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  1. BOGOTA: A boat carrying some 150 tourists on a reservoir in Colombia went down late Sunday night, the air force said. A statement from the air force said it was not immediately clear if the vessel capsized or sank in the Peñol-Guatapé Reservoir in the north-western tourist town of Guatapé. An air force helicopter is on its way, the statement added. The four-deck ship called Almirante went down Sunday afternoon. The reservoir is 68 kilometres from the city of Medellin and one of Antioquia department's main tourist draws. A video circulating on social media shows the ship going down and dozens of other vessels approaching it to try to rescue people. "The situation looks serious," said an official with the Antioquia government. Rescued people are being sent to the local hospital in Guatape, the official added. The town fills with tourists on long weekends like this one, since Monday is a holiday in Colombia. According to Official Colombia Travel & Tourism's website, the Peñol-Guatapé reservoir is a dam built in the late 1970s that can store water between May and November for use in the summer. Travellers can find a reflecting pool here to fish and ride jet skis and boats. Medellin's mayor Federico Gutierrez said he is sending a team led by a firefighting crew captain and five scuba divers. It is not clear at the moment if "there were any casualties, or where the tourists are from", BBC said. However, the publication added that a rescue operation is currently underway.
  2. England's Dawid Malan plays a shot during the third Twenty20 (T20) international cricket match. ? AFP CARDIFF: Debutant Dawid Malan's hard-hitting 78 helped England to a 19-run victory over South Africa in Cardiff on Sunday to secure a 2-1 series win. The 29-year-old left-hander Malan, who was born in London and brought up in South Africa, blasted 78 from 44 balls, including 12 fours and two sixes as England, whose captain Eoin Morgan was rested, made 181 for eight. South Africa were never really in the run chase, especially after captain AB de Villiers was caught in the deep by Alex Hales off the spin of Mason Crane for 35, leaving his team at 82 for four. They eventually fell short on 162 for seven. Chris Jordan picked up three wickets for England who will be delighted to have won the series while also blooding some new talent.
  3. LEICESTER, England: South Africa defeated Pakistan by three wickets in the Women World Cup match played in Leicester on Sunday. Pakistan scored 206 runs for eight in the first innings. The South African side achieved required target in 49 overs at a loss of seven wickets. Laura Wolvaardt scored 52 runs, while Lizelle Lee hit 60 to steer South Africa to victory. Pakistan's Sadia Yousuf took two wickets.
  4. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday said all challenges will be overcome by staying united and steadfast as a nation, while wishing the country on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). "Pak Army stands shoulder to shoulder with victims of terrorism and fire," the ISPR quoted the army chief as saying. The statement added that General Bajwa shares the "grief of fellow Pakistanis on Eid". Earlier today, at least 152 people were burnt to death and scores injured after an oil tanker caught fire in Bahawalpur's Ahmedpur East town. More than 117 people were injured in the incident. Dozens of people were killed on June 23 when bombs exploded in Quetta and Parachinar. In a separate gun attack, four policemen were martyred in Karachi on the same day.
  5. Chinese workers at Gwadar port. -AFP ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has deployed a 15,000-strong military force to protect Chinese nationals working on energy and infrastructure projects in the country, the president said Sunday, after the abduction of a Chinese couple raised safety concerns. President Mamnoon Hussain told visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Islamabad that the protection of Chinese citizens working in Pakistan was the "top priority" of the government, according to a statement issued by the presidency. Beijing is investing around $50 billion in its South Asian neighbour as part of a plan unveiled in 2015 to link its far-western Xinjiang region to Gwadar port in Balochistan with a series of infrastructure, power and transport upgrades. But fears over safety arose last month when two Chinese workers were abducted in Quetta, the capital of the southwestern Balochistan province, which is at the heart of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project but racked by separatist and militancy. Authorities were going to all possible efforts to arrest those responsible for kidnapping, Hussain said. Pakistan has been battling militancy and insurgencies in Balochistan since 2004, with hundreds of soldiers martyred and militants killed in the fighting.
  6. PESHAWAR: Corps Commander Peshawar Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmed Butt reached Parachinar on Sunday and assured the families of the martyrs and local tribes that those responsible behind the attack would be traced as the death toll reached 72. The corps commander addressed the local Jirga and emphasized that the role and participation of locals in support of security forces is vital in bringing back normalcy in Parachinar, said a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). LT Gen Butt also visited the injured and offered prayers for the martyrs. The back-to-back explosions occurred as people were busy shopping for Iftar and Eid in the Turi Bazaar area, close to a crowded bus terminal in Parachinar, Kurram Agency. The second explosion took place as people rushed to provide aid and rescue the wounded from the first explosion.
  7. PESHAWAR: A bomb resembling a toy killed at least six children Sunday in Speenmark village in the South Waziristan, officials said. The bomb exploded while the children were playing with it in the tribal district. "Six children aged between six to 12 years, all boys, were killed by a toy bomb and two others wounded critically," a local government official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Another local security official confirmed the incident and casualties. The origin of the bomb was unclear. Dozens of children, mostly in north-west Pakistan, have lost their lives in the past when playing with "toys" that turned out to be explosive devices. South Waziristan is also one of the seven tribal areas, where the army has for more than a decade been battling militants linked to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Pakistan army launched an operation in June 2014 in neighbouring North Waziristan to wipe out terrorist bases in the tribal areas and end an insurgency that has cost thousands of civilian lives since 2004. As a result, security has improved.
  8. President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday dismissed calls for Turkey to close a military base in Qatar and said a wider list of demands issued by four Arab states was an unlawful intervention against the Gulf emirate's sovereignty. In his strongest statement of support for Qatar in the nearly three-week-old crisis centred on the Gulf state, Erdogan said the call to withdraw Turkish forces was disrespectful and that Doha ? which described the demands as unreasonable ? was taking the right approach. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain imposed a boycott on June 5 on Qatar and issued 13 demands including closing Al Jazeera television, curbing relations with Iran, shutting the Turkish base and paying reparations. Doha said it was reviewing the list, but said it was not reasonable or actionable. "We approve and appreciate the attitude of Qatar against the list of 13 demands," Erdogan, speaking outside a mosque in Istanbul, said. "...This approach of 13 demands is against international law because you cannot attack or intervene in the sovereignty of a country." The demands are apparently aimed at dismantling Qatar's interventionist foreign policy which has incensed conservative Arab peers over its alleged support for Islamists they regard as threats to their dynastic rule. Both Qatar and Turkey, whose ruling AK Party has its roots in Islamist politics, backed a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt before it was overthrown in 2013. The Arab states have demanded Qatar cut any links to the Brotherhood and other groups they deem to be terrorist, ideological or sectarian. Bahrain's state news agency on Sunday confirmed the demands set out by un-named Gulf officials on Friday, including that Qatar close the Turkish base, end military cooperation with Ankara inside Qatar and stop supporting militant groups. "The demands aim to achieve regional countries' stability, stand firmly against foreign interference and stop support for terrorist organizations," it said. 'No pullout' Turkey, the most powerful regional country to stand by Qatar, has sent 100 cargo planes with supplies since its neighbors cut air and sea links. It has also rushed through legislation to send more troops to its base in Doha. Two contingents of Turkish troops with columns of armored vehicles have arrived since the crisis erupted on June 5, and Defence Minister Fikri Isik said on Friday that further reinforcements would be beneficial. "The strengthening of the Turkish base would be a positive step in terms of the Gulf's security," he said. "Re-evaluating the base agreement with Qatar is not on our agenda." Hurriyet newspaper said last week a joint exercise by Turkish and Qatari forces was expected following the Eid ul-Fitr holiday which started on Sunday, and the number of Turkish soldiers sent to the Gulf state could eventually reach 1,000. An air force contingent was also envisaged, it said. Erdogan said Turkey had also offered to establish a military base in Saudi Arabia, but never received a clear answer. "If Saudi Arabia wants us to have base there, a step toward this also can be taken," he told reporters. "I made this offer to the king himself and they said they will consider this." "They did not come back to us since that day and even though they still didn't come back to us on this, asking Turkey to pull back its troops (from Qatar) is disrespectful against Turkey". Speaking outside the Istanbul mosque after prayers marking the Muslim Eid ul-Fitr holiday, Erdogan said he would continue his planned program despite feeling briefly unwell. "I had a little condition about my blood pressure, related to my diabetes," he said.
  9. LONDON: At least six people were injured on Sunday after a car mounted a pavement outside a sports center in the northern English city of Newcastle, but the incident is not believed to be terrorism-related, police said on Sunday. Local media said hundreds of people were celebrating Eid, which marks the end of Islam's holy month of Ramadan, at the sports center and that two children were among the casualties. "On Sunday June 25, at approximately 9:14 a.m. Northumbria Police received reports that a vehicle had collided with pedestrians outside of Westgate Sports Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne," the police said in a statement. "Police enquiries are ongoing to establish exactly what happened but, at this time, it is not believed to be a terror incident." Police said a 42-year-old woman had been detained and was in custody.
  10. Photo: File Pakistan welcomed the creation of the new UN Counter-Terrorism Office and congratulated Russia on the appointment of veteran Russian diplomat Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov as the Under-Secretary-General for the newly established office on Sunday. Speaking at a meeting of the Advisory Board of the UN?s Counter-Terrorism Center, Pakistan?s Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said she hoped the new office will bring better coordination and coherence across the UN system on counterterrorism, according to a press release issued by the Pakistan Mission to the UN. Pakistan expects the new office to also play an important role to improve coordination in counter-terrorism related capacity building assistance to the member states, at their request, as well as in the balanced implementation of the UN?s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy across its four pillars, Lodhi added. She said Pakistan looks forward to working closely with the newly established office and will provide all possible assistance to the new Under-Secretary-General in the implementation of the mandate provided to him by the General Assembly. The new UN Office of Counter Terrorism (OCT), was established following the adoption by the General Assembly of a resolution by consensus on June 15, 2017. Its creation represents the first major reform of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to be implemented since his assumption of office. On June 21, 2017, the Secretary General appointed Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov, the Russian Ambassador in Vienna, as the Under-Secretary-General to lead the OCT. Pakistan is a member of the Advisory Board of the UN?s Counter-Terrorism Center, whose recent meeting reviewed the UN body?s work. In her remarks, Ambassador Lodhi emphasised that the need for the UNCCT to develop a greater understanding of various terrorist movements, their specific motivations, objectives, organisations and modus operandi. ?We cannot build an effective response without such understanding.? The Pakistani envoy appreciated the UNCCT?s work and stated that it had played an important role in developing programmes and projects for enhancing capacity and capabilities of the member states to respond to the growing threat of terrorism at global, regional and national level. She told the participants of the meeting that since its inception the UNCCT had come a long way, and had worked to create synergies within the UN bodies by adopting an ?all of the UN? approach. The UNCCT?s wide-ranging programmes including border security and management, assistance to member states in terrorist designations and assets freezing, youth empowerment initiatives and various other programs have helped build the technical capacity of Member States in combating terrorism. Going forward, she said, it is also important that the UNCCT?s projects and programmes keep pace with the rapidly evolving and multi-faceted threat posed by terrorist and extremist ideologies. In this regard, it is important that member states are encouraged to take the initiative in identifying their specific needs, which could then be addressed by the UNCCT through close coordination and consultation with the respective states. Apart from Pakistan, the members of the Advisory Board include Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, US, and the EU (as guest member).
  11. KOHLU: Security forces foiled a terror plot in Kohlu district of Balochistan on Sunday as part of the ongoing Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, Geo News reported. Intelligence agencies and levies personnel conducted an operation in tehsil Kahan of Kohlu district, according to security sources. In the operation, they seized a huge amount of explosives material including mines and weapon. Recovered weapons include a machine gun with 170 rounds, 75 mortar bombs, 14 mortar fuses, 11 anti-tanks mines, six anti-tank fuses, 1,328 rounds of light machine gun, and a satellite phone, said the security sources. Ammunition recovered in Lahore In another operation, about 47,500 bullets were recovered from a vehicle in Lahore?s Shera Kot on Sunday. Two suspects, identified as Noor Jan and Anwar Shah, were also arrested. The suspects were travelling to Lahore from Peshawar, according to the police. The police stopped the ?suspicious? vehicle at a checkpoint and recovered bullets of pistol and 9mm from it. A case has been registered and further investigation is under way.
  12. LONDON: The Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday cut short his visit to Britain to return home today. The PM expressed remorse over the loss of precious lives after an oil tanker caught fire and subsequently exploded in Bahawalpur's Ahmedpur East town on Sunday morning to claim 148 lives. 142 burnt to death as oil tanker catches fire in Bahawalpur Scores injured in fire that broke out after oil tanker overturned and crowds rushed to collect fuel Earlier in the day, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the country was bleeding while the PM was enjoying holidays in London. The PTI leader was speaking to media, where he criticised the PM for being absent in the wake of back-to-back tragedies that have hit the country within a short time. PM vacationing in London while Pakistan bleeding: Fawad Chaudhry The PTI leader was speaking to media, where he highly criticised the PM for being absent in wake of back-to-back tragedies While talking to members of the press after offering Eid prayers in a mosque in central London, the premier said the National Action Plan had significantly reduced the incidents of terrorism in the country. ?[Peace and stability] conditions in Pakistan are steadily improving,? the PM said. He added that he met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and both leaders mutually agreed on a few matters. ?We are working to make our relations with Afghanistan better,? the prime minister said.
  13. ISLAMABAD: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday that Pakistan has the capability to bring stability to the region, adding that in order to put that thought to fruition a meeting should be held of Pakistan, China and Afghanistan. The Chinese Foreign Minister is currently on a visit to Pakistan, during which he met President Mamnoon Hussain and made the above-mentioned statements. The Chinese FM further said that the future of Pak-China friendship?s future is outstanding. Later in the day, the Chinese FM along with Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz gave a joint press briefing, after holding a meeting at the PM House. Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan and China see eye to eye when it comes to the balance of power in Pakistan. Peace in Afghanistan is in favour of Pakistan, said Sartaj Aziz, adding that it was agreed to increase cooperation among China, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi on Saturday arrived in Pakistan on a two-day visit to discuss the bilateral ties.
  14. Bollywood Beauty Kangana Ranaut once again, opened up on nepotism while taking a dig at Karan Johar. The Queen actress who is quite famous for her blunt and bold style said that her much-talked about the debate with Karan Johar on nepotism did not affect her at all. During a recent interview with Anupam Kher, on his show, The Revolver Rani star said that she felt KJo's blog on nepotism was "more of a brainwash than being objective." "Honestly, the debate did not affect me at all. I am quite self-sufficient at this point of time in my life as I have also launched my own production house. I want to propagate my story and there should be nothing wrong about it. When Karan Johar posted a blog on nepotism, I felt it was more of a brainwash than being objective," she said. In one of the episodes of the last season of 'Koffee with Karan,' Kangana accused the filmmaker of favouring star kids. Karan Johar who at that moment took it sportingly on the show, later confessed that he was offended by Kangana's remark. As a result, a blog 'In Defence Of My Nepotism,' was published. Karan Johar also tweeted, "Dear Nepotism...can you pave the way for skepticism and cynicism....both these words also want to be famous!!!!" Kangana, during the interview, said that the 'privileged' star kids effortlessly get audience and critics from the very beginning of their career, whereas, it takes a lifetime for an outsider to reach that starting point. Kangana said, "Do these Bollywood kids know that it takes almost 10 years to build an audience and to get a critic. These star kids already start from a point where they have everything and they are not aware of the fact that for an outsider, it can take his entire lifetime to reach the starting point." "I got one critic after struggling for 10 years and no one cared whether I was alive or dead prior to me becoming a star. One has to earn their critics, so you are privileged, let me put this way and yes, it is not your fault. But at the same time, it is a democracy and we cannot let the society be segregated in this extreme manner and we have to make sure everyone is given the equal opportunities." she added.
  15. ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali announced that load shedding will not be held during the three-day Eid-ul-Fitr holidays, from June 26 to June 28. ?We want to spread happiness by ensuring uninterrupted supply of power to the people,? he added. He said that the government has created a record of producing 19, 252 Megawatt of electricity, we have additional power to provide now. In the next six to eight months, electricity production will reach 25,000 MW. Load shedding continues in Karachi On the other hand, the government failed to live up to its promises as load shedding continues during the last days of Ramazan in Karachi. In many parts of the city such as Golimar, Kemari, Moosa Colony, Liaquatabad CI area, Malir, Shah Faisal Colony, Landhi, Ibrahim Hyderi, North Karachi, Orangi Town, Mauripur, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Lyari, New Karachi and Surjani Town electricity remained suspended early Sunday morning during Sehri time.
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