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  1. PM Theresa May. Photo: Reuters LONDON/BRUSSELS: British Prime Minister Theresa May will urge European Union leaders to approve an agreement to move Brexit talks on to a second phase on Thursday, just hours after an embarrassing parliamentary defeat at home that weakens her hand. At the beginning of a dinner in Brussels, May will repeat her case for unlocking talks to unravel more than 40 years of union to allow for the discussion of future trade relations, which she sees as crucial to offering certainty for businesses. The 27 other EU leaders are all but certain to approve the deal to move to ?phase two? on Friday, after May has left Brussels, launching a new stage of talks that could be hampered by divisions at home and differences with the EU. ?The prime minister will say that reaching the agreement on phase one has required give and take on both sides but a fair outcome has been achieved,? a senior government official told reporters. After days of often fraught diplomacy, May rescued the initial deal last Friday, easing the concerns of her Northern Irish allies over the wording to protect a free border with EU member Ireland without separating the province from the UK. Then, EU negotiators said the talks had made ?sufficient progress?, a recommendation that will, barring accidents, be blessed by the leaders of the other member states. Her success has won her some respite at home from political infighting between enthusiasts and skeptics of Brexit in her ruling party, and has reduced the prospect of a disorderly departure from the bloc. But there are hurdles still to negotiate. May and her cabinet are due next Tuesday to hold a discussion of senior ministers? competing views on Britain?s future outside the EU ? to remain close to the bloc or forge a new path. The EU is willing to start talks next month on a roughly two-year transition period to ease Britain out after March 2019 but wants more detail from London on what it wants before it will open trade negotiations from March. Pro-Brexit lawmakers are concerned by a fall-back promise in the initial deal to have ?full regulatory alignment? with the EU if there is no overall agreement on future ties, and fear that their desire for an independent Britain is being undermined. Parliamentary defeat In a blow to May, already weakened after losing her Conservative Party?s majority in an election in June, parliament voted on Wednesday in favour of an amendment that requires a meaningful future parliamentary vote on any final Brexit deal. Up until the last minute of an often bitter debate, May?s team tried to convince lawmakers in her party to block the measure, which the government fears will weaken its hand in Brexit negotiations. But enough conservatives rebelled to carry it narrowly by 309 votes to 305 in the 650-seat lower house. ?This defeat is a humiliating loss of authority for the government on the eve of the European Council meeting,? opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a statement. ?Theresa May has resisted democratic accountability. Her refusal to listen means she will now have to accept parliament taking back control,? he said, co-opting a Brexit slogan. Divisions have split not only the governing Conservatives but Labour and the wider country ? which voted narrowly for Brexit 18 months ago. Before dinner on Thursday, May and her EU peers will discuss the bloc?s plan for closer defence cooperation with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Long blocked by London, the plan now has backing from Britain, which as one of Europe?s main military powers, wants to keep ties with the EU on defence. Over dinner, leaders will discuss their response to the migration crisis from Africa and the Middle East, and lingering deep divisions over how to share the load. They will confirm a rollover of sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis and are likely to reaffirm their opposition to US President Donald Trump?s move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
  2. KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Home, Sohail Anwar Khan Siyal on Wednesday expressed determination to contain street crimes in the city soon with more efficient use of Sindh Police. ?The situation of Karachi is not as ideal as you want. Although it is much better compared to that of 2007. Extortion and terrorism incidents are under control and soon street crimes will be eliminated," he assured the business community during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Earlier, KCCI President Muffasar Atta Malik, senior Vice President Abdul Basit Haji Abdul Razzaq and Vice President Rehan Hanif welcomed the minister, who was accompanied by a team of senior police officers including Additional Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Mahar. The minister assured of strict legal action against the encroachment in markets, on streets and roads of the city. However, he urged the traders associations to support the police in removing encroachment. The businessmen were of the view that the police was facilitating the persons involved in encroachments in the markets and other public places and called for strict punishment to the ?black sheep? in the police. The minister in response said that on proof of involvement, the police official would be fired from the job immediately. Sohail Anwar Khan Siyal, who is also the provincial minister for agriculture, said that Sindh Government was soon going to announce agriculture policy, which would be the first one in the country. He said Sindh government was also taking more steps to strengthen the price control mechanism in the province. KCCI President Muffasar Atta Malik and other businessmen representing different trade and market associations apprised the minster on the law and order, and traffic issues in the city. Both the sides agreed on increased interaction and cooperation between the police and the business community.
  3. SHANGHAI: China has jailed 21 people for their roles in a deadly fire that killed 39 elderly people at a private nursing home two years ago, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Friday. Xinhua said the nursing home in the central Henan province had been illegally extended and flammable materials had been used on the extension. Fan Huazhi, legal representative for the nursing home, received a prison term of nine years while contractor Feng Chunjie, who did not have the appropriate work certificate, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison. The other defendants, including firefighting officers and managers at the nursing home, received jail terms ranging from two-and-a-half to eight years. Reuters was unable to reach Fan or Feng for comment. China has had a history of similar disasters as workers are often poorly trained or ill-equipped to protect themselves from accidents. In January, a fire at another nursing home in northeastern China killed seven people.
  4. Manchester United reached the Champions League last-16 as Group A winners after coming from behind to beat CSKA Moscow 2-1 at home and finish ahead of Basel who also went through with a 2-0 win at Benfica on Tuesday. The result left United top of the section on 15 points, three more than second-placed Basel and six ahead of third-placed CSKA who will carry on in the second-tier Europa League after the winter break. Having missed a string of good chances in the opening period, United fell behind to a freakish Vitinho goal, heavily deflected off Alan Dzagoev, on the stroke of halftime before Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford struck within a minute to turn the match on its head. Rashford hit the post in the fourth minute and saw a shot from a tight angle saved by CSKA?s busy keeper Igor Akinfeev, who also kept out a Luke Shaw volley as United?s left back enjoyed a fine evening after making his first start since April. CSKA struck out of the blue as Mario Fernandes broke down the right and set up Vitinho, whose miscued shot struck Dzagoev in the back and bounced into the net. United piled the pressure after the break and Akinfeev parried another fierce Rashford shot before the home side?s siege finally paid dividends. Lukaku used his physical strength to steer in the equaliser in the 64th minute, as he got on the end of a probing Paul Pogba pass despite being tugged by CSKA centre back Viktor Vasin. Rashford got his reward for tireless work less than a minute later, drilling in a sublime Juan Mata chip with a fierce left-footed shot from 13 metres which gave Akinfeev no chance. Needing to match CSKA?s result to go through, Basel quickly established their grip on a knockout stage berth as Mohamed Elyounoussi headed the Swiss side into an early lead in Lisbon after Michael Lang?s inch-perfect cross. Another close-range header by striker Dimitri Oberlin doubled Basel?s lead midway through the second half as Benfica finished bottom of the group with zero points from six games.
  5. ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani boy with hearing and speech disabilities, found in Amritsar prison earlier, has been kept in an observation home in Faridkot, India. According to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, they were in constant contact with the ministries of interior and foreign affairs in Pakistan and all other relevant authporities to authenticate the national status of the boy, named Hasnain, and find his family. Observation homes are meant to temporarily keep juveniles during the period when an enquiry is pending on the child. Meanwhile, Pakistan High Commission Counsellor Fozia Mansoor met the boy on November 21 during her consular access visit to Amritsar. During the interaction, the boy communicated through hand gestures that he is from Pakistan. According to sources, Hasnain also recognised the photo of Muhammad Ali Jinnah immediately and drew the Pakistani flag. He was able to write a few words in Urdu but did not recognise Hindi script, as per a statement. Pakistan High Commission was also in contact with the relevant Indian authorities to repatriate Hasnain to his home country at the earliest. Earlier, the Indian authorities had said the boy was arrested on May 17. In November, a woman along with her 11-year-old daughter and sister was freed from Amritsar prison and sent to Pakistan. According to sources, the two sisters, Fatima and Mumtaz, and their mother Rasheedan Bibi went to India via Samjhota Express in 2006, where they were arrested on charges of smuggling drugs. Fatima, who was pregnant at the time of the arrest, delivered her baby in the jail. The girl named Hina, now 10 years old, has also been sent back.
  6. Egypt's former prime minister Ahmed Shafik speaks during an interview with Reuters at his residence in Abu Dhabi, February 6, 2013. REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh/Files Former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafik, who returned home from the United Arab Emirates after announcing his bid for Egypt?s presidency, appeared in Cairo on Sunday to say he was still considering his run in next year?s election. Shafik?s comments on a private Cairo television station came a day after his family said he had been taken from their home in the Emirates and deported back to Egypt, where they said they had lost contact with him until late on Sunday. Shafik, a former air force chief and government minister, has been seen by critics of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as the strongest potential challenger to the president, who is expected to run for a second term next year. Details about what happened to Shafik between his leaving the UAE on Saturday and his declaration on Sunday were unclear. He made a surprise announcement from the UAE last week that he planned to run in the 2018 election. ?Today, I am here in the country, so I think I am free to deliberate further on the issue, to explore and go down and talk to people in the street,? he said on Sunday. ?There?s a chance now to investigate more and see exactly what is needed ... to feel out if this is the logical choice.? The interview on Dream TV was Shafik?s first public appearance since leaving the UAE on Saturday. His family said earlier they feared he had been ?kidnapped?. Sources said he had been picked up by Egyptian authorities at Cairo airport. Shafik dismissed reports he had been kidnapped. His lawyer, Dina Adly, wrote on her Facebook page that she had been able to see him at a Cairo hotel and said he was not subject to any investigations. She did not confirm whether he was able to leave the hotel or country. ?I had a meeting with Shafik an hour ago at one of the hotels in New Cairo and confirmed his health,? Adly wrote on Facebook, referring to a suburban area of Cairo. ?He confirmed that his health was good and that he was not subjected to any investigations,? she wrote. Shafik?s family said earlier he had been taken from their home on Saturday by UAE authorities and flown by private plane back to Cairo. ?We know nothing about him since he left home yesterday,? Shafik?s daughter May told Reuters on Sunday before his reappearance. ?If he was deported he should have been able to go home by now, not just disappear. We consider him kidnapped.? UAE authorities confirmed he left the Emirates but gave no details. A source at the Egyptian interior ministry said: ?We do not know anything about Shafik. We did not arrest him and we did not receive any requests from the prosecution to arrest him or bring him back.? Gulf allies Shafik?s abrupt departure from UAE came weeks after Lebanese officials accused Saudi Arabia of meddling by forcing Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to resign by holding him against his will. Saudi Arabia denied those charges but the case prompted a crisis and pushed Lebanon back into the centre of a regional struggle between Riyadh with its Gulf allies and Iran. Al-Sisi is an ally of UAE and Saudi Arabia and his supporters say he is key to Egypt?s stability. Critics say he has eroded freedoms gained after a 2011 uprising that ousted former leader Hosni Mubarak and jailed hundreds of dissidents. Al-Sisi has won backing from Gulf states and has presented himself as a bulwark against militants since, as army commander, he led the overthrow in 2013 of former president Mohamed Mursi of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood. After four decades in the military, Shafik touted his military experience as one of his strengths in the 2012 vote. But he fled to the UAE to escape corruption charges in June 2012. He dismissed the charges as politically motivated and was taken off airport watchlists last year. In UAE, his family said he had round-the-clock security at home and informed authorities about his whereabouts. Soon after his announcement on Wednesday, he claimed he had been blocked from travelling, but his family later said he had been given assurances he could travel. Al-Sisi has yet to announce his own intentions for the election. His supporters dismiss criticism over rights abuses and say any measures are needed for security in the face of an extremist insurgency that has killed hundreds of police and soldiers. His government is struggling to crush the insurgency in the North Sinai region and has enacted painful austerity reforms over the last year which critics say have eroded his popularity.
  7. KHUSHAB: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited on Saturday the home of deceased Major Mohammad Ishaq, who was martyred in an exchange of fire during a search operation at a terrorist hideout in Dera Ismail Khan on November 22. According to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release, the COAS visited the home of the martyred soldier in Khushab, Punjab, to offer prayers for the departed soul. The COAS was accompanied by Corps Commander Lt Gen Amir Riaz. The army chief said that the sacrifices rendered by our soldiers have strengthened the resolve of the nation. He further said that terrorists, through cowardly acts, cannot weaken the resolve of the nation, adding that the terrorists will be defeated at any cost. The 28-year-old martyr, Major Ishaq, had lost his life during a search operation at a terrorist hideout in Kulachi, Dera Ismail Khan. Late Major Ishaq, belonged to Khushab, Punjab, and has left behind a widow and an infant. The martyred official is the fourth officer to be killed in the line of duty in the past three months. On November 13, Captain Junaid Hafeez and Sepoy Raham were martyred in a cross-border attack by terrorists from Afghanistan in Bajaur Agency. Four other troops were injured in the assault on the border post. On Nov 9, sepoy Mohammad Ilyas was martyred during an exchange of fire with terrorists in Khyber Agency. On October 3, another soldier had embraced martyrdom after terrorists fired from across the Afghan border on a post. The incident had occurred at the recently cleared area around Mustil pass, an important passage from Afghanistan into Rajgal, in Khyber Agency. The martyred soldier was identified by ISPR as Naib Subedar Azher Ali. On September 23, another officer embraced martyrdom during firing by terrorists from across the border in Rajgal, Khyber Agency. Lieutenant Arsalan Alam, who was commanding the post got hit ? he was 22 years old.
  8. Toni Reid ? the vice president of Alexa experience and Echo devices at Amazon ? speaks at the 2017 Business Insider Ignition: Future of Media conference in New York, US, November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson WASHINGTON: Amazon announced Thursday it is bringing its Alexa digital assistant to the workplace, expanding artificial intelligence (AI) efforts that have gained traction in the home market. "Alexa for Business brings the Alexa you know and love into the workplace to help all types of workers to be more productive and organized on both personal and shared Echo devices," Tara Walker ? of Amazon Web Services ? said in a blog post. "In the workplace, shared devices can be placed in common areas for anyone to use, and workers can use their personal devices to connect at work and at home." Amazon ? which has taken the lead with its Alexa-powered devices for home automation and other services ? said the digital assistant can help workers get directions around the office, report an equipment problem or order supplies. "You can simply say, 'Alexa, start the meeting,' (and) Alexa turns on the video conferencing equipment, dials into your conference call, and gets the meeting going," Walker said. AI-assisted translations The program can make phone calls, send messages or find information, according to Walker. The announcement marks the latest push for Amazon in expanding its cloud-based computing offerings, which tie into the Alexa-powered devices. Its voice-activated assistant has become the most popular for home hubs and has been integrated into televisions, cars, home appliances, and other devices. Amazon made the announcement at its AWS re:Invent conference, where it revealed that Alexa and Alexa-enabled devices will be coming to Australia and New Zealand early next year. The company also unveiled its cloud-based Amazon Translate service powered by artificial intelligence. "Organizations and business now have the ability to expand products and services in other regions more easily by allowing consumers to access websites, information and resources in their preferred language using automated language translations," said Walker.
  9. Bangladesh approved a $280 million project on Tuesday to develop an isolated and flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal to temporarily house 100,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in neighbouring Myanmar. Photo: Reuters file DHAKA: Bangladesh approved a $280 million project on Tuesday to develop an isolated and flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal to temporarily house 100,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in neighboring Myanmar. The decision came just days after Bangladesh sealed a deal aiming to start returning Rohingya to Myanmar within two months to reduce pressure in refugee camps. A Bangladeshi government committee headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the plan to develop Bhashan Char island, also known as Thenger Char, despite criticism from humanitarian workers who have said the island is all but uninhabitable. Planning Minister Mustafa Kamal said it would take time to repatriate the refugees, and in the meantime Bangladesh needed a place to house them. The project to house 100,000 refugees on the island would be complete by 2019, he said that many people are living in dire conditions, he said, describing the influx of refugees as ?a threat to both security and the environment?. More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have sought sanctuary in Bangladesh after the military in mostly Buddhist Myanmar launched a harsh counter-insurgency operation in their villages across the northern parts of Rakhine State. Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali appealed in September for international support to transport Rohingya to the island. Bangladesh, one of the world?s poorest and most crowded nations, plans to develop the island, which emerged from the silt off Bangladesh?s delta coast only 11 years ago and is two hours by boat from the nearest settlement. It regularly floods during June-September monsoons. When seas are calm, pirates roam the nearby waters to kidnap fishermen for ransom. A plan to develop the island and use it to house refugees was first proposed in 2015 and revived last year. Despite criticism of the conditions on the island, Bangladesh says it has the right to decide where to shelter the growing numbers of refugees.
  10. Manchester United saw off a determined Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 on Saturday to reduce Manchester City?s lead at the top of the Premier League to five points, as Tottenham Hotspur?s pursuit stalled with a home draw against West Bromwich Albion. United?s unbeaten home record stretches back 14 months, to when City beat them last September, but it was not plain sailing against promoted Brighton, who proved spirited opposition in the first league meeting between the sides since 1983. Ashley Young forced the goal in the 66th minute, his shot deflecting off defender Lewis Dunk to beat goalkeeper Matt Ryan. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has not started a game since injuring his knee in the Europa League last April, came off the substitutes? bench near the end. ?Brighton deserved more than they got,? United?s manager Jose Mourinho told Sky Sports. ?They played really well and when they had the ball they were dangerous.? United moved up to 29 points from 13 games, ahead of City?s match at Huddersfield Town on Sunday. Tottenham, however, stayed fourth on 24. Spurs, hoping to take advantage of rivals Liverpool and Chelsea meeting each other in the late game on Saturday, dropped two points in a home 1-1 draw with managerless West Bromwich Albion. They were behind at halftime to an early goal by Salomon Rondon and needed an equaliser from the ever-reliable Harry Kane 16 minutes from fulltime to salvage a draw. Bottom club Crystal Palace earned only their second win of the season as a goal by Mamadou Sakho in added time beat visiting Stoke City 2-1. A brilliant individual effort by Xherdan Shaqiri eight minutes after halftime ensured they would not keep a first clean sheet, but within three minutes new England international Ruben Loftus-Cheek, on loan from Chelsea, scored the equaliser. Sakho?s winner, jabbing in a rebound off the post, brought Palace within three points of 17th-placed West Brom. ?That goal is worth its weight in gold,? said manager Roy Hodgson. His team made up two points on Swansea City, who could only draw 0-0 at home to Bournemouth. The Welsh side were upset to have a goal disallowed just before the interval when Wilfried Bony, starting in place of Tammy Abraham, found the net. The referee decided that team mate Jordan Ayew had fouled a defender. Watford maintained their run of having scored at least twice in every away game with a comfortable 3-0 win at Newcastle to consolidate eighth place. Will Hughes and Andre Gray scored either side of an own goal by American DeAndre Yedlin to secure a victory that further enhanced the credentials of manager Marco Silva, who has been coveted by Everton.
  11. Zimbabweans celebrate in the morning sun after President Robert Mugabe resigned in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 22, 2017. Photo: Reuters HARARE: Zimbabwe?s former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is expected to be sworn in as president following the resignation of Robert Mugabe, will return home today, a ruling party ZANU-PF official said. Mnangagwa, whose sacking this month prompted the military takeover that forced Mugabe out, was expected to land in Zimbabwe at 1130 GMT, Larry Mavhima, an ally of the former vice president, told Reuters. Emmerson Mnangagwa. Photo: Reuters/File Mnangagwa, 75, who fled from Zimbabwe in fear of his safety after being sacked this month, could be sworn in as president later today or on Thursday and is likely to lead ZANU-PF into elections next year. Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwe?s president on Tuesday, a week after the army and his former political allies moved to end four decades of rule by a man once feted as an independence hero who became feared as a despot. Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe?s president Mugabe put an end to 7-year rule defined by brutality and economic collapse The 93-year-old Mugabe had clung on for a week after an army takeover, with ZANU-PF urging him to go. He finally resigned moments after parliament began an impeachment process seen as the only legal way to force him out. People danced in the streets of Harare and car horns blared at the news that the era of Mugabe ? who had led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 ? was finally over. Some brandished posters of Mnangagwa and army chief General Constantino Chiwenga. Speaker of parliament Jacob Mudenda is due to hold a news conference shortly.
  12. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (right) is greeted by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo. ? AFP CAIRO: Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri stopped in Egypt for talks on Tuesday on his way back from France to his country, which is reeling from his surprise resignation amid an escalating regional crisis. Minutes after Hariri landed in Cairo, small groups of supporters took to the streets of central Beirut in noisy convoys, honking, cheering and waving flags with the colours of the premier?s Future Movement. Hariri?s visit to Cairo follows two weeks of deep uncertainty after he announced his resignation on November 4 in a speech from Saudi Arabia. He has said he will return to Lebanon by Wednesday. A message on Hariri?s Twitter account said he would meet and then dine with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has sought to defuse the tensions between Hariri?s sponsors in Saudi Arabia and the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah and its Iranian patrons. Sisi?s office said he received a phone call from Lebanese President Michel Aoun in which they discussed "the importance of preserving Lebanon?s stability and elevating Lebanon?s national interests." Hariri?s failure to return to Lebanon since his resignation sparked rumours he was being held in Riyadh against his will, which both he and Saudi officials have denied. Speaking after talks in Paris on Saturday with French President Emmanuel Macron, who is also seeking to broker a way out of the crisis, Hariri said he would "make known my position" once back in Beirut. Hariri?s mysterious decision to step down -- which Aoun has refused to accept while he remains abroad -- has raised fears over Lebanon?s fragile democracy. In his resignation speech, he accused Iran and its powerful Lebanese ally Hezbollah of destabilising his country. Hariri -- whose father, former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, was killed in a 2005 car bombing blamed on Hezbollah -- took over last year as head of a shaky national unity government which includes the powerful Hezbollah. A dual Saudi citizen who has previously enjoyed Riyadh?s backing, he resigned saying he feared for his life. Saudi Arabia?s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir meanwhile insisted from Madrid on Friday that "unless Hezbollah disarms and becomes a political party, Lebanon will be held hostage by Hezbollah and, by extension, Iran". Battle for influence Hariri?s resignation was widely seen as an escalation of the battle for influence between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which back opposing sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. His attempt to step down also coincides with a purge of more than 200 Saudi princes, ministers and businessmen. Riyadh on Saturday recalled its ambassador to Berlin in protest at comments by Germany?s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel which were interpreted as a suggestion that Hariri acted under Saudi orders. Without mentioning Saudi Arabia directly, Gabriel had said Thursday that he shared concerns about the threat of instability and bloodshed in Lebanon and warned against "adventurism". "Lebanon has earned the right to decide on its fate by itself and not become a pinball of Syria or Saudi Arabia or other national interests," he said in the week. Germany?s foreign ministry had yet to comment on the row, but in a statement it welcomed Hariri?s "imminent return to Lebanon". France, which held mandate power over Lebanon for the first half of the 20th century, plans to bring together international support for Lebanon, depending on how the situation develops. The French president has also telephoned his counterparts in the US and Egypt, Donald Trump and Sisi, as well as the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to discuss "the situation in the Middle East". He and Trump "agreed on the need to work with allies to counter Hezbollah?s and Iran?s destabilising activities in the region", according to a White House statement Saturday. However, Macron told reporters Friday that France wanted "dialogue" with Iran and aimed to "build peace... not to choose one side over another". Ahead of Hariri?s departure, Aoun -- an ally of Hezbollah -- welcomed the trip to Paris, expressing hope it was the "start of a solution". "If Mr Hariri speaks from France, I would consider that he speaks freely," Aoun said. "But his resignation must be presented in Lebanon, and he will have to remain there until the formation of the new government."
  13. Sindh Home Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal speaks to the media in Karachi. KARACHI: Sindh Home Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal has said that the provincial police are like a child that they have fostered and pampered, but cannot question. While addressing the media in the city on Tuesday, Siyal spoke about the issue of removal of the provincial inspector general, saying they have written to the federal government regarding the matter. However, he added, their letter has not been responded to yet. Moreover, Siyal said IG Sindh has not been deprived of any power and that the Sindh High Court did not show the complete picture of the matter. The minister further said he did not have the authority for transfers of police official and the Sindh government was implementing all orders sent by the court. When asked about the knife attacks in Karachi, Siyal said the police did not book any innocent person in the cases. A few days back, the anti-terrorism court granted bail to Shahzad, who was arrested on suspicion of carrying out the knife attacks in the city. However, police told the court no evidence was found against the arrested suspect. About street crime in Karachi, Siyal said effective measures were being planned to rid the city of the menace.
  14. Pop superstar Katy Perry on Friday was awarded nearly $1.5 million as she prevailed anew in her drawn-out bid to move into a former convent in Los Angeles. The singer of "Roar" and "I Kissed a Girl" has more Twitter followers than anyone else in the world at 106 million but had struggled to win the hearts of two elderly nuns who used to live in the convent. The Roman Catholic archdiocese had agreed to sell the property, which lies vacant, to Perry. But the two nuns were unmoved, even when Perry visited and sang for them, and insisted they had authority to sell the former convent to a restaurant owner, Dana Hollister. A judge last year invalidated the deed issued to Hollister, who wanted to turn the scenic site in the hilly Los Feliz neighbourhood into a boutique hotel. A Los Angeles jury decided Friday after a day of deliberation that Hollister intentionally interfered with the sale to Perry, including by falsely claiming the title to the property. It awarded $1.57 million to Perry and $3.47 million to the archdiocese to cover the costs of their lawyers. The church and Perry could win even more at a second phase of the trial starting on December 1 that will consider punitive damages. Hollister's lawyer countered that the businesswoman believed she had a valid contract and that the $5 million in legal costs was exaggerated. Perry has yet to finalize her move into the convent. She agreed to pay $10 million upfront for her future home plus $4.5 to build a replacement elsewhere for a prayer retreat on the grounds.
  15. After a long hiatus of 17 years, the coveted crown of Miss World has finally come to India and as expected our happiness and pride knows no bounds. The woman who made this happen, who made the whole nation proud, is 20-year-old Medical student from Haryana, Manushi Chhillar. Manushi is the sixth Indian to win this prestigious title. 'Quantico' star aka our Desi girl, Priyanka Chopra had won the title in 2000. Manushi defeated beauties from over 108 countries to win the crown, in a dazzling ceremony held at Sanya City Arena, China. The crown was passed on to the new queen by Stephanie Del Valle, Miss World 2016 from Puerto Rico. (c) Reuters “The feeling is still sinking in and I am very excited to make India proud too. I'm also looking forward to the year ahead,” Manushi was quoted saying in a statement after this exceptional victory. However, apart from her win, it's her amazing answer that has stunned the whole world and filled our hearts with respect for her at the same time. When asked about “Which profession deserves the highest salary and why?” This is what Manushi said, “I think a mother deserves the highest respect and when you talk about salary it's not always about cash but I feel it's the love and respect that you give to someone. My mother has always been the biggest inspiration in my life. All mothers sacrifice so much for their kids. So, I think it is the job of a mother that deserves the highest salary.” Well said, girl! (c) Reuters Manushi's victory opened the floodgates of congratulatory messages from all corners of the country. People's excitement and joy knew no bounds and even as I am writing this, I am sure that the nation's heart is beaming with pride, not just for her victory but also for her love for her mother and her simplicity. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to wish Manushi and wrote that India is proud of her accomplishment. Congratulations @ManushiChhillar! India is proud of your accomplishment. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 18, 2017 Former Miss World, who is now taking the whole world by storm, Priyanka Chopra too congratulated her after she heard this news, expressing happiness that India finally found a successor. And we have a successor!Congratulations @ManushiChhillar on becoming #MissWorld2017.. cherish and learn, and most importantly enjoy it.Bravo — PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) November 18, 2017 Amitabh Bachchan, Sushmita Sen, Randeep Hooda, Anupam Kher and other celebrities too wished her for this great achievement. T 2715 - A Miss World in our world .. ! Pride and felicitations .. à¤à¤°à¥à¤µ à¤à¤° à¤à¤¼à¥à¤¶à¤¿à¤¯à¤¾à¤ , भारत à¤à¤¾ à¤à¤à¤¡à¤¾ à¤à¤¾à¤¡à¤¼ दिया विशà¥à¤µ मà¥à¤ ।। Manushi Chillar congratulations !!ð¤£ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ — Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) November 18, 2017 Congratulations @ManushiChhillar! May your beautiful smile and grace always win over the world and help make a positive change â¤ï¸ #MissWorld2017 #India — Dia Mirza (@deespeak) November 18, 2017 Dear @ManushiChhillar!! Thank you for bringing that crown back to India after 17years. Thank you for your amazing answer about mothers. Congratulations. India awaits to welcome you with colours of love, warmth & pride. Jai Ho.ð®ð³ððð — Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) November 18, 2017 India wins Miss World 2017!!!! Congratulations @ManushiChhillar ðððâ¤ï¸ððð»yipeeeee about time!!!!ðð®ð³ð super proud!!!! #JaiHind ðªâ¤ï¸ð — sushmita sen (@thesushmitasen) November 18, 2017 First they took #Sports & now #Glamour these #Haryanavi #women I tell are something else.. well done #ManushiChhillar à¤à¥à¤à¤à¥ राà¤à¥à¤à¥ मà¥à¤à¤° #MissWorld2017 महारॠà¤à¥à¤°à¥ à¤à¥à¤°à¥à¤¯à¤¾ तॠà¤à¤® à¤à¤¤à¥ भॠना हà¥à¤ !! @ManushiChhillar ðð½ðð½ðð½ — Randeep Hooda (@RandeepHooda) November 18, 2017 Congratulations manushi chhillar (our Femina Miss India) on winning miss world 2017. India is proud of you. @narendramodi — Vineet jain (@vineetjaintimes) November 18, 2017
  16. The foundation maintaining the Amsterdam house where Jewish diarist Anne Frank hid from Nazis during World War II said Thursday they had bought another property where her family lived in the 1930s. Photo: AFP file THE HAGUE: The foundation maintaining the Amsterdam house where Jewish diarist Anne Frank hid from Nazis during World War II said Thursday they had bought another property where her family lived in the 1930s. But the Anne Frank Stichting said it had no plans to use the ?other home? as a museum, like the one in Amsterdam?s famous canal belt which draws thousands of visitors every year. ?It?s important for the foundation that the home where Anne Frank lived in the 1930s remains intact and is looked after in a proper way,? spokeswoman Annemarie Bekker said. ?It has a very special character... the home situated at the Merwedeplein (square) is inextricably linked to Anne Frank,? Bekker added. The home in southern Amsterdam formerly belonged to a housing corporation but it said it could no longer take responsibility for its upkeep. The Frank family lived in the modest brick building from 1934 until they went into hiding in 1944. Fuzzy black-and-white pictures show a smiling Anne looking from the home?s window frame or sitting in a deck chair on its roof terrace. On July 6, 1942 the Franks went underground as the Nazis were rounding up Jewish families after invading The Netherlands in 1940. In her diary, Anne chronicled her life in hiding until August 1944, when her family was most likely betrayed and sent to Nazi concentration camps. Anne Frank died at Bergen-Belsen in Germany in early 1945, aged 15, less than a year after her capture and just before the end of the war. Her diary, writing during her time in hiding is one of the most moving testimonies of the war and among the most famous diaries of all time. More than 30 million copies have been sold, and numerous adaptations of the book have been made, including plays, television series and a film. The house has been restored to its original 1930s style. Since 2005 it had been let out to the Dutch Foundation for Literature, which uses it as a home for writers forced to flee their countries because of persecution. Currently Syrian writer Samer Alkadri and his family resided at the home, Bekker said.
  17. [embed_video1 url= style=center] The family of Ghulam Rabbani, whose body was found along with 14 others on Wednesday, was hard to console as they heard the news of the killing. The sound of his mother?s wail echoed around his house as his body was brought home. Extended families members came to the house to extend their condolences. About 15 bullet-ridden bodies were recovered a day earlier from Buleda area of Kech district in Turbat. After offering their funeral prayers the bodies were sent to the respective areas in Punjab, where the deceased hailed from. Rabbani?s brother, Kashif Chand, while speaking to Geo News shared that an agent, identified as Abid Hussain, had guarantee safe passage for Rabbani to Iran. Chand remarked that Rabbani had left his house on November 2 with dreams to improve his life. 15 bullet-ridden bodies discovered in Balochistan's Turbat Bodies sent to hospital for post-mortem; investigations under way Similarly, Zulfikar Ali, Khurram Shahzad and Azhar Waqas had left their respective homes hoping for a better future. The three belong to Mandi Bahauddin. Others have been identified as Ahsan Raza, Tayyab Raza, Saifullah, Ghafoor Ahmed, Muhammad Hassan Nazir, Ghufran Zahid and Yund. Four of the deceased are yet to be identified. The men were deceived by human traffickers that they will be taken to Europe through Iran. Funeral prayers offered Earlier in the day, the funeral prayers of the deceased were held in Turbat and attended by the chief minister, as well as other senior civil and military officials. The bodies were later sent to the respective areas in Punjab where the deceased hailed from. A special plane of the military, C-130, took the bodies to homes of the deceased. Earlier, it was reported that ambulances from the Edhi Foundation will transport the bodies.
  18. Trump?s tour of Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines from Friday to Nov. 14 will take him out of Washington as is preoccupied with several issues-Reuters WASHINGTON: Beset by challenges at home, President Donald Trump on Friday embarks on the longest trip to Asia by an American president in more than a quarter century, looking for help to pressure North Korea to stand down from a nuclear crisis. Trump?s tour of Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines from Friday to Nov. 14 will take him out of Washington as is preoccupied with several issues. These include an intensifying federal investigation into Russian meddling in last year?s election, New York?s recovery from an attack that killed eight people and debate over a tax-cut plan that if approved by Congress would be his first major legislative victory. The last time a US president was in Asia for so long was in late 1991 and early 1992, when President George H.W. Bush became ill at a Japanese state dinner. Trump?s extended absence has alarmed some allies who, after seeing a healthcare reform bid fizzle, worry the tax effort could suffer without him at close hand to keep momentum going. ?It is too long a trip and will only further hurt his most important priority, which is getting his legislative agenda through Congress,? said an outside adviser to Trump, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ?Going to Asia doesn?t do anything to advance his tax-cuts agenda or to help him in his re-election efforts.? White House officials waved off concerns, insisting Trump can keep his focus on a multitude of issues wherever he is. The trip comes just days after Trump?s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was indicted in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. While tweeting about developments vigorously this week, Trump told The New York Times on Wednesday that he was ?not angry at anybody? over the case and there was nothing to suggest any collusion by his campaign and Russia. Trump will fly on Friday morning to Hawaii, stopping for a briefing on US military forces in the Pacific and a visit to Pearl Harbor. Trump will then visit Japan and South Korea in search of a united front against North Korea before going to Beijing, where he will push Chinese President Xi Jinping to get tougher with Pyongyang. Trump will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang, Vietnam, make a state visit to Hanoi and end his trip with the Association of South East Asia Nations summit in Manila.
  19. MADRID: Atletico Madrid?s Champions League hopes hang by a thread after they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Group C minnows Qarabag on Tuesday despite playing a large part of the second half against 10 men. The home side had far more chances than the team from Azerbaijan in the first half but fell behind in the 40th minute when Spanish midfielder Michel rose to meet a corner and delivered too powerful a header for Jan Oblak to keep out. Midfielder Thomas Partey equalised in the 56th minute with a thunderous long-range strike and Atletico were given another boost when Brazilian Pedro Henrique was sent off a minute later. Yet despite laying siege to the visitors? area, Atletico could not find a winner and, to complete their miserable night, they also had their own defender Stefan Savic sent off for a second booking in the 88th minute. ?We always tried to win the game but sometimes in this beautiful sport things don?t go your way and the ball just didn?t want to go in,? said Atletico coach Diego Simeone. ?We have to keep on fighting in the same way, the work of the players is spectacular, we have to keep believing in this team, and I do.? Atletico, Champions League runners-up in 2014 and 2016 and semi-finalists last season, are third in Group C on three points, five behind leaders AS Roma and four behind Chelsea. It means Atletico now need to hope for something remarkable to avoid a group stage exit for the first time since returning to Europe?s elite competition in 2013. Even if they beat Roma and Chelsea in their final two games, they will still need either the Italian side or Premier League champions to drop points against Qarabag. Should they draw with Roma in their next outing, they will need Chelsea to lose to Qarabag to have any chance of moving forward. Atletico went into the must-win game on the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw with Villarreal at home on Saturday and with only one win in their previous seven games in all competitions. They made a bright start as Antoine Griezmann hooked a venomous volley from outside the box to force a fine save from Ibrahim Sehic. The sight of the Bosnian goalkeeper repelling shots from the hosts became a familiar sight for the angst-ridden home fans in the Wanda Metropolitano stadium, which has yet to witness an Atletico win in the Champions League. After Partey?s sensational equaliser, Simeone continued his familiar routine at home games of waving his arms around to encourage the supporters to will on his side, but every time they came forward Sehic got in their way. He thwarted Kevin Gameiro, Diego Godin and captain Gabi in the second half before the final whistle sounded, signalling a likely end to Atletico?s recent thrilling spell in Europe?s top competition.
  20. Now that the iPhone X is finally here and you are probably reading this because you are one of the lucky few who got their hands on one. The first thing you will notice that the home button is gone and that unequivocally changes everything about the iPhone workflow. Every iPhone, since its inception, has had a home button that is used for basic navigation, multi-tasking and one of our favourite features: taking screenshots. With the removal of the home button, tasks such as app-switching and closing apps are now done with gestures. However, taking a screenshot still required you to interact with pressing buttons, only this time it's not the home button. © BCCL If you are an Android user, you may already be well versed with how screenshots are taken and now Apple has adopted the same method. To take a screenshot with the iPhone X, you need to hold the Power/Siri button and the volume up key. You will hear the familiar “click” sound once the two buttons are pressed together and you can then either re-size the image, mark it up or save it as it is to your album. We hosted an exclusive live session with the iPhone X and you can watch the two videos below to know exactly how other features and gestures work on the iPhone X. © Apple The iPhone X will be available to purchase starting this Friday (November 3rd) at select official Apple retailers and e-commerce websites. The iPhone X is available in two colours i.e. Space Grey and Silver and comes in 64GB/256GB variants. The 64GB model retails for INR 89,000 whereas the 256GB variant retails for INR 1,02,000.
  21. The return of the Sri Lankan team to Pakistan eight years after their team bus was attacked in the same city, forcing the suspension of international cricket in the country, jubilated Pakistan and cricket lovers all over the world. People on Twitter also reacted over the much-awaited return. Here are few of the tweets. 1) Here is the legend's word on the match 2) Heartiest congrats poured in from the Carribean land 3) Wahab Riaz says.. 4) May more such nights comes now 5) Thanks Junaid, but we missed you. 6) Indeed, there is always dawn after a dark night 7) True that Russel, your boys were amazing today 8) 'We will remember (Sri lanka) you for this gesture' 9) Malik - the boss here 10) Acknowledgement for the Lankans, all across the board 11) Thank you Mr Sethi, for your brilliant efforts 12) Here's a look at tweets from the rest of our very own
  22. KARACHI: Manto, Sarmad Khoosat?s highly anticipated television show, will air every Friday starting November 3 on Geo Television. The biopic ? carved out of the series ? is based on the life of Saadat Hasan Manto, a controversial playwright and short-story writer. The film was released in September 2015 and bagged several local as well as international awards for its content and cast. Manto was acclaimed for his work such as Toba Tek Singh, Khol Do, Thanda Gosht and Ooper Neeche aur Darmiyan. While Khoosat himself essays the role of Manto, the film also featured veteran actor Sania Saeed, as Manto's wife, Saba Qamar, as Noor Jehan, and Arjumand Rahim. Manto was originally released as a film under the banner of Geo Films.
  23. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attends a meeting with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 22, 2017. Saudi Press Agency (SPA)/Handout via REUTERS RIYADH/DOHA: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday it was time for Iranian-backed militias and their Iranian advisers ? who helped Iraq defeat Daesh ? to ?go home?, after a rare joint meeting with the leaders of Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The United States is concerned that Iran, a regional power, will take advantage of gains against Daesh in Iraq and Syria to expand the influence it gained after the US invasion in 2003 ? something Arab rivals, such as Riyadh, also oppose. ?Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against Daesh and ISIS is coming to a close, those militias need to go home. The foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home and allow the Iraqi people to regain control,? Tillerson said at a joint news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir. Tens of thousands of Iraqis heeded a call to arms in 2014 after Daesh seized a third of the country?s territory, forming the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which receive funding and training from Tehran and have been declared part of the Iraqi security apparatus. A senior US official said Tillerson had been referring to the PMF and the Quds Force, the foreign paramilitary and espionage arm of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif berated Tillerson?s remarks as influenced by Iran?s oil-rich regional rival Saudi Arabia. ?Exactly what country is it that Iraqis who rose up to defend their homes against ISIS return to?,? Zarif said in a tweet. ?Shameful US FP (foreign policy), dictated by petrodollars.? Iraq?s military ? armed by the United States but supported by the PMF ? ejected the ultra-hardline militant group from Mosul and other cities in northern Iraq this year. Several thousand US troops are still in the country, mostly for training but also to carry out raids against Daesh. The campaign to uproot the militants left whole cities in ruins and has hit Iraq?s economy. A new joint ministerial-level body between Iraq and Saudi Arabia convened its inaugural meeting earlier on Sunday to coordinate their fight against Daesh and on rebuilding Iraqi territory wrested from the group. Jubeir emphasized historic ties between the two neighbours, which share a border, vast oil resources, and many of the same tribes. ?The natural tendency of the two countries and people is to be very close to each other as they have been for centuries. It was interrupted for a number of decades. We?re trying now to make up for lost ground,? he said. The rare senior meeting ? signalling a thaw between states that have been at loggerheads for decades ? was also attended by Saudi King Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Winning the peace Tillerson said the council would contribute to reforms to build Iraq?s private sector and encourage foreign investment. ?This will be critical to winning the peace that has been earned through the hard-fought military gains,? he said. State media said the council had expressed satisfaction with global oil markets? recovery as a result of a deal with other countries to boost prices by limiting production. The council also agreed to reopen a Saudi Basic Industries Corp office in Iraq and grant Saudi agriculture company SALIC an investment license. A second meeting will be held in Baghdad but no date was mentioned. Saudi Commerce and Investment Minister Majid al-Qusaibi told Reuters his country seeks to boost exports and is eyeing investment opportunities in Iraq?s agricultural and petrochemical sectors, among others. He said backing from the highest levels of both governments would produce ?quick results on the ground?. ?Let?s not cry over spilt milk. Whatever happened in the past has happened. The good news is we are all here toward building a prosperous and beneficial future for both countries,? he said in a telephone interview. Tillerson and Jubeir also discussed Washington?s hawkish new policy towards Iran, including a possible withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and new sanctions on the IRGC. ?Both our countries believe those who conduct business with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, any of their entities, European companies or other companies around the world really do so at great risk,? Tillerson said. Relations between Riyadh and Baghdad were cut for 25 years, before recent rapprochement, after former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is wooing Baghdad now in an effort to halt the growing regional influence of Iran. Arriving in Doha later on Sunday for the next leg of a multi-country trip, Tillerson told a news conference that there was little chance of a swift breakthrough to resolve a blockade imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies. The kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain imposed trade and travel curbs on Doha in June for alleged support of terrorism and friendship with Iran ? charges Qatar denies. ?There is not a strong indication that the parties are ready to talk yet,? Tillerson said. The secretary of state?s six-day trip will also take him to Pakistan, India, and Switzerland.
  24. This week, we were inspired to discuss home automation after @Joel R raised the question in a topic. With so many commercial options available now, such as Alexa, Siri and Google Home, we started discussing what automation we have in our homes. This week we'll focus on the a few team members who have heavily automated teams. Although @bfarber's answer "I have kids to help automate the home" was a clear winner. Marc S (Support technician & cycle injury enthusiast) For me I just have Hive, which is automation for my central heating system, and an Echo. So I can tell my heating to switch on and off by speaking to the echo if I wish, but to be honest its very rare that I do so. I tend to just use my phone, as it would rely on me being in the same room as my echo. I have some lights which are on sensors in my en-suite, and in my entrance hall. I have thought about getting bulbs I can switch on and off with voice control, but I'm honestly not sure how much they would be used in comparison to what they cost to buy. Because of the way my lights are configured, it would cost a fortune to do (for example my living room would need 5 bulbs for the main light). If I decided to go down that route, I would be looking for lightswitch adaptations, rather than bulbs. Andy (Developer and Support technician) This is a hobby of mine so might be a long answer! When I fully renovated my apartment I took the opportunity to go wild and put structured cabling and do all the prep work for a complete system. I use a system designed and manufactured by a company in my local area ( as the “controller” which handles heating, lighting, presence detection, intercoms, door locks etc and binds everything together. I installed everything myself and in total used about 2km worth of cat5e wiring with hidden magnetic reed switches recessed in door and window jams. I’ve then extended this by adding integrations with other things such as Hue lighting, automated curtains, zoned heating, a smart kettle and cameras etc. A particular favourite of mine is the integration with Logitech Squeezebox. If somebody rings the doorbell or calls me on Skype then the volume automatically decreases in the room I’m in so I can take the call. This system goes beyond the mainstream ad hoc automation kits such as Hue and other retail “smart” products in that it’s not just motion detection but presence. So for example if you’re in a room and the doors and windows are closed the system knows you are in that room until the door is opened. So if you’re sat still reading the light won’t turn off on you but it will still turn off automatically as soon as you leave. There’s no relying on extended 10 minute time outs. Lighting is controlled using internal and external light level sensors too so there’s no messing about adjusting the on/off times with seasonal changes. The system has all the usual smartphone controls but the idea is that it is truly “smart” in that once set up there is little intervention required. Heating is weather compensated for example and although curtains open automatically once the sun comes up, they won’t do so if you’re still in the room to prevent inadvertent flashing to neighbours. If you open a window in a room then the radiators in that room and connecting rooms are automatically switched off so you’re not wasting money heating the outside. I like to kid myself that I’m saving money but in reality the money I have spent probably exceeds any savings I will make in two lifetimes. So if I’m not saving money at least I’m being eco friendly whilst having some fun seeing how far I can push the tech. Mark W (The Senior Developer) I'm not as crazy as Andy, but I do have quite a bit of stuff: All the lights in the house are Hue. These are coupled with motion sensors (Hue motion sensors which also handily double as temperature and light sensors) but for completeness, I took all of the light switches off the walls, replaced the switches with a blank plate which I then added Hue Dimmer Switches on top of - this means that I can still use "normal" light switches when I want to. I have a Hive thermostat, and wrote a Homebridge plugin ( to allow me to control it with Homekit, which is what I use to tie all my stuff together (Homebridge itself is running on a Raspberry Pi) I have a coffee machine and kettle from Smarter, which I also have Homebridge plugins for. Every room has a Sonos (Play:1 in bedroom and bathroom, Play:3 in office, kitchen and living room), again with Homebridge plugins I have automation set up to: Turns the lights and music on and off as I move throughout the house Turn the coffee machine on after I go into my office in the morning Turn everything off and turn the thermostat down once everyone has left the house But, because I use Homekit to tie it all together, I also use Siri quite a lot. "Hey Siri, turn the coffee machine on" literally never gets old. I'd really like to get a smart door lock and window blinds, but I'm still waiting for products that are actually decent to arrive on the market (there's a lot of US-centric stuff available, but here in the UK we normally need to wait a bit longer). Mark H (Support Technician and part-time Phil) I use an ISY-994i by Universal Devices, which controls *almost* all lights in the house, the door locks (Schlage Z-wave), and is integrated with my: Elk security system OneLink fire/CO alarms 3 Raspberry PI's with temperature sensors (DS2482-100 I2C to 1-Wire IC) Logitech Harmony Davis weather station (Vantage Pro 2) The mobile App I use to control this all, is Orchestrated Mobilinc. Daniel (Support Technician and Developer) A Raspberry Pis running HomeBridge 2 Amazon Dots + 3 Logitech Harmony Hubs & Elite Controllers allow me to control everything via remote controls, phone or voice. Lights: Hue Sound: Sonos in all rooms I have also dozen of homekit compatible sockets to control some none smart devices via the system. The Harmony Hub but also the Raspberry allow me also to control Dyson Fans. Since I moved to a Samsung Phone it's quite a mess because I had to find an alternative to control the homekit stuff Quite clearly, giving developers a box of gadgets and some spare time can lead to very creative things. Do you have any home automation? Do you prefer Alexa to Google Home? Do you also want to move into Andy's house? Let us know.
  25. Parents always want to protect their kids from anything and everything under the sun and it's quite understandable, because they want to keep them secure. Reasonable. But what happens when this love triggers their overprotective instincts and they set out to control their kids' lives? We guess John Cena, Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz might be in a better position to answer this, since that's exactly what they will be doing in the upcoming comedy movie 'Blockers'. © Universal Pictures Since time immemorial, Hollywood has been making big bucks by stressing on the importance of prom night in teenagers' lives and how their parents freak out, imagining their kids losing their virginity one fine day (or should we say night). So what makes this one special that the rest? The mighty John Cena as an overprotective dad, who even dares to chug beer through his (I can't even) butt for his daughter? Of course! But this isn't the only 'special' element. The movie smartly plays around the concept of using emojis for conveying sexual messages – you know just millennial things – and how poor parents are trying hard to decode those *** emojis. © Universal Pictures The premise of the movie is slightly cliché; a trio of parents who have seen their daughters grow up together, stumble upon a group chat where the daughters are busy chatting through emojis. Turns out, the three have signed a '*** pact' where they will lose their virginity on their prom night. Well, definitely the shock was bigger than walking in on kids masturbating. So the parents decided to ruin the prom night for their kids and go to extreme lengths to stop them from having ***. We wonder if the thought of teaching their kids to have safe *** ever crossed their minds, it could have been a less painful option, especially for John Cena. While Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz share a great comic timing, professional wrestler John Cena managed to tickle our funny bones as well with his hilarious antics. 'Pitch Perfect' writer Kay Cannon wears the Director's hat for this film which stars Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Gideon Adlan as the beautiful daughters. The coming-of-age comedy movie is expected to release on April 6, 2018.