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Found 12 results

  1. WASHINGTON: Six top health advisors have resigned from Donald Trump´s advisory council on HIV/AIDS, complaining that the US president doesn´t really care about combatting the illness. In a letter published Friday in Newsweek, Scott Schoettes said the Trump administration has "no strategy" on AIDS and that he and his five colleagues will be more effective advocating for change from the outside. Schoettes, counsel and HIV project director at Lambda Legal, resigned Tuesday from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, along with Lucy Bradley-Springer, Gina Brown, Ulysses Burley III, Michelle Ogle and Grissel Granados. The council can have up to 25 members. "The Trump administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic, seeks zero input from experts to formulate HIV policy, and -- most concerning -- pushes legislation that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease," Schoettes wrote. "If we do not ensure that US leadership at the executive and legislative levels are informed by experience and expertise, real people will be hurt and some will even die," he said. "Because we do not believe the Trump administration is listening to -- or cares -- about the communities we serve as members of PACHA, we have decided it is time to step down." PACHA, which was created in 1995, includes public health officials, researchers, health care providers, faith leavers, HIV advocates and people living with HIV. Its helps inform the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which was last revised in 2015. Schoettes noted that Trump failed to appoint a head of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, a senior advisory position, and took down the Office of National AIDS Policy website the very day he took office -- on January 20 -- and has yet to replace it. He also stressed that changes Trump and his fellow Republicans in Congress are seeking to the sweeping health care reform initiated by former president Barack Obama would be "extremely harmful" to people living with HIV or AIDS. Schoettes cited data showing that only 40 percent of people living with HIV in the United States can access life-saving medications.
  2. The biggest battle of the cricketing world is set to take place on Sunday when arch-rivals Pakistan and India face each other in the Champions Trophy final at the Oval. A resurgent Pakistan and defending champions India look to outclass and outplay their opponent ? with both teams eyeing the trophy. The highly anticipated thriller will showcase Pakistan?s formidable bowling and India?s firm batting. Can the ?predictably unpredictable? turn the tables and make history? Our experts will share their opinion with you. A joint-production of Geo News (Pakistan) and Aaj Tak (India), Takra, hosted by Shahzaib Khanzada and Vikrant Gupta will feature Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Yousuf, Ramiz Raja and Sikandar Bakht from Pakistan and Saurav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh and Mohammad Azharuddin from India.
  3. KARACHI: Experts have opined that Pakistani batsmen have still been playing old-fashioned cricket and that domestic cricket needs to be streamlined to yield better results in future. Speaking in Geo News special transmission on Sunday, former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar regretted, "Pakistan has shown such immaturity in run chase that we have raised our hands." He said that scoring 300 runs in modern-day cricket was a common thing, but Pakistani batsmen were still playing conventional game. Muhammad Yousuf criticised the decision to not induct Junaid Khan in playing 11, saying, "It was injustice with him". He added that Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur should be questioned about his "planning", which could not be witnessed during the match. Former cricketer Sikandar Bakht said domestic cricket in the country needs to be streamlined to yield better results. He lamented that tournaments are held without planning. Former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan said the he knew winning or losing was part of the game, but it was painful to see Pakistan lose against India without competing. He said that it was necessary to restructure Pakistan cricket to come out of present situation. "As long as, our cricket structure is not streamlined, the vacuum between India and Pakistan will continue to increase. Khan further said streamlining cricket was not possible without appointment of Pakistan Cricket Board chief on merit. "We will continue to face disappointment resulting from defeats like today's," he added.
  4. KARACHI: Experts have opined that Pakistani batsmen were playing old-fashioned cricket and domestic cricket needs to be streamlined to yield better results in future. Speaking in Geo News special transmission on Sunday, former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar regretted, "Pakistan has shown such immaturity in run chase against India that it appeared as if we had raised our hands." He said that scoring 300 runs in modern-day cricket has become an easy task but Pakistani batsmen were still playing a "conventional, old-fashioned" brand of the game. Muhammad Yousuf criticised the decision to not induct Junaid Khan in playing 11, saying, "It was an injustice to him". He added that Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur should be questioned about his "planning", which could not be witnessed during the match. Former cricketer Sikandar Bakht said domestic cricket in the country needs to be restructured in view of getting better results. He lamented that the domestic tournaments are being held without planning. Former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan said though winning or losing is part of the game, it was painful to see Pakistan lose against India without competing. He said that it was necessary to restructure Pakistan cricket to come out of the dire situation. "As long as, our cricket structure is not streamlined, the vacuum between India and Pakistan cricket will continue to increase." Khan further said streamlining cricket was not possible without the appointment of Pakistan Cricket Board chief on merit. "We will continue to face disappointment resulting from defeats like today's," he added.
  5. With only a few hours remaining for the much-awaited Pakistan-India clash, a panel of exceptional cricket experts have come together to share their analysis and predictions for tomorrow`s match. The joint-production of Geo News (Pakistan) and Aaj Tak (India) features Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Yousuf and Sikandar Bakht from Pakistan, while, Saurav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh and Mohammad Azharud din from India. The show is hosted by Shahzeb Khanzada and Vikrant Gupta.
  6. On May 26, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz led government unveiled its fifth, and final, budget before the upcoming national elections. The proposed Rs. 4.75 trillion expenditure plan is slanted to focus on boosting growth and is more than 8 percent higher than last year?s budget. For the fiscal year 2017/2018, Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar promises a growth rate of almost 6 percent. But the government?s development-heavy budget has been immediately met with skepticism. Economists and opposition lawmakers say the Rs. 1 trillion earmarked for federal development and infrastructure projects ? up by 25 percent from last year ? is only to woo voters before elections. The ruling party is further being excoriated for underplaying the Rs. 1,479 billion fiscal deficit. How will the government be spending your ? the taxpayer?s ? money? Can the promises be sustained? Here, Geo.TV takes a deeper look at the proposed budget and records the reactions of experts and onlookers: The Weakest Link Dr Akmal Hussain - Economist, author and dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Information Technology University, Lahore The strength of this year's budget, unlike earlier years, is that it claims to be part of a new growth strategy: inclusive and sustainable growth. The weakness lies in the fact that it does not put its money where its mouth is, and merely makes inadequate gestures in that direction. For example, the most important sector through which high and long-term growth could be sustained is human development. Yet, health expenditure has been only increased from Rs. 29 billion to Rs. 49 billion. We would need to increase our health expenditure fourfold even to reach Sri Lankan?s standards. Pakistan's health expenditures as a percentage of GDP are the second lowest in the world. Similarly, the paltry sum allocated to education is nowhere near what is required to provide high-quality education to all. Here again, Pakistan's expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP is amongst the lowest in the world being ranked 164th out of 173 countries. Historical evidence shows that European countries, namely Germany, Scandinavian countries and some Asian countries, Japan and China, which achieved high long-term per capita income growth gave a commitment to providing quality healthcare, education and social protection to all its citizens. And this was done at a time when their per capita income was lower than that of Pakistan today. Another example of gesture without substance in the budget is that there is only a 10 percent increase in the salaries of officers and men of the armed forces. They are after all fighting the battle for Pakistan and sacrificing their lives in the process. The government should have increased the salaries of those performing operational duties in the armed forces by at least 50 percent to acknowledge their courage, commitment and sacrifices for our country. SOS: Exports Under Pressure Dr Vaqar Ahmed - Deputy Executive Director of the Islamabad-based Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) The budget 2017/2018 is an opportunity to capitalise on the newfound economic growth and step up the efforts towards structural reforms. It is a pity that even after four years of this government the budget preparation process is marred by the soaring circular debt in the energy sector - a key reason why industry and residential consumers are not getting certain and affordable power and gas supplies. Similarly, losses of public sector enterprises need to be curtailed, which in turn will provide increased fiscal space for pro-poor expenditures. Furthermore, the budgetary policies are not leading to a revival of local investor?s confidence, as the private investment to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio remains one of the lowest in the region. With no paradigm shift in the overall budgetary policy, it seems difficult to envisage how the growth in agriculture and industry will translate into revival of exports. The key impediments to exports, including rising cost of doing business, lack of trade facilitation reforms, multiplicity of taxes at federal and provincial levels (leading to higher compliance cost to taxpayers), slow process of exporter?s refunds at Federal Board of Revenue, lack of optimal utilization of export development fund, misalignment of exchange rate, and dwindling trade relations with neighbors ? Afghanistan, Iran and India, will continue to keep the exports under pressure. Stop Taking The Budget Seriously Dr Qaiser Bengail - Economist Budgets speeches are an opportunity for the government to make tall claims. Take our former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz for example. He promised boosting Pakistan?s growth, but in the end he took us nowhere. Personally, I have stopped taking the federal budget seriously, because the sanctity of the exercise has been lost since a few years now. When tabled in the National Assembly, the attendance in the house is usually low, and debate is not encouraged. Presenting the budget has turned into a PR exercise for the incumbent government. Budget plans should instead guide the government on what to do and what not to do in terms of expenditure. But no government has ever followed this rule. The opposition, as expected, berates the bill, with little understanding of its shortcomings. The Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz government has a habit of going overboard with current expenditures. It has now become its legacy. As for the almost Rs. 1 trillion allocated for defense that seems to be only a white flag that it is waving. 'This Is Deceit' Mustafa Nazir Ahmad - Islamabad-based development professional specialising in budget analysis One had hoped against hope that the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz government would wake up to reality while presenting its last federal budget of the current tenure and, for once, share the real picture ? albeit dark and gloomy ? of the economy with the people. Instead, the short-sightedness, mockery of economic policymaking or, if you want to put it plainly, deceit it has resorted to is unparalleled in Pakistan?s history, which has seen ?ingenious? bankers like Shaukat Aziz at the helm of affairs. Take the current expenditure, for example. The government estimates to spend Rs. 3,477 billion on account of current expenditure during the next fiscal year. Despite its rhetoric of keeping current expenditure ?under tight control?, this is laughable, to say the least. In 2013-14, our current expenditure as per the Ministry of Finance?s data, still available on its website, stood at Rs. 4,005 billion. In 2014-15, it increased by 11 percent and in 2015-2016 it further went up by 6 percent to Rs. 4,694 billion. In the first nine months of the outgoing fiscal year (July 2016-March 2017), Rs. 3,605 billion have been spent on account of current expenditure, thereby implying that by June the figure would reach at least Rs. 5 trillion. Now, how would the government be able to reduce the current expenditure in the next fiscal year is a million dollar question, particularly with 10 percent increase in the salaries of civil and armed forces employees. Even by a conservative estimate, considering the populist measures necessitated by an election year, Pakistan would be spending something to the tune of Rs. 5,300 billion on account of current expenditure in the next fiscal year. What would this leave us with? To answer this question, just add Rs. 1,800 billion to the budget deficit, as well as the interest all of us Pakistanis would be paying on it as Ishaq Dar resorts to bank borrowings at higher rates. Where's The Money For Education? Baela Raza Jamil is the CEO of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and Commissioner for the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity The budget speech by the finance minister was peppered with bold assertions of achievements. What was worthy to note is the enhanced fiscal space this budget has offered, due to the increase in tax to GDP ratio from under 10 percent to 12.6 percent (ideal it is 20 percent). What does this improvement mean? Will Pakistan now have more funds to spend, in sector such as education? Will our GDP allocation to education go up to four percent, as promised by the prime minister? According to the finance minister, Pakistan's gross national income per capita in 2017 is now $1,610 - up from $490 in 2000 - whilst development indicators, such as life expectancy and infant mortality, have also improved. Yet, even as Pakistan?s income levels go up, some 22.6 million children in the country are deprived of an education in spite of Article 25 A being passed in 2010. So while incomes in Pakistan have grown, the country?s education investments are too limited and the existing resources often do not produce the needed results. Even today, in the fifth budget, the education allocation remains low. Pakistan, like many other lower-middle-income countries, will require additional external help estimated at about $1 billion annually over the next 15 years. Will Pakistan be eligible to borrow as it moves up the income ladder, but has tragically low indicators of human development? These are the hard questions to ask at this point Note: The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geo News, The News or the Jang Group
  7. THE HAGUE: An 11-year-old "cyber ninja" stunned an audience of security experts Tuesday by hacking into a teddy bear via bluetooth to show how interconnected smart toys "can be weaponised". American wunderkind Reuben Paul may be still only in 5th grade at his school in Austin, Texas, but he and his teddy bear Bob wowed hundreds at a timely cyber security conference in The Netherlands. "From airplanes to automobiles, from smart phones to smart homes, anything or any toy can be part of the" Internet of Things (IOT)," he said, a small figure pacing the huge stage at the World Forum in The Hague.smart phones to smart homes, anything or any toy can be part of the" Internet of Things (IOT)," he said, a small figure pacing the huge stage at the World Forum in The Hague. "From terminators to teddy bears, anything or any toy can be weaponised." To demonstrate, he deployed his cuddly bear, which connects to the icloud via wifi and bluetooth smart technology to receive and transmit messages. Plugging into his laptop a rogue device known as a "raspberry pi" -- a small credit card size computer -- Reuben scanned the hall for available bluetooth devices, and to everyone´s amazement including his own, suddenly downloaded dozens of numbers including some of top officials. Then using a computer language programme, called Python, he hacked into his bear via its bluetooth address to turn on one of its lights and record a message from the audience. "Most internet-connected things have a bluetooth functionality ... I basically showed how I could connect to it, and send commands to it, by recording audio and playing the light," he told AFP later. "IOT home appliances, things that can be used in our everyday lives, our cars, lights, refrigerators, everything like this that is connected can be used and weaponised to spy on us or harm us." They can be used to steal private information such as passwords, as remote surveillance to spy on kids, or employ a GPS to find out where a person is. More chillingly, a toy could say "meet me at this location and I will pick you up," Reuben said. Timebombs His father, information technology expert Mano Paul, told how aged about six Reuben had revealed his early IT skills, correcting him during a business call. Using a simple explanation from dad on how one smart phone game worked, Reuben then figured out it was the same kind of algorithm behind the popular video game Angry Birds.smart phone game worked, Reuben then figured out it was the same kind of algorithm behind the popular video game Angry Birds. "He has always surprised us. Every moment when we teach him something he´s usually the one who ends up teaching us," Mano Paul told AFP. But Paul said he been "shocked" by the vulnerabilities discovered in kids´ toys, after Reuben first hacked a toy car, before moving onto more complicated things. "It means that my kids are playing with timebombs, that over time somebody who is bad or malicious can exploit."timebombs, that over time somebody who is bad or malicious can exploit." Now the family has helped Reuben, who is also the youngest American to have become a Shaolin Kung Fu black belt, to set up his CyberShaolin non-profit organisation. Its aim is "to inform kids and adults about the dangers of cyber insecurity," Reuben said, adding he also wants to press home the message that manufacturers, security researchers and the government have to work together. Reuben also has ambitious plans for the future, aiming to study cyber security at either CalTech or MIT universities and then use his skills for good. Failing that maybe he could become an Olympian in gymnastics -- another sport he excels in.
  8. FILE PHOTO: A man types on a computer keyboard in front of the displayed cyber code in this illustration picture taken March 1, 2017. Two-thirds of those caught up in the past week's global ransomware attack were running Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system without the latest security updates, a survey for Reuters by security ratings firm BitSight found. Researchers are struggling to try to find early traces of WannaCry, which remains an active threat in hardest-hit China and Russia, believing that identifying "patient zero" could help catch its criminal authors. They are having more luck dissecting flaws that limited its spread. Security experts warn that while computers at more than 300,000 internet addresses were hit by the ransomware strain, further attacks that fix weaknesses in WannaCry will follow that hit larger numbers of users, with more devastating consequences. "Some organisations just aren't aware of the risks; some don't want to risk interrupting important business processes; sometimes they are short-staffed," said Ziv Mador, vice president of security research at Israel's SpiderLabs Trustwave. "There are plenty of reasons people wait to patch and none of them are good," said Mador, a former long-time security researcher for Microsoft. WannaCry's worm-like capacity to infect other computers on the same network with no human intervention appear tailored to Windows 7, said Paul Pratley, head of investigations & incident response at UK consulting firm MWR InfoSecurity. Data from BitSight covering 160,000 internet-connected computers hit by WannaCry, shows that Windows 7 accounts for 67 percent of infections, although it represents less than half of the global distribution of Windows PC users. Computers running older versions, such as Windows XP used in Britain's NHS health system, while individually vulnerable to attack, appear incapable of spreading infections and played a far smaller role in the global attack than initially reported. In laboratory testing, researchers at MWR and Kyptos say they have found Windows XP crashes before the virus can spread. Windows 10, the latest version of Microsoft's flagship operating system franchise, accounts for another 15 percent, while older versions of Windows including 8.1, 8, XP and Vista, account for the remainder, BitSight estimated. Computer basics Any organisation which heeded strongly worded warnings from Microsoft to urgently install a security patch it labelled ?critical? when it was released on March 14 on all computers on their networks are immune, experts agree. Those hit by WannaCry also failed to heed warnings last year from Microsoft to disable a file sharing feature in Windows known as SMB, which a covert hacker group calling itself Shadow Brokers had claimed was used by NSA intelligence operatives to sneak into Windows PCs. "Clearly people who run supported versions of Windows and patched quickly were not affected", Trustwave's Mador said. Microsoft has faced criticism since 2014 for withdrawing support for older versions of Windows software such as 16-year-old Windows XP and requiring users to pay hefty annual fees instead. The British government cancelled a nationwide NHS support contract with Microsoft after a year, leaving upgrades to local trusts. Seeking to head off further criticism in the wake of the WannaCry outbreak, the U.S. software giant last weekend released a free patch for Windows XP and other older Windows versions that it previously only offered to pay customers. Microsoft declined to comment for this story. On Sunday, the U.S. software giant called on intelligence services to strike a better balance between their desire to keep software flaws secret - in order to conduct espionage and cyber warfare - and sharing those flaws with technology companies to better secure the internet. Half of all internet addresses corrupted globally by WannaCry are located in China and Russia, with 30 and 20 percent respectively. Infection levels spiked again in both countries this week and remained high through Thursday, according to data supplied to Reuters by threat intelligence firm Kryptos Logic. By contrast, the United States accounts for 7 percent of WannaCry infections while Britain, France and Germany each represent just 2 percent of worldwide attacks, Kryptos said. Dumb and sophisticated The ransomware mixes copycat software loaded with amateur coding mistakes and recently leaked spy tools widely believed to have been stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency, creating a vastly potent class of crimeware. "What really makes the magnitude of this attack so much greater than any other is that the intent has changed from information stealing to business disruption", said Samil Neino, 32, chief executive of Los Angeles-based Kryptos Logic. Last Friday, the company's British-based 22-year-old data breach research chief, Marcus Hutchins, created a "kill-switch", which security experts have widely hailed as the decisive step in halting the ransomware's rapid spread around the globe. WannaCry appears to target mainly enterprises rather than consumers: Once it infects one machine, it silently proliferates across internal networks which can connect hundreds or thousands of machines in large firms, unlike individual consumers at home. An unknown number of computers sit behind the 300,000 infected internet connections identified by Kryptos. Because of the way WannaCry spreads sneakily inside organisation networks, a far larger total of ransomed computers sitting behind company firewalls may be hit, possibly numbering upward of a million machines. The company is crunching data to arrive at a firmer estimate it aims to release later Thursday. Liran Eshel, chief executive of cloud storage provider CTERA Networks, said: "The attack shows how sophisticated ransomware has become, forcing even unaffected organisations to rethink strategies." Escape route Researchers from a variety of security firms say they have so far failed to find a way to decrypt files locked up by WannaCry and say chances are low anyone will succeed. However, a bug in WannaCry code means the attackers cannot use unique bitcoin addresses to track payments, security researchers at Symantec found this week. The result: "Users unlikely to get files restored", the company's Security Response team tweeted. The rapid recovery by many organisations with unpatched computers caught out by the attack may largely be attributed to back-up and retrieval procedures they had in place, enabling technicians to re-image infected machines, experts said. While encrypting individual computers it infects, WannaCry code does not attack network data backup systems, as more sophisticated ransomware packages, typically do, security experts who have studied WannaCry code agree. These factors help explain the mystery of why such a tiny number of victims appear to have paid ransoms into the three bitcoin accounts to which WannaCry directs victims. Less than 300 payments worth around $83,000 had been paid into WannaCry blackmail accounts by Thursday (1800 GMT), six days after the attack began and one day before the ransomware threatens to start locking up victim computers forever. The Verizon 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, the most comprehensive annual survey of security breakdowns, found that it takes three months before at least half of organisations install major new software security patches. WannaCry landed nine weeks after Microsoft's patch arrived. "The same things are causing the same problems. That's what the data shows," MWR research head Pratley said. "We haven't seen many organisations fall over and that's because they did some of the security basics," he said.
  9. KARACHI: Legal experts have opined on Thursday that the decision of International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Kulbhushan Jadhav's case is provisional and the court will take its time to reach a final decision on the matter. Speaking in Geo News' show 'Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath' International Legal Advisor South Asia of International Commission of Jurist Reema Omer said: ?In the laymen`s term, it is an interim order. Till now the jurisdiction of the court and merit has not yet been decided,? Talking about the decision, she said that Pakistan cannot execute Jadhav till the ICJ's proceeding are going on. She further said that the ICJ`s proceedings will continue for a number of months or years. ?It takes two-three years in such cases and often the provisional judgment calls for a stay,? Omer added. ?Pakistan is a party to the Vienna Convention. It has to abide by the rules. To say that Pakistani lawyer talked for 40 mins, not 90 ? is an excuse and a diversion.? ICJ stays execution of Indian spy Jadhav pending final decision Pakistan shall take all measures to ensure Jadhav isn't executed till court's final decision: ICJ ICJ press release on Kulbhushan Jadhav case The International Court of Justice stated that it had jurisdiction in the case The legal expert said that Indians have raised an article of Vienna Convention in their argument. ?Indians have raised Article 36 which is simple that if there is a dispute on a treaty signed by two parties then ICJ will resolve the dispute,? she said. ?The discussion on the case turned political than legal that is why people became little surprise but those who have followed such cases knew that this is the decision which was meant to come. It?s a death penalty case ? a matter of life and death for someone.? Meanwhile, former judge of the International Criminal Tribunal Justice Ali Nawaz Chohan also said that the decision was an interim order. ?It's still in Pakistan's domestic jurisdiction to make a new court or tribunal while keeping in light the due process of law.? The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday ordered Pakistan to halt the execution of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav until a final decision in the proceedings. "Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings," ordered Judge Ronny Abraham, president of the court, as he announced the decision. The ICJ rejected Pakistan's stance and stated that the court had jurisdiction and would hear the case and seek arguments from both parties. Judge Abraham stated that the ICJ had prima facie jurisdiction under Article 1 of the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention. The court further observed that the existence of a 2008 bilateral agreement on consular relations between India and Pakistan does not change its conclusion on the issue of jurisdiction. ?Pakistan shall inform the court of all measures taken in implementation of the present order. The court also decides that, until it has given its final decision, it shall remain seized of the matters which form the subject-matter of this order,? the order stated Explaining its reasoning, the court began by establishing that based on the initial facts, it has jurisdiction over the case. According to the judgment, it then turned to the question whether the rights alleged by India are at least plausible and decided in the affirmative. The court then focused on the issue of the link between the rights claimed and the provisional measures requested and observed that a link exists between the rights claimed by India and the provisional measures being sought. The court then examined whether there is a risk of irreparable prejudice and urgency. It considered that the mere fact that Jadhav is under a death sentence and might, therefore, be executed is sufficient to demonstrate the existence of a risk of irreparable prejudice to the rights claimed by India. The court further observed that Pakistan has indicated that any execution of Jadhav would probably not take place before August 2017. ?This means that there is a risk that an execution could take place at any moment thereafter before the court has given its final decision,? it stated, adding that Pakistan has [also] not given any assurance that Jadhav will not be executed before the court has rendered its final decision. ?In those circumstances, the court is satisfied that there is urgency in the present case,? it stated. Following the judgment, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria stated that Pakistan had challenged the authority of the ICJ after consulting with all institutions and agencies. "No institution can be party to Pakistan's national security," Zakaria said.
  10. KARACHI: Legal experts have opined on Thursday that the decision of International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Kulbhushan Jadhav's case is provisional and the court will take its time to reach a final decision on the matter. Speaking in Geo News' show 'Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath' International Legal Advisor South Asia of International Commission of Jurist Reema Omer said: ?In the laymen`s term, it is an interim order. Till now the jurisdiction of the court and merit has not yet been decided,? Talking about the decision, she said that Pakistan cannot execute Jadhav till the ICJ's proceeding are going on. She further said that the ICJ`s proceedings will continue for a number of months or years. ?It takes two-three years in such cases and often the provisional judgment calls for a stay,? Omer added. ?Pakistan is a party to the Vienna Convention. It has to abide by the rules. To say that Pakistani lawyer talked for 40 mins, not 90 ? is an excuse and a diversion.? ICJ stays execution of Indian spy Jadhav pending final decision Pakistan shall take all measures to ensure Jadhav isn't executed till court's final decision: ICJ ICJ press release on Kulbhushan Jadhav case The International Court of Justice stated that it had jurisdiction in the case The legal expert said that Indians have raised an article of Vienna Convention in their argument. ?Indians have raised Article 36 which is simple that if there is a dispute on a treaty signed by two parties then ICJ will resolve the dispute,? she said. ?The discussion on the case turned political than legal that is why people became little surprise but those who have followed such cases knew that this is the decision which was meant to come. It?s a death penalty case ? a matter of life and death for someone.? Meanwhile, former judge of the International Criminal Tribunal Justice Ali Nawaz Chohan also said that the decision was an interim order. ?It's still in Pakistan's domestic jurisdiction to make a new court or tribunal while keeping in light the due process of law.? The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday ordered Pakistan to halt the execution of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav until a final decision in the proceedings. "Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings," ordered Judge Ronny Abraham, president of the court, as he announced the decision. The ICJ rejected Pakistan's stance and stated that the court had jurisdiction and would hear the case and seek arguments from both parties. Judge Abraham stated that the ICJ had prima facie jurisdiction under Article 1 of the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention. The court further observed that the existence of a 2008 bilateral agreement on consular relations between India and Pakistan does not change its conclusion on the issue of jurisdiction. ?Pakistan shall inform the court of all measures taken in implementation of the present order. The court also decides that, until it has given its final decision, it shall remain seized of the matters which form the subject-matter of this order,? the order stated Explaining its reasoning, the court began by establishing that based on the initial facts, it has jurisdiction over the case. According to the judgment, it then turned to the question whether the rights alleged by India are at least plausible and decided in the affirmative. The court then focused on the issue of the link between the rights claimed and the provisional measures requested and observed that a link exists between the rights claimed by India and the provisional measures being sought. The court then examined whether there is a risk of irreparable prejudice and urgency. It considered that the mere fact that Jadhav is under a death sentence and might, therefore, be executed is sufficient to demonstrate the existence of a risk of irreparable prejudice to the rights claimed by India. The court further observed that Pakistan has indicated that any execution of Jadhav would probably not take place before August 2017. ?This means that there is a risk that an execution could take place at any moment thereafter before the court has given its final decision,? it stated, adding that Pakistan has [also] not given any assurance that Jadhav will not be executed before the court has rendered its final decision. ?In those circumstances, the court is satisfied that there is urgency in the present case,? it stated. Following the judgment, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria stated that Pakistan had challenged the authority of the ICJ after consulting with all institutions and agencies. "No institution can be party to Pakistan's national security," Zakaria said.
  11. Surgery won’t cure chronic knee pain, “locking,” “clicking,” a torn meniscus, or other problems related to knee arthritis, according to a panel of international experts. Every year, more than two million people with degenerative knee problems have arthroscopic surgery, in which a surgeon inserts a tiny camera into the knee and uses small instruments to try to fix what’s wrong. But guidelines published Wednesday in the British Medical Journal recommend against the procedure for just about everyone with knee arthritis. “It does more harm than good,” Dr Reed Siemieniuk, chair of the guideline panel, told Reuters Health by email. “Most patients experience improvement after arthroscopy, but in many cases, this is probably wrongly attributed to the surgery itself rather than to the natural course of the disease, a placebo effect, or (other) interventions like painkillers and exercise.” In addition, the procedure is costly - up to $3 billion annually in the US alone - and there’s a risk of rare but serious adverse effects such as blood clots or infection, said Siemieniuk, who works in the department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The panel, made up of surgeons, physical therapists, clinicians and patients, analysed data from 13 randomised controlled trials - the gold standard way to test medical procedures - involving a total of 1,668 patients. The trials compared knee arthroscopy to conservative treatments such as exercise and painkillers. The panelists also reviewed 12 less-rigorous studies of close to two million patients that looked at complications from the procedure. After considering the balance of benefits, harms and burdens of knee arthroscopy, as well as the quality of the evidence for each outcome, the panel made a “strong recommendation against arthroscopy.” The evidence shows a less than 15 percent probability of “small or very small improvement in short-term pain and function” from the procedure, and improvements would likely last less than a year, the panelists noted. They thought it was more important to avoid postoperative limitations such as pain, swelling and restricted activity, and the risk of adverse effects. “Chronic knee pain can be incredibly frustrating to live with - both for the person experiencing the pain and for their doctors,” Siemieniuk said. “The problem is that none of the current options cure the pain. Most people will continue to live with some pain even with weight loss, physical therapy, and painkillers. Knee replacement surgery also has important limitations and should be delayed as long as possible. So it's no surprise that many placed their hopes in arthroscopic knee surgery.” Still, he said, “We believe that no one or almost no one would want this surgery if they understand the evidence.” If you have chronic knee pain, “double down on efforts for things we know work - for example, weight loss and physical therapy,” he advised. “Also, talk to your healthcare provider (doctor, physical therapist) about strategies to reduce the physical stress on the knee that exacerbates the pain,” he added. Dr Joseph Bosco, vice-chair at NYU Langone Orthopedics in New York City, told Reuters Health, “In general I agree with the findings and support most of the conclusions.” “The only issue is that in the study with the strongest evidence, the operative group did not do physical therapy,” he said by email. “That is not consistent with how we treat our patients. Almost all patients get physical therapy following knee arthroscopies.” “Cortisone injections, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications work as well or better than surgery for most degenerative meniscal tears,” said Bosco, who was not involved in developing the guidelines. However, he added, a small group of people “who (also) have mechanical symptoms, localised pain, and acute onset of pain will benefit, so a blanket recommendation against all surgery for degenerative meniscal tears is not appropriate.”
  12. KINSHASA: Health experts have identified two more suspected cases of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo, a day after the government declared an outbreak of the disease that has killed one man, the UN health agency said on Saturday. Government and World Health Organization (WHO) officials reached a remote area of Bas-Uele province in northeastern Congo near the border with the Central African Republic on Saturday for a field investigation, WHO said. Experts say to prevent the spread of the virus they must quickly track down, test, isolate and treat suspected cases. They also need to protect health workers and educate the population about hygiene measures. "The first case and possibly the index case, a 39-year-old male, presented onset of symptoms on 22 April 2017, and deceased on arrival at the health facility," a WHO statement said. "Two contacts of this case are being investigated: a person who took care of him during transport to the health care facility, he has since developed similar symptoms, and a moto-taxi driver who transported the patient to the health care facility," it said, adding that the taxi driver had died. In addition, two more people in the area have been identified as suspected cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 11, WHO's Congo spokesman Eugene Kabambi told Reuters. Three of them have died of fever. The worst outbreak of Ebola killed more than 11,300 people in the West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and infected more than 28,000. It peaked in late 2014 causing global alarm but active virus transmission ended last year. The latest Ebola outbreak is Congo's eighth, the most of any country. The deadly hemorrhagic fever was first detected in its dense tropical forests in 1976 and named after the nearby river Ebola. That experience helped Congolese authorities respond effectively to an outbreak in 2014 that killed dozens of people. The GAVI global vaccine alliance said on Friday some 300,000 emergency doses of an Ebola vaccine developed by Merck could be available in case of a large-scale outbreak and that it stood ready to support the Congo government on the matter.