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Found 47 results

  1. A file photo of the Iranian embassy in Vienna. Photo: file VIENNA: Heightened security measures have been ordered at embassies and other diplomatic buildings in Vienna after a soldier stationed outside the residence of the Iranian ambassador to Austria shot dead a man who tried to stab him, police said on Monday. The 26-year-old assailant?s motive for the attack, which took place around 11:30 pm, was unclear and video footage would be reviewed, a police spokesman said. ?The attacker stabbed the soldier repeatedly. He was only saved by a stab-proof vest,? the spokesman said, adding that the two men ended up grappling on the ground. ?The soldier defended himself well and was then able to reach for his service weapon and fire shots,? he added. The incident is reported four days after four people were seriously wounded in two knife attacks in a district Vienna, but a motive or any connection between the assaults was unclear, a police spokesman said. The stabbings - the first of which occurred in Vienna?s Second District, which includes the famous Prater park as well as the Praterstern transport hub. ?A man attacked a family - a father, a mother and their 17-year-old daughter - with a knife. The three people were seriously injured and their lives are in danger,? the spokesman said, adding later that they were Austrian citizens. ?And half an hour later, there was another attack ... at Praterstern and here a person was also seriously injured and their life is in danger. We do not know to what extent there is a connection here and any motive remains unclear,? he said.
  2. Protesters falls unconscious during demonstration outside Sindh Assembly. Photo: Geo News screen grab KARACHI: In an attempt to be heard amid lawmaker?s bustle inside and outside the Sindh Assembly on Saturday, people with disabilities carried out a protest yet again demanding increase in the job quota reserved for them. During the demonstration, two protesters fell unconscious while some also got into an altercation with the police deployed in the area. People with disabilities carry out protest at the same site demanding an increase in the job quota ? from 2% to 5%. A similar protest was held in November 2017 when protesters tried to enter the Sindh Assembly premises. The protest had turned chaotic when two demonstrators were injured while pushing their way forward towards the assembly amid resistance from the police. Increase in job quota for people with disabilities was announced in December 2016 by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah. The chief minister made the announcement while speaking to a delegation of a welfare organisation for disabled people. People with disabilities made to climb stairs for job interviews in Hyderabad Candidates, even those on wheelchairs, had to go up to the first floor of Shahbaz Building The meeting had taken place after people with disabilities gathered outside the CM House to mark the United Nations? International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The people with disabilities in most parts of the country are faced with many difficulties when it comes to jobs. In February, job interviews were arranged for the people with disabilities in Hyderabad but no facilities were in put in place to help them reach the interview rooms that were situated on the upper floor of the building. Protesters complained as there was no elevator to take them up the stairs, while they were helped by their attendants and personnel deployed at the site.
  3. They say the only thing that people remember you for after you've left the world, are your deeds. When the chandni of Bollywood, Sridevi passed away in Dubai, media channels rushed in to speculate how she died, page 3 acquaintances gathered to pass judgements on her lifestyle, and while all this was happening, a visually impaired man was sitting quietly outside Sridevi's house waiting to pay his last respects. © Twitter_TOI His name was Jatin Valmiki, and he hails from a village in Uttar Pradesh. Jatin left his house as soon as he heard the devastating news that Sridevi had passed away. He travelled from his village in UP all the way to Mumbai to pay tribute to the star who helped his brother live. Valmiki had once met Sridevi and had told her about his brother suffering from a brain tumor. She not only handed him Rs 1 lakh immediately but also got another lakh waived off from his hospital bill. © Twitter_ANI “I met Srideviji at an event, where I told her about my brother having a brain tumor. She immediately gave me Rs. 1 lakh and even got another Rs. 1 lakh waived off from the hospital bill. Even though I am not a Bollywood fan, I am here to pay my respects to the actor who is responsible for my brother's recovery. He is alive today because of her,” an emotional Valmiki told ANI. “Main kuch nahi kar sakta unke (Sridevi) liye, lekin main kam se kam unki antim yatra mein toh shaamil ho hi sakta hoon.” [“I know I cannot do anything to pay her back, but I can at least be a part of her final journey.'] As celebrities from B-town gather at Celebration Sports Club in Lokhandwala to pay their last respects to the actress, Jatin Valmiki's quiet tribute stands apart as a reminder that a good heart always lives on. This is the kind of thing that one should talk about after someone has left the world. This is the kind of story that needs to be reported post Sridevi's demise, not the nasty dissections about how she died. H/t - ANI
  4. The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters is located outside Washington in Fort Meade, Maryland. Photo: AFP file WASHINGTON: A shooting erupted Wednesday outside the suburban Washington headquarters of the National Security Agency, a secretive intelligence organisation responsible for global US electronic eavesdropping, leaving at least one person injured, officials said. NBC News aired aerial images of what appeared to be police surrounding a man on the ground in handcuffs outside the NSA facility in Fort Meade, Maryland. A black SUV appeared to have crashed into a concrete barrier surrounding the site, and bullet holes were visible in the vehicle?s front windows. "We can confirm there has been one person injured and we don?t know how the injuries occurred," an NSA spokesman told AFP. The local ABC affiliate put the number of injured at three and said a suspect was arrested. The NSA said the situation was under control, advising motorists that a highway leading to the complex was closed in both direction "due to a police investigation." "The president has been briefed on the shooting at Ft. Meade," the White House said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected." A law enforcement source said the FBI?s Baltimore office was handling the investigation but it was "too soon to tell" whether it was an attack. They are "still trying to ascertain the facts," the source said. Known as the "Puzzle Palace," the NSA is the nerve center for US electronic espionage as well as the main protector of US communications and information systems from cyber attack. The agency was thrust into the spotlight in 2013 when former contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of its global surveillance programs, including its collection of data on Americans. Snowden has been charged with violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property. He now lives in exile in Russia. The NSA was the scene of a similar incident in March 2015 when police fired on an SUV, killing the driver and wounding a passenger after they failed to obey orders to stop at its heavily guarded entrance. In that incident, the two men in the Ford SUV were dressed in women?s clothes "but not in an attempt to disguise themselves from authorities," an FBI spokeswoman said at the time.
  5. The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters is located outside Washington in Fort Meade, Maryland. Photo: AFP file WASHINGTON: A shooting erupted Wednesday outside the headquarters of the National Security Agency, a secretive intelligence organization responsible for global US electronic eavesdropping in the suburbs of Washington, the White House confirmed. NBC News aired aerial images of what appeared to be police surrounding a man on the ground in handcuffs outside the NSA facility in Fort Meade, Maryland. The local ABC affiliate reported that three people were injured and a suspect was arrested. A black SUV appeared to have crashed into a concrete barrier surrounding the site, and bullet holes were visible in the vehicle´s front windows. The NSA said the situation was under control. "The president has been briefed on the shooting at Ft. Meade," the White House said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected."
  6. MOSCOW: A Russian passenger plane carrying 71 people crashed in the outskirts of Moscow on Sunday after taking off from the capital´s Domodedovo airport, Russian media reported. The Antonov An-148 plane operated by the domestic Saratov Airlines was flying to Orsk, a city in the Urals, and crashed in the Ramensky district outside Moscow. Russian news agencies reported 65 passengers and 6 crew were on board. News agencies said witnesses in the village of Argunovo saw a burning plane falling from the sky. A source from Russia´s emergency services told Interfax that the 71 people on board "had no chance" of survival. The same news agency reported that the wreckage of the plane was spread over a wide area around the crash site.
  7. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel-Binghamton University/AFP MIAMI: The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in Thursday´s edition of the US journal Science. Until now, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa were estimated to be between 90,000 to 120,000 years old. "Misliya is an exciting discovery," said co-author Rolf Quam, an anthropology professor at Binghamton University. "It provides the clearest evidence yet that our ancestors first migrated out of Africa much earlier than we previously believed." The fossil, named Misliya-1, "exhibits teeth that are in the upper size range of what´s seen in modern humans, but that otherwise shows clear patterns and features of our species," said the report. Other archaeological evidence in the cave showed that the inhabitants hunted big game and used fire. Stone tools that were chipped in places to make them sharper were also found nearby, marking the "earliest known association of the Levallois technique with modern human fossils in the region." Older fossils of modern humans have been found in Africa, including some with similar facial characteristics excavated from the Ethiopian sites of Omo Kibish and Herto, dating to around 195,000 and 160,000 years old. Even older primitive human remains -- though still members of our species -- have been found in Morocco (315,000 years old) and South Africa (259,000 years old). In China, the human fossils known to science are younger, with fragments from the Zhiren and Daoxian Caves ranging in age from 80,000 to 113,000 years ago. But the discovery in Israel sheds new light on the routes of modern human migration out of Africa, and helps scientists better under the evolution of our own species. "It also means that modern humans were potentially meeting and interacting during a longer period of time with other archaic human groups, providing more opportunity for cultural and biological exchanges," said Quam. Previous research, based on ancient DNA analyses, has suggested that modern humans left Africa even earlier, as far back as 220,000 years ago.
  8. 24th Screen Actors Guild Awards Show in Los Angeles, California, US. Frances McDormand (at microphone) celebrates while accompanied by the rest of the cast after they were presented the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Photo: REUTERS Dark comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won three prizes at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards on Sunday in a ceremony marked by women and their stories amid the sexual misconduct scandal that has swept Hollywood. The Fox Searchlight film about a furious woman seeking justice for the murder of her daughter was named best ensemble, the top SAG honour. Frances McDormand won best actress and Sam Rockwell took home the best supporting actor statuette for their roles in the film. Britain´s Gary Oldman won best actor for playing wartime leader Winston Churchill in Focus Features´ Darkest Hour. Allison Janney won for her supporting actress role as a demanding mother in an independent ice-skating movie I, Tonya. The SAG awards are indicators of likely Oscar success in March because actors form the largest group of voters in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday. The SAG ceremony took place after two days of marches by hundreds of thousands of women throughout the United States. Host Kristen Bell said women were having a "watershed moment." "Let´s make sure we lead the charge with empathy and diligence because fear and anger never win the race," said Bell, star of television´s The Good Place. Accusations of sexual misconduct have forced dozens of powerful men in Hollywood to step down, be fired or dropped from creative projects. Women, many of them leading actresses, have responded by breaking their silence through the #MeToo social media movement and the Time's Up campaign for legal support of victims. On the red carpet, women swapped the black gowns that marked support for victims of sexual harassment at the Golden Globes two weeks ago for brighter blues, green and metallic hues. Women were the dominant theme inside the Shrine Auditorium. Nicole Kidman, 50, won for playing a battered wife in HBO´s female-centric TV series Big Little Lies. Nicole Kidman, 50, won for playing a battered wife in HBO´s female-centric TV series Big Little Lies. Photo: REUTERS "How wonderful that our careers today can go beyond 40 years old. Twenty years ago we were pretty washed up at this stage in our lives. This is not the case now," Kidman said. Aziz Ansari, nominated for his Netflix comedy series Master of None, was a no-show on Sunday after making headlines last week when a woman described feeling violated following an awkward date last year. Ansari said he believed their sexual activity was consensual. Ansari lost the television comedy actor statuette to William H Macy for Shameless. James Franco, a best actor nominee for The Disaster Artist, did show up but skipped the red carpet and did not win. Franco had kept a low profile since describing allegations of sexual impropriety against him by five women two weeks ago as "not accurate". In television, NBC´s sentimental family drama This is Us was named the best drama ensemble cast in a surprise win over presumed front-runners The Crown and dystopian series A Handmaid´s Tale. The cast winner of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for ´This Is Us,´ pose in the press room at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Exposition Center on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: AFP1 The cast of HBO political satire Veep won best ensemble for a television comedy. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer and missed the SAG show, was named best comedy actress. "She´s genuinely been in good spirits when we´ve seen her, which I think will carry her along. She is incredibly strong and is uniquely able to combat something like this" Timothy Simons, who plays Jonah Ryan on Veep, told reporters on Sunday.
  9. PML-N MNA Hamza Shehbaz is the son of Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif. Photo: File LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar ordered authorities on Sunday to immediately remove all barriers outside the house of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Hamza Shehbaz. Hearing a suo motu notice on the blocking of roads for security purposes a the Lahore Registry, the chief justice came down hard on Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Saeed when he said only the security gate near Hamza's residence was removed and not the barriers. "Hamza is an MNA and the chief minister's son," said the chief secretary in response to the chief justice's inquiry into who Hamza is. "Who?s Hamza. I don?t know any Hamza," Chief Justice Nisar had remarked. The chief justice remarked further that the court can summon Hamza and ask him about the threats to his life, adding that if there are genuine threats then he can shift his residence. During the hearing, the chief justice remarked that "I?m the chief justice, yet there are no blockades outside my house". The chief secretary assured the court of removing the blockades. Chief Justice Nisar informed the official that he will visit the place in a private vehicle to check if his orders have been implemented. Hamza, an MNA from Lahore, resides in Model Town's H-Block close to his father and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharifs' residence.
  10. New day, new ban. That's the government's favourite pastime these days, because nothing is fun without a ton of restrictions, right? First, it was the beef ban, then the condom ad ban, and now we have the most unnecessary and ridiculous one. Reportedly, the BJP ruled civic body wants to prohibit the display of non-vegetarian food in the open on stalls outside restaurants and eateries of South Delhi. And if that wasn't absurd enough on its own, the reason given is even better. Okay, the fact that it might be unhygienic is still understandable, but it also because it hurts the sentiments of people. We really want to know who these people are who can't even handle the sight of non-veg food, and just want to genuinely understand the reason behind it. The resolution was approved in the last house of the BJP-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and will come for final confirmation in the next meeting on January 3, according to Hindustan Times. The proposal stated, “If restaurant owners are found displaying non-vegetarian items in public, action against them should be taken as per the municipal law.” Leader of the house Shikha Rai, who approved the proposal, said that it had come from members in the health committee of the house. She said, “It has been observed that shops displaying non-veg outside their premises attracts dogs and raise hygiene issue. Besides, it is also about hurting the sentiments of people who are vegetarian.” Yes, as a vegetarian, I totally agree, I can't even tell you how many times I've started crying while out and about in South Delhi and saw non-veg displayed just like that. How can people do that? Alright, all jokes aside, this is what people on Twitter had to say about the whole issue. Yes, stocking up right now. First a beef ban now ban on non-veg food display! Pretty soon there will be a ban on food! People stock up on supplies the govt is officially insane ð¤¦ð»‍âï¸ — Jo (@jogtweets) December 28, 2017 Totally, that seems to be the main problem. Why ban only the display. Why not ban the food altogether. — Sandeep K. S. ð®ð³ (@sandeepbio77) December 27, 2017 Very uncomfortable. Why just non-veg? Naked fruits and veggies makes me uncomfortable.. Ban them too.. #NonVegBanDelhi..!!! — Sakchi Katyayan (@Sakchi_Katyayan) December 28, 2017 All feelings matter. What about hurting the feelings on non-veg citizens? https://t.co/ILrmAHcTF8 — Olivier Da Lage (@odalage) December 28, 2017 Nothing should be visible. South Delhi To Ban Display Of Non-Veg Food Outside Eateries As It Hurts Vegetarian 'Sentiments'. SO BASICALLY,APART FROM WOMEN, CHICKEN LEGS SHOULD ALSO NOT BE VISIBLE IN PUBLIC. Hmmmmm — Jaspreet Singh (@LifeOfPaaji) December 28, 2017 Everyone just stay inside. Yessss! Now let's put a curfew in Delhi. From 9pm onwards, no people on streets too. Why stop only to non-veg food. — G Venkatesh (@UglyVenky) December 28, 2017 Will it be even Delhi anymore? This is when Fundamentalism Peaks. ð¡ð¡ð¡ Delhi is known for its rich Mughlai Cuisine and other Non-Veg dishes which date back to centuries! Delhi started the culture of Open Street Food including Chat! People of Delhi LIVE their Food! https://t.co/UjpMom9TPP — Rachit Seth (@rachitseth) December 28, 2017 I'm so sentimental just thinking about it. It's going to make a lot of people 'sentimental' if shops start displaying Lauki, Tinda & Karela from their shop windows. ð https://t.co/kvLZ2zr4Oi — Akash Banerjee (@akashbanerjee) December 28, 2017 Just ban everything, that's the only solution. My sentiment gets hurt when I see Paneer... I demand WB state govt to ban display of paneer items outside eateries... ðð https://t.co/IeUmRCthsR — Dwaipayan Mitra (@DwaipayanM) December 28, 2017
  11. Baby survives after being born with heart outside her body. Photo: The Guardian A baby girl, Vanellope Hope Wilkins, survived being born with her heart outside her body, in a first of its kind case reported in Britain, according to The Guardian. The doctors revealed to Wilkins? parents that she was suffering from ectopia cordis, in which heart and stomach grow externally, during a nine-week scan. The parents, identified as 31-year-old Naomi Findlay, and 43-year-old Dean Wilkins, were told that ?termination? was the only option. Three weeks after her premature birth, Vanellope has survived three operations to move her heart inside her chest. The operations occurred at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester. The couple shared that first 10 minutes of Vanellope?s birth were crucial as they would determine her ability to breathe. ?But when she came out and she came out crying, that was it. The relief fell out of me,? said her mother. Her father said: ?Twenty minutes went by and she was still shouting her head off ? it made us so joyful and teary.? About five in eight million babies are born with this condition with a less than 10% chance of survival. Branko Mimic, the lead surgeon at the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre, said: ?Cases such as Vanellope?s, where everything else appears essentially normal, are even rarer, and whilst it would seem more hopeful she will do well, it is therefore almost impossible to be confident of this.?
  12. The Indonesian Supreme Court. Photo: File JAKARTA: Indonesia?s constitutional court on Thursday narrowly rejected a controversial petition to bar all consensual *** outside of marriage in the world?s biggest Muslim-majority country. Five of nine judges voted for the case to be thrown out, in a victory for rights activists who had feared the petition brought by a conservative group would spur moral policing and further discrimination, particularly targeting the gay community in Indonesia. Chief Justice Arief Hidayat said existing laws on adultery did not conflict with the constitution and that it was not the authority of the constitutional court to create a new policy. ?The plaintiff should submit their petition to lawmakers, and there it should be an important input in the ongoing revision of the national criminal code,? Hidayat said. ?Based on that view, the constitutional court is of the opinion that the petition is not legally sound.? Indonesia?s parliament is currently deliberating revisions to the national criminal code. Female Muslim clerics in Indonesia issue rare fatwas Among the other fatwas issued was one against women being sexually abused; and one against environmental destruction The Southeast Asian country has seen a rise of a hardline, politicised Islam in recent years, which until recently had stayed on the fringe of the nation?s politics. The petition put forward by the Family Love Alliance (AILA), a group of conservative academics and activists, called for the definition of adultery to apply not just to married couples but to anyone in a marriage or outside it ? effectively making all *** outside of marriage a crime. In their complaint, AILA said certain articles in the national criminal code ?threaten the resilience of families and therefore of Indonesia itself.? Some rights activists said the petition was partially aimed at criminalising gay ***, which is currently not regulated by the law, except in the ultra-conservative province of Aceh and in cases of child abuse.
  13. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/996b09ad77b9d66071bc24e3a357cc1a.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9MTIvOS8yMDE3IDk6NDk6MzUgQU0maGFzaF92YWx1ZT16aGdIRXlhZVVuZHRSajFGNGFacE5RPT0mdmFsaWRtaW51dGVzPTYwJmlkPTE= style=center] ISLAMABAD: The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) chapter of the Insaf Student Federation (ISF) is staging a protest outside the Bani Gala residence of party chairman Imran Khan. The ISF is protesting against the appointment of Mian Iqbal as president youth wing of the Kurram Agency and plans to block the way of Imran who is expected to leave for a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf convention in Kurram agency. The party?s student wing has said that they have don?t know who Mian Iqbal is and that he is not a PTI worker. He should be removed from party post, the ISF demanded.
  14. File photo/ Reuters NEW YORK: A driver deliberately plowed a car into six people during a fight outside a hookah bar in the New York City borough of Queens in the early hours of Sunday morning, killing one and injuring five others before fleeing, police said. One of the struck people was in critical condition while the other four were stable, Lee Jones, a New York Police Department spokesman, said. Two other people were stabbed during the brawl, and were also in a stable condition. Police are still looking for the driver, who was driving a white Hyundai Sonata, Jones said.
  15. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/a1147d98992f68a948de4d6d205519e3.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9MTEvMjkvMjAxNyAyOjUyOjQ3IFBNJmhhc2hfdmFsdWU9Y0hLbElQZFp2MHRuR3QwNW5xRDR4Zz09JnZhbGlkbWludXRlcz02MCZpZD0x style=center] ISLAMABAD: A person was killed on the spot and four others were injured in an incident of firing outside an imambargah in the federal capital. Two unidentified gunmen, riding a motorcycle, opened fire and fled from the scene. Police later confirmed that one of the injured succumbed to his wounds taking the death toll to two. The incident took place in the I-8 locality of the city. Emergency services shifted the injured to PIMS hospital and police started an investigation into the incident.
  16. Afghan secuirty forces are seen at the site of an explosion near a gathering of supporters of regional leader Atta Mohammad Noor. -AFP1 KABUL: A suicide attacker blew himself up outside a wedding hall in Kabul killing at least 18 people, reported TOLO News Thursday, in an apparent attempt to strike a political gathering underway inside. As a result of the attack, 10 other people were wounded. Eyewitnesses said at least three cars were also destroyed in the incident and surrounding buildings sustained some damage. The Taliban was quick to deny responsibility for the attack, the latest to hit the war-weary Afghan capital where insurgents have been stepping up assaults in a show of deadly force. Supporters of Atta Mohammad Noor, the powerful governor of the northern province of Balkh and a vocal critic of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, had been holding an event inside the hall at the time of the blast. Noor was not at the event, one of his aides told AFP. The bomber tried to enter the building but was stopped at the security checkpoint where he detonated his device, Kabul police spokesman Abdul Basir Mujahid told AFP. "A number of our police personnel are among the casualties," Mujahid added. Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said seven policemen and two civilians had been killed. "The bomber detonated himself after he was identified by the police at the entrance gate," Danish said. Another nine were wounded including seven police and two civilians, he added. 'Chaos and panic' "After lunch, as we were exiting the hall a huge explosion shook the hall, shattering glass and causing chaos and panic," Harun Mutaref, who was at the gathering, told AFP. "I saw many bodies including police and civilians lying in blood." An AFP photographer said the windows of the wedding hall had been shattered by the force of the blast and a vehicle parked outside was on fire. Dozens of police and intelligence officers have swarmed the area and blocked access to the public. Photos posted on Twitter showed multiple bodies of men lying on top of each other in a muddy street and in a drain, and people dragging away the wounded. Noor, a senior leader of the Tajik-dominated Jamiat-e Islami party, has been an outspoken critic of Ghani and the National Unity Government. Political infighting has been intensifying ahead of next year's long-delayed district and parliamentary elections, which would pave the way for the 2019 presidential ballot. Noor has previously hinted that he may run for the country's highest office. On Wednesday Ghani - who is a Pashtun, the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan-- sacked the Independent Election Commission chief Najibullah Ahmadzai after technical and political bungling, fuelling speculation the vote will not go ahead. That came after the recent firing of Education Minister Asadullah Hanafi Balkhi, who was considered a close ally of Noor, and one of Ghani´s advisers Ahmadullah Alizai. Noor has recently called for the return of Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, a powerful ethnic Uzbek warlord who fled to Turkey in May after he was accused of raping and torturing a political rival in 2016. Earlier this year Noor met with Deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq, a senior figure in the mainly Hazara ethnic community, and Dostum in Turkey to form the "Coalition for the Salvation of Afghanistan".
  17. Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is seen at the governmental palace in Beirut, Lebanon, October 24, 2017. Photo: Reuters/File BEIRUT: Nothing so encapsulated the political shackles in which Saad al-Hariri has operated as Lebanon?s prime minister as the way he resigned in a televised statement made from Saudi Arabia. Every major decision by the unlikely politician was determined by factors beyond his control. He entered politics after the assassination of his father back in 2005 and his resignation served the agenda of Riyadh. The dependence of their leaders on powerful external patrons is nothing new in Lebanon, where regional powers ? from Saudi Arabia to Iran ? have long tussled for geopolitical advantage. But the case of Hariri ? who many Lebanese think was summoned to the Saudi capital, coerced into resigning, and put under house arrest ? underscores an instance of external pressure extreme even by Lebanon?s high standards. Hariri, however, has denied any coercion from external forces. In an interview on Sunday, he said he will return to Lebanon in the coming days and might reconsider his resignation. Even if he does, the events of the past 10 days show how decisions taken beyond Lebanon?s borders would still define his role. His shock resignation statement on November 4 ? which has thrust Lebanon into a new political crisis ? included a laundry list of Saudi complaints about the behaviour of Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah, Riyadh?s main political adversaries. Iran and Hezbollah, Hariri said, are ?sowing strife? in the Arab world. As Riyadh?s ally at a time of its enemies? ascendancy, Hariri was already playing Lebanon?s intricate political game from a position of weakness. A year ago, after spending years abroad, he agreed to join a national unity government with President Michel Aoun ? a former rival and Hezbollah ally ? that included Hezbollah itself. It was a compromise he said was necessary to end Lebanon?s sectarian-tinged political paralysis and one that was personally difficult, as Hariri accuses Hezbollah of the assassination of his father, Rafik al-Hariri. He seemed committed to that compromise until the moment he flew to Riyadh on November 3, telling officials of discussions planned for his return the following Monday. Saudi Arabia had previously accepted Hariri?s political bargain in Lebanon. But Iran?s trumpeting of its successes along with Hezbollah in the wars in Syria and Yemen at the expense of Saudi allies may have altered Riyadh?s calculation. A day after travelling to Riyadh, Hariri appeared on television reading a statement of resignation. In the name of the father Hariri?s career was built on the backing of Gulf states, the deployment of his family fortune ? spending large amounts of it in Lebanon to finance a media network and charitable gifts to secure widespread support ? and feelings of respect among many Lebanese for his late father. In his resignation address, Saad said, ?We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of Rafik al-Hariri?. Rafik carved out a business empire in Saudi Arabia with the backing of its ruling family and returned to Lebanon to rebuild when the civil war there ended in 1990, serving twice as prime minister. The car bomb that killed Rafik gave Saad little choice but to adopt a previously unsought role as political leader. Before being plunged into Lebanon?s volatile politics, Saad had led a playboy lifestyle running his father?s business. He was raised in Saudi Arabia and has Saudi nationality. Outrage at Rafik?s killing helped Hariri?s movement to electoral victory five months later and he installed a political ally as prime minister, not taking the post himself until 2009. It was the first government headed by factions opposed to the influence of Syria ? and by extension Damascus? allies Iran and Hezbollah ? since the 1975-90 Lebanese civil war. That opposition came to a head in 2008 when the government tried to seize Hezbollah?s telecommunications network, triggering street battles in Beirut that the heavily armed sectarian Muslim movement won. Qatar brokered a compromise, with Hariri becoming head of a coalition government that included Hezbollah. But Hezbollah pulled out in 2011, bringing down the administration. Diminished sway As tensions rose over the war in neighbouring Syria, Hariri left Lebanon, spending most of the ensuing years abroad until he returned months before joining a new government last year. But his sway ? and that of his family?s regional patron Saudi Arabia ? had diminished. The formation of last year?s government was widely seen in Lebanon as an acknowledgement of the political dominance of Iran and Hezbollah. Saudi Arabia?s own apparent impatience with Hariri became evident in the fortunes of the family company ? Saudi Oger ? whose billions had underpinned their political role in Lebanon. With a new dispensation in Riyadh under King Salman and his ambitious son Prince Mohammed, and a fall in oil prices damaging its finances, the Saudi government seemed less willing to roll out big state projects to enrich some allies. When Hariri?s first stint as premier ended in 2011, he said in a newspaper interview, ?In Lebanon, it?s never over for anyone?. A source in his camp said a compromise to bring him back to Beirut as prime minister was still possible if Aoun distanced himself from Hezbollah?s regional role. Such a statement by Aoun might give some satisfaction to Saudi Arabia, but it would seem to leave Hariri no stronger than before. After so public a departure, especially one delivered from abroad, his dependence on Riyadh has been made especially visible. His enemies in Lebanon even mocked his Arabic during his resignation speech as being more Saudi than Lebanese. And the posters of him that have appeared across Beirut with the slogan ?We are with you? looked less like statements of mass support than solidarity with a political hostage.
  18. Banner against Mayor Waseem Akhtar outside KMC building. Photo: Geo News KARACHI: Banners in favour of Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra, and against Mayor Waseem Akhtar were seen outside Karachi Metropolitan Corporation building on Tuesday. The banner put by unknown people read:, 'corrupt Mayor Unacceptable' and ?head of corrupt mafia Waseem Akhtar?. A charged city council session is expected today, after the inclusion of Deputy Mayor Vohra in Pak Sarzameen Party. Vohra announced to end his affiliation with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan in a press conference on Sunday. ?Unfortunately, I was not able to deliver to the people of Karachi,? he lamented. ?We have been quite unjust to the people of Pakistan,? he shared ?I will resign from the post of deputy mayor after completing all the legal formalities,? he added. When there is no vision there is nothing to do, said Vohra, adding that he tolerated the situation for a year. The deputy mayor said that the local government leaders for a year complained about the lack of resources. ?If we cannot fulfill responsibilities then it is better to leave,? he said. Vohra joined PSP as he couldn?t sustain pressure, says Sattar MQM's Farooq Sattar claimed the biggest chunk of MQM supporters is behind him and many of the people who left the party want to come back Meanwhile, the KMC city council comprises 308 members. MQM-Pakistan holds majority in the council with its 205 members, while the opposition stands with the tally of 100 members, which includes 42 members from Pakistan Peoples' Party, 27 members of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, 14 members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, 10 of Jammat-e-Islami, four of Jammiat Ulma-e-Islam (Fazl) and three of Awami National Party, A simple majority is needed to de-seat the Mayor or Deputy Mayor. Speaking today in Geo Pakistan, MQM-P leader Farooq Sattar said that he has not yet taken any decision to de-seat Vohra from his post in the city council.
  19. MOGADISHU: A roadside bomb killed at least seven people on Sunday - mostly women farmers - in an area outside the Somali capital dominated by insurgents who have defied public protests to end years of violence, residents and the army said. A truck bombing in Mogadishu last weekend killed at least 358 people, with 56 people still missing. Almost all of the dead were civilians and the attack triggered angry demonstrations in the capital. Sunday?s bombing hit a minibus in Daniga village about 40 km (25 miles) to the northwest of Mogadishu. ?We heard a huge crash today and we went to the scene, we saw a ruined minibus and at least seven dead bodies, mostly women. We could not identify some people, they were just pieces of human flesh,? farmer Nur Abdullahi told Reuters by phone. The area of the bombing is close to areas held by al Shabaab, the al Qaeda-linked insurgents who want to overthrow the weak UN-backed government and impose strict Islamic law. ?We are scared,? Abdullahi said ?Hundreds of masked militants are everywhere and we anticipate the government will attack here. They also planted mines everywhere and today we pack our clothes to flee.? An army officer said the death toll might be higher. ?We know the minibus left Afgooye (town) this morning and it was carrying farmers, mostly women,? said Captain Isa Osman of the Somali National Army. ?It was carrying more than 10 people. We cannot get many details because the area is not controlled by government.? After last Saturday?s attack, the government promised new offensives against the insurgency. Somalia has been riven by civil war since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew a dictator then turned on each other.
  20. PESHAWAR: The disgruntled ad hoc teachers from across the province will protest outside the residence of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief Imran Khan on Tuesday. The teachers have been protesting since a week and boycotted educational activities across the province. Over 600 ad-hoc KP and FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) teachers are demanding they be made permanent employees after their extended contract ends on October 31. After the negotiations between the protesting ad-hoc teachers and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government have failed, following which the teachers had announced to surround the residence of Imran Khan on October 17. The association rejected the board of governors system being devised by the government for public colleges. Moreover, the association's leader, Jamshed Khan, said teachers wanted the government to resolve their issues of professional allowance ? provided to school teachers but not college teachers ? and their up-gradation. Teachers absent from classes in state-run colleges across KP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Professors and Lecturers Association is boycotting classes in protest Last week, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervaiz Khattak met with the representatives' delegation. During the meeting, Khattak said he agreed to take back the decision regarding the formation of a board of governors in colleges. The chief minister, however, said that the demands regarding professional allowance and up-gradation will put an additional burden on the provincial government?s finances and under the current circumstances that is unacceptable. The association wanted in writing from the government that their demands will be met; until then, the teachers claim they will boycott classes across the province.
  21. Lawyers slap a police personnel on the entrance of accountability court ahead of the hearing of National Accountability Bureau?s (NAB) references filed against the Sharif family - Online ISLAMABAD: Inspector Shakeel Ahmed has filed an FIR against lawyers in the Ramna police station for slapping and pushing him in the premises of the accountability court on Friday. A video showed a group of lawyers pushing Ahmed, one of whom also slapped him, as the policeman was busy performing his duties outside the courtroom ahead of the indictment proceedings against the Sharifs. A commotion by members of the legal fraternity on Friday forced the accountability court judge hearing corruption cases against the Sharif family to adjourn proceedings minutes after they began. Maryam Nawaz and her husband MNA Capt (retd) Safdar reached the judicial complex separately Friday morning. Lawyers' commotion delays Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar's indictment until Oct 19 Maryam Nawaz and Capt (retd) Safdar were both in court today but the judge halted the proceedings after lawyers protested against police high-handedness Senior leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), including cabinet members, were at the scene to receive the former premier's daughter. With strict security arrangements in place, police barred non-essential personnel, including lawyers, from entering the complex. This led to a scuffle with the police, which resulted in the injury of at least one lawyer. As the hearing started, the lawyers began protesting inside the court. They claimed the Islamabad High Court has allowed lawyers to be present inside the judicial complex as well as the accountability court as "it is an open court". The lawyers also argued with the deputy attorney general and created a commotion, forcing Judge Mohammad Bashir to leave for his chamber and abort today's proceedings.
  22. Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi speaking in UN General Assembly?s debate Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi told the world body that Pakistan faces a terrorist threat ?primarily supported and financed from outside its borders,? a press released said. Pakistan ?will be able to defeat these forces too,? she vowed while speaking in the UN General Assembly?s debate on ?Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism? which took place in its Sixth Committee. Lodhi said that the country has turn the tide against terrorism as a result of its comprehensive efforts over the past several years, supported by a firm domestic political consensus. Pakistan would effectively respond to any Indian aggression: Maleeha Lodhi Pakistan's UN envoy questioned if Indian leaders were trying to provoke a conflict with Pakistan Pakistan has conducted the largest anti-terrorism operation anywhere in the world, she said. ?We have launched an across-the-board military campaign to destroy terrorist infrastructures and bases in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region and our tribal areas?. ?We also embarked on a law enforcement operation targeting those elements in our urban areas that had fled our military operations in the tribal areas?, she added. The ambassador said that the success of Pakistan?s two-pronged approached has resulted in the sharp reduction of terrorist activities across Pakistan over the past two years. According to the Global Terrorism Index, terrorism in Pakistan is now at its lowest point since 2006. ?We have lost over 27,000 of our citizens and law enforcement personnel to this scourge and have also suffered economic losses of over US$120 billion?, Lodhi said. Expressing Pakistan?s firm resolve to continue its fight against terrorism, Ambassador Lodhi said that these human and financial losses have not diminished Pakistan?s commitment to fight this menace. ?It has only reinforced our will to fight until the last terrorist is eliminated from our soil?, she stressed. Reiterating Pakistan?s unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including state terrorism, the Pakistani envoy said that there can be no justification for the killing of innocent people anywhere, regardless of the cause or pretext. Lodhi called for cooperation between the international community to fight terrorism as it was a collective challenge that has claimed innocent lives, caused widespread destruction, undermined social stability and disrupted state structures. ?With Daesh becoming its new and even deadlier face, terrorism and violent extremism continue to be among the most complex and imposing challenges of our time?, she commented. The Pakistani envoy called for urgent and focused attention to address festering disputes and unresolved conflicts, unlawful use of force, aggression, foreign occupation and denial of the right to self-determination. Political and economic injustice, she pointed out, fuels animosities, breeds hostility and often also leads to violent reactions. ?We must also ensure that the measures we take to counter terrorism remain within the framework of international law?, she said. She also called for addressing the issue of defamation of religions and demonisation of communities in the upcoming review of the UN's Global Counter Terrorism Strategy as they incite hatred and can lead to violent reactions. Lodhi welcomed Secretary General Antonio Guterres?s reform of the UN 's CT architecture including the creation of the new Office of Counter Terrorism. She also welcomed Vladimir Voronkov as head of this new office and assured him of Pakistan?s support in implementation of his mandate.
  23. MADRID: Barcelona and its members would have to decide which soccer league to play in if Catalonia gained independence from Spain, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Monday. The Catalan club played behind closed doors at the Nou Camp on Sunday, beating Las Palmas 3-0 in La Liga, as a protest against Spain using force to prevent voters taking part in a banned referendum to decide the region?s fate. More than 840 people needed medical attention after riot police clashed with some of those attempting to participate in the controversial vote on secession, which the Spanish government had ruled illegal. ?In the case of independence, the club and the members would have to decide in which league we would play,? Bartomeu told reporters after a board meeting. ?We are going through difficult and complicated moments and with respect to what could happen in the future we will take it on with calm and wisdom.? Catalan sports minister Gerard Figueras last week said Barcelona may be able to play in another country should the region achieve independence from Spain. ?In the case of independence, Catalan teams in La Liga ? Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona ? will have to decide where they want to play: in the Spanish league or a neighbouring country like Italy, France or the (English) Premier League,? he said. VP RESIGNS Bartomeu also said he had accepted the resignations of Barcelona vice-president Carles Vilarrubi and director Jordi Mones, who opposed the decision to play behind closed doors. ?Today the board has accepted the resignation of vice-president Carles Vilarrubi and Barca Innovation Hub chief Jordi Mones,? he said. ?We thank both of them for their dedication during all their years of service to the club.? Bartomeu said choosing to play without fans was one of the hardest decisions he has had to make as the club?s president, since taking over from Sandro Rosell in January 2014. ?We perfectly understand that many of our members and fans would have preferred the option of calling off the match,? said Bartomeu. ?That is why I must say that this was one of the most difficult decisions that I have ever had to make as Barca president. ?We very seriously considered the option of postponing the game, but we could not get the Professional Football League (LFP) to approve our request,? he added referring to the national body that runs La Liga. ?Having reached that point, I decided to play behind closed doors because we believed that the image of a football match being played in a completely empty Camp Nou would have been a responsible action and a way of showing how we utterly reject the exceptional and inadmissible situation going on around Catalonia.? Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona all announced on Monday that they would be joining a region-wide general strike in Catalonia on Tuesday, Oct. 3 following the weekend?s events.
  24. ARBIL: The Iraqi government cut autonomous Kurdistan?s direct air links with the outside world indefinitely on Friday, partially isolating the northern region after it voted a massive "yes" in an independence referendum. The move increases the pressure on the Iraqi Kurds amid soaring regional tensions following Monday?s non-binding but deeply contentious vote. The central government in Baghdad had ordered the halt to all foreign flights to and from the region from 6pm (1500 GMT). Foreigners scrambled to fly out of Iraqi Kurdistan from the region?s capital, Arbil, and its second largest city Sulaimaniyah before the ban took effect. The Iraqi Kurdish transport minister, Mawlud Bawa Murad, told AFP at Arbil airport that the flight ban would "negatively impact all international businesses in the Kurdistan region, in addition to all civilians, from all nations". It would "negatively impact our daily life," he said. "We will do our best to find a viable alternative, or succeed to bring back international flights." Arbil airport is a key gateway for humanitarian aid workers helping Iraqis affected by the battle against the Daesh group. Washington has said it would be willing to facilitate talks between the Iraqi Kurdish authorities and Baghdad to calm escalating tensions over the 92% "yes" vote, as a top Shiite cleric called for the crisis to be solved in an Iraqi court. Neighbouring Turkey and Iran also strongly opposed the vote, fearing it would inflame the separatist aspirations of their own sizeable Kurdish populations. Ankara has threatened a series of measures, including blocking lifeline oil exports from the region via Turkey. The Kurds, whose borders with Turkey, Iran and Syria remain open, have condemned the flight suspension as "collective punishment". Iraq?s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said it was not "punishment" but a legal measure that would be reversed if the transport authority was transferred to Baghdad in line with the Iraqi constitution. The ban saw people, many of them foreigners, flock to the airport in Arbil to avoid being stranded. Kurds rush back Iraqi Kurdistan is home to a large international community, most of whom enter on a visa issued by the regional authorities that is not recognised by the central government, so they cannot travel elsewhere in Iraq. On Friday, around 100 passengers waited eagerly for their planes in Arbil, where the last flight out was to Vienna at 4pm. "We were supposed to go back to Brazil next Saturday but we rescheduled our flight," said Isidoro Junior, a 32-year-old volunteer for an NGO providing medical assistance to Iraqis displaced by the war against Daesh. "We are a group of 16 people, so it was quite difficult to find enough seats. One of us came here at 2am to make sure...we would be able to fly out," he said. At the Turkish Airlines counter, before the last flight left, a one-way ticket to Istanbul cost $743. But it sold for $1,500 online, said one passenger who had paid twice in error, leaving a £3,000 dent in his credit card. The director of Arbil airport, Talar Faiq Salih, said humanitarian, military and diplomatic flights were excluded from the ban. Earlier, the UN humanitarian office OCHA said it was working to ensure aid could continue to reach tens of thousands of needy Iraqis. In Sulaimaniyah, foreigners and others needing to leave sped to the airport before the ban took effect, while Kurds who were abroad for business or tourism rushed home. "There have been masses of people for two days," said airport spokesperson Dana Mohammad Said, adding that the airport remained open for domestic flights. An Iraqi Airways flight to Baghdad took off from Arbil at 7pm, an AFP correspondent said.
  25. According to a FactorDaily report, Amazon is likely to set up a division of Lab126 right here in India. The lab is Amazon's infamous R&D unit that conceptualized gadgets like the Kindle ebook reader, Dash buttons, Echo smart speaker, Fire tablets and other streaming devices. ©FactorDaily It is expected to be launched in the financial capital of India, Mumbai. If that happens, it'll be the first Lab126 center outside of the US. FYI, these labs are already present in six cities in the US with more than 3,000 employees. Though the outlet's sources didn't specify a timeline, they did mention that Amazon is already hiring people for this facility. Which means that anyone who is looking for a hardcore engineering job in an innovative environment should start firing their CVs across, asap. Now, there is an equal probability of it simply housing developers who will engineer ideas that are concocted in the US or the lab could be coming up with new innovations targeted to consumers in India. It could be a hybrid move too. If you don't already know, Amazon is already growing by leaps and bounds in the Indian online retail space. Its business is slated to grow to $100 billion by 2020. The company allocated $5 billion to invest in its local operations in India, back in 2014. Since then, it has launched its premium delivery service, Amazon Prime, along with Prime Video, the company's streaming service and the Fire TV Stick streaming dongle. Though Amazon has already launched the Alexa powered Echo Show in the US in June, the Echo is expected to be launched in India, next month. Now, this move has potential to really push Amazon's stock up, as it'll be the first major tech company to offer an AI-powered speaker in the country. Surprised as to why the Google Assistant-powered Home speaker and Apple's HomePod haven't made it to the market in India yet? Well, we are not sure about Google, but Apple's HomePod won't hit the market until December this year. And, if you are still not feeling it then you should know that the Echo might also be complemented by the launch of Amazon's streaming music service in India, next year. ©TrustedReviews Left to Right: Echo Show and Echo Coming back to where we started, it might not be enough for Amazon to simply begin shipping Echo speakers to India, as supporting multiple accents and a wide range of languages will play a crucial part in its success. Why? Because if Amazon wants to get users in the country to order things by issuing voice commands, it has to understand its audience well. Because of the wide range of accents and languages in India, Lab126 could come into play improving by Alexa's voice recognition capabilities while reducing errors and misheard commands. It'll be interesting to see what Amazon comes up with next and how Flipkart and other online retailers respond to this bold move.