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Found 280 results

  1. BNP leader Khalida Zia - File photo DHAKA: Bangladesh's Supreme Court on Monday halted the release of opposition leader Khaleda Zia on bail, deepening a political crisis ahead of a national election due in December. The top justices suspended a lower court's decision to grant Zia bail until May, prompting a sharp reaction from her lawyers who said it was part of a campaign by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to silence the opposition. "It is an unprecedented order in the judicial history of Bangladesh. We think it is not the decision of the top court, rather it is a government decision," one of Zia´s lawyers, Sanaullah Mia, told AFP. Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, secretary general of Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) said the order was a "reflection" of the government´s desire to keep Zia confined during the election, which is widely expected to be held in December. "We've repeatedly said people are not getting justice in the country and the judiciary is controlled by the government," Alamgir told AFP. The 72-year-old BNP leader was jailed for five years last month on charges of embezzling money intended for an orphanage. The three times former prime minister, now being held in a special jail, has consistently dismissed the charges as politically motivated. The BNP wanted Zia freed pending appeals before a high court so that she can lead the party´s election campaign. Violence erupted in cities across Bangladesh after the guilty verdict on February 8 as BNP supporters clashed with police and ruling party activists. Zia, who entered politics in the 1980s after her military dictator husband was assassinated in a failed coup, also faces dozens of separate charges related to violence and corruption. Her party boycotted a 2014 national election in which Hasina was re-elected. The BNP is expected to contest the upcoming election. Zia and her son were detained by an army-backed government in 2007 and spent a year and a half in detention pending trials for alleged corruption.
  2. ISLAMABAD: A Change of Command Ceremony was held on Monday to welcome the new chief of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, who retired today, pinned the new ranks on Air Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, the new air chief, and handed over the reins of the PAF to him. "I cannot think of an honour better than heading the best air force," Aman said while addressing the ceremony at Air Headquarters in the federal capital. While speaking about the country's defence, Aman said PAF has played a vital role in protecting the country, including its war against terrorism. Later, Aman pinned the new ranks on Khan and passed over the baton of the PAF to him. Mujahid Anwar has become the 22nd chief of PAF after being appointed by the government. Born on December 23, 1962, Air Marshal Khan was commissioned in GDP Branch in December 1983 and received the coveted Sword of Honour, Best Pilot Trophy and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gold Medal from PAF Academy Asghar Khan. Present air chief Sohail Aman (left) and Air Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan. Photo: File During his tenure of service, he has held various Command and Staff appointments including Command of a Fighter Squadron, a Tactical Attack Wing, Base Commander of two elite F-16 Bases and Air Officer Commanding of Regional Air Command. Air Marshal Mujahid Anwar is a qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of Combat Commanders? School, Command and Staff College, Jordan, Air War College, Faisal and National Defence University, Islamabad. The Air officer has flown various training and fighter aircraft including F-16, F-6, FT-5, T-37 and MFI-17. In recognition of his meritorious services, he has been awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military), Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Military) and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Military).
  3. KARACHI: Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi on Saturday met with Western Fleet Commander of Royal Saudi Naval Forces Rear Admiral Hamed Bakheet Al Johani, said a Pakistan Navy (PN) statement. Abbasi is on an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The naval chief also visited RSNF ships and shore-based establishments. Matters of mutual interest and bilateral naval collaboration were discussed during the meeting with Johani acknowledging the significance of close and strong bilateral naval association in diverse realms between Pakistan Navy and Royal Saudi Naval Forces. The naval chief also visited RSNFS Makkah and was briefed by the commander of the ship. "It is expected that recent visit of the Naval Chief will enhance and expand collaboration between the two countries in general and navies in particular," said the PN statement.
  4. The president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences John Bailey is being investigated for sexual harassment. Photo: AFP LOS ANGELES: The president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body which hands out the Oscars, is being investigated for sexual harassment, US media reported on Friday. The trade publication Variety and CBS News said the Academy immediately opened an investigation after receiving three harassment claims against John Bailey on Wednesday. In response, the Academy issued a statement saying that it "treats any complaints confidentially to protect all parties." The group´s membership committee "reviews all complaints brought against Academy members according to our Standards of Conduct process, and after completing reviews, reports to the Board of Governors." It added: "We will not comment further on such matters until the full review is completed." In December, the Academy adopted a code of conduct for its members. Bailey, 75, a cinematographer whose credits include "Groundhog Day" and "The Big Chill," was elected to a four-year term as head of the Academy in August. He followed Cheryl Boone Isaacs, an African-American woman who had led the charge to increase racial diversity in the Academy. Her tenure included dealing with the social media-driven #OscarsSoWhite campaign and accusations of racism within the Academy. Bailey´s brief tenure has been marked by the birth of the #MeToo movement started by actress Alyssa Milano and which went global, highlighting accusations of sexual abuse. Harvey Weinstein, whose studio Miramax was behind hits such as "Shakespeare In Love" and "Pulp Fiction," was expelled from the Academy in October following accusations of sexual harassment and abuse by dozens of women. At a February lunch for this year´s Oscar nominees, Bailey promised the Academy would adopt a "greater awareness and responsibility in balancing gender, race, ethnicity, and religion." "The fossilized bedrock of many of Hollywood´s worst abuses are being jackhammered into oblivion," he said.
  5. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/4dc406337a69a9e2286a5d2b4a4f6633.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9My8xNi8yMDE4IDk6MTg6MjQgQU0maGFzaF92YWx1ZT0vMTZncy91WEVqOUszSWFXWWRBVWNBPT0mdmFsaWRtaW51dGVzPTYwJmlkPTE= style=center] ISLAMABAD: The Government of Pakistan on Friday announced that Air Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan will be the next Chief of the Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Air Marshal Khan will take over the reins of command on March 19. He is currently serving as Director General Air Force Strategic Command at Air Headquarters and as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Support). Previously Air Marshal Khan has served as Personal Staff Officer to Chief of the Air Staff, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations), Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) and Director General C4I at Air Headquarters, Islamabad. Born on December 23, 1962, Air Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan was commissioned in GD(P) Branch in December 1983 and received the coveted Sword of Honour, Best Pilot Trophy and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gold Medal from PAF Academy Asghar Khan. During his tenure of service, he has held various Command and Staff appointments including Command of a Fighter Squadron, a Tactical Attack Wing, Base Commander of two elite F-16 Bases and Air Officer Commanding of Regional Air Command. Air Marshal Khan is a qualified Flying Instructor and a graduate of Combat Commanders? School, Command and Staff College, Jordan, Air War College, Faisal and National Defence University, Islamabad. The Air Officer has flown various training and fighter aircraft including F-16, F-6, FT-5, T-37 and MFI-17. In recognition of his meritorious services, he has been awarded Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military), Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military) and Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Military). Reacting to the news, Inter Services Public Relations Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor shared a congratulatory message on Twitter. The chief military spokesperson delivered "best wishes from Pakistan Armed Forces," and wished the new air chief "good luck for carrying forward the baton".
  6. Controversy over Gopal Parajuli's date of birth has been brewing for months. Photo: AFP Nepal's divisive Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli was sacked on Wednesday (March 14) for faking his date of birth in order to remain in office longer. The controversy over Parajuli's date of birth has been brewing for months after he charged a prominent activist and Nepal's largest newspaper with contempt of court for raising concerns about his multiple birthdays. A judicial council concluded that Parajuli should have retired seven months ago when he turned 65, the age of retirement for official positions in Nepal. "He has been removed from the post after the age of retirement was found to have been crossed last August in our investigation," the council's secretary Nripdhoj Niraula told AFP. The decision came just moments before Parajuli administered the oath of office to Nepal's President Bidya Bhandari, who was re-elected for a second term on Tuesday. He administered the oath nonetheless. It is not clear if Bhandari will have to be sworn in again. In late February Parajuli subpoenaed the Kantipur Daily - Nepal's largest newspaper by circulation - on contempt of court charges for a series of articles that said he had given up to five different dates of birth on various official documents. The charges were widely condemned as an attack on press freedom, and Parajuli attracted further outrage when he said he would preside over the case himself. In January, Parajuli also ordered the arrest of anti-corruption activist Dr Govinda KC, an orthopedic surgeon well-loved in Nepal for his philanthropic work, for raising questions about his date of birth. Parajuli became chief justice last June after his predecessor Sushila Karki - the first woman to hold the position - turned 65.
  7. If confirmed by the US Senate, Haspel would become the first woman to head the CIA WASHINGTON: Gina Haspel, a veteran CIA clandestine officer picked by President Donald Trump on Tuesday to head the CIA, is a controversial figure, backed by many in the US intelligence community but regarded warily by some in Congress for her involvement in the agency?s?black site? detention facilities. Haspel was selected as the agency?s new director after the Republican president fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and chose current CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Tillerson?s replacement. If confirmed by the US Senate, Haspel would become the first woman to head the CIA, after serving as deputy director since February 2017. Trump told reporters he has worked very closely with Haspel and regards her as ?an outstanding person.? US officials said that while Haspel was generally held in high regard at the CIA, her nomination raised the unwelcome prospect of greater congressional and media scrutiny of officers who are more comfortable in the dark than in the spotlight. ?This is going to reopen wounds from a decade and more ago, and also invite more oversight of both our analyses and our activities, especially if Gina is confirmed,? said one US official, speaking on condition of anonymity. When she was named deputy director last year, intelligence officers who served with her and congressional officials said that in 2002, during Republican former President George W. Bush?s administration, she ran a secret CIA prison in Thailand codenamed ?Cat?s Eye.? Two suspected members of the al Qaeda militant group were subjected to waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques at the facility. Three years later, still during Bush?s presidency, she helped carry out an order to destroy videotapes of the waterboarding, which simulates drowning and is considered a form of torture, according to those people. Such facilities are called ?black sites? because their existence is unacknowledged by the US government. On Tuesday, some US intelligence officials said reports of her alleged involvement in interrogations involving torture were false. However, they did not immediately provide details. They did not dispute her involvement in carrying out orders to destroy videotapes of harsh interrogation techniques, which was reported in the book?Hard Measures,? by Jose Rodriguez, her boss at the time, and former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow. A CIA spokesman had no immediate comment. Senator Ron Wyden, a Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Tuesday he opposed the nominations of both Pompeo and Haspel. ?Ms. Haspel?s background makes her unsuitable to serve as CIA director,? Wyden said.?Her nomination must include total transparency about this background, which I called for more than a year ago when she was appointed deputy director. If Ms. Haspel seeks to serve at the highest levels of US intelligence, the government can no longer cover up disturbing facts from her past.? One key Republican, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, promised to support her nomination. Saying he was ?proud? of her work, Burr said he would ensure her nomination would be considered without delay. ?I know Gina personally, and she has the right skill set, experience and judgment to lead one of our nation?s most critical agencies,? Burr said. Her confirmation hearing has yet to be scheduled. ?There is no question that a director leaving after a year is very turbulent for the agency,? said former CIA Director Michael Hayden. ?That said, leaving Gina and making her the actual director will have a very positive calming influence.? Hayden added, ?I suspect other parts of the government (will) see more turbulence out of this than CIA will.? Human rights groups signalled opposition to Haspel. ?Haspel is a particularly controversial choice, given her reported past involvement in torture at CIA black sites. No one responsible for torture should be leading a federal agency, period,? said Rob Berschinski, senior vice president of Human Rights First. ?The Senate should use her confirmation process to send a strong signal about where this country stands on correcting the mistakes of the past.? Haspel has served in a number of undercover overseas posts in addition to her work in Thailand, including as chief of the CIA station in London and the agency?s base in New York. Then-CIA Director John Brennan in 2013 named her deputy director of National Clandestine Service, but she was denied a permanent promotion in the face of congressional opposition.
  8. Naval chief being conferred the medal. -Pakistan Navy KARACHI: Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi was conferred with Saudi Arabia's King Abdul Aziz Medal of Excellence by the Chief of General Staff of the Royal Saudi Armed Forces on Tuesday, said a statement by the Pakistan Navy (PN). The naval chief is on an official visit to the kingdom. Admiral Abbasi called on Chief of General Staff Royal Saudi Armed Forces General Fayyad Al Ruwaili. During the meeting, professional matters of mutual interest and bilateral defence ties were discussed. General Fayyad Al Ruwaili acknowledged warm and brotherly relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, based on strong defence foundations and historical ties and highly appreciated the role and contribution of Pakistan in spearheading various initiatives for maintaining peace and stability in the region. Later, Admiral Abbasi visited the Royal Saudi Naval Forces Headquarter where he was received by Commander Royal Saudi Naval Forces, added the PN statement. Commander RSNF Vice Admiral Fahad Abdullah Al Ghofaily appreciated the professionalism of Pakistan Navy personnel and the active role being played by Pakistan Navy for maritime security and stability in the region. He also acknowledged the valuable training support being provided to RSNF by Pakistan Navy and applauded the successful conduct of Exercise Naseem-al-Bahr by the two navies in Gulf waters. Both dignitaries agreed to further enhance the interaction between both navies in diverse fields of training, mutual visits and defence collaboration.
  9. US President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announcing on Twitter that he will be replaced by CIA chief Mike Pompeo. "Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job!" Trump tweeted. "Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!" he added. The US president announced the appointment of Gina Haspel to head the Central Intelligence Agency -- the first woman tapped for the post. Donald Trump wanted to change up his cabinet team before launching high-stakes negotiations with North Korea, a senior US official said. "The President wanted to make sure to have his new team in place in advance of the upcoming talks with North Korea," the official said. The reshuffle comes days after the spectacular announcement of a meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whose date and details have yet to be determined.
  10. US Air Forces Central Command, Southwest Asia, Commander Lieutenant General Jeffrey L Harrigian presented the award to the air chief. Photo: PAF ISLAMABAD: Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman has been on Monday awarded Legion of Merit, the military award of United States Armed Forces. The Legion of Merit award is given to armed forces personnel for their exceptionally meritorious conduct. The chief of air staff received the award during a ceremony held at Air Headquarters. US Air Forces Central Command, Southwest Asia, Commander Lieutenant General Jeffrey L Harrigian presented the award to the air chief. Photo: PAF US Air Forces Central Command, Southwest Asia, Commander Lieutenant General Jeffrey L Harrigian presented the award to the air chief. US Air Force Chief of Staff General David L Goldfein also attended the ceremony via a video link. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman received the award due to his brave leadership, insightfulness, and efforts taken in the war against terrorism. The chief of air staff received the award during a ceremony held at Air Headquarters. Photo: PAF While speaking to the participants through the video link, General Goldfein hailed the efforts taken by Pakistani chief of air staff in the war against terrorism and his commitment towards the cause. He further remarked that the increase in operational facilities of Pakistan?s air force will prove to be significant in restoring peace in the region. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman has been awarded with Legion of Merit, the military award of United States Armed Forces, on Monday. Photo: PAF1 After the ceremony, Lt Gen Harrigian held a meeting with Pakistani?s air chief at his office and discussed matters of mutual interests. The two military leaders also agreed to increase coordination between the air force of the two countries. The award, which brings great honour to Pakistani nation, also seeks to cement the relations between Pakistan and US.
  11. RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday visited the operational area of Pano Aqil division on the easter border, said a press statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). General Bajwa was briefed about the operational preparedness of the formation and the army chief appreciated the operational readiness and high morale of the troops. Earlier in the day, the army chief had visited Salehpat to witness All Pakistan Mehran Shooting Championship as chief guest, added ISPR. Pakistan Army won the four-day long championship. During the visit, General Bajwa appreciated also appreciated the shooting standards of the participants. Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah and other dignitaries from the area, Commander Karachi Corps Lt General Shahid Baig Mirza, GOC Pano Aqil Division Major General Zafarullah Khan and other civil-military officials were present.
  12. Admiral Valter Girardelli is being presented Guard of Honour during his visit to PNS Zulfiquar KARACHI: Chief of Italian Navy Admiral Valter Girardelli on Saturday met various Naval Field Commands during his visit to the metropolis, a press release said. Before his visit to Karachi, the Italian navy chief called on Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi at Naval Headquarters in Islamabad on Wednesday, where discussions on professional matters and avenues of existing and future naval collaboration were focused. Admiral Girardelli during his meetings with the field commands in Karachi held discussions on professional matters and bilateral naval collaboration. He lauded Pakistan Navy?s role and commitments in maintaining peace and stability in the region through participation in the Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan and Counter Piracy Task Forces. Admiral Valter Girardelli also laid floral wreath at Quaid?s mausoleum and later visited various PN establishments and ships.
  13. Mullah Fazlullah (centre). Photo: File WASHINGTON: The US State Department said on Thursday it is offering a $5 million reward for information on Mullah Fazlullah, the Afghanistan-based chief of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The announcement came a day after Fazlullah's son was reportedly killed along with around two dozen others in a US drone strike in Afghanistan. It said in a statement that it also is offering rewards of $3 million each for information on Abdul Wali, the head of a TTP affiliate, and Mangal Bagh, the leader of a terrorist group accused of attacking NATO convoys. The State Department announcement came as Pakistani Foreign Secretary Tamina Janjua visited Washington for talks with US officials that were expected to focus on improving counter-terrorism cooperation and on US President Donald Trump?s strategy for ending the war in Afghanistan. Washington and Kabul accuse Pakistan of harbouring Afghan Taliban and fighters of the allied Haqqani network, a charge that Islamabad denies. Islamabad charges that the TTP maintains sanctuaries in Afghanistan. US President Donald Trump in January suspended around $2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan, charging that it failed to crackdown on the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network. In its statement, the State Department said it is offering the rewards for information on the three militant leaders because they pose threats to Pakistan, as well as US-led coalition troops in Afghanistan. The TTP has also threatened attacks against the US homeland, it said. The group claimed responsibility for a failed May 2010 bomb attack in New York City?s Times Square. The numerous strikes claimed by the group in Pakistan include the October 2012 attempted murder of Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, then an 11-year-old who advocated education for girls. She received the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Wali is the leader of a TTP affiliate called Jamaat ul-Ahrar, or JUA, which has struck civilians, religious minorities, military personnel and law enforcement officials and killed two local employees of the US Consulate in Peshawar in March 2016, the State Department said. Mangal Bagh, the department said, leads Lashkar-e-Islam, a TTP ally involved in drug trafficking, smuggling and extorting ?taxes? on trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The group also has attacked NATO supply convoys plying between Afghanistan and Pakistan?s port of Karachi, it said. ?Each of these individuals is believed to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of the United States and its nationals,? the department said.
  14. Army chief speaking to tribal elders. -ISPR RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday said the way forward for Balochistan is through bringing about development and stability in the province, said a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The army chief is on a two-day visit to the province. During the visit, General Bajwa also inaugurated work for the Turbat- Bulaeda road and performed the earth breaking for construction of Cadet College Awaran at Jhao. "Cadet College Awaran initially will be for 800 cadets with plans to enhance its capacity subsequently. CCA would have hostel facilities for 300 cadets and faculty and will be constructed by Pakistan Army Engineers. The project will be completed in the quicker timeframe of two years for its planned initial capacity," said the ISPR. The army chief was also given a detailed briefing on recent security measures taken in the province and support given to the government on socio-economic projects. He also interacted with local elders and troops in the area. COAS at the ground breaking ceremony. -ISPR Speaking at the occasion, the army chief appreciated progress through joint working by security forces and the civil administration. Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo accompanied COAS throughout the visit and discussed various coordination aspects to successfully carry on the execution of Khushal Balochistan program. Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Asim Salim Bajwa and other civil and military officials were present on the occasion, said ISPR.
  15. FRANKFURT: Volkswagen?s sports car maker Porsche could develop a flying passenger vehicle to compete with rivals in a possible market for urban air taxis and ride-sharing services, Porsche sales chief Detlev von Platen told a German magazine. ?That would really make sense. If I drive from (the Porsche plant in) Zuffenhausen to Stuttgart airport, I need at least half an hour, if I?m lucky. Flying would take only three and a half minutes,? Automobilwoche quoted von Platen as saying. Porsche would join a raft of companies working on designs for flying cars in anticipation of a shift in the transport market away from conventional cars to self-driving vehicles shared via ride-hailing apps. Volkswagen?s auto designer Italdesign and Airbus at last year?s Geneva auto show presented a two-seater flying car, called Pop.Up, designed to avoid gridlock on city roads. The magazine said that under Porsche?s plans, passengers would be able to have some control over the flying vehicle themselves but would not need a pilot license because many of the car?s functions would be automated.
  16. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani/File photo ZURICH: FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on Friday he had been told by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that there are plans to allow women to attend football matches in the country soon. Infantino said he met Rouhani during a visit to Tehran on Thursday where he also attended a derby between Esteghlal and Persepolis, one of the top fixtures in the Iranian season. "I was promised that women in Iran will have access to football stadiums soon," he said during an event at FIFA headquarters in Zurich. "He told me that in countries such as (Iran), these things take a bit of time." The Iranian group OpenStadiums, which is campaigning for the right of women to attend sports fixtures in the Islamic Republic, said that some women were arrested near Azadi stadium on Thursday during the Esteghlal-Persepolis match. "When Mr. Infantino was enjoying a football match in men-only stadium, Iranian female football fans were under arrest," the group said on Twitter. The semi-official Iranian students news agency ISNA quoted Interior Ministry spokesman Salman Samani as saying the female fans were not arrested but rather transferred to a "proper place" by police. Infantino said he was aware of criticism of his visit but felt it was better to engage in dialogue with Iranian leaders. "I heard there were some incidents where some women were detained because they wanted to attend a football match and there was some criticism, obviously and rightly," he said. "There are two ways to deal with this matter - either we criticise, we sanction, we condemn, we don´t speak and we cut relations. Or we go there and have a discussion and try to convince the leaders of the country that they should give (women) access to stadiums. I went for the second option." There was no immediate Iranian comment on Infantino´s remarks. Rouhani´s office denied reports on Thursday that the ban on women attending matches had already been lifted. OpenStadiums said a similar promise over female access had been made in 2013 to Infantino´s predecessor Sepp Blatter. Rouhani, a pragmatist, has repeatedly criticised the ban but has been unable to get it removed because of resistance from powerful hardliners in the clerical and security establishment. The country has long barred women from attending male soccer matches, based at least partly on the theory that women should not hear male fans swear and curse. Iranian women are allowed to attend female football matches.
  17. RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday visited the corps headquarters in the metropolis and was briefed on the security situation of the city and the province, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). During his visit, the army chief said that peace in Karachi is necessary for the country's progress. General Bajwa also appreciated Sindh Rangers performance in the ongoing security operation in the metropolis, added ISPR. During the visit, the army chief also addressed the troops deployed at the garrison.
  18. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse GENEVA: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Monday for a new global effort to get rid of nuclear weapons, drawing a cautious response from envoys of atomic-armed powers at odds for decades over nuclear disarmament. Speaking to the Conference on Disarmament at the UN complex in Geneva, Guterres said many states still wrongly thought that nuclear weapons made the world safer. ?There is great and justified anxiety around the world about the threat of nuclear war,? he said. ?Countries persist in clinging to the fallacious idea that nuclear arms make the world safer ... At the global level, we must work towards forging a new momentum on eliminating nuclear weapons.? The Conference on Disarmament is the world?s main forum for nuclear disarmament, but since 1996 it has been deadlocked by disagreements and distrust between rival nuclear powers. Ambassadors from the United States, China, and France said they shared his concerns about the current security environment but their comments suggested it would be an uphill struggle to end two decades of stalemate in nuclear negotiations. US Ambassador Robert Wood said negotiators needed to ?look reality in the eye? and accept that nuclear disarmament in the near term was unrealistic. It was not the time for bold new disarmament initiatives, but the United States was committed to the ?aspirational goal? of eliminating nuclear weapons and would stand by its commitments, Wood said. ?Even in these difficult times, the United States will seek the development of measures that may be effective in creating the conditions for future nuclear disarmament negotiations,? he told the forum. Chinese Ambassador Fu Cong said China appreciated Guterres? efforts but said reform should not be rushed. ?Reducing the role of nuclear weapons in national security doctrines and abandoning the nuclear deterrent policy based on the first use of nuclear weapons constitutes the most practical and feasible nuclear disarmament measure at present,? Fu said. French Ambassador Alice Guitton said Guterres? statement was very timely, but disarmament could not be decreed, it needed to be built with patience, perseverance and realism. Dangerous direction Guterres said talks should target not only nuclear, chemical and conventional arms but also autonomous and unmanned weapons, artificial intelligence, biotechnology and space-based systems. There are currently around 150,000 nuclear weapons worldwide and the arms trade is flourishing more than at any time since the Cold war, with $1.5 trillion of spending annually, he said. Taboos on nuclear tests and chemical weapons usage were under threat, he added, while talk of tactical nuclear weapons was leading in an extremely dangerous direction. Earlier this month the United States published its ?nuclear posture review?, which justified an expansion of its ?low-yield? nuclear capability by saying it would deter Russia?s tactical nuclear weapons. Last week diplomats and disarmament experts discussed Guterres?s initiative with UN officials during a retreat near New York, and he is expected to launch his plans around April or May with ?practical and implementable actions?. ?The challenges are enormous, but history shows that it has been possible to reach agreement on disarmament and arms control even at the most difficult moments,? Guterres said.
  19. Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud presides over a cabinet meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 5, 2017. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS/Files RIYADH: Saudi King Salman has sacked the military chief of staff and a host of other top commanders, state media said Monday, in a major shake-up of the defence establishment. The monarch also replaced the heads of the ground forces and air defences, as well as senior officials at the interior ministry, in a series of late-night royal decrees. No official reason was given for the sweeping overhaul, but it comes as the Saudi-led coalition?s military intervention in Yemen against Iran-aligned Huthi rebels nears the end of its third year. "Termination of the services of General Abdul Rahman bin Saleh al-Bunyan, Chief of Staff," the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said, adding that Fayyad al-Ruwaili had been appointed as his replacement. Al-Bunyan?s sacking came after he inaugurated a major exhibition this week by the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), the state-owned defence company, which illustrates ongoing efforts to reform the sector. "These Saudi royal decrees appear to be part of the kingdom?s national defence strategy," Theodore Karasik ? a senior advisor at the consultancy Gulf States Analytics ? told AFP. "A military transformation is under way in Saudi Arabia. The changes come on the heels of the SAMI exhibition, which is a critical part of the Prince Mohammed?s reform plan to create an indigenous defence program." Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ? the heir to the throne and the son of the monarch ? is the country?s defence minister and has been consolidating his grip on power in recent months. The changes come in the midst of an ever-worsening conflict in Yemen. A Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen?s government has been fighting the Huthis since 2015 in a conflict that has led to what the United Nations describes as the world?s worst humanitarian crisis. More than 9,200 people have been killed in the conflict and another nearly 2,200 Yemenis have died of cholera amid deteriorating sanitation conditions, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Separately, a series of civil appointments were announced in other decrees late Monday. In an unprecedented announcement, Tamadar Bint Yousef al-Ramah ? a Saudi woman ? was appointed the deputy minister of labour and social development. And Prince Turki bin Talal ? the brother of billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal ? was appointed deputy governor of the southern Assir Province. Prince Al-Waleed ? dubbed the Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia ? was among princes, ministers, and tycoons detained in Riyadh?s luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel in an unprecedented crackdown on what the government called elite corruption. The Ritz-Carlton reopened for business on February 11, more than three months after becoming a gilded prison for Saudi elites.
  20. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa with chief of the Iranian Air Force. -ISPR RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday met the chief of the Iranian Air Force, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) The meeting, held at the General Headquarters, discussed professional matters pertaining to the two countries. Earlier in February, the army chief also met the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost. During the meeting matters of mutual interest and Pak-Iran border management were discussed.
  21. Raj Nair ? Ford's executive vice-president of global product development ? speaks at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, US, January 9, 2017. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/Files DETROIT: Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday that Raj Nair, its president for North America, was leaving the company immediately after an internal investigation found his behaviour was ?inconsistent with the company?s code of conduct.? Ford did not give any details on what that behaviour entailed. A company spokesman said the review was launched in the past few weeks after Ford received a report of inappropriate behaviour. Nair?s departure comes after several high-profile business leaders and politicians have quit or been fired in the past year following accusations of sexual harassment, with the social media movement known as #MeToo pressing for more accountability in corporate cultures. ?We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration,? said Ford Chief Executive Jim Hackett in a statement. ?Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values.? As North American chief, Nair was responsible for operations that generate about 90 percent of Ford?s global profits. Regret for not exhibiting 'leadership behaviors' Nair apologized, without elaborating. ?I sincerely regret that there have been instances where I have not exhibited leadership behaviors consistent with the principles that the Company and I have always espoused,? Nair said in Ford?s statement. The company is not investigating other executives for similar cases, a Ford spokesman said. Nair, 53, was appointed to his current position last May when Hackett became CEO of the No. 2 US automaker. Nair previously served as Ford?s chief technical officer. He joined Ford in 1987 and rose through the automaker?s manufacturing and engineering ranks to become head of global product development in 2015. Nair stands to lose about $4.8 million worth of Ford restricted shares he was granted in May 2017 that would have vested had a remained with the company until May 2020. 'We don?t want you here' In August, Ford agreed to pay up to $10.125 million to settle an investigation into *** and race harassment at two plants in Chicago conducted by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC said female and African-American employees had been subjected to sexual and racial harassment and found the automaker retaliated against employees who complained about the harassment or discrimination. In an open letter, after the New York Times published a widely read article on the matter, Hackett wrote, ?there is absolutely no room for harassment at Ford Motor Company.? ?We don?t want you here, and we will move you out for engaging in any behavior like this,? he wrote. Ford has been working to effect a turnaround in its operations to improve profitability as Ford?s automotive profit margins have shrunk. In the emailed commentary, Michelle Krebs, an executive analyst at Autotrader, the online market for cars, said this comes ?at a particularly bad time for Ford.? ?Investors and analysts have been unhappy with the seeming lack of a clear direction for Ford,? she said. ?The pressure is on Jim Hackett... to lay out a clear road ahead for Ford.? The company?s margins have fallen behind rivals General Motors Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. Year to date, Ford shares are down 14 percent. In extended trading on Wednesday, Ford shares were unchanged from their official close of $10.60.
  22. US President Donald Trump. Photo: File WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump and America?s powerful gun lobby on Thursday cast citizens with weapons as a solution to shootings, as it emerged an armed deputy was on campus during a deadly Florida rampage but failed to act. National Rifle Association (NRA) chief Wayne LaPierre hit back at what he called ?the shameful politicisation of tragedy? and repeated the organisation?s position that ?to stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun?, while Trump made a controversial call to arm teachers. The Broward County sheriff said Thursday that an armed deputy was in fact present during the rampage that left 17 dead in a Florida high school, but did not act to stop it. In his first public comments since the shooting, LaPierre reiterated long-standing accusations that gun control advocates were seeking to roll back the constitutional right to bear arms. ?It?s a classic strategy right out of the playbook of a poisonous movement,? he told an annual conservative conference outside Washington, hitting out at what he called ?socialists? on the political left, and at the ?so-called national news media?. ?For them, it?s not a safety issue, it?s a political issue,? he charged. ?They hate the NRA. They hate the Second Amendment. They hate individual freedom.? Sheriff Scott Israel later announced that Scott Peterson, an armed school resource deputy, was at the high school but took up a position outside and ?never went in? during the shooting. He should have ?gone in, addressed the killer, killed the killer?, Israel said. Peterson resigned after being suspended without pay. Two other deputies were placed on restricted duty during an investigation to determine if ?they could have done more or should have done more? ahead of the shooting, Israel said. Teachers warn of ?arms race? in schools The NRA?s cause received a significant boost when Trump ? in his second meeting at the White House on school safety in as many days ? floated a plan to respond to the Parkland carnage by putting more guns in schools. He declared ?gun free? schools a ?magnet? for mass shooters and proposed bonuses for teachers who are willing to carry concealed firearms. Trump had earlier proposed raising from 18 to 21 the minimum age to buy more guns than at present ? like the assault-style rifle used by 19-year-old Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz ? and making it more difficult for the mentally ill to own firearms. Currently under federal law, anyone 18 or over can buy a gun from a private, unlicensed seller, although a handful of states have set the minimum age at 21. Those measures, which may struggle to pass the Republican-controlled Congress, could have put him at odds with the NRA, which donated to and endorsed his campaign. ?I really think the NRA wants to do what?s right,? Trump said. ?I mean, they?re very close to me, I?m very close to them, they?re very, very great people. They love this country. They?re patriots.? Trump insisted he was not advocating arming every American teacher, but only those with ?military or special training? ? suggesting that would be around 20%. That would mean weapons for around 700,000 educators, a potentially massive business opportunity for gun manufacturers. ?A gun-free zone to a killer or somebody who wants to be a killer, that?s like going in for the ice cream,? he said. ?That?s like, ?Here I am, take me?.? Teachers? unions were quick to condemn his proposal, with the American Federation of Teachers claiming Trump was in favour of an ?arms race? that would ?turn schools into militarised fortresses?. ?Toxic lunacy? ?Anyone who wants guns in schools has no understanding of what goes on inside them ? or worse, doesn?t care,? the union?s president Randi Weingarten said. Summing up the opposition of many lawmakers, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal called the idea of arming teachers ?toxic lunacy ? an NRA-backed distraction from common sense action. ?Arming teachers is inane and insane ? a sure path to reckless and panicky shooting, gun theft, and other deadly dangers. A non-starter in the Senate.? The US Congress has long been deadlocked on the gun debate, accomplishing nothing despite a spate of mass shootings and polls showing that Americans support stricter gun laws by a two-to-one margin. According to a Gallup tracking poll, 60% of Americans now favour tougher gun sale laws.
  23. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres gives a speech during a ceremony at Lisbon University where Guterres received his honoris causa degree, Portugal February 19, 2018. Reuters LISBON: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday he was worried about the possibility of a direct confrontation between Israel and Lebanon?s Hezbollah movement. Guterres said the latest signals from Israel and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah showed the will to not let this happen but ?sometimes a spark is enough to unleash this kind of a conflict?. Hezbollah said last week it could act against Israeli oil facilities if necessary in an Lebanon-Israel offshore energy dispute. US diplomats have been mediating between the two countries after a rise in tensions also involving a dispute over a border wall and Hezbollah?s growing arsenal. ?I am deeply worried about hard-to-foresee escalations in the whole region,? Guterres told reporters in his native Lisbon, also referring to Israel?s concerns about various militia groups in Syria approaching its borders. ?The worst nightmare would be if there is a direct confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah...the level of destruction in Lebanon would be absolutely devastating, so there are major points of concern around this situation.? Israel sees Hezbollah as the biggest security threat on its borders. Hezbollah was formed in the 1980s as a resistance movement against Israel?s occupation of southern Lebanon. The two remain bitter enemies but there has been no major conflict between them since a month-long war in 2006.
  24. Former PM Nawaz Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain are accused in the reference. Photo: File, ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal has given the approval to file supplementary references in the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investments Limited references, sources informed Geo News on Wednesday. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain are accused in the two references. NAB will file both the supplementary references in the accountability court soon. Sources have informed that new evidence, including details of offshore companies of Hasan and Hussain, are part of the supplementary references. Nawaz fails to appear before NAB to record statement in Al-Azizia, Flagship references NAB preparing supplementary references in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment Ltd cases: sources The NAB filed three corruption references against the Sharif family in September last year in light of the Supreme Court's July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case. The references pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London. On Saturday, Nawaz did not appear before the NAB Rawalpindi to record his statement with regards to the two references after having been summoned at the regional office.
  25. US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on worldwide threats on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/Files WASHINGTON: Leaders of US intelligence agencies warned on Tuesday that Russia will try to interfere in the 2018 US midterm elections by using social media to spread propaganda and misleading reports, much as it did in the 2016 campaign. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told a congressional committee that Russia and other foreign entities were likely to attack US and European elections this year and beyond, adding that Moscow believes similar efforts successfully undermined US democracy two years ago. Coats, a former senator appointed by President Donald Trump as Washington?s top intelligence official, said he had already seen evidence Russia was targeting US elections in November when Republican control of the House of Representatives and Senate are at stake, plus a host of positions in state governments. ?Frankly, the United States is under attack,? Coats said at the Senate Intelligence Committee?s annual hearing on worldwide threats. Coats? assessment runs counter to statements from Trump, who has cast doubt on the notion of Russian meddling and denied any collusion by his associates with Russia ahead of his surprise November 2016 defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton. US spy agencies concluded more than a year ago that Russia used hacking and propaganda to try to tilt that election in favour of the Republican. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied this and Trump has said he believes him. ?There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 US midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations,? Coats said. Coats said ?persistent and disruptive cyber operations? would continue ?using elections as opportunities to undermine democracy? in the US and its European allies. Coats described a range of ways in which Russia might try to influence this year?s vote. ?At a minimum, we expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokespeople, and other means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States,? he said. The charge of Russian meddling spawned a federal probe and congressional investigations into whether Trump?s campaign colluded with Moscow, throwing a shadow over the first year of Trump?s presidency. Questions on countermeasures Senators asked the intelligence chiefs during the hearing whether there was a plan in place to combat more hacking. Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo and Chris Wray, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, also Trump appointees, said there were significant, specific efforts underway, but did not elaborate. Government countermeasures likely include going public with concerns that Russian hackers will seek to influence the 2018 elections, said John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis with the cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc (FEYE.O). ?If we discuss this openly, then the public - who are really the targets of these operations - will be prepared and less susceptible to any influence if and when it does happen,? Hultquist said. In Germany?s election last September, public discussion of a feared Russian cyber campaign, and an agreement among political parties not to exploit information gathered in cyber attacks ? an accord unlikely to be replicated in the US ? appeared to help inoculate the country against outside meddling. Executives from social media companies such as Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc have testified in Congress about Russia?s purported disinformation drive aimed at US voters. Facebook reported that 126 million Americans may have seen Russian-backed political content on its platform over a two-year period. Trump has repeatedly criticized the CIA and FBI, taking to Twitter to accuse the FBI leadership of bias against Republicans. At Tuesday?s hearing, several committee members expressed support for the intelligence officials. The Senate Intelligence Committee is conducting one of the three main congressional investigations into the Russia issue. An investigation by a House intelligence committee has led to partisan squabbling between Republicans and Democrats.