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Found 72 results

  1. Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar have been appearing in court since September last year. Photo: File ISLAMABAD: The accountability court hearing corruption references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family issued on Wednesday its written order rejecting the suspects' plea to travel abroad. Nawaz, daughter Maryam and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar had pleaded the court to be exempted from appearance from February 19 to March 5 on account of visiting Kulsoom Nawaz, who is undergoing cancer treatment in London since August last year. However, on Feb 15, the court had rejected their plea. In its written order, the court has stated that Nawaz?s wife?s ailment cannot be made a basis of being exempted from court proceedings. Similarly, the judge has ruled that going to London to finalise counsel for the recording of witnesses? statements from there can also not be made a basis for exemption. Accountability court rejects Nawaz, family's exemption appearance requests Former PM Nawaz Sharif, daughter Maryam and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar had pleaded court to allow them to travel to London from Feb 19 to Mar 5 According to Kulsoom?s medical report, submitted in court at the last hearing, six cycles of the chemotherapy have been completed and the ailment has been contained to an extent. Radiotherapy has been advised to limit the risk of cancer in the future, it states further. The next hearing of the case will take place on February 22. Following his disqualification by the Supreme Court on July 28, Nawaz and his family are facing corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in September last year. The references pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills, Flagship Investment Ltd and Avenfield properties in London.
  2. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/af952ea94e7f0c2be7b63cb859768dd0.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9Mi8xNi8yMDE4IDU6MjY6MjcgUE0maGFzaF92YWx1ZT1sVFAwcHZQOCtBa2p4WEs0MllwTXZ3PT0mdmFsaWRtaW51dGVzPTYwJmlkPTE= style=center] ISLAMABAD: A day after the military announced the deployment of Pakistan Army troops to Saudi Arabia for a training and advisory mission, Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir said the final decision was taken after the rules of engagement were clarified. "Negotiations were ongoing regarding the rules of engagement, and once we attained clarity on the issue that the troops will be on a training and advisory mission to strengthen the ground defence of Saudi Arabia, the troops were sent," said the defence minister while speaking on Geo News programme 'Naya Pakistan'. He elaborated that Pakistani troops are needed to better train and advise Saudi troops as the country has come under repeated missile attacks from Yemen's Houthi militia. Saudi troop deployment: Senate chairman summons defence minister ISPR announced on Monday deployment of troops to Saudi Arabia; contingent strength to be less than division-size When asked how the Pakistani forces will assist in stopping the missile attacks, Dastgir said, "we will not be giving them air defence". "We only want to train their forces and better advise them. The areas bordering Yemen are mountainous, and as Pakistan's army is highly trained in mountain warfare, we will train and advise them." 'US using task force for political means' Regarding the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) watchlist, the defence minister said it was the first time that the United States was using it to further political aims as the organisation has existed for decades. "This is the first time the US is using the task force for political means to pressurise Pakistan." He said that the country was added to the watchlist in 2012, and when the PML-N government came to power in 2013, "it took measures due to which Pakistan was removed from the list in 2015". When asked why other European countries, which are deemed to be friendly towards Pakistan including the United Kingdom, are supporting the motion, the defence minister said countries bargain with each other on international forums and in this case, the countries thought that the political cost would be less when compared with the benefits of better relations with the US. "We have to act according to law, and where needed laws were drafted and implemented upon." He added that the US has chosen to pressure Pakistan economically before it takes any other measures. Dastgir further elaborated upon diplomatic measures taken by Pakistan to counter the latest American move and expressed hope that the financial action task force can be restrained to its official mandate instead of becoming a tool for political pressure. "It will be unjustified to add Pakistan again on the watchlist as matters have improved further after 2015." Following Thursday's announcement, the ISPR explained that the troops to be deployed, or the ones already there, will not be stationed outside the Kingdom. Pakistan Army to send contingent to KSA for training, advisory mission The troops, or the ones already there, will not be employed outside the kingdom, says ISPR The ISPR said that the military contingent is part of the ongoing Pakistan-Saudi bilateral cooperation, under which a number of Pakistani troops are already stationed in Saudi Arabia for advisory roles. However, the number of troops being deployed at present has not been disclosed. "Pak Army maintains bilateral security cooperation with many other GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] and regional countries," the ISPR had said further, in a perceived assurance to Iran and Turkey owing to the hostile relationship of Iran with Saudi Arabia and Turkey's siding with Qatar in its conflict with Riyadh and other GCC countries.
  3. Former men's handball player Hannah Mouncey is on her way to the AFL. Photo: News Corp Australia SYDNEY: The Australian Football League has agreed to let a transgender player participate in the country´s second-tier state women´s competition while the governing body considers its gender diversity policy for the national league. Hannah Mouncey, a former national men´s handball representative, last October lost her bid to take part in the AFL Women´s (AFLW) national draft, barring her from the 2018 elite-level season. Several clubs had reportedly shown interest in drafting Mouncey, who is 1.90 metres tall (6ft 2in). The league ruled her out due to the advantage her physical strength and stamina would have over opponents in the newly formed semi-professional competition, but left the door ajar for this year´s draft as it finalises its gender diversity policy. On Tuesday the AFL made a landmark recommendation clearing Mouncey to play in the country´s second-tier state competition. The pioneering transgender player welcomed the decision but described the last four months of deliberation as a "circus", with a lack of understanding in the science of gender transition. "I welcome the AFL´s decision, and I look forward to hopefully playing this season," Mouncey said in a Twitter statement. But she added: "I will not and I think it would be highly inappropriate for me to thank the AFL for allowing me to do something open to every other Australian, which the science and the research has supported all along." The AFL in 2017 introduced a semi-professional national women´s league, which has been heralded as a pioneer for inclusivity in a traditionally male-dominated sport. The national league said Tuesday it was still finalising its gender diversity policy, noting the International Olympic Committee was also reviewing its guidelines on trans participation. It added the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Human Rights Commission were also working on a framework for trans and gender participation in Australian sport more generally. "We are committed to inclusion, and want all Australians to be able to play or participate in our game," AFL inclusion and social policy manager Tanya Hosch said in a statement. "These are complex issues and we are considering expert opinion, international frameworks and feedback from the communities that are impacted by our decisions."
  4. A giant logo is seen at Facebook's headquarters in London, Britain, December 4, 2017. Photo: Reuters file BERLIN: A German consumer rights group said on Monday that a court had found Facebook?s use of personal data to be illegal because the US social media platform did not adequately secure the informed consent of its users. The verdict, from a Berlin regional court, comes as Big Tech faces increasing scrutiny in Germany over its handling of sensitive personal data that enables it to micro-target online advertising. The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzvb) said that Facebook?s default settings and some of its terms of service were in breach of consumer law, and that the court had found parts of the consent to data usage to be invalid. ?Facebook hides default settings that are not privacy-friendly in its privacy center and does not provide sufficient information about it when users register,? said Heiko Duenkel, litigation policy officer at the vzvb. ?This does not meet the requirement for informed consent.? The vzvb posted a copy of the ruling on its website. A court spokesperson confirmed that a judgment had been handed down but declined further comment. Facebook to appeal Facebook said it would appeal, even though several aspects of the court judgment had been in its favor. In a statement, it said it had already made significant changes to its terms of service and data protection guidelines since the case was first brought in 2015. ?We are working hard to ensure that our guidelines are clear and easy to understand, and that the services offered by Facebook are in full accordance with the law,? Facebook said. Further, Facebook would in the meantime update its data protection guidelines and its terms of service so that they comply with new European Union-wide rules that are due to enter force in June. Facebook, which counts more than 2 billion users worldwide, already faces scrutiny from Germany?s competition authorities over its handling of its users? personal data. The Federal Cartel Office, in an interim update on an investigation into Facebook, said in December that it objected to the way the company gains access to third-party data when an account is opened. This includes tapping information from its own WhatsApp and Instagram products - as well as how it tracks which sites its users access. One concern highlighted by the consumer rights group was that, in Facebook?s app for smartphones, a service was pre-activated that revealed the user?s location to the person they were chatting to. Also, in the privacy settings, ticks were already placed in boxes that allowed search engines to link to the user?s timeline, meaning that anyone would be able quickly and easily to find a user?s profile. ?The judges ruled that all five of the default settings on Facebook that vzvb complained about are invalid,? the group said in a statement, adding that several other of Facebook?s terms of use were found to be illegal.
  5. Version 1.0.2

    0 downloads

    Notice: In order to use this Rules expansion pack on your site, you must first install Automation Rules. Synopsis The forums rules expansion brings the following important ECA's to your rules: Events: Automate site features based on forums events Saved Action used in forums ( rules can be triggered by saved actions ) Best answer set in Questions forum Best answer unset in Questions forum Conditions: Easily check for QA forums conditions Topic is in a questions/answers forum Question has a best answer set Actions: Take actions on QA forums Set a best answer for a question Unset a best answer for a question
  6. India bowled South Africa out for 118 in 32.2 overs in the 1st innings of the 2nd One Day International of their ongoing six match series in South Africa. This left them 119 to win. India’s run chase began immediately after a 10 minute interval since South Africa’s innings ended with more than 30 minutes left for the scheduled break. When it was time for the scheduled break, 15 overs of India’s innings had been completed and India were 26 runs away from their target. The Umpires decided to exercise rule 11.4.4 of the 2017 standard ODI playing conditions, and extended play for a maximum of 15 minutes (or a minimum of 4 overs). This rule is as follows: “The umpires may decide to play 15 minutes (a minimum of four overs) extra time at the scheduled interval if requested by either captain if, in the umpires’ opinion, it would bring about a definite result in that session. If the umpires do not believe a result can be achieved no extra time shall be allowed. If it is decided to play such extra time, the whole period shall be played out even though the possibility of finishing the match may have disappeared before the full period has expired.” It took more than 15 minutes to complete the four overs. There is no provision in the rules to start a new over if the 15 extra minutes have already been played. India were 2 runs short of their target after four overs. The umpires duly took the players off for the scheduled break. This decision was universally condemned. It is worth examining the substance of this condemnation because this is an instance in which the umpires were condemned for following the rules correctly and precisely. In other words, those who condemned the umpires were completely wrong, and the umpires were completely right. Essentially, the argument was that even though they followed the rules, the umpires were wrong because their decision defied “common sense”. Further, it was suggested that the rules were archaic, the decision was ridiculous and the situation was a farce. As the players walked away for the break, observers (commentators on television, various journalists on twitter) were darkly predicting that there would be nobody left at the ground when the players returned from their break. On a video show for ESPNCricinfo the former India wicket-keeper Deep Dasgupta even invented a provision in the rules to the effect that if both captains agree, play can continue! Such a provision does not exist in the rules. He was not alone. Dozens of ex-players and journalists were unanimous about how the ridiculousness of the decision and awfulness of the situation. Who exactly was being inconvenienced by the umpires’ decision? The television broadcasters, who got to run innings break programming and the commercials which go with it? The press in the press box, who were served lunch as per the usual custom by the hosts at the ground, and got an extra talking point which they otherwise might have been short of in a one-sided game? The spectators who had come prepared for a leisurely day at the cricket, expecting a 100 overs game which would last until evening? The vendors at the ground who got to serve customers over lunch? Who exactly was inconvenienced by the umpires decision? The decision was perfectly correct according to the rules, and apart from the fact that the game was run correctly, everybody associated with the game did better thanks to the decision compared to what they might have done had the umpires ignored the rules and played extra overs. The one testable prediction in all the outrage, that nobody would be around at the end of the game, turned out to be wrong. As ESPNCricinfo’s live ball-by-ball commentator reported, “My colleague Sid Monga tells me there is still a decent crowd hanging around at the stadium” Rarely has there been such an unanimously held view which was based on no observable external reality. The conventional wisdom in this case was absolutely certain that the decision was “farcical”, “ridiculous”, “stupid”, “unbelievable”. The basis of this certitude is this notion of “common sense”. It was the common sense decision to play the extra over(s) even though the rules did not permit this. It is worth examining the notion of common sense. Laws govern and bring order to our lives. But life would still exist even if there were no laws (or some completely different set of laws). It would not exist in the way it exists today, but it would still exist. Games are different from life. Games are not governed by laws, they are constituted by them. Without the rules of a game, there is no game. Life precedes laws, while laws precede games. Games are completely defined, closed systems. Any move by a participant in a game (be it cricket or chess or football) can be identified unambiguously as being either a legal move (i.e. something permitted in the game) or an illegal move (i.e. something not permitted in the game). The goal of the game is predefined. This means that conditions which have to met so that the goal can be said to have been achieved, are known in advance. Games begin and end. This distinction between games and general life is important because it places a strict limit on the applicability of things which might be applicable to general laws to the laws of games. There is no concept of “natural justice” in a game. Games are structured as a competition - someone is supposed to lose by design. The set of rules which constitute (again, not govern, but constitute) a game is arbitrary. This set does not exist for any reason, other than the fact that it constitutes the game. The laws of games are not supposed to have silences. Whenever events occur whose legal status is truly disputable, the laws of games are amended to end such disputes (for example, the switch hit, or Ajay Jadeja’s exploitation of a loophole in the short run rule when batting with a tailender). Common sense is defined in the Cambridge dictionary as “the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way.” It consists of “common sense consists of knowledge, judgement, and taste which is more or less universal and which is held more or less without reflection or argument.” Webster’s dictionary defines it as “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.” This is distinct from the idea of conventional wisdom which refers to ideas or explanations which are considered to be true. In games, there is no underlying order which the rules attempt to encode. The idea of the merit or goodness of a rule exists only in the sense that the rule might contradict or be redundant in relation to some already existing rule. In life, the idea of "common sense" is necessary precisely because it refers to some underlying order which can be adopted even without explicitly written instruction or rules. There is no basis for such common agreement about a game. Cricket does not occur in nature. Games themselves are not social or natural phenomena which the rules attempt to explain, they are completely formal entities which rules construct. The common sense view is that the umpires should have relaxed the rules and allowed the extra over to be played. According to those who hold this to be the common sense view, the umpires decision was not just ridiculous adherence to archaic laws which should have been avoided, this was obviously so. Those who hold this common sense view misunderstand the basic idea of what a game is. But even if one were to see the mistaken terms adopted by the adherents of this common sense view, they are wrong. Had the umpires relaxed the rules, they would have explicitly favored India, even if both captains agreed to continue to the game (lets ignore the fact that agreement between captains is irrelevant in the situation at hand). This is something umpires are not supposed to do. The veteran cricket statistician Mohandas Menon observed that “[w]ith only 19 overs bowled, South Africa can still save this ODI match, if it now rains the whole day!” It is not clear if Mr. Menon intended this observation to be in support of the common sense view. But it proves the exact opposite. Objectively, had the umpires ignored the rules and extended play beyond what is permitted in the rules, they would have eliminated this possibility. The remoteness of this possibility is irrelevant. The whole point of having an umpire - an entity which is (a) disinterested in the outcome of a contest, and (b) expert in the rules governing the contest - is to avoid favoring one team or another in any way. An essential point of a game is that while the game is in progress, the contest is technically always on. The fact that one side may be significantly closer to a win compared to the other side, even if this is overwhelmingly the case, is irrelevant. To say that the umpires should have relaxed the rules and allowed the extra over(s) necessary for India to score the 2 runs is identical to saying that they should have stopped after 15 overs (or 16 or 17 or 14), since it was it was clear (or common sense) that India were going to win. Yet, nobody would think that this would be an acceptable common sense decision, would they? Now, one could argue that the ICC should revise the rules and give the umpires some extra discretion. Instead of specifying a maximum of 15 minutes and a minimum of 4 overs, the rule could leave this entirely up to the umpires. But we all know how well observers react to umpires exercising discretion. The reason why the ICC has made the rules so explicit is to protect umpires from being accused of bias or “inconsistent application of rules” when they exercise any discretion which the rules might grant them. The conventional wisdom about the common sense view of the umpire’s decision is wrong. The rules are not archaic. They came into force on September 28, 2017. The rules were applied correctly. There was no reason, none at all, to think that the situational was farcical, except that lots of people who either did not know the rules or did not grasp the implication of what they were suggesting created an echo chamber which said that the situation was farcical. Mockery is wonderful when it is underpinned by some significant truth. In this case, the only truth it revealed was not about the game, but about its pundits. The umpires, as they usually do, got it exactly right.
  7. If successful, the faster format could lead to a competition in Hong Kong next year, with New York, Singapore, and London also being considered SYDNEY: Australian Rules football has joined the ranks of other major sports in launching an experimental shorter format as it eyes a foreign expansion, with Hong Kong first up. The Australian Football League will play its first AFLX matches locally next week with the number of players on the field reduced from 18 to seven, and new rules that eliminate stoppages. AFL chiefs said the plan was to speed up the game in a similar vein to rugby sevens, while accompanying the occasion with all the colour that spectators have come to expect from T20 cricket matches. "We´ve had trouble taking our game internationally," AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan admitted late Tuesday. "This is not our traditional game, AFLX, but it´s got all the best bits of it -- it´s the same goals and the same rules, generally, (although) scoring is different." Aussie Rules, the country´s biggest spectator sport, is similar to Gaelic football but played with an oval ball. McLachlan said if successful locally, the faster format could lead to a competition in Hong Kong next year, while The Australian newspaper said New York, Singapore, and London were also being considered. "It means we can go to Hong Kong in November next year, not only with two clubs, but you could take six clubs and we could play a mini tournament," he said. The AFL played its first game in China last year and will return this season after more than 10,000 people attended the match in Shanghai and millions more watched on TV. Traditionally played on an oval-shaped pitch, AFLX will be held on a smaller rectangular ground, making it easier to export, McLachlan said. "To take our game and showcase all the best bits of it and actually not have to build infrastructure like we do in Shanghai, as an example, or go to other parts of Asia, or Europe, or wherever -- that´s a huge opportunity," he said.
  8. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. -AFP/File TEHRAN: Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that negotiations on the country´s missile programme were out of the question. Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Tehran, Rouhani also criticised the ongoing Turkish offensive in northern Syria, saying it was showing "no results". But many of the questions focused on the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which is increasingly under threat from US President Donald Trump who has threatened to reimpose sanctions in May unless fresh curbs are put on Iran´s missile programme and regional behaviour. "We will negotiate with no one on our weapons," Rouhani said. "Iranian-made missiles have never been offensive and never will be. They are defensive and are not designed to carry weapons of mass destruction, since we don't have any," he said. Rouhani reiterated that the nuclear deal, signed with six world powers, could not be renegotiated. "The key to the problems between Tehran and Washington is in Washington's hands. They need to stop their threats and sanctions and pressure, and automatically the situation will improve and we can think about our future," Rouhani said. "The JCPOA (nuclear deal) is not negotiable, nor can it be rewritten," he added. "It was negotiated over 30 months before it was signed. It was approved by the UN Security Council. It is meaningless to say it can be renegotiated with the United States, the Europeans or anyone else." UN Security Council resolution 2231, which put the nuclear deal into force internationally, "urges" Iran to curb its ballistic missile tests, but this has been interpreted differently by various parties to the pact. The Europeans have tended to see subsequent missile tests as breaching the spirit of the deal, rather than as outright "violations" as the US has claimed. "If the Americans had used the occasion created by the nuclear deal correctly, there could have been an opportunity for negotiations on other questions, but the Americans destroyed this opportunity," Rouhani said. Criticism of Turkey Rouhani also criticised the Turkish offensive launched against Kurdish forces in northern Syria on January 20. "The entry of a foreign army on to the soil of another country should be done with the authorisation of that country," he said. "On principle, this action is not justified and we would like that it ends as quickly as possible. Our Turkish friends are being killed, others are being killed, Kurds are being killed - it is bringing no results." Rouhani nonetheless insisted that Iran, a key supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, maintained good relations with Turkey and Russia over Syria´s future. The three countries have together organised peace talks aimed at ending Syria´s long civil war. Rouhani also touched on the protests that hit Iran for a week over the new year, and pushed back against the line, normally heard from conservatives, that they were primarily directed against the dire state of the economy. "Yes people have criticisms about the economic situation and yes they´re right, but they are also criticising the social situation, foreign relations and the political situation. The people have a lot to say and we should listen to them," he said.
  9. The list of the 2018 Oscar nominations is finally here and it is full of surprises and snubs. Guillermo del Toro's 'The Shape of Water' rules the list with 13 nominations, being just one nod away from tying the record for the most nominations with films like 'Titanic', 'All About Eve' and 'La La Land'. © WarnerBros As usual, the dominance of one film was surely expected but Oscar nominations had several surprises in store for us. Greta Gerwig became the fifth woman to be nominated in the category of Best Director while cinematographer Rachel Morrison became the first woman to ever get nominated in this category. © mudbound netflix Dee Ree's period drama 'Mudbound' walked away with five nominations. This Netflix original was quite in the news for its concept and performance. In fact, Jordan Peele's 'Get Out' made a surprising comeback with four nominations. Check out the complete list of nominees for the 90th annual Academy Awards: Best Picture Call Me by Your Name Darkest Hour Dunkirk Get Out Lady Bird Phantom Thread The Post The Shape of Water Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Best Director Christopher Nolan - Dunkirk Jordan Peele - Get Out Greta Gerwig- Lady Bird Paul Thomas Anderson- Phantom Thread Guillermo del Toro- The Shape of Water Best Actress Sally Hawkins- The Shape of Water Frances McDormand- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Margot Robbie- I, Tonya Saoirse Ronan- Lady Bird Meryl Streep- The Post Best Actor Timothée Chalamet- Call Me by Your Name Daniel Day-Lewis- Phantom Thread Daniel Kaluuya- Get Out Gary Oldman- Darkest Hour Denzel Washington- Roman J. Israel, Esq. Best Supporting Actress Mary J. Blige- Mudbound Allison Janney- I, Tonya Lesley Manville- Phantom Thread Laurie Metcalf- Lady Bird Octavia Spencer- The Shape of Water Best Supporting Actor Willem Dafoe- The Florida Project Woody Harrelson- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Richard Jenkins- The Shape of Water Christopher Plummer- All the Money in the World Sam Rockwell- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Best Original Screenplay The Big Sick Get Out Lady Bird The Shape of Water Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Best Adapted Screenplay Call Me by Your Name The Disaster Artist Logan Molly's Game Mudbound Best Animated Feature The Boss Baby The Breadwinner Coco Ferdinand Loving Vincent Best Documentary Feature Abacus (Small Enough to Jail) Faces/Places Icarus Last Men in Aleppo Strong Island Best Original Song “Mighty River”- Mudbound “Mystery of Love”- Call Me by Your Name “Remember Me”- Coco “Stand Up for Something”- Marshall “This Is Me”- The Greatest Showman Best Foreign Language Film A Fantastic Woman The Insult Loveless On Body and Soul The Square Best Original Score Dunkirk Phantom Thread The Shape of Water Star Wars: The Last Jedi Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Best Sound Editing Baby Driver Blade Runner 2049 Dunkirk The Shape of Water Star Wars: The Last Jedi Best Sound Mixing Baby Driver Blade Runner 2049 Dunkirk The Shape of Water Star Wars: The Last Jedi Best Cinematography Blade Runner 2049 Darkest Hour Dunkirk Mudbound The Shape of Water Best Production Design Beauty and the Beast Blade Runner 2049 Darkest Hour Dunkirk The Shape of Water Best Visual Effects Blade Runner 2049 Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 Kong: Skull Island Star Wars: The Last Jedi War for the Planet of the Apes Best Documentary Short Eden and Eddie Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405 Heroin(e) Knife Skills Traffic Stop Best Makeup And Hairstyling Darkest Hour Victoria & Abdul Wonder Best Costume Design Beauty and the Beast Darkest Hour Phantom Thread The Shape of Water Victoria & Abdul Best Film Editing Baby Driver Dunkirk I, Tonya The Shape of Water Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Best Short Film — Live Action Dekalb Elementary The Eleven O'Clock My Nephew Emmett The Silent Child Watu Wote/All of Us Best Short Film — Animated Dear Basketball Garden Party Lou Negative Space Revolting Rhymes The Academy Award will air on March 5 at 5.30 AM, on Star Movies and Star Movies Select in India and will be hosted by noted comedian Jimmy Kimmel.
  10. Investment in crypto currencies has really blown up in the last six months, all thanks to the rapid rise in value of Bitcoin. Although a mini-crash on 16th January scared away a lot of new investors, the crypto currency market is really booming in 2018. Crypto assets such as Ethereum, Ripple, IOTA and Neo have caught the eye of first time investors and even though the market is volatile to say the least, there has been a massive interest in such assets with some pioneers equating the tech behind these companies to early stage internet bigwigs like Google and Facebook. If you are one of those people looking to invest in crypto assets, here are some basic investment rules that you should always take care of while investing in crypto currencies. 1. Invest Only What You Can Afford To Lose © Twitter Do not invest all of your life savings into crypto currencies. These assets are volatile and you should learn to hedge your investment against the massive risks you take while investing in crypto currencies. As a rule, only invest the money that you can afford to lose i.e. that bonus you don't intent to utilize in the short-term or a small percentage of your earnings every month. Start slowly and build up your portfolio depending on the amount of returns you get from investing in crypto. 2. Do Your Own Research Before Investing © Thinkstock/Getty Images Never believe what you read over the comments section on Facebook or the paid influencers on YouTube or twitter. Always do your own research and read the whitepapers of the crypto tokens you are looking to invest in. A good indication of a great project is the team behind it, so make it a point to look up the founders and developers on linked and study their background. If someone did his B.Tech from a shady university, better stay away from that project. 3. Keep Your Assets In A Secure Place © Thinkstock/Getty Images One of the most important issues plaguing the crypto markets right now is security. A lot of crypto exchanges have been hacked and shut down due to phishing attacks. It is a responsible practice to always to keep your assets in a paper wallet or specific hardware wallets built for that purpose. Look for Ledger Nano S if you need a good crypto hardware wallet to store you Bitcoins, XRPs, and other ether based tokens. Also, verify the name of the exchanges before logging into them and always switch on two-factor authentication if you are trading on a international exchange. 4. Buy The Dip And Sell The Peaks © Twitter Trading on crypto exchanges is no easy task but the one thing that you need to take care of if you're serious about trading, is to always know when to enter and exit the market. As a rule, always try to buy the crypto assets in a dip, i.e. when the stocks are down. All-star crypto assets never stay low for long and you need to pounce on the opportunity of buying those at a discount. Similarly, if your assets are performing really well then try and sell them in tranches of 15-20% at a time. This helps to average out the losses as well as the profits. 5. Always Take Out Your Initial Investment From Initial Profits © Thinkstock/Getty Images Never hold your assets without taking out some profits on your initial investment. This will help you stay invested in crypto assets without any large exposure. Profit-taking is also a good practice to ensure that you have some earnings to show for all the hard work.
  11. FILE PHOTO: Spain's Government spokesman, Inigo Mendez de Vigo, speaks during an interview with Reuters at Education Ministry in Madrid, Spain, October 28, 2017. REUTERS MADRID: Catalonia?s former leader Carles Puigdemont will not become the Spanish region?s chief again, government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said in an interview, adding that the government would continue to directly rule Catalonia as long as necessary. ?He won?t be president,? Mendez de Vigo, who is also minister of education, culture and sport, told Reuters in an interview. Asked if Puigdemont could carry out with his plans to be elected Catalonia president remotely from Brussels and rule from there while the government continued to officially rule the country?s wealthiest region, based on the article 155 of the constitution, he said: ?It won?t happen. The only legitimacy is that of article 155. Mendez de Vigo said that if the situation remained stuck as it is, there would be fresh regional elections in Catalonia. ?This is not what we want but that?s what will happen if they (nationalists) act outside the law.?
  12. ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Sindh Inspector General of Police AD Khawaja will continue on his post. The directions were given during the hearing of the Sindh government's plea challenging an order of the Sindh High Court (SHC) which ruled in September last year that Khawaja would continue as the provincial police chief. During the hearing of the provincial government's appeal, the three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justices Umar Ata Bandiyal and Ijazul Ahsan, restrained the federal government from replacing Khawaja. Sindh government renews efforts to replace IGP AD Khawaja Provincial government suggests three names to replace incumbent police chief The court ruled that any move of the federal government to transfer the IG will have no effect. The IG will also have complete authority to order transfers and postings in the province, the court observed. Moreover, the bench ordered to uphold the SHC order. On September 7 last year, the SHC had dismissed the provincial government's order removing Khawaja and ordered that he complete his due term. Sindh IG AD Khawaja to continue on post, rules SHC IG AD Khawaja had been removed by the provincial govt earlier this year On April 3, the court had dismissed the provincial government?s decision to remove the Sindh police chief after a group of activists approached the SHC challenging his controversial removal. On October 30, Sindh government had challenged the SHC decision in the Supreme Court. On January 10, the federal cabinet approved the Sindh government's request to post Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti as the new IG, according to sources. Since last year, the Sindh government has been attempting to replace Khawaja with an officer of 'its choice'.
  13. YouTube on Tuesday announced ramped-up rules regarding when it will run ads with videos as it scrambled to quell concerns by brands about being paired with troublesome content. Photo: AFP/file SAN FRANCISCO: YouTube on Tuesday announced ramped-up rules regarding when it will run ads with videos as it scrambled to quell concerns by brands about being paired with troublesome content. "There´s no denying 2017 was a difficult year, with several issues affecting our community and our advertising partners," YouTube vice president of display, video and analytics Paul Muret said in a blog post. "The challenges we faced in 2017 have helped us make tough but necessary changes in 2018." Channels at YouTube will need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past year to be eligible for ads, according to Muret. Previously, channels could be eligible for ads as part of a YouTube Partner Program by racking up 10,000 views or more. "We want to take channel size, audience engagement, and creator behaviour into consideration to determine eligibility for ads," Muret said. YouTube will closely watch for spam, abuse flags and other signals to make sure channels are remaining within the Google-owned video-sharing platforms policies regarding content, according to the post. Muret said that manual reviews of video will be added to a Google Preferred system that brands use to place ads with popular YouTube content to better vet videos. YouTube is also providing advertisers simpler controls regarding where ads appear and transparency including safety checks by outside parties, according to Muret. The changes were expected to affect "a significant number" of YouTube channels eligible to run ads. YouTube late last year pulled 150,000 videos of children after lewd comments about them were posted by viewers and went public with a vow to greatly increase the ranks of workers focused on rooting out content violating its policies. The moves came as YouTube strived to assure companies their ads would not appear with offensive or inappropriate videos. "We are passionate about protecting our users, advertisers and creators and making sure YouTube is not a place that can be co-opted by bad actors," Muret said. "While we took several steps last year to protect advertisers from inappropriate content, we know we need to do more to ensure that their ads run alongside content that reflects their values."
  14. Lolita the Killer Whale is seen between shows at the Miami Seaquarium in Miami January 21, 2015. Photo: Reuters MIAMI: A federal appeals court on Friday rejected efforts by animal rights advocates to force the Miami Seaquarium in Florida to release Lolita, a killer whale it has held in captivity for nearly half a century. By a 3-0 vote, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Miami rejected claims by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and others that keeping Lolita in captivity violated the federal Endangered Species Act. ?The evidence, construed in the light most favourable to PETA, does not support the conclusion that the conditions of her captivity pose a threat of serious harm to Lolita,? the court said. Friday?s decision upheld a lower court ruling. The lawsuit began in July 2015, two months after the National Marine Fisheries Service recognised whales such as Lolita as an endangered species. PETA said it may appeal, and that the decision ignores current public sentiment about the suffering of captive orcas. ?This ruling sentences this highly intelligent, deeply lonely, and distressed orca to a lifetime of physical and psychological harm, confined to a tiny concrete cell without family, friends, or freedom,? Jared Goodman, director of animal law at the PETA Foundation, said in a statement. The Seaquarium and its lawyer did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Lolita, captured in 1970, is roughly 20 feet (6 metres) long and weighs about 8,000 pounds (3.6 tonnes), and has long been one the Seaquarium?s top attractions. Critics raised 13 objections to her captivity, including the small size of Lolita?s tank, her lack of an orca companion since the death 38 years ago of her tank mate Hugo, stress and injuries caused by the white-sided dolphins she now lives with, and inadequate treatment by Seaquarium personnel. But the appeals court said accepting critics? ?expansive? conception of illegal harm and harassment could upset the US Department of Agriculture?s regulatory scheme to help ensure the humane treatment of captive animals used for exhibitions and research. The Seaquarium kept Lolita after SeaWorld Entertainment Inc decided in 2016 to end its orca breeding programmes and phase out killer whale shows. A 2013 documentary, ?Blackfish,? had depicted the captivity and exhibition of killer whales as cruel. The appeals court ruled nine days after Bob Barker, the former host of ?The Price Is Right? game show and animal rights advocate, called for Lolita?s release in a video posted on PETA?s Twitter account.
  15. Players could forfeit their prize money if they retire from first-round singles matches at the Australian Open MELBOURNE: Players could forfeit their prize money if they retire from first-round singles matches at the Australian Open, under new rules aimed at limiting the early injury withdrawals which have long caused controversy at Grand Slams. Players will also be able to claim 50 percent of their prize money if they pull out before their first match, an incentive designed to allow a replacement to play instead. With tens of thousands of dollars at stake just for playing in round one, early injury pull-outs have often caused suspicion at Grand Slams, particularly at last year´s Wimbledon. Eight players retired from the first round at the All-England Club, including the opponents of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic during the second sets of their matches on Centre Court. "A player should not go on court if he knows he should not finish," Federer said at the time, while Djokovic noted his opponent, Martin Klizan, even "had issues walking onto court" with a calf injury. Now, under new rules by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), any Grand Slam player who withdraws after 1200 local time on the Thursday before the tournament draw will still receive 50 percent of first round prize money. Their replacement -- a ´lucky loser´ from the qualifying tournament -- will get the other 50 percent of the first-round prize money. But players who do not "perform to the required professional standard" in round one, including by retiring, also risk being fined their prize money, the new rules say. ´Couldn´t care less´ Australian bad boy Bernard Tomic was fined a third of his £35,000 ($47,500) prize money for unsportsmanlike conduct at Wimbledon, after saying he felt "bored" and "couldn´t care less" following a straight-sets defeat on day one. Any repeat this year and he would lose the lot. Bernard Tomic said he felt "bored" and "couldn´t care less" following a straight-sets defeat at Wimbledon A similar controversy blew up at the Auckland Classic this week when four players pulled out before their opening matches, citing injury or illness. Simply by turning up, they were eligible for prize money and avoided a fine. Chris Kermode, executive chairman of the men´s tour, the Association of Tennis Professionals, promised a shake-up, although he accepted the players´ reasons for withdrawing. "Ranking points, player withdrawals and how we deal with that is something we´ve got to and are looking at," he told Fairfax Media in Auckland. In a separate rule change designed to get matches started more quickly, warm-up times will be strictly enforced. Players will be fined up to US$20,000 for taking more than one minute after walking on court to get to the coin toss. They will also be restricted to five minutes´ warm-up time on court, and another one minute before the first point. However, plans for a shot clock to enforce a 25-second time limit between points have been shelved, and will only be used in the qualifying tournament at Melbourne Park. New rules reverting Grand Slams to 16 seeds from the current 32 are due to come into force in 2019.
  16. God bless your body. An entity of unadulterated skin and hair, that you unfortunately left for the dogs in 2017. But as the #BePositive slogan of life goes, don't stress, there's still a ray of hope this year. A streak of fresh sunlight, that promises to keep the gunk and grime at bay, keeping your body kryptonite-free and ensuring all-round 'wellness' for 2018. But that's the easy part; how do you catch this glorious sunshine, you'd ask? Well, we may have an answer for you. Scroll down below for ten rules for Twenty Eighteen, to re-define your Grooming Graph this year. 1. Move Past The Fade. Enough of the fade. And enough of experts calling it the 'do of the decade. While it may be a groundbreaking (cc: the most flattering) find for every man out there, it has run its course. In 2018, the fade can't be your 'style to sport'—use it as an additional grooming move to define your face better (it can slim your face). This year, grow your hair out instead. Let it run wild. Run your hands through the strands and feel the breeze. It's time to embrace your natural texture! And if formal settings are your worry, slick them back with a drug store pomade when required. Or best: stick to an evergreen buzz cut (versatile AF). © Just Jared 2. Ace The Hand (Job). Globally, handshakes happen at a rate of a billion per second. However, what separates a good one from the bad (of course, besides the firmness involved), is the presence of well-moisturised cuticles, trimmed nails and hydrated (read: oxygenated) palms. As a daily ritual, use a pump of moisturiser on your palm, time and again and if you haven't yet, invest in an all-exclusive cream for your cuticles (there are plenty out there). Plus, every time you decide to exfoliate your face, utilise the extra, left-over product to exfoliate your palms. Simple. 3. Sheet Masks Aren't Feminine. All those 'clowns' peeping out of their detoxifying sheets on social media, aren't a part of the circus for an Instagram story. Sheet masks work. And work wonders for improving the health of your skin. How? Each of them are drenched in a kind of magical serum, that fixes a certain problem area of your skin. And no matter what the problem is, the usage of a sheet mask will provide noticeable results. Bottom line: throw a few sheet masks into your shopping cart right away (they won't challenge your sexuality). Pro-tip: Vitamin D masks are the safest bets! © Innisfree 4. Attend The Serum's Call. Sounds alien, does it? Knock knock, face serums are a thing. And are only going to get bigger in 2018. Why? Because your skin regime needs them, and in every nook and corner of your body. And while they may be a tad bit different from your moisturiser, since serums are made of much smaller molecules, they get absorbed by the skin much faster. Result: quicker (obviously), more effective and long term effects. Just look for serums for specific concerns like fighting acne, enhancing brightness etc (as per your preference). © Amazon India 5. Check Your Facts! Your favourite hobby: shutting your eyes. And of course, sleeping. But if your eye balls are snoring while picking grooming products, wake up before your skin makes you pay for the sin (or, take help from caffeine). In the New Year, buy products with the right ingredients for you, instead of 'popular products' or advertorial content suggestions. For example, look out for indications like 'Paraban-free', 'Sulphate-free', 'Phthalate-free' that confirm an absence of artificial ingredients. 6. Give Your Scalp A Damn Breather. Your scalp is tired. Tired of you using it as a breeding ground for experiments. Give it a breather and head downhill; towards the beard. Most bearded men require major resuscitation on the mug, so remember to shower it with some attention in 2018. Much like your hairstyles, invest some time in it, treat it like your primary appearance tool (it can really do wonders). Buy beard-based products and condition it adequately, besides indulging in a lot other spa-like activities of course. Note: your beard's your baby; gotta keep it sane. © Just Jared 7. Chug Beers With Your Dermatologist. ...and intoxicate yourself with frequent visits. Because really, there's only so much you can do with your half-read knowledge, you see. A frequent pimple problem? Run to a dermatologist and then to the drug store (not the other way around). A certain 'pimple-clearing' face wash won't solve your problem for good. You may be the sole owner of your glorious skin, but only the dermatologist can help you keep the sanctity of your ownership intact. 8. Detoxify! ...every now and then. You know, no matter how natural/vegan your product application is, even without any, your skin puts up with a lot anyway. Much like your frequent pizza binge, invest in a quick getaway (cc: detox) for your skin frequently. Go for natural detox water recipes online or opt for active ingredients like charcoal products for a detoxifying holiday. © Clinique 9. Oils...Really? Instead of running in the opposite direction, use this runny liquid to your advantage. Because come Summer' 18, you might need this product the most. To balance the moisture content of your skin, it's various elements and fight against a few key odds of life. Plus, as you grow older, a great face/body oil will help you keep wrinkles at bay, for as long as possible (or at least minimise its action). 10. Trim All Over. Because if Gorillas had a choice, they'd do it too. Plus, there's nothing attractive about neck beards and pesky strands on the feet. So, Investment 101: a body trimmer (not a multi-blade razor).
  17. FILE PHOTO: President of South Africa Jacob Zuma gestures during the 54th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa December 16, 2017. REUTERS JOHANNESBURG: South Africa?s parliament said on Sunday it would review its rules relating to removing the country?s president, after the constitutional court said on Dec. 29 that lawmakers had previously failed to hold President Jacob Zuma to account. The court ruling has piled pressure on Zuma and his allies as his opponents within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) are pushing for him to be removed as head of state before his term ends in 2019, when national elections will be held. Zuma is in a weakened position after Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected leader of the ANC last month, narrowly beating Zuma?s ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. There is widespread local media speculation that Ramaphosa?s faction in the ANC will push for Zuma to be removed as the country?s president in the coming weeks, although Zuma still has allies at the top layer of the party. A parliamentary subcommittee will meet this week to discuss a draft procedure on the section of the constitution relating to the removal of a president and the draft will then be debated in the house, the National Assembly said in a statement. The national assembly?s subcommittee will review a draft procedure drawn up in April 2016 that was never finalised and a 2015 study of impeachment proceedings of seven other parliaments around the world, the statement said. Zuma, 75, has survived several no confidence votes in parliament over recent years, mostly relating to a string of corruption allegations. He denies any wrongdoing. The constitutional court gave parliament six months to put in place a mechanism for removing a president after it said lawmakers failed to hold Zuma to account for a scandal relating to state-funded upgrades to his home. The constitutional court ruled in 2016 that Zuma pay back some of the roughly $15 million in state money spent on ?security upgrades? on his sprawling country compound, which included a cattle pen, chicken run and a swimming pool.
  18. If you've decided to really chase your dreams this year then here is some fair advice from the man who has been there and done that. If you are falling short of courage on that journey, then you should definitely follow the philosophy that Elon Musk believes in. An unshakeable self-belief, optimism, commitment to the purpose, not giving up easily and resilience are all the key ingredients that will be needed for you to succeed in those turbulent times. 1. Take risks as long as you fail cheap, learn fast and move on ©Stuff.co.nz Elon has failed many times and has succeeded many times as well. He does not believe in sulking for what did not go well but believes in learning from it and moving on. He gave himself a 100-day timeline to fix South Australia's power network by building the world's largest battery farm in the world and declared it would be free. Isn't that kind of a positive pressure? Setting a self-imposed deadline is a powerful way to get momentum. 2. Is it worth a try? Have you ever heard of this quote from Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius's meditations, "You have power over your mind -- not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." This seems to be the core principle behind Elon Musk philosophy towards approaching such big tasks. In an interview with CNN's Top 10 Thinkers, he said, "When starting out Tesla and SpaceX, in both cases, I thought the odds of success were less than 50%... So it's not as though I was convinced that it would all work. I thought, 'Well, it probably won't work, but it's worth a try because the outcome is important." 3. Have a Viking spirit ©Imgur Elon says, "We should not be afraid of doing something just because some amount of failure is likely to occur. If our forefathers had taken that approach, the United States wouldn't exist." Musk uses failure in a systematic way to pivot fast towards his goal. Follow these three principles to take your resolutions and dreams to the next level.
  19. ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan released on Friday the detailed judgment of its decision rejecting the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) plea to reopen the Hudaiybiya Paper Mills case. The apex court had on December 15 rejected NAB's appeal against the Lahore High Court's (LHC) decision ordering quashing of the case. The Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Mushir Alam and comprising Justices Qazi Faez Isa and Mazhar Alam Miankhel, upheld the LHC order quashing the NAB reference. The reference, which pertains to alleged money laundering by members of the Sharif family including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and brother Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, stems from a now-disowned confession by former finance minister Ishaq Dar. In its detailed judgment, the bench noted that "the learned Judges of the High Court were justified to quash the Reference and once it was quashed the question of reinvestigation did not arise." In the detailed judgment, the bench further noted that the respondents were "denied due process". That "the legal process was abused, by keeping the Reference pending indefinitely and unreasonably." Also observing that the "respondents were denied the right to vindicate themselves". The detailed judgment acknowledged "the manner in which Mr. Imranul Haq, the learned Special Prosecutor, conducted the case. Though the brief entrusted to him was difficult he remained stoic and tenaciously persevered." The Rs1.2 billion Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, involving money laundering charges against the Sharif family, was initiated by NAB in 2000 but quashed by the LHC in 2014. The NAB had appealed the LHC decision in the Supreme Court. The detailed judgement is reproduced below:
  20. Indian captain Virat Kohli shakes hands with Pakistani players after a match in June 2017. Photo: AFP NEW DELHI: India has once again made clear its stance that, for the time being, there will be no bilateral cricket series between the two countries, even at neutral venues. According to a report in the Indian media, Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj indicated the government's stance at a meeting of the consultative committee attached to the ministry that offered a review of relations with neighbours. Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj On being asked about restarting the long-suspended 'cricket diplomacy' between the rivals, Swaraj said the high number of cross-border firings do not set the tone for any kind of bilateral engagements, the report added. Talking to Geo News about the development, former Pakistan cricketer and commentator Ramiz Raja said, "I do not understand this rhetoric. The Indian government has decided that they will not let people to people contact to take place.? ?I fail to understand why the sport is dragged into these matters,? he added. Similarly, former player and analyst Sikander Bakht said "the people and cricketers of India do not agree with this [decision]. These are the policies of the [Narendra] Modi government.? Signing new FTP conditional to India series, says PCB The PCB has claimed a compensation of $70 million from the BCCI for not honouring the MoU signed in 2014 The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has claimed a compensation of $70 million from the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) for not honouring the MoU signed in 2014, which said that both the countries would play six series between 2014 and 2023. PCB also recently raised objections with India about the Future Tour Programme schedule for excluding any bilateral series with the green shirts. PCB intimated in an official release that they will challenge the new schedules until they get to play against India in a bilateral series.
  21. The new rules are set to apply from January 11 The UK government has decided to ease rules for international students looking to switch over to work visas, with new immigration rules set to be introduced from January 11. As per the new rules, international students can switch over to Tier-2 visa (or skilled worker visa) as soon as they complete their course. Currently, they must wait until they obtain a degree to apply for the Tier-2 visa, which gave them only a small time frame to find a job while still in the UK, the Times of India reported. ?The new rule will enable them to apply for a Tier-2 visa a few months earlier than what would otherwise have been possible," stated a newsletter by EY-UK, one of the big four business consultancies. London mayor Sadiq Khan has advocated a new category of post-study work visas. In his blueprint paper?'Immigration, a future approach', Khan has pointed to dwindling international student numbers and suggested that a post study work visa be distinct from the Tier-2 route and should enable students to work in the UK for 12-24 months, after graduation. Currently, many students holding a Tier-4 visa are unable to switch to a Tier-2 visa because they have not yet obtained their degree and their student visa is about to expire.
  22. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a news conference following the extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey, December 13, 2017. REUTERS/Osman Orsal/Files PARIS: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said Friday that he would "no longer accept" any peace plan proposed by the United States, dealing a pre-emptive blow to a new initiative expected by Washington next year. The comments in Paris came hours after 128 members of the United Nations voted to condemn US President Donald Trump's decision on December 6 to unilaterally recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. That move continues to reverberate across the Middle East, and European diplomats are pessimistic about the Trump administration's peace plan which is being prepared behind closed doors and will be presented to both sides in 2018. Two Palestinians were killed Friday as youths clashed with Israeli soldiers on the Gaza border in a new "day of rage" against the US stance, officials there said. US Vice President Mike Pence postponed a trip he was to make to the region this week after Palestinian and Arab Christian leaders expressed reluctance to meet him. "The United States has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process and we will no longer accept any plan from it," Abbas said at a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron. Macron reiterated his condemnations of the US decision on Jerusalem, but he also ruled out recognising Palestine as a state unilaterally, which France has mooted previously. "The Americans have marginalised themselves and I am trying to not do the same thing," Macron said, conscious that any move to recognise Palestine would antagonise Israel. 'Massive setback' Late Thursday in New York, the 193-member General Assembly adopted a resolution by 128 to nine, with 35 abstentions, that rejected the US decision on Jerusalem. The defeat for Washington ? despite threats that it might cut off funding for the UN or to countries that voted against its decision ? was called a "massive setback" by Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour. Speaking at the emergency session, US Ambassador Nikki Haley warned that Washington "will remember this day". "This vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN," Haley said. Abbas hit out at efforts by the US to intimidate countries ahead of the vote. "I hope that the others will learn the lesson and understand that you cannot impose solutions by using money and trying to buy off countries," he said in Paris. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the UN vote showed the "illegality" of Trump's decision, urging the United States to withdraw it. Trust in Macron? Abbas's visit to Paris, less than a fortnight after a trip here by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has raised speculation about whether Macron might be tempted to mediate in the world's most intractable conflict. He and French diplomats have ruled out any new French initiative, insisting that the American effort must run its course first. The 40-year-old Macron has emerged as a dynamic international figure since his election in May but his team insists he is focused on reforming the European Union, avoiding instability in Lebanon, and bolstering anti-terror efforts in Syria and West Africa. But Abbas, like Netanyahu before him, praised the young centrist at the Paris news conference, notable for the warmth of the exchanges and relaxed body language. "We have trust in you. We respect the efforts made by you and we count heavily on your efforts," Abbas told him. Macron replied that he had "committed myself very clearly to doing everything" to further the peace process and would visit the Palestinian territories in 2018 and "intensify" contacts between the French and Palestinian governments. "Palestine is not on its own. We will work so that it can live within sound and recognised borders, in security alongside Israel, with Jerusalem as the capital of the two states," Macron tweeted afterwards. Many analysts in Washington say they believe that the US remains the only power able to play the mediator role in the crisis. "There's been peaks and valleys before on this issue," David Makovsky, a peace process veteran and senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told AFP. "If I had a dollar every time people said 'Oh, it's over now, the US is not the broker..." he added ironically.
  23. A statue is silhouetted against the Bank of England in the City of London, Britain, December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/Files LONDON: The Bank of England (BoE) said Wednesday it planned to spare European banks from costly extra capital requirements once Britain leaves the European Union (EU) but that could change if Brexit talks turn sour. Setting out its position for a possible tussle with Brussels over London?s position as a top global financial hub, the BoE said it wanted to ensure it could effectively oversee foreign banks and financial services firms after Brexit. ?The foundation of the Bank of England?s approach is the presumption that there will continue to be a high degree of supervisory cooperation between the UK and the EU,? the BoE said in a statement. That assumption might be ?revisited as Brexit negotiations proceed?, BoE Deputy Governor Sam Woods said in a letter to the bosses of banks and insurers. British Prime Minister Theresa May has said Britain will leave the EU?s single market, raising questions about how companies in Britain will do business in the bloc after Brexit, and how European companies can operate in Britain. A so-called hard Brexit ? under which Britain leaves the EU with no trade deal ? would make cross-border supervisory cooperation harder and potentially hurt banks such as Germany?s Deutsche Bank which has a big presence in London. The BoE said the bigger and more complex the branches of European banks in the UK, the more supervisory cooperation there would have to be to avoid them being classed as subsidiaries, requiring them to park costly extra capital in Britain. There 77 branches of banks from the European Economic Area, in Britain. There are also 80 branches of insurers from the EEA. The BoE plans to start the process of re-authorising the branches of up to 200 EEA financial firms in Britain in early 2018. It hopes Britain will secure a Brexit transition deal to start after Brexit in March 2019 to give regulators more time. The new policy will not affect how banks from outside the EU, such as Japan, Switzerland, and the United States are currently supervised by the BoE. The central bank said retail-focused branches of EU insurers currently operating in Britain will need to become subsidiaries, in line with an existing rule for foreign retail banks. The BoE will also get powers to ?recognise? and supervise clearing houses from the EU after Brexit. The emphasis on close supervisory cooperation broadens the focus of Brexit negotiations over the financial services industry away from specific financial rules that will be used in Britain and the EU after March 2019. Britain is keen not to become a ?rule taker?, leaving it required to follow news EU regulations indefinitely. The BoE had said it would let foreign banks know before the end of 2017 whether their existing branches in Britain must reapply for licences to operate after Brexit, or be turned into costlier stand-alone subsidiaries. Management consultancy Boston Consulting Group estimated that EU banks would have to find up to 40 billion euros if all their branches in Britain were turned into subsidiaries. Earlier this year, BoE Governor MarkCarney called for Britain and the EU to recognise each others? bank rules after Brexit, or risk a potentially damaging hit to financial services across Europe. Germany?s Deutsche Bank has 9,000 staff in London, while France?s BNP Paribas and Societe Generale have 6,500 and 4,000 respectively. Carney is due to speak to lawmakers in Britain?s parliament 1315 GMT on Wednesday to discuss the central bank?s views on the financial services sector.
  24. A US judge on Friday blocked President Donald Trump?s administration from moving forward with new rules that undermined an Obamacare requirement for employers to provide health insurance that covers women?s birth control. US District Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Philadelphia issued a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of rules the administration announced in October that allowed businesses or non-profits to obtain exemptions on moral or religious grounds. Beetlestone wrote that Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat who sued to block the rules, was likely to succeed in establishing that the administration did not follow proper notice procedures when issuing the new rules. The judge said the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor and the Department of Treasury had also interpreted the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, ?in a manner inconsistent with its text.? Beetlestone cited the ?remarkable breadth? of the new rules, which she said would allow closely held corporations to deny contraceptive coverage for female employees not just for religious reasons but also for any moral reason they could articulate. In an example that she said showed the moral exemption rule?s ?insidious effect,? Beetlestone said an employer who believed women did not have a place in the workplace could simply stop providing contraceptive coverage. ?It is difficult to comprehend a rule that does more to undermine the Contraceptive Mandate or that intrudes more into the lives of women,? Beetlestone wrote. Shapiro said the nationwide injunction would protect women around the country. ?Donald Trump broke the law to undermine women?s health, and women here in Pennsylvania stood up and proved that in court,? he said in a statement. The U.S. Justice Department defended the rules in court. Department spokeswoman Lauren Ehrsam said it was disappointed and is ?committed to defending the religious liberty of all Americans.? The lawsuit is among several that Democratic state attorneys general filed after the Republican Trump administration revealed the new rules on Oct. 6. A federal judge in California heard arguments in a similar case on Tuesday. The rules targeted the contraceptive mandate that was implemented as part of 2010?s Affordable Care Act. The rules will let businesses or non-profits lodge religious or moral objections to obtain an exemption from the law?s mandate that employers provide contraceptive coverage in health insurance with no co-payment. Conservative Christian activists and congressional Republicans praised the move, while reproductive rights advocates and Democrats criticized it.
  25. A shopkeeper selling cigarettes waits in his store at a market in Mumbai, India, January 6, 2016. Photo: Reuters NEW DELHI: An Indian court on Friday quashed federal rules that mandated stringent graphic health warnings on tobacco products, lawyers involved in the case said, in a decision seen as a major victory for the tobacco industry and a setback for health advocates. India?s Supreme Court last year ordered enforcement of the government?s 2014 federal rules that required 85 per cent of a tobacco pack?s surface to be covered in health warnings, up from 20 per cent earlier, despite protests by the tobacco industry. At the same time, the top court had asked a court in southern Karnataka state to rule on the dozens of tobacco industry pleas that challenged the federal rules. The High Court of Karnataka on Friday struck down the government?s 2014 notification, said Aradhana L, a lawyer at Poovayya & Co, who represented tobacco companies including India?s ITC and Philip Morris International Inc?s Indian partner, Godfrey Phillips India Ltd. The government lawyer in the case, Krishna S Dixit, confirmed the rules had been struck down but said he would appeal in the Supreme Court. Dixit said that for now the older federal rules mandating 20 per cent warnings on packs will be in force. But, he added, ?the court has allowed us to remake the rules. Similar battles between tobacco companies and authorities have played out around the world in recent years as governments try to discourage smoking. India?s tobacco packaging rules were among the world?s most stringent and aimed at reducing tobacco consumption which kills more than 900,000 people a year. The World Health Organization estimates tobacco-related diseases cost India about $16 billion annually. A government survey earlier this year found that 62 per cent of cigarette smokers thought of quitting because of warning labels on the packets. ?The court is setting aside a proven strategy on improving public health. This is very disappointing,? said Sanjay Seth, head of tobacco control at non-profit Sambandh Health Foundation. The tobacco industry, however, has maintained the rules were extreme. At one point last year, the industry briefly shut down its factories across India in protest and filed dozens of legal cases. It was not clear if the tobacco manufacturers, who currently print the mandated bigger health warnings, will stop doing so immediately, or if the government will step in to make a new rule. Industry lawyer Sajan Poovayya cheered the move. ?Bye Bye gruesome warnings on tobacco packages,? he said on Twitter after the verdict.