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  1. From using guns bigger than her face without blinking an eyelid, to savagely and singlehandedly taking down her enemies like it's nobody's business; Katrina Kaif is undoubtedly the new superwoman in the block. After flooring us all with her badassery in 'Tiger Zinda Hai', Katrina is back with a bang with her upcoming movie 'Thugs of Hindostan'. © yash raj films Unless you were living under a rock all this while, there is no way on earth you wouldn't be surprised about 'Thugs of Hindostan'. With a star cast that has names like Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Shroff, Katrina Kaif, and 'Dangal' girl Fatima Sana Shaikh; this movie deserves to be on the list of most-anticipated movies of 2018. And if the stellar star cast wasn't enough to take our excitement to a pinnacle, Katrina intrigued us further by sharing this picture of her with Aamir Khan and ace choreographer Prabhudeva, as the trio sweat it out while rehearsing a song for the movie. #Thugs ððð¦ A post shared by Katrina Kaif (@katrinakaif) on Jan 13, 2018 at 12:46am PST There are no doubts that Katrina is a great dancer and when you mix the expertise and tricky style of Prabhudeva with her dance style, sparks are sure to fly. Will this be another 'Kamli' moment? 'Thugs of Hindostan' is being helmed by Director Vijay Krishna Acharya, who has earlier worked with Katrina and Aamir in 'Dhoom 3'. Well, we honestly can't for the movie to hit the theatres on November 7, 2018; but more than that, we can't wait for the two 'Thugs', Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, to work together for the first time.
  2. Pakistan and Bangladesh teams line up for the national anthem/Geo News screen grab LAHORE: The fifth edition of Blind Cricket World Cup got under way at the Gaddafi Stadium on Monday, with hosts Pakistan facing Bangladesh in the opening game of the tournament. Pakistan won the toss and put Bangladesh in to bat first. The tournament includes teams from cricket-playing nations such as Australia, England and India. However, only teams from Bangladesh and Nepal have agreed to play in Pakistan for now, while matches with other countries are scheduled to be held in UAE. The Pakistan Blind Cricket Council was forced to change the schedule of the World Cup after the Indian government earlier this month refused to grant permission to its team to travel to Pakistan for the matches. India and Pakistan will face off in Ajman, UAE on January 12. The final of the tournament will be held on January 19 in Sharjah. India and Pakistan's senior cricket teams have not played a bilateral series since 2013 because of the tense political climate. However, Pakistan's blind cricket team travelled to India for last year's inaugural Twenty20 World Cup that was won by the host nation.
  3. Pakistan players shake hands with NZ XI after winning the warm-up match Pakistan beat New Zealand XI by 120 runs in their warm-up game in Nelson on Wednesday, three days before the five-match ODI series kicks off. Put in to bat first by New Zealand XI, who won the toss, Pakistan put up a massive total of 342 from 50 overs, driven by centuries from openers Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman who scored 104 and 106, respectively. Both the batsmen retired out ? an occasional practice in warm-up matches. Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed scored 36, 24 and 21, respectively. New Zealand XI were bowled out for 221, with in-form Shadab Khan bagging four wickets. Faheem Ashraf claimed two scalps. The five-match ODI series gets underway from Saturday, January 6, followed by three T20 internationals. Fixtures ODIs: Jan 03: New Zealand XI vs Pakistan, One-day practice match, Saxton Oval, Nelson (3:00 AM) Jan 06: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 1st ODI, Basin Reserve, Wellington (3:00 AM) Jan 09: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Saxton Oval, Nelson (3:00 AM) Jan 13: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 3rd ODI, University Oval, Dunedin (3:00 AM) Jan 16: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 4th ODI, Seddon Park, Hamilton (6:00 AM) Jan 19: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 5th ODI, Basin Reserve, Wellington (3:00 AM) T20Is: Jan 22: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 1st T20I, Westpac Stadium, Wellington (8:00 AM) Jan 25: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 2nd T20I, Eden Park, Auckland (11:00 AM) Jan 28: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 3rd T20I, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui (11:00 AM) (Timings in Pakistan Standard Time) [embed_video1 url= style=center]
  4. The captains at toss Pakistan put up a massive total of 342 from 50 overs in their warm-up game against New Zealand XI in Nelson on Wednesday, three days before the five-match ODI series kicks off. Put in to bat first by New Zealand XI, who won the toss, Pakistan were off to a flying start with openers Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman scoring 104 and 106, respectively. Both the batsmen retired out ? an occasional practice in warm-up matches. Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed scored 36, 24 and 21, respectively. Courtesy: The five-match ODI series gets underway from Saturday, January 6, followed by three T20 internationals. Fixtures ODIs: Jan 03: New Zealand XI vs Pakistan, One-day practice match, Saxton Oval, Nelson (3:00 AM) Jan 06: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 1st ODI, Basin Reserve, Wellington (3:00 AM) Jan 09: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Saxton Oval, Nelson (3:00 AM) Jan 13: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 3rd ODI, University Oval, Dunedin (3:00 AM) Jan 16: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 4th ODI, Seddon Park, Hamilton (6:00 AM) Jan 19: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 5th ODI, Basin Reserve, Wellington (3:00 AM) T20Is: Jan 22: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 1st T20I, Westpac Stadium, Wellington (8:00 AM) Jan 25: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 2nd T20I, Eden Park, Auckland (11:00 AM) Jan 28: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 3rd T20I, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui (11:00 AM) (Timings in Pakistan Standard Time)
  5. [embed_video1 url= style=center] UNITED NATIONS: The United States has accused Pakistan of failing to cooperate fully in the fight against terrorism, saying it is withholding $255 million in aid to Islamabad as a result. "The administration is withholding $255 million in assistance to Pakistan. There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a double game for years," US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told reporters at the United Nations on Tuesday. "They work with us at times, and they also harbour the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan," she said. "That game is not acceptable to this administration. We expect far more cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism," she added. "The president is willing to go to great lengths to stop all funding from Pakistan as they continue to harbour terrorists." US to continue withholding $255m military aid to Pakistan Pakistan's actions in support of South Asia strategy will ultimately determine the trajectory of relationship with US, including future security assistance: White House President Trump, in a tweet on Monday, said that the United States had foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years. The US president accused Pakistan of giving nothing but lies and deceit, thinking US leaders to be fools. "They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!" Last month, Pakistan joined more than 120 countries to defy the US president and vote in favour of a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution calling for America to drop its recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel?s capital. But Haley said the Pakistan aid issue was not connected to the vote on Jerusalem, adding, "It is entirely connected to Pakistan's harbouring of terrorists." "However, as I said earlier in December, we won't forget the Jerusalem vote," she added. Trump tweet negates 'decades of sacrifices by Pakistanis' NSC decides not to take measures in haste post Trump statement Corps Commanders Conference discussed input for the National Security Committee meeting Trump's tweet on Monday was followed by strong reaction from Islamabad, with Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif saying that the US President's 'no more' holds no importance. Pakistan also summoned the US ambassador in a rare public rebuke after Trump's allegations. Earlier in the day, a high-level huddle of the Pakistani civil-military leadership expressed disappointment over the US president's anti-Pakistan statement, however, decided not to take measures in haste in reply to US allegations. Trump's comments "struck with great insensitivity" and "negated the decades of sacrifices made by the Pakistani nation", read a press statement issued after the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting in Islamabad. It said that Pakistan can not be blamed for failures in Afghanistan and accusing allies will not lead to the establishment of peace in the neighbouring country.
  6. After a massive loss in the second Test, the Sri Lankan cricket team desperately need a win in the ongoing match at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium to stop Team India from clinching the series win. But, against the hopes of the visiting fans, the Lankan brigade continues to struggle against a much-superior Indian team. Following the same pattern, the Lankan bowlers have failed to threaten the Indian batsmen, while their batsmen continue to struggle against the might of Indian bowling attack. With a lead of over 350 runs and a day to play, India are once again favourites to run away with the game. BCCL But, apart from all the cricket, Lankan opener Sadeera Samarawickrama has found himself at the receiving end (literally). The 22-year-old has been hit with the ball in the third Test so many times that he is now being branded as the favourite 'punching bag' of Indian cricketers. During India's first innings, Samarawickrama was hit on the helmet while fielding at forward short-leg. Murali Vijay was looking to work the ball towards the on-side when he played the shot straight onto the helmet of the Lankan cricketer who was left stunned and later had to go off the field to receive some treatment. BCCL The hit not only kept Samarawickrama off the field, but it also denied him the opening spot which was occupied by Dilruwan Perera in Lanka's first innings. However, he was sent down the order and would have been relishing the fact that he could no longer be hit on any part of the body by the opposition. But, it wasn't meant to be. Samarawickrama's poor luck continued to haunt him as he was hit once again by an Indian player. In the 116th over, Dinesh Chandimal pushed the ball towards mid-on as captain Virat Kohli sprinted across before unleashing a flat throw which hit him over the elbow. Seems like Sri Lankan batsman Samarawickrama isn't having a good Test match. Gets hit by the ball for the second time. #INDvSL #ViratKohli — allindiaroundup (@AIRNewsOfficial) December 4, 2017 Realising his mistake, Kohli immediately put his hand up and rendered an apology which brought a smile on the faces of Chandimal and Samarawickrama. The incident was undoubtedly an honest mistake and it was great to see Kohli going up to Samarawickrama to ensure he was okay.
  7. Manchester United will be without Nemanja Matic and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Tuesday?s Champions League group match against CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford, manager Jose Mourinho said. Serbian midfielder Matic limped off with a muscle problem at Watford last week but started in United?s 3-1 Premier League victory over Arsenal on Saturday. Mourinho said he will not risk the 29-year-old for the match, with United requiring a point to secure top spot in Group A. ?Matic is injured and when I say he is injured, he is injured. I am not going to make him play tomorrow so Matic is out,? he told a news conference on Monday. ?A couple of others guys are playing every match and they also need a rest. More importantly, the others deserve an opportunity to play.? Mourinho confirmed Ibrahimovic will be rested as a part of rehabilitation on his return from a long-term knee ligament injury. The 36-year-old striker made four substitute appearances last month but was left out of the squad at Arsenal. ?Zlatan needs sometimes very hard work on the muscular area that supports the knee that had the problem,? Mourinho added. ?He was on this cycle of work, divided between the gym and the pitch. And he will be out again for tomorrow but I believe back to normal work after CSKA.? Mourinho refused to discuss whether the club have appealed against Paul Pogba?s suspension after the midfielder received a straight red for a reckless challenge on Arsenal?s Hector Bellerin. ?He?s not suspended for the Champions League. He plays tomorrow,? Mourinho said. ?Of course, he?s a bit tired because it was a huge match at the weekend and just two days to recover for CSKA. But he?s very happy to play and to try to keep his momentum because since he was back from injury, he?s been phenomenal.? United host leaders Manchester City on Sunday with an opportunity to cut the gap to five points at the top of the table.
  8. For anyone who thought that the magic ball called 'Baahubali'had stopped spinning, you are wrong. The magnum opus series which has received thunderous applause across the globe has a stellar fan following which is fiercely loyal. Recently, school kids performed to 'Saahore Baahubali' during a National Basketball Association (NBA) game in Orlando, Florida and took the crown by storm! People loved it more than the game I guess! The two part movie series is known to be one of the most successful and also the holder of a historic box office record. Directed by S. Rajamouli, the movie made superstars out of the already super talented Prabhas and Rana Dagubatti. It's not everyday when you go to watch an NBA game and end up with a visual treat like this. Also, last night, the NBA halftime witnessed a stellar Bhangra performance by dancers, which was a tribute to Allen Iverson. NBA halftimes are sometimes a pure visual delight!
  9. The PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds video game is seen in this illustration photo November 22, 2017. Photo: Reuters BEIJING/HONG KONG: Chinese gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd is bringing ?Playerunknown?s Battleground?, the world?s hottest video game, to China, but with a twist. The gory, battle royale-style game will get a socialist makeover to meet stringent Chinese rules. The move comes after China?s content regulator slammed the South Korean-made game, PUBG for short, last month for being too violent and said it would likely be blocked because it ?severely deviates from socialist core values?. The PUBG game where players fight for survival on a deserted island is currently the world?s top-selling video game, having shipped more than 20 million copies since its launch in March. It has been developed by South Korean firm Blue Hole. Tencent, which recently outstripped Facebook Inc in market value, said it had won the exclusive rights to the game in China, and that it would modify the game in order to meet the requirements of China?s regulators and censors. ?(Tencent) will make adjustment to content ... and make sure they accord with socialist core values, Chinese traditional culture and moral rules,? it said in a statement on Wednesday. Tencent?s main rival, Chinese company NetEase Inc, has already added red banners into its battleground game with slogans such as ?safeguard national security, safeguard world peace?, amid Beijing?s efforts to cleanse online content by targeting violent games and gaming addiction. NetEase?s ?Terminator 2? and ?Wilderness?, survival games similar to PUBG, are the No. 1 and No. 3 most downloaded free mobile games in China, the world?s biggest video game market, analytics firm App Annie?s data shows. Tencent?s top-grossing ?Honour of Kings? is No.2. Tencent was bashed by state media earlier this year for getting children hooked on violence after the fantasy role-playing game Honour of Kings boomed in popularity, forcing it to introduce a curfew for underage players. In its latest statement, the company said it would highlight the spirit of teamwork and fair competition from PUBG and ensure it delivers ?healthy, positive cultural and value guidance, especially for underage users?.
  10. Seven of US President Donald Trump's eight border wall prototypes are shown near completion along the US-Mexico border near San Diego, California, US, October 23, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/Files TEPIC: An irreverent card game company is playing its hand to help stop construction of a controversial wall along the US-Mexico border. Cards Against Humanity ? maker of a popular party game ? said Wednesday it has purchased land along the border that it hopes to use to challenge US government building efforts. US President Donald Trump pledged frequently during his campaign to build the wall to fight illegal immigration and crime in the United States. It is estimated the series of fences and walls would cost as much as $21.6 billion. Trump has claimed he will make Mexico pay for it. Trump is afraid of Mexicans, the Chicago-based game company said on a website promoting its stunt. ?He is so afraid that he wants to build a $20 billion wall that everyone knows will accomplish nothing,? it said. The company said it hired a law firm that specializes in eminent domain, the system that allows the government to take private property, ?to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built.? Consumers can join in by paying $15 to the company, which did not specify the size or location of its plot. The company?s risque, often politically incorrect game is ranked the best-selling game on ?via Thomson Reuters Foundation
  11. Niantic, the company behind the highly successful game 'Pokemon Go', is now making a Harry Potter game that uses location-based augmented reality features. Niantic CEO John Hanke confirmed that the game will be called 'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' and will be a joint venture between gaming company Niantic and Warner Bros. It was rumoured last year that a Harry Potter game similar to the 'Pokemon Go' was in the works when the company acquired rights to the app. The rumours have finally come true, however, Niantic has not given any other details about the game. The game is expected to launch sometime in 2018 and it looks like the game will take major influence from “Ingress” — another Niantic game. Ingress uses the real world as a platform where players can collect power-ups, explore the nearby map and defend locations. "With Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, players that have been dreaming of becoming real-life Wizards will finally get the chance to experience J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World. Players will learn spells, explore their real-world neighbourhoods and cities to discover & fight legendary beasts and team up with others to take down powerful enemies," Hanke wrote on Niantic's blog. Players will be able to wander their local surroundings and can embark on adventures Harry Potter fans have always dreamt of. You will be able to learn and cast spells, discover artifacts and encounter enemies from the Harry Potter Universe. © Warner Brothers No release date was given for the Harry Potter game, but Niantic and Warner Bros said more details should be available next year. The new Harry Potter game will be based on J.K. Rowling's hugely successful book series and Warner Bros films. The movies have grossed more than $7.7 billion till date and we can be sure the game will be a huge success as well. Source: TechCrunch
  12. The final of the world championships for League of Legends, one of the most-played video games on the planet, took place Saturday in Beijing?s "Bird?s Nest", the national stadium built for the 2008 Olympic Games. Photo: AFP file BEIJING: More than 40,000 spectators, giant screens, players glued to their keyboards and more than $1 million prize money for the winners: welcome to the world of eSports in China, a country that has become a leader in competitive video game playing. The final of the world championships for League of Legends, one of the most-played video games on the planet, took place Saturday in Beijing?s "Bird?s Nest", the national stadium built for the 2008 Olympic Games. "The atmosphere is great! It?s better than at home, no?" said Yu Yating, a 23-year-old customer service manager dressed in a cosplay outfit: long green wig, white minidress and a plastic golden sceptre. "I?ve been playing League of Legends since 2013 because I love the monster fights ? it relaxes me," she explained, as screams broke out in the stands when the competitors arrived, ready to do battle. Soon, one of the players slaughtered a virtual dragon, prompting howls of excitement. "Oh, huge!", said 19-year-old student Qian Feng, one of the spectators following the multi-player game on three giant screens that were practically the height of the stadium. Two-thirds of the audience were male, between 15 to 35 years old. Some, like Qian, had travelled hundreds of kilometres to watch the final in person. "eSports have taken off in China because all young people have a computer now," he said. "When I have school, I play League of Legends with my friends an hour a day, otherwise we play all afternoon." Tickets for the event cost between 280 to 1,280 yuan ($40 to $190) and sold out in minutes, with touts hawking them on the black market for up to 13,000 yuan. The size of the audience for the League of Legends final, a game owned by Chinese internet giant Tencent, matched that of the 2017 Europa League final between Manchester United and Ajax ? without including the tens of thousands of fans streaming the match live through specialist websites. 'A computer is enough' The packed event showcased China?s ambition to become the world leader for electronic sports, or eSports. The fast-growing sport sees teams of professional video game players fight for large sums of money in front of an audience, usually in multipurpose arenas or stadiums. And its popularity is only expected to grow. There are currently 191 million eSports fans around the world, and numbers are projected to increase by 20 percent by 2020, according to video game specialists Newzoo. As purists question if video games even qualify as a sport, eSports are inching closer to official recognition after last weekend?s meeting of Olympic representatives in Lausanne, Switzerland left open the possibility for a future Olympics event. Meanwhile, eSports is set to have its own category at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou in China. That comes as little surprise since Asia is a fast-growing market for video games. "I also play traditional sports, badminton," said Li Hangtian, a 22-year-old student. "But China is very populous, it is sometimes difficult and expensive to reserve a court, whereas I can practise eSports with my roommates where and when I want: a computer is enough." Enthusiasm for the games shows no sign of slowing down. Global turnover from eSports is currently $696 million, with Newzoo saying it will climb to $1.5 billion in the next three years. And Asia could be its future, with China currently accounting for "around 15 to 20 percent of global eSports revenue", said Ignat Bobrovich, chief executive of TwogNation, an international eSports management agency. "North America is the biggest market for now, at 35 to 40 percent. But in two years? time, Asia, which is home to half the world?s eSports fans, will easily outstrip this," he added. Indeed, Saturday?s face-off featured two South Korean teams, with Samsung Galaxy vanquishing SK Telecom T1 3-0 and pocketing around $1.7 million in winnings.
  13. NEW DELHI: A man drove his car onto the pitch during an Indian championship cricket game Friday, forcing the interruption of the match after claiming he had lost his way. Indian stars including Gautam Gambhir and Ishant Sharma had to return to the pavilion after the car parked near the bowling strip during the game between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. The driver said he got lost and strayed into the Air Force ground in New Delhi. But the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said it would investigate what it considers a major threat to player safety. "This is a breach of security measures," BCCI president CK Khanna was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency. "Imagine if the man had any sinister motive, then lives of international cricketers could have been in danger." Indian media identified the driver as Girish Sharma, who claimed to have entered an open gate at the ground. The driver, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, was reportedly first detained by the Air Force police and later handed over to Delhi officers for interrogation. The match referee deemed the pitch "playable" after an examination and the four-day match will resume as scheduled on Saturday morning.
  14. Pace, accuracy, subtle variations of line and length, an ability to move the ball off the wicket and a devastating late inswinger that can trouble the best in business; Ashish Nehra possessed all the true virtues of a classical left-arm seamer. But, with all those gifts came a terrible curse - his brittle body. Despite making his debut in 1999, persistent injuries saw Nehra's Test career coming to an end in 2004. While he continued to play in other formats, the left-arm seamer remained in and out of the Indian team as his body continued to fail him. © Reuters In 2010, Nehra - on the back of some consistent performances - managed to establish his place in the Indian squad. Roped in for India's 2011 World Cup campaign, Nehra impressed everyone with a match-winning spell against Pakistan in the semi-finals. But his fragile body once again came in the way. An on-field injury prevented Nehra from playing the final against Sri Lanka who were eventually decimated by Team India before securing their second 50-over World Cup title. At that time, everyone thought that was the end of Nehra. But, the Indian speedster still had some gas left in the tank. Ashish Nehra first appeared in a Test match 4 years before the advent of T20 cricket. His 34 T20I wkts is only surpassed by Ashwin & Bumrah! — Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) November 1, 2017 Roaring his way back into the mix, Nehra set the 2015 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on fire, picking up 22 wickets for Chennai Super Kings. Six months later, he was brought back to the fold for a tour of Australia. And, with his magical spells, India clinched their first limited-overs trophy Down Under. At the age of 36, he managed to revive his career by focussing on the shortest format. He reprised the ability to move the ball at 140 kph, and emerged as one of India's most-successful bowlers in the 2016 World T20. Despite his frailties, Nehra continues to serve the Indian cricket as a T20 specialist. Virat Kohli Was 11 Year Old Kid When Ashish Nehra Made Debut. Tonight Nehra Ji Will Retire Under His Captaincy. ð#ThankYouNehraJi #INDvNZ — Sir Jadeja (@SirJadeja) November 1, 2017 But, as all good things come to an end, Nehra's inspirational journey has also come full circle. The 38-year-old now prepares for a final hurrah as India locks horns with New Zealand in the first T20I at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, later today. Thank you, #AshishNehra! — Swati Thakur (@dhogakholo) November 1, 2017 While Indian cricket fans are in disbelief, Nehra's Team India mates highlighted his importance as they paid a touching tribute to the old warhorse in a heartfelt video. Recollecting some of their fondest memories of him, Indian cricketers including Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar all came together to laud Nehra. As he gears up for his farewell match, let's hope that Nehraji pushes himself for one last time in front of his home crowd to do what he does best - terrorise the opposition batsmen and script India's triumph.
  15. In a refugee camp in Bangladesh crammed with makeshift bamboo shelters, Rohingya boys gather on one of the few remaining clear areas of ground for an energetic bout of chinlone. Photo: AFP file. KUTUPALONG: In a refugee camp in Bangladesh crammed with makeshift bamboo shelters, Rohingya boys gather on one of the few remaining clear areas of ground for an energetic bout of chinlone ?a version of keepie-uppie that is one of the few pleasures they can still enjoy. Chinlone, a cross between football and volleyball played with a woven cane ball, is hugely popular in the villages of Myanmar where the refugees are from. For the children, it offers a brief respite from the fight for survival in squalid camps that have tripled in size with the arrival of more than 600,000 Rohingya in little more than two months. They are fleeing a fresh outbreak of ethnic violence in Myanmar?s Rakhine state, where militant attacks on police posts in August. When Mohammad Faisal fled Myanmar during an earlier bout of violence three years ago, his chinlone ball was among the prized possessions he packed into the small bag that was all the family could take. ?I love it. All my friends love this sport,? the 16-year-old told AFP in the Kutupalong refugee camp as he and his friends enjoyed a kickaround. Chinlone ?a much loved sport across Myanmar ?involves six players keeping a ball above the ground using any part of their body except their hands. To the untrained eye it looks like a particularly elaborate form of keepie uppie, with expert players performing flips as they kick the ball high into the air. ?The fun is to keep the ball on air as long as you can. We would often keep it up there for more than an hour,? said Saiful Islam, 18, a keen chinlone player who was born in the camp. Nurul Amin, 37, recalls how he used to play the sport with his Rakhine neighbours in their village in mainly Buddhist Myanmar before ethnic tensions set in. Many of the refugees have said their ethnic Rakhine neighbours took part in the violence that has forced hundreds of thousands to flee, including burning Rohingya homes and mosques to the ground. ?That was the time when there was a lot of camaraderie between the communities. There were sports competitions in every village in Rakhine,? said Amin. ?The trust is broken forever. There?s no way we will gather again to play chinlone.?
  16. [embed_video1 url= style=center] ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Tuesday that the "London game plan" has become obvious now as it seems former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is desperate for another National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO)-like deal. The PTI chief, in a series of tweets, said that the former prime minister still wants to retain control of the party and use it to malign the National Accountability Bureau. Imran alleged that the Nawaz will pressurise the judiciary and military for another NRO. ?He is desperate for NRO to avoid conviction on money laundering and save his Rs300 billion stashed abroad from being frozen,? tweeted Imran. Imran further said that Nawaz Sharif has no concern how much damage he does to the nation ?to save his ill-gotten Rs300 billion stashed outside Pakistan?. The PTI chief didn?t spare Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as well, saying that the premier is reducing Pakistan to a "banana republic". Imran also accused Abbasi of defending Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Nawaz arrived in London from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia late Sunday to hold a high-level party huddle. The huddle decided that Nawaz would continue as the head of the PML-N but also tone down his tirade against state institutions on the basis of his "unfair trial". The former prime minister said that he will return to Pakistan to attend the corruption trial against him on Friday. Last week, the accountability court hearing corruption references against the Sharif family issued bailable warrants for the former premier in the three references against him as he has lately been a no-show in the proceedings. The references against the Sharif family pertain to the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, their London properties and over dozen offshore companies owned by the family. The hearing was then adjourned until November 3, with the last chance for the former premier to ensure his presence in court.
  17. Chief Minister of Punjab Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has played a horrible game with the nation, in the name of energy projects. Photo: Geo News file1 LAHORE: Chief Minister of Punjab Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) played a horrible game with the nation, in the name of energy projects. "People who were knee-deep in corruption should take a look at their own past," Shehbaz lashed out at the PPP. The Punjab CM, lashing out at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), also stated that the party's anti-Pakistan policies have come to the forefront. "Those who are against national progress will fail at every step," he said. In his address at the inaugural ceremony of Jhandial-I Project of oil and gas at Attock earlier this month, Shehbaz said that it is the government's responsibility to bring a revolution of prosperity in the lives of the common man. "The efficient and just utilisation of these resources can help Pakistan in emerging as a vibrant economic power on the global map," he had said.
  18. Singer Justine Skye. Image Courtesy: Fashion Bomb Daily Singer Justine Skye dropped to a knee toward the end of her rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner prior to the Brooklyn Nets home opener against the Orlando Magic on Friday. Some NFL players have sat or taken a knee during renditions of the song the past two seasons to protest racial inequality in the United States but NBA players have stood in accordance with league rules. The protests have raised the ire of US President Donald Trump, who says the players are being disrespectful to the country and the military. In an online post, the 22-year-old Brooklyn native said she was uneasy about singing the song to begin with and said she probably would not be asked to do so again. ?I had to take a knee for the opening game in my city and let my voice be heard,? Skye wrote in an Instagram post along with a video of the performance. ?We will not be silenced,? she said, adding an emoji of a clenched fist and the hashtag #blacklivesmatter.
  19. [embed_video1 url= style=center] LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday arrested three suspects for playing the Blue Whale game, who also confessed to having kidnapped a youth, the agency said. The arrests were made following a letter written by Interpol in which it shared information with the Government of Pakistan. The FIA apprehended the suspects on the directives of Ministry of Interior. The suspects stated before the officials that they played the Blue Whale game and kidnapped a youth in connection with the game. The suspects said they had tied the hands and feet of the kidnapped youth, taped his mouth shut and released their video on a social networking site. A manhunt is still underway for two other accomplices of the arrested suspects. Several people have lost their lives across the world in order to accomplish various tasks relating to the game. In Pakistan, a case involving a girl allegedly affected by playing the same game had also surfaced in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The parents of the girl had claimed that she would play Blue Whale. The girl was admitted to Peshawar's Khyber Teaching Hospital, where she was kept at psychiatric ward. According to Assistant Registrar Dr. Azaz, medics had found symptoms of depression in the girl. She was discharged after therapy and necessary treatment.
  20. Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones, took to Instagram to announce her engagement to Joe Jonas, her boyfriend of almost a year. Turner and the singer of the famed Jonas Brothers band have been dating since November and made their relationship public in January. Even then, the couple continued to remain discreet so much so that they have never been photographed together in any official capacity. It?s only on each other?s social media or some random shot by a photographer where they?ve appeared together. "You do feel like you're living in a fishbowl," the 21-year-old said in a recent interview with Marie Claire about her relationship. "It's frustrating [that] it's the most mundane things that make the news -- how boring! There are really no other headlines?" Only last month, GoT fans were pleasantly surprised when the show?s actors Kit Harington and Rose Leslie, who played Jon Snow and Ygritte, confirmed their engagement. In quite an old-school manner, the two announced their engagement through a notice in a newspaper, while Turner and her significant other thought to cool to show off their engagement rings on Instagram.
  21. BARCELONA: Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo wants the club?s fans to avoid turning Saturday?s game with Barcelona into a political demonstration following weeks of rising tensions between the Spanish government and Catalonia. Catalan club Barca visit the Spanish capital for the first time since a banned vote on independence from Spain took place in Catalonia on Oct. 1. Barca decided that day to play their game with Las Palmas at the Nou Camp behind closed doors to show opposition to police violence against voters, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said at the time. The Frente Atletico (Atletico Front) supporters? group have called for a mass display of Spain flags in the Wanda Metropolitano stadium for the visit of Barca. Yet the game has not been classified as a high-risk event by the Spanish football federation as no Barcelona fans will be present due to a disagreement between the two clubs over a ticket allocation. ?I want the game to be played with the same sporting spirit as always against Barcelona, Saturday?s game is not a political demonstration, it?s a game of football,? Cerezo said in an interview with radio station Onda Cero on Friday. ?Atletico won the league in the Nou Camp (in 2014) and the whole stadium applauded us, we can?t forget that.? Barcelona are the only team that Diego Simeone has been unable to beat in La Liga since he took over Atletico in 2011 and transformed the club?s fortunes. He has failed to win in 11 league encounters between the teams, although his side have twice eliminated the Catalans in the Champions League. ?They?ve always scored one goal more than us, they?ve been decisive in the key moments and they are a very good team,? Simeone told a news conference ahead of the game. ?We have been stronger in the Champions League and I hope tomorrow we can overcome this obstacle.? Barca have a 100 percent record in the league and in Europe this season and lead the standings by five points over nearest challengers Sevilla. They are six points clear of Atletico in fourth. ?They are one of the best teams in the world, right now I?d say Real Madrid are slightly better, but they have reinvented themselves very quickly after the departure of Neymar and their players never tire of winning,? added the Argentine coach. Simeone, however, was unapologetic about the state of the pitch at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium, with Spanish media questioning the length of the grass. The pitch has been a topic of debate in the month since the ground opened and in the lead up to Saturday?s match, with Barca?s passing game thriving off a slick playing surface. ?I?m not a groundsman, I?m a coach, but if you invite me to your house I use your plates and if you come to my place you use my things,? Simeone said.
  22. LONDON: European pay-TV giant Sky, facing a possible takeover by Rupert Murdoch´s 21st Century Fox, announced Thursday a surge in subscribers on keen demand for cult US series Game of Thrones. Sky's subscriber base swelled by a 160,000 new customers in the three months to late September, up 51 percent on a year earlier, it said in a trading update. Revenues grew five percent to £3.3 billion ($4.4 billion, 3.7 billion euros) over the same period. Underlying profit, which strips out items such as tax and interest payments, jumped 11 percent to £582 million. "We've had a strong start to our new financial year with good revenue growth and excellent profit growth," said chief executive Jeremy Darroch. He added: "Game of Thrones has become the most watched series ever on Sky." The London-listed group has exclusive rights to US broadcasting giant HBO´s television catalogue, which includes the current season of the award-winning show. Later on Thursday, shareholders voted in favour of the re-election of Murdoch´s son James as chairman. Some investor groups had expressed unease over him serving longer, in light of James being also chief executive of 21st Century Fox -- which is seeking to buy the 61 percent of Sky it does not already own. However, investors voted more than 78 percent in favour of his re-election at an annual general meeting at Sky´s London headquarters later on Thursday. One angry shareholder argued that the deal would not go through if James Murdoch remained in his post. "If everything remains the same (on the board) you have no chance of the deal going through," the shareholder, who declined to be named, told the meeting. "There´s nothing wrong with Mr Murdoch -- but it is because of the name." Meanwhile, the takeover of Sky is being held up by a UK investigation into the proposed deal worth £11.7 billion. Regulators on Tuesday said the probe would assess Rupert Murdoch´s influence on Britain´s political landscape. Overall, Britain´s Competitions and Markets Authority will assess the impact of the Murdoch family´s proposed deal on both broadcasting standards and media plurality. The CMA will seek to prevent "anyone media owner, or voice, having too much influence over public opinion and the political agenda". The regulator´s probe will scrutinise the ability of the Murdoch Family Trust (MFT) to "control or influence editorial and commercial decisions" at Sky News, a 24-hour news channel broadcast from London. It will assess also the current state of plurality within the UK media, and the commitment to accuracy in newspapers controlled by the MFT´s News Corp division, including The Times and The Sun.
  23. Manchester United will approach Saturday?s high-profile Premier League meeting with bitter rivals Liverpool as they would any other match, manager Jose Mourinho has said. United have made a strong start to the season and are second in the table behind Manchester City on goal difference. They have scored 21 goals and let in only two to sit on 19 points. Ahead of a tricky test against seventh-placed Liverpool, who have struggled to plug leaks in defence but have shown plenty of attacking intent, Mourinho played down the importance of the clash at this stage in the season. ?When you are in a big club, when you are a big player, when you are a big manager, every game is important,? Mourinho was quoted by the club website on Wednesday as saying in TV interviews with British media. ?You cannot look at some matches as cup finals and other matches differently. For me, every match is a cup final and I?ve been like this all the time,? he added. ?It?s three points not four. If we are at a moment in a season where the duel between the two teams ensures the result will mean more than three points, then yes. ?Sometimes a draw or even to lose by a certain goal difference is important. In this case, it is not important. It?s just a three-point match. That?s the way I approach it.? Mourinho has a good record against Liverpool and won his first trophy in English football by beating the Merseyside club to win the League Cup with Chelsea in 2005. He has suffered some painful lows, however, against the Anfield outfit including Champions League semi-final defeats in 2005 and 2007. The Portuguese said he was happy to travel to Anfield without any added pressure or emotion and looked forward to the clash. ?Do I like to go to Anfield? Yes, I love it. Do I like to play against Liverpool? Yes. I like amazing stadiums, the best opponents but the preparation is not different,? he said. United will be without midfielder Marouane Fellaini who injured his knee while playing for Belgium, while Liverpool will miss the services of Sadio Mane, who is out for up to six weeks with a hamstring injury he picked up on international duty.
  24. A US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone sits in a hanger at Creech Air Force Base May 19, 2016/REUTERS WASHINGTON: The Trump administration is nearing completion of new ?Buy American? rules to make it easier to sell US-made military drones overseas and compete against fast-growing Chinese and Israeli rivals, senior US officials said. While President Donald Trump?s aides work on relaxing domestic regulations on drone sales to select allies, Washington will also seek to renegotiate a 1987 missile-control pact with the aim of loosening international restrictions on US exports of unmanned aircraft, according to government and industry sources. At home, the US administration is pressing ahead with its revamp of drone export policy under heavy pressure from American manufacturers and in defiance of human rights advocates who warn of the risk of fueling instability in hot spots including the Middle East and South Asia. The changes, part of a broader effort to overhaul US arms export protocols, could be rolled out by the end of the year under a presidential policy decree, the administration officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity. The aim is to help US drone makers, pioneers in remote-controlled aircraft that have become a centerpiece of counter-terrorism strategy, reassert themselves in the overseas market where China, Israel and others often sell under less-cumbersome restrictions. Simplified export rules could easily generate thousands of jobs, but it?s too early to be more specific, said Remy Nathan, a lobbyist with the Aerospace Industry Association. The main beneficiaries would be top US drone makers General Atomics, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Textron and Lockheed Martin. ?This will allow us to get in the game in a way that we?ve never been before,? said one senior US official. ?BUY AMERICAN? AGENDA Regulations are expected to be loosened especially on the sale of unarmed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance drones, the most sophisticated of which carry high-resolution cameras and laser-guided targeting systems to aid missiles fired from warplanes, naval vessels or ground launchers. Deliberations have been more complicated, however, on how to alter export rules for missile-equipped drones like the Predator and Reaper. Hunter-killer drones, which have essentially changed the face of modern warfare, are increasingly in demand and US models considered the most advanced. The push is not only part of Trump?s ?Buy American? agenda to boost US business abroad but also reflects a more export-friendly approach to weapons sales that the administration sees as a way to wield influence with foreign partners, the senior official said. Under a draft of the new rules, a classified list of countries numbering in double digits would be given more of a fast-track treatment for military drone purchases, a second senior official said. The favored group would include some of Washington?s closest NATO allies and partners in the ?Five Eyes? intelligence alliance: Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, according to the industry source. Rachel Stohl, director of the conventional defense program at the Stimson Center in Washington, said if US drone export rules become too lenient, they could give more governments with poor human rights records the means to ?target their own civilians.? Trump?s predecessor, President Barack Obama, revised the policy for military drone exports in 2015. But US manufacturers complained it was still too restrictive compared with main competitors China and Israel. US drone makers are vying for a larger share of the global military drone market. Even before the coming changes, the Teal Group, a market research firm, has forecast sales will rise from $2.8 billion in 2016 to $9.4 billion in 2025. Linden Blue, CEO of privately held General Atomics, the US leader in military drones, visited the White House recently to lobby for his industry, a person familiar with the discussions said. Among the US changes will be a formal reinterpretation of the ?presumption of denial?, a longstanding obstacle to most military drones sales, that would make it easier and faster to secure approval, the officials said. Britain, and only recently Italy, are the only countries that had been allowed to buy armed US drones. A long-delayed $2 billion sale to India of General Atomics? Guardian surveillance drones finally secured US approval in June. But New Delhi?s request for armed drones has stalled. A major hurdle to expanded sales of the most powerful US drones is the Missile Technology Control Regime, or MTCR, a 1987 accord signed by the United States and 34 other countries, which set rules for the sale and purchase of missiles. It categorizes drones with a range greater than of 185 miles (300 km) and a payload above 1,100 pounds (500 kg) as cruise missiles, requiring extremely tight import/export controls. To gain an international stamp of approval for the relaxed US export rules, US officials want the MTCR renegotiated. State Department officials attending an annual meeting of the missile-control group in Dublin next week will present a ?discussion paper? proposing that sales of drones ? which did not exist when the agreement was created ? be treated more leniently than the missile technology that the MTCR was designed to regulate, according to a US official and industry sources. There is no guarantee of a consensus. Russia, which has NATO members along its borders, could resist such changes, the US official said. CHINA AND ISRAEL China, which is not an MTCR signatory, has pushed ahead with drone sales to some countries with close ties to Washington, such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, but which have failed to pass US regulatory muster. Chinese models such as the CH-3 and CH-4 have been compared to the Reaper but are much cheaper. US officials said Beijing sells them with few strings attached. The Chinese foreign ministry insists it takes a ?cautious and responsible attitude? to military drone exports. Israel, which is outside the MTCR but has pledged to abide by it, competes with US manufacturers on the basis of high-tech standards. But it will not sell to neighbors in the volatile Middle East. Israel sold $525 million worth of drones overseas in 2016, according defense ministry data. US drone makers and their supporters within the administration contend that other countries are going to proliferate drones, so they should not be left behind.
  25. US Vice President Mike Pence tweeted this picture of him earlier WASHINGTON: US Vice President Mike Pence walked out of an NFL game Sunday after some players kneeled for the national anthem, the latest twist in a running saga over the controversial protests against racial injustice. Pence said that he departed after seeing players kneel during a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before his home team the Indianapolis Colts hosted the San Francisco 49ers. "I left today´s Colts game because President (Donald) Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem," Pence wrote on Twitter. While Colts players stood arm-in-arm for the anthem, more than 20 San Francisco players took a knee. It was a less organized gesture than the 49ers´ demonstration last week, when 30 players knelt with hands on hearts while teammates stood behind them. But it should have come as little shock to Pence, an Indiana native who had tweeted his photo in Colts cap and shirt before the game. "While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don´t think it´s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem," Pence tweeted. "I stand with President Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem." Trump weighed in later via Twitter, taking credit for the departure of Pence and his wife from the stadium. "I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen," he said. San Francisco safety Eric Reid, one of the first players to embrace the anthem protest after it was initiated by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last year, said Pence´s walkout looked like a publicity stunt. ´Systemic oppression´ "With the information I have, the last time he went to a Colts game was three years ago, so this looks like a PR stunt to me," said Reid, noting that the picture Pence had tweeted of himself and his wife in Colts apparel appeared to be the same as one taken at a game three years ago. The vice president also tweeted a picture of himself, clad in a button-down shirt and blazer, and his wife standing for the anthem on Sunday. "He knew our team has had the most players protest. He knew we were probably going to do it again," Reid said. "And so this is what systemic oppression looks like -- a man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple things out and leaves the game with an attempt to thwart our efforts." Trump angered NFL stars, team owners and league officials last month in describing players who refused to stand for the anthem as "sons of bitches." His comments sparked a wave of demonstrations around the league, with many players and some team owners locking arms in a sign of unity. The NFL Players Association issued a statement on Sunday reiterating its support of players´ rights to express their views. "We should not stifle these discussions and cannot allow our rights to become subservient to the very opinions our Constitution protects," the union said. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also weighed in on the issue, threatening to bench players who do not stand for the anthem. "If we are disrespecting the flag, then we will not play. Period," Jones said after the Cowboys´ 35-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Dallas. "I´m very supportive of the team, but under no circumstances will the Dallas Cowboys -- I don´t care what happens -- under no circumstances will we as an organization, coaches, players, not support and stand and recognize and honor the flag. Period." Pence, who flew to Indianapolis from Las Vegas and was scheduled to head west to Los Angeles, came in for criticism from outside the sports world for his abbreviated appearance at the game. "After all the scandals involving unnecessarily expensive travel by cabinet secretaries, how much taxpayer money was wasted on this stunt?" Congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, said in a tweet.