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Found 59 results

  1. Models from the "Ugly" agency in London, 1969. Photo: File LONDON: Long necks, large chins, flapping ears, crooked noses: welcome to Ugly Models, a London modelling agency of a different stripe, where imperfections are celebrated. Fashion Week opens in the British capital Friday, and among the legions of models strutting down the catwalk, several will come from Ugly. They make eye-catching additions to the perfectly honed or androgynous models that typically feature at fashion?s annual showcase in London. ?It?s celebrating diversity really and it?s bringing a bit more light to fashion instead of just using the bog-standard models,? agency owner Marc French told AFP. He describes it as a ?character? model agency ? ?from fat, thin, to large to small: you name it, we?ve got it?. He cited the example of French actor Gerard Depardieu. ?I mean look at him: he?s so full of character and charisma. ?He becomes sexy because he?s so cool and he?s so different.? ?Imperfection is beauty? Founded a half century ago, Ugly occupies trendy open-plan space in west London featuring a baroque sofa, brushed aluminium computers and walls studded with photos of models. A portrait of late rock superstar David Bowie adorns the wall, alongside the quote ?Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius,? which reads like a company motto. Like any such agency, it manages the careers of its models, putting them in touch with employers of all stripes, from Burberry to Mercedes to Jack Daniel?s. On a recent weekday, Ugly was organising a casting to complete its catalogue and those in attendance were atypical models. Among them were some tough-looking guys. Chris, for example, a former soldier with arms as thick as logs, posed shirtless with a 50-year-old brunette in a two-piece suit. Kris Chesney, an ex-rugby player with Toulon and Saracens, is a man mountain at nearly two metres (over six feet) tall and weighing 135 kilogrammes (almost 300 pounds). With his shaved head, tattooed arms, rugged face, and body bearing the marks of countless scrums, he is perhaps an unlikely male model. ?It?s a new journey, something interesting, like a challenge,? he said. Others are on more of a personal mission. Sheerah Ravindren, a petite 22-year-old model just 1.61 metres tall, comes from Sri Lanka and proclaims herself a ?militant immigrant model?. Sporting a bare belly between baggy jeans and black top, she has a right nostril piercing and plenty of positive attitude. ?I?m a woman of colour. Growing up, I?ve never seen people that look like me in media, in fashion.? Frances, a disabled model who gets around using a pair of eye-catchingly futuristic crutches, revealed proudly that her disability ?didn?t stop me from doing what I want?. ?Not here to exploit? For French, ?what makes a good ugly model is someone who is comfortable in [its] own skin?. ?We don?t want retouching, we dont want people to change the way they look. ?If someone comes to us a certain way, we?d never say it?d be better if he was smaller. ?It?s really important. There?s so much pressure on young kids,? he said. The agency is also eager to counter any perception that it cynically exploits its models for their peculiarities. ?Sometimes we?ve had companies ring up and said: we want a small person that will kick themselves in the head. Woo... like no ? that?s wrong,? said Lulu Palmer, a booker who is head of new faces. ?We?re not here to exploit people, to take the mickey out of people.? Always on the lookout for new talent, the team admitted the company name can elicit less than enthusiastic responses from would-be models. But, said French, ?the minute they understand what Ugly is all about then they want to be a model.?
  2. The probe criticised Sidibe for his attempt to set up a meeting between the accuser and Loures to solve the dispute quietly GENEVA: The executive director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe, mishandled a sexual assault complaint against his top deputy, according to an internal United Nations investigation seen by AFP on Wednesday. The details of the investigation by the UN´s office of internal oversight services (IOS) were first reported by the Brazilian daily newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo. The case concerns allegations made against UNAIDS deputy executive director Luiz Loures by a female employee, who claimed that Loures harassed her on multiple occasions beginning in 2011 and assaulted her in a lift in 2015. The IOS determined that there was insufficent evidence to support the woman´s allegations, but criticised Sidibe for his attempt to set up a meeting between the accuser and Loures to solve the dispute quietly. The IOS "found it perplexing that Dr. Sidibe stated that he approached (the accuser) in an attempt to resolve the matter informally, given the Dr. Sidibe was aware at the time that the matter was under official investigation by IOS", the internal report said. The criticism of Sidibe comes amid heightened scrutiny of sexual misconduct within the world body, triggered by the #MeToo movement born in the wake of the allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein. Campaigners from Code Blue, part of the AIDS Free World civil society group, said in a statement this week that the case was "grossly mishandled", in a statement co-authored by former UN HIV/AIDS special envoy Stephen Lewis. Code Blue raised particular alarm over a quote in a UNAIDS press release saying that in cases of sexual harassment investigations "the final decision-maker in such matters is the UNAIDS Executive Director". They called the case "a double assault -- the first by a high-level assailant, and the second by a so-called investigation", noting that Sidibe was both a witness and the final judge. But a UNAIDS spokesperson told AFP that Code Blue´s allegations were "not correct". "In a situation like this the executive director would normally recuse himself" because of the clear conflict of interest in serving as both a witness and a judge, the spokesperson said. Such recusals are "best practice and is what was applied in the case you´re referring to", the spokesperson added. The spokesperson also said that IOS concerns over Sidibe´s role in the probe had not triggered a separate review but they had been brought to his "attention". "And he being an intelligent man, I´m sure he will take it into account," the spokesperson said.
  3. Photo: File KHAR: A tribal leader was injured in a remote controlled explosion in Charmang, Bajaur Agency on Wednesday. According to sources, leader of a local tribe, Malik Farooq, was passing by the area in Nawagai tehsil of the agency, when the IED installed on a roadside exploded. The explosion left Farooq injured, who was taken to Agency Headquarters Hospital Khar for treatment. On the other hand, security forces cordoned off the site of the blast and started a search operation. Remote control blasts and attack on security personnel are not uncommon in the agencies of Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Pakistan Army captain, sepoy martyred in cross-border attack from Afghanistan Captain Junaid Hafeez and Sepoy Reham were martyred in the attack on a border post Nearly two weeks ago, unidentified persons opened fire on the check post near the Pak-Afghan border in the agency. As a result of the firing, a subedar of the Frontier Constabulary was martyred. In November 2017, two Pakistan Army troops were martyred in a cross-border attack in Bajaur Agency, according to Inter Services Public Relations. Captain Junaid Hafeez and Sepoy Raham were martyred in the attack on a border post of the Pakistan Army. Four other army troops were injured in the assault on the border post. At least eight terrorists were also killed in the attack and others were injured in retaliatory fire from the army.
  4. Journalists from South Waziristan visited the Inter-Services Public Relations office on February 4, 2018. Photo: ISPR RAWALPINDI: Journalists from South Waziristan on Sunday thanked the Pakistan Army for restoring peace in Waziristan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Director General (DG) ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor briefed the journalists about the ground situation in South Waziristan during their visit to the office of the army's media wing. The briefing was followed by an interactive session. The journalists shared their feedback on the security situation in South Waziristan Agency and the development work undertaken by Pakistan Army in the region, according to a press release issued by ISPR.
  5. Journalists from South Waziristan visited the Inter-Services Public Relations office on February 4, 2018. Photo: ISPR RAWALPINDI: Journalists from South Waziristan on Sunday thanked the Pakistan Army for restoring peace in Waziristan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Director General (DG) ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor briefed the journalists about the ground situation in South Waziristan during their visit to the office of the army's media wing. The briefing was followed by an interactive session. The journalists shared their feedback on the security situation in South Waziristan Agency and the development work undertaken by Pakistan Army in the region, according to a press release issued by ISPR.
  6. The fashion world can be cruel when it comes to looks sometimes. Perfect body, young models, chiselled jaw lines and style on fleek. You really need to be a perfectionist to keep away from the bad glare and always stay on top. Whoever said being a super model is easy, probably never realised what goes into the BTS of those flashy Instagram posts. Since age is not just a number for models in this industry, they often lose on work once they hit a certain age number. 'Oldushka' is a modelling agency which is defying all norm and hiring models over the age of 45, who by the way, are utterly gorgeous. ТаÑÑÑна ÐеклÑдова, 61 год / моделÑное агенÑÑÑво OLDUSHKA ÐÐ»Ñ @promakeuplab ФоÑогÑаÑ: @viktorkislyy ÐакиÑж: @grebenkova ÐолоÑÑ: @alinayartseva СÑилиÑÑ: @mari_image_profi #oldushkamodels #oldushka #олдÑÑка A post shared by O L D U S H K A (@oldushkamodels) on Dec 16, 2017 at 2:50am PST ÐаленÑина ЯÑенÑ, 62 года / моделÑное агенÑÑÑво OLDUSHKA ÐÐ»Ñ @shopfans ФоÑогÑÐ°Ñ @vasily_shvetsov СÑилиÑÑ @cakemonst ÐолоÑÑ Ð¸ макиÑж: ÐлÑга Ðопова ÐÑодÑÑÐµÑ @setters.me ÐÑÑиÑÑÐµÐ½Ñ Ð¿ÑодÑÑеÑа: @lina_morgounova и ÐиÑалина ÐоÑÑковÑева #oldushkamodels #oldushka #олдÑÑка A post shared by O L D U S H K A (@oldushkamodels) on Nov 21, 2017 at 2:40pm PST This is the brain child of Igar Gavar who is a famous photographer. The agency has models that are even 75 years old! ÐаÑа пÑекÑаÑÐ½Ð°Ñ Ð±Ð°Ð½Ð´Ð°. СкоÑо в @lofficielrussia ФоÑогÑÐ°Ñ @tomskij СÑÑÐ´Ð¸Ñ @qweex.campus #oldushkamodels #oldushka #олдÑÑка A post shared by Igor Gavar (@gavarigor) on Jan 15, 2018 at 2:42am PST Ðван ÐеÑков / моделÑное агенÑÑÑво OLDUSHKA ÐÐ»Ñ Ð¼Ð°Ñки @nnedre_store ФоÑогÑÐ°Ñ @dyarygina #oldushkamodels #oldushka #олдÑÑка #возÑаÑÑнаÑÐ¼Ð¾Ð´ÐµÐ»Ñ #agedmodels #russianmodels A post shared by O L D U S H K A (@oldushkamodels) on Sep 6, 2017 at 12:57am PDT СеÑгей ÐÑкÑика и ÐаленÑина ЯÑÐµÐ½Ñ / моделÑное агенÑÑÑво OLDUSHKA ФоÑогÑÐ°Ñ @nedyalkovairina СÑилиÑÑ @katya_fisher_ Ð ÑÐ°Ð¼ÐºÐ°Ñ ÑоÑоÑеÑÑÐ¸Ð²Ð°Ð»Ñ @foto_festival / СанкÑ-ÐеÑеÑбÑÑг #oldushkamodels #oldushka #олдÑÑка #agedmodel #greyhairmodel #russianmodel A post shared by O L D U S H K A (@oldushkamodels) on Aug 26, 2017 at 3:33am PDT Their gorgeous wisdom shows through those wrinkles and the smiles are deeper than what the millennial photography will ever capture. СеÑгей ÐÑкÑика @sergey_arctica / моделÑное агенÑÑÑво OLDUSHKA Photo: @asbyka Style: @markushinaelena MакеUp: @karytret Hair: @d.p.hair Clothes: @pifpafsupershop, @math_studios, @romaskin777 @sharuk_7 Location: @bedford_studio #oldushkamodels #oldushka #greyhairmodel #возÑаÑÑнаÑÐ¼Ð¾Ð´ÐµÐ»Ñ #russianmodels A post shared by O L D U S H K A (@oldushkamodels) on Jun 14, 2017 at 6:10am PDT С наÑалом новой веÑÐ½Ñ Ð²Ð°Ñ! ðð¸ð¼ð¹ð¦ ÐоделÑ: ТаÑÑÑна ÐеклÑдова, 60 Ð»ÐµÑ / моделÑное агенÑÑÑво OLDUSHKA ФоÑогÑÐ°Ñ @kanaminaalena СÑилиÑÑ @kjstylerussia MUAH @rusakmakeup СÑÑÐ´Ð¸Ñ @soulmate_place #oldushkamodels #oldushka #олдÑÑка #agedmodel #greyhairmodel #возÑаÑÑнаÑÐ¼Ð¾Ð´ÐµÐ»Ñ A post shared by O L D U S H K A (@oldushkamodels) on Mar 1, 2017 at 4:42am PST You have got to admit, these models can give the younglings a run for their money! Age is probably now just a number, even for the fashion world.
  7. Former Malir SSP Rao Anwar KARACHI: An intelligence agency conducted raids in various areas of Malir to arrest former SSP Rao Anwar and his close aide, suspended SHO Shah Latif Town Amanullah Marwat, in the early hours of Friday, sources informed Geo News. The agency also raided the homes of the suspects, however, they were not found by the authorities. The absconding police officials are wanted by authorities in connection with the extrajudicial murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud. Naqeebullah, a 27-year-old native of Waziristan was among three others who were accused of being terrorists and killed by police in what was later termed a fake encounter. Following claims of innocence from Naqeebullah?s family, an inquiry committee was formed which cleared the 27-year-old of any wrongdoing. An FIR was registered against Anwar and others in the case. Since then, Rao Anwar has been in hiding. On Thursday, the Supreme Court granted had directed the country's top civil and military intelligence agencies to assist the Sindh Police in nabbing Anwar. The court had also granted an additional ten days to Inspector General Police Sindh AD Khawaja to arrest Anwar. Naqeebullah killing case: Sindh IGP gets 10 days to nab Rao Anwar SC directs intelligence agencies to provide complete support to Sindh Police for Anwar's arrest Earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had taken suo motu notice of Naqeebullah?s case and had set a three-day deadline for Anwar's arrest which expired on Tuesday (January 30). On Jan 30, a contingent of Sindh police raided the suspended cop's Islamabad residence in F-10/4 but failed to make any arrests.
  8. A number of soldiers and civilians have lost their lives in IED blasts in the agency. Photo: File KURRAM AGENCY: Six people, including three women, lost their lives when a roadside bomb blew off near their car in the Maqbal area of Kurram Agency, political administration said. Another person was injured in the explosion near the Pak-Afghan border, the political administration said. A number of soldiers and civilians have lost their lives in IED blasts in the agency. Three reported dead in drone strike in Kurram Agency The strike targetted a local Taliban commander: sources Four security officials, including a captain, were martyred and three injured in an IED blast in Kharlachi, Kurram Agency, in October last year. Three officials were killed instantly while three were injured, according to the political administration of the agency.
  9. ISLAMABAD: The United States on Thursday termed allegations that it struck an Afghan refugee camp in Kurram Agency a day earlier as false. According to a statement issued by a US Embassy spokesperson, ?The claim in an MFA statement yesterday that US forces struck an Afghan refugee camp in Kurram Agency yesterday is false.? Pakistan had on Wednesday condemned the drone strike conducted by coalition forces in Kurram agency and called the unilateral action detrimental to the spirit of cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement had stated that the strike had targeted an Afghan refugee camp. According to political administration sources in the area, two people including a commander of the Haqqani Network were killed in the drone strike close to the Orakzai and Kurram Agency border.
  10. United States held back $65 million that had been destined for UNRWA RAMALLAH: The UN agency for Palestinian refugees faces its worst funding crisis ever after the United States froze tens of millions of dollars in contributions, its spokesman said on Wednesday. "The US has announced it will contribute $60 million to the programme budget. There is for the moment no other indication of possible funding," UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told AFP. "This dramatically reduced contribution results in the most severe funding crisis in the history of the agency." The United States held back $65 million that had been destined for UNRWA on Tuesday, two weeks after President Donald Trump threatened future payments. The State Department said $60 million of what had been a planned $125 million package would go through to keep the agency running, but the rest will be withheld for now. UNRWA said the $60 million would keep schools and hospitals open for the time being, but noted that it was dramatically less than the $350 million Washington paid during 2017. State Department officials insisted the decision was taken not to pressure Palestinian leaders but to encourage other countries to help pay for and reform UNRWA. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for UNRWA to be shut down altogether.
  11. State Department officials insisted the decision was not taken to pressure Palestinian leaders WASHINGTON: The United States held back $65 million that had been destined for the United Nations relief agency for Palestinians on Tuesday, two weeks after President Donald Trump threatened future payments. State Department officials insisted the decision was not taken to pressure Palestinian leaders, but because the US wants other countries to help pay for and reform UNRWA. But the call came after a behind-the-scenes tussle between hawks who want to cut all aid to Palestinians and officials concerned about the humanitarian and diplomatic fallout. The State Department said $60 million of what had been a planned $125 million package would go through to keep the agency running, but the rest will be withheld for now. "This is not aimed at punishing anyone," spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters. "The United States government, and the Trump administration, believe that there should be more so-called burden-sharing to go around," she said. "We would like other countries, in fact other countries that criticize the United States for what they believe to be our position vis-a-vis the Palestinians... to step forward." The head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), Pierre Krahenbuhl, expressed alarm and immediately called on other UN members to contribute. He said the $60 million would keep schools and hospitals open for now, but noted that it was dramatically lower than the $350 million Washington paid over the course of 2017. "Funding UNRWA or any humanitarian agency is the discretion of any sovereign member state of the United Nations," he said, in a statement. "At the same time, given the long, trusted, and historic relationship between the United States and UNRWA, this reduced contribution threatens one of the most successful and innovative human development endeavors in the Middle East." The State Department´s position raised skepticism in the light of a tweet sent by Trump on January 2, at the time when the $125 million contribution had been due to be paid. "We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect," Trump wrote. "They don´t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel," he protested, adding: "Why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?" Vulnerable populations Following Trump´s outburst, it was reported that his ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley had been pushing for a complete end to US aid to UNRWA. But voluntary payments from the US are the biggest single source of support for the 68-year-old body, and other US officials opposed an immediate and total suspension. Officials said the compromise would allow UNRWA schools and clinics in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, in Gaza and in neighboring Arab countries to remain open for now. "There is a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of UNRWA, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded," one official said on condition of anonymity. But, even as US officials said the decision was not aimed at the Palestinians but intended to provoke UN reform, Israel welcomed it as a victory for their arguments. Israel´s UN envoy Danny Danon said the agency misuses aid and "supports anti-Israel propaganda, perpetuates the plight of Palestinian refugees and encourages hate." He accused UNRWA´s leaders of allowing "terror tunnels" to be dug under schools and teaching Palestinian children to deny the existence of the state of Israel. "It is time for this absurdity to end and for humanitarian funds to be directed toward their intended purpose -- the welfare of refugees," he declared. The Palestinians also saw the US decision as political. A statement issued by Hanan Ashrawi of the executive council of the Palestine Liberation Organization accused Washington of seeking to dismantle UNRWA at Israel´s behest. She accused the US of "targeting the most vulnerable segment of the Palestinian people. "It is also creating conditions that will generate further instability throughout the region and will demonstrate that it has no compunction in targeting the innocent," she said. UNRWA has provided health care, emergency aid and schooling to Palestinians since 1950. The United States has long been its biggest donor, with large voluntary payments topping up the budget that other UN member states provide for the frontline agency. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he had not been informed of Washington´s decision, but was "very concerned" by reports that it was in the works. "UNRWA is not a Palestinian institution, but a UN institution, he protested.
  12. What's your dream job? The one that gives you recognition, fame, success, respect and money? Yeah, that's all of us. However, the ultimate dream would be to do nothing and get paid. Turns out, a travel agency has answered all our prayers. A Swedish travel agency is on the lookout for professional 'slackers' and want to pay you for literally doing nothing! © Pexels The profile involves you being a 'fakeation specialist' and you will basically need to chill in shorts and lounge around as they click you with a background of the Mediterranean Sea. Sounds fantastic, right? Talking about the qualifications that the job requires, the list includes 'not thinking out of box' and must love sitting and lying down. The position is based out of Stockholm and like all good things come to an end, this job is also short term. The term is from 22nd January to 4th February only; so in case you are interested, you can apply here. (https://www.tui.se/professionalslacker/) The position only requires 4 slackers, so the competition is crazy. They will be paid on an hourly basis. All you need to do is send some pictures of you chilling around. Oh, and forget about the need of a professional resume as well.
  13. RAWALPINDI: Minister for Defence Khurram Dastgir visited on Wednesday Corps Headquarters in Peshawar and Khyber Agency, according to the Inter-Services public Relations press release. The ISPR statement said that the minister was briefed about the security situation, ongoing operations, border security management, the return of the Temporarily Displaced Persons and development projects. Dastgir interacted with on-duty officers and lauded their operational preparedness, combat readiness and high morale, said the ISPR. Earlier upon arrival at Corps HQ, the defence minister also laid a floral wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada and met with Commander Peshawar Corps, said the press release.
  14. Head of the CIA Mike Pompeo. Photo: AFP WASHINGTON: The head of the CIA on Sunday denied his agency had any role in fomenting the recent anti-government protests in Iran but predicted the violent unrest "is not behind us." Mike Pompeo, named a year ago by President Donald Trump to head the intelligence agency, told Fox News Sunday that economic conditions in Iran "are not good." "That?s what caused the people to take to the streets," he said. He blamed what he called Tehran?s "backward-looking" regime for turning a deaf ear to the voices of the people. Asked about a claim by Iran?s prosecutor general, Mohammad Javad Montazeri, that a CIA official had coordinated with Israel and Saudi Arabia ? Iran?s regional rivals ? to work with exiled Iranian groups to stir dissent in Iran, Pompeo replied simply: "It?s false." "This was the Iranian people ? started by them, created by them, continued by them, demanding a better set of living conditions and a break from the theocratic regime." Looming deadlines Trump has repeatedly tweeted his support for Iranian protesters while castigating the Tehran regime, seizing on the recent unrest to again slam the multiparty nuclear deal with Iran as deeply flawed. Trump faces deadlines around mid-month on whether to renew temporary waivers or restore US sanctions on Iran. In October, Trump refused to certify that Iran was respecting its commitments under the 2015 nuclear accord, but did not reimpose sanctions or abandon the deal itself. The administration has not revealed its intentions, but the Iran unrest is seen as a possible pretext for blowing up the nuclear accord. The US Congress has been working on legislation aimed at tightening terms of the agreement in ways that might satisfy Trump?s demands, and Pompeo expressed careful optimism that it might succeed. "They could do something," he said. "They could take some of the weaknesses from the agreement... extend deadlines (and) snap back sanctions into place where they could really happen." But Bob Corker, head of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, said last week that while talks on Iran were continuing with the White House and its European partners, no new bill was imminent. Any agreement, Corker said, would take several more weeks to work out.
  15. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called for the closure of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, days after US President Donald Trump threatened to cut Palestinian aid. Photo: AFP file JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called for the closure of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, days after US President Donald Trump threatened to cut Palestinian aid. Israel has long viewed the UN agency, known as UNRWA, as biased against it, an allegation the agency strongly denies, saying it is only providing necessary services to Palestinians. Israeli officials also criticise the agency´s method of classifying refugees, with descendants also eligible to register. "UNRWA is an organisation that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem," Netanyahu said at the beginning of his weekly cabinet meeting. He said that while millions of other refugees around the world were cared for by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Palestinians have their own body which also treats "great-grandchildren of refugees ? who aren't refugees." "This absurd situation must be ended," Netanyahu said. In June, Netanyahu said he had raised the issue with Washington's UN envoy Nikki Haley. On Wednesday, Trump threatened to cut aid worth more than $300 million annually to the Palestinians in a bid to force them to negotiate. The United States has long provided the Palestinian Authority with much-needed budgetary support and security assistance, as well as an additional $304 million for UN programmes in the West Bank and Gaza. A Friday report on Israeli Channel 10 television said the US had frozen a payment due to UNRWA, but a spokesman for the UN organisation said on Saturday that they "have not been informed directly of a formal decision either way by the US administration." UNRWA runs hundreds of schools for Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank, Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. It also distributes aid and provides teacher training centres, health clinics and social services. Many analysts, including Israelis, warn that closing the agency without having an effective replacement could lead to further poverty and perhaps violence. "While UNRWA is far from perfect, the Israeli defence establishment, and the Israeli government as a whole, have over the years come to the understanding that all the alternatives are worse for Israel," Peter Lerner, a former spokesman for the Israeli military, wrote in an opinion piece in Haaretz newspaper last week. "In an extreme situation, the administration of those refugees could fall on Israel's shoulders."
  16. Security officials deployed in the tribal areas. Photo: File GHALANAI: An official of the Frontier Corps (FC) was injured in an attack in Mohmand Agency on Friday. According to the political administration, an FC vehicle was targetted in an IED explosion in Aingar area of the tribal agency. The injured was shifted to a hospital where he is under treatment. Following the attack, security forces reached the site of the incident and launched a search operation. The agency borders the Afghan provinces of Nangarhar and Kunar, and is often witness to terrorist attacks from across the border as well as from militants inside the agency. On December 22, three FC troops were martyred in cross-border firing from terrorists on the Pak-Afghan border, said a statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). One martyred in second suicide attack in a day in Mohmand Agency Attacker detonated himself when security force personnel tried to apprehend him The FC personnel were busy constructing a new border post when the attack took place in the Shunkrai area of Mohmand Agency, the ISPR stated further. Similarly, on December 1, a soldier was martyred in an IED blast in Chamarkand area of the agency. Security officials informed that the soldier was martyred on his way to his check post while carrying water for his comrades. Another soldier accompanying him was injured and was immediately shifted to a nearby hospital. In March 2017, as many as five soldiers embraced martyrdom foiling a terrorism bid on three border checkpoints in Mohmand Agency, according to the ISPR. Read more: The uniformed martyrs of 2017
  17. KABUL: A suicide bomber on foot blew himself up close to a compound of Afghanistan?s national intelligence agency in the capital, Kabul, on Monday, killing at least three people and wounding one, government officials said. The blast comes a week after Daesh claimed an attack on a training facility of the same agency, the National Directorate for Security, in Kabul that ended when the attackers were killed before causing significant casualties. An official said the explosion occurred close to the agency?s entrance. Ismail Kawsi, a spokesman for the ministry of public health, said at least three dead and one wounded had been taken to city hospitals. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
  18. A view of the caves which were cleared in the operation. Photo: ISPR RAWALPINDI: Security forces carried out a search operation in Nagrosa Alged area near Sheikhan Village of Khyber Agency and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition. According to a press release by the army media wing, the Inter Services Public Relations, during the search operation, forces cleared four caves, three compounds and an abandoned IED-making factory. "A cache of weapons and ammunition, including IEDs, grenades, various types of ammunition, explosives and accessories used for IED making, were recovered during the operation," the statement added. The action was conducted as part of Operation Raddul Fasaad, which was launched by the army in conjunction with civilian and paramilitary forces earlier this year.
  19. KARACHI: A new 600-ton maritime patrol vessel was launched for the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) on Tuesday at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW), said a statement released by the Pakistan Navy (PN). The vessel, built with the technical collaboration of China Shipbuilding and Trading Company (CSTC), is a state of the art vessel capable of performing multiple missions. The ship is fully equipped to enforce maritime security and search and rescue missions in Pakistan's maritime exclusive economic zone. The chief guest of the occasion, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi congratulated the shipyard on achieving the important milestone and said that it is yet another project that speaks volumes of the friendship between China and Pakistan. He added that the responsibility of PN and PMSA has increased manifold since the start of CPEC and the extension of EEZ. "While highlighting the significance of CPEC, the admiral said that CPEC will transform Pakistan into a regional economic hub. If we capitalize on just 10 percent of China?s external trade, it will be about five times the current volume of trade that we are carrying through our port," said the PN statement. The naval chief also said that the maritime sector can double or even triple the GDP of Pakistan. MD KS&EW Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah said the vessel is part of a contract between the Ministry of Defence Production. The ministry will construct six maritime patrol vessels. The statement added that ongoing projects at KS&EW include 1,500 tons MPV, 32 tons Bollard Pull Tugs and Fast Attack Craft (Missile). The launching ceremony was attended by high ranking officials from Government of Pakistan, Pakistan Navy, China Shipbuilding & Trading Company and KS&EW.
  20. KARACHI: A soldier was killed in an IED blast in Chamarkand area of Mohmand Agency on Friday, informed security officials. The soldier was killed on his way to the check post while carrying water for his fellow soldiers. Another soldier accompanying him was injured and was immediately shifted to a nearby hospital. In March 2017, as many as five soldiers embraced martyrdom foiling a terrorism bid on three border checkpoints in Mohmand Agency, according to a statement issued by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR). At least 10 terrorists were also killed in the shoot-out between army personnel and terrorists. "Terrorists must be denied freedom of movement along the border," Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa was quoted as saying in the statement. He lauded the immediate response of the personnel. However, he also expressed grief over the loss of precious lives. The martyred soldiers include Sanaullah, Safdar, Altaf, Nek Muhammad and Anwar. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif condemned the attack on security check posts in Mohmand Agency. He expressed grief with families of the bereaved soldiers. However, he added, Pakistan Army soldiers showed bravery by killing 10 terrorists.
  21. COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa shaking hand with an officer during his visit to Pak -Afghan border in Bajur Agency. Photo: ISPR RAWALPINDI: The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday visited the Pak-Afghan border near Bajaur Agency, the Inter-Services Public Relations Department (ISPR) said. The army chief was briefed on the security measures, including the construction of new posts and border-fencing, on the Pak-Afghan border and measures taken to stop militancy waged by terrorists from across the border. General Bajwa, in Peshawar, also met with scholars in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The COAS praised the scholars' role in the war against terrorism, the military's media wing said. The scholars of FATA and KP, too, jointly denounced terrorism and pledged allegiance to the security forces for their efforts to establish peace and stability in the country. "Pakistan, without any differentiation of colour, race, religion, ethnicity or sect, belongs to all of its citizens," General Bajwa said, according to the ISPR.
  22. MOSCOW : Russia?s technical safety watchdog Rosstandart said on Wednesday it had been informed by Toyota Motor Corp about the recall of 9,310 Toyota Hilux cars produced between Sept. 2, 2011 and Nov. 28, 2014. The recall is due to possible air bag faults, it said.
  23. Locals and officials inspect a car that was bombed in Yemen. REUTERS/Nasser Awad/Files ADEN: Assailants detonated a car bomb outside the Yemeni Finance Ministry offices in the southern city of Aden on Wednesday, killing at least two people, hospital officials and residents said. They said the force of the blast shook the Khor Maksar area of Aden ? the temporary capital of the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi ? and causing severe damage to the six-storey building. The force of the blast also shattered windows of adjacent houses, they said. Ambulances were seen racing to the scene, as sounds of gunfire were heard in the area, they said. No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion. An official at the city?s main government-run Jumhouriya hospital said that two people have arrived dead to the hospital, while three others were in critical condition. He said that medics have said they believe that more casualties were at the scene of the blast, but no one could reach them due to an exchange of gunfire that was taking place in the area.
  24. Saudi security guards monitor screens at the National Center for Security Operations in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem/Files LONDON/RIYADH: Saudi Arabian security officials said Monday the country had been targeted as part of a wide-ranging cyber espionage campaign observed since February against five Middle East nations as well as several countries outside the region. The Saudi government?s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) said in a statement the kingdom had been hit by a hacking campaign bearing the technical hallmarks of an attack group dubbed ?MuddyWater? by US cyber firm Palo Alto Networks. Palo Alto?s Unit 42 threat research unit published a report last Friday showing how a string of connected attacks this year used decoy documents with official-looking government logos to lure unsuspecting users from targeted organizations to download infected documents and compromise their computer networks. Documents pretending to be from the US National Security Agency, Iraqi intelligence, Russian security firm Kaspersky, and the Kurdistan regional government were among those used to trick victims, Unit 42 said in a blog post. The Unit 42 researchers said the attacks had targeted organizations in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Israel, as well as entities outside the Middle East in Georgia, India, Pakistan, and the United States. The Saudi security agency said in its own statement that the attacks sought to steal data from computers using email phishing techniques targeting the credentials of specific users. The NCSC said they also comprised so-called ?watering hole? attacks, which seek to trick users to click on infected web links to seize control of their machines. The technical indicators supplied by Unit 42 are the same as those described by the NCSC as being involved in attacks against Saudi Arabia. The NCSC said the attacks appeared to be by an ?advanced persistent threat? (APT) group ? cyber jargon typically used to describe state-backed espionage. Saudi Arabia has been the target of frequent cyber attacks, including the ?Shamoon? virus, which cripples computers by wiping their disks and has hit both government ministries and petrochemical firms. Saudi Aramco ? the world?s largest oil company ? was hit by an early version of the ?Shamoon? virus in 2012, in the country?s worst cyber attack to date. The NCSC declined further comment on the source of the attack or on which organizations or agencies were targeted. Unit 42 said it was unable to identify the attack group or its aims and did not have enough data to conclude that the MuddyWater group was behind the Saudi attacks as outlined by NCSC. ?We cannot confirm that the NCSC posting and our MuddyWater research are in fact related,? Christopher Budd, a Unit 42 manager told Reuters. ?There?s just not enough information to make that connection with an appropriate level of certainty.? Palo Alto Networks said the files it had uncovered were almost identical to information-stealing documents disguised as Microsoft Word files and found to be targeting the Saudi government by security firm Malwarebytes in a September report.
  25. French President Emmanuel Macron looks on during a meeting at the Elysee Palace, Paris, France, November 20, 2017. AFP/Pool/Michel Euler PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed Monday the choice of Paris as the new home of the European Banking Authority (EBA) following Britain's withdrawal from the EU in March 2019. "Paris will welcome the European Banking Authority! It is recognition of the attractiveness and the European commitment to France," Macron tweeted. "Happy and proud for our country," he added.