1 February 2017

Iranian general acknowledges missile test

Iran's defense minister said Wednesday that his country recently carried out a missile test, days after the White House said it was looking into reports of an Iranian ballistic missile launch that may have contravened a U.N. resolution.
Gen. Hossein Dehghan was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim news agency as saying "the recent missile test is in line with our plans and we will not let any foreigner meddle with our defense issues." He did not say when the test was carried out or specify the type of missile, but said the test was not in violation of U.N. resolutions or the 2015 nuclear accord.

Indian government cuts taxes, pledges to boost rural economy

Indian laborers work at a flyover construction site in Jammu, India, Wednesday, Feb.1, 2017. India's finance minister Wednesday pledged relief for middle class taxpayers and small and medium-sized companies while planning billions of dollars in spending to double farmers' incomes over the next five years and improve the country's ramshackle infrastructure and provide cheap homes to people.
India's finance minister pledged relief for middle class taxpayers and small and medium-sized companies on Wednesday, saying the government would spend billions of dollars to double farmers' incomes, upgrade ramshackle infrastructure and provide cheap housing.
In presenting to Parliament the budget for fiscal year that starts April 1, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the economy was doing well despite slowing growth in other emerging economies and a massive demonetization order late last year that affected the country's mostly cash-based business activities.

Reported treason arrests fuel Russian hacking intrigue

In this Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 file photo FSB headquarters, grey building at center, in downtown Moscow, Russia. Moscow has been awash with rumours of a hacking-linked espionage plot at the highest level since cyber-security firm Kaspersky said one of its executives with ties to the Russian intelligence services had been arrested on treason charges.
In the days since it emerged that four men had been arrested on treason charges linked to cyber intelligence and Russia's domestic security agency, conspiracy theories and speculation about the case have swept through Moscow.
Was it some fallout from the alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential election? Were they part of a hunt for a possible mole who tipped off American intelligence agencies? Was it a power struggle within Russia's security services?