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Found 148 results

  1. Almost a year before the release of 'Gully Boy', Ranveer Singh is already in the avatar he's set to play onscreen. Lately, instead of going a little bizarre with his style, the actor's been sticking to being a representative of his upcoming release, that exemplifies the spirit of the talent found in the gullies (read: streets) of India, including rappers, graffiti artists and such kind of artistic mania. For a while now, he's clearly been taking the graphic/ solid-colored T-shirt route and wearing casual gear, casually. Plus, for the gym, he's been sticking to very athletic apparel (joggers/shorts/Games Teacher jackets) and giving us a few splendid sights. © Viral Bhayani © Viral Bhayani © Viral Bhayani However, while the former ideology holds true, there's no way one can avoid that he's a movie star. He may be doing his bit to uplift the talent of India's gully boys and even dressing like them lately but yet, he's insistent on his roots of being a big style maven. Take his recent outfit for example: © Viral Bhayani Once again, while sticking to the typical street, casual, gully apparel — Singh's gone for a very relatable, everyday, ordinary and easy-to-slip-into vibe here. There's a graphic T-shirt, a pair of joggers and sliders (or in layman terms, the upmarket equivalents of chappals). And this is exactly the catch we're referring to. While it's just a graphic T-shirt that Singh's wearing here, notice the text on the front: "Hip Hop", "Dope"; stuff that's the flag-bearer of street artists etc. Now that's a piece you'd call a Gully Buy-represent. Moving further, while they're obviously a pair of joggers he's sporting, the fabric they're made of is velvet. A luxe fabric, that's now available at small-box apparel stores, but first made a foray on the International runway. And thanks to the Trickle-Down theory, soon made way to our daily wardrobes. © Viral Bhayani Notice how his feet too, are obviously embracing an open style of footwear, but instead of flip-flops, Ranveer's opted for MCQ sliders here. That, retail at a cost of £180 (approx. INR 16,445), made of 100% rubber and are easily available on Luisaviaroma.com (that doesn't make you pay hefty duties for shipping). © Luisaviroma Now, to be fair, we're calling this ensemble the most non-Ranveer Singh outfit we've seen in a while.
  2. Myanmar government built a repatriation center in Taung Pyo Letwe for minority Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state close to Bangladesh border. -AFP MAUNGDAW: A Myanmar official in Rakhine state said Saturday that Rohingya refugees who return will not be held in newly-built camps "forever," as concerns mount over a vexed repatriation process and efforts to reshape communities in the crisis-hit state. Ye Htut, the administrator of Maungdaw district, was speaking to reporters on a government-chaperoned trip to northern Rakhine, the site of a military crackdown last August that has emptied the region of some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims. Myanmar has been trumpeting its readiness to take back refugees, who are massed across the border in Bangladesh, and built reception centres and transit camps for returnees. But not a single Rohingya has crossed the border, with the United Nations sounding the alarm that Myanmar must do far more to ensure the safety of a minority that was targeted in an army-led campaign the UN branded "ethnic cleansing". Rights groups have also raised concerns about how Buddhist-majority Myanmar is reconstructing Rakhine in the Rohingyas' absence, with authorities bulldozing over their burned villages and building new settlements and security posts. An AFP reporter witnessed a flurry of construction in the region on Saturday, with work crews erecting prefabricated houses along a road leading to Maungdaw town. Speaking to reporters from his office, Ye Htut insisted that any Rohingya returnees would eventually be resettled close to their original villages after staying in transit camps. "I can't ask them to live (at the camps) forever...We don't have any vision or intention to keep them long," he said. The government "will return them back to their native villages or close by," he added. But a visit to one of the resettlement sites intended for Rohingya, whom a government official referred to only as Muslims, showed slow progress. Only three squat houses with concrete and brick foundations had been built in a field covered in churned up dirt and tread marks from heavy machinery. Charred ruins The site, which lies two hours north of Maungdaw town by car, was chosen for its proximity to the original village, which lay in charred ruins within view. Myint Khaing, Maungdaw township administrator, said about 100 families were supposed to live in the new site and that it would be completed in two months. Asked why its construction was not as far along as a settlement 30 minutes away intended for an internally displaced ethnic minority called the Mro, he suggested priority was given to communities that had not fled to Bangladesh. "They didn't run away," he said. Myanmar has vehemently denied accusations that is trying to erase the Rohingya's ties to Rakhine, insisting the army crackdown was a targeted assault on Muslim militants. But the UN and rights groups have pointed to the country's long history of marginalising and persecuting the Muslim minority, who are denied citizenship and loathed by the Buddhist majority. More than 100,000 are still languishing in a squalid refugee camp in southern Rakhine state after being displaced by communal violence in 2012. On Friday the head of the UN's refugee agency, Filippo Grandi, said the conditions for the Rohingyas' safe return were not yet in place and that discussions with Myanmar on repatriation "have been pretty basic, not very frequent (and) not very advanced". Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a deal that was supposed to see repatriation begin in January. But Myanmar has so far agreed to accept only 374 of 8,000 refugees whose names have been put forward by Dhaka for the initial batch of returnees.
  3. KARACHI: Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi on Saturday met with Western Fleet Commander of Royal Saudi Naval Forces Rear Admiral Hamed Bakheet Al Johani, said a Pakistan Navy (PN) statement. Abbasi is on an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The naval chief also visited RSNF ships and shore-based establishments. Matters of mutual interest and bilateral naval collaboration were discussed during the meeting with Johani acknowledging the significance of close and strong bilateral naval association in diverse realms between Pakistan Navy and Royal Saudi Naval Forces. The naval chief also visited RSNFS Makkah and was briefed by the commander of the ship. "It is expected that recent visit of the Naval Chief will enhance and expand collaboration between the two countries in general and navies in particular," said the PN statement.
  4. Pakistan is doing the "bare minimum" to squeeze the Taliban and terror groups, a senior US administration official said Friday, despite Washington?s threat to freeze two billion dollars? worth of aid. Photo: Geo News file WASHINGTON: Pakistan is doing the "bare minimum" to squeeze the Taliban and terror groups, a senior US administration official said Friday, despite Washington?s threat to freeze two billion dollars? worth of aid. The official?s comments come during a time when Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is visiting Washington where he has held meetings with high-ups in the US government including Congressman Ted Yoho ? the chairperson of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. Pakistan will never become a US proxy: Foreign Minister Asif Khawaja Asif made the remarks while addressing the National Assembly "The Pakistanis have wanted to appear responsive," the official said on condition of anonymity, sketching out the need for increased pressure. "They have done the bare minimum to appear responsive to our requests," the official added, citing the need to prod the Taliban toward the negotiating table and round-up militants. "We continue to make very specific requests, and when provided with very specific information they have responded, but we have not seen them pro-actively take the steps that we expect and know they are capable of." It is more than 200 days since President Donald Trump announced America?s latest strategy to win the long war in Afghanistan, focusing on pushing the Taliban to the negotiating table. The plan demanded Pakistan move against Taliban leaders who support a continuation of the war, under the threat of cutting US military assistance and Afghanistan coalition funding to Islamabad. So far, the strategy has borne only limited fruit, limiting the Taliban?s march on the battlefield. According to Washington, there is little sign that Islamabad has made a decision to end its support for the group. "We didn?t think this would be easy," the official said. "We need to sustain the pressure." "I don?t think that we can just the efficacy of the strategy right now. We should give it more time, it deserves more time," the official added, suggesting an August anniversary of Trump?s strategy speech may be a good time to reflect. US trying to 'embarrass' Pakistan with terror financing list: Miftah Ismail 'If Americans were interested in working with us they would have taken the offer I was making them', the PM's aide says Members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an anti-money-laundering watchdog based Paris, voted last month to place Pakistan on its grey list of nations which are not doing enough to combat terror financing in June, reportedly under US pressure. That gives Pakistan three months to make enough changes to avoid the listing.
  5. MULTAN: A security official deployed at PTI rally succumbed to his injuries after a car hit him on Thursday. According to police, the deceased constable Mumtaz was the gunman of Deputy Superintendent of Police Saddar. The incident took place in Multan?s Lutfabad area. The PTI chairman is touring areas of Multan as part of the party's membership campaign. During his tours, three suspicious persons were arrested from different areas of the city. At Vehari Chowk, before Imran?s arrival, PTI workers handed over a suspicious man to police. At Chathha bridge, a man including a suspicious bag was taken into custody from a membership campaign camp.
  6. Britain´s Prince Harry (R) leaves with his fiancee, US actress Meghan Markle after attending a Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in central London-AFP LONDON: US actress Meghan Markle took part in her first official event with Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, accompanying her fiance Prince Harry to a service at London´s Westminster Abbey. Markle arrived at the Commonwealth Day Service with Harry, his elder brother Prince William, the second in line to the throne, and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. The service is Britain´s largest annual inter-faith gathering and during the event Markle joined members of the royal family in greeting attendees. Since announcing their engagement in November, Markle and Harry have made regular public appearances together, but Monday´s service was the first official outing with the queen. The couple will marry at St George´s Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19. In preparation for the ceremony Markle was reportedly baptised last week by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, leader of the Church of England
  7. DUBAI: A senior United Arab Emirates (UAE) official said on Saturday Turkey?s policy towards neighbouring Arab states was not reasonable and advised it to respect their sovereignty. Relations between the two countries have been strained by Ankara?s support for Qatar after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed sanctions on Doha last year over its alleged support for militants. Qatar denies the accusations. ?It is no secret that Arab-Turkish relations aren?t in their best state,? UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted. ?In order to return to balance, Ankara has to respect Arab sovereignty and deal with its neighbours with wisdom and rationality,? he said. The UAE sees itself as a bulwark against political forms of Islam, and views Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan?s AK party as a supporter of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood which it opposes. They were drawn into a quarrel in December over a retweet by the Emirati foreign minister that Erdogan called an insult. UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahayan shared a tweet at the time that accused Turkish troops of looting the holy city of Medina a century ago, prompting Erdogan to lash out saying that the minister had been spoiled by oil money.
  8. Adeel Khan was tortured by Usman Khattak after he objected to the latter smoking in a no-smoking area at Benazir Bhutto International Airport-Photo: File ISLAMABAD: Son of a former Inspector-General Police of Punjab and his two accomplices subjected a foreign office official to brutal torture on Sunday morning when he was asked not to smoke in the no-smoking zone of Benazir Bhutto International Airport, sources told Geo News. Adeel Khan, a foreign office official serving in Canada was waiting for his luggage inside the Islamabad Airport along with other passengers after reaching home through Turkish Airlines flight TK-710 when he and some other passengers saw a man smoking inside the no-smoking zone. When Adeel Khan approached the man and asked him not to smoke as he was causing inconvenience to other passengers, the man, who later identified himself as Mohsin Khattak, son of Usman Khattak, subjected the official to brutal torture, sources said. In a written complaint to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and later to Islamabad Police, Khan said Khattak and his two accomplices subjected him to violence, tore his clothes and humiliated him just because he had asked him not to smoke in a no-smoking area. Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has taken notice of the incident and directed Islamabad police to conduct a detailed inquiry and submit a report to him within next 48 hours. Several other passengers also lodged written complaints against the accused for violence, hooliganism and high-handedness and alleged that at the time of incident, CAA and Airport Security Force (ASF) authorities did not intervene.
  9. Photo: Reuters The Academy Awards show has set aside a moment to feature the Time?s Up campaign against workplace sexual misconduct during Sunday?s Oscars ceremony. Organisers of the campaign said they have worked with the producers of Sunday?s ceremony to bring attention to their cause, Hollywood trade publications Variety and The Hollywood Reporter said on Friday. ?There?s a moment that?s been carved out,? Variety quoted film director Ava DuVernay as saying. The organisers did not give details, and producers of the Oscars show did not respond to a request for comment. The sexual misconduct scandal has dominated Hollywood?s awards season and forced dozens of actors, filmmakers and agents to step down, be fired or dropped from creative projects. The Oscars ceremony on Sunday will give the Time?s Up campaign its biggest public moment, reaching an audience of A-list celebrities and millions watching on television worldwide. Time?s Up, launched on January 1, is a legal defense fund which aims to support people reporting sexual harassment in the entertainment industry and beyond. It has the support of some of Hollywood?s biggest female stars, including Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, DuVernay and?Grey?s Anatomy? producer Shonda Rhimes. Celebrities wore black en masse at the Golden Globe awards ceremony in January to signal support for victims of sexual harassment, and at music?s Grammy Awards in January many artists held or pinned white roses to their clothes. Time?s Up on Friday also announced a partnership with the US oral history project StoryCorps to document experiences by women about discrimination and abuse in the workplace. Actresses Jane Fonda, Ashley Judd and Rashida Jones are among a first group of women, including domestic workers and human rights activists, to record their stories, organizers said in a statement. Women around the world will be invited to share their experiences via a #TIMESUPxStoryCorps campaign across social media platforms, and a free StoryCorps app.
  10. FILE PHOTO: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 24, 2017-Reuters CAIRO: Saudi Arabia?s Mohammed bin Salman is to visit Egypt in his first public foreign trip since becoming crown prince last year, an Egyptian official and Cairo airport sources said on Friday. The visit, in the coming days, comes before he travels to London on March 7 and the United States, Riyadh?s closest Western ally, on March 19. Bin Salman purged the Gulf Arab kingdom?s economic and political elite in a crackdown on corruption last year, after becoming crown prince in June. Riyadh counts Cairo among its Arab allies. Egypt supports it in a war against Iran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen and joined a trade and diplomatic boycott of Gulf state Qatar last year. A Saudi government spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the Egypt visit. The Egyptian official gave no further details.
  11. ISLAMABAD: The former secretary of a union council in Bara Kahu has said that a no-objection certificate (NOC) submitted by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan in Supreme Court related to his Bana Gala residence was never issued by the union council. Mohammad Umar in his reply to the apex court said the NOC is dated from the year 2003, when he was a secretary. The NOC is a computerised copy whereas the union council had no computer systems and work was done manually, Umar said. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) had declared the construction of the PTI chairman's house illegal in a hearing on May 9, 2017. SC summons details of Imran Khan?s Bani Gala residence from CDA Chief Justice Justice Saqib Nisar warns that illegal residential structures in Bani Gala would be demolished A report was submitted by CDA in Supreme Court which stated that the authority has declared 122 buildings illegal which included Imran Khan?s Bani Gala residence. It said that the construction was against the regulations of Islamabad Capital Territory. In a hearing on Februrary 13, the Supreme Court summoned property documents of the Bani Gala residence of from the CDA. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar warned that the residential structures in Bani Gala would be demolished if they are not as per the laws and regulations of CDA. "Building regulations must be abided by," the chief justice remarked during the hearing on illegal structures in Bani Gala. Imran's counsel Babar Awan maintained that CDA has no authority over private properties, adding that the constructions around Rawal Dam are illegal.
  12. UNAIDS deputy head Luiz Loures GENEVA: The deputy head of the UN agency for HIV/AIDS will not seek to renew his term in office though it is not reasonable to link his departure to a sexual harassment allegation that proved unsubstantiated, a spokesman said on Friday. Luiz Loures? exit was the second of a high-level United Nations official in as many days, after Justin Forsyth ? the deputy director of the UN Children?s Fund ? resigned saying he did not want coverage of his past mistakes to damage UNICEF. Forty allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse were made during the last three months of 2017 against UN peacekeeping missions, agencies, funds, and programs as well as implementing partners, the United Nations said on Thursday. A formal complaint of sexual harassment was brought against Loures in November 2016 but an inquiry found no basis for it, and the case was then closed, UNAIDS said earlier this month. ?The independent investigation done by the WHO?s (World Health Organization) internal oversight services division clearly found that the case was unsubstantiated and recommended the case to be closed,? spokesman Mahesh Mahalingam said. Loures, 61, had had a long and distinguished career of four decades spent working on combating AIDS, including 22 years at UNAIDS, Mahalingam told a news briefing in Geneva. ?He clearly feels that this is time for him to move on.? Mahalingam said it was not reasonable to link Loures? departure to the harassment allegations but that UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe had accepted the Brazilian national?s decision not seek to renew his term, which expires at the end of March. Mahalingam did not elaborate on the circumstances of Loures?s departure. UNAIDS spokeswoman Sophie Barton-Knott, when asked whether this had been negotiated, replied by email, saying: ?The decision not to request a renewal of his position was his own.? Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, asked about the UNAIDS case, told a news briefing on February 7: ?On sexual harassment, I would like to assure you we have zero tolerance... (That) means we take the investigation very, very seriously.? Under UN rules, the decision to close the case may still be appealed to the administrative tribunal of the International Labour Organisation.
  13. Ivanka Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, US, February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Files WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump?s daughter Ivanka Trump, a senior White House adviser, will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday as part of a weekend trip to lead the US delegation to the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics. A senior administration official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, said Ivanka Trump will dine with Moon at the Blue House in Seoul on Friday night. She has no plans to meet with North Korean officials, the official said. Trump will fly commercially to South Korea, eschewing a government jet. Traveling with her as part of the US delegation will be White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. There are no plans for Ivanka Trump to get into substantive discussions about the dispute over North Korea?s nuclear and ballistic missile tests, the official said. A ?winter sports enthusiast,? she will watch some of the Olympic competition on Saturday and Sunday in Pyeongchang, the official said. ?The purpose of the trip is to cheer on American athletes, reaffirm the US-South Korea alliance and celebrate the successful Games,? the official said. Vice President Mike Pence attended the opening of the Olympics. US officials said he had been scheduled to meet with North Korean officials, including leader Kim Jong Un?s sister, while in South Korea for the Winter Olympics this month but the North Koreans cancelled at the last minute.
  14. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif/File photo ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif will leave for a four-day official visit to Russia today, the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement. Asif is visiting Russia at the invitation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Office said. During the visit, Asif will hold bilateral negotiations with his Russian counterpart. The two dignitaries will discuss the current state of affairs and prospects for bilateral relations, as well as exchange views on important issues facing the region and the world, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing earlier.
  15. TEHRAN: The former chief-of-staff of Iran's armed forces said Tuesday that Western spies had used lizards which could "attract atomic waves" to spy on the country's nuclear programme. Hassan Firuzabadi, senior military adviser to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was responding to questions from local media on the recent arrest of environmentalists. He said he did not know the details of the cases, but that the West had often used tourists, scientists and environmentalists to spy on Iran. "Several years ago, some individuals came to Iran to collect aid for Palestine... We were suspicious of the route they chose," he told the reformist ILNA news agency. "In their possessions were a variety of reptile desert species like lizards, chameleons... We found out that their skin attracts atomic waves and that they were nuclear spies who wanted to find out where inside the Islamic Republic of Iran we have uranium mines and where we are engaged in atomic activities," he said. His comments came after news that a leading Iranian-Canadian environmentalist, Kavous Seyed Emami, had died in prison after he was arrested along with other members of his wildlife NGO last month. The deputy head of the Environmental Protection Organisation, Kaveh Madani, was also reportedly detained temporarily over the weekend. Firuzabadi said Western spy agencies have "failed every time". He said another espionage case involved a couple from Germany. "They got them on a fishing boat from Dubai and Kuwait and sent them to the Persian Gulf to identify our defence systems," he said. "But when we arrested them, they said they had come for fishing and were tourists."
  16. The Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics' website went down just before the event's Friday opening ceremony, thanks to a cyber-attack, and stayed down for about 12 hours. The outage left users unable to print tickets or view information about the games. Some networks around the games venues also went down. Pyeongchang organizers have revealed that someone compromised services including TV and Internet while athletes were on parade. Everything had been "resolved and recovered" by the 9th, spokesman Sung Baik-you said. © Associate Press "We know the cause of that problem, but that kind of issues occurs very frequently during the Olympic Games," he said. "We have decided with the IOC that we are not going to reveal the source." South Korea's defence ministry and cybersecurity experts are included in the task force investigating Friday's attack. International Olympics Committee (IOC) head of communications Mark Adams suggested the problem could be ongoing. He also added "We wouldn't start giving you the details of an investigation before it has come to an end, particularly because it involves security which at these games is incredibly important. I am sure you appreciate we need to maintain the security of our systems." © PyeongChang Winter Olympics Cybersecurity experts had warned of potential attacks on the Winter Olympics, with both North Korea and Russia touted as possible sources. In January, a malware attack targeted organisations involved with the Olympics. The Winter Games are being staged only 80kms from the border with North Korea, which is technically still at war with the South since their 1950-1953 war ended. The two countries have only signed a peace truce and haven't officially ended the war. As The Week noted, the International Olympics Committee has formally banned Russia from participation in the games but allowed 169 athletes to compete under a neutral flag. Last month, McAfee said that it detected attacks in the months leading up to the games, in the form of malicious e-mails sent to Olympic officials. The company warned that further attacks were likely.
  17. US Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand speaks at a summit about combating human trafficking at the Department of Justice in Washington, US, February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/Files WASHINGTON: The US Justice Department?s third-ranking official, Rachel Brand, will resign and take a senior job at Walmart Inc, with sources familiar with her decision saying on Friday that she had grown increasingly uncomfortable with President Donald Trump?s attacks on her department and the FBI. The department said Brand will be leaving her post in the coming weeks. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, himself repeatedly criticized by Trump, praised her ?critical role in helping us accomplish our goals as a department.? Brand, 44, was next in line of succession to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller?s investigation into potential collusion between Trump?s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia and whether the Republican president has unlawfully sought to obstruct the ongoing probe. She became the latest senior law enforcement official to either resign or be fired since Trump took office in January 2017, a list that includes a Federal Bureau of Investigation director and deputy director, and an acting attorney general. Trump also ousted all remaining US attorneys, the chief federal prosecutors in each state, who had served under Trump?s Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. Brand?s resignation is different in that she was hand-picked for the job by Trump, assuming her post just five days after Mueller?s appointment in May 2017. News of Brand?s departure came a week after Trump approved the release of a previously classified memo written by Republican lawmakers that portrayed the Russia investigation, initially handled by the FBI and now headed by Mueller, as a product of political bias against Trump at the FBI and Justice Department. After just nine months on the job, Brand had become more and more uneasy with Trump?s escalating attacks on the Justice Department and the FBI, which she and other law enforcement professionals feared was beginning to undermine the rule of law, according to sources familiar with her thinking. In a statement, Brand defended her department, saying, ?The men and women of the Department of Justice impress me every day.? The attacks have escalated in recent weeks as Republicans in Congress have criticized the handling by the Justice Department, FBI and the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court of warrants for surveillance of a Trump campaign advisor, Carter Page, who had ties to Russia. Trump called the matter ?a disgrace.? In a statement, Walmart said Brand will join the company as executive vice president for global governance and corporate secretary. ?We are fortunate to have a leader of Rachel Brand?s stature join the company,? President and CEO Doug McMillon said. ?Block out the turmoil? Mary McCord, who served as acting head of the Justice Department?s National Security Division from October 2016 until April 2017 and helped oversee the FBI investigation into the collusion matter, said Brand?s resignation would further shake morale at the department. ?When the associate attorney general steps down after just nine months in the midst of a barrage of attacks on the department from the White House and Capitol Hill, it is another blow to the career women and men of the department who have been doing their jobs diligently while trying to block out the turmoil around them,? said McCord, now a visiting professor at Georgetown University?s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection. The department is also facing a major backlog on leadership positions that still need confirmation by the US Senate. Rosenstein oversees Mueller?s investigation because Sessions recused himself from the matter last year. Trump also has criticized Sessions for recusing himself. Brand on Friday lauded Sessions? ?commitment to the rule of law.? Rosenstein is the only official with legal authority to fire Mueller, and it is widely believed he would resign if ordered to do so without good cause. If Rosenstein resigned, that authority would have fallen to Brand under the department?s succession line. With her gone, the next person in line is Solicitor General Noel Francisco. Any permanent replacement for Brand would have to be confirmed by the Senate and would likely face tough questioning about their willingness to preserve the Russia probe?s independence. Trump could use a 1998 law on executive branch vacancies to appoint a temporary replacement of his choice, as long as that person was an experienced Justice Department employee or another administration official already confirmed by the Senate. Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the agency?s Russia investigation, in May 2017, saying he took the action because of ?this Russia thing.? The FBI?s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, stepped down in January after Trump repeatedly criticized him on Twitter. McCabe?s wife previously ran as a Democrat for a seat in Virginia?s state Senate and received donations from then-Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a close ally of Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton. Brand oversees the Justice Department?s civil, antitrust, tax and environmental and natural resources divisions. She played a crucial role in helping push for Congress to reauthorize the National Security Agency?s warrantless internet surveillance program after it faced opposition from some privacy-minded lawmakers in both parties. The measure passed, and Trump signed it into law in January. A Justice Department official said that Jesse Panuccio, the Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General, will temporarily take over Brand?s job until a replacement is named. He previously served as acting associate attorney general until Brand was confirmed and sworn in.
  18. Prototypes for US President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico are seen behind the current border fence in this picture taken from the Mexican side of the border in Tijuana, Mexico, January 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes/Files WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump?s budget proposal to be unveiled on Monday will include a request for $3 billion as a down payment on building a wall along the US border with Mexico, a senior administration official said on Thursday. The official, who briefed a small group of reporters on condition of anonymity, said the money would go toward purchasing private land in the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas and advance purchases of steel. The administration hopes to build 96 kilometres (60 miles) of new steel bollard fencing along the border with 2018 funding and an additional 103 kilometres (64 miles) with 2019 funding. The $3 billion will be on top of this year?s $14-billion request for the US Customs and Border Protection agency. The border wall was a signature issue for Trump in his 2016 presidential election campaign. He pledged that Mexico would pay for the wall, which the Mexican government has insisted it will not do. Democrats sharply oppose the wall, which Trump has said is aimed at keeping out illegal immigrants and drug smugglers. The new fencing would be constructed in areas known to be used by migrants crossing into the US, the official said. Wall funding has been caught up in a debate over how to protect young ?Dreamers,? people who were brought to the country illegally as children. Trump has offered to give the Dreamers protection from deportation and a pathway to citizenship over 10 to 12 years, in exchange for $25 billion in wall funding and tightened restrictions on legal immigration, but Democrats have baulked at the terms.
  19. File photo. -AFP BEIRUT: The US-led coalition said Thursday it killed at least 100 pro-regime fighters to fend off an attack on its allies in eastern Syria, in one its deadliest confrontations yet with forces backing Damascus. The initial attack was carried out by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad on key oil and gas installations in parts of Deir Ezzor province controlled by US-backed Kurdish forces. According to the US Central Command (CENTCOM), coalition advisers were present in the area that was attacked by pro-government forces in Deir Ezzor province late on Wednesday. "The coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression" against its own personnel and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) hosting them, it said. Oil and gas target "We estimate more than 100 Syrian pro-regime forces were killed while engaging SDF and coalition forces," a US military official said on condition of anonymity. The SDF and the coalition targeted the attacking forces with air strikes and shelling after "20 to 30 artillery and tank rounds landed within 500 metres of the SDF headquarters location", the official said. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which only confirmed 45 dead among pro-regime forces, the initial attack took place near Khasham. The head of the Britain-based monitoring group, Rami Abdel Rahman, said the aim of the attack appeared to be the capture of a key oil field and a major gas plant in an SDF-held area. The Omar oil field, one of the biggest in Syria, had a pre-war output of 30,000 barrels per day, while the Conoco gas field had a pre-war capacity of 13 million cubic metres a day. Regime and SDF fighters were involved in several skirmishes in the area last year, as they each conducted parallel operations against some of the Daesh's last bastions. Damascus and the US-backed Kurdish militia once worked towards the same goal in the region but they were never allied, and the collapse of the Daesh "caliphate" has further strained an already frosty relationship. Syrian state media confirmed that dozens were killed in the clash but appeared to deny the forces were army soldiers, describing the victims as "popular forces". De-confliction line According to the Observatory, the forces that launched the attack on SDF positions were local tribal fighters loyal to Assad and militia fighting alongside the regime. CENTCOM said the attack occurred eight kilometres east of the "Euphrates River de-confliction line," referring to a boundary agreed by Russia and the US, with the former's area of operations west of the river and the latter´s to its east. Daesh militants were flushed out of their last strongholds in eastern Syria and over the border in western Iraq late last year. But the SDF continues to hunt down surviving militants who have reverted to a clandestine insurgency.
  20. TRIPOLI: About 20 people feared to have drowned on a boat that sank off Libya late last week were brought back to shore by smugglers and are being held at an unknown location, an embassy official said on Wednesday. The group includes eight Pakistanis, one of whom called officials to say that smugglers were holding him in a locked room with other survivors. Previously, just three people were known to have survived after a boat carrying more than 90 people sank off the western Libyan town of Zuwara. The bodies of 12 Pakistanis who died in the incident have been recovered and brought to a morgue in the capital, Tripoli, awaiting repatriation. The victims are mostly from Gujrat in northern Pakistan, according the embassy official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media. A total of 32 Pakistanis are believed to have been on the boat, and the number who died is still unclear, he said. Libya is the main gateway for migrants trying to cross to Europe by sea, though numbers have dropped sharply since July as Libyan factions and authorities - under pressure from Italy and the European Union - have begun to block departures. Zuwara was a top departure point until a local backlash against smuggling in 2015. So far this year, just over 3,500 migrants are recorded to have crossed from Libya to Italy, about 60 percent fewer than during the same period last year, according the Italian Interior Ministry. Pakistanis are the third largest national group, after Eritreans and Tunisians. Pakistanis resident in Libya for decades, many working in the gold business, have tried to leave because of the collapse in the value of the Libyan dinar and a severe liquidity crisis. Others have found their way to Libya through smuggling networks.
  21. ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Javed Iqbal has directed the bureau's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) director general (DG) to conduct an inquiry into Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's reported use of the KP chief minister's official helicopters. On January 29, Geo News reported that the KP government spent millions of rupees on Imran's use of the provincial government's helicopters. In a press release issued on Friday, the NAB KP DG has been directed to ascertain how the CM handed over his official helicopter to someone else and find out if the same was repeated with other individuals. Moreover, the DG has been tasked to determine if the CM misused his authority. The press release states that NAB has started the inquiry so that official helicopters are not misused in the future. KP spent millions on Imran's use of govt helicopters, documents reveal PTI chief used KP govt helicopters 40 times to travel 18,000kms, resulting in a total recorded expense of Rs 2.1 million Documents obtained by Geo News from the KP administration department showed that the PTI chairperson used the KP government's helicopters free of charge for a total of 74 hours to travel approximately 18,000 kilometres. The provincial government recorded in its books a total expense of Rs2.1 million at approximately Rs28,865 per hour for Khan's 40 trips on the two helicopters ? an Mi-17 and an Ecureuil. Similar trips using a private helicopter would have cost the PTI chairperson tens of millions of rupees, according to estimates. Khan used the Mi-17 for 21 hours 50 minutes on 12 trips amounting to a recorded expense of Rs1,270,307. Similarly, he used the Ecureuil helicopter 28 times for a total of 52 hours and 5 minutes, amounting to a recorded expense of Rs836,875. Combined, Khan used both helicopters for a total of 73 hours and 55 minutes, resulting in an expense of Rs2,107,181 recorded by the provincial government. The PTI chief, whose party governs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, used the helicopters to fly to and from Bani Gala, Islamabad, Mardan, Peshawar, Abbottabad, Haripur, Swat and Nathiagali, Kohat, Batagram, and Chakdara, among other places. In its documents, the administration department mentioned the purpose of the flights as "official use and urgent nature of work". Speaking to Geo News, KP chief minister's principal adviser on aviation, Mohammad Amin, said Imran must have accompanied the chief minister on these trips. However, when asked, Amin estimated that use of the helicopters costs between Rs150,000 and Rs200,000 per hour?far greater than the Rs28,865 average hourly rate at which expenses were recorded in the provincial administration's books. Similarly, in a statement, KP Minister for Information Shah Farman said that Khan never travelled in government helicopters alone. "Imran used the helicopter in the interest of the people and on request of the provincial government, along with the chief minister and other ministers," Farman said in a statement, labelling the report as "propaganda." A senior KP government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, had claimed that Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak is the chief executive of the province and holds the discretion of allowing any individual to use the provincial government's helicopters.
  22. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe pauses while testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in Washington, US, June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Files WASHINGTON: FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, criticized by President Donald Trump and other Republicans for alleged bias against him and in favour of his 2016 Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, has stepped down, US officials confirmed on Monday. McCabe, who served as acting Federal Bureau of Investigation chief for more than two months last year after Trump fired agency director James Comey, had been expected to leave his post as the No. 2 FBI official in March. The FBI said on Monday that David Bowdich ? the No. 3 FBI official ? would take over as Acting Deputy Director for McCabe. It did not comment on the circumstances surrounding McCabe?s departure. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, asked about McCabe?s departure, told reporters, ?I can tell you the president wasn?t part of this decision-making process.? Sanders said Trump continues to have ?full confidence? in FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was appointed by Trump to replace Comey. McCabe had intended to stay on the job for about another six weeks when he becomes eligible for retirement, but he decided to leave earlier rather than be transferred into a lower-ranking post, according to a former senior FBI official familiar with the matter. The earlier departure came amid concerns about an upcoming Justice Department inspector general report scrutinizing the actions of McCabe and other top FBI officials during the 2016 presidential campaign, the official said. During that period, the FBI investigated Trump campaign connections to Russia and Clinton?s use of a private email server while she was US secretary of state. No charges were brought against Clinton. McCabe began his career at the agency in 1996 as a special agent investigating organized crime. Trump?s firing of Comey in May 2017 as the FBI was investigating potential collusion between Trump?s campaign and Russia led to the Justice Department?s naming of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to take over the probe. Trump later said he dismissed Comey over ?this Russia thing,? and the firing has become central to questions about whether Trump has sought to obstruct justice by impeding the Russian probe. Last week, Trump denied a Washington Post report that he had asked McCabe, shortly after he became acting FBI director, who he voted for in the 2016 election, leaving McCabe concerned about civil servants being interrogated about their political leanings. The Post reported that McCabe told Trump he did not vote in the election. Trump and some other Republicans have stepped up their criticism of the FBI, prompting Democrats to accuse the president and his allies of trying to undermine Mueller?s investigation. Republicans have criticized McCabe in connection with the Clinton email server probe. They have noted that McCabe?s wife previously ran as a Democrat for a seat in Virginia?s state Senate and received donations from then-Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a close ally of Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton. The FBI has previously said McCabe was not involved in the Clinton investigation until he was promoted to deputy director in January 2016. By that time, his wife?s campaign was over and his involvement was not seen as a conflict. The former FBI official told Reuters that McCabe did not wish to have those allegations, coupled with the inspector general?s report, harm the FBI at a time when it is under fire from President Trump. Twitter barrages Trump has repeatedly taken to Twitter to blast McCabe, asking in December how he could be in charge of the Clinton probe when his wife got donations from ?Clinton Puppets.? Trump on Twitter asked in July, while McCabe was acting FBI chief, why Attorney General Jeff Sessions had not replaced him and said, in December, McCabe was ?racing the clock to retire with full benefits? and that the FBI?s reputation was in ?tatters?. A handful of Republican-led congressional committees have launched inquiries into whether the FBI botched the Clinton investigation and showed bias in her favour. In December, McCabe was grilled behind closed doors by lawmakers on some of those panels for hours. Democrats have said the inquiries into the Clinton investigation were intended to undermine and distract from Mueller?s investigation. McCabe is one of several FBI figures to face a barrage of criticism by Republican in recent weeks. Criticism also has been aimed at FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page, who both worked on the Clinton investigation and briefly on the Russia probe. Republicans have seized on text messages exchanged between the two as evidence of bias. In those texts, they called Trump an ?idiot? and a ?loathsome human.? Mueller removed Strzok from his team after learning of the texts last summer, and he was reassigned to another post. Page left the investigatory team after her 45-day detail ended in July.
  23. Authorities investigating the slaying of nine men at a house in Monterrey, Mexico said Sunday small local drug-trafficking groups appeared to be involved but not major drug cartels. Photo: AFP MONTERREY: Authorities investigating the slaying of nine men at a house in Monterrey, Mexico said Sunday small local drug-trafficking groups appeared to be involved but not major drug cartels. The men were watching a football match on television on Saturday when armed attackers burst into the house, herded women into the bathroom and then opened fire on the men, the attorney general of the state of Nuevo Leon, Bernardo Gonzalez, said. Seven men were killed on the spot and two others died of their wounds after being taken to local hospitals, he said. Gonzalez said drugs were found in the house, and the attack appeared to involve local drug traffickers. But in an interview on local television, he insisted, "This is an isolated incident. It has nothing to do with a dispute between cartels in our state." Monterrey, an important industrial centre in northern Mexico, has been shaken by drug violence in recent years, stemming from a conflict between the Gulf and Zeta cartels. Omar Trevino, the Zeta leader known as Z-42 and considered one of Mexico´s most ruthless drug bosses, was arrested in 2015 in a posh Monterrey suburb.
  24. The official song of Pakistan Super League 3 has been released but the video does not feature national cricket team captain Sarfraz Ahmed. The song, sung by Ali Zafar, is three minutes and 24 seconds long, featuring cricketers, including Umar Gul, Ahmed Shehzad, Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam and Junaid Khan. Former captain Shahid Afridi is also in the video, but Sarfraz cannot be seen throughout the song. The video shows Ahmed Shehzad with a guitar, while commentator Rameez Raja can be seen playing the drums. PSL 3 will be played between February 22 and March 25 in United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. A sixth franchise has been added to the tournament with the inclusion of Multan Sultan. The final will be played in Karachi, while the qualifiers will be held in Lahore.
  25. When asked whether Pakistan will continue to allow US supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistan, PM said that suuply will be allowed because that helps in the war against terror1 Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said Pakistan does not feel that the US president?s tweet blasting it for providing safe havens to terrorists constitutes official US policy. "It has to come through an official document or an official meeting to constitute official policy, in our opinion,? the prime minister said in an interview with the Washington Post. When asked what his response would be to the tweet, PM Abbasi said ?the ground realities do not support what President Trump is saying? and reiterated that Pakistan is committed to fighting the war against terror. ?A mad scramble?: How Trump tweet on Pakistan blindsided US officials None of the elements of a coherent policy was in place when the president tweeted to end US aid to Pakistan: official ?There are no two ways about it. We have assisted the US forces and will continue to assist them. There have been over 1.1 million overflights within our airspace ? US aircraft going to Afghanistan and fighting the war there. There have been millions of tons of equipment and cargo going there. There has not been a single instance where if actual intelligence has been provided [to us], it has not been acted upon.? The prime minister said that the two countries have had good relations in the past 15 years but ties have suffered significantly after Donald Trump?s tweet. The relations started to suffer after US? raid in Abbottabad, he said. ?Pakistan?s sovereignty was affected. There was a big cry in the public that this is not acceptable. Nobody disputed that Osama was a wanted criminal, but Pakistan should have been informed.? The prime minister disputed that US was giving any kind of aid to Pakistan, saying that CSF basically reimburses expenditure incurred by Pakistan "that are made in support of US forces in Afghanistan". The security assistance provided by the US was minimal, he said. 'No more': Trump lambasts Pakistan, threatens to cut US aid Trump accuses Pakistan of giving nothing but lies and deceit and providing safe haven to terrorists He reiterated that Pakistan has been fighting the war for years and has lost civilians and soldiers to terrorism, besides the economic cost. ?Even today, Pakistan is fighting the largest war on terror in the world. We have 200,000 troops fighting a war against terror today on the western border. We have lost 6,500 troops. We have defeated the same enemy the rest of the world failed to defeat in Afghanistan, on the same terrain, with our own resources.? When asked whether Pakistan will continue to allow US supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistan, PM said that supply will not be interrupte because that helps in the war against terror. ?It helps bring stability to Pakistan, so we support that effort. We have taken our territory back. We have destroyed the sanctuaries.? He also said there are no terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan but if intelligence points towards any, Pakistan will take action. ?On the ground, the reality is that in the last year, 29 suicide bombers crossed over from Afghanistan into Pakistan and attacked our installations.? The PM on being asked about possible solutions to end Afghan conflict said that all ?war is not a solution?. "The Afghans have to sit down and resolve their problems...The US and Pakistan should facilitate the peace process." When asked what message would he like to give to Trump, PM Abbasi said that the US president needs to look at Pakistan?s viewpoint. ?The reality of Pakistan is very different from the perception he has. Pakistan is a US ally. It is a partner against the same enemy, which is terror.? Even today, he added, we continue to provide the United States with air and ground logistics for Afghanistan without any contract or payment, he said. Commenting on China-Pakistan relations, the PM said that the relationship between the two countries is 70 years old and is ever growing. The two have military and economic cooperation and are taking it forward with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. China will continue to do more investments in Pakistan, he said, adding that it is not a gift but an assistance programme to help Pakistan finance projects. ?Cooperation with US companies continues on a secondary level,? he added. Commenting on the measures taken by Pakistan to stop cross-border infiltration, the prime minister said Pakistan has started fencing border on its side, and is spending billions on the project. ?The reality is that most of the area that borders Pakistan is controlled by the Taliban. The government has minimal control there. There is a 2,000-plus-kilometer border with Afghanistan. I can tell you that in 700 of those kilometers there is not a single Afghan soldier or a post. Drug trafficking is at the highest level we have seen in 50 years. They cross over the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan,? he added.