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Found 30 results

  1. Daniel Craig still has one Bond film up his sleeve but people are already betting on the next probable bond! Daniel's exit from the Bond franchise will leave a subtle hint of disappointment all around but we're hopeful the next Bond will do deserving justice to the role and why shouldn't he? It's the most reactionary and overrated role in British cinema, ever! I've taken into consideration the most suited contenders who could be a part of the franchise after Craig and I am betting my money and hopes on them! You can certainly agree to disagree with me! Cillian Murphy © BBC Worldwide His odds to become the next Bond were quite high a while ago but they've been slashed tremendously after his recent series 'Peaky Blinders' started doing well, where he plays Tommy Shelby. Why: We can totally see Murphy giving the Bond character a fresh and an exciting take. With the beautiful blue eyed charm and chiselled cheek bones, his character as Tommy Shelby is quite similar to that of James Bond in many ways, being a ladies' man, with an air of mystery around him. Personally I wish it's him! Tom Hardy © Lionsgate But of course! He's inarguably one of the most talented actors around right now (seen Locke?) but he isn't sure yet if he'd want to take up the role. But there's no harm in assuming he could! Why: If you look at him carefully, I believe he physically resembles Fleming's Bond, with his natural build and a dangerous edge! And moreover so, he did play a Bond like character in Nolan's 'Inception', so we already know how awesome his idea of Bond is going to be. Unfortunately though Hardy fuelled a debate recently by saying "There's a saying amongst us in the fraternity of acting... that if you talk about it (Bond rumours) you're automatically out of the race. So I can't possibly comment on that one!” . Seems like Bond wants Hardy more than Hardy wants Bond! Michael Fassbender © 20th Century Fox Remember Magneto from the latest X-Men Franchise? A typical Hollywood heavyweight, Fassbender can make for the perfect English spy. But he's sceptical about taking up the franchise too and has already said no! (is it because he's half German?) That doesn't stop me from listing him here anyway! Why: For one, definitely revisit 'Inglorious Basterds' where he plays Lieutenant Archie Hicox , a model British soldier who respects the chain of command and you'll see what I mean. He's always the wise quaint, intellectual man, who can kill you with his thumb! Exactly how Bond is envisioned! At 39, he's an actor at the height of his powers! Idris Elba © Pinterest A very popular choice with critics and fans alike, Elba has been a star contender for playing the next Bond. Why: What's there to ask? Tall, handsome, charismatic and suave, he has all that it takes to become the next Bond. We've already seen how tough he is playing John Luther, in the British crime drama series 'Luther' and I believe he checks all the boxes! Apart from all that, his casting would be historic of course but Elba feels there should be less emphasis laid on him playing a 'black Bond' and more emphasis on a natural Bond, who happens to be black! The only problem, though, he's 43 (four years younger than Craig) and ideally, Bond should last at least a decade! Damien Lewis © Twitter After a 'black Bond' are you ready for 'ginger hair Bond?' Also, how cool was Band of Brothers? I absolutely dug the series! (it also earned him a Golden Globe nomination BTW!) Why: A very smooth performer, Lewis will be a whiff of fresh air, after Craig's very blunt character. His work in 'Homeland' was exceptional and with the calibre of adorning a hard working role always, he's going to do full justice to Bond. He's 45, which means, he may never be seen as Bond! But he's definitely one of my favourites on the Bond wish list! Hugh Jackman © Twitter I will definitely pay big monies to see Jackman as Bond! My personal favourite, I wish for him to break out of 'Wolverine' and sip some dry Vodka Martini - Shaken, not stirred, on screen. Why: A fine actor, a definitive 'manly-man' and that attitude he carries forth with his roles-he'd make the perfect Bond! Alas, he turned the role down even before Craig was considered to play Bond! Why Hugh why! James Norton © Youtube TV Star Norton's career skyrocketed with 'Happy Valley', 'War and Peace' and 'Grantchester'. I am sure, playing Bond is totally his kinda thing. Why: I am quite certain Norton can slip into Bond's character easily with his boyish charms and suave personality to match 007. Young, well educated, attractive and smart AND a rising good actor, what's there not to consider? Except maybe, his transition from a TV actor to James Bond might take time and people probably will not recognise him as Bond immediately. So that's my list of men I believe can and should make the next Bond! They have everything that's needed and more. Definitely tell me if you have some more contenders you'd like to list out, in the comment section below.
  2. South Africa's President Jacob Zuma speaks at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko JOHANNESBURG: Jacob Zuma resigned as President of South Africa on Wednesday, heeding orders by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to bring an end to his nine scandal-plagued years in power. In a 30-minute farewell address to the nation, 75-year-old Zuma said he disagreed with the way the ANC had shoved him toward an early exit after the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as party president in December, but would accept its orders. ?I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect,? Zuma said. ?Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organization, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC,? he said. The ruling party had said it would vote him out on Thursday. ?No life should be lost in my name. And also the ANC should not be divided in my name,? Zuma said. The ANC, which replaced Zuma as party leader in December with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, ordered him to step down as president on Tuesday. When he failed to resign on Wednesday, it announced that it would back an opposition motion in parliament to force him out. His resignation ends the career of the former anti-apartheid resistance fighter, 75, who has four wives, a sharp tongue and a decades-long history of entanglement in scandals that polarized Nelson Mandela?s ?Rainbow Nation?. The rand currency, which has gained ground whenever Zuma has hit political turbulence, soared more than one percent to a 2-1/2 year high of 11.79 against the dollar during the day, as pressure piled on Zuma to resign.
  3. US Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand speaks at a summit about combating human trafficking at the Department of Justice in Washington, US, February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/Files WASHINGTON: The US Justice Department?s third-ranking official, Rachel Brand, will resign and take a senior job at Walmart Inc, with sources familiar with her decision saying on Friday that she had grown increasingly uncomfortable with President Donald Trump?s attacks on her department and the FBI. The department said Brand will be leaving her post in the coming weeks. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, himself repeatedly criticized by Trump, praised her ?critical role in helping us accomplish our goals as a department.? Brand, 44, was next in line of succession to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller?s investigation into potential collusion between Trump?s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia and whether the Republican president has unlawfully sought to obstruct the ongoing probe. She became the latest senior law enforcement official to either resign or be fired since Trump took office in January 2017, a list that includes a Federal Bureau of Investigation director and deputy director, and an acting attorney general. Trump also ousted all remaining US attorneys, the chief federal prosecutors in each state, who had served under Trump?s Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. Brand?s resignation is different in that she was hand-picked for the job by Trump, assuming her post just five days after Mueller?s appointment in May 2017. News of Brand?s departure came a week after Trump approved the release of a previously classified memo written by Republican lawmakers that portrayed the Russia investigation, initially handled by the FBI and now headed by Mueller, as a product of political bias against Trump at the FBI and Justice Department. After just nine months on the job, Brand had become more and more uneasy with Trump?s escalating attacks on the Justice Department and the FBI, which she and other law enforcement professionals feared was beginning to undermine the rule of law, according to sources familiar with her thinking. In a statement, Brand defended her department, saying, ?The men and women of the Department of Justice impress me every day.? The attacks have escalated in recent weeks as Republicans in Congress have criticized the handling by the Justice Department, FBI and the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court of warrants for surveillance of a Trump campaign advisor, Carter Page, who had ties to Russia. Trump called the matter ?a disgrace.? In a statement, Walmart said Brand will join the company as executive vice president for global governance and corporate secretary. ?We are fortunate to have a leader of Rachel Brand?s stature join the company,? President and CEO Doug McMillon said. ?Block out the turmoil? Mary McCord, who served as acting head of the Justice Department?s National Security Division from October 2016 until April 2017 and helped oversee the FBI investigation into the collusion matter, said Brand?s resignation would further shake morale at the department. ?When the associate attorney general steps down after just nine months in the midst of a barrage of attacks on the department from the White House and Capitol Hill, it is another blow to the career women and men of the department who have been doing their jobs diligently while trying to block out the turmoil around them,? said McCord, now a visiting professor at Georgetown University?s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection. The department is also facing a major backlog on leadership positions that still need confirmation by the US Senate. Rosenstein oversees Mueller?s investigation because Sessions recused himself from the matter last year. Trump also has criticized Sessions for recusing himself. Brand on Friday lauded Sessions? ?commitment to the rule of law.? Rosenstein is the only official with legal authority to fire Mueller, and it is widely believed he would resign if ordered to do so without good cause. If Rosenstein resigned, that authority would have fallen to Brand under the department?s succession line. With her gone, the next person in line is Solicitor General Noel Francisco. Any permanent replacement for Brand would have to be confirmed by the Senate and would likely face tough questioning about their willingness to preserve the Russia probe?s independence. Trump could use a 1998 law on executive branch vacancies to appoint a temporary replacement of his choice, as long as that person was an experienced Justice Department employee or another administration official already confirmed by the Senate. Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the agency?s Russia investigation, in May 2017, saying he took the action because of ?this Russia thing.? The FBI?s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, stepped down in January after Trump repeatedly criticized him on Twitter. McCabe?s wife previously ran as a Democrat for a seat in Virginia?s state Senate and received donations from then-Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a close ally of Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton. Brand oversees the Justice Department?s civil, antitrust, tax and environmental and natural resources divisions. She played a crucial role in helping push for Congress to reauthorize the National Security Agency?s warrantless internet surveillance program after it faced opposition from some privacy-minded lawmakers in both parties. The measure passed, and Trump signed it into law in January. A Justice Department official said that Jesse Panuccio, the Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General, will temporarily take over Brand?s job until a replacement is named. He previously served as acting associate attorney general until Brand was confirmed and sworn in.
  4. MPA Nizamuddin Sialvi (center) sits with provincial ministers and others in this Geo News screengrab. SARGODHA: MPA Nizamuddin Sialvi, nephew of Pir Hameeduddin Sialvi, Thursday announced quitting politics days after he claimed that Pir Sialvi's supporters were provoked to stage a sit-in and offered resources for this purpose. Nizamuddin, in his statement, said that from now onward Pir Hameeduddin Sialvi ? the spiritual leader and custodian of Sial Sharif shrine in Sargodha ? will himself decide about politics of Sial Sharif. MPA Sialvi hints at 'conspiracies' against democracy Member of the biggest and most influential spiritual seat in Pakistan, Sial Sharif, disclosed that some powers were behind recent sit-ins to dislodge the democratic government Sources informed Geo News that Nizamuddin made the announcement because of some family matters and differences with Qasim Sialvi, son of Pir Sialvi. On Tuesday, Nizamuddin disclosed that some powers were behind the recent sit-ins to dislodge the democratic government and that the conspiracies are still continuing. In an interview with a private TV channel, he said that during a recent Lahore protest against the government, he was offered money to stage a sit-in as mere rallies were not fulfilling the 'real objective'. The lawmaker disclosed that in fact some powers, using religion as a tool, were behind these protests.
  5. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shakes hands with acting US Secretary of State Tom Shannon while delivering remarks to Department of State employees upon arrival at the Department of State in Washington, US, February 2, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Files WASHINGTON: The US State Department?s third-ranking official, Tom Shannon, said on Thursday he was stepping down, the latest senior career diplomat to exit since President Donald Trump took office a year ago. Shannon, who serves as undersecretary of state for political affairs, is the most senior career diplomat at the State Department and has been a fixture among the nation?s diplomatic ranks during more than 34 years of service. In a letter to department staff, Shannon, 60, said he was resigning for personal reasons. ?My decision is personal, and driven by a desire to attend to my family, take stock of my life, and set a new direction for my remaining years,? Shannon wrote in a note to staff after informing US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday of his decision to retire. Shannon worked recently on some of the most complex and sensitive issues, including Iran?s compliance with the landmark nuclear deal and fraught relations with Russia. Shannon?s departure is part of a steady stream of senior career diplomats who have left since Trump became president. It will deprive the State Department of a seasoned veteran at a time when the United States is grappling with crises on several fronts, most notably North Korea?s nuclear threat. His calm demeanour, language skills and decades of experience made him a frequent choice for some of the thorniest assignments. Shannon this month represented the United States at the inauguration of Liberia?s new president, George Weah, the highest-ranking US official to visit the region after reported remarks by Trump that immigrants from Africa and Haiti come from ?shithole? countries. Shannon, who was ambassador to Brazil from 2005 to 2009 and served in posts in Cameroon, Gabon and Johannesburg, was tasked by former President Barack Obama in 2015 with improving acrimonious relations with Venezuela?s President Nicolas Maduro. He was seen as a stabilizing force after Trump and Tillerson took office with a promise to downsize the State Department and policies. He had to manage growing dissent among career diplomats over the new president?s policies that antagonized Muslim nations and long-time allies in Europe and in Mexico. The forcing out of many senior diplomats, the failure to nominate or to win Senate confirmation for officials to fill key agency roles, and a perception that Tillerson is inaccessible have eroded morale, according to current officials. The State Department?s Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs, Steve Goldstein, said Shannon?s departure was not related to low morale and called him ?an amazing man.? Tillerson in November said he was offended by claims that the State Department was being hollowed out under Trump, saying it was functioning well despite scathing criticism from former American diplomats including Nicholas Burns and Ryan Crocker. In a statement on Thursday, Tillerson congratulated Shannon on a distinguished career saying ?his time was well spent.? ?I particularly appreciate his depth of knowledge, the role he played during the transition ...and his contributions to our strategy process over the past year,? Tillerson said. In his note, Shannon said he had agreed to stay on until a successor had been named and to ensure a smooth transition.
  6. Participants attend a session of the Syrian Congress of National Dialogue in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, January 30, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin SOCHI: A Syrian peace conference in Russia was marred by discord on Tuesday after the Russian foreign minister was heckled, an opposition delegation refused to leave the airport on arrival, and delegates squabbled over who should preside over the event. Russia ? a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ? was hosting what it called a Syrian Congress of National Dialogue in the Black Sea resort of Sochi that it hoped would launch negotiations on drafting a new constitution for Syria. But in a blow to Moscow, which has cast itself as a Middle East peace broker, the event was boycotted by the leadership of the Syrian opposition, while powers ? such as the United States, Britain, and France ? stayed away because of what they said was the Syrian government?s refusal to properly engage. Western countries support a separate UN-mediated peace process, which has so far failed to yield progress toward ending a war that is entering its eighth year. The latest round of those talks took place in Vienna last week. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov helped open the conference on Tuesday by reading out a statement from President Vladimir Putin saying the conditions were ripe for Syria to turn ?a tragic page? in its history. But some delegates stood up and began heckling him, accusing Moscow of killing civilians in Syria with its air strikes. The incident was broadcast on Russian state TV where two security guards were shown approaching one man in the audience indicating that he should sit down. Other delegates shouted out their support for Russia. Lavrov told the delegates to let him finish speaking, saying they would have their say later. Several delegates, who declined to be identified, told Reuters that organizers had later been forced to suspend a plenary session due to squabbling among delegates over who would be chosen to preside over the congress. Flag row In a further setback, one group of delegates ? which included members of the armed opposition who had flown in from Turkey ? refused to leave Sochi airport until Syrian government flags and emblems, which they said were offensive, were removed. Ahmed Tomah ? the head of the delegation ? said his group was boycotting the congress and would fly back to Turkey because of the flag row and what he called broken promises to end the bombardment of civilians. ?We were surprised that none of the promises that were given had been kept, the ferocious bombing of civilians had not stopped nor the flags and banners of the regime (been) removed,? he said in a video recorded at the airport. Artyom Kozhin ? a senior diplomat at the Russian Foreign Ministry ? acknowledged there had been some complications. ?Some problems have arisen with a group of the armed opposition that has come from Turkey which has made its participation dependent on additional demands,? Kozhin wrote on social media. Lavrov had spoken by phone twice to his Turkish counterpart and been told that the problem would be resolved, said Kozhin. Turkish and Iranian government delegations attended the congress, as did UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura. Vitaly Naumkin ? a Russian expert on the Middle East employed by de Mistura as an adviser ? told reporters that the problems encountered by organizers had not tarnished the event. ?Nothing awful happened,? said Naumkin. ?Nobody is fighting anyone else. Nobody is killing anyone. These were standard working moments.? Russian officials have complained of attempts to sabotage the conference, which was originally billed as a two-day event but was reduced to a one-day event at the last minute.
  7. Polish cycling chief Dariusz Banaszek. Image Courtesy: NaSzosie WARSAW: Polish cycling chief Dariusz Banaszek stood down on Friday amid a sexual abuse and corruption scandal. Banaszek, who became president of Poland?s cycling federation (PZKol) in 2016 said he was resigning "for the good of cycling" whilst protesting his innocence. Banaszek quits an organisation in the eye of a storm sparked by accusations that PZKol board members carried out serious *** crimes including rape against minors. The claims were made by former PZKol vice president Piotr Kosmala, who described the scope of the affair as "appalling". As a result of Kosmala?s allegations, the Polish Sports Minister Witold Banka called for the federation board?s dismissal and cut off funding to the organisation. PZKol is heavily in debt and its accounts were seized by bailiffs, local agency PAP reported. In December eight of its nine board members answered Banka?s call and stood down, with only Banaszek holding out, until Friday. Speaking when the case first emerged Banaszek told reporters: "There was no scandal of morality, there was no investigation that would prove it, there is no need for an indictment."
  8. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi CAIRO: A rights lawyer seen as the last real challenger to Egypt´s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday quit the race to be president, the latest in a string of potential candidates to withdraw or be jailed. Sisi, who has ruled the North African country with an iron fist since being elected in 2014, earlier in the day became the only candidate so far to formally submit his bid to stand in the election. Since December, one by one, all of his other likely challengers have either ruled themselves out of the race or been sentenced to time in prison. On Wednesday it was the turn of Khaled Ali, a leftist human rights lawyer who was seen as the strongest candidate still standing against Sisi following the elimination of two others. "Today we announce our decision that we will not run in this race," Ali said at a news conference in Cairo. A presidential candidate in 2012, the 45-year-old Ali said he had been forced to pull out of this year´s election to be held on March 26-28. There were, he said, "signs that pointed to a will to poison the whole operation and to corrupt and empty it of its supposedly democratic content." They included the arrest of some of his campaign activists, a tight schedule that made it difficult for potential candidates to gather the needed endorsements for their applications, and a generally unfair climate. Ali had yet to submit his candidacy for the election. As a lawyer, Ali has handled high-profile cases including one where he tried to get the courts to stop the transfer of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia, a move Sisi completed despite rare street protests after the agreement was signed in 2016. ´Large number´ of arrests From the start "our announcement was met with an angry and irresponsible reaction, manifested in the arrest of a large number of the campaign´s youth," he said. The arrests had started a few months "before we officially announced our intent to run... with some referred to urgent trials," said Ali, who had announced his intention to run in the race in November. The short timetable meant it was difficult for candidates to gather the necessary endorsements ahead of Monday´s deadline, he said. The National Election Authority announced on January 8 that the deadline for applications would be January 29. Presidential hopefuls must collect endorsements from at least 20 lawmakers, or at least 25,000 registered voters, with a minimum of 1,000 signatures from each of at least 15 provinces, according to Egyptian law. Ali also cited a case filed against him, where he was sentenced in September in absentia to three months in jail on accusations of "offending public decency", a ruling he appealed. This was in relation to a photograph that appeared to show Ali making an obscene gesture while celebrating a court ruling in the case of the islands´ transfer to Saudi Arabia. Ali alleges the picture was fabricated. The case was pursued "for nothing except to provide a legal excuse that would prevent us from running," he said. Ali also said the elections authority "ignored the larger part of our complaints, especially related to the continuation of electoral campaigning for the current president in the streets and squares." Challengers whittled away Sisi, who was elected president a year after heading the 2013 military ouster of leader Mohamed Morsi, on Wednesday officially submitted his application to run for a second four-year term. The list of those hoping to challenge him has been whittled away -- either by people ruling themselves out or being sentenced to prison terms in the past few weeks. On Tuesday a bid by General Sami Anan was plunged into doubt after the armed forces accused him on state television of "infractions and crimes" that require investigation. The authorities issued a gag order on the details of his case which is being handled by military judiciary. Other top challengers to drop out include Ahmed Shafiq, a prime minister under former long-serving president Hosni Mubarak, and Mohamed Anwar Sadat, a dissident and nephew of the former president of the same name. Shafiq reversed a pledge to run after he was returned to Egypt from exile in the United Arab Emirates, while Sadat said the climate was not right for free elections. Last month a military court sentenced Colonel Ahmed Konsowa to six years in jail after he announced his intention to stand. The only remaining well-known potential candidate is now Mortada Mansour, the head of Egypt´s legendary Zamalek football club.
  9. SM Zafar/File photo LAHORE: Veteran lawyer and senior politician Senator SM Zafar has announced to quit politics. The seasoned politician was part of the PML-Q and representing the party as a senator in the Upper House. In a press release issued Friday, SM Zafar said he had informed the party leadership of his decision to quit politics for good in December last year and had also refused to perform any function in the party. In his statement, the noted lawyer and human rights activist said he also met with Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, to whom he explained reasons why he was retiring from politics. Both the leaders honoured the decision and also appreciated his contributions. SM Zafar will continue expressing his views as an independent analyst.
  10. PRAGUE: The cabinet of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis resigned on Wednesday, a day after losing a confidence vote on the billionaire politician?s first attempt to form a government while battling fraud allegations. Babis?s ANO party won a national election last October but holds only 78 of 200 seats in the lower house and has thus far been unable to persuade any of the eight other parliamentary parties to join a coalition because of the allegations, which concern EU subsidies. The government will stay in office until a new cabinet is put in place, which could take months. President Milos Zeman, who is due to accept the cabinet?s resignation later this week, has promised Babis a second try to form a government. With the economy powering ahead and wages rising as unemployment hovers around two-decade lows, markets have brushed off the political uncertainty. Much of the electorate also appears unconcerned, and support for ANO has grown despite the subsidy scandal. A CVVM institute poll in December showed the party at 35.5 percent compared to the 29.6 percent it won in October. This has made other parties wary of forcing a new election and several have declared they were open to negotiation. However, the prime minister?s role remains a sticking point. Police allege Babis, the country?s second-richest person, hid ownership of one of his companies a decade ago to win a 2 million euro subsidy, mostly from European Union funds, meant for small businesses. He denies wrongdoing. Parliament?s second-biggest party, the conservative Civic Democrats, has made Babis stepping aside a condition for talks. The Social Democrats and Christian Democrats - ANO?s former ruling partners - are open to talks but say they will not join a government with a prime minister facing a police investigation. The far-right SPD party and far-left Communists have signaled willingness to work with ANO, but Babis does not want a government with them. Ready to fight Babis was charged in the case but regained immunity from prosecution when he was re-elected to parliament. Lawmakers will vote on Friday whether to lift that immunity and are expected to do so. Babis, who calls the subsidy case a ploy by adversaries to chase him out of politics, said on Tuesday he would request it be lifted. In past months, Babis has repeatedly ruled out mirroring the arrangement in Poland whereby the head of the ruling PiS party, Jarorslaw Kaczynski, is considered de-facto leader despite holding no formal position in government. But Babis shifted slightly this week when asked by reporters on whether he could rule out a government without him, saying everything would depend on the upcoming negotiations. Babis founded ANO in 2011 after building an empire in food, agriculture, chemicals and media valued at $4 billion. After support for the party surged in a national election in 2013, it joined a government led by the Social Democrats. ANO won the October election with promises to fight political corruption, bring a businessman?s sense to government and raise the country?s profile within the EU. It has also said it will boost spending on crumbling roads, digitalize government and cut taxes. The vote brought gains for protest parties at mainstream parties? expense, tracking a trend that has spread across Europe, often complicating coalition-building as in Germany. The possible departure of Zeman as president is further muddying Czech political waters. His bid for re-election is facing a formidable challenge from academic Jiri Drahos in a run-off ballot on Jan. 26-27. Drahos has said it would be unacceptable for someone charged with a criminal offense to be prime minister.
  11. BEIJING: Carrie Gracie, the China editor for Britain?s public broadcaster, the BBC, has resigned from her post in Beijing due to pay disparities with her male colleagues, according to an open letter she wrote. The BBC has come under fire recently for paying male employees more and has pledged to close the gender gap by 2020. In July, it revealed as part of a funding settlement with the government that it paid its then top male star five times more than its best-paid female presenter, and that two-thirds of on-air employees earning at least 150,000 pounds ($203,500) were men. Gracie said there was a 'crisis of trust' at BBC, where she has worked for 30 years. Photo: Guardian In a letter published on her personal blog on Sunday, Gracie said there was a ?crisis of trust? at the broadcaster, where she has worked for 30 years, and that it was ?breaking equality law and resisting pressure for a fair and transparent pay structure?. The BBC had four international editors, two men and two women, of which she was one, she said. When the BBC revealed top salaries as part of last year?s settlement, Gracie said she learned that the two men made at least 50 per cent more money than the women in those roles. She said she had since been offered a pay increase that remained ?far short of equality? and left her post in Beijing last week, returning to her former job in the BBC TV newsroom. ?The BBC must admit the problem, apologise and set in place an equal, fair and transparent pay structure,? she said, calling for an independent arbitration to settle individual cases at the broadcaster. The BBC cited a BBC spokeswoman as saying that ?fairness in pay? at the corporation is ?vital?, and that an audit of pay for rank and file staff led by an independent judge found there was ?no systemic discrimination against women?.
  12. HELSINKI: Nokia said its chief operating officer will leave the telecom network equipment maker, which is struggling in the face of a shrinking market and tough competition, after just eight months in the job. COO Monika Maurer will be replaced by Joerg Erlemeier, currently a senior vice president for Nokia Transformation, effective immediately, the Finnish company said on Monday. Maurer was promoted to group COO in April, from COO of fixed networks, after Nokia?s head of mobile networks Samih Elhage announced his departure from the company and the group said it would break out services as a distinct business group from mobile networks. ?Monika Maurer... will support Erlemeier during a transition period and then leave Nokia to pursue new opportunities outside the company,? Nokia said in a statement, without elaborating. The telecom network equipment industry is going through the toughest part of a decade-long cycle, as demand for 4G and older 2G and 3G network equipment subsidies, while demand for next-generation 5G networks remains a few years away. Nokia shares lost almost a fifth of their value after the company in October reported a sharp drop in earnings citing weak overall market and internal problems following its 2016 acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. Nokia shares were down 0.6 percent in early trade.
  13. After two women on the set of "Transparent" accused him of sexual harassment, Emmy-winning actor Jeffrey Tambor announced Sunday he is leaving the Amazon series, the latest Hollywood star embroiled in allegations of misconduct. "Playing Maura Pfefferman on 'Transparent' has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life," Tambor told Deadline Hollywood magazine about the transgender role. "What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago." Deadline said the show had already been considering writing off the character played by the US actor, who has also won a Golden Globe for the role, after allegations first emerged against him earlier this month. "I've already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue," Tambor said. "Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don't see how I can return to Transparent." Tambor has won critical acclaim for his portrayal of a transgender woman whose family is coming to terms with the transition. The claims against him have been brought by his former assistant, transgender actress Van Barnes, and another transgender actress featured on the show, Trace Lysette. Barnes said her former boss had propositioned her on several occasions, made lewd comments, groped her and threatened to sue her if she made the behaviour known. Lysette said Tambor had made lewd remarks of a sexual nature to her repeatedly, and had been "physical" with her at least once. After those claims were made public, Tambor insisted that "I have never been a predator -- ever." The accusations against Tambor come amid a surge of claims of sexual harassment leveled at senior male figures in the entertainment, media and political establishments, including Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey. Actress Lena Dunham, the creator of HBO series "Girls," apologized to fans after she backed one of her show's male writers, who has been accused of sexual assault, and cast doubt on the claims. Dunham -- who faced serious backlash over the comments -- said it was the "wrong time" to make such a statement, adding: "Every woman who comes forward deserves to be heard, fully and completely."
  14. Steve Jurvetson. Image Courtesy: Recode via Steve Jennings/Getty Images Steve Jurvetson on Monday resigned from venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and took a leave of absence from the boards of Tesla Inc and SpaceX amid an internal probe into sexual harassment allegations made against him. Jurvetson, the founding partner of DFJ, denied the allegations and said in a tweet on Monday, "I am leaving DFJ to focus on personal matters, including taking legal action against those whose false statements have defamed me." DFJ, which has invested in SpaceX, said three weeks back that it had started an independent probe after it came to know about ?indirect and second-hand allegations? against Jurvetson. ?As of today and by mutual agreement, Steve Jurvetson will be leaving DFJ,? a spokeswoman for the Menlo Park, California-based firm said in an e-mailed statement. A Tesla spokesperson said by e-mail, ?Steve Jurvetson is on a leave of absence from the SpaceX and Tesla boards pending resolution of these allegations.?
  15. Peter Pilz ? the former member of the Greens ? addresses a news conference in Vienna, Austria, July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/Files VIENNA: Prominent Austrian politician Peter Pilz on Saturday quit parliament and stepped down as head of his newly formed anti-establishment party over sexual harassment allegations. "I've always fought for strict standards and these standards also apply to me," the veteran leftwing MP, 63, said in a statement. The announcement came after weekly newspaper Falter confronted him early Saturday with allegations of sexual misconduct. A woman told the paper that an inebriated Pilz had groped her in 2013 at a major annual discussion forum in the western town of Alpbach. "His hands were everywhere," she was quoted as saying by Falter. The woman said two other forum participants eventually dragged the politician away. Pilz said he could not remember the incident, but took the allegations "extremely serious". However, Pilz rejected claims made last week by a female Greens member who also accused him of fondling her on dozens of occasions when he was still with the party. He said he would fight the allegations in court. Pilz is an old hand in Austrian politics, having co-founded the Greens party in 1986. The feisty lawmaker is renowned for his sharp tongue and tough anti-corruption investigations. He split from the Greens in July over internal rifts and formed an anti-establishment party dubbed the "Pilz List", which won four seats in last month's snap election. The move dealt a death knell to the Greens who failed to make it into parliament. While the Pilz List has yet to nominate a new leader Styrian MP Martha Bissmann will fill the vacant parliamentary seat. "We will take on our mandate with full dedication in the spirit of our electoral promises," the party ? made up of artists, academics and entrepreneurs ? said in a statement on Saturday afternoon. Pilz meanwhile vowed to continue to work as their advisor. The Austrian joins a growing queue of notable men from Hollywood to Brussels and London who face allegations of sexual harassment or worse. The first major headline on the issue was in October with disgraced US film producer Harvey Weinstein but has since ensnared movie stars Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman, Britain's former defence minister Michael Fallon and senior European Parliament staff.
  16. Mark McDonald. Image Courtesy: The Independent via PA LONDON: A junior minister in Scotland's government resigned on Saturday after admitting "inappropriate behaviour", the latest official to quit in a deepening scandal over sexual harassment and abuse that has been sweeping British politics. Childcare minister Mark McDonald said in a statement that he apologised "unreservedly to anyone I have upset or who might have found my behaviour inappropriate". "Some of my previous actions have been considered to be inappropriate ? where I have believed myself to have been merely humorous or attempting to be friendly, my behaviour might have made others uncomfortable or led them to question my intentions," he said. He said his behaviour was "entirely my own responsibility", adding that by resigning, he hoped "neither any particular woman or my family will be the focus of undue and unwarranted scrutiny". A government spokesman confirmed McDonald had tendered his resignation to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier Saturday. He is expected to remain a lawmaker in the Scottish parliament, representing Sturgeon's Scottish National Party in Aberdeen. Several claims of harassment and abuse have emerged against British politicians in the wake of the allegations by dozens of women against Hollywood tycoon Harvey Weinstein. On Wednesday, Michael Fallon resigned as defence secretary, and two other ministers are under investigation, while the opposition Labour party is also investigating the behaviour of a number of its lawmakers. "Some of the things that I have heard in the last week have been so disgusting and I am ashamed that this could happen in the Labour party," Emily Thornberry ? Labour's foreign affairs spokeswoman ? told the BBC.
  17. VIENNA: Prominent Austrian politician Peter Pilz quit on Saturday as head of his newly formed anti-establishment party over sexual harassment allegations. "I've always fought for strict standards and these standards also apply to me," the 63-year-old said in a statement. The announcement came after news weekly Falter confronted him early Saturday with allegations of sexual misconduct. A young woman told the newspaper that a very inebriated Pilz had groped her in 2013 at a major annual discussion forum in the western town of Alpbach. "His hands were everywhere," she was quoted as saying by Falter. The woman said two other forum participants eventually dragged the politician away. Pilz said he could not remember the incident, but took the allegations "extremely serious". However, Pilz rejected claims made last week by a female Greens member who also accused him of fondling her on dozens of occasions when he was still with the party. He said he would fight the allegations in court. Pilz is an old hand in Austrian politics, having co-founded the Greens party in 1986. He split in July and formed an anti-establishment party dubbed the "Pilz List" which won four seats in last month´s snap election. He said he would continue to advise the "Pilz List", made up of artists, academics and entrepreneurs. The Austrian joins a growing queue of notable men from Hollywood to Brussels and London who face allegations of sexual harassment or worse. The first major headline on the issue was in October with disgraced US film producer Harvey Weinstein, but has since ensnared movie stars Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman, Britain´s former defence minister Michael Fallon and senior European Parliament staff.
  18. Britain's Defence Secretary Michael Fallon leaves 10 Downing Street after the weekly meeting of the cabinet in central London, October 31, 2017. AFP/Tolga Akmen/Files LONDON: British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon resigned on Wednesday following a highly-publicised allegation of sexual harassment, the first politician to step down in a developing scandal at Westminster. "A number of allegations have surfaced about MPs in recent days, including some about my previous conduct. Many of these have been false but I accept that in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the Armed Forces that I have the honour to represent." "I have reflected on my position and I am, therefore, resigning as Defence Secretary," Fallon wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, saying he would continue to serve as a member of parliament. Fallon had earlier this week apologised for an incident in 2002, in which he had put his hand on a political journalist's knee, but he was not being investigated over the incident. May responded to the resignation by thanking Fallon for "a long and impressive ministerial career". "I appreciate the characteristically serious manner in which you have considered your position and the particular example you wish to set to servicemen and women and others," she wrote in a letter. The prime minister has called for rules on MPs' behaviour to be toughened after the emergence of several allegations of sexual harassment at Westminster.
  19. Ankara mayor Melih Gokcek speaks during an interview in Ankara, Turkey, July 31, 2016. AFP/Adem Altan/Files ANKARA: The mayor of Ankara resigned on Saturday on the "orders" of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seeking to revitalise the ruling party ahead of 2019 elections. Melih Gokcek ? a staunch Erdogan loyalist who had been in charge of the Turkish capital for 23 years ? said he was acting in the country's best interests. "I leave my post of mayor on orders from our leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan," Gokcek ? a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ? said in a televised speech. "I bow to the request of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, not because I do not think I have been successful, not because I think I'm tired? but only because I think (Erdogan) can make our country a leader." Gokcek's successor has not been named. Erdogan co-founded the AKP as an Islamic-rooted party that also aimed to modernise the economy and push ahead with Turkey's EU membership bid. Erdogan has repeatedly made clear that the party needs to make "sweeping changes" ahead of the 2019 elections after it showed signs of weakness at the ballot box. He said in August that "successful" colleagues ? including MPs, mayors and regional party officials ? would be able to stay in their jobs but those showing "tiredness and weariness" would have to move on. Several mayors have since resigned, including Istanbul mayor Kadir Topbas who stepped down last month after 13 years in the key post. Turkey will hold municipal elections in March 2019, followed by presidential and parliamentary polls in November. While the AKP has never been defeated at the ballot box since first winning power in 2002, there have been signs its grip on power has grown slightly less tight in recent years.
  20. Haroon Lorgat/File photo JOHANNESBURG: Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat has quit his post with immediate effect following a breakdown with the organisation´s board, CSA president Chris Nenzani announced on Thursday. "We recently tried on a few occasions to remedy the situation between Mr Lorgat and the board, but we have not been successful in finding a satisfactory resolution," said Nenzani. "The Board unanimously felt that it was in the best interest of the organisation that we agreed to a mutual separation agreement with Mr Lorgat." Nenzani did not go into details about the breakdown in relations but it has been reported in local media that there were concerns about Lorgat´s role in the setting-up of a new Twenty20 tournament, the Global T20 league, which is due to start in November. CSA vice-president Thabang Moroe will take over as acting chief executive.
  21. JOHANNESBURG: Star batsman AB de Villiers quit as South Africa one-day international (ODI) skipper Wednesday, but committed to representing his country in all three cricket formats. "Faf du Plessis has proved to be an outstanding captain of the Twenty20 (T20) and Test teams," he said in a statement. "Bearing this in mind, I have informed Cricket South Africa that I would like to step down as ODI captain. "It has been an honour to lead the team for the past six years, but it is now time for someone else to take the ODI side forward. "Whoever is chosen as the new ODI captain will have my complete support." De Villiers last skippered the ODI team two months ago in the Champions Trophy in England, where South Africa failed to reach the semi-finals after defeats by Pakistan and India. He has averaged 53.56 runs in 221 appearances in the one-day format since debuting against England 12 years ago. De Villiers rejected media claims that he was cherry-picking when to play for South Africa and putting himself before the team. "That is simply not true. That has never been true. Playing for South Africa is, and will always be, the greatest privilege of my life," he said. He missed the recent 3-1 Test series defeat in England, last playing for South Africa in the longest format at the beginning of 2016. De Villiers said mental and physical tiredness and raising a young family had forced him to take a temporary international break. "I really do feel refreshed and revived," said the 33-year-old. "I want to get back on the field and today assured the national selectors that I will be available for selection in all three formats of the game during the coming season. "There is plenty of hard work ahead in the nets and I must prepare properly, but I will be ready to play, if required, from the middle of October. "If I am lucky enough to be selected, I cannot guarantee runs and catches. Nobody can do that. "But what I can absolutely guarantee is 100 percent commitment to the Proteas in every format of the game, as and when required. "That was my promise when I made my debut in 2004, and that is my promise today." South Africa host Bangladesh (all formats), India (provisionally all formats) and Australia (Tests only) during the 2017-2018 season. Apart from his batting prowess, De Villiers bowls medium right-arm deliveries and has fulfilled the wicketkeeper role.
  22. South African deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana. Image Courtesy: Mail&Guardian PRETORIA: South Africa's deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana resigned on Saturday over accusations that he physically assaulted two women at a Johannesburg nightclub. The presidency said in a statement that head of state Jacob Zuma had "received and accepted" Manana's resignation. "The President has thanked Mr Manana for his contribution to the work of government during his term of office," it added. Manana was charged on August 10 and released on bail of 5,000 rand ($380, 320 euros). A woman has accused him of kicking and punching her and her cousin at the exit of a nightclub in the early hours of August 6. Manana has not denied the allegations and has apologised, saying, "Regardless of the extreme provocation, I should have exercised restraint." He is due to appear again in court on September 13. Violence against women is endemic in South Africa. Every eight hours a woman dies after being attacked by a partner or relative, according to official statistics, and one woman in five will suffer at least one violent assault at some point in her life.
  23. Internationally renowned boxer Amir Khan took to Twitter on Friday to reveal he is calling it quits with his wife Faryal Makhdoom. The couple tied the knot in May 2013. so="" me="" and="" the="" wife="" faryal="" have="" agreed="" to="" split.="" i'm="" currently="" in="" dubai.="" wish="" her="" all="" best.<="" p>—="" amir="" khan="" (@amirkingkhan)="" august="" 4,="" 2017<="" a><="" blockquote> In a flurry of tweets Amir Khan also revealed that his Faryal was seeing someone else, another boxer from a higher weight category. In another tweet he claimed her left his family and friends for Faryal, announcing that the couple are going to divorce. faryal="" moved="" on="" quick.="" always="" mentioned="" to="" me="" how="" much="" she="" wanted="" be="" with="" another="" guy,="" from="" all="" people="" boxer="" <="" div=""> Category* Amazing Amazing 1 Blog - Pakistan Business Business 1 Entertainment Entertainment 1 Food And Travel Food And Travel 1 Geo Comedy Health Health 1 Opinion Opinion - World Pakistan Pakistan 1 Sci-tech Sci-tech 1 Sponsor Sports Sports 1 World World 1Editors_pick 1 Editors_pick 2 Editors_pick 3 Editors_pick 4 Editors_pick 5 Editors_pick 6 Editors_pick 7 Editors_pick 8 Featured 1 Featured 10 Featured 2 Featured 3 Featured 4 Featured 5 Featured 6 Featured 7 Featured 8 Featured 9 Slider_news 1 Slider_news 2 Slider_news 3 Slider_news 4 Slider_news 5 Slider_news 6 Special_coverage 1 Special_coverage 2 Special_coverage 3 Special_coverage 4 Special_coverage 5 Special_coverage 6 Special_coverage 7 Top_news 1 Top_news 2 Top_news 3 Top_news 4 Top_news 5 Top_news 6 Top_news 7 Top_news 8 Top_news 9 × Entertainment 1 × Featured 5 Select Source TypeNews AgencyVideoReporter Author* Abdul Majid BhattiAFPAFP(2)AGENCIESAPAPPGEO BEEPERGEO ENGLISHGEO NEWSGeo PakistanINPKarachi BureauNGTNNIOCTOPUSONLINEOTHERSPPIPress ReleaseREUTERSTICKERWeb DeskZeeshan Azmat ×Web Desk Tags , amir khan , divorce , faryal makhdoom Related Post Search related post: exact x Social Sharing Send Notification Fb Share Tweet Share Sports Tweet Share Re-Share Select 360 Site --- Select Site --- A 360 look at Karachi?s private ambulancesVirtual Tour Info - 360 Degrees360: The sights and sounds of Karachi's Burnes Road Show video icon on story image Show live icon Show Facebook live Show Facebook live on home Breaking News Show Comments Full Story Pakistan-Srilanka Match News PSL Off the field Fullstory Image* Click to upload fullscreen image (1600 x 650) Fullstory Embed Code* Meta Info Meta Title Original URL Meta Keywords Meta Description Preview Select Publish StatusDraftPublishedDeleted
  24. ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member of the National Assembly on a reserved seat announced on Tuesday that she has left the party, Geo News reported. In a post on social media, Gulalai who hails from South Waziristan said "due to immoral character of Imran Khan and the gang around him, calling PTI workers "worthless" and "chotay workers" and rampant corruption by Imran Khan's agent Pervez Khattak in KP, MNA Ayesha Gulalai Wazir has left PTI" additionally the post on social media stated that Gulalai would hold a press conference to address the issue on Wednesday. Meanwhile, when Geo News first reported the development, PTI's spokesman claimed the post was fake and would be deleted and a clarification would be issued by Gulalai adding that the accounts for Gaulalai were being run by her brother. According to sources, Gulali had held a meeting with PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Monday which lasted three hours but Fawad Chaudhry told journalists that he did not know about any complaints that Gulalai had with the party. Speaking to the media Ayesha Gulalai confirmed that she had in fact left PTI, citing the same reasons mentioned in her social media post she added that 'the image of the party that is shown to the world is not the reality of what goes on inside the party.' Earlier, Naz Baloch had also walked out from the party citing 'male chauvinism' as one of the reasons for leaving PTI. Pakistan Peoples Party, Senator Sherry Rehman also reacted to Gulalai's departure from PTI and posted on twitter that "Gulalai's rebuke adds to the disquiet about a woman's place in the party."
  25. WASHINGTON: Washington's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan stepped down on Friday, just as the United States is preparing to send thousands of more troops to the region. A senior State Department official told AFP that acting special representative Laurel Miller left the post without a replacement being named. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Miller is returning to a position at the Rand Corporation and that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has not yet decided what to do with post. The office was created when US officials decided that the conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan are inextricably linked and ought to be dealt with together. President Donald Trump came to office planning to slash diplomatic spending and Tillerson plans to cut several special envoy roles. Miller's responsibilities will now fall under the department's South and Central Asian Affairs Bureau, which has a much bigger footprint that includes India. But this bureau is itself leaderless, with no assistant secretary appointed to lead it and no one nominated by the new administration for Senate approval. When news site Politico broke the news that the envoy post had gone, it cited diplomats complaining of a rushed process and a dangerous leadership vacuum. But, also speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior official told AFP the decision was part of a broader policy review. Tillerson thinks the issue is best handled at a regional level, the official said, arguing that it made sense to consider India part of the equation. Trump has given the Pentagon and US commanders wide latitude to decide on the future of Washington's longest ever war -- the 16-year slog in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is reportedly planning to deploy up to 5,000 extra troops to bolster efforts to train Afghan forces to repel a resurgent Taliban insurgency.