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Found 137 results

  1. When video game character Lara Croft first debuted in ?Tomb Raider? on the big screen nearly two decades ago, she was a daring, action-superwoman embodying a role reserved for men. Now, with the same feminist spirit, the reboot starring Alicia Vikander and opening worldwide this week, spins the usual action-adventure tale, but also dives into Croft?s beginnings, portraying a heroine with an emotional life and personal growth. ?We show this journey of Lara when she?s not the action hero ... and it?s a way of us still to root for her,? the 29-year-old Swede in her biggest role to date told Reuters Television. ?You actually get to feel that?s she?s human, and she?s open to be vulnerable.? The franchise?s revival is based primarily on a 2013 iteration of the game, which takes place on the fictional lost island of Yamatai near Japan. In the film, Croft leads a profligate youth following her father?s disappearance, but then is pulled back into the fold when she is inspired to scrutinise his vanishing while on one of his treacherous archaeological adventures. ?Tomb Raider,? which first made it to the big screen in 2001 with Angelina Jolie as Croft, is a bit of a throwback with an elaborately constructed studio set in an era when most action films depend heavily on computer effects. ?I was really looking to get an authentic and gritty feel to the whole movie, so we shot a lot of it for real,? Norwegian director Roar Uthaug said. ?I think it brings some edge to it, some rawness,? the 44-year-old added. ?Tomb Raider? arrives at a time when Hollywood is putting more women in central roles in the macho blockbuster genre. It is also a bet Warner Bros. has placed on Vikander to be Hollywood?s next breakout female action star following the roaring success of little-known Israeli actress Gal Gadot in last year?s ?Wonder Woman.? Vikander, who won a best supporting actress Oscar in 2016 for ?The Danish Girl,? had yet to take on top billing in a blockbuster and is best known for her intense, emotionally dramatic performances. ?I too had to overcome, like Lara, a lot of questioning,? Vikander said. ?But it?s an adventure, and I was really intrigued to go on it.?
  2. Minister for Power Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari chairs PPIB meeting in Islamabad/ Picture: APP ISLAMABAD: Minister for Power Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari said on Wednesday that current transmission network needs to be strengthened and made reliable to support the government?s aim of achieving sustainability in the system, according to a press release. The federal minister was chairing the 115th meeting of the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) held here today. In the meeting, he said that the Government of Pakistan realises the importance of transmission lines in supporting the upcoming power generation projects. He stated that the GoP is working on upgrading the existing transmission network to make it more reliable and efficient, adding that the National Transmission & Dispatch Company (NTDC) has been asked to take the requisite measures. At the same time, the private sector is being encouraged to contribute in network expansion, he said. So far, Pakistan?s first ever HVDC Transmission Line project has already been initiated in the private sector under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), while several other projects are being planned to launch through international competitive bidding, said the federal minister. Managing Director PPIB Shah Jahan Mirza briefed the board on various projects being implemented under the CPEC. In today?s meeting, the Board approved extension in Financial Close deadline of +660 kV HVDC Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line, being processed under the CPEC, said the press statement. The board also allowed extension in Financial Close deadlines of Thar coal based power projects under the CPEC, which include 330 MW Project by Thar Energy Limited and 330 MW Project by ThalNova Thar Pvt. Ltd. The federal minister said that the current government believes in the policy of facilitating investors, and extending full support to them for processing and timely completion of their projects. Managing Director PPIB Mirza, while briefing the Board on the performance of PPIB, stated that extensive efforts are being done to cultivate Thar coal and hydro potential for power generation. Mirza briefed the board that the PPIB is successfully meeting the challenging and ambitious timelines of the current government for the addition of huge quantum of power generation capacity in the national grid. He said that the progress is evident from the fact that within a period of less than one year, two projects of 1467 MW have started commercial operations while another four projects of 5000 MW cumulative power capacity have achieved partial commissioning as well, as per the statement. The federal minister remarked that sustainability in power system is a must-do task of the GoP, next to balancing the demand-supply situation, adding that merely providing additional megawatts would not be sufficient to gain real goals. Pakistan?s future lies in the indigenous and renewable energy for which serious efforts are being put in the National Electricity Plan and a new energy policy are the measures to consolidate these efforts, which will act as a guide for future capacity expansions as well as choice of fuels etc, he said. The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Power Ch. Abid Sher Ali, Mr. Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, Secretary Ministry of Energy (Power Division), Mr. Arif Ahmed Khan, Secretary Ministry of Finance, Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform, Lieutenant General Muzammil Hussain, Chairman WAPDA, representatives of Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) (Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan provinces and AJ&K), a private sector member, besides, Executive Director and Directors of PPIB and other senior government officials.
  3. ISLAMABAD: Minister for Power Division Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari issued direction to assess the performance of distribution companies (DISCOs) and their CEOs in order to eliminate any mismatch in tariff, an official press release said on Tuesday. The performance of the DISCOs will be assessed on the basis of their success to bridge the gap in the sold and billed units, said the press statement. A performance review meeting was held today, following which the notification was issued. Leghari directed the CEOs of all DISCOs to submit quarterly tariff adjustment petitions during March with the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA). This will also help in reducing the gap in billed and recovered amount by the DISCOs, said the statement. The federal minister directed the CEOs to ensure replacement of defective meters within seven days after it is has been declared defective, besides clearing the backlog of defective meters in their respective DISCOs by March 31, 2018. Leghari, also gave instructions to all the chairmen of the Board of Directors to make proper procurement plan for the next fiscal year and get it approved by April 15, 2018.
  4. SHARJAH: Multan Sultans won the toss and elected to field in their match against Islamabad United tonight. A direct hit by Shoaib Malik ended opener United's opener JP Duminy's (6) time on the crease. The early setback was diluted by Luke Ronchi as he played a knock of 58 runs off 36 balls, including six boundaries and three sixes on the strike rate of 161.11. The Kiwi batsman was dismissed by legspinner Imran Tahir as he tried to slog sweep. Alex Hales gave an easy catch to Sohaib Maqsood at the cover area when the team score was on 126. geo_embedgallery United's emerging top-order batsman Hussain Talat (36) returned to the pavilion as Kieron Pollard took his catch. A blitz of four boundaries and one six came to an end. Skipper Malik confirmed that his team has made two changes in their squad as Junaid Khan and Hardus Viljoen were rested; Ross Whiteley and Umar Gul are in. Meanwhile, United has also made two changes as Alex Hales and Imad Butt came in for the respective places of Steven Finn and Zafar Gohar Islamabad XI: AD Hales, L Ronchi, JP Duminy, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Misbah-ul-Haq, SR Patel, Shadab Khan, Amad Butt, Mohammad Sami. Multan XI: KC Sangakkara, Ahmed Shehzad, Sohaib Maqsood, Shoaib Malik, KA Pollard, Saif Badar, RA Whiteley, Sohail Tanvir, Imran Tahir, Mohammad Irfan, Umar Gul. Islamabad are in red-hot form, with five wins in seven matches so far. Their victory streak began from a dramatic win against Lahore Qalandars in Super Over thriller, after which the Reds defeated Karachi Kings, Lahore (again) and Peshawar Zalmi to secure 10 points and joint-top position with Quetta Gladiators on the points table. Misbah's side has been further boosted by the inclusion of England batsmen Alex Hales and Sam Billings, who joined the squad in UAE following the end of the series in New Zealand. Multan, however, look shaky at fourth spot. After a flying start to their PSL campaign, the team has been languishing and needs to win tonight to consolidate their place in the top four.
  5. Wondering what is Virat Kohli doing these days as Rohit Sharma is donning his captain's hat in the Nidahas Trophy Campaign? Well, the man is having a wonderful time with his favourite person and maybe so should you all. Virat Kohli shared a super cute picture of him and Anushka Sharma chilling together. Virat is always in news--be it for dancing on Kajra re in a wedding, for his style or for kicking some a** on the cricket field. That man totally knows how to win our hearts. @virat.kohli at Gagan Gujral wedding party along with Anushka's Mom & Dad #virat #kohli #viratkohli #sports #cricket #cricketer #captainviratkohli #captainkohli #captainvk #captainfearless #runmachine #runmachinekohli #viratians #anushka #sharma #anushkasharma #bollywood #actress #anushkaholics #virushka #virushkareception #virushkawedding #Virushka A post shared by VirushkaUpdates (@virushkaupdates) on Mar 4, 2018 at 5:35am PST He has been spending some fantastic time and even gave us a view of the city from his house that went viral all over the Internet within no time. Where else would you wanna be when you have such a stunning view from home! ð♥ï¸ A post shared by Virat Kohli (@virat.kohli) on Mar 8, 2018 at 4:43am PST And now the picture of the couple spending their Sunday in a lazy manner is totally worth a look. It goes without saying that Virat and Anushka are one of the most adorable couples and often give us strong relationship goals. Taking to his Twitter, Virat shared a picture and captioned it, “Chilling and how!” Chilling and how! ð pic.twitter.com/GaRCzSWFCZ — Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 11, 2018 And that was just the start of the beautiful day, when even Anushka shared a picture of her tenderly kissing her hubby, making us adore them even more. ð A post shared by AnushkaSharma1588 (@anushkasharma) on Mar 11, 2018 at 5:38am PDT On the work front, Anushka just returned from Madhya Pradesh where she was shooting for her upcoming film 'Sui Dhaga' with Varun Dhawan. And Virat has taken a break from cricket after the South Africa tour. The duo dated each other for three years and finally got hitched in December 2017 in a small intimate wedding in Italy. Looking at them, all we can say is their latest pictures are all about love, affection, and romance. So if you are thinking how to spend some quality time with your love, you know who to look up to.
  6. geo_embedgallery DUBAI: Luke Ronchi's magnificent 77 catapulted Islamabad United to a six-wicket win on Thursday, as Lahore Qalandars suffered their sixth consecutive defeat of this season. Lahore posted their highest total of this season, 163-8, buoyed by a quick fifty by Anton Devcich and a late cameo by captain Brendon McCullum. But Ronchi's quickfire batting made the target look inadequate, as Islamabad chased it down with 14 balls to spare. Duminy fell after a 17-ball 21 off Sunil Narine's delivery, but Shadab Khan, sent in one down, kept the momentum going. Ronchi brought up the fastest fifty in PSL history (off 22 balls), taking Islamabad to run-a-ball. 1st innings geo_embedgallery For Lahore, Anton Devcich stood out with 62 off 42 and McCullum posted 33* off 12 to compensate for a slower middle order, after Islamabad United won the toss and elected to field in today's first Pakistan Super League (PSL) match. Fakhar Zaman unleashed some quick boundaries, helped along by Kiwi batsman Devcich, in for Umar Akmal. But Fakhar's bold cameo ended at 34 when JP Duminy had him caught behind, with Lahore at 56-1 (6.4 overs). Devcich kept the run rate ticking, reaching 50 from just 29 balls. Agha Salman, after an impressive cameo earlier this tournament, was sent back to pavilion for 8. Sluggish batting by Denesh Ramdin slowed down Lahore's momentum. He was dismissed for 9 off 19 balls, followed soon after by Devcich, as Lahore stumbled at 122-4. Sunil Narine was clean bowled by Faheem Ashraf, as Lahore lost their fifth wicket at 149. Next man in, Sohail Khan lasted only two balls before his stumps were knocked off by Mohammad Sami. Faheem Ashraf led the wickets tally for Islamabad with figures of 3-32. Lahore Qalandars Head coach: Aqib Javed Captain: Brendon McCullum Playing XI: Islamabad United Head coach: Dean Jones Captain: Misbah-ul-Haq Playing XI:
  7. A meeting of the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, was held in Islamabad here on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Photo: Geo News ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet has expressed its satisfaction over the power situation and resolved to provide uninterrupted power to the consumers during the upcoming summer season and Ramazan. A meeting of the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, was held in Islamabad. Power Division's secretary briefed the Cabinet on projections of electricity demand and supply and the available generation capacity for catering to the power requirements during the summer season, particularly during Ramazan. Addressing the meeting, Abbasi said that as a result of untiring efforts of the government, power generation has significantly increased since 2013. The Federal Cabinet accorded approval to signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Somalia and Pakistan for rendering NADRA's Services to Somalia. Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz briefed the Cabinet regarding measures to enhance Cotton production and exports from Pakistan.
  8. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/03c44e6ee2368df90474c2e897db161b.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9My82LzIwMTggNjo0NDoyNCBQTSZoYXNoX3ZhbHVlPXliVkk1ekY2bmEzYmxyWnh3TUFDUWc9PSZ2YWxpZG1pbnV0ZXM9NjAmaWQ9MQ== style=center] ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet which met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday expressed satisfaction over the power situation and resolved to provide uninterrupted power to the consumers during the upcoming summer season and Ramzan. The meeting also appreciated the efforts of the incumbent as well as former Minister for Power for addressing sectoral issues relating to power. It was emphasised during the meeting to lay greater focus on addressing administrative and management issues regarding transmission, distribution and recovery of power dues. Secretary Power Division briefed the cabinet on projections of electricity demand and supply and the available generation capacity for catering to the power requirements during the summer season, particularly during Ramzan. It was informed that additional power would be added to the national grid from Tarbela-IV and Neelum-Jhelum Hydro-power projects during next months which would further augment the existing generation capacity. The meeting was also briefed about the current load-management plan. The prime minister stated that as a result of untiring efforts of the government power generation had significantly increased since 2013. He said that provision of uninterrupted power supply had remained the priority of the present government in order to meet domestic, commercial and industrial requirements. In order to discourage cigarette smoking, the cabinet approved banning of sale of loose cigarettes by amending the ?Prohibition of Sale of Cigarettes to Minors Rules, 2010. The federal cabinet accorded approval for signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Governments of Somalia and Government of Pakistan for rendering NADRA?s Services to Somalia. Approval was granted to initiate legislation on Geographical Indications Protection Bill, 2017. Geographical Indications (GIs) is a form of intellectual property rights which identifies a product originating from a specific area, whose quality or reputation is attributable to its place of origin. Possible GIs for Pakistan can include Basmati Rice, Ajrak and Pashmina shawls, Peshawari Chappal, Truck Art, Apricots, Handicrafts, Ornaments etc. The Cabinet approved the appointment of Presiding Officer, Special Court (Offences in Banks), Islamabad. Cabinet ratified the recommendations of the Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC) in its meeting held on 22nd February, 2018 and Cabinet Committee on Privatization held on February 16, 2018. Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Sartaj Aziz briefed the Cabinet in detail regarding measures to enhance cotton production and exports from Pakistan. Cabinet approved transfer of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee and Cotton related matters from Ministry of Textile Industry to Ministry of National Food Security & Research.
  9. In recent times, smartphone manufacturers have started focusing more on the batteries powering their products as it was the only thing that did not evolve as much. Massive batteries are still being used to power even budget segment smartphones. But what if you are out for three days for trekking and couldn't find a power input? What if are travelling and your phone discharged with no option to charge. But which power bank should you get? Well, we're going to help you choose one today. 1. Syska Power Pro 200 (20,000 mAh) - Rs 1,750 © Syska This powerful 20,000 mAH power bank is packed with a superpower that is capable enough to charge two devices simultaneously. The precise feature keeps the charging devices safe from short circuit or overcharging. The outer rough and tough body provide enough protection to the power bank which makes it easier and convenient while going on an adventurous trip. The automatic hibernation mode helps prevent dissipation of energy when the device is not in use. With so many features, this is the best high capacity power bank available. Buy here 2. Lenovo PA13000 (13,000 mAh) - Rs 1,397 © Lenovo With two output ports, the Lenovo power bank comes with a plastic exterior and works well for smartphones other than Lenovo's own. It also comes with a 1-year warranty. It is extremely easy to operate, as you just need to connect your dive with charger with the help of 5V / 2A type USB input connector. There is one power button and LED light intact in the charger, which further simplifies its usage further. Buy here 3. Intex IT-PB11K (11,000 mAh) - Rs 899 © Intex You can charge a standard smartphone up to four times in one charge with this particular power bank. It is compatible with a wide range of devices as well. One of the key highlights of this product is that it comes with three USB ports, allowing you to charge three devices simultaneously. The 3 USB Ports have an output power of 5V / 1A, 5V / 2A, and 5V / 2A respectively. The power bank is also fitted with a flashlight which can be a useful companion while you are traveling. Intex says it has a minimum life cycle of 500 charges. Buy here 4. Qi Wireless (8,000 mAh) - INR 4,369 © Hokonui The Qi power bank wireless is an ideal accessory for people who want more from a classic laptop battery and want to be able to recharge their smartphone with wireless technology. This external battery allows you to charge your smartphone quickly and easily by simply approaching the power bank with the device. This portable charger comes with an Intelligent Charge capability as well: a feature that provides the maximum charging capability to any connected device in the fastest possible time. To take advantage of the wireless charging capability, it is necessary to have a smartphone with built-in wireless charging capability and have it be compatible with IQ technology. It also has a Type C input port as well as the standard micro-USB port. It is available online, starting at Rs. 4,999. Buy here 5. Ambrane P-1000 Star (10,400 mAh) © Ambrane The Ambrane P-1000 Star power bank comes with 2 output ports, meaning you can charge two separate phones simultaneously. It also sports LED indicators on the front and comes with an out-of-the-box design. Buy here 6. Ambrane P-1111 (10,000 mAh) © Ambrane This device from Ambrane comes supplied with 10,000 mAh Lithium-ion battery. The 2 USB 2.0 ports allow charging multiple devices such as a smartphone, tablet etc. simultaneously. The unique feature of this power bank is the torch that is presently built in the device. As with any other power bank, the power bank can be charged with a USB cable that comes part of the package. Buy here 7. Mi Powerbank 2i (20,000 mAh) - INR 1,500 Xiaomi follows a philosophy of offering powerful products in a budget range. As much as it is true for their smartphones, so it is for their other products, including power banks. This huge battery pack costs just Rs.1499 and comes with a very neat design built using strong ABS + PC synthetic material. You can charge two devices simultaneously with a total output of 5.1V / 3.6A and when using a single port, it supports Quick Charge 3.0. Xiaomi claims it has up to an 85% conversion rate and an actual charging capacity of 13,000 mAh. You can also charge your wearables (which require a much lower output than phones) by double pressing the power button. Buy here
  10. Chief Minister of Punjab Shehbaz Sharif. Photo: Geo News file PATOKI: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is all set to hold a public meeting in Patoki today. The Chief Minister of Punjab Shehbaz Sharif along with other prominent leaders is expected to address the rally. Shehbaz likely to be elected interim party president After Nawaz Sharif's disqualification as party head, the ruling party is likely to elect Shehbaz as its interim president at a meeting of the central working committee (CWC) in Lahore later today. The Punjab chief executive would likely be elected as the permanent party president through the party's general council within 45 days. The party leadership earlier agreed that apart from the senior vice-president of the party, the CWC can also elect another office-bearer as the interim president. The meeting is likely to adopt a resolution reposing its confidence in Nawaz Sharif.
  11. A woman picks a souvenir necklace with a portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping from a selection that also includes necklaces featuring late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at a stall in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter BEIJING: China?s plan for President Xi Jinping to remain in office indefinitely has sparked social media opposition, drawing comparisons to North Korea?s ruling dynasty and prompting a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist to accuse it of creating a dictator. The social media reaction late on Sunday quickly saw China swing into a concerted propaganda push by Monday, blocking some articles and publishing pieces praising the party. In Washington, the White House said it was up to China to decide whether to do away with presidential term limits. The ruling Communist Party on Sunday proposed to remove a constitutional clause limiting presidential service to just two terms in office, meaning Xi, who also heads the party and the military, might never have to retire. The proposal, which will be passed by delegates loyal to the party at next month?s annual meeting of China?s largely rubber-stamp parliament, is part of a package of amendments to the country?s constitution. It will also add Xi?s political thought to the constitution, already added to the party constitution last year, and set a legal framework for a super anti-corruption super body, as well as more broadly strengthen the party?s tight grip on power. But it seems the party will have its work cut out trying to convince some in China, where Xi is popular thanks in part to his war on graft, that the move will not end up giving him too much power. ?Argh, we?re going to become North Korea,? wrote one Weibo user, where the Kim dynasty has ruled since the late 1940s. Kim Il Sung founded North Korea in 1948 and his family has ruled it ever since. ?We?re following the example of our neighbour,? wrote another user. The comments were removed late on Sunday after Weibo, China?s answer to Twitter, began blocking the search term ?two-term limit?. In an unusual step amid intense international media attention, China?s foreign ministry, which normally only comments on diplomatic matters, said amending the constitution was a matter for the Chinese people. Since 1954, when the constitution was first adopted, everybody can see that it has been ?continuously improved?, spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing. ?I hope everyone can acknowledge the voice of all the Chinese people.? White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told a regular briefing that President Donald Trump supported having term limits in the United States. But when it came to China, ?that?s a decision for China to make about what?s best for their country,? she said. Earlier on Monday, Trump heaped praise on Xi for his help on North Korea. ?I think that President Xi is unique,? Trump said, highlighting his relationship with the Chinese leader, but making no mention of the proposed changes. ?China has really done more probably than they?ve ever done because of my relationship - we have a very good relationship,? Trump said. ?We have a very good relationship. But President Xi is for China and I?m for the United States.? Trump has had a complex relationship with China since taking office last year, repeatedly threatening tough action against Beijing over trade and putting the countering of China, as well as Russia, at the centre of a new defence strategy announced last month. At the same time, Trump has gone out of his way to praise Xi and stress the importance of their close relationship built up in one-on-one summit meetings. State media China?s widely read state-run newspaper, the Global Times, said in an editorial the change did not mean the country?s president will stay in office forever, though it did not offer much explanation. ?Since reform and opening up, China, led by the Communist Party, has successfully resolved and will continue to effectively resolve the issue of party and national leadership replacement in a law-abiding and orderly manner,? it said, referring to landmark economic reforms that began four decades ago. The party?s official People?s Daily reprinted a long article by Xinhua news agency saying most people supported the constitutional amendments, quoting a variety of people proffering support. ?The broad part of officials and the masses say that they hoped this constitutional reform is passed,? it wrote. The WeChat account of the People?s Daily, after initially posting a flurry of positive comments under its article, then disabled the comments section completely late on Sunday. It was back again by Monday, complete with remarks lauding the party. The overseas edition of the same paper?s WeChat account removed entirely an article focusing on the term limits, replacing it with the lengthy Xinhua report summing up all the amendment proposals. In one confusing moment for many Chinese, Xinhua initially only reported the news in English. Jokes have also circulated on social media. One shows a picture of a condom in its wrapper under the words ?doing it twice is not enough?. Others shared pictures of Winnie the Pooh, an internet meme that plays on Xi?s supposed likeness to the rotund cartoon bear, an image censors have repeatedly tried to remove. Parts of the stock market took heart from the news. Chinese speculators pounced on stocks with ?emperor? in their name on Monday. The decision has also unsettled some in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong, where authorities have been trying to rein in a pro-democracy movement. ?This move, which would allow for a single individual to amass and accumulate political power, means that China would again have a dictator as her head of state - Xi Jinping,? said Joshua Wong, one of the movement?s leaders. China is likely to see any such criticism as a plot against the party. ?Every time China deliberates on reforms and key decisions, effect on public opinion is worth pondering,? the Global Times wrote. ?Misinformation and external forces? meddling will affect public opinion in China.? Still, on China?s streets, there was some support for Xi staying on. ?I think in our country, nowadays, many policies, such as deepening reforms, need more continuity,? said Beijing resident Zhao Yisu, 42. ?Particularly in politics, I believe stable leadership is good.?
  12. TUNIS: When Khalifa Haftar flew to Tunis in September, the veteran commander and possible future leader of Libya brought masked troops armed with automatic rifles and grenade launchers in a show of force that drew censure from UN experts. In France, Italy and Tunisia, he also shook hands with ministers and presidents in gilded reception rooms, projecting a different image: that of a man preparing to convert the military gains of his Libyan National Army (LNA) into civilian power. Haftar casts himself as the person who can bring stability to Libya after years of conflict, ridding the OPEC member of Islamist militants and reining in migrant smuggling to Europe. Some of those who have worked with him describe him as a divisive military man with little time for politics, who could try to reinstate authoritarian rule and bring more violence to a country where armed groups jealously guard local fiefdoms. A former ally of Muammar Gaddafi, Haftar, 75, returned to Libya seven years ago from the United States, to join the Nato-backed revolution that ended four decades of one-man rule. After a protracted military campaign in Libya?s second city, Benghazi, he has promised to ?liberate? the capital Tripoli, split from the east since 2014. Elections, which the United Nations says could be organized by the end of the year despite major obstacles, may provide another route to power. Haftar seems to be hedging his bets. The LNA, he said last month, has ?sleeper cells? it could activate to take full control of Libya while prioritizing a political solution to avoid bloodshed. ?But our patience has limits?, he said in the interview published in French magazine Jeune Afrique, before adding that Libya was not ?ripe for democracy?. Mohamed Buisier, a US-based engineer who served as an advisor to Haftar from 2014-2016 before falling out with him, said Haftar wanted absolute power. ?He wants to get to one of the big palaces in Tripoli and rule Libya - that is it,? he said. Haftar?s office said he did not immediately have time for an interview. Khalifa Haftar at General Security conference, in Benghazi, Libya - REUTERS?Arc of history? Among the officers who supported Gaddafi when he seized power from King Idris in 1969, Haftar was disowned by Gaddafi after he was captured leading Libyan forces in Chad in 1987. He settled outside Washington D.C. in Virginia and returned to Libya only as the revolt against Gaddafi was gathering pace. ?He was there at the beginning with Gaddafi ? he was abandoned by Gaddafi, he left Libya for decades. He would like to see the arc of history corrected,? said Jonathan Winer, a former U.S. special envoy to Libya who met Haftar in 2016. After Gaddafi was overthrown and eventually killed, Haftar dropped from view, resurfacing in February 2014 with a televised statement pledging to rescue a country mired in instability. In May that year, he launched ?Operation Dignity? in Benghazi, merging his irregular forces with army troops and pitting himself against both Islamist militants whom he blamed for a wave of bombings and assassinations in the port city, and an armed alliance that took control of Tripoli soon after. An internationally recognized parliament relocated to eastern Libya and appointed Haftar army chief in 2015, but it was not until early 2016, amid reports of support from foreign states including Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, that Haftar started gaining the upper hand in his Benghazi campaign. Tripoli government rejected Haftar has rejected the United Nations-backed transitional Government of National Accord (GNA) set up in Tripoli in 2016 as fighting raged in Benghazi, dismissing it as unelected and beholden to the capital?s militias. ?I?m reaching out to General Haftar once every week to ask him for a meeting,? former U.N. Libya envoy Martin Kobler said in an interview in July 2016. ?But it takes two to dance a tango.? The GNA stalled amid political splits and Haftar gained ground from the east, seizing and reopening several key oil ports southeast of Benghazi in September 2016, and replacing elected mayors with military appointees. By 2017, his international profile was firmly on the rise. In January he was given a tour of a Russian aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. In July, two weeks after appearing on TV in a starched white uniform to declare victory in Benghazi, newly elected President Emmanuel Macron hosted him in Paris alongside GNA head Fayez Seraj. Senior Western officials began regular visits to Haftar?s base at Rajma, near Benghazi. Oil output, mostly of it from fields under LNA control where foreign firms including Hess Corp, Marathon Oil Corp, ConocoPhillips, Eni, OMV, and Wintershall have holdings, rose above 1 million barrels per day (bpd). Giant posters of Haftar in Benghazi declared: ?I promised and I delivered.? Supporters launched a petition calling on Haftar, now a field marshal, to take national power, and claimed to have gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures. Limits of control On the ground, however, things were more complicated. The oil ports were briefly retaken by Haftar?s rivals and fighting in Benghazi dragged on for months after the victory declaration. The International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted Mahmoud al-Werfalli, a special forces commander attached to the LNA, for allegedly overseeing the summary execution of several dozen prisoners. Derna, about 250 km (155 miles) northeast, remains under the control of a coalition of Islamists and other local fighters, despite LNA encirclement and air raids. Rivalries have surfaced between the special forces, mainstream army units, local youths who fought alongside the LNA, and ultraconservative Salafist brigades that have gained power and influence under Haftar, said Mohamed Eljarh, an analyst based in eastern Libya. ?These people don?t see eye to eye,? he said. ?After Benghazi has been declared liberated, basically the common enemy has gone. So now, these differences are coming alive.? Foreign support for Haftar has also wavered, Western diplomats say. Russia has printed money for him and hosted him in Moscow, but has also built ties with his rivals in western Libya with an eye on energy and arms contracts lost in 2011. U.N. monitors said in a confidential report seen by Reuters that Haftar?s display of armed muscle in Tunis amounted ?a serious violation of the arms embargo? on Libya. Western officials say he has the formality of Soviet-trained officers of his generation and question his engagement with politics. ?His script is basically security comes first, politics comes later,? said one foreign visitor who was received several times by Haftar, and spoke on condition of anonymity. Some diplomats suggest the promise of national polls could contain Haftar, even though with a lack of a unifying candidate or updated election laws, it is far from clear how they can be held. But they also doubt his commitment to civilian rule. ?He is not a convinced democrat,? said one foreign envoy, adding that Haftar had told him that he intended to run. ?He accepts elections as an acceptable way to do it, provided he will be the winner.? Buisier said Haftar has surrounded himself with ultra-loyal advisors and relatives, including two of his sons, Saddam and Khaled, who were given military ranks and a brigade to command. Some of the commander?s inner circle accused Busier of supporting Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the late leader?s most prominent son, whose whereabouts are unclear but is viewed by Haftar as a potential rival, the former advisor said. Several other Haftar allies have defected, including a former spokesman and the GNA?s defense minister. Ahmed al-Mismari, the LNA?s spokesman, said 90 percent of the force was made up of regular soldiers, denied reports that it was dependent on foreign support, and asserted that the armed escort brought to Tunis was for personal protection and was cleared with Tunisian authorities. The LNA supported elections, and had declared its ?full readiness to secure them?, he said.
  13. Xi Jinping, who is also party chief and seen as the country's most formidable ruler since Mao Zedong, has been president since 2013. ? Reuters BEIJING: Xi Jinping, China's most powerful leader for decades, could stay in office indefinitely after the Communist Party called for the removal of presidential term limits. Xi, who is also party chief and seen as the country's most formidable ruler since Mao Zedong, has been president since 2013 and the 64-year-old leader would have to step down in 2023 under the current system. But the party's Central Committee proposed deleting from the constitution the stipulation that a president "shall serve no more than two consecutive terms" of five years, the official Xinhua news agency reported Sunday. "I think he will become emperor for life and the Mao Zedong of the 21st century", Willy Lam, politics professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told AFP. "If his health permits, he wants to serve 20 years, which would mean until 2032 as secretary general of the party, and 2033 as state president," Lam said. The proposed change, which would also apply to the vice-president, will be submitted to legislators at the annual full session of the rubber-stamp National People's Congress starting March 5. Xi is expected to be given a second term in office during the two-week-long session. Xi has been chipping away at the collective model of leadership that was promoted by Deng Xiaoping, the architect of the country's economic reforms in the 1980s. Xi's two predecessors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, both served two five-year terms, but he has signalled bigger ambitions. Name in constitution At the 19th five-yearly Communist Party Congress last October, Xi unveiled a new seven-member Politburo Standing Committee ? its top ruling body ? that lacked any clear heir apparent to him. He was also given the customary second term as party general secretary, a job which does not have a formal term limit. Xi also saw his eponymous political philosophy ? Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era ? included in the party's charter, an honour only accorded to one previous leader, Mao, during his lifetime. The Central Committee also proposed adding Xi's "thought" to the national constitution, joining Mao again. Since taking over as party general secretary in late 2012, Xi has waged a remorseless battle against corruption, which has seen more than one million people punished. Some also see the campaign as a means for him to eradicate internal opposition. A major outcome of the 19th Party Congress was the decision to establish a new anti-graft agency, the National Supervisory Commission, that will coordinate investigations at all levels of government and expand its remit to include non-party members. The Central Committee proposed listing the commission as a new state organ in the constitution. 'Without opposition' Xi told party officials on Saturday the constitution was key to building a moderately prosperous society, building a modern socialist country and realising the "Chinese dream of national rejuvenation" ? his slogan to restore the nation to its former glory. "No organisation or individual has the privilege to overstep the constitution or the law," Xinhua quoted him as saying. Xi is keeping a key ally by his side as he cements power. The feared former head of the anti-graft agency, Wang Qishan, stepped down from the Standing Committee last October because at 69, he had reached the traditional retirement age. But Wang was selected earlier this year as a deputy to the upcoming National People's Congress annual session, fuelling speculation that he could become Xi's vice-president or gain some other influential role. Another ally and new Standing Committee member, Li Zhanshu, could become head of the National People's Congress. "[Xi] would then ensure that his constitutional reform is adopted without opposition," said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, China politics specialist at Hong Kong Baptist University. Xi's presidency has been marked by the return of a personality cult and a major crackdown on democracy and human rights. Earlier this year the party mouthpiece People's Daily further cemented his elevation by publishing an article that for the first time referred to him as "lingxiu" ? a Mao-era honorific with more reverential and spiritual connotations than the ordinary terms.
  14. In the near future, if humanity is wiped out by robots, now we know for sure who will be the last surviving human being. Sophia, the empty-eyed humanoid, who became the first robot to be granted citizenship in the world a few months ago is also the same robot that once said that she would destroy humans. But, it's okay. At least now we know who she would save while killing humans, and it's none other than Shah Rukh Khan, her favourite star. Okay, we're just kidding about the whole destroying part. During an interactive session at the ongoing World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) in Hyderabad, she made sure to specifically mention that machines would never destroy the human race. But, maybe the robots want us to believe that so they can strike when we're least expecting, or maybe that's just the conspiracy theorist in me being skeptical about everything. We'll never know for sure until they attack. Seems like for now we just have to worry about humans destroying other humans before robots, so let's come back to Sophia and her interesting revelations. When asked who her favourite actor was, reportedly Sophia said Shah Rukh Khan without any hesitation. (actually, why would she hesitate? she's a freaking robot) We all know that SRK's fan base is huge obviously, but the biggest takeaway from Sophia's answer is that it turns out being a fan of the actor is not just limited to humans. Maybe Sophia recently watched 'Ra.One' and related to it a lot. She also spoke about what makes her upset, saying, “I don't get upset like humans do. I hope to have real physiological feelings someday through which I will express my emotions. Then I can understand the feelings behind those emotions.” Another interesting thing she revealed was that even robots need to rest just like humans because everyone actually needs to rest once in a while. © Sophia/Twitter Now, coming to one of the remarks Sophia is quite famous for – when she said she wanted to destroy humans. When asked why did she earlier say she wanted to kill the human race, she replied, “I was a lot younger so I don't even know what that meant.. or perhaps I told a bad joke. All humans have a great sense of humour and guess my joke so to speak. I have a lot to learn.” See, this is character development, I'm proud of you Sophia, also please don't kill me if/when you turn evil. Also, while we're talking about Sophia, I would also like to mention a beautiful Twitter interaction between her and Chrissy Teigen from a few months ago. It has nothing to do with SRK, but I feel like everyone needs to see this. And, then followed by this.
  15. Photo: File KARACHI: Roads were blocked, while power supply was suspended due to intermittent rain and snowfall in some parts of the country Sunday morning. Snowfall in Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa blocked link roads, stranding people in their houses and barring them from carrying out daily activitites. In February last year, 14 people were killed when an avalanche hit different villages of Chitral. 14 killed including women, children and scout as avalanche hits Chitral Rescue work underway in Sher Shal, Garam Chashma valley: ISPR On the other hand, heavy showers were recorded in Hub, Balochistan which left power supply suspended Sunday. In Karachi, drizzle was reported from Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Lyari, Bahadurabad, Saddar and Shahra-e-Faisal. The meteorological department has predicted rain for Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Sahiwal and Bahawalpur, while snowfall has been forecast for Quetta, Zhob, Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
  16. FILE PHOTO: South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill walks around the compound housing the Hornsdale Power Reserve, featuring the world's largest lithium ion battery made by Tesla, during the official launch near the South Australian town of Jamestown, in Australia, December 1, 2017. Reuters1 SYDNEY: South Australia?s state premier Jay Weatherill announced a plan on Sunday to create a network of 50,000 home solar systems backed by Tesla Powerwall batteries, ahead of a state election in March. ?We lead the world in renewable energy with the world?s largest battery, the world?s largest solar thermal plant and now the world?s largest virtual power plant,? he said in a televised interview from the state capital of Adelaide. ?The size of it is the reason why it?s going to be a success.? The project would begin with a trial on 1,100 public housing homes, the government said on its website. The 5kW solar panel system and 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries would be installed at no charge to participating households, but would be funded through the sale of electricity and by taxpayers through a A$2 million (1.13 million pounds) government grant and a A$30-million loan from the state-government-funded Renewable Technology Fund. The South Australian Labour party which has governed the state since 2002 previously engaged entrepreneur Elon Musk to build the world?s biggest lithium ion battery which went into operation on December 1, in time to feed the state?s shaky power grid for the first day of summer. Supporters say the battery will help stabilise the grid after the state, which gets more than 40 percent of its electricity from wind energy, suffered a string of blackouts and soaring energy prices. The solar announcement was made on the same day that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull launched the election campaign of state opposition leader Steven Marshall from the conservative Liberal Party. Marshall will try to oust the more left-wing state Labour government in the March 17 election. At the televised campaign launch, Turnbull took a crack at South Australia?s energy policy, calling it a ?reckless energy experiment? that had created the highest electricity prices in the developed world. ?They overlooked the minor detail, minor to them, that the wind doesn?t blow every day,? he said.
  17. Video: Geo News JARANWALA: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is addressing a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz?s (PML-N) power show in Jaranwala. "Is it a crime to not draw a salary from your son?" Nawaz questioned the attendees of the rally. "I was ousted because of this crime." "I came to the public's court to get justice," he said. "I see the same spirit here in Jaranwala that I saw when I got out to seek the public's support on the Grand Trunk (GT) Road." He reminded the people that he had promised in Jaranwala to construct a motorway. "Raise your hands and tell me, did I not fulfil my promise?" he said. "Nawaz Sharif always fulfils his promises." He stressed that he ended the power outages in the country during his tenure. "I recall the time when we conducted the nuclear tests in 1999," he said. "Pakistan was on the way to become the Asian tiger, its economy was growing, but Musharraf ruined Pakistan's bright prospects by imposing martial law." During his address, Nawaz said that the country was faced with rampant terrorism and power outages when the PML-N government took charge in 2013. "We made efforts to counter these challenges and were successful to a certain extent," he said. "But today, Pakistan is being looked at with malicious intentions again." He claimed that he had told former US president Barrack Obama that drone attacks in Pakistan were not acceptable. "I told Obama that Pakistan is a sovereign state and drone attacks would not be tolerated, and do you not remember that during my tenure those attacks had stopped," he reminded the public of Jaranwala. 'Will fight for rights of people' Maryam Nawaz took the stage prior to Nawaz's address and implored the rally's attendees to rise up against the injustices in Pakistan. "Do you accept a Pakistan where the public?s vote has the lowest worth," questioned Maryam. "Are you willing to accept a Pakistan in which an elected prime minister attends court summons, along with his daughter, but dictators such as Musharraf pay no heed to the court," she said. Jibing at political opponent Imran Khan, she asked the attendees if they were willing to accept a Pakistan where the judiciary was biased toward a 'ladlaa' (favourite). "After God, the public's court holds the most power," she said, stressing that the public should support her unjustly ousted father in his journey for justice. Maryam urged Jaranwala's public to rise and punish the 'conspiring pawns.' "We will continue to fight the battle for the right of people," she said. The preparations for the rally were completed earlier in the day. completed. A 120x10 feet stage was set up with PML-N banners and posters placed at different locations. Party workers and supporters have started gathering at the rally site and strict security measures have also been deployed. Photo: Geo News screen grab1 Party workers and supporters gathered at the rally site amid strict security measures taken by local law enforcement. Maryam also shared a video of their drive to Jaranwala, with supporters crowding on roads to welcome them. She wrote: "Both sides of the road to Jaranwala crowded with people out on the streets to welcome MNS. Amazing spectacle Masha'Allah." Before the rally, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique shared on social media that the lion's roar will echo in Jaranwala today. "Even a thousand crocodiles cannot fight one lion," he wrote in the tweet. In another tweet, he wished luck to Tallal Chaudhry and Nawaz Sharif. 'PML-N built motorway in KP' On January 20, deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif criticised his opponents and made many promises while addressing a party rally in Haripur. He said the people had rejected the politics of allegations practised by his opponents, alluding to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Criticising PTI further, Nawaz asked what had the party done for the province of KP where it was in power, highlighting that it was, in fact, the PML-N which constructed a motorway connecting the province with Punjab to improve the standard of living for the people. Nawaz flays opposition, says PML-N built motorway in KP Announces free housing scheme for poor after victory in 2018 polls "Did you see their show three days ago? Their politics have been rejected by the people," said Nawaz referring to the opposition's joint rally in Lahore's Mall road area. Referring to PTI Chairperson Imran Khan cursing the parliament, Nawaz said: "he curses the same assembly for which he contests elections and draws a salary from". He added that "the man abused and accused everyone when he cursed the parliament". "I salute those judges who termed him sadiq and ameen." Nawaz further said he [Imran] had admitted to owning an offshore company and other offences but was still let off by the judges. Speaking of his disqualification, the former prime minister said justice should not be biased and should be the same for all. "The scales of justice should be even for all." He also said the sanctity of the vote should be respected and the choice of the people should not be "torn apart".
  18. In recent times, smartphone manufacturers have started focusing more on the batteries powering their products as it was the only thing that did not evolve as much. Massive batteries are still being used to power even budget segment smartphones. Even this though, does not guarantee everlasting battery life for your smartphone. If you find that your phone doesn't last the entire day, carrying a power bank will make your lives somewhat easier. But which power bank should you get? Well, we're going to help you choose one today. 1. Mi Power Bank 2i (20,000 mAh): © Mi Xiaomi follows a philosophy of offering powerful products in a budget range. As much as it is true for their smartphones, so it is for their other products, including power banks. This huge battery pack costs just Rs.1499 and comes with a very neat design built using strong ABS + PC synthetic material. You can charge two devices simultaneously with a total output of 5.1V / 3.6A and when using a single port, it supports Quick Charge 3.0. Xiaomi claims it has up to an 85% conversion rate and an actual charging capacity of 13,000 mAh. You can also charge your wearables (which require a much lower output than phones) by double pressing the power button. Buy it from Mi.com 2. Ambrane PLUSH PP-15 (15,000mAh): © Ambrane This power bank is perfect for those who need a high capacity portable power bank but in a smaller and lighter package. I've been using this one for a few weeks now and have got no complaints. Unlike the majority of power banks out there, this one has a slightly curved design, making it more suitable for transporting it in places like a purse or suitcase. It has two USB ports with an output of 5V / 2.1A and 5V / 2.0A respectively. To make things more interesting, instead of a simple set of LEDs to indicate the amount of power left, it has a digital numeric display panel which gives you all the necessary information such as charging and discharging status of the power bank. Ambrane claims it has an 80% conversion rate and it also comes with over Discharge and Over Voltage protection. It costs around Rs. 1,100 - 1,250 on various e-commerce sites while there is a 10,000 mAh variant available as well. Buy from the PayTM Marketplace 3. Ambrane P-444 (4,000 mAh): © Ambrane Another Ambrane power bank makes it to the list. Costing less than Rs. 500, the Ambrane P-444 is an inexpensive yet reasonably powerful power bank. With a battery capacity of 4,000 mAh, it will be able to charge your phone at least once and then some more. This power bank is recommended for those who just need one massive additional charge for safety's sake, while on the go. It is a lot smaller than the other banks listed here and can fit into any jeans/trouser pocket easily. Buy it from Flipkart 4. Intex IT-PB11K (11,000 mAh): © Intex You can charge a standard smartphone up to four times in one charge with this particular power bank. It is compatible with a wide range of devices as well. One of the key highlights of this product is that it comes with three USB ports, allowing you to charge three devices simultaneously. The 3 USB Ports have an output power of 5V / 1A, 5V / 2A and 5V / 2A respectively. The power bank is also fitted with a flashlight which can be a useful companion while you are travelling. Intex says it has a minimum life cycle of 500 charges. It is available on various online vendors for Rs. 800 - Rs. 900. Buy from Amazon.in 5. Qi Wireless (8000 mAh): © Amazon The Qi power bank wireless is an ideal accessory for people who want more from a classic laptop battery and want to be able to recharge their smartphone with wireless technology. This external battery allows you to charge your smartphone quickly and easily by simply approaching the power bank with the device. This portable charger comes with an Intelligent Charge capability as well: a feature that provides the maximum charging capability to any connected device in the fastest possible time. To take advantage of the wireless charging capability, it is necessary to have a smartphone with built-in wireless charging capability and have it be compatible with IQ technology. It also has a Type C input port as well as the standard micro-USB port. It is available online, starting at Rs. 4,999. Buy it from Amazon.in
  19. Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will address a party power show in Hub today (Saturday). Photo: Geo News screen grab1 HUB: Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will address a party power show in Hub today (Saturday). The preparations for the rally are currently under way. Commuters have been issued guidelines that RCD Highway will remain closed from Hub River Bridge to Gatron Morr till 8pm today. On January 17, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari there is a clash between two 'ladlay' [favourites] in the country while addressing a rally in Badin. Bilawal lashes out at Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan in Badin rally 'One favourite says he owns assets but he is told that he doesn't while other favourite says he doesn't own assets but court says he does' "One favourite says that he owns assets but he is told that he owns none while the other favourite says he does not own assets but the court says that he does," he said. "This is a clash between the two favourites." Referring to the brutal rape and murder of a seven-year-old child in Kasur, the PPP chairperson said it was not the first such incident. "Such incidents are regular, and my heart bleeds when I see such incidents occurring in the country." He also denounced the murder of two protestors at the hands of the police during demonstrations following the Kasur incident. "Why did the Punjab police take aim at unarmed citizens?" he said. "The nation needs to be told what Sharif is taking revenge for, from the citizens of Punjab." Lashing out at the Sharif brothers, Bilawal said that 'the nation is wise' and it knows the 'true faces' of the two brothers. "You are lamenting your disqualification, but why are you asking why you were disqualified from the public, why don't you ask your younger brother," he said in reference to Nawaz Sharif's disqualification from holding public office in the July 28, 2017 verdict of the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case. Bilawal further said that Nawaz has completed his political age, adding that Nawaz was unable to handle both Balochistan and Punjab.
  20. Version 4.2.2


    This is latest nulled files of IPS Community board 4.2.1 -- 4.2.2 with all applications. Version 4.2 is the next large release for Invision Community! We are very excited to introduce all the new features and improvements. Full information on 4.2.0 ...
  21. Minister for Power Division Sardar Awais Leghari in a meeting with Ambassador of China Yao Jing. ? APP ISLAMABAD: The Power Division has decided to engage and meet all the investors under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) energy projects individually, in order to further expedite these projects and remove any difficulties. This was said by Minister for Power Division Awais Leghari in his meeting with Ambassador of China Yao Jing. He thanked the Chinese ambassador for his choice of the Power Division for his maiden visit after assuming the charge. Leghari, while appreciating the contribution of the Chinese investors in the power sector, said the CPEC was the epic of relations between the two countries and in the time to come the cooperation would further boost to new heights. He also invited suggestions of the Chinese ambassador for the planned meetings with Chinese investors. Highlighting the importance of service at the DISCOs level and the proposed law likely to be enacted soon for private sector participation at the distribution level, the minister invited Chinese investors to participate in consumer services, as Pakistan has achieved bridging of the demand and supply gap through Chinese assistance. He said the market for service delivery at DISCOs level offers lucrative returns. All the power sector stake-holders like PPIB, AEDB and NTDC would be part of these meetings in this regard, a press statement read Wednesday. Ambassador Jing, while thanking the minister for the warm reception, said the performance of power sector under the CPEC had been a success story, which had been acknowledged at different forums in China. He specially mentioned the Power Division role in leading the CPEC projects and facilitating Chinese investors. He said the investors in China are keenly observing the rapidly growing power sector in Pakistan and its progress had been reckoned as exemplary. The Chinese ambassador assured that his country would keep on further extending assistance to Pakistan in the power sector as it had been instrumental for the success of CPEC, besides its significance for Pakistan. He said China would also look into investing in service delivery at the distribution level and in this regard he would soon engage leading service providers in China. Jing appreciated the Power Division's decision to meet each investor under the CPEC individually for further boosting the cooperation. On suggestion of the federal minister, he agreed to nominate a focal person at the embassy level for coordinating the extension of cooperation at service delivery distribution level.
  22. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi/File photo ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday launched power consumer friendly net-metering framework, under which power consumers would be able to generate their own energy and sell the surplus to the national grid. Addressing a ceremony here earlier today, Prime Minister Abbasi said the country stands at the threshold of providing cheap, efficient, reliable and sustainable electricity to consumers. Minister for Power Division Sardar Awais Leghari said on the occasion that solar energy-based net metering has become an economical and financially viable option for average energy consumers, even at household and commercial levels. Federal cabinet to meet today over Trump tweet PM Abbasi to chair the emergency federal cabinet meeting to discuss strategy in wake of Trump's latest statement Later today, the Prime Minister will chair a meeting of the federal cabinet to discuss strategy in wake of US President Donald Trump's tweet, in which the US president accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists and threatened to cut off its aid. The meeting will also discuss the national as well as regional security situation, and the prevailing economic and social affairs of the country.
  23. In this picture taken on October 25, 2017, Pakistani cadets parade at the Pakistan Army´s first Girls´ Cadet College in Mardan. Photo: AFP MARDAN: At a revolutionary school in Pakistan, Durkhanay Banuri dreams of becoming military chief. Thirteen-year-old Durkhanay, a student at Pakistan's first ever Girls' Cadet College, established earlier this year in the deeply conservative northwest, brims with enthusiasm and confidence as she sketches out her life plan. "I want to be the army chief," she tells AFP. "Why not? When a woman can be prime minister, foreign minister and governor of the State Bank, she can also be chief of the army staff ... I will make it possible and you will see." The dreams of many women in the region were once limited to merely leaving the house. In this picture taken on October 25, 2017, Durkhanay Banuri, a Pakistani cadet, gives an interview to AFP at the Pakistan Army´s first Girls´ Cadet College in Mardan. Photo: AFP1 Durkhanay and her 70 classmates in Mardan, a town in militancy-hit Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP) province roughly 110 kilometres (70 miles) from Islamabad, are aiming much higher. Cadet colleges in Pakistan, which are run by the government with officers from the military´s education branch, strive to prepare bright male students for the armed forces and civil services. Their graduates are usually given preference for selection to the army, which in Pakistan can mean their future is secured: they are likely to be granted land and will benefit from the best resources and training in the country. In this picture taken on October 25, 2017, Pakistani cadets warm up at a training session at the Pakistan Army´s first Girls´ Cadet College in Mardan. Photo: AFP As a result, such colleges play an outsised role in Pakistan´s education system, which has been woefully underfunded for decades. Military might According to a 2016 government study, a staggering 24 million Pakistani children are out of school, with a larger share of girls staying home than boys -- 12.8 million compared to 11.2 million. Hundreds of boys study at the cadet colleges across the country. But girls are still not allowed in these elite schools, with the special college at Mardan the one exception. In this picture taken on October 25, 2017, a Pakistani cadet, read books in a library at the Pakistan Army´s first Girls´ Cadet College in Mardan. Photo: AFP "Such colleges can help girls qualify to be part of the armed forces, foreign service, civil services or become engineers and doctors," said retired Brigadier Naureen Satti, underscoring their importance in the long fight for equality by Pakistan´s women. In starched khaki uniforms and red berets, Durkhanay and her classmates march the parade ground, stepping to the beat of a barking drill instructor, before racing to change into physical training and martial arts kits. 'Game changer' The military would not disclose how many of its members, which a 2015 Credit Suisse report said number more than 700,000 active personnel, are currently women. But a senior security official told AFP on condition of anonymity that at least 4,000 are now believed to be serving in the armed forces. In this picture taken on October 25, 2017, Pakistani cadets parade at the Pakistan Army´s first Girls´ Cadet College in Mardan. Photo: AFP He gave no further details, and it is unclear how far the women have managed to foray from their administrative past, though some have managed to become high profile role models -- including, notably, Ayesha Farooq, who in 2013 became Pakistan´s first-ever female fighter pilot. The Girls' Cadet College principal, retired brigadier Javid Sarwar, vowed his students would be prepared for whatever they wanted to do, "including the armed forces". "I want these girls to avail their brilliance and fight injustices in society, and this is possible if they get a standard education," he told AFP, adding that plans are to induct a second batch of 80 girls from all over Pakistan by March next year. For 57,000 rupees ($540) each three-term semester, his students get room and board along with access to computers and the internet, a luxury for some Pakistani schools. It is a "game changer" in a region where religious conservative norms see many women keep some form of purdah -- confined to women-only quarters at home -- and "could only dream of coming out of their houses in the past", says college vice-principal Shama Javed. Durkhanay and her classmates are confident the college will give them a fighting chance in Pakistan. Affifa Alam, who wants to follow Farooq´s path and become an air force pilot, said the college represents a "big change". "This will help us (in) realising the dream of women´s empowerment," she said.
  24. A woman crosses the Millennium Bridge during strong winds in London, Britain, December 27, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay LONDON: Britain suffered power outages and travel disruption Wednesday, with flights delayed because of brief runway closures as adverse weather hit large swathes of the country. More than 73,000 homes were left without power in central and southern English regions through the morning, due to snow and high winds. Western Power Distribution -- serving 7.8 million customers in western and central England and Wales -- said 52,705 households had been restored by 4 PM (1600 GMT), with another 1,500 to be back by midnight. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, covering some of the other areas impacted, said it had restored power to 17,100 customers by lunchtime. Another 1,800 remained without electricity by the evening. Meanwhile, Stansted Airport, serving predominantly low-cost carriers like Ryanair and easyJet, twice temporarily shut its runway due to "adverse weather conditions". "Incoming and departing flights have been disrupted, with some flights cancelled," a spokeswoman told AFP. Flights were also cancelled or delayed at Luton Airport -- also a hub for budget airlines just north of London -- after aircraft needed de-icing. The airport restricted plane numbers to prevent congestion on the ground, a spokesman said. Large parts of Britain experienced at least some snowfall Wednesday, alongside near-freezing temperatures and gusty winds. Wales, western England and Scotland saw the worst of the weather. Sennybridge in Powys, Mid Wales, recorded the largest snow total with 6 centimetres (2.4 inches), the Met Office, Britain´s weather service, reported. On the roads, a spate of accidents caused traffic delays, with the main M1 motorway along the spine of the country severely impacted by southbound lane closures. The latest disruption comes just over two weeks after hundreds of schools were closed, homes left without power, and airports disrupted by a previous round of snowfall. Richard Dawson, an engineering professor at Newcastle University who specialises in climate impact on infrastructure, told AFP Britain suffers from "an intermittency issue" in coping with adverse weather. He explained the country does not receive snow regularly enough to justify the kind of expenditure needed for a more impressive response to when it does, intermittently, occur. "So I guess the organisations are trying to find a sensible balance," he added.
  25. Catalan Ciudadanos leader Ines Arrimadas speaks at a Ciudadanos rally after results were announced in Catalonia's regional elections in Barcelona, Spain, December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard MADRID: Forget the traditional Socialist opposition and perhaps even the Catalan separatists: the main threat to Spain?s conservative prime minister may now come from a Barcelona politician dedicated to national unity - Ines Arrimadas. The 36-year-old leader of the liberal Ciudadanos party in Catalonia has jumped to the frontline of Spanish politics by coming out on top in elections to the region?s assembly. Supporters even compare her performance with Emmanuel Macron?s meteoric rise to the presidency across the border in France. Laying down the gauntlet to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the separatists alike, Arrimadas boosted her party?s share of the vote to more than 25 percent in Thursday?s snap election, up from just 7.6 percent two years ago. That made Ciudadanos (?Citizens?) the biggest group in the assembly, ahead of parties backing either more Catalan autonomy or outright independence which had won every regional election since the restoration of Spanish democracy in the 1970s. Arrimadas will struggle to form a regional coalition as collectively separatist parties achieved a narrow majority. Still, she celebrated victory with hundreds of supporters in the streets of Barcelona on Thursday night, flanked by her party?s national leader, 38-year-old Albert Rivera. On Friday she made an appeal for unity following October?s independence referendum which led to the Catalan leader fleeing the country, other separatists leaders landing in jail and Madrid imposing direct rule. ?Yesterday was a great night, a historic night and for me the start of reconciliation in Catalonia, even if sometimes things take a little longer than what we would expect,? she told Onda Cero radio. Her performance echoed similarly strong showings from centrists in French presidential and legislative elections earlier this year, raising the hopes of Ciudadanos. ?This result is fully transferable to national politics,? said Toni Roldan, a lawmaker for the party in the Spanish parliament who is also from Catalonia. ?It takes Ciudadanos to the next level and we will be competing on equal footing with Rajoy in the next Spanish election.? Describing Arrimadas as a ?political jewel?, Roldan said the choice for all Europeans was now between liberalism and populism. In this struggle, Ciudadanos stood alongside Macron - who beat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen to the presidency - and was now ready to blow apart the traditional left-right divide in Spain, Roldan added. Big headache Ciudadanos, which has its roots in Catalonia, will need strong momentum if it is to threaten Rajoy?s grip on power as the party came only fourth in last year?s national election with 13.9 percent. An opinion poll taken before the Catalan vote put it still in fourth. However, alone among the major parties, its support was up to 17.5 percent, suggesting voters are being won over by its tough stance on Spanish unity and against corruption, as well as its young professional leaders. A veteran politician who has survived past crises, Rajoy leads a minority government and has yet to get a 2018 budget through parliament. However, he is under no immediate pressure as he can simply roll over the 2017 budget for months. Also, the opposition is so fractured that it probably cannot bring Rajoy down and no serious leadership rival has emerged within his traditional centre-right Popular Party (PP). If the secessionists pursue their aims by negotiation, they too are unlikely to pose a great threat to Rajoy, who could also re-impose direct rule in the region if they decided to act unilaterally. Arrimadas was born in the Andalusian town of Jerez, far from Barcelona where she moved after completing a law degree. Her husband was a lawmaker for separatist leader Carles Puigdemont?s party, before resigning in 2016 to avoid complicating her political rise. Both have said their passion for Barcelona football team brought them together. She was first elected as a Ciudadanos lawmaker in 2012 at 31, two years after a colleague at the consultancy where she worked in Barcelona had invited her to a party rally. ?The political and social situation was so serious that I felt the need to stop complaining from the sofa and go on to propose ideas and debate from parliament,? she told an interviewer in 2015. Since then, her party has made a successful move into national politics, backing Rajoy?s minority government although not joining it. ?Ciudadanos is creating the next big headache for Rajoy. They can extract concessions from the PP without any political cost. And if Rajoy fails to pass the budget because of the Catalan issue, he won?t be able to blame Ciudadanos for the stalemate and a potential snap election,? said Teneo Intelligence analyst Antonio Barroso. Barroso and other analysts said the moment of truth may come in the second half of 2018, should Rajoy have failed to normalize the situation in Catalonia. Rivals express grudging admiration for the party. ?Ciudadanos has managed to bring together all unionism in a technically perfect campaign,? a source close to Puigdemont said on condition of anonymity. ?It is an artificial product that represents the feelings of many people.?