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  1. ISLAMABAD: Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman who is on an official visit to the United Kingdom visited the Royal Air Force's Marham airbase on Wednesday. According to a handout, the Chief of Air Staff flew one of the Royal Air Force Tornado fighter jets part of the famous No 9 Squadron. Upon his arrival at RAF Marham, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman was given a detailed briefing on the historical significance of the No 9 Squadron. A special reason for the visit was that during a ceremony at the Pakistan Air Force Mushaf base, PAF's No 9 Squadron, also known as Griffin, was dubbed the twin of the RAF squadron of the same name. At the time RAF's chief had also taken part in a training mission on a PAF F-16 fighting falcon jet. ACM Sohail Aman with ACM Sir Stephen Hillier Prior to ACM Sohail Aman's visit the Mahram, he met with his RAF counterpart Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier at the Ministry of Defence in London. During the meeting, the two chiefs discussed matters of mutual interest while ACM Aman briefed his counterpart on the PAF's prominent role in the fight against terrorism. He also laid stress on the benefits both air forces can reap through joint training missions. RAF Chief Sir Stephen Hillier lauded the services of the PAF in the fight against terrorism in Pakistan and its operational capabilities. Later ACM Aman toured the Royal College of Defence Studies where he delivered a lecture on Peace in South Asia and the security dynamics. ACM Aman also highlighted the benefits of including tribal people into the national discourse and towards regional peace as well the sacrifices rendered in the fight to eliminate terrorism from the country. The ACM also met with students and faculty of the Royal College of Defence Studies. It is important to mention that ACM Aman is also a graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies. ACM Sohail Aman delivering a lecture at the Royal College of Defence Studies
  2. TAIPEI/BEIJING: Air China Ltd has indefinitely suspended flights between Beijing and Pyongyang, citing poor demand as North Korea faces growing sanctions from the United States over its nuclear weapons and missile programs. An official in the company?s Beijing-based press office, who only gave his surname as Ding, told Reuters on Wednesday that flights were suspended because ?business was not good?. He declined to comment on when flights might resume. The suspension by China?s national flag carrier comes shortly after a visit by a senior Chinese envoy to the city and also coincides with a US decision to put North Korea back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism. Air China flights to Pyongyang, which have traditionally operated on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, began in 2008, but have frequently been canceled because of unspecified problems, state media has said. Last year, Air China halted flights seasonally for winter but resumed them in March. So far it is not selling tickets for any 2018 flights, according to Routes Online. One staff member in the company?s Pyongyang office who declined to give his name told Reuters that Air China can resume the flights whenever there is enough demand and the office will operate normally even while there are no scheduled flights between Beijing and Pyongyang. Air China?s Beijing-based press office declined to provide further comment. The company canceled some flights in April but later said that it would increase their number in May. The United States has urged China to do more to press North Korea to stop what the United States sees as belligerent defiance of UN resolutions. China?s foreign ministry on Tuesday said that it hoped all parties could contribute to resolving the issue on the Korean peninsula peacefully. It also said that it was not aware of the Air China situation, adding that airlines made their decisions based on market needs.
  3. Models Alecia Morais (L), Maggie Lane (C) and Xiao Wen get ready backstage before the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China, November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song SHANGHAI: Victoria?s Secret?s glitzy annual fashion show hit the stage in China for the first time on Monday, though without several of its ?Angels? and star names who had been expected to attend, including model Gigi Hadid and pop singer Katy Perry. At a packed Shanghai stadium, British singer Harry Styles opened a 45-minute show of singers, dancers, and lighting theatrics ? along with a line-up of models sporting the brand?s flamboyant and racy products. Model Devon Windsor presents a creation during the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China, November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song The run-up to the show, however, was dominated by Hadid?s withdrawal and reports about visas being denied over political sensitivities ? a headache for the brand as it looks to grow in China. Perry and Hadid have both drawn criticism in China. At a 2015 concert, Perry appeared to show support for Taiwan, a self-governed island that China considers a wayward province yet an integral part of its territory. Model Vanessa Moody presents a creation during the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China, November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song1 The issue has underscored a dilemma for global brands, sports franchises, moviemakers, and performers looking to tap China?s big-spending consumers while keeping on the right side of often stringent rules about content and behaviour. ?Brands have to be much more aware of politically or morally sensitive topics here,? Ben Cavender ? a Shanghai-based principal at China Market Research Group ? said, adding the lure of the market meant most people would nevertheless take risks. Model Megan Williams presents a creation during the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China, November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song ?It?s a very different political environment than their home markets and we?re at a time when China is on a drive to clean up behaviour and push a sort of moral code.? China has long kept tight control of performers it allows into the country. Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Bjork, and Bon Jovi are all banned over perceived bad behaviour or for broaching sensitive topics like Tibet or Taiwan. 'Payback' Model Adriana Lima presents a creation during the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China, November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song1 Under President Xi Jinping, a push to reinforce socialist ?core values? in cultural products from video games to music shows has also meant firms like game developer NetEase Inc and the producers of the Grammy Awards have had to clean up their offerings. Hadid tweeted last week that she was no longer attending Monday?s show. That followed a video posted online of her squinting her eyes while holding a small Buddha statue, which went down badly in China. Model Maria Borges presents a creation during the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China, November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song US media reports said Perry was denied a visa due to her support for Taiwan. At her 2015 show, she draped a flag of the democratic island around her shoulders. The Global Times ? an influential state-run Chinese tabloid ? wrote in an editorial ahead of the show that it was ?logical? the two had been denied visas due to their past actions. Model Lais Ribeiro presents a creation during the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China, November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song ?Payback was unavoidable,? it said. ?Those who are serious about developing careers in the Chinese market can draw lessons from this case and learn to abide by the rules in China.? Victoria?s Secret did not respond to requests for comment. Asked whether or why Hadid and Perry had been banned from coming to China, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he did not know the details of the situation, but that China welcomed foreigners for ?normal? business, tourism, and cultural activities and issues visas to those who meet its conditions. Model Alessandra Ambrosio presents a creation during the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China, November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song ?But, at the same time, I want to say that like all other countries, China as a sovereign state has the right to decide itself in accordance with its laws and policies whether or not to issue papers to foreign citizens,? Lu added. Reuters could not reach Hadid for comment. Perry did not respond to a request for comment. After-party? The show ? held in Paris last year ? blends fashion, fantasy, and entertainment, and has featured scores of supermodels, celebrities, and musicians since its inception in 1996. Model Martha Hunt presents a creation during the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China, November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song1 Its China outing could help Victoria?s Secret tap a domestic women?s market forecast to be worth $33 billion by 2020, according to Euromonitor. The brand opened its first mainland China store in Shanghai this year. For the Shanghai show, guests went through government vetting and faced tight security on the door with facial recognition scans and passport checks. The absence of some stars didn?t go unmentioned. Model Sara Sampaio presents a creation during the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China, November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song ?It was unfortunate that the other models couldn?t make it, but they were there with us in spirit,? model Herieth Paul told Reuters TV on the ?pink carpet? after the show. But most fans at the event didn?t seem put off by the snaking queues, visa issues, or a chilly Shanghai night. ?It was fabulous and fantastic,? Monica Chen, 22, told Reuters. ?Now I?m looking for the after-party.?
  4. Roads in the area were closed off for a number of hours. Image Courtesy: BBC via South Beds News Agency LONDON: Four people were killed Friday when an aircraft and a helicopter collided in Buckinghamshire, south England, local police said. Two people were killed in each aircraft, which came down in woods near Waddesdon Estate, near Aylesbury, according to Thames Valley Police said. Police chief Rebecca Mears said she could not yet give out the identities of the victims. "Our priorities today remain with investigating the next of kin, finding out who they are, informing them and supporting them with specialist officers as we progress the investigation here on site," she said in a statement. "We anticipate being here until about Monday morning, potentially longer, we do not rush these things, it's really important we do a meticulous investigation and really thorough to get to the bottom of what's happened here." Both aircraft had taken off from nearby Wycombe Air Park, a spokesman said. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said it was assisting in the investigation, revealing that the plane involved was a light Cessna. South Central Ambulance Service said the alarm was raised at 12:09 PM (1209 GMT) local time "to a mid-air collision involving a helicopter and an aircraft". "We sent a number of resources to the scene, including the Thames Valley air ambulance, two ambulance crews, two ambulance officers and a rapid response vehicle," said a spokeswoman. Local gardener, Len Bellis told the Press Association that he found the "burning wreckage" after earlier hearing a "horrendous noise", describing the light aircraft remains as "non-existent".
  5. [embed_video1 url= style=center] DUBAI: Pakistan Air Force's (PAF) JF-17 Thunder and Super Mushshak trainer aircraft dazzled thousands of spectators on the last day of Dubai Air Show on Thursday. Being an open day for general public, aviation enthusiasts turned out in thousands to see the sleek and lethal fighter aircraft, rightfully called the Pride of Pakistan, at the Dubai World Central Airport. The eager spectators were briefed about the various capabilities of this aircraft. Another salient feature of the event was the scintillating aerobatics display by JF-17 Thunder and Super Mushshak trainer aircraft, which presented breathtaking manoeuvres during the air show. Aviation enthusiasts queue up to see the JF-17 Thunder aircraft during Dubai Air Show. ? INP The JF-17 is a state-of-the-art fighter aircraft, featured with outstanding flight performance and strong operational capability. Designed and developed as an affordable and cost effective fighter, it provides cutting-edge capabilities at an affordable cost. The fighter jet has successfully participated in various reputed air shows all over the world including Farnborough Air Show, Paris Air Show and Zhuhai Air Show.
  6. ir strikes on a market killed at least 53 people, including children, in a town in northern Syria on Monday despite a "de-escalation zone" in place there, a monitor said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was not immediately clear whether the strikes on rebel-held Atareb had been carried out by Syrian warplanes, or those of Damascus´s ally Russia. The monitor said three strikes hit the town´s market, adding that five children were among the dead, as well as three policemen. A photographer contributing to AFP saw massive destruction at the scene, with rubble from damaged buildings covering the street and panicked civilians carrying away the injured. Three men helped one of those hit in the attack, his face drenched in blood and his features almost completely obscured. Nearby, the body of a man in a blue shirt and dark trousers lay where he had died. Civil defence workers rushed alongside civilians to evacuate the injured, with one man in a thick beanie hat carrying a wailing child in a pink sweater away from the scene. Elsewhere, the bodies of at least three children were laid out on the ground, partly covered by thick bolts of fabric. Atareb is in the west of Aleppo province, in an area that is part of a "de-escalation zone" agreed under a deal earlier this year between Syria´s allies Russia and Iran, and rebel backer Turkey. The zone mostly covers neighbouring Idlib province, which is largely held by opposition forces and a militant group formerly affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Despite the government´s recapture of Aleppo city late last year, rebel groups maintain a presence in the west of the province. Russia, a key ally of Syria´s President Bashar al-Assad, began a bombing campaign in support of his government in 2015. Since then, with Moscow´s support the government has recaptured large swathes of territory from opposition forces. Moscow has steered the so-called Astana process that in May led to a deal to create four so-called "de-escalation zones" across Syria. The zones have produced a drop in violence, but sporadic fighting and bombardment has continued, and promised humanitarian access has not materialised. More than 330,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.
  7. RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa met with the commander of the Royal Jordanian Air Force on Thursday, said a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The meeting took place at General Headquarters Rawalpindi, with matters of mutual interest coming under discussion. The RJAF commander praised Pakistan Army's efforts against terrorism, added ISPR.
  8. The recent IndiGo controversy has caused a huge uproar on Twitter, and rightly so. It all started with a video of the staff members getting into a fight with a passenger, which quickly turned physical with the passenger in question, Rajiv Katiyal, being pinned to the ground. #WATCH: IndiGo staff manhandle a passenger at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (Note: Strong language) — ANI (@ANI) November 7, 2017 But, it looks like the Air India took this opportunity to kill two birds with one stone; yesterday, two new pictures appeared on Air India's Twitter page that only promoted them, but also took an indirect jibe at the whole IndiGo incident. © Air India © Air India Since IndiGo was being bashed online for their misconduct, Air India also decided to join in, but they probably soon realized that their 'jokes' were in bad taste, and the tweets have since been removed. But honestly, we have to give it to them; it was some clever word play. With so much ongoing craziness on Twitter, Jet Airways was got dragged in it, unfortunately. A fake picture that looked like a Jet Airways campaign mocking IndiGo spread like wildfire on Twitter. A lot of people shared the online ad, which said “we beat our competition, not you,” thinking it was real. ððð¹ — SwatKat (@swatic12) November 8, 2017 Great ad @jetairways — Sunil Alagh (@sunilalagh) November 8, 2017 This is @jetairways topical! Brilliant ð — Manish Kohli (@manishrkohli) November 8, 2017 Jet Airways soon realized what was happening and took to Twitter to clarify that the ad was fake and even said that it was in bad taste. Jet Airways Statement: Jet Airways did not commission the creative being shared on social media platforms, in context of a recent event concerning another domestic airline. The creative does not reflect our philosophy and ethos and is in fact, in bad taste. — Jet Airways (@jetairways) November 8, 2017 With all this tagline drama, some people decided to come up with their own, and they're pretty hilarious. Tagline of our diff airlines : Indigo - We beat our customers Jet Airways - We beat our competition not our customers Air India - We don't beat our customers. We get beaten by our MPs Go Air - We don't have customers. Air Vistara - We don't have planes. — Atul Khatri (@one_by_two) November 8, 2017 As if there weren't enough similarities between the IndiGo and United Airlines incident, the tagline “we beat our competition, not you” was used in fake ad as well. People started thinking that Dallas-based Southwest Airlines made an ad mocking United, but that turned out to be a spoof as well. © Twitter As much as we would like these all to be true, turns out big brands are not as petty as all of us.
  9. ISLAMABAD: Commander Royal Jordanian Air Force Major General (Pilot) Yousef Ahmad Al-Hanity lauded the role of Pakistan Air Force in the war against terrorism. The official remarked this during a meeting with Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman. Commander Royal Jordanian Air Force had visited the Air Headquarters Islamabad on Tuesday. Later on, he called on Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman in his office, according to a Pakistan Air Force press release. The two discussed matters of professional and mutual interest. Commander Royal Jordanian Air Force also appreciated the sound professionalism of PAF personnel, the press release stated. He also expressed his desire to learn from the experiences of Pakistan Air Force. Air Chief highlighted that both the countries enjoy cordial and brotherly relations and reiterated his resolve to further enhance the existing cooperation between the two countries. Air Chief also offered assistance and support in the field of aviation and military training to Jordanian Air Force. The visiting dignitary also attended a briefing at Air Headquarters on the organisation, role and functioning of Pakistan Air Force. On his arrival at Air Headquarters, Yousef Ahmad Al-Hanity was received by Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force and was presented Guard of Honour by a contingent of PAF. The Royal Jordanian Air Force delegation is on a four-day visit to Pakistan, on the invitation of Pakistan Air Force. The delegation will visit various PAF bases and installations.
  10. Crosses are placed near a vigil in the memory of those killed in the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland, Texas, US, November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking SUTHERLAND SPRINGS: The gunman who shot 26 worshipers to death and wounded 20 others at a Texas church was embroiled in a domestic dispute with his in-laws and had been sending threatening messages to his wife?s mother before the massacre, officials said Monday. The killer, Devin Kelley, 26, was previously convicted by court-martial of assaulting his first wife and step-son while serving in the US Air Force and spent a year in detention before his bad-conduct discharge in 2014, according to the Pentagon. The Air Force acknowledged on Monday that it failed to enter Kelley?s 2012 domestic violence offence into a US government database used by licensed gun dealers for conducting background checks on firearms purchasers. A sporting goods retail chain has said Kelley passed background checks when he bought a gun in 2016 and a second firearm the following year. Details about Kelley?s background of violent, disturbing behaviour emerged a day after Sunday?s rampage in southeastern Texas, which ranks as the deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman in the state and one of the five most lethal in modern US history. Kelley was found dead, apparently of gunshot wounds, after a failed attempt to make his getaway from the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, authorities said. Stepping out of the church, Kelley was confronted and shot three times by an armed area resident. Kelley then fled in a sports utility vehicle (SUV) as the resident waved down a passing motorist. The two good Samaritans then chased after the suspect at high speeds, authorities said. Freeman Martin ? a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety ? credited the man who shot Kelley as ?our Texas hero?. Kelley called his father during the pursuit to say he had been shot and might not survive, officials said. He later crashed his vehicle, shot himself and died, they added. It was not clear if he died of the self-inflicted wound or those sustained in the gunfight, officials said. It appeared that family problems may have been a factor in Sunday?s carnage. Kelley was involved in a domestic dispute with the family of Danielle Shields, a woman he married in 2014, and the situation had flared up, according to officials and public records. ?There was a domestic situation going on within the family and the in-laws,? Martin told reporters outside the church on Monday. ?The mother-in-law attended the church? she had received threatening text messages from him.? Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tacit said the family members were not in the church during Kelley?s attack. Kelley himself had attended services at the church at times, US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas told reporters at the scene. ?My understanding is that this depraved madman had worshipped at this church before,? Cruz said. The attack came about a month after a gunman killed 58 people in Las Vegas in the deadliest shooting by a lone assailant in modern US history. The dead in Sunday?s bloodshed ranged in age from 18 months to 77 years. Ten of the wounded in Texas remained in critical condition on Monday morning, officials said. 'Peaceful and quiet place' Vice President Mike Pence said on Twitter that he will travel to Sutherland Springs on Wednesday to meet with victims? families and law enforcement. The attack stunned Sutherland Springs, a community of about 400 people with just one blinking yellow traffic light. One family, the Holcombe, lost eight people from three generations in the attack, including Bryan Holcombe, an assistant pastor who was leading the service, a relative said. John Stiles, a 76-year-old retired US Navy veteran, said he heard the shots from his home about 150 yards (137 miles) away, ?My wife and I were looking for a peaceful and quiet place when we moved here but now that hasn?t worked out.?
  11. A still image taken from a video distributed by Yemen's pro-Houthi Al Masirah television station on November 5, 2017, shows what it says was the launch by Houthi forces of a ballistic missile aimed at Riyadh's King Khaled Airport on Saturday, Houthi Military Media Unit via REUTERS TV DUBAI: A Saudi-led military coalition said it will temporarily close all air, land and sea ports to Yemen to stem the flow of arms to Houthi rebels from Iran, said a statement on Monday on state news agency SPA. The move follows the interception of a missile fired towards Riyadh on Saturday which the coalition has described as a ?dangerous escalation? by the Iran-allied Houthi militia which controls large parts of Yemen. The coalition and US President Donald Trump have both blamed Iran for the attack, but the head of Iran?s Revolutionary Guards denied the accusations on Sunday, rejecting Trump?s remarks as ?slanders?. The ballistic missile was intercepted by Saudi Arabia?s air defenses and brought down near Riyadh airport without causing any casualties. The coalition has been targeting the Houthis since they seized parts of the country in 2015 including the capital Sanaa, forcing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee and seek help from neighboring Saudi Arabia. ?The Coalition Forces Command decided to temporarily close all Yemeni air, sea and land ports,? the statement on SPA said, adding that aid workers and humanitarian supplies would continue to be able to access and exit Yemen. The United Nations and international aid organizations have repeatedly criticized the coalition for blocking aid access, especially to the rebel-held north. The civil war has killed more than 10,000 people and triggered a severe humanitarian crisis in one of the Arab world?s poorest nations. More than half a million Yemenis have been infected with cholera and some seven million are on the brink of famine, according to the United Nations. On Sunday a suicide car bomber blew himself up at a security checkpoint in the southern port city of Aden, killing 15 people and wounding at least 20, residents and a security official said. Aden is the interim headquarters of Yemen?s internationally-recognized government.
  12. CAIRO: Egypt's military said Tuesday its air force had carried out a desert raid, killing "a large number of terrorist elements" responsible for the deaths of 16 policemen earlier this month. The policemen were killed in an October 20 shootout with militants on the road between Cairo and the Bahariya oasis in the Western Desert, a rare flare-up outside the Sinai Peninsula. Authorities are fighting the Egyptian branch of Daesh, which has killed hundreds of security personnel in northern Sinai, more than 500 kilometres from the site of this month's clash. The state television said Tuesday the military had acted on "confirmed information" on the whereabouts of the militants involved. The air force attacked a hideout in "a mountainous area west of Fayoum" south of Cairo, it said. The raid destroyed three four-wheel-drive vehicles carrying large quantities of weapons, ammunition and "extremely explosive material", it said. Armed forces and police are combing the area for other fugitives, it added. The defence ministry said that on October 20 it had sent police to the area, less than 200 kilometres southwest of Cairo, after learning that militants there were "hiding, training and preparing to carry out terrorist operations". As they approached, militants opened fire with heavy weapons, triggering a shootout that lasted several hours and also left 13 police officers injured and one missing, the ministry said. No group has yet claimed responsibility.
  13. We don't realise how we gamble our lives with all that air pollution around us. The quality of air quality is alarmingly high, and even banning crackers is not helping the deteriorated situation. #changetheair is one such campaign that is urging everyone to start the change around them. This video captures the stark but the sad reality of what life around us has become now. the good people at Airoshine are using the power impact of social media and trying to make our country a better place for our own good. #changetheair has bee trending on Twitter and many people have joined in to make an impact. Shiv wants to everyone,to abide by what we share on social media and implement a clean and green Diwali. #ChangeTheAir — AIROSHINE (@AIROSHINE) October 18, 2017 The ban on crackers has been one of the best moves on the Govt's part, and we should respect it and it should get implemented.#ChangeTheAir — AIROSHINE (@AIROSHINE) October 18, 2017 Reducing the impact of the pollutants will take a long time, but the war is half won if people are willing to take the necessary measures and most importantly, say no to crackers on Diwali. Let the Kids breathe clean air. Say NO to Firecrackers #ChangeTheAir — AIROSHINE (@AIROSHINE) October 18, 2017 It's important to start awareness at the most basic level and most importantly it's vital that the kids around us understand the importance of having a green and a clean Diwali. Just listen to what this little one has to say. Have a clean and Green Diwali! #ChangeTheAir #RightToBreathe — AIROSHINE (@AIROSHINE) October 18, 2017 This Diwali , please burn the evil around you, not crackers. This is your country, and it's your moral responsibility to not only make this land a better place but to give yourself the gift of a healthy life by breathing clean air.
  14. In September, US warplanes dropped more bombs than in any single month since 2010, driven largely by Trump?s strategy of trying to reassert pressure on militants after several years of drawdown by foreign troops. Photo: Reuters KABUL: Civilian casualties from Afghan and American air strikes have risen more than 50 per cent since last year, the United Nations said on Thursday, as troops increase attacks on militants under a new strategy announced by US President Donald Trump in August. As of the end of September, at least 205 civilians had been killed and 261 wounded this year in air strikes in Afghanistan, UN investigators said in a quarterly report. At least 38pc of those casualties were caused by international military forces, while the majority were attributed to the Afghan Air Force, which has begun to conduct more attacks on its own. More than two thirds of the civilian victims were women and children, the report said. In September, US warplanes dropped more bombs than in any single month since 2010, driven largely by Trump?s strategy of trying to reassert pressure on militants after several years of draw-down by foreign troops. A spokesman for the US military command did not immediately comment on the report. General Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defence, rejected the findings and said the government took civilian casualties seriously. ?It is quite obvious that Taliban and other insurgent groups cause more civilian casualties,? he said, adding that insurgents also ?use civilians as human shields and hide in residential areas?. Overall civilian casualties decreased slightly compared to the same period last year, the report said. At least 2,640 civilians were killed and 5,379 injured this year, compared to 2,616 killed and 5,915 injured in the same period of 2016. The drop reflected fewer casualties from fighting in populated areas, the report noted, as militants failed to capture any major cities. The head of the UN mission in Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, praised the Afghan government for formally endorsing a national policy designed to reduce civilian casualties. ?The government owes it to its citizens, particularly the victims of the armed conflict, to ensure full implementation of the policy through a concrete action plan,? he said. Overall the UN attributed 64pc of civilian casualties to anti-government militants like the Taliban and Daesh. Pro-government forces were responsible for 20pc overall, while the remainder was attributed to joint fighting or unidentified groups, according to the UN.
  15. COPENHAGEN: Air pollution causes more than 500,000 premature deaths across Europe each year despite "slowly" improving air quality on the continent, the EU´s environment authority said Wednesday. Although data from the Copenhagen-based European Environment Agency (EEA) reveals some encouraging signs, in large part the result of new technologies, air pollution remains the leading environmental cause of premature death in the region. In its latest report, the EAA said 520,400 premature deaths in 41 European countries were caused by air pollutants generated by the burning of fossil fuels in 2014, compared with 550,000 in 2013. Of these, four out of five deaths (428,000) were directly linked to fine particulate matter, which measure less than 2.5 microns and can enter a person´s lungs and even the bloodstream. Data collected at monitoring stations showed that 82 percent of the EU´s urban population was exposed to these microscopic particulates, known as PM2.5, in 2015, down from 85 percent in 2013. Other sources of air pollution linked to the premature deaths include nitrogen dioxide, emitted in the air, and ground-level ozone caused by motor vehicle emissions. Within the 28 European Union members, fine particulates were responsible for more than three out of four premature deaths (399,000 out of 487,600) in 2014. "The European Commission is committed to tackling this and help member states make sure that the quality of their citizens´ air is of the highest standard," said Karmenu Vella, the EU commissioner for the environment, maritime affairs and fisheries.
  16. The Indian Air Force, the fourth most destructive air power in the world, was founded on 8th October, 1932. To commemorate the establishment of the Indian Air Force, Air Force day is celebrated all over India on this day. The Indian Air Force has been involved in five wars since its inception and has proved its worth in securing the blue skies of our country. Some of the major operations undertaken by the Indian Air Force include Operation ‘Cactus', Operation ‘Meghdoot' and Operation ‘Vijay'. © Facebook/IAF On this Indian Air Force day, we take a look at the wings worn by the IAF pilots, post-independence. The Air Force badges or wings consist of three main components. The monogram IAF, which is at the centre, the wreath surrounding the monogram and the state emblem mounted on top of the monogram. Here are the colours of the embroidery as depicted in the IAF badges: a) Wings and lettering - White (b) Laurel wreath - Brown (c) Shading, eyes of lions and the wheel - Black at the base of the state emblem (d) Tongue of the lions -Scarlet (e) Remainder of State Emblem –White The three types of wings currently being used are: 1. Standard Wings These wings are worn on the summer work uniform and winter jacket by the Indian Air Force pilots. The wings feature the standard IAF monogram on the 4 inch long wings brevet. The Ashoka Emblem is mounted on top of the IAF monogram. © Bharat Rakshak 2. Gold Bullion IAF Wings These wings are only 3 inches wide. The gold bullion wings are worn along with miniature medals on white mess dinner jackets. © Bharat Rakshak 3. Suede IAF Wings These wings are worn by pilots on flying overalls. These are the preferred wings rather than the regular silk wings for many pilots. © Bharat Rakshak
  17. LONDON: England and Manchester United legend Bobby Charlton says the Munich air disaster that claimed the lives of so many of his young team-mates in 1958 changed his life. Charlton, a pivotal figure in England´s 1966 World Cup triumph, lost several close friends in the crash, which killed 23 of the 44 passengers and crew as United returned from a European Cup match in Belgrade. Among those who died were seven of the precociously talented young United side nicknamed the "Busby Babes" after the manager Matt Busby, who suffered such grievous injuries he was given the last rites twice. "Yup it changed my life," a visibly emotional Charlton told the BBC in a documentary marking his upcoming 80th birthday. Charlton, who had been a member of the side that had won the league title in the preceding season, said he had wondered why he had survived and close friends such as Duncan Edwards had not. "You think to yourself ´why should it be me?´" said Charlton, who turns 80 on October 11. "There again, I was lucky, I was just lucky I happened to sit in the right place. "We never got off the floor. We ran into a house and ran into I think a few other obstacles (the plane was trying to take off for the third time in terrible weather conditions) and it was just a nightmare." Charlton, who scored twice in the 1968 European Cup triumph over Benfica -- the first time an English club had lifted the trophy -- said he had had to be sedated once he reached the hospital. "When we got to the hospital I started ranting and raving," said Charlton, who is pictured in the documentary sitting up in his hospital bed, his head swathed in a bandage and cotton wool sticking out of his left ear. "I just didn´t understand. The medical people came around and gave me an injection in the back of my neck and I just collapsed. I didn´t wake up until the following morning. "This German lad was there and he had a paper. He had a list of all the players and he read them out and if they were alive he would say ´yes´ and if they were dead he said ´no´." "I had to wait for a couple of days before I could get on the train to go home and when I was on my own I thought about it," he added. "I thought about it a lot and my personal friends were dead." Charlton said that once the grief and the shock had worn off, United had to focus on rebuilding the team and their battered morale. "I fell in love with Manchester United in the short time I was there. I wondered what would happen, I wondered how we would be able to recover but recover we had to do. We had to make the effort."
  18. RAWALPINDI: The government on Friday appointed Air Marshal Farooq Habib as Vice Chief of the Air Staff, said a press release from the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Air Marshal Habib was commissioned in the GD (P) branch of PAF in 1982. During his career, he has commanded a fighter squadron, an operational air Base and served as Commandant Air War College, Faisal. He has also commanded PAF?s Super Mushshak contingent in Saudi Arabia. His staff appointments include Deputy Director Operations Branch and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Safety), Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Training) and Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Personnel) at Air Headquarters, added the PAF. He is also a qualified flying instructor and a graduate of Combat Commanders? School, Air War College, and National Defence University. He holds master?s degrees in strategic studies and defence & strategic studies. He is a recipient of Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military) and Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military).
  19. RAWALPINDI: World famous Royal Air Force (RAF) aerobatic team Red Arrows would participate in an air show at Karachi's Sea View beach on October 5. The JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft would also participate in the air show, said a press release by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). "The blue skies of Karachi would turn red with the presence of Royal Air Force team which is famous for its jaw-dropping formation aerobatics," said the PAF. The event will be open to the general public and would start at 1:30pm The Red Arrows are currently touring the world and will be performing in GCC countries too.
  20. RAWALPINDI: World famous Royal Air Force (RAF) aerobatic team Red Arrows would participate in an air show at Karachi's Sea View beach on October 5. The JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft would also participate in the air show, said a press release by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). "The blue skies of Karachi would turn red with the presence of Royal Air Force team which is famous for its jaw-dropping formation aerobatics," said the PAF. The event will be open to the general public and would start at 1:30pm The Red Arrows are currently touring the world and will be performing in GCC countries too.
  21. This handout picture ? released on September 30, 2017, on the Twitter account of @Bdaddy1391 ? shows the damaged engine of an Air France A380 superjumbo before it made an emergency landing in Canada. AFP/Twitter/Sarah Eamigh PARIS: An Air France A380 superjumbo jetliner taking more than 500 people from Paris to Los Angeles made an emergency landing in Canada on Saturday following "serious damage" to one of its four engines, the airline said. "Flight 066 landed without further damage at the Goose Bay military airport in Canada and all of the 520 people on board were evacuated with no injuries," an Air France spokesman in Paris told AFP. The Airbus double-decker, wide-body aircraft was re-routed as it passed over Greenland, landing in Goose Bay in eastern Canada at 1542 GMT, the spokesman said. The landing went off with no problems for the jetliner carrying 496 passengers and 24 crew members, the spokesman said. The airline was exploring options to get the passengers to the United States. Video and photo images posted on social media, apparently by passengers or their relatives, showed extensive damage to the front of the outer starboard engine, with part of its external cowling stripped away. The cause of the problem was unknown, with one of the plane´s passengers suggesting that a bird might have collided with the engine which was damaged. The passenger, Miguel Amador, posted online brief video footage apparently filmed from a window of the plane showing the damaged engine. "Engine failure halfway over the Atlantic ocean... birdstrike possibility," he wrote. A fellow passenger, Iskandar, tweeted that the AF66 passengers "have a memory of their flight which will last a long time". Air France operates 10 Airbus A380s, which are the largest passenger planes in the world. Their version of the craft uses GP7200 engines, a giant turbofan built by General Electric and Pratt and Whitney of the US. Goose Bay is a base operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force but is also a designated standby airport for diverted transatlantic flights. Sales of the mammoth A380 have been sluggish and Airbus has said it will reduce production in 2019 to just eight of the superjumbos. In 2015, the company produced 27 of them. Nonetheless, Airbus CEO Tom Enders recently voiced confidence in the future of the plane.
  22. Image Courtesy: The United States Air Force Academy website WASHINGTON: The head of the US Air Force Academy has delivered an unequivocal rebuke to bigots after the discovery of racist graffiti on campus, telling them, "You need to get out." "If you're outraged by those words, then you're in the right place," Lieutenant General Jay Silveria said in an address to cadets, faculty, and staff at the academy in Colorado Springs, footage of which has since gone viral. "You should be outraged not only as an airman but as a human being," the academy's superintendent said. ?Check out Lieutenant General Jay Silveria's comments in the video clip at the end of this story Five African-American students at the Academy's Preparatory School found racist comments on dormitory message boards earlier this week. One posted an image on Facebook showing a whiteboard with "Go home, nigger" written on it, and parents then alerted faculty. "That kind of behaviour has no place at the Prep School, has no place at USAFA (US Air Force Academy), and it has no place in the United States Air Force," Silveria said. "If you can't treat someone from another race or different colour skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out," he said. At the close of his remarks, the general invited those gathered to take out their phones and record his message. If "you need my words, then you keep these words, and you use them and you remember them and you share them and you talk about them: If you can't treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out." Back on August 17 ? when he assumed leadership of the Academy ? Silveria said one of his three goals was boosting a culture of respect and dignity. ?If you want to find a red line with me, it will be in the area of respect and dignity,? he said, according to a press release on the USAFA website, adding that ?what you do is so critical and I?ve known what you do for decades.? US Senator John McCain ? a former naval officer who was held captive in Vietnam ? tweeted a video of Silveria's remarks, saying that it was an "important statement." Backdrop of racial tension "I agree, there's no place for racism or bigotry in our military or this great nation," McCain said. The graffiti ? and Silveria's reply ? come at a time of heightened focus on racism in the United States, a context he noted in his speech. "We would? be tone-deaf not to think about the backdrop of what's going on in our country, things like Charlottesville and Ferguson, the protests in the NFL," he said. In mid-August, top military officers offered strong condemnation of racism after a violent neo-Nazi and white supremacist rally over the removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia. One woman was killed ? when an avowed white supremacist ploughed his car into a crowd of people after the Charlottesville rally turned violent ? and numerous demonstrators were injured during the events of August 11 and 12. The response of senior officers was in contrast to that of President Donald Trump, who suggested there was blame "on both sides," and that there were "very fine people" among the white supremacist protesters ? remarks that were widely criticized. There have been heightened calls for the removal of other Confederate statues in the wake of the violence. Ferguson is a suburb of St Louis that became the focus of national attention following the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown, which sparked demonstrations and a heavy-handed police response. Protesters have recently taken to the streets in St Louis amid outrage over the acquittal of a white former police officer in the shooting death of a black man. And NFL players are protesting against racism by kneeling during the national anthem before games ? protests that have drawn repeated criticism from Trump.
  23. ARBIL: The Iraqi government cut autonomous Kurdistan?s direct air links with the outside world indefinitely on Friday, partially isolating the northern region after it voted a massive "yes" in an independence referendum. The move increases the pressure on the Iraqi Kurds amid soaring regional tensions following Monday?s non-binding but deeply contentious vote. The central government in Baghdad had ordered the halt to all foreign flights to and from the region from 6pm (1500 GMT). Foreigners scrambled to fly out of Iraqi Kurdistan from the region?s capital, Arbil, and its second largest city Sulaimaniyah before the ban took effect. The Iraqi Kurdish transport minister, Mawlud Bawa Murad, told AFP at Arbil airport that the flight ban would "negatively impact all international businesses in the Kurdistan region, in addition to all civilians, from all nations". It would "negatively impact our daily life," he said. "We will do our best to find a viable alternative, or succeed to bring back international flights." Arbil airport is a key gateway for humanitarian aid workers helping Iraqis affected by the battle against the Daesh group. Washington has said it would be willing to facilitate talks between the Iraqi Kurdish authorities and Baghdad to calm escalating tensions over the 92% "yes" vote, as a top Shiite cleric called for the crisis to be solved in an Iraqi court. Neighbouring Turkey and Iran also strongly opposed the vote, fearing it would inflame the separatist aspirations of their own sizeable Kurdish populations. Ankara has threatened a series of measures, including blocking lifeline oil exports from the region via Turkey. The Kurds, whose borders with Turkey, Iran and Syria remain open, have condemned the flight suspension as "collective punishment". Iraq?s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said it was not "punishment" but a legal measure that would be reversed if the transport authority was transferred to Baghdad in line with the Iraqi constitution. The ban saw people, many of them foreigners, flock to the airport in Arbil to avoid being stranded. Kurds rush back Iraqi Kurdistan is home to a large international community, most of whom enter on a visa issued by the regional authorities that is not recognised by the central government, so they cannot travel elsewhere in Iraq. On Friday, around 100 passengers waited eagerly for their planes in Arbil, where the last flight out was to Vienna at 4pm. "We were supposed to go back to Brazil next Saturday but we rescheduled our flight," said Isidoro Junior, a 32-year-old volunteer for an NGO providing medical assistance to Iraqis displaced by the war against Daesh. "We are a group of 16 people, so it was quite difficult to find enough seats. One of us came here at 2am to make sure...we would be able to fly out," he said. At the Turkish Airlines counter, before the last flight left, a one-way ticket to Istanbul cost $743. But it sold for $1,500 online, said one passenger who had paid twice in error, leaving a £3,000 dent in his credit card. The director of Arbil airport, Talar Faiq Salih, said humanitarian, military and diplomatic flights were excluded from the ban. Earlier, the UN humanitarian office OCHA said it was working to ensure aid could continue to reach tens of thousands of needy Iraqis. In Sulaimaniyah, foreigners and others needing to leave sped to the airport before the ban took effect, while Kurds who were abroad for business or tourism rushed home. "There have been masses of people for two days," said airport spokesperson Dana Mohammad Said, adding that the airport remained open for domestic flights. An Iraqi Airways flight to Baghdad took off from Arbil at 7pm, an AFP correspondent said.
  24. The graduation ceremony of 119 Combat Support Course was held at PAF Academy on Friday. Photo: PAF RISALPUR: Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, said on Friday that Pakistan being a peace-loving country has always supported peace in the region and especially in the Middle-East, according to Pakistan Air Force. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman was addressing the graduation ceremony of 119 Combat Support Course, which was held at PAF Academy on Friday. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, in his address, said that Pakistan and Kuwait have a long history of close cooperation and coordination both at the government and Air Force level and the strong bond of fraternal ties between the two countries and their Air Forces would further strengthen in the years to come. Major General Abdullah Yaqoob Al-Foudari, Commander Kuwait Air Force was the chief guest at the ceremony. Addressing at the occasion the Commander Kuwait Air Force said that Kuwait and Pakistan enjoy strong brotherly relations spanning over decades. Major General Abdullah Yaqoob Al-Foudari, Commander Kuwait Air Force was the chief guest at the ceremony. Photo: PAF Both countries support each other in a wide range of activities such as social, military training and industrial technology. He also thanked the air chief for his sincere efforts in the training of Kuwaiti pilots at PAF Academy. A total of 52 aviation cadets including 12 under training officers of Kuwait Air Force graduated at the occasion. The chief guest awarded branch insignia and trophies to the distinction holders. Trophy for Best Performance in 119 Combat Support Course was awarded to Aviation Cadet Rizwana Nasreen; while overall best performance trophy in Allied Under Training Officers was awarded to Pilot Officer Abdul Rehman Mubarak from Kuwait Air Force. The Parade was followed by a thrilling performance by ?Eaglets?- the Para Motor Glider team of the Academy. ?Bravehearts and Sherdils?, the PAF Academy Aerobatics Teams also displayed an exhilarating aerial display at the occasion. The ceremony was witnessed by high-ranking military and civil officials, foreign dignitaries and a large number of guests of graduating cadets.
  25. ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman on Friday reiterated that Pakistan is a peace-loving country and will continue to play its role in ensuring peace in the region. He was addressing the passing out parade of Combat Support Force at PAF Asghar Khan Academy Risalpur earlier today. Commander of the Kuwaiti Air Force, Major General Abdullah Al-Foudari was also present at the ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said that both Pakistan and Kuwait enjoy strong brotherly relations based on shared history, traditions, and religion. The Air Chief said Pakistan Air Force is poised to meet any of the internal and external challenges. He said the country's success in the war on terrorism is a testimony to the fact that the force has a firm resolve to work in synergy with other two sister forces to root out the menace of terror from the motherland and the region. Sohail Aman said that Pakistan supports peace efforts in the world, the region and the Middle East. Major General Abdullah Al-Foudari in his speech expressed desire to further augment relations with Pakistan in different fields including defense and security. The Kuwaiti Commander said both the countries enjoy historic relations in different areas including military training.