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Found 207 results

  1. FIFA on Monday said the re-laid pitch at the St Petersburg stadium had sustained damage but was being treated before it hosts the final of the Confederations on Sunday. The 68,000-seat stadium, the home of Russian football powerhouse Zenit, will be a flagship venue at the 2018 World Cup. But the pitch had to be hastily re-laid after it was cut up during the inaugural match there in April. Prior to the problems with the grass, issues with the stadium's retractable pitch technology also caused the playing surface to vibrate, rendering it unfit for matches. Colin Smith, director of competitions for global soccer body FIFA, told reporters that the stadium's "young pitch" had sustained damage from the matches, as well as from warm-up sessions. "We did significant top dressing last night," Smith told reporters at a news conference in St Petersburg. "Tomorrow we will fully cover the pitch and really regulate the temperature and the growing conditions in there. We're confident that it will be a good playing surface for the final." Smith said greenhouse structures had been installed over the pitch's weaker areas and grow lights have been permanently set up. He added that rainy weather conditions had "not helped the growth of the problem areas" on the pitch. Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Fernando Santos both criticised the pitch after their 4-0 win over New Zealand on Saturday, with Ronaldo telling Portuguese media the grass was too long. Santos said the teams were prevented from training on it the day before the game. Smith said the group stage of the Confederations Cup had been a great success on the operational level but that there was room for improvement ahead of the knock-out stage, which begins on Wednesday. "Very importantly, these improvements will also serve as very valuable lessons looking ahead to next year?s FIFA World Cup," he said. Portugal face Chile in the first semi-final on Wednesday in Kazan, while Germany take on Mexico in Sochi the next day. The winners of the two semi-finals will play for the title on Sunday in Saint Petersburg.
  2. LARKANA: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah expressed grief at the loss of lives in several terrorist attacks and the Bahawalpur oil tanker accident in the last days of Ramazan. Talking to the media in Larkana, Shah said the government has put the issue of fighting terrorism on the backburner. When asked why the government is not holding a meeting of the Sindh Apex Committee, he said the meeting is called when and as needed and has nothing to do with [the government?s tussle with] Sindh Inspector General of Police AD Khawaja. The chief minister also stated that whether elections are held or not, the work of the Panama Papers case Joint Investigation Team (JIT) will have an effect on the country?s politics. Opposition leader in Sukkur Talking to the media in Sukkur, Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah said it seems from the present circumstances that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif could not satisfy the JIT during his questioning. ?The premier should have given the same answers he gave in Parliament,? he said. The government tried to make the JIT controversial, he claimed, and added that the prime minister should resign and appoint someone in his place.
  3. Anonymous has not been very active in recent months. After targeting the likes of Donald Trump and ISIS, they seem to have taken a break from 'hactivism.' But, now they're back, and boy do they have some crazy news. Their target this time around is none other than NASA. But instead of taking them on, all they did was release some information which changes everything. Thinkstock Photos You may remember NASA's recent discovery and announcement of 10 Earth-like planets. (Read full story here) But, what NASA failed to inform us at the time is that they have also found alien life. At least that's what Anonymous is saying in a video they recently posted on YouTube. Check it out: In the video, they say that Prof. Thomas Zurbuchen, a spokesman for NASA, revealed during a committee meeting that they were about to announce the existence of alien life. This would fit in nicely with NASA's recent discovery of 219 'new planets' of which 10 are believed to exist in the 'Goldilocks zone' of their solar system. This means they are inhabitable. The only thing they have to look into now is the presence of water on any of these planets. If they can find water, in theory, alien life could exist there. Thinkstock Photos Anonymous has also spoken about a number of alien-life related comments that space enthusiasts and astronauts have made. They also talked about various UFO sightings all over the world to suggest that there is "something going on in the skies" which we are all unaware of. Do you think alien life exists? What are your thoughts on NASA's most recent discovery? Let us know in the comments.
  4. President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday dismissed calls for Turkey to close a military base in Qatar and said a wider list of demands issued by four Arab states was an unlawful intervention against the Gulf emirate's sovereignty. In his strongest statement of support for Qatar in the nearly three-week-old crisis centred on the Gulf state, Erdogan said the call to withdraw Turkish forces was disrespectful and that Doha ? which described the demands as unreasonable ? was taking the right approach. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain imposed a boycott on June 5 on Qatar and issued 13 demands including closing Al Jazeera television, curbing relations with Iran, shutting the Turkish base and paying reparations. Doha said it was reviewing the list, but said it was not reasonable or actionable. "We approve and appreciate the attitude of Qatar against the list of 13 demands," Erdogan, speaking outside a mosque in Istanbul, said. "...This approach of 13 demands is against international law because you cannot attack or intervene in the sovereignty of a country." The demands are apparently aimed at dismantling Qatar's interventionist foreign policy which has incensed conservative Arab peers over its alleged support for Islamists they regard as threats to their dynastic rule. Both Qatar and Turkey, whose ruling AK Party has its roots in Islamist politics, backed a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt before it was overthrown in 2013. The Arab states have demanded Qatar cut any links to the Brotherhood and other groups they deem to be terrorist, ideological or sectarian. Bahrain's state news agency on Sunday confirmed the demands set out by un-named Gulf officials on Friday, including that Qatar close the Turkish base, end military cooperation with Ankara inside Qatar and stop supporting militant groups. "The demands aim to achieve regional countries' stability, stand firmly against foreign interference and stop support for terrorist organizations," it said. 'No pullout' Turkey, the most powerful regional country to stand by Qatar, has sent 100 cargo planes with supplies since its neighbors cut air and sea links. It has also rushed through legislation to send more troops to its base in Doha. Two contingents of Turkish troops with columns of armored vehicles have arrived since the crisis erupted on June 5, and Defence Minister Fikri Isik said on Friday that further reinforcements would be beneficial. "The strengthening of the Turkish base would be a positive step in terms of the Gulf's security," he said. "Re-evaluating the base agreement with Qatar is not on our agenda." Hurriyet newspaper said last week a joint exercise by Turkish and Qatari forces was expected following the Eid ul-Fitr holiday which started on Sunday, and the number of Turkish soldiers sent to the Gulf state could eventually reach 1,000. An air force contingent was also envisaged, it said. Erdogan said Turkey had also offered to establish a military base in Saudi Arabia, but never received a clear answer. "If Saudi Arabia wants us to have base there, a step toward this also can be taken," he told reporters. "I made this offer to the king himself and they said they will consider this." "They did not come back to us since that day and even though they still didn't come back to us on this, asking Turkey to pull back its troops (from Qatar) is disrespectful against Turkey". Speaking outside the Istanbul mosque after prayers marking the Muslim Eid ul-Fitr holiday, Erdogan said he would continue his planned program despite feeling briefly unwell. "I had a little condition about my blood pressure, related to my diabetes," he said.
  5. Qatar on Saturday denounced a sweeping list of demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies in an escalating Gulf diplomatic crisis as unreasonable and an impingement on the emirate´s sovereignty. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt want Qatar to meet the 13-point ultimatum in return for an end to a nearly three-week-old diplomatic and trade "blockade" of the emirate. Qatar has been given 10 days to meet the demands, which apparently include a call to close down broadcaster Al-Jazeera, but Doha said the requests were unrealistic. "This list of demands confirms what Qatar has said from the beginning -- the illegal blockade has nothing to do with combating terrorism, it is about limiting Qatar´s sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy," said Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al-Thani, head of Qatar´s government communications office, in a statement. "The US secretary of state recently called upon the blockading nations to produce a list of grievances that was ´reasonable and actionable´. "The British foreign secretary asked that the demands be ´measured and realistic´. This list does not satisfy that criteria." The four Arab governments delivered the demands to Qatar through mediator Kuwait on Thursday, more than two weeks after severing all ties with the emirate and imposing an embargo. The document has not been published but has been widely leaked and the demands are sweeping in their scope. They include the closure of Al-Jazeera television, a long-standing source of conflict between Doha and neighbouring countries which accuse it of fomenting regional strife. Qatar faces Gulf ´divorce´ The ultimatum also include calls for Doha to cut ties to groups including the Muslim Brotherhood, Daesh, Al-Qaeda and Lebanon´s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement. Qatar has also been asked to hand over opposition figures wanted by its three neighbours and Egypt and to downgrade diplomatic ties with Iran. Notably, it has also been told to shut a Turkish military base in the emirate. Qatar´s foreign affair ministry said it was "studying" the list, "in order to prepare an appropriate response". Meshal Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar´s ambassador to the United States, tweeted that the list was meant to "punish Qatar for its independence". Qatar was warned by one of its most hawkish critics in the region that unless it meets the list of demands, Doha faces "divorce" from its Gulf neighbours. Anwar Gargash, the UAE´s state minister for foreign affairs, said Qatar should yield to the demands. "It would be wiser that (Qatar) deal seriously with the demands and concerns of the neighbours or a divorce will take place," he wrote on Twitter. The demands confirm that "the crisis is profound," Gargash added. He also said Qatar leaked the document containing the demands by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, which cut diplomatic ties earlier this month, accusing Qatar of sponsoring terrorism. Qatar strongly denies such charges. ´Attempt to silence´ Al-Jazeera, one of the largest news organisations in the world, responded to the demands by saying it "deplores" calls for it to be taken off air. "We in the network believe that any call for closing down Al-Jazeera is nothing but an attempt to silence the freedom of expression in the region and to suppress people´s right to information," the broadcaster said in a statement. In the other official response out of Qatar, its Human Rights Committee said the demands represented "gross violations" of basic rights. Qatar is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. As well as cutting diplomatic ties, Qatar´s neighbours closed their air space to Qatari carriers and blocked the emirate´s only land border, vital for its food imports. Qatar is home to the largest US base in the region, Al-Udeid, and Bahrain is home to the Fifth Fleet of the United States Navy. The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has urged a diplomatic solution and Washington had been pushing for a clear list of grievances that are "reasonable and actionable". His spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday the United States was "mystified" that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies had failed to present details justifying their embargo on Qatar. US President Donald Trump, however, has made statements siding with Saudi Arabia in the crisis. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Friday that any conditions placed on Qatar should be "measured and realistic".
  6. A mosque is seen alone a coastline in Doha, Qatar, June 15, 2017/Reuters DUBAI: Four Arab states boycotting Qatar over alleged support for terrorism have sent Doha a list of 13 demands including closing Al Jazeera television and reducing ties to their regional adversary Iran, an official of one of the four countries said. The demands aimed at ending the worst Gulf Arab crisis in years appear designed to quash a two decade-old foreign policy in which Qatar has punched well above its weight, striding the stage as a peace broker, often in conflicts in Muslim lands. Doha's independent-minded approach, including a dovish line on Iran and support for groups, in particular the Muslim Brotherhood, has incensed some of its neighbours who see the approach as a threat to their dynastic rule. The list, compiled by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain, which cut economic, diplomatic and travel ties to Doha on June 5, also demands the closing of a Turkish military base in Qatar, the official told Reuters. Qatar must also announce it is severing ties with terrorist, ideological and sectarian organizations including the Muslim Brotherhood, Daesh, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Jabhat Fateh al Sham, formerly al Qaeda's branch in Syria, he said, and surrender all designated terrorists on its territory, Qatar won't negotiate under boycott The four Arab countries accuse Qatar of funding terrorism, fomenting regional instability and cozying up to Iran. Qatar has denied the accusations. Qatari officials did not reply immediately to requests for comment. But on Monday, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said Qatar would not negotiate with the four states unless they lifted their measures against Doha. The countries give Doha 10 days to comply, failing which the list becomes "void", the official said without elaborating, suggesting the offer to end the dispute in return for the 13 steps would no longer be on the table. The demands, handed to Qatar by mediator Kuwait also require that Qatar stop interfering in the four countries' domestic and foreign affairs and stop a practice of giving Qatari nationality to citizens of the four countries, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. US State Department questions Gulf motives on Qatar boycott The State Department said it was Qatar must pay reparations to these countries for any damage or costs incurred over the past few years because of Qatari policies, he added. Any resulting agreement to comply with the demands will be monitored, with monthly reports in the first year, then every three months the next year, then annually for 10 years, the official said without elaborating. US President Donald Trump has taken a tough stance on Qatar, accusing it of being a "high level" sponsor of terrorism, but he has also offered help to the parties in the dispute to resolve their differences. Turkey has backed Qatar during the three-week-old crisis. It sent its first ship carrying food aid to Qatar and dispatched a small contingent of soldiers and armored vehicles there on Thursday, while President Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Saudi Arabia's leaders on calming tension in the region.
  7. ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan on Thursday announced not to get married before the elections, scheduled to be held in 2018. During an informal conversation with journalists in Islamabad, he also announced that his party would invite Sheikh Rasheed to join PTI, adding that he has fought bravely against the ?mafia.? In 2016, there were rumours regarding the third wedding of cricketer-turned-politician after he gave a statement during a wedding in Manchester, United Kingdom. ?I can?t give you the best advice because I don?t have a very good track record. But maybe third time lucky?, he was quoted as saying to newly-wed couple. Imran Khan has been twice divorced. His last marriage with television anchor Reham Khan ended in October 2015. His first wife Jemimah Goldsmith married him in 1995. The couple got divorced in 2004 and have two sons.
  8. ISLAMABAD: In an apparent reference to the Joint Investigation Team probe of Sharif family, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan said on Thursday that he is getting closer and closer to winning the "Panama Test match". Speaking to journalists here today, Khan said he would start a massive street movement after Eid if there is an attempt to make the JIT controversial. "They (PMLN) are preapring Maryam Nawaz as the next Prime Minister as they are now left with no any other option," he said. "2017 is the year of election. The Chief of Army Staff has assured that polls will be transparent. Soldiers will be deployed inside and outside polling stations." The PTI chief said that the judges have made it clear that the Qatari prince's letter would be of no worth if the Qatari royal family member does not appear before the JIT. "We are soon going to win the Supreme Court match. The JIT report is about to come; PM Nawaz should start taking stress pills." Responding to the allegations made by his former party leader Javed Hashmi, he said that the Rs 30 million investment by Shaukat Khanum in Thailand had been returned back to Pakistan. The special bench of the Supreme Court has directed the Panama case Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Sharif family's financial assets to submit its final report on July 10. The direction was given after the JIT submitted its third and second-last progress report to the bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh. The JIT, formed on May 6 in light of the Supreme Court's April 20 judgment in the Panama case, was given 60 days to complete its probe. However, since the original deadline was falling on a Friday, and with the JIT taking a day off on Eid, July 10 has been decided as the deadline to submit its final report. On June 7, the JIT had submitted its midterm report before the special bench. The bench had expressed satisfaction with the JIT?s progress in the probe, and reiterated that the investigation has to be completed within the stipulated 60-day period.
  9. US President Donald Trump delivers remarks on agriculture at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, US, June 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the United States had a "great relationship with China" as he stood beside former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, the new US ambassador to Beijing. "We have a great relationship with China and I really like President Xi," Trump said in a speech at an Iowa community college. The comment came a day after Trump said Chinese efforts to persuade North Korea to rein in its weapons programs had failed.
  10. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who is on an official visit to Turkey, agreed upon the potential for cooperation in the field of security policies, defence production and human resource training with the Turkish defence minister, said a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Matters related to the regional situation and bilateral security cooperation were also discussed. The army chief also visited Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and was briefed about civilian and military aviation projects undertaken by TAI and took an introductory flight in Turkey?s T129 attack helicopter. Gen Bajwa appreciated the indigenous technical capability achieved by Turkey and said that Pakistan has great technological and industrial potential which opens the scope for very meaningful defence cooperation between the two countries, added the ISPR statement.
  11. President Mamnoon Hussain with the civilian participants of the National Security and War Course in January this year. Photo: APP President Mamnoon Hussain has expressed confidence that operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasad would yield positive results soon to make Pakistan a citadel of peace. He was addressing the 17th convocation of the National Security and War Course at the National Defence University (NDU) in Islamabad Wednesday morning. The president said challenges facing the country multiplied mainly because of extremism and terrorism but the nation and state institutions emerged victorious in fighting the war of survival. He said the government and state institutions are courageously implementing the National Action Plan and have taught a bitter lesson to the enemy. Hussain said Pakistan came into being to play a positive and constructive role for regional and global peace and stability. He said internally the objective for creation of the state was to portray to the world a model of a welfare state where citizens could live with dignity and honour. He said there have been impediments in realisation of these cherished objectives but the country has moved forward. The president referred to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and said this, together with One Belt, One Road project, would give a new strategic dimension to the regional and global scenario. He said a new strategic doctrine would emerge and hoped that institutions like NDU would be taking stock of the emerging changes. The president said the participation of friendly countries in the war and security course will further help promote Pakistan's relations with them. Recognising the role being played by NDU as a think tank , Hussain expressed confidence that the institution will further improve its performance in the days to come. Earlier, the president gave away certificates to the participants of the course. Speaking on the occasion, NDU President Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar said one hundred and fifty nine participants, including twenty six from friendly countries, attended the course.
  12. Unless you've been living under a rock, you'd know we are ruining our planet. Global warming is already beginning to cause ripples across the world. The permafrost layer at the poles is melting and threatening to introduce long-gone diseases and pathogens in the world. The modern way of life is generating too much of carbon emissions and unrecyclable trash. Celebrated theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has spelled out doom for the earth, and he's minced no words. Hawking has given humanity 100 years to pack its bags and move to another planet. He says the earth has over a 100 years more till we ruin it with climate change, epidemics and overburdening of resources. © Reuters Hawking's stern warning came before the release of Expedition New Earth, his new BBC documentary. It is interesting to note that last year, he had predicted a 1000 years for us to survive on Earth. Too much damage in a single year, we guess. © Reuters Hawking also criticised US president Donald Trump for his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. “Unlike Donald Trump, who may just have taken the most serious and wrong decision on climate this world has seen, I am arguing for the future of humanity and a long-term strategy to achieve this,” he said. © Wikimedia Commons Considering the fact that NASA discovered about 10 more habitable planets like earth in the Milky Way recently, Hawking's suggestion doesn't seem too bizarre. Scientists have already been eyeing Mars as a potential colony as it's the closest to earth and water has been found on it. But of course, the actual colonization of Mars is but a distant dream. The earth is dying under the weight of our careless lifestyle. Think about it before you toss that plastic cup into the bin after a single use.
  13. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/79c6b1f02036afb66c46493246dfcddb.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9Ni8yMS8yMDE3IDU6MzY6MTkgQU0maGFzaF92YWx1ZT1ONDN6VFI1RnVudElNSGFsMlBKM0xnPT0mdmFsaWRtaW51dGVzPTYwJmlkPTE= style=center] ISLAMABAD: Pakistan?s fast bowler Junaid Khan said on Wednesday that no one had predicted that the cricket team would return as champions but the players always believed they could do it. The fast pacer was talking to the media at the Swabi Interchange on the Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway after arriving in Islamabad from London following Pakistan?s victory at the Champions Trophy 2017. Terming the team?s victory in the eight-country tournament a matter of pride, he said, ?We were under pressure but had nothing to lose.? The batsmen performed superbly in the last match while the bowlers continued their commendable performance, he added. When asked who he would like to give credit for the country?s victory, he said the Pakistan Cricket Board should be commended for taking the team to the tournament?s venue weeks in advance so the players could acclimatise with the ground environment. He added that the Pakistan Super League also deserves credit for brining to the fore young, talented players who helped turn the tide for the team. ?Senior international players point out how we have won despite having played no cricket at home for almost a decade,? he said further. When asked if he was fasting during the match, he said the players do not fast on match days as it becomes difficult to perform well physically. Earlier, Khan arrived in a private airline?s flight at Benazir Bhutto International Airport where strict security measures were in place to help the cricketer traverse through scores of fans and media. Hafeez lands in Lahore Also on Wednesday, Mohammad Hafeez arrived at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore. He then proceeded to his residence along with his family members. Talking to the media, Hafeez said the credit for their victory goes to the entire team. He added that the performance of both senior and junior players was outstanding throughout the tournament. He stressed how important it was that new players be included in the team.
  14. Qatar's attorney general said on Tuesday his country has evidence that the hacking of Qatar's state news agency was linked to countries that have severed ties with Doha. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates cut their ties with Doha earlier this month over comments alleged to have been made by the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and posted briefly on the Qatar News Agency's website on May 23 which Doha said had been hacked. US and European officials have said that while US government agencies and experts were convinced that the news agency and the Qatari government's Twitter feed were hacked, they have not yet determined who did the hacking. "Qatar has evidence that certain iPhones originating from countries laying siege to Qatar were used in the hack," the Qatari Attorney General Ali Bin Fetais al-Marri told reporters in Doha. Marri said it was too early to explicitly name the countries responsible for the hacking and declined to comment when he was asked if individuals or states were behind it. Arab countries at odds with Qatar accuse it of supporting militant groups and advancing the agenda of their arch-rival Iran in the region - charges Doha calls baseless. Marri also said that a list of individuals and entities designated by the Arab countries as terrorists was "baseless," adding that Doha would legally pursue those who had done harm to the Gulf Arab state. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain on June 8 named 59 people, including Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi, and 12 entities, among them Qatari-funded charities Qatar Charity and Eid Charity, as terrorist.
  15. Weapons seized from the terrorists. -ISPR Two terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire with security forces on Tuesday, said a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The statement added the terrorists were attempting an attack on a check post near Dewana Baba Ziarat, 12km north of Tank. Security forces launched a nationwide military operation 'Radd-ul-Fasaad' earlier in February, which includes broad-spectrum security and counter-terrorism operations in Punjab, and continuation of ongoing operations across the country. The operation includes a countrywide deweaponisation drive and explosive control as additional cardinals of the effort. The hallmark of this operation is the pursuance of the National Action Plan (NAP).
  16. QUETTA: Pakistan People's Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto on Tuesday said the people of Balochistan question Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's claims of development. "There is only unemployment and hunger in Balochistan," said Bilawal while addressing his party workers and added that the incumbent government does not care about the people. Referring to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Sharif family for alleged corruption, the PPP chairman said Nawaz could be seen panicking after being interviewed by the investigation team.
  17. Qatar will not negotiate with its neighbours to resolve the Gulf dispute unless they first lift the trade and travel boycott they imposed two weeks ago, its foreign minister said but added Doha still believed a solution was possible. The United Arab Emirates, which along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain imposed the measures to isolate Qatar, said the sanctions could last for years unless Doha accepted demands that the Arab powers plan to reveal in coming days. Qatar has denied accusations by its neighbours that it funds terrorism, foments regional instability or has cosied up to their enemy Iran. The dispute has opened a rift among some of the main US allies in the Middle East, with President Donald Trump backing tough measures against Qatar even as his State Department and Defense Department have sought to remain neutral. On Monday Qatar held war games with Turkish troops, showing off one of its few remaining strong alliances after two weeks of unprecedented isolation. Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said Doha was ready to "engage and address" the concerns of other Gulf Arab states in what he described as a proper dialogue with pre-determined principles but reiterated that sanctions must be lifted first. "Until now we didn't see any progress about lifting the blockade, which is the condition for anything to move forward," Sheikh Mohammed said. The countries that imposed the sanctions have denied that they amount to a blockade. Sheikh Mohammed said he planned to travel to Washington next week to discuss the economic effect of the "blockade" and its effects on the global fight against terrorism. "We have a very strong partnership with the US We are partners together in the global coalition of countering terrorism. We have been talking to them since the crisis started," he said. UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said earlier on Monday said that those seeking to isolate Qatar had no intention of backing down unless their demands were met. "Qatar will realise that this is a new state of affairs and isolation can last years," Gargash told reporters in Paris. "If they want to be isolated because of their perverted view of what their political role is, then let them be isolated. They are still in a phase of denial and anger," he said, adding that a list of grievances for Qatar to address would be completed in the coming days. Qatar has relished support from Turkey during the dispute. Its state-funded pan-Arab Al Jazeera news channel showed footage of a column of armoured personnel carriers flying the Turkish flag inside the Tariq bin Ziyad military base in Doha. It reported that additional Turkish troops had arrived in Qatar on Sunday for the exercises, although military sources in the region told Reuters the operation actually involved Turkish troops who were already present rather than new arrivals. The dispute is a major test for the United States, close allies with both sides and which houses the headquarters of its air power in the Middle East at an air base in Qatar. Washington has sent mixed signals despite Trump's firm personal backing for the sanctions. Trump called Qatar a "funder of terrorism at a very high level," but five days later the Pentagon approved selling Qatar $12 billion of warplanes. The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Monday that military operations against Islamic State from Qatar were continuing while acknowledging some friction. "But what I said last week remains true, in that we have continued to be able to operate, even through that friction," Marine General Joseph Dunford told reporters in Washington. Baseless propaganda Qatar, the world's richest country per capita, has used its wealth over the past decade to exert influence abroad, backing factions in civil wars and revolts across the Middle East. It has said it is now being punished for straying from its neighbours' backing for authoritarian hereditary and military rulers. "It is unfortunate that our neighbours have chosen to invest their time and resources in a baseless propaganda campaign," Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed al-Thani, director of Qatar's Government Communications Office, said in a statement on Monday, calling the terrorism accusations a "publicity stunt." The Qatar Financial Centre, which administers special rules for foreign-owned companies operating in Qatar, said on Monday it has no plans to take any action against Saudi Arabian, Emirati or Bahraini firms in response to their governments' sanctions against Doha. "It remains business as usual, and we intend to keep it that way," its chief executive Yousef al-Jaida said. Jaida said Qatar's government was also prepared to support local banks if foreign institutions withdraw deposits from them because of the economic boycott. Turkey is one of the few powerful countries in the region willing to openly show its support for Qatar. Two days after the sanctions were imposed, its parliament fast-tracked legislation to allow more troops to be deployed to Qatar, where about 90 Turkish soldiers are stationed under a 2014 agreement. Turkey has said it would deploy 3,000 ground troops at the base, primarily to serve as a venue for joint exercises. Qatar has only 300,000 citizens enjoying the wealth produced by the world's largest exports of liquefied natural gas. The rest of its 2.7 million people are foreign migrant workers, mostly manual labourers employed on vast construction projects that have crowned the tiny desert peninsula with skyscrapers as well as stadiums for the 2022 soccer world cup. The sanctions have disrupted its main routes to import goods by land from Saudi Arabia and by sea from big container ships docked in the United Arab Emirates. But it so far has avoided economic collapse by quickly finding alternative routes, and it said its vast financial reserves would meet any challenges. Qatar has said the sanctions have also brought personal hardship for its citizens who live in neighbouring countries or have relatives there. The countries that imposed the sanctions gave Qataris two weeks to leave, which expired on Monday. Thousands of Qataris have been unable to board flights to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and cut off from relatives in those countries. The Qatari government communications director, Sheikh Saif, said Saudi, Emirati, and Bahraini families had been "forcibly recalled" on Monday by their governments despite being invited by Qatar to stay.
  18. KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples? Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday expressed complete satisfaction on the performance of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and his entire team while lambasting PTI over its performance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Speaking to the media after inaugurating a fly-over in Malir the PPP chairman lauded the progress in Sindh including Karachi under his party?s government. He highlighted that sanitation work was improving and multiple roads were being built. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari added that if progress continued at the same pace, his party would surely secure its share in Karachi in the next elections. Taking a swipe at the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Bilawal said that they are complaining that they have been held accountable during his mother Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto?s tenure and during the rule of Pervez Musharraf. The PPP leader said that every time the PML-N was held accountable during PPP rule they colluded with the establishment to remove the PPP government. He asked what accountability the PML-N leadership faced during the Musharraf years, highlighting that they had signed a document and fled the country. Training his sights on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Bilawal Bhutto said he met with the young doctors who informed him that PTI is destroying the health services setup in the province. Taking a jab at the PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who is quite active and has a massive following on social media, Bilawal said the change Khan had promised is limited only to Twitter.
  19. KARACHI: The main accused in the case in which sewer cleaner Irfan Maseeh died due to alleged negligence of the doctors of Civil Hospital Umerkot has been exonerated of any responsibility by the Health department. Masih was brought to the hospital early this month in a critical condition but Dr Yousuf refused to cover his sludge-covered body, saying ?he would not touch Irfan's dirty body until it was cleaned.? the deceased's brother Pervaiz Maseeh had told Geo.tv. Sewer cleaner in Umerkot dies after doctor refuses to touch his ?filthy body? The bereaved brother said even the oxygen pump given to them was empty Doctors at Umerkot hospital protest medical superintendent's arrest over sewer cleaner's death Attendants worry as there are no doctors to treat patients Irfan had dived down to clean a manhole on June 1 when he fell unconscious after inhaling poisonous gases trapped inside, Pervaiz Maseeh had told Geo News. Pervaiz said that one after another two more men jumped inside to save those trapped, but all fell unconscious due to the same reason. Umerkot police had told Geo.tv on June 2 that the accused Dr Jaam Kunbhar has been arrested while raids were being conducted to arrest the other two doctors ?Dr Yousuf and Dr Allah Dad Rathore? involved in the incident. Irfan Maseeh's family alleges that the doctor's negligent response to the emergency situation and lack of facilities at the hospital left him to succumb to death. The Health department, however, in its investigation report presented to higher authorities said that Masih had expired before he was brought to the hospital, sources told Geo News. The report instead held responsible the insufficient security measures employed by the municipality staff, in which one person was killed and three were severely injured. The report did not find any of the doctors responsible for the incident and said that they fully attended to the injured in the incident.
  20. India's captain Virat Kohli walks back to the pavilion after losing his wicket during the ICC Champions Trophy final cricket match between India and Pakistan at The Oval in London on June 18, 2017. AFP / Ian Kington LONDON: Indian captain Virat Kohli said the pressure created by Pakistan's bowlers proved too much for his title-holders to handle in a stunning 180-run Champions Trophy final defeat at The Oval. After Kohli won the toss and, surprisingly, opted to field first, Pakistan posted an imposing total of 338 for four featuring Fakhar Zaman's maiden one-day international hundred, an innings where he might have been run out for one and was caught off a no-ball on three. It all left India needing to set a new tournament record for a team batting second to win if they were to retain the title they won in England four years ago. Ironically, the mark they had to top was the 322 for three made by Sri Lanka in the seven-wicket win over India at The Oval on June 8 ? the lone group-stage loss suffered by Kohli's side. The already considerable scoreboard pressure became impossible for India to cope with when Mohammad Amir reduced them to 33 for three. The Pakistan left-arm quick's brilliant burst of three for 16 in 28 balls saw him snare opener Rohit Sharma lbw for a duck and have Kohli, the world's leading ODI batsman, caught off a leading edge for just five. "They made us make those mistakes with the way they were bowling, creating that pressure," Kohli told reporters. 'High risk' If left-handed opener Fakhar rode his luck at times, he also produced an array of superb shots, notably in a first-wicket stand of 128 with Azhar Ali. "When players like that get going on their day, it becomes really difficult to stop them because I think 80 percent of his shots were high-risk ? and they were all coming off," said Kohli. "As a bowler and as a captain when that is happening? sometimes you have to sit and say 'the guy is good enough on the day to tackle anything'. "We certainly tried to make them hit in areas that we felt it would be uncomfortable, but we just didn't have anything going our way in that partnership." Meanwhile, reflecting on India's tournament as a whole, Kohli insisted: "We can (still) be very proud ... and we leave here with our heads held high. "Credit to everyone for standing up and showing that resilience and reaching the finals ? (but) we were outplayed in all departments. "In the end? you have to accept and admire sometimes the skill of the opposition," Kohli added sportingly.
  21. LONDON: Pakistan?s first global 50-over title since the 1992 World Cup reflected well on their Australian coach Mickey Arthur, who kept his squad from losing focus after their dismal display against the Indians earlier in the tournament. Gaining sweet revenge over India, Pakistan thrashed their archrivals by 180 runs at The Oval to win the Champions Trophy for the first time. But, Arthur admitted Pakistan were desperate to prove they could go toe to toe with tournament favourites India with the title up for grabs. "It?s been an up and down ride for us but I?m so proud of the boys," Arthur said. "The whole group kept believing, we knew we were better than what we showed in the first game against India. "That was an aberration. We want to be more consistent as a team." Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed added: "After the India match in the group stage, I told the players the tournament hadn?t finished yet. Credit goes to my boys. "Fakhar is a great impact player, he played like a champion batsman. Amir bowled brilliantly but all my bowlers bowled really well." India captain Kohli conceded Pakistan were worthy winners and, while he claimed to be proud of his players, his admission that the new champions played with more passion was a damning indictment. "I want to congratulate Pakistan first, they had an amazing tournament. The way they turned things around speaks volumes for the talent they have in their side," Kohli said. "They were more intense and passionate today, they deserved to win. "I?m disappointed but I have a smile on my face because I?m proud of how my team has performed in the tournament overall."
  22. LONDON: Spinner Imad Wasim has said Pakistan are ready to play their hearts out in the Champions Trophy finale against India today. Speaking ahead of the mega clash, Imad said he is really excited about the big game and he and his teammates are going to give their very best to win the title. ?It?s a massive game. Emotions are running high but we are not taking pressure. We will play our hearts out against India. But we are treating it as any other knockout match,? he said. Imad said the tournament has so far gone very well for him and he will play to the best of his capabilities in the final. ?I have bowled well. I?m looking forward to bat as well. I have prepared my plans for the game. The wicket is really good. It will be a good match,? he added.
  23. Photo: File Italy's highest court ruled on Friday that lobsters must not be kept on ice in restaurant kitchens because it causes them unjustifiable suffering before they head for death by fine dining. Judges accepted a complaint by an animal rights group against the owner of a restaurant near Florence who kept live crustaceans on ice, ordering him to pay a 2,000 euro fine ($5,593) and a further 3,000 euros in legal fees. Upholding a sentence by a lower court, the Cassation court ruled that the fact that lobsters are usually cooked while still alive does not mean they can be mistreated beforehand. "While the particular method of cooking can be considered legal by recognizing that it is commonly used, the suffering caused by detaining the animals while they wait to be cooked cannot be justified in that way," the judges wrote. Rather than keeping lobsters and other crustaceans refrigerated, the court said it was already common practice in high-level restaurants and even supermarkets to keep them in oxygenated water tanks at room temperature. ($1 = 0.8939 euros)
  24. SUKKUR: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah said on Saturday that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is unable to give an explanation to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), hence he is attacking national institutions and the PPP. Speaking to journalists in Sukkur, Shah said the JIT probing the assets of the Sharif family is not controversial, however, the PML-N is trying to make it controversial. ?No one is pulling strings however its true that the Sharif brothers are shaking,? he said and added that the prime minister is under fire due to his own words. Shah also said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan also has pending cases against him. Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday appeared before the JIT. Shehbaz Sharif is the fourth member of the Sharif family to appear before the probing team ? constituted by the Supreme Court. I have recorded my statement," he told journalists before adding that "two days earlier the prime minister appeared before this JIT and it was for the first time that an elected prime minister appeared before a JIT to present his stance." "Today perhaps this is for the first time in history that a chief minister has appeared before JIT," Shehbaz told journalists. Former interior minister Senator Rehman Malik is also scheduled to appear before the JIT on June 23.
  25. ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the outlook for Pakistan´s economy was "favourable", citing Chinese infrastructure investments among reasons for growth, but warned of risks to recent progress. Confidence in insurgency-hit Pakistan is growing, with the IMF saying last year that the country had emerged from crisis and stabilised its economy after completing a bailout programme. However the IMF warned in a report on Friday that macroeconomic stability gains have started to erode and could pose risks to the economic outlook. "Pakistan´s outlook for economic growth is favourable, with real GDP estimated at 5.3 percent in ... 2016/17 and strengthening to 6 percent over the medium term on the back of stepped-up China Pakistan Economic Corridor investments, improved availability of energy, and growth-supporting structural reforms," the report said. "However, macroeconomic stability gains ... have begun to erode and could pose risks to the economic outlook," it added. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to boost the long-depressed economy after winning a third term in 2013. Encouraged -- and undeterred by domestic debt of $182 billion -- Islamabad set an ambitious yearly growth target of 5.7 percent for 2016/2017. The World Bank predicted 5.4 percent growth by 2018. Hopes are pinned on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a $46 billion initiative by Beijing that aims to link the Asian superpower´s Xinjiang region with the Arabian Sea through Pakistan. The plan encompasses a series of infrastructure, power and transport upgrades that Islamabad hopes will kickstart the economy. But experts say the deal is opaque, and much more transparency is needed before they can assess any impact for Pakistan -- including, for example, whether the $46 billion is an investment or a loan. According to Friday´s IMF report, Pakistan´s current account deficit has widened and is expected at 3 percent of GDP in 2016-17 or mor than $9 billion, driven by fast rising imports of capital goods and energy. It said Pakistan´s foreign exchange reserves have declined in the context of a stable rupee-dollar exchange rate, urging Islamabad to allow greater exchange rate flexibility. Over the last two weeks, official foreign currency reserves decreased by more than $1.5 billion.