerance," he said, wondering how some political people can twist it to their advantage.
 
Assuring that judiciary was there to protect and safeguard people's rights, he said: "We are capable of protecting the rights of all sections of the people. It is our responsibility. Rule of law and constitutional guarantees are enshrined (in the constitution).
 
"What to talk of citizens, rights of all the people will be protected. There is nothing to fear," he said, adding: "The rule of law is even for non-citizens."
 
So long as there was rule of law, constitutional guarantees and an independent judiciary, "tab tak kisi baat ka dar nahin hona chahiye (till then, one should not fear anything)".
 
Citing the long, rich and all-inclusive traditions of India, he said: "This country has been a home for all religions of the world. People who were persecuted in other places have come here and flourished."
 
Describing it as "our heritage", Chief Justice Thakur gave the example of Parsis who came from Iran, saying they gave India the best industrialists and "finest legal minds", in a reference to legal luminaries Nani Palkhiwala and Fali Nariman.
 
Expressing support for the traffic restriction move, he said he would not mind walking down to the Supreme Court from his Motilal Nehru Marg residence or even boarding a bus.
 
Supreme Court judges pooling cars would send the right message, he said.
 
"If a judge of Supreme Court can pool cars (with brother judges), it sends a message to the people that we have no problem," he said. "We can walk down or even take a bus."
 
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hailed Chief Justice Thakur for his support.
 
"(His) support to odd-even formula is welcome and a huge encouragement," Kejriwal tweeted. "Supreme Court judges pooling cars would inspire millions to follow. Thank you My Lords."
 
CJI Thakur asserted that there would be no tolerance towards deviant behaviour and corruption by judges.
 
"We will be intolerant towards deviant behavior and allegations of corruption and cleanse the institution," he said.
 
On juvenile crime, he said that there was a bill before parliament and he was holding 14 cases to see what emerges. On the demand for abolition of death penalty, he said he was aware of the strong movement for this purpose but noted that for various reason, including terrorism, it was being retained in several countries, including some of the advanced ones.
 
"In India, the death penalty is awarded only in rarest of the rare cases."
 
Describing judges as a valuable "human resource", he said they could be used even after their retirement.
 
Addressing criticism that the judges were getting posts after retirement, he said: "If you think judges should not be there (on tribunals and commissions), you change the law and remove them from the system."
 
The chief justice also observed that the appointment of 400 judges to fill vacancies in the higher judiciary was a mammoth exercise and not an easy task to perform.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Delhi unveils odd-even traffic, Chief Justice backs plan
 The Delhi government on Sunday divided the week between vehicles with odd and even registration numbers, as Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur gave his backing to the landmark but controversial move aimed at battling rising air pollution in the national capital.
 
Public Works Department Minister Satyendra Jain announced that private vehicles with odd registration numbers will ply on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and those with even numbers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from January 1. There was no decision regarding Sundays.
 
Jain made it clear that the scheme -- which when implemented would drastically reduce the number of vehicles on Delhi's choking roads -- can succeed only with people's support.
 
"We need public participation for this initiative to succeed," he said.
 
He told the media that the Delhi government would also strengthen public transport from January 1 so as not to put motorists in difficulties. 
 
Jain spoke to the media here on the sidelines of a programme organised to pay tributes to Bhimrao Ambedkar on his 60th death anniversary.
 
A decision to ration road space was announced on Friday by the Delhi government after the Delhi High Court warned that the capital was becoming a virtual gas chamber.
 
Delhi has some 90 lakh registered vehicles, and about 1,500 are added on the roads every day. 
 
The curbs won't apply to CNG-driven public transport vehicles including auto-rickshaws, taxis and buses.
 
Jain said the restrictions would apply to all ministers and bureaucrats too, and he would use his car on alternate days and go for car-pool during the rest of the week.
 
The minister, who also holds the health portfolio, said the pollution levels in Delhi were an "emergency" situation, leading to various health issues.
 
In a boost to the Delhi government, new Chief Justice T.S. Thakur said Supreme Court judges too want to help in curbing the alarming level of air pollution and he won't mind boarding a bus to reach the country's highest court.
 
He said if Supreme Court judges pooled cars, it would send the right message to the people.
 
"If a judge of Supreme Court can pool cars (with brother judges), it sends a message to the people that we have no problem," he told reporters. "We can walk down or even take a bus."
 
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hailed Chief Justice Thakur for his support.
 
"(His) support to odd-even formula is welcome and a huge encouragement," Kejriwal said. "Supreme Court judges pooling cars would inspire millions to follow. Thank you My Lords."
 
The chief justice's comments came at a time when political parties opposed to Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party -- in contrast to environmental experts -- have hit out at the Delhi government for announcing a decision which they said would greatly inconvenience the public.
 
On Saturday, Kejriwal said he had been rushed into this decision because of judicial intervention and that the restrictions on cars would tried for 10 to 15 days to see if the programme can succeed.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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