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  1. Today
  2. TACLOBAN: At least three people were killed and tens of thousands were driven from their homes by floods as Tropical Storm Kai-Tak pounded the eastern Philippines on Saturday, cutting off power and triggering landslides, officials said. Kai-Tak, packing gusts of up to 110 kilometres an hour, hit the country's third-largest island Samar in the afternoon and tore through a region devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan four years ago, the state weather service said. Local officials reported three deaths on neighbouring Leyte island - a two-year-old boy who drowned in the town of Mahaplag, a woman buried by a landslide and another person who fell into a flooded manhole in Ormoc city. Samar and Leyte, with a combined population of about 4.5 million, had borne the brunt of Haiyan in 2013, which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing. Bus driver Felix Villaseran, his wife and four children hunkered down in their two-storey house in the Leyte city of Tacloban along with 11 relatives whose homes were flooded from incessant rain. "We have yet to shake off our phobia. I hope to God we don´t have a repeat of that," Villaseran, who lost 39 cousins in the Haiyan onslaught, told AFP by telephone. "My missus stockpiled on groceries before the storm hit, but since we also have to feed these three other families we´re now running low on food," he added. 77,000 evacuated Military trucks drove through rising floodwaters on Samar and Leyte to rescue trapped residents, with more than 77,000 people now in evacuation centres, local officials said. Strong winds toppled trees and power pylons, knocking out power throughout the region while floods, small landslides and rock falls blocked roads and buried some homes, local officials and witnesses said. Farmland in the mainly rural region was also under water, while seven people were injured by landslides and flying objects, the regional civil defence office said in a report. A spokeswoman for the national government's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council told AFP it was trying to confirm reports of two other deaths from landslides and floods on the islands of Biliran and Dinagat. "It was like a flashback again for residents of Tacloban city," its vice mayor Sambo Yaokasin told Manila television station ABS-CBN by telephone, referring to the Haiyan disaster. The station broadcast images of flooded streets and corrugated iron roofing sheets flying off homes. "Nearly half the villages here are flooded," Marcelo Picardal, vice governor of Eastern Samar province told ABS-CBN in a telephone interview. Three other people were missing in Ormoc after being swept away by floods on Saturday, city mayor Richard Gomez told CNN Philippines television in an interview. "We need a lot of water and a lot of blankets," Gomez added, citing widespread flooding that may have contaminated the tap water system of the city of 200,000 people. The state weather service said more heavy rain was expected in the eastern Philippines in the coming hours with Kai-Tak forecast to slice across the rest of the central Philippines over the weekend. Ferry services on the storm´s path were suspended due to rough seas, the civil defence office in the area said. About 20 typhoons or weaker storms either make landfall in the Philippines or reach its waters each year, bringing annual misery and death and consigning millions of survivors to perennial poverty.
  3. RIYADH: Saudi Arabian women will be able to drive trucks and motorcycles, officials have said three months after the kingdom announced a historic decision to end a ban on women driving. In September, King Salman issued a decree saying women will be able to drive from next June as part of an ambitious reform push in the conservative kingdom. The Saudi General Directorate of Traffic gave details of the new regulations that will follow the lifting of the ban on the official Saudi Press Agency late on Friday. "Yes, we will authorise women to drive motorcycles" as well as trucks, it said, adding that the royal decree stipulates that the law on driving will be "equal" for both men and women. There will be no special licence plate numbers for female-driven cars, it said. But women involved in road accidents or who commit traffic violations will be dealt with at special centres that will be established and run by women. Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world to impose a ban on women driving and its maintenance was seen around the world as a symbol of repression in the Gulf kingdom. Its historic decision to allow women to drive from next June has been cheered inside the kingdom and abroad -- and comes after decades of resistance from female activists, many of whom were jailed for flouting the ban. Saudi Arabia has some of the world´s tightest restrictions on women. Under the country´s guardianship system, a male family member -- normally the father, husband or brother -- must grant permission for a woman´s study, travel and other activities.
  4. NEW DELHI: India's Rahul Gandhi took over Saturday as president of the main opposition Congress, becoming the sixth member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to head the party that has ruled the country for much of its independent history. Fireworks erupted over the party headquarters in New Delhi drowning out the voice of his mother Sonia Gandhi as she handed over the reins of power to her 47-year-old son, who now faces the tough task of ousting the right-wing government of premier Narendra Modi. Rahul, wearing a long flowing white kurta, smiled and waved from the dais adorned with posters of his late grandmother and father, former prime ministers Indira and Rajiv Gandhi. "I accept this position with the deepest humility, with the knowledge that I will always be walking in the shadow of giants," Gandhi said in his acceptance speech which quickly became an attack on Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "The Congress party took us into the 21st century but the prime minister today is taking us backwards to the medieval times where people are butchered for who they are, beaten for what they believe and killed for what they eat," he said. The Modi government has been under fire in the past several months for an increase in inter-faith violence, including attacks by vigilantes largely targeting Muslims for allegedly consuming beef or killing cows which are sacred to Hindus. Gandhi was elected unopposed to take over from his mother Sonia who has been at the helm since 1998 following the assassination of her husband Rajiv. She helped the Congress win the general elections in 2004 and 2009. But the party was swept out of office by the BJP in 2014 and is now in a fight to win back support before a general election which must be held by 2019. Gandhi became Congress vice-president in 2013 and led the campaign for the 2014 election, in which the party recorded its worst-ever showing as it lost power to Modi's BJP. Since then, the party has lost polls in many key states to the BJP, exposing Gandhi to further criticism. "Personal attacks on my son have made him fearless. I am sure he will lead the party with exemplary courage," Sonia said to loud applause from party supporters who arrived in busloads for the ceremony. Slogans of "long live Rahul" were shouted as hundreds of supporters danced and burst firecrackers. Gujarat test Gandhi will confront his first test as Congress leader this week when election results emerge from Gujarat, Modi´s home state, which the BJP has ruled for over two decades. He has led the Congress campaign for the election, winning the backing of some influential caste groups who say they have been left behind by an economic boom in the prosperous western state. However, surveys Thursday showed the BJP would sweep Gujarat as well as elections in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. Results of the elections in both states will be out Monday. Gandhi entered public life 13 years ago when he stood and won in his family seat of Amethi in north India. The fifth-generation scion looked out of place and came across as a reluctant politician until this year when he appeared more confident during his public appearances. Gurpreet Mahajan, a political studies professor at Delhi´s Jawaharlal Nehru University, said Gandhi faces a tough task. "It will be important how he manages to bring changes in the party functioning, like bringing young leaders to the fore and overcoming opposition criticism about his leadership," she told AFP. "If he is able to bring changes at the grassroots level that can give a new direction to the party that has been struggling in face of a resurgent BJP."
  5. Video: Geo News KOHAT: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday said that the issue of merging the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is a serious issue. " FATA's [merger] is a serious issue. It has the support of the Senate, National Assembly, and the public," Abbasi said while addressing a public convention in Kohat.
  6. RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday said the sacrifice of Army Public School (APS) martyrs has not gone in vain and the country's improving peace is owed to them, said a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The army chief's statement came on the third anniversary of the attack on APS which killed more than 140 people. The statement from the army chief added that the sacrifice of the children and their families remains unforgettable. "It symbolises our undeterred resolve in love of our motherland," said General Bajwa. Earlier today, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Dec 16, 2014, will be remembered as a black day in the history of the world, when inhumane terrorists attacked innocent children. He said that the sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani nation are unmatched. "The nation gave the sacrifice of life and property in the war against terrorism," he added. The premier stated in his message further that extremism is the tree from which the poisonous fruit of terrorism grows. "The army?s day-and-night hard work and sacrifice has broken the terrorists? back. The army, security forces defeated terrorists via the National Action Plan," he added. On December 16, 2014, terrorists stormed the army-run school and killed around 150 people, including more than 130 young students. The incident shook the country and resulted in the formation of a National Action Plan to stem extremism and terrorism from the country, as well as the creation of military courts to try 'hardcore' terrorists.
  7. The popularity of Bollywood's legend Amitabh Bachchan is unprecedented. If any actor from the young generation who can replicate his career graph, then it is most definitely Ranbir Kapoor. The two actors, who will be seen in Karan Johar's Brahmastra next, came together for a photoshoot for an Indian magazine's 42 anniversary. The magazine cover has Amitabh Bachchan and Ranbir Kapoor striking an identical and thoughtful pose. The cover has the word ?Unforgettables? written on it. Reacting to the cover, ace director Karan Johar called it an "unforgettable cover". Yesteryears actress and Ranbir's mother Neetu Kapoor also shared the cover on social media.
  8. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Leader Tallal Chaudhary addressing media in Faisalabad on December 16, 2017. Photo: Geo News screen grab 1 FAISALABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Leader Tallal Chaudhary remarked that the ?mother of all cases? Hudaibiya has finished now. While addressing media in Faisalabad on Saturday, Tallal remarked that earlier a bench had said that Hudaibiya Papers Mills cannot continue. ?Yesterday, three more judges ruled that Hudaibiya case should not be continued.? All the cases registered against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on the basis of Hudaibiya case have ended now, he remarked. Supreme Court dismisses NAB's appeal to reopen Hudaibiya Paper Mills case Three-member SC bench was hearing NAB's appeal against LHC decision to quash investigation of case On Friday, a three-member Supreme Court bench dismissed National Accountability Bureau (NAB)'s appeal to reopen the Rs1.2 billion Hudaibiya Paper Mills case. The bench was headed by Justice Mushir Alam and comprised Justices Qazi Faez Isa and Mazhar Alam Miankhel. The Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, involving money laundering charges against the Sharif family, was initiated by NAB in 2000 but quashed by the Lahore High Court (LHC) in 2014. On the disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf?s Jahangir Tareen, Tallal remarked that ?Tareen has been disqualified because he didn?t declare his offshore companies.? Reiterating PML-N's earlier stance, he added: ?nation will decide who should be disqualified.? Lashing out at political opponent Imran Khan, Tallal remarked that "Imran is just a mere puppet." Imran Khan cleared, Jahangir Tareen disqualified by Supreme Court ECP denotifies Tareen from his constituency of NA-154 Lodhran-1 He also claimed that Imran Khan won't come into power in the upcoming general elections next year. On Friday, the Supreme Court disqualified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary General Jahangir Tareen but ruled in favour of PTI Chairperson Imran Khan in its judgment on the disqualification case against the two party leaders.
  9. KARACHI: Minister for Railway Khawaja Saad Rafique on Saturday said political stability in the country will lead to better economic results and creating hurdles will impede progress. The minister was speaking to the media at the metropolis' City Station. Rafique said Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) was not a victim of political differences with the Pakistan Peoples Party. He added that earlier provincial governments were not interested in the project but the incumbent chief minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, has shown interest. He further said that he had met Shah on Friday and the project is heading in the right direction for the first time. Referring to Main Line 1 (ML1), the track running from Karachi to Peshawar, the minister said he will tread carefully on the upgradation of track. "My first priority is to tread carefully on ML1," said Rafique. He added that the cost should suit Pakistan Railways (PR) and the conditions of the loan should also suit the organisation. Rafique further said that the project will take time to complete but will serve the country for the next century. Speaking of PR's revenue, the minister said that the profit for the year was Rs40 billion, and the target for next year is Rs50bn. Earlier in May, Pakistan signed an agreement with China to upgrade Karachi-Peshawar railway track. The framework agreement of upgradation of Karachi-Peshawar track was signed at a ceremony at the Chinese Ministry of Transport office. During the signing ceremony, the Chinese minister for transport had also assured of expediting work on Karachi Circular Railway, and other projects in Quetta and Peshawar.
  10. Past hour
  11. A pro-Kannada group, identified as Karnataka Rakshana Vedike Yuva Sene, threatened to commit mass suicide over Sunny?s participation in a New Year's Eve performance in Bengaluru. Photo: file Sunny Leone is no stranger to controversies. The Bollywood lass who has worked hard to make her way but still faces issues relating to acceptance in India. A pro-Kannada group, identified as Karnataka Rakshana Vedike Yuva Sene, threatened to commit mass suicide over Sunny?s participation in a New Year's Eve performance in Bengaluru, reported Indian media. Protesting in front Manyata Tech Park on Friday, the group burnt her posters and condemned her programmes as an assault on Karnataka's culture. The president of the organisation, Harish said that he wouldn?t mind if the actress wears a saree and performs. India Today's report quoted the state president of the protesting group as saying, "We are against Sunny wearing short clothes. If she wears a saree and takes part in the event, even we'll go watch her. Sunny doesn't have a good past. We shouldn't be encouraging such people. We will not hesitate to commit suicide on 31 December." Taking notice of the incident, the Karnataka government denied permission to Bollywood actor Sunny Leone to perform at a New Year's Eve show in Bengaluru. "We have denied permission fearing law and order problems in the wake of protests by pro-Kannada outfits and also keeping in view the directions of the Karnataka high court in a molestation case reported on MG Road last New Year's Eve," said home minister R Ramalinga Reddy. He added that they decided not to grant permission considering that her fans in Kochi went berserk during her visit there in August. "We took feedback from Kochi police before taking the decision," Reddy added.
  12. GAZA: Israeli troops shot dead four Palestinians and wounded 150 others with live fire on Friday, medical officials said, as protests over US President Donald Trump?s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel?s capital entered the second week. Most of the casualties were on the Gaza Strip border, where thousands of Palestinians gathered to protest against Israeli soldiers beyond the fortified fence. Medics said two protesters, one of them wheelchair-bound, were killed and 150 wounded. In the occupied West Bank, another area where Palestinians are seeking statehood along with adjacent East Jerusalem, medics said two protesters were killed and 10 wounded by Israeli gunfire. Palestinians -- and the wider Arab and Muslim world -- were incensed at Trump?s Dec. 6 announcement, which reversed decades of U.S. policy reticence on Jerusalem, a city where both Israel and the Palestinians want sovereignty. Washington?s European allies and Russia have also voiced worries about Trump?s decision.
  13. JAKARTA: A powerful magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck the island of Java in Indonesia just before midnight on Friday, with authorities reporting three deaths and damage to hundreds of buildings. The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicentre of the quake was located at a depth of 92 km (57 miles), about 52 km southwest of Tasikmalaya. Indonesia?s national disaster management agency said the quake activated early tsunami warning systems in the south of Java, prompting thousands to evacuate from some coastal areas, but no tsunami was detected.
  14. Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar addressing a Pakistan Bar Council?s seminar on December 16, 2017. Photo: Geo News screen grab1 LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar urged the public to stop doubting the integrity of the judiciary. Addressing a Pakistan Bar Council seminar on Saturday, he remarked that the judiciary is akin to an elder, wise person whose advice everyone seeks. ?Judiciary is your baba [old, wise man].? ?We have made all decisions independently with our conscience,? he remarked, adding that people should stop criticising the judiciary for verdicts against them. Judges are not part of any plan or any conspiracy. The people who review or comment on decisions of the court should read the verdict first, he said. He asserted that the judiciary is working independently without any pressure. ?I don?t know where the claims of planned and pressurised judgments are stemming from," he added. ?You should be proud of the judiciary. We have made the judiciary independent internally.? CJP also remarked: "All organs of the state are integrated and linked with democracy. If there is no democracy then we will have no Constitution. We have taken an oath to protect the Constitution. It is our responsibility to protect the Constitution." On the problems faced by the justice system, he said: ?Delay is the biggest vice of our system.? He also claimed that some lawyers charge an exorbitant amount from the people. "Some lawyers charge as much as Rs15million," he pointed out, urging that justice should be dispensed at a lower amount. Speaking about the judges? appointment issue, he said that it has been pointed out that some appointments are incompetent. He reasoned that the process of making an appointment requires feedback of bar members, government, and then judges. ?We ask the bar first because we don?t want judges? viewpoint to affect bar.? CJP shared that judges are evaluated on three main qualities; integrity, knowledge of law and conduct. ?Integrity is the most important thing for a judge.? However, he clarified his stance that judges? competency will be reviewed but he won?t allow appointments to increase membership of a certain party. ?Most people want to bring their own person so they challenge the current appointments,? he said, sternly adding ?I will not standby such appointments.? He accepted that it is possible some incompetent people were hired. ?But we must investigate how we let this happen.? He remarked that the conditions are quite hard for judges these days, adding ?it has become hard for a judge to survive.? He added, ?it is my responsibility to improve the institution. However, I want utmost honesty and honesty of purpose from both lawyers and judges.?
  15. PTI Chairman Imran Khan meets disqualified party MNA Jahangir Tareen Dec 16. Photo: Geo News ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan called on the party's secretary general and disqualified MNA Jahangir Tareen on Saturday. The PTI chief was cleared while Tareen had to face the axe by the Supreme Court on Friday (yesterday) when the court announced its verdict in the disqualification case against the two leaders. Imran Khan cleared, Jahangir Tareen disqualified by Supreme Court ECP denotifies Tareen from his constituency of NA-154 Lodhran-1 A high-level party huddle is also expected at Imran's Bani Gala residence today to discuss the future course of action following Tareen's disqualification. The party's legal team will brief leaders on the details of the Supreme Court judgment, shared sources. On Friday, Geo News reported that Tareen has decided to step down from his party post. Sources said Tareen decided to step down from the party post during his meetings with PTI members. PTI MNA from Islamabad, Asad Umar, remains a strong contender to replace Tareen, sources added. Tareen decides to step down as PTI secretary general: sources The disqualified PTI leader has also consulted close affiliates over quitting politics, sources say Earlier in the day, PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry had said that Imran directed Tareen to continue performing duties as the secretary general of the party. The Supreme Court, in its judgment on Friday, ruled that Tareen cannot be termed honest and stands disqualified for life as per Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution. It also said the PTI leader used suspicious terms in his statements to the court, besides not declaring his offshore company. Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar, who headed the three-member Supreme Court bench hearing the case, ruled that Imran is not disqualified as a parliamentarian as the petitioner was not directly affected in the foreign funding case. The court also ruled that the ECP will impartially investigate the foreign funding claims against the PTI chief by scrutinising accounts up till five years ago. The judgment stated that Imran wasn't bound to declare his offshore company, declared his London flat in an amnesty scheme and that his former wife Jemima gave him the funds for buying the Bani Gala estate.
  16. Today
  17. A youthful and politically motivated crowd turn out to see Jeremy Corbyn at Glastonbury. Photo: PA LONDON: "Youthquake" was crowned Friday as Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year 2017, following a five-fold increase in usage. The word is defined as "a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people". It first rose during Britain´s June general election, which saw an upsurge in youth turnout, then had an even bigger spike in September around New Zealand´s general election. However, the word was first coined in 1965 by the then Vogue magazine editor Diana Vreeland to describe how youth culture was changing fashion and music. It beat eight other words on the shortlist. These included "milkshake duck", a "person or thing that initially inspires delight on social media but is soon revealed to have a distasteful or repugnant past" and "white fragility", defined as "discomfort and defensiveness on the part of a white person when confronted by information about racial inequality and injustice". Also shortlisted was "broflake", a man who is readily upset or offended by progressive attitudes that conflict with his more conventional or conservative views, and "newsjacking", defined as taking advantage of current events to promote a brand. Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Dictionaries, said Youthquake was a word everyone could rally behind. "Youthquake may not seem like the most obvious choice for Word of the Year, and it´s true that it´s yet to land firmly on American soil, but strong evidence in the UK calls it out as a word on the move," he said. "We chose youthquake based on its evidence and linguistic interest. But most importantly for me, at a time when our language is reflecting our deepening unrest and exhausted nerves, it is a rare political word that sounds a hopeful note." "We turn to language to help us mark where we have been, how far we have come, and where we are heading," Oxford Dictionaries said. Youthquake best reflected not only the ethos, mood and preoccupations of the past year but had "lasting potential as a word of cultural significance". The other shortlisted words are antifa, gorpcore, kompromat and unicorn, something dyed with rainbow colours or decorated with glitter. Previous words of the year include "post-truth" (2016), the "face with tears of joy" emoji (2015), "vape" (2014), "selfie" (2013), "omnishambles" in Britain and "GIF" in the United States (2012) and "squeezed middle" (2011).
  18. Just imagine you're just cleaning and doing your job, but you stumble upon a dinosaur corpse. How freaked out would you be? This is exactly what has happened to an electrician cleaning out a sub-station that had been left untouched for 35 years in Jaspur, in Uttarakhand. Is this the real life, or is this Jurassic Park? But, the most baffling part about this discovery of a partially-preserved corpse is that it still had flesh on its bones. It does resemble a small dinosaur, but since flightless dinosaurs have been extinct for 65 million years, scientists are struggling to identify it. © Penn News This freaky creature has currently gone for analysis, and after carbon dating, its age will be revealed. According to Dr Parag Madhukar Dhakate, a Conservator with the Indian Forest Service, that even though it looks like a dinosaur, the creature is still a mystery and nothing can be confirmed until the analysis is done. He said, “It looks like a dinosaur, but we can't say anything until all the tests are done.” But, according to Aaryan Kumar, who is pursuing a PhD in Paleontology from Delhi University, it was impossible for a dinosaur skeleton to be so well preserved after so long. © Penn News He said, “Non-avian dinosaurs have been extinct for the past 65 million years but it does resemble theropods, a suborder of dinosaurs which included bipedal carnivores. But a dinosaur skeleton could not have been found in such a well-preserved condition after millions of years without it being in a fossilized state.” “The only even slightly possible way is it was chemically preserved to store it in a museum. But if that was the case, how did it end up here?” © Wikipedia Apparently, the mysterious creature could be the Deinonychus, the Coelophysis or the Dromaeosaurus, but we don't even know for sure yet that it's a dinosaur. Another suggestion could be a genetically distorted goat foetus, but we'll just have to wait for the confirmation.
  19. At the time of their arrest in July 2016, New York´s then police commissioner Bill Bratton likened the burglaries to scenes from the movie "Heat". Photo: Heat NEW YORK: Four New Yorkers have pleaded guilty to blow-torching their way into bank vaults and making off with more than $5 million in burglaries likened to a Hollywood movie, US officials said Friday. Michael Mazzara, 45, Charles Kerrigan, 42, and Anthony Mascuzzio, 38, assisted by Christopher Kerrigan, 40, stole more than $5 million in cash, jewelry, collectables, and other valuables from bank vaults and safe boxes, prosecutors said. The burglaries took place in Brooklyn and Queens in April and May last year. All four pleaded guilty at separate Manhattan federal court hearings and will be sentenced next year, prosecutors said. They face the prospect of years behind bars. "Like a scene from a movie, these defendants used blow torches to cut into bank roofs, and subsequently vaults and safe deposit boxes, to steal more than $5 million in cash and customer valuables," said acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim. The defendants cut through the banks´ roofs and vaults with acetylene torches -- targeting an HSBC bank in Brooklyn and a Maspeth Federal Savings Bank branch in Queens. In Queens, they hid their crimes by building a plywood shed on the roof. Breaking open deposit boxes, they snatched more than $600,000 in cash and more than $4.3 million in diamonds, jewelry and other valuables, prosecutors said. At the time of their arrest in July 2016, New York´s then police commissioner Bill Bratton likened the burglaries to scenes from the movie "Heat," calling their work "well organized, meticulous and elusive to law enforcement." The 1995 film, starring Robert de Niro and Al Pacino, follows a group of hardened bank robbers who mistakenly leave behind a clue.
  20. PPP leader Raja Pervez Ashraf talking to the media in Lahore Dec 16, 2017. Photo: Geo News LAHORE: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will have no objections if it has to ally with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for national betterment, said PPP leader Raja Pervez Ashraf on Saturday. The former premier made the comments after appearing before an accountability court hearing a graft case against him. Ashraf said accusing state institutions is akin to weakening the state, adding that the PPP, under any circumstances, did not attack the Supreme Court. "Our wish is to see that the next general elections are held on time," said the PPP leader. He claimed that the PPP will not be affected by anyone's "in or out". He was likely referring to Friday's disqualification of PTI Secretary General Jahangir Tareen. The former prime minister also criticised the ruling party, saying that he cannot even see the government let alone see the functioning of the government. Earlier, the PTI chairman had said he would never side with the "corrupt" PPP chief Asif Ali Zardari.
  21. geo_embedgallery JOHANNESBURG: Pakistani wrestlers have secured six bronze medals in the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship 2017, Geo News reported Saturday. The wrestlers bagged bronze medals in their respective categories of the Greco-Roman wrestling competition. Bilal bagged bronze in 60 kilogramme category, Abdul Wahab in 63kg, Mudasser in 67kg, Ghulam Ghaus in 72kg, Ameer Ahmed in 87kg, and Ahmed Butt in 130kg. On the other hand, Abdul Rehman secured fourth position in the 77kg category, while Tayyab Raza secured fifth position in 97kg. The three-day event, which is being held at Carnival City Big Top Arena in Brakpan, South Africa, will conclude on December 17. Countries such as Canada, United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, and Nigeria are competing in the wrestling championship.
  22. Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (C), flanked by vice-president Mercedes Araoz (L) and his cabinet, gives a speech at the Government Palace in Lima, Peru, December 14, 2017. Photo: Peruvian Government Palace LIMA: President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski?s chances of surviving the political crisis gripping Peru faded on Friday after Congress passed a motion to start ?presidential vacancy? procedures with enough votes to unseat him within a week. The opposition-controlled Congress voted 93-17 on Friday to seek his removal from office over graft allegations, which he denies. Eighty-seven votes will be needed to oust him in a session scheduled for December 21, when he will be asked to defend himself. A Brazilian construction company at the center of Latin America?s biggest graft scandal disclosed this week payments totaling $4.8 million to companies owned by Kuczynski or a close friend, triggering calls for him to resign. Kuczynski had previously denied any links to the Brazilian company, Odebrecht, and said on Thursday there was nothing improper about the payments. Flanked by his Cabinet, Kuczynski vowed not to resign in a defiant message to the nation. However, Kuczynski was aware his chances of surviving the scandal were slim, said a government official who asked not be identified. By resisting calls to step down, he hopes to clear his name and defend due process as the Odebrecht graft investigation widens, the source said. ?This is a national disgrace,? said opposition lawmaker Lourdes Alcorta. ?The less harmful option for Peru would be his resignation. He?s forcing us to impeach him.? Odebrecht has rocked politics in Latin America since agreeing a year ago to provide details on bribery schemes across the region ? landing elites in jail from Colombia to the Dominican Republic and nearly toppling a president in Brazil. Two former presidents in Peru, Ollanta Humala and Alejandro Toledo, have been ensnared in the Odebrecht probe over alleged payments they deny. Humala was jailed pending trial in July and authorities are seeking Toledo?s extradition from the United States. Opposition leader Keiko Fujimori, whom Kuczynski unexpectedly defeated in last year?s presidential election, is also under investigation and denies wrongdoing. If Kuczynski is forced out, he would be replaced by First Vice President Martin Vizcarra, a former governor of a copper-rich mining region and Peru?s current ambassador to Canada. Kuczynski was once lauded by many as a brilliant technocrat who would help uproot widespread corruption in Peru. But his 16 months in office have been marked by clashes with the right-wing opposition party that controls Congress. Kuczynski said late on Thursday he was the owner, but not the manager, of a company paid by Odebrecht while he held senior government posts. He also acknowledged providing financial services for an Odebrecht project as a consultant for a friend?s firm when he did not hold public office. The opposition slammed the explanation as too little, too late. ?It?s really unfortunate that President Kuczynski has put the country in this situation,? said congresswoman Cecilia Chacon.
  23. LONDON: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, along with his daughter Maryam and granddaughter Mahnoor will be arriving back in Pakistan on Sunday morning. According to the flight itinerary seen by the former prime minister will be travelling back to Pakistan via Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-758 from London Heathrow arriving at Alama Iqbal International Airport Lahore at 8:00 am. Nawaz Sharif had departed for London on December 4 after being exempted from appearing before the court to attend to his ailing wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz. Sharif had been granted exemption from appearing before the court till December 12. The last hearing for the case was conducted on the 11th and the next will be held on December 19.
  24. Pakistan's 15-member squad posing for the event at the inauguration ceremony of the tournament. Photo: Facebook/Asian Men's Netball Championship KARACHI: Pakistan will face off against arch-rival India in the final of the Second Asian Men?s Netball Championship on Sunday (tomorrow). Pakistan qualified for the final after defeating Singapore 75-63 during the semi-final on Saturday. On the other hand, India qualified after defeating host team Malaysia 47-44. Interestingly, Pakistan defeated traditional rivals India 70-41 in the Round-Robin Matches of the tournament, which kicked off on Wednesday. Pakistan remains undefeated in the tournament and scored the most goals after the Round-Robin Matches. The 15-member netball squad of Pakistan comprises Mohammad Akhtar (captain), Samad Masood (vice-captain), Ali Raza Fareed, Usman Bashir, Mohammad Khursheed, Mehboob Shah, Rana Zahid Khan, Yawar Khan, Abid Ali Ansari, Masoom Abbass, Haris Kamal, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseeb Raza, Mohammad Zohair (reserve). Anwar Ahmed Ansari is the team?s coach Yasir Ahmed is the assistant coach. Pakistan had won the silver medal in the First Asian Men?s Netball Championship 2016. The host team Malaysia defeated Pakistan 35-34 in a close competition, which was held at Dewan Serbaguna Complex Quarters, Kuala Lumpur, last year.
  25. WASHINGTON: The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved US$300 million under the 'Strengthening Markets for Agriculture and Rural Transformation' (SMART) project for Punjab. The SMART project aims to modernise agriculture in Punjab to raise farmers' incomes and give consumers better, safer quality produce at lower prices. It also aims to create jobs on farms and agribusinesses and improve use of irrigation water, according to a WB statement. improve the use of irrigation water.
  26. About 20 typhoons or weaker storms either make landfall in the Philippines or reach its waters each year. Photo: AFP/File Tens of thousands were driven from their homes by floods and three fishermen were missing Saturday as Tropical Storm Kai-Tak barrelled towards the eastern Philippines, officials said. Kai-Tak, packing gusts of up to 100 kilometres (62 miles) an hour, was poised to smash into the north of the country's third-largest island Samar overnight Saturday before slicing across the central Philippines, the state weather service said. More than 38,000 people have moved to evacuation camps, local officials said, after days of heavy rain unleashed by the approaching cyclone caused floods and landslides on Samar and nearby Leyte island. These islands, with a combined population of about 4.5 million, had borne the brunt of Super Typhoon Haiyan four years ago, which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing. Ferry services on the two islands remain suspended due to rough seas, with three fishermen also missing despite government warnings against sailing, the region's civil defence office said. A baby girl and a woman were also injured in landslides near Tacloban, Leyte's largest city, it said in a report. The state weather service said more heavy rain was expected in the eastern Philippines in the coming hours, warning of flooding in low-lying areas and landslides in the uplands. About 20 typhoons or weaker storms either make landfall in the Philippines or reach its waters each year, bringing annual misery and helping to keep millions in perennial poverty.
  27. If you're so done with everything VIrushka, I would like to apologize in advance. But you clicked on this knowingly, so please stop complaining. Yes, we have seen way too much of Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma this past week, but we can't help it. They had the perfect wedding in the most picturesque place ever, and it's not every day that two of the most loved people in the country get married, so obviously we still have Virushka hangover. Today we have promised each other to be bound in love for ever. We are truly blessed to share the news with you.This beautiful day will be made more special with the love and support of our family of fans & well wishers. Thank you for being such an important part of our journey. — Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) December 11, 2017 Every new picture of them is breaking the internet and is getting people talking, and their first honeymoon picture wasn't any different. After a lot of speculation about their honeymoon destination, Anushka decided to bless us all with a 'heavenly' selfie. I'm sure you've seen this picture a million times already, but here you go again, just to refresh your memory, that's all. In heaven, literally ðð A post shared by AnushkaSharma1588 (@anushkasharma) on Dec 15, 2017 at 12:25am PST Two people in love and snow – that's the only takeaway from the picture, and we still have no clue where these two are, but it's a good thing. They deserve to enjoy this time, without being bombarded with fans and media. Just like every other Virushka wedding picture, their honeymoon selfie also went insanely viral, but instead of gushing over it, let's look at some hilarious jokes about it. That's fair, right? For starters, where there is snow, there are 'Game Of Thrones' references, obviously. Close enough — Kru (@Achari_Nimboo) December 15, 2017 A lot of them. Lagta Game of Thrones final season jaldi shuru hone wala hai — Bahadur (@my2bit) December 15, 2017 Way too many. They have gone to check whether white walkers are real. — Ad Astra (@AIrishHilltop) December 15, 2017 I warned you. Wo Jon Snow se milne gaye hai ð #NorthRemembers ð¡ — No one (@sanmistryious) December 16, 2017 This one has some cool photoshop, at least. ðð — Shivam Tripathi (@C_vam_Misspell) December 16, 2017 Okay, last one. Virushka's honeymoon pic from beyond the wall. — Punk (@punk_hardik) December 16, 2017 Okay, now let's move on to the next comparison – Narnia. Ye Honeymoon manane gaye ya Chronicles Of Narnia banane.. — Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) December 15, 2017 She probably had to edit him out before posting. A perfect Indian honeymoon photo is incomplete without a photobomb!!! — The Skin Doctor ð© (@theskindoctor13) December 15, 2017 Even Modi photobombed. Modi finds camera during his Switzerland visit — unknown (@Baahubali_2020) December 15, 2017 Europe or Shimla? We just don't know. Doesn't matter what you become don't forget your roots. Mehndi, winter caps and selfie in the snow. Pure Indian middle class kind of Honeymoon. â¤ï¸ — ð¦ (@AndColorPockeT) December 15, 2017 I relate to it on a personal level. Honeymoon i want Honeymoon i can afford — Foji®™ (@Planet_Wala) December 15, 2017 Frozen, literally. Frozen. — Pankaj Verma (@Vermaji_Kahin) December 15, 2017 This is a personal attack. Couple Selfie expectation Vs Reality ð­ð­ð­ — Bhrustrated® (@AnupamUncl) December 15, 2017 We all have way too many expectations. Honeymoon Expectations vs reality — Abhishek,Freelance Tweeter (@SsupHolmes) December 15, 2017 Virat, when are you planning on posting a picture? We need cute selfies and meme material, okay?
  28. Former PM Nawaz Sharif (left) and PTI Chairman Imran Khan LAHORE: Friday was termed as a big day in the political history of the country, as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was given a clean chit by the Supreme Court, the party?s secretary general Jahangir Tareen was disqualified for life, while a plea for reopening of the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case against the Sharifs was dismissed. Regarding Imran's exoneration in the offshore company Niazi Services Limited case, the anchorperson asked his guests in the Geo News programme ?Naya Pakistan Talat Hussain Ke Saath? that the court said in its verdict that the respondent was under no legal obligation to disclose the corporate vehicle, and its sale as an asset either in his income tax returns or his statement of assets and liabilities, filed with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). However, renowned lawyer Salman Akram Raja said that there was a difference in these two assertions. The court held that as shares of the company were in the names of Imran'ssisters, therefore, their disclosure was not mandatory. However, the judges said in the verdict that disclosure of the flat was necessary, as the flat was purchased with shares; it was owned by the company but, in fact, Imran was its real and beneficial owner. The verdict said that benefiting from the amnesty announced in the year 2000, Imran declared it as an asset in the year 2002 elections. Raja said that apparently, there appeared different standards in Nawaz Sharif and Imran's disqualification cases. The verdict said that since 1983, Imran had been the beneficial owner of the London flat. For the first time, Imran declared it as his asset in the 2002 general election, after an amnesty was announced for the foreign properties owners in the year 2000, he did not declare the flat in his nomination papers in 1997 elections. Raja said there seemed a different criterion. ?Before I talk about Niazi Services shares, one thing is clear that this verdict acknowledges that Khan Sahib owns these flats since 1983,? the lawyer said. He showed their ownership in 2000 under an amnesty scheme and mentioned them for the first time in his nomination papers for the 2002 elections. These flats were not disclosed in the 1997 elections. The ground on which Nawaz Sharif was disqualified was that he did not disclose the income or salary, though he did not receive it, in his tax returns and nomination papers in 2013. Not showing assets in nomination papers has already been declared a hard crime in the Panama verdict. As regards the Mayfair or Nights Burj flats, they should, of course, be of some value. They were not disclosed in 1997 and the judgment remained silent on them. Talat Hussain said that they (judges) were saying that the ?respondent was under no legal obligation to disclose the corporate vehicle and its sale as an asset either in his income tax returns or his statement of assets, liabilities filed with the ECP?. Hussain asked former attorney general Irfan Qadir about the fact that Imran said he founded Niazi Services Limited. The Supreme Court said as he was not a shareholder, there was no obligation on him to declare them. Qadir said he believed there seemed no harmony among these three verdicts. Since 2009, not double but multiple standards seem to be dominating all the verdicts. ?It is for this very reason that I repeatedly said that it was need of the hour to clear the mess developed by carelessly employing the jurisdiction of Article 184/3. All the old and wrong decisions should have been revisited.? He asked Raja and lawyer Kamran Murtaza to check that Article 2 and 83 of the Constitution said whenever there was a question of a parliamentarian?s disqualification, that would be dealt with by the ECP. "There is no mention of the Supreme Court. How did the apex court itself decide to hear these cases. If a person files a petition against an MP or 100 MPs in the days to come, all will have to explain their assets in the court," he added. The lawyer said Nawaz was disqualified as he did not declare his salary, which he did not receive from his son?s company, in his assets details during the 2013 elections. Under the Panama Papers case, non-declaration of an asset had been ruled a big crime. Qadir said in reply to a question that the Supreme Court bench gave an impression in the two judgments that the Panama Papers case verdict was not binding on them. Nawaz was disqualified on a hyper technicality and that too after a legal split. Nawaz was not disqualified for having assets beyond his known sources of income, but his failure to declare his assets? details with mathematical exactitude. He said there was no constitutional or legal binding on any election candidate to declare their assets with details with mathematical exactitude. He said Imran's exoneration was not less than a miracle. In one case, being a beneficial owner causes disqualification of persons, and in the other case it is declared ?not a big deal?, he added. Murtaza, who is a former president of Supreme Court Bar Association, said he did not agree with the current verdict, like the previous judgment. He said he did not approve of the jurisprudence developed since July 2017, rather from the point when the apex court started entertaining the petitions. Earlier, Nawaz was disqualified and now Tareen has been sent packing by the Supreme Court. Now, a large number of people would file petitions against politicians, and they would keep appearing in the courts throughout their lives. Senior journalist Iftikhar Ahmad said that the issue of corruption had not been addressed by the court, and even Imran's case had been referred to the ECP for further proceedings. He said as the Parliament and state institutions including National Accountability Bureau (NAB) failed to perform their duties effectively, therefore the Supreme Court had to use its jurisprudence. Speaking in the programme, senior lawyer Awais Ahmad said democracy is an attitude, but this is not actualised when the Parliament stops doing what it is supposed to do. He said the policies about the common man are given attention in the Parliament and a stage has come where the social contract appears to be failing. In his concluding remarks, Hussain said that apparently, the verdicts in Hudabiya and Tareen cases would benefit Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
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