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  1. BEIJING: China said Thursday the United States should "abandon its biased views" towards the country, as it hit back at cutting remarks made by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Ahead of his visit to India next week, President Donald Trump?s top diplomat stated the US preference to work with New Delhi over Beijing during the next century to promote a "free and open" Asia-Pacific region led by prosperous democracies. The speech was perceived as a warning to the world?s second largest economy that Washington will build regional alliances to counter Beijing?s ever-growing power. Tillerson also took the opportunity to compare China with its giant neighbour and criticised Beijing for its "provocative actions" in the South China Sea. "China, while rising alongside India, has done so less responsibly, at times undermining the international, rules-based order," the US diplomat said. Beijing responded Thursday by saying that America was biased. "We hope the US side can look at China?s development and role in the international community in an objective way, and abandon its biased views of China," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said during a regular press briefing. "Based on the purposes and principles of the UN charter, we will firmly uphold multilateralism, yet we will also firmly safeguard our own rights and interests." Tillerson?s comments were seen as particularly provocative as they came the same day that China?s ruling Communist Party opened its 19th National Congress ? a twice-a-decade meeting of party delegates expected to give President Xi Jinping a second five-year term and consolidate his already formidable power. They also followed a months-long military standoff between China and India in a disputed Himalayan border area in the summer. Tillerson did not directly address the stand-off but vowed that Washington "won?t shrink from China?s challenges to the rules-based order, or where China subverts the sovereignty of neighbouring countries". Trump is due to visit Beijing next month.
  2. Nawaz Sharif appears in the accountability court on Sept 26. Photo: File ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has argued that the six-month deadline and appointment of a monitoring judge in the corruption cases against him and his family has no example in legal history. Speaking through his representative Zafir Khan after being indicted in the Avenfiled properties case in the accountability court on Thursday, Nawaz said a transparent trial is his right. "The Constitution protects my basic rights," he said in his statement, read out by Khan. The statement further said that the monitoring judge was especially appointed for this case. Nawaz was referring to the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Ijazul Ahsan as the monitoring judge to oversee the corruption cases against the Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. The Supreme Court, in its July 28 judgment in the Panama Papers case, gave the National Accountability Bureau six weeks to file the corruption cases against the Sharif family and Dar. Moreover, it gave the accountability court six months to wrap up the proceedings.
  3. Aristolochia clematitis, a plant that contains aristolochic acids. Image Courtesy: National Cancer Institute MIAMI: Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday. The findings suggest stronger measures are needed to prevent people from consuming chemicals called aristolochic acids (AA), which are derived from the woody vines of the Aristolochia plant family, said the report in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The acids can be found in some traditional Chinese medicines that are given during childbirth, to prevent parasites and promote healing. Researchers tested 98 liver tumours that were stored at hospitals in Taiwan, and found that 78 percent contained mutation patterns that indicated the cancers "were likely due to contact with the chemicals," said the study. Since these acids cause "a well-defined mutational signature," researchers also looked at 89 samples of liver cancer in China and found that 47 percent showed a link to this traditional medicine component. In Vietnam, five out of 26 tumours studied were a match (19 percent), along with five out of nine from other countries in Southeast Asia (56 percent). The link to traditional Chinese medicine was far less common in North America (five percent of 209 liver cancers studied) and 1.7 percent of the 230 looked at from Europe. Taiwan banned in 2003 some herbal preparations using the plants after it was discovered that aristolochic acids could cause kidney failure and urinary tract cancers. However, there is no outright ban in China or Taiwan, and "only specific plants, rather than any plant and product containing AA or its derivatives, are regulated," making it hard for consumers to avoid them, said the report. Researchers found that the prevalence of AA-associated mutations in liver cancers in Taiwan did not drop after the ban was implemented. This could be because it would take more time for a drop in cancers to be noticeable in the data, as was the case with tobacco-related cancers after smoking was revealed to cause lung tumours. Or it could be that people continue to be exposed to these acids through other products and herbal mixtures that still contain them.
  4. Eric Reid #35 and Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to their NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, October 23, 2016. AFP/Getty Images North America/Ezra Shaw/Files WASHINGTON: National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that the league believes players should stand for the national anthem but he stopped short of endorsing US President Donald Trump's demand that they be forced to do so. "We respect our country, we respect our flag, we respect our national anthem," Goodell told a news conference in New York several hours after Trump expressed disappointment that the NFL was not obliging players to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner." "We believe that our players should stand for our national anthem," Goodell said. "We want our players to stand. We're going to encourage them to stand." But Goodell did not announce any changes to existing NFL policy, which says players "should" stand for the anthem but does not make it mandatory. The NFL commissioner also declined to reply when asked what he would do if owners moved to punish players who refused to stand for the anthem, saying he would not discuss "hypotheticals". Trump waded back into the controversy over NFL players kneeling in protest during the national anthem with an early morning tweet on Wednesday. "The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem," Trump said. "Total disrespect for our great country!" Trump's tweet came after a meeting of NFL team owners and player representatives in New York on Tuesday. Goodell also said that only "six or seven players" were taking part in protests and "we're going to continue to work to try to put that at zero". "But we want to make sure that we're understanding what the players are talking about, and that's complex," he said. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick launched the protests in 2016, refusing to stand for the national anthem to draw attention to racial injustice and police brutality against blacks. Asked if he understood what the players were protesting about, Goodell said they were "talking about equality issues." 'Stay out of politics' "These are national issues, American issues," he said. "The owners and the NFL really do care about their issues." Goodell also said the NFL is trying to "stay out of politics". "What we're trying to do is get people focused on football," he said. The protests had mostly fizzled out until last month when Trump reignited the issue by decrying any player who kneeled during the anthem as a "son of a bitch" who should be fired. Trump's remarks sparked a furious backlash amongst NFL players, team owners, and league officials, with large-scale protests by players during the anthem in the weekend following the president's tirade. Trump has maintained his offensive against the protesting athletes, on Monday calling for the NFL to suspend players who continued to kneel. Polls have found that a majority of Americans disapprove of the anthem protests but are unhappy with the way Trump has handled the issue. The protests have also created divisions amongst NFL team owners. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said any of his players kneeling during the anthem risked being benched. However, San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York has reportedly vowed to stand by players who continue to kneel.
  5. Rohingya refugees ? who crossed the border from Myanmar a day before ? wait to receive permission from the Bangladeshi army to continue their way to the refugee camps, in Palang Khali, near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra GENEVA: The United Nations has yet to determine whether violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar meets the legal definition of genocide, Jyoti Sanghera ? Asia Pacific chief at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights ? said on Wednesday. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra?ad al-Hussein has called the situation ?a textbook example of ethnic cleansing?, but has not used the word genocide. ?We are yet looking at the legal boundaries of that,? Sanghera said. ?It could meet the boundaries, but we haven?t yet made that legal determination at OHCHR.? A UN team took witness statements from Rohingya refugees last month, and another human rights mission is currently on the ground, gathering evidence from some of the 582,000 Rohingya who have fled into Bangladesh in the last two months. ?The testimony gathered by the team referred to unspeakable horrors,? Sanghera told an audience at Geneva?s Graduate Institute. ?Even as I speak this evening, the world is witnessing a horrific spectacle of massive forced displacement and suffering.? A few hundred thousand Rohingya are thought to remain in Myanmar?s northern Rakhine state, she said. The refugees described massive detention and systematic rape by Myanmar security forces, deliberate destruction of Rohingya villages so that people could not return, and deliberate targeting of cultural and religious leaders that aimed to ?diminish Rohingya history, culture, and knowledge?, she said. Imams had their beards shaved or burnt off, while women and girls were raped inside mosques. Some refugees said their non-Rohingya neighbours had been given weapons and uniforms and worked in concert with the security forces. ?Unsettled post-colonial questions and tensions fueled by colonial powers of the past have been exploited by the military junta in Myanmar to keep ethnic rivalries simmering,? Sanghera said. ?Systematic and acute discrimination of the Rohingya Muslims continues to be kept alive by the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, to a point referred to recently by the High Commissioner for Human Rights as ?ethnic cleansing? of an entire people.? Designating the Rohingya as victims of genocide under a 1948 UN convention would increase pressure on the international community to take action to protect them and could expose Myanmar officials to a greater threat of international justice. The UN convention ? passed in the wake of the Nazi holocaust ? requires countries to act to prevent and punish genocide, which it defines as any of a number of acts committed with the ?intent to destroy, in whole or in part? a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. It is one of four categories of crimes subject to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
  6. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday the United States holds Myanmar´s military leadership "accountable" for the Rohingya refugee crisis, drawing a distinction with Aung San Suu Kyi´s civilian government. Photo: AFP file WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday the United States holds Myanmar´s military leadership "accountable" for the Rohingya refugee crisis, drawing a distinction with Aung San Suu Kyi´s civilian government. Myanmar´s recent return to elected rule has given it a hybrid government in which the military still has wide powers in the security domain and in Rakhine state, where the United Nations has reported ethnic cleansing. "We´re extraordinarily concerned by what is happening with Rohingya in Burma," Tillerson said. "I´ve been in contact with Aung San Suu Kyi the leader of the civilian part of the government, as you know this is a power-sharing government. "We really hold the military leadership accountable for what´s happening," he said, warning the world won´t stand and "be witness to the atrocities that have been reported." In the last seven weeks, more than half a million Rohingya have fled Rakhine and crossed into Bangladesh. Their stories have shocked the world globe, with accounts of Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs murdering and raping civilians before torching their villages to the ground. The western region descended into chaos when Rohingya militants attacked Myanmar police posts on August 25, triggering the brutal military crackdown. Tillerson said that Washington understands that Myanmar is facing "serious rebel terrorist elements" in Rakhine, but warned the military must be disciplined and "restrained." And he said Myanmar must grant fuller access to aid agencies to aid civilians and to allow the world "a fuller picture of what is going on." "Someone is going to be held to account for that and it´s up to the military leadership of Burma to decide what role do they want to play in the future of Burma," he said. "This is a real test for this power-sharing government."
  7. Shahid Kapoor and his wife Mira Rajput is again giving us some serious couple goals. Shahid Kapoor is happy to admit that his ?queen? Mira Rajput rules his heart Shahid and Mira are one of the cutest couples in tinsel town. The Bollywood star?s posts speak of the love and compatibility that the couple share, which was all too evident on the Koffee With Karan season 5 Shahid-Mira episode that was loaded with their mushy moments. Shahid has shared a new click with his wife, and we are in awe of the King and his real-life queen. Shahid is playing King Rawal Ratan Singh in Sanjay Leela Bhansali?s period drama Padmavati, which also stars Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmini. Before the audience sees the actor sharing the screen with his Rani on the silver screen, he shared an adorable click with his real life ?queen? Mira Rajput. Instagram 579.2k Likes, 2,151 Comments - Shahid Kapoor (@shahidkapoor) on Instagram: ?The queen that rules my heart.? In the romantic photo, Shahid and Mira can be seen in the background holding King and Queen cards. The captioned will melt your heart! The queen that rules my heart. Shahid and his wife are giving some serious couple goals. Shahid Kapoor will be next seen in Padmavati which will release on December 1.
  8. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (front L) applauds as he declares Marawi city "liberated" during a ceremony inside the battle area as Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (in blue) raises a clenched fist. Photo: AFP MARAWI: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday declared a southern city "liberated from terrorists´ influence" but the military said the five-month battle against militants loyal to the Daesh group was not yet over. Duterte led rain-soaked soldiers in celebrations in Marawi, a day after the military announced the death of the head of the Daesh in Southeast Asia, Isnilon Hapilon, in a gunbattle in the city. "Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby declare Marawi liberated from the terrorists´ influence that marks the beginning of the rehabilitation," Duterte said, speaking moments after explosions and gunfire were heard in the city. "I promise you this will never happen again," he said as he gave troops a snappy salute. Duterte stood on a gymnasium stage with a ruined roof near a tarpaulin bearing large photos of the dead militants. After he left, soldiers took selfies in front of a bombed-out building while others hoisted a Philippine flag atop a tank. Military chief of staff General Eduardo Ano later clarified that the fighting against 20 to 30 remaining militants continued, describing them as "stragglers" and the clashes as "mopping operations". "The small number of the remaining enemy can now be considered a law enforcement matter and does not constitute (a) serious threat to hinder (rehabilitation)," Ano said in a statement. Troops persisted in efforts to rescue about 20 hostages, Colonel Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of the task force battling the militants, told AFP. Asked by reporters if Duterte´s declaration was symbolic, Brawner said: "Yes, because we cannot really say that (the area) is 100 percent cleared." Pro-Daesh gunmen occupied parts of Marawi on May 23 following a failed attempt by security forces to arrest Hapilon. Insurgents endured a relentless US-backed bombing campaign and intense ground battles with troops in the nation´s longest urban conflict since World War II. The military said Monday that Hapilon -- who figured on the US "most wanted terrorists" list -- was killed in a dawn offensive alongside Omarkhayam Maute, one of two brothers who allied with Hapilon to plot the takeover of the city. Duterte had said Hapilon led a Daesh bid to establish a Southeast Asian caliphate as the militants suffer battlefield defeats in Iraq and Syria. Malaysian financier Streets in Marawi were littered with machine gun bullet casings and rubble, including a van and twisted roofing sheets piled up on sidewalks. Troops were hunting a Malaysian militant, Mahmud Ahmad, who has been tipped to take over Daesh in the region following Hapilon´s death. The military said he was among six to eight foreign fighters in a battle zone comprising about 60 to 80 buildings. "Mahmud remains... one of our high-value targets in the operations being conducted," said military spokesman Major-General Restituto Padilla. Terrorism expert Ahmad Kumar Ramakrishna from Singapore´s S Rajaratnam School of International Studies said if Mahmud Ahmad survived he would likely take over the leadership of Daesh-linked fighters in the southern Philippines. The militant is also reported to be a university lecturer in his home country who was in charge of raising finances from abroad for the jihadists and recruitment. The restive south of the Philippines is home to extremist gangs which have declared allegiance to Daesh, including notorious kidnap-for-ransom group Abu Sayyaf and the Maute group. On Tuesday the military warned against retaliatory attacks from sympathisers of the militants. The United States, a longtime defence ally of the Philippines, vowed on Tuesday to support the military´s final push in Marawi. "The US Government will continue to work with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the final phases of this operation, and looks forward to cooperating in assuring the stabilisation and rehabilitation of Marawi," US embassy press attache Molly Koscina told AFP.
  9. From the days gone by: Fawad Alam celebrates a century KARACHI: Fawad Alam?s continued non-selection in the Pakistan team is anybody?s guess, but Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi had something to say about the perplexing matter on Wednesday. During a press conference following his meeting with Chief Minister Sindh on hosting of PSL matches in Karachi, Sethi was asked about the deliberate ignorance of Fawad?s domestic performances, to which he replied that Chief Selector Inzamam, not him, should be asked this question. ?Ask Inzamam about Fawad?s non-selection. I won?t recommend on his behalf,? the PCB chairman said. ?I can recommend him but I cannot force [the selectors],? Sethi added. ?If you [media] feel that Fawad Alam should be selected, then [you should] pressurise Inzamam.? Fawad Alam has, as usual, been on a run-scoring streak this season, smashing yet another century in the country?s premier first class tournament, Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, earlier this month. Many had hoped that he would be an automatic choice after retirement of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, but it did not happen. Selectors ignored the mountain of runs piled by Fawad and again picked other players over him for series against Sri Lanka. Karachi to witness PSL in Feb, ICC team arriving in four days: Sethi PCB chairman emphasises need to renovate Karachi's National Stadium ahead of PSL To put things in perspective, Fawad Alam?s batting average of 56.38 in 220 first class innings is third best among all the batsmen who made their first class debuts in 2000s. The only two players with better averages than Fawad are India?s Pujara and Australia?s Steve Smith. In last three seasons, Fawad scored 2070 runs at an average of 59.14.
  10. Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Photo: Times of Malta WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday condemned the slaying of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and said the FBI had responded to Malta?s request for assistance in investigating the car bomb attack that killed her. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the United States condemned the ?appalling violence that took place against her in the strongest terms,? calling it a ?cowardly attack? against a reporter who was dedicated to fighting corruption. ?We responded quickly to the prime minister?s request for assistance. The government of Malta and Malta police force have been in contact with the FBI about the investigation and the FBI is providing specific assistance,? said Nauert, who called for a ?thorough, transparent and independent? probe. Scene of the incident. Photo: Getty Earlier, the son of Malta?s best-known investigative journalist said his mother was killed by a car bomb because of her work exposing political corruption. Daphne Caruana Galizia, who wrote about graft across Malta?s political divides on her blog, was murdered on Monday soon after she left her home in the north of the island. ?My mother was assassinated because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it, like many strong journalists,? Matthew Caruana Galizia said on Facebook. ?She was also targeted because she was the only person doing so,? he added. He described rushing to the scene after hearing the news, only to find the burning car and her remains. The explosion, which blasted the car off the road into a field near the village of Bidnija, stunned the small Mediterranean island. Authorities said it was the first murder of a journalist there. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and opposition leader Adrian Delia ? who had both been criticised on her blog ? both condemned the killing. Around 3,000 people held a silent, candle-lit vigil on Monday night in Sliema, just outside the capital Valletta. Maltese authorities were awaiting the arrival of Dutch forensic experts and American FBI agents on Tuesday to help the investigations. EU 'horrified', urges justice for murdered Malta journalist A tent was erected over her burnt-out car and sheets placed over her remains. ?Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine, both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way,? said Prime Minister Muscat, who had been suing her over some of her allegations. Opposition leader Delia called her killing an attack on democracy and freedom of expression and demanded an independent inquiry. Half an hour before the explosion tore into her car, Galizia wrote on her blog: ?There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate.?
  11. China's President Xi Jinping speaks during the opening session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 18, 2017 BEIJING: China?s campaign against corruption has achieved ?overwhelming momentum?, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday at the start of a critical Communist Party congress expected to cement his authority. Xi?s speech kicks off the twice-a-decade congress, a week-long, mostly closed-door conclave that will culminate with the selection of a new Politburo Standing Committee that will rule China?s 1.4 billion people for the next five years. Speaking to more than 2,000 delegates in Beijing?s cavernous Great Hall of the People, including 91-year-old former president Jiang Zemin, Xi praised the party?s success, particularly his high-profile anti-graft campaign. ?The fight against corruption has formed an overwhelming posture and strengthened in development,? Xi said in a speech carried live across the nation on state television. Xi has waged a relentless fight against deep-rooted graft since assuming power five years ago, with more than one million officials punished and dozens of former senior officials jailed. He also said China had firmly opposed and prevented independence for self-ruled Taiwan, claimed by Beijing as its own, over the past five years. While the speech will be high on aspiration and short on policy specifics, its language will be parsed for signals or policy directives, including on the direction of reforms for the world?s second-largest economy. Xi has consolidated power swiftly since assuming the party leadership in 2012, locking up political rivals for corruption, restructuring the military and asserting China?s rising might on the world stage. Focus at the congress will be on how Xi plans to put his expanded authority to use. Key questions include whether Xi ally and top corruption-buster Wang Qishan will stay on past traditional retirement age and to what extent Xi will promote allies into senior positions. Close attention will also be paid to any moves that would enable Xi to stay on in a leadership capacity after his second term ends in 2022. That could include resurrecting the position of party chairman, a title that would put him on par with Mao Zedong. One of the most important signals for that would be whether - or how often - Xi is referred to as ?lingxiu?, or leader. That honorific has been bestowed on only two others since the 1949 founding of the People?s Republic of China: Mao and his short-lived successor, Hua Guofeng. Such decisions will be formally announced at the end of the congress next week.
  12. Director General of MI5 Andrew Parker delivers a speech in central London, on the security threat facing Britain October 17, 2017/REUTERS LONDON: Britain faces the most acute threat ever from militants seeking to inflict mass attacks, often with spontaneous plots that take just days to bring to execution, the head of the MI5 domestic intelligence agency said on Tuesday. After four militant attacks this year that killed 36 people in Britain - the deadliest spate since the London ?7/7? bombings of July 2005, MI5 chief Andrew Parker said the threat was at the highest tempo he had seen in 34 years of espionage. ?The threat is more diverse than I have ever known: plots developed here in the UK, but plots directed from overseas as well, plots online, complex scheming and also crude stabbings, lengthy planning but also spontaneous attacks,? said Parker. ?Attacks can sometimes accelerate from inception, through planning, to action in just a handful of days,? he said in a speech in central London. The director general of MI5 rarely gives public speeches. The last was in 2015. Daesh militants in Syria and Iraq have been in retreat for two years: They lost their de facto capital in Syria, Raqqa, on Tuesday and have been forced back into an ever-diminishing foothold along the Euphrates river valley. But as their territory, wealth and swagger decline, the militants have intensified online propaganda which has helped radicalise and inspire extremists to attack civilians across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Parker said there had not yet been a large influx of British militants returning home from Syria and Iraq. 'More threat, faster' Britain has foiled 20 plots in the past four years, with seven attacks prevented in the past seven months, Parker said. He said there were 500 live operations involving 3,000 people involved in militant activity. MI5, established in 1909 to counter German espionage ahead of World War One, is tasked with protecting British national security and so takes the lead, along with the police, in countering militant attacks. But after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a pop concert by US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester, MI5 began a review of how it handled intelligence on the bomber, Salman Abedi, who was known to the intelligence agencies. Abedi was not among the 3,000 people currently under active investigation by MI5, although he was one of around 20,000 people known to have some connection to extremism. ?When an attack happens, we are determined, using the harsh light of hindsight, to squeeze out every last drop of learning,? Parker said. ?We are constantly evolving to stay ahead.? MI5, which employs around 4,000 people, says it does not have the resources to monitor every suspicious person. It works alongside the Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, which operates abroad, and GCHQ, Britain?s eavesdropping agency. ?Not King Canute? Britain has repeatedly demanded that Silicon Valley companies do more to suppress extremist content and allow access to online communication. After British militants rammed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and went on the rampage through packed bars, stabbing revellers in June, Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain must be tougher on stamping out militancy and proposed regulating cyberspace. Parker said militants? abuse of the internet could slow down the rapid pace of the hunt for attackers. ?This pace together with the way in which extremists can exploit safe spaces online can make threats harder to detect and give us a smaller window to intervene.? Britain?s interior minister, Amber Rudd, said earlier this month that WhatsApp?s end-to-end encryption communication services allowed paedophiles and organised crime groups to operate beyond the reach of the law. But Parker refrained from naming any companies directly and called for a nuanced partnership to tackle militants and serious crimes such as child abuse. ?I am not somehow King Canute trying to hold back the tide of developing technology and wouldn?t wish to be heard that way,? he said. ?Technology is not the enemy, indeed it holds many opportunities for us.? When asked directly whether Google, Facebook and Amazon were doing enough to prevent communications among militants, he said: ?There is a reasonable expectation, I think, from all of us but also from the public at large that these companies would do what they can to help us deal with these worst excesses.?
  13. Superstar chef Gordon Ramsay revealed the secret of his success Monday, "I am the biggest pain in the ass in the world, because I want the best." The British cook said he was a stress junkie who needs to master whatever he does, whether in getting seven Michelin stars for his haute cuisine or sorting out failing restaurants in his television show "Hell's Kitchen". "I need to be at the coalface, I need to be where the heartbeat is, where there is that level of trepidation," he told the MIPCOM television industry gathering at Cannes on the French Riviera. "I need to be under pressure because pressure is healthy," said the chef, who is so famous for his use of the four-letter epithet that one of his shows was called "The F Word". Ramsay said had to be at the centre of the action when he was dropped into the Colombian jungle to shoot his new documentary, "Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine", which airs in Britain Thursday. "They told me they could shoot it all from above but I wanted to go right down onto the ground to understand how big the problem is," he said. "I don't do cocaine," Ramsay stressed. "I have a brother who is an addict and I lost an amazing young chef to cocaine." Dirty secret of cocaine He said the drug is the restaurant industry's "dirty little secret", and that he was once asked by customers to dust cocaine on top of souffles like icing sugar. The chef tested bathrooms in some of his own 31 restaurants for the documentary to see if cocaine was snorted in them. "I swabbed them and they came up positive, not just the customer toilets but the staff ones too." He said use of the drug is "out of control" and it "bugs the hell out of me" that there is sometimes almost a light-hearted attitude to it in Britain. "I don't want any more casualties (among his staff) and I don't want to throw them under the bus. I am there to help," he told delegates. Ramsay, who once aspired to be a professional footballer, has become a global broadcasting phenomenon with his shows like "Kitchen Nightmares" and "MasterChef" hogging 2,000 hours of screen time in the US alone last year. Ramsay said he never dreamt that he would end up on TV when he first came to Cannes 25 years ago as the cook on Australian media mogul Reg Grundy's yacht. The man behind such shows as "Wheel of Fortune" and "Neighbours" tried to encourage the then 25-year-old "spotty and anaemic chef" to try presenting. "But I wanted to strive for three Michelin stars. The foundations had to be set absorbing from the very best French chefs to understand that level of haute cuisine. For me the challenge has always been to bring things to their absolute best," he said.
  14. Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that ?cavalier? threats to start war on the Korean peninsula are ?dangerous and short-sighted?, urging the United States to get all parties to the negotiating table. Clinton also called on China to take a ?more outfront role? in enforcing sanctions against North Korea aimed at curbing its missile and nuclear development. ?There is no need for us to be bellicose and aggressive (over North Korea),? said Clinton at a forum in the South Korean capital Seoul, stressing the need for greater pressure on North Korea and diplomacy to bring Pyongyang to talks. Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington have soared following a series of weapons tests by North Korea and a string of increasingly bellicose exchanges between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. ?Picking fights with Kim Jong Un puts a smile on his face,? Clinton said, but did not mention Trump by name. Clinton also indirectly referred to Trump?s insults towards North Korea on Twitter, saying ?the insults on Twitter have benefited North Korea, I don?t think they?ve benefited the United States?. The tweets are making future negotiations with North Korea difficult, she said, adding that Washington should ?incessantly, persistently work? to get involved parties to dialogue with North Korea. The war of words has seen Trump call the North Korean leader ?little rocket man? on a suicide mission, and vowed to destroy North Korea if it threatens the United States or its allies. North Korea has in turn called Trump ?mentally deranged?. Clinton, a former US secretary of state, said Washington?s allies have increasingly been expressing concerns over the reliability of the United States, advising Washington to avoid becoming sidelined with North Korean threats and be ?as forcefully patient? as possible. Regarding China?s role in reining in North Korea, Clinton said Beijing would be better off in taking a ?more outfront role? in trying to ?tighten and absolutely enforce sanctions? against North Korea. Clinton said China?s retaliatory actions against South Korean companies doing business in China following the deployment of a US anti-missile system in South Korea would be unnecessary had Beijing done a better job containing and deterring North Korea. China has been curbing South Korean businesses there since Seoul decided to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system, saying its powerful radar could be used to pierce its territory. South Korea and the United States have repeatedly told China that THAAD aims only to defend against North Korea?s missile threats. ?The Chinese can?t have it both ways. They can?t do less than they could to tighten economic pressures on North Korea and same time discount the real threat South Korea and its citizens face,? she said.
  15. Total´s Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said in an interview with International Oil Daily that the company would wait to see the consequences of Trump´s decision, and if there are any laws that obliges it to withdraw from Iran, then it will comply. Photo: Reuters file PARIS: French oil and gas major Total will push ahead with its Iran gas project if the United States decides to slap unilateral sanctions on Teheran after President Donald Trump said he will not certify the landmark Iran nuclear deal. Total´s Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said in an interview with International Oil Daily that the company would wait to see the consequences of Trump´s decision, and if there are any laws that obliges it to withdraw from Iran, then it will comply. "If Iran is compliant, if the European Union and China and Russia continue to consider that the JCPOA can be applied, then that means the US would have to take unilateral sanctions and we see what the situation is," Pouyanne said in the interview published on Tuesday. "But we will try on our side to obtain the comfort that we can continue the project, which will be our priority," he added.
  16. Interior Minister and senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League ? Nawaz (PML-N) Ahsan Iqbal. Photo: Geo News ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister and senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League ? Nawaz (PML-N) Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said that the government believes in the stability of institutions and he never had a dispute with the Pakistan Rangers. Speaking on Geo News? programme Capital Talk, the interior minister said that his participation in a passing out parade ceremony of the rangers is a 'loud and clear message' that the government respects the country's institutions. "My participation is proof of my solidarity with the institutions," the minister said. Responding to a question about the October 2 incident when rangers, deployed outside an accountability court, blocked entry to the premises where the hearing of the former premier Nawaz Sharif was underway, Iqbal said that the specific incident occurred due as a result of a certain policy. Islamabad administration denies ordering Rangers deployment at NAB court Deputy commissioner acknowledges receipt of letter from SSP Operations, but says no action was taken after discussion "An internal probe by the paramilitary force into the incident is underway and we will soon sort it out," he said. "It was an administrative situation and we are waiting for their report." The interior minister insisted that the government has 'no tensions with any institutions.' "They [armed forces] are our front line, and we have the utmost respect for all of the institutions that are protecting our motherland," Iqbal said.
  17. Some 582,000 Rohingya refugees have now fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since late August, the United Nations said Tuesday, warning that thousands more were still stranded at the border. Photo: Reuters COX'S BAZAR: Some 582,000 Rohingya refugees have now fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since late August, the United Nations said Tuesday, warning that thousands more were still stranded at the border. The UN said between 10,000 and 15,000 new refugees have arrived at the border in the last 48 hours alone, fleeing violence in Myanmar, where Rohingya villages are being burned to the ground. It expressed deep concern about newly arrived refugees including children and elderly people dehydrated and hungry from the long journey who are stranded near the border. One Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB) official told AFP on condition of anonymity that the new arrivals were being held in an area of no man´s land, although it was not immediately clear why. Spokesman Andrej Mahecic said the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) was advocating with the Bangladesh authorities "to urgently admit these refugees fleeing violence and increasingly difficult conditions back home". He said UNHCR staff had spoken with people who described walking for a week to reach the Bangladesh border. Most are still squatting in paddy fields in Bangladesh, and were waiting for permission to move away from the border, he said. "Every minute counts given the fragile condition they´re arriving in," said Mahecic. Mahecic said many had chosen to remain in their homes in Myanmar´s Rakhine state despite repeated threats to leave or be killed. "They finally fled when their villages were set on fire," he said. Many of the new arrivals were from Rakhine´s Buthidaung district, which lies relatively far from the border with Bangladesh. "The military killed my brother. We walked all the way to this land to save our lives," said Mohammad Shoeb, who arrived at the border with his family on Monday evening. The UN said a jump of 45,000 in its estimated number of newly arrived refugees to 582,000 was due partly to improved access to some areas where many had previously gone uncounted. That figure does not include the thousands currently in no man´s land. The Rohingya are fleeing violence in Myanmar´s Rakhine state, where the UN has accused troops of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against them. The numbers have soared since August 25, when militant attacks on Myanmar´s security forces in Rakhine sparked a major military backlash. Hundreds more have drowned making the perilous journey. On Monday authorities said they had found the bodies of 10 Rohingya whose boat sank in the estuary of the Naf river that divides the two countries. The UNHCR said it was working with the Bangladesh government to complete a new transit centre in Kutupalong, the largest of the refugee camps housing the Rohingya. Bangladesh has announced plans to build a refugee camp that could accommodate around 800,000 Rohingya in Kutupalong. The camp would be the largest in the world and has raised concerns about the risks of heavily concentrating such a large number of vulnerable people, such as the spread of disease.
  18. Bollywood actress and producer Pooja Bhatt called out harassment in Indian movie industry and remarked that the industry is brimming with many 'Harvey Weinsteins', the Hollywood mogul against whom many sexual assault charges have surfaced. The Zakhm actress praised the Academy?s move to expel the Weinstein. However, she also raised doubt if Bollywood would ever make a similar move. She wrote: ?Many Weinsteins within Bollywood. But would the powers that supposedly govern us ever do what the academy did? Never. Associations LIE here!? Earlier, Hollywood star Catherine Zeta-Jones had remarked that Harvey Weinstein's fall should be the end of "dinosaur" men preying on women. The Oscar-winning actress said she hoped Weinstein's disgrace would be the "tipping point, or at last a turning point" in the treatment of women not just in Hollywood but in "any industry, corporation, school or college." "Let´s hope that big old dinosaur of men thinking they can get away with that sort of behaviour is extinct as of now," she told reporters.
  19. Harvey Weinstein´s fall should be the end of "dinosaur" men preying on women, Hollywood star Catherine Zeta-Jones said Tuesday as she premiered a film about a woman who had a brutally efficient way of dealing with chauvinism. Photo: AFP CANNES: Harvey Weinstein´s fall should be the end of "dinosaur" men preying on women, Hollywood star Catherine Zeta-Jones said Tuesday as she premiered a film about a woman who had a brutally efficient way of dealing with chauvinism. The Oscar-winning actress said she hoped Weinstein´s disgrace would be the "tipping point, or at last a turning point" in the treatment of women not just in Hollywood but in "any industry, corporation, school or college." "Let´s hope that big old dinosaur of men thinking they can get away with that sort of behaviour is extinct as of now," she told reporters. The British-born star, who plays the notorious Colombian drug baron Griselda Blanco in a new TV film, "Cocaine Godmother", joked that her character had a rather direct way of dealing with male sexism: "Shoot them in the head." Zeta-Jones said that while that would not be her approach, as a woman "you have to give her that, as we still fight for equality in the workplace." "Griselda had no redeeming traits but the one thing she did have was the ability to stand up against men in a male world," she said as the film screened at MIPCOM, the top TV industry gathering, in Cannes on the French Riviera. Sexism is not "just a problem in the film, theatrical or TV industry," Zeta-Jones, 48, added. "It is rife everywhere. As women we get knocked down as being ambitious. Men don´t get that. We should be proud of being ambitious, we shouldn´t hide it." She said she hoped lessons were being learned from the Weinstein affair, "otherwise we truly are stuck in a world that´s very sad and very destructive." Despite the dangers from predators, she advised young actors "not to lose your vulnerability -- it is essential to your craft. Vulnerability is a beautiful character trait and we should have it and be allowed to have it. But it´s important that we know it´s protected." Earlier Willow Grylls, producer of the TV series "The Missing", said fixating on one man and one industry "missed the point". "It is much wider than that. It´s about abuse of power," she said.
  20. VALLETTA: The son of Malta?s best-known investigative journalist said on Tuesday his mother was killed by a car bomb because of her work exposing political corruption. Daphne Caruana Galizia, who wrote about graft across Malta?s political divides on her blog, was murdered on Monday soon after she left her home in the north of the island. ?My mother was assassinated because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it, like many strong journalists,? Matthew Caruana Galizia said on Facebook. ?She was also targeted because she was the only person doing so,? he added. He described rushing to the scene after hearing the news, only to find the burning car and her remains. The explosion, which blasted the car off the road into a field near the village of Bidnija, stunned the small Mediterranean island. Authorities said it was the first murder of a journalist there. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and opposition leader Adrian Delia - who had both been criticized on her blog - both condemned the killing. Around 3,000 people held a silent, candle-lit vigil on Monday night in Sliema, just outside the capital Valletta. ?Today, this is undoubtedly a dark and sad, sad, sad, sad day for Malta,? said family friend Luke Frendo. ?I think Daphne was not only a journalist and an absolutely fearless human being but a fourth pillar of our democracy,? Frendo told Reuters Television. Maltese authorities were awaiting the arrival of Dutch forensic experts and American FBI agents on Tuesday to help the investigations. A tent was erected over her burnt-out car and sheets placed over her remains. ?Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine, both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way,? said Prime Minister Muscat, who had been suing her over some of her allegations. Opposition leader Adrian Delia called her killing an attack on democracy and freedom of expression and demanded an independent inquiry. ?We will not accept an investigation by the Commissioner of Police, the Army commander or the duty magistrate, all of whom were criticized by Caruana Galizia,? he said on Monday. Half an hour before the explosion tore into her car, Galizia wrote on her blog: ?There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate.?
  21. US producer Harvey Weinstein (3rdL) leaves the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris with his wife Georgina Chapman after the French President awarded him with the Legion d'Honneur (Legion of Honor), March 7, 2012. AFP/Eric Feferberg/Files NEW YORK: The Weinstein Company announced Monday that Colony Capital had agreed to provide the scandal-plagued studio with financing and that the two parties were in talks on a potential sale. Founded by Thomas Barrack ? a longtime friend of US President Donald Trump ? Colony Capital will provide an "immediate cash infusion" into The Weinstein Company, the firm said in a statement. "In addition, the Company has entered a negotiating period with Colony Capital for a potential sale of all or a significant portion of the Company's assets," the statement added. The company fired co-founder Harvey Weinstein earlier this month following numerous accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Since that time, questions have swirled around whether the enterprise, started by Harvey and his brother Bob, could survive the disgraced exit of one of its co-founders. US business media have reported that four of the board's seven members have resigned. The studio's website still lists Harvey Weinstein as co-chairman. British news site the Daily Mail reported that the remaining board members were set to meet in New York City Tuesday. "On behalf of the board, we are pleased to announce this agreement and potential strategic partnership with Colony Capital," Weinstein Company board member Tarak Ben Ammar said. "We believe that Colony's investment and sponsorship will help stabilize the Company's current operations, as well as provide comfort to our critical distribution, production and talent partners around the world." Trump fundraiser Colony Capital is led by Barrack, who raised funds for Trump during the presidential campaign and has served as an informal advisor since. Barrack, who is of Lebanese descent, has publicly disagreed at times with the president on immigration and other matters. Barrack founded Colony in 1991. He built his fortune by investing in high-risk real estate in the Middle East and Germany and once saved Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch from foreclosure. "We are pleased to invest in The Weinstein Company and to help it move forward," said Barrack. "We believe the company has substantial value and growth potential," he said. "We will help return the company to its rightful iconic position in the independent film and television industry." Colony previously worked with The Weinstein Company on a venture to monetize content from the library of Miramax, Weinstein's earlier company that was sold to Disney in 1993. Colony was part of a consortium that bought Miramax from Disney in 2010. Colony and other partners sold Miramax to Qatar-based BeIN Media in 2016. The Weinstein Company has been in free fall following revelations that Harvey Weinstein assaulted or harassed more than two dozen women in the movie industry, including major stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd. Once called "God" by Meryl Streep, Weinstein is credited with helping to ignite the rise of major independent cinema in the early 1990s at Miramax. The numerous films he has steered to Academy Awards glory include The Artist, The King's Speech, and The Iron Lady. But Weinstein, a supporter of progressive politicians including former President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, has been castigated by political and cinematic figures alike in the wake of accusations by more than two dozen women of predatory behavior. He is alleged to have sought to deploy his immense power in Hollywood to pressure starlets and other young women into intimate relationships. On Saturday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled Weinstein. French President Emmanuel Macron has also asked officials to strip Weinstein of the prestigious Legion of Honor award. The Weinstein story continued to reverberate in Hollywood and beyond. Thousands of women took to social media over the weekend in response to an appeal by actress Alyssa Milano to respond "me too" if they have been sexually assaulted or harassed. It became the top trending topic on Twitter. Meanwhile, New York prosecutor Cy Vance announced that the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity, based at Columbia University's law school, will conduct a 90-day review of his handling of campaign contributions. The move follows criticism of his decision not to file charges over sexual assault allegations by Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez against Hollywood giant Weinstein. President's children Vance also decided against charging the children of now-president Trump, Ivanka and Donald Jr, over allegations they lied to buyers of units in a SoHo district building. Critics accuse Vance of failing to pursue charges in both cases because of financial contributions he received from lawyers for Trump as well as David Boies, one of Weinstein's attorneys. Vance has denied the campaign contributions influenced either decision.
  22. England?s age-group teams might have dazzled on the global stage in various youth tournaments in 2017 but the senior side is not yet of a standard to be a serious title contender at next year?s World Cup, former striker Alan Shearer told Reuters. Gareth Southgate?s side went unbeaten in their qualifying campaign for Russia but has been criticised for lacking a creative spark after scoring only 18 goals in 10 games in a group containing lowly-ranked Lithuania and Malta. ?I don?t expect us to win the World Cup in Russia next year, even with the success of our teams underneath that level, be it the under-21s, the under-19s or the under-17s,? Shearer said in an interview from Bengaluru. ?I don?t see us going to Russia and winning the tournament. No.? England?s recent record at the quadrennial showpiece event has not been inspiring with the 1966 champions, who reached the quarter-finals in 2002 and 2006, exiting at the round of 16 stage in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Their worst performance came at the last edition in Brazil when they failed to get past the group stage, while the Euro 2016 exit at the round of 16 stage after defeat to Iceland left little optimism among England?s supporters. Shearer, who was in India for a Premier League fan park event where roughly 40,000 spectators watched the top matches of the weekend on a giant screen, thinks that will prove to be a nadir. ?What I would expect is to see an improvement on what we saw in France in the European Championships 18 months ago,? said Shearer, who scored 30 goals in 63 appearances for England. ?It shouldn?t be too difficult to improve on that when you consider the performance we had in the game against Iceland when we were knocked out of the tournament. ?Very much similar to other campaigns when we had results in the qualifiers. We are there now but we have to go one step further and we have to show improvement.? In stark contrast to the national side, the England Under-20s won the World Cup in South Korea in June before their Under-19 team became European champions in Georgia the following month. The young Lions have also won the Toulon Tournament this year and are through to the last 16 of the ongoing Under-17 World Cup in India. Shearer, who scored twice in four appearances at the 1998 World Cup finals in France, felt one of the reasons why England were unsuccessful at the top level was because young English players are not playing in the Premier League. YOUNG ENGLISH COACH ?Part of the problem is lot of these boys in the league teams with England are not getting the chance to play at the club level,? Shearer said. ?Clubs like Man City, United, Chelsea and Arsenal tend to spend big on foreign players who the managers or the clubs feel are pretty much guaranteed for success. It?s difficult for these managers as they have to deliver success tomorrow. ?To put in a young player, he needs time to settle and feel his way into the Premier League and clubs are not prepared to do that.? Shearer has, however, backed former teammate Southgate to succeed as the national team manager. ?I am pleased that we were able to give an English player, a young English coach the opportunity to try and do it at that level,? Shearer said. ?More often than not over the past years we have gone and spent big on foreign managers and they haven?t proved successful at all. ?I am pleased we have given the job to an English guy who has played in tournaments, I have played with Gareth in tournaments also, so he is aware what tournament football is about and what you need to try and do to get to the latter stages. Hopefully, that will stand him in good stead.?
  23. LAHORE: Pakistan People's Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari Monday said the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is bent on "destroying the entire system of the country." Speaking to party members at Bilawal House, the former president said there could be no contact with the ruling party under present circumstances, let alone a meeting. He added that he could not even speak to Nawaz Sharif on phone. "Our reconciliation policy was meant for democracy, not for Nawaz Sharif," he said, adding that they had decided to stand against the "evils" of the ousted premier. "People's Party laid sacrifices for democracy, but the PML-N is wasting those sacrifices by harming democracy in the state," Zardari said. "Nawaz-league is negating democracy by confronting institutions." The PPP co-chairman said they even faced false cases in the courts and the PML-N should also do that. "Instead of facing cases, Nawaz-league has resorted to intimidation; Nawaz Sharif is fighting the courts instead of fighting cases." He alleged that for saving himself, Nawaz wants to fail democracy and judiciary. The former president said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was also their brainchild, but the PML-N today wants to take its credit. "The plan of a barter system with China, Turkey and Iran was also ours, but it was not allowed to progress," he added.
  24. ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday said that the government is focused on the 'higher growth of the economy.' "Our real objective should be higher growth because that only will push the economy in the right direction," Dar said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad. The finance minister said that the government is focused on not losing the 6 percent growth target. "We have monitored, managed, and controlled expenditures to a large extent," Dar said. "As far as the economic indicators are concerned, inflation is contained and interest rates are lowest in decades," he said, adding that the inflation figures at the end of the fiscal year stood at 4.2 percent. He added that the energy sector had been ignored for more than a decade, with a circular debt standing at 503 billion rupees. "The infrastructure needed investment and the country was faced with a huge challenge in terms of security, which the government addressed," he said. "Some countries say that Pakistan is home to sanctuaries of certain terrorist organisations but these claims are completely false," he said, as he praised the Pakistani armed forces for doing a great job in improving the country's security situation. He said that the circular debt has been brought under 400 billion rupees, and the load shedding has been reduced to a large extent as compared to the 18-hour outages in the past. "Even after curtailing the energy deficit and addressing the load shedding problem to a large extent, we have managed to bring down the circular debt," the minister said.
  25. ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Daniyal Aziz on Monday said the ongoing assets reference case filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has ?nothing to do with the Panama case?. Speaking to media here earlier today, Aziz hit out at the opponents saying the case against Ishaq Dar was not even remotely related to Panama case. ?There is no corruption allegation against Ishaq Dar. All of this is false propaganda created to portray it as a case about corruption,? he claimed. ?No corruption allegation has come forward. The question therefore arises: what is this [Ishaq Dar case] about, then?? he said, pointing out that the petitioner in the case has not even alleged corruption against the finance minister. ?It?s not about corruption. Their [opponents?] motivations revolve around something else. That?s why they are hiding behind the iqama.? ?Reservations about justice? State Minister for IT and PML-N leader Anusha Rehman said her party has reservations that justice might not be meted out due to the oversight from Supreme Court in the reference case. She also questioned why the accountability courts have not taken any action against Imran Khan and former president Pervez Musharraf. Court resumes corruption hearing against Ishaq Dar Finance minister's lawyer Khawaja Harris was not present in court in the morning after which they were adjourned until noon ?Do retired generals have immunity in this country? Do the accountability courts have no authority to take action against Musharraf? Why isn?t Imran khan arrested?? she asked. The accountability court resumed hearing the assets reference case against Dar on Monday. This is the finance minister's fifth appearance in the court of Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir.