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Found 22 results

  1. A 3D-printed YouTube icon is seen in front of a displayed YouTube logo in this illustration taken October 25, 2017 - Reuters YouTube stepped up enforcement of its guidelines for videos aimed at children, the unit of Alphabet Inc?s Google, responding to criticism that it has failed to protect children from adult content. The streaming video service removed more than 50 user channels in the last week and stopped running ads on over 3.5 million videos since June, YouTube vice president Johanna Wright wrote in a blog post. ?Across the board, we have scaled up resources to ensure that thousands of people are working around the clock to monitor, review and make the right decisions across our ads and content policies,? Wright said. ?These latest enforcement changes will take shape over the weeks and months ahead as we work to tackle this evolving challenge.? YouTube has become one of Google?s fastest-growing operations in terms of sales by simplifying the process of distributing video online but putting in place few limits on content. Parents, regulators, advertisers and law enforcement have become increasingly concerned about the open nature of the service. They have contended that Google must do more to banish and restrict access to inappropriate videos, whether it be propaganda from religious extremists and Russia or comedy skits that appear to show children being forcibly drowned. Concerns about children?s videos gained new force in the last two weeks after reports in BuzzFeed and the New York Times and an online essay by British writer James Bridle pointed out questionable clips. A forum on the Reddit internet platform dubbed ElsaGate, based on the Walt Disney Co. princess, also became a repository of problematic videos. Several forum posts Wednesday showed support for YouTube?s actions while noting that vetting must expand even further. Common Sense Media, an organization that monitors children?s content online, did not immediately respond to a request to comment on YouTube?s announcement. YouTube?s Wright cited ?a growing trend around content on YouTube that attempts to pass as family-friendly, but is clearly not? for the new efforts ?to remove them from YouTube.? The company relies on review requests from users, a panel of experts and an automated computer program to help its moderators identify material possibly worth removing. Moderators now are instructed to delete videos ?featuring minors that may be endangering a child, even if that was not the uploader?s intent,? Wright said. Videos with popular characters ?but containing mature themes or adult humour? will be restricted to adults, she said. In addition, commenting functionality will be disabled on any videos where comments refer to children in a ?sexual or predatory? manner.
  2. Demonstrators participate in the #MeToo Survivors' March ? in response to several high-profile sexual harassment scandals ? in Los Angeles, California, US, November 12, 2017. AFP/David McNew/Getty Images/Files LONDON: Megacities of the future will boast high-speed rail, superfast broadband, and green energy systems ? but experts on Thursday said they were failing to leave space for one thing: girls. Proposed by leaders worldwide, so-called Smart Cities are being built to cater for a growing global middle class but risk leaving girls without safe areas to learn and play, according to a panel of experts. ?I looked at all the traditional reports on inclusive cities, resilient cities, smart cities, sustainable cities. Please go through them in detail ? there is no room for girls,? Indian charity Naandi Foundation head Manoj Kumar said. ?It?s about: ?Will we have the subways, will we have the metros, will it run on biofuel? ... But for whom? There is no discussion of what will be the habitat for girls,? Kumar said at the Thomson Reuters Foundation?s annual two-day Trust Conference, which focuses on slavery and women?s rights issues. In 2014, 54 percent of the population lived in cities but by 2050 this is expected to rise to 66 percent, according to the United Nations. The number of megacities ? which are home to more than 10 million people ? has tripled since 1990 to 31, and UN Habitat predicts this will rise to 41 by 2030. Experts from Egypt, India, and Britain said the pace of urbanization could leave behind vulnerable girls and women. Sheela Patel ? the director of The Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers, a charity that works with marginalized people living in slum housing ? said the growing middle class was fuelling the growth of cities which ignore the poorest. ?(The urban middle class) has a very large number of poor people who make our lives comfortable but we keep them invisible,? said Patel. Girls in India often lack safe spaces and choose to stay at school after classes as they fear to return to crowded family houses where they feel vulnerable to harassment and attack, said Kumar of Naadi, which runs after-school clubs for girls. India?s ?rampant? migration to cities from rural areas creates dangerous, crowded residential areas, which can put women in danger and limit their opportunities, Kumar added. ?Safety is at risk for girls and the biggest challenge they?re facing is that the only way they are defined to be safe is by getting them married,? he said. ?via Thomson Reuters Foundation
  3. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/10257770e5456197adc67e8116b82010.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9MTEvMTUvMjAxNyA0OjM5OjQ0IFBNJmhhc2hfdmFsdWU9MWRLNjlqVGJVVEFtckZTMmtSM2dtUT09JnZhbGlkbWludXRlcz02MCZpZD0x style=center] ISLAMABAD: The National Security Committee (NSC) on Wednesday expressed concerns over the enemy's attempts to destabilize Pakistan. In a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, members of the committee observed that the intelligence agencies of enemy states have redoubled their efforts to affect the peace and security of the country. The committee also protested against the recent attacks on police officials and a cross-border attack by terrorists from Afghanistan in Pakistan's Bajaur Agency. Pakistan Army captain, sepoy martyred in cross-border attack from Afghanistan Captain Junaid Hafeez and Sepoy Reham were martyred in the attack on a border post Following a briefing on the security situation in Balochistan, members of the NSC expressed satisfaction on the improvement in the province's situation through the efforts of the armed forces and other law enforcement agencies. "The federal government will continue to fully cooperate for Balochistan's development," the committee observed, adding that the government will ensure the timely provision of funds for development projects. The committee resolved to create a mechanism to incorporate transparency in development projects. Attendees were also briefed on arrangements along the Balochistan border to restrain terrorists from entering the province and the federal government's active placement of top-notch law enforcement officers in the province. Members of the NSC discussed the oil and gas pipeline projects with different countries and agreed on availing opportunities that are in the national and economic interests. The meeting was attended by senior civil and military leadership including the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Chief of Air Staff Sohail Aman, Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, and Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif.
  4. Nikki Haley ? the US Ambassador to the United Nations ? delivers remarks at a security council meeting at UN headquarters during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, US, September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/Files WASHINGTON: Senior Trump administration officials said on Sunday that the United States was committed to remaining part of the Iran nuclear accord for now, despite President Donald Trump?s criticisms of the deal and his warnings that he might pull out. Nikki Haley ? the US ambassador to the United Nations ? said that Tehran is complying with the 2015 nuclear accord intended to increase Iran?s accountability in return for the lifting of some economic sanctions. ?I think right now, you?re going to see us stay in the deal,? Haley told NBC?s Meet the Press. In a speech on Friday, Trump laid out an aggressive approach regarding Iran and said he would not certify it is complying with the nuclear accord, despite a determination by the United Nations? nuclear watchdog that Tehran is meeting its terms. The Republican president threw the issue to the US Congress, which has 60 days to decide whether to reinstate US sanctions. He warned that if ?we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated?. So far, none of the other signatories to the deal ? Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, Iran, and the European Union (EU) ? have cited serious concerns, leaving the United States isolated. In her Meet the Press interview, Haley said the United States was not saying that Iran was in breach of the agreement, but she raised concerns about its activities that are not covered by the pact, including weapons sales and sponsorship of militant groups such as Hezbollah. Haley said that other countries were ?turning a blind eye? to these Iranian activities in order to ?protect? the nuclear agreement. She said the United States needed to weigh a ?proportionate? response to Tehran?s actions on the world stage. ?The goal at the end of the day is to hold Iran accountable,? Haley said in the interview, which mainly focused on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is formally known. Haley and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hammered away at the need to address what they see as shortcomings in the two-year-old international accord while simultaneously placing pressure to rein in Iranian activities outside the scope of that deal. A second pact? Tillerson, alluding to other signatory countries? opposition to reopening the Iran pact, raised the possibility of ?a second agreement? to run parallel to the existing one. Among the ?areas of concern,? he mentioned were its sunset provisions and Tehran?s ballistic missile program. Haley also said the reason the United States was looking closely at the Iran nuclear deal was due to escalating tensions over North Korea?s nuclear weapons development. ?What we?re saying now with Iran is don?t let it become the next North Korea.? On Friday, Trump also said he was authorizing the US Treasury to sanction Iran?s Revolutionary Guards, and on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was planning to move ahead. Mnuchin ? interviewed on Fox News? Sunday Morning Futures ? said he has spoken about Iran with his counterparts attending World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in recent days. He did not provide any details on possible sanctions. US Senator Susan Collins ? appearing on ABC?s This Week ? noted that Trump could have taken a more extreme step by withdrawing from the agreement. But in words of support for Trump, the moderate Republican lawmaker said, ?Instead, he put a spotlight on two troubling deficiencies in the agreement,? referring to a lack of limitations on Iran?s tests of ballistic missiles and a ?pathway to developing a nuclear weapon? down the road. While many US allies strongly criticized Trump?s decision not to recertify the Iran deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the move, saying the current terms of the Iran nuclear accord would allow it to have a nuclear stockpile within a decade. ?We cannot allow this rogue regime 30 times the size of North Korea?s economy to have a nuclear arsenal,? Netanyahu said on CBS? Face the Nation.
  5. ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday took notice of a 'fake' Intelligence Bureau (IB) memo which claimed there were links between parliamentarians and proscribed organisations, sources informed Geo News. In the memo, shown on a private TV channel, it was stated that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had directed the authority to monitor the activities of 37 legislators due to their alleged links with banned terrorist and sectarian outfits. Sources within government claimed that the memo shown on tv and being circulated on social media was fake, further adding that after a thorough investigation a case will be filed against those involved in drafting the memo and leaking it to the media. The source added that the case will be filed in Islamabad's Secretariat police station. The issue was first raised by Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada at the recently held cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The list named a number of key ministers, including Riaz Pirzada, Zahid Hamid, Baleeghur Rehman, Sikandar Bosan, Hafiz Abdul Kareem and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Murtaza Javed Abbasi.
  6. BEIJING: Volkswagen will recall almost five million vehicles in China over airbag concerns, Chinese authorities said Thursday, dealing a new blow to the German automaker in the world´s largest car market. VW and its joint ventures with Chinese partners FAW and SAIC will start withdrawing 4.86 million vehicles fitted with potentially faulty airbags made by Japan´s bankrupt airbag giant Takata from March 2018, according to China´s top consumer watchdog. The announcement came just 10 days after VW and its local partners agreed to recall 1.82 million vehicles owing to a faulty fuel pump. In March, Volkswagen recalled nearly 680,000 premium Audi cars in China over defects in coolant pumps that could lead to engine fires, and another 572,000 due to potential problems arising from leaks in the panoramic sunroof. The latest recall involves vehicles made between 2005 and 2017, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine. Of the vehicles being recalled, more than 4.7 million units were made in Chinese factories and 103,573 are imports. Takata has recalled some 100 million airbags produced for some of the largest automakers, including about 70 million in the US, due to the risk that they could improperly inflate and rupture, potentially firing deadly shrapnel at the occupants. The defect has been linked to 16 deaths and scores of injuries worldwide. China is a crucial market for VW, which sold nearly four million vehicles in the world´s biggest auto market last years. VW is still trying to recover from the controversy after it admitted in 2015 to equipping its diesel cars with defeat devices to evade emissions tests. The company pleaded guilty in March to charges stemming from "dieselgate" and agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties -- on top of $17.5 billion in civil settlements. Volkswagen still faces legal challenges in Germany and worldwide, and has so far set aside more than 22 billion euros ($24.4 billion) to cover costs. Experts estimate the final bill from the scandal could be even higher.
  7. RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday arrived in Australia on a two-day official visit, where he highlighted the regional security situation and Pakistan's concerns at meetings with the Australian leadership, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The COAS reached Australia on an invitation by the Australian army chief, the ISPR said in a statement. Upon arrival at Defence Forces Headquarters in Canberra, General Bajwa was given a tri-service guard of honour, after which he called on Australian Army Chief Lieutenant General Angus J. Campbell and Naval Chief Vice Admiral Timothy Barrett, the statement read. During his meetings with Australian military and civilian leadership, the COAS highlighted regional security situation and Pakistan Army's contributions towards peace and stability. "While Pakistan will continue to support all peace efforts, we expect that our security concerns are also addressed. The country has improved the security situation and a key role in regional economy," the ISPR quoted General Bajwa as saying. The Australian leadership appreciated Pakistan's efforts against terrorism and expressed commitment to further improve the bilateral collaboration in defence and security.
  8. Rashid addresses media during a visit to the constituency LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Yasmin Rashid on Thursday said the party has various options, including holding a sit-in, if its concerns over NA-120 by-poll are not addressed. Addressing media while visiting the constituency, Rashid demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) take notice of the violation of code of conduct by the ruling party. ECP is not independent, says PTI before NA-120 by-polls PTI has not been provided with updated voter lists, says party leaders She said that the party has registered its concerns with the ECP on issues like pre-poll rigging and polling scheme. The PTI leader criticised Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for not paying heed to the needs of the constituency?s residents, saying PML-N should have started development here before the announcement of the polling schedule. The party has expressed similar concerns, saying the ECP is not independent and works under the incumbent government.
  9. ISLAMABAD: The federal government has called a meeting of the Inter-Provincial Coordination Division to address the provinces? concerns over the provisional census results released earlier this week. The Sindh government on Monday announced that it would reject the provisional results of the sixth population census. Compare census records of Army, Statistics Division: Khursheed Shah Facts would come to the forefront once the two census records are compared, says opposition leader Terming the results a conspiracy against the province by the federal government, senior Pakistan Peoples Party leader Nisar Khuhro said the PPP government will not let the province be treated in an unfair manner. The provincial government also alleged that Sindh?s population was shown to be less than its actual number in order to not increase the province?s share in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award. Senate committee proposes rechecking of census results Results of the census match with data collected by the armed forces, says Statistics Minister Kamran Michael Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Farooq Sattar on Sunday announced to lead a protest rally in 72 hours against the provisional census results. Speaking in the party's general workers? convention at PIB Colony football ground, Sattar said by understating the population of Karachi census results have done injustice to all ethnic communities living in the metropolis. He said that Karachi's population in actual is around 30 million ? whereas according to the census it is 10.6 million. Sattar said to record its protest against the census result, MQM-P will take a rally from Mazar-e-Quaid to Statistics Division or Supreme Court's Karachi registry. Pakistan?s population reaches 208 million: provisional census results The annual growth rate has been recorded at 2.4pc over a time period of 1998 to 2017 The federal government had earlier rejected the reservations raised by Sindh's political parties and said the process of conducting the census was transparent. It said that all provinces had monitoring committees which were briefed on a regular basis while the census was being conducted. The government further said that additional time was given to address all reservations and complaints.
  10. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson greets Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi at the State Department in Washington DC, US, February 28, 2017. Photo: Reuters BEIJING: The United States must value Pakistan's role in Afghanistan and respect its security concerns, China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a phone call, according to Chinese state media. China's Foreign Ministry defended its ally Pakistan earlier this week after President Donald Trump said the United States could no longer be silent about militants using safe havens on Pakistani soil. On Monday, Trump committed the United States to an open-ended conflict in Afghanistan, signaling he would send more troops to America's longest war and vowing "a fight to win". Pakistan's status as privileged ally in question: US US President Trump on Monday sternly rebuked Pakistan for supporting groups like the Taliban and the Haqqani network He insisted that others ? the Afghan government, Pakistan, India and NATO allies ? step up their own commitment to resolving the 16-year conflict, but he saved his sharpest words for Pakistan. Yang, who outranks China's foreign minister, told Tillerson on Wednesday that China was willing to coordinate with the United States on Afghanistan and make joint efforts to realise peace and stability there and in the region, according to a Chinese statement issued late that night. "We must value Pakistan's important role on the Afghanistan issue, and respect Pakistan's sovereignty and reasonable security concerns," Yang told Tillerson. Pakistan has been battling home-grown militants for years. It sees Afghanistan as a vital strategic interest and a bulwark against old rival, India. Islamabad denies harbouring militants, who move across the porous border with Afghanistan. Trump backs off Afghan withdrawal, slams Pakistan over ?terrorist safe havens? Trump warns vital aid could be cut if Pakistan does not stop China and Pakistan consider each other "all-weather friends" and have close diplomatic, economic and security ties. Beijing has its own security concerns in the region, in particular, any links between militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan and radical militant groups China blames for violence in its far western region of Xinjiang. Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Pakistani Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua in Beijing on Tuesday, according to a statement on Thursday. He praised Pakistan's efforts to combat extremism and to secure the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a development initiative central to President Xi Jinping's global Belt and Road development plan. "Given the current complicated and changing international and regional situation, the strategic significance of China-Pakistan relations is even more prominent," Wang said.
  11. SINGAPORE: Oil prices fell on Wednesday, weighed down by concerns of oversupply as Libyan output improves and as US. gasoline inventories rose despite the peak summer driving season. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $51.64 per barrel at 0721 GMT, down 23 cents, or 0.4 per cent, from their last close. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $47.59 a barrel, down 24 cents, or 0.5 per cent. Libya's Sharara oil field, the country's largest, was gradually restarting on Tuesday after a shutdown, although instability in the country means that output there could be volatile, traders said. Sharara recently reached an output of 280,000 barrels per day (bpd), but closed earlier this week due to a pipeline blockade. Its production is key to Libya's oil output, which surged above 1 million bpd in late June, about four times its level last summer. Libya's rising output is a headache for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which together with non-OPEC producers including Russia has pledged to hold back around 1.8 million bpd of supplies between January this year and March 2018 to tighten supplies. However, OPEC has so far fallen short of its pledge, in part due to Libya's strong output. The OPEC-member has been exempt from cuts. "Sentiment towards oil remains bearish amid oversupply fears and the possible threat of OPEC's supply cut deal falling apart," said Lukman Otunuga, analyst at futures brokerage FXTM. The next meeting of a ministerial committee of OPEC and non-OPEC states to discuss their production pact has been proposed for September 22. In the United States, crude inventories fell by 3.6 million barrels in the week to August 18 to 465.6 million, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said Tuesday. However, gasoline stocks rose by 1.4 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations in a Reuters poll for a 643,000-barrel decline. Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA said that the rising US gasoline inventories were "not a good sign during the US summer driving season" during which fuel demand tends to be high. Official inventory data by the US Energy Information Administration is due to be released late on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Bernstein Research warned that low prices and ample supplies were resulting in low oil industry investment levels. "We see (oil and gas)... order intake activity at almost the same low level as in 2016 ... For now, we remind investors that contract levels appear to still be insufficient to drive recovery in earnings," it said.
  12. SYDNEY: Two international Qantas flights suffered mid-air mechanical problems Friday and had to turn back to Sydney, with one unable to retract wing flaps and another suffering a cracked window pane, the Australian carrier said. Flight QF7 was enroute to Dallas, but the Airbus A380´s captain decided to head back to Sydney after discovering the wing flaps could not be retracted. "(This) means the aircraft can´t fly efficiently. As the Dallas flight is our longest on the network, the captain made the decision to return to Sydney," Qantas said in a statement. The second flight, QF63 to Johannesburg, returned when "a cracked pane of glass on the aircraft windscreen" was found. "An aircraft windscreen is made up of three layers of glass, the outer pane had cracked but did not compromise the integrity of the aircraft," the statement added. "The aircraft was safe to continue to Johannesburg but the captain made the decision to return as the windscreen will be replaced at Qantas´ engineering base in Sydney." Qantas said the Boeing 747-400 landed safely. Replacement flights were being arranged for passengers. Several flights have had to return to Australia in recent months, including an AirAsia Gold Coast to Kuala Lumpur service last month that the carrier said involved a suspected bird strike. In June, a China Eastern plane bound for Shanghai made an emergency landing in Sydney after a huge hole appeared in one of its engine casings.
  13. RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday raised concerns with the visiting Commander Resolute Support Mission (RSM), General John W. Nicholson, over the "blame game perpetrated by some quarters in Afghanistan and United States to undermine Pakistan's contribution to the war on terror", said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The concern was raised at a meeting between General Nicholson and General Bajwa at the General Headquarters (GHQ), Rawalpindi. "The COAS said that it's not a coincidence that this theme is being played at a time when policy review is being undertaken in USA," the statement added. The army chief said that despite provocations, Pakistan will continue to act positively as we consider defeat of terrorism as national interest. Nicholson reiterated his appreciation of Pakistan Army's professionalism and admiration for resilience of the people. US Ambassador David Hale was also present at the meeting. Both military commanders agreed on the need for continuous engagement and coordination for peace and stability in the region.
  14. WASHINGTON: The US government has moved to block federal agencies from buying software from Russia-based Kaspersky Labs, amid concerns about the company´s links to intelligence services in Moscow. The General Services Administration, which handles federal government purchasing contracts, said in a statement to AFP that Kaspersky Labs, a major global provider of cybersecurity software, has been removed from its list of approved vendors, making it more difficult to obtain Kaspersky products. "GSA´s priorities are to ensure the integrity and security of US government systems and networks and evaluate products and services available on our contracts using supply chain risk management processes," the agency said in a statement. The action came weeks after top US intelligence agency and law enforcement officials publicly expressed concerns about use of Kaspersky software. The officials, appearing at a congressional hearing in May, stopped short of offering specifics but appeared to suggest concerns over the computer security firm´s alleged links to Russian defense and intelligence bodies. The company said in a statement to AFP Wednesday, "Kaspersky Lab has no ties to any government, and the company has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts." It added that "the company is being unjustly accused without any hard evidence to back up these false allegations." A Bloomberg News report this week meanwhile claimed internal company emails show that Kaspersky has maintained a closer working relationship with Russia´s main intelligence agency, the FSB, than it has publicly admitted. Kaspersky on Tuesday issued a statement disputing the Bloomberg accounting, saying "the communication was misinterpreted or manipulated," but did acknowledge that it "regularly cooperates with law enforcement agencies, industry peers and victims of cybercrime." The company has repeatedly denied working with any government agency, and Russia-born founder Eugene Kaspersky has on several occasions sought to counter any such allegations. In a June 30 blog post, Kaspersky wrote, "For some reason the assumption continues to resonate that since we´re Russian, we must also be tied to the Russian government. But really, as a global company, does anyone seriously think we could survive this long if we were a pawn of ANY government?"
  15. DOHA: Qatar is ready to listen to the concerns of Gulf Arab states that have cut diplomatic and economic ties, Kuwait said on Sunday as it tried to mediate a solution to the worst regional crisis in years. Saudi Arabia and allies Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) severed ties with Qatar last week, accusing it of supporting militants and arch-foe Iran - charges Doha denies. The rift has disrupted travel, separated families, severed commercial links and sown confusion among banks and businesses while deepening divisions between their respective allies fighting in wars and political struggles from Libya to Yemen. "(Kuwait) affirms the readiness of the brothers in Qatar to understand the reality of the qualms and concerns of their brothers and to heed the noble endeavors to enhance security and stability," Kuwait's state news agency KUNA quoted Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah as saying. Kuwait, which has retained ties with Qatar and has often acted as a mediator in regional disputes, said it wanted to resolve the dispute "within the unified Gulf house". A previous mediation effort by Kuwait in which the Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah shuttled between Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Doha, failed to achieve an immediate breakthrough. "Is this the beginning of wisdom and reasonable thinking? I hope so," UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash wrote on Twitter in reaction to Kuwait saying Qatar was ready to listen to the grievances.minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash wrote on Twitter in reaction to Kuwait saying Qatar was ready to listen to the grievances.minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash wrote on Twitter in reaction to Kuwait saying Qatar was ready to listen to the grievances.minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash wrote on Twitter in reaction to Kuwait saying Qatar was ready to listen to the grievances. US President Donald Trump at first offered to host Qatar and its adversaries - all US allies - at the White House, but on Friday said Qatar has been a high-level sponsor of terrorism and backed the Gulf pressure. Saudi Arabia's powerful Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed efforts to "counter terrorism and extremism" in a telephone call with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday, state news agency SPA said. But a Qatari diplomat said the crisis reflected a lack of US leadership. "This is the biggest testimony to US failure in the Gulf," the diplomat told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. "(It) gives others the impression the US does not know how to manage the relationship with its allies or is incapable." On Friday Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt tightened their squeeze on Qatar by putting dozens of figures and charities they link to the country on terrorism blacklists.UAE and Egypt tightened their squeeze on Qatar by putting dozens of figures and charities they link to the country on terrorism blacklists.UAE and Egypt tightened their squeeze on Qatar by putting dozens of figures and charities they link to the country on terrorism blacklists.UAE and Egypt tightened their squeeze on Qatar by putting dozens of figures and charities they link to the country on terrorism blacklists. Qatar's official overseer of charities denied on Sunday that philanthropic groups in the country backed terrorism, saying it deplored the accusation. IRAN FLIGHTS A peninsular nation of 2.5 million people, Qatar has for years punched well above its weight in world affairs by parleying its vast gas wealth into influence across the region, irking many with its maverick stances and support for militants. But it was importing 80 percent of its food from bigger Gulf Arab neighbors before they cut ties and is now in talks with Iran and Turkey to secure food and water supplies. Iran - the main regional rival of Saudi Arabia - sent four cargo planes of food to Qatar and plans to provide 100 tonnes of fruit and vegetables every day, Iranian officials said on Sunday, amid concerns of shortages. Senior officials from the countries opposed to Qatar have warned it that appealing for foreign assistance will not advance a reconciliation. Qatar's energy minister said on Sunday Doha remained committed to an oil output cut deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC producers last month. Mohammed al-Sada said in a statement: "circumstances in the region shall not prevent the state of Qatar from honoring its international commitment of cutting its oil production". In a sign Gulf states were seeking to lessen the human impact of their June 5 severing of ties, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE said on Sunday they had set up hotlines to help families with Qatari members, without elaborating.
  16. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stands at a press conference at the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) at Government House in Sydney, Australia, June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed Senior US officials said on Monday the United States, under President Donald Trump, was committed to the region, reassuring nervous global partners even as it received criticism for pulling out of a major climate pact. Global leaders have said there was growing mistrust of the Trump administration, especially because of his withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership on trade and from the Paris climate accord. Trump's "America First" rhetoric and expectations that he would concentrate on a domestic agenda has stoked fears of a retreat from a traditional US security role that has underpinned the region for decades. But US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the Trump administration should be judged for its actions and not words. "I hope the fact that we are here demonstrates that is certainly not this administration's view or intention to somehow put at arm's length the other important allies and partners in the world," Tillerson told reporters in Sydney. "That's why we're here ... That's why we engage with our counterparts," Tillerson said. He is in Sydney for an annual conference along with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford and the head of Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris. Diplomatic ties were strained between the United States and Australia this year following a row over asylum seekers when Trump described a refugee swap arrangement as a "dumb deal" on Twitter. Despite the public dispute, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the nature of the bilateral relationship extends beyond the superficial. "We deal with the president, with his cabinet, and with the US administration on what they do, what they achieve, what their strategies are, and how we can work together," Bishop said. While Australia's government said it has not lost faith in the United States as a global leader, the decision to leave the Paris Climate agreement has drawn a wave of global criticism. Speaking for the first time on the decision, Tillerson appeared to distance himself from it, saying that it was Trump's "judgment" that the climate pact did not serve the American people. With growing fears that the United States could not be relied on to maintain a buffer against China's assertiveness, several Asian nations have bolstered informal alliances among themselves. Although reiterating US commitment to Asia, Tillerson said China should do more on the issue of North Korea, which has stepped up its nuclear and missile programs in defiance of US pressure and UN resolutions. North Korea has become a security priority for Washington since it vowed to accelerate its nuclear and missile programmers and to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the US mainland. Tillerson also said the United States could not allow China to use its economic power to "buy its way out of other problems, whether it's militarizing islands in the South China Sea or failing to put appropriate pressure on North Korea". Reacting to his comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: "We hope the relevant side can fully respect and support the efforts of countries in the region to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, and play a constructive role rather than the opposite". Some US officials have also expressed concern about the growth of Daesh and the return of foreign fighters in the region and said it is one reason the United States will continue to remain engaged. Authorities in the region have urged greater cooperation to counter the fallout from a raging battle with Daesh-linked militants in the southern Philippines, the biggest warning yet that the ultra-radical group is building a base in Southeast Asia. The region is home to 600 million people and includes Indonesia, which has the world's highest number of Muslims. Authorities in both Indonesia and Malaysia, also Muslim-majority, have said thousands of their citizens are sympathizers of Daesh and hundreds are believed to have traveled to Syria to join the militant group.
  17. The United Nations (UN) late Thursday night expressed its concern over the increasing tensions between Pakistan and India over the long-standing issue of Kashmir and the Line of Control (LoC), Geo News reported. UN Secretary-General António Guterres is at present analysing the situation in Kashmir, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said, adding that the intergovernmental organisation is also perturbed by India?s firing at the LoC, which, thereby, violated the ceasefire agreement. Unprovoked firing on the part of Indian armed forces on the LoC earlier killed two Kashmiris and injured six others. In this regard, the Foreign Office of Pakistan summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh to file a protest over the LoC violation and sent a demarche pertaining to the matter.
  18. File photo: AFP NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket board has sent a security officer to England amid concerns over team safety in the Champions Trophy following the Manchester bomb attack. Acting president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) CK Khanna confirmed to AFP that Neeraj Kumar, security incharge and consultant of its anti-corruption unit, left for England on Tuesday. "Neeraj Kumarji was anyhow supposed to travel with the team but had to go early after the attack," a senior BCCI official told AFP. "He will definitely go to the venues where India is scheduled to play and assess the security," the official added. Kumar, a former Delhi Police Commissioner, was the head of security when the ICC World T20 Championship was hosted by India last year. A suicide bomb attack rocked Manchester on Monday, killing 22 people at the end of a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande at Manchester Arena. All teams are now wary ahead of the 50-over tournament that begins June 1. Holders India start their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in Birmingham on June 4. The BCCI are in touch with the International Cricket Council regarding security in England as Virat Kohli and his side leave for the eight-team event late Wednesday. "We sent out a message (to ICC) raising our concerns about security of the Indian team´s travel, accommodation and the playing (area)," BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary told reporters. Chaudhary said the ICC "responded to it within two hours. They have been sensitised about our concern". ICC to review security for Champions Trophy after Manchester attack ICC to assess security measures for the upcoming mega tournament in line with threat levels The ICC released a statement Tuesday regarding security measures taken with the England and Wales Cricket Board. "The security situation has been very much front and centre of our preparations and we constantly review our procedures to guarantee they are as effective as possible to keep everyone safe," said an ICC statement.
  19. LONDON: South Africa´s team manager said his side had "genuine concerns" about remaining in England following the deadly terror attack in Manchester, but there are no immediate plans to return home. Daesh claimed responsibility for the suicide bomb attack at the end of a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande at Manchester Arena on Monday that killed 22 people, including children. Britain´s deadliest terror attack for 12 years took place just two days before the start of a three-match one-day series between England and South Africa in the nearby city of Leeds. It is the first international fixture of a lengthy, three-month tour for South Africa that includes the June Champions Trophy and subsequent four-Test series against England. No major international cricket has taken place in Pakistan since 2009 because of security concerns following an attack, while England one-day captain Eoin Morgan and opening batsman Alex Hales refused to tour Bangladesh because of safety fears. But having received security briefings from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), whose security advisor Reg Dickason is well-respected throughout the sport, South Africa team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee said his side is happy to remain in England as things stood. "As you can understand we have some genuine concerns, the players are uneasy... there was a lot of chatter at the breakfast table," Moosajee told reporters at Leeds´s Headingley ground on Tuesday. "I am happy to say we´ve had constant communications from the ECB and their security manager. "There have been guarantees put in place that security arrangements will be supplemented, starting today. We´re told there will be more visible police at the stadium, at practice sessions as well as the hotels we will reside at." Moosajee said the hotel the South Africans are booked in for in Manchester for the last Test "is literally walking distance from where events unfolded last night and there has been genuine concern. "The process has started to make the players reassured that arrangements are in place to keep them safe." While players had briefly talked about leaving England, Moosajee stressed: "As things stand there´s no mention of us even thinking of abandoning the tour. If the intelligence information tells us something else we would obviously have to reconsider." Champions Trophy tournament director Steve Elworthy was not anticipating any withdrawals. "We´re planning for all eight teams to be here," Elworthy said. "It´s critical and paramount that we deliver a safe, impressive and exciting tournament for everybody involved."
  20. KARACHI: A low water level in Thatta’s Keenjhar lake has spiked concerns of a shortage of water in the provincial metropolis, whose residents are already facing water woes. The water level of Keenjhar, which is the major source of water to Karachi, has fallen to 47 feet as supply from Indus water has halted. Water supply to Karachi would stop if the level tumbles to 42 feet. Everyday 1,200 cusecs are supplied to the city from the lake. Last year, the level had gone to 52 feet. Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi, however, said that the situation is not as alarming, adding that the level will be maintained at 50 feet in the next two days. “The irrigation department takes corrective measures to maintain the level at 50 feet as soon the level drops to 47 feet,” he explained.
  21. PESHAWAR: President of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman said that relevant institutions have valid concerns regarding Dawn leaks issues but the government has taken the measures it wanted to resolve the issue. JUI president was speaking to the media after the award distribution ceremony of the party’s workers for holding successful events throughout the year. He also remarked that the party will not allow people to amend the law pertaining to Quran and Sunnat. “We won’t take any wrong decisions due to our emotions,” he remarked. “We need to create unity among our ranks,” he said, adding “freedom is basic right of all human beings.” Let alone humans, violence against animals is also unacceptable, he added.
  22. Oil prices dipped on Thursday, weighed down by a general sentiment of globally bloated markets, though traders said that prices seemed to have found support around current levels. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures CLc1 were trading at $49.34 per barrel at 0137 GMT, down 28 cents, or 0.56 percent from their last close. WTI has lost around 8.5 percent in value from its April peak. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $51.58 per barrel, down 24 cents, or 0.46 percent, from their last close. Brent is almost 9 percent below its April peak. Traders said that the falls in recent weeks were a result of a realization that global oil markets remained oversupplied, despite efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of the year in order to tighten the market and prop up prices. "It is clear that the world has plenty of oil in stock, making OPEC's life that much harder ahead of its June production cut rollover date," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore. While the United States reported a drop in its commercial crude oil stocks on Wednesday, albeit from near-record highs, its gasoline inventories surged as refiners produced more fuel than the market could consume. Still, with an expectation that OPEC would lobby for an extension of the production cuts to cover all of 2017, analysts said there was support for prices around current levels.Reuters technical commodities analyst Wang Tao said that "Brent oil looks neutral in a range of $51.30-$52.32 per barrel."