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Found 18 results

  1. Amazon.com Inc is quickly ramping up the billions of dollars a year it spends on creating and licensing TV shows and films, signaling the retailer plans to be in show business for the long haul. The issue came to the forefront of investors' attention last week, when Amazon said a step up in its spending on video projects could be one of several reasons it might report a loss this quarter, even as it expects more than $39 billion in overall sales. The company's shares, though up 33 percent this year, have dipped 5 percent since that warning. Wall Street analysts estimate Amazon's spending on content will have tripled to more than $4.5 billion by the end of this year from 2014. Catching customers' attention with video now represents one of the company's biggest investments, people familiar with the matter said. Amazon does not break out spending figures, and it declined comment on the subject. The company has visibly increased its footprint in Hollywood since opening a nearby studio in 2010, and picked up its first Academy Awards earlier this year. "We expect Amazon to quickly exceed Netflix's annual spending on video," said Needham & Co analyst Laura Martin, who estimates that Netflix Inc, the top online television service, will spend $6 billion on content this year. Means to an End? The fast-growing investment in original video is just one of many simultaneous moves by Amazon into new areas, including brick-and-mortar retailing with its planned acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. Amazon has offered little detail for investors on where it is spending extra on content, or why, making it hard to evaluate if the investment is working. Broadly, it has said video is a key benefit of its money-spinning Prime shopping club, whose members tend to buy more goods from Amazon on top of paying a yearly fee. "When we win a Golden Globe, it helps us sell more shoes," Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said at a Recode tech conference last year. "People who use Prime Video ... renew at higher rates, and they convert from free trials at higher rates." One of the people familiar with the company's operations said Amazon has data scientists and economists running computer models to determine how video influences whether shoppers sign up for Prime after a free trial period. In turn, deciding the budget for video spending involves a complicated set of factors, including subscription fees and the value of extra spending by Prime members, the person said. Success Not Assured Despite its award wins for distributing "Manchester by the Sea" and producing TV shows such as "Transparent," Amazon's Hollywood push has not been entirely successful. An early plan to let anyone submit scripts online and crowd-source opinions on what shows to produce - an effort to disrupt Hollywood's lengthy and expensive greenlight system - has effectively been abandoned. Some have expressed concern that Amazon is focusing on niche audiences that likely are already Prime Video users, such as recent projects with director Woody Allen. Meanwhile, costs mount. Amazon paid $10 million to score distribution rights to "Manchester by the Sea" - one of the largest deals ever at the Sundance Film Festival. And it is paying about $50 million to stream 10 Thursday-night games for the U.S. National Football League this year, five times what Twitter Inc had paid for the same rights. The famously frugal company threw lavish awards show parties, too, a sign it has not been able to shave off as much of Hollywood's notoriously high costs as it may have hoped. "The bets they have to make on content are subject to the vagaries of the movie business," said Paul Verna, an analyst at research firm eMarketer. Being in Hollywood is "entirely different from being a data company or a tech company or a devices company."
  2. Wayne Rooney made his second competitive 'debut' for his boyhood club Everton on Thursday, as Leighton Baines grabbed a 1-0 Europa League third-round qualifying victory over Slovakian side MFK Ruzomberok. The former Manchester United and England captain had revealed in the build-up to the match at Goodison Park that it had been a lifelong ambition to play for Everton in Europe. Thirteen years after leaving Merseyside for Old Trafford, Rooney finally fulfilled that ambition although it was a frustrating evening for manager Ronald Koeman and his new-look Everton side. "It's something I've been looking forward to for the last few weeks," said 31-year-old Rooney. "It's obviously great to be at Goodison wearing the blue shirt, it was a great feeling. "But it was an important game for us so I had to put my emotions to one side. I've done that now and can get down to focusing more on the football." The £75-million ($98m) sale of Romelu Lukaku to United has funded a close-season of big expenditure by the club and Rooney joined England defender Michael Keane, former Ajax captain Davy Klaassen and ex-Southampton full-back Cuco Martina in making debuts. And while Rooney's return was greeted with the expected enthusiasm by a sold-out, if reduced-capacity, Goodison Park crowd, last season's third-placed Slovakian team provided dogged opposition. It was not until the 65th minute, when a Kevin Mirallas corner was headed out to Baines 25 yards from goal, that Evertonians could finally relax in this first leg tie. Baines struck a magnificent shot but it still required a kind deflection off Erik Daniel to wrong foot goalkeeper Matus Macik and fly into the visitors' goal. Early signs had been promising for Everton when Ruzomberok captain Dominik Kruzliak sliced the ball horribly as Klaassen surged into the area and almost put the ball into his own goal before the keeper cleared. Then, on 19 minutes, Rooney spied his first sight of goal back in an Everton shirt after another flowing attack, which ended with Klaassen sweeping the ball wide for Baines to pick out the striker who spun and sent a powerful shot wide. Just before the half-hour, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, hero of England's under-20 World Cup win this summer, showed great skill to win a tackle on his way into the box and his short cross found Rooney who slipped as he shot goalwards. Calvert-Lewin was involved again a minute later, this time setting up Klaassen with an intelligent pass, but the Dutchman shot into the side-netting with the goal seemingly at his mercy. Wins for Milan, Marseille It was looking an increasing danger that those misses might prove costly and before the break Daniel was given acres of room to deliver a 22-yard shot which Maarten Stekelenburg kept out, diving sharply to his right. Everton's concerns continued after the restart when uncertain defending allowed Daniel a shot which, fortunately for the home side, he miskicked wide. Yet Rooney, and Everton's, big occasion might have been spoiled just before the hour when Dalibor Takac's free-kick picked out Jan Maslo, whose powerful header was tipped onto the bar by Stekelenburg although replays showed the defender was clearly offside. That was a scare that prompted Koeman into bringing on another new signing, Spanish striker Sandro Ramirez, and his pace and energy enlivened his team with the goal coming soon afterwards. Mirallas might have claimed the second goal Koeman would have wished for, ahead of next week's second leg, but Macik made a superb reflex stop before Ruzomberok substitute Milos Lacny wasted a glorious late chance to equalise. Elsewhere in qualifying on Thursday, AC Milan began their new era under Chinese ownership with a scrappy 1-0 over Universitatea Craiova in Romania, as Swiss full-back Ricardo Rodriguez scored the winner on his debut. Marseille forward Valere Germain scored a debut hat-trick after joining from French champions Monaco, as his new team beat Ostend 4-2, while PSV Eindhoven suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at home by Croatians Osijek.
  3. ISLAMABAD: Nawab Laghari, former adviser in the Sindh government, returned home on Monday after remaining missing for weeks. Relatives have said Laghari's health has suffered during his disappearance. Unidentified men left Laghari in a car near Sawan. A case for his recovery was underway at the Islamabad High Court. Laghari was whisked away by unidentified men in Islamabad in April. He was taken after his identity was confirmed by his national identity card.
  4. Kesha attends the Billboard Women in Music 2016 event on December 9, 2016, in New York City, US. AFP/Angela Weiss/File Photo NEW YORK: The singer Kesha ? who galvanised the music industry with her legal battle against a producer she alleges raped her ? returned Thursday with an impassioned ballad about finding spiritual strength. The 30-year-old pop star became a radio fixture with her 2012 album Warrior that featured the feel-good hits "Die Young" and "Tik Tok" but said she afterwards plunged into debilitating depression as she fought in vain to exit a contract with producer Dr. Luke. "Praying" ? her first solo song in more than four years ? is anything but a party anthem. She announced that it is the first single off her next album Rainbow, which will come out on August 11. Driven by a piano as Kesha's voice builds in volume into a plaintive cry, the song unmistakably reflects on her experience with Dr. Luke as she sings that she is "proud of who I am" despite a person who "told me that I was nothing without you". "I don't need you / I found a strength I've never known / I've been thrown out, I've been burned / When I'm finished, they won't even know your name," she sings. "Some say, in life, you're gonna get what you give / But some things only God can forgive," she sings. The video for "Praying" quickly became a top trending item on YouTube. A kaleidoscope of colours and spiritual imagery, with nods to Brazil and India, the video shows Kesha climbing a beachside hill to find solace in prayer, with pig-faced men in suits trying to drag her down. "I hope this song reaches people who are in the midst of struggles, to let them know that no matter how bad it seems now, you can get through it," Kesha wrote on the feminist blog Lenny Letter. Kesha in her lawsuit said that Dr. Luke ? a prominent producer whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald ? drugged and raped her in 2005 and 2008 and tormented her psychologically. She sought to suspend her contract with Dr. Luke's Kemosabe Records, part of the Sony Music conglomerate. Dr. Luke denied the charges and countersued, accusing Kesha ? whose full name is Kesha Rose Sebert ? of lying to get out of the record deal. A court last year rejected Kesha's lawsuit, enraging feminists. The singer enjoyed public shows of support from top women in music, including Adele and Taylor Swift. But Sony Music quietly parted ways with Dr. Luke earlier this year. Kesha remains on the Kemosabe label but wrote "Praying" with new collaborators ? Ryan Lewis, who is one-half of a hip-hop duo with Macklemore, and Australian folk singer Ben Abraham.
  5. Former US President Barack Obama waves while walking with his daughter Mali and his wife Michelle during a visit to the 9th-century Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Indonesia, June 28, 2017/Reuters From white water rafting in Bali to visiting temples on Java, former US President Barack Obama's private family holiday is being closely tracked in Indonesia where he spent four years as a child. Obama was six when he moved to Jakarta after his American mother, Ann Dunham, married an Indonesian man following the end of her marriage to Obama's Kenyan father. "I feel proud that my friend became a president," said Sonni Gondokusumo, 56, a former classmate of Obama at the Menteng 01 state elementary school in Jakarta. Gondokusumo showed a class photograph of himself standing behind a young Obama, who was wearing a school beret. Barack Obama (2nd L), his wife Michelle (3rd L) along with his daughters Sasha (C) and Malia (2nd R) go rafting while on holiday in Bongkasa Village, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia, June 26, 2017 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Wira Suryantala/ via Reuters "He was a clever boy. Whenever a teacher asked him to solve a problem in front of the class, he could do it," Gondokusomo told Reuters, adding he hoped to meet the former president again. Obama remains popular in the world's most populous Muslim nation and his trip has been splashed across the media during an extended public holiday to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. The Rakyat Merdeka newspaper carried a headline "Obama loves Indonesia". Obama returned for an official visit as president in 2010 with his wife, Michelle, but this time has brought daughters Malia and Sasha as well. Indonesians are avid social media users and snaps of the former US president walking with his family in rice fields and rafting on Bali's Ayung River have gone viral. Barack Obama visits the 9th-century Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia, June 28, 2017. Reuters/Pius Erlangga Obama kicked off the holiday on the island of Bali, where he stayed at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Bali near the cultural center of Ubud. On Wednesday, Obama and his family arrived in the city of Yogyakarta on Java island, and visited the ancient temple of Borobudur. According to CNN Indonesia, Central Java police deployed 700 officers to secure his visit to Borobudur, a Buddhist temple dating from the 8th and 9th centuries. Obama is due to meet President Joko Widodo on Friday at the palace in Bogor, south of Jakarta, and visit the capital on Saturday.
  6. KARACHI: Players of Pakistan cricket team returned home, in the wee hours of Tuesday, to a grand welcome, after winning the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. A young Pakistan team stunned the world and created history on Sunday, thrashing an in-form and star-studded Indian side by 180 runs in the Champions Trophy finale at The Oval. Players begin to return separately to their hometowns after unavailability of tickets barred them from boarding a flight together. Four Cricketers have arrived in Lahore, Two will land in Karachi, while two others in Islamabad. Faheem Ashraf, Babar Azam Ahmad Shahzad along with player of the tournament Hasan Ali land at Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore. Captain Sarfraz Ali and Rumman Raees to arrive back home in Karachi. While Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim will be arriving at the Benazir International Airport in Islamabad around 7:30 AM.
  7. Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio confirmed Friday that he has turned over an Oscar won by Marlon Brando, along with other gifts, amid an inquiry into a multibillion-dollar money-laundering scheme involving a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. US authorities are seeking to recover billions in money and assets allegedly embezzled by businessmen with political connections in Malaysia. The scandal has rocked the Malaysian governing class, exposing Prime Minister Najib Razak to allegations of corruption, which he has denied. A spokesman for DiCaprio said in a statement that the 42-year-old actor had contacted the US Justice Department last July after learning of a civil action against "certain parties involved in the making of 'The Wolf of Wall Street,'" a movie in which DiCaprio starred. He offered to surrender to US authorities any gifts "from the parties named in the civil complaint." DiCaprio "initiated return of these items," said the statement provided to AFP. It said he did so before the US government on Thursday filed a new complaint that cited the Red Granite production company behind "The Wolf of Wall Street." "He has also returned an Oscar originally won by Marlon Brando, which was given to Mr DiCaprio as a set gift by Red Granite to thank him for his work on "The Wolf of Wall Street.'" Jets, apartments and royalties US authorities announced Thursday that they intended to seize more than a half-billion dollars in additional assets acquired with money embezzled from the 1MDB Malaysian sovereign fund, at the heart of a vast international scandal. Those assets include a $261 million yacht purchased by Malaysian businessman Jho Low, as well as paintings by Picasso and Jean-Michel Basquiat; and the royalties of "Dumb and Dummer To" and "Daddy's Home." Those films were also produced by Red Granite, a Los Angeles company co-founded by Riza Aziz, son-in-law of Razak. In a statement received Friday, Red Granite said it was in "active" discussions with the Justice Department. The US authorities first moved in July 2016 to recover some $1 billion in assets, including private jets, luxury apartments and royalties from "The Wolf of Wall Street." The Justice Department said those assets had been acquired as part of an "international conspiracy" intended to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1MDB, or 1Malaysia Development Berhad, a public fund created in 2009. Razak is its advisory chair. Razak created the fund shortly after coming to power in 2009, saying it would help modernise the country. 1MDB now carries debt of some 10 billion euros ($11.2 billion). The prime minister and fund officials have consistently denied any wrongdoing.
  8. It’s official. 'Assassin’s Creed' is back and its official trailer was released at E3 last night where Ubisoft showed how the game has re-invented itself. The game has a new combat system and is a true open world RPG when compared to previous iterations. Your character is Bayek, who is basically an Egyptian police officer who is tasked with protecting the people of Egypt from local and foreign threats. The game is a origin story of how the Brotherhood was formed and the story is a far cry from what we are accustomed to from 'Assassin Creed' games. The game is no longer an action game as it embraces the RPG model to take the franchise further. © Ubisoft The game puts a heavy emphasis on exploration and you also need to craft your weapons and armour in order to progress in the story.The game is heavily populated with NPCs and animals that bring Ancient Egypt to life. Being an open world game, it has a series of side quests for players to complete in any order. The game has a brand new skill tree that unlocks key abilities and improve combat as you upgrade your character. There are three categories where you can upgrade skills i.e. warrior, rogue and archer. These skills can be customised and can be used in various combinations much like in a true RPG such as 'Fallout'. © Ubisoft The combat system has also changed where you will need to plan your movements and time your counters in order to defeat your enemies. This time around 'Origins' has actual boss fights where you an use the environment to your advantage to inflict major damage. 'Assassin’s Creed: Origins' will launch on October 27 and will also support 4K gaming on the Xbox One X. We can be assured that more gameplay and story trailers will be revealed closer to the launch date. You can watch the full reveal trailer below: For more news on 'Assassin’s Creed: Origins', make sure you keep a look out for more features in the Technology section of MensXP.com
  9. ISLAMABAD: The Samjhauta Express sent to Attari, Amristar for Sikh pilgrims was returned empty as Indian authorities stopped them from coming to Pakistan for the Jor Mela, according to the foreign office spokesperson. A statement issued from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Indian authorities returned the train saying Pakistan had agreed on sending a special one for the pilgrims, not Samjhauta Express. The Indian authorities intercepted the pilgrims at the Attari border in Amritsar, read the statement. They were coming to Pakistan for the Jor Mela to observe the death anniversary of Guru Arjun Das, for which around 100 pilgrims were issued visa by the High Commission for Pakistan, it added. Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria stated Pakistan had made all the arrangements keeping in consideration the religious values of Sikhs. The statement further read that India did not hold human values important. Even the medical visa process was troublesome for Pakistanis, it added. ?In occupied Kashmir, human beings are used as shields,? it read. ?India has also targeted civilians along the Line of Control and Working Boundary.?
  10. PM Nawaz will return to Pakistan after a two-day successful visit to Kazakhstan. Photo: file ASTANA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan on Saturday afternoon after a two-day successful visit to Kazakhstan. However, the PM landed in Lahore due to bad weather conditions in Islamabad. Before their departure, the PM, accompanied by his wife, visited Pakistan's stall at Astana's expo centre. Pakistan had set up a green energy stall at the expo. In an unofficial conversation, PM Nawaz had remarked that the Kashmir issue needs to be resolved immediately. Millions of Indian troops have been deployed in Indian occupied Kashmir, he said. In order to improve relations with India, talks should be held on all relevant issues. During the visit, PM held important meetings with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Russian President Vladimir Putin and United Nations Secretary General António Guterres. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/66200251dd36f183aa092ace8e2bfd66.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9Ni8xMC8yMDE3IDY6MTA6MzMgQU0maGFzaF92YWx1ZT1Halp5bG1LOEZjSGNobG9weXgxNzV3PT0mdmFsaWRtaW51dGVzPTYwJmlkPTE= style=center] The prime minister also remarked that Pakistan has always tried its best to ensure that there is peace in Afghanistan, adding that the Afghan president agrees on the positive role played by Pakistan. ?We hope that Pakistan and Afghanistan relations become normal soon,? he added. It is a historic day today, says PM as Pakistan joins SCO Pakistan, along with India, has become permanent member of SCO According to sources, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Pakistan has played an important role in eliminating terrorism from the region. Russian extended its help to Pakistan in overcoming different challenges being faced by the country in this regard, he said. During the visit, Pakistan was officially included in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which now has a total of eight states as permanent members ? after China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Other observer states and governments and international organisations are also part of the group. The group will then represent nearly half of the world?s population after the inclusion of the subcontinental neighbours
  11. Mark Zuckerberg is back to where it all started! Thirteen years ago, he famously dropped out of Harvard to focus on Facebook. Now he has returned to his old dorm room and the birthplace of Facebook. And, what better way to document his return than a Facebook live video? © Facebook He gave a spontaneous 23-minute walkthrough of his old Kirkland house college dorm, and you can see in the video how excited he is to be back. With his wife Priscilla Chan right by his side, he seemed to have a lot of fun reminiscing about his college days, telling stories of college snack food, bad roommates, and more. "It's my first time being back here since I left 13 years ago. This has been a place where a lot of really special things happened in my life," says Mr Zuckerberg during the 23-minute Facebook Live video. "I'm really grateful." © Facebook “This is where my desk was and this is literally where I sat and I had my little laptop here,” he explained. “This is kind of where it happened.” Today, he will be giving the commencement speech at Harvard's graduation ceremony and will even receive an honorary degree. © Facebook "It's pretty personally meaningful to me to actually get a degree from here (Harvard)," he says during the Facebook live. "I promise it means even more to my parents who really wanted me to graduate. This might be the thing they're going to be most proud of me for." Watch the whole video here: Mark has literally come full circle now!
  12. Ariana Grande returned to the United States on Tuesday, one day after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at the pop singer's concert in Manchester, England, People magazine reported, as questions lingered over whether she would continue her European tour. Grande, 23, was photographed landing at an airport in her hometown of Boca Raton, Florida, and being met by family members, the magazine said. The pop star has not been seen publicly since an explosion ripped through the packed Manchester Arena at the end of her performance there. Some of the 22 people who died in the attack were teens or young girls. Grande was apparently unharmed. British police have identified the man suspected of carrying out the massacre as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who was born in Manchester to parents of Libyan origin. Daesh claimed responsibility for what it called revenge against "Crusaders," but there appeared to be contradictions in its account of the operation. In her only statement so far, Grande took to Twitter some five hours after the bombing to describe herself as "broken" in the aftermath of the attack. "from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words," she said in the tweet. Grande was performing in Manchester during the European leg of a tour to promote her third album, "Dangerous Woman," which also has her scheduled to perform in London, Belgium, Poland, Germany and Switzerland in the coming weeks. Despite speculation that she would cancel the rest of the tour, no formal announcement had been made as of Tuesday afternoon. Grande's manager, Scooter Braun, did not respond to requests for comment by Reuters. "We mourn the lives of children and loved ones taken by this cowardly act," Braun said in a statement posted on Twitter on Monday evening. "We ask all of you to hold the victims, their families and all those affected in your hearts and prayers." Grande, a native of Boca Raton, starred in the Broadway musical "13" and on the Nickelodeon TV series "Victorious" before releasing her solo debut album, "Yours Truly." Best known for her singles "Problem" and "Break Free," Grande is credited with having an exceptionally broad vocal range for a pop star.
  13. This year’s Cannes Film Festival is hogging the limelight primarily for two reasons – first is actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s princess like avatar and second is actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Hold on to your seats guys as the ‘Commando’ actor has announced that he will be starring in the next ‘Terminator’ movie. Now, if this piece of information does not raise your eyebrows or make your heads turn, let’s drop a bigger bomb on you. Filmmaker James Cameron too will be a part of this film. Woah! © Pacific Western Productions After delivering blockbusters like ‘The Terminator’ and ‘True Lies’, this deadly duo will be finally reuniting for the next ‘Terminator’ movie and we can’t wait to see them cause some serious kickass destruction together. Honestly, the surprise and shock of the two coming together is much bigger than the predictions of World War 3 made by a mystic a few weeks ago, so it’s really hard for us to keep calm. While talking to Screen in Cannes, Schwarzenegger said “It is back. It is moving forward. He [Cameron] has some good ideas of how to continue with the franchise.” He further added, “I will be in the movie.” © Reuters The future of ‘Terminator’ series went for a toss in 2015 when the movie ‘Terminator Genisys’, sans Cameron, failed to impress the audience. Now that the two are coming together for this movie, we can’t wait to see them recreate that magic again. But given the number of films Cameron has on his hands, only time would tell which hat he would don for this movie. Arnold was at Cannes to discuss his new environment documentary, ‘Wonders Of The Sea 3D’ produced by Francois Mantello and directed by Jean-Michel Cousteau and Jean-Jacques Mantello. Further, Arnold fans have another reason to rejoice as he admitted 'Triplets’, a much awaited sequel to the 1988 classic 'Twins', is being scripted! The movie will also star Danny DeVito and Eddie Murphy. The original producer-director Ivan Reitman too is a part of this project. Source: Screen Daily
  14. KARACHI: Around a dozen and a half crew members of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight that were stopped by UK authorities after discovery of heroin from the plane have returned to the country after three days. The captain of the flight [PK-785] had returned to Pakistan on Wednesday whereas the remaining crew reached Karachi airport from London early Thursday morning via PK-788. Upon their arrival, the crew was debriefed by the PIA Vigilance GM and then allowed to exit the airport after their statements were recorded. On May 15, when the PIA plane landed at Heathrow airport in London from Islamabad, UK border authorities carried out a thorough search of the plane on suspicion of narcotics smuggling and reportedly questioned and detained crew members, including the captain of the plane. Speaking to Geo News on Wednesday afternoon, a spokesman of the UK National Crime Agency — which is now investigating the incident — said it cannot disclose any information about the operational matter of the drug bust but confirmed that “a quantity of heroin, a class A prohibited drug under UK law, was found concealed within the aircraft by Border Force officers”. Further investigations are under way by the UK authorities. In Pakistan, according to the latest reports from investigating officials, the use of sniffer dogs by Pakistan Customs and the Anti-Narcotics Force — a standard operation protocol — was not carried out on the PIA flight in question.
  15. KARACHI: Around a dozen and a half crew members of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight that were stopped by UK authorities after discovery of heroin from the plane have returned to the country after three days. The captain of the flight [PK-785] had returned to Pakistan on Wednesday whereas the remaining crew reached Karachi airport from London early Thursday morning via PK-788. Upon their arrival, the crew was debriefed by the PIA Vigilance GM and then allowed to exit the airport after their statements were recorded. On May 15, when the PIA plane landed at Heathrow airport in London from Islamabad, UK border authorities carried out a thorough search of the plane on suspicion of narcotics smuggling and reportedly questioned and detained crew members, including the captain of the plane. Speaking to Geo News on Wednesday afternoon, a spokesman of the UK National Crime Agency ? which is now investigating the incident ? said it cannot disclose any information about the operational matter of the drug bust but confirmed that ?a quantity of heroin, a class A prohibited drug under UK law, was found concealed within the aircraft by Border Force officers?. Further investigations are under way by the UK authorities. In Pakistan, according to the latest reports from investigating officials, the use of sniffer dogs by Pakistan Customs and the Anti-Narcotics Force ? a standard operation protocol ? was not carried out on the PIA flight in question.
  16. KABUL: A former warlord branded the "Butcher of Kabul" returned to the Afghan capital Thursday, met by uneasy residents two decades after leaving the city where he stands accused of killing thousands of people. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former prime minister, has returned to mainstream political life after his dormant Hezb-i-Islami militant group signed a peace deal with the government last September which sparked revulsion from human rights groups and residents of the capital. His convoy of several hundred vehicles to Kabul on Thursday, mainly pickup trucks equipped with machine guns, was greeted by hundreds of onlookers, including supporters bearing the green party flag and flowers. As it progressed through the capital´s main thoroughfares he was joined by hundreds of cars ferrying people waving flags, singing the national anthem or chanting "Welcome to Kabul, Honourable Hekmatyar" in Pashto. Hekmatyar earned his bloody nickname for laying siege to Kabul while during the 1992-1996 civil war, bombarding it with rockets that inflicted some of the worst damage in nearly 40 years of conflict, destroying one-third of the city and killing tens of thousands of civilians. The peace agreement inked in September marked a symbolic victory for the government, which has struggled to revive peace talks with the more powerful Taliban, but has also fuelled fears of more political division. Some of the city´s residents greeted Hekmatyar´s return with hope, such as 35-year-old Jamshed, who goes by one name and who told AFP the "rare happy news" meant the warlord´s influence could help improve security. For others, memories of death and destruction in the capital came rushing back. "He will be surprised to see Kabul rebuilt again," said one wry onlooker who did not wish to give his name. Others like 20-year-old metal worker Edress Arabzada, could not forget the past but were pragmatic about the future. Hekmatyar was the "chief destroyer" of Kabul, Arabzada told AFP, adding the warlord should apologise for the spilling the blood of innocent people. But, he added, "we welcome his arrival to Afghanistan if it leads to peace and stability". ´We are tired of war´ Cucumber seller Sayed Mohammad, 52, agreed. "All the warlords are corrupt and have blood on their hands," he told AFP. "But, we welcome (Hekmatyar) to Kabul because we are tired of war and conflict." Afghanistan has suffered near-continuous fighting since the Soviet invasion of 1979, and beleaguered security forces are currently struggling to beat back the resurgent Taliban, with more than one third of the country outside government control. Hekmatyar is the latest in a series of controversial figures that Kabul has sought to reintegrate by granting judicial immunity for past crimes, and many residents who spoke to AFP called for him to apologise and be prosecuted. Some were more accepting of the rehabilitation of the warlords, including figures such as Abdul Rashid Dostum, currently the country´s first vice president. "I do not think, Hekmatyar´s arrival to Kabul will not make a difference... We want him to continue a normal life like other warlords in Afghanistan," said drinks seller Mohammad Nasim. Hekmatyar first returned to public life on Saturday at a gathering in Laghman province, two hours east of Kabul. After his return to the capital on Thursday he travelled to the presidential palace to meet and shake hands with President Ashraf Ghani. In the week ahead of his return, huge billboards sprang up around the city but were quickly covered in paint or mud, testament to the polarising nature of the peace deal. Hekmatyar's bombardment of Kabul during the 1990s inflicted some of the worst damage in more than 40 years of war, destroying one-third of the city and killing tens of thousands of civilians.
  17. One of the most consistent teams in the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Reliance Industries-owned Mumbai Indians (MI) were on a six-match winning spree. Their players were also in form. And, to top it all, 24 April also marked the birthday of India's greatest-ever cricketer - Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. The Maharashtra derby between Mumbai and Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) last night had all the ingredients of a blockbuster game. The stakes were at an all-time high. The Wankhede stadium was jam-packed and the Indian batting legend was in attendance. Something I whipped up in the Kitchen a little earlier for you @sachin_rt Happy 44th Birthday great man!!! @mipaltan @IPL @BCCI pic.twitter.com/0GmkfZ1kmN — Matthew Hayden AM (@HaydosTweets) April 24, 2017 It was a perfect occasion for the Mumbai players to become local heroes with a splendid show. But, no one in the Mumbai side needed it as badly as Rohit Sharma did. It was a situation the Mumbai skipper generally thrives on. The one that comes once in a while - usually after 10 games. © Twitter A time when the Indian opener returns to form after being criticised for a series of poor runs, silencing his detractors only momentarily. Against RPS, Rohit saw a similar opportunity and slammed more runs in a single innings than he has scored in his last seven IPL games. Rohit Sharma had made 50 runs.Amazing consistency of scoring 50s after every 10 matches! Legend! #RohitSharma #MIvRPS #IPL2017 #IPL — Onkar Danke (@onkardanke) April 24, 2017 In the past seven games this season, the 29-year-old had managed to score just 54 runs. But, with Tendulkar in attendance, Rohit slammed a gritty 39-ball 58 including six fours and three sixes. It was also his first fifty this season and the one awaited eagerly by the Mumbai fans. Coming in to bat with Mumbai reeling at 51/2, the right-handed batsman kept the locals in the hunt despite wickets falling consistently from the other end. All the action came down to 17 runs off six deliveries and Rohit got the Wankhede buzzing with a massive six on the second delivery of the final over. © Twitter But, just when the home crowd pinned down their hopes on Rohit to see them through, the Mumbai captain returned to doing what he does best - disappoint like no other. Takes A Lot Of Talent To Bring Your Team From Losing To Win Situation, And Then Lose It. RT If Rohit Sharma Is Most Talented Ever.??#MIvRPS pic.twitter.com/wytVV4fYNQ — Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadeja) April 24, 2017 On the third delivery of over, Rohit got involved in a heated confrontation with Umpire Sundaram Ravi over what eventually turned out to be the right decision. Looking to hit towards the leg side, Rohit shuffled a long way across the off-stump before Jaydev Unadkat floated a slower delivery outside off. For a man who had just slammed a much-needed six, you'd be hoping he remains calm and maintains his focus on the game. But, not Mr Sharma. © Twitter Expecting a call for wide, Rohit came seething down the track after he saw the umpire signalling a fair delivery. The Mumbai captain was so angry that it took leg-umpire A Nand Kishore to intervene and diffuse the situation. And, on the very next delivery, Rohit lost his wicket and Mumbai lost the game by just three runs. This is wt Rohit Sharma is famous for. Achieving milestones in a losing cause. Wt good is talent if it can't win matches?#MIvRPS .@ImRo45 — Bachchan Pandey (@pandey_bachchan) April 24, 2017 The great promise and immense potential of Rohit once again became the talk of the town with the Mumbai fans left wondering whether to celebrate Rohit's return to form, or bemoan Mumbai's return to losses. Mumbai Indians have many match winners . Rohit Sharma isn't one of them. — Deepak Chaturvedi (@chaturvedi_dk) April 24, 2017 Rohit Sharma Seriously Needs To Work On His Finishing Ability. Stats Don't Lie. #RohitSharma #MIvRPS #RPSvMI #IPL #IPL2017 #RPSvsMI #IPL10 pic.twitter.com/KoQ5HEMNf7 — Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadeja) April 24, 2017
  18. For Ishant Sharma, the year 2017 has been the one of great turnarounds. Not only he was recalled as a part of India's Test squad, but the lanky seamer also managed to find a suitor in Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) after going unsold at a base price of Rs 2 core at the IPL auctions. But, more than his bowling abilities, it has been Ishant's antics on the field that have been a huge hit with cricket fans. His unique way of sledging Steve Smith during the home series against Australia didn't just get social media buzzing, but also inspired BCCI to come up with the 'Ishant Game Face Challenge' for the commentators. © Twitter Even after failing to find any takers at the IPL Auctions, Ishant continued to entertain cricket fans by becoming the butt of all jokes on social media. And even when he found a late signing with Punjab - courtesy Virender Sehwag, fans couldn't help but troll the Indian speedster. Not being a white ball bowler and having a base price of 2 crore INR has not helped Ishant Sharma's cause — Aleem M (@aleem025) February 21, 2017 So, when he was playing his second game this season, the hopes of all cricket fans were once again pinned on him to tickle their funny bone. But, to everyone's surprise, Ishant actually bowled well, conceding just 23 runs in 4 overs including 11 rare dot balls and a single boundary scored off him. © Twitter Disheartened by his good bowling performance, the cricket fans almost gave up hope until they saw the 6-feet-three-inch man walking out in the middle with a bat in his hand. If the sight wasn't funny enough, the fact that Punjab and their fans were expecting Ishant to score seven runs off four balls, clearly was. © Twitter With six runs needed off three balls, the 28-year-old saw his stumps castled by the long-due yorker from Siddarth Kaul. As another batting disaster became the nemesis for Punjab, the cricket fans wasted no time in bringing out their uncanny 'Ishant Sharma' jokes on the social media. Ishant Sharma is the worst thing that has happened to Punjab ,and we have had terrorism ! #axeishant — dhruv verma (@d2ruv) April 17, 2017 Unusual for Ishant to be involved at the end of a tight chase when the batting side doesn't win. #srhvkxip — Pavilion Opinions (@pavilionopinion) April 17, 2017 What a batting Performance by Sir Ishant Sharma.#Great Best in the World for a Reason. ????#SRHvKXIP David Warner Bhuvi#Vohra #Rashid — Sir Ashish Nehra (@SirAshish_Nehra) April 17, 2017 SRH won d match. Vohra have won the hearts. Bhuvi Brilliant spell takes the game. Whereas Ishant Sharma won lungs, Kidney?#SRHvsKXIP — Sohail (@sohailrocks11) April 17, 2017 Ishant sharma right now ? pic.twitter.com/KtRFZkexHC — MANAS (@rk_kashyap1) April 17, 2017 Ishant Sharma got a full toss the previous ball he got out, that even a noob batsman could have hit for six and he defends it -_- — • T.O.H • (@mehdi_nisar1) April 17, 2017 Kings XI Punjab buy Ishant Sharma who is not a bowler, who keeps overstepping, can't bat, can't field. Only can make faces ? #SRHvKXIP — Mayanti Langer (@Langer_Mayanti) April 17, 2017 This must be the first time in the history of IPL, where a batting side lost the game with Ishant Sharma there in the middle. — Smoking Skills (@SmokingSkills_) April 17, 2017 Close competition this ! Shikhar Dhawan is the Ishant Sharma of batting and Ishant Sharma is the Shikhar Dhawan of bowling.#SRHvKXIP — The-Lying-Lama (@KyaUkhaadLega) April 17, 2017 Ishant Sharma would get abused even if he takes 10 wickets. Rohit Sharma will remain talented even if he keeps failing. Tale of 2 Sharmas ? — Aria (@adagio_aria) April 17, 2017 Elder brother of Ishant sharma, seems more like a Bakra. ? https://t.co/iQWzxAvlHp — ISHAAQ NEWTON (@newtunpk) April 17, 2017