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  1. Last week
  2. French President Emmanuel Macron plays tennis with French wheelchair tennis player Michael Jeremiasz (Rear C) during a visit to a site near the Invalides in Paris on June 24, 2017, in a bid to promote the candidacy of the city of Paris for the Summer Olympics Games in 2024. AFP/Pool/Jean-Paul Pelissier PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron tried his hand at sports including boxing and wheelchair tennis to support Paris' bid to host the 2024 Olympics on Saturday. Paris and Los Angeles are vying for the Games and, as part of the French capital's campaign organisers, staged an Olympic Day where fans could try out various sports. "Paris 2024 is a project supported by the whole of France," said Macron. "And it is important to send out the message that the head of state is fully on board." France's interest in hosting the Games was a question of "pride and optimism," insisted Macron, who, at 39 years, is the youngest president in French history. French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with spectators during a visit to an Olympic promotional venue in Paris on June 24, 2017. AFP/Pool/Jean-Paul Pelissier Macron certainly looked fully on board as he gamely thrashed out a few points at wheelchair tennis on the Pont Alexandre-III over the River Seine and pulled on boxing gloves to spar with the boxers. "There is the universal Olympic spirit, but, when I play, I always play to win," said the former civil servant and investment banker who swept to victory in the French Presidential election in April and took office in May. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is expected to announce a decision on July 11 on whether to name the host for the 2024 and 2028 Games simultaneously. The IOC's main meeting in Lima on September 13 will then vote on the host for both editions. Paris has not hosted the Summer Olympics since 1924 and last hosted the Winter Olympics in Albertville 1992.
  3. RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday presided over a high-level security meeting in the backdrop of recent spate of terrorist activities in the country, according to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR). The COAS was briefed in detail about the recent incidents and their manifest linkages with terrorist sanctuaries in Afghanistan operating under the patronage of NDS and Indian covert agency, RAW. The meeting was held a day after three deadly attacks in Karachi, Quetta and Parachinar, killed 85 people, including 11 policemen, and wounded more than hundred others. Seven policemen among 14 killed in suicide car bombing in Quetta Nine policemen said to be among 21 injured; investigations under way Death toll from twin blasts in Parachinar rises to 67 The two back-to-back explosions occurred as people were busy shopping for Iftar and Eid in Turi Bazaar area General Bajwa said that since 9/11, Pakistan is one of the few countries which have borne the brunt of terrorism and made monumental sacrifices to effectively neutralize this menace in its state territories, the ISPR said in a statement. "Unfortunately our sacrifices against terrorism are not well acknowledged and we are often subjected to demand of 'Do More'," the statement quoted the army chief as saying. The meeting concluded that "while counter-terrorism efforts by Pakistan continue, it is time now for the other stake holders particularly Afghanistan to 'Do More'." Recent terrorist attacks linked to sanctuaries in Afghanistan: ISPR Four policemen martyred in Karachi gun attack Policemen had stopped at a local eatery for Iftar when the attack occurred The COAS reiterated that they will continue their efforts to positively contribute towards regional peace & stability, and won't allow use of the Pakistani territory against any other country, the statement said. He appreciated efforts of security forces, intelligence and law enforcement agencies in foiling countless terrorist bids under ongoing operation 'Raddul Fasaad'. General Bajwa further expressed his resolve to eliminate the menace of terrorism to ensure safety & security of Pakistan, and its resilient people, whom he said were the real strength of their valiant forces.
  4. Past hour
  5. SAINT PETERSBURG: Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 75th international goal as Portugal trounced New Zealand 4-0 in Saint Petersburg on Saturday to advance to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup. The Real Madrid star struck from the penalty spot on 33 minutes to fire the European champions in front before Bernardo Silva turned in a second goal four minutes later. Andre Silva added a third on 80 minutes before Nani completed the rout in stoppage time to ensure Portugal progressed to last four as winners of Group A, finishing above Mexico on goal difference. Mexico eliminated hosts Russia with a 2-1 win in Kazan to join Portugal on seven points, with Fernando Santos´ side to face the runners-up of Group B on Wednesday for a place in the July 2 final. Copa America holders Chile lead Germany on goal difference ahead of the final round of matches in Group B, although Australia and Cameroon still harbour outside qualification hopes. Santos fielded an attacking line-up packed with experience and resisted the temptation to rest Ronaldo with Portugal still requiring a point to qualify and vying with Mexico and Russia for top spot. Ronaldo twice threatened the New Zealand goal in quick succession, nodding straight at goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic on 24 minutes and then clattering the crossbar shortly after with another header from a Ricardo Quaresma cross. But the Portugal captain made no mistake after Danilo was wrestled to the ground in the area by a combination of Tom Doyle and Tommy Smith following a corner. Ronaldo buried the resultant penalty beyond Stefanovic to draw level with former Hungary great Sandor Kocsis and within nine goals of the legendary Ferenc Puskas´ European record of 84 at international level. Portugal swiftly doubled their lead when Eliseu´s dangerous low cross from the left was forced home by Silva, although there was brief concern for the new Manchester City signing as he landed awkwardly on his ankle. New Zealand skipper Chris Wood nearly grabbed a lifeline for the All Whites on the hour, but his back-post effort was scrambled off the line by a combination of Rui Patricio and Bruno Alves. Ronaldo could have added to his tally when he climbed to meet a Nelson Semedo delivery, his header scooped away by Stefanovic who then stood tall to superbly deny Andre Silva. Santos withdrew Ronaldo on 67 minutes with the semi-finals in mind, and his replacement Nani struck within moments of his introduction only for Stefanovic to brilliantly tip behind his deflected shot. Silva finally provided Portugal with further breathing space 10 minutes from time as the AC Milan-bound striker ran at the Kiwi defence before drilling into the roof of the net. Former Manchester United winger Nani then drilled in a fourth in injury time, with Portugal now having lost just one of their last 23 competitive fixtures.
  6. London: British lawmakers on Saturday said they were unable to access their e-mail accounts remotely as parliament´s security team battled against a cyberattack. Liberal Democrat lawmaker Chris Rennard tweeted that there was a "cyber security attack on Westminster; Parliamentary e-mails may not work remotely." A House of Commons spokesman confirmed that "the Houses of Parliament have discovered unauthorised attempts to access parliamentary user accounts. "We have systems in place to protect member and staff accounts and are taking the necessary steps to protect our systems," it added. The threat follows reports in British media, including the Times, that hackers were selling passwords for MPs online.
  7. RIYADH: Muslims in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Japan and European countries will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr on Sunday after the Shawwal moon was sighted there on Saturday. After the moon sighting, the first of Shawwal will fall on Sunday, June 25, which Muslims across the world celebrate as Eid-ul-Fitr. In Pakistan, the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will meet Sunday for sighting Shawwal moon. It is likely that the entire country will celebrate this Eid on the same day, depending upon the sighting of the moon. According to the Met Office, there are high chances for the moon sighting on Sunday.
  8. Today
  9. NEW DELHI: Facebook has introduced new security features for women using the social media platform in India, including the ability to prevent strangers from downloading their profile pictures, the company said Thursday. Research by the social media giant found that some Indian women were reluctant to show their faces in their profile pictures, fearing the images could be misused. In response, Facebook teamed up with local activists to develop two tools that offer women greater control over their profiles and "help keep them safe online," wrote product manager Aarati Soman on the company's blog. The first safeguard -- identified by a small shield and blue border on the image -- prevents strangers from downloading, sharing or tagging themselves in someone else's profile picture, or taking a screen shot of the image. The second overlays an additional design on the image that research shows dissuades people from making a copy of the image, Soman added. Facebook plans to offer these tools in other countries based on what it learns in India. "These tools will be available to both men and women as they continue to roll out more broadly," a Facebook spokesman told AFP. Facebook has 184 million active monthly users in India, its second-largest market after the United States.
  10. Peshawar: The country has issued its first third-gender passport to a transgender activist, who hailed the move as a step forward for the marginalised community. Farzana Riaz, a transgender from Peshawar city, said the new passport would help her campaign globally on behalf of her community. "I have received my passport which mentions my gender as X and not as a male or female," Farzana told AFP on Saturday. "Earlier I had a passport which had described my gender as a male. But this time I told the authorities that I won´t accept my passport if it does not identify me as a transgender," the 30-year-old co-founder and president of rights organisation TransAction said. "Now it will be more convenient for me to travel abroad because earlier I faced problems at international airports because of a contradiction in my appearance and *** mention on my passport," she added. In 2009, Pakistan became one of the first countries in the world to legally recognise a third ***, allowing transgenders to obtain identity cards, while several have also run in elections. They number at least half a million people in the country, according to several studies.
  11. Photo: File Indian police Saturday said one person has been arrested after a mob stabbed a Muslim teenager to death on suspicion of carrying beef, an offence in many parts of the Hindu-majority country. Cows are revered by Hindus and slaughtering them as well as possession or consumption of beef is banned in most Indian states, with some imposing life sentences for breaking the law. Junaid Khan, 15, was travelling from New Delhi on Friday with three of his brothers when a fight erupted over seats. Between 15 and 20 men pulled out knives and set upon the brothers while making anti-Muslim comments and insisting one of the packets they were carrying contained beef. While Khan was stabbed to death, his brother Shakir sustained injuries on the throat, chest and hands, police said. "The fight started over seats. We are looking into the matter and we have arrested one of the accused who is a 35-year-old old man from (northern state of) Haryana," Ajay Kumar, a government railway police official told AFP. Khan´s brother Hassem told reporters the mob ignored their repeated pleas that they were not carrying any beef. "They were pointing at a packet which had food and saying we should not be allowed to sit since we were carrying beef," Haseem said. The incident is the latest such attack by Hindu vigilantes in India, where there have been a spate of assaults against Muslims and low-caste Dalits. In the last two years, nearly a dozen Muslim men have been killed across the country on suspicion of eating beef or smuggling cows. Critics say vigilantes have been emboldened by the election in 2014 of Prime Minister Narendra Modi´s Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party. Last year Modi criticised the cow protection vigilantes and urged a crackdown against groups using religion as a cover for committing crimes.
  12. The CIA had top-level intelligence last August that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an operation to help Donald Trump win the US presidential race, the Washington Post reported Friday. The intelligence shocked the White House and put US security chiefs on a top-secret crisis footing to figure out how to react. But amid confidence that Democrat Hillary Clinton still had the election in the bag and worries over president Barack Obama himself being seen as manipulating the election, the administration delivered warnings to Moscow but left countermeasures until after the vote, the Post reported. After Trump´s shock victory, there were strong regrets among administration officials that they had shied from tough action. "From national security people there was a sense of immediate introspection, of, ´Wow, did we mishandle this,´" a former administration official told the newspaper. The Post said that as soon as the intelligence on Putin came in, the White House viewed it as a deep national security threat. A secret intelligence task force was created to firm up the information and come up with possible responses. They couldn´t do anything about embarrassing WikiLeaks revelations from hacked Clinton emails. The focus turned to whether Moscow could disrupt the November 8 vote itself by hacking voter registration lists or voting machines, undermining confidence in the vote tally itself. Worried about making the situation worse, the administration put off retaliating, and instead delivered stiff warnings directly to the Russians not to go farther. At least four direct warnings -- Obama to Putin, spy chief to spy chief, and via top diplomatic channels -- appeared to have an impact, officials told the Post. They believe that Moscow pulled back on any possible plans to sabotage US voting operations. "We made the judgment that we had ample time after the election, regardless of outcome, for punitive measures," a senior administration official told the Post. Options to retaliate were on the table early: more crippling sanctions on the Russian economy, leaking information that would embarrass Putin diplomatically, and launching cyberattacks on Russian infrastructure were high on the list. But Trump´s shock victory dampened the response. Obama took modest measures at the end of December, expelling 35 Russians and adding to existing sanctions. He also, according to the Post, authorised a plan to place cyberattack implants in the systems of critical Russian infrastructure. But it remains unclear, the Post said, whether Trump has followed through with that. Trump on Friday questioned Obama´s response to the Russian hacking crisis. "Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?" he posted on Twitter. In an interview with Fox News program "Fox and Friends" that will air Sunday, Trump groused that Obama´s response did not get more media coverage. "The CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even -- before the election. And I hardly see it. It´s an amazing thing," Trump said in an excerpt released by the program Friday evening. "If he had the information, why didn´t he do something about it? He should have done something about it. But you don´t read that. It´s quite sad.
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  14. Chinese military police and rescue workers are seen at the site of a landslide in in Xinmo village. -AFP BEIJING: At least six people were found dead and over 100 remained missing hours after a massive landslide buried a mountain village in southwest China on Saturday as rescuers frantically scoured through rocks for survivors. A couple and a baby were rescued and taken to hospital after 62 homes in Xinmo village were swallowed by boulders when the side of a mountain collapsed, according to the Maoxian, or Mao county, government. The government said on its Weibo social media account that six bodies were recovered while 112 people remained missing. State media had earlier revised the number of missing people down from 141 to over 120. The early morning landslide, which officials believe was triggered by heavy rains, blocked a two-kilometre (one-mile) stretch of river and 1.6 kilometre of road, according to state media. Rescuers and local residents used ropes to move a boulder while dozens of others, aided by sniffer dogs, searched the rubble for survivors, according to videos posted online by the Maoxian government and state broadcaster CCTV. Bulldozers and heavy diggers were also deployed to remove boulders, while villagers and soldiers lifted rocks with their bare hands. Rescuers brought spotlights to continue the search after sunset. Nearly 2,000 police, soldiers and civilians were taking part in the rescue. Medics were seen treating a woman on a road. No sign of the village could be seen in aerial footage, which showed a grim and grey rock-strewn landscape covering the area where it once existed by a river. A fourth survivor had been spotted earlier in the day but officials did not say whether he was finally pulled out of the rubble hours later. "It´s the biggest landslide in this area since the Wenchuan earthquake," said Wang Yongbo, one of the officials in charge of rescue efforts, referring to the disaster that killed 87,000 people in 2008 in a town in Sichuan. More rain forecast Local police captain Chen Tiebo said the heavy rains that hit the region in recent days had triggered the landslide. "There are several tonnes of rock" over the village, he told CCTV. "It´s a seismic area here. There´s not a lot of vegetation," Chen said. Trees can help absorb excess rain and prevent landslides. Tao Jian, director of the local weather service, told CCTV that the 2008 earthquake had "weakened the mountain" and that "a weak rain can provoke a geological catastrophe". President Xi Jinping called for rescuers to "spare no effort" in their search for survivors and prevent more disasters, state media said. China´s national weather observatory said more heavy rain was expected in parts of Sichuan and other southwestern provinces. Past disasters Landslides are a frequent danger in rural and mountainous parts of China, particularly at times of heavy rains. At least 12 people were killed in January when a landslide crushed a hotel in central Hubei province. In October landslides battered eastern China in the wake of torrential rains brought by Typhoon Megi, causing widespread damage and killing at least eight. More than 70 were killed by a landslide in the southern commercial hub of Shenzhen in December 2015, caused by the improper storage of waste. One of the deadliest landslides took place in 1991, when 216 were killed in southwestern Yunnan province.
  15. Qatar on Saturday denounced a sweeping list of demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies in an escalating Gulf diplomatic crisis as unreasonable and an impingement on the emirate´s sovereignty. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt want Qatar to meet the 13-point ultimatum in return for an end to a nearly three-week-old diplomatic and trade "blockade" of the emirate. Qatar has been given 10 days to meet the demands, which apparently include a call to close down broadcaster Al-Jazeera, but Doha said the requests were unrealistic. "This list of demands confirms what Qatar has said from the beginning -- the illegal blockade has nothing to do with combating terrorism, it is about limiting Qatar´s sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy," said Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al-Thani, head of Qatar´s government communications office, in a statement. "The US secretary of state recently called upon the blockading nations to produce a list of grievances that was ´reasonable and actionable´. "The British foreign secretary asked that the demands be ´measured and realistic´. This list does not satisfy that criteria." The four Arab governments delivered the demands to Qatar through mediator Kuwait on Thursday, more than two weeks after severing all ties with the emirate and imposing an embargo. The document has not been published but has been widely leaked and the demands are sweeping in their scope. They include the closure of Al-Jazeera television, a long-standing source of conflict between Doha and neighbouring countries which accuse it of fomenting regional strife. Qatar faces Gulf ´divorce´ The ultimatum also include calls for Doha to cut ties to groups including the Muslim Brotherhood, Daesh, Al-Qaeda and Lebanon´s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement. Qatar has also been asked to hand over opposition figures wanted by its three neighbours and Egypt and to downgrade diplomatic ties with Iran. Notably, it has also been told to shut a Turkish military base in the emirate. Qatar´s foreign affair ministry said it was "studying" the list, "in order to prepare an appropriate response". Meshal Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar´s ambassador to the United States, tweeted that the list was meant to "punish Qatar for its independence". Qatar was warned by one of its most hawkish critics in the region that unless it meets the list of demands, Doha faces "divorce" from its Gulf neighbours. Anwar Gargash, the UAE´s state minister for foreign affairs, said Qatar should yield to the demands. "It would be wiser that (Qatar) deal seriously with the demands and concerns of the neighbours or a divorce will take place," he wrote on Twitter. The demands confirm that "the crisis is profound," Gargash added. He also said Qatar leaked the document containing the demands by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, which cut diplomatic ties earlier this month, accusing Qatar of sponsoring terrorism. Qatar strongly denies such charges. ´Attempt to silence´ Al-Jazeera, one of the largest news organisations in the world, responded to the demands by saying it "deplores" calls for it to be taken off air. "We in the network believe that any call for closing down Al-Jazeera is nothing but an attempt to silence the freedom of expression in the region and to suppress people´s right to information," the broadcaster said in a statement. In the other official response out of Qatar, its Human Rights Committee said the demands represented "gross violations" of basic rights. Qatar is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. As well as cutting diplomatic ties, Qatar´s neighbours closed their air space to Qatari carriers and blocked the emirate´s only land border, vital for its food imports. Qatar is home to the largest US base in the region, Al-Udeid, and Bahrain is home to the Fifth Fleet of the United States Navy. The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has urged a diplomatic solution and Washington had been pushing for a clear list of grievances that are "reasonable and actionable". His spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday the United States was "mystified" that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies had failed to present details justifying their embargo on Qatar. US President Donald Trump, however, has made statements siding with Saudi Arabia in the crisis. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Friday that any conditions placed on Qatar should be "measured and realistic".
  16. ISLAMABAD: The United States on Saturday condemned the multiple terror attacks that shook the country on June 23 and assured Pakistan of cooperation to combat the threat of terrorism, said a statement released by the US State Department. ?We will continue to work with the Government of Pakistan and our partners across the region to combat the threat of terrorism,? said the statement. The statement also added that the US stands with the people of Pakistan in their fight against terrorism. Condolences were also offered to the victims and their families. At least 55 people were killed on June 23 when multiple terror attacks rocked Pakistan after a period of relative calm. Triple bombings in Quetta and Parachinar and a gun attack on policemen in Karachi shook the nation days before the end of Ramazan.
  17. LONDON: India had their second big win in hockey against Pakistan in the past six days. India defeated their traditional rivals 6-1 in the 5-8 position playoffs, of the Hockey World League Semifinal Round, also the qualifiers for the Hockey World Cup, at London?s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Now Pakistan would play China in the 7th/8th position match on Sunday. SCORERS: India: Ramandeep Singh 2, Talwinder Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Harmanpreet Singh. Mandeep Singh Pakistan: Ejaz Ahmed
  18. File Photo ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Saturday said terrorism surges in the country whenever Afghan border crossing are opened. Nisar passed the remarks while speaking to military high-ups, a day after at least 55 people were in multiple terror attacks across the country. In a telephone call with Chief of General Staff Lt General Bilal Akbar, Director General Sindh Rangers Major General Mohammad Saeed and Inspector General FC Balochistan Major General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum, the interior minister expressed his concerns over allegations leveled against Pakistan after any incident of terrorism in Afghanistan. Nisar said a better border management system must be introduced in order to control terror activities across the country. He added the West does not take notice of terror attacks in Pakistan originating from the country?s western border. The interior minister also said that two alerts were conveyed to relevant authorities of the province but safety mechanisms were not put in place. The Pakistani military has blamed terrorist "sanctuaries" in Afghanistan for recent bombings in the country. In February, officials of the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad were summoned to the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army, where they were handed over a list of 76 terrorists orchestrating attacks inside the Pakistani territory from Afghanistan.
  19. The Frontier Corps (FC) and intelligence agencies on Saturday destroyed three camps of banned outfits in Balochistan's Dera Bugti and Kahan, said a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). At least two improvised explosive devices were also defused during the search operations conducted by security forces. The ISPR added that an important terrorist affiliated with the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) was also arrested during the operations. The terrorist was involved in "serious crimes", said the military's media wing. Earlier in February, the army launched a nationwide operation titled 'Radd-ul-Fasaad', which would include wide security and counter-terrorism operations in Punjab and the continuation of ongoing operations across the country. The operation?s aims include the elimination of the residual and latent threat of terrorism, consolidating gains of operations made so far and ensuring the security of Pakistan?s borders. The operation will entail conduct of broad spectrum security and counter-terrorism operations by Rangers in Punjab, continuation of ongoing operations across the country and focus on more effective border security management.
  20. Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford - file photo Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford has stepped down after 15 months in his second stint with the team, the cricket board announced on Saturday. South African Ford, who first coached Sri Lanka between 2012 and 2014, rejoined the team in February last year, signing a contract until the 2019 World Cup. The 56-year-old led the team to memorable test and twenty20 series wins over Australia but Sri Lanka´s performance this year has been inconsistent with the team suffering their first ever test loss to Bangladesh and a whitewash in South Africa. They could not make the semi-finals of this month´s Champions Trophy either. "We have to thank Fordy for his invaluable contribution to Sri Lanka Cricket," board president Thilanga Sumathipala said in a statement. "This was a decision arrived at mutually after careful consideration and deliberation... we are indeed sorry to see him go. We wish him the very best in where his path lies." Ford previously worked with English county club Surrey and was the director of cricket at Kent. "It´s been a privilege to work with these talented young men over the past 15 months. Their passion for the sport is inspiring, as is indeed this nation´s," Ford said. "I wish Sri Lanka Cricket and the boys the very best, and I must offer a word of advice to the young men ? Always believe in yourself, believe in your team, and play from your heart." Sri Lanka host Zimbabwe in a five-match one day international series starting on Friday.
  21. Intelligence Based Operations (IBOs) and search operations were conducted in suspected areas as Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad continues across the country, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Saturday. Three terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire during an IBO in Mathra, Peshawar while one soldier and three policemen were injured. Joint search operations were conducted in the outskirts of Faisalabad, Gojra and Jarranwala by Pakistan Rangers Punjab, CTD, Police and Intelligence Agencies. In these operations, 12 suspects were apprehended and illegal weapons were recovered. On February 22 this year, the army launched a nationwide operation titled 'Radd-ul-Fasaad', which would include wide security and counter-terrorism operations in Punjab and the continuation of ongoing operations across the country. According to the ISPR Director-General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the operation?s aims include the elimination of the residual and latent threat of terrorism, consolidating gains of operations made so far and ensuring the security of Pakistan?s borders. The operation will entail conduct of broad spectrum security and counter-terrorism operations by Rangers in Punjab, continuation of ongoing operations across the country and focus on more effective border security management, said the ISPR. The operation will also include a countrywide deweaponisation and explosive control as additional cardinals of the effort. The hallmark of this operation will be pursuance of the National Action Plan, it was stated further. The decision came after Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa held a high-level security meeting in Lahore.
  22. ISLAMABAD: A four-member committee has been constituted to investigate the alleged changes made in the records by Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and other institutes. Formed by the acting chairperson of Federal Investigation Agency, Captain (retd) Ahmed Latif, the committee will be headed by Anti-Corruption Wing Director Maqsood-ul-Hassan. Besides the director, it will include deputy directors, Ayaz Khan, Farooq Latif and Tahir Tanvir. The decision has been taken after the Panama case Joint Investigation Team complained against the SECP and other institutes for tampering with its records. Institutions tampering with records, creating hurdles: Panamagate JIT JIT accuses IB personnel of threatening its member, Bilal Rasool, trying to hack his family's Facebook accounts. In its second report submitted to the Supreme Court, the JIT has alleged that the SECP Chairperson Zafar-ul-Haq Hijazi and Executive Director Ali Azeem were tampering the records of Chaudhry Sugar Mills the team had asked for. The JIT stated it also asked for the documents of all the past enquiries carried out against the Sharif family, but the SECP denied of any such enquiry being carried out in the past. "A witness said that the SECP chairperson directed the record of enquiries not be searched," stated the report. "The SECP chief also ordered the tampering of records of Chaudhry Sugar Mills and Azeem changed it from the past dates. Azeem was also nominated by the SECP chairperson for inclusion in the JIT, to sabotage investigation." Besides SECP, the JIT also complained of the Federal Board of Revenue of not providing the required records and the Ministry of Law for delaying, by five days, a letter needed for investigations abroad.
  23. WASHINGTON: Washington's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan stepped down on Friday, just as the United States is preparing to send thousands of more troops to the region. A senior State Department official told AFP that acting special representative Laurel Miller left the post without a replacement being named. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Miller is returning to a position at the Rand Corporation and that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has not yet decided what to do with post. The office was created when US officials decided that the conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan are inextricably linked and ought to be dealt with together. President Donald Trump came to office planning to slash diplomatic spending and Tillerson plans to cut several special envoy roles. Miller's responsibilities will now fall under the department's South and Central Asian Affairs Bureau, which has a much bigger footprint that includes India. But this bureau is itself leaderless, with no assistant secretary appointed to lead it and no one nominated by the new administration for Senate approval. When news site Politico broke the news that the envoy post had gone, it cited diplomats complaining of a rushed process and a dangerous leadership vacuum. But, also speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior official told AFP the decision was part of a broader policy review. Tillerson thinks the issue is best handled at a regional level, the official said, arguing that it made sense to consider India part of the equation. Trump has given the Pentagon and US commanders wide latitude to decide on the future of Washington's longest ever war -- the 16-year slog in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is reportedly planning to deploy up to 5,000 extra troops to bolster efforts to train Afghan forces to repel a resurgent Taliban insurgency.
  24. Extensive damage is seen to the Grenfell Tower block which was destroyed in a disastrous fire, in north Kensington, West London, June 16, 2017/Reuters LONDON: Six emails sent by and to an Arconic Inc sales manager raise questions about why the company supplied combustible cladding to a distributor for use at Grenfell Tower, despite publicly warning such panels were a fire risk for tall buildings. The emails, dating from 2014 and seen by Reuters, were between Deborah French, Arconic's UK sales manager, and executives at the contractors involved in the bidding process for the refurbishment contract at Grenfell Tower in London, where 79 people died in a blaze last week. When asked about the emails, Arconic said in a statement that it had known the panels would be used at Grenfell Tower but that it was not its role to decide what was or was not compliant with local building regulations. The company manufactures three main types of Reynobond panel-- one with a polyethylene (PE) core, one with a fire retardant core and another with a non-combustible core, according to its website. Diagrams in a 2016 Arconic brochure for its Reynobond panels describe how PE core panels are suitable up to 10 metres in height. Panels with a fire resistant core -- the FR model -- can be used up to 30 metres, while above that height, panels with the non-combustible core -- the A2 model -- should be used, the brochure says. Grenfell Tower is more than 60 metres tall. Police consider manslaughter charges over London blaze as thousands evacuated Fire safety checks are now taking place on public buildings across Britain The brochure also issued a blunt warning that cladding can be a fire risk. "When conceiving a building, it is crucial to choose the adapted products in order to avoid the fire to spread to the whole building. Especially when it comes to facades and roofs, the fire can spread extremely rapidly," the brochure said. "As soon as the building is higher than the fire fighters?ladders, it has to be conceived with an incombustible material." Nonetheless, between May and July 2014, French, who was based at Arconic's factory in Merxheim, France, responded to requests from the companies involved in refurbishing Grenfell Tower on the availability of samples of five different types of Reynobond aluminium-covered panels, all of which were only available in the combustible PE and FR versions, according to Arconic brochures. In the end, Arconic said on Friday, the company provided PE panels. "While we publish general usage guidelines, regulations and codes vary by country and need to be determined by the local building code experts," the company said in an emailed statement in response to the Reuters enquiry. "The loss of lives, injuries and destruction following the Grenfell Tower fire are devastating, and we would like to express our deepest sympathies to everyone affected by this tragedy ... We will fully support the authorities as they investigate this tragedy," the statement said. French did not respond to requests for comment. Arconic, which was known as Alcoa Inc until 2016, declined to say if it knew how tall the tower was and the emails seen by Reuters do not specifically refer to its height. They do, however, refer to "Grenfell Tower" and mention other high rise projects where paneling has been used when discussing the appearance that was being sought for Grenfell Tower. Arconic also knew the quantity of panels being supplied and thus the total exterior coverage. A source at one of the companies involved in the process said Arconic had "full involvement" throughout the contract bidding process. Omnis Exteriors, Arconic's UK distributor, Harley Facades Ltd., the company which installed the panels, Rydon Group, the overall contractor on the 2014-2016 Grenfell refurbishment, and the local authority which owns the tower block all declined to comment. Rydon and Omnis have previously said in statements that their work on the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower, which was intended to give the building better heat and sound insulation, complied with all building regulations. Harley said last week it was "not aware of any link between the fire and the exterior cladding to the tower". In the emails, French and representatives of Harley, Omnis and Rydon also discuss the choice of panel models and colors and how they were inching towards securing the contract with the local authority, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC). Harris did not respond to requests for comment. RBKC declined to comment. At the weekend, British finance minister Philip Hammond said the type of panels used, which are cheaper than non-combustible panels, were banned for use in high rise buildings in Britain, as they are in Europe and the United States. Safety experts say the regulations are not black and white as they consider the overall safety of a project, taking account of how the safety measures taken interact. This 'principles-based' approach is different to the highly specific 'rules-based' approach to regulation taken in the United States. The fatal fire was started by a faulty Hotpoint fridge-freezer in one of the apartments, London police said on Friday. Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said insulation on the building, and the cladding panels, had failed safety tests carried out after the disaster. The police investigation was considering the possibility of manslaughter and criminal offences in respect of the fire.
  25. Priyanka Chopra is amazing and there is no doubt that she is all set to rule Hollywood as well. We love her and her profile abroad has definitely given her a bunch of new fans who just can't stop obsessing over her. She is literally everywhere, from our social media feeds, billboards, to international functions and talk shows, you name it and she is there. Although she is the queen of our hearts, getting to the top wasn't easy for Priyanka. She experimented and tried out everything possible to prove her worth as a real actor. From bizarre movies to weird characters, she has starred in a few films that makes us wonder what made her do it in the first place. And, we're pretty sure that she doesn't want her new Hollywood buddies to see these disasterpieces. (c) Giphy ‘What's your Rashee?' Well, we really adore PeeCee but wouldn't it be too much if you saw 12 versions of her? You got to agree, that's a little too much to handle! Also starring Harman Baweja, the film had Priyanka play a character from every zodiac sign. There were weird songs, a confusing plot line, too many ‘rashees' and so now you know why the film tanked. ‘Pyaar Impossible' Yes, we get that it's hard to say no to a Yash Raj banner film, but you got to do it if it features Uday Chopra in the lead! Wasn't that enough to for her to get that this 'pyaar' was 'impossible' for anyone to truly understand? ‘Love Story 2050' This love story is from the future.....and just like the future; the film had no clarity of what it was trying to say. From dialogues, screenplay, music, costumes to Priyanka herself, everything left us stupefied and not in a good way. The only entertaining factor in the film was the talking teddy bear named 'Boo'. This was another film with Harman Baweja that failed at the box office. Back then, it was rumoured that Priyanka was dating him. And just like that love story, this film also fizzled out. ‘Drona' The IMDB rating of 2.2 of this Abhishek Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra starrer says it all. We rest our case! ‘Blackmail' Haven't seen this film yet? Well, don't bother, you don't have to. Starring Sunil Shetty and Ajay Devgn, this film was an exercise in bad character writing, poor plot and just bad direction. And, PC bore the brunt of it. All we wonder is why did she even sign this film? Was it the need of the hour or one of the biggest blunders that she now definitely regrets?
  26. Gorgeous diva Shibani Dandekar is taking the internet by storm. She is one of the hottest women in the industry and keeps treating her fans some delectable delights. She is the perfect combination of beauty and *** appeal....that's a tough package to find, indeed! Dem knife boots ... @sashajairam @thewolfclub @cricketfashion @balenciaga 💓 A post shared by Shibani Dandekar (@shibanidandekar) on Jun 23, 2017 at 12:43am PDT At present, she is shooting for the reality show ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi Season 8' and is makAing sure that her fans get a glimpse of her totally enviable life. #saturdayvibes shot by @aligphoto makeup by @natasha.moor styling @space_puffetta 🖤 jacket by @acnestudios A post shared by Shibani Dandekar (@shibanidandekar) on Jun 10, 2017 at 4:57am PDT Just recently she posted a photo which is definitely a little too hot to handle. Slaying like never before, Shibani is seen wearing a sexy bikini, flaunting her perfect curvaceous body. The hottie captioned the picture saying, "Working so damn hard ##KKK8 thanks for this picture." Working so damn hard ##KKK8 thanks for this picture @najibhabib ✌🏾#paininspain A post shared by Shibani Dandekar (@shibanidandekar) on Jun 22, 2017 at 12:05am PDT The warm weather definitely compliments her skin and we're definitely, totally crushing on her right now. my home 🌊 🏄🏽my 🖤 #beachlife #KKK8 #thatbrowngirl #khatronkekhiladi8 shot by @najibhabib A post shared by Shibani Dandekar (@shibanidandekar) on Jun 13, 2017 at 7:41am PDT All we can say is that this gorgeous beauty is definitely giving us all major travel and body goals as well.
  27. Motorola has been making phones that offer great value and deliver a great pure Android performance, which is the case with the Moto Z2 Play. The smartphone has some great features but it also lacks in some key areas. The marquee feature of the smartphone is the design and a great display that gives users an intuitive experience. The smartphone performs well but lacks a great camera to make it the complete smartphone. Having said that, the Moto Z2 Play is a smartphone that cannot be ignored in the crowded market and here are our reasons. Design Language © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma The Z2 Play is crafted with a very premium finish and has the right ergonomic feel you would want from a smartphone. The wide-angled display makes the smartphone stand out from the clutter to make it feel like a top-tier device. In fact, we loved the design so much that we would never want to put a cover on this beauty. You can, however, use one of the back covers that snap on like other mods for the smartphone, in case you want to secure your device from fall damage. The smartphone is thinner and lighter than the previous generation and makes the design of the phone one of the most noticeable features about the Z2 Play. Performance © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma The Moto Z2 Play is the hybrid of the previous Moto Z and Z Play from last year and Motorola has upgraded the device with a few specs that make the overall performance a great experience. The smartphone has the Snapdragon 626 processor which makes the smartphone 10% faster than the previous iteration and is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage. The screen has also been upgraded where the Z2 Play has a 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display and works perfectly with the processor to save battery life. Part of the reason why the smartphone performs well is due to the fact the device has stock Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The smartphone is free from any form of bloatware and makes the experience a lot smoother when compared to other Android smartphones. The smartphone also gets the latest updates as soon as Google updates the Android platform. The other noticeable difference is the fingerprint scanner which can also be used as the multi-tasking button and the back button. The fingerprint scanner can be used to go back, switch apps or even open the camera by swiping up. You can even long tap the fingerprint scanner to fire up Google Assistant. Even though the capacitive buttons are present, with the three button Android navigation enabled, the two buttons are removed and you get more real estate on the screen. The smartphone handles gaming easily with no glitches or crashes, however, the smartphone does heat up if you play games for a long duration. We played 'Asphalt 8' and 'Limbo' on the device, and while the smartphone gave us a seamless gaming experience, the battery would run out quickly. Mods © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma The Moto Z2 Play is compatible with a number of Moto Mods that have been part of their ecosystem for the past three years. Every Mod released till date is compatible with the Z2 Play. New Mods such as the JBL Soundboost 2 deliver clear and crisp sound quality when listening to music and is probably our favourite mod for the smartphone. The turbo battery mod is yet another great accessory for your smartphone that adds an additional 3450 mAh battery life to the Z2 Play. The turbo charge mod can also be charged quickly just like the smartphone. You can even customise the back of your phone with various “Style Shells” that also supports wireless charging. Battery Life © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma The Moto Z2 Play has a 3000 mAh non-removable battery which may sound enough for a smartphone but it simply did not feel enough. The phone would last 13-15 hours with regular use and intense use it would drop down to 11 hours. The smartphone does have fast charging via the USB Type-C port however if you plan to game or use the phone extensively, we advise you to invest in the battery mod. Camera © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma The Moto Z2 Play has a 12-MP camera and has support for PDAF and laser autofocus. Having said that, we felt that the camera was not as good as we would have expected. The smartphone delivers great daylight images reflecting true to life colours however the camera takes a beating when we take images in a closed environment or in low-lit areas. We found this surprising as the primary camera has an aperture of f/1.7 which in theory should deliver good low-light pictures. The smartphone has a 5-MP front-facing camera and does a decent job of taking selfies but suffers from the same problem of taking good images in low-lit and closed environments. The images taken are often over exposed and could only be controlled by adjusting the ISO in manual mode. Here are some sample images so you can judge for yourself: © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma The Final Say © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma The Moto Z2 Play is a thinner and lighter version of the Z play but lacks the battery life to deliver a full experience. Aesthetically, the smartphone looks great and offers mods that can enhance the quality but it would cost you extra. The smartphone has a fairly decent camera which works great in open environments but suffers in quality when it comes to low-lit and indoor environments. The smartphone performs well thanks to the Snapdragon 626 SoC and the pure Android software, which is by far the marquee feature of the smartphone.
  28. This isn't appalling coming from an indifferent teen. Oh, wait, Mr Venkaiah Naidu's 67? And, the Union Minister of India? Oh my, what a shame. In a recent interaction, Mr Naidu goofed up facts in just two basic statements and became a ball, who everyone's been playing with on Twitter. © The Telugu Film Nagar He recently quoted, "Hindi is our national language and our identity. We should be proud of it." Since when did Hindi become our national language and mother tongue, sir? Just a few wrong words and here's what followed on Twitter... As a matter of fact, the Indian Constitution doesn't mention any national languages at all. Hindi and English are both our official languages! Which basically means, any proceedings in the Parliament can be conducted in either of them. Mr Naidu, in case you're probably reading this page, bookmark it now.
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